I took a walk… (Short Poem) 

I took a walk mid watching ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ for the 3rd time, to ease a sudden panic attack. I thought perhaps I was responding to the movie and the rather sad story, but as soon as I picked up my phone all I could think to write was…

For each breathless, chest clenching and heart wretching anxiety attack I suffered at the memory of the hurt you generously supplied to me.

For the days when my legs failed to carry me out of these four walls that suffocate me because the pins and needles had almost become visible.

For the tears I watched my mother shed because her heart bleeds when my skin breaks.

For the humiliation of giggly girls and boys who aged only in years and inflate your ego with falacies.

For the days when I forgot how to pray… I hope I learn to forgive.
I pray to forget


A profound and interesting take on relationships by the late Myles Munroe 

A good friend shared the following with me. I think it is something woman should consider and men should reflect on;

*Getting understanding in Marriage!*
Listen to this, often times we misplace our priorities when searching for a partner. I want to open our eyes to something using the Bible.
When you take a look at the first marriage in history, Gen 2:24… After God made man, he put him in the Garden of Eden, the word “Eden” is an Hebrew word for “where God dwells” so the first thing God gave man was *”His Presence*”. So the first thing a man needs is NOT a woman, it is the presence of God, and a woman should meet him in the presence of God. Eve met Adam in Eden.
Some women amaze me, they leave the presence of God, go outside to find a man and then try to drag him back into the presence of God.
The next thing God gave man in after putting him in the Garden was *WORK*. (Gen 2:15) God gave man work before woman. That means a man needs a job before he gets a woman. God’s priorities are very clear.
The third thing God told man was *”Cultivate”…… Cultivate here means, bring out the best in everything around you*, to maximize the potentials of everything and everyone around you, To make everything fruithful. He only said that to the male.
That’s why God will never give a man a finished woman. The male was created by God to create what he wants. The woman you are looking for doesn’t exist, she’s in your head. Your job is to take the raw material you married and cultivate her into the woman in your head. So you have been married for 20yrs and you still don’t like the product you get, that’s your fault. If your wife is putting a little weight and you don’t like that, don’t criticize her, it’s your job to wake her at 6am, ” Hey baby, let’s go jogging”  You don’t like her dress, take her to a boutique and buy her cloths you like. She can’t speak good English? Send her to school and pay her tuition fee. CULTIVATE HER!!!!
The fourth thing God said to man, he said “Guard the Garden”. The man has to be the protector of everything under his care. That’s why God gave you a stronger bone frame. A bigger muscle mass, not to abuse the woman, but to protect the woman.
The last thing God gave man was his Word… God told man not to touch the tree, God never told the woman about the tree, NEVER!!!….. Which means it was the man WHO received the word of God and his job was to teach his wife the word of God. Nothing frustrates a woman like when she asks her man “So what do you think” and the dummy answers “what ever you think is OK”….. Don’t do that bro, don’t do that. She’s looking for knowledge and direction.
That was the last command God gave to man in Vs 17, Now watch this, in vs 18, God said, “It is not good for this man to be alone” now, don’t just read the statement fast, read it again slowly ” it is not good for THIS MAN to be alone” WHAT MAN???

The man who is

*In His presence*

*Has a job (working)*

*Can Cultivate you*

*Can protect you*

*Can teach you*
So here’s the problem, if you meet a man who doesn’t like His Presence, isn’t working, can’t cultivate you, can’t protect you and can’t teach you then IT IS GOOD FOR THAT MAN TO BE ALONE…
Summary from Late Myles Munroe’s teaching on male and female relationship…

But I couldn’t 

If only I could say what I really mean.

With a passion for writing and a natural ability to engage, you would assume that I would take any opportunity to bare my raw thoughts, but I couldn’t. Not with prying eyes and spectators who are more concerned with the business of others. Not as a practioner in the entertainment industry who’s partner is growing daily in celebrity status. Not as someone who has already suffered front page stage lights and lashings on the Internet.

