Naledi his Love Thoughts (The Hlomu Series)

IMG_20171231_144959I just finished  reading Naledi His love.

( From the Hlomu Series… Which I honestly think, it should have been titled as “The Saga of Zulu Brothers, Or The Zulu Series, Or the chronicles of being a Zulu or the Zulu Paper or… well you get where I am going with that… )

I must say, It’s not puzzling why people are so drawn and immensely addicted to this book series. It’s full of drama, full of suspense, full of thriller, full of romance, full of killings and tragedies, full of dialogue.

Full off, Full off!!! these full offs can go for forever…

It is just packed with things to be gobsmacked by.

This series is written by…

Well… you all know but incase the name slipped your mind.

It was written by the gorgeous, talented Dudu Busani Dube. First of all I am so inspired by the hard work, the drive and courage but also for the author to see a gab to write like this, she might have not known it then but she has incited people who don’t read to read because of these books and its hype.

The hype got me as well.. my Facebook could not stop letting me know  about the Hlomu Series…

For two years, I was wondering how will I get my hands on that book because everyone is talking about it, once I saw a car guard reading the book.

Goals right!

That is a dream come true, surely I guess that was her target market. The book is some kind of a pill, you can’t put it down for some reason except when your eyes decline that you own them.

The Author did well for her self, the readership is doing well ,really climbing the ladder. I guess that is what we want as writers isn’t for people to buy books and read them, for the general public to tweet about them.

However, I am somewhat part of niche audience, also I presume I am not part of the lot that is halala haleleya about the book.

I was really in question with the book. The book shocked me to my knees, few times… no wait plenty of times actually. I had to ask my-self, is this a grammar mistake, or typos or intentional? Konje, why am I in her brain? Is she writing a book herself that is why I am in her brain and not the others?  Who ’s POV is it ? What is the author trying say here, that does not make sense, where am I now? Who is this ? Who is this ? Where are we in the book? Did I jump? Let me go back. Page. page, page…Why do they talk so much? Who’s point of view is it again?

Tjeer!! I needed coffee.

Nothing beats a good coffee

As a reader, I felt I was ignored, you know when you meet two people and they so submerge in their conversation, even finishing each other sentences and a second later the person turns to you and says “Oh that happened because——“ and you there standing not being included looking like overstayed the visit in your own bloody house.

Yep!! That’s how I feel with Hlomu The series.

You might ask yourself why I kept reading, if I felt that way, well for few certain reasons. I will let you know them just now, hold on, I am doing the talking (R. Kelly vibes) 

Haibo, as I was saying they talk and talk and talk… then I thought please I am the reader show me what you see, what you smell, what you feel (The five sense…) then

I thought oh no wait this is a play not novel. This could be a perfect play.

Then I started thinking like playwright to get through the book. Luckily I was able to finish the book.

(This book, if it gets picked up as tv series, it could make the screenwriter’s job marvellously easy, in fact the author has done a great  job for them, the only left to do is to story line it because the beats are sort of clear.)

Ms Dudu, crafted abeautiful midpoint climaxes and and plot points, some choices in the book were not strong enough or convincing enough at least not for me rather.

For example like when Nkosana forgot the letter that got everyone especially Zandile and Naledi into spiral mode, that midpoint climax really pushed the tension of the story and pace to be faster, from page 312 ziyabuya baba!! I my self I got excited.but the excited was not long lived.

Therefore my question would be how come such family as the Zulus especially Hlomu who seems to be the protector let the letter slip away that easily, how come, the family did not burn the letter immediately?  That moment of Zandile finding out the letter could have been the peak of the climax but it was not convincing enough.

The pace was going and then it became redundant again, condensing the moment.  In the middle of the read, I thought the protagonist was not consistent, when she found out that her father killed her ex lover…

That moment! that moment! that moment!  You think kwashuba! Zamshubela! kodwa dololo. Suddenly within a page of read, she has a change of heart to quickly I would say- to easy I would think.

That moment… Could have been an excellent plot climax…her father  is a killer.   The chief has killed…

Damn! Telenovela ngikutshela wena!

It was just to easy for the character to let that moment slide like that… that’s what I mean.

Here is the reason why I kept reading…

I gravitate a lot to black excellence… and no matter what I am going to say now about this book; Ms Dudu is a force to be reckon with.

The author can really write dialogue. She crafts with clear understanding of her characters, they are really believable  and funny characters hands down! And page 458 is beautifully written, I just wish the whole book carried that kind of motion. The character lets you inside her, smoothly under the suspense.


To be more critical though!!!

Please don’t shoot me…  Ms Dudu when you end up reading my two cent thoughts… three cents!!!

