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WIN One Of Four Bottles Of Cruz Vodka Black

Cruz Vintage Black  is a luxury handcrafted vodka produced in America, distilled five times and charcoal filtered three times using the finest American winter grain, blended with pure water producing a vodka of intense purity and exceptional smoothness. Cruz Vintage Back has recently won 3 Gold Medals at the  London Vodka Masters, SIP awards California and Consumer Choice awards NYC. With its iconic jet black bottle Cruz is fast becoming the premium vodka of choice. 

Congratulating me in my three years of blogging, Cruz and myself have teamed up to host an awesome competition for you guys.

Here’s how you can enter:

  1. Follow @CruzVodka and @SandyNeneSA
  2. Tweet: “I’ want to win a @CruzVodka bottle with @SandyNeneSA #SandyBlogBday #CruzVodka

I will be announcing the winners next week Monday. Good luck and make sure you do ALL of the above in order for your entry to be considered.

Alcohol Free Weekend #1

I am writing this post, it’s a Saturday but you are reading it on a Monday. I’m in Durban North. Visiting an old friend of mine, spending some time with him and his family. They are happy to see me and I’m happy to see them, too. Durban North is really quite, nothing like Ntuzuma, a township where my home is. When I told my mom that I’m going to spend my weekend at my friends place, she was so happy. I was not sure if she believed me when I said I want to down my drinking rate but now I knew she did. Missed my post last week where I take a stand against my alcohol problem? Click HERE.

I woke up today and went for my first jog, guys, I was so excited when I woke up and got dressed in my MRP Sport gym gear prepping for my very first jog, ever. It was like the first day at school, I must say it wasn’t easy but I sure am glad I did it. It felt amazing, at first there was a weird feeling when the cars were passing me and me passing people going to work, I wanted to stop and pretend I’m just walking, I thought I looked funny, but then I remembered I am doing this for me.

Click image to purchase these comfortable trainers from MRP Sport

I have always wanted to join gym or do some sort of exercise, since I still think gym is a bit too much for me, I might as well jog for now. And another thing, at work we are signed for a Cross Fit exercise at The Gateway Mall every Thursday morning, I have been trying to ignore that but I think it’s time I give it a try. So you guys might be seeing me post about it sometime next week or just on my social media on Friday.

So after my first jog I sat and watched TV with my friends’ sister, once again it was great. This is something new to me; I really am not used to this. The old I would probably be drunk at this time, bank balance slowly dropping, do I even care? I’d worry about that shit on Monday. This thing of watching TV is something I’d do during the week after work while having dinner with my family. Today I’m doing it on a Saturday and I’m enjoying it. I then remembered I have to share my day with you guys, it’s not just any other day, it’s a special Saturday because I woke up sober today, something that hasn’t happened in a very long time.

Later on Saturday Sandy Bigara, a friend I met online in 2013 lives in Durban North and I told her I would like to see her. She was down for it!

I was excited, Sandy and I have been good friends online and she’s been a contributor for my other blog since 2014. We immediately clicked when I interviewed her for Durban Zone Magazine. She’s a performer, director and a stage Queen at heart. She’s moving to Sydney in a weeks’ time so I couldn’t miss this last opportunity to meet her. She came and took me out for lunch; we chilled at Java Café, Durban North and chatted about life, family, problems and our dreams. It was a great outing, something I really needed as watching TV was becoming too much for me.

It’s a Sunday, time to go home, I am excited to see my mom and siblings – but I will miss it here. I wake up and my friend requests that I help him in the garden; did he just ask me to help him do the garden? I’m the laziest person, ever. At home I don’t do this but I remembered that I’m a visitor here and this would be a great way to get the morning going. We worked in the garden and did the yard from 8:30am until 10am (now that was exhausting). After that we got ready to go, I was heading home and my friend had a date with his girlfriend. I was excited to see my mom, brothers and sisters, it’s only been a few days but it felt like weeks.

My first alcohol free weekend wasn’t bad as I had imagined and I’m very proud of myself.

Dear Alcohol, You Don’t Own Me

I have been meaning to talk about this, I have, I swear… I guess I have too much pride, or maybe I was feeling a little bit ashamed. Biggest reason I felt shameful was because of my age, I’m only 22. My job, my sponsors, the influence I have online and being founder of South Africa’s largest and first community for bloggers. I thought I’d never really have the guts to let you all know, I thought I’d keep hiding and hiding, I don’t know until when, but I then went through my previous articles on News24. Where I share about failing matric, the abuse in high school and the father I never had. I remembered how brave I was, I remember how those articles made me feel and I remembered the reason why I decided to let the world know what I was going through.

Last year while I was on a trip with South African Tourism – my father tried calling me, telling me he was not feeling well and I should come and visit him. With the anger I had throughout the years when he was never there for me or my mother, I ignored him. I didn’t want to see him because of what he had done.

A few weeks later the tour was over and he called again, I remember that I was at Suncoast having a few drinks with friends, he told me he was at City Hospital and his sickness is getting worse, he really needs to see me. Something hit me so hard inside, but I ignored it. Once again, I thought why should I be there for him after he’s neglected me all these years. I continued having a great time with my friends, I wouldn’t let him ruin my good moments, I never ruined his!

