Webfluential Remarketing code

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Please don't buy me plants!

So it's that time of the year again when we scratch our heads trying to think about what we are going to buy our loved ones for Christmas. It also happens to be that time of the year when I cross my thumbs in the hope that nobody will buy me a plant that I will have to look after. I really don't know what it is about me, but I just can't seem to keep plants, or flowers for that matter, alive for very long.

I remember an ex -boyfriend of mine bought me an expensive Bonsai tree for my 19th birthday. At the time I thought it was the most thoughtful gift anyone had ever bought me. That was until I realised it was a trap. He said it represented our relationship. "Oh dear", I thought to myself. I knew already that this wasn't going to end very well. Shame, he was so cute about it too. He even gave the plant a name that was a mixture of both our names. Yup, I know what you are thinking. (Bbm can't look face)

Now, if you know anything about Bonsai trees, you'll know that they require a lot of work, some skill, patience, knowledge and perhaps even a little bit of luck. Ingredients that I clearly didn't have enough of. You have to water them sparingly, trim and prune them, and remember to not leave them in direct sunlight for too long. blah, blah, blah.

I worked so hard to keep that miniature tree alive, especially considering that he asked me at every turn how it was going with our little 'baby'. Well, if that tree was a metaphor for our relationship, lets just say it didn't bode too well for the future. I had a good run with it, but sadly the poor plant died within three weeks. I can chuckle about it now, but at the time it wasn't quite as funny. When I told him, he said it showed that I wouldn't have the patience that was required to make a serious relationship work. And come to think of it, I really didn't. Oops!

Well, I'm still really bad with plants, but thank goodness I have gotten much better at relationships.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Gone too soon

It took hearing about a friend's mom passing away suddenly for me to remember again what it felt like hearing that the love of my life passed away in her sleep. My grandmother.

It all started when she was coming back from church. She used to love the 25 minute walk from the Methodist Church in Moletlane, Limpopo. On that particular day she was 'lucky' enough to get a lift from her neighbours son. She jumped out of the car and walked behind the car, and he without looking back started reversing his car. As the car bumped into her, she fell down and got her ankle trapped underneath one the tyres of his Navara.

With some of the bones in her ankle broken she was rushed to the nearest hospital to where she stays, this unfortunately happened to be the Lebowakgomo Public hospital. And so started the most harrowing three days of our lives.

To say the conditions and services at some of our countries public hospitals is horrible, is a gross understatement. We saw the most appaling conditions and got to experience first hand the abuse that patients and their families are subjected to at the hands of some of the nurses working in these facilities.

I still have difficulty recalling the last days of my grandmother's life, without tearing. My husband and I happened to have been there to visit her over the Easter weekend, not knowing what we were about to experience. We felt so helpless. The ordeal was ardous and all we kept thimking was how unfair it was that she wobbled into the hospital with a broken ankle, but was wheeled out of her ward in a body bag, and nobody ever got to answer for the basic neglect that we saw her undergo at the hands of some lazy, unaffected nurses at Lebowakgomo's public hospital.

My friends Mom died in her sleep, God bless her soul. She raised two beautiful children who made her very proud. This post is dedicated to her memory. I am so glad that she didn't spend her last days in a public facility where her basic needs would be neglected. she died with dignity. RIP Mme.

Friday, 2 November 2012

My 'Church-with the baby-adventure'

It is always such an interesting, yet challenging experience going to church with my one and half year old daughter. The truth is that our church is a big church, and one of the things that I love about it is that they have systems in place that really work, so it is not so much an inconvenience as it is a challenge taking the little one to church.

We sit in the section that has been specially set out for parents with small children. This is code for; there is enough space for prams and the running around of toddlers...and herein lies the challenge. To say going to church with the baby is a lesson in humility and patience is an understatement.

My daughter has the ability to bring me out of my comfort-zone like no one else can. Naturally I prefer to blend in with all the other believers at church, going about my worshipping business without additional drama. That can't be the case when my little terrorist decides that she wants the neighbours baby's bottle and not her own, and then proceeds to help herself to it. This leaves me with the embarrasing job of apologising to strangers, while their little one screams at the top of their lungs because their bottle has just been snatched out of their mouth.

