On Getting Older

It is starting to sink in-it sinks in every day: digging into the crevices of my mind, the untidy corners I keep hidden from my line of vision; a soft viciousness echoing in my dreamscape; the inner child bouncing excitedly, but distant and faint. 

It lives in my rationale, my ‘realistic’ thinking, my newfound grit-an admirable stubbornness birthed from disappointment (mostly by older people). 

A voice beckons me, hissing that I should be more aggressive with my goals and all the things I want in this life. “You can no longer cocoon yourself in your trauma! You cannot sit atop branches of disillusionment and dread. You must fall and crack! You will blossom.” 

“Go!” The voice continues, “be it! Go do it!”

Now, I have to be and do. It no longer ends with a dream. I have to reach and pull and draw Life towards me; to tessellate, with vigour, into Her curves and corners and thorn-covered edges. 

Not for admiration, or sex, or a pat on the back. But for a life fulfilling, an actioned dream worth living. I’m getting older, and growing; becoming. 

The Black Body’s Burden

On the 21st of March 1960, police opened fire on thousands of black protesters who were marching against pass laws. According to official records, 180 people were injured and 69 people died. This is what is known as the Sharpeville Massacre; it happened at a police station. 

During Apartheid, and throughout colonisation, black people were subjected to violence at the hands of authority; authority that was meant to serve and protect. Our parents, grandparents, great grandparents and generations before them were surrounded by weapons of authority: shackles, batons, guns, sirens, trucks, uniforms, megaphones, vicious dogs. Fear. Nothing was more familiar than fear; a fear rooted in violence. 

Violence for control.

Violence for power.

Violence for order.

Black people were militarised. There was a structure that needed to be followed, documents granting permission for movement to and fro, a controlled and monitored education system. Any stray from This Order, and you might find yourself slipping on a bar of soap in prison. 

All of this fear was carried in black bodies, and it travelled with black bodies.

The Order governed black bodies everywhere and taught black bodies how they could exist. What they could eat, what they could listen to, what they could dream of becoming. 

The Order lived wherever black bodies were; it spread itself in hospitals, prisons, schools and homes.

Homes, the most sacred of spaces. The purest of places. But there it was, The Order:

Violence for control.

Violence for power. 

Violence as the only symbol of authority.

***

It’s part of our lives, too. It’s not a distant horror you read about and it’s not just another history lesson. It’s generations of black trauma living in black bodies; carried and inherited by every line.

It’s the brokenness that you’ve been gifted with, the quasi-military manner you were raised, the violent imprints that you adorn. It’s there on your body, too.

But you are blessed. You were born in an age that permits you to fight without destructive weapons. You have the permission to fight with love, a chaotic divine love that breathes healing into black bodies. 

I hope you are choosing to disrupt the order.

P.S. Happy Human Rights Day. May we never forget the pain that has forged our existence in this life and in these bodies. 

Until the Bitter End: a meditation

Every day feels like my spirit (my essence and truest form) and my traumatised inner child are fighting each other. It’s the most gruesome kind of cat fight: bloodied claws, sharpened teeth and ear wrenching screeches. Such violence, all within. My body occasionally expels the inner turmoil, in the form of tears filled with existential frustration, and I wince. The treachery of it all, the exhaustion of angst.

Secretly, I’m rooting for my spirit to win. Her fervorous fire is truly frightening; she’s doing her best and I am grateful for that. For in the end, if she is not the victor…
I’ll have died a most painful death.

Focus

I am in awe of the Universe and the magnitude of power that is around and within us.

God loves us beyond our comprehension, so much so that They give us signs to pay attention to that help lead us towards the different paths we are meant to take in order to fulfill our mission on Earth.

If you question whether what you desire is meant for you, chances are it most probably is meant for you. Tailor-made and customised beau. Just like how the signs God gives you are unique to YOU, so are the dreams and desires planted within you.

Try this exercise: Ask a close friend what kind of signs they see around them that they feel and believe are from God. This could be angel numbers, a repetition of colours, affirming words from strangers, anything! Take the time to share God’s magnitude and marvel at the uniqueness of your destiny with someone you care about!