Little did I know that – that was the last time hearing his voice. Late November I was visiting my friends at Gagasi FM when I received a message telling me he’s gone. I didn’t want to believe them at first but when I got home, mom shared the same news with me. I remember how everyone thought I am happy now that he’s dead, how they thought I was pretending when I was crying and how his friends and family looked at me at his funeral.

I don’t want to lie, I really felt horrible. I didn’t think he’d be gone so soon. The reason why I did not visit him in hospital is not because I wanted him dead; I just wanted him to feel the pain I fell all the years he was never there for me. I felt sorry for myself, maybe he wanted to apologise to me before passing.

Fast-forward to weeks after his funeral, I found myself lacking sleep, alcohol was the only thing that helped. I would forget about my problems when I’m drunk. But then again, when drunk, I’d be violent, I’d swear at people neglect my family and try put the blame on them, instead of myself.

I’ve had a few good friends confronting me about this problem but I’ve been too ignorant to see that they are right. I have tried quitting alcohol several times, I know that some of you have seen my posts on social media saying I’ve quit but not succeeding. I had a thought last month, I thought about the things I would have been able to do or achieve if I hadn’t wasted my time and money on alcohol. I thought of my mother who always wants what’s best for me and I thought of my younger siblings. While alcohol helped me forget what I was going through at that particular time, whenever I was sober, I would remember my problems and want to drink again. When I told my mom I want to quit alcohol, the smile on her face brought tears to me – all this time I didn’t realise that what I was doing was hurting her slowly inside. I am proud of all the friends who have supported me and I appreciate all of them. A special shout out to Cath Jenkin, Nomfundo Mfeka and Nomfanelo Dlomo. This is my story and this is what it’s taught me:

  1. Good friends exist, you just need to choose well.
  2. Alcohol is dangerous and can make you do things you wouldn’t do at your sober moments.
  3. Family comes first.
  4. Forgive.

Willing To Grow

A lot has been going on in my life lately, new projects and all that jazz. It’s been a while since I have done one of those blog posts where I share with you guys all the interesting stuff that has been going on in my life. Most people will question why I share my personal life on my blog but it’s always better sharing than not sharing at all, I am always curious about what people have to say about certain things happening around – I appreciate good criticism or advice, too. Today I am going to share with you and announce a few projects I have been working on etc.

Durban Online TV – last week I announced on Twitter and Facebook that I am part of the DOTV team. I am excited to collaborate with some of the Durban’s creatives and corporate heads in bringing you what’s never been seen, in Durban, ever. As some of you know, I get to attend quite a number of events, weekly, I will have my own bi-weekly feature #OnPointWthSandy where I will be reporting live from some of the events. I am really excited about this, as some of you know that I had somewhat of a similar feature on radio before, I am glad to be going back to broadcast again. There will be different shows, from music, business and more – we will be exploring Durban and all our beautiful hidden destinations that we believe international tourists should know more about. For now though, all I can say is, watch this space – we will be launching soon and I know a lot of you will be blown away!

Speaking – on Saturday the 17th, I was given an opportunity to speak at the PMB International Day Against Homophobia. I can not begin to express how much honored this made me feel, being approached to be ‘keynote’ speaker of the day. Having to speak to a bunch of gays and lesbians, sharing my thoughts and sharing my experiences as a young homosexual living in a country where our sexuality is legal but it’s the people around who refuse to accept or at least, tolerate us. I truly felt like a brand new person and public/motivational speaking is definitely something I have decided to take to the next level. The feedback I received was amazing.

Schools Tour – my two friends, Pamela and Christo and myself are going to be doing school tours in the next few weeks. Where we will be sharing our life journeys and motivating high school kids to not let anything or anyone get on their way. I am also excited about this new venture as it will be a great way for the three of us to give back to the community as well as grow.

Blogging workshop – I am hosting my third blogging event #WBFLlearn (We Blog For Love Learn) on the 28th of June. I am really excited and loving the challenges I am facing, like getting sponsors, speakers and everything with organising this event. I remember the amount of  stress I had to go through last year when I was putting together for the SABloggers launch, I felt really good about myself seeing the whole process ending well, so I am up again for a challenge this time around. I haven’t given out further details about this but I should have everything sorted next week and ready for people to purchase tickets.

Writing – this, I am WAYY too excited about. I am happy to announce that I, Sandile Nene have been given an opportunity to write for a Lifestyle PRINT magazine. I know how most people have been saying ‘print is dead’ but really, it still is legit, I mean seeing your byline there and knowing that there are tons of people reading your work, even those who know nothing about digital, this will make me so happy. I have been working on the June issue and I can’t wait to see the issue once it comes out next month, hang it around my room and get everyone I know, a copy. I can’t reveal the name of the publication, yet, all I can share with you for now is that it’s available nationwide. I have been working really hard to get where I am now and I couldn’t be more grateful to have all the people I have in my life right now, who have always convinced me that nothing is impossible and that I am worth more than I could ever think.

Thanks for reading this as I share some of my proud moments with you. More fun stuff and fashion posts here soon.

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