THE DAYS THE PRESIDENT RESIGNED

14 February 2018

11:00pm (roughly)

I had woken up with a renewed vigor on Valentine’s Day. A struggling but threatening-to-bloom-situationship can do that. I guess. More so, a kindling spiritual moment, requiring mutual reciprocal exploration, can set dead things alit. The ‘thing’ was something entirely different. If I am to be brazenly honest. The romantic in me hoped to share a Valentine’s made potentially historic if JZ resigned. Wow, things would really be looking up. Again. For a change. Spiritual+bromance+resignation= “Yeah, things gonna be jus’ fine!”

By 18:00pm all seemed lost. After nail-bitingly awful days life seemed set to play out it’s ‘Tom&Jerry’ saga to the max. JZ seemed set to stay.

Eventually I chose to go to ‘Shakers, Maboneng’. Avoiding the horror of an emotionally flaccid Valentine, 10 days away from a ‘BOOM’ closing down my hopes of being entirely responsible for myself & shutting down business, and the dread of having to attend another online/march/politically motivated moment on the same flipping subject, a ‘supposedly human JZ’, Shakers seemed a better option. It turned out gloriously. Comedy night. Sexually charged….it was V-day afterall. Filthy. Rude. And outright entertaining!

If you want a live stream post to catch a glimpse, just click on the link.

COMEDY:SHAKERS, MABONENG

Maboneng is this Art culture/entrepreneur district in Johannesburg. Super cool. If I had the money and the client base I would open a seriously kick-ass ‘Boho-chic multi-racial Hair/Lounge/Bar/Arty thing. Oh and how! As is ‘Arion’ form I kinda lit the dance floor with some others. I thoroughly enjoy watching the ‘Amajive’ or ‘Pantsula’ dance moves. The night the president resigned I was letting it all hang out. Safely. I had had enough. I blew out much stale steam. I don’t afford myself much risky fun because I have a pitch fork staring at me. Finance/Relapse/Failure pricks at my jugular. But in my ‘letting off/down/out steam’ I was brought blissfully unaware through the moment it happened. The resignation speech. In the Taxify I realized the ‘resignation’ news and my Valentine had been, in the end, one of my favorite. My dream of an Africa free from megalomaniac greed was a step closer. I struggled to sleep from sheer excitement and the dead fish next to me could care less. Slapping on some anti-itch cream, taking antihistamines and a proud SA air-punch I eventually nodded off.

15 February

MY ACTUAL VALENTINE

I flew off to do my favorite politically minded client at 7am. The rain came down in buckets and the morning flared with JZ ripoffs. I knew that the rain would be a deterrent to business. ‘Stand-by’, sounded great and I am grateful I did. That moment when the floor of vulnerability opens and the ‘situationship’ begins to take shape. That is the cherry that landed. The day was spent chatting for hours. Cooking together was effortless. ‘Being’ totally cool. It takes a lot of courage to engage a mixed-race intimate relationship. I seriously am a bit of a social ‘awkward’. If I am not behind my chair I don’t really know how to be around people well. I either blurb something chronic or sit mum looking a real invalid. Unless there is a dance floor. Great music too. Naturally.

The mix below, ‘DJ Stevie B’, on Mixcloud is a great ‘leisurely Sunday drive’ vibe.

DJ STEVIE B: DREAMING OF NEXT SUMMER

By the end of the 15th it truly seemed that a spring in my step and the SA step seemed lilting it’s way gleefully.

HOW FLEETING MOMENTS PASS.

The premier of ‘Black Panther’ set the electricity in the air with the same propensity as ‘that’ rugby World Cup. Needless to say my last minute dash for hopeful tickets were trashed. I even tried pulling a ‘fast one’ at a ‘Strictly Reserved’ viewing. I had to try. My love interest’s disappointment was hard to accept. Besides, I needed something interesting to write about for my Sunday: Sweet & Sexy piece. ‘Black Panther’ is it. Looking at the predominantly black VIP list, 14 million Rand Rolls Royce, high-end fashion & style to match, the penny dropped. I am a white person living in Africa. It should be the most normal thing to see more black skin than white. {If any of you stunning ladies at the ‘VIP CHECK IN’ read this, you guys were amazing.} I pulled the race card. Lol. The ‘Black Panther’ movie is such politically charged activism. My half-arsed stunt didn’t work. Thankfully! I was totally under-dressed. I liked seeing the narrative. The fashion interpretations of a ‘Black Panther’ premier. I got to see the movie on Saturday afternoon. I loved the undercurrent ‘Pro-Black’ messaging throughout the movie. It was sexy. I cannot say that it was the best delivered Superhero film though. I loved the message of emancipation. Loved the anti-colonialism. Loved the propaganda that the white man is the disease and the black man the savior. Historical supremacy would certainly point to us whiteys being a callous bunch.

SUNDAY: SWEET & SEXY: ‘BLACK PANTHER’

How gorgeous is this Afro-centric style!

The thing that brings my blog together is the events after the movie and the parallels it potentially echoes in the current South African landscape.

THE PARALLEL

In a turnaround turn of events it is Saturday night and I am alone. A family emergency has suddenly popped up for my ‘other’. There is no way to prove the case either way. Time will reveal the truth. It always does. The politically charged movie, SA and our new President, myself have this concept in common. ‘The Reverse Back-Handed Play’. You think the play is what is being fed to you. In fact the game is actually some where else. The play is to distract, to bewilder and set in motion the actual play.

