A short letter to a refugee woman … #TeenPowerBlogEntry

Dear Female ‘fugee

I got your letter in the delayed developing world yesterday. You said you needed me now more than ever? Your masters sought a cure for Ebola quicker than an opportunity for me, and honestly, it made me feel mediocre.

I hear you’re on a journey? How do you manage it with such weight in your heart and a stomach echoing the meals of last week. I’m sorry to hear about your home. If it’s any consolation, mine has been burnt too. My theory now just embers under the blanketed ash covering the rest of the poverty basin you’re so familiar with.

I know your feet are mapping trails of distress in the sand, tracing tears and fears in your efforts to achieve something close enough to me, in a sense, a world where there is more to life than to flee.

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You said you have no country. No anthem monotonously falling off your lips, no flag dancing to the rhythm of a wind singing Viva! You have left your home before I could even see it. You will have to take me there some day.

I’m sure by now your feet are tired. Calluses flourishing beneath your waiting weight, as you’ve crossed borders of abuse and discrimination, only to be met with more fists firmly fighting, because apparently your arrival was unfair.

You asked me whether refuge will become like love, which is more than just a verb, yet underated and overused. I don’t know, dear female fugee. I don’t know how black lives still don’t matter, or how you still get taught that to provoke a man wise enough to walk leads rightfully to him manipulating your temple as he so pleases.

I don’t know whether the world will wake from this ominous,self-indulgent slumber, where a baby too young to count to four had to be carried in on the oceans arms before turning the heads of only three. I cannot say whether this world will realise that the same seriousness taken to tribute king Cecil was always owed tenfold to Syria, Congo, Zimbabwe, Gaza and the First Nations Genocide of ’88.

Mother…you carry nations within the constellation of your genetic melody. I apologise that I have not woven myself intricately into that, as I should have added scores more,creating harmony as only I can. Forgive me for my absence in the carbohydrated imports, sent to excuse those who have exploited your diamonds in return for dry rice.

I write this, while being imprisoned in their bank accounts, big enough to house your continent twice over.

I do hope to hear from you soon, at the earliest convenience of humanity and those who still believe in it.

Yours Sincerely,

Freedom

**Written by Courtney Koopman, 18yrs, TeenPower blogger**

The hysteria .. being a female startup entrepreneur ..

I have sooooo much work to do, but guess what I am doing. Nothing. Zilch. Tried quieting my mind, but nope not working. So much to do, so little time and the brand is growing well …yet a lot of imbalances too.

I have just completed a year as a startup and it was riddled with building a foundation and putting system ps in place and now things are growing steadily and my products are getting out there and my achievements or successes of my previous mentees are shooting up, giving me a pat in the back in terms of some approaches I had tried.

One of thee biggest challenges is getting rid on the employee mentality, so today I was signing up for an executive programme. I was filling up a form and had to choose a title then OMG it hit me: I DID IT …I truly own my own business!!!

Then I thought OMW, I need to go out more to represent my business, so how am I going to handle sexual innuendos that are said to be pushed at female entrepreneurs when they seek business clients, will I swear at swear or will I kick whatever guy inbetween his whatehat or will I just turn and walk away. What will be my stand? How will I ensure I remain feminine yet a strong black woman who is not apologetic about my decisions and position? Then I thought wait a minute …wait a minute..what if I don’t measure up to these titles I have given myself: Founder, Managaing Director, CEO, Snr manager ..then I went like uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh mtrinity, but there is no going back now!!! No plan B here, DO or DIE and hold integrity very close to my heart and admit when I get bad days and move on!

I switched my phone off, switched my emails off and put up this image below on my facebook profile and watched Being MaryJane ..

I kind of figure this feeling maybe like PMS ..it will fiddle away in a few hours and I go back to my go-get-your-business-girl mood!

One thing is for sure, I am not longer an employee, and the employee-mentality has got to fall!

“I am every woman its all in me”!

**opens a new back of fireballs and munches away the time till my 4pm meeting**

Written by Nomveliso kaMbanga kaNguta

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Book over coffee, juice and heart .. .. #AloneTalks

I have just finished 12months since I quit my job and became a startup entrepreneur ..and what a befitting session to attend that coincided with this milestone.