The signs we receive from the Divine will not be the same and if you’re not sure whether what you see around you is a sign from God, ask God to reveal Themselves to you and pay attention to all that is around you.

Focus.

And a friendly reminder that you are so loved. Focus on the Self and start preparing your Self for what God wants you to do in this lifetime.

P.S. To me, God is non-binary and I’m trying to train myself to move away from gendering Them and not refer Them to the binary lines that we have established as humans K tenks πŸ™‚

Perceptions of perceptions, baby!

Sometimes I think of my spirit as a ball of energy that lives inside me and carries my body around from place to place. And it doesn’t just carry my body, it carries a body that is observed and perceived by other bodies (which possess spirits of their own). In a world that functions through the movement of the living – where our bodies drive the changes around us – our spirits don’t get to show their true essence.

We have long been able to naturally be observant and create assertions, judgements, thoughts and perceptions about everything around us. It is safe to say that being perceived by other people is unavoidable. It is part of the experience of living. The tragedy, I feel, is that most of us live in accordance to those perceptions, without even realising it.

It’s crazy to think about, because you don’t really know how people perceive you unless they explicitly share the thoughts and opinions they have of you, with you. I don’t know whether it’s social conditioning or a natural part of being human, but it is actually absurd that we centre our lives according to how we think other people perceive us. This is the “I wonder what people will think of me” thought, or “I can’t be seen here!” as you begin to imagine people in your head judging you for being wherever you’re ‘not supposed to be seen.’ Does this sound familiar to you?

Well, it does to me chile… despite my best efforts (this is a lie, I’m actually not even trying lol but I’m hoping this blog post will help) I still find myself looking through pictures of myself, sifting through to find which image/video will give people the best, or most positive, perception of me. This is a realisation I made yesterday, while performing this very act of narcissism, when I had earlier convinced myself that “I don’t care what people think of me.” This is a lie. I actually do care what people think of me. I know that I shouldn’t, but the fact is that I do. And you most probably do as well, fellow narcissist (winks). The narcissism doesn’t come from looking at yourself for an hour or more. It comes from you thinking that people pay that much attention to you, that you then feel you can’t wear certain clothes, or like a certain genre of music, or have an appreciation post of your bae (you know, the whole ‘hide your man/ hide your girl trend thingy-ma-bob). It’s the fact that you limit your self expression because you ‘can’t be caught slippin’.

Obviously, people will always have an opinion and have the ability to perceive you, but it is a danger to your essence and your expression to limit yourself because of other people. This is not a new message or idea: this really will set you back in life. It can extend to who you choose as an intimate partner, or even the career path you take. You might, for instance, want to start an OnlyFans as a way to enhance your self expression and become closer to yourself (or whatever reason you have for wanting to have an OnlyFans) while making some money, but you let what other people may think drive you away from executing your dream. Imagine stumbling the bag because of words that will potentially emit from another person’s mouth. Chile no ways. Sidenote: if you needed a sign to start your OnlyFans, this might be it!

Lalela, no one’s opinions are going to feed you, and I think it’s important that we remember that we all have to fend for ourselves eventually. One day you will be eating food that you put on the table with your own money and effort.

Direct your energy towards yourself and try your best to simply not give a fuck about energies and thoughts that weigh you down and do not serve the essence of your spirit. Okrr?

Love would never lead you astray

“When parents have specific goals for their children, this sets up a conflict in the child’s will. The child will be torn between [fear of] the parents, and the need to develop his or own power. If the child is loyal to the parents’ expectations, he or she will probably not find his or her own unique form of creative expression.” ~ Excerpt from Chakras: Understanding Your Inner Energy by Joy Garner

Confession. I changed a bit of this quote. The original part in the brackets says “love for” but I had a problem with that. It should be noted that the definition of love is, of course, subjective. People experience love in a multitude of ways. What’s love to one person, may be considered toxicity, control and manipulation to another. We are all different and it is important to honour our differences as human beings.

But I have an objection.

