6 December 2015

Inside a Live Music Show in Johannesburg

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(On a Friday)

26 October 2015

Mehlo Madala

OK, not really -- my last post was only a couple of Thursdays ago. But still. We haven't had a catch up in a while. How are you?

I have been doing better. It wasn't until I started thinking about writing this update that I realised just how much better I've been. I'm writing a lot of this while I listen to the rain and Frank Ocean's Pink Matter. I'm on a taxi and I figure writing this would be more useful than stressing about wet roads. And, hopefully, you'll read it as I read many of my favourite internet things: in the morning while commuting.

OK, onto update things.

15 October 2015

About Sipho Gongxeka's "Skeem Saka"

I'm still thinking about Sipho Gongxeka and his first show at the Market Photo Lab -- even though it's been a whole year. I wrote and "drafted" this on 31 July, 2014 but for some reason my last two questions weren't answered and I found the whole thing flat I sat on it. But I think of the work and the show and my feels every so often I decided to post it now. 
sipho gongxeka photography, market photo lab, yizo yizo, youth day,

It was a cold Jozi evening in early July when I went to the opening of Sipho Gongxeka's Skeem Saka exhibition at the Market Photo Lab Gallery in Newtown. There, I was transported into a sort of behind the scenes of a film not yet produced. Some of the photographs look like stills grabbed from mid-90s and early '00s classics such as Yizo Yizo and Hijack Stories. The complete body of work, though, looks less like performance and more like every day, run-of-the mill South Africa. In all the photographs the subjects are looking straight at the camera -- straight through the camera.

I also got to witness the magic of what happens when a black kid's art dreams begin to come true. At the opening, I spotted two women who were much older than the regular "Jozi art crowd." Dressed for the weather (and probably like people who leave their homes at 5:30AM) in their gorgeous camel coats. Upon asking, I learnt that one of them was Sipho's mother and the other woman his aunt. They know all the faces in the photos and kept remarking how well he captured them. At least four of the photographs feature the photographer's best friend -- his sister told me so when I asked how proud the family was feeling. See, not everyone gets to see their kid's art dreams come to fruition. Granted this is only the beginning but judging from it, we're in for great art from this young broseph.

I got in touch with Sipho and we had a chat on the BBM (because I'm awful that way) in which we talked about approaching one's art with perspective and I decided my being too close to my work is why I can't write. We even almost talked about the cultural powerhouse that is iKalawa and it was great.

13 October 2015

Book Craving #2

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Well look at me making a book wishlist like my brain isn't wired the way it is; or like I have cash monies. But I really refuse to feel shame for wanting things like a human person alive in a capitalist society. I'm working on hacking that shame away, anyway.

11 October 2015


ayanda the movie, ayanda mmovie review, carefree black girl film

If you follow me on twitter you'll know that the day before AYANDA came out at cinemas I had the sudden urge to watch it in a room with many other black women. First, I saw screening events where omam'ncane would be allowed a glass or two of their stuff while we mutually feelings-ed over the story on screen. Then, realising this was likely too big, I wanted to do a meet-up off the strength of my twitter and general internet presence. I saw myself meeting (maybe) 20 people from the internet and watching it with them and my sister. I called it the #JoziLovesAyanda AyandaMovieJHBMeetUp. Turns out, as I've known, my internet presence isn't that strong. On the 4th went to see the film with my sister. Here I discuss the two points I can't stop thinking about.

9 October 2015

On the Nina Approach

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Somewhere along the line -- likely between thirteen and fifteen -- I lost interest in things and people. A sort of apathy that grew from sadness and being so, so tired. I carry that apathy even today, a shruginess and "what's the point?" sort of mindset. But because I'm such a feelings-y person the shrugging is constantly dancing with "but you SHOULD feel more, do more, crave more! You're just afraid and this is why you are constantly covering your own mouth shut." Nobody said it was easy inside my head.

I have, for as long as I can remember, either been indifferent to people or obsessed with them. That's my default setting. There's rarely an in between. The number of times a person's existence has gone from obsession to a blah spot is disproportionate to the converse situation happening, as in huge. I outgrow people constantly.

