Posts Tagged ‘African Diamond’

Iye Aenda!

Zimflag

Today every seasoned political commentator is giving an opinion regarding Zimbabwe, infact, everyone thinks they have a solid political view about Zimbabwe. Well, I am not too good at political commentary, nor am I seasoned for that matter. Even in my own country I shy away from political debates because honestly one can never know enough to swear by any formidable viewpoint. However, being a Pan Africanist at heart who keenly reads about the history of Africa, particular southern Africa, starting from the Bantu migration to colonization, liberation and to where we are today, I felt I should express my sentiments regarding today’s events.

It is really with a jubilant heart that I pen this piece. Seeing an African child freeing herself from the shackles inherited from colonial chains. One would say, Mugabe’s resignation today has nothing to do with colonialisation, when infact it has everything to do with it. It feels surreal to experience something like this in my lifetime. Africa still battles to free herself from the resolutions taken at the Berlin conference. Now I sort of get a glimpse of how it felt when independence was gained, Mandela coming out of prison or when heroes like Sankara, Samora, etc were vindicated. I was too young to comprehend some of them – what a time to be alive indeed!

The country is graduating from a post-colonial evolution (if such a term exists). When ZANU PF displaced Ian’s Smith government, it was through guerrilla warfare, and therefore, power was conceded to heroes of war essentially. Some chose to remain in the barracks while others exchanged their uniforms for suits in parliament. This is evident in the hand the military has played in managing the political affairs of the country. It does seem that their latest intervention in November 2017 was a far more progressive one since 1980. Zimbabwe has graduated from a stale-mate in governance, where the leaders of the liberation movement act like they own the country and it’s people due to their struggle efforts. In the process, imposing deeper struggles and scars for their own people. South Africa is yet to graduate from that class. 1994 saw liberation for South Africans, and the champions of that liberation have adopted an entitled stance to the country and resources. One would say former president Mugabe should have taken a page out of Nelson Mandela’s book and give the power back to the people. However Mandela never had much power to give back now, did he?

I digress. I should not make this about South Africa, and unfortunately we have a tendency to make everything about us. It is to be noted that our destinies with our neighbors are all intertwined, from the Mapungumbwe civilization, the effects of the Mfecane displacements in the region, to the establishment of areas like Bulawayo, Gaza (in Mozambique), Bechuanaland, up to present day boundaries. Our victories belong to Africa. Yesterday Kenya, fell into a deeper regression, and today Zimbabwe rises out of it.

The point of the article is to really celebrate her victory taking another step forward. Nobody really knows what the future holds, but one thing for sure is that Zimbabwe is on a path of finding out. I deeply celebrate this era mainly because there is so much that this country has accomplished compared to most African states. First of all, they have set the bar in the history of coups! Not a single bullet fired, then comes the most peaceful uprising I have ever heard of. On the 18 November 2017, not even a match stick was reported missing during the mass demonstration. Most importantly, Zimbabwe is the only country in Africa, which owns their land. It may be in the hands of few, but the African land is in the name of black Africans. We on the other hand, still need a name. The country has a literacy rate of over 90% and their means of production are owned internally. A lot of good, raw, material is in place for the construction of a masterpiece. Your children will reap what you will sow from this point on.

The game plan from now should be for greed to fall; learning who to trust and above all trusting yourselves as a nation to unite and rebuild. My plea is for everyone around you to allow you to forge your own solutions, SADC and the world at large. Can we just all continue minding our business as we have been doing for the past 37 years while Zimbabweans were working at their salvation. I will not comment on transition governments and democracy because I am not too learned on that. However I am very learned in HOPE. Hope never disappoints. You have stood for the longest time in hope that things will change someday and indeed that day has come. Even the pioneers of democracy are not getting it right, so don’t pressure yourself too much, it will take time. Seek out integrity; she will be your guide. Africa looks up to you. May God’s light continue to shine on you.

In the words of the esteemed Cde Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe: “iAfrika, Izwe Lethu”. ALUTA Contunia!

“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are days where decades happen”- unknown

 

 

Black History month: Pro Africa is Anti-nobody

It’s funny how when things change, the more they remain the same.

