16 Days Against Woman And Child Abuse: Who are the 16 days for?

349 days to privately beat my girlfriend and child up, I think I could deal with that. This is exactly what 16 days of Activism against Woman and Child Abuse screams to me. 16 days to contain myself, restrain any urges that may just pop up in anger. These urges show who wears the pants; a reminder to show that I am the man! And the rest of the year? Well, after the 16 days, I can sort of try and deal with this nasty habit. I don’t want to slip up and slap her up, but if I do it by mistake, it’s okay. I mean I have been doing it all this time and it’s been ignored all these years, just as long as it doesn’t happen during the 16 days of activism.

Well perhaps, I’m taking it a bit too literally, but when I do raise my arm to her, every sense of “literal” lands on her face with a solid thud. There is no “figure of speech” in a punch or a kick, and a swinging belt connecting to her face. Yes, whenever my arm goes back getting ready to hit her I get to work on my golf swing – just an added bonus in maintaining my healthy cardio workout program – but just as long as it isn’t within the 16 days of activism.

Let’s, for a second, just visualize the 16 days of activism; a young man, standing next to his child, raising his arm in motion ready to strike, as his arm creeps closer to the child’s untainted face…  A deep godly like voice cracks in from the heavens, with lightning and thunder in the nick-of-time, “Young man, the 16days are not over yet, 4 days to go, and all shall be back to normal….you’ll deal with the little bugger then.”

Looking at it, 16 days just doesn’t add up! Perhaps then, it could be said, if you hold back and contain your ‘beating up tendencies’ for 16 days, you are on the right path to recovering. If you can hold back for 16 days, then you should be able to hold back for the rest of the year. Well, the only problem is, the rest of the year is 349 days! 16 is zilch, naught, nothing in comparison to the rest of the year, flip, in comparison to the rest of your lives together!

So who are these 16 days for then? Is it to hold him back and permit you a break for just 16 days, or is it for you to pack your bags and go? If that’s the case, 16 days are just perfect. Enough to recuperate, put a game plan in place, decide on the escape route, choose the day of freedom, organise a place to live, and well, leave and live your life.

16 days of activism against women and child abuse, not too convinced about that, but 16 days to develop Mission Leave-his-sorry-beating-up-self, well that I could deal with and support fully.

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A New End

It is particularly at this time of the year when people scramble around to tie loose ends, make right what they did wrong, and throw caution to the wind with hopes of fulfilling that one last resolution.

Every year end, or at least the last few weeks before the festivities kick-in, we tend to re-evaluate everything. And every single time, without fail, we always say how quick the year has gone by. Looking back, you’ll remember how you dreaded that long Monday after an incredible weekend, or how tired you felt on that one Thursday afternoon – by far, the longest week of your life. Everything really is evaluated in perspective.

I suppose what we should be asking ourselves, provided we manage to find time in this fast year, is: “Are you ready to let it go?” Or is there still that one little thing you just have to do before 2011 closes its door on us?

I overheard a conversation the other day… and just to be clear on this, I wasn’t eavesdropping! It just happened that this particular girl was shouting her lungs out to her friend who was right there next to her. She declared, “This year is far from over choma, I haven’t met Mr Right yet. And this weight! I’m still over 80kg! And the money I was to save to buy a car, well ke, ayikho!” she said, snapping her fingers.

With end of year around the corner, one would expect her to accept reality. Her time is up, and there’s no way under the sun she will manage to do any of that stuff before 2012… right? Well, in maintaining that same attitude, one could say that you won’t get that promotion you’ve been waiting for the whole year. And that the company you applied for a job at won’t call you back for a holiday gig. But more importantly, that amazing woman who promised to tell you before Christmas day if she likes you or not, well, there just isn’t any time.

It really is all up to you, do you want to be like the Loud Girl and keep the fire burning, going hard for yours and attaining what you set out to get? Or would you prefer to be done with the year, before it actually ends, and refresh your mind and come up with better more achievable aspirations for 2012?

