Category Archives: Personal

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“You want the truth?”

“You can’t handle the truth!”

This quote is of course from the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men” – an absolute must see if you haven’t. There is nothing I despise more than Twitter news making the “real” news.  There will, however, always be exceptions.  Unfortunately some of us will learn too late about “online etiquette”.  There are certain things you don’t say for the sake of peace.  This is a lesson I am certain the FHM model Jessica Leandra, coincidently also born in ’92, learnt the hard way last week.  This is, as you may know, not because she was allegedly sexually harassed by some chap, but because she mentioned the beloved “kaffir” word in a tweet about her ordeal.  I feel there’s no need to euphemise it – it is what it is.  

I believe that we live in a broken society.  Racism and racial prejudice is not a black and white thing.  It is a people thing.  I am certain there exists some people who truly see ‘no colour’ or nationality, but for people to make the biggest meal about a single individual’s utterings is really distorted.  We come from a very difficult and painful history – you only need to visit the Apartheid Museum for a glimpse of that iceberg.  Decades and decades of oppression and somehow we expect it to be undone in 18 years? 

Nah.

If you think because we cast ballots, moved to the suburbs and have BEE(E) in place is going to rid us of racism then you’re very wrong.  I do not remotely condone Jessica’s utterings, but let’s also not act brand new about it when so many of us don’t even like our very own Vendas, Zulus, Ndebeles, Tsongas, Tswanas, Sothos, Zimbabweans, Nigerians, Sudanese, and and and…  Light skinned Indians don’t favour Dark Skinned Indians.  Even Americans not exactly being fond of Mexicans?  This is a trend that you will find in every single corner of the planet where people of different cultures, backgrounds, religious beliefs and skin tone can be found. 

Instead of remedying the situation what do we do?  We lodge case on case with the Human Rights Commission so we can ‘make an example’ out of one individual.  Do you think she is the problem?  No.  I blame her upbringing.  I blame how obscured life as ‘supreme’ and ‘pure’ became for those who brought her up.  I blame something that exists inside each and every one of us.  The desire to live and be ranked higher than the next person.  So some white ladies look at our black ladies and witness weaves, fake nails, make up and think to themselves: “Look at them trying to look like us.”  This is a fact.  It’s not debateable.  Our black sisters associate looking “great” with looking a certain way.  Why are we so quick to throw spears and bring the next person down?  There is a logical explanation as to why the world and its people developed the way we did.  Reasons behind why most of Africa would for a long time lag “behind” the Egyptians.  I suppose it is asking a lot for people to sit and think how almost all of the world’s greatest nations and civilizations stemmed from the Mediterranean Sea?  There is much to learn about this world.

Can’t we all just get along?

We all have our ideas for ‘world peace’.  The world is too complex, but we can try mend our environments.  Control ‘the world around us.’  A friend once said to me that ‘perhaps we are already in hell’.  I could not help, but agree.  We ought to make the best of our stay here.  Sitting in our glass houses and throwing rocks?  Nigga, please.  A form of racial prejudice we use loosely on a daily basis?  Makwerekwere?   Magrigamba?  The mere tone we say ‘boere’ or ‘maburu’?  Makula?  In a country like SA there is no room for racism, but it exists.  Being black is not a disadvantage, but an opportunity.  Some will take it and make the best of it to change the mind set of others and, well, others will sadly dwell on ‘the past’ and its struggles.  There are truths even in the offices we call our ‘workplaces’, our schools, shopping centres and neighbourhoods where some people there are just not ready to ‘get along’. It is true that there really are ‘A Few Good Men.” 

Accept.  Forgive.  Fix.  Move on.

Image
The late Michael Jackson.
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R50 Braai Phathi Invitation!

This might seem silly, but I am clearly making a plan to drive you to my blog. Hahahaha!
If you received an invite via email – please feel free to RSVP here. Cheapest RSVP website solution EVER! 😀 There is no dress code and if this invite doesn’t look like a bank note then… I have failed /(._.)\

Click on the images below to view them in better detail.

R50 Braai Phathi Invite - Front
R50 Braai Phathi Invite - Front

R50 Braai Phathi Invite - Back
R50 Braai Phathi Invite - Back


In case the party terms don’t seem legible here they are:

– If you’re bringing anyone with you kinldy let me know.
– If you can’t come – that’s cool.
– A wrapped gift is compulsory. Almost anything goes.
– No gifts over the value of R50 please.
– Money is discouraged. Unless it’s in R1 coins. Seriously.
– 1 gift per family/couple.
– No underwear – seriously. Don’t even try be funny -_____-
– No perishables. It WILL go to waste.
– If you gave me a gift – don’t be dof. Don’t bring a gift.
– If you have special dietary requirements – let me know.
– There is no miss party here.
– There will be no miss party here.
– I’m glad you understand.
– I will supply food. In fact I will cook for you. I will supply little to no booze so try bring that. For you & yours. Not me.
– I’m a bachelor. This is not an excuse, but please bring casual seating/cooler.
– No poker or karaoke will be played here.
– No skhotane stunts will go down here. No.
– Party will end promptly at 20:00 because neighbours + security will make it suck for us otherwise.

