#FeesMustFall – The Revolution Is Being Televised

My degree is officially 10 years old this year and although I’m proud to call myself a Witsie, my pride was even more justified when I saw what the students at my old varsity have started. 
Last week we were duped by the university’s management into believing that this was just a few hundred students who were disrupting classes but we soon learned that this was the start of a revolution. 

I watched my newsfeed on my social media fill up with posts #WitsFeesMust and soon enough #UCTFeesMustFall and subsequently Stellenbosch, Tukkies, Rhodes and other university students joined the moment and here we sit in our #NationalShutDown.

 

One of the most poignant images of University of Witwatersrand students peacefully gathered outside Luthuli House yesterday afternoon. (PHOTO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO)

 
I thought back to my days in varsity and I’m almost ashamed to admit it but I was one of those students that didn’t understand why students would protest and want to bring an institution to its knees to bring such a pertinent point across. I was ignorant and blinded by my own privilege, I didn’t want to empathise – I was only concerned about finishing my degree and getting out of Wits so I can start paying back my NSFAS loan. 

I remember the day I came face to face with protesting students, I wasn’t harassed; they walked into the lecture halls and asked us to leave – some resisted and I watched (angrily I must admit) as the protesting students threw water at the resisting students and I was furious. I didn’t understand what their cause was, I was so far removed from what they were going through and felt, like some of the reactions I see around me, that these students are entitled and have nothing better to do than disrupt those of us who are going about our business of attending lectures. But how would I feel if the little stipend I got from NSFAS was used to help with groceries, school fees for younger siblings and other expenses? Instead my stipend went straight into my student account and I still remember my mom and sister saying “lucky you, at least you have some pocket money.” That was it, I still got my taxi fare and pocket money – no questions asked. So how could I relate when my Tuesday afternoons consisted of me waiting for my sister to drive us home while sitting down to my regular of cappuccino and complimentary croissant at The Matrix – how could I even start to get where they were coming from? 

 

Access to the university was blocked in the build up to the shut down. (PHOTO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO)

 
I didn’t think that more than 10 years after being confronted with protesting students on campus, I’d witness the students from Wits sparking a movement that has become global over the last few days! 

Although the cause has been tainted by racism and violence I applaud the people who are actively involved in ensuring that these students are not discouraged and don’t lose focus of their goal to make quality education accessible to every South African child! 

Today I don’t stand behind you grumbling and complaining or in front of you trying to block you, i stand beside you raising my fist in pride!

This is not a struggle for a certain kind of people, it is for any and every South African who feels strongly about accessibility to quality education for all South African children. (PHOTO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO)

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My First Time: Spring Fiesta

It took me a week to recover and so I can finally tell you about it! 

One thing I was told about the Spring Fiesta was that you cannot fully understand what it is until you have the full experience yourself.

You have to be there to fully understand what the energy is like here. (PHOTO: FANIE MTHUPHA).

Thanks to my friend, Nolwazi, the experience would come sooner than I had anticipated and I found myself in the midst of thousands of revellers dancing to house music that took me back to my teens. 

With over 70 acts and seven stages to choose from, we were definitely spoilt for choice and had the opportunity to sample what each stage had to offer. 

Luckily for me, Nolwazi has some cool connections and Ekurhuleni media officer, Nombuso was our guide for the evening taking us from the main Soul Candi Live stage to all the stages where we found ourselves dancing through a musical journey which took us from old school house to some dancehall and reggae, a bit of hip hop and back to the current house jams that have the crowds doing every move from slyza tsotsi to the nae nae. 

Nolwazi and I flank Nombuso as she takes us around the seven stages.

What makes the fiesta enjoyable is that it’s like a musical buffet – you choose what you like and when you no longer like it, you can move on to something else. 

 

Twins On Decks. (PHOTO: FANIE MTHUPHA).

  

Mafikozolo’s ever so stylish Nhlanhla Nciza gets the crowd going! (PHOTO: FANIE MTHUPHA).

  

DJ Clock always makes sure that sitting down is not an option. (PHOTO: FANIE MTHUPHA).

 

My main motivation that got me tagging along apart from great company and sheer curiosity at being at the fifth installment of this annual event was listening to Osunlade play. He drove the crowd insane as he took us back to songs that reminded us why we’re still loyal fans.
Each stage, as we came to learn, offered something different and from what I saw from the crowd this event will see a bigger crowd flocking to Ekurhuleni every year.

It was nothing like I had imagined and I don’t think Nolwazi and I had quite prepared ourselves for what we’d find once we got to Wild Waters and I don’t think it’s an experience we’ll be forgetting anytime soon. 

 

A selfie before we got dancing the day away!

 

*Despite the recent tirade by Osunlade on the state of black South Africans, we had a great time. While his rant may have a left me feeling bitter sweet, it still hasn’t changed the love I have for his music.

Hand Me Down

For me having an older sister has meant that I’ll always have a best friend, an advisor, a ride or die, a last minute plus one at events and most importantly an entire wardrobe of clothes to choose from! 

