Silambile

no-job

A friend once said told me,

“Youth unemployment is such a thorny issue,

handled by pricks and cowards tip toeing around the matter like it is pins and needles.

We’re left out and forgotten in the cold;

we’ll get back in the fold to embarrass like white shirts and chilled nipples”

He went on to recite…

Silambile

With our mouths dry and palms sweaty,

Tea time could be anytime,

And boys are we ready?!

We’re not fasting sir; just hungry.

We’re not after only the money,

But that’d be a great start.

And we’re not blowing hot air,

That’d make our words farts like arse,

And make this struggle of us a farce…

Go ahead; ridicule our dreams as silly riddles

Silly how you could end up in a pickle

What you stand to lose could be like a muddy plot – watch it thicken

The outcome for your family – disastrous

Us, ‘the bad guys’ victorious

And there are so many,

It will take a second big bang to get rid of us.

Jail, pain and death all tired of us,

Yes, life’s toys-r-us

You’ll stand against us only to fall like a girl’s bust

We keep stomping along time like it’s month March.

We don’t want much or need much

Good education would help much, and cost little.

A safe environment and opportunity to let the pennies trickle.

When the youth yell JOBS corporates scream UNEMPLOYABLE

Misery of millions summed up as UNENJOYABLE..

Truth be told, not many I would give a job;

They would blow it.

Scatterbrains aplenty like scarecrows guarding cobs.

I still say, ‘Don’t sob, it’s not your fault’

Billions to improve our lives kept locked in a vault

Can’t see how prudency will help when the masses revolt

We need to change the system and not revolve around the vote

game

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JIGGA MY NINJA

A little something I wrote down soon after Pres Mbeki resigned. Julius Malema had threatened to kill for Jacob Zuma. The court circus was only warming up then…

jz1

 

Strange how our land’s so sunny when it’s really so shady,

For being this ‘patriotic’ I wonder if some youth ‘leader’ would slay me?

Some people will say anything to be the life of the party

Bar-coded kids of Mzanzi feeling edgy, anxious about the new foster daddy.

Fosta as in adopting, as in Perseverance

This man couldn’t find ‘quit’ if it was the only word in a sentence,

Or perhaps he thinks it’s French and all of it is pronounce silent.

And with the justice system gagged up how can a judge read his sentence?

Or is he the real Mayoyo cause he’s the real Innocent?

What about his machine gun song; is he gang related?

Good question that one – arm’s deal is where it started.

jz2

Builder’s love note

I hope you’ll get the sincerity of what I am stressing
I’d leave my being behind and leave you not guessing (not!)
But I know you love the mess I am so my cards I’ll keep playing.
You are such a perfect being
‘Perfect’ and ‘being’ being oxymoron but you are exactly what I am seeking.
I won’t lie and say you’re all I have got
but if you’re not here or not happy then unhappiness is all I have got.
I love u my baby,
for being pretty
for being gritty
we’re living at gods’ time so we can never be a quicky.
Before you ek het vir ander meisies ge-holla maar hulle wou nie luister
I said let’s build but they were out of their depths when we were still at the foundation
Nou hulle wil ‘pitch-in’ want hulle sien die tuin ‘n water fontein.
Ek gee hulle geen attention –
me n my stekkie is klaar gebou en wil nou pluister

10401142_30375869110_5006_n

This image reminded me of ‘Thaba ya Baratani’ in Botswana. That’s in Otse on the road between Gabz and Lobatse.

Jabba

Dear Jabba

The fact that you have attempted to take your life on a few occasions continues to haunt me. I cannot stop thinking, but why? You surely know that you are the man. I would like to believe that at least a million of your country men and women, like me, look up to you and idolize you. Your reach and influence in fact is felt across the continent of your birth. Why do you want to end your life?

I sometimes get bored of waking up and having to ‘live’ on a daily basis. The waking up, washing, eating, driving, talking, working, etc. Every damn day. No timeouts from what can be a really tedious routine. Either dead or alive. No elective coma for a week. Do you go through the same emotions?

I am really struggling with assessing what my successes are, and with accepting that I am not the success I thought I would be. Are you going through the same struggle?

You come across as a selfless guy. Someone that gives too much of their being and resources to making others lives better. That can be a problem. Trust me, I know. You end up living for the approval of those you sacrifice for. Weird, because they can’t disappoint you but when you don’t match their expectations you suddenly realise how empty your life is. We have to be careful and not live for the approval of others.