Last week when a lecturer introduced himself at Business school, he told the class that he was a racist. Everyone was obviously astonished,; here was this white South African male in his early 40’s openly declaring that he didn’t like black people. What was even more appaling was the fact that he dared to talk about race in 2015! The blacks were offended and the white people equally so, but as our educator for the day we had to humor him.

His analogy was that, he wasn’t racist because he chose to be, he was racist because he was raised to be. All his life he was conditioned to think and behave in a certain way. He only first saw a picture of Mandela when he was 20 years old and spent about 2 years in military school with racist ideologies being drummed into his head. So he had no choice but to BE. An electoral vote will not suddenly shift his paradigms; it takes much more than that for things to change.

The whole point of his shocking declaration was that we all needed to talk about race and not make it this horrible monster that opens you up to so much judgment. In South Africa white people are “apologetically” white and black people are also apologetic of who they are. We are all tiptoeing around each other, while neglecting to love each other and ourselves for who we are. Being pro-Black is not being anti somebody, it simply, means you love and embrace who you are and the culture you were born into, likewise for other races and cultures.

Mental Slavery

February is Black History month, and in commemoration I though I should share an extract of Robert Sobukwe’s first recorded speech while he was a student at Fort Hare University. Reading it really proved to me that not much has changed, instead we have created an illusion of freedom and became more afraid of who we are. Celebrate black history, be proud of your scars, embrace the possibilities and remember that no amount of money  or denial will change the color of your soul.

This extract is from a biography of Robert Sobukwe’s life written by Benjamin Pogrund’s titled: “How can man die better”

how can

“I had an occasion last year and also at the beginning of this year to comment on some features of our structure of which I do not approve. It has always been my feeling that, if the intention of the trustees of this college is to make an African College or University, as I have been informed it is, then the Department of African studies must be more highly and more rapidly developed. Fort Hare must become the center of African studies to which students in African studies should come from all over Africa. We should also have a department of Economics and Sociology. A nation to be a nation needs specialists in these things……….

 I said last year that Fort Hare must be to the African what Stellenbosch (University) is to the Afrikaner. It must be the barometer of African thought. It is interesting to note that the theory of ‘Apartheid’, which is today the dominating ideology of the State, was worked out at Stellenbosch by (Dr W.M.M) Eiselen and his colleagues. That same Eiselen is Secretary for Native affairs. But the important thing is that Stellenbosch is not only the expression of the Afrikaner thought and feeling, but it is also the embodiment of their aspiration. So also must Fort Hare express and lead African thought. The College has remained mute on matters deeply affecting the Africans because; we learn, it feared to annoy the Nationalist government. What the College fails to realize is that rightly or wrongly the Nationalists believe that Fort Hare staff is predominantly United Party. So that whether we remain mute or not the government will continue to be hostile towards us. So much for the College…

…I know of course, that because I express these sentiments I will be branded an agitator. That was the reaction to my speech last year. People do not like to see the even tenure of their lives disturbed. They do not like to be told that what they have always believed was right is wrong. And above all they resent encroachment on what they regard as their special province. But I make no apologies. It is meet that we speak the truth before we die. I said last year that our whole life in South Africa is politics, and that contention was severely criticized…During the war it was clearly demonstrated that in South Africa at least, politics does not stop on this side of the grave. A number of African soldiers were buried in the same trench as European soldiers. A few days afterwards word came that from the high command that the bodies of the Africans should be removed and buried in another trench. ‘Apartheid’ must be maintained even on the road to eternity…

…. And as Marcus Garvey says: ‘You cannot grow beyond your thoughts. If your thoughts are those of a slave, you will remain a slave. If your thoughts go skin deep, your mental development will remain skin deep’. Moreover a doctrine of hate can never take people anywhere. It is too exacting. It warps the mind. That is why we preach the doctrine of love, love for Africa. We can never do enough for Africa, nor can we love her enough. The more we do for her, the more we wish to do for her.

I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, we dream, we live Africa; because Africa and humanity are inseparable”.

-Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (21 October 1949)

I have taken extracts of the speech, for entire read feel free to purchase the book. The aim of this article is not to sow negativity in our young democracy, but as my lecturer eluded, it is to create open dialogue on our racial dynamics. I believe we can find common ground at some point in this life time, but only through a principle of love. Love for oneself and love for another despite the history.

