Salted Butter and Apricots

Rough!

‘Halftribe’, Mixcloud brings such soothing relief to a the last month of nail-biting angst.

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SOLAR TERM

Rough is hardly the word to describe this recent moment in time. Day 3 of no water in my home in Sandown, Johannesburg, sacrifices being made to play catch up on my finances, dealing with an injured heart, a new venue to operate my rent-a-chair out of, remaining honorable, meeting expectations and getting on with it has been raw to the bone. Let’s just say that my faith has been stretched that much further. Also, running into my ex a while ago finally brought some closure to open unanswered questions that I have labored for 15 months. Gladly, yesterday, a shift in tempo saw me able to buy some food for my home. Look I haven’t starved but I certainly have had to cut out every ounce of niceties, except chocolate, to meet the responsibilities I have. It’s done and some semblance of normality is emerging. With re-payment plans in place and beginning to be met I munch on my comfort food of peanut butter toast laden with salted butter and a side of apricots. Gosh have I missed the luxury of eating fruit.

Honoring my clients and friends who extended the hand of favour towards me in the midsts of the recent scam I fell privy to was ever so fabulous to do.

The bottom line is that obstacles, unforeseen events, self-inflicted struggles and curve balls will inevitably punch us a bloody nose. That is ok. The question is whether each of us will roll up our bloodied sleeves and do what must be done, honorably, to deal with them.

In the salon yesterday I was referred to a new client. She had been observing my work from the corner of her eye and was taken by the results. We chatted about her desired result and her valid gripe about her dissatisfaction with the results her current stylist was delivering in comparison to her achievable desire. The opened door granted me the chance to educate whilst understanding. As a stylist I do my best to never bad-mouth another’s work as ‘hair history’ is a large subject that influences outcomes loftily. What struck me as an all too familiar yet strange result after the quotation, with saving options and alternatives given, was the reluctance to pay the price. It is a funny phenomenon that each of us wants what we want, whether good or bad, but somehow don’t want to make the necessary investment to achieve it.

Erik of BetterMan put out an email yesterday that I asked if I could quote. It is the direction of today’s blog. (Apologies for the screenshot, but ‘copy&paste’ was malfunctioning today….🤣)

An interesting read from a corporate perspective regarding the changing landscape of how people approach business in a technology accessible world shed some interesting focus.

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SUSTAINABLE

Too often you and I are taken by the fashion fad of the season and forget the big picture. Taking a more reasonable and sustainable outlook towards mutually beneficial outcomes, long term,may open our eyes to behavioral changes we need to make. A sustainable and beneficial world is what we would like to leave generations to come after-all?

My recent experience of being in a situation that required serious sacrifice taught me a valuable lesson. I was so busy focusing on being a good guy in a turbulent world that spews so much hate that I forgot my own needs. What I mean is this: I poured my heart into trying to save and prove to another that I was worth a go in love that the thing that sustained my life bore the brunt of shifted focus. Although romance, sex & love etc are not bad things, contrary, when it takes over it can blind us to dangerous outcomes. So pay the price I have and am for neglecting the fact that my own needs are as equally important to those of everyone else. Oh well, I guess this is the inevitable battle of an empath/nurturer/giver. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Take heart!

As each experience unfolds, if we willingly participate in the rhythm of life, we grow, change and learn.CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

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Holes in the ceilings

For many years the Zimbabweans suffered at the hands of an egomaniacal dictator who served himself. Let it be a massive warning to all the world, again, as to what happens when democracy that serves the whole is nullified for the objectives of the minority. It is a nepotistic practice that breaks the prosperity of talent, skill and sincerity. In short when we deploy favour for the select few we in turn tell the mass that they do not count other than to serve the self-proclaimed elite. The other consequence is that the narrowing view of the ‘in gang’ is easily fed misconceptions vs mutually beneficial outcomes. As Mr Maimane states in the above screenshot tweet, the work for the Zimbabweans has just begun.

I congratulate the efforts of the brave men and women who have endured and overcome the revolting practices of a cruel Mugabe dictatorship.

Zooming back home, another Maimane tweet sheds some more light onto a fragile ZA psyche.

Over and above fighting the depths, breadths and heights of the corruption and fraudulent practices of our own Zupta crises, Major Herman Mashaba works steadfastly to turn the rotting Johannesburg CBD into a more lucrative and plausible housing situation for its citizens. It is a wonderful feather in the caps of civilized society when the right to choose is exercised well to carry the sentiments of the majority.

Fight on goodwill!

Fight on humanity!

Fight on justice!

