The Era Of Situationships

This is the era of flings, friends with benefits, situationships, vibing, hanging and all the other terms that speak of an unwillingness or an inability to commit to any one person. In this era it is so hard to meet, like, get-to-know and maintain a relationship because people figure out they have so many options.

In this era we have more access to potential love interests than at any time in human history. All these people are accessible at a click of a button. I am not even talking about dating Apps I am talking about social networks.

We do not even bother to ask people about where they went to school or what their interests are because we just scroll far enough on their social media and find out things about them, if you have a PhD in stalking, you might even know who their cousin’s cousin is.

People do not date anymore. There is no going over, no picking a movie, no first date nerves because by the time we meet we know exactly what we think we are getting.

It is all too fast. It’s kind of sad for someone who appreciate some effort, being persuaded and actually reciprocate that, now it is like we are all speed dating. We tend to have most of our sexual encounters on the first date. Nothing wrong with that, but people tend to be more private about their phones than they are about their private parts.

We are taught to put in work in our education and careers but there seems to be the idea that if a relationship shows any kind of hiccup then we move swiftly on.

I am not sure the “on to the next one” philosophy to love leads us to connected, full filling relationships.

It is okay to have flings. To vibe. But to do this as a method to look for love seems self-negating to me.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sanibonani 👋🏻(that’s “Hi everyone” in IsiZulu) I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, I am so grateful and honored. Thank you Nina Yomo for the nomination, please check out her inspiring blog here for self awareness, body positivity posts and everything in between, oh, and even celebrity crushes.

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Nominate any other bloggers and write them 11 new questions (if you want!)
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your blog post.

Describe your blogging journey in three words.

Discovery, interaction and love

Who are you outside your blog?

A very shy pastor’s kid, sounds much like a paragon but no I’m not. Art lover who binge watches natural hair Youtube videos.

Which of your posts is your favorite? Why?

They all my favorite to be honest. But I choose this post of kids cooking school in Soweto because I had an opportunity to interact with young kids who can cook! And they understand the importance of eating healthily (and I got free food, of course, lol)

Do you have a daily mantra? If so, what is it?

It’s actually a bible verse, my favorite!

Faith is being sure of what we hope for Hebrews 11:1.

What is your favourite blog post and why?

My post dear fat girl in the gym I realised how hard it can be to sign that gym membership as a big girl and actually going for your sessions, I needed to remind myself and any big girl out there to keep running. Just keep running. Even that gym member who’s been there for sometime is taking a video of you while you dare the treadmill. Yes, that skinny girl who only comes here to take selfies is snickering. Yes, your personal trainer is making faces. Yes, your sweat is sketching out all your folds on your t-shirt and on your pants. Yes, you are heaving and the whole continent can hear your lungs dragging your breath. Yes, you can only run for 30 seconds at a time but just keep running.

What are the three things you are grateful for today?

Life, family and water

Which habit are you proud of breaking?

Lack of time management. Everyone who knows me will sure testify on this one, I use to be late for everything. But I realised that this was some sort of an addiction, I was addicted to the rush. But I’m glad I broke that bad habit.

What activity makes you lose track of time?

Binge watching YouTube, Instagram and a good book.

what fictional character do you relate the most to?

Princess Merida from the 2012 Disney Pixar film BRAVE

Netflix and chill or night out partying?

I’m an introvert, so Netflix and indoors chill.

What’s the last movie you watched?

When they see us

What food do you crave most often?

Pizza, avocado and chicken salad

I am not changing Nina’s questions because they cool. I want to keep them as they are for my nominees.

NOMINEES:

If you are not up for this, it’s totally fine, if interested you are more than welcome to join. But please do check out the amazing blogs of the above nominees and show some love. ❤

How to Maintain Healthy Hair

To condition or not to condition, to oil or not to oil, when it comes to your hair you’ll find all kinds of advice. Mothers’ will tell you to “oil your hair” while your hair dresser will recommend the new IT thing “hair spa, Moroccan oil, strengthening not rebonding and all.” Before you pick your choice of treatment, here are a few things you must know.

