Vision Board

This time last year I was in love with a good man who made me happy, but unfortunately months later, around my birthday, it crumbled. There were no tears, there was no bitterness from me, just disappointment about why/when it ended, overall gratitude for having experienced such a love and CLARITY. Amazing how “love” sometimes makes us turn a blind eye to things we should notice and bring up.

Anyway, ’m not in love now but for the first time in my life, I am writing down what I want to do, be and have for the year. I am building a Vision Board through Pinterest coz I can’t be bothered with magazine cut-outs plus I have nowhere private to hide a physical one – I can’t bear to leave it out in the open.

In the LOVE section of the Vision Board, I wrote that I want to fall in love with a good looking kindhearted man who is generous, emotionally available, has a good job, a bit of money, a love for travel and a good sense of humour. I sent this to a friend this morning and he said this description reads just like me – and he’s right, well, except the money part (which I actually almost let ouf of this post but how else will the universe hear me!).

I’m looking forward to a whole lot of other things this year, they are safely tucked in my secret Pinterest Board but I’m putting out this one that I feel most awkward about sharing. Brené Brown said that Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.’ So this is me being strong.

And reminding you that beyond the insta glam, we are all humans seeking the same basic things. We all experience heartache, disappointment, self doubt so don’t ever think you’re alone, keep going. As long as we have breath, we still have an opportunity to rebuild, reorganize, reshuffle, reconstitute and I’m not giving up on what my heart deserves.

May our dreams come true.


A recent whatsapp conversation led me to think about my relationship with ASKING. I think I have generally always been scared to ask for what I want – in dating, business and life in general. Looking at what has been happening in my life recently, I thankfully acknowledge that I have made considerable efforts to change this, and try get comfortable with asking but oh boy, is it hard! And scary!

Scary because when I ask, I know there is a chance of getting a No and I don’t know about you but I don’t deal well with rejection. I’m scared of being rejected. Life has however taught me that the consequences of not asking, may be even worse than the rejection.

My thing is always wanting to maintain peace and in any situation, not wanting to make the other person feel uncomfortable (even when they deserve to) and not wanting to be labeled pushy, needy or desperate so I’d avoid asking tough/uncomfortable questions in a relationship, I’d not ask for more money at work, even being scared to ask my son for what I want him to do.

On this last one, whenever I ask my son to bring me something from another room, there’ll be a voice inside me criticizing me for being lazy. When I scold him for not washing the dishes, the scolding will be followed by me asking him if I’m being unreasonable for expecting him to do that, and in hindsight I realize that this may have to do with me wanting confirmation that it’s okay for me to ask this.


I actually just remembered now that even when someone asks me for my social media rates, I almost always revert to asking “What is your budget” instead of sending my rates because I’m scared of being told I’m expensive… so silly right? Obviously whatever rate I would charge is well thought out and deserved but the self criticism makes me anxious.

I don’t know if any of this has to do with self esteem and believing I’m worthy which is something I struggled with for the longest time. I am however learning to ask and I’ve started asking. Now what is left, is for me to also learn to be unapologetic after asking.

In the whatsapp conversation I referred to, I asked for what I want and then I sent another message apologizing for sounding like I’m putting pressure… when that was exactly what I was doing. Because it’s surely okay to put pressure on getting answers when you aren’t right? Ooh, the strugles ladies!

People tend to prefer suffering later rather than suffering now, and so they opt for the timid route of inactionaccepting future regret to avoid current rejection.

This quote about accepting future regret to avoid current rejection had me thinking about how I’ve often been scared to ask for what I want in relationships. This is often always followed by disappointment, unfair disappointment at that because how can you be disappointed that the person has not done what they did not know you expected them to do?

Which gets me to think about the ex who texted me today to talk about nothing. I really would prefer that we do not talk, but instead of telling him that, I was polite and asked about his family, all because I did not want him to feel bad. The sad thing though is that if he were in my shoes, he’d probably straight up tell me not to contact him. I need to do better… sigh..actually let me go text him and tell him not to contact me again. And I’m going to do even better and not type the next thought that came to my mind, which was to ask you if this is reasonable lol.

Can you confidently ask for what you want?

