The cousin you never call (Pt1)

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Growing up, Siki’s mother (Zolelwa) lived with makhulu (Her mother’s sister). Makhulus lineage was the blessed one, not Zolelwas’ mothers’ line. From makhulus’ waist emerged the brightest minds. Teachers, nurses, school principles, community leaders and clerks. Her children were of the few who managed to complete form 5 and later on move out of the village, not to toil underground in the mines of eGoli. They moved further – attended night schools – could recite stanzas from Sonnet 116 –  became teachers in small towns – married young – bore and or raised children immediately. All in sequence.

Though Zolelwa (Siki’s mother) was in the same age range as makhulus’ first set of grandchildren they were always destined to have a different future to hers. Though they splintered from one trunk, born of the same seed, awakened by the same rhythmic beat that drummed when their clan names were loudly proclaimed, tangled in blood, knotted in the connectedness of their last names… even so, it was clear that she and they would branch out differently. Continue reading “The cousin you never call (Pt1)”

Congruence “I meet together, I agree”

S E L F   P O T R A I T |  IN C O N G R U E N CE

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Her body is history. Two decades-long and counting. History is winter, autumn, summer, spring. Seasons & bones. Alike they break and reset.

Ashen winter logs, autumn leaves crayoned in fades, sapphires & burning oranges. Spring floristry peeling open like artwork at the sharp angle where her cheek and eye muscles join.

Soft summer rainbows reeling from her shoulders, sinking in her collar cleft, climbing up her neckline, pirouetting into yellow dots, inked over her strong cheekbones. Rising, till the soft bend of her brow.  Continue reading “Congruence “I meet together, I agree””

Flights, Fortune, Freedom & Friendship

“Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets (legibly) so one may easily read it/ that he who runs may read it.”  Habakkuk 2:2

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This morning whilst scrolling through old emails, I found a note from Siba to our ladies connect group. A love note full of prayer items that God has since soo faithfully answered.  

Siba (whom I affectionately refer to as my roomie) captured and followed to send back an email singling each of our said goals stated at cell group. Our Outcries. Our hearts hopes & Anxieties. Ambitions. Pleadings and prayers. She ends her note with these words:

we need to follow-up. Accountability is key so that we keep track of the work that God is doing in our lives…I am willing to facilitate this process each month.”

Continue reading “Flights, Fortune, Freedom & Friendship”

TAKING STOCK TWO

It’s been a while since I sat down to write let alone reflectively journal. It’s almost a month now since I landed back from China #Chexit. I spent the first two weeks at home Ch’AdultingDSC_0230.jpgCʃhʌɪl’adʌlt,əˈdʌlt/ɪ ŋ/

noun

(abiding by the laws set in your mother’s home. Incl. tasks such as cleaning, washing dishes, rising early and preparing food all in efforts to display that you have been well raised- yet preparing for looming adulting tasks Incl. budgeting/ bills-bills. Did I mention bills?

Continue reading “TAKING STOCK TWO”

“Know thy self”

Photography-Emily Tsui

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Why is it so hard to find the correct words to describe (explain) yourself?

“It is almost unfathomable to think that creatures as egotistical and as intellectually advanced as ourselves are often stumped by one question – Who am I? It may seem simple enough but, one soon discovers that the answer is not as forthcoming as expected. The initial responses to the question often answers a completely different question all together. “I am Xhosa, South African” or “I am a son (a daughter), a brother (a sister) and a student (a consultant)” these are the first things to spring to mind. These, however, only serve to describe what you are and not who you are.” Qaqambile Mapukata
Continue reading ““Know thy self””

Sneak Peek: Tibet Photoshoot

If you follow me on facebook, you may or may not know that I recently traveled to Tibet. Amazing! Most unique travel experience I have ever had. You can read more of my reflections here. 

Whilst in Tibet fromafricatochina.com, an online platform that I run alongside these three fabulous ladies had a photoshoot. Words can not even begin to describe the amount of laughter and fun that made up our photshoot. Here is a sneak peek. dsc_0665
Continue reading “Sneak Peek: Tibet Photoshoot”

The mother who chewed her tongue Pt1

 

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© lindelwa.ccaprojects.net

“We’ve been friends for at least three years,” Sinako said. Astonished.

“You’ve never ee-ve-en men-tion-ed that to me?”

It seemed strange to me too. I mean. Hmm.

Three years is a fairly long time. In all fairness, I never sat and actively thought: this, I will hide!

If it is that I have consciously hidden this part of my life, it must be because of the “poor little fatherless darlings” narrative. I have heard it too often. It wears me out.

On reflection, it must have been in those moments that I wrote a note to self. To remind me to hide this.

I am not sure why…

I may have done so to break away from the stats: the behaviour problems, higher aggression, more likely to go to jail stats. The girls without dads are more likely to become preteen mom stereotypes.

Thinking about it, I quietly laughed to myself in amusement. Wondering if a more academic word had been coined yet for daddy issues. Continue reading “The mother who chewed her tongue Pt1”

Let them Go: Body Insecurities

Videography by Wadeisor Rukato

This is a 4.42-minute video.

I was absolutely enthralled by the view from the top of the Bridge Cafe in Wudaokou, Beijing. I insisted that we capture a conversation we had earlier in the week about body insecurities, so that you would get a view of it too. Sincere apologies for the wind blowing in the back. The good thing though is that the wind blowing became symbolic of letting go of body insecurities. Continue reading “Let them Go: Body Insecurities”

Footbinding: Letter to my daughter

~Allow me to break your feet.

I promise

You will be beautiful~

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© Jo Farrell

Universally, women have been familiar with “taboos, constraints, and exclusionary” practices. Her body, her sexuality and her reproductive role as a mother in society have commonly been at the center of these taboos.

 

Judith Butler’s Gender Constitution essay parallels the idea of being a woman to an act. She makes use of Beauvoir’s claim that

“one is not born, but rather, becomes a woman.”

This is the idea that a woman is compelled to conform her body to a historical idea of “woman” so that the body becomes a stage that materializes this limited understanding of her. She, being a cultural representation in the play. The actor (woman) role plays this idea repeatedly, beat by beat until the sight of womanhood submits to a uniform understanding of her gender.

© Donna Jo Napoli
© Donna Jo Napoli

This explanation fosters the idea that the repetitive re-enactment of scenes carves out the cultural signs that create meanings for womanhood. Foot-binding is a symbol of these repeated scenes. Continue reading “Footbinding: Letter to my daughter”

Overcoming Feet Insecurities

Videography by Sharon Tshipa

This is a 5.52 minute video, you can rest assured you’ll have a fun funny session.

The awkward pinkie, the shoe pinch, the looming heel crack, boys who like girls with pretty feet. This conversation is about the uncomfortable.

Feet insecurities. A woman and her feet. “Feet baggage” as coined by Wadeisor Rukato.

Continue reading “Overcoming Feet Insecurities”