Call him by name

Does naming and “shaming” out abusers truly liberate us? Are we overwhelmed with a great sense of freedom when our peers, family and friends are invited to what was happening behind closed doors? Do our open mouths and bleeding hearts fix even a fraction of the frame?

What happens when your abuser is say a celebrity, wealthy or good looking? Say he is a respected member of society or a man of the cloth. Perhaps you were involved in a romantic relationship with your abuser and he is married and the wife sits quietly in her home and marriage. Who is the fool now? The abuser could be a family member who lacks deeply in emotional intelligence. What if the abuser was abused as well, and suffered a little more than you if that is at all possible.

Shame. We seem to believe that we can cultivate sympathy and grow consciences through shaming. Not realising that our sheltered upbringing kept very essential truths from us for a very long time. What we assume to be shameful, hurtful, abusive or self destructive could be considered absolutely normal on these circular streets. We also do not realize how deeply embedded the roots of patriarchy are planted within our so called new age, new thinking beings.

We hold men to a much higher esteem. We teach men not to be accountable for their thoughts or actions. We aid them in the abusing of our time, means and bodies by pretending that “sorry” fixes a damn thing. We pick up the phone to chase. We buy the birthday gifts, do the cooking, drop the panties before we are wooed. Shame? No longer a thing when females are buying condoms and lubricant because we are now in charge of our sexual appetites. No, we are definitely not teaching our younger sisters that cultivating ones mind is a safer bet in possibly retaining ones dignity if all hell breaks loose. Do we discuss that your womb will be scrapped bear when he finally confesses to having a much more preferable being in his life who his mom who always greeted you lovingly completely adores.

Run to Twitter, compile the hashtags and shame him.

Did it work?

Did he lose his job? Did his following decrease? Are the women who encouraged you to air your laundry standing in solidarity with you or are they his new most frequent Whatsapp contact?

How much time did you spend with your therapist understanding that you may never expect an apology but may have to move on as though you received one. How much do you understand about personality disorders, attachment styles, relationships, abuse beyond the physical, sociopaths, narcissism and the demons mothers marry their children to through neglect?

Before we sensationalize our truths and cause their testimony to lay void, let us stop to think;

What good will it do me to invest more time in my abusers publicity. Are all my wounds well bandaged and my mind sitting in good balance that I can handle the possible backlash. Will I cope with the means of retaliation when he drops buckets of my deepest darkest secrets. Will my family understand why it became necessary to leave us all raw and exposed. Did I prepare them for this? Did I prepare my children, my current partner.

A moments glory is never worth a lifetime of brokenness. Who is shaming who

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A Good Goodbye

I desperately want to close this chapter of my life. As a matter of fact I have to. In doing so I am required to make a couple of changes.

I am saying goodbye to my blog.

Before anything else, THANK YOU.

My readers, friends, supporters, and yes the judgy Judy’s too; thank you for allowing me to share my heart. That you for allowing me to split open and spill generously. My personal life, work, lifestyle, thoughts, ideals and so much more has been splattered all over this WordPress medium and I have found much pleasure in discovering that like you I am simply human.

I’d like to create a more professional blog for my personal brand and my lifestyle blog. This will become available with the next http://www.mathunzi.com website update. I also wished to be booked for more professional writing work in various spaces, so rather that be my resume of all things “vocab”. The opportunity to study further has me taking advantage of the chance to better my technical writing technique. Allow me to grow and prepare to do better by my audience in future.

I will spend what is left of 2018 catching up. I have promised you so much and I will deliver as far as my being and time permits. I will then only manage comments and communication on this page and leave it open simple as a reminder of where I have come from.

The book

Turns out it isn’t as simple as one would assume or prefer. As much as “best selling author” is seemingly a popular title of late, putting actual pen to paper is not as breezy as a Sunday morning.

This how ever is a story that I must tell and I will tell it. On my own terms! This is where I will shift the pieces of both the making and the breaking of my heart to. I pray that someday someone picks up a copy and says “God must be real”.

Please do not categorise my work amongst the memoirs of victims. I am not here for that. I have ingested enough pity, mostly from self, to drown me for decades. Take me as I am. She who loved even after loves wrote her multiple goodbyes. She who said yes, again.