I am also a musician. I could have written songs that tell my stories and choreographed dance pieces that paint the picture, but I couldn’t. My eyes would swell up with tears, my chest would grow tight, my hands numb with anxiety, I would simply buckle.

For a while now I have alluded through my blog, social media and other mediums that I am having some difficulty navigating this ‘life thing’. I can now attest to a human flaw in the digital age. We rarely can draw the line between what we share and our personal lives. From rants to encrypted status updates to bible verses, we hold back very little. People close to us however can usually tell. They will send a kind text warning you of the possible repercussions of airing your dirty laundry. But, when you are filled with enough ills you begin to emit the vile toxins, sometimes without intention.

My anxiety disorders are amplified when various stressors present themselves. My disorder also presents itself physically. If you have had to say to me “Mathunzi, you look tired”, this is probably why. In itself, anxiety is something that is very hard to explain. Even those closest to you, who have perhaps observed an intense panic attack, or have read a page with your diagnosis cannot always fully grasp what you are experiencing. I have grown tired of trying to explain it or how recent events make it almost impossible to get through it quickly enough. Everyone has a solution by the way. The most popular is “Pray”.  Do not get me wrong, I sincerely appreciate these sentiments. Sadly my silence does not give you a large enough scope to allow you to prescribe a remedy. (Prayer is always appropriate, but is it enough).

An emotion I experience quite often is rage. I am angry. And even angrier that I cannot speak as I please. I am angry that some decisions about my life were made void of my presence or opinion. I am angry that my temper and reactions to being taunted and abused were used to guilt trip me into submission to suffer more, and sometimes even more aggressive abuse. It upsets me greatly that, more so as a woman, you must find ways to mask your pain and still miraculously show up. The horror in discovering that women are woman’s greatest oppressor. From vague disrespect to out right cruelty. A generation of inhumane social predators.

Not all my experiences were cultivated by another person or people, some of it was beyond human control. It however does not take away from my failure to comprehend the active and purposed participation of humans in destabilising anothers entire existence. Obviously no one has the power or capacity to achieve this, but they will at least try. With a need to feel superior or greater than, humans who are made of weak moral fibre and poor self actualization will do just about anything to “thrive”. Sometimes sadly, the people closest to you will embark on this damaging assignment, leaving not only you and loved ones empty, but themselves entirely worn. When this occurs the most likely turn is that of ambition to bitterness, causing for more evils to stir.

Someone said to me recently that I refuse to accept that there is very little good in some people. This then poses as a problem in accepting my circumstances which are conditoned by such persons. Maybe this is why I fail to speak. I fail to speak because I am yet to process. I fear being ridiculed for premature outlandish vocalisations of my truth. I fear my decisions to protect myself may not be seen as “normal” enough to be found acceptable.
I have said enough in writing this to trust that my voice has not been consumed and one day I will speak. It’s funny how I always urge others to speak. Not only speak, but seek help and support. To value themselves and the one life they get to live. To love themselves fiercely. I ask them to come to be and never fear judgment. I ask God to make things right. To elevate them from the confines of confusion and hurt. But I couldn’t do this for myself.

I am not ashamed of my scars or my fresh woulds which are salted on occasion. I am simply enslaved by the fear of exposing what lays beneath these bandages in case I fail to recover. I love myself enough to have started the process off removing things and people who do not serve me well. I simply don’t know how one learns to ‘unlove’ in learning to better love themselves.

I will write about learning to forgive myself another time. What a necessary process. My apologies again to the reader whom I did not satisfy by leaving out all the tantalising details. Maybe over a cup of coffee


Finding hope in emptiness…

I saw two absolutely gorgeous girls in princess costumes. My heart leaped with adoration. Then it stopped for a second. Am I allowed to dream about the day when wands and ballets shoes fill my corridor. The day when soccer balls stain my walls. I have never seen so many expectant moms and young children in a short space of time,as I have at my most longing. Is the universe taunting me or am I just more aware because my dreams still haunt me.

