#004: People!

GoodbyeIn life we will go through different seasons, as mother earth changes, we change too. Things can turn out for better or the worst, at any time, but nonetheless they will change. And interestingly all those changes involve people. It’s actually people who make the world go around!

Imagine of all the 5billion people in the world, the people that are currently in your life are the odd 3000 that you know. Is that a coincidence? I don’t think so. Every person walks into your life at a particular time for a reason. We never know why certain people come into our lives, and no one can ever fathom the reason why people’s paths cross in life.

Some paths will bring you pure bliss while others you wish you can erase from the face of history.  In your entire lifetime, you have met the people you needed to meet (and there are still more to meet) and they will always be part of who you are whether you choose to celebrate it or not.

There are people who will come into your life and make you grateful for being alive- everyday. It may be your children, family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, collegues, spouse or  even strangers. But regardless, you cannot imagine how your life would have turned out without them. Some are there to give you strength, some encouragement, life, laughs, being, pruning. Those people who make it a point that they will not rest until your happiness or sucess is secured. They may not be many in our lives, but they are surely there. Usually some of these relationships take the soul of you to build, but at their peak they bring the sweetest aroma to your life. For them we give thanks and our prayers as they do the same for us.

However, in life you will you will have to meet (and pray for) another kind of people. The people who do not give a flying hoot about you. Certain people will tear you down, as in like totally break you and then move on with their lives. And trust me; they won’t miss you for a second! These are the ones who test character.

Weigh yuo downTrials build character. That’s why you must love your enemies and the people who hurt you because they presented you with an opportunity to grow. Each time they exposed you to a hard time, they stretched your capabilities and wisdom. And regardless of how the friendship ended, you still pursue peace with them. Not the “I want you back”, “bitter”, “ please be my friend” kinda peace, but peace that heals you more than them. This is why after every goodbye, we must learn to breathe, reflect, learn our lesson, forgive ourselves, forgive the other and move on!

However, be very careful, that even after the person’s chapter has ended in your life, you insist on holding on to them for unhealthy reasons. I don’t understand how we humans are- for some odd reason we have this fascination about people who don’t like us or reject us. It’s like you try to prove a point to yourself that there is actually an individual out there in the world who doesn’t want you. I mean who rejects such an awesome, considerate person that you are? Well, here’s a…..NEWSFLASH!: You are not money, not everyone will want you. Misery loves company, so remove yourself from any situation that no longer honors you, before you drown in it.

Being alive is a blessing and having people who love us is a greater blessing. Loving those who don’t love us is a multiplied blessing.  If you say you want to know God, you must start by knowing that which defines HIM; Love, Grace and Forgiveness. Live these out and you will see His glory.

Love tolerance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give thanks for L.I.F.E

Noluthando Khanyile

 

#003: People that are hard to please

There are some people in your life you will always struggle to please. Not that you constantly seek their approval, but their opinion matters to you so much that you would like them to acknowledge when you have made good efforts. It may be people that we admire/respect, that their congratulatory note will be a massive vote of confidence or it may be people we want to extend our caring emotion towards. Hard to please people come in different shapes and sizes;

Genuine: This person never seems satisfied with whatever stride you have made. They always believe that you can do better. These people actually have a genuine belief in your capabilities and always want to stretch you. Funny enough they will tell you when you have done well, BUT instantly remind you that you can do better. These are usually mentors, teachers, role models, etc… and they often mean well.

Own standards:  Then, there are those people (especially parents), who refuse to honour you until you achieve something greater than they did. You can come back home with 10 CAF stars and they will remind you that they got their 9h star when they were half your age. So this means you must achieve more than that to please them. The thing is; with this type of a hard pleaser is, the goal posts are always shifting. It is now not the fact that you got a 10th star that matters (more than theirs), but it’s the fact that they got their starts quicker than you. With this type you are highly unlikely to win. In some instances they want to live out the dreams they left behind through you. We all have one life to live, be careful when someone wants a second dose of youth at your expense.Confidence

Pull you down:  This is the most dangerous of all the impossible pleasers. This person will make sure that they don’t acknowledge your achievement, purely because they don’t want you to realise how good you are. If you give them too much airtime, they will make sure your self confidence takes the first available train to Mars. Basically these people are just jealous of you and will discourage you, to make themselves feel good about their own lives. RUN.

Insecure: This type of hard pleasers usually occurs in romantic relationships. No matter how much you make an effort to show this person how special they are to you, they will always find something to complain about. You eventually feel like you are not good enough for this person or you are just incapable of loving someone as they deserve. The problem here is not the pink roses or cheap chocolate, the problem is that you are loving someone who doesn’t love themselves. Hence you are being made to fill a void that even the owner doesn’t know how to fill. Ps: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

Don’t know how to: This person may be proud of you, but they will never show it. Not because they think it will get to your head, but because they don’t know how to. People were raised in different environments and unfortunately for some -affirmation was never part of their upbringing. And in most cases people cannot give what they don’t have. If you recognise your impossible pleaser to be this type, you need to teach them. Congratulate them and affirm them, don’t demand that they reciprocate it, but if you’re consistent enough, they will learn. Remember: you teach people how to treat you.

I have mentioned quite a few types of people that are impossible to please, I’m pretty sure there are whole of others out there. I only have one solution to dealing with such people: Celebrate yourself!

Don’t always seek the affirmation of others, set your own standards and beat them. Ask yourself: “what would I have to do/get to for me to feel satisfied/proud of my achievement? Don’t matter what anybody says, as long as I get “there” I’m happy”. And when you do reach that point, stop and celebrate. Give yourself a pat on the back so that even if someone else doesn’t celebrate you- you are proud of YOU.

Yes, it is always good to have people affirm and encourage you, but their definition of excellence must never be absolute to you. At the end of the day, they are people with their own imperfections. You do need people to look up to and we all have people whose negative/frank opinions have bettered our lives, but don’t let them define you.

I am a firm believer that: “It doesn’t matter what people think of you, or even what you think about yourself. But what matters the most is what God thinks of you”. Aim to please Him and you can never go wrong!

Remember:  No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Act

Unconditional Love!!! (memoirs of an Earth day)

So 2 Saturdays ago (12 October) it was my birthday, and for the first time ever I had a birthday party I didn’t organise. It was really a blessed and joyous one for me. This day taught me one thing: Whatever energy you give out to the universe it will echo back to you. In Christian terms it simply means that the Lord who sees what you do in secret will reward you publicly. I give thanks for being loved by HIM.

Cake

The Lord just showered me with so much love through our friends.

Ton and Dora

Meet Dora and Ton. This couple organised such a beautiful birthday for me when I went to visit them at their farm Douglas. I had only met with them twice ever in my life and they took the time to love on me and make me feel special on my special day.

They invited all their friends around the farm to come share this day with me. *Blessed love* Oh before I tell you more about Ton and Dora. Now meet Ethel

Me and sista

So this lovely, radiant, woman of God shares a birthday with me! When I was told they will host a party for me in Douglas and I could bring a friend or two, naturally the first person I thought of was a co-miss party!!!  Mrs Ethel runs an orphanage for abounded kids in Soweto(http://www.innerheights.co.za/inner-heights-foundation/hope-for-the-helpless-childrens-home); she really needed the break especially on her birthday weekend and boy was it special!

They even had special birthday chairs for us. She was turning 76 and I was turning 26, but she’s one of the best friends I have ever had!