Hand me downs from her have been fewer and fewer over the years as my sister is smaller than me. When I was younger, mostly during my toddler years, I would have the full benefit of her hand me downs but when I hit my teens most of her clothes were too small and by the time I finally caught up and hit adulthood – she had slimmed down and could fit into size 36 clothes at some point (that’s a size that’s never featured in my life)!

So when she came back with the top I’m wearing one day after hanging out with one of her friends, I was only left feeling so green with envy (pun intended). She told me she got it from a boutique known as envy and being a plus girl all my life, I know the boutiques never loved us so all I could do was sigh and cry on the inside especially when I found out it was a size 3! what is a size 3?? The only time I’ve heard of such small numbers in my life was when we referred to shoes. So you can imagine my surprise (and shock) when she threw the top at me while sorting out her laundry and simply said “try it on and if it fits, keep it.”

I was on cloud nine but then I remembered the size and I wondered if would end up being kept in the wardrobe until my niece can fit into it. It was such a pleasant surprise to try it on and find out that it fits perfectly and that I can rock it with skirts and jeans! It had become my favourite top and has me looking forward to my next hand me down! 

Hand me downs are sometimes the best fashion finds!

Mix It Up!

Everytime I wear my prints, I usually pair it with a neutral so that my print item is the star of the outfit. 

Today I decided to step out of my comfort zone and mix it up! I’m wearing the very first items that I ever had made by my now business partner, Bijou. I’ve only ever worn the top once and anyone who knows me well, has seen me in the Ankara skirt at least once! 
 

Print on print is so much fun!

 
If you’re a little wary of rocking print on print, here are my 5 tips to get you started: 

1. Try prints from the same colour family – different hues of the same colour make it easier for the prints to work well together.

These two ankara prints in these hues of pink are amazing to pair!

2. Stripes or polka dots are the easiest to match your prints with. Like your neutrals in colours, these graphics are the go to for mixing it up!

It’s like they were made for each other!

3. Use the same print in different colours or sizes. 

Always trust your (animal) instinct!

4. Add a neutrals if you feel the look is too busy. 

Rock the blush tulle with your plaids and look magical!

5. Use accessories for a lighter but still effective mix. 

Accessories are a fun way to pull off any trend!

Have fun with it and with so many colours and patterns to play around with this season, you’ll definitely have fun mixing it up! 

From A Boy

I have two reasons why I’ve never tried the borrowed from the boys look. 

The first is that I’ve always thought it’s more authentic when the clothes are actually borrowed from a boy and finding one (a boy that is) with items that fit me in my circle of friends and exes is almost impossible.

Secondly, I always thought my curves would get in the way of pulling of the androgynous look. 

Earlier this year I found the flannel shirt I’m wearing in the laundry pile of the guy I was dating at the time and I decided that it would look so much better on me!

And so every once in a while, I get kitted out in my #BoySwag with Ciara’s ‘Like A Boy’ playing in my head and I rock it out like one of the homies! 

  

Flannel shirt – #BorrowedFromABoy

Longer length tee with zipper detail – Mr Price Fashion

Leggings – Woolworths 

Kicks – Adidas

Backpack – Rowdy Bags

Jeanius!

I got my first pair of jeans at age 27 – I just couldn’t get myself to buy a pair despite seeing women twice my size rocking a pair like a boss. 

I saw it at Donna Claire while walking in the mall and it was the colour that got me and coloured skinny jeans were in so I thought “let’s try it on, that can’t hurt!” I was hooked – I walked out with two pairs and have never looked back!

The first pair from Donna Claire that caught my eye! Still looks good!

 Jeans and Longer length top – Donna Claire

Sandals – Mr Price Fashion

Longer length tee – Forever21+

My collection has since grown and the only reservations I have now is how another pair is going to dent my wallet and no so much about how big my butt will look in a pair!

My Torrid distressed boyfriend jeans are one of my favourite pairs!

Jeans – Torrid

Bird print crop – Envy

Sandals – Mr Price Fashion

Denim shirt – Fashion Express 

Wedges – Woolworths (Country Road)

 They are so versatile and can take you from the office to a turn up sessions with the girls to date night and with the right wash and cut a job interview! 

Big girls shouldn’t wear white – says who? Love my white Donna Claire jeggings even though I struggle to keep them clean!


Jeggings – Donna Claire

Bodysuit – Pick n Pay Clothing

Kimono and, Sandals and Wedges – Woolworths

Ankara Peplum top – #madewithlove

These Donna Claire skinnies have a special place in my heart as they were the second I bought!

Jeans – Donna Claire

Crop, Shirt, Longer Length Muscle tee and Hoops – Mr Price Fashion

Kicks – Converse

They’ve been called everything such as timeless, edgy, classic, sexy, simple, wardrobe staple and what I love about jeans the most is that when they get old and start to fray and tear, you can still rock them and look all kinds of fresh!

Bringing back that 70s swag with my flare jeans! My sis bought them for me from Gap and to think I wanted to alter them and make them tapered!

Jeans – Gap

Crop – Mr Price Fashion

Black Wedge – Torrid

Character tee – Pick n Pay Clothing

Wedge with bow – Woolworths 

Yellow

“Everytime I hear you say hello

All I see is yellow

Like daisies in the meadow ”

As India.Arie sings these lyrics I literally fall in love every single time… it’s from her 2009 album Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics and features the smooth voice of Terrell Carter and will be playing as I walk down aisle one day! In her lyrics she gives love colour and it’s one of my most favourite songs! 

