Monday, 28 December 2015

MUSIC: DESERT DREAMS: Original Song Title track for Indie Film

I wrote this song while thinking of the loss and suffering - heat and distress - of all the men currently fighting in far off lands, under the unforgiving sun...

The sound inspiration was of desert singing, raw vocalisation, conveying the emotion behind every reunion after time apart, of the changes that happen in the minds and emotions of the result of war.
Every conveyance of bad news... every trauma, every broken bone and spirit, and for the Veterans all over the world who have ever fought a war.

To listen to this song, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

CRAFT IDEA: Nautical Themed Wall Art KID FRIENDLY!

I did this Holiday Craft activity with my 5 year old daughter this morning, it took roughly two hours and she had a ball planning and making lists, checking them twice... 

We looked through an old colouring in book from when she was small. We decided on a natural coloured nautical theme because I want this picture to hang in my future bathroom. 

We found this picture of an old ship. 
We co-wrote a list of actions that would be needed to make a finished picture, she wrote some of the steps down. We then decided who would do what. 

My daughter's name is Kelsey, and we were told of an old Sea faring story, that the fastest ship was called the Kelsey/Kelsie and when the sailors were returning from battle they would send the Kelsey ahead with flags flying. The lookouts on shore would see the ship approaching and know by the flags whether they had won the fight or not, or if the fishing expeditions had been successful or not. 

She loved that this represented her namesake :) 

THE SHIP - I used the extra copy that we made as a colour swatch to help her use the right colours in the right places, she was very careful in making sure that she stuck with the plan :) 
The colour swatch

THE SEA & SKY - I took an old box mounted canvas, it had a bit of paint on it from another project that we didn't finish. I wanted a textured background so I first painted white over the other colours, and then applied white tissue paper to the canvas, I added more white paint and really smushed it in! It created a really interesting canvas for our ocean and sky! Kelsey was so impressed. 
The heavily textured canvas gave us a lot to work with!
I then dried the canvas and painted picture with my trusty hair dryer. I added a layer of see through matte finish spray to either side of the painted ship and dried those protective layers. 

THE SHIP - I decided to add some shadow and textured swirls to Kelsey's layer of paint. She was involved in this process and made a few suggestions that look great! I decided to NOT have harsh black outlines so we painted a thin wash over each line to recede them a bit. 
The best part is that you are cutting it all out - so messy is ok!

This stage took a little while but it was much quicker than air drying.
All cut out and ready for some glue!
THE SEA & SKY - I painted in the Green blue line of the water horizon, and then Kelsey did the sky and the rest of the water. We used a wide brush with soft bristles but also used out fingers - it felt great! I added detail after she was done, texture (more of it!) clouds, and spray. 
The turbulent sky and water
THE SHIP - Then I sat and carefully cut out the ship and sails - having the clear coat of matte sealer on either side made it stronger and it didn't tear - even when my 5 year old accomplice Kelsey jumped ON my ARM while I was CUTTING!! 

Looking good! 
COMBINATION - We then placed the boat on the water to decide where it would look best, we decided on a slight tilt as if the water is rough. I pasted the picture with Bostik Clear adhesive and placed it. I had to add some glue to certain edges to really anchor them, get it? Anchor? *cough*

Glued and ready for some sea foam! 
We were nearly done, Kelsey told me to go ahead and do the sea spray, so I sat with white paint, tinted in some places with blue and lavender, I then stippled with a thin tipped brush, used my finger tips for some of the cloud detail and wave shapes. 


Signed by the Artists 

Day ONE of a 6 week school holiday down... eek. 

Let me know if you try something like this with your kids! 

Visit to see what else I am up too! 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

COMMENTARY: The Uncaring Western Media and Terrorism. Not Really.

Firstly: I am proudly South African (proud of the heritage, beauty and people of my country – not proud of the corruption and mismanagement of my country) and so, please allow me to speak from another country’s perspective.
Secondly: Please see this article before you feel the need to tell me that South Africa is no longer my business.

