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Why Blogging?

This is the post excerpt.

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I’ve always been inquisitive. About everything. I’m the WHY girl. My parents used to be patient with me and answer my never ending whys but there comes a time in a person’s life when you’ll be on your own and sure enough my time came too. “Why do we need to make the bed every morning when we know we’re going to mess it up again at night when we sleep? It’s a waste of time and energy.” I said shooting my mouth without thinking. My mother’s response shocked me. “Because I say so!” That answer left no room for me to ask follow up questions.

Anyone can ask a question. It is understanding the art of who, what, why, when and how that separates the experts from the amateurs. Moreover, it takes a combination of skills to ensure that you get a satisfactory answer.

I was in my early teenage years when I decided to get some answers about my family. It had dawned on me that we did not look like other families and we did not fit into the ‘perfect family model’. There were just too many of us. Firstly, a skilled Question-Asker figures out who is the right person to present the question to. Think about it, are you sitting with a bunch of unanswered questions? Well, my question to you is this, did you ask the right person? I went to my father with my questions.

Secondly, when and where is the question being asked, what is the setting? Often times, people don’t get the answers they are looking for because they lacked knowing the right time to ask, iba ne timing. Understand that there is a time for everything under the sun. If the right time doesn’t present itself, by all means, take the initiative and create it.

We were leaving the mall after my father had bought clothes for my siblings and I. Everyone was in a jolly mood and I seized the moment! As we walked towards the parking lot, I hurried and walked alongside him, it was just the two of us. No one was within ear shot and I tested the waters by talking about silly things. I knew that he was always pleased with himself after fulfilling a parental responsibility, especially if it required finances, he loved providing for us…then I asked.

Thirdly, how do you ask? Take note of every aspect, your tone of voice and how you’re dressed matter. Trust me, leave nothing to chance. As my good friend says, “People need to have a sense of occasion.” I quote him because he is one of the most brilliant Question-Askers I know. Watching him in action is like watching Lionel Messi with a ball on a soccer field or Lira performing live in concert. It is a wonder to behold, pure magic. You can choose to be polite or go for the shock effect, it’s really up to you but be prepared. “Why did you choose polygamy and have fifteen children? If you had one family with fewer children, you’d probably be living your dream life and driving your dream car. You’d probably be a millionaire.” I went for the shock effect!

Children all over the world are taught the universal rule of law: Elders are not to be questioned. Obviously, there are always exceptions to the rule. However, the majority says when a child asks questions, that child is being disrespectful, insolent and is embarrassing their parents. Thank goodness for those parents and caregivers (teachers, aunts, uncles and all those who have some sort of influence in shaping a child) who do not conform to this law. I have a theory about this, I think this is a strategy they came up with because they didn’t know the answer. However, that is not the point. It’s not so much about the answer, it’s about having the platform to ask, to let your mind wander. The man who raised me was a non-conformist. He cultivated a culture of discussion, expressing your views and championed the human right of freedom of speech, within boundaries of course. He always wanted to know what we were thinking and engaged us in many topics from current affairs to what we were interested in. “You know, if I had my way, we would all be living in the same house, under one big roof. Anyways, I am living my dream. Knowing that I’ve built homes for all my children. Even if I die, you will always have your homes. I love that I get to see my children almost everyday. When I see you all happy like this, it makes working hard worth it. I know that I’m rich and I don’t have to have millions in the bank to prove it!”

I was intentional about the name of this blog, Sindiswa’s Sassy Insights. My father who was Zulu, gave me my name. It is of Xhosa origin and he chose it because he loved it. Had he been solely driven by the meaning, he would have given me the IsiZulu version, Sindisiwe which is not the case. Zulu people are bold in whatever they do, irrespective of whether they are right or wrong. My mother is Xhosa and I embrace my Xhosa-ness completely. We all know that this is the smartest tribe in South Africa and very influential too. Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, Mirriam Makeba, Trevoh Noah, the list is long. According to Collins English dictionary, Sassy means lively, bold and full of spirit. The Merriam Webster’s description is: distinctively smart and stylish. The Oxford dictionary echoes the two previous descriptions adding cheeky. Beyoncé shows off her sassy side through Sasha Fierce her alter ego, who is not afraid to dance and dress fiercely. Insights means observation, the three mentioned dictionaries describe it as perception or understanding. In Psychology, insight is the capacity for understanding one’s own or another’s mental processes through attitudes and behaviour.

