I AM A WOMAN – Mandisa Mndela



I AM A WOMAN – Mandisa Mndela

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Mandisa Mndela

Author, founder at Stand Your Truth and South African Native, Mandisa Mndela born on September 22 1970 in a small village, Misty Mount in Mthatha, Eastern Cape South Africa.
Taking from her life experiences chronicled in her 3books –

1. ”Stand” – 2012
(Foundation) – Teenage Stage
2. ’’7Letters 7Years” – 2014
(Structure) – Young Adult Stage
3. “The Dawn” – 2016
(Roof) – Adult Stage
Moved by the displacement of our age, the lack of sense of worth and purpose of our young people…

This, which gave birth to the curriculum and the platform that bears a human experience.

Here in, talks about her experiences as a woman on being silenced, ignored, looked down on, dehumanised and in most cases deliberately placed on the shelve, forgotten.

My point of departure on this issue had to be the question on who exactly is a woman and what is her role in this life? Why is she here and what is her purpose.

Scratching for answers, I found myself taken to many sources of reference, and had an opportunity to read o these sources more than once, and to my great disappointment (blame it to my interpretation) on my discovery on the derogatory history of this person called a “Woman” only apparently here to be used as a tool, whether to bear children, or a servant to the other in whichever way the other see fit. In most cases an exchange tool for wealth.

Her power crushed out, stepped on, left out, silenced and, her power only a shadow which can’t even keep her company at a time of darkness. Yes, in the dark you are alone, you can’t see your very own shadow.

I grew up with my grandmother, a very mean grandmother. A smile from her was as rare as meeting a polar bear in the grasslands of the savannah. She had no compassion or empathy at all. You would dare start a sweet conversation with her even about your dreams and aspirations, let alone contemplate to ask any questions about any issue with her.

She would crush that in an instance. I remember, I loved reading and writing my thoughts in expressing my dreams and vision at an early age, but my grandmother would slap me at any given time she finds me reading or writing, telling me to go fetch this do that clean the house for the tenth time just to switch off that light of my creativity and dreams.
The village loudest rooster crows in the early hours of the day, our kitchen is the first to demonstrate a smouldering fire place as seen from the smoke billowing into the clean air at the crack of dawn. Water must be boiling in a ten litre aluminium basin, the porridge ready and steaming hot.
The homestead must be swept spotlessly clean before anyone wakes up, the large tank must be filled with fresh water from a distant pond – several trips to and fro until the tank is brimming with clean water. When Makhulu (grandmother) wakes up, had her bath and porridge then we can think about quickly washing up and starting the long walk to the local school, kilometres from the homestead.
The journey to the school is gruelling, quite a number of us fall in the dusty path that leads to the school building.

Time flies when we are there, before we know it, we are back at Makhulu only to find a pile of chores before us. Dishes are to be washed, food prepared, the pigsty cleaned, mud bricks to be made for the extra hut we are building and any more chores Makhulu has personally thought up so that at no point should I be found doing my homework, reading and writing (which I loved) let alone playing.
When the rooster announces the death of the day, even more work comes along with darkness, the entire day is eventful – and exhaustion is an understatement when I try to describe how it felt when I eventually went to bed, leaving no room to pursue my dreams and vision, not even a little space to think of them.
My voice silenced, I was ignored, a little girl’s dream of one day becoming this great writer crushed out.
This which makes me think of some places I know on this earth, where this powerful creature is not even allowed to go to school. Why? – Because she must never find out who she is, never find light on her power, enlightenment must be far, far away from her. She must not even be able to read what is written about her.

I know of places on this earth, where she is not even allowed to celebrate her beauty, to a point where you can clearly note that she would not be even allowed to open her eyes. Places where it is a sin for her to look at anyone in the eye, in her attempt to make her voice heard even at times she is used as a tool, and expected to be of service. The other allowed to indulge on her to full satisfaction, with her eyes closed.

When this powerful creature tries to speak out, she is immediately put on an emotional box, bombarded by emotional blackmail, a space or box that does not allow a complete translation of the heart and mind because of its manipulative effect.

What has this done to this powerful creature?

