A song in her heart

I have to have music with me wherever I am. My car has an iPod dock and I take the speakers with me when I travel. I listen to music all the time, every­where.

Right now I am playing Frank Ocean’s new mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. He is different. He is not R&B. He is not about taking off
his top to show you his six-pack as he is surrounded by girls. I was also recently introduced to Boog Brown — ­alternative hip-hop. She does not sing about how pretty she is. She raps about being a woman, about her struggles — I am loving Mi Casa’s Heavenly Sent. I like the idea of a white Afrikaner guy and a black guy getting together and making beautiful house music. I am a fan of Big Nuz. And Professor. I lo-o-ove Professor, especially Ijimaphi le weight.

I do not really watch television except for music videos and cooking shows. I watch a lot of cooking shows. My favourite is Giada De Laurentiis’s Everyday Italian. She makes the simplest dishes — and she makes it seem like anyone can cook. She is not intimidating, which is important because I am still a newbie; I have only been cooking for about four years. I watch her and think: “Ooh, I could try that.” Her fusilli pasta with cherry tomato, basil and mozzarella has been a big hit. Nigel Slater also makes really interesting, homely, warm food. And I do not usually like American chefs but I like Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. You can tell she eats her food.

I borrow food ideas from friends, from restaurants. I like things that are quick to prepare. I am busy and I do not want to spend my entire life in front of a stove. When I have a braai I make a snack platter with crackers and camembert, some basil, Parma ham and tomatoes. It is good while people are waiting for their food. My latest experiment is a chouriço pasta served with penne — chouriço in a tomato-based sauce with a touch of cream and basil. I love basil. I would have it with cake if I could.

Last year there were two books that changed the way I see life. The first was rapper Jay-Z’s Decoded. It is about coming from the ghetto — and whether it is Lusaka or New York, the ghetto is the ghetto. He speaks a language that someone who is from ekasi can understand.

He said that sometimes success comes to you later in life, sometimes it comes early. But when it comes later you appreciate it more.

Then — and I know this is cheesy, cheesy, cheesy — there was Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. Most people deal with ego in some way; you can play the victim, or be always right. He helped me to see some things about myself. And to get over myself.

I have just finished reading Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. It has been on my bookshelf forever. I do not know why I had not read it before — it is an important book, about black people in the United States losing their ancestry.

I do a lot of travelling overseas and I have realised that I do not travel enough in Southern Africa. I am planning on going to Mozambique — I have no understanding of why I have never been before — and I would love to go to Durban to check out the scene. I feel like it has finally stopped playing stepsister to Cape Town and Jo’burg.

Lerato Tshabalala is the new editor of True Love magazine and the host of the Beat 180 show on Rhythm100 radio — radiorhythm100radio.co.za.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Nechama Brodie
Nechama Brodie works from Johannesburg . journalist. writer of books & singer of songs. black belt. feminist. PhD candidate looking at data, media, & violence. inaction is a weapon of mass destruction Nechama Brodie has over 11598 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

#CulturePop: Making noise and staying relevant with Fade and ‘Pound Cake’

What's happening in the world? Get your pop culture fix with #CulturePop.

How religious will the world be in the future? Here’s what the data says.

Far from the world becoming secular, there will be almost six billion Christian and Muslim believers by 2050, according to a series of reports.

[Archives] Is the student uprising of 2015 a harbinger of revolution?

Protests against colonialism and fees made an impact, but it’s too soon to judge SA’s rise or fall.

As one, in a world apart

A trio of Israeli films being shown around South Africa, explore the often invisible ­Palestinian and Israeli victims of armed conflict.

Are whites really being killed ‘like flies’?

Comments on SA's murder rate and the quality of life of white South Africans have been grossly exaggerated. Nechama Brodie tells us why.

Revisiting childhood means no mean feet

There are no cheap frills on Nic Haralambous's eye-catching men's socks.

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Fees free fall, independent schools close

Parents have lost their jobs or had salaries cut; without state help the schools just can’t survive

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday