In his own words

2009-10-24 00:00

VARIETY is said to be the spice of life, and given Hotel Rwanda actor and recording artist Antonio Lyons David’s hectic schedule, you can be sure that he lives by this notion religiously.

It’s all in a day’s work, said the Miami-born actor when he stopped by the Bessie Head Library in Pietermaritzburg to workshop his first one-man stage production, We Are Here, this week before heading to Durban to perform it for the first time in the province.

“I wrote it during the 16 days of activism against woman and child abuse last year,” David said.

“There were no male voices in the campaign and I just thought that this paints the man as the perpetrator, and violent and bad fathers. But what about those of us who aren’t like this?”

David then decided to write a poem­ a day during the protest from a male perspective.

During a recital of some of his work — which covered everything from conversations with his adopted son to confrontations with feminist women — the audience chuckled, cheered, but mostly they sat in silence­ nodding in agreement with his words.

In one poem, he spoke about his desire to strike a woman­ who watched her children die at the hands of a man and did nothing to stop him.

“We are all human and when we are confronted with these kinds of situations we go through all these emotions,” he said.

“My aim is to get everyone thinking. A lot of the time the choice lies in the man’s hands, but women also have a role to play in their abuse. They are not always as innocent as they make out to be — even remaining silent has its consequences.”

The former Generations actor just wrapped up his latest movie, the South African horror flick Night Drive, which is scheduled to hit cinemas­ in around May.

He is currently promoting his first solo album, Human Jewels. “It took two years to complete and I am very proud of it,” he said.

This may be his debut effort, but making music is nothing new to him.

Ever since his move to South Africa three years ago, he’s worked with some of the biggest names in the local music industry such as Revolution, Iggy Smallz, DJ Fresh, and jazz artist Musa Manzini­.

He has also written songs for Kwaito stars Andile and Jolene.

His music, though, is as eclectic as his lifestyle. Borrowing from jazz, hip-hop and house, his songs are a fusion of sounds that he calls “fujasoul­”.

“It doesn’t quite fit in any of the boxes — it’s not R&B, it’s not house, it’s not jazz,” he said. “It’s my sound.”

This is why he penned the single track on the album.

The poet said that he isn’t sure what the future holds for him, but for now he is focused on promoting his album and getting the stage production­ polished in time for the 16 Days against Women and Child Abuse campaign.

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