21 Tips to Surviving Lockdown

These past two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster I did not sign up for. I get emotionally imbalanced just trying to re-live everything. The 14th of March was one of the greatest days of my Events career thus far and just a few hours later the world as I know it completely shifted. On the 28th of March I was supposed to host our first (SOLD OUT) High Tea Fundraiser, I’ve since had to refund all ticket buyers and postpone the event to a date I still don’t know. As an offline Events Manager, my job spec did a complete 360 and I’ve now had to shift my thinking to be that of a Digital Marketer. All this in two weeks, I’m spinning!

So here we are now, 21 days of lockdown, faced with this new reality, an uncertain reality. One thing is for certain, we need one another for this to work.

So here’s a look at my 21 Tips on how to get through these 21 days together and still keep our sanity intact :

  1. Exercise – Online videos, Yoga etc.
  2. Get enough sleep
  3. Read
  4. Draw / Paint / Write
  5. Meditate – At- least 5 times a week
  6. Work on your dreams
  7. Water your plants
  8. Eat healthy
  9. Be mentally present
  10. Stay connected – check on your loved ones.
  11. Rest
  12. Listen to podcasts
  13. Start. Do it. Plan your next trip etc. Start whatever you’ve been putting off.
  14. Go digital (Resources, virtual events, content)
  15. Get a journal, capture the moments in your journey
  16. Do some introspection
  17. Donate. Help someone in need during this time.
  18. Share resources. Contribute.
  19. Get clued up on facts. Don’t spread false information.
  20. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Sanitise your hands.
  21. STAY INDOORS (For Pete’s Sake!!)

As a way to do my bit for society, I have an active 21 Day Whatsapp Exercise Group, click here to join. I’m also really blessed to work for a company that has taken incredible measures to ensure the wellbeing of it’s employees during these tough times, so everyday we have a virtual team check in and at 3pm we have a dance off.

What’s incredibly important is to not let these 21 days go to waste. It’s very easy to let yourself slip, especially when you stay alone – waking up late, not being productive, eating unhealthy food, watching TV all the time etc. As an introvert, I’m okay with not seeing people for a certain amount of time but as a routine person, I’m freaking out a lot. I am also excited because I know these are 21 days of new perspective and fresh opportunities, I am not planning on taking any day for granted.

Stay safe and sane, we will get through this together. Don’t forget to share your tips on how you’re planning on getting through these next 21 days in the comments section below.

Thank you, NEXT!

If you think this is one of those blogs written by an ex girlfriend about her past relationships and moving on… you’re damn right!

This is a lil different though because I’m not bitter. I just want to tell you a story.

Once upon a time I was a little girl growing up in the Township of Delft, I would walk around the streets and know that I want better for myself. The plan was to remain a virgin until I met the right one for me, settle down and get married. I met my first boyfriend, he mesmerised me with his gorgeous brown eyes, we dated for four years, in the first year I was sure I had met my soulmate, I was only a teenager. I fell hard for him, as did he for me. I started working and studying full time, the relationship became rocky and inevitably, we broke up. I remained single for two years after that. I couldn’t understand why two people who love each other so much, just couldn’t make it work. Love confused me.

After two years I met my second boyfriend, we lasted 6 months. Shall I continue?

There are women who meet one person in their childhood, decide that this is what they want forever, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Some go through their first relationship, give it their best, and move on freely to the next person whom they fall completely in love with, settle down and live happily ever after. And then there’s me. Dated boyfriend number 1 for 4 years, boyfriend number 2 for 6 months and boyfriend number 3 for 1 year. I hate to say this because I’m a feminist now, but, going through a breakup can sometimes make you question “Is there something wrong with ME?” And the answer to that is FUCK NO! Not to sound cocky or anything but I’m fuckin’ amazing. Im getting better now that I’ve started realising my worth and demanding it.

