Is it xenophobic or an immigrant criminal issue?

by Usisipho Batyi

In the past few weeks, South African media has caused moral panic on all social platforms in the country. The entire nation is involved in the discourse of xenophobic attacks for which has flooded the nationwide newspapers. This has caused two sides to the controversial discourse inevitably causing a greater divide within the nation and outside African nations.

We see Rhamaposha and other political party leaders taking their stance against what the media claims to be xenophobic attacks. The ANC has been trying to restore South Africa’s image following the latest round of attacks on foreigners leaving 12 people dead, including 10 South Africans.

The mainstream media has named the problem xenophobia when  in its actual fact it is vigilantism as the former president Thabo Mbeki  stated, two years ago, that this is not xenophobia but a community taking action against criminals. His thoughts are what the majority of South Africans share which is the issue of our corrupt and poorly managed immigration offices (Home Affairs). Our government has no control whatsoever of who comes in our country hence there are so many illegal criminal immigrants in South Africa. The media decided to take up its one-sided story to evoke panic and sensation among South African and outside readers.

For in the recent Gauteng protest a Taxi driver was shot and killed while trying to stop a foreign man from selling drugs to a teenage school learner. This is the issue with our government it is more concerned about the powerful voices within the  Internat deliberative discourse on matters pertaining to xenophobia. The media manipulated the story to gain sensation and the government responded to the sensation by means of cleaning their bad name rather than fix the root cause.

Lincoln Dahlberg in his reading speaks of the importance of internet deliberative democracy and how it ensures that the government hears the concerns of its citizens on online platforms. However, it does critic that this type of model favours the powerful voices that are online. This is the exact problem with this xenophobia dilemma is that because of the internet sensation our government is attending the UN and apologizing to African countries in the desperation of saving their economic relationships.

Herman Mashaba states that “They have to apologise to millions of girls who are turned into prostitutes by international drug syndicates”, said Mashaba. Mashaba says African nationals are not solely responsible for the immigration issues in the country.

South African ambassador Ndumiso Ntshinga condemned the xenophobic violence, saying ‘no matter what the grievances, such actions cannot be justified; no matter the frustrations, the loss of even a single life cannot be condoned’. I agree with Ntsinga that the matter needs to be dealt with the right way rather than causing violence but also our government needs to acknowledge the issue before responding to the issue being labelled as xenophobic. For I grew up in the townships and my experience is that as South Africans we are not xenophobic but rather are infuriated by the criminal activities that take place in the hands of all criminals. Hence we always take the law into our own hands because the government protects criminals.

 

Leaving My Life On A Swing

By Usisipho Batyi

Across the street on campus was a swing looking towards the Provost Café. It watched us having coffee and behind it was an aged tree. It is located a few steps away from the large botanical gardens. The fallen leave beds were sitting side by side.

The singing of the birds called me to sit on the swing. Both of my hands touched the side ropes of the swing leading to a safe haven of my own. Such a calm and serene space that couldn’t hide a thing for its fresh rustic look. The sun dives in my and the shade follows as I swing forward and backwards. I wave goodbye to my life for a second and enter a new world as my eyes shut. The smell of coffee from Provost café interrupts and brings me back to reality. The strong pungent smell of soil I taste in my mouth and as I grasped for air as I am manoeuvring on the swing of life.

Thereupon your perch you stretch my wings as I fly away again into my dreams. How beautiful you are yet so unappreciated, I’m at peace, I lie back, and bend into serenity. I sing from deep down my soul looking at the tree branches above my head. Be at peace, lie back, blend into the serene. Nothing matters at this moment, tomorrow never knows as I drift yet again into the silence of this sphere.  I doze into the beauty of living, the meaning within and I am enlightened of my current zone. I love this place it’s a location worth sedating. It got late and I had to go home leaving my life on a swing.

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A Reality: Black Women in Science

by Usisipho Batyi

Democracy in South Africa came with great anticipation of a new era containing a flood of new possibilities and new opportunities more especially for black women who were the most marginalised. Today we see black women in the science fields of work which differ from the norms of careers allocated to black women in the past which were teaching and nursing.  However, democracy has fallen short in dismantling the misrepresentation of black women in the career field such as science.

