Conversations With Nomz Turns A Year Old 🎈

On the 10th of March 2019, I took a leap of faith and said ‘f*ck it lets do this.’ I started this blog and little did I know how great it would turn out and how it would bring so much joy and healing for me. I’ve always been a writer but I had never thought anything would come out of that hobby. In this article I will be sharing with you five important things I have learnt from blogging.

Do Not Compare Yourself.

Every blogger / writer has a different story to tell and a different mark to leave. Just as we are all different individuals on different journeys, so are our blogs. I have had difficulty accepting this or rather difficulty not comparing my blog to the next persons blog until I started making it a habit to remind myself that my blog is here for a different reason and I created it for a different purpose than the next person created theirs.

Comparison is the thief of joy and there is so much truth in this saying. The more one compares themselves to others the more we are unhappy with ourselves. It is the same with being a blogger, the more I compare my blog to the next persons blog, the less I see the beauty of my own and the greatness I am serving and receiving back.

The second important thing I have learnt is that, everything takes time!! I always say that the problem with me is that I want to build Rome in one day. I am slowly but surely attuning all of me to deeply know that everything takes time, all I need to do is to keep at it and trust in the process. Writing / blogging, like most creative endeavours, is something that will take time. Gaining a following with it will take time. Making money from it will take time. But since it has become my passion I know that waiting is part of trusting the process. “Do not despise these small beginning” – Zechariah 4 vs 10. Need I say more.

I am a brand.

My values, what I stand for, what I believe in, what people see when they see me, what I associate myself with – these are some of the aspects that make me a brand and my blog has to align with the brand I am and constantly evolving into. To build a strong audience and to take up space in society, one needs know who they are and to know who they are serving. Writing and having a blog has made me see that the gifts and talents you have are not for you but for the world to experience. In other words, I am sharing my gift of writing to influence and to heal and that is the kind of brand I am building for myself and my blog.

Be authentic.

In the year that I have been blogging, I have learnt to embody authenticity because that is what will draw in attract your audience, the people that this blog was created for. Authenticity and vulnerability are what makes me human and this is what people are yearning for. I am an avid believer of the fact that one should not release anything to the public if it was not made wholeheartedly, for me to post an article I have to immense myself in it and I have to feel it deeply.

And lastly, love what you do and do what you love. Everything after that will be a beautiful journey.

Happy Birthday To My Blog. 🎈

Thank you to all my readers for being a part of my journey and for being so patient and kind, and so very supportive!! I appreciate you all and I appreciate all the feedback I receive. It does not go unnoticed. Love and eternal peace to you all.💕

Finding my place under the sun through Feminism.

I have never thought of myself as being a ‘feminist’ neither have I ever really understood the notion behind it or how one defines it. Reading the book ‘Feminism Is’ somewhat changed and erased the idea I had that ‘feminism’ was all about women empowerment and women solidifying the ‘men are trash’ movement which initially started as just a hashtag. I believe that reading this book at such a time of my life – being in my 20s and still trying to find my place under the sun – has really impacted me and I doubt I will ever forget this book.

The book ‘Feminism Is’

The book ‘Feminism Is’ comprises of a collection of essays written by South African feminist writers on the topic ‘feminism is’ and is edited by Jen Thorpe. The main thing I gathered from reading all these essays, that were clearly articulated from different angles, was that: feminism means something different to each and every person but in all essence is inclusive of every person regardless of their gender, race or sexuality. Feminism has a place for everyone.

In this post, I will be talking about the writers which mostly impacted my view on the whole ‘Feminsim’ concept and movement. The first is Pumla Dineo Gqola. Her essay was based on her experiencing feminism and learning what it is through her interaction with certain people in her life. She is a mothering feminist meaning that she is simultaneously a mother and a feminist.

My perspective of this essay is that sometimes, as a female feminist, you will defy conventional concepts. From going against traditional practices to not viewing marriage or motherhood as an achievement and not sacrificing your life for your children. None of these things make a woman a ‘bad woman’ instead they make her ‘her.’ Being a feminist, according to Gqola’s essay, sometimes means that you as a woman will go through many failed marriages because you refuse to settle for what does not serve you or your values and beliefs. Feminism will sometimes mean that you are a single parent also fighting against outrageous work-place politics undermining you as a woman.

“Feminism is fierceness, it is absolute refusal to be associated with anything you cannot claim in broad dayight. It is the unshakeable commitment to belong to oneself. Feminism is about knowing when to receive and when to let go” – Pumla Dineo Gqola, 2018 found in ‘Feminism Is’ p23.

Forty pages into the book, I found myself saying ‘woah, this woman is a god, how could she write such a mindblowing essay’ and that was when I was reading Danielle Alyssa Bowler’s essay/chapter. I kept turning the pages and I could not stop reading because I strongly felt that I could relate to everything she was saying and my mind was deeply resonating with her views.

I remember reading her chapter and feeling like I was looking right into my soul because everything she was talking about, I was either living it or someone else in my generation was living it. What struck me the most about her chapter was when she spoke about how we as people – millenials in particular – were living in a time where our lives are embedded in tiny devices and we struggle to live outside social media. Reading Bowler’s chapter was like reading about a world that profoundly reflected my own.

I was reading this book with a notebook in my hand, jotting down lines to remember. I had the urgency to commit these lines to memory which was prompted by their deep resonances. Bowler (2018) states that “I do not express myself – my feelings or my thoughts – through emojis, memes, and various manipulations of language. I am quite blunt and I am as naked as they come.” I could not help it, it felt like my mind was having a spasm.

