Monday, December 5, 2011


I did this shoot with Alok in September and shortly after that my life sort of just dissolved around me. Through the tear soaked memories I have of the time - I swear I spent every moment it felt with frozen daggers of fear and shame and anger clawing at my insides - I remember Alok dragging his delicious self out of bed after a night of hard dancing and posing, bravely, for me in the already dazzling heat of the day. He was amazing. That was a very good day.


The intimacy of these shoots sometimes overwhelms me. It is the most ...intense experience to be allowed into the sacred spaces people have crafted for themselves and I am so grateful to be let in - even for a little bit.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Love Stoned

Disclaimer: This blog doesn’t make any sense. I wrote the words as they came to my head – literally just put them down as the words popped into my brain with very little thought to how it flows or make sense or is contradictory or problematic or anything. This is what was in my brain and now this is what I’ve put down here. There are days I look up into the golden spill of sunshine across the sky and I want to disappear into that glow. I imagine sinking into the warm loam of the earth and being drowned in the utter calm stillness of life as love and joy and the bitter ache of pleasure-pain split my skin with that quiet, breathless sigh of completion – of satiation. My God what a year it has been! I have cried more and laughed more and felt more than I have in a very long time. I met a new me. I really did. I came face to face with a Nomonde I thought had died but then, when I thought I knew everything buried in the murkiest reaches of my soul another part of me just gleamed into being and I was entranced once more. I have resigned two jobs, lost my hair due to stress, shaved my head, found the courage to truly face my sexuality and finally, finally woken up to the power I have in this life. I know – and I am so grateful for this knowledge – that I cannot control it all and I thank God everyday that he’s got this you know? I love having found the wisdom to know and take comfort in the fact that he’s running the show and that the world is not on my shoulders. And yet I have also finally seen and experienced my own power. For the past decade I have been making decisions based on fear. It has been so hard facing up to that – I can’t tell you how hard it has been. All this time I have been driven by the urge to succeed: to live up to the myriad expectations people had of me; to make money; to buy a car; to fall in love. The last fearless choice I ever made was choosing to go to Rhodes University to study journalism. I remember the sheer calm and certainty of the moment I made that choice – and the utter belief I had in the fact that the money to go there would come from somewhere and that I would be awesome! LOL! Yes that was the arrogance and ignorance of youth but it was a fearlessness and a self-confidence I lost the year I left home and it’s been a hard 10 years winning it back. I took my first job because I was terrified of being stuck a journalist. I remained in PR as long as I did because we were broke at home and it was the only way I knew how to make enough money to keep my family going. I left Johannesburg to come to Cape Town because I was afraid I was going to end up trapped doing work I hated, that I was going to die irrelevant and on the fringes of life and then when I left my job and took the new job – also in PR – I only did that because the threat of unemployment filled me with icy dread. I’ve also been running away from myself. I want love more than anything else on this planet - and those are some fucking hard words to write down. I have so much love but it does not sate me – I’m hungry for more. And I haven’t believed – truly believed – that I had a right to it. I do not trust men. I trust my father, I adore him – I love my little brother so much it makes me ache – and I thought this would translate into a love of other men. It hasn’t and I’ve had to face the fact that I really don’t like most heterosexual male people and that that dislike is based on years of learnt mistrust, of humiliations I’ve been too slow to forget. I don't know what I'm going to do with this knowledge - I do know it has helped me to begin to heal the bitterness a little bit. I've also - terrifyingly - acknowledged my love of women. This is not a coming out blog lol!! I think I'm still far more straight than I will ever be gay but embracing my love of women, of women's body's - not just their hearts and minds and amazing spirits - has been like taking a deep breath after years of only sipping at the air. It has been a revelation learning too that I can be the multitude of people and feelings and thoughts and desires that stir my body everyday and that it really is the essence of a person’s spirit that matters and not the vessel - although my God the vessels are pretty and I am thankful for them everyday!!! Ja. So here I sit – unemployed, looking so forward to going home to see my family, and without a clue about what is coming in the new year. Right now I have no real plan – just the beginnings of one – but I am peaceful and for now I am fearless and I’m just savouring this feeling of fitting utterly into my own body, my own confidence and passion, and my own love for myself. I’ve also pried the pruny edges of my fraidy cat little heart a little wider – a little bit more open. And I am so thankful for my blessings and the networks of support that carry me, carry my pain and joy when I can’t take another step.

Friday, October 28, 2011

In the throes of thesis writing *iz ded*

I'm working on my thesis - writing this thing is just so unspeakably painful I don't even know what to do with myself. It's like every word is etched onto the page with blood and pain!! Aaaack!!!!! Really, really looking forward to it being finished.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Help! I'm alive my heart keeps beating like a hammer..."