In South African Universities we see young black women pursuing their studies in science which immediately paints a luminous portrait of the liberation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Where data becomes available, it does not paint a positive picture. Only three of the 13 members of the council of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) are women, although a woman leads the academy as its executive officer.

 According to the statistic of the Association of African Women in Science and Engineering estimates that women make up no more than 20% of the academics in these fields in Africa. The reasons for the poor representation of women in science in Africa are a mixture of the barriers women face all over the world, combined with some added complex. The inclusion of black South African women in STEM careers is important not only for political and ethical reasons but also for socio-economic development and for new intellectual and political possibilities.  “ said Akhona Ngqinambi a Science master’s student at Rhodes University.women 2

Many black women have reconstructed their intersectional identities by identifying with social groupings (i.e. young, black, woman, historically disadvantaged, intellectually talented, a science graduate student) and aspiring to belong to different communities of practice as engineers, scientists and academics which are contrary to their mothers. Thus, their science identity, which is aligned with their class position, is complicated by their raced and gendered identity positions. “Coming from a township school I really struggled in the study of biochemistry but with persistence, handwork and passion it became a rewarding experience,” said Nosipho Khuwozayo a master’s student at Rhodes University.

 

 

“In most academies institutions of science, the norm is that there are one (or no) black female distinguished professors,” said Ngqinambi.In April 2015, the University of Cape Town appointed chemical engineer Alison Lewis as the first female Dean of Engineering. She is only the second woman in South Africa to hold such a post. South Africa, at least, has a host of distinguished women scholars who, like Alison Lewis, are admirably suited to lead departments, faculties, universities, research foundations and institutes. Three of South Africa’s six world-leading researchers in their fields, as determined in 2014, are women but they all are white women. Ndoni Mcunu a food security scientist and co-founder of the non-profit organisation called Black Women in Science, “realised that there is a lack of black women pursuing specialised sciences, as well a lack of integration into the community and a sense of inaccessibility.”

Two possible reasons why Khanya Malibongwe a biochemistry master’s student at Rhodes decided to pursue a degree in science was because of her “interest in humanity, including both human behaviour and human physiology (as well as her) altruistic career goals that necessitated scientific competence”. The racialised gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines raises critical concerns around the political nature of scientific studies and whether black women will achieve equity in society and economic empowerment if they continue to be marginalised by society’s power structures. Little is known about their journeys into becoming the new generation of scientists in post-apartheid South Africa. Hence, “Black Women in Science (BWIS) focuses on creating networks for all university students and rural young black women so that they can gain exposure and support to increase the number of women in science.” Said Mcunu.

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South Africa still has a long way regarding transforming gender inequalities in science and making careers in science accessible for many young black women. “Women of South Africa are some of the most powerful people on Earth. Change what you believe is possible for yourself” said, Oprah Winfrey.

 

The Rising Fear of the Future Among Students

by Usisipho Batyi

It is found that at undergraduate level it is highly common for students to experience career anxiety and indecision. Over 50% of University students report having experienced some sort of career indecision. The career indecisions stem from the fear of the unknown that students experience. With South Africa unemployment rate sitting at 26.7% the anxiousness comes as no surprise.

Many students fear the future and its unpredictability. These are tough times for University students. Decisions around career-related issues like unemployment, searching out new jobs, promotions, relocation, etc. can all be sources of renewed indecision. This reality makes indecision not only a critical issue for university students but also a hurdle to deal with during later career transitions.

I spoke to third-year psychology student Thulani Speelman, he voiced out some of his anxieties with regards to studying psychology. This is a common feeling among psychology major students because they must attain a postgrad degree to become a qualified psychologist. Now I spoke to Bulelwa Mlamla over the phone a graduate who majored in Psychology and has still not found a job after 7 years since her graduation.

Lia M Daniels study found that students report more career anxiety and indecision than science or professional students.  She suggests that Universities create interventions to control and guide them out of their anxieties, more especially students within the less predictable faculties. There is no greater misery then studying for many years and finding out there is no place for you in the outside world of academia. These are the types of thoughts that revolve around the third year and upwards students minds.

I did a Vox pox around campus recently and one response from an Analisa a young woman in her third year stroked me. She spoke about the controversial notion of black tax and how it even further creates a sense of uneasiness when one thinks of the future. She stresses that she knows she’s not the only one going through this, “every black person knows what I’m talking about”. The pressure and burden that black university students succumb too are discouraging their interest in the career world. As a “black professional, however, there’s always some family who’ll need your help”.

