Category Archives: You don’t say!

To Velfie … or not?

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Velcome to the vicarious vorld of the velfie

People will believe anything! How many times have you heard somebody speak arrant nonsense with absolute conviction? Often, I am sure. How many times have you called for an explanation or a source and heard the reply, “But it was on the TV/in Die Son”? 

Astonishingly, in our era of information overload, people seem to become less and less informed. Access to more and more information seems to be the death of actual knowledge. Because I can get hold of information, I don’t have to retain it, digest it, discern the truth and nuances in it, test it for validity or ground it in real experience = in other words, make it my own in a way that makes me a wiser or more insightful person. More is considered to be better and depth is a waste of time.

Download culture

The German Dubsmash website claims it has 50 million downloads in 192 countries. The success of smart phone apps phenomena sweeps across the globe. But whether it is a blessing or an illness of our times remains to be seen. Unlike the static selfie, the velfie craze, an Indian invention, claims that it is more social because it can speak emotions, has a pause-play feature and subtitles. In its short life it has had 200 000 downloads in 140 countries. This removed and virtual interaction is a far cry from real social connection. A face-to-face conversation requires engagement with another soul in physical and emotional circumstances that impact on the contact in ways that force one to have courage and empathy, or reveal the lack thereof. Deception of the self or the other is more difficult. But in cyber reality fake is fashion.

Who embraced it and to what purpose?

Bollywood film industry stars post videos of old movie classics lip-synced onto their own faces. Sport stars strip the clothes off their false tans and photo-shopped bodies for their fans. Anybody can now be seen and heard to sing a hit song. Politicians can speak ‘directly’ to their electorate, infusing whatever promise they make with ready-made ‘sincerity’.

The velfie lends itself to shallow consumer values, but has far worse potential. Entertaining it may be, but is it real? How many people that use it have the discernment to separate it from truth? Imagine the politicians that will be elected on the false promises made in this way, the terrorists recruited by convincing megalomaniacs, the children seduced by perverts. Because it is a global craze does not mean it does not pose a global threat.

The velfie is a powerful tool. Be awake. Take care to use it wisely.

Nkandla and the Views of the Opposition

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Nkandla – Angry opposition

After the release of the Nkandla report by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, it was clear that a large proportion of the nation was angry and unimpressed by the report’s findings. The finding that president Zuma need not pay back the money spent on Nkandla was definitely not what the opposition parties or the nation wanted to hear.

The Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane said that the “President is sending a clear message that corruption does not matter and that he should be above the law” the DA further branded the report a “whitewash” and an “insult to the South African people”. Party leader Maimane said that “The DA will not allow the President to get away with the theft of public funds … We have, therefore, referred the matter to our legal team for the consideration of the rationale of Minister Nhleko’s determination, and our constitutional and legal remedies.”

It was not only the DA who made themselves heard. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said that the party will still continue with their “pay back the money” campaign. They also stated that they would go to court if necessary and that they won’t rest “until Zuma pays back some portion of the money” spent on Nkandla.

Other political parties, like the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), also voiced shock at Nhleko’s report. Kenneth Meshoe is quoted as saying: “I am shocked that the minister of police has found that President Zuma does not have to repay a thing for the additional upgrades at his Nkandla residence”.

Unsurprisingly, the ruling party welcomed the report about Nkandla by the Police Minister. In the report it was also made clear that even more upgrades would be forthcoming, which are said to include motion detector beams and camera monitors with recording capabilities.

Whatever the next steps of the various opposition parties are going to be, it is clear that we have not yet reached the conclusion of the Nkandla and “fire pool” saga. Many citizens hope that this report by the Police Minister will not be the final word on the subject, and welcome the parties taking steps against it.


Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

Is Luck Overrated?

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What do you mean by “Luck”?

We often wish someone “good luck” in their various endeavours. By this we mean to wish them to be successful in whatever they are about to do. However, if you ask whether luck is overrated, you need to first ask yourself what exactly it is you mean by “luck”. Often the same people who wished someone luck will be angry or jealous when they do reach their goals or are successful. As if wishing them luck is simply pretence and you really wish that they’d fail.

Many will then, out of jealousy, try to break the lucky/successful person down – even spreading lies and rumours to say that the person doesn’t actually deserve their success or didn’t work for it. As if you should have the last say about a person’s success or failure. You want to act as if anyone could reach that level of success if you only took the same shortcut the lucky person got to take. You wish to have “instant success”, not “success you deserve after all the work you’ve put into it behind the scenes”.