Birthday chairs

We spent the day with new friends

New friends

And old ones.

old frnds

Mom and Zan

And special friends…

Special

We had the youth choir sing for us…

youth choir

…and the men’s choir

Mens chpir

It was undoubtedly the best birthday of my life! I could tangibly feel the genuine love all around me. I was blessed with new parents, brothers and sisters, children, etc. At the end of the day my heart could not contain or express the joy and contentment I felt inside. I felt like expanding my being, reaching out beyond the universe and shouting: JESUS IS LORD!!!!!!!!! Blessed loving thanks!

party time

Befday gals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, we all enjoyed fellowship together with all of our party friends…

Church sign

And then we went to visit Sarah and Andries at their home;

Andries and Sarah

Ton and Dora are busy on a project to renovate their outside rooms for the ministry Sarah and Andries are partaking on. You see Sarah gave birth to a disabled child and from that the coupled was inspired to start looking after severely disabled children in the area. It is not an easy mission, but it seems the Lord is fuelling them with enough love and blessing to go on.

This is some of the work that has been done so far.

school room right

Inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier I promised to tell you more about Ton and Dora. They are from Holland and are founders of a charity foundation called Eye for others (www.eyeforothers.nl) and their basic mission is to make a difference for children. They have worked for my years with many people to raise funds and build a secure future for children in poverty stricken areas. They have conducted projects mainly in the North West and Northern cape.

This is a nursery school they built from scratch for the children in Douglas

outreach

skul projektrffic circle

When we went to see it I was fortunate to interact with the little ones in the area, and luckily I had sweets in the car so I was miss popular :). I especially fell in love with the little boy in the orange jersey, I think purely because he was the youngest *ncooah*

 Douglas kids

My special one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended off our birthday weekend by going to watch the sunset by the Vaal river mouth (the Vaal becomes the Orange river heading to the ocean). It was another time of worshiping and marveling at the splendor of the Lords creation.

Me and patus all Us

Sunset

We drove back to Jozi on Monday morning with joy in our hearts and love in our lives.

PS: Last week, Sarah and Andries unfortunately lost their grandchild from a brief illness;  May her soul rest in peace and may the Lord heal their hearts.

Here’s a piece Zandra wrote on the weekend we had together: http://iamzandrahabana.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/we-need-to-act/. We all have the ability to change the world.

Ps:  If you enjoyed this picture blog, you might like following www.fabby101.wordpress.com. This lady has a gift of telling stories through pictures. Enjoy 🙂

Battle of Isandlwana – Heritage day 2013

I decided to celebrate Heritage day by sharing a little bit about my home town, Nqutu in KwaZulu Natal.  My entire paternal family is from there and I have spent half, if not most, of my life in NTU. The stars are always brighter that side, which makes it one of my favourite places to visit!

Nqutu

data=VLHX1wd2Cgu8wR6jwyh-km8JBWAkEzU4,kdR3Gzi_WLW5rIJgPfXmJHY6YtKK5imfw

Nqutu is a small, beautiful town in Northern Kzn with temperamental weather. It is composed of many rural villages such as Nondweni, Qhudeni, Sandlwana, Maduladula, etc. I come from a village called eZinkondlwaneni, which is somewhat closer to the town’s civilization. The name ‘Nqutu’ is derived from ingqutu, ‘flat-topped vessel’, descriptive of a nearby hill from which the village takes its name.

Nqutu is about 85km’s from Dundee, 70km from Vryheid, some 40km’s from Rorkes drift and 54 km’s from Blood river. Nqutu is famous for producing prominent maskandi artists such as Mgqumeni and Izingane zoma. And it is also home to the very first iNyanga to purchase an aeroplane (Mr Sosobala Mbatha). But the most famous and historic site is the Isandlwana Mountain (home to the Isandlwana Battlefied). Nqutu is actually in close proximity to several battlefields from the Anglo-Zulu_War (11 January-4 July 1879). Within a 100km radius of Nqutu,  there is the Rorkes drift battlefield, Hlobane battlefield, Isandlwana battlefield, Bloodriver battlefield (eNcome), Khambula Battlefield and Hlobane Battlefield.

ntu

Nqutu’s population is scattered, and quiet youthful, with only 5% over 65 years. Males make up 45% of population with the remaining 55% being female. In 2011, the total population was 165,307 and the official unemployment rate is 44%. It is governed by the uMzinyathi district municipality. Since we’re celebrating National Heritage day, allow me to share a bit on Nqutu’s most prominent heritage site;

Isandlwana Battlefield

The battle of Isandlwana was documented on 22 January 1879 and it was between Zulu warrior and British soldiers. This battlefield is significant because the shape of the mountain is that of a hut (Indlu-hut, Isandlwana- like a small hut). This gave Zulu warriors an advantage over their British opponents. Also on the day of the battle it is documented that a solar eclipse occurred while the battle was on (around 14h29pm). The Battle of Isandlwana reflects one of the greatest victories the Zulu Nation tasted over the British. On the 22nd January 1879 the British Camp was attacked and overrun by some 12 000 Zulus, leaving approximately 1357 Imperial soldiers, Colonial Volunteers and Native Levies dead on the slopes of the hillside below this “Sphinx” shaped hill. Cairns or rocks mark places where the British soldiers were later buried.

This battle stunned the world. It was unthinkable that a “native” army armed substantially with stabbing weapons could defeat the troops of a western power armed with modern rifles and artillery, let alone wipe it out. Until news of the disaster reached Britain the Zulu War was just another colonial brushfire war of the sort that simmered constantly in many parts of the worldwide British Empire. The complete loss of a battalion of troops, news of which was sent by telegraph to Britain, transformed the nation’s attitude to the war.

Full view

Battle Stats:

Combatants: Zulu army against a force of British troops, Natal units and African levies.

Generals: Lieutenant Colonel Pulleine of the 24th Foot and Lieutenant Colonel Durnford commanded the British force at the battle. The Zulu Army was commanded by Chiefs Ntshingwayo kaMahole and Mavumengwana kaMdlela Ntuli.

Size of the armies: The British force comprised some 1,600 men. It is likely that they were attacked by around 12,000 Zulus.

Uniforms, arms and equipment: The Zulu warriors were formed in regiments by age, their standard equipment the shield and the stabbing spear. The formation for the attack, described as the “horns of the beast”, was said to have been devised by Shaka, the Zulu King who established Zulu hegemony in Southern Africa. The main body of the army delivered a frontal assault, called the “loins”, while the “horns” spread out behind each of the enemy’s flanks and delivered the secondary and often fatal attack in the enemy’s rear. Cetshwayo, the Zulu King, fearing British aggression took pains to purchase firearms wherever they could be bought. By the outbreak of war the Zulus had tens of thousands of muskets and rifles, but of a poor standard, and the Zulus were ill-trained in their use.

Isandlwana battlefield

The regular British infantry were equipped with the breach loading single shot Martini-Henry rifle and bayonet. The British infantry wore red tunics, white solar topee helmets and dark blue trousers with red piping down the side. The irregular mounted units wore blue tunics and slouch hats.

Winner: The British force was wiped out by the Zulu Army.

The battle was a decisive victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion of Zululand. The British Army had suffered its worst defeat against a technologically inferior indigenous force. Isandlwana resulted in the British taking a much more aggressive approach in the Anglo–Zulu War, leading to a heavily reinforced second invasiion and the destruction of King Cetshwayo’s hopes of a negotiated peace

In conclusion

It is quiet sad that I write about these historic heritage sites in my hometown, and I have never been to visit them myself. I’ve driven past there, many, many times. But I have never stopped to think, and embrace what they signify in who we are as a Zulu nation. We eventually lost the war, but the cunning, strong, passionate spirit is within all of us as a tribe. Africa, my beginning, Africa my ending. It makes me wonder how things would be today if such invasions never occurred. Was it necessary change?… I wonder. Next time I go home, I will make sure I visit one of these battlefields and maybe have a braai afterwards to celebrate with my neighbors.

