What is SaFashInt?
To start off with, SaFashInt stands for South African African, Fashionable, Internationalist. Most people have suggested that I should change the name to South African, Fashionable, Intellectual, but then it just makes me wonder exactly how intellectual one can be at the age of 19. The explanation of the name SaFashInt requires me to go so far as to say that SaFashInt is a state of mind.
When something is sufficient it means that it is good enough, just what was required for that very moment. We can live sustainably striving for that sustainable and sufficient lifestyle, just getting by on what we need. My life without news, current affairs, art, colour, or any other expression of the human intelligence would be impossible. I may have met my sufficient needs, but it would not be reflecting my heritage: “South Africa”, my values: “Africa/Humanity”, my passions: “Fashion/Art/Design” or my mentality: “Internationalism”. In essence, I would have the sufficient but not the safashint.
What is an Internationalist?
If you’ve been homeless, in the sense of never having a home country? Where you lay your head (in the world) being your home, and vice-versa, you are an internationalist.
Internationalism, according to Wikipedia is;
A political movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all.
If you are SaFashInt who are Mbali.R, and The Beaded Silver Spoon? Are they your partners, or your other personalities?
I would love to be able to say that I have alter-egos, but the fact is that anyone can be SaFashInt. It is not just me. If you share the same opinion as me on certain topics, or you woke up wondering why the world was going in a certain direction, had the courage to ask someone else, and found that there were people willing to humour you for one second, and give you the time of day, then you are and feel SaFashInt.
Just as an author has a book title and a name, Mbali.R is my name. The beaded Silver Spoon was a nickname that a friend of mine and I had settled on when we were in Home Room in High School (year 2008, final year), and she and I wanted to take over the world and were planning an online African Rennaisance inside our Suburban bubble, little did we know that the children of the diaspora had already beaten us to that mark. In our defense, back then internet in South Africa was a little more expensive and not as easy to come by as it is now. Alas we used to steal our parents HSDPA modems and make posts on our blog: Royal Pains. We named it that way because we considered ourselves a complete menace to societies stereotypes about black people. Royal Pains is another story for another time.
Repeatedly you maintain that SaFashInt is first and foremost about being a South African and lastly about being part of the global village. How do you respond to people that call SaFashInt a fashion blog?
That is a really good question. Most of my daily posts are about fashion it’s true. It is a multi-billion dollar industry afterall. BUT if I wanted people to start referring to SaFashInt as a reflection of the new South African ‘urban’ youth, then the SaFashInt blog will have to be a little more all-encompassing. I should probably get to work then.
What was your goal when you first started out?
To be the “blaquest”, smartest: Financial, Fashionable, Political, Social, Artistic blog out there. I wanted us to see beyond our youth subcultures, and ethnicities.
My mission was and still is to make SaFashInt a mirror reflecting the genius of many other Africans going out into the world and making progress in dispelling the myth that Africa is a human wasteland, and that Africans cannot solve their own problems for themselves.
Where do you see SaFashInt in the future?
Everywhere. I want it to start conversations. And that is my goal for now; to get people talking about what matters to South Africans and what matters to Africans.
SaFashInt, are you a Communist?
Oh my gosh… I don’t even know how to answer that question (firstly ’cause you called me SaFashInt). I guess the best thing that I can say is: I am an Internationalist. It means that I refuse to completely shut my eyes to the benefits of Socialism (or anything else that works for people), but on the other end, I love the fact that in Capitalism, it is the ingenuity and competitiveness of participants that makes things so interesting. The coexistence of Capitalism and Socialism would be like running a sprint and coming in fourth place, going home and finding a parade in your honor for participating. I like both!
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