WHAT AM I GETTING AT?

As my ‘situationship’ put a family affair that really should have been the actual people’s involvement own mess to fix, especially considering they are both adult men; I learnt a valuable lesson. No matter how kind I am in helping another their personal priorities will always over rule the need for reciprocal kindness. In President Ramaphosa’s speech where he quoted Bra Hugh’s words of not turning our backs on any human, my immediate thoughts were plagued by ‘what if’s’. If Ramaphosa wasn’t pushing a Pro-Black agenda he might have quoted the words of other heroes like Ghandi & Mother Theresa as well. My next thought was: “Does that mean that the biased BBBEE practice will be brought to an end along with land reappropriation being an inevitable way to go. God; if I had land to give I would have given it in a show of leadership and respect for a ‘as-of-yet-undone-historical-injustice’. In the ‘Black Panther’ movie the ‘shots taken’ at a perceived ‘white colonizer disease’ openly suggests the continuation of a society that judges by generalizations.

THE POTENTIAL PLAY:

Integrated society with the revenge agenda of making the Imperialist pay for its vast crimes.

As essential as it is for Imperial and Supremacist society to acknowledge its many failed promises, my fear is that ‘Pro-Black’ is simply an exchange of power. As Oprah stated: “A new day is on the horizon,” surely the litmus test is whether that dawning horizon is emancipated in forgiveness or a repetition of historical hate crimes. Hate crimes are usually filled with enraged and unresolved bitterness brought on by equally enraged and bitter people with power to inflict control on others. The foundation remains the same: HATE DESTROYS.

In this Cliff Central podcast/blog, a pearl of wisdom to putting hatred behind us is called upon.

GARETH CLIFF: NEW BEGINNINGS

Time will tell whether my mixed-race situationship, Ramaphosa’s Presidency and ANC, and the tradition steeped culture of Africa will prove disingenuous or otherwise. My hope lies in the closing scenes of ‘Black Panther’. The cousin of T’Challa tries to overthrow Wakanda. Goodness prevails in the heart of the young king and defeats the unresolved historical hatred in his cousin. The glorious sunset of Wakanda is revealed to Erik Killmonger (cousin) and the offer of life declined. The kindness of offering life is quickly slanted as the movie closes with an empowerment program slanted at a disadvantaged black community. Rightly so. But not all other race groups subscribe to privilege, so I found the absence of another person of colour in the end scenes a little slanted.

‘Stimela’, Hugh Masakela is the perfect heart-wrenching reality check for the history of greed driven egomaniacal supremacy. Please watch the You-Tube video below before reading on.

STIMELA: HUGH MASAKELA

HOWEVER…

As I walked out of ‘Black Panther’ I realised that as free as I am in my love of people equally outside of race, gender, religion, (except Satanism), class and education is as imprisoned as I by a societal nature that leaves me in the unique position of being a rebel. Most people will gravitate back to their own tribes before placing individual kindness in its rightful place. Afterall ‘Blood is thicker than water’. Then I hope that the fact that all our blood is red will be the deciding factor. It is for me!

KINDNESS BEFORE SOCIETY.

As I count the days that will decide whether I too need to resign myself to the fact that I will not be able to explore my freedoms as a self-employed entity and face potential homelessness, I hope that this new season in my situationship withstands the difficulty of getting to know eachother. So too do I hope that SA can and will prosper beyond the borders of historical wounds that perpetuate hate. Even more so if Ramaphosa really means equal and fair opportunity for all South Africans or if it is just another agenda hiding speech where colour is again a deciding factor. Have we not had enough of the skin colour thing. Aaaaaargh I have.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

#❤️🇿🇦🌈

✌🏽

•AJB•

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Rivonia Revelation

A low slung but consuming headache over 3 weeks has intensified concluding with me sitting in the Edenvale Hospital. Crazed thoughts drift. “Allergies.” “Tumor.” “Cancer.” Every dull light and slight noise screeches in the echo of my skull. The pink dots all over my lily-white ass skin don’t exactly cut a seductive picture either. Oh god the itch. The banging in my head. The ‘everything’ is just too much. Even for myself the dramatic is beyond ‘melo’ But here I sit hoping. Drawn dark curtains, comforter and warm sugary oats a far cry more welcoming that the sterile smells of over polished linoleum floors. Floors that bounce the fluorescents straight into the sharp crevices of the pounding and itching. Aaaaaaargh!

This week has seen the incessant arguing still unresolved. Arguments that I still cannot fathom whether they are over highlighted by my inability to see things clearly through the consuming physical distractions. The question still hanging as to whether all my social-media should be deleted. My empath is distraught by the levels of pure horror called humanity. Like seriously what the heck is wrong with us. Hatred, decadence, cruelty, egoism, unwavering self-righteousness, unwilling deafness, and petty self-glory culminating in a broth of absolute Stephen King mastery. Yet kindness prevails through it all as Johannesburg citizens and private enterprise cart gallons of water to desperate Cape Town.

Like a deliberate mic drop this blog swiftly hits the the floor exploding full throttle into the title, ‘Rivonia Revelation’.

