-Pressurised Life Of Social Media…

By: Palesa Matjebele

On the surface; life is so perfect and some fellas got it going on for them, from career all the way down to happiness. Blessings are testified everywhere, surprisingly the testimonies are shared amongst social media channels instead of churches!

Glory has surely navigated the gates of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram amongst many other social media platforms; the rain of blessings is pouring even harder. All these social mediums have become an integral part of our daily lives and it is of no wonder when individuals feel entitled to share every moment of their lives with the whole world.

Remember back then when people carried around diaries, recording their most sacred and deepest darkest secrets; When there was some sort of societal sentiment of how immorally unacceptable it was to page through someone else’s diary without their consent? Well gone are those days, and amazingly people now seem to be open, over-open if the word does exist! People now post, update their statuses with every single moment happening in their lives, be it dark or light; well funny enough, unlike with diaries, people get very upset when they don’t get likes, those pretty red hearts and comments as it shows that they were not given as much attention.

One of these days a person would bomb an ATM and post it on Facebook just as many other confessions of scams and infidelity, Facebook has turned out to be a Home Affairs branch and the nearest local Police Station amongst loyal participants. It can be amusing and sad at times, especially when a full adult of a human being, instead of lending a helping hand in the name of humanity, take a video to post for likes. A person would die while people are busy capturing the event instead of helping, for what?

The perfect way to put it would say; well, we can get carried away at times to an extent where we get overly open about every worldly encounter, even those better kept on the shush mode! When it comes to the world of internet, well people seem to overflow with no boundaries at all. I mean, even countries have barriers in the form of borders. Whatever it might be, be it free-spirited or the ooze of confidence and high self-esteem, tone it down!

As if the attention seeking tendencies were not enough, there come ‘fake freaks’! Really; so much effort all in the name of hearts and likes, you’d be surprised of the things that people do for likes. At some point in our lives, mostly in junior grades, everyone wanted to be cool and popular in the quest to fit in and be part of this ‘Ideal societal group’, we were still trying to find our feet and there was no way we could have thought of individuality as it never existed at the time.

Couple of years down the road, it’s quite shocking when you’d thought that gone were those days and somehow still witness a society with adults who have still not found themselves, their true being, still trying to be amongst the coolest by imitating the ‘idolised’ figures. Back to the energy, wow some people can really put up a great performance out there, so much so that you’d swear a person was born in a theatre, and the first thing they saw was that glorious stage!

Speaking of which, some people live in Bendo, Santon even Waterkloof while you see them every other day in the humble streets of what is now referred to as the hood; others somehow get to check in places like France, Miami and Paris but you bump into them at that local spaza shop, guess you are also there, on a vacation. As if the concealed events were not enough, you will be in your own mother’s home eating your pap and cabbage, there’s nothing wrong with that but the problem is when you make use of your free-mode privilege and boom somebody just tagged you in a post saying that they are with you at this fancy Chinese restaurant that you can’t even get your tongue to pronounce. Painful right, everyone should lie their own lie at their own expense and leave others to do the same.

When you think that you have not seen it all, that potato couch of a neighbour who didn’t even get passed grade 4 is a Doctor, Jesus! He also happens to be self-employed, owning a reputable private practice apart from working at Nelson Mandela Children Hospital, God! Facebook and Instagram life is far worse; it’s not only in Our Perfect Wedding where a posh couple would ride in a Limo today, only to fight for a two-seater of a taxi the following morning.

Guess everyone is living a perfect life behind that screen of the latest iPhone or Samsung 8; it all seems rosy on the surface, truly speaking, investing so much emotions in the internet life come with a lot of unnecessary pressure that could only lead to depression. Think of it this way, why is it that everyone look like they just are straight from the red carpet or photo shoot, all glamorous and flawless then all that changes when you bump into them on the streets; – You always think, too many Beyoncé’s right? Well, you got the answer; these smartphones and technological Apps have the ability to intensify and conceal messages sent from the other end, relax and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.



By: Palesa Matjebele

Over 40 years ago, June 16, 1976 saw the Youth uprising just outside Johannesburg in Soweto Township. Even though the movement came to peak in 1976, it had since been mobilised in 1974 when the apartheid-reinforcing Afrikaner language was made to be compulsory as language of instruction in the Bantu education era; the uprising was not only as a result of Education but by that of the control system as a whole, the uprising was aimed at addressing and confronting the apartheid demons that tormented the South African country where diversity was immensely shunned and deviously discouraged in any way possible.

