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PERSONAL

FESTIVE FLINGS
13 JANUARY 2013

FROM:drawception.com

FROM:drawception.com

‘Summer lovin’ had me a blast
Summer lovin’ happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
I met a boy, cute as can be
Summer days driftin’ away, to uh-oh those summer nightsUh Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
Did you get very far?
Tell me more, tell me more
Like does he have a car?
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh

…. Summer sun, something’s begun, but uh-oh those summer nights

… Summer fling, don’t mean a thing, but uh-oh those summer nights

It turned colder – that’s where it ends
So I told her we’d still be friends
Then we made our true love vow
Wonder what she’s doing now
Summer dreams ripped at the seams,
bu-ut oh, those su-ummer nights….’

And that song ladies and gentlemen, just about sums it all up … who knew what lessons could be learn in Grease!

So as the year begun, I stumbled across a tweet around ‘Festive Flings’and I worried. Do women my age still engage in such? Should women my age be encouraging such?

I did a little social networking research of my own, and to my great relief, the women I knew had totaly moved on. Not without their hearts broken or eyes opened of course.

They told tales of flings only dialing your number closer to summer holidays whereas they had it all year long but just never called. Others spoke of how they had mistaken a festive fling for the real deal and it took them a while to realise how the real deal should look when it comes around.

Then there was the shock, that there are those who count the summer holidays worthless if there is no lovin’.

In high-school maybe … but now? Do we still burn with desire to tell stories of a fleeting romance; knowing full well it would never amount to anything.

I don’t know, but I’d like to believe I’ve had my fair share of heartache and disappointment and the last thing I’d like to do is tempt fate to find out how much more I could take.

Just before the festivities started I went out for dinner with my boyfriend *giggles*, and a guy enjoying himself with a bunch of friends at a table across from us kept answering his phone, judging from the conversation (loud enough to be heard without eavesdropping) he was speaking to his girlfriend who happened to be in another province. Meanwhile he was also flirting with the girl in front of him.

On leaving he asks his ‘boys’ what the plans are for the rest of the night because he has nothing to worry about, since his girlfriend was towns away, he was free to assume himself single for the festive.

And so it begins, that festive fling. And knowing there isn’t enough time; that Grease song plays as a soundtrack to every chancer out there: Summer Lovin’ happened so fast.

True, you’ll have a blast. But I’m sure by now you will have realised: Summer fling, don’t mean a thing.

But then again … how quickly we forget.

Next time the Summer sun tempts you with some lovin, just think, ‘but oh-uh-oh oh those WINTER nights!’

😛 😛 😛

***LLLB!***

2013
02 JANUARY 2013

FROM: amazingmaterial.com

FROM: amazingmaterial.com

THAT’S WHAT IT IS ABOUT THE NEW YEAR. I’ve been wrecking my head for months since last year drew to a close wanting to explain why I needed the year to end so badly. How simple it turned out to be … I simply needed a revival.

The new year brings with it an opportunity to redefine, reassess, reinvent, change, dream afresh, to be born anew. It is also a chance to rebuild, grow, go back to the drawing board, make conscious, binding decisions.

It is an opportunity to re-form oneself and aim for greater heights. To be purposeful in making the new year percentages better than the past year.

It is a reminder of hope and possibility.

How many times were we told we would die last year again, or was it that the world was coming to an end? I’ve lost count. But imagine that, for those who honestly believed the world would end, this is a chance to live again without fear – a free living known only by those who know not when the world ends.

Since I started working, I have never returned to work so early … so as such, as I do each year [before going back to work], on New Year’s Day I spent the day under my own personal telescope of introspection, shifting and shaping the dreams of 2013 and putting them up on my mind’s noticeboard, the big picture is surely a sight to see. The big task though is how I’ll bring the puzzle pieces together.

And that people is the joy of living … the challenge, what would life be without it?

As young as the year is, already even the young adults in the country are having to make life altering decisions. Tomorrow the matric results will be released. Such a milestone, these youngsters will literally choose the path their lives will take for the next three to four years, oh wait, that decision will in fact influence the rest of their lives. So all in all 18 year olds and 17 year olds will be making one of the biggest decisions of their living years.

The challenge.

I used to make new year’s resolutions once … I stopped when I realised that come February I either could not achieve any in the 12 months ahead or I had simply forgotten what it was that I wanted so badly at the beginning.

I do something different now. I chose three things I want to achieve above everything else, and yes at times it is material things, but mostly it is a self-improvement and self-empowering exercise.

I meditate on these three things for at least January and before I know it I breathe them and they become my compass that year and they start coming so easily as though they were second nature.

Now I hope this is not misunderstood, there is a hierarchy in my life and the spiritual will always overpower all else.

The other trick is I have to know what these are when the year starts, I cannot decide in March that the goal is to loose weight because by March I will have become accustomed to that year already, two months in I could be the biggest junkie [consumer of junk food] this side of the coast.

Like I always say, it’s always a better idea to start a thing at the beginning; January; Monday; etc, you catch my flow. If I don’t put my mind to it in January, chances are whenever my mind wakes up to it I will not last long on that mission.

SO? 2013 two days in?

For me it is abundantly apparent that last year’s Vuvu is not this year’s Vuvu. I declare over my year laughter, love, joy, ambition, prosperity, focus, achievements, growth, success, wealth and gooooddd times.

SPEAK LIFE INTO YOUR YEAR.

May your 2013 outshine every other year of your life in its beauty.

Have a great year yall!!

🙂 🙂 🙂

**Live Life Love Be **

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DON’T BE TIMID
DATE: 12 NOVEMBER 2012

20121112-175025.jpgFROM:science.howstuffworks.com

FEAR. Sometimes we do not know how to fully throw our weight behind the things we truly want. We’ve lived long enough to know that people talk, and most times they have no praises to sing even when you are doing well. And even though we know this, we still fear what they’ll say.
If it weren’t for the critical nature of human beings, many of us would be hanging up awards of acclamation daily on the walls of our homes, minds, and hearts, constant reminders that we are capable of much more than what we seem.
Dreaming is a daily thing, it intensifies with age, and suddenly dreams stop being fantasies and instead become likely realities if we only dare to attain them.
It is the brave who deservingly achieve that which the ordinary view as unattainable.
I have dreams.
Some have died, birthing new ones.
Some have lived in the shadows of reality.
Some vanished under the pressure of society.
Some have been beaten, bruises, battered and cursed, but refuses to die.
Others have been relentless, constantly reminding me that they are, asking me what I plan to do about their existence, reminding me that their power is great enough to survive death, that if my passion be true they can be resurrected.
I have had dreams.
I still dream.
I haven’t stopped dreaming, instead I have learnt to pave a clear path for the attainment of my dreams.
Its no use begging people to dream, they need to know what to do with those dreams, they need some surety that they are attainable.
And if you and I dare to attain ours, those that look on us will too dare.
Camera
Lights
Action
Realize your dreams
Source: Vuvu Vena/VM

IS THAT ALL THERE IS?
DATE: 11 JULY 2012

FROM: zazzle.com

Everywhere I look; it seems to me that more and more young women have come to believe that they were raised to be someone’s wife.It seems like that’s their peak, the climax of life, a white dress and two simple words ‘I do’ binding them to an eternity with any man that happens to give them the time of day just in the nick of their biological clock going cuckoo in front of them.

Oh great sorrow, every time I see it I pray it isn’t so.

Yes, of course there’s the whole dominion debate, yes we were meant to fill the earth, multiply etc. Yes I honour the union of marriage, it is a sacred union designed for those who know how to keep it thus.

What baffles me is what we are doing thinking that it’s owed to us, grabbing it with both our hands even if it’s too early in our story, destroying other people’s lives just to get it, raising miserable children under it just to keep it?

I mean, come aaannn!!! Really? All that energy, all that time, all that money invested in you in the close to three decades of your life, you want to simply throw away to become someone else’s wife – even if it’s the wrong someone?

Desperation has never been this deep.

Ok so every little girl dreams of her wedding day, I don’t think they dream past that. I can even bet that not every little girl knows what marriage means. When the celebration is over and onlookers have set you free to live your lives, the champagne glasses are empty and the feast has been had, is this really the person you want to live the rest of your life with?

I’m always secretly laughing at my mom, none of her daughters are married yet and most of the girls our age are speaking of nothing else. I’ve had a few guys throw flimsy attempts at proposals, but I have never been in a situation where it made sense, and I’m not one to force matters really. Usually I see the end right at the beginning and I’m right … most of the time.

I’m not for a moment saying that my peers who are either engaged or married have made the wrong decision. I’m simply saying that I hope they made the right one.

Come aan, there’s got to be more to life than whose surname you end up with???? Really?

However, if you do find yourself in that situation, past the feasting and the toasts, do try at least to make it work, if it doesn’t, be sensible about your next move.

As a youngster, watching married adults around me, the first lesson I ever learnt about marriage is that it has to go hand in hand with an unconditional, selfless love, otherwise it’s only downhill after the ‘I do’s’.

The second thing I learnt, from my mother who’s been married for over three decades to an amazing man is that: timing is everything. Achieve what you wanted to achieve while you are single before tying yourself down because suddenly the choices you make don’t only affect you and your life but plenty more people you aren’t used to considering.

Even after marriage, that’s not all there is … that’s probably when it all starts. It’s just another milestone, treat it as such.

Start that new journey, new dreams, new aspirations and a bag full of consideration. In my opinion, a few of my peers still need to learn selflessness first before they can have space in their lives for a significant other … yeah I said it! :p

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

VALID/INVALID
DATE: 3 JULY 2012

FROM: ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

There is an intrinsic desire within all of us to be validated by another person. Where it comes from, I probably have a few theories, however knowing how to direct and master that desire should be what concerns us most.

At a very young age, little girls are always trying to get their parents attention. If you have a niece, daughter or a friend with a baby girl, watch that child – they are likely to be in constant need of some form of validation. I’ve always maintained that if a child is begging for your attention, boy or girl, there can never be anything more important than giving that child exactly the amount of attention they need at that very moment, even if they keep coming back every two minutes with the same need. It will make better adults out of them. At least you’ll know that when they are all grown, they won’t be looking elsewhere for what you didn’t give.

I’d like to think that I got all the attention I could have ever wanted growing up, loving parents, loving aunts and uncles, loving grandparents and fabulous cousins and siblings. But does anyone ever really get enough attention? Are we ever not seeking for validation?

Think of the workplace and how the simplest things get recognition. That’s an understanding that if you are looking for the best out of someone, you need to affirm and validate them in the one thing that they do best.

Right?

I’m sure though it should have similar rules to respect. You’ve got to give it to get it.

