By Nombuso Nkambule (@hrh_nombuso)
She has no feature in the theatrics of the stereotype of the angry black woman; and she never, ever quietens her heart no matter how crazy or radical you might call her.
So, who is the new girl? She is vanguard, en vogue and vocal. She is a self-assured truth seeker who does not kill herself over something that has no reason (par exemple: a break up. Joking. Not joking). Naturally like all new girls she has an opinion, lots of them. Ladies and gentleman, without further ado I present to you, the former demure debutante who now puts the ‘pow’ in empowerment: The New Girl. And this one is for you.With about four and a half million women living in the Gauteng province in South Africa, you would expect ‘The New Girl’ to be a bit of superstar synonymous with adorations of intellect and beauty and free-spiritedness. However, I am fast learning that in these fast Jozi streets, quantity does not always equal quality. Allow me to explain with an experience that I had last week at the car wash.
It was a typical afternoon in Sandton and I was just kicking it at the carwash with a fast friend, sans cooler box of Hunters Dry’s, when I happened upon two gentlemen who were also waiting for their cars. We exchanged hellos, made small talk about Bronte (whose favourite English author isn’t she?) and we might even have exchanged numbers (okay, email addresses), had he not said that he had never before met girls who speak so (and we had to help find the word) ‘intellectually’. My jaw dropped, and before I had time to pick it back up and smartly retort, his friend with the polished fade haircut said: “and there’s no way you have a boyfriend because guys don’t like women who think they’re too smart.” Jaw still on the ground, he then said that I was (dum dum dum dum): unusual. What follows can only be likened to a dull ‘thwap!’ on your forehead. True, my new friend and I (and the other New Girls like us) could never assume that we speak for all of young, black cosmopolitan ‘Jozi gals’; but we never knew we were so blatantly unaccounted for.
Beavis and Butthead at the carwash in no way reflect the opinions on women of every single man in South Africa. However, this is a patriarchal society founded by the heads of chiefs and the hands of colonialists. Men are viewed as dominant and superior over the meek and beautiful women. I am not meek; new girls prefer to be called cool and consuming. And we are beautiful, of course.
Beautiful and cautious, the new girl is becoming stealthily adept at recognising the miss-truths of the miss-guided men we date. However, as we all know, gain of knowledge does not necessarily equal gain of function, so the new girl is still very much a girl. She is not trying to be a guy. That would be unsightly. The new girl is intelligent and she does not perpetuate the apparent stereotype that girls are dumb by using words like ‘vibes’ (pronounced: vaaaarbs) to describe everything from the beach to funerals. Nor, is she ‘more intelligent’ because she sit’s up reading Steve Biko’s “I Write What I Like”.
The new girl is simply redefining and refining herself first. She is part bureaucracy, part anarchy and part passion. The new girl is about a new culture: the definitive and non-restrictive kind. The new girl is about rebranding and revolutionising; she thinks about higher existence and has formulated opinions on the Nkandla report. Emotionally, the New Girl throws out what harms her and keeps only what warms her. Ultimately, the new girl makes her own truth, and she stays searching.
She has no feature in the theatrics of the stereotype of the angry black woman; and she never, ever quietens her heart no matter how crazy or radical you call her. The new girl takes charge and she makes her own choices: a few life-changing ones, a fleet of fabulous ones and those occasional bad to the bone ones.
What choices are you making now, New Girl?
RECOMMENDED READING AND VIDEOS:
LISTEN : Awesome Music By The New Girl, For the New Girl – Kilo Kish
VISIT: A cosmopolitan blog by a new girl : Warsan Shire (poet, writer, editor and educator)
WATCH: For Women Who Are Difficult To Love by Warsan Shire
WATCH: TED Talk: Dr. Megan Jay: Why 30 is NOT the new 20
Nombuso Nkambule is a modern day princess of the Valoyi clan. She is your go to new girl on opinions on love, boys and oestrogen. A born writer, doctor in the making and struggling model who is just trying to survive the bone throw in these Jozi streets.