botswana

How does one go from a shitty job to being a pioneer in the entertainment industry?

Well first you need to lose your job. Get fired, become a victim of retrenchment, quit, just lose it. Then you have to worry while simultaneously trying to survive and provide for yourself and your family.

Done?

Next, do what you love and figure out how to live off of it. It takes more than just talent to become successful. Determination, intelligence, courage, strength and the ability to reflect all play a role, and who knows this better than DJ Fauz?

With the Marked Men crew, a world of ideas and what seemed like nothing to lose, Fauz dived into the entertainment industry headfirst and swam against the current. Something which seems to have paid off considering that now, he’s the become one of Botswana’s most respected names in the Hip Hop community and among party goers.

I sat down with him as we discussed shady promoters, Diddy, and why Sean Kingston sucks.

Who did you start Kosher Sessions with and why?

Kosher Sessions started as Kosher Nights. It was something that Marked Men did and they actually gave me my first booking. Later on they would bring L-Tido and Maggz, then Khuli Chana but at the time they were launching a clothing label or something. We’d been boys since varsity, and as part of my newly jobless state I started doing a series of events at the [Cresta] President Hotel. So I hit them up and told them I liked the name, I proposed a partnership, and that was to be Kosher Sessions.
I wanted it to be strictly Hip Hop. At the time, it was usually some Hip Hop and a bit of House. I wanted it to be strictly Hip Hop and we could run with it. And that’s how Kosher was born.
Why? I needed money. *chuckles* I honestly wasn’t getting bookings, and I also wanted to do something that would be done right. I’d worked with almost everyone in this city and a lot of people are shady. These are the only people who are not shady. Or should I say not shady, yet. *laughs* They’re the least shady people I’d worked with.

Chub Heightz,Fauz,VH

 

  Chub, Fauz and VH

And what kinda tricks did the shady promoters pull?

Well people would book me and not pay me, or they’d book and undercut prices. Make you travel to the other side of the country and pay you four months later. It was just really bad. I actually stopped playing on radio because of that. There’s a certain radio station I played for for like 4 years and they never once bothered to book me for a show. There were times when I’d play thrice a week and they still never bothered to hire me for a birthday party so at some point I just said “Fuck it”.

What was your vision though?

I wanted to start a movement. I’d discussed the idea with DJ C4 before he left for Joburg. A place to play the music I wanted to play and what people wanted to hear and luckily everything fell into place. I wanted to build Hip Hop. I was tired of going to a place and we were just the curtain raisers for the House guys. It was irritating so I wanted to shift the balance. To shift the balance and let the Hip Hop guys win. We didn’t know what we were doing at it was tough. I don’t think we thought it would go on for this long.

The time we booked Khuli was the time we had the most drama. We’d booked the venue and already put up flyers. Two weeks before the event we were asked to pay extra since we’d sold a lot of tickets, which we did. The Thursday before the show, which was gonna be on a Saturday, the venue people pulled out all together. They didn’t trust that it would be a safe, controlled environment. All in all it was a PR nightmare. We shifted venues and made it but it was rough.

You’ve produced two tracks so far The Commission and You Don’t Love Me. Marked Men is also a label that has artists such as VH and Chub Heightz. Have you found that having a place to freely play your music has helped to push your own brand?

Yes. It helps a lot. We’re very specific about what we do. We get to control and dictate everything and for us it’s really about quality over quantity. We take what we do very seriously.

Someone recently tweeted that Kosher truly is the only place to get a steady supply of good Hip Hop in Gaborone. It’s the only place where those who aren’t hardcore fans could still keep up. However, the DJ’s playlists tend to be monotonous..

The thing is, we have an assortment of DJs who come through and they all know the rules. We don’t allow them to repeat songs. If it’s coincidental then yeah, that happens, we can’t help that. There are classics that every DJ feels the need to throw into a set, like Fatman Scoop, you know. But yeah, it’s not like that. WE don’t even really get all that power as DJs. We have to play what the public wants, what’s on Trace and MTV Base. That’s how I end up jamming Sean Kingston when I can’t personally stand his wack shit or the likes of Carly Ray Jepsen. It’s what people want. The regulars get it and understand it now.

The Kosher stage has been graced by the likes of Tumi, Reason, Mo Molemi and Zeus. What has been your most memorable show so far?

Reason. Reason without a doubt. Reason came on that stage, alone and filled that fucking place. Everyone said we were selling out like “Who’s Reason?” There were only probably 50 people in there who knew who he was. He played a 1 hour set, we don’t allow that on the Kosher stage but he played for that long cos he was THAT good. He shut shit down, on his own. Reason can perform.

