Categorized | Kasi Diaries

DIVA! Stepping Up

I remember a very strict man in my life. He was intolerant of bad articulation, incorrect pronunciation, poor grooming and meaningless conversations. He spoke clearly, exuded high confidence and was goal-driven. This is why at home, failure was not an option. I looked up to this man – he juggled being loving at home, being a pioneer in the boardroom and being a hero amongst his friends. He had such a meticulous character! He was Mr. Gwadzu Noel Madinda – my Dad, better known as “Daddy”.

After he passed on, my mother took on the ‘father’ role to all 4 of us. On a nurse’s salary after deductions, she had about R3000 left to a payslip stamped with our names all over it. The calculations alone are absurd, after deductions there was only about R3 000 left to her name and her name was stamped Oginga, Lusanda, Amanda and Natasja all over it. We were placed in the best schools because Bantu education was not for the Madinda’s.  I don’t know how we all slipped through higher education. But yep, that’s my mom – my real role model.

My role model list includes Dr. Precious Moloi (the Aston Martin of fashion in SA), Oprah Winfrey (the other b%#tch besides me that says it all), Sbu Mpangose (the True Love Editor whom I have to be friends with at some point in this life), Tyler Perry, Lisa Bevere (my version of a Goddess in 6-inch heels), Nuska Zwane (my next best mom), Mike Schalit (my McDreamy of Advertising), and definitely Beyonce Knowles (my ultimate DIVA!). These people are just a few who inspire me in many ways and forms. They command presence, strength and stature. They are driven by EXCELLENCE. They are living examples that hard work pays off.  I have never been afraid of hard work; I say, “Bring it on and eat my dust, Loser!”

But, the most challenging task for me was becoming a role model. Our youth are looking for individuals to look up to. This realization changed my behaviour and I began to think carefully about my actions going forward. I made a conscious decision to Step Up!

I have friends who are successful, level-headed and ambitious; however, it’s disappointing to know that they aren’t concerned about our youth. Now I need to ask you, “Who are young people supposed to look up to if you don’t clean up your act and be role models for them? These kids are making poor, misdirected and uneducated decisions based on the limited experience and information they are exposed to. They lack guidance and support from you. Remember that you’ve been down this road before. You might say that they are not YOUR responsibility but take a reality check! They are! You were also someone else’s responsibility were you when you were their age? It really does take a village to raise a child – look how far you’ve come.

This is a call to all my DIVAs that this is the year where we get our ish together and step up to the challenge – let’s find out what these kids need. We have to open those lines of communication and ask the right questions, go to the nearest school and offer help. You can donate stationery, give motivational talks, tutor the students, and encourage them to do their best. Stop passing judgement on people who are in abusive relationships but counsel them instead. Stop gossiping about the pregnant child next door rather advise her on other options besides abortion.  You actually need to realize it right now that this life that you are living is actually about everything and everyone else BUT YOU! It’s not about you! It’s all about how you can help others, that’s the real and naked truth of life.

DIVAs step up to your role as the nation’s nurturer, the caregiver, the provider, the support system and the rock. We are the hand that rocks the cradle! This is what is entrenched in every heart and soul of a DIVA. You are woman. Like a lioness, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. So I challenge you from one DIVA to another, Step up!

Written by a DIVA… stepping up.

Natasja Madinda

This post was written by:

- who has written 7 posts on Kasi Times.

Twitter: @tasjmadinda

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  • Brian

    I’m not a DIVA by any measure but gotta say . . . Nice one Mtshana . . . let’s hope people DO #StepUp and add value where it is needed

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Oh kodwa Brian! I believe Beyonce’ says that “a DIVA is a female version of a hustler” so hustle on hustler! Thanks for the comments and really appreciate the feedback. I truly believe that we all have a role to play in this world – sometimes we need to sit back and figure out what our role is and just do it – STEP UP!

