17th Oct2016

Who are We As Women?

by admin

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I was with a friend of mine a while ago. I don’t recall how we got there, but we ended up discussing about women of all kinds: single mothers, housewives, wives who juggle work and raising children as well as taking care of their husbands, women who only have their work and no family to come home, etc., all categories of women. And I wondered; who has the perfect life? Who is the happiest amongst those women? Initially, I thought it was the woman with her work. Whether she has children and a husband or not does not matter. Because I want to be that woman. I want a successful career. I want that so much that I don’t care about marriage and raising other humans. If that does happen, then it would have happened (at the end of the day, it’s the Universe that does all the speaking) – but it is not top priority for me. Then, it hit me that no one has it more perfect and no one can be said to be happier than another. One woman wants that and the other woman will want another. We shouldn’t judge people’s lives based on the fact that it’s a life we never want for ourselves.

 

So, to answer my own question: we, as women, are who we want to be! The woman who is happy is a woman who has reached her full potential or is at least trying her level best to reach it. Yes, there are circumstances in our lives. The things that are so out of our control. But be strong, woman, and go for gold. Make plans A B and C, even D, so that you can look around you someday and see everything you’ve ever wanted: either you’re a housewife taking care of the household; a working wife who can manage diapers and a million rand international deal; just a mother raising children on her own, or a woman with only career prospects and nothing else in mind…just live the life you want to live. Live the life you need to be happy in life, without regarding society’s opinions and its place for us in the world. Our desires matter too, no matter how big or how small.

08th Aug2016

Strength

by admin

Keep Calm and Mbokondo Mnyandu

I tried to stand up to the oppressor

and I guess that made him angry to realize that there is a woman so brave who’s able to voice her own opinions without fear of being judged

that there is a woman who is conscientized she might actually rub off onto others and enlighten the fellow women

He got so scared he tried to make the woman feel small and discredit everything that he clearly was guilty of

Oh but this woman was so brave she dared not break

because they threw all sorts of demeaning words at her

tried to break her spirit by all means

but because she was woman and possessed in her resilience so great

it could power the nation

she continued her fight and one by one fellow women starting seeing the light and changing their ways

they were no longer enslaved by men’s expectations and their fickle idea of what beauty is

oh dear because beauty is skin deep hits you like the morning sun and never fades

woman you are strong, stronger than who they compare you with for you carry your strength it resides in you

Now if you could carry with you these word and recite them like the serenity prayer

you would be building a nation full of confident, assured, strong and beautiful women

#HappyWomensMonth #MbokodoLeads #SheRock

08th Aug2016

And So They Called Me a Woman

by admin

Because I was ‘beautiful’ and smiled differently.

Because I cried hourly.

 

Because I wore a dress on my first birthday.

Because I walked weirdly.

 

Because my father was not close to me.

Because I wore a bra at age twelve.

 

Because my voice was not loud enough for this world.

Because hurtful things hurt me.

 

Because I hated touching dirt at age sixteen.

Because I did what I was asked for no reason.

 

Because the smell of cigarettes was hell for me.

 

Because lipstick was invented

 

Because I found white cloths and kitchen sinks appealing.

Because my eyes see colours dancing.

 

Because I can give life to another.

Because I can stay for a while longer.

 

Because I think everything has meaning.

Because I understand where it is all going.

 

Because pain is a living.

Because I walk through the hours dying.

 

Because my name is countless assumptions.

Because science says.

 

Because I sit down.

 

Because I am like the others like me;

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08th Aug2016

Sentiments of a Poet

by admin

This is what a feminist looks like

Inverse racism

Personally, what worries me more than anything when I consider the discussions black people are proudly, fearlessly and fearlessly and outspokenly having these days is what I had called inverse racism?

Inverse racism is not reverse racism; it has nothing to do with the concept, so nobody should tie me on that. Inverse racism is when you end up hurting black people in some way with the original intent of helping them, or hurting whites. It is about preferring black weakness to white strength, simply because “it’s black”, as if those are the only two options.

The fact of the matter is if you make decisions or deliberations based on what white people think, your mind is colonised. There are some people who are so in love with whiteness that they make it their standard and aim for it-sad and stupid. But equally bad are those people who are so full of hatred (i.e. fear) of whiteness that they go out of their way to make decisions against it-more sad, more stupid.