By LeloB



Growing the “NO” muscle – musings from a recovering people-pleaser

You have a right to say no. Most of us have very weak and flaccid ‘no’ muscles. We feel guilty for saying no. We get ostracized and challenged for saying no, so we forget it’s our choice. Your ‘no’ muscle has to be built up to get to a place where you can say, ‘I don’t care if that’s what you want. I don’t want that. No.’ – Iyanla Vanzant

For the longest time I used to struggle with saying “NO”, and I would accommodate things I never really wanted to do because I wanted to please everyone and be in the good books of everyone… Until I realised that there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying NO. “No, I will not be coming”. “No, I am not interested”. “No, I won’t make it” or just “NO”. No is a full sentence. It has been one of my most liberating adult AHA moments and journeys of self-discovery.

We do a lot to accommodate people we do not want to be around; meetings we are not interested in, and engaging in small-talk that we have no fervour for – all because we want to be seen and accepted as nice and we want to please everyone. This comes at the expensive price of no free, leisurely time and a full diary of nothingness. It also comes at the cost of your own rest and self-care.

I’d often ask myself why my plate is so full and overloaded and if I really want to do x or y or z. Begrudgingly, I would drag myself because a) besengivumile (I had already agreed); b) I don’t want to lie and make up a stupid excuse and c) “what will the other person think” – these were all things which put me as second priority because the consideration of the other came before considering myself. That is people-pleasing and being overly accommodating. It’s not noble and it comes back to bite the people-pleaser in the butt. Stop that!


You’re not an evil person

Saying NO is healthy, and it denotes healthy boundaries and the ability to prioritise and to be realistic. These are boundaries that protect you, and also protect your time and your emotions. To be fair, there will always be that guilt or that pang that will come naturally when you first start to acquaint yourself with the practice of saying “NO” especially when you have been a YES and accommodating a person. “NO” will shock people around you because you had never been firm to set boundaries and to teach them that you will not always be up for it or be interested in whatever it is that you are being requested. That is the cost of taking back a power which you had previously relinquished.



Taking back your time and power

What is the one thing that you are afraid to say “NO” to because your fear the guilt or turmoil that will come from saying no? Do you often feel that you must provide lengthy explanation and excuses when you simply do not want to do something? What is the root cause of that?

So here are some of my suggestions on how you can begin to take back your schedule and your power with saying “NO”:

  • Saying NO to social gatherings that will drain you or place you in the company of people you don’t want to engage with
  • Saying NO to taking on more tasks when your plate is already full
  • Saying NO to fruitless conversations in life and on digital platforms to people you really do not want to talk to
  • Not answering that phone call that is going to drain you
  • Simply saying “NO” so that you can sleep in and catch up on much deserved rest

Life is too short for the accommodation of things and people we would be happier without. It’s only through the development of healthy boundaries that we can get back to a place of running our lives and our schedules, and be happier people. There is power in the “no-muscle”!

Here is a short clip from Iyanla Vanzant on building up your no muscle:

By Vuyi

Professional Girlfriend

Professional Girlfriending

You know how everyone has a favourite celeb, or celeb friendship, celeb couple; every now and then posting them as “goals”, thinking about what could possibly be your position if you were them? Come on now, don’t front. We all have one or two of those. Beyonce and JayZ were for the longest time a couple I know people saw as the ultimate “power couple”. Kim and Kanye West also come through often as an IT couple. Back home, Bonang and AKA were there too but we all know what happened there now.

One thing life has taught me, is that no matter what happens, you should ultimately aim to live life on your own terms. Truth is, experiences and livelihoods are not cut and paste situations or gloves that will fit everyone alike.

I admire every person that chooses to do things out of the ordinary. For a society that has been socialised to live a certain way, think a certain way, do things a certain way, it is a special moment to see people leave the chains of societal stereotypes and “norms”. One such couple that does this so well for me, are Cassie and Diddy (or Love).

The coming of the “Professional Girlfriend”

Cassie “Miss Official Girl” seems to have been at the core of the term “Professional Girlfriend”. Casandra Elizabeth Ventura (born August 26, 1986), known popularly as Cassie, is an American recording artist, dancer, actress and model.

