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thandekamwakipesile

Just Saying.

So there’s been something that has been on my mind for a while now and i would really like to know what all of your opinions are about this so hit me up in the comments section ūüôā Anyway, here it goes.

So I recently joined an initiative that is centered on amplifying the voices of Africans and letting the rest of the world know about the true complex nature of the African identity and voice. Something that has been on my mind this whole year is the fact that we all say stuff like “Its important to tell your story” or ” Its important for you to play your part as an African to diversify the African narrative.” And of course this is true, but which Africans do you refer to when you say this ? Is it Africans who go to private schools and have never had to worry about school fees or food, or where they will sleep that night or is it Africans who live on one meal day or work two jobs while they study to pay off their fees ? Beacause if you are referring to the African who still lives the African reality of high unemployment, food shortage and unbearable debt due to the economic decline of their country, then why do you create organisations for “Africans” to voice their opinions when those platforms require skype meetings and regular internet connection and so on. Can the regular African access all of this ?

Now I’m not saying I live off $2 a day and have nowhere to live, but it does not mean that I don’t often have to think of what I’m going to eat or wonder how many jobs I’m going to have to get to contribute to my university fees. ¬†Considering all of this it has become increasingly frustrating that I am expected to have regular WiFi/ Data connection. To a lot of people this post may seem pointless, but this is a crisis. People keep dictating to people how they should tell their story, that if it isn’t on a major platform, it isn’t legitimate. I have obviously fallen victim to this trap, considering I’m typing this on this platform, while I use my cousins WiFi lol.

My point is, if you are an African and you do not fall into the bracket of the current generation that creates platforms for certain types of Africans, platforms that you and I will probably not be able to efficiently utilize. If you live the African reality, or at times have to endure it. If the African struggle isn’t just a mental reality but a constant tangible struggle, you are not alone. But, DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU. Find a way to get your message out there, to tell your story.

For goodness sake, SCREAM if you have to.

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Fragility 

I’m not strong, I’m not saying I can’t handle life’s heavy blows

I’m saying I’m fragile, like Venetian glass you have to handle me with care. There’s an art in touching Venetian glass, and  there’s and art in trying to handle me. 

God didn’t make me this way by mistake, being delicate doesn’t denote weakness, rather a duty to transparency and refinement. If you push me about I’ll break, so I’ve decided to stay in the cabinet with all the other delicates that remain unused until the right touch comes along.

Love notes to my adversary…

Just because you put milk in your coffee, doesn’t mean it’s not black,

Just because after days of sitting indoors the pigment of my skin goes a bit lighter, it doesn’t make me less black than you,

Just because I speak the language of your oppressor and wear the fashions of your allies it doesn’t make me confused 

You heard me play the Mbira and saw the the tune of that Congolese song sneak into the crevices of that sleep deprived look on my face, and leave a smile in its place. Then when I told you I liked that Taylor Swift song you, again questioned my “blackness” but you see, that’s the thing, my identity was never supposed to be a question.

You made it one.

Discomfort.

He told her that he loved her

She told him to calm down

“Just relax hon’. Here, have some water. Are you alright?”

She acted as if he had some sort of disease,

As if he was confused,

As if they had separate dictionaries or in fact, spoke different languages, in which ‘love’ in his language was a word for ‘tired’,

When he said “I love you”, he must have meant “I’m tired of you” he could not have possibly have meant the kind of love that was love in her language.

She looked at him like he was sick,

Foreign, alien.

He took the water she offered him, confused as to why she gave him water and not an answer of “I love you too”

He knew she did,

When he said “I said, I love you” after his last sip,

She looked at him as if she was disgusted,

She was disappointed, in his bad taste,

He had just admitted that he loved stubborn, book crazed, stay in doors kind of girls. The kind that could bore you to death with their knowledge of ancient cultures and historical artefacts,

Girls like her.

She had dated him and fallen for him before he even knew her name.

To her, he was unattainable, and being his girlfriend, she expected the relationship to end soon, but she didn’t mind,

She liked having someone to admire her, not love her

He would be Van Gogh, the artist people would talk about,

She would be the painting, admired for her so called aesthetic, not her substance, he would confuse the two, but that would be okay too…

Or so she thought, but here he was,

Doing something she was not used to…loving her,

And within the long silence that came after him saying that he loved her,

She began to resent him,

For making her uncomfortable.

