On our Lists this week: The Rebirth of Cool, DJ Maphorisa, and Melodious Thunk
The Reading List
Melodious Thunk (from the book But Beautiful) by Geoff Dyer. One of my clearest memories from a writing workshop with Mark Gevisser is him reminding us to always journal and get used to the idea of formulating sentences, not only as a way of ordering ideas but as a way of sharpening them into things of beauty. These thoughts coursed through my mind as I clasped an 11-year-old copy of Chimurenga #11, marvelling at Geoff Dyer’s ability to collapse form, perspective and language into ideas larger than the sum of their parts. Melodious Thunk, as published here, brought me closer to Thelonious Monk but, even more importantly, to the realisation that the beauty of prose cannot be an abstraction. It is better realised through the ideas the prose conveys. (KS)
feeling and ugly by Danai Mupotsa (Impepho Press). I had to take a break after going through the first Impepho Press-published anthology, so I’m only just getting into feeling and ugly right now. My best friend and I are reading it together. With every piece that moves us, we immediately inform the other with a picture of the text and an emoji. It’s an act of bonding over the healing we are going through. (ZH)
iWalk ye Phara Dance by DJ Maphorisa and DJ Raybel, featuring Zulu Mkhathini and TDK. While I was on leave, the screen was sometimes taken over by the youth. Of late, he has gravitated towards “DJ Maphorisa Nayi le Walk Dance”, as he calls it. In the video, the dancers are named from the get-go, shining a light on their talents. He has told me he is into Palesa “Punky Bear” Khoza’s animated moves; I told him I am into how Ofentse Mwase’s camera moves, barely removed from the cracked tar. (KS)
The Rebirth of Cool by Thandi Ntuli. On a cold, cold day, a group of young and old jazz lovers occupied a hall at DSG School for Girls in Makhanda. We jammed to Thandi Ntuli on the keys, Linda Sikhakhane on the sax, Sthembiso Bhengu’s trumpet, Senzo Ngcobo on the trombone, Benjamin Jephta on bass, Sphelelo Mazibuko’s drum work and DJ Kenzhero on the ones and twos. What was supposed to just be a jam session ended with a dance battle between teenagers and a jazz-meets-trap rendition of Dj Speedsta’s Mayo — what a viiiiiiibe. This is probably one of my top five memories of this year’s National Arts Festival. (ZH)
The lists were compiled by Zaza Hlalethwa and Kwanele Sosibo.