by Lebo Mashifane
Previously I spent my Christmas days by going to church then back home to my grandmother’s house to eat Sunday food and dessert. When I became a university student in Cape Town I celebrated it with my lover, at the time. Later on when I was single I then spent it alone. Another year I spent it with friends. However, this year’s Christmas has been different and memorable like in 2009. I was with my sweetheart’s lovely family in the South of Jozi. Their warmth and welcoming home is so beautiful from all its corners.
We made the preparations the night before which required that we buy a bottle of beer. To my surprise, I thought that mom had intended for her own consumption, only to realise that she needed it for the meat (gammon) she was cooking. I didn’t know that beer could be used to prepare meat, I thought wine was.
I woke up around 5am thinking of how bloated I felt, which made me panic as I was looking forward to having a feast. What kept me excited however was photographing my newly found family. There was a beautiful, sunny ambiance, environmentally and emotionally. Sweety promised to see to it that I have a good time and I sure did.
We ate such hearty food made with love. Extended family members came over for Christmas lunch and it was lovely to meat, I mean meet them. We enjoyed a healthy balanced meal which was just sufficient. The Soil (SA afro pop music group) kept us company as they emanated from the car sound system singing songs such as “We are family”.
It was lovely to see the bicycle (in the backyarkd) that has a child seat. Present, were dedicated fathers who showed that they cared for their families for example sharing bicycle skills with the youngsters as they cycled backwards while carrying a baby passenger on the baby’s seat.
Happy family enjoying the photo taking moments…
Lebo having fun with Lwandile (Sweety)
At the same family photos were taken including a group photo of everyone who was at the gathering. It was really beautiful how they were keen on participating in that photoshoot. None of which were intended to lend anywhere in particular but on family memories. They looked so beautiful in their dresses, jeans and shirts, and then some of us had on shorts and flip flops.
Two boys, born in the year 2014 wore red and white Christmas hats – rocking the new age St Clause look.
It was stunning how each group of nuclear family members were quite creative with their brilliant poses such as simultaneously jumping in the air. Symmetrically laying on the grass holding hands and posing by the best bicycle, etc. Even after all the eating, the family did not stop playing. The mother of the house and her first born (both “just above 25, yet just under 60”) were running around in the street. In that case the mouse was chasing the cat…only on Christmas day would you get that miracle hey…when the sun is said to be dancing at 5am. Is that really true?
And all this chasing was not for cheese, but I think for a rubber ball. This ball was the cause of carbs digest, the way it kept the family of all ages and genders, patrolling on quiet suburban streets.
I would rather not post the various pictures so as not to abuse my privileges of being granted permission to post the group picture. Although I would really love to share more, visually, because that’s my thing. It was pleasant enough to have them say “no problem”. My biological family would definitely decline my plea, they probably wouldn’t even want me to capture them.
So here’s a question I was asked to answer.
“If things were going your way, what would you like to do or receive for Christmas?”
hhhhhhooooooo this question teases my fantasy. First of all I don’t quite understand what Christmas really is; with the career choices I have made Christmas is another day to work. The work which I love, which I can do anytime of the year, which is capturing videos and photos especially of arts events. People spend the day with family, that is lovely. Family gatherings, lot’s of food and for others it means alcohol and parties.
So to answer the question
The most amazing event would be if a flying chariot, propelled by deer, with elves and a saint were to roam the skies dropping off gifts. Then if things were going my way I would be receiving a neatly rolled certificate and a thinly packed envelope – handed to me by the saint, self then the most queer elf ever would hand me my sack of gifts, and then a genderless deer would bow before me so I can stroke it on the head and kiss its horns. So now let’s get to the finer details of what content would be in my gifts!!!
The neatly rolled certificate would be my production house certificate of registration.
The thin layered envelope would be vouchers that allow me to redeem production equipment (cameras, sound suites, lighting suites, editing programmes/applications/suits, computers and laptops) at stores such as Mac, Cannon, Panasonic and and and.
The sack would have no boxes… just new pairs of Converse All Star Chucks and keys to a VW micro bus and Recreational Vehicle that is fully equipped and has a shower, toilet, kitchen and sleeping area. I’m talking about a caravan of love! My mini mobile studio/slash nomad soldier residence.
My black beauty (camera) is comfortable in people’s hands, as we share her to take photos, make and mark memories. I love it when people around me are interested in learning photographic skills.
I love shooting as much as I love people that shoot. Yes I love both guns and soldiers and if my kind of war (of capturing moments) was an army then I would be grateful to recruit troops. Cannons supplied to equip us with victory to regain black power, using black beauty.
Now to my 2015 budget speech… *clear throat*…*fix spectacle possition*
My name is Lesbo (silent “s”) and with a fist in the air I say
WOZA 20FistTeam (silent “s”).
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