Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"All is fair in love and war" - Frank Farleigh

Someone came up to me this past Friday and asked me this question: "Tell me what is it with British men and Xhosa women?"

To my dismay, I was without an answer.

I thought mmmh she is right I have never quiet thought of it really. I also knew of some Xhosa girls who have dated British men.

Their beauty and confidence is not quiet and they are pretty vocal too. Perhaps I could even say they are pretty intimidating but clearly the British have a secret. I found out the secret.... it goes way back.

The two met at the river in 1879 at the banks of the Eastern Cape rivers..... the rest is history. A young girl called Nongqawuse started it all.

Our fame lies in the unpopular and popular women such as:
Winnie Mandela; whatever one might say - I respect this woman. She went through hell and back and stood all kinds of atrocities against her. Though among other things that smeared her name the Stompie case was the final straw. She lived the times where nothing was normal. It was all about war and injustice and the driving force was the attainment of freedom. Like the Apostle Paul says: “you yourselves make sure that you are not disqualified.” Somehow I feel like she was disqualified because of somethings. Like an athlete who runs in the final stages of their race and under-pressure runs on top of the line he is disqualified from attaining any prize.
Brenda Fassie (controversial)
Mariam Makeba (history making beauty)
and many others today like Siphokazi, Simphiwe Dana (too new age but brilliant anyway...)

and many other ordinary extra-ordinary xhosa women who held the fort in the Eastern Cape while they raised history makers and nation shapers like Mandela, Mbekis, OR, Hani, and many unsung heroes who died fighting the good fight.

It's a light take on history......

OLD TO NEW POLITICS

Old to NEW Politics
History is a good barometer. It tells of the present and helps us engage with the future. South Africa is headed toward a very good place.
Between 1779 and 1879, nine frontier wars were fought in the Eastern Cape mainly between the Xhosas and British. The last war was the worst. A false prophecy by a Xhosa girl misled her people into destroying all their cattle and crops; in return the spirits had promised to sweep the British into the sea. It was concluded that the prophecy was the skillful work of Xhosa enemies. This led to the starvation of Xhosa people and an important victory for the English. This story reveals that it is no coincidence that later the struggle heroes mostly emerged from this region.
Of late, British sons are taking Xhosa daughters for wives. We have come full circle. The lost cattle in the Eastern Cape are slowly returning through lobola! Intermarriage is a sure sign that war is over.
God has brought us this far. History is His story. Next year promises the birth of new politics. The bar will be lifted and this country is headed to its destined glory. Merry Christmas!
“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning;” (Eccl 7:8).

First published on www.todaypublication.com/blog

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What keeps you alive?

What keeps you alive?
What is your inspiration to live? Why did Mandela come out of 27years of imprisonment still alive with vision - his spirit brighter than it ever was. Why didn't he fall apart from despair and hopelessness?

A friend of mine shared with me recently that the people who survived the worst concentration camps were those who imagined a life beyond the obvious inhuman death that seemed to await them. (it's as if they did not give it permission to kill them and it didn't. They believed and they lived).

On Sunday at the Baxter Nathi asked Tim to read us an excerpt from a book Good to Great. What stood out for me was this line: "Commitment to Prevail." That is what separates good companies from great ones, they are always committed to prevail at every moment of difficulty.
No wonder Jesus invites us to overcome and cowardice is rated at the same level as the worst sins. Fortunately He offers to be our strength.

If you celebrate Christmas we are 23days away from celebrating the gift that was given to us. I hope this gift means something to you.
A friend of mine noted that African-Americans and African worship songs were mostly about the hope of heaven. She said they had to look for something beyond earth to survive their discouraging realities. The hope gave them something to live for.

What will history say about our generation when so much has been overcome on our behalf - yet we still have so much more to fight for as wars breakout, Mugabe remains on his throne, Mumbai burns, AIDS increases by a further 2million in SA etc. etc. what's your role what's my role...

I say we are fit to prevail. We have what it takes to be great. We have been given all the power we could ever possibly need. We have all the love, peace and grace we could ever ask for. If we think we do not have -grace has been extended for us to ask and we shall recieve if we believe when we ask.

www.todaypublications.com/blog (visit, comment, forward)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS.... you're so much more greater than what you think.
You are so much more...
the love of God, peace and grace to you this season xxxSiki

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

YES WE CAN! CHANGE HAS COME! PRESIDENT OBAMA

Obama is President

I had no idea just how much it would affect me!
Not to this extent.

In the turn of the millennium many celebrities and politicians around the world were asked: "what will this millennium be about?"
They all individually said: "it's the African millennium" (African Americans including themselves in that)

and O boy were they correct!

May this inspire all Africans (please! no more corruption) let's get on with it and be inspired by how great we can be.