I have always been good with children. In fact I believe my life’s purpose it to create better spaces and a promising life for all the little ones I can reach. My studies, even in the arts are directed towards their well being. I am always the first to offer to babysit. Baby showers generate a ridiculous level of excitement inside of me. So with all this, what now?

I believe in God, in his divine purpose, but never have I ever struggled so much to ask him what this plan is all about. All I have managed is a request for calm and a heavenly dose of pain management.

I appreciate and adore my family and friends who have shown up and continue to embrace my struggle and give me reasons to smile.

Recent posts have been pleas with the world to learn the art of not poking at situations that may be sensitive, but till this moment I am asked why in my 4th year of marriage I have nothing to show as far as children go. Why I don’t ‘bless’ my parents with grandchildren. I was always swift in my polite responses,but of late I use every inch of strength to hold my tongue and not sharply ask that you mind your own damn business.

An advocate for adoption,I worry how in this space I can adequately do what Iv always sought to do,which is to love those who never asked to be born and tossed.

Its pretty dark in here. So where do I find hope?

Im writing and posting this as not only a step towards the liberation I seek,but a call to women and men alike to liberate themselves. Allow your heart to speak. Empty your soul,so when new hope is found,it finds a place to settle and bloom.

Tshepo ‘Crocky’ Modiri  – Asaman 

The Asaman campaign seeks to inspire, create mentorship opportunities, and create a safe and constructive space to engage, for the younger generation. Asaman sits down with 21 year old Tshepo ‘Crocky’ Modiri, a BSc student, social activist & vocalist, to gain insight on the thoughts of the younger, upcoming generation of men.  

Who is the one man, whether you have met or not, that you find inspires you most? And how?

Jesus Christ. There are many reasons why Jesus inspires me. His ideologies, how he related with other people etc. But, the one reason He really inspires me was His perseverance. We live in a world where it is extremely difficult to be who you really are and to say what you really want say. Jesus was ostracized for His views, and how He kept true to Himself amongst so many adversities is the one thing that stuck with me the most from His story, and it is the one I try apply in my life.

Authenticity. Honesty.

Do you believe guys in your age group consider good value systems as something to consider in their daily living? Why or why not? 

I think definitely yes. I think the reason it sometimes does not seem that way is due to the fact that most guys in my age group are at a stage in their life where they are still finding and creating their value systems. Early twenties are the years in which you find and settle into yourself, that includes choosing the value systems you want to live by, and applying them to your daily living

What are you currently studying and are you happy with your choice or do you have different prospects? 

I am currently studying a Bachelors in Science degree. I would say I am happy, but having said that I definitely do not think that this is where my passions lie. I’m yet to know for sure where my passions lie, but I am excited to find out. Right now I am going through the motions, learning and making the most of every opportunity awarded to me.

Do you ever feel pressured to behave a certain way or make certain decision in an attempt to become what someone else believes is a ‘man’ and how?

Yes, everyday. This, in my opinion speaks to a bigger societal problem and that is the problem of socially pressured gender roles/stereotypes. Too often have men been told that they should not show vulnerability, that they shouldn’t cry etc, and this type of thinking can lead to a lot
of internal distraught. This thinking is dangerous as it presents a blanket definition for manhood and any deviation towards self actualisation is stigmatised. Men need to recognise this problem, and consciously tell themselves that they are the masters of their manhood. They decide what what they manhood means to them, that way they shall lead fulfilling lives.

You are very passionate about music,why is this? 

I grew up in a very musical family. All the members in my family sing, two even play musical instruments, so music is something that’s always been in my life,and I think that’s where it comes from. Also one thing I love about music is that it brings people together, irregardless of background, culture and race.

Your social media page seems to suggest that you are very up to date in terms of modern trends. Is this something you actually pay attention to, and why or why not?  