Happy Heritage day to everybody :)!

Signed:

A Proud Zulu girl

 

 

References

http://www.battlefieldsregionguides.co.za/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blood_River

http://www.britishbattles.com/zulu-war/isandlwana.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Isandlwana

If you were married, I would understand…

So where was this girl when all of this happened??Differences

“She was there in the room with us”

What? You mean to tell me, this man beat you up in his room with some chick watching the whole show? He most probably met her that very night at a pub and now he comes and upholds her more than you, and you are okay with it?

I somehow felt judgmental when I said this, it’s her business, but then again something sounds very wrong about this picture. It is a random girl after all, maybe if it was the new lady in his life one would understand, but iseqamgwaqo nje sasetshwaleni? Hai no, zero nje! Clearly Ephraim was trying to impress this silly girl when he beat up my best friend; this surely put a stamp on him getting “some” that night.

I could see the shame in Lydia’s eyes when I asked her if she’s okay with it. She kept on zooming her eyes up, and down keeping a small gaze in the middle. Up, gaze, down…, and she didn’t even once look me in the eyes.  And after a few of those, she eventually responded…

“Ok! Before you start giving me a long lecture on morality and the difference between right and wrong, I know a man only respects a woman that respects herself. I shouldn’t have gone to his place that night without letting him know. Yes I was drunk and probably said a lot of things I shouldn’t have said, but I needed to speak to him desperately. He tried to break things off when I confronted him about his cheating 2 weeks ago, but we have been talking via wats app since then, so I thought….”

…you thought what exactly Lydia? That you’re going to rock up one night and things fall into place? Listen here my friend; if a man wants you nothing can keep him away and if he doesn’t want you, nothing will make him stay. You need to stop making excuses for his behaviour and start smelling the coffee. Your relationship is basically non-existent at this stage. If he refuses to change his cheating ways and suggests a break up instead;  you’re still gonna run after him?  And you’re very right about self respect, your baby is barely 6 months old and here you are getting drunk at some tavern at night and running after men!

And the mere fact that you just gave birth to his child should at least warrant you a certain level of respect from him, don’t you think?

“Everything I do, I’m doing for my child can’t you see?  I refuse to allow my baby to be raised by one parent. We will make this work; we have to make this work Tselane. And yes I do realise that our relationship is practically over, but my heart still yearns for him. My love for him is so strong, I’m willing to overlook his mistakes as long as he loves me back and we get things to how they used to be. I know deep down inside he loves me more than anything in this world, I think him having a car now is making him go wild and girls throw themselves at him”

(Silence)

“But in all honesty I do regret that night. I shouldn’t  have went to his house unannounced”

I rolled my eyes. By now I realised this conversation is not getting anywhere, because now fresh excuses are being made for Ephraim. I had to ask decisive questions, just to understand where Lydia’s judgment stood about this beating. What bothers me the most are not her excuses, but her compromised dignity. We live in a very small township and everyone knew she’s been in a relationship with Ephraim for close to 6 years now. This girl that was with them the night of the beating is probably laughing it off somewhere over magwinya and atchaar with Lydia’s haters. It’s bad enough that Ephraim doesn’t respect her, now half of Itsoseng won’t too!  I kept these thoughts to myself. But I had to probe to her “regret”.

Oh, so you say you regret that night? What exactly do you regret? Going to his house drunk, unannounced and saying whatever or do you regret him beating you up infront of another woman? And if it’s for the beating are you going to open a case of assault against him?

“Yho! Tselane nawe you’re taking this issue way too seriously, gosh! I told you I still want to make things work between me and Ephraim, sending him to jail would totally ruin things, plus I don’t need that kind of drama in my life. Besides, he didn’t hit me with his fists and stuff, he used a belt. My body is green all over but my face doesn’t even hint of what happened. It was the first time my man laid a hand on me and punishing him over that one mistake would be cruel nje. I know Ephraim is not the aggressive type.”

I cringed.

Lydia, I would understand overlooking his “one mistake” if you guys were married! But you cannot compromise yourself so much over a paper-less agreement. He is merely a boyfriend, not your husband! Anyway, I can see you’ve already made up your mind about this whole situation and I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. Do what you think is best for you and your little family. I’ll stay out of it.

End.

 

Do you think Tselani is right about Lydia having the obligation to forgive/overlook  the beating if she was married to Ephraim? And how often should a woman allow physical abuse before she reports it to the police? Maybe Lydia is being too objective about her friend’s situation. Do you think if she was to get a beating from the man she truly loves, she would have seen this situation differently? Lastly do you think Lydia is actually protecting her little girl with her choices?

The bible does call for women to be submissive to their husbands, but in the very same sentence it says: “Husbands love your wives! And from what I know Love doesn’t hurt you. It is kind, does not boast, keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil and does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It never fails!

What’s your take?

not loveGet help: www.powa.co.za

And HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY 🙂

 

#Ayashisamateki: Distribution

But do you guys remember the awesomeness that is in wearing a new pair of shoes? The entire day you look down at your feet and smile inside each time you do. You even try catch a reflection of yourself just to see hoe good your new shoes look on you. The nostalgia is overwhelming. This past weekend we gave that feeling to close to 120 destitute children. Each time they look down at their feet they will see HOPE.

We set out to distribute the shoe collections to their rightful owners last Saturday, 13 July 2013. Overall we had collected about 250 other pairs of shoes on top of the 96 that was sponsored by Skye Distribution. All the children and teenagers on our list received a Dickies Supa Dupa sneaker. Mothers and dads in the vicinity also got blessed with a pair as . Toddlers shoes also went a very long way, we covered many young ones.supa

 

This was the most fulfilling of the day of my life, I must say. My biggest fear was that they will take the shoes and sell them on the streets, however seeing each one of them falling in love with their pairs was heart-warming. They couldn’t stop looking at their feet. Their old pairs were all rugged out, and the new shoes couldn’t have come at a better time!

 

Our first stop was in Yoeville.

A majority of these children are abandoned by their mothers and are either living with their grandmothers, child headed homes or with neighbours. Some come from a slum house in Becker street.

Everyone paint  boxes

 

The next stop was Mandela bridge

Teenage boys live in this area and have been waiting for these shoes with too much anticipation. This distribution point was the most fun, I must stay and we spent an illegal amount of time there.

35 corner

 

We then hit Joubert Park in the CBD

Girls are the major beneficiaries in this group. This area is drug infested so we had to exercise caution so as to avoid commotion. So we called the beneficiaries out of the park and found a relaxed spot for the distribution (well relaxed if you exclude the taxis, lol)

fav Bona!

 

Then Hillbrow..

This is in a slum house, mothers and their children benefited and we even had babies receiving clothes (from the physical donation, again, thanks guys).

Hello dankie

Our last stop was at the orphanage in Mofolo

Sonke thato

 

For more pictures please see our Facebook Page: Innerheights.

Thank you to Standard Bank employees and friends for the generous cash and shoe donations. Blessed thanks to Skye distribution for the sponsorship, YCL Linda Jabane district, Innerheights foundation and most importantly the Standard bank CIB grads 2013 for championing the project.

Someone might think such a gesture is futile as it doesn’t improve the children’s life  situation. However they don’t overstand  that such people are touched more strongly by love as it is something the lack the most. And LOVE trusts all things and hopes in all things. It is not rude and  is not self seeking.  It never fails.

Blessed Thanks!

#Ayashisamateki: New Beginnings

So lately my weekends have been spent up and about jozi streets, looking for worthy children to benefit from the Ayashisamateki project. By worthy I mean: they are younger than 20, are not completely drowning in drugs and they can show me where they stay and tell me a bit more about themselves. I’ve spent time with street children (and adults) in Berea, Hilbrow, Braamfontein, Jozi.

