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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Summer


Swimming, Nandos when mama doesn't want to cook, way-too-much PlayStation, lots of apples, iced water, comic books, funny faces, sleepovers, lunches at Ouma's, pancakes, time for a haircut, short shorts, learning how to properly brush your teeth, learning how to floss (!), dinners outside - with the pesky mosquitoes, jumping on the trampoline, end-of-the-year birthday parties, chalkboard art, monopoly a million times a week, sweating, singing, standing in the fridge, chocolate ice-cream, pillow fights, recycling old school books, report cards, dance lessons, long days and short nights.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Dipsaus!


Very proud of the brand new podcast Dipsaus by Anousha Nzume, Ebissé Rouw and Mariam El Maslouhi - all women of colour living in The Netherlands and using this platform to discuss issues pertaining to society, politics and culture in the multicultural Dutch context with a dash of humour and crankiness!

Anousha is of Russian-Cameroonian parentage and is a writer, actress and an activist for media inclusivity. Ebissé is one of my favourite people on the planet (!!!) she is Ethiopian and moved to The Netherlands in her early teens. She is a commissioning editor of non-fiction books at Amsterdam University Press. Mariam is Moroccan-Dutch and is passionate about ending racism and bullying at schools. Almost a high school drop out, she is now a certified psychologist.

Dipsaus, presented in Dutch (with snippets in English), is a bi-weekly podcast by and for women of colour interested in another sound. Interested? Check it out!




Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Vignettes


The child’s mother was careless. It was like that in some other families too. She’d seen it before; how young mothers, educated, loving even, left their youngest children in the care of even younger, less educated and careless household helpers. Yes, mother’s helpers, that’s what they were calling them. But honestly, the child was emotionally neglected. Pretty. Clean. But scolded, ordered not to do this or touch that and, “Oh, now look at what you’ve done!” She took out her phone and swiped through her feed. She already knew she’d be seeing something that would upset her. But it was morning and still too early for regret.

He looked good. Freshly shaven, skin gleaming from the application of the optimal amount of Vaseline, ironed short and smart shoes. He had nowhere to go. Absolutely nowhere, and looking so good. He decided to walk to the mini mark and buy a newspaper. The pavement was dusty, more sand than concrete really, and he was glad he’d chosen his light brown leather shoes. He didn’t have a car anymore, couldn’t afford it, yet here he was worried about having nowhere to go with nothing to do. He purposefully paid for The Namibian and then made off as if to work or a make-believe appointment. He walked towards the University of Science and Technology but at the last minute decided against it and chose instead to walk further on to the fine restaurant up the road.

She quickly walked passed the old Dutch Reformed Church in a hurry to get to her car before the car guard bothered her. She didn’t have change. But then she changed her mind, and walked passed her car to the next street, a short but winding road that led to the post office. She checked her mailbox, left the bills and statements and took out her magazine subscriptions. The rest could wait till the end of the month. She didn’t know what to do next. Back to the car or the small café in the alleyway? She took a deep breath and looked down at her feet. She was tired. Thirsty even. A drink would be a good idea, and then she’d have small change for the car guard after all and wouldn’t have to sneak off like a thief with no loot.

I was very hungry. Once you allowed yourself to get that hungry whatever gets thrown at you, you eat. The young girls, some in dancing outfits, played with a ball, throwing it straight up in the air and taking turns to catch it. They laughed in that pleasant manner of happy children. The traffic was incessant with the increasing rush of the afternoon exodus from the city. All one could hear was the beeping of taxis, the banter of the eager taxi drivers and, strangely, the chirping of birds in some tall palm tree, the only audible proof of nature.

The waiter circled and circled around me. Bored or interested? I tried not to be annoyed. He was just being attentive. If I was in another mood I would have appreciated the service. Suddenly a burst of children shot out of the building. Two of them ran up to me and we embraced in a group hug. The waiter’s shift was over. He walked past us in his red shirt and he, I imagined, must have thought I was mother to one of the girls. The children showed me the Rubick’s Cube they were busy solving and then ran off to their friends. I was left in the invisible hands of a ghost waiter.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Badder...



