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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Do You Remember The Time?

I remember one of my friends who had relatives in America brought the VHS tape over to our house. I put the tape into the VCR. We watch it, we hear the heartbeat, we see the Gravestone … SMOOTH CRIMINAL.Then dead silence.The neo – ancient Egyptian woman turns her head. Fingers crack. A cat purrs. Hat’s poised leaning over one eye like the past about to explode into life. Clothes rustle. Then Michael Jackson appears in a white suit -shining. He tosses a coin. For the longest time it falls into place in the jukebox. It feels like the whole beat of the song is taken away from the instruments and given to his body -it jerks, slows time, wheels.. His body seems to mark time and seems to move not with time and the beat, but in a relationship with it. He has  detached his body from those restraints. He is teasing time and space. His body is a needle, ducking head first into the stiff fabric of the world we know. The whole sepia coloured past world is tucked into his trousers. Now he scrambles history with his bod. He is more flexible than physics. He is a plastic man and cannot fail. My jaw drops. I am gob smacked. I am entertained

I remember after that,I wanted to be Michael Jackson. Forget having moves like Jagger. I wanted to move like Micheal, to sing like him and to dress like him. I also remember me and my younger brother, who was always the better dancer dressing up and doing our best MJ impressions in our parents lounge. Our well rehearsed  routines became standard entertainment at family functions. Ah the good old days. For a long time until sometime in the mid 90’s when I fell in love with Hip Hop MJ and his music would be my staple diet. His music was the be all and end all of my musical world.

Today Michael Joseph Jackson  would have turned 54. Its hard to believe that its been three years already already since the greatest entertainer to ever grace the stage passed away. I remember I was living in Melbourne at the time. As was my morning routine I had the TV turned to the Sunrise show as I was readying myself for another day on the grind. It was then that world stopped for a while. The news had slowly started to come through. Michael Jackson was dead. I was in shock. I didn’t want to believe it.

I remember on the tram to work I was practically a zombie. By the time I made it to my cubicle my eyes were blood-shot red. am sure I looked hung over. I was very much sober. On my way into work I hadn’t been able to hold back the tears – but it would turn out to be a long day of mourning before I would be all cried out. I remember one of my work mates asking me “Are you OK Taf? You look like a mess.” “Micheal is gone” I replied..I can still see the look on her face now, a picture of confusion and sympathy. ” Who is Micheal?” she probed. ” Micheal Jackson. The King is dead” I replied, holding back the tears.

‘I don’t recall doing much work the rest of that day. What I do remember is obsessively refreshing web pages on news websites for updates, all the while secretly hoping and praying that it was all some elaborate hoax.  As the hours ticked on and more sources confirmed the death it all started to sink in. It was real. In the words of of Kanye “Something wrong/I hold my head/ MJ gone, Our nigga dead” The Dictator of my musical childhood was gone. Too soon. Ever since that day one of my biggest regrets is that I never got to see the man perform live.

My father was a huge MJ fan. In our house growing up I was exposed to a lot of Micheal Jackson’s music. From the early Jackson 5 vinyl records to the Off The Wall and Thriller cassette tapes, played the soundtrack to my childhood. One of my earliest memories of MJ’s music is from a song of his album Off The Wall. My Dad used to play the cassette all the time  especially in his car.  I remember my Mum, as if on cue would go to repeat the story of how after Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980 that was the music of the moment. She would tell me how people would replace some of the lyrics in  the song Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough to  ‘Mugabe is the Prime Minister’. Unknowingly MJ had provided the soundtrack to many a Zimbabwean at the time they were celebrating their Independence and were still filled with optimism about their new leader.

Such was Michael’s influence. On my part at the time I was too young to make sense of the lyrics. All I knew is that I felt the rhythm and it made me want to boogie all night long. Well at least until my parents sent me off to bed. Then there was that Thriller video. I don’t think I had ever seen anything like it. Ever. I was moved, frightened, mesmerised, excited, and confused all at same damn time.

With the exception of the music of Tracy Chapman and Oliver Mtukudzi, MJ’s music is the only other music that My Dad and I have both really love and to this day still enjoy and share together. If for just that alone, Micheal is the greatest musician I have ever listened to.

MJ was more than just a musician. He was a cultural icon. He was a humanitarian. MJ touched millions of fans like me and inspired and moved us all through his music and dance. His legacy will live on. Forever. If I should have a son I hope that I too will be able to share MJ’s music together with him, the same way I have done over the years with my own Dad. That is the best gift MJ gave me and I will always be grate

Happy birthday MJ. Your music lives on!

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I Decided

The irresistible panache. The upturned collar. The artistry. The Kung fu fighting. That incongruous mix of shock value and brilliance. I remember it all like it was just yesterday. He was elegant, enigmatic, eccentric, eclectic, explosive or as my French friend would put it “Man you cannot eee-magine”. Ladies and Gentleman … Eric Cantona. The creme de la creme. The big enchilada. The King. One of the greatest footballers to ever grace the Theatre of Dreams.