I have, however, developed a special bond with the young boys living under the Mandela Bridge. Mostly because they are the first group I was introduced to by my friend Alex who visits them regularly and they have the youngest age group living there (as young as 11). So I’ve grown to know some of them personally, and when I get left-over food donations around town I take it to them. Engaging with these young men has taught me something very important about life: If something is meant to happen, it will happen. And, you can only help people that want to be helped- you cannot force your compassion on other.

So when I first saw the 11 year old boys at the bridge, I collected their names for shoe sizes with the rest of the group. However they were so tiny that my heart didn’t allow me to leave them behind so I arranged to take them to the orphanage in Mofolo that I have I have been supporting for the past year. We begged the little boys to come with me so they can be fed and warm and we were already making plans to get them to school. One was very reluctant, but *Tom (not his real name) who is from Limpopo wanted to go to the shelter and was excited to leave the street. They spent 2 days at the orphanage and on the 3rd day they stole money (R50) and ran away-back to the street. About a week later, I went to collect Tom again who admitted he was influenced by the other boy and wants to go back to the home. When we got there he was so happy to see the Gogo and hugged her like she was his mother. I felt our mission was accomplished and a young child will get to be taken care of, go to school and find his family. A day later I got a call from the older guys at the bridge telling me Tom was back. I was sad. But oh well, I tried.

At the same bridge I had met another young man (Boyza), however he was 21 years old and wasn’t my primary concern really as the little ones had captured all my attention. Boyza only had 1 request: He wanted to go back home to Qwaqwa. He came to Joburg with his mother when he was young. At age 9, his mom left where they were visiting as though to go to the shops nearby and she never came back for him. So at that tender age he was forced raise himself and live on the street. With that said, when you come across him today you can never tell he lives under a bridge. He washes and gets piece jobs washing and parking cars to have some decent clothes.

I had given my number to an elder boy Lebo, to contact me as he was helping me move around jozi to find beneficiaries (esp girls) and it helps to walk the streets with a street wise person. So about a week after Boyza asked me for money to go home, he took my number from Lebo and called me to remind me about his request. I told him I will make a plan after we distribute the shoes (as he might also get a pair). My biggest worry about this was that; what if he gets the money and doesn’t go home? Or if he does get to Qwaqwa and finds no one home or he can’t even remember his way there. After all I was there to buy them shoes, not to be a social worker. This was just tricky.

On Sunday morning, Boyza called me again, this time almost in tears. He told me he got stabbed the previous night and he is tired of the street life, he desperately wants to go home. He is not even willing to wait for his new pair of shoes from Ayashisamateki. He wanted to go. I think he called me 6 times that day. So my friend Alex agreed to accompany me to see them on Tuesday evening. And Boyza showed me his scars (not too bad) and he was still on that going home tip. He assured us that he remembers his way back and will try his best to get his life together. He said he realises that if he keeps moving with the street motions he will either end up dead or be like the dirty old men that eat from dustbins and he didn’t want that.

I gave in eventually and Alex was willing to accompany him to the taxi the following day. I agreed to help save his life from danger only of he allows me to tell him how his soul can also be saved. I introduced him to Jesus Christ and he was delighted to meet Him. He told me he loves going to church but was never sure if he’s saved. This was a brand new start for him, and He now had the Lord of all on his side to face this new chapter. I was beyond happy. We started planning how he’s gonna start a vegetable garden at home while he looks for work. He asked that I organise him a small bag for his clothes so he doesn’t get home with plastic bags and maybe an extra pair of shoes to see him through the next months as the ones he had were almost finished. Again, I said i’ll make a plan and we parted. What happened from here on was both out of this world and humbling.Bye Boyza

At home I managed to find him a small bag my brother didn’t use anymore. In it I packed him some oranges for the trip, a motivational Christian book and a t-shirt. On Wednesday morning I went to the storage where we keep the Ayashisamateki donations to get him some socks and possibly shoes. To my surprise, I found a fresh pair of Puma sneakers (donated recently as it was sitting on top of a packed pile), and they were exactly his size! Brother Alex came to collect the bag and transport money (obtained from the shoe donations- thank you guys). His fare was R 170 and I gave him an extra R50 for pocket money.

Alex walked him to the taxi rank. Got him onto the taxi, paid the driver and wrote Boyza’s details down and they said their goodbyes. Just make sure he was indeed serious about going back, Alex waited by a corner somewhere for 10 mins and afters seeing that Boyza didn’t run of, he went back for the final, final goodbye. To his surprise when he got to the taxi he found another man sitting next to and talking to Boyza. This man thanked Alex for paying this young man’s fare to go to Qwaqwa. I turned out the guys is Boyza’s uncle and they have been looking for him years on end. And there he was in the same taxi, going to the same house with him. Immediately he called home and told them he was coming home with a special somebody. If this is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Alex had this to say about Boyza’s trip: “I have never seen Boyza take such bold strides. He is walking tall, confident, smiling with no clue what to expect when he gets to a place he calls home. The streets are all the love he has ever known. They; embraced him, Hugged him, Protected him, Abused him, Yet comforted him.”

All along I have been trying to help kids that don’t want to be helped (or don’t know any better), while there was someone who needed the help and was ready to receive it. Yes, Alex and I happened to be at the right place at the right time to help Boyza, but already His help had been prepared by the Lord. For many are the plans in a man’s heart, but only God’s will prevails. I don’t believe any of this is coincidence, it was pre-destined and God had set His eyes on Boyza’s life way before we came into the picture. He is indeed sovereign.

As for Tom, I’ve sort of given up on him; he’ll find help when he’s ready. Even though I’m a person that looks at world through my heart, I haven’t got time for games; I honestly have way better things to do with my love. I want to thank Brother Alex for introducing me to guys and walking this journey with me. To Sis Mpume Myeza; thanks for creating the atmosphere for Boyza to share his request and a bigger thank you to everyone that donated to the project which ultimately help give Boyza a new beginning. As for me, everyone says the Lord will bless me for reaching out to the destitute, I say: I am already blessed with the honour of being God’s hands and feet. That He entrusts me with His children and He gives me so much love that it overflows.

#Ayashisamateki clearly isn’t about shoes, but lives.

Blessings!

 

PS: I got a call from Boyza on Thursday morning telling me he arrived safely. He told me he was on his was to get information at a local FET to learn welding. It will definitely take a while for him re-integrate to his community. But he will never spend another night on the street. Mission accomplished!

#Ayashis’mateki: Thank you!

“AYASHIS’AMATEKI”

 

On behalf of Standard Bank CIB Graduates 2013 and the Innerheights foundation, we would like to; Thank you all very much for the support we have received for the #Ayashis’Amateki initiative!

Today marks the end of our collection period for 2013, and from your generous donations we have managed to collect:

 

  • R 12,340 in cash
  • 30 pairs of Adult sneakers
  • 20 Formal shoes
  • 20 pairs of kiddies shoes
  • 2 pairs of new school shoes
  • A lot of socks!

 

We are also proud to announce that Skye distribution, has volunteered to be our official supplier for the purchase of shoes. The agreement is that they will supply us with Dickies Pro sneakers at cost price, which will make our cash donations go a long way and we can afford brand new shoes for a majority of the children. Overall 96 kids will benefit ( age range: 3 years- 19yrs) from the project, and they are based in the following areas:

 

  1. Braamfontein under the Mandela Bridge (21)
  2. Yeoville by the recreation centre (17)
  3. Joubert Park (18)
  4. Slum house in Hilbrow (12)
  5. Slum house in Becker street, Yoeville (8)
  6. Hope for the helpless Orphanage in Mofolo (21)

 

Distribution

 

Saturday, 13 July 2013, is the official date the shoes will be distributed to the children. This is to allow our supplier time to process the #Ayashis’Amateki order as the sizes required vary. If you would like to be present on the day of the distribution please respond to this e-mail and will forward you the necessary details. The groups will be split, so you will only be required to assist in one venue.

