American woman steals candy from a blind baby

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In case you decided to read this post purely to find out why the hell an American woman stole candy from a blind baby, sorry to disappoint you. This post actually has nothing to do with that. But, if said woman had indeed stole candy from a blind baby…or any baby for that matter… would her nationality be relevant to the story? That’s what this post is about – the relevance or lack thereof of mentioning nationalities in news headlines. Check out these actual headlines from various papers here in South Africa:

 

Nigerian drug dealers released on bail

Zimbabwean in court for fraud

 

These are real headlines from real newspaper articles. I mention only South Africa articles simply because I live here but this is common practice worldwide. Every time I see a report like this, be it in print media, digital media, or on TV, it makes me cringe. Why is it necessary to mention people’s nationalities in such reports? What does the perpetrator being Zimbabwean have to do with the fraudulent act he committed? Am I the only one who finds this kind of reporting to be more harmful than it is helpful? And the thing is, it’s never the nationalities of locals that’s mentioned, it’s always the nationality of foreigners…as if to say “hey, look what they’re coming to our country to do.”

 

I’ve had this discussion with some friends in the past and their argument is usually that the report is mentioning nationality simply for descriptive purposes. But if you are mentioning the nationality as a mere description, why stop there? Why not mention religion, qualifications, height, or even sexual orientation? Why don’t the above headlines read:

“Tall, dark, Nigerian Muslim drug dealers released on bail” or “Short, gay Zimbabwean Christian in court for fraud”

 

Tall and gay are descriptive right? But they are never mentioned. Why? Because they are irrelevant to the story. I’m not saying let’s not mention nationality in news reports. I’m saying let’s stick to information that is relevant. If the article is talking about immigration, then nationality is very relevant. If the article is talking about athletes at the Olympic Games who have been busted for using performance enhancing drugs, then nationality is very relevant.

 

Maybe journalists have a good reason why they are so eager to mention nationalities of foreigners in their stories. Is it something that’s taught in journalism school? Is there some sort of journalistic or scientific reason for doing it? Do tell because, from where I’m sat, it just looks like subtle fodder for the xenophobic inclined folks among us.

 

**** Just scribbling my Zimbabwean thoughts ****

One of my greatest fears

I have to admit, I have one too many fears. Right off the top of my head…I have such a ridiculous fear of snakes. Ophidiophobia it’s called…the abnormal fear of snakes. Just thinking about them scares the bejabers out of me. In primary school some kids (Nazis, if you ask me) put a rubber snake in my blankets. As I was about to get into bed, I spotted just a wee piece of the “snake” and RAN for my life. I not only ran out the dormitory, but out the school yard… in pyjamas. And yes, I cried. But I was only 10…not to say I wouldn’t react the same way today. 🙂

You know what else I have a fear of? Whenever an insect flies into the room, I always have this (irrational?) fear that it will fly into my ears or nose, even if it’s too large to fit into either orifice. The fear of that happening totally throws me off whatever I was doing before it flew in.

I also have a fear of clowns. Maybe it all stemmed from watching Stephen King’s IT as a kid. Or maybe there really is something scary about a grown man in make up, especially one who’s been in the game too long and still gets fewer laughs than a nuclear disaster. Hey, here’s a clown joke for you: Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other “tastes a bit funny”. 😂

Jada Pinkett Smith. I have had a crush on Mrs Smith since her Jason’s Lyric days. But I have such a fear of meeting her (not like that would ever happen). I fear if I ever met her and was left in a room alone with her, I wouldn’t even know what to say. I’d probably just end up playing dead…works in most awkward situations. Just ask my 5th grade science teacher.

Oh, and then there’s jail. I have a morbid fear of incarceration. Just the thought of time passing me by whilst in confinement, the assaults, the physical and mental abuse. It all scares me. But maybe I’m just scared ’cause I’m looking at it all wrong. Maybe I need to look at jail as a gathering of like minded people; a place where lifelong sentences…oops, I mean friendships…a place where lifelong friendships are formed.

I used to be afraid of my bank account a few years ago when I was drowning in debt. Those days were funny though. Swiping my card for a purchase was an extreme sport.

But, jokes aside, what’s my greatest fear? I think my greatest fear is death. I have always feared death in all its inevitability. A little over 18 months ago, I became a father and since then, there is nothing I fear more than the death of my child (children when I have more).