My objective is to rise up to the name of this blog, Sindiswa’s Sassy Insights. I have created this platform to express my truth and imagination as writer. Let me say that again, I am a writer and use my imagination through words to tell stories some fact and some fiction. I welcome you to give your insights, tell me what you think, let’s engage.

Over the years, experiences, past failures, fear and Christianity have influenced and somewhat diluted what I want to say and how I want to say it (I shall tackle this story another day). Even if you’re afraid to ask those thought provoking questions, go ahead and ask. Or those seemingly silly questions, ask. Give your thoughts a voice. By doing that, you’re giving yourself one of life’s greatest gifts, the gift of knowledge. My daughter coined the term Question-Asker. At about 8 years old, already tired of all my questions about school, “Mama, you ask too many questions, you’re a Question-Asker.” I took the title and wore it like a badge of honour whilst changing the questions I asked and how I asked them. Spend time with yourself to figure out what you don’t know. Even if you spend years on a journey to discover the answer, you will have formulated ideas and opinions of your own. A friend of mine says, “kubuhlungu ukungazi ukuthi awazi” the tragedy is not that you don’t know but rather it’s not knowing that you don’t know. Ask.

Global Citizen

Let me start off with a disclaimer: Before we hosted the 2010 Soccer World Cup, my knowledge about the sport was very minimum. The handful number of players from the National team that I did know, was as a result of their activities outside the soccer field which landed them on tabloids magazines. Let me put it this way, if you had asked me about soccer then, I would have added the song Shibobo by TKZee featuring Benni McCarthy just to score much needed points on the topic.

While I learnt about the game, I joined in with the rest of the country I flew the South African flag and wore my soccer jersey proudly. You could feel the camaraderie in the air which transcended across race, gender or even age. The Soccer World Cup belonged to all South Africans and all who live in it, see how I just echoed the Preamble of the Freedom Charter there?

In 2018, Mzansi is at it again. The world is coming to our shores on the 02nd November which is exactly a week from today. The Motsepe Foundation is presenting and hosting the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. The mission of the Global Citizens (all stakeholders i.e. individuals, private and public companies and other legal entities) to unite and end Hunger and Poverty. “For everyone to have human rights simply because they are human,” United Nations Population Fund. Furthermore, to create policies which afford Finance and Innovative programmes in all parts of the world. For Girls and Women not to be disadvantaged because of their gender. Citizenship is also high on their list of priorities along with access to Health care; hygienic Water and Sanitation and a safe and clean Environment.

What is the significance of this international event being hosted in South Africa this year? This year marks Nelson Mandela’s Centenary. “I am pleased to lend my support to the Global Citizens Festival: Mandela 100, in celebration with Madiba’s rich legacy of social justice, compassion and activism. Each one of us must take inspiration from his fight for equality by being the generation to end extreme poverty. We must ensure that no child or adolescent die from preventable causes, including hunger and malnutrition. I call on the world leaders, civil society organizations, business leaders and change agents everywhere to join the Sustainable Development Goals.” Graça Machel.

While we applaud all the influential celebrities both local and international from musicians such as Cassper Nyovest to Beyoncé, JayZee, world Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell and Trevor Noah, the call is for all to be change makers. Lend your voice and be heard because it cannot be done without the collective.

In Letters to My Daughter: Dr. Maya Angelou describes a philanthropist by breaking the word down into two Greek words, philo –lover of; and anthro – mankind so philanthropists are lovers of humanity. Is that not who you are? When you love, you give and giving is not only in the form of money but rather giving of your time and even your voice. Nelson Mandela was conscious of the fight he had to embark on, in his lifetime. Now I ask each of us, what is our fight? The good fight that we have a responsibility to participate in?