 

 

Life & Loss

I’m sure we all know what it’s like when someone close to us tells us that someone they know and love passed away. Sometimes we feel genuinely sorry for their loss because we perhaps also knew the person and even if we didn’t, it’s human nature to sympathise. I mean how would you feel if you told someone that you heard that someone you used to know a long time ago passed away and all they said was, “Oh well, you weren’t close to that person anyway.” Even if you weren’t wouldn’t it make you feel sad? I know there are times when I truly haven’t felt anything when I was told that someone I didn’t really know passed away, I mean I was sympathetic, but I wasn’t sad, because I didn’t know them..

That’s until now. Even the slightest thought that someone almost died or was in a life threatening situation makes me anxious, sometimes even frantically tearful. See we’ve all suffered the loss of someone we knew but when people die that we’re your close family, its tough. Over the past 2 years I’ve lost a lot of people in my life, amoung these people 4 were family and two of them passed on within the passed 6 months. The impact of all these losses was only felt recently, a month ago when my Uncle passed on. That’s when it hit home, my Uncle, who was like a second father to me was gone, when I found out I felt a rush of emotions that I couldn’t even name. Now every time I think of it I think “Well it could have been my Dad or Mom or my Brothers.” I don’t know if you’ve lost family members and friends within a short space of time but its taught me so much. Firstly, that the phrase “Life is Short” should be taken more seriously. It taught me that this life, your life, is the only chance you get to love the people in your life. Once they are gone, that’s it. Just let that sink in.

It also started to make me fearful of death and made me want to delve deeper into my faith. Death now just makes me so sad. I was watching a reality show yesterday and one of the people in the show went through a near death traumatic experience, every time she said what happened I just couldn’t stop crying. I’m not big on tears, whenever I want to let things out the tears are never there but of late I almost can’t control it. Basically, all I’m saying is that if you’re alive, this is your chance to live, don’t let circumstance of short comings steal the fire in you that makes you feel alive. I say that because I know a lot of people are living dead lives, just going through the motions. I know life is tough sometimes but don’t let your chance to live go to waste. LIVE !

Seeping Through the Cracks

There is nothing more tragic than lost significance,
You let the waves of your hair define your crowning glory so when you lost it, when it all fell out you deemed yourself to be something less.

And finding like-minded souls whose hearts rhythm beat differently enough to create hooks and choruses with the melody of your heart made you believe you were keeping time,

But as you realised that bad songs sometimes have good rhythms as you realised your own symphonies, your conduction proved off beat with what you thought were kindred souls.

So remove yourself from these things you have made piggy banks,

From these mere mortal entities that you have placed your self-worth,

Look within… you know your song even when its drowned out by the drumming chorus of circumstance and ill encounters,

Are you listening ?

Listen, you know what you want,

You have turned Nefertiti into Bible serpent,

Being tempted by lesser fortunes, because your greatness lies in the uncomfortable cracks within the brokenness of your soul and so you hid. . .

You fled the cracks, thinking you were fleeing past mistakes and what had hurt you —

But you ran away from lessons . . .

Learn. And when the tears of lesson fall let them soothe, let them go,

When you’re done, listen…

When Spotlight meets Purpose

So one of the most exciting things happened to me today! Deddeh Howard followed me back on instagram ! If you don’t know who Deddeh Howard is, she is a Liberian model, based in Los Angeles and she has challenged the beauty and modelling industry to redefine how they define beauty and to create more inclusiveness in those industries, after going to countless modelling agencies and being turned away because “they already had a black girl” Howard started posting photo shoots that she had done replicating ad campaigns that Caucasian women had done, in an effort to change people’s perception of people of colour. In a project she named #blackmirror

We all know how promoting diversity and promoting equity is not the same thing. That said, I’m so so glad that #blackmirror has challenged major fashion labels to have more people of colour in their campaigns. A splash of colour is not enough.

So I would like to salute other public figures who have inspired me, challenged me and helped me to push past my own insecurities.

