BE KIND TO YOU; IT DOESN’T HURT

By: Palesa Matjebele

I use a taxi to work, there’s no fun in that! I’m always late, it’s just so frustrating. Firstly, there are no taxis and when you finally GET one, there’s a convoy! I just hate it all so much, I always wish I could just be the driver and press on that accelerator but I know very well that a wish is all that it will ever be. When I’m not sleeping myself through the long distance, I just distract myself from all the stress by reading all those newspaper titbits and all those adverts and billboards.

‘’Smile more,’’ ‘’ Be a friend to others,’’ ‘’Tell someone they did a good job,’’ these three phrases always  catch my eye, I’m not evil and I totally agree with what is being communicated, I mean it doesn’t kill being good to others but sometimes we over do these things. With all these things being communicated every minute, everyday, they grow on us overtime and when they do, we overdo them to a point where we focus too much on being good to others, on treating others better, and we focus on loving them better. I feel like we lose ourselves trying to be there for everyone else. We are constantly giving and giving to everyone else but ourselves!

We forget that the same lady, the same guy on the mirror also needs all that. How many times do we hear the words ‘’Be good to yourself,’’ ‘’Tell yourself, you are good enough,’’ and how many times do you tell yourself, ‘’You can do it.’’ It just never really happen, we are too hard on ourselves. We never give ourselves any credit; instead, we would rather just tell ourselves that we could have done better! I don’t know, maybe it’s just the way we are raised, we are taught everything but to be good to others.

We are too hard on ourselves, we expect nothing less than 110% and anything less is just not good enough. With all this unnecessary pressure, we expect people to be kinder, understanding and easy on us! How are they going to be easy, kind and lenient when we are not; ever heard these words,’’ Dress how you want to be addressed!’’ It’s the same thing with this kindness that we expect from everyone else, people don’t know how to treat others, they learn how to treat us from how we treat ourselves.

I always thought by being nice on myself, I would grow a big head. I always felt like ‘’Uh! She doesn’t matter!’’ I’m such a caring person; I think it just comes natural, effortless. As I grew older, I started reflecting on myself, and I started questioning my values and what I thought was a caring nature. I thought maybe I was not really kind, if I was then what makes it difficult for me to unconditionally love and care for this one person, for Me!?

Every single day I still have to convince myself that I am worthy of the same attention I give to others, all the affection I show others, all the care and kindness I give to others and all the love I give to others; all this and more. I know a lot more other people can relate, it’s okay to admit that you have wronged this person, that you were difficult on this person and that you were horrible to this person. No justifications, because then you will be able to right your wrongs.

Another thing, what if the same person we tell they are just the same as us; they are very hard on themselves, like you and I, they just never give themselves a pat in the back for any good thing they accomplish!? Then all that would be useless, it would equal to nothing, it would just be pouring water on a rock, the water never sinks in. So for us to say we are building a better loving society, it has to start with every single one of us. I have to love myself, you have to love yourself, she should love herself and he also has to love himself so that we can all come together and love each other; this way it will be effective.

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WE ALL GUILTY OF THE SAME CRIME…

I AM, YOU ARE!

By: Palesa Matjebele

It’s not easy, if it was easy everyone would do it, there would no point! Life is all about challenges and I think that’s what keeps fun and interesting. We need challenge; we need hardships to keep us going and keep us afloat. Think of it this way, how life would be like if we could all be doctors, if we could all be black or if we could all have the same body type!?

It sure would be super boring, what’s the adventure in that. Same is boring, we need variety. I know we sometimes use other people’s lives as frame of reference and it’s a problem. Everyone has their own journey, some make it too soon and too young while some have to go through a lot before getting to where they are supposed to.

Have you ever compared your life to other people’s lives? –I subconsciously did it all the time, and you know what! It’s bad idea, it brings nothing but misery, and it’s a joy killer. We are different and we are all going to walk different paths, just because we sit in the same desk studying the same course doesn’t mean that we are going to graduate and be employed at the same time. There is what we call fate, we may dream but we must always remember that we have no control over our lives, there’s a Man up there who does that all too well!

If you thought that you were brought here to chill and live like Bill Gates without having to sweat a day in your life, you need to wake up and smell the coffee; life is not about that bass. Even the bible says that we have to work, we have to sweat and we are going to have those sleepless nights while soaking our precious pillows with nothing but tears.

The pain, the tears and all the trials and tribulations are what makes us resilient; I don’t think I would appreciate money if I didn’t have to wake up at 4 am, 5 days a week and sit in front of the computer and have to deal with not so friendly sources.