As if that wasn't enough, my daughters idea of praise and worship had everyone in the pews in stitches, and it had my husband and I trying to pretend that we did not know whose kid she was. She even laughed at the top of her voice when there was absolute silence in the church, kissed a girl and stole a little boys pacifier out of his mouth and handed it to the boys Father as if to say, "Your son is too old for this!".
I thought that it couldn't get worse than what we had seen already, until she waddled away and within two minutes came back and happily handed me a very expensive Maybelline mascara. I had no idea who to give it back to, I thought I would surely pass out with embarrasment. Thankfully the nice lady came with her cute little daughter in tow to give back my little ones water bottle and I in turn got to give back her mascara.

I did not hear a word that the Pastor preached about that Sunday but I definitely got something out of the whole adventure. I had to humble myself enough to laugh with complete strangers and apologise for my daughters innocent naughtiness, and I realised on leaving church that day that I had to also make new friends with new mommies who just like me were running around the church cleaning up after their little ones. Every day is a new adventure....happy parenting!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

My kid and the industry

You may or may not know that I'm a relatively new mom, and because both my hubby and I are on TV naturally everybody assumes that this is what we want for our daughter. Mind you, we have already gotten the call from my over-zealous agent, asking us to bring the baby in for pictures. Honestly speaking i feel like I know too much about the industry to want my daughter to have any part in it. Perhaps it is just the PNMS speaking. (Protective New Mommy Syndrome) ;-)

TV has a huge impact on a child's mind; the charm of the lifestyles that they see their idols living has more and more kids wanting to be like their favourite DJ's, actors and musicians. Should kids be encouraged to become TV stars?

I started out in the industry when i was 10, I remember doing photographic modeling for Jet in standard 2, then my first TV role came with Soul Buddyz when i was 15. This wasn't too early, I know of people who started from way earlier. As an unbelievably shy child, I can see the benefits that the industry had on me, in terms of helping me-or rather forcing me to come out of my shell. It also helped me to develop good Vocabulary and speaking skills. However, the negatives cant be ignored either.

Hectic shooting schedules will mean a lot of time out of school which may hamper your child's schooling, also working from an early age, puts a lot of pressure on kids who should really only be worrying about what Bieber's latest song is about. Not to mention the amount of rejection that you subject kids to once they hit the audition mill, something that can lead to years of low-self esteem long after the bug has bitten.

I doubt you'll be seeing my little pumpkin on TV anytime soon, but that shouldn't discourage those parents who do want to have their kids on TV. As with anything in life, there are pro's and cons. Happy parenting!!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Circumstance and change



" I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it. "

Maya Angelou

Dreams...



" Most of us tend to give more credence to our nightmares than to the illustrious dreams that reveal our powerful purpose."

Timothy Maurice Webster
(Thinking About You)

A role model for what?

Ask the average man and woman on the street who their role model is; and the name of somebody famous usually follows.Thinking about this, got me to finally sit down and think about people that I admire myself; my role models. I had to unpack the impact that each of my role models have had on my life, and in so doing I could finally answer my own question of; a role model for what?

Meet my faith warrior...The beautiful, strong woman who raised me. My mom did not have all the answers I needed while I was growing up, but she bought me a Bible for my 19th birthday, and thereby guided me to have my own relationship with the One who 'did' have all the answers. It takes a good parent to admit that they themselves do not have all the answers, and then get on their knees to pray for every life stage that you are still to encounter.

The Devoted educator...My Aunt is the most loving teacher I have ever met. I see her teach her Grade 3 learners in her bare classroom, with its cold floors and broken windows. She teaches with the dedication and enthusiasm of a private school teacher, who has more tools at her disposal than the average mechanic. From her I learnt that impacting people's lives is not something that you need to explain, it is in the everyday.

I met a veteran actress doing my first TV job. I wont mention her name, but please believe me when I say that she is almost as famous as Nelson Mandela. Her humility and her love of people and life are qualities that I admire in her, even more than her on-screen presence (this she has in bucket loads). She showed me early on in my career that no matter how successful I became, I would never need to change who I am.

Working Mom... Lastly to the old woman who worked for us when I was still a new Mom fresh from hospital, thank you. She woke up everyday at 3am to make sure first that her own family was taken care of, made fatcakes for her neighbour to sell for her, and then got on 3 taxis to come to our house to help me to better look after my little family. I admired her work ethic, and how she showed up daily with a shy smile and two capable hands, ready to serve.

