For Our Women

I have just read this story of a woman who was molested by her father when she was only three, by the time she was six he had also taught her brothers to do it as well and the abuse went on until she left home for college. This broke my heart dearly. I only post once a week, on Thursday, but I guess this week Thursday just seemed too far.

I’ve been raised by a single mother. My father was around until I was 22, but I still call my mother ‘single’ because she had to do everything for us solely whist my father was around chasing skirts and brown bottles, and he did not make it easy for her even one bit.

As a result I am against women abuse, may it be not attending to her needs as you should, destroying her emotionally with harsh words or raising your hand towards her (which is often considered as the only form of abuse), I am against it.

I’m a huge fan of the rapper Tupac Shakur. I have been influenced by his music, the messages he gave us in his short-lived life are still relevant to this day. He believed that men are brought in this world by a woman and so they should never disrespect one, and I support that. The only thing I’d like to do is to share this Tupac’s verse from his classical record ‘Keep Ya Head Up’. And here it goes;

“Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holler to my sisters on welfare
Tupac cares, if don’t nobody else care
And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot
When you come around the block brothas clown a lot
But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain’t nothin’ don’t believe him
And if he can’t learn to love you you should leave him
Cause sista you don’t need him
And I ain’t tryin to gash up, I just call em how I see em
You know it makes me unhappy
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but you gotta keep your head up”.

(Source; http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/2pac/keepyaheadup.html )

Thank You. Have a blessed New Year’s Eve tomorrow, and always appreciate the women in your life.

My Christmas Prayer

It almost feels like this is one day people work towards the whole year. The Holiday season always brings out the best in everyone. Where I am from it is summer this time of the year, so the music is a bit louder than usual, the dresses are lighter, the skirts are shorter and everybody is just generally happier than usual.

To all the happy people, you deserve it. You work all year long, put up with office politics, take crappy attitudes from your bosses that you feel so demotivated to even go to work the next day, but yet you still wake up, fix your kids’ lunches, prepare and take them to school and then head on to the office because you don’t really have a choice, you have got responsibilities.

This is the only time it is okay to forget about your problems, you are free from all those school trips your kids constantly take that cost too much, you are free of being stuck in traffic for almost 3 hours every day and exchanging insulting with other drivers, and you are also free from the she-said-what story of your office life and how your boss is always hard on you for slacking, whilst you do all the work and your co-workers just pitch up last minute and take all the credit.

It is a reward to wake up at 10:30am almost every day, don’t feel guilty about anything my dear friend, you have been waking up at 3:30am for the past 11 months and nobody said nothing then. You have earned just sitting around and lazing all day, you have been working all year long to afford to have food in your fridge come festive, so yes you can eat anything that you want, because it’s all yours. You can just hang out with your friends every day, from putting up with the who says what business at the office for 11 months; you have earned the right to talk about your kids all day long, your wife/husband even your car, why not? After all the talks about sales, projections and strategies, you’ve earned it.

I am asking for a simple favor though, I am asking you to be a bit considerate of other people during this festive season. Remember everyone deserves to be happy this time around, even those who cannot do for themselves. Remember that as you deal with your office politics, some people do not even have that office to present them with gossip. Even worse, some people do not even have jobs. Whilst you spend 3 hours on traffic, some people walk for 3 hours or more to do gardening in some fancy house there’ll never live in, earn a plate of food and a couple of cents that won’t even be able to cover that evening’s supper, they consider it a fortune to have enough to take a taxi back home.

Think about them in this wonderful season, remember them. Pray for them, pray for their happiness as well. Living the life you want to live be always because of two things, hard work and God’s will, so show gratitude. Use what you see in others to inspire gratitude in what you see in yourself, and also never disregard those that need your help. Having the privilege to put a smile on someone’s face is a blessing, embrace it, and bless them for God has blessed you to bless them.

And until then, have the most amazing Christmas they has been, and for what is left of the Holiday season anyway.