Happy Monday! I'm down after a midnight hay fever attack (ever had one of those?) and suddenly have this deep urge to clean up and get all the dust, cobwebs and stagnant possessions out of my space. We are deep in spring and the weather is getting warmer very fast, so all the jackets and sweaters have been folded away, dinner is eaten outdoors some evenings and legs, legs, legs everywhere!!! But also the pollen... anyway nothing like good music to lift you up. After a nostalgic morning listening to Sade, Nelly Furtado, Natalie Imbruglia, some Pharrell and now Michael Jackson thought I'd share this cute video that my children have had me looping since Friday.

Be gentle and take it easy. If the going gets tough dig out those tracks that take you back to good times... and don't forget to hydrate!  Now back to my bottomless cup of tea and editorial deadlines.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Zadie Smith: on writing



Read the article here. The photos are gorgeous. Thank me later.

Milisuthando Bongela: On love


Miss Milli B, as she is otherwise known, is probably my most influential cultural writer/critic/activist from South Africa. I've loved her since spotting her in an advertorial for MeMeMe, a boutique store with branches in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Miss Milli's got wisdom for days in this 42min video. Watch it! Visit her gorgeous and thought-provoking blog for more.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nick and Molly // PART I

This is the story of two people.

In a parallel universe, Nick and Molly could have been twins, identical in all but sex. Of the same disturbing synchronized gaze, silent mouths, smooth hands and content disposition. That pair sits in a framed drawing by a Central Park illustrator more talented than your average. Why they should have framed and prized a drawing that was a caricature of them, when they possessed many beautiful photographs of their real versions, owes to their bad taste.

Nick and Molly lived in Windhoek, in a sleepy neighbourhood that could not be more different than their student apartment in Harlem, New York, in the 1970s. But that was twenty years ago and how sweet was it to arrive in the thick of opportunity, make home in a previously “Whites Only” suburb, and take their children to an integrated school? Very. The dream of independence was realised. And now hard work. Nick bought a white beige metallic BMW, Molly learned how to drive and the children ran around them in circles.

The house was lovely, with a pretty rose garden and a shaded back porch. The small front yard, with its bright green grass, resembled a magazine ad that Judy had seen. It was as if she’d wished for this life and it was coming true right in front of her eyes. But that is childish folly. Judy will soon learn, first hand, the price of being the only black family in a white neighbourhood and that how things looked like was not the best indicator of the reality of a situation. But this is Nick and Molly’s story, so let’s not get distracted.

Official Lushdreamer website has gone live!


I'm thrilled to announce that my professional website has gone live! Check it out: WWW.LUSHDREAMER.COM

Thursday, September 29, 2016

In the meantime...




WORK
When life sucks just get up, dust up and show up. Again and again and again.

BOOKS
Beautiful interview with Elena Ferrante. My mind went B-O-O-M after reading her Neapolitan novels.

PICTURES
Illustrations of women being when they're alone (together). Love them!

CLOTHES
Red suit. 'Nuff said.




Thursday, August 25, 2016

Keeping the Blind Visible


My father spent Monday 15 August 2016, his 75th birthday, directing attention to the Namibian Federation of the Visually Impaired, of which he is the patron. Here are some beautiful photos taken by my sister Namene and the bottom two by Leitago /Narib of Nawazone.






Support the Namibian Federation for the Visually Impaired
Twitter: @NFVI2 #KeepingTheBlindVisible
For more information contact Moses Nghipandulwa 0816414815 or Mutaleni Nadimi 0811448848 E-mail: servicecentre@iway.na

Friday, June 17, 2016

Greatest Of All Time



Something Gold
Said to be the best boxing documentary, and my favourite documentary of all time When We Where Kings tells the incredible story of the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle match between George Foreman and Muhammed Ali. If you don't know who Muhammed Ali is... you are not alone. One of the most beautiful men to walk this earth, with faults and weaknesses like the rest of us, this portrayal will make you fall in love with him. A poet, a fighter, an activist, a lover, a prankster, a hero. The movie is, like all perfect stories, about everything. Music, identity, politics, sports, style, discipline, travel, show business, and so much more.