History will forever remain, we cannot pretend it away. We cannot remain divided, because that only perpetuates the slavery mentality. If you really think about it we are all slaves to a certain extent, black and white.

Aluta!

photo 4

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: 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!

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

You too can make it happen. Why not?

We thought it would never happen, or something will go wrong, or our planning would just not be enough. But it did happen and everything was beyond perfect. I could have been at home watching cartoons (like I do most Saturday mornings), but last week Saturday was something special and I was glad to be a part of it.

Together with the Project Hope ladies, we organized a special lunch for teenage girls from Hope for the Helpless orphanage in Mofolo. You see since Project Hope was incepted, the orphanage has been our beneficiary in terms of donating groceries every month. However we know that a child is not only raised on food, they need love and knowledge that someone actually cares about them. So this was basically to spend some quality time with the girls, to get to know them better, while encouraging them to dream beyond their circumstances. That is why the theme for the lunch was: Living your dream. We tried to make the event as special as possible, from delivering handmade invites with their names on them to giving each one a rose when they entered the event venue.

We were prayerful on the weeks leading up to the event that God prepares the young ladies hearts to receive something and grow from it. Well our guest for the day, made sure of that. We had Thendo (Mpho’s sister) come share her life story with the girls and how she managed to escape rape and death situations to be where she is today. Born of a preacher mother, she was one rebellious teenager and got herself into all sorts of trouble which exposed herself to many horrible things, some of which she is still dealing with right now. But by God’s grace she is now a blooming woman, who has just written her own book and is focusing her life into Social entrepreneurship and living for the Lord. She said, she wishes at her age she had someone caring enough to host an event like that for her and warn her of what life carries ahead.

The girls were encouraged, and I hope they understood that by them growing up in an orphanage might just be a blessing in disguise and God actually cares for them more than they think. We had fun sessions with the young ladies when they shared a bit more about their dreams and what defines them. And let me tell you, those kids are one joyful bunch, some even sang for us! We obviously didn’t have money to finance the entire event, we got young professional ladies to sponsor a girl for lunch. These ladies also brought knowledge to the girls in the various fields, which added more value to the afternoon. I recall Sandra (a medical doctor), saying: “We are encouraging you to be the best you can be, so we can have a coffee break with other black sister doctors”. Yes our desire is make the most out of these ladies and see them thrive and be successful so we can grow our young black professional landscape.

Obviously the event was a once off treat for the girls, as the main concern over their lives right now is food, clothes and decent schooling. But this one thing can remind them how special they are. Knowing that the next time they go to school without lunch money, they know they have a provider who does exceedingly and above than what they can imagine. Even if it’s just once or twice a year.

Sharing on this event is not to place glory on anyone, but God. Yes, I honor the ladies for working relentlessly to make the event a success, but ultimately this showed me that when God gives you a vision, He will bring it to pass. There were so many things to worry about, from the weather to the finances, but He took care of everything. This shows that you don’t need to accomplish xy or z to help someone out. Just heed God’s call inside of you to reach out, and trust Him to do the rest. To think those “special invites” were printed in color on a normal A4 page and wrapped in ribbons that cost R2.50 each. Because we had the heart to make it special, the almighty made a way for it to be.

You just need to desire to help someone out, it may be through kind words, financial assistance or even going to visit the less fortunate. Nothing you do can ever be too little.

A big thank you to project Hope, the ladies who sponsored the lunch, my brother for providing us with transport, the venue people for hosting us, and God for holding up the weather, providing  goodie bags, trusting us with his little ones and giving us the vision.

You too can bless someone, with something. Remember, we are blessed to be a blessing. You are not where you are because you deserve to be, your opportunities could have easily been granted to someone else. And you don’t have to be a millionaire before you can help others. Maybe driving around with a packet of oranges and giving it to the beggars you come across on your way to work could be a start OR you can come together on a monthly basis with colleagues and donate say R100 each and decided how you’re going to help someone out. Just think of a way and you will find it.

If you want to know about Project Hope, or the Orphanage, please go to our new page: From God with Love. I have also profiled a few other initiatives that serve to make a difference in other people’s lives and you can get involved with them if you like.

Izandla ziyagezana.

Just so you know….

This is for all the ladies in unhealthy relationships. Yes, you know who you are, don’t need to a doctor to diagnose your situation. So listen up! If you’re unsure, listen up as well.

