Kulture Blues Festival: To Sleep or To Stay Woke?
If one statement should give you an idea about what the stay-woke type generation is all about, it is that:
sleep must be resisted by any means!
If I should summon up a statement, which you have probably heard over a thousand times, about generations fulfilling their missions, I would have to give a twist to the statement, so that you understand that the stay-woke generation means business:
each generation must, out of relative obscurity, either sleep or perish!
Sleep ye who are one with your suffering.
See if your snoring will bring any solace.
But one then wonders what becomes of those who have considered that sleep is not such a bad idea? Have they fallen short of the generational mission? It is possible that certain corners have already charged them with having fallen short of the mission.
But those who are serious about imagining a new world will know that in the dead of the night is a cosmic light shining through the mundaneness of wakeful life; an entire universe of infinite possibilities: what we call dreams/amaphupho.
One need not even be a mystic to get this.
Think of the simple fact that, to a certain extent, the universe of (amaphupho) is derived from wakeful experience. So, to the one who takes delight in wakefulness and its materiality, opportunities (to reimagine, redefine, reread, refine etc.) will abound in dream time. Rest assured, the stay-woke type should have nothing to fear about dream time.
There are among us, those who have thought even further; about the co-existence of sleep, dreams and staying woke.
Those who have centered their creative and intellectual lives around what it means to dream, such as Johannesburg-based jazz band, iPhupho l’ka Biko.
Those who have struggled with the sleepfulness of African people, and found it compelling to scribble a piece or two about what it means, such as the scamtho-lingoed poet Makhafula Vilakazi.
Those who have, like pianist Thandi Ntuli, reminded us that this “zombie-like existence” is not the site at, with and through which we can fully comprehend the extent of our trauma.
It is about time that we pay close attention to these voices. They could give us a peep; perspectives into a new way. And maybe the first step for any conversation of significant consequences, is for us to gather, dear friends.
I hear that one such gathering has already been called, for the 14th & 15th of May 2021 at the South African State Theatre, Pretoria, titled the Kulture Blues Festival, produced by this venerable Black publication.
This sonic gathering will feature Thandi Ntuli (14 May), and Makhafula Vilakazi and iPhupho L’ka Biko (15 May).
I don’t think you want to miss this one, dear friend, so that we close this debate once and for all: sleep is not such a bad idea after all, but only if it involves dreaming.
Rest! Bafethu Rest!
Kulture Blues Festival @ the South African State Theatre
14 May 2021
An Evening with THANDI NTULI | Time - 19:00 | Entry: R150
15 May 2021
Makhafula Vilakazi |Time – 15:00
Iphupho L’ka Biko |Time – 17:30
Entry: R200 (Both)
Kulture Blues Festival