Serena: Dream of the slave
The looming retirement of Serena…
She who does not need a last name.
You know who she is.
It has me in all sorts of feels.
I was part of that journey from the beginning.
It was such an exciting time for tennis…for South Africa.
It wasn’t only possible, it was happening!
Black child had a chance and it was out there on grand slam scale display.
As a Williams against the world order defied odds and took dominion.
It was a Venus and Serena show and they were not invited🤣
They crashed in and broke the barriers with a racquet nevertheless.
The retirement is welcome
In that grudging kind of way.
In my eyes, 23 is phenomenal!
Serena Williams did great…she exceeded dreams.
Serena is the dream of the slave as Maya Angelou once put it.
The dream of a generation and beyond.
Maxwell…all of 5 albums over 3 decades.
I want impact like that. Less noise more quality.
Embrya was deemed a failure by critics in its time…they said it was half cooked, half written and unfocused.
None of them had written or produced an album.
Here lies the truth: critics are really second rate experts who suck at the real thing,
So they make a career of judging your work’ s worth.
The very work they can’t do as well as you are doing currently.
Venus Williams said this after a loss at Wimbledon: all these people criticizing my game today can’t even hold a racquet. They cannot do what I do, I know how to play tennis.
Each of his albums after “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” were dismissed, but the sales and awards didn’t lie.
He still has the most enduring career decades later. Credited as one of the innovators of neo-soul.
I want a career and life like that.
Quite but potent.Strong but not exhibitionist.
My own way, my own direction and my pace.
Success is doing you.
I do me.😊😊😊
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Author: Tshepo Leonard
Piece: The longing deep within
To be a product of life’s circumstances,
To live life on peripheral circumferences,
Reaching out ashore and yet keeping it at bay
Seeking the world and yet fearing to say
Existing and yet still dying to live.
I am a piece of the earth they forgot could be
A crumb of the bread they mistakenly bit
My presence is but an accidental blunder
A thing to be looked at as a God intended wonder
Yet everyday I question the reason for the being
I struggle to comprehend the wonder of the King.
My solitude and desolation I wear like a crown
As daily I cover the space of the silly clown
Smiling through the maze of tears and sorrow
Mine is the life of the sad happy-looking sparrow
Making its way into a new dawn,a better tommorrow.
I appear as but a blesser bearing gifts
Yet I am a poor soul seeking to find peace.
No one sees the emptiness
Not a soul senses my loneliness
They clamour to devour with greed my contents
Oh how I long they could stop to see my contempt.
How I wish they could take a deep long look within my cover
Then they will see I am but a ship out at see
A Titanic panicked while carrying its ill fated lovers
Each day I hear Him say:hold up a tad longer
Each day I wake up to travel yonder
I live in trust, I depend on His mercy for today.
I keep sailing and carrying and straddling seas
I AM my Master’s design.
So I walk into this pub…all I want is a nice cold drink and music. And loud, carefree types dancing around and minding their own business as I do mine. I settle into my well-deserved screen time away from three kids, a wife, chores and other personal responsibilities after a long Saturday.
Lo and behold, as I find myself a seat and settle down with my drink; this woman starts! At first, I wonder why my direct neighbors whom she is swearing at leave her alone without addressing her disrespectful and abusive conduct towards them. I soon learn and applytheir wisdom. AS she realizes I am watching her and they are ignoringher; she immediately switches her insults to me. Strong, venomous,pulsating and relentless. Totally unprovoked and not even acknowledged on my part. I ignore her and shut her out firmly and decisively. She does not stop. I consider shifting far away, but I also don’t want her to think it is due to the fear of her…so I will do it when it is reasonably on my own terms and in my own time. Lord, she is calling me the devil, she is referring to all my body parts including the internal ones. I remain steadfast in my complete ignorance of her.
She is initially ignored in the same manner by her man and her friends in the face of all this. Her boyfriend apologizes to me with a puppy face and clapping of hands…I take note for a split second and dare not acknowledge because she is besides herself. They stop her as she comes for me…I continue to sit and act oblivious. She calms down and hits the dance floor. She dances and staggers around in a drunken stupor…she pulls her top up. A friend runs to her and pulls her shirt down while dragging her from the dance floor.She sits her down.She completely melts down and cries inconsolably and dramatically; the snirt, the tears, the moans and lying down. Alles. The friend rubs her back and pulls her to the ladies…
Do I look like her ex? Do I remind her of a baby daddy that let her down. Does my mannerisms remind her of an abusive lover? I decide that I don’t care, I am the abused here. Why am I even thinking to justify her ugly, abusive,drunken insults to me in such a public place? I did NOTHING to her ever…I have never met or seen her before. Yet my body parts were called upon and recited like a necessary school rhyme at the morning assembly. I feel a small degree of pity for her; but I am actually disgusted by her conduct and abuse.
Ladies, hear me and hear me well.I do not care who treated you shabbily in the past and left you with baggage. I am not that individual. I take care of my business. Your issues must be addressed with the perpetrator that caused you this pain, and I am sure you are not an angel either. Stop swearing at us and abusing us when you know where your beef is. No man must go to jail because of this sort of conduct and abuse from a woman. He also has a wife and children at home who need him. He is not your lover with whom you have beef even if he looks abd acts like him. He does not deserve your shit. It is man abuse, it is an injustice. It is not on. Stop it!
