by Dalisu Ngobese
Just two days in and I find myself giving another lost noob directions around London district, classic case of the blind leading the blind. I think it was beginner’s luck though, the guy just happened to be going where I was going. For a second there I felt like a local, that’s a bit of stretch I said to myself.
To meet up with Zanele from where I’m staying I have to take the district line (underground train) then change to a central line just to meet her half way in town. Which may sound like a lot of traveling but in theory it should take less then 10-15 minutes when you know which train to take… and I didn’t, most of the time.
So I thought of checking out London seeing I had a bit of time in my hands with Zanele caught up in meetings until a dinner with the other nominees at 8pm. I went out armed with my canon 7d camera with shorts and a thin top, for the most part of it was as sunny and warm as Durban. I was enjoying myself taking cutaways of interesting buildings until the sky suddenly was overcast with dark gray clouds and a cold breeze moved in. I had to buy a jacket quickly but as I looked around I was in the middle of Oxford Circus right next to the London school of fashion and by the time I had circled the town I lost hope of finding anything within my humble Rand budget.
Luckily Zanele came to my rescue and brought me a cool hoodie which kept me warm. Before I knew it we were making it rain at the men’s department at H&M. To both of us amazement H&M had “plagiarized” a Ndebele print and Zanele couldn’t resist not to buy it back, in a way reclaiming what’s ours. I say plagiarized because there were no references to South Africa or Africa let alone the Ndebele tribe.
Anyways we were running late to our dinner and called a London cab to Terriors, a French restaurant in town. And like in those dark French films we were taken down stairs in a dimly lit basement set up. We finally found a seat after a warm session of hugs and double kisses from everyone. I got to rub shoulders with curators with PhDs in fine art and share a thought or two with other nominees and didn’t feel out of my depth at all, maybe it’s because we spent the night talking about parenting, which I know all too well about. Truly it was a memorable night.