Who, after all, wouldn’t want instant success without having to have put hours into reaching that success and be the lucky one who made it? The various inspirational quotes which are sent around each day certainly contribute to this as well. It makes me think of a quote in Wee Free Men by T. Pratchett: “If you trust in yourself… and believe in your dreams… and follow your star… you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy”. We all want the luck to be instantly successful, but few are willing to really put the work into what they want to achieve.

We’ve turned luck into a mythological force that chooses random people to become successful overnight – a force that is just too spiteful to choose me and instead chooses them. But waiting for luck to come your way and fulfil your desires is like wanting to be a successful artist/photographer/CEO/athlete or whatever your goal is, by sitting in a corner doing nothing and waiting for someone to come and ask you out of the blue to suddenly be one of these things. Working towards being lucky, however, means working at it every moment that you can and looking for ways in which you can take your skills further.

Instead of not wishing someone good luck/success, we should rather let go of the petty jealousies we want to hold against each other and work towards our own success. After all, if you know how much work someone else has put into reaching their goals, you should be proud of them, not angry and jealous of them. Rather learn from them than break them down.


Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

Pursue your own economy

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Why create your own economy?

What is hindering you from actively pursuing your own economy? With living costs seemingly skyrocketing out of control and the world still largely suffering from post-2008 financial blues, most of us are considering ways to up our incomes. Wishing for additional revenue and actually doing what needs to be done to earn extra income are two separate things. Do you have what it takes to roll up your sleeves and take charge of your own economy?

Hesitant to go solo?

You may regard stepping out into the unknown and taking chances as risky behaviour. You may fear failure and don’t want to put what little security you have on the line. Going solo and investing your talent, skills or money into a project you hope people will want to invest in, can be quite daunting. What if things don’t work out? What if you find yourself to be way over your head with no idea how to get out of troubled waters?

Stop! Such thinking will get you nowhere. It’ll only gnaw away at your self-confidence and drain your energy. You’ll convince yourself you’re a loser before you’ve even attempted to test your business idea and you’ll end up throwing money after projects you don’t believe in.

Co-create for success

The revolutionary Indivineur Program by Willem Gous takes all the anxiety out of going solo and risking hard-earned capital. It embraces a very low, minimum risk strategy and encourages co-creation. Individuals share their resources and know-how to explore various business concepts and ideas. Best of all, Indivineurship teaches you to recognize and utilize that which you’re already successfully applying in your life, thus minimizing risk.

Take charge of your own economy and refuse to be a victim of the economy. Take control of your financial future and claim the financially free life you and your family deserve. Pursue a future of financial stability today.


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Memories of childhood – Easter Holidays

Easter always seemed to coincide with the end of the grape harvest, but whether that is factually true I do not know. Memories are always a conglomerate of what really was and how we would have liked things to be. Sometimes we delete things that were unbearably embarrassing or painful, and we contract several experiences into one to ‘package’ it into a manageable format. In the setting for many of my childhood memories, we seemed to have gallon tins with screw tops full of ‘moskonfyt’, a product from somewhere in the wine making process. Come Easter Time this would be baked into the most delicious sweet bread, ‘mosbolletjies’ . Sometimes it would have aniseed in it but around the end of harvest it would incorporate raisins, signifying the bounty that lasted from one season to the next. These would be soaked in hanepoot wine before being kneaded into the dough. Then fresh grapes (symbol of the current season’s blessing) would be placed on top of the bread just before it went into the oven. The European tradition of Hot Cross Buns for Easter, emerged very late in my childhood.

Bunnies and shining wrapping

How wonderful is childhood, when one utterly believes a benevolent bunny, carrying a basket of chocolate eggs wrapped in the most richly coloured golden and silver paper, knows of one’s existence and bothers to deliver a treat especially. I remember a weekend with family on a farm.  They had a storybook grandfather ( …. he actually wore yellow braces with a bright blue pattern of polka dots, to keep his trousers up as no belt could fit around his barrel tummy). We were all having milky tea and ‘mosbeskuit’ at the kitchen table, when suddenly this grandfather swore (an unusual and excitingly shocking occurrence), grabbed the bowl of lemons on the sideboard, and started forcefully hurling them over the closed bottom half of the stable door, loudly proclaiming that the blasted bunny is bl— eating his spinach in the vegetable garden outside the kitchen again. Needless to say by the time we had opened the door and rushed outside, the rascally rabbit was long gone, but amongst the carrots and parsley, the runner bean trellises and spinach, we found Easter eggs. No jewels could have been more precious.