Over the last 14/5 months since I started blogging so much has happened. It has been heartbreaking to be judged for being vulnerable and open with the aim of reaching out to others through my personal journey, struggles and experiences. Oh hell yeah, there have been times where I wanted to bury my head in shame. My flawed humanity, like all of ours, gets in the way and our shiny new-shoe clad foot oft trips us up on loosely tied laces. I wish more often than not that I was mainstream, alas not. But learning I am.

Yesterday, with the no water scenario in Sandton had me feeling grim from the inside out and put a depressing spell on the victorious Zimbabwean moment. Heading to the local garage to buy bottled water to bathe and drink and have my cherished morning coffee. The row of screeching peeps from Zimbabweans filling up with fuel, flags raised and song lit brought tears to my eyes.

VICTORY IS SO SWEET WHEN IT IS MET WITH HONEST EFFORT.

I have been waiting, patiently for my Landlord to fix the light in my living room that fell out one night. The relevance to today’s blog is startling.

Every ceiling has a way through.

As an award-winning stylist I have had to crash through many personal ceilings to find the bricks to start building a life for myself that is authentic and solid. Oh gosh, many times in my life I was in pimped up mud huts, only to have them fall to the ground with the first blast of the big bad wolf. Just yesterday I was chatting to someone who was encouraging me to endure my personal financial loss. When compared to their 12 million rand devastating loss mine is small change. And although relative to each of our lives, hectic nonetheless, the lesson is that ceilings/ floors are man-made configurations.

The main topic of discussion centered around business expansion. The relevance to the current ZA psyche is this, and I quote: ” The issue is not about South Africans being entrepreneurial, the question is changing the belief that our small enterprise is the best we deserve.”

For the agnostic and atheist this next section is not for you.

DEAR HIGHER POWER

(In my case that’s God)

We thank you for the miracle of life. As we grow out of our old way of thinking that binds us to small-mindedness help us to dream bigger. Help us to find and use those opportunities presented in an honorable way to not only grow ourselves, but our communities at large. We continue to pray that you will help us to love, forgive and reach out the way you do to each of us. Shut down the works of a devious enemy and help us to clearly see and act upon the truth. Help us be a generation of heroic people that serve the ends of justice creating a fair community where all people have the tools to prosper.

Mia Amare dishes up a cutesy and happy set on Mixcloud.

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HAPPY

CHOOSE ❤️!

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

Cold Pizza

Salvo Migliorini serves up a tranquil and uplifting offering on Mixcloud.

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RELAX

Taking stock, the maths is slowly getting an order. Going back to the drawing board is a necessary discipline to overcome the whack of rather disappointing love affair. Not to mention the disruptive vanishing with sums of money that left a mountain to climb. But alas, climb one must. Breath Arion, breath.

I have never been one for ‘the next day pizza’. Somehow the titbit doesn’t rev my motor as the night before. In the same breathe the idea of a Mugabe titbit landing and being housed by ZA is an unsavory notion. I mean how dumb must one be and still breathe. The wife assaults a ZA woman and flees, hubby brought a country to its ankles and ZA is contemplating putting up with this trash. No thanks, we have enough of our own thank you very much. I mean I am here huuuuuney, sweeetie, daaaaarlin’, angelcakes, bokkie. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

It is so weird. I drew up my ‘Black Friday’ promo yesterday and felt all kinds of discomfort about the name of said international promo day. Although I understand the promo to be a getting rid of seasonal stock, a symbol of giving back, a potential for new repeat business and a sense of being part of a global community, the term ‘Black Friday’ still conjures up pictures of mass mourners. I guess that is just my creative thinking. 😜

So often when things go on sale, one discovers the reason why particular items didn’t sell. So to counteract the argument and to offer a valid and valuable offer to peeps at large I banged out a really great offer. An offer that will yield some great experiences and awesome win-win scenarios for both the client and myself.

A stranger fed me some cold pizza yesterday in the form of an online enquiry. I was startled to say the least that her desire was drawn from the trashy Jordy Shore gang. I mean seriously. As, supposedly, entertaining as that bunch are they are not exactly style icons by any stretch of the imagination. To be honest, although I haven’t watched any television in over a year, the random running commentary of that bunch leaves one wondering why the heck they even are on television at all. Sadly, it is a reflection on us as a society. Yup, the television mongering dictators feed us what we are drawn to. Give me a period piece biography any day over the flimsy, to say the least, reality ‘yawn, gulp, aaargh’ TV any day.

ARE WE REALLY

Look I am no prude. I have done more than my fair share of ‘ poorly-chosen-behaviours’ and I still smoke ciggies and devour gallons of chocolate. But are we really a society that indulges corruption, greed, trashy behaviour, settle for comfort rather than truth, get into bed with destructive dictators, hate based on superficial judgements, claim rights when it suits our personal agendas and negate the sincere self-improvement of the honest worker?

