by Sicka ‘Shaz’ Mthunzi
“When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it,” a quoted sentence from a novel I read titled ‘The Alchemist‘ by Paulo Coelho. Through the journey of my life I have learnt a lot of things…the universe has a powerful force that connects each and every living thing. Many might not know this but the heart is a very powerful organ, what you communicate with your heart the universe grants you. It’s the same as seeking for love, if you are soul searching but worried about qualities and materialistic things, it won’t be possible to find love because you seek what the world gives and not what the universe grants.
2016 was a year of recognition meaning my voice has been heard by many people but the struggle continues with those full of ignorance. On 6 December 2016 I saw an opportunity for photographers and fine artists in a group chat I am part of called ‘South Africa’s Arts and Culture Youth Forum‘. It simply stated that The Coloured Cube is requesting all fine artists and photographers from the East rand to submit 5 of their art works each, a panel will choose which one is fit to be put up at the Springs Mall art exhibition and all rights of the art piece will still belong to the artist. While I was sitting with my partner I read it once again and I showed it to her, I told her I was thinking of taking this opportunity and she encouraged me to go for it. We chose the images together, in the back of my mind I didn’t think any of my work would be chosen but deep down I had hoped at least one would be chosen. Time went by and I didn’t get any response, the year ended and I thought to myself maybe I should give up and focus on my other talents since I wear many hats. Just as I was about to give up…Monday morning on the 16th of January 2017 I received an email from The Coloured Cube congratulating me and letting me know that one of my images have been chosen. I was so excited to a point that I didn’t even bother to check which image they had chosen. Full of excitement I contacted my partner to give her the great news, it just so happened that, that day we both had exciting news to share…she had just been accepted at the Impact Emergency Technologies (Vaal campus) and I too had my great news.
I went back to the email to view the picture and to my surprise they have chosen an image I took using an analog camera, it’s a picture of my cousin Nontuthuzelo Mduba. The activist in me was awakened by this because it means there would be an image of a young black lesbian in the size of an A1 sheet in public. I thought to myself I have made history. The only time I saw images of young black lesbians exhibited decently in a public space was at the Look3 festival in Charlotteville, US where I felt emotional seeing Zanele Muholi’s work Faces and Phases. Seeing our images and she mentioned that ‘Its hard for this to be made possible in South Africa’ and today I am making it possible. I told my cousin, she was so ecstatic and delighted by the news, she couldn’t help but ask when is it opening.
The universe has indeed granted me what I have communicated through my heart. I hope this is a start of many things, history is very important and through my work I intend to mark the hearts of many and archive our history for the next generations to come.
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