Gratitude Is A Must

N Oji Mzilikazi

1 January 2022

Cyaan bawl ina life man
Gwan wid it, mi gwan wid it

Toast, yeah
Say we a come in wid a force, yeah

Blessings we a reap pon we course inna hand full
We nuh rise and boast
Yeah we give thanks like we need it the most
We haffi give thanks like we really supposed to, be thankful

Blessings all pon mi life and
Me thank God for di journey, di earnings a jus fi di plus
Gratitude is a must, yeah
Me see blessings fall by mi right hand

Koffee – Toast

Despite the sickness, death, discombobulation, havoc, willingly embraced misinformation, disinformation and stupidity engendered by Covid-19, the pandemic exposed human fragility and how easy it is for everything — people and things we love, care about, or that anchor us or give us a sense of self can be lost, taken away or destroyed in one fell swoop.

Recognition of how unimportant some of our priorities are and/or things once wholeheartedly believed to be important and subsequent reassessment prompted a different mindset that included automatic utilization of the pause and stop buttons on our console, as exemplified by the likes of Naomi Osaka and Simeone Biles, thankfulness and appreciation of life, the good people around us and what we have regardless of the size of our portion.

Even if we are unable to drink out of a saucer because our cup does not runneth over, gratitude is still a must! Small mercies are still worthy of praise and thanks.

Covid-19 Pandemic Playlist: Music To Lift Spirits

By N Oji Mzilikazi

30 December 2021

Music/rhythm and dance are hardwired in the human genome.

Music is the invisible thread that connects the mind to the heart to the body, to the spirit, to the soul — and feet.

Music can enlighten, calm the mind, body and soul, provide answers, allow one to fly, experience rapture.

Music has the power to recharge one’s internal battery and fortify spirits to face challenges — life.

Humankind rhythmic hardwiring is responsible for the creation of musical instruments and dance in all its forms. That innate propulsion towards music and dance has been repeatedly validated in people of African descent — the progeny of former enslaved Africans — their inventiveness in adapting, producing, creating new musical instruments, new musical genres to replace outlawed drums, songs, dances, and new dance forms.

Even the very religious that eschew music cannot escape that innate rhythmic wiring. Intense praying or recitation of scripture would cause their body to unconsciously and rhythmically sway or rock.

While there are no clear-cut answers on how to hold oneself; one’s body, mind, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual self together in face of the Covid-19 pandemic that has upended lives, frayed nerves, forced isolation, impacted work, finances, relationships, sexual intercourse, sexual flirtation, courtship, social gatherings, clubbing, birthdays, anniversaries, grief, mourning and send-offs of departed loved ones, and brought on unending mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual fatigue, this I know: music and dance can be a balm — if you allow you to lose yourself in its notes, rhythm and embrace.

Make yourself a playlist of your favourite songs, even if you have to go on the ’tube for the video. When I say favourite, I mean songs that you would put on repeat at least three times because the song resonates with you so much, once doesn’t cut it. Turn up stereo, tv or ’puter, or tablet as loud as is possible without disturbing others — and lose yourself.

Hereunder are some of the songs that do it for me:

The Jazz Crusaders – Pass The Plate (Medley)

Fela Ransome Kuti – Army Arrangement

Fela Ransome Kuti – Je’Nwi Temi

Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now

Mahalia – Simmer (feat. Burna Boy)

Mark Rodgers – I Promise

Blaze – If You Should Need A Friend (Friendship mix)

Robert Owens – I’ll Be Your Friend

Ten City – Devotion (Club mix)

Electribe 101 – Talking With Myself (Frankie Knuckles mix)

The Tyrrel Corporation – One Day (dub) Roger Sanchez rmx

Black Rascals – Sympathy (Rascal vocals)

Cassio – Baby Love (Chord Mix)

Darryl D’Bonneau – Say You’re Gonna Stay [Original Mix]

Convertion – Let’s Do It Feat Leroy Burgess (Louie Vega Boogie Mix)

DJ Duke, Inner Soul – I’m In Need 4 U

Inner City – Good Life (Cj’s Living Good CLub Mix)

Jovonn – Pianos of Gold

Sabrina Johnson – I Wanna Sing (CJ’s 12” mix)

Master C&J feat. Liz Torres – Mama’s Boy

Sergio Mendes Feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas Que Nada The Masters At Work Remix

Rudoulpho – Touch Me

Wizkid – Essence (feat. Tems)

Sharissa ft. Scarface – Any Other Night (remix)

Koffee ft Tory Lanez – Toast (Remix)

Aretha Franklin – The Weight

Mavis Staples – Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Mavis Staples – We Shall Not Be Moved

Teddy Pendergrass – Oh Happy Day

Charlie Wilson – I’m Blessed feat. T.I.

Byron Lee & Dragonaires – Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Elaine Paige – La Vie en Rose

Willie Nelson – Stardust

Eddy Kenzo – Tweyagale

Master KG feat. Nomcebo Zikode – Jerusalema