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Inspire. Motivate. Laugh. Love….. Your Guilty Pleasure. ♥


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Quote Me

Typewriter

Asking me if I have a favourite quote is like asking the Cookie Monster if he has a favourite flavour…pretty pointless.

Like songs, I have many favourite quotes, one for every situation and emotion probably but there are those that have followed me through life like a stubborn STD, always coming up when I least expect it and reminding me why I first fell in love with literature and the written word. I’m that girl at work who is drowning in all the Post-It notes stuck on and around her cubicle, with little encouraging and funny quotes scrawled on them. From the thousands of stories I’ve met in my life to the hundreds of movies I’ve seen I hear timeless lines every day. I won’t even mention the songs I listen to nor the poetry I watch.

I mean, who doesn’t still swoon every time they hear Julia Roberts saying, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,” in Nottinghill?

Beauty Quote

The first quote that made it into this category for me had to be Jean Kerr’s witty gem about beauty.I loved it the first time I heard it and I have continued to love it since. Funny and still very true, it made me see things a little differently, and I think that’s what I love most about it and others like it. If a few words can make me laugh and still teach me something new, what’s not to love about them?

Another quote that makes it into this category for me has to be from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I’m not sure why but Shakespearethere was just something about this particular line that, when I read it, I fell in love with how Shakespeare structured words to create magic. Between this line and the rhymic couplet from Sonnet 116 – “If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved” – Shakespeare showed me just how timeless words can be, even when they have changed.

So although I will never have a favourite quote, it is only because I have such an appreciation for the written word. Everyday I am finding new quotes to love and cherish and I hope you will too.

* Unless it is mad passionate love, it is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love should not be one of them.

* Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray. – Rumi

* Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

“For June who loved this garden. From Joseph who always sat beside her.” - Notting Hill

“For June who loved this garden. From Joseph who always sat beside her.” – Notting Hill

 

Do you have a favourite quote that you could share with us?

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A Different Order of Reality

Chinua Achebe Post-it

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

The “father of modern African writing”, Chinua Achebe (born Albert Chínụálụmọ̀gụ̀ Àchèbé), best known to the world as the amazing writer of Things Fall Apart, passed away on Friday 22 March, 2013, after a brief illness, at the age of 82. He was born and raised in the Igbo town of Ogidi, Nigeria and began writing as a university student. Soon after graduation, he did a bit of teaching and then he worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation, a faction of the British Broadcasting Company and later helped create the Voice of Nigeria network.

Achebe was not just the writer of such amazing novels as No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987), but also penned poetry, essays, short stories and even children’s books, all based in his native land, Nigeria. What I think most people first fell in love with in his writing was that he painted a real and beautiful picture of Nigeria and Africa, to a world that, up to that point, had been largely ignorant to the reality of what it was like to be African and in Africa.

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Some of his stories were set in the Nigeria before independence from British colonial rule, and so they allowed a view into what it was like living in a time when Nigeria didn’t belong to the Nigerians. This included themes revolving around the conflict felt by Nigerians in a time of both traditional African culture and invasive Western values, the bloody civil wars that plagued Nigeria and the pain felt by the Ibo nation of South-Eastern Nigeria from the brutality of military dictators from other Nigerian ethnic groups.

Things Fall Apart was his first novel, published in 1958, and has since sold millions of copies and been translated into over 50 languages. It was the most widely read book in modern African literature, and like most of his subsequent works, this is set in the Ibo countryside and is most loved for its detailed descriptions of the Ibo life, culture and traditions. It went on to become a classic of world literature, something which was virtually unheard of in African literary circles.

Chinua Achebe 2008, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Chinua Achebe 2008, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

In 1998, Nadine Gordimer hailed Achebe as “a novelist who makes you laugh and then catch your breath in horror – a writer who has no illusions but is not disillusioned. From his writing, Achebe became more than just a writer, but also a political activist. He was noted for aiming his criticisms, not only at British colonial rule, but also at African leadership and the citizens who tolerated their corruption and dictatorship.

