Category Archives: Politics

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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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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The story behind the day…

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

National Women’s Day is an annual public holiday in South Africa on August 9. This commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the “pass”, special identification documents which curtailed an African’s freedom of movement during the apartheid era.

Women marching

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.

They left bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office doors. Outside they stood silently for 30 minutes, many with their children on their backs. Those who were working for Whites as nannies were carrying their white charges with them. The women sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 54 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: “you strike a woman, you strike a rock”) has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.

Strong women

The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn.

Other participants included Frances Baard, a statue of whom was unveiled by Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins in Kimberley(Frances Baard District Municipality) on National Women’s Day 2009.

What I have learned from these remarkable ladies is that my actions today may impact history for ever.  I need to stand for what I believe in and take action if I am discriminated against…or if someone I know is suffering.  We women have strength beyond comparison.  We can do whatever we put our minds to.

We are the rock of our families, they depend on us.  Take time this week and refresh yourself.  We also need to take a break in order to continue the good work.

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Why I like Julius Malema: 3 reasons

I like him…I cannot exactly pinpoint why, but I do.


Let’s get it clear from the beginning…this is not a political campaign, on the contrary.  I have distanced myself from politics a long time ago.  For various personal reasons.  With this post I am not trying to promote anyone (like my subject so often does) or any political party.

I am just intrigued by the fascination we seem to have with him.

  1. He speaks his mind.  Yes, sometimes without thinking before he does.  And yes, many times he says something stupid.  The reality is he says what a lot of us actually think but are afraid to say out loud.
  2. He is an entertainer.  He keeps me captivated.  I see him as a very valuable player in our democracy.  Politicians and their opinions have been a source of entertainment for decades all over the world.
  3. He is gutsy.  A lot more than I am.  He is extremely determined.  Many of us may agree that he should shift his energy in a more positive and constructive manner.
I have been trying to pinpoint why exactly I like the guy and the above seem like a few fair reasons why I do.  It’s difficult to really understand how one human being can capture us in such a manner.  Not a week goes by without him not making a headline for an absurd statement or gesture.
I think he is a comedian.  Since I made that mind-shift I find he doesn’t irritate me that much.  Whatever you may think of him, or however he has offended you in the past…we love clinging to his lips.  We crave his opinions and what he says.
I have meaning to write to him…give him a few suggestions on how to make money in an honest manner.  We all know his passion is stirring up the masses.  I have been toying with the idea to get him to have a few shows at Monte Casino or a similar theatre.  Just imagine…Julius on stage.  He will love that!  I bet you it will be sold out and he will make loads of money to fund his lavish lifestyle.  That is what he is…a glorified comedian.  And do I love comedy!  I think too much…it sometimes removes me from reality.
Your thoughts?
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