Monthly Archives: October 2011

December body

My body conditioning routine which only works if I stick to it!

Without sounding too snooty, one of the privileges of this middle class life is that you get to choose what you put into your body. December is just around the corner and you either want to be bikini or summer frock ready. Who wants to be carrying extra pounds in this heat? The days of comfort eating should be left behind with the winter chill.

I declare, on 26 October 2011 that I, Phakamani Sivuyile Lisa am not at my best weight. The pot belly is ever present and my thighs need a break from each other. There’s no one to blame except myself because just last night I had 2 jacket potatoes with sour cream and lamb curry for dinner. As if a light salad and grilled chicken breast wouldn’t have sufficed.

A few changes need to be made. Firstly, I need to incorporate some exercise into my life. I have a little body conditioning routine which I adopt and abandon at random. Today, I pledge to be consistent. Nothing worse than somebody who insists they eat celery sticks and gym frequently but remains the same size.

Secondly, I need to let go of my Chocolate Cornetto McFlurry obsession. It started with the KFC Chocolate Brownie Avalalanche. It’s made up of chocolate sauce, 4 mini brownies and soft serve ice cream. For this I blame photographer and fellow blogger Mapodile Mkhabela. Then another friend of mine, Amy Criticos (designer and childhood friend) introduced me to the world of chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, bits of sugar cone and soft serve under the family of McFlurry’s. You can imagine the irreparable damage such indulgence has.

Did Kate Moss say “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? She clearly hasn’t had 800g sweet and sticky pork ribs in a while but then again, she’s not trying to drop 5kg’s in the next month. So, no more Woolies meals or take-away for lunch. It’s back to whole wheat bread, avo, lettuce, peppadews and pastrami. Yogurt and juice in the morning and tonight I’m doing sushi for dinner.

This is not a prescribed diet. I’m just trying to lessen my salt, sugar and carb (carbohydrate) in take without completely removing them. I have a serious love affair with the spud. However, I’ve watched enough health shows to know that water, vegetables, fruit and exercise are crucial for healthy living. Here’s to my December body and lowering the risks of getting diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, depression and gout amongst other things.

Kids Rule!

Hi folks,

As part of my job, I’ve been watching videos which have been collected throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.

A lady from Zimbabwe said she went to a rural school in the Masvingo province and the kids were desperate for something to play with. They provided the school with balls for soccer and netball- school attendance has since increased. It just struck me how much of a difference a ball can make when you’re a young-un.

Children all over the continent are having the burden of looking after their parents due to HIV and AIDS, some have been orphaned and are passed from one relative to the next. Some are the sole supporters of the household. I’ll admit that the media often neglects the good stories that come out of Africa. But we can’t ignore that millions of kids are survivors of a very cruel reality. Many kids are exposed to rape, abuse, disease, hunger and other social issues related to poverty. I would love to take them away from all of these nasty conditions and place them in Neverland.

Until such a time, I’ll be nagging all family, friends and friends of friends to donate any toys, clothes or books for Christmas.I’ll be collecting goodies every Saturday (6/13/20/27) of November 2011 in Johannesburg. Saving one starfish at a time type-stuff.

Any help with time or donations are welcome. I’ll start with a few teddy bears and my copy of James and the Giant Peach.
Many thanks x
Ps. Please also suggest any prefered childrens homes which are deserving of your kind gesture


Cartoon a Day

My spelling has gone from shocking to atrocious. I realised this when I spelt champagne like champaign. It was partly autocorrects fault but it took a second look before I realised something in the name of bubbly was horribly wrong. I’m not even half way through this blog post and I’m already debating the use of ‘spelled’ and ‘spelt’.