Sitting on my patio the other day I pondered the statement that the way to hell is a highway yet the path to heaven a narrow foot path. Taking religiosity out of the equation and loosely referring to hell as destruction and heaven as enlightenment; why such stark varying comparisons. Narrowly escaping the illusion of muchness, I guess, contentment lies within a tiny sphere of just enough to pass through life equipped to live with minimal pulls towards false grandeur. Afterall they say, ‘All that glitters isn’t gold.’ I guess from a distance a flickering furnace might warm the cockles of one but close enough be fried.

I remember the biggest frustration about rehab was the privilege of choice and freedom taken from me. Rightly so as I had become a hazard to myself. Excruciatingly frustrating nonetheless. My ego wanted recovery on my terms. Oh gosh I threw every plausible, justifiable and humanitarian excuse I could think of at my helpers. The truth was that my pampered and addicted ego wanted comfort. My ego, as it still does, does not suffer well. I wanted the ‘world’ to know that I was fabulous but huuuuuney I was a toxic. I needed to be popped into the yellow box inscribed with red, ‘Hazardous’. I didn’t want anyone to know that I hated myself. I didn’t want anyone to know that I felt betrayed by life and myself. I didn’t want anyone to know that death seemed a better option than the ‘Picasso Face’ staring back at me. The very mirror I was polishing in morning duties I didn’t want to do. I wanted my pile of ego blinded anger rather than the labour of discovering the truth about myself that kept me a prisoner to my lies. I thought my nice car, nice home, nice job rubbing shoulders with the whose who was better than facing my truth. A truth which everyday I pay the price to rectify. A truth so beautiful that I see past every propped up designer frilled sequined what-what. I can’t help myself. Every bling I wonder who are we trying to impress and why?If the story behind it one stained by integrity or lack thereof. I don’t know why I feel this way but I am addicted to real. I crave authentic over plush. Even in relationships I value truth as hard as it is over lies. Somehow a lie eats at me and makes me quite insane. A truth I am fighting tooth and nail for. Honesty. Not the kind of debated honesty that is rife with egoistic battle. A truth that when you experience it, as hectic as it is, it somehow releases all the shadows that cling to us like cotton balls in velcro.

Over the years as I have and continuously learn to let go of ego I find a greater joy exists within me. The freedom to choose rather than to follow blindly. Blinded by the fury of glittered masses with hidden secrets and insatiable appetites for indulgence. It is as if I get a taste of something higher than me when I share my little with an other in need. Seeing the need of the hundreds around me, at the hospital, patiently waiting their turn to have medical treatment I am brought into an uncomfortable reality. A reality where human stripped away from behind social media facades and ‘fake it till you make it’ pretense is where the mic hits the tar exploding into full colour realism. Where who we are is the same as they are. Each a story. Each a life striving to survive beyond an ailment. Each a hope of a brighter tomorrow. The arrogant whitey hiding that they are on equal footing as the maid. The concerned maid wondering how her kids got to school as she got here before 6 to get done in time to wash the clothes. By hand. The fearful foreigner wondering if they will be rejected. The elderly, hipsters, nicely dressed, the made up, the couldn’t care less and myself huddled together following a process of wait, pay, wait, get called, wait and hope nothing more serious will follow. Hoping that today will bring resolution so that a life free from this warming but cold reality can be avoided and forgotten for a while. Where ego can stroke our self-glorification and blind us from the fact that we are the same. Frail humans.

SO WHY IS THIS HIGHWAY CALLED EGO SO CONGESTED?

Is it possible that our need for purpose is being used against us by the very same species as ourselves that manipulatively sprinkle sparkles of illusion over our authentic selves? Are our lusts for validation bridled to magnified truths twisted just enough to lead us from the hard underfoot ground to the self-heated, lush, luxury and almost self-driven vehicles filled with fat propped up, injected faces and plastic loaded bodies blissfully unaware that greatness lies in the freedom of choice and not in the low hum of speedometers heading to a chaos covered in bejeweled horror?

As a stylist I often have to swallow the bitter pill of: ” It is the clients choice at the end of the day,” and as a guy desperately trying to do my job honestly to have to sometimes settle for doing something that, although, not life-threatening, still a lesser truth, is tough to do if putting food in my belly is the bottom line. Sometimes I wish I had the courage to starve to death than be forced to survive on a lesser satisfaction. I guess it is like taking a pill to stay alive but one which burns all the way down.

SO WHY DO WE RECKLESSLY FORCE EACHOTHER TO SWALLOW THAT BITTER PILL ONLY TO FALL PRIVY TO EYES THAT SEE OUR GLITTER BUT NOT OUR HEARTS?

The evidence is so overwhelming. Each of us craves this illusive love. Today as I sit in my queue I see it in every set of eyes begging for their personal ordeal to be over. My head pounds as the lights seem to cut like a knife. But yet the prisoner in orange and chain seems more valuable than my hurt. Somehow the beating heart whispering words in a language I don’t understand, so alive. I am content in my pain and itch. I cry as I read the story of the Pastor that got shot and didn’t make it. A whispered rumor is that a colleague hired a hit man so that his own coffers could be loaded. Money honey! Is this where we are at? Money more than life? Are our hearts so dead to the glorious lives we are given? Are we so stained by every luxury that we fail to see the heart that fought bravely to live but didn’t. God I weep, unashamedly.

I LOOK AROUND AND WONDER WHY WE HATE EACHOTHER SO.

For what?

