lights! camera! action!

The one in the movie
Imagine slowing… waking up from a deep sleep, and as you begin to stretch your body, as you begin to open your eyes just as you begin to familarise yourself with your surroundings, just as you look to your window to see how the weather is like that morning, you hear the following words.

“Lights! Camera! Action!”

You look around and find yourself on what looks like a movie set, a one take only, no script , no rehearsal, no director movie set. And to top it all off, you are the main character… the star of the show.

Quote
“It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worth cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

This is most probably one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever written, I’ve had the conversation more times than I can remember… My tribe knows this all to well I’ve bounced this idea on them every chance I get and yet I struggle to transfer my words and thoughts onto paper… It makes more sense when I’m saying it than when I’m writing it.

The short description of the movie set sounds all corny and farfetched right? Fave would probably say “you watch too many movies” which is true I am a movie fanatic and perhaps that is what led to this epiphany…

I had this realization on random morning in October 2021, I had been off work for two weeks attending an online training course, the first two days were a walk in the park, on the third day waking up became a mission I struggled but still managed to shower and have breakfast before the lesson started. At some point I was slowly falling behind and not really paying attention (this was an online training and I’m more of a, show up and sit in the front of the class type of person, doodling so that I don’t fall asleep) I was fighting with myself every day just to get through the day having given the best of myself to the task at hand. The fighting became a daily thing and on some mornings no amount of fighting would make it easy to get up and get things done. And then it suddenly hit me, while having a conversation with myself I asked ” if you died today, what would you have achieved today ” I had to be honest with myself and say well… ” it could be said I woke up and spent an hour hopping from one app to the next killing time I didn’t really have” I remember feeling like this is a mediocre way to live, I can’t wake up and just lie in bed until I was late like I didnt know what needed to be done for the day.

Now being the imaginative type I imagined I was on the set of a movie, that from the time I woke up until I went to bed my life is being recorded and this is my life’s story a movie that people would be watching. While it may sound corny this helped me be more conscious of what I was doing, why I was doing it and the contributions it could potentially have on my life. Being the staunch movie fanatic that I am, I couldn’t imagine myself watching a bad movie, why then would I make, live out a bad boring movie, that would only waste peoples time. I take offense to bad movies, why would I make a bad movie?

It could be said that out lives are like the short description of the movie scene mentioned earlier, from the time we wake up until we go back to bed, from the moment we are born until the day we die every action we take or don’t take contributes immensely to the quality of the type of life we want to live. And if we are to win, we cannot flirt with the idea of living, play footsie under the table with the idea of success. Winning and whatever definition you use for it requires you to be an active participant in your lifes story, to leave nothing to chance… The people who are killing it in this life thing, are decisive,they plan and follow through on those plans, they are not flirting with the idea of living.

Wa Lena
Judith Mokoena
Sometimes I write

Grasping at straws

It’s been a while since I last wrote.
I’ve been trying to put pen to paper for a while now, but I can never find the words to articulate what and how I am feeling… Humor me as I grasp at these straws.
There is so much happening in the world, sometimes it even feels as though everything is happening at a rate faster than my mind can comprehend, at a rate faster than I can adjust to. It feels like I’m chasing a plastic ball being blow by the wind, and just when I think I’ve got it. The wind blows again, only harder and in a different direction, and without taking a break, a sip of water or gathering my thoughts about what is happening… I find myself having to run of into the distance chasing after a plastic ball being blown by the wind.
Sometimes there is a dog chasing me down also going after the ball, other times it’s raining, windy dusty.
Deep Sigh…
This doesn’t quite capture how living in a pandemic has been for me.
The wind in the story is a reference to a number of things, namely the COVID 19, vaccinations, the constantly rising petrol prices, increasing taxes, potholes load shedding, a corrupt government, the list is endless.
The ball in the story above is a one of a number of things. At times its my sanity, an ongoing battle to keep the faith, to keeping my head above the waters so that I don’t drow. Other times it’s my peace, to be calm and in tune to my self in these confusing times. Other times it is hope, to remain hopeful for the future, hope that it will get better, hope that this is not how or where it ends, a reminder to not give up on myself and those around me. Other time it’s my dreams, the desires of my heart… To keep on keeping on.
Which is why even when the wind blows the ball in a different direction I keep on chasing, when I slip and fall I keep chasing, when my knees are bleeding and I am limping I keep chasing, when this ball gets caught in the shrubs I work to get it out. When this ball gets deflated, I get a pump and pump it back to the right pressure point.
There is no one size fits all scenario, not everyone will tell their story using a plastic ball and the wind. However we all have a something to say about living life in a pandemic, I couldn’t have done it, or continue to do it without the beautiful souls surrounding me, and the higher power that holds my very being.
In closing, we all have a ball that we are chasing.
In the wind, when it rains in the dust and scorching sun. Live is hard, that is a truth we all have to come to terms with, to be living in South Africa in a pandemic makes it even more difficult. But don’t despair, keep chasing your ball, find GOD in all of this… chasing the ball is not so challenging when you have a higher power by your side.
Wa lena
Judith Mokoena
(Sometimes I write)

