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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.


Look Who’s Two | Blog Birthday Giveaway

I can’t believe it’s two years already. I can’t believe how blogging has allowed me to grow and just be myself, make a living and fight at the same time – all this while doing what I love.

To me, blogging is more than just a hobby or anything else for that matter, blogging is my life and I can gladly say – I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon. There are those of you who’ve been through this journey with me, who’ve seen me fight battles and who’ve always clicked on the links I tweet or share on Facebook.

I just want all of you to know that, without you – I am nothing. Please continue supporting me and telling people about the crazy blogger that is ‘Sandy Nene’.

The passed two years haven’t been easy but I don’t by any chance regret starting this blog nor do I want to blame anyone for all the bad things that have happened there and there.

I do not want to waste time speaking about the bad things because to be honest, this journey has opened so many doors for me – from my job to some of the brands I’ve been able to build a strong relationship with.

So, to say THANK YOU – all of you loyal readers are up for a treat! I have teamed up with some of my favourite brands to run an awesome giveaway. Probably the biggest I’ve ever ran. I am giving away the following:

  • 3x Royal Dansk SA 454g round cookie tins and 3 Royal Dansk branded coffee mugs.
  • 5x Wakaberry R30 vouchers.
  • Dermalogica hamper.
  • Rain Hamper.
  • Vintage and the City R250 clothing voucher.

Next week I will be giving away airtime vouchers worth R500.

Here’s all you have to do in order to WIN:

Make sure you do ALL of the above otherwise you will be disqualified! PS: comp ends next week Monday (12 May)


5 African Opinion Leaders That Inspire Me

Happy new month everybody! Wow, I can’t believe we’re on the 4th month of the year already! Wasn’t it Christmas not so long ago? Anyways, here’s to a great new start once again!

I love people who always have something to say about everything and anything. I love people who speak their minds and those who are never afraid to differ. I love all these kinds of people because that’s pretty much how I am, actually.

I am often misunderstood, I will write or say whatever I want because I believe in honesty and I do not want people to have the wrong impression of who I am. I met most of my friends online and every time I meet each of them for the first time, they always have an idea of the type of person I am.

What inspired this post is; there are many people who are afraid to speak or raise their opinions, hence there are people who we call ‘opinion leaders’ – people who speak for the different groups of people, people who will say or write about something and we then see thousands of other people agreeing or saying how much they relate to whatever it is that they had said.

The following list of people really inspires me and my work. Though I may not agree with everything they may say, but I will always respect them for not fearing to be judged, for choosing to speak out and be heard.

In no particular order:

Khaya Dlanga, read my interview with him HERE.

 

So here’s my list. Who inspires you and your work? Tweet me @SandyNeneSA 🙂


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