Black Tax

Some say it’s black tax. I call it Voluntary Social Investment  (VSI).

I call it an investment into the future of black child. Into my own blood that runs through my veins. The same blood that contributed into making me who I am. The same blood that made my wildest dreams come true.

Why is it tax? Was it not investment when it was someone’s turn to pay it for me?

I grew up curious and secretly meddled up in my parents, aunts and their friends’ business.

Camping in my parent’s bedroom when they leave the house was my favourite pastime. I’d roam through drawers, read their payslips and bank statements; try to understand their many insurance policies and what they mean, how they work. sometimes one would also listen to their conversations about their challenges and their future plans (what does an ear do when its idle? It listens).

I learnt a lot in this time. I got to know what it took for everything to be so beautiful and rosy. I was privy to the tensions of needing to get things done and the universe saying NO. I overheard mom’s conversations with her friends trying to support each other, figuring out how to change the story from one of abject poverty to one of bright positive change.

They did great, here we are, living proof! Those Mashonisa journeys and endless stokvel deals of who is doing what for whom have paid off. Most of my parents’ circles and families have had opportunities to change the story from one of lack and poverty to one of education, success and riches for some.

I saw families and friends come together and support one another. This exchange has continued to produce noble citizens, educated loved ones and a few riches too! I realise when I look upon the generations before them that, it has been quite a generational journey, making means to make tomorrow better than yesterday for society.

So, when it is my turn to do same, I always think to myself,

“Dear God, why do I owe such honour? To be a tool that advances a fellow human being into their future!”

Now, I say this knowing that I have not always seen things this way. One has gone and neglected some parts that contributed to where we are because it was easier and convenient to do so. Thinking that one needs to satisfy oneself more therefore someone else will do it. It does haunt me though sometimes. I guess I always think to myself, I wish I had chosen differently. I recognise also that I did not have today’s wisdom then. So I endeavour to forgive myself every time regret surfaces instead of vilifying myself with perpetual guilt.

It is sometimes easier to be in the receiving end than it is to be in the giving one. Giving takes heart. This is because for you to give sometimes, it means pausing something in your own plan.

It means recognising that someone needs more than you want therefore you choose for them to have what they need instead as a gesture of Ubuntu.

When the heart sees that gesture as tax, then maybe you should not even bother! Blessed is the heart that gives freely and lovingly. It is an investment in a human being. Not a liability in your balance sheet.

For we are here to serveWhen you give freely upon your own recognition of need and your decision to change that story, the universe rewards you immensely.

I know this because I am living proof of God’s mercy and investment in his people. I know it through every gesture of kindness that lands on my lap just as I need it while scratching my head trying to figure out how to move ahead in this journey called life.

Thank you for life, Jah.

Thank you for every human being that sees my need and decides to change my story. I hope your investment in me pays off and reverberates for generations to come.

I thank YOU❤.

My Investment

I choose to invest in my society.

In this era of investing, the craze about share trading, financial wealth literacy etc. that has taken over the landscape, I realise how risk averse I am.

Yes, risk is my middle name.

I risk it all, all the time.

But not this time.

It is worrying me that everyone is on the same bandwagon. It scares me that if we all follow that same route of putting our money in other people’s potty (instead of our own), we fall into the trap of losing our everything to a few already wealthy and greedy business people waiting to pounce on our hard-earned rewards. Just to add a few more billions to their riches.

– Why and how do stock markets crash?

– Who benefits the most and who loses the most?

– How do the investees account for the losses?

Until such a time when I can answer these questions above and feel ease that it is worth the risk, I will continue to put my money where my mouth is; building and investing in my children and future generation’s real future, our society.

I believe that if we all put our money where our mouths are, investing in developing our own societies; we would not need to take such high risks considering we are considered the bottom of the food chain by the very people we want to entrust with our treasures and futures.

Wake up black child, are you free or are you dom?

Freedom, financial freedom, is not a bank balance nor a share certificate.

Building

I watched my mother build a school.

Yes. I watched my mother build a school. I was 7 years old or so when it started and so badly wanted to go to this school. I could not though, I was already ahead in class.

It started with her as the only teacher and a single Sub-A class; working from a rondavel at her uncle’s home. She had actually grown up at that same home in her early years.

I asked her a few years ago, one of those conversations during her illness. “Why did you do it? ” She said that she could not say No, when the community asked her to build them a school. She felt that if she doesn’t do it who will? This was a community that had raised her, so when they asked her to fulfill her destiny and build them a school, she could not say NO.

