Tag Archives: Miriam Makeba

Star for Life concert’s message: “I am beautiful!”

image(I hope people can see the image, because my computer has decided to not show pictures today!) I am so behind with everything that I wanted to talk about this week. So I have to blog about it piecemeal. And break it in to topics, in order to at least get something published about this nightmare week. A week when I feel I have not accomplished anything. And really have drowned in emotions, if not in stress. Too late, we found out from our daughter, that her participation in the Star for Life concert, was this month, this week, this past Wednesday. Nothing had been said, till Sunday evening and then she asked if I was coming. Coming? How? Without a ticket? Without babysitting?

But somehow, we were able to coordinate everything, so that we, both T. and I, could attend the concert. I felt we owed her this. She quit the horrible school choir and joined the professional choir at the culture school. Had it been a concert held at the school, we would have attended, but of course there is a difference. At the school concerts, you are forced to buy horrible tasting cakes, to finance the music program. At the culture school’s concerts, you have to shell out a lot of money for tickets, BUT of course, you get quality. And that is what we received at Wednesday’s concert, that included the much talented music group Triple and Touch, who is very involved with this charity project in South Africa. The program raise money for schools in South Africa, which gives the children music lessons, dance lessons, teaches them how to avoid HIV and AIDS, and gives them a bigger self-esteem, encouraging them to reach for the stars and go for what they dream of.

Four youths and an older woman, from South Africa, had come to be part of the concert and boy could they sing. There was not a dull moment. The choir behind them, including our daughter, was enormous since it contained the culture school’s choirs, plural, the Maria Montessori school, gymnasium schools’ choirs… They had been taught Zulu, songs, movements. They were great in other words. It took us till the end, to see our tiny daughter in the ocean of singers. They were all told to wear Star for Life’s colours. Unfortunately, one could not really hear the text to a lot of the songs. Except the famous songs sung, where one already knows the words. Like “The Circle of Life” from “the Lion King” and some other old classics. My very favourite came towards the end, Miriam Makeba’s most famous song. Can’t come up with the name. (Edit: Called “Pata Pata”) I grew up with this woman’s singing since my dad had her records and loved her music. Her and Glenn Miller, those were his favourites. Funny man! But I love them too, so…

After the concert, I bought their CD, but I am not sure it was a wise decision. When I started to play it in the car, a lot of the songs spoke of wearing a condom, having sex etc. I am trying to tell myself that at least I got the Miriam Makeba song and the money goes to a good cause. BUT I think I should have followed “Cookie’s” lead and have bought a T-shirt instead. She wanted one, and it cost half the price of the CD. Then I was out of money, so we could not buy the pretty bracelets that cost as much as the CD. Oh well, next time I will not buy a CD unless I know the text of the songs! We were able to get tickets because this event was not too well advertised, and we got to sit in the bleachers, since those were the only tickets left, at the handball arena, where the event was located. Not the best of acoustics in other words and we sat too far away!

The reason why the concert made such an impression on me and made me want to blog about it, is the woman lead singer. She was no longer a teenager. She thanked us for coming, for the Swedish people always having supported their cause in South Africa, against Apartheid and now against AIDS. She thanked for all money sent down to their schools. And then she spoke to the youths behind her, in the bleachers opposite ours. To the choir. She said that the greatest disease today is not AIDS but un-gratefulness. To make a point, to make them listen, she said “I am not THAT old, and I am very beautiful”. (When someone commented I guess, that she doesn’t know what she is talking about? Her fellow singers were teasing her.) She told the youths to be grateful for all they have and honour their parents instead of treating them badly. But this is not what made me sit and think. I started thinking about this psychologist, a black, very funny psychologist who gives lectures (I think one can see them on YouTube, because I have listened to them via a link in an e-mail) on male and female differences. One lecture was about women, about how we have so many wires in our heads and how men are single-minded, with a nothing box to go in to. But the funniest part of that lecture is actually when he describes white women and black women. He strutted across the scene showing how sassy the black woman is, how highly she thinks of herself and how she will not take anything from anyone. And then he dragged himself over the stage, portraying the white woman, with her hunched back, telling herself, “I am so ugly, I am so fat, I am so greasy, I am so wrinkly, I am so…”. This South African WAS his lecture. She was proud, self-confident and she stood there saying “I am very beautiful” even though she had the biggest bottom I have ever seen, gigantic hips, thighs and calves. And of course big chested as well. She was wearing the tightest white dress possible which showed every car tire. And still she was as happy as can be and saying that she is beautiful. I would never ever put on anything so tight, since it would show my C-section pouch! (The one that we C-section delivering mothers can never get rid of, unless a surgeon cuts it off and tucks all of it inside. Whatever the method is, that cost a fortune? A method that would have made me able to pick any trousers or skirt to wear.) And I would never have put on a white dress, which in itself makes you look fat. I do not look anything like the woman, and yet, I find myself the ugliest woman on this planet and walk around just like the psychologist said white women do. What is it, that makes us do that? Why do WE have such a poor self-esteem? And what do the black women do, to get such a fantastic self-esteem? Couldn’t someone write a book about that, teaching us self-loathers how to love ourselves like they do? I am sure there is a market out there for it. Unfortunately the psychologist who is so funny, only point out our differences, not WHY they are there and how to get rid of the negative ones. I would like to accept myself the way I look, but I can’t. I never have been able to. And parking the car yesterday, I realised that part of the problem is perhaps that never ever during my entire life, has my mother told me, that I am pretty. Not once! But she told me plenty of times, how ugly I am. Those words stick, don’t they? Negative words stick, positive ones do not. Why is that?


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