Archive for September, 2010

Hi everyone – just a quick little update on what’s happening at I Learn to Live. Today I received my NPO registration number! This is amazing – I only had to wait 8 weeks!! I know of NPOs which have waited 6 months to a year so this is very very exciting!

I am hoping to take our 2 students to Ricktek College for their placement test next week so I’ll update you all on what they’ve chosen to study.



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Ay Carumba! The Colombo Coffee Crew

It’s been a crazy past few weeks which is why I’ve not had much time to post. But I’d like to reassure you that I’ve been watching, listening, waiting. And what I’ve observed is that I have amazing friends. Yes! I am surrounded by friends who are talented, passionate, daring, willing to take chances, fill gaps and share their talent with those around them.

I’m going to tell you about two of them:

The first person I introduced to you right at the beginning, he featured in my very first post. His name is Darryl and he pretty much (in my opinion) has changed, and continues to change, the social fabric of our little suburb of Glenwood. He opened Yossi’s, a Moroccan restaurant on Davenport Rd and slowly other cool little restaurants popped up on the same street. Glenwood(ians?) no longer have to venture over to Florida Rd to get something good to eat; now we just roll down the hill. Now we have fantastic little stores like Khaya, selling wonderfully cool products like my awesome laptop bag, impala horns , beautiful cushions, photos, drawings, frames, and beads (and so much more). And of course, there’s the Africa Bar, the little den of soccer fuelled afternoons and evenings during the world cup.


Darryl’s latest move has been to start Wholefood Markets. A little market affair which sells and showcases some of KZN’s fantastic food’s such as deli items, amazing baked goods, fresh fruit and veg, meats stalls with the usual and game meat (think nyala, impala, warthog – all of which I can vouch for as DELICIOUS!). Fresh flowers, beautifully crafted toys and so much more. Last Saturday Darryl launched his first market in Bulwer Park – a little green hub in the centre of Glenwood. For too long it has been underutilised and frequented mainly by bums looking for a place to sleep. On Sunday I experienced what a park really should be like: colourful, happy and full of delicious smells, sights and sounds.  It was such a success that Darryl’s making it into a regular feature and finding interesting locations to host the market. Go check out his facebook site.

Jan sells awesome olives – I bought the pommegranate and moroccan ones – YUM!!!


The second person is a friend of mine Liz. I met Liz through her husband David. He’s one of the many psychologist friends I seem to have acquired in the lasts four years (thanks Kirst). We are not nearly as normal as we should be, based on the ratio of psychologists to  civilians. Anyway. Liz has a 9 month old son Daniel and gave up teaching to rear this gorgeous boy. Liz is probably one of the most creative people I know. Our circle of friends all own a creation designed by Liz and recently she has outdone herself with her range of children’s toys which she calls Daniel’s Friends. I’m 31, childless and own a monkey called Fred. I don’t care what people think. These toys are gorgeous. Each is made from a selection of mismatched fabrics and no toy is the same. They have  both a vintage and retro feel and in my opinion are the best kids toys I’ve seen in ages. I’m beginning to feel I should have a child just so that I can bestow the entire range upon it! Sanity prevails though, so I will instead buy every woman I know who is with child, has a child, intends on having a child, one of Daniel’s Friends. Liz has a stall at the Essenwood Fleamarket on a Saturday morning, so go down there and check her range of gorgeousness out!


I took these photos off of the Essenwood market facebook page – credit to them!

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Red Eye Poster

When I was studying to be a graphic designer, many moons ago, there was an event that would happen every so often called The Red Eye. Durban designers, of all mediums and persuasions, would get together to showcase their work. If memory serves me right we had some at the Durban Art Gallery and some at the Bat Centre, but so much happened back then that it’s all a bit confusing. All I know is that Durban was humming with creativity and I was part of it.

But then I began my journey away from the art world and into the lives of the underprivileged so I lost touch with what was going on. So it was great to get an invite to the Red Eye Jomba! which took place on Friday night. We journeyed into the heart of Durban’s CBD which is as alien to me now as a foray into the heart of die plattelands. We arrived an hour and a half early (by mistake) so we wandered around the city a bit, but not too far, it was kind of scary. But just for a moment, I felt like I could have been in New York. From the door man who let us out of the Royal (great story there), to the bustle of the team setting up ramps, stages, and cordoned off areas, the area felt alive with the possibility of what Durban city centre could be.

As the light from the day began to fade, the spot lights went on and people started to arrive. And I must admit, that I was surprised. I didn’t really think that this event would bring too many people – but clearly we Durbanites are starved for a bit of “culture” and art. As the crowds began to swell the first performance group began to dance. For most South African manne this was a somewhat uncomfortable experience as scantily clad men danced with each other with the same intensity that you’d normally see between a man and a woman. It was rather more interesting to watch the faces of the not-so arty around us. The Durban Music School paired up with Spitmunky, who, if you can believe it, have their own entry in Urban Dictionary, to create an interesting fusion of classic instruments and electronic beats of Toto’s Africa.

photo credit

Now, when you attend one of these evenings, it’s best to leave your inhibitions at the door. Don’t bring them in with you, you’ll only be offended. So when the catwalk, which stretched into Smith Street (sorry, Anton Lembede Street), was filled with the near naked bodies of nubile young women, some eyebrows were raised. The beautiful beaded jewellery, created by the mama’s of the Hillcrest AIDS centre, was being showcased and there’d been some kind of discussion as to why city girls, rather the girls from ikaasi (or the farm) were not modelling the jewellery. The result: a catwalk face off with bare-chested farm girls giving somewhat more modestly dressed city girls, the evil eye. Not even the light rainfall could keep the boys away from the stage.

The rain had most of us thronging into the Durban Art Gallery to see what treasures were hidden inside. And this is where things fell apart for me. The reality of why I’d given up design and moved onto more fulfilling things was glaringly obvious as I watched two men (one dressed as a woman) writhe on the floor and pop balloons on one another’s bodies….need I say more. When a bare-chested man walked past me, with what looked like over 100 surgical needles embedded in his skin – starting at one tricep, curving up and over his back and shoulders and ending at his other tricep, I knew the jig was up. I couldn’t pretend that this was cool simply because it was alternative. Because frankly, no one is alternative or non-conformist. If you belong to a group – you’re a conformist (even if you are adorned with tats’, piercings’ and blue hair).

What I enjoyed most about the evening was being in a part of the city which has long been ignored and which, if was frequented more, could be an amazing place to hang out. We’re too used to the suburbs and forget that there’s a rawness and creativity in spaces which have been abandoned and neglected. We should reclaim this space and make it our own.

I heart market was there spreading a little love in the form of jewellery, trinkets, and all things crafty!

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