RSS

Author Archives: 1BlackSnowflake

Married ‘Snob’ vs ‘Sad’ Single

Image courtesy of Google Images

I recently read a blog posted by a fashion blogger asking why she, at age 25 is a “rarity” because she is now the “married friend” at such a young age. Her write-up received many types of responses; from offended singles to content, young, married, “dust-the-haters-off” married folks.

The article got me thinking about my own life as a young single woman because while it started out simply questioning why dynamic, gorgeous, educated women, who seem to have a good head on their shoulders, are not married, it slowly seeped into sounding condescending and very judgemental. It, in actuality, portrayed a rosy hue of superiority by the young marrieds over the unmarried. The question the article asked referred to why the singles have become “the blind leading the blind” when commenting on the topic of marriage; a field they know nothing about. It also said; “Maybe the single life is really that great and fun! I don’t want to believe that either. I have yet to meet anyone who wants to be alone. It’s just not natural”, topping that off with this nugget; “Look, marriage isn’t everything, but it is A LOT. And contrary to belief, as you get older (ladies), it’s much harder to come by.” Not only is a single existence sarcastically made to seem frivolous and pointless, it is also made out to be a human anomaly, which in our present-day, it is not. This last comment insinuates that if you are not married then you have LESS than the A LOT that married people have, and that if you don’t rush against the age-clock, you may never get married.

Now, just to be clear, I actually like this blogger’s blog. However, I firmly believe that while she started a topic that seemed to genuinely question why many more young people are not married and if she is a rarity, she quickly fell into a very judgmental viewpoint against single people. Being single myself, I was a little thrown and like, “What?! Now wait a minute.”  The aim of this post is simply to open the floor for discussion around this topic. Is being married young (which in itself is a relative term given that many people say you are as young as you feel, but for the purposes of this post, let’s throw in an approximate 18-30 years of age perhaps) a culture specific thing? By this I mean, would being married young in Africa be viewed as a good thing and be more popular than say in Atlanta, USA where this blogger resides? I personally believe that a lot of factors do play into why people do or do not marry young. For example, religion is an integral part. At a basic human carnal level for example, certain countries and communities are less sexually liberal and do not condone sex before marriage (for example Catholic places such as Italy with its 90% plus practicing believers) and therefore marrying eliminates that problem. (I hasten to add that I realize that sex isn’t the only reason people marry, but it does play a part in the lives of young couples who are madly in love but still wish to respect their religions).

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Social

 

A Misqualified Identity?

Black vs African-American

Image courtesy of Google Images.

The term ‘African-American’ is loosely used by black Americans to define themselves. It is often used in association with race as if it in itself is a race, when it it is not (i.e. black is the race while the above might be the Nationality). At the same token, taking away the political correctness of the term, can one ever truly have more than one nationality? One can only enjoy citizenship(s) of a country and be a national of only one. So ultimately, how correct is it – even politically – to be called an ‘African-American’? I realise this is a very contentious topic, however, so please excuse my enquiry in advance if you feel ‘attacked’ as I express my personal opinion. I do not intend to offend anybody, nor do I claim to be an authority on the subject. This blog post is a result of discussions amongst peers and therefore, and though the considerations brought forward are from an educated perspective, no intensive historical/sociological/other research was conducted (it is, after all, a blog, and not an academic paper). Ok, that’s the disclaimer taken care of. Moving on…

Being African means different things to different people. Some argue that it is about being born on African soil, others say it is being born to African parents, others say it is about having a knowledge of, a respect for, and actively participating in the traditional beliefs held by Africans, while others still say, it is merely about having geneological roots that trace one back to Africa. Considering all these factors, being dark-skinned/black is also associated with being African. Logically, this is because black people originate in Africa, just as being caucasian/white is associated with being European. The black or white terms each have their own historical associations to which every individual can choose to identify. Hence, mixed race people can either choose to be labelled black or white. But is being an African simply a matter of skin color? And if so, how does this affect all the other aspects expected of one who claims to be African?

