Have you ever wanted something but always felt like you were held back from achieving it? I have. Many, many times. It’s the demon called FEAR that’s holding you, and I back from that goal you keep running away from every other day.

If there’s one thing I did effectively in 2017 and believe I deserve a medal for, is having self-doubt.

I remember drafting a bucket list with the utmost enthusiasm at the beginning of the year accompanied by reasonable deadlines to make my list seem more achievable, and for it to motivate me to reach those goals. Listen, I drafted, created a half-baked vision board and closed my journal with the satisfaction of what I had in front of me.

Little did I know that I would only cross out 2 of the 7 goals I had set for myself for the year 2017 which were graduating for my Honours in Psychology and for being offered a full time job  after my internship ended. YAY me. I did THAT!! However, that excitement of the two most important things died out quicker than Chris Brown’s character on Stomp The Yard. I don’t recall celebrating those milestones because I was too focused on what I was struggling to achieve instead.

It haunts me almost every other day that I’ve let fear dictate my capabilities to an extent where I struggled to keep up with the promises I made to myself which no one forced me into. Self-doubt has been the biggest enemy of progress: despite all the potential and hard work, if there’s  constant self-doubt, then none of the things we wish and work for will ever come into being. We won’t reap the fruits of our labour.

I see young black women flourishing while I clap for them at a distance and always say to myself “you could win too if you only believed in yourself like you believe in other people.” I say it repeatedly, but somehow I end up forgetting those words when I need to start lifting myself up again. It’s depressing.

I hate this demon because I’ve let it ruin my year like I’m not a child of God. I hate it because it took over, slowly but surely, and left me out in the cold to try to pick up my self-esteem again. The fear has settled so comfortably that I don’t even know where to begin by “letting it go,” how many times should I pray it away, or how many mantras should I say to myself to psych myself up? Honestly, I do not know.

But you know what the beauty of life is? Starting again. As long as God blesses me with another day of life, then I still have the chance to prove myself to myself.

If you’re reading this and have been suffering from this demon, I hope that you find your light: whether it’s thoughts of failing at school, not getting the job you’ve been applying for, being afraid to love again and having the fear of starting a business because you think it will fail; I hope you really find your light.

We cannot keep living in fear and feeding the spirit with negativity.

Writing this post is a step in the right direction for me because if I forget my purpose then I can always revert back here and remind myself. Besides, what’s the point of giving advice if I don’t take it myself?

Masedi

Suitcase

I went to watch The Suitcase at the Market Theatre on Sunday. Yes, I finally went to the theatre, not for any other thing but to watch a play. There have been lots of plays I’ve wanted to see but for some reason could not go.. and I watched the Lion King in Hong Kong a few years ago but that doesn’t count right?

The Suitcase

Back to The Suitcase, my word… what an incredible production this is! The cast have just come back from sold out shows in the UK and are on at the Market Theatre (Newtown) until Sunday, 26 November and here I’ve listed 3 Reasons Why I Think you should go see it before its run ends.

1. The Cast

The cast is made up of Siyabonga Twala, John Lata, Masasa Mbangeni, Desmond Dube and the 3 musicians.
I don’t even know where to begin with this but they are all just incredible!
Siyabonga Twala guys! I remember just a week ago I was asking my son why he wasn’t appearing on Isibaya so seeing him in this play explained his absence there. He plays Timmy, and I can 100% say he was my highlight. His relationship with Namhla played by Masasa is the most beautiful & gave me goosebumps throughout.


I can’t type the name ‘Desmond Dube’ without laughing out loud, the man still has it and he is flippen hilarious in the Suitcase .

There’s this particular walk he has on the show that will have you cracking up before he even says anything!

Suitcase

Oh and then there is Masasa as Namhla, there was such good chemistry between her and Siyabonga. I loved her, you watch her and you are filled with hope and appreciation because there are actresses out here who PERFORM!

The Suitcase

And then John Lata is the ultimate comedian in the play. There’s this one drunken scene he totally killed! When I saw him leave after he show I went up to him to go on and on about how I loved his work – hey John, if you read this, yeah I’m that crazy fan girl 🙂
Excellent cast!