Being anti-white is not pro-black……What am I?

Women Empowerment

It takes a real man to see something wrong in society especially if it is caused by your kind. If there is anything I hate like white supremacy, it is the treatment of women in our society (especially black women). It sickens me to see the rape statistics in our country and across the world. It sickens me to see that there are no women in the South African Forbes top 10 list. It sickens me that even today woman have to pay for sanitary pads or tampons. It sickens me that only 2.4% of CEO’s in this country are women.

You see being a real man is like asking for the removal of a referee that is helping your own team to win. I am a real man because I see something wrong even though I don’t have anything to lose.

Why are we more offended by swear words and middle fingers instead of the struggles woman face in this man’s world? Why can’t can we get free condoms but women can’t get free pads? Why can we justify rape by saying “She was asking for it”?  Why do we not ask these questions? Why are we so reluctant to speak out about the injustices and evils of this world? Why are we so ignorant?

I grew up mainly around females and I learnt a lot from that, firstly I was taught to respect women. This was not only taught to me by the women in my life but my father too, he showed me how to treat women by treating my mother right. Secondly I find it somewhat disturbing that some guys think that knowing how to braid hair or going to the shop to buy pads as a guy is feminine and gay. We need to grow up as men of our society. We need to love and protect women (even those deemed to be ‘fuckgirls’) because at the end of the day, we are the reason they are at the bottom of mankind.

I am against women abuse, I am against selling sanitary pads, I am against women exclusion in the economy, I support women empowerment, I am pro-black, I am black and proud, I support black empowerment, I am unapologetically black and I refuse to be ignorant.

I am a confused Xhosa feminist.

02nd Aug2016

Autonomous or Autonomouse?

by admin

 

A few weeks ago, the autocorrect feature on my phone lost its mind. I am aware that most smartphone owners have experienced this at some point or other, so my initial reaction was one of irritation. However, on closer inspection, I realised that perhaps, my phone was telling me something. There, in my Whatsapp conversation, whilst I was busy lecturing a friend about needing to be more excited about the upcoming elections, autocorrect had changed the word “Autonomous” to Autonomouse.

 

As a BA student, I am acutely aware that I am over analytical about everything. However, the slight spelling mistake in my text made me think about what exactly an Autonomouse might be. Could it be a reference to the growing disinterest in politics in people of all ages? On the other hand, could it be related to a new fear of what happens when a South African showcases their autonomy?

 

In May this year, the SABC announced that it would no longer broadcast footage of violent protests. This did not sit well with most South Africans, and several SABC journalists were fired because of their refusal to accept this decision. If ever there has ever been need for indication of the state undermining our autonomy as South Africans, this has been it.

 

Looking at a situation like this one, it is easy to draw comparisons between our current situation and Orwell’s “fictional” premonition, Animal Farm. Although this comparison is highly applicable, it has become increasingly clichéd to use this trusty (and terrifyingly accurate) “Totalitarianism for Idiots” guide. While it is impossible not to see a clear parallel between the words of Orwell and the SABC’s new stance as an organ of propaganda, using the mental image of an Autonomouse creates a similar image to what we currently see. Just picture the cat-and-mouse game most of us played in preschool; the only difference now is that if we get caught in this situation, we won’t be out of the game until playtime ends. In this case, it means that playtime is over indefinitely.

 

Of course, there are always the classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry, where the mouse gets the upper hand in most episodes. I can’t help but wonder if we should use our autonomy in these elections to become more like Jerry, by refusing to allow the bigger, more powerful Tom to call the shots. We may be facing an attack on our individual autonomy at the moment, but we have the opportunity to change that at the polls. I may have read a touch too deeply into autocorrect, but the more I think about being an Autonomouse, the more I realise how important these elections are. The idea of being an Autonomouse can carry negative perceptions, but all we have to do is remember that we have the opportunity to change what we don’t agree with this Wednesday. Autonomouse: it may be a mistake in a typed-out Whatsapp conversation. On the other hand, it could be something that reminds us of the cat-and-mouse game we call politics.

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24th Jul2016

Do All Lives Matter?

by admin

 

We all know about #BlackLivesMatter and the countless other hashtags calling for support and solidarity of the western and European countries crippled by terrorist attacks in the last few months. These hashtags, although well-meaning, overshadow what is happening in other African countries (#PrayForGhana). This problem is exacerbated by South African media’s lack of coverage of issues related to other African countries besides our own.