Not every challenge is meant to break us; in fact, we grow through what we go through. Challenges are not meant to destroy us, but they are meant to build us into these strong beings we are. When we go through it, we may not see it, it’s only when we look back and be grateful for what we once saw as an unfair trial.

Speaking of fair and all that; I always hear people say weird thing like, ‘That’s not fair!’ and I’m like, ‘Life is not fair’. No it’s not; we just have to work with what we have. Like what’s ‘fairness’ and who said that it has to be fair! Some people are out of touch with reality, sitting there and complaining about fairness!

Anyways it’s all good! Now back to reality, we need to stop comparing ourselves with other people, it’s not worth it. It’s high time we look at improving ourselves instead of imitating others, the only competition is that person you see on the mirror. Like I won’t even deny it,  I did that almost all the time and it didn’t change much, the only thing it changed was my appearance and attitude. I would wake up ugly with eyes swollen, on top of it, grumpiness would be all up in my life. I’m sure you can imagine the ‘grumpy meets ugly’ kind of situation, horrible hey! You can’t be grumpy and ugly at the same time; something has to work for heaven’s sake.

SOUTH AFRICA MUST RELOCATE

MAYHEM…MAYHEM AND MORE MAYHEM

by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

If countries could move in actual and not only Scientifically so where they say some weird stuff about the Earth moving at 360 degrees, then South Africa would be saved; I mean it’s so sad to wake up in a shameful country where people get fame and fortune for dancing with no undies, well if that’s even dancing! Zodwa Wabantu has gone national and on her way to Internationals after pulling a Kardashian on us; talking about dancing your way to the top…Levels!

Mzanzi is moving at a very dangerously fast pace on its quest to be a mini America, the deeply rooted valuable culture deteriorates per second as everyone now wants to be an American for some reasons, unlike in that American dreamland,you would find a 40-year-old still living under their mama’s roof and repeatedly asking that annoying same old question that goes like ‘’Ma, what’s for dinner?’’ guess it’s quite funny as you would find an 18-year-old American teenager owning their own car and apartment, while a 16-year-old in Britain is this big shot soccer player or a business owner; but my friend come back here, a 21 year old is still struggling to get past high school while a 25 year old is struggling to get a Higher certificate in some College buried somewhere in downtown, while busy saying stuff like ‘’ Oh no; it’s not yet time, I’m still young!’’ like what time ah-ah, it’s puzzling!

South Africans will amaze you with that Hollywood imitations, busy pulling some weird stunts they see on TV like slashing a cheating boyfriend’s tyre, this is Africa, ‘’bazo’k Trapa Goed!’’ jail will navigate you mama and a mugshot sure turns no one into a model! Busy posing for Instagram with clothes you wouldn’t even dream of stepping out of the house with…we see you photo-shoot models!

I guess it would be cool to sometimes wake up in China or something, just to get a break from this joke of a country where nothing good seem to really be going on, a country where stupid things make trends while great achievements are put at the backseat with no recognition, a country where a 13 year old has the right to make a choice of partner and can be authorised for a free abortion without a parent while a consensual sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 is a rape offense, a country where people strike for bizarre things like wearing skinny-jeans to school! A country where 30% is a pass rate, where one fails all the subjects and still progresses onto the next grade if their parents sign off some sort of a consent form.

Guess the brain don’t matter no more, well speaking of brains, let’s talk common sense; people don’t meet employable requirements, you know, essential things like qualifications and yet complain that foreigners steal jobs and what not, so if all citizens do not study Med cause of the hopeless 15-30 percent pass rate at Science and Maths then we should not have Doctors at all, there should be no Qualified persons because we are all too cool to be smart, apparently smart people are nerdy and nerds are weird and super uncool!

If it’s meant to be a joke then it must fall already, #MustFall as we always say; what’s there to be proud of? The fact that we broke the World record and got first place for Alcohol consumption? The fact that the very same alcohol is the cause of deaths both in car accidents or those incidents where one would get drunk and stabs the other? For the fact that the very same alcohol causes health complications onto kids whose mothers drink while pregnant? Oh, or for the fact that South African ladies can really handle their alcohol very well, come in brown or green bottle!

EVERYTHING THAT OUR GOVERNMENT STANDS FOR

Written by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

Sadness overwhelms joy every single time I take a memory down the lane of what used to be South Africa and what it turned out to be after all these years; think of it in post-apartheid 1994 and what we consider the now 23 years later. It’s like we have just come from this spirit-filled nation that is full of fight and determination to this damp lost society that is rather too relaxed and comfortable in being spoon-fed where things are served on a silver platter.

