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Friendzone: Sibongile Dalasile

When I started this blog, or more specifically, this "friend zone" section in my blog a few years ago, the idea was that I would use it as a space to big up some of my female friends who have been really awesome to me but also those who, I feel, deserve to have someone tell them that they are awesome because, as you know, the world is full of people who love taking but fall short when it comes to being generous. I should know, I am one of them.

So the "friend zone" was meant to be my token of appreciation to my friends because as the writer in the group, I often have very little to give in return except for words, some cheap laughs and maybe long catch up sessions when we are in the same city.

Sbo, is one of those people and since we don't live in the same city anymore, I thought she would be the perfect friend for me to revive this comatose ploy of mine to spread some extra cheer in the world.

I don't even know where to start because the story of how we met is different according to whom you ask. I remember meeting her through our mutual friend, Lebogang, in Cape Town's Long Street. She was either coming from or going to a Bikram Yoga class, so I remember her meeting us lazy bums drinking beer on the Cape Town streets and explaining to be what Bikram was about. 

Lebogang remembers it differently, he remembers meeting her through me and she remembers something else completely different. But it doesn't matter because we met and we became friends and what rachet friends we have been (I mean that word in the most positive light, of course).

If we were not having "Why not Tuesday braais" on the roof of my building with the rest of the gang, we were drinking champagne and naked mexican beers at the Old Biscuit Mill. If we were not having elaborate lunches, dinners or attending events together then we were probably sitting somewhere plotting our next escapade. 

What is interesting about Sbo is that I thought we were polar opposites.  I remember how we would be meeting up for drinks after work and her coming from work meant she was all dressed up in heels and a stunning outfits while me coming from work meant dirty sneakers and probably smelling of smoke because there were always fires to cover as a morning reporter in Cape Town. 

But she is just as open-minded as I am and while she is also a total sweetheart, she takes no bullshit from randoms, which suits me just fine. She is the most supportive person and coming from the Eastern Cape, she has the best stories, I live for her stories about her uncle because I am convinced he is my spirit animal. 

If she is not helping me through personal shit (even while she is on a different time-zone), she was letting me stay with her while I tried to figure my life. Always with an open heart, no questions asked and a refreshing way of looking at whatever it is that I was going through in a way that made it obvious that I was getting worked up over nothing and things will sort themselves out. But even when they didn't I knew who to talk to.

Now that we no longer live ten minutes away from each other in Cape Town, it is a lot harder to have the long conversations or the short ones to be honest. She just has to trust that when I say I am ok, then I really am ok (which is not always the case but why worry someone who is miles away when i can just have another glass of red, right?). What is fascinating is that when we do open up, we are mostly going through the same sort of problems and they either deserve a good laugh or the world to give us a bit of a break.

But that is life and what matters is that I know that someone will be there on the other side of the phone even if it is to listen to me talk about work or a boy or a big life move that I want to make and it is scarring the shit out of you! But more importantly that she knows that she has the same in me :)


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Five Questions with Neo Maditla

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Neo Maditla is Editor in Chief of Design Indaba online, South Africa's leading design and creativity platform. features some of the best talent on the African continent and from around the globe. Not only is Neo passionate about African art, but she's also a seasoned writer with experience in print, TV and online. We just had to have her on the Rise Art Prize panel for Africa and the Middle East.

1. What’s your favourite art gallery?
I love the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. It has a massive collection and I always go there, alone or with friends, and I just spend hours on end looking through the work. It's located in massive public park where one can go for a picnic, visit the restaurant or even take a stroll down Government Avenue so see the monument commissioned by Design Indaba in honour of Archbishop Tutu called Arch for Arch.
Cape Town's Iziko South African National Gallery.
2. What’s your favourite …