He has spent most of his adult life living in exile in the United States of America, working as a University Professor, but came back to Nigeria briefly, to be involved in the politics of the independence and rejoining the of the region of Biafra from Nigeria. He soon became frustrated with the levels of corruption and decided to take himself out of the equation, then a car accident left him disabled, so he moved back to the US.Chinua Achebe Post-it2

His most recent work was There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, which is a memoir of the new nation that was Biafra, told from Biafra’s cultural ambassador. It tells of the Nigerian civil war (The Biafran War) during which Achebe was a roving cultural ambassador able to observer the full horror. It was soon after this that he moved back to the US and has since maintained somewhat of a silence on the events of the war, aside from an interview with Transition magazine, only referring to it through his poetry.

He is most remembered for his unique style of writing, which showed his keen satire, his heavy reliance on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs and oratory.

The literary world has lost a great mind and an even better writer.

RIP Chinua Achebe.


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NaPoWriMo

So, since I started blogging, I’ve been reading about NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month).

Basically, this is a challenge to all writers where you are supposed to spend a whole month writing poetry (one poem a day), and the general idea is that whether you think you have something to write about or not, you write.

You write nonsense if you must, but you write, and soon enough, your writing is supposed to improve. By the time you reach Day 30, your poetry writing skills should be on point. Or at least that’s what I think should be happening.

I’ve never taken part before, but on Thursday 21st, the literary world lost a dear soul in the African literary giant, Chinua Achebe, and I feel that in his memory, who am I to be afraid of NaPoWriMo. For those who are not aware who Chinua Achebe is, look out for another post later on today, don’t miss it because he was truly something special.

So anyway, the month started yesterday and I wrote my first piece of crap, I will continue to stick it out for an added 30 Days, and should I write anything worth looking at twice, I will post it for you to review, until then, please pick up your own pencils and pens (and keyboards) and get to writing. If nothing else, it will improve your vocabulary.

Plus, who knows, you might be able to count it as a team activity on your next CV.

Mwaah!


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Baainar Here With a Bang!

baainar_records_logoThe world is full of interesting and inspiring people and in 2013, the year for doing great things, I would like to share some of my favourites with you.

Have you heard of Baainar Records? No??
Well listen up…

Baainar Records was created in 2003, and back then, it was nothing more than a young man selling vinyl records out of his bag to his friends. Lunga “The Sid” Nombewu was sourcing records from the internet and selling them, with no aim but to enjoy music and make some money on the side.
Lunga, originally from Port Elizabeth, moved to Johannesburg to study aviation and ended up working for SAA (South African Airways) as an engineer. It was then that he began DJing at the behest of some of his friends who wanted someone to play music in between their sets.lunga *Little known fact, when Lunga started DJing, he was playing Hip Hop and only got into house music when he started perfecting the art if mixing. In a bid to not make a fool of himself in the process, he taught himself how to DJ and began practising furiously.

The more he fell in love with the music industry, the more he saw the need to leave aviation and work in music full time. It was at the SAMC (South African Music Conference) in 2005 that he met Rex Dasenar, a producer from Swaziland who needed help editing his song, and after discovering what Lunga could do, they decided to work together and Rex was signed.
It wasn’t until 2006 that the label as it is today, was really born. When he started bringing in DJs, his main aim was to give them a platform to achieve their dreams. He wanted to find those with potential and nurture them, helping them to hone their talents and providing them with the mentorship and facilities to make the kind of music they wanted to make, as well as marketing it to the world.