Professional Girlfriend

For those who may not necessarily be active on the social media, let’s break down this term for you so that you are not confused along the way reading this article. Let’s try:

The Urban Dictionary defines the term as

“a lame bitch who goes from boyfriend to boyfriend without any period of being single and is in a relationship after 1 date. they date for like 3 years at a time and forget all about their friends as soon as they start dating someone”

errrrr ok. This just sounds like it was written by a heartbroken lame who has zero respect for a woman. SO let’s try define it ourselves?

The CHICA dictionary defines the term as

“A chica who is content with spending life with her prince charming without being legally married to him” – Hope this sounds a little better? – Please chip in chicas if you feel ngiyabheda la, I just wanted our readers to get an idea of what we mean. 

Official Girl! Or is it Unofficial Girl?

In 2008, Cassie bae released a song titled “Official Girl” featuring lean drinking rapper Lil Wayne under the Bad Boy Records label. Think this is where we can safely say the romance between Cassie and bhut’Diddy started?! The lyrics go something like:

“And I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired

Of being your (your) unofficial girl, unofficial girl

And I’m tired, I’m tired of trying (ooh, but I’m still your)

I’m still your (your) unofficial girl” – Home girl did not hold back with this song. The video is cute too. Check it out in case you were not paying attention when it was released

The pair started making the public wonder about their love affair from around the same time. Attending events together, altyd saam. It made sense since she was signed under his label, right? Kanti vele there was more to it, so the song made sense I guess. Only in 2012 did Diddy confirm everyone’s suspicions about their love affair when he posted a pic of Cassie with the caption “the luckiest man in the world.” – Cute right?

The pair have been living their best lives since and have somewhat become the icons of an alternative relationship – one that does not necessarily have a timeline and deadline for marriage.

Kipiting! Kipotong!

Remember I wrote an article last year about cohabiting and how numerous couples have chosen to live together without having necessarily saying their “I do’s”? Those couples are still together and still living their best lives. Read about it here if you missed it. Just to give you an update, Nana and Morena had a beautiful baby girl too in the beginning of the year. CONGRATS GUYS! 😊

Cassie and Diddy are not married, according to our knowledge (Because honestly speaking, they could be married and have just chosen not to say anything). The pair seem to be making it work so well. Unaware of the conversations between the two, one can only ASSUME that there is no pressure for Diddy to put a ring on it. We all know how the story usually goes. Society has gone to the extent of setting timelines for when a couple should get married after dating. This is a topic I would like us to tackle in the comments section. What I want to delve into now, is how you can spend life with the man of your dreams and still be protected as a couple that is married would.

Understanding “common law marriage” in South Africa

Let’s start by saying that I have read numerous articles that have clarified that there is no such thing la ekhaya.

However, where there is a WILL, there is a WAY! Pun intended. I don’t know what lengths Cassie has gone to protect herself should her and Diddy not make it “official” because really, it would be a shame to see her with nothing if it indeed ended. I wouldn’t want to have a 4-page letter type of article on what steps you can take, however, it’s something worth seeing a lawyer for.

Zinzile Mlambo, Commercial Litigation and Tax Associate at Manokore Attorneys simplified things for those of us who have no idea where to start. This is what she shared on her LinkedIn page:

  1. Universal Partnership

A universal partnership  comes into existence when people  act  like  partners  in  all  material  respects  without  explicitly  entering  into  a  partnership  agreement.  This does not just apply in a commercial sense but over the years has been applied, in some cases successfully, to romantic relationships in our courts.

If there is no written agreement between you and your partner, when the relationship breaks down you will have to take the matter to court, which is an expensive process without guaranteed success. If you are successful in proving a universal partnership, the  court will  award  a  share/ percentage  of  the  assets  acquired (whether it is cars bought, property bought or investments made) during  the  relationship  to  each  party – but not necessarily on a 50/50 basis.

In order to convince the court that a universal partnership existed, you need to prove the following:

(1) that each of the partners brings something into the partnership, whether it be money, labour or skill;  (2) That the business (that being the “business” of the relationship and how you conduct yourselves in it) should be carried on for the joint benefit of the parties; And (3) that the object should be to make a profit. (Pothier: A Treatise on the Contract of Partnership (Tudor’s translation) 1.3.8). A fourth requirement mentioned by Pothier is that the contract should be a legitimate one.”

