Category Archives: Philosophy

The inspiration behind the Slave Bell Lamp

I am no social activist, but as of late I find I want to express my opinion regarding social matters through my designs.

A native of the Western Cape, I lived in Johannesburg for the last 7 years and recently returned back home. In a way, my absence made me oblivious to certain ills of our tainted history.


Ironically, despite all the efforts made, the great divide still exists and it is more and more evident that the gap of inequality is getting bigger…instead of narrowing.  The effect it has had on me is quite shocking and monuments like the slave bell towers that are scattered on many farms, has started an emotional battle within me. And instead of ranting and raving, I have decided to create constructive awareness through design.








Enough said. All I ask is that we remember.

#blackconsciousness #rememberslavery #remembrance #slavery


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Urban stop @ graffiti

Graffiti ~ {A rude decoration inscribed on rocks or walls}

Today we went to church as per usual. After hearing a Spirit-filled Word we headed home. Then we ran into car trouble. We pulled over and rested under one of the bridges on Hendrik Potgieter Road and at first I was highly irritated at this inconvenience.  I wondered why would I let myself get upset after such a life-changing Word was just preached to me?  Then I decided to relax and just take in what this experience had to offer.

Graffiti on the walls

Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.[1] Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.[2] In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop musicb-boying, and other elements.[3] Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials/law enforcement and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested, reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction. (

Some homeless people actually sleep under this bridge at night.  This brief 30-minute stop made me realise how ungrateful I can be sometimes.

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The last decade

I received a suggestion:

Highlight each year I have been alive in a single sentence.  That would be too long a post so I decided to break it down to the last 10 years:


2001  – Started a new job at Santam Head Office in Bellville
2002 – Got married to the love of my life and started our new life together
2003  – Bought our first house in Kuilsriver, Cape Town
2004  – I quit my job and started Lilly Loompa.
2005 –  We went backpacking through Europe.
2006 –  Acquired another property
2007 – Gave birth to Chelsea, our first-born
2008 – Graduated as an Interior Decorator
2009 – Gave birth to Kirsten, our second daughter.
2010 – Packed up and moved to Johannesburg just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2011 – We moved into this house in Naturena and the renovation is still in process.
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I should be grateful…

Dry riverbed

Source: The Sacramento BEE


The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has put more than 12 million people in need of immediate assistance in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Crops have failed and livestock have died after decreased rainfall in two consecutive rainy seasons.


The drought and famine in Somalia have killed more than 29,000 children under age 5 in the last 100 days in southern Somalia, according to U.S. estimates. The United Nations says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise.

Somalia drought

A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm the local economy.

Wow…I have realised how ungrateful I am sometimes.  I forget how blessed I am.  Yes, I have problems…lots of problems. But I also have a lot to be thankful for.  I am healthy, alive and have a family that loves me.  Imagine not having running water at your disposal.  Imagine not having eaten in weeks/months.  Imagine watching your children die of hunger.

Forgive me Lord for being so ungrateful.  I thank You for being my Provider.  I will stop being selfish and forget about what I need and want.  My mind has been altered into living with more gratitude and making a difference in other’s lives.

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I owe you…

For the last 4 years I have been trying to detach myself from the debt system. The system is like a Sea Wasp or Marine Stinger, its tentacles mean death. Once it’s got a hold of you…there is no letting go…unless you make a decision to detach yourself.

The global debt bubble is bulging and pretty soon it will pop and things will get messy.

In South Africa, the household-debt-to-income ratio is around 78% leaving an average of R22 out of every R100 that South Africans earn each month (after tax) to buy food, clothing, toiletries etc and pay for school fees, water and lights, insurance, entertainment, holidays etc… no wonder the rate of household saving has declined to virtually nothing. (Gary Wilde)

From personal experience I know how difficult it is. Ashley and I lost almost everything in 2006 when a make-believe investor stole all our hard-earned profits. Since then it has been a struggle to get by.

People are starving and are jobless. It is a never-ending cycle. Although the government has put out a plea to the people to start saving more…it is extremely difficult under the circumstances. People also lend out of desperation.  It is a reality… we have a backlog in this country. Don’t get me wrong, I am not being pessimistic, I am being real. I am not making excuses but our past has had a huge impact on where we are today.

Ashley and I decided to make a conscious effort this year to save. I opened a savings account and collectively we saved a mere R150 per month. To some of you it might seem futile, but we were determined. About a month ago, we were forced to use it as one of our clients decided not to pay us. Immediately everything spiraled and we had to draw from our savings. I am sure that story seems familiar.

Now I agree that in general we are not trained too well in financial planning.  In fact, I think it should become part of the school curriculum.  Our kids need to be taught how to budget and work wisely with their money so they don’t repeat the cycle.  As a parent I have to teach my kids responsible spending.

But where do you start?

Due the state of the economy, high taxes, the increased cost of living, interest rates, government corruption, banks, creditors I was forced to make drastic changes to start living more responsibly.  Allow me to share some of them:

  1. Budget…budget…budget.  I cannot stress this enough.  “If you don’t plan, you plan to fail” (Gavin Cupido).  You need to outline your expenses and know where your money is going.
  2. Don’t buy on credit.  I know it’s difficult, but if you cannot afford to buy it cash, then don’t.
  3. Cut on luxuries.  We had to cut out holidays, eating out, buying expensive foods, toys, etc.
  4. I plan my meals so I can plan my grocery bill.  Let me tell you it works.  I try to be disciplined and I only buy what’s on the list.
  5. We live more consciously by managing our electricity.  Luckily we have a pre-paid meter so we can keep tabs on our usage.  We have also bought an inexpensive gel-stove which I cook on.  It also saves a lot on electricity.

These are just some of the changes we had to make.  Our life is far from perfect.  We still have a lot of catching up to do but these alterations have already made an impact.

If we don’t make a conscious effort to budget and save pretty soon our kids will be singing this song of debt (on the Barney tune):

I owe you

you owe me

we’re becoming a sad family

with a great debt bubble

and no hope for me and you

won’t you start saving so I can live too.

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Why was I designed?

I have been thinking a lot about myself and my purpose once again lately.  Especially after the sad and confusing incident that happened in Norway last week, as well as the passing of Amy Winehouse over the past weekend.

I don’t personally know any of the people mentioned, but it just struck a chord as to where I fit into God’s plan.  I know for sure life is more than eating, sleeping and working…without a doubt.

A few years ago Ashley and I visited Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.  Although I don’t believe in the Big Bang Theory or evolution, it was a very interesting visit.  (Excuse the quality of the pictures, I took it with my cellphone)


I learned a few shocking statistics:

Shocking statistic

That is a really shocking fact and might be outdated by now.  I am sure the numbers are much more today in 2011.

Another one

I have always wondered what God’s purpose for my life is.  Sadly because we are not born with the immediate knowledge of our intention on earth, a lot of us might die without fulfilling it.


Last year in October I started asking God some serious questions regarding mine and I was lead to this very useful document on the Internet.  I started working through the document and a whole new world opened up for me.  It really made me think and I started jotting down my goals and passions.  Since then, a few of them have materialised as well!!!

I challenge you to take a look at it.  It has changed my life and focus tremendously.  I still have a lot of searching to do…but I think the fact that I wrote it down has given me a head start.

Habakuk 2: 2

‘And the LORD answered me, and said: “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” 

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Look up…

Life is so rushed…when last did you look up?

En route to Bredasdorp




Storm brewing - Kuilsrivier

En route to Phillie

Kruger National Park

Rockhaven, Porterville

Grootwinterhoek, Porterville



1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

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