The mother and heartbeat of the revolution

We have loved her in life, let us not forget her after death. Long Live Mme Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela – Long Live the Mother of the Nation.

WinnieMandela_

Struggle veteran Mme Winnie‚ lived a meaningful life despite all the suffering and pain she endured. She fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of our country – Our beloved South Africa.

Her activism and resistance to apartheid not only made South Africa a better place bit-by-bit, but also led to her torture, lose and heartbreak, her efforts to fight against an unjust system landed her in jail on numerous occasions, yet she never gave up. A stalwart in the fight against apartheid truly lived, loved and died at the age of 81 on April 2, 2018. Robala ka kgotso.

Death comes to us all and with it being a ubiquitous part of life that everyone will experience at some point, it’s important to remember to live life to the fullest, to accomplish your mission on earth, break the shackles that keep you bound and conquer giants. We need to understand that the walk to freedom, happiness, success and total fulfilment is not always easy, so in our endeavours to achieving our goals we need to be ready to get up again and fight for what we believe in.

In 1991‚ Mme Winnie was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault of Stompie Seipei‚ a young activist who was killed by a member of her bodyguards‚ the Mandela United Football Club. Her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence on appeal.

Mme Winnie’s marriage to Ntate Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela began to struggle a few years after his release, a letter she allegedly wrote to her young lover found its way into the newspapers and then the couple divorced in 1996‚ 37 years after their marriage. She went through trials and tribulation, yet she got up and rose again and again and again and again…

A towering figure of African womanhood and activism she was and will always be.

Winnie_Image 1

Her life has taught so many of us the power of resilience, to show fortitude in the face of a hostile society and always bounce back.

The mother and the heartbeat of the revolution, who was a voice to many whose voices were silenced, who lived an extraordinary life, who inspired a generation of strong, fearless women, and the mother who taught us how to courageously confront challenges with unwavering strength and determination will be remembered as the brilliant person she was.

winnies quotes

Here are some of the tweets that resonated with me:

“…We grew up admiring her courage and got older appreciating her challenges. She will be missed.” – Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“Former DCJ Dikgang Moseneke has hailed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a “absolute heroine, with an incredible ability to be able to take on injustice and to soak up pain, in a way that is not immediately describable.” –  Karyn Maughan

“When you character assassinate Mama Winnie… you character assassinate black people.” – Julius_Sello_Malema

“The Freedom Charter says South Africa belongs to all who live in it. That is the South Africa I wish to leave one day. – Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela in 2017” – Fikile Mbalula

A beautiful life – lived. Rest in Power Mother of the Nation.

winnie.jpg

Advertisements

Mickey’s Potty Training Journey with Mom and Dad

Over the past few months, I have been on a potty-training journey with my 3-year-old and I honestly feel like I am failing Mikuso because I get the “Have you been potty training him at home?” question from the teacher every time I see her. The other day we were called in for a parent-teacher meeting to address the issue of potty training, show and tell as well as speech. I’m sure my kid would be Boss Baby if I was a stay at home mom and didn’t have to worry about paying the bills.

Keep Calm

I am literally writing this post with a disgruntled heart and attempting to re-evaluate my parenting skills because seeing my child, of whom I think is the most brilliant human ever, then thinking of the parent-teacher meeting we had that made me feel as though I am not doing enough to empower my son is overwhelming. If only there was a parenting manual, then we would all create perfect human beings.

"At the moment I'm afraid we have learning difficulties..."

“At the moment I’m afraid we have learning difficulties…”

Every child is different, and I do not compare mine with other children because I know better than that. I can’t help but feel as though teachers sometimes compare kids and I don’t want my child to feel inferior just because he is not yet physically ready to control his bladder and bowel. I believe that he will be able to go the toilet by himself soon and enjoy being dry and clean, but right now he is just dealing with a bit of threenager tendencies, laziness and stubbornness.

 

The other day I was giving him a bath and his penis was sore. I generally clean the area covered by the foreskin with a cotton bud, but this time the white stuff didn’t easily clean off, so I had to do something to alleviate him from the discomfort and get him cleaned up. I thought of what I do when I am irritated by a pimple and I squeezed it out, after a couple of minutes he was happy as a lark. The bum cream we use was clogging up his pee whole, thus the discomfort. While I was squeezing I thought, this guy seriously needs to stop wearing nappies…

Moms who do everything

The plan now though is to get him reliably dry during the day by age four and this determined mommy is encouraging the behaviour she wants to see in her little boy.

