Monday, November 30, 2015

7 Steps To Be A Good Feminist

I am a feminist.

There are so many definitions of feminism floating around out there, this is one of the few descriptions I agree with.

B isn't a feminist tho..

Amelia Pontes is one of those bloggers/ writers who goes into the depth of me and finds the perfect words to frame everything! She wrote this letter to her stunning niece Tessa when who was less than a year old at the time!

She has taken a bit of a break from writing, but this is one of the articles that resonated with me!

Click here to read the full post. Scroll to the post that says Dear Tessa: A Letter About Feminism.

Here are seven quick tips to being a "good" Feminist:

1. Question everything. Sometimes questioning can be done verbally in a classroom when a history teacher forgets to tell you about the important role women played in the Civil Rights Movement (Rosa Parks wasn't the only one). Sometimes you'll write the questions in your journal and discuss it later with a trust worthy group of women. Before you start throwing out people's ideas or dismissing what has come before you, examine it and appreciate it for what it is or was.

2. Read anything you can get your hands on. Your questions will get better because of this. It'll give you more time to think about the Why's and not just the What's. Read fiction and non-fiction. Get lost in a story. Get uplifted by the possibilities. Get knocked on your ass by the cruel reality of our world's violent and discriminate past.

3. Play sports. Some people will say that I am being a pushy aunt and trying to make you a superstar athlete. However, I don't give a shit if you ever learn how to properly shoot a ball (but you will), I do care that you stand in a locker room with ten to fifteen other girls. In that room you will see different body types. You will watch them on the same uniform, borrowing lotion from one another to hide the same ashen winter skin, and lacing up hightop sneakers to protect twisting ankles. This is where you will learn that the female body is a vehicle for strength and not an object of arousal by the male gaze. Playing on these teams, you will have the courage to say No because you will know that this body, your body, is your prized possession.

4. Be responsible for the energy you bring. Often this piece of advice isn't given in the context of feminism and empowerment, but as women we bare the burden that requires us to be both button pusher and hugger. Be an ally to everyone in the room. Even if you disagree with every molecule in that person's body, find a way to throw them a rope which keeps them from drowning in their disillusioned ideology.  Feminism is not about standing on a pedestal, yelling about equality (most of the time), but it's about offering an alternative to the existing misogynistic patriarchal way of thinking. It's about showing a new way of being, which is both strong, yet kind and considerate of the people with whom we share space.

5. Remember that men are not your enemy, but their way of thinking can be. Even the good and honest men that you love all the way down to the lint in between your toes will make jokes or say comments that will contradict your Feminism. You are still allowed to love those men. You should still love them. Question why (Rule #1) they think this way and help them navigate through those thoughts. This won't be done for every man (and it shouldn't) because some men are just douche bags and not worthy of your time.

6. Confident and smart women are not a threat to your success, they are your best asset. The more women we have that are moving through industries, being innovative, and climbing up the ladder the better off all of us will be. We need all women, those who are at the top of the capitalistic food chain and those that who barely eating, to simultaneously push against that fabled glass ceiling.

7.  Do not live your life according to an ideology. Feminism is about the freedom to do whatever the fuck you want (unless your parents say no). It's not about putting on a power suit and walking into a boardroom with a briefcase and a scowl. It's not about becoming a domestic goddess either. Feminism has given us the opportunity to expect it all and to try our best to have it all. Feminism is the raising of expectations of what a woman can be.

What else do you think makes a good feminist?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fab Friday: Lean and Dab

I want you guys to have the freshest dance moves at your year end functions!

Cam Newton Dabbin'

I discovered this new dance yesterday and I love it!It is called the "Dab"! You can still hold onto the Shmoney dance though..

I have become one of those people who googles the lyrics and meanings of words in songs.. I think the dance has something to do with drugs. I hope I am talking to people who know that Fetty Wap is not making Patty Labelle pies in the kitchen!

Here is a low key version:

Put some sauce in it!
And if your cardio is in point, you can try the one below with a combo of the nae-nae, whip, the quan, something called 'top drop' and many others!

There is challenge going on social media, would love to see your interpretations of this dance!

*The fact I am saying interpretations of a dance shows my age!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trep Tuesday: Too Much Hustle, Not Enough (cash) Flow

As an entrepreneur you never know when you will get your break, so you are always on the look out and ever ready! You say "yes" to way too many things because you want to be known, or seen to be known as the "guy or gal who has it going on".. whatever "it" is!