There are countless ways you can be involved. You can bring a change in the lives of girls who stay home and miss school because they cannot afford sanitary pads. You can hold world leader accountable by signing relevant petitions and sharing videos on Twitter, see the Global Citizens page https://www.globalcitizen.org

Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir, perhaps you’ve long been doing your part. Just like in 2010, you were were wearing your yellow soccer jersey and blowing your vuvuzela long before the spotlight was upon soccer. In the same Letter, Dr. Angelou says, “I am encouraged to write on because from time to time, the choir does need to be uplifted and thanked for its commitment. Those voices need to be encouraged to sing again and again, with even more emotion.” To those who have yet to begin, now you know better, so let’s better.

House guests, how far do you let them in?

#Holiday vibes#, #personal space#

You don’t just become a guest in someone’s home because you knocked on the door. A guest is a person you invite to your home, to a party or special event. That’s not my interpretation, its from the Dictionary. A visitor is described as a person who goes to see another person or place for a short time, again that’s not me. This means the two words are not synonyms of each other, there is a difference.

With the holiday season fast approaching, there are many festivities which will be held in various places. From weddings, to company’s year-end functions all the way to informal gatherings like a braai at a person’s home. However, you can’t just show up because you know the address. Yes, ’tis the season to be jolly fa la la la but that does not permit you to just show up. No matter what day of the year. Wait for an invitation or better yet, make prior arrangements and inform the person you wish to visit.

You might say, “Where’s your sense of Ubuntu? That is not how we were raised.” Oh trust me, I was raised decent, that’s why I say, “Come in” and open the door.

Do you go to a wedding without being invited? Do you know that knowing the person who’s hosting does not warrant you to attend, whatever the event. Or do you stop talking to someone because they haven’t invited you to their new home which they moved into early this year? Really

My father, uMzali, believed that a visitor ought to gladly accept whatever was being offered. When buying groceries, he bought coffee (which no one drank at home) and a few boxes of tennis biscuits especially for visitors. My mother on the other hand, had a completely different view. To her, the very act of a person coming into their home deserved the best treatment, forget the logistics.

Not according yo Mzali and it didn’t matter whether you were family, a friend or even part of the in-laws, if you hadn’t told anyone you were coming, kindly enjoy the tennis biscuits and don’t overstay your welcome. My mother often baked cookies telling us they were for visitors but they never lasted more than a couple of days. As the children, we waited impatiently until Mzali got home. The smell of home baked cookies would greet him and he would ask my mother for just a few, to taste. Then we’d ask him for a taste. Cookies for visitors?

When we were expecting guests however, Mzali was the most welcoming host. He would agree with my mother to prepare the cookies and that was just the starter. The duration of the visit and all other logistics had been agreed upon. The person was coming because he wanted and agreed for them to come. He would even plan an excursion so that the guest would have a memorable time with us.

The irony about visitors is that they can be so demanding. Asking for fresh milk instead of powder, cool drink instead of juice or hot sauce instead of tomato sauce. When in reality, they should politely accept or decline (preferably before we set up those glasses that are reserved especially for visitors and guests).

If it acceptable that when you enter any establishment which is for public use, there are terms and conditions one must adhere to. For example, the mall, closes at a certain time. Unless you are in the designated areas such as the food court or cinema, if you are found anywhere else after hours, you can be asked to leave because you’re trespassing. However, when it comes to our own homes, people do not accept it when you choose to exercise your right to be welcoming and to what extent. You might ask me, how do I handle visitors and guests? I am my father’s daughter. Right of admission is reserved. Don’t just show up.

Technophobic Blogger

#Technology Never Loved Me#

Dear Fellow Bloggers

I’m a Blogger who hibernates. That’s the term I use to explain that I still live under the big Stone Age rock. I prefer writing a letter to going on social media platforms. I am aware of the times we’re living in so from time to I walk the streets of Technology to get in touch with the rest of the world.