  • As per teacher and principles advise we take him to the toilet to pee or poop every 40 minutes, even when he doesn’t need to go.
  • We let him roam around in underwear the whole day during the weekend when we are chilling at home, plus it’s warm now so this method will certainly work.
  • We have positive affirmations everyday like “Mickey is a big boy, he pees and poops in the toilet.”
  • We read with him on the daily to improve his speech and realised that he loves reading.
  • We practice Show and Tell at home first before the big presentation in class, so that he is ready.
  • A little praise from myself and Zola a day goes a long way.
  • We no longer make a fuss when he has an accident, so that he doesn’t feel anxious and worried making him more likely to be successful.
  • We put him in pants that are easy to pull down and avoid clothes with lots of buttons or zips, although he knows how to zip and unzip.

It’s still quite tricky to get the balance right, but making little changes can have a big impact on his development, this includes everything from patience and understanding my child better as well as remembering the fact that training is usually fastest if the child is at the last stage before they start the training. It is not just his journey alone, but we are all in this together. My Mickey boy is always delighted when he succeeds and the plan is to celebrate this milestone once he gets it right.

tumblr_mprhurxNw81rofw8vo2_500

The Drive Experience

The mornings of standing in ques at the taxi rank were very experiential as I got to know some of the commuters who taught me a thing or two about managing challenges, the taxi drivers who showed us flames while driving towards oncoming traffic- some of them were good and friendly while some seemed to be angry all the time, the taxi marshals who always helped me when I was short of a Rand as well as the vendors who always gave me a bantsela, but those days are over now.

I had always told myself that I am a good driver and will soon be the best driver on the road, but I recently got a car and the anxiety I feel while driving has made me realise that knowing how to drive is the first step then having the courage to get behind the wheel alone, drive in traffic, on the freeway, next to trucks, with road raged humans as well as reckless drivers is another step towards enjoying this independence.

1.jpg

The panic attacks, racing heart, rapid breathing and feel of terror is something I am currently working on overcoming in order to take control of my life. I have been having chats with experienced drivers who say they have been through the same thing and soon enough I will be driving with ease.

mr.bean-car2

I thought it’s best to start read up on ways to conquer driving anxiety and I hope they will help. This is what I am going to start doing as well as an affirmation i am going to use as my daily driving mantra. Hopefully in a weeks’ time I will zooming gracefully and these exercises will help you as well if you have the same phobia.

me1

My daily driving mantra:

“I am OK, I know what I am doing, I am a very good and safe driver.

Driving is a luxury and call to freedom that I deserve.

I am a safe driver and I will arrive safely at my destination.

Driving is a common, everyday activity and I have got this.

I am well prepared, I am alert and I can cope.”

I can control my car and reactions when driving.

What to do:

  • Create a calm environment in the car, wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Take deep breaths, inhale slowly through your nose with focus, then slowly exhale and let your body relax – repeat this process at least 10 times.
  • Repeat an affirmation and dispel any negative thoughts you have about driving or play soothing music to calm the sense of rising panic.
  • Do some tension releasing exercises such as the Progressive Muscle Relaxation method.
  • Obey the rules of the road.
  • Take short trips in your area and work your way towards longer drives to help you regain your confidence.
  • Take a partner or a friend that is an experienced driver along when setting out on your first couple of drives to help you familiarise yourself with speed limits, paddle control and rules of the road you might forget when in distress.
  • Always allow enough time to reach your destination to avoid feeling rushed while driving.
  • Remain on the left lane and don’t feel as if you need to drive in the fast lane or drive in a way that you are uncomfortable with.
  • Keep the car cool and well ventilated.

Although the fear won’t just vanish as if someone had waved a magic wand as we are all different and there could be deep seeded reasons so as to why you have a fear to be behind the wheel, but with enough practice you’ll be naturally calm and drive like a pro.

#YouthDay: The power of the future

As I attempt to document my thoughts of #YouthDay, a childhood song keeps playing on repeat in my head and this is how the words of the song go: “South Africa we love you, Oooh beautiful land, we’ll show the whole world, that we can bring peace in Our Land.” There are many people who fought in the struggle to liberate our generation and we observe days in which events enabled people (young and old) to stand up, take action and protect their beliefs or likelihood.

