Please Lord, help this white woman move!
By Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of NaMedia.
Basically it all started with a “smile and nod until you believe you’re actually doing this”. It eloped to walking onto the stage, glamorously glazing over an audience of 600 like a camel needing water. The choir needing to lead the audience into singing the AU and national anthems, was missing. I was thinking in brown, painfully aware of the President seated a couple of metres from us, and so…. we waited.
Nevertheless, I had a great weekend, and you? I became “Ousie Yellow Bone” on stage Saturday with Namibia’s very own (comedian) Oc Ebs and business woman Twapewa Kadhikwa. I sure as August did not see that coming.
It started with formal dresses (part 1) and it excelled to part 2 (default mode), a specific moment where I had to participate in a “dance-off” (I’m talking free-style here) and I literally prayed “please Lord help this white woman move”.
So, I did what any person pushed onto hot coals would do; I lunged through it like a cat emerging from water. I exhaled the “glamorous expectations” and inhaled a “kilogram of ghetto”. It took forever it felt (whilst being encouraged by bursts of laughter), which is likely what knocked me out straight to bed post-event. I think Avbob almost got excited. But no, I got the privilege of laughing myself to sleep the past two nights.
So we think about professional as only being (in part): Prep lists; check. Script guideline; check. Target network: check. But when things don’t exactly go according to plan (the Jacob Zuma moments that make absolutely no sense); from where do you draw then? When you’re alone in the room with any person in the world that strikes the chords of your heart, what do you have to say? Are you scared of making mistakes? Ultimately we’re wired to look and feel good. But it’s such a relief to chuck that out of the door and ‘just be present in the moment’. To just be human, unapologetically, because people relate to mistakes. Mistakes are ‘more common ground’ as opposed to the ‘Beyonce Moments’ we see on TV (rehearsed by the way).
Being authentic means that you are vulnerable and OK with it. You jump into those ‘unknown moments’ and you swim (or splatter). You’re OK with standing up for something that you believe in, whatever its purpose (and ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes’).
It’s a bit like fireworks; there are moments that scare you, moments that make you stand in awe, and moments where the burst of colour ignites hope and courage for another round. Courage after all means, take heart. Do at least one thing a day that frightens you and that’s not in the éasy zone’ (easily confused with excitement). Become an artist in the sense of embracing the creativity (child like) that can be mined in all of us. Have some fun with it, or at least dare yourself to!
Ousie Yellow Bone signing off (until next year).