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway is a playwright, poet, speech writer, translator and editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.


Proud to live in South Africa

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We are very lucky to be living in South Africa

 Lucky to be living in South Africa? “What the …!” I hear you say. “Just look at the news, read the papers, look around you, for goodness’ sake! It’s mayhem, corruption, murder and economic collapse everywhere!” you rant.

 OK, it is true that South Africa experiences many problems. There are incompetent leaders and many inert civil servants, there is crime and employment is a big problem. Yet, there are also many things that can justifiably make you proud of living in South Africa. Just forget about the negative issues for the moment, and think about the positive.

We have the Mandela legacy

 Nelson Mandela left each and every South African a priceless legacy. He serves as an example of what can be achieved. No other country in the world boasts such a powerful legacy by a man that will forever remain a giant in the eyes of the world. If everybody strives to follow this example, South Africa will become a giant amongst nations. We are lucky to have received such a generous legacy.

We have unparalleled beauty

 Every country has beauty, but none can  surpass the all-encompassing variety that South Africa has. We have spectacular nature reserves and is home to the biggest variety of fauna and flora in the world. We have magnificent beaches, sunshine all year round, majestic mountains and mysterious forests. South Africa is the cradle of mankind and boasts one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We are lucky to live here!

We are free

 The Constitution of South Africa grants all citizens a level of freedom that is the envy of people living in most  other countries. Just look at how successful civil organisations have been in challenging the government in court. Their successes mean that the system works! We are free to be whoever we are, to associate with whomever we will, to worship in the way we choose to and to marry whomever we want, even someone of the same gender! Yes, we are lucky to be free in South Africa.

So, stop a minute and count your blessings

 These are just three reasons why we are lucky to be living in South Africa. There are many more. Perhaps things will be better if we count our blessings instead of complaining all the time.

How to fake it till you make it

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RELAX: You ARE making it while you’re faking it.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

-William Shakespeare- 

What’s so bad about faking it? Doesn’t everybody? I always flagellated myself for being a fake, until I realised everybody is. Just because I have a big mouth doesn’t mean I am not shivering in my boots, but there is no confessional imperative to ‘fess up all the time. You’ve got to start somewhere, and it is in the doing that one learns to do. Nobody can do everything immediately without actually doing it. A million qualifications do not guarantee ability. Experience is the best teacher. All the clichés apply here.

Even wise Aristotle said, “Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. You become just by performing just actions. You become temperate by performing temperate actions. You become brave by performing brave actions.” 


  • Let go of any morality surrounding the false presentation of yourself.
  • Be aware that your money blueprint is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.
  • Believe that you already are the person you wish to be.
  • Know that all power exists in our thoughts.
  • Act optimistic and wealthy. Reality aligns with that – riches and positive things will manifest.
  • Affirm by using positive words about yourself.


Very few people feel courageous all the time, but pretend to be the person you do not have the courage to be, and the surface reality will become true.

Wikipedia even has a definition for ‘fake it till you make it’:

Imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success,

it will generate confidence.

So just get on with it, and before you know it you are no longer faking it, but making it!      

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Author: The author is a playwright, poet, speech writer, translator and editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.




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 Love your Funny Valentine

“Laughter flows where my lovely one goes”

Life is cussed. Things often do not work out the way we imagine. It is often hard for the romantics among us to accept that there is a gap between reality and our dreams. With maturity comes the insight to accept what we cannot perfect. The risk is that one can become cynical if one has too many disappointments. Do NOT let that happen!

The gift of humour

My favourite Valentine’s Day story started off badly but ended well. The participants both had a sense of humour and a gift for having a good time. To this day they share much laughter, and can see humour in many situations that would spoil times … and eventually relationships, for other people.