MERRY XMAS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

I recently heard someone saying; “Don’t take life so seriously, it’s not like you’re going to make out of it alive anyway”. I laughed although I seriously thought he was right, no matter how you approach life it will always come with its challenges, so the best thing you can do is to have as much fun as you can whilst you deal with them.

I’m young, not working the most ideal job and I can think of a couple of other things that are not really going my way, and no matter how long I can sulk about them they won’t be changed by a mere sulky face. Time is a luxury, a constant, it is almost meaningless because of its infinity, or so we would imagine. Time is only given meaning by what is being done with it, as we can never really do anything to it. The smile you put on your face when you wake up makes your morning a pleasant one, but even if you hadn’t smiled the morning would have been there because of its consistency, but it was your choice to put a pleasant meaning to it.

I have learned to laugh at myself. Laughing at one’s failures doesn’t really mean you lack determination as a person and you’re satisfied with the way things are going, but it just means that even when you are at your last cent, you still have a good ass sense of humor because you know that it won’t cost you even that last cent of yours you would so wish to use sparingly. Let’s say I open the fridge and there is nothing in it, and I go find a couch where I sit and sulk for a couple hours before coming back to open it again only to suffer the same fate and realize that my sulky protest was truly of no benefit, not that smiling would have changed the fridge’s situation but I would have had a pleasant couple of hours before meeting my disappointment, again.

We tend to not trust people that go about life delightful. Only if a person is richer is the delight then understood, like ‘yeah he is supposed to be happy, he drives a Porsche’. Who said you need a Porsche to be happy? Who said being happy is a rich man’s luxury? This is because we materialize happiness. Sometimes I think about it this way, there is no way mere materials would make a person happy because happiness is meaningful, excuse me but I do not see much “meaning” on elevated floors, imported fabrics and loud engines tuned as a piano if they are just merely that, what comes with them brings about their meaning. With them come fame, prestige, status and entitlement, and that puts meaning in someone’s materialistic success, and not a German engine. Had your tangible success been enough on its own, you would have the biggest house ever, the largest bank account and 52 cars, and then hide away with them all in some Island in central Africa where you’d enjoy your “success” lonesome, but you wouldn’t dare because that would deprive you of your fame, respect, status and entitlement that bring about meaning to your 52 cars. Without meaning, they remain just that, materials, metals (and there is nothing meaningful about owning a large piece of metal, sand and cement).

Why do we find it bizarre for the “not so rich” to be delightful? It is because we have formed our own stereotypical definition of happiness. We have concluded that certain possessions constitute happiness, and if a man doesn’t possess them, it is impossible for him to be happy. Is that entirely true? Not by long short, because happiness is gratitude. Happiness is being surrounded by people who truly love you, being allowed an opportunity to share your ideas of the world with the world and satisfactory physical health, as your health is the God of your capacity. I have seen some of the richest men compromised because they got diagnosed with cancer, I guess the perfectly tuned Porsche engine is no longer of much value when you’re going through chemotherapy now, is it? This is when perspective gets clearer. I have seen men with amputated legs with most delightful smiles ever, because at that time they saw how valuable their lives are as they were weighed against mere legs. Again, is it wrong for the less fortunate to be happy? I guess the right way to look at it is; who has lesser? Is having less money really having lesser? Is money the most important thing in the world? Is it the meaning of life? I do not really know, but I have shared the most humble meals with the most cheerful families ever as opposite to the buffet I have dined at an awkwardly silent table with kids who study at the most sophisticated private schools, drive sports cars but still feel neglected, a wife who cheats on her husband with his chauffer and a he’s just a heartless monster because he was once so determine to be rich that he would “take care” of anyone who stood in his way, and from that to all the late night visits from sex workers he has lost touch with reality that he cannot even noticed the broken women right in front of his eyes.

