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Khweshini: Where are penises sold?

Hee man, I’m angry…So because I’m a woman, my purse should be filled with an  oukappies, pepper sprays, a Bible, butcher knives and guns JUST to feel ‘safe’?

I came across this Facebook post by an ex-classmate of mine Bongiwe Maome and sadly, I could relate.

I use public transport four days a week to travel to and from work. I have classes during the day so I can only work night shift. Therefore it is already dark by the time I leave residence and so when I leave my room, I hide my phone as far down my underwear as possible, making sure to stick to the following routine:

  • Walk to the main road. Remember to constantly look over your shoulder to make sure that no one is following you or making any suspicious movement.
  • Let the first couple of taxis pass, especially if they are empty (with just the driver and the ‘gaatjie’), or if there are no other women inside.
  • The stereotypical voices in me speak: “be more vigilant of Colored passengers.
  • When you enter the taxi, ask what time it is and spark a conversation of how you were recently robbed of your phone so that they at least assume that you have nothing worth taking
  • Remember to put on a straight face and alter my walk with the hope of coming across as “unrapable” if there is such a thing.
  • For the duration of your taxi ride, remember to call upon your clan names trying to keep your ancestors close should you have to face death and meet them a bit sooner than expected.

I know the price of pepper spray and try to keep a bottle in my purse at all times – as if it will do something against a knife or a gun. An oukappie is something that my predators carry around to intimidate me. I have never used a knife outside of the kitchen, I have a fear of guns, and the Bible… well that’s a story for another day. Yet I need to carry these tools around, hoping against hope that I should not actually have to use them.

The fact is, South Africans are not as shocked as they should be by the ridiculously high number of rape cases reported daily. It is ridiculous that I should be grateful that I am not among the 51 985 cases of sexual offenses REPORTED in 2016 alone; that I cannot even trust policemen so that I walk around with whatever higher power there is. So what is the problem here?

Perhaps I am too attractive. “Isono sendoda kubona” (A man’s sin comes through seeing) they say and my provocative bum-shorts and “catwalk” do not exactly help – if anything they probably do the opposite. I should not blame them because we are not created the same way and they find it harder to control themselves – strange species. I mean I am constantly surrounded by attractive men but would it not be embarrassing if I suddenly pulled my skirt up and demanded some random man to fuck me? See just like these creatures (yes they have become a sort of case study to me) I have eyes, hormones and I get horny, but I have not had sex since November and I’m perfectly fine.

Apparently, sperm moves to the brain and drives a man crazy when they experience sexual deprivation. I think anyone who is old enough to get a freaking erection should know better but hey, here we are. You are not “man enough” if “awutyi abantwana boi” (if you do not “chow”girls) but don’t you worry, even a drunk senseless one will do and yes “after twelve it’s lunch”. With my experiences as a black woman in this Khawuntri, I could go on and on but I have a set word count. So here is the problem: I was born with a vagina.

Where are penises sold? Men sure seem to have nicer life problems than mine. Imagine growing up “unable” to cook and clean because “those are women’s worries, son”. Going to the mountain when you reach the right age and learning how to be a man over 30-60 days. To be able to walk to the school library during exam time without having to fill up my bag with “unnecessary” weapons for my own safety. The privilege of standing on the street corner, the res corridors, the Somalian shop entrance, randomly slurring out things like: “ekse mabhebeza, cava la ass, uybonile laway mfethu, ulahlile lamntana” (derogatory terms and definitions used by Xhosa males in general to refer to females) just to because we’re boys appeasing our boredom. Being born with a penis does not sound so bad if you look at it this way right?!

Men are not generally taught how to cook and clean in preparation for possible marriage as envisioned by their parents. They are not conditioned to fear the opposite sex but instead, are taught that they are superior to them. If penises were for sale, I would have one in this month’s budget because I have come to detest ever being born with a hole between my legs. What was God thinking anyway? If God does exist, he will have to forgive me for ‘envying my brother’. He will have to ask for my forgiveness because I am pissed as fuck right now.

I am angry because boys and girls are raised in different ways. I am angry because little boys are raised by men who do not teach them to respect women. I am angry because the BOYS in my circles believe that they are men because their foreskins have been chopped off (rolls eyes). I am angry because these children trapped in adult bodies do not know how to reprimand one another and certainly have no cooking clue what manhood actually is. I am even angrier at myself for praying to a MAN, and for referring to my ancestors as “ooRhibela” (the males in my clan) instead of “ooMaRhibela” (the females in my clan), because I am emulating my elders. I am angry because it has become normal to fear my fathers and their sons instead of feeling a sense of protection in their presence.

