AUTHOR: KEFILWE MABOTE AND LEBO GRAND
PUBLISHED: 1 APRIL 2020
PUBLISHER: HUMAN & ROUSSEAU
GIRL BOSS RATING: 4/5
We knew her as Kefi Boo and now her Instagram handle is her real name Kefilwe Mabote. She is one of the leading influencers in South Africa. Kefilwe Mabote is a 31-year-old female who has made a name for herself from Soweto all the way to Milan. This girl boss has 992k followers on her page and has worked with amazing brands.
Her book is a cross between a business guide and memoir, she shares her journey of humble beginning in Soweto to the World’s fashion capital Milan, hence the sub-title of the book. This book is truly the perfect guide for someone who is starting a business or tapping into the influencer world. She touches on what fuels her motivation and drives to achieve greatness. She says “Sometimes it takes anger to be successful… there are successful people who were driven by poverty, some were driven by fear of being average, while others were motivated by the belief that the future could be better than the present. In my case, the emotion was anger”. For years people looked at Kefilwe and saw a pretty face. Jumped to the conclusion that she was a beauty with no brains. She shares that it was her mission to silence the naysayers and bullies who didn’t want to see her as more.
Finding your voice has to be one of the hardest things to do in the process of self-discovery. I really enjoyed how Kefilwe emphasised on knowing your voice, having a voice, and using your voice to make a difference. Her journey is transparent as she highlights that being a strong and confident woman isn’t something you will achieve overnight. Another section I really liked in her book was “Charge what you’re worth”. We often are very scared to charge according to our values or capability. This section of the book can be related to many spheres of your life. Not just business. it’s very important to know your worth. Once you do, you won’t take nonsense or less than.
So as seen above, I’ll give this book a 4/5. Your question might be why not 5, well because I didn’t read the book in one go. I read it in sections. I’ll blame my busy schedule but I think any other person with more free time can finish it in one go. If you are an influencer or aspiring influencer, this is the perfect book for you. It will motivate you and guide you on the right path. You will find yourself answering important questions.
Kefilwe Mabote is in her own lane, chasing after her dreams and isn’t letting society or abantu bazothini syndrome stop her. Worth the purchase and read.
When someone says, “it’s time to heal and move forward”, sometimes at that moment you think “where do I start, how does one heal, what does that even mean?!?!” Or that time heals all wounds?
Healing is a complex concept which needs understanding. We all have experienced some sort of hurt here and there and need to process it. I know in my younger days, I didn’t understand the concept of healing and would suppress my emotions with the thought “it will pass on its own”. But no, I was wrong. It catches up with you.
What I have come to realise and know for sure is that our human experience is a continuous journey of learning, unlearning and healing right until we are old. The sooner we understand and accept this, easier it becomes. Every interaction we have is an opportunity to learn and heal.
According to the NCBI website, healing is defined as “the process of bringing together aspects of one’s self, body-mind-spirit, at deeper levels of inner knowing, leading toward integration and balance with each aspect having equal importance and value.” So, when I see this definition, the phrase “pulling myself towards myself “comes to mind, so basically working on realigning and finding the balance to be whole. So, I am sharing a very basic guide on healing that I have found has helped me:
1. Identify The hurt
If you find yourself having restless nights, that is an indication that something is bothering you. It means something is on your mind and needs to be looked at. You will need to scan through your emotions and identify what you are truly feeling. Even if it means digging through circumstances that took place a long time ago. This is not always easy to do, sometimes something that happened recently triggers an underlying hurt from as far back as childhood.
You will need to ask yourself “Why”. The question “why” will come up a lot as it will help you break down the pain. E.g. “Why don’t I feel comfortable looking at myself in the mirror?” because not looking into the mirror is actually projecting self-denial. Another example can be, “Why do I chase love?” because there is the fear of not being loved. That’s how you will break it down bit by bit. But that is also just the beginning. To really get down to the root of it, you have to go back to the first time you felt fear of not being loved and heal that aspect of yourself, otherwise this will keep replaying itself in different ways in your life.
Then it’s important to ask ‘’How”, how will I heal this? The answer is Everyday. It’s an everyday practice where you’ll have to reprogram your mind. This means you also have to be patient with yourself. If you are healing from something that took place 5 years ago, you can’t expect to work through it in two days. Changing your mindset takes time.
Once you have identified why and how you should know that you are not the only one who has gone through this. There is a whole community, so you are not alone. Therefore, go further by doing research. Google the problem and read up on it. Many articles and journals will provide strategies and activities one can do it get to a place of acceptance and self-love.
5. It’ A Process
You have to understand the power of your mind. It can reprogram itself, the same way you programmed yourself into insecurity. It will take time and you have to give yourself light, space, room to grow, and change. Healing is a lifelong process and you have embrace yourself. Accept yourself. Accept the emotions you feel. Accept the tears. Accept you will be happy in the morning and sad in the evening. It’s a process and it’s not linear. You have to be gentle with yourself.
Write it all down. It’s good to document the process. Write the good, bad, ugly, and pretty. It will be good to look back and see the progress.
7. Get Help
It is hard going through a healing process. The fact that we need to heal means a part of our Self is fractured, and sometimes the fractured self cannot heal itself, it just creates a deflection in order to preserve itself and survive. It is advisable to seek assistance from a therapist. There are different kinds of therapists, and different therapists work well for different problems. It is important to choose a therapist that you are comfortable with, with whom you can be completely vulnerable with. And remember, it can never a one session ‘cure,’ it is still a process working with a therapist.
Healing is beautiful. It is a beautiful process where you really get intimate with yourself and come face to face with yourself. Healing is the peeling back of layers to get to your true, loving Self. In healing ourselves, we heal each other, we heal the world.
