Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It is a poor idea to lie to yourself.

We all know that the truth hurts. Life is harsh and people are cruel. We all face obstacles, but it is how we choose to deal with these challenges that make or break us. It is a poor idea to lie to yourself.

Acceptance is one of the hardest things one has to face. Challenges like one’s fate, a loved one lost or financial ruin or failure can break ones spirit. It is up to ourselves to surround ourselves with positive energy and friends and lovers who will whether a storm, (or a hurricane) with you, no matter what comes your way.

L is for Lagos

Lovely lady lover Lucy,
Longing for your lips,
Luscious, loving,
Long legs in lingerie,
Lavish lashes of my lifetime lover.

The poet writes a poem of aliteration to his lover who is far far away. It rekindles their love and she does everything in her power to meet with him. She reaches him and they live happily ever after…

L is for liar, love is lost and no more.

The prince became a toad. He broke his “lifetime lover’s” heart and spirit. Their story becomes a tragedy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Election spectacle.

Elections are drawing close and political parties are advertising on national television as well as going on road shows to canvas for votes. So much money and so little thought goes into these advertising campaigns…

President Zuma was shaking his stuff on a mobile stage last week and a few ladies dressed in colourful attire were jiggling their bodies and showing their panties to the audience. The crowd joined them in song and dance and that was it. That was Zuma’s address for votes!? I could not help but wonder; what type of message do a few half-naked ladies on a stage send to voters? It is evident that more of my taxes will be paid towards supporting another wife’s lavish lifestyle or flights aboard our national carrier. Clearly, the ANC will not secure my vote.

Helen Zille on the other hand, is showcased on national news as she breaks out in traditional song while wearing traditional African garments, (cloth and blanket wrapped around her body as her dress). Is this scenario realistic? She is a privileged lady who has never experience village life. This is the very same woman who would not avail funding to build walls for toilets in a Cape Town township last year. The DA’s campaign is deceptive and they therefore do not invoke trust in me. Another vote lost for the NP – oops, DA.

Helen Zille   Helen Zille

Does honest leadership still exist? Honest politicians please make yourself known and I will vote for you to lead our beautiful country. Structure your political campaigns, do not insult your target audience, address issues that stunts South Africa’s growth. Present the citizens of South Africa with long-term solutions.

Kindly leave the song and dance celebrations for the election after-party.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The sound of “one hand clapping”.

Be genuine when you congratulate someone on their joy or achievements. Never do something half-heartedly. The sound of “one hand clapping” will reveal your true feelings, regardless of how hard you try to mask it. Your actions will lead to embarrassment for yourself and you might regret your actions once it is too late.
Be true to yourself, be kind to others and karma will take care of the rest.

Growing up…

I absolutely loved my childhood! The best years of my life was when I played all day long and ruled over Darryl and Nigel. Yip, I loved my little “She-Ra” kingdom.
“Role play” was my favourite game. We would dress up into our super hero, (and heroin) gear and fly off my parents’ balcony or jump out of Aunty Margie’s big tree. I perfected a crash-landing and dusted my red Wellington boots off after a few dramatic “roll-arounds” in the sand.
My beautiful, girlie dresses always got torn. I once jumped from the top of the Jones’ staircase and ruined the heels of my brand new “Jack & Jill” pumps. Nobody saw, so I wriggled the heels until it looked slightly normal. I knew that I was going to get the hiding of my life once my mother saw what I had done to my new shoes, but alas, it was worth that jump!

Not all who wander are lost.

It is said that walking is a form of meditation. One often takes a walk to get rid of the cobwebs in ones mind, to gain new perspective or a different take on a particular situation.
This is an age-old tradition. People in the Bible walked great distances over time as they were guided by Holy Spirits. Our ancestors walked for miles to hunt their next meal or to seek new habitat. Tibetan monks often wander when they do soul searching. They go on pilgrimage to see a vision of the next Dalai Lama. Not all who wander are lost.

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie.

“Goergie Porgie pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry, when the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away!” I was in Sub B and so proud to be part of this production.

