What I’ve Learnt From Being A Bridesmaid Once

While most girls were dreaming of their own wedding day, I was dreaming of the day I would be asked to be a bridesmaid. This is weird, I know, I’m not like anti-love or romance or anything, and have a vague idea of what I would want if I ever made the great vow, but there was something honourable about someone wanting you, out of all the people in their life, to be beside them on their wedding day.   Last week, I was bridesmaid for the first time, for my sister, who is literally the best person that I know, and it involved a lot of dress fitting, money, fake...

Remember – A Poem for Women’s Day

I was asked to write a poem about Women’s Day and while I believe that it is pitiful to celebrate Women’s Day and pretend for one day that we live in an equal society. But my feelings aside, the words came, and I was grateful to be given the opportunity to deliver it this morning. 60 years of “You strike a woman, you strike a rock” 60 years of “Help” “I’m sorry” “No” “Please don’t” 60 years of “You must have liked it” “You should have covered up” “You asked for it” “Shhh, don’t tell anyone” 60 years of inequality fear betrayal pain The end of the facade The rise...

It’s One Day Until My Birthday and I’m Conflicted

I love my birthday. Every year I wait expectedly, counting down the days, getting unnecessarily excited. I was told that once I get older the excitement for my birthday would wane, but even though I might not hold it to the same pageantry that I did when was 16 perhaps, it constantly shines as highlight on my calendar, a day I look forward to. But last year was different, last year I took a good, long look at why I was so obsessed with my birthday, why I had 80 day countdowns, why I felt the copious need to remind others that my birthday is coming up, why I went...

WasteHerTime2016: Learning to Let Go of My Precious Time

I recently bought myself a watch, the first time that I have owned one in years, and I had to reacquaint myself with the more traditional way of reading time since I’ve mostly been working with digital clocks. I mainly bought the watch for decorative purposes because it has a Mean Girls quote on it. A photo posted by Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) on Jul 4, 2016 at 9:56am PDT If anything the watch has made known to me my obsession with time and constant fear that I’m wasting it. I usually wrote this quirk of mine off as being productive, being ambitious, being an overachiever, but recently my constant exhaustion,...

Review: The Cathedral of Cliffdale by Melissa Delport

Synopsis: Beyond the limits of mankind’s understanding there exists a City, created as a sanctuary for the survivors of a brutal and bloody war. Within the city of Summerfeld the last mythical creatures live out their days in peace, fiercely protected by twelve immortals: brave defenders known as the Guardians. A Guardian is dead. For the first time in one thousand years, no replacement has come forward. Following the murder of her twin sister, Quinn Harden abandons the Guardianship in order to take care of her sister’s children in the modern realm of man. Shortly after their second birthday, the children are taken, against her will, in an attempt by...

Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Synopsis: Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. Rating: 8/10 Opinion of the book: I read The Color Purple as part of the Emma Watson Book Club Challenge, sw. This is a book that I’ve always wanted to read but I...

Fictional Heroine: April Ludgate from ‘Parks and Recreation’

It’s almost a year since Parks and Recreation aired their final episode, and of course there are late bloomers like me that only just finished watching the series. But watching Parks is an experience, it’s a learning curve, it’s an inspiration. So naturally I would find a character that I would gravitate towards, that I would relate to, and for most people that would be the amazing Leslie Knope – driven, enthusiastic, ambitious, assertive – but for me, it was Parks’ Debbie Downer – April Ludgate....

What I Learnt From Reading ‘My Life on the Road’ by Gloria Steinem

So a month or so ago, I wrote about my #100FemaleAuthors challenge which I started in correlation with Emma Watson’s feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf, as of now, I’ve currently completed two books in the one-a-month challenge, but I thought I’d write a bit about what I learnt from January’s book – My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and one of the most inspiring leaders in the world—now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of how her early years led her to live an on-the-road kind of life, traveling, listening to people, learning, and creating change. She reveals...

5 Reasons You Should Watch ‘Galavant’

Galavant is a musical comedy television series about a dashing knight named Galavant who goes on a mission to save his ‘one true love’ from the clutches of an evil King who abducted her. Which sounds generic right? But all isn’t how it seems, as you’ll see below. It’s an excellent written show with smart humour and great comedic presence, there is so much right with this show, of which currently two seasons are out, that it’s a pity that more people did not give it a chance. The two seasons are written so that if Season 2 is the last season it ends on a high note, but if...