The LGBTQIA+ community is important. Their voice should be heard and should be protected. South Africa is one of the most accommodating countries in Africa, however, there is still a long way to go. Anza Thiba (@anzathiba), Mpho Koloko (@fruity_jay) and Salmaan Jacobs aka Sally (@werqsally) had a discussion on what needs to change in South Africa for the community to be accepted fully rather than tolerated. This podcast is a must listen, it will definitely shed light on many important factors on the queer community.
After a period of continued struggle and oppression, there comes a time when enough is enough. The mind, body, and spirit simply will not be capable of taking any more pain. For Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, this moment came on the 17th of December 2010. Bouazizi doused himself with a flammable petroleum liquid, lit a match and set himself on fire. He had been pushed to this point of desperation by the seizing of his vegetable stand by police because he did not have in his possession a valid permit. This sparked the Tunisian Revolution but more importantly, it led to the Arab Spring, a series of pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East.
One of the countries to be directly affected by this revolution was Yemen. Yemen is one of the most poverty-stricken Arab countries in the world. In anticipation of the rolling Arab Spring protests, Yemen seemed to be ahead of the curve in terms of change. The president at that time was Ali Abdullah Saleh who was an authoritarian leader who had been in charge of the country for almost thirty years. With the Arab Spring almost at their doorstep, Yemen as a country decided to have a political transition. This was only to be the source of their problems.
Long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh was removed and replaced by his deputy, Abrabbuh Mansour Hadi. This was a peaceful transition that was meant to create a sense of peace and stability in Yemen. All is well that ends well, so they thought. This was simply not the case for Yemen and its leader, Hadi. He faced a number of problems that included jihadist attacks, a separatist movement in the south of the country, the continued loyalty of security personnel to former leader Saleh as well as the corruption, unemployment and food insecurity of the average person on the ground. Perception means a lot in politics and all the aforementioned factors made Hadi look like an indecisive, weak leader. This created ripe conditions for ambitious opportunists.
The Houthi movement took advantage of the new president’s apparent weakness. The Houthi is a movement formerly known as Ansar Allah. This movement champions Yemen’s Zaidi Shia, which is a Muslim minority in the country. The Houthis took control of the northern areas of the country including the province of Saada and other neighbouring areas. The transition from Saleh to Hadi left many ordinary Yemenis disillusioned, so they joined the Houthis in their rebellion. This also included Sunni Muslims. Sunni and Shia Muslims generally do not get along. In late 2014, early 2015 the rebels gradually took over the capital Sana. The Houthis and security forces loyal to Saleh saw this as a sign that they could take over the entire country. This forced President Hadi to flee the country.
Saudi Arabia was alarmed by the rise of a group they believed had military backing from regional Shia power, Iran. Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states in the region began air campaigns against the Houthis. At the beginning of this campaign, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states believed that it would only last a few weeks. This was in 2015, today in 2020 the conflict continues. The civil war is still raging with complicated relationships existing between the parties involved in the war. The most unfortunate part of all this is the fact that a country has been destroyed along with the lives and livelihood of its people. At the moment it is not known exactly how many people have been killed during the conflict. It is estimated that about 100 000 people have been killed in the conflict, this includes 12 000 civilians. The conflict has brought normal life to a stop so activities such as agriculture and trade do not function as they used to, in most instances, they have actually ground to a halt. This means that the population of Yemen are not getting food as they should be. Food security is close to non-existent in the country. It is estimated that 85 000 people have died from famine. It is said by the UN that more than 24 million people in Yemen are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. This includes more than 12 million children. It is estimated that around 2 million children under 5 years of age are suffering from malnutrition and require immediate treatment.
The sudden appearance of Covid-19 on the world stage added salt to an open wound. The country has been bombed and has very poor sanitation and provision of water. This has created a dire situation in an emergency. The damage to hospitals has led to their closure, disrupting health services amongst other things.
The situation in Yemen found its genesis within the country. But sooner rather than later, a myriad of parties became involved in the conflict. This includes outside parties such as Saudi Arabia. More significantly one clearly sees the hand of the Western powers, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom providing weapons that are being used in the conflict. This is a repetition of these superpowers meddling and involving themselves in the issues of sovereign territory. Most times these countries see themselves as protectors of democracy and innocent people too but in the end, they just add to the misery, chaos, and death in these countries. It should also be highlighted that countries such as the United States of America profit from these conflicts by selling weapons and military equipment.
The situation in Yemen is dire, it deserves more of the world’s attention. The lack of widespread media coverage on the conflict further highlights that some regions, countries, and people are not as valued as others. This is unbecoming in the year 2020. As human beings, we need to do more to draw attention to the Yemeni people’s plight.
It is also important to highlight that as with every war, the females and children are bearing the brunt of the war. The UN estimates that 76% of the internally displaced persons are women and children and an estimated 3 million girls are at risk of gender based violence. 21% of households are now headed by girls below the age of 18 years. Women are now having to carry the double burden of being providers of their homes, amongst other roles played by men, as well as play their roles of primary caregivers in families. This is because most men have either been killed, injured or disappeared.
Whilst women are most heavily impacted by the war, they are under represented in politics, in 2013 only 0.7% of Member of the Yemeni Parliament were women. Yemen has been ranked last in the World Economic Forum\s Global Gender Gap Index for 13 consecutive years. Yemen has always been a deeply patriarchal society with very strictly defined gender roles and obtuse gender inequality. Whilst the protracted war and the need for women to now play dual roles that step outside of the rigidly defined gender roles has given women insight into what life could be if the heavy hood of patriarchy were to be lifted, and could be an opportunity for equalising gender inequality; the other side of it is that men have become more violent “literature has shown that in societies with rigid gender norms, men feel emasculated and threatened when they experience a shift in gender roles, which can lead to an increase in intimate partner violence.”