Playing Jean-Toussaint Arrighi de Casanova to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Napoleon Bonaparte Cantona inspired the Red Devils to 4 league titles, including 2 doubles(1992-1997). He was Manchester United’s talisman, eliciting during his time at Old Trafford some of the most boisterous renditions of Glory Glory Man United.  For me as a budding football fan it was the genesis of an inexplicable love affair with a football club, that would last the better part of the next 20 years. A relationship that was signed, sealed and delivered by the time the 1999 Treble winning team’s exploits had many a United fan delirious with glory. Although by 1999 Cantona had since hung up his boots, he had been the perfect wing-man. I decided on United.

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

As a pseudo intellectual, I do occasionally, in my private moments acknowledge that I don’t know everything and revert to helpful aides to explain things to me. so not wanting to make any mistakes for this piece, I reached for the dictionary gathering dust on the top of my over stacked , under read bookshelf to look up a word I think I know the meaning of.

Ultimatumnoun: a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force.

Now, as far as the dictionary definition of this term can be applied to my scant experience of relationships, I think I have been on the end of some final uncompromising demands, the rejection of which or in my case the reticence  to deal with , while not leading to the use of force, have definitely led to the severing of relations.

Sometimes I have been naive enough to ignore an ultimatum expressed in no uncertain terms. Other times I have only become aware of the ultimatum after the severing of relations when I was told how my girlfriend had given me the ultimatum in her mind and then watched as I failed to deliver,leading to scenes of tears, shouting and wheel spinning departures into the mist of the lonely winter nights.

These ultimatums usually involve a demand that I change my loyalties ( i.e. not seize every opportunity to accept friendly invitations to go crazy  and instead devote my attention to the needs of the loved one), my habits ( i.e. passionately indulging myself in all things Manchester United), or my outlook ( i.e going all Forrest Gump and responding , “Mama always said life is a box of chocolate” to a serous question about feelings, life, the universe and everything).

Though not always expressed in the kindest or most rational manner, these ultimatums are not without merit. In past I have always acknowledged those merits only once the horse has bolted far beyond the bounds of my stable. ( It’s a metaphor, I swear I am not saying you are a horse.)

The problem is that I have an inherent and sometimes irrational tendency to try and keep everyone happy and not hurt anyone’s feeling, which is impossible at the best of times and unforgivable in the face of an ultimatum. Its probably the former altar boy in me, the inheritor of thousand of years of neurotic Catholic guilt that sends me into a whiny, pacing hand wringing dance of indecision and self doubt. Something  that highlights my ability to make excuses rather than decisions. Deciding not to decide, that’s usually my decision. Which is also why I am not much of an ultimatum deliverer myself, preferring instead to cower, glare and mumble to myself that the reason I own too much Manchester United memorabilia and books is that at least they don’t make demands. Ultimatums, however, have always had the stamp of authority and I have had a problem with authority for at least the last 15 years of my life.

There are women I have waited for to tell me to marry them or else, who are now married, have left me or just don’t want don’t want to hear it anymore, and all I can here is the spirits of my departed objects of desire laughing at me and singing “You turned out to be the best thing I never had … Sucks to be you right now“.

This is not to say that ultimatums should be accepted but in the case of an often indecisive schmuck like me, you need to recognize the ones that count and then do the right thing. Otherwise you will be lying awake alone at night telling yourself that next time you wont make the same mistake and that you mean it this time, as you ignore the book on the bedside table and the record that reached its conclusion hours ago, hissing incessantly as it waits for you to change it.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Tribute to Female Beauty: Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady

Ever since time immemorial our awe of women’s beauty has inspired men to pens many melodious tomes of prose as ill – advised narratives. I am no exception. To quote the legend that is Hank Moody “I love women, I have all their albums.” In fact some of my best friends are women. I love reading their stories. My very being has been defined in more ways than one by the women in my life. The power of female beauty will remain the stuff of lore as long as it continues to dazzle and change like the seasons as she sways through her sacred, enviable journey through life as the more revered half of the human race. This is a tribute to that journey.

The first hint at her beauty lie in the adorable pigtails and bright party dresses as she hangs on to daddy’s arm and his every word, her world afloat on princess fantasies, frog-prince wishes, candy floss, jumping castles and the simple delights of mud and snails after a storm. She has no worries aside from which hat best suits Barbie. From early on, we are disarmed by the innocence of her gap toothed unconditional smile, her blissful ignorance of hidden worldly dangers and the early intuition into her boundless potential for moulding fantastical shapes from the putty in her hands that is every male in her family. This provides invaluable training for her move into angst and raging hormonal, pimply rebellion.

