Saturday, March 31, 2012

Please leave your message at the beep. . .


This is a photo from a play called Shwele Bawo which in Zulu means "A Grave Injustice". It's about a woman who kills her husband in self defence after years of being beaten, and her community turns on her, blaming her for giving them a bad name. Also she is clearly going to be in a bit of trouble with the authorities. It is a one actress play, where one actor plays many characters and changes in front of the audience into the separate characters.

Very interesting, but the reason I'm sharing this photo today is because I had to use the above photo as inspiration for a monologue for my Drama final this term. I'm going to be sharing this monologue with you all today. My character is a guy named Vusi, and the basic story is that he is calling to thank his date from the previous night for a great night, but gets her voice mail and decides to leave a message. There are a few South African slang expressions in the writing. At the end of this post I have a tiny little glossary and the words will be in orange. Hope you like it!

Ring, ring!
Sorry, I'm not here at the moment.
Please leave a message at the beep.

BEEP!

Hi Temba! Just callin’ to thank you for a lekker date last night.
I had a really awesome time. Haibo, there wasn’t even a single awkward moment! I feel this deep connection with you, oh and I wanna let you know that the food was delicious. I know you were really looking forward to tasting Mike’s Kitchen’s legendary cheese burger, but if it makes you feel any better, I did ask the nurse if she could stick a few fries in your hospital lunch. I understand that under all the sedation and pain meds you probably didn’t hear nothing of what I was saying all night, but sweetheart, I feel like you already know me.

How’s the leg? I mean, honestly it didn’t look that bad. Like, common, how much damage can a fifteen kay-gee bowling ball do? I know the doctor in the emergency room might have mentioned something about a “shattered femur”, but Temba don’t listen to that kak.
I asked my cousin Msizi about it. You see, he’s the doctor of the family. Planned on learning the traditional way of healing under the great Sangoma Gertrude. He ran screaming from her hut. That was day two.
Anyway, he said that he would immediately go and ask old gogo to start making you her famous goat leg splint. Apparently, this splint of hers even has its own timer for when your bone is set! According to Msizi, when the goat’s leg starts rotting and really smelling bad you know that your own leg is good as new. Plus, old Gertrude is even going to make a special ointment to help with the healing! The connection was a bit sketchy so I didn’t hear exactly what was in it. Heard something along the lines of thakibos and stinging kettle.
Who knows . . .?

I’m really looking forward to our next date. I realise we can’t go out for a while, but moenie worry nie. In the next 6-8 weeks the goat leg will come off and people will be able to hang around you again without their eyes watering from the smell. Baby, I’ll wait for you.

- - -

 Anthea
(Glossary:
 lekker - sweet
 haibo - my gosh
 kak - crap
 Sangoma - traditional African healer
 thakibos: khakibos - a very stinky weed found in grass lands
  moenie worry nie - don't worry )

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The art of self-promotion. . .

You've either  mastered it, or you haven't. For most of us the latter is usually the case. How do I get myself noticed for my talents and skills, but not sound like a self-absorbed bragger?

Self-promotion really is a skill, one way too difficult in my opinion. I have on countless occasions wished that I would've stepped up and screamed from the heavens: "I CAN DO IT! ME! ME! ME! ME!" If I were to ever share my insecurities on self-promo, well, I can already hear it. What's the worst that could happen? I'll tell you what, I'd reply, I could fail horribly!
Of course, I'd then actually be forced to think about what the real answer to that question would be. What is the worst that could happen?
Now don't lie, the answer is usually a lot better than you originally thought, but as we're being honest, I'm also going to say that 99.9999999% us on this planet are terribly/ freaking/ staggeringly/ unbelievably/ shit shared of one seemingly innocuous thing.
Failure. My goodness, the word just like that even looks scary. Ask anyone what they're afraid of. Anyone. I bet you that one will be either spiders or snakes, and the other - which they most probably will not admit to - is failure.

Why? I ask you. What is it about failing that just freaks us all out? Well, I've got two highly subjective reasons for that.
1. Ok, let's start with the obvious.
We're afraid of peoples' reactions. Whether it be on the scale of a snail shell being crushed by someones shoe, or a hurricane tearing a whole city apart, one thing we - and myself included - just don't want to face is someone else's reaction to your failure or slip-up. Another reason would be that there is always that instant assumption that you'll be mocked, and I'm not saying that it doesn't happen. People can very, very cruel.
2. Now something none of us want to admit.
When we are afraid of other's reactions, we are putting all the power in their hands. We are caring what they think and are losing strength in ourselves. We don't want to look bad.

But you know what, I, as a teenage girl, am completely and utterly fed-up with not thinking that I am great. I am fed-up with caring what others think. I am fed-up with  being hard on myself, and most of all I am fed-up with not letting and telling others that I am great.

Anyone want a tip on self-promo? Speak up.


Anthea