Reason Performance

 

                                                                      Reason The Mass

Motif is inspiring, you can tell that everyone there loves what they do..

Motif is amazing. You know, I respect Tumi, man. To a lot of people they aren’t all the way up there, but to me, they’re the best. They’re the least garbage like. A lot of people come up with these marijuana induced raps, but the Motif crew actually works.

Tumi Performance

 

                                                                                 Tumi

Kosher also hosted the first official Tumblr Meet Up, how did that come about?

Well a friend, Kwame, approached me with the idea and it sounded cool. He had really outrageous ideas actually at first, but some were doable, so we started work on it. It was a bit tricky cos I didn’t expect everyone to know what Tumblr is, I had to explain to some, but overall it was a great event. We focused on the bloggers to get the news out. The internet’s influence and weight isn’t to be taken lightly, and all the cliquey Tumblr kids actually rocked up. *laughs*

Kosher Crowd

And what’s been the most frustrating thing about the industry for you so far?

There’s a list man. There’s always something. If it’s not DJs asking you for 10 grand to go spend on booze and bitches it’s those constant “I’m at the door come let me in” texts in the middle of a set. A lot of people feel entitled to shit. I’m not opposed to paying someone their worth or doing favours but a lot of people just don’t go about shit the right way. I handle it though and you know, just, deal with it. I don’t think I’ve reached a level of success where I can afford to retaliate but we’ll see. Maybe one day.

Speaking of success, on the transition from IT to Djing and entertainment, you think you’ll ever go back?

I don’t think I could honestly. I can’t go back to being a “slave” so to speak. I’m making more money now than I ever did working for someone else man. I mean, it’s not about the money, but I’m well off. I’m alright. And besides, I love what I do. I’m still trying to grow the brand. I wanna create experiences, I wanna be That Guy. Like you know how when there’s a high profile launch, Diddy’s the Go To guy, he’s the one who sets it all up? I wanna be that. I’m not there yet.

Fauz on deck

 

*All images courtesy of the Kosher FB page found here

And Still I Rise: The Queer Version

After reading this.

And a heated Twitter rant here.

Came the following:

And Still I Rise: The Queer Version

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like sluts, I fuck.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got Beyonce chilling in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like Rihanna gets high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?

Are you into BDSM?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Are you seeking a sub?

Don’t you take it awful hard,

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got Gaga sashaying in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

You may try to read me,

But still, like Lindsay Lohan, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got the fountain of Youth at the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise I’m a vast ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling

Leyomi dropping and sashaying,

I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise

So don’t be a bitch, dear

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the closeted and queer.

I rise

I rise

I rise

 queer

I’m disappointed.

I’m ashamed.

And I can’t say I’m shocked but sometimes, I still marvel at society’s ignorance.

This is one of those times.

Strength of a Woman

Things irk me. I wish it were as simple as saying they annoy me but when it comes to womanhood, the things that make me feel like being a woman is a burden, a curse, something to be ashamed of, hurt me in a rather unique way.

Most days I’m okay with the fact that, going out into the world, logging onto a social network, hell, going on Yahoo, means I need to switch off internally to a certain degree and get ready for hostility. Being a Woman is much like being a warrior, even when you aren’t actively at war, you’re ready to fight.  And sometimes, I wish it wasn’t that way. Some days I get tired of fighting.

You can only ignore so much, I find, til you probably have to break down, then wipe the slate clean and start again. Start registering more hate and more pain and more of what comes with being who you are, where you are, and what you are.

Women aren’t meant to complain. And by “complain” I mean be honest and vocal about what hurts them, or what hurts anyone else. We are everyone’s punching bag. Everyone’s dump site. Everyone’s maid, lover, stress ball..Anyone’s anything.

Facelessly.

Silently.

I wonder, if it weren’t for “radical” friends, books, social media, all the ways women show support to and for other women, how many women would know they actually exist?

As people and not Lesser Beings.

How many would know they need to be their own Everything and not someone’s something?

I realize I’m faceless when I’m harassed on the street. There I’m just another body.

I realize I’m faceless when I’m shamed and stared at for my shorts or cleavage or walking a certain way.  To them, I’m just another [young] woman being nasty and disgusting. Something to hate and judge.

I realize I’m faceless when my parents tell me I’m a disappointment. To them, I’m just a dream gone wrong.

I realize I’m voiceless when I try to explain [myself].

When I come home, dead tired, and have to cook because I’m a woman. When  my brother, who’s 11, does nothing more than fry drumsticks every two months because “he’s still a baby” and I’ve been cooking for all of them since the same age. I realize I am just an able [female] body then.