3 September 2015

F e e l s

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solange+wedding+husband, wedding first dance song ideas, black love 

Presented w/o commentary.
(images: likely from Solo's instagram and taken by Rog Walker. I could be wrong. Respectively they were found here and here.)

18 August 2015

Artists You Should Care About

young south african artists, performance artists in south africa, south african yoth art scene,

This post has been a long time coming. Just about every other young South African with internet connection or an actual smartphone (don’t tell my blackberry curve 9320 I wrote this) has a sort of visual diary. Be it tumblr or instagram or even old facebook. Between 2011 and 2013 I lived on tumblr and “curated” nomali-from-soweto.tumblr.com, which I have since deleted, and that’s when I refined what spoke to me in terms of art and visuals. The following people stand out for me and I really care about what they’re making and sharing. You should probably care too.

16 August 2015

On the Low - Card on Spokes featuring Nonku Phiri and Okmalumkoolkat

Have you heard "On the Low" by Card on Spokes featuring Nonku Phiri and Okmalumkoolkat? Well I have and I love it. I've heard it over and over and twice on a Sunday. One word to describe this song would, obviously, have to be: ~feels~

"On the Low" is probably my favourite song I've listened to this year so far. I never even imagined that a song set to an electronic beat could be sexy and intimate and melancholy. In fact, "electronic" only brings to mind topless white dude bros jumping around in warehouses and doing other white dude bro things. Sorry, to whatever minority group they likely appropriated it from, sorry they bastardised it.

8 August 2015

Clothes I'd Buy From Mr Price

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I made another (I also made one in autumn, which I’ll show you in at the bottom) Mr Price wishlist. As regular readers of this blog might know, everyone’s favourite, Mr P, and I have a strained relationship. In that I want to wear what I want to wear and Mr P won’t let me because I’m not a size 38. Get yourself together, Mr P so we can be BFF when I have money again!
Though their size options are still quite limited and still focus mainly on the smallest side of plus, they will sometimes open up a few garment and have them in “extended sizes”, which is a start, I guess.

5 August 2015

Noms X #FillUpTheDome

cassper nyovest concert, cassper nyovest the dome, #fillupthedome,

Long time no see, hey? I hope you know, though, that if I could be here 24/7 -- or at least a few times a month (like old times/your period) -- I'd do it! This is not a catch up post. However this blog is still a thing. Mafre.

I'm writing here again because Cassper Nyovest has a dream to #FillUpTheDome and my dream is to watch him do it. I want to be in that crowd with my kid sister and live through that experience. Nyovest says he wants to do it alone but I hope he doesn't mean perform totally alone. These past two years have been great for him but in my mind he's never alone. He's with affiliates, the people he always mentions on things. They don't have to have equal billing, because it would be his concert, but they have to come out and open etc. Tickets went on sale this past weekend and I'm into it. The last time I felt music-related FOMO (or, I Hate Being Poor) was with Kendrick, last year.

2 April 2015

Club Paradise.

For days I've been chanting "Rochelle, Jordan" at random. Days. 

alernative curves, south african plus size blogger,

29 March 2015

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"You don't have to jump" says Tom Hanks' character to his young son, Oskar.

By Mattew Wiebe via unsplash.com
In the scene, Thomas Schell is trying to coax his son, Oskar Schell, into trying swinging at the park. His story is about how much more exciting swinging got for him when he learnt to propel himself and jump off. He tells the boy the above and I found it comforting. You can try thing out but only do what works for you -- just because others are doing something it does not mean you have to push yourself to that level. Do what feels right  but always try.

27 March 2015

Kate and Me

Oh, dear Kate. 

I’ve had this Rimmel London x Kate lipstick for a few years and it cost me about 90 bucks tops back in 2013. My first job was in the Hyde Park vicinity and I sometimes found myself inside Hyde Park Corner -- that's where I bought the lipstick and too many slices of yummy red velvet cake.

beauty politics, lipstick theory, small beauty blogger

20 March 2015

All Day.

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How long you stay in your lane?

All day, nigga.

18 March 2015

On Wednesdays we Wear Tartan

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So I have news: my shop is finally up and ready for your body.

