Reflections: Depression

Reflecting and remembering the life of the late HHP got me thinking about my own experience as an African man…

Growing up male in Africa is one tricky terrain to navigate and gender socialisation as well as the ascription of gender roles adds to that complexity. Boys are taught to be strong, without feelings, and they are raised to be the providers of the home.

From an early age, African boys are taught the notion that men do not cry. We are supposed to be strong and that somehow showing emotion is weakness. As we grow older, we reinforce this in ourselves and internalise feelings even more thereby escelating the repercussions.

Depression and its negative effects is something that has reared its head in recent times in ways that are shocking. Only recently I received news that a friend of mine had committed suicide. It shook me to the core and left me wondering: could I not have done more? Could I not have been more of my brother’s keeper? How much of his feelings did he keep to himself in the name of being a ‘real’ man?

Humans are fundamentally social beings; we are not islands and once we take away that social aspect, we strip the significant part of being human.

As African men, may we know that there is nothing wrong with talking about our feelings. So, let us call for and support a generation of men who aren’t afraid to express their emotions and what they are going through in the knowledge that talking about feelings brings healing.

John J.J Dongo is a researcher, blogger, poet and spoken word artist. He is also the current country representative of The Human Projects and the Co-founder of Motivate. In his words art, in whichever form it may exist, has the potential to transcend boundaries and speak to people. You can find some of his work here:

Twitter: @JnrJayJay
Instagram: @JnrJayJay
Website: Jay Jay

JT The Voice -Live

Hey Everyone! I hope you have been well! I’m very excited about the traffic I’ve been receiving for the debut to this month’s series! Keep it coming, please and thank you!

So you must know by now how much I love eating out and how I much I enjoy live music and this weekend was a mixture of both!

Whoever has the mike has the loudest voice

I recently shared with you about a new musician, JT The Voice, and last night, I got to meet him and see him live! It was quite an experience. His sound is as good as on the album which was awesome!

The Band’s Gonna Make It

JT is pretty much a one man band but for his live performances, he recruits instrument players that have not played together before and names them for the gigs. Afterwards, they are free to continue on their own or disband! How cool is that?! Truly an example of a musician who pulls people up as he moves up!

He is also great to watch! Fellow guitarists will tell you how easy it is to hide behind their instruments, but not JT! He puts his guitar to the side and sings on his own while interacting with the members of the band as well as the audience! He’s got great stage presence!

I’m so keen to see how this musician grows in the future and I’ll be keeping a close eye in him😊

Thank you so much for popping in! I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday for the second installment of this month’s series! See you soon😘

Reflections: Rabbit Hole

So a few weeks ago I noticed that my colleague had a link to a blog on her status. After a long day at work, boredom and a glass of wine in hand, I decided to follow the link…it almost felt like following the rabbit down the rabbit hole in that classic timeless story. Let’s rewind a little…

I had just a few months ago relocated to this city from a pretty rural town. The adjustment was something straight out of a horror movie. The people seemed different to what I was accustomed to. It seemed like I would never fit in or find joy here.

So I resorted to downing a glass of wine after work to take the edge off and to fill some kind of growing void. So there I was, randomly on this blog… I expected recipes or makeup tips. Control, the title of the first post I saw captivated me… I sure needed control … it’s something I felt I was losing my grip on at that time. I was spiralling down this dark hole of isolation.

3 hours later and I had completed reading every post on that blog. Not out of boredom, but rather inspiration and motivation. These problems and emotions she spoke of were relatable…they hit home…but more than that, the posts offered a way out along with coping mechanisms. I suddenly found myself looking at this city in a different light…the isolation changed to hunger for new experiences, new friends, and a broader horizon. Getting to see the world through the eyes of someone else gives you such perspective… even more so when the perspective is of someone who loves life and lives it to the fullest. It was so refreshing to finally be excited about life again… needless to say you will find me every Wednesday and Sunday with bated breath waiting for my bi-weekly fix…. A rabbit hole? …it was more like a porthole to being free again.

Sineid Patha is a Geography teacher in Johannesburg. He is not a blogger [yet].

How I Know It’s time To Move On

Afternoon Everyone!