When the mic hits the floor and the rubber burns on the tar we are left with the same result…. you, them, us, I and everyone else are here together. Not one made as better. Not one made as plush. It is our fear of being discovered that we are not really who we display ourselves to be that keeps our ego fed. Our ego hates being aware of the fact that at the end of the day when all is said and done…… we all are the same. Frail humans craving love, hiding behind our plush ‘fake it till you make it’ bravado’s. Trying to be brave in the fact that we are living disappointed. All of us. But we need to find the foot path of wonder and lose the highway of bewildered.

As I sit angered by the one I love, for leaving me to go through this alone, I smile and remember love hurts. I am not the only one. In fact none of us are. My fear dissipates. Joy sits with me in my pain that smiles at those who valiantly serve us today. Who knows what they are going through? Love hurts so beautifully kind.

Click ⬇️

NAZARETH: LOVE HURTS

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

URBANE HUMANE

Sandown,Johannesburg

Basking in the sun, pool and company the title of today’s blog struck, “Urbane Humane”. Well sort of anyway. After researching synonyms for sophisticated I stumbled onto the dapper word, ‘urbane’. To give you an inside glimpse of just how shallow I can be, my original title: ‘Sophisticated Dreams’ didn’t fit neatly into a single line, which I wanted, so out with that, in traipsed urbane. Eventually, ‘Urbane Humane’ emerged.

But before I go on, this following Mixcloud Mix has me going all giddy from pure delight. I strongly suggest that you, the reader, click on it and let it create the exact right feeling for this blog.

Click ⬇️

DEEP EMOTIONAL VOCAL #6

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An angle that caught my eye. I love the continuity of colour and the echo in the patterns)

What, amusingly, stuck me about the definition of sophisticated was 'involving a great deal of worldly experience'. Immediately the analyst in my head was, "Wow, how is that for paradoxical?" Such a broad term that certainly conjures up memories of 'worldly' which in my failed moral compass I would hardly call sophisticated behavior. You know what I mean right? The other revelation of this definition begs a question, "If one leads an impoverished life and 'worldly' experience is low, does it mean one cannot be refined/sophisticated?" See what I am saying? This neatly brings me to my title, 'URBANE HUMANE'. Although urbane is steeped in the masculine, sophisticated society has evolved to the point of extending the right to identify oneself by ones own choosing. If you want to be silver-platinum, be one. The truth is, anyone can be platinum but the tone, style, styling and expression of that style must be, individually, designed. I don't want to go into that 'worldly' topic suffice as to say; if it is our right to choose does it mean that it is the right choice to choose?

As an example:

Is it cool to chop a tree down to manufacture matches? The very thing that can destroy many trees, a lit match, and potentially destroy the oxygen/carbon dioxide converters that give us air to breathe?

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(Pic I took that, almost pervertedly, makes the eye beg to see beyond the trail of light….such a tease)

On that note; the EFF/H&M debacle gave my friend/ neighbor and I some great juice to use regarding the racist/not racist debates that filled social media in ZA for days on end. Let me not get into the unsophistication of much of those days….lol. For a truly ZA take on a world crises regarding the question of what is or is not racist click on the link below.

SWEET SUNDAY PERVE

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💋💋💋💋💋

Haibo, and now?

Although a side-angle the quote above nails it eloquently, excuse the pun. In short, the urbane description of a guy who got laid, put into a delightful play on words and metaphor, paints the exact picture of this blog.

So what is an 'URBANE HUMANE?'

In South Africa the war of free-education is a heated topic. The wealthy feel that they shouldn't subsidize the poor, the poor feel they have the right to education, the government is yet to come up with a great strategy to sort the question, and the sophisticated arguments continue. But what if we zoom out and think about a urbane humane system of 'how to?'.

So banks profit largely out of student loans. Right? So what if we cut the bank out? What if we approach corporate society to cough up some funds, or get Swiss banks to hand over hidden Apartheid Arms money towards the cause of building basic but free universities that live -stream lectures from varsities that are funded by more private entities. This way educational standards can be raised as all get access to the same standard of information. Obviously translated into all official languages. By potentially offering jobs to pensioners, or youth needing jobs, who I am sure will love the engagement, we can uplift the living standards of impoverished peeps…. why not? We then insist on a system where successful graduates have the responsibility of having 1% of their incomes separated from state taxes, that are exclusively used to sustain free tertiary institutions. A system like this takes us neatly into an urbane tribal system. The elders lend wisdom and experience to a younger working generation who pave the way for those they give birth too. This way accountability, purpose, validation of humans is effectively implemented in a responsible manner in which no one person feels negated as not worthy. Certainly as time goes on and then live-stream can be replaced by actual people creating more jobs as populations swell, hopefully the funds are used wisely and grow in careful investments so that the divide between private educator salaries and government educator salaries be brought closer to validate the life changing roles of the teacher. This system can ultimately give an urbane society the 'feel good' jolt it needs to bring people together for the cause of living for something beyond ourselves…. the next generation. Also by having vested interest and human ego being what it is, a balancing of all points of view will be attained because we all like dat: 'You want my money honey, you treat me nice, real nice….lol'

On the subject of the way we treat others, Melusi Tshabalala, a guy you should follow on FB, shared a story of how a childhood memory spoke him out of running. Melusi is hysterical and educational as he is teaching his followers African languages through his witty humour. With permission, I am sharing a part of his story that I relate to so much.