So, instead of trying to analyse what I could have done differently in the relationship, I flipped it. What lessons did I learn from the relationship that I can take with to enable me to become a better version of myself? Luckily for me, all three relationships have taught me something valuable. Now, I will never credit someone who tried to break me for who I am today. My resilience did that, not the man. My faith did that. My strength did that. My heart did that. Don’t get it twisted, but the journey of being with someone has played a role in who I am today. My first boyfriend taught me how to love genuinely and without caution. My second taught me passion and intimacy. My third taught me patience, wisdom and intellect. Currently? Well, currently I am learning commitment, safety, trust and appreciation of who I am and the culture that has made me the person I am today.

I’m grateful I didn’t marry my first boyfriend. I will always regret breaking up with my second boyfriend the way we did. My third relationship was just sad, it was great for growth but it was sad, it should never have happened. Since I broke up with my first boyfriend I’ve always been anxious to not be the girl who “dated around”. What that’s done is made me compromise myself and try to make things work even if it means losing the person I am. That’s what society expects of women. You can’t date around otherwise you’re a Hoe! However, a men can date as many women as he wants and that’s not frowned upon. Argg! I am literally rolling my eyes as I’m writing this line. Also I’m a Christian, so people will literally get a quote from the bible to dick shame you. I don’t care anymore, Jesus still loves me. Shout out to Hannah Brown! I’m not saying go sleep around BUT I am saying don’t settle for less then you deserve because you’re trying to keep your dating count to a certain number. Surely your happiness is more important than that?

I am also saying, take the lesson from the relationship. As bad / heart breaking as it may have been. There is one thing that you can always learn, if not, then the lesson can be what you DON’T want in your next. So to all my exes, Thank you, NEXT! And to still a line from Arianna Grande, “I’m so fucken grateful for my ex“!

I might just be a feminist

Let’s start this blog with a confession. At University I took Gender Studies as an elective and I used to cringe every time someone referred to me as a feminist. Mostly because I always imagined feminists to be a group of bare foot women with big placards stating how bad the other gender was. Also, because I never liked the idea of being boxed, I have metaphorical claustrophobia.

I’ve always said that if one works hard, patriarchy can be void. Feminism is not necessary. I’ve maintained this belief for very long. Dear reader, my belief has been shattered. This is not one of those discoveries that happen at once, it’s been happening quite incrementally.

Firstly, I come from a very traditional family. My dad is the headman of Zihlahleni, whenever I am in the Eastern Cape and there is an “elderly” conversation involving my dad it’s always about which eldest son inherits which part of the leading roles of the Teyise Family. There’s no talk about female’s inheriting leading roles. Secondly, I’m a Christian (by choice), I love GOD. I’m His number one fan, but if you grew up reading the bible, you KNOW that the Man is the head of the household. Thirdly, I started working. I’ve been working for more than 10 years now, only in one instance (and for only 2 months) was my boss (or the boss of my boss) a female. Fourthly, I started dating. Fifthly, I started analysing all the “hero’s” or leading roles in all the television movies I watch. Sigh! Should I continue?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche gave an extremely profound Ted talk titled “We should all be feminist” and Beyonce (like only Beyonce could) featured this speech in her song “flawless”. The book also helped me with my very wrong and distorted view about feminism, it’s very important to start being more aware and addressing issues of gender inequality. I won’t even talk about all the Gender Based Violence that’s been taking place most recently. It’s almost when people start talking about equity versus equality and you see eyes rolling and people shrugging, we get uncomfortable when we have to address real issues.

One of the things I am (and will always) be passionate about is Women Empowerment. If there is anything that I feel we (as females) have the power of changing is how to perceive ourselves and how we venture to Empower one another. The problem we have as women is in our programming, we often see one another as competitors and males as being more superior with greater authority. An example that completely irks me is that of the “Slay Queen” and “Blesser” phenomenon. If you don’t know what it is, I suggest you use Google. Why are we degrading only Women for this? It takes two to tango, by all accounts. These Woman do not “bless” themselves and these married men do so knowingly. Why do we degrade women only and not the men as well? Also, I don’t understand all the hate around Slay Queens and I still maintain that this is hate from one women to the next caused by an inferiority complex. If someone else is well kept with a “fake accent” and without a proper job, it’s their prerogative. As women, we should really stop giving men power to speak down on other women and encourage it. We ought to stand together.