  • Lerato

    Diva, you are on point! I think this miss independency syndrome has caught up with a lot of people and as a result society is suffering because it’s everyone for themselves, why can’t for once, people choose the change they want to see in the world. If ONE person just chooses to help it creates a ripple effect which indeed will save a lot of lives and we will see more people closer to living their dream. As a young and upcoming DIVA I have devoted the little bit of my spare time to ensure that I I bring at least one person closer to the finish line!

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Aaaawiiieeee! Tshisa! This is exactly what we need and am hoping that you can shed more light in how you are doing what you doing. Remember to do it even if you are wearing 6-inch heels. From DIVA to the next.

  • Lumka

    WOW !!! Well said Tasj !!! It’s funny how we always forget that our actions have an impact in another person’s life. I am definitely stepping it up , babe !!! Let’s hear it for the DIVA’S !!!YAAAAAAYYYYY !!!

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Fo sho!

  • Vince

    Our society is constantly in need of role models that can improve the quality of life of all citizens,moreover I also believe we should all instill in our youth that,its okay to look at someone you admire,just don’t forget to look at yourself,embrace & appreciate qualities that make you special and own them.A wiseman youngman from Gugulethu once said ‘when you extend yourself beyond normal,when you exit the world you are forever remembered for your deeds.

    Great piece Lholho..I meant Diva

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Awiiiee Vince my spider! I am very happy that you loved the piece as I am aware that you are one of the people who hail from Gugs and has taken a choice to play a formidable role to our youth. Your work is just as inspiring and want you to know that you have my full support.

      Lholho washiyeka in my childhood days hun. DIVA for sure now.

      Love ya *giggles*

  • Didi

    Indeed we are the “hand that rocks the cradle” and if we don’t Step Up and help our Youth. We wont move forward!!

    we said DIVA!! We all need to play our part.

    P.S. I thought Ivan was McDreamy in your eyes!

  • Tasj DIVA Madinda

    Hey DIPIPI!

    Thanks for the comment and continuous inspiration and support. I know you are passionate about this as much as I am.

    Nope Fred and Mike are my advertising McDreamies – just don’t tell Ivan I said so…he can be Karl Lagerfeld of advertising. Lollest.

    Love Ya! *giggles*

  • Nontle

    It was George Bernard Shaw who wrote:” I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can” so lets strive to do whatever we can so that we can leave this world a little bit better than the way we found it and investing in our youth is investing in our future!

    Diva u Rock!

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Well said Nontle!

  • EK

    Well done Tasj, you’re on the button about the youth needing role models and glad you’re doing some introspection on brand “Tasj”

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Awwwweeeiiii! Comment from my own boss this is truly amazing. Thanks EK and advice well noted!

  • Zan

    Wow!!!!! This is a thought-provoking read ,opened my mind to what’s going on out there.Stepping UP is the new accessory

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Great Zan – I think we should all challenge ourselves to do at least something and also get our act together. What have you done lately to encourage and enable our youth?

  • Aphelele Somi

    Quite the inspirational go-getter, you inspire me to be the best version of myself! You’re a DIVA and so much more, proof that God is indeed love…we owe it to ourselves AND him to live our Best lives! Thank you for THIS reminder! AllLove *kisses*

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      So I was holding back tears when I read your comment Aphesh! I am glad that you find me inspiring because my main purpose is to serve others and to inspire people whereever I go and in whatever I say and do!

      Live our Best Lives! Loving that line right about now….! (((BOOOM)))))

  • Pammy

    Whenever I read any of your articles you leave me provoked,you leave me thinking about how I can better my life and those around me.I was recently giving a task…its been my heart’s desire however now that its time to implement I found myself questioning whether I am able to start n finish and live a real results-driven finish.Your article has just made me STEP-UP to that challenge….knowing that I am nt doing it for myself but the generations coming after me….

    Thanks for wearing ur heart on ur sleeve,its helping us change our minds for the better.