"And then there was Zulu church, ezayoni. It ruined my youth. Half the neighbourhood were Godless heathens and the kids would stand on the side of the road, waiting for us to go to church. As soon as we came out of the yard, they'd start singing: "Isonto lama zayoni, yisonto lamagwala. Wake wayibonaphi indoda esonta iphethe induku. Ishaye is-come around, uguqe ngamadolo…" Then I'd start crying and my mom would klaap me for paying attention to heathens and I'd cry some more. Now it's a mess. My green uniforn is wet, with tears, I'm dragging my staff, my face is covered in tears, snort and vaseline. Isphandla (Zulu Rolex) is making me itch ngapha."

As a kid, I had similar experiences regarding itchy stuff and preened for the world to behold in my Sunday best. The point of sharing this story is simply that when we look beyond the borders of our self-made understandings, suburbs, countries and hang-ups we discover that humane is found in every urbane setting.

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(Pic of the iconic Ponte building, JHB, ZA, from the backseat of the Taxify cab on our way to Shakers in Maboneng.)

For a while I have been on a mission to experience how others in ZA live, play and get on in life. The idea was sparked by a guy who, rightly, said that unless I had lived in a shack, limited sanitation, no electricity and walked or caught a minibus taxi as a means of transport, I could not truly understand the disparity between elitism and survival. Profoundly put into context it is both raw and startling. So back to the story of urbane humane integration.

Weeks ago JJ had told me about Shakers. I have been dying to get away from a slippery ‘mostly white stomping ground’ for a while. As an addict in recovery I came across a concept. It went along the lines of this…. for every 1 bad memory, one needs to replace it with 10 different good memories. The idea is to stop our brains from holding onto the largely ‘bad’ memories (our brains latch onto negatives better than positives, apparently), which are strong. We need to reinforce +’s by creating more numbers of fun things to remember. Because most areas in the northern suburbs of JHB are strong memories of many poor choices, to avoid the barrage of thoughts/triggers that follow I am searching for new places to experience myself as a sober human. It is timed well. As I explore my cleaner self, integrate myself into a multiracial social structure and share my journey, publicly for various reasons, I find myself being in a unique global movement of inclusivity.

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(Shakers, Maboneng)

Shakers is a gender mixed, race mixed, and sexual preference mixed venue. With fresh meat one can choose your ‘inyama’ and have it cooked on the spot, VIP area, chill out lounges and African-centered music the cultural experience is delightful. I spent hours taking in the hairstyles, trends, and various dress styles of people. The thing that stood out most for me in this predominantly black patron establishment was the sheer camaraderie between various people. Something I often missed in my predominantly white patron venues. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. The textiles, attitudes, tastes, and expressions of these urbane humans is a pure delight to the eye in a world saturated by conformity.

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(Racing past an extraordinary colored building and colorful cement pillars, has created this excited and intriguing pic)

SO WHAT DO THESE VARIOUS STREAMS OF THOUGHT TEACH US ABOUT BEING AN URBANE HUMANE?

The answer is really simple, clear and cliched. The world does not revolve around us, individually. We are all totally necessary in this world, thus our mindsets need to change from being: MY WORLD to OUR WORLD. It is in this moment where we think plural, we open ourselves to the possibilities of a life beyond understanding. Beyond understanding because each of us do not live in each others heads. So by dropping the protection mechanism of MY to the inclusive OUR, we open the door to a world our brain cannot imagine.

The brain can only have a memory of what has been put into it. So if we dunno, we simply dunno until we do.

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(ending this blog with this pic is such a great shot of an urbane humane experience, transcribed into art, made functional in a situation that creates many uncomfortable urbane humane moments for all of us)

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

Getting Game

I started listening to affirmations Thursday last week. I noticed my inner ‘voice of reason’ kicking in on some of the affirmations. As I listened, repeatedly, I noticed that the nit-picker, in me, didn’t even pick the same things to argue…..lol. I have decided to follow the rule of listening to this You-tube video for 30 days whilst doing my walk. Try it with me.

It feels good!

I feel a bit silly listening to the affirmations but heck who doesn’t like a bit of a child-like giggle. The simple fact remains: I am less fit at acknowledging myself than tearing myself down. You? Repeating the affirmations, more are beginning to make perfect sense to me and speak to my heart directly.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

(View from my patio, watching the birds getting busy…..if they can I can…..aaaaaargh…….lol)

Obviously as the year starts we all scramble to get our ‘A’s into G’s’. Although I am, generally, on top of it and tidy I can let things slide. Taking cognizance of 2017, reviewing myself, gathering information and compiling a list of what I can do to build forwards and upwards from 2017 has been awesome. I put together a streamlined action plan for my social-media engagement. It is challenging to keep content relevant, creative and interesting if one is flying solo and at ad hoc. Look I am pretty proud of myself as an inexperienced blogger, online marketer and content creator. I obviously can’t compete with the ‘in-the-knows’ and designers; for an amateur, I think that the sincerity and diversity of my shenanigans is uber cool. In my humble opinion anyway.

We learn!!!!

