Today I had the pleasure of attending a meeting with an amazing young lady here in Cape Town, South Africa who is doing work within a local school to increase students learning experiences and curriculum. She also teaches Xhosa lessons to the volunteers who come and work with the students within the non profit I work with. During this meeting she spoke about the disconnect with students properly knowing their ‘mother tongue’.
It is interesting to me how even here on the continent there is still much distance in the knowledge and overstanding of who we are. South Africa is unique in this due to the suffrage of Apartheid that is still heavily shown within living conditions today. As we sat and spoke over water and lemonade, she explained to the two other ladies on my leadership team and myself about how students were mandated to strictly learn in English once in the 4th grade after speaking Xhosa their mother tongue all previous years. The switch is so sudden that students scores significantly decrease. The gate keepers of the Xhosa language feel that there is a huge need to keep the deep historical values and traditions of their mother tongue. They overstand the depth and beauty that is in their language. However, more and more this is becoming difficult with the low emphasis put on learning their language in school.
This was extremely shocking to hear that many of our students we work with are struggling in their own language in class and know very little of their history. How can this be in AFRICA?! As she explained how certain translations for example a word in Xhosa that means traditional healer translates to ‘witch doctor’ in English which automatically turns people away from all associations of their natural roots. When in actuality the traditional healer is one who simply uses natural herbs and remedies for healing. Something of purity and light turned into something seen negatively. It’s true that many African languages are so deep in meaning that when translated it doesn’t give the word, phrase or statement it’s true depth.
As I sat in awe I begin to make the same connections in how even in America where I was born there are many African Americans who want no association with Africa and will protest of their ‘Non African’ roots. I feel that those individuals are simply confused and misinformed. Perhaps they have never been taught. So how can you forget what you have never been taught? It’s imperative to bring awareness to those who are lost and vital that we teach the next generation of their roots. Not merely about nationality or ethnicity but of their divinity. This is the highest of self that surpasses all boundaries, that in which connects us all indefinitely.
Wow it’s hard to believe that I’ve been coaching a dynamic group of young Queens for nearly 6 months and our time together has now come to a close. On April 14th we competed in the 3rd Annual Stomp The Violence Competition in Columbia, SC placing 3rd in the Middle school division. Our team in comprised of half Elementary and half Middle needless to say, they did extremely well for their first big competition!!! The entire audience was moved and motivated, left us with a standing ovation.
It has been such a joy to not only coach but serve as a mentor to these beautiful young Spirits. As much as I have taught them they have each taught me something of great value through the essence of their character. I am so proud to say the very least. They have grown tremendously and surely will be a force to be reckoned with.
In life it’s not so much of the how much you spend but how much of an impact you make in the lives of others. My girls will forever know that they are worth the best, deserve the best, and can achieve their very best! The Royalty Steppers came to uplift, inspire and educate through the nature of our performances. Mediocrity was never an option, excellence is always the aim.
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If someone had told me 4 years ago that I would be returning to South Africa for the 3rd time this year I really don’t know if I would believe them. I probably would have known it could be possible but to have it actualized would be another thing. As I approach the time for my 3month departure from the US I am ever so humbled for the Blessings that have bestowed upon me.
It is not merely by my doings but the prayer, faith and resources of a community of people who believe in me. As my gap year comes to a rapid close and I prepare to embark on a 2 year journey into a Masters program in a Community Psychology I am preparing myself for the marvelous things to come. We must continue walk in a Spirit of expectancy of the very best for ourselves and living our Highest life.
Having the opportunity to travel the world including 4 continents and 8 countries I am eternally grateful for such authentic and naturally raw life experiences. It is one of my favorite pass time to travel, explore and connect with people all around the globe. I remember dreaming of this as a kid. Now I am living the dream and growing along the process each day. It is miraculous how dreams are manifested and made true.
I give thanks to the Most High for always leading me, for my ancestors who paved the way, to my Mom and community who continue to support me, and to Self for not being afraid to trust. It is a joy to say I am living and not merely existing. To love and be loved. Take flight is more than about getting on a plane to the next destination, but to rise and stand up. To do something you always imagined or never even thought of. Take flight and grab hold of what is your future!
