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What woman read.

This might seem like a stupid question but being in a male dominated environment I have noticed that there are very few males I know that are willing to get through a whole book while I have surrounded myself with women who are avid readers. However despite this dynamic in our lives women are seen are the Kardashian, Jersey Shore, Notebook watching romance novel reading ,even if it is not said out loud in these words, are the intellectually inferior sex. But I can count on one hand all my male friends who read, and there is probably three who read more than me. So is the tide changing? Are males dumbing themselves down while females are reading more therefore smarter and becoming intellectually on par with our male counterparts and were we ever inferior in the first place?

I read a lot. I have as many books on my shelf as I do ebooks. I read newspapers, blogs, magazines, e-magazines even magazine’s blogs and the topic will vary from sports, fashion, comics,sci fi, politics, economics to spy novels. But somehow the idea that I wasn’t in love with the Twilight series, Nicholas Sparks or Fifty Shades of makes less feminine somehow and is the information that I am interested in predetermined for me at conception.

Being women’s month in South Africa I ask is it fair to judge ones femaleness what she reads. And what is feminine reading. Are the girls who pass the Cosmo to get to the Gadget magazine the norm and is it about time that magazines who claim to cater to females worry less about celebrities and more about being female in the 21 century.

I feel though that I am in denial. But still I see a culture of woman expecting men to know more and allow men to “talk about the important things” while I compliment you are your dress. I am not saying we live in the 60s. One season of Vegas and Mad Men of other series set in that era will cure you of that insane thought. However, I am not the majority and maybe the fact that most of my girlfriends who are similar to me think that there are occasions where my femaleness does come under fire especially when my hidden copy of Popular Mechanics is found in my room. But the top earning female authors are either romance or erotica the only exceptions is Suzanne Collins with the Hunger Games. Am I saying that this is bad or wrong. No. I do not like to yuk on someones yum but there has to be more to life than our love lives or the lack thereof, how we look, how others look, the colour theme for your wedding or the names of your children.

So I will sit in the corner and read what I like. I may not be in the majority but lets be honest that is not going to change what I read. (At least at night under my covers with a torch). The world is changing after all I did read a review on Dune in Marie Claire or Elle sometime in the past and who knows maybe one day I will get these same girls to read this remarkable book despite the fact that it is science fiction.

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To An English Friend In Africa by Ben Okri (1991)

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 Be grateful for freedom
To see other dreams.
Bless your loneliness as much as you drank
Of your former companionships.
All that you are experiencing now
Will become moods of future joys
So bless it all.
Do not think your ways superior
To another’s
Do not venture to judge
But see things with fresh and open eyes
Do not condemn
But praise what you can
And when you can’t be silent.
 
 
Time is now a gift for you
A gift of freedom
To think and remember and understand
The ever perplexing past
And to re-create yourself anew
In order to transform time.
 
 
Live while you are alive.
Learn the ways of silence and wisdom
Learn to act, learn a new speech
Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit
Learn to free yourself from all things that have moulded you
And which limit your secret and undiscovered road.
 
 
Remember that all things which happen
To you are raw materials
Endlessly fertile
Endlessly yielding of thoughts that could change
Your life and go on doing for ever.
 
 
Never forget to pray and be thankful
For all the things good or bad on the rich road;
For everything is changeable
So long as you live while you are alive.
 
 
Fear not, but be full of light and love;
Fear not but be alert and receptive;
Fear not but act decisively when you should;
Fear not, but know when to stop;
Fear not for you are loved by me;
Fear not, for death is not the real terror,
But life -magically – is.
 

Be joyful in your silence
Be strong in your patience
Do not try to wrestle with the universe
But be sometimes like water or air
Sometimes like fire

 
Live slowly, think slowly, for time is a mystery.
Never forget that love
Requires that you be
The greatest person you are capable of being,
Self-generating and strong and gentle-
Your own hero and star.
 
Love demands the best in us
To always and in time overcome the worst
And lowest in our souls.
Love the world wisely.
It is love alone that is the greatest weapon
And the deepest and hardest secret.
 
So fear not, my friend.
The darkness is gentler than you think.
Be grateful for the manifold
Dreams of creation
And the many ways of unnumbered peoples.
Be grateful for life as you live it.
And may a wonderful light
Always guide you on the unfolding road.
 
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I hate South Africans too (Sad face)

First off I am  South African. Born and raised in what I think is the best city in the world Johannesburg but I hate my fellow citizens. It is strange because I love being South African but when Deputy President of Zambia put a mirror to my people I will tell you now I did not like what I saw.

In the afropolitan magazine Simon Williamson showed the ignorance and arrogance of our people. You would think it would take longer for us to ; forget the role our fellow Africans played in the struggle for our freedom and to support for leaders who disregard democracy at the expense of their citizens. I mean who ever thinks that Zimbabwe genuinely had a free and fair election is so naive you make me want to cry. We have a Home Affairs office that is inept, corrupt, inefficient that it makes life difficult for legal foreigners who have the skills we don’t coupled together with a police force whose primary job is to harass our fellow Africans. I have seen it and experienced it.

But I have to reiterate I love being South African. I love the diversity, I love opportunities, I love the fact that our fellow Africans come here instead of fleeing to the West, I love the flag, and I mean seriously how many national anthems do you know with 4 languages ? (I didn’t think so)

So we need to get over ourselves. Our country is not the fastest growing country in Africa anymore. We have so many of our own problems that are not caused by our neighbours from the North in fact I think that we might even be partly to blame for Africa’s problems by our unwillingness to call out dictators or give help where it is needed. So lets bring ourselves towards ourselves because the better the whole continent does the better it will be for us too. And we are not that amazing. We are pretty cool but a few of us could do with some humble pie every now and then.

“Half Of A Yellow Sun” Official Trailer

“Half Of A Yellow Sun” Official Trailer

Half-of-a-Yellow-Sun-Chiwetel-Ejiofor-Thandie-Newton-Anika-Rose

Anyone who knows me, knows this about me: there are only two “celebrities” I never shut up about – Frank Ocean and Chimamanda Adichie. I am a great fan of both writers. But since this post is related to Adichie, I will stick to just her (although, there will probably be multiple posts in the future about both) 🙂

Along with being one of my favourite woman writers and one of my favourite Nigerian writers and one of my favourite African writers, Chimamanda Adichie is one of my favourite writers – ever. Apart from “Americanah”, which I am currently busy with, I have read all her published work, and there is not even a single one I can think to say was rather average. I think that she’s that brilliant!

I was so excited to read that a film adaptation of “Half Of A Yellow Sun” is being created that I had to read the book (which is my favourite Adichie novel). Again. I am really looking forward to watching the film, and from this trailer, it promises to be everything I hope it will be (hopefully!).

“Disgust with injustice may sharpen the desire for justice. Readers who don’t see this connection merely wish to be entertained, and I have neither skill nor desire to turn the agony of a people into entertainment.” – Ayi Kwei Armah

Ayi Kwei Armah II

Ayi Kwei Armah is a Ghanaian writer. My favourite of his work is “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born”, which tackles post-independence in Ghana with the greatest flair.

“Disgust with i…