She wrote a book, a memoir of her life, published it and shared it with the world. Then I think she realised she could do so much more, so she created a platform to not only disucss the book but other socially relevant topics pertinent to our world. The book titled Alone by Lebo Pule.

Conversation is thee most under utilised facet of our existence, we ruin things by talking and there is a saying that says that only talking can fix those same things. So in the talk I attended we read Chapter 1 of the book #Alone. Which covered interesting topics from having a child at 16, the behind the scene action of giving names to kids and it also talks about her embrace of darkness. We then shared our own experiences and took the conversation around each and everyone of our lives (you almost have to be in the to grasp the profound interaction, to deep to mention here). The group was small and intimate and added a warm comfortability to having conversations without being scared of our vulnerability, seeing we were almost strangers.

If I were to summarise the session I would say we embraced the notion of solitude, self reflection and not being afraid of life’s breaking points. Where life can be so challenging that it forces you to solitude, to a literal place of not switching on the lights and switching off external noises like TV, plus taking some time alone. An analogy that Lebo mentioned was that even seeds go underemath into the growth, in darkness before a beautiful flower springs out into the light; that even babies spend time being formed into the womb before they come out into light. That it is ok to allow ourself to break now and then, so that a new life or new strength can be formed in us. Lebo also alluded to another reality that we sometimes dim our lights so that we minimise who we are to fit in to what is normal …in a way I think I got my own permission to no longer dim my own light, but also to be mindful of time / timing as even that works out perfectly in its own time, as long as one is self aware.

I am so glad I attended, and I hope life wont be so busy that I miss next sessions as such conversation and platforms are too valuable for words.

Get the book, read the chapter and reflect on where you are currently in your life. Attend the live talk session, challenge yourself out of your own comfort zone. There is so much power in human interaction.

As the last line of the book reads, I too say it “I am no longer alone”

P.S we also spoke about teen pregnancy, as my field I gained so much insight for the work I do with teens .. I will blog about this soon, once the words find me 🙂

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Dear absent father .. I beg you … I plead with you .. ndiyakucenga ngentliziyo yam YONKE <3

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Dear absent father ..

Do you wanna know one of the reasons the mother of your child sometimes is a crazy raging lunatic in your eyes and horrible drama queen .. its partly because it is hard to be a parent …while you have the luxury of “escape” ..she doesn’t.

We could say all sorts of things like ‘yeah she can behavior better & be the better one’ etc etc and sound all philosophical ..

BUT …

Imagine how it must feel like to be woken up by a crying child from sickness you have no clue of, at the wee hours of the morning, with no car & no medical aid and fearing the death or loss of the one child that gives you sanity …while the father, you, drives around in your fancy car driving from club to club & posting images of a fun life on social media .. and guess what? the child maybe sick from a family illness that they got from your side of the family BUT you were never there to inform the mother.

Imagine a teenager who gives his mother such drama and misbehavior because this teen doesn’t know how to tell their mother they just want to know how their father looks like. All their minds want to have is just an image of how their looks like at least! They want to know if they inherited YOUR frown, if they laugh like YOU, if they walk like YOU, if the lines in their hands are similar to YOUrs and if care about their existence.

I know sometimes you think the mother of your child wants money all the time …

Well money means nothing in comparison to what she has to do everyday ..so that you can say to your friends: I have a child!

So I plead with you and I whisper in you heart, please make contact. Even if your child pushes you away at first … please do not give up. You need your child the same way they need you too!

I speak love into your heart … no … I speak the resurrection of a strong love in your heart, one that will give you the courage to make that connection!

I wish you love!

P.s. So why do I care? … because I care about the children of this country and if we say it takes a village to raise a child, then it starts at home. You don’t have to stay with your child full-time to be a good parent. You just need to show up when and where it counts the most!

Written by Nomveliso kaMbanga kaNguta, sometimes I am a #Fatherhood whisperer ❤

About a Mayine old lady & my Xitsonga speaking guardian angel <3

I had a trip to Benoni this week, to speak at a school one of my Teens invited me at. My cab driver was an elderly woman in her mid 60s but feisty as ever with a golden heart. In our small talk she mentioned the coming summer and how weak this years’ winter was, but then she said something I found quite profound. She said “summer will not come until it rains, kufuneka INE imvula kuqala”

This was so profound to me because of my “Mayine” principles and also that my business is named as such too and she did not know all this.

