Thula’s Story

It has taken me a long time to confront this demon that has held me at ransom, for so long and had me living in the fear of love.

I fell in love once. I fell hard and I got VERY heartbroken. So heartbroken it changed the way I viewed every man.

I was 27. The craziest thing was about to happen. My childhood celebrity crush was about to enter my world and alter it.

‘Thula’ first came to me in the form of a dream. The dream manifested within that week. I was out having lunch with my sister when ‘Thula’s’ car pulled up.

Naturally my heart was doing somersaults, I had always loved this guy so deeply….but so did the many others.

Thula was the biggest male celebrity at the time. With a beautiful heart that cared for the well being of people, Thula was not only a media darling but also the people’s darling. A very rare combination. Thula and my sister are peers so much of the conversation centred on them. I just sat there still, with butterflies in my stomach.

Their chat was brief and in that moment somehow, silently our spirits were chatting too. He left and life continued.

A few days later, I was doing my groceries and I again bumped into Thula. This time he asked for my phone number and asked if he could come by for a visit. Obviously I was elated. Like I said, this was my childhood crush. My head was in the clouds and my heart was in the future.

He called a few hours later and so began one of the most over-powering connections I have ever experienced. From Day 1 Thula and I spent lots of time together. There were many warning bells I should have heeded. Many voices in my head I should have listed to. I just loved him so much and, wanted things to work out so badly.

Thula has a gift of words so he always said things to soothe my heart. He had a way of making me feel like he was always telling the truth.

I was quite secretive about the relationship. I guess deep down inside I knew that there were things that didn’t make sense to me. Like how most of the relationship was happening at my flat, and he didn’t like it when I went to his house. I have a rebellious nature so there would be times I would pitch up at his house anyways….most of those times, had I not been in denial, I would have noticed that he was always edgy.

Besides the holes I was refusing to acknowledge, the relationship was lovely. On the one or two times we went out together, I really felt special. I don’t think I was blind but I think I loved Thula more than I loved myself. I was willing to keep the relationship inside my garden and accept the crumbs I was being given. He convinced me that it was safest to keep our relationship out of the public eye. He said he was keeping me safe.

He had had some ugly break ups that were splashed out in the papers. That was also enough for me not to want to be associated with the mess.

Besides, I had become accustomed to the long, deep chats into the night. He was a very spiritual man so when he spoke, he spoke to the god in me. His mother being a traditional healer also made me more comfortable with African spirituality and my own gift.

I then started getting this recurring dream. He was paying Lobola for another woman, and I was in his backroom crying. The same dream, over and over again.

Everybody around me asked me, ‘Ntsiki, what are you doing with Thula?’ I ignored them. Except my 2 sisters, I had a more direct approach with them. I sent them a group email which basically said ‘BACK OFF!!!! I LOVE HIM!!!!’ They never responded to the email but they later told me they had a nice, long, fat chat about that email.

With stars in my eyes I continued to walk into a love that would change me.

During all this loving, I was plagued by Thula’s baby mamas. They were my worst nightmare. They played him like a fiddle and I always came last. One of the hardest moments was, when one got their child to call me and swear at me.

I am a strong, opinionated woman……but I am not ghetto. I don’t know how to put down my pride and take it to the streets. This kind of display was a bit of a shock for me.

But it was nothing like when I got an invitation to a Cup of Nations soccer game by this lovely woman. Later that night she broke down and told me that Thula is her man too. I don’t know why I believed him when he said she was lying. I knew it was true.

I will never forget coming back from a road trip from Mozambique. I was with a group of my friends and we stopped at the 1st South African gas station. There was Thula on the cover of Drum Magazine with his other babymama. The headline ‘We are happy together.’

My heart crashed and splattered on the floor as it got REALLY awkward for I had been speaking about Thula the whole holiday.

I spent the remaining 5 hours of the road trip in dead silence, holding back a storm of tears. I was overcome by a tsunami of pain. And feeling…..so humiliated.

I had no choice but to break up with him. It was ugly and teary. He would often pitch up announced at my house. I would be on the other side of the burglar door swearing at him and speaking from places of pain I never knew I had. I had never felt so betrayed.

What made it worse is that, I spent so much time with him; I didn’t know where he had found the time.