That is the beauty of life… always open to the different possibilities of choice. You can re-write your calendar if you wish, and make it work on your terms. He, who chooses life, has chosen his ultimate path. Let us bid farewell to closed doors, and welcome in new dreams.

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The Flame

The Flame – as much as we turn a blind eye to this simple yet incredibly clutching entity, it remains within us; never too far from our reach, always present in our daily movements. As far as my knowledge goes, we all possess it. In each and every one of us it lives; some have called it a lack of opportunity, and the more truthful acknowledge that it is fear. There are quite a number of names for it; I have simply chosen to call it ‘excuses’. It’s that peculiar force that prevents us from fulfilling our greatness.

Where did we find this thing, when did we pick it up, and why do we remain so committed to having it in our lives? It is a dark cloud that hovers and suppresses our greatest joys of achievement.

Where has that promising dream of an incredible life gone to, the life we know we should be living? Where is the flickering flame that keeps our spirit alight, our hope that fights to keep the darkness at bay? I tend to believe that this is what we were all born with, our flame of light. A steady flickering flame to shine hope ahead of us, to warm our souls, and to illuminate from within. We’ve carried it steady in our hearts, true to our beings, lifted way up above our heads because it is our pride. This flame shines even through our eyes; just to brighten up the world as we approach it with curiosity and vigour.

The thing about flames is that all you have to do is add the correct amount of fuel and it will erupt once more. A single spark may grow into a lush inferno. But that same spark is also prone to a cold sad death; blow hard enough in its direction, or let a few drops of dark uninspired rain hit it, then all that potential is destroyed.

This is you, and this is your flame. You can choose to fuel it, and allow the light to forge a life worth living, with all your potential laid out and achieved. Or… you can extinguish it; it wouldn’t be the first flame gone and forgotten. The time has come to take our lives back.

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Whose Advice?

So you want to help me live my life better? How does one decide on whose advice is worth taking heed of. Which advice do you take, and which advice doesn’t deserve your time of thought? In fact, at what point would it seem you are seeking out advice, especially when you haven’t even asked for it. It seems there is an overwhelming amount of people out there who know something about everything, and have the urge to enforce their thoughts onto us.

Now I’m not going to stand here and pretend I am the mastering guru of my own life and all within in it. Of course we all need some advice from time to time, especially in our most vulnerable moments when we ask for it. It’s all part of the journey that we have learned to call life, to stumble, and be uncertain. Then we seek guidance from those around us, and take a leap of faith hoping their advice works out for our lives.

However, this does not mean in any way that we do not possess the answers to our own lives. Having a complete sense of security, and trust in our own selves could be the start of incredible occurrences. Who else knows you more than yourself? Who else knows your deepest desires, your greatest fears, who else knows your weaknesses and the acts put in place to overcome them. Yes, it is all you. Then why, not commit to your own voice, that little constant urging in you that has the answers to your questions, why not believe in that. Why go out and ask someone else about what he or she thinks is best for you, when you already know what is? Read the full story

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Education’s Slave

Really? A week’s break? Is that all we’ve earned? That is all they’re giving us… a week is what separates my term 3 from my term 4? Five days? Haven’t you been around during this term 3? Because if you were, you would understand that 5 days won’t fix the torment my brain has been put through. My fingers are still worn in from the note-taking in lectures, my ears and eyes don’t coordinate sound and mouth action normally anymore, always on edge ready for the next exam hint. No one can function like this in the normal world! We don’t get tested on whether or not Marx’s theory dictates the time the next taxi will come by my way.