I am scared. My life feels like a big, uncertain mess right now and I am scared and so incredibly tired. I slept all weekend hoping that getting some actual shut eye would make the picture a little clearer. And it has - I feel a bit more able to cope but I now also see every problem in glaring sunlit clarity and I confess that I am afraid. I'm praying hard. I'm mostly cried out and just reaching out to God for guidance, a solution. I have many blessings and I am always thankful for those but right now I really need a little help. I am hopeful though and there are tiny green tendrils of joy curling under the heavy muck of fear I'm feeling right now and I know they will burst through - I know it will be soon - I just need some help staying strong while the darkness passes and the tears dry up.

"Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come follow me and I will give you rest."

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Day I Swallowed the Sun - Jamie

On Saturday the first of the Swallowed the Sun shoots took place. Jamie Tam, who is also the delectable Afrodyke, was a gracious and glorious model. There is something deeply humbling in being invited into the private thoughts and hurts and joys of people and there was a sacredness to the space we shared that day that I am very thankful to have been entrusted with.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Day I Swallowed the Sun

I am beginning work on an extensive photography and writing project spanning the rest of 2011 and progressing well into 2012. 'The Day I Swallowed the Sun' will chronicle the body journeys of 'othered' human beings.

I am looking for models who are fat, disabled, homosexual, black, old - the list is extensive and could go on for an age. I am looking for modles willing to pose alone and as couples. I am aware of the politics that arise when grouping these 'catergories' together because they are not equal in meaning and that's something I hope to explore as a part of this project. I am looking for people who live in bodies that the world has scorned and tries with every fibre of its being not to see. I am looking for happy bodies, sexual bodies, sad bodies, bodies in hurt but all of them proud bodies - dignified and human bodies. I am looking for people who live in these bodies and have come to love these bodies or have always loved these bodies. I'm looking for people willing to share their experiences and their physical presence in this world.

I remember the day I realised that I loved myself - loved every roll of fat, every dimple and crease that I had been told for years was disgusting. On that day it felt as if my soul lit up, as if pure sunshine was welling from within me and pouring out into the world. I became the light in my own life. I remember that as the day I 'swallowed' the sun. So I want to share in the days other people swallowed the sun - and the days when you felt like you were chained to the bottom of the ocean instead.

I am looking for models who are willing to pose nude and please remember this is work I hope to exhibit at the end of 2012. I hope that some of you will be willing to participate in this project and if you cannot will help me to spread the word.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

I’m flying back to Cape Town next week Sunday and honestly, while I have loved spending time with my family, I’m really looking forward to getting back to the life I’ve just begun to carve out for myself.  Its so strange to feel, for the first time, that home is not where my parents are but where I am comfortable, where I have made space and friends, and where I’m learning so much about myself and what I really want out of this life God has gifted me with.  Its going to shatter me to leave my niece behind.  I’m really not sure how I’m going to cope with that.  I get tearful just thinking about it. *deep breath!*  And now to my favourite photographic subjects!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Really love this quote.  It begins - "You don't have to be pretty - you don't owe prettiness to anyone..." 

I'd never realised, till very lately, the actual ugly oppressive weight of the word pretty. I thought, when I first found the size acceptance movement and encountered my very first fat admirers, that I had found home.  The longer I stayed and played and read and learned though the more and more I saw that this was a space that, again, came with some very ugly hypocrisy.  Drama about feeders and feedees aside, about sexual fetish, about waste and desperation and actual mental illness and social dysfunction aside, the sexual fatosphere is where I learnt absolutely the ugly lessons of 'Pretty.' 

For years I knew pretty was not me.  I was short and fat and very dark and this was not at all conceivably pretty.  In the sexual fatosphere those lessons were, ironically, even more deeply ingrained. In the fat world you can be the wrong kind of fat.  If you fat is not attached to your boobs and bum its the 'wrong' kind of fat.  Fat girls who are not hourglass or pear shaped are routinely told my 'fat admirers' to try to lose weight.  If you have a fat belly you are called an ugly blob, misshapen, ugly - all this within the fat movement.  It was almost funny to find that I had run from a space I thought I was rejected to one where again I did not measure up.  I often wander if I was light skinned, hour glassed and just generally less loud mouthed if I would keep swallowing the lies of pretty - if they wouldn't sting as badly because I fit.  I can't know so I move forward with what I have, with what I've seen and I've learnt.  What a crazy ramble lol! This youtube vid expresses this far better than I have.


I'm finally getting my flickr account sorted and turned into something I'm actually not ashamed to have online.  I'm also very seriously contemplating changing the name of my photography company.  I love Fierce Fotography but there are a number of Fierce Fotography's out there - its not exactly original.  Something I've been mulling over for a while and now that I'm ready to take this business to the next level I'm thinking a change in name would be appropriate.  Not sure to what though.  Its funny how crazy I was about the name to begin with.  There isn't another Fierce registered in South Africa and it makes me happy...we'll see - just weighing where I want to be going with all of this.