A few months went by and I started to heal. But as you know, the heart does not always agree with the mind. I don’t remember how, but we started speaking again. I started to get comfortable in lies again. I was back to my addiction.

One day I was coming from a gig. I was in the parking lot carrying all my ‘stage stuff.’ I had just had a good show and was feeling my ‘NTSIKI MAZWAI’ swag.

My phone rang, it was a private number. I answered. And this is what was said…

‘Hi Ntsiki, this is ………. from Sunday World, I am doing a story here on Thula. We know that you have been dating for a while now. We need some comments from you. How do you feel that your man has impregnated two women?’

Silence.

My heart shatters for the last time. I hang up the phone. I hang up the phone coz I am about to break down. I do break down. Right there in the middle of a parking lot my whole world crashes. I cried that day….even for all the times I had not cried. I cried like somebody had died…and to me, it did feel like that.

When your man makes 2 women pregnant there is nothing left to do but to leave. You have overstayed your welcome and the experience is ejecting you.

To add insult to injury various journalists were calling me trying to get the scoop. They tried to convince me that it’s to ‘warn other women.’

I didn’t see why hanging my painful laundry in public was going to add value to my already broken dream. The drum magazine editor at the time said to me, they will only put me on their cover if I give them the exclusive on the relationship.

I found ways to heal in time. A lot of my mental wellness was restored when I moved away from that toxic space of needing Thula.

I’m 35 now and have since lived out this fear in all my relationship. I have lived in the fear of betrayal and public humiliation.

I am telling my story so that I can off load and create space in my heart for those who do truly love me.

I don’t wanna have issues that get in the way of me being a LOVER anymore.

How 1 broken man treated me CANNOT speak for ALL men.

Love does not thrive in fear….

ANC Futhi!!!!

We are sitting here watching you beat, teargas and arrest children…..we are thinking, you should be last people to be using apartheid tactics. How quickly you have forgotten oppression. How quickly you have forgotten 1976.

It is with deep shame that we see our own people killing their own…..just to protect white capital.

Let’s talk about 94 when you failed to recover what was taken from us. Instead, you sold our economy just so YOU could have political power. Let’s be honest, the political power belongs to you…and not to the people. Currently, you are doing as you please. You are certainly not doing the job we put you there to do. We put you in power, so you could govern the country and its resources in a way that would benefit us ALL. You are only benefitting yourselves.

We see you taking your children to go study abroad. Is that why #feesmustfall does not affect you? Since apartheid, we have never seen such a selfish and greedy bunch as you. Ningcolile mani.

Let me tell you why you are trying to kill the revolution.

We know you work hand in hand with white capital. We know that to get political freedom, you had to get in bed with the devil. But for the devil to own 70% of our economy is absolute rubbish! You fought and died for 30%? Are you serious?

Is this the 30% of wealth you are arresting children for…to hang onto measly crumbs?

When white capital started to see that #FeesMustFall was gaining momentum and had it’s fingers pointed towards it….it got nervous. They got so nervous that they called you in like naughty, little school kids. They reminded you that they are the majority shareholder of our country and you had to call order.

The circumstances are much like Marikana. The white people had a talking to with the African they made Head Nigga In Charge. Isn’t that why president Jacob Zuma was suddenly in the media talking about saving the rhino while HUMAN children were being teargassed and arrested? Uqale nini uBab’Zuma to care about the Rhino? A few years ago he said white people care more about their dogs than they do about black people. Funny…..now he is the one who cares about the rhino more that the student revolution threatening the future of our country?

Why are you not addressing the issue of school fees? Why does white capital not invest into the country they take from?  Did Baas come in the dark of the night and give you threats?

Is the only way, to talk to your people, to use violence?

Whose side is the ANC on, White people or South Africans???

The South African nation is losing patience with your lack of leadership. Your enemies are gaining momentum and your citizens are going hungry. Hunger leads to war and intolerance. You are going to need another loooong chat with white capital. You are going to have to decide to redistribute our economy or you must get ready for war.

This new generation is nothing like you, we will not wait to be given our power…..we will take it.

The South African Hip Hop ‘awards’

I saw the nomination list for the SA Hip Hop awards and I was left between horrified and not surprised. As disgusting as misogyny is, I have learnt to expect no less from my male counterparts in hip hop. I have grown up in the hostile and anti strong women environment of SA Hip Hop.