Starting 2018 with a keen sense of self-improvement being necessary has been educational. I am not a New Years resolution kinda guy; not at all. It just so happens that it is and I have clarity on certain things. I think that it is most likely due to the fact that rest was afforded me after a year of hellish ‘rat racing.’ The theme for the week seems to be dispelling my negative thoughts and adopting positive action. It has come through from my Tuesday NA meeting to my morning Headspace meditation. You should download Headspace. The British male voice is actually nice to listen to and if like me 3 minutes is a stretch to do a focused meditation you are going to love the un-guru-like approach to centering ourselves.

It’s fabulous darlin’.

Choosing to read my faith book from beginning to end, this year after a long time, I am struck with the thought of the first evening and next morning. In my personal interpretation it seems to suggest that, considering that we are all the same chemical makeup of the entire universe, light breaks shadow and misunderstandings can only last for so long until clarity is found. The question I get from this is: “In the clarity, what will we DO differently?” So as I get up and go for my morning walk I leave this cool quote to ponder on.

After a walk listening to the affirmations I got back and designed the theme campaign for my online marketing. Creativity seemed to be buzzing out of me.

SHOOSH!

B GORGEOUS WITH ME.

This cutesy little catch phrase with just the right amount of lit on it’s on fleek message is the underbelly of an idea I have of uplifting my own psyche and others through the mediums I use. Setting the stage for 2018 starts somewhere.

The ‘SHOOSH! B GORGEOUS WITH ME’ campaign is a fun and quirky reminder that stilling our doubts, letting go and having fun is essential for personal growth. Shoosh! B gorgeous with me and let’s create a fun, expressive and glam SLIPTOVER Makeover for you.

Book now.

(063) 7716016

✌🏽

#sliptbyajb

Something that stood out, philosophically, in my morning quiet time reading were the words expanse, seas and land. I couldn’t help but nod in agreement to the fact that we all know what that feels like. There are times where we feel as if we are swimming endlessly in the expanse of our lives and dry land seems unattainable. Other times the dry land expanse seems so vast we could just die for a bit of water to quench an insatiable thirst. For me personally it seems that my desire to attain financial freedom is a never ending ocean whilst finding love to enjoy it with the unquenchable insatiable thirst. You know what I mean right? The thing that struck me next was that life went on. This stark reminder is that I cannot allow myself to be so consumed by my unfulfilled desires that I drive myself to depression and invariably ‘act out’ in harmful ways.

LIFE GOES ON. SO MUST WE!

On I go.

I eventually tackled a cupboard that I dared not to show another human. It was filled with all sorts of random bits that I was saving to potentially use oneday. That day never came. Finally I have more space for storage. The upside is that I can find things easier and I don’t have to guard that door from nosy guests. By clearing some nonsense I have opened my home to a more natural flow of energy that is easy and joyful. This random exercise has cleared my mind too. By eliminating a stress I am more relaxed to let people enjoy my home, with me, without the fear of my mess being found….lol.

USE IT OR LOSE IT!

(This picture of my living room seems to reflect the lightness in my psyche. I love my little space; colourful, glamorous, expressive, easy flowing and kind….. things I love most about myself too.)

Handling my online marketing, running my little business and home, focusing on being ‘self-full’, responding to the needs of others and connecting to my spirituality takes up time. Using time wisely and creatively requires that I start by clearing out and making space for better, by being clear, open to receive goodness displayed by my actions and practicing affirming myself and others lovingly.

I found this quote from my Saturday morning meditation. It is a great pointer at where the source of creative inspiration comes from. Juxtaposed to the creation story, as I look around at the birds in the garden, the branches that hold their nests, the traffic rushing by, the sun in the sky, the smell of fresh coffee, toast, listen to my favorite Dj and practice being centered I realize that creativity is the seat of the entire universe.

I wish you all, my blog readers throughout the world, a wonderfully creative week. Let’s rock it because we rock!

For some seriously hot music, from Mixcloud, by Tony Fuentes, with great feel good lyrics and shoulder-shaking beats, click ⬇️. I recommend listening in from 00:18:00 minutes, sit back and allow the words to raise your energy.

TONY FUENTES-LIFESTYLE Remember:

Shoosh! B Gorgeous with Me as we put Love into Action, Together.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

A bit of Turkey stuffing

A bit of funky on Mixcloud quips this tongue-in-cheek blog with just the right flavour. Enjoy!

Click ⬇️

DJ DIMSA- LIVING LOUNGE

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Catching a bit of vitamin d baking my stuffing and stuffing the stuff that stuffs up the stuff…..lol….at least mentally anyway)

With Christmas and New Year kitsch behind us, the messages, guilt, and phony platitudes spewed beyond ad nauseam gone; reflux tastes better. Before you get all uppity about my opening remarks and whatever else will follow know I also succumbed to sending messages. God I hate it. I tried my best to say something quirky and sincere but because it is so commercialized that what is a daily, normal sincerity for many smacks of bullshit because of the number of randoms, completely misplaced. Saying, being, doing nice things should not be forced upon anyone because of a season but should be a natural order of how we live! No, I don't have a heart of stone but the gallant of the holiday season is so trite that I cannot bear it. Perhaps one day, God willing and best he does, I might be able, when money is a minor consideration, to do a true anonymous random act of kindness that means something to someone. I am so grateful for the help I got over the festive season as I really needed it and the minimal fuss was truly gifted. I cannot say thank you enough. Gosh, I really wish that I had had strength to endure the year a bit more than I did, the start of 2018 might not have reached it's inevitable sprint. Alas I just couldn't. Too much, too little and just too too. From my faith perspective I simply cannot buy into the absolute horror of a season dedicated to the birth of my said faith group and the pomp at which we unashamedly tint the tinsel to match. I just can't. I have worked fastidiously at avoiding this season as I cannot bear the falsities and worst yet the manner in which yearly applaud given for a job well done. It has to be my absolute worst character defect…. I don't brown-nose well. It makes me feel like a whore and if I want to feel that way, well hun there are far more satisfying methods that can be deployed. With this having being said, a wry smile turns to the glint in my eye as I hear the thoughts rush past my lips: "Wonder who is going to be offended by this piece of my mind now?" "Speak your truth," they say, "Be yourself." What an absolute crock of blah blah blah. Lately every time I open my mouth, try discuss things that really matter to me somebody somewhere is offended. I just can't take the paradoxical irony. Us people tend to like the truth as long as is it not our own. Right?

