The Weave-Less Revolution

Black women are transitioning. They are cutting off their chemically straightened hair and are now embracing their natural kinky Afro texture. As a man, I have no say in the matter, but as an objective observer I just want to highlight the growing movement. My prejudice against weave and chemically prepared hairdos forced me to examine how I feel about this transition with more honesty than ever before.

What I find remarkable about this new trend is the way it’s spreading to black women all over the world. Many are transitioning silently without much fanfare. Some are inspired by friends and family who have forsaken their weave tendencies. What amazes me most is that this is not an angry movement. Women are not saying the movement is to combat Eurocentric ideals of beauty, but rather, this is a movement characterised by self-discovery and acceptance.

Black hair and the black body generally have long been the topic of discussion for most African women. Demonstrating this level of self-acceptance represents a powerful evolution in black female expression. Saying out loud “I’m black and I’m proud” is one thing, believing it is another.

So the transition movement is much more profound and much more powerful, I personally believe it offers great life lessons in self-acceptance for people of all races and genders.  As a male, I’m fully behind this revolution. No more weave in the shower, bed or on my clothes!

Real Talk

 

By Prince Nyandeni

Follow him on Twitter: @Iam_DaPrince

 

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Real Talk: Remembering 9/11


I remember sitting in class, fire alarms and police sirens suddenly could be heard simultaneously, and evacuation procedures followed. At first we thought it was a regular fire drill – those were more than welcome – but the presence of police and the serious nature of their mood and conduct changed our behaviour. The UK government had ordered evacuation of all schools and educational facilities.  The day was September 11th 2001.

I was 13 years old and ignorant to world issues, but that day opened my eyes to the seriousness and importance of knowing the world I live in. On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C, and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction with over 3000 people killed, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush.

The Religious Extremist cell, Al-Qaeda, who have an ongoing “Holy War” against western civilization organized and carried out those attacks. Their actions far outweighed their cause. Attacking civilians in State Vs “Holy” disputes is inhumane and inexcusable, regardless of the cause. People should not be Collateral Damage.

As South African youth we need to be aware of world issues; decisions and events that happen elsewhere affect us directly. South Africa’s political and financial strength, along with the increased interest in our country from the rest of the world, should be a catalyst for increased knowledge and awareness of the world around us.

Our humanity should drive us to sympathies and our fear should drive us to be cautious, but most of all, ignorance should be educated. 9/11 was a turning point; even at a young age I was able to comprehend the impact of that day.

We live in relative Peace in South Africa, but we should not be ignorant.

Real Talk – Remembering September 11th

 

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Wedding Bells

“All I could do is cry” – the song by Etta James, although sad, it touches a nerve! Etta James in the song is at a wedding and is watching the man that she should be with get married to another woman! Another case of should have, could have, would have!

My childhood friend recently got married. He was always a smooth talker, sleek with the ladies and he never pictured himself getting married! Growing up, I never thought I would even consider marriage, but lately my opinion on the topic is changing!

Marriage, although a dying habit, still holds sanctity in many people’s hearts. Society might not preach about marriage, but should one attend a wedding it’s clear that marriage is still important in many people’s lives. Marriage is not for the weak-hearted. Regardless of all the heartbreak stories we read about, human beings crave partnership and companionship. “Marriage is a gender-biased contract that favours women, and men have nothing to gain from it,” says a Married friend of mine, with a smile on his face! “The rest of those that have gone before us cannot steady the unrest of those to follow.

A lot of people judge marriage because of those that have tried it before and unfortunately failed. Truth be told, the state of other people’s marriages should not influence the decision to get married; the decision is made by two people who long to live the rest of their lives together. Parenthood and all the responsibilities that come with the Commitment!

I read somewhere: “Life is a book; every day gone by is a page one cannot erase but tomorrow is a page waiting to be written.” As I look at my life I realize that at such a young age I’ve lived a number of chapters and although I cannot change how they are read, I can change how the book ends.

I suppose regret is what the songstress is singing about, “the wedding is over, and rice has been thrown over their heads. For them life has just begun and all I could do is cry.”

Seasons change and it’s sad that many wait until the winter of their lives to experience life.

Real Talk – never lies!

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Real Talk: Lost in Translation

Men and women communicate on completely different levels. Women communicate through words, and they’re very expressive. Communication is difficult enough without the added stress of gender variation. On the other hand, men communicate for necessity, “turn left”, and “turn right,” “I’m having a heart attack call the ambulance.”

There’s an old adage which goes, “If you ask a man what time it is, he’ll look at his watch. But, ask a woman the same question she’ll start telling you about the pretty watch she saw in the jewellery store the other day.”