Speak Life

Never stop speaking life into your future
Speak life to your family
Speak life to your health
Speak life to your relationships
Speak life to your career
Speak life to your finances
Speak life to your life
And let the beautiful words you speak and boldly declare be followed by relentless action.

Downfall of Fees and Corruption

“Struggle is a never ending process . Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation” Coretta Scott King
The struggle of our generation amongs many other issues, is fees must fall and though there is a lot of skepticism about whether or not it is feasible , it would be a disgrace to those that fought for the freedom of our Country if all that our generation is remembered for is fees must fall .This is an opportune moment to call out corruption in South Africa , together with those that sold our parents dreams of free education while enriching themselves at the expense of the tax payer .

Which reminds me of a statement I once shared with a friend that left me almost one friend less … I had simply said :”I would like to thank the apartheid government  for building universities , had it not been for them where would I have gotten my education “ my friend took great offence , told me how ungrateful I was … told me of How under the current government students able to get an education (NFSAS) and told me of RDPs , grants and what not . All of this because I had simply pointed out my gratitude to those who had foresight and invested in Institutions of higher learning , education was somewhat a priority to them. An Education because , our Government has not shown an interest in educating its citizens, you see it in the forever changing  education system , from OBE to CAPS and which ever ones I might have left out … and though this may mean the system is being monitored , analysed and audited …it can not be so if the current Matric Promotional Requirements are as they stand , how can 30% suffice a pass .In my days that was simply a fail … But back to the issue at hand .

Since coming into power in 1994 The current Government  has only built one university , Yes! One University which I can’t say much about at this stage .This is just an indication of how serious they really about their citizens. This fact is always received with so much hostility and comments of how young our democracy is and how are government is still getting a hang of the ropes . To hell with that didn’t our so called government have a plan post-apartheid? Where are the blue prints of the new South Africa they fought for? The action plan ? Better yet , going forward where are they taking us ?

And although this is only an opinion , it does give you a sense of where I’m coming from .Paint but a portion of the bigger yet unknown picture .And so this cycle of empty promises and corruption should come to a stand still , The truth needs to be told , people called to order and held accountable .

Which is why I’m of the view that when protesting for fees must fall, let us put down our political regalia .As this issue calls to all of us as South Africans, to come together and make sure that we achieve what is necessary in taking South Africa forward .The reality if that free education is possible, and not just free education .But free quality education, its just that our government doesn’t see it as a necessity as they themselves are not educated.

After all isn’t it said, never judge a pain you have never endured. True to that statement it is only those that have felt the hardships of pursuing a higher education together with its financial frustrations that support the call for fees to fall . And those who failed to pursue such only see how this will affect their pockets and the risk the loss of their positions…

Which is why I’m not only fanatically calling for fees to fall, I’m past that … fees will fall and then what? let us not be like those that are leading us , call for something we have no idea how to manage , how to handle and how to sustain . As the leaders of tomorrow we should start speaking policies, procedures to be followed terms and conditions, clauses ,criteria and so forth. It’s going to be a long journey and it’s going to need all of us as a people to tackle this issue because. Whatever problems we fail to address in the time we’ve been given here on earth, our dependents will inherit.