A part of me weeps for being favoured to be born in such a time as this while the ones before us suffered for the colour of their skin. Here we are celebrating and standing on their tears, their blood, their many prayers and songs - they looked forward to a time to come and we are that which they dreamt of.

May this teach every human being that no human being should be treated inferior to another no matter who and what they are - all human beings are equally superior. May this teach us to uphold one another and celebrate and encourage, inspire one another to be all that we were created to be. No human being is less than another.

I listened to one of Obama's speeches as he said to get all his voters revved up; "This campaign isn't about me." he paused there was a dramatic silence; "this is about you!" the crowd went wild.
I thought ya, he is very good. He knows just what to say to get people excited but this morning the effect it has had on me first as a black person, I was besides myself. I was so affirmed. I felt all affirmative action must be removed we don't need it anymore how much more can one be more affirmed!
…but on a serious note - I felt like I was worth far more that a million dollars. (of which it is true)

I went to the mirror and I screamed "I am black" "I am black" and it felt soooooo good though it pained me to think that I am the first generation after those who wondered why God made them black.

This is less about colour than it teaches us that no human being should ever be mistreated. We are all made in the image of God and that makes us equally great and equally special. May wars end.

Change has come. HALLELUAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

DREAMS OF MANDELA (PERMISSION TO BE BRILLIANT) – Siki Dlanga

In a dream I wrote you a speech. I was important enough to be in the same room as you. No, I will be honest in the dream I was still not important. It was the fact that I only had my name which holds no weight that made me feel significantly more important to you in the midst of great names. In your presence was every reason to feel so much more significant because it was dreams of my freedom that kept you imprisoned for 27 years.

I looked at your face and it lit. Lit by dreams that have been fulfilled as you looked back at me. Your aspirations would be fulfilled through me, my friends and grow through our children. I would love to see you but I would rather I gave you rest so that you would greet one less person and have more rest so I visited you in a dream. I remained brilliant for at least 2 whole minutes. My heart spoke a fresh word because I had seen your face in the reality of my dream. I tried to read my speech but my words diminished because your person filled the room in a way that contrarily suddenly made me feel great.

What makes you so much greater is that our country is rich in resources and minerals. We have diamonds and mines rich with different kinds of gold as if it were all not enough, we have you. In that moment my heart realised your South Africanness makes us so much more affluent.

The name Mandela now robes the hills, the mountains, seas and islands of our country with a royal mantle of dignity and honours anyone who calls themselves South African. Your name adorns our many coloured flag with admiration. Your name is no lesser currency or wealth than the gold and minerals of our land.

The children covered by your 46664 campaign will benefit not only for themselves but their children’s children also. You gave us a future. By your life you lifted the lid that kept us in captivity in the land our predecessors had once freely grazed their cattle. By your carefully chosen words as you declared the new South Africa born you made us realise our own greatness. You challenged us to get out of our inferiority complexes’ and gave us permission to be brilliant.

I know there is a God because it had to take a superior-being to design such a master plan. We were a country that was so broken and desperate for a miracle. You are the perfect miracle at 90 you still amaze us.

Last year in the 90 minutes for Mandela, I wrote a poster hoping the camera man might put it on TV but decided to etch it in my dreams. It reads; “you have shown us how great we can be. My gift to you is that you will not be the last great South African because there is nothing enlightening about shrinking back.”

First published on mynews24.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the promise is that the end is better than the beginning

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning:
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

I can feel the year ending. There’s something exciting about the prospect of an end, even the year is already feeling different. Perhaps the promise of the end promises a new beginning.
It is possibly the reason I am excited about the idea of turning 30 and then eventually getting much older - now I understand why I find aged beings so appealing. They always seem to have it all together. There's this calming effect about them.

I happened to attend a music concert this past weekend and to my surprise there were a whole lot of grey heads. (We think life is only for the young don't we?)

I had the privilege to witness the sweetest deep love between an old couple that sat next to me. This was genuine love that had found it's security over many years. It was like a gold mine of love. Love was in the way they took turns in touching each other's hands gently, love was written in their slightest glance at one another as if they could read what the other felt or needed. Words were no longer necessary. There was no performance to impress. Beautiful rest reigned between them. Each moment they had with one another was thoroughly enjoyed as if they were aware that their bodies would soon expire any day now.

I took much pleasure in the music but those grey heads were quite a sight, Though others were 40, 50 etc. but there was this calm and rest that seemed to come with age and somehow I felt safe in that kind of environment. I didn’t know any of them and now to think of it the only person I knew in that entire room was the friend I’d come to watch as she performed. She obviously could not sit with me. However, I have never felt myself relax so quickly in a place full of strangers.

