Thursday, May 15, 2014

Caution Construction Ahead!

Dear friends,

We are gathered here today to mark the official ground turning ceremony of our home! The blog is getting a facelift. And ain't it time. 

For a while now I've been prancing around town looking for ways to focus my energies in an effort to become more efficient at the things I set out to do. I have found however ironically,  that the only way to focus, is to broaden my view of things. This may sound like blogetic rhetoric but it is true. 

So, in order to discover what it is I truly want do do, I will start by doing everything and let passion weed out the pipe dreams. 

Blogging is something I've always loved. The web was my introduction to writing and as it is a non-judgemental medium, I have always come here to build my confidence for more "serious" mediums. This is why I have decided to do with more fervor. Look out for our make-over in June! 

Cannot wait!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hamba Kahle Mkhonto Wesizwe

At first I was not going to post a tribute at all.

I was feeling like nothing I could put down on cyber-paper would ever be enough to express what I feel at the loss of our true north. - Madiba. I thought perhaps I should mourn silently and not disrespect his legacy with a below average account on a little blog from nowhere particular in SA.

I changed my tune after watching the incredibly moving memorial service held by the ANC yesterday. It was particularly a discussion I had that evening about whether or not these feelings of nostalgia that were brought upon by his passing would convince the Johannesburg youth to side with the ANC one again. ( this is on the back of a prior conversation about the ANC of today versus the ANC of the greats). Of course cyber space (especially not a "lifestyle blog") is not a suitable platform to share what was said but I will say the following:

We have been a politically lazy South African youth. I will personally no longer be a passive bandwagon rider. Wherever my voice can be heard, I will offer it. It was Mandela himself who said "a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments created a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people." - It is with this exact ethos that I write this post. I feel that just because our struggle isn't painted with massacres blood shed, it doesn't mean that it is any less important. It is an imminent and desperately important as that of our struggle veterans. We have to take responsibility for the inequalities that exist in our society. - racism, classism, sexism etc. - it is our problem, it is our fault, it is our war to fight. We have to stop shifting the blame. This is the legacy that Tata left for me. The desire to fight for freedom. Lala Ngoxolo Yem Yem. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

November Instagram Round-up

It has been a generally busy year. So most of the months have been wall-to-wall with activities. I've elected to tell you the story in pictures. Here is my first InstaRoundup. Follow me on IG: nkgabi_motau. xx

Family love•Hair change•The Annual Mak Party•Art•Amazing weather•Our Pride&Joy: #ShareACokeZA

Solange x Puma Kicks: 4 Inspiring New Faces


Solange Knowles also known as my fairy-god-mother has recently joined Puma as a creative consultant working on their latest campaign. Needless to say, I love this! I'm not a massive fan of Puma or their sneakers but this will definitely make me consider a pair. I'm stopping buy their online store to give myself a look at what they have in-store.

What I thought most interesting about this piece of work is that it intro'd me to 4 inspiring young ladies I think you should know about too. Lord knows I love an inspiring young woman. There is a little more on WhoWhatWear as well as TeeTeeIsWithMe for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Share a Coke with Bobby #ShareACokeZA

I don't usually do this but...

Here's our latest commercial. A piece of work that I will always be proud of.

The following ad is the inside story of this summer’s biggest event – Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest brand is putting peoples names on their cans and bottles. The story is a journey of a dog that’s trying to find its name on the new Coke cans. Through the dogs POV we see the exciting lifestyle of Johannesburg whilst meeting different types of teenagers across multiple sub-cultures all of whom are excited to find their names on cans. This journey tells a wonderful story of friendship and the connections that Coke brings whereas the setting and people give the commercial a sophisticated edge and cool that you’d only find in South Africa. 

Below is the making of which ends off with the ad. - If you don't have 5mins to watch the whole piece the you can watch the ad  here


CREATIVE TEAM:                          
BRETT MORRIS         Chief creative officer                                                                                 
JONATHAN DEEB   Executive Creative Director
JAMES CLOETE       Creative director



Production House:
Director: Greg Gray
Producer: Helena Woodfine
DOP: Paul Gilpin
Production House art director: Chris Bass
Post Production House: Deliverance Post Production
Editor: Ricky Boyd
Online edit : Blade
Music : Ting Tings – That's not my name 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Short Story: A New Day

I'd hate to begin this post with a massive preamble about how "I'm no writer", so I won't. All I will say is that I'd like a little kindness if you decide to troll through my first ever attempt at writing.