The narrative is adoptive, easily diverges to colloquial form, which makes a reader gravitate towards the character’s vivacity and consistency. Personally I needed to milk something out of it… I wanted to see how she writes. “Black excellence neh”

Although, I find the book dissatisfying the narrative, contained frequent repetitions and I ended up being bored. The writing, not the story lacked colour. I opted for more balance between dialogue ,action, and description. I could not stomach the annoyance of the characters, they were too talkative, (Wena Owabona umuntu oyisicefe, ngoba unembebe enkulu).

The book lacked emotional build up, as a writer, I don’t think I can write LIKE that, I am more of building the world and making it more visual for the reader. I don’t know where they were, the characters in the book. I cannot remember actually.

I had to google, maserati (I thought, the character named the car maserati but google told me either wise) But I feel if she would have played with senses I would have known what Maserati is!!!! or am I just slow?

Yes, the author broke the rules and I fall easily for the rules, me and rules are like. . . Bridget Jones and her Diary.

I think the breaking of rules was brave, it is clear that she knew the rules and the fundamentals of writing a novel, however I do wish she took time in editing.

There is no rule or whats so ever when it comes to breaking editing. I feel robbed actually when I find a misspelled word or grammatical error in a published book. Self published or not! I think if this book goes for another print, she must partner with an editor. I know great editors that are not expensive.


The book needs some serious editing phase please!!!

On the real.

Ngicela sibuyele kwi editing… dankie, ngiyabonga.


Story-Telling with a purpose!

Philisiwe Twijnstra as Ofrah – Image by Val Adamson

Driving with our director after every rehearsals, brought me such need to know more about the foreigners, which on a normal day I would pass them and pretend as if  they do not exist.

I thought, if I didn’t look at them or talk to them, they might appreciate that I am giving them their space. However, I would never do that to a South African. I didn’t know how ignorant that may have been. I was ignorant.  I was quick to say ‘No To Xenophobia’  but I can’t even say hello, or buy from them. Instead I put them in a box, forgetting that they are here to survive just like me. They are human beings wanting nothing but to be treated as such. My ignorance was nuanced a bit when I was put in a situation that prompted me to learn and  research the stories in ‘the last country’.

the last country Poster

Being part of the last county, really disturbed me. Frustrated me. Provoked me and challenged me. From this experience I ended up wanting  to know more to know how they were, how did they come here. Where was the bravery coming from… I where was the spirit of holding on came from, the hope they have.

I felt the need to be human, to possibly greet and hug them. Tell them that, I now understand.

The Cast of  ‘the last country’

Somehow I felt even more connected because I was telling their story. I always wanted to tell stories that matter, stories about people and their experiences. Stories that challenged social cohesion. There is power in knowing someone’s story. It changes you as human. I am so grateful for the experience.

I cannot wonder about other South Africans but I know that  I am at a privilege space that has allowed me to be human.  I can do more than what I have been doing. I don’t  have millions but it surely does start with my thinking.  It starts with knowledge. It starts with learning me to not point easily. It starts with my heart and mind. It starts with with love for humanity. I am trying to not cry writing this blog, because  I have been laid back and relaxing because my territory has been safe.

That is not living. I always say I care about people. I can do more than saying.  Give hand where ever I can. Denis Hurley Centre is close by, I should befriend my self with that space. I should smile and more and converse with those whom are not like me.

Looking forward to the better me from this moment onwards…

Scene from ‘The Last Country’  – Image by Neil Coppen

Durban Womxn Playwrights Announced!

10 MinutePlays

We as Durban Womxn Playwrights are so excited to finally announce the selected playwrights of our 10 Minutes Plays for our Durban Womxn Playwrights public reading.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for sending through their work. All in all we had 15 plays to read and choose from. We eventually managed to select four plays. It has been a great pleasure receiving your plays. They were all amazing!


And now we’d like to congratulate

Thobile Cele       – Defending The Plus Size 

Sthabile Mkhize    – The Fruit Tree

Nicole Masuku      – The Boogey Man is  Real

Sbonelo Mgilane    – Mirror


10 MinutePlays-2


Call for Durban Womxn Playwrights!

Durban Womxn Playwrights

Call For Women Playwrights from Durban!

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 16.37.46


Ever thought about how fun it would be to say a lot without saying too much? We would like to challenge your writing juices, by asking you to write a 10 minute play. This play will have to have a beginning, middle and end, which should be explored within this limited amount of time. You can write about anything, but only use a maximum of four characters within this set period of time. Help us end this year off on a high note as we challenge our creativity, while entertaining the audience. All selected scripts will be brought to life by awesome actors, and you get to sit and listen to your talent being celebrated. Ready, steady, write!

Email Scripts:

Deadline Submission

17 November 2017

When it’s yours! It is yours…

Ask and you shall be given…


Mpilo Nzimande as Benny Image by Val Adamson

Sometimes you ask for a challenge, not knowing whether will you be able to handle!!!

