Piece Offering: Some Common Sense for the ANCYL…And A Word On Sponsorship & Branding

Funny I didn’t hear the ANC Youth League’s complaints about corporate sponsorships bestowed on many of our black celebrities. The Bonang Mathebas, Liras, Minnie Dlaminis, HHPs of this world-the list is endless. Frankly I would have a fit if they attempted to do that.

I was mildly shocked when a weekend newspaper reported that one of the most pressing issues on the ANCYL’s agenda in the past week was Oscar Pistorius’ obvious wealth. They questioned why he, a white male, received so much sponsorship from big corporations while the rest of the athletes with just as much ability are being overlooked. No, in fact, rephrase: The burning question was how Pistorius could be swimming in all his millions while black athletes are wallowing somewhere praying for sponsorship manna from heaven.

I’m just grateful that the ANCYL does not speak for me. No, thank you I can speak for myself. I certainly will not let a bunch of novices claim to speak on behalf of myself nor any other self-respecting youth about things they know nothing about. My initial reaction to the report was one of surprise at the utter misuse and abuse of race politics in South Africa. When a group of “youth” is not sure how they fit into the grand scheme of things in the country and, in particular, what their responsibility is towards the youth in general- it is easy for them to assume that muttering nonsense is the way to go.

Some of us clever blacks ala Jacob Zuma were clearly misinformed that the era of empty vessels ended with Julius Malema’s demise! So evidently I’m still not sure why the League does not lambast the countless opportunities afforded to our notable schlebs. Is the term “youth” mutually exclusive in our midst?

Now, let’s explore why some people don’t even have to canvass corporate for sponsorship. The first thing that came to mind was the word INFLUENCE; that is, how a particular person could use their social standing to increase awareness about a certain brand. This naturally equates to increased market share for the latter. At this point, this is just common senses rushing in-nothing has been researched yet- but we can attempt to draft something that the ANCYL may, in the basic terms understand.

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Secondly, to the best of my knowledge sponsors need to identify an individual who fits into the brand’s vision and goals. It is much easier for a corporate to sponsor someone who embodies that and can carry it through without much effort; as if it is second nature. Qualities such as competitiveness, presence, determination, resilience, strength and positivity are but some of the reasons why some individuals continue to reap the rewards of sponsorship heaven. In essence, it is a give and take-you scratch my back, I scratch yours- relationship where both parties benefit.

Corporate sponsorship “is an effective means of advertising for many organizations, because it promotes goodwill. Companies are more likely to spend large amounts of money sponsoring highly publicized events [and people] due to the amount of publicity that can be generated and the opportunity to be affiliated with a good cause or popular event”- Angela Stringfellow-

Therefore in all likelihood when one does not command the necessary presence (read: attention), sponsors won’t bite. There you go ANCYL! Now what do you make of that? Yet again the League has missed another important lesson (not just for failing to indicate their stance on the deteriorating state of education) in remembering that everything comes at a price. They certainly ignored the fact that Pistorius’ relationship with his sponsors came to a grand halt pending the outcome of his court case. Even then the relationship may not continue. Dear ANCYL, I have a dream…A dream that one day a school will open to cater for those with lack of…:-)

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Sexual Liberation?…We’ve Been Having IT!

I grew up listening to old music. At 14 I was standing in front of the wall unit in our house wailing to Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing. As much as the old folks would like us to believe that raunchy and steamy lyrics are a Born-Frees’ (post-1994) phenomenon, they are clearly lying through their teeth.

Anyway, one of the songs that I also used to listen to-and still do- is Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to do With It”. My immature ears obviously gave me the impression that because she was a battered and abused woman in her lifetime, the song was a direct response to that. In the most literal sense it made sense.

Of course the song catapulted the old lady with the VaVa Voom legs into the stratosphere releasing her from the Ike & Tina curse. I recently found myself listening to the song with unusual intent to the lyrics of the song and my adult ears heard something completely different, something that sent little shivers down my spine.

