African Bohemian

African Bohemian

IMG_6876IMG_6863IMG_6857IMG_6879.JPGIMG_6897

IMG_6893
Jumpsuit – Mr Price / Mules – Jet Fashion / Waistcoat – Vintage / Headscarf – Vintage

Hello readers

We celebrated Africa Day on the 25 May and it just really got me thinking for the longest time I never truly embraced my Xhosa heritage. I battled with this for the longest time. I recall a time when I was in grade one and my best friend Tegwin use to suck at her stringy blonde locks during class and I found this weirdly fascinating. For as long as I could remember I always wanted to be like all my Caucasian friends, to tell you truth I was the only black girl in my group of girlfriends growing up. The words ‘coconut’, ‘oreo’, ‘white girl’ followed me wherever I went.

The way I spoke my own language was never good enough for the black children in my school, they assumed I was better than them, more privileged because I did not live in the township and they had a problem with the fact that I was picked up by my grandmother from school every day.

Even when I look at my former dating life the very first boy I ever had a crush on was Steven and my best friend had a crush on his twin brother Kyle. Tegwin and I would sit on the playground talking about double dating the twins, where we would go and what we would talk about. The only time I really knew I was black was when my aunt refused to buy me jelly shoes and opted to get me leather shoes instead, going back home from school really put a lot of things in perspective for me, but I still battled to fit my culture into my everyday life.

I was the biggest fan of the spice girls and whenever we would play Spice girls at aftercare my friends always insisted I be ‘Scary Spice’ and I would plain out refuse or I would sit out and watch. I was not willing to be the black girl in the Spice girls. I want to be Emma Bunting “Baby Spice” from the Spice Girls.

The latter years of High School were spent with a few of the women I still call friends today they were all black and my best friend Pelisa who was mixed race we were also scrutinized because we as a group of young black women spoke really good English so good they called us fake.

I truly came to embrace who I am when I visited family in London I spent six months in Canning Town, London living with my family (my aunt and my uncle) who are a mixed Xhosa and Congolese family. Living with my culturally diverse family I really learned to embrace who I am and my Xhosa culture and roots. While my uncle spoke French in the house, my aunt and I spoke Xhosa every day and my cousin only knew how to speak English it’s not real English thou it’s a street version of English called cockney/London slang.

London is a country with a melting pot of cultures and nationalities and it really makes you appreciate where you come from. I arrived at the realization that coming from the country and culture that I do is such a privilege and I didn’t come across one African national living in London who was not proud of where they come from, the various languages they could speak, the amazing African delicacies they ate daily and the strict cultural upbringing, morals and values they had adapted living in a first world country.

I found myself tweeting in Xhosa and listening to African artists all my friends back home were quite surprised but I was indeed coming into my own person. I also decided to cut off all my stringy, limp relaxed hair and decided to be natural and embrace the hair I was born with. You can call it a divine intervention, I call it growth and appreciation of who I am. I am no longer that black goth girl who listens to death metal and who wears all black or the girl who carried her skate board around with a ton of snap backs (I was an Avril Lavigne want to be at some stage) that was not really who I was, I was discovering various facets of who I was.

I am now a Xhosa farm girl from Hamburg and Peddie in the Eastern Cape, who can speak five languages (isiXhosa, English, Zulu, Sotho and Afrikaans) who can trace her ancestry as far back as Germany and Swaziland and yes I’m still discovering all the other cultures that fall in between.

I’ve learned in life never be afraid to come into your own embrace your beauty, your uniqueness, your mistakes and look forward to discovering more of who you are.

Yours in Peace, love and happy vibes

God Bless.

– Vuyolwethu Hole (meaning our Joy in isiXhosa), don’t ask about the surname i don’t know either

 

Advertisements
The faces we meet…

The faces we meet…

prison_0
image courtesy of we are change

Hello Readers

This is my very first opinion piece ever in my life it’s not perfect but it’s from my heart i really hope you enjoy it and please give me your feed back and thoughts.

The faces we meet and fight hard to forget

You don’t realise how big the world is or how not that significant you are until you have to live alone, I moved to East London late last year with the hope that me and my dad could strengthen our relationship as he had asked me to move in with him.

What seemed like a great idea and having idolised my dad for the longest time you know him being this super educated MA Law Graduate and all I was looking forward to learning and being scolded by him academically.

I received a call while I was working for the Department of Correctional Services that I had received the internship in East London I was so excited apart from escaping the antagonizing feeling of having to face prisoners and their dreaded stories which became the theme song of my life, while I lent them an ear and provided comfort as they expressed to me how dearly they longed for their families. I was looking forward to spending time with daddy.

I had committed myself to these men who had caused heart aches to many families but a small part of me felt sorry for them, not because they were paying for their crimes. In life every action has a reaction but I pitied them, attending school was their only escape from the bounding prison gates and the not so pleasant smell that lingered through the prison corridors.

A few of the inmates would actually come close to me as close as I allowed them in my space, some would smell me and say I smelt like a flower and others would sit  opposite me and just stare at me for hours and hours till the bell rang for them to return to their cells.