Two months back, oh wait it might be three months back, well it  really does not matter.  What matters is what actually happened. I always believed that if it’s mine, then it’s mine.  If the universe has granted  it for me, then with no doubt it will be mine. Maybe some bumps there and there and loop holes some where there. But it  is yours for the taking, ready and waiting.

I had had auditioned for a particular show, out of Durban, it turned out that the director shows interest in working with me but still I had to follow the right protocol to see if I fit in  what she is looking for.  I was excited about the idea of working with a female director and  I was fed up…

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When it’s yours! It is yours…

Mpilo Nzimande as Benny
Image by Val Adamson

Sometimes you ask for a challenge, not knowing whether will you be able to handle!!!

Two months back, oh wait it might be three months back, well it  really does not matter.  What matters is what actually happened. I always believed that if it’s mine, then it’s mine.  If the universe has granted  it for me, then with no doubt it will be mine. Maybe some bumps there and there and loop holes some where there. But it  is yours for the taking, ready and waiting.

I had had auditioned for a particular show, out of Durban, it turned out that the director shows interest in working with me but still I had to follow the right protocol to see if I fit in  what she is looking for.  I was excited about the idea of working with a female director and  I was fed up  with musicals.  I wanted to be the lead in a drama. I wanted to experience other energies, how other directors work. I really hoped that I would get that role, I thought It was perfect.  Perfect for my needs. I waited for a good three weeks just to find out that I didn’t get it.

(Breathe in and breathe out)

At least she called to let me know,  I appreciate that.

I called out to the universe that I am desperately in need of a challenging piece of theatre by a woman, written by a woman… ok  maybe I didn’t say written by a woman but I remember I mentioned to the universe that I  want to be challenged.

You know when you asked for something and you don’t know the extensiveness of what you may be asking whether will you handle it or not. Actually when you ask you don’t think about the handling period. I wanted to be granted an opportunity to be swallowed so much by the process and lose and find my self. And then I always said I wish I could get a call just to be asked, if I was available. fast track two months later.

I got a call and I was asked  if I was available… You can imagine how I am that moment…

I am hoping that I am!

Because this person  who just called me has been part of my dreams, anything he touches turns to gold and I am craving for my CV  to have his name….

To be honest  during the phone call I didn’t hear a word he said, I was like he called!! Finally he called!!! Yay! he called me !!! and he wants to work with me !! that means something right.

Lets get down to the crux of it all.

With Isambulo1 was a rollercoaster of finding my self, talking and assuring me…I have never been challenged like that… I cried almost every night I had panic attacks… physical panic attacks! I had to let go of what I know as an actor or what I  have leant to master. what I relied on, my gimmicks, my actor’s  fall on plan. But I was also confused at the fact that why am I not humbling my self to the experience. I was confused because this is what I wanted the universe gave this role to me…. therefore the challenge should not scare me, I should embrace it.

The great thing  about this experience was that, our director was there to help us not to drown, she threw us into the ocean knowing we will learn new ways of paddling and swimming . The only she asked us was to humble ourselves to the newness. No matter how deep we went, she was always there.  Truth of the matter; It has been such  a while since I have  been on stage, I was scared wondering if am I still an actor or not. Does my body know? Does the body remember to allow and dive with sharks….

I had a problem with my self…

Three months I had a session with a good friend of mine who is an actor as well. I was telling her how I feel challenged by her when I see her on stage. I didn’t know if my body would remember how to travel… but it did.

And I believe , I had to remind myself to succumb and trust the process. A foreign  process. The newness of the process.

My director held it together and directed me because she knew what she wanted and she did a great job…

I felt like an actor in a great production. I am grateful to the universe for hearing my call.

Now to the next one.

Image by Val Adamson
Mpilo Nzimande as Benny and Philisiwe Twijnstra as Lydia Written and Directed by Ntando Cele Co-Produced by Neil Coppen




an Actor who is NOT an Actress..

Precisely just that… An ACTOR.

Directing or Acting… I never have to choose.  It is a torso between this two great creative elements.

Hey now… wait a minute this is about actor acting not director directing… Please Phili!!!!!

Some people…think of me as…

Well, I would like to think that people know me as an actor especially those whom I went to school with. But there’s this THING called growth which sometimes we love to hate.

At the moment I feel like I hate growth.

Wait… hold your guns boet… don’t go on about directing…

Let me make you see what it’s in my head.  The only reason I went to Drama school was not to be behind the scenes… never I always believed I was an eye to the eye of the audience kinder person.

I loved every role I played in varsity, I was challenged, inspired.

The project cared about one thing, how strong you are as a performer. I think in my second year the change happened the kind of casting that we feared me and my group of friends really took a turn.

