Meet 143 the heartist from the Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit movement

Disclaimer and warm welcomes;

skylarglowsup welcomes Jo – Ann Prinsloo as our first guest interviewer and enthusiastic collaborator on this post. Jo- Ann, we feel honoured and we thank you for your time, input, efforts and insights.

*The following post touches on topics about depression, anxiety and the symptoms of mental illness as experienced and understood by an individual who has a history of mental illness and is undergoing treatment and in a recovery program. These testimonials or telling of physical, verbal and psychological manifestations of mental illness from a personal perspective does not in any way advocate or excuse other people’s poor or violent behaviour if they are undiagnosed or self-diagnosed without any medical consults or input. The broader message of this post and interview is to change the narrative of this life-altering illness. It also aims to move away from stigma and move closer to empathy, upliftment, empowerment, support, open communication channels and understanding of many others who bare the same cross. The struggle is very real, but we are stronger together.

  • This post was collaboratively created by two individuals who act as separate entities and practice freedom of expression so that others may be educated and touched by the truths of this reality. This also serves as a tool and vehicle that highlights how art and creativity aids and boosts one’s quality of life and experience of life, no matter how hard it is.
  • Kind reminder: Please consult a medical professional or reach out to the various programs that are available online and face to face ( COVID protocol permitting ), if you think that you might have mental health issues. I AM NOT a medical-professional and my account of my personal experience does not suffice as treatment or healing for your underlying issues. If you feel that you might have some things that you struggle to cope with get the help, treatment and resolve that you need. Be brave and get the help you desire and deserve.
  • Photos proudly captured and provided by Kiki’s by Lin. All rights reserved.

A creator (creather) of healing, expressive art through words,emotions and thoughts all done for love of love.

” I find myself in the best company when I enter the many worlds of creative minds, intellectuals, brilliant scholars and empowering poets.”

From pen to paper to a live performance in Cape Town!

Jo-Ann : Aunty Milly, an original Afrikaans poem written and performed by 143 the heartist, was first heard by the general public and industry leaders of the performing arts in June 2020 during the Cape Town Expozed performing arts competition. This performance gave her the confidence and inspiration to continue doing what she has been doing for the last two decades. Her words carry power and so does she!

” It was a nerve wracking experience for me as I have not been well. I was battling daily with uncontrollable anxiety and anger outbursts that scared me and alienated my parents and maybe some of my friends as well. I felt like such a burden. I lost control of my emotions and behaviour. I was losing touch with reality because I was overwhelmed with so many things that I have had to deal with on my own. I felt like giving up on life again. I was journaling and started writing to Aunty Milly and would show it to my other aunt, who also kept me close to her and comforted me by spending time with me and taking care of my needs.

I did my best to quiet my mind by visiting my late aunt’s grave whenever my thoughts became too loud. I would sit in her presence and miraculous things would happen. I am unable to explain it but I can express it through my art. This is how the spoken word Aunty Milly came about. I sat in silence in the face of God and somehow I received these words and felt compelled to perform this spoken word to spread awareness of mental illness and to honour Aunty Milly and other female figures who contributed to my journey in a nurturing and uplifting way.”

143 the heartist is a lover of words,winners and the world at large!

Jo-Ann : Our first encounter was a very refreshing and uplifting one. Skylar aka 143 the heartist, briefly introduced us to her Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit movement and spoke about her many passions and travels over the past seven years. This year, she has been working hard on her blog, her songwriting, her poetry, her healing and recovery and now she is ready to step out into a new realm. The world of artistry. Today we delve a little deeper into Skylar’s unfolding journey as an emerging spoken word artist.

Jo- Ann : In a previous discussion you mentioned that you are very good at telling other people’s stories, but not really your own, why is that?

” I think that I used to believe that my stories did not matter. I have been writing for 20 years now and all of my poetry used to be very dark and depressing. I used to share my stuff on Facebook when it still had that notes option and many people used to comment on how I should stop being so sad and that life is not so bad. Those kinds of comments made me feel even worse. In my mind, I was simply expressing myself and not bottling my feelings up. I was still young and did not want to fall into the peer pressure trap of turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with life or numb what I was experiencing at the time. I always felt pulled into different directions and was raised with a lot of ambiguity and contradictive belief systems, so I at times I did not feel like I could be myself fully. I was just a product of my environment that either needed to act accordingly or get rejected without question or consideration.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks or just enjoying life without any real responsibilities and being young and free when you hang out with your friends, but I constantly thought of death and was overexposed to suffering and illness from a young age. It was modelled to me that adults were always right and always knew better. That children had no place in sharing their views or having their own identities. And the suffering and illness that I was constantly exposed to, shaped my mind to believe that there is only one way to live life. To be born, suffer for others and then die.