I see a lot of my fellow South African's on Facebook becoming upset over the "World" or “Western” media's non reaction to the events happening in Africa and particularly in South Africa. (PS. Why has the northern hemisphere and Australia become known as “Western” - They are NORTHERN and SOUTHERN, not WESTERN, and Western has become another word for “White” which is also incorrect of these areas on our globe.)

Please get out a pen and paper and write a letter of thanks to Zuma, there is very little news coming OUT of South Africa. The only way I find out what is going on, is because I had 'liked' the local papers while living in SA and so, see them in my newsfeed. And the news is very seldom positive (so ask yourselves: Why do expats always comment negatively – when all they see is ‘the worst’ when they read down their timeline?)

In the mainstream media internationally, each country has their own problems, their own news, their own murders and car crashes, their own natural disasters. The newspapers are full.

The reason the Paris attacks have gone "Viral" is because of the Journalists and Foreign Correspondents in France - they have been active in sending out articles globally. It is something that has to be physically ‘done’ . Now, in South Africa there was a law passed - if I am correct - that placed a very scary and heavy burden on Journalists in SA. There is the threat of jail time for any articles that would possibly expose corruption etc. etc. So perhaps it is these restrictions that hamper international news sharing – or it leaves international papers wondering if they are being fed propaganda (when they receive positive news).

There are also many news types that are not allowed to be seen (I can't remember what the word for that is) for example there are 45 murders per DAY in South Africa - why are they not mentioned in the news every day with shock and outrage? Why is the media quiet? There have been approx 4000 Farm "multiple" Murders documented - so there have been 4000 families wiped out.

Zero coverage.
Apart from a few zealous Farm Murder websites.
And Carte Blanch that time.

Zero outrage.
Apart from Steve and his 1 million.

The number of rapes of South African women is also ridiculously high - the media don't even mention it. All of those beautiful resilient African ladies broken and shamed, inpregnated and infected. Imagine the sheer scale of reporting papers would have to do if they had to commit to mentioning each case?
There is an assault on ALL South Africans, physically in some cases, psychologically in many cases, on a daily basis. Each cultural group has their own pressures and struggles - but I am telling you - the world does not hear about you, nor see you.
Not often.

And that is not the fault of the "World" or “Western” media - South African journos need to stand up, draw on the strength and anger that spurred on the Journo’s who fought against Apartheid, and start building connections and networks with the larger papers internationally – building trust and relationship with Editors and Newsmakers - South Africa needs to take responsibility for spreading it's own news outside of it's borders.

Remember the Who's in Whoville who had to all shout to be heard? "We're here! We're here!" - South Africa is WORTHY of attention.  

I have heard of South Africa ONCE in 6 months - and it was on an art radio station - and the DJ had recorded it from Facebook, Zuma was speaking in isiZulu and the DJ offered no translation. Why? I can tell you now – it’s not because no one is interested. There’s just no news coming through. I have purposefully spoken to as many people as possible about South Africa, explaining its beauty and its sadness – only one person had heard of South Africa.
Heard of it.
She knew South Africans living in Sydney.
She had healthy respect for us as a nation.

I have seen images of famous land marks across the world lit up in blue white and red - where is the Cradle of mankind lit up? The Durban stadium or city hall? Table Mountain? South Africa doesn't reach out in solidarity or share images of such solidarity with world media - so why are people surprised when there is no such reciprocation?
A way to get attention is to reach out and DO something. The world looked at us during 2010 and saw a shining happy place, that image has remained in their psyche.

I see people online saying “Why is Paris getting so much attention?” and I say this – again, it’s about word getting OUT from those affected countries, landing in the right persons inbox or landline or cellphone messages, it’s about a relationship between Journos and News providers. What you are seeing is not a massive reaction to “White people being killed” it’s a fantastic display of an efficient news distribution team – which, done correctly as it has been done – mobilizes the masses. It’s phenomenal. It’s evidence of HOW powerful online media is – how quickly did our facebook profile photos turn rainbow earlier? How quickly did they turn red, white and blue? That is evidence of the power of communication.
There are plenty of articles about the other Terrorist bombings and attacks, If you google the word “Terror attacks 2015” you will see a host of articles covering the different nations – bear in mind that google is also programmed to show you the most read news first, it’s an anti-racial computerized program and not at all personal - so don’t post little “rants” on Facebook accusing the world of being “Western Oriented” – it’s bull.
Just pure bull.