 This piece of writing was originally written in 2016 and for the longest time I didn’t have the confidence to share it with the world because I could possibly be wrong . But as more and more Institutions join the protest, I thought I should post this piece. To hopefully spark those much needed conversations that our generation needs to engage in and in so doing teach one another a thing or two. 

Unnamed  1 July 2016

Life is like a bed of roses , its the beautiful and enchanting  fused together with the  rough  and prickly .It won’t always be the pleasant and wonderful  events that  make you … Sometimes  it will be the hideous  and Malicious  that forcefully  Usher you into taking notice of what is happening around you . because  ignorance  is not always bliss.
And as I read these words ” The average  black does not plan his life beyond a year ” PW  Botha that changed it for me , because I had never heard someone speak such  demeaning words of another human being .And In all honesty  with everyday that passed without  me knowing where I was heading  I was living proof to his statement and in continuing to live in that manner … I spoke truth to his words and even though at first I was outraged  and furious  as to how Racist this man was .

The truth that this statement spoke could not leave me be  … a force far greater than myself  a force  almost , if not widespread   and prevalent
Compeled me to recognise to  acknowledge  the truth it speaks  .

And when i finally apprehended what this truly meant
A beautiful rebirth began to take place , it sprung  from deep within me … from  a place  I never knew existed , a place that seeks to thrive despite all odds
A place that chooses beauty and potential for greatness , where others only see savagery   stupidity and Mediocrity.
A place which seeks to pay homage to those that endured to the death .

And it is with this conviction  , with this understanding  that I choose to stand …
That I choose to stand
No only for my Household , not only for my village , not only for my Country … but above all things for my RACE .
 
The truth is that , it’s always been about Race  … so let’s show them what we are made of .
The time for Black Excellence  is now  and it is within arms reach … Stretch  forth your hands black Child , Grab hold of it and don’t  waste a second of it … OUR TIME IS NOW

To be continued

Lostness and overgrown men like boys 

The screenshots folder in my phone is probably my favourite, it’s where I store my favourite memes,  pictures, quotes and  social media posts I find intriguing … and more often than not its posts that rip through my fabric of time, make my sun stand still posts that leave me disoriented and dismantled. Posts that never really leave me, posts that get into my blood stream and they become a permanent part of me, posts that take away my piece of mind, posts that confront me every time i look myself  in the mirror, like the tweet that summoned this piece .

When I read this tweet it spoke to me, but because it was speaking a language that I was yet to learn, a language I was yet to  understand. I completely missed it, I was lost to the message it carried,  to the truth it spoke. But the recent events of The most horrendous acts of all kinds of abuse and killing carried out by the “men” in our country embody this tweet and I finally understood  it,  or at least a fraction of a pixel of the bigger picture .

Disclaimer : This tweet is to complex, it has been paraphrased for the purpose of this piece .The original tweet is quoted ( for interest sake )

“Black Men in greater peril than Gays white women and immigrants .they should’ve been at the top of that list .Can’t ignore endangered species”
Dr  Umar Johnson  2017/3/24 original tweet .

Black Men are in great peril , they are an endangered species ”
Which is why I am bothered by the men are trash hash tag .You can’t say men are trash when who and what  you are  referring to was never  a real man to start with .No sister  your Boo was never a man , he is just a overgrown boy , that 27 year old boy you dating is trash , that 60 year old prehistoric overgrown boy  you fuck in return for  money is a trash .That 30 year old boy who is at the prime of his fuckboy days is trash . These boys are trash , not Men boys ,  overgrown men like boys .

Think about it , these are boys that never made the transaction into manhood and that is why they are the complete opposite of who and what a man should be  and our biggest mistake as society has been calling them men because of they have come of age
These overgrown boys are fuck boys
These overgrown boys are abusive
These overgrown boys don’t respect women
Ke  bafana nyana dilo tse  , ba shimanyana ba  mamina  , di gata marokgwana .They may look like men but they are not .