My ballet recitals back in the 1980’s definitely count as the most exciting and eventful happenings of my childhood. Preparing for eisteddfod meant months and months of hard work. We worked towards putting together spectacular shows and had to practice hours to perfect our “pas de chat, pirouette, grand pliĆ© and demi-pliĆ©”.

Mommy would style my hair in the perfect bun; secure my hair in a net and hairspray my hair until I coughed. I did not mind the hair pulling at all, for afterwards, I get to wear bright red lipstick, pink blusher and powder-blue eye shadow and feel as pretty as Princess Diana!

How do you step from the top of a 100-foot pole?

Put yourself in South African pole vaulter, Okkert Brits’ shoes and strategise.  You managed to propel yourself to the top, now what?
Step from the top of the 100-foot pole with grace. Plan your landing on the cushioned mattress. Scale over the horizontal pane and use the technique learned through practice and watching the best. Arch your back, lift your legs and you are home free.
Apply these principles in life and business to guarantee efficiency.

What makes me smile?

Adam, when he walks around in our house and sings, “You woke up this morning, got yourself a gun, Mama always said you'd be the Chosen One” – Sopranos soundtrack.
Tanaka, my neighbour’s 3 year old daughter cracked me up the other day when she freaked out because her nails need to get done. My 7 month old niece steals my heart when her little face lights up when she sees me.
My dad, who sings at the top of his voice and off-key while he prepares sandwiches for us, “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.” It is the small things in life that makes me smile.

Friday, April 8, 2011

We are what we do.

Freedom fighters like Mandela and Che Guevara lived for the causes that they stood for. They are true revolutionists. Both men sacrificed their family lives and a normal existence to fight oppression.
Steve Biko educated the world on Black Consciousness. He wanted Black South Africans and other Black people to know that they were equal to White people. Biko knew that the colour of his skin did not define him. He encouraged Blacks to have self-worth. The South African Apartheid Regime killed him in 1977, but they did not kill his spirit or his written and spoken word. His legacy guided us towards an equalitarian society.
South Africa is by no means an “ideal” society. We have come a long way, and our process of transformation wowed the world, especially during the 2010 Soccer World Cup period when our nation unified. The saying goes, “Change starts from within.” The “I Lead SA” campaign is based on ownership. We should take responsibility for our actions before we point fingers at others. Apply this principle to all that you do and as a nation South Africa will overcome, slowly but surely.

We are afraid of the wrong things.

Most of us fear, “change”. Many say, “I want to make a difference!” Few will take up arms, (using one’s intellect as a weapon) and fight for a cause that one believes in to effect change.
The year, 1976 earmarks when the fearless masses of Soweto marched to bring about change in South Africa. My heroes, Mohatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko are prime examples of individuals who outsmarted an oppressive political system. These revolutionists did not use violence to effect change. They used their minds and led by example. Gandhi, Mandela and Biko stood up for what they believed in, they educated the masses and in doing so, created awareness worldwide and effected change.
“Change” is a verb.

A tapestry blanket.

A tapestry blanket tells many stories. Each block represents something or tells someone’s tale.
I admire the hands that take the time to put this blanket together. Each piece is carefully planned, each stitch and pattern fit and the end result is a colourful, (sometimes hideous- looking blanket) that tells an amazing story.
This is how some of our grandmothers and great grandmothers passed on their legacies. They were unable to read or write, (as education was taboo for women in those days). These remarkable ladies used the tapestry blanket to speak to their younger generations to come, to inform us, to equip us and to remind us of whom we are and where we stem from.

Fish falling from the sky.

How many times have someone said to you when something goes wrong, “Life happens, deal with it and move on.” I would like to reply and say, “Too many times”, but in all honesty, I am grateful for every single time that someone said that to me.
It has made me strong and turned me into the woman that I am today. Fish falling from the sky will not deter me. I will in fact take out my frying pan and start frying some and freeze the rest, because I am practical and I think of the day of tomorrow.

