#FOMOFridays

#FOMOFridays

Hello!!! Happy Friday! 🙂 A whole 5 months later! There are a ton of reasons I took a pause from the blog, but this isn’t the post to go into that. I’m still keeping #FOMOFridays and will try my damnedest to make it a real thing. This time around I’m ditching the “Watching” and “Listening” sections (You can follow my instastories for that if you like). Peeps seemed to be more interested in the “Doing” and gig guide part of these posts so that’s all I’m gonna focus on from now on.

I’ve started an accompanying Instagram (@fomofridaysjhb) page which will link back to here for more info. Lord knows people ain’t got time for reading through blogposts these days – so Insta’s instant gratification of pics may or may not lead you lot back here for ticket links and detail on where, how and when. Starting small for today but I’ll be sourcing events I’d personally go to from Facebook events pages and various newsletters I follow. Enjoy! Have a dope weekend! Also shout out to the new kid in Club 30 – Siya ❤

 

 

With this ridiculous weather (supes grateful rain gods – but ohemgee!). The Bioscope has some goodies starting this weekend if you’re looking to get out but also be cosy. The 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts (Animation and Live Action) screenings start tomorrow and run until early March. Also – Black Coffee produced coming of age film Matwetwe is on it’s last day tonight at the Bioscope. [Sat, 16 Feb – Sat, 2 Mar]

To observe Black History Month, The Market Theatre and the U.S. Embassy brings the South African version of Nina Simone Four Women. It premiered last week and will run until the 24th. I’ve only heard really good things about it and must go see it.

In the spirit of Valentines and what not there is a different kind of romance to be had at the Millennial Love Affair taking place at Tennis Club tonight. A celebration of love – it’s traumas and it’s glory in a safe inclusive space. [Fri, 15 Feb]

 

 

Naked Soul Sessions will host Neo-Soul singer Mpho Sebina at Untitled Basement on Saturday night. I honestly didn’t know much of her music until I looked her up on SoundCloud and YouTube. SOLD! Amazing. My homegirl Lungi a.k.a. BrownPepperAnn will be on the decks to get the party started. [Sat, 16 Feb]

As the poster suggests – Make Me Feel is a full technicolor experience of fun beats with some of my KCB faves. A groove is definitely in the heart at the Khona! [Sat, 16 Feb]

The year of the Pig is upon us (well to the Chinese) but if you’re like me and love you some Chinese New Year Celebrations. There are a few happening in Johannesburg. Cyrildene being the first tomorrow. Think street parades, open restaurants and just a full on jam. I’ve only ever been twice, but as a sucker for culture it’s worth a visit – even if just for lunch. Next week the Chinatown in the CBD will be having their celebrations too. [Sat, 16 Feb]

Sunday Edition is back for it’s second edition this year. Last month was an absolute blast and if you squint you can see me doing the get-down in this months promo poster. I love a good Sunday party. It’s  huge trap – but the best people always come out. [Sun, 17 Feb]

 

 

 

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It’s A Long Shot. But Why Not?

A.k.a. twenty-MINE-teen. So I always have this weird thing about my thought or experience related posts that I write. They always want to be written – but then I need something that makes me write them. This one in particular was initially a 2018 reflection and a peek into my hopes for 2019 (hence the ‘a.k.a’ – because that was the original title). But today for some reason I had this Kelly Clarkson song on repeat in my head. Which actually isn’t the song where the title is from, but I think I had to listen to it to get to the actual song (in the same album) that led me to write this. Bear with me… I’m getting to the point. I’m sure I lost some of you when I mentioned Kelly Clarkson. For those still reading, the song is called ‘Long Shot’ and was written by Katy Perry (oh God I’m making it worse) and it’s about taking a leap of faith into a statistically risky and improbable romance. When I got to the chorus while listening to in the car on the way home, I was like – oh snap!

It’s a long shot, but I say why not
If I say forget it, I know that I’ll regret it
It’s a long shot just to beat these odds
The chance is we won’t make it
But I know if I don’t take it, there’s no chance
‘Cause you’re the best I got.

Obviously I wasn’t thinking of any love interest or shaky relationship I want to dive into, but more on some experiences that I had in 2018. The ones that led me to learning more about myself and the decisions I make or don’t make. Experiences I could have easily said ‘forget it’ to because of fear, anxiety and tricking myself into thinking I already knew what the outcome was going to be without ever actually taking the chance.

