My Opinion

Women Dress For Other Women

I had a good chuckle at when Khaya Dlanga tweeted this a while ago:

“@khayadlanga: Sorry ladies, as much as you love your bags, they do nothing to us.”

I chuckled because our dearest Khaya is under the mistaken impression that I own 30 handbags in the hopes that it will “do something” for the male populous. Silly Khaya.

Women are aware that the men in our lives will not join us in gushing over those Charlotte Olympia platform stilettos or that adorable vintage Chanel tote that we found at a bargain. They also will not care if said tote matches said shoes.

What we do know, is that you will appreciate the long legs attached to the stilettos. It doesn’t take much to impress a man; a little cleavage, a lot of leg & we get the wolf whistles & nods of appreciation. It’s too easy.

I don’t know a single guy who cares for shoulder pads, embellished dresses, leopard print cardigans or platform heels. And if he does, then as a Fag Hag my gaydar will pick up a new HBF.

The fact that I’m hunting for a white, cropped tuxedo jacket has nothing to do with that cutie at my favourite coffee shop and everything to do with the looks of envy I will get from my fellow female fashionistas.

Only she will notice subtle lace detail on my favourite mini dress or the “Rock ‘n Roll Chic” spikes on those Red Bottoms.

Dressing to impress is a competition. The prize is not the attention of the opposite sex. The prize is the girly screams followed by the “I-Love-That-Where-Did-You-Get-Its.” The prize is the feeling of one-upmanship when you can say “Oh, it’s H&M, I got it in London” knowing that the chances of her ever finding the same one as yours are slim to none.

Men, our world does not revolve around grabbing your attention, contrary to popular belief. We don’t dress for you. Women dress for other women. And anyone who says otherwise is either disillusioned or male. Likely both.

Ladies, can I get an amen?

Bizou
Ms Zanna

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I Mourn Troy Davis

Once upon a time, in a far away place, there was a world free of fraud, corruption and profiteering. Civil servants were not primarily self-serving, politicians were honest and the people put their unwaivering trust in the custodians of the judiciary. And they all lived happily ever after.

Such a world sounds like the makings of a children’s fable, a utopian world. Instead we face a dreary reality that does little to inspire hope in the very governments we elect to be our mouthpiece.

Which is why, the eternal optimist in me was moved by the story of US convict, Troy Davis.

Troy Davis was found guilty of killing Georgia policeman in 1989. Multiple appeals were rejected and his conviction stood.

What buoyed me, was that Davis had “escaped” execution on three seperate occasions. It was initially planned that he was to be executed him in July 2007 but Georgia state’s pardons board granted him a stay of execution less than 24 hours before he was to die. The US Supreme Court intervened a year later and halted the lethal injection two hours before he was to be put to death. A federal appeals court thwarted another planned execution months later.

Seven of nine key witnesses who testified at his initial trial have disputed all or parts of their testimony. And yet, Davis’ lawyers failed to convince the US Supreme Court of his innocence. The court upheld his conviction.

After winning three stays, the Georgia state pardons board rejected his application for clemency this week. He was given the lethal injection and died at 5:08am GMT+2.

This is the reality we wake up to. A reality where reasonable doubt, the very basis of criminal conviction, does nothing save an innocent man’s life. Our reality couldn’t be further removed from the “Once Upon a Time” we dream about.

I mourn. I mourn for Troy Davis. I mourn for the loss of another human life. I mourn for the death of hope.


Marsha Ambrosius “Late Nights & Early Mornings” Review

Artist: Marsha Ambrosius

Album: Late Nights & Early Mornings

Release Date: 3.1.2011

Artist: Marsha Ambrosius

Album: Late Nights & Early Mornings

Release Date: 3.1.2011

There are those pinnacle albums that are just perfect for certain situations in your life. For example, one of my favourite “Break-Up-Albums” is Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. And one of the best “I’m-Bitter-But-I-Will-Move-On-Albums” is Adele’s 21. Naturellement!

An album that will give 21 a run for it’s money in the “I’m-Bitter-But-I-Will-Move-On-Albums” genre is Marsha Ambrosius’ Late Nights & Early Morning.

Released on March 1, 2011 by J-Records & being the first Soul/R&B album to be released this year, Marsha has set a high standard for other female R&B artists.

Nearly four years after Floetry broke up, Ambrosius gives us her first solo offering with 13 songs mostly co-written by her. The overall sound is very reminiscent of 90’s R&B and the uncomplicated production allows the vocals & lyrics to be the focus.

The first single I Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player) is a vengeful, “Oh-No-He-Didn’t” anthem. And the extended version of its sorrowful follow-up single ‘Far Away’ is the one I have on repeat.