Ouma and Oupa Coolsaet

My grandchildren would someday look forward to “story telling time” as I tell them about the adventures of Ouma and Oupa Coolsaet. Here follows the condensed version of our story.
It all started in December 2003, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico… My husband and I went on our first date, (and he says that he knew then that he was going to make me his wife someday). During October 2004, I followed him when he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina claimed our roof on 29 August 2005 and forced us to move to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The bitter cold sent me back to my hometown, Knysna in November 2005. I grew restless in my seaside town and grabbed an opportunity to work for a politician in the Delta State in Nigeria. My pirate proposed on the 1 March 2007 and we wed on 20 December 2008.
I hope to someday, (when I am a golden 80 years old) to sit on the stoep with my husband and look on as our naughty grandchildren create havoc in our garden.

The colour of the wind.

The colour of the wind is determined by our pre-conceived perceptions, our frame of reference, our age, our culture, our religion and many other like factors.

We can use these influencing factors and choose the colour of the wind to be a vibrant breeze, which uplifts our souls when we lose faith. Accept the turmoil in your life, draw from the lessons learnt and sometimes accept the colour of the wind as a soothing breeze that calms your soul.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spotlight on Africa.

Is it fair to say the Western culture is individualistic and the “African way” is to promote “ubuntu”/collectivism? I think not, and I believe that many South Africans agree with me.
The “I Lead SA” campaign challenges us to stop pointing fingers at others. It encourages us to take ownership for our wrongs and to modify our behaviour towards others. We need to think before we do.
I introspect, and I ask myself, “How often do I put another’s needs ahead of my own?” My “do good” list is short.  Sure, I will rush to aid someone in need. I listen with compassion when someone reveals their deepest fears, but I look at myself in the “looking glass” and I realise that I can do so much more.
Food for thought… Introspect before we label each other and other nations and then move to action.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The "coloured hair thing".

Growing up, I was always aware that my hair was “different” from my mother’s and my sisters. It caused great frustration, to both me and my mother, (who had to groom my “kroesie” hair).

My mother tried everything on my dry hair, from Amla, to coconut to olive oil. Allegra, (my older sister) had an explanation for it all; “Your hair was scorched while you were in the incubator.”

I had my first Sheen straightener done at the age of 12. My mom had one look at me and said, “Cindy, I would put this stinky stuff in the tube on my hair every single day if I was you.” The hairdresser nearly fell on her back and explained to my mom that it was a harsh chemical that could burn my scalp and lead to hair loss.

Mark Lottering based his first comedy show on how obsessed coloured people are with straight hair. It brought me back to reality and made me laugh at how obsessed I was with my hair. I hope that from here onwards, others, (who share similar childhood memories) will not scar their kids into making them believe that their hair “maketh the person”. Love yourself.

If I were the boss?

Being the boss is not an easy job. One can be hated and equally loved by one’s staff at the same time.

Like any other relationship, an employer, employee relationship requires constant work. Communication is the key between a happy and sustainable relationship and mutual respect is the cornerstone between these two stakeholders.

I would endeavour to have an open-door policy, but boundaries need to be set and employees need to follow the chain of command. My decisions would be based on what is best for the organisation that I work for. As stipulated in the King 3 Report, I would have my employees’ welfare at heart during my decision-making process.

Following these processes might not make me “Miss Congeniality”, but I promise that I would get the job done effectively and efficiently if I were the boss.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Voters, take a closer look before you cast your vote.

During President Zuma's State of the Nation Address, he said that the murder rate in South Africa declined by 8, 6 percent in the past year. Tax payers, 8, 6 percent is not good enough! We are not safe.
Sex crimes against children, women and the elderly are rife. A father slits his daughter’s throat before she can tell anyone that her dad tried to rape her best friend. Serial killings are a trend. House break-ins take place while families feel safe behind their locked doors and security gates. The robbers are smarter than the engineers who designed your fancy alarm systems and electric fencing.
Parents no longer leave their children in the care of the “trusted” neighbours. Fewer families take a stroll in the neighbourhood park. Muggers target hikers on Table Mountain.
Voters, take a closer look before you cast your vote.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two people come out of a building and into a story.

