South African Government Stands Against Racism

Department of Justice does its part to take a stand against discrimination

Cape Town, March 31 – The South African government is set to take certain measures against racist posts on social media platforms. Rants of this nature deliberately hinder the country’s move toward progression within South Africa and toward social cohesion, nation-building and strengthening our democracy.

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Above; Acting Director General of GCIS, Below; The South African Constitution

Actions put in place

The Acting Director General of Government Communication and Information Systems, Donald Liphoko, said; “It is unfortunate that such comments follow hot on the heels of the country commemorating Human Rights Day. Government will actively pursue offenders through all available mechanisms including confronting employers and will not allow incidents of racism to define us as a country.”

The Department of Justice is also doing their part in making sure all citizens are secure of any shape or form of discrimination. Victims of racism and discrimination and can now seek justice by filing a case at their nearest police station, or through the South African Human Rights Commission and the Equality Courts, as racism is a direct violation of the each and every South Africans’ Constitutional and Human Rights. The Department of Justice is in the process of finalising the National Action Plan against racism and Related Intolerances which will help combat racism within our country.

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First democratically-elected president of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela; Wikimedia Commons

Leave the past where it belongs

South Africa’s racially segregated past has left many citizens still living with the scars today, but it is no secret that we now live in a democratic country, since the first democratic election of late former president Nelson Mandela in 1994. Meaning that South Africa is governed by a constitution and law that applies to those who live within the borders of our country. We should be helping promote social cohesion and a peaceful co-existence, and not trying to revive apartheid.

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Oh my Roeland!

Roeland Street is a street I pass almost every day to get to campus and back. It is situated in the Western Cape. It is on the eastern side of the city, the beginning of the street is actually in front of the parliament where St John’s Road and Plein Street come together. In simple terms it starts just as one leaves Plein Street which is close to parliament. It is quite vibey and buzzy like most streets in town. As I walk passed this street every day to come to campus and head off home I encounter many people and things.

Strangely enough, I never knew there ever existed a place called Roeland Street in town until I started school here at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2015, probably because I don’t live close to town and if I ever were to be in town I would mostly be in Adderley, Long or Loop Street. So the first time I’ve ever heard of it was to go and write my entrance test at CPUT.

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The first “Roeland” I came across making sure I was in the right place. Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

I quickly familiarised myself with the street and it soon became a home away from home for me. It’s a street I walk via almost every single day of my life. But, there is something in this in this street or should I say my journey through it that makes me slightly uncomfortable.

Back in 2014, after I matriculated, I decided to go and study at Stellenbosch University. Taking a train to Stellenbosch everyday (which is a long way from home) and then taking a brisk walk from the train station to my first class, which most of the time was at the Wilcocks Building. I’d walk via places with picturesque views, it was so green and the flowers always seemed to be blossoming in their own way. The serenity, the peacefulness of that journey to campus always had me at ease with myself. Even though that passage lasted like 2-3 minutes, my journey to campus was always bliss. Like Roeland Street I also passed places where people socialized a lot. These places were called Bohemia, Happy oak etc. Very jolly places indeed.

One of the places where people socialise in Roeland, Kimberley Hotel. Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

One of the places where people socialise in Roeland, Kimberley Hotel.
Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

 

The Roeland Street sign in front of where Characters used to be. Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

The Roeland Street sign in front of where Characters used to be.
Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