I did not want to live to be around to experience that and I believe that is why I constantly wanted to die and just seize to exist. Had I been exposed to more health, wellness, optimism and shown the various avenues one could take to live a happy and full life and that it was meant for me as well, I don’t think I would suffer from suicidal triggers and ideation like I do now. There were things I didn’t need to go through as a child and teenager, so I felt trapped. Many unsolicited and enforces happenings that took place in my presence that were out of my control and I didn’t have an adult influence who could help to distract myself or at least teach me the necessary things I needed to know in those specific moments when I felt things so intensely and would disconnect, to protect myself.

When I reached high school, I thought that writing would keep me company, help me navigate through my formative years and keep me focused on my future goals.”

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Talk Therapy helped her find her voice within the chaos of her mind

” When I started psychotherapy, at age 14, this was one of the issues I had to overcome. I had difficulty with expressing my emotions and I was very misunderstood. Despite doing really well academically, I had problems with socializing and never fit in nor could I adapt to how things should be done in social or group settings. When the first big personal tragedy struck I became enraged and “mute”. This is where I started my writing journey. It started with journaling, then goal setting, then as I matured I started writing poetry about my late grandmother, close friends, my love interests, my travels, other cultures and I would write in many of the languages that I was studying at the time.

I recall writing quite a few random poems in French and when I was at university, I wrote some poems in isiXhosa, but these were simple thoughts of me interacting with my beloved languages and I never bothered to safe keep them for future use. I think languages saved me from following the crowd into the same, monotonous, prescribed lanes. I wanted to blaze my own trails and leave clues behind for others who wished to follow suit. Language can do that for many of us.

Today, I am grateful for that tragedy and every other tragedy that occurred because it taught me to write myself out of it or through it, no matter how painful it is. There are pleasure and bliss on the horizon. Maybe not instantaneously, but it is there. And once it is there, it stays.”

Childhood traumas, abandonment issues, rejection, emotional neglect, othering and personal losses broke something in her that caused her to stay in her shell to feel safe

I went from being a bubbly, energetic, smiling, loving and sociable child to a mean, moody teenager right into adulthood. I would bottle up my feelings and end up getting angry at my friends and my love interests or cry about small things that to me felt like the end of the world. I didn’t understand myself, much less the rest of the world around me. It was once I started educated myself on mental health, behavioural issues, family dynamics and socio-economic status and cultural nuances that I was able to grasp the complexities of myself and others around me. I was told by my teachers and lecturers that I had a bright mind, so I fed my mind with literature and music when I still able to play the piano.

Then, I discovered other cultures. I was very drawn to other cultures traditions, rituals, rites of passages,celebrations and fashion. I wish to experience all 9 South African tribes culture for myself. I imagine myself going to an Indian wedding or celebrating Dewali with them. I would love visit the Ndebele tribe and live in one of their colourful huts and go to see the Zulu and isiXhosa praise poets perform their poems with their traditional attire.

In South African culture, isiXhosa the language fascinated me the most. This is also where I learned about Ubuntu. The saying: Umntu ngumtu ngabantu, is a very powerful African proverb. It means that we are who we are because of others.

What we can take away from this is that nobody can do it all on their own. All of us need and deserve our own space, love, understanding, upliftment and support. We should also remember that if we keep good company, good things will manifest. If we keep bad company, bad things will manifest. There is an invisible balance between light and dark in all of us. We don’t need to let darkness reign, we can choose the light now. “

Writing for others caused writer’s block while writing for the love of heart opened up a multiverse of healing and expression for herself and others

” When I started writing for other people, they loved it so much that everyone wanted their own poem or a special letter. Unfortunately some people also misinterpreted my poetry as me being in love or infatuated with them, when all I was doing was celebrating them for how I saw them through the lens of love and light. I didn’t know then, that I could have developed my craft. I felt rejected again and internalized it, believing again that I was useless, weird and too sensitive. I stopped writing for a very long time. Reflecting on that choice now, I realise I sabotaged myself by others rejection feeding my own disbelief. It kept me in a trauma response loop and inadvertently created new cycles op people-pleasing as a way for me to finally get external validation and a thumbs up from people who only had a limited or outdated versions of me in their minds.

