Posted in Short stories

Dear Dance

 

Thank you for making me love me!

Thank you for making me shakey bum bum.

Thank you for getting me out of bed at midnight just to shoki.

Thank you for making me coupe decale to Awilo Logomba’s coupe bibamba when am working on an assignment due the next day.

Thank you for making me kutagurira when I miss home.

Dear dance thank you for making me feel free.

Check out the video below to learn a few moves we Africans love to use when we get down

 

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Posted in Short stories

Confused as fuck!

INSECURE

Nathan: (Speaking)

I really like his beard It is clean not like those dirty ones covered with food…. their daughter is pretty too I remember what it is like to be that young she looks so free look at her his wife she is so beautiful okay focus…. Jess just walked in why is she so late… okay….. Marj  pay attention there is an award winning poet in the room look around you everyone is writing….. but I do not understand

Stop it look around you everyone is writing

Nathan: (Speaking)

Wait!

Jess is not writing but Guin is going hard okay focus listen….fuck I cannot understand anything he is saying why am I being rude stop it Marj how can you not understand everyone else is writing start writing ……okay….. I will write that he says fuck a lot he says fuck a lot I wonder what his wife thinks about that ……mind your own business

(Laughter)

Shit wait what did he say come on man focus what don’t you understand look everyone is writing but you…. focus…. just relax…. focus

Nathan: (Speaking)

Let me grab a copy of his work I like that he is changing the narrative I have not come across many comic books with black characters

I grab a copy of one of his many comic books. I am so excited to open and read the content.

Fuck it is in Afrikaans

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Beauty, mistakes and life lessons

Highlights from the Tsitsikamma Mountain trail

Great things

  1. Fell in love with nature’s valley.
  2. Night walks on the beach are a must after this uni life.
  3. The Tsitsikamma mountains are so beautiful.
  4. Walked through breath taking forests.
  5. The countless rivers we came across while hiking saved our lives. Thanks for keeping me hydrated and icing my sore ankle.
  6. The view at the second hut on day 2 was mind blowing. Africa is beautiful.
  7. The huts we slept in had toilets and bathrooms. MASSIVE RELIEF. IN ADDITION, I really appreciated that the huts had mattresses to rest my sore legs and feet on.
  8. Met some awesome people from University and made some unforgettable memories.
  9. Will not forget the massive support I received from the team after I twisted my ankle.
  10. I did not want the hike to end but finally getting to eat something other than two-minute noodles or cuscus was everything.
  11. I have to give one big thank you to my family, would not have done this on my own and support from my fambam.

 

Shitty things

  1. Fucking twisted my ankle
  2. Fucking decided to wear new hiking boots which destroyed my toes nails. My big toes are grey now. (Advise: if this happens to you, it a sign that blood is not flowing and the best medicine is ice).
  3. Fucking packed my bag with unnecessary food and clothes, which fucked up my hiking flow (Advise: do not pack too much food for a six-day hike because you probably will not eat it but really depends on your appetite).
  4.  Fucking forgot to take a torch so I hardly saw anything at night. (Advise: Pack a torch or anything that will enable you to see at night, people will probably share with you if you do not bring a torch but trust me they are judging).
  5. Fucking could not enjoy the hiking experience as I hoped because I was thinking of my injury  most of the time.
  6. Fucking forgot to brush my teeth twice because I had to walk ahead of others because of my injury (Advise: Do not say much when this happens also being walking ahead means only nature has to deal with your bad breath when you breathe through your mouth during an incline)
  7. Fucking loved our last meal at storms river on day six BUT something needs to be done about that cheesy 50’s themed restaurant we had our lunch at. Who puts a sign up on a car that says the only people allowed to sit on an old vintage car, are women and they must be naked! Fucking infuriating.

Lessons learnt

  1. Must learn to park less when embarking on a hike for six days.
  2. Must never wear new hiking boots whilst on hike.
  3. Must cut toenails before hike.
  4. Must remember to brush when in a hurry.

       Let’s get deep

There are a number of things that may go wrong however, the hurdles I had to jump during this hike made me realise that mental strength can take us a long way, believing you can pick yourself up after you stumble is not easy but it is possible.

 

 

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Countdown to Tsitsikamma

Finally getting a break from University for a week. It has been a tough and exhausting few months however I am so excited to be spending six days away from Grahamstown doing what I love best, HIKING!

I will be hiking the  Tsitsikamma mountain trails with a group of about twelve people from the Rhodes University mountain club. We will be hiking for at least 13km for six hours everyday.

We will also be carrying our own bags and sleeping bags. This is my first official proper hike this year and am so excited.

I will be leaving on Saturday 26th so I will not be blogging until I get back. However before Saturday I will be sharing a few tips on how am getting ready and what I will be taking with me in terms of food, gear and clothing. I also look forward to writing a piece about my experience and in addition sharing with you awesome photo’s from the Tsitsikamma mountain trails.

Below I have attached some pictures from a 32km hike I did last year with the mountain in the Groendal reserve.

 

 

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De-stressing at Assegaai

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I find that University can be quite stressful sometimes which is why I recommend joining sports societies or any other societies that can allow you to engage in activities outside school work. For the past two years I have been a member of the Rhodes University Mountain Club. I initially joined because I love  nature and hiking however I have discovered that is also the best way to distress due to the hectic and sometimes overwhelming demands of Uni and social life.