Just to summarise a bit on the magic of taking a shot  at some things even when they may be foreign, surrounded by cynicism or even familiar but seemingly completely out of reach. Firstly was early last year when I consulted a psychic medium, I received a message that I had to start this blog.  For one – psychics or mediums aren’t exactly like going to see a trained doctor or anything, but my belief in a higher order and spiritual realm beyond this world helped squash any of those views. Secondly, from starting this blog I rediscovered my love of stories, imagery, collection and writing in my own unique voice. So then I enrolled in a 8-week creative writing course which opened up the creative beast that was lying dormant in me for years who only needed acknowledgement to get out.

To me these were long shots because I have always stood in my own way and was so very comfortable with limiting my capabilities. It was always – “you’re an engineer, what the hell do you know about this or that”. But the more I said “why not”, the more I started creeping closer to my limitless talent. Closer to being that kid who loved playing dress up, who didn’t have a gender (or so I thought), who created stories from nothing, who drew comic books, who danced and entertained, who was smart and logical and also sang Celine Dion’s Power of Love album in full soprano with their Sub-B teacher (that’s Grade 2 for the youngens).

All these things kept rushing back to this very moment where I’m typing this post – on this blog that I started with no idea what  wanted from it. This moment where I’ve started a YouTube/IGTV Channel (also no idea what it will or wont become), posted pictures of me dancing to my own freestyle choreo and this moment where I sit with a book full of song lyrics, story ideas and outfits I wanna wear. All that and still engineering my ass off on a daily basis. It’s all in one spirit.

My biggest long shot by far was fully sharing my authentic self with my father last Christmas. I’d always had a picture or idea in my head of who this man was. How he would react to a queer son who played around with gender, dyed his hair and wore nail polish. I used to always cut my hair and remove any trace of make-up before heading down to the Eastern Cape for the holidays. This time I didn’t. Bleach blonde hair, Mediterranean blue toe nails and some short shorts for control.

My dad started the convo by asking me how the reading went. It went well. His mother who I don’t remember, uMantshiza, came through with a message that now makes complete sense to me. Eventually we were sitting in the living room for almost 3 hours talking about my not-so-great life in school, how I was so great on stage and how it hurt to never be supported in the arts as much as my brothers were in sports. We laughed and cried a little and tried to make sense of the toxicity of our society’s idea of masculinity. How hectic? Also so damn beautiful.

We both miss the woman who raised me and the one who raised him. I never in a millions years thought I could have this kind of connection with my dad. If I never chose to fully be myself with him, I would have robbed us of this moment. So you never know what you could uncover from just taking the chance. Asking “Why not?” even if it seems so far from reality or even impossible because of where you are in life.

There is much to be learned in those chances and less to regret when you realise that you truly are the best you’ve got and have so much to give.

 

xo,

ALN.

 

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#FOMOFridays

#FOMOFridays

Wowza. I haven’t done one of these in like a month. Haven’t had much fomo since turning a year older, but now that Spring (a.k.a Summer) is basically here it’s warmer and there will be a ton of delicious (see what I did here) things to get up to. All the shows to binge which are starting new seasons and new and old music which is always popping no matter what time of year.

Ding-dong, the old winter is dead!

Watching:

Most NB thing on my TV (well really laptop screen – but whatevs) this week is Insecure Season 3!!! I gobbled up episode 1 as soon as I knew it was out. Thanks to everyone who had it on blast on their instastories, I totally forgot it was coming out this week. If you’re a fan, go watch! Always good. I just want Kelly tbh!

Succession just came onto Showmax. It’s a HBO show which always promises raw drama. I watched the first episode. Good premise on a family business empire is to be handed down to one of 3 children. You think you know who it will be but it looks like it’s going to be a messy family feud to the throne. It’s a 1 ep a week one for me.

Doja Cat was a viral hit this week with her “Mooo!” video. “Got milk, bitch? Got beef?” I died!! She made the whole thing in her room in front of a green screen. Now we know about her, so good on her. I’m gonna look for her music for sure now.

Listening:

I’ve been all up on Super Soul Conversations podcast this week. Out of the 3 that came out recently I was devved by the one with Panache Desai where he and Mama O talk about Discovering Your Soul Signature. Desai is considered a spiritual teacher and in this particular episode he goes into the transformative power of energy, understanding emotino

My #1 homegirl Nicki Minaj finally dropped Queen last week. It’s been my bread and butter this week. It’s also fun for working out or running to. Personally I’m not crazy about long albums with unnecessary tracks and this one is full of them. Obvs Nicki’s lyricism and word play comes through and so does Roman at the end of on one of my fave tracks on the album, Barbie Dreams.

I mentioned Darkie Fiction’s Sobabini EP two weeks back when it came out. After they shut down Oppikoppi over the long weekend I had to go back and for another fix. It really easy one of the best SA releases this year, no lies. Every track is a winner shem.

