As a part of my series about “Learning To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku. She is a filmmaker, musician, podcast host and actress. She’s worked for many years in the entertainment industry through privilege of having been raised by a family of actors, musicians, politicians, and filmmakers. An activist of change of the collective mindset of our South African society — Nirvana believes there is more to be explored and cultivated in our communities than what is being predominantly told/sold to the general public. I pride myself in reading, yoga, UkuGida that is a form of traditional Zulu dancing, writing and photography. “I love challenging the rigid mindsets and point of views of society, myself included, and I love exploring, preserving and sharing my culture with the modernized world I live and partake in.
The young singer would tour Europe with her family’s art school and participated in cultural exchanges with Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet and recently the Los Spirido Del Pianetta festival in Italy. If you had never seen Nirvana’s face before today, it is likely that you heard her voice. As a child and tween, Nirvana was working on music for advertisements, background music for films, and voice over work. Over the years, she has sang with revered South African musicians such as the late Hugh Masekela, Shaluza Max, and Busi Mhlongo. Nirvana is also a director, producer and vision mixer — something not many people are aware of. Her latest film ‘Sexgregation’ is a pilot to a webseries she’s working on set to be released within the next 2 years. In conjunction, Nirvana has also a Book recommendation series titled ‘NBR’ which furthers her love for knowledge and sharing knowledge.
Nirvana’s upcoming project musical ‘Cosmic Bae Trilogy III’ is an exciting masterpiece that speaks to loving on a higher plane thus improving the relationships you hold dearly in your life.
She plans on merging her knowledge and resources of film with her music. “My mission is for people to be inspired to know more about themselves and everything around them. My mission is to inspire people to dig deep. Only in digging do we find the truth and in doing so, we heal ourselves”.
Currently, she’s working on a project of psychological reform and healing for artists within the South African community in collaboration with Dorkay House, Downtown Studios and the Department of Arts and Culture. This project is under the umbrella of the Nokwe Creative Development Foundation. As a result, she finds herself having to engage and connect with many international artists, artist managers, promoters and upcoming artists and liaising with international entertainers in regards to this program.
Her weekly commitment is the recording and posting of a podcast, which is self, founded called Essence of GODSPACE Radio or Godsense Radiowhere the conversations go deep into deconstructing aspects of the ego.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
I’m working on a project called the Cosmic Bae Trilogy III which is, I guess, a bubblegum approach to dealing with holistic healing. And the basis of holistic healing is that everything is connected. The project is a 3 part musical product with songs relating to ancient Hinduist practice Tantric Sex, Zulu systems of love as well as the science of astrology in relation the love and path of man. Sonically, it inspired by binaural beats, trance like drums and the ocean. This is followed by a 3 part documentary series highlighting the history of love in Hindu, Zulu and Cosmic culture and how intimacy can be healing, quite instructionally, in these worlds.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?
It’s a never ending cycling of find ‘yourself’ and lose ‘yourself’ to find yourself again. Having been assaulted in a number of ways, I can say that everything I thought was truth was not truth. Most times we put up with things, keep ourselves quiet for the ‘afterlife’. The after life being the better life promised after trials, tribulations and brutal beatings. It’s an interesting feeling allowing myself to be free. To be free of what I think because I have been taught to think in that way. To be free of deception in that I really do not care for sweet nothings, truth is my only delicacy. And to be and free. And that is my acceptance.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
The belief of “I’m not good enough”. That’s not true. To affirm “I approve of myself” should ring true after a time of investing in that truth, that concept of viewing oneself in honesty and love.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
Sexual, sensual exploration with myself has been interesting means of understanding and loving myself. To take the time, to prolong gratification but at the same time experience it is a marvelous gift. To be able to wait in grace and fun, knowing that the destination is so far high up there.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
It’s not worth it if you’re expecting yourself or your partner to perform. The idea of monogamy is actually so hilarious to me because of the attachments of demands we’ve on the concept. All relationships are about self discovery through giving, and learning how to give in the process. Let the pressure fall off. We’re not competing, and all the world is NOT a stage.
When we talk about self-love and understanding we don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
Should I report this rape?
Am I good enough for this? Why do I question how worthy I am?
Is there a reason why certain types of accents make me weak? What are the ideas that I’ve attached to ethnicities affecting my ability to be authentic?
Is it worth it? What’s the measure of worth?
So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
Meditate. And dedicate time to strengthen your mind, body and soul. Take the time to cry for the sea refuses no river. Understand what triggers your habitual responses because it really is okay to better yourself in that way.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
Read books on power dynamics. Read books on ancient Chinese knowledge. Read books on holistic healing. Do breath work. Keep yourself holy, don’t let anything and everything in.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I would teach people how to identify and let go of the archetypes they hold that enable social ills to thrive — racism, sexism, elitism etc. At the very core of each of these systems of segregation is the belief of fear.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by?
Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
“A sea refuses no river” — from the movie Waking Life. I love to cry. I love to release in peace and solitude. It’s just funny to be that my tears are as salty as ocean water. There’s a definite connection of vulnerability and power. I know.