Those of you who've read this blog, followed my twitter or tumblr for a while might know a bit about my shop dream. And now, I've taken a giant leap toward making it a ~thing~. What started off as Stratafords on an impulse and had been haunting me since 2012 is now a tangible internet destination. Goodness, I sound so profesh and copywriter-esque! Shop Sixty-Six is live and sexy all up on your interwebz! I thought I'd take a little time to write this very formal introduction because you guys are like the friends I deserve to have in my life. The friends I tell a lot of inner feelings and thoughts. The friends and gossip with and share my dreams and lessons with. You didn't know? Well, you're stuck with me now.

9 March 2015

If you are reading this, the time is just right

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Paul Costello for ELLE

Dear Aubrey,

I've been leaving letters for you all over the internet. I've been keeping letters addressed to you in my blackberry's memopad since I started emerging from a long-ass shadow of bad feelings last October.

October :).

I have no one to talk to about the latest blessing you've given to the world. I have no one to talk to about any sort of meaningful feelings I might have at any given moment. Aubrey, I spent nearly four days last week with You & The 6 on repeat. It's not just that invokes feelings and memories of my own mother -- because goodness does it -- but it's just the love in there from which I can't stray for too long.

4 March 2015

Can White Nails Be Punk?

beauty theory,

My history with white nails/white nail polish and questions of punk goes back a little over a decade. In 2004 I began high school and along with it an affair with Tip-Exx (white error correcting fluid). I personally always owned the pen Tip-Exx that required only shaking and scribbling on paper. But I obsessed over of friends' brush Tip-Exx with its nail-polish-esque packaging. White some of my friends gave themselves fake french tips with the solution I painted my whole nails white (or sniffed my fingers when I'd used them to rub away the wetness of the solution from my books). I actually had a worrying Tip-Exx habit for a while in grades eight and nine. lol.

I began biting my nails (and cracking my knuckles) when I entered high school. I realised sometime last year that those were probably anxiety habits. By the time grade 10 rolled around I was deep in my affair with black nail polish. I barely had any nails (still don't rn, tbh) but whatever bit of nail I had, I painted black. Then, sometime in grade 11, this girl walks up to me and starts talking to me about my black nail polish. She mentioned that she used black nail polish too and asked if I was also "a punk"? I side-eyed her so hard because even though I liked Avril, P!nk etc, I wasn't trying to be punk or using it to be like the women in the music I listened to. I probably rolled my eyes and compelled her to get ways from with with under-the-breath incantations. Been Repelling the basics sine 1999, yo.

18 February 2015

The Locals - Get Your Hair Cut in Soweto

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I know in my first post (of 2k15) I said all hair decisions were on hold. I lied. More to myself than to you.

Last Tuesday I went to the famous Ngamula -- the Ngamulas are famous to people who know me on the internet because whenever someone asks about getting a Kendrick they are who I recommend. The resulting cut was one where Ngamula took artistic license and I'm not mad at him for it. The Ngamulas and I chatted about how the local schools' ban on the cuts is not only a petty decision but also one that's had an effect on their business. They'd be busy throughout the year if kids at the local high schools weren't forced to shave their hair off it they dare to get the german cut or 'hawk. The forced uniformity of our schools would have prospered with this hair but for some reason the teachers find it to be too festive. My particular cut is festive because I'm a grown woman. Anyway. My sister has gotten herself a Ngamula cut two December holidays in a row, the one she got last year was the best. This is another chapter in my hair story.

For a better picture of the hair (visit my instagram) for a series of selfies showcasing most of my accessory "collection"  and my new cut read click through. All of the accessories (except for the Ray Bans) I bought on the streets of Johannesburg. The lipstick is almost as brown as I want it to be.

16 February 2015

Fat Girl Shopping #1

(More like Fat Girl Window Shopping, tbh)

On the second of February I went to a mall to do a sim swap (a phone-related procedure to you, internash readers) and I tried on a lot of clothes. Turned out they couldn't do my phone thing because I forgot my green book. Here's a likely to not be at all interesting look back at that Monday and the clothes I  tried on.  I quickly realised that the old telkom shop was now home to an etolls/etag service centre and that a million months ago, when I was last in the building, the old 8ta store was being revamped. It seemed wasteful to make my way directly to the new store so I popped into a few shops along the way.