There is no more fight, the will for greatness has run out and all we are left with is the poisoned generation; the strayed society! By far, the government has lost momentum with all the strategies they come up with in their quest to refurnish and rebuild all that was shattered; the standard just keep on dropping and dropping with every single attempt taken.

We should questions such as: ‘’Does democracy mean compromising the future of our country; does it mean producing a void nation or moulding a dependant society?’’ It’s sad, it’s so sad to be a witness of individuals who are still proud of living off hand-outs and freebies, some even feel entitled to free houses, free food and free education to a point where they take out to the streets and claim what they have not worked for. What is the use of democracy if we are still dependant on others for survival when we are exposed to so many unlimited opportunities that could lead to greatness?

At this state, it is clear that the government emphasises more on Freedom and rights and turning a blind eye on the responsibilities that come with the same rights and freedom that people preach and strive for day by day! We see people taking to the streets and protesting for free housing and education while abandoning the responsibilities of actually cultivating the very same education. The government implements laws and regulations that just keeps handicapping the dependant society further and further; for instance the education system reduces the standards of progress, the learners fail to meet the minimum requirements to proceed into the next grade and what does the government do? –They drop the education standard, parents get to sign off their kid’s move to the next grade and minimum average mark drastically drops.

It can be said that our government promotes illiteracy considering that leadership is aided by the fact that one went to exile while our grandparents took to the reality of merciless streets. With the grade 1 graduate turned president with 783 charges , we cannot expect the younger generation to take education seriously, you find school kids saying things like: ‘’I don’t need education, who does, I mean I am more educated than President Zuma and so I do qualify to be a president,’’ I for one have been through that phase before and I can firmly say that our leadership influences how we approach life; think of how everyone prioritised education under the leadership of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, everyone wanted a taste of education and now it’s the absolute opposite of that.

All that one sees when they think about the government these days is corruption, nepotism and more corruption. There is a lack of accountability from the government where leaders see fit to do the ungovernable, the ruling leadership reflects badly on the black society as they represent us, when people see them, they see us and they now perceive us as being corrupt, greedy and very selfish.

Considering what a wise and well learnt man Mandela was, he sure is disappointed in what has turned out to be this newly dumbfounded South Africa that actually depends on indigenous nations for better educators, doctors and engineers and all this is quite scary for the future of our country, our leadership is at risk of being invaded by foreign nations once again seeing that they are literally leading and ruling the country as it is!

 

 

KARMASUNTRA

AGAINST ALL ODDS

Written by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

You can never really know exactly know what is really going on in a rapist’s mind let alone a killer, questions compels us, motives intrigues us and deeds fascinates us. Questions remains unanswered in most cases but one thing for sure is that a killer is not written on anybody’s forehead, we would like to consider ourselves as sane and not capable of such acts but studies show that anybody is capable of murder, that much cannot be said about rape.

Truth is we are drawn by burning desires and driven by spontaneous events that trigger that psychological state of mind as we do not plan what to do or how to react to a certain act. Anybody can do anything; it’s all that classical tangling-twisted mystery, therefore never say never! Indeed there is no excuse to terrorise the society, that is a choice one makes for oneself but we cannot again ignore the fact that our backgrounds carve ways for our future.

No one chose to grow in an environment full of jerks, an immoral environment with no values, an environment filled with abuse, drug and substance abuse, that cold place with no love and the warmth of parents’ protection and no one chose to be violated and abandoned by the very same people meant to protect and nurture. The world can be a very cold place especially when people seem to pass by and none stays, all they do is just leave void footsteps and on they continue with their journey.

Resentment is bound to show face sooner or later, we are human beings after all. The past always find a way to catch up with us, there will come those haunting memories from the age of five, it will all come back no matter how long you put it off, even after 20 years for it is so patient on its attack streak.

The secret recipe is to deal with the past before it deals with you, what a better way to beat Karma to her own little sick games! There is no use to hurt the people you love just because you were hurt at some point in your life, we can’t all be hurt; every bad situation can be turned into a positive one as the very same event meant to destroy us can build us and the people around us. There has to be some sort of destruction before something concrete can be built; we are not defined by the number of times we fall but by the number of times we pick ourselves up and be the best version of ourselves.

You may be broken, yes but you can pick up the pieces and build your very own masterpiece; let’s quit excuses such as ‘’I killed because I am cold, nobody loved me,’’ ‘’I had a difficult upbringing’’ or ‘’I raped because I was adopted and abused.’’ So everyone must feel the kind of pain you felt? Are we building a world of broken people throughout?

