Words: Suzette du Toit Photo: Jan Verboom
The South African colloquial word “Lekker” is used referring equally to a person, object or event as superb, magnificent or fantastic.
As part of AfrikaBurn’s Code of Conduct, the term “Don’t be kak. Be lekker” is an essential quality to ensuring the most blazing Tankwa-experience that’ll be Burnt into your existence. And, let’s be honest, it will allow you a great Life as well.
Being a lekker person is not a birthright. We become lekker – or kak – through living Life. Being lekker is a mere conscious choice. That’s it.
There is a lack of consciously lekker people out there. That’s why Burners have been drawn together by the magical Burn in the desert: escaping into the reality of freedom, creation and expression.
We should be lekker every day… for the sake of our own (in)-sanity, as well as those around us. Every interaction we have each day has an impact on the other people’s lives. So, really the question should be: How lekker do you want your impact to be? Being lekker takes work! But the life-satisfaction we get is, for lack of a better word, LEKKER!
How to be lekker:
When greeting someone look them in the eyes and smile. Your mask might hide your smile, but your eyes will not. First impressions are important. Funnily enough, this also applies to meeting the same people 2 or 3 times over “for the first time” during a Burn. I actually saw my husband “for the first time” twice in 2 days at an event. And by that time we had been friends for a year, so I should’ve remembered him. I even saw the photo-evidence that I did hang out with him and his group the day before. Hey, he still went ahead and married me! So, be good to those you meet every day- they might need you! Vice versa.
No person is an island. We are all connected by our interactions. We have the responsibility to make our communities better. Be aware of your influence in each social situation. Whether it’s with the cashier at your supermarket, the petrol-attendant at the garage, or your fellow volunteers and Burners at Tankwa Town. No matter how fleeting, your interaction with someone should make their lives better. Live to Love.
Also be conscious of your environment. Nature is a precious gift that should be nurtured and preserved. Hence AfrikaBurn’s “Leave No Trace” policy. We need to leave our beautiful Quaggafontein landscape as we found it, if not possibly better. Because of this reason, our eco-friendly toilets’ content will be re-used to fertilise and restore the Land.
Being positive is nothing more than a habit that we form through our own constant repetitive actions. Force yourself to see the positive side of every situation, and say it out loud. When you hear yourself speak, you tend to believe what you are saying is true. Nobody enjoys the company of a “Negative Nancy”. They drain your spirit. So change what you believe by spreading positive vibes verbally. I promise you it works!
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
There really is healing magic in being creative. People who stretch their imaginations and give over to the essence of freedom are happier people. They are the best people. They are Burners! Creatives are empathic, because it takes time and effort to develop a skill. The ability to appreciate another’s dedication to their art makes you a lekker person!
Being creative is actually essential to human sanity. It changes the way you think when you allow your mind to develop different pathways. It affects the way we analyse and interpret real-life situations. There are many ways to be creative. Being good at chess, for example, is an incredibly creative skill. Art is not just about what we see as much as it is about how it makes us feel. Imagine the tranquility and peace of being in a beautiful garden. That’s what creativity offers not only to the Creative, but to our communities as a whole as well.
That’s why a Burn is such an enlightening experience. It’s all about good vibes! Our Outreaches and Workshops help us to keep in contact with fellow Burners and our creative selves.
We have a responsibility to motivate each other to be creative through any kind of art. So involve other people in any way possible. Small things have HUGE impact. Getting together in a creative setting binds people from all walks of Life. We can actually build a more accepting and prosperous Rainbow Nation through our art by involving everyone.
Music is obviously also food for our souls. I am a terrible singer: when I sing in the shower, the water stops running. Yes, it’s that bad! But when I dance, I let it all go. I don’t care what other people think. Maybe I should. But honestly, I don’t. Music transcends us out of our minds and into our souls. Lay your soul bare and dance like EVERYBODY is watching! There’s no doubt that we draw from each other’s energy.
Love fiercely. Everyone needs some extra love these days. COVID has kicked butt, for some more than others, but we have all been through this together. We are aware of a constant strain on our communities, so just love a little more – in return expect a lot more love from others! People instantly react to genuine love. Love really does change the World!
Most importantly, love yourself. Don’t try to fit in with society. Be brave. Be bold. Accept that being different is more beneficial to society than being a boring statistic. Be the square peg. Be esoteric. We encourage you to make a difference by being your true self! Burn, Baby! Burn!