In an article, I read it spoke about the frustration of the underpaying remuneration offered to interns which ranges from R3000-R5000 to cover the cost of living in big cities. This is another reason student are concerned about taking the bold steps to find jobs leaving home only to be left struggling in a big and dangerous city.

The unemployment rate of women in South Africa is 29.5% compared to 25% amongst men. Today in SA many young women are jobless more especially black females.  Fatima Moosa journalist who wrote for the Daily Vox seemed puzzled by these statistics because she found out that in South Africa females are the largest number of graduates. In 2015 a study showed that women outnumbered men by a ratio of 3:2 in undergraduate studies while in postgraduate studies men outnumbered women. Showing that when it came to higher degrees women were less likely to enrol. She also found that women tended to study in less financially lucrative fields like the arts.

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And despite more women being enrolled at universities than men at the undergraduate level, there are more men than women at the master’s and doctoral levels – meaning there are fewer female academics.

Phumelela Nako an undergraduate student spoke about the fears she has as a black female graduate and whether she will succeed. This anxiety seemed more to be amongst women than men for as I was conducting my Vox pox around campus it was the woman who expressed fear about their future after University.

The fear about the future is alive within every student and it is unavoidable because as people we are inquisitive about the time to come. These are tough times for University students in South Africa with the economy declining day by day.

The bigger issues are how will the government work with the Universities to improve unemployment, to bridge the gap between University and the corporate world.

As a country, there should be more programmes that will help graduates mental and emotional health within and outside the University. There is a huge need to prevent unemployment among black and female graduates in South Africa.

The concerns and fears of students should be understood and investigated by institutions.

Young Deaconess  Dukada on her Journey of Leading in the Church

by Usisipho Batyi

On a beautiful Monday afternoon after a long and hectic day, I met up with the recently ordained Deaconess Qaqamba Dukada.  A fellow student at Rhodes University studying her fourth year of Pharmacy and a deaconess leading at the Army of God Christian Family Church.  As I welcomed her at my resident, she had a cool chic look to her, dressed in an oversized black blazer, jeans, white all-stars, and her beautiful wide smile. Her warm hug exuded the overall atmosphere of our intimate interview which felt more like an impactful conversation.

It was all laughs and nervousness at the beginning of the interview. My hands were shivering and my heart beating at a higher rate than usual. I was not sure whether it was my nervousness, or her beauty got me astounded for a moment.  Born in a small village of Tsholo in the Eastern Cape, raised single headedly by a virtuous and resilient mother Yoliswa Dakuda who taught her three daughters hard work and independence. Who also taught them the beauty of having a relationship with God. Shaping her into the young God-fearing woman she is today.

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Deaconess Qaqmaba Dukada

For someone who experienced bullying in high school, struggled with confidence, insecurities, and shyness. She has come a long way to the confidence she exudes with elegance today. ‘When my focus stopped being on people but on God, everything changed”, she says with her hands raised up high. That change led to her coming back to Christ and making a rededication prayer to God.  All those moments of growth, change, and transformation led her to her defining moment which was her ordination as a Deaconess at the age of 22.

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Ordination Day with Other fellow deacons and pastors.

As a leader of women’s ministry, prayer, and intercession and as one who oversees all event planning in the church. She solidifies the true God- driven belief that there is a place for women in the Body of Christ.  She is an example of the modern church which is coming along in trying to see what women can do by encouraging and valuing their gifts in church leadership. “As a woman in leadership, it comes with a pressure that I have to walk the talk for there are many young women that look up to you.  My breaking was working me so that I can lead from a point of understanding and sympathizing with others” she said.

Researcher Sherly Sandberg research initiated the idea that women sometimes stay silent in mixed- gender environments because they fear their input will be received or perceived.  This a different case with our Deaconess her understanding is that she does not stand as herself but as a vessel of God.  She is the only woman ordained in the Grahamstown branch among men. She says that she doesn’t see the need to prove herself but does everything to the best of her ability.  “She exudes the authority of a lioness”, said Sinoxolo Skeyi a church member.