I think yes it is something I pay attention to. I pride myself in being a global citizen. I enjoy knowing what’s happening around me as I do not think its healthy to live in an isolated bubble, as you don’t grow as much if you do. That by the way does not mean I subscribe to all the trends out there, it simply means that I am aware
of them.

What are your thoughts on girls, women and the notion of marriage?

As a Christian, I fully support the notion of marriage as this is something my religion has taught me, but even outside of Christianity I believe its a beautiful thing to have a life partner. This life is not an easy one, and having someone with you through all the difficult and pleasan
t motions is lovely, and it is the type of bond that would be difficult to find elsewhere. I really do believe that modern day marriages can last. Having said that, it isn’t easy… relationships are hard work.

The men you see around you today, do you feel they are doing enough to inspire you to be a better person? 

Yes, they do. I purposefully surround myself and stay in contact with people, in this case men, that I can learn from as I feel that this is what friendships and relationships should be about. Seeing the men in my life chase their dreams inspires me to do the same

Do you think the Asaman campaign will achieve the desired effect of inspiring men both old and young now that you have taken part and know what it is about?

Yes I do. Mainly because this type of discourse on masculinity and manhood is one that does not happ
en enough, and many men, young and old, rely on gender stereotypes for guidance on their manhood. Many men will read these stories, and have the courage to narrate their own.

What is the one perception people have of you that you are uncomfortable with?

One perception that I’m uncomfortable with would be some people thinking that I am quite arrogant. Think the reason for this misperception is that I generally am shy and introverted in nature, and because of this I tend to keep to myself, this behaviour then gets misinterpreted. Oh well 🙂

I had an interesting conversation with Tshepo that inspired my last question. Perceptions. A lot of ideas and behaviours are influenced by perceptions. Unfortunately, one’s perception may not always be true or even come close to the reality of what or whom they are observing. I now hope that Asaman helps break down this system of perception and allows men and woman to engage openly and honestly thus truly learning from each other. 

 It is important to remain humble and modest. Remember though, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s simply thinking of yourself less. 

Photography by Aaron & Hur  

Ofentse Modiri – Asaman 

Asaman sits down with 27 year old entrepreneur and music enthusiast Ofentse Modiri.  

What do you believe defines manhood? 

 That’s a deep question, a question that’s subject to opinion informed by many things. Il try give my view on the matter. A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing to compromise when compromising is wrong. A man must provide for he’s family and love his wife as Christ loves the church. A man must be strong yet tender, he must be able to discern which battles to fight and which to let Go. Most importantly Manhood is about leading by example by Fearing God and respecting all man. For me these are what Manhood is about to me.

 What do you do on a professional level and are you fulfilled in that particular field? 

I’m a civil and construction contractor mainly. I run a small but growing company in this very exciting sector and loving every minute of it. I feel very fulfilled in what I do, it’s a sector that embraces change and is ever growing. I know I’m in the right place and will continue to grow and learn.

Who are your male role models and how have they impacted your life? 

My father has to be the first up there. Bg Modiri has been a big role model and influence on me and many other young men. From a very young age he not only kept telling me but showed me that there is no limit in what one can achieve. He’s achievements alone as a father,entrepreneur and a preacher man were and continue to bear testimony to that.

“Attitude and not Aptitude will determine your Altitude” ” Your busy becoming what you will become ” are but just a few murmurings he’d always remind me of and helped me build the character I boast today as a young man.

Mr Sizwe Kweyama and Mr Ralph Nkomo, are the other two gentlemen I look up to. As a young boy or man there are those silent role models you can relate to from a distance. In short these gentlemen taught me determination is key, taught me how to embrace my weaknesses and accepting them in turn nullifying them as weaknesses. Through their ambitions and aspirations respectively showed me it’s possible to punch above your weight and go for whatever it is your heart desires.

What are your thoughts on in regards to how women are commonly objectified?  