Today, The Baainar stable consists of two arms, Baainarbluelle Records and Baainar Digital. In Baainar Records, Lunga has signed eight artists, which he manages, but Baainar Digital is primarily for the sole purpose of mentorship and the nurturing of artists to be released and marketed digitally. He wanted to help young artists find a platform, and so they are not signed to the label and are free agents. Artists like Audio 5, Piper, Eric Error Mokakabye, Four to the Floor and Kaygee Pitsong are just some of the people he has worked with on the Baainar Digital side of things.
Aside from the artists Lunga has signed, Baainar has worked with a number of big names in the industry, both local and international.
House Legend, Nick Holder’s new album,NickHolder which has been highly anticipated since 2007, was finally released in 2012. Not only was it released exclusively in South African, but it was released through Baainar Records, who are handling his distribution and publishing through all of Africa.

The original vision of Baainar Records was to harness and grow talent from Lunga’s home town, Port Elizabeth, and he first found such talent in Mpiwe (Simphiwe Gqushani). Mpiwe was soon followed by Patricson Snare, La Shad, Bluelle, Eltonnick, Rokker Rogers, Nkokhi and Naak Musiq, of “Qina” fame. Some of these artists have since moved on, like Rex Dasenar and Patricson Snare, but those remaining have big plans for 2013.Eltonnick ft. Naak
Baainar’s artists have been included in no less than 15 albums in 2010 alone and have released almost 100 songs digitally. Lunga was included in the 2010 SAMC panel, presenting on digital music.
By March of 2011, Lunga had been profiled as the cover story of the German based Beat magazine and “Baainar Underground Selections” EP had been reviewed in 5 magazines distributed in Miami and Chicago, all relating to the digital arm of Baainar.

Eltonnick (“Move”; “Ndiyindoda”) plans to release a new album, Bluelle (“We Are Africa”; “Galaxy”) is working on introducing electro to the Baainar repertoire whilst building his brand, Rokker Rogers (“Rainy Days”) is mastering some percussion instrument to add a new kick to their collective sound and Nkhokhi will be promoting his newly released album, (J.O.L.)Journey of Life, through gigs and remixing. Naak Musiq (“Qina” ft. DJ Sbu), currently the most recognisable name on the roster will continue trying to balance his music career and his acting on SABC 1’s prime time soapie, Generations.bluelle2
Through all this work, Lunga will be trying to discover more fresh talent, trying to grow the label’s brand and focusing on the business side of things.Eltonnick2
Lunga is also going to be working with Risal Sounds on something new and exciting, but I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what will come out of it.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are beeeeeg things in store for Baainar and it’s creatives in 2013, and to find out more about the individuals, keep an eye out right here over the next few weeks!
Keep an eye out for these merry men…and who knows, maybe one day soon a merry woman?

To get in touch with Lunga:

Think About it


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Loss

I recently lost a family member.

This wasn’t the first time, and from what life has taught me, this certainly wont be the last time. No matter how many times you go through this kind of experience, you never get used to those striking thoughts that hit you only at such a time, like how truly important family truly is, how, at those moments when things are really bad, they are the ones who make it all seem okay.

I have watche my family pull together in such a way, in such a moment, time and time again, and it’s still the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Perhaps more so because of the reason behind it.

Just some food for thought:

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” – John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

“I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone – you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.” – Alyson Noel, Evermore

“Your absence has gone through me; Like thread through a needle.  Everything I do is stitched with its colour.” – W.S. Merwin

“You never knew the last time you were seeing someone. You didn’t know when the last argument happened, or the last time you has sex, or the last time you looked into their eyes and thanked God  they were in your life. After they were gone? That was all you though about. Day and night.” – J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to the realization that nothing really belongs to them.” – Paulo Coelho

“At the temple, there is a poem called ‘Loss’ carved into the stone. it has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read Loss, only feel it.” – Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

” The deepest memory of life is that loss is woven into its innermost fabric; we’re touched never more sincerely than at the time of visceral pain.” S.J. Wickham

“There is an unrequited nature in loss that, despite our search, reveals itself just as mysterious and enigmatic at the last as it was the first. Yet, we emerge.” S.J Wickham

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep

And nodding by the fire, take down this book

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace

And loved your beauty with love false or true

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

W.B Yeats