These are but four women whose actions have impacted on my life, My role models. I have learnt a lot from each one of them and I hope one day when somebody calls me a role model, it will be because of the positive impact that I have made in their life, and not just because they saw me on TV and happened to like the way I delivered my dialogue. ;-)



Wednesday, 13 June 2012

"A Thousand splendid suns"- a moving read

Any new mom will tell you that reading a book, a magazine or even the TV guide is a luxury that you have to forego the first couple of months, especially if you happen to have a little one with Colic. Needless to say, I never got to do much reading last year. So, I decided at the beginning of this year that things will be different . Now that we have safely crossed over the 1 year-threshold with my daughter: I Will Read.

I want to share a passage from Khaled Hosseini's beautifully penned book, A thousand Splendid suns.
"The streets became littered with bodies, glass, and crumpled chunks of metal. there was looting , murder, and, increasingly, rape, which was used to intimidate civilians and reward militia men. Miriam (One of the main characters; whose story of pain, loss and suffering is so heartbreaking it will move, even the most cynical of readers, close to tears) heard of women who were killing themselves out of fear of being raped, and men who, in the name of honour, would kill their wives or daughters if they'd been raped by the militia..."(pg 247)

Besides this book being superbly written, it is also thought-provoking and sad. What made me especially sad was to read about the plight of women in Kabul during the period on which the book is based; a tumultous time in the country's history, when they were struggling to find a governing system that would strike the perfect and delicate balance between the letter of the law and religion.

The above-mentioned passage is just one of the many passages in the book that stood out for me, because it always confounds me to hear or read about the unspeakable acts of cruelty and hatred that we humans are capable of committing against each other. We see this in our own society as well, heinous acts committed against the women we call Mother, sister and friend.

I have always believed that women have an important role to play; not only in the raising of our future leaders, but also very practically in the corridors of power and influence. I guess thats why it was inspiring for me to follow the entangled stories of the two women in Hosseini's book. Their journeys of pain, growth, companionship and tribulation, are proof that we can overcome insurmountable odds when we have no choice but to survive.

This is a stunning book about, amongst other things, the triumph of the human spirit.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Friends

Time with an old friend

You know it is going to be a really interesting weekend when your itinerary includes a plane trip and a three hour roadtrip to go and attend a funeral in a small dorpie in the cape, and then a night out on the town with an old friend, that you have tried to dislike for many years, without much success. Such was my oddly colourful weekend in Cape Town.

In terms of entertainment, it goes without saying, Cape Town had me at hello! And i have to hand it to my generous hostesses; they really know how to show a girl a good time. I give them a definite A-plus for effort and results.

You can breath a sigh of relief, this isn't going to be one of those posts where I launch into a vivid description of Cape Town night life in all its glory, in the hope that someone who yields some influence around those parts will invite me there again, and actually foot the bill for it. No, it was the emotions that this weekend unearthed that actually prompted me to reflect on my weekend experiences.

The funeral was the real reason I was in Cape Town, all the other stuff was surplus and you know nothing has the power to remind us of exactly how precious and short life is, quite like a funeral. Riversdale is about three and a half hours away from Cape Town, so my friend and I left for our trip at the crack of dawn. It is kind of scary how much you can talk about on a roadtrip to a funeral. Add to the mix the fact that I happened to be travelling with my former best friend of ten years, that I hadn't spoken to in eight years because we had a fall out that changed the course of both of our lives forever, and then you have yourself a plot thicker than a storyline on Days of our Lives.

I think I will be chuckling about some of the revelations that came out of that long drive for days to come. I took many lessons out of this whole weekend experience; the most important of these is that it is true what they say: Time really does heal and An old friend IS really better than two new ones.

Cheers to the beauty of hindsight, and two cheers to my old friend. Give that girl a bells!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

"His will is always perfect"

A king once had a slave who, in all circumstances said: "My king, do
Not be discouraged because everything God does is perfect, no
mistakes..." 
One day, they went hunting and a wild animal attacked
the king, the slave managed to kill the animal but couldn't prevent
his majesty losing a finger. Furious and without showing gratitude,
the King said; "if God was good, I would not have been attacked and
lost one finger!" The slave replied: "Despite all these things,I
can only tell you that God is good and everything he does is perfect,
He is never wrong!" Outraged by the response, the king ordered the
arrest of his slave. 
Later, he left for another hunt and was captured
by savages who made human sacrifices. In the altar, the savages found
out that the king didn't have one finger in place so he was released
because he was considered not "complete" to be offered to the gods...
On his return to the palace, he authorized the release of his slave
saying; "My dear,God was really good to me! I was almost killed but
for lack of a single finger I was let go! But I have a question: if
God is so good, why did He allow me put you in jail?" His reply: "My
king, if I had gone with you, I would have been sacrificed for you
because I have no missing finger." 
Remember, everything God does is perfect, He is never wrong... Often we complain about life, and the negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random,
and that everything has a purpose... God knows why he chose you to
receive this message. 
No matter how you feel, Get up, Dress up and Show up

Friday, 24 February 2012

"His eye is on the sparrow..."