A friend met her husband while they were both on a flight from Europe to New Zealand.  It happened to be Valentine’s Day and the airline served complimentary champagne to everybody. She started chatting to the Greek gentleman who was seated next to her, who confessed that it was also his birthday. She asked him what he did, what his career was, and whether he was traveling for work or pleasure. He said that he owned a sheep, and was on his way to New Zealand because he wanted to buy another sheep. She thought that he was a poor man, a struggling sheep farmer who owned only one animal, desperately wanting to get hold of another one with a good pedigree, traveling alone on his birthday. She generously ordered the most expensive bottle of champagne they had on board, and toasted him. They exchanged addresses and before she knew what had hit her, he was courting her. It turned out that his accent and his destination, New Zealand, obscured the sense of their conversation: He owned a SHIP, not a sheep, and was in the process of acquiring a second ship. He is a very wealthy shipping magnate. They have been married for 40 years, and on every Valentine’s Day she gives him a small statue or painting of a sheep, and he gives her an ornament or painting of a ship. They stare into each other’s eyes and grin like teenagers.

How to deal with loss and loneliness on Valentine’s Day

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Dealing with sadness on Valentine’s Day

Everybody loves a holiday and St Valentine’s day is particularly popular. This is a happy day that presents the ideal opportunity to show loved ones just how much they are cherished. It is also the ideal time to declare your feelings to a new loved one. Unfortunately, this is also the day when lonely people experience their loneliness more acutely. The same goes for those people who have suffered the loss of a loved one. They feel left out and psychologists agree that depression soars during the build-up towards Valentine’s day.

There is no reason to be lonely and depressed during holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s day. Feelings of depression and loneliness should be seen as a call to action. Every human being is responsible for his or her own happiness. Unhappy and depressed people often push others away, even if they do not consciously try to do so. So, instead of moping and suffering, why not use these holidays as an opportunity to do something positive? Here are two practical ideas:

Join a special interest group

If you are interested in something (and surely everybody is interested in at least one thing!) there is most likely a group or club focusing on that interest. And no, online forums do not count! Join a group with real people. In no time at all you will connect with at least one or two members of the group and thus the foundations for friendship or even more can be laid.

Reach out to others

There are so many lonely people living in old age homes, children’s homes and in places of safety. Volunteer your services. Soon, you will make new friends and you will experience the immense satisfaction of making the lives of other people easier. Spend Valentine’s day at the charity of your choice and give hand-made cards to all and sundry. You will have a fantastic day!

By taking positive action you accept responsibility for your own happiness. Once you take this step you will find that happiness comes from within and from becoming part of the world around you.

Reaching your goals: Practical advice

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5 AUDACIOUS and CREATIVE WAYS to reach your goals

Overcoming Human nature and other stumbling blocks

1.    BOB = Bum On ‘Bankie’. Procrastination is the mother of all evil. I have spent more time and energy on finding convincing excuses for not writing that book than I have writing. Then, while in the midst of household predicaments, adolescent foster child upsets, general penury, and a summer from hell when every insect that sucks blood, bites and stings descended, I wrote a whole book in the space of three weeks – because a deadline loomed. Let’s face it folks, as a species we do not really pray until forced to our knees, diet before we only have one pair of stretched tracksuit pants left that we fit into, or install solar panels unless ESKOM lets us down. Do what you want/have to do NOW! The eventual goal starts with the first step.

2.    BAG= Be Always generous. Do more than what is asked for. Walk the extra mile. This way you will keep the joy and spirit of abundance in your task. Nobody has a mediocre goal – keep your eye on it, and you will not get bogged down in suspicion and make yourself small and grasping.

3.    AND= Avoid Negative Drips. It is all good and well to believe that you should know who you are sufficiently to not be discouraged by people that denigrate your ideas or are critical of your methods, but who is that confident, really? If you feel that some people drain your energy, steer clear of them.

4.    BAT= Be Accountable Trooper. It is easy to blame others for things going wrong, but even if some culpability is required, one cannot force others to acknowledge their share. The best way to move forward is to shoulder the accountability fully. Then others may do so too, but successful people have more often than not become so in spite of the inadequacies of others. Persevere! Blame is counter-productive.


5.    BAFOF= Ban All Fear Of Failure. “Bafof” – nice word! Well, it isn’t a word but it should be. “Oh bafof, you gremlins that erode my faith!”   Effective people are not afraid to fail. If you read the biographies of successful people you will see that they have all failed at some point, learnt from their mistakes, and overcome disasters. You can too. Just do not not reach for you goals because there is a chance of failure.

Summary of 5 audacious tips to reach your goals: BOB, BAG AND BAT shout BAFOF!
 Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway is a playwright, poet, speech writer, translator and editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.