And so, I will not be putting any filter of any flag or colour over my Facebook profile picture. Simply because it has become a tit-for-tat ridiculous affair. 

I would say #RantOver but then I’d have to punch myself in the face.

EXPATS: You Have Been Stripped of Your Nationality

If you buy a new dress, make sure that you never, ever mention or question the old dress that you once wore. Don't post photos of the old dress and please, don't mention that your new dress fits you better.

If you own a Canon camera and then sell that and buy a Kodak, don't EVER mention the difference between the two in any forums or on facebook.

If you sell your house and buy a new one, don't you dare celebrate your new kitchen or windows, making the rest of your friends (still in their old houses) feel bad.

If you decide that you prefer an off road bike to a road bike - don't even think about mentioning the fact that you are happier off road, or that you feel more at home with the people in the off road biking community.

If you move from Durban to Joburg, don't ever ever ever post photos or status's about the beauty of your new area, don't comment in dismay or alarm when you read news articles about your home town, don't read the status updates or blog posts of people from Durban - you live in Joburg so it really has nothing to do with you - right? If Joburg is doing something right, don't you dare suggest it to your Durban friends. Durban is no longer your problem.

And, apparently, from status's written by friends, well educated individuals, if you decide to make the harrowing and expensive journey to try an adventure in a foreign land, don't you ever, ever, ever pretend that you once lived in your old country. When you walk onto that plane, an invisible force strips you of your nationality (your documentation stating that you are South African is a lie) and you become this half-being. Tolerated as long as you only say WOW! and OOH! about the South African situation. Don't look at statistics, don't worry about your loved ones. Don't comment in support of loved ones who have been attacked etc etc back home - South Africa is no longer your problem. Right?


Being told by people staying in South Africa to "humble yourself" and stop being "high and mighty" when you post an article about farm murder and show distress for the horrific situation leading to the murder, or heaven forbid, you mention that you are grateful to not live in fear! The saffa's come out swinging!

No, I am not "lucky" or "one of the lucky ones" to have left the country, we as a family made huge sacrifices in order to move. We sold and / or lost almost all of our worldly possessions in order to afford to move. We homeschooled our small children while both running companies, we ate rice and cheap vegetables for a year - no meat for us meateaters. We saved every cent. We wore hand me down and old holey clothing. We didn't go to the hairdressers... We worked almost 18hr days seven days a week saving up all we had.
I may be dodging roo's and drop-bears on my way to the billabong but by F__K I am South African, and
I will BITCH and MOAN about anything that I see happening in MY HOME LAND.

Anyone who has an issue with me being myself, being open, honest, non-racial, non-sexist, anti-corruption, anti-fireworks, then by all means... Just waltz your matilda over to the unfollow or unfriend button - it's right there under my cover image.

So sick and tired of this nonsense. Grow up!

ENCOURAGEMENT: Newton and the Women

I wrote this for a young friend, a clever, talented, motivated, inspired recent school-leaver African Queen, or Black Queen as she calls herself (and I agree with her ) - and I just wanted to share it with you. This is for my girls, my friends, my women and sisters, mums and aunts... and for me.
My powerful, clever, sweet woman. Live your life according to Newtons Laws:
“An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” (In life you may become overwhelmed and tired emotionally and physically, even spiritually. Unbalanced force may sound bad, but sometimes it can be a good thing and spur you on to greatness)
"Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass of the object being accelerated, the greater the amount of force needed to accelerate the object." (To make a difference takes effort. The higher you want to go, the harder you’ll have to work at it.)
"For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action", for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size, but opposite in direction. That is to say that whenever an object pushes another object it gets pushed back in the opposite direction equally hard.(As you rise up as a powerful woman, there will be forces and people who conspire to break you down, remind you of ‘your place’ and try to crush your dreams. Sometimes they don’t even know that they are doing it. When you feel that push against you… push harder.)
P.S. To my menfolk - thank you for all that you do, as friends, brothers, fathers, husbands and uncles - to support, motivate, accommodate and uplift us womenfolk. Keep it up. The change in global mindset and gender imbalance begins with a simple action, which lays the foundation for more... if we could all wish only for the best, to see our friends rise up to their fullest potential - and DO what it takes to assist them to that potential.
What a world.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

URGENT: Wayne Scott Fundraiser - Balance Still Needed For Treatment

Please make a donation - no matter how small: 
CLICK HERE to go to the fundraiser page.