Imagine if we all made people feel the magnitude of our emptiness and brokenness, how would the world be like! So cold, so empty yet full of void vessels; if everyone raped because they felt unloved by their parents, if everyone killed because they feel cheated of a life they so much deserved! There is absolutely hope at the end of the tunnel, we now have psychological therapies one may patiently undergo as a way to mend and make peace with the past and anyone can take an initiation as the less priviledged can go through the process, free of charge!

Talking helps, communication can make a significance change as bottling things up may lead to a greater destruction than words could ever do. Talk, heal, forgive and move on; truly forgiveness is not something we merely do for others, it may feel like a favour for others but it is something we do for ourselves to heal and move on because at the end of day the only person hurting is nobody but yourself, so what is the use of killing yourself with blood pressures that could lead to strokes and heart attacks while you can have the greatest peace and outlook on the future.

 

WARRIOR SHE IS…

SEE HER, TAKE A BOW

Written by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

‘’Oh Women Weak! Too damn emotional for this game…’’ Frankly, that’s what they always say on the streets. Well, firstly, how weak is she if she carried you for nine months, three full thirds of the year? How weak is she if she Consistently and Continuously carried you on her back for nothing less than three years of your life and forever in her heart? How weak is she if she survived those heart wrenching labour pains in those hours that felt like decades so that you could be brought forward into this beautiful World of opportunities?

Secondly, what emotions are you talking about? Are we not just containers filled with nothing but pure raw emotions- feelings!? Are you an Emotionless Creature? That sure doesn’t sound human at all! What game are you even talking about? Are we playing, if so what game are we supposed to be playing, since you seem to be playing like a pro? A good clean one you are playing, I hope!

Yes, make that one squeaky clean for that matter! Cause guess what, some of us do have Emotions, for we are nothing less than human and our emotions have a trigger that takes a while to get triggered but once it gets pressed on with so much pressure, goes off- all hell breaks loose. On that note; allow me to say ‘’Checkmate!’’ Yes, for we are nothing less than human so these things happen, we are not flawless after all!

Onto that game Ish again! What game are you playing and what exactly are you playing with? -Emotions? Are you not coco, perhaps? This is by far the most nuts statement in the English history, ever! Anyways don’t play yourself, Weh Mta’ka MA!

Another rewind; see that woman, take a bow or praise God for bringing forth such a fragile yet strong powerful being! Whichever comes first or befitting the context. Next time Limpopo River flows in your brains and you get nappy-headed ideas of what a woman can and cannot do, think of your life, take a mirror and do a little bit of self-introspecting. Now tell us, who made you? Yes no denying that God created you, but unto whom did He plant that hopeful seed? Yes; Thank you, now Sit down, be Humble! She made you, she gave you direction, security and nurtured you throughout, even still, she continues to add Value, Security and that Fire that just keeps you going for nothing can turn it off…

That woman right there; she a Soldier, a Captain of your boat and most of all, a Pillar of your existence! Where do you think you would be, if not for that woman by your side? She adds Value, Significance and Purpose in one’s life, behind every Man’s life or any Successful being’s journey, there is just that Woman! That woman who will always have faith in you even when all your hope is gone, that woman who will never give up on you even when you thought that it was all over for you, when you throw in on the towel, she picks it up and reminds you exactly why you even started to begin with, she just cannot bear to see you lose hope. Every Will Smith needs a Jada Pinkett, no lie!

She gives you hope when all yours is gone! She clothe you, builds you to be a Warrior, Fighter and a Conqueror at the end of it all. They come and go but she is always there, all Fired Up even! She is your cheerleader, reminding you that you can only do your best and hope for the best; to have Faith, Fight, Patience and Positivity, she sings this song to you every day that it’s even stuck to the back of your mind!

Who taught you all about the morals, all about what could possibly go wrong in this Mystery of a World? Someone testify- She did! She knows best! Seen enough to remind you That All that You Have Is Your Soul- she prepares you for the future therefore you go in there ready- not rare, not semi- rare but all ready for you have been trained by Her Majesty!

She risks what is considered ‘’Beauty’’, for Magazine says flat stomach, Tight firm bum! But no, she says No, goes against all that. Gains some extra weight from your baby weight, that potbelly, her body overwhelmingly takes on a transition that is now deemed as ‘’Ugly!’’ by the world, fat she is called! Her body stretches beyond normal, to a point where her skin can’t take it anymore. She is left with strechmarks, they say her waist should be hidden in an apron for it now looks like a volcano has erupted- Oh Warrior Of A Woman!