When you dress well you are making a statement first to yourself about how you feel and the kind of day you are going to have, then to other people, that they better recognise – we all know that when we bring our A-game and no one says a thing it doesn’t really go down good. But that works both ways, when someone you know well enough is dressed to the T, you should recognise. If you need validation, then trust me they probably do as well.

But is it really the responsibility of other people to affirm you. I mean in your late 20s, surely you should know the things you are and the things you aren’t. You are beautiful, tick, you are not arrongant, tick, you are stylish, tick, you do not conform, tick … ok you get my point. So why is it that it always sounds good when it’s heard from someone else’s lips, yet you knew it to be true all this while?

Baffles me.

But just in case we make monsters out of the people we engage on a day to day basis, please, I beg of you, recognise someone, affirm someone, dish out a little validation. And remember, you’ve got to give it to get it.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

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ALL RELATIONSHIPS
DATE: 2 JULY 2012

FROM: rachellemitchell.com

There are only a few spaces in life where you are allowed the absolute right to be whomever you desire to be, places of complete freedom, where questions aren’t asked out of criticism but out of love.There’s something profound about the people you call your family. Here I mean the family you were born into as well as the families that you later chose in life, your group of friends that you can rely on in any crisis, your spiritual family, and your work family, and so on – it’s all in the way these relationships are built.

In order to truly know anyone, they have to be vulnerable at least a few times around you, that’s when they begin to trust you and that’s when your relationship begins to grow. Once that has happened something binds you to that person for all of time, because as people we are built with an overwhelming need to empathise with people who find themselves in situations that lack justice. No matter how big or small the injustice. And usually if as friends we didn’t meet on the playground, then we probably met when one or both of us was wrestling an injustice.

‘No man is an island’ – no one can truly live life without someone, anyone to share it with.

I am a little baffled at the way that we have begun building relationships though. It seems to be a contest on what the other person can offer you besides their time. Or we seem to think these friendships are more about us than they are about other person, that we have to be drop dead fabulous and that’s why the other person was attracted to us in the first place. It’s really sad that we can’t just simply let people be who they want to be around us and respect that. But it’s always the judgement, the comparisons and the gossip.

We have become so selfish and our relationships have become so self-centred and then we wonder why people keep walking in and out of our lives as though we were revolving doors at a busy brothel.

Remember the first friend you ever made, that person is probably still a part of your life only because when that relationship was built it was built on a foundation that knew no judgement and knew nothing less than sharing unconditional love, it mimicked a sibling affection. Wanted no favours, knew no pretences, had no superficial boundaries, was genuine and trusting. I know I know, maybe the next line should be … and then we grew up.

When you lose yourself as you grow up, maybe you might consider growing out of it and just grow smart.

People are your biggest asset in life. Take no one who has found you worthy of their time for granted. Live, Love, Be – that’s one of the slogans I live by. To be alive, to learn to love and to be no more and no less than who I am regardless of who’s looking in.

Take no one for granted, and consider at some point that not everything is about you, and find the joy in making it about someone else.

Friendships … in fact all relationships are eternal, guard them jealously.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

WHAT’S YOUR TALENT?
DATE: 25 JUNE 2012

FROM: designergenesdevo.wordpress.com

It hits some of us sooner and others way later, but eventually we have to know right? I cannot imagine living life not knowing what you are good at, at some point we know, the question always lies in what we do with that knowledge.

For example I know that I’m not good at singing, but I sing anyway, in private, in the shower, to the heavens and in my car, in those spaces your Beyonce’s and Jennifer Hudson’s have nothing on me, I sound soo good I should have a mixed tape. But then of course singing an a capella solo to a room full of people would be disastrous. Weirdly enough though, I am musically inclined, i.e – instruments, and I know good music when I hear it.

Now imagine that I did in fact have honey combed vocals and I thought like that. What a waste. What would I be doing with my life? I’d probably be an accountant and after hours, during my leisure time watch re-runs of idols and simply dream, then turn to my ledgers and forget the dream.

I mean, honestly, what pushes you out of bed on the daily if you have no guarantee that by the time the day ends you will have engaged your talent and loved it?

When I write I even forget that there’s such a restraint as time, I’m lost in something that transcends reality, an expression that delights me from within. When I find I’ve worked in an incredible phrase or new word play into a piece, it’s jubilee deep down in my heart. That’s how I’m able to face each day, and luckily for me I chose a job that allows me to keep writing, sharpen my skills. So in a sense I’m doing what I love every day, though in different ways. Some ways pay me in financial terms, some in spiritual and others pay me in future currencies.

However I believe that humility leads the talented to learn their craft. How dare I be good at singing and be clueless of its techniques or maybe not even understand the meaning of music or how it is read off a sheet. When you are good at something, the discipline is automatic, you instantly want to learn all you can, because you’ve found that eternal thing that you love and that loves you for life.

What are you good at? What are you doing to sharpen those skills?

The beauty about our creator is he could’ve made every being in this world a great vocalist, but we’d never sing the same, and our songs would never be the same. So even if you feel your talent is “common”, no one can do what you do the way that you do it. Would you then deprive the world of your offering?

Imagine if your favourite movie star decided not to act because acting was common, your favourite sportsman, your favourite musician, your favourite author – just imagine they deprived you of their talent. Trust me, when you nurture what you’ve been given, there comes a time when you become somebody’s favourite in what you do. Invest time in the things you are good at.

Even the smallest of dreams was designed to be chased, to be analysed, to be given a try to test how good we are at those things, by doing so we finally find the thing that we’re most good at. I’m good at singing (yes I can actually save my life with a song) but that’s as far as it goes, I’m most good at writing though, (I could probably save my life, my family’s lives, yours and your family’s too with words), see?

What pushes you out of your bed each day? What are you doing to make that thing a daily feature in your life? What efforts are you making to sharpen your ability in that thing?

Dream … dream hard when you are asleep. When you wake up, chase that dream with all your might and I’m pretty sure there’s more fulfilment in that than lounging about with ‘nothing’ to do.

Enjoy your day 🙂 and make room for your talent!!

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

LIVING ALONE
DATE: 21 JUNE 2012

One of those bathroom moments 🙂

There is something fulfilling about solitude. I’ve always had to share my space, only last year did I truly begin living alone.In earlier years I shared a bedroom with both and then later one of my sisters. Then in my later primary years, went to boarding school and shared a dorm with a bunch of people I didn’t even know. This went on until matric – yes even with the little cubicles we eventually matured into, the space just outside your cubicle was communal.

Varsity residences were slightly more sophisticated but generally the idea was the same. Even with the cubicles and the private rooms, I could never really close myself away like I can now. I am a very friendly person, once you get to know me of course. And my rooms were testament to that.

Even after varsity, first it was the one bedroom cottage which a million of my friends invaded in the last months of our honours year, when we were searching for jobs. At some point there were more than 10 people crammed into that space.

Then I shared a place with a close friend of mine, and then I went to live on my own in a bachelor flat, but I had another friend who was there every day, that’s a mild exaggeration, maybe four days a week, so I was never really living alone. Plus that place was as sophisticated as a varsity residence which was no longer good enough because I was grown now.

Then I moved out of there to live with another friend of mine, she and I are pretty similar, there was always someone at our place, if it wasn’t her family, it was mine or it was the billions of friends that we had. At this stage it had even gotten to a point where people were choosing which room they’d like to sleep in when they came over, fighting over who sleeps on the couch. No, it got bad, so bad that with some visitors we’d leave them in front of the telly while we went to sleep and they knew that it really didn’t matter if they slept or left while we were asleep because chances were it would feel like the slept over in any case, that’s how soon we’d see them.

Those were good days, those were solid relationships, those were amazing bonds.

But had I known how much I was missing out on, I would have chased everyone out.

Since I moved back to the Eastern Cape I have been living alone, alone meaning that none of that shared space ritual applies because aside family and colleagues I know no-one in this town.

There’s something about solitude after a great noise in your life that will force you to introspect.

I was saying to a friend just the other day that I’m not the same girl that left Johannesburg a little over a year ago. That’s due mainly to the fact that for once in my life I’ve found the sound of my own voice and actually had enough silence to listen, and that has changed me. Changed me in phenomenal ways, even my value chain and my thinking isn’t the same.

It’s almost as though I needed the time away in order for me to hear properly the things that my soul has been shouting at me for years. There’s an amazing revelation that comes with self-realisation, that comes with conviction and knowing yourself beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still that extremely friendly person and still have crazy people invading my space from time to time, it’s just that now the context is different because I’m different.

There are plenty other perks about living alone, there are no pressures to clean, do the dishes, pick this up, pick that up, bath, get out of your pjs, wake up, get dressed, cook – you name it, quite literally you have the final say. That’s not only refreshing, but it’s a bag full of daily lesson, and suddenly you realise why you should do all those things listed above.

Now I was saying to my parents that because of all this, I do not know if I’d be able to ever live with someone else again … no seriously. Yes it does get lonely sometimes, but that just takes me putting on my favourite sing along CD, pulling out a hairbrush and going at it in front of the bathroom mirror and tahdah!! Loneliness gone – no seriously, you should try it. Failing which, there’s not a single thing that sleep never solved.

— Today we have a brand new writer in the Corner’s section, do check out Deez Corner!

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

EDUCATION AND US
DATE: 20 JUNE 2012

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS – sorting books out at my Grans

“Each one, teach one” – I’ve heard this slogan being tossed around in various societal groups, I do not actually know where it originated from, but it is a powerful statement. Just for a second, imagine that you could teach someone something that was life altering … imagine it, just for a second. Changing a life, for the better.

My mother and her sister recently embarked on a project that they’ve pulled their children into as well. You know I sometimes sit and think that had I not chosen the profession I’m in right now I would’ve been a philanthropist.

Anyway, my mother and her sister started this project at my gran’s farm in the village of Nywarha, situated between the Mbashe River and Idutywa.

My grandfather was an educator and a disciplinarian and a God fearing man and a humanitarian. The stories I’ve heard about him from those he assisted, it would seem there is not a thing that my grandfather would not sacrifice to make sure that the people he lived around got an education. He was famously known as ‘uTishala’ in the village and then even in his own household – the Teacher.

EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE

After assisting a number of families in Nywarha while also educating his own children. When he retired he came to live in East London on another farm with my grandmother while keeping his farm in Nywarha. He lived in East London until he passed on.

Now last year, after possibly a decade of not living in Nywarha my grandmother returned to the home she had built with her late husband, the home her children knew best and started to revive it.

I visited my grandmother at every chance I could during the transition, for company and to offer my assistance where it was needed. During my visits a bee-line of villagers would come to see my grandmother daily, even after 10 years they remembered distinctly the assistance they had been given by my late grandfather. However it would seem with my grandparent’s departure, there had been no more hope left in that village, and on my elderly grandmother’s return, some new passion was lit in the hearts of these villagers, because my grandmother is everything my grandfather was, within her is a deep seated desire to help, and it most often translates to action.

