A Working Girl’s Dream

Picture Courtesy of Pinterest

Dr. King had a dream.

One deeply rooted in the American dream

That one day his nation would rise up

Would live up to its creed,

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.”

Dr King had a dream too,

That his four little children would one day live in a nation,

Where they would be judged

Not by the color of their skin,

But by the content of their character.

I too, an ordinary working woman

Have a dream.

Of the day,

When my dark skin, thick lips and nappy hair will not be held against me.

When I will be judged by the stellar results of

My hard work

Leadership qualities and

The brilliant disruptive game-changing genius of my creative mind.

Not by
My expensively made up face, (I only wear Mac darling) or;

The red soles on my stilettos (Genuine Louboutins dear, I don’t wear knock -offs);

Not by

The hideously expensive boutique original outfit (You know from his Ready to Wear Autumn Winter Collection, darling)

Nor by

The price of my handbag, ( Check the label and the stitching please)

the car I drive; or

The address of the secure complex where I lay my head.

Judge me,

Not by

My ability to flatter, woo and schmooze; or

The impeccably impregnable facade of my perfectly managed perceptions,

All designed to flatter and placate superiors

To prove that I’m worthy of my place.

On that day my spirit will dance and my soul will sing.

Free At Last! Free At Last! Thank God Almighty! We’re Free At Last!

Yes! A working girl can dream too!

In living colour!



Yesterday I was Angry

Yesterday I was angry.

Today I am sad.

My spirit is heavy,

With the news 

Of two good men,

Gunned down in cold blood 

by their brothers.

Dying defending their sisters’ right 

To go out at night and 

Party without harassment.

Their deaths opened 

An old wound I thought had healed.

Of my cousin dying in his bar 

Shot at point blank range 

With a gun he had taken 

For safe-keeping, 

to preserve the lives of his patrons,

then returned to the owner.

Instead of taking his weapon and leaving,

Looking him in the eye,

He coldly took his life.

Leaving a widow, two orphans and 

A heart-broken mother. 

Four shattered lives,

Never to be the same again. 

For every murderous thief,

There are a few good men

Too few civilians with a conscience

And we lose them every day,

In defence against the darkness,

The bloodthirsty spirit of iniquity

That stalks this land

Lalani ngokuthula bafowethu

You may be gone but you’ll never be forgotten 


Angry Black Woman

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

I am a black African woman. I get angry. Being black, and a woman does not equate to being angry. I am not always angry. Sometimes I’m happy, other times I’m excited and on occasion I am fearful. Anger is an emotion not a permanent state of being. Emotions come and go as and when they are triggered. There are two triggers for anger, fear or trauma. But today I am angry.

Dying For Love

I am angry because yet another black woman not unlike myself has died at the hands of her partner. I don’t care if there was a fight. I don’t care who started it. I don’t care that she spent his money or whether she wanted to break off the relationship. I am angry because it could happen to my sister, my daughter, my niece or my friend.
I am angry because I live in a society where a woman cannot negotiate relationship terms, ask a man to use a condom, or walk away from an abusive man without losing her life. I am angry because men who kill their partners get off with culpable homicide because the prosecution cannot prove that the killing was pre-meditated.

It’s Your Fault For Being Irresistible

I am angry because black girls are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, at the hands of family, friends, teachers or complete strangers. I am angry because 40% of women in South Africa are likely to experience rape at least once in their lives. I am angry because the trial, court system, rules of evidence and conduct of police, judges and lawyers retraumatise the victims.

I am angry because black women and girls cannot walk in public or travel on public transport at certain times, without being sexually harassed. I am angry that men actually think they should be flattered by the attention and accept being groped, fondled and raped. I am angry because black women and girls are told what to wear and where to go, instead of telling men not to grope, fondle or rape. I am angry that rapists don’t get to go to jail to experience the hell of rape themselves by other men.

Where the Slay Queens At?

I am angry because in this world, a girl must prostitute herself for alcohol, drugs, a new hairstyle whether Brazilian weave or a synthetic bob, a designer outfit, sanitary pads, a two piece meal at KFC, a can of coke or university fees. I am angry because a young woman must grant sexual favours to the boss to get a job, keep her job or get a promotion.