Missing, missing, missing!
The times are the most painful.
Not so much the memories.
Not so much the physical interactions.
Not the conversations even.
Just the times that could have been.
Times that are no longer possible but still remain.
Times when love was shared and memories made.
Times that the conversation was possible.
Times of having a “go-to person”.
Times spent in engagement and emotional support.
When you are alone.
Those times when there isn’t a soul who gets you.
Times when you could thoughtless and carelessly arrange a meeting.
Times over food and drinks around a warm fire.
Times when no one is within reach.
Times when you doubt yourself and your decisions.
Times when you believe you caused all the drama and chaos by your selfish and wicked desire to rule the earth.
Times when those you love are nowhere to be found.
You know those cold days when you are out in the dark and cold?
Everyone is busy…unrelatable, distant.
Times of “I wish someone would talk to me”
Frankly, honestly and with that parental “non-ego stroking” tone.
Someone who doesn’t care who I think I am.
Just because they know who THEY are.
And who I am at heart.
I miss times shared with them.
Baba # father #Ratswale
Dealing with people is interesting because:
The energy they give you trains you to absorb negativity and radiate positivIty.
The mean words make you immune to malice while you grow in EQ.
You develop character from dealing with their attempts to destroy your integrity.
You learn to focus on what’s important while shutting out the distractions.
You learn to grow your career from navigating professional scheming.
You become a great leader because you survived the poison of bad a leader.
You survive family drama from learning the true meaning of love.
You learn the virtues of humility from watching the proud fall.
You become a great friend from experiencing the horror of an enemy’s hatred.
You learn life from a near-death experience or a sick bed.
Indeed, God is a master.
He lets you experience the devil that you may learn to depend on His love.
A place called home. Someone said home is where the heart is, and indeed that is true. That is however, not to say that all places we make a home capture our hearts. Luther Vandross (or is it Dionne Warwick) says “a house is not a home.” I enjoy going to these little taverns around Johannesburg for a beer and to unwind. They are non-descript, decrepit, rough and tough kind of places on the wrong side of town. The beer is cheap, the crowd violence-prone and owners armed even as cops drive up and down the street. The patrons are loud, the music in full blast and laughter and banter abound. Pool table is the game of choice and the music selection is as unpredictable as it is diverse. Generally happy is the atmosphere; drunks from all social and economic classes mixing together in a melting pot of African cultural backgrounds and languages from everywhere on the continent. Happy one minute; then a violent outbreak of a fight that is quelled by friends and associates pulling the opponents apart and talking sense to them. Sometimes there is blood, sometimes flying bottles hurled and knives drawn out. I have heard of lives lost from fights that either started or culminated in these places. It is rough. I bet you are wondering what lies at the heart of these scenes? It is a longing for home.
From its very beginning, Johannesburg is a city of dreams. We all come here in search of our part of the gold. From everywhere around South Africa, SADC region and Africa. People come here looking for a better life than what they could hope for back home. In the current economy, this dream is quickly crushed by the reality of living in a congested, expensive and economically declined city long past its glory years. A city in a corruption riddled 3rd world country where the color of your skin determines your access to opportunities in a tightly contested market itself battling to grow revenue and profits. A city where those without powerful connections stand little to no chance of finding their part of the fold and living happily ever after.
With months and even years of disappointment, rejection, hunger and abuse; the people become despondent and discouraged. They see no way out of the quagmire of poverty, unemployment and economic gloom. They go to these taverns more and more to keep out a living from gambling while drowning their sorrows. They gamble on pool, dice, cards and anything possible. They fight for every point; every cent matters. They will bleed or die for it; it is the only way to put food on the table and send money back home. They will kill for it, their family livelihood depends on it. Hence the blood and the hurtling bottles whizzing past you in the air. Hence the drawing of knives and twisted faces with the look of murder. All they want is a chance to send money home back to mama so the children can eat. They want to impress girlfriends and wives who require weaves, manicures and most of all; food on the table. They want to eat. Hunger is not good for a man; especially one who is far away from home and his people in a cold, lonely, big city. A hungry man is an angry man.
I go to these taverns because they remind me of a my rural beginnings back home. I see in these people the faces of those who raised and nurtured me. Uncles, aunts, cousins and neighbors. I know these people also came here to survive, but the city has reduced them to a life below the breadline and on the outskirts of hope. They have given up their homes for a city that has now given up on them. A city that has rejected them to a point where they can’t afford to go back home anymore. They miss the place where they left their gentle, beautiful hearts full of dreams. Hearts now hardened and determined to just survive one more day. Every day…they miss a place called home where the food is scarce but the love is filling. Home, a place distantly etched on their memory and now unattainable. They come here, they gamble and drink. They risk their lives in the hope one day they will make it back home. Home, the place where their hearts can be pure again in the gleaming faces of loved ones happy to see them. Home, where the heart is.