When my healing began, the validation and motivation came from within and I wanted to pour that into my work so that others could also witness it and create it within themselves. It gives me the safest and best release. Now, I am learning how to share my creative work with others in an uplifting and empowering way. I also write to myself. It keeps me on track and helps me to deal with difficult situations on my own. Creativity and writing are very powerful tools when used correctly. “

Jo- Ann :What type of stories mostly inspire you and are there specific themes in your work?

” People from all walks of life and different cultures inspire me. I explore love in all its forms. I also delve deep into the emotional aspects of universal struggles. This is very evident in my work. The belief systems of our cultures and the thinking of our societies as well as assigning new meaning to the traumas that I had suffered. My traumas may be an internal battle to me, but transmuting them and sharing them with the world might give others some relief or healing where they might need it and did not know how to access it, until they do. Happy encounters will bring you inspiration if you pay attention to the lessons and signs.

I learn so much from others and have found healing from the most unlikely sources just by being open and receptive of the unfamiliar and unknown. All of us have healing characteristics. So many of us have suffered traumas and not all of us talk about it. We deal with it in different ways. Sitting with someone on a rainy day, or making them a cup of coffee. Sending your best friend a heartfelt voicenote, writing a sincere letter of thanks to someone, remembering their birthday, helping them run errands etc. All of these things can be healing experiences. It lifts one’s spirits and keep everyone going. Healing is reciprocal and multiplies. It does not stop or divide. So healing is one of my main drivers for creating and sharing my work with and for others.”

Liefde praat Afrikaans = Love speaks Afrikaans

Jo-Ann : Despite being familiar with the international world, most of your work is in Afrikaans. What is your relationship or affinity to the language?

” Afrikaans is MY taal. I come from the Motherland, I received training and tertiary education in the Mother City and Afrikaans is My Mother tongue. I made a decision as a teenager already that I wanted to go to an Afrikaans medium school. When I obtained my BA degree, I elected to receive all my lectures and notes in Afrikaans and when I was abroad, hearing Afrikaans is what quenched my soul when I missed home. It is ingrained in my DNA. It’s how I best express myself and it is what flows from my heart.

I think the influences that I had at school and university were what made me love and embrace Afrikaans. Even when I went to college studying advertising, I did some of my ad campaigns for our assignments in Afrikaans. My teachers and lecturers saw that I had an affinity for languages and that I was able to discern with which I felt most at home. Afrikaans is home. And every home has different rooms and function beautifully as a whole. I love speaking so – called suiwer Afrikaans,

I speak AfriKaaps and I code mix when I speak to people who understand Afrikaans but speak English. Each dialect has its own persona and distinctive sound, tone, idiosyncrasies and vocabulary so I write a lot of silly stuff as well as serious stuff depending on who I wish to reach.”

” Unmask and be bold enough to reveal your beauty and brilliance to the world. “

Jo – Ann : In one of the pictures , you are standing in front of a wall covered in writing, is it your writing?

” It is indeed. In December last year, I had another nervous breakdown and I asked my best friend to give me some of her kids’ coloured chalk so I could write to myself. Journalling and keeping my thoughts in a diary was not helping. I would suffer terrible insomnia and get triggered by outside noise and lose complete control of my behaviour. The one new self- discovered skill that I had to quiet my mind was to write on my walls as a way to curb my suicidal and self-harm thoughts. I did this because the moment I woke – up, it was as if a bullet train of thoughts would run through me instructing and probing me to do harmful and erratic things to myself. So, I wrote more positive and productive instructions for myself to break the horrible, repetitive, debilitating cycle that I was in.”

“Bly lewe, die wêreld het jou liefde nodig.”

“Stay alive, the world needs your love.”

Jo – Ann: How do you define your responsibility as an artist?

” I think it is my responsibility to heal myself through art. In doing so, I create a new, untapped well of healing for others who wish to find healing and peace within themselves, be it the collective or as individuals. This well can then flow from one corner of the world to the next and have a lasting impression on humanity and will hopefully encourage others to see and embrace their own brilliance as well. All of us are gifted in some way, shape or form.

I am just a messenger and a connector of metaphysical dots for others who are still on their journey of self-discovery and higher purpose. It is also my responsibility to speak and live my truth as best as I can. I know it is a huge risk for me to wear my heart on my sleeve and show my scars and wounds to others, but I do it not to collect sympathy or validation. I do it to show everyone that there is so much awe within our flaws. We can turn our struggles into strengths, our pain into purpose and our traumas into triumphs. One of my elders told me that vulnerability is not a weakness, it’s a strength.”

