By editor Mosa Mahlangu
Before I go to bed every night, I draft a to-do list for the following day. It changes from day to day. That's understandable. I mean, that's life. But one thing that does not change is making sure I "discover" no less than 20 new songs every day (any genre, any artist, ANYTHING). I know there are people out there who do more so please don't be hard on me. If I had more time in my hands it would be a lot more trust me. Anyway, I feel like sometimes we tend to hold on to what we know and are used to so much that we end up losing interest in the unknown and what it has to offer. I have noticed that exposure to new sounds and ideas drives me to think and approach things differently when I write instrumental music. That way, I hardly ever have nothing to work with (or feel like I am going through a creative drought). I am enjoying it and am planning on having playlists that change completely every day much as life does.
The point I am trying to make is we all have our own ways of staying on the edge and being at the top of our game. However, when life renders old tricks obsolete, do you make excuses and stop moving or do you embrace change (which is painful to do but worth it) and do whatever it takes to keep it going? Keep doing what feeds you, and at that, keep moving 🧡.
By editor Mosa Mahlangu
Given that I am an editor for the prestigious Onembiss in a rampant information age, this outpouring may be a surprise to many.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been THE thing for a long time (which feels like forever). It beset us when we least expected, and indeed stirred a lot of change and confusion in our lives. Especially when it was the new kid in the block, the pandemic has been nothing short of chaos, and what makes it worse is the juggling of opinions on social media, the misinformation, the conspiracy theories (I still cannot wrap my head around the connection between 5G and the virus), unconfirmed news and of course the long WhatsApp voice notes, devoid of science and reliable sources. Often you wish to disappear from social media because it is just a lot to take in, and for most people, it is very easy to be convinced by anything. However, the sad reality is, I have had to continue using social media because my work relies on it. I wish I had all the energy and will to do so, but I honestly could not cope with having my attention split between my work and keeping up with current affairs, what people say on social media and repeatedly asking people not to send me those WhatsApp voice notes (let alone dealing with random video calls that I am not in the mood for). So, for the sake of my mental health I’ve had to discipline myself and intentionally ignore news feeds and posts that have nothing to do with what I am focusing on. Yes, I know. It’s a very hard thing to do for many. You may tell yourself “I’m just going to check her Twitter profile and draw some inspiration for her article” until something about vaccines and second strains pops up. Your attention ends up misdirected and swallowed up (that's if you don't go on to binge on cat videos, challenges of all sorts and what celebrities are up to). I've had to discipline myself though and focus on what is important without rendering myself uninformed of what matters. I would rather be a semi-clueless editor for a world-class platform like Onembiss and not participate in any discussion or debate without being properly informed than to engage and make things worse (and equally embarrass myself). I choose sanity. I choose my battles carefully.
Almost everything in this world (whether it is on social media, news channels or in your social circles) is out to get your attention. The question is where do you choose to place yours?
Maneuvering through Covid-19 has been a tricky situation for businesses, individuals, and governments alike. One country caught amidst the chaos of controversial Covid-19 policies is South Africa. One such topic sparking unrest is the current ban of alcohol until the 15th of January. Today we are touching base with Trevor a fellow South African citizen. In his opinion, the national alcohol ban is justified. He undoubtedly sounds like an educated individual who backs up his statement with facts, research, and studies. See his interview below:
Simon: It is refreshing to find a South African who grasps the impact of alcohol trauma on the health care system. In your opinion do you think the alcohol ban was justified?
Trevor: The alcohol ban is completely justified. First and foremost I'd like to stress out that it isn't necessarily anyone's fault. Several studies have proved that there is a relationship between excessive drinking or alcohol abuse, and poverty. The stats also show us that when you consider alcohol-related mortality, that of South Africa is amongst the highest in the world, and that is no surprise as South Africa is also known for persistent socio-economic inequality, the worst in the world. So simply telling people, "drink responsibility and stay at home" is not a solution. Banning alcohol sales especially because it's festive season was a necessity that would help keep the trauma unit less strained.
Simon: In your opinion, do you think alcohol abuse is the cause of poverty or people resort to alcohol abuse as a means of coping with the psychological effects of poverty?