Something to think about….

Look, recently I fell for a lie too. I ignored the red flags, warnings and negative behavior and got scammed. I think we all want the best to turn out so. The lesson I have learned is that:

Hoping for a good result does not mean turning a blind-eye to questionable behaviors. A good result comes from joint efforts for mutual gain in honest process.

The rest is just cold pizza!

CHOOSE ❤️!

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB

Deciphering

Having the privilege, for 2 days, to work with ‘How do I look’ SA live in Sandton City has been a wonderful experience. It is always fun for me to step into my forte, a Makeover Specialist. It got me thinking. What is the importance of change? Funny enough yesterday I wrote a blog titled, ‘Shake it off’, which dealt with the idea of what comes after the end of the next moment? So often as a seasoned professional I see the tug-of-war, in clients, between needing approval and being authentic. Yes, hair is a superficial vanity, but a significant part of people’s expression of self. The idea of changing ones expression, as charming as it sounds, more often hits trepidation and insecurity. Why is this? I think the residing argument is most likely that most of us have no real sense of whom we actually are. We all are well aware that the most consistent thing in life is change. Breathe, don’t breath remains a fundamental choice!

Over the years of getting into people’s heads, well the bits they are willing to reveal, has fed me much scoop about the human psyche. In hairdressing we have a bit of banter about the world at large, ” I want something different as long as I look like everyone else’s different and I look like myself.” This is an all too honest and familiar outcome with clients in our chair.

Recently I had a referral who wanted to take her near-waist length hair from darkest brown to Silver platinum blonde. After thoroughly consulting, quoting and explaining the timeframe and maintenance, her expectations were dashed. She wanted the end result in 3 weeks for a year end function. This was an impossibility as she had colour on her hair. With these criteria, a more realistic expectation would have been 6 months and a mini-remortgage on her house. Think 4-5 hours per session, 1x a month over a period of 6 months, home care, in-salon treatments and mega liters of product to achieve the look. That is not even to say that we would have got there if the hair couldn’t handle the procedure.

Which brings me, neatly, to my point.

What can changing our look teach us about change?

1) Accepting that things will not stay the same opens the door to adventure.

2) Change requires effort, dedication and investment.

3) What happens after the change is determined by our embracing the outcome

4) See the opportunities that change provides as a vehicle for deeper understanding of ourselves.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

#❤️🇿🇦🌈

✌🏽

AJB•

Ps: BOOK YOUR SLIPTOVER MAKOVER

SHAKE IT OFF

Johannesburg, South Africa

06:09

The year is racing to an ever dramatic close!

The bated breath of ZA is catapulting towards the looming ANC Congress and the rumors about town are that self-confessed racist Cyril Ramaphosa is the probable winner of the Presidency. Let’s see. China is moving in on Zimbabwe.

What happens if Russia , China and India become the new super powers of the world? Will the benefactors of previous supremacies be able to adjust to barking orders from different regimes?

Anyhow, what will be will be. Flooding markets with more competitive objects that make the greedy dependent on increased profit margins by ‘sweat box’ industries has obviously left an indelible mark on the world at large. A world where gangster tactics seem to be becoming increasingly evident. It has always been there but I guess with techno-communication we are invaded by information that exposes it as such. It really is interesting times.

Where does that leave the good guy? A biblical scripture pops into mind that states, “There is no law against kindness.” Miss India has won Miss World 2017. The celebrated Q&A answer of Miss India is an authentic celebration of old school values where Mom is the applauded matron of society. Rightly so. Well in the natural order of things, that is. What I mean is that when us men show the correct respect to the women of the world we allow the nurturing instinct to prosper. However, when we play this ruthless game of man on top we tend to crush everything in our paths. The male ego is long winded on the tales of history as a devouring monster. In a life lesson I was privy to once, the main purpose of masculinity is the preservation of life and not the self-serving ‘Me First’ agenda that has been put forth and force fed to the authors and recipients of history repeated.

One of the most humbling expressions of Higher Power is the ability to endure pain. Pain dished out, daily, by our poor execution of choosing personal agenda over world vision. An agenda that makes women objects and children the witness of gender imbalance.

BUT ANYWAY!

What comes after?

Although the whispered rumors and public laments of our failing humanity grows daily, we as a species, have come this far. Hope always remains that we may turn all things for the good. This requires a maturing of our ego and sacrifice of our opinions and comforts. In other words a mentality of inclusiveness. I mean let’s not forget, bro’s and dudettes, that we are all on this 1 planet called Earth after-all.