This is the most recent photograph of Wayne Scott and Andre Scott. 
A letter from Andre Scott: 

"Dear Friends,

With ongoing prayers, tremendous support, kindness and donations of so many people and through various fundraising initiatives we are now only R32,000 (ZAR) ($2,312) short of our original total goal of R395,000 ($28,538) which is incredible!

Please make a donation - no matter how small: 
CLICK HERE to go to the fundraiser page.

R395,000 ($28,538) is the cost of the co-payment for this treatment (that will prepare Wayne's state of health to be acceptable for a bone-marrow transplant.) We urgently need this balance in order to go ahead with the treatment." 

Please make a donation - no matter how small: 
CLICK HERE to go to the fundraiser page.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

PAY IT FORWARD: Devon Goosen Ice Hockey Fundraiser


Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Our son is 7 years old and his name is Devon.  He is a smart and well behaved boy who has never given us any problems whatsoever. He was on the Honor Roll in school for 1st grade. He never got anything lower than a B. He loves to read and study spelling words :-) He won the 1st grade spelling bee! We are really proud!

Donate Now:

He has a passion that started in an afterschool program at his school. From the pic you saw, you guessed it! HOCKEY! His school had an afterschool field hockey program. He fell in love the minute he touched the stick! He started to practice at home (we bought him a starting set - stick and puck). He showed so much interest! He eats, sleeps and dreams HOCKEY! we slowly got him things to help him practice, roller blades (roller hockey), sticks and pucks, knee pads and more. He practiced outside all the time and gained more and more friends at the hockey rink in the park. 
Donate Now:

    For his 7th birthday, we had his party at the ice skating rink! He immediately loved the ice! Everything came so natural to him! He was fast and ready to learn. We started him in learn to skate classes which he advanced in really fast! One minute he was in the first class and the next in Hockey 101. We got him pads and all and he was ready to go.  He also spent all his birthday money to buy his own ice skates! He started practicing everything he could, off ice, on his roller blades. We don't live close to the ice skating rink so when we cant go, he practices off ice. He showed great improvement and the coaches moved him up fast and said he had true talent for it. He loves it so much. So much that he wakes up for his saturday class at 7a.m. ready to go!

Donate Now:

   As you all might know, hockey is an expensive sport. We have been getting by becuase I have been doing my best to give him a shot at doing what he loves. His hocey 201 classes can be paid per class at $32 per class/week. I also try to take him to open ice skate in order for him to practice which also costs a bit. He has advanced so quickly and after the current class he is in now (Hockey 201) they get to be in a real recreational team! He has been waiting for this the whole time! He has a friend that he practices with all the time! They both love it! Well we found out that the team which is called MITES is $900 (if you pay early in August 2015) or $1,000 (if you pay a little later in August) . We really want this for our son because he has shown true dedication and passion for this sport. We are so proud of him! I will post a link with videos soon!

Donate Now:

   We are asking for help with his dream. Anything you can give will help him. We really want to get him on this team. If they move him up out of this class (hockey 201) we have to be ready to pay that cost. We will really appreciate this so much! My son will be so happy.  He will also be extra happy when he see's how many people are supporting him in his dream! Thank you so much for the help! Thank you for your time as well :-)

Donate Now:

The Mite Maple Leafs have won most of their games, they are 2nd in standings out of 6 teams.

Devon is really enjoying it, please tell your friends and share this gofundme page.

We need help.

From monthly payments for being on the team, to maybe starting some private lessons.

Thanks so much :)

- Cynthia, Riaan and of course our hockey boy DEVON!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

MUSIC: Newtown Noise Original By Sandy Bigara

Here is a little song I wrote back in 2010... when I fell in love with the Newtown Precinct on a windy night...

