If I were to have a daughter, I would tell her these words:

If I were to have a daughter, I would tell her these words:

  1. Someone who is comfortable with disrespecting you and who keeps on testing your limits will never fully appreciate and respect your loyalty and love no matter how much they claim to love you.
  2. Someone may love you unconditionally but their love is wasted if you first don’t love yourself unconditionally because they’ll be filling a void that’s not meant to be filled by them but by self-love. Love yourself first.
  3. Never allow a man to tell and show you that they don’t love you more than once.
  4. Open the door and leave when you don’t feel appreciated in someone’s life. Do not beg to be part of someone’s life.
  5. Communicate your feelings and thoughts and never allow anyone to belittle how you feel and how you think.
  6. Remember, you cannot associate yourself with someone with the intent to change them. Your presence in someone’s life won’t change their actions, people change when they are ready to change.
  7. People who don’t appreciate and respect themselves will do the same to you, people treat you according to how they feel about themselves.
  8. Always take note of the signs and energy people give off to you, someone who’s aggressive when you’re not together will be aggressive when you’re together as well. Relationships don’t change people; they just increase the traits they had beforehand.
  9. Focus on making yourself happy, when you practise self-happiness you bring happiness to others around you as well.
  10. Be comfortable in who you are and ensure that your Yes to someone else is not a No to yourself.
  11. Don’t compromise who you are to make someone else happy.
  12. Always reflect on your decisions, laugh, smile and learn to apologise without being apologetic about things that matter the most to you.
  13. Don’t be someone else’s everything, be your everything.
  14. Know the difference between giving up and letting go.
  15. You are enough, never allow anyone to tell you otherwise!!
  16. Finally, be a work in progress. Work on improving yourself constantly.

Be black without apology, be yourself without apology!!

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The Wait: I chose Abstinence

I remember telling a guy I liked a few year ago that I promised myself that I would abstain from sex, he laughed hysterically on my face and told me to wake up, life is not a dream – he said. Well, it’s no surprise that we didn’t continue dating. We broke up, because at a very young age I knew what I wanted for myself and I was aware that dating someone whose values did not coincide with mine was a disaster. Even though we put an end to our relationship, his words kept ringing on my mind. I questioned my decision to abstain from sex and for the next few years I would feel like a wimp for deciding not to engage in any sexual activities.

I felt that it was important to confess in my next relationship that I was abstaining from sex. I expected him to run away because that was my experience with guys who had shown any interest in me in previous years. He did not, he respected my wishes and even though the relationship ended I know it wasn’t because of my decision to engage in “The Wait”.

I then came to varsity, anyone who has studied at Rhodes or rather UCKAR can attest that studying there is an eye opener. I met amazing friends who did not judge me for believing in “The Wait” but who did warn me that it would take some digging to find someone at Rhodes who shares the same beliefs about sex as me. And… that was true hahaha. I’ve never come close to having sex with anyone because I made a promise to myself and I intend on keeping it. I might have doubts from time to time but I’m not willing to break that promise. It’s something I’m not willing to let go off.

I want to make it clear that I’m not bashing people who decide to have sex, we all have different lifestyles and beliefs and no lifestyle I believe is better than the other. What matters is doing what makes us all happy, abstinence makes me happy.

Does The Wait continue? Yes, it does. And I’m willing to declare right now and right here that if God does not provide someone who understands why I choose to abstain from sex then I’m content with being single for the rest of my life. Abstinence has been something that I’ve been hiding for the longest time because I feared a life of singleness, but today God I declare that I’m content with whatever decision you take on my behalf.The Wait continues…

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The Church makes me goisha at time

I recall going to a church whose name I shall not mention. I was wearing a pretty decent pencil skirt in my opinion. I was not aware that I had to wear a long skirt and a doek. The person who had invited me did not inform me of the church’s dress code so I just waltzed in with my pencil skirt, braided hair and long sleeved t-shirt.

The moment I stepped inside the church, everyone was staring at me and no they weren’t staring at me because I was nqunqaring and slaying, ha.a no. They were looks of judgement, without even saying anything you could see that the people staring at me disapproved of what I was wearing.

I sat down, sang hyms and prayed when I needed to. You’d think people would make it less obvious that they’re talking about you, but no!! The ladies behind were talking so loudly about my dress code that even people passing on the streets could hear them, okay I’m exaggerating but you get the picture.

