Losika Writes had its first market at the One Beat One Love festival and it was awesome meeting and having chats with people who are interested in celebrating cultural diversity in our beautiful Melbourne city. Cultural diversity week allowed us to meet with multitudes of people coming together to acknowledge the flavour we all bring to our society. The conversations were eye opening and we got to meet so many people who champion diversity in workplaces, on book shelves and everywhere else.
“It is NOT our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences” Audre Lorde
We are looking at having many more markets and excited to meet everyone who ventures to our little corner of the world.
It was a great honor to present to the beautiful women of Africa Day Australia as a guest speaker on this momentous occasion. I thought I would share my speech below for those who couldn’t make it to share as we celebrate women and the men who allow us to stand tall. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know on the comments please.
My name is Dr Tshegofatso (Teah) Mogae. I am a bit nervous so I hope I will not have verbal diarrhoea and divulge all my secrets. I am a mum, wife, medical practitioner and I own a small business called Losika Writes. I was kindly asked to provide a speech to an awesome bunch of women to celebrate international women’s day and I thought, sure why not. I am a woman, tick so I already tick that box at least. But then I had to decide what to talk about and that was the tricky bit.
Do I talk how being born a female in 2019 still sucks compared to being born a male anywhere in the world? Or about how 1 in 2 women in Australia will experience sexual harassment in their lifetime? Or how despite working hard women earn 85c compared to $1 earnt by men doing the same jobs yet then still do the bulk of unpaid care work at home.
So you can understand how if I was to talk about the #metoo movement or how 10 women and 1 child have died since the beginning of 2019 in Australia alone or how women such as Ms Rahaf Alqanun have to literally run away from their homes and lock themselves in hotel rooms to get tell the world of the plight of women in different parts of the world how sad my talk would be. I think these issues are important discussions to be had and I am sure we can make time for each of them, but I thought I would be uplifting on this special day.
So for that I turned towards the theme for this year which is balance for better. First thing I thought was oh no, they want me to talk about how work life balance and how I am amazing at that. Well, I did say I was juggling motherhood, being a doctor, lecturer, business owner etc so I must admit that work life balance is a mythical creature in my life. On further review though, the theme is about creating a gender balanced world which I think is a great challenge we as women face.
On this, the 108th celebration of international women’s day can we try to spice things up a bit and hopefully try and get equality quicker than the 202 years projected for equality at the current rate. That means, with everything remaining the same, it will only be my great, great, great, great, great, grand daughters who would get to enjoy the fruits of our labour so I thought we could get things rolling a lot sooner. I understand that we have already made great strides as women in the recent centuries, but I am challenging us to try and pick up the pace. It was almost a hundred years ago that women discussed with the men in their lives the importance of equality in terms of casting a vote in the USA. Following that, MEN then voted to allow women to cast their own votes.
So why don’t we follow in their lead to make men be the ones working harder for our equality?
So why don’t we get the men in our lives to recognise when women are not being treated equally and to do something about it?
Why don’t we get the men in our lives to question when they are invited to board meetings or panels that don’t involve any women?
Why don’t we get the men in our lives to call out and have a zero tolerance to sexual harassment of women?
Why don’t we teach our sons that being a man doesn’t involve showing strength by beating up women but rather by building them up?
Why don’t we get the investor men in our lives to question why board members of the companies they invest in don’t have women on board?
Why don’t we get the leading mean in our lives to know that trying to rule a country with political parties, or institutions with only males at the helm is like trying to fly a 747 aeroplane with only 50% engine capacity, a recipe for disaster.
Women account for 50% of the worlds population so I think it is about time some of those men stood up and made room for our fabulousness at the table. All men come from a woman, were cared for by a woman, were nursed and probably taught by a woman to become who they are. So surely, we should ensure they know how fabulous we are.
They shouldn’t just stand up to pull our chairs or to open doors for us, they should question why we are not shoulder to shoulder with them and make room for us at the table.
It all starts with us owning our power and educating the men we birth and raise, the men we grow up with, the men we love and interact with and all men in general to stand up for our equality. So let us get to it ladies, this job needs all of us.
I was watching Jada Pinkett- Smith’s show – Red Table Talk recently about forgiveness. It was a chat with her step brother about their father and how they both coped with his addiction and the fact that he wasn’t present for most of their growing up. They both discussed how they had learned to forgive him/his actions and how he ended up dying without much resolution of his “demons”.
What resonated mostly with me was when she said “my father’s main purpose in life was not to be my father, but to have a journey of his own and I just happened to be born during his journey so I couldn’t expect him to stop everything to be my father.”
My parents separated when I was in high school and it was an acrimonious split. I have lived more than half my life without talking to my father who probably lives in the same city I grew up in which is actually a VERY small place. Sometimes I question my emotions about the whole situation whether I am angry/upset/disappointed. Despite the decades, I am still unsure how I feel and what I would like to occur to resolve my indecisiveness. At some point you start dating, get married and walk yourself down the isle Meghan Markle style, have a child and work a career that you love but still not resolve that relationship and where it stands.
My father was not really into drugs or alcohol or anything that would make me think he was a bad father. It’s like my parents got separated and his parenthood also stopped. Obviously there is bias from my point of view given this transpired whilst I was technically still a child but that is what I experienced.
Hearing Jada and her brother say those words about their father gave me peace about my father and our situation. I hope one day, before it’s too late, we can both be adults about the situation but I have peace should that not eventuate too.
I would have never believed you if you said you could make an exact duplicate of yourself but with Losika I think I may have done exactly that.
