#StopViolenceAgainstWomen.

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We are tired

We are tired of being raped, attacked, sexually harassed, abducted and killed, these are some of the recent actions that South African women are subjected to. For most people human trafficking evokes dramatic images from thrillers or TV series and not something happening right under their noses. Yet in South Africa human trafficking is a terrible fate for thousands of victims.

Many people will be shocked to learn that it is happening daily along the busiest routes in our country. Vulnerable youth from poor communities in different parts of the country often fall prey to traffickers who lure them with promises of a better life in big cities. Many labour and sex trafficking victims don’t even know they are victims of a crime.

The past few days, social media was buzzing with #MenAreTrash in defence of gender based violence. In May of 2017, Karabo Mokoena of Joburg was buried after her boyfriend allegedly beat her to death before burning her. This story has since had the country gripped by awful tales of violence against young women and children.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few days and here is my conclusion, it started with me reading up on the Courtney case when I couldn’t sleep one night. To tell how disgusted I was would be an understatement. I just can’t get my head around the idea of a grown ass man raping a Three year old. In the same breath, I came across the story of Karabo, goodness! This whole process of finding more articles on women and kids who were abused carries on and it is EXHAUSTING!!

Yes, my anger at everything I was reading reached that point where the hashtag #MenAreTrash made perfect sense. Forget the good guys out there. Forget all the good people, I personally know. Without doubt, collectively I felt ok saying to myself, men have failed women and children. Well, not all men are trash as a whole, are all men abusers? Are all men predators? I got a straight forward answer for that, not all men.

I hope that the male counterparts use this opportunity to show women in their lives that they are not trash and put their ego, pride and insecurities aside for just a moment and acknowledge that something is wrong and stand in solidarity with women fighting against this societal issue.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane

Watch Video -> #StopViolenceAgainstWomen

Disseminating Knowledge.

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By Jus_luc

The mere fact that we are living in an age where information flows in society an unprecedented rate should be a golden key to spreading knowledge, but in most cases this is not true in various degrees.  Reason being the internet itself requires certain tools and skills to navigate the vast space of information. This leads one to arrive at a type of information which is not biased, and the subject in itself has being studied extensively by experts in the field. A perfect analogue to the idea I have introduced above is a ‘captain of ship or plane’.

The captain has to bring certain skills, tools, life experiences and human resources to be able to move from point A to B. But to only attribute the internet as the main challenge to the spreading of knowledge would be limiting and flawed. One has to also consider other elements involved such as, the different ideologies that we are born into. Which in themselves carry certain types of histories, memories and pressures. Resulting in the formation of the self and the other. From a social psychologist perspective, the moment one starts identifying with a group, an outer group is formed in the process. Resulting in the manifestation of stereotypes, prejudice and attitudes that limit interaction in various degrees.

Interaction is at the core of disseminating knowledge. In the process of interaction, there has to be a common language between the source of information and the receiver. Examples of sources include a mobile phone, tablet, computer, the internet and people. Regardless at the core from my perspective, meaningful interaction is key to disseminating of knowledge.  

Written by Lehlogonolo Modise

Nonsensical Storytelling.

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By Jus_luc

The stories we hear while growing up shape how we see and interact with the world. Stories educate, embody moral values, record human histories and provide us with various forms of entertainment. One of the things all cultures have in common is storytelling. The medium a story is delivered in, is where cultures tend to differ. In some African tribes a man and woman were not allowed to marry until they could tell more than a thousand stories. As powerful as storytelling is we find that sometimes stories are packed with stereotypes, prejudice and hatred, which are all limiting to the human experience.

We live in a ‘world’ of plurality where nothing is absolute. To start with no one really knows where we are, or who we are. Our identities are only derived from the things we have done in the past which led to our present states of being. We know what we are by identifying what we are not. This is what I call evolution, I don’t know where I am but relativity relieves my anxiety by locating me in space and providing me with narratives and shadows to follow. This however, is no longer sufficient of me since it traps me in the past ‘memory’.

I want to be in the present moment in this state everything becomes synchronized with my desires. Presenting me with the gift to control time and even bend space to cultivate my development to the highest degree in that particular moment. Opportunities are infinitely the way the world unfolds, it belongs to those who are willing to pay attention resulting and formation of stories. This may seem nonsensical but if we interact with the world in the physical form. Our creative energies tend to be reduced drastically. Stories are created through an alchemical process, the people they attract depends on the attention we pay as creative. Outside the barriers of stories it is difficult to reach REASON. Since there is no meaning outside our constructed reality.

Written by Lehlogonolo Modise.

Sacrificing for love.

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When the words love and sacrifice pop up in the same sentence, it’s hard not to think back to a certain Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio flick, yes Titanic! Who can forget that image of Jack and Rose clinging to each other in the icy waters near the sinking ship? Well… Jack ultimately gave his life so that Rose could stay afloat on a flimsy board and eventually be rescued.

