i have a constant reminder on my wrist, is’phandla, of how fortunate i am to be part of family that embraces culture. i remember my father telling me that when the time came, there would be a huge coming of age ceremony in my honour. i must have been about 12 years old the first time he said that. At the time, the only thing i knew about cultural rituals was that there would be a whole lot of people at my house and that we’d have to clean up when everyone was gone. That thought didn’t excite me very much. i didn’t really understand the significance of staying connected to your roots nor did i realize the depths of the different meanings behind it all. That could have easily been a matter of being too young but even as i got older, the only thing that changed was that i could at least muster the energy to participate – only because it was something that had to be done. That’s probably been my approach to almost everything in life – with the exception of the ceremony where i would graduate from being a child to a young woman. The huge event that would take place in my honour which my father had committed to from the time i was about 12 years old. My father passed away months before that event would take place three years ago. Things stopped going my way, i was failing in school and i was losing consciousness of who i was. i wasn’t making long term goals because there was a possibility that i might not accomplish them. i might have been depressed but i never actually confirmed that. What i know is that subconsciously, i thought everything would fall into place the day i had my coming of age ceremony. i would cement my foundation and move onto bigger things. My mother held a ceremony in my honour last year. That day, in the presence of my friends, family and my father’s spirit, i graduated from being a child to being a young woman with responsibilities. Eleven months later, the reminder is still on my wrists. On the surface, it seemed that life was making more sense because the ceremony had finally taken place but I’m starting to realize that it’s because it made me conscious of myself. Now i have a constant reminder on my wrist of how far I still have to go.
Ladonna will be running a series where she interacts with people in the street with the aim of not only creating awareness of the entire community’s issues but also opening people’s eyes on individual issues. Awakening the individual to self consciousness. Follow q_p street for a personal walk-through.
The “i” small cap is a conscious imagery of not being bigger than the group.. The Cartesian principle is “I think therefore I am.” In Afrika we say,”I am because we are and since we are, therefore I am.”