Our fave My Little Pony songstress, Ariana Grande, released her fourth album Sweetener literally a few hours ago. I haven’t properly dug into it because of Friday meetings, yawn! But from what she’s put out as singles, I’m very into it. Pop will always be my fave so…

Doing (Weekend Tingz):

The Color Purple Musical is back at Joburg Theatre from tonight. I’m sure by popular demand because it was so very good when I saw it back in February. Looks like a 3 week run, so if you missed it or need a rewatch – do it to it.

Bioscope Cinema is hosting its #BigNightIn pyjama party tonight with all you can eat pizza and all sorts of other yummy treats from Manhattan Sweets .  No plans? Maybe grab a friend and check it out. Sounds hella cute. From tomorrow night they are showing a special screening of ‘Goldblatt’: A Documentary, a doccie on South African photography legend David Goldblatt who passed away this year. Definitely keen for a midweek viewing of this one. Bookmarked!

Art & Design Saturday at Keyes is happening as it does every month, this time they are focusing on ‘How Womxn Lead’. Looks like there will be discussions, panels, art and performances by fierce womxn who have created their own success in the art and design world.

For a bit of a jiggle and razzle to some amazing R&B-Soul, Funk and Hip-Hop vibes; Spindle Online DJ Magazine has Cuttaways tomorrow night at The Cosmopolitan in Maboneng. Great DJs at a dope venue.

For a young Sunday wine down (*wink wink*) La Bouqeira is having what looks like it’s first ‘Wine Party In Parktown North’. 1 ticket = wine tastings, tapas all over the show and some Sunday jazz vibes. Sounds amaze. We’ll see. Y’all know that wine goes all the way in then next thing you’re at Rockets Bryanston. Pause.

Anywho, have THE most amazing warm weekend. Knowing August we’re definitely going to get a young icy breeze before the month’s over. Hope not!

xo

ALN.

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Category Is…

Inclusive Safe Spaces.

Ok… granted that’s not an actual ball category, it is however a very important topic for discussion. Probably more important for the folk who are sick and tired of being victimised in violent, rapey and femmephobic spaces. Lord knows this isn’t of much importance to cis folk who fit the so-called everyday norm of the gender binary or those who show acceptable levels of masculinity that afford them the privilege to move through such spaces with more ease.

Femme bodies have always been and continue to be targets of assault and violence by hateful energies that are fuelled by fear, self-hatred and a hunger for exerting an ignorant power this society has taught them they are entitled to. That’s just the thing with this kind of negative power – it feeds on those who have been identified as weak and unworthy. Trust and believe that femme energy is none of these lesser words the majority relentlessly associates with it. It is in fact the more positive power. This is something I’ve learned from my own experience.

To nurture this seemingly unpopular power a handful of femme, queer and trans identifying peeps in Jozi have gone ahead and created their own inclusive and safe spaces. Spaces where self-expression is encouraged. Where vulnerability, creativity and femininity is praised and tolerance of nonsense from the negative power is very low if any at all.

I still remember buying a tight white lace top and stashing it in the back of my cupboard for months before I eventually got the courage to wear it at my first Cunty Power last year. The courage wasn’t because I was wearing a lace top. The courage was deciding to present and express myself the way that I’d always wanted to. It was a understandably tough for me. Especially the moment we had to leave the safety of the space I was in to go to Great Dane. It was ‘Same Sex Saturdays’ but I had never dressed like that publicly, at least not outside of a costume party. As fierce as I looked, I couldn’t help but shrink and feel some type of way because of the space I was in. Which mind you was mostly gay men, but femmephobia is no joke. Some of it was my own internalised stuff for sure but the night took an magical turn to where this girl walked up to me, took my hand and told me how beautiful I looked. She then put on a red beaded bangle on my wrist and went on her way. That act of love and connection did something to me. I’ve never looked back since that day.

Embracing my femme energy and loving the versatility of wearing whatever I want regardless of what the store clerk or gendered shop signage says is the very reason I choose spaces that deliberately and explicitly protect people like me. Anyone who knows me will know that I religiously go to Pussy Party at KCB in Braam. The message of PP is very clear – protect, uplift, nurture and love of femme and queer bodies. Anything against that is refused. It is undoubtedly my second home where I get to dance my queer ass off until the early weekday morning with zero fear or apprehension. Maybe a teensy bit of fear of a violent hangover the following day, but that ain’t never hurt nobody.

