Watch our Director on Afternoon Express

Watch our Director, Sam Gqomo, chat about the birth and vision of Womandla Foundation on SABC 3s ‘Afternoon Express.’

See how you or your organisation can get involved. We hope to roll out our events calendar with established partners for the year 2020.

Here’s to expansion! Send us any comments or queries on info@womandla.com.

 

#Womandla

He’s a cheap date!

I used to often laugh when my Pastor spoke about stingy men. He called them “AmaSkorokoro” in jest, advising us to run for our lives when we see snippets of scrooge-like tendencies. The premise was never focused on gold digging, but merely to teach us all how ladies should be treated and how crafty some men can be.

A lifetime ago some bloke tried “cute” things I considered paltry. I’d mention a residential area that I liked, he’d say he would want to RETIRE there, I’d talk about a career move and he’d brag about an offer he ONCE received. I bought myself two pairs of shoes- on sale- (one for an event and one for…. life) and he said the women he married would have no say in his finances.

I was deeply perplexed because this conversation was about my everyday life and preferences, yet he took it personally, as if I’d asked for his permission or help in ANY of these things.

Ebendibona mos ku Instagram? Endibona naku LinkedIN? (He saw my posts on LinkedIn and Instagram)

HELLO. HASHTAG. LEVELS!

“Friends, if you are in the standard grade class- stay and excel there. Leave HIGHER GRADE things to the boffins.”- Samkelwe Gqomo 2016

I didn’t want anything of his, I was just sharing. Also, he should’ve noticed my lifestyle and done the math. He was obviously looking for love in the wrong place.

Love is not based on someone’s beauty. Love is not about wearing the other person down. Love is not reducing someone’s standard. Love is not so selfish or limiting. Yes, love is not about money,  but it is CERTAINLY not asking if the bread offered at a restaurant is FREE either.

Boy BYE!

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Ayikho into egqitha ikhaya lakho (There’s no place like home)

home-sweet-home

Do you know that paradoxical feeling of being full and empty at the same time? Maybe not.

I just came back from a long, overdue trip home. The weekend seemed quick as lightening,  a reflection of the speed of which this year has gone by.

I feel full in my spirit, because of:

  • The picturesque drives along the sea
  • Pop-ins at my former work and seeing my ex-colleagues (now friends)
  • My dad’s bear hugs
  • Mom’s chocolate breakfasts
  • Granny’s magwinyas
  • Ivumba le heater ye paraffin at their place
  • Brunches and lunches with my sister and besties
  • Kisses, hugs and prayers from my old church people
  • Love

Time is so valuable. People are so precious. I value every moment spent with those who route for me, support me and want nothing but the best for me. I draw strength from them.

My vernac expressions just prove how strong the longing was, how far the distance seemed, a kind of reawakening of what matters most!

I’m back  in Cape Town feeling empty, because I miss it all again.

You’re gonna be loved

You’re gonna be loved and
Have no reason not to love
Back how you’re loved good.

You’re gonna be loved and
Fall for yourself in how they
Love the love in you.

You’re gonna be loved and
Not want it harmed. Not even
By you.

You’re gonna be loved
Enough for you to prune
Away your thorns, break away
Your walls, calm away your storms,
Shave away your scorn and do away
With the pain that pierces today from
Your past.

You’re gonna be loved and love won’t
Feel like an everyday war with God.

You’re gonna be won.

A heart priced by heaven for
Choosing itself to love and fill
Before any other.

A mind that loved its own peace
So much peace became its power.

The power and love you gave you
Became the love ten times you
Attracted for yourself to enjoy
As sheer proof that doing you
Was a better play, a great
Choice and the winning
Move.

You will be loved and true
Love can’t wait to know the best
Parts that rose from the worst in
You.

You deserve it too. All because
You’re choosing you.

– Hakeem Anderson-Lesolang

There is no difference between life and a beauty pageant

I sometimes consider life to be like a pageant. Pretentious, competitive and an arduous battle.

People tend to go out of their way to impress the judges; to win the coveted crown and title.  Some turn to sabotaging their opposition and engage in immoral activities all to prove their worthiness. The irony of it all is that those competing are completely different yet so badly want the same thing.

Some contestants are insecure and you watch them mimicking others’ behaviour. The overly confident ones are like that because they are compensating for their insecurities.

Life is suddenly a complete juxtaposition of seeking ephemeral reward versus gaining eternal fulfilment.

The thing about pageants is that the judges seek a match for certain criteria and they will continuously tell you what you’re doing wrong instead of celebrating your strengths and affirming what you are doing right.

The saddest part is that we wilfully participate in these competitions because we want to stand out, because we are told that we belong to a certain mould or because we do not want to be rejected by society.