If you have found yourself in a situation where your long-term relationship has ended and you are left with nothing, consult a lawyer on how these factors may apply to your situation.

  1. Cohabitation agreement

As a lawyer, I naturally (and in my case, vehemently) believe that writing things down is essential. If you are in a committed relationship and are cohabiting with your partner but do not anticipate wedding bells anytime soon, a cohabitation agreement may be for you. This agreement is a contract, signed by both of you in the presence of witnesses (like any other contract). It sets out the agreement between the two of you: how you will conduct your living arrangements and your finances as well as your rights and responsibilities in terms of the relationship. Having your agreement on paper prevents the creation of misconceived expectations and will prevent legal battles in the future. However, it is important to note that this agreement will only be enforceable as between the two of you i.e. if you agree that your partner will pay your credit card debt and they default on payments the bank will come after you because the debt is in your name – regardless of what your agreement with your partner says. Should you choose to draft this sort of agreement, consult a lawyer: some provisions in a contract can be deemed illegal or immoral and therefore unenforceable by law.

  1. Will

If your domestic partner dies without a will you will not have a right to inherit in terms of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987 (the Act that governs how a person’s property is distributed if they die without a will), no matter how long you have been together. If you are unmarried, the only way to ensure that your partner inherits something upon your death is to put them in your will. The Wills Act 7 of 1953 requires a will to conform to a number of formalities for it to be considered a valid will upon your death, so consult a lawyer to draw one up. The Law Society of South Africa hosts a “Wills Week” every year during which certain firms draft wills for free – keep an eye on this site for more information.

  1. Unjustified Enrichment

Unjustified enrichment is the general principle that one person should not be able to benefit unfairly at the expense of another. So, for example, if you have contributed financially to your partner’s growth in wealth, you can claim back your contribution to your partner’s estate through unjustified enrichment. This, too, will be a legal battle fought in court unless you manage to settle it outside court. Unjustified enrichment does not mean you get a share of your ex-partner’s assets, it simply means you get back what you put in – what was yours to begin with.

Another article to consider reading courtesy of Fin24: Living Together Know Your Rights

Or, perhaps, just get married 🙂  and if you do decide to go down that route, Theo outlined ways in which you can protect yourself and your loved one in “Which type of marriage contract will you choose? “

Happy Professional Girlfriending Chicas!

By Keagi


I just started listening to podcasts in the car and it is one of the best things I could have done for myself. If you follow me on twitter you would have already seen this as I’ve posted and wow’ed about how amazing it is.

I’ve always listened to 702 on the way to work and back but for some reason it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. I started feeling drained after listening and was starting to roll my eyes a little more with each listen so I made the decision to feed my soul with positivity. Besides, I want to keep learning and so needed a change.

I didn’t know that Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations were on podcast and I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled onto them on but boy am I glad I did!!

I also gave Mama O a break and listened to Serial, which is a true life crime investigation. I was fascinated by how engrossed I got into it but after listening to 2 episodes, I went straight to the final episode, 12, as I couldn’t handle the suspense. Was interesting to learn that after the show ended, they actually agreed to give the the guy a retrial. Not sure how far that got.

It’s Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he’s innocent – though he can’t exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.

This showed me that I like my podcasts short, which is why I loved the SuperSoul ones and here I would like to share my faves so far! You can listen to all these SuperSoul Conversations HERE. 

Though I will admit, I started listening to conversations with people I know, The most beautiful thing about this is that it has even got me listening to people I wouldn’t normally have. An example is Oprah’s interview with former US Vice President Joe Biden. That interview touched me man… it is high on my list so here goes:

1. Former Vice President Joe Biden on Losing His Son Beau: “It’s Not Like the Pain Ever Goes Away”


This interview was really great. Joe talked about losing his wife and baby girl years ago and then more recently losing his son Beau to cancer. He also spoke openly about why he decided not to run for President in the last US election, and why he thinks he would have beaten Hillary Clinton. I think I loved this because of how vulnerable he was, that powerful man, so vulnerable about his fears and putting family first, instead of self.