We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men

Let me tell you a little story about myself, one I’ve been embarrassed to speak about to anyone else outside of my friends.

When I was in High School I started dating my first boyfriend, it was actually a really stupid relationship. Even before I started dating this guy I knew he had a reputation but he swore to me that he was single. He had these really attractive eyes, plus I was young so I decided to give him a chance. News of our relationship spread so fast. Literally within 24 hours everyone in my “hood” knew we were dating. I guess people were shocked cause I was always such a “Miss Goodie two shoes nerd”. Anyway, one day, I was in class studying a bit later with my friends and when we left school there was a group of about 20 other school kids (all female) and as we walked closer everyone started making weird noise. Long story short, it turns out there was a girl in the crowd who was also dating this boyfriend of mine and said girl had come to my school to beat me up. LOL! I kid you not! This happened probably 3 times before I broke up with this guy. The point is, throughout this toxic relationship no one did anything to this guy but all the attack was directed at me. Why? Because, once again, it’s in our programming.

I am currently reading “Women who run with the wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. In one of the Chapters titled “Stalking the intruder” she speaks about how Women are programmed at a young age to “be nice“, a training which causes women to override their natural intuition. I remember having a conversation with my previous partner one time when he told me he wants a housewife. I almost fell out of my chair. My answer was that I wanted to climb the corporate ladder and I could never be a housewife. I don’t want to climb the corporate ladder but I don’t want to be a housewife even more. My point is he never asked me what I wanted, instead he told me what he wanted. As Women we need to stand together and when we see others suffering, we need to be sympathetic and supportive. The odds are against us. We are an endangered species. There is so much strength in unity. It’s time we took our space in the world, against all odds. I will conclude this blog with the very wise words of our phenomenal Miss Universe:

I think the most important thing … is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young women and girls for a very long time, not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be. “I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls — to take up space.Zozibini Tunzi.

Getting through 2019 with three words

It’s been very hard for me to try and write this blog without mentioning just how hard and terrifying being a woman in South Africa has been this year. The only time I fear sleeping is when I’m on a flight, I have serious height phobia so for as many hours as I am on a flight, I am fearing for my dear life. However, for the very first time in my life, before going to sleep, I triple make sure all the doors are locked. Whenever I get on an Uber, I share my live location, I struggle working at the office alone at night because I am terrified, I am terrified that I might get murdered or raped, simply because I am a woman. It’s really been rough, so even before even getting to this blog, I would like to take a moment for all the courageous women who have fallen in 2019, all at the hands of our fellow brothers. Rest easy goddesses. You will always be remembered.

So, let’s take a walk down 2019 shall we?

January (Homeless and broke – basically living off my savings.)

  • I have accepted a teaching job in China. I’ve ended my relationship, packed and ready to start a new life elsewhere. New beginnings.
  • Got to Cape Town for two job interviews and started re-thinking China.
  • Mhmm! Maybe I shouldn’t go to China anymore.
  • Went for my job interviews and got two job offers.
  • Changed my mind about China and had a very hard conversation with my agent. He basically just shouted at me on the phone for 10 minutes.
  • Accepted a job offer and started looking for accommodation in CPT.

February (Employed, Smitten and still homeless)

  • Started work
  • Decided to give love another chance! YEYY!!
  • Started a new gym routine

March (Independence… again)

  • Finally found my own place after staying with my significant other for about a month.
  • Started feeling more like myself again.

April (Unlocking my chakra)

  • Baecation
  • Started writing again
  • Went back to Yoga and registered for twerking classes (Are you judging me?)

