Goapele: move forward.

Goapele – Closer.

a picture of Goapele.

A song that brought about a shift in me.

I was in the car on Tuesday morning, as I was on my way to run a few errands, when this song started playing on the radio. I spent about 30 seconds meditating on speific words from the song and never have I ever been so hopeful. Never have I felt God so strongly and if there really are spirit guides then I surely felt mine that morning.

It wasn’t the first time hearing this song, I’ve heard it many times before – this song is old so I had heard it many times throughout my childhood: on the radio, on the television… anywhere. But never have I heard it the way I did on this particular morning, I did not think it would become so compelling in a time of hopelessness. I can certainly say that this song brought about a shift in me. In my spirit. In my mind.

The song basically talks about reaching your dreams and being closer to your dreams and destiny. I will now talk about specific words/lines from the song that truly spoke to me and have brought a transition in me that I cannot explain but will try to do so as honestly as I can.

“Close your eyes and seek what you believe.”

This was the line that kept resonating in my mind and I felt it in my spirit like a huge wave of hopefulness. How I related to it was that I saw it as another way of saying ‘as a man thinketh, so is he.’ It all starts in the mind and for me to become all that I want to be, I have to see it in my head. Imagine it and believe in it.

I was stuck in a rut of feeling like I will never become what I want to become neither will I leave this place of uncertainty and hopelessness and after hearing this I literally closed my eyes and imagined all I wanted to become and all I wanted to accomplish. And just as I was doing so I heard the next line:

Sometimes it feels like I’ll never go past here
Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck forever, ever 

This was when I felt God and my spirit guide so strongly. How can it possibly be that this song is talking about everything that I am feeling. How can it be putting everything into perspective. I do not believe in ‘coincidence’ but I do believe that God and the universe speak to us all in different ways, through different things, at different times. I believe that God and the spirit that guides each one of us will use people, situations, or in this case even songs to speak to us. To help us find our way back around.

Those two lines are speaking about what everyone in life feels at some point-STUCK. Sometimes you have failure, after failure, after failure. But you have to remember that failure is a key part to success. You come to many closed roads before you can get to the one to your dreams.

Now I was five to crying in gratitude – I was so grateful for this moment. For this song. For helping me realize that every setback will eventually work in my favor and every failure is just paving the way for greatness that is to come.

When I got home I googled Goapele’s name meaning. To my surprise it means ‘to move forward’ in the South African language, Setswana. I mean, come on widdit!! And that is why I decided to name this blog post by her name. It seemed really fitting.

Here is to us reaching our dreams. Here is to us being closer to our dreams. But most importantly, here is to us hearing God’s voice, hearing the universe, and acknowledging our spirit guide in times of desolute.

Disclaimer: lyrics obtained from the Genius Lyrics website: https://genius.com/10976937

Find Your Own Voice in The Noise.

It is so easy to lose sight of who you are and where you are going when you are bombarded by other people’s opinions, successes and the way they move. One starts comparing and contrasting themselves to those around them.

The fact of the matter is that we are all trying to be better and to live better but we do not have the same journey neither do we walk on the same paths. Just because you are not where they are, it does not mean that you cannot find new-found hope. Stop comparing yourself to others, take a step back and remember why you started and what you aim to be and achieve. If it means reminding yourself five times in an hour then so be it! Make it a habit that as soon as you start comparing yourself to the next person, stop and remind yourself who you are, where you are going, and who you are becoming.

Now this mentality can be adopted in all spaces and aspects of your life – your career, your side hustle, your health, your body goals – whatever it is. Do not compare yourself to the next person, the butterfly effect occurs differently [at different times] for all of us.

While we are still at this, I would like to thank every single person that reads my blog, that shares my content and is always open to connecting and interacting with me. I appreciate you all so very much. Thank you.

Today I encourage you to listen to the song ‘Butterfly’ by Cleo Sol and to read the blog post below by another blogger I follow and enjoy reading her posts – #MILLENNIALLIFECRISIS.

