Tag Archives: southafrica

Cape Town Round 2!

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.


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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.

Until then,






Post Mandela Day

I’ve learned faster in the previous 6 weeks than I have in any season of life. I started with my time in Angola where I witnessed some of the most heartbreaking stories and then quickly transitioned back to South Africa to begin working on Mandela Day events with the JAM International team. My experiences in Angola fueled the fire in my heart to make Mandela Day a success.
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I believe in a God that gives us big vision and when trusting in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. My greatest desires in life are to see the children of Africa be fed and for people to encounter the love of Jesus through me. I am certain that I am at the center of God’s will for my life and that in His time, the big vision will be fulfilled.

“If you can’t feed 100, just feed 1. ”
— Mother Teresa

I found myself apologizing for something that should not be apologized for. Due to the fact that I so desire for every child to be fed, I was discouraged that there weren’t more sign ups. To be honest, even if there were, I might have been disappointed that even more needed to be fed. The truth is, If just one child was fed on Mandela Day, someones life was completely changed. Someone was given hope for their future. A life being changed for the better is not something to apologize about, it is a celebratory matter.

On three different occasions that day, different individuals walked up to me and said,

“Be faithful in the small things for it is in them that your victory lies.”

Watch my friend Samuel Music honor Mandela through this U2 Ordinary Love cover and share how easy it is to make a difference through JAM.


At the end of the day, I helped book 3 venues in a country foreign to me, interacted and worked with cultural differences and language barriers, booked 3 of South Africa’s award winning bands to represent JAM’s mission, worked with an experienced international marketing team, saw a vision become a reality, and formed relationships and had conversations that challenged and inspired me.

Much love,


Looking for Lekker

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Neighbour Goods Market in Braamfontein with my friend Chane & her husband Chris. Before we left for the market Chane & Chris told me they had a surprise for me in the car. I asked if it was Rodriguez Sugarman (a musical legend in South Africa originally from Detroit). If you have not seen the film Searching for Sugarman, I highly recommend it as it is one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever encountered. What they had for me was not Rodriguez, but something not too far off. They brought me a record player to borrow for my time here! I was holding back tears! The joy was next level! I remember having to pack up my records and record player in Nashville and send them off with my family in Detroit. It was a very difficult farewell for my records and I. I cannot fathom to you the joy that this simple machine brings to my heart. It’s like a little piece of home and myself back in my hands. I am so grateful.

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Neighbour Goods market was an absolute dream come true. I was overwhelmed by the options for food! Everything looked incredible and had an aroma that made you linger near the table a bit longer than one is welcome to. We settled on some of the best gumbo I have ever had in my life. I had some good laughs with Chane, Chris, and their friend Dylan. They are all such creative minds as Chane is a graphic designer here at JAM, her husband Chris works in television, and their friend Dylan is a musician.

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I was telling Chane & Chris that I taught a friend back in the states the Afrikaans slang word, “Lekker,” which means, “Nice”..”Cool”..”Rad.” As my mind tends to wander into these absurd visions, I began to wonder what it would look like if Lekker caught on in America. Since the film Searching for Sugarman was such a success, I pondered the idea of creating a film called, “Looking for Lekker.” How did this word travel from South Africa to America? This is a serious possibility. Just waiting for the word to spread like wildfire. So my American friends, do your duty and start implementing this into our vocabulary.

One of my favorite finds at the market was Bamboo Revolution. I bought an incredible bamboo watch (photo below). I was so keen to support this company as this vision was a result of a postgraduate entrepreneurship program at University of Cape Town. I have such a heart for entrepreneurship, socially conscious products, and unique products. You can read more about their incredible story if you click on the Bamboo Revolution link above.

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Sunday was another epic day! I started off the day having breakfast with my sweet friend Mischa and her family. They were such a kind hearted, loving family. I truly enjoyed my conversation with them learning more about how their family ended up at JAM, what their lives looked like before JAM, and their wonderful sense of humor. Mischa and I then continued on to the mall to meet with her lovely friend Denise. We stocked up for a picnic and headed to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens to catch the Matthew Mole & Shortstraw gig. I met both of these artists last time I was here in South Africa, but never had the opportunity to see them perform live. It was really epic to finally witness the South African music I am listening to through my headphones in Nashville firsthand here inJohannesburg.shortstraw

I’ve been praying for community and with patience and trust, I know my God’s love never fails me. He has sent me wonderful, selfless, kind hearted, people that have brought so much joy to my heart. I am so thankful to have had plans this weekend! Plans that took me to places I fell in love with. Plans with people that made me laugh, smile, dance, and find joy in the simple things of life. I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life here in South Africa. I trust that this is just the beginning!


Here’s a photo my friend Dan took. He’s my pal teaching me an Afrikaans phrase every day. Unfortunately, I accidentally told him he looks like a garden gnome in Afrikaans (Sorry Dan). If you’d like to tell someone they look like a garden gnome too, this is how you say it, “Jy wil soos n tuin kabouter”

With love from Joburg,