I’ve loved the colour since I could remember and my family has a joke about how I ate my first yellow wax crayon which explains my complexion… *as I roll my eyes*

Yellow is my favourite colour and although I don’t wear it enough, I believe I don’t have to because my aura is yellow! To me, the colour represents happiness, sunshine, laughter and custard! 

In colour therapy, yellow is an energising and uplifting colour that helps with encouraging inner power and positivity. The colour can aid with the digestive and nervous systems, calming those butterflies in your stomach (seems it’s the perfect colour to wear on that first date!).

It’s a fresh and fun colour and you should at least have one yellow item to brighten up your wardrobe! 

  
Dress – Foschini

Denim Shirt – Fashion Express

Sandals and Skirt (worn as underskirt) – Woolworths

Beach Bum!

This was the first image I had ever seen of a plus size woman wearing a bikini. The first thing that came to mind was: oh wow, they make these in my size!

 

The queen of the #fatkini, the ever phly Gabifresh!

 
The first and last time I wore a swimsuit was in the fifth or sixth grade – I didn’t have the most traumatic experience in one but by the time I was in high school I had no desire to be seen in one. 

As much I was fairly comfortable in my body, I hadn’t quite thought being seen at the beach or pool side in a one-piece (never mind a bikini) would ever happen again but then a few of the plus size blogs I followed started posted summer holiday photos and women were rocking 2-piece bikinis in a variety of colours and designs and last year I spotted a leopard print bikini that I had to have but there a fee doubts – I’m not toned enough; how much bigger will my bum look in this; I’m not those cool am American bloggers who can get away with all these looks – so many people will point and stare and then I’ll have to go home and change… but it was on sale and there was no way if pass up a great bargain so I went ahead and got it! 

I had planned to wear it to the beach during our Cape Town Jazz weekend earlier this year but Mother Nature had other plans so I didn’t but what encouraged me was seeing my friend, Tshepang and other women at Camps Bay rocking their swimsuits in all sorts of designs – they looked amazing and most importantly they had no qualms about their bodies and were enjoying the water! 

So when announcements for this year’s Spring Fiesta were being made, I knew I had to be there and I would rock a bikini – even if it meant not even stepping into water, I knew I’d be rocking one! 

For me it was never about looking sexy at the beach or poolside but it was overcoming that hurdle of thinking that the only option of outfits I have for the beach are my summer dresses. 

  

  
Bikini – Fave Swimwear

Denim Shirt – Fashion Express

Sandals – Mr Price Fashion 

Tickled Pink! 

I was 22 years old when I felt a lump in my left breast. I figured it had to do with my period but when that was over and the lump was still there, I got a little worried.

After visiting my doctor twice and two visits to the Breast Clinic at Helen Joseph, I was fortunately in the clear. 

It was a scary time for my family and I as a number of things were going through all our minds. What if they found cancer? Will she have to undergo chemo? Is it too late? And for me the question I actually tried to not think too much about was: would I die… 

During this time my sister drove me to all my appointments making sure I never found myself alone entertaining any negative thoughts. 

I also met a community of amazing women at the Breast Clinic where breast cancer survivors were there to literally hold your hand as you equate to have your mammogram and be told news that could change your life.

 

I’m tickled pink! I pleadge to go for regular check ups and make sure my loved ones do to! #IPledgePink #ThinkPink

 
From that year onwards I’ve tried to participate in cancer charity related events such as the Shavathon and the Cuppa for CANSA and spend time with women who’ve survived and those who are still in the battle. 

It’s so frightening to think that one of your greatest assets can lead to your demise so it’s important to have checks done regularly and encourage women (and men) around you to do the same as early detection is key in enabling effective treatment and a better chance at recovery. 

The Newness!

It’s the first day of a new month and I can only celebrate! I had hoped to post earlier in the day but oh well, here it is. 
I’m opening up the new month by rocking my new top which was given as a gift from a friend. My girl, Palesa called me after she walked into the Mr Price Pop Up Shop in the Mother City where items from the limited range from Elle Rising Star winner, Tamara Chérie Dysom was available! I loved the top so much I especially made a pair of flower clip on earrings to compliment it! 

 

My top got me feeling all kinds of new!

 
New things can be exciting but they can sometimes brew anxiety as you’ve never tried them before. But for me that’s the best part – you don’t know what to expect so it’s better to go into it expecting the best! And when those new things include stuff bought by amazing friends – they’re even better! 

 

My clip ons inspired by the top – made from denim and ankara!

 
As we go into the new month, I look forward to new experiences, trying out new things and meeting new people. I’m hoping to continue learning new things and most of all keeping it fresh! 

  

It was a tough choice between my wedge and kicks – my toes made the final decision!

My wedges made the look fun and flirty – pity I won’t last in them!

That smile says it all! #chicksinkicks for life!

  
Top and pencil midi – Mr Price Fashion 

Clutch – Woolworths

Kicks – Converse