2018

Less than 90 days of this indescribably turbulent year. Stay with me if you dare as we say goodbye to that which was and can no longer be.

DM me for lunch dates. Email me for collaborations. Invite me to talks, campaigns, NGO’s and events. Let’s have those conversations

Mathunzi MacDonald

The death of me

I have this thought; that I may not wake up in the morning. That someone else’s bad day could result in my family receiving that dreaded call that I am no more. I do not think that death in itself is what I fear. I am instead constantly troubled by how I would be remembered, and if any tangible meaning could be attached to my name beyond it’s lyrical and potent meaning.

Would I have given birth to a child with the same big eyes who would give those who mourned for me promise of a better day? Would I have made my parents proud and returned enough for their countless sacrifices. Would God know me by name, works and the effects of grace?

Would I have told my story?

‘Intrusive thoughts’ they call them. The monsters that live both under and inside of your bed if you suffer from Anxiety and/or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I won’t be hiding behind my many ailments today. I’d like to bring to your attention something that constricts my thoughts in a far more greater way; the truth.

I had decided that a book would be my chosen medium. Forgetting that I most probably form part of the world’s top ten list of people who are lazy to type. An opportunity to create a reality tv show was a dream only a few steps away from being actualized. But God knew that I was not ready. I would have been so far gone in the gimmicks and soul draining tactics of money making and high ranking seeking that I would shift from testimony to tabloid star.

So I’ve had to wait. Wait to be further taunted, abused and humiliated. Wait to fall in and out of love again. Wait for others to pen down their preferred version of my story. I would have to wait to be completely broken before I could begin to rebuild.

I currently have very little to no desire to drag you all back to the early 90’s where some of the madness began. I will tell you this however as a prelude to the bitter kiss I pray my book will place on you. I too was born a female in South Africa. My odd personality put me on a self driven family shaming adventure at the age of 4. Malnutrition in the presence of plenty.

I was a coconut by the age of six which meant that I did not quite fit in. English speaking dark skinned girls with skinny legs were fair game for all sorts of verbal abuse.

Fist fights with members of the opposite sex were a norm by age 11. By age 14 I had been labelled a bitch by the greater popular church society. I had changed schools because my lesbian suitor did not take well to the word no and had a personal relationship with the HOD who would have expelled me for breathing loudly if he could. I lied to my father about being molested by the resident pedophile for fear he would snap his neck after my then 8 year old cousin had bravely shared her horrors with her mother. The other girls and I had kept this secret well enough so far and he had told me of my ever so attractive maturity and promised to stop with the other girls if I didn’t let go of his hand.

I honestly didn’t think the 20 year old was doing anything out of the ordinary when he shoved me against a wall in Tasbet Park and shoved his rough tongue down my throat. It wouldn’t happen again would it? His future fiancè had already given me a piece of her mind and must have taken my number from him so we all should be square then.

Fast forward past the dating a medical student at 16, followed by rumours of abortions and another man’s hands up my thighs uninvited. He is a pastor now so let us do as we are taught and shame him not.

I would get married at 19 until my engagement was broken by the man of my dreams.

I was engaged again to a different man when I discovered that I had spent age 20 with a married man. He passed away two weeks later and my heart has never been the same again.

My story has not begun. Not the story that I need to tell before life signs me off with my last breathe.

I have been open about the loss of my two children before birth. Recently I discovered that I am sometimes blamed for Aya’s death because of my “infidelity”. And even when these stories that disgustingly dim the lights of my miracles are told, I still pause on the truth.

On the 18th of September 2018 I will continue with the Confessions of a young Wife series yet I warn you not to hold your breathe. My truth will remain on mute.

Pray that I see the tomorrow that I so desperately seek. Because…

“In 2010 I met a boy and he was not handsome; he was beautiful…”

http://www.mathunzi.com

Instagram @mathunzimacdonald

info@mathunzi.com

On my mind 30/03

22:12

The pockets of my universe are spilling all at once.

The peices of my heart are dropping all at once.

The gaps in the passage ways of my mind are widening all at once.

My laughter invited my tears to travel on the path that runs through my lips all at once.

The spoils in my bank account have depleted all at once.

Weeds of resentment and restoration grow all at once.