It came to mind that God did not just create a uniform generation where everyone is the same age. I concluded that the co-existence of different generations bring balance to each another.

Better is the END of a thing than it is beginning.

Eccl 7:8
I will be a very cool old person. I know ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

beautiful piece of dirt

Hey you…

Hey you beautiful piece of dirt
Aren’t you fascinated by that image starring back at you
Lines on your hands
Blood flowing through your veins
You are alive but are you living
How long did it take to carve you
Heart pumping and you’re not even aware
You’re sacred art

Hey you beautiful piece of dirt
That’s what I sometimes want to say when I see me-you
next time I see you don’t take offense
if I say ‘Hey you beautiful piece of dirt’
and don’t steal my line to pick up a girl

I am subtle sculpture made of the first clay
No that’s Adam’s sons
I’m made of the glittering glowing rib
Refined twice thrice by the Spirit
I am sacred art given a permanent voice

I am because He is
My brokenness can be traced back to the garden
My perfection to the death and the resurrection of the last Adam
My life is as short as delicate as a flower
My existence is meant to be forever
What will it cause it to blossom
Path’s been destined
Free unblemished glorious forever

Friday, August 29, 2008

God soooooo loved!

so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.
He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
as I read this and I am compelled to sing.
What love. What kindness.
What good news. O What a Kind generous God!
He so loved. sooooo loved - He soooo loved the world that He did it!
He gave His only begotten Son that anyone who believes - anyone!
I'm most certainly anyone this is good news so I can BE SAVED IF I WILL BELIEVE!
OOOO shall i sing or shall I dance!
He did not do this to condemn but specifically to save.
what hope. what life. what a mighty God!

Friday, June 27, 2008

At 90 still we say: “VIVA Mandela!”


I heard some phenominal things this morning.

you know this whole talk about Obama – how South Africans keep saying where is our Obama? it annoys me because we have Mandela and great as Obama is he is not Nelson. maybe because he is old and Obama is the new. i don't care...we still have Madiba.

there is nothing stopping anyone of ourselves from being brilliant, great or gorgeous. "who are we not to be?"

anyway, i was watching Morning Live this morning and i heard the most phenominal things about Mandela. the most powerful thing that seems to strike people is who he is rather than what he is has done. the amazing thing about this for me is that not all of us are exceptionally gifted with all sorts of gifts. our gifts vary and that for me doesn't make the greatest singer or athlete or politician a great person - they are simply doing what they have been gifted with. however character you choose. a gift i don't thing is something to boast about. you don't make yourself a brilliant individual you are born with the gift. God-given. but character is something everyone of us can choose. we can choose to be incredible human beings in how we conduct ourselves and treat others. that to me is the most powerful aspect of humanity and being alive.

anyway Sipho Hot-Stick Mabuza (a South African musician) said of Mandela; "What struck me the most about being in the presence of Mandela was that in his presence suddenly everyone was equal. There were all kinds of celebrities, Will Smith, Ophra, Bill Clinton and all of a sudden you felt like you could just go up to Bill Clinton and talk to him. Everyone was equal."

i think that is the most phenominal thing ever said of any human being. It is almost godlike. in fact it is. we are all equal and that is the truth. all human beings are equal before God. and what is amazing is that - that is what he stood for and was imprisoned for he is what he stood for.

Viva Mandela!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

South Africa vs the soccer pitch


by siki dlanga

Our eyes are glued to the television as Euro 2008 commences. We are addicted to watching men (lately women too) kicking the circular bouncy object around a field and get paid lots of money for it. We want to see goals. We scream at our television sets when they do or do not do something we can not even do ourselves. We demand delivery and are intolerant when we are failed.

This year Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the most handsome football player by women in Europe. I personally think the only handsome thing about the man is the way he plays and of course as the old Xhosa proverb says the beauty of a man is in the number of his cattle. In Ronaldo’s case it is his pounds. According to these measurements I agree with those women who voted for him but we know that is not the case. If you fail like Beckham did before the goal posts just a few times suddenly the votes go out the window. His beauty forgotten, betrayed by the very green pitch that had made him great and a favourite of women.

Then we move on to another not so bouncy sphere but faster than any other ball on earth, that old planet called earth. I am certain from a distant it looks like a peaceful tiny ball orbiting the sun like the rest of the other balls in the vast infinite pitch. Not unlike the other planets the earth never misses a turn. I have not lived for millions of years but I have never been more tempted to believe that earthly beings have never been found spinning with the earth to this degree. Of course we must spin with the earth but there is another kind that causes confusion. I am no expert in the matters of science or anything else I am a citizen of this earth for now and I can see my fellow earthlings spinning around like a ball without direction. We seem to be spinning and unable to find the net like Bafana Bafana when it really counts.

