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, Teacher Problems

Intruders – Shared

Hey Everyone!

Today’s post came to me as most of my great ideas come to me: while I was in the shower! I jumped out mid- rinse to scribble it down before I forgot!

So, I shared with you my then favourite read, Intruders a few months ago, remember? Well, I enjoyed it so much that I shared it with those around me! I tweeted about it, got my colleagues’s bookworm daughter into it and even gifted my sister with it for Christmas! The most recent share was a student of mine who strolled into my class and asked me for a good book to read.

She stormed in the next morning with nothing but complaints about the book, “Miss, why are the stories too short?! Just when I started enjoying them, they would end!” “I think the author should make a few of them into novels!” For the rest of that day, at line up, during break and sometimes in class I would find her with her nose buried in the book! She couldn’t get enough! She begged to keep it a little bit longer so she could read it again! It was so exciting to see someone else get as excited about this collection of short stories as I did!

Good stories are worth sharing with the masses! I am so privelleged to be able to do this for my students! I’ve even managed to rope in another student into reading it too! I hope she likes it too😊

Thanks for popping on today! It’s always good to have you! We’ll chat again on Sunday! Bye!

am writing, Love & War, Ramblings

Control

Hey everyone! It’s good to have you back😊 I had a bit of drama yesterday but I’m begining to bounce back a little bit, I’ll tell you all about it in a minute!

I finally finished this gem in the wee hours of this morning! If you haven’t yet, you should really get your hands on this beauty! I’m definitely planning to read it again!

Back to my drama! The past few weeks have been very very strange. I haven’t been sleeping very well. I go to bed at a decent hour and without the disturbing noise of the TV. But without fail, every morning, around 4am, I’m up. Wide awake. I’ve finally resorted to reading and catching up on marking until I fall back asleep. On other nights, I spend the time in prayer and meditation; there is so much to pray about, guys!

I’ve also been putting my body through a lot of strain in the gym. My shins have been hurting and so have my knees from all the extra work I’ve been putting in. Everyone around me has been telling me to take it easy, rest and pick it back up – I haven’t listened and yesterday, I caught a stomach bug! Well, it wasn’t that bad, but my plan to go for a run in the morning and gym later on in the day as well as put in some marking in between was shot to hell! My body caved and demanded the rest I was refusing it.

Even as I proofread this, I feel mildy overwhelmed! I try to do too much and I’m not sure what I’m trying to prove, but my lesson here is very clear: I need to give up control: over my body, my work, the people in my life, everything! I started this year with the intention to enjoy my life the way it is and it’s time to go with the flow, listen to my body and my mind and just relax a little bit.

So share with me! What is your life demanding of you right now? I hope you are listening closely! It’s always a pleasure to have you here. Don’t worry, Sunday will be here before you know it 😘

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😘

Looking Forward To, my adventures, Ramblings

Future Reads

Happy Hump day!

I trust you have had a good week so far! I don’t know about you but Wednesdays are usually the toughest days for me to get through! I don’t know how people run at full speed Monday to Friday! We should exchange notes on how to keep the energy up all week🤔… Sunday, let’s talk about this on Sunday, ok? because tonight, I want talk about something else…

I’ve come to love South African literature. We have so many amazing stories to tell and I’m here to read as many of them as possible! I started a new moment on Twitter sporting some of the novels I plan to get my hands on in the near future. Check out the link below👇

Oooor, Just follow me on Twitter, silly! I’m over there all the time and that list is going to grow! The handle is @nolo_yiso

Don’t worry about Hump Day. It gets easier from tomorrow onwards🙂 Unless you’re my work bestie, Jacqui! Thursday’s her Hump Day, lol

Good night erbody!

am writing, Ramblings

The Boon Book Club

Happy Saturday, my Weirdos!

I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’m part of thee coolest bookclub on Twitter -humble brag: we trended one time!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Just a heads up; this Sunday (Yes, tomorrow!!!) between 16:00 and 18:00, we’re gonna be at it again discussing our latest read! You can search #theboonbookclub to see what everyone has to say and you can participate if you’ve read the novel yourself.

I’ll share some of my favourite tweets with you on Sunday night in case you miss it, ok?!

Have a fabulous day!