I used to be really good at this spelling thing- above average even but now where’s and were’s get lost in autocorrect. I drop important words in my speech. I speak in direct translations from my vernacular and I add Twitter hashtags like “death by” “smh” and “that awkward moment when”. I’m not sure I really know what awkward means anymore. I run out of vocabulary and say things like “well that’s a higaldy- pigaldy” instead of “I see you’ve gotten yourself into a spot of bother”. I use ellipses without discretion…

Years of studying the English language and literature, poetry collections by Keats, Mills and Wordsworth and it all lies in the cold hands of autocorrect as well as red and green zig- zags. Could it be the end of my writing career? What will future generations say about our grammar?

There is a website dedicated to these language faux pas called Damn You Autocorrect. We need an adult spelling bee. Stat!

Light + Love

I’ve become near obsessed with my orchids. My first one was rescued from the trash. My mom pronounced it dead after it had lost its flowers. Two months later, it’s taller, stronger and more beautiful than ever! I have been documenting its growth on my celli and realise that with a little light, love and pampering: joy comes in the morning.

I’m stuck in pansy-mode (definition 2) after the Coldplay concert and repeatedly singing “..the light’s will guide you home, and ignite your soul, and I will try to fix you”. Sometime in the next week will be the return of a more serious post 😐

Happy Friday

“We need other people, not in order to stay alive, but to be fully human: to be affectionate, funny, playful, to be generous. How genuine is my capacity for love if there is no one for me to love, to laugh with, to treat tenderly, to be trusted by? I can love an idea or a vision, but I can’t throw my arms around it. Unless there is someone to whom I can give my gifts, in whose hands I can entrust my dreams, who will forgive me my deformities, my aberrations, to whom I can speak the unspeakable, then I am not human, I am a thing, a gadget that works but has no ashes”

City of Gold

Over the weekend, I got in touch with the city of Johannesburg. It’s safe to say there’s plenty of gold.
After living in a small town for 5 years, I thought I would have to come back to Joburg and conform to the club scene or preferably stay at home. Going to clubs brings tears to my eyes: the only pair of heels I have hurts. I can’t jerk, dougie or pop and lock. I certainly don’t have R60 to pay for a drink and the attitude of club- goers stinks! Guys will push in front of you and girls will stare you down for chipped nail polish (-it was just that one time).
So my friend Steph and I went on a little search for something more hippie- chic and less 6- inch heels.
We paid a visit to the much talked about NeighbourGoods Market on Juta Street. There were cakes that looked like edible ornaments, sweet and savoury crepes, Spanish paella, homemade lemonade, flavoured brews, organic vegetables, fresh flowers, vintage clothing and I had a refreshing pineapple mojito that tickled my taste buds.   

Rochelle’s edible ornaments

Assortment of fresh vegetables

Goat cheese samples and we are all about sampling!

Just a hop and a skip from the market is 70 Juta Street design hub. Historically, Braamfontein used to be part of Joburgs thriving business district. Over the years it lost its popularity as companies moved north. The area has recently been revamped and is shedding its seedy reputation. Totally worth the visit if you’re looking to define what South African design is about.

70 Juta Street. Photograph from

Over the Nelson Mandela Bridge is Newtown. It’s the location of Museum Africa where we went for a book launch and reading session. Chicago author, Yorli Huff shared a few passages from her memoir titled ‘Veil of Victory’. Yorli went from a difficult childhood to working undercover as a Special Drug Agent. Parallel to this, was a dysfunctional marriage as well as racism and discrimination in the work place.  Everyday has been a challenge to triumph over adversity. The book has been described in many ways but to me this is a story about how the scorn and strength of a woman is something to be feared and admired. 

Available at Xarra Books @Constitution Hill
Music duo at the book launch

Steph and sculpture outside the Market Theatre
To round off the day, we went to our usual chill spot on 4th Avenue Parkhurst. It often feels like I’m in happyville when I go there. People walking their dogs, young couples showing off their first kid and old couples rekindling their love. A few weeks ago we went to a restaurant in the area that doesn’t take cards. We were short of R20 and the manager allowed us to settle the bill the next day- no fuss! I love this city 🙂
4th Avenue Parkhurst