There was one inmate in particular who I grew really fond of (not that kind of fond) the brotherly type, I wanted to give him a hug and tell him that everything is going to be okay. He was an immigrant from Burundi he often told me stories from his country about how they killed his entire family and how he hitched hiked his way down to South Africa only to be sucked into the morbid world of drugs and violence which led to his arrest.

He would sit and draw me at first I found this rather intrusive but it was a way of connecting with him. The greatest lesson I learned from being around inmates was that we really have a broken society. These men whom most are fathers and were finical providers for their families were rotting in prison while their children are being raised by their mothers or grandmothers.

What really stood out for me was their longing for the outside world, I can recall one of the inmates who constantly spoke about how he longed for the smell of the ocean and the fresh, energetic ocean breeze which would brush against his face as he ran after his sons on the beach.

These stories I will treasure, these stories make me appreciate the fact that I can go to the beach anytime I want to and have the fresh ocean breeze brush my face as I run after the dogs.

These men carried loneliness, their lives had been handed over for however long they had to serve their sentence. They don’t have control over what they eat, where they roam and when they can see their entire families again.

Being given the opportunity to leave the Department I was so excited as much as helping these men out and offering them some sound advice or just the occasional smile and a chit chat. I would ask them to tell me about their families where they lived, give me a guided tour of their childhoods and what brought them to the point of committing the crimes they were incarcerated for.

When I tell people that I spent almost two months working at the prison school they would react with, “oh wow that must have been so horrible!” or the occasional remark “you are brave are you okay? I was indeed okay but I worried about the impact I made in theses men’s lives if it was ever enough.

I had put together a portfolio for one of the inmates who was an artists he was so thankful he was near breaking down into tears, so glad he didn’t do that, I’m not sure if I could handle a six foot tall emotional inmate. I gave him a hug and a pat on the shoulder. To be honest being surrounded by inmates was the most exhausting and frightening not to mention emotionally draining duty I have ever had to do in my life.

You don’t usually expect a positive remark from someone who has spent what I consider a great deal of time with criminals, while I may not agree with the certain policies implemented by the Department of Correctional services (I had a mouthful of complaints from the inmates). I decided to see this experience as a positive one.

It has given me the opportunity to serve my community and to be exposed to a world I would not have ever thought off, it has given me the opportunity to love and to provide comfort to men who are still mapping out their path in this world.

Sitting down with some of the inmates who were due to be released and coming up with various activities they could do once they were finally free, also got me thinking about what I would do if I was locked up for years in a cell and what my first meal would be and whom I would want to see first.

These experiences really make me appreciate what I have, I left the prison gates looking forward to a fresh start with daddy and I never stopped praying for the men that I left behind. I wonder what they are doing and how well they performed during their exams. I can’t follow up as this will be detrimental to my safety.

Yours in

Love.Peace.Happiness

God Bless

– Vee

 

 

About a girl

About a girl

iMAGE SLOT .pngHello Readers

This is basically me in words i could go on but i won’t…

Big hair occasionally (not after a wash thou), gap toothed call it what you may but if you must label it, an eruption of awesomeness spewing from my head, a breath of air between my pearly whites. My name means ‘our joy’ so without a doubt you will never catch me without a smile, my smile defines and enhances my many features, it’s an indication of my soul. Bright and beautiful.

My interest are people, we live in a world with too many people don’t care to know about how another suffers in silence. I hope to assistance in uplifting, re-building and re-branding communities around the globe.

Art is my life, it’s a portal that I’ve utilized to escape the jaded reality that is life. Art is the only magic left in this world, I’m learning as many tricks as I can. Creating love and inspiring future generations leaving behind a mark and a legacy letting Art simply be.

I read way too many books I’m afraid I would not have utilized enough of my time to get through every African literature book, Auto Biography of our African Leaders, Charles Dickens novels, C.S Lewis quotes… you catch my drift I love stories.

I love cultures and mine in particular (Xhosa, Swazi… the list is endless) I live for stories and dreams I’m a dreamer and I’m enticed by the people of my country. Africa their innate ability to keep moving with a smile on their faces, despite not knowing what tomorrow holds.

Their beauty the various hues of our skin, their tribal marks which trace down generations of when cultures emerged. Their diversity, their passion to sing and dance to the vibrations that live with in Africa’s people.

We are not defined by poverty but we are birthed into love natured into hope and driven by Grace and Faith. Living with in the world but living for Christ.

I love God He died not just for me but for you so that we may have life and have it abundantly. Being born again is the greatest decision I have made, being led by Christ and allowing Him to work with in me is a journey with many pit stops and realisations along the way. Season after season I will draw closer to you Father.

Thank you for all that he has blessed me with, I’m living proof that my circumstances should never be given the satisfaction of defining who I am as an individual. The sky is my witness, the land is my home, and the world is my portal to many journeys yet to be discovered. The more places I go the more I discover God’s grace and his talent.

Peace.Love.Happiness

God Bless

Vee