Open Letter to Users, Misusers and Abusers

I don’t remember everything you said but I remember everything you made me feel. You, with whom I have tried always to speak truth and walk truth and be truth because I love you, you made me feel like I had on clown shoes and a false nose and a rainbow-coloured wig but all I had on was myself and my truth and my joy – and you laughed at me. You laughed at my fears and called them trite and told me to stop listening to Dr Google, but not once did you stop to ask how I’m doing and not segue into you telling me how you’re doing. 

I don’t remember what you said but I remember how you made me feel. I am not angry or bitter or disappointed or even hurt – I got past that like I always do because if life has taught me anything it’s that nothing good ever comes from my anger or my pain, beautiful disasters that breed more disaster. No. Everything beautiful in my life is because I chose forgiveness over hurt and anger and pain; because I choose, consciously and as often as I remember, to do the loving thing. You will not steal my peace and replace it with anger, you will not hijack my joy and give me hurt instead.  You won’t even take up space in my memory because what is you will soon and very soon be replaced by what is peace and what is all of the things I choose to make of myself, things that do not include staying stuck in a past of regret and sadness, carrying the burden of remembering you. 

Everything is not for everyone and I am not for everyone and you, dear, have proved to be everyone. I am many things but I am not a doormat – not anymore – and I am no longer here for you to decrease me without replenishing; I’m not available to be your plan B when plan A fails nor to be any of the things I used to be despite that you never gave a thought to my needs except when it made you look and feel good. I don’t remember what you said but I remember how I felt, and I remember too that I am a God-child and a goddess and a queen. Hey there, bitch, did you forget who I am? 

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Indatshana: Buzanka Buzanka Bulema


Indaba yokufunakala kwamadoda iyahlupha phandle la.

Nansi isiyathu-yathu siyathuzela singena etesting room silandelwa ngamazanka amabili. Uz’ uphos’ uthi izanka lingcono, amalema straight. Osisi bakhona bayagegedeka ngohleko okwamalema sibili, indojelana yakhona yona izenza umuntu kuzwa, ithule nje ngekhanda elicijileyo lendevunyana ezingu four.

Ngibabingelele kuhle kodwa nje ngiyabona ukuthi la, yibuzanka bodwa and leso skhathi sengidinwe angisathandi lutho.

But, professionalism.
Ngemva kokubingelelana lokwazana baluchaze udaba lwabo. Isiyathu-yathu sibathanda bobabili, labo bayamthanda, kodwa womabili amalema athi wona isithembu awasifuni. Okungcono yikuthi njengoba indojelana le izidlela amaphilisi engculaza, ngibasize mina ngokubatshela ukuthi kubosisi laba oselayo nguwuphi, ongelayo uzaliwa with immediate effect. 
Hawu, yebo.
Kusemsebenzini phela la, asibuzi muntu ngobuyelele bakhe, simupha imfundiso losizo aludingayo simekele akhethe akufunayo. They call it autonomy what what. 
Ngenze ke leyo education, balale ngohleko osisi. Mina phela ubulema ngibubone kudala so angimangali izinyo selihleka uthuvi. Osokubachaza khonapho yikuthi ngithi mina icondom iqakathekile.

Abuze omunye: wena lendoda yakho lidlana nge plastic?

Ngingakaphenduli aqhubeke: shame sis wami, awuyazi indoda.

Njengomuntu ozeleyo ongumazakhela angizange ngimphikise kodwa kungayisikho lokho bengizamtshela inkalakatha yendaba mayelana ngobuyelele bakhe, ebizamlalisa ngaphandle kwengubo.
Then again, izanka liyakwazi ukwethuka?
Ngihlekelele into engekhoyo kodwa ngaphakathi ngizibuza ukuthi yini ngabantwana abangaka bangakwazi lokubona nxa sebeluqondise koSidubekile? 
Indaba iphetha ngani?
Bonke sebezakudla amaphilisi lawo, isiyathu-yathu sona sithi sibathanda bobabili kodwa ongafuniyo kakhululeke atshiye.
Athini amalema?

Belokhe begegedeka okukanondindwa esedobhe isheleni, batshayane izandla:

Kuyafana my friend, okungasikufa yikuphi?