It has been claimed that violence has increased in America. Events which are characterised as being violent, involve a perpetrator who is oftentimes a person of colour. An event becomes framed as an act of terrorism when the perpetrator is suspected to have ties with insurgent organizations such as Isis. When the perpetrator is a white male, they get a slap on the wrist and are humanized as victims of mental illness. Instances of gun violence raise questions around gun control, racism, and homophobia. Many people have died and yet their lives become memorialized through a hashtag. In my opinion, it makes no sense that the US government has been probed for so long to reissue the federal assault weapon injunction yet nothing has happened. The trending hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been circulating on the internet, alongside the protests and marches and calls from celebrities. People have the audacity to counterclaim that #AllLivesMatter. What needs to be understood is that America’s current prison-industrial complex has resulted in the deaths of many African-American and Latino people. It is insensitive to claim that #AllLivesMatter when not all lives are subjected to the same punishment under the American legal system.

I have gotten information on these recent events through the media, be it newspapers, television or social media. Social media have given me more of an unfiltered lens, as opposed to the traditional media outlets that are trusted by many South Africans. There are dominant stories which make the headlines whilst other stories are marginalised. As South Africans, we claim to value freedom of speech but we restrict our narratives on Africa. Until recently, I was ignorant on the relevance of #PrayForGhana. Through the transparency afforded by social media, I gained more knowledge on the floods which have negatively affected Ghana.

In a lot of African countries, freedom of speech is not valued. Investigative journalism is not cultivated because of the harsh penalties for those who do not adhere to politically-motivated guidelines for good journalism. Political figures are often uncomfortable on the prospect of having their dirty laundry aired. There is the belief that negative news will tarnish the images of their countries and chasing away potential investors. This results in journalists and other media-workers becoming the lapdogs of the authorities. In Nigeria, journalists working for the Al-Mizan newspaper were detained and threatened over investigative reports about Boko Haram insurgent group. In South African media there has been little to no coverage about what happens in African countries. News coverage largely follows African stories being picked up by the western press. This is problematic as the western press tend to portray Africa in a negative manner. I have recently learnt of the Akon electricity project in Africa. This is a positive story, yet there is very little media coverage on it.

I believe that the time has come for Africans to tell their stories from their own perspectives, to echo the sentiments of Thomas Bwire, news editor of Pamoja in Nairobi. The rest of the world has such narrow minded opinions about us and we are partly to blame for that. For, how long are we going to sit around and not take ownership of our countries, our stories, our art and our resources? Social media have become quite a powerful weapon to effect change and it is up to us to use it to our benefit.

Pray for Ghana

18th Jul2016

I See You See Black

by admin

The sun burns Wicked Bodies…

 

Day sees us dying in our smiles

And night waits for us – who we really are – alive.

 

I know you think I don’t, but I do;

I see you see black.

 

And I am here to tell you I am more than that;

Why are you amazed at my presence?

Why are you surprised

That I can have a mind?

 

I am More than an just Art piece, I am More than just a Number,

I am Nothing to watch in that Manner,

 

I have a Heart,

I am Together and I fall Apart,

I Bleed, I feel Rain,

I was bore by a Woman,

I can smell Roses,

 

I am More than the questions raised in ‘Philosophy’,

I am More than just a Dark part in ‘History’

 

Why did I ever need Science to tell me I am a human being?

Why does the colour of my skin have to make me something else?

 

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Note: The above Poem is not racist and not intended to offend ANYBODY, but it is just a mere inspiration from the Block 3 First Year Philosophy topic, Philosophy of Race, and My pride in My ‘blackness’.

