By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)
Vanguard’s Editor shares 15 resolutions she’s written for herself in order to maintain personal happiness and sanity while trying to slay in her career and advancing a black feminist cause.
On Advancing the Black Feminist Struggle:
1. I will remember that my actions speak louder than any words I can preach on feminism and anti-racism.
2. I will remember Mam’Toni Morrison’s words that racism is a distraction that keeps us from doing the work that we should be doing. I will focus more of my efforts onto work that is proactive instead of just reactive. This applies to patriarchy as well.
3. I will remember the Three Tweet Rule. That means I will not engage in unnecessary arguments and try to evangelize to everyone. Only in exceptional circumstances will I pull a Nombonisa Gasa and thereafter hold my peace. This applies to real life too.
4. I will remember that quality is better than quantity so I will not to try to gain the approval of or evangelize everyone. Instead I will focus on gaining the few who are committed to doing the real work. This is important for the sake of both my time and my sanity.
5. I will not support any cause that refuses to recognize the intersectionality of experiences such as anti-racism that asks me to keep quiet about sexism, feminism that asks me to keep quiet about racism or anti-racist feminism that asks me to keep quiet about homophobia or class issues.
6. I will remember that being a good ally is a constant work in progress. I will make mistakes, but the important thing is to remain committed to listening, learning and improving.
7. I will do all that I can to support black business. That also means that I will not simply walk away from bad service at a black-owned business; I will make sure I give feedback so that they have the opportunity to improve.
8. I will not give racist or sexist establishments any more of my money.
On The Hustle:
9. I will refrain from obsessing over Forbes 30 Under 30 and Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans lists and instead focus on doing work that is most important to me and working hard no matter what recognition does and doesn’t come from it.
10. I will surround myself with people who are slaying in their work and will inspire and challenge me to do better in my work.
11. When I can’t take up an opportunity, I will pass it on to someone else that I know will be able to make good use of it.
12. I will remember these words from Nina Simone: “You’ve got to leave the table when love is no longer being served.” In doing this, I will take strength from Bonang and remember that there is indeed life (or D’Banj) after Euphonik.
13. I will not tolerate bigotry from potential love interests.
On Happiness and Physical Wellbeing:
14. I will not be taking part in #TeamNoSleep. I will remember my body needs to rest and get at least 6 hours in each day.
15. In everything that I do I will remember Audre Lorde’s words: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political welfare.”