It’s all I’ve been thinking about, escaping my reality one last time before something gets in my way once again. I’m pretty certain that things will gradually ease back to how they used to be pre-COVID, but perhaps slightly different in the same breath. However, I see this as an opportunity for me to explore some areas I have never touched, especially locally. Throughout the years I have been seeing posts from shot’ left or Tourism South Africa, and I’ve been internally telling myself that South Africa is so damn beautiful and there is so much to explore. Apart from all my life’s limitations in the past like school, then work, friends who want to travel but don’t make it a priority, my pocket with a beyond shocking poor budget, I’ve always had a mindset for adventurous escapades. Exploring and good old fun times without that involvement of too much technology are the kinds of experiences I’m always after.
I’ve always sought to be a person or traveler that could be able to share with the rest of the world about how beautiful, versatile, and amazing South Africa is. But funny enough, as soon as an opportunity arises to travel, we all almost instantly aim to venture abroad and see what the world has in store for us, actually never thought about the fact that we barely even know our own continent never mind our own country all that too well. Hence, I thought the post COVID experience may produce an opportunity to explore more local places as regulations to travel abroad slowly ease, and I am secure about the fact that I will be safe from the coronavirus.
So here are some ideas that I think are worth considering once we reach level 1 and we are free and safe to travel across the country and to neighbouring states.
- Support Local
Road tripping with your girls is a definite hit and is at the top of our list. A slow and long 3 to 4-day road trip to these following places is a total must:
• Tsitsikama National Park
• Apartheid Museum
• Cradle of Humankind
• Kruger National Park
• Sun City
• Blyde River Canyon
• Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
• Lion’s Head
• Table Mountain
• The Garden Route
• Isimangaliso Wetland
• The Big Hole
• Gold Reef City
• Robben Island
South Africa is also home for one of the world’s greatest Game Reserves. These are best to visit while the economy is slow and international travel is still prohibited. Prices, which usually are set to accommodate international travelers, are likely to be cheaper to accommodate South Africans before the tourism industry soars again.
- Visit Neighbouring countries, these include Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland.
There is so much to experience, explore, and engage within these countries that are also friendly on the pocket. The rand is the stronger currency except for the Pula in Botswana, so expect cheaper expenses and a lot more to do!
• Lesotho – for the culture, the Afriski Mountain Resort, Maletsunyane Falls, the mountain hikes. Possibly even skiing.
• Namibia – for driving of the sand dunes, exploring and learning about the Himba people and exploring the Kalahari Desert.
• Zimbabwe – for the Victoria Falls, the Devils Pool, the Hwange National Park, and Great Zimbabwe.
• Botswana – the Okavango Delta, Nxai Pan National Park, and the Tsodilo Hills.
• Swaziland – Sibebe Rock, Cultural Village, Swazi Reed Dance, Maganu Festival, Bushfire Festival, Ngwenya Glass Factory.
3. Going International. There are several economies across the globe that are heavily dependent on their travel industry. The idea here is spotting these economies and using the pandemic as an advantage for taking advantage of the fact there are a few of these economies who have stated that they will be giving discount travel costs once the travel regulations have been eased for international visitors. Some of these economies will be the first to drop their prices for flight costs, accommodation, and monumental and historical sites. Some tourist-friendly destinations that are looking forward to this include:
There is still so much more to look forward to once the coronavirus pandemic has lessened in the number of new infections globally and most economies become safe tourist destinations. In the meantime, one can work on their travel savings and bringing together a group of committed individuals to join in on the affordable fun times that await!
Last week saw two major international brands launch collaborations with South African talent and if there was still doubt, these developments make it clear that Africa is firmly part of global beauty and fashion.
A few years ago, major brands overlooked the African continent but now most brands are looking for new territories to grow in to and what better place than a continent with some of the fastest growing economies in the world and a youthful population. For perspective, the average age in South Africa with a population of 55million is 27 years and the average age in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy with 82million people, is 47 years. So clearly the buying power of the future is in Africa.