I look forward to see ya!

v&s

What really matters to the youth

I believe that our ruling political party, the African National Congress, is in a sticky situation around the ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. I do not wish to write about neither. Well, at least not directly. In my mid-twenties I consider myself to be part of the “youth” and with that I believe I understand some of the real issues the youth of South Africa today are faced with.

With some 5 years working I can assure you that I understand the purpose of tax collection so I may curse SARS, but they definitely serve a vital role in our country. I need some answers though – what happens to the fuel levy and/or taxes? Where do these go? How does it make sense to add e-toll routes on national roads used by hundreds of thousands of people daily? The argument being that the government wants to promote the use of public transportation? Nonsense. Does it make sense that the government wishes to have more jobs, especially for the young, yet the “young” are given the highest interest rates for houses and motor vehicles at banks? Does it makes sense that the young pay high premiums for vehicle insurance even though they may have never claimed from insurance? Does it make sense that 5% of the country’s population provides 100% of the tax collected?

Why is this burden placed on the few? We live in a country where it’s ‘okay’ to give every second ‘beggar’ money at traffic lights. It’s ‘okay’ to tip every car guard for every 5 minutes spent in a shopping centre. It’s okay to see the blind and elderly parading their kids or blind for money. It’s ‘okay’ to hand out grants to a plethora of people every month. It is also ‘okay’ to accept that billions gets spent irregularly yet somehow we, the 5%, need to foot the bill for the National Health Insurance?

Well…

I can assure you that even after seeing “1st world countries” that South Africa is an amazing place. I however can’t understand why a young black person that is qualified and experienced in a job still earns less than their white counterpart. I can’t get why our own black people offer us, their fellow blacks, inferior service in almost any place of trade. How are black business meant to thrive when a company needs to pave the way to carrying out almost any significant project out with bribe money? Why do our South African artists and sports stars not get nourished from a young age and get taught how to manage their money once they start earning some? Why is a simple thing as reading not enforced on every person in this country to build, ultimately, a nation that can produce its own ‘everything under the sun’?

I just don’t get it. Forget the mines and the land. Forget all that. Focus on the really important things that actually affect the youth and this country in the long run. There are people who know and feel what I feel. Young and otherwise and of every shade under the sky in this country.

I wish our “youth leaders” were concerned about similar issues and not struggle songs. This is the new struggle.

// A special thank you to Catherine for inspiring this.

Life is a beautiful struggle - thebeautifullstruggle.tumblr.com
Life is a beautiful struggle - thebeautifullstruggle.tumblr.com

The downs and downs of body odour

I just have to say that I blame poor parenting. If parents are not applicable then I blame poor upbringing. So very much goes right and/or wrong in the development stages of a child. When that child was busy annoying the living brain fluid (formally called cerebrospinal fluid) out of you why did it seem such a reach to say: “Hey junior, wanna know something cool? The body cools itself by releasing tiny drops of liquid all over your body. Everywhere you see some hair is what we call a pore. Want to know something else, Junior? Yes? Oh but of course you do! This liquid is called sweat and if you ever go for long periods of time without some form of deodorant this sweat can become smelly. Do you want to be smelly, Junior?”

Junior will reply, to the pleasure of your ears: “No daddy!”

Sweet imagery isn’t it? And there. It’s done. As a parent you have succeeded in protecting your child from a lifetime of ridicule and possible rejection. What’s that about wanting your kids to “learn the ropes” the hard way? Bull****! Anti-perspirant not only reduces perspiration, but keeps germs that result in a stench at bay. I will be honest – I have not once, but twice ducked relationships because of body odour. Not mine – obviously not mine. *brushes dirt off shoulder*
It is so hard for me to comprehend beautiful women who don’t smell like a *insert your favourite smelling thing here*. Don’t get me wrong – perfume everyday isn’t remotely what I am suggesting, but much like a fresh breath – this might not score you points, but sure as the sun in the sky will not lose you any.

I smell a rat
I smell a rat

From under R10, about $1, you can belong to a group of elites who just smell… somewhere between neutral and great. We want to hang out with you. Be seen with you. Heck, we wanna put it up high and “High 5” you! What hurts my feelings though is that your friends and family know very well about the downs and downs of body odour, but why are they keeping you out of this ‘circle’? I have a theory: they don’t really love nor care about you.
Cruel maybe, but what other explanation is there?