I need your help. I accidentally deleted a post from my blog. “Google it” you say…I did but Technology and I don’t have a cordial relationship.

How does one retrieve a deleted post?

It has been declared spring cleaning day

#TheBeautyofBeingBlack#

Let’s be honest if you’re a South African black child, growing up, you’ve been privy to witness your home undergoing an extreme makeover. I’m talking about that day when all the household blankets and bedding are washed even the ones you were snuggling under just moments before. Talk about a rude awakening and that’s just the beginning!

Next are the curtains. Seeing each and every curtain drop to the floor or even worse, being told to do that task. Subsequently, leaving the dirty windows exposed so its very clear to you that those too, need to be washed. Then you have to put up (literally), a different set of curtains and bedding.

Never mind what you had planned, the authorities (Mother, Gogo, Aunt, Older Sibling) over your life have declared it spring cleaning day! It was immaterial that there was a Helper who was paid to keep the house clean, you had to be involved in the execution of this mission. It didn’t even have to be at your own home. You could be visiting your Gogo’s house or ka Mam’mkhulu and find yourself in this predicament. Your consent was never required but best believe, you were expected to be an active participant.

Back to the bedroom. You have to face your wardrobe. All that shoving of your clothes finally catches up with you because now you have to take everything out, hang what needs to be hung, fold every T-shirt and put your socks in matching pairs. Oh wait, the washing machine really didn’t eat your sock, it was in this pile of clothes all along. The advantage is finding that piece of clothing that you absolutely love and thought had gone AWOL. The disadvantage though, is that you can’t share your joy because you’ll be exposing yourself.

Then there’s the sitting room, that’s what the living room is referred to, which housed the gigantic room divider. That’s where the television, the glasses and a collection of brasso (named after the liquid polish used to make it shine) were displayed. You were forbidden to use these glasses because they were reserved for special occasions or visitors.

Let’s head to the kitchen. If your fortunate, the fridge was “defrosted” and cleaned a day before or so. If not, remember that needs to be attended too as well. You had to tackle the cupboards. Taking out all the contents before thoroughly cleaning the inside. If your Gogo is like mine, you’ll find a lot of empty mayonnaise and peanut butter glass jars inside. “It goes without saying…” says the Master Cleaner who’s been following you around the house telling you what to do and how to do it, “…that the outside of the cupboards must be wiped clean as well.”

Don’t forget to clean out that space in the house designated for newspapers and magazines. There was no clear direction as to what ought to be done here. Keep, burn, throw away in the dustbin, or can I finally cut out the pictures of the beautiful houses, clothes and food for my house book?

During the cleaning, it’s best you don’t complain or ask too many questions. For example, if you complain about the intensity of the workload, you were told how your generation has it far much easier than they did. “Why do we have to do all this cleaning?” I asked. “We’re preparing for the December holidays and we’ll be having visitors.” I was told. “Who’s coming?” now curious as ever. “We don’t know yet but visitors will always pass by especially at this time of the year.” All this effort, for someone who you don’t even know?

Mzali….no ordinary father

There was absolutely nothing ordinary about my father. We all called him Mzali from the word umzali meaning parent. When I say all, I mean over and above his fifteen children. It wasn’t enough that I had to share him with fourteen other children but he was parent of the nation. From our family members at large, to our friends, to his friends’ children. Let’s just say he was uMzali to the general population.

In hindsight, I still don’t understand how he gave us the life that we had. We lived well and went to great schools. Most importantly, he had time for us and built solid relationships with each of us. I know you’re asking how so let me break it down for you. He had four children from previous relationships. Then he had two wives. Five children from his first wife and two children from his second wife, my mother. Moreover, he had two children from his Miss Lady then the other two each have their own mothers.

When uThando Nes’thembu premiered on television last year, most of my friends said they were finally going to understand how I grew up. In reality, that is not a depiction of my family but the Mseleku’s. They have their own dynamics, some even I can’t relate to. I come from the Mkhwanazi family and the way Mzali ran things was different.

