I Laugh in the Face of Danger

There was a time I used to hate going into an exam room. I’d have serious panic attacks. I’d be so anxious, I’d go blank. This caused me to abandon my studies for fear was just too crippling. I had let fear imprison me from my goals.

But a lot has changed since then. I’ve learned and am still learning, to break free from the shackles of fear.

Photocredits: http://pridelandprince.tumblr.com/
Photocredits: http://pridelandprince.tumblr.com/

One of my favourite lines from the Lion King by Simba: ” I laugh in the face of danger.” is my own new approach to the things that make me scared. It’s a brave approach and I’ve soon realised the truth that the realisation of my dreams and goals lies in the overcoming of my fears.

Writing exams has since become a rather exciting event for me. Although always a stressful period in my life, every exam season is one step closer to my goal. Everytime I walk into that exam room, I’m grateful for the opportunity to succeed, because that’s what it is.
Exams, life trials, tests, challenges are merely an opportunity to overcome.

I’m writing my first exam today and although I’m anxious, I’m also excited, because each exam completed successfully brings me closer to my goal!

Photo credits: motivationalquotesbest.blogspot.com
Photo credits: motivationalquotesbest.blogspot.com

Sending positive energy to all who are writing exams this season. May the grace of God encapsulate you as you prepare with diligence and write each paper with confidence and faith, knowing you are not alone!

Yes We Can!

Let’s do this!

Vuyo -The Big Dreamer

There are those TV ads that leave a long lasting impression in my mind. Like the  Sharlto Copley’s Make Things Happen Nedbank Ad campaign a couple of  years ago. These adverts are meant to create not just a mental indent, but compel one to get up and act on their desired dreams. Yet so few of us do. I wonder if there is indeed a special factor, that “X” factor that those who dare to follow their dreams have.

Remember that Hansa Pilsner ad campaign featuring a granny talking proudly about his grandson Vuyo, the “beeg, beeg, dreamer”?

http://aloweprofile.co.za/tag/vuyo/
http://aloweprofile.co.za/tag/vuyo/

Well years later the fictional character was realised by a real Big Dreamer : Miles Khubeka.

http://aloweprofile.co.za/vuyos_vision/
http://aloweprofile.co.za/vuyos_vision/

I had the pleasure of meeting with him today at a Home Design Expo at Blue Hills Estate in Midrand.

Blue Hills Estate is one of those dreamy places I’d love to live in one day. So I had dragged one of my awesome friends to go ” window shop” the beautiful homes and designs. Although the expo was less than I expected, something else grabbed my curiosity; A gourmet boerie stall.

It was serviced by a team of enthusiastic guys and “Vuyo”was right there interacting with customers and ensuring that things were running smoothly.  It was these three things that stood out to me: great presentation, great food and great service. It only occurred to me later that it was Vuyo’s ( The Big Dreamer) Stall.  A lovely young guy who was once into software and now into food, as he briefly shared his story.  

What I liked is that we didn’t choose to buy from him because of the brand, as if to say we are ” supporting a young entrepreneur”, but we were drawn to the product offering, which for me says a lot about the quality of the brand. And a good choice we made because the boeries were delicious!

Pic from:http://crazy-beautiful.co.za/a-little-bit-of-crazy-feb-2014/
Pic from:http://crazy-beautiful.co.za/a-little-bit-of-crazy-feb-2014/

I’ve decided I’ll be dragging friends to Braamfontein very soon to try out the rest of the menu at Vuyo’s.

It’s very inspiring to meet people like Vuyo (Miles Khubeka). I’m always curious what it is about these Big Dreamers that makes them get up and actually bring their dreams to life. Is there a specific hidden DNA molecule that propels other people to boldly follow their dreams more than others? I’m on  a mission to find out. This is yet another reminder  that our dreams are indeed valid.

Here’s to the Dreamers and Doers of SA!   Regalchild salutes you!

#YourDreamsAreValid

“…wouldn’t it be nice, if raindrops turned to jelly tots…”

“These are a few of my favourite things”

 ” DO – a deer, a female deer. RE – a drop of golden sun…”. This was the song ringing in my head just two Saturdays ago. It was a child-like excitement and nostalgic feeling of being back in school music class. I had a wonderful music teacher in preparatory who left a beautifully lasting impression in my heart. But it was also because the day had finally come for me to go see the much anticipated musical I had booked for two months back.

https://www.theatreonthebay.co.za/show/the-sound-of-music-at-artscape/
https://www.theatreonthebay.co.za/show/the-sound-of-music-at-artscape/

I hate getting excited about things. I have one of the most wonderfully wild imaginations that have the capacity to create the most amazing experiences in my mind, thus creating such high expectations often not easily met by average human beings. I had been hibernating in my cave studying for weeks, so I really couldn’t help the child-like excitement I was feeling that Saturday.

