Ready for delightful love poems & delicious lies?

We’ve all been eagerly awaiting the “Love And Other Beautiful Lies” show in Melville this weekend so we jumped at the chance to catch up with Xabiso Vili and Bonga Ndziweni.


Tell us more about Saturday’s show and what we can expect?
The show is chapter one of what will hopefully become a thing we do annually. We hope to make a production of it as well for later this year, so we are really excited about that. People can expect exactly what we are calling the show: only delightful love poems and many delicious lies. It’s going to be great.

Xabiso: Saturday’s show is going to be heart melting, heartbreaking, heart forming, heart repairing experience. We’ve come together to have a conversation about love as black men living in South Africa today. It is the first chapter of a continuous dialogue we’ll be having on various stages about where and how we stand with our partners. I’m excited to hear love stories and share love stories and to grow together through the beauty of our love and our lies.

What is the biggest misconception we have about love?
The idea than we can design it if you will. That we can make love an arrangement or agreement we enter into like a job that allows us to work part-time somewhere else on weekends.

What are the top 3 lessons you’ll teach your sons about love?
1. You do not own anybody, ever! A person might date you or be with you, this does not entitle you to them or what they decide to do with themselves. When it comes to love, delete the words “My” and “Mine” when talking about a partner. They are not property for you to own

2. Heartbreak is not the end of the world, most times, it is the beginning of another. Allow yourself space to hurt, space to cry, space to mourn. This is healthy and you never need to go through it alone.

3. It is always your responsibility to teach other men how to love, our kind do not love easily, it is always our work to make the act of loving easier for everybody – especially those that struggle to or do not know how.

Do you have any favourite love poems?
I think that’s almost as impossible as trying to decide what my favourite movie is. However, one of the few love poems that always moves me is a poem by Kurtis Lamkin called The Kwelia Birds.

When did you first fall in love, tell us about it?
Every time I fall in love is a first time, there is never a love that is the same as another. This is the beauty of love, the reason it is undefinable, because it is never the same. The first time I came to this realisation, I must have been 17. I had moved down to Cape Town. It was a slow realisation. I have had sudden realisations of love, seeing a person walk down the road and you jump off the back off a moving motorcycle to go greet her or seeing a person perform and an entire world opens up in front of you and and all you crave is an invite into that world, but this one was slow, a friend I spent so much time with grew into a lover. You know how it happens, you meet them, you laugh at the same jokes, like the same music, read the same books, introduce each other to your favourite artists, how you grow around each other, next thing you know, your hearts beat in unison and the first time you kiss, some kind of black magic shows you all the universe and how it could not exist without the two of you. But yeah, my first love was my friend and it was glorious. But things end hey, and perhaps, that is also love. So you let go and this teaches you a lesson you still not quite sure the meaning of.

How would you explain “falling in love” to a 6 year old?
I wouldn’t! I’d spare him/her a few more years of happiness before filling their head with such tragic ideas.

Poets tend to be real romantic in their poems but not so much in their real lives. Is this something you struggle with?
Hehe, pretty much yea! But I’m working on it…seriously I am…I swear I am.

Xabiso: Eish, guys, this thing exists from person to person, right. I can be that romantic with certain people depending on the energy from that person. But also brings up the argument of, is the poet the poem and vice versa. As much as I exist in my poems, these poems are their own beings and exist for the audience member in that moment, and if we’re lucky, after that moment. So, I don’t know if the question is how romantic I can be, my partners know how romantic I can or cannot be, the question is how romantic the poem leaves the audience member feeling. Does it make you want to fall in love again, if so, then it’s done its work. Don’t think I’m romantic because I performed a romantic poem, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have romance in me. But, do remove me from the poem and make it yours.

Are lies an inevitable part of love?
If you love contrary to your spirit, then yes. A person with a monogamous spirit trying to be polyamorous will encounter much lies. And vice versa. Love is truth but we live to learn to love, so in our beautiful lies we find the place in which we grow. To find love is to encounter beautiful lies, to love is to have let go of those lies.

Bonga: Ideally, people in love should get to a point where they don’t have to lie to each other. However, I think the best relationship are lies made true by the two people growing into the lies.


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