Just like Stellenbosch my walk down Roeland Street to my new campus (which is not so new anymore since I’m in my second year now) is just as exciting and beautiful. But as I explained, my walks down that passage in Stellenbosch was peaceful and compared to that my road down Roeland is quite noisy. Being in the city of Cape Town, the roads are always busy with people hurrying to their destinations. This road makes me worry more about my life than that passage I walked through in Stellenbosch. Back when I was in “Stellies” life seemed simple. That road was not always full of people trying to intimidate you, always thinking they’re better than you. Don’t get me wrong, I know what’s happening in Stellenbosch and I wouldn’t want to come across as someone who supports the beautiful place with all the negativity coming from it as well. If I had my way though I’d like to place that passage I walked down every day in 2014 and put it in Roeland Street. That would be my “Alternative Roeland Street”; a place where my life seemed simple again and where I wasn’t feeling like I was constantly forced onto the fast lane. Roeland Street is wonderful as it is but if I had the power to plant that piece of Stellenbosch to replace Roeland Street with I would do it in an instant. That passage made me feel safe and worthy. My clothes, my looks and everything superficial just felt like it would never define me. But in Roeland my life is just not that simple anymore. Chasing paper (money) is what seems to be the norm, everywhere I look I see someone looking very business-like and posh cars chasing down the road. Not to mention the presidential entourage rushing down the main road because they need to get to parliament for the state of the nation address, the sirens that go off just so that we know “who has arrived” makes me want to roll my eyes all the time. I say that is intimidation on the highest level, the hierarchy of people within the country with regards to class is truly visible at that moment.

The busy roads with the luxury cars. Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

The busy roads with the luxury cars.
Captured by Jaye-Dee Jansen.

 

 

But the thing is, Roeland Street has been around since the earliest days of Cape Town, and is an essential part to the City’s existence, but I’d love my alternative Roeland Street more.

 

 

 

Oh snap! Its Tony Gum

Myself in conversation with Tony Gum.

Myself in conversation with Tony Gum.

Hailing all the way from “kwa-Langa”, as she put it. This extraordinary 20-year-old has really got Cape Town at her feet and soon the whole world too. Today, dear reader, Paragraphicly Correct is going to introduce you to a girl who actually needs no introduction. I mean if Elle and Vogue magazine knows you, you need not introduce yourself to nobody. Tony Gum (pronounced “Goem” and not “Guhm”). A well-known visual artist and sartoralist based in Cape Town.

Born Zipho Gum, is also a Film and Video student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. When asked about why she’s “Tony Gum”, she simply replied because she loves male names. She started her fashion blog when she was about 15-years old, but she also realised that with fashion blogging comes major expenses, so instead she conceptualised. Instead of making herself just a trend-setter she rather creates images to bring across a wider and broader concept than just what she’s wearing. Fashion just helps with styling and her creativity.

Photo credit: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo credit: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

She also said that her idea of Tony Gum actually started way before the age of fifteen; “it started when I was 15 or no. It started even way back before then. I had moved from Langa, my childhood was very nice and fun in Langa. I didn’t get to see the downside of Langa. I had a lot of friends then I had to move to Pinelands which is like this ‘suburb’  that’s 5 minutes away from Langa, which is not a problem, but my friends; I couldn’t see them every day so I was bored. Got in touch with the internet, not that it was foreign, but we were blocked from a lot of things at school. So then I got to see “Look-books” and stuff like that, so I wanted to recreate that life here in South Africa as well. And that’s how I discovered a lot of things as well because I just stayed on the internet, and I was like wow there is so much more going on here. And I just wanted to create that life as well”.

Then on to receiving recognition from big publications like Elle and Vogue magazine. She is very honoured and most definitely humbled by the recognition she has been receiving from Elle and Vogue, but she would like to be recognised by more conscious publications like Dazed & Confused and The FADER, mostly because of what she represents. “Other publications that are more aware of black people, more aware of being conscious of work and being creative, not so much commercial”. She also said that Elle and Vogue are two great platforms, but she would love to work with publications that will help her in bringing her message across via her art.

In conclusion, she wants the rest of Africa to recognise her. She knows that things happen quite faster in other continents and she might want to take Tony Gum to a more global audience instead of just Africa. Ultimately she really wants Solange (Knowles) to know who she, as Solange is also one of her influences when it comes to her style.

I felt so honoured to at least have had 15 minutes of this gorgeous young woman’s time. A real inspiration, teaching one that no matter how big or small your dream is, if you put your mind to it and you really believe in what you want to do then you can make it happen. She believes in using the materials you have; do not focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you have and how you can utilise it.

You can learn more about this great artist on her blog; tonygum.blogspot.co.za. She is Tony Gum on facebook, @tony_gum on Instagram and Naairobi (@tony_gum) on twitter.

And if you didn’t know Tony Gum, now you know her.

In my own words… featuring Tony Gum.

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

Look who went Caitlyn Jenner on ya!

In case you can't see the difference from where you're reading from.

In case you can’t see the difference from where you’re reading from.

Hello everyone, don’t worry it’s still me. And if you’re worrying about whom “me” is, it’s JD, and if you haven’t noticed Paragraphicly Correct has gotten a face-lift. I have decided to try something new with my blog so that it can be a reflection of yours truly.

My previous theme seemed like a bore if I do say so myself, content aside. I mean the content I produced on there was quite beautiful (blowing my own horn much), but when I looked at the presentation it still didn’t look like Jaye-Dee Jansen. I had an 80’s themed header that looked quite exciting, but that’s where it stopped at the header. Going down you’d find the title of my next piece, the content and then a little picture to maybe excite your mind after reading a 400-700 words piece. Honestly speaking I would have slept a long time ago.

But (drum-roll…), look at me now. I have background pictures now (featuring me). I have a mustard background for my content, tweeked my font a little and lastly my blog name, Paragraphicly Correct, and my tagline, “in my own words…”, is a little smaller and orange.

I feel that this make-over was long overdue, so please where ever you find your yourself reading now, raise that cellphone, tablet, laptop, computer (not so much) etc, this is to the new better looking and an improved Paragraphicly Correct.

Do note that this is a very short piece just talking about my blog’s face-lift.

In my own words…

To wear or not to wear?

So as we are about to say “sayonara” to Heritage month, allow me to dedicate Paragraphicly Correct to this wonderful month. A month where we as South Africans ought to dig deeper into what is known as our heritage. But this year on Heritage day I did more thinking than doing any digging.

So I’m busy on Facebook, looking at each and every post by people. Most of these posts had one thing in common; a picture posted by various individuals of various races sporting their traditional outfits. Black South Africans of maybe Xhosa, Zulu, Venda or Sotho culture wore their culture’s specific traditional gear. White Afrikaner South Africans had the chance to dust off their Voortrekker outfits with their “kappies”, Indians had a chance to wear saris and so forth. My point that I’m trying to make is what was I supposed to wear? As a “coloured” individual (and man do I hate talking about my race as a description of myself, but I guess one cannot shy escape from reality right?) what was I supposed to wear?

Apparently we are a mixture of white and black individuals, so I read more about my identity as a coloured and apparently I am a mixture of white and the Khoisan now. Quite confusing I know; I think I should be grateful for this variety in me but thinking about it just leaves me puzzled at times. Coloured South Africans speak English and Afrikaans; Afrikaans as in originates from Dutch, Dutch which is seen as white, so was I supposed to wear a Voortrekker outfit. That would have been awkward right? I mean like I’m a little too dark to have a man of European descent as my ancestor.

But if I’m black too, was I supposed to wear some Xhosa outfit with beautiful/colourful prints on them? That wouldn’t be awkward at all, because I always get mistaken for being a black South African; at least that was what I thought too until I saw that there was various race boxes on bursary application forms, university application forms and many other forms that need to be approved by people (shakes head), but back to me wearing traditional clothing. I’ll be able to wear those clothes without others looking at me in a funny way (well except people who really know me), until they come to me speaking Xhosa/Zulu and I’m like uhm… then I respond in English leaving those people extremely confused.

And then there’s the part of my heritage that belongs to the Khoisan, well let’s just say I wouldn’t go there. I have no problem with the culture, but I refuse to walk around barely dressed on heritage day.

So I’ll end off this piece with a question; what should I have worn on heritage day?

In my own words.

Image compliments of https://www.google.co.za

Image compliments of https://www.google.co.za

The beauty of just “doing you”…

India Arie said it best people; “I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectation, Noooo, I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lives within…” power to those words. Today, dear reader, Paragraphicly Correct is dedicated to you, you who feel depressed or oppressed by another’s opinion of your physical/outer being; those who have a problem with your hair, your skin, your clothes etc. This issue has always been exactly that, an issue where I’m from. It’s an issue I’ve been dealing with for many years, and I guess I’ll be sharing one of my ex-issues with you. I say ex-issue because I don’t really care about it anymore.