2. The Storyline

The story is actually about a Suitcase. Oh bantu, it is so beautifully written. It has the right amounts of every little thing – so you will experience different emotions as you watch. You will laugh, cry, feel happy, wanna fall in love, get goosebumps, konke nje. We walked out of it and we couldn’t stop talking about every part of it, it felt so real! The emotions we felt afterwards were real.


3. The Music

WOW! Throughout the show I kept asking myself “who are these ladies!??” – turns out it’s Nokukhanya Dlamini, whose name I know from Joyous, Nomfundo Dlamini and Gugu Shezi who are accomplished musicians with angelic voices! I don’t have the right words in my vocabulary to quite explain how beautiful everything was. I was taken back to my days growing up in the Free State when they sang “fiela, fiela, fiela ngwanana ho se sale matlakala.”

Go watch this show and if you do not enjoy it, I’m happy to give you your money back! From my pocket lol!
It would be a nice date, and I don’t know if there’s an age restriction but I think people of different ages will love this, was thinking of taking my son to see it before it ends.

the suitcase

The Suitcase is on at the Market Theatre till 26 November and the tickets are available from Webtickets or from the theatre, ranging from R90 – R150. The full show is 1,5 hours long so just the right length. Go and enjoy, you will leave that theatre incredibly proud of our homegrown talent!

We loved it so much the whole house gave the cast a standing ovation.

P.S. Guys I think the world is against me meeting Siyabonga Twala yazi. With all the people in this world I keep meeting, yena niks!  I still have not met him. I saw all the actors walk out after the show but NOT him! I’m gonna write to Zola or Selimathunzi… ngeke! 

About The Suitcase: 

Adapted from Es’kia Mphahlele’s short story set in the 1950’s, THE SUITCASE is an enthralling love story about a young couple who, despite family disapproval of their marriage, leave for the city, intending to return wealthy and immune from social censure. The pressures of the city, unemployment and poverty strip away the husband`s self-esteem and he starts to lose his moral compass. He is so desperate to provide for his pregnant wife that he steals a suitcase left on a bus. This action leads to frightening consequences, dramatic turns and unexpected twists.

By LeloB

This year marks 20 years since the release of the first Joyous Celebration album. One of the most notable vocalists to come out of the remarkable group is Swazi Dlamini. She captured audiences with her voice which led some of the group’s most notable songs such as ‘Keep The Faith’ and ‘I’ve Got Something’, before ultimately going solo.

Now, 15 years since the release of her debut album, ‘My First Love’, she is back with a one-of-a-kind offering for her fans with ‘The Alabaster’. She notes that having been in the industry for so long, she feels as though she has had to become more responsible in recent years as what she does now will speak for the rest of her career life.

“The secret behind my longevity is in knowing who I am and being content. I understand that I am running my own race and I never want to be pressured by other people’s successes,” she says.

Much has been written about Swazi over the years and more often than not, the coverage has been negative and deeply personal. This encouraged her to grow a thick skin quite quickly. “People will always have opinions. I can’t sit and mope about it,” says Swazi.

The bad press has not stopped Swazi’s journey and how she goes about her everyday life. She is very public with her children with violinist Tshepo Mngoma, but dictates how much she exposes them to the spotlight so that she still has some level of control.

Swazi and her husband have been together since their days at Joyous Celebration and have worked together on their various projects over the years. While they have found that they can’t separate their work and private life, she says they try their best to maintain balance between the two.

Joyous Celebration came at a time when Swazi had enrolled to study Light Music at the Natal Technikon where she majored in piano. She used what she learnt during her time at Tech as well as observing the behind-the-scenes of the major production which is Joyous, to craft her own unique path. She says that the magnitude of her dream made her roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty in order to become who she would ultimately become.

The busy mother of three has had to put her clothing line as well as a TV project on hold in order to focus on this show and her 2018 international tour because the music is the driver of her other passions.

Titled ‘The Alabaster’, Swazi’s new show makes reference to the bible passage in Luke where an unnamed woman poured her most expensive perfume on Jesus’ head. The disciples though that it was a waste, but to the woman, it was her ultimate sacrifice. With this project, Swazi will be giving out her ultimate sacrifice and worship with her current ministry.

The show which takes place on Thursday, 28 September will feature three stages as well as appearances from other collaborators such as her friend Judith Sephuma. Tickets are available on Computicket.

