Other articles by Nono Tshabalala

    Nono Tshabalala

    Dear Phenomenal Woman…

    Have you ever met a woman whose very presence dazzled you? One who made you feel like her wit and charm was contagious. When people ask you to describe her, your vocabulary fails you – you struggle to define her almost tangible aura. Do you know that you are this woman? A woman who makes people catch their breath?

    I know how to describe you; you are a fist fight inside a library – you were born to erupt! Every woman wants to be you, every man wishes they had you; but you’re comfortable on your own. Your own company doesn’t frighten you. You look in the mirror and you smile at the imperfections which once made you cry. You live in your beauty.

    You’re a strong woman. You find humour in places it has no right to exist. You cheer on your girlfriends through it all much to the constant shame of the green-eyed monster. You love through pain, you’ve danced intimately with sadness but you’re the kind of girl who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that joy comes in the morning. So that man broke your heart, he left you with a small child you didn’t know what to do with. You didn’t buckle down and submit to your situation – there was no time for that. You put on the shoes he wasn’t man enough to fill and you go about raising sons who will never walk away from a woman with tears in her eyes and raising daughters who’ll know what to do if a man leaves.

    I look at you and wonder if people realise they’re in the presence of greatness whenever you’re around. From the top of your perfectly styled weave to your manicured toes you are all woman; born to dazzle. You should be intimidating but you’re not. You’re a completely endearing package. Your ability to punctuate conversations with laughter is charming. You understand the fascination with Boris Kodjoe, you know why no one is fiercer than Beyonce, you respect Oprah’s relentless work ethic, you know why Maya Angelou’s caged bird sings and you speak fluent fashion. You are so many women and you are beautiful to watch.

    You know how to take criticism and not allow it to harden your skin. Instead, allow it to cleanse, tone MOISTURISE. Your essence is elusive but long after you leave; the weight of your presence makes itself comfortable on everyone you meet. The way you tackle your career is uncompromising, soft when you need to be and master negotiator when the need arises. So many pretty shoes to buy and you work hard for your money. Some people look at your hair and call you fake but you understand that the moment you parted with money to buy it, it became yours. You don’t need to speak ebonics to keep it real; just because you prefer a hassle-free hairstyle doesn’t mean you have self-hate issues.

    Dear Phenomenal Woman: You were created to inspire. To draw breath and have people memorise the moment. You are all beautiful, all successful, all nurturing, all demanding, all woman – yes you are all diva and I am pleased to know you.

    By: Nono Tshabalala

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