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I recently had to do a journalism newspaper assignment that required an opinion piece on various topics. One of the topics was President Jacob Zuma’s statement regarding the violence in South Africa, where he stated that South Africa is not a violent country but just has violent people. I don’t particularly agree. I speculate that maybe Jacob Zuma does not live in the same South Africa that we do.
Currently, I live in a South Africa that is rife with all kinds of violence that occur on a daily basis in all parts of our country. The numbers of violent incidences that have taken place in the past year alone are horrific.
I live in a South Africa where 34 miners and two policemen were killed in a tug-of-war between the miners and police at the Marikana mine in Lonmin. I live in a South Africa that was the stage for 17-year-old Anene Booysen’s brutal gang rape and murder. I live in a South Africa where a few weeks later, model and actress, Reeva Steenkamp was killed by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorious on Valentine’s Day. I live in a South Africa where taxi-driver Mido Macia was tied to a police van and dragged along the road by policemen. I live in a South Africa where advocate Dali Mpofu was mugged and stabbed while minding his own business and enjoying a stroll on an Eastern Cape beach. This is the South Africa that I know of.
Our country has always been strewn in violence, after all, it was violence of sorts that led to our liberation as a country and afforded us the freedoms that we are all enjoying and even abusing today. That violence, however, had a good cause attached to it and was also in retaliation to the violence that was being inflicted on the indigenous people of South Africa by its oppressors. It was a sort of violence that people were advocates of and were proudly associated with as it served the greater good. The kind of violence that is occurring today, however, is haphazard, unjustifiable and completely heart-breaking.
Just yesterday, The Daily Sun posted a video of an old lady being brutally beaten by two young men because she had been caught shop-lifting. The level of violence bestowed upon her is really unnecessary and absolutely inhumane, in my opinion. Yes, a crime was committed and, yes, she should be punished for that but not in the manner in which she was. The kind of beating that this woman received was fit for a hardened criminal who had done something truly sinister. My heart, compassion and sense of justice went out to this woman and sided with her, rather than her abusers who thought they were bringing justice to their community.
Another thing that really bothers me about this particular incident, as well as the state of South Africa, is the inhumanity of it all. The fact that people are capable of such cruelty disturbs me but what really breaks my heart is the fact that this video of this woman being beaten up even exists, and more so, the fact that the person recording this is laughing at this woman’s pain and misery as she is being beaten with a belt and a mallet and being stepped on. Is this really who and what we have become?
The thing that makes matters worse is the fact that our President not only does not live in this South Africa, but seems to be unaware of it, if he can makes statements such as these. The President knows of and lives in a South Africa where he can renovate his home for R200-million and not bat an eyelid; a South Africa where he travels with bodyguards and an impressive security detail to protect him from the kind of violence he’s claiming does not exist. He lives in his own South Africa, detached from the people of society and the issues that they are facing. This is the only explanation that can satisfactorily explain how he could make such a bold and untrue statement.
I understand President Jacob Zuma’s philosophical stance that it is not the country that is bad but people in it, but what is a country if it is not its people? What defines society if it is not the people of that society and their actions? Granted, it is not everyone that is morally crippled and capable of heinous crimes and violence, but it is a significant portion of this country. Also, the nature and extent of the violence is too ugly and brutal to ignore, regardless of the fact that it is not necessarily everyone in the country. The fact that most of the news regarding South Africa lately has been linked to violence is enough for me to say that Jacob Zuma’s statement was untrue, outrageous and irresponsible to an extent.
We would all love to live in a society and South Africa that is devoid of violence and especially violence of such a gruesome and horrific nature. We all have hopes, aspirations and ideals for the kind of people we want to be and for the way that we want the world to see us and to think of us, however, these ideals should not blind us to the current realities. Our leader is not one who should be acting oblivious to the obvious social and moral decay of our society because until such time as we can admit to our social ills, it will only get progressively worse. If we are to begin to change and fix this, we need to first accept and admit this about our country and society, because in the words of psychologist Dr. Phil, you cannot change what you do not acknowledge and it’s time for our President to sit up and pay attention.
In the weeks leading up to graduation, I found myself being alarmingly calm and almost unphased by the whole thing. Everyone around me was extremely excited and the girls were speaking about doing their nails and hair and what they were going to wear. My contribution to this conversation was a smile, an occassional laugh at the theatrics of it all and polite nodding. This happened until the day of graduation, mind you.
The day of graduation, I kind of HAD to get in the swing of things because, well, the day had arrived. I painted my nails a loud pink, curled my weave and did my make-up ‘extra nice’ that day. Still, I was not phased. I put my dress on, my heels and made my way to campus with my mom, older brother and sister-in-law. The car ride was pretty tense because, at this point in time, I was running late and frustrated.