Buy the track HERE

And play along if you like! Lyrics and chords are above :) 

Friday, 16 October 2015

PUBLISHING: Halloween Book: Unsettling Short Stories

This week I published the Halloween edition of my short story ebook - in paperback, pocketbook size. If you would like to have an unsettling read this Halloween then have a look at this new collection of short stories HERE. Wear a nappy. Don't read alone

After experiencing years of disturbing dreams, I was encouraged to write them down as soon as I woke up. These are the dreams that I managed to remember entirely. 

There are nine stories in the book, ranging from two to four pages long each and they range from sweetly sour to unsettling. Each story is preceded by a black and white photograph that I feel captures the spirit of the story... 

After having these dreams, most times I spent the day with a feeling of dread, but i'll continue to write them down as the happen (which is about twice a year) 

The book retails for $7 plus shipping and is available online HERE

Thursday, 8 October 2015

VOCAL COACHING: Sandy Bigara Vocal Coaching at The Rhythm Hut Gosford



Sandy Bigara Vocal Coaching

Bel Canto Method - Suits all styles! 
Monday 19th October - Monday 7th December
SHOWCASE Saturday 12th December 
$30p/p per week
Lectures and Vocal Workshops each week
@ The Rhythm Hut - 135 Faunce street, Gosford
Parking available. 
Bring pen and writing pad / note book or tablet. 

Sandy Bigara (34) a performing artist newly moved to the Central Coast - has been an active vocal coach since 1999, she was the Artistic Director and Conductor of multiple choirs (High School, Senior Primary and Junior Primary, as well as being assistant Conductor for the KZN National Choir on their international tour in 1999) and was Music & Drama teacher at two schools in South Africa before launching her Arts company full time.
Sandy incorporates stand up comedy and humour in her own musical performances, and so classes are usually filled with a lot of laughter and positive encouragement.
Sandy teaches the Bel Canto method of singing, which serves as a platform for multiple genres of performance. Sandy has trained Pop singers, Idols contestants, Jazz singers, Afro-Pop singers, a performer for The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul and the Phantom) as well as Starlight Express and South Africa’s “Troy” in the High School Musical national touring show. Sandy has even trained a grunge rock singer with one working ear drum…

She was chosen as the Vivacious Voice singing coach for Durban (other centres were in Johannesburg and Capetown) and enjoyed success and good relationship with her singing students there.

The method that is taught is a well-structured mash-up of lessons and courses that Sandy has experienced in her twenty year professional singing career. Having trained and worked alongside some of the Southern Hemispheres greatest talents – 6 years performing under the baton of Gerard’d DuToit, musical ambassador to the Northern Hemisphere – World Choir Games, Operatic training with Marc Poupard (UKZN Music Coach) and Coleen Philp (UKZN Opera School) and master class with Emma Renzi, Sandy has many anecdotes and life experiences that make her classes both educational and interesting. 

Classes start at 6:45pm on the 19th October 2015, until December 7th 2015, the Showcase will be on the 12th December. Space is limited – to book your place there is a non-refundable deposit of $20, to book email sandy via the contact form on her website - you can hear Sandy perform HERE or visit her website HERE for her full working history. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

DIARY: Michelle Obama Wants No Scrubs

Posted by Shaun King

"Levels on levels on levels of bullshit being said in this photo - which has been shared 6,000+ times.

1. Michelle Obama is badass. For almost their entire adult lives, she made more money than he did. In her last role as a VP at the University of Chicago hospital she was making over $300,000 per year, and that was in 2005.

2. Michelle Obama has a BA from Princeton and a law degree from Harvard. Nobody, her husband, or anybody else GAVE HER THE WORLD. Even being the first lady in general doesn't equate that, but it sure as hell doesn't mean that for her. They are equal partners in life.

3. The caption in this photo implies that Michelle found a scrub, she stuck with him, and he eventually became a king. That's a damn lie too. She was already working at a law firm and they met AT A LAW FIRM while Barack was a summer associate there completing his education at Harvard Law School. He was the opposite of a scrub - he was the ambitious Editor of the Harvard Law Review and was already serving the community in meaningful ways.