I'm feeling a great deal of focus.  Have been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster recently.  That looming 3-0 man.  I don't have a problem with getting older - what terrified me is how quickly time just zooms by and how much I still desperately want to do and achieve and feel and enjoy in this life.

When I was 18 I told myself that I would have my first baby at 34.  I was very, very shaken when I realised that 34 is right around the corner and I am in no way, shape or form ready to have children.  I'm still barely able to take care of myself, still such an emotional and mental mess, that the thought of caring for another life fills my veins with ice.  I want babies - I do - but not now and its scares me to contemplate exactly when I'll feel ready because I don't think I ever will.

Its a time of epic growth for me again - and I'm savoring it but also a little weary of the constant growing pains.  I figure if I keep putting my faith in God, trusting that he knows the path he wants for me, I can't go too badly wrong.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Soaking up the Love

The last post was gloomy and I cannot leave it at that because there is goodness too – so much joy in my life.  I cannot end leave this blog just lost in anger.  I’ve been home for 3 weeks spending time with my niece and nephew and my parents and it has been amazing.  My babies are so beautiful.  There is pure joy in the spirits of children and I’ve soaked up their happiness and their generous love and I am so thankful – so, so thankful – to have the family I have and the love I have in my life.  And now for pictures!!! :D


May was the month from hell. School was madness, a dozen essays, thesis proposal and presentations all due at one brain crunching time and work...well I’m not going to say much about that.  Work is status quo – a quo I’m working very, very hard to change as soon as possible. 

I was exhausted just about every day, couldn’t sleep and everything hurt – my body, my mind.  Sometimes I felt like my soul was too full of pain and hope and anger – like I could barely put thoughts together that weren’t tinged with resentment and urgency and frustration.  I’m still finding equilibrium, still sort of staggering back to a happier space.   This course on Gender and Transformation has changing.  This is no exaggeration – literally life changing.  Sometimes I feel like I put a part of myself to sleep years ago, when I realized just how hard life is – and that part of me, that dormant part of Nomonde, has just shaken awake and I’m just feeling all these things.  The conversations I’m having, the books I’m reading, the course work, all of it is tearing off the bandages I’d wrapped myself in.  I am numb no more, blind no more, but now I can no longer pretend not to see the constant injustice of the society we live in and the endless layers of oppression that mire us in ugliness.

I’m in a dark place right now – very dark.  I’ll write more lucidly about how I feel about all of this when it doesn’t feel so close, when it’s not suffocating me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gelato and Sunsets

I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon with one of my favourite couples, Layla and Meryl.  Caramel ice-cream, the ocean, a glorious sunset and glorious conversation - a girl could not ask for more *BEAMS.*  Then my girl Tumi just called me.  She's settling into her new life in the US beautifully - I am so damn happy for her.  Miss her like burning.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Romantic Bullshit!

I'm so angry today - even angrier because as a result of this anger I have been completely unproductive.  The day started off with just amazing promise.  I woke up and realised my cold had made a vicious comeback.  I wasn't surprised - I've been pushing myself really hard work wise in the past two weeks and my body just hasn't had an opportunity to recover.  So I rolled over in bed and gazed outside at a blindingly blue sky and just contemplated with glee the joy of an entire Sunday stretching ahead of me.  I had a date with a man I'd met in the store bout two weeks ago - really sweet, humble guy who was going to take me out for ice cream and sun downers. 

So dude calls at around 3 in the afternoon and says that he can no longer make our date because he has a work commitment that has just suddenly come up.  I'm cool with this, actually a little relieved because I have a lot of readings for class to get through.  I decided to go to a piano recital instead, was there for a delightful two hours, then came home.  When I turned on my phone again I had a missed call from...wait for it: THE DUDE'S WIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She left a message on my cell introducing herself and then she said: "I just found this number on my husband's phone and I didn't recognise the name so I wanted to call and check who this is?"
I was in shock - just pure shock that has not faded at all.  I'm enraged - my head is still throbbing with rage - and I feel sick and humiliated and dirty.  I didn't ask this man if he was single because why the hell would a married man be asking me out?????!!! But this dick faced shit head made a date with me on a Sunday fucking afternoon even though he is committed, MARRIED WITH A WIFE AND LORD ALONE KNOWS HOW MANY CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was just so bleak and so angry and just disappointed and tired.  Just so fucking tired.

I've been celibate for 2 years because casual sex and casual relationships, while a great deal of fun, mean nothing to me.  I want love.  I want intensity.  I want to belong utterly to another being.  I want hours and days and months and years to learn a cherished body.  I want that and it seems impossible to find.  I told myself that this year in Cape Town I was going to open my heart up again – I was going to leave my defensive attitude behind and try new things.  And it has been amazing – I’ve learnt so much about myself and made fantastic new friends and I am happy about this.  But the events of the past two weeks and the plain stupid, selfish bull shit pulled by the men I have tentatively allowed into my life have reminded me why I chose celibacy over the boring crap and drama of the dating scene.

