On our lists this week: Ray BLK, Mad Satta, and metropolis

The Reading List

I Want to Go Home Forever edited by Loren B Landau and Tanya Pampalone

I always joke that Johannesburg is no one’s home and is rather the place where people come when they leave home. People are always moving and doing in Johannesburg. I Want to Go Home Forever is a collection of testimonies from and interviews with an array of people who have made the metropolis their home. The collection of stories not only retells personal accounts with ease, it also sheds light on major big-city issues such as spatial planning, migration, homelessness, getting by and belonging. (ZH)

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha

I’m constantly in awe of science fiction and its possibilities — how it makes space and bends boundaries within literature in its constant pursuit to imagine possible worlds. It makes sense, then, that science fiction and social justice fit so well in this collection. Inspired by the earth-shaking, world-bending work of Octavia Butler, Octavia’s Brood is a collection I keep coming home to, much like Butler’s own work. (MM)

The Playlist

Mama by Ray BLK

My mother raised me to be an independent thinker. So I guess it makes sense that, the older I get, the more she and I butt heads. Sometimes my frustrations with her cloud my judgment. I forget how much she means to me and how much work she has put in for me to be here. Sampling Dear Mama, Ray BLK’s latest single, which was inspired by Tupac’s track, captures the emotions that mothers and daughters can go through. Set in a church where Ray BLK sings from a pulpit to mothers in the congregation, the song and its visuals capture the godlike status that maternal figures can play. (ZH)

Oh Lord by Mad Satta

I stumbled on this gem of a song while making a playlist for a loved one and, goodness gracious, is it gorgeous. I wanted the playlist to be as warm and humid as I have been feeling lately and including this reggae-soul collective’s music worked well. Joanna Teters’ vocals on this languid confession are deep, syrupy and hypnotic. It feels like stumbling out on to a buzzy Johannesburg street, slightly tipsy, in the middle of this heatwave. (MM)

The Lists were compiled by Zaza Hlalethwa and Maneo Mohale

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