The first step in hair care regimen is your diet and the two most important things in your diet are iron and protein. The hair cells are the fastest growing cells in the body but they are also the first ones to be affected you don’t eat right or suffer with deficiencies because they are not required for survival.
Try and include iron-rich foods like leafy vegetables, fish, pumpkin seeds, beans, chickpea, soybeans and cereals in your diet.
You also need protein because that’s what strengthens your hair.Include complete proteins which are also rich in amino acids: like cheese, milk, soy, lentils, peas, quinoa and yogurt. Okay, I’m done being a doctor now.
It’s normal to lose 100 to 150 strands of hair a day so don’t panic when you see a small bunch crawling across your tiled floor.
Comb wet hair with extreme care because they’re fragile and prone to breakage.

Take a broad toothed comb and run it from the roots to the ends of your hair as gently as possible.
Trim your hair every three months or when necessary get rid of those brown and rough split ends. To avoid the split ends to grow out again.
Don’t wash your hair everyday and whenever you do, try and use the same brand of shampoo and conditioner.

I use this shampoo by http://www.nativechild.co Make sure your shampoo is sulfate and paraben free (not sponsored, I am just sharing what works for me)

1. Rinse off with warm water as it is good for both strength and shine.
Unlike the labels on the back of our food items, the labels on the back of our shampoos are mostly left unread.In the last few years, there has been a lot of focus on sulfate in shampoos.

What are sulfates? They’re the reason your shampoo lathers the way it does.They clean your scalp and hair, departing the dirt from it.

But some researchers also suggest that they strip your hair of essential oils. They’re also why your eye stings when shampoo runs down the side of your face. If you feel any kind of irritation on the scalp or find your hair drying up over time then try and buy a shampoo that’s sulfate-free.

2. After shampooing I then use a Hair Mayonnaise, but I only use it every each month, then use a deep conditioner every week after a wash, I honestly do not have any other explanation why deep conditioning is important other than “a deep conditioner is what a fabric conditioner is to your washed clothes, okay?!”

3. Apply the deep conditioner, then use a shower cap because it works well in heat. I use a Shoprite plastic shopping bag then wear my doek for 2-5 minutes. So basically I’ll be looking like Badu while at it, lol (Since I’ve been using a deep conditioner my curls are popping, I have never had defined curls before)

4. After rinsing the deep conditioner off with just water, I use my old cotton t-shirt to dry my hair, we’re in for my favorite part L.O.C if you’ve read my other posts on L.O.C you’ll know what is about and why it’s my favorite.

5. Then L.O.C – Liquid, Oil, and Cream because your hair will still slightly wet then that will be your liquid, but when your hair is dry then you’ll need to spray water on it.

Oils, avocado oil, olive oil, black jamaican castor oil, tea tree oil they plenty, and fortunate enough they can be found in your kitchen cardboard, the lockdown is not an excuse.

Apply from tips to root. I prefer a more thicker oil in winter like this Castor oil from Nativechild.

6. Finally, for sealing all the moisture I finish off with a cream.

Cantu is my favorite because of its ingredients, it got water as its first ingredient which is very good for your hair and shea butter, of course.

I alternatively use this one from MyNatural, it’s in the bucket of favorites.

How my hair looked like before deep conditioning and the L.O.C method, quite dry.

This is how it looks after deep conditioning and L.O.C, my hair feels and look moistured and my curls popping guys.

Until next time, may your ‘fro glow and grow, of course. (Does that rhyme?) 😎👊

#MenAreTrash Should Not Be An Insult To Men

Just because it’s not shown on TV, reported to the police or evidently seen by the neighbors it does not mean it stopped happening. Femicide in south africa has broken my heart over and over. As the nation fights the invisible Covid-19 peril, a highly visible epidemic of gender-based violence continues to affect women and children each day.

The past two weeks have been the worst days; everyday news were about a women who have been killed and their bodies dumped in the veld or hanged, the recent and current incidents reminded me of the last two years were we have seen an increase in social justice activism against Gender based violence smoving from the streets to social media platforms.