Yes we just met and I think you look like the future mother to my kids, but after 21 it is NOT my role to come in and solve THIS particular problem. In fact – I don’t even know how to word it without hurting your feelings so I had to settle for being ‘that asshole’ with a nonsense excuse for not making you his woman. I’ve walked into rooms where an individual’s unpleasant odour killed something up my nasal canal and… thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want to put crosses on a map to indicate which parts of the world seem to breed cultures that excludes anti-perspirant… *considers it for a moment then comes to his senses*…, but even I have had an off day or two in my life, but there is honestly no excuse. There are so many brands and products to choose from – one or some are definitely for you and yes you’re far from home, but your 24-hours convenience store apparently has just what you need! *High Fives you*

Shower and/or bath properly. Take your time and roll-on it up. Improve your personal hygiene. Ditch your family and friends. They don’t love you anyway. Be cool. Literally.

Moving out of home and getting that first car

I grew up in what we can classify as a middle-class family in South Africa. By this I mean I have never really had to rely on a “long drop” toilet, government-supplied bathroom/toilet structures, government grants and a community borehole tap water point. This means I only pushed a wheel barrow around the garden which of course explains my physical build – hahahahaha! Okay, that is actually not funny and quite insensitive. Not that life was all that – the house I remember my first memories in still doesn’t have tarred roads although around, but I must add that was one which was some 20 metres away. We did however have a huge yard with room to plant sugar canes, corn plants and the like. Relative win. (Bryanston is a nice place – so if you want to place me anywhere, like many people seem to, please make it there? Okay thanks!)

All that said I am still blessed to have lived in a family where both parents are still alive and even back then both were employed. We had a few cars to slot into the “double garage” over the years – mainly Japanese brands such as a yellow 2.0 litre Colt (Mitsubishi), a sky blue mazda 323 sedan, a white Toyota Corolla 130 (Government edition looking if I have to say) and at some point we dove into the Germans with a red VW Polo 1.6 with power steering and all sorts of nice things so I got the honour of seeing “thee” original Sarafina cast at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Please don’t ask me anything about it – I was very young and it is a very distant memory.

All good and dandy, but I remember a day when I was 10, in Standard 2, where I asked my mother : “Mma, please buy me something on your trip into town?” (This is of course translated) and she turned me down by replying: “Son, better make sure you work hard so that one day you may grow to buy and own anything you want.” Sad story this, right? Wrong. Okay a bit sad. A tough lesson for a 10-year-old seeing as I didn’t get the ‘customary’ Christmas clothing my friends would get nor an allowance of sorts.

It is that single moment that drives me to this day. Words that, in my head, meant that when I left home for varsity back in January 2004, aged 18, it actually was the day I moved out of home. No need to work out my age – I am 25.

I am so happy to have made that move (in my head anyway). There is something truly liberating about having your own space and having your own rules to govern you. Being responsible for your own laundry, replenishing depleted food and general stock piles, feeling the pain of every glass and plate your friends break, paying the electricity and water bills, making sure your space is clean and even tackling the difficult task of ironing. (I used to have a helper, but that is a topic for another day.) Yes, so you know I have a fancy little iron with steam and all so it’s not that bad. Shall I carry on? Thank you. Groceries, washing dishes, making sure your bed is made on a daily basis, being responsible for your waking up and making it on time for work/school, cleaning the windows from time to time, ‘dusting’ all the surfaces in the house, packing things away once you’re done using them and in all of that – creating a place you can truly call home. So no crying out to your mama, dad or to Baby Jesus when you’re bleeding from a paper cut no more.

Living with someone teaches you a number of important lessons such as how to be considerate to the next person… actually that is all I can think of. Hehehehe! Not relying on a parent/guardian in any way is truly, in my eyes, the act of growing up to being a responsible member of society. Yes, I have not forgotten about the tax man – believe me I haven’t.
The second biggest move one can make is to get a car. Yes, cars are not seen as investments, but I truly beg to differ. My very first job required that I have a car due to the consulting nature of the role. To be in a field such as auditing, for example, doesn’t work well without a car. Getting to Makro over the weekend to stock up on items you need pretty much fails without a car. Yes you have friends and some ladies have a boyfriend/brothers/fathers/etcetera figures to bail them out, but I guess for guys pride gets in the way. Perhaps not pride, but the feeling is still pretty sad and dark stuff. Asking someone to help us out like that becomes a heavy burden on our hearts. I have to say that I was truly blessed to have had an older sibling who went and blessed me with a car in my 3rd year studying, but even besides that I would have moved hell and high waters to buy even a 20 to R30,000 car. (So glad I never had to though – Thank you Baby Jesus!)