We got to campus and walked to the venue and sorted out all the documentation needed for the much advertised stage photographs. I started to see my classmates and my mood lifted (just a tad though).
I then went to hire out my graduation gown where I bumped into one of my favourite people and my mood lifted just a tad higher. I got the gown and put it on….. My life changed in that moment.
For some reason, once I had the gown on, it all became really real and it dawned on me that I was graduating and what that really meant. All the sleepless nights; all the stress; all the anxiety suddenly became worth it.
In that moment I fully realized just how much I had achieved and how amazing and great a privilege it was for me to be wearing that gown and what it meant about me. I realized my strength and determination. There were many times where I wanted to throw in the towel but I hadn’t; also many times when I wanted to curl up in a ball and not have to face the world, but I picked myself up and kept soldiering on… And in that moment, I fully realized that it wasn’t all in vain.
Varsity is great.. It allows you to meet new people; grow up and either find or fully understand yourself. It also sucks… It shows you how easy it is to fail and knocks you down along the way but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to get back up and kick it in the face.
There’s no sweeter revenge than success and I got just a little taste that day and man oh man, was it amazing. The greatest part of all this, is that I get to do it aalll again next year when I graduate Honours… Hopefully Cum Laude this time.
Until then, congraduation to me and the rest of my class!
I have always loved you, even before I understood how complex and multifaceted you are. You take on so many forms – personal journal-writing, poetry, song-writing, authoring, blogging and so much more.
As a young teen, your poetic form appealed to me in a way that was surprising. I don’t think I really understood you – the effect of being wet-behind-the-ears, I suppose. I thought that it was only through poetry that one could showcase their love and talent for writing and as such, I just threw myself in that mix. It was great for a while but, truth be told, poetry was never my niche. I think it was my way of trying to show my depth in a way that was acceptable to the world according to the standards of that time and the people I was around. This belief changed, as many things do with age. I came to the realization that not everyone needs to be Shakespearean to be taken seriously and considered skilled or to “have a way with words”.
Enter personal journal-writing and therapeutic writing. I think I was about 16 or 17 when this on-again-off-again relationship with this therapeutic form of you. You became my safe-place; my shrink, my serenity, my best friend and really just my everything. I could be the truest form of me, with my guard down and no fear of judgement of any kind. You still play this role in my life, although, I must be honest, I don’t use you in this way as much anymore – must be the fear that somehow creeps up on you and attaches itself to you as you get older. The pure freedom that we all have as a default setting when we’re born having slowly but surely faded. Regardless of the fear, you are still a part of me, an integral part that I can never erase.
As a result, I took another route – the journalism route. You, writing – my love and touching the lives of people – my other love. Studying journalism made you change drastically. You stopped being just a friend but became a great tool and you became more formal and academic. I had to start using you objectively, with a clear and pre-determined purpose rather than going with the flow and seeing where you would take me. For the longest time I didn’t use you in a personal capacity, but it didn’t much matter – as you were still close to me.
Towards the end of my degree, I spoke to the general manager from DSTV Online as well as another senior lady who works there about you. The advice I was given was to blog to get a feel for you, writing, in a less academic way but rather a more real and practical way. My heart almost stopped at the thought of sharing you, one of the biggest parts of me, with the world that way. However, I wanted and still want to know you in a professional way one day so I rolled with it.
And I’m still rolling with it despite not knowing where this love affair is going and what fruits it might bear one day. All I know is that I love you, unconditionally, whole-heartedly and now in a way that’s more real and realistic than ever before. I’m going to keep you close and use you in as much as you will let me; to slay dragons, tell stories, help those in need and on the flipside, entertain people.
Thank you for always being here and for being the key to the success that I know we’ll one day unlock.
You are me, and I am you.
I love you always…
In the left corner, we have the long-time confidante, partner-in-crime and support system – the best friend. In the right corner, we have the funny, dangerously good-looking guy who you’re highly compatible with – the boyfriend. Aaaaaaaand, right in the middle of this disaster, is you… GREAT!!
One of the most gut-wrenching and emotionally frustrating phenomena of life is when you find yourself in the middle of some sort of tug-of-war between your boyfriend and your best friend.
When people think of this situation, it is automatically assumed that the one at fault is the petulant and utterly selfish best friend who refuses to relinquish her time with her best friend to let her be happy with someone who could potentially be “the one” (cringe – I couldn’t find a better phrase). The truth is that the blame can be split 3 different ways (imagine that).
