We are in the process of remembering who we are. That’s why time has sped up and we feel like it’s all so familiar but we can’t quite put our finger on it.
I went to my grandmother’s home to reconnect with her, even though she passed on a few years ago. I had been feeling like everything was compounding until I found myself just WOOSA! And let it all flow. I allowed myself to listen with my heart because I could feel that my head is just a hive of activity. Bouncing back and forth from implementing solutions and thinking of other aspects of my life to find solutions for.
This busy-ness had split into my work life; my personal life; and even my relationship with myself. In knowing, feeling and sensing that we have less time than we used to, I filled it up with more things to do instead of listening to what I want to do – That which is in line with the wish and will of my soul.
As I have journeyed through life I have noticed that there are various turning points that I have been through, and it’s at these junctures that I have made life changing decisions. It’s also at these junctures that I realise that – inasmuch as a lot has changed – so much has stayed the same.
I had been thinking of life over the past 3 years. How it was while I was sitting in my home up on a mountain that I felt the need to do more than just focus on putting bread on the table and climbing up the corporate ladder.
The flame in me has been burning more and more and eager to just be in a state of complete beingness.
So while out in the beautiful countryside at my grandmother’s home recently, I felt this beautiful fullness envelop ALL of me. It felt like this is what is meant when we say, ” my cup over floweth”. I was filled with such love. My grandmother passed away some years ago. As I go to Gogo’s home I remember that as I went through a major turning point and she wasn’t there, it was her brothers and sisters that I connected with, before I journeyed into the new chapter of my life that awaited me.
In my culture when you are hosting a big life event, you invite your family from your maternal and paternal side. Since this particular event was being held in honour of my life choices, it is my grandmother on my paternal side whose siblings I visited to let them know what it is planned in terms of the side of the family that customarily contributes towards such traditional events. During these visits, my Gogo’s pledged what they would be contributing in the form of mielie meal to make the pap and the traditional brew, as well as who would brew and carry out cultural practices.
I was much younger then, and not so sure of myself, but I remember that as I traveled along the mountain side visiting each of them, I felt my Gogo’s presence, and I felt like it’s okay. Gogo is with me. I had a yearning in my heart for her, but because I am my mother and father’s child, and my Gogo’s granddaughter, I forged ahead.
I recall feeling love as I went from Ngwenya household to household. Meeting my Gogo’s, and hearing all of the amazing stories about my Gogo and my father. I knew that if anything, I was there because it was the beginning of my process of remembering my ancestors through my father, as well as my ancestors through my grandmother – the Khathwane’s and the Ngwenya’s.
So in recent times as I journeyed back to the countryside, I found myself taking the same steps I did when I went there to greet and ask my grandmother’s siblings for the blessings and support for my life changing event. I had taken a wheelchair to one of the only two surviving Gogo’s and as I crossed the Mbuluzi river that takes me to where my Gogo’s people are – I felt this strong sense of coming home. I felt full and this time not from an empty place as I had the previous time. But from a full place of being complete in the knowledge that I am Me, with all of my beauty and flaws.
As I journeyed on the mountains and I spent time with my Gogo’s people I remembered what an amazing herbalist my Gogo had been. I remembered how she was always using indigenous knowledge systems to get fires burning in no time; to the kind of livestock that she kept that had an interrelationship with the other life forms in the ecosystem to always ensure that the balance was kept and none suffered or was more dominant over the other. Gogo had all these systems that made life in the countryside so awesome, even during the times when there was no electricity and water flowing through taps.
We grew up swimming in the Mbuluzi river and fetching our drinking water from the same river. We learned all sorts of remedies for different things. Our Gogo had a general dealer store, so entrepreneurship runs through our blood. And because Gogo was a herbalist, she knew how to make herbal tinctures to make us feel better or to keep us healthy as a preventative measure. So as I journeyed to the hills where the Ngwenya’s come from, I was reminded of this indigenous knowledge and I see it reflected in my life choices as well as those of my sisters.
As I visited my Gogo who is a male, I called my mother so she could say hi. It was so awesome listening to my mother and the man who grew up as a brother to my father laugh and chat. Obviously the conversation turned to ailments and as they did the process of elimination of communicable diseases that are prevalent on our continent and globally, my mother said to my Gogo, if only we still had access to the Ngwenya herbal tinctures we would not be having these ailments. As my mother asked my Gogo if he still knows how to make the herbal tinctures my Gogo said that’s the way they have maintained their good health throughout life – and I must say the man looks good and strong for his age.