May (Twerk! Werk! Twerk!)

  • Okay! So twerking wasn’t for me. I registered for dance class instead. Best decision EVER!

June (Another qualification?)

  • Looked in to doing my masters in creative writing or an MBA.
  • Work in full force
  • Ever so in love.

July (Boss moves and sickness)

  • Registered my business ya’ll!!
  • Diagnosed with Acne Inversa and prescribed antibiotics for 6 months

August (I am a Badass – period)

  • Registered for my third UCT qualification
  • Invested the last bit of my savings to get the necessary equipment for my business.

September (Another year beautiful-er)

  • Birthday. Finally got a typewriter.

October (Late birthday gifts)

  • 27 years of living and I FINALLY took someone home. I’m sure my parents had given up on me.
  • Maxed out my savings for some grown up late birthday gifts. Sigh! Adulting is hard.

November (selfish-less)

  • Hosted our second annual Empowered Women Networking Event.
  • Hosted our very first Khayelitsha bootcamp.
  • Made some great connections and partnerships that I am excited to see through in 2020.

Before you start asking me a lot of questions, let me address this. In 2018 I basically ran home to recover and during that period I wanted a “new start”. I applied for a job in China late 2018, I went through the whole recruitment process and I got accepted in October. I started having doubts early November and I applied for a Cape Town based job. Running away seemed was very tempting and it offered the escape I needed but I’ve come to realise that you can’t run from your feelings or your past, and I am no coward. So I decided to stay.

I started 2019 in the worst state I have ever been in my entire life. I still cry when I think about it. 2017 was soul crushing and 2018 was bittersweet. On one hand, I got a second qualification from UCT but I also lost so much more that I could never EVER get back. So 2019 started on a rough patch for me, I was basically on recovery mode for more than half of the year. My friends will attest to this, I’ve been extremely protective of my space this year. I actually have not spent much time with other people outside of my family, my partner and one or two friends. It’s been hard to try to explain this to other people, and maybe this makes me a bad person, but I didn’t care. My health and wellbeing was my priority. When your energy is depleted, you need to recharge.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to take care of yourself first.

Three words have gotten me through 2019 and every other day they manifest in my life – “I am blessed“. Sometimes I forget. When life get’s a little rough I question it but 2019 has been such an amazing testimony for me. I have not only survived things that were meant to break me, but I have thrived. This goes beyond 2019, I am blessed throughout my life. I am the first and currently only person in my family with a University qualification (I have two, going on three. WHATS UP? ). I started working when I was 16 and by the time I turned 19 I was earning more in two weeks than my mom made in a month. I’ve never struggled getting a job. Actually I always sound cocky saying this but I’ve never gone to a job interview and not been offered a job – EVER! I am also the very first in my family to buy myself a car, CASH before 25 years. (Are you still judging me for taking twerking classes?). Shonda Rhimes has this book called YEAR OF YES and she says something so profound –

Lucky implies I didn’t do anything. Lucky implies something was given to me. Lucky implies that I was handed something I did not earn, that I did not work hard for. Gentle reader, may you never be lucky. I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.
― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

I find it hard to say this because I always get in my head about “jinxing it” but screw it, 2019 has really been such a phenomenal year for me. I reached a great level of accepting love and reciprocating it. I’ve been loved so dearly and I finally accepted that I am worthy to receive love. In fact, I am more than enough. I’ve found a really amazing groove in 2019, only scratching the surface of balancing my work, my relationship and my health. It’s the first time since I started blogging where I can genuinely say I had a fucking amazing year! And every single day, I see it, I am blessed.

Here’s to starting another decade. I am looking forward to more growth, maturity, wisdom, prosperity and greater strength. May all your dreams come true!

Are you a VICTIM or are you a WARRIOR?

There is one thing that very few women are aware of. With this post I hope to reach out to those women who need to know about this. The women that need to make a change, NOW!