Sex is For The Man

I am angry because black girls are mutilated to control their sexual feelings. I am angry because they are cut open with knives by their husbands when they have sex for the first time. I am angry because they have to be treated at a specialist hospital for injuries sustained during childbirth.

I am angry because a black girl is seen,  not heard, not educated, or given an inheritance ahead of her brothers to assure her independence. I am angry because black girls are married off before they finish puberty to assure men of their purity. I am angry because educated black women are under pressure to find a husband, as if men who are marriage material are as many as grains of sand on a seashore. I am angry because a black woman cannot decide when and if she wants children or how many. I am angry because black women still die in childbirth in South Africa.

Hanging Off the Last Rung

I am angry because I live in a world of whiteness and patriarchy, that puts a black woman at the bottom of the social and economic ladder. White man, White woman, Indian Man, Indian Woman, Coloured Man, Coloured Woman , Black Man then Black Woman. I am angry, because when a black Woman challenges anyone above her on the ladder, even based on facts, she is labeled as emotional, irrational and you guessed it, angry.

I am angry because a black woman is offered and paid less than a white or Indian man or woman for the same job, even if she has more qualifications and experience. We know from the cars that they drive, where they go on holiday and where they send their children to school. I am angry that the diversity and inclusion committees have no real power to influence transformation in corporate entities.

I am angry because a black woman executive must put on a performance to get ahead in the patriarchal corporate death cult. She must read more, learn more, work harder, sleep less, lean in. She must show just enough passion, not too much, or the place will burn to the ground. She must smile, be pleasant, make her point without ruffling superiors’ feathers, tiptoeing around gross executive egos with jagged edges. She must be on the side of management even when they are wrong. She must defend the oppressor against the oppressed because they hold her livelihood in the palm of her hand.

I am angry because black women experience racist and sexist road rage, sometimes just for driving with care. I am angry because black women still get verbally abused in restaurants by white patrons. I am angry because black mothers have to bury their children killed by white farmers for spurious reasons.

Why Were You Angry Baby? ( Vivienne Johnson to her daughter Maya Angelou)

I am angry that many reading this article will either minimize or deny this constant assault on black women’s bodies, lives and integrity. I am angry because others will be emotional without taking any action or doing any self-introspection. I am angry at the black men who are more oppressive of black women than other races, calling them ‘bitches’ or ‘hoes’. I am angry at black women who blame the victims and take the oppressor’s side, that lack empathy because they are in a more comfortable position with education, money and choices that other black women don’t have.

I have plenty to be angry about, enough for several lifetimes. Most of all, I am angry that I will be called an angry black woman, as if anger is a permanent state of my being, by the people who do the very things that make me angry.


Black Magic Woman


Black Magic Woman.
Watch her move.
See her slay.
Spinning her sorcery,
Swaying her hips.

A glance of her eyes
Draws you in.
You’re powerless,
Sparks fly
From the halo of fire,
That dances around her.

You’re tangled now,
In the web she weaves
With your desire.
She tempts you,
Tests you,
Brings you to your knees.
Black Magic Woman.
Your longing won’t let her pass.


Chapter 6 in Pictures

I see her floating lazily through the market like a butterfly.

Oh yes, I won’t forget the day came shining in. ( Hugh Masekela)

West African Market Place. The smiles are real. (Courtesy of Pinterest)

Johannesburg Central Business District (Courtesy of Pinterest)

Mai Mai Market. Not just for muti. (Courtesy of Pinterest)

Maboneng Precinct. Arts on Main. Market on Main. Johannesburg CB ( Courtesy of Pinterest)


Chapter 4 My Heart Crowned Him King

Head over heels,

Still falling,

Far still from hitting,

Rock bottom.

Gravity’s nothing

Compared to this feeling.

My mind appeals,

Raging, warning

Alarm bells ringing

This can’t be real.

His hands on my skin,

My fevered response within.