Just a month back a spectacular event was born in Joburg called Vogue Nights. Ever since I watched ‘Paris Is Burning‘ (available on SA Netflix 😉 ) only a just few years back actually, I’ve been obsessed with ball culture, voguing, metamorphosis and the notion that you can choose your family. Vogue Nights surely gave me that hope and promise that sizoba grand. The voguing beasts from V.I.N.T.A.G.E Crew turned it out on the floor battling MrAllOfIt and other gorgeous divas dressed in beautiful silks, fishnets, shiny gowns and colourful hair. I myself played it down a little because I had a dinner in Rosebank before and wasn’t about to put myself in any kind of a situation with Uber drivers or bigoted patrons of Doppio. That of course is my own struggle and another reason I live for these events that tell me it’s OK to be you, to be extra and to do the most. I did however put my choppy black wig, called Yolanda, in my pocket which later came out to play downtown with all my other femme, butch, queer and trans brothers and sisters.

The M.I.A. concert, KOP JHB, Afropunk and other iconic events I’ve been to in the past year have been shameless at promoting and supporting the LGBT+ community and putting strict disclaimers that do not tolerate any sort of ill treatment of any human, period. Many will try and play ignorant or make excuses for the toxic spaces that turn a blind eye to what they know is true. Some will demand to be educated on this matter instead of taking their own initiative to learn from global standards institutions such as the Afropunks have set in their governing principles.

What I really do hope for is that the many and the some will do better in striving for inclusiveness and safety for the folk that attend their parties, events, homes, restaurants and bars. It’s time we connected on the real things and allow one another to have fun without compromising any bodies (femme or otherwise). It’s hella idealistic hope for sure, but It’s hope nonetheless. We’re pretty much nothing without it.

xo,

ALN.

femme power

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Weekend Mirror Style

Fully back in the swing of things. New week, hopefully new moves. Losing my holiday glow already from being back at work. Yawn! I’m just glad it seems to be getting a little bit warmer. The last time I did a WMS post it was basically Game of Thrones up in Jozi. I don’t watch the show (don’t @ me!), but it always looks snowy and cold af.

Anywho… LEWKS!

Friday: Back at work, but it was Friday so not much work was done… Lesbi-honest. What did work though was the outfit I threw on. Started with the camo pants and eventually worked my way into this lewk with a pink Topman sweater over a white button up and tan Chelsea boots. The denim worked better than any other coat with these colours. 🙂

WMS - Wk 31 (1)

Saturday: 3 hours boozy brunch with my best, Sunni, under the winter sun was the best start to the day. I was pretty hammered from the bubbly and sunshine by the end of it. Best! Then I hit the burbs for a friends farewell. After my post about Clueless 30th last week I was inspired to do a white cropped sweater over a pink striped button up both from Cotton On. Cher Horowitz did a ton of these on the film. Lower half was my trusted ripped jeans and grey camo D+D loafers.

WMS - Wk 31 (2)

Sunday: Mellow day spent with friends for a cute 6 year old boy birthday. Getting dressed was a scramble. Black is always the easiest option for me when I have no idea what I wanna wear. Was feeling particularly femme so I did a black Puma crop with a black ankle length cotton skirt and grey wool jacket. Silver NBs with red laces added a bit of something something to all the dark colours.

WMS - Wk 31 (3)

Great weekend. Stayed off the streets on account of energy. But we shall rebuild! Have a goodie cuties!

xo

ALN.

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Lebanon VayCay Style

Seeing as I didn’t really watch or listen to anything new – Oh god wait! Darkie Fiction dropped their EP last week! I LIVE! You have to hear it. It’s so epic and goes down real good. Dripping with all the local flavour. Search ‘Sobabini: A Mzansi Revolution‘ on all streaming sites.

As you can tell there is no #FOMOFridays today. I’ve been away. Which leads me to this post! Mama had to serve some lewks while holidaying in Lebanon. It was hot and humid AF, but I managed to look cute each day. You guys would laugh at my little notebook in which I itemised each outfit day by day. Trust me it makes packing so much easier!

Thursday: Arrival day was great! Settled into the apartment and got some shut eye as we got there crazy early. The day was long and consisted a lot of sitting in traffic. It was all worth it when we got to the most amazing Mediterranean restaurant with the best food EVER. I wore my pink on pink delight shirt and shorts from Asos. On the feet I slipped into these embossed tan Duke+Dexter loafers. Nice overcast day which ended with a walk around the old city of Byblos with it’s gorgeous churches, cobblestone roads and harbour.

