Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Lady Wisdom

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? 

Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?

She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
 at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square
 where the traffic is thickest, she shouts;

“You—I’m talking to all of you,
 everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
 I’m telling you how to live at your best.

My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—
I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth;
not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds;
 truth-ready minds will see it at once.

Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
 and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

“I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
 Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
 I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.

With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
 along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me; those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.

My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
 at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
 filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—
 before he did anything else.
I was brought into being a long time ago, well before Earth got its start.
I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.
Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,
I was already there, newborn;
Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons,
and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,
And set Sky firmly in place, I was there.

When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,
 built the vast vault of Heaven,
 and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,
When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said no trespassing,
And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,
I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.
Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,
always enjoying his company,
Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family.

“So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
 those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don’t squander your precious life.

Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
 to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.

But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
 when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

_Proverbs 8

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

It’s not Braai day

So a friend asked me what my plans  for National Braai day were, and my response to her was that, I don’t normally braai on Wednesdays, so I guess I’ll just be sleeping my free day away.

I understand that National braai day is a day where we’re celebrating something we all share in common, I mean every South Africans loves a lekker braai! Yes a braai is a strong part of South African culture, but it’s not the only one, so can someone please explain to me why is it celebrated separately- on the same day? Isn’t the title; “National Heritage Day” enough to accommodate this culture as well?

Your heritage gives you identity, and the more you forget it, the less you remember who you are. I fear the day, 20 years from now, where your children will be bringing wors and chops to school to celebrate national braai day on 24 September, and wouldn’t even have the slightest clue what national heritage day is all about. Whatever we want the future to be, we need to start shaping it today. Our children need to embrace being African and know where we come from as a continent. You cannot instill cultural pride in a child through osmosis, they need to see you embrace it and live it and only then will they imitate it. So while you’re busy having a braai on National Heritage day, consider what picture you’re painting, and don’t forget that someone is making a whole lot of money from meat sales on the other side. Think about it.

I think branding Heritage day to national braai day is an insult to African culture and the perfect money making scheme. Breweries and butcheries absolutely enjoy watching black people being gullible while they pocket millions. I say black people because during heritage day, we always dressed up in our traditional attire and cooked traditional African food. So if you’re gona substitute that menu with a chop, Checkers will not stop you buddy!

I’m in no way attempting to be racist, but 24 September is an indigenous African holiday. It’s original name before Heritage day, was Shaka’s day, which commemorated the strength and the bravery of the Zulu warrior, whose army was the only one Queen Victoria was worried about during the Anglo war. At this day it might seem primitive to celebrate some tribal King who won a battle and not a war, but it is part of who we are and that portion of history can never be erased from our calendar and our DNA. Heritage day, was an inclusive definition to accommodate all the indigenous African cultures and I think it should end at that. National braai is really pushing the name way outside of its original context

Since the dawn colonization in Africa, Europeans made an effort to erode the African off his identity. We were taught how to dress, speak English, worship their Gods, despise our own, discriminated against and made to doubt our humanity through apartheid, etc. I am not despising everything the white man brought to Africa, geesh, how could I? Their stuff is awesome. BUT African child, you cannot substitute who you because of what others bring to you.

Let those who want to celebrate braai day do so with the outmost pleasure, but you should not allow it to overshadow your celebration of identity and all things colorful. I can celebrate National braai day on any other South African holiday, I can even host the event, but please not on my Zulu day. No thanks.

Proud Zulu girl

How (un)Fortunate!

So this Saturday, my vacuum cleaner decided to teach me a lesson; A real one! Woke up early-ish on that day and decided to spring clean my room. This also involved moving things around and changing the way my bed was positioned.

I usually have music on when I clean, but I decided not to put the radio on coz I know I have to vacuum my carpet first so it will make noise and I wont hear my playlist. So after shifting everything I took my vacuum cleaner and went to work. To my dismay, the vacuum cleaner didn’t wanna switch on. I tried every button and switch, but nothing. I thought maybe I had neglected to read the manual properly coz my sister assembled it for me, I was usually passive when it came to such.Keep calm and get

So I got the user manual read it cover to cover. I even learnt that I needed to change the filter and so I got the dirt out. For the first time ever, I realized how much I needed this thing. After all attempts were made, I then resolved that the vacuum cleaner was broken and it was time to fetch the broom. My room had to be cleaned and re-arranged so crying over the vacuum cleaner wasn’t gonna help. I was on the verge of throwing a pity party because I felt like nothing in my life was going right. I didn’t have the best of weeks and my geyser had recently been broken and now this. I was feeling rather despondent. But I couldn’t fall apart because it wasn’t going to change anything.