Kerry Washington 

Kerry Washington is an American actress well known for her roles in huge Hollywood films like The Last King of Scotland, Ray and more recently, her role in Scandal as Olivia Pope a crisis manager who runs her own crisis management firm in Washington D.C. What inspires me about Kerry Washington isn’t just the amazing way she portrays characters on screen, but rather her passion for education and activism. Washington graduated from George Washington University 1988 Phi Beta Kappa  with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology. What inspired me most was her most was her GW Commencement Speech please do watch it her words are gold.

Devi Sankaree Govender

Devi Sankaree Govender is an award winning investigative journalist and since I was a little girl I always watched her interview everyone from corrupt politicians to executive members in large corporations on the South African show, Carte Blanche. Now I must emphasize, that as a girl growing up in Zimbabwe, I never noticed there was censorship of the press in Zimbabwe until I saw Devi on TV questioning political/public figures, and she did it in a way that said ‘I want answers, and I want them NOW!’ she was my first encounter with unapologetic journalism, the kind that wanted to expose the truth for what it is. She is so inspiring to me because she is relentless in her pursuit for the truth, think Christiane Amanpour with double the grit ! The motto on Carte Blanche is ‘You have the right to see it all’ and her and her fellow journalists definitely make sure of it. I salute you ! Thank you.

 

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham is an American supermodel and is most known for being a lingerie model for the plus sized clothing store  Lane Bryant and has been on the covers of major magazines like Vouge, Maxim and Harpers Bazaar ! 

She is also the first plus sized model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Her influence has been felt all around the world, and as I was really chubby when I was young it took me so long to love my body, even after I lost a bit of weight, watching Ashley Graham’s journey has definitely encouraged me to buy a bikini or those really cute shorts and just love myself ! Thank you girl ! And would you just look at these pics !

Connie Ferguson

Connie Ferguson is a South African actress, producer and model. She starred as the character Karabo Moroka on the South African soap Generations: The Legacy . I watched her on this show since I was a little girl and at the time I was a huge fan of her, based solely on the glitz and glam surrounding celebrities, but now that I’m older I know that Television and Media is about a lot more than that. It’s about telling stories that bring people together and forcing them to relate to the characters on the screen. I watched that show with my family every evening, it was our way of unwinding and having family time. Connie now has a production company that she started with her husband called Ferguson Films. She is still creating her own shows and starring in them from Rockville to another soapie she produces and stars in called, The Queen; Connie is always pushing boundaries while keeping Africa entertained and helping us all create memories in our own homes. Thank you Connie !

When You Fall . . .

‚ÄčWhen you fall it won’t be because our eyes caught a glimpse of each other in the kaleidoscope shadows on a nightclub dancefloor

When you fall it won’t be as a result of an extended one night stand

It won’t be a scene from a movie where the wild girl gets the guy hooked on her eccentric mysteries

When you fall it will be the result of meaningful conversation, it might not be an ideal movie scene

My clumsiness may even distract you from my words a little bit

But when you fall it will be because the depth of my words will draw you in with its authenticity, you’ll take a deep breath as you listen to me speak

‘Cause I’ll be a breath of fresh air, soothing, unexpected, unapologetic.

And when I fall, you will be an answered prayer not perfect, but mine.

When you fall you’ll know its right.

An Ode to Candid Girls.

They will always mistake your honesty for intemperance. They will take the tight embraces you give them as suffocations. They will often tell you, Candid Girl, that if you were to meet your reflection, that if you were to meet yourself you’d hate that person. Little do they know Candid Girl, that the honesty you give is always your greatest sacrifice, its your way of compensating, for all the slander you have encountered. Its your way of loving the way you want to be loved. You’d rather slap swiftly with truth than stab backs with lies. I urge you Candid Girl, to candidly allow yourself to love and be loved by ones lovely loving enough to be your kindered Candid Girl. They won’t always get it, but that’s okay, cause I love you Candid girl, the Candid girl way.

I wrote this to all the candid people out there I wrote it from a female perspective but it really is for anyone whose truth is unintentionally nonconventional to all those people who mean well but are never quite understood. You don’t have to hide your personality to be accepted you just need people who are willing to take the time to get it. Xo

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