I heard such a beautiful story this morning, while I was driving to work. It's the story of a little three year old girl in America. Police found her standing outside a pizza shop alone and in tears. It doesn't sound like anything too out of the ordinary yet, until you hear that it was on a particularly cold and snowy evening.

The policemen who found her noticed small tracks in the snow and realised that these must have been her footprints. They followed the tracks straight back to her home, found the door wide open and started to fear the worst. Thinking that they must have been a housebreaking, they went in guns blazing, only to find that everyone in the house was sound asleep, with no clue about what had just had taken place.

It turns out that the little girl had had a dream that her mom had stepped out to go and buy her some pizza, so she had gone out to join her mom. In her sleepy confusion, and clearly in a dreamy state, she had gotten out of her bed, put on a coat over her nightie, slipped into her Wellington boots, let herself out of the house and walked a couple of miles in the snow to her favourite pizza store.

Thankfully no harm came to the little girl, and she was ofcourse happily re-united with her family. Needless to say, they will now be adding an extra padlock higher up on the door so that something like this does not happen again.A beautiful story indeed.

What struck me most about this little example of a modern day miracle, is that it really could have ended badly. She could have frozen to death in the snow, or gotten lost or even worse been spotted by a child predator and gone missing. Her parents would have never known what had become of their beautiful little girl. But this story has a happy ending because Her protector was watching over her, as He does with us and for this my heart is happy.

This reminded me of that beautiful song we used to sing in Primary school...
    • " I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
      For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  1. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  2. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
    When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
Just wanted to share this with you. I hope it touched you like it touched me. Be blessed!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

“English –my Mother’s tongue.” (lol)


Christopher Szabo wrote that, a report in the Economist under the headline “Tongues under threat” argues that Black people in South Africa prefer English to their own languages and this could threaten these languages. Last year, the higher education minister Blade Nzimande, warned that: "There is a very real threat facing our African languages. He added: “We do [need] to change attitudes otherwise we face a very real danger that down the line African languages would disappear". Furthermore, the report in the Mail and Guardian said fewer people were taking higher education courses in indigenous African languages. (Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/302784#ixzz1kGTyVEJS)

All of this talk over the weekend about Government amending certain educational policy affecting the teaching of African languages in schools highlighted a very real issue that exists with regards to the disappearance of our indigenous languages. Are our languages going to disappear with our parent’s generation? This issue has plagued me for a while now, and I think I am realising more and more that this is becoming a very real crisis.
Now, I was part of the generation that was allowed into the ‘Model C’ schools at the tender age of 7, so I was in grade two when the Bantu education system was discontinued. This means that English has been my medium of instruction for most of my life. As such I consider it to be my ‘first’ language, so to speak. So much so that I actually dream in English (most people actually don’t give this much thought, in fact whenever I ask any of my friends what language their dreams are in, they laugh and accuse me of thinking too much.) This is not to say I am what you would call a ‘coconut’ because I speak my native mother tongue of Sepedi fluently. I have to say though; this is only because I took the decision when I was much younger to not let it get lost on me. So I had to make the extra effort to learn it, I never really did it at school. (I will not count the two years when I did in Primary school and Mrs Botha insisted on teaching us that the sun is on, like a light bulb, as opposed to shines or rises and sets. Nxa!) 

Speaking to my parents now, I can hear the regret that they have over the fact that while my siblings and I were growing up, they put more effort into ensuring that our English improved, so they even spoke to us in English at home. This was because at every parents meeting that they attended with our Primary school teachers it was drummed into their heads that in order for us to be able to cope with the curriculum, and be able to keep up with the other children at school; we needed to be more proficient in the English language.  So we grew up calling my parents by ‘whiter’ terms of endearment as opposed to the typically African ‘Mama le Papa’.

