About Rock Bottom
People have a tendency to throw it in your face when you show them vulnerability. I write this blog and I am scared of what you will think of me, how you will see me and some of the harsh things you may say. However I also write this with the hope that I may inspire someone who is facing their Rock Bottom.
The past couple of years have been EXTREMELY difficult for me. Life stripped me naked and had me crawling for mercy. I think it all began when I got raped around 2011.
I didn’t tell anybody, my best friend says that I said something in passing but then avoided the topic.
I believe that is when the depression began. I tried to use my art and music to distract myself and pretended nothing happened. I have a memory of my older sister saying to me she thinks I am going through a depression. I got defensive despite the fact that I was crying everyday and couldn’t get out of bed. On the surface, my twitter account, I was still FIRE (Because that’s what depressed people do…deflect.) In real life I was losing my ability to manifest, gigs were drying up and the media was on an active smear campaign with my name. They made everybody hate me. You may argue that my tweets made everybody hate me- but I would hate to believe that South Africans are so dark that they are attracted to my twitter account for the evil spewed there. I am a poet. In isiXhosa I am called imbhongikazi yomthonyama which means I have a spiritual gift with words that don’t take side. I have words that hit the spirit and make people question themselves. A lot of the time, people are not ready to hear what I am saying and yet five years later my writings come up in trending topics on social media. I have never had to apologise for anything I have said because I stand by my truth relentlessly. I do apologise whenever the need arises but that is usually due to my temperamental nature with my tweeps, not because of the subjects I am raising. To be honest, I hate people who make me feel bad about my twitter account because it has created multiple unspoken mental and spiritual shifts in our society…at times globally. The power of my twitter account is not my doing. It has blessed me and it has cursed me, which is how I know that I’m on the right path.
I started to internalise all the hate. It was not only to you who the media made me unlovable to…the media made me unlovable to myself to. And so the depression festered inside the silence of the four walls of my bedroom. Life is a journey where you have to connect the dots. I was invited to perform at Poetry Afrika when I was thoroughly bleeding in 2014. No money, just sadness. The universe always brings balance. I met a lovely man at poetry afrika who was a great guy to date when you’re going through the most. (A story for another day)
At poetry afrika is where I found out I could do my Masters in writing at Rhodes and I was just in time to meet the deadline. JUST IN TIME.
I didn’t have a cent to my name when I got accepted to Rhodes, I was banking on a scholarship I applied for. Had I not won that scholarship, I wouldn’t have that degree today. The universe conspired.
I sold EVERYTHING I owned to save up money for my move to Grahamstown. A lot of my best relationships were in tatters. This is around the Stoan ‘incident’ on twitter. I was enough is enough with everything and in the still of the night I took the remainder of my life’s possessions and drove to the Eastern Cape. I put everything in my car, it was packed to full capacity I could barely see through the rear view mirror. I had decided that I was actually moving to the Eastern Cape and after Rhodes I would build my career from that side.
A year later the Eastern Cape heartlessly kicked me out. I couldn’t find a hustle that side. I was devastated and in denial and it was really with my last 400 that I had to put petrol in my car and go back home. There was an angel/stranger who stepped in for the remainder of the petrol money. Lol I tell you, the universe is always prepared for your mess. Yes a stranger paid for me to get back home. Back home to questions zabo ‘so what are you gonna do with your life?’
I stayed in Dube with my grandmother in 2016 mentally exhausted and drained and depressed about a dead end career. In hindsight, some magical things happened in that year and I grew a beautiful veggie garden…while wondering ‘What’s wrong with my life?’ What I know now is that the Universe was just giving me time and space to rest. For the first time since I was 21 I was home, and I was spoilt. There was always a plate waiting for me. I didn’t have to struggle for anything. My grandmother expected nothing from me, instead in the first month she helped me with my car instalment. Imagine. My laundry was done for me. I can honestly say that even at Rock Bottom, there are some cushy areas.
Early 2017 I was unpleasantly pushed out the nest again…but in that desperation I found a beautiful backroom in Mofolo. Imagine my lucky stars, I had no money and I found the private school of backrooms. It was fully furnished with a big Jacuzzi bath with glass ceiling. The walls were bright colours and I had a beautiful peace garden. My landlady who later turned out to be my everything was a former exile with long dredlocs and a love for nature. She is very bubbly and loves Africa. Basically, what I will probably be like at 60. That woman breathed new life into me. She gave me talks and loads of love. She would send me the most inappropriate whatsapp (still does) showing me crazy meme where I have to reprimand her and remind her she is my mom. She is very carefree…just like me.
Funny that was my rockiest bottom, living in a backroom and having to wash my dishes in a Ndish. I love Soweto with all my heart but all I could hear around me was ‘uwile.’ Something I didn’t want to hear. Pain always makes me work harder, I put all my efforts into the album The Masterpiece and in commercial terms it was a complete and utmost failure. In spiritual terms however, it united women in music in the various townships I took the tour to. It inspired young female musicians and I see them going from strength to strength in their careers. I am proud of that.
But about money in the bank, wow, all it did was drain me. So 2017 there I was with a flop of an album to contribute to my falling self esteem.
And then the global citizen backlash…wow. Can I admit that I don’t think you have ever hurt me like that on twitter in my entire social media trail. You were so vicious. I think what hurt the most was your dedication to misunderstanding me while pinning peoples pain on me. wow. Wow. Wow. And my privileged family members who went In on me. wow. All I was trying to say is that it is inappropriate to show off in front of people you have excluded. It is an action that has a reaction. Oh wow….actually I am still traumatised hey. You almost broke me. I even wrote a song on my guitar
“With so many people coming at me
I just don’t know who to trust anymore.
Can you hear me out there?
Can you hear me out there?
I need your intervention
I can’t take it anymore”
The universe intervened a month later when Moja Love called me and offered me my dream job as a talk show host…they said it was because of what I was doing with my twitter account with social issues. And I was vindicated. The same platform which has caused so much hatred brought me my biggest joy. It is not easy working for Moja Love because Tv is new to me as a day job. I have to learn to control my fire and not burn people. We have to learn each other and it is not easy. However it certainly beats what I have been through to get here. I remember jogging around mofolo in the mornings all of last year wondering why ‘ngiwile?’ Little did I know that my inner hot body was getting ready to show off…have you seen my legs on that show?!
I have felt so bad for so many years about the disruption I cause everywhere I go. The older I get I realise that the universe is on my side and none of the ‘drama’ is my doing. I want the next couple of years to be EXTREMELY happy for me.
If you have hit your rock bottom, it’s probably because you are a month away from your dream job. I remember crying to my niece’s guardian Nomakhwezi and she said