13 February 2015

Burgundy Love.

plus size valentine's day looks, styling a big hat,

Friday the 13th? Why, yes, I'll post an outfit on the internet because it always takes me a special occasion to post pictures of me in clothes on the internet. No, don't go googling a variety of term combos hoping to stumble on pictures  of me not in clothes.

11 February 2015

Plus Size Swimwear

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The heat hasn't relented since the year began and it isn't showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. On the 9th of January Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh launched her full collection of fatkinis and my heart really swelled because it's great when fat girls get nice things. Fat girls deserve narce things too. Always. But even though I'm super poor and would have nowhere to wear a fatkini I've made this collage anyway. The priced sets are from Forever 21 and maybe if we're lucky haha, who am I kidding they'll be stocked when the plus size line finally launches in South Africa. The other sets are from Gabi's  Swim Sexy collection, which you can view and shop here. The latter fatkinis run in the R700.00+ mark -- if you can afford to get one, go for it! Even though the heat might go away soon I think it's wise to start buying up all the swimwear (if you you're planning to slay the beaches, swimming pools, inflatable pools of the world) as there's still a lot of variety on the internet. Also, another great thing about buying swimwear right now is that your summer body will be decided. Your body as it is right now will have to be your summer body. I don't even believe in "the summer body".

Do you know of any fatkini or plus size swimwear (bathing!!!) brands closer to home? Let's be about not forcing fat women to rock that tight and skipa at the beach steeze tu.  Let's do better. If you are a local (or African) plus size brand with good news, get in touch. I love good news.

If you're a fat woman in Africa and have thoughts on plus size women in swimwear, feel free to share them in the comments too. My thought all boil down to: fat women can do whatever they want.

6 February 2015

Nomali Cele still blogs here despite what the dryness might suggest


A lot has been happening. So little has been happening. Both states have been overwhelming.

I'm now 23 years old. I am also now obsessed with DeJ Loaf. I'm still constantly thinking about writing and surviving. I do more daily toward my survival that I do toward my writing. I cannot believe I'm not 13 or 19 years old. I'm 23.

nothing was the same, lol

I removed hyphens from this blog's url as I've been meaning to do so from the moment I put them in. I wrote new words for the pages of this blog. I wrote 21 "blog goals for 2k15" and ticked off three within the first few days. The 21st goal is "blog only when inspired." I changed quite a few of my addresses such as tumblr and twitter please take note. In case you're looking to find me there.

I'm working on my shop with a seriousness and hopefulness I haven't applied in the past two - three years. You will be the first to know when everything is set up and ready to go live. When I'll ask for your support in terms of shares and retweets. "It's hard to do these things alone." Yesterday, when I wrote two paragraphs on what I'm trying to do with the shop, because someone had asked me, I realised I need to write down shop-related things more.

I wrote another list of unnumbered goals. For my life in the realm of 2k15. There are two writing related goals. But the general theme carries on from the only goal I set for existing in the realm of 2k14: be kinder to myself. Be soft. Be gentle. I'm currently more open to meeting and getting to know people that I've ever been in the past five years. I cut my hair the day after my 22nd birthday and again in February. Haven't combed in months (unless running my fingers though my sopping wet hair counts). After my 23rd birthday I strongly considered getting a mohawk but then I saw JCole in the Apparently video. I want to erotically massage JCole's hair. I've since postponed all hair decisions.

The last thing I'd like you to know today is that I've decided to start a Tinyletter. I don't know when I'll be ready to send it out or make the details public but it's happening. It's something I've decided to do for myself and when it's come together and I have things to share, you'll know the information. Days go when I receive over ten emails and all of them are just updates from websites to which I signed up and forgot the information. Days go when I don't write a single thing. I don't expect anyone to sign up but I'll do it anyway.

This is weaker than the "I'm back! New Year, Bad me" post I had imagined in my head but it's all right.

How are you doing?
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