Firstly, the problem COULD be the best friend being petulant and selfish. We all know that there is nothing quite like having a best friend. There’s nothing quite like knowing that there’s always at least one person in the world who’ll always be there to support you; someone who loves you enough to view your successes as their successes and views your failures as the universe cheating you. The best part of it all would have to be those inside jokes that get you every single time, especially when you’re apart and something reminds you of it. Having a best friend is a blessing and nobody ever wants to feel that they’re losing that at all, let alone to someone else. Therefore it makes sense (even if it is on a primal and primitive level) that the best friend may turn irrationally jealous.
Secondly, the problem could be, you… the girlfriend with a skewed sense of perception regarding the situation. Here, you have this idea that your boyfriend and best friend will not get along regardless of whether either of them have given you reason to believe that. Your fear of possibly having to choose between them at a later stage clouds your judgement and you start seeing things that aren’t there. As a result, your behaviour actually brings into manifestation the tension that you actually fear the most.
Finally, the boyfriend could be the issue. I would have to think that this has to be the worst of the three. Here, the boyfriend fails to realise that he’s not only dating the girl in question but all the people she holds close to her. This just makes it awkward for everyone involved and really only makes the boyfriend look like a complete tool really.
How do you possibly get out of this unscathed?
Best Friend: do not be selfish. Even if you do feel uncontrollably scared that you’re going to lose your best friend, do not let that get the better of you. Be supportive at all times and remember how much you love your best friend and how you truly just want her to be happy. Should there be issues that you really feel strongly about, speak to your best friend about them, the way that you normally would. Be honest about your fear and don’t disguise it as anger or anything other than the fear that it is otherwise you come off as jealous and unreasonable which is where you do not want to be. Yes, things are going to change – that’s inevitable, but you have a great hand in whether that change is good or bad.
Girlfriend: do not be self-involved. Yes, you are the hot commodity in this situation; however, you should not assume that two of the most important people in your life are going to undergo drastic changes to their personalities because of you. Your best bet here is to exercise your balancing and compromising skills. It is very rare where everything just falls into place perfectly and everyone assumes the perfect role according to you and as a result, most of the work has to come from you. You are going to have to compromise on some of the time that you spend with each of them. You will have to choose your boyfriend over your best friend at times and other times you’ll have to choose your best friend over your boyfriend. This is the cold hard truth. You just have to balance it and make sure that each of them feels highly important to you.
It is also up to you to be the most understanding. Your boyfriend will voice his concerns to you and you simply cannot brush them off and assume that he’s trying to change you or your life. Imagine how he must feel being assimilated into your life with the real possibility that the people who love you most may not approve of him. Your best friend, too, will voice her fears of losing you and you cannot assume that she’s not happy for you or that she doesn’t want you to be happy without her, she just doesn’t want to lose one of the most important people in her life. You may also be wondering why it is up to you to be doing the most work and be moaning about how grossly unfair it is that everyone expect this of you, however, you ARE the one making all the changes. Yes it’s ridiculous, but that really is how it is. Make peace with it and move on.
Boyfriend: keep your cool. Be nice to your girlfriend’s best friend – even if she is being crazy. The problem is rarely you as a person so don’t get caught up in all of that. Be supportive of your girlfriend throughout it all, if her and her best friend aren’t getting along, this is probably the time that she’ll need you the most. Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT bad mouth your girlfriend’s best friend under any circumstance – I’m sure that’s self-explanatory.
Now, this is not a science and things may still go wrong even if you try your best to not be crazy, self-involved and rude. Sometimes things don’t work out – whether the best friends stop being friends or whether the couple involved break-up – sometimes things just don’t work out. Maybe the best friends had underlying issues for the longest time and the addition of another person was necessary for them to finally face up to and accept them. Or maybe the couple in question were not a right fit to begin with but needed an outside person to somehow illustrate that to them.
Either way, it all works out the way that it should – good or bad. However, the only way that you (no matter what role you take on) will be able to accept the outcome is if you know that you tried your best and gave it your all, otherwise it’ll always haunt you… and that’s a whole other kind of emotional warfare.
This is the brutally honest and technically unsolicited advice that I got regarding my blog recently. My reaction? Well… ‘LOL’ actually as I burst out laughing at the top of my voice.
Once I stopped laughing and started to think about these pearls of wisdom, I thought “Oh, jeeez! Is THAT how I’m coming across – as though I don’t trust my audience’s intelligence enough to KNOW that THEY KNOW when I’m being tongue-in-cheek!? Yikes!”
