Its Monday afternoon, I am sitting at Tasha’s in Melrose Arch waiting for my study partner so I thought let me catch on the news and a few chapters quickly over coffee. It’s a bit chilly outside and drizzling a little so the coffee shop is quite packed not to capacity there’s a measurable amount of people though. I am sitting at a corner table facing the entrance. Minding my business over Niq Mhlongo’s book ‘it’s a Dog eat Dog’, and of course like any other day a whole lot of thoughts are torrential. One that keeps coming and going is the thought of being black women in South Africa in 2013. So many expectations and I wonder if it was ever different in the 1960’s. A sub thought (why do waiters/waitresses always give one an eccentric look once you say you not eating you’ll just have coffee?) Anyhow let me verve back to my thoughts – Black Women.
It is hard being a black woman I tell you, it really sucks but Im not about to go into the whole independent women this and that on you but think about it. If you are a women you know that at some point your friends will talk ish about you behind your back, if you enter the bachelor you will never be chosen never mind making it to the top 5, On ‘survivor’ you always the team that gets kick out on round one, on ‘come dine with me’ you are the one with the most difficult name to pronounce and you have to spell it out,that sucks. Apparently the only male role model in your life is Tyler Perry or TD Jakes, if you are in a relationship or married you don’t dare cross the line with your man otherwise the dude from the rurals (who grew up chasing after cows by the way) who happen to be your man will replace you with a yellow pop aka yellow bone will less attitude and more appreciation, damn that’s hard .If we not fighting over one lawyer guy on ‘generations’ we reaping each other’s weaves on Basketball wives . If we happen to rock up at more aristocratic restaurant as a group we get turned away because we didn’t make a booking or we are too loud for such an establishment, or the only available sits are by the bar, how nice is that(so we drunkards too now?). On Khumbulekhaya we are the ones that our now grown up kids whom we left when they were barely infants are looking for. White men only date you when they are looming the grave – living out childhood fantasies (theres a word for this). Boy oh boy you have to love how the media portrays black women, TV make us look like we are time bombs waiting to yell. Entertainment is good but there ought to be a balance in the way things are depicted. We have been shown as ghetto divas who are hard to love and difficult to get along with. It’s exhausting.
Despite what the media will make you believe, the world is not filled with the girls that you would read about on ‘Dairy of a Zulu girl’ and pictures of 6 year old girls with blonde weaves, No! A township is a township no different from the other except for a name and maybe the way houses are built. There will always be that girl sitting on the stoop outside her mom’s house at 6 am chewing a gum in her jammies, pregnant while her 4year old son is making ipapa for the 2 year old that goes to crèche because his daddy is paying, and there will be that one who thinks quitting school at grade 2 is cool because by the way you don’t need formal education to succeed in life. However its 2013 that is not a norm. I know women I ve been around women. These might not be your Nhlanhla Mjoli Mncube, Nonkqubela Mazwai,Khanyi Dlomo( wait that’s the maiden surname right?)Daphne Mashile Nkosi’s. I am talking about women that one might like to call average. There is a song that I like by Nicki Minaj on Pink Friday reloaded ‘champion’ I like the first verse it goes like (yes you might have to scan through the vulgar after but hear this——à‘this is celebration, this is levitation look at how you winning now, this took dedication this is meditation, higher education this is official competitor elimination…this is for the hood, this is for the kids this is for the single mothers , and it goes on and on. I want to dedicate this one to the women I know, the women I have known, you might not be winning now (I know this because I don’t feel like I am winning myself) but take this part literally it takes dedication, it takes eliminating the competition and remember you are not competing against anyone but that voice that always creeps in every time you trying to be better and do good? That right there is your competition. Your competition is you second guessing yourself all the time; your competition is you thinking that you can never be better than what you are currently. Your competition is you being content with just making it out of the hood. It doesn’t matter what you meditate on but what I am sure of is that if you managed to make it out of the hood then you can be whatever you want to be. Do I sound like I’m preaching?
This is for the Black women who have arrived yet they haven’t stopped mentoring those who are coming after them, I am talking about the true sisterhood when one doesn’t only look out for themselves. I am talking about the black women that are holding two jobs now with no help from no one. The women who choose to register with Unisa to further her studies while she’s working full time and taking care of the little one. Let’s see black women graduating Cum Laude from your Stellenbosch University. I know you know there’s more to life than being a regular at Cubana. Can we get an Amen for the women who direct music videos, TV commercials, local dramas?… No I am not talking about the girls whom their ultimate goal is to be a Vixen in a big nuz video noo. Let’s get a hell yeah! for the women graduating in numbers from Wits, UCT, UKZN, ,CPUT,WSU,NMMU et al. Can we see the beautiful side of the coin? Let’s hear it for your Castor Semenya’s of this world, your Lynette Ntuli’s am talking about your Kopano Matlwa’s. There is more to black women than taking pictures to upload to instagram and facebook every day without fail. I am not loathing maybe I am but what I am trying to say is media is not doing justice to black women; black women are not helping either by perpetuating and feeding into the stereo type.
If you think that Black women are mad, then maybe just maybe it could be that a large percentage of them have been cut open, had their hearts frayed out by circumstances beyond them, stitched up only to have those very stiches ripped out again. So excuse us the attitude maybe the only defence mechanism we have… Give us a break…