Something Old
Girlfight is a film I own on DVD (there was a time when I used to collect films directed by women). It stars a young Michelle Rodriguez in her acting debut. I was seventeen years old when I watched it. It blew me away.


Something New.
Cannot wait to see this. What! Check out the trailer to The Fits.



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Can we just take a moment...




... to admire the set design, architecture and flow of Erykah Badu's music video for 'Otherside of the Game' (Baduizm, 1997). I'm feeling the light, the gorgeous bright earth tones, the luxurious yet pared down aesthetic. What a beautiful space... and the music!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Random links

Photo via

Some fun on the Internets:
Obama's last White House Correspondence Dinner... so funny!
Speaking of the Obamas - there's a new film based on Michelle and Barack's first date.
Another fantastic podcast by two young women.
Future holiday destination for sure. 
I have a distant cousin who is soon getting married in Auckland, New Zealand! If I could make it I'd be staying here (fancy) or here (lovely).

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Why beautiful ideas fail

Question: What happened to our favourite arts and music café - Jojo's?
Answer: They stopped at 'Fun'.

Photo by Martha Mukaiwa 
More pics of the old Jojo's here

I walked in last week and instinctively sensed that something was wrong. I didn't drift into a dream space on the edge of my mind where anything was possible. No. I just stared out of the open windows to the offices of the Ministry of Defence. What was wrong? There was no music playing. Jojo's music and arts café and it was just the mundane buzz of afternoon traffic with no mini-gallery in the corridor and none of Isabel Katjavivi's arresting Mexico Blue House graphic prints and no sweet music filling the air. The magic is gone.

Jonas and Joolokeni brought urban culture to the café by investing in local talent. I went to Jojo's whenever I had a chance and frequently on my own - on a random Thursday or Friday evening when in the mood to mingle with strangers and see if anything was on (Slick the Dick on the mic? UNAM and Polytech students on date nights?) and also between runs to the College of the Arts or Uncle Spike's Book Exchange or buying school uniforms or hockey gear. It was one of my favourite places to disappear to when nobody would miss me. Gone are the days. I'm falling back on an old haunt and tourist beehive with enough tea and apple crumble to heal a broken heart.

So what's this 'Fun' I alluded to at the beginning? According to Les McKeown there are 7 stages every business goes through:
1. Early Struggle
2. Fun
3. White Water
4. Predictable Success
5. Treadmill
6. The Big Rut
7. Death Rattle

You'll want to avoid the last three. But you also don't want to bomb before stage 4. According to me, Jojo's got over the Early Struggle pretty quickly, reminding me of what celebrated restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson had to say to Fast Company on local eateries being spaces of reflection and restoration of the local culture. Jojo's succeeded in reaching the 'Fun' stage where they were the toast of the town. Literally - the December 2015 end of year The Namibian / Weekender bonus edition had almost everyone featured rating Jojo's the best spot in town. I wished we could have seen the original owners White Water the café's operations by professionalising, creating systems and processes that would allow them to employ a manager and ensuring its Predictable Success. Now it's... fancy food and no soul.

Oh well. All is not lost. At least Windhoek now has an ice-cream bar downtown. Let's please watch this local gem soar! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Living it good..!


Hello! Just want to share some lovely resources, shops and ideas out there.

Above pic picked from the inspiring Instagram account of Blavity Life, the "life" section of Blavity Bulletin 'The voice of Black Millennials' and a creative melting pot of American cultural, political and health opinions.

So, last night I had some magical hours to myself and stayed up late watching this show. Of course I realise I'm late to the party but I was gripped.

I spent the long weekend in Swakopmund. If your idea of paradise involves delicious flavoured ice-cream, a fresh ocean breeze, seagulls flying overhead and a stroll along the seaside then look no further than this gem.


Shop here for beautiful, quality, handmade and curated clothing from Africa and Europe. I'm so looking forward to going back and I've already reserved a few nights at this spot for May!


Pics via Instagram @muta.nadimi
Here's to a productive week ahead!


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Ask for what you want


Some time last week my daughters came home from school with a new adage:

"Say what you mean and mean what you say."