I am not saying the rich are more miserable, nor implying it. I believe we are all just going through similar trials and tribulations in life. How we deal with them and the impacts we allow them to have on us are what makes them to look different. We often assume that taking care of a delicate matter with a smile means that you do not appreciate its intensity, whilst that is not entirely true. I do not see anything wrong with battling against your demons with a smile on your face, to me it implies that while you are taking the necessary actions to avert your circumstances you are also acknowledging that there is still a lot to be thankful for.

I recently bumped into this lady at a nightclub, I know her from her humble job and she is always delighted when I stop by. But that evening when we meet she pretended not to know who I was, I was extremely surprised (almost disappointed) by her not knowing me that I was uncomfortably persistent in reminding her who I was, after she realized there was no way of getting rid of me she finally confessed that she does know me, she added where she knows me from and she added that she only pretended not to remember me because this is not an appropriate place to talk about places such as where she knows me from. Needless to say the conversation came to a rather awkward end, although I could never seem to figure out why people cannot just be themselves everywhere they may be. Even when you’re not taking yourself too seriously, having a blast with your girlfriends you still find it a shameful thing that you are that sweet girl who works at an internet café. The concept of not taking yourself too seriously is to be cheerful, smile, laugh and make as many jokes as you can, who cares if they’re funny or Nah. But, do this in your own character; you don’t need to be in some nightclub acting “ratchet” to be your fun self and do your absolute best to run away from the reality, your reality. Why is it that you free spirited self is not your everyday self? Why is it that when you’re your wild self you rid of everything that might remind you of your everyday self? Why is it that your everyday self brings you shame?

The questions are endless. The lesson I hope to leave you all is that one has truly achieved meaningful happiness when they have truly emancipated their most honest being, acknowledged his failures and limitations, and are still able to smile throughout the day, and never tire of it as it comes from the heart.

Amen.

The Modern Day South Africa

Nothing is ever free of charge; everything comes at a price, even freedom. Nelson Mandela paid his price, he paved the way for many opportunities, he taught nobility, forgiveness, reconciliation and many other valuable lessons, but all of them came at a price as well.

South Africa is a democratic country, it has many world class cities, such impressive infrastructure, virtually free education and access to healthcare facilities amongst other things, but it still has very unique circumstances that affect its citizens as individuals. As a country we have done well, but as citizens of the country we still have some challenges, how we have overlooked the economical emancipation of those that were affected by apartheid directly is despicable.

I want to talk about the life of an average South African child. The born-frees, the challenges they go through because of apartheid.

Being born in the post-apartheid era has its own challenges, the fact that people think since it is over everything has just gone back to “normal”, overlooking the post-traumatic stress effects on parents of born frees, and how that influences how they raise their children. Our parents are not financially stable, they are products of Johannesburg mines that were designed to ensure that apartheid victims never make enough money to acquire independence from the system, so our parents are products of earning just enough to rent a room, buy few groceries, a few beers to relieve the pressure, cigarettes to imitate the white man, be broke in no time and be forced to go back to the mines. With such salaries, they could not afford luxuries such as counseling on family planning, and as a result, they have more kids than they know what to do with. They had to choose which kids go to school since they couldn’t afford to take them all, and as a result the importance of education has been greatly underestimated, and that attitude of our parents has also rubbed off into us. The quality of education is underestimated at crèche’ level, and it becomes a serious challenge for kids to perform well when there were no educational programs practiced before school, in most of our crèches the kids sing, dance, eat soft porridge and take naps until they’re parents return from work to fetch them.

This lack of education’s quality extends to primary school as well, because the teachers are victims of apartheid as well. Back then there were not too many career opportunities for oppressed races, and teaching was the only option for many. Was it a bad thing to have many teachers of our kind? It would not, if all were passionate about the profession. Some of our teachers have no passion at all, they took it because it was the only thing at their disposal at that time, and now they feel they have done it for too long to change to anything else. As a result, the quality of teaching is very low because teachers lack the passion for teaching and interacting with young people. The challenge further extends to those who are truly passionate, there are no proper teaching and learning facilities, the books are outdated, the labs are short of some crucial experimental chemicals and test tubes, the computer labs have outdated PC’s with outdated programming, so even if you’re a really passionate teacher you are not able to carry your job out properly because of the lack of these crucial resources.