 

With the remaining cash donations we are hoping to give out a cup of soup (and a roll) to the children on the day of distribution. This will give a warm fuzzy feeling (inside and out) to our beneficiaries and make the day even more joyful. And maybe we can throw in an orange for nutrition, compliments of the Bag of oranges Campaign (see on Facebook: The Bag of Oranges Campaign). The formal shoes collections will be donated to the CIDA campus to assist disadvantaged students with Interview gear (further details to follow). Extra shoe collections will be donated to deserving adults living on the streets, that are seeking employment.

 

Once again, thank you for your donations. Love is the strongest force on earth, and we hope our act of love will make a positive impact in these children’s lives.

 

Pictures of the day will be posted on our gallery (www.innerheights.co.za)

 

THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN! TOGETHER WE DID ITJ

 

Warm regards,

#AYASHIS’AMATEKI TEAM

#Ayashis’Mateki

old sIt is really fascinating how in life so much emphasis is placed on things. What car one drives, the house you live in, the clothes you wear, even what kind of food we eat and yet so little focus is placed on people!

A herd of lions will not walk past a lost cub, they would take it in and look after it because even though they don’t know the cub’s parents it is still one of their own. It therefore fascinates me how we walk past abandoned kids on the streets and not even give the smallest care.  As Innerheights, we believe it’s time to start caring for these children because we don’t know their stories hence it is not our place to judge, but to love.

AyashisaMateki is the first of many projects aimed at making “street life” better for these kids, with the ultimate goal being to get them off the streets as much as is possible.  Young girls and boys are getting lost (and used) on the daily, something needs to be done. But first, we start with the basics: SHOES!

mateki

A lot of children that live on the street have probably owned one pair of shoes their whole life. Some don’t even have shoes at all and those that do; the pairs are WORN OUT and DIRTY and some DON’T even FIT anymore!

Please join us in a quest to collect 100 pairs of shoes (and socks) to alleviate this problem. Winter is upon us and such a gesture will go a very long way. This is initiative is in partnership with Standard bank CIB graduates so all collection points will be based around Simmonds street.

Here are 3 simple steps on how you can help:

  • Donate 100 towards the purchase of shoes
  • Donate a pair of old sneakers (in decent condition)
  • Drop off donations at collection points

We have met with the children and managed to obtain most of their shoe sizes. We anticipate distributing the shoes on the 29th and 30th June. Our key areas of focus are kids (between the age of 8 and 18) that live in:

  • Braaamfontein (by the Mandela Bridge, Pick n Pay)
  • Joubert Park
  • Small Street near Shoprite
  • Yoevile and
  • Hilbrow

If you would like to participate in the project in any way or would like to assist on the day of distribution, please send me an e-mail: noluthando@innerheights.co.za

Keep watch for our weekly barometer that will track progress on how many shoes we’ve collected so far!

Thanks a million :):):)

Innerheights Foundation

Unemployment Free Youth Day

Unemployment has become a very sobering reality in many young people’s lives in South Africa today. In Soweto we call it Loxion Management. Before you leave school you already know that this profession is one of the options waiting for you out there. Unfortunately “employment” is the only option we think there is out there. As young people, the thought of starting something by ourselves is challenging or dreadful even. I mean where would I find someone to invest in my business idea??

Well, funding is the least of our problems if we submit to our limited thinking that being employed is the only way to success. Entrepreneurship needs to be attractive to young people because honestly it is the way to ultimate success and true freedom. Even in our new South Africa, opportunities are laid out in front of young people and yet they fail to grab them all because of false paradigms. The biggest barrier that is preventing young people from pursuing entrepreneurship is this paradigm that has been instilled in their mindsets; that you need to be employed in order to be successful. Trust me, not all employed people are successful people.

In many instances you will find young people venturing into business purely because they could not find work. They start their business as an option of last resort and in most cases they flourish with success. Their unemployment becomes a blessing in disguise.

For a long time our society (especially black South Africans), has revolved around: Go to school- come of age- find employment. Even the pursuit for education is driven by the ideology of getting better job opportunities. Even I can attest that for some people it didn’t matter what degree they obtained, as long as it guaranteed that they will find a good job, it was on. So growing up knowing you needed to find work in order to survive doesn’t make entrepreneurship attractive or even viable. I mean who wants to run a spaza-shop/tavern/taxi business instead of going to the city and find a job. However what we fail to realize is that, whoever we will be working for is actually running their business and they are growing their business through our hardwork. The failure to realize that we are all born with the same amount of potential (and mental capabilities) renders young people with the false ideology that they can never be the employer, but the employed.EduAfr

 

My solution to this false paradigm is rather “out of the box” but I believe it will make a difference. We need to teach young people about African history. Knowing where you come from has a strong bearing on where you are going. Knowing where we come from as a nation will make young people understand how things have become what they are today, why is Africa the least developed continent, what our leaders believed in. Asking these type of questions will make African youth realize that they are equally capable of achieving anything, this will unlock the mental chains that have bound African minds for the longest time. Knowing what happened to Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa etc for it to be the country it is today will help shaping future leaders in reclaiming the wealth through their own hard work and doing it for themselves. We can no longer wait for someone else to give us bread, we must bake our own.

 

As we celebrate Youth day, the people that are at the greatest risk right now are our youth.  But ultimately, everyone’s freedom from poverty/unemployment is in their own hands, look around, see what you can start. Don’t wait for things to happen, there is no politician that will deliver a job at your door, not in a million years. The longer you sit and wait for a miracle there are other vultures (drugs, alcohol, Aids) roaming around looking to devour your youth, so you better keep busy. Just think, I’m sure you will come up with something and start your own enterprise, you are smart enough!

NgesiZulu kuthiwa: Vuk’uzenzele!

“The worst evil of all committed by colonization has been the wishful intent to discourage individual initiative to venture, discover, make attempts and to fabricate. The outcome is the current dependency status”-Unknown

So I came to Joburg…

It is called the City of Gold, but where you find gold, there is always rubble nearby. Here are 2 ladies who both came to joburg for different reasons, yet they are somewhat faced with the same reality.

Let me tell you their stories. Both are fictional, but have volumes to speak about what the real world offers women out there.

Story 1:

At age 6, both her parents were deceased, left to be raised by 2 older sisters, age 18 and 26 but useless. She struggled growing up (raising herself) and ultimately when she was 17 she decided to go to Jozi for a better chance at life. Here she met Sis Girly the pimp, who gave her a place to stay, taught her how to be a woman and how you need to sell your “thing” to get all you need. For a while life was comfortable being caught up with the money and the bling. At age 20 she was still pretty but her value had diminished that even for 40 bucks any man could get a ride.

At age 25 she eventually died of Aids, leaving 2 fatherless less kids, aged 2 and 6. About six weeks later there were heavy-cold rains and the kids couldn’t survive the cold in the pipe they were sleeping in (with no blankets). That night the 2 year old died, and a week later municipal workers discovered the body. Now here’s this 6 year old wandering the streets of Jozi with no clue how she will make ends meet. She learnt that sniffing glue keeps you warm and makes you forget the hunger, so that becomes her daily hustle because in this place, no one gives a care. Written by Mbongeni Khanyile

I’m sure you’ve come across a news headline that talks about a baby (dead or alive) being found abandoned in a bin somewhere. Now you know where they come from!