My Daniel Wellington

I have been thinking a lot of about TIME lately and I promise it’s not because I’m a new proud owner of a Daniel Wellington watch! I have been thinking about my birthday next year, and though I am not big on birthday celebrations, the fact that this year I spent my birthday studying for an exam has been one of the biggest pains of my 2017. As a result, I have decided to make sure that my next birthday is one for the books. And so it shall be!

I have also been thinking about my son’s birthday next week, wondering what to get him to make it special for him and until receiving my Daniel Wellington delivery earlier this week, I wasn’t quite sure what that would be but now I know it’s going to be DW watch!

A friend of mine suggested I buy him a car and I was left confused as to whether he knew he was talking to mere me and not some version of Patrice Motsepe.

daniel wellington

In my thoughts about TIME, I have also been thinking about how having left Celebrity Blogging shifted my focus from watching people live their lives to spending more time enjoy my own life. One of the greatest gifts I’m grateful for from the shift has been knowing that my time is mine. It’s the most amazing feel, I’m definitely happier.

on

I must credit DW for some of these thoughts, because they came to my mind as I admired my new watch and thought about its purpose.

If you haven’t heard of Daniel Wellington – it is a Swedish watch brand that sells timeless (excuse the irony) and elegant timepieces to watch lovers worldwide!

Cuff

Apart from watches, there are also accessories and you are able to buy additional straps/watch bands. The good news though is that DW have been kind enough to provide me with a 15% discount code (MSLELOB) that CHICA readers can use on www.danielwellington.com until the end of September! It’s a great offer so perhaps a great opportunity to start doing that Christmas gift! Yep, it’s almost that TIME too!

Happy shopping 🙂

 


“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Henry van Dyke

 

 

Sponsored

Women In ICT

MTN announces the winners in the MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards

On Thursday, 31 August 2017, MTN announced the winners of the second edition of the MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards at a gala event held in Johannesburg.

Chica was invited to this prestigious event and what a great night of celebration, amazing food with incredible women who have made great strides in the ICT sector. An industry still highly dominated by men; one could not help but marvel at the stories that came with each women nominated and those who have won.

Read more about the event HERE. 

A 20 member panel of judges shortlisted three nominees in various categories, and the winners, as announced at the gala event were:

Women in ICT

Leadership Recognition Award: Carol Thomas: 

Chief Information Officer of the South African Civil Aviation Authority. She is a person of integrity and honesty and has led at a CIO level for around 10 years.

Innovator Recognition Award:  Rene Pearson.

Rene Pearson is the Technical Director at Aurecon. She won this award due to the instrumental role she played in designing various software applications, and support systems for their project management team.

SME Recognition Award: Matau Ramapuputla.

She is the CEO of Moepi Publishing, which publishes children’s picture e-books. These books are available in South Africa and in libraries across the United States.

Community Builder Recognition Award: Martine Schaffer.

She is the founder of The Click Foundation, a non-profit organisation that utilizes technology to facilitate basic education for learners. The Click Foundation has managed to create 125 job opportunities.

Women in ICT

Lifetime Achiever Recognition Award (Women Pioneer): Dr HF Swanepoel:

Chief Technologist at Eskom Group’s Technology Engineering Division. A consummate professional with a career spanning over 27 years, Swanepoel has received numerous international and national awards recognising her expertise, most notably the International Bentley BE Award for Innovation in Power Generation (2013), Best Female Engineer at Engineering Sector level in 2012, the Eskom Women Advancement Program Award in the category: Technology and Engineering, and the Eskom Generation Woman of the Year Manager’s Award in 2016.

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award: Joint-winners – Paula Gilbert and Simnikiwe Mzekandaba.

Gilbert is the Telecoms Editor at ITWeb. She covers breaking news stories on telecoms and business, as well as covering interesting topics ranging from tech innovations in finance to new mobile technologies and start-ups. She previously worked as a producer and reporter for business television channels Bloomberg TV Africa and CNBC Africa before moving into the online world.

women in ICT

CEO’s Award: Fatima Mayet

Fatima was named the winner in recognition of the role she has played in using the power of technology to address some of the challenges facing MTN.  She is credited with automating the employee on-boarding and termination process. She was also involved in multiple initiatives aimed at reducing fraud and revenue leakage within MTN. This included digitizing access forms for Business Risk Management. Due to her efforts in curbing fraud, Mayet was handpicked to be part of MTN’s Ethics Committee.