 

As individuals, some of the men in Hip Hop are beautiful human beings…but when the men are together, they become a completely different animal.

 

I got this text from my favourite female emcee, one of the most prolific lyricists of our time…

 

‘…I have no energy to be honest with you. Right now, I don’t want anything to do with Hip Hop.’ QBA

 

That is the level of female rapper frustration we are dealing with. The female rappers have said,

‘fuck this shit, I don’t want it anymore.’

 

Now let us get into the reasons why an artist would say,

‘I don’t want to have anything to do with my talent.’

 

Such words ONLY come from an artistic soul who has been battered, abused and unrecognised in their craft. The ONLY time an artist says such words is when their heart and spirit has been so broken, they have walked away. This is the story for MANY female rappers in South Africa.

 

Yes, we see the SAHHA organisers jumping up and down to convince us they are for women in hip hop. With only 2 female rappers in the best female category, they have failed us. I also noticed that the other females nominated are collaborating with boys, so they didn’t make it there by themselves….they needed a co-sign from the boys.

 

The SAHHA organisers create excuses as to why there is no gender equity in their production. They claim that a rapper has to have a complete project to be eligible – what they leave out is that the industry is so hostile towards females, producers do not prioritise us.

 

The producers want to work with the boys. When you as a female rapper/lyricist approach men for beats it take a very long time for them to deliver, if they even deliver. The boys have turned hip hop into a boys club.

To keep us out, they do free session work for each other and give us females their quotations.

Unless you’re pulling the half naked, sexy card, it is very difficult to get the mrappers attention.

 

Men will spend weeks on end in studios, working on music that may never even get released, but they fail to put in the same energy on our projects.

It’s like a passive aggressive sabotage thing they do.

 

Even on the stage, they will shout, scream and urge each other on….but when it’s a female rapper there is silence, pressure and an audience searching for faults.

 

Sadly, even female producers are unknown because nobody talks about them.

So tell me, in such an environment HOW are women expected to churn out projects?

 

If you see that your production is faulty, do you not instil corrective measures? The gender question has been on the table for many years in Hip Hop, if you are so pro women….why does it not show?

 

When white people had ALL the economic power, systems were created to fix the environment. There were Systems such as BEE where every company HAD TO have black people in it.

We did not say that we were spoon feeding the blacks.

We did not say we were changing the rules to suit blacks.

We knew that the situation was unfair and needed correcting. It made far better sense, to have Africans have access to economic power, instead of retaining the status quo of ONLY white power.

 

That is the situation we are dealing with right now.

It is the responsibility of these awards to create a platform which is not sexist and does not discriminate against women.

What measures have they taken to ensure the empowerment of women? Nothing. Then they have the nerve to call it the South African Hip Hop Awards. That is rubbish…..SA Hip Hop was built by women too.

 These awards are just the men patting each other on the back.

The fact still remains though….I know female rappers who are not on that nomination list, who are about 100x better than some of your nominees. Like many women in Hip Hop, I too have stopped giving AF……enjoy the sausage fest.

*shrugs

The Kind of Woman

I am not the kind of woman

to break up a home

To impose my presence

and write a story with an evil essence

I don’t hurt people

to serve my needs

I have no selfish heart to feed.

No self importance

No superiority complex

 

I am not the kind of woman

to separate a man from his children

To create storms

between loved ones

Not the kind of woman

who makes a man choose

between his lover and his seed

Causing conflict with jealousy

and greed.

 

Turning young dreams to nightmares

Tearing down any shred of self worth

Mean and vindictive

Selfish and disgusting

The ugliness you have created

is written on your face

Even the wigs and makeup don’t help.

 

I am not the kind of woman to lie and gossip

then turn around and abuse children

I don’t manipulate situations

to further my intentions

I don’t swear at children,

beat them up,

or break their spirits

I don’t think my feelings are more important

than others.

 

I am not the kind of woman

Who insists a man abandons his children

Gives ultimatums and pretends not to see

Makes a man take care of my kids

and neglect his own breed.

The kind of woman whose entrance

breaks family bonds

Makes a whole family system rot

Spreading vile energy

Superficial and cruel

 

I am not the kind of woman

Who makes women look bad….

 

But my stepmother was.

And I don’t want to be ANYTHING like her