FIVE THINGS YOU’RE LOOKING TO AVOID IN 2019
NOT everything and everyone should be welcome in your 2019. The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the year that was and envision what you’d like the next 12 months of your life to look like.
You have the power to decide who and what stays in 2018.
Here’s my top five #ThingsToAvoidIn2019.
R Kelly, and what he represents, tops my list. A number of women have accused the American singer-songwriter of “sexual, mental and physical abuse”. Hitmakers John Legend, Lady Gaga and local artists like Jimmy Nevis have all denounced the Ignition singer. However, you might still hear that very song if you switch on your radio.
We cannot separate the artist from the art, the same way survivors of abuse cannot separate the perpetrator from the act.
“He ain’t a monster by himself, it took some help,” notes one of the woman in the trailer for the six-part docu-series Surviving R Kelly.
We need to hold R Kelly and those who support him accountable. The problem is bigger than one man. We need to stop protecting the “R Kellys” in our communities, churches, schools and those seated around our dining tables.
Comments sections and keyboard warriors. We’re not even two weeks into the new year and already South Africans have been divided by a few race rows: the Clifton beach saga, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi’s comments around transformation and, most recently, Laërskool Schweizer-Reneke’s “alleged racial separation”, where black and white pupils were pictured seated separately in a photograph.
Yes, issues around “The Rainbow Nation’s” race and class dynamics are important. We need to interrogate these stories and ask questions.
Why are there two tables? Why not just have one big table or several smaller ones? Why are the white children sitting at the bigger table? Why are the black children seated at the smaller table in the corner?
Yes, when entering foreign spaces people tend to gravitate towards the familiar. However, teachers should understand the complexities of South Africa’s racist past/present and help create inclusive spaces. On the other hand, comments sections are too often spaces that perpetuate hatred and ignorance.
So, for the sake of my general well-being, I’ll no longer read or engage with comments sections.
Working for free is also a thing of the past. I’m obviously not referring to charity work or collaborating with up-and-coming brands and personalities. Yet, I’ve had enough of big, established brands and companies who want to “pay” you with their respective products and/or services.
You shouldn’t be afraid to charge people just because you enjoy doing it. Know the value of your work.
The festive season has come and gone, and with it, the questions some of my family members insist on asking every time I see them: “You are practically 30. When are you getting a husband and blessing this family with a grandchild?”
This year, I’m not internalising other people’s expectations of what my life should look like. Create a life that is authentically yours, not one that is modelled on society’s ideas of what success and happiness look like. Lastly, I’m done not making a fuss of my birthday. This year, I’ll truly celebrate the fact that I’ve been blessed with another year.
What are you leaving behind in 2018? Who are the people you want to keep? You have the power to decide.