It was during this time that my mom told me about a desire to open up a learning centre at her home. It turns out no one person safe guarded education in that area after my grandfather left, those who benefitted from his passion did not stick around, and I do not blame them, with education you get to free yourself from certain circumstances, but I do however wonder why they didn’t pick one child to show the exact same grace that they had been given.

Now my grandfather was a collector of books. We started working towards this learning centre late last year, with a library idea. I have a cousin who’s studying carpentry, his duty was to make the shelves while the girls sat for endless hours capturing and sorting and cleaning books. On his collection alone, my grandfather had over 1000 books, though some had moulded and others had experienced some dire encounters with some rodents, the words still shone off some of them as clear as day.

DIFFERERENT TYPES OF EDUCATION

During one of the community meetings in the area it came out that it would almost be impossible to count on one hand the number of pupils who had passed matric in 2011. It is an area where reading a magazine is a luxury. A place where reading is not really a leisure opportunity, and area where young minds have no idea of the capacity of their own imagination.

My one desire is to see the expression on one of these children’s faces when they discover the fantasy worlds of classic stories like Alice in Wonderland.

Surely those of us who were blessed and privileged enough to get an education ought to be giving back to those parts of our communities that are hard done by, that may never be able to take those first steps without us. Surely we have not been educated so that we could abandon our people. What I discovered about education years ago is that it is not limited to being formal, where you sit in a classroom and learn, you could teach a young boy addition while kicking balls in a soccer field. Another characteristic of education is that it begs to be shared. Just think your first few schooling years, every time you learnt something new you wanted to teach it or show it to someone else.

Now there are so many ways in which to help, you can buy a second copy of that favourite book, and donate it to initiatives such as these so that someone else can learn what you once learnt. Or you could do away with old books and magazines by finding a worthier place for them than the bin. You could volunteer to help a child with homework, play sport with a child and even avail your time to a group of children who may just need to be educated about life.

Really the bottom line is education is a relay, and the more of it you are given, the more responsibility you have to share it. Each one, teach one.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

GOING SOLO IN WINTER
DATE: 19 JUNE 2012

FROM: nature-hd.com

Recently a few colleagues and I debated the difference between abstaining and celibacy because one of my colleagues actually believed he was celibate. Don’t get me wrong, the mere fact that he has taken a conscious decision to abstain is commendable in my eyes.It’s almost as though we get sucked into this weird rat race that requires us to keep giving ourselves to partners in order to attain any validation – as though we were running out of time. This entire relationship game as played globally in social circles is tiring. Not only that, but at some point, if you think you are in a race against time, and have no idea how to be single because you’ve never tried out of fear that people will be pointing fingers at you, you are likely to be an empty shell by now. You’ve probably depleted yourself because you’ve been giving and giving and giving of yourself and I’m sure you’ve had very little time to be caring and caring and caring about you, little time to be selfish and self-centred. Little time to discover you and what you like because you are constantly in rut of ‘we’. First it begins as a want, and then a need, then obsession and then it becomes that thing that you do in order to fit in, and you forget that when the lights go off, none of these people you are trying to impress is lying in bed next to you, and likelihood is that they aren’t even thinking about you and your relationship.

I was challenged by the decision to abstain; there is something about self-discipline, self-restraint, denying the body its urges that make a better person out of us. Once mastered at this level, I believe that self-restraint can translate into other avenues of your life, giving you a multitude of other advantages and it may as well even have spiritual benefits.

I am not only challenged, I am encouraged. And besides, this kind of thing is easier when you are single.

Single in winter. It seems to come as a shock to many, the way I see it, I doubt anyone really finds love during this season because it would seem that those who haven’t invested in electric blankets, like me, have a staunch belief that when the weather is a certain way, the only relief is body heat. Then all those nights of body heat will manifest themselves in spring when women, young and old, with swollen feet, push heavy bellies with their trollies in shopping malls.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t have babies, or enjoy body heat with their significant other, however I will say, I don’t know how I’d live with myself if the conception of my child was based on one factor … it was cold.

I’ve made a decision to go solo this winter, besides I’ve just come out of a very confusing … thing (don’t know what to call it really), and I’m really not for opening doors as soon as the other one is shut, I never have been. It’s not just about recuperating though, it’s about filling up your well once more, being selfish and all those other exciting things. If you’ve never removed you from a we then you’ve probably never experienced the excitement of self-discovery without anyone suggesting subtly or loudly who you should be under the guise of who you are. I do believe that an independent, untainted knowledge of self is vital, especially if you will be finding yourself in a ‘we’ situation.

But now with this challenge of abstinence or celibacy I think my door may be closed for a very long time, a few winter’s may even pass perhaps.

But first, I’m observing if my dear colleague lasts a month … as a man … in winter. If he lasts, then I begin my journey officially.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

I WRITE
DATE: 14 JUNE 2012

FROM: samantha-says.com

Everyone is born with their own special talent; those who take time to learn and nurture their craft find everlasting joy in it.Writing started off as a little thing I did and shared with only my closest friends in primary school. In the earlier days the poetry I wrote was more rip offs of songs by boy or girl bands or the latest love-song. The words were mine, but I had not yet experienced any of the emotion in them. I simply took a concept from a song, played as though I knew what these people were talking about; love, heartbreak, pain, and I went with it.

They say the earlier stages of a poet’s discovery will always involve love poetry. I’ve always figured it was because that’s the first emotion that’s so strong that it drives one to pull out a pen – and after that discovery you find that in love there are a million and one other emotions one can then write about.

However poets grow, and suddenly the ills or joys of society find their way in their pages. Suddenly we become social commentators, dreamers, motivators, and idealists. Our works at times mirror society and at best say the things that others would dare not say.

Those who write will tell you that there’s nothing in the world like it, there is absolutely no other fulfilment than dotting the last i or crossing the final t in your masterpiece. I do it for the ecstasy. That feeling I get after I’ve put my thoughts or my emotions on paper and said exactly what’s on my mind. For me it is more of a therapy, maybe one of these days it might evolve into an entertainment for some people, if it hasn’t already.

I write about the things that bug my heart, and often love is still one of them, but the love I write about is no longer the ignorance of my primary years. It’s not some disillusioned ideal or fantasy anymore.

To share what you’ve written is a bravery that I can only liken to standing on a stage in a hall full of people, naked, with all your defects as well as your assets, waiting for someone to say something.

I’ve written over 400 poems since grade 7, unfortunately to be an artist is at times to be filled with rage and drama and hard to satisfy when it comes to your own work, so I do not have every single piece I’ve ever written, I remember tearing some apart and tossing them in the bin because I couldn’t say what I wanted to say the way I intended to say it – so never mind that the poem was complete, but it wasn’t the poem that I wanted to write. However I’ve kept most, on record I have over 300 pieces, over the years I’ve found space in my books for even those pieces.

Veemedia is launching a new page today. It’s called CORNERS, it is a space where poet’s pieces will be hosted. Our first corner is called ZeezCorner. It is a space where this poet will contribute some of her pieces as often as she can, or maybe rather as often as she wants to.

Some of us may not fancy ourselves poets though, but we do write, maybe opinion pieces or observations of our society. There’s a page on the blog called THINKERS for those of you who what to share those opinions.

Anyone wanting to be considered for the CORNERS or the THINKERS page, please feel free to email vee.media.2010@gmail.com.

I look forward to discovering and enjoying fresh new talents. Let’s put something on a page, and inject it with some life!

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

FATHER
DATE: 13 JUNE 2012

FROM: gogettachedda.blogspot.com

As far as father’s go, God gave me the very best He had on offer and I am eternally grateful to such a deep expression of love.But there are stories I’ve heard about absent fathers, missing fathers, words I’ve had young men who are not yet fathers speak that have broken my heart and made me feel favoured indeed. We live in a fatherless generation. Yes it is still impossible for women to reproduce on their own (for now) – but in these times, we may as well try, as it seems just because a woman caries the seed within her for 9 months, it is more her child than it is his – a logic that baffles me.

Let’s not even begin to talk about what fatherless children grow up to become. They may be successful, don’t get me wrong, my worry is not their drive but rather their perception of life and how that translates into their personalities.

I’ve seen it with people close to me, and I will tell you now absent fathers produce troubled sons who have no immediate model of how to be a man. They go about life trying to figure it out and if you know the world at all, you’d understand that everything has at least a million versions, now manhood probably has as much versions as there are men. These fatherless boys are then left to learn to be a man from strangers and friends, pick and choose what kind of man they become, the right or the wrong kind, and possibly also live to become absent fathers because they don’t know any better.

Sociology teaches that a human being is an agent living within society – this goes to say that regardless of the individualism, independence and freewill of the agent, increased exposure to society the more they grow the more the person they become is influenced by other societal factors. So yes the boy has enough mind in him to choose who to become, but the choice can only come from the choices laid out on the societal buffet table. That’s where family comes in, a single mother can never be a father to a boy-child no matter how hard they try, there are lessons that only men can teach men, just like there are lessons that only women can teach women. Even more so, there are different lessons that a father will teach his son as opposed to a father-figure teaching a young boy.

Sons need fathers.

So do daughters.

An absent father in a girl’s life brings with it a whole new dimension of problems. There’s a term that has been tossed around in social circles to describe young women who seem to have no self-respect or boundaries when it comes to relationships with men. Generally those girls are known to have ‘daddy issues’, and sadly sometimes when you delve deep in the lives of some of these girls who have carried this label, you will find a story about her father.

Father’s Day is coming up, and I so wish there’d be a compelling desire in the hearts of the men that have abandoned their seed to search and reconcile, make a difference in your child’s life by simply being a visible factor while they are still alive and most importantly, young.

Every time I count my blessings, both my parents top the chart and every day I live is a lifetime of thank-yous!

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

STORIES
DATE: 12 JUNE 2012

FROM: asbury.dpsk12.org

“Kwathi ke kaloku ngantsomi” – these four words – equivalent to an English “Once Upon A Time” – hold a dear memory in my heart, paraffin lamps lighting up a room, warm in blankets, my grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren who happened to be spending the school holidays with her, family.

It was a ritual, a family custom. When you got to a certain age you too were meant to learn the stories, and we began taking turns in telling them, and even when granny was not in the room, we told these stories – some scary, some funny, some melodic and easy to remember, all with a lesson to learn, and from the onset we learnt that all stories do in fact have a moral.

The characters in the stories hardly ever changed – it was always the sly fox and the unsuspecting rabbit. As the years go by you wonder why the rabbit never caught on to the fox’s tricks, story after story he blindly trusted this sly creature, with no reservation. There’s a beauty in characterisation, because over time we could all easily recognise the rabbit and the fox whether in the stories or our daily lives.

