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

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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].

The Menstrual Cup: What You Need to Know Part 2

Hey Everyone! How is the week going? Are you ready for the weekend yet? It’s the final countdown for most things on my side. For one, this is my last teaching week for the year! The year is drawing to an end for real, guys!

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I don’t like writing posts that are too long, but today’s topic is very important, whether you are a woman or have women in your lives so please bare with me! I’ll make it interesting😉

Many moons ago, I shared some benefits for using the Menstrual Cup based on what I found on the internet. That was Part 1. I’ve been using the menstrual cup since that post and today, I’m going to share my experience!

The Bad and the Ugly

If you didn’t know how your lady parts worked before, you will once you start using the menstrual cup! There are up to 9 different ways to insert the menstrual cup, all with different folds! I have found videos like this one very helpful in finding the right fold for insertion. It’s very important to find the right one for you because if you don’t insert the cup correctly, it will leak no matter how light your flow is.

The main objective when inserting the menstrual cup is to make sure it pops open once inserted. The best way to check if it opened and suctioned to your walls is to run your forefinger around the cup and if there are no folds, you’re good. Also, wiggle around to make sure you don’t feel it ( just like the tampon) and push it further up if you do.

Some advice from my friend, Stacey ( who intorduced me to the menstrual cup): don’t give yourself the option of sanitary towels or tampons because you will just end up doing what is easier than figuring out the menstrual cup. Adjust and readjust until you get it right!

The Good

It doesn’t seize to amaze me that I can wear my menstrual cup for up to 12 hours a day! I insert in the morning after rinsing it out in hot water and take it out and empty it in the evening when I get back from gym, rinse it out in the shower and reinsert for the night and the entire time, there are no leaks (if correctly inserted)! It’s also important to boil the cup at the end of your period before putting it away.

While it cost me a pretty penny to get the menstrual cup, I made that money back in 6 months considering I spent no money on tampons and sanitary towels since I’ve had it!

So there you have it, finally! I hope this was informative for you and I hope you’ll try out using the menstrual cup because it’s good for the environment and good for you!

You stayed till the end! I’m so proud of you and also very grateful to you for always popping in! Please drop a comment if you have any questions or if you’d like to share your menstrual cup experiences! Have a beautiful week! I’ll see you on Sunday😘

The Eat Out – The Royale, Johannesburg

Happy Sunday Erbody!

I trust you have had a great weekend and you’re rested up for the week ahead.

It amazes me how much we can change over a short space of time. And we don’t realise it ’till we revisit ourselves and see a huge change!

I love food. I love making it, and trying what other people make and so the eatout was always the highlight of my month! Check out my previous posts about it here.

Last night, a handful of the old members of the Eatout got together to celebrate a birthday in true eatout style. Our adventure took us to The Royale in Craighall, Johannesburg.

The Spot

The restaurant itself doesn’t really stick out among the long rows of shops,bars and car dealerships along Jan Smuts so you will have to trust your GPS completely to get there in case you miss it. Once inside, you are met by a Cuban vibe: Great music, palm trees and rustic photoframes on the walls. There’s an open roof in the outside/ inside area that is going to be perfect when summer really kicks in! The birthday girl had to book us a table well in advance and we found ourselves sitting next to a bridal party as well! In true Joburg style, The Royale brings in all types of people from the sophisticated cuisine hunters to the hipsters popping in for a few drinks.

The Service

I arrived late to the venue so I didn’t know who our waiter was. He was difficult to flag down but the place does start getting busy after 7 on a Saturday night. Our food and drink, however, did arrive promptly every time! The food portions were reasonable, in size and in prices, and just as yummy!

Our Favourites

Speaking of yummy food, the ribs were amazing! Tender meat and a portion fit for a king! The prawn curry was just the right amount of spicy to enjoy without tearing up! The clam and mussels were also a hit. Those 2 rolls on the side help to enjoy the leftover lemon creamy sauce😋. I will definately be having the squid next time I’m there! In a nutshell, none of us were dissappointed with our food!

Well, there you have it! My take on an authentically Cuban experience with a little help from a few friends! Thanks for your input guys! Of course, your company makes these outings all the more delightful!

Well, thank you once again for dropping by, everyone! I hope to see you on Wednesday!

P.S Oh I almost forgot! When you visit this cool spot make sure you take a picture at the Palm Tree! The Palm tree was awesome!

Gratitude

Good Evening, Dear Readers!

I’m really starting to cut it way too fine with making our dates! Fortunately, I know you understand that life sometimes takes big strides ahead of us and we have to jog a little bit to keep in step with it!

Tonight, I was going to talk about knowing your worth and learning how to articulate it, but that’s going on the backburner for another time.

I have friends of different calibres in my life. I quite like it that way. Some are much older and others much younger than me. Some are married with kids, some are single and unattached. Some are black like me and some are white; some are men and others are female. This kind of variety has helped me to have perspective. To understand the value of my own life and where I’m at in it in relation to theirs. All my friends have taught me to be grateful for the way my life is right now, because I know I will miss how it is now when I’m at a different place later.

I just got home from visiting a friend in hospital. She had an Arthritic episode and was admitted yesterday. She’s 25. 25 and Arthritic! That’s crazy! As we sat together during her visiting hours, I was struck by how I myself have had very few serious visits to the doctor or the hospital for that matter. I’ve never really been a sickly person. I could only imagine the pain she described to me of injections and swollen joints, being bedridden with nothing to do but wait to get better. She’s familiar with most of these discomforts so she handles it like a champ while I felt nothing but terror for her as I listened! My friend is so brave and strong for going through all of this on her own!

I think it’s very important for us to take a moment tonight and thank God for our health. We are healthy, guys! Let that sink in for a moment and give thanks! While you’re at it, take a moment to think about those who, like my friend, struggle with all kinds of illnesses. Pray for their recovery but also for love and light as they brave such storms.

Thanks for popping in tonight and don’t worry, Sunday will be here before you know it😉 Until we meet again!

Stone

Happy Sunday, Erbody!

If you’ve been following me for a long time, you know sometimes I write something resembling poetry. If you want to read any of it then help yourself to my Prose category 🙂

I don’t really think of myself as much of a poet but I enjoy good imagery and it’s quite an outlet, creating imagery relating to my own experiences.

Stone

So tempted to lift it.

To take a peak

In hopes that what lies beneath is different to what was there before.

But like the creatures that crawl about beneath the stone, we too are creatures of habit.

Our patterns remain more or less the same. We scavenge for nourishment, warmth and safety – in each other.

We are the creatures and we also have the power to lift the stone, to satisfy our curiosity, to see.

But what lies there is very likely exactly the same as what lay there the very first time we lifted the stone.

And that is why

Some stones are better left unturned.

I hope you enjoyed that! And I hope you are rested up and ready for the new week! I’ll see you on Hump Day😘

Thanks for reading!