I think objectifying is a problem both genders face to some degree, yes it can be more so in the context of woman. My stance is simple, it’s wrong period. I do however feel that as much men need to adjust their outlook on the matter and realize there’s more to woman than mere objects, I feel woman collectively can and should take active steps to impose and express their independence.

As a man who has recently committed to start a family, what values do you believe a man should possess within a home to make it a home of substance? 

As a man about to start a family there are a few things I intend to be the corner stones in our marriage. Love, Respect, Fear of God, Honesty and companionship. These are the values I want to impart as a man, as a husband and one day as a father. I hope to be decisive and lead by example.

Why do you prefer being addressed as a entrepreneur instead of a businessman?

The reason I prefer to be addressed as an entrepreneur instead of a businessmen is because fundamentally these are different and I boast entrepreneurial characteristics over that of a business man.

Fundamentally A businessman can make a business out of an unoriginal business or product idea. He enters into existing businesses, such as franchising and retailing. He chooses a hot and profitable business idea regardless of whether it is his original idea or borrowed from someone else.

A businessman defines success as the success of his business and its stakeholders. Its stakeholders include himself, co-owners, employees, customers, investors, and even his community. An entrepreneur doesn’t define success. He simply do his job and let history defines the success that he accomplished. Remember that this list is only according to my own opinion, and I don’t mean to put one of them on top of the other. Both businessmen and entrepreneurs are supposed to be the kind of people that our world needs. A businessman needs an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur may also need a businessman. There can also be a person who is partly a businessman and partly an entrepreneur.

Do you think businesses do enough in terms of social development projects, and what could they do better to make this process a tangible one? 

I honestly think that businesses do take their social responsibilities very seriously and have very adequate social development programs in place. In South Africa opportunity as a young ambitious somebody opportunities are plentiful in this sector. I think the disconnect is perhaps in educating people on these opportunities rather than there being a lack of them. As a young black man I bear first hand testimony to this, determination and perseverance have no substitutes. Be diligent as a young man and rest will fall into place, take my word for it.

The word ‘musician’ is loosely used quite often. As a person who enjoys music and performs as well, what are your thoughts on the above mentioned? 

Yes it’s true that the term Musician is over used and abused. As a scholar of music and a serious lover and appreciator of music I’ve come to realize that there is no regulatory measure in music and arts in general as opposed to corporate or business perhaps. This Is why people feel their entitled to call themselves musicians after learning 3chords on the guitar. It’s really not for me to say if it’s wrong or right however I do feel that if we are to cultivate the quality we aspire we need to respect the art of music and be more focused on learning the Art of music. I feel if we respect the art as maybe we do the medical field the term musician will be as carefully carefully used as “Doctor” perhaps, intern cultivating excellence in this beautiful art we love dearly.

What is integrity to you? 

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

Bob Marley

That’s what integrity is to me.

  May I never forget, on my best day that I need God as desperately as I did on my worst day 

Photography by Aaron & Hur 



Thando Vokwana – Asaman 

Asaman sits down with 29 year old Thando Vokwana. A Forex & Fixed Income Trader and an avid fitness enthusiast. Here is his story  

Define manhood in a short paragraph

Our lack of proper education on manhood and credible role models has led to the deterioration of manhood. Which has created a deluded image in our modern youth of what a “real man” should be; “Always be strong. Never cry.” It’s as simple as this for me.

Taking responsibility for everything in your life. That’s what it is, that’s all it is. Taking responsibility for where you are, good or bad.

Tell us a bit about your childhood

 I was born in PE, in a single parent home for the majority of my life and had the experience of an absent father – who passed away when I was 7. My mother is and was truly my everything. She fulfilled the role of mother and father quite admirably – sacrificing a lot on her part to groom me into the person I am today. Unfortunately she passed away in my teen years. I’ve always been very active and highly competitive and my mom gently nudged me into playing a lot of sport. This is where I met my best friend who has become my brother. His parents ended up adopting me when my mom past away and in some way my life has come full circle in knowing what the normality of a home where a mother and father are present and very involved feels like.

