Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Slice of Life: Learning from a place of failure

I had a falling-out with my previous record company, so for about four or five years I was kind of absent from the music industry.

I really took it hard, you know. I felt like I had hit rock bottom.

Musicians are like children in a way. Like, when you’re not creating or selling, you start to feel like you’re not good enough.

So I had a lot of years of self-doubt. It made me spiral out of control a bit. I felt hopeless and lost.

One of the songs on the new album is called Wena. It’s like a prayer. It’s about pinning your hopes on someone. In English, the lyrics basically go something like: Now that I have given of myself and left the darkness/ Because the deeds of my own hands have once turned on me/ I want you to know that you are everything to me/ You are my power/ Stay near me/ And touch my soul. The “deeds of my own hands” refers to me losing control a bit. I was very self-destructive. It’s quite weird because I think that, no matter who you are, you always know who you could be. But a lot of us, especially black children, suffer from that thing of finding our highest potential.

A lot of us don’t grow up with that self-confidence, that self-belief and self-assurance. I definitely struggled with it. You know, that thing of thinking that what I do is important.

Self-value has been a difficult thing for me. But I’m definitely in a better space now. I now kind of understand that life is never a utopia. You’re always changing and fixing, and growing and learning. And failing.

And as much as nobody wants to be in that place of failure, I’ve actually come to learn a lot from my failures and my mistakes. — Bongeziwe Mabandla, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

State to subpoena and fact-check Agrizzi’s ‘illness’ claims

The National Prosecuting Authority will conduct its own probe into Angelo Agrizzi’s claims of ill health, after he failed to attend court again

UK puts army on standby as fuel pumps run dry

Desperate motorists queued up at fuel pumps across Britain, draining tanks, fraying tempers and prompting calls for the government to use emergency powers to give priority access to healthcare and other essential workers

Tigrayans are starving to death

The famine that was feared has come to pass, and aid just isn’t getting in

How to game Twitter’s algorithm – and hoodwink journalists

It is possible to convince newsrooms looking for a topical story that something is news when it isn’t, to dangerous effect
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×