Monthly Archives: September 2016

I’m cheesed off with your bloody makeup

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I’m sorry to say that the views you’re about to read can be extremely abhorrent and borderline unsophisticated.  I am an exception in a world where beauty and advancement in women is gauged by the quality of nails, hair, eye lashes and the powder put on their faces.  Instead, I appreciate exquisite beauty and I love simplicity.

It’s in my constitution to treat every woman with respect and tact.  And despite my views on this particular topic, I don’t and will never treat women as subjects of my indecent judgement.  I don’t think anyone should look good “for someone else” but as a human being I just happen to find a thrill when I see unblemished natural beauty. When I can’t see any of that around, I fret, which I guess is the reason for me to talk about this.

I love my African sisters.  They are amazing in so many ways.  Most of them have luscious lips, appetizing eyes and drop-dead fine faces.  But I think most often that glamor is defaced by all these cosmetics.

I am not expecting ladies in 2016 to be backward dinosaurs but I always feel a burr in my chest when pure allure is buried beneath some insipid make-up, creepy lipstick, excessively weird nails and a weave.

We are being starved of black beauty by our black sisters who seem to have adopted in their minds an epitome of how a woman should look in contrast of true attributes of natural black women.

It’s basic common sense that you don’t tinker with something that needs no fix.  I’m left wondering why you’re tampering with such beauty with your makeup.  Part of the reason, I think, we were talking about draconian rules on black hair in former Model C schools two weeks ago is because whites have gotten so used to black people wearing weaves that it almost feels eccentric when a black girl embraces her uniqueness.

Those rules were wrong on at least two counts.  One, they’re racist and secondly that they throttle nature and uniqueness.  Dare I say that in my life I see only a few dozen black women with their natural hair.  For many the experience of having “black hair” has become foreign.

In my opinion, genuine beauty is such a rare jewel.  When I spot a beautiful, natural black woman, I don’t think twice about a compliment. Sometimes I compliment originality because originality nowadays is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

There is a television commercial that speaks about character and to a broader extent genuineness.  Towards the end of this advert, there is an important question that goes “take away his award, his car, his girlfriend. What does he have left?” and that’s the question I wish to ask every woman with bogus stuff all over her body.  If you take away your artificial nails, hair, eye lashes, and lipstick.  What do you have left?

I believe that perfection is when there is nothing to take away yet you almost feel like there is nothing more to add.  Being beautiful is being yourself.

 

Wits students lend a helping hand to Hillbrow orphanage

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A GROUP of Wits students is offering aid to an orphanage in Hillbrow through their community outreach project, Batho Bothong.

The project helps 75 children, between the ages of two and eighteen from Malaika Orphanage Home with schoolwork through tutorial sessions twice a week and with items such as food, clothes, sanitary towels and stationary.

Batho Bothong volunteers tutor the children in Physical Sciences, Maths, Maths Literacy, Biology and English.  The initiator of the Batho Bothong programme, Khutjo Maganyele, said they also help with homework and other assessments for other modules when the children need assistance.

Malaika orphanage founder Juma Sebichuwu said they have seen great improvement in academic performances of the children ever since Batho Bothong came on board in 2014.

“The results of what they [Batho Bothong] have been doing here are visible to us, to guardians of these children and to them as well.  Their grades have improved a lot,” said Sebichuwu.

Malaika orphan Nondumiso Mlambo, 18, is starting the first of year of her law degree at the University of Johannesburg. She said if it wasn’t for Batho Bothong, she would not have achieved the grades that secured her a place at university.

“The programme really helped us.  We were a group of three girls (doing matric) and we all passed.  If it wasn’t for the project we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” said Mlambo.

They also organise motivational seminars for the children to motivate them.  Maganyele said it is necessary to instil positivity on children who are determined about their education and goals in life.  “The kids are passionate about where they want to go in future.  And they are such a bunch of kids, full of joy and potential,” said Maganyele.

Maganyele said he took a conscious decision to start the project as a result of the struggles he faced when he was in his first year at university as someone from a poor background.

“In my first year, I struggled with my self-image.  I had like three trousers and a few tops to wear.  And I chose to focus on people who are worse off than me,” said Magabyele.  He said he chose Malaika because of the “appalling conditions” he saw at the place.

The project was formed by Maganyele and seven of his Wits friends in 2014 with 15 volunteers at the time.  They started with few kids and he says the number has grown ever since.

When intersectionality fails among student leaders

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A discussion on the future of student movements across the country resulted in a walkout of almost all the participants at a Jozi Book Fair event at the Wits’ Science Stadium yesterday evening.

The panel discussion about where the student movement is heading after #FeesMustFall hosted a number of representatives from tertiary institutions across the country. The discussion ended in the walkout after panellists ignored the rules to allow each other to speak without interruption. Ncedisa Mpemnyama (Black First Land First) and Shaeera Kalla (Wits PYA) ended up in an argument over the interruptions while Fallist Thenjiwe Mswane expressed her fury at the behaviour of the panel and some members of the audience which seemed to spark the walkout.

Sparks flew right at the beginning of the debate when Mpemnyama proposed that white people should leave the venue “because of the symbolic and historical nature of the issue of financial exclusion on higher education”.  Oupa Lehulere, the moderator, objected to his  request saying that the issue permeates all the levels of society.  A number of other members in the half-filled auditorium also rejected the idea, despite one white individual leaving almost immediately as a result.

Kalla, one of the leaders of the 2015 Fees Must Fall protests, said students need to be introspective about their hypocrisy and move past party politics in order to make a progress in their cause.  “We need to chart a new path and we need to be changing power structures,” said Kalla.

Palesa Mcophela of UWC EFF Student Command, said last year’s 0% fee increment came through blood, sweat and tears.  “When 0% increase was announced, we had been shot,” she said. She then called for all student leaders to be self-less in the struggle for free education.

Mpemnyama said he doesn’t take seriously people who have betrayed the student struggle.  He spoke of how some students claimed an undeserved victory on Fees Must Fall while they went against the mandate given to them by students.  “If we don’t speak the politics of truth, this country will be a failed banana republic,” he said.

Nthabiseng Nooe from the University of Pretoria told the audience of her disappointment on how the government reacted to the Fees Must Fall movement last year, saying the government reacted as if “we were forty years back”.

“My expectation was that the minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET, Blade Nzimande) would discourage us from protesting because of the implications a protest would have on our future or psychological state, but his fear was about what his (Nzimande’s) government would do to us,” said Nooe.  She said although political ideology is important, there is a need for students and the broader community to unite.

There is still uncertainty about the potential increase in higher education fees in 2016 with reports circulating this weekend that university councils are likely to propose an 8% fee increment for next year.