Why I blog...

I use this blog as a kind of therapy. Sometimes I'm happy and want to share it, sometimes it's just a random thought and sometimes it's to deal with things in my past. After all a burden shared is a burden halved

Monday, August 8, 2011

Women's Day

August 9th is women’s day; the whole country celebrates this day as the day women marched up to parliament to demand equal rights. I am very patriotic and love my country very much. I abhor things like racism and intolerance. That’s why it pains me to see things when they appear to be unconstitutional.

Our constitution states that women enjoy the same rights as men

Polygamy (in my opinion) infringes on this right, as women are not allowed to have more than one husband unlike their male counterpart, according to the SA legal system coupled with customary law.

Why then I ask myself is the president of our country allowed to be a polygamist?

In researching polygamy and the law, I have discovered that the law itself on this issue is vague. In order to obtain a marriage license to marry you have to produce a death certificate or certificate of divorce from your previous spouse before obtaining one. The president of our country is a polygamist, and uses his right to practice his beliefs under his cultural heritage as a way of allowing this.

This infuriates me. This is not your average Joe Soap from down the road, this is a man who is supposed to represent us as a country and what we as South Africans stand for. This is a man who is going to pay tribute to women around the world tomorrow in celebration of women’s day and yet he himself lives a lifestyle at odds with the constitution he has sworn to uphold.

On women’s day it is important to reflect on gender equality and women’s rights. Do you personally think that there is a conflict between the law, customary law, the constitution and the actions of our president?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Best Boss I ever had

4months ago the nursery school I teach at was sold by the owner and principal who has decided that at age 52 and after 15 years in the business it was time for her to retire. I was very fond of her and naturally was anxious at the prospect of a new boss. Fortunately I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that the new boss is just as if not even more lovely the previous one. This got me thinking about all my previous bosses and reminded me of my favorite one who is no longer with us. Her name was Nolene and she was the most wonderfully compassionate woman I have ever met. Her husband Neville was the district superintendent of al the churches of the Nazarene in the Western Cape (about 33 churches altogether at that point in time) He was also a minister. He reminded me of Bill Cosby because he had a great sense of humour, but mostly because he looked just like him.

Although they lived on a huge property (owned by the church for the purpose of housing the person in his position) and drove a Mercedes Benz, they led very simple lives. Nolene never wore any jewelry or make up and was as humble as they come. She was a great principal and boss. She ran a nursery school called The Little lighthouse (which was at the time also owned by one of the Nazarene churches). I had the privilege of starting my teaching career under her guidance.

One Sunday evening in 1996 on their way to preach at a church service a truck got a flat while driving alongside them on the R 600 on the way to Mitchell’s Plain. The driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle and it flipped over on its side landing right on top of Nolene and Neville’s Mercedes. Their two youngest children were in the back seat of the car with them, Alana-Lee aged 13 and Eugene aged 15. All four of them were crushed by the impact. Nolene, Neville and Alana-Lee died instantly but Eugene managed to hang on, but later died in the early hours of Monday morning.

We received a phone call Sunday telling us they were involved in an accident and that we should all pray for the family. Later that evening we received another phone call telling us they had passed away. That was a bad night for me I could not sleep a wink. Monday morning I opened up the school as I usually did (I did the early shift so I opened the school every morning). I told each parent as they arrived and asked them to please tell their child at home that evening. We figured that would be best as each parent deals with the topic of death differently and the news should come from them. The school had approximately 80 children and every one of them was very fond on ‘aunty Nolene’ as they affectionately called her.

The next evening was particularly harrowing for me, as I was asked by the governing body of the school to go to Nolene’s house on the Monday evening and get her set of school keys, the ones containing the office safe. As occasionally parents paid her fees late on a Friday afternoon she would keep it in the safe till Monday morning when she would go and bank it. I went over to the house and her two older sons Quentin and Stuart were there along with dozens of family, friends and other mourners. I had to ask Quentin the oldest son (age 22) for the keys. He said they were still in his mother’s handbag and that I should just go look in it and get it. I went through to her bedroom and found the bag on the bed. I looked inside and was crying as I scratched around looking for the keys as her bag was full of her blood. I also had to ask for the school’s industrial size pots (the ones we used to make the lunch meals for the children) as Nolene had borrowed them the Friday to cook for visiting ministers over the weekend. I went to the kitchen only to discover that relatives had made pots of curry in them for all the other relatives and mourners who had arrived to support the sons who were left behind. I felt so bad when they had to scrape the curry out into other dishes so I could take them with me and slinked out of there as quickly as possible.

I miss Nolene still even though it has been 15 years now, but the memories I have of her will remain with me forever.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


After reading my last

blog post, my boyfriend turned to me and said; “shew your posts are heavy, cant you blog about what you had for lunch?” I know he said it with a humoristic tone of voice and laughed, but I can’t help think he is right in some way. So I decided to share a little confession of mine with you..

Hi my name is Karen and I am a twaddict. It has been a half hour since my last tweet…..

Last Thursday evening I had a sudden realization, I am an addict. I am addicted to twitter. This poses no serious threat to me physically, but can and sometimes does infringe on my emotional state of mind. You see I have a confession to make, I have a pet peeve. The one thing I truly cannot stand is to be left out. I hate the ‘not knowing’. If you start a sentence and don’t finish it, or say oh never mind I will hound you till you tell me what it was you were going to say. I NEED to know.

I need to know to the point that if left wondering I will wonder all night long and not sleep, with my mind playing over all the possibilities (usually the wrong ones) of what it was you were thinking of saying. Yes I hear you say under your breath, with a slight cough, OCD much. But this is a problem for me. And since twitter is constant and the conversation is always going on whether I am there or not, I end up missing stuff when I am not on and find it most irritating. As you can imagine this does mess with IRL (in real life) activities from time to time. Especially when you have household chores to do or books to read and you go on twitter just to say hi and 3hours go by.

So I decided to take a little twit break. Well, I lasted a whopping 4 days! I must just say that I was extremely productive in those 4 days. I baked up a storm, shopped, read and even started knitting! (I kid you not). As you can imagine the more productive I became the more hollow the feeling that grew inside me became. I missed my tweeple!!

I realized some things in life just can’t be fought. I am a social person and if I can’t be at every doorstep visiting with a freshly knitted scarf or box of baked oat cookies and jelly; the best I can do is tweet you to say hi.

If social media is helping me fulfill a very social part of me, who am I to go against it. As long as of course I do see people outside of twitter (which I do frequently). I am through fighting things that are against my very nature and am just going to be true to what is the essence of me and tweet.