So my hair has always been an issue, living in the community I live in it (hair) has (and still is) always been part of the neighbourhood gossip, of course when there’s nothing better to talk about. The thing with my hair is that it never fitted within the “coloured” norm, or at least the coloured norm of where I’m from. So because I didn’t want to be given the funny face or sarcastic comments I did things to my hair that actually damaged it in the process, things like relaxers, hair-straightners, heat-appliances, basically things to give it that extra glossy shine. As soon as I saw that my hair was “going south” something had to be done about it immediately. Sometimes I could share a laugh about it, but when things got serious (seriously sad) it got serious. This has been an issue throughout my high-school life too, and you know high-school, everybody had an opinion about everything. So in order to keep my hair out of their mouths I made sure that I kept it in check. Whilst I was doing that I was losing the authenticity of my real hair.

My eyes actually opened once I started attending university, not that I’m saying varsity doesn’t have its own panel of  “Miss SA” judges or “Fashion Police” critics, but it’s there that I actually found myself and saw that people’s opinions about how you look or what you wear does not matter at all. I too, decided to embrace the culture of not worrying about what he/she says. So back to how this fits in with my hair situation, I went to my Aunt Lee-Ann so she could braid my hair and she asked if she could cut my hair, because at the time it had been a while since I touched a Dark & Lovely box and my roots seemed extremely thick. I actually thought long and hard about what I should do, eventually I was like why not? After that I braided my hair though, after 2 months of wearing the braids I took them out, washed my hair and guess what? I was sporting a nice new mini-afro. Since then, I’ve been inlove with my beautiful, African, nappy hair.

Today my hair is my pride, deciding to go against the norm that day never felt so good. I wear my beautiful “puff” as my crown with no care in the world of those comments and those faces. Because, as I referred to India Arie at the beginning of this piece, my hair is not who I am, I am the soul that lives within. And I’ve decided to live in accordance with my late grandma’s ideology to not worry about what’s on my head but rather what’s underneath it.

I’m not saying I’m totally unself-conscious about myself yet, as hair was never the only thing that kept me awake at night. Let’s just say resolving all the other issues are a work in progress because these things take time. But you know what, eventually I’ll get over it, to an extent that walking around naked won’t even be a problem (jokes, jokes, jokes)… I’ll just slowly but surely make it my mission to not conform to anyone’s norms of what/how I should or should not look.

In my own words featuring a little piece by India Arie and my late grandma’s logic.

How I looked a few years back.

How I prefer to look today.

Give me a man like Ted Mosby…

Today dear reader I’d like to dedicate my Paragraphicly Correct post to a fictional character, I hope you don’t mind. I guess if you continue reading you will understand why.

I want a man like Ted Mosby. You don’t know Ted Mosby? Oh.k, you know the guy from the comedy series How I Met Your Mother… the show that’s about a guy telling his son and daughter about the process of how he met their mother, that’s Ted. His character is played by Josh Radnor. Ted Mosby was the one who almost never got the girl. I shouldn’t be sentimental about it right, because the fact that he’s speaking to his kids about how he met their mother proves that he eventually got her. But no, I’ll continue telling you of the love I have for my main-man Ted.

As I mentioned previously he never got the girl. There was a time that I thought he already met that lucky lady (yeah, any girl would be hella lucky to have a man like him), the character called Robin. He seemed to be so happy with her, yet I could sense that she was not giving him her 100%. My instincts were true, they dated for a while, but eventually Robin fell inlove with one of Ted’s bestfriend’s, Barney Stinson (remember #WaitForIt :P), and she left Ted, Ted of course was heartbroken. One of the most saddest heartbroken men I’ve ever seen. Cause you see Ted, he is an extremely sensitive, gentle, tender-souled, all those things “the macho man” would find disgusting. When it came to love Ted loved with his whole heart, love to Ted was not something you play with and when he gives his heart there are no ulterior motives. So yes, his heart was broken by a woman he loved a lot. Ted went on to date a whole lot of girls, he never seemed to get over Robin though, but he tried his best. He dated beautiful women, crazy women and if I remember correctly, even an underage girl (I think it was Barney’s baby-sister, Paragraphicly Correct me if I’m wrong though). Ted has gone through major highs and lows on his quest for love.