This issue of the disappearance of our African languages is especially apparent at funerals and weddings. You will notice that whenever young people are called on to speak, they do so in English. Usually they will start off by greeting everyone in their mother tongue, out of respect and then they will proceed to speak English for the rest of the time. Funerals are the worst, every single time that I have been asked to read the wreaths (some of which are written in one or more of the African languages) I have had a mild panic attack at the thought of having to stutter and um…my way through the messages that people so lovingly penned to the deceased
.
However, I have to point out that my generation is still better off. We mostly struggle to read and write our indigenous languages, but we can definitely speak the languages. Sadly the same can’t be said for the younger generation, also known as the ‘SMS generation’. (You know who you are; all of you peeps who use LOL, LMAO, BRB in everyday speech.) I was watching TV on Saturday morning, and happened to flick to a programme with two guys presenting, and you could hear that they were both struggling to express themselves in the African languages. Some sentences went something like: “Heita da guys ….English, English, English…so manje we are going to…more English…ngoba we are…English…English…” It was as funny as it was sad for me to watch.

I have concluded thus, that looking back isn’t going to solve our problems, so the question is what are we going to do to remedy this? Well, Government must do their part and then in my own small way I am going to make sure that my daughter will know how to speak, read and write (my mom will have to teach her the later) both Sesotho and Sepedi, the Joburg lingo she can learn on her own.  It is only but a drop in the Ocean, but it will be one more drop than there is now. Save our African languages- spread the word!!

Friday, 13 January 2012

I really suck at Maths!

So it is the beginning of a brand new year and as a result, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and reflecting on last year. And to be quite honest with you, I really cannot say that there is too much about 2011 that I can be proud of. Mind you, this is not a case of me being my usual self-deprecating self; it is me being brutally honest about myself, and to myself. This brings me to the point of this blog post. I want to make 2012 really count and one of the ways that I want to ensure that this happens is by studying towards another post-Matric qualification. Yes, I said it. I Want To Go Back To School.
What can I say? I guess I was inspired by the Matrics and the pass rate, and especially by all the eager young hopefuls queuing outside institutes of higher learning, blah...blah...blah. So I did my research and I can happily report that the options are boundless and limitless, if you want to study for sake of studying and having something nice to add to your CV so that you join the long line of other hopefuls who are also trawling sites like Career junction and Bizcommunity in search of work. However, if you already have a degree (that you now realise is as good as having just a Matric, because it happens to be a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications, and in the job market, it may as well be called a ‘Bachelor of Everyone-who-hates-Maths-has-this-degree’) then studying something postgraduate to augment the qualification that you already have, will prove to be a little more challenging.
So I look in a couple of newspapers at potential jobs (with good salaries) that I could really sink my teeth into, in order to help me decide which direction I want to go in study-wise. It brings me to the realisation that without Maths and other subjects that require me to work with numbers, then I’m pretty much screwed. The problem is I really suck at maths! And I certainly will not be queuing to do Accounting in a hurry. So where does this leave me?
May I just add that one should not on reading this assume that I am one of those mediocre students who just managed to scrape through Matric. Quite the contrary actually, I got 3 distinctions, it is just that they happened to be for English, Afrikaans and History, and not for Maths or Science, although I did in fact pass both of them too. But I digress.
In order to earn what I would like to be earning, in a field that will not require me to be even remotely at home with numbers, algorithms or graphs, then what should I be studying? This is when I realise what the problem for so many school-leaving peeps is; the study options for people who excel in subjects other than the sciences are pretty much limited to: Tourism/ hospitality studies, Communication and Journalism, Marketing, the Arts, fashion or working in a call centre and so forth.
Of course there is also the increasingly popular option of being self employed and running your own business. I have personally been avoiding taking this particular path out of the fear that it may lead to hunger and possible bankruptcy. The irony is that I keep finding myself at this juncture every time I have to confront the prospect that I could be stuck in my dead-end full time job for another year. So here I am again, at this juncture, and that is why I have decided to study a business course that will help me in the event that I may want to start my own business. Now I just have to settle on an institution that offers great part time courses that will be relevant to what I want to get into, something that will help me to have the edge that I will surely need to survive as a young entrepreneur.
The morale of this particular story is that I did eventually find a great course that I want to study, and I think it is the perfect course to help give my current Communications degree some teeth. The problem is? Yup, you guessed it- I will not be able to avoid passing Maths, and like I said before. I really suck at Maths!  Do not be dismayed though, I will not give up. It just means that it is going to take me a little while longer to get around to breaking bank with million dollar pay cheque.