It has nothing to do with being “lucky”, but everything to do with making the best of any and every situation. Takes longer for some than others, but there’s nothing wrong with driving a TT (Toyota Tazz) when starting off. There is nothing wrong with going for near-broke and moving into a single-bed or bachelor apartment. I know the pain of that very first “security deposit”. One’s financial situation will starts off at point A and can only improve if one is a go-getter. Yes, fuel is currently something to the tune of R10 per litre, but if it reduces the damage to your nice works shoes, frustrating encounters with taxi marshals, being “relieved” of your smart phone device or work laptop at gun-point, traumatising taxi driver experiences on the daily, having to walk through the notorious Johannesburg CBD or being unable to rush off to a family emergency in the evening over the weekend – go for broke. Take your time. Move out of your comfort zone. pick a route – get one thing and work on the other.

Tomorrow is not promised. Move out of home and get that first car. Yes, you!

TT
TT

PS: Once the Gautrain comes into effect – the bit about the car might change for some, but Gauteng is really not the beginning and the end of the “South African” story so there. This piece is not directed at anyone – before I get complaints. Nxla!
*exits the building*

Why I find it so hard to give a woman a compliment

So we have established that there is no one person out there, roaming the streets behind designer shades,
Louboutin heels (yes, I’ve heard of them), a designer figure-hugging dress and accessories to match is a 10.
By ’10’ I mean – no one absolutely perfect. What a damn shame. When the shell’s a 10 then the contents are
likely to a score sub-8 score. Oh and absolutely – you get drop-dead gorgeous, but even THEN… you get
my point. I call this “The balance of nature.” Then comes that time when I, as a man, have to acknowledge that a
woman looks absolutely breathtaking. This right here is the hard part.

Innocent me: “Miss, you look… beautiful.” (Accompanied by a look resembling disbelief on the lady’s face.)
Lady’s response: “Why thank you ‘Innocent Me’, I know right?” (Insert giggle here)

AND PAUSE

Now, I can’t begin to count how many times I have regretted giving a woman a compliment. I actually believe
women think this response is cute. Most especially the giggle, but alas – we’re left thinking: “Right!” However,
women also need to factor in that there are MANY men out there who will say exactly what they want to hear to
get what they want; your body. To be PC – there are also women who will say whatever they have to in order to
get with other women. As a result, there are times when a less than worthy presentation and behaviour is placed
on a pedestal. In short – people lie. They lie, lie and lie some more. They tell us how awesome we look and
smell and, and, and,.. Then the problem then is that friends lie to us as well. These people we love and trust. They
betray you! I say you because mine tell me when I look shady – thank you! I want to mention your mothers and/
or family, but these people have to love and praise you. This is their function. Always get a second and third
opinion. Trust me on that.

Over time, a genuine compliment loses its value. This is a sad reality.

Perhaps the problem here is the frequency of the complimenting. Too much is obviously a problem. Switch the
scales and too little complimenting is a problem. We are dealing with women from my view point after all. The
latter of the statistical categories (I had to throw that in – varsity baby!) is a shame because I believe when a
compliment is brought your way, when it more often than not doesn’t, embrace it. It is most likely heartfelt,
genuine and without malice. Finding balance proves very difficult.

It is true that we all handle praise differently. Some get a ‘big head’ and for others it’s really run of the mill. Let’s
be honest – some people need less complimenting. No criticism, just less of the lies. The wish is to encounter
someone who is clearly doing it right (excuse the pun), compliment them and receive a genuine response. This
compliment must be received with a spirit, for a lack of better words, which will not behave like I am interested in
the contents of their pants. Honestly lady, I just met you. 97.19% of the time I wouldn’t touch you with a stick
never mind wanting to get into your pants. (The 97.19% is a thumb-sucked value – I’m not that hectic.) Thus far I
can’t tell you are ‘my type’, but at this very moment I just wish to inform you that: “You look lovely.”

Women dressing for other women.

I saw this on Twitter a few days ago. I wanted to disagree, but there was a long list of replies attached to the
original tweet which would mean drama if I opposed the movement. I think this is nonsense. Dress for other
women? Do women think men dress for other men? Okay, some yes – being PC, but c’mon ladies. For what if I
may ask? It’s for men to notice; a man, some men, your man or maybe even all the men for those feeling the cool
grip of winter coupled with an empty message inbox – ignoring the bank notifications for money departing your
cheque account. All I know is that when I’m in a club and women are looking hot – we, the men, notice and some
brave and dumb ones go in for the kill. I couldn’t care less because it is eye-candy for me and nothing more. I’ll
hardly give someone a triple-take. This is what I do. Who on earth wants a lady falsely thinking you’re interested
in them, right? Right! (By triple-take I mean worth not just a second look, but a lengthy and satisfactory third. A
fourth would be me undressing you. It doesn’t get here so no need to get excited.)