This weekend despite the rain I joined the Mountain club on a two day trip to Assegaai trails a nature reserve in Grahamstown Eastern Cape South Africa. On our arrival we unfortunately had to change our plans because of the weather. The initial plan was spend the night at one of the camps inside the trails however we feared that the rain would continue making it too cold to enjoy our stay. We however decided to stay at the dorms which I can safely say was a far better idea.

We then dropped our overly packed bags, had some breakfast and then stepped into the rain to begin our hike through the purple trail. Each tree was marked purple making it easier for slow walkers like myself to take it easy and catch up with everyone else without getting lost.We walked for about 5km to the camp we had planned to spend the night. The trail was extremely slippery which made the hike incredibly difficult (I have a few scars to show for it) however the scenery was incredibly breath taking and made every fall worth it.

We had lunch at the camp. re-energized and after an hour or so we began or trail back to the dorms. We took the red trail this time to make the trip a bit more adventurous. Despite this trail being quite steep, we were greeted by several giraffes and a turtle as we got closer to our the dorms. This was definitely my highlight of the trip because I had forgotten that Assegaai is not only famous for its trails but it also happens to be a game reserve. It begun to rain again so we didn’t really have time to take enough pictures of the beautiful animals however we got back to the camp, had a good nap and later that night we spent time playing games, listening to music, eating and chatting away.

This weekend was definitely much needed and one I would recommend to anyone planning a trip to the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

 

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Once upon a failed assignment

Adventure at the Museum

I am ashamed to admit that in two years of being at Rhodes University the old white and partly brown stained building next to Drostdy Arch has never struck me as interesting. But Scifest is in town, taking me where I have never been. Believe me when I say I was shocked to see that there was actually stuff in there.

I immediately abandoned my African fresh water insect mission (sorry, Scifest) and quietly followed the pushing and shoving of eager students into a world of adventure and learning. The Albany Museum is really something else. It is a great learning space for students and adults who prefer to be in the company of artefacts and objects that are well taken care of and secure parts of our history that we tend to forget.

Each room exhibited different animal species, fossils and several traditional fishing objects I did not even know existed. From mammals to different types of insects – you name it, it all exists in that haunted looking building. I was quickly spotted by the tiny humans who discovered I had a camera in hand and they eagerly stepped forward to have their memories captured by a stranger.

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I was clearly not the only one having a great time at the museum

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We left the world of mammals and ventured into what resembled a bird sanctuary. The students stood with their cell phones taking selfies while others preferred to listen keenly to their teacher who quizzed them on what bird species were most common in Africa. I then followed the beaming smiles to a section of wetlands, were we were taught about the importance of conservation and preserving our wetlands. The knowledge shared within that space was truly exuberating.

I was content and satisfied with much of what was on display but while taking a picture of three fashion-forward students from Amazizi Senior Secondary School, I noticed that the tiny feet I had met on my way into the museum were in a room that exhibited important aspects of the AmaXhosa culture. The walls were covered with photographs of astonishing AmaXhosa women covered in traditional cosmetics. Together with photos that showcase different rites of passage practised by the AmaXhosa. In the middle of the room, a casket-looking glass cabinet displays different traditional plants, sticks and stones used by the AmaXhosa. These objects raged from Umnquma a traditional stick to Umavumbuka, a root parasite that the AmaXhosa use to prevent pimples and as sunscreen.

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Students pose for a picture while navigating a room that displayed  aspects of AmaXhosa culture at the Albany museum

Museums are there to educate and to exhibit important aspects of our history. This room in particular I felt was really important because it conserves significant parts of a culture. I was glad to be among the students as they glanced at photos and objects celebrating their culture. It was an amazing experience for me being that I am an international student living in the Eastern Cape. I felt that in that room at that moment it was the right time to ask the students if they were enjoying themselves. And in high-pitched voices they all screamed YES!

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Unforgettable experiences

Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I especially love to engage with children and find what is they are thinking or interested in. A few months ago I was lucky enough to teach Grade 7 students by partnering with Awarenet an organization located in Joza Grahamstown South Africa. Together with a few classmates of mine from Rhodes University, we embarked on a four week journey with these students teaching them how to write articles for Youth day.

The biggest challenge was really to break down how to write an article in the easiest way eleven year olds can understand. The first few weeks were particularly interesting because we got some really exciting story ideas from the students. I was impressed at how aware these students are about some of the important issues that affect a number of youth in South Africa. These story ideas raged from teen pregnancy to drug Abuse and some decided to write about the youth that inspired them.

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Group photo with Grade 7 students from Awarenet and fellow classmates from Rhodes University

Personally I learnt how to communicate and how to listen. But most importantly how to be patient. Teaching younger students can be a bit stressful especially because their minds tend to wonder constantly. The teaching process also took place in computer laboratory so that made it the teaching and guidance process even more difficult because they were more interested in surfing the net. However these particular students were also eager learners and despite a few setbacks by the end of week four we had about eight well written articles for youth day that were then published in Grahamstown’s local newspaper Grocott’s Mail.