Posts Tagged ‘Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses’

Why Venus and Serena will not Support a Movie Disrespecting their Father

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Venus and Serena Williams have chosen to withdraw their support for a movie that chronicles their rise from Compton to their current super stardom as tennis and fashion “it girls”.

As is characteristic of the Williams sisters, they have not been vocal about the documentary nor their reasons for not supporting it. It is being reported that Venus , specifically, is the one who saw the movie and did not approve of how it depicted their father, Richard Williams. Venus is said to have requested that the movie makers make some changes to the movie because it suggested that their father was too controlling and even suggested that he was a womanizer because he allegedly has other children that he had out of wedlock. Even after the changes, the sisters have still chosen not to support the movie.

What I respect about the Williams sisters is that they are standing by their father even though that could mean a dent in their pockets. We can not know for certain how much of what the movie is suggesting about their father is true, but I reckon that even if it were all true, the sisters would still refuse to support it.

The lesson that I am drawing from the sisters is that a man does not have to be perfect for you to love him, respect him and be loyal to him. In fact, if that were the case, none of us women would be able to love any man!

I was born and raised in Botswana and am now married to someone who was born and raised in the U.S. so I have had the privilege of observing how our two cultures agree and how they differ. What I love about the stance that Venus and Serena took is that it reminds me of what I grew up experiencing and what in my observation is slowly slipping away in the culture that I have now become a part of, American culture.

A strong family unit is sustained buy BOTH a strong man and a strong woman. It saddens me to continue to see Black men and Black women throw mud in each other’s faces instead of recognizing each other’s short comings and stepping up to support and encourage each other where the other falls short.

I am not saying that we should be entirely accommodating of each other’s bad behavior, in fact, I believe that we should all hold each other accountable. That being said, I believe that we can hold each other accountable away from the public eye. In Tswana (from Botswana) culture, it is common for a woman to disagree with her husband and even at times give him a “tongue lashing” but as wives, we are advised to do so away from the public eye, preferable behind closed doors and preferably behind the bedroom door.

Too often I hear women complain about how “sorry” some men are and they list all the things that they have failed to do. While all that may be true, what good does it do him, or anyone, for that information to be taken and splashed across the tabloids? What good would it do if a movie was made and the movie showed a man’s shortcomings? Yes, there may be a few dollars to be made, maybe even a lot of dollars, but is it really worth it? I say: no.

I can’t be certain what part Oracene Price, Venus and Serena’s mother, played in their decision but I reckon she has a similar feeling about the situation. I reckon she raised her daughters to love and respect their father, even though her relationship with him took a different turn that what I imagine they had originally intended.

I am a woman so I can directly say this to my sisters: If you ever wonder why “brothers won’t commit”, consider that maybe they have lost confidence in marriage because women like Venus and Serena are so rare nowadays. Maybe they don’t believe that they can find a woman who will see all their shortcomings and rather than use them to attack and bring them down, that woman will be a supporter and encourager.

For all we know, every piece of dirty laundry the movie wants to air about Richard Williams could be true.We do also have to consider, though, that maybe it is not. What we do all know is that Richard Williams has invested a tremendous amount of blood, sweat and tears into his daughters. Yes, they are talented and skilled but I don’t believe that they would have achieved international tennis stardom had it not been for his investment in their lives. That, I believe is what Venus and Serena choose to focus on and celebrate.

Should we hold our men accountable and tell the truth? Absolutely, but a movie premier is certainly not the time and place to do so and I applaud Venus and Serena for recognizing that and standing on that principle.


Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com

Originally Posted at YourBlackBloggers

Why Women Like Eddie Long’s Wife Stay after Public Humiliation

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I just read a story about Vanessa Long sharing the “storm” she survived after her husband, Eddie Long, the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, was accused of “having relations” with five young men in the ministry.

Vanessa Long, who herself is an elder at New Birth, spoke to a group of women in the Heart to Heart Ministry at New Birth sharing that the whole experience was a very gruesome struggle but her final decision was to stay with her husband and their church.

As I read the story, I was reminded of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that put the then, First Lady Hilary Clinton, in a similar predicament. I remember being very judgmental of Mrs Clinton, at the time, in my arrogant and youthful ignorance. Now, as I approach eight years of marriage, my perspective has shifted. I am able to see that Elder long (and Mrs. Clinton) can seem like foolish women who are taking this “marriage thing” a little too far but I also see that it is not so simple.

First of all, most people who walk into marriages take vows and those vows, usually say that the couple should stand by each other through “thick and thin” and through “sickness and health” and of course that does not just mean that wives or husbands can’t walk away if their spouses get sick; it means that you vow to stay no matter what!