I’m mesmerized, paralyzed and hypnotised.

I want to walk, run and fly

All at the same time,

 From the agony, ecstasy

The relentless intensity.

Held captive by those eyes.

With one look, my heart crowned him king.

 Now my soul has only this song to sing.

Painting attributed to Samuel Ikenna Kong


Chapter 3 in Pictures

Hey, when I first saw you, I got excited

Tried to keep my composure, tryna hide it

But I didn’t know

I didn’t let go 

Then it occurred to me while tryna fight it

Just like a kite, you learn to ride it

But I didn’t know

You’re s’posed to let it go

Like a gust of wind

You hit me off sometimes

Like a gust of wind

You push me back every once in a while

Like a gust of wind

You remind me there’s someone up there

Why Is It So Hard To Find Love In This Present Generation? 

@BlueBlood_elia tweeted that line this week. We weighed in with our opinions,  some of them were profound while others were flippant.  I have many single women friends and I ask myself the same question sometimes. A single friend of mine recently posted on Facebook, how she just wanted a man “who would show up and stay”. I thought this was just a women’s issue until  @DirectorSolomon tweeted the following:

The responses ranged from hilarious to heart-breaking. My response to him was that this kind of stuff makes men skittish (nervously shy away from commitment) and for every girl that cheats on a guy there are dozens of single women who are searching, sometimes desperately, for a man to love them.

It is not easy to find love, not just in this one, but in every generation. My parents have been married for over 40 years and even they have close friends who never got married or went through multiple divorces. This is not a new problem, but it’s a sad state of affairs.

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist says we are “wired” for love, i.e. drama, stress and heartbreak etc. are not a natural state of affairs and they literally change our brain chemistry. Human beings are made in the image of God and God is love. Her approach is both biblical and scientific. Check out her YouTube videos, she’s phenomenal. By the way I’m no expert but I see many people in pain and have experienced some pain of my own in the past from bad choices. Are you in the swamp of despondency when it comes to love? if you are single and searching think about the following issues.

Who Are You and What Do You Attract?

This is the principle of  ‘As within, so without’. Your visible reality is a manifestation of your thoughts. Thoughts can become unconscious and habitual if you hold them long enough. Ok you don’t believe me. Think about it. Your constant thoughts create habits and patterns of decision making that have brought you to this point. Think back to the decisions you made in your last relationship, when it started, why it ended and how it ended. What were you thinking. How would things have been if you had different thoughts about the person. By the way, ending a relationship is not always a bad thing, particularly if it is not good for you.

Consider these questions:

The first question is who are you in the relationship equation? What are your needs? These needs are based on the story you tell yourself when you are on your own. Your story is so very much a part of you, you don’t realise it’s there and it determines your every move. This story is created by habitual thoughts from when we were children and trying to make sense of the world. This background story shows up with you in every situation and causes you to make automatic decisions that determine the outcome of a situation. Are you:

a) Mr. or Miss Right-Now. i.e. not looking for a serious relationship. The background story is most likely because you need a temporary escape from the pain of physical, emotional or sexual abuse and want someone to make you feel attractive and blot out the pain. In this case love and sex are the addictions of choice. This is a typical addict’s profile. Zoleka Mandela’s book When Hope Whispers is an excellent example, where she talks openly about her journey back from addiction. Psychologists have coined a term called limerence, which is the emotional high you get when you are in the early stages of a relationship. This had been investigated and identified as changes to brain chemistry that happen when you are in love. So you can be addicted to love and change partners frequently to feel like that over and over again.

b) Mr. or Miss I’ll-Make-Him or Her-Right-For-Me. This background story is , I’ll change the person into my ideal partner because I’m perfect or I’ve worked so hard to be this person and my partner needs to meet my unremitting standards. Deep down, the story is that I need to control every situation so that I do not get hurt or taken advantage of. Many abusers fit this profile because their abusive behaviour comes from a place of unacknowledged raw pain.