Now this totally preached to me a message in my heart that was very timely, that sometimes RAIN is necessary before great outcomes. Then I quickly reflected on the past few months in this journey and how tough things have been and this seemed to preach that: before an awesome summer starts, rain first appears to not only water the ground in preparations for whatever has been planted in it – so it grows healthy but also rain is good at washing the air from any toxicity and also this RAIN also symbolises a transition from one season to another. So next time you hear or see me write MAYINE ..this is what I am talking about ..

So MAYINE iintsikelelo …nako konke okulungileyo ..

Then on the same day I travelled to Soshanguve koBlock G to meet up a team that runs a youth organisation team. I was not aware that Sosha was that far so I travelled a bit late which meant travelling back late to Joburg. I got off at Noord a bit dark and had to walk to Bree taxi rank. Now I have my township tricks on how to walk in the dark so I am seldom afraid although I try not to travel at night if I can. Some boy tried to sell me some foolish thing and I managed to shoosh him off though he was persistent, a few feet later a lady who spoke to me in Xitsonga tried to make conversation, I could pick up a few words & greeted back & laughed at the areas I didnt get so well and I heard her mention we were on the same taxi …I had not noticed ..she laughed and went her way and dissappeared into the night; but because she was walking slightly behind me as she spoke, I had to turn my head ..and I realised later she was also trying to tell me my bag was open …in my back pack I had my iPad and handbag and it was gaping wide open …now I do everything in my iPad and I mean EVERY thing including planning for my work.

So that day I realised my guardian angels speak all sorts of African languages …and this day I met my one who spoke Xitsonga ….had she not spoken to me I wouldn’t have noticed my bag was open ..so that boy who was selling me stuff may have had someone opening my bag .. But she, my guardian angel, was right behind me too!

So who said guardian angels speak only english ❤️❤️❤️

I am safe and well taken care of!

MAYINE!!!!

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Babies who rape or kill other babies ..

It is not new, and thats what makes it so sad and so bad. The difference now is that thanks to social media a lot of the news that happen in our communities get to our eyes and ears quicker.

We have to let go of the inherited practise of sweeping things under the carpet, it didnt work because it meant no one paid up to the consequences and kids ended up emulating bad behaviour.

We know also that in our communities esp. townships close to tarvens and shebeens, violence happens almost every weekend and the kids are always there as curious onlookers. They see teenage boys stab each other who also witness grown up men shoot each other. And yet at the end of the day no one looks at the children and offer them trauma counselling.

Our schools have become a haven of violence from wounded and broken spirits who dont know better because they have not seen better …

As grown ups we have got to do better ..

And most important its time to take care of our children ..not only the ones we gave birth to

If we say it takes a village to raise a child ..we have got to start living this out!

There is a parent somewhere crying “umthwalo wam uyandisinda .. ndiyacela ndiphathise”

written by Nomveliso kaMbanga kaNguta, teencoach.

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Biological clock what? … … Huh?

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In my type of lifestyle .. you hear a lot of “women your age …blah blah blah” .. from why I should be in a serious relationship by now, to why I should be having kids to all sorts of stuff …

But can I just talk about my life’s purpose, the joy it brings me & how I sleep with a HUGE smile in my face each time I see a teen say “”oh now it makes sense MsVee, I hear you..” and putting together programmes that make sense.

Can we, at some point,talk about the value & power in living your life’s purpose ..can we? Coz in reality I will not date for the sake of dating nor have a child for the sake of having one ..if all that happen its a bonus to the life I am currently .. but for now I am about this purpose driven life in my lifetime!

So yes do not ask me how many babies I have given birth to yet ..

..rather ask me:

How many young lives I have impacted .. now that’s a conversation that will not only bring a huge smile on my face but will open rivers of happy inspiration on what I could do next to impact the youth of my country.

Do not judge me by your lifestyle choices / standards .. I am a First Lady unique in every form

A non-conformist at the best trying to rid myself of societal traps that seek to clone us to be images of each other.

*written by Nomveliso kaMbanga kaNguta*

Through the eyes of an almost-woman, still un-scorned.

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Through the pupils of a pupil, still being taught.

With internal wars raging within Africans about what it means to be thus, as an ethnic female no older than the freedom of my land, have I come to see things differently every day. As I grow, I am belittled. As I learn, I am called oblivious, and scolded because I am too aware.