The show however, was beyond my wildest imaginations! It possibly is one of the best musicals I’ve been to in a while. The stage set was breathtaking and the cast,  absolutely stunning! It was really beautifully done. I’m truly impressed with the kind of talent this country has. Such excellence! This show is a must see!

 

https://www.theatreonthebay.co.za/show/the-sound-of-music-at-artscape/
https://www.theatreonthebay.co.za/show/the-sound-of-music-at-artscape/

The last show at Monte Casino’s Theatro was the 8th and the show has now moved to Cape Town. So if you are in Cape Town, do check it out at the Artscape Theatre. You will not  be disappointed!

 

“…people will never forget how you made them feel”

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
― Maya Angelou

 

Your life will continue through your beautiful poetry, mama Maya Angelou. Lala Ngoxolo.

My Xhosa Ragdoll

Image

I’ve  been told that the very first doll I ever had was a brown ragdoll. Apparently my father had refused for me to have a “white” doll and insisted that I be bought a doll that “looked just like me” .

He strongly believed this would ensure I never have any inferiority complex about who I was. My very first doll was a ragdoll bought while he was on a trip in Port Elizabeth.

I seldom think about Mxolisi, yet for some odd reason, being in PE this week made me think of him and I imagine him stopping his car near a market and buying the ragdoll for me. Perhaps this imagination, is my way of holding on to very few positive thoughts of the stranger I never knew.

Although I had many other dolls afterwards, thanks to my more relaxed mom, I often wonder how much of that ragdoll influenced my perception of beauty. I don’t and never have looked anything like a rag doll, as you can imagine. I do though, have a strong appreciation for dark healthy skin, I think it’s gorgeous. But I genuinely appreciate healthy porcelain skin too. When someone is beautiful to me, it really doesn’t matter what colour skin she/he has.

I don’t  relate to  girls who grew up feeling “unpretty” because they were dark skinned. Yes I had my own insecurities, but they were never attributed to my complexion. If anything, in my adolescent years I always felt too skinny, my arms were too long and my eyes and ears were too small. It was rather funny to me in later years when suddenly everyone seemed to want to know my secret for staying thin and looking young, while eating as much as I do. I learned about the fickle nature of the world’s definition of beauty and I soon became stubborn about appreciating my own unique looks instead of waiting for the world to give me their own unqualified opinion.

Although I cannot say for sure if my  ragdoll had influenced my appreciation of perfectly healthy skin, there has been many writings and articles on the theory of children and dolls that look like them and why it matters . I do believe in a balanced approach though. The rise to fame of the oscar winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o is a great reminder of how gorgeous African women really are. But I also think it’s important to be objective about these things. Ms Nyong’o’s is not just beautiful because she’s dark skinned. She has a healthy skin ( dark or not), a pretty smile, a strong bone structure and a lovely healthy body. The dark skin is just the cherry on top, it gives her that natural luster.

Image

There are many of these beautiful people in Africa. If you’ve ever believed the rumour about lions roaming in the  streets of Africa,  come to my hood, and you’ll discover that by lions, they mean rather really powerful and gorgeous, chocolate, caramel, milk skinned royal beauties, with perfectly manicured manes, cappuccino in one hand and stylish hand bag in the other, “strutting their stuff” daily,  in the concrete jungle of Sandton, roaring with confidence and ready to take on the world.

You best believe it! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits

Ragdoll: http://www.4kidslikeme.com/products/15-inch-tall-kara-black-rag-doll.html

Lupita Nyongo’s:http://arrayofvoices.com/crushes-women/lupita-nyongo

Taxi Ride

So on Wednesday I took a taxi. Not a “cab”, a minibus taxi driven by stereotype like Zulu taxi driver. In fact so stereotypical this guy was, with his window rolled down, elbow sticking out, he threw some deep zulu curse at one of his friends on the street and threatened to beat him up. I wasn’t alarmed nor did I become nervous at all about this little exchange of strange love towards one another.

Picture Credit: http://www.biltongmakers.com/Minibus-04-01.jpg
Picture Credit: http://www.biltongmakers.com/Minibus-04-01.jpg

Of course using a taxi is nothing unusual. Minibus taxis is one of the main modes of transportation in South Africa and most of the continent actually, as I’ve discovered through travelling other parts of Africa. For years mini bus taxis have played an important role in our communities getting people to and from work or school. It’s difficult to say that we don’t have reliable transportation in SA when majority of South Africans rely on taxis. And yes, they do strike and cause chaos on the roads, have a reputation of violence and that makes me angry and will never be acceptable. However I’ve also been delayed many a time by SAA, so I could easily say that we don’t have reliable air transportation either. Personally I think the biggest issue with taxis is how we’ve allowed them to bully us. They are like the mafia of South Africa. They need to be regulated.