When you love someone and you have their best interest at heart, you may be willing to sacrifice what you want in order to give to your loved one. Close relationships require sacrifice. In fact, many people include sacrifice in the definition of what it means to truly love another person. Research has shown that couples are happier and more likely to remain in their relationships if the partners are willing to sacrifice for each other. Sometimes that sacrifice can be life changing for the other party, such as changing provinces in order to be with your partner, other times it might be something small and seemingly mundane, such as seeing an action movie instead of the comedy you would have chosen.

Although sacrifice may be inevitable, when it is time to actually make a sacrifice it’s not always easy. I often find myself weighing the need to be true to myself against the notion of sacrifice, I mean why should I be the one giving up what I want? However I want to do what it takes to make my relationship work, I mean, if this is important to him, I should be supportive and willing to sacrifice, right?

I, myself have sacrificed in my past relationships. I was doing it for the love I had for him, and It made me feel good. I always wanted him to be happy.

Although sacrificing to make a partner happy can be a good thing, it can be trouble if you find yourself constantly sacrificing out of a desire to be the “good” partner and satisfy your partner at the cost of your own happiness.

But I eventually saw that I was the one who made sacrifices more than him. From that point I started threading with more caution. Sacrifice should be two-sided. It is important to question whether your partner has shown the same degree of commitment. Relationships require sacrifice, but we shouldn’t give up or give in without thinking it through, make sure you are sacrificing for the right reasons, the right kind of sacrifice can bring people together, but sacrificing for the wrong reasons may be worse than no sacrifice at all.

Written by Jolene Tshakane.

On/Off Emotions.

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Graphic by  _just_lu

It’s easy to get emotionally attached to things. Sports teams, television characters, a favorite shirt, a really, really good burrito – boom! Suddenly you find yourself emotionally invested.

If we can develop sentiments for overpaid athletes who don’t know we exist, fiction people in a scripted world, inanimate objects and delicious foods, imagine what we’re capable of feeling for other human beings that we actually know in real-life.

Obviously everyone’s personality type is different. Some people develop feelings slowly, some quickly, others keep guard to avoid vulnerability; it all depends on the individual. One unfortunate guarantee is that when we officially have those undeniable thoughts, we’re susceptible to being destroyed emotionally. Psychologically manhandled, leaving us oblivious and confused, wounded significantly enough to leave permanent scars. Defenseless is a position we willingly take when we see fit. Getting emotionally invested in another person is a ‘hope for the best’ type of deal, and the worst-case scenario features a sensitive person’s ultimate kryptonite. The boogeyman of the dating world, the destroyer of hearts –the person who is able to change their mind about you on a whim.

For most of us this isn’t fathomable. Most people can’t be all in emotionally today at noon and all out by 8PM, but the switch yielding type can. They have a gift, or perhaps a curse, of being able to genuinely not care unexpectedly. Did they even care to begin with? It is hard to believe that the connection you thought you had was nothing more than an Oscar worthy performance by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but it sure seems possible when you’re distraught at the fact that the only person you want in that moment will have nothing to do with you.

It makes you question yourself, what could you have possibly done wrong to make a person care so little, out of the blue? These troubling thoughts haunt you while you lie around miserable, waiting on a call, a text, or a knock at the door that would arrive to heal your aching heart. It never comes- at least not when you need it. The on and off switch type of people are emotional terrorists, but sometimes you’ve got to wonder if they have their own reasons.

I am not saying it’s excusable or even it is explainable, but we can’t always sum hurtful actions up to crazy or heartless, well, at least we shouldn’t. Maybe they experienced something that changed them for the worse. Perhaps they are the victims of past abandonment that created the icebox their heart currently resides in.

Sometimes we fight fire with fire, or in this case, coldness with coldness.

If you are not an on/off person, you have to be wary of them. Knowing that even though everything is fine right now, it could change in an instant is unnerving. We don’t want to be on an edge, watching what we say, telling our selves not to feel. As bad as it feels when that happens, it is important to remember in a great detail how horrible of an experience it was.

Then in the future; not only are you somewhat impervious to heartache, but also more considerate of others feelings regardless of the situation.

Written by Jolene Tshakane

What does death mean to you?

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I disagree with the oxford dictionary which defines death as the end of life, yes at the physical level our bodies decompose to reunite with the universe. However, I find it limiting to our development and our overall human experience to see it in this way. We should not forget that our character never seizes to exist.

It lives in the heart of men, influencing how they see and interact with the world. Death should be one of the moments where we celebrate the deceased because they ‘leave us’ with a piece of their soul that gives us lifelong lessons that we don’t necessarily have to experience. This framework is not ignorant to the evils that we find in the world, but rather reminds us of the beauty that comes with life.

The ancient Yoruba people of Nigeria remind us of this beauty through their wooden figures which are humanistic to the core. That which has ‘Ewa’ never dies, it blesses men with strength to endure, wisdom to see the invisible and a character that brings law and order in society.

Yes, death might exist in the physical sense but we should remember that death only enters our lives when we stop moving forward and claiming our dreams.

Written by Lehlogonolo Modise.