“Chos’ Chos’ ngantsomi – ungaphumi mpondo. Mpond’ uphum’ apha, ungaphumi apha”. This was another way of starting these stories. I called my gran up yesterday to get clarity on this phrase. She said it was usually recited when these kind of stories were told during broad day light as that was seen as disrespectful to the characters in the stories (which to a young child are as real as the person telling them) – so she said “Chosi” is almost apologetic, a phrase that appeases the characters. Those who however don’t appease these characters before telling their stories in broad day light are likely to grow horns.

She however did not know it’s origins at all, or how to translate the world “Chosi” into an English word, but she did say, “It’s something we were taught, something we grew up saying when telling these stories during the day. We never questioned why.”

And that’s the thing, it’s easy to trust a storyteller in whatever form.

Sadly I do not recall who read me my first story and what it was called. However I have vivid memories of early primary years when my mother was still working as a lecturer at a training college – she would drag me with her to work over school holidays and leave me in the children’s section of the library. This was a teaching college, so you can only imagine the kind of children’s books that were there. There I discovered Noddy and his red car, Kathy and Mark and their pet dog Socks, and an entire world of fairy tales.

Of course initially I knew nothing more than to identify the words that the teacher had already pointed out in class, i.e Kathy, Mark, Noddy. I let the pictures do the story telling for me, and I would lose myself in that library, with no one to bother me and a whole different world to encounter.

Over the years I grew lazy to accompany my mother to work, but the librarian knew me by then, so over school holiday’s I’d make book requests that were obviously in my mother’s name, and that’s how I learnt to take care of books. As time passed I joined the local library with the strictest librarian I have ever met, though I cannot recall her name, the area was more of a cultural centre with a library. There I discovered that there were too many books in the world and not enough years in a life to complete them all, though I tried. I read anything and everything and in those early years I had never come across a bad story.

Moving to boarding school there was a school library with the sweetest librarian and as one of our lessons in primary school, I’m not sure if it was weekly or every second week, but we had a library period. There I discovered the power of encyclopaedias and the wonders of the fantasy genre. I wasn’t one of those pompous kids who could tell you the title of the book and the author and every single one of the characters. Oh no, I read books so I could retell the story, if you wanted to read it after I told you about it, you’d have to search my library record for it.

The culture of reading was already within me in high school, I marvelled over our setwork books, first I loved Shakespeare, and then I truly hated him in matric when no one could adequately explain The Tempest to us. Then I forgave him when I came across Lord of the Flies and had to teach it to myself!

I never got into the Sweet Valley buzz, I did do a bit of Goosebumps and like every teenager I went through the heaving bosoms and quivering members phase of Mills and Boon.

On school holidays back at my grandmother’s place, there were no more stories being told. I discovered an old trunk in one of her outside flats, inside was a treasure I couldn’t tell anyone who did not like to read – loads and loads and loads of books. Some whose covers no longer existed, other’s whose corners had been bitten by rodents, oh that was a good day. I found ancient poetry there, great literature. And my gran would shout at my cousins playing games outside because they weren’t reading, and trust me this lot would’ve cared less for books. That day I got a book that started midway through chapter one, all the other pages before that were lost, and ended just before the ending. I read that story right through the night; nothing was ever as captivating or beautiful. Then the next morning I relived it as I told my aunt each and every detail over bath-time.

In varsity one of the courses I enrolled for was English Lit, this is when I truly fell in love with literature. That’s when I started my book collection. Though I was doing it for marks, nothing has ever made more sense to me than a culture of storytelling and to know that those who told the stories put extra care in the words they wrote and said.

Africans have a rich history of storytelling; there are images of us sitting in circles around a fire listening to worlds imagined by others for our entertainment. It’s a pity then that in today’s world we rank among the most illiterate or a-literate. To rob someone of reading a good story is to rob that person of a lifetime of joy, of a place to escape – a sanctuary, of discovering the paradise which is their imagination, of finding their talents, of passing on the story to those who will listen … of understanding the world a little better than they did before they began that story, of using their mind and awakening all their senses and emotions, of falling in love.

Recently Avusa publications the Daily Dispatch, the Herald and the Times have started publishing a pull-out supplement called ‘Nal’ibali: it starts with a story’ in an aim to get young people to read and older people to tell children stories. A noble initiative indeed, which I have no doubt will have children learning and reading more and therefore opening up their minds to greater possibilities.

Tell someone a story – show them a world they can imagine.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

27 AND A WEEK
DATE: 07 JUNE 2012

FROM spreadshirt.com

31st of MayThat is a special day. This year I turned 27, yeah I said it. I’m not one of those women whose age is a secret, sorry yall, I could never understand why that’s been an issue. Last Thursday a very good friend of mine, on seeing my bbm dp celebrating my age, wished me a happy birthday and said ‘after 27 there’s really no need to count!’ LOL. I’ll keep counting, and I’ll answer when I’m asked, even though I think asking is rude.

They say your 20’s are the most confusing time of your life, as fun as they may be. You’re not exactly young, but you’re not old either. You’re wearing every hat there is to wear, because this hour you are too young for ABC the next you’re just too old for XYZ, you won’t understand.

I’ve had fun in my 20’s I must confess. Going days without sleep because it seemed life was beckoning me to be as reckless as I dared to, even then however, I’ve always had a level head. It was responsible recklessness to an extent. It all started in 2007 – the year I turned 22 … boy did my life change.

You could never announce a jam and think I wouldn’t attend. I was completing my honours at the time, the lecturers were strict and mean and I never gave them reason to assume to know my nocturnal activities. Life was a party … daily!

At 23 the young professional milking what remained of my varsity days thanks to varsity friends who still had time to party and not attend class while they watched me get ready for work after a good night out. Mind you my head probably only hit the pillow an hour ago. The party continued!

At 24, I’m dreading 25 because then I’ll be really old. I’m a bit more chilled than I was at 23, the lady in me is blossoming, I look at girls in the clubs and side eye my friends and laugh, thinking ‘that used to be us’. Those were the days my friends.

At 25 the Fifa World Cup came, now I know we all knew about Philip, I was his twin sister that ENTIRE year; call me Philip-kazi, yeh man!!! It was a whirlwind of madness and guilt free spending. I lived in a South African city that the entire world came to visit during that time, and I still didn’t get to do everything I would’ve loved to do while Philip and I still ran the streets. I mean, my friends were dining with Italian men with fancy accents, and NO NO NO it was not for their money thank you, just a month of Italy in South Africa … I dare you to say that could happen again. For the best part of 25 my life was a fanpark, I was the screen.

At 26 I sobered up, suddenly there were things I would not be caught dead doing or tell people that I ever did. Suddenly life had to start letting me in on its plan, I mean come aaaan!! You live for two-and-a-half decades and you still can’t figure out what the universe has up its sleeve. Every time you think you’ve figured it out, it turns around and flips the script.

So at 26 I did a whole lot of introspection and soul searching, screw the universe, it had had its two decades to get its act together, clearly it was now time to take matters into my own hands. But now here’s the thing, how’s a midlevel young professional going to do that exactly without any resources?

However that didn’t stop me from trying. 26 was the age that I dreamed with my eyes open and I mapped out a path to realise my wants, and noble they are. At 26 I listened to my heart beat and let my passions dictate the path my life should take. At 26 I truly fell in love with myself, truly and shamelessly so. At 26 I met me – and boy am I breath-taking.

Now those who’ve been around me long enough will tell you I talk to myself from time to time. I live alone, so it’s a regular thing here at my crib, nothing wrong with that at all, it shows that I reason. And if I do it in public, which I often do and somebody responds or asks what I’m saying, I always respond in an irritated tone “I’m talking to myself” or “I wasn’t talking to you” never mind that there’s no one else around. But seriously, if I were talking to you, you’d know.

What most people refuse to grasp though is that I live with a band of voices in my head. They are me really, just in different colours, kind of like the colours of the rainbow. Together I refer to them as ROYGBIV, because they act as a unit sometimes. As individuals there’s Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet, yep, all 7 of them.

At 26 ROYGBIV was the only sanity I knew, even know, 27 and a week, I know that Red is a fire breathing angry dragon that you should leave to sleep unless you are ready to experience psycho mixed with emo and a whole lot of cursing accompanied with bitter. However when it’s all said and done, she always makes sense. Yellow is more on the bright side, sunshine and roses and all things nice. You get the picture. And yes they speak in different voices. Yes they think differently.

At 26, in the silence after a very heavy storm, I came to appreciate the voices in my head, they’ve taught me things you cannot begin to fathom – among which, they’ve taught me to be private while remaining an extrovert. They’ve taught me that none of my troubles, concerns, highs or lows are so overwhelming that other people need to know about them. They’ve taught me to think things through and listen to all of their opinions on matters that keep me up at night. They’ve taught me how to identify my convictions and they’ve held me accountable. They have lit a lamp in my heart when days were dark, they’ve ululated in rhythmic tunes when life was great. They’ve taught me the joy of happiness even if it’s not shared with visible people. They’ve taught me trust, patience, confidence and a true love of self. They’ve taught me independence and self-reliance. They’ve taught me to need no-one else but myself in order to enjoy living. And when graced with the presence of others, they’ve taught me to savour each moment and every detail of it. I’m in good company really.

At 27, it feels like something has just clicked, however I do wish the next birthday would be 30, my 20’s are taking forever. Someone once said that life starts making sense in your 30s, that’s when you get that house, that car, that husband, that baby, that raise, that promotion, that divorce – that thing that will forever classify you as grown.

Three more years. Let’s test this theory.

So far, seven days in 27 … I think I’m evolving in all aspects of my life. I hope at 30 the metamorphosis ends.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

LOSING
DATE: 06 JUNE 2012

I DUN LOST SOME AFTER A HECTIC WORKOUT!

There’s no place on earth like the gym. I’ve recently … no wait, that’s a lie. Since 2009 after visiting the Women’s Expo and being weighed by Planet Fitness exhibitors, and told that I was in fact overweight, no maybe they said obese … agghhh who cares.Since then, I’ve had the urge to lose some kilos. I only just recently got the will, a few kg’s heavier mind you, but who cares. Might I add that since March I’ve lost 7kg, slow, but boy is it visible!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!

OK, let me back track … there is no place on earth like the gym, or is it specifically this particular Virgin Active gym? Since March I’ve been visiting this sanctuary religiously, if a week goes by without me going it’s because I’m out of town. Otherwise that’s where you’ll find me, for at least one hour, four days a week. AT THE VERY LEAST, I push for more than that when I can. This place is the best kept secret, I swear. It has more healing power than any other thing that you’ve tried, if you are tense, go to the gym, if you are worried, go to the gym, stressed, go to the gym, miserable, go to the gym, feeling sorry for your self, go to the gym, feeling bored, go to the gym, feeling lazy G.O. T.O. T.H.E. G.Y.M. What you feel after a session is beyond what any therapy could ever give you.

