A Rape is an Unforgettable Tragedy

This blog has been untendered for a while, and I’m wholly to blame for that. I’d be very surprised if there is anyone sparing a moment to read this post. In my absence, both great and disappointing things have happened. But we have a whole future ahead of ourselves to discuss all of those shenanigans.

I’m here now because I’m both confused and hurt in equal measures if not more confused. In the many things that have happened it was brought before me that I’m a littering black monkey who should be grateful to Jan Van Riebeek, his offsprings and all the colonisation that came along with his ship. And whilst at it I need papers to prove that Africa is the land of my forefathers (read: my land).

What got me to sit down and pen this is the fact that I value honesty. Hence I believe that everything should be questioned; every doctor’s lab rat should be tested, every frog dissected until the truth is left before us to accept or deny and Amber the activist Armour. Her story is not a one plus one, from where I’m sitting, it doesn’t add up.

Above all that, I have no stand to say much just that there are things I don’t take kindly to and lying about rape is one of those things. Because not only does it insult the victims, gives perpetrators the platform to dwell and rejoice, it degrades the society. It leaves us as the society with room to allow foul play on our watch because we’re in doubt.

So Amber their activist, a rape is a tragedy its not some cocktail party story you make up as you go along. It is not a marketing campaign. It is the most unforgettable, realist encounter that could ever be witnessed. You do not forget it, you could tell it a million times and it will remain as it is.

You do not forget a sexual violation because it keeps you up at night. You keep wondering why it happened to you. It makes you hate the weird ‘new body’. After the violation the only thing you think of is death because you just want to shut and forget the non-stop images of the encounter playing in your head. Sometimes you wonder why you stopped fighting; why you allowed the perpetrator to have their way on your body, why your energy drained out when you needed it the most. Sometimes the damage is so dire that you wake up the next day with stinking, messed up pyjamas. At times you keep plotting revenge avenues that end up in tears because you know it will never give back what you’ve lost.

I have no idea what happened to Amber. I can ask questions that can unintentionally be rendered rhetorical. I do not know what is going on in her head but let me say this; being raped is emotionally draining, its something that you live with every day, its a pain that you have to overcome every single moment. It is shaming because it takes away everything you thought you were – and you have to start all over again. Being raped is not a joke. It is something you never forget, no matter what.

I’m sorry this happened while she was in our beloved country, in our city of Cape Town; the beautiful mother of supremacy. May the gods of our beloved land guide you.

Foreigner in My Own Land

Its been two months away from my home town and I’ve had fear induced sleepless nights ever since I heard dogs bucking, saw strangers in my yard and things walking on my roof at the most satanic hours of the night. It could have just been ‘abamama’ but my mind won’t stop replaying the whole ordeal. I won’t deny it, I am damn unsettled and the three consecutive gun shots just across my house which I later found out were aimed at a taxi owner for a brewing taxi violence massacre have chased away my sleep ten inches farther.

My journey in this new placed I moved to with love makes me feel unsafe half the time. I have deliberately restrained all forms of small talk everywhere besides at work and that little place I now call home. I am just not ready for the weird stares and worse still having to surrender to the are you Zulu question. So I’ve kept to myself in all forms. It has been good and unsettling in equal measures.

This is my country and I’ve always had to keep looking over my shoulder because that one person walking behind me unnoticed could mean the end of me. Almost like the one sunny mid morning when I was off to my daily grind I never bothered to look over my shoulder, my bag was taken from me; I was left stranded and bare for stares and questioning. Replying in a ‘foreign’ accent made my situation worse. For the first time since my inception, I felt lost, confused and naked. The first thing that came to mind was how warm and welcoming my home town would be. I can’t overlook it, some parts of my own country can really be the most uncomfortable places to find myself in; they make me feel like a foreigner in my own country.

I can’t speak for people but I will write about what I’ve witnessed. I have seen my African compatriots flock in and out of South Africa. Many come here bare, no home, relatives or money. They come as a real sad black story to try and find their dignity, peace and life. Many spend their journey in South Africa doing endless piece jobs. A handful embarks on crime and a recognisable number engage in licit businesses. In the process, many find life, love and eventually dignity. However recently like the ‘burning man’ in 2008, many have found their way to a short lived life ‒ unintended eternity.

I have not experienced hatred so great that it will make me kill a person just because they are not from the same country as me. I am not quite certain what my fellow South Africans are trying to achieve or what message they’re intending to get across either way the execution of whatever that we’re trying to say is an embarrassment and a painful thing to witness.

I can’t imagine the amount of terror the so called foreigners are going through in their own continent. I have felt fear in my own country and it makes one feel like they will never witness another summer with their sanity still intact.

Xenophobia is unacceptable, it goes against especially what our South African heroes advocate. Ubuntu broken, humanity degraded, life threatened. This is a different South Africa, a cold place to live in; too deadly to call a home and too terrifying to walk in. Our legacy is dented. I’m sorry that my fellow Africans have no warmth in their own continent. They are betrayed by their own people. They are foreigners in their mother land. If there was ever a time I felt confused, misplaced and like a foreigner in my home country that time is now.

I’m not yet Certain About Your Version of the Truth, I NEVER Said You’re Old and Stupid and That’s My Truth

Its always a shock, talk of the town gossip when that ‘cute’, petite, bald little innocent, lovable girl is caught up in a rumour or a misunderstanding. So it came as a surprise gone wrong when out of what I thought was an innocent group interaction with colleagues I became a victim of a rumour that became the truth to another’s head. 

 

A part of me was torn and crushed into a million pieces. I’m a woman, I’ve been made to believe I’m inadequate before and for the mere fact that another woman felt this way and the person in question was me made my colourful small world very dark and ugly. I couldn’t believe that the little girl who was a mockery because of her dark skin, the girl who was always imitated for the laughing pleasure of everyone else grew up to find people she knows nothing about ‘old and stupid’. It felt like I was in a twisted, devil orchestrated version of my biography. 

 

When my senior brought these news unto my attention I was appalled, tears secretly wanted to escape my eyes, my heart was beating slightly weird and I wasn’t sure whether I was angry or disappointed because I knew nothing of these allegations.

 

As I walked out of what is meant to look like a boardroom my fierceness was having none of this crap and wanted to have it sorted out there and then because even though I’m almost a thousand percent certain that I don’t suffer from memory loss, I don’t for the life in me recall saying anyone is old and stupid. Never mind that stupid is a word that’s not in my vocabulary because I have only known to me difficulty in pronouncing it.

 

The other very chilled half of me wanted to let sleeping dogs lie because even if I did say she’s old and stupid, why would my opinion of her matter?

 

Anyway I wanted to be a grown up about this and ask her about it. Wrong move, only then I didn’t know about it. As I was taking a seat on the table she was sitting on, she stood up and left before I could even say a single word. And I automatically became convoluted. I felt both like a bully and a school teacher dealing with a teenager in her prime of adolescent. Except I was faced with a very older woman than me, married with family etc.

 

I was left there thinking, maybe I should have called her stupid because even though I didn’t know it then, I assume that’s how stupid people would act in such a really silly incident. 

 

If she wanted to clarify things with me, she would have came to me and told me what I allegedly said and how it made her feel. Yes people deal with things differently but I honestly thought mature people with families handle such matters with intelligence and delicacy. Now I’m kinda not sure what her intention is because we will be working in the same team every single day of her life or until I resign and give her the freedom I feel she’s needing right now. 

 

I know that even though I’m being accused of something I never said, she’s validated it in her head and carries it with her since she’s made in clear that talking to me would be a loss of something valuable to her. Now all I’m left with here is questions over questions and a slight sadness or is it disappointment? When do people realise that other people’s opinion about them is not a new version of their own truth about themselves?

 

Until I find a way out of this situation and answers to my unanswered questions I will be faced with an inch of discomfiture everytime I have to pump into her and her clique.

20-fit-in; Have You Ever Thought About the Mall?

Not in an OMG I’m going shopping on someone else’s expense and I will take absolute advantage of the 75% sale at ‘forever21’ without of course forgetting the exorbitant cologne with a scent so magical it can win Leonardo an Oscar I’ve been meaning to buy since its inception kind of way.

But in a rather, wait a minute… Who keeps this place clean after I’ve gone home and stopped reminiscing about the movie date night (with the ‘crush’ who proved eligible for parents introduction) that gave me natural rosy cheeks and made me clumsy I was tripping all over the place?

I wasn’t going to ask you this question, I mean I had no business diving deep into how a mall operates because all I want is for it to open 24/7 so that when boredom, sorrow and or money has overwhelmed me and I’ve exhausted all the tourist attractions I can walk into a mall like Chuck Norris walking in a crime scene at any given time of day and window shop without giving a single cent of worry about time.

I had just finished my 1pm-9pm shift, best and worst shift of my life. Walking like I’m the majority shareholder in Bill Gates bank balance. I was glad, happy songs were shuffling themselves in my tongue. She was the mall cleaner that I met in the ladies. A petite, short and squeaked voiced lady with one of those faces that make it difficult to judge ones age. She was overjoyed about something because her willingness for small talk was more than just one of those things extroverts do. As I was tolerating some small talk business I had zero interest in.
Something I’ve been to much of an arrogant little twig to even think about struck me.

Her roster is ten times worse than mine, God touch whichever soul behind its engineering. And her duties include cleaning the lavatories of one of the biggest malls I’ve ever seen in my life. She works from 10pm till 6am (yes security guards do a 6pm-6am but we’re not there) cleaning every single corner of one of the biggest malls in the southern hemisphere, not forgetting the incredibly massive parking lots. Gawd I was appalled, not just by my sheer ignorance but the amount of work involved too.

As I was walking away from her with a slightly dented prowess and happy songs not quite shuffling themselves anymore, I realised that she’s human and has family that she wants to spend time with and a bed she misses bonding with because she is too busy cleaning a place that twigs like me dream of it opened 24/7 even though we know the dreadfulness of cleaning just a house with three rooms when you have people walking up and down and toddlers going in and out.

I thought to myself, so maybe just maybe public places that operate on human bodies should close at a humanly considerate time because let’s face it, who wants to be clocking in at the exact time of singing a lullaby to their little one? Or worse still, who wants to never spend time with their family because when they’re at work, you’re catching up on sleep and when they’re sleeping your slaving your little bum off?

I’m not saying go out of your comfort to feel sorry for the cleaners because it is their job and its what they get paid for (you’re an asshole if this is actually your thought). All I’m saying is let’s practise humanity and FLUSS the damn toilet when we’re done doing our business and let’s together STOP dropping dirt everywhere but the bin. Let’s give cleaners (house keepers, baby sitters and security guards) one less thing to worry about. They too have human flesh and need constant breaks from life (which they don’t get) like all human beings. And one last thing, stop flocking to a mall everytime you don’t know what to do with yourself. It saves money, unnecessary anger and feelings of inadequacy. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

20-fit-in: A Very Happy Valentine’s Day to You

This message is dedicated to those who understand that forever lives but not in every occasion. These individuals understand that bonds break, things change, people grow but the heart’s capacity to love keeps expanding with every occurrence. Therefore their capability to love is not clouded by the occasional deep sadness which can seem eternal and ongoing.

I particularly wrote this post to pass a special message to people special enough to find themselves worthy of unquestionable love. And of course to rebel against those who see no specific need in selectively appreciating the one’s they hold dear to on this very valentine’s day.

Without withholding any love for you, I would like from deep inside my very ability to share love wish you a valentine’s day not short of a happy, beautiful, unapologetic, obsessive, mind-blowing, eyes glowing, smile showing, incredible polite, truly giving, strengthening, heart beating, hope giving, courageous, trustworthy, unconditional love.

I want to remind you that you deserve love because your main constituent is love. Your sole purpose is to love and share love. Hence do celebrate valentine’s day without fear or shame because in doing so, you’re nurturing and growing your heart (and someone else’s) to love more. You’re teaching the heart to be love.

These words are to remind you that love is above everything we’ve ever known. It is the only root that can bear strength and power when the tunnel gets too dark and the journey to destiny seems too long and hard to bare. Yes, along the way some bonds break and its honestly okay to drift apart because some things are long term but not quite forever. Just find new ways and continue to live in love with love for love.