Oh how I wish you could have loved me all at once and not in pockets that broke the stitches that held my happiness bound

The short of it

I have successfully failed at crafting an introductory lifestyle blog whilst utilising my more common style of writing. With each paragraph I felt more like a raging fisherman’s wife rather than a blooming and contemporary lifestyle blogger. Boy did I complain about the demise of my former lifestyle city living glory and the real hacks my problematic skin has afforded me since primary school.

But, in 2018 we know better, so we do better. So here I am to very briefly share a little bit about my city life and the commencement of my wellness journey. And yes, you may raise your glasses to the more detailed blog posts that will follow because I do promise not to slack.

Before the anticipated ramble do remember to visit http://www.mathunzi.com for a look at who I am and what I do. And in future search Mathunzi Macdonald on your YouTube app for video footage of my journey, music and experiences.

Let’s begin with my beautiful addiction. Well, it isn’t contributing much to the beauty of my skin or immune system but work with me; Coffee.

You may have spotted me or notice that I spend a lot of time at Starbucks. Thankfully my addictions do not extend to WiFi even though I appreciate the uninterrupted Apple updates and music downloads that come with having my feet up on their couches. The gingerbread latte always hits the spot but nothing quite does it like their food and desserts. I can’t complain about the Jazz that plays overhead and I am grateful to have graced the Starbucks Rosebank stage performing my own music with The Verse.

But then came Naked Coffee. I think I may be in love! In support of black business and beautiful souls, Gorge Sandton will be a spor to visit. Owned by actress Mapaseka Koetle-Nyokong and her husband, an experience there has already confirmed it as my other home. At home we stick to our green packaged bestie Jacob’s K and bitterly weep over the loss of my Nespresso machine.

4th avenue in Parkhurst is ideal for easy Sunday living and seriously good food. I was also introduced to Miss Salon London on this street and has my first ever tattoo done here. I don’t frequent it as much since Menlyn Maine came to existence boasting culinary beauties such as Ribs & Burgers but it is always a safe bet if anyone were to ask where to dine in Johannesburg.

Be it a grocery cart or sit in at the cafe, Woolies stays winning. May I argue that contrary to popular belief, their regular food and household products are priced in the same category as most other popular supermarkets. Free tip; Grab a green smoothie to get regular. It gets the job done but tastes way better than green juice.

Host your breakfast and brunch meetings at Lucky bread 7. Wives and in house honeys, the breadsticks are a winner for your partner’s snack time or lunch box.

I stumbled upon a growing collaboration opportunity with The Laser Beautique Irene branch and this is where I will begin my new skin journey and continue my much needed pamper sessions. Look out for #MakeupIsOptional and more excitingly #MathunziAndFriends as I will have a few old and new friends join me at TLB from time to time. My hair care will continue at Candi & Co. Reasonable prices aside they serve free drinks and have decent WiFi like Miss Salon London does too. (Sucker for bottomless cappuccinos).

#IAmMyOwnBodyGoals Therefore, most exercise (if I successfully work through this laziness) will take place in the comfort of my home.

Speaking of collaborations, I recently discovered that a primary school companion Muhle Matthews works for one of Joburg’s most popular hubs, Maboneng. A few years before this I discovered her singing ability which is rather sweet in comparison to her husky speaking voice loaded with a strong twang, which leans more to sexy. Muhle, my photographic and digital guru Nigel and myself sat down and curated the inception of my more intentional exploration of Maboneng and the spaces with it. Let’s just say a lot of my time will be wasted there in 2018. Oh! I will glady welcome a surprise party at the Living Room, any time of the year, I’m not picky.

I think I have far superceded the confines of being “short” so let’s speed this up.

Nouveau over commercial movies anyday. Theatre is undoubtedly the most authentic way to experience the art of acting. Live music never fails to elevate the soul. Markets and rooftop events are ideal to quench YOLO and FOMO. Hiking at Hennops is all of R70 (totally worth it) considering all the zonkey’s you’ll see. Yes! Zonkey! Hahaha.

Is it considered saucy when you clarify that pumps are not ballet flats? Consider it pay back for the giggles that taunt me for shopping in the junior sneaker section because my foot freakishly shrunk to nothingness in 2009. I declare 2018 the year of pumps and sneakers and finally affording goodies at Zara out of sale season. Don’t be fooled by the TopShop merch in my closet, I have my ways that rescue my pocket from constant emptiness.