It’s intriguing that in the early ‘90s women already sang about sexual liberation, about the distancing of the emotional from the physical. Well, after a little digging I found that the sexual revolution actually started in the ‘70s where sexual enlightenment saw intercourse going “from being a culminating act of committed love to being a pre-condition, a tryout, for future emotional involvement”. –Danielle Crittenden

Perhaps due to very little documentation then, the phenomenon appeared to not have been as rampant as it is today in the advent of social media. Maybe the difference is that the older generation was a little more subtle and ‘dignified’ in their sexual exploits? There certainly was no way to tweet or update a status somewhere to a hundred people stating, “Ohhh…last night was the BOMB!”

Critics from various spheres point out that because at some point in their existence women want to be identified as someone’s significant other then the desire to have their cake and eat it is simply illusory. No, we are just kidding ourselves they say. Don’t men also want to be married and belong somewhere? I’m just saying that no strings attached sex, like everything else in life is subjective; purely dependent on the individual.

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They say that practice makes perfect, I certainly think that given enough opportunity and platform women can just as well master the no-strings attached relationship. With enough trial and error…how hard can it possibly be? Why do you think men are deemed the rightful owners of the emotionless shag? Of course they are free to roam; they don’t have constant derogatory rhetoric thrown their direction often. I’m not advocating loose transgressions, that is purely a personal choice but I certainly can’t say that all women in this day and age are holding their breaths waiting for prince charming on the horizon.

I completely agree with the opinion that sexual liberation does not equate to sexual equality as put out by Danielle Crittenden in her article titled “The Sex Trap: Why Women Should Never Say Yes Before Marriage” because of the negative perceptions and attitudes towards women who don’t give casual sex second thought. The reality is that a man who gets to have your cake and eat without even lifting a finger is likely not to stay for seconds. If he does, then you will probably remain just that…seconds.

There are certainly more odds stacked against the fairer sex in the game of nookie, some of us have learnt the hard way. Babies, expectations, et cetera.

While society in the 1970s was somewhat cohesive and grounded, that much cannot be said about the nature of society today. Fluidity has permeated every sphere of life. Therefore it is rather naive of critics to expect a back track to the 70s to honour the NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE tenet when waiting no longer guarantees marriage and vice versa.  Therefore I reckon the only remedy is responsibility in large doses.

Perhaps the greatest threat to come out of the sexual revolution is that women would now act like men as feared by the latter. But what the sexual revolution really did was allow women to claim control over their own sexual and reproductive rights. We can’t completely trust men to decipher how, how often and when we want it, you know?

CHEERS TO THE LOVELY BLOG NOMINATION!!

Well, well, well Ms Amanda Wood of journeyofmixedemotions.com has really done it this time.  Motivating why I deserve to be nominated and subsequently bestowed with the honour of this award is truly humbling. I’m reminded of standing in podiums years ago faced with a sea of eyes all waiting to hear what I had to say. My knees always went jelly. That prepared me so well for this!

Amanda, you are one of the souls who make blogging a worthwhile experience. I appreciate that. Kea leboga!

So, taking my cue from her;

The rules are simple ♦:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you,
  • To share seven things about you
  • To nominate up to 15 bloggers.

7 Things About Me

  • I’m ambidextrous. While I was born left-handed, my mum beat this out of me and taught me how to use my right hand- I write with my right hand, but shame I do all other things with my left.
  • I’m fiercely curious and live in my head a lot.
  • I prefer writing to talking. I get tongue tied a lot especially when I speak my native seTswana.
  • I’ve got a bad burping habit. I’m talking about the type that will get me booted out of prim and proper dinners. I think the three years of unemployment really made me loose. LOL! I still think it’s gross…OK?
  • I’m not good at small talk; I totally suck at it-either I go the whole nine yards into a conversation or I don’t.
  • I used to be an introvert growing up. I’m still one-when it suits me. But the extrovert has totally taken over.
  • I talk- and sing- in my sleep

Nominees:

  • Tearmatt      – I probably shouldn’t even be reading this one because it’s so macho, but      who says you can’t try and understand men? Thought provoking.
  • Left at      the Lights- a fierce feminist; always on point.
  • Raggamuffinsgospelfan-      Very underrated, and he doesn’t care.
  • Cribbings-      Young, witty and incisive.
  • AddGrainOnEarth-      I like Sydney’s pictorials on Singaporean landscapes…awesome!
  • 400      Days ‘til 40- Education is one thing I really treasure and I’m fascinated      by this lady’s musings and commentary on the state of education in the U.S
  • The      Goddess Academy Blog-Ms Msimango, your WOW!ness is awe inspiring!