A happy valentine’s day to every heart that beats love, every soul that gives love and every individual that unmistakably knows they are worthy to be loved regardless of their past, circumstance or sin.

Much Love
DevynStella

20-fit-in

Compliments of the season, I’m probably a tab bit late since some of us have gone back to work, hated it and loved it in the same day. However, I do hope that all of us have managed to implement strategies to take us closer to our dreams. While the year was beginning and I was busy conceptualising and implementing my 2015 intentions, I realised that indians, besides the fact that they abhor sharing restrooms with black African people [they wait until it has been cleaned by a very black African – in all cases before entering the same loo] indians don’t quite fit in anywhere. According to them, they are not black and as we all know, they are also not caucasian. So as I have sensed it before, they feel like they are dangling in the middle of greatness (not quite reaching it) and tininess (almost touching it). Anyway let’s save this tea bag for another day. What I really want to talk about is association. Since 2015 is dubbed by quite a large population of the year naming league as 20-fit-in, where do YOU fit in? I know I don’t fit most of the categories people of my standard (whatever that is) are meant to occupy. I remember late last year my indian colleague asked me what do I do with my salary [never-mind the connotations this nonsensical question comes with] because, according to her ‘many black girls go do their hair’. And since I don’t have hair (bald) what else could I use money for?. This is the same colleague that had eyes popping out in amazement when she saw that my under-arms were shaven because as she claimed she has never seen a black girl that shaves [feel free to excuse the ignorance of my colleague who has lived all 23 years of her life in a place where almost 80 percent if not more of the population is black Africans but has NEVER seen a single of them with shaven under-arms]. In all her attempts of trying to make me feel like an exclusive black, she failed dismally because the only thing I felt was being undermined, undervalued and regarded as inhumane because of being ‘black’. Anyway… Getting back to 20-fit-in some kids will be fitting into first grade; touching school grounds for the very first time and learning to sit down and not scream ‘mommy I’m hungry’ whenever they want some attention. I can’t say it will be easy but I won’t say it will be difficult either. One thing I can tell you is that it will be confusing at some point. Sometimes (or most) you won’t see the point of the things you’ll be taught but it will all be great and worth it at the end of the day (unless you have homework). One thing I’ve decided not to fit into this year is a kombi, I’m just tired of arguing over a R1 one morning, waking up an hour early the other morning and I’m just sick of being squashed into the back seat in between people who have ten times the size of my hips (which by the way are almost only visible through binoculars). One great 20-fit-in discovery I made this year though was drawing a conclusion (with the help of a book I was reading) to a question many black South Africans (myself included) have been asking since their emerged democracy (being very questionable); why is black South African history not included in the school curriculum? Well the answer to this question is the same as enquiring to your parents about their personal decisions that have gone wrong. They know the answers, you understand the answers but you still want them to admit they’re not perfect. Our own history is not taught in school because we people who have looked into it know; it fuels anger, it manufactures hate and it makes one realise that the ‘history’ that we’ve been taught is too twisted, too diluted and very untrue. The history which we’re meant to be taught is hidden, carved and shelved because in its true form lies a dark hurting truth; it leaves many unanswered questions. Our history if taught in its natural order of occurrence and truthful form, it can endanger our perceived already crumbling rainbow nation. Anyhow, my greatest fit-in this year is my first taste of democratic freedom; moving into my apartment and out of my parents house for good (praise gawd). Doing more of me, answering to nobody. Darling it smells great, the true smell of democratic freedom and fresh paint. Happy new year to you, make 2015 great. Much Love DevynStella

Xmas in the Hood

There’s no christmas tree or a chimney. You won’t find grandfather frost or any snow man. There’s no going from house to house singing christmas carols or the serving of mince pies as dessert. Its very anormal (and quite disturbing for some) seeing a house with christmas lights and decorations. And just so you know in the hood, we have absolutely no use for christmas crackers and there is also not a single drop of snow just an abundance of sunshine.

You will find presents, they are just not in a stocking under some christmas tree. If you’re hoping for a delicious taste of some good fresh roast turkey, forget it. There is however a variety of tasty meaty dishes. You also have the option to have all of our most favourable salads (mashed potatoes, coleslaw and a beetroot salad) in one plate to form part of our rare ‘seven colours’ meal.

There’s a tradition of love, sharing and ubuntu but how each of these is practised lies solely to the specifications and desires of each household. One thing’s for certain is most urban dwellers return to their ancestral villages to taste that rare embrace only found in each ones roots.

There’s pure smiles, great laughter, through-back stories, catch-up conversations and a real great feast. If you’ve never celebrated christmas in a South African kasi style, I’m sorry to be the bear of bad news but you don’t know life.

We celebrate christmas in a way that only we know how. The christmas trees, decorations and santa claus does not form part of our christmas, its just something we see western people do on western movies and fortunately we haven’t made it part of our traditional way of embracing christmas but that doesn’t mean the commercial world has stopped trying to enforce it unto our lifestyle.

In the hood christmas means an excuse for the kids (and everyone else) to get new clothes, be swagged up and connect with loved ones. Neighbours gather around a table and exchange not only gossip about whose lost a lot of weight but share delicious homemade soul food. Kids walk on the streets to show off their new clothes. ‘Bakers choice assorted’ and a glass of expensive juice is what you get if you go to the neighbours for whatever reason. You also get to be invited for ‘christmas’ by that very friendly neighbour you haven’t seen in a while. And for once, you get to have a well balanced meal.

Christmas is mostly celebrated because it brings families together and love is the main purpose of the day. Some families start the day with a morning church service and others dive straight into christmas lunch preparations. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be merry.

So still on that christmas(y) note; merry christmas to you, I hope you eat, drink and be very merry.

2014 Chronicles: The Year of Drama.

Twenty years of freedom, much has changed and much still remains black and white like the monochromes which are really big and quite annoying (to a certain large extent) if you ask me this year.

After our rallying, staring at the votes being tallied, recovering from the shock of Gareth Cliff’s departure on national radio and ushering Lindiwe Mazibuko into her MBA journey, it was only appropriate to focus on things that were sidelined last year: booty. It comes with no surprise that the bum was in the leading front especially considering that ‘twerk’ found its way into the Oxford dictionary.

Besides the butt though, side chicks were also a very popular subject on #blacktwitter. Most if not all girls were declared side chicks by their tweets or avatars. We went on talking or trying to pin point side dishes but never really had a chance to dissect the subject of side chicks or their  undeniable and not fully understood or ‘accepted’ role. So the subject is still somewhat hanging.

Boitumelo ‘Boity’ Thulo did not only trend for her booty but she sadly trended for having worn the exact same dress as Mama Rebecca Malope, a gospel artist whose probably 30+ years her senior at the South African music awards. Fashion critics say Boity needs a stylist because even her Channel O music awards dress looked like something my mom would have bought at ‘Sales House’ donkey years ago. But that was all none of my business like the very Kermit who took our social media platforms by a hardcore truth which remains none of his business till this day.

Another unbelievable chronicle was that of Linda Sibiya, one of the greatest indigenous language radio jocks of my time being fired from the biggest radio station in Africa – Ukhozi FM without explanation or a send off party. No one was ready for this, it was one of those ‘now you hear me, now you don’t’ moments that leave nothing but unanswered questions behind.  

And then there were some background concert organisers failing to bring Nicki Minaj to South Africa. I’m not sure what’s the story there but it was an epic fail nonetheless.

Onto more serious chronicles; the death of the ‘legendary’ Eddie Zondi. It was a great loss for South African radio especially those who knew him and those who thought they knew him through the wonderful technology that is radio waves. May his soul find everlasting peace. And we’re glad that no loose cannon emerged from twitter claiming to have been carrying his child like it happened to Trevor Noah.

Let’s not forget the biggest beef since the west-side and the east-side saga; the Cassper Nyovest and AKA rival, remembering that we don’t quite know how it really started but the gun blazing subtweets and punchlines are definitely noticeable and a game changer (or a dosage of annoyance).

Another drama this year was that of our girl Bonang B* Matheba and Poppy coconut Ntshongwana, ladies we know a smack down happened there and hairs were pulled we just wish someone had caught it on camera for our eyes to witness. However we’re so glad that y’all sealed that deal with a selfie. Y’all deserve a crown.

Speaking of crowns, Thuli Mandonsela did not only gain momentum in the social scenes but she became famous and a role model. She now has a few awards under her pile of investigations. Congratulations Thuli.

I hope for as long as we live, we won’t forgot Judge Thokozile Masipa who unexpectedly gave us a lesson on law. She failed dismally because we’re still in the dark about ‘dolus eventualis’ and why Oscar Pistorius is a culpable homicidis and not a murderer. Anyway, we know one thing; Reeva Steenkamp is dead because Oscar Pistorius shot her four times in a toilet cubicle. What a bustard!

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Rest in peace champion.

Oscar Pistorius unlike Shrien Dewani, finally going to jail where he rightfully belongs. The sad part is rumours of him getting ‘special’ treatment which somehow is not a surprise in this country of ours where money can speak louder than any words in most given scenarios.

EFF stirring the ship of havoc in parliament, I can’t really tell whether this was the beginning of change or the commencement of a joke that is now our parliament or perhaps validation that we’re indeed a banana republic. Either way I now totally get where Baleka Mbete’s phuza face stems from. The nearest shebeen would be anyone’s first stop after calling grown ass people who refuse to obey into order.

By the way, ‘Black Twitter News’ is still going strong if you’re interested on something new.

In all the adventures that Julius Malema is to embark on, I hope he doesn’t forget that Fikile Mbalula is ‘Mr Miyagi’ to him. Speaking of Mbalula, I hope he gets the social butterfly of the year award at the feather awards.

Anyway…

I don’t have the updates about the boycotting of woolworths which turned into the boycotting of pick ‘n pay, many South Africans, who are convoluted like me, don’t really understand the theory behind the two boycotts and aren’t even bothered about studying it either for they happily continue flooding the stores especially this time of the year.

Ebola, I’ve got no words for this culprit the same way I have no words for TB Joshua and his church of all nations.

The death of Senzo Meyiwa (may his soul rest in peace). That was sad and created an amphitheatre of speculations, finger pointing, tantrum throwing and tons of swearing. The cherry on top was as created by social media platformist’s #notsenzosdad and the #samfie. Social media platformists, especially #blacktwitterists and #blackfacebookers went buck wild.

#Bringbackbhekicele sources haven’t yet confirmed whether social platformists are bored of Piyega’s blank stares which are always accompanied by a residing hairline or they are just fed up with her inability to be proactive. Either way, its christmas on the 25th and each of you is liable to a gift which you are to purchase with your hard earned peanuts.

Steve Hofmeyr claiming that ‘blacks’ were the architects of apartheid. I really can’t say if he’s smoking something bad, needs to un-Steve himself, or its just his brain cells deteriorating. Anyway, that twar (which somehow landed in court) with our adopted #blacktwitter news anchor ‘Chester Missing’ was unnecessary Steve and will never un-Steve your boer racist ass.  

Gareth Cliff saying Senzo Meyiwa didn’t deserve a state funeral. We acknowledge and most importantly appreciate the practise of freedom of speech but not when we’re still in practice of our freedom to moan. Locate your chill Gareth please.

We usually throw tantrums, especially in January when we realise that we were not only generous with food but with the money to send kids back to school on that aunt who only comes to visit once in ten years as well. The ANCYL did us some marvel by throwing chairs, whether this was to determine the chairman or express dissatisfaction, its still not clear.

Kelly Khumalo, did some of y’all expect her to hibernate after Senzo Meyiwa’s death even though she has a sizzling single? You might not like her but ‘asinne’ is a dope track.

The come back of the secretly anticipated #GenerationsLegacy. What a confusing first episode, I guess its true what they say, anticipation is the bearer of the greatest disappointment. The second episode was much better so for that reason, we shall drink to hopefully more exciting episodes.

2014 chronicles are not chronicle enough if Eskom remains unmentioned. Let me just say this, Eskom you really, really suck but I kinda like the load shedding in shopping centres simple because it represents a good projection on my bank balance, until your projected 13% increase on electricity tariffs kicks in of course.

I hope Cassper Nyovest and Amanda Du Pont’s kiss seals the deal for much longer than the Mamphele Ramphele and Helen Zille kiss. Speaking of which, compatriots, where is Agang?

