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Trilogy Arc, In transit.
If you were stuck on Noah’s Ark which song would you play? A ridiculous question it seems, but for Fiflaaa this is perfectly fitting. How she answers would be a summation of how she has managed to use music as a
form of escapism. With her quirky and eccentric personality, it is very difficult to not share a laugh in her company, a hidden talent perhaps. Her ability to feel and understanding feeling is the double-edged sword that comes with being creatively inclined, a sobering moment.
There is a level of comfort found within African literature, the writings of black women like Panashe Chigumadzi and Tsitsi Dangaremgba mirrored Fiflaaa’s life experiences. Being raised by a single Mother and living through situations that required Fiflaaa to get scholarships for furthering her education and working odd jobs to contribute towards the pool of funds in the household drew parallels to Tsitsi the character in Panashe’s Sweet Medicine novel. It added an air of responsibility and self-efficacy which would propel Fiflaaa to International festival stages as a disc jockey.
The learnings from such literature along with Things fall Apart by Chinua Achebe helped Fiflaaa delve deeper into an understanding change as a concept while embracing elements of tradition such as ancestral lineage. There is something reassuring about understanding the past to build the future, this way spirituality becomes a source of strength.
Often when at a festival, zoning out and reading the emotive language in that space you’d realize the hidden stories from the person jovially singing lyrics out loud verbatim, the person who can’t help but time travel while gazing at the stage and the person hugging all their friends with the proverbial “I love you guys for life!” The depth in this though is that people go through things and festivals are an attempt at escapism but for Fiflaaa going to Oppikoppi that year meant facing her upsetting experiences largely stemming from a toxic relationship with her ex-boyfriend, the added responsibility at home due to family problems & the pressure of maintaining high marks to keep her bursary.
Things fell apart and for her to rebuild her life, Fiflaaa admitted herself for Clinical Depression & Anxiety for 2 weeks on her 23rd birthday a day after Oppikoppi. It is during this time when she started practicing meditation as a form of healing and through her best friend Kefilwe making her realize the power of the tongue she began to change her narrative to a more positive one. The framing of conversations with herself became the missile in her Arsenal and later using this affirmation method to psyche herself up before tearing up music stages leaving twitter trends as settling dust after a fast car’s dash.
Having a career in advertising as a Brand Strategist is a transitory experience for Fiflaaa with her eyes set on exploring stages as a DJ in a full-time capacity. She has carved a niche that leaves audiences awe-struck with her selections from the J-Dilla inspired Boom bap hip hop production and more modern but alternative forms of rap. This makes Fiflaaa an authentic force in hip hop and could really be the key to unlocking international audiences in a Chicago-esque tradition. The transition from being affected by negative mental health to taking control of it and using it to thrive in spaces is as amazing as her idea of expressing spirituality through her hidden talent of fine art. Another transitory experience maybe?
The story of towering over adversity and leaving permanent evidence of your triumphs is like the LÁrc Majeur; a monumental steel structure that towers over carriageways from one side to the other which was in progress for 35 years. A work of art and a technical achievement based on the highest demonstrations of human expertise road travellers get to experience this building. It is no surprise why Fiflaaa’s jovial answer to the opening question in this article was “If I was stuck on Noah’s Ark I would play traveling man by Mos def, but I’d change the lyrics to Animals don’t live like people do” *Fades out in laughs*