Posts by jillianreilly

There’s always music

Posted by on 14th Feb, 2017

Music meant a lot to me growing up. Bedroom door shut. Eight track tape, cassette tape, record player blasting Donna Summer or The Eagles or Duran Duran. I can still picture the mixed tapes my friends and I made to suit our emotional season. (DANCE MIX 1982! TOP 10 SUMMER LOVE SONGS!) I can still feel my fingers placing the needle down on the album at the exact place where my favorite song started. And then doing it again. And again…. When my parents were shouting downstairs. When the popular girls at school laughed at my new haircut. When that boy didn’t even look my way. I always had my music. But music didn’t just offer escape; it gave me direct passage. To somewhere better, brighter, more loving, more lush. When my songs played, I moved my hips more. Mouthed words about making love that I pretended to understand. My boobs were bigger and my hair was fuller when my favorite song was playing. There was a light shining on me. I was sure of that. For however many hours or minutes were required, I was the Me I so desperately wanted to be. Music wasn’t my salvation. But it certainly was a salve. A rhythmic reminder that someone,...

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To protest or not to protest 0

To protest or not to protest

Posted by on 25th Jan, 2017

Are you experiencing protest-envy? Does the sight of people with placards stir you? Or make you roll your eyes? Not again, not now, not my March, not any march. Me, I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ll admit I’m weary of the need for this spectacle and wary of its impact, but I’m also hopeful. I can’t but feel hopeful when people come together to speak out against perversions of power. That’s what a protest is, right, speaking out against the misuse and abuse of power? It’s about not keeping quiet. When it matters most. I’ve been quiet too often in my life. When it mattered. Quiet when I knew development money was being wasted. Quiet when I suspected my boyfriend was cheating. Quiet when strangers suffered. Quiet when my clients paid me less than they should. Quiet when I was scared. Quiet when I was angry. Fear and anger matter. Maybe they matter most? People all over the world are scared right now. And angry. Scared and angry that those who hold power will deny us rights and opportunities; will demonize us; will drain our bank accounts while filling theirs. And if we don’t find ways to verbalise and utilise our fear and anger, then our fears will come...

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Courageous Conversations Giveaway 0

Courageous Conversations Giveaway

Posted by on 23rd Jan, 2017

Think of it as spa day.  For your heart. Together we’ll look at the story of your life, and how you would like that story to end.  We’ll take a deep breath and list out the courageous conversations you’re going to need to have in order to realise that happy ending.  What talents you’ve ignored for too long.   What truths need to be told to move your relationships or career forward.  What risks you’ll take this year to get closer to pursuing your passions.  By the time we say goodbye you’ll have a road map for living courageously in 2017. Exfoliate.  Massage.  Buff.  Your life.  Until you have the one you want. Apply via my Facebook page here. TERMS & CONDITIONS: You need to be prepared to be in central Cape Town for a full day between February 1 and May 1. We’ll choose a date that works best for you, me and the two friends who’ll join you. So you’ll need to cover your own transport and accommodation, if needed. We’ll work together from 9-5. And I need you to be free that entire time. Otherwise I just ask for an open heart and mind, and a keen commitment to mapping the way forward this...

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2017 is happening! 0

2017 is happening!

Posted by on 23rd Jan, 2017

So 2017 is happening. Apparently. My kids went back to school today. Which means I need to officially look this year in the eyes. With them around I could feign distraction — avoid plans or promises in the name of being present. The quiet in the house brings with it a kind of reckoning. What do I make of this year? What can I make this year? I’m supposed to be making lists, aren’t I? Wish lists, to do lists, declarations of independence from the debacle that was 2016. Yes, like so many others I felt gutted by 2016. Gutted of belief in common sense and common decency and a shared common humanity. It’s vicious and devious out there right now, and I’m not sure humans have a cure for what ails us. I no longer believe in progress. Or in happy endings. Shit happens. Shit happened. And yet 2017 is happening as well. And I find myself scratching around for belief amidst the wreckage. Because in 2016, l didn’t just lose faith in my fellow human, I lost a little bit of belief in myself as well. When everything is falling around you, it’s hard to keep standing tall, clear eyed and resolute. Can I really change this...

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Blessed 0


Posted by on 20th Jul, 2016

This week, the HIV/AIDS Conference in Durban taught me a word I didn’t know. A word I wish I didn’t know: “Blesser”. A cruel and ironic word given that these Blessers seem mostly to bestow curses. Back in my day, “Blessers” were called “Sugar Daddies”. You know, men who exchange gifts and favours for sex. But they’ve been rebranded and relaunched with improved efficiency. Because there’s now a Blessers App; even a Blessers Facebook page. Ah, progress. Indeed, in so many ways, it seems SugarDaddy 2.0 is a perceived improvement on the original model. Because a Blesser might drive you to the hotel in his Range Rover rather than a Toyota; and when he whispers his sweet blessings in your ear it will smell of Chivas rather than Black Label. Seems Blessers are getting slicker. And sicker. Because transactional, inter generational sex is now one of the leading causes of the spread of HIV in Southern Africa. Or to put it in plain language: older, more affluent men exploiting younger, economically and culturally vulnerable women, is now driving the spread of HIV in southern Africa. To the point that young women aged 15-24 are now at greatest risk of HIV infection. Given these statistics, we can presume these “Blessers”...

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