(A personal prayer….Dear God I beg you, please can I make enough money this year to go somewhere on holiday for the entire festive season that I don't have to face any of it. Where true, genuine and human connection is untainted by overrated & overpriced marketing induced seasonal psychosis….. please.)

Now that I have regurgitated that out of my system after a long season political niceties I can breathe again.

I am not a miserable kinda guy at all. In fact I am so up, usually, that I am too much for people. Fact! But this year end trivia gives me a hernia, constipation and dizzy spells all at once. Sadly I missed a really fabulous Christmas lunch invite due to stuff…damn it! Stuuuuuuuuuuuuufffff?!?!

I just cannot understand how people think it is is cool to rip people off, con them, lie, cheat and or steal throughout the year and then think a bit of gift wrap will hide the atrocities of what us humans are being. But in the face of being the second day of 2018 by 35 minutes, let me not get started on humanity……lol. Myself included, just in-case you are flippantly muttering, "who does this bitch think it is….lol?"

What I really want to get to is the gift that would have truly made my day, season and perhaps a couple of years. Beyond the stuffing stuff!

The movie, 'Home Again', with Reece Witherspoon really revved up my motor. It happens in the end, around the dinner table and the movie concludes with a satisfying gulp of romanticism. It leaves me with the thought, "When will I get to a point with others, where beyond the stuff happens?" You know what I mean right? That place of you are you, I am I and together the we is a special place without the stuff stuffing us up individually!

I would like a season where the sex, the power struggles, the fake politeness, the can't stand eachother, and the spite is worked through enough to get to where the amusing appreciation without expectations of another lay. You know the stuff that gets in the way before genuine and authentic mayhem lay and awaits the brave who venture beyond the humanity we all fall privy to? Yes, that place. Each relationship of whatever kind has this stuff. Perhaps my idealistic persona has kicked in but I want this place where 'it-is-what-it-is' is a harmonious flow of human interaction that respects the 'it-is' instinctively. I know it exists as I have that kind of relationship with my Higher Power and have kissed this nirvana with a few humans in my 43 years on this planet. I know that I am loved flaws and all. And my understanding of these relationships is that there is a connection. And connectivity is what we all crave, I think? I mean why else sugarplums would the world of cyber connectivity be such a competitive and multi-billion income industry? But is cyber connectivity any actual connection at all? Mmmmmmmm?

So having cleared the verbal/mental phlegm clogger out of my brain, I don walking shoes deciding that this blog will fall where it will and those that take offense must simply do so! I mean let's get offended by world hunger for crying out loud.

So end this mind clearing blog I sincerely do wish; for you and myself:

Your truth whatever it may be, may you get beyond the stuff that holds you back. May your relationships be richer and colourful; your experiences more deeply satisfying. May kindness pave your way and joy drive you as the sun, moon and stars kiss your eyes looking forward to the blessing of life in hands/heart and mind. May 2018 find wisdom in action as purpose unfolds clearly with minimal doubt.

Be blessed and the blessing.

Happy New Year!

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

HOLLA

SANDOWN, JOHANNESBURG, ZA 12:04pm

(reminded of the fun from my new year celebration with friends who cared for me that I would not stray, I smile that a little fun can cure an overwhelmed heart)

KICKING RIGHT OFF!

Click ⬇️

TONY FUENTES from Barcelona <<
is the first hours of what each of us hope will be a better year but since waking today and wracking my brain as to what I can do to turn a ripple effect event into a positive. Not to bring the past baggage into 2018, but for the sake of context, a scam months ago has almost crushed my independence as a baby entrepreneur. Rightly or wrongly I reached out on social-media out of sheer desperation. Although some kindness was extended which got me through the December slump, thank God, much more still needs to be done to pull my independence from the quicksand.

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watching the Koi from the dinner table on the deck at a friends house, I realized how much beauty I have missed out on beating myself up for being scammed and near destroyed…. time to swim and get on with it!)

So I flipped my despondency onto itself and after much ongoing continuous prayer, frustrated wallowing and introspection I have put a mental game plan into action.

1) Extending a call to mentorship to a more experienced businessperson in my field, which I hope will be positively received, I accepted that I genuinely need guidance to improve my business game plan.

2) As much as I hate it, I am missioning myself to make sober friends at NA. I hate big groups but I guess for the sake of not being lonely and limited funds this free and like-minded group is a must for my mental wellness.