2. Pastor AR Bernard – author of Four Things Women Want From A Man


I tweeted extensively about this particular interview and I loved a lot of what the Pastor had to say. You have to listen, if you are interested in conversations about Love & Purpose. The Pastor says his mission is to make Faith relevant. He said relevance means practictal, that it has to be something that you can apply the moment you leave the doors of the church service. It has to be socially applicable. It has to help you make sense of the world around you. I LOVED that!

3. Nate Berkus – Surviving The Storm

I did not know who Nate Berkus was before listening to this but I’m so glad I listened. in 2004, Nate and his boyfriend Fernando were vacationing in Sri Lanka when a devastating Tsunami hit, killing more than 30 000 people with another 5000 reported missing. One of the people is Nate’s boyfriend, Fernando. After a long search, Fernando’s body was never found. I’m getting emotional as I type this.

In the Supersoul conversation Nate tells Oprah that since surviving the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004, he’s never defined himself by anything other than his ability to survive. He says, he doesn’t recognize the person he was before the tsunami hit and says he trusts himself and likes himself more today. It left me teary eyed.

4. Meagan Goode and Devon Franklin – The Wait

Of course I know and like Meagan and Devon but I delayed listening to this because I thought they were just going to talk about the book, The Wait (which is regards sex before marriage). Of course I wasn’t gonna listen because umm… never mind… But anyway, it was a beautiful conversation and I love how nosy Oprah is hehehe. She even asked how the sex was after they waited.

You should definitely check it out. They are

5. Shonda Rhimes – Her Year of Saying YES

I also saved this conversation for last because I have not yet read Shonda’s Year of Yes book. I almost regretted that because they really had another one of those great conversation. Man Oprah has great conversations with everyone…

I love how candidly they talked about not wanting to ever get married., you can watch that bit here:

“There’s a huge amount of pressure and the desire to want to get married is a lot like the desire to want to have children in our society. Like you’re supposed to want it and if you don’t want it, what’s wrong with you?”

6. India Arie – Spiritual Breakthrough

Oh man, this interview made me super super sad. I think if I were to run into India I’d go in with a big ass hug because whooaaa, lady has gone through so so much. She talked about all the setbacks she went through that made her consider leaving the entertainment industry.

There are 2 parts to their interview, please listen to both.

Here’s a clip of where they are talking about how she was nominated for 7 Grammys and didn’t even win 1 🙁

7. Sheryl Sandberg on Life After Loss 

This was another sad discussions and in it they talk about her book, Option B. Sheryl also talks about how after someone loses a loved one, we tend to avoid talking to them about their loss, purely we don’t know what to say or we think it’s inappropriate but she says after she lost her husband, she wished her Facebook colleagues would bring him up when she was back at work. But they did not.

Another interesting part of the conversation was her talking about dating 10 months after the death of her husband. She says that men date more but women get judged more.

You can watch that here



There are more SuperSoul conversations worth listening to but these are just 7 of them, and I can’t believe that I listened to all these and more in the space of 1 week. Feels like I’ve been wasting my time all along.


  • Maya Angelou
  • Iyanla Vanzant
  • Sheko Senghor
  • Elizabeth Gilbert



A blessed and beautiful 2018 to you and your families CHICAs!  We have yet another chance to start a new, clean page to re-write our stories, let’s make it good!

I was browsing through the CHICA Relationship section (HERE)  and realized that most of the stories we shared are sad. I wondered why we don’t get a lot of the feel good stories? Is it because we are worried people will perceive that as bragging?

I really wish to hear more stories about love, friendship and just great stories of the little wins we don’t often acknowledge. Last week I asked people on twitter about how they met their Bae’s and it was really refreshing and funny to read the stories.. just shows how much more fun life could be if we just lived without inhibitions. Some of the relationships ended but it’s really amazing that people can still laugh and smile when they think about how they met their exes. I like that.

Below I’ve shared some of my favourite stories and I hope to hear more feel good stories”


And there’s a whole lot of other beautiful stories, so you can check them out HERE. Share yours and send any other feel good stories to us, click HERE for how.

I look forward to even greater interactions in 2018! May it be a blessed and love filled one for us all!