As I wrap this up, let me share what I genuinely am burdened to share in my journey; The true meaning of being kind. We preach a lot on showing kindness to others and seemingly forget to show ourselves even a smidgen of it. Listen, you cannot give what you do not have so be kind to your self. Forgive yourself, love yourself and spoil yourself rotten when the means allow. You really only get to do this life thing once, do it well; kindly.

And scene (2017).

I peeled off my legendary  ‘mask of composure’ for all of two seconds but the tears continued dropping for roughly an hour. I had my Samsung in hand, plotting via Whatsapp text, the moves and manoeuvres I have prepared to carry into January 2018. Most of the faces on the other end of the line will not be able to tell that on some days my heart still shatters. On some days, I really don’t have it all together.

The year 2017 has been far more gracious than the two years that preceed it.  Thank God! So much so, I finally caught a glimpse of my not so familiar “happy weight” and I remember to eat at least twice a day. Again, there are earthly angels who have held my hand through even these things, that seem small, like chewing and swallowing more than one spoonful.

My Montessori practicals brought about routine, which was necessary.  I had forgotten that my best days are Mondays, just before sunrise. Should I tell you about Mondays? The promise they carry? Maybe another time.  I am so beautifully privileged to live, learn, grow and love amongst children in the Montessori environment.  These humans cleanse my spirit. They are God’s tangible reminder that He can make anything new. And that when He creates He does this with great delicacy coupled only with the agape kind of love. That even through challenged speech, crooked walks and difficult tantrums there is so much beauty and potential. So so much.

I laid my favourite uncle Stephan to rest on my birthday, 06-04-2017.  I walked into my parent’s living room and my father held me as if he would never let go again. My mother tried to break the news as gently as possible; This birthday like a few others would be heavy.  I smiled, genuinely on that Thursday afternoon.  Every mother who raised me, remembered that their little girl was growing up, painfully yes, but growing still. One mother sang quietly whilst holding me in the warmest embrace at the gravesite. Oh the joy.  My cousin sister Phumzile loved to sing. She had a stunning contra alto and was so humerous. She has 3 young children who with us bid her farewell about a month before. Death snatched her before her very own birthday.  The Wednesday after her passing, my mother would lose her cousin, my maternal uncle. I could continue with this morbid list but rather not. I will share this however; Never have I anticipated and yearned for a text from the being who became a stranger as I did during that time. If not for my comfort, just to know that they are still breathing.

I got rid of those dreadlocks that most of you had come to appreciate. And they will not make a return in the new year, or ever. There were a few lessons locked in those loose curl locs though, such as patience. Could we learn to be just a bit more patient with ourselves? Allow ourselves to break down so we can build bigger canvases for the masterpieces we were born to become. We are made of so much, to be so much, so why the rush? Who are you pitted against except you, that you must hurry sometimes with no plan or pleasure in the moments pocketed in your journey?

I am realising that if I attempt to breakdown every pivotal piece in 2017, I may lose you half way through this blog. We can’t risk this in case I have some epic one liner to share right at the end. So please stay with me, almost there.

Music. We are still an “old married couple”. We bicker quite a bit but the love? Endless. I placed The Verse on a partial hiatus for many reasons, including seriously not having enough time to be as dedicated to the music and management affairs as I should be. Also because I am exhausted of coming home with only enough to cover petrol for a night and squeeze in those horrid burgers from that place which is closely matched to my surname. I have the pleasure however of working with the most talented artists, who constantly feed my soul and mind with their art. I am grateful for this. Theatre fits into the neat bag of goodies carrying the better part of my year. What a beautiful medium. Stories that break your heart and mend it all at the same time. Have you seen Masasa Mbangeni on stage? You should.

“You need to own the fact that you are an actress” said the director after the acting workshop. “You are magic” said my gorgeous Tess after the shooting of a pilot with our mutual friend Kabomo. I had completely forgotten this. I became so familiar with appreciating what was around me, what was inside me was brutally silenced. I reach into the bag of better things and scream chants of gratitude to the angels that walk in dust as humans do because I am now AWAKE.

I can not call you all by name but know that the God who sees me, sees you.