I then cringed as I drew comparison between myself and an amateur stand-up comedian, with obvious and strategically placed pauses, in a painfully clear attempt at being funny *hangs head in shame*
While ‘LOL’ and all the various derivatives have become dear companions to us and are acceptable when texting; tweeting; BBMing and all other ‘ings’ having to do with social media, they, however, have no place on a blog – especially not one of a person with a journalism degree and aspirations of being a bad-ass journalist.
So, with my valued pearls of wisdom in tow, ‘LOL’, I now put thee to rest… Not without a heart-felt eulogy though. ‘LOL’, this is for you *sniff*
LOL, oh LOL…
LOL, oh LOL
You expressed my feelings so well
While you clearly frustrated others
You always made me feel so swell
LOL, oh LOL
My electronic canvas will miss your figure
You always came to my rescue
And did so with such elegance and rigour
LOL, Oh LOL
My perfect exit strategy
You’ll always be close to my heart
And always be a big part of me
LOL, Oh LOL
Parting with you is personal hell
However, you’re killing me professionally
Alas, I bid thee farewell.
For those of you who live under a rock or just haven’t bothered to pay attention, it is World AIDS Day tomorrow (1 December 2012)!!!
The World Health Organization (WHO) states on their website, “Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of ‘Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths’.”
Generally World AIDS day is about increasing awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as getting people to pretty much, pause and take a moment to spare a thought for those suffering from the disease.
While I could get on my soap-box and tell you the importance and merits of getting tested for HIV/AIDS, I won’t, simply because this is something that we already know. We know that it is important to get tested regularly. We know to take extra care when engaging in sexual activity. We know not to allow a moment to cloud us as we could have life-long consequences. WE KNOW.
We sometimes forget, however, to spare a thought for those who are suffering. Yes, there are those who got infected due to not paying attention to all the warnings, and those who simply do not care. However, there are those who are just victims of circumstances out of their control – rape victims; men and women whose husbands and wives brought the sickness into their relationships through infidelity and the children who are born with the illness and made to suffer for the sins of their parents.
On World AIDS Day 2012, let’s spare a thought for all those who are sick. Whether they were reckless or whether they are victims, it can not be easy living that way! So let’s be grateful for our health but also think about those who aren’t as healthy as we may be.
Remember, a thought and a prayer cost nothing and compassion goes a long way!!
Have a good one and be safe out there**
I’m sure we all know the story of Chris and Rihanna by now and Karrueche, was Chris’ girlfriend for a year or two (I’m not too sure of the time) and they broke up recently when he and Rihanna started spending more time together and pretty much rekindling the flame.
Anyhow, I’m not concerned with rehashing the drama and all the details, but throughout the whole thing, two questions kept nagging at me, and those are: “Is it possible to love or be in love with two people at the same time?” And “Is that wrong?”
Now, I’m sure there are those of you who are looking at your screens and thinking. “Well, of course, you simple woman”. Well, let me clarify what it is that I mean…
I know that it is possible to feel the emotion that is love for more than one person – we do it all the time. We love our family, our friends and our significant others. The way we love them, or rather, the kind of love we feel for each of those people/categories is different.
What I’m after is finding out if it is possible to feel strong, romantic love of the same degree and depth for two different people at all, let alone at the same time?
I suppose it should be possible because, when two people are deeply in love and one passes away, for instance, and the other person moves on to get married to someone else, it is obviously due to loving them just as deeply, right?
I guess I just found myself wondering why it is that the whole Chris-Rihanna-Karrueche situation was such a big deal to people. Yes, they are celebrities and that obviously played a role but I feel as though there had to be more to it due to the way that people got emotionally involved. The moral compasses of people are what interested me.
With us being more modern and constantly re-defining ourselves, it was quite interesting for me to see how people are still quite traditional. I suppose that “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.
There are many people who are in a relationship but find themselves having a connection with someone outside of their relationship, “cheating emotionally” if you will, just like Chris & Rihanna. Now, this makes me wonder: does this take away from the love that is between the two people in the relationship? Does it reflect on the relationship or is it just that the person in question is able to love more than one person in the same way at the same time? Or is this person inherently selfish?
Let me know your thoughts…
Gone are the days where one could innocently make a grammatical error in the privacy of a conversation with a trusted friend….
The days where one could say something mind-numbingly stupid without fear of the world knowing
The days where you could flirt and sext with someone other than your significant other without a care in the world….
What has happened to this world, you wonder?
SCREEN MUNCHER happened….
A while ago I wrote about the fact that we are in a Smartphone era and how we have become so dependent on our phones. A major reason for this dependence is the wide array of applications that these phones offer us. Apps that make our lives easier, by keeping record of one’s menstrual and ovulation cycle, to helping us exercise and finally to just amusing us, which is what I think the purpose of SCREEN MUNCHER and SCREENSHOT and other similar apps is.