 

***For general enquiries sake, the above chronicles are in anything BUT chronological order of occurrence because when things happen in my country, there’s everything but chronological order.

The Month-end Township Prayer

I’ve never lived in any renowned township or any fully fledged township either. But I have visited one if not two well recognised townships of my beloved rainbow nation.

With my observing techniques, I can without a doubt tell you that month end is a big deal in townships, not only because the thieves are out in numbers or because a group of females paying a visit to the neighbour’s house across the road is a suspected secret stokvel meeting but the mood on the streets is on a level of a different kind.

There are very short mini-skirts here, beers passing from one hand to the next there and a neighbours kid knocking on a door asking for their mother’s long overdue ‘parcel’ over there.

The jukebox is playing all the songs with a heavy bass line, inducing dance moves from the little kids playing on the streets. The spaza shop that is slowly turning into a tavern is opened for twenty four hours and by dawn, you’re bound to hear some off-tune gospel hymns sang by the now very drunk citizens.

Kombi’s are working overtime (read speeding) and giving very little if any damn at all about the potholes, your groceries spilling out of grocery bags or your head bumping the kombi’s roof everytime the kombi makes contact with a speed hump.

Gossip ring leaders are camping outside their mother’s houses scanning every passerby, their outfit, what they’re carrying and have a feast out of their personal story or just create one if there isn’t any.

Loan sharks are on every corner making sure no one crosses their line.

However, everything that happens in townships, even the ones who struggle to be townships, is the prayer of most if not all township dwellers.

This prayer is either prayed internally or in pure action, never out loud;

Our month end who is at the end of the week, hallowed be thy weekend, thy drunkenness come, thy will be done on Friday immediately after work. Give us the long queues, including our beloved KFC and forgive us Edgars for your bills will remain in arrears. Our kids shall knock on doors of those who owe us ‘parcels’. Lead us not into mashonisa’s den but deliver us at the nearest shebeen. For yours is the hangover on Sunday, skipping church and trying to catch up on sleep. The realisation come and thy weekend vanished with our money. Roads lead to ‘Pep loan’ (Capfin) for partying to ‘towner‘ has left us forgetting about our kid’s overdue school fees. We regret you for now and we shall eat bread with no butter until next month end come. Amen.

This prayer is another form of a ‘sad black story’ (there are many of those in townships of South Africa); many talents are never nurtured, too much time is wasted on nothing, skills are neglected, opportunities are missed and many (sometimes unnecessary) debts are created due to a variety of things including inferiority complex and a lack in desire to seek relevant information. Hence we solely rely on a singular source of income that is not only dissatisfactory but never enough to sustain even an average living standard. This is a pit hole we need to rise above from at a much more faster rate than we’re doing right now.

Dear Halloween

I’m not hundred percent aware if you know this fact but I have not the slightest clue as to how you made your way into my life and your intentions with me thereof. Either way, I think if you have plans of staying in my life, you better introduce yourself anew.

Looking from a very far distance, I can tell that the hood isn’t really your cuppa tea. I say this because I’ve never really seen you there and the ‘hood people’ don’t really know you or your purpose – if you have one that is. In fact they seem not to give a cent about you and the fact that you exist in some supposedly creepy dress-up party. And that’s really the business of this address.

I want to enquire about your guts, because by the looks of your eeriness, you seem to have a bus full of those.

I was rather taken by an unsettling spookiness when an email about you was on my work email address from my superiors telling me to make an effort to dress up for your I-don’t-really-see-the-need do. Darling me! I thought to my self.

Where did halloween come from that I’m now suddenly reminded to dress up for by the same people who didn’t bother to remind me about buying charcoal for braai day, dressing up for heritage day or even reminded my indian colleagues to dress up for their ‘diwali’.

I’m definitely not being told to dress up in some demonic looking outfit when there’s no pay cheque to match or a cake for that matter. Because amongst many other things this could put my life inside the gun line and I could end up enduring the life threatening eye of disapproval from my very born-again-christian mother who might in the process arrange me some counselling sessions with the pastor.

I don’t want to lie the I-will-penetrate through work via her wardrobe and straight into her life method proved that your guts are sprinkled with an overdose of confidence but truth remains, you’re not my cuppa tea especially because you have no solid roots that I can associate with.

Just so you know, I outgrew horror movies a dinosaur years ago and I find dress up occasions with an outfit you-will-never-use-again time consuming and financially unsound. As such, my understanding of your relevance (that’s if you’re even relevant) is peaking at zero-point-zero. Why are oversized off-ish, not so spooky and cut into almost creative shapes pumpkins the centre of your celebration? Wait…*palm hand*.

In a sweet, natural and very short format; halloween, what is your claim to fame? And why are you at my workplace over-working people’s imagination on unearthly outfits?

I am Not Ready to Forgive Oscar Pistorius

I can recall the first time I truly felt the spark and connection towards the treasure that soon became our heroic ‘blade-runner’; Oscar Pistorius. He ran like a beast. He made the race tracks seem like they were engineered solely for his fulfilment. He was the spectator’s inspiration. Our very own African dream.

Oscar without knowing, made watching the paralympics a proud moment for most if not all South Africans. I and many of my compatriots were very proud of him.

The 14 of February 2013 was a shock that due to twitter became a subject of comedy. I couldn’t believe it. Because Oscar could do no wrong even that murmur of him complaining about his blades, I couldn’t take that serious.

How could a harmless looking fellow be a woman killer? My head is struggling to make sense.

I didn’t know Reeva (I will never know her) or even heard of her before. There were pictures. She was beautiful and there was a sense of calmness visible through her face. Her pictures revealed a well thought-out, humble and loving soul. A woman more worthier than taking her last breath in a toilet cubicle.

The Oscar trial revealed quite disturbing news about our heroic blade-runner; a gun enthusiast, a bully and an anger fuelled man. This was a beast. A beast that out of God knows what, shot and killed a woman that ‘wish-fully’, had dreams to nurture and love him for the rest of his life.

The way I had felt about Oscar Pistorius the double amputee runner took a complete turn when I met Oscar Pistorius the culpable homicide convict. The passion was gone. The inspiration had disappeared and I could no longer look at him with adoration. I had been deceived, betrayed and convoluted. But most critically, I had overworked my imagination trying to make some sense of the situation in my head.

At some point, I thought Oscar would take time out of his then messy schedule and apologise. The same way he took time out to remember his twitter password to write inspirational words. But this time he would apologise to us, the people who never knew Reeva but loved and supported him; the people he unknowingly deceived and traumatised. But I hope he will see the need and clarify to us someday.

In my mind and heart, I can’t forgive Oscar Pistorius because besides the fact that he killed someone who had no means to escape the shots and then oddly screamed like a woman, his side of the story infuriates me more than it should put things into perspective. Secondly, Oscar is proving to be a lousy bugger that sees absolutely no business in ‘veritas’ and makes very little if any attempt at all to acknowledge his flaws.

Even though I pity him at this stage, I cannot picture Oscar running like he can, flying our South African flag high and passionately singing our South African national anthem in a certain paralympic game. My mind won’t allow it. And I’m ready to allow my mind to allow it.

Why I Don’t Like English

I dislike english because I feel she is a complex being for a girl who already has a complicated situation.

I met english at the tender age of 10 (or is it 12?) before then I don’t quite remember any memories of our meetings if there were ever any. She was happily delivered to me via books and sentences I didn’t get why were not crafted in a language I can understand when they were specifically drafted with me in mind.

Anyway, if you must know, I speak ‘partly broken’ english and I absolutely have no vision of improving it even though I day dream of a sexy blue eyed, brown haired and broad shouldered British english speaking close friend that my future promises to deliver when my eyes are closed.

English, besides the fact that she introduced and built a mansion in my territory without my consent, lovely english my dear friend is a bad adopted relative.

Firstly, she doesn’t know her place. She wants to be noticed even on occasions where she absolutely has no business attending. Like when I have to explain to my grandmother who doesn’t understand english the process of sending a fax. I mean I can happily do this in my IsiZulu but no english wants to be there, sticking her english self out, confusing the heck out of my grandmother and rendering my illustrations invalid.

Secondly, english is disrespectful. Everytime I try to have a decent conversation with someone of english descent and all eyes are on me because I’m making some profound point, she without informing me, sleeps away from my tongue and I’m left with the unfortunate journey of searching my messy brain archive for the word I wanted to actually utter because the one in my head doesn’t quite fit the conversation and if it does, it will make me sound like a group of students on a presentation they know not enough about. So I stare into nothingness leaving everyone in that awkwardly annoying suspense like they’re viewing a non-stop buffering youtube video.

Another thing which english does that turns my beautifully brown african skin from navy to almost charcoal grey with anger is directions. Even though I haven’t established it, I’m quite not the greatest when it comes to explaining and describing situations and circumstances in english but I hope I’ve established that I’m not to blame for that.

English always succeeds in making me sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to directions. Good thing I don’t say up when I mean down but I definitely say left when I mean right. And I sometimes say isle when I mean passage. My mind always sees it but english fails to own it in my tongue and translate it with my mouth.

English is unreliable and just plain conniving but people still don’t boycott her. She has a whole range of multiple affixes that when given the chance, enjoy a good but unnecessary laugh out of my english learning Africans. In fact affixations take the cup of joyfully confusing me and my people.

Although me and english are still in a tug of war about seeing eye to eye when it comes to daily use, I continue to write in english because (though I say so myself) its the only time I do english some justice and she doesn’t embarrass me that much. And yes, that’s about the only time where I adhere to not only understandable but acceptable english standards.

I am Single Because…

The man who is according to my very long and detailed fantasy list suppose to be cuddling with me at night went down the isle whilst I was busy grieving after being cheated on by a man who was not only all kinds of pathetic but still maintains his highly regarded occupation of being a skillful and discreet serial womaniser.

Another thing is the man who’s meant to be with me is sceptical about the whole of me. He has professionally friend-zoned me by insisting that the five year gap between us makes him too old to have anything intimate to do with me. He keeps referring to an ex of mine everytime things start to get cosy and an inch too magical between us. He asks irrelevant questions like how many guys I’ve gone down with, as if undermining or maybe weighing my womanhood and my ability to receive and give love.

I’m also single because the not so gentle man who wants to be with me is undoubtedly not my type. Type in this particular case implies his very dry and sexually centred sense of humour that gives me cringes and annoyance in equal measure. His dominating demeanour leaves me listening to stories of his success and achievements hundred percent of the time when the only thing I need is to be held and caressed in calming silent. He is undoubtedly not my type because a conversation only makes sense to him if after his acclaimed capabilities to explore the female body (body being an undertone in this instance) ends in nakedness and an orgasm.

In all honesty, I’m single because giving and receiving love has been reduced to dirty talk, nude pics and shagging the living life out of each other’s physicality. In all of this, the heart is sidelined, its attention desired but its whole affection unattended to. Getting a sex partner seems more important than getting to know a person. And here I stand, single because all I really want are little things that grow a person in remarkable ways. Like a pair of ears, that will have interest on the occurrences of my journey and shed light unto my challenges. A mouth and a tongue that will not just be happy to lock with my lips and tongue. But lips and tongue that will create words that will mould not only me but that which we’re trying to build.

So yes I know, I’m single because amongst many other things, I’m asking for far too much from a world of individuals who pride themselves about giving zero fucks and I’m very aware that this can’t be the world I signed up to. I’m unable to adapt and I could very well be slowly dying. Perhaps they are right, I should just get a highly educated psychologist and a good motivational read because times have changed and no one saw it fit to email me the newsletter.

Very Intelligent Opinion. I Just Wish You Had a Pay-cheque to Match

This is my imaginary viewpoint everytime a social media platformist makes an unsolicited but philosophical and well structured comment about an issue that is anything but of concern to them.

Social media platformists, in case you’re quite busy with your business to know, are not philanthropists. Most of them just want to look good at the very delicate expense of your data or the neighbour’s wifi in some rare cases, solely because they choose to focus on things they have no business focusing on.

We watch them go from ‘eggs’ to ‘fam’ and finally graduate to *drum roll* bastards! Unfortunately and fortunately this happens every day but its none of our business until they end-up, for some silly odd reason, on our ‘mentions’. And when that annoying error happens, critical decisions need to be made.