Women feel the need to say more than what is necessary. Of course women will argue this point, but that’s the truth! “Men can’t communicate.” This statement is usually used to scorn, but given that most men are able to interact and exchange information in a logical, direct and efficient manner, how is it possible that a woman could even make such a statement.

Truth is women are not direct in their communication; for them, being indirect is a way of life. A woman would rather Read the full story

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The Death of the Art of Lying

 

Parkman once wrote “Children are fools, they always speak the Truth.”

Lying will never die; it is immortally imbedded in our DNA. It’s our best friend, a refuge in the time of need. For the Lie is a Virtue, a Principle. Mark Twain once wrote about the “Decay of the Art of Lying.” I suspect that in his generation the decay and disrespect for this art was evident. Mark Twain was not writing to offend anyone in his day, and I uphold the same sentiment. Lying has lost its art-form, no longer thoroughly pondered upon before being embarked on.

A habitual truth teller is an impossible creature, he does not exist!

The fact that more people are constantly caught out for lying reflects that this art is no longer respected. The inability to properly conjure up an admissible story, the inability to properly contemplate the implications of one’s lies easily is attributed to the death the art of lying. Before you lie, contemplate on the implications and consequences of your lies and spend more time thinking about it before going ahead with lying. Lying should not be like operating an automobile; it should not be second nature.

“No fact is more firmly established than that ling is a necessity of our circumstance, the deduction that it is a Virtue goes without saying” -Mark Twain. Read the full story

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Real Talk: Rules of Engagement

Dating is a game and each game has rules. In order to play, you must know the rules! I am not an expert in the subject but I pay attention and learn from other people’s experiences. Against popular belief, this black man does read!

I feel the need for a disclaimer: the opinions expressed do not reflect the views of Kasi Times… Anyway, Real Talk…

At the risk of sounding cliché, in a game you have to know the rules, but even more so, know your role in it. The dating game is constantly changing. How you dated 4 years ago won’t work today. You have to constantly upgrade yourself.

There are so many dynamics to the game; each person has to know their strengths. The worst thing you can do is pretend you are something or someone you are not. If you’re shy, be shy, but make it work for you! There is nothing worse than falling for a fake.

Like many guys, I like independent girls, or those with promise of independence… meaning, if she’s not already working and independent, then she must be a student. Nothing worse than dating a person with no ambition! In dating, one needs to know the Rules of Engagement. For example, should the guy always be the one paying? I prefer a 50/50 kind of relationship as a matter of principle, not a reflection of the size of my wallet.

Times have changed. There has to be some equality. In my opinion, relationships that are financially unbalanced rarely survive. The most important Rule of Engagement is the “Breakup.” How one handles a breakup determines the next relationship and how successful it will be. The most important part is to learn, adapt and grow. I have watched a lot of my friends moping around, calling the ex-girlfriends, with random visits bordering on psychotic! Those behavioural patterns are pathetic. Social networks are not the place to cry your eyes out over your Ex!

Love is not an emotion, but a chain of events that create the perception of Love. Intimacy and love are two different ideologies that are often mistaken for one another! The game of dating is delicate – a string of events that create a relationship! Commitment, on the other hand, is a completely different game. The ultimate act of commitment is “marriage,” and that’s a whole other story.

Real Talk, know your role!

 

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Real Talk: Girls “Run the World?”

James Brown sang “this is a man’s world” and he had a point! Until recently, all presidents were men. Most of powerful figures were men. Even growing up, all one was exposed to, was the dominating male figures… a man’s man, the James Bonds of this world. A man’s world indeed!

A couple of days ago a friend of mine mentioned a song by Beyonce. And of course, not being a Beyonce fan, I just nodded. The comments only registered when I saw the music video for the song Girls Run the World. The video is interesting but I still haven’t heard the lyrics past the first 10 seconds of the song. I usually mute her songs and just watch the videos for obvious reasons! But the title of the track got me thinking, are times really changing? Do “Girls really run the world?” as Beyonce is suggesting?!

 

Beyonce’s hypothesis holds some water: women have evolved since the days of the suffragettes. A friend of mine said, “It’s like they became 1.0 and by 2010 women have version 2.0.” Women are now empowered, and there is a resonating feeling amongst the female community that this is their time. Check our very own Diva, who writes the column Diva Diaries for Kasi Times. The girl power movement is finally paying off. Of course many people have always said that women are stronger than men. They refer to child birth as something a man would never be able to endure! Valid point but you can’t expect a car to fly – it’s not made for that!

If you want to judge how powerful women are, look at the number of successful young men, great men that were raised by single mothers: Tupac Shakur, Tyler Perry, DJ Sbu (raised by his grandmother) and of course, Barack Obama. Women really do have a lot power in this world. These days, women challenge men for positions of power. The most powerful monarchy in the world is run by Queen Elizabeth II. Germany is an economic force to be reckoned with, all thanks to a female chancellor, and now Liberia has a female president. In South Africa well let’s not get into the Helen Zille story!