When I hear the many variations of “dark skinned VS light skinned women” and I’m told I’m alright because I’m light, I know  to some men, we’re just colours with vaginas.

The arguments over what a woman should look like or be. We aren’t people,bodies,women..we’re clay everyone thinks they have the right to mould.

And how do you think it feels to live in a society that only acknowledgeS you exist when either degrading, dismissing or dehumanizing you?

To work at enlightening and emancipating people who think you’re silly?

What it’s like to live when you’re dead in other people’s eyes.

Image

Things I’ll probably never fully understand: Men, Race and Gender

  1. What it’s like to be  a Man

It’s easy to complain about men’s behaviour isn’t it? So many of them mess up so effortlessly when interacting with women.  If one isn’t calling you a bitch he’s groping you or one of the straight ones is going on about how “homos” are an abomination. They’re quick to point out how they don’t do certain things because they’re “not bitches”, think feminists “are just angry lesbians” and when out, it’s shocking to find one who isn’t getting sloppy drunk, sexually harassing a woman or looking for a fight.

Now no, I’m not saying that ALL men do this, I’m saying a lot do. Too many.

And some genuinely have no remorse. Some think this is what it means to be a Man.  Some are unwilling to grow.

Why? Because this  is what they’ve been taught it means to be a Real Man. These are the thoughts that’ve been ingrained into their minds.

A man doesn’t cry.

A man doesn’t read books that aren’t about nude women, sex or money.  Wondering about the World and feelings is for women and homosexuals.

Nobody’s opinion matters more than a heterosexual man’s.

You need to be your own man, but only as long as your father and society approves.

Do not feel. Do not think anything you haven’t been told to think. Do not be anything other than what you’ve been told to be.

And a lot of men refuse to acknowledge that they aren’t living for themselves. That they live with a chronic fear of being considered feminine because, whether they’ll admit it or not they believe a woman is a horrible thing to be.  That it gets heavy sometimes, having to always be on your toes because someone may catch you slipping and wearing pink, only to question your sexuality.

That they’re often confused and feel confined by the word “Man.”

With the help of one, I have little difficulty understanding their experiences and their behaviour. I encourage my male friends to explore their feelings. To be honest about their desires, their fears and their dreams. To draw the line between What Society Wants and their Wants.  And there, I’ve found a lot of pain. A lot of confusion.

A lot of women are guilty of stripping males of their humanity too. Girlfriends who laugh when their partners cry or confide in them, mothers who tell their sons to “man up”, there’s always someone ready to continue the process of dehumanizing the Man, and yet who complains when said Man begins to act like the animal he’s been led to believe he is.

Men need healing too. They need acceptance too and for us to acknowledge their struggles with identity etc. They need to be taught.

I know some of you, especially women, are reading this and saying “Well they don’t do that for us” and I know, they don’t. Some of them are lost causes. But some men really do want to be better. They know there’s more to Life than being “Real”. If you come across one, nurture them. Is all I’m saying.

Hard_Rain

2.  What it’s like to be Black, In America

“Diaspora”. I first heard the word in High School as my History teacher discussed “the African diaspora”. The conversation led to how hard life must be for Black people  in America. We all rolled our eyes.

What was he on? Evidently someone didn’t listen to Hip Hop. Hadn’t he seen all the sexy women with long weaves chilling outsides their yards, hanging out with their high yella lovers as kids played on the streets and expensive cars passed by with drug dealers behind the seat? Hadn’t he ever witnessed that Utopia? Well..yeah..random shoot outs would occur and that was sad..Yes, Tupac said it was rough over there but..It couldn’t be THAT bad, right? Right?

We thought for a long time that because America was “civilized”, because everything that we knew to symbolize success came from there or was somehow connected to it and the American Dream, it wasn’t possible for anyone to be unhappy there.

We thought Black Americans were ungrateful.

You need to understand, we got to see them through the eyes of the privileged White people who create the shows and the videos.

So we thought: Thugs. Prostitutes. Crackheads. Drug dealers. A few trying to make it out of the hood. Black on Black violence.  Unappreciative. Lazy.

We were led to believe the circumstances that many live under were of their own doing. That America, the land of Milk and Honey, provided equal opportunities to everyone. Everything was there, the Blacks just wouldn’t get up and take it because they still believed they were victims, that they were still being oppressed.

Delusional Blacks, living in the past. Tut tut.

It wasn’t until I stopped paying attention to the media that I began to somewhat understand the effects of oppression, the difference between what Is and What’s Shown etc. Social networking sites began my growth as a person, as a person of colour, as a woman, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. Meeting and interacting with not just African Americans but Black South Africans and hearing their stories made me appreciate my country and experiences that much more, as I understood theirs.