It has recreated itself. I have noted, come across and experienced situations where women supress and oppress one another, deeming each others’s light, magnifying each other’s weaknesses to a point where the other either look dubious or unworthy of any if not stupid, in chase of claiming the golden prize to self.
Placing great emphasis on rights and too little on responsibility in an escape to having to face purpose, and the depth of lack of capacity to speak and live one’s personal truth.
Was this what was eating Makhulu up? Was she also silenced and ignored?
I kept on asking myself…

When in these situations and trying to speak out one is seen as a rebel by the seniors for they know no better close to none than what has been fed to them. After I have seen what they have seen, experienced what they have experienced, heard what they have heard I still wonder of their silence, hence I could not be imprisoned by the same.
My dreams, aspirations and vision having been put aside, buried and forgotten for the better part of my life, I finally started writing immediately I personally pronounced my freedom the day I started working.
As difficult as it is, to live in a world that has clearly profited in our self-doubt, (which Makhulu fed me?) which has made us believe that expressing our power is a rebellious act, I had to press on beyond those limitations, express my personal power and speak my truth out.

A difficult time, where that truth has become more and more of a stranger, values exchanged for valuables.

A time where everyone, using a vehicle called expectation, which always fail to meet reality, in chase to acquire these valuables as fast as one possible can, in sacrifice of moral standards, human dignity, sense of community, let alone service which is long time thrown in the bin with no trace.

In my own way, with my voice slowly piercing through the darkness of these vicious life challenges, I managed to write a curriculum that bears this human experience in an attempt to save that little girl that I once was, so that the little time she has at school becomes even more interesting and worthwhile.
In my own way, I have created a Stand Your Truth Platform, a safe space of freedom for us to finally express our power, our voice in truth and in love, as we collectively create solutions to a better tomorrow for all, and more so a way of connecting with the community.

Whether I will be correct to say the time to rewrite our history, create our own reference books of our time has come? A space where she will be able to express her true power? – Your Take!
Would that be seen as another rebellious act by this powerful creature?

Mandisa Mndela ~ Nov 2016

Author’s Bio: 


Mandisa Mndela – Founder at Stand Your Truth, Author and a South African Native, took a Stand, and emerged as a unique voice and astute observer of the contemporary challenges which affect the parental/child dynamic.

From her own personal journey, a child of privileged to a neglected and abused youngster, a teenage mother, a failed marriage, and a successful single parent provider, Mandisa has endured and analyzed vast dimensions of life, acquiring insights which have propelled her to inhabit her role as a compelling author, life enthusiast, and an education thought leader.

Her life experiences chronicled in her 3books –

1. ”Stand” – 2012 (Foundation)

2. ’’7Letters 7Years” – 2014 (Structure)

3. “The Dawn” – 2016 (Roof)

Which has ultimately and uniquely positioned her to provide insights to the perplexing questions which plague the modern child-parent familial dynamic. All of which has culminated in the creation of the curriculum and platform that bears human experience.

Moved by the displacement of our age, the lack of sense of worth and purpose of our young people, it has become clear that in addition to the standard educational curriculum, there has been a corresponding need for inner/emotive curriculum which seeks to inform, strengthen the health and fitness of students in their imagination and self-esteem. ‘’ says Mandisa

With more and more well-meaning parents stymied by the challenging workplace/career demands required to provide the child/student with shelter/food/clothing/education fees, there is often little time and energy left for parents to adequately address the needs of the child/students other developmental intangibles. In turn, Stand Your Truth provides an organized mechanism through which this critical life developmental void may be addressed.

As a public speaker, Mandisa talks of what she believes are the three-tiers of self-realization,




Given the priorities of modern society, sometimes this is easier said than done. In the guise of her alter-ego, a mezzo-soprano, violinist, Mandisa has appeared on numerous occasions on the world stage, performing.

“I find it a good metaphor for my life thus far, “says Mandisa. “We all have a unique voice inside of us which we have to find an outlet for. When we are born we are not given a manual to life, so it is really trial and error but if you stand your truth, lean on your purpose as you build on your aspirations in contribution to this world in service, then, you can be fulfilled.”

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