The 100 Female Authors Challenge

I would like to say a lot of thought goes into what I choose to read, but it’s usually randomly picked around the books that I have accumulated both digitally and physically and which I had not gotten around to read yet. Last year I focused a lot on book series, reading ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ series alongside various other books, but this year via the magic of Emma Watson I decided to put a little bit more focus in what I read. Besides being a feminist, I did not realise how much I chose to read the voices of men instead of...

A Now His Watch Has Ended – Game of Thrones 5×10 Review

The most shocking moment for me wasn’t the Julius Caesar-esque ‘For the watch’ moment, it was the fact that after a season of ‘wtf’ and ‘meh’ I finally enjoyed an episode. Perhaps it was the very episodic nature of it, perhaps it is because a lot of action that we’ve been waiting for happened, perhaps it’s the numerous deaths, perhaps it’s the fact that we’re left on cliffhangers that not even I, as a book reader, know the outcome of. **Spoilers below, obviously....

5 Reasons Why the Princess Diaries Series is A Timeless Classic

One of the pinnacle points of being a 90’s kid is the sense of nostalgia permeating everything, there has to a reason why there has been so many reboots and remakes over the past couple of years – we eat those things like breakfast cereal. So it was no surprise to me that the release of the new Princess Diaries book this past week had me fangirling almost as much as if the Spice Girls announced another reunion *holding thumbs*....

Comic of the Day: Amazing Spider-Man #2

I’m beginning to fall in love with Spider-Man again. This comic was far better than it’s predecessors, even better than the other heroes, especially the Human Torch, who is also a teen hero but I’m starting to get bored of his antics. Peter Parker is refreshing for me, he’s funny, witty, smart but still is realistic in that he makes dumb and arrogant decisions just like an ordinary teenager.  ...

My Foray in the First 50 Marvel Comics

I have this pedantic need to start at this beginning, to know it all. I can never casual bounce into a TV show, if a movie that I haven’t seen is on and it’s already started I won’t even bother watching it and you best know if I come into a story halfway through you have to start from the beginning again. So even though I have been reading Marvel comics off and on for a long time, my obsession with the MCU especially Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter and the podcast LEGENDS of SHIELD got me wanting to read the comics more orderly, and thanks to the podcast I...

Why My Heart Bleeds for Baga

I have been covering news about Nigeria for a year and a half and through all the turmoil that I have seen, today was the first time that I broke down in tears. This vast, beautiful country filled with fascinating cultures and even more interesting people has become a constant source of bad news – from corruption to fraud to infectious diseases to kidnappings to child marriages to intolerance towards homosexuals – one does not need to look far to discover something which is currently plaguing the population of this West African country....

Why I’m Ecstatic That Emma Watson is the New Belle

A lot of time, your dream cast for a well known role rarely works in your favor, but there are those special moments when it seems like the moon and stars collide and one inspirational human gets cast as one inspirational female character, and such was it with the announcement that Emma Watson will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live action Beauty and the Beast....

Top 5 Female RomCom Role Models

You don’t have to look far to find the criticism against female heroines such as Bella Swan or Anastasia Steele, and I find myself agreeing with a lot of the arguments. Even though books and films such as Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey are entertaining to the masses, they are still influencing young women that indulge in them. ...

Wednesday Woman Crush of the Week: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is all the talk of this week as her fifth album 1989 was released on Monday. I’ve been a huge fan of Taylor Swift for a very long time and naturally I pre-bought and fangirled like a beaver on crack when I got that notification that 1989 was ready to be downloaded, I felt like I was waiting all my life for this album, and was not disappointed. Perhaps it’s because TSwizzle and I are the same age, but her albums usually seem to be exactly what I want to hear at the given time. Fearless and Red are two albums that I felt spoke to me at...

Why South Africa Needs the #YesAllWomen Campaign

The tragedy of the mass shooting in California and the #YesAllWomen campaign has brought the misogynistic culture of Americans to the forefront. But this is not just an affliction that is germane only to American culture, but to all cultures and especially here in South Africa. A country where rape is the order of the day, where young women are constantly judged by the way they dress, where a women being beaten into a pulp by her husband is responded by the question, “What did she do to deserve it?” This is a culture which should be listening to what all these women in the world are saying and need...