Sometimes though, brands get their collaborations and partnerships wrong. In a time where consumers are more powerful and have more options, brands can’t afford to make mistakes. In Feb 2020, MAC Cosmetics launched two makeup kits curated and in collaboration with Pearl Thusi.
Here are some of the reasons we love the Pearl Thusi X MAC cosmetics collaboration:
- We believe that Pearl has been using MAC for more than 10 years, as she said during her launch. In recent years we have seen her social media posts that clearly show she uses MAC. We believe that even as a model starting out, she would spend on a better quality, albeit more expensive makeup brand to give her a better shot at auditions. The age of brands partnering with celebrities just because they are big is gone, it needs to be believable to make an impact on that brands equity, bottom line and profitability.
- There are many things we can say about Pearl Thusi, and one of those is that she is authentic, she shows herself as she really is, she doesn’t sanitise her image on the streets of social media. When she is hurt and offended she shows us, when she is happy, excited or in love, she shows it. Her excitement at partnering with MAC, a brand she has been using for as long as she has been an adult, smacks of authenticity. We love and thrive for authenticity, it is the easiest way to be. Everybody talks about authenticity but don’t walk the talk.
- Pearl is clearly hardworking, as many of the women we love in the entertainment and media space in South Africa are hardworking. We loved what she said during her launch, that she doesn’t want her daughter to wish her mom was Beyoncé. Her daughter must be inspired by her mom, Pearl Thusi, showing her that the world is her oyster and she can do and be whatever she wants.
- Taking up space. Pearl is clearly using all opportunities available to her to chase her dreams, she is #BossingUp (and to be an amazing role model to her daughters). We at Girl Boss SA are definitely inspired by her to dream bigger and to chase harder. As she said in one post, echoing Zozi Tunzi, – take up all the spaces you want and can. Pearl has her own natural hair care range, she is the first African collabo with MAC and is the first actor to lead a Netflix original show in Africa with the release of her new series on Netlflix, Queen Sono, on Friday 28 February 2020.
On the David Tlale X Avon collabo, we are happy for him and we understand why Avon would choose to partner with David, he is an experienced internationally acclaimed fashion designer. We understand that an international brand like Avon would want to partner with a designer of his stature.
If you hadn’t seen the announcement, David Tlale is partnering with Avon and he has designed accessories such as handbags, sunglasses and scarfs that will be sold via Avon. Avon is a network marketing brand that makes it easy for the every day woman to make money by selling their products to other women. The products and designs by David Tlale are gorgeous, we can’t wait to get our hands on them.
BUT we do wish that the partnership was with a female fashion designer. Avon is a female driven brand. The majority of people that sell Avon products are women and the majority of the Avon offering is for women. As a brand that should understand the nuances of gender inequality, especially in this country and continent, we would have expected them to partner with a female designer. This is not to take away anything from David Tlale but our reality necessitates that gender equality should always be top of mind. This is why it matters:
- By choosing David Tlale they are saying they can bet on women only to a certain extent. Too many industries that target women, and where women are the main drivers as consumers and decision makers, actually benefit men, from retail, fashion, beauty and food. When we talk of renowned chefs, fashion designers, makeup artists, hairstylists, the majority are men. Brands and society must start walking the talk of gender equality.
- To enable women to assist in unlocking the economic potential of the continent, women need to see other women doing what has previously been unreachable for women. Women need to become manufacturers and creators not just seeking employment and being consumers. This lack of balance is making it difficult for our economy to grow the way it needs to.
We can’t say it enough, representation matters, it is actually imperative for creating an inclusive, progressive and peaceful world.
On the 8thof January I was presented with the opportunity to travel to Ponta Do Ouro, Mozambique. I have travelled quite extensively across Europe and in some Arab nations but not so much within the African borders. I won’t count Swaziland simply because that is considered my second home, and is where my parents grew up, so whenever I’m there it’s never really considered a holiday. So travelling to Mozambique was the first and has always been a dream of mine. Already, I’m crazy about the Portuguese language but I’m a sucker for beach vibes and adventures. This was a young girl’s trip, which was necessary for the start of the year. We were actually celebrating my mother’s birthday and it just turned to be one of my best excursions by far. The trip commenced from the 8thof January, which was a Wednesday, to the 13th, a Monday. These were just the perfect amount of days to get into the feel of things and to explore and learn about the culture and the people of Ponta.
