Nearly three years later, my blogging habits have changed. I do a lot more exciting things than I used to and I don’t have the time to blog about them all. I also don’t bring my big camera with me everywhere I go anymore, which means I’m at the mercy of my iPhone camera. Sometimes I get good pictures and sometimes I don’t. If I don’t get enough good pictures, I don’t blog. Hence, I pick and choose my bloggable experiences. Continue Reading
Actually, “jumped around like a maniac” is a better description of what I did. But you know what I mean.
This is Jovi, lead singer of a band from Soweto called BCUC. He made me jump around like a maniac.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the terrible taxi accident at the Hillbrow Boxing Club, and our plans to help Coach George Khosi fix his ring and make other repairs to the gym. I’m pleased to report that the fundraising efforts have been very productive. The ring has already been replaced and several other improvements are underway. Continue Reading
Emily, a friend of mine from America who is backpacking around the world, visited me in Jozi this weekend. The timing of Emily’s visit was both lucky and unlucky. Unlucky because it rained all weekend. Lucky because this was the funnest Jozi weekend ever, jam-packed with quirky art exhibitions, musical performances, photowalks, and other awesome things.
Herewith is a recap of the Weekend of Jozi Awesomeness, recorded on my iPhone. Continue Reading
When I first decided to move to Johannesburg, I had vague fantasies about going out on the town here and “experiencing” jazz. The idea of listening to jazz in a cosmopolitan African city appealed to me. Joburg is known to be a hotbed for jazz musicians.
I didn’t get around to living out this fantasy until last weekend. Not only did I attend a proper jazz performance on Saturday evening, but that performance took place in Sophiatown (pronounced “soh-FYE-ah-town”), the birthplace of Jozi jazz. I can’t believe it took me so long to do this, as I’ve known for quite some time that there is a jazz concert on the last Saturday of every month at the Sophiatown Heritage Centre. And I’m fascinated by the history of Sophiatown, which is literally around the corner from Melville. Continue Reading
As I told you in my previous post, I survived OppiKoppi 2012. It was challenging at times but totally worth it. For those of you considering a maiden OppiKoppi voyage next year, here are ten tips for a successful experience.
1) Come prepared, but make sure you have enough space in your vehicle for everything you plan to bring.
Can you see Lungi tucked in among all that stuff in the back seat, feet folded under her because there’s no space on the floor? That was me on the way home.
Last night I returned from OppiKoppi, South Africa’s largest and most legendary music festival.
“Oppi Koppie” means “on the hill” in Afrikaans.
About 20,000 of us gathered for three days on a dusty farm in rural Limpopo province. We listened to dozens of mostly South African musical acts of multiple genres; most of them were good, and some of them were outstanding. We camped out. We inhaled massive amounts of dust. We peed in prickly thorn bushes. We danced, and we got lost, and we walked, for miles and miles and miles. We did not shower. We made lots of new friends. Continue Reading
Remember three days ago, when I was sitting on the porch in my pajamas at 7:30 a.m.? Those days are gone.
SNOW. Like, real snow. In South Africa.
Yesterday there was a festival in Melville called Fête de la Musique. Fête de la Musique, a free festival that brings music to public spaces and gives exposure to both professional and amateur musicians, takes place in more than 100 countries. This was the first fête to hit Melville.
Local band The Brother Moves On marches down 7th Street during the Fête de la Musique.
Before this past weekend, the last music festival I attended was the legendary HFStival – sometime around the turn of the millennium in a grimy, beer-sodden stadium in southeast Washington D.C. It was oppressively humid and there were more than 70,000 attendees, mostly suburban kids aged 14 to 25. There was moshing. With the exception of my favorite ska/punk band, Goldfinger, I don’t remember who played.
The Bushfire festival is as far from the HFSTival as a music festival can get, but equally awesome. Bushfire is a laid-back affair, held in an otherworldly creative compound in semi-rural Swaziland called House on Fire. The performers are diverse, as is the audience. I saw my share of stoned teenagers and 20-somethings, but the crowd was also filled with young families, 30- and 40-something development workers, and a smattering of retirees. Accents were primarily South African, American, and Swazi. Skin colors were black, white, and everything in between. Continue Reading
I’ve just returned from a weekend in Swaziland, my second-favorite African country. The main reason for my trip was Bushfire 2012, a huge music and arts festival at Swaziland’s House on Fire. I saw and did a lot of other stuff though — too much for one post.
I’m too tired for even one full-length post at the moment, but I can’t sleep tonight without posting at least a couple of photos from the weekend. Here are three of my favorites. Continue Reading