Botswana’s never really had any hostile experiences. Our country’s filled with Batswana and to be honest, most of us are shocked to see White people among us walking.  They’re an addition to our society, we aren’t an addition to theirs. We don’t know what it’s like to be Othered.  To be treated as Less Than. To be viewed as parasites in our own Land.

When the Trayvon Martin case began, some ignored it because they felt many more kids had been murdered, why focus on one? But I remember someone saying it would be an iconic case and we all waited to see whether that would be true.

Zimmerman was acquitted.

The case was simple. We all knew.

He saw a young Black man walking, he stalked him, confronted him and murdered him.

And he was let go.

It’s not that we didn’t know chances were this would occur, it’s that many were hoping it wouldn’t.

Now?

The racists are coming out to play.

Black boys are scared.

The Black community is outraged.

Simply, the facade is falling apart.

I cried.

I still do.

It’s heavy. It’s heavy on the heart and it’s heavy on the Soul.

I continue to watch this all unravel.

Me

3. What it’s like to feel like a stranger in your own body

Growing up I thought you were either a man or a woman. It was that simple to many. If you’re a woman, act like one, is you’re a man, act like one.

I didn’t acknowledge the Trans community til later on in Life, and even then, even now, it’s still something I’m learning about. Someone explained it to me simply “I just don’t feel comfortable this way. It doesn’t feel like who I am. Who I should be” and it’s something I still think about.

To a lot of people, the fact that they can’t relate means they should  reject something.  I thinks it’s silly.  I don’t relate to your struggle but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t understand it.

One of my closest friends is undergoing hormone treatment. When she told me she intended to go along with it, she was cautious. I could shun her. I could tell her it was a waste. I could tell her anything that would dismiss her feelings and crush her spirit. I understood why she tiptoed around it.

My main concern? Was she sure? Would it make her happy? Then sure.

We already live in a society that’s dismissive, you don’t need to be one more person who’s a total asshole to  people because they aren’t like/don’t feel like you.

trans

I’ve had my own experiences as an African Cisgender Woman, and I am always aware of what and who I am. I appreciate it. But I’m always fully aware of the fact that there are so many more stories out there. An endless array of feelings and experiences that I’ll never fully feel, and I appreciate that too.

The World is larger and more diverse than your existence and your experiences, I’ve learned.

You, Yourself and You

“Life’s all about progression and transformation” I said as I passed the beer bottle over to a friend, wondering whether in this very moment, I was progressing.   Which led me to wonder if one has to be progressing all the time, and if you weren’t, were you falling back?

 

If Life’s taught me anything, it’s that it goes hand in hand with Loss.  Sometimes you push things out of your Life, and other times, they just go.  Friends come and go, dreams come and go, thoughts come and go.  I always marvel at how, despite the fact that we know change is the only constant in Life, we can’t seem to embrace it and go with it.  We’re always looking for some sort of stability.  We keep clothes that will never fit us, buy brands we’re used to, regardless of whether or not they do what they’re supposed to, and keep relationships that no longer do anything for us.

 

Eliminate things that no longer evolve you. — Erykah badu

 

I’ve been observing my relationships with people in my Life and wondering whether I truly need them there, trying to figure out if I need what they bring to the table. Birds of a feather flock together and as I observe some of them I realize, they simply don’t know how to Live, how to take responsibility for their lives, how to stand alone. How to exist as a lone being, and for me, that’s a necessity.

I believe in the importance of individuality, independence. You need to know how to be alone, how to think for yourself, how to grow on your own, what to take in and put out to keep growing.  Stagnancy is a trap, it’s a cage you don’t even know you’re in sometimes.  I know.

I’ve spent close to a year, maybe slightly more, at home, terrified of growing up. Of making any decisions, of living, because I was afraid I’d mess up.  As each day passed, I seemed to find more and more reasons as to why I should simply wait to die.  The possible shame of making a “wrong” life decision [which in this case, was about my academic life] weighed on me before I even bothered to CONSIDER what I’d do.

To many, that was a year wasted. I could’ve done so much in that time, right?

Gotten an online diploma maybe.  Found a job. Hell, gotten married.

But no, none of that.

I cried, I read, I thought, and I repeated all of this. And to quote Anais Nin “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

I got sick of seeing my face in the morning with the same uncertain look. I spent hours upon hours arguing with myself about what We want to do, who we want to be, and eventually, I put myself together.  Now, I appreciate all the uncertainty, all the time I felt I was wasting. I grew.