Blogging isn’t about picking the right topic; it’s about finding the right voice. Your voice. What matters, what people really resonate with, isn’t so much what you say, but how. People are going to tell if you’re being inauthentic. People are going to be able to tell if you’re writing for attention. People can always […]

Blogging Tip: Stay True to You — #MILLENNIALLIFECRISIS

a small short story about how Grey's Anatomy elucidated relationships.

Five minutes of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. That is all it took for me to understand and accept the depth of relationships. Not just relationships that one has with their partner(s) but with their friends, siblings, anyone they associate themselves with on that level.

I am an avid fan and lover of the series Grey’s Anatomy and I can always relate with an episode of it very easily. It is almost if I have an intimate connection with it, somehow. Yet, never did I imagine that Shonda Rhimes’ acclaimed medical drama would make a part of my life make sense to me.

“Just as organ systems are co-dependent for survival, so are human beings. Studies have shown that our happiness and health depend upon our relationships not just functioning but thriving … Sometimes the best we can do for one another is bear each others burdens, ease each others pain, and hold each others hands in the dark,” – Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) was the narrator of this scene. Grey’s Anatomy S16 E1

I probably played that scene for about five times – replaying it, pausing it, replaying it again and again because something in me was identifying with those words so very deeply. And then it hit me, almost like an epiphany. The part of me that cared so very much about my relationship with my loved ones and those close to me was having an ‘AHA!’ moment.

Why is it that we feel heartbroken when a friendship ends or when one is going through a rough patch with someone they love? It is because that is not human nature – it does not bring out happiness and neither does it produce good feelings. We, as human beings are drawn to feelings of security and certainty that if there is any detection of uncertainty or disruption, feelings of worry come about. That was the first truth that I came to learn in those five minutes. The second truth was that, and this will be a hard one to swallow for some people, WE ARE ALL CODEPENDENT FOR SURVIVAL AND HAPPINESS. A human being is not an island, we cannot exist without one another, we cannot live without human interaction. Truth is, we all have people, even if it is one person, that we cannot imagine life without and we are dependent on them for feelings of security, love and so on (whether we are conscious of this or not).

Our lives are a series of moments like the one I had. Appearing unannounced and incrementally or instantly giving you the right perspective of something you were not aware that you needed.

2019 Ultimate Highs.

Twenty nineteen has been the most testing year but has simultaneously shown me my strength and I really personified my name ‘Nomzamo’ which directly translates ‘Mother of Perseverance.’

Although 2019 has been long and trying, it has also birthed some of my ultimate best moments and blessings. I am an avid believer in reflecting on the year and looking at the good that has come out of it before entering the new one – just to also send out a bit of gratification. In this article, we will be delving into my ultimate highs of 2019.

1.The Birth of My Blog.

‘Conversations-unheard-of’ came about through my love for writing supported by the belief my partner had in me that my thoughts and opinions put in or as a blog would really slap (that is slang for ‘would really be great’ or anything of that sort).  When I pursued this venture, it was all in the name of ‘giving it a shot’ but little did I know that this would become such a big part of my life and purpose.

Those who know me know that this year I have had to try the hardest I ever had in my life to stay in the light. Starting this blog has been the best thing that I’ve ever done for myself – finding joy and purpose in something non-human and non-materialistic has been very fulfilling. My audience is the reason I keep on keeping on and this blog, on some days, has been the only light I have, my only purpose. Nothing has made me happier this year than to read or hear someone say, ‘that is just what I have always felt and you have put it into words.’ In this moment I am reminded of Mr Tyler Perry’s words which we part of his BET Awards Speech, he said: your creative, your truth will help somebody cross.  You never know what your gift is doing for someone else. Sometimes, if not most times, your gifts and talents are not about you, but they are about the lives you will touch through your gifts and talents.

2.Graduating for my Honours Degree.

On the 9th day of the 4th month of this year, the stars seemed to be aligned – everything seemed to be happening as it should be. I felt so good, I wondered if it was real. But of course it was. That is the day when I graduated for my Honours Degree. In twenty Eighteen I pursued my Honours Degree in Corporate Communications and because it was also such a long and painful year, I had more days when I doubted I’d complete my degree in record time than I felt I would but through God I did. I cannot imagine how I could have simply done it by myself. This has to be one of my highs for this year because this achievement and attaining this degree was proof that through perseverance and prayer there is absolutely nothing I cannot achieve.   