Father's Surname

I am an unmarried mother of one, my son is now at an age where he can apply for an ID card and he’s brought up the topic of wanting to use his father’s last name. I don’t know why this feels like rejection but I got emotional about it and still don’t quite know how to handle it.

Just the other day he was a baby, I was changing his nappies and have been with him for every single day of his life yet today he’s this tall man who’s telling me he wants to take on his dad’s surname. My first thought was why? What’s wrong with my surname?! Did his father tell him to say this?! It brought down a rush of sadness.

I know I should be mature about this, look at this from his perspective (which I just can’t do right now), whatever it is but I am honestly struggling to bring myself to this level of calm and maturity. The reason he gave is that he wants to have the same surname as his siblings.

And yes I know our culture (or is it tradition? I get confused) says – if a father has paid damages then the child may take on his surname kodwa isn’t it more normal when it happens when he’s a baby rather than now? Is there a traditionalists who can explain the importance of doing this? I know a few people who have changed surnames in their 30s but I never asked, though I assumed, it had to do with connecting with their fathers or mothers.

I don’t know how to handle this…and am not sure who to ask so if your guidance would assist.




Beginning of July I shared with you the journey I was embarking on, seeking professional help in the form of therapy.

In the article, I shared about how I was raped and molested by my oldest half-brother whom I met for the first time between the ages of 6-10 years and he was between 14-16 years.

I shared that you can forgive but can’t forget because you can’t erase experiences, even after burying them very deep inside, thus the title of my article.

I started therapy and did 5 sessions; my therapist was a white lady who seemed to be in her 40s and really looked like a spinster, and seemed quite fragile with a soft voice…
This was my first encounter ever with this form of help, so I didn’t know what to expect, other than what I’ve seen on TV. Therapy is not a very popular notion in the black community still, especially for those of us who come from the townships, perhaps the black middle class is/has gotten receptive to it. In actual fact, venting/seeking advice/solace from another in itself is not a foreign concept to us, it’s the professional aspect of it, particularly from a stranger that still seems odd.

The first session started with introductions naturally, her just getting to know who I am and what I’m about and thus the reason I’m sitting on her couch, then what I hoped to achieve with this journey.
I’ve always felt that if I were to become an actress, I would totally kill and thrive in the emotional scenes, because I am one person who is not short of tears. In most instances it’s not that deep but clearly my river is over flowing and always ready to flow out into little streams, so yes the first session was quite teary, just telling the story alone was enough to get me sobbing.

I think more than anything, I was overwhelmed because, other than my immediate family, and my then childhood best friend who was there when I confided in my older sister, then current best friend whom I also confided in about 3 years ago, no one else in my life knew.
These however, are people in my immediate circle thus I did not consider this as necessarily letting go, thus I was only doing it then in that session for the first time and it was a lot!
She’d actually sit there quietly whilst I gathered my thoughts to articulate myself properly, it also felt like she knew when I was holding back and would quietly wait for me to speak up.. it used to annoy me LOL.

A few things I’ve picked up in therapy are that, therapists are not God/ly thus not ready to give you solutions to your life problems, theirs is for you to find a comfortable space to HONESTLY share your feelings with no judgment (supposedly) whatsoever, they observe you closely; to see and understand you and your inclinations so they can coach you into figuring out the answers you need or at least the path to finding them by yourself, for yourself.

This understanding came later on though, at first I thought she’d just tell me what to do and how to do it and thus I’d be done with this whole ordeal. I’d never have to carry it with me again; I’d be completely relieved of its burden and adverse contributions in my life.

Therapy was just a start, it was a start of me letting go and not allowing that experience to have a hold on my life anymore. It was a start for self-love, accepting that, that horrid, cringe worthy and very unfortunate situation happened, to stop blaming and to forgive myself.
Most importantly I learned/realized that self-love is a verb, conscious and active.

My last session was about a month ago and I had started feeling a form of relief as soon as I started because I got to offload and have been taking it a day at a time. My life did not immediately and automatically change but I can feel the ripples of change in me and I’m ready to take charge.