Can you guess what I am about to talk about?   

The one thing that women think it’s okay, to be someone else’s punching bag… That it’s okay to be blamed for someone else’s mistakes….


Yes. I am going to open this subject, because I feel there is a lack of information out there.  We grew up in houses with abuse, we go through life with abuse. Did you know that there are many different types of abuse?

Did you know that you can be financially abused?
Did you know that “rape” is also one of the types of abuse?

Did you know that you can be abused on a psychological level?
Did you know that ABUSE is a criminal offence?

This is only a few of the types of abuse that we live with every day.
Did you know that even rich people have these kind of problems?

Yeah!!! I am not talking through my nose here. The statistics are shocking. 1 out of 6 women are assaulted regularly by their partner.  In most cases where there are children involved, they too suffer under the same kind of abuse.

I know about a certain case where the man refused to buy tampons, toilet paper, soap or any kind of toiletries for the woman.  Now, imagine yourself: You are in a small flat, with nothing in the house, not even toilet paper. Whenever you get the chance to go to public toilets you take half a toilet roll home…Girls, this is reality!!!!

I know of a woman where her food was given to her ice cold and with no cutlery to eat with, he made her eat her food like a dog. She was held in a room, the whole day for months on end. If she needed to relieve herself she had to do it in the same room that she lived and slept in.  I promise you that this is no joke!!

When you come out of these circumstances, you start to be more grateful for the small things in life, like toilet paper and toiletries.  

I was also a victim of financial, emotional and physical abuse. This is not a joke, this breaks you. The emotional abuse sticks with you forever. The physical abuse depends on the injuries, like when you are left with a broken jaw or broken leg or arm, will be with you for the rest of your life!!!

Ladies (and guys) this has become a norm.  Why men continue to do this, still puzzles me. However, I have to come up for the men, because in some cases the woman abuses the man, financially and most likely emotionally too.

In the next few weeks I will discuss the kinds of abuse and the “symptoms” or signs to be on the look out for…

‘Till next time!!!!

What will we tell our daughters?

When I was 9 years I followed my older sister and her friends to the park without their permission. My sister was upset with me but she let me follow them because I promised to “tell on her” if she didn’t want to play with me. We were not allowed to walk to the park on our own.

When we got to the park I saw this silver pole slide and went down on it, when I got to the bottom I knew I was dead. In my heart and in my head I was sure I was dead. Not that I knew what being dead was like but I felt so much pain rushing through my entire body that I was convinced I had died. I opened my mouth and let out the sharpest and strongest cry I could let out. Our home was about 500m from the park, my sister who is only 3 years older than me as well as her two friends who were all skinnier were not able to carry me home, my crying didn’t help the process, neither was my certainty that I had broken all the bones in my body. I asked them to leave me in the park so I could die in peace. My sister and her friends figured that I had sprained one of my legs but I assured them that my entire body was broken and that I couldn’t move an inch. Stressed and worried, my sister ran to a nearby tree, took a few leaves, took a rock and crushed the leaves and then she spit on them. She came to me and told me that she had found “magical leaves” just like that documentary I had always watched and she had made a remedy that would make the pain a bit better. She rubbed the mixture on my one leg and she assured me that “the remedy she applied on the one leg had drained all the pain from my body to just that one leg”, I believed her for I had seen magic leaves before on TV. So I utilised other parts of my body and made the process of them carrying me home easier. When I arrived home, my father took me to the hospital and I had a foot cast for 2 months. Throughout the months I was convinced of the magical leaves that were available at that tree in KwaLanga and the fact that my sisters saliva was magical because she had made me a remedy that took the pain away from my entire body.

I told everyone about the magical leaves. When I was 10 I burnt half my face, my sister had gone out to play with her friends. My older cousin and father took me to the hospital and the doctor gave me an ointment, I didn’t want to take it for I was convinced that my sister would be able to heal me with the magical leaves and her saliva. My father took it and he had trouble with me whenever the time came to apply the ointment because I wanted the magical leaves, eventually a meeting was called where I was told that there is no such thing as “magical leaves” and that my sister had lied to get me to move. I was dumbstruck

How? I am certain I had died and that my sister brought me back to life?” 

