Unbound – Twitter Thoughts for the heart and mind

Pictured (l-r) Verlaine-Diane Soobroydoo, former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari

15 June 2022

Bridging the traditional with the digital, this work by Verlaine-Diane Soobroydoo brings a new definition to the concept of hybrid. Breaking through is never easy, it is always accompanied with toil and tears, hesitance, and the fear of failure. But when you are ready, as Verlaine herself says, the teacher will appear.

The title ‘Unbound’ conjures up mixed emotions and images of being let loose, but asks the question of what tied you down in the first place and why? The Covid-19 global viral pandemic and the unprecedented measures that were implemented to control the spread of this microscopic health threat, has disrupted normal human activity to the point where what is normal is open for debate.

It must have been some shock to the system to see the UN precinct deserted, let alone the apocalyptic scene of New York City, the city that never sleeps, at a complete standstill. The digital realm became a solace for many people who were required to isolate and physically distance from each other. For Verlaine it became an outlet for her emotions and thoughts in this abnormal situation, and yet it became a defining moment for her. It was a realisation that everything is going to be okay, that life is a collection of myriad occurrences that have to be experienced, and everyone lives through them differently according to their perceptions and circumstances.

The Afro descendent author was born in Paris to a Mauritian mother and a Congolese father. Verlaine embodies a plurality and reflects a diversity of humanity and a history that is a story in itself. She worked at the United Nations (UN) for UN Women headed by South Africa’s former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka who attended the book launch at the residence of Tariq Al-Ansari, Ambassador of Qatar to South Africa, in Pretoria. Ambassador Al-Ansari worked with Verlaine at the UN when he was Chief of Staff at the UN High Representative and he acknowledged Verlaine for her outstanding contribution to his mission.

Among the well- wishers that attended the event were Vijay Lutchman, High Commissioner of Mauritius, Chantal Maryse Itoua-Apoyolo , Ambassador of Congo and Salih Omar Abdu, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Eritrea. Also gracing the occasion were a number of heads of mission, academics, government dignitaries and officials who interacted with the author receiving signed copies of the book courtesy of the Embassy of Qatar.

K Bhana