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.

Being A Woman In South Africa Is.

Being a woman in South Africa (S.A) is being raped and brutally murdered in your own home by your uncle, it is being raped and murdered in your local post office, it is being kidnapped and being held ransom only to be killed for no reason. Being a woman in S.A is being shot in the head, it is being chopped into actual pieces… for no reason.

These are just some of the stories we have heard of – that have made the headlines recently. Being a woman in S.A means constantly being in fear of being in public, of being the next victim.I was going to base this post on being a black woman in S.A but then it dawned on me that actually all women of all races are being targeted. Your sister, your neighbour, your aunt, your best friend, your girlfriend, your wife, your mother. Also, bare in mind that majority of the perpetrators – the rapists, the murderers, the kidnappers – most of the time, these are people that should be protecting us.

There have been men pleading with us women to please be vigilant at all times, and there have been some responding to that in question of why should we be vigilant when men can just stop being inhumane. But I am somewhat left feeling like South Africa is in too deep. Men will not stop being inhumane until the justice system is re-evaluated.South Africa has become a country that has normalized the rape, murder, and violation of women. That is the heartbreaking truth.

Someone wrote that “the saddest part about recent revelations (most recent victims of rape and murder that made the headlines) is that no matter how much people post and re-post about it, it will be treated like a trend and in two weeks we will forget and move on to the next headline.” And that is another heartbreaking truth. Being a woman in South Africa means that you will constantly ask yourself if you are next, if you will make it back home.

Relationships in the 21st century.

Men are trash, women just milk your pocket, being in a relationship is so exhausting – that is what you will hear from people in our generation. The woes of being in a relationship in the 21st century are so exhausting that countless new terms and lingo have been created because of it. There’s the classic ‘ghosting’ which I am sure we are all familiar with, then there’s the ‘I like you enough to hook up with you occasionally but not enough to actually be in a relationship with you and commit to you. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is romance these days – people partaking in unhealthy habits.

Now I am not here to give you tips on dating or tips on how to stay in a relationship neither am I going to give you tips on how to get your crush to like you. No. What I want to talk about today is dating in the 21st century for unconventional people like the amazing friend of mine (Nomxolisi), that I have featured in this post. What I want to share is that love is possible, relationships are not hard and being in a relationship is not exhausting. Nomxolisi and I have shared our experiences in/with dating and we are both currently in good and healthy relationships. So here is how we unconventional black women have gone against the odds and pursued relationships in a time where we are all weary of commitments/romantic relationships.

CHECK YOUR DM’s.

“Oh he’s in my DM’s but I am not interested” yes, we ladies love saying this but really you never know what may come out of that one Direct Message. Never did I think that the person I would genuinely and effortlessly fall in love with would be someone that slid in my DM’s. So I had put up that ‘ASK ME A QUESTION’ tag on my Instagram story and he DM’d me and asked me if he could take me out on a lunch date. I agreed solely because I was single and did not mind getting free food from a stranger and making small talk. Turns out that the conversation was more fulfilling and refreshing than the food AND my chapter on being single had been closed. Every time I think of our relationship and where we are at right now, it all seems so absurd that a simple direct message was the catalyst of it.

THE PERSON IN YOUR HEAD THAT EVERYONE TELLS YOU DOES NOT EXIST, ACTUALLY DOES EXIST.

Okay let us get a few things straightened out – there is no such thing as ‘thee perfect relationship’ but the person you dream about and think you will one day settle with (that the world has told you to forget about) actually does exist. They obviously won’t tick every single box but they will tick most of them – the important ones. This is what my friend Nomxolisi had to say about her relationship:

“I met a man inside the lift in my building, I had just come home from work, he was in his work clothes as well, looking extremely cute. Lift doors close, lift went up and he greeted me. Straight after greeting me he then shouted at me for not greeting as soon as I walked in, I was shocked and confused and I’m busy thinking “who does he think he is” but I still thought he was cute and because of that, I wasn’t too mad at him.

Next day I see him again and I greet him because I didn’t feel like being shouted at again. He greets back and then a day goes by. We meet again, for the third time now and exchange numbers and we’ve been talking from that day till now.”

