Posts Tagged ‘Stand for something’

Change

Change is the only constant in the world. From birth, our lives are embedded with change and the world around us is defined by change. Sometimes we may think that there’s nothing going on and yet there’s a whole lot of motion going on behind the scenes. There’s drastic, sudden change and there is that constant, silent transformation that occurs at every second of everyday within and outside of us.

Seasons chachange-forevernge, the weather changes at least a few times in a day, times change, perceptions and paradigms change. As you grow from infancy, your body is constantly changing, as you evolve into adulthood everything you have known about yourself has probably changed. With this consistent churn of circumstances, why then do we resist change or get shocked by it? When you were younger you welcomed every bit of change, in fact you were excited by it. Getting excited to be allowed to feed yourself, starting a new a school so you can make you new friends, moving to a new town, staying by yourself, etc.

I guess at a younger age we are excited about change as we were intrigued by the possibilities of the unknown and had so many dreams we want to move closer to. But as we get older, stability becomes the key objective in our lives and at most find change uncomfortable unless we initiate it. Unfortunately as inconvenient as change may be, we have to deal it, in fact it is absolutely necessary for our survival. It is much easier to adapt to big abrupt changes, trying as they may be, at least we are readily alerted to the changes at hand. It may be a life changing phone call, major life event, an accident or even a confrontation.

The most difficult changes to adapt to are the silent, gradual ones within us and in our value systems. Let me make an example; as you become a parent, your definition of joy changes completely from an epic night out with your favourite buddies to a toothless smile from your now most favourite individual on planet earth. Yes you may have many future nights out with your mates (parents do, and must have lives), however little miss toothless has redefined the concept of joy in your being altogether.

Likewise with friends, throughout your lifetime you find you relate better with certain people at certain seasons in your life. Sometimes you find the ones that you really love the most no longer ‘get’ you the way they used to. I have learnt to accept that it is okay for those friendships to end, no one can be everything to you all the time. Another important thing is that you need to spend time with people who are where you want to be. If you are the most successful person in your circle, then you are misplaced. Find a new challenge. Your mind requires new information in order to facilitate your growth process.

You cannot get to your new best self by clinging to who you were yesterday. Survival and growth require us to adapt and move with the program. We all need to learn the art of re-inventing ourselves when the situation requires because if we don’t transform ourselves, life will continue to change without us. I personally came across a certain level of stagnation in my life until I eventually realized that the university habit of being a night owl was not serving me well in my current aspirations. Yes I was never a “morning person” but I had to force myself to start my day’s early so I can stay winning which involved setting alarm times to go to bed, etc. Not easy, but doable with the right intent.

We are creatures of habit; every behavior we exhibit is learned and we can unlearn and relearn if we want to. We just need to decide. Therefore sustainable change is indeed a decision.  Recognize what is limiting you within yourself and make a decision to change it, one day at a time, one experience at a time. It may not come instantly, but the universe will honor your intentions. Eventually you will see you desires of change becoming your new reality, you know what they say “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Therefore,  gradual change becomes embedded in your character over time, it becomes who you are. You may not notice it, but as long as your commitment to your transformation is genuine, you will see it.

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

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

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

Cake

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

Ton and Dora

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

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

Me and sista

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

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

Birthday chairs

We spent the day with new friends

New friends

And old ones.

old frnds

Mom and Zan

And special friends…

Special

We had the youth choir sing for us…

youth choir

…and the men’s choir

Mens chpir

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

party time

Befday gals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Church sign

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

Andries and Sarah

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

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

school room right

Inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

outreach

skul projektrffic circle

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

 Douglas kids

My special one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Me and patus all Us

Sunset

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

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

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

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

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 🙂

 

#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

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.

Pay up…!

I’m sure all of us are aware of the nationwide protest held by Cosatu on Wednesday regarding the scraping of e-tolls on public roads and labor brokers. Some people were part of it and even those that weren’t, will be largely affected by it. I personally, would have taken delight to be part of those demonstrations as I am affected by one of the issues raised. I strongly believe that the e-tolling system on Gauteng’s road is not fair and should be reconsidered. 

