2017 July 5: Phila’s reflection

Let’s start at the beginning, when you just want to take leave from work because everything becomes too technical and demanding, answering phones and dealing with a piles of paperwork and nonconformity of products. there’s just one call that comes through and changes everything.

When you get Zanele Muholi, calling letting you know, that you are up for her Stedelijk Museum exhibition. Making history because this is groundbreaking as they had never had a black lesbian showcasing other black people.

I was shaken, nearly fell off the chair with excitement. Fast forward, nothing shook me up as the schengen visa application process.
It’s not child’s play, Collected all my paperwork and I first checked the Rand to Euro stats to pay less for my visa, as the fee is 60 euros which sums up to R945. I made and cancelled my appointment according to the forex rate. I some how took it lightly. I had done everything and waited. lady luck fell in love with me because my visa was approved and this woman was ready to shop

The piece I am going to perform was already sealed and done. Written to perfection, it had always brought tears to my eyes everyone I would recite it to me.

1st July 2017, Start of the flights. I had everything planned out, from the packing to the time I landed in Amsterdam. I packed my suitcase and closed it the night before but in all things I had to do I forgot the key combination. One of my blonde moments hit me. I tried cracking the code like in the movies with no luck, finally broke the lock and bought a normal only to find out it does not fit.

My sisters dropped me off at the bus station at 11pm to catch the 23:30pm bus. When I got to Johannesburg Park Station got on the Gautrain, found my way around in the morning and familiarized myself with airport procedures. When my cousin came through, I got to explore the OR International Airport and catch up.

I boarded my plane and sat and watched movies and ate, plane food is not that nice and I’m a black person I need space so lay out my food, I had to use the space I was given. Dozing off after a couple of hours, During take off and landing i played The Weeknd’s Starboy, i was turnt up.

Landing in Amsterdam

When i landed, Lerato was waiting for me at the airport, I became relaxed and was used to the ins and outs of check ins and airport processes.

Boom! Shock of my life, Passport Control besides the annoying spiral lines. I was taken to Immigration. When you watch Border Patrol like I do, you would know that once you are taken there you are in trouble. I was quite relaxed. They didn’t ask me much. Just kept me there for 3 hours. They call Stedelijk Museum to confirm my invitation after it was all smiles and I was free to go. Finally.

Got onto the train to Amsterdam Central then we took the tram to the place we are residing at for the days we are in Amsterdam. “So many white people in one area!” I said to myself, Bikes everywhere, mode of Amsterdam transportation. Fascinating Architecture, Reminded me of Pietermaritzburg.

It will be a long time before I get homesick.


2017 Sept. 7 Phila Mbanjwa _ SM _ Amsterdam _3675bb

Phila gave a moving performance at Stedelijk Museum alongside Annalyzer.        Photo by Else L.G Krebbers. (2017/07/07)



Previous by Phila


2015 Nov. 25: My words are the ink in my blood



2013 March 10:  “I love women and they love me”



This entry was posted in Amsterdam, Black Queer Talent, From South Africa to Holland, Phila's reflection, Stedelijk Museum, Uncategorized, Visa application process. Bookmark the permalink.

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