I don’t mind being corrected, I’m a big believer in constructive criticism. I would have appreciated someone coming to me and explaining the church’s dress code, oh I would have appreciated that shame. But, no!! In a church full of “Christians”, individuals who are apparently “Christ like” I felt the most judged. It was even worse when the pastor opened the bible and preached about seduction, he singled me out of everyone and used e as a premise for his sermon.

Kwakumnandi kuhlekwa mna in church that day hey I was the Potiphar’s wife trying to seduce Joseph caba. Yhu I was going through the most that day, I was goishing but I kept a straight face because there’s nothing I hate more than crying in public, during the people nogal (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just a personal preference).

When the church ended, I walked out I could not mingle and chat with anyone in that state. That experience put me off church for quite a while but I still had a lot of love for God.

I mean how are we supposed to entice people to God if we exhibit signs of judgement as Christians. God is love, she is kindness, she is a friend, a companion, she is non-judgemental and is a conqueror. Whether we like it or not, our actions as Christians are a put-off to many people because we live double lives, all holy when it’s convenient when our hearts do not reflect God’s heart and his love.

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I DON’T HAVE A CRUSH!!

It’s just way too much of an effort to crush on someone. Every time I even think of crushing on a guy I stop myself because I know how crazy I get haha. Okay so here goes, I was crushing on this guy from church back at home. Brother Mzalwane was fine!! When he preached, I swear I saw Jesus!! During prayer sessions, when people would be crying because of the holy spirit, I’d be over there crying because I was thankful to God for creating such fineness, such beaut!!Umhle uBawo, uGod ugreat!!

Okay, so uBrother Mzalwane had the most beautiful teeth I’ve ever seen, he was tall, lean and brown, yaaassss!! He had one of those voices that women swoon over. The brother knew how to praise Jesus and shame he seemed like a genuine person.

So… brothers got himself a girlfriend, my heart has never been so broken!! I cried for a person I was not in a relationship with!! He banna, I cried for this guy to a point where I had hiccups. I even sang along to Toni Braxton’s Unbreak my heart for this guy!! But after a few months they broke up shame, but I was like look at God, won’t he do it!!

Mind you, we’re in the same church with Brother Mzalwane but I avoided talking to him because… well… I’m really awkward when I talk to a person I really like.

My best friend, who is a liker of things called this guy up to come and talk to me. The conversation was great, he had a great sense of humour. Everything was going great up until I mentioned that I liked how he likes the colour red, spaghetti and how his nephew calls him “Yume”. He asked how I know all those things about him because we weren’t Facebook friends.

Awkward!! Needless to say, he’s very awkward towards me to this day because brothers found out that I Facebook stalked him. I don’t stalk guys I like anymore to avoid knowing too much about them because I can’t keep up with my lies and shenanigans lol. It’s been a few years now but we’re pretty cool with brother Mzalwane, he still ‘fine’ though!! Lol.

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My Relationship Goals

Whenever I’m asked what I seek from a partner, the following qualities come to mind:

  • God as a foundation: My father once told me that if a guy is willing to sacrifice his love for God to please you, break up with him. God should be the foundation of his life, he should eat, drink and breathe the word. Once he has mastered how to love God his love for you will be one that is eternal.
  • Leadership: Oh how wonderful it would be to find someone who is committed to grow in Christ and who doesn’t shy away from praying for me. A guy who is committed to lead me towards God and not towards sin.
  • Imperfect person: I’m not waiting for a perfect person because I’m also not perfect. However, I pray that I find someone who’s constantly trying to improve upon himself. Someone who acknowledges his weaknesses and is working towards making them his strengths.
  • Team work: Unless the relationship is one with God, I don’t want a relationship based on a hierarchical structure. We have to support each other not raise commands towards each other.
  • Vision: I once dated a guy who didn’t share the same values and goals as me, I wanted more from life, he wanted less. I am a Christian and he was agnostic, we always clashed. I believed in long term relationships with one person at a time, he didn’t believe in monogamy. Needless to say, the relationship was a disaster.
  • Personality: Personality is key, it’s excruciating pain to date someone who takes life seriously all the time. I’m ridiculous half the time, one may even define me as wonderfully weird. I want someone who’s fun, outgoing and spontaneous.
  • Don’t complete, compliment me: I do not seek to be completed, when God was creating me, he wasn’t like – “okay, I’m 60% done with creating Athini, I’ll let the guy she gets into a relationship with complete her.” I was born complete with the Holy Spirit. All I want is someone who compliments me and what I stand for, not someone who aims to complete me.
  • Building each other: I always joke with friends that life would be easier with blessers left, right and centre. However, in reality I want someone with whom we can build an empire. I want to appreciate his hustle, and I want him to appreciate my hustle as well. I want us to appreciate the struggles we had overcome together, and also ball and make it rain together.
  • Communication: Behind my very fun exterior lies an old soul that thrives in deep conversations. I hate small talk, but I love talking about building things, I love talking about politics, I love talking about current affairs and meaningful things. I love communicating in general, hence I talk a lot J.