By Noluthando


Hey Beautiful Women,

I have a bit of an issue that I was hoping maybe you’d help me tackle.
I’m a 22 year old tertiary student and in my 22 years of life, I’ve never had a boyfriend. To be more precise, I’ve never had a guy approach me or ask me out or anything that shows ukuthi the guy is interested.
I have girl friends who tell me that there’s nothing to rush for and also have some people saying this is abnormal.

I’ve even lost all my self confidence and am no longer even in a position where I can say I’m ready to date. I don’t know if I’m too ugly, too fat, just uninteresting or everything combined. I even started working out last year to lose a bit of weight, but self confidence still dololo.

I have male friends but I’m not entirely comfortable around them except two, because we’re at the same res as of this year. My friends however are mainly girls (I went to an ALL-GIRLS boarding high school and then stayed at an ALL-GIRLS res for 3 years) so I’m uncomfortable around guys.

Is anything wrong? I mean what can I do to be attractive to guys? Or must I not worry at all?


Life Balance

Life is tricky. Perhaps a more nuanced version of that is that adult life is tricky. As I have come into adulthood, I have learnt that there is a lot to think about. There are feelings to protect, one’s self to interrogate and relationships to preserve. The part about preserving relationships is a real art. I don’t mean the romantic relationships in the story books; I mean the real ones with friends, colleagues, and family. Remember when friendships were strengthened from a place of convenience (playing together at break time = BFF), when you were incredibly close to your aunts and cousins because you spent school holidays at your grans place, when your relationship with your parents was glorious because all it took to make you happy was a trip to the Rand Easter Show or that gift you’d been begging for? In those days, convenience was the commodity of happiness. It didn’t take much then because if it was all there, it was easy.

Oh but now.

People often say they’re happy with small friendship groups and limited human interactions overall. It’s not because they’re terrible people. It’s because managing people dynamics is difficult. The societal focus on relationships is towards romantic relationships but the truth is that there is a fragile relational element to everyone we factor into our lives. Every friend, every relative and every colleague. This reality isn’t overwhelming for everyone, but it certainly is for some of us.

I’ve struggled to juggle my life’s relationships. I’ve often had to ask myself how to ration my time to make everyone in my life feel valued, which has left me with little time for self. As I sat to journal about a month ago, I realised how much I’d been doing yet I couldn’t articulate most of it. It had been work, volunteering, birthdays, bridal showers and everything in between. So much had happened but my reflections of each of these events were at surface level to say the most. Thinking back at all of it, it was all NICE. Not life-changing, or eye-opening. Nope. It was nice.

NICE is not how my life should be. I don’t want to be the kind of person that is constantly busy and tired as a result yet left with an incredibly average description of my life’s experiences. So in that journaling session, I decided to think more deeply about what I want my life to look like.

I’ve baked over these thoughts for over a month now and the realisation is astounding. I’ve decided to split my life into two distinct sections:

  1. Life for marks
  2. Life not for marks

Back when I was in school, the teachers would give us assignments to work on at home or during breaks. With every assignment that came, the teacher would have to disclose if it would be “for marks” or not. “For marks” meant that the particular task would count towards one’s overall term mark and “not-for-marks” meant it was beneficial to complete the task but it was unlikely to be graded. As such, students typically worked diligently to excel at the task that would be graded and relaxed on those that would not. We knew how to prioritise then.

So it follows that this elementary learning has informed my adult approach. I will apply myself fully to the things in my life that I consider to be for marks and unapologetically excuse myself from those that aren’t.

My mental health is for marks. I need to be mentally strong to make it through my days at work and as such I have decided to take the time to read and rest, even if that means missing a birthday party or bridal shower.

My friends and family are for marks. Supporting them through their achievements and shortcomings is important to me so I will be there when I feel I need to, even if that translates negatively into other departments of my life.

God is for marks. I need him to survive so I will prioritise my faith over a deadline because that is what is important to me.

Partners that require more than I’m able to give are not for marks. Family politics with origins that I was never party to are not for marks. Racists & misogynists are not for marks so I refuse to engage.

Splitting my life this way has saved me plenty of tears and time. I haven’t mastered the full art of these principles as I often learn when I have to stop myself midway through an engagement only to find that “it’s not for marks”. But I encourage you to stop and think about this question as you go along.

By Nozipho