I’ve stopped crying, for now. I have things to giggle about. I have things to sit in praise about. I have stuff to pray for and pray about.  Because I want laugh as I did in this year; tenfold at the break of a new season. I want to blush and bite my lip while my eyelashes fall in a dry(tearless) curl. I want to make you laugh too. I want to be strong for you. So I cry when life asks me to, so that I better understand your tears and gently drag you to a place of quiet.  You can then choose to burrow and break so that you can begin to rebuild but if you need a bit more time for it to make sense, that is okay too. I have been here.

Mondays are full of promise. So is a new year. The 1st of January is just another day, if you choose to see it that way. I thankfully have OCD, hahaha, so the first of anything is brilliant really. Ask me personally about this

Happy New Year

@Mluart

UNdo (18.09.2012) 

Five years ago today, at roughly 08:00, I stood waiting outside the magistrate office. I would legally and otherwise bind myself to the picture of forever that I had carefully woven in my heart and mind. Today, I can’t commit to a celebration. So instead I will rabble in reflection below…

“That only happens in movies” they said. We defied their limited notions with a timeless kiss in the dirty streets of Johannesburg, while clinging to our pockets lest those who picked them, found them. Weeks later a meeting you would have with a familiar stranger would anger me and have me tuck my heart’s keys away lest YOU found them. But your eyes sparkled with ambition and your hands struck me with desire; I loosened my grasp.

My father said “dare not be unequally yoked, how then would you raise your children?”. He said this deeply simmering with delight at your wish to take my hand and make an honest woman of me. We lay excitedly gazing at the single pearl on my finger, speaking of what WOULD be. Rarely did we speak of what COULD be if we lost the keys we both had been entrusted with.

My diamond ring which pardoned the single pearl, after the familiar stranger made a mockery of it would be tainted still… My old lover would leave this earth. You asked me to mourn, maybe wishing that, that would wash the corners of my soul that you still hadn’t occupied. I could only dream of being called your wife. My tears were aimless. Was I mourning the one who was or what was predestined to be.

Before you watched me walk down the isle, fame, money and adoration found us. No, wait… It found you. I happily walked with you, sapphire and diamonds in hand. I had a piece of paper now that carried all the promises of “for better or worse, till death do us part”. This little piece of paper wrapped the keys inside of it and invited my mind to it’s warm abode. I became delusional. Your eyes never wandered and neither did mine, why worry about those would pry lustfully at my flesh and your status? Our cellphones carried no weight of passcodes. Our home reeked of pleasure and satisfaction. Our eyes glistening with promise. We have found what we were looking for in that timeless kiss on the dirty streets of Johannesburg.

I remember the first time I cussed at you. The first time I threw something at you. I remember how I broke the promise never to slumber in anger. See, we understood that heart’s stop beating in the mornings too. What we didn’t know was that the covenants of lovers had hearts too.

“In 5 years we will review this contract.” We laughed loudly.

I laugh now remembering the fourth. The fourth of six. Six years of analysing the colours in your eyes. Six year of birthdays and deaths, of humans and covenants too. I want to forget. The death of the colours in your eyes that painted my heart’s canvas.

Year seven pending year five, I bought a bucket of paint. Black. I poured it over my soul. It dripped. Down to my feet and left bare the lessons I HAD to learn from YOU, from LIFE, from LOVE, that were specially crafted FOR ME.

Love with no reservations. Love stupidly. Love completely. Love to death. Love beyond death. Love beyond pain. Love your scars. Love the flowers on the graves of your hand written happily ever afters. Love YOU first, after God. Love the journey. Love him. Love him despite. Love him inspite. Love prayer. Love commitment. Love recreation, rehabilitation, restoration. Love your children. Love their children. Love their joys. Love LOVE.

This piece of paper no longer holds my mind. This was no choice of mine. Life spat in my face often enough and entrenched it’s vile stench in my hands; Each time I dared to wipe my tears I would smell the struggle. The struggle to be who I promised to be while loving you. Loving us. Loving this. So my mind detached in search of cleaner spaces.

Almost eight and safely at five, I would only changed two things. The deaths of the beings we coloured in hopes of creating masterpieces.

The rest should stay the same. How else would I undo the knots of premature promises I made to you. How else would I learn to celebrate what has become at FIVE.

It was/is NECESSARY