Now someone should’ve told me this earlier. I’m loosing weight and I’m having fun – imagine that!

I won’t lie though; there are days when I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO THE GYM!! Sulking and dragging my feet, on those days I force myself to go, and it’s these days that helped me realize how exercise truly is an irreplaceable and vital part of living.

Enough about that … there is no place like the girl’s changing rooms at the gym. Now fella’s if your lady visits the gym, what you have there is a woman who lurvz herself. Oh boy, never mind the different shapes and sizes that waltz around in the nude in that place, it was my greatest fascination for the longest time – even got me thinking one day that our maker has a great sense of humour and a boundless well of creativity.

Now ladies at the gym LOVE themselves. From the way they walk into the place, how they undress and change into their exercise clothes, how they make their way to the classes or treadmill, how they wipe the sweat off their brows, what brand of exercise gear they wear on which day – but when it comes to the work out, they really don’t give a care who’s watching.

After they’ve worked off that water-retention, it’s back to strutting down the stairs, checking themselves in the mirror after the workout and then going to their locker. What bag they are carrying is very important, their treasure box is their toiletry bag of course, what perfume, what shower gel, what oils to use in the sauna, you name it, they’ve got it.

Oh and the things you hear in the sauna!!! Kills me! I had one lady in there with me once, by the time she left I knew ALL there was to know about her husband. ERRRTHANG!

After the showers, it’s the walk to the scale to check if they’ve lost any weight since yesterday, then it’s back to the locker, lotioning their bodies with body butter, tissue oil or whatever it is – however you better be sure it smells great and that you are standing in front of the mirror while doing this. You’d swear that some of them were seeing themselves for the first time.

Now that mirror time, that session is longer than the session they spent working out. After the lotioning it’s the matching underwear and the designer fragrances, then it’s the day’s outfits followed by hectic hair ironing or drying and a precise make-up routine. It is really a wonder to watch.

You will never in your life see anything as wonderful as a woman who takes care of herself, looking straight into the mirror and using her eyes to tell herself how beautiful she is, in a room full of naked women in all shapes and sizes. It is truly an intriguing sight … and this is coming from a straight person, don’t know how some of my lesbo friends would survive this room. <;;;;;- That’s me being honest :p.

That’s the thing with the gym though, there’s a stride in your step and a confidence in your twirls after a good workout. It’s almost as though you can take on the world, it’s a truly exhilarating feeling – that lasts the entire day, honestly.

You don’t only lose the weight, you lose the overly conscious nature of wondering what people see when they look at you, you lose your troubles and burdens, you lose the heaviness that’s weighing you down – and at the end of it all you gain a brand-new, confident, spunky, beautiful you.

GO TO THE GYM!!! I swear you won’t regret it.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

I AM NOT MY HAIR
DATE:05 JUNE 2012

MY MANY DIFFERENT FACES

“You are the one person I know who can do so many hairstyles.” A friend recently said to me.

I have vivid memories of my youth; I must’ve been in crèche or grade R when my mom started plaiting my hair. Not the most enjoyable of memories as it always ended in tears … the results though were always admirable.

Weekly I’d sit between my mother’s thighs, and she’d part my hair in half, from the middle down, and then she’d divide the half’s equally and make what we as Xhosa people know as ‘ooOne’ (as in the number 1) – I do not have the energy to find the appropriate English word for this. I was going to go for French Plait, but that would be a lie! LOL.

So this was the routine, mine was to make sure that I lasted with these four blocks intact for a week, then my hair would be undone, washed and redid. It was a weekly show of pain and admiration. And as my mother indoctrinated me at a very young age “ubuhle buyanyamezelwa” – loosely put – one must suffer for beauty.

As the years went by, I graduated to my aunt’s thighs, my introduction to braids. Shame, the patience of these women. I recall once I fell asleep, after fighting silently because my scalp was on fire, and I woke up the next morning, and like magic she had completed my hair … while I slept. It takes some other talent to do that.

However, it is this early introduction to dolling up that makes me feel weird to look at myself in the mirror with no hair-do. The only time I enjoy my hair is when it’s been done up or when my Afro (which I’m now growing for a fourth time) is grown enough for me to style it. So it isn’t really a thing of putting on extensions and weaves, rather it is a thing of looking at myself and being able to know, with every inch of my being that EVERYDAY is a good hair day.

One day a certain department official painted a scenario – she asked her audience to imagine a girl child who could never afford to do their hair, and instantly this made me sad.

Having attended boarding school from an early age, your hair was your image. Every beginning of term, it was part of the package, new hairdo, new clothes, new stationery, etc. Unless you’ve been there you have no idea how much dignity and validation come from these simple yet life changing things.

I mentioned that I’ve grown my Afro at least three times, all those times having vowed never to put chemicals in my hair again, I went back on my word. Maintaining an Afro is not just a skill it is an art, and those who master it do it well. I’ve been blessed with great hair – thanks mommy, thanks daddy! But boy is an Afro a difficult task. The easiest hairdo to maintain is any kind of braiding. Weaves on the other hand, do not get me started – you have to have a routine for these babies. Kind of like how you set aside time to iron your clothes in the morning, you must iron your hair with just as much care.

Having relaxed my Afro I was called a ‘sell-out’ by those who had formed a bond with my hair … that begs repeating MY HAIR. And India said it best “I am not my hair”. No hairstyle has enough life to be me!

The liberty of a black African woman’s hair is that she can have as many faces as she wants. Bald, weave, Indian, Brazilian, cornrows, braids, curls, boy cuts, afro, ponytails, relaxer, dreadlocks, you name them, and when she’s done, she can do it all over again without sharing the secret behind her monthly visits to the salon.

However, the older we grow, the numb we become to the pain and the more exciting trying out these new looks become. And the braver we become, after one mess up we vow to never pay for anything that we do not like on our head. You must remember, this is your money, your time and a whole lot of suffering.

More exciting than the look though, is the trip to the salon. Never a dull moment, just when you think you have heard all there is to hear about how people live – the hairdresser or a customer will whip something out that will surprise the bejeezis out of you! This my friends is more entertaining than a trip to the movie house. It’s real people, with real problems, telling the most absurd of stories in the sincerest of ways. No hairdressing salon dealing predominantly with black hair is ever a quiet place. In between the guaranteed blast of music – usually Gospel or RnB, there’s a fantabulously unbelievable story to be heard.

STAYS THE SAME

Truly speaking, doing one’s hair is a cultural experience, a reminder of who we are, an affirmation of beauty, a fresh spring in your step after a long month, a new glow, a reward, a discovery of the different faces of you. Even those who choose not to do their hair, you know the types, your soul sistahs, growing natural dreadlocks or Afros, never leave the house without checking their hair. It’s not a competition on how real we are; it’s an understanding that when we look in the mirror we must be able to mimic what we see in the way we carry ourselves, as though we had jars of gold dropping with our every step.

And on that note … I do not know a single black woman who has never done their hair – no matter what style, salon or at home.

Rock those hairdos ladies … just don’t get lost in them. We are not our hair … i.e – putting on a Brazilian weave will not make you Brazilian, just like having an Afro will not make you more African than you are.

Know thy self and enjoy the many faces of you!

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

GRIEF IS PRIVATE
DATE: 04 JUNE 2012

FROM: theuniversalsolvent.net

I spent my birthday on a bus from East London to Johannesburg last Thursday. I had two options really. I haven’t had the best of birthdays since my 24th. 25 was a disaster, 26 was plain lonely because I’d just changed cities after 7 years, and now 27 was a choice. On the Sunday before my birthday I received word that one of my closest friends had lost her father, and the funeral was to be the coming Saturday.

Another one of my friends had arrived a day before we heard the news to spend my birthday week with me, out of fear, I’m guessing, that I’d spend another horrid birthday all on my lonesome. I had made plans to have a dinner on the Friday, mostly with my new friends and colleagues, so when the news came I had to think, it wasn’t too hard a thought process when I finally did the calculations.

No one ever has to loose someone so dear to them and be shown no support by those who live and claim to love them.

I have a problem with funerals, with pain, with grief, actually let’s just say I’m awkward around any display of emotion that isn’t joyous. Really awkward, those who have seen me cry will tell you that it was seldom that I did it because I was sad but rather because I was angry and I hate the fact that tears are my only outlet for anger. Something about how I’ve been brought up, an observation maybe, but to me crying seems a great weakness and so therefore I seldom do it. But when you’ve lost one of the people who brought you into the world, what’s left to do but cry.

I heard once that tears were a heavenly language. That when there were no words left to communicate with the Maker, your deepest cry spoke to Him in a language only He could comprehend.

I travelled to North West for the funeral on Saturday evening. I am a weird character; let’s get that out of the way from the onset. My sole mission really was to protect, to cover, to hide my friend from prying eyes in a moment when she’d be more naked than she ever was. For a reason that I believe years will explain, I didn’t want the world to see her during one of her most vulnerable moments. To me it was almost rude and unnerving that people would have front row seats to her pain.

The fact that she had to crumble, while other people watched and could do nothing about her pain was most painful and disturbing to me.

I only cried once – when I heard the news, speaking to my sister on the phone, saying, more to me than her, that no number of bad birthdays would ever explain why I cannot be there physically to support someone who has held my hand through joyous and difficult times, looked me in the eye and told me the truth and never once left me wondering about how much she loved me.

I had no idea that I would cry a second time. Forming an army of support around her family at the grave yard on Saturday, all her friends, from different walks of life, came through in their numbers to hold her hand. It was her mother who walked up first, to lay flowers on her husband final resting place, followed by her brother and then her. My friend fell apart after she set her flowers on her dad’s grave and all I wanted to do was scream that everyone should look away. Instead of looking at her, I looked around at the other friends around me – on seeing her crumble, they also crumbled while I hid my tears behind large sunglasses.

Grief is a private thing … a moment of such great vulnerability that can never be explained in any other language but a heavenly one. Though I wish I could’ve relieved her of some of her pain at that very moment, I know that June 2 will forever be engraved in her heart and mind for all her days and that the pain, though it may subside, will never be forgotten. There is no condolence in the world that can last a whole lifetime. I however earnestly believe that those who hear the language of tears heal the broken hearted, the grieving, and the mourning while they still live.