The collaboration between the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and the South African Students Organisation (SASO) successfully managed to influence students of colour to detox from the slavery mentality and fight for the right to Education with no limitations, let alone boundaries; almost 10 000 students who had started with the protests in their small classrooms later gathered for a peaceful March towards the Orlando stadium, while over over 20 000 took to the streets. The peacefully marching students collided with police brutality soon after the Police ordered for the dismissal of the March, with heedlessness. Numbers of the lives lost in the fateful day meant for redemption reached whooping number of 176, where the likes of Hector Peterson’s lives were short-lived.

It is of no surprise that to this day, every year in that day, the commemoration is held in respect for the bravery and appreciation of those whose blood were shed in truth. The remarkable legacy left by the youth of 1976 is worthy of every moment of silence granted; the undeniable sacrifices that resulted in the innocent blood shed deserves equal recognition for the actions of goodwill. This is by no means just a regular holiday where citizens get a day off and where booze is freely indulged until the sun comes up the following day, and should not be treated as such!

It is not only sad but a shame, to witness an era where people find pleasure in degrading the only day meant to honour the Country’s young heroes. No equal action is expected, but certainly no action of disrespect is expected either. The concept of wearing school uniform in celebration of the day is unspeakably degraded in a way that no significance is left, it’s of wonder to see a full South African youngster benefiting from all the rewards of even better, Free Education sporting a neatly ironed dungarees, shirt, tie and a shining pair of shoes only to go to some shady drunkard place.

Indeed, there is a huge transition from the youth of 1976 and the youth of today, but the transition is not that one can be proud of. The actions of the 1976 youth clearly demonstrated what they really stood for and education was seemingly an integral part of their daily lives, well the same can’t be said about the modern youth of today as the forever revised curriculum to their advantage is not thoroughly utilised. Surely there must be perceptual misinterpretations along the lines of liberation and the purpose as a whole.

South African Defence Force Demonstrates Readiness And Capability


By: Palesa Matjebele

The South African Military Force took to its home town Mangaung, the city of ‘’Siwelele’’ in Bloemfontein on Thursday the 18th of May to demonstrate the South African National Defence team’s capability and readiness for the country’s defence against the enemies threatening the social, security and economic state of affairs.

Demonstrational activities were showcased in De Burg Training Centre where the Defence team of men and women in the Force took to the fields in showcase of the intensely readiness skills, while most importantly preparing combat ready land-forces with advanced tactics, techniques and procedures. Intense activities included the utilising the rope techniques, the drop zone where the flying and landing on the ground is critical, the mobility demonstration using Amour vehicles and also the direct attack demonstration where instead of imaginary enemy, real subject is used instead, and the soldiers did the physical test amongst themselves.

Chief of South African Army, Lieutenant Yam explained the motion of activity as ‘’… Capability Demonstration shows that as the South African Army we stand by our constitutional principles in government whose orders we patriotically execute to make our Continent a better place for all our people to live in.’’

The demonstration also acts as an insertion of knowledge into Citizens who will in turn support and sustain the Army with the attained understanding. The demonstration significantly hit the continents’ military memory lane as the event is held in the same Month as the 54th birthday celebration of the African Union Organisation, of which was first established with aims to adopt unity and encourage peace in the continent while joining forces for the economic growth.

Chief of South African Army, Lieutenant General Yam explains that “As the South African Army, our manpower, hardware and combat capability covers a wide range of battle space competences that ensure that we successfully prosecute our domestic border control duties and our standing force commitment towards peace and security operations on the continent under the United Nations and the African Union,” while assuring citizens that despite all the Economic hurdles, members of defence are ready to overcome all the challenges with the man power they have ready for deployments and states that the Force appreciates the little increase of 0.95 percent to the already tightly close to impossible budget.

The South African military defence team pledge to fully avail themselves to serve for the improvement of the African people in a vow formally made by the Commander-in-Chief together with the South African President, Mr Jacob Zuma when he made a commitment to the continued regional and continental support with the processes needed to be taken in order to respond and resolve crises, promote peace and security while also strengthening the regional relationships based on mutual respect.

SA Army aims to promote peace and stability throughout African continent while working towards the 2063 Agenda to work towards a peaceful, prosperous and unified Africa where all African citizens feel equally secured at all times.

Lieutenant General; L. Yam said that “the role of the SA Army was fundamentally changed by the commotions of the early 90s, and after the incorporation of the Army into the new South African National Defence Force post 1994;’’ while also emphasising that even though the number of women in the army have increased over the years and women being in the leadership front, it is not out of the quest for equality but out of the ability and capability of an individual and nobody is forced to be in the military as it is a choice one takes out of their own will to serve the Nation.