c) Mr or Miss I’ll-Make-Myself-Right-for Him or Her. The background story is, I’ll be whoever my partner wants me to be, because I feel so unworthy and unloveable. I’ll do whatever it takes to have them in my life because deep down I don’t believe that I deserve to be loved. Many victims of abuse fit this profile.

d) Mr or Mrs Married-But-Available? No need to state the obvious. However any of the first three background stories apply. Infidelity is really is not just about sex. Emotional infidelity is just as devastating for the spouses. However for infidelity you need both motive and opportunity. Temptation presents itself based on your background story. James 1.14 says each person is lured and tempted by his or her own desire. And if you have a motive from your background story, e,g. a) ‘I need sex as a temporary relief from my pain or stress ‘, you will find an opportunity to be unfaithful whether it’s your next door neighbour, a colleague or on Oxford Street.

The second question is who are you attracting when you look for Mr or Miss Right? Is it

a); b); c) or d)?
Relationship Arithmetic

Let’s do a little bit of relationship arithmetic, shall we? In my relatively short life, I’ve learnt the following from observation and experience. A mismatch of the four doesn’t work, that’s pretty obvious right? But, a perfect match of any of the four needs does not make for a fulfilling long-term relationship either. A coincidence of wants should make a perfect whole right? No? Why is that?

a+a = one night stand; booty call or ‘friends with benefits’. It’s ok if you both walk away unscathed. Sometimes one person ‘catches feelings’ eventually. Then there is awkwardness or drama if you still bump into each other. Or you have another another hook-up for all the wrong reasons, because you’re lonely, bored or drunk.

b+b = a prison without bars of nagging, manipulation, physical and or emotional abuse. There will be a prison break eventually. I guarantee it. You cannot change a person. A person needs to change by themselves and have really good personal motivation for doing so.

c+c = an illusion, a game of smoke and mirrors. This one ends in tears without fail. That sounds like the lady in @Director Solomon’s tweet. She probably made herself over for them and played the two guys, then picked the first guy who popped the question because she just wanted to get married. That is not genuine love, if she loved her fiancé, she would not have cheated on him until a week before the wedding. For the other guy, it’s like showing up for training every day, not knowing that there are trials in progress or there’s a scout watching.

d+d = a perfect storm. Refer to a+a, only add trauma for your children, depression, the drama of divorce and or suicide or murder to the mix. The truth is someone is always playing the other person  in an extra-marital affair, not just the spouse. Very few extra-marital affairs, studies say only 10% end up in marriage and many of those marriages end in divorce because of a relationship built on a shaky foundation of deceit.

So How Do We Find Love?

We know what doesn’t work. So what does work? Actually, that is the wrong question. The answer is that you don’t search for love. When you do, you will be disappointed because you will invariably look in the wrong places based on your mental programming, the background story. The truth is that there is no formula for finding love. Love finds you. You have to be the person that someone will fall in love with. The real you, the one that you are behind closed doors, when no one is looking.

These are just a few examples of what repels love. If you are bitter, twisted and resentful, that will eventually drive love away. If you are jealous, angry and controlling, you may hide it well but eventually the mask will slip, the person will see the real you and disappear from your life. If you are clingy and desperate because you need the other person to make you happy, then, what you fear most will happen, the person that you live will leave you, because the relationship is too much  work. Being happy is your own responsibility, not that of the other person. What are you willing and able to give? You cannot give what you don’t have. To attract the love, you want, change your background story. Martha Beck’s book Steering by Starlight has great advice. Dr Caroline Leaf and Iyanla Vanzant also have some great Youtube videos on that subject.

Attractive vs Loveable
There is a difference between an attractive person and a loveable person. An attractive person takes care of their external appearance, good skin, a good hairstyle, apparel that suits them, smells great and has the right toys, car, cellphone, handbag etc.  They know what to say, how to flirt, when to stop and when to make a move to get you interested in them. They make a great first impression even without saying a word. A woman’s  reaction to them is: “Damn! He fine! So hot I gotta fan myself” (sic). For guys, well, let me not speak for them.