What I love most about Ted is his perseverance and determination when it comes to the woman he loves, it actually took him some time to get out of being that timid/shy guy. Ted’s patience when it came to love is quite admirable. Robin, the woman he’s basically loved in every season of How I Met Your Mother, eventually marries Barney. Ted is happy for his friend yet sad to know that it will not be appropriate to love Robin anymore. It’s fine though, because at the end of the day we all know Robin aint his babymomma, she was yet to be discovered.

I haven’t watched the last season of How I Met Your Mother… yet (we all know how delayed e.tv can be), so I don’t really know how Ted is now. But there’s one episode that almost had me in tears. It was the episode where he spotted “Mother” and knew that she will be his future wife, he followed her all the way to her apartment, arrived at her doorstep and gave her this speech: “Hi I’m Ted Mosby, in exactly 45 days from now you and I are gonna meet and we’re gonna fall in love and we’re gonna get married and we’re gonna have two kids and we’re gonna love them and eachother so much. All that is 45 days away, but I’m here now, I guess because I want these extra 45 days with you, I want each one of them. But if I can’t have them I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face, because I love you, I’m always gonna love you till the end of my days and beyond.You’ll see.”

After that her boyfriend arrived and punched him. He left. It was the moment I asked myself how could such a good guy, such a gentleman be wandering around unhappily. You see when a woman has a Ted Mosby she has a rare gem, something you can not simply just let go, I mean like I’d really love a Ted Mosby. I can’t wait to see him happy (guess I need to check Youtube to see how he is).

 Ted’s story is basically one that inspires me, it tells me that no matter how long you wait, when things seem impossible and you think all hope is lost, when you start believing that there is nobody out there for you anymore and when your patience is running dry there is still a 100% chance that you’ll be happy and that your soulmate, the love of your life will eventually be in your life. So if you are in a situation where you believe there isn’t any hope for you think of Ted Mosby and think again…

In my own words featuring Ted Mosby.

Ted Mosby gives speech to future wife

“Ted Mosby gives a speech to his future wife”, image compliments of Google.com.

Here’s to the fearless females of SA…

Today my blog post goes out to the fierce females, gorgeous girls and wonderful women of this beautiful country we live in. The mothers, the daughters, the wives and the sisters of South Africa. Today I commemorate the struggle and sacrifice made by those 20 000 women on their way to the Union buildings in Pretoria on the 9th of August 1956. Their fearlessness has caused for empowerment, not only for me, but for many women in our country.

I could go on and give you a Wikipedia styled explanation of this day; where it originates from, what caused the march, what happened at the march, who led the march, blah blah blah… but my name is not Google. Instead I’d like to talk about what this day means me to as a female in South Africa today and express my gratitude to those great “Wuman-beings”.

Today I am free to be whatever I want to be. Back then I was limited to only being a nurse, a teacher or a stay-at-home parent (I know I may not have been a thought at the time, my mother wasn’t even born in that era), but those women opened doors for our generation of women and young ladies. Today I am able to compete in male dominant fields of work, I can be an engineer or an architect, the possibilities for us today are endless (not that I want to be any of those).

Our gender is sometimes seen as vulnerable and weak, but thanks to those great ladies of 1956, we can have the world at our feet or, as Queen B would say, we can even run this mutha. But why does it look like we’re limiting this day to pampering activities? And boy do we love being pampered… but really now? This day is being limited to tea parties, spa treatments; you know all the superficial/materialistic things.