In 2018, the hashtag #MenAreTrash emerged as social justice activists spoke out against the ignorance and lack of awareness of endemic GBV in South African society.

The hashtag exploded on South African Twitter bringing a social issue which was often raised by activists and street protests to everyone’s lips – or fingertips in this case. The hashtag #MenAreTrash resurfaced once more in 2019 following the brutal rape and murder of University Of Cape Town (UCT) student Uyinenne Mrwetyana, along with other hashtags like #AmINext.

The hashtag #MenAreTrash was initially offensive to plenty of men.

Some tried to ignore it but it seemed like the more they did the more offensive it felt. This makes me believe that the hashtag is perfect because it does force a man to start a conversation. But the shortcoming of the hashtag is that not all women seem to understand what is about. On various occasions, I have come across women who think that this is limited to personal intimate experiences with men.

What has been common whenever #MenAreTrash was brought up regarding GBV was the knee-jerk response #NotAllMen. The #NotAllMen hashtag is reactionary, it aims to mute the conversations that the #MenAreTrash hashtag starts. If it were up to me I would crush it completely.

The latter hashtag represented those (often men) who objected to the branding of “all men” which they perceived as being grossly unfair. The #NotAllMen camp positioned themselves against #MenAreTrash by taking offense at being labelled as “trash”, while others pointed to equally horrendous actions carried out by women in an attempt to show that there’s enough blame to go around. Many women also took up the #NotAllMen tag by telling stories of men who have supported and carried them through their lives, and of how the men in their lives valued and cared for them.

The #MenAreTrash is an outcry, it should not be offensive to anyone but provoke introspection, start conversations between men so to come up with a backet of practical and sustainable solutions.

The conversations spawning from these hashtags can shine invaluable light on why GBV is made harder by societal patriarchal biases that are often in place. Having brought millions of people online to discussing these contentious issues, these hashtags offer us an opportunity to start a conversation on GBV. The ultimate purpose of activism is to bring about public awareness which can then turn into actions discussions and finally result in a positive change. So rather than seeing this as a new frontier of war, it should be seen as a great opportunity to educate and facilitate dialogue between millions of people in matters of women’s empowerment, GBV and gender-based abuse against both men and women.

Celebrating Youth Day under The “New Normal” Lockdown

As we pause to celebrate the spirit of the young of South Africa on Youth Day this June 16 we must remember many of them are suffering in the scary, uncertain, world of COVID-19 with the same underlying iniquities that drove them to rebellion in 1976.

June 16 is a very special day on the South African calendar. For the past years the 16th of June meant a mass gathering of people from all the corners of the world, events, taking of pictures and people chanting “Senzeni Na?” (also spelled Senzenina, English: (What have we done?) Which is a SouthAfrican anti- apartheid folksong.

Under the “new normal” Hector Pieterson Museum looks like a deserted place.

This year, millions of people will be observing the day while indoors. This is because South Africa is currently under lockdown and mass gatherings are prohibited.

Why do we celebrate Youth Day on June 16?

Youth Day commemorates the June 16 youth uprisings that began in Soweto back in 1976. Thousands of South African youths took a stand against the Bantu Education Act that made it compulsory for black learners to learn certain subjects with Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. June 16 was the day that set the wheels of change in motion.

What was happening on June 16?

Thousands of learners had planned to protest on June 16, 1976, peacefully, and got ambushed by apartheid police. Police opened fire, and it’s estimated that 176 students lost their lives, with over 4000 injured. The uprising resulted in international pressure and sanctions against the apartheid government.

Why is June 16 important to South Africans?

On June 16, we celebrate the sacrifice and contribution that the youth of this country had in fighting systematic oppression. The day seeks to recognize that the youth who lost their lives and had a tremendous impact on the liberation movement.

The big question, lol. How can we celebrate Youth Day 2020?

Youth Day 2020 in South Africa will be different than previous years because gatherings are not allowed, and social distancing is still the order of the day. But there are a few things you can do to commemorate the day.

How do we honour Youth Day in lockdown?

