On our Lists this week: Simone Weil, Björk, and Oleta Adams

Listen here: Debut by Björk

Listen here: Debut by Björk


I Listen, I Hear, I Grow: My Autobiography by Hans Hlalethwa: My grandfather was a political activist and leader in the Catholic Church. In his years of retirement he wrote a book. I cannot think of a valid excuse to explain why I have not read my grandfather’s autobiography.
In hindsight the delay was probably a good thing. I have recently decided to embark on an emotionally dangerous path to uncover the Hlalethwa family’s history. There are bags full of questions and aches that I need to examine to heal from events that have caused generational issues. Given that my father and his brothers are all alive and able to give their accounts, it’s only fair that I read my late grandfather’s side of the story. Wish me luck. (ZH)

On the Abolition of All Political Parties by Simone Weil: This is the most recent out of four books that I’m currently reading. During a tea date with my neighbour, she said I might like this book when I shared my contempt for all political parties and their impotence, ideological poverty and built-in inability to hel people arrested by neoliberal underdevelopment. I plan to start and finish reading its 68 pages this weekend. (MB)


Horse Power. A Complex Magazine documentary: Whenever we get the opportunity, my siblings and I get together and watch fashion-related documentaries together because of our shared interest in black people’s relationship with the sartorial. This time around we chose one that took a look at Ralph Lauren’s Polo and what it meant to American hip-hop. In the documentary we see how hip-hop served as a pro bono marketing agency for the billion-dollar fashion house for nearly three decades, without recognition. Finally, Polo is recognising the influence rap music has had for the brand with the 25th anniversary re-release of its Stadium and Snowboarding collections, and placing rappers Thirstin Howl the 3rd and Meyhem Lauren in ads. If you decide to watch the documentary, look out for the Lo Lifes, a Brooklyn street crew whose preferred uniform was head to toe Polo that they would do anything to get their hands on. (ZH)

Get Here by Oleta Adams. Take me to church and keep me there all night! This is all I’m listening to as I prep for my road trip to see my best friend. (ZH)

Debut by Björk. This album makes me Violently Happy. Side A is the kind of music I come home to undress to at the end of the day and side B lingers on as I collect the dishes to wash after dinner when the kettle is boiling for the evening’s last cup of tea. Björk embodies the reason music is important to our very being as people. (MB)

The Lists were compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo and Zaza Hlalethwa

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