Come what may, we each will be left with the choice between good, bad or indifferent. The consequences/ karma/reactions to that choice will be determined by the very same actions we take. Our very lives will be determined by our abilities to love regardless, forgive deeply and to educate honestly.

OUR TOMORROW IS DEPENDENT ON WHAT WE, JOINTLY, DO TODAY!

A lesson from my own Mom, that has led my life always.

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MOM’S MISSION

The question is, will we as a world choose to continually cause harm by narrowed world vision?

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CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

Blessed

NOT LIKE THAT!

In my Conversations in a Cab 31 the topic of change came up and is the driver behind today’s blog.

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CONVERSATIONS IN A CAB 31

It has taken its toll and the energy to lift myself up has been excruciatingly tough. A pitch fork digs deep into my psyche. Having to take on another’s debt to be honorable, relocating and starting my rent-a-chair from next-to-scratch again and dealing with a bust up heart might do that to one. For weeks my humble apartment resembled a pigsty and I didn’t really care. But get up and go I have. The insane thing is that I still love the human who betrayed and near devastated me. But my small saga is none compared to Zim. Wow! Talk about the tides of change. Never mind the disappointment of the announcement of France getting 2023. Rightly so. Why would any foreigner want to chance their luck on a greedy ANC led state capture mafia government? I had to stop reading Jacque Pauw’s book for a while as it was beyond hectic. One cannot read this brilliantly documented historical book without being overwhelmed by the levels of human inconsideration and greed. But all of this blah blah blah is not the nah-nanana-nah of today’s blog. These are mere reactions to poor actions and in the end should not define our outlooks in lives. Stuff happens and so it must so that the bullshit can walk.

Monday I got stuck into being Dora the domestic Goddess again and whipped my undesirable into livable. I find it weirdly awesome that this week is turning into a better financial week too. I think it comes back to the basic principle of acting in gratitude yields positive results in our lives. Yes, it does mean eating humble pie and laughing at the rhythms our lives take. Sometimes it is our choices that spin our wheels and sometimes it is those of others. The point is that when we do find ourselves back to basics it gives us ample to reflect on.

The new DJ Stevie B mix on Mixcloud is cool and hits a welcome spot of orgasmic yet comfortable pleasure. In times of high impact stress I guess the familiar is the trampoline that pushes us through the burning loop.

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DJ STEVIE B

As a side note I deeply thank my clients and friends who support my little business and humbly ask for the increased and continuation of such. Yes with increasing measure I hope my client base grows considerably. Damn I am flipping great at my career and quite frankly deserve a bit honey on my Swiss rye bread toast. Like seriously already.

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VIDEO: A FEW REASONS YO MAKE ME YOUR HAIR GURU

These ‘SLIPTOVER’ makeovers are recent; the last week in fact. I hope that they inspire you to express yourself differently for a bit. The most wonderful thing is that behind each of these stunning looks is a magnificent human with amazing stories of bravery to tell. We all do in fact! Sometimes even changing ones look requires leaning on the bravery of the stylist you choose.

CHOOSE ❤️!

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

Justice in adversity

Light dances through my humble home skimming my knees that graze the floor. Yes, he is praying.

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CONVERSATIONS IN A CAB

midst the hysteria, angst and volatile emotions one can easily absorb the nervousness. But ZA! Let’s not take our final bow yet. But AZ! I laughed yesterday when I realized that my nickname was the alphabetical order opposite of Zuid Africa. It is significant as the meaning of my name is Brave Champion of the Southern Forest.

Something is stirring in me. “Look beyond the obvious,” is the voice that guides me as I take the picture above. Accidentally but rather lit on fleek I read the passage from my Bible that I flipped open for the sake of the pic. Most times I just read the Bible app in my phone. I read and the sentence, aptly the title of today’s blog, burns a path in me. Recently a brilliant entrepreneurial mind and major success story, Marnus Broodryk voiced disdain on FB regarding the ‘hard-done-by-sentiment’ of many South Africans. He is on a national tour to promote his book, ‘90 Rules for Entrepreneurs’.

<<<<<<<<

cannot wait to get my hands onto a copy. Being a young, clueless upstart into self-sufficiency I have mega lessons to learn. The paragraph in my Bible that has prompted this blog, an answer to a question I put, not only to my own psyche but my HIGHER POWER, being, “How did countries rebuild themselves after WW2?” Till date this is probably the greatest source of tenacity and do-over we as a country in crises have to draw from.

Luke 18 vs 1-9, tells the story of persistent widow. What stands out for me is not so much the prayer, albeit an incredibly important action, but the continuous action to do what could be done by the widow.