After sweeping the entire carpeted room and moving stuff around I went to fetch the dustpan to scoop the dirt. And while I was walking down the stairs, I heard my microwave beep! Then it hit me: there was no electricity the whole time. I quickly rushed to switch on my vacuum cleaner and it worked!

Not once did I consider a power outage a possibility, but there I was with egg on my face and a sore back. This taught me the following lessons about disappointment;

It’s not as bad as I think.

This vacuum cleaner not working doesn’t mean the end of the world and it has no reflection of how my entire life is going. One can easily drown on the missed opportunity and feel as though nothing better will ever come. It’s not as if I don’t have a broom to clean up with. The vacuum cleaner not participating doesn’t determine whether my room gets clean or not.

There was a way of cleaning the house before the hoover and there will always be a way. I once survived without it.

It’s not a reflection on you.

Stop taking things personally! If you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t mean that you are the worst candidate or you’re not worthy of good things. It just means that someone was destined to get the job and there’s a better opportunity waiting for you ahead. So relaying my life as pathetic purely because there was no electricity is so not AYOBA!

The vacuum cleaner is “broken” not me.

Accept the situation and find way forward

We sometimes dwell too much on what went wrong instead of acknowledging its occurance and then look to find a solution. Coz it doesn’t matter how much I would have cried and felt sorry for myself, it didn’t change the fact that this thing is not working and my room still needs to be cleaned. Even if I had announced it to all the neighbors, it wouldn’t have changed my situation.

MoveSo instead of sharing your misfortune with everyone over and over again, try to find a way to get over it. It doesn’t matter how much sympathy you get, you still need to move on and get on with it; Misery loves company, don’t give it room!

Dissapointments test your will power

The vacuum cleaner breaking down highlighted how much I wanted to re arrange and clean my room. If I didn’t look for other ways to do it, it means I was unconciously comfortable with it not happening. That’s why they say “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and try again”. How much you want something is determined by the lengths at which you will go to get it!

Maybe that wasn’t the plan

When things don’t go the way we planned, we get so devastated and think: “that’s it!” all hope’s lost. Firstly who said your plan was “THE” plan? Maybe God already has something planned for you and it didn’t look anything like that which you had planned for yourself. We must admit that we sometimes miscalculate our objectives and we must forever be ready for what comes next.

It’s not your fault

I took for granted the fact the vacuum cleaner does not only rely on me to press the “start” button for it to work. But it also needed electricity. Here I am sitting and thinking that I was such a bad owner who never cleaned to poor thing, while instead it had its own problems! (it’s a pity it couldn’t tell me though). We do tend to blame ourselves when people disappoint us. Yes we have our own faults but their actions are not directly driven by our actions.

You didn’t get that job because the other candidate grew up in Cape town and you didn’t. And no, there’s nothing wrong with coming from Foschville, it’s just that this time it didn’t work for you. Don’t punish yourself.

The last and most important lesson I learnt is that; You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. The time I was sweeping the carpet manually, that was the peak moment where I wished I had a vacuum cleaner. I didn’t appreciate mine and now it was gone and I felt like such a fool. It’s funny how life takes the smallest things to teach you a big lesson.Dissapointment

“It is not your job in life to judge what is right or wrong for somebody else. When another person behaves in a manner, which seems to be unhealthy or unproductive, we must not judge. We must learn to accept. Once we accept this is how the person chooses to behave, we have the right to decide whether or not we want to participate” -IyanlaVanzant

We don’t choose what happens to us, but we choose how we react to it.

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!

#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

Life is short…

Not a single one of us is guaranteed another day on this earth. Our days were apportioned to us before we were even born albeit, there’s a time for everything; to live, to die, to grow, to cry, to laugh, to hurt and to love. These times should be treasured (and accepted), living each moment as our last, because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. These are people who have been part of life somehow. Our paths in life crossed and some point and a part of me was shared with them and so was theirs. Let me tell you a few stories…

We used to call my brother in law’s granddad, Da (father). He was a vital element in my life somehow. This year, when everybody was celebrating Mandela day, our family wasn’t in a jolly mood. You, see 2 days before we had lost our Madiba. Da was also born in 1910, we were looking forward to his 92 birthday in November. An old man who was strong and had so much love, all of a sudden fell sick after a few weeks passed on. We were sad, but also grateful that we shared in his life.