 

For many of us, it takes a lot before we can let go.  We don’t know when to, nor how to. We don’t know when a situation has run it’s course and even when it begins to hurt, we tell ourselves it’s a test to see whether we’re truly committed. Sometimes, that’s simply Life showing you that it’s done now. Some things, I dare say, most things, aren’t worth fighting for, especially if you aren’t even sure you want them.

In Setswana, there’s a saying that goes “Se nkganang se nthola morwalo”, which basically means, whatever repels me only relieves me of a burden.  Words to live by, don’t you think?

 

Most people will never be too ashamed to pass their burdens on to you.  Nor to bring, or keep, you down. A lot of people wouldn’t care if your mental maturity never goes past this point.  But you know, that’s them. It’s up to you to see to it that you become More.  And that will be your responsibility to yourself for as long as you’re here.

 

Who are you? What do you want? Do the people in your Life want the same for you? Will they help you become who you want to be? Are they people you’d like to be like?

You need to ask yourself.

erykah_badu02

 

 

On bad parenting. [Excuse my French.]

As a child, you learn, maybe, to accept the fact that your parents are people too, in order to shield yourself from all the disappointment.  By telling yourself “They’re people too, they’ll fuck up” the things they do don’t hurt so bad.  Sometimes however, they just don’t give a fuck.  They take your maturity for granted and use it as an excuse to shrug off parental obligations.

 People tend to think kids are the needy, deceitful, manipulative ones.. You haven’t met some of these parents hey.  Some parents will shamelessly rob their kids of the beauty of youth. Teach them to hate, to belittle..pass their venom onto them.  Use them for their own selfish bullshit.

 

Oh but let the child attempt to get out of it..To stop being a pawn..To no longer carry them.. The child is “ungrateful”, “doesn’t understand”, is getting involved in things that “aren’t their business”.

 There’re a few things that I hate about this family shit, and I hardly ever use the word “hate”.  

I don’t like that these people feel like you owe them your time, energy..And that they think they can take it and it’s whatever. That you’re somehow indebted to them simply because of a surname/DNA/your gender etc

I don’t like the expectation.

I don’t like the forced bonds.

I don’t like that sometimes, you can’t do anything about anything, for whatever reason.

I don’t want it. I don’t want to have relationships forced on to me.

I don’t like cooking when I’m not hungry. You’re hungry, fix that.

The “has your father eaten?” question like he isn’t able bodied. I don’t know.

The fact that the men will sit, the whole day on a couch, waiting. For food, for attention..anything..Just waiting. And it’s fine.

The “You can’t do that/act that way, you’re a woman” shit.

But most of all..

That everyone, everyone wants to create you for their own personal, selfish reasons.

Man, I hate this shit.

They also don’t know how to leave people alone. They smother you with their mess and call it love.

I hate always having to tell people where I am or where I’m going..It doesn’t matter. I’m gonna lie anyway.

“Where were you?” Does it matter? Am I dead?

These people that you’re born with aren’t always your “family”. Fuck around and end up trying to learn to love toxic people.

They don’t go away, they don’t leave you alone, they don’t let you grow [into what you wanna be].

I am mad as shit at shit I never discuss. Seething.

 

– Courtesy of my Twitter timeline. A bit crude, I know. But I was rather bothered. 

Mama said

  1. Never show a man you love him too much. They will see this and take advantage of it knowing you won’t leave.
  2. Never love a man too much i.e more than yourself. He can never give you more than you can give yourself for as long as you can.
  3. When you cook maize meal, add a bit of salt and oil.
  4. Your marriage won’t be worth much if your partner isn’t worth much. If you insist on settling down, let your partner build you.
  5. Take care of your body. Especially your figure and your skin. Your whole appearance as a Woman shows how you feel about yourself and has the power to give you the confidence you need.
  6. Buy attractive lingerie for yourself, not to show it off to someone else.
  7. Family is everything. Friends come and go but if you find those worth keeping, do so. 
  8. Never let another person steal your joy. 
  9. Buy pretty bedding.
  10. Sometimes you need to pray. [Or as I call it, Talk to the Air.]

 

Sound advice, she’s tried.

 

But as I found myself thinking about my future children, especially my daughters, I grew distressed trying to figure out what to teach them and how.

See, I believe my mother didn’t teach me what I feel my daughter should know. And I understand why. For her, some of the greatest lessons have come about through trial and error and being reactive to certain situations which, probably could have been avoided had one of us been proactive, but I understand because she isn’t as vocal as I am and hope to be by the time I have kids. 