    Love Always

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Pam-BAYBAY!, You know, my biggest issue with God is that the minute we open our mouths and become vocal about what we want and what we want to do…- HE GETS TO WORK! Like seriousl?, then when He gives us what we want or the platform to pursue our dreams – we get scared of taking that first step because we are not sure and we live in fearing the unknown. Doubt plays with our minds and we start questioning if we can actually pull this through or not, whereas when you said you want to do you knew and were 100% sure that you could.

      Praise Him Be! Get on going wit’ yourself now and do the work that you are supposed to do. Like a Lioness you need to RISE!

  • MsK

    Hi diva

    Love the article a real wake up call for most, it’s time that we as a people, as black professional individual Step up and give back. Reason being our background, cultures, communities differ vastly from our white counter parts. As we were raised with the principles of Ubuntu and we owe it to our parents to Step Up, to make something of ourselves. We owe to our futures to do better with the opportunities it presents to us, we need to do it better than good enough and give back … nice one diva

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Well said Miss K! You know, GIVING HAS NO RACIAL BARRIERS! I am humbled when I see young people black or white or yellow or whatever take into their hands to better and enable other people. A need is a need. It doesnt come in colour, shape or size,. It is what it is and it exists.!

      Watch yourself now!


  • Thembisa Tshunungwa

    Well said Tasj, I agree and fully comprehend where you are coming from.

    I am also of the opinion that when we live our lives to their full potential we are giving permission to the little girl coming after us to dream and know its possible.

    So yes, we should be investing our time to motivate and others but let us not forget that by being great we are inspiring others and letting them know it’s possible.

    I also come from very humble beginnings and my mother made sure (with 4 kids on a teachers salary. My dad was USELESS) that we go to good schools and enroll in activities that groomed us and exposed us to bigger and better things.

    It all begins with exposure – you wont want to be an Engineer if you don’t know such an industry exists. The concept applies to everything. Before, people were only exposed to a few occupations and things (generally) hence the limited view and scope on life and its offerings.

    I’m proud to say that as a girl who came from humble beginnings and broken home in Gugulethu, I have traveled the world, studied abroad, have a company with my sisters, worked for industry leaders, met great people etc. all because of A DREAM not money.

    To put a spanner in the works though – it’s sad sometimes because some/most people from our own communities celebrate our failures more than our successes. They thrive when they see us fail and suffer. They conspire against us and put us down. Spread the gossip widely when things go wrong. Hence I moved out of Gugulethu when I was 19 and haven’t looked back since. Yes, there are a few kids from my old school and neighborhood that I regularly talk to to inspire and advise but ITS TOUGH sometimes.

    We need to evolve as black nation and it begins with US.

    Rock on DIVA – you are an inspiration!

    Miss T

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Miss T – do not for one second get discouraged. The devil works in wonders too but he will use your very friend and neighbour to conspire against. I always soothe myself with this saying:

      “I cannot control or account for the things people say and what they do to me. But what I do have control over is How I REACT to what they have said or done, so I’m gonna plan my reaction so that it suits me and doesnt compromise who I am and what I believe”.

      This has to come with the realization that people are just that,…..PEOPLE. They do and say stupid things to put you back and hurt you all because of their insecurities and short-comings. SOmetimes it has nothing to do with you and the deep-rooted problem is with them….okay let me stop because now I might as well start writing another article….But you get my flow right?

      You and your sisters have always proven to be a tight unit which is unbreakable – dont let anyone take that away from you. Family is indeed EVERYTHING. And dont worry – we all got “daddy issues”

      Love ya *giggles*

  • Jo-Anne

    As usual I love every article.
    Its inspiring and funny.

    Please don’t stop writing these words of inspiration as I love revisiting them for guidance.

    Keep it up delicious Diva

    • Tasj DIVA Madinda

      Jowwzeeee!!!! As long as I talk I shall keep on writing. Sometimes I feel like I am under some spell to spark something in every woman and man from these articles.

      Thanks for the feedback and you can always rely on this site as your advice – port of call….

      Love ya! *giggles*

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