Posts Tagged ‘value’

Highest Honor

Everything natural on this earth is alive, if fact earth itself is considered to have a soul, called Gaia and she is female in her form. The soil germinates seeds and grows food for us. The plant itself is alive as it grows, water brings life, in fact without it; there is no life, just like air. All the natural elements (earth, water, fire, air) are a culmination of life and all living beings are an embodiment of these elements. You need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sun for warmth. This applies to all created animals, they are a combinations of all elements of life. We are therefore no different from any living thing on this earth, but we are somewhat superior, one might even say we are at the top of the food chain. Have you ever wondered though how was it decided that one would manifest as a plant, an animal or human being? If lives of animals were not sacred, they would not be afraid of dying. While, we’re at it, who decides which animal spirit will be a rat and another a lion?

Well, according to Vedic literature there is actually a science that determines who is born in what form. They believe that existence starts in the most basic form and evolves to the highest level, which is spiritual enlightenment. Where one is no longer subject to the limitations of the elements, nor gets to be born and die again, but live in the purest form reminiscent with the source of their soul. According to them, existence therefore, begins on the earth as rock and with is the densest vibration and gradually over time, that manifestation changes form into something else. Think of how mountains go through erosion and what was hard rock now becomes soil. The soil can germinate life and eventually graduate into manifesting as a plant. The next stage existence is that of animals, which is a more enhanced experience of the elements and less dense dimension. Animals can protect themselves; reproduce with intention and most importantly are driven by their instincts to ensure survival. I would assume it starts off small and climbs the ranks, over time to being an elephant, maybe.

The next, not final, stage of existence is that of being born as a human. In this dimension of existence it is considered the highest honor compared to all living things on this earth. We are not driven by instincts, but we have our intelligence, will power and insight to spiritual enlightenment. Art is the highest expression of human intelligence and all of us have that gift, whether creating or enjoying it. Most importantly we all have eternity engraved in our souls. All of us, at some point wonder, where exactly do we all come from and where we are going, ideally none of us want to die or age for that matter. Ancient Eastern texts (Vedic) believe being born human grants you the opportunity to change the destiny of your soul by how you exhibit your human experience. We cannot merely exist to eat, reproduce, protect and die; this would make us no different to animals. Likewise spending all our days wanting to have more than others, when in actual fact the value of lives is exactly the same. “All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 7).

 “Once we take human birth, our destiny is shaped by karma. Karma are actions pertaining to the development of the material body and such acts sentence us to future births in the material world where we reap what we sow. If we act according to good moral code we produce good karma, likewise if we engross ourselves in fleshly desires we create bad karma. If we don’t learn good lessons we are sent back to try again, with a better starting point if we were good, or worse off if we were vile. The material world reforms us, teaching us through reward and punishment to acknowledge God’s supreme position. – (Swami Prabhupada, Veda, Secrets of the East).

I may not fully understand the evolution of the soul as described above. Whether our souls evolve over time, arrive as is or travel from one dimension to the next, is not important. What is important to is that we realize the strength of what we possess within our souls. The bible says God created us in His image. He spoke things into existence and we possess the same power. We have dominion over earth and all things created, therefore, it is expected of us to experience life on a higher level. It should be above the animalistic instincts. Our vibrations can change the course of humanity and digging deeper within ourselves for the eternity we yearn for, will lead us to attain our individual pursuit of excellence. Remember, a plant only graduates to the next level by blossoming to the best of its ability and bear the maximum amount of fruit it possibly can. It has mastered the dimension of being a plant, and it needs a new challenge, and we are no different. We need to live with the desire to rise up above our current form of existence, master it and move on to the highest and purest form of existence where we are not tied down by cumbersome bodies. Consider the Lotus flower; its seed sprouts in mud and it rises up from the murky mud to flourish on water effortlessly basking in the sunrays. The murkier the mud; the brighter the flower becomes. Some people rise up from the lowest points of life to become noble citizens, which is a reflection of how quickly they have absorbed life’s lessons. We too can learn the lessons presented in our mud, and the most important one is the humility of acknowledging that there is a God and we are not He. 

We cannot control the circumstances of our lives and existence and perhaps may never know all the mysteries of life. But we can live each day with the gratitude of being alive and being who we are. Many yearn for the gift. We must appreciate our souls for being different and gifted, in this way we honor He who created us. For we no matter how difficult things can get, we are bestowed with the highest honor that exists in this life and we need to be mindful of it. Finding our passion, doing the best with our abilities and sharing our light with others, adds its own flavour to this earth. Let us not despise our lives over the meaningless comforts of modern life, whether we live in abundance or lack thereof. It should never overshadow the sound of our souls that should be listened to.

If you are young and healthy, you are the wealthiest being on this planet. Sometimes it may take lying in a hospital bed or an old age home to realize the value of your youth. Use it wisely and: Give thanks for it. Everyday!

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget you Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say –‘Life is not pleasant anymore’. Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young before the silver cord of life snaps and the bowl is broken. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. – Ecclesiastes 12

 

Here and Now

value

 

The above picture resonates a lot of truth doesn’t it? Somehow once we have something it feels like we’ve had it all our lives and we get comfortable with it…until we loose it. Is it really because we take things for granted? Or we procrastinate gratification? But even some of the most grateful people on earth still experience the above phoenomina to a certain degree.