She didn’t tell me that boys would lie until I’d already been lied to and led down undesirable paths in the name of Love.

She didn’t prepare me for the emotional Beast I’d become once a month when my hormones kick in.  The Education system failed me here too. Y’all just made it seem like a bit of bleeding, not cramps that feel like a kick to the vagina resulting in what looks like a Spartan battlefield on a good/bad day. The anger, emotional texts to Ex’s [although that could just be me] none of that.

She didn’t tell me that as a female, you’re a walking target. I guess I understand why. My mother doesn’t really see things the way that I do. She still victim blames, I admit, but a lot of her generation does. Also, I doubt she would have wanted me to grow up looking over my shoulder expecting to have something happen but, I feel it’s something every girl should know. Rather rob them of their childhood with honesty than have them end up in a situation far worse because they were naive.

Pregnancy scares. We don’t discuss those obviously. I doubt we ever will, but I want to with my daughter. I guess we’ll squeeze it into the Sex Talk.  One of the few times we discussed pregnancy I brought up abortion and my mother was mortified. “We don’t kill what God creates” she said. I laughed and said those are her views and we’d need to be logical and consider whether bringing a child into the world would be the best thing. She said I was speaking like the Devil, which amused me. I know though that I don’t want my daughter feeling obligated to keep a child because of emotional blackmail. I want her, should she find herself in that position, to make an informed decision.

She never told me to know when to leave a man, I found that out the hard way.  

I learned that one should avoid patriarchal men like the plague out in the world too. My daughter will know the same. Although I guess the “Have a partner who builds you” part covered that.

Cook because you want to, not because you have to, for someone else. I hate that. Having to interrupt your time of doing Peaceful Nothing to fix a meal for someone who’ll probably decide it’s not worth it and sleep by the time you’re done. 

I believe Sundays are peaceful. For solitude and everything else you want. Sundays are Selfish days, to be worshiped. I’ll tell my daughter. 

Mama always wanted a happy family that bonds over dinner and cooks together and laughs all the time and such. We are the exact opposite. She knows her children love her but I always tell her, personally, I don’t feel the need to always be in my family’s presence. I spend a fair amount of time alone and there isn’t anything wrong. She says it’ll lead to me being in an unhappy household, I tell her I don’t want to raise kids  who are dependent on another person for comfort, it’s simply how I am. 

I drink quite a bit. I drink when I’m sad, when I’m happy and when I’m excited. No, it isn’t as often as you may think, but beer, wine, straights, they all get a pass with me. And no I don’t get sloppy drunk unless I’m home and with close friends, and even then, I never want to because I always want to know everyone is alright. My mother drinks a few glasses of wine every two months and thinks I’m an alcoholic. Dear Future Daughter, drink if you want to, just don’t be a fuck up.

Religion. If you haven’t figured it out by now, she’s religious. Christian. I was once, and then I read too many books and thought too much to continue believing in a White man in the Sky and virgins giving birth to Saviors. I hope my daughter isn’t religious, I won’t lie. Spiritual, yes please. But that’s her choice to make. 

Sexuality. I’m guessing you can figure out mother’s views on that. Marriage, monogamy, kids, the basics. I still have to explain to her how gay people have sex sometimes when she’s drunk and curious but thank god she’s not a homophobe. I want my daughter to do with her body as she pleases, to own herself.

I will stress the importance of an education. Not just degrees, they’re nice, but to be smart and know the world, understand people, understand yourself. Nothing’s more depressing than a person with a degree and an empty head, there’re too many running around.

I want her to know she’s always stronger than she knows and sometimes, than she wants to be, and her mother was too. 

I want her to know that Love is everything. And true Love, for anything or anyone, should never leave you feeling Less Than in anyway. 

And that mistakes happen and there is no shame in Living. 

I hope I raise a little Warrior. A beauty. An Amazonian Princess honestly. A woman who could have held her own had she been born in Sparta. Someone like Cleopatra. One who walks with pride and is firm in her knowledge of Self and depends on no none, needs no one, who isn’t worth it. I hope I raise a Queen who unfortunately, will know loneliness because those of her kind will be rare in society, but I know she will seek out and find comfort in like minded people.

I know a fair amount of the lessons will come about as me being reactive too. I realize that with parenting. I appreciate what my mother has taught me and what she kept from me, she was doing the best she could and I will do the same. Maybe one day my daughter too will point out what I could’ve taught her but didn’t. And that’s alright.

The whole point of relationships is to learn. My mother has taught me and I have taught her. Lessons I hope we both spread out into the world. 

Lessons of Love. 

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Hard Candy: Sex and Maturity

I lost my virginity when I was 12.