Directors prowled for talent. Not beauty.

Well! Bull dog years gone, weg, hambile, hambile…

Huh Great years though. Years that allowed  a thespian be just that a thespian.

Where Menzi Mkhwane could be Coriolanus and Hamlet and Sipho.

Life as an actor for actors was great and lavish at  school. During classes you can dive and explore into a  classical monologue and contemporary monologue. Time was there.. Life is sometimes,  something else.

Dreams were there for us to believe. We believed that they will be realised  quiet easily, i might be far fetching  with this thought. But we believed we can conquer the industry.

Some are conquering, but paying a bigger price.

Fast track to 2017… I was reminded of that life today. I have seen an actor… You know! how it is when you see an actor on stage being an actor…

Nonono Ungadidideki toe… !!!

I mean an actor who dives and dwells in the unknown, an actor that allows the time and space be the world of the character an actor who truly submerges in the hallows and deepness of the world she has created for the character but remembers  the audience.

Remembering an audience is quiet vital in performance. You not acting alone. You have  bodies, you have energies to take in, you have energies from your fellow actor. You have energies from from the set, the lights.

Phew! Acting dense dude. You gatta pour yourself in to pour out…

And this particular actor uses all of that.

It is like I am watching Mcendisi Shebangu.  BUT i am not.

That kind of storytelling is rare. It is not taught in Drama school but experience can make one understand how to breathe like an actor and when to breathe like a character…

When last have you see such AN actor?

Awe ma!! I am having thinking goosebumps already … her name is Mathabo Tlali… Watching  her on stage just does things to me… that… those things….and…and…

She is making me miss  being on stage so much, she challenges me in different ways. She is a beast on stage. I have seen her twice in in different productions gosh what an actor to feed a hungry actor just by watching her…in  “She said She said Womens Theatre 2016” and The Kids of Amandla Street Assijej Cradle of Creativity 2017. She questions your existence as a performer.  It has been a while since I felt the need to be on stage as an actor.

Tjo losisi,  wenza imihlola… and gosh she reminds me of what it means to have great roles, great stories, great directors.

I miss it really. Both as an actor, and as a director,  I miss actors like Mathabo Tlali.  What gives me the masala spice feeling is that, you feel the soul, the passion. She is giving in to give out. An actor who wills that journey is a marvellous beholder.

I remember when I did Mineboy in 2015 Sneddon Theater  one audience member said to me I felt the soul, the passion, the weakness, the goal of the character but mostly I felt you. I did not understand but I guess this what she meant. All the shows she has been are shows I want to be in , stories I want to tell , directors I want to work with. Damn girl she lives my life.

I had to remember why I  was a theatre maker….

Being such great craziness on stage, is good for my soul.


Philisiwe Twijnstra

Review of ‘The Wings Of The Serpent

‘The wings of the serpent’ is so intelligent, so much subtext and truly one of the most relevant scripts we are yet to see on the stage. Ms Twijnstra paints such a visually captivating story; filled with detailed and fully-fledged characters, who are in such conflict with themselves and each other. The tragedy of the narrative is that regardless of the decisions they make, and the paths that they take- they are all victims of circumstance… I cannot wait to see it on stage!!! Mrs. Twijinstra- we thank you and applaud your work!!! The takeover is here!

Review By Philasande Daki

ACTORS FROM LEFT.  Bhekani Shabalala, Mpume Mthombeni, Sbonelo Mgilane.

House Reading of ‘The wings of the Serpent’

The wings of the Serpent, is a play in development, I  have now completed my second draft. Which I am quite and honestly curious to hear it been read out aloud. I have found three professional actors who are willing to help me out even though I am not paying them, it saddens me that no one funds this kind of developments, this kinds of attributes no organisation that honestly develop only playwrights.

“If you want to be a writer, make writing your habit.”~ Unknown.

Gosh! I have been on twitter for some time and I start comparing my country to other developed countries…

Any way… I promised the actors a mean Chicken casserole…and a good wine.

Hahaha true story!

It is our reality, a freelancer’s reality.

However, I will have great contributors to my feedback session, I have invited friends who are my colleagues, and artist I truly admire, who will sit on my sofa and sip white or red wine while listening to my new work being read. I am excited about that, I have such support in the industry.

It is important to me, that I bring in people who believe in quality, development and growth. And also It is quite crucial that every space becomes a safe space both for the playwright and the audience.  Something I have learned at the African Women Playwright Network Symposium in CapeTown.  I believe in making that clear, because us artists we are sensitive with our work especially,  freshly baked work.

#DurbanWomenPlaywright #Femaleplaywright #ThewingsoftheSerpent #Womenwintogether #awpn

adapted by Roel Twijnstra

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