As you might have noticed in your own life, there is a gap of intense emotions before every critical decision, unless you’re the I’ll go-with-the-flow because I have no sense of direction kind of person. Otherwise its only natural that there’s a critical decision for every mention/status that leaves your heart bumping in a slightly higher or worse still, lower rate. During this gap of emotions, there’s deep thought followed by, in shuffle order, a moment of wanting to be a ninja and rip the other person’s being into pieces or a moment of wanting to be plain cool and let it all go like Mandela.

Example:

first online mistake, making people think you're weak and incapable

online suicide: making people believe you’re weak and incapable

I'm trying to be nice, reserved while keeping the 140 characters in check.

I’m trying to be nice, reserved while keeping the 140 characters in check.

judgement day delivered

judgement day delivered

I'm fuming internally

I’m fuming internally

The strange yet accepted phenomenon about social media is that even though you are very aware that you don’t know me, never met me or never seen me or a picture that resembles me without the prestige artification of photo-shop. You still somehow, out of your hectic schedule, find time to be consumed by emotions and impose on me your misguided and misinformed opinion. The nerve to question my secretly kept unless you know me constituents!

I am not quite certain if this information has ever been exposed in close proximity of social media platformists’ territory but nobody wants to be imposed or judged more especially by people who know very little to nothing about their being. However it seems more and more social media beings seek the need to tell people they do not know what is worthy and what is the understood and acceptable standard of going about their lives.

Here is something for the consumption of your data: there is absolutely nothing wrong with constructive criticism, especially if the person at the receiving end values your thoughts which are tweets that are opinions. Its always a great deed to engage one’s self in nation building. However, imposing, judging and over analysing matters that add zero value to your gas exchange processing is uncalled for and quite time consuming if you asked me.

On the other very far end, perhaps you should spend your time dissecting tweets because hey, the thoughts of their engineers are important to you. They influence your daily routines and who/what you really are. I’ve secretly thought about it, the prestige, value and impact mere tweets have on some people. But I was also worried, maybe we are an obscured generation whose not responsible for what they read or can’t even choose what influences to sponge on. Therefore our only source of information becomes our peers’ ideologies. So we feel some sort of entitlement to their thoughts because in some important way, they represent who we are.

After all has been said and nothing done, everyone should utilise social media freely and whilst practising our freedom of social media, if its not too late, can we let this, social media rudeness which is more often portrayed as sarcasm as the standard every ‘tweep’ should live by go and channel our energies into bringing unemployment to extinction.

Channelled Complaining

Almost every ‘HelloPeter’ snob if not every human being has a reason to complain or throw an overly exaggerated negative comment or two.

Social media serves as proof that most of us have not only found an entertainment value on otherwise previously ugly and uninteresting faces. But we have also managed to make a non-profitable career out of being extremely mean and devising endless complaints.

Booing of certain or all brands and ideas has managed to find and extend its niche from soccer fields to social media—making a safe land into our society. As a result we have completely sidelined or perhaps forgotten the reason behind placing a complaint or ‘making your voice heard’ as some rephrase it.

Last week my long haired indian colleague found a strand of hair on her morning made ‘freshly’ packaged sandwich. Hell broke loose, someone had clearly let the dogs out because the office went buck wild, except for silly old fashioned me.

My colleague, like a mad lady whose about to Solange ‘the Beast’ Knowels some cheap gum chewing low-life her husband openly cheats with, gathered her entourage faster than you can say ‘spin kick’, while expressing her fuming state on social networks. The loud mouthed, crap talking ring leader was right in front. Looking off-ish.

I stared at the encounter as one often does when ‘the Fixer’ series unfolds.

A moment later in they came with a new sandwich. Profound, right?

Yes because you’ve never found hair on your homemade food and the chef would probably pull a piece of hair out of her head intentionally just to spite you because you’re the ‘tweleb’ that curved her brother but kept making it hotter for her man on DM’s.

My point is, make your unsatisfactory service concerns heard accordingly; if there is ‘accordingly’ when you’ve been served a vegan burger after specifically ordering a steak relish. Anyway, address the matter in a manner that will not make it seem like you’re declaring war or intending to fight or file a law suit. Rather do it in a manner that will discourage the occurrence of bad service for good ‒ professionally.

Of course you should be firm but avoid appearing as militant, for there is nothing more annoying than seeing people who complain only to make us (the rest of the customers) realise how great their shouting and demanding skills are when combined with disrespect and sheer arrogance.

It cannot be denied that sometimes the service provided is filthy, unprofessional and infuriating one could be propelled into high-pitched voices and forceful behaviour however one needs to learn to control their temper and behaviour when channelling a matter as critical as a complaint.

So next time you place a complaint, and by this term I’m not in any form referring to those big white folks wearing shorts behind a long queue in a grocery store shouting at the cashier just after a minute of being in the queue. Rather a complaint in this case would mean following the appropriate protocol of certifying that a concern is heard and acted upon. Do it accordingly and professionally.

Don’t be a difficult customer for the sake of being difficult.

RIP Robin Williams

I have thought about death more than once. It could be lingering in my subconscious as you read but you’re allowed to overlook that because such thoughts are sinister encounters experienced by those who fail miserable to face life head on.

Depression is a serious issue and its a pity that our society sees it as ‘state of mind’ for the weakly.

I may have not known what Robin really battled with but I’m saddened that he couldn’t overcome it.

I can’t imagine the dark pit hole he found himself drowning in after a ‘magnificent’ day of making nations laugh.

The worst part about depression is that the sufferer tries so many times to internally and personally deal with it before the rest of the world takes notice. Sometimes people remain quiet because the stigma associated with the condition is so enormous you’ll only feel it once you personally suffer from depression.

I respect that through all your silent and spoken battles, you were still able to make others laugh.

Rest in everlasting peace Robin Williams and I pray that your loved ones have enough strength not to question your decision but love you always.

Black People of KFC

“we are KFC”

Today, tomorrow, KFC; everyday is a good day to have KFC in a black household.

KFC is to black people what a discount is to Indian people.

The same way whites believe that Woolworths brings the best produced foods. We black people also believe that no chicken comes close to KFC.

“love is KFC”

 Some black people don’t even care what KFC stands for (and I won’t bore you with the expansion either) as long as the chicken tastes great.

The black middle class has KFC for lunch, on pay day.

In food courts, I have seen more KFC on black people’s tables than I’ve seen in any KFC outlet.

“cherish your KFC”

I’ve seen and learnt that KFC rules majority of black people’s households.

How has the black market taken advantage of their love for KFC? They are employed at every KFC and KFC is hardly if ever robbed at all.

If you hear them say ‘kentucky’, they are saying KFC in codes but it doesn’t mean they know what KFC stands for.

How many KFC outlets are black owned? Probably not enough but that’s not important to us as long as our monthly budget can accommodate KFC.

How many black people want to own KFC? (This is our posterity after all) probably not many BUT I can guarantee you that many want to purchase a bucket of KFC on pay day or wellfare payout day.

If you’ve never seen many black people happy at the same time in one place, you’ve never given a lot of black people in one venue KFC.

We black people like KFC so much we have our own imitation KFC version especially set aside and unleashed for delicate occasions like weddings and funerals.

If you’ve never seen black people queueing for hours for food they are paying for willingly, you’ve never been to a KFC outlet month end.

“we die for KFC”

And some black ladies say if he’s never taken you out to/bought you KFC, they have news for you.

KFC is the light at the end of every black person’s month.

“no weapon formed against KFC and black people shall prosper”

Black people can also be full of it some say KFC smells yuck when you’re finally loaded and pay day doesn’t mean much but smells great when your lips and pockets are equally dry as the undrinkable savanna.

After it all has been written and disagreed upon; there is a KFC story inside every black person.

“glory be to KFC”

Set the Unemployed Free

This is for those who are searching but haven’t yet found. Tomorrow is going to be a good day, they strengthen themselves. Thank heavens somebody found brilliance in today, they silently pray.

If you’re a cold-hearted insensitive bustard, bloody lucifer this aint for you.

And before I go too far, my hands were practising free-writing and my fingers were on steroids when I wrote this – TboTouch owes me a horn*. So you might not like the way my liberated brain outwardly expressed itself.

In the mix of everything don’t mistake slurs for sarcasm or visa versa.

Looking for work is (raise your glass of approval) a draining, impoverishing son of a street kid. She is raised by begging, monitored by fellows and crushed by ‘friends’. She is always on the run, trying to be at the right place, the right time, making connections with the right people. But oh what an unlucky hustler, she is more often than not, uhmm not the right candidate—bloody unsuccessful. ‘Unfortunately’ her emails read.

If you’ve never had to look for work, bless you. If you’re looking for work, bless you. And if you don’t let people know of companies that are hiring, bless you some more.

Being without a job is a bucket load of things. Unemployment is one excruciating affliction better known only to the internal being of the unemployed.

Seeking employment sucks – a devilish scripted melodrama. An unforgettable roller coaster ride from the ‘final destination’ if you know what I mean.

You spend money with hopes of making more in the near future just to impress people who might be put off by the fact that you’ve gone an extra mile.

And sometimes its confusing; others claim that you’re over-qualified whilst others will tell you that they’re looking for someone with more experience. Like?!?

So you can never be certain when looking for work.

Sometimes the weird thing is walking out of that interview feeling like a champion, knowing that you nailed the interview to the wall but still don’t get hired. What’s even worse however is that you don’t even know what you did wrong. But what the heck, maybe interviewers are also like Simon Cowell – just there to fuddle your brain.

Stress is altogether undeniable for employment seekers. Proving to a company that you can do the work that they might not employ you for is one helluva task. Its like trying to explain to your 90 year old grandpa why scrolling down people’s thoughts—which are sometimes plain lies, is so addictive.

And then the convincing. You have to act like you completely love the company and the shit they do. Behave as if nothing will excite you more than working for them – like you don’t have bills to pay and clothes to buy.

After you’ve gone through all of that, they shove you into the rejection corner and go for someone whose less competent, less driven and less capable of doing the job but speaks better English. And they leave you asking yourself the necessity of the interview process.

After a while of wasting money attending interviews, attempting to look your best and speaking the queens language like its your second nature, you’re still not hired.

You need a break because fuck this job hunting shit—its draining. To an extent, it is demoralising, demotivating and depressing.

And in the midst of all the ‘de’ noted words, there are employers. Geezus! Some are ruthless, some are kind others are two-faced and the rest tweet rubbish.

So can we just take a minute and set the unemployed free. Stop looking at them with pity. Stop calling them lazy. Stop wanting them to buy you shit. Stop bragging to them about your shits. Stop telling them they can do it for themselves because you also once had a shitty job. Just stop it. Stop being shit.

Start creating more opportunities. Start grooming entrepreneurs while they are still young. Start supporting SME’s. Start teaching young ones financial management. Start supporting and uplifting your fellow compatriots. Start giving youngsters more than just motivational talks. Start giving people relevant and useful information. Start something.

Being unemployed is difficult. It lowers one’s self esteem. It makes one wonder what is it that they do not have or if they have chosen the right path.

So please, let’s give the unemployed a break-through other than a breaking point.

One more thing, let’s stop judging people who are doing jobs that seem petty to us because nobody knows anybody’s journey.

Thank you
DevynStella

*a horn is a noise that TboTouch ‒  a very energetic drive time radio jock from one of South Africa’s prominent radio stations makes for his listeners who are on ‘steroids’ (as he usually puts it) as a ‘thumps-up’ acknowledgement.

Father’s Day and South Africa

Children are angry, women are heartbroken and fathers are still on the run. This is the grievous reality of many South Africans. Nevertheless, it does not take away from the order of the day.

Its Father’s day in South Africa today, so a very happy and blessed father’s day to all fathers even those outside South Africa.

South Africa is going through change and many will wonder why things have changed for the worst but the answer will not be of public knowledge but rather an introspection for every citizen to look at what their role has been.

One thing I know for a fact is that a sour attitude towards each other and continuous acts of encroachment is what will always stand against our unity and fruition.

#endfathersday

#endfathersday trends

Be it a hoax or the truth for some, I still don’t get why wrath of this magnitude can have an effect so great it tops our ‘trends map’ a day before father’s day. Maybe I’ve drastically failed to understand the pain but I do however feel the rage and I’ve also seen the harm it can do.