We watch the television set looking for someone who will score for us. We want a hero. A superhuman, someone who will make us feel like we have done it. We seem to be unable to live without it because the minute we step outside the screen, we are confronted with ourselves spinning around our pitch without direction. We keep coming back to the screen for some more because at least we think we have this figured out. If you fail us we will find another. But first we will let you know what a dismal failure you have been and how we cannot forgive you. We quickly throw you to the nearest bin and forget about you.

Now Mbeki is not playing the game the way we want him to. He is not saying the things we want to hear. He is not even listening let alone do we see a change in his facial expression when he says something. We forget the beautiful dream he painted and keeps inviting us to by his words. We forget how as women we have been given back our rightful place. We forget the good. We desperately look for another. Others vote for Zuma perhaps he will get us a goal we want. Others think surely this one or that. Change is good but change does not need to be accompanied by negativity.

Others opt to think there is no way out of this mess. We let our minds escape across the sea and find another hero somewhat linked to Africa. He impresses us with his speeches. We say we need our own forgetting we have already had one. As I watch all this happening I can not stop feeling like what we are actually looking for is a saviour. A ruthless thing to ask of any human being. The world is no soccer match even though we still treat it is as thus. When we are unhappy we make signs on the sidelines of the pitch demanding a substitution. We cast our vote. But maybe we are all on the pitch. The position played by the crowned men and woman is as important as our own if we will take it as seriously. Perhaps, we have the same coach but we will not listen instead we pretend to be because we do not know our roles. We are displaced and therefore frustrated. The sphere spins. The wonderful thing about a time of crisis is that it has the ability to reveal the most extraordinary human beings. Please be kind to them when their humanity fails them at some point.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

my country

by Siki Dlanga

my heavy heart
my broken heart
my hopeful heart

O my country
what have i to give you.
country of my birth.
land that carried me in my mothers womb.
on her back singing me songs
Thula Sizwe ungabokhala uJehovah wakho uzokunqobela

O my country raided raped left for dead
who will carry your children on her back
Afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted
country of my birth
invaded by darkness
left in pain
who will pray for you
who will stand up for you and believe
sing for you and rock you ‘till you sleep
who will give you medicine
medicine of hope
Thula Sizwe sam
Thula ungabokhala uJehovah wakho uzokunqobela
(hush o nation do not weep your God will overcome for you)
O afflicted one storm-tossed and not comforted
o my country beyond the our borders
what have I to say but Your God reigns
a conqueror who will fight for you
scatter and confound your enemy

once upon a time
a nation was delivered by a child
from an enemy too great

who will hope
who will dare pray
who will dare to believe for you
stand against your demons!

who is brave enough to speak to this mountain
and cast it to the sea
who believes in miracles

once i heard you held the world captive
peace was your lot and not war
astound the world again
let them see a greater miracle
out of the nations of the southern most of this continent
you're a miracle nation remember
my country

Friday, April 25, 2008

No funeral for roses

No funeral for roses
By Siki Dlanga

After the forbidden fruit.
If life is a matter of days lived.
Time of existence is limited
No hideous thing or beauty is spared
The rose is remembered while its petals are red lush.
Exquisiteness, colour, fragrance
It sheds and gets nothing back.
Decay is sure.
But there is no funeral for roses.

In funerals I’ve seen
Many roses thrown on the grave
Perhaps it is the softness of the petals
or the certainty of death
though we live and are beautiful
our death is as inevitable.
Life is brief.
Death is elusive and definite.
Mocking humouring the young

The end is not the worst
It is the first invitation
Holding you like a baby
Breast-feeding you the pleasures of life
that will have you deceased before you’re done living.
Picking at the rose ‘till it‘s a dry thorn.

Like Ozymandias’ fine empire
A boastful intimidating statue for all to see and tremble.
All the poet saw was a kingdom of rubble.
Ozy tricked by the illusion of immortality that eludes us all.
Cheated to believe we are invincible
So we live as we wish.
We steal, lie and demand our rights
After all we are the centre of the universe.

But there are no monuments for roses
Sweet death shrivelled up and crisp
It does not insist on living more than its due date
To live forever it must die

We are not roses
Our longing for immortality is not wrong
in Eden it was lost
The only hope is death
If we choose it before it chooses us
Plant ourselves in the soil of the original
undefilable immortal
We live forever
We no longer need statues
Our legacy has already begun
Death will not define it
Liberated from its poisonous pleasures
Life holds eternity
Life lives forever
exalted above all powers
forever life will be

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About Me

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I write a lot. When it's necessary I draw. 
I have been called a Poet, a Writer, an Illustrator, a Banner of Freedom, a Word Magician, etc.
I am a Lover of Truth embodied in beauty.