Right now with the end of the year looming, its important to secure and finalise some deals so that you get your Dezemba  money and some cash to tide you over in the first 2-3 months of the new year.

Don't be this guy
Being a poor struggling artist is romantic and deep, being a poor struggling entrepreneur is scary. 

Sometimes you feel like you are hustling endlessly, networking, connecting with people on LinkedIn, sending emails that get ignored- basically there is no recognition for your hustle. 

I would like to share a personal story to give hope to your hustle:

On 17 September 2015, Leaderex happened, for those who don't know what that is click here. I had my free ticket and  it was cool! You know the expo grind- swapping business cards, getting flyers and asking unnecessary questions. After about 2 hours of this my partner Zani decided to find a place to sit  and went to a different floor. My feet began to hurt and I followed her, only to for her to tell me about some other events on that floor.

Destiny Connect Homepage

Miraculously we walked into an event hosted by Destiny Connect and First For Women, this was a closed event but somehow we hustled our way into the room and onto the home page of Destiny Connect. We literally had not been in the room for 2 minutes when our picture was taken. We got to talk to Khanyi and get our photo with her too. She is EVERYTHING!

* We are now subscribing members to Destiny Mag! *

Then a week ago we got found out that we are in the December issue (picture above) and what a historic issue to be "featured" in with Nompendulo Mkatshwa on the cover. I wanna be her when I grow up!

Did we get our cash flow up from this? Not yet ! But we got some recognition and at times that's enough- money is better to help you feel like you are not stagnant. 

What has your hustle yielded? Any tips of how to get the cash flow up?

For the biggest year end event for entrepreneurs follow @blackout_za on Twitter and The BlackOut SA on Facebok! We want to recognise all your hard work this year!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Madness: Thank you Mom and Shonda Rhimes

The title of Shonda Rhimes' new book is 'Year of Yes', however most of the news has been about that she said no to marriage. I haven't watched the full episode yet, but its Monday and I said Yes to writing every Monday! The few clips I watched were inspiring and its  liberating to say 'yes' and probably equally to say 'no'. It all comes down to a level of maturity and self awareness where you know what you need. Do you need to stop saying Yes or start saying No? or the opposite? 

She sat down to talk to Oprah. Can we have a moment of silence to respect that synergy of  the power of these amazing black women in TV and film.

I don't want to focus on the marriage segment or the get into the "can women have it all?" discussion. We will get there, don't worry. Shonda said she likes to date and have boyfriends- both things I do not like. To be honest, I find it embarrassing to have a boyfriend. 

Mmm maybe I have poor taste

Of all the clips I saw, this one struck a nerve:

I lost my mother when I was 13. Most of the memories I have about my mother are of her at work, barefoot and behind her desk until after 9pm. On Sundays after church she would stay for a quick lunch and head back to the office. My mother was a pioneer in the legal fraternity in Botswana. She started her own law firm in her early thirties and its still standing today almost 20 years later. Plus, she was a huge Oprah fan!

My mother was not on the level of Shonda Rhimes, but if she had more time on earth she would have been on the cover of every business publication! I think she felt guilty about how much time she spent at work, so she would always make sure she gave us all of her when she was home and insisted on vacations every year! 

Today, I am so grateful for the image of womanhood she presented to me. She showed me that its ok to be a powerful woman, to be different and stand alone while  pursuing some unconventional ideas- growing up my mother had like 5 side businesses! When you see me hustling and grinding, I am simply doing what I was taught: I got it from my momma! 

It took me a while to find my voice and niche, but now that I am getting there, I think my mom would approve of this message:

What did your mom or other career moms like Shonda Rhimes teach you about life?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trep Tuesday: Global Entrepreneurship Week

I hope that you are all out there participating in some events and forums that celebrate entrepreneurship this week!

I have been privileged to be part of 2 phenomenal workshops so far!

I attended the kick off event at GIBS, the usual corporate event with big sponsors telling their good stories. My big take away (I love takeaways)  here was that the government is looking at entrepreneurs to create more than 5 million jobs as targeted in the NDP. The various government departments made it very clear that they are not hiring!

 The Global Entrepreneurship Congress will be held in Johannesburg from 13-16 March 2017. 160 Countries  and 5000 delegates are expected to be present. Use this nugget wisely and start planning!

I spent the second day at the Thinkroom. These are the unsung heroes, the guys doing all the work and are holding the hands of entrepreneurs in a tangible way. In less than 12 hours my entire tech business concept was panel beaten from the top (my state of mind, vision, leadership) to the bottom (tax, website, business cards) all at no cost.