Did I tell you that my father hung himself just over 10 years ago? I am not sure why he did that but it has a bit to do with the fact that he had fallen flat on his arse. He had lost his status, wealth, dignity and his wife was about to leave him. He worked tirelessly to provide for us and supported his wife through her business adventures and experiments. In the end they were broke, in debt and he was an alcoholic. What was there to live for? Are you at that stage? Is that how you feel?

There are probably a hundred more angles to this thing including loss of loved ones to disease, violence and other causes of death. Being rejected by a lover, a child or a group you admire. Feeling like a relic or being outdone by others even though you have given it your all. Traumatic experiences some first hand, others empathized. I don’t know where you fit into the suicidal profile and it frankly is not my business.

Here I am going on and on about things I have no business going on about. Here is the deal. You gave me a style to run with. To this day I still think of myself as a hiphop pantsula. Today it is the most normal of things but when you came out a person was either or. I was weirdly both. Grew up in the hood but moved to the burbs. I loved rap from when I heard Hammer but I went to a kwaito school. I am the duality that is a HHP.

You gave us your life in audio format. Your rich tapestry in tasteful art form. The way you have rocked so many styles and set trends, with such confidence and successfully is simply amazing. You know that you are a huge reason there is even a hip hop industry in this country. Even these new age kwaito rapper kids are your seeds.

You have given me a lot to run with and I try to apply what I learn every time I listen to your music. Positivity, creativity, humour, language, business, friendship, family relations and community to name a few.

You have given me a lot so in return I give you my gratitude, respect and love. I ask you to choose life and to chose Leano but then that is what I choose for you. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Ka lerato leo!

Gangsta rap made me do it

gangsta-rap-beginners-guide-00

*This is not the song by Ice Cube, sorry. This is paraphrasing of my Toastmasters CC2 speech. Enjoy*

In 2008 there were 29 teenage murders in London. On a near daily basis the papers and telly would go on and introduce the latest victim and profile some of the gangs in killings. The city and country were in utter shock and in a state of panic. At the height of this murder wave, then London mayor, Ken Livingstone went on television offering his expert opinion on what could be the cause of this horrendous phenomenon. To little surprise, at least to myself, he placed the blame on rap music. He went on about how the art form is a scourge that poisons the minds of the youth with its glamourisaton of guns and violence. At that point I mentally logged out, switched off the TV, reached for my beloved 160gb silver iPod.

I put on my headphones and indulged in my favourite pastime; listening to rap music. Little known to Mr Ken and his type is the fact that rap music is an inspirational and aspirational art form. I have previously listened to rap for entertainment and to learn English and isiZulu when I was younger. Little known to myself was that the secret to my success was kept between the beats and bars trapped in that iPod. What I am getting at is that it is rap music that guided me into positively obsessing about ‘making it’. And to me making it means i) leaving a strong legacy, ii) achieving financial success and freedom, and iii) living a long and healthy life. Weird, isn’t it? A young professional giving credit for his success to rap music?!

Rap?!! Yes! Gangsta rap made me do it. If I were to be put on the stand in my old age I would gladly testify on the inspiration of my successes. I would testify how hip hop gangsta rap motivated me to study, achieve, live well and inspire.

Here is how rap has been grooming me;

  1. Leaving a strong legacy through having strength of character

The rhythmic poetry of Eminem, Common, 2Pac and Proverb taught me about harnessing knowledge of self and street/environmental awareness. Common themes included ‘keeping it real’, outfoxing your enemies, introspection, gratitude for life and opportunities, and assertiveness.

  1. Financial success and economic freedom

Before Juju and Floyd had the E.F.F, before Mandela and Mbeki’s B.E.E. I had the W.T.C., which is the Wu-Tang Clan telling me about CREAM. Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Another inspirational rap character Jay Z preaches and practices philanthropy, generational wealth accumulation, investing, diversifying in business and also encouraging prosperity.

  1. Health is wealth

Well, not in rap. In fact rap music’s lyrics are consistently filled with tales of drugs, violence and promiscuity. So in this instance I saw that this was a clear wrong and not something to look up to. With album titles such as ‘The Chronic’, ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ and ‘Ready to Die’ sometimes all it takes a is wrong to appreciate what is right.  Rappers’ high mortality rate and low life expectancy helped me to appreciate healthy living, diet and mental wellness. I read a whole lot so that I do not come across as daft as some of my favourite rappers.

