The Mazula Family Grows & Shrewsbury Online Folk Festival is a HIT!

The last month of winter in the southern hemisphere is here and in true spring energy, our family grew bigger to include two beautiful bush cats found in Motopos area and who we have come to love through their stay with Lisa at Banff Lodge. In fact, that lodge or Lisa seem to attract cats that adopt it for their preferred home. These two, Sylvester and Milo as they had come to be known, were being housed at Banff due to a cat killing dog on the farm where they were found and looked after. The other Banff cat residence were not liking the two news kids in town and so the mother and daughter duo came to live with us. It will help to keep a natural balance with farm rodents, birds and snakes away with their scents and presence, I am told Milo killed a Black Mumba on the farm. We felt their names were not suiting their presence or sex, so the names came to us of Freia the Goddess for Sylvester the black and white cat and Aela the Huntress for the multi-coloured daughter, Milo. Shamus our puppy was very ears back about the whole thing but gave the cats lots of space, especially after a hall way standoff between the cat duo had ended in a two pronged claw attack, leaving Shamus to scream and yelp like his head had been ripped open, I think he got the message pretty soon on about who was the new law in town! We try to keep it fair like siblings and no violence is accepted in or around the house by any living being, they are still finding their jittery way but can tolerate each other’s presence now.

Most of the month was spent getting beds ready in the garden with good compost, making potting soil, planting seeds and learning about the planting by the moon and signs cycles. We try to stick to the rhythm as it also helps with the overwhelming to do lists but when we don’t, as we are joyful farmers not dutiful ones, we make a note to see which plants grow better; the moon & sign planted ones or the ad hoc planted ones? Too soon to tell for sure but the seedlings planted by the moon seem to be bigger already. All this winter has been learning; visioning; planning; experimenting with growing out of season; getting beds ready; building natural borders to stop wild life and unwanted dogs/cats. You know, having a dog again in our lives and now cats, has anchored our family around daily walks, feeding and training time. You anchor your routines around different things when you’re on the road but its lovely when your anchors are animals. My world is not complete without animal relationships around me. Luckily everywhere we travel we seem to attract families and places to stay with loads of animal energy. We end up falling in love with just as many dogs, cats and horses, as we do people! We will keep all Shamus’s papers up so we can travel with him within Africa, not sure if we could leave him for long, only when we go to Europe really.

Now should this lock down not have happened, we would have been playing live music around many festivals in the UK, Shrewsbury Folk Festival being one of them. Now Shrewsbury Folk Festival came up with a great idea and gained funding to put on an online version of the festival for 2020 and asked us to be part of the line-up. FANTASTIC. Getting a fee for recording a performance from your own back yard during lock down, ABSOLUTELY we will be involved! Top idea, providing musicians value for content and then charging a small fee for people to get tickets online. Watching the shows and providing a platform to fund raise for great cases and the 2021 festival continuation. So we recorded our video from our backyard in Zimbabwe and featured on the Sat 29th August 2020 line up. Filming it was a comedy of errors, all very home done and low tech but one day we will have a videographer or we will just get better. You can check out our Shrewsbury 2020 Folk Online Festival performance now on our Youtube Channel, be sure to SUBSCRIBE:

I continue to be incredibly grateful for the study group we are doing through this time. It’s taken the heat out of not earning through live shows to live off. Both myself and the kids have been really enjoying a few hours of fun, learning, connection and growth together. When I am working with kids I can go from elated and feeling electric at the connection and empowering feeling of children learning and then it can swing to days being completely depleted, desperate on how to get kids to enjoy learning, focus and even just apply some of themselves. Obviously it changes with the kids I have in each group and on how the wind blows on day but it is always a moving experience that can never stay fixed and I don’t think it ever can no matter how many years you teach. Maybe that’s why I enjoy being around kids and education, it is always changing and growing but in joyous wonder or deep despair, honest and still where truth remains unmasked.

Our second home from home, Banff Lodge were challenged by Roosters Pizza Place to the Jerusalema dance challenge and boy did they BRING IT! With most of them only learning the dance moments before we filmed, it was literally sprung on some, to others who really rehearsed to make sure they had it, all staff and customers who were in the video had a great day learning something together. That music seems to lift up your heart and makes you want to dance anyway. Danny Candy filmed the whole thing with his videographer Lesley and a great video full of heart came out of it, Challenge Accepted! You should have a look at some of the Jerusalema challenge videos out there, this dance Challenge has gone around the world! Great for South African music scene. The one at Vic Falls and the nuns in Rome is worth a watch. You can see ours on our Youtube Channel.

Vusa and I were not brought up in the computer age, we were just before the boom really hit and keeping up an online presence or blogs up to date has been a major falling but we are getting there and this month saw us having a meeting with a website company in Bulawayo to get our Inter-Web presence as strong as our Golden-Web presence, which is where we spend most of our time. One day we will have a videographer that loves our music and following us around capturing moments to get out to the world. Then we would have a load of interesting content for you to follow online, lord knows, it’s never boring, there’s just never a camera around when you need one! Getting a tech team that know about these kinds of things is a HUGE step forward. Till next month….