Which self respecting Man would undress for a person the same age as his daughters , nieces and granddaughters ? ( Ke monna yo mofe wa go ke hlompha , yo a ka ampolelang di thaka txa banna ba gagwe ? ) which self respecting man , has  Sex with another man’s daughter,  knowing that he has daughters of his own who could fall victim to such situations? Which self respecting man would pave such a disgusting road for his sons to follow on ?
Which self respecting man would Sell the organs of their own kind for money ? There are not men  they are boys,  overgrown Boys. 
They don’t have any of the characteristics of a real man . They should be heads of households , but they are not ? They should be our protectors , but they choose not to be ,they are in fact the ones who are the cause of  all our Hurts . They should be our providers  , but  they choose turning up over responsibility ,some have children  with 7 different women and couldn’t be bothered by the price of  School shoes . Now seven children grow up broken and poverty striken  because some overgrown  boy with a weak pull-out game couldn’t keep it in this pants . 

If this isn’t a sign that Real Man are a dieing breed ,  I don’t know what will be . And if we continue to ignore the fact that  we are Surrounded by  overgrown boys , men like boys  we will suffer and not only that our daughters will suffer  and the community at large will also suffer  .
We cannot afford to keep quiet about this anymore  ,we need to tell the truth ,face our problems head on and rewrite our wrongs.  This is the world that our future sons and daughters will be born into  , we would have failed them if we choose to do nothing about the fact that .Black men like the Rhinos that used to roam the African and are now at the brink of extinction. And with this being said , I would like to urge the few real men that are left,  groom your sons and the single  mothers sons next door  to be real men . Men who know how to lead their wives families and communities,  Men who put the safety of  the women in their communities and country as a priority.  Men who Provide without hesitation because it’s inherent to them .
Real men 
I do not take full credit for this piece  , this piece is my response to #menaretrash  and a lot of other conversations I’ve heard on Radio and  TV shows Together with everything I’ve read to date .

The  Power of the Spoken word

“Our Actions strike cords in eternity ” 

I’ve  always  understood this statement in  reference  to  eternity ,  life  after death .
 
Heaven  and hell  , Paradise  and the lake of fire .

I never thought it  could be  2 to 5 years from the date of ones  actions …
And get this , the thing about actions is that you don’t necessarily  remember them on the good days … no , you remember the events of your past on those difficult  days , on those days when you feel like giving  up , on those days when you can no longer go on …

And This was how I felt ,a couple hours after my Law exam and just two days before my Economics  exam. I was at the brink of insanity,  I was exhausted  both physically and mentally .I remember  lying in bed Starring at the ceiling  … Calculating , contemplating  my next move . I finally  accepted  defeat and called my parents  to tell them I wasn’t  writing my exam… My parents wouldn’t  hear of it , and that was the last we spoke of my frustrations going into that exam. I was going to write my exam whether I was prepared or not …

And after I hung up and got out of bed it hit me
right there and then something  I had declared  two years prior  stuck a cord in that very moment. I couldn’t describe the feeling even if I tried ,
I think confidence  was a  strand somewhere in there together with Faith hope and belive .

My words  had met me in my time of need , I remembered  my declarations without searching for them in my diary .They were so vivid as if I had written them that morning.

  • I had declared  that I would  never fail a module.
  • I had declared  that I would  never repeat  a module nor write a second  opportunity.

I remember  thinking to myself  , you declared  life to your future  self 2 years ago, sent light into the darkness and you will not start speaking  death today . I immediately  discarded  any thought of failure and began to walk in the confidence  of the words I spoke , that I would make is despite all odds
No matter how hard it was , I was  thrice as hard .
And that it was my opportunity  to rise above the storm . It was iron sharpening iron  .

So I don’t accept defeat ,I don’t entertain Mediocrity I am great , made in the image of my maker .This is a subject an it’s under my feet .Queen rule they are not ruled ( so I refuse to allow this fatigue  and exhaustion  to rule me ) I am above this . 

This piece was originally written  in June 2016 . 

And I killed that exam .