Below is a short story I wrote for a competition in O The Oprah Magazine. - I decided to take up writing as a mode of expression after drawing no longer offered me the drainage I needed ( probably because I've dried my passion out by doing it in my professional capacity.) The theme for the short story competion was Change. Let me know your thoughts...perhaps this could help me hone my writing skills. - I will try to be impartial to the criticism. Be is a bit strange. I'm open to discussion though. :)

A New Day

The change came in the aftermath. When we had broken everything finely into powder memories of what we knew as life. The change came when nothing was sure anymore and all we had was each other. We had been living in a deluded state of certainty - in the buildings and concrete streets we had placed all hope and reason. Now the structures had fallen and we were stark. Stark, with no choice but to hope, to believe and to change.

Change was not the gradual process of informed growth that we had been taught it was. I had always personified change as a benign old African man who would lead you down a windy path with calm and authority. Perhaps this was a different kind of change. It was neither soft, gentle or wise. It was an incessant hammering, heating, sanding, melting and moulding. It hurt. We were the crude metal and change had come as the blacksmith to create – without our permission, we were made different now. 

My little sister is small and eager even in this sullied, post apocalyptic time. She is too young to ever have been hung up on anything, so this day means nothing to her. That the buildings are gone doesn’t scare her, she only wonders fervently what is next. She asks, “Where will we go next?” – Not with the heaviness that I, with all my years wonder it, no. She wonders it with a strong forward-looking surrender of expectation, like never having had control, and therefore never having had to struggle into a defeated handover.

She is teaching me a lot. Now that I have no one to look to for answers I look to anyone, drawing little bits of wisdom from moments in between the storm. All those who led us have been proven wrong, they had assured us we would be safe and that the system would remain sturdy. It didn’t. The way forward is ours now. I am calmer. With uncertainty, comes endless possibility, this calms me.

We walk hand in hand over the rubble. It’s a little fascinating to see the materials of the grandest buildings in such micro detail. How the skyscrapers had been reduced to my level. Under my feet are the millions of Rands that once tamed our people into tiny cubicles of production. I don’t know why this makes me smile; perhaps it’s a small revenge, a small-unexpected victory.

Nothile asks if we will walk much further, this vexes me a little bit because she has stubbed the delicious thought that I was caught in for a moment. “We will walk until we see people or food or water, which ever comes first, nana. Do you want to ride on my back?”  

Before she can respond, my senses awaken like Meer cats on the lookout for a snake. I doubt it for a moment, but with the second droplet I am certain. My body absorbs the smell of the first few drops on the soil - one of my favourite smells ever. The rain! It drizzles for a couple more seconds and then it pours. Open skies falling in mercy to wash away our bruises and take away the saudade. I remember when Gogo said “Imvula iqeda usizi. Imvula iqeda nesizungu.” I hug my Nothile. I hug her long enough for her brilliant red dress to make tie-dye-like marks on my once white vest. Looking at the marks on my top, I giggle a little and tell her  “This is a sign, both the rain and how your clothing has marked mine. We’re going to make it together”

Now we have been walking for a long time. Through cool, muddy passageways created by rubble that has fallen equally in two piles. I’m getting weak with the load of Nothile and the water-bag I have created by filling old plastic bags with rainwater. I hope the next group of people we meet are not men. I won’t be able to fight them off this time. The very act of telling them off feels like war when one is as tired as I am. It gives me heebie-jeebies how they hiss “sss, sisi, sss sweety, bheka.” Disgusting that even at a time like this they remain the hormone-led idiots I have always known.

My little sister is heavy on my back but I’m glad she is at least getting some sleep as we journey forward. Onward down the meandering pathways of the forest. We are now outside of what used to be the city. I know this not only because of the trees, but also because there are no more fallen buildings or ruins. It is strange how the buildings have been wrecked by the disaster but the trees have not. They stand tall and steadfast; as if they were arrogantly sneering at the now annihilated man-made jungle so as to say: “Look at how weak you have been – Oh how the mighty have fallen.”