Seventeen years later, and racism still exists in our society. When are we going to put the past in the past and live in the present? Why do our current generation have to be exposed to this ugly, hurtful sickness?

Two Marketing graduates from the same university were shortlisted by a local brewery to interview for the position as Junior Marketing Executive. The candidates, Thabo, (a white South African) and Vusi, (a black South African) were friends and thus excited to bump into each other minutes before their interviews. Entering the job market can be quite intimidating and waiting their turn together made them feel less nervous about their interviews.

Thabo was called into the interview room before Vusi, only to exit two minutes later… Thabo looked ill and Vusi rushed to his friend’s aid. The interviewers told Thabo that they assumed that he was a black economic empowerment, (BEE) candidate, and that they are sorry, but he is not eligible for the job.

Vusi made a decision on the spot. He left the building with his friend and took a stand against racism. Two people came out of a building and walked into a story; this story. Change starts from within- Ghandi.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Designer PR?

Public Relations is not a fashion fad, we establish and maintain lasting relationships! Communication is not “last season,” it always has been and always will be a powerful tool that can either help us to avoid World War III or steer your company’s profits to the JSE Listing.

Sure, (same as any designer) we stay abreast with trends, we strategise and we meet our clients’ objectives. No PR plan is ever the same. We draft proposals, plan, visualize and sketch a “mood board” so that we can appeal to the client’s emotion and persuade him or her that we should represent them.

Public Relations practitioners use their communication skills to avoid or manage a disaster. A pretty frock will not manage your reputation, but a skanky frock will damage your reputation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It is wrong!

This story breaks my heart. Two matriculants badly want to further their studies. The one wants to study journalism and the other wants to study anatomy. Both girls meet the entrance requirements for the respective courses. They apply ahead of time, but sadly, they do not receive a response regarding their applications. Could it be that their letters informing them of the status of their applications got lost in the mail? Perhaps their paperwork was incomplete?

So to you, mister or miss administrator, you failed to mail these girls their letters. Your failure to do your job reflects badly on the institution that you work for. You hold these girls’ future in your hands. It is wrong of you to be rude to two innocent teenagers and crush their dreams when they come to enquire as to why they did not receive any communication from the institution. It is wrong to crush their want, their need and their spirit to rise above their circumstance. How dare you send them away to become domestic workers?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lack of respect

I had the most trying week at work and I feel bushed. My day consists of dealing with queries, fending off rude students and trying to juggle school and work.

Am I the only person in this world who still respects others’ personal space? Why do most people feel the need to plonk their stuff on my desk, (or lean on it) when they ask me a question? It freaks me out! Some even pick documents up off my desk while they are talking to me, and others, feel the need to step behind my desk and whisper in my ear!! No, I am not kidding, I wish that I was. I smell people’s breath and sweat all day long., (and sometimes their spit when they decide to scream at me).

I realise that this is not the norm in my office. Registration can be a tedious and frustrating process for all involved. I pray for inner strength so that I may stay calm and motivated and my bubbly self while I tackle my second week at work. It is so difficult to remain professional and to keep a smile on my face. I vow to beat “them rude people” and to stay true to myself.

P.S. That does not mean that I am going to get violentJ

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"I am"

My parents nurtured my love for books from a very young age. It was thus no surprise to them when I was heartbroken because my father could not afford to buy Steve Biko's biography for me. I was 11 years old then, (yes, I have always had a serious demeanour about me).

My next big read was, “Children of Apartheid.” It changed my life forever. I used every single “oral” and “mondeling” opportunity to inform my classmates of Hornlee Primary School in Knysna. Fighting for human rights and those of others became my passion, hence my nickname, “Cinders”. I had a permanent frown on my face, (not because I was angry, rather because I was inquisitive and questioned life). It was the late 1980’s and my grandfather said to me, “You are either going to become a lawyer someday, or land yourself in jail. I am proud of you.”

Steve Biko, Tata Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou influenced who I am today. Their selflessness, humbleness and vigour to fight for what is right, inspire me to hone my skills as a persuasive communicator. My purpose in life is to at least save one starfish, amongst the three hundred that got washed up on the beach.