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame, Benjamin Franklin once said.

And the question I’m asking is, how long will we allow wrath and anguish to shame our future?

Allow me to be completely honest; if this was two years ago, I would have seen nothing wrong with the hashtag and the reason for this post would have been unnecessary because then, my father was according to my perception nothing worthy of honour, appreciation or celebration.

He was just a man who met my beloved mother and decided to give her a baby while he went on with his daily adventures and pretending to like the idea of my existence. Before my eyes, the only person he gave special attention to was none but himself.

However, this is a new year and this year is a special year. I want to for the first time with honour, compassion and appreciation wish my father a blissful and blessed father’s day filled with lots of food, jokes and maskandi music – some of the things my father would rather be caught dead than live without besides his family of course.

Daddy…
With wishing you a grand father’s day, I also want to tell you that I’ve forgiven all those years you spent working instead of being with me; reading me a bedtime story, teaching me how to escape washing the dishes, defending me against mom’s scoulding or maybe telling me my awfully crayon coloured drawings are pretty.

Today is about you and your role in my life which you took upon even though you were not 100 percent ready but took part and did what you could. I will not crucify you for things you were not able to do but I will always remember the things you managed to do.

Happy father’s day daddy dearest and I really do think you’re a great dad and an exceptional father even though there is room for improvement like there is room for me to be a better daughter.

:)
DevynStella

Observations. Life. Critical and Sensible Experiences

YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE LIFE, MAKE OBSERVATIONS, AND ASK QUESTIONS. Dante Smith.

OBSERVATIONS
The toilet is a room for thought when you don’t have your own personal space.

Its all fun and dreams when you’re sweet sixteen living under your parent’s wing. But reality invades your life, hard-work introduces itself and life begins without your consent.

People are likely to choose money over time and they spend most of their lifetime chasing money. That’s why we have a nation of people who do not have time for other equally or more important responsibilities.

Winning is such a great feeling. If winning is not in your reality, keep it in your brain. Just keep winning.

Courage is everything.

Constant encounter of disappointment is discouraging and very damaging to one’s esteem. Too many disappointments make one lower their standards and expectations.

Laziness is concealed discouragement.

Loud mouths are slackers.

Parents find it difficult to accept when their children have different views to that of their own. Especially where religion is concerned.

Creativity never expires it matures and grows exponentially when nurtured.

New media is prestige and comes with dire consequences when misused.

IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY THIS GAME OF LIFE YOU NEED TO APPRECIATE EVERY MOMENT. Kanye West.

LIFE
Every generation sees the flaws of another.

Everyday has its own plans no matter how strategic you plan.

Money is strength, it makes situations lighter.

Life changing growth results after intense suffering.

When one gets initiated into adulthood, challenges get really tough.

People tend to have more opinions over other people’s situations.

You will suffer greatly for your desires. But when you don’t have basic needs you suffer the worst form of affliction.

You get paid for what you’re good at but greatly rewarded for what you’re passionate about.

When you’re young nobody tells you that anguish is when you’ve given your all to achieving something but still remain JUST not good enough.

Child headed households are due to misfortunes and faults of the parents.

People will always want what they don’t have.

I BROKE INTO SHAKESPEARE’S TOMB AND STOLE HIS REMAINS, GRINDED THE BONES, SMOKED IT, THEN GOT IN THE GAME. Nasir Jones.

CRITICAL and SENSIBLE EXPERIENCES
Annoyed is when you’re living under your parents wing and experiencing a restricted level of yourself.

Sleepy is the condition you get after you’ve spend your bedtime credit social media networking.

Happiness is the totality of your effort coming into fruition.

Constipation is when you want to move out of your parent’s house but money disagreeing with you.

Confusion is when you don’t get what you want and have to work with what you don’t have in order to create what you like.

Freedom is when you do what you’ve never thought you’d do and amazingly exceptional at it.

Peace is when you allow only one hopeful thought to occupy your mind without any physical distraction.

Brand Essentials

First things first we, social media platformists are just as annoyed of the never ending twars in celebville as Mr Nel was of Oscar’s non ending teary outbursts at the witness stand.

Social media platforms are always abuzz with one thing or the other. If its not pure revenge its an internal unspoken but subtweeted rival of some sort. In some cases, its a blurry cellphone captured video that goes viral leaving nothing but speculations behind. Something out of the norm is always brewing on these streets.

With the elections adding to the noise, the past few weeks on South African social media platforms were as busy as a cleaner after a dress up party that turned into a food fight event. Good things were done, terrible things were said and people’s health status were left at our eyes exposure.

As social media spectators, we’ve learnt that while other brands may maintain a reasonable accepted level of integrity others have managed, with their own thumbs, to degenerate a great percentage of their pleasant appeal to the masses.

Brand equity and brand management is always tested on social media and sadly many brands get taken by the whirlwind. [Nonhle Thema we love you].

With the rise of new media, brands have gained an advantage which in the past fifteen years was not available for them. We have seen some good new media adaptations and absolutely awful ways of trying to understand new media that came with volatile consequences to the brand. [I’m not side-eyeing Anthony Weiner].

Therefore it is wise to remember the following essentials throughout the craft or leisure of social media networking for a brand:

>>>> Practice quality. Daily. Whatever you communicate to or with your audience must be of good quality.

>>>> Be creative but also very mindful of the way you use and apply words.

>>>> Use proper language. If you communicate in IsiZulu, certify that you use correct sentence construction and correct words.

>>>> Innovation is key to maintaining social media users. However do not lose the essence and identity of your brand.

>>>> Excellence. Maintain a level of excellence that is in line (or higher) with your brand.

>>>> Your surroundings and atmosphere might influence your mood and thoughts, but learn to focus on what’s important for your brand.

>>>> Update casually, think professionally – be fun whilst maintaining an adequate level of sophistication.

>>>> When confusion, misconception and circumstances cloud your brand from flourishing, go back to the drawing board and rediscover the identity of your brand.

>>>> Maintain an exceptional level of professionalism. Stay away from twars!

>>>> Social media is a function for marketing. Utilise it for awareness, revenue or more users not revenge.

>>>> Don’t you ever undermine the intelligence of your audience. Know that you’re dealing with smart and social media savvy consumers.

>>>> Commit to learning. Be it your consumers, your colleagues or humility at large, just learn in order to do better the next day.

>>>> Be vigilant, social media is not as predictable as the weather because its people and people are not easily predictable. Always keep your eyes open.

>>>> Whatever you choose to do never forget that brand integrity can be volatile.

Brand equity is everything a brand has which is why it is important that a brand chooses wisely conversations to dive into in the social media networking world.

And lastly, in your ventures of providing a brand that is of great value to the people it services, remember the words of the late Maya Angelou; people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Move people with your brand!

Anger Reservoirs and Bad Business

Bad business is when angry unsatisfied individuals are in business.

As individuals we need to accept who we are and acknowledge that things will not always go as planned.

Good business is knowing your business and carrying the vision of the business with pure passion, love and less to no anger.

As human beings, love and abundance was bestowed within us. Although we are heedless sometimes, we remain vessels of genuine love.

But…

Why are We Angry?

In a straight forward answer, we are angry because we seek things that were stored within our own selves amongst everything but the very self in which the satisfaction we need was accorded to.

Some may argue that anger is sometimes an involuntary response that one is unable to control. Point taken but the important question here is who should possess control over another’s emotions?

Look at it this way…

Not everyone makes it a point each day to do something special for the self. The self, due to other responsibilities that appear more important, is often left longing for appreciation and complete love from its own.

Meaning, we seek the answers, love and appreciation in everyone and everything but ourselves. We have time for everyone but ourselves. We are compassionate and care but not for ourselves. In the equation of life, we have forgotten our own voice, our own positive emotions and our very own happiness. We have become victims of continuous dissatisfaction.

Crucial point…

Anger or any other antagonistic emotion expressed towards the other is bad for the self but it is terrible for business. It could be any form of business. Don’t be angry and in business, it is not a fruitful combination.

The work place (especially) is or should be a civil institution where antagonism or negative energy of any kind is forbidden for it does not grow or maintain the vision of the business.

I say this because I’m tired of meeting angry, continuously complaining unsatisfied business individuals.

Here’s what I’ve figured…

Some jealousy rooted lack that can make us anger reservoirs and bad for business;

***People we undermined have succeeded beyond our expectations.

***We have never loved at all.

***We have loved but lost and don’t understand why or how.

***We feel threatened and violated.

***We can’t express how we feel.

***We are haunted by the past.

***We believed in things that led us not to the promised destiny.

***Nobody is willing to listen or and understand.

***Fear and doubt clouds who we really are.

***We are in battle with the spirit.

***We seek self identity in wrong platforms.

***The people who were meant to love us, deceived and hurt us.

***Who we are is shadowed by fear of being victims of the past.

***We are misunderstood.

***We do not fully trust our own judgement.

***We do not understand.

***We are misinformed.

***We have focused on things that have gone wrong.

***We’re taking each day as a battle of proving a point to everyone else but ourselves.

***We have not allowed ourselves to completely love who/what we are.

Love may have not healed the world, yet. But anger can always be diminished by completely allowing love to shine brighter than the darkness of anger.

Always remember; anger overshadows the absolute flourishing of the business.

Helpful article: anger management

Do You Address or Disregard Silent Treatment?

They suggest that ‘sometimes’ silence is possibly the most powerful scream and serves as an indication of something being terribly wrong. I agree and also adduce that silence is sometimes the killer of its bearer.

Shutting your voice does not promise that you will be heard for silent treatment does not always translate the message intended.

As an occasional loud mouth and a typical analyst I’m more likely to observe things that people prefer to keep under their never to be discovered scarred past. And its never easy bringing such matters in the forefront because you are likely to end up a loner by circumstance.

Regardless I still maintain one thing; I don’t do silent protests. When something’s up I will make it crystal clear so there is no room for speculation. This goes hand in hand with mastering the art of speaking your mind and upsetting people in the process.

Silent treatments are monstrous and compelling creatures. My first ‘serious’ experience was as weird as all silent treatments go, I think. And I can also attest to learning absolutely nothing from this encounter.

Hence I recently got served my second serious relish of zero words. The silent was deafening – it exuded stillness of greatest annoyance. That was possibly the whole idea. But to add to my already ongoing series of convolutions, I’m still unclear as to what was meant to happen or perhaps what was I meant to do.

I begged (mind you I’m great at that) pleaded until the doors of the mouth opened and a voice came out – unexpectedly. I was shocked for a moment. And when we started talking again I wasn’t sure whether to apologise some more or continue with life as though all was forgotten.

I’ve however learnt something from the incident; people silent treat you because they are either completely fed up with you or completely do not have the capacity to handle the truth.

I don’t argue with the way each person expresses displeasure but I don’t like guessing if I’m the culprit or you’re just fed up with life – it happens.

So if this gigantic silent monster comes my way in the near future I’m still not yet certain how to handle it or if I should even handle it.

Therefore my question is: how does one handle silent treatment?

Anormal Things People Ask Master Google

Some say Google knows the answers to Chuck Norris’s thoughts before they cross his mind.

Others argue this with ‘facts’ that Google refuses to publish.

Either way, this is for those who swerve to Google every time they are faced with a seemingly impossible question.

I personally Google a whole lot but my Google history remains the biggest yawn in fact its so dull it could bore Chuck Norris to death. But I know you’re the ‘hip’ in hip hop and put cool in ‘daddy cool’.

So tell me if you may, how fascinating is your Google history?

What are the strangest things you’ve asked Google?

And does Google really have ALL the answers?

Well, if you thought almighty Google has all the answers, you might want to sweep off that thought right after reading these not so average questions people grill Google with.

CAUTION! you might be tempted to finding the answers.

So, here goes the 21 berserk things people ask Google:

»»»How drunk can you get on a first ‘club hopping’ date
»»»How painful is it to break your virginity
»»»Do porn stars enjoy their scenes
»»»How did ugly Jay-Z get Beyonce
»»»How to steal a man
»»»Am I in my boyfriend’s future plans
»»»Who was the first person on earth
»»»How many times is one suppose to go to the loo
»»»How are pills made
»»»Is smoking weed a sin
»»»How to twang
»»»Zimbabwe’s got talent
»»»How to prevent cellulite
»»»How to eat junk and not get fat
»»»Whose making me have bad luck
»»»How to stop farting
»»»How to be cool on Twitter
»»»How to look like Beyonce
»»»How to restore your virginity
»»»Is Robert Mugabe immortal
»»»When will I die

Ya ne!
Just when you thought you were weird, someone chooses to raise the bar. But as they say; if you can’t beat them, join them. Swag up your Google history and actually have something really strange to hide other than porn.