Marsha does best on her emotion-filled ballads like Your Hands and The Break-Up Song. My ultimate though, is Lose Myself which is coincidentally penned by Lauryn Hill, one of my favourite artists ever.

Marsha’s lyrics and music grasps the real and intimate moments of loving, being in love and heartbreak. Late Nights & Early Mornings is a great representation of female R&B. It combines sensuality, femininity and genuine emotion, without over-production or being overtly sexual.

If you enjoy Adele, Ambrosius’ debut album is a memorable and timeless addition to your Soul music collection. C’est incroyable & magnifique! Go get it.

Bizou

Ms Zanna


Forget Match.com Looking For Love? Logon to www.twitter.com

Match.com is an online dating company which reportedly has more than 20 million registered members. Read their testimonials and you’ll see thousands who have found love thanks to them.

And the same goes for all the other online match-making sites eHarmony, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, and SpeedDate.com.

But they need to move over because there’s a new love site in the race. Enter http://www.twitter.com

And finding love, or at the very least a friend, is as easy as 1 2 3 (4 5 6 …)

Step 1 – Sign Up

Click on the link & sign up to twitter. If you haven’t already then you need to re-think your prioroties, in life. Make sure you choose a name that is easily remember-able.

Step 2 – Pick An Avatar

You need to pick a picture that’ll be your avatar. Preferably one of yourself. Remember the picture you choose will set the tone for the type of followers you’ll attract. If your titties are all pushed up in your skimpy lingerie then don’t be surprised if you get propositioned for sexual rendezvous.

Step 3 – Follow

Start following tweeps (twitter+peeps) Twitter is not just about following celebrities & quotes. Search for people near you. You have the power in that follow/unfollow button.

Step 4 – Find a #TwitterCrush

A #TwitterCrush is just that, someone on twitter that you’re crushing on. Whether you find one based on the hotness of his/her avatar or their friendliness, find one & start crushing.

Now comes the fun part. Getting him/her to notice you.

Step 5 – Stalk

You know how on Facebook you spent hours on your crush’s profile? Inspecting all his/her wall posts. Perving over his/her pictures. Agonizing over his/her “it’s complicated” relationship status? Well same thing here on twitter, except because it’s a public timeline, it’s not so frowned upon.

You can learn quite a bit from someone’s tweets. For example, I learnt that my ex #TwitterCrush is married & that my current one lives in a different city.

Step 6 – Engage

Engage & interact with your #TwitterCrush. If he/she asks a question. Answer. Say good morning and good night. RT their quotes. Basically make yourself visible. Let your #TwitterCrush know that you exist in the twitterverse (twitter+universe.)

Step 7 – Establish a Friendship

Let him/her know that you’re not some 60 year-old paedophile with a foot fetish. (Unless you actually are.) Let them see that behind the avatar & tweets lies a real person that they might want to get to know.

If there’s chemistry you might move along to the next steps (which you will define for yourselves according to your personal parameters.) But be smart & be safe about it.

If there isn’t any chemistry, then at least you’ve made a virtual friend you can communicate with. But you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there. tweet tweet.

Bizou

Ms Zanna


Black PEE-PULL & their pronunciations STEAL make me LUFF.

I was chuckling with my BestMan the other day (not Michael, the other one. Let’s call him Kevin.) I was telling him the story about Mr BEE who hit on me.

Mr BEE. This guy was old enough to be my dad, was wearing those floral shirt with 5 collars, addressed his waiter as “eh Chief” and was married.

I was sitting at my table, alone, having lunch and writing when Mr BEE approached my me. “Eh, but beautiful woman like you should never be alone,” he said. I did the requisite “oh-stop-I’m-so-embarassed” giggle, thanked him & told him I was working and that was why I was alone. When I turned back to my computer he said, “I will not give up eh. I am determined to get your numbers.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Out loud! Not because a 40-something year old married man was hitting on me. It’s happened before. I live in Joburg, where this is (unfortunately) commonplace. I chuckled because Mr BEE was determined as in DEE-TEH-MYND.

Shock! Horror! Mr BEE speaks “black.”

I am a post 1994 baby. I started Grade 1 in 1995 and went to former Model-C schools all through my scholarly years. My schools were majority white & the black kids who went to my schools spoke like me. I guess you can say, they spoke “white.”

My family is french-speaking and for many of them English is a learned language. They have learnt to pronounce certain words as they’re supposed to. Though many of my uncles and aunts have french accents, you can hardly ever fault their pronunciation.