I've been taking this to heart lately and its simply uncanny the things that have been happening. Imagine focusing on what it is you actually want and saying what you mean to say. So far I've received a beautiful new MacBook Pro from my beloved, I attended an engaging future trend forecast event with my sister just in time to save me from an inspiration dip, my extended family has been enjoying some fun and delicious get-togethers, I'm feeling fitter than I have in a long time thanks to early morning yoga sessions, frequent massages, an amazing chiropractor and plenty of fresh greens. Speaking truthfully (to myself and to others) and SUDDENLY my world is filled with an abundance of opportunities, books to read, places to nap and a more positive self-esteem.

Here are some fun and interesting and maybe even useful links in the spirit of abundance. Enjoy!

Second best to a brand new computer is a fresh new desktop wallpaper. Check out these free botanical and fruity wallpapers from Justina Blakeney.
Depression wears ordinary clothes. It catches me at the strangest moments. It's a familiar and unwelcome companion. It leaves me feeling alone when I'm most loved. It almost seems never OK to talk about it. But lately when I've stared it in the face and called it by name it's been less menacing. Of the three things named in this heartfelt post (scroll down to the Guest post by Alexandra King-Lyles), gentle exercise (yoga and dancing around the house) and plenty of rest (a warm bath, early to bed, weekday naps, and saying 'No' way more often) have been appropriate remedies.
Black people have gorgeous homes too. You wouldn't know it if you read South African decor magazines (Yes, Elle Decor SA). But the Internet has fixed things. We now have noted.man an online mag. It recently featured a beautiful art-filled home in Johannesburg.
When wondering about wandering in my career, I take a visit to Penelope Trunk. Always thought provoking. It was she who inspired me to take the Myers-Briggs test and "discover" my true self.
I'm currently reading too many books at once. One of them is a Donna Tartt novel for an online writing course (because to write well one must read well) through my alma mater Bennington College. We were sent a link to an archive of the college paper The Bennington Voice and apart from the interview with Tartt it was mighty interesting to see and read some of the rest of the content from the 28 October 1992 edition. Has America changed at all?
This is happening tonight. Tickets at the door. Laz Jacobs has risen from funny guy in the 1990s to successful entrepreneur in the 20teens.

That's it!
 




Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Short story: Imagined memory

When I was four, we lived in a tall building. I had big hair and a round belly and spent my days running around our apartment with my little sister and the girl from upstairs. I don’t remember her name, but looking at the photo, she looks like a Gloria. We wore panties and nothing else. We “planted” seeds on window sills, collecting the orange pips we’d spat out while lying flat on our backs in the pool of sunlight drifting on the carpet. We then claimed territory of our orchards. Gloria had the dining room window, my little sister Maria had the kitchen window and I had the massive living room window which stretched from the waterfall painting in the corner to the cabinet were all the fancy glass was kept. 

Outside, beyond the cold glass framed by pale green curtains, was a huge parking lot, which was always half empty and always with the cars parked in different patterns. Maria, who was still too young to count, would echo me as I counted the cars row by row. We sometimes counted all the red cars, or all the white cars, or all the cars with cracked windshields or whatever we could think of to ward off boredom.  

Luanda, was a noisy city. We could hear it all the time, at all hours of the day or night. Cars driving in and out of the parking lot, neighbours blasting music through open balcony doors, the peanut sellers calling from the pavements, and – if I’m not crazy – the roar of the ocean. The cold salty cleansing ocean. I sometimes didn’t understand why we didn’t just live there. In one of the shacks where they sold cold drinks to go with the spicy lemon fish that was grilled on the beach. We could sleep there at night and come out during the day and lay on the beach or sell shells while the lady sold her drinks. I would never admit it, but I was afraid of the water. It wasn’t just a game that we ran into the wet sand when the water was sucked in as the ocean inhaled and then ran screaming out back to the dry beach when it exhaled. I was terrified! Imagine getting caught by the wave and being spooled deep into the ocean’s belly for a lifetime of loneliness. I hadn’t heard of mermaids yet, so that was my fear. Loneliness.