And how did my 12 year old sister think of such a plan? No adults and she improvised to get me home. How? She was so young?

Today, my sister has three kids and I recall on one occasion her oldest daughter was “sick” because she didn’t want to do a house chore. She cried for an hour or so, my sister took pure still water, mixed it with mint leaves and told her it was medicine so that she could be healed. And what do you know? A few minutes later Chantel was “healed“. LOL, my sister has always been a natural, effortless caregiver.

Motherhood is a bold step, one that some of us fall into by pure carelessness and sometimes by unfortunate circumstances. My mother had always told us how my father only wanted one child. When their first child (our oldest brother) passed away, my father then decided that perhaps having two children is best. My mother gave birth to my older brother and then to my sister 4 years later – both planned. Three years later, “SUPRISE! Little Sibahle was born”, mistakenly.

My parents spoilt my brother with everything he wanted. They only got the best for him and basically treated him like a Prince. When he grew up he started experimenting with drugs, one day he experimented with a drug I don’t even know. When he got home he couldn’t even walk nor talk properly, he got into an argument with my mother and promised to kill her. He left the house and we locked, when he returned he broke all the windows with his fists and we spent the better half of the night running on the streets away from him until we went to one of my mothers friends to sleep there. Today, he is 34 years old with 3 children and he has never had a job for more than 3 months in his entire life. My parents still take care of him, I do too. My sister is a tough love kinda girl, so she is not involved with anything to do with him.

Cut the umbilical cord. Don’t give him money.  Don’t buy him anything

That’s what everyone says. They say it to my parents, they say it to me. In this instance who do we blame? My parents who spoilt him? Me for still enabling him to live off me? Or my brother who never took any kind of responsibility for his life nor is he doing it now with his children?

There are so many famous people with shocking childhood stories who are now successful (Charlize Theron, Oprah Winfrey etc.), as well as so many well-known people with great childhoods stories who have made awful decisions towards their lives. As a mother, an aunt, a mentor and a daughter, I sometimes wonder and worry if I am doing enough. There is no guarantee, there is no “one size fits all“. All we can do is try to give our daughters the best we can, work hard for them, support them, believe in them, cheer them on and pray that they will turn into decent human beings that will contribute to the bettering of society. So what do we tell our daughters? What will we teach them?

I see so many young mothers – especially in the black community – who fall pregnant at a young age and they have to take care of the children on their own because the father isn’t financially supporting the child. Many of them will post it on social media (Remember the recent Duma Ntando incident?). Don’t get me wrong social media is a great platform to vent but with the accelerated growth of social media these days, I personally wouldn’t want my child to grow up having to read about her father not supporting her. If the father is absent, then I would much rather take the legal route and have the law deal with him.

That’s another thing, how honest should we be? It’s so hard to find balance because as a mother you want your child to have the best childhood and a great relationship with both parents and you want to protect your child from knowing that she has a deadbeat father, however, you are also human and sometimes you just want to scream “Uphi utatakho?” because it can all get a little overwhelming. So where do we draw the line? What do we tell our children? What do we teach them?

We teach them about life and love. We tell them our stories and what has shaped/moulded us into the people we are today. We plead with them to not make the same mistakes we made. We love them, we protect them, we teach them, we support them and we let them celebrate their individuality. When the time comes for them to leave the nest we take solace in the fact that we did the best we could and we hope that we did enough. We become the best mothers we can, everyday we learn how to become better mothers. Giving up is not a word found in the motherhood dictionary, as mother’s we don’t do that. So when our daughters fall and break their legs, what do we do? We put on our superwoman capes and pull “magical remedies” out of the bag, because that’s what we represent to our daughters – Hope.