 

I didn’t know that was possible.

 

Biko taught me how to be conscious via the textbooks I was fortunate enough to have, as this knowledge spilled off the lips of my teacher who was of European descent but believed in the soils of Africa more than those akin to it. Who was this white man to believe in black people? But it wasn’t his race I found surprising. It was his belief, not only in our future, but in us.

I am part of the WWW.GENERATION. Part of the era that books faces, but not the opportunities behind them. We live off virtual screens so that we don’t have to mingle with the people who complicate our reality. But that isn’t what defines us.

I, who I am, is a female in a stagnant male world where we talk about 50/50 relationships, yet those with a breast uncut and a womb still closed are “given away” at the isle, as if we were on the grand parade with a Mr Van Riebeck, who was buying vegetables, rice and slaves, all in the same day.

I am a part of a squad, with a task that hundreds of years failed to complete. Where our parents still consider white and black, private and public with the shades in between that never really had their place in the sun. We know the struggle indirectly, my generation. We are the second hand recipients of the tears that rolled down my grandmother’s face as she was beaten for resting on a white woman’s couch.

This is what creates the defiance within my era. We indulge in complacency, wearing crowns of entitlement, yet have been thrown head first into fixing a country prematurely broken. This by-product of neo-colonialism is why we are who we are.

 

The hand that sold the slave, the hand that painted the streets red with Hector and his adolescent associates, that is the same hand that still stamps the gang signs in Mitchell’s Plain, El Dorado Park and Galvandale, where the social engineering of our past still hasn’t had an upgrade like the fire pool filters at the house of my president.

It is harder still to accept our heritage while we kill our brothers and sisters who have themselves fled from lands and a past that smells of home-made bombs and dictatorship.

All of this lies before me, a 19 year old, who not too long ago, had to ask to go to the bathroom, but now face making life decisions. What makes this imaginable, however, is that as much as I see the problems, I see the potential. I hear the downfall, but I feel the redemption even more so, through the power invested in me by the democracy I choose to fight for, and all those in my generation who choose to fight for theirs.

We are the laziest, angriest, most arrogant, intelligent, talented, innovative generation to walk this earth yet, and this is why we will save it.

Its either you love ambitious women or you don’t!

 

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Been trying to find the right angle to write this note .. its just hard. So let me just pour all my emotions on to this -_-

I find it highly annoying that in 2015 there are still men who feel the need to control seemingly ambitious and self driven women. Highly annoying because often their biggest challenge is that they feel they need to control this type of woman, a form of reeling her in so that she is controlled and acts like how a woman should act.

I totally dislike the way relationships are framed these days: where each partner seeks ways to control the other partner as much as they can and that is called love. From women giving out so called visas to men telling their women which hairstyle she should have; to deeper things where partner controls how the other grows financially in a relationship in order to curb one being intimidated by the other to some controlling each others career paths etc etc ..

I have been told so many things by so called men who love me, who often hold a “but..” Where most feel I would need to tone down a bit or this or that I would need a man who would know how to control me so that I am not too much or do too much. Whatever that means!

I knew my life’s purpose / mission at a very young age. I knew that my purpose is linked to me leaving this world a better place. That my existence means that I have a role to play in the world that would ensure that a baton gets passed from this generation to the next. So I knew that my purpose has to be priority, otherwise whats the point of being born, is it only to party n eat and die? Absolutely not!

So my ambition is NOT to compete with a man, nor am I living to intimidate men. I just understand that I only have this one lifetime to live out the purpose I was brought on earth for. I just refuse to settle for a man who will come into my life and cause me to forgo my life’s mission. Often when you don’t conform to society’s norm, you get pushed to write letters like this.

Also for me to fulfill my life’s purpose I have to be ME. I have to push against odds, I have to challenge myself, I have to evaluate the things society teaches us and I have to ask the Creator if that script is one I have to follow. My life’s purposes forces me to live my life in such a way that I cannot be a copycat of anyone. Otherwise I will not able to finish my life’s mission if I do so.

Often a lot of men seek to control women like me, they see us as a wild project that needs to be tamed. A woman that needs to a man so she tones down and start behaving like any other normal woman. Often these men do not love women like me but love the idea of being with a woman like me, as long as he can later control her and tame her. Often its the jealousy to want to own her, so that we belong to nobody else but him.