Which is why I’m baffled by black pronunciation. If you’ve heard it being said “properly” many times, why not adjust your pronunciation. Because you can’t go through life being DEE-TEH-MYND.

We all have different accents. That goes without saying. And for many of us English is not our mother tongue, or even our second language. I understand all that. But is it too much to ask for Mr BEE to not pronounce “purple” as PAY-PULL or to ask for a “sandwich” instead of a SANG-WITCH?
If you’re gonna learn a new language, please extend the courtesy to the English people, to learn how to speak their language properly. I know you’d be offended if the English started speaking Zulu, Sotho or Pedi all wrong, butchering your language.

Then again who am I to judge right? As a “Freedom-Baby” I tend to forget that the Freedom Fighters suffered such things as Bantu education. Who am I to poke fun?

*shrugs* This isn’t a political debate. It’s just funny. It’s still funny to me. And next time a Mr BEE comes up to me and tells me that it’s OH-VEE-US (obvious) that I am BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL (beautiful), I will chuckle. We live in a sometimes sad and depressing WELD (world) & I need to get my kicks SUMW-HAIR (somewhere.)

As You Were.

Bizou

Ms Zanna


Ladies, Is It Okay To Date Your Girl’s Ex?

Women have this unwritten rule; You can never date/hook up with your girl’s ex. It’s just not allowed. And you will be banished from womanity if you dare to.

The things we prefer are deeply ingrained within us. Whether you chocolate or vanilla ice-cream. Whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla men is often something you have no say in.

Being able to subdue and not act upon an instinct is what differentiates us from animals. You often can’t choose who you are attracted to, it’s instinctual. But you CAN choose whether or not to act on it.

If you girl is hooking up with/dating/in a relationship with a guy, then it should be obvious that he’ll be off limits. But should the same “hands off” rule apply when the ties have been severed. With women, it’s a resounding YES! With men, not so much.

Generally, men don’t seem to mind if their “homies” or one of their boys does “do the deed” with one of his past girlfriends. As long as it wasn’t a serious, I-Was-Considering-Marrying-The-Girl kind of relationship, ex-girlfriends are usually fair game.

Women, on the hand are extreme. If I dated, slept with, had a crush or hell even just spotted him first, then it’s hands off! He’s mine wench, BACK OFF!

And woe is she, who does not adhere to the no entry sign. There will be all kinds of ugliness including the requisite name-calling and rumour-spreading.

Now, I will admit, I have blindly subscribed to this rule for years. I’ve even ended friendships because this rule was broken. Like I said, it’s an unwritten rule that all women know from the moment they start noticing that boys exist. I was brainwashed into it.

But recently, I’ve been thinking; is this rule fair, or is it just plain immature? What if your ex hook-up could possibly be your girl’s future husband/greatest love? Is it right to stand in the way just because, you saw him first?

Maybe we should adopt the male philosophy of “homies over hoes.” Chicks before d*cks? What do you think? Let me know.

Bizou

Ms Zanna

Bizou

Ms Zanna


Be Informed, Get With The (News) Programme.

I was sitting at a café the other evening having dinner with a few friends. The topic of conversation moved to towards African politics and the fire situation in Ivory Coast the conversation turned into a debate on whether Gbagbo our Ouattari deserves to lead the Ivoirians and whether or not democracy has failed the people in this instance. It got rather heated.

When there was a break in the conversation, one of the girls who was sitting with us asked, “Dude, who is Ouattari guy?” To say that we were struck dumb would be an understatement. Her ignorant question got me thinking. How many other people live in state of utter oblivion?

As a child, I hated the news. I thought it was boring and depressing. It was that thing that made grown ups shush us when it was 7 o’clock. As I grew up, my palate changed, and so along with a new taste for sea food and green peppers, I now love the news. At the risk of sounding like a complete dork, I am fascinated by news and current affairs, especially African politics. I’m that girl who checks the AP, AFP and Reuters websites before she even checks her Twitter. (Okay, okay, you got me! I check the news sites while waiting for my Twitter to load. But fact is I read the news before I read my tweets.) I listen to talk radio whilst I drive in the morning and watch various news networks while I eat my supper. I am fascinated by how a situation can change in an instant and how such changes can affect ordinary civilians. By how various news networks, can have a completely different point of view from another news network, on the same story. Or how, and why, one news network will not cover a certain story at all. I’m like a pig in mud. The only things that get me more excited than news are a shoe sale at Aldo and a gorgeous male in a well-cut suit, in that order. *swoon*

But, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, news. We are often told that what we are living, future generation will study as history. And never has history been so interesting. Where were you when Ben Ali fled Tunisia? Where were you when Mubarak announced he’d step down as Egypt’s president? Where will you be when Gbagbo finally cedes power Ouattari? Or when Gaddafi either tightens his stronghold or gives up the fight?