Be it with everlasting memories of a borrowed time, of a life entrusted in their hands which they handled like worthy stewards, of love, of laughter, of special moments, the soothing they give surpasses any amount of tears shed. And it is my sincere wish that with the passing of years that my friend would dwell on the greatness and strength of life that was her father, and that this would heal her as she relives and retells his memory with pride to those who listen.

To father is a great responsibility. A great father reaps the ultimate reward. My friend’s father was the love of her life, and may she never let go of that great regard.

Rest in peace Tata, you have raised a dazzling daughter. May your memory live on forever through her.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

WHY DOES IT MATTER? DOES IT REALLY MAKE A MAN?
DATE: 24 MAY 2012

FROM; soberinanightclub.com

I wondered what I’d blog about today, and then a heated debate between a male colleague and I sealed the deal. Let’s talk about circumcision.

I put it to him that should I ever mother a boy I’d have him circumcised before he is even one month old. Ok maybe I should contextualise, I am a Xhosa woman, of pure Xhosa descent living in the Eastern Cape, a land filled with Xhosa people with strong traditional convictions.

However with the same token, I am also a modern woman with the ability to judge and reason and then make decisions based on tradition, science and information.

This conversation had me thinking … what makes a man? My colleague insisted that traditionally, in our culture a TRUE man walks that tough road and follows customs as they were conceptualised in years before we were privy to any of the technologies of the 21st century. He even went as far as to say a male child that isn’t circumcised the traditional way can never be considered a man in his eyes or in the eyes of other men who took the cultural route.

In his eyes, the pain and agony experienced during this process, the fact that you are old enough to have its memory engraved on your mind for eternity is what makes you a man. A boy who is circumcised while still a baby would never remember this agony, and according to him, that boy would have taken a ‘short cut’ and in later years he’ll want to be seen as equal to a man who went to the bush – he says that can never be, and that boy will never be a man.

Now note that me even talking about this is very taboo – however I think there comes a time when the reasoning human being, understands their culture and the world they live in.

It has been scientifically proven that there are benefits to early infant male circumcision under local anaesthesia – which can only be performed in a hospital. Research has shown that early circumcision is a preventative means with benefits which are reaped once the child is an adolescent, before that stage the child is at a lesser risk to infections than one who isn’t circumcised. Benefits include prevention of other complicated diseases which come as a result of having a foreskin.

And another factor that has to be considered is the endless deaths at these circumcision schools, making mothers have sleepless nights when thinking of their beloved sons in pain in the name of culture.

Culture is a beautiful thing, when honoured within reason. It should never be a confinement or a prison.

Now if a parent sits down and decides how their male child is going to handle this part of their lives, either way this decision is never really up to the child, but it is a decision that should be respected as different convictions weigh heavier on different hearts. Me personally, my child is having his foreskin cut at infancy and his father will know even long before I fall pregnant. And when the time comes he will join his friends, cousins or relatives – no matter what route they choose – for the initiation school and ceremony. I do believe that he can still respect his culture and traditions without having to risk his life to prove to society that a man needs to suffer.

Now the other thing that bugs me here is what men think makes a man. Or even what society deems as a fit man. What makes a man really?

I know for a fact that before I even knew what circumcision was I knew my dad was a man on the simple premise that he treated my mom with the utmost respect and he made the world stop for his children and his family. I was never in doubt and I never needed proof to know he was a man.

Even after I had learnt what circumcision was, it would not have mattered if my dad was not a traditionalist. For me, the deeds make the man.

Not every male who undergoes traditional initiation is worthy of my respect, in fact you don’t even need to be circumcised to live an exemplary lifestyle.

To most girls a man is the head of the household, someone who demands respect because he has earned it through the way he carries himself. A respected man with integrity is easy to submit to. A man is a provider – now this is always misinterpreted. No self-respecting man would be confused as to where his household’s or family’s next meal will come from while sitting on the couch doing nothing or spending his money on things that do not breed life for him and his family. What I’m trying to say is, providing does not mean that a woman can be bought with money, it simply means that the man acts in a manner that shows that his intention is to preserve the lives of his children and his wife or partner – and that does not always have to be in monetary terms.

There are a number of other qualities that make a man, and not everyone who is born male, and not every male that undergoes traditional circumcision will be counted as a man when it matters, and it has nothing to do with how early you lost your foreskin, but rather how you’ve conducted yourself during your lifetime.

I am in agony when I think of disillusioned males performing cruel acts under the unfortunate misconception that since his was cut in the jungle he is a man.

Finally; what kind of man you become has a lot to do with the role of women in your life. Yeah I said it, discuss it, deny it, debate it, denounce it – it aint never going to change.

A man is only ever a man if he acts like a man consistently.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

YOU’VE GOT TO RISK IT
DATE: 23 MAY 2012

FROM: limatayu.blogspot.com

That’s how the story goes. Most of us are sitting on unrealised dreams fenced in with fear and a low risk appetite, of all the people worth knowing, whose story ever started like that.

Mind you, none of them ever started anything for the fame, but for the impact and the intrinsic satisfaction that they did something worth doing while they lived. Also worthy to note is that it was something they were built for, and regardless of their hard work, they were made to succeed in it. And all of them took risks.

So what are you good at? Is it worth the risk?

This year I’ve embarked on two risks, lord-have-mercy, it’s going to be a rocky ride. I’ve braced myself for the early mornings, the sleepless nights and the endless tears … oh and the inevitable moments of psychotic ranting. But something clicks when you realise that no-one will do the things that you delay doing. They may do something similar, but nothing beats the real thing!

What are you going to start? What are you going to risk to finish it?

It must come with the years, or maybe just with maturity, or is it drive. But at some point every human being answers to the call, when things are not as they should be and it’s up to you to make them what you want them to be. The universe only responds to strong desires, at their core they are most times selfless and driven by an unquenchable passion and a relentless conviction.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? I know someone who’s constantly asking that, and for me I’ve always got a recent episode to reflect on.

We only live by taking risks. People will always talk, you succeed they talk, you fail, they talk. Most of the time it’s a mixture of good and bad things, you choose what to hear and whom you put at the centre of your quest. However, I’d say, let’s not do it for these people, let’s do it for the people who’ll be speechless – those who will be dumbstruck, touched and changed.

In his life-changing book, Paulo Coelho writes: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” He then proceeds to tell through a story that the statement is a statement of fact. Try it, meditate on the one thing you want, daily, without fail. Pursue it, risk what you must within reason and watch the universe working in your favour. Let’s do the things we were meant to do, forget what they say.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

DEAR MR PRESIDENT
DATE: 8 DECEMBER 2011

Make it count.

I really don’t want to be a communist – but somehow the capitalism and democracy that my people were ‘freed’ for has had me wondering for a while now about the notion of equality and what it really means when politicians scream ‘the people shall govern’. I’m sure the great forefathers of Athen’s voices have gone hoarse from screaming ‘stop, that’s not what we meant.’

I was born in the mid 80’s – during a time when the oppressed had finally united and were standing their ground. When the oppressed read political literature in their bantu education English accents just so they’d know exactly what it was they were fighting for. I take great pride in being born in the 80’s for it not only means I was instantly baptised with a cloud of self worth,but that no matter who governs or where I go, I could never stare injustice in the face and shrug it off. After all I was birthed by liberators.

I recently moved back to the Eastern Cape – that lavish province that has been ill governed since your democracy, my birth place, this grand place statisticians count among the poorest provinces each year. I recently moved back home after living in Johannesburg for seven years. A couple of months after my move I walked into a store to apply for an instore card and the cashier, an 80’s baby no doubt was shocked to see that at 26 I had no children and she asked: ‘how do you do it?’ I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my father’s democracy wasn’t worthy of my offspring as yet – I couldn’t tell her that in this promised land there was no milk and honey for those who crossed over and those still stuck in the desert had received no manna from heaven.

Don’t misread my words, I almost understood democracy when I lived in the Sandton’s of Johannesburg, hanging with the twanging crowd and dinning at the “in” places, dancing at the illest clubs. I understood democracy so well I thought Jo’burg was all there was to this country. And then I came home. It’s taken me a while to realise why my heart just can’t settle in this place – it’s simple really, while your government is busy up and about counting people across the land, nameless, faceless people – the people of my birthplace are still waiting to be counted for democracy and they all have names and their stories are written on their faces. Naked, exposed for all the world to marvel and stare at their scars.

They are waiting for their promises to arrive, they’ve seen them come alive in other provinces, what about theirs? I see no difference in this province from what it was in the 20th century when I first understood what it was I saw. I still see poverty, I still see lack of service delivery, I still see injustice in the education system, I still see crime, I still see hunger, I still see desperation, I still see some fighting just to get a taste of some dignity and I search but I can’t seem to see any meaningful democracy – I see a forgotten people. Sadly of late I also see a people who have surrendered to their fate, to what they think is their destiny.

Mr President, I ask you and your cabinet – how will u renew the hopes of those who have entrusted you with their lives. When was the last time you spent a night in a house with no flushing toilet and no running water and no electricity and no food and no bed and no money and called it home?

Maybe you ought to visit the weeping corners of the country you govern just to assess how deep this democracy runs.

As I was saying, I find my thoughts dwelling on communism lately, maybe it’s easier to flirt with the unknown, but at least under that regime I can slave away knowing my neighbour wont die because of impoverishment and no one life will be more important than there other. All will be equal, none will be more equal than the other – in all things that matter.

And might I add, since coming home I’ve also noticed a strong people, a resilient people, an intelligent people – I truly hope when they awake from this haze of self pity and injustice, your demoracy will have began to visit even them.

Yours sincerely
This EC baby

P.s – make my ppl count.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

FREEDOM IS TAKING TOO LONG TO DROP
DATE: 11 SEPTEMBER 2011

Reality. Picture:Grocotts

THERE are certain parts of our country where people leave their yard to relieve themselves, where people do not even know how a piece of toilet paper feels against their backside, let alone the sound of a flushing toilet.

There used to be about three long-drop toilets inside my granny’s yard. Now there are none, the long drop is situated outside the yard and this 81-year-old woman who needs crutches to walk has to make that walk whenever nature calls.

I was there earlier this morning, next to a pile of old newspapers I sat – scared as hell because I had no guarantee that this structure could hold a ‘heavyweight’ as big as me. Strangely though, while doing my business I was fiddling with my blackberry and my second phone sat secured in the pocket of my gown. REALLY? In the age of blackberries, some still shit in long drop toilets? REALLY???

I couldn’t help but wonder what those who fought for an ideal freedom would say at this sight. Besides electricity, this village has stayed pretty much the same as it has always been. The scarcity of paraffin lamps is no longer any achievement worth mentioning. It’s heartbreaking how democracy has given some freedom and yet some still remain in the very same shackles of the yester-regime while others find themselves bound by new chains all together.