As a teenager, her soul whirls with uncertainty. Her self esteem is tested and solace is found only in the perpetual dreamland in which she hides. Far away places, magical paces. Anywhere but there where her mother could find her, dictate to her, try and shape her into the 16 year old she never was herself. Her early training in the fallibility of the male make up assures her of extended curfews from her father and nascent woman like radiance attracts a field of roses and awkward handwritten poems from aspiring suitors on Valentines day. By the time her leavers dance has come and gone, and higher education has obliterated any pleasant preconceptions she may have had about young men’s intentions, the real world beckons.

Enter Miss Independent, the all powerful, all conquering her. A whiff of her sweet scent sending ripples through masculine spaces as she saunters by, breaking walls and smashing glass ceilings. She weeds out man-children for sport, identifying the worthy men who will enhance, not break her. Men who have firmly instilled purpose into the grammar of their habits. The kind who will appreciate the heel augmented arch in her foot and the resultant lift in her derrière as much as her inexplicable, spontaneous gravitation towards Sylvia Path monologues and her contention that adults who use the word chillax are not worthy of her attention. But she can also be carefree, have fleeting interests, with laissez fair youthfulness seeping through her pores.

In this mode she is the delight of the mature man. He who is shackled by responsibility and the bonds of time. Her carefree demeanour the perfect tonic for his middle aged unease as he looks defiantly into the sunset of his life.

When the first chilly winds of the autumn of her own life reach her, it is not the surgeons knife that triumphs in an attempt to regain her physical glory, nor is it being reincarnated as a predatory cougar that renews her confidence. She does not cling desperately to her youth. She carries her maturity with the guile of Sonia Braga, the grace of Michelle Obama, the zany frivolity of Tina Fey, and the wit of Maya Angelou.

Her beauty remains the sum of her experiences and selfless deeds. Her currency is her self worth, wisdom and empathy, not her sexuality. It is then, when she no longer has any use for her physicality that her effortless, timeless, ageless beauty shines through. This is the kind of beauty that vanquishes internal conflicts and elicits tributes from warring camps. It moves a neighbour to mourning, it ignites nostalgia for a simpler, more virtuous time and silences nations as it reminds them of the possibilities of genuine beauty and what it really is.

She is once, twice, three times a lady.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I Write What I Like

I don’t write for other people. I write for myself. At times my writing feels like a form of literary masturbation – my very own wank-fest of verbal indulgence in which I attempt to share my world view whilst playing games with language and style. The rest of the time I am just flirting with my muse. I try to find her soul. I burrow for her wit, her intelligence, her warmth. I want to make her laugh. I want her to dance with me on the page. I want to engage her in a pseudo -intellectual debate.

Don’t get me wrong, like all other writers, I want to be read and shared and discussed. (Just ask the friends I harass whenever I have a new blog post up.) When I write I think about the best way to convey my message and I hope that my words will have an impact. I may write with you in mind, but I would never say that I write for you. I absolutely write for myself (for my sanity, my enjoyment, my expression, my growth etc.) I write to reduce the grip of my regrets.

Even when I’m deciding what I want to write about, I usually make those decisions on the basis of the topics that I feel most passionate about and the ones around which I think I can make the strongest and most interesting arguments. I know all this seems to go against all laws of blogging especially. It probably won’t improve my site views or make me your favourite blogger, but for the most part, I’m okay with that. I am not a blogger. Somebody lied. I am a writer – who blogs. I would love for more people to read and comment on my blog, but I am not going to write for the explicit purpose of trying to get them to read or comment on it.

Let it be known. I will write forever. Why? Because, I believe my story is worth telling. I will write like no one is reading. I will not worry about people who don’t want to hear it. I will reach out to the people who do. In this great ocean of humanity we are all just trying to give voice to our own individuality. So if you don’t like mine or anybody else’s story write your own.

Writing is my second childhood. Writing is my Wilhelm scream. Writing is my Sensei. Writing is my heaven. Writing is my hell. Writing is my religion. Writing is my solitude. Writing is my friend. Writing is my journey. Writing is my home. Writing is my sex. Writing is my orgasm. Writing is my celibacy. Writing is my lover. Writing is my crush. Writing is my soul mate. Writing is my peace. Writing is my war. Writing is my freedom. Writing is my jail. .Writing is my struggle. Writing is my clarity. Writing is my curse. Writing is my gift. Writing is my triumph. Writing is my defeat.  Writing is my sport.  Writing is my high. Writing is my low.  Writing is my addiction. Writing is my voice. Writing is my art. Writing is my Excitable Cells. Writing is my Endocrine System. Writing is my Science. Writing is my Pied Piper. Writing is my Pilot Jones. Writing is my now. Writing is my forever. Writing is my fantasy. Writing is my reality. Writing is my first. Writing is my last. Writing is my Chimurenga.

Who am I? That’s not really important, but if you must call me Brother to the page.

Who am I? I am ‘The Borangoma‘. I am a son of the soil.

Who am I? I am a writer. I write what I like.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Things I Will Teach My Son

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”
Bob Marley

‘Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

The Pursuit of Happyness

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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