Story 2:

A teenager (Thandeka) comes to Jozi for the first time to study Law at wits and she is welcomed by an old friend from back home (KZN). This friend highlights to her that here in the city the “razor cut” weave makes you look rural and they don’t wear jeans and sneakers to the clubs, but freakums. Thandeka is quickly introduced to her home-girl’s boyfriend who drives the fanciest car she has ever seen. At the club they are treated like royalty and she receives R5000 as an apology coz her friend’s boyfriend touched her ass by mistake;  Which she reluctantly accepts.

This story goes into detail on the day to day decisions Thandeka has to make, and unfortunately her sense of morals is weak and she gets herself into all sorts of drama. After her home-girl dies (car-accident), she assumes the role of being the new girlfriend to Mr 5000. This is a well off girl, mind you. She lives in a fully furnished flat that is owned by her uncle and she shares it with some girl. So she really doesn’t need Mr 5000’s money, but for some reason it constantly lands up on her hands.  She later finds out that her new roomate is actually her uncle’s sugar baby… Written by Mike Maphotho (for the full story go to: http://diaryofazulugirl.co.za

There’s an urban dynamic that occurs in cities, that unfortunately consumes young women in a tragic way. But also there is an element of choice. Without judging; Thandeka is rather well off, and the lady in the 1st story is not entirely a victim because not all orphaned kids have to end up in prostitution. All it takes is for these women to have a sense of pride in themselves are and know their value. Ladies: it is important to know who you are and being content with what you have. Yes, Joburg offers incredible opportunities, but if things don’t work out well, it will not kill you to go back home. Unless you want get there dead already. And here, there are so many ways to die.

“In life (and love) there are no guarantees. That is why it is important to love yourself first”

girl-all-alone

Unfortunately in big cities such stories have become a norm and street kids are just part of the ecosystem. We have somehow chosen to look the other way because these “things” are just pests! But unfortunately, street kids are just that, kids! Behind those naughty faces are children who have no one ask them how there are, let alone provide for their daily needs.

These children are very close to my heart because I believe it’s not fair for any child to miss out on their childhood. I am personally planning a few projects to make a difference in their lives. If you would like to be informed/be a part of this work, you can send me an e-mail at noluthando@innerheights.co.za and we can get cracking. It is getting colder outside, so our efforts must be swift.

 

“For evil to triumph, all it takes is for good men to sit and do nothing”

http://www.innerheights.co.za/inner-heights-foundation

State failings not because of apartheid

by Redi Tlhabi: Talk show host, TV presenter and writer.

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it? Trevor Manuel’s comments at a public servants’ summit last week have set off an explosion. Manuel said: “Nineteen years into democracy, our government has run out of excuses. We cannot continue to blame apartheid for our failings as a state. We cannot plead ignorance or inexperience. The time for change, for a ruthless focus on implementation, has come.”

Those who have failed to provide a better life for all and are prickly because of their own inadequacy have taken offence. And, on the other side of the spectrum, those who are in denial about the long-term damaging effects of apartheid are twisting Manuel’s comments and, as expected, singing their “move on” chorus.

Manuel’s critics felt he needed a lecture on apartheid. I guess that’s why he joined the struggle — because he did not know what apartheid is? Even President Jacob Zuma delivered an allocution to Manuel that it was “a mistake” to “suggest we cannot blame apartheid for what is happening in our country now”. Zuma rightly said it was impossible for change to be completed in just 20 years. But Manuel did not say apartheid was not damaging and he certainly did not argue that the effects of exclusion and oppression could be reversed in 20 years. How disingenuous for the president to deliberately distort Manuel’s warning and attempt to deflect from the failings of his government. We are not fooled. Apartheid can indeed be blamed for the inferior education bequeathed to the black child, for inferior houses, spatial development that placed black people far from the centre of economic activity and the breakdown of families through forced removals and cheap migrant labour. There is no way that wounds from this dark period could be completely healed in 20 years.

But how does the president account for public funds wasted in the years since the ANC came to power? Every year the auditor-general continues to unearth billions in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Is that Verwoerd’s fault too?

Is it apartheid that made the Free State government spend R40-million on a website when this service could have been provided for free or, at most, a few thousand rands? Is it apartheid that has failed to deliver textbooks to children whose lives will remain bleak without an education? The shoddy RDP houses that have collapsed and thus require more money to rehabilitate were built by apartheid too?

The sad irony of this is that the matchbox houses the apartheid government built are solid and still standing.

Last year, a young man waited for an ambulance for 17 hours while the civil servants on duty told the family “it was on its way” and then that it was “stuck in traffic”. The sun set and rose again. The young man died. Is the cause of his death apartheid, or incompetent and uncaring people manning the system? In 2009, I wrote about a strike by Joburg metro employees who downed tools and closed all the testing stations across the city in support of their colleagues who were appearing at a disciplinary hearing. They were not fired. Is it apartheid that taught our government to keep such unsavoury, lazy people in its employ?

When are we going to say that apartheid was atrocious, but we will prove to those racists who looked down on us that we can, and we will, turn things around? Instead, some in the government — including the president — have an emotional attachment to apartheid and need it to blackmail voters and justify mediocrity. This plays safely in the hands of the “forget apartheid brigade” who think this oppression was a walk in the park.

Both sides must own up to the past and acknowledge its ill effects — but for goodness’s sake, work with what you have to build the country.

http://www.leader.co.za/article.aspx?s=1&f=1&a=4415

HAPPY FREEDO DAY!

#002: People who Love You but Won’t Give Up their Comfort to Protect you

Seeds of loveIn life you are willing to go an extra mile for someone you love because you know they would do the same for you. But sometimes the people that we truly love (and we believe love us), might not be willing to go the extra mile for us. Often times these people think there is nothing they can do to help us out, when infact there are so many opportunities to do so but they never open their eyes to them.

Maybe it’s a lack of will power or fear of the unknown, but in most cases the person is just a coward. They are afraid to face up to the situation and what it might do to their comfort (status quo). Deep down inside they hope the problem will go away by itself and you are strong enough to handle the disappointment. Sad thing is; if they let you down once and you recover from it, you best believe it will happen again. Let me give you a few examples;

Your husband knows (and acknowledges) how his mother is condescending and disrespectful towards you for no reason whatsoever. Yet he would still bring her to visit at least 2 months every year. A classic example is when a parent remains silent while another person hurts or violates their child. Last week I watched the movie “Precious” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precious_(film)  and this type of conditional love was blatantly clarified in my mind (and heart).

Precious is a 16 year old girl, who is struggling with her grades at school and is pregnant with her second child. Her first baby is 3 years old and has Down’s syndrome. By the way Precious is not the prettiest of girls and has never had a boyfriend in her life. You see, her daddy has been molesting her since she was 3 years old and has fathered both her kids. Her mother has known about this ever since, at first she tried to stop her man from hurting the child by asking him over and over again: “What are you doing to my baby?”

Precious’ mom couldn’t face the trauma of losing her man and being a single mom. Well the guy eventually left her, unemployed, single, depressed and with 2 grandchildren. That woman seemed demented, all she did all day was sit on the couch, watch tv and collect a welfare grant for her unemployment and grandchild. Oh by the way at the end of the movie Precious’ dad dies of Aids, just after Precious gave birth to the second child.

I know that this is an extreme case of conditional love, but it really highlights the damage that gets done when you don’t stand up to protect the ones you love.  For evil to triumph it takes good men to sit and do nothing. Here’s how I have learnt to deal with people that I know love me, but would not give up their comfort to protect me:

1.       Protect yourself. But love them anyway.

If your well being is constantly affected by their poor choices (or lack thereof) get yourself out. You need to look out for number 1 first. I strongly believe that you should leave a situation that no longer honours you. Love them from a distance.