Throughout his life, Mzali had various businesses. He was what we now call an entrepreneur. When I was growing up, he was running a supermarket (which he referred to as the shop). Situated right inside the busiest taxi rank in Tembisa. It was our family headquarters, the common ground. The place he spent most his time. He didn’t subscribe to the notion of having a cellphone and even though there was a landline at the shop he preferred face to face encounters. The shop was open not just for business but that was our other home. So you could say I grew up in the taxi rank.

Each day promptly at 6am, he personally opened the doors regardless whether it was a weekday, weekend or even a public holiday at closed at 8pm.We had to work at the shop. Not always, perhaps two Saturdays a month. Imagine being woken up at 4 am on a Saturday. Back then we were kids and did not appreciate the lesson. Well, I know I didn’t but my older brother Thulani, loved it.

Mzali took time to know our individual preferences as his children and made sure we each had time to fully enjoy doing what we loved. The only condition was that we had to do whatever activity together as siblings. You must be mindful that some of my eldest siblings were in University and no longer living at home. Depending on the excursions of the day, it would be a delight to others and dreadful to the rest.

One of my favourite things to do with Mzali was reading. Each morning, he bought all the newspapers. During the weekend, we each had a turn to read out loud for him. Mzali also insisted that we were a part of the community library in Edenvale. The rest of my siblings begged and pleaded to go anywhere else.

My younger sister Gugu, child number 13, loved the outdoors which meant we also went swimming and to the park. You might be wondering what type of car Mzali drove to accommodate all of us. He drove a van which he said was convenient for his line of work. In the 1990’s, if you ever saw a red van with a lot of kids at the back, chances are that was Mzali with his tribe.

Like a typical parent, Mzali embarrassed us more times than I care to remember. When puberty began, I went with him to buy my first training bra. Feeling self-conscious about walking around the underwear section with my father, he took a random bra and started educating me about the difference between an A and B cup size. Then he asked the sales lady to measure my bust. That’s not the worst of it. On another shopping expedition with Gugu this time, when it was time for him to pay, he put a big money bag filled with just R2 coins on the counter. To our shock (not just my sister and I but the cashier’s as well) he began counting the coins in rows of R50. Can you imagine, we were at Woolworths! We wanted to die as he kept pointing at us telling all those waiting in queue that he just had a small spaza shop and just wanted to buy clothes for his girls. We didn’t say a word all the way home while he was very pleased with himself!On another occasion, Gugu and I went out partying at night during the December holidays. The next day after giving us a lecture about wanting the best for us, he then took us to his barber and told him to cut our hair! Just like that it was goodbye December holiday plans because we had to say goodbye to our hairstyles.

Recently, we had a huge family gathering of all the Mkhwanazi family members who are now living all over the country. For some, it was the first times meeting them. We were told how we are all related and shown the family tree. I heard countless stories from different individuals much older than I about how Mzali had helped them apply to school when they first relocated to Johannesburg.

Mhambi Alfred Mkhwanazi known as Mzali, a man who lived large. Who worked hard and played even harder. Thank you for not just telling us but embodying what a father is. Thank you for the lessons and for the love. I am simply because you once lived. May you rest in eternal peace.

Does Father Christmas celebrate Father’s Day?

It’s that time of the year when fathers are in the spotlight. A time where children young and old celebrate the amazing men who not only gave them life but play a pivotal role in their lives. Moreover, there are those extraordinary men who fulfill this role regardless of the DNA between them and the child. To all these men, I salute you and say Happy Father’s day.

Then there is the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Leprechaun and Santa Clause or Father Christmas as he is commonly known in South Africa who only make guest appearances. They are rare to locate outside their common appearance stints. Their PR teams are on point, keeping them trending by using the last appearance that they made and also creating hype for the upcoming show when they will be making another grand appearance. Someone else falls in this category of mythical creatures. He also has world class tricks, costumes and props. Have you figured him out yet? No, not a magician, I’m talking about an absent father. The one who only sees his child a handful number of times each year especially around the festive season. He looks great on paper but in reality, he has no real substance.