It is two days until we close school for the year! I cannot wait to sleep and read and write and sleep and workout and eat and sleep and catch up on some work and sleep and, well, I think you get the picture, lol

It’s a very restless time of the year for me, but I think it has been the same for my year as a whole, to be honest. Today, I will look at the itch to move to “better” abodes. How do you differentiate between moving house for personal growth and progress and moving because you need a new toy?

Here’s how I know it’s for me to find a new place:

I Get Itchy

I commit very easily when I know that I can change routines at any time. For me, I know it’s time to move when I feel restrained or constricted in any way. I hate feeling stuck!

Everything is an Irritation

From the shower head no longer sprouting the way I like, to constant water or power issues, once you start finding every reason why your home is no longer a home, it’s time to find a new home, homie!

The Eye Wonders

I visited a friend a while ago. She has just moved into a new place and I envied her blank canvas! Her rooms were mostly empty just waiting for new furniture! I miss the days when I was still starting out 😑

But as adulting goes, mobing requires wating and planning and so I have put one together and am very excited for the new chapter in my life

Reflections

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a good week…

I’ve had a rough time recently… The bible says in every thing, be greatful. This doesn’t mean everything is good all the time, but that there is something good to be greatful for all the time. So I’m trying to take it all one day at a time. I got a good night’s sleep last night for the first time in a while and today finally feels like I’m on a clean slate!

Anyway! Enough about all that negativity! I promised you an announcement today and I always deliver!

Every Wednesday of December I will be featuring one of 4 of my friends on my blog! That’s right: I am doing a series next month! I’ve had the privellege of being a part of quite a few like this one in the past and because the end of the year calls for reflection on the year and plans for the future, I found this theme quite fitting.

I really hope you will enjoy it! I’ve already received the first post from that colleague I meantioned that has read all my blogs? Yes, him! I must confess, his post was very humbling. Never take your experiences for granted because someome out there is watching you and is encouraged by how you carry yourself! I’ve already said too much! Let me sign off🙈

Thank you for popping in! It’s always great to have you😘 Have a beautiful week!

I Kill Giants

Hey Everyone! It’s the beginning of yet another week! I hope you’re well!

This past week has been difficult. A good friend of mine suffered a loss this week that saddened us all. Life is fragile and shorter than we would like it to be…

All things that live in this world die. This is why you must find joy in living while the time is yours and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life – but to embrace it. Can you embrace it? You are stronger than you think…

So there’s this film I watched last night called I Kill Giants. Babara, an 11 year old imaginative girl sees herself as the protector of her little town from giants. She is the only one who sees them and the only one equipped to fight them. It took a while for me to see that these were not in fact real giants, ( although my inner child hoped they were!) but really, a metaphor for the challenges we face in our lives.

We are all familiar with hardships. Besides my friend’s loss, my week was filled with many tears and anxiety and self-doubt. It happens from time to time. Life is not always smooth sailing. I’m often faced with my own giants and I get scared. I go into victim mode and shake my fist at the world for the injustices I experience. Of course, this is not the healthiest way to cope and so far, I don’t quite know how to get through those difficult times. Everything in my life that normally makes me happy is useless at dragging me out of that dark place. Maybe I need to change my outlook about that – I don’t know for sure. What I do know for sure is that the storms always pass – always.

There are times where you have to ask yourself. Do I want to live my life as a coward or a warrior. Decide.

I hope that, no matter what giant you face in your life right now, you know that you are stronger than you think. I hope you hold you head up and find the warrior in you. You can do this. You are doing this.

Thank you so much for dropping by! I have some very exciting news to share on Wednesday so please come again! Have a beautiful week 😘

Again, I Say, Gratitude!

Hi Everyone!

You’re so quiet lately! I hope I’m not boring you! What’s everyone up to lately? Please share!

The end of year festivities are trickling in for me. Saying goodbye to colleagues who are moving on to greener pastures. Secret Santa is coming up and I’m looking forward to a few weeks of rest, reflection and planning for the year ahead.

I think what I enjoy the most about this time of year are the words of appreciation that are passed around too. 365 days are a lot to get through. A year is filled with all kinds of accomplishments and hardships and I think it’s important to thank all the people that were in your corner through all those ups and downs.

So again, I say! Be grateful! Every chance you get, tell the people close to you how much they mean to you!

Thank you so much for being here. Your absence is sorely missed when you are not around! Have a beautiful week! We’ll catch up on Sunday😘