I, for one, would love to have the chat about how we are raised. When I say we, I mean those who share my context: ‘black, South African, female’. Or ‘Black [Queer] South African female?’ Or maybe ‘Black queer South African female [that isn’t a virgin]?’ Actually I’ve got it: ‘Black queer South African female that isn’t a virgin [and grew up in multicultural spaces with maybe a little too much exposure to Western doctrines and pollution from white people].’
That context.

Coming from that context is taxing on my psyche. It prevents me from being the “paradigm of feminine decorum” in the ‘African way’. I think Tsitsi Dangarembga really helped exemplify this through the creation of Nyasha in Nervous Conditions. ‘I… may have a Nyasha Complex of some sort’. This was a thought I had 5 years ago in high school. And, to my dismay, my psychological state has only worsened since then.

Sidenote: our parents really had it rough shem. Growing up black during Apartheid can NOT have been easy. I can’t imagine the trauma that they should be dealing with but pretend doesn’t exist because they were not taught about the importance of mental health awareness. This on its own deserves a blog (2021, I pwwwoooomisss). But today I’m talking about myself (and those who share my context lol) because New Years Eve equals self-reflection babyyyy.

Anywho, I don’t know how to say this eloquently… there’s really no cute way of saying this… but it’s our parents driving us further and further away from our gifts and talents for me. There’s just something about using violence as a threat to keep a child in check that screams ‘I’m exerting control over your entire being’ for me. It’s the blind obedience that follows suit because of years of trauma and pain, and the fear of more violence actualising for me.

It’s us fearing our personal power for me.

For me, it’s our fervor and eagerness to live and ‘make a mark’ turning into existential apathy. It’s the dwindling of our intellectual capacity and the dampening of our spirits. It’s the fear to participate in the world, and constant exhaustion at the thought. It’s blind obedience being called ‘respect’ and respect meaning blind obedience. (There’s some African saying about how respecting your parents allows things in your life to go smoothly or something like that). Fun fact: people respect their parents all the way to dreams that aren’t theirs and jobs they hate, people they don’t love but marry anyways because ‘you know the varbs’, until their dying days when they’re now filled with regret for not living the life they wanted to live for themselves.

You will be left alone on this earth with your resentment and regret. You will be left alone to deal with the anxiety, depression and trauma that has developed from your blind obedience. No look of pity from strange faces will cure you. And then, like everyone else, you’ll die. I’m sure there’s someone twisting in their grave right now from regret.

It’s truly frightening, especially when you think about how sacred life is and how small we all are in the grand scheme of things. I don’t think life is designed to be smooth, whether you live out your dreams or not. There will always be turbulence. I reckon it’s better if that turbulence comes from you reaching towards that which your spirit has called you to do on Earth… It won’t be easy, but it would truly be a shame for you to carry on this way. All shrunken and afraid. If you want to know what I think, Love would never lead you astray.

P.S. But then again what do I know lmaooooooooooooooooooooooo.

P.P.S. Jk, I hope the new year is a banger for you, yea?

P.P.P.S. Let’s fuck shit up with our masks on, yea?

P.P.P.P.S. I have faith in you and your dreams and I love you. Yea?

P.P.P.P.P.S. Okay bye.

Nina

Strong Winds

“To have people believe in you.
To have their faith, like a breeze, carry you.
Before you fall, strong winds surround you, every time.

Do you not know I want to die?
Why put your faith in me?”

~Ekechi

I don’t know how many seconds it took me to write the piece above (idc if quoting yourself is pretentious lmaooooo) but it’s just what my brain felt like squirting out. It was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend after watching something really amazing. That amazing thing that I just watched is what this blog is about.

Anywho, so I just watched a documentary about Nina Simone on Netflix called “What happened, Miss Simone?”. I don’t have many words. Her kind of brilliance cannot be aptly encapsulated. And I have to remember that this is a blog, my (free) blog, so I shouldn’t be tempted to write an elaborate essay of her brilliance. But seriously, I’m just in awe. Complete and utter awe.

