Our culture, our passion, our inspiration
Coffee, coffee, coffee! For many of us, coffee is the life blood of our working and social environment. Whichever way you choose to drink it, straight up, with or without milk or sugar, strong, weak or decaffinated, latte, cappacinno, flavoured, unflavoured…. coffee remains a culture unto itself with many a story being told in the sharing.
Imagine that you are having a cup of coffee with a friend or colleague. Not too challenging all things considered. What are you chatting about? Is the conversation about work, family, politics, personal frustrations? No matter what it is, I am sure that if you think carefully, you will realise that coffee is the common denominator. OK, OK, some of you may not drink coffee, it may be tea or chai or whatever, but I think you get the gist of it. If you don’t… drink a cup of coffee…
Last week, I came across this music clip after the song popped into my head, another random bit of mind chatter that for some or other reason decided to take hold. And I am so glad it did. You may remember the last time you heard this song. For me, it was too many years ago. What strikes me about this music video is the production, perhaps too 90’s as someone has commented but definitely worth a look see. It has a theatrical quality that adds to the obvious storytelling within the lyrics. Coffee and a story. A perfect combination. The song and the video reflects on the life of a housewife. I am not going into any further details just in case you are not familiar with it. I am hoping you will watch (with a cup of coffee, of course) and then let me know what you think of it.
For some more information on Mike and the Mechanics, check out this link
Speaking of great storytelling in a song…. I would like to share something a little closer to home. In South Africa, the sharing of stories is becoming an important part of creating understanding between the various cultures and linguistic groupings of people. It is so evident that we tend to typecast people in a way that sows division. Music as with all artforms can challenge our viewpoint and encourage enquiry. Music as a form of protest is most certainly deserving of exploration.
In South Africa, there are many untold stories. When people finally have the courage to share these stories, perhaps then we can all have a clearer viewpoint of our collective history. I don’t know how you feel about this, but for me there is too much hidden by current socio-political influences. There is an underlying fear that stops us from sharing stories that could perhaps influence and possibly change our perceptions of history. Now wouldn’t that be something!
How we identify ourselves also appears to be linked to the socio-political influences of the day. But what if your sense of identity is challenged? What then? I need another cup of coffee, so I can mull over this one….
Well, so as not to turn this post into a protest piece, I would rather share with you how identity and language is being reclaimed and celebrated through song and dance. The clip below is from the show Afrikaaps with an inspirational group of performers both collectively and individually. Now for those of you who do not live in South Africa, you may not understand the language, but I am hoping that you will be able to look beyond that and simply experience the vibe of it. If you are from the Netherlands, chances are you will understand or possibly have seen them perform live in your country. I have not been so fortunate.
Some may wonder what my fascination is with this particular group of people. As a South African raised during the apartheid era, there have always been questions that remained unanswered, particularly around the use of language and dialect as a means of identity. I have always felt uncomfortable about the manner in which certain groups of people have been portrayed. This group answers many of those questions. In posting this here, I am hoping that others may change their perspective and our South African youth will feel inspired by them.
You may be wondering why I began this post with Mike and the Mechanics and another cup of coffee. There is no doubt in my mind that many a conversation is had over a cup of coffee during production. I am sure there are many RADsters out there who could attest to this. How many studio’s do you know of that do not at the very least have a kettle so that you can have easy access to your quick fix?
And here begins the sharing of a story… get that kettle on the go, have a cup of coffee and then invite a friend or two and share this story with them. I would be very interested in some feedback or some links to other interesting stories that can be added here. Keep on sharing…