Ministerial Recognition Award: Charmaine Houvet

She has more than 24 years’ telecommunications experience working in the private and public sector across the continent. Since 2016, Charmaine has worked at Cisco as a Senior Executive in diverse and transformative roles. She is responsible for supporting Cisco with country digitisation programmes and enabling public sector policy reform across Africa.

Thank you to MTN for the CHICA invitation, we certainly appreciate the huge strides they are making to support and show appreciation to women who open doors for others to grow in the ICT industry.

_______________________________________

Both

Owning MY Both

In my head it seemed an easy enough article, a lens into my “both” and my multi-faceted nature until I had to sit down, and gather my thoughts and piece this introspective article…

I have a very active brain that likes to pick things apart, even when they seem straightforward enough – I am highly analytical; and while this bodes well in business, it mostly means overthinking myself to a point of confusion.

So, there I was picking apart the motive and the heart of what both means to me. I have read the brilliant submissions on ladies that have earnestly shared how they encapsulate being multi-faceted in their private lives, and at the end of each reflective read I have pointed the finger back to myself and asked: “What is the true meaning of your both?”

Defining MY Both

I colloquially profess to be a village-born snob-slash-nerd and, although this is mostly said tongue-in-cheek, it is very true. I have, what I call, typical Capricorn taste – a tad on the materialistic and luxe side of life; and I am also a nerd and a high academic achiever. I love academia and its pursuit. It is also a fact that I was born in a rural area, and spent the weekends of my formative years there. So yes, I am a village-born snob-slash-nerd.

I was born in a rural area in the Midlands region of KwaZulu-Natal, a village called KwaMgwagwa. My family moved from there when I was two-years old, however school holidays and weekends were spent in the “rurals” with extended family. At a young age I had to assimilate to two contrasting environments; my weekdays which were spent at a former Model C School, as one of very few black faces; and, my weekends and holidays spent in the village having careless fun.

I loved my time KwaMgwagwa and socialising with my cousins. We would pick ama-jikijolo (wild berries) and stuff them into empty 1.25Litre glass bottles of cool-drink, add water and produce some sort of a wild berry compote – in our heads we were making a yummy sugary berry drink. We would play carelessly in the stream, walk long distances through the plantation and have the time of our lives. Then on Monday, I would sit in Mrs. Ferraris’ class and be a bright-eyed, slightly awkward black girl with a well-formed twang and an appetite to learn. As young as I had been then, that was my first encounter with the multifaceted sides of my personality and adapting to different environments. I didn’t realise it then, but I had the seamless ability to move in between environments and to adapt and stay true to myself in those environments. Imagine that: a nine-year old “BOTH”. My early introduction to contrasting environments taught me an important life skill that still bodes me well, the skill of adaptation and being fluid enough to fit into different environments.

Living MY Both

I kept a lot from my rural exposure including my inability to look at people in the eye, I always speak and look around a person – it’s something I will have to work on. Sakhula kuthiwa umuntu akabhekwa emehlweni (We were raised to a belief that you do not look a person in the eyes), unless you are challenging them. I recently watched an episode of Uthando Nes’thembu where the wives of, polygamist, Musa Mseleku, were being taught ukusinda – which is how to apply wet cow dung onto the floor of a rondavel, as a floor finishing – I immediately recognised this from my childhood. I still know that I’ve got it, I know ukusinda and I could probably do it even with these Shellac long nails that I have.

I learned innovation at a young age because of the lack of resources in the village, and I also learned about resourcefulness and work ethic. These were skills that spilled over into my adult roles, and towards being a multi-faceted adult.

I have a very full life, and I love it. I could manage it better, but it is what it is for now. I am a both, a proud both. I own my multi-faceted nature. I realise that being a both goes beyond the surface – being a BOTH means more than just going from my weave in the city to being in a pinafore and running around emakhaya; it means understanding that I never ever have to choose which is the best side of me or which is the side that we get to show the world. Being a BOTH means that I am a highly ambitious professional and entrepreneur, with an excellent record, but I still get to be with my girls and be a BAD BAD without feeling that one area is superior to the other.