That's all."

Well said. We are all equal and should all be pulling our weight in any relationship.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

MUSIC: The Strongest One by Sandy Bigara

This is the first song on my Fountain of Youth anthology of songs CD - written when I was a teenager and young adult between 1995 and 2004.

The idea was to record the songs "As I remember them" so the guitar is a little dreamy and distorted (as it sounds in my recollections when I sit and remember a time in the far distance) and the vocals are exact copies of the harmonies that my friends would sing with me. I was blessed to have very talented and musical friends in high school, we would sit and sing together, perform my songs in competitions and assemblies. Recording their harmonies was surreal. So many memories and laughter. So many beautiful voices inside my head - of young women who are now spread out around the globe. 

The History of the Song
I wrote this song when I was 16 or so. My family was being torn apart by mental illness (my Father RIP suffered severe head trauma that irreparably altered his personality and caused the ultimate break up of our family unit) and divorce. My sister and I would sit and sing while I played the guitar - if I had not had my guitar there is a very strong chance that I would have ended my life. The harmonies you hear are the ones that she made up (sung by me in studio) This song got us through some very tough times and put into words how my sister and I felt at the time. 

Remember that being strong doesn't mean shouldering the entire burden, being strong is knowing when to ask for help. When to share the load. 

Hope you enjoy it. 

The Lyrics
You can hear the song HERE 

Feels like I'm spinning. 
Out of control. 
My life is so full of emotion. 

I need some support. 
Someone who cares. 
I need you right here, 
Beside me...

I need to feel your love...
Pushing me on into the light. 
I need to hear your voice... 
Telling me to be stronger. 

My cup runneth over, 
I can't take that much more. 
I need understanding and devotion. 

Give me the strength, 
Not to stand all alone. 
I need to be the strongest one, 
Around here... 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

DIARY: Seize The Moment

Seize the moment... and by moment, I mean cupcakes.

So today I had a breakthrough.

So often in my lifetime of seeing wasted lives and wasted gifts (my creative, musical and talented Dad) and people crushed by the decisions that they have made. I have asked myself for as long as I can remember: What is our purpose. Why do we wake up every day, sleep every night, make dinner after breakfast after lunch repeat repeat... Why do we raise our children generation after generation through time, why do we grieve, only for our loved ones to be forgotten with the passing of time... and today it hit me between the eyes.

We do it for the moments. The 'MOMENTS' - you know them? When you are talking to your children and suddenly notice how beautiful the colours of their eyes are... you see those tiny flecks and spots of colour and amazing detail... when you see the sun setting and you have to stop and really take it in. When you sink into your bed at night. When you meet an elderly stranger over in the veggie aisle and they say kind words, drop a word of wisdom into your lap - leaving you wondering.

Life is about the million moments that we can either notice and appreciate, or gloss over and lose... For me I asked myself, why do I do it? Why do I sing, practice, spend money on sound etc Why do I make things? paint, sew? why? It's all meaningless really. But, when I had my realisation, I can have so many 'moments' during each creative process, celebrate each new step achieved, each new little creation, each new song. I can seek out the moments within each new client or audience, make friends, laugh - connect. It isn't about the destination, it's about the journey. We can be broke, we can be flush, we can be sick and tired and broken inside - but we can make the choice to seek out the moments.

I cried in the car outside a store in West Gosford, I made the choice today, to take each moment. Draw the essence out of each moment. Will you join me?

Monday, 28 September 2015

PAY IT FORWARD: Wayne Scott Feedback: We Have Reached the Halfway Mark!

Last week I posted this article about South African Durbanite Wayne Scotts urgent need of assistance for treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

"we have reached the halfway mark"

"We are able to share the news with you that, with the assistance and donations of so many kind-hearted and loving friends, we have reached the halfway mark of the fundraising for Wayne's treatment.We are collecting the first batch of medication from the doctor today and we cannot thank you enough for every phonecall, message, facebook post, donation, contribution, fundraising initiative and prayer."

