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GUEST POST: 5 Favorites by Kandyse McClure

Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica, Cole) stops by Reel Artsy to share -

Top 5 Things I love about South Africa:

Brimming with tales of adventure from my trip back last year, I was thrilled to receive the call to do a list of my favorite things. Here’s a little glimpse into a wild and wonderful place I like to call home.

1. Rainbow Nation.

People often think of South Africa in terms of Black and White and forget the myriad shades in between. There are 11 national languages in SA and a plethora of dialects. Africans from all over the continent live and do business in the blossoming economy, the strongest  and most stable in Africa. The birthplace of humanity welcomed all its children home at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was thrilling  to hear so many different languages and cultures celebrating together in the streets of  Johannesburg. It’s not so much a melting pot as it is a tossed salad…

2. Lekker kos (Yummy food)

All that cultural diversity and international influence makes for some good eats. Of course there is the classic Braai (BBQ)  - meat marinated in sweet and spicy loveliness and grilled over a charcoal fire. Shisa Nyama!  I’m partial to stuff you can eat with your hands… After a night of dancing and carousing there’s nothing like a Bunny Chow. Hailing from my hometown, Durban, the bunny is one of the many delicious culinary contributions of the huge Indian community there: a hollowed-out loaf of bread  filled to overflowing with a delicious curry with a side of pickles for an extra bite. Best served with a Coco Cola and not for the faint of spice!



Photo by Georgia Esporlas
3. Africa Fashion Week

Not only was the World Cup in full swing but the SA glitterati were out in style for Africa Fashion Week in Jo’burg. I lucked out and got VIP seating for a few of the shows. AFI did it in style, of course. Beautiful, multimedia runway shows, local DJ’s (Black Coffee playing at Carducci Man) and of course fantastic clothes. Faves of the week were  the ebullient femininity of David Tlale, the wearable art of Koketso Chiepe and Christie Brown and the breezy, bold elegance of Carducci.

Wearing another fab local label Heni and hanging with David Tlale at AFI Launch Party.

4. Durban International Film Fest

I will happily admit to being totally biased about my hometown. What’s not to love, white sandy beaches, warm weather all year round and Africa’s longest running film festival. DIFF offers a variety of  films from around the globe with a strong focus on homegrown talent. It also provides an excellent opportunity for up coming filmmakers to learn, network and collaborate through its series of workshops and seminars. You also get to explore different neighbourhoods as films are hosted all across the city. Khalo Matabane’s “State of Violence” took the Gala spot last year - A gripping tale of a haunting past and the true nature of one’s own soul. It has  since screened at TIFF. I love the direction Africa is taking in telling new and bold stories and I eagerly wait for more.

5. I wanted to mention the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Grahamstown National Arts Festival but there is one, deeply personal reason South Africa is the subject of my list. It is and always will be my home. I think fondly of my grandmother’s porch where I dreamt of being a star and made celery and mud soup on my Fisher price stove and taught the neighbour’s dogs to roll over and posed for family portraits. Birthday parties, anniversaries and even a wake – the whole spectrum of life celebrated with those closest to me. South Africa has much to offer, diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, pulsating urban environments but most dear to my heart are the memories of friends and family, a life lived and one imagined… the smell of the Sunday roast and Johnny Clegg blasting on the record player…

[Editor's Note: You can catch Kandyse in the upcoming web film, FATE, directed by Paul Hunter and starring Lenny Kravitz. And an interview for the spiritual documentary Love Sex Religion. For more info visit www.kandysemcclure.com]

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