I wasn’t having the best of years when Panashe Chigumadzi e-mailed to ask that we have a photoshoot. It was 2015, people I knew were dying, people I did work for weren’t paying me, and I wasn’t feeling very upbeat about my writing. The lack of inspiration was partly from a rejection for an article about hair that I’d been thinking about and working on for over a year. I make mention of the incident here.
The photoshoot happened, and I forgot about it. A year later, the image has been used in more places than I can remember. It’s also some wild joke orchestrated by the universe that a photograph made around the time my hair story got rejected is now used to illustrate some of the hairstyles you can get at a hair salon in Durban.
These events have made me reconsider my approach to rejection.
People tend to say not-so-nice things to you, not because there’s something wrong with you per se, but because there’s an aspect of themselves that needs sorting out, or because they don’t get you, and have no intention to. In a way, I used those negative vibes to keep creating. Other great things emerged from that wild mess and most importantly, I’m still here to write about them all.
Big up Khwezi for alerting me to this tweet. Oh, as it turns out, Panashe’s debut novel Sweet Medicine has won the K. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award. Big ups to her.
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