I am a slave of my education; the same education that is supposed to set me free has always been my enslaver. I no longer have a say over you. What a laugh, that I actually thought I had a say over you! What was I thinking? I bow down to you, I always have. I follow your schedule, I am always ready. Everything in my life is on hold; I am on call for you whenever you need your pages scratched. I will drop everything for you dear Education, I’m prepared to end it all just for you: my relationships, I’ve skipped work for you, I miss out on sleep, my eating patterns go haywire when you pay me a visit during your favourite time of the year.  I am your slave. You’re meant to set me free, but I’ve realised, that I won’t ever be… Read the full story

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I Am Success

Where is the evidence of a broke down spirit? I’m not torn inside, where did you get that? Who said that? Shut up! I’m in top form, playing my A game. Living it up large, I’m in the hottest city, scratching my way up to get my piece of the riches. We are in the city of bright lights and gold after all. And I’m not going to stop there. Let’s create a bit of drama. Find me a few thousand Twitter followers so I can be included in the celebrity culture. Get me a big pair of shades, shiny bling as well, silver and gold, to reflect my success to all that look at me. Of course this is my heart’s desire! Look at me, look at my face, don’t you see that smile? It oozes with charm and grace – I am the South African dream, my name is Success Baby!

Even if it sways backwards and forth, neither here nor there, for now it’s the only certainty I can hold onto. The turbulence will eventually ease down, and some multi-billion corporate will find my façade worthy of being the face of their brand. This face will call in the numbers. People want to know what I think about things, what is trendy, what is cool, who should they listen to? Read the full story

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Resilient Rob

My Say, with Linda Mbuso

Resilience is the ability to spring back into shape after being bent; the ability to recover quickly from setbacks. This is a Thesaurus definition, but in reality, none of us can easily spring back into our original shapes after being horrifically bent by life, by the death of a loved one, by being fired from a job or failing an exam. Flip! I’m still trying to recover from financial turmoil, and I consider myself a resilient person! No dictionary explanation is able to motivate you out of the slumps of a setback. I know… I’ve been trying!

I’ve heard that some people are just born with it, but rationality makes me believe that some of the harsh circumstances we face can crush a person’s natural inclinations. It’s as though the resilient possess a magic power bag in which they dip whenever they need a dose of resilience! Resilient Rob, who, after experiencing a heavy setback, goes off, jumps into the bag, and comes out full of resilience, shrugging the dirt off his shoulders and moving on to the next challenge!

We know better than that though! No such bag exists Read the full story

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Class of 2011

My Say, with Linda Mbuso

For that instant, in that moment, the entire world came to a standstill. The focus was on South Africa, Soweto, on the youth. Parents didn’t know if their children were safe, let alone dead. Once and for all, it was going to be settled, no more Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. June 16 1976 will always resonate the true fighting spirit of the African youth; the belief in doing what you think is right and just. And the apartheid regime, well, they couldn’t do anything about it. Nobody could stand in the way of that.

35 years on and we reap those rewards. Have we done justice to the lives that were laid to rest those years back? Are we living up to the standards our parents imagined for us? Has our generation of youth and those following the class of ‘76 lived up to the freedom we so longed for? Read the full story

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Worst Comes to Worst

Picture Courtesy of YFM

It all started as a practical joke amongst my co-workers at the station, but soon enough it started to resonate something far deeper than I thought. Before I get ahead of myself, let me start the story at the beginning.

It has started to become some sort of trend where your friends find a PC where a person is still logged in to a social network. They type in a discriminating status update under the pretense of being you. The next day it’s very likely that your wall will be flooded with messages from shocked individuals.

It just so happened that I, yes me, Linda Mbuso, also fell victim to this. A very simple, yet extremely prejudiced status was put up, under the false impression that I was confessing. It contained quite a lot of suggestive words with the underlying theme being that I was homosexual!

Now you have to understand that I don’t have any problems with people’s sexuality, what I do have problems with is when I have close to 5000 Facebook friends who take each word put out as the gospel coming straight from me.

Well, one would think this would be the end of me… distraught, falling apart, worried about my career, worried what my friends and family would say. But instead, I really got furious!!! Furious both at the person who put up that status, and at all the 100+ comments coming through from people saying “What a waste”, “You going to burn in hell!” Read the full story

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It’s Your Right

Kasi Times Contributor
Linda Mbuso

51 years on and the Sharpeville Massacre is remembered annually on the 21st of March on Human Rights Day. The Sharpeville Massacre occurred in 1960 when Robert Sobukwe, leader of the Pan African Congress, took on the Apartheid South African Government alongside other courageous men, in protest against the Pass Laws.