On Friday I approached my Radio/Broadcasting lecturer, Maxine Greef (who is also a newsreader at SmileFM, nudge nudge wink wink ;P ), and I asked her what Women’s Day has come to mean to her and the point she brought across really made me stop and think. Here’s what she had to say; “I find that in the last few years Women’s Day has come to mean to people an opportunity for big corporates and for radio stations and for companies to take women out on a high-tea , to give them a pamper session. For me Women’s Day shouldn’t be about that, Women’s Day is about commemorating a very important time in our country’s history. It’s a time when women stood up for their rights and it wasn’t just a small group of them, there were thousands of them. And for us to on Women’s Day reduce it to something like a high-tea or a spa treatment, that’s not what Women’s Day is about. And I find that Women’s Day should be about the day that I sit with my daughters so that I can explain to them what the history of this country is. To tell them that women should be honoured, women should be respected and that they have every right to have everything that everyone else has got. They can be anything they want to be, they can study whatever they want to, they can travel where ever they want to, they can go climb a tree or go race a car, they do not have to have any restrictions on them. I find with the media nowadays, there are so many restrictions on women, they’ve reduced us to talk about body shape and about how our hair looks and how we want to have the right to wear a bikini, we’ve always had the right to wear a bikini, we just need to take that right and for me that’s what I think I’ll do on Women’s Day and that’s what I want Women’s day to mean to my girls. That it’s not about us just going out to go and pamper ourselves, but to actually talk about what’s important, like women’s issues and not to be labelled a crazy-woman when we say we want equal rights, but to realise that we have power, women come with a whole community attached to them, everything that we do, the way we raise our children or when a lot of women support their families. The fact that in most jobs women get paid the least, they get or have menial jobs, they get paid so little that they don’t feel they have a voice and for me that’s what Women’s Day must be about, it’s about giving those women that can’t stand up for themselves a voice.”.

Now Paragraphicly Correct me if I’m wrong, but she’s totally right. There are women out there who are taking the initiative and making this day more educational, but we need to broaden this view more amongst ourselves as women. Let’s start educating ourselves and each other more about this day, select another day to spend at a spa and start schooling each other about what really matters in life. Things’ including self-development and self-empowerment goes a long way and I thank those women of 1956 for playing a role in that.

Happy National Women’s Day to each and every female in South Africa.

And yes I’ve changed my tagline to “in my own words…”, because this is all in my own words featuring Maxine Greef.

women's day

Image compliments of Google.com.

 

 

Welcome everyone!

My very own blog, sounds exciting right? Getting to write about things that I want to write about, making my opinion known to one and all and then finally, establishing my voice via my blog-posts.

Oh wait, where are my manners and sense of etiquette: I haven’t introduced myself yet. Well Hi, my name is Jaye-Dee Jansen, but you can call me “JD” for short (hope that was funny).

I would like to think that I am a fun, loving, kind, gorgeous and out-going person. I say “I would like to think” because I too am in the process of getting to know myself, just like each and every one of you. Because of this process I tend to be a little indecisive about some things, but there is one thing that I will never change my mind about and that is my vision, my ambition and my drive to be the greatest success that I have ever come across. My life is most definitely no walk in the park and things do not necessarily fall into my lap, but I know that in the end all my blood, sweat and a whole lot of tears will be worth it.

At this moment I am a first-year journalism student and creating this blog is actually some kind of forced assignment. These lecturers are so smart hey?! They know that we as students so desperately want to get our names out there, so we best start working somewhere. That sounded bad, but no I do not plan on having this blog as a burden on me, I’ve actually wanted to start one a very long time ago, I just didn’t know where to start. I’m left with decisions to make about what I should name it, what it should be about, what would sound appropriate etcetera etcetera…

I like many things, so I don’t want to put my focus on something specific, for if I only had one focus point I’d be limiting myself, limiting my train of thought, limiting my horizons and basically putting more pressure on myself. So if I feel that one day I’d like to address a political issue I’d do exactly that, one day I’d like to address a social issue I’d do that and if one day I’d like to address some relationship/friendship/romantic issues well… just kidding, I would totally address that, there will be no limit to what I think is important or needs to be put out there. I will address them all in my blog. I will address it the best way I know how. Wait the word “issues” sounds like problems, so basically I’ll be addressing many topics in all spheres of life; whether it is music, romantic, social or even personal.

So yes, I now welcome you, dear reader, to my blog Paragraphicly Correct. Yes, I know there is no such word but allow me to be creative. Pronounced Paragraph-ick-lee and then Correct correct.

And yeah I said it!

Introductory picture, I hope you don't mind.

Introductory picture, I hope you don’t mind.