When you and your man/woman have a genuine connection, speaking on a regular happens effortlessly because everything is flowing. You know when you have to pinch yourself every time you think of your man/woman and the type of relationship you guys have – that is a sign that you have dreamed about this and it is actually happening. That is exactly what happens to me when I think of my man and the relationship we have – I am not a conventional person. I like the classic type of love, where I handwrite letters and they mean something to my man, where he cooks for me, and our love is pure and true.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE EASY AND ARE A BREEZE.

When I asked Nomxolisi if she is finding dating and being in a relationships to be hard, this was her response, “STAY AWAY from people who show you that they don’t care from the beginning. I think relationships are meant to make life easier. From advice, to coming up with solutions, to making me laugh, to being thoughtful, to helping if they can.” We are not experts but all we know is that it should be a breeze, if it isn’t then LEAVE. Your 20’s are already so tough, now imagine adding on relationship stress onto your life, it really isn’t worth it.”

This is what I had always thought myself. When you are with someone who genuinely wants to be with you and is committed to you, that relationship becomes a walk in the park. Doubting yourself and your partner is a sign that you should step back and evaluate everything. Now we are not saying that it will be easy but it should not be hard to teach your partner how to love you or show them where they are missing the mark. I think one of the things that hinder us from experiencing good relationships is that we do not want to put in the work. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. Be consistent with your partner, never get too comfortable because the moment you stop trying to make your partner happy that’s the moment things start to deteriorate. My boyfriend still sends me a voice note every morning on WhatsApp reassuring me of his feelings and it is mostly because I am an unconventional person stuck in a conventional world where people wake up and decide to ghost you for no reason – so I need the reassurance.

LOVE DOES EXIST IN THESE VERY CONVENTIONAL TIMES.

Nomxolisi is an advocate for the ‘men are trash’ movement and another thing we have in common is that we both believe in dating for a purpose.

My boyfriend met me during a time of my life where I did not believe in love neither did I want anything to do with men and dating. But from the way he spoke to me, the way everything was flowing during the lunch date, he has had my heart and continues to make me feel like magic and unicorns galloping across Saturn. In basic terms, the way a man treats you is everything you need to know whether he is serious about you or not – from the way he texts you, to if he does what he says he will do. It is simple, if a man wants you, he will make sure to get and keep you, same applies with women.

Nomxolisi and I are not saying that we are in perfect relationships neither are we certain that things will last for as long as we hope but what we are saying is it is possible to be in a good, healthy, relationship and be so happy you feel like you are on cloud nine. 

“I am still in my “Men are trash” state and want nothing to do with men but the way he treated / treats me just didn’t allow me to push him a way. Never in my life did I ever thing I’d experience something like that and he does it so effortlessly, he’s also very romantic and affectionate which is something I’m not used to because I’m slowly getting the hang of it and it has become so easy to follow his lead. His actions speak way louder than his words and that is definitely the reason I choose him every single day” – Nomxolisi.

Don’t let your guard down, have one foot outside the door, don’t give in too much – it never ends but honestly speaking you cannot know love and experience love without being vulnerable. If there is anything I fell in love with when it comes to my boyfriend is that he is not afraid of being vulnerable – carry each other’s burdens, walk besides and behind your man/woman.

END NOTES.

When you are in a relationship, you are choosing to be with another human being – who is complex and is also trying to figure out life as they go – so consistency and honesty is key. Be vulnerable. Love exists for us unconventional people living in the ever-changing conventional times. In Nomxolisi’s words, ‘relationships are meant to make life easier. From advice, to coming up with solutions, to making you laugh, to being thoughtful, to offering assistance if you can.’ We are not experts but all we know is that it should be a breeze, if it isn’t then LEAVE. Your 20’s are already so tough, now imagine adding on relationship stress onto your life, it really isn’t worth it. Love is beautiful and life is more magical when you are in love but never settle for someone that disturbs your peace.

Are you in a romantic relationship?

Are you happy?

What are your thoughts on relationships in the 21st century?