Indatshana: USisi Omdala Ulaya Umnawakhe

Art by Tim Okamura

‘Love this, love that. Suhlanya kanti?’ 

Atshinge uMaNcube kodwa umnawakhe uMaNcu lwana owokutshaya umfana sebeyalene ethi wamala okobumbulu, akhangele eceleni okwesiqoqodo silaywa.
‘Uzafunda sokutheni mnawami, awuboni ukuthi wenza into ohlala uyenza? Same exact behaviour, don’t you realise by now you can’t be that explicit about your emotions and not expect these men to run away scared?’
Akhokhe umoya aqhubeke.
‘USbare wakho sazesatshada elokhe engela shuwa lami. Ngabe wayesazi ukuthi ngangilala ngikhangele ngenxa yakhe, do you think wayezalobola? Of course not!’ 
Athi thala uMaNcu ahlanganise amehlo lodadewabo. Adonse amakhovula ekhavisa ama one okuthi inyembezi ziseduze. Cwayi-cwayi amehlo ezam’ ukuthi zingathonti zisuse imascara.
Mfii-mfii, awadonse futhi amakhovula, abesephendula.

‘No sisi you don’t understand. I like him a lot and -‘ 
Asukume esitulweni  uMaNcube abambe iqolo okomuntu ozwe into eyisimanga. Akhweze ilizwi am’game umntwana engakaqedi ukukhuluma –
‘Like him ukuthini wena, uzayithini indoda ethanda idorobho wena ufana ukuhlala emakhaya?
‘Ukuthi uzenza bani vele wena ungu born-location ongakwaziyo lokubamba ikhuba asazi, kodwa indaba yakho lobaba lwana ayiphele. Aso type yokuthandana losisi wemakhaya lyana.

‘Lokuthi amadlozi akhona – ‘

Athule lapho ngoba phela ukuchothoza okufunwa ngabaphansi kufuna inkalakatha yesibindi, okuthwa ngabanye – a lot of liver. 
Inyembezi zomnawakhe zimthinte uMaNcube, seziwohloka hayi kancane akusela kulahlisa, uMaNcu sekhala okwamaqini. Imascara sincibilikile layo amehlo aselezigombolozi ezimnyama ingani ngawe Panda esayibona mzukwana weTrip to the Zoo kulwana mnyaka. 
Alehlise iphika usisi omdala azibuze imbuzo emineni-nengi abuye aziphendule yedwa.

Ngithule? Ngingathula baqhubeke uzacaka umnawami ngoba impilo yetown ayisavumi, amadlozi amfuna khonale eTshalimbe. Ngapha yena uzithi sethole umaqondana kumbe uyibonani indoda yePhelandaba. Number 6 sibili, kulendoda ezwayo ehlala encumbered 6?! 
No, ngiyamzwela kodwa ngcono bahlukane, uzathola isakhamuzi khonale. Maybe.

Intshiya zihlangane ekhumbula izakhamizi zeTshalimbe. Soze ngitsho loyedwa wazo akhombise umuntu othi ukulima yikuthelela imbhida lama shallots nge hosepipe. Abone ke uMaNcube ukuthi okothando yikho okuzabaludubo kodwa ke, ayikho eyokwenza. Amkhangengele umnawakhe, aqhubeke ngemicabango yakhe.

Lokudedesa khonokho uNana shuwa asazi uzanyefukela bani khonale.

Asondele kumtakanina abeke isandla ehlombe. UMaNcu avuse ikhanda, akhulume ngelincane.
‘I know Sisi, I know I’ve never lived that life, but you know I have to do this. At least kulempompi eduze not isikotsho, I don’t mind ukuthi ayikho endlini. Kule solar futhi, kuyahlaleka sibili.’ 
‘Awungizwa Nana,’ nguMaNcube omdala lowo esebiza umnawakhe ngelangekhaya. Ithululeke imibuzo kasisi omdala samanzi ephuma empompini. 
‘I know you need this, I know the ancestors have called and you have to go but my concern is, can this man be what you need? Does he know ukuthi ulobizo? Uzavuma ukuvakatsha emakhaya? Uyazi lawe imigwaqo yakhona lokuthi oguy abafuni lemota zabo. Lizabonana nini? Njani? What if ogogo bangam’funi?’ 