"we cannot thank you enough"

"We have faith that the planned fundraising event at ROCK ROYALTY at The Barnyard Theatre on Thursday, 8 October will sell out really fast as this will help us in reaching the total goal amount of R393,000 ($28,283)"

"From the bottom of our hearts, thank you"

"We ask that you find it in your hearts to continue contributing on this site as it will assist us tremendously in closing the gap towards our final goal to get Wayne cured from his Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). 
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continual support.
God bless"

To donate to this cause CLICK HERE

Friday, 18 September 2015

PAY IT FORWARD: Fundraiser for UShaka's Wayne Scott Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Costs

By the end of this post, you will have had 4 opportunities to assist this family. Even if it is a small amount, every single cent will help. I have hyperlinked any points of interest - take care my friends, and remember to message me if any of you have any similar needs (health related fundraising etc) 

Treatment of ChronicMyeloid Leukemia (CML) for Wayne Scott

"I trust this letter finds you well.
Wayne Scott has been suffering with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) since 2010.
Various forms of oral chemotherapy has been administered by the patient’s oncology doctors such as Gleevec, Tasignia, etc. and he also received intravenous chemotherapy treatment in November 2014 and February 2015. 
To date, none of these treatments seemed to be successful to cure the disease and the only positive prognosis will be a bone marrow stem cell transplant. The member has subsequently been granted temporary disability (1 July 2015) as he is not able to perform his daily duties as Entertainment and Events Manager of uShaka Marine World in Durban.
Dr. J.P. Singh (Practice number 0336254) has done intensive research and testing to find a positive stem-cell donor and we have received the news that a match has been found and identified as a 100% match whom resides in Germany."

To donate to this cause CLICK HERE

"Wayne’s CML is currently in Accelerated Phase and it will be life threatening to do the transplant while he is in this phase.
Dr. Singh’s research has resulted in finding an oral drug Ponatinib (trade name Iclusig, previously AP24534) which is an oral drug developed by ARIAD Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), which in his treatment plan would like the patient to use for 3 months before and 3 months after the bone marrowstem cell transplant.
Dr. Singh has submitted a treatment plan to Wayne’s Medical Aid, which includes Ponatinib and we have received an authorization for treatment from Wayne’s medical aid that they are willing to only pay 50% of the costs to obtain the drug Ponatinib. It is an extremely expensive medication, which Wayne will not be able to afford, although the use thereof will be beneficial to the patient and will improve his current condition to a level, which will allow Dr. Singh to execute the transplant successfully. The prognosis of the transplant promises to be positive."
To donate to this cause CLICK HERE

"We are pleading to you to assist us in any donation as the cost of this medication for the next three months amounts to R330,000 which the medical aid will contribute R165,000 of. That means, Wayne have to find R165,000 for the co-payment and the first R55,000 is due on Monday, 28 September."

Side note from Sandy: This is a LOT of money for the average South African. 

"We pray that you will find it in your heart to be of assistance for this last hurdle to cure the CML, which Wayne Scott suffers from.
There are TWO ways to assist, either donate to this cause CLICK HERE or, We have opened a separate bank account for the fundraising and the details are as follows:

Account holder: Andre B van Wyk
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: 255355
Account Number: 62555480377

Reference: Kindly use your name and surname or company name. Should you choose to remain anonymous, please use reference as “Wayne”

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MUSIC: Twitter, Magpies and a song about a Lion

The Lion (Ingonyama)

(Click on the words above to go straight to the Free Download page of The Lion. The download page will open in a new tab so you can carry on reading!)

Hola Durbanites! 

I am busy writing an article about our move Down Under - taking the Durban vibe 12,000km from home. But in the meantime, here is a song that I wrote, with Durban and it's legends firmly in my thoughts, shaping the music and feel of this piece. 

Now, for some bloody reason the magpies in our area love it when I start to make any music... they arrive and sit on the windowsill making the biggest noise... The headline in yesterdays newspaper was KILLER MAGPIE 

This is the ACTUAL Killer Magpie that was later, uh, killed. Look at it's eye. Just look at it. *evil*
Remember those metal school swings in the park? Remember that squeal of metal on metal? That's what a Magpie sounds like. It is a 007 type mission whenever I want to record. I have to look out for a) Hail storms that come outta nowhere. 2) Cicadas 3) Magpies (see above) 4) Rogue Cockatoos (the Pirates of the trees) 5) Let's not mention the Kookaburras.

