The Lazarusman Mathebula
Makhosonke Castro Nkosi
Laz: …I don’t know, she says she wants to throw a party at her house, I should sleep over and I’m like “OK” I said to her, I said “When should I come”. She said “anytime.” So then she says to me, “You can come anytime”. I say “OK I’ll come tomorrow”. She says “No you can’t come on weekdays”. I say “Well then don’t tell me to come over any time!”
Castro: you sound upset
Laz: no I’m not. What you must understand is that I’m very aware of the usage of tone. I use tone or specific words and shit like that to get a particular message across. Sometimes its fairly aggressive but it works. So its not that I’m upset its just that what I’ve come to learn in life is that if you’re soft… People will walk all over you.
Castro: Also, how you command the language is very important.
Laz: it’s important. And with that it needs to be contextual, you need to consider tone, and you need to consider dictionary. Those things are fundamental and profound.
-At this point, a homie walks by asking us if we we’re smoking any of the pleasant herb worldly known as weed or marijuana –
Mr Fix it: Yo you smokin’ weed there?
Laz: No. of course not
Castro: We’re actually working here…
-greetings commence all around – “Fede! Fede is vokol”
Mr Fix it: sorry baf’ethu ngiyaphapha I thought there was some weed
Castro: and we’re recording here so now we’re fucked –laughs
Laz: Nah lets keep it. Don’t stop, keep it rolling.
Mr Fix it: We’re recording? Yes sir!
Khanya: Yo what’s your name?
Mr Fix It: on the streets, they call me Mr Fix it. I fix things
Laz: he’s a dope DJ too…
Mr Fix It: Ok siyabonga siyabonga! Yithi ndiyothenga iNkawuza
Laz: where were we? We’re done talking about tonality. Fuck that shit.
Khanya: I don’t know, from my side I know this has been a long time coming. We hang regulary but why the fuck is it so hard to get a planned sit down with the two of you? Initially how this started was… I ran into you guys in braam…
Castro: We had actually just run into each other at that time
Laz: I’ll explain it just now as soon as these cool kids wearing sandles pass – laughs – I mean, you go to a fuckin’ party in sandles… what the fuck. And it’s got that one strap over the big toe…
Castro: but I do that sometimes though
Laz: yes but you do it in a cool way. You don’t do it to walk around at parties and shit. Putting on sandles and walking around like fucking birds.
Anyway the problem is that he and I know too many people. So we move within circles. We move from one circle to the next. So its basically the infinite loop, and if you look at the figure eight, there’s only one point at which it comes into contact. Its that rare. So Castro’s at the top of the figure eight and I’m at the bottom. Occasionally, when the universe provides, our paths cross.
Castro: yeah, like Friday. Those homies I was with, I went to primary school with them. They had been looking for me the whole day that day and they live in Benoni. They were like “Dude, all your mates are here. How do they get hold of you since you don’t have a phone?” –laughs – I’m like no, I’m just moving…
Laz: It’s that constant movement. We just gravitate towards each other and it makes sense.
Khanya: dude, the fucking idea to have this conversation or interview was actually a stroke of luck because we were going to some meeting that had nothing to do with the magazine. Or maybe it had a little to do with the magazine…
Castro: No it didn’t have anything to do with the magazine.
Khanya: I spent the rest of that day following you around, snapping and when I got to editing I was like, no hold on, wait… there’s a ‘Conversation With Creatives’ in this piece.
Laz: – sees a beautiful woman walk past – Sweet mother of baby Jesus on a Stick! – we all take a moment to appreciate her –
Khanya: On a stick?
Laz: She heard me. She won’t acknowledge that she heard me, but she heard me. Anyway…
Khanya: I’m still back at ‘the stick’
Castro: I think I saw her giggle, just a young giggle
Laz: So here’s the funny thing, I had my first encounter with Castro when I was working at Supremebeing. The 1st store to open up was in Rosebank. So he walked in and I met him and at that point in time I had not met anyone cooler in my life. He looked suave, he looked dope and the thing is, if anyone has met Castro, and for people who’ll continue to meet Castro, they’ll know that he’s assertive and sure of himself.
Castro: I don’t think I’m assertive tho, I’m just content with who I am.
Laz: yeah that’s just the politically correct answer. That’s the answer you give when you’re not trying to be arrogant.