2020 has brought us all closer to our true selves. Let’s fail forward and keep the faith together and apart.

” I also believe that now, during this pandemic and the global shift that is currently happening from face to face to face to screen, which is causing me immense anxiety and a burning desire to preserve the human connection on a soul level. Anyone can quote or upload profound words onto social media because it’s a trend and trends fade. Humans will continue to evolve. Souls are everlasting.

What I create is timeless, sacred, real, valid, needed and necessary. Women need to find solace in their sisterhoods and themselves. It’s time to plant new trees and bloom so that the next generation can prosper even more than we are prospering right now. The fruits of our labour should serve as soul food. We owe it to ourselves to be the best and leave the best legacies behind. I want my nieces and nephews to flourish in their own rights. I want my younger cousins to embrace and love themselves and walk through life with fierceness and honour our bloodlines. I want us all to love and be loved. I also want our boy children to be raised as men who cry, men who are soft spoken and still being self confident. While I would love to see our girl children to be raised as independent, fierce, fearless and educated women who can hold their own.”

” Heal our men, protect our women, educate our children, save our souls. Heal Mzansi heal. “

Jo- Ann : Do you express your culture / heritage through your work, if so, how?

” I celebrate my heritage through my spoken word Hys Kinnes. It highlights all of my upbringing, how solid and reliable my friendships were and still are, how supportive and protective the father figures were as I grew up and how much we love food. Everyone relates to Hys Kinnes because it rings true to their heritage as well. It hits home and it makes others appreciate where they come from and where they are going to or what they are working towards. For those of us who are in our late 20’s and early to mid 30’s, we wish to have some sort of stability while we grind daily for our families. Some of us are studying and working while building our dream houses, others are overseas, some are focusing on their love relationships, others are building their careers from scratch or have been in transition and recovery like I am. Hys Kinnes just reminds all of us how far we have come and keep us going as a community, a circle of friends, a family unit or an international network of expats who speak Afrikaans.

There’s a line that says: ” lag saam, waak saam, staan saam“, meaning as friends and family we laugh together, we protect each other and we stick together because that is who we are and it’s worth celebrating daily. “

Jo – Ann : Ultimately, what is it that you wish to reach in your career as an artist and writer?

“I make works of heart. I create and bring to life what my heart and other’s hearts guide me towards. My spoken words are somewhat heavy hearted as opposed to my songwriting and other writings that are more light hearted. That is where the balance lies. I live in a realm of love. And love has its ugly face as well but that is what makes it real and beautiful to me and others.

I have an inter- disciplinary background and I wish to achieve great heights with many of them. I am a writer. I write emotively, expressively and I have been exploring fiction by character – building my visions into short stories and creating accompanying audios for them. That brings me to the next discipline, which is storytelling. My stories are visual and more layered and textured than my poetry. I am currently experimenting with film to bring some of my poetry to life so that I can reach an international audience. These visuals will also make my work more accessible to everyone who has the desire to experience it for themselves at their own pace. “

She’s a poet and she owns it!

” Then, my poetry. I wish to be published and plan to enter more competitions to gain more confidence and experience so that I can learn the ropes and prerequisites of being a compelling poet. As a songwriter, I wish to work with many rap artists and singers both locally and internationally. I love and admire Hemel Besem, YOMA, Die Hooflig, Oxijin and Linkris’s work, to name a few. Finally, as a spoken word artist, I hope to do commissioned work. I don’t necessarily want to perform or do big shows all the time, but I think radio and TV would be a good start for me. Broadcasting is an excellent avenue to spread the word and uplift others who silently suffer or struggle with issues that could be resolved or soothed by songs with lyrics that are in Afrikaans.

I view my voice as my instrument and if it can be music to someone’s ears, let it be joyous. Let it be refreshing, let it evoke change even when it is dark.”

“I am an old skooler, late bloomer, love is my religion, Ubuntu is my vision.”

Jo- Ann : What do you want to achieve with your artistry?

” I not only want to make a living out of it. I want to make love out of it. Change the way we give, receive and understand love across boundaries. I believe I have it in me to bridge the gap not only across cultures but across all the continents. With time, dedication, practice and perfection and shaping my talents and gifts, I hope that what I do and how I do it will inspire the youth and other women like me, to invest in themselves as well. It’s never too early or too late to glow up!”