These are the 5 things I recommend to any traveller to Ponta, but this is dependent on the type of traveller one might be. For example, I consider myself a comfort and adventure traveller, where as you find people who are specifically interested in leisure or in history etc. So:
- Accommodation: There are various forms of accommodation to select from when travelling to Ponta; there are Airbnbs, Resorts, Guest Houses/Lodges, Self-catering Cabins and Camping Sites. It would obviously depend on the type of traveller you are, but as a self-acclaimed comfort traveller, a self-catering resort in a cabin was perfect fit. I long for comfortable beds, air conditioner (because it is extremely hot) mosquito nets and clean toilets. However, the best part of it was that it was a 2minutes walk from the beach, which is honestly my main attraction. However, you need to opt for the accommodation-type that will suite your needs the most.
- Explore: Okay, so it’s mostly gravel roads; or sandy beachy road. The roads can be quite dense, especially if it hasn’t rained for a while. But that should not stop you from exploring the Ponta markets and villages. Using a 4×4 would be the most convenient, however you could still travel by foot (things are not that far apart) but it’s extremely hot, you probably would not make it very far. Unless if you’re a leisure traveller, I seriously recommend making your way out to interact with local or other travellers. The most popular places to visit for a great time out are the following:
- Charlie’s Bar
- Melting Pot
- Coco Rico
However, there are random almost at every corner. A favorite of ours was called Sky’s Bar, this place was only found by the market though and is not a common place to find other visitors. But it was awesome meeting and interacting with locals in their own environment and setting, it got to show us the true nature of the people of that place.
- The Market: The best way, if you are a curious traveller, to go about getting into the core and deep-rooted culture of people is to find them under their most comfortable setting and vibe. So, I would truly recommend exploring THE MARKET, here you would probably have the best local dishes that they enjoy, and dance to the music that they produce and enjoy themselves. This is any enriching experiencing that is worth participating it.
- Adventures: adventures are so fulfilling and Ponta is one of the best places to take on as many adventures as possible simply because it’s affordable. They offer a range of activities such a snorkelling or techobanine snorkelling, scuba diving, dolphin swimming, ocean safaris and quad biking. The one that stood out the most was the booze cruise quad biking, which is worth more than the value, that experience is just out of this world and it is a cheap price to pay for exploring almost all of Ponta and its bars and restaurants. You could honestly create the most awesomest of memories from these adventures.
- Support Local: try and purchase local things, from local beer and food (the sea food is mouth-watering), to clothing and sarongs, to artefacts to painting all at very affordable prices. Perhaps the food is the priciest necessity, but there was no item purchased that cost over R500. Everything seems almost to be at a bargain. Ponta is the place to be for the cost savvy traveller. Also, if you’re South African travelling to Ponta you’d be happy to know that the locals can speak to you in Zulu, when English decides to retire.
You’ll honestly love Ponta and this list is just some of the top things to be done when in Ponta Do Oura. All I can recommend is that you get out there and live your best life, because Ponta is genuinely a mini paradise that has to be experienced.
This past Saturday (21 September 2019) served me in ways I wasn’t quite ready for and pleasantly so! I particularly want to share on my morning which offered a moving, emotional and positive start to the day, also just so unbelievable! And it’s important that I share on what I was served because it illuminated parts of us (women) that need not be neglected, the gaping holes that need attention and the collective power that we have as women to heal each other.
As early as 06:50 I set off to Midrand for a workshop titled ‘My Be-you-tiful Life’, kicking off at 07:00 with registration/ breakfast and meditation at 07:30. I thought I’d miss breakfast and arrive in time for meditation. Luckily time was pushed a little to accommodate late-comers such as myself but in no time, the programme began.