5215_south_african_heritage-2.jpg

Young people today are faced with many challenges and it sometimes seems as though we are trapped in static and directionless hard-menial-dull work., and that is because democracy can be very noisy, that we tend to easily drown in the daily disagreements. We then lose sight of the fact that our society needs to move in a particular direction, but thing is – we are making progress as a nation with many positive developments we need to celebrate and keep working toward building a better future.

Believe it or Not – There are opportunities waiting to be taken and used for the benefit of our communities and society. New infrastructure development has taken place in many regions of South Africa, thus redefining the appearance of places that people wouldn’t in the past find so appealing to visit, do business or invest in. That is why we should look at our society in a positive light and as making progress because fact is, there are new buildings, new roads, new water and electricity connections in many parts of our country and these directly and indirectly have redefined living standards of many people in Mzansi.

south_africa_flag_glitter.jpg

June 16 is a public holiday in South Africa that commemorates the youth of 1976 that took part in mass protests as part of the liberation struggle and it resulted in a wave of protests across the country. The uprising spread countrywide and the actioned campaign of those young people profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa. There were many events that triggered the uprising and can be traced back to policies of the Apartheid government that resulted in the introduction of the Bantu Education Act in 1953.

According to sahistory.org.za, The rise of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and the formation of South African Students Organisation (SASO) raised the political consciousness of many students while others joined the wave of anti-Apartheid sentiment within the student community.

The uprising that began on this day in Soweto came in response to multiple issues with the Bantu Education Act and the government edict in 1974 that Afrikaans be used as medium of instruction for certain subjects in black schools. The protesting students were met with fierce police brutality and at least 176 people lost their lives in their quest to change the status quo.

soweto-uprisingsep.jpg

The youth (black students) of 1976 mobilized themselves, fought for political freedom and succeeded. Young people today are fighting for social and economic freedom, and as much as we are facing multiple issues young people must be aware and seize opportunities that are available. All young people need to embrace our evolving cultural norms and standards, and society needs to enable a safe environment where both young males and young females can thrive.

international-youth-day-2015.jpg

It is good and well to talk about all the things that young people need to do to gain a new perspective on matters and become more vibrant and engaging, but when young people use their Go-given talents, through available platforms to express their opinion and protest in various ways they face judgement from some community members, senior activists and even young activists.

One example of this is Channel O‘s (DStv 320) Youth Day’s interpretation of an iconic South African struggle era photo in 2015 that was slammed as “incredibly insensitive” and “disgusting”, the Channel O re-enactment showed a young man carrying a graduation gown flanked by a smiling woman (mother).  Some people were acting all brand new when they saw this, yet we all know that education is one of the points of agenda in our struggle in this day and time. We will never forget about the 1976 Uprising as well as the sacrifices that benefit us today.

              hector-petersen  Channel O_Head to Toe

what-does-youth-day-mean-to-you-e1497621636781.jpg

I think Youth Day should be celebrated every day because South Africa’s population is largely made up of young people and making the most of chances in the educational, entrepreneurial and social arena is the best way to honour the Class of 1976. In my teens I didn’t really attach much meaning to Youth Day; it was just a day I could use to catch up with friends. As I get older, each year I reflect on Youth Day and realise that its meaning evolves over time, but the spirit of what this day symbolises never changes and through self-education I understand how significant it is to myself and other young people.

President Jacob Zuma giving his official address at Ventersdorp today said that ‘Today’s youth is fighting for social and economic freedom.’ He mentioned that the youth of 2017 are fighting to alleviate poverty, inequality, unemployment and to get a better education. He also encouraged the youth to put education as a priority and take advantage of opportunities made available by government.

We have a long way to go as young people, but we are resilient and cannot forget the achievements by many young people in our vibrant country.

june-16-madiba.jpg

 According to an article I read on EWN, This is what some members of political parties in South Africa had to say in preparation to mark Youth Day:

  • EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “The young people ought to know this history, not to dwell in the tower of the past but to be able to demand a future in the name of that past. A better future, a future with more freedom, with justice and with more peace.”
  • The DA’s Anneke Scheepers said the youth of today have the same responsibility as the youth of 1976. “The young people of today have that same kind of responsibility. We’ve different missions ahead of us, we’ve to realise South Africa’s economic potential.”
  • The ANC’s Zizi Kodwa said the youth of today face many challenges. “Majority of young people, we’re talking about unemployed graduates, and you need either to re-skill them because of our education system in terms of its output and the market. These are the things that will require a multifaceted approach.”