So by the time a child gets to his teenage years he is already confused as ever. School is no heaven and home is no different. The frustrated parents who work day and night but just never seem to make ends meet become more and more distant by the day, because they have to choose between stroking you and providing a plate of food for you. Whilst they are too busy working hard to keep the family ship afloat, they neglect to give attention to their children, so now kids are forced to rely on other “sources” for that stroking. And once a child gets to that point he gets even more withdrawn from his family, and they never seem to notices because they are too caught up as well. So teenagers begin forming communities of their own at this point, with other teenagers with similar problems, and the danger is; who are as clueless as they are. In such groups it is often that the need for stroking, love and attention is simply substituted with substance abuse. The delusion that they are not in this world no more, they have forgotten everyone and everything that comes with it is enough to fool them to believe they are in paradise, until the drugs get the better of them unfortunately. Sex has the same effect as drugs. It is intimacy. A completely different feeling, pleasurable, so pleasurable that the mind fools you to believing that it makes up for your father missing all of your soccer matches, it also becomes dangerous at a certain level, it is an addiction. Some teenagers even go as far as having sexual relations with their teachers, pastors, community leaders, and any other parental figure you can think of, that can fill in that blank of parental stroking really.

The late and post teenage years often have shocking results, such numerous criminal records of youngsters who did not even matriculate. The pain is too much to bear. And when it takes over it gets the most of everyone. It gets our daughters as well, who often end up with a fair number of children made out of marriage and most often with different men. Another delicate matter is employment. It is no child’s play to get a job in this day and time as it is, so it is even worse when you have 3 criminal records at 23, a fair time behind bars for violating your parole, and to top it all you dropped out of school after you stabbed a fellow classmate in the 8th grade. It is also not easy to get employed when you have 3 kids from 3 different men at 19, one of them was your 9th grade class teacher who skipped town after you were knocked up because your mom wanted to have him arrested, the second is the cop who was handling your “rape” case and the 3rd is that young men who just went back to prison for violating his parole. You also did not get a chance to finish school as well, because from books to house chores to caring for your kids it was almost impossible to cope, your daddy wasn’t talking to you at all and your mama wasn’t helping you as well because ‘apparently you got yourself in this mess’, and before you could decide whether to quit school or not, you just got knocked up again.

The cycle just never stops. Kids born from these circumstances most probably will go through the same patterns as their parents, and in the end they will end-up being like their parents and when they one day have kids of their own, they will have too have to work as hard as their parents to raise their kids whom will probably end up feeling like their parents once felt and inevitably going through the same cycle their parents did.

We will still continue to prosper as a country, we will continue to be ranked amongst the world’s best countries, we will still be referred to as the descendants of Tata Mandela, we will raise more infrastructure, but until we find a way to transform lives of individuals, our efforts as a country will continue to be just a sham to those affected.

This is life in the modern South Africa.

NOT JUST HAIR

ntsikimazwai

Sisters, put on your big girl panties, I’m about to engage the weave debate.

Yes……AGAIN.

You must understand that for as long as the black girl feels they need a helmet on their head 24/7…….we have a problem. The question is WHAT are we hiding and WHY?

 

I have been engaging this issue for many years. Some people ‘Get It’ while others feel I should ‘Get over It.’

Let’s go through some of the reasons I think the weave is a dis-ease and a diss to the black girl.

 

#IMITATION:

 

Imitation gives power to the person you are emulating. When a person imitates me, I know they want to be like me.

Black girl, our hair is not naturally long and flowing. Accept it. Embrace it. Flaunt it.

Nobody in the world has hair like yours. Most of the other races have similar hair.

Our hair is…

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