I’m liberated in the idea of living my both – in all my environments. I am liberated that I can be everything I throw my dart at, and excel, without believing that there is a best me or the me which the world should see. I raise a crystal flute (because, yes dah-ling I do love beautiful things) to my “BOTH-ness”. I celebrate with pride my ability to fit into different environments and feel authentic. I am the Dudu that came to Jozi and owned her path.

My name is Vuyi, a proud member of the BOTH club. I am me. A kaleidoscope personified and, the real life manifestation of miscellaneous. I am a hardworking entrepreneur, a Christian daughter, a stubborn Zulu girl, and a compassionate heart. I am ALL.

I’m inherently a chameleon… to not evolve is to not live – Andra Day

By Vuyi

 

South African Book Fair

This year’s edition of the South African Book Fair (SABF) was launched last week under the theme : #ourstories. The SABF will be held in Newtown at Museum Africa from 08-10 September and the organizers promise that every aspect of the South African Book Fair has a story that someone can definitely relate to: Women’s issues, Race issues, Gender Issues, Sexuality, Religion, Children’s Issues, Cooking and the Economy.

Entrance to the South African Book Fair is free, with only just a few key sessions that available for R30, R60, R100 and R250 and space to the sessions is limited so if you are keen on the below, you are advised to book as soon as possible.

Some of the available sessions include interactions with the following:

  • Zakes Mda
  • Deon Meyer
  • Athambile Masola
  • Ayòbámi Adébáyò
  • Lola Shoneyin
  • Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ
  • Bibi Bakare-Yusuf
  • Koleka Putuma
  • Lebo Mashile
  • Marah Louw
  • Ferial Haffajee
  • Sindiwe Magona
  • Makhosazana Xaba
  • Hugh Masekela

South African book fair

Scholarly publishers from Wits, UCT, UNISA, UP and others will explore the importance of scholarly publishing at the Research Lane. There will also be Test Kitchens and cooking demonstrations with:

  • Sydda Essop
  • Antonia de Luca
  • Mpho Tshukudu
  • Yemisi Aribisala

For more information, please view the programme here: http://www.southafricanbookfair.co.za/events/ or follow @NBW_SA on twitter

Money

When we were young we looked forward to having our own money and not having to ask adults for it. Now that we are adults, we are faced with the responsibility that comes with having this ‘own money’ and most of us nobody told us that it comes with so many aspects!

Honestly you might have heard this a thousand times, to win at this money thing, we need to get the basics right (determining your cash flow, budgeting, creating several income streams and paying off debt) AND to be financially literate (read, research, educate yourself and be well informed about finances).

Getting these two things to be part of our money life, is called investing in yourself and it’s the kind of investment everyone should invest in, whether you are not yet wealthy or already wealthy. My point is, the most valuable thing money can buy is financial freedom and we want to get there and stay there.

The journey to financial freedom is not a one-way; there are several ways and each person needs to choose one that works for them. I am the kind of girl that believes in having my own funds, the word “funds” have become more than just about money to me.

Funds to me are having a portfolio of different investments, investing in my education, career, business, property and financial markets…to name a few. I’ve discovered that I am an investor at heart even (story for another day), investing is just part of my personality. It is important to identify where you ‘fit in’ in the financial world because we are all affected by money. So I am on #TeamFunds.

via GIPHY

As an investment educator I get a lot of questions about investing in the JSE from those interested in making money out of investing in listed companies. You would think since there’s so much information about this, interested people are participating in ‘owning’ the Economy of SA but not really.

Here are simple summarized tips to get you started:

  1. Make sure you actually have the money to invest, even if it’s an extra R300 (it’s not expensive to start investing, there are shares for R50 or less)
  2. Decide on the investment goal: how much risk you are comfortable to take and how long you want to invest for.
  3. Decide how much and how often you want to invest, for example, monthly (e.g R500 a month) or a lump sum (e.g R30 000), or a combination of both.
  4. Choose the most appropriate FSB registered Broker for your needs, consider broker fees and convenience
  5. Put together your FICA documents (ID, proof of residence, etc)
  6. Choose an investment product to invest in – speak to an FSB registered financial advisor if you are not sure or not informed/investment-educated.

