Last weekend, I had an incredible visit to Cape Town. I wanted to have a unique experience because I definitely put myself in the stereotype of tourist with my Waterfront visit last time! So, this time I stayed at a trendy hostel in Gardens called Once. Once was occupied by models, international nomads, and people that didn’t know where they were going next. I fell in love with this place and the spontaneity of the people that stayed there.
The staff made me feel at home every time I interacted with them. They called me Miss Detroit. At the end of the weekend, I asked if I could move in, facetiously, but they were actually willing to make a plan. Maybe someday…
On Thursday, I went to a gig at The Waiting Room on Cape Town’s famous Long Street. We went to watch a band called Original Swimming Party. They immediately reminded me of my Detroit roots and passion for the music coming from Ghostly International Records.
Currently, universities across South Africa have been closed due to protests. Students are linking arms in the fight against school fees increasing. However, this protest not only focuses on the school fees, but the equal opportunity for education for all South Africans. This is a major stride for this country and a bold position that millennial’s are taking to breakdown the history of apartheid. It’s truly an incredible time to be in this country.
At the gig, the band had an extraordinary vision for using music as a mechanism for social change. They had visuals projected behind them as they performed and during one of their songs were images of protests and #FeesMustFall. I have such a heart for using music for social change and it was surreal to be in a place where peaceful protest was happening through the power of music.
Friday was all about the music! I started my day early and filled it with meetings with South African musicians. I was very curious about the needs and struggles being a musician in South Africa. I tend to find such similar desires and visions for artists here. There is definitely an opportunity and gap to be filled and I believe I can be a part of that solution.
Friday evening I went to Church on Main, which was a church that really married and reminded me of my 2 church homes in Nashville. This was a perfect mix of Journey Franklin and Anchor Fellowship. I was really stoked to be in a church setting with people my age since I have been out of my Nashville community for so long. I met some really incredible people at that church that have already been encouragers and warriors for me the last few days. There were 2 artists performing at this church, Majozi and Campbell Colledge. Majozi, you may recognize from a few blogs back that came to JAM to give his testimony on using his platform to help others. It was really rad to see the church community in Cape Town thriving with youngins!
After the gig, a few friends and I hung out in the Southern Suburbs. This was a unique experience for us, as we were completely out of our comfort zone being city kids. However, it was really interesting to see a completely different lifestyle being lived in such close proximity to the city.
On Saturday, my friends and I took the train out to Simon’s Town. This was really exciting for me because I remember visiting Simon’s Town on a Belmont Maymester trip 2 years prior. It is such a picturesque, historical, and quiet place. I think my favorite part about this place is seeing penguins at the beach. If you knew me growing up, you know penguins were a constant obsession in my life. So, this was a dreamland for 5-year-old little Moog coming to life! We watched the rugby game at a friend’s beach house, but mostly Ali & I watched how ridiculous men get watching sports in South Africa and had a good laugh the whole time. They’ve got a lot of passion for the Springboks!
After that, we headed back into town because I had a meeting with a DJ to get more of an idea of what it looks like to be a DJ in Cape Town aspiring to break into global markets.
I’ve been taking advantage of travel on weekends to discover things that may be entrepreneurial endeavors for me in the future. I have a vision developing as a I continue to meet artists that have the same goals as myself in this country.
Music and social entrepreneurship have been at the core of my heart for many years. I think I am finally getting a sense of what things are going to look like for me in the years ahead with entrepreneurship.
As for my work at JAM, I am wrapping up a global strategy that will focus on the development and implementation of global communications on various social media platforms for each JAM global office. This has been a massive undertaking for me, but I have learned much and grown daily.
This week, we shot a video of my reflections of my time here with the production team. I’m very excited to share this content with you when it is prepared. There is so much to share from my experiences in South Africa and I believe this is going to be such a great way to share my stories.