How long will it take to undo the wrongs of the past? Do the old die wondering what it is that their sons and husbands fought for? Were they merely sold an ideology which bore no visible fruit or are we just a tolerant, but impatient people who shun anything that does not deliver instant results?

What breaks my heart even more is that there are some in these parts of our country who know of no other place but the village, and for them, that is enough….

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS
DATE: 10 SEPTEMBER 2011

There

THERE are some structures that may crumble to the ground, whatever the reason is, and completely cease to exist – however those who inhabited them at their prime will forever remember their most unique details.

As I write I’m visiting my gran’s farm in a village called Nywara, a few kilometers from Idutywa in the direction of Mthatha. I arrived yesterday evening and the first memory that engulfed me when I opened the door to a house I haven’t slept in in almost a decade was of my late uncle who used to mind the farm for my grandparents.

His nieces and nephew’s fondly called him ‘Ncinci’ which was an indication of where he fitted in the family structure, he was the youngest of five. In all my sleepovers at this place, every morning I’d wake up and Ncinci would be in the kitchen and the first question out of his mouth would be “Uphuphe ngantoni” (what did you dream about). As a kid I’d never come across such a difficult question because I seemed to always forget my dreams though I could distinctly remember dreaming. Over time I began making them up – and as such managed to tap into my imagination.

My granny recently moved back to this place after years of living in East London – this is her rightful home. The home she built with my late grandfather, the place my mom and her siblings call home. This is the place that’s being rebuilt from the shambles of neglect to restore back to it a glory greater than what it formerly enjoyed. It even shows on my granny’s face – though things aren’t as they were when she left – she is indeed home!

I had forgotten all about crowing roosters and barking dogs, that’s what woke me up at past six this morning – the roosters wouldn’t stop and you can’t press snooze on a rooster, I had no choice but to embrace that I was indeed in the country side. When the rooster crows, you must wake up.

I awoke to the rebuilding of a beautiful space and soon realised that in life, roosters will crow all day long as they have been doing today, until you wake up, until you come alive and rebuild everything you thought you had lost. The simplicity of the country side makes you find lessons in each of it’s details.

Let me get back to helping revive what used to be a fun house – the warmth has already been restored.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

GOING BACK TO A PLACE CALLED HOME
DATE: 08 SEPTEMBER 2011

BEAUTY

YOU have to be gone in order to return, and things will never be as they were when you left. It’s a thing of faith and conviction, something inexplicably hungered for by the soul. Eventually every living being wants to go home. It’s a divine mystery that only souls can interpret.

At the beginning of May I returned to a place I call home, after being away for seven years it became easy for me to notice it’s short falls and it’s beauty while those who have been here all their lives have begun to treat it like an ordinary and useless space. But my fresh eyes have come to see even the difference in the sun setting on this part of the country. My part of South Africa, where my roots are planted so deep there is no denying it – is a paradise that all other provinces envy. The Eastern Cape is a haunting beauty that will penetrate even the hardest hearts.

It’s lush hills and gushing streams are but just the tip of it’s grandeur, meet it’s people, visit it’s towns, read it’s stories and speak it’s language. In these past four months I’ve felt like a tourist in my own home, everything is both new and fascinating. My people are a rare breed, wherever you find us. One thing that observation has proven though, regardless of what is said against us, what is evidently for us is that we are indeed an intelligent people, from villages to uptown houses, our strength truly does lie in how we use our minds.

There’s something mystical about being back here, something other-worldly. My lack of blogging is not because there hasn’t been any desire to do so, but because there have been no words to describe this phase of my life. But with the blossoming of Spring flowers, you allow for change and new things to take over the icy cold winter ways of thinking. In short, my modem allowing , I’m back!

The thing about coming home is that you also discover yourself, willingly or by force – and boy what a discovery I’ve made.

Four months is a long time, it’s time to embrace this beautiful province and allow it to make of me what it chooses and adorn me with the glow and warmth of being home.

Stay tuned for more updates … coming your way more frequently than before. In the meantime, if you can, do your soul a favour and go home.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

COURAGE AND TOIL – THE DREAM DEMANDED

DATE: 30 MARCH 2011

Pic: stepmomsrock.wordpress.com

IN life you have to take the good in with the bad, the sweet with the bitter.

You must toil so you can be rewarded, you must sow in order to reap and enjoy the harvest. It’s all about balance. It’s a thing of seasons, in life just as in natures cycles there will be summer, winter, spring and autumn.

I used to think winter lasted longer than all the other seasons in my life. That was before I liberated myself and emancipated my mind and it was only then that I realised that you choose how long your seasons last. We don’t fall victim to the seasons, we make them beautiful.

Coupled with that I’m learning the philosophy of sowing, being a farmer is by far the noblest vocation that I know. You need to believe in something greater than yourself. When u sow you do it with a huge helping of faith in your heart, you trust for rain, you trust for growth and you trust that the seed u planted will grow into the ‘fruit’ that it promised – oranges can’t grow from an apple tree.

I recently found myself calling out the farmer in me, though in a drought I continue to toil, trusting for rain and good fruit and I anticipate the harvest with great delight. I’m slaving away now so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labour in seasons to come.

Life is about balance and it’s true that there is a time for everything under the sun. Play time has taken the back seat in my life, it’s time to get Kunta Kinte on this dream and eventually my reward too will be freedom!

There’s no greater reward than those demanded by diligence, dedication and honest labour.

Virtute et Opera – courage and toil!

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

I SURRENDER!
DATE: 19 MARCH 2011

Pic: dealinanutshell.blogspot.com

THE human thing is to never surrender. Even at our weakest points we’ve disillusioned ourselves into believing that we are capable of making things go our way. And if they dare not oblige, we force the matter, not only just to prove a point, and to assert our egos but to ride on the high of success and the pride of knowing you’ve made something work.

I’m fast learning that the universe has its own plans about most things related to living and most recently loving. Just when you assume you’ve figured out the pattern, the rug is pulled from under your feet. It is inevitable that you’ll stumble while trying to find you bearing afresh, but once you’ve settled, just make sure you don’t get too comfortable.

Love is a tricky game. And to disillusion yourself while you are falling in love reaps more than just heart ache, questions and confusion, it compels you to finally admit that it was never in your hands. It is during that time that the truth comes out strong and pure. If love is then it is, no matter the tempest and regardless of what becomes of you and the object of your affection.

I’m way past the point of forcing matters, human beings are complex. It confuses me how someone so easy to love could be so resistant to being loved. However I’m at the point where I’ve identified who I am in this battle and I’ve surrendered. Surrender doesn’t always mean retreat or giving up, it may mean that one has acknowledged the limits of their own power and capacity and they’ve now allowed the universe to continue with its plan, given the battle over to a higher power, and certainly saying – what ever will be will be.

In the Alchemist, Paulo Coelho says if you want something badly enough, the universe conspires in your favour, and then not to be confused, the Alchemist goes on a journey that reveals the content and motives of his heart, and at the end of it all, that’s the one thing that does matter: the reasons why you want something at all. Put your heart on check and if you are found wanting, learn the lessons until your heart is blameless when it comes to love.

It’s been said that all’s fair in love and war. So none can be blamed for the heartache, we learn the lessons and we move according to life’s pace. Once in a while there’ll be that great love that will not really allow you to move on.

Surrender is the most painful act, an admission of limited power, a sacrifice of great significance and pain, a necessary decision. It is only through surrender that life can make itself right again and the correct elements can once again resume their appropriate places in your heart.

However it must be said, we only surrender once we know that we’ve done all that we could and way more, and there’s absolutely nothing more that we can do. I surrender …

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

GROW UP
DATE: 7 MARCH 2011

Vuvu Vena: Not even done growing

AT every age that I can remember, growing up has always been glorified, an aspiration that was sure to reap great reward when it was attained.

The typical ages are vivid in my life, as a woman the first age (no need to guess) was thirteen. Oh boy was I grown at thirteen. Finally my mother would let me be my own person, I’d probably even get a training bra and get to put on roll-on and finally understand the fuss behind guys and kissing and most likely even have what the other teenagers referred to as a ‘boyfriend’. The teenage years were promising; I’d even get to have an opinion when I felt my mom was scolding me for no apparent reason.

Don’t worry, I quickly learnt that firstly your mom will always be right when you are in trouble, even when she is wrong and talking back to her in the heat of anger and disappointment was probably not a good idea. Then I learnt that with the bra and roll-on came other unwanted hormonal developments that made me wish I had never wished for either of them. The only speculations that paid off were the kissing and the innocence behind what teenagers referred to a ‘boyfriend’. Oh oh, and I did become my own person. I’ve transformed a few times in my life, and thirteen was the beginning of my metamorphosis.

The next phase was sixteen … it would be a lie to call it sweet. I was young and full of energy, as curious as Alice and would stop at nothing to uncover what it was that made grown people grown. At 16 I was wise, I’ve always been the thinking type, so in any situation whether it was with my peers or grown ups I reasoned with problems more logically because I was always thinking and listening. But I was still a child, a wild teenager at that. Sixteen was the year I understood what innocence meant, you don’t usually get to know the true weight of a thing until you loose it. When it was lost I decided it was a tad too heavy to carry around all my life in any case. At this age my mother was still my mother, the bras had become bigger, attached to kissing were a number of weird stories and boys were beginning to become redundant and becoming my own person was as inevitable as it had always been.

The next great age was 18, wow; finally there was a whole new world at my disposal. The bras had finally stabilized, the roll-on was part of a daily routine, boys were just another human species, I had taken recess from kissing, I was well on my way to varsity and goodbye to the all-girls school that had been home for seven years, goodbye to the teachers that had mothered me along with the matrons, goodbye to Grahamstown and its donkey-drawn-carts, goodbye to the Eastern Cape and its lush hills and valleys. HELLOOOO CONCRETE JUNGLE!

So off to Johannesburg I went, initially not a personal preference, but mothers will be mothers. On my first day at res as I was making sense of my environment I had a conversation with the voices in my head and decided I wouldn’t stay long in this place. I picked up my curriculum and saw that this degree only took three years and I was turning 19 that year. By the age of 22 I had completed my honours and I was off to play in the jungle with the rest of the animals. NOW THIS IS THE PART THAT I’M MOST UPSET ABOUT!!!

It is not until I left varsity, aged 22 that I realized growing up was over-sold. How about not selling the inevitable to me, we can’t all be Benjamin Button you know, why the hell wasn’t I told that life was not going to be a sail in the park? Just to explain my confusion, life had been fairly easy for me until now. Went through primary school making the top 10 and sometimes even top 3 in my grades, conquered high school through a miracle, I still tell anyone who’ll listen that I am absolutely clueless as to what was going on academically in those five years, I’m glad my sister is in varsity now and she never asked me to assist her with her homework, it would have been severely bleak for her. But I managed to qualify enough to get into a good university. In varsity I discovered my brain; (I think it can be shy sometimes) it must have a lot to do with the determination to be done with it as quickly as was possible. And now, here was the jungle.