“I hope to give people a world view on universal topics and challenges that might make them feel lost or unheard ( as I felt and sometimes still feel). I hope that they create accessible platforms and spaces for themselves to express and explore all of their stages and phases in life.

I don’t want anyone to succumb to peer pressure if they discover that they are asocial or introverted by thinking that they can not gel or interact with people from the other spectrums. They can develop their confidence in various ways. One of the ways that I got rid of my social anxiety and difficulty with following or catching on social cues was to do what made me uncomfortable but with a pure intent. I started going out on my own and found like-minded people who embraced me as I was. Awkward, stern, shy but confident in my own right and that helped me warm up to group settings and crowds within my boundaries that I must set to keep myself stable and self- sufficient. “

* I am referring to 2018 and 2019 before COVID-19

Jo- Ann: What advice would you give to anyone young or old?

“Embrace your brokenness and embrace your heritage. If your upbringing was difficult and confusing, don’t allow it to dictate your life choices as you age or evolve. Embrace your accent, embrace the way you walk, the way your hair has a life of its own and the way your voice sounds when it is recorded on audio. Embrace your lack of direction, absent-mindedness and your temperament. Embrace your weirdness or being silly or interested in plants and not purses. Embrace your age,your body shape AND embrace the fact that you are different. Different is not wrong. It means that you are unique.

You are (yo)unique and beautiful.

Be- you- to- the- fullest!

Love and adore every single inch of yourself despite your insecurities or flaws. I can not stress this enough. MEN, I am talking to you as well. You are beautiful too! I only started fully embracing myself at around age 30 ( Now 33 going on 34 ). My weight fluctuates, I suffered for a long time in silence, binge eating when I was stressed out and had to cope with being on medication that altered my mood and behaviour and weight, while having to accept myself in an often brutal and cruel world.This is not something that I have ever talked about before but I mention it now because women are too self critical and build unnecessary toxic traits that prevent them from embracing their youth or age, if they are older.

So learn from my experience. Just be! All is well. “

“Take a stanza out of my book and stand up within yourself. Even if you still need the walls to support you, STAND UP!”

Jo- Ann : Why now?

“I think the world standing still and shutting down, losing a soul brother during this COVID 19 pandemic that we are still facing, being apart from the person who loves me and inspires me to live fully and being forced into isolation with all the issues and shortcomings that I already had, scared the life back into me. I felt inadequate and hopeless so I needed to draw strength from within.

My depression had depression and my anxiety was anxious. I was suffering from compassion fatigue and keeping up the stoic façade that I was ok when in all honesty I was not. People know me as the strong one who has all her ducks in a row.News flash, I don’t. I have no idea what I am doing! All I know is that my creativity and unwavering faith in the universe has brought me comfort, awakened my inner voice and put in me in a position of self – empowerment, healing and expression. Free from judgment or prescribed external validation.

Art is what I create and what I create comes from my soul’s battle scars and victories. Not anyone else’s. I am proud of that and I embrace and celebrate that . It makes me happy and I find it fulfilling. My soul brother Diego (R.I.P) told me to do what makes me happy, to love who I choose to love and just go all out. He also said my blog posts was helping him with his way of life as well and that I must keep on writing. And to continue with my yoga routine and many other empowering and uplifting things before he passed on.So I am doing that.

I hope others follow my lead. Do not follow me, I am still a little lost. But follow my lead, by just doing things that make you happy. Be with people who make you feel good on the inside. Especially when you are not with them all the time. Invest in your love relationships and set realistic, attainable and manageable goals to pursue together. “

The meaning of a miracle is YOU

” I want to live a full and glorious life and I wish to be celebrated for simply being me. Not a role or a pawn in society but a super sensitive female whose default setting is to love unapologetically. I love hard and I love deep and love to me is like breathing. It comes from a place of sincerity and respect. I want to love and experience a healthful partnership with the person who challenges me to be patient and resilient. Someone who helps me to slow down and take things easy because there is still time. That time is NOW. “

Jo- Ann : 143, thank you for allowing us to peek into your new world. We patiently and excitedly await the visuals of Aunty Milly, Hys Kinnes and Bos Kind. That drops soon!

Post updated on 4 January 2021

As you always sign off, with Love and Light,

Jo-Ann and Skylar

Watch the visuals for Aunty Milly below!

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