Here’s the truth about us…we’re resilient AF!

Truth be told, I didn’t think I had it in me to even be writing this Ed’s Letter today. The second half of 2019 hit a lot harder than I had anticipated, personally, professionally and as a womxn in SA.

We’ve been through a lot at the hands of men. Gender-based violence heightened at an unnervingly rapid pace that each day womxn woke up wondering if they’re next. We still continue to see who ARE next, and we continue to wake up wondering if we are next. Months after the events chronicled through the #AmINext hashtags.

The world is ugly but focusing on all the bad things is not a healthy way of living, right?

So, here we are in 2020 aka #20Plenty, writing down our resolutions, crafting our vision boards and doing everything else that brings us even a little strength to carry on with our beautiful lives amid the chaos.

One thing that consistently reveals itself to be central in our ability to keep going is resilience. We are resilient AF. Whether we’d like to believe it or not, we are and that gives me hope.

However, resilience can only take us so far. Resilience needs a little helping hand to help us be better and do better. We need to take lead in order to build all we envision for ourselves and the world around us. It’s like our Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi said; “Take up space and cement yourself in society.”

There’s no time to move with doubt, we need to move with confidence and the audacity of an uneducated white man or woman in a position of power.

It’s the only way we can cause disruption in everything that’s not designed or built with us in mind. Our time is now. Hundreds of stories of people who are viewed to be at the top, particularly Black and Brown folk, feature hardship before triumph and thus, we cannot let the fear of the unknown hold us captive.

In saying all of that, allow yourself enough time to reflect on your previous year and take note of what you did and didn’t do.

You’re wondering what did I do? Let’s see:

  • I switched up my hair a lot. Haircuts and colours. I literally lived my best colourful life.
  • I freelanced. (what a challenge that was. It aged me five times more than my actual age) But I am grateful for the platforms that saw value in my writing. Shout out to FunDza and Bona Mag for being my constants! I learnt so much about what I am passionate about through my work.
  • I wrote my first short story, titled Ballet and a Sunday. Centering LQBTQ+ (always try to rep my community), education (passionate about this), youth (of course!), sugar daddy-culture, marriage from the viewpoint of the kids. Listen, just go read it okay. It’s good content, I promise. Click on the link on the title name.
  • I upskilled, Digital Marketing Certificate. What? Got me a nice gig thereafter. Grateful.
  • Spent time with myself. Solo dates and all. (High-key important)
  • Spent time with close family.
  • Spent time with close friends (barely).

What I didn’t do:

  • I didn’t take up that photography course to remind me of my photography skills but it’s on the horizon this 20Plenty.
  • I didn’t travel much locally, aside from my awesome trip to Stanford with the best friend. Local travel is beautiful, I am planning to do more of that this year. (Daddy’s Deals is the plug y’all)
  • Nor internationally but kicking up the plans this year, for sure.
  • Didn’t have much time to read in the latter part of the year. That saddens me because reading is my solace. But I’ve already started in the New Year, so we’re off to a good start on this front. And I’m now unapologetically reading POCs work, only. Will expand on this someday.
  • Didn’t get to host my television show (that TV channel showed me flames).
  • Didn’t record that pilot podcast. (fear of the unknown).
  • Didn’t put up much content on this site. But that’s about to change. I have dope content coming up. Keep your eyes peeled.

I could go on and on about what I did or didn’t do. But I won’t, I will say this, 2019 was a long year I wish to never return to, ever, time machines can remove it from existence, thank you.

Now back to you, look at your list of things you did or didn’t do and make ACTIONABLE means to get it done. Whether it is restoring relationships, taking care of your emotional health, mental health, physical health or even social health.

I wish you a beautiful year filled with overflowing wins, valuable lessons, hysterical joys, unlimited adventures, peaceful love and strong support.

Simamkele Matuntuta