Maybe its because we quickly adapt to what we acquire, tick the box, and move on to the next exploit. We don’t take time to savor the moment, our minds are never present, even while we think we are enjoying something, we are subconsciously occupied by other thoughts. Let me illustrate;

Ever wondered after you’ve had a very long day all you want to do is sleep, but somehow you struggle to fall asleep because your mind is racing? – you just cannot stop thinking. At times this may go on for hours until its time to wake up and you face a new day with very little or no sleep. Have you asked yourself exactly who is trying to sleep and who is busy thinking? If its just one you, why cant you just decide to sleep and everything switches off? And somehow there’s always this song that’s constantly playing in the back of your head! It’s like your life has a soundtrack to every situation, and you have no choice at what song plays, but most annoyingly you don’t know how to switch that invisible radio off!

As human beings we are mind, body, spirit and these aspects of our being operate in unity to bring us the full experience we call life. But we often tend to live from the bodily and mental aspects of our being and expect the spirit to automatically follow suit. When in fact we should be existing from the spiritual dimension which is the essence of who we truly are and allow body and mind to follow. By the way, your brain is not your mind – but that’s a topic for another day.

So I struggled for a while to grasp this concept of me being a spirit with a body and how my mind needs to be mastered for me to fully exist in the now. How do I shut my mind to hear what my soul says and be present, in every moment? When a person can halt the incessant stream of thoughts and ‘get out’ of the mind, he or she can then truly start to feel the inner body and stillness that lies much deeper within. When a person can truly embrace and live fully in the present moment and operate from the heart space, he or she is met with a formless, timeless presence that holds vastness. A deeper dimension which uncovers the language of the universe where we are creators. The heart is actually the one portal through which you can access your soul, but that deserves a whole article on its own.

For me to fully understand the concept of now, I came across this very technical description which somehow totally made sense to me: “Absolutely everything you see, touch, and feel is energy. All matter is a construct of atoms, positively charged particles that are bound together by an electromagnetic static charge. This static charge is what keeps the particle constantly orbiting the nucleus. The majority of atomic make up is the formless light spacing between the nucleus and orbiting particles. Everything you perceive to be solid in reality, at the deepest level, is actually formless”.

So in actual fact the only thing that truly exists here is YOU, and you are only alive now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but now! So whatever it is you are doing now is the only true manifestation of your existence, everything else is perception. The things we have embedded in our subconscious mind usually direct the perspective from which we see our reality and are also the exact same things that bring noise in our minds coz think about it; every song that plays in your back ground you have heard before.

Learn to truly appreciate the present moment because its all that you have. It is being here now that is important. There’s no past, there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there ever is, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relieve it, and we can hope for a future but we don’t know if there is one. I wish I knew how to control the mind and be fully present at every moment of everyday, but unfortunately I can only do it at the moments at which I raise my awareness and intentionally choosing to be present.

I have probably created more questions than provide answers in this article, but that’s a good thing because now you will search for your own truth. Do not take what I say as absolute truth, only believe that which resonates your soul. In life we only find what we look for and if its knowledge you seek go find it! It all begins with awareness. We are eternal beings and nothing is too great for our minds to comprehend.

 

Refferences;

The Yusa guide to balance

The power of Now

M_eye_nd

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.

#004: People!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love tolerance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give thanks for L.I.F.E

Noluthando Khanyile

 

#003: People that are hard to please

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Act

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

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

Cake

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

Ton and Dora

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

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

Me and sista

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

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

Birthday chairs

We spent the day with new friends

New friends

And old ones.

old frnds

Mom and Zan

And special friends…

Special

We had the youth choir sing for us…

youth choir

…and the men’s choir

Mens chpir

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

party time

Befday gals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Church sign

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

Andries and Sarah

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

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

school room right

Inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

outreach

skul projektrffic circle

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

 Douglas kids

My special one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Me and patus all Us

Sunset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.       Protect yourself. But love them anyway.

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

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

2.       Love without expectation.

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

3.       Look for unconditional love in the right place

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

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

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

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

You too can make it happen. Why not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Izandla ziyagezana.

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.

More to a Woman….

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

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

There is more to a woman

Some stereotypical ancient writers

From the traditional old-fashioned school of thought

Claimed beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

But what if the beholder was blind

The truth is beyond that raw attractive body

There is always more to a woman

All that junk sexual illusions

And sexual immorality coupled with the feelings of lustiness aside

There is great individual with rare separate divine qualities

To unify the diverse interest of this junk monetary driven society

From the very street kid and prostitute on the street corner

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

And paradox of sexual abuse

Yes from birth were given an unjust mode

Of treating and dealing with our sisters

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

Production standards

From the very same shebeen queen

There is a divine goddess from within

A pure African diamond with a heart of gold

Yes there is always more to a woman

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

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

It might be hard to reminisce about the future

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

There is always more to a woman

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

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

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

To send kids to college

There is always more to a woman…..

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

There is always more to a woman….

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

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

There is more to a woman

Some stereotypical ancient writers

From the traditional old-fashioned school of thought

Claimed beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

But what if the beholder was blind

The truth is beyond that raw attractive body

There is always more to a woman

All that junk sexual illusions

And sexual immorality coupled with the feelings of lustiness aside

There is great individual with rare separate divine qualities

To unify the diverse interest of this junk monetary driven society

From the very street kid and prostitute on the street corner

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

And paradox of sexual abuse

Yes from birth were given an unjust mode

Of treating and dealing with our sisters

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

Production standards

From the very same shebeen queen

There is a divine goddess from within

A pure African diamond with a heart of gold

Yes there is always more to a woman

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

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

It might be hard to reminisce about the future

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

There is always more to a woman

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

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

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

To send kids to college

There is always more to a woman…..

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