“Learn how to transform your life into a beautiful, purposeful, inspired and energetic journey by identifying your purpose and gifts and creating a vision and plan informed by your purpose” – this is what participants were going there for and I was relaxed and ready to take notes on the perspectives and experiences of the impressive speakers that were on the line-up (Jackie Freemantle, Akhona Ngcobo and Ayanda Borotho). Different and colourful women kept pouring in the venue as some of us early birds (clears throat) sat sipping on tea and coffee and nibbling on sandwiches.
“This intensive immersive workshop will give you tools to change your mind-set, challenge and re-programme your beliefs and manage your emotions so you can live your best, beautiful life.” These are words written on the poster and I swear, nothing about “intensive and immersive” unnerved me, I just thought it spoke to being present and being intentional about your own transformation. So of course I was up for it! Little did I know… Jackie Freemantle (International Life Coach and Leadership Development Specialist) stilled us for meditation. Arms unfolded, legs unlocked, hands rested on the knees and deep breaths in and gentle exhales. It was about silencing the noise, listening to the heartbeat, being conscious of it, taking in the feeling of being alive and relaxing. It was good, peaceful and stilling.
And then Jackie started on her session: ALSTAR Coaching Towards your Beauty-Full Life – part one. And let me tell you, none of us were ready. She shared a bit on herself and her journey; being raped at the age of 4 years and going on to redefine and create her future. She is an amazing woman who is set on defying the odds and standing tall as a conqueror who has full control of her life. She then shared a story about forgiveness, where in another workshop was a woman who had lost her parents and had for years held on to the anger and pain. In the same workshop was the man who killed her family and for some reason, the lady changed seats and went to sit next to him. Now the exercise required that you partner up with someone and speak of the hurt that you need to forgive. As fate would have it, the lady partnered up with this older man she had sat next to and uttered the words “I forgive you for killing my parents”, only to have the man confess that he was the person who caused her so much heart-ache. At this point of the story, Jackie also mentioned that we should never think that things happen by chance and that there was a reason whoever was seated next to us was there. There’s a lady who had moved closer to me on my right and I quickly scanned her as it was obvious she’d be my partner for this exercise. So what exactly was the purpose of us being next to each other?
To tell you the truth, I would have gladly skipped this exercise – this was the “intensive immersive” stuff they were on about and I wanted out! I was already feeling emotional and couldn’t place my feelings on how I felt about locking eyes with a stranger and bearing my soul and not just that, but also having this stranger pour out whatever pain… I mean, what was I going to do with it? I had little time to script a warm response but Jackie had said all we’d need to do is utter the words: “I forgive you”, simply because the subconscious mind needed to hear the words. So we stood up and introduced ourselves to each other. We will call her Thoba. A beautiful woman clad in dreadlocks and very little make-up. Upon our first attempt at locking eyes, she immediately announced she was bad at maintaining eye-contact. It turned I was the one who was bad (and really, I’m not), it was just so awkward, I wanted to run out! But soon we settled into each other’s searching eyes and engaged in a “trust” activity which involved leaning on each other and trusting on the support of the partner.
And then we were onto the forgiveness talk. We locked eyes again and before she could say anything, her face was shaking, literally moving out of its own volition. Those couple of seconds were so intense I actually tiered up, tears just streaming down my cheeks. And then she broke my heart; Thoba was abused and molested and is currently being abused in her marriage. After we had both shared, we released heavy sighs and embraced for what seemed like an eternity. How was this light threatened?
Looking around the room, I noticed that more women were in tears and it broke my heart to see how hurt and broken we are but was equally happy about the session and the release it offered everybody. Thoba is my new friend and what an easily loveable heart she is! I don’t know what to do with her current situation, what to say to her and how to be relevant but I realized how being present, listening and loving on another woman can be meaningful for her fight. Women are going through the most and the recent attacks and killings that we have witnessed over the past few weeks are just a fraction of the traumatic experiences that a whole lot of other women go through and are lucky enough to survive, at the hands of men. Moreover, I realized how important it is to affirm another woman; we need each other, our experiences intersect and quite frankly, we get each other. Thoba and I were basically in conversation throughout, whether it was the brief holding of hands, rubbing each other’s shoulders and hushed mutterings of whatever one wanted to share or comment on. I loved her so easily and that emotion I felt made me happy and hopeful for better days. I know why we met and I look forward to seeing her again.
