am writing, Interests, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Black Tax

I slapped this book on the restaurant table and the black kids my age picked it up. “So are you a victim of black tax, then?” That phrase makes me so uncomfortable. The idea of being a victim. And even the idea of Black Tax itself.

I was raised by an independent woman. Strong, fierce and prudent with money. When I was in my teens, my mother would hand over the bank card and send me to do the groceries. I saw what was left when I was done and for the rest of the month I would stress about making it until the next pay day. I never got pocket money and I never spent any money on anything for myself as a payment for my labour ( there were no sms bank notifications back then so I could have got away with it) and I resented this responsibility with every fibre of my being. I resented it being my responsibility and I resented not being rewarded for it.

Any adult will tell you that there are many things they did not understand about their parents when they were children under their parents’ roofs that they only now understand as adults who are trying to do the best that they can to make ends meet and to build a life they can be proud of.

As it is with most human conditions, Black Tax is both a blessing and a burden for me. I count myself favoured that I have the financial ability to assist back home. And it is an even bigger blessing that my family does not look to me expectantly for financial aid of any kind. I’ve always given what I was able to and willing to give. My mother stretched herself thin for me and I would do anything to make her proud and ensure that she is as financially stress free as possible today. But Biggy said it before he died: more money, more problems.

I straddle the fence between privellege and black tax. I took, not one, but two years off before going to university. But then again, while I lived in res, I didn’t have a fridge or microwave like my friends did. I was not bought a car for my 18th birthday and many of the little costs that came with varsity life came as a surprise to me.

Saying that I come from poverty would be an affront to my mother and my grandmother. My grandmother was a domestic worker in Jozi and barely raised her own children while looking after the children of other families, but my mother and her siblings grew up to be nurses and teachers with degrees and postgrads and honors. Who am I to call myself poor when I am a second generation graduate in my family?

It was interesting to read the different contributors’ essays about their own experiences. Some are relatable, but others reminded me that while I may carry some of the weight of Black Tax, I also count it a privilege that the weight is not as heavy as it is for those around me.

am writing, Prose, Ramblings, Soul Stuff

Intruders

Happy Sundays Everyone!

What a stressful week! But it’s over and it came with its rewards! I hope yours had some colour in it too🙂 Anyway, let’s get to the day’s topic!

It’s official: I am in love with South African literature❤ I especially love, Mohale Mashigo. I wrote about her debut novel, The Yearning almost a year ago. Come to think of it, I didn’t do that post justice! I adored the novel so much that I gave my copy away to a colleague I met- Bittersweet because I want to revisit that story, but I digress! Mashigo recently released a collection of short stories titled Intruders.

I seldom read more than one novel by any author, but Mashigo has stolen my heart! Her writing is alluring, her stories intriguing and her characters, all people I’d like to call my friends.

In this particular collection, she introduces the reader to a genre of literature called Afrofuturism. She, however expresses a need to tell stories that lie somewhere between a dystopian and a utopian future Africa. She explains it much more eloquently in her notes before delving into these different worlds where everything is familiar in its South African contexts but with completely different, sometimes supernatural and sometimes strange features.

That’s how she has me hanging on her every word in every story of this collection of short stories! I found myself eagerly turning the page and the next story in anticipation for how each tale will unfold all the while dreading (because short stories always tend to be too short) the end which comes all too quickly!

In a nutshell! I’m loving this novel! I’m not done yet, bu I look forward to the rest of it! Find it and give it a try!

Well, that’s all I had to share today! I’m praying for a warrior mentality this week! I hope you too resolve to reach your goals and not to surrender!

Thanks for popping in and have an awesome week, my friendlies😘

am writing, my adventures, Ramblings

My Afroblogger Curating Experience

Happy Humpday, Erbody!

I don’t know about you, but this week has just flown by! I’m am heading back to work next week so maybe that’s why🤔

Today, I’m sharing yet another Twitter fun thing I did. I’m starting to develop a pattern, don’t you think?😉

I’m sure I’ve told you about Afroblogger before. I normally participate in their Wednesday Poetry evenings. If you missed it before, I talk about it here.

This time, my partnership with them was a bit different. Every Sunday, Afrobloggers allows one of its followers to take over their account for the day. I had to be part of this and because sometimes you have to go get what you want, I asked and it was given to me!

For me #SundayTakeover was an opportunity to meet other bloggers, find some inspiring blogs and also gain some followers and I was not dissappointed!

Africa is bursting with writers that are very keen to learn and grow in the industry. It was good to debate and give each other some tips on how to improve! Also, by virtue of being chosen for the #SundayTakeover you already have credibility which was great for the ego😉

So, as I always do! I put together some tweets from the day so you can see what we got talking about! The Afroblogger tweets are me. Check it out👇

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or here if you like! Thank you so much for visiting! Have a beautiful day!

am writing, Love & War, Prose, Ramblings, Soul Stuff

This Way

I wasn’t born this way.

I wasn’t born in pain.

Love & War, Ramblings, Soul Stuff, Teacher Problems

Coconut

Sigh… The only thing I can stifle out of me as I read the closing lines of this novel. Is that it? Is this all it boils down to? No matter which side of the track we are born and raised on, will the black child forever be disatisfied with being black? Will white always be a disposition we strive for? Will their soft hair and pale skin and their twang always be better?Surely, we have evolved! Surely we love ourselves just a little bit…

Matlwa paints a very bleek picture of the African child. I’m disappointed…