Oprah is the epitome of female power. Maya Angelou, Basestana Khumalo and Joanne Strauss are a great example. Monique, though controversial at times, is a strong, powerful woman. Not forgetting Michelle Obama, beautiful, sophisticated, a pillar of strength as described by her husband; she has IT!

I support the empowerment of women. Powerful women are sexy. That’s why men love Beyonce because truth be told, no real man really watches her videos for the lyrical content. A beautiful woman is a joy to behold. Men need to respect women and empower them.

Do women “Run the World”? My personal opinion is that they do. Corporates know the power of a well-worn stiletto, but of course brains and beauty are deadly combinations. So yes, women you might “run the world,” but men OWN THE WORLD!

For the Love of Women!

Real Talk!

By Fisani Nyandeni

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SAMA 17 Disappointment

 

The 21st of May was a day of many expectations! The Rapture was supposedly to take place, and for local entertainment the SAMAs were set to be the best awards ever on South African soil! As an appreciator of the fine art of music, I expected more, a lot more… and with good reason! With  the change of venue and the multiple hosts, expectations were very high. After all, South Africa recently hosted a very successful World Cup; a local award ceremony should be a breeze, right? Wrong!

A word to organisers, next year try to be a lot more ‘org-a-nised.’ The sound issues sometimes took away the focus from what we should have been seeing! At no point should there have been a shortage of microphones at such an event! Sound engineers are out there, qualified and able to pull off a gig of this stature.

I’m not hating on anyone. I’m simply pointing out areas where it was evident that something was truly lacking! This is an age of technology and I did not see much of it incorporated into the event. We, as South Africans, boast about being part of the cream of the crop who rub shoulders with the world’s best… but the SAMAs did not confirm that status. We are still the green slime at the bottom of the barrel with this 3rd world quality event, thanks #Sama17!!!

The presenters, wow, that’s another topic! Individually the presenters are great in their own fields of entertainment. But combined, they lacked charisma! Trevor Noah will always be a hard act to follow and the SAMA 17 hosts proved this to perfection! Read the full story

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Hip Hop is Dead!

 

The genre must be renamed to honour the true Hip Hop of yesteryear. Every now and again there is an artist that emerges and the whole Hip Hop world expects him to be the one to stay true to hip hop. But, soon after, the commercial tendencies creep in and again we are left hungry for true hip hop!

The Hip Hop world as we know it today is but a shadow of what the pioneers of Hip Hop had envisioned! Today, money, cars and women are depthless topics so-called “artists” are interested in writing about! I won’t even address auto-tune. It makes me mad! Fashion and Hip Hop was always something to be admired. That too is dead! Mainstream fashion has crept into Hip Hop… Skinny jeans? Really? And they come is all sorts of shiny colours!

I suppose the evolution of Hip Hop has led to what we hear and unfortunately see in the world of music today! Read the full story

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Real Talk – The Coconut

Just the other day, I came across a blog ranting about coconuts! The piece got me thinking about the number of times that I’ve been called a Coconut; flashbacks to days when I had to defend myself against ignorance, against jealousy and against the majority. People who don’t mingle outside of their comfort zone do not realize that society has changed. The traditional norms do not apply to a lot of the youth of today! Many seem to not understand that not all young black people in South Africa grew up in the same way.

Coconut is an urban slang term used to describe black people who supposedly act “white” – people who are described as “black on the outside and white on the inside.”

In the blog, the writer says: Read the full story

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Real Talk: All Eyes on You

All Eyes on You!

Larry Nhlane and Makhosini Sihlali's GLS

Firstly, congratulations to Larry ‘Larryngitis’ Nhlane and Makhosini Sihlali; ‘ALL EYES ON ME’ was a great event.

It has to be said that South African woman are the business! We have the most beautiful women out here. No lie, I’ve been to a lot of places and seen a lot of faces but South African women truly rock! However, ‘All Eyes on Me’ was an eye-opener; a lot of women are celeb-chasers!

Once you make a name for yourself and your Facebook and Twitter following grows, automatically you attract women by the bus loads! Some of us are not celebs and nor do we chase ‘Celebdom’. I’m not hating on Celebs. I respect the work they put in to become who they are.

What is clear though is that scores of women suffer from a disease that I call “Groupitosis.” This condition is becoming very common and the symptoms are easy to spot: screaming when a celeb walks in, constantly staring at celebs and throwing themselves at celebs. To be fair, it’s not limited to women, though with men, it’s in smaller doses.

Kudos to celebs who don’t embrace groupitosis.

Real talk never lies!

(By Fisani Nyandeni)

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