#FeesMustFall Saga Over The Years


By: Palesa Matjebele

#FeesMustFall all started in 2015 when students protested for no fee increase towards higher education after Blade Nzimande confirmed that there would be an 8% increase, after intense protests that took place the government had no choice but to comply with the students’ requests.

Second episode of #FeesMustFall then made a return in 2016 where students demanded that they be given a free education but the issues were broad and did not only focus specifically on education; there were various other issues that were brought to light, amongst others were colonialism as black students took it upon themselves to fully address all the boundaries they were still restricted to even in the new South Africa of democracy and equality. Students also wanted all apartheid statues removed as they were seen as remarks of insults to black students and lecturers.

Witwatersrand university students were so determined to get their voice across even when the police force tried to control the situation by what they considered to be a form of violence against innocent students who were fighting for their promised fair and equal rights. Students also retaliated and threw stones and bricks back at the police but when they were fired stun grenades and rubber bullets, but things got pretty interesting when three female students unexpectedly took their shirts off and the protest turned out to be a protest against police enforcing unnecessary violence on students.

The act received a lot of mixed reactions from the public after the videos and pictures quickly made their fair share of rounds on the social media, people took on to twitter and Facebook to comment and share their opinions as we all have the right to utter our opinions on anything, everyone instantly became an opinion specialist for whatever reasons.

Some comments showed support while some funnily labelled as the naked ninjas and some comments were just not so kind with the comic Skhumba Hlophe of Khaya FM radio station went as far as to making body-shaming comments on three women where he said that their breasts were not appealing and not worthy to be shown off plus they had stretch marks and big tummies, he even made comments about the University being a disappointment for not having students who were sexy enough or beautiful enough. He jokingly said that at least only if they had tennis-ball like breast then it would have been better unlike having sagging breasts on display, the institution was associated with SASSA for their accepting requirements and policies.

Hlengiwe Ndlovu, who was at the time working on thesis towards her PHD explained the significance of the brave act to Times Live newspaper saying “The moment that we stepped into the protest‚ because as much we were displaying the intolerance of violence‚ at the same time‚ it was a form of resistance to say the very same woman’s body is capable of ceasing fire and no one from national or local government could stop it,” it was all about showing the power of a woman’s body.

An online with over 3 000 signatures was soon signed, with request that Skhumba be removed from the Dj line-up until he apologised as he was disrespectful to women in general. He later made comments on Instagram via another video where he explained that “The worst thing in life is to be misunderstood. I would like to say to all the women that were affected, I would really like to apologise…If it sits wrong with you I am really sorry and I hope we find a way forward from this.”

The whole concept of going topless was seen pulling a daredevil which then led to misinterpretations, but it meant no harm as its purpose was to get the message across and symbolises power as a woman’s body is that strong, it endures a lot of pain and torture in many cases yet it still reigns with pride.



Oscar Pistorius’s transition from the much loved perfect son of the nation to the murderer!

Written by: Palesa Matjebele

South Africa’s dreams were tarnished when the inspiring successful Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of 14 February 2013, the model practically died for love on behalf of women being the day of St Valentine which is supposed to be a celebration of love.The athlete fired four shots through the locked bathroom door claiming to have mistaken her for an intruder in his upmarket suburban Pretoria home.

The statement was less convincing considering the upmarket’s tight security which is unlikely to be invaded by intruders and neighbours heard arguments between the two prior to the incident where there was a woman’s scream and the theory was supported by message conversations ‘’There were thousand examined messages sent between Steenkamp and Pistorius,of which 90 per cent showed a ‘loving normal’relationship.However,a small number portrayed Pistorius as a controlling and jealous boyfriend,’’in one message sent just few weeks prior to her death,Steenkamp wrote: ‘’I am scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you will react to me,’’ these facts were brought forward by the Police IT expert Captain Francois Moller.

Apart from all that,there was no motive and the two were smitten,Steenkamp even wrote a card for Pistorius as a gesture declaring the undying love.Before the incident both had promising future considering their growing careers in the spotlight,Reeva was a rising model while Oscar was a successful athlete with no sign of slowing down making them one of the ‘’It couple’’ of Mzansi with fame and money,Pistorius getting over US$2 million every year in sponsorship.

The athlete was a perfect definition of determination and perseverance,his disability of being born with Fibular Hemimelia whereas he lacked fibulas in both legs and had to have his legs amputated halfway between knees and ankles at a tender age of 11 months never dimmed his shine.

After the death of the rising model a lot of skeletons came to light,apparentely the perfect guy had some anger issues that were turned a blind eye on when he got angry and shouted at the officials after the Brazilian Athlete won a race in the Olympics,which spoke volumes even though he later apologised.The athlete was too comfortable with guns growing up in a household full of firearms and a mother who slept with a gun for protection,that he once pulled-out one and even threatened to shoot at someone in a public area.During trial there were claims that he may be suffering from psychological problems after losing his major source of influence,his mother in teenage years,which could have led to him being impulse.