Complimenting the wrong people.

I was recently informed that this is my crime. I have to be honest – it cut me. It cut me mostly because of the source of this
statement. It cut me because it may be truth. I beg to differ. The problem I have diagnosed myself with is –
complimenting too damn little. When I do it, give a compliment, I do so as not to kill its impact and sincerity when
I do if I ever do. None the less – we live and we learn. We do what we have to in order to survive and rise above
the next person I suppose. I really prefer to take it all in with the eyes and commit it to memory for later viewing
in a day-dream. Yes, this is selfish.

In order to get over myself, which I clearly need to, I have very seriously considered the following disclaimer just
before I dish out a compliment to somebody (particularly a complete stranger): “Hi there lady (insert look of
bewilderment on the lady’s face here), please excuse me, but I have three things to say to you – firstly I want to
say I do not want to get into your pants. In all honestly I don’t even need to know your name. (Note I said nothing
about ‘want’.) Lastly I think you look absolutely stunning. From the outfit, the shades and all that you’ve got going
on. Whatever you’re doing – you’re doing it right. Thank you and goodbye.”

If you’re my woman – teach me how to treat you and you’ve got it! We all have something to learn. That’s if I’m not on point already that is.

This is why I find it so hard to give a woman a compliment.

Cyanide & Happiness - Mind if I sit here?
Cyanide & Happiness - Mind if I sit here?

What makes a woman beautiful…

Dear Ladies,

There is that moment when you encounter a woman who is not a 10, but perfectly understand themselves and their bodies. They’re not on a cat walk, but have a beautiful strut about them. The make up is to the T and even when her shades come off she was still quite the sight. We’ve seen her in a dress, in a skirt and jeans. We can’t even tell whether she was just being casual, but she absolutely killed us in those red heels. Guys experience this a lot actually. We don’t really know which way to look though. Some guys make it dead obvious, some hide it completely (this is me) and sometimes no one can help but go: “Tjo damn! This woman defines what makes a woman beautiful.”

I love these kind of women. Not “love” love, but greatly appreciate. Refreshing. Those who get the blood flowing. Or stopping. Whichever is appropriate. I have bumped into you at the local Woolies Food Store and yes – I saw the ring and I’m not gonna walk up to you, but I just want to say that you’re doing it right! Whatever “it” is. Your friend though? What happened with your friend? Why are you two receiving two different memos? She’s not coping in those heels – perhaps she should not have…?

The things that we guys actually see out here…

Have you ever taken some time to evaluate, in fine detail, how you look when you step out into the world? Now, I’m going to dive into things women believe men do not notice. Or should not notice? In my defense – I grew up around a family filled with women. I have seen and heard things I now consider invaluable.

Let’s start with clothes people wear to the shops or a local mall.

You’ve been there ‘a million times’ so who cares right? Yes, the bathroom slippers. The scarf you’ve wrapped your head around. That jersey you should have donated to charity some 4 years ago. Yes, we’ve seen you. We’ve written you off.

I understand that the right kind of nail polish is hard to come by. I’ve personally always loved the ‘clear’ varnish. It’s clean, neat and emphasises what’s what I really should be looking at (I have no clear idea what this is, but bare with me). Lately we find that there are nail polish colours one would have never imagined. Hues like yellow. You like yellow? Wait, you’re 29?? Yes they’re not chipped, but that would be an automatic fail anyway. We’ve written you off. Seriously, grow … 🙂

You’ve got a black lipstick lining on your mouth? What is this – 2003? We’ve written you OFF! *attempts to delete memory from mind… failed! Damnit*

Exhibit A: Zoe Saldana -animal-print dress
Exhibit A: Zoe Saldana -animal-print dress

Yes this is africa and I think African Print shoes are hot. Really really hot. That dress though? It makes me think of the WWF foundation. Not World Wrestling Foundation, no. The World Wildlife Fund. I’m sure their hearts, the WWF, bleeds as much as my eyes do every time I see an animal print dress. This is a mistake the world is making. It has nothing to do with being African. It has everything to do with being insensitive to your viewers. We haven’t written you off, but this is your first and last warning.

Yes, you tweezed and trimmed your eyebrows… 3 weeks ago. Now your liner and the sprouting eyebrow hair is at war… with my eyes. A LOT of women fail here. Yes, I understand that the genetic brows didn’t do it for you and made you look like a retard, but this is not winning. You’re pushing it – last laaaaaaast warning! What? BACK CHAT?? We’ve written you off!

