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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hepatitis is FOREVER! - My ANC Weekend in Mangaung!

Dearest Reader,

As I write this blog, I am feeling a bit weird, rapid heartbeat, feeling a bit spaced out, and I know with certainty that the iron supplements, vitamic C and the Calcium/Magnesium aren't the cause, or everybody would be on 'em. So, I wonder what's going on with my body. Maybe I am ascending. :) Okay, that's enough of a pity party. Let's move on to the blog post about what happened 7 days ago when I went to Mangaung to perform at the ANC Centenary celebrations.

I went to sleep around 3am and 4am on that Saturday, the day I was supposed to be heading to Mangaung, Bloemfontein. I wasn't at a party, getting down to the boogy. I was just experiencing good ol' insomnia. Before that, I had a genius plan to take an antihistamine to knock me out. What transpired was that the antihistamine didn't work on time, and I ended up sleeping for 3 hours to wake up 7am, drunk and groggy from the antihistamine which had decided to take effect during my short stint of slumber.

Where the crap begun. At Bassline's parking lot
I was meeting Malik at 9am in town at Bassline, at their parking lot. I arrived on time and he had arrived early, so it wasn't me who had to wait. Score. I was exhausted, sleepy and out of it, and so was he, but for different reasons. We were told to get to Mangaung on Saturday, even if the performance was on Sunday, in order to make sure that we got ourselves checked in and accredited (government protocol). We didn't mind. Our plan was clear. We were going to drive for 4 hours, get to Mangaung, check in, sleep until the evening when we would go around the town, mingling and so on. But, things didn't end up this way.

Instead, when we got to Mangaung, we found out that more important people took our accommodation, so we were stranded. It wasn't just me who was caught up in this mess, but almost all the artist which were meant to check in on Saturday. So, from noon until 8pm, we were driving around Mangaung trying to find a roof to sleep under, meeting up with these young men with a convoy of Hummers and dancing at filling stations... Of course, I wasn't dancing. I don't dance. I watch dancers. We also sat in restaurants for longer than normal during this day, what with being homeless and all.


Hepatitis is FOREVER!! 
There was a place we found, but it was such a roach motel that I refused to even sit on their furniture. This is when I told Malik that I would gladly sleep in the car because I was not about to share a bed with bedbugs, roaches and a snail. Yes, at this "Bed and Breakfast" there was a snail, mold, and god knows what else my naked eye couldn't see in the room that I was meant to have. I refused! My mild OCD couldn't allow me to do such. Heck, that place was filthy! I have seen medical detectives, alright! I just knew that there was semen on the walls and fecal matter on the ceiling that would gladly show up under UV light. I just knew it and I was not going to catch Hepatitis for the love of my music. Hell effin No! Hepatitis is FOREVER!

A few hours later, I thought to call one of the organizers, and this was when I was hailed to the Southern Sun, a premium hotel where I could lay my head snugly as I had envisioned that morning, on fluffy pillows and clean sheets. I was dropped off at the hotel, and when the organizers were done fixing the accommodation problem, I slept where I had been originally booked, at Phillip Sanders.

The crowds loving our former president more than the current.
I was dirty, salty, sticky, looking like a piece of old cheese (and smelling like one, I am sure) and I only got to sleep, like the day before, at 4am or so. I was woken up 3 hours later again, by a young man calling me and saying, "Wake up Little Big Nuz. wake Up!". Yes, that was my nickname from a conversation we had before I went to bed about some hot piece of ass which I named "Little Big Nuz" because I didn't know who he was. Unfortunately, the name came to me because no one knew my name either. The irony! Haha! At around 8am, I was in a cab, driving to the stadium where the big and grand finale of the ANC Centenary was to occur.

When I arrived at the stadium, in the artist's designated area, there was not a soul but I. I could have worried, but I had decided 12 hours ago to stop worrying about life and about this gig and to just go with the flow. So, I sat there and waited to be told how I was going to be taken to the PVAs that I was meant to be. Then, as I was busy on my phone, the organizer told me that I will be performing on the main stage because artists were tardy. I freaked out, naturally! I was so scared that I decided to take my beta-blocker because I was starting to lose my mind.

The Stadium's Stage
I was expecting to perform in front of a few thousand people, sure, but I was not expecting to perform in a stadium that was filled to full capacity by the looks of it. I was still thinking that it must be some elaborate joke when one of the stage helps came and told me that it was time to set up. I sighed, took my guitar case and asked, "Which way is it?" and I was taken to the stadium as seen on the pic on the left. That confetti looking stuff below the ANC logo are humans.

Backstage, they asked who I was so as to announce my name when I went on stage. I told them, and that became a bit of an ordeal because they didn't know how to say my surname, so I took a pen and wrote it down for them. "Wolpendz as in 'Wall' and 'Pends'!" and I could have hung around until I knew that the backstage guy could say my name properly but I had bigger problems on my hands, the problem being, tens of thousands of comrades waiting for the show to begin. I walked away and asked another guy to plug in my guitar and then I remembered that during this whole mess, the guitar was not tuned, so when the announcer said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for Veronnica Wollopins" I was still to sit and tune. So, I made the crowd wait as I tuned my guitar calmly. I didn't care. And, only when I was done did I look up and greet them in Zulu and say, "San'bonani!" and I started playing a song which I had only written a day before.

That's me performing, looking like a piece of shit
The song was in Zulu, which is my first language and all, but which happens not to be the language in which I express myself artistically. Don't ask because I don't know. And don't tell me about the white man brainwashing me, and all that jazz. It has nothing to do with that if you knew my creative process.

So, I sang, the audience was incredibly receptive and the clapped along as I played and sang. When my set was done, they applauded and I swear I received a standing ovation, unless... they were already standing. Ha! Then, again, when I was walking across the stadium, my guitar case in my right hand, they begun to whistle, clap and wave. When I waved back, they made even more noise and I guess that means they were happy with the effort I made.

I went to the arists' designated area and sat at some corner on my own to absorb the moment. Then, a strange thing happened.

People, one after another started to approach me to take photos with me. It could be that they thought I was some other artist called Zahara who also plays the guitar like me, or it could be that they thought "We don't know who she is, but she was on stage at an ANC event so she might be a big deal now or someday!". I was happy to pose with them, and like the antihistamine, the beta-blockers only started taking effect after the performance, so I wasn't shy to speak to people, answer questions and so on. A group of people did ask me if I was Zahara's sister, and what's funny about it is that they were dead serious. Ha! Gawd, that was funny.

Around 3pm, we decided to go home.

I got home at 9pm. The drive was slow because of rain. I then went on twitter, if my memory serves me well, because I couldn't sleep since the beta-blockers had me wide awake. What ARE these beta-blockers anyway. Note to self: Google Beta-blockers and their side effects. I know it's a bit late to look them up now, but could they still be affecting me 7 days later? This rapid heartbeat is a bit uncomfortable.

Anyway, that's all folks!

Veronnica Wolpendz
Love, Peace and Power!

P.S. Some photos are courtesy of Maricelle Botha



3 comments:

AbsintheDragonfly said...

YAY!!!!! I'm so happy for you I might faint now!!!!!!

YOU GO!!!!

xoxoxo
Manda Bear

Veronnica Wolpendz said...

Aaawww, thanks my friend. I know that you and many others have been there from the start and I know that you are sincerely happy... and it feels good.

*hugs*

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! you lived a very exciting time and I wanted to see it. may be it is possible to hear this song?
follow this way, but without the beta...bla bla...

Arnaud from Paris city