1) She got up

2) She showed up

3) She nagged the judge

In other words she fought for her justice!

My favorite international DJ provides some mojo today.

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DJ STEVIE B In the tell-all and brilliantly mastered book by Jacques Pauw, The President’s Keepers’, a blow by blow account of the dismantling of ZA is told in shocking but magnificent detail. My heart pounds as I read page after page. A war was waged on our glorious country by an evil tactician and he near won. But what he hasn’t accounted for is us. The people of this land. The people, the populace, the fighters, the overcomers, the wild ones of Africa South. I mean seriously our global conquering king, Nelson Mandela cane out of prison and became an international sensation. 75 years of apartheid struggle, 27 years of prison. Madiba!!!!!! That is our ancestry. Yes we got bamboozled by a commercial break but we see clearly now. ZUMA/GUPTA/ANC near brought us to the brink of destruction but there is a hope.

Below are some articles that I found online that are informative reads about rising out of the ashes. AFRICA ZUID our work has begun and it is not the time to get drunk, despondent and or depressed. We have a country to build!!!

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REBUILDING (1)

REBUILDING (2)

REBUILDING (3)

STORY TIME: Serving Soup:

Mozambique, near Bella Vista, on a 99 hectare plot of land, I had been saved by a penny and hanging onto life by goodwill. My worst fears had been realized. I was a bum, jobless and dependent on others. Although it was neatly packaged and I had food everyday, a bed to sleep in and basic government medical care, I was destitute. The Counsellor’s were buying me toothpaste and soap to bathe. Needless to say my ego was bruised to say the least. I hated straight men, I boxed them the same as my gangster father. Now these very same men were caring for me and I had no power or means to resist. The sweltering heat and constant taunts by narrow-minded and misplaced judgements from other patients cut deep. My facades of the past were exposed and I had to face it. Imagine….a foreigner in a country. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. The only avenue I had was the care received, which was top notch and my intense belief in my HIGHER POWER. I had to resist stealing bits of chocolate. I know that it sounds funny. When you don’t have and lavishness surrounds you in the form of chocolate it is hard to not want to resort to criminal activity. Obviously the rich kids played out their elitist action by sharing with those that could share back. It hurt like hell. After however long the rehab, HEALING WINGS, allowed me the opportunity to generate an income by charging R20 a haircut. Boy, did the good times roll. I had chocolate and I could share. The manipulators tried and successfully took advantage for a while. I had to address my ego. I was an award-winning hairstylist from Sandton doll, cutting hair with mediocre equipment for R20 in rehab. Seriously! Talk about being humbled….🤣🤣🤣🤣!

Why this story?

In a time such as this where our country is in dire straits due to the mafia activities of a Zuma/ Gupta/ANC regime, we must rise.

Being the willing participant in a recent scam, I am back to desperate. With food back to real basics and money owed I am fighting the urge to bury my head in the sand. Although the blessing is that my God-given talent will pull me through I have to humble myself again. I fell in love with someone who manipulated me to extend myself towards his goals. Yes, I stood to make a little money in the side, which was why I fell for it, I didn’t know that I was being scammed until ‘too late she cried’.

So here is the thing:

I, like you want to reach my full potential of success. It’s all I have ever wanted. To prove to myself that I am not the ‘boy from the wrong side of the tracks’ with a broken history, and not so popular point of view. I have been an equal opportunity, non-racist, liberal, anti-elitist, pro-creationist, freedom-fighter since I can remember. My vocal rantings, oft have me being rapped over the knuckles because I am deeply passionate. Most people struggle with vocal people as we tend to upset the apple-cart….🤣😜!In a time where more of us find ourselves in difficult circumstances these are the times when we must deploy wise action.

‘WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING!’

We will need to cut back our expenditure, potentially lower our prices and/or give value add, live in shared accommodation, get creative with what we have and always remember to share. “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9 vs7) I remember starting out from scratch in 2012 with nada. Throughout the last few years I have had to deploy extreme caution. When I failed to do so I cracked and burned. Unfortunately being an extremist by nature I don’t do mediocre well. So if I fail or succeed it is spectacularly colourful, either way. I may not be a Marnus Broodryk yet, but I do know this…. you and I are made from the same substance as the stars. We are not made for second best. We are made to be powerful, productive and brilliant.

SOUTH AFRICA OR AFRICA SOUTH; WE CAN AND WILL DO THIS!

We all are, at present, beingcalled to be Brave Champions of the Southern Forest!We all are being called to stop being the President’s Keeper!We are all being called to join our differences and show our wild side; the side that cannot be kept down even after 27 years of prison!We are the people who won the World Cup! We will rise!

Choose ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•