One of my best friends passed away some two years ago now. She was 28 but still, the pain in her mother’s eyes was the most heartbreaking and inconsolable pain I have ever witnessed. Losing a child is absolutely agonising. There really is no greater tragedy and my heart bleeds for anyone who has had to bury their child. I hope to God that I never have to face my greatest fear; that I never have to bury my child(ren). They say one must face their fears…this is one fear I never want to face, ever.

* Just scribbling my fears *

Written for @Writersbootcmp

Posted from WordPress for Android

My 5 favourite words

Picking your five favourite words is a bit like being asked to pick your favourite children…if everyone on the planet was your child. It’s a tricky task but I’m going to go ahead and sift through my bastard kids to find my Fav Five. In no particular order, here are my five favourite words…English words that is:

1. Malefactor

A malefactor is someone who does harm or commits a crime or other wrong. The reason I love this word is ’cause it was the name of my gang in high school. Yes folks, I was in a gang. The Malefactorz…we obviously added the ‘z’ at the end for effect. I should probably point out that we didn’t actually commit any crimes nor did we harm anyone for that matter. Come to think of it, we didn’t really do much of anything. Maybe ‘gang’ is a little misleading. Squad? No, that’s also a little farfetched. Argh, who am I kidding? We were a study group. Yes, sadly, ‘study group’ is much more appropriate….which if you think about it, is a gang of nerds….so, in actuality, we were a gang. Malefactorz! Study hard or go home, bitch!

2. Mishap

One time whilst giving a speech to about 500 guests at a dinner hosted by her employers to honour their high value clients, my cousin sister uttered the word ‘mishaps’ about twenty times…financial mishaps, inter-transactional mishaps, mishaps this, mishaps that. Her speech was written and delivered exquisitely. There was, however, one small blooper…she was pronouncing it “me sharp” instead of “mis-hap”. Almost twenty times! 😂 A glass of cringe anyone? No thanks waiter, we’ve about had enough cringe to last us a lifetime. ☺

3. Facetious

Shortly after I met my current partner, we were on our first date. At some point during the date she said to me “You’re quite the facetious one aren’t you?”. Being out on that first date and in full “got to make the best first impression” mode, I wasn’t about to admit I had no idea what ‘facetious’ meant. So I just responded: “Not even hey, I just wear whatever is clean in my closet.” Yes, I thought ‘facetious’ had something to do with ‘being fashionable and stylish’. What a ‘me sharp’.

4. Xylopolist

There was an old man who used to sell fire wood in Port Elizabeth. He’d ride through our neighbourhood on his bicycle towing a sort of homemade trailer with fire wood in it. On the front of his bike was a sign that read “xylopolist”. One time I decided to Google the word and was shocked to find out a Xylopolist was someone who sold wood. WTF?! The word wasn’t even on my dictionary app or my hardcopy dictionary for that matter. I had to Google it. I was like, who, where, how did this Tata (that’s Xhosa for father or old man) even come across this word? I was SO impressed. I really wanted to take a photo of him stood next to his bike but I wasn’t sure whether he’d be offended by such a request. I trust his business is still growing wherever he is…touch wood.

5. Chlorophyll

Almost all my education was undertaken in boarding schools. Back then we had no mobile phones. We wrote letters….by hand…and posted them. Snail mail, at your service. So if there was something you needed or wanted from home, you wrote a letter and asked your family to either send it or bring it with when the next visitors’ day came round. This one time, one of my class mates wrote his mum a letter asking for money. We’d just learnt about Chlorophyll in Biology. In his letter, he wrote something along the lines of “Dear Mum, …..I need money urgently as I have run out of chlorophyll.” 😂 I swear to you, that really happened. He went on to explain how urgent the chlorophyll was and how he needed it before writing his Tests. When I think about it now, it’s sad that he took advantage of his mum like that and even sadder that we all laughed about it ’cause our parents were not fortunate enough to receive the education we were receiving. But back then, as a high school kid, it was hilarious. Something we still laugh about when we get together today.

Maybe one day I’ll scribble about my five favourite words in all the other languages I speak.

*just scribbling my vocabulary thoughts*

Written for @Writersbootcmp.