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Leadership Of Army of God Christian Family Church

Her senior pastors describe her in three words as benevolent, generous and sincere. Not only is her mission for people to know God but she is a woman on a mission to see His Kingdom come on earth. She is involved in the church outreaches, on Saturday we went to the Home of Joy children’s home and her warmth towards the children at the orphanage home showed her sincere heart for the people of God. I observed her give out warm hugs and embracing every single child, she oozed pure love towards the children.

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The Deaconess holding a child at Home of Joy Orphanage Home

From the shy child who once took a bold step by stepping outside of the back of her uncle’s van while the van was moving and razed to the ground yet speedily rose up again. To become an epitome of a woman who overcame and risen above her circumstances. Today she is a bold, strong, and assertive young woman, she’s always had that braveness in her which was unleashed through her life lessons and experiences.  Her philosophy in life is that “you might not get what you think you deserve in life, but you never stop fighting for it”. Fight to obtain that happiness and the living hope that is in our salvation n which is found in Jesus Christ.

I get the sense that her journey was not an easy one, most probably one that was like climbing an arduous hill, however, her face and her life story both say to me it was worth it. “There are many challenges that you face as a woman in leadership, but you have to stand”, she said. As young as she is, she is one woman who is a well of wisdom, she encompasses integrity and is clothed with dignity.  Deaconess Qaqamba journey continues and she looks forward to what the next years bring to her life, she hopes to achieve a God-honoring family with kids, growth in ministry and a church that knows Christ personally.

 

 

 

Baby Mamas Review

 

by Usisipho Batyi

The film ‘Baby Mamas’ captures a few home truths of all woman in a funny, romantic, intriguing and relatable plot. Directed with elegance by Stephine Zwane, the film plot is humorous while covering the heartfelt issues of four South African women and their journey of single parenting. It follows their ups and downs but with a funny narrative.

The movies showcase the prevalent subject of absent fathers in South Africa and how this issue of concern should be represented in South African mainstream media productions.  The film was exploring the many dynamic of being a baby mama. I love how you don’t have to be a baby mama to relate to the movie yet still making you aware of the challenges of being a baby mama. It carries the essence of being a woman at heart and you see how the director narrates all the subplots within the movie.

With a highly talented black female cast of Salamina Mosese(Toli), Thembisa Mdoda(Sandy), Dineo Ranaka (Joy) and Kay Smith( Chantel), with Zwane and Mosese directing the film it was bound to be a box-office success. This movie is an epitome of black woman success and it is inspiring to see our fellow black sisters taking the directing lead in the SA film industry.

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The Cast of the movie. by IMB.com

In the movie the character, Sandy is still in love with the father of her child, but he seems to enjoy the freedom of having another relationship.

Toli discovers that the most difficult part of dating as a single mother is deciding how much you are willing to risk in pursuit of love and happiness.

Joy must learn to let go of a relationship with a married man, while unmarried Chantel falls pregnant and is not sure what to do. Chantel’s parents are supportive, but her boyfriend is unsure.

The script is witty and girl talk is key in their lives, their friendships and how they rally around each other through each crisis.

The four players are well-known figures on TV, radio and in the print media and they certainly show their capabilities on the big screen, bonding together to give power to women.

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The Cast of Baby Mamas film. by IMDB.com

One thing I loved about the movie is the way the characters in the movie are all professional working women with financial stability which is a positive way of inspiring young single mothers to reach their dreams. While the negative connotation about that portrayal of the character is that it disqualifies the story of that young black unemployed single mother struggling to make ends meet. I believe they could have at least had a storyline that captures that type of resilience and strength.

The film acknowledges single mothers as a multifaceted group which encompasses different strengths, weaknesses, insight, experiences and knowledge of parenting. It shows how the single mum tale is confined to one group or one story. Each mum has a different experience, but I love how the scriptwriters and the director were able to cohesively bring the different stories to a commonplace and a shared story. I love how the movie destigmatizes single mothers and proposes a more relevant understanding of single mothers.  The challenges of single parenting are imperative and need to be celebrated. It is significant to have a positive outlook on single mothers and as a society, we need to create an environment that is supportive and sensitive to the emotional, financial needs of a single mother, more especially in South African context.

The movie revolves around single mothers who are primary caregivers and primary wage earners for their children. Even though the mothers are professionals they are still experiencing the hardships that singles mothers frequently experience, such as everyday hassles, social isolation, and financial strain, result in single mothers having a high risk for emotional distress and disruptions in parenting.