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Cultural

 

Tags: , ,

Business Networking Through Social Media

Image courtesy of Google Images

In this technological era in which we live, the ability to ‘friend’ someone in business, is literally at one’s fingertips. Smart phones such as the Blackberry and Apple iPhones are making internet access remarkably easily and speedy. Many young women striving to break male stereotypes in the business world, can now network and promote their businesses and careers from their mobiles, while walking the dog or cooking dinner. “MySpace is a vital avenue for marketing my music because it has a networking feature to enter my industry, which allows me to connect with others in it,” says Jackie Kwenda, a 28 year old songwriter and vocalist for 2 bands; ‘The Proud Marys’ and ‘The Swingsetters’. In my quest to find out more about how social media sites – and as mobisites – benefit young, career orientated, black South African women in their career outlooks, I spoke to 3 driven ladies.

Masithokoze Moyo (Business-woman)

Masithokoze Moyo is in her early thirties and is a pilot and Executive Director for Alpine Aviation, a skills development specialist and the Founder of the Masithokoze Abatakale Foundation Southern Africa. Using her Apple iPhone 4, she browses online. “I am a serial networker and skills development activist who belongs to over 35 networks of professional business development platforms. Being part of social media sites was a strategic move for me because they allow me to engage with people I would otherwise not have met, who require my service or who could possess viable business leads for me. I have been assisted by many individuals throughout my career and as such, I too can offer contacts for emerging business people. Through social media sites I have expanded my existing contact base and now have access to a variety of service providers should I need them. Building mutually supportive relationships is key for the growth of any business and social media technologies are helping us along.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Business

 

Tags: , , ,

Election Races

Image courtesy of Google Images

Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.Lyndon B. Johnson quotes (American 36th US President (1963-69). 19081973)

Elections are the lynch pin of any democracy. They are the ultimate form and exercise of people power (other than smart mobs and protesting, burning tires and toy-toying, that is). If elections don’t work, democracy doesn’t work. The choice made in the voting booth will determine the course of a community, city or country for years (case in point, the 34 agonising years of apartheid, endured by fallen heroes, and which left thousands walking around psychologically scarred, even today). Is there anything more dangerous to a democracy than an ill informed decision in the voting booth?

Politicians since time in memorial have tried every trick in the book to influence that decision. In a perfect democratic society the choice is a rational well thought and reasoned one. When the party espouses policies and values that further and match the preferences of an individual then it only makes sense that that person will vote for that. What happens when that decision is not rational, when something other than logic ranks in the decision making process.

In a rainbow nation that is all embracing and cosmopolitan nothing scares a politician more than a voter who will not vote based on the issues, but on irrelevant issues such as voting for Jacob Zuma because one hates Helen Zille’s South African flag skirt and DA branded sneaker’s which don’t scream ‘STYLE!’, or even worse, voting based on race. What would it mean if people were actually voting according to race? http://m.news24.com/news24/MyNews24/YourStory/Race-and-politics-20110404 The African National Congress – ANC – would be on a permanent holiday and the Democratic Alliance – DA – in a constant panic attack, with Helen losing sleep at night. I write this with the hope that this isn’t the case in our contemporary, open-minded, progressive, South Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Political

 

Tags: , , , ,

‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Cheapest of Them All?

Image courtesy of Google Images

So I’m going to generalise for my own amusement and to basically bring across a fact about the manner in which different races behave regarding ‘bill’ etiquette. Does bill etiquette depend on your cultural background or is it purely a question of race? I believe it’s a combination of both, but I leave room to be corrected should you disagree. The scenario: dinner amongst a group of male friends. The bill arrives and this is how the different races respond:

Blacks: The well-dressed black gentlemen, wearing square front snake skin shoes and suede jackets and displaying the keys to their environmentally unfriendly and ridiculously expensive Range Rover Sport editions,  Mercedes C-Class Avant-Garde or some such, on the table. Each of them, having enjoyed a night of bragging about supposed financial achievements and painting themselves in an uber successful light. The bomb, the bill, arrives and quietens down the laughter. Each one in turn takes the bill, grabs one of the complimentary cheap mints and complains that they should have been Endear Mints. That done, suddenly, throats are being cleared and an urge to relieve oneself in the lavatory becomes overwhelming. And how about sending oneself a fake phone call and rushing out saying “Sorry gents, gotta take this.” The table is left bare, save for one or two nervous individuals who sharing a look, know they are going to have to be the white people for the evening. After the longest pees in the history of urinating are complete, they all return and ramble about non-bill related issues. When one gets the courage to ask the others for their contributions, there are murmurs of “Er, Sipho,Tumi,  chomees,  I’m sorry, I think I left my wallet in the car. Just get this for me now and I’ll cover you up front.” Check this awesome example that somewhat relates to this topic:

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Social

 

Tags:

White Girls Don’t Get Fat

I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it. Margaret Atwood quotes (Canadian Writer, b.1939)

As our group of 2 black, 3 white and 1coloured girls sat, on a sunny afternoon this week, sipping on smoothies all scantily clad, we noticed how many black guys our white friend Marjie knew and kept rising to hug and greet. With some, her innate feminine aura of seduction came out a few times prompting my black friend Thabi to ask her if she was interested in black men. Marjie smiled naughtily and confidently announced that she was now dating the last hunk she’d hugged; tall, handsome, well spoken and seemingly intelligent. “What a catch!” she announced proudly, and proceeded to revel in the flurry of compliments we were paying her. Since we’re in a country where we’re all aiming to be accepting of mixed race couples, nobody said anything bad…except Thabi…who frowned, tisked and mumbled sarcastic remarks as she lit a cigarette, thus catching our attention. “What’s your problem!” Marjie asked, to which Thabi snidely responded, “White girls like you!”

Now, let me put some perspective here. We always have heated discussions about everything, from serious issues like the current topical threat of radioactive material Japan faces from the 3rd blast at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, to silly issues like why men leave the toilet seat up. And we even talk about the racial divide in South Africa and laugh at how people can’t just see that we are all just people. But on this day, a true reflection of what they each thought about race came out.

Thabi proceeded to explain to Marjie, initially in a joking manner that statistically the ratio of women to men in the Cape is 7 women to 1 man, but to have the few ‘total package’ black men taken by white women was worthy of a “bitch slappin’ ”. Her reasons were that it is particularly difficult for black women to get contemporary, educated, responsible, humorous AND good-looking black men who aren’t completely immersed in traditional ways of behaving and thinking.( Not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s what one is after). Her reason reminded me of a show Oprah did some time ago relating to American women, but seemed to resonate here:  Read the rest of this entry »

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Social

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“How Come You Don’t Speak Black?”

Asked as if it ‘Black’ were a language. The question got me thinking of answers; perhaps because of my primary and secondary socialisation, maybe the institutions I was educated at, possibly the countries I’ve visited, but then maybe also, the influences of the media, which in subtle ways informed the way I speak. Language plays a pivotal role in shaping us and defining our racial backgrounds, which is why people often ask me this. I am proudly black, but do not possess black names, neither do I sound black. Many a time, at job interviews, for example, having only spoken with someone, but now physically meeting them, they look positively taken-aback as if I was a fraud.

Then, because racial talk is almost taboo here, they’ll ask me twice or thrice if I am actually the name on my resume (as if I don’t know who I am). The media are relevant because for example, comedians, are often guilty of fertilizing  the seeds of racial profiling with, I must confess, absolutely hilarious skits about different races. As we passively watch and drink in, and remember, how American Comedian Katt Williams jokes using a prissy ‘proper’ accent when referring to how white people are helpful if one misdials a number late at night. He then switches to a black ‘Ebonics’ ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ebonics ) accent when referencing how a black individual would behave when high on Marijuana. If he did the same skit using ‘normal’ English and without changing his accent, it wouldn’t have the rib-clutchingly funny, rolling-on-floor-laughing effect it has. Follow the link and note the nuances therein. .

Read the rest of this entry »

 
23 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Cultural

 

Tags: , , , , ,