Lebanon-Day1

Friday: Boat day! So initially it was planned that we’d spend the whole day on this great party boat and frolic in the still Med sea to our hearts content… until the sea decided not to be still. Plan B was chilling on the stony beach in Batroun. Honestly a better alternative. The day was the best! Boozy, tiny cozzies and loads of food. Wore as little as possible. The vintage silk kimono from Vintage Goddess is all you should care about here. Hehe.

Lebanon-Day2

Saturday: Go Aya, it’s your birthday! I knew this day was going to be lush and delish all the way up in the mountains of Bkessine village. It was certainly no village by any South African standards. I had my girl Buhle of Fashimo Styles make me this two piece African print number. Initially had it untucked, but a tuck always wins. How gorge is this print from Nigeria??

Lebanon-Day3

Sunday: Funday. Woke up late. Chilled and fooled around at the apartment making videos to Darkie Fiction songs and eventually hit the city of Beirut. Loads of walking around and taking snaps of the coolest area called Mar Mikhael. Finally got to wear this Hawaiian-esque shirt from Zara with white shorts, white leather Converse and topped off with a vintage Fila corduroy cap. Easy breezy, beautiful.

Lebanon-Day4

Monday: Final day in the city was another chill one. My outfit certainly wasn’t! Lol. I had a choice between orange high-wasted pants made for me by Buhle or white linen pants; all white was going to be overkill so I went with the orange. Winner! They looked so good with a loose white linen button up and camo print Duke+Dexter loafers. Great day of art museums, margaritas and the constant hunt for WiFi.

Lebanon-Day5

I had THE best time dressing up every day like it was my bday (one day was of course). Lebanon was so gorgeous with so much history and variety. The men are so HOT and everyone is so friendly and warm. Imma give you the full lowdown in a future ALNgoes post.

Have a great weekend!

xo

ALN.

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AyaWasLikeTotally30…

…3 years ago. Yesterday I got one of those ‘Facebook memories’ reminders of a picture of my personal best dressed faves; Inge, Dylan and Amanda dressed as the iconic trio from Clueless, at my 30th birthday party in July 2015.

I really just wanted to do a young throwback of this just so I could share this invite I made for the party. If you know me well, you’ll know this is one of my favourite films EVER and it had turned 20 years old when I was turning a whole 30.

I still remember being about 12 years old in boarding school and tagging along to the video store to hire the weekend movies. This was like ’98 so trust it was VHS upon VHS. Lord knows who I was with, but I forced them to hire Clueless among two other typical boy movies like Naked Gun or some hyper masculine action or sport film (those were all the rage back then – Kevin Costner I’m looking at you!). I had obvs seen the movie like a million times with my cousins so I was already fluent in eye-rolling, saying “what-ever” at every turn and pretending to know what Cliff notes or Haiti (said Hadey) was.

The movie played on a 51cm colour TV that sat suspended at the top right corner of the overcrowded hostel TV room with it’s wooden framed cushioned sofas, screaming red and gold floral carpets (which gave the worst f-ing carpet burns ever), oppressive white walls and it smelled of shampoo, soap and puberty. We had all just showered ten minutes before. I was obviously having the best time! Quoting every line and doing the whatever double hand gesture the hateful Amber character abused at almost every classroom scene. Surprisingly everyone else really liked the movie. Most of them commented on how they finally got all the random crap I always said. Even for a little bit I felt totally understood and happily continued to flip my non-existent hair over my shoulder whenever I crushed a maths test. Which was hardly ever to be honest. I was more of stage queen back then.

Wow. This post turned out to be a whole lot more than I intended it to be. Lol. Writing it had me go down memory lane to some really fond experiences at my time at D.V. Taylor House. Experiences with my then closest mates who actually always had my back through and through now that I think of it. Until high school came of course… then there were all sorts of plot twists and melodrama. Shout out to the OG dorm crew Senzwa, the two Mawandes, Dyasi, Anda and Phiwe.

Here’s the email invite I modelled after Cher’s speech:

ayaisliketotally30-invite

The rad flyer I made on PowerPoint:

AyaIsLikeTotally30

What a glorious moment during one of the darkest times of my life. Just 3 and half months before my mother passed and never got to see me turn the big 3-0. I know that I had to continue. Celebrate my life. Remember her influence and always know that I come from a place of love. It has certainly taught me to not cling onto big ages or events that occur in my life but cherish the joy and love every day offers, being authentic and honest, trying to be present, making the most of this temporary thing called life and even more so to be grateful for it.

Now at 33 I can say I live in gratitude of this body, this mind, my amazing friends, family, this earth and it’s beauty and of my gorgeous life giver who did the absolute best she could.

It’s all like TOTALLY great you know? 30 was a good start.

xo,
ALN.

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