Graduation Day 2019.

3.Picnic with my boyfriend.

Doing something you love with the person you love is always enjoyable and very special. I cannot put into words the way this picnic made me feel neither can I put into words why it is one of my highlights for twenty nineteen but I guess anything concerning intimate feelings and being in perfect love is very hard to explain.

4.Being featured in a podcast.

You know the saying ‘you never know who’s watching,’ well this was downright one of those episodes or predicaments where I asked myself: how?

Thee is a young lady I went to High School with whom I had not been in touch with for years now and she sent me a Direct Message on Instagram asking for a collaboration – she has a podcast. This was the epitome of never knowing who’s watching and who’s rooting for you and your success. This was a solid reminder, also, that we are all part of something bigger than you and I. The universe and God knew that one day this young lady and myself would collaborate. This was definitely a high for me.

5.Turning 23 years old.

Not to sound cliché or anything but many do not live up to this age, I have met a lot of people along the way and a lot have passed on so I do not take this lightly. I have lived for 23 years – that is a very long time, having not encountered any life-threatening diseases or anything of that sort.

I remember when I woke up  on my birthday this year, I was filled with a sense of newness – that the year 23 will bring about a lot of good which will outweigh the bad. Blessings will manifest in the year 23. I will constantly be surrounded by the light and not have to chase it most of the time. Walking into the 23rd year of my life has been a catalyst for change and the renewal in my life. The 27th of November 2019 was definitely one of my highlights for the year. I am grateful for the blessings that this chapter of my life will bring.

An image of me and my best friends on my birthday.

End Note –  I am so very grateful to God for being with me up until today, it was not by my own doings that I find myself here today reflecting on the year. Although not a lot of what I had prayed for and aspired for has happened but I am certain that what was meant to happen in the year 2019 did happen and it was for a reason much bigger than me. I have learnt that I am actually not in control of anything and sometimes that is okay. I am also very grateful for all the friends that carried me through and I am very sure that there were days that I could not have been without them.

Here’s to 2020 🍻

What A Time to Be A Black South African Woman.

Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi.

This year has been the hardest and most painful time for a South African woman but even harder and more shattering being a black woman. We have been sexually violated, abused, murdered by men and let down by the justice system. But last night, a black woman was celebrated – and is still being celebrated – for being crowned the first black south African Miss Universe. A black dark skinned South African queer woman with natural 4centimetre hair won Miss Universe, phenomenal. What a time to be alive. What a time to be a black South African woman. Zozibini Tunzi’s victory had me reflecting and dwelling on a few things:

  • Being conscious of the words you speak is very important.

In 2012, Zozibini Tunzi posted a status on Facebook which read, ‘one day is one day’ the captured picture was an image of Miss Universe 2012. Seven years later, the 26-year-old South African Xhosa woman is crowned Miss Universe 2019. DO NOT TAKE LIGHTLY THE WORDS YOU SPEAK TO YOURSELF AND ABOUT YOURSELF.

I am also reminded of a scripture from the bible where it tells us to ‘speak things which are not as if they were.’ Zozibini Tunzi literally spoke her dreams into existence – obviously supported by hard work and faith. Every single black woman’s dream is valid and it will come to being only if one works hard and never wavers. This epiphany was the highlight of her victory for me personally.

A screenshot of Zozibini’s status update on Facebook in 2012.
  • God’s Timing Is Always Perfect.

Zozibini was interviewed recently, and she said that after few years of nothing working out, everything fell into place in 2019. She got offered three internships, became Miss South Africa, left S.A for the first time, and walked NYFW. And now, she is Miss Universe.

Whether you believe in God or not, the universe will always respond to you at the right time. Timing is everything. If it is not working out or happening for you, it simply means that it is not your time. What is meant for you will never miss you neither will it ever be taken away from you. In Zozibini’s words “You are enough. If you do not get it, it was not meant for you or it was not your time. You are enough. You are enough.”

These are vital life facts that we all need to be reminded of once in a while.

  • Society’s beauty boundaries have been broken.