Shortly after Da’s passing, his grandson had an annoying headache. End July he was admitted into hospital and after a week or so he died. We buried him on top of his wife who passed away in a car accident a couple of years ago. They leave 4 kids, the youngest being 8. God will keep the children, but unfortunately life had to happen for him. May his soul rest in peace.

Then there’s Ntombana. A chick we grew up with, we lived in the same neighborhood in Dobsonville. She went missing on the 23rd of September. Her body was then found by cops in a nearby cemetery 5 days later, she had been raped and stabbed to death. I still can’t get over how horrible her last moments might have been. She was openly lesbian and has been ever since I knew her. Yes, everyone has their time to die, but no one can judge another. Farewell Ntombana, a very sweet somebody who is the only person I know who has a smile on every single picture. Laid to rest 4 Thursdays ago a few days before Gay Pride. Here’s her story http://www.citypress.co.za/SouthAfrica/News/Lesbians-family-begs-for-justice-20121006 (There is only one lawgiver who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another? –James 4vs12).

On the same day I went to see Ntombana’s mother, I started in Braamficherville on the news that Mr Norman had passed away. I know him through Golden Ark senior citizens, a food project, to feed the community. I remember when I last spoke to him he said: My child; “by the time the first rains come this year we need to be ready to plant our crops”. He was the Chairperson of Golden Ark and was passionate about the agricultural project. Gogo Angie told me that the previous Sunday, he woke up like any other day. He just fell on his way to the door and that was the end of him. Death is indeed a thief.

A colleague of mine was telling me about a tragedy that befell her relatives. That morning she had been so tired because they had to identify bodies in Mpumalanga. A recently married couple, went to Swaziland with the groom’s dad and brother to introduce the wife to their relatives there. While travelling back, the family got involved in an accident with a truck and another car. Everyone died on the spot, all 5 of them. Turned out the young bride was pregnant. May their souls rest in peace.

Nathi’s older brother is engaged to my cousin, we were all so fond of him. Born in 1995, he was shaping up to be fine young man. He loves cars, his father owns taxis so he learned driving at a young age. He is the one that picks up my little cousins when they are invited to a party somewhere. On the 13th, he was driving his father’s BMW with a few friends, something went wrong and they were involved in a car accident. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cops-blamed-for-teen-s-fatal-crash-1.1408390. Out of the 4 people that were in the car, 2 died and 2 were critically injured. It was Nathi’s funeral 2 Saturday’s ago.

About 5 weeks ago, Pana came to my place with Mom to help us move in some stuff. He is an old family friend who visits every other weekend. Pana was no trouble at all; he just loved watching tv and smoking his cigarettes. Last week Sunday, he was taking a walk to a spaza in the neighborhood. A taxi sped past and knocked him over. He sustained head injuries and a broken leg. 3 days later he passed away in hospital. By the way, the driver of the taxi is a young teenage girl who was playing around with her boyfriend’s company car. Her life has changed, forever, just like how Pana is gone forever. I’m still sad.

The previous Sunday we woke to the news that some guys from my hometown (Nquthu) were missing. Funny enough, I know all of them and my step mom is related to some of them. They were driving in a low lying bridge from Magogo (Northern KZN). Apparently there was a heavy storm on Saturday night and their car was swept away, 2 managed to get out the car and stand on the roof of it. The other 3 got washed away in it. Follow the link to read their story http://www.thepost.co.za/woman-watches-teachers-drown-1.1408922. Their bodies were only last week Friday (http://www.thepost.co.za/teacher-s-body-found-others-still-missing-1.1411997) more than 30km’s from where they drowned. Imindeni yakwaNgobese, kwaSikhakhane nakwa Buthelezi iduduzeke.