No rules, and no fair-play, the hungry fend for themselves and mercy, if you ever encounter her usually weakens you and charges up your self-pity. The jungle is for the mean, the mighty and the strong, the cunning, the strategists and the determined. Little kids could not play in the jungle. And suddenly it occurred to me, this is what made grown ups grown. They battled it out in the jungle all day long and yet managed to leave the jungle behind whenever they went home. Home was the place where they were happy and they rewarded themselves for having fought good and enviable battles out there in the jungle weekly.

BUT I’m still not convinced. I mean COME ON! Couldn’t anybody have told me more about the jungle, the trials, the heartaches, the system, the food chain, the strategies and the game-plan? Anybody?

I can now say I’m my own person. After 21 the only major change was at age 25 when I learnt to embrace life and the jungle it uses as its stage. There aint a thing I can learn, do or hear now that can uproot me, I have come into my own and the recent conversation with the voices in my head was a vow to make it in this jungle, and on my way there I’m going to leave bread and biscuit crumbs like Hansel and Gretel, so that those that come looking for the secret to the jungle can find it with ease. The daily battles you fight are never really your own, your success should have an impact on the next generation, not on your pride!

That said … I brought the jungle home this weekend, now back to it!

P.S Before I go, yes the bras found a way of growing through the years, boys have highs and lows, kissing had its peak and my mom is becoming my friend and innocence has proven to have no relevance or impact on any aspect of my life, I’m better off without it.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

THIS BLACK WOMAN

DATE: 1 MARCH 2011

PIC: maseOne

SOMEONE once told me about a song, a song I am yet to hear, but I was meant to draw strength from this song. I still haven’t heard the song, it was sung by one of the black divas of heydays. However this someone managed to share the lyrics with me, and those words have been a part of me ever since.

I’ll admit, I do not remember the lyrics at all, it was three years ago. I remember the message behind them though. The diva was conveying how hard it is to be a black woman in this world. She was saying every morning you have to wake up knowing you have two strikes, one for being black and another for being a woman.

I think initially the song made me pity myself. It was at a time when I was doing my first internship and I was questioning the whole idea of success and when it finally gets to be yours. I was also questioning the caliber of older black professional women around me. None of them seemed to have an interest in grooming a successor or at least guiding her in a world they’ve succeeded in regardless of how it has been labeled ‘a man’s world’. None of them.

I found myself wondering, was it the colour of my skin? Was it my gender? And the more I grew the more I learnt that it was both. But not in a bad way …

Ok let me try explaining it this way. I’m the very same black woman who can easily jam to ‘African Queen’ by 2Face and have no doubt that he’s singing about me. And whenever I hear the saying ‘Wathint’umfazi, wathint’imbokodo’ I know it’s true because I am that woman and it’s also true that ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. What I mean to say is that, eventually, when it came down to the gender part of things I had to accept that I am multilayered and beautiful at that. A woman is not meant to be one dimensional or even predictable. There a lot of things that a woman is meant to be, but all those things can never be one thing and none of them are the usual and expected like a sister, a daughter, a wife, a mother, an employee or a boss.

A woman’s beauty, though simple is engrained in the simpler things, the things that come naturally to her, to nurture, to be a lover, to have no fear to explore the heartbeat of the universe even if it burns her, to be beautiful, but mostly to be captivating.

Then it came to me that I cannot be one without being the other, I am both black and female and I would never trade that identity for all the diamonds in the world. But before I identify with being black, there is a list, an order that must be respected:

I am a living being – born not only to be loved but to give love.

I am a spiritual being – made it the image of the Almighty, there is not greater compliment.

I am a woman – the epitome of creation, when God finished making Eve He didn’t only rest He said “It is done” and He never created anything else ever again. I am God’s masterpiece.

I am a daughter – you can trace everything that makes up who I am back to my father’s name. In a world where it is so easy to loose yourself, I am proud to know there’s a place where I’ll always belong, it’s not an institution, not a building, not a person, but a people who share a name.

I am a friend – I add value to a number of people’s lives and I enjoy the same privilege, there truly is nothing greater than to be known by another.

I am a student – living is useless if you are not learning.

I am an employee – the humblest of beginnings have groomed the greatest of man.

I am a lover – it’s as natural as breathing, it’s like the gift of free will…everybody is born to love.

I am a warrior – there are battles that only I can champion.

I am an African – I am not born or created in isolation, my birth place plays a part in what I eventually do with life.

I am black – but maybe not the way that you define black. To me its just a mere colour, the sun would still be the sun even if it wasn’t yellow.

One day I’ll be a mother, a wife, an employer and the likes. Never will you find me listing all the things I am and finding that being black is a hindrance. YES I AM BLACK, but even a white woman can be all the things I’ve mentioned and not get any strikes when she wakes up in the morning for being white. The colour does not determine her ability, why should it determine mine.

It is unfortunate that we live in a world that sees everything in black and white. And black is always seen as ‘the other’. However as black women we need to understand that the world cannot be changed over night. But if we work hard enough we can change our worlds and the way we see ourselves. Black is beautiful, and strong. Black is acceptable, responsible and educated. Black is motivated, liberated and diligent. Black is out there to change the world, because Black can! We are still in the age of realization. You may recall from anything you’ve read about feminism, how perplexing it was when women finally realized they can do everything a man can. Suddenly they didn’t need to be popping babies and bare-footed in the kitchen waiting for the breadwinner to come home so that they can be at his every beckon call. So too it is true today, as black women we need to free our minds to realize that we have to keep shedding off the things that limit us, and seeing ourselves as society defines black won take us forward but will only hinder us. We will create more and more ceilings for our success. Nothing is beyond our reach. Whatever limitations we have can not be blamed on the colour of our skin. Look around you, so many black women have made it!

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Ghandi.

I no longer see my beauty to be a strike of any kind. I am a blessing and anyone who encounters my presence in any of my roles is beyond privileged, because they haven’t just crossed paths with any female. They’ve met THIS BLACK WOMAN. And their lives are without a doubt changed forever, because I am a black woman who is not oppressed by what I am; instead I am motivated to pave the way into the new and inevitable era. Every day when I wake up, it’s as though I’m in a Pinky and the Brain episode … Pinky will ask Brain “so what are we going to do today Brain” and without fail Brain will say “same thing we do everyday Pinky, try take over the world”, what a noble cause.

I will fight the fights that black women are faced with daily so that the gorgeous black women that come after me can fight new fights and pave way for those that will definitely follow. Truth is, if you are black, you are black, if you are a woman you are a woman. All the science in the world can never change that truth. Stand up for your kind and contribute to life while you are still living. Make a black woman love being both BLACK and FEMALE.

SOURCE: Vuvu Vena, VM

2013

That’s what it is about the new year. I’ve been wrecking my head for months since last year drew to a close wanting to explain why I needed the year to end so badly. How simple it turned out to be … I simply needed a revival.

The new year brings with it an opportunity to redefine, reassess, reinvent, change, dream afresh, to be born anew. It is also a chance to rebuild, grow, go back to the drawing board, make conscious, binding decisions.

It is an opportunity to re-form oneself and aim for greater heights. To be purposeful in making the new year percentages better than the past year.

It is a reminder of hope and possibility.

How many times were we told we would die last year again, or was it that the world was coming to an end? I’ve lost count. But imagine that, for those who honestly believed the world would end, this is a chance to live again without fear – a free living known only by those who know not when the world ends.

Since I started working, I have never returned to work so early … so as such, as I do each year [before going back to work], on New Year’s Day I spent the day under my own personal telescope of introspection, shifting and shaping the dreams of 2013 and putting them up on my mind’s noticeboard, the big picture is surely a sight to see. The big task though is how I’ll bring the puzzle pieces together.

And that people is the joy of living … the challenge, what would life be without it?

As young as the year is, already even the young adults in the country are having to make life altering decisions. Tomorrow the matric results will be released. Such a milestone, these youngsters will literally choose the path their lives will take for the next three to four years, oh wait, that decision will in fact influence the rest of their lives. So all in all 18 year olds and 17 year olds will be making one of the biggest decisions of their living years.

The challenge.

I used to make new year’s resolutions once … I stopped when I realised that come February I either could not achieve any in the 12 months ahead or I had simply forgotten what it was that I wanted so badly at the beginning.

I do something different now. I chose three things I want to achieve above everything else, and yes at times it is material things, but mostly it is a self-improvement and self-empowering exercise.

I meditate on these three things for at least January and before I know it I breathe them and they become my compass that year and they start coming so easily as though they were second nature.

Now I hope this is not misunderstood, there is a hierarchy in my life and the spiritual will always overpower all else.

The other trick is I have to know what these are when the year starts, I cannot decide in March that the goal is to loose weight because by March I will have become accustomed to that year already, two months in I could be the biggest junkie [consumer of junk food] this side of the coast.

Like I always say, it’s always a better idea to start a thing at the beginning; January; Monday; etc, you catch my flow. If I don’t put my mind to it in January, chances are whenever my mind wakes up to it I will not last long on that mission.

SO? 2013 two days in?

For me it is abundantly apparent that last year’s Vuvu is not this year’s Vuvu. I declare over my year laughter, love, joy, ambition, prosperity, focus, achievements, growth, success, wealth and gooooddd times.

SPEAK LIFE INTO YOUR YEAR.

May your 2013 outshine every other year of your life in its beauty.

Have a great year yall!!

:))

**Live Life Love Be **

 

4 responses to “PERSONAL

  1. karabo

    June 9, 2012 at 16:46

    Hey Vuvu

    I’ve also read all your posts really interesting pieces-feeling inspired So how is the Eastern Cape and where do you work now?I hope you still a jOurno?

     
    • veemedia

      June 12, 2012 at 07:27

      Hey Karabo! The EC is great hey, ok maybe let’s say it’s like anywhere else, it has it’s off days, but mostly it’s been good to me. I’m with one of the Avusa publications down here, still a journo. How have you been? Where are you these days?

       
  2. Buntu

    December 9, 2011 at 10:58

    I’m supposed to be at work-working you know but I have read all your posts instead. I must say, I do not feel cheated. I’m so proud of you Vee, not only because you are a lady, not only because you’re black or that you’re from the eastern cape but because you did not let any of the aforementioned be the sole defining factors of who you are. I love the way you write. It’s polite, learned and extremely relevant to any student of life. Thank you lady Vee

     
    • veemedia

      June 12, 2012 at 07:25

      Thank you so very much Buntu, that means a lot to me. I hope you are still checking the blog from time to time 🙂

       

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