Women in Africa: Wife Swopping in Namibia

Women’s rights are becoming a priority in Africa. No matter how many chiefs, presidents, patriarchs refuse it’s existence, try and burn it to the ground or use the old excuse of it being against their culture, it keeps rearing it’s head, and will not be silenced. The past couple of weeks a tradition of ‘wife swapping’ which is more like ‘wife offering’ within two tribes in Namibia has been brought into questioning....

Top 5 Teen Movies

I have an undeniable love for teen movies, I don’t care how many people tell me how shallow they are or how it provides no intellectual stimulation, it has catchy lines, hot people and adorable clothes, and many times an important lesson. This top 5, I list my favorites, the ones that I just can’t stop watching, that could cheer me up on the darkest of days and continues to steal my heart. There are many many more that I adore, and perhaps I will revisit this list again, but right now,  these are the 5 that stand out astimeless classics:  ...

A few words about an amazing man

I don’t think there was another person who played such a big role in the lives of all six of us than Uncle Melvyn. When we had moments of happiness, sadness, pain, he was always the first person we turned to and it hurts so much for us right now that such a large part of our hearts and our family is no longer with us....

Five Saddest TVD Deaths

We have had almost a month to sit and stew  about the repercussions of the last episode and the loss of yet another favorite character. The Vampire Diaries writers have no qualms about killing off characters that have found their place in the hearts of the viewers. Here is our list of the saddest and most heart-breaking deaths on the show. Deaths that have made us gasp, bawl, clutch onto the nearest surface for support, and sworn we would never get over....

Mystic Falls Survival Guide

Summer is coming up and many travelers are looking for a new and different place to spend their vacation. If you are looking to relocate or visit the picturesque small town of Mystic Falls in Virginia, you would be advised to heed my warnings. Although fairly quaint and average-looking, Mystic Falls has seen it’s fair share of casualties, disappearances and suspicious animal attacks, there is also the strange phenomenon that 95% of the the civilians are incredibly good-looking (sucks for the other 5%). So if, against my better judgement, you still decide to take the journey down to ole Mystic Falls here are a few tips to make sure that...

Five Reasons You Should Watch The Carrie Diaries

One of the most-talked about pilots of the CW midseason schedule has been the Sex and the City prequel series “The Carrie Diaries.” Whereas purists of the original series have scoffed at the idea of Carrie Bradshaw living outside of the world of HBO and Mr. Big, the CW has given the heroine of the popular series, a makeover for a new generation. Here are five reasons to let this promising series fill the Gossip Girl-shaped hole in your heart....

I Will Wait For You – Janette Ikz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igCj3jsbcqs

I came across this spoken word poem by Janette Ikz last week when I was doing research for a talk I'm doing at my youth group about waiting for the right guy.

This poem showed me how wrong I have been doing things. And how important it is to wait for the right one instead of wasting your time with those that are just going to break your heart. Or in my case, God probably had someone in mind for me who likes me back (that might be a hint).

Hellogiggles: My New Best Friend

Hellogiggles. I revel in making friends. Some might say it is one of my few hobbies. I believe that each new person that you meet has the potential to teach or inspire you. My problem with real life friends is sometimes when I start obsessing over something they look at me strangely and start shaking their head slowly.  ...

Why all teenage girls should listen to swing music

The problem with going to a good school is that you sometimes have to get up early and travel far in order to get there. This ended in many miserable car rides during my high school years. My father who took me to school is quite an agreeable man, when I was feeling particularly chatty he would listen, if I was angry with the world because school is compulsory he would let me wallow. But the best part about travelling with my dad was that he let me choose the radio station and so I introduced him to Beyonce, Rihanna,  and Ne-Yo....

My Love Affair with Red Lipstick

Some of my earliest memories are of me sitting on my mother’s bed watching her dress up to go out and throughout her entire routine the part that interested me the most was when she put on her red lipstick. From then I wanted to grow up, because growing up meant that you could wear red lipstick. From the advent of colour films the seduction of scarlet rouge has become love at first sight for many women. When I turned eighteen and it was no longer only acceptable for me to wear lipgloss, my mother bought me Revlon Really Red lipstick, I treasured it as if it was the best friend I...

Why I Love Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift. Some see her as the amalgamation of bubblegum pop and teenyboppers galore but as the teens grow up their love for Taylor Swift seems to increase, instead of it just becoming a phase. Perhaps it is a sense of loyalty, I still love Britney Spears even through all she has done, I still remember how mesmorising I found her when I was nine and the ‘Baby, One More Time’ was the first CD that I bought. But there is something different about Taylor Swift that makes her so enchanting that even got a 22-year-old adult like myself to rush to the store to buy her CD, I cannot explain why others...