This movie reminds me of the movie ‘Happiness is the Four-Letter Word’ it encompasses that sisterhood, friendship and girlfriends’ tale. We see the four women support each other through the ups and downs of life. I love how their friendship came across as believable and real.  I love how you feel like you’ve known the characters for a long time because the stories aren’t new we see them every day in our families and communities. Overall, I love how it empowers black woman to tell and own their stories.

Overall the story captures the essence, resilience and power within women. The witty gene steps in the right direction. The movie has its flaws, the screenplay came across as mediocre and too cliché.

The movie is great for all woman and it would be a great bonding experience for girlfriends, sisters, mothers and daughter dates. The movie is no longer available in cinemas, but one can watch it online, Showmax and DStv box-office.

The movie takes a bold venture and it worked for me. This is a must-see for all women.

The Best Coffee shop in Grahamstown

I would normally not write a review about a coffee, but my experience was one of a kind. Last year my friend and I were exploring good coffee shops in Grahamstown. I was particularly looking for something unique there had to be more to it than just good coffee. It had to have a specific ambience to it.  Provost Café seemed to be just the right coffee place.

We began our journey from coffee shop to coffee shop our quest was thrilling and quite adventurous. We obviously had a checklist or criteria about what made a good coffee to be the best among many good coffee shops. I will not mention the other coffee shops that we explored because I only have one favourite coffee shop and that is Provost café. Provost café is a small quirky coffee shop in Grahamstown by Rhodes University. The coffee shop resides where the former military prison was on Lucas Avenue. Its old architecture and design are what makes the place interesting. It serves high-quality tea, coffee, snacks, light meals for lunch and breakfast.

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Carrot cupcake and lemon poppy seed muffin. both with ice coffee. by Usisipho Batyi

When we arrived, we were welcomed so warmly by the coffee barrister and they guided us with the menu. I ordered a carrot cupcake with ice coffee and my friend ordered a lemon poppy seed muffin also with ice coffee. We were accompanied into an upper room which we felt so relaxed and isolated from the world. I felt like I was in a coffee shop in a secluded area where no one can find me. We enjoyed the ambience and the history attached to the place. I love the rich décor and aesthetic of the room. Very vintage but with a touch a modern feel. It’s a great place to unwind as a student and just process your thoughts. Hence, I also decided to go alone for the second time it felt truly amazing being able to just feel so relaxed and be in my element.

I have been visiting Provost café for some time now and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s such a lovely little place with a great outdoor eating place in the warmer months. The main indoor seating area is a good secluded and intimate space.  The food is deliciously fresh. I’ve never had a bad meal. The cupcakes are delicious too – my favourites are the carrot cake and the red velvet. If you’re after a nice treat, the afternoon snacks are just lovely! I’ve always found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. I don’t have a bad word to say about the place. I’m so glad I found it!”

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Usisipho Batyi and Sihle Madjova  at Provost Cafe

 

I again strongly recommend Provost café to tourist coming for the Arts Festival in June/July, Rhodes University students and all residents. You will not regret your decision the place ambience will capture your heart and keep your mind at peace for some moment. It’s a great place to catch a break and a breath.

 

 

 

A Day in the Life of the Domestic Worker

by Usisipho Batyi

We take a  look into the strength of black women from the townships trying to make ends meet and create a purposeful life regardless of circumstances. I will display the strength and resilience through Vuyiswa Bashman a domestic worker and small business entrepreneur in the township of Joza. During the day she works as a domestic worker and after work she is seamstress. She is one woman who embodies the statement to rise above your circumstance. We capture moments in her day-to-day life as a domestic worker, seamstress, homemaker, catch up moments with friends and daily duties. I sometimes feel like the strength of a black woman is misrepresented.   That’s why I decided to capture  Bashaman’s courage  by following her throughout the day and see her channel her daily activities. This reminds me of my grandmother and mother growing in the township of Khayelistha. It was indeed a blissful experience.