So, ndicela ifavor (I need a favor): I do not want my three-year-old daughter to spend her life begging for forgiveness because she does not have a penis. Can men “keep it real” with their friends? Tell your boys the difference between a bitch and a woman; that they have no right to slut-shame ANYONE. That there is a difference between loving and respecting your better half and “ukutsalwa ngempumlo” (being controlled). Call out your blesser-type friends because it is not lunch after 12 it’s actually a minute past the hour.

Can we raise children instead of boys and girls? Tell them that they do not have the same sex organs but will abide by the same rules as they are children none the less. “Imazi inye kulendlu” (there is only one woman in this house) is a popular phrase in Xhosa households but let’s add another; “Inkunzi inye kulendlu” (there is only one man in this house). There is one woman and one man in any household and no child, as old as they may be, should ever be considered to have earned the right to be/act like an “imazi” or “inkunzi” until they actually have a household to be/act like one. Maybe then I will feel safer. Perhaps then little boys will grow up to become actual men who are able define themselves outside of their male and patriarchal privilege.

 

 

 

 

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Water-saving gamnified: TapOff or Tap out?

 

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Image source: Google Images

As Cape Town continues to face a water crisis, residents can now receive real-time updates on the city’s water consumption. This is thanks to TapOff, a free app released in January 2018 that summarizes important water crisis information and gamifies water saving.

All Capetonians with City of Cape Town bills are able to calculate their per-person-per-day usage on the app calculator and post results to the leaderboard. So far, hundreds have posted their water use in this water-saving challenge of sorts.  The homescreen of the app displays a Day Zero ticker based on current usage and dam storage levels, the number of days since it last rained in the city, and the metropole’s current water consumption rate.

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Image source: What’s on in Cape Town via Google Images

                          Users can contribute to updates 

Other residents have however complained that people without a water bill are being excluded. The developers have responded saying that the app is to be continuously updated through user feedback.

“We decided to release the product before it contained all the possible features we could build, otherwise we might never have launched at all, and we didn’t want that. We realize there are things that we have not conquered but we will get there as we gather feedback like this, learn and adapt. Plans to capture water usage in a different way are already underway.”

Updates to make users per-person-per-day calculation more visible and allowing people to navigate to their suburb and have already been posted.  The suburb filter can unearth some impressive and sometimes inconvenient home truths. While privacy may be another concern for some, developers have assured users that their identity is completely anonymous.

TapOff was built by Cape Town based product design studio AUX in March 2017 and on 27th January 2018, the link was officially trickled to social media. The app has been highlighted on GooglePlay and the AppStore as a top one in the Free Education category and is easy to use.

AUX is looking for more partners and sponsors in order to offer real rewards to water savers and engage more residents.

TapOff is available for Android  and iOS users.

Here are some water-saving tips.

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Award-winning SA law firm deploys Luminance artificial intelligence platform

Webber Wentzel
Webber Wetzel 90 Rivonia JHB (The Green Business Guide)

Webber Wentzel has adopted Luminance’s technology to enhance efficiency. The technology is language agnostic and can automatically classify data, pinpointing differences between contracts and uncovering hidden risks early in transactions.

The law firm was recognized in early 2017 as leading legal advisers in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa by Mergermarket and Thomson Reuters. They dominated the 17th DealMakers Annual Gala Awards winning BEE Legal Adviser of the Year by deal value in 2017.

Celebrating 150 years in business, the law firm has had innovation at its heart and its investment in Luminance is proof of this. They are a leader in their market and have worked on major cases such as that of the Inxeba film.

The company says they value Luminance’s built-in tools which will allow lawyers to group and assign documents, track progress and reduce time spent organizing work flow so they can focus on what matter.

 Webber Wentzel Legal Project Manager Celia Pienaar says machine learning tech is their next step 

“Webber Wentzel has been using a number of innovative technology solutions to continuously improve efficiencies and add value when we deliver our legal services to our clients.  Machine learning technology is the next step in our journey, focusing on enhancing the management and review of increasingly large volumes of documents.”

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Luminance page logo (Luminance)

Luminance, the leading artificial intelligence platform for the legal profession launched in September 2016 and has over 70 customers in 18 countries. They use advanced machine learning techniques from the University of Cambridge to understand contracts, finding anomalies without instruction which can be set up and ready for use in under a day. Luminance CEO Emily Foges says they are thrilled to welcome Webber Wentzel as a customer.

“Webber Wentzel understands the importance of innovation in the legal sector, and we are thrilled to welcome them as the first South African law firm to adopt our language agnostic technology. We’re delighted that our platform will assist Webber Wentzel’s lawyers on many of South Africa’s largest and most complex transactions.”

 

The agreement marks another major international win for the fast-growing artificial intelligence platform.

Also Read: Will a robot be doing your job by 2030?

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