This is not a break up post, so guys please don’t hate me; I’m just sharing small basic truths that we as women sometimes forget. Loving someone means you’ll wait for them, but you need to respect yourself too by knowing, if and when it’s time to walk away.

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.  
If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.  
Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior. 
Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.  
Stop trying to change yourselves for a relationship that’s not meant to be.  
Slower is better.  
Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.  
If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve  
then no, you can’t “be friends.”  A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.  
Don’t settle. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.  
Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself  
a year later for staying when things are not better.  
The only person you can control in a relationship is you.  
Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women.  
He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant,  
Why would he treat you any differently?  
Always have your own set of friends separate from his.  
Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you.  
If something bothers you, speak up.  
Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.  
You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.  
Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are…even if he has  
more education or in a better job. Do not make him into a quasi-god.  
He is a man, nothing more, nothing less.  
Never let a man define who you are.  
Never borrow someone else’s man.   
If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat ON you.  
A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.  
All men are NOT dogs. 
You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is a two-way street.  
You need time to heal between relationships: there is nothing cute about  
baggage! deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.  
You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…a relationship consists  
of two WHOLE individuals…look for someone complementary…not supplementary.  
Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.  
Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always knows where you are and your’re 
always readily available to him- he takes you for granted.  
Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need.  
Share this with other ladies….. You’ll make someone SMILE, another  
RETHINK her choices, and another woman PREPARE.  
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate   
him, a day to love him, and an entire lifetime to forget him.  
 

BY THE WAY, THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A MAN, SO TAKE A HINT.

-Author Unknown

Sometimes you have to forget how you feel and remember what you deserve. Remove yourself from situation that no longer honors you. Love yourself enough.

The more stable, confident and self loving a woman is, the healthier will her relationships be.

As I lay still…

I lay still in your tummy

 And you never knew I was there.

I gave you sleepless nights

And morning sickness’s

Yet still you never knew i was there.

Funny cravings and mood swings

Seemed rather usual to you

I gave up trying

All I cud do was lay still in the only home I knew.

I took a small percentage of everything you consumed

Whether gud or bad I had no choice

Finally!

You noticed me

But i heard u say “this can’t be, this baby is a mistake”

But it was too late for you to terminate me.

I shared all your emotions gud and bad

When you cried, I cried

 When you laughed, I laughed.

I kicked and moved in circles hoping you would rub me

But u didn’t.

I grew strong as the thought of me sickened you.

The more u hated me, the more i loved u.

I could move nor kick any further

The time had cum for me to meet you.

I heard him say “push u almost there”

As u screamed your smoke filled lungs out.

I was welcomed by a bright light

And two cold objects holding me on either side.

I cried for i did not know what was happening.

I felt the life line bonding us together being cut off

After being wrapped I was placed in your arms,

For some reason I stopped crying.

This felt right, it felt more like home

But much safer and warmer

I felt your lips on my cheeck and a warm drop of water on my forehead

 All i cud do was blush.

I drank some warm liquid coming from you and slept the whole day next to u.

I felt closer to u than ever.

I drank that warm stuff again

As night approached u laid me right beside u

You spent half the night looking at me,

So did I

But when morning came i was no more.

I had to leave I hope u understand

For now I lay still in your soul

 And still u never knew i was there

By Ntobeko Gaju

Loosing a child is the greatest pain any woman could ever go through. Either the child dies after birth, born still, dies a toddler, or is miscarried. No one bears the pain more than the woman who had that soul growing inside of them. I believe that no one should ever have to go through something like that, but then again, life happens and everything has a reason to it. This type of pain only God can heal because only He can comprehend your hurt, no one else.

If it has happened to you and you ask “why me?” well….why not you? Who do you know that deserves that kind of pain? It’s harsh, I know, but we all have to bear different burdens. I can talk about the pain of a woman who was gang raped or molested several times as a child by different men. Would you have rather had that?

You see when such painful episodes occur, we need to look deep within to find the strength that God has instilled in us as women. We are the apple of His eye and what hurts us, hurts Him. We should never blame Him for the bad things because only goodness can come from Him and He is always there to carry us when we cannot carry ourselves.