As a black South African, humbly raised by a hardworking single parent, you make a vow to self, to work really hard and never again go through the struggles and sometimes even the humiliation of arrogant taxi drivers. So I guess I should thank them. Taxi drivers made me one hell of an ambitious person. It took me an embarrassing five trials to get a license. Five! Never have I felt so useless in my entire life! Luckily I had a wonderful boyfriend who was always there to pick up my shattered soul, glue it together and encourage me to go again each time I’d nervously rolled back, hit a pole while ally-docking or forgot to check my blind spot. I have to tell you though, because of that experience I can confidently say I’m a master “parker” – take me to Long street in Cape Town, Florida Road in Durban or our lovely Parktown North’s  Seventh avenue and I’ll parallel park in-between two cars like I invented it.

Getting my license and getting a car was my official goodbye to the dirty urine smelly ranks, being the target of sitting between two really big mamas just because you are the “slender” one. I waved goodbye to sitting on one of those terribly worn-out, fold-up seats, that no longer lock into position, with no back support forcing you to hold on to the window and seat in front to avoid falling,  and then each time someone shouts “sho’t left” from the back,having to continuously get up, fold the seat and while bending over someone else’s head, let them through to get out of the taxi. I have terrifying memories of jumping over a big hole on the taxi floor, literally seeing the tar road as the taxi moved, praying hard I won’t fall through or most frustrating would be running late for an interview or your new job because the driver had stopped in the middle of the highway, refusing to move since somehow money had gone missing and everyone in the taxi looking at each other with blank faces as if to say, “you know I gave you my R20”. Thinking how you desperately need this job so you can start saving for your car deposit, so you never, ever, ever have to go through all of the horror ever again!

Yet this Wednesday, I took the liberty to jump onto a taxi ironically to go fetch my car that had gone in for service that day. Now I could have asked a friend to take me there. But honestly, I didn’t see the need. After all, although we are always in antagonistic relations with taxi drivers (I’ve even been in a head-on collision with an unlicensed taxi driver who got away with it, so trust me I’m not oblivious to their life-threatening, gangster, bullish driving style) taxis are a part of our public transport system and therefore an option. The car dealer was only about 7 km away and I could have even jogged. However, running was not an option since I was carrying a handbag, so I chose to walk – only after about a half km and seeing a taxi go by, I figured it was the better alternative to help me get there faster. Not sure what sign to use, I stuck to what I knew best and pointed with my index finger upwards to stop him (we should by now have a dictionary of signs used to stop a taxi). It being midday I was the only one in the taxi and we were off. I gave him R10 expecting about R4 back.  When I asked for change, he said to me, it actually costs R11. Shocked for days! Had taxi fees gone up that much?  A pleasant guy nonetheless, he didn’t want the extra R1. I thanked him and got off.

I still had another Kilometer and a half to walk, and this gave me time to reflect on the experience. Firstly, it reminded me of how blessed I really am. Many years later, I was now referring to a taxi ride as an “experience”.  What I most appreciated about this experience is how my perception had changed. Of course I still don’t like the idea of catching a taxi. But knowing I can freely take a taxi without any fear is a form of liberation. Much as I’d vowed to never ever catch at taxi again – my new vow is to never ever feel trapped by perceptions. Yes, I deserve better and unapologetically only want the best for myself. And I’m willing to work for it. But also would hate the idea of feeling trapped in my own castle. As I continue to work hard & smart towards the lifestyle I desire, I still want to know how to remain centered. And what that means is that I want to have a full radius of life options and yet remain anchored to my core. I don’t want to be limited. I don’t want to no longer shop and Mr Price because I now swipe my card at Luminance. I want to be afforded a wealth of options. As I continue to build my career profile, develop my skills and education, as I slowly evolve into an entrepreneur and eventually convert my intellectual investments into wealth generating assets (not there yet,but it will come), I want to remain centered. Of course I’ll probably still prefer a private jet in Lanseria over economy class seat 8A at ORT , but I want that to be a choice not a matter of protocol of a certain class of people. It’s pretty much like how it is when you are at a club, with VIP tickets, but you still choose to go dance with the “not so VIP” ticket holders, because you know it’s where the real party is happening.

Freedom to choose makes me happy.

And just before I dropped the top of my cabriolet  and drove to the sunset 😉 , I thought to myself, we need to start telling a different story about the taxi industry. Sometimes by focusing on the positive things that taxi drivers do (not an easy task, I know) we might motivate and breed a different man or woman behind that wheel. Sometimes I feel that they are living up to our own expectations. And the antagonistic energy we send out when we see these guys on the road is what we end up inflicting ourselves with.

Perhaps I’m wrong. But what if I’m not? 🙂

“…wouldn’t it be nice, if raindrops turned to jelly tots…”