The danger about seeking approval from society is that you will never win. Being a loser goes against God’s word of saying you are victorious and more than a conqueror. How do you dominate and become fruitful with a defeated mentality?

The meaning of life is to give life meaning. When God asks you to go, you cannot be waiting for anyone else’s approval before you act.  God will use you as He created you, remembering the fact that you are made in His perfect image. God will give you experiences (bearable others not) that will shape you, humble you and make you complete.

God has handpicked you.  He has made you the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. He has bestowed upon you a crown of splendour that no pageant title can ever award.

Relish in that, because you already are a royal priesthood and a chosen generation!

pageant

I am marrying myself!

There are so many blogs and articles on who you should marry, what you should look for in a guy/girl and basically the order and steps to follow in life with regards to marriage. (Have those 10-step articles ever worked for anybody? Just wondering)

I am at the age where engagements and talks of marriage are on a record high. People feel the need to direct me towards my “perfect fit.” I haven’t been told anything about my eggs yet (thank God) but I feel that kind of talk is steadily on its way.

I don’t feel any pressure though. I find it all ludicrous to think we all will follow the same suit, as if it’s a rite of passage of being a woman.

Anyway, this talk made me feel happy and brought me closer to myself. It put things in perspective and made me value myself even more than I already do. Not in a vain kind of way, but to promise myself certain things and not long for them from someone else.

I will have more honest conversations with myself in order for me not to be misled by wish lists, fantasies, emotions and fleeting feelings.

So just like Tracy McMillan, I am marrying myself. (for now LOL)

At this moment, I am grateful for the internet. Her life lessons have become mine, with much less experience and lesser pain. I don’t have to go through what she has, but I can draw from her life story and become a better person for myself and my person.

I urge you to keep that long list of “wants” in a partner at the back of your mind and write yourself a letter of how kinder you can be to yourself.

As I write my vows, to myself…

Table for one, PLEASE

“Can I get a table outside, with a view?”
I just want to listen to my thoughts. I want to observe and introspect without looking in a glass mirror. I want to get away from the worldly noise. I want to watch the birds fly over the magnificent, vast ocean and see how simple life and its ecosystems transpire around me. I want to savour the quiet moments where I don’t have to think of the next project, who to connect with, what’s for supper or the next beauty appointment. I just want time alone, with me.
“I’ll have the three course meal and Earl Grey tea.”

table for 1
I wish to spoil myself, I deserve it. There are many things I can pat my back for, so I’m doing it over expensive cuisine. I shouldn’t wait for the next person to tell me to celebrate and live life. People are important but this moment of appreciation is just for me. I feel so calm, complete and happy.
Of course society won’t allow me to eat in peace. Her pathetic eyes are on me like a hawk and her pejorative murmurs louder than a construction site. What they see is someone with no love around or no family; a pretty picture that’s empty.
Ha! If only she knew! If she knew that my phone wouldn’t stop ringing with praise, if she knew how many invites I’ve had to reject, if she knew that I was tired of some fake smiles, if she knew how much chaos was all around, if only she knew. She would understand.
As my luck would have it, here comes a pompous Alpha, with his chest out and cologne clogging up my olfactory canal. In his head, he must be thinking that his presence will enhance my space rather than disrupt it. He tells me of my beauty, he asks if I’m expecting anyone. The shock, horror and sneaky sense of joy he gets when I tell him: “No.”
He invites himself to sit.
Didn’t he also come here alone? Doesn’t he want what I do? Does tranquillity mean anything to him? Does he know how much I have given up for this one moment?
I can’t have it ruined.
In a few hours, life and its constant whirlwind-like tendencies will take over. I have to decline because this beautiful occasion may not come again.
“I’m not lonely; I just want a table for one, please.”
Allow me.

Presidential Girl- Bonolo Cebe

This week’s contributor to the online sorority is Bonolo Cebe. She is no stranger to South African youth developers and social entrepreneurs. Bonolo,22, was the youngest Fellow in South Africa to be selected for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellowship Summit 2014. She’s an extraordinary African woman who sees beauty in everything. Her work, passion and cause is to empower the African girl child to dream beyond what her circumstances allow. She is an innovator, speak-lifer and creative soul that is operating under the assumption that everything is possible. I asked her a couple of  questions about her experiences in America, being in the White House and Women in Leadership.

africa dialogue

SS: What was your motivation behind entering the YALI Fellowship Summit?

BC: The Young African Leaders Initiative for me, presented a unique opportunity to develop and hone my leaderships skills as a young woman on the continent and also meet some of the most incredible young leaders who are working to write a new history for Africa through the tangible contributions they are making. Going into it my aim was to learn as much as possible from these powerful young people and collaborate in addressing some of the challenges that exist.

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SS: What  thoughts were going through your mind when you realized that you were selected for the programme?