Life is short guys. I’m reciting these tragedies as though fables, but that is the reality of the earth we live in. I am beyond sad, these experiences have just taught me to accept things as they are and move on. Life brings us new turns every day, and we never know what can happen next. Maybe you’re sitting there and your last day is a few months away? Will you be grateful for your time here, or are you going to wish you had made much out of your time? We must get off the paradigm that there’s always tomorrow to do this or that. Tomorrow’s not guaranteed.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell ad make a profit.” Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a small vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes away. Instead you ought to say,”if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin__James 4 vs 13-17

If you’ve been meaning to tell someone how wonderful they are, do it today, not tomorrow. Mend that relationship, send that gift, go visit that relative, buy that house, open that business, write that book, go for that audition, make that suggestion. If you have a dream, start living it, or least start finding a way on how to. Our lives are but a mist that appears in the morning and disappears by day. That is how short your life is. Start living for today, let go of the past because it will keep you there and prevent you from loving the here and now. The people you just read about are ordinary people, as special as you are, nothing different about them. If it happened to them, it can surely happen to you.

With the understanding that life is short, it is wise to start planning for eternity. Start serving the author of time and you will understand that death is not the end. But the beginning of another, beautiful, worry free life with our Father. If you’ve been meaning to surrender your life to Christ, do it now, today, don’t postpone it much longer because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. Choose life.

All flesh is as grass. And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers. And it’s flower falls away. But the word of the Lord endures forever__1 Peter 1 vs 24

Magnified Thanks!!!

Innerheights is turning 1 on the 28th of March, how wonderful 🙂

It has been such a pleasant and enlightening journey for me and I hope this blog has brought you the same feeling as well. It just it would be interesting to share the progress made since I started in terms of readership (and lives changed). Since 28 March 2011, Innerheights has:

  • Published 50 posts
  • 805 Followers
  • 141 comments
  • 5,474 All time views (all the visits on the site)
  • 156 views on the busiest day
  • 752 views on the busiest month (April 2011)
  • Most Popular Post: There is always more to a woman
  • Views from 21 different countries (SA leading, followed by United States)

The blog will be featured at Standard Bank (CIB)’s Manager’s conference as one of the Amazing Talent Stories in the bank (Video).  It is being recognized as an inspirational tool and a voice of conscious for the youth. There are countless other doors that the blog has opened for my personal growth.

I wish I can take credit for the achievement, but I simply cannot. All glory goes to God. I thank Him for giving me the talent and the vision. For creating the opportunity and providing resources.  For transforming lives through this work. I am just a vessel. I was told what to do, and I did it. There has never been a single week where I struggled to produce a meaningful article. All the ideas and words came at the right time and touched the right people. All Glory be given to the Lord on High!

When we glorify God, we are actually magnifying Him. Magnifying means making something bigger, but God is already big, He is far bigger than we could ever imagine Him to be. So by Glorifying Him, you cannot make Him bigger than He already is. You can only make Him bigger in your own heart. Each time He does something great, you learn to understand how powerful and mighty He is. Your heart doesn’t forget that, so that when troubles come, it reminds you How big God was in your previous situation. Glorifying God translates into increased faith. So if you are going through a hard time and that situation totally breaks you and leaves you hopeless, then it means that problem is actually bigger than the God inside of you. If you are broke and so, so distraught it means money is bigger than the God inside of you. You just don’t see how the existence of God in your life can allow you to be joyful because you do not have money.

When you rejoice through trials it means God inside of you is far bigger than those problems. His presence overshadows everything. We need to be in a place where we say, “Even if all else is lost, as long as God is here, all is well”. Innerheights has definitely grown the God inside of me. God has shown me that he can do far beyond my wildest imagination and with Him around I can face anything. Thank you for being part of the plan by reading Innerheights. I trust that this blog has definitely help grow the God inside of you bigger. Let us give him Glory for all we are and have.

To celebrate our 1 year birthday, I have reblogged the most popular post “More to a Woman” (Please see below). I have also renovated our space and introduced a Job Corner page. We all get the forward emails for job, posts, etc and there is always someone out there looking for employment. So can we please share and make God bigger in someone else’s hearts.  There is also the Ad’s by Me! page If you have a small business you would like to advertise I will put it up for free so people can see your hussle and support you. E-mail me if you are keen on the 2 above pages: noluthando@1635media.co.za

Let us share in the spirit of Ubunt and bring God more Glory. I am, because you are. Dankie Ngiyabonga 🙂

“Therefore be faithful with the little things and He will entrust you with Bigger things”