And loving them may sometimes mean just praying for the person or simply forgiving them. You don’t want to get yourself too close so they can hurt you again. Just like Precious decided to take her kids and go live where her mom cannot find her. But I’m sure in her heart she still hoped that her mom becomes a better person and digs herself out of the misery she created for herself.

2.       Love without expectation.

Never allow people to change who you are inside. If you chose to love, do it without reservation and expectation no matter how many times you’ve been let down. People will always be who they want, and frankly that’s what really makes the world go round.

3.       Look for unconditional love in the right place

Only God’s love is without conditions. Once you fully know and understand how much God loves you and how precious you are to Him, you will never again seek affirmation anywhere else. Perfect love drives out all fear- You will never be afraid of being let down because you know God’s got your back, always. And God has the power to protect your heart from the pain. You will find yourself going through the worst of situations but you never lose your peace of mind and you never fall apart (even when you expect yourself to)- This is what it means to be hidden in the Lord.

“Greater love has no one than this; that someone lay down his life for his friends”  John 15:13

Ps: There are many “Precious” girls out there, especially in the South Africa we live in today. Protect them for me. Pretty please…

#Ok, next we talk about people that are hard to please (for real :) )

Vocal House

There is no greater feeling more than giving credit (where its due) and it gets acknowledged. It’s ike giving a compliment and the person actually thanks you for it. Now I understand why people liked being retweeted so much.
Music is one of the greatest forms of expressing creativity and those that excel in their craft need to be acknowledged which is why time and again I would write on some of the best music I have listened to. “Vocal House” was my very first music blog post, where my all time favourite house tracks were featured. Now the next step is to have these track in a mix, so those who don’t understand the music get a feel of what we’re talking about. (On it!)
It was such an honor that Hollis P Monroe acknowledged his “appreciation” from Innerheights by commenting on the post. I am grateful that he has realised how much his work is appreciated this side of the world. May it encourage him to keep on doing what he does because he does it so well.
There can only be one “Goodbye” house song.
Blessed thanks!

#01: Ungrateful People

You throw a 50c coin at a beggar and to your surprise he stands up and shows you so much gratitude for it. I mean it’s not much, but for the fact that they were grateful for the 50c, doesn’t it compel you to give them a little bit more because they were grateful for little? Well ungrateful people will give you a totally different reaction.Ungrateful

No matter what you do for these people, it will never be enough. This type is usually family members or friends that you care deeply about. They know that you will never leave them stranded and in turn take your compassion for granted.

It’s like going to buy petrol for instance, after you have paid, the petrol attendant won’t say “thank you” in fact they shouldn’t because you are expected to pay. Which brings me to the problem with ungrateful people:  They have a sense of entitlement. Why should they thank you, when you HAVE to do A, b and c for them? You are expected to do stuff for them!

You can buy the whole earth for these people, but they won’t be grateful for it because it didn’t come with the moon. Often times they will give you deceptive appreciation, saying “thanks” with a thousand complaints underneath their breath. These ones will side with your enemies and not hesitate to give false witness against you because you never give them the best (according to their expectation). So when people congregate to say you’re a terrible person, they will definitely add to that conversation.

I’ve had to deal with my fair share of ungrateful people, and trust me being constantly overlooked hurts. Now I know better, and learnt valuable lessons from them. I have learnt to:

  • Give without expectation
  • Never inconvenience myself to accommodate them. I can only give what I can
  • Not to beat myself up if I can’t help them at that time
  • To give more assistance to the people that actually does appreciate my efforts.  Gratitude invites more blessing
  • I can actually survive life without them (they actually need me more than I need them)

My greatest advice on how to deal with such people is to STOP doing stuff for them! Or just give the bare minimum. Maybe then they will realise the value you add to their lives and show you appreciation. You know what they say: “You never miss the water until the well runs dry”

We were all created to serve one master and that is God. You don’t owe anybody anything, unless they are your child, even in that case there are limits. Yes we are commanded to love one another and give the other cheek, but at certain times, tough love goes a long way in gaining respect and teaching people to say Thank you.

It’ the same with God, when we thank him for little, He blesses us with more!

#Next : It’s  people that are impossible to please. No matter how well you do, it will never be enough for them….

#00 Friendship series: An Introduction

As we grow older, we change and our friends change. We get to learn a lot about ourselves and about other people. We learn that in most instances people are always out for their best interests and sometimes those you love will not love you back.

There are a very few people I can safely call friends, but there are many others that I would like to consider as such, but they often fall short (or I fall short) based on how we relate with each other.

In life you will come across ungrateful people, those that never get pleased with your efforts, pretentious people, those that only befriend you when it’s convenient for them, those that just tolerate you, etc

But I have since learnt that: If you’re not sure where you stand with someone, maybe it’s time to stop standing and start walking.

For the next few months I will be doing a Relationship series,  that will reflect on all the different kinds of “friendships” we come across. I will use the term “friendship” very loose to accommodate all the type of people we relate wit in our daily lives. In any case even the best of friendships have to start in a state where you are just “people that know each other”.

First, I start with ungrateful people…..

What is Wholesome Womanhood? Part 1

When men sing…

I once did a blog, on vocal house and how women are expressing themselves through music. I like music in that it gives you a way to shout out to the world y what you want to say, in a beautiful way.

House music is another lover of my soul, and Deep Vocal house just speaks to the life in me. I know I’m sounding like I’m speaking in parables, but I just cannot to define how I love it. Anyway,  enough about me. You see, when men sing they have truckloads to say, again in a very beautiful way. I mean there’s tracks like “What do I gotta do”- Roland Clark Urban. Soul (Erik kuffer mix), that take you to a palce you have never been before and yet you like being there. There’s something about a man’s voice on a house beat.

Thus, my dear friends, I would like to honour some of the greatest house vocalists of our time, and some of the awesome music they’ve delivered for us. This is not a valentine’s day post, I’m honouring men for different reasons this time. God willing, I will put together a podcast of all the tracks mentioned in this post. In no particular order:

Somewhere

Nathan X

I actually don’t know much about this vocalist, but his collaboration with Cuebar definitely got my attention. “Walk a mile” is one of those tracks you can listen to the entire day over and over again and everything remains alright. I remember the first time I heard it was on a short clip from a friend of mine. I tell you, He searched far and wide to get the full track because it was so hard to get it out of mind. Oh, he also hooked me up soon after he found it, way’dlala Chucky J

Donald

Next guy on my list is Donald, came out of nowhere with “I Deserve” and then “Denial” hay after lapho I became a fan. He’s a Proudly South African artist who is taking vocal house to other levels, with meaningful lyrical content at that. I’m expecting lot more from him in future *watching this space*

Liquid deep

Another South African duo, who have brightened the scene in vocal house music. Bringing us tracks like “Fairy tale”, “Settle for less”, but my all time favourite track from them is “Still”. They have been bringing us beautiful melodies and we surely wouldn’t mind more J

Nasty Nev

“I’m so hung up on you, every day you’re always on my mind” is the ultimate chemistry song! You know being attracted to someone so much that they’re just all you think about, and in every thought you envision on how they would look next you. I’ve always loved Nast Nav’s somewhat rich, strong voice. He also did awesome tracks like “Hooked on you”….hai this man seems to be falling in love a lot. I really love it when men express emotion through song though!

Christopher mCcray

I’ve actually never heard any of his tracks in the past, so I’ve never really got to appreciate his vocal ability. But when I heard “Heaven”, my soul was sold. If you don’t have any of the above tracks, please try and get this one.  Kerri Chandler produced this song, and it’s one of the “from the heart vocals”. With that one contribution he has made it to my list as one of the greats.