For those without a blackberry, screen muncher is an app that takes a screen shot of your screen. It works in almost every part of one’s phone – texts, calls and other apps such as Facebook and Twitter. As a result, MANY have been exposed cheating, asking ridiculous favours of their best friends and downright acting the fool (in my opinion).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, be careful out there people, it’s tough lol!! Yes, it seriously sucks that your momentary lapse in judgement may become global comedy but truth is, this is the age that we are in. We are all inadvertently reality TV show stars, the only difference is that we do not always know when the camera and spotlight are on us. So, it’s best to constantly be weary of what you say, how you say it and to whom.
In the spirit of fun, I have put together some of the funniest and most shocking screen munches I’ve come across…
Enjoy and have a laugh, life is stressful as it is **
Screen Muncher Image from http://www.berryfication.com
“So, Azizzar, tell us about yourself”….
This has to be the worst possible question that you could be asked during an interview!
You sit there, and the knee-jerk response (for me, anyway) is “well, what do you want to know” and that isn’t really appropriate for an interview, now is it….
You’re faced with the dilemma of figuring out what exactly to share and what to leave out:
“I looove Trey Songz because he’s just so good-looking and has some of the most wonderful songs about, well….” ….. No, that’s not it.
“I have a relentless thirst for reality television shows, even the ones that don’t make sense”…. Uhm, no.
It is the most nerve-wracking thing to tell someone who you are. Those who know you know you because they’ve spent a substantial amount of time with you and decided for themselves what kind of a person you are.
I spoke to one of my colleagues (I work for a head-hunting and recruitment company) and she said that generally, when she asks that question, she’s looking to find out what the person is like in the working environment. She wants to know what you think are your strengths, weaknesses as well as what it is about you that would make you right for the job.
An absolute NO for her is the response “well, what do you want to know”.
Personally, I find the interview process to be rather daunting. It is tough to show someone who doesn’t know you how much potential you have in just an hour or so.
From the little experience I have, as well as speaking to my colleague, here are a few tips:
- Research is essential. It is imperative to know what the company you are interviewing with is about, as well as what the position is all about. You need to show insight and understanding.
- Be yourself. Do not paint a picture of yourself that is not true. This will come back to bite you in the butt sooner or later.
- Show enthusiasm. Make them believe that you think that their company and the opportunity at hand is the most fantastic one ever.
- Ask questions! It shows your interest as well as the fact that you do not have a “know-it-all attitude”.
- Lastly, do NOT tell them how yummy you think Trey Songz is, or what your favourite drink is or how many pets you have because, they really do not care and you’d be losing before you’ve even begun.
One cool, winter’s day in the month of July, I was on the bus travelling home from campus. As is the case on most afternoons, the bus was jam-packed and people had to stand. I was one of those unfortunate people…. For a while.
About 5 minutes into the journey, someone tapped my shoulder and offered me a seat. ‘Sure’, I thought, as I was still in a bit of pain from the Walk The Talk experience and also tired from the journalism lecture I had endured that day.
I thanked those who offered the seat, sat and relished in the idea of a comfortable and peaceful ride… BOY, I couldn’t have been more wrong!!
It turned out that the guy sitting on my right-hand side, I think he said his name was Leo, had begged his friend to get up in order for me to sit there as he wanted to strike up a conversation – OH JOY *insert sarcasm here*
While I could bore you with the details of how Mr. Leo tried to chat me up the whole bus ride, I choose to be more considerate of you and your time. The point is, he tried to hit on me and failed… dismally.
What was interesting to me was the way he failed to pick up on all the hints that I had been giving in order to show him that I was neither interested in him nor was I interested in having a bland conversation about nothing more than the weather really.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth I’m telling you about something that happened THEN, well, this is a reality of women pretty much all the time. Case in point, was the woman who was being chatted up on the bus this morning…. She looked like she was in PAIN… lol!
The inability of Leo I to pick up on my hints and cues in July (as well as the guy this morning) really worried me and as a result, I have taken it upon myself to try and educate a few men out there on women and how they operate.
A woman is not interested in you if…..
- …you ask her a question that requires a rather lengthy answer and you get one or two-word answers.
- … you are talking to her and there is a long awkward pause……………………and you are the one to break it by asking another question.
- …she rolls her eyes every time you open your mouth.
- …you are supposed to be having a conversation and she doesn’t ask you a single question.
- …you are sitting next to a woman and you decide to move closer to her and she immediately moves away.
Arm yourselves with this info men, it’ll save everyone the embarrassment, especially YOU lol!
Have a beautiful day guys *