When me and my escort, Vaughan Hugo, reach the Albert Wessels Auditorium, the weather had accustomed a “never go wrong” mood for both of us. The atmosphere in the theatre hall is raving of excitement and brings back the feeling of casual day in high school assembly. Most of the students wear their residences’ customary shirts and the lesser vintage inspired apparels confusing one of the men for my uncle was not my fault. The organisers wear golf shirts with jeans and black dresses and the anticipation is growing with every minute.
Attending the UFS shindig of the National Library Week celebration every year is like going to a theme park: as usual, you know what to expect but to your surprise the feeling of being there comes as though you just switched on a new phone. “Last year we left without any complimentary book,” Von reminded me, “This year it has to be different.” To me it was a clear hint that we must ask questions in order to get the books. While Simply Stories is performing Pharrell William’s feel good song, “Happy Song.” I took the opportunity to draft my only question: does writing about yourself and personal experiences come as easy as writing about a fictional character? Waiting for the lecture will only discourage me from asking.
Pamela Nomvete, affectionately known as Ntsiki Lukhele on SABC 1’s soapie, Generations, is giving a public and launching her autobiography, Dancing to the Beat of the Drum: In Search of My Spiritual Home. Her introduction by one of the UFS liberians is nothing short of the phenomenal woman the media will definitely agree to being. “I didn’t know she was born in Ethiopia,” Von begins. “This is going to be interesting”, she says, setting her phone on record.
Ntsiki (I hope she doesn’t track me down after reading this) starts her part of the program with open questions to her audience, which eased everyone to a more comfortable and calm state than when we got there. The rest of the lecture was a detailed narrative of her life and what brought her to a point of writing a book. My second favourite part of the day, the QnA segment (After refreshments of course) showcased how the entirety of the theater hall gravitated into her world. All questions asked confirmed how she made everyone feel as though they are a part of everything she wanted us to realize.
The most interesting thing about her was that her playful nature, use of the stage width and ability to engage the audience sets her apart from most performers! That conclude my assumption of her being a natural!