My name is Pontsho

For those who don't know, the translation of my name is vision. I say translation and not meaning because our names don't mean something, they are sentences that tell a story. They carry history. Pontsho, in its most practical form, means demonstration. My name is Pontsho because I am a demonstration, a vision, of God’s work.

[GIVEAWAY] Koleka Putuma's #CollectiveAmnesia

I am living my best Oprah Winfrey life and giving away free things! I will be gifting three lucky people with a copy of theatre director, writer and poet Koleka Putuma’s debut poetry anthology, Collective Amnesia. (I read a few poems this morning and LOST MY MIND!) This competition holds a special place in my heart for three reasons:

1. I love poetry.
2. I love Koleka Putuma.
3. And I love it when Black womxn do the most!


Death - and body shaming - at a funeral

Two weeks ago I went home to bury my uncles. Their unexpected deaths were a shock to the whole family. Our hearts were broken – they still are. On the Wednesday before I went home for their funerals, I frantically left the office with my colleague to buy “appropriate” clothing. My family is very traditional and unlike a few years ago I am now considered a woman, therefore I must dress like women do at such occasions. A doek or hat to cover my head, a long dress or skirt that is long enough to go below the knees. And of course khiba, an apron, to wear as we peel, cook and wash the dishes. This new “woman” role that is expected from me is tough, I quite enjoy it.

On Black women friendships and their magic and importance

Three of the women who continue to show me that this life thing is amazing when you have the right friends.
Reflecting on 2016 and I am realising that friendship break ups are more painful than relationship break ups. There is something surreal and magical about having intimate friendships with women, especially Black women. Our friendships are where we take our whole selves - the pain, insecurities, fears and sheer happiness. Our friendships are where we go when we are tired of explaining our womanhood or blackness. They are where we go to say "My colleague touched my hair again" and not have to explain the anger and frustration or "This guy is horrible and the date isn't going well" and then she calls you to pretend there is an emergency you have to attend to.

Hairitege

A former partner and I were going out for dinner. I had taken my braids out and styled my Afro. It was an impromptu kind of style (that's the beauty of kinky coily hair). We got to the restaurant and as we waited for the food he asked "What have you done to your hair?"
I was unimpressed, not by his question but the tone in which he asked it, as if he wondered what could have possibly made me think I could go out like that. Dinner was long and tense. And every time I undo my braids, I always remember this dinner date and how self-conscious I became of myself.

This land is mine, but it isn't

A few weeks ago I went to see my aunt and as we were talking she tells me that my current place of residence is in the same location as where my grandmother was a domestic worker in the 80s. This area is, of course, located in the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg, where people jog, walk their dogs and cycle in the morning before work. Where the gates of our complexes are manned by men old enough to be our fathers, uncles and brothers. But sometimes these men are young enough to be our peers, where our not so distant childhoods were similar and only circumstances determined our conflicting realities.

At the time, this little fact that my aunt shared with me seemed insignificant but it got me thinking about how things in my family have drastically changed yet also stayed the same in just two generations.  A granddaughter of a domestic worker and a daughter of a cleaner now lives in an area where her grandmother spend most of her years looking after other people and their children. Her children only saw her during holidays and needed a dompas to visit during school holidays - only to be confined in the maids' quarters of Madam's house. In just two generations, my lineage has somewhat changed.


[VIDEOS]: Why I am taking the fight for free sanitary products to Parliament

Early one school morning I woke up to a soaked nightdress and wet sheets. With heavy eyes, and in a state of panic, I jumped out to switch on the light to figure out what had happened.
My bed sheets were drenched in blood – my blood. I checked to see if I was hurt and realised that I was actually menstruating. I was having my first period!
I showed my mother my stained nightie. She was in shock; perhaps reality hit her that her little girl wasn’t so little anymore.
She helped me clean up the sheets and mattress as she told me how to take care of myself now that I was “grown up”.  

Mama Toni Morrison on love


I love love and I love the idea of loving someone. More than that I love understanding love and I have dedicated a lot of my time in deconstructing and shaping what love means to me. This quote by Toni Morrison is beautiful and has had me thinking for a while now.

#DatingWhileFeminist should be categorized as an extreme sport [Post 3]

Kutlwano was at the peak of her career. She had graced the covers of every magazine, been on all the lists of "The Top 30 Under 30", "Most Influential Young People", "10 Women to Watch" and had become the one of the most trusted voices when it came to reproductive rights. She had started numerous NGOs and dedicated her life to her passion - making sure young women and girls have full autonomy over their vaginas.

She was also madly in love with Tshepo, her first and only love. Tshepo and Kutlwano knew each other before they were even born. "Our mothers were best friends, they have been best friends before they even met our fathers." Their love story was one they both told with so much pride and happiness. They only started dating when they left home for university and they kept it a secret from their families until they graduated. Tshepo was often ridiculed for helping out with her community projects when they still younger, but he understood why this work was important to her.

#DatingWhileFeminist should be categorized as an extreme sport [Post 2]

Just as Tshepiso was about to give up on his quest for an ATM, he bumped into Aobakwe.
"Sorry Ausi."
Aobakwe kept walking.
"Hi, can you help me please?"
He followed her.
"Hi. What do you need?"
"Do you know where Standard Bank is?"
She was in a hurry, so she quickly pointed in the direction of the ATM and continued on her way.

"Thank you!" he shouted. With a faint wave she acknowledged his gratitude. She eventually turned back, to glance at him. He was tall and well built. His shoulders were broad and his arms flung in the air as he walked in the opposite direction. She dwelled on the irritation that was in her voice when she asked "What do you need?" She thought he must think she is rude.  "This is why you're single!" she joked to herself.