A loveable person is genuinely interested in the other person. To do that, you have to forget your ego, how you look, sound etc. and focus on the other person. Get to know their heart. Spend more time talking. The club or a party is a great place to meet, but not the best setting for  you to truly get to know someone. Decide whether this is someone you want to spend time with. If they are not, it’s ok, move on, you can still be friendly, or not. It’s your choice.

A loveable person may not generally make a great first impression, but they make a lasting one because they make a connection from the heart. People can tell the difference between someone who is genuinely interested that they can trust with their feelings. The typical reaction to this type is, ” I really like this person, and it’s not just for their looks.”

Here are a couple of suggestions for letting love find you. Don’t limit yourself with pre-conceived ideas about who or what true love looks like, or what he or she does for a living or what car he or she drives. A person can get an education, a better job, buy a car, or buy designer shoes and acquire certain skills. A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15). However a person cannot buy a good heart. They cannot be honest, show up for you and show affection and concern consistently if it is not from the heart.

Make the Circle Bigger

Meet more people, more often, make that circle bigger. Spice up your life. Go places and do different things, things you enjoy and you will meet like-minded people. Don’t keep to the same boring weekend or work routine. We spend to much time with the same circle of people and never create opportunities to meet other people. Or when we do, we find reasons not to get to know them because they are not from our little universe.

Next time you meet someone, talk less, listen more, and listen with genuine interest. You may not make a love connection but you can make a lasting one, which who knows could grow into love, or lead you to the love of your life. Do this often enough and I believe love will find you. Finding love is easy. Keeping it is hard. I’ll save that for my next post. Until then, stay attractive and be loveable.

Chapter 2 Ndihamba Nawe (performed by Mafikizolo)

(Xhosa) Literally means I’m going with you. Alternative meaning I choose you, from a girl to a guy. One of my favourite songs by Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza. 

It was quiet in the apartment. The interior was a modern design with clean lines, minimalist, almost spartan. This was clearly a man’s space with the bare essentials, couches and a coffee table. The focal point of the room was the entertainment centre, with a massive curved TV screen and a bunch of different gadgets. The remote controls were all neatly lined up on a side table near the couch. I was quite intimated by all the gadgets. He tried to explain what each one was. I didn’t even get half of it.

Jide invited me to sit on the couch as he played some music, mostly Soul and RnB. I remember hearing Pharrell, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Nelly. He then brought two wine glasses. It was so clichéd, dimmed lights, soft music and wine. Great! I thought, if this man thinks he can get me drunk and seduce me, he has another thing coming. Of all my friends, I have the highest tolerance for alcohol. As my brain went into overdrive, strategising my escape, I took a sip. It turned out to be sparkling grape juice. This man is full of surprises, I thought. He must have been watching my reaction. He laughed,

“You thought I was going to get you drunk and try to seduce you. I’ll admit the thought did cross my mind. Unfortunately I don’t hold my liquor very well, so I don’t keep any.”

“Oh!” This was a surprise, but I had to ask, “So what happens on boy’s night out? When everyone else is getting drunk?”

“I’m the designated driver,” he said, “All the time.”

I must seem quite depraved in comparison. I enjoy the occasional glass of wine, but only when I have company. I avoid drinking when I’m alone, it seems like a slippery slope, once you start, you can’t stop. I keep the bare essentials on a bar cart at home, for occasional entertaining. It was a cute idea that I found on Pinterest. It makes it easier to serve drinks when you have company and is a great conversation starter.

“That’s so larney of you to serve grape juice in a wine glass,” I said. He laughed, then explained that it keeps the juice cool when you hold it by the stem, just as with champagne, then you don’t need to add ice. You shouldn’t add ice to fruit juice, it must just be served chilled. He was very particular about that. Even at restaurants. He often sent the waiter back with his fruit juice when they added ice because it wasn’t chilled. His Mum bought him the wine glasses when he moved in. It made sense, I thought. What single guy has wine glasses? Most single men had single items, but nothing co-ordinated or matching when it came to home ware. They never buy anything but end up with an odd assortment of stuff pilfered from hotels, restaurants and other people’s homes.