Just two hours ago another man I’ve been seeing asked to come see me tonight.  He made this call at about 9pm.  Now I am not a young lady averse to a booty call – especially with a boy as beautiful as he is – but I’m busy and I was finally getting through my course readings.  I told him he couldn’t come tonight but I’d be happy to see him next week Thursday.  An hour later this boy calls me again.  I missed the call cos I was talking to my friend Tumi and so I called him back.  WHY DOES THIS DUDE TELL ME HE’S STANDING AT MY FUCKING GATE???!!!  I was livid – I’m still just speechless at the sheer presumption and gall of his actions!  He decided that my telling him no, that my saying to him that I did not want to see him tonight was nonsense and that he, as a man with a dick that wants pussy, was going to ignore my very clear NO and was going to show up, uninvited, at my home.  I just want to explode I am so angry.  I wanted to hit him.  I wanted to scream and shout and swear at him.  I told him that what he had done was so disrespectful I had no words to even explain it to him.  I told him to get back in his fucken cab and go the fuck home.  I just...I have no words.  

I genuinely love men – all kinds of men.  I love their differences and revel in the new things and thoughts they bring into my feminine world.  But I am tired of having to demand basic fucking values and respect from heterosexual men.  I am tired of it.  I love heterosexual sex – I love big, strong, hard male bodies.  I love masculinity.  I love male energy and essence and power but right now I just want to scream at how time after time male people let me down.  

I have an amazing example of what a loving marriage should be in my parents.  I love my Dad you guys.  He is my hero.  I know I can rely on him for everything – the man is my pivot.  And it just exhausts me having to go through man after man after man who has no knowledge of himself and zero respect for me when I have a living example of what I honestly believe a man should be.  

I wish I could just hand in my straight girl identity somewhere because I am tired of wanting men.  I am tired of desiring them and their bodies and their company and their affection and attention because it is too much damned heartache and work. I know there are good guys out there and I am not seeking perfection – just an equal in compassion and empathy and value and ethics and love.  I really do not think that I’m asking too much.

I’m just very sad tonight – and lonely.  And pissed. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An End to Hunger

I've started working on my research proposal and I'm so excited.  My topic is land reform and agriculture in SA and my question essentially is: Has land reform in SA had a positive impact on black rural female farmers?  That's the main question and there's obviously a subset of others.

I believe, absolutely, that women are the key to feeding all our populations - we've just got to figure out how.  I read somewhere (will find source and post it) that Angola and Southern Sudan alone could feed the entire AFrican continent if these country's agricultural systems were correctly managed.  DUDES THAT WOULD MEAN AFRICA WOULD NEVER HAVE TO BEG ANYBODY FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN! I dream of this day - I want to be one of the people who make this day a reality.  And finally, with this research I'm beginning, it feels as if I've taken a step in the right direction :D 

The link below is to an article that made me beam - absolutely worth a read and it suggests an interesting case study that I'm looking to incorporate into my research.  Imagine a world with no hunger - where there are no babies begging in the street.  I want to live in that world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I just remembered that next year is 2012 and that the world is supposed to end! LOL! So I got to thinking – what would I be bleak about not having done come 2012 and the world actually did end.  The list was a bit of a surprise to me.  By 2012 I decided that I wanted, desperately, to:
  • 1.      Have fallen in love
  • 2.      Owned a new puppy and lavished it with adoration. 
  • 3.      Written and published a novel
  • 4.      Lived under a warm sea
The last one had me scratching my head but I cannot deny that I would love to live under a warm ocean, swimming in the waters and just letting the tides wash over me.  I know I cannot turn into a mermaid *sigh* but I still long to live, somehow, beneath the sea.

The first I’ve given to God.  I’ve looked man.  I have sought high and low but my time for love has not come.  So I’ve left it with God.  He’ll let me know when the time is right.  It would be awesome God if it could be before the world ends...just saying! *grumbles*

I’m working on number 3.  In stops and starts but I’m working on it.  Now I have an absolute deadline to have it done by *beams!*

 And number 2...I’m a wanderer at the moment and a dog requires a steady home and a pack that sticks together.  This one won’t be possible by next year – not if my plans work out as I hope they will.  That breaks my heart but I’m hoping we all make it many years beyond 2012 so that I can once again cuddle my very own puppy.   I’m planning on naming him/her Sherlock Holmes!

I want to acknowledge my blessings here  too because God has truly blessed me and he keeps on giving me love and support and beautiful, beautiful people to cherish.  My greatest blessing is my family - I cannot wait to be with them again. Thank you Lord for your continued nourishment, care and love for my loved ones and for me.