I learnt the importance of having a team or adequate support when you embark on a journey. Some of the people will remain nameless, but the impact they had will speak for itself.

What have you guys been up to over this week? Anything you would like us to check out?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Monday Madness on Being Mary Jane

I want to start by thanking Mara Brock Akil for telling the stories of black girls in a way that is funny, real and celebrates our edges. She did phenomenal work with Girlfriends and now is back at it with Being Mary Jane!

Black Girls Rock!

When I tell people I love Mary Jane, they tend to respond with "yeah, but she doesn't have a man." Ummm, she has a pool, a Porsche, toyboy, wardrobe to die for, a thriving career, Le Creuset cookware and a beautiful home which are the things I would take over a man any day!!

Mary Jane knows her worth and she won't settle. She knows what she brings to the table and will accept nothing less than her equal- yet these things are all a problem for some women and most men. Yes, she is rude and mean spirited, but after a certain age I think some niceties can be done away with. Men are notorious for wasting the time of women with undefined goals and she wants to sift through the BS to get to the core issues.

Remember the dialogue with Sheldon regarding how he doesn't want to get married, yet he was very happy to date her knowing that she wanted to have a family. How many women do we know in this situation? You have to ask the hard questions early and risk being called crazy or you will go with the flow only to find yourself being a professional girlfriend 10 years later.

Mary Jane isn't perfect, she is far from it. She had an affair with a married man, she is selfish and wasn't the best friend she could have been to Lisa, she can take her mom for granted, she can be uppity towards other black people and very sassy to her co-workers. What I really like about MJ is that she learns from her mistakes and charts a path forward. She stopped the affair, (whats good Olivia???) She ended things with David when she saw there was no future there and she left Sheldon with his closet full of toothbrushes.

Beautifully flawed

Yes MJ wants a man and to start a family, but she is not obsessing over it! She is not letting that control her life- she has a vision for her life. She focused her energy on getting on Prime Time and now that's where she is. She is a fighter and determined to claw her way to the top, she works hard and she knows what she is doing for the most part. She can be quick on the tongue and at times ill prepared for the consequences, but who isn't?

She ain't though
In conclusion, Mary Jane is refreshing because she says to me "you are going to be alright." It may be a fictional show, but the story lines ring so true for me as single 27 year old attorney and entrepreneur in Johannesburg, South Africa.

MJ frightens the hell out of so many men and women - I think its because those people are not comfortable with a different truth.

One day, there will be a show called Being Lady Shakara :)

                                        Didn't you love when they used this song????

Friday, November 13, 2015

Oooops! Of wardrobe malfunctions

I personally  believe all women are  superheroes  ok? And I'm not even trying to  go all feminist on y'all with this one but hear me out. 

It's a pretty well-known fact that women love to look good. All the time. Even if it's  just walking to the supermarket to buy bread we want to look  good (in a seemingly  effortless  way) , or  in that long  bank queue that you just joined and your uncomfortable  heels  make you want to wince in pain but no,baby, you put on your  best 'I'm so comfortable in these six inch heels standing  in this long  queue' smile and brave it.  And shall we mention how uncomfortable spanx/tights/waist trainers (for those that prefer to go that route) can be underneath that figure-hugging dress but we still manage to hold  it together.

We put in so much effort to look our best, and most  times we succeed  but let's  talk about  the times we have failed and  done so in public. Yes, wardrobe  malfunctions. Either you're  too embarrassed  or too proud to admit it but we have  all experienced this.

My experience  just had to  be at one of my friend's bachelorette party. All the bridesmaids were  all on point, I  mean to  put it in  modern day terms we were 'on fleek' .I was wearing a cute strapless black jumpsuit with those  shoes I  mentioned in my last blog here and I  was feeling  like Beyonce up in there.

So we're partying right  and as nature would have it, occasionally  one needs to use the  bathroom and  so first time I went to  the bathroom and everything was  all good, I  mean I danced all the way to the bathroom.  (FYI - the zip on my jumpsuit was at the back from under my arms to my derriere )

So anyway all is good, people  having  fun  and it's time for  nature  call 2.0. I make my way to the bathroom aaaand this time  my zip is behaving rather stubborn so me in my attempt to discipline  the zip pulled a little  too hard  and  was left holding part of the zipper in my hand. So in my true independent  woman spirit, I thought 'Hey,I can fix this' . So now I'm attempting to unlock  this zipper  and mind you there's  a  long queue  of girls waiting to answer the  call of nature outside my stall so I  was now getting impatient,almost aggressive knocks so I decided to leave the stall  and  fix this in the bathroom in front of fifteen  strange girls. And there's nowhere to sit, I didn't even have safety pins on me to attempt to close it up. Just my luck. Long story  short, I didn't  fix it and now had to  go back  weaving  my way  through multitudes to my friends. The only way was against the  wall with my back to  the wall until I  got there  and I succeeded in doing that  and  had to end up borrowing  a long cardigan to cover my mishap for  the rest of the party but eish that ordeal was a very big ooops for me. 