Amkhangele ebusweni umnawakhe kodwa kwale ukuthi athule.
‘Kunini ulungiselela ukuthuthela emakhaya, I just don’t want to see you give up on something you really want and actually need to do ngenxa yendoda ezavuka ikwalile kusasa.’ 
Lapho akhale ngamandla uMaNcu.
‘No, I don’t mean -‘
Aqale phansi.
‘Angitshongo ukuthi uzakwala Nana,’ sekhuluma ngelincengayo, esequthile phambi komnawakhe. Amadolo ahlabe umkhosi abeke elilodwa phansi, akhulume ke eseyame emadolweni kaMaNcu, olokhe ehlihlizela ehlikihla amehlo.
‘Angitshongo ukuthi uzakwala, ngithi nje yehlisa ispeed mnawami. Amadoda awamfuni umuntu ophaphayo. Phila eyakho ulandele ubizo lwakho.  Indoda ekufunayo izakulanda laph’ okhona.’

Darling. You Are All You Have. 

People? Hold them lightly and love them hard, they are only flesh and feelings and  one day they will be gone and regret over things unsaid and said will turn to broken glass in your mouth and you’ll spend days, months, years spitting out blood and stitching yourself back together because everyone who walks out of your heart leaves you a little torn.  
Love? Hold it lightly. Dress it in freedom and let it breathe because if you clutch it too tightly it cuts your heart into ribbons and you spend lonesome mornings and bitter nights breathing life into the stone that sits heavy in your chest like Ophelia in the Prince’s mem’ry.
And you? Hold yourself tightly. Oh you sweet and hopeful thing forever believing, trusting, hoping. Do you not know that the world is cruel and cold and the only light you can trust is that which shines within you? Fan it into flame, darling. You are all you have. 
Beauty’s Daughter 

Hold Love Lightly

Hold love lightly for it is delicate and strange, a thing with brittle bones and soft flesh that is too easily killed. 

Love unfolds deep within and makes its home in places you can’t reach. In crashing waves and winter sunshine and bright summer days; in dark nights and on nights when the moon calls your name.  Love cavorts and teases and brings you out of yourself and you – forgetting whence love sprung, you reach for it – 

In your awkward words live things that break love; in your dreams grow things that suffocate it and while you try to resuscitate it you forget, you always forget, that love was first inside you. You forget to hold it lightly and hold yourself tightly. 

This is no world for broken things and holding love tightly will break it; holding you lightly will break you. You must go on when love has stopped; you must still breathe and live and be whole and this is why Sister Waheed taught you: you, difficult woman to love, stop trying to make homes out of people. You should learn, also, not to make homes out of love. You are the home where love should live. 

You are love’s strength and you are love’s cement and if you pour yourself too much into love – if you are the mortar and the water and the air that dries it – the concrete cracks under the strain of carrying all of you – do you not know that you hold love, that it cannot exist if you lose yourself in it?  So hold love lightly and hold yourself tightly. Do not weaken yourself by strengthening love, but make love strong by strengthening yourself. 

You will find love and you will clutch it to your chest because you dreamed it before you held it, tasted it before you felt it. You will forget, won’t you, that love tastes like home and feels like rest because it was first within you? You must not forget to hold love lightly to not crush it and to hold yourself tightly for it not to crush you. 

Love rises in the divine ways your ancestors chart because love, that soft-bellied, delicate thing; that wondrous life-affirming thing, that love is your future, a gift from the ones watching your path that you receive only if you are strong enough to hold it lightly and strong enough to step surely into the magic and still hold yourself tightly. 

Child. Do not lose yourself in ethereal emotions, surreal passions and sybilline dreams. 

Hold love lightly.  Hold yourself tightly. 

On Comfort Food. 

Comfort food is some type of creamy pasta. Comfort food is potatoes slathered in salt, cheese and butter. Comfort food is me eating my feelings because the writing I’m doing isn’t about my personal dealings. Comfort food is why I’m three sizes bigger than at the start of winter. Comfort food is ointment for internal strain. Comfort food is for when we pretend to be No-nag Jane.