SIDE NOTE: do you still think that professor Google has ALL the answers?

Swagga

This is a very popular word or let me just say a reinvented ‘phrase’ that has graced our South African youth’s lingo. The phrase’s roots and origins however, remain a series of convoluting tiny puzzle pieces that even Sir Newton would have neglected. For this reason, the phrase is widely misunderstood.

But what is swagga really? To understand this, we will need to first dissect this frog – swagg.

Swagg is shining dopeness, its cool redefined, exquisite freshness and all things pimpin’ in ya capacity. Catch ma drift?

And swagga is attitude, personality and swagg all stashed up in one fix.

You’re probably aint drippin’ swaggu if you think swagga is another one of ‘a youth gone astray’ type of movements. Swagga is a revolution, because it’s not televised, swagga is unclear.

Anyway such a very simple and sophisticated phenomenon does not need to be confusing.

Swagga is cool, it separates the imitator from the originator; it distinguishes pure genuineness from synthetic. It differentiates the winners from the epic losers. But most importantly, swagga sets apart a G from the wannabes.

But how do you know you’ve got some swagga up your sleeves?

I’ve compiled a list of 25 simplistic fundamentals to knowing whether you’re drippin’ swaggu or just errr plain you.

  • If you’re dating one of your girlfriend’s exes, you have zero swagga and need a hard-core blow across your face just for control.
  • When you leave your home without a pair of manners and a set of dignity, you are most definitely aren’t drippin’ of any swaggu that day.
  • If you’re rude to a waitron, you not only deserve more bad days added unto you but the universe has served you with a cold plate of goose egg swagga.
  • If you don’t know your HIV status, you’re not only freaked out about most inaccuracies but you’ve no swagga up your sleeves.
  • If you’re an African but cannot speak nor understand a single African indigenous language, you only have ignorance and zippo swagga.
  • If you have a big tummy but there is no baby growing inside it, you do not only need to love yourself some more but you also happen to have missed the swagga train.
  • If you think people who went to university are rich or they have it easy in life, you aint swaggerific.
  • If you make it a point to boo Jacob Zuma but did not register to vote, you’re playing a fruitless game and aint drippin’ swaggu.
  • If you think getting a lady’s cellphone number means she’s officially yours, most importantly; you do not have swagga but you also qualify as an idiot.
  • If you treat church as a fashion showcase, you do not only need Jesus but you also have nil swagga.
  • If you’re having unprotected sex but have not planned for a baby, you do not have swagga and you will get STI’s.
  • If you’re married but cannot keep your underwear for your partner only, you do not have swagga.
  • If you’re still asking for cigarette money, you’ve no swagga at all.
  • If you wear cheap cologne, you do not only induce sneezing but you’ve got not a pinch of swagga up your sleeves.
  • When you’re texting and driving it does not only mean you’re small minded but you also have no swagga.
  • If you wear see-through leggings and a crop top, you do not only look like a cheap hood-rat but you absolutely have zero swagga.
  • Teaching your kids swear words before they can even write their names, does not only mean you need a mental institution, but you’ve also got no swagga.
  • If you think when a woman says ‘no’, she means you can ‘carry-on-slowly’, you’re a definite zero swagga.
  • If you still believe that being in the show business doesn’t require much schooling, you will not only end up a broke artiste but you’ve also have no swagga.
  • Being stingy with information or past exam papers does not only mean you aren’t dripping of any swagga but this also reveals your masked idiocy.
  • When you’ve worked your way to the top, you’re not only an inspiration but you’ve got swagga too.
  • If you didn’t buy twitter followers, you most definitely have swagga.
  • If you’ve graduated with Cum Laude, you’ve not only worked hard, but you’re drippin’ of swaggu.
  • If you buy your own nail polish and lip gloss, you’ve got a 110% swagga game.
  • If you know all the words to your national anthem, than you’re unquestionably drippin’ swaggu.

Get your swagga basic game on before you facebook, instagram or tweet lies about drippin’ swaggu.

Who are We Meant to be ‘DEFENDING Madiba’s Legacy’ Against?

Madiba's legacy at stake?

is Madiba’s legacy at stake?
picture by photographer Sandile Makhoba

This poster is doing the rounds all over KZN and I happen to have a question or two about it.

It could be just the rebellious, ignorant and misinformed self in me speaking but this poster to me looks like a declaration of war.

Otherwise, what are we supposed to be DEFENDING Madiba’s legacy against?

If we are meant to be defending the legacy by means of protecting it and continue to strive for what Mandela portrays and stood for, why is Jacob Zuma on the poster?

Hence I ask, WHO are WE meant to be’defending’ Madiba’s legacy against?

Horrid Stories of a Terrified old-age Pensioner

A few weeks ago I went to visit my grandmother whose amongst many other illnesses is suffering from old age aches. My grandmother is one of those people who can be reserved or very straight forward, depending on which direction the sun rays are shining.

Due to tribal conflicts in the mid to late 80’s my grandmother moved from her place of birth to the city. After a very long while of being a traditionalist in the city, years of being home sick and enduring enough constraints from her passé ways, she went back to her place of birth like she never left. And to this day she proudly uses a candle as a light bulb and makes a washing line out of tress.

The sun was touching the sea shore as the taxi left the tarred road near Port Shepstone, leaving Louisiana behind. The gravel road and all its bare cracks after the heavy rains of the New Year greeted us with its openness. That taxi ride was like being on a car with a first time driver – instable.  

Finally we arrived; dusty, safe and somewhat sound.

I wasn’t shocked to see that electricity was still a dream here, for I knew more  than a decade and a half ago that they would never smell things which we previously disadvantaged South Africans associate with the ‘new era’ – tarred roads, flush-toilets and nearby schools amongst other things.

On the other hand, I was very shocked to hear horrid stories of a terrified old-age pensioner.

As a person who grew up in this village, I have encountered, more than enough times, settings of all kinds of teenage pregnancy. I have also seen young boys dropping out of school for submitting to beyond the pale substances and later becoming young men who petrify the villagers, with the elders taking a greater strain from this.

In South Africa, there is a high rate of grandparents who mother their grandchildren due to many possible reasons, one of those being negligence. Therefore our elders as a country of people, who are likely to be brought up by grandparents, are a prestige.

I noticed amongst other odd things that my grandmother’s old and fragile body worried her as with bereavement and the assistance of two walking sticks she stood up and locked her door immediately after dawn. Dawn to my grandmother is the time when she has done her routine with her chickens, which will be any time after 5:45pm – unless weather conditions are not favourable for the chickens to be loitering at their own free will till sunrise. This was as equally shocking as it was awfully early to be locking doors in the rurals where crime hasn’t been of high regard. And traditionally, people spend most of their time in the veld with their doors left wide open at their homes.

As I questioned her on the situation, a can of worms feasting on each other disgustingly opened, with a bitter-sour taste, I let in a very distasteful tale.

With an almost close to a whisper voice and sharp focused eyes as that of a hyena whose about to feast on a carefree springbuck told me horror stories which till this day, I am struggling to believe.

At her last pension pay out, one of the people she usually exchange small talk with told her that one of their peers was found thrust to a tree in her yard with nothing but her bodice. Her old weary skin indicated that all of sun’s excruciating rays had had their time with her. She had been lifeless for a while. Her bedroom was broken into. The furniture showed that a major search had been carried out and the small box which served as her safe was smashed into pieces and all her old age pension welfare money had vanished.                  

Two days after that had happened; a man in his late 70’s was found with a rope on his neck. The rope had produced marks which had turned from red to navy blue, a clear indication of extensive strangulation. He was pronounced dead at the scene (which was his own home) with all his savings and half his pension pay out in one of those tiny bags old people usually keep underneath the clothes they wear –  gone.

Stories of this sort are common and there is also whispers of young men out to get the elderly’s pension pay-out immediately after it lands on their hands and killing them instantaneously so that they do not live to tell the tale, especially to the community nor the police officers.

As a South African whose been mugged more than enough times, I instantly felt her fear, the thumping of the heart when you know that you could be next, especially more so if you’re the primary target and your knees won’t carry you neither will your fragile body for without walking sticks, your body is your own burden.

I cannot describe the feeling of having your own child, who you bore and nurtured turn against you but I know the thrills of being brought up by your grandparents. The jolliness of having to share in your grandparent’s late life; the fun, the games, the laughter and the stories, it is blissful.

The other day I left for town with my grandmother. She was on her way to see one of her close friends that she was once young with. She was in hospital. Her grandson has knocked her unconscious with a shovel for her money was not enough to buy him these expensive branded shoes that teenagers can’t go without nowadays.

My grandmother locked herself early because one early night somebody paid her a visit. It was a man, who claimed to be blind and looking for a way to his house. My grandmother is uphill, where if you were lost, climbing up to her house wouldn’t be your option unless you have absolutely no option. This man said a surname that was familiar. It was of a man my grandmother knew and he had eye problems. But this was not the man. My grandmother didn’t open the door. The man left. And as he left my grandmother’s yard, she heard that the man was not alone, they were two of them as she peeked out her window.

This might happen again, she is not sure of the day and whether that day she will be lucky or gone. Each and every day, she lives with that horror. 

South Africa in 2013; Critical but Stable Conditions

‘Critical but stable’ this phrase was so overused at some point in this country in the year 2013, it’s a shame that it hasn’t been added to any new revised versions of famous South African phrases compilations.

For the sake of not letting the phrase go into waste, I have created my own critical but stable conditions that shook our country this year alone. Without any further blabbing let us get into these conditions:

>>>>Sheryl Cwele, I know I’m unlucky but that girl must have really displeased whichever god she kneels down to. I mean the not so poor girl was only trying to make a quick illegal buck on the side. Drug trafficking of a high profile municipal official and wife of the STATE SECURITY minister, drew eyes from all parts of South African persons – even backyard vendors who are sometimes drug dealers in their own right had some awe to express. Talk about a debatable high profile mess. Speaking of which, somebody should send her a fairly expensive bottle of whiskey – I know y’all comrade’s generosity with alcohol, especially this season.

>>>>On a more serious note, do you remember the Limpopo textbooks scandalous scenario? Whoa! At least Lady Angie is still standing or maybe sitting, whichever the case, she must be thanking the Gupta’s for taking the spot light away from her. We of course patiently await the matric results of the Limpopo province.

>>>>Speaking of the Gupta’s, by the way those Indians can really stir disruption. Their plane created one massive critical and sadly unstable South Africa, till this day, some of us want the truth, others know the truth and the rest think they know the truth. We all however have managed to forget one seriously critical matter about South Africa and the truth – they do not correlate. Anyway, is the plane landing again anytime soon? It’s the season to be jolly after-all, and by the looks of the pictures, the Gupta’s can certainly throw a good party or perhaps a wedding.

>>>>Not that I’m any saint but the words; brief encounter, resemble a very sombre and apologetic face of Zwelinzima Vavi in my head – I should probably stop thinking such about my country’s elders, I was after all not raised like this. I’m not chuckling. Nonetheless, what is Vavi’s occupation at the moment?

>>>>The Mandela feud, wow that was like generations meets the days of our lives meets scandal with a pinch of isidingo and a side plate of rhythm city – a bold and ugly bowl of truth served at a conveniently wrong time. It’s so disappointing to see that the family is still on a rebellious mode, not that I didn’t expect it though.

>>>>Now to something that we’re all more than spectators of; e-Tolls, if you’ve ever heard of a series of spiralling out of control events, the subject of e-tolls is exactly that and I thought for a minute, here is something which like the 2010 world cup, will unite South Africans once more, well except for those who were for the ‘damn thing’. However, the so called damn thing is in operation and I can bet with my pay check that there is one soul who was certain that they won’t buy an e-tag, but conveniently sits an e-tag is their bag – South Africans I love y’all. Through all that unsatisfactory, trust Gedlie to make fun of an infuriating subject.

