The other day I was trolling twitter timelines and I ended up on an interesting conversation between Lebo Mashile (aka CIA Agent Madichaba) and some friends:
I had to join in to ensure that my generation’s history was not misrepresented. Understandably Lebo and co are from a generation who slow-danced to the likes of BoyzIIMen, JoDeCi, Blackstreet, whereas many in my generation owe some of our best moments to (lil) Bow Wow, B2K, Chris Brown and co. (In primary school it was the Backstreet Boys who rocked my little world).
And of course that’s where a lot of my very misguided ideas were shaped, along with the other equally damaging ideas from blockbuster romantic movies and romcoms such as The Notebook, Two Can Play That Game and The Wedding Planner.
I’m not alone in this regard, many of our conceptions and traditions around love and relationships have been and continue to be shaped by market forces. And this month, we are smack-bam in the middle of it with that marketer’s holiday, Valentine’s Day.
I know all the arguments about Valentine’s Day devaluing love because it reduces it to material things and that we shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day in order to show our appreciation for each other etc etc. That’s all good and I understand that. Nomakanjane, as far as my relationship is concerned, V-Day is a nice and convenient reminder of love to be celebrated in addition to all the other days we will show each other our appreciation and be unmaterialistic. Why fight it? (Don’t answer that.)
This month, we are giving St. Valentine some great PR by exploring all things relationships. Amongst many other topics, Vangile Ganthso brings us an interesting take on ‘love across tax brackets’ and we deconstruct gender roles in relationships. Our resident movie critic Nthabiseng Mokoena gives us her take of some of the biggest black love movies from Love Jones to How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Outside of all things love, we are excited to bring you a new 8 part travel series documenting Tsholo Tlhoaele’s travels across the continent.
I hope you do have a great February. As always, we welcome your feedback – good or bad on our work.