The trio of DJs speak on how they connect through good food + music.

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Words: Refiloe Legoale | Images: Simba Raws + Andile Buka

February is officially the month of love; a time for remembering love and emphasising the importance of it. We kick off the month of love with the BETWEEN US series, which celebrates all forms of love. Think about the connection between friends, lovers, parents and their children, siblings and self-love. The series will delve into how people love and some of the objects, tangible or not that define their relationships respectively.

Friends are basically the family we choose for ourselves. In part one of the series, we chat to Phola Gumede, Qhawe Luthuli and Lungi Molefe, who have been friends for the past four to eight years. They turned their love for music, beautiful spaces and good food into a sought-after event aimed at coming together with your ‘homies’. They call the monthly laid back and all-round fulfilling experience, which takes place in beautiful spaces around Johannesburg, Brunch With Home.Lover.Friends. There, you can expect to be surrounded by like-minded individuals floating in a warm atmosphere of delicious food, feel-good music and positive energy.

To capture the true essence of the love between the three, we held this interview over a video call. Given the times that we currently live in, many of us are longing for a connection with a loved one just as we did prior to the pandemic. The trio is beaming with smiles while exchanging pleasantries. It shows just how happy they are to see each other, regardless of it happening virtually. Lungi is the first to join in on our video call. Soon after, Phola and Qhawe also connect. The first thing you notice when you meet them is their effortlessly cool yet welcoming energy.

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“Should I start?,” asks Phola, laughing and making herself comfortable on her seat. She introduced Qhawe and Lungi and since their initial meeting they have become an inseparable trio. While the trio can’t recall the exact date and moment when they met, they do strike you with an aura of sisterhood and togetherness. “I feel like we’ve been in each other’s lives forever, these are my homies,” Lungi expressed.

“We’re into the same things and have similar taste. However, what brings us closer together more than anything is music. We listen to similar music, but we know who to go to for a specific type of sound. Phola will put us on a super hip-hop track and we’ll go crazy about it. Qhawe will introduce us to a jazz song and of course I listen to everything!,” says Lungi. “Music is our love language.”

Their friendship is rooted in love, learning and building deeper connections. Lungi adds that Phola brings a lot of calm in her life. “I love that she has a big heart and it oozes so much love. Qhawe, on the other hand, is my fairy with a wealth of knowledge. I’m inspired by the fact that she is deliberate about the life she has curated for herself and that is something I look up to her for.”

Their faces radiate with light when they speak about each other. This goes to show that their adoration for one another is a spiritual one. Phola adds that she draws courage from her friends. “Lungi makes me think about things that are beyond my imagination. She loves so loudly and so vividly.” However, it’s the music they share usually at the peak of dawn that stands out for her.

“I’ve been a DJ for the longest time, but Qhawe and Lungi have always introduced me to music before they were DJs. Qhawe randomly sends me songs at 2 in the morning and that’s something she’s always done consistently and I love it. Qhawe is further described as a wealth of knowledge and one that always shares wisdom with the group. “She’s pathed a way for herself and lives life on her terms.”

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What stands out to Qhawe about her friends is their ability to make her see things from a different perspective. She compliments Lungi for being caring, kind-hearted, and tough but soft at the same time. “My connection with Lungi goes beyond just friendship, it’s spiritual and I feel like I’ve gained another sister.”

Qhawe views friendship as less about liking each other but more about learning and seeing yourself through another person. It’s Phola’s generosity of heart that stands out for Qhawe. “When I look at Phola I see love!”. She goes on to compliment Phola’s fashion style and how she exudes confidence in everything she wears. “When I grow up I want to be just like her,” she giggles.

“We have an affinity for music, dope experiences and food; not just any food but GOOD food! “Music is our love language because we use it to communicate, it expresses our feelings, emotions and a connection that binds us together.” An unforgettable memory will always be one of Lungi’s sets where she did a transition of Busi Mhlongo and Romare “I remember I was in awe and to date that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” says Qhawe.

While some friendships might have taken a knock during this pandemic, theirs flourished as they birthed Brunch with Homie.Lover.Friends. “We sure grew closer during this pandemic and learned a lot about ourselves.” They add that the pandemic helped them discover new strengths about each other that ultimately contributed to the success of Brunch with Homie.Lover.Friends.

In 2021 we will see more of Brunch with Homie.Lover.Friends events. The trio is excited about inspiring each others’ continued growth. “Last year we grew so much by just learning from each other and we’re going to keep doing that.”

There are different ways of showing affection and connecting with your loved one. For Lungi, Qhawe, and Phola they love through music. Something that can be found in any part of the world and is loved by everyone, a true universal language. Like the trio said, where words fail you - music will always help you say I love you.

Follow Homie.Lover. Friends Instagram.

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