It was in a toilet cubicle at a mall, to a 17 year old boy I was dating at the time and I could tell you it was halfway between consensual and I was coaxed into doing it.

He used a government issued condom and it lasted all of 5 minutes before I had to go catch my cab, sore and slightly bothered. [I’m lying, I cried, don’t ask me why, I’m not sure yet. Maybe because I’d always imagined the first time would be memorable, maybe because it was in a fucking toilet cubicle. Maybe because I was certain I really didn’t want to. Not like that. Not then.]

Now, someone may think “The fuck was she doing even looking at boys at that age?”

I reached puberty when I was 10. My breasts ballooned out and I developed hips which came with a sassy walk and I had to rush into womanhood. I felt that if my body was ready, my mind was too and I could truly live as a woman.  I was intelligent too, already in high school, quite mature if I do say so myself and carried this as my reason for dating a 17 year old at the time.

When one of my cousins found out I was dating a 17 year old he told me “You need to understand, you guys may connect but that’s only because he comes down to your level. This boy doesn’t think  like you. Don’t be fooled and don’t be like one of these girls who fall for it.” I was outraged. What did he know? How dare he assume that just because he wanted sex from every girl he encountered my boyfriend did too?

Oh well, Life happened.

It began to make me uncomfortable that all of a sudden all he wanted from me was sex.  Frankly, not only was he unattractive, he was a bit overweight and I preferred his clothed body to him sweating on top of me. Conversation too became bland and it just seemed to go nowhere.  I wanted to stop it all but felt the best thing to do was to simply let him get it over with when he wanted to in order to keep him and ignore it.

When I went from Indifferent to Mad, I didn’t have the balls to leave him so I cheated.  At that point sex was still pretty sacred to me but I convinced myself that if my virginity was gone, there really was nothing left, so I gave it away.

Eventually I told him, we broke up and when I told him I’d cheated once, he told me he’d cheated with 12 girls. In the space of a month and a half. Understand that he claimed he was a virgin and I’d be his first and only. Then that.

I was confused. Hurt. Evidently I hadn’t been as smart as I’d thought.

It took me approximately a year and a half to get over it.  The first relationship I’d been in had gone to foam so quickly and you know when you think you’re in love, regardless of the fact that you don’t know what love truly is at the time, you see a future with someone. It crashed.

My little 13 year old self decided I was a Woman now. I knew heartbreak, I knew sex, I was ready for the world. I spent the next 2 years having sex with whoever was interested and I didn’t find disgusting. Honestly, that was how my mature teenage self picked ’em.

By the time I was actually legal to have sex I’d had so much I wasn’t even remotely interested in it all.

Now we could go into all the experiences I had during that point in time but now is not the time for that.  I can tell you the basics, the slut shaming, the one night stands, occasionally feeling worthless, being fucked and left, using your feminine wiles to get what you want, I covered all that.

Now all of that was a long time ago and thankfully I made it out in one piece. I learned what I learned and life kept going.

Some girls aren’t so lucky.

It’s sad that a lot of us think as soon as puberty is reached one is ready to tackle sex and all that comes with it. Sayings like “After 12 go a jewa” [After 12 you eat] don’t help and young girls are constantly preyed on because they are both physically mature and naive.

I don’t know about my ex. He could have been using me, what a 17 year old was doing with a 12 year old despite my maturity is the question. The fact remained I could be easily persuaded at that time because I lacked a sense of Self and that alone I feel should make any person uncomfortable. The fact that the person you’re with could be reduced to a mere object  if you so choose. That they are THAT easily manipulated.

Today Batswana men were up in arms about the fact that the age of defilement would possibly be moved up from 16 to 18.  I’ll be honest, the only time they’re ever this collectively mad is when alcohol prices go up.

“What about my little High School girlfriend?”

Nna I’m still going to screw these young girls, I don’t care I’ll tell them not to tell.”

“But the young ones are so easy, why are they trying to scare us to the older women?”

And those who saw this for what it was were said to be overreacting.

How can you, as a grown man, see nothing wrong with complaining about the fact that you won’t be getting young girls into bed anymore? What’s your Life like and how does your mind work?

The number of people who passed jokes about sleeping with children and those who were hellbent on the government not getting away with taking away their right to screw young girls shocked me. Frankly, I found it quite disgusting.

They did not see the pedophilic undertones associated with their words.

A friend said “I Personally Think It’s An Attack On Women’s Sexuality. If There’s A Super Mature 17 Year Old Who Wishes To Explore Her Sexuality, Why Shouldn’t She Be Allowed To?”