A woman’s heart can bury the deepest of pain and yet that same woman will bring joy to all around her. You see our DNA is different from men, we are built with so much strength and gentleness. Only we have the honor to bring life into this earth. Through a very long, difficult and yet sophisticated fashion. To think the lady in the poem, didn’t want the pregnancy and even continued smoking through it. Yet when the child was there, she loved it more than anything in those few hours she had with it. That is a natural quality in us to love our offspring and no man could understand that.

This poem was written by my male cousin , who is a paramedic. Once they helped a young girl of 16 years deliver her baby in the ambulance. Just after giving birth, this girl stood up and said “I don’t want this baby” and she walked away. It will take a very long time for this young girl to heal from those wounds, but at least she gave her baby life. By Ntobeko writing such a poem, it made me realize that men also feel the pain of losing a child. So if you’re going through loss right now, don’t shut yourself out to your partner. He wants to make you feel better while dealing with his own pain as well.

Just know this: Only God can give and take life, you have nothing to do with that. And rest assured that your little one is back in heaven where they belong. Look forward to more blessings in your life and allow God to redeem all that has been lost. Life goes on, that’s what it does.

This woman’s month, let us celebrate the inner strength that we all posses as women.  We are precious and so valuable; we carry so much in our hearts. If you were to ask your mother to share the hurts she has had to stomach in her lifetime you will be depressed for the rest of the year. But she is as happy as happy can be for we have a healer. Only God can heal the pain others can’t reach:  “He leads me beside quiet waters,  He refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23 vs3)

As we celebrate Women’s day, dear woman go search your heart of all the pain undealt with over the years. Bring it to the Lord and ask him to soothe and whiten your spirit. Draw more strength from Him and let go of all the hurt. We know you can handle it, but just not alone.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised-Proverbs 31 vs 30

 

There is always more to a woman….

God gave the woman’s womb the secret of life, only it can turn a few cells into a full human being. Whichever woman you meet has that blessing and there is always more to her. Think about how you know that your mother is much more stronger than the tribulations she faces, you always know there’s more to her. In that same light you should view every woman you see, from the girl that braids people’s hair on the side of the road, to the one that serves you chips at KFC, the one who sleeps around nalo odlala ama-card all day ekasi. There is always more to them.

The poem below was sent to me by my dear friend Eddie who has always eminated so much respect for me and held me in high regard (which sometimes baffled me but it also encouraged me to value myself more). I remember when we used to go to the Bat Centre, every Thursday while in varsity to listen to poetry and hip-hop rhymes. At that time it was all amusement to me, but God was cultivating the gift he has given to my friend. I consider this as one of his best pieces and I admire the eyes in which a woman is looked at in this poem. And I hope all women see themselves in this light (me included). Enjoy……

There is more to a woman

Some stereotypical ancient writers

From the traditional old-fashioned school of thought

Claimed beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

But what if the beholder was blind

The truth is beyond that raw attractive body

There is always more to a woman

All that junk sexual illusions

And sexual immorality coupled with the feelings of lustiness aside

There is great individual with rare separate divine qualities

To unify the diverse interest of this junk monetary driven society

From the very street kid and prostitute on the street corner

There is a strong goddess who is just a victim of a dysfunctional community

And paradox of sexual abuse

Yes from birth were given an unjust mode

Of treating and dealing with our sisters

This evil world could mould and shape people according to its unrealistic

Production standards

From the very same shebeen queen

There is a divine goddess from within

A pure African diamond with a heart of gold

Yes there is always more to a woman

This junk evil society was built upon a solid blue-print of prejudice and stereotypes

Yes it is a male dominated society but to all my black sisters

It might be hard to reminisce about the future

Where shadows of ignorance and anxiety are the standard feature of this unethical monetary driven society

There is always more to a woman

You might in hospital losing a battle against hiv-aids or tuberculosis remember there is always more to a woman

She might be a domestic worker but through her great spirits and divine wisdom she could bond

Disjointed families like a social worker she is a domestic worker with a knowledge

To send kids to college

There is always more to a woman…..

Shooo, profound ne? If only everyman could look at the women in their lives in such a manner a lot of things would be different, hey. Most importantly IF ALL WOMEN would see THEMSELVES this way, they’d be brave enough to demand the respect they deserve from the male counterparts they interact with. So lady, remember that you are Goddess and there is a lot more to you than meets the eye!