Have you ever wondered where the Tooth Fairy lives and what he does when he’s not collecting children’s teeth? We can ask the same question about the father who shows up during school holidays, if that. Where is he the entire year? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he does show up a few weekends in a year. Oh but please let’s get a few facts straight, there is a mammoth difference between what’s on the “To do list” during normal weekdays and what happens during school holidays. Don’t get stuck on the “To do list” phrase, it may or may not be written down but take my word for it, its there. For instance, the child needs be awake at a certain time, dressed, fed and ready to go to school. There may be extra mural activities and prior arrangements need to be made (packing the correct gear), there’s homework, supper, bath time and you still need to be mindful of having conversations with the child about what’s going on in her life and what’s on her mind. Then you must see to it that the child is asleep at a reasonable time so that the “To do list” can be ticked off all over again tomorrow.

It’s a commitment. Choosing to spend time with your child only during school holidays does not make you a parent but merely a glorified baby sitter. During school holidays there is no set sleeping time, there are no tests to prepare for or even that Natural Science Solar System project to help with. Not to mention lunch box meals to prepare which are an indication of what your child prefers, “Last week my child loved tuna and mayo sandwiches but yesterday she brought back her lunch box with the very same thing, untouched!” says one parent.

An absent father believes that contributing X amount for child support each month, makes him part of his child’s life. He may even produce proof of SMS notifications or monthly bank statements of regular payments that go towards his child’s upbringing. That’s commendable however, don’t park there and give yourself too much credit. There are some families who get the Child Support Grant from the government (SASSA), does that make SASSA a parent? An active father cannot quantify in rands how much is spent on a child. No parent can. There is so much more to be done than sending money. Your child needs more than just your money and can certainly do without your excuses.

Perhaps I need to define what an absent father is as opposed to an active father. It is not always possible to live with your child as there are different factors that affect the family dynamics. The parents may be divorced, separated, were never together as a couple in the first place or living in different area codes. However, an active father is committed to fulfilling his responsibilities regardless of whether he and his child share the same physical address. He takes care of his child’s complete well-being. In simple terms he is in his child’s life and not just a guest who appears from time to time asking to see the school report at the end of the term.

The term “co-parenting” is being thrown around these days. This is a concept which requires the two parents involved to work together to ensure all parental obligations are fulfilled regardless of who is currently living with the child on a daily basis. It’s not about the failed relationship between the two but about the human being that you are both responsible for. In parenting one cannot want to participate only when the conditions are favourable. Also, you cannot relinquish your responsibilities as and when it suits you. Furthermore, it is most unfortunate when one parent has to enforce the law on the absent one. However, it may be the only alternative left for the parent left to bear the burden alone.

Father Christmas may show up bearing extravagant gifts and toys. Your child may still be impressed with the glittering trimmings as well as the over the top gestures while they are young and impressionable but keep in mind daddy dearest that your child is growing up. I am yet to hear someone say, “It’s Father’s day, we need to buy a gift for Father Christmas and tell him how much we appreciate him for all the gifts.” The day will come when your child realises for themselves that Christmas comes but once a year.

Technology never loved me

If Technology had a gender, my bet is that, it’s a man. You know that guy from your neighborhood, the one you’ve known all your life? He’s older than you so you never really paid any mind to him but he has always been there. He’s that guy who is friends with your older brother or your older cousin. He literally had a front row seat at watching you grow up. He’s there at all the family gatherings, weddings, funerals and birthday parties. You don’t notice him but he’s been watching your every move since the days you would come home dusty from playing in the streets.

He’s the first one to tell you, “I see you’re growing up…you’re not a little girl anymore…” as he emerges from the background when you start wearing a training bra and putting on lip gloss. From then on he makes you cognisant of his presence, that he is everywhere. He takes note of your transformation from girl child to a young woman. Ever so subtly, he begins to lure you into his world. Showing you in high definition how your life will be better with him in it. Everyone sees him as harmless and you even catch him having a moment with your mother and aunt. Without raising alarm bells, he introduces you to his world. It’s inevitable, he says, in end you will become his. He will capture you.