Maybe I should ask the question, are you even aware we’re experiencing an African Revolution as we speak? Or that Sarkozy is the only western leader to have visited Japan since the earthquake and tsunami? Or that Al-Qaeda has seemingly moved their base to South America?

Never has politics, news and current affair been more exciting. Never has news been so cool. You don’t have to become a news junkie. But avoid people looking at you like you’ve grown three heads the next time you ask “There’s fighting in Libya? Wow, I didn’t know.” Pick up a news paper, tune in to CNN, Sky or Al Jazeera. And if that’s too much drama then follow some news accounts on your twitter to at least get the headlines.

It’s quite frankly embarrassing that as a young individual, you do not know what is happening in your surroundings. You just sound stupid. “Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can’t understand.” (I forgot who said that, just google it.) But I think Dame Jane Fonda says it best, “You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don’t find easy, or you can learn an awful lot very fast.” Please, please, please choose the latter.

Bizou

Ms Zanna

 


Every Grace Needs Her Will

Ladies, get you a “Best Man.”

One of my best friends in the world is a guy I will refer to as Michael from now onwards. Michael is my “Best Man.” Michael is the Will to my Grace. Except unlike Will Truman, Michael’s black. And hetero. I think a better comparison would be from Half & Half. Michael is the Spencer to my Mona.

I know that if I want to moan, I moan to my four best GIRL friends; Visoni, Latoya, Lynette & Billy. And there, I will get all the sympathy I want and even a little bashing & name-calling to relieve stress. They will make me feel justified in my anger/disappointment/sadness and I will truly feel that whole”a problem shared is a problem halved” adage. A woman cannot live without her girlfriends. They’re her free therapists, her confidants and they make life that much more fun.  My four girlfriends hold my sanity on their shoulders. And considering that the last shred of my sanity is hanging by a thread, I figure that’s a tall order.

But after a good bitch & moan, I notice that I may FEEL better, but nothing has been resolved. Nothing concrete established, no realistic ideas brought to the table, no plan of action. *sigh* My problem may be halved but I’m no closer to getting it solved.

Enter Michael. One day all four of my girlfriends were unavailable (shame on you ladies, JBS) and I decided to have a good moan with Michael. Telling him my dilemma about this “friend” with all the dramatics I could insert and just so indignant at my situation. I had hoped for a few”Oh no she didn’ts” or a couple of “SHUT UP! She wouldn’ts.” Instead, what I got from Michael was, “Confront her Suzy. Tell her what your issue is and let her know that this sh*t can’t carry on.” And then, he changed the topic. I’d come looking for a sympathy instead, I got a solution. Michael gave me a concrete plan of action, something I could do – other than just bitch & moan.

While women are wired to sympathize, men are built to solve. Give a guy who cares about you a problem and he will come up with scenarios that can help fix the situation. (SIDEBAR: I read that in Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Both are good reads, do best and get yourself a copy.)

And now when I have a problem, I’m knocking on Michael’s door. And after hearing my dilemma, he’ll give the sage advice that I need. Boyfriends get easily distracted and some of my gay friends are just as dramatic as my girls. Michael, is the perfect solution. And if my girls hold my sanity on their shoulders, then Michael hold my conscience on his. Actually he is kind of like a conscience. He’s my Jiminy Cricket. Without him, I shudder to think what could happen. He’s the Spencer to my Mona

But TRUST, my girls are not off the hook. Sometimes, I don’t want a solution, I just want to bitch and moan. Let’s be honest; sometimes, I just want to hear the sound of my own voice. *shrugs* And that’s what Visoni, Lyn, Latoya & Billy are there for.

Bizou

Ms Zanna

 


Is Sexy An Insult?

I initially thought I was just being sensitive. Now, after rationalizing it, I know I’m not.

What woman doesn’t want to be sexy? Women’s magazine articles are constantly giving us “10 New Ways To Be Sexy.” And GloMail exercise machine ads say “Buy This For Sexy Abs & Buns.”

If, as women, we’re constantly trying to attain sexiness, then why should I feel insulted when the guy at the bar says, “Hi, but I couldn’t help but notice how sexy you look tonight. Can I buy you a drink?”

Since I don’t own an actual dictionary (but in 2011, who does?) I looked up sexy on my dictionary.com app.

Sexy [sek-see] adj., sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality.

Looking up the meaning still didn’t explain why I was slightly offended by being thought of as sexy. Then I read this tweet.