George Levin

The biggest track to come from this Berlin born song writer is “I got- ft Clara Hill”. This song makes my friend Fentse go crazy. Imagine a guy/girl you’re in a relationship with sings these words to you:

“I got, somebody new. Now I got a different view on what we had. Nothing will ever make me reminisce. Cannot think of one thing that I will miss, nothing will ever make me reminisce,  so then the love turned out to be like this”

Hai then you know you just gotta let them go, nje. Finish and klaar

Robert Owens

“Fly Free”, what more can I say? Track 07 in the Ralf Gum #never leaves you album of 2012. You haven’t lived if you haven’t danced to this compilation

Viktor Dupleix

More of an soul musician. His contribution to deep house through his Jazanova collabo with a track called “That Night” is timeless. That song has been somewhat a foundation to a lot of vocal house jams. An absolute classic! Viktor’s voice is one of the most romantic voices around, so he had to make my list! Oh, he also has songs like “Let’s make a baby” J

Totured Soul

These guys’ music is the epitome of awesomeness. I haven’t been touched by house more than I have by Totrured soul music. With tracks like: “Home to you”, ” Enjoy it now”, “I might do something wrong”. My absolute favourite track and it also embodies the list of my all time favourite house tunes is” Don’t hold me down” . It’s a dialogue between couple addressing trust issues when they’re not together. Basically it says “if you believe I love you, you should learn to trust me- don’t hold me down. You say I’m yours , so let me be free”. To listen to these tracks please visit: http://torturedsoulmusic.com/

Kafele

His 2010 track with Ralf Gum “Complicated” is one the future classics of our day. I don’t know how many versions of the track exist out there. Almost every single one I’ve heard I’ve managed to enjoy. Kafele, has this calm, sanitised voice that would pick you out of a storm of emotions to a tranquil place. He brought us tracks, like “Believing”, love it! And my out most favourite from him is in Ralf Gum’s album, #Never leaves you” The song is called “Burning Star”, I’ve listened to this track for a whole 2 weeks non-stop, just me and my Burning star.

Larry Heard

Notoriously known as Mr Fingers or the Price of House music . Was surprised to find out he’s a black dude. He managed to put together my ultimate favourite gospel house track. “Praise”- Larry Heard (Glen underground’s thank you remix) has officially been listed as my all time favourite songs after Summer Daze. Larry has been known for his passionate lyrics and has mastered the art of creating nostalgic chemistry. It goes something like:

“I remember the days when I thought I was alone. And was always amazed in those times I felt so strong. But then you were always there and you have always cared.

No matter how far I stray you have already paved the way. Now when I look back  I can see the things you’ve done. And I want to thank you for my saviour and your Son….and I must give you Praise”

It blesses me so much just to know you’re on my side. And I see your precious touch, in the things before my eyes. You want the best for me and you have been raised for me. Before I was whole you conquered the misery. Now when I look back, I can see the things you’ve done, and I want to Thank you for my saviour and your son. And I will give you PRAISE……….”

If I haven’t mentioned an artist who you believe should be in this post, let us know. Other vocal talent I can mention includes, T-Deep, MiCasa, etc. Hope you enjoyed my vocal showdown and you will make every effort to get them tracks and be merry. At the end of it all it had to be Larry Heard that takes it for me because He is giving thanks to the Almighty.

If you think about it, everything is about Him, for Him, through Him. God created the music we hear, the people who sing those songs and He gave them the talent to do it. Give Thanks!

Understanding Women: Lessons in Life and Love by Female Vocal Artists through House music

Female Vocal music…

Let’s try this again: 2013

Ok, 2013 is here. We made it alive, and the world didn’t end, yey!!!  

 

With all the excitement comes a lot of questions; what challenges lie ahead and will they bring out the best or the worst in me? Am I going to make the same mistakes? Which new people will come into my life and which ones do I need to let go of? Who will I fall in love with?  Will I fall in love at all? How will my faith be tested and will I endure those tests? And most of all, where will I be in life this time next year?

 

These are all sobering and soul searching questions that we all have to ask ourselves. I believe in setting New Year’s resolutions because they give you something to look forward to. Even if you fail, at least you would have tried to bring about some sort of change in your life. I always start my year with a bang, making goals and stuff. By the time the energy wears off in March, I would have had the courage to start something which often leaves a positive mark in my life. It is really sad to float through life without any plan or change. We were created to live, not to exist.May this be the best year of your life!

I have never been good in giving self help advice, but I have 3 things I would like to share with you for this year. They are my adopted themes for 2013, hope they help you as much as I’m hoping they will help me.

Pursue your ambitions:  If you have as much as a curious thought about a talent or beautiful idea; pursue it. Often times God lays so much gold within us that we never discover. As you are sitting right now, you are probably using less than 20% of your given talents. You don’t know they exist because you have never explored them. Have you noticed that people who tell you that they have had a passion for music ever since they were young; grow up to be phenomenal musicians?  If these people never pursued this burning desire inside of them, maybe they would have never opened their mouths to even sing a single note and never unearth their wonderful talent.

What I’m trying to say here is that, your spirit has a way of hinting to you what you are good at. If you get that feeling about anything, please try it at least once. It could be a business idea, dancing, drawing, motivating others, etc. I never knew I could write until I wrote my first article!

So this year explore your talents; follow up on your ambitions and see how far it will get you.

Commitment: Once you have discovered what it is that you’re good at/interested in doing, commit to it. Start it and stick to it.

Your commitments can develop you, or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you. Tell me what you’re committed to, and I’ll tell you what you’ll be in twenty years. It is at this very point of commitment that most people miss God’s purpose for their lives. Many are afraid to commit to anything, so they just drift through life. Others make half-hearted commitments to competing values, and that leads to frustration and mediocrity. Others make a full commitment to worldly goals, such as becoming wealthy or famous, and they end up disappointed and bitter. Every choice we make has eternal consequences, so we need to choose wisely.  Be defined by godly, loving commitments.

Being committed also means being consistent with what you’re doing. It is so easy to start, but so hard to see things through. What about the unmet goals you left in 2012? Would you like to give them a shot again or are you ready to try new things? Even so, have the decency to tie up those loose ends; send that resignation letter or cancel that subscription but just don’t leave things hanging, its bad karma!

And lastly……

Accountability: If you aspire to do something, share that vision with someone who is going to hold you accountable for it. Be careful, though, of whom you share those visions with and who you allow to speak into your life (story for another day). My previous boss used to tell me that if I want to stretch myself into doing something I should tell every person I know. So each time I bump into those people, they will ask me how things are going and I can have positive feedback for them. If you set your goals in secret, it gives you no pressure at all to accomplish them.

I’m not saying go shout out to the world all your plans, but tell someone you trust and who buys into your vision so they can hold you accountable for it. This year I had to choose between studying further and writing my book. I obviously chose to start writing the book (which I already have). And since I was supposed to study and pass, I have to see the book through to completion. With this, I am making the most of my time, so please hold me accountable.

 

So there you have it. Hope you will use these ingredients and many others to be the best you can be. Happy New Year and may 2013 be your best one!

 Yeah people are complaining about going back to work and all. Well, firstly it cannot be December all year, it has to end. Secondly, that car you drive didn’t fall from the sky, you have to work for it. Thirdly, at least you have a job to go back to, some are going back to the vicious cycle of unemployment. And lastly; just take time to think of those who have to repeat a grade this year! So be happy.  Work is part of life because there is a time for everything on earth.

 

All the best and remember; if it doesn’t work, change your formula!!!!