I was probably in Grade 6 when I started hearing the buzz words ‘world wide web’ and ‘internet’. Then when I started high school, some of my friends had mobile phones or what we call cellphones. I couldn’t be bothered at that time. According to me, I was reachable on the landline at home and I could reach whoever I needed to, using a pay phone. Each month, my father bought my sister and I Telkom cards for R20 each and was always willing to top us up should the need arise. Besides, what could be so important that it couldn’t wait until we spoke face to face?

Using advertisements through billboards, television, print and radio, Technology was constantly selling himself. He said that I was being left behind. That while I was waiting in the queue to make a telephone call, life was moving on without me. He said I was missing out on the mode of communication that was available at my finger tips. He convinced me that soon everyone would forget about me while I stayed behind under my rock. I didn’t want that to happen so I asked my parents to buy me a cellphone, I got a Nokia 3310, baby blue in colour. In my blissful state, I was ignorant to the fact that my peers were no longer texting via SMS. Technology had upped his game and introduced the playground of Mxit, where everyone played.

Words as we knew them became deconstructed and taken apart. My love for languages did not let me conform and once again, I was left behind. My friends told me that texting via SMS was outdated and took too long. I didn’t care, there was no way I was going to write a sentence with no Capital Letter, no full stop and mix numerical numbers with letters, “hy u knw i cnt w8 2 cu l8r xoxo…” No way!

Fast forward, yet another playground was upon us. Thanks to Mark Zuckerburg, who created Facebook, even adults wanted to play. The world wide web was growing rapidly. You could connect and stay in touch with friends and loved ones regardless of where they are in the world by tagging, poking and liking their posts and photos. Even the corporate world was not exempt from moving with the times. Relying on the post office was fast becoming a thing of the past. Sending letters was now being done via e-mail and could be sent to more than one recipient, instantaneously. Best of all, it limited the risks of the mail taking too long to arrive or even worse, it never arrives to the sender at all.

Technology is no longer being subtle, he is relentless in making everyone a part of the world he has created. It’s no longer just a playground but he has created an entire world through applications (Apps) like Google. This is where Technology shows off insisting that he knows it all just ask him, Google it. It has become a norm to see people sitting together but not communicating with each other because they are either online chatting to other people or checking in or updating their statuses or taking selfies to post or doing all of the above concurrently. Word on the street is, if you didn’t capture it then it didn’t happen. These are the streets of Technology where you are known by your handle, where you follow people and speak the right language, using #hashtags such as #Instalove, #Chooseday and #ThrowBackThursday just to name a few. Also, you’ve got know the latest trends. Apps such as Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Linkedln, Pinterest, Tinder, YouTube may seem similar but each is distinctive and serves a different purpose. The Twitter streets of Mzansi have a reputation, just ask the couples from Our Perfect Wedding (OPW) or check out @MzansiMeMes.

Technology and I have had an on again off again relationship for years. I’ve told him that I don’t need him in my life and I can do without him. He never lies to me and promises to change. He never begs me to stay. He is confident that sooner rather than later I will come back and he never turns me back when I do. To his many lovers, he has become as essential as the air that they breathe while I find him exasperating. The idea of people always wanting to keep up with the Joneses who are also trying to keep up with others seems like such an effort. My friend Masabu says the church has brainwashed us as we’re only preached to and not provided with the relevant knowledge for the times we are living in. I need to be unchurched she says. Could that be it?

Disclaimer, people are losing the significance of human interaction. A word of caution, Technology with all his cute emoji, will never sit besides you or hold your hand. As Albert Einstein predicted, I mean quoted, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The whole world will have a generation of idiots.” Moreover, when you spend time with Technology, he always takes something away from you. Ever heard yourself say, “I was online, next thing I knew it was after midnight and I really wanted to sleep early yesterday.”