If there was ever to be a person to break the rules of society and break its beauty boundaries it was to be Zozibini Tunzi. When asked about ‘beauty’ she responded “The most important lesson I learnt was that women are not one-dimensional and therefore you cannot box their beauty. We all come in different shapes, sizes, and shades, with natural hair and weaves.” Below I have attached an extract where she speaks of women like herself not being considered beautiful. Her words are ground-breaking.

Zozibini Tunzi on Beauty.

I will remember this time in my country forever, 2019 in S.A has been the most gruesome year for women but in the very end we have found our light in one person: Zozibini Tunzi. Her purpose was certainly bigger than her. She is our ancestor’s wildest dreams.

To Being Limitless and Fearless.

Zoe Modiga once said, ‘I am iconic because I am alive.’ What a bold statement I thought.

As I enter year 23, I have been reflecting on year 22 a lot and for some reason – which I have come to see that it is a profound one – I truly resonate and relate with Zoe Modiga’s very bold yet very true statement. What a brave thing it is to be alive. To continuously go through seasons of ruins yet still conquer. To keep on keeping on despite all odds being against you. I am bravery personified. I am courage personified.

As I turn 23 and enter a new year in my life, I have two aspirations:

1. To Live in Perfect Peace.

During the year 22 I found myself in constant turmoil with myself. Most of the time it felt like I had a love-hate relationship with myself. Most days I did not feel 22, I felt like I was a 40-year-old woman going through a midlife crisis. But I suppose that is how growth is supposed to feel –  very uncomfortable, very ungiving, feelings of insecurity of your future, your journey – basically feeling like you are giving more than what you are getting and you’re a complete joke.

But I want this new year to consist of peaceful growth, to have more days where I feel like a 23-year-old. I want my soul to be at peace, my mind to be sound at all times if not most times, and my spirit to be in sync with God.

2. To Be Limitless and Fearless.

During year 22 I was always being boxed and limited. Year 23 should be all about being limitless and fearless. That is how most of our twenties should be, having limitless dreams and working on them fearlessly. I am going for gold and going for everything that life has to offer this year. The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person that you were intended to be. This year, I will not ask for permission. Neither should you. I aspire to get what I need and what I want. And so should you. As a 22-year-old I had been asking for permission to live my life and most of the time I was being told “yes you may, but not like that. Not the way you want to.” So in this moment I make a promise to myself to not wait for someone else to grant me permission to get what I need.

In closing I am reminded of a verse from the bible, Isaiah 43 vs 19:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wastelands.”

So, cheers to God blowing my mind. Cheers to a new year. Cheers to a rebirth.

Solange’s Subliminal Messages Expounding My Present Life.

The cover of Solange’s album ‘A Seat At The Table.’
Source: Pinterest.

The other day I was trying to understand the reason for the events of this year that have occurred in my life. As humans we constantly have the urgency to feel like we are in control and to know why certain things occur, which explains why I was so desperately trying to put into perspective all these unpleasant things that have been occuring to me and around me. I failed to define my present self or to find the reason why, so I turned to music to try put my thoughts and feelings into perspective. Finally, Solange’s album was the solid resonance of my life – specifically three songs which I will speak about in this blog post.

Track number two on the album. Weary. This song explicitly yet subliminally conveys the first part of myself. When I took to the internet to find out the vision and idea behind this song, I immediately felt like the lyrics were myself looking right back at me – https://genius.com/Solange-weary-lyrics.

The song starts off with Solange proclaiming that she is weary of the ways of the world. She has grown weary of the ways of the world and she is ready to take care of herself and ready to fight for her purpose. The lines that highlight this for us are the ones “I’m weary of the ways of the world…I’m gonna look for my body yeah, I’ll be back real soon.” These lines of the song speak about me wanting to find my self as an individual in society.

Solange also asks the listeners to question the state of the world – social hierarchy and inequality based on gender, race, or sexuality. ‘But you know that a King is only a man, with flesh and bones, he bleeds just like you do.’ This greatly suggests that he who created a social hierarchy has placed himself on a high pedestal yet he is human, just like you and I. Due to all these inequalities and social injustices, one might end up feeling like there is no place for them in the world, but there is. And we all belong here.