Who are the men that most influenced you and continue to do so? Please share how they have groomed you

As I mentioned earlier that I never really had a male role model till the later years of my life where my adopted father has had the biggest influence. Coming from being an extremely angry young man he has really guided me in finding peace within myself. He has really sacrificed a lot for me – taking me in as one of his own children and loving me as his own child, enhancing my spiritual journey. He has also taught me to see beyond colour and find value in people. Coming from a black home and moving into a white family was a difficult adjust but one I’m glad we got to experience as a family but that’s a story for another day.

You recently made the choice to get married,could you share what such a commitment means to you and what it would mean for your family structure if you chose to have children.

I find that commitment is something that’s lacking in modern society- we’re quick to call it quits when things get rough, look at the high divorce rates. Commitment for me is even more profound having the background that I have, growing up without a father and knowing the struggles my mother had to go through . It was an easy process for me to commit knowing that I genuinely found someone who’s happiness mattered more than mine, someone who you can see yourself growing as a person with and someone who’s not afraid to call you out even under the toughest circumstances. Being committed means being able to sacrifice – whatever my family needs – putting their needs ahead of mine. I hope one day to be able to pass this knowledge onto our kids.

How is fitness integrated in your life,and what does it mean to you?

I work under very stressful circumstances and I find it very difficult to switch off since my mind is always at work. Crossfit, the gym and instructing Movement X classes are where I find I can turn off and finally forget about. It’s a stress reliever for me. I’ve always been an active person – played tons of sport – so it’s been a seamless transition and it helps keep me young (healthy mind – healthy bond). I also embarked on competing in fitness & bodybuilding shows for the first time this year.

Professionally you are, in a more simpler term,a trader. What does your job entail?

A lot of stress, sleepless nights and more stress (just kidding). Most people think that trading is like playing roulette. You’d be very surprised. Any trade I put on my trading book involves a lot of analysis – understanding market trends, factors or news stories that could possibly sway market direction and knowing exactly where to cut your losses. I love the fact that my job gives me worldly knowledge, has taught me to be more disciplined in other areas of my life and challenges me everyday.

Is what you do professionally what you always wanted to do or are there other prospects you would have liked to explore?

I always thought I’d be a doctor growing up until I discovered how squeamish I was in my first year at university. So the plan changed and I explored the world of finance. As a black man I’ve always had a dream of opening up our community’s eyes to the world of finance – giving ugogo ePeddi access to hedge funds and educating her in the process. I plan on opening a hedge fund in the next couple of years that will focus on utilising resources in the lower to middle income classes.

Morality wears thin in today’s society, what do you feel could be done to remedy this? 

Mindset is everything. I liken it to the competitive world of sports where you can do anything if you win. The same thinking can be applied to someone who thinks they’re winning in general and tell themselves, “You know that girl? She’s my trophy. I deserve that girl. In fact, she doesn’t even want to be with me, but I don’t care. I’m going to take it.” That type of mindset should never ever be tolerated. I guess in some way it’s about being mindful of others, respecting yourself and those around you. It requires a lot of introspection and really discovering who you are – something that we’ve become unaccustomed to doing as a soceity – since a person’s worth is more closely defined by their material possesions and the amount of bravado they exhibit.

How was your experience with the Asaman campaign?

It was an unusual experience being in front of the camera but the campaign as a whole is refreshing as it gives a platform for young men to share their thoughts and ideas and inspire the next generation of young men.

Thando’s fiance is a good friend of mine, this is how we met. There is a simple lesson Iv learned in the time Iv spent with him; Never judge a book by its cover. And the application of this simple proverb would do us much good. We we learn so much more about not only others but ourselves. 

Another story that speaks to the insignificance of circumstance at the face of determination and will. 

 In today’s fast paced lifestyle where instantaneous gratification is the norm, endurance no longer exists. Endurance to stomach the rough patches we go through in our personal relationships and everyday life in general. 

Photography by Aaron & Hur