Staying Power


Let me start by being honest...

Photo(s) Taken By: Andrew Soglo
In Melville, Johannesburg

I seek new beginnings in an addictive fashion. Yes, I throw my cares to the wind and I run into new spaces and new faces like it's a drug.
However, here I am - in the town of Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal. After a year and a half of introspecting, mourning and planning, I am finally connecting to this place and it's people and most importantly, I am taking hold of the opportunities it presents.

I spent months deciphering its beauty - reading books, taking pictures with the mediocre camera of a cheap android phone, gaining inspiration from it's abounding nature and rustic fashion. From homes built by the aspirant and successful in Reservoir Hills to finding joy in it's thrift stores and factory shops.
I decided I'd build a life here somehow, I decided that the countryside in all of its quaintness appealed to me in a way that was wrapped up in peace of mind and the endless hum of wholeness and opportunity to be the self the city so often made me feel like I needed to put aside.
I wondered what it would be like to embrace the rustic essence of a town in the middle of a province I've called home for most of my young life. Here I was, on the other side of 25, sure about who I am, hungry, pennyless and looking for a way to be expressive and successful all at once. I was standing on the shards of several broken dreams with bloody, naked feet and a quivering spirit.
Then branding came into my life - it came into my life and reminded me of the goals and dreams that it inspired year after year without me knowing what it even was.

The power of brand; staying power in the human mind and the human soul. The ability to weave yourself into people's homes, thoughts, playlists, memories and moments. To be so appealing, to relate so well to others that you stay a part of their lives 'til the end of their days.

Staying power... the power of brand.

I became obsessed - brand could resurrect businesses, inspire people to be great - brand was everywhere we looked, listened and touched. It was in my favourite industries; the fashion magazines that lead me to the world of modeling and catalogues, it was in the colour schemes of my favourite photos, it was in the tone of my favourite writers, it was in the seamless scenes of my favourite films and it was in the sounds and aesthetics of my favourite musicians and artists. It was in the stories we are all bound to tell one day, in the car we first kissed in to the cake he bought us to celebrate a promotion on a night that ended in love-making and a marriage proposal. It's in the coffee we buy on weary mornings to the office or in the TV set we lay in front of on our off days. It's in the destinations we long to visit one day and in the cars, trains and flights we'll choose to get there.

I fell in love with brand and as I fell in love it pointed me back to myself and everything I want from life. Every pursuit made sense under its umbrella and so I began to plan again, to implement in small steps. I  began to believe in myself and became Nona Zuri after years of clouds of doubt and disorientation.

Brand pointed me back to what I was really about, it's the kind of subject that makes you conscious of everything you put out and thus everything you embody. It forced me to remember what makes me able to be who I am and what I communicate to those around me. It forced me to write it down, to find pictures on Pinterest, to find words that described myself like a tale, like a story, like a theme...

So here I am, enjoying life in a small town - teaching and lending knowledge on something that not only gives us our lifestyles but helps us identify who we are by what we identify with the most.

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