#34: Khensani Mohlatlole
This week we are joined by writer, cartoon character & cat wrangler, Khensani Mohlatlole, who tells us more about Caprese salads, dirt cheap blush, 'I Love Dick' by Chris Kraus, and more!
Khensani Mohlatlole is a writer, cartoon character and cat wrangler from Johannesburg. When she’s not tree hugging and sewing, you can find her on the hunt for the city’s best Bloody Mary or scouring libraries for historical African fashion.
We welcome her to The FRM Newsletter to share what she’s been into recently.
👡 Bratz doll shoes
The ultimate walking, dancing, driving, cycling and running shoe should be black, square-toed and be able knock out the teeth of an alpha male podcaster. Think Naked Wolf, Gucci, Steve Madden. Great as sandals, even better when it’s boots.
📚 I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus (1997)
Everything you need to know about God, faith, romance and pain is in this fictionalised memoir following Chris Kraus as she begins a one-sided, unreciprocated love affair with a man she met just once.
🎷 Anything your boomer parents used to play on Sunday afternoons
I’m a notorious music hater — I like silence, podcasts and listening to the birds outside — but Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Lenny Williams. The best music is whatever you’d listen to if you were going through a divorce.
🍅 An elevated basic
Caprese salad — tomato, basil, olive oil, salt, and mozzarella is my go-to snack. It’s a 5-minute meal, minimal chopping and a little less sad than eating an entire jar of olives at 2AM. If you’re feeling jazzy, you can spruce it up with some smoked trout or a pickle. Chef’s kiss!
👜 In your handbag:
Nail glue, lip balm, clean underwear, tampons/pads and liquid eyeliner. Life’s always an adventure when you’re always packed properly. I don’t smoke but carrying a lighter is always a great way to make friends.
🎀 Dirt cheap blush
Anything over R50 is forbidden. Look for bootleg MAC, Revlon and Kylie Cosmetics packaging with names like “Romantic Bird” and “Miss Girl” — anything you could find on the side of the road is golden. There’s nothing better than looking like a slightly sickly, giggly school girl and you need maximum pink for that effect.
📝 The Letters: Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg
I didn’t read a lot of Beatnik works but the months and years of correspondence between the writers is heartfelt, tender, soul crushing, hilarious, and insightful all at once. When you’re done bawling at how 20th century writers could pay rent off of one article, you can enjoy the trials and tribulations of two fruits with mental health issues.
Tracey Emin — especially for a treatise on female rage. Her most known work is “My Bed” wherein she turned her depression spell into an installation; showcasing the dirty sheets, empty liquor bottles, cigarette butts, blood stains and used condoms from her sad girl era. I like her angry drawings of c*nts and patchwork pieces yelling at the man.
Do movies count? Because the classic 90s-00s romantic movies definitely should. I miss pure romance — just watching people talk and fall in love and then talk some more and fall in love some more. Kooky hijinks a la romantic comedies are welcome of course, like the premise of ‘Deliver Us From Eva’ or ‘How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days’ but I most care that a man will get on his knees before the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen ready to die for her. See: ‘A Walk to Remember’ (2002), ‘The Last Song’ (2010), ‘Cinderella’ (2015), ‘The Best Man’ (1999) and ‘Ever After’ (1998) — yes, two of these are Cinderella stories and another two are Nicholas Sparks adaptations but I don’t make the rules! (As I’ve finished typing this, I just realised there was a film emoji but my point stands — convincingly telling the story of two attractive people falling in love without me wanting to strangle them is an art!)
🧳 The Wild Coast, Eastern Cape
Unparalleled biodiversity, jungle beaches, artisanal jewellery, antique shopping and cost-effective accommodation — the wild coast has it all. I’m still planning a visit to the nearby Karoo for the Winter Wool Festival — the Eastern Cape is home to one of largest sources of the world market merino wool and wool has a long, long place in African practice.