As I take this sabbath to reflect on the past and prepare for the future I am in awe and humbled at the level of elevation that God is doing in and through my life. This journey by far has not been an easy one but it sure has been worth it. Just a few days ago I finalized my decision to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in the fall for a Masters in Community Psychology. This was my number one program of choice and I am thrilled and blessed at the network I have already established without even setting foot on campus.
I applied to three Masters program in which was a struggle in itself due to the fact at the time I simply did not have the funds for my applications. However, with faith and perseverance I was able to raise the funds in time and submit my applications. As I waited for monthsss on the decisions I remained positive and hopeful that I would be accepted. I applied to FAMU-Community Psychology program, University of Maryland College Park- International Education Policy program, and Harvard- School Leadership program.
Needless to say, I will be entering into a dynamic program that I know was designed for me to attend. The Community Psychology program at FAMU is the only of its kind, having a Black Psychology and multicultural mental health emphasis. My aim has always been to receive my Phd and become a psychologists that would make a difference in my community, communities nation wide and of course internationally as well. I am yet one step closer to this dream becoming a reality.
As I share this victory it is my hope to inspire you to never give up on your visions. I am no outlier or causality in this matter, but merely a result of what thought plus action and faith looks like. There were times during this gap year when I felt inadequate to apply, or felt that there simply was no need. However, that faint voice of determination kept pushing me through saying “You are worth it, you can do it, you got this.”
Let me tell you when I applied just a week prior my account was nearly $2,000 in the negative, back at home, lost and confused, but not defeated. This Masters program is much more than a degree for me. This is a building block to furthering the good work that is so necessary in this time. As I gather the tools to equip myself to be an educated change agent in the field of psychology this degree will be for all those who ever felt like giving up, or that they could not bear to go on. We are limitless in nature and must break free from the confinements of this world.
Im thinking of a Master plan… #BlackLivesMatter #MentalHealthMatters #BeTheChange #Ubuntu
With things rapidly changing in our society it’s important that we build up and pour into the future. As the coach of ICT Royalty Step Team I aim to teach my 3rd-8th grade girls self development, discipline and integrity through the avenue of step. As they become more self aware and keen to knowing who they are they walk with an unshakable confidence.
As we continue to maneuver through this life we must also continue to invest in our future. With the love and nurturing we provide to the youth of this nation we are planting seeds to one day see a return on our investment. Let’s keep encouraging the next leaders, they deserve a fair chance to manifest all they desire in this life.
Wow, what a beautiful day it has been! When you love what you do work never feels like work. Instead it is invigorating and has you excited to rise each morning. Today I had the pleasure of speaking with the 8th grade leadership class at my old middle school. It was amazing to be able to give back and speak life into the youth of our future.
I was greeted with smiles and wide eyes enthusiastic to listen and engage. As I shared with them my journey throughout the years I felt such overwhelming joy to have the opportunity to reach back and inspire the next generation of leaders. The fact that I was able to go back to my old stomping ground where I received education 8 years prior was truly humbling.
The students were so charged when they entered the space and upon leaving I believe they were given a spark to ignite the fire within. As we affirmed who we are and what we would will into the future each of us were given an ounce more of courage and hope to walk with our heads held high. In this new season of change it is essential that we are grounded in ourselves and rooted in the Truth.
Today marks my first speaking engagement of 2017 and we are only moving to higher ground from here! This is what I love, this is my passion, I will not stop for my work must continue as long as I have breath in my body. With each breath we breathe we should spend those moments on the path of living our highest life. So today, write your future! Sign your book with excellence.
In Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother to Son” he reminisces on words spoken to him. Through the many woes of life these words ring loud in each line of this poem. Although times may get rough it is in those moments especially, to give thanks and rejoice for breakthrough is near. As we have just entered into a new season we must keep our heads held high. 2017 is no different from any other year. However, YOU are the one that makes the difference in your life.
You may be wanting to do something new in your life in order to produce new results in your life. Well begin today! Each moment we are given unlimited access to plant positive seeds. As we clean out our space making way for the new let’s do it filled with truth, joy, love, and light. Although “life for me ain’t never been no crystal stair” we must continue to rise family. With each breath we breathe we have within us to take just one more step upward. As we go INward we emPOWER ourselves to go ONward.