I've  seen the occasional dragging of one leg due to a broken strap on a sandal, a ripped jean that's ripped in the wrong place, a broken heel..I've  seen enough to know  that all women  at some point  have had their clothes or shoes let them down at some point but what I  love is that we find ways to work around the mishaps even if it means getting someone to sew you into a  dress  while  you're  wearing it.

So, for those brave enough to confess, what has  been  your  most memorable wardrobe  malfunction ? And  how did you fix it or deal with it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Born to Win Concert: The Aftermath

The last time I went to Baseline was in 2008. This weekend, I made it a point that I would get my friend to drive that graveyard shift because all I remembered was it being a seedy weedy part of town. However to my surprise we were ushered into a well lit basement parking garage and I must say Newtown has come up!
My friend and I left the house at 11:30 pm after completing the first draft of a service level agreement for a client. There was tension and sleepiness in the car on the drive, but we were cute and ready for whatever!
I am so proud of the overall performance of all the artists primarily because the show started as soon as we walked in! Plus we had prime real estate in terms of location- we were right at the foot of the stage and got to interact with some of the musicians.
I used stock pictures because I dont carry a phone with me in the evenings. I was able to use my friends phone and those pictures are on my instagram- the feed is at the bottom of the page :)
New Talent

Yes, its upside down

Meet Miss Patty Monroe, this girl is FIREE. We need to see and hear more of her, move over Nicki! She had such great energy, fierce persona and I loved her style- sufficiently sexy.
We also heard from a guy with great abs and a girl with really sexy strapy sandal boots. I missed their names, as you can see I was distracted!

I don't think Nadia Nakai is a new artist, but there a few more things that she can still do to become a household name. She is talented and I am really proud of the female emcees we are grooming locally. They need lots of support so lets show them love! I wanna see a female artist fill up FNB Stadium! Who accepts the challenge?
Live Performances 
I will be honest, I did not have much of an expectation regarding the live elements of the concert. I have watched the MTV MAMA's, Channel O and Metro FM awards to have set the bar low- especially with hip hop artists. Lets be honest, there is a lot of alcohol breathlessness and missing of lyrics at award shows. 
I was pleasantly stunned by the performances of Dream Team, Emmy Gee and Anathi! Those guys brought it! They were hype and I really think there has been a level change in the music industry- there is more professionalism. I salute each of those guys for a stellar performance!

Bucie got me to like Black Coffee, I had no idea who he was until this song! She sang with a live band and her performance was beyond sultry. She is immensely gifted in singing and twerking! She hit the floor and my jaw followed- she is an incredible performer and anticipate to see more from her.
From Okada to Range Rover

Patoranking loves the Lord! He is a success story of how perseverance pays off -I read that he used to be a brick layer at some point in his life. He made a real connection with his fans, some even adorning him with their bracelets while he sang. He had grown men ready to trample us while shouting "WHAYASAY" at the top of their lungs. His live band was quite refreshing and authentic to his style of music, although I didn't know every song I was engaged through out. My friend  almost blew my ear drum when "Girlie O" came on, excitement doesnt even begin to describe the pandemonium when he performed that song. 
He sent us all home with a prayer and a declaration that "blessings follow you and police no go follow you."
When artists collaborate, it elevates the entire music industry and sends a strong message that says "Africa, we are one" to the rest of society, which is something politicians and business people cant relay without it looking disingenuous. 
I look forward to more concerts like this and I want to send a huge shout out my girl Dzithe and her team who worked tirelessly to pull this off! Thank you mama, you did it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Trep Tuesday: Curious Case of Cassies Career

When Cassie came on the scene circa 2005 I liked her immediately!  Rihanna had the accent, voice and forehead which were hard to get used to, but now  I'm #NavyorDie!(Rih-ly sorry). 

Cassie was cute, exotic, she danced and I could sing her songs in a tone not too far from my own. Lets be honest, she didn't have the best vocals but she was banging!