I couldn’t stay on for the rest of the programme so I missed out on Akhona Ngcobo (Life Coach and Enneagram, Behavioral Specialist) and Ayanda Borotho’s (Author, Activist, Transformation Practitioner) sessions. But I’ve no shadow of a doubt that both these women were phenomenal, the atmosphere itself along with the women attending had just the right vibe to transform their lives for the good!
After lunch I sped off to a friend’s wedding and I was in good spirits! Clad in a short blue dress, a brightly coloured headscarf matching my shoes, I was ready for a good time. And indeed it was. Happy faces were all round, there was colourful and delicious food, great music and we danced into the night. Can I just say that the deejay was absolutely great and of course, as you would have guessed it, the deejay was a woman!
To wrap up my weekend, I fished for Thoba’s business card in my bag, saved her number and sent her a warm, loving and encouraging text. May it be well with her.
Show did you care and love yourself this weekend? Tell us about it.
We are hosting our second #BossingUp Summit, this time in Mbombela!
Our first Summit took place in August 2018 at Wits University and it was a raging success. We had amazing young women from different sectors speaking about how they bossed up. We had Portia Mngomezulu speaking about how she started her amazing Portia M products, we had Gigi Ngcobo speaking about how she got a scholarship to top American University, Michigan State University.
#BossingUp is “the act of elevating your inner boss and creating success.”
#BossingUp is the act of authenticity, showing up as yourself, not how others say you should be.
#BossingUp is self-leadership, understanding that every single decision you take or don’t take, has a consequence, and you can create yourself a dynamic life or one of repetitive boredom.
#BossingUp Summit Details
Venue: TUT Mbombela Campus
Date: 2nd May 2019
Time: 12h00 – 16h00
Entry: Free – Girls Only! – 100 Tickets Only!
Girls Only! Girls Only! Girls Only! Girls Only! Girls Only! Girls Only!
We have an amazing lineup of speakers who will share insider info on their industries, giving you a heads up to get your career started NOW:
Dimpho More, 25 years – A sparkly and bubbly rising star in the entertainment industry. A true child of Mpumalanga, Dimpho had viewers fall in love with her character Nozi on 7de Laan for years. She now has a new role on another national, be the first to find out.
Yolenda Jawe, 27 years – Award Winning Digital Entrepreneur, speaking on how girls can leverage digital and social media and how she is growing wealth as a fulltime social media and digital entrepreneur, she bought her first home before 25 years old!
Karabo Randa, 28 years – A meritorious corporate climber who has worked as Category Buyers in our favourite retail chains, Pick n Pay, Dischem and now Game. Karabo creates and implements product and retail brand strategy.
More speakers to come…
Mpumi Mbethe, 31 years – A media maven who has worked with top companies as a media consultant and hosted TV and Radio Shows on SABC and Ligwalagwala FM, Mpumi currently hosts the breakfast show on Mpumalanga’s number 1 commercial radio, Rise FM!
GET YOUR FREE TICKET HERE
PS – Get A Free #BossingUp Goodie Bag Worth R250.00
What’s In It For You?
Indlela ibutwa kulabaphambili, it’s easier to go further if you don’t make mistakes already done by others, you can use other’s knowledge and experiences as a springboard.
This is what you will learn from the #BossingUp Summit:
- How to create a digital business from anywhere in the world. The future of work is remote work.
- Understand the ins and outs of the entertainment industry, what it takes to make it.
- How to leverage social media for your success, CVs are now digital, what does your digital footprint say about you and how to make sure it gears you for success.
- What is corporate South Africa really like? What does it take to climb the ladder?
- Relationships: How to leave an abusive relationship, understanding your value.
- How to spot entrepreneurial opportunities. Are there really opportunities for young women to start businesses?