“When a man calls you sexy, he’s looking at your body. When he calls you beautiful, he’s looking at you as a person, inside & out” @RealMen101

And now, here is my thought process. Sexy is generic. It’s sex appeal. To do with SEX. Any woman can throw on a short skirt and a cleavage baring blouse. Roll her hips and dip it low. And that’s sexy. She’s oozing sex, exuding sex appeal and is therefore sexy.

Beauty (please forgive le cliche) is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore it’s more personal; an individual preference. Personally, that makes it more meaningful because now I’ve caught your eye and you’d like to know if my beauty (another cliche) is only skin deep.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to be thought of as sexy. If I walk past a construction site & don’t a single wolf whistle, my ego would take a bruising.

However, when it comes to a potential suitor approaching me, don’t just tell me I’m sexy. You’re only noticing my sex appeal, letting me know you’re just in it for sex.

Now if you come up to the bar, crack a joke & I laugh. And then you say, “Your smile makes you look even more beautiful.” More than likely I’ll reply with, “Can I buy you a drink?.”

Bizou

Ms Zanna


Are You Gonna Vote In The Local Elections? Here’s Why I am.

Walking and driving around Johannesburg, I’ve seen a lot of ANC register to vote placards. I’ll put my personal political convictions and say that, regardless of the party, these placards did not interest me.

Obama made it really “cool” to vote and in the 2009 National Elections, I proudly stood in line, waiting to cast my vote. But here we are, going on two years later, and your news bulletins tells you of service delivery protests here and higher unemployment there. It makes me feel as if; my puny little vote didn’t make, even a little, difference.  If nothing changes, then why bother voting? Be it National, provincial or local elections. My vote is insignificant, it’s useless. Right?

I was standing in a queue on Friday and I struck up a conversation with three girls and a guy who were also waiting in line. The topics eventually fell into politics. We were commiserating, rolling our eyes and recounting similar stories that our parents & grandparents have told us, about how they “fought in the struggle.” We’re laughing and moaning about “how annoying they get.” One girl even said about her dad; “it’s, like, he fought, it’s over! Cant he just move?” And that’s the mentality that many of my peers have. That was history; this is reality, ON TO THE NEXT ONE!

When recounting the story to my mom, she brought up a really important point. My generation, are fortunate enough to have been educated in a post Apartheid educational system where we mixed with different races. We are privileged to have known Apartheid only in history books. These parents and grandparents lived in constant fear and oppression. Their reality was so far removed from ours. Never in our wildest nightmares, could we ever understand the horrors that the generation before us endured at the hands of the Apartheid government. Our reality of democratic freedom and human rights is something that they could have never expected to live through.

Let’s try to understand their point of view shall we? Our parents and grandparents fought so that their posterity could be able to walk through Sandton or Melrose shopping centres arm in arm with their coloured, black and white clique of friends. They fought so that we wouldn’t be forced through the second-rate, Bantu “education” that they received. They fought so that we can choose who will lead us in the presidency, so that we wouldn’t be forced to blindly accept a government that does not have our best interest in mind.  

For my generation to sit and be apathetic about something as vital as elections, must frustrate them immensely. That must be why they keep repeating their stories. They are trying to impress upon us, how great of a privilege it is, to live in Democratic South Africa. They want to remind us of something that we take for granted when we walk past “Register to Vote” placards.

I’m sick and tired of poor service delivery in my community and the fact that, no one in my town knows who our mayor is or what he does. My neighbourhood needs a change, and I know many of my neighbours think so too. Instead of complaining, I’m going to register to vote on 5-6 March and hope that my vote will create a stir. Maybe it won’t change the current leadership, but maybe if they see that their losing support, they could address our grievances better. Who knows? Either way, I am registering so that I can vote in the upcoming local elections because I’m a firm believer that complaining is like slapping yourself for slapping yourself. It doesn’t accomplish anything, it just hurts more.

On a final note, my parents did not fight in the struggle. My Mommy and Daddy are immigrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Zaire.) I am South African by naturalisation. I think it’s ironic that the country of my birth is the “democratic” Republic when the reality is far from democracy. People there, and all over Africa, fight daily for the freedoms to choose who will lead them. Africans – Egyptians, Libyans, Zimbabweans, Ivoirians, Congolese and Tunisians – are fighting to realise, in their own countries, what we in South Africa achieved almost 17 years ago. The best solidarity I can show my African brothers and sisters is to vote, because I can.  Vote, because we can. Oh yes, (forgive me, but I couldn’t resist) YES WE CAN!

Bizou

Miss Zanna