Bonus feature

  • He must be an avid reader because I’m a book worm lol.

Are all these really too much to ask for?

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Born into Brothels Review

 

Born into Brothels follows the lives of seven children from Calcutta’s Red Light whose mothers are prostitutes. Zana Briski, one of the directors in the film provides the children with point and shoots cameras to capture the everyday life in Calcutta. What’s compelling about the documentary is Briski’s plight to protect these children from possibly becoming prostitutes and the beautiful and revealing photography they produce.

The documentary manages to capture both the colourful, good side of Calcutta and the bad and ugly. It’s visually captivating. The presence of the children in the film further exhibits this bad and good dichotomy. This is evident when the children go on a field trip, they have fun, they enjoy themselves, they dance and take photographs but upon their return they are faced with their reality – that of prostitution.

The documentary took years to film and this is evident in the amount of trust between the filmmaker and the subjects. I don’t think the film would have worked had it not been a participatory documentary where both the filmmaker and the subject are involved in the process of the film; it would’ve just been like the filmmaker exploiting the subject form of relationship.

Ethically, there are no sexually explicit scenes in the movie this could be attributed to the filmmaker’s contract with the subjects to not exploit them. Furthermore, the filmmaker is very involved in the lives of her subjects, she becomes responsible for their livelihood. The ethical dilemma the filmmaker has is one of producing a documentary about the issues the children face and doing nothing to help them or to capture the intervention as a filmmaker to the situation.

The sound transitions when showcasing the subject’s photography properly captures their environment. The film is technically beautiful and is filled with tonal and intellectual shots, the shots are emotionally captivating and the outside shots provide meaning to the film.

The narration by Briski directs the story and the cutaway pictures provide context to the children’s stories.

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Capturing the Friedmans – Review


Capturing the Friedmans tells the tale of a family affected by news of paedophilia. The father, Arnold Friedman is an accomplished man and respected in society, thus it is no wonder that when he’s accused of molestation and child pornography his sons do not want to believe that their father could be capable of such.

Most of the archive footage in the documentary is shot by David, the elder son on an eight millimetre camera with some news interviews. There are some self – shot videos, they’re private and personal and have the potential to defame and cause harm to the subject, and it makes me wonder whether the family agreed to all of the footage, family secrets and personal disclosures to be viewed by the public. Was the family part of the editing process, was the documentary a participatory process. However, it’s ethically commendable how the film maker managed to keep Seth Friedman out of the documentary even though he might have been in some of the archived shots – Seth didn’t want to be in the documentary. It would have been ethically wrong had he been included without his will. Also, the decision to conceal the faces of the victims and their families is an ethical one. In one shot where Jesse (accused of molestation as well) was attacked at the court house by an angry parent, the parents’ face was still concealed, even the audio from the event was present, the actual video footage of the event was replaced with a more ethically sound video effect.

The film maker is not present in the documentary but there are some instances when one could hear him asking questions to the subject – mostly in the footage with the alleged victim. This makes it unclear whether the documentary uses an observational or a participatory approach to storytelling. I argue that it’s a crossover between the two, although one can hear the interviewer asking the questions, the audience still can’t see him. There are synchronous sound records, there are long takes and no voice overs – all characteristics of the observational mode. However, the inclusion of interviews makes it a participatory documentary as well but it can’t be a fully participatory documentary because even though you can hear the interviewer, he is not in view and no voiceovers are used. Thus, it’s a combination o f both.

There are great time lapses in the documentary, for example in the 18: 56th minute the clock with moving cars in the background which in turn leads to the slow – motion shot of a train moving into the shot is a great representation of the passage of time.

Moreover, the documentary’s chronology manages very well to capture the Friedman’s before the child pornography case, during the case and after the case. It makes the use of Freytag’s drama analysis – exposition, rising of action, climax, falling of action and a resolution at the end.

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