Before that I knew that schools had always been there. I never knew how they get to be there. It is the same school I look at every time I am home and wonder, “How did my mother do this?”

“Were you not afraid that you would fail? ” I am already pondering all kinds of things I would imagine could go wrong when you do something so drastic.

She said that she did not do it alone. She had the whole community supporting her. The community wanted the school to work and grow; so that their children do not have to walk long distances in terrible conditions to school.

Let me tell you a story, about how my mother built a school, Makhuleng Higher Primary School.

The Other Day,

I decided to stop living my life a paycheck away from being broke still thinking that all is well.

I decided to be bold and be broke if that is my reality. I decided to live the way I please, if I am broke anyway I have nothing to lose. Yet I have so much to lose. Stark reminder that the home is ours for as long as the shark is fed every month. If I am to reclaim my freedom, let’s start with financial freedom. My way. My system. My network. My passion. My people.

I decided to just do what I want to do to get to where I want to be.

So many underlying passions and the things I love. Which one first?

Someone asked me the other day, and my answer was interior design. Is it really though?

If it really is, why am I so lazy to do the work required in the course I have been dying to enroll in for so many years? Or find ways to make the seed I have planted, Zenwa, grow?

I am a facilitator of change. In my being. People point it out to me so often and say, “stop doing your work on us”. Very surprising because at that very moment, all I would be is me.

Truth is, what has captured my heart right now is The Kitchen. Why?

I am lazy to cook, yet inspired to. The space feels like it needs to allow me to breeze through it creating magic, instead of trying to make do of the little space and resources available. We pretty much have most of what we need. Every day when something new happens I rejoice that we are getting closer to full function. We dont need more space, we need full function of existing space.

Strive on Ncumisa. Right now The Kitchen is the platform that is giving you an opportunity to transform not only people’s lives through their food experience, but also to showcase how design can transforn our lives, perceptions and experiences.

You are a facilitator of change, and right now The Kitchen has your calling in its ♥.

Corporate Laden

The heading or topic was written 3 months ago or so.

Days and nights and mealtimes and playtimes and drinking times were filled with work. If they ever existed at all. Tons of work, endless visits to anyone who can shed a light to what seemed like the most exciting mountain to climb yet taking everything out of the body and soul.

Cousins became mentors, best friends became coaches. Good friends became sound boards. Everything stopped. But work.

Until one day, on the freeway, after yet another late night, almost midnight to be exact, everything went fuzzy. Legs went numb. hands trembled profusely and the feet did the only thing they could possibly do, hit the brakes.

When the ordeal was finally over, home safely and sound, relief came in the most unexpected way. A brand new True Love magazine on the kitchen counter and still sealed. Well, anything to take the mind off recent events would definitely be most welcome, unaware that it had the message from God. Clarifying what had occupied the mind for at least 2 weeks before. There was the most difficult turning point that had to be taken.

And this would be the defining point in a lot of ways. The thing is choices are always the most difficult when the obvious choice in the heart just seems like the dumbest choice in the mind.

Stay in the dayless nightless funless drinkless exciting adrenaline filled “NEW” job offering mind spinning OMG that much cash in the bank?
Or move on to where the heart is, and hopefully relief will come in many ways? Even though that dream car may still just be strongly contemplated and saved up for??

Well, the heart always finds its way. Thank God He intervened. Through an article in a magazine.

The mountain is great, when it is fun, and fuzzy still, but mostly when you can still enjoy the ordinary in life. To just be, sometimes. Never for the money, purely for the love.

Flash-fashion-forward!!!

It is 2013, and what better way to start off the new year on a fresh exciting note!!!

Okay, my only new year’s resolution, is to put a bit more time and effort into this space, and, please Lawd help me, find inspiration not in pain and heartache, but the everyday joys and pleasures.

One pleasure I indulge myself in every morning, that usually determines my attitude for the day ahead, is my outfit for the day. I should mention, I love shopping like all women, and unfortunately, sometimes you can only do so little shopping with a tight budget, so, creativity starts kicking in.

I will be documenting some of my inspirational “recycled” outfits now and again. Well, by recycled I don’t mean I will be showing you outfits made out of plastic and all sorts of recycled material, (I’m not that brave / daring), but rather how to take an item and dress it in different ways, such that only the few will notice that it’s the same clothes in different ways over and over!!!

And also, when the cents run low, you will be surprised how many good clothing items you have in your closet that haven’t had your attention nor sight in a very long time. Those resurface and make the perfect company to my staples.

So, to 2013, may you unleash the shoestring budget fashionista in me, and regularly inspire me to share with you and you and you!!!!!