Pistorius expressed remorse through-out trial and even offered the Steenkamp’s monthly allowance,leading to speculations of buying the family’s forgiveness but that could have also been a result of remorse and Pistorius was genuinely helping the family get by.The trial took quite an emotional journey,the athlete sobbed and vomited after seeing Reeva’s pictures from the crime scene while Reeva’s parents got very upset when Pistorius was initially charged with 5-year jail sentence for manslaughter and 3-year firearm suspension,of which he only spent 10 months in prison after he was considered eligible for release and put on house arrest under correctional supervision given to offenders not deemed as danger to the society.

Reeva’s family felt otherwise and wrote to the parole board arguing them not to release Pistorius earlier. ‘’I don’t think that it’s a good idea to let him back in the society so quickly.He shot my daughter through that door where she had no space to move or defend herself,one of the bullets blew her brains out.It is disgusting what he did to her -10 months is just not enough,’’ emphasised June Steenkamp. Reeva’s cousin Kim Martens stated that Pistorius changed his version so many times and it is still not clear as to how he fired into the bathroom door that Steenkamp was standing behind even though it could have been as a result of shock and confusion as explained by his legal team.

The verdict was appealed and saw another court battle after the case was overturned to murder,Pistorius was found guilty but sentenced 6 years which according to NPA was ‘’shockingly lenient’’; and just before passing the sentence everyone expected nothing less than 15 years imprisonment especially when Judge Thokozile Masipa explained that the sentence had to be proportional considering the justice in the nature of the case and further supported the verdict by stating that a long term imprisonment will not serve justice in the matter considering the mitigating factors outweighing the aggravating factors.

City Press reported that Pistorius attempted suicide and was rushed to Kalafong Hospital after sustaining severe wrist injuries in his prison cell where razor blades were found but his brother Carl deemed the reports tweeting ‘’He slipped in his cell and injured himself,nothing serious.’’ Pistorius’s lawyer is currently appealing the state sentence;a lot really changed in a coarse of one day,a daughter’s life cut-short and two family lives forever changed with a couple forever separated tragic death.



Protect Rhinoceros from Extinction

By: Palesa Matjebele

Rhinos are one of the most peaceful and very charismatic mega herbivores in the world, they are simply harmless big mammals one can ever find. Rhinos feast on greens such as grass and shrubs.

Over the past 50 million years ago, five species of Rhino have been living in the wild. Over 471 000 rhinos have been lost in just one century, leaving only less than 30 000 rhinos in the African wilds. Loss of habitat due to pollution and poaching are the main factors endangering the existence of the rhino specie and if no effort is made to protect the specie, possibly 84 years from now the rhino specie will follow the likes of Dodo.

There are myths regarding rhino horns; the myths influence rhino poaching as in some Chinese cultures, it is believed that horns can be used as some medical cure while some use them for high status gifts in Vietnam.

The money raised is much more helpful than one can ever think; if it was not for the fundraisings, Southern white rhino would not exist today. It only took few concerned wild lovers to bring the remaining 200 white rhinos together for a managed breeding, it is great to say that we now have over 20 500 white rhinos in total. Equal effort on the remaining rhino specie would be much appreciated, we may have lost the Northern white rhino specie but it is definitely not too late to save the remaining species.



By: Palesa Matjebele

Africa has always shown a united front before the Nations but all that changed with recent rife threatening what seemed to be a united Nation that encourages level of diversity at its max.

From back in the day when all of Africa stood together fighting for the Democracy of all Africans, specifically that of South Africa. Almost all African countries did invest in on the whole struggle with their blood, sweat and tears; taking in all the fellow Africans in their time of need. Helping with food, a safe place to lay on their heads and most of all with the resources needed to conquer the struggle for Equality and Majority leadership. All that seem to have transitioned to hatred amongst the once has been diverse Nation envied by all, boundaries of borders have been highlighted once more.

Some of the biggest game players in the Democratic South Africa feel betrayed by their fellow Africans whom they had confidence in after South African Citizens turned their backs on them, claiming that they are foreigners who pretty much steal everything from them while condemning the Society.

Amongst all that, there are claims of foreigners, specifically Nigerian dealing with drugs and trafficking of young girls instead of legally enriching the country. The One love seem to be fading bit by bit at the moment with all the gruesome attacks Africans exert amongst themselves, with foreigners being attacked anywhere in the country including in Churches which are considered to be the safest place to be.