These nail tips you have going on though… ok, let me rather not go here. (hehehehehehe!)
However, if you want to remove your nails (whatever they are called – I had moved out of home by the time these took over) do not rip them off out of anger. This is not winning.

That short skirt you’re wearing is lovely. That cellulite is not. Keep that in check. Neither is the ashy bit around your lovely heels. Yes, we notice. We’re scared to see what the rest of your feet and toes look like. You clearly don’t care about these smaller bits. We have most definitely written you off.

What the hell do I know about what makes a woman beautiful, right? Well, a lot. Yes, it’s hard being a woman. For YOU I ironed a new, crisp white shirt, cut my hair, cut my nails, made sure my hands were treated with some lotion, ditched the zam-buk for some vaseline, polished my shoes and am wearing my best cologne. Yes, the jacket is freshly pressed by the dry cleaners and since I’ve done all these things for you please get yourself ready – I’ll pick you up at 7.

Something beautiful…

Let’s take a moment to be honest about something: appearance is everything. Unless someone fed me some info about you, all I know from the get-go is what I see. I have reached a point where I prefer to conceal the pleasant visual stimulation I get from seeing ‘something beautiful’. Specifics? Not cars. Women.

*Deep breath*

There are few topics which are overrun with perceptive and subjective views such as how beautiful someone actually is. By beautiful I mean the physical aesthetics of a woman. How a woman looks. How a woman presents herself. How gracefully a woman goes about their walk… The hair she’s got going on, the make up, jewellery, her purse and the killer black heels. We are so obsessed with how we look, but in all honesty – this is perfectly normal. It’s all a dance we’re all plugged into. The dance to attract and KEEP a partner! Well, this is masked in a variety of ways: seeking attention; boosting one’s self-esteem; going out; dressing up for an ‘occasion’ or; just “felt like dressing up”. If no one notices and mentions a thing – what’s the point really? The really interesting bit for me is people’s apparent different understanding when I say: “That woman is beautiful.” Okay so I hardly get objections in this department, but be sure to believe that I object. I object a lot. I believe that “the dance”, complete strangers and people we consider as friends and family have led us to all believe in things that might not really be there. Let’s also be honest about something else – everyone wants to know that they actually look good from time to time. Yes, we all have our preferences, but there has to be a standard. This standard COULD be beauty pageants, but these are often greeted with superficial applause. “How on earth did SHE win?!” Perhaps the outside shouldn’t matter all that much. In fact, in the real world it doesn’t. It is far too brittle in that a mere fight could result in a fractured nose or a slip could end up in a lovely wound above your right eye. Perhaps even a droopy eye… These are actually bad examples, but you get the point.

So we have ass guys, boob guys, guys who are into women who are +size, men who are into tall(er) women, mixed breeds, “yellowbones”, “redbones” or even women with weaves. It all boils down to what the beholder deems fit. I say we all settle! And we should. There is no “10” out there. By 10 I mean a woman who is flawless. Set a standard and aim in there. Scored your 8? Good job! Now move over and give us the bachelors a chance, damnit!

I would love to throw in some images to depict what I think is beautiful. I’m concerned about the overwhelming nods I will receive so I’ll keep this to myself. In fact, women are SO used to being told about how “beautiful you look” that when a genuine compliment comes your way it is often greeted with hostility. “Oh, he probably just wants to try his luck.” This is part of the many reasons why I am highly unlikely to give a compliment. I’m not suggesting you’re not beautiful, noooo! Never that! You are unlikely my kind of beautiful much as I am not your flavour of handsome. This is life. We might be adjacent pieces of the puzzle or we might not.

I just hope you remain this beautiful for as long as I see and know you. Not your face, not the way you’re dressed, not your hands (which are beautiful by the way), but your mind. There’s something beautiful about your mind…

A receding issue with hairlines…

Weaves are becoming more and more of a rather sensitive topic. There are 3 obvious sides to how people feel about them – some hate them, some love them and others have got bigger problems to worry about. I am not even remotely afraid to state that I hate hate HATE weaves! I hate that a few months ago I witnessed a baby on a woman’s back where both mother and baby had weaves. And, I’m not referring to those all-black-all-light-absorbing cheap weaves. No, I am talking about the charismatic black with blonde highlights weaves. Ok, it wasn’t a baby – that’s pushing it. It was a toddler not older than 5. I’m saying this in case I offend any toddlers who might accidentally land on this post.