The more I read this book, the more I found parts of myself I did not know I was looking for. I looked and found myself in sentences and paragraphs: to recreate or solidify myself and my ideas. My life, like many others, is profoundly concerned with the search for clarity, the need for everything within me and around me to be distilled into a clearer and cleaner sense of meaning.

The last chapter I will speak about was a chapter by Gugulethu Mhlungu. I will speak about it because it felt very personal, I could see my life and my grandmother in every idea she touched on. She greatly put into perspective what most of us black African children go through – being raised by our grandparents. Her chapter enlightened to me that feminism is also the very struggles our grandparents endure to ensure that we live a particularly beneficial and exceptional life. My grandmother was the epitomy of this – she would break her back to ensure that my sister and I live the good life.

In conclusion, I would like to greatly emphasize that feminism is not about hating men and burning bras. It is much bigger and deeper than that. Feminism is for every single body, for every race, every gender, every sexuality. I cannot say that I am now a feminist after reading this book but I do know that I have a solid idea of what feminism is and what it is not, but essentially it carries different meanings in different contexts.

A Podcast Experience – what a time to be alive.

To have two black women collaborate in South Africa – what a time to be alive. Yea, yea, I know what you are thinking ‘uhm Nomz this is not the first time there is such a thing.’ And you’re right. Its not the first time but it is not something that we see happening 80% of the time. Women are very disconnected compared to men. Let’s be honest, as women what we are very familiar with is giving each other the ugly stares on the street (FOR NO DAMN REASON) and acting like we are all best friends in the club, usually in the bathrooms. So yes, I am drinking to two black women collaborating.

I had the opportunity of collaborating with Slu Mbeje via a podcast interview. Slu is the host / owner of the podcast and a dear friend of mine from High School – we were separated by distance but we are reunited again. Slu says she is a great fan of my blog and loves the fact that I “live life consciously” – these were her words – and to be honest I was very taken back. It is such an amazing thing to experience when someone tells you that ‘hey, I see you and I am very proud of you’ even more special when it comes from another black sister.

To have two black women in the same space, genuinely speaking about their experiences in life, and sharing that with the rest of the world is even more beautiful. Us black women are already faced with so many challenges and we need to come to terms with the act that only we can break down the chains that the rest of society has built around us. And we can only that together, united. But the truth is, we cannot empower one another if we are still ‘beefing’ with each other for no reason. There is one thing that I have learnt from this podcast experience and that I am appreciating more:

You never know what your gift may open up for you. Being a part of this podcast experience reminded me of why I write, that sharing your life story is a beautiful thing, no matter how ugly it is. You will never know how sharing your story may change or impact another life – your gift is your way of expressing yourself.

This podcast experience is definitely going up as one of my highlights for this year and I really hope that the fire that was sparked never goes out but is forever burning on. I hope that there are more experiences that we will share together as women. I have attached the link to the podcast below. Thank you for reading this and for listening to the podcast. You are the reason.

Sidenote: the podcast will be released as a part series. This is Part1, part 2 will be released next week.

https://anchor.fm/slungile-mbeje/episodes/The-Power-of-Social-Media–w-blogger-Nomz-e4rrvs p>

Boldly Celebrate Yourself.

It was a Thursday morning and I was reflecting on the things I’ve been through – good and bad, so that includes my achievements and the storms I’ve been through and come out stronger than before. I then had a moment where I was really proud of myself and wanted to celebrate myself and my victories by posting something on social media. But I didn’t because I thought that this move would be perceived as ‘boastful.’

But why is that? Why is it that as human beings – I generalise because I know that I am not the only one – we think twice or even three times about giving ourselves a pat on the shoulder just as a reminder that “hey, even though you are not who you want to be as yet neither are you where you want to be as yet, but you are becoming and have achieved so much. You are here. Right now that is enough and that is worth celebrating.”

As I think of my closest friends, I am struck by a moment of sonder – we are all complex and unique in a way that one can never fully comprehend so why search for validation from another being to celebrate your own victories that only you know about and understand.

There is a saying by Lao Tzu “Care about what others think and you will always be their prisoner.” By thinking that I would be perceived as being boastful by celebrating myself, essentially what I was doing was unintentionally volunteering for a trapped existence of discontent. Why was I not content with just having a one-man celebration of myself? Why can we not be content with just ourselves knowing that we are worth celebrating with or without another person’s validation?

The truth is if we want to blaze our own brilliant trail through this life and be happy, we have to unlearn this thing of thinking that our lives, our victories, our achievements, are only worth celebrating if there is a second or third person to confirm and validate this. If you wake up in the morning and you feel like having a thread on your social media platform of your achievements, go for it, and do not apologize for it. Simply because nobody knows what it took for you to get to where you are. It does not even have to be on social media, speak good words to yourself, be kinder to yourself. Stop being your worst critic.

If it is important to you and is mentally and emotionally good for you, GO FOR IT! Stop apologizing for boldly celebrating yourself. Celebrate yourself and your victories unapologetically. I want to challenge you for this week: as you step into the new week, make it a point to boldly celebrate something about you that you love or a time you thought you weren’t going to make it but you did. Celebrate also the bad habits you have cut ties with such as giving yourself to people that no longer serve you because that is a step towards loving yourself better and that is worth celebrating.

Be a sunflower: keep your head up towards the sun.

Love and Light To You.