I will admit, I have somewhat of a bias; I was born and raised in a two parent home and in less than two years, my parents will celebrate 40 year of marriage. Through them, I have learned that if you’re committed to your marriage and the well-being of your children and the stability of your community, there really is next to nothing that can convince you to walk away from your marriage. Further more, my perspective is colored by being raised in a different country where the culture places a very high value on marriage, family and community.

The alarming rate at which people choose to end their marriages today is by far not an indicator of the exceptions of “through thick and thin” but instead an indication that the way modern day society perceives marriage is shifting and not in a good way. If you haven’t already, just spend some time talking to a psychologist or sociologist about the crippling effects of broken homes.

Of course there are exceptions; too often, we hear about battered women who stayed in abusive marriages right up until their husbands took their lives. This is an extreme example and those are the instances where divorce is almost certainly the only option.

In her conversation with the women she was speaking to, Elder Long shared that part of the reason why she stayed was because she wanted to stay with her New Birth family and also because she believed that she could use her experience to inspire and minister to other women who are going through their own “storms”.

How I interpret what she is saying is that she did not just stay because she did not want to leave Eddie Long; she stayed because she understands that her marriage serves a greater purpose than just a relationship between two people. Maybe Mrs. Long considered her three children and thought that even though they had probably suffered a great deal of embarrassment from the attention they got in the scandal, they still deserved to be with both their parents in one household. Maybe Mrs. Long thought about having to leave all the meaningful relationships she had been building for years and the standard of living that she was accustomed to and decided that Eddie Long’s alleged actions should not rob her and her children of those things. Maybe, Mrs. Long thought about the day she said “till death do us part” which meant that even though what her husband was being accused of made her vomit, understandably, he was still alive and that meant that she was still his wife.

I don’t believe that any woman can say with certainty what she would do if she were in the same position as Mrs. Long. We will never know what Mrs. Long’s conversations with God were, as she undoubtedly knelt to pray for the strength and courage to endure the “storm” that her husband had led her into. What I do know is that far more marriages end in divorce than is necessary. I believe that anyone who decides to get married should, as Dr. Phil puts it, “earn their way out” of marriage. What Dr. Phil means is that every possible option to save the marriage should be exhausted before a couple decides they want to swap out their spouse like a old pair of shoes or yesterday’s underwear.

The people who sustain their marriages understand that marriage is not to be taken lightly and it requires commitment, perseverance, sacrifice, selflessness and an understanding that marriage serves a greater purpose than two people getting together because they “love” each other.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT BLACK LIKE MOI

Why Men Like Paul Ryan Date Black Women (Video)

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

In this video, Dr. Boyce Watkins and I discuss the article/blog I wrote, “Why Men Like Paul Ryan Date Black Women”.

The article is below the video.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.
Originally Posted at Black Blue Dog.

If you want your life to go from Good to Great, read Nomalanga’s tips here

Why Men Like Paul Ryan Date Black Women
By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election, “casually” mentioned, in an interview, that he dated a Black woman. He also mentioned that he has a Black sister in law.Somehow this brought back memories of when I would be around non-Black people who would try to make me feel “comfortable” by telling me that they had a Black maid, but I digress.

So now we know that Paul Ryan dated a Black woman-now what? Well we know that Ryan mentioned those particular tidbits of information to somehow make a case for his ongoing campaign to convince us that he is not a racist and has the interest of Black people in mind as he vies for the number two spot in running the country.

Soooo, since he brought it up, lets mull over why men like him, a white conservative from small- town-USA might end up dating a woman like Deneeta Pope, a Black woman who supports the re-election of President Obama.

Well, maybe Ryan and Pope did not burden themselves with all this race talk and were instead, two people who happened to take a liking to each other, dated, found out it wasn’t mean to be and amicably went their separate ways. According to TMZ, Pope says Ryan and his wife even attended Pope’s wedding in May.

On the other hand, we’ve all heard the ridiculous myth that Black women in America only fit in one of two boxes: prude or crude, as in having an insatiable appetite when it comes to “rolling in the hay”. That being said, I can think of few men, none actually, who would be drawn to a woman because they think she is prude… So maybe, Mr. Ryan had an understandable curiosity about what it would be like to date a Black woman, you know, to see if the myth is true.

Obviously neither of the possible reasons I have cited are supposed to be a college level thesis, but I do find it interesting that his brother is married to a Black woman. Maybe the Ryan brothers are not just “curious” but just happen to be men who have the ability to see a woman for more than her skin color.

The next question then, is: does that make a difference in the upcoming presidential race? Well, if I were one of those people who actually thought that being a Republican or a Democrat meant anything, I would probably not jump from my assumed Democratic side to the Republican side just because the nominee for the number two position, on the Republican side, dated a Black woman years ago and I seriously doubt that anyone else would.

Watch Mrs Botswana at Mrs Earth 2012

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

On August 18, 2012, Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses will be representing Botswana at Mrs Earth 2012.

“The Mrs./