And I see his point but to be frank, the mature 17 year old will probably do what she wants to anyway. That’s not the focus of all this.  This is what they feel they need to do to combat the defilement and statutory rape cases they get and I’m going to wait to see if it makes a difference.

On the one hand I think, why should anything change? We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing as we’ve been doing it and really, when has the threat of going to jail for a round of sex ever stopped anyone? On the other hand I think, maybe it’ll instill fear in those who’ve been going along with all this and make a difference, ANY difference.

Another friend asked why I wasn’t addressing women sleeping with boys and I said didn’t see women being the ones who were up in arms about the fact that they wouldn’t be able to be intimate with young boys therefore I addressed what was put in front of me. I’m not blind to the fact that women also use young men and whatnot, not in the least, but to see so many men unhappy with the fact that they wouldn’t be able to troubled me as much as the fact that everyone thought it was either funny or not that serious.

As mature as girls like to think they are, we don’t know anything about male/female relations/our bodies, our Selves until we grow. Personal experience teaches some and  observation teaches others.

Some people don’t make it through certain life experiences and I think we should strive to keep them away from sure harm.

We probably can’t stop these kids from having sex, I’m not sure we could stop those older than them from using them, but maybe.. Possibly.

I just wish we could have as few of these as possible. I haven’t figured out how yet but I’ll take whatever comes my way at this point.

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Really.

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The kids aren’t alright

As the car passes, I look out the window and see a little girl clad in uniform. Green. She looks about 6 or 7. She has no shoes on. Understandable, we too used to throw them off once the teachers were gone and school was out. She walks for a bit. Stops. Bends over and looks up her dress,concentrating. The look on her face gives nothing away, she’s merely observing, intently.

It’s then I notice the three little boys under a tree, watching her walk away. They’re age mates. They’re young. But what’s going on. Why is she looking at herself that way, in public, after leaving those boys?

I wonder if I think too much, then remember the world we live in.

What do we teach kids about sex?

It’s only for Mummies and Daddies?

It should only occur when you’re in love? Only after marriage?

Or is it still a taboo topic, never to be brought up? “Dirty things”..Sinful acts.

A month or so ago on the BW Government Facebook page there was a post about how young girls are engaging in sexual acts with both their age mates and those slightly older. It went on to say the girls sometimes have more than one “partner” and they were looking into programs to do something about these “shocking” cases.

My response was: “Does it make sense to act shocked when pupils engage in unsafe sexual activities when there are no Sex Ed classes in schools and all they know about it is from Biology, Facebook groups, movies and peers? But then it being this country, even if there WERE such, they’d preach the same shit, the ABC’s, inter-generational relationships being bad and such, without bothering to focus on what’s REALLY going on in the kids’ minds and what would benefit and help them.”

I still feel the same way.

We’ll teach girls not to take money from older men, but neglect to mention not to take abuse from their peers. We’ll teach them they have a right to say “No” but not that sometimes your “No” will fall on deaf ears and you have to protect yourself. Well teach them that boys will like them, but not that sometimes these boys will lie. We forget to teach that their bodies are their own and even though they may mature early, this does not mean they should be used.  That physical maturity does not equate to mental maturity and sex isn’t just about spreading your legs.

We’ll teach the boys about where the penis goes, but not that no girl HAS to give them sex. That just because they have pubic hair, or even before that, just because they’re curious, doesn’t mean they NEED to discover that early. That no, sex does not make you a Man. It is not an accomplishment, even animals do it. And the idea of obtaining sex without the girls full consent should shock and disgust them. That they should be able to judge a female’s maturity and care enough, respect enough, to not take advantage.

Does it even seem fair and sensible?

That we teach girls that they can and will be taken advantage of, but boys don’t get the same lecture? We’ll teach boys about the importance of circumcision and overlook to teach the girls about how to take care of their bodies?

AIDS is not the only danger that’s associated with sex.  By not teaching the kids the negative emotional effects this may have on them, are we also teaching them that sex has no emotions involved? Which would be contrary to the “Have sex only when you’re married to the one you love” mess they’re already taught and kids pick up on hypocrisy.  Future advice would fall on deaf ears.

Often these things are swept under the rug as “They’re just kids, they don’t know what they’re doing” and I don’t know how I feel about that. It makes me nervous. It bothers me because the fact that they’re just children doesn’t mean that they’re exempt from harm.

If we overlook a girl child’s curiosity regarding sexual matters and don’t bother to explain things to her, do we still have the right to complain when teenage boys take advantage?In a way, we did not interfere nor help.So are we not partly to blame?

Does “Teach a child the way he should go” only apply to your own?

And where do we begin?

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