There are small things that we can do as individuals to commemorate the sacrifice that the students had to make at that time:

Learn more about the history of our country

It’s essential to know what our country went through to get to where we are today. We still have a long way to go, but we have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, and it’s through the sacrifice of those who protested during those times. Watch a documentary or read up on the liberation struggle.

Research the current movements that are happening in our country and support

Lending a helping hand can be as easy as a retweet or signing a petition. The struggle for equality is far from over, and there are various issues that you can lend your voice to.

Take care of yourself

June 16 is a public holiday, so take the day to relax. Living in unprecedented times is not easy. Life as we know it has completely changed and it can be taxing to your mental health. Take the day to practice some self-care; meditate, read a book or do any activity that brings you joy.

Pandemic-sized acts of kindness during COVID-19

Social distancing does not need to mean a social disconnection from showing kindness. With global statistics giving rise to feelings of overwhelm and new daily complexities, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is psychosocial and emotional as it is physical and economical.

In our South African context, it may seem like we are somewhere between coping as a nation and unsure of how much of this new normal we can take. We may be at different places individually based on how the pandemic has affected us so far.

By just looking at other countries further into their lockdowns, in our own communities and in our families, “easy” does not describe the human experience. There may be a need to be kinder to ourselves and each other as the spirit of Ubuntu, that we have sought to ingrain into our society, is greatly tested.

“You are only as protected as the least protected person in our community” – Graeme Codrington

In South Africa, there are many barriers to a better quality of life. Many people are unable to properly access human rights like education, healthcare, safety, meaningful work or dignified recognition if marginalised.

Secure housing that won’t be demolished or food are not easy to get, as we see how some can afford to stockpile whilst others desperately need to queue for food parcels risking COVID-19 infection or law enforcement enquiries along the way.

The multiple effects of the current pandemic seem to have magnified these vulnerabilities of inequality present in our society, considering that the government has needed to provide a R500bn relief plan, as announced by President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa in his national address on 21 April 2020.

Whilst these billions are geared at helping as many people as possible to survive the lockdown and live beyond it, this is in addition to earlier efforts. The call for acts of kindness as expressed by the President, could not be any louder during this pandemic. It is an astounding time that has seen encouraging acts of kindness by staying at home, by essential workers, healthcare workers, psychology professionals, businesses, NPOs, NGOs, educators, communities and individuals in many villages, cities and townships.

South Africa’s history reveals how the enduring spirit and resilience stitches our social fabric together; cut and shaped by collective traumas such as apartheid and pandemics like HIV/Aids or gender-based violence. Nations are changing as we see COVID-19 altering our reality in ways that should shift us towards kindness all the more.

Keeping hope alive through acts of kindness, it has been inspiring to observe what digitally initiated acts of kindness have looked like during this time for via various platforms, some examples include the Global Citizenvirtual concert, Mental Health support forums such as The Counselling Hub or SADAG, Professional bodies, the Solidarity Fund, Browniepoints, Africa, GoodThingsGuy, LinkedIn, Initiatives like Malaika Mahlatsi’s, creative artists in SA, Facebook neighbourhood forums, free online resource platforms and student support platforms including Voices Unite in educational sectors.

What can pandemic-sized kindness look like? How much better it would be to continue getting through this pandemic with Ubuntu and ukuzwelana (A Zulu word for ‘gracious generous kindness’), feeling freer to sacrifice some comfort and energy to help others whilst still acting responsibly in the interest of our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Acts of kindness from home can include:

  • Sharing kind words of encouragement,
  • Sharing your feelings of collective vulnerability with others,
  • Sharing extra food, clothes or data (some NGOs have permission to collect from homes),
  • Sharing info on where to find coping & de-stressing resources or free counselling services,
  • Sharing links for free learning resources useful to students and learners,
  • Sharing accountability for this pandemic-sized kindness that requires all of our actions.

Compassion fatigue may creep in for some, considering the extent of the needs to be met out there. Associated feelings of indifference to appeals for help may understandably be brought on by overwhelming personal situations requiring self-care prioritisation, others’ disheartening attempts to take advantage of kindness or frustrations linked to resource allocation.