The error is that by design love in its purest form is not so restrictive. We have learned this wrong type of love that we keep teaching each other that we have grown to believe that love is to own and cage in, until one dances to the others tunes.

But ….

The way that purpose driven life is designed is in that one will be miserable and highly unhappy if they do not live out their purpose. So miserable will they be that they will make everyone around them miserable too. Because purpose driven life requires freedom and love in its purest form, for it to flourish.

The sad thing is this some of this unhappiness people have in their relationships has been defined to be the character of love and the character of true relationship. No one seems to question purpose of being and purpose of coming together ..

When all the kisses are done, all the sex is had and all the promises said ..why should we be in a relationship together? If its to control and cage me .. please pass I am not the woman for you!

And I will not be miserable because I went through this lifetime with no man by my side, but equally if I do get a partner .. it will be a bonus to partner with an equally purpose driven man, who understand his talents and that he needs to hone them, live his best life in this lifetime and not feel the need to gain his confidence feel purposeful by controlling the woman in his life!

It’s either you truly love an ambitious woman or you dont.

At the heart of every ambitious woman is a heart that want to give love and get love back in return. No gimmicks nor competition! Life made us this hard, the best you can do is us exchange life stories without one feeling like “my story is better than your”

The end! Venting done!

I have lived with my own company and I love(d) it!

 

 

Life is but a MAZE!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

These words while highly lyrical and awe-inspiring, are beyond true of our purpose as humans.

When was the last time you did something YOU wanted to do? When was the last time you noticed the simple beauty of a blade of grass? Or even just how precious your life is? How important it is to be true to you?

Life is a series of choices we make that either take us closer to our dreams and goals, closer to our destiny – or, further away from it. Most of us have lost sight of our life purposes because of past our failures or our belief that our dreams are simply to impossible to achieve. Those thoughts of denial are a product of tmazehe influences you’ve had in your life. Sadly those influences, if you’ve been through some form of schooling, has probably been mostly negative. I mean when was the last time a teacher told you that it was okay to fail a test? At some point I am sure that people have told you that you aren’t good enough. That the mark on your test is all you’ll ever amount to in life.

 

While we can’t change our past influences, we can stop them from boxing us in the maze of life. The universe works on Newton’s 3rd Law – that every action has an equal and opposite reaction – you may call it Karma, what goes around comes around, it’s all the same principle.

I’ve just finished my June examinations, and honestly, they’ve not been my best. However, I decided that I can either #drake (be sad/bleak) about it, or I can accept that I may have made some choices which weren’t wise (i.e. not studying for physics and mathematics) but that I have another chance. Adversity is a breeding ground for opportunity.

As with navigating a labyrinth, it is inevitable that you will hit a dead end every now and then and you’re going to want to give up, but I challenge you to keep going. Jump a bit higher, find a hammer and knock down the wall, try another route, claw through it if you must – but, never give up.

The sun always shines, even in the dark. You, like the sun, are also a star. You may not always shine the brightest and maybe there are clouds blocking your rays from reaching the people around you, but it’s your duty to shine brighter.

One moment which changed my life was when I realized that the glass is in fact always full. Traditionally, we are asked to make the choice on whether or not the glass is half empty or half full when in fact it is always full.

It can be full of juice, your favourite brand of alcohol, or even just water – you decide; or it can be filled with nothing. Even when it is half full, the rest is filled with nothing (and nothing by definition is something – it is an interesting concept for another post). The point is, you are the only one who decides what your cup is filled with and how full it is.

The solution to most of life’s challenges is to make choices. Whether you’re top of your class or the person constantly in detention, whether you’re the social butterfly or the ultimate snob – you are insanely awesome simply because you exist, you survived the birthing process, you can survive anything.

Please: don’t give up hope that it can’t get better, don’t let what you’ve been told about yourself by others become your truth, don’t stop thinking differently, don’t let who you are now determine who you’ll be 10 years from now, don’t give up on your dreams, don’t give up on life, and most importantly – don’t give up on yourself.

For those of us on holiday, fill it with happiness; for those who continue to work, or have life to contend with, do all things for happiness and with passion.

Make life aMAZEing. =D

Written by Kerwin Jacobs, Grade 12, East London based for now 🙂

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