Podcast by The Cheeky Natives
Sue Nyathi: A Family Affair
Meet the Mafus, a close-knit, traditional family with three daughters. As leaders of their church, The Kingdom of God, Pastor Abraham and his wife Phumla are guiding the community of Bulawayo in faith, while trying to keep the different branches of their family intact.’
Although, the podcast was recorded a year ago, we are cheekily release it now because the paperback edition of A Family Affair is out.
In this conversation, Sue Nyathi explores the journeys of family. What does is it mean to be family in a time of tumultuous changes, challenges and complications.
We explore the different personalities of the members of this family, Xoliswa in all her feistiness, Zandile and her marital bliss always complicated by Yandisa who considered is the ‘black sheep’ of the family.
There are interesting, painful and heartbreaking moments as we explore what happens to women when life happens.
So much of the conversation is centred around what it means to hold space for family when you don’t approve of each other’s choices.
Sue challenges the reader as we navigate the difficult themes of grief, loss and Gender-Based Violence. We spoke to these themes and more.
This was a powerful conversation between the Cheeky Natives and Sue Nyathi.
Jamil F. Khan: Khamr: The Makings of a Waterslams
“This is not a story for the romanticisation of pain and perseverance, although it tells of overcoming many difficulties. It is a critique of secret violence in faith communities and families, and the hypocrisy that has damaged so many people still looking for a place and way to voice their trauma. This is a critique of the value placed on ritual and culture at the expense of human life and well-being, and the far-reaching consequences of systems of oppression dressed up as tradition.”
Jamil F. Khan is a critical diversity scholar, columnist and author. They are currently enrolled for a PhD in Critical Diversity Studies at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies. Their work explores multiple axes of difference including race, gender, sexuality and class. As a columnist, their analysis of socio-political events shaping the South African landscape pulls no punches in speaking truth to power. Their published work includes a socio-political memoir, Khamr: The Makings of a Waterslams – winner of best biography at the 2021 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards, book chapters in Intersections of ageing, gender and sexualities (Polity Press, 2019), They Called Me Queer (Kwela, 2019) and Touch (Kwela, 2021) and scholarly articles on the subject of queer ageing in academic journals Sexualities and Agenda.
In their memoir which details their experiences from childhood to early adulthood, Khan writes with tenderness and vulnerability, the complicated realities of living in a so-called middle-class Coloured home in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town.
The detail of these memories is both jarring and reassuring as we watch Khan and examine the intersections of race, Islam and homophobia while they works through self discovery.
There is a deep examination of generational trauma and what pain is left as an inheritance in an environment of abuse and trauma.
Extending grace while holding their loved ones accountable is a theme which runs throughout the book and both challenges and comforts the reader in their own confrontation of the traumas of racism and homophobia.
In this episode, The Cheeky Natives sat with the talented Jamil F Khan to discuss what it means to memorialise your self and journey in memoir.
Angela Makholwa: Critical But, Stable
Lerato never wanted to join her sister's stupid social club. All those pretentious people spending hours showing off their wealth. To what end? What was the point of it all? She'd been disappointed that her husband had fallen for Solomzi's charms and finally acceded to the invitation to join the group."
In her latest novel chronicling the lives of four couples, Makholwa reveals the price of ‘perfect’. In a social media world obsessed with love lives here and Black love, Makholwa challenges readers to look beyond the veneer.
These very successful women who form the backbone of this story are each battling their own demons in their marriages and even work life.
The discovery of the body of unidentified woman in the beginning of the book is the source of much mystery and tension.
Exploring the themes of financial crisis, toxic relationships, religion and sexual frustration, critical but. stable is a feat.
Makholwa calls on us to rethink what capitalism means for Black love and existence.
Terry-Ann Adams: Those Who Live in Cages
‘Everybody lives in a cage. Whether they know it or not is the question. I think that knowing that you in live in a cage is what ultimately sets you free, But even if you don’t know that you live in a cage, you know that there must be more to life than this.’ – Terry-Ann Adams
Women are often not the protagonists of their own stories. Terry- Ann Adams in her debut novel reputes this, Those Who Live in Cages captures the interior lives of five women in Eldorado Park, a Coloured township in the South of Johannesburg.
It is through Bertha, Kaylynn Laverne, Janice and Raquel that we experience the everyday life of Eldos and surviving in ‘the Park’. Their lives enables us go think through living as a Black women in this country.
The book does not shy away from difficult issues that plague these women, such as alcoholism, domestic violence, gender-based violence, teen pregnancy. Through all this, these women try to exercise some agency.
The book also has soft moments in the familial context, in the friendship and in many ways how these women find themselves in the world that was not created to benefit them.
We sat with Terry-Adams to reflect on the inspiration between the novel and to reflect more deeply on the issues that are excavated in the story. This debut is a poignantly beautiful offering that adds to the canon about an often forgotten community.
Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda: No Be From Hia
‘My book was inspired by my multicultural background - Zambian, Nigerian, Jamaican and British. I wrote it at a time when I was processing the loss of both sets of grandparents, whom I had visited in Nigeria and in my Zambian village, Chinsali.’ Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda
In a search for identity, love and acceptance two ordinary girls travel from London to Lusaka to Lagos in order to save their family and discover their identity.
Maggie Ayomide and Bupe Kombe are cousins on either side of the world who couldn't be more different. Zambian-Nigerian and Zambian-Jamaican, both yearn for their disbanded family to reunite.
The Cheeky Natives sat in conversation with Natasha to mediate on No Bia from Hia. We spoke about Migration, mother and daughter relationship, the sisterhood, men who harm and hurt and a meditation on loss and grief.
Brit Bennett: The Vanishing Half
“The only difference between lying and acting was whether your audience was in on it, but it was all a performance just the same.”
Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction. In 2014, she received the Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller. Her second novel The Vanishing Half was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Her essays have been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.
The Mother’s was a best selling debut and her sophomore release was named one of the best books of 2020.
The Cheeky Natives sat down to discuss The Vanishing Half with her.
A book exploring the lives of two identical sisters, Desiree and Stella Vignes. This book is a multi generational exploration of the wide ranging impacts of the choices people make in difficult circumstances.
In a beautifully written page turner, Bennett asks the reader to imagine what difficulties lie at the intersection of grief, family and race.
Bennett is a tour de force.
Guys, I’ve only listened to one episode and I’m convinced I love your podcast
You should seriously consider editing your podcasts. I’ve noticed that you just upload podcasts from whatever video platform you use. It’s difficult following the conversation when you just go silent coz we literally can’t see what’s happening because this is a podcast. And times when someone’s line is bad, you could really spend 30 seconds editing that part out.
All the best
One of the best South African podcasts
I love the Cheeky Natives podcast and have been listening for about a year now. It’s not only the only podcast that has stayed on my list (I’m too picky 😭) but I feel like it’s the best example of what South African podcasts can be. I love the energy of it - the background noise, the liveliness, it all feels so natural and real, as if I’m right there at the table, watching and listening to the conversation between the hosts and the guest.
The audio quality could be a bit better, because the levels sometimes get a bit scratchy and hard to listen to, but all in all, great podcast with great hosts.