Castro: yeah… well, I was saying, I don’t think I’m assertive, I just know myself very well and I know what I like. I think people have that perception of me because their view of me is from a different vantage point I guess. I’m content. I’m never really unhappy with who I am. I always believe that I have everything that I need in my life right now. All I have is wants right now, not needs. I was telling this guy the other day, he was like “Yo Castro, you want a beer?” I’m like yeah I’d love a beer. He’s like “Do you need anything?” and I’m like, I only have wants, never needs. That’s actually a T-Shirt yeah? “Only Wants, no needs” – laughs – I’m always content. You can take me anywhere as long as I can engage, adapt and adjust, I’m done.
Laz: and he does that every fucking time, this fucking cunt.
Castro: …and hence why I have to disagree with me being assertive because when you’re assertive you cannot enlighten yourself or dumb yourself down to a point where you’ll reach a level of understanding with the next person. I’d rather adapt and adjust – or camouflage into that situation.
Khanya: That’s actually coming correct because in this book I’m reading…
Laz: This is not about you, don’t tell us about your fucking book! – we’re all laughing – We don’t care about your book. That’s not going to come up in the interview. The interview isnt’ going to have a section saying “So I told them about my book.” This nigga wants to tell us about his fuckin’ book, but the interview is about us – laughs –
Khanya: All day. He’s been a dick to me all day – laughing
Laz: ah you and your book can fuck off. Don’t tell me about your fucking book. It’s probably a book we haven’t even read Castro…
Khanya: Wait but I want to pick up on the moving around within circles, being places where you need to be, even though that may not have been where you planned to be. How much has that movement done for you and how much has it cost you?
Laz: I think essentially what it comes down to… Its always about… uhm, its always been about being the ultimate opportunist. And everyone’s an opportunist right? Like a lot of people claim to be opportunists but never cease the opportune moment, you know what I’m saying? And that’s the one thing I think Castro does well. I think I do it well to a certain degree, but he does it like… if it’s the tiniest of cracks, the same hole a cockroach can crawl in, he’ll fucking do it – laughs – seriously man. Like, Castro and I, not to boast or be funny but like, half the time I don’t feel like we deserve to be where we are, doing what we’re doing. I feel like there are people who are ten times more qualified to be where we are, but because we were there, we saw the opportunity and we took it, and that’s been the steez you know what I’m saying? All about moving in those circles.
Castro: I agree with what he’s saying. I love and admire the fact that Laz will always make those educated decisions when at times I can’t. For me, sometimes what I do is more impulsive and that tends to fuck me over a lot, you know? A situation where I don’t see it ending the way I would like it to end, but end up going with it because of instinct and unfortunately my wealth is with my friends, not me.
When my friends have made it, that’s when I’ll know [that I’ve made it]. It’s pointless for me to share my being and presence with you if you’re not getting anything from me while I’m gaining a lot from you. And that’s how we’re able to move within those circles, you can take us anywhere… We could have dinner with the Queen – laughs – and she’d probably be like, yo boys what’s up!
Laz: And there’s a lot of truth to that because if we didn’t take some opportunities, others would not have been given to us and that the thing, because Johannesburg is like that. This for me is the most cut-throat city in the world. If you trip and you fall here, understand that you’re landing on a knife. So you’ve gotta stay up… trip, stumble, regain your balance and keep running. Its not about the necessary, its about the obvious. And Castro and I are unnecessarily obvious – laughs
Castro: that’s another T-Shirt –laughs
Khanya: You know, another thing is, a lot of people talk a lot of shit. Mna, ndili qaba mfe’thu. I just got here, I’m new here and…
Laz: you’re not as new as you think but yeah…
Castro: there’s homies who’ve been here longer than you that are still brand new, you know.
Khanya: yeah, I get that. And a lot of what I’ve been hearing is “Joburg will be good to you, Joburg will be shitty to you” but what I’m picking up from you fellas is that you dance with this bitch and hope that your pick-up line is good too…
Laz: Its true! Your attitude! Yo but Khanya on the real man, look, how people get mugged on the streets is a fundamental basis of how you walk; the attitude you have on the street.
Castro: -laughing- And this is what happened when me and this homie was leaving Poolside, these cats came up and tried to mug him.
Laz: Man, my whole attitude was wrong! I was so comfortable in the city, and the city reminded me. She said “Hey listen Laz… Yo, you getting too comfortable in this bitch” –laughing