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Vuyiswa Bashman stays at Joza Extension 4 a township in Grahamstown which people refer to it as Grahamstown East.
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Bashman locks her front grate after locking her burglar gate for extra protection while running 10 minutes late for her taxi.
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On her way to the taxi stop as a taxi regular the taxi driver recognised her and decided to meet her halfway. We see as the taxi moves toward her.
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Bashman goes into the taxi taking her to Grahamstown West which is in town and is the suburban area of Grahamstown. photo by Usisipho Batyi
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She arrives at her workplace and quickly changes into her domestic worker uniform. She rushed to the kitchen and began her first task which is to wash the dishes
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Bashman and her Madam Mrs Sona Gunn a housewife and business owner. “I love Eunice (Bashman’s work name) she is an amazing person and she does her work diligently”, said Gunn. They both chat as Bashman continues to do her work and they laugh together all smiles between the Madam and domestic worker. “Sonia is a great Madam”, said Bashman.
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After work Bashman at her home begins with sewing her latest job which is a traditional daki dress. She carefully works through it and prefers gospel music while working.
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Bashman shows me a dress that is like what she is working on which is a daki dress commonly worn by newly wedded brides who enter their in laws home.
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Late afternoon after the traditional ceremony umcimbi at her friend’s house Bashman friends Thuleka Malene, Nolovuyo Batyi, Sindiswa Bashman and Nontobeko Blekiwe all gathered at Bashman backyard for a catch-up session. The ladies laugh I bet anyone could here from a distance away as their conversations were filled with joy.
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Bashman prepared dinner for her friends and which was delicious such a reminder of home. She cooked butternut, rice, roasted chicken and sweet potatoes, peas and bean salad which is known as chakalaka.
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After a long day Bashman still needs to wash dishes which have filled the sink.
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Bashman washes the dishes with a smile on her face being very appreciative of the life she is living. She says, “I have a house, job, grandchildren and God I’m a blessed woman”.

Why I Write

by Usisipho Batyi

Why I Write

I woke up this morning then I decided to stand on my balcony glancing towards the St Mary garden courts ravishing view. I took a small breath and suddenly remembered I had to pray and so then I got on my knees. I was grateful for the life God has given me and that is why I write. Writing lets me grasp life in ways that would otherwise escape me. It helps me connect with God and the universe and reminds that I’m still breathing and there’s a reason why.  I am turning 21 this year and the year 21 comes with a lot anticipated emotions and excitement. Lately, I have been thinking about my purpose. It’s a terrifying phase to be in and I really don’t know what tomorrow brings, yet I still hold on to my faith and this is why I write.

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My balcony view at Lilian Britten House Rhodes University.Photo by Usisipho Batyi

I write because tomorrow awaits for me and my faith stands firm that one day I will live my dream. I write because my story is worth telling and my journey itself is a masterpiece. My life is my greatest story and I am willing to embrace every potter that has shaped me to become the young women I dream to be. I write because I am hope that one day I will inspire many black female bodies. My perfect domain is a place where black women finally find their voice and autonomy without fallacious suppositions.  African women are not powerless and needless. As Mojúbàolú Olúfúnké Okome writes, “African women, like any other group, are able to articulate their needs, evaluate the alternative courses of action, and mobilise for collective action where necessary.

 

I carry so many unwritten stories and they need to be read and heard. The stories of real resistance by black women and the wisdom they encompass. Every shoulder of a black women carries an untold story. The weight of the abuse, injustice, discrimination, subordination, patriarchy, motherhood, womanhood and blackness is a hefty load of pain.  I have a dream: to see African women being portrayed as strong, not because of their tenacious grip towards the hardships that live brings to them. Black women are powerful innovative agents and decision makers in their specific context. If women largely continue to be only discussed, and implementation, capacity and funding, African women empowerment campaigns will remain a theory.

Women in Joza fetching water from the Gift Givers Charity Campaign. Photo by Usisipho Batyi

I write because I believe God predestined me to become a voice to the voiceless. To ensure that the next generation of African women don’t adhere to the same circumstances that many of us grew up in. To see the words woman and African in one sentence, to represent all African women disregarding tribal disputes. I write to honour my great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sisters. I write because black women’s lives matter.

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My grandmother and mother. Photo by Usisipho Batyi
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Myseslf and my grandmother.Photo by Usisipho Batyi

6 Blogs that Inspired my Blogging Journey

By Usisipho Batyi

As an African woman blogger I am very much inspired by the work of many African female bloggers. As I browsed through word press I found amazing blogs that inspired my  process of starting this blog. Here are my top six blogs that I believe will inspire African women discourses in all spheres.