Then along came Diddy, he huffed and he puffed and he blew her career down!  Has anyone else noticed that everyone's career that Diddy touches turns to dust! Really, where is Craig Mack? While you are looking for him, please locate 112? The Lox? Lil Kim? Shyne?

Killing careers since Biggie

Now Cassie is a nude model in Diddy's commercials and she doesn't even have her own Vevo channel.

When I saw this picture below, I felt like she is the only person here who has not explored her full potential. Even Kim is killing it with her game, video and show. 

Kanye's hobo show

I'm not writing this to diss her, she is not my target audience. My view is, this girl is talented and she could have had a place in history. We can point fingers at Diddy and whoever else for tanking her talent, but at the end of the day the decision lies with her.

Its the same in business, you can't blame anyone for your lack of growth especially when you know you have a great product or service. There is no way to scale your business without putting in the extra work and partnering with the right people. No company or brand is invincible in these fast changing times where start ups are giving a established brands a run for their money- AirBnB and hotels, or Uber and taxi cabs. 

How are you keeping your brand, product or service relevant in these changing times?

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Sweet Solitude of Singleness

What is the sweet solitude of your singleness?

Ok, I’ll go first: My routines are the capstone of my singleness.

My top 3 routines I can't bear to have disturbed!

1)      My Quiet Time

I made the decision to have a daily quiet time earlier this year. It was something I had struggled with for a long time- I just couldn’t find the time, so now I make the time. The quality of my thoughts and inward life have improved, I don’t even know how I was living without it! Robin Sharma refers to this as the Holy Hour which he says should be dedicated to self-mastery and personal development. I personally take about 30-40 minutes a day each morning, sit on the floor in my bedroom and read my devotion, Bible and a chapter of a book – in that order. I also use the time to visualize some of the goals I want to achieve in that day.

2)      Friday Night Binges
I mean series binges! On Friday nights I put tools down at 6pm, make some dins and start indulging! I like to start with Quantico, then Being Mary Jane, onto Modern Family, Black-ish, Empire and top it off with Scandal. Its a  4 hour marathon that ends no later than midnight,plus I stop to watch Generations at 8 pm! 

I would not be able to handle Friday Night date nights because I need my Friday nights for my series and its not the same watching them on Saturday morning!

Here is a bonus for all the online streamers: Google 'series cravings' and 'watch your series' for some good links to series and movies.

I Run Alone

Not a goal

I like this whole 'lone wolf' vibe, but it constantly alludes me. Besides that I hate it when people do normal activities in active wear, I am all for athleisure gear, eg wearing a dress and Nikes but that is as far as I go. Next things you are on a breakfast date in tights and trainers *shudders*.

Now, your turn! If you are single, or miss being single – what is the sweetness of your solitude?  Did your kids or partner elevated that aspect or completely demolished it?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Lied

Sorry to interrupt Fashion Friday, but I have a Public Service Announcement:

Yup, I lied

When I put out the Form and Function post, I underestimated how much time it would take to  research, write and edit articles. I take about 1-2 hours on the 800 word posts and I frankly can't do that 3 times a week at this point. I love to write, but I love paying my bills even more. 

Going forward, I am pausing the posts on Thursday until I can recommit to them. We will keep the Monday Madness (The Rant) , Trep Tuesday and Fabulous Friday. Cool?

I am currently obsessed with this song, the video and Justin Beiber in general. Plus, its totally appropriate in these circumstances. Enjoy the weekend :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Trep Tuesday: Stimela Brewing Company

This weekend I had the pleasure of working along side a fellow entrepreneur, Tsikwe Molobye at a food market in Pretoria (South Africa). He is the founder of Stimela Brewing Company, that crafts premium beers.

Passion. Legacy. Excellence.

I see him at these markets regularly, but I did not know that he such an incredible story until I saw he had a videographer doing a biography on him! I was obviously interested and as soon as I saw the video I had to share it on this platform.

I hope you will see this and be inspired regardless of what your dream is. Be relentless and try again, through bad beers and late nights. Its part of an awesome journey!

If the video isn't playing directly, click here.  Look out for Part 2 which is coming soon!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Model Behaviour

No rant today. Trust me, when it comes, it will be worth the wait!

I want to share an article I wrote for Jozi Gist on two beautiful women who have great personalities and big hearts!

Not only are they supermodels, they are also role models!

Head in the clouds, Heart on the street!

Click here to see more 
Friendship Goals

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