On the 41st anniversary and commemoration of the Youth Uprising, in the form of Youth Day, we celebrate with a sense of pride, joy and hope for the future.

Happy Youth Day!

UPRISING.png

Africa my first love

Nkosi Sikelela iAfrica (God bless Africa) is the prayer all South Africans share when singing the national anthem. This prayer came to my mind as we celebrated Africa Day on 25 May and I feel these words carry so much life, light and prosperity.  The people of this beautiful continent have endured great hardships and have shown that they are humans who can rise beyond expectation.

Africans across the world celebrated Africa Day (formerly known as African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) with renewed calls for unity. The day is observed to commemorate the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity, which is now known as the African Union on May 25, 1963. My only hope is that we don’t just end at acknowledging solidarity, heritage, culture, the progress made in liberation movements and diversity in leadership across the continent, but participate in transformation for the whole continent.

Africa

Despite challenges still facing the continent including economic transformation, exports vs imports, land, mineral resources, inequality, crime, poor education and skills training among many other issues, Africans embraced the opportunity to celebrate the significant progress made by the continent since the inception of the African Union 54 years ago.

mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was quoted during her keynote address at a dinner gala on 23 May 2017 in East London, by media publication BDliveSA saying, ‘For “radical economic transformation” in Africa to be achieved‚ peace on the continent is imperative. “We must work hard to silence the guns in Africa by 2020. This does not mean there will be no conflict but it must be dealt with through dialogue‚ not the barrel of a gun,

For all the above to be achieved‚ women and the youth must be at the centre. Africa has a big population of a billion-plus … This programme towards prosperity must not exclude women and youth.”

AU_Nkosazana zuma

Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma is a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist.

I love the fact that she mentioned that peace on the content is imperative as well as the inclusiveness of women and children because:

  1. Tribalism has led Africans to fight amongst each other thus inflating hatred and senseless xenophobic attacks that hung like a dark cloud over humankind. I believe that there is nothing wrong with possessing a strong cultural or ethnic identity, but let it not negatively separate us from each other, lets rather use  this to embrace each other’s differences through love and understanding.
  2. Women are the nurtures, child bearers, first teachers to their children and valuable members of society. In prehistoric cultures, women assumed a particular cultural role depending on societies they were part of – from gathering plant foods, small animal food and fish, to being involved in domestic tasks such as child care, to evolving job seekers outside of the home, to the revolution that transformed women employment and resulted to women becoming career and education oriented and now with the increase in the endorsement of egalitarian gender roles in the home by both women and men. Women make a great contribution.
  3. Youth carry what they were taught as children and exposed to in their journey of development into the future and that is why young people and senior citizen should collaborate in continental solutions driven activities.
13000284_1683650591896794_5577369937942353389_n

Oliver Reginald Tambo was a South African anti-apartheid politician and revolutionary who served as President of the African National Congress from 1967 to 1991.

United we can stand strong for peace, friendship, respect, development, investment in Africa and transformation, but divided we fall into war, struggle and inconsistency.

Let’s speak ourselves out of the storm and work towards bringing renewed hope because Africans are strong, tenacious and passionate enough as well as intellectually inclined to bring  the change we all want to see on the continent.

thabo mbeki
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki served as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. 
Chris Hani

Thembisile “Chris” Hani, was the leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress.

steve-biko-alive-or-dead

Stephen Bantu Biko was a South African anti-apartheid activist.  Ideologically an African Nationalist and African socialist, he was at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s.

#AfricaDay #AfricanLiberation #AfricaUnite #PeaceInOurLand

The May 16 New Moon

Today marks the day I entered planet earth and the day that my mother made it possible for me to experience this dimension through the grace of God. Every life is precious and my journey has shown me that God has a plan for everybody that is born. Today I reflect ­­as I always do, but today is my birthday so the thoughts thread deeper and I have hope and I am excited about the future.

I will turn 30 soon and my bucket list just kept growing through the years and reshuffled at times because I was trying to be “realistic”. To be honest I am a bit anxious and I know I shouldn’t because plans to prosper me have been planned in advance.

With all that being said I would like to say Happy Birthday to myself. It is a new year that will be filled with happiness, success and sunshine. The plan is to enjoy the journey!

IMG_6534-Recovered.jpg

“As you evolve, you will shift in ways you never thought possible… There’s only one rule to successful self-evolution: outgrow all that does not serve a positive purpose. So go ahead, shed your skin. Tomorrow you will be reborn.”- Alexandra Harra

In honor of my most magical day the year- my birthday and the new moon in Taurus I am going to work even harder of accomplishing everything on my vision board.