I suppose if one thinks about it, it makes sense. Nature has killed the man-made faux-forest of buildings and roads, but she has protected her own. It’s almost murderous and vindictive. If it is out of nature’s malice, I think to myself, then we had it coming.

“Hello, sorry mama!” I yell as loudly as I can with my now weary body. “Hello!” we both shout. Nothile’s shrill little voice somehow providing a sort of harmony alongside mine.  The tall slender old woman stops but she does not turn back to face us, which creates an eerie feeling in my stomach. “Yebo” She replies, “nigobani?” I am a little bit frightened by her hidden identity but reassured by her voice which sounds like that of anyone of my three great aunts.

Cautiously I reply. I tell her how we are the children of the legion of the lion, ba tau – tau tse rorang – tau tsa mariri – tau tse jang tseding.  It is as though I sing the music she had loved in her childhood as she sways to my slightly rhythmic explanation. She turns to reveal her aged yet radiant face of dark skin contrasting the white of her wide smile. “I have been sent to you.” She says with all the accomplishment of someone who had finally found gold.

I know now that we are part of something colossal. We are at the foot of the change itself. I wait only to hear my destiny and to serve it. I don’t feel the need to contest or question. This is what happens when ones entire world of certainty comes to an untimely collapse. One existence has made way for another. Save for my sister, I am willing to let every fibre of the old world go.

The old lady gestures for us to take a seat on a near-by rock and as we oblige and descend, she begins to bring bread, fruit and water out of her bag.

I think to myself, if I were casting the role of an oracle in a movie I wouldn’t have dressed her quite so modernly. She is not wearing long black robes reminiscent of the gothic era or traditional beads that denote her role in the community. She is simply wearing a long overall style dress with a tiny navy blue floral print – the kind one would find at a store like Queenspark or Milady’s. This is a strange observation for me to make considering the circumstances. Although, in my defence, everything that is happening and has happened feels a lot like a movie, but I am in surrender, I will question nothing.

She begins to speak. Nothile is ravaging the food while I eat slowly and with caution, concentrating least on the food and mostly on her words, which I now anticipate eagerly.

“I am Nobesuthu. You are not to call me by anything else, not even as respect of my age.” She says in her cool rustic voice that leads me to think she might have been a blues singer before. “I am a messenger and I have been sent to bring the answer to your question. Your duty, however, is to find the question and ask it of me. I may not answer otherwise.”

I wonder if the question is as Nothile asked, “Where will we go next?” or if it is “What will happen next?” or if maybe it is “Where is God? Is there a God?” I answer the last question myself. I know there is a God and he is here, I know this because I am here and all the beauty of the forest still moves my soul even in the face of imminent doom. God is here.

I look up and I see a perplexed look on Nothile’s little face. Something erupts in the centre of me and all of a sudden the question has arrived and settled in my mind. I have found it in my little sisters face like someone had printed it on her forehead.

I take a deep breath and I ask “Nobesuthu, who are we?”

She replies to both of us, talking to us equally, giving the message to both of us in exactly the same serving. “You are not the children of the legion of the lion. You are not the children of your parents. You are the children of change and she has come for you to serve your purpose. The earth has been crying for change to come to the hearts of men and to their minds. That she may come and show mankind how they have pillaged their own mother. Earth was helpless at the hands of man, and change has come to save her. Change is here to save the earth from immorality and suffering and greed and disregard - which mankind has been feeding her for eons.  You are the ones that she has called to see the downfall in order to realize the rise. You will carry change on your shoulders and be the custodians of our new world. Do not let kindness out of your sight. This is a new day, open your hearts and be in it with joy – Joy will teach you how to love change” and with this, we were new.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pretty Finds: Indalo Bags + Jabu Ties

Just sharing two very impressive pretty finds I've just stumbled upon, both by local manufacturers.


Indalo Bags, wowza, I have to have one of these like yesterday. I'm busy bargaining with my inner accountant to let me have it against my budget. Not a crazy purchase though cause they are an absolute steal for under a grand. My wallet is definitely itching for one!


These Ties by Jabu. I bought one on the spot! For R150 each they are an amazing accessory to transform a drab shirt. I'm not the fashion files but I love these and I think they are bang on trend.

Pics below.



Just so you see it again and love it more.

She has a large range

Me jazzing my look up with the one I bought

One more time... :)