With that being said I have learnt so much more right than wrong from rap.  When faced with the prospect of a live of poverty hip-hop chooses to hustle. When stealing seems the way to go rap teaches one to create value. When life is boring and repetitive rap music offers creative and inspiration entertainment for the young and young at heart.

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Although they are being constantly accused and blamed for the world’s ills my unlikely heroes and inspiration in life are those caricature guys in baggy jeans and oversized shiny watches. Through their reality and aspiration based rhymes these fellas are guiding me towards my life’s goals of leaving a strong legacy, achieving financial success and freedom and living a long, healthy life. When the world admires my success I will be the first to proudly claim, “Yes, gangsta rap made me do it! “

 

 

 

Campaign for change

What’s that old saying? Bullshit talks, money walks?
Not at all? Then what are the politicians selling on my box?
Every man with cash is taking 2 steps back
Banks with rotten stocks are having it str8 up the ass
Analysts are mumbling crap; they might as well be taking thru the rectum crack
Well, I’m so impressed
Stock prices plummeting
Cost of living is rocketing
Every rapper campaigning for Obama; what is happening?
Xhosa-nostra losing?
Civil war brewing
Not in a million years but we are observing fat men looting
Out there in the street,
Out there in the corporate,
Brothers grafting to the bone in institutions of the state.
Many of us bitter cos they live in estates
We’re the ones who sweat the hardest; Lord clearly there’s a mistake?!
Negro please!
You can’t even draw a pie chart so how are you expecting to get a piece of that cake?
Poverty’s not a mind state for many in the ‘Free State’ and it’s reality that we should not tolerate
We thot we were free when we freed the politicians
Where are they now? Popping corks pretending to be Europeans
And where the hell are we,
Drinking, sobering and then bitching?
And bcos we’re not rioting they assume we are content
Let’s put them all to the test
Show that the vote is not certain but a real contest.
You know how they say, money talks and bullshit walks?
It’s time for the bullshit to speak – with a cross in a box
Put the anger in the ballot, let’s speak with our vote
Reclaim activism, resuscitate hope
Sweat hard like peasants and dream of lives as kings
Invest our peanuts and we can live those dreams.

At the back of mind
I’m plotting, “how the hell will I recapitalise this broke ass of mine?”
Dirty rural kids dream of living in a shack, working in a mine
Dirty city kids dream of living in house but know there’s nada for them in the mines!
I klap on my shades like a horse with the blinds
Trying to block out the misery in this hood of mine
Fix up the tie, off to Corporation X
No, I’m not the best but I passed the tests
Don’t come with that stress,
Lay that talk to rest
Let’s work hard to make this land the best
Invest thru the vote
Give our kid sisters hope,
Knowledge and direction for without they’re screwed from conception
Brawl til we fall to get them the relevant education
Rather they contribute to our pensions then the centres of detention.
Wise girl said “you’re from smart but misdirecting your energy”
Said as alumni we should give cash and time to our varsities,
Communities and charities
Made me realise the gift of giving is a rarity
Celebrating is fulfilling but self-centred in its gravity
Let’s fight this poverty, thuggery, despondency
Let’s fight with our actions,
Let’s fight with our brains.
Or watch them fly off to the UK, i.e. down The Drain

Destiny

Greatness

Now I get that quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

When I’m at my best it scares me a bit but it seems to scare those witnessing it even more. I see the look in people’s eyes and I feel the energy they give off. They can get overawed, but then I see that they really appreciate it. At times anyway. When a person is at their absolute best the person sitting on the opposite end is either thrilled or highly intimidated. It all depends whether they are with you or against you at that moment. Your boundless energy is likely to further their interests or it is a threat to their plans.

Upon self-reflection I realise that I have been scared of scaring others away. Afraid to be that ‘outlier’ unit among the standard issue products. I have been avoiding what is meant for me; greatness. From this day onwards I shall embrace me for who I am. I am now free of my safety blanket, my comfort zone, and I am announcing my presence and intent to take what is mine. What I offer to the world is a spectacle, a free viewing of a man being the best that he can be. Do not stand in my way. Should you wish to be a winner come with me.

I will end off with another famous quote, “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.”

Conquer