3) Doing some form of exercise: I can walk and do push-ups and sit-ups etc at home that won't cost money.

With this very basic proactive list the lease of life seems a little brighter. Years ago when I first moved into my own home again after a long long time, there were days that the only thing I could do to distract myself from going nuts was to clean my home. I would constantly repeat to myself: "God thinks that I am worth it."

So as I get my home back into order after a long period of depressing frustration I get back onto my little pony and try to fight my way back to a more hopeful future. Each of us may have for different reasons been bullied by circumstances from 2017, but I commit to get into the bloodied ring and try again.

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In the uber…. the metaphor is a simple but startling one… eyes forward)

Will you?

Watching the Anna Nicole Smith story yesterday I was struck with the fighter she was when she was young and how circumstances lead her to a place where choosing a destructive path seemed to be her only option. I don't want to be another stat.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

LOBOLA

Deep House Cat Show on Mixcloud adds a much needed groovy and uplifting mood to this thought provoking, ‘tongue-in-cheek’ and somewhat humorously bitchy blog. Funnily enough the mix is called ‘ Bitcoin Mix’. You can draw the connection…. 🤣🤣!

Click ⬇️

BITCOIN MIX

An interesting chat about an homogeneous African traditional perspective coupled to religiosity has my little brain jumping through hoops. The informative discussion explained how one of the interesting things about Africans claiming heritage rights regarding Church explains some interesting religious practices that shockingly disrupt media timorously and may reflect some light onto our ZA government. Apparently if a person holds a prestigious position in Church and dies, the expected handing over of the position is to go to a family heir/ess. In other words whether the person inheriting the position is qualified, willing and or interested or not pressures to keep the ‘family business’ within the family is a must. It sheds light, well for me anyway, why Doom spritzing Pastors, or R25000 dinner seats can create such exploitative distortions in religious practices. Not that this is exclusive to Africa mind you. Catholicism in years gone by sold Purgatory to the uneducated populace.

The point is that any form of nepotistic practice can force people into positions that they may not want to be in; much like arranged marriages and the practice of LOBOLA. Marriage or relationships, in my opinion have less to do with money (although essential in today’s age) as they should be about a willingness to learn about another and practicing loving them authentically. Just saying!

In the same conversation I was teased saying that my LOBOLA price/ bride wealth would be 2 avocados, a naartjie and pawpaw from Limpopo. We cackled at idea of seeing the ‘AmaGogo’s’ walking for miles with the basket on the head and offering the payment to the family. Can you imagine the reaction? My informant had an interesting take on LOBOLA. That both parties should pay each family and to meet eachother halfway regarding the various prices. This was proposed as a possible deterrent to couples walking out of commitments so easily when rough terrain hits.

In ‘Anthropology of Southern Africa’, pages 257-266 written by Julia Pauli and Rijk van Dijk, interesting points are posed, “Bridewealth or lobola remains important and is supplemented by a plethora of new rituals and expenditures.” Hylton White also states, “It is generally agreed that rates of marriage are declining in Southern Africa. It is also clear that for people who are wealthy enough to marry, the long-standing constitution of marriage as process is increasingly replaced by a making of marriage as event.”

Just a thought?

Now how does my brain assimilate this to our corrupt government? Well if it considered shameful in a family that a heritage is passed over to a deserving other, in or out of a family, perhaps the desperate attempts to grapple for power, theft of funds, and plausible leaders negated for tradition may be explained.

Zooming out to the AIDS scandal both in Mbeki and Zumas Presidency a flicker of insight of the superstitious nature of more traditional cultural practices might reflect some onto the nature of voters voting for a party whether disastrous or not. Mbeki negated anti-retroviral medication for patients claiming fruit and vegetables could cure this supposedly foreign created disease and Zuma suggested a shower.

My Venda guest blamed HIV increasing on foreign black African men. He stated, “Because GWM prefer non-South African black men, these foreigners are making money out of sex and spreading the disease.” Although there is some truth in this statement, a lot of black prostitutes in ZA are foreign, I think the envy of racial counterparts has clouded an otherwise, perhaps, jealous based perspective. This answer came out of a question I ask a lot of skin tones different to me, “Why do GBM not like GWM?” The other prevalent answer is that a lot of young GBM feel used as sex objects and feel in-considered as potential relationship material.

What this is all pointing to regarding our racist government and it’s marginalized view of other race groups is this…

If a superstition based culture keeps one from negating authentic leadership in favour of defunct traditional perspectives that sooner hold onto ill-informed versions of responsibility to a country; how the fuck can that country emerge honorably where authentic efforts are not applauded over nepotistic guidelines? How in the name of ‘reaching-for-your-dreams’ can one not become despondent when an idiotic over-weight nephew who cannot even get out of a mega-expensive sport car even be given it , if perhaps a sport car racing-Driver dream may be overlooked because misappropriated funds are fucked by inappropriate people in governance?

And as the ANC continues to avoid accounting for mega billions spent on miscellaneous events, another thought for them to consider might be……

WILL THE REAL LEADERS STAND UP! AND NO ZA IS NOT GOING TO PAY YOUR LOBOLA…. WE ARE BROKE AND TOO BUSY USING OUR FRUITS TO CURE STUFF!

(Although I write this blog, the point of view is a question to ponder more than a decisive conclusion)

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

#❤️🇿🇦🌈

✌🏽

•AJB•