Reconsidering the intentions behind giving has sparked online conversations about the appropriateness of taking photos when carrying out acts of kindness; whether it is for vanity or to visibly encourage others to also give in charitable ways.

Once we have each reasoned squarely with this new normal, may we wrestle with our own hearts to act on opportunities to help because

“Also highly contagious is kindness, patience, love, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Don’t wait to catch it from others. Be the carrier of kindness” (SIOPSA quote).

Ps: I was going through my African Languages and Culture in Practice exam question paper earlier on today. I thought I should share this with you.

To those who are also writing online exams, all the best ❤

How to Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

For many rice is food, in fact rice is most widely consumed in many parts of the world, BUT for some, rice is a beauty product! Have you seen blogs titled: Rice water for Hair Growth? If you haven’t then you are in the right place because I will share my experience of using rice water to grow healthy hair.

Can rice water be used to grow natural hair?

Rice water is believed to benefit the hair in very many ways. Consistent and correct use of rice water promotes healthy hair growth, improves shines and elasticity and effectively conditions the hair by smoothing the cuticles and reducing the surface friction which prevents the strands from tangling.

What is rice water?

Rice water is the milky liquid left over after soaking, washing or boiling rice. Rice water is believed to be beneficial to both the skin, as a toner and hair as a conditioner.
The rice water craze has recently been trending among hair bloggers especially natural 4C Hair bloggers, I personally came across the rice water terminology 3 years after going natural! I wish I discovered it earlier!
Since the very first time I used rice water on my natural 4C hair , I have never looked back. I currently use rice water almost every day (in a spray bottle)but when I started out, I would use it on a weekly basis during wash days.
:Before using rice water
The most remarkable thing I noticed when I started using the rice water was that it instantly conditioned my hair, making it super soft and super easy to detangle. In fact, these days I primarily use rice water for detangling and as a conditioner
:Now that I am using rice water • I add Nativechild Castor oil as an essential oil.

Benefits of rice water in 4C hair

What makes rice water such a phenomenal hair product? This is a questions that so many natural hair enthusiasts are asking. Below we will explore the various benefits you will get from using rice water on your natural hair care regimen.

1. Promotes hair growth

Rice water contains amino acids that helps in hair regeneration. Rice water also contains Vitamins B, C and E which further promotes hair growth. Consistent use of rice water has been proven to promote hair growth as evidenced in Asian women.
I have consistently used rice water for over 6 months and I have noticed faster growth. My breakage has also reduced significantly.

2. Protects hair from damage

Rice water contains inositol which is a carbohydrate that can repair damaged hair. Even after rinsing off the rice water, Inositol stays in the hair acting as a protective shield.

3. Increases shine and improves hair elasticity

The amino acids contained in the rice water strengthens the hair roots, increases the hair volume and makes the hair smooth and shiny. Even after a wash and go I notice that my hair does not feel or look dry.

4. Detangles hair

Rice water smoothens the cuticles and reduces the surface friction which helps the strands of the hair not to tangle.

How to make rice water for 4C hair growth

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1- No Boil Method

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 3 drops of an essential oil (this is optional/ I use Nativechild Castor oil, if you don’t have, grab a bottle of Olive Oil in your kitchen
  • Used as an essential oil ❤
(If you have been following my blog you’d know that I solely depend on DIY and I love purchasing my DIY hair products, if you’re new thank you for coming through and welcome to my backyard)
  1. Place clean rice in container and add water.
  2. Swirl it using a spoon in a round motion.
  3. Leave it to sit for 30 minutes in room temperature, the longer the better so that all nutrients are obtained from the rice.
  4. Strain the rice water and add 3 drops of an essential oil
  5. Rinse/spray your hair with the rice water

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2- Minimalist/simple method

Are you already worried that after soaking the rice there is going to be wastage? I had a similar concern until I discovered a simple ‘life hack’ in preparing rice water.
  1. On the day you are cooking rice, start by washing your rice. Pour out the water from this wash as it may contain impurities depending on the quality and where you purchase your rice.
  2. Proceed to do a ‘second’ wash but this time do not pour away the water. Store the water in a jar for up-to 24 hours and voila! you have rice water and no wastage.
  3. Why this works: When you are washing the rice you intend to cook, because of quantity, the water resulting from the wash has a lot of minerals in it hence can be used for your hair.