Now, I read an interesting article Khaya Dlanga wrote and published in News24.co.za (which you can read by clicking here) and it reminded me of a campaign I once ran on Facebook about a year ago on weaves. I feel Khaya held back in his article. I say so because the issue of weaves he addresses brushes over the heart of the matter and I can summarise his article in this one sentence: “Women, us men will STILL want you without the weaves.” That’s it. You’ve just read the entire article in that one line. Great article though – great laughs. What I did like the most were the comments that followed this post. These were more ‘down on the earth’, more raw and expressed by people who feel violated by weaves.

I am such a person and this is my issue with a receding issue with hairlines…

Unfortunately the people we ‘love’ SO dearly – friends, family, girlfriends and the odd colleague – have fallen prey to the phenomenon that is *insert a 3-second pause here* ‘the weave’. Yes some 5 years back we heard about how Beyonce wore an expensive weave and how it might be the next big thing. This was on another continent so this would never have bothered me and it didn’t. Unfortunately then came the likes of Rihanna on the scene – young, vibrant and… brave. Very very brave. There’s only 1 Rihanna, 1 Beyonce and a few women who boast the same figures of a great body, great hair and bank balances of these women and pull this bravery off. As a result, what I have witnessed with my bare eyes has absolutely traumatised me. I have heard countless stories of the truth that is revealed beneath these weaves at hair salons.

Let me dive into the crux of the matter in 10 points:
1. Your friends, hairstylist and man have all lied to you – the hair doesn’t make you look hot as Rihanna. Well, it actually wasn’t too bad for the first 3 to 4 sleeps. Please destroy it.

2. Oh it’s a Brazilian? That’s a lovely story. I can’t really tell. I can’t wait for your next hairstyle.

3. Children that have not completed high school should not be allowed back home with a weave. If she can’t comfortably afford it with her own money – don’t let her do it.

Oh, side note: have you ever read up on weaves? I have! Check out the Wikipedia on the history and different types of weaves by clicking here. It is nothing solid, but says quite a bit. Worth a squirt.

4. Was it really worth paying more than ZAR5,000 for? Really? Oh you can wash it and re-use it? Yeah that makes it look so much better. Please. Stop wasting your hard earned money. The salon is ripping you off. It took them 30 minutes to an hour which is great, but in 2 weeks you know the expiry date would have been reached, right? No, I will not pay for your weave – are you on drugs? If your man or parent sponsored it – they must shoot themselves on the knee.

5. Get new friends who will tell you when your track is showing. You rocking up in my local Woolies store with your tired looking weave is putting me off the food. Ok, this is harsh. I’m not sorry.

6. Red, blue, purple, pink and blonde weaves are for unemployed people or celebrities. We can hardly say we have celebrities in SA so stop advertising your colourful personality by using your hair. It’s not a good look. Try shoes and hand bags. Those are tried, tested and work.

7. Weave strands in the bathroom sink, bathroom floor, bathtub, shower floor, carpet, couches, car seats, half the bed and in that one food dish is not working for me.

8. Does your hairline really deserve this backwards punishment? Yes, your hairline was looking a bit frail before this new do, but you DO realise the ‘fullness’ of the weave and where you decided to have the weave-split (that part where you decide this part will fall to the left and the other to the right? Yes! That) is making your hairline look non-existent? You can’t? Take a closer look:

Exhibit A - Naomi Campbell's Hairline
Exhibit A - Naomi Campbell's Hairline

9. Of course I’m going to lie about how the weave looks on you. You put me on the spot! That’s a monster fringe you got going there! Don’t you die of heat under this African sun? No, don’t touch my hat. Yes, I can smell that you were in an establishment where the “no smoking” bylaw did not apply. Is that some food I see stuck in your hair? Is that puke?? *grabs bucket* ( << I have witnessed this.)

10. You don't want or are too lazy to style your own hair so you would rather get a weave? What? Are you insane? Why did you get the weave then? No, I'm not saying shave off all your hair – that's extreme. I'm saying there are plenty other options. S-curl and cut? Old school, but definitely cool with a pair of shades. I approve.

That's it. Case closed. Go get those twists or even a Catherine Rapodile-like "Push back relax". I will personally love you for it. It makes you look like the CEO! The HBIC! ( << visit urbandictionary.com for a definition of that if you require one.) I will definitely help you undo your braids – terms and conditions apply.

Hairline healthy, no hair all over the show and… you look great! The twists, the lovely relaxed hair, braids… Yes they took an entire day and a half, but they lasted 2 months, you maintained them well and they look great in every one of your outfits. *moves in for a peck on the lips*

Finally – I love you ladies! What do I know right? If I could I swear I would start a weave business. I would cater for all markets – students, middle class and high-flying women and beat any international pricing. I would create jobs and behave like I'm a tenderpreneur! #Winning! Some of you look amazing in weaves. Please be sure it's worth it? Look after your hairline because your next weave will NOT grow it back. I've heard there are ways to preserve one's hairline. If you're in the business – I genuinely admire your grind. Keep at it. Grow it. Save women. Save hairlines.