Musically, I’m not very familiar with her work (besides the famous ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and ‘Feeling Good’ and maybe one or two others that I may recognise if I hear them played) but I am so spiritually drawn to her and the story I didn’t know I needed until today!

Nina, I think, was an existentialist (essentially someone who desires to explore the human condition). She underwent medication for a number of mental health issues as a result. Since a young girl, she felt alone and othered by her own skinfolk (practising the piano for long hours every day, there wasn’t much time to socialise) and, unsurprisingly, by white people. She had to walk to her music teacher’s white neighborhood for lessons and often felt terrified because of the colour of her skin.

‘The black girl that plays the piano’. That’s how it seems she was perceived by her black peers. Not a friend, but someone who could play an instrument and entertain an audience (them). I’m not going to spoil this for you, I encourage you to watch this beauty yourself.

But, to me, it’s obvious enough that she didn’t create music for fame. Singing, for her, began as a means to sustain herself and her family. But in it she was able to find her essence. She played the piano like an extension of her hand, just another part of her limbs. And she enraptured her audience with her voice; so unique. So raw and fluid. She became a star accidentally, you could say. Or maybe it was fatalism, I guess it depends on who you ask.

But she was an existentialist. The free-spirited kind, ‘born in the wrong time’ (the universe doesn’t really make those kind of errors). A soul, in her words, “sick of the social order, sick of the establishment”. A soul that lived fiercely, with vulnerability and rawness at the centre. An honest soul in a world built on lies.

You best believe imma cop some Nina Simone music ASAP. Wena, go watch the documentary and contemplate your existence while you’re at it:)

Sporadic sulk Sundays

β€’ Spring is my spirit’s favourite season and I’m spending it indoors at home
β€’ I love learning but I hate the education system but I have to stay in school
β€’ I’m sexually frustrated and have forgotten what sex feels like but I’m socially awkward and don’t really like human interaction that much
β€’ I’m struggling to see myself as anything more than a domestic thing; I clean and cook and look after a child. I wish I could put those skills on my C.V. but no one fucking cares about that
β€’ Consequently, every daily vision of myself that involves writing, directing, producing, editing, singing, dancing, fucking, smoking and laughing with friends seems too far away
β€’ Ugh, existential dread. Again

I.S. – the notorious BIG ass hoe

“19/09/19 – The day I overcame Imposter Syndrome (I.S.) at Elevate Education. Often times when we start a new job, we feel overwhelmed and underqualified. We are filled with self-debilitating doubt which, consequently, has a crippling effect on our ability to perform our tasks effectively.

Although I did have some good moments presenting to different students before this, never did I feel so at home than on this day. I had three back-to-back seminars at Pietermaritzburg Girls High School, and my last seminar was a new one that I’d never done before (and I had to record myself for a performance review!) Naturally, my anxiety was off the charts πŸ˜… but it ended up being my best seminar of the year! The Grade 10 girls were amaaaaazing; they loved the content and the vessel responsible for transmitting it ☺ (they made my day when they said I should start a YouTube channel πŸ‘‰πŸΎπŸ‘ˆπŸΎπŸ₯Ί). Awkward pose aside, I really felt like the gyel that day 😎…

If you feel like an imposter in your workspace, I wish I could personally tell you to stop. However, it’s something you have to work through by yourself and I know you will. You’re meant to be wherever you are right now. TRUST me, you’re not there by mistake πŸ’œ.

#helpthekids #elevateeducation #performancepyschology #impostersyndromereallysucksandyouwillovercomeit”

I posted the words above (accompanied with a cute photo of my amazing colleagues) on LinkedIn, an app that I still largely feel like an imposter in:) oop-

As someone who’s anti-diplomacy,I struggle to post content that reflects the kind of person I am (and employee I’d be) because, honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of professionalism. To me, professionalism seems to exist in isolation of everything else in the world (misogyny, feminism, racial identity and racism, sex, sexuality, politics, spirituality etc.) Naturally, I find that problematic on so many levels. But this needs a separate blog post on its own so TBC!!!

Right now I’m here to remind you to stop feeling like an imposter, bitch. Kay? K bye:)