I have NO IDEA why they keep coming around...

This song came out on Thursday, it pushed me up over 50 places Globally in the Reverbnation song charts across all genres, and it pushed me to #1 on the Central Coast NSW (near Sydney) NSW is the size of South Africa. I am now sitting at #11 in AUSTRALIA - because of this song. 

It's always encouraging to wake up to an email like the image above. Interestingly, I realised that I was getting very few visits from my Facebook links in the newsfeed: Facebook seems to limit the reach of Reverbnation posts... also, the listens that you get on Facebook via the player, don't get added to your Reverbnation song listen counter. So it doesn't boost your rank or assist you in anyway! Twitter brings me my greatest listens - just note this my fellow muso's! 

See that dark blue at the bottom of the chart? That's Facebook.
See the bright blue at the highest point? Yup. Twitter. 

The upward swing in listenership has shown me that it is better to focus on Twitter posting than posting to Facebook - also something to note quite seriously, Facebook does not redirect traffic to Reverbnation, they have a "player" that allows the songs to play on your Facebook page, unfortunately the player reduces the audio quality of your songs so much that it can be detrimental to your career! It is better to set up a blog for this purpose, and post the link to your blog to Facebook, with your song link in the blog post. 

Now, about the song...

This is the release of my new single called "The Lion" (Ingonyama) and it is about the feelings, love, heartbreak, happiness, insecurity and holding-onto-home that happens when you leave the place of your birth, it can be the leaving of an area, a town, a city or a country. It speaks of desire for better things, about being honest with oneself, about the effect on relationships when your entire world changes.

When you first pack up your entire life and move across the world, there is a cracking of the foundations that you've built your entire life upon, the layers of your beliefs, ideals, culture and the issues and problems with your culture show themselves... You leave the beaten track and follow pathways and roads you have never travelled before, it feels as though you are in freefall as you fly through the night hurtling towards your destiny. When you lift off - there is the absence of effort. You have done all you can do and now life has to just 'happen' until you can step up again. 

You spend time walking, learning new areas, talking deeply with your loved ones, grief and loss of family and friends causes you to expose your heart... You look with hope towards the 'sunshine days' that you hope are ahead of you. You dust yourself off and walk into what lies ahead. 

The Chorus speaks of every persons desire to have what they 'deserve' - to have what they need to get by and make the most of their time here on earth. As a person who has had much taken from me, I speak of 'spreading it around' like a leprechaun hiding his gold... trying to protect what is mine, and what will be mine... I speak of grabbing a hold of destiny. Realising how fragile it is... and not letting it crack. 

Follow this link: THE LION to hear this song and to download it for free to any device. 
(To unlock your download, sign up for free to my mailing list and be the first to hear and receive my released singles in the future. NO SPAM)

Foundations crack. 
Layers showing now. 
Nowhere to hide yourself. 
Off the beaten track, 
Into the abyss. 
The abysmal slack.

Walking water ways, 
Feelings showing now. 
Nowhere to hide your heart. 
To the sunshine days, 
Into the full light. 
To the truthful ways...

I want my share of the lion's prize, 
spread it around let no one take it back. 
See the truth within these lies. 
Grab a hold, 
Don't let it go. 
Don't let it crack. 

*Gospel choir: 
Yiba ingonyama (Be a Lion (King of the people/zulus)
Yiba indwala (Be like a rock / strong)
Unkulukulu lapha (God is here / is great)
Written by Sandy Bigara - Gosford, NSW, Australia 

*The ingonyama refers to a lion and to God, and urges us to "be a Lion, be a Rock and that God is great'
We moved down under in May. The song speaks of my sadness leaving my country, of the pressures on relationships, and ultimately rising up to hold onto God and be brave, like him, like a Lion.

Have a great week everyone xx 

Sandy Bigara 
#Diva xx

This post was originally posted to DURBAN JOURNO