>>>>Jacob Gedlie Zuma, as we South Africans know, our president cannot only hold a note (from leth’ umshini wam’ to yinde le ndlela) but he’s also a man of humour. “This is not some national road in Malawi” whatever the meaning of that, I’m sure you never intended for it to become the dark humour that it became. Thank you my black president for all the confusion, next time, please chose something close to home, like; this is not some national road in Nkandla. Now that’s a good one.

>>>>Which brings me to the Nkandlagate, now this is one tale that is fairly intriguing yet still maintaining a high bulk of confusion at the same time. When it comes to the Nkandla saga, I suspect one ginormous untold story that shall remain untold until that which happens to untold stories happens – people who are meant to tell them die just when the thought of writing a blog post comes into their mind, so I think.

>>>>Still on the subject of Gedlie, our beloved president, is he finally going to resign? This must be some kind of déjà vu for many parliament officials. I hope somebody writes something a hundred times more compelling than the ‘30 days in September’ by Frank Chikane. That would be one award winning piece of written material; the Americans could do a movie on it too.

>>>>Speaking of movies, how well did the ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ do in South African cinemas, considering the rate of piracy and the fact that we South African don’t go to the movies as often as we should? Can we discuss the storyline execution?

>>>>Mandela’s passing. Mandela, I’m sure even the earth stood still for a moment when it heard the news, that was the case with most of us as denial and doubt clouded our reality. May his soul rest in peace and I hope he found that ANC branch in heaven and joined it.

Oh by the way, what was the case with Desmond Tutu, the ruling party and the funeral?

>>>> How can I not mention the story of Anene Booysen. This has got to be the most gruesome story of our time; the reality which we live in. May her soul find peace and rest in heavenly harmony

On a more lighter but critical condition, it’s the party season, the silliest of seasons, ladies hold on to your man, allow not the alcohol to take your position. Otherwise, let us be carefree and careful whilst we secretly prepare for the rallies and canvassing campaigns in 2014. For the purposes of those campaigns, be ready with your dancing shoes, vuvuzela’s and some vocal chords for booing.

Finally, I am Ready to Vote…Again

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty unsexy ways, every day.” David Foster Wallace.

I am part of a fairly large proportion of young South Africans, who did not only misunderstood (some still misunderstand) the concept behind voting but also despised the whole process completely. After digesting the words of Sir David Foster Wallace, I realised the heroine I needed to be for my descendants.

When the voter registration dates drew closer, conversations about voting enormously increased. As it was the case study of many young South Africans, the moment I heard anything synonymous with voting, I shunned my ears and hopped into Twitter where something to laugh about and forget your reality is bound.

Now that I think about it, there is nothing increasingly annoying than a corrupt official telling you about your right to vote when the only thing they are in point of fact concerned about is who you vote for, with their party having to be your first priority, of course.

I always thought to myself, what is the point of this entirely unbeneficial (bearing in mind that I’m like everyone else and I tend to sometimes forget the good moments a person brought through one mistake) process. The reality of the appalling percentage of corrupt state officials and malice in my country completely clouded my judgement and nearly deprived me of a beautiful tale I could through pen, paper and interwebs, foretell my generations.

I will not for a second lie to you, this has been an extremely too long a contemplation process, especially that 2013 has been an unfriendly son of the soil type of a year to me. Living through all kinds of villain engineered forces; from being a statistic of severe depression, undergoing the excruciating throb of unemployment, abuse and crime – to such a high degree that at some point I was left bag-less – minutes before my important presentation, where my whole life, including every legal document a citizen needs to have and two cell-phones (not contactable too) gone in a split second, being worried about being a victim of fraud, to being alive and hating South Africa and the criminals, who are in all ways my brothers and sisters. I have finally decided that I will vote.

I will, with pride and maybe a bit of sunburn or perhaps some wet clothes, on a date still yet to be announced, be shuffling forward in a queue which by the grace of politicians, will move in a speed of light, to cast my vote. For with a better understanding, I am now ready to do so.

Ready does not in any form imply that I believe for a second that there is one political party affiliated individual with ideas, vigour and prowess to overcome the atrocious state of malevolence and detestation we South Africans find ourselves in. It just simply means that I am ready to face the stones and hardships of being a proud and active citizen.

I will vote for I have realised a privilege behind marking an X near somebody whom I’m naïve enough to believe that they will bring change in a split second – that’s how we’re taught to think in this country. Either way, it does not take away from the fact that voting is a significant part of being a citizen in my country. As I know it, voting does not deliver instant change, if any change at all, but it gives the voter a new perspective, a new hope, a new drive and a new understanding.

I remember the first time I voted. It was a different experience. I had anticipated it, called my then boyfriend and he advised me on whom to vote for, not a very political opinion I must say. But I enjoyed it, the fact that I was finally a citizen whose activities were going to be counted. There was a level of excitement that I cannot put into words. All I remember is a smile in my heart that blossomed unto my face and the mounting joy when I actually did the process. It was inspiring. The mysterious X letter holds the victory of my forefathers, those who’s strength, persistence and will-power lives through the supremacy of expressing who you are and what you stand for as an individual. As I stood in the ballot box, I realised that voting ignites the love and belief one has for their country.

I will vote, as a sign of respect and salutation to my forefathers. It is my way of crafting them a gift card, acknowledging and thanking them for taking care of the land and the world which belongs to us. It is my promise that I am willing and will do everything I can to make this world a better place which as the poet once recited, belongs to our descendants. I want my generations to draw inspiration from me, the same way I’m drawing inspiration from the heroes and heroines who are my forefathers/mothers.

Through my vote I will continue the struggle, as our beloved Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela said; the long walk continues. Oh Nelson Mandela that is one man capable of a grand entrance and an outstanding departure, God bless him; may his soul rest in peace. I hope for the devious deeds of politics and politicians, we do not encounter any; ‘do it for Mandela’ type of political canvassing campaigns.

Before this whole thing starts to get boring, I would like for my compatriots, who’ve not yet registered to vote, to chew on Coretta Scott-King’s words; freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation. That is what we have not taught young people, or older ones for that matter. You do not finally win a state of freedom that is protected forever. It doesn’t work that way.

My fellow youngsters, I would like all of you to contemplate about the kind of nation you want your future generations to look back to. And always remind yourselves to take part in your own country and be proud of where you come from so that your generations will be proud that they stem from your withins. If however, you plan not to vote, bear this in mind; if you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote. By David Foster Wallace.

Every Little Bit Counts: A Story of Saving

Nowadays it seems the only way inflation prefers to travel is on that fast lane freeway best interpreted on an exponential graph, making it almost impossible for the already hard hitten people of this nation to save.

As such, our country is sitting on a disturbing 67 percent of adults who do not save. I prefer not to estimate the number of our young adults, distinctly students who’d rather drink their lives out than engage in discussions of saving. It is our truth, we find saving extremely challenging and easily avoidable. Exceptionally so now that unemployment rate is on the rise and a stable, decent income is a rare luxury to come by. However, it does not take away from the fact that saving is vital and a culture we should by all means habitually practise.

Through these tough times, it has became a necessity to notably distinguish amongst other things that ‘a little can go a long – really long way’ more so if you’re an average – which is likely to be a low income earner. If you save specifically in the midst of averages and low income earnings, you create the above average possibility to yield positive economical prowess for the world you occupy. I’d like for you to keep that in mind, for the sake of this tale I’m about to tell you.

The are quite a number of saving strategies devised for our own (not always) convenience. And in our average homes, we have our own saving strategies which of course may seem absurd from a distance – like partaking in stokvels which yield food enough to last the family (including the extended family) almost half a year. What is even more perplexing is that an average black kid, raised by a very average black woman might tell you the same if not a similar tale; a story of comparison, price negotiating, supermarket hopping, street crossing and queue standing. This is a story of shopping – the pursuit of saving.

Grocery shopping is something dreadful but yet very delicate in our average communities. Saturdays after pay days are also very important. And when your average mother decides this is a perfect day to send you to town for those anticipated fundamentals on the grocery shopping list, she accompanies you with a very precisely detailed note – think of it as an ordinance, comprising of the product you are to purchase and sometimes a specific brand too. Oh and you are definitely warned well in advance of its exact cost and the supermarket it is to be purchased at. Call that the planning in advance part of budgeting where exactitude is a high regard.

This shopping list by the way, is something you have to follow with the same ultraprecision the establishers of the ten commandments thought christians would abide to this decree. Otherwise!

You don’t want to know otherwise. Because otherwise could be anything from a hard-core slap across your face to an awfully awkward silent treatment. And if you think you’ll involve the ‘popo’, you shall find your self in the same state as Whitney Houston in 2003 except you’ll still be a stupid, weak, foolish girl. For your sake, promote peace and harmony and stick to the list.

In town, mind you its that dreadful saturday after pay day in this old-fashioned, tight-knit urbanites playground and everybody came out to submit to their monthly commitments. It is over-crowded. Kgebetli Moele could very well deem this ‘another sad black story’; every supermarket, every bank and every ATM has such a long queue you’d swear we’re all after the finale of food and money on this earth. Taxi drivers take advantage of this, in many ways than one.

Remember why you’re here; the ordinance. It needs to be fulfilled. Take it as the golden ticket to your peace – the absence of scolding. The ordinance by the way is also consorted by a fee that, lo and behold, you are to stretch until every commandment is fully carried home in a plastic bag which its price was somehow not included on this fee. Cuss that intellect who approved the idea of selling us grocery shopping bags.

The road to riches. The path which leads to wealthiness (for some) is a very tough one. It is envied by all and its destination is desired by everyone. Life, being a jolly spectator of melodrama and spirals of confusion continues to hide this road from us.

The Pursuit of Saving - A Little Goes a Long Way

The Pursuit of Saving – A Little Goes a Long Way

When I saw this, I laughed. You know the kind of a past joyful memory relived type of laugh. Then I remembered, something I was indirectly taught; regardless of its quantity, a little goes a long way and wealth – even though it may seem infeasible is accumulated every single day.

Twerking – Could it be a Dance Revolution?

Twerking in practice. courtesy of Google images.

Twerking in practice. courtesy of Google images.

You Tube is fair proof that twerking is here and causing more havoc than a mob justice.

When this dance phenomenon hit South African shores for the first time, it literally left many jaws dangling on the floor. The nation tore into two, with a good half indisbelief whilst the other fifty percent’s eyes indulged the sexy bum shaking motion with appreciation.   

South Africa is an African country where dance is fully appreciated, women with ‘assets’ are loved, the value of tradition and traditional values is not forgotten and it’s where media and modernity is still trying to find its place.

A considerable number of South Africans who value the integrity, respect and traditional upbringing they were brought up in find themselves electrified with shock, that a dance movement of such kinky element has publicly found a home in this country.

As if that shock isn’t paralyzing enough, South Africa is now home to the self acclaimed professional twerkers; the ‘Pro Twerkers‘. These ladies are blessed with a behind that will see you uttering in languages you don’t understand just by looking at it. I also heard that if you’re lucky to see them on stage, the amount of heat you’ll be releasing is enough to leave those around you thinking you’ve just stepped out of the roasting fire in ‘hell’. And apparently for your sake it is wise to have a leash handy just in case (which is likely to be more often than not) your imagination attempts running faster than a cheetah.  

These ladies bounce their above average butts high and low, with an enough sensual vigour to leave you wondering if their mama is where they really got it from. As for that dripping sweat on your face, well, you’ll need ten tons of empty gallons for it.

The Pro Twerkers give Mrs Carter’s booty hop a run for its money.

As you can imagine, these ladies have received both love and hate mail. Those who show them love are not only fond of their bodies but also appreciate the sight of the work these ladies do.

I’m not sure (as they never replied to my email) whether they’ve taken to twerking as a career or it’s just another one of those piece jobs one does on the side for an extra buck. One thing I’m certain of is that the ‘Pro Twerkers’ have traveled extensively and opened up for the controversial, multi-award winning now Yeezus (that’s Kanye West to you) when he performed in Johannesburg earlier this year.

It is absurd but I wish upon indulging on a listening class whereby an almost visually impaired, friendless, ugly glass wearing computer programming geek turned into boring lecturer explains to me the popularity of this sensual movement which is at the peak of its global widespread, making it the most popular move on the dance floors and one of the most talked about subjects on social media platforms.

