This is the story of my Blue Moon – the place I happened upon some 20 years or so ago, as a girl with some sort of creative aspiration and ambition, with no idea how to get there. But first allow me to backtrack just a little to where it all started because times have utterly changed…
My original journey started in Mmabatho – the capital of the then homeland of Bophuthatswana where I worked as stage manager at a cultural centre. For those of you who are born-free in borders that have changed, this was a homeland established by apartheid South Africa for the Batswana tribe to develop separately as a nation. Except that homelands were not countries and therefore had no sovereignty or status. It was more a case of ‘you do your thing and we’ll do our thing, as long as we don’t do it together’. Enough said.
For white South Africans where practically everything that could have been enjoyed was illegal, this so-called “homeland” was a place of chance, where the more opportunistic would take a dash at the roulette tables and feed one arm bandits like geese about to become foie gras and for others, it was a place to get your proverbial ‘top deck’on. And what happened in Bop stayed in Bop. Apologies if this take from memory may have offended you; but it was the times and they have changed. For me, it was the only place that would employ a freshly made graduate with no experience and desperate to get into the promised land of limelight.
So to wrap it all up, as a so-called lefty liberal Afrikaner I was simply riveted by the dialogue and petrified of its consequence. I had a black boss, worked in a black company for a black despot when South Africa jumped off the cliff on wings of freedom about to go into its very first democratic elections. Bophuthatswana meanwhile lagged behind because the unrecognised president had a whale of a time living off the spoils of South African prohibition. The winds of change took an ember of frustration and blew it into a fully-fledged revolution to freedom in this homeland. People died. Meanwhile I had met my very first mentor in a Zulu man who put me on a path of evolution. My future road to Africa was already paved and all I had to do was find that which comes by only once in a blue moon.
So it was a once in a blue moon encounter when I met the original owners of Blue Moon from the land of posh. I left the blood of my first African encounter behind and headed off to the big bad city of Johannesburg to live for the first time. Never mind that my big bad city was actually down a rocky dirt road that ended on a smallholding which boasted an angry Duck that was actually a goose, amongst other pet things. What I would discover is that wild ideas were rampant in this place and forged by a boss who knew that big business only came once in a blue moon. And when it did, he would masterfully catch it with imagination wielded to perfection.
Blue Moon is the story of a wild bunch, who knew no boundaries when it came to excellence. They dared to imagine that big ideas could be tamed into successful business. They went ahead to build an empire on nothing else but grey matter. I was accepted into this empire for a while and I learnt that grey mattered most.
Twenty five years later the spoils of the extra full moon are still celebrated at this special place that still tames the imagination into future ideas that work. Granted, the Duck has died and I have long trekked to follow my heart around the Dark Continent that is Africa, as destiny knew I would. But it was at Blue Moon where I had fallen in love with the big idea and at the heart of the matter I still carry the light of the extra full moon with me wherever I go.
To my original partners who dared to imagine a world of ideas – Michelle, Deana, Brad and DJ keep thinking. To Rick, my original inspiration – keep dreaming. To Heidi Wena – keep trekking. Long Live!