MY DURBAN FEATURE FOR SUNDAY TRIBUNE SM MAGAZINE
For Sunday 6 May please
ByLwansta is an articulate, insightful, observant rapper based in Durban North who has passionately fallen in love with his new home town of Durban. He will be performing at the
Michaelhouse Festival of Music – at the St Michaels House Party on Saturday night (12 May) at 7pm with Freddie L and Kahn Morbee. Then, with a three piece band, he will be at Zakifo music festival playing on Friday 25 May at the Views @ Twenty5, joining Baraka, Sainty Baby, K-$; DJ Doowap; Nasty C and DJ Lag. He has been described as a musician who “constructs conversational raps laden with brutal honesty and vivid story-telling, delivered in a style that emanates a soulful and mellow vigour.”
Name ByLwansta (real name Lwandile Nkanyuza – but almost no one calls me that any more)
Day Job Independent graphic designer
Home is… where work isn’t……
Kokstad is my family home and I go there to relax my mind and be a good son up close. The noisiest things there are the Hadedas who wake me up. Morning to you too guys!
I am based in Durban North currently
Best place for a first date in the city? Glenwood is good – around Davenport. Some great restaurants can be found and it’s a totally happening place. Pop into the KZNSA Gallery to reflect on other peoples interpretations in art. A variation on this could be my first date and second date and third….
Or in town by South Beach there is a shisa nyama spot called “Kwa Ace”, a really great place. It is homely although now it’s becoming more of a restaurant. A good place to chill and dine, and certainly an option for a date night. I love me some braai’d meet.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in Durban from out of town? Wow – I find a meal and then pretty much get to work!! Durban’s a big city so it’s pretty busy, and so there is always something to do or a deadline to meet. Until recently I was here as a student but now that I am working, my focus is different. I still need to get into the habit of having more fun and hang out on the beach more – the calm of the sea is good for my mental health.
Best meal you’ve had in Durban, that’s not at home? No doubt – its butter chicken quarter bunny. My favourite non-home go-to meal! Any place which offers butter chicken quarter bunny on the menu is worth trying. Although I am pretty loyal to “Some Like it Hot: close to home in Durban North.
What local song can’t you stop listening to? “Someone Else” by Kimosabe. A really insightful R&B song. I love it because it addresses uncomfortable situations and encourages difficult conversations. It’s a great song with a great melody, but if offers something more complicated than general happiness – which can be something to hide behind. It’s an honest song with a positive message.
What’s the last South African movie you watched? “Chappie” was probably the last movie. It offered an interesting take on robots and was pretty cool. I loved that SA artists featured in it. It followed a similar narrative to “District Nine” and was just as inspiring.
And the last stage play? I caught some tribute shows back in the day at Gateway Barnyard. A particular memory was leaving college in Umhlanga on my way to catch a taxi and hearing that the orchestra (KZN Philharmonic) was playing an open air concert at Chris Saunders Park. We stopped and listened to the music for totally ages. I loved it – it was really visual for me – evoking the sense of musical scores. I remember it clearly – it was a real eye opener.
When was the last time you attended a music concert/festival and who was performing?
In Joburg last week I shared the bill with TSA. That was great. Our music is different, but we are on the same wavelength and we are the same species of creative human – I’m convinced we both bleed orange.
Earliest memory you have of Durban? As kids coming to Durban for holiday and travelling together in the family car – sleeping on the back seat and waking up to see the Durban lights and sensing the sea. I have a particular memory of this to the sound track of “You give me Something” by Jamiroquai – a memory from long ago…..
So if you were Mayor for the day, what would you do? Establish and support more art galleries – especially in places where are they aren’t any. One placed next to Kwa Ace maybe – so I can enjoy some great food together with inspiring art.
Your favourite hangout spot in Durban? Galleries: the KZNSA Gallery and Durban Art Gallery. The Zanele Maholi photographic exhibition there recently was amazing. Also good meeting places – like Kwa Ace. .
The best kept secret in the city? The talent of the people. Everybody here has talent in their own respect. No one is in each other’s faces here, there is a sense of people all working together. I love the sense of creating a community of Creatives. And people here support the home grown and independent. The fuss of Spiga closing down really showed that.
Best place to let your hair down? Cool Runnings – it has good music and a good vibe typically enjoyed by a diverse group of people all beautifully co-existing together…. that kind of vibe….
Who do you call when you want to have fun and where in the city do you go? I would call my girlfriend and we would go in search of good food. Both of us aren’t originally from Durban so its a thrill to explore it….
Your favourite coffee shop? Green Bean. I love the cosy retro energy. Great for meetings too. And they serve great tea.
Favourite Durban shop to shop? I’m not much of a shopper – but my girlfriend and I enjoy clothing window shopping at “Cotton On”. We love the unisex vibe….
Florida Road or Helen Joseph Road? Which one is better? Can I choose both? Great night life in Florida Rd , good tea in Davenport
Which is your favourite market in Durban? I haven’t explored too many, so I don’t have one in particular – but there’s a lot I’ll be able to explore now that I’m out of the confines of college.
Which building in Durban would you like to own? Pixley House in town – occupied by a number of creative entrepreneurs all those creatives with such great energy. I’d want to help cultivate an overall creative space that creatives alike can enter and leave energised.
Which building you’d like to be locked in overnight? Next to Ikes Books there is Kaya Record store. I would love to have time to look at the album artwork carefully. At the time, artists’ canvas was record sleeves– and some of the artwork is amazing. A far cry from the almost R1 coin sized thumbnail we get on cell phones now.
What’s the one thing people need to stop doing in Durban? Nothing that I can think of – nothing about Durban people bugs me too much…. it’s all chilled….. sometimes a bit too chilled ….
Where is the best view of Durban? At UKZN campus – from any of the elevated buildings. There is a great view. When I saw it first, I was blown away!
Best place for a nightcap? Maybe some quiet time on Virginia Beach with some friends where you can catch your breath at the end of an evening.
What’s the one thing that differentiates Durban from other cities in SA? There is an organic vibe to Durban. Everything is not processed, it is raw, organic, natural. A spade is a spade down here.
Where would you suggest first time visitors to the city go, to get the best experience of the city? Cool Runnings!!
So what do you do on a Sunday morning? I read up on graphic design, ‘cause I no longer have 8+ hours a day on campus to do that, so I try get that in; and then make some instrumentals and try write some new music. Now that College is over, Sunday for me is about music – good days to learn and practice and reflect and relax.
ByLwansta My Durban Feature