 

When Anger Erodes All Sensibility

I can safely say that the past few months have been a period of observation of human nature; of the things that the people do when they assume nobody is watching. Things they do when they simply couldn’t care less who is watching. Consequently, I have learnt more about myself through observing than I have while gazing at my reflection in the mirror.

It is certainly a far cry from the 2.5 years I spent at home unemployed-almost to the point of talking to the plants in the garden, and to that damn chatterbox in my mirror. Okay, that’s not entirely true! These days I spend most of my time in transit, hopping from one taxi to the other- perhaps I should have called the blog “Taxi Chronicles” or something to that effect. So by now you know I will gooi in yet another anecdote, right? J

An incident on my way from work two weeks ago really got me thinking hard about a lot of things-about anger, tolerance, sexism, chauvinism and the general behaviour of individuals when they feel they have been backed into a corner. The outcome can be drawn from perceived or real threats.

We know that taxi drivers are nothing but road sluts. If they had their way, they would occupy all the lanes on the road while everyone sticks to the pavements. That’s how one motorist’s car was slightly bumped and scratched after our driver tried to force his jalopy into another lane. The other motorist, a middle-aged woman was understandably seething after her Compressor was bumped and did not hesitate to give the driver several pieces of her mind; this, while he tried to put on a lame case about why the incident occurred in the first place.

He finally rescinded and admitted his mistake, quite respectfully. What stuns me to this very moment is the reaction from fellow passengers –during and in the aftermath of the incident. While others staged a walk-out and demanded a refund from the driver (sensible move), others took the opportunity to throw unwarranted chauvinistic slurs at the woman. A man brazenly wearing a ZCC badge ranted about how women want to be bosses at work…and at home. He went on to lambast the fact that she drives an expensive car and blah blah blah. The rest of the bile really should not receive any more attention on these pages.

Another, a woman who had sat quietly next to the driver also took a jab at the motorist by saying that the latter should have moved for the taxi driver when he asked her to and bemoaned the fact that she was now late for whatever appointment at that stage. She went to the extent of cursing the motorist using religious rhetoric! Hang on, did I miss something here?!

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While I’m glad that the motorist refused to be dragged to such lows, I had to wonder if South Africans are really such generally pissed off sods. It seems there is a lot of anger brewing in all sorts of corners; a general discontent that is potentially damaging owing to the fact that it is detonated by the smallest provocation.

I resolved quietly that there are, firstly, class dynamics at play. A lot of tension remains between the haves and have not’s, particularly emanating from the latter who probably feel that they are excluded from the means of production and therefore the accrual benefits. Secondly, power: i deduced that the man in the badge was either a chauvinist pig or stuck in a patriarchal mindset that assumes that women need to be seen and not heard: Therefore obviously threatened by a woman who holds her own. Thankfully, not every man in the taxi agreed with him. Thirdly, the level of tolerance in our society is dismal to say the least.

And yet I do have to wonder why black women hate each other this much. I’m not a feminist, let’s get that clear. I am an equalitarian. Therefore I believe that opportunity should be afforded EQUALLY to the best possible person. The manner in which black women treat each other is simply astounding. Then watch as we turn around and expect men to treat us like creatures who can rub two brain cells together!!! In any situation where people resort to character assassination and insults to advance their argument then it becomes petty and worse-fatal.

I will be frank: The problem with the bulk of my fellow South Africans is our entitlement complex. We own anger and intolerance which we unwittingly target at people who work hard, people who strive for personal development and achievement. We look at ourselves and disgusted by our own short comings, lay the blame at other people’s feet.  Alas, I feel privileged to be able to mix with people from different corners of this beautiful country because only when you step into people shoes can you truly gain perspective.