MADAM NOIRE

Madam Noire is a well-known website for black women with more than 4 million unique visitors per month. It contains daily blog posts of smart, inspirational, stylish and powerful black women. The site’s seeks to empower millennial women of colour with engaging content that covers everything from health, fashion and beauty to career, parenting, entertainment and breaking news .I  read a post on  black business thriving the blog seeks  to empower black women to go out there and own their businesses. I love the versatility in the kind of topics the blog covers it has a wide range of topics such as love, beauty, fashion and business. It truly empowers every aspect of the lives of black women.

Here is the post: Black business Black Business

IVORY ARIA

The blog Ivory Aria is a contemporary African woman empowerment platform that serves to inspire African women through their own stories. They aim to share their own personal experiences and unique stories as it relates to the African woman to build a sisterhood and positively impact the global African community at large. Through rich online content and events, they seek to create an empowered group of women for the next generation. I believe most of their posts are recreating the way African women are portrayed. They are dismantling all stigmas and biases that are  directed towards African women in our society. Since the blog is made by African women that live overseas they are fully committed to alleviate the standard of the values upheld by our African diaspora community. Trying to keep their African identity away from home is a pivotal part of this blog. Apart from the fact that it is African woman blog I was drawn by the way they elevate the standards of African values that are upheld in the African diaspora. They deliver real and authentic content as it relates to our community.

Here is a blog post from them: Black Mothers

MOTHER TEACH RESIST

This blog is aims to equip and support black mothers. As I was browsing through it and I was reading some of the post I was intrigued by its rawness. I love that it brings you so close to home and you getting that reliability feeling.  The blog is owned by an African-American woman who really believe in the success of lack mothers that they should rise above their circumstances and live their dreams. She embarks on a journey of equal opportunity. The blog has such a positive energy that it exudes and I love its simplistic approach to blogging.  It is good to see black woman not being looked at negatively but are rather seen as graceful and simple woman as they are.

Here is the link to the blog:Note to Self

BLACK WOMEN CRY

 The blog called Black Women Cry brings awareness to mental health issues within the Black community, as well as to provide a space for Black Women to find validation in their experiences. Representation is important, and this blog is intentionally meant to provide that to Black women of all intersections (LGBTQ, Social Economic Status, Ages, Lifestyles, etc.). The blog has a page that’s states a quote by Malcolm X:

The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.

The most unprotected person in America is the black woman.

The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”

There is such a great portrayal of black women as strong women who can take anything that is thrown to them. I grew up hating that black women were always celebrated for their toughness as if they were robots that are never affected. Many hide under the toughness facade because they are too broken to uncover their wounds. Black women go through so much hate, abuse, discrimination, lose, hardships and yet they remain strong because society expects them to. I love how it is raising mental awareness  among black women so that they don’t ever feel like they are alone.

Here is one of their posts:Internalizing self love

African Women In Leadership

The blog motto is “Bridging the gap of narratives about African Women in leadership” this encompasses its mission which is to tell stories of successful black women. The blog celebrates the achievement of black women in all spectrum’s of leadership.  There is a blog that commemorates Julia Sebutinde’s story as the first African female Judge in the International Court of Justice. I am greatly inspired by the depiction of an intelligent, well-informed, articulate, no-nonsense and a very good orator who is an African woman. This blog post taught me that I should not be afraid to speak up and tell the truth, even if it makes people uncomfortable to hear it. I think its focus is more of Liberal African feminism bases its discourse on domestic gender roles, gender gaps and equality in work spaces liberal feminism everywhere in the world has pushed onto the agenda. This strand of African female empowerment has made great strides in mainstreaming different African woman gender roles as oppose to the norms. The blog brings empowerment to African woman how desire to make it against all odds.

Here is one of their post:First African woman judge

 

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SAVVY and SASSY

https://cheptoomorei.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/the-african-woman/

Savvy and Sassy is blog by South African feminist,poet and writer Cheptoo Morei. She works to uplift a young audience of black South African women through her deep poetry and art. She is a social activist and works to empower young women to love themselves and not succumb to the standards upheld by the Western society by embracing their culture.  In one of her poems called African women there is a line that goes like this,”She carries the weight of the continent on her back,and still holds her head up high”. Her work brings you to a place of peace and serenity.

Here is a link  to her poem: African Woman poem