She goes out there, doing all sorts of things some may consider Low, for what! -So that you can go into a warm bed in a secured home, with nothing but a happy stomach. She works as a domestic worker, cleaning other people’s houses, washing cars and even making up other people’s beds and bathing all those cats and dogs! For what? –So that you can go to school and be a Lawyer, a Teacher, a Literal being in the society, a better person than she! She is name-called, but all that don’t matter to her, she is focused on the bigger picture. She is stripped out of all her dignity; she remains naked and seen as a Nobody among peers! She sacrifices all her life for you to have a Life!

Who is She? A Mother, Sister, Daughter- A Woman! Your Lady, your special somebody; your Smile keeper! Millions and millions of books can be written about this Legend of a Female, Strong and Influential Being- A Woman! Next time you choose to see her as weak and good for nothing, take a look at your life! How could you have disrespected the only one person who made you who you now are? Respect and honestly Honour to all the Ladies out there; mother or not, for you are A Mother of the Nation!

 

Kid, Adult or That Alien from Mars?

THAT CRAY-CRAY TRANSITION

-Middle-man Situation

By: Palesa Matjebele

The truth is peers influence ones outlook on life whether we would admit it or not; it’s only a human nature to learn a lot from those of the same age as you, you learn from the people around you and they in turn learn a thing or two from you too. The pressures adopted are not always bad, positive traits can also be contagious and adapted to as it does not always have to bad to be considered peer pressure.

There may be countless reasons why people fall prey to the pressures of the society, most kids fall prey in the quest to be one of the coolest kids in school, trying to fit in and basically get everyone to like them in order to avoid being bullied. The sense of everyone doing something somehow makes it right and cloud up an individual’s judgment. Imitations are a great part of every child’s life; searching for behaviors of others they can co-opt is just a normality for picking up skills and techniques of everyday life.

Adolescence is the most crucial time in any individual’s life where they are at their fragile outmost, the transition where a young person develops from a child into an adult is critically confusing. This period in life, perception is formed and a world of possibilities opens up widely; appearance, taste and new sets of values make formation, the urge to follow the crowd may also intensifies in the process. Adolescents have it harder out of all the stages of a human life, leaving that childhood comfort where everything is all so carefree and going into what is then this adult life where everyone wants you to act and behave in a certain way, together with all the brand-new responsibilities one has to take as an adult is by all means daunting!

You don’t know if you coming or going, the expectations from adults and younger ones are all so overwhelming, you are not sure how adults really act or if you should still remain how you were couple years back. When you act like an adult, they all say no you are a kid and you should act like one but then again if you go back and do the things that kids do, there they are, talking and saying that you are too childish, you should grow up and be responsible! You can never really know what the two generations you are standing in between really want from you, the experience is all so confusing. The transition is just so critical yet so rewarding once the idea gets familiar. Cliques are intensely formed in this stage where everyone wants to be much more popular than the rest of the crowd, social acceptance is by all means aimed for and unfortunately the commonly shared behaviors by majority falls into the negative-risky side of life.

Substance use, the consumption of alcohol and sexual intercourse are all initiated by the quest of social acceptance brought by the pressures of peers. Being lost in the dungeons calls for that point in time where one then seeks a sense of belonging, and the only place to really fit in and not feel like an alien would then be from peers as they are facing the same challenges as you are. Together the ‘’Never good enough’’ generation carve their own ways that are so mischievous and then again socially unacceptable like always! Truth is, a blind cannot lead the blind as none cannot see where the long roads leads.

The road to adulthood is rocky and not everyone can make it through with all the obstacles awaiting on the highway but bringing out the moral inner person is always a good resolution when you are not quite sure of which decision to make, listening to that inner voice at the back of the head does the rescuing at times, for in our mind we already know what is right and wrong, so listening to the wiser you is the answer. Finding who you instead of finding those who are facing the same demons as you are can also be very helpful, if you know who you are and what you stand for then you won’t have a problem trying to be the version of the other person but the best version of you.

Just like water, a dose of high self-esteem is needed for the road, it’s okay to feel isolated, it’s also okay to take a loss and it’s by all means normal to make mistakes like a human being you are, we all have flaws and we grow bigger and better from our own mistakes, after all nobody is perfect! Failure is expected, for we are human beings and not made out of steel, we are bound to take loss time and time again but then again, no sweat at all for it is said that we are not measured by the number of times we fall but by the number of times we get up, stand tall and soldier on like we have never ever been down for a second!

One last thing the wise advice is for one to have a positive outlook on life, feel good about yourself, believe in your ability, have self-motivation and lastly be unconditionally accepting of yourself. It’s okay to give yourself a pat on the shoulder and be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how little they may be; the feelings you have about yourself are contagious, that’s self-esteem and it literally affects everything you do.