BC: I was excited, but I knew that it was not by my might and that the glory belongs to God alone. More than anything, I was overcome by a deep gratitude because for the journey.

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SS: What was the first picture you took in America? Show us!

BC:The first (good) picture I took was at the Fayetteville Market

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SS: Besides gifts, what have you brought home with you?
Three key things: A renewed sense of purpose; Strategies for greater impact; A wider network and new friendships

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SS: Any challenges faced on your stay?
BC: The ignorance of some Americans pertaining to issues outside of America. The ignorance is real and it became rather challenging to engage with some people.

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SS. How did you overcome those challenges?

BC: Sometimes, to overcome ignorance one needs to get informed. I found myself having to invite people to have conversations that stretched and challenged their perceptions towards Africa.

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SS: Did you feel there was a strong presence of Women in Leadership in the White House, or just generally?

BC: There is a presence of women in the White House however the nature of politics is still patriarchal. Also there is still a low percentage of women running for office in America. Although there has been some progress, the top jobs in the white house are still occupied by men. One of the sessions we had during the course was on women in public office and one of the key challenges that came up is the fact that the remuneration gap is still quite big between male and females working in the same jobs.

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SS: What is the most important thing you’ll teach women of Africa, after your trip?
BC: Dear African woman: Tell your story, tell it well so that it may empower others. Leave a trail, we all got to where we are because someone showed us how they paved their own journey. Share, so that other generations may walk in greatness.

Believe.

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Thank you Bonzolezza Rice! Greater things are yet to come! Keep the light shining and the fire burning!

I’d rather have the right God than the wrong man

SINGLE AND NOT WAITING

Posted by  on Thursday, October 24, 2013 

 

Flickr photo by Acy Varlan

Flickr photo by Acy Varlan

I’m 23, I just graduated from university, and I’m single.

Many of my friends are married, and a few are starting to have children. And I feel as if I just graduated from high school again. You could say my life is in transition. And it’s true; I am in the middle of shifting myself from university to the career world. But I’ve started to wonder about whether it’s right to refer to my singleness as an in-between stage.

What exactly am I in-between again?

“It’s the first day of the rest of my life.” I recently I heard someone on TV say this about her wedding day, and it really bothered me. While I don’t want to discount the gift of marriage, I must say I’m a bit confused and frustrated with this sentiment. I’ve heard the cliché before, but I suddenly felt the weight of it. As if it equates marriage as the start of life, or at least the good part.

Don’t misunderstand my frustration; I think there is a beautiful element of starting a new family with your spouse. I’m all for godly marriage. But what I’m afraid of is viewing life through the lens of marriage as the goal. For waiting to get married before life starts.

I’m afraid, because I’m afraid it has happened to me. I’ve been living like I’m waiting for someone to get here. And it isn’t Jesus.

I’ve wasted my time, my energy, and my emotions on this concept that singleness is just a waiting room for a relationship. I’m tired of this view that my life begins when I wake up next to my husband, because I’m pretty sure my life began 23 years ago when my mom gave birth. And this mentality has robbed my joy.

As much as I’d like to place all the blame on Christian culture, the perpetual “Have you met anyone yet?” question the world asks me, and the reality that my Facebook feed looks more like a Pinterest wedding board these days, I am convicted of my own failures.

I’ve been living like God owes me something. Like he hasn’t held up his end of the deal. He has given me the desire for relationship and marriage, and he just hasn’t followed through.

I’ve been living under the impression that I deserve a relationship.

I’d be lying if I said Christian culture does much to inhibit this mentality. There seems to be a deep understanding and appreciation for the gift of marriage, but not so much for the gift of singleness (if it’s treated like a gift at all). Rather, singleness is something to be cured. Like I’ve got a disease, and introducing me to your single friend might perhaps cure us both. Singleness is the lump of coal, the gift that is never on your Christmas list.

There are at least a handful of us standing around, wondering what happened. (After all, I have been pretty nice this year.)

But it’s never been about being entitled, or even about being nice. I have to stop thinking that I’m doing something wrong here.

Well actually I am, but it isn’t about fixing something that will magically make a boyfriend appear. It is about changing the direction of my heart.

 “I’d rather have the right God than the wrong man.” –- Christen Rapske

People talk all the time about pursuing people or things for the wrong reasons, but maybe we pursue God for the wrong reasons. Maybe subconsciously I’ve been treating God like he’s a vending machine. And my pursuit of him has really been a pursuit of someone else.

When did Christ cease to be enough?

And when did I stop finding my identity, self-worth, and fulfillment in Him, only to place my life on hold for someone I’ve never even met?

Each day is a gift, and I’m not waiting for it to get here. It is present in every moment, and it begins anew daily.  Man-less or not, I want to wake up every morning and be excited because I get to spend my day with the God who created the universe.

And I want to do that for the rest of my life.