Karma is real. Be kind.
I've been grappling with this one for weeks now. I didn't know how to express my thoughts so I settled for giving the blog a very raw emotional tone today. I'm not celebrating this, but sometimes I can't help but think God is the ultimate Avenger (sorry Marvel) and I was meant to see and experience certain things. I have no control over when or how it all happens. I just spectate and appreciate. I'm sure that some of you can relate and I'd love to hear your stories so please use our contact form when you're done reading this and share with me your stories of vindication and karmic law.
My memory is something my brother will tell you is hard to beat. Sadly, some of my most vivid memories are not happy ones and I know this is what connects me to so many human beings around the world. One of those memories, which I tried to push into oblivion, originates in 2012. It was a week or two after our very first fashion show at the Gardens Commercial High School. I had flown back home to Durban to shadow an Architect at a firm in the CBD, and of course that's when the unthinkable happened.
Despite my suspicions, my naive (stupid) 19-yr old self trusted a young lady who (unknown to me at the time) masqueraded as the CEO of an esteemed agency in Cape Town. I prefer looking at the upside of things so I'll shorten this down to the point that a young man then decided to follow some heinous rumours and intentionally shared misinformation. The result was a hail storm of note: I was labelled, I was accused, and I had no idea any of this was going on until what I like to call the Divine Mother's energy shook me up somewhere deep inside and guided me to get online and take a look.
It looked like a full on cyber war, with two clear opposing sides, and plenty of infantry making the noise. I sat there, a confused Chief Commander, not even realising my own troops were at full force on the defence lines. If you look now, I'm sure some crude remnants of that fateful day are strewn across our Facebook page. I've never hidden my wounds no matter how deep they were. I had experienced bullying before at school, sure, but this lot took it to a whole new level. It was clearly a team effort and it was crystal clear who their commandant was. Now, fast forward to last month when we advertised our vacancy: the very same young man literally submitted three applications to work for me. Yes, me. The person whom, if on fire in June 2012, he wouldn't have so much as spat on.
Of all the emotions that hit me like a MyCiti bus, I must confess that my awe of Karma reached new heights that evening. I followed protocol but with every line of that application that I read, I remembered another comment, another nasty string of words. I'm grateful that my parents have taught me to still respect those that hurt me because I'll never do to him what he did to me, but nothing changes the fact that Karma hit hard, and it felt good deep down even though this was now 7 years into running this programme and taking the hits that nearly stopped it in its tracks in infancy.
It felt like he still didn't understand that fame couldn't motivate me. I began CAFB to make a difference to my country and none of his industry fame and glory stories appealed to me any more than they did years ago.
For every kid who's being bullied right now, every single mother who has no idea how to put food on the table, for every young man who's dreaming of a career that others are laughing about, I just want you to know that there's at least one place in this world that you can come home to. You are safe to dream your biggest wildest dreams with us; you will always have me and a family of real Angels who believe in your ability to shine, and if your heart is in the right place you will always belong with us.
We may be small fry, and years ago that definitely was the case, but after years of persevering and proving that we have integrity, passion and commitment to South Africa, I think it's safe to say that CAFB's sticking around. There is no room for hatred or evil here. We love and support one another and we're here to stand up for the youth in South Africa who are attacked because they're unique. We don't pretend. We don't care if we do what's right instead of what's popular. We're proving that the heart of the Rainbow Nation will always win. Be kind, at every opportunity, and the universe will always protect and reward you.