Now most people are quick to talk about our looks and how we look very similar which I suppose is common. There are however, things that he has done that have shocked me as I identify myself in them from being about his age to now. Below I have listed those that are still fresh of mind
Nail biting – now I must admit I still do this even now but I am always conscious of not doing that when he is around. But he not only bites his finger nails, he bites his toenails too which I also disgustingly did until my late teens so its not like I have shown him how to do it.
Internalising emotions- he is only four but I see so much of myself in how he handles situations and emotions. I must admit, I am still learning how to tame the tiger but I remember many a time that I promised myself I would pack my bags in the morning and run away or went to bed without eating my dinner all because mum had been upset at me. I see how he responds sometimes when he is angry at me for disturbing his play and a part of me can see the cogwheels turning in his brain and wondering if he ever thinks like I used to. I hope that as he grows, I can teach him what I have learnt so far in managing emotions and not internalising them.
Watching TV whilst lying on his back- this used to be my favourite TV watching position and I can fondly remember watching SABC 3 back in the days and trying to learn tennis and cricket because those were the only things that were entertaining after school in our limited channel TV set back then.
Spending forever chewing one mouthful- I fondly remember my mum telling me that you didn’t need to chew porridge or yogurt. Mum would say I was possible the only person who would chew WATER!!! Sadly Losika has developed the same trait of keeping each mouthful a lot longer in the mouth which can be frustrating as I try and ensure he completes his breakfast in the morning hustle and bustle.
Surely I am not the only parent who sees themselves in their child. Comment below and let me know that I am not crazy… I know I may be but hoping I am now hehe
We celebrate all milestones and this one is no exception.
We have been featured on MamaMag Eastside issue for April/May 2018 discussing the importance of “Keeping Language alive.” Grab your copy/read our article online and please support Losika Writes as we strive to celebrate our language diversity.
Our books are available as English only text or bilingual (Tswana/English and Ndebele/English books)
As a mum to an active hyperactive toddler, play is always part of our day somehow. But with working full time, having 2 side hustles- Losika Writes and home, running a household etc, sometimes one wishes that there were more hours to the day let alone dedicate some play time. So I am proud to say, I recently made time to play with my boys and we sure had a great time. I have promised myself to try and do this weekly at the minimum and so far have been going well. I thought I would share some crazy pictures we took on our escapade.
Losika Writes (www.losikawrites.com) – Bilingual children’s picture books- get your own copy and support small business
A while ago, I wrote a blog entry about ” Write it down and make it happen “ This was about how important it is to make your intentions known to the universe and working hard to make those intentions a reality.
Well, we have been working hard on one of those many “intentions”, hence the sporadic blog writing, and it is with great pleasure that I now let you in on a little secret…
Inspired by our son Losika, we have developed a collection of children’s picture books, some of which are bilingual (Tswana/English, Ndebele/English) to help in passing down our beautiful language to the next generation.
We are proud of the quality product and hope that you enjoy reading the books, as much as we have enjoyed creating the collection. We are continuously working to add to the collection and look forward to your support…
Head to Losika Writes and use discount code #LAUNCH to get a 20% discount on all the books…
A friend recently got engaged and coyly asked if there was any advice I could offer her with regards to being married. I promised I would write something for her and even though I haven’t been in this institution too long, I thought I could offer my 5 cents.
As there are numerous books published on the topic, I thought I would write my top 5 married life tips.
1. Marriage is a long-term relationship- so enter it knowing that you are in it for the long run. I understand that there has been a steady increase in divorce rates worldwide, but ideally, that shouldn’t be an option as you enter your union. “In good times and bad, in sickness and in health,” implies that it won’t always be rainbows and unicorns and that it sometimes does suck *ss, but you have to always be ready to fight for your marriage if it’s worth fighting for that is.
2. Choose your marriage partner well- to do that, one must know who they are and what they want in life. This includes knowing your non-negotiables and negotiables in a relationship. If you really don’t want to deal with other people in your relationship or potentially playing second fiddle in your significant others’ life, it might be wise to reconsider marrying someone who already has children as it might mean their ex-partner will always feature in their life, and by association your life, and their children will probably always come first. Additionally, don’t choose a partner you plan to “fix” or that you plan to make your lifelong project because when you finally realise that they may never change, you might be too far invested in the relationship.
3. Communication is key- this is one of the pillars of a great relationship. As you plan your wedding day/new house/names for your children, it’s important that you actually communicate with your partner every step of the day. That means talking AND THEN listening to understand NOT to reply. Communicate when you are happy/sad/upset and all other emotions because if you only communicate when you are mad, you are not doing it right.
4. A marriage is a union of two people and together they unite their families. Genesis 2:24- For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. I understand this bible verse to mean that when you choose to unite in marriage, you choose to put each other, and your new family first and your respective families second. It can be difficult for either party to cut the apron strings, especially if your family is close-knit but essentially the aim is to have a functioning INDEPENDENT new family and not merely a subset of either party’s family with other people being consulted or being in charge of decisions they should not be privy to. Setting these boundaries and having everyone understand what they mean is paramount to having a successful marriage.
5. Love like its going out of fashion- Try and dedicate time to spend with your partner and try and show them every day that you truly are grateful to have picked them for the life journey and you want to grow old together. This can be difficult when you both work fulltime, no nanny/babysitter, or the weather doesn’t cooperate for example but it really doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top kind of stuff. Hold hands, kiss each other hello/goodbye/I miss you, go for a bike ride/walk, have an indoor picnic etc. All these are free or relatively inexpensive and the sentiment they impart is priceless. We are never informed how long we have on earth with our loved one, and having counselled widows and widowers, most regret not cherishing or celebrating what they had with their loved ones. Like belly buttons, people will always have an opinion about whatever you do in life so dance in the rain and let them talk.
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