18th Jul2016

I Sat Down with Myself and I Wondered what I Gotta Say

by admin

I sat down with myself and I wondered what I got to say

In a world where as women we are forced to dumb ourselves down and look pretty

Where society is constantly setting standards for us to live by

I was told to never conform, to never let a man claim he’s better than me

I’m a girl with big dreams and I would hate it if they aren’t realized coz our society still relies heavily on patriarchy

Feminism had me supporting a movement that seeks to correct the system and empower the women

And I am for it through and through

Till the days were women don’t feel the need to constantly prove their abilities

Or feel small when compared to their male counterparts

until a time where women don’t get abused or lashed at for how they express themselves whether in what they wear and how they talk or think

until the days were women don’t have to sit around and raise babies rather take part in decision making positions about their countries

I see a future where girls know their worth and don’t rely on men

Where a women’s opinion is just as valid

And any dream doesn’t seem too big enough

And all opportunities turn into in to prosperous ventures

I am a black African women and I’m proud of that #BlackGirlsRock

Black Girl

23rd May2016

What is Happiness: A Story Inspired by a Homeless Man

by admin

images (56)After a long steamy shower, I had my herbal tea prepared for a warm bed. It had been a long and cold autumn’s day. A loud sound pierced through the walls of an eighth story flat and reached my bedroom on the 3rd floor, which prompted me to look outside. There I saw him. A homeless man who dancing to the beat emanating from a vehicle which had plenty of life in it. He found himself gravitating to the life in the vehicle. Resembling a drug-filled craze, the beat ran through his vein like electricity and conjured such joyful movements. Seeing that, I began to ask myself the question, what is happiness? Is it elicited by material things? Through satisfying one’s constant need for self-actualization? Or is it a choice to dance in the rain despite the thunderstorms at hand? A thought raced through my mind concerning the barriers that existed between him and me. These barriers included access to basic goods such as shelter, warm or fresh food and clothes to cover the vulnerable mortal body of mankind. I had all these; these goods considered important for productivity and progression towards a happy life and fulfilment. However, at that moment I longed for that kind of joy, the ability to find movement in the midst of freezing toes and hands. A lot of times, we focus on the things that satisfy the need to achieve the ideal self. The things that really matter for the ability to keep going forward are tossed aside. At most times it is the ones with big houses, the houses with walls half way through heaven, who are in a semi-permanent state of darkness. We are in constant pursuit of happiness. That is a part of human nature. For instance, a thick curved girl may always compare her body to the “ideal” body of a female on magazines instead of embracing and working to build her body accordingly. What I’m pointing out is there are always storms we are dealing with, either brought by our society or our birth circumstances. But what is really important is to find the good in those bad situations. It is important to develop the ability to work with what we have in order to produce desired results. Because when we begin to focus on all things going wrong we begin to build walls that obscure the sunlight. But if we begin to focus on the positive, then we are able to learn from and adjust to change. We, then,In are able to learn to build a bridge for future storms. Through the trials and tribulations, learn to find happiness, change the people around you if you have to, channel your thoughts towards positivity and teach the people around you.

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23rd May2016

I Found the End in Friendship

by admin

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I found the end in friendship.

I mean I haven’t exactly been honest about it, how I really feel. Well
I’ve tried but sometimes my thoughts are clouded until I’m trying to
fall asleep.

These four walls have seen it all, and each night they force me to
recall all the memories we have.
Is it not bad enough that everyone keeps asking about you? Why do I
still have to come back to my “comfort zone” & be reminded of you?

We were sitting in this same spot that day we talked about betrayal,
it’s so funny I never thought I’d feel how you felt that day, well not
towards you anyway.

I’ve tried to avoid feeling it, I’ve tried to avoid thinking about it
but no one really understands the damage that has been done. See
you’ve left a scar on my heart & I get it, it was a lesson but did it
have to be so awful?

The scars keep reopening every time I think about it. It cut me open.
It hurt me.

I don’t know how to trust again, because when you did what you did it
took me back, made me rethink every single aspect of my life. You had
me questioning everything & everyone. You helped me rebuild my walls
so quickly, all the work I had been doing on myself had gone to waste.
I was alone.

I’ve used the word hate when I describe how I feel about you & maybe
that’s not so true anymore, maybe I’m just angry.

I don’t think you realise what you actually did and the magnitude of
it, I don’t think you ever will.
You cut me open. You hurt me.

We’ll never have those 2am talks about what we want our future to look
like. We’ll never get the chance to see each other grow old. Here I am
going on about you as if you were my first love, but I guess our
friendship meant that much to me.

I will never understand what I did to deserve what you did to me, it
will never make sense to me. What I do know is I need to stop hurting,
I need to stop beating myself up about it as if I was the perpetrator.

They called us twins, “inseparable”. I see it now. You were the black
swan all along.

I hope you hear from me soon, because as much as I hate to admit it, I
think I miss you.

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