I thought I should share this just for fun. According to  article written on sunsigns.org written by Mikki Donaldson.

I share my birthday with celebrities! They are Pierce Brosnan, Megan Fox, Janet Jackson, Joseph Morgan, Tori Spelling, Ralph Edward Tresvant, Jr. and Debra Winger.

There is so much from being born on this day than being Legendary! LOL.

  • May 16 Birth Sign: You Fall Under Zodiac Sign Taurus
  • May 16 Rashi (Vedic Moon Sign): Vrishabh Rashi
  • May 16 Chinese Zodiac Sign: SNAKE
  • May 16 Birthday Planet: Your ruling planet isVenus which symbolizes the things that make you happy and your creative personality.
  • May 16 Birthday Symbols: The BullIs The Symbol For The Taurus Zodiac Sign
  • May 16 Birthday Tarot Card: Your Birth Day Tarot Card is The Tower. This card signifies that you will come to know something that can change your life.
  • Lucky Days For 16 May Birthdate:
  • Friday – This weekday ruled by Venus is symbolic of sharing in relationship, investing money for the future and following your creative pursuits.
  • Monday – This weekday is ruled by planet Moon. It shows the need to think about your past and learn from your mistakes when dealing with people’s feelings.
  • May 16 Birthday Stone: Emerald gemstone has healing properties and helps improve love and faithfulness in relationships.
  • Ideal Zodiac Birthday Gifts for People Born On The 16th Of May: An exclusive overcoat for the Taurus man and a black evening gown for the woman.

I have 2 lucky numbers are 3 -This number stands for creativity high energy and expression of thought and number 7 – This number symbolizes your interest in research, science, analysis and technical issues. Those that are born on May 16 have lilac and green as lucky number and I don’t know if it is a coincidence that I love the colour green. This is what they symbolise: Lilac is a color that represents calmness, stability, spirituality and magic, and green stands for happiness, renewal, growth and loyalty.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Love, I will always choose you first

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

ThinkstockPhotos-486521235.jpg

How I define love

Love is that one step, grasp and fall into the unimaginable. It is a beautiful, strong and positive emotion of affection that brings pleasure. Devotion that is unmeasurable.

I am lucky to have the type of love that the Ancient Greeks explained with their four terms.

Agape

The love of God which is unconditional and sees beyond the outer surface and accepts me for who I am, regardless of my flaws, shortcomings or faults. It’s the type of love that everyone strives to have for their fellow human beings. The love that Jesus has for all us.  It is about sacrifice  and expecting nothing in return. “Agape love is committed love that is demonstrated by behaviour.”

The love demonstrated by God and my family’s behavior towards me and me to them is agape love as it is a committed love.

Philia

The friendship type of love that refers to an affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. This is the love I have for my friends as we share the same interests, social graces, and style.

Storge 

This is the love my parents have for me, the love I have for my son, Zola, Mama, TaRhoo as well as my siblings. I have unlimited love for my family and I rest assured knowing that we share the same sentiment.

It is also the love that I have for Zola which turned our friendship love into a romantic relationship.

Eros

My Habibi (my beloved) makes feel the Eros type of love. A passionate, romantic and intense love and as much as people say that this type of love not last; Zola and I always  do our best to move it a notch higher everyday. That’s why we aim to feel good about our relationship no matter what.

 

I am grateful of the amount of love that is in my life and express it every moment I get.

Nothing compares to the joy I feel every time I think of my of little boy, every time I see him smile, learn a new word, a new song, count numbers and the way he says “I love you” everyday.

I am grateful for the way that Zola appreciates me, surprises me, respects me and never gives up on me.

 

1487091227034[1].jpg

I was surprised with delicious treats.

I am grateful for my parents who were created just for me. They took care of me when I couldn’t, they saw the best that was in me and call me to tell me that they miss every week. Lol

I am grateful for my siblings as they were my first role models and best friends.

 

family

Christmas 2014 in Thokoza.

My family and I accept each other’s flaws and forgive each other no matter what. This love is natural, it makes us feel secure, comfortable and safe.Our love for each other is good, healthy and progressive. As much as I have shared these various types of love in my respective relationships stated above. These  four types of love work together and that is why  me and my loved ones have survived through it all and will conquer everything.