Trevor: It is my opinion, in the South African context, it is actually poverty that causes alcohol abuse, and that it isn't alcoholism that causes poverty [though I do not dispute that this is possible]. Black South Africans have been through a lot. I don't think I even need to mention Apartheid. I don't want to diagnose anyone with any mental trauma, but for what we've been through, I would not be surprised if a study proved that we as black South Africans suffer from a mental trauma that we have never confronted before. With poverty comes violence, crime, and other atrocities. It absolutely makes sense to me that when one cannot escape this reality, they resort to alcoholism which forms a vicious cycle emulated by the generations that follow.
Simon: For a closing question, what would you say to a person who has been set back by Covid-19? Who might have even lost hope?
Trevor: Focus on your health. Maintain social distancing, sanitize your hands regularly especially if you've touched public surfaces. Exercise and eat healthily. Also, stay away from conspiracy theories because they will only traumatize you further. Our country is not perfect. It has a lot of flaws. But it is not absolutely hopeless. Your situation is not permanent. You have overcome a lot in your life. And you will overcome this too
Trevor is clearly a brilliant, caring responsible citizen. It is such an honor to pick his brilliant brain. We wish nothing but healing, happiness, and recovery for those affected by Covid-19.
Thank you for spending time with us🤍
The ripple-effect of Covid-19 has rocked the entire world and everyone is wedged one way or another. It is tempting for most to surrender to their frustrations and spend the entire day sobbing on that morning coffee. Well, maybe there is more to life than that. Maybe heeding the sweet melody of positivity is not that hard. Today I (Simon) touched base with Suprice. A South African woman who has been nothing but strong and inspiring during these intricate times. She proves that the human spirit is unbreakable and that the future is bright.
Simon: What does Covid19 mean to you?
Suprice: This virus has not only infected many. It continues to affect many households, businesses, and individuals. It has forced all of us to step up and think of other ways to learn, work, and experience life.
Simon: What has been keeping you busy during this Covid-19 season?
Suprice: It is as harsh as the living conditions have become, Covid-19 has given many (people) time to work on the many projects they have been procrastinating. Time is not a valid excuse anymore. I found myself inquiring about online singing lessons, reading about YouTube policies to start my own channel, crocheting, and well, thinking about working out because I have all the time in the world to think and act now
Simon: It seems for you Covid-19 has been an opportunity for you to broaden your horizons. That's truly admirable. How far are you with your YouTube channel, crocheting, singing lessons, and all that you've been busy with?
Suprice: Thank you. I found a coach who still needs to assess my voice before we can resume the lessons. I am super excited about this as I have always wanted to know how it feels to perform to a crowd. I haven't done much for the channel besides reading the policies for when I finally start. My crocheting work is going well. I have been receiving orders from friends and I hope to expand.
Simon: Wow that is admirable🔥. You were able to start and maintain a business during these tough times! I learned that you are also pro-black. May you please elaborate on that?
Suprice: I love all things black. We have been misrepresented and underrepresented for eons. So it is our responsibility to use all our platforms to give a black child a lever. I am doing what I can with my small following to promote black-owned businesses. Colonialism and imperialism have desensitized us to the struggles of black people. It's almost normal to see a black person struggling to achieve anything. So much so that we have labelled that "working hard" for one's dreams but I strongly believe that the hard work shouldn't be for EVERY SINGLE THING.
We walk through doors exhausted. So for those of us who are privileged enough to represent us in bigger stages…should do so responsibly.
Simon: That is so true and touching. We can imagine the blacks are those affected the most by this Covid-19 dilemma the most. So for a closing question, what would you say to a black individual (and everyone else) who has been set back by Covid-19?
Suprice: I love how you incorporated Covid-19 to this follow-up question [wink emoji]. Theories are going around about Covid-19. Some are true and some are not but the impact of this virus is very real. I can't imagine life being the same after this. Like many people and blacks, in particular, this virus has affected our lives. Whether positively or negatively, is totally up to us. We are not helpless beings. So let's think of ways to survive this pandemic. If we can't get things done physically, let's go digital and win! It's a setback and not a knockout
Suprice is indeed filled with oodles of positivity. It is truly an honor to pick her brain. We wish healing and recovery for all those who are have been affected by Covid-19. Let’s keep striving for a better world. Thank you for spending time with us🤍