Movie Time: Funny Face

I like Audrey Hepburn, that is kind of a general fact about me, people who don’t even know me know that. A couple of weeks ago I watched her first musical, Funny Face, and it was the first time I heard her singing voice too as her voice was dubbed in My Fair Lady....

Movie Time: My Week With Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe. My obsession with 1950s cinema means that her face is everywhere that I look, I have two framed pictures of her (another one is in need of reframing, due to my tendency of standing on pictures and breaking glass, and yet another one is housed in a separate room in our house due to wall space in my room being limited), I have MM mug, a cosmetic bag, a pocket mirror etc....

Jane Austen Corner: Northanger Abbey

My love affair with the words of Jane Austen continues as I have just completed my third JA novel, Northanger Abbey. The previous two that I read were the obvious Pride and Prejudice and Emma –  which I absolutely adored. I can see why Pride and Prejudice is popular though – it has a heroine in Elizabeth Bennett, a dashing but flawed leading man in Mr. Darcy and a sexy villain in Mr. Wickham (sigh, I’m still lusting after Mr. Wickham)....

Movie Time: Safe House

Last weekend’s trip to the cinema was a new experience for me, usually when the choice comes up of which film to go see it is either a romcom or drama but this weekend I decided to see an action thriller, totally out of character for me. But the reason I made an exception for the Denzel Washington CIA-esque flick, Safe House was biased because it was set in Cape Town....

Book Review: Audrey, Her Real Story

It is so unoriginal of me to do my first book review on an Audrey Hepburn biography but I have just completed it and it’s the only published novel that is still fresh in my memory. The book, written by Alexander Walker, seems less like the classic biography of a Hollywood star and more like a tribute to an icon. It is evident in his writing that Walker is afraid of offending Audrey Hepburn, even though she is no longer alive to critique her. Even when he writes about the non positives aspects of her life: such as her divorces, her affairs, her failed films; he writes it with a sense of delicacy, never...

I never saw myself as a cutter

Here’s the thing, I never saw myself as a cutter. There was a laceration here, a finger bitten way too hard there, wrists that were wrung until they were blood red, scratch marks down my arms on the rare moments that my nails grew long enough, it was never visible enough for others to see, and I always made sure to hide it well....

Appreciating My Own Debbie and Carrie: To My Mother and My Sister

I have just watched the trailer for Bright Lights, the HBO documentary about the relationship between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher and I was overcome with emotion. Why? Both Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher have passed away recently, a day after each other, and I loved them both. But even more than that, Debbie, Carrie and Carrie’s daughter, Billie, have been a public example of the great bond that can exist between mothers and daughters and it made me reflect on my own relationship with my mother and my sister. I group them together because of the large age gap between my sister and I, it has warped what would...

The Trump Card – “Trump didn’t win because of why you think”

Today’s news filled me with despair – as a citizen of the world, as a woman, as a person of colour, as a human. Even though the results of the American election has a drumroll effect on the rest of the world, and tells us a lot about about the general mindset of a large portion of population, I cannot even begin to fathom how an American might feel, especially one that feels now more than ever, that they are experiences are worth nothing in a country that claims to be great. I had a lot of election conversations today to try and understand why a forward thinking country like...

Bridget Jones, Anne Elliot and the Allure of the Older Singleton

I recently finished reading Persuasion by Jane Austen, and even though I have read all but one of Jane Austen’s books (Mansfield Park you elude me yet) I have found some easier to read than others, with Persuasion definitely being the easiest by far. Perhaps it is because it is the shortest of her novels, or because she spends less time teaching us about the class values of the day and more on the actual interaction between the characters but I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I wondered if it was at the point of my life that I am in that this book resonated with me so...

“I’m not a writer”

‘I’m not a writer’ I say this often, and I know it sounds extremely insufferable but I don’t identify as a writer. I write, yes, my job requires me to be constantly writing, my hobbies are free time are mostly comprised of me writing. But in much the same way that I don’t describe myself as an eater or sleeper, I don’t call myself a writer. I am a content producer, journalist, blogger, letter writer etc, but I’m no writer. Which is not to say that I don’t believe that others can be writers, I read so much great work everyday that I’m mutter myself, “now that’s a writer”. I...