(If a man is wearing a weave – please tell them to kill themselves and that if they don't do the world that service, then I hope they go bald).

*starts praying to God to ask for forgiveness for this post*

Amen.

A game of political consequence

I have long felt that we indeed live in an interesting political climate in South Africa and with the national provincial elections coming up this rings ever so true. Now, I need to state that I do not belong to any specific political party. By this I mean that I do not carry a membership card to any organisation other than banks and perhaps Clicks, Discovery Medical Aid, Ster Kinekor and… that’s about it. This means I have the freedom, excuse my poor diction, to sway my vote whichever way I please.

What was I saying? Oh yes. A game of political consequence.

I can’t say I’m on the fence with regards to the political game. I’m a quiet observer as presidents are called down before the end of their term, where I see youth leagues throwing parties to woo voters. I too have witnessed teachers going on national strike for half a x-amount in salary increases for weeks on the eve of matric examinations. I’ve come across countless examples of corruption. And, by countless I don’t mean 20. I mean – countless. Quite frankly, if SARS refunded all my tax money I would gladly watch you all squirm at the abuse – hehe! Unfortunately I am indeed a tax payer. I am in my fifth year doing of so and in all that time I have wished for one thing really – public sporting facilities. There are people who dislike Midrand because it apparently ‘has nothing’. No mall, no museum, no theatre… It is basically one big residential area. And it is such a pity because there are so many businesses and tax-paying individuals who reside in Midrand. People who truly deserve more than they’re ‘receiving’.

Now, in no way am I even suggesting that the current priority on eradicating poverty should be abandoned – oh no. I am saying – c’mon! Really? All the black middle class deserve is traffic? Toll fees? Car guards? Beggars on every corner? Potholes? Let’s not forget the very meaningful name changes which cost us millions. And, for what? What has changed? Exercises I think can be easily prioritized as ‘low-importance’ on the agenda? Surely? Anyway, let me drive my point home. A public swimming pool. Public tennis facilities. Public netball and basketball courts. There are children here too – not just in the streets of Soweto. We contribute so why are we given ‘a miss’? Is it that no one of significant political importance lives in my region? We then hear all this talk all over the media about initiatives to uplift the youth in terms of running a business and to that I have a few things to say – I am what we consider a member of the ‘youth’. I run a business and I have come across so many people such as myself with visions and solutions for many of our problems but we all have 2 main problems:
– We don’t have the right surnames.
– We don’t know the ‘right people’.

We can’t all run event companies to gain ‘contracts’ from ‘government gigs’. This is not sustainable. What is the game plan for the long-term around education and health? Tenders are not going to work because let’s be honest – the best company doesn’t really get the deals. The company which is willing to split with the most bottom-line profit before a project starts stand a better chance. We live in a time where getting finance for a five hundred thousand rand car can take 2 days to complete and you drive off in a flashy new set of wheels. Let’s try the same for a house of the same value and you see how very different the outcome and conditions become. All some people need is a chance. I’ll be honest – I’ve done a few gigs for government agencies. Design and print jobs. The strange thing is – events that are planned MONTHS in advance are all but ALWAYS rushed. Time lines are tighter than a bolt and nut. It is as though we were presented with a golden opportunity to fail. Once I did. I was less than pleased to hear how ‘black businesses should just give up because you all just can’t deliver’. Really? 2 days over a weekend to produce a miracle? What ever happened to good old planning? How about our attempt to register with the NYDA where upon reaching the reception area we were told: “Do you know anybody here at the NYDA? If you don’t then don’t even bother, but you can leave you forms with me.” This is a true story which genuinely had me wondering which international destination I could flee to.

Now, I don’t live in Hammanskraal any more, but I spent 18 years of my life there. I know poverty. I know what it’s like to have parents who can barely afford my school fees. We all have a story. I may not look or sound it, but I do. Why should I feel punished though? If the government is the captain of the ship then can we get some direction please? Election promises mean nothing to me. In fact, less said – the better. A public hospital in Midrand would be great. Oh no wait – I keep thinking this is Soweto.

As if things could not get any worse – we hear of under spending in 8/9 provinces to the tune of over R200m. Unbelievable.

Let’s consider this as an outcry. Not from any political party, but from an ordinary South African Citizen. If this is a game then it is clear who the winner and loser are and I’m on the wrong side of that fence.

*raises white flag*