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3- Fermentation Method

Ingredients
  • ½ cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 3 drops of an essential oil
  1. Place clean rice in a container and add water.
  2. Swirl it using a spoon in a round motion.
  3. Cover and leave the rice water to sit in room temperature for 1-2 days.
  4. Strain the rice water and add 3 drops of an essential oil.
  5. Rinse/spray your hair with the rice water.
  6. Store the fermented rice water in the fridge to stop further fermentation

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4- Boiled rice water

Ingredients
  • ½ cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 3 drops of an essential oil
  1. Boil water as you normally cook rice
  2. Add twice the amount of water as you normally measure.
  3. When the rice nearly cooked, strain the water out and let it cool under room temperature
  4. Add 3 drops of an essential oil
  5. Rinse/spray your hair with the rice water
**You can vary the quantities based on your hair volume, frequency of use and your desired concentration of the rice water. The quantities below are what I have found to work best for my hair type and volume. *

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How to use rice water on 4C hair

I have experimented with several methods for using rice water and I have found the following to be the most effective ways. You can get as creative as you want after you have tested how your hair reacts with rice water.

1- Use rice water for detangling hair

When applied to hair, rice water instantly conditions the hair making it soft and easy to detangle. Rice water smoothens the cuticles and reduces surface friction which prevents the strands from tangling.
  • Use your preferred preparation method (from the list above) to prepare your rice water
  • Spray your hair with warm water to make it damp not wet.
  • Using a spray bottle, apply the rice water generously to your hair until you starts feeling the softness. (if you don’t have a spray bottle, slowly pour the rice water on your hair using a jar, contain the overflow by using a basin. You can reuse the overflow during the same session)
  • Leave the rice water in for about 5 minutes and then proceed to gently finger detangle your hair.
  • Rinse your hair and proceed with your hair care routine.

2- As a shampoo/Add it to your shampoo

  • Because of its effective conditioning properties, adding rice water to your shampoo makes a big difference in your wash day. The hair will be much easier to manage as you wash it.
  • Another way to use rice water as a washing agent is to prepare your own shampoo using rice water. If you are a DIY person like me who prefers to carefully examine what is in your products, then you should try this. To make the shampoo, simply add liquid soap to your fermented rice water. For added benefits, you can add an essential oil to your mixture.

3- Hair Rinse/Conditioner

  • One of the most popular ways the natural hair community is using rice water as a hair rinse. This is achieved by using the rice water to rinse your hair after shampooing. Leave the rice in for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with plain water. For a more pleasant smell, add an essential oil to your rice water.

❤ : Let’s try these methods for 3 weeks to a month and come back comment to share your journey. For now you may like, suscribe and share to a fellow sister, I’d be pleased to answer any natural 4c hair related questions. The trick is to enjoy every stage of your hair. ✌

A Faith Reflection

In the wake of crisis, questions often arise in religious circles about God’s role in human suffering.

The coronavirus has been no different, as thousands die and leave behind mourning loved ones. Many are looking for hope, spiritual support, and healing. We also need accurate solution-oriented news.

Phumzile Nxumalo from Grace Bible Church Counselling Department shares her perspectives on the coronavirus pandemic, she says coronavirus is not only a test of faith but a solidifying agent of faith.

“When you are in difficult times, that’s when you actually get to practice faith,” related Nxumalo.

She points to the 7th chapter of Exodus verse 14 in the bible:

“And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it. He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is better in conduct. He is the almighty the forgiving.”

From Nxumalo’s perspective, she says,

“I don’t think God caused the coronavirus, but I see God’s work everywhere, in every single person who makes the decision to love their neighbour as themselves, in every person who is staying home even though it’s not convenient, in every doctor, nurse and health care worker who are putting themselves at risk, in every grocery store worker. The evidence of God’s goodness is in every place.”

Nxumalo furthermore acknowledged President Cyril Ramaphosa on the decisions he took to keep the nation safe from coronavirus.