And voila, you’re participating in the economy by investing and not just consuming! There’s a bit of money you make by investing and more with time, so patience and risk tolerance is key.

via GIPHY

Yes Chica, this is just another way a girl can have funds…

If you’d like to chat more, you can get hold of me at the below contact details:

By Palesa Lengolo CAIB (SA)
Investment Educator at Palengo Holdings
info@palengoholdings.co.za

Help

I used to pride myself in being a domestic goddess. For a 27-year-old woman, who lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment with no kids or pet, I’d go as far as taking pictures of my place when I was done cleaning every Saturday afternoon. I’d stand back, look at the shiny bookshelf and freshly mopped floor and think to myself, “Girl, you did well.”

via GIPHY

But I’m a 27-year-old career woman. This is prime time career-building time for me. These are the years where I can afford to put in an extra hour or so at work, study part time, and sign up for any other extra mural activity that tickles my fancy.
Do I ever get tired? You bet. Did I ever tell anyone that I’m exhausted? Not really. You see, there’s an unexplainable feeling of guilt that comes with independence. Being a multi-faceted woman, an #IAmBoth girl, is tiring.
To chase your dreams, hang out with friends and dance until the club closes, and still make it to the second service at Church and keep a clean house drains your every ounce of energy.

So then I wondered, who deserves help? Who can allow themselve to give in, and buckle from the pressures of a long day at work, and wallow in their self-pity? I ask because, as a 27-year-old woman with no child or pet, I often feel guilty for outsourcing help. You see, on paper, I have no reason to be tired. I have a full-time job – a proper 9-to-5 – and I live in a one-bedroom apartment, and I have a car. Hell, I don’t even cook if I don’t want to. *Cue UberEats* The day I stopped defining myself by the things I am not, is the day I allowed myself to seek help. Am I a bad person for paying for the services of a cleaner to come to my apartment once a week to make it sparkle on my behalf?

A conversation with a friend emancipated me from this blush-inducing shame. “I work too hard to worry about mopping my floors now,” she said about getting help.
So, I followed suit. My helper, Nomvula, is God-sent. At a surface level, having her to step in means I don’t have to worry about ironing my clothes or remember where I keep the feather duster.
And, on a personal front, it’s allowed me to sleep better, cry about being exhausted from work and school without worrying if my laundry is done, and focus on the things that make me an #IAmBoth fanatic. I love my job. I also love a clean house. And as frivolous a subject as this may seem to many, outsourcing help is one of the best things I have ever made.

The way I used to glorify domesticity is a trap I set for myself. There are no brownie points or gold medals for “doing it all”. Look, it’s absolutely okay to want to do everything yourself, but it’s also okay to not to.
You shouldn’t be crucified for wanting to live your best life while someone else worries about running a well-oiled household for you.

Hi. I’m Zethu. I am both, and I have help.

Do you?

#IAmBoth

In Vuyi’s first article about our #IAmBoth campaign, we asked you, our readers, a couple of questions on how you embody being both and below are the responses we received from Lerato Musi.

Lerato is 27 years old, she works in advertising and loves to read books in her spare time.

How do you embody “being both” in your life?
Lerato: I am coming up in my career and I work in the alcohol space where I’m generally the target market (on paper). Because of that, I’m highly involved in the strategies and concept phases on campaigns, and I am quite bomb ass at that. I am client interfacing and it works well to my strengths. (Confidence on a 100)

On weekends, when I’m not lazy, I go out with my friends and I twerk the hell out of the dance floor, drink my gin and take bomb ass selfies. I am forever in short dresses and stuff because I work hard for this body. On Monday, I wake up, slay and repeat.

How are you a multi-faceted Queen in your private space?

Lerato: As mentioned above, I love running and reading books so I have started a book club and a running movement for unfit ladies around me under the #BlackGirlsRunSA. We haven’t fully participated in both platforms lately as life just got busy for everyone. I tweet about #HoeIsLife and post a review on a Malcolm Gladwell book the next day.

What does being both mean to you?

It’s quite fascinating to be able to be both and do it so well. I am not confined by anyone’s view of me and I live my everyday with the notion that whoever has placed me in a certain box won’t find me there.I absolutely love the women who embrace being both and see them being amazing at it.

Lerato is on twitter @Lerato_Kea