Committing To Life

Committing, Celebrating and Growing through Life


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The Modern Warrior Woman

On the 16th of August I attended a “Women in Leadership Conference” hosted by the Bertha Gxowa Foundation at the Wits Business School. The aim of the evening was basically to highlight the female freedom fighters of South Africa, the unsung heroines, and to challenge us modern women to take heed of the lessons they left us with and to continue building our societies.

Being an ignorant and naïve young woman I have always detested politics and politicians. However, after the brief time (2 hours) of relearning about the history of our country and the work that female freedom-fighters put in, in order to grant me the freedom of sitting in that chair and sip sparkling wine in the auditorium, I was humbled. Truth is, we may hate politics but it is necessary. It is much like the church – it has a deep and integral importance despite it being flawed and tainted by certain individuals.

What hit me the hardest was that I had to wait 23 years to hear about my fellow ‘mothers’ that stood brave and determined in paving a clearer path for us. Why is it that we do not learn about individuals that will empower and inspire us as women at school? Would the situation of the moral decay and lack of sufficient self-respect of our women in our societies be any better if we at least knew that we came from a place of greatness; a place of courage; one that was driven and sustained by truly intelligent women? As young seeds we should be nourished and taught about our value and the foundation that was built for us years ago when our existence was a mere dream.

I was utterly grateful for the friend that invited me to the event instead of suggesting we ‘go out for drinks’. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good cocktail and the frequent glass of wine but I love nourishing my mind and building myself equally. To be in the presence of the graceful and intelligent Yvonne Themba (Human Capital Director of Shanduka) and learning about the ‘African Agenda’ – Peace, Prosperity, Stability and Equality – was truly inspiring. We live in a selfish society of greed and envy – who can climb up the highest and flaunt it the most? The issue of upliftment and sustainability is a foreign concept to my sisters and it is a shame. Sure, we could once again blame our education system for not grooming us and instilling the knowledge of the phenomenal females that helped build this country but then again we are intelligent enough to dig deep and question who is in charge of building tomorrow since we have been granted a today filled with so many opportunities.

Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, mentioned something so interesting called the ‘first black woman syndrome’. It has actually just become a race of who can be the first, best and most glorified black woman in [insert industry/profession]. I always bring it back home and tell my close friends that being ‘someone’s big sister’ is one of the greatest things that drive me. I know that I am not working, ‘hussling’, studying, stumbling, learning and trying my utmost to upgrade myself daily just for myself and my selfish needs. I have a younger sibling who needs someone to look up to and most of all build and guide her. How is your journey and the decisions you are making daily moulding and inspiring those around you? It need not be anything majestic that it makes the front page of the Mail and Guardian – the way we carry ourselves, rise from failure, take brave steps and lend a helping hand are important tasks in playing the role of the modern warrior woman.

I believe in the greatness of each female from the little girl to the mature woman and that we need to get over the mentality of shunning and disrespecting each other and begin to uplift, teach and encourage each other. My HR Director told me something that I actually don’t hear often from women: “there are enough opportunities for everyone.” I am truly blessed to be surrounded by some of the most phenomenal women that God created, may you all continue to shine, grow and never give up on yourselves.
As Women’s Month comes to an end may we continue this spirit of celebrating our femininity and most of all celebrating and supporting each other.

You are intelligent, amazing and brimming with potential, Modern Warrior Woman.

Stay Committed.
🙂


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Ode to The Women

Phoenix.
She rose from battered bones and discarded dreams.
Dusted the sorrow from her cheeks and smoothed down the grooves the tears had set.
Set in her soul.
The pain had created so much destruction her self-worth caved in.

The Book says we were created perfect in his image but this construction gives in so easily to destruction.
Marred by failure: Hope escapes and defies all positive instruction.
But somehow something kept her motivated even though her heart was blacklisted and she found herself undeserving of any love and devotion.

A Single mother who did not even think about terminating the seed that began to grow within her even though she knew she couldn’t build a garden lush enough to nurture it.

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In light of National Women’s Day 9 August 2013 (In South Africa) and to celebrate our National Women’s month I felt the need to share an excerpt from a poem I wrote about my mother titled The Phoenix. We all know the popular tale of the phoenix that burned down to ashes but instead of succumbing to destruction it was reborn, renewed and rose even more splendid than before. The poem was inspired by my mother but ultimately I see the story reflected in a lot of women’s eyes.

I cannot even begin to describe just how many phenomenal women I have met and come across. The sad thing is sometimes we forget just how incredible we are, we forget the battles we have fought and we are left maimed and forget the mountains we have actually climbed. And so, I constantly ask myself what makes us believe that we are so weak when ultimately we are so strong and unbelievably resilient? This time we have to look for the solution within, this time I really think we ought to turn the hand around and point at our chests.

We live in a world where a woman has become so objectified you tend to wonder if we even remember that we have intelligent minds, beautiful hearts (though at times, they may be bruised ) and deep mystical souls. It’s a debate I have had in my mind for a while and somehow I always come back to how women have allowed themselves to become objectified. Sure, appearance is an awesome thing and I think the way you maintain yourself is a reflection of just how much respect and love you have for yourself but what we look like is not all who we are. I may sound like a feminist right now but we have to refuse to be bottled in to nothing but pretty pictures. I know single mothers (young and old), business women who created empires from their own mental capacity and toil, young women who grew up in tarnished homes but somehow grew up to become so beautiful and intelligent, women who have been abused who had the strength to walk away and so many more types of women who serve as shining examples of just how incredible we are. Why do we forget?

And so, after being objectified and labelled by the other sex they write books FOR US on how to live as women. What do we do? We flock to Amazon.com, CNA, Exclusive Books etc. because we hold so little faith in our inherent femininity and wisdom that we continue to seek approval from the outside world instead of consulting with the inside and living honestly with our values. Are we doing it for ourselves or to somehow be “accepted”? Introspection time ladies.

There is so much more to you than you give yourself credit for. Every now and then just look back at all your achievements and all the destruction/failure you have risen from. Do not succumb to other people’s definition of who you are or who you should be – the best person who can define you is yourself. You are not just beautiful, but you are all intelligent, resilient, strong-willed and capable of building not just strong families but massive empires too.

It’s time we take responsibility for how we feel about ourselves and start realizing our greatness. In doing that we should also uplift each other, I cannot fathom how we can wage war against ourselves and each other as well. To the amazing women in my life – thank you for always seeing my light even when I simply see it as a flickering flame. Thank you for being absolutely amazing and I doubt you would have made an impact in who I am if you yourselves were not phenomenal.

Happy Women’s Month.

With Love. 🙂
Stay Committed.