As I bid my Gogo farewell and he asked me if I was well and being valued, I was able to say from the core of my heart, that I am being valued in every sphere of my life. I realised that I can unequivocally say that I am being valued . I can say this because in the journey between the last time I journeyed there, I have learnt self love and that has informed the way that I relate with those around me and it has brought out a greater love in all of my relationships starting with the one that I have with myself.
As I visited my second Gogo and she reminded me between fits of giggles of how she used to travel to us at our parents home when we were younger and used an indigenous health detox method on us. I laughed because the memory was fresh in my mind but I could not recall who was the person who used to “clean” our tum-tum’s. Needless to say it all came together that day. That the memory has been there so it could be triggered in that moment back to existence.
As I left having brought her some gifts from my sister and I, including the hair and body products that my Gogo inspired my sister to make, I realised that it is back upon these very mountains that my process of remembering will move onto the next phase. I am already all about herbs and nutrition. I am already all about appropriate technologies. I am all about self-awareness and the process of us knowing that we are of God and we are love and light. We are energy beings having a physical experience and in all of that we end up forgetting who we are because we go through life troubleshooting, fixing, solving, falling and we take very little time to go within and listen with our hearts.
So what is my heart telling me? My heart is telling me that I have always known who I am. That is why even the line of work I find myself doing spills over into this awesome foundation that I have had from my maternal and paternal side. When I look at the Rooted Kusasa Brand and how its 7 projects feed into each other completing a loop like an infinity sign I realise that this is just the beginning of an amazing process of unraveling.
The healing space is so broad because it’s a process of going within.
And as Sunrise Academy partners with Girlboss to bring you The Sebenza Girl – Goal-setting through Youth Unemployment Campaign, I realise it’s just the spirit of who I am manifesting in this three dimensional experience called life. Our grandmother was able to set up a living system in the land of her people when life was throwing curve balls and in doing this, she assisted all of us her grandchildren, to learn the spirit of adapting and collaboration.
So as I journeyed on the mountains recently I realised that it was the process of me reclaiming aspects of me that have been sleeping. The stories and hair care remedies that my Gogo told us inspired my sister to start an amazing hair care range called AfroBotanics. My Gogo’s spirit of Community inspires my creativity in terms of bringing our business concepts, our ambitions and our goals into collaboration with brands starting with those in our ecosystem.
Through Rooted Wellness Lighthouse I have maintained a connection to the side of me that has always wanted to learn more about herbs and their healing and wellness benefits. Through Rooted Organics we get to prioritise nutrition and wellness through the products we develop from our permaculture garden. Through Rooted Harvest we get to explore and learn together in the culinary space as part of making nutrition a lifestyle. Through the Sunrise Academy we are able to collaborate with other brands such as GirlBoss and AfroBotanics – My own Kind Of Beautiful. Through Uhuru Concepts we are able to be the wind beneath our wings to take what we produce as individuals, that are part of the collective ecosystem, that we are part of so that while we maintain brand autonomy we are able to use our resources to further all of the work that we are doing.
So as I have journeyed back to innocence. Back to my roots, I realise that information is there. Has always been there. I just got distracted going through life and now that I am able to silence the voices in my head and allow for my heart to experience. To listen. To dream. To achieve. To believe. I am finding that I am reclaiming more of myself as I become more in awe of my Own Kind Of beautiful – It is that very driving force within me that brings the energy of Rooted Kusasa in all the work that I do, because we are rooted while the Sun is Rising and our Foundation is good. It’s strong, it’s solid because it’s borne of knowing who we are.
So in everything that I do, I know who I am, because I am my own kind of beautiful.
DATE: 7 December 2020
TIME: 14h00 – 17h00
If there is one thing that the global pandemic has shown us is how fragile our economy is and how much we rely on inputs from outside the country, mostly China, for most consumer goods. The pandemic has also presented an opportunity to bring manufacturing back to South Africa and Africa to protect against unforeseen shocks and also to build resilient, equitable economies.
Other events in 2020 also highlighted the need for broad-based participation in the economy, especially manufacturing, which would see more black-owned businesses supplying retailers and wholesalers.
This online conference seeks to ensure that all aspiring entrepreneurs have a better understanding of how the retail landscape in South Africa works, which route to market best suits their vision for themselves and their brand and how they can build sustainable, job creating businesses. Building a healthy, growing, resilient and equitable economy is all of our business.
- The retail landscape in South Africa
- Understanding basics required to list in retail
- Understanding pricing and basic trading terms
- Funding once listed in retail chain
- Small business in retail success stories
- How to get your product flying off shelves
- Sectoral gaps and opportunities for SA manufactured goods
How to certify you agro-processing or food product for retail