I would gulp mostly the tiny extracts of this choreography’s origins as I still wonder whether it originated in Southern American clubs, Africa or New Orleans. I would prefer the longer theoretical version which I plan to do absolutely nothing about until the age of sixty where I will look intelligent and turn ‘cool’ in a split second to my grand-kids.

I will mention to my grand children who will sit, surrounding me as if enjoying a thrilling tale around a fire, that before I got introduced to twerking a seemingly non negligible amount of me desired to see what twerking was, for it hammered my twitter timeline in every update and made me feel under-informed.

At my convenience, or maybe belwiderness, my television set gladly introduced to me the mystery behind twerking.

To my jaw dropping surprise, twerking was a phenomenon which required the participator to bounce the butt and hips up and down in erotic motions, extremely suggestive manner causing jiggles and or a shake.

I stood motionless in front of a television set I looked into with eyes which seem to lose their sight. My throat immediately felt like a freshly poured glass of tap water. I knew that if I had asthma, I’d be suffocating.

Since that day I couldn’t help but notice the flooding of twerking home made videos on the internet. Ladies putting their twerking capabilities into practice almost daily like it’s a world competition entry requirement.   

I would explain to these kids, which I pray do not drive me to tears with insanity, that life is the mother of changefulness and its main characteristic is unpredictability, hence, one needs to be strategic in all aspects. More importantly, you can be able to live fruitfully as an individual if you have the guts to choose specifically what influences you as much as you should be able to categorically know what does not influence you.

Many say, like any other dance type, twerking is a certain form of expression for not only hip hop influenced individuals and those with a behind enough to send Nicki Minaj for an extra implant on her bum, but it’s an expression that can be freely explored by your average girl next door, even though the big butt acknowledging advised that when you have a big booty the experience is more appealing for their pleasure, of course.

As for me, with an average bum, and many other silenced reasons, I wouldn’t be caught even on a twerking inducing hip hop track trying to pull a twerk.  

With all that said and little done, I still wonder, could we be sitting arms folded in a freezing windy weather, sipping our hot chocolate whilst a dance phenomenon that we’re not fond of is being brewed? Can it mature its way into a fully accredited choreography or worse still a credit bearing subject at dance schools?  The thought of it drives away my desire to raise kids.

Do not misinterpret me, for my withheld perspectives; I do not like twerking, specifically for my generation. However, anyone else who chooses to engage in it is still my blood from the other father (God that is).

Meet My Country: An Introductory to South Africa Through My Eyes

Welcome to my beautiful country, comprising of the tourists money snatcher; the “big five”. Don’t be surprised if you meet people of this country who’ve never seen it, we are like that, we people of this country, we are used to hearing about our own from visitors. Our own indigenous stories are told by outsiders – it is normal to us just like blinking. Notice the beautifully kept national parks – encompassing our lovely natural animals. That is our pride. Look, those are the extremely expensive buildings of Sandton and Umhlanga rocks. These buildings bring us both hope and despair. They were designed by the highest paid team of architects and brought to life by men who will never set foot on them — it is something their income can never afford. Look, admire, smile, hope to own it one day and THEN continue with your journey. Don’t think about the labour of the men who brought these majestic buildings to life, no one ever does, it is normal in this country. Our workmen go underground to yield gold that after purification, they can only admire. Sometimes they die in the process of this labour intensive act; otherwise they endure chronic illnesses for the rest of their lives. Don’t consider that, just look at the finished product, touch it and put it back to its normal position because it’s too expensive for your lifestyle. In our mind, this is the most diverse country in the entirety of Africa. In fact it is so diverse we have deemed it the “rainbow nation”. So welcome to the rainbow nation, this is your home now.

I see you’re getting really comfortable. Here is something about this rainbow nation; it is a corruption fueled state. It is the place where the poor really get poorer and the rich, well those keep on getting filthy rich. In our country most people are considered disadvantaged in many areas and they are indeed extremely disadvantaged. If you could witness the way they think and the things they say about their future, you can’t help but feel that their mind is lacking something more than just an average daily dose of vitamins. By the way they take vitamins only in sickly times, it is usually a free clinical supplement. Otherwise, their starch keeps them going.

In this country, the education system is always going through a name change with of course little to nothing being changed about the education its self. This is my country. I was shoved the same words that my parents learnt, the 25 year gap between us really meant nothing for our education system. My country’s education system channels you into working for somebody once you’ve taken your required dose of its teaching. One thing about it though, it teaches you to speak extremely fluent in a language that is not your own and that’s an achievement we ought to be proud of, apparently.

We are a joke that’s really saddening. You know why? Our people vote and expect houses after that. Grown ass men and women sit; arms fold after a cast of their vote every four years in hope that it brings them the utmost leisure’s of life. Really? Oh yes! They expect their vote to yield and bring at their door step their beloved and desired dreams. It is not their fault but rather a delusion fed into their mind by the picketers. In this country government is blamed for everything that my people are either lazy to go do or they do not know how to go about doing it. Information in this country of mine is scarce and not easily accessed; you hardly find what you need. Therefore the people of my country die. Why? They lack knowledge. No! They do not have access to knowledge.

This is my beloved country and the people who lead us have wisdom of their own. They are not only talented but they are perfectly skilled in their field of expertise ‒ politics. I have observed one thing about this country and politics, if you’re not a good schemer, an excellent fraudster, a magnificent liar and an almost perfect secret keeper, forget it chap, you will not stand the heat of this country’s political game. My country’s politic situation is true blood sweat and corruption better prepare for hard-core survival of the fittest, jaw ripping game – it’s a jungle out there; eat or be eaten!

In my country, the arts are considered to be something not worthy of the government’s not so hard earned money. The government does not care much if you’re a musician, movie maker or a writer; to him you’re a nuisance. So best you back off and nurture your craft far away from him. Well until you’re just perfect to sing for one of his luxurious homes, where he and his furniture dances. The people in the arts, they are all things manipulative and a raw authentic definition of fake. They smile in your face and stab your behind the minute you turn away ‒ my country; beautiful country, too beautiful in fact.

I love this country and have so much hope in it. There is so much skill and talent embedded in its core existence. The country’s youth is faced with drug abuse and confusion but they are so hopeful and smart in their own mischief ways. Don’t like them too much, they will have you fooled. They speak words of intelligence marinated with the desirable amount of wisdom but their action, behold! It is the total opposite of their lovely luring words. They engage in filthy things you’d swear they were the messengers of dirt. I like them though because hey do not want to be judged, not by a single soul. So I end it, no more youth talk.

This is South Africa, hope you like it. Depending on where you’re walking, you might need to leave your cell-phone and wallet as a sign of respect to that man you are about to meet for the first and hopefully the very last time. Why? Don’t ask questions, not a single one, just do it and pass with a straight face and up-right body, it will save your life. I actually do hope you’re rich; you really do want to dwell, sleep, wake, drink and eat on the northern side of Johannesburg or better yet the northern side of Durban where you can even walk on the fluffy sands by the sea side. This is where you explore South African beauty. I could go on forever. You must not forget to pay Cape Town a visit, there is class and elegance invested in that city, you will love it.

Power is not equally shared in my country ‒ don’t forget that. If you’re a woman you might just like to remember your place —the kitchen. You must also reserve your comments until you are given a platform and or an upper hand but still, know your limits! Be aware that you could be the next victim of male pleasures and they can get away with it. Wary that your male counterparts despise you the same way (if not worse) they despise gay people. So best know your position, the kind in which you do not offend men at all. You’re a feminist? Well please side-line that occupation until further notice. Fingers and maybe other things too might wag in your direction if you appear as a woman of power and strength. You doubt me? Engage in a conversation with married career driven women of this country. Well those ladies, have buckets full of stories about women and women positioning so you’re in good hands.

My people are stereotypical so please behave as straight as you can ‒ it will help you, especially if you intend on walking on our cities. My people believe in Christ oh yeah they are Christians but they don’t tolerate “nonsense” so don’t even think about speaking in town if you’re not fluent in their language rather use a map if not a GPS, please. You could be mugged if you don’t obey. Okay now that’s Johannesburg; city of dreams we call it. Some say it’s a little like New York. In Johannesburg you pay people for pointing directions to you and you shall pay more if they feel the need to escort you. Ubuntu does not exist here. We are all Steve Biko’s black man when here ‒ on our own. Note that!

In this country of mine, when you hear anyone saying foreigner, they are referring to people coming from all corners of Africa who have come to, okay I don’t know. My Africanists have too many tricks under their skins it sometimes too difficult to tell their intentions. Please make use of their internet cafés they are so cheap a mere R5 an hour, just be wary of those keyboards, their buttons need to be pressed really hard sometimes and your memory stick might contract a virus or two. Americans? Well those would be tourists! We like those people. We have 11 official languages but I was thinking we should add more, like the sign language and French amongst other widely used languages in this country ‒  indigenous or not.

Do you like to travel? Me too! Here’s a taxi which you can see the ground you travel on when in it. The chair could damage your outfit and its not so pleasant to sit on. It will help you to find something to hold on to when the taxi makes an unexpected turn, just make sure it’s not the door because that could have you kissing the tar and leaving your teeth there whilst at it, be careful! Don’t mention anything of the Gau-train, it was not meant for you and me ‒ too expensive. I don’t own a car so you better start getting used to taxis and finding your own way around town. We should be taking a train, now that’s the culture and lifestyle of a true South African.

Trains here are amazing! You pay a very small fee and get an all-inclusive journey. “Healthy” snacks are available don’t worry about your balanced diet preferences. There are walking stalls to serve your daily fruit dosage. You are spiritual? You’re at the right place, there are all kinds of churches in here just pick one and enjoy the service. Please reward the pastor with at least R1 before you leave, throw it on that hat on your left. If you did not enjoy the service, look into the pastor’s sweaty, old, sad face and you could be propelled into rewarding him with R3 extra. There is comedy on that coach if you prefer that instead. You’d rather have a nice conversation with a stranger? Even better than bluntly staring at the person opposite you, just be really loud because the train noise might break the communication flow. Enjoy the ride; just don’t expect to arrive at your destination until after an hour or two. Smile and greet. When the train gets full along the way, no I meant to say when it gets so congested your nose starts feeling a little weird, stand up for somebody older than you ‒ hold on anywhere. They are probably tired of all the gardening they have been ordered to do by the madam at work, so please be kind.

We do not complain much but when we do, it is in a form of a rally where a lot of singing and dancing is involved, put on your comfy shoes. Be prepared to run and or swear its part of the ordeal. If you want to have a really peaceful life, befriend a few taxi drivers and one or two well-connected police officers. You are in it for a very nice life if you do that. Otherwise you will pay for things you ought not to be paying for. Be kind whenever you can and maybe drop two rands or five to those brothers who do not look like they have had a good bath in the longest of years. You shall meet them at the robots most of the time, if your skin is anyway fair, please put in at least 10 rands. Well if you’re dark like me, they don’t expect much from you. They regard you as one of their own ‒ broke, hungry and poor. So you can just look away and walk on but for your sake I truly hope it’s neither dusk nor night.

This is South Africa, I can go on forever, I however don’t want to spoil the journey for you and the things you could explore. There is plenty for you in store. We are a loving country filled with the same amount of hate if you step on our feet. The food we have, you’d be stupid not to try that, it is best experienced in what we call “eKasi” along with Kwaito music and “Bujwa” dancing. This is South Africa, we are much westernised and English is slowly becoming the widely used language. We refer to people by where they come from, their race or by what they usually wear, feel free to do the same. In this country, soccer unites us whilst politics divide us.

Please find what you like and be joyful in it. We have mountains, rivers, the sea, dams, game reserves, parks, zoo’s, love, hate, anger, corruption, bitterness, four standard television channels which require a television license, a handful of radio stations with fantastic radio jocks, clubs, lounges, prostitutes, beauty parlors I mean you’d really be one of a non-existing kind not to find anything interesting. Try the gizzard kebabs sold in what the not so advantaged call a town. If you’re still not sold then I guess you’re a difficult customer. This is my country; I was born here, I grew up here. I learnt how to share, cry, talk and write in this country. This is where I find love and peace. My dreams will fruition in this country. It is by far not the best of countries but it is my country nonetheless and in my own strange way, I love it!