A non-violent protest had been planned, where men would march to their nearest police stations without their passes and present themselves to be arrested. However, things quickly turned unbelievably horrific. The police unleashed a wave of bullets onto the unarmed crowd, ending the lives of 69 people including women and children, and injuring over 180 people. Similar protests also took place in the Western Cape township of Langa. This incident laid ground for even more intense activities towards the freedom of all South Africans, triggering movements across Read the full story

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My Say, with Linda Mbuso

Decide on 2011

Picture Courtesy of YFM

The good year 2010 drew its final breath, and what a lungful of air it was! It was filled with great promise, incredible potential, a national morale booster, and an industrial make-over for South Africa.

True to our pledge to the world, South Africa delivered one of the most electric FIFA World Cups yet, a first for Africa. In a space of one month, our incredibly young democratic country managed to re-write history by playing completely against all the myths, generalisations and perceptions that had plagued our country. When the whole world was on our shores, we were at our best! But one sentiment still remains true; Bafana Bafana is not the strongest soccer team, not yet at least, but it is slowly getting there.

There was the controversy of the World Cup financially benefitting only a few selected individuals. Where the rest of us only got a slight share of profit during that month were through street sales; the biggest cash cows being national flags and who can forget those droning Vuvuzelas! Yep, the Vuvuzela did indeed brand Africa all over the world.

Our schooling system all but crashed right in front of our eyes. Matriculants took a heavy load in their final year and remarkably had one of the best results in years!

The brutal murder of former AWB leader Eugene Terre‘blanche… Since democracy and the TRC, our country hadn’t been this visually split between races as much as it was at that time. Who could forget Mr. Visagie loosing his cool during an interview?! Songs sprung from Mr. Chris Maroleng’s defensive “Don’t touch me on my studio.” The rumours of a Machete gang roaming the streets of South Africa got word in the UK. Obviously there wasn’t such, but after the xenophobic violence that broke out in this country few years earlier, it wasn’t so far-fetched!

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema also got silenced during the World Cup. But before then, he was causing quite a stir. One media briefing comes to mind where words of insults were hurled at a BBC journalist; “Bastard”, “agent” and “tjatjarag.”

And how can we forget the saga that still continues… the truly sad death of four Soweto school children in a vehicle collision after Jub Jub and a friend were allegedly drag racing!

There are many headline stories from 2010… Glenn Agliotti being acquitted, the murder of Teazers owner Lolly Jackson, and tons more that didn’t make the headlines of national papers, but are definitely benchmark areas in our own lives.

That job you received, the promotion you’ve been working for, that year end pass mark… and perhaps, some goals were not fulfilled. The beauty of all this is, is that a new dawn still awaits you; life still gives you a second chance to do right what you wronged. Yes, South Africa is still filled with promise, thanks to you and me, its people.

Now as 2011 dawn’s fresh and untainted, a new hive of excitement and curiosity fills the air. What does this year have in store for me and you? What are you going to plan, what are you going to leave to fate? These first few days are incredibly the most important times of the year. Leaving the old, and starting with the new.

It is up to you; your resolve in finding your space in this new year is entirely in your hands. Whether you want to be prosperous, or to just be a dreamer, perhaps you want to be a realist, to go for yours with no compromise, to obsess, or to just let it go. 2011 is here, and it is all yours to grab by the ‘kahunas.’ No promise of a free ride, no promise of a financial power year because of some world event, no one to rely on, no recession to blame if it doesn’t happen. It is all utterly your year, completely and undeniably.

So do take some time out. Review what you’d planned on reaching in 2010. Was it achieved? Wasn’t it? What did you get wrong? What did you flourish in? Then decide on your game plan. The most important thing is that you decide on it! Call it what you may to bring it closer to your heart, 20heaven, 20elevetate, 20elegance, one fact remains… it is here, and this time, you are the coach of your own team, and the star player! Decide on winning!

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