“It is very important to pray for those in authority, especially in such times. President Ramaphosa is making crucial decision as majors to keep South Africa safe from the virus I believe he is doing his best,” concluded Nxumalo.

Lockdown Hits Informal Traders

While we are huddled at home, trying to learn new routines and working from home. One of the very many concerns surrounding the impact of the lockdown relates to access to food.

The rules with respect to supermarkets, and our access to them during the lockdown, are reasonably clear.

However, while supermarkets are key to South Africa’s food system, there are other food outlets and distributors that are equally, if not more, important, particularly when it comes to the ability of people living in townships and informal settlements to access food.

One key question concerns the permissibility of food systems that operate as an alternative to supermarkets.

This could refer to spaza shops and informal traders. Are they permitted to continue operating?

On Thursday 02 April 2020, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced informal traders could again start earning during the lockdown.

She warned some of the 21-day lockdown regulations could change, with some being relaxed and others tightened.

“We have learned a few lessons from the past week of the lockdown. We have realised that the spaza shops were supposed to be open, but for some reasons were asked to close. We are clarifying that all spaza shops should be opened. We have included informal food traders. Informal food traders must get a permit from their ward councillors or their municipality,” related Dlamini-Zuma.

Following the minister’s order, Elizabeth Sithole more commonly known as “sis Eli” to the street vendors in Ndofaya mall Meadowlands zone 5, stirred up in the early hours on Friday 03 April 2020 headed to 66 Jorissen Street Braamfontein for her permit registration.

She has been selling vegetables on the corner of Marsh Street for more than three years.

Elizabeth Sithole (in red top)

Sithole, 34, said she got into the informal trade through her mother who was also a street vendor in Meadowlands.

She lives in a backroom in Meadowlands with three other family members including her children.

“This table right here is the livelihood of my whole family, we went from sleeping on the streets to trying to make a living for ourselves through this,” she said pointing to her stand.

On most days Sithole works a 12 hour shift, settling up her stand at 7 am and leaving at about 7pm. But she said the money she takes home monthly, about R1, 200, does assist her family to purchase essentials like food and sanitary stuffs.

“Though I do have a permit to sell, since the lockdown began I have been really struggling because only few people are buying the veggies which means I no longer make enough money,” related Sithole.

The informal traders in Soweto who insisted on remaining anonymous have long in full swing trading inside their houses without temporary permits, arguing that hunger is intensifying in their homes.

“We only started on Saturday because things were really bad. We could not wait to get a permit first. Hunger was taking its toll in the family. My husband and I sell fruits and vegetables here at home.

We take care of our 5 children. There was absolutely nothing in the house. We had to take our chance and try to sell. We really had no choice,” says the traders.

The lockdown regulations placed an obligation on retail shops, malls and informal traders where essential goods are sold to put in place controls to ensure that customers keep a distance of at least one square metre from each other, and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the exposure of persons to Covid-19 are adhered to.


People are still encouraged to keep South Africa safe during Covid-19 by:

• 🤲Washing hands with soap

• 🏡 Staying at home (given if you feel fine you can still spread it)

•⛪🛐 Stop going to places of worship

• 👥👥Stop socialising

• 🤝 (this gonna be a hard one) Do not shake hands or hug

• 🛍🛍🛒Stop panic-buying

• 📣📲Stop spreading fake news

The Black Woman Is Not God

When you say she is God, you put the weight of the world and it’s issues on her shoulders. You expect her to “man up” while remaining 101% woman.

You blame her for your shortcomings then demand she fix you. You expect her to be your mother, your wife, your side chick, your babygirl, your healer, your maid.

You want her to build you up yet submit to what she built. You want her to endure your hell and recklessness as you do you, while focusing on becoming a better woman fit to serve you.

You want her to birth your children and birth you too. You want her to cover and protect you rather than you taking responsibility and covering her.

You want her light skinned and thin with long hair, only to say she isn’t thick, plump, tall, short enough. You want her to defend you and herself, then call her masculine when she does what you failed to do.

The black woman is not God.

-Picture: Samere Tansley