Either it wasn’t properly administered/ communicated to the public or Gov officials didn’t have a normal working citizen in mind.  The government took out a huge loan to improve our freeway systems through SANRAL, and they have built granties on the roads so road users can pay for each kilometer they drive in order to help repay the loan. From how I perceive it their main targets are the middle class “who can afford it”, they own cars and therefore able. The rich people might not really feel the pinch and an extra 600 expense from their pocket is not life changing. Let’s look at how much you would expect to pay on a monthly basis, given then currently proposed cost per kilometer;

The above numbers are only based on you going to work and coming back. This excludes weekends, business meetings other commitments one has to honor outside of the 20 days. Also those from outside the province will now be charged for visiting Gauteng. Look at your finances right now and confirm if you can absorb that additional cost, which could be going towards your savings or helping you reduce your current debt. I say, this tolling system should be strongly reconsidered, and herewith are my arguments.

  • First of all roads are public goods which should be provided by the Government from the fiscal budget either way. In a country roads are a necessity, not a luxury; we pay taxes for provision of public goods. Over and above that we pay taxes through the petrol price, license discs and purchase of the vehicle itself. Also what does the money collected through traffic fines do besides paying salaries and contribute to the road accident fund? Sure if all these finances are channeled properly they can contribute towards reducing SANRAL’s debt.
  • Secondly, introducing these tolls will cause so much inflation in the country that what you earn today will mean far less in a year’s time. Paying per kilometer will increase the cost of transportation of all goods, food included. Corporate will not absorb this cost, but will have to pass it down to the consumer. So a loaf of bread that would necessarily cost R1.50, will maybe cost now cost R1.55 to accommodate the extra transportation costs. It might be a small increase for the bread, but imagine how many thousands of other goods that will have these marginal price increases. These will surely have a big impact, which means your money will not go as further as it used to. Ultimately those affected will be the poor, who perhaps don’t even use freeways that much and when they do, it’s mainly through public transport.
  • Speaking on public transport, I do acknowledge that government has now exempted registered public transport vehicles from the tolls. However, the fact is that public transport remains woefully inadequate both in quality and in the numbers of people that it serves. A lot of people use private cars to get to and from work. This is not a free choice. It is because our public transport system is expensive, unsafe, and unreliable. The promise of massive investment in our overcrowded, run-down commuter rail services is good news, but this will take years to come on stream. So where are the new bus services? Apart from the BRTs in Joburg and Cape Town, not a single new subsidised bus route has been put in place for over ten years! And where is the enforcement of safe conditions in the taxi industry? The use of our motorways by private cars is therefore not a luxury for most users. If the users are forced off the motorways because of cost, they will not transfer to non-existent reliable public transport. They will take their cars onto the side roads, and create levels of congestion that our municipalities will not be able to cope with. Traffic management will become a nightmare, and it is highly likely that our already shocking road fatality statistics will rise.
  • Fourthly, what about those small transportation businesses? When you starting a business that is based on road travel, you are very disadvantaged in that other entities that make money from using the road (ie, taxis and buses) will be exempt from paying the tolls and you have to? Actually the taxi industry is the main violators on road rules, it makes so much money it can even afford planes, and yet we normal civilians have to pay for the very same road that they make money from? Hai, I fail to see the logic there. When I conclude, I will give you why I think taxi’s and public transport as a whole was exempted from paying.
  • Lastly, this whole e-toll program will be an admin nightmare. What’s going to happen to people who only frequently visit the province? How will those locals who don’t pay up are be disciplined? This will require much more resources to administrate. From where I stand, the National Post Office will be the most to benefit out of the system with all the notices they will be issuing.

Ok let’s say the e-tolling does proceed and all goes according to the Governments plan. Road users pay up on time on all kilometers travelled and revenue is generated WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE LOAN HAS BEEN REPAYED? Are they gonna scrap the tolls and break down those granties or they going to find another need for the money? This tolling process needed to be put forward for public scrutiny and all the parties involved engage on it. How would you feel if I took out a loan that you would have to pay back, without even asking you if you’re okay with it or even afford it at least?

So if you’re also against this system or anything else for that matter, SAY something. Raise your hand up and say “I’m not happy” don’t just sit there and hope someone will raise the objection on your behalf. That’s what it means to stand for something. You may not be able to attend a march, but if there’s a petition going around addressing your cause of concern, participate in it. Be counted! Have a voice! That will help build and define your character, don’t be a spectator when this happen.

The only reason why Taxi’s were exempted from paying was because they opposed the suggestion immediately when it was made. They voiced their concerns and were unwilling to accept the charges. They made it very clear they were not happy and Government listed. In Zulu we say:

“Ingane engakhali ifele embelekweni”

 

 

Public transport argument extracted from Cosatu’s memorundum published on www.news24.com on Wednesday 07 March 2012