We went out and sat on the balcony. Again the enormity of the situation struck me. Here I was, alone with a man I hardly knew. “I don’t usually do this,” I started, hesitantly.

“Do what?” He asked, “Oh I get it!” he continued in teasing tones, “Go off with a man you don’t know! What if I turn out to be a rapist or a serial killer?”

I blushed, then brushed my fingers along my hairline. “I mean, I don’t want you to think I’m well, you know, easy.” My voice trailed off as I looked intently at him, trying to read his reaction. He looked at me, smiling at first, then a brooding solemn expression came over his face.

“Pelo, I’ve never done this before either.” He was really sincere. I believed him. I realized that he was just as unsure, only the attraction was too strong for either of us.

To lighten the situation, I asked, “What is wrong with us?” Why didn’t we follow the script, like other people do when they meet for the first time?” He looked at me quizzically. “You know, exchange numbers, say we’re going to call and all that.”

What he said next blew my mind. “I had never seen you before and I had to make sure you were real. When I realized that you actually exist, I couldn’t just settle for your number. I felt you were going to slip away, just vanish.” He seemed so vulnerable. Then he with a teasing half-smile he continued, “And when you gave that guy a lingering hug, it felt like my heart was breaking and I just wanted to punch him. He really seemed to be enjoying himself and I couldn’t bear to watch.”

My mouth opened wide. I tried to slap him on the shoulder. But as I moved towards him, he caught my wrist, then kissed the palm of my hand. I was stunned by the searing heat of his lips on my palm. Somewhere deep inside of me, the flame of desire leapt up. He took me into his arms and we kissed. A series of lingering, passionate kisses, I almost passed out. I know he felt it too. We couldn’t stop. Eventually, out of breath, we reluctantly pulled apart, still clinging to each other. My head was spinning. I wasn’t sure whether my feet were still on the ground. My head was on his shoulder. I felt his beating heart and heard him inhale deeply.
It was exhilarating and scary at the same time, meeting someone and feeling such a connection. It felt like I had known him forever. I was so sure he wouldn’t hurt me or take advantage of me. The rational, intellectual part of my brain insisted it was folly to be alone with a complete stranger. My soul however, rejoiced because being with him felt so right. The truth is, I was falling for him more and more with each passing moment. It was as if someone was watching the movie of our destiny and had pressed the fast forward button. Everything was happening so fast but at the same time, but weird and unsettling as it was, it was pure bliss. “I want you so much,” he whispered, still breathing heavily. I don’t want to let you go. Ever! ” he said, emphatically. I looked up at him in surprise. No man had ever been that intense, or honest with me.
“Jide,” I stepped away from him as I spoke, “Men have names for girls who get them aroused, and then say no. I don’t want to be that kind of girl.” I told him about the time when I was at university and met a guy. We had a great afternoon, but it was spoilt, when he insisted on having sex with me. He wasn’t rough or violent, I gave in reluctantly but insisted on protection. In his mind, that meant I was a willing participant. I had only recently met him and despite the attraction, I wasn’t ready to get physical. I wanted nothing to do with him after that and he couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to be with him even though he pursued me for weeks afterwards. He then got nasty and called me names. I was a nervous wreck for months afterwards and blamed myself for leading him on.
I expected Jide to shut down or quickly lose interest. I guess I told the story to put him off because things were happening too fast. Instead, he closed his eyes and moved towards me and held me tight. “I’m really sorry. I’m so sorry he did that to you. I’m so mad at him”. Gently placing his fingertips under my chin, he lifted up my head, looked at me, those beautiful eyes filled with such love and compassion, then said, “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Ok?” I was so overcome, I almost wept, I nodded silently. Then he said, “it’s getting chilly our here, let’s go inside.” I nodded, then he led me back inside the apartment.

Chapter 1 Gimme The Night -George Benson

So come on out tonight

And we’ll lead the others

On a ride through paradise.

And if you feel all right

Then we can be lovers ’cause I see that

Starlight look in your eyes.

Don’t you know we can fly?

Just gimme the night. Gimme the night. Written by Rodney Lynn Temperton • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc