Well done, you have just received the last day of Nature’s Gifts. We hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have enjoyed crafting them for you. Our final gift is to share joy… JOY in song, JOY in action and JOY in nature. Wishing you all the most magical Festive Season from our Londolozi Family to yours – JOY TO THE WORLD… If you would like to skip down to our wildlife story click here.
How does one begin to describe the Londolozi Ladies Choir? For those who have visited us – you will know the feeling. It’s an experience you want to put in your pocket and take away with you to be pulled out and relived again. It’s an experience that leaves you with an African beat in your step and the urge to get up and dance. The Londolozi’s Ladies Choir is woman lead and forms part of a miro-business with in Londolozi – a group of talented women from different departments who come together and bring magic to the Londolozi Boma!
With their Shwe-Shwe attire and ankle shakers secured, these ladies arrive in their numbers to the Londolozi Bomas in the evening. Strategically positioned based on their different pitches, the choir greets their dining audience with big smiles and with the faint rattle of shakers and crunch of river sand beneath their feet. Lanterns and candles scattered across the Boma allow for the perfect amount of visibility as the choir stand against a dark backdrop and begin their first performance. With the beating of drums, the perfectly timed stamping of feet, strong breaths through whistles and united singing and harmonising – the Londolozi Ladies Choir begins to steal your heart. Strong yet beautiful voices completely fill the space of the Boma and captivate those in its boundaries – and then they begin to dance.
Based on their Shangaan roots and modern day experiences, song and body rhythm become aligned to create an African beat, which is difficult not to join. With big grins, guests from across the world attempt to join the choir, timing each foot stamp, mirroring each hip sway and maybe singing along. This little window into ancient traditions and storytelling is instantly something special and intimate – an experience purely about JOY. This Festive Season we bring the choir to your home wherever you may find yourself in the world, finally a chance to put the Londolozi Ladies Choir in your pocket and bring them out when you need them most.
The ladies have specially selected this song to bring festive cheer into your homes during the holiday season. This song is called ‘Sizalelwe Indodana- A South African Christmas Song’ inspired by Concord Nkabinde Music.
“This time of the year always reminds me of my childhood and my years of growing up in Dube, Soweto Johannesburg. The one song that became a soundtrack for the Christmas Season at that time was this simple traditional song that really takes me back there. This is my interpretation of it. Sizalelwe Indodana Igama layo nguJesu Iyo yodwa, Iyo yodwa, Iyo yodwa Umsindisi” ~ Concord Nkabinde Music
Now that you have a song by the Londolozi Ladies Choir in your pocket - let's make sure you have a few more songs to bring African Rhythm and joy into your home this Festive Season.
Click here to listen to our specially curated Spotify Playlist - simply 'heart' the playlist to make sure it's saved under your profile for whenever you might need and African spring in your step.
Wishing all of you, our global Londolozi Family, a magical Festive Season with your loved ones. Wherever you find yourself in the world, we hope that our 7 Days of Nature’s Gifts has brought some light to your day and lured you a little closer to nature in some way or another. May JOY surround you during this time, and the gift of nature forever be at your side.
Lessons from the Wild – Ranger Kirst Joscelyne
Nature to me is freedom
Freedom noun. /ˈfridəm/: the quality or state of being free.
It’s a feeling that exists as it is a world that is governed by the laws of nature with little judgment or resentment. It exists to be, not because of…. It is the feeling of being present and mindful not mindFULL. It is an awakening that creates an envelope of contentment that encapsulates not just the mind but one’s soul and body – another sense of being. It is the freedom from civilisation and the constructs that guide our everyday life and strip it down to the simplicity of just being. Nature confronts me to be more present and live in the now as there is only so much you can plan and anticipate out here. It is a reminder of how one can live and sometimes provide a space where one can reflect and create a time for introspection without the pressures of those around us.
Not only in nature do we see how animals can freely roam in an area and co-exist, but it is also a reminder of how simple life in the bush can be – instinct and survival. This is something that truly fascinates me as we live in a world bound by so many constructs, excess and access that we very rarely get to experience the simplicity of life that animals out here do. We constantly pursue the next task or ensure that we are on time for the next meal and, as a result, we don’t ever get faced with the instinctual feeling of survival.
How freeing it is to exist and not constantly plan ahead based on days of the week and time of day? Although being in nature does not completely remove these constructs, I find myself often getting lost in the minutes of the day and, best yet, not even knowing what day of the week it is. Your time out in the bush becomes a series of events and feelings as opposed to the idea of strict guidelines and set time frames. It frees the mind to be present and not caught up in the busyness of life.
To me, nature has given me the gift of freedom from all the pressures and constructs of society in my normal life. To be out here and really feel nature is an overwhelming sense of contentment, to consciously recognise the reality that exists and flourishes around you. It is about being present and not being constrained by time. Nature has given me the freedom to trust in who I am and has normalised fear away from feelings of failure, societal pressure, disappointment and has amplified for me our barest form of human existence – to be… free.
Deepak Chopra once said,
“Being free brings a lightness, a carefree surrender to all that is happening around you, and, above all, an acceptance of reality.”
In my eyes, the best version of yourself can often be found or felt when in and around nature for being free is the greatest gift one can encounter as you merely exist for a while, you are present and most of all you just get to be.
Filed under General Nature Occasions
Thanks Jemma (and others) for a thoughtful, introspective week!
I’ve enjoyed the series. Thanks! My mindful connection with nature can reflect my connection to self (or lack of it).
I am reminded of this in my small yard as I watch the rhythms of the birds and animals that pass through. And by my dogs complete joy at seeing me in the morning. It’s these moments that offset the difficult fears and pressures, (real or imagined) of the day.
Kirst how right you are about being free in the bush, no appointments and time lines to worry about. There you can do retrospect of the year that has come to an end. Your time can be more appreciated in the wild by just watching, listening and taking in every fresh breath of air. The animals their live in harmony with each other and the bush. You are so privileged to be a Ranger in the most beautiful place, Londolozi.
Beautiful! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank you very much for your lovely Christmas articles.
I am wishing all of you, the whole Londolozi family, a wonderful and merry Christmas!
Jemma, thank you for providing us with these amazing 7 days of Nature’s Gifts. I am truly grateful for the inspiration, decorating tips, meditation, and images! My favorite day whilst staying in Londolozi, is the evening in the Boma, being entertained by the Ladies’ Choir. Their enthusiasm and happiness seeps into every part of my body, this last stay encouraging me to get up and dance to their beat. I’m thrilled to have their Xmas song.
Kirst, your blog/essay on freedom is written beautifully. I read it a few times as I gained a bit more insight each time. It’s funny but when I’m traveling in Africa on safari, I often forget what day it is and only check to see if I need to pack to leave – always a sad moment. The quote from Deepak Chopra is perfect! I’m so looking forward to escaping the US once again, to become lost in the peace and freedom of the bush. I never feel as in tune with me and free as when I’m there. If all finally falls into place, perhaps I can enjoy a winter experience with you all – 🤞 enjoy your holidays!!
Jemma, Thanks for creating a special gift for the holidays! We are working our way backwards through the 7 days as we have lost time with the holidays! We loved the song from the choir and have downloaded the song list! Merry Christmas!
Jemma. loved your blog and also loved the Choir – fantastic voices. Kirst, a heartfelt thanks for your words of wisdom. I feel the same way as you do about nature and not being constrained by time. I do appreciate the simple things in life and I do “stop and smell the roses” as it were in appreciating beautful sunrises/sunsets, looking up a clouds, appreciating trees, flowers, etc. I wish each and every one of the Londolozi Family a safe, happy and healthy 2022. Thank you all very much for sharing with us.
Thank you for this wonderful walk through all your lives giving us 7days of nature’s gifts. Each very special in their unique way and certainly more precious and meaningful than a present under the Christmas tree.
Though Christmas has passed I hope that you all had a wonderful feastive day together, as I did with some of my loved ones 💞🙏🏻