Posted from WordPress for Android

It’s going to be a Happy New Year folks…

Feels like forever since I scribbled something in my notepad. Needless to say, I’ve been on a sort of hiatus from the instant communicato world of social networking in all it’s forms. That said, it’s good to be back.

Surprising as it may be to those who know me, I have nothing to write about. I literally have been living under a rock for the past few weeks. There’s been heavy censorship in my world i.e. no news, no twitter, no facebook, etc. So whatever’s happened out there is news to me.

Anyway, I just want to wish everyone a happy new year. We’re a week in already, I hope it’s started well for you all.

Lastly & most importantly, a special super shout out to my baby mama for giving birth to our first son, who happens to be the cutest most handsome little man ever. He’s a week old and has already made this the best week of my life.

Yes folks, 2013 is going to be a Happy New Year. Cheers all round!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Unconditional Love

My mp3 player can best be described as the remains of a mad scientist’s lab after it’s been dropped from the Red Bull Stratos capsule only to land in the middle of Hurricane Sandy…it’s a mess…and I love it. On it you’ll find almost 10,000 tracks of all genres from all over the world…some in languages I don’t even understand.

Tupac Amaru Shakur penned my favourite song of all time when he wrote Unconditional Love. He actually wrote it for Mc Hammer but recorded a demo of it himself before giving it to Hammer to record.

At the risk of sounding as cliché as any of Schwarzenegger’s scripts, I always feel like this song was written about me. I really related to it. It was pure life poetry for me. So I thought I’d share this ‘poem’ with you:

This is Unconditional Love.

Unconditional Love, no doubt.
Talking bout the stuff that don’t wear off.
It don’t fade, it’ll last for all these crazy days, these crazy nights.
Whether you wrong or you right.
I’m a still love you, still feel you, still there for you.
No matter what.
You will always be in my heart.
With unconditional love.

Come listen to my truest thoughts, my truest feelings.
All my peers doing years beyond drug dealing.
How many caskets can we witness before we see it’s hard to live this life without God, so we must ask forgiveness.
Ask mama why I got this urge to die.
Witness the tears falling free from my eyes before she could reply.
Though we were born without a silver spoon.
My broken down TV, show cartoons in my living room.
One day I hope to make it.
A player in this game.
Mama don’t cry, long as we try maybe things change.
Perhaps it’s just a fantasy.
A life where we don’t need no welfare shit with our whole family.
Maybe it’s me that caused it.
The fighting and the hurting, in my room crying cause I didn’t want to be a burden.
Watch mama open up her arms to hug me.
And I ain’t worried bout a damn thing, with unconditional love.

Just got the message you’ve been calling all week.
Been out here hustling on these streets, ain’t had a chance to speak.
But you know, with you and me it’s on G.
We could never be enemies, cause you been such a good friend to me.
Where would I be without my dawgs.
No wonder why when times get hard cause it ain’t easy being who we are.
Driven by my ambitions, desire higher positions.
So I proceed to make Gs, eternally in my mission is to be more than just a rap musician.
The elevation of today’s generation if could make ’em listen.
Prison ain’t what we need, no longer stuck in greed.
Time to play and strategise, my family’s gotta eat.
When we make somethin out of nothing.
No pleasure in the suffering.
Neighbourhood would be good if they could cut out all the busting, the liquor and the weed, the cussing.
Sending love out to my block.
The struggle never stops.

I’ll probably never understand your ways.
With everyday I swear I hear you trying to change your ways while getting paid at the same time.
Just had a baby with the same eyes.
Something inside, please let me die, these are strange times.
How come I never made it.
Maybe it’s the way I played it in my heart.
I knew one day I gotta be a star.
My hopes and all my wishes.
So many vivid pictures, and all the currency I’ll never even get to see.
This fast life soon shatters.
Cause after all the lights and screams nothing but my dreams matter.
Hoping for better days, maybe a peaceful night.
Baby don’t cry cause everything’s gonna be alright.
Just lay your head on my shoulder.
Don’t worry bout a thing baby girl I’m a soldier.
Never treated me bad, no matter who I was.
You still came with that, unconditional love.

In this game the lesson’s in your eyes to see.
Though things change, the future’s still inside of me.
We must remember that tomorrow comes after the dark.
So you will always be in my heart, with unconditional love.

*just scribbling Pac’s thoughts*

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.