As mentioned before, listening to Weary at this specific time of my life, was a solid resonance of who I am right now. Given that I am an unemployed millennial, I am in a predicament where I am trying to find my place under the sun. The social hierarchy in South Africa, does not make a black woman’s journey any smooth, making it even harder to find my place in society as a black woman. But do I belong? Yes I do just as much as the white woman and white man.

“You’re feeling like you’re chasing the world, you’re leaving not a trace in the world, but you’re facing the world.” This part of the song describes my sense of resilience in trying to find employment, trying to become and basically chasing the world and its riches so that I leave a trace when I am no longer here on earth. This part depicts a series events where I am chasing my dreams, my aspirations and simultaneously fighting against the odds of the world. Which is not a very pleasant predicament.

Solange’s subliminal messages of Weary expound the part of me that – this year – has been trying so hard to make a place for herself in the world. It put into perspective my feelings of self doubt and uncertainty due to questions of whether I belong here, if this is where I am meant to be in this moment. It explained the uncomfortable feeling and weariness that comes with growing, adulting, and becoming.

An image from the Cranes in the Sky music video.
Source: Pinterest.

Cranes In The Sky. Number four on the album. If there has been a song that I have played numerous times on repeat, it has to be Cranes In The Sky. The meaning of this song is not as hidden as the others. It is quite apparent, just like my feelings and actions of this year. Solange describes her attempt at avoiding painful feelings. In an interview, https://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/solange, when asked about this song, Solange says she was in a season where she had to look at herself outside of being a mother and wife as she had just been divorced to her son’s father.

This song speaks about the part of me which is failing to see herself outside of being unemployed with nothing to her name. We all see the world through the lens of how one identifies and has been identified at that time, so at the moment I am identifying as an unemployed 22-year-old looking at the world through the lens of unemployment. One almost feels socially excluded. This song told me to feel every feeling I am feeling, to internalize every thought and emotion but to also, most importantly, work through it. It reminded me of something Chimamanda Adichie said in her Dear Ifeawele read, she suggests that to be a feminist one must be a full person – to not define oneself solely by motherhood/being a wife and in my case, being unemployed.

In the same interview, Solange says that “… every woman in her 20’s has been there, where it feels like no matter what you are doing to fight through the thing that is holding you back, nothing can fill that void.” As if it could not get any better the song then helped me clarify my emotions of void. Nothing can fill the void of being unemployed. Nothing can fill the void of feeling heavy. And that is okay, but the trick is to get through it and to not build a home in those feelings.

The first verse is the epitome of trying to fill the void, trying to avoid painful feelings: I tried to drink it away, I tried to put one in the air, I tried to dance it away, I tried to change it with my hair. We indulge in unhealthy habituals just to get away from constant feelings of self doubt and to escape the ever so present painful reality. This song reminded me of everything I had ever done to fill the void – there were vivid memories of it as I resonated with the lyrics.

But then there is also a part of me that is not so blue and gloomy about this year. Borderline (An Ode To Self Care). Number fourteen on the album. This song speaks about my resilience to preserve myself and to not lose myself to the mess and the ugly that has been staring at me in the face. In this song Solange took us to a time when she explored the tricky balance of engagement with the world’s struggles and the need for self-preservation.

I am one to want privacy and to protect parts of me in a world where everything is made public, in a world where some humans actually live on and in tiny devices. We are living in a time where people can very well express themselves through emojis and memes but struggle to do so in spoken words. We live in a time where our minds are so muddled that they feel like a complicated space to navigate and visions of ourselves are almost pixelated images. Self care and self preservation is the only way to survive all of this.

Although I am living in it, I am not a part of that time, thanks to self care and self preservation. It is so important to preserve the sentimental parts of yourself so that you do not run dry.

So this week I give thanks to Solange’s subliminal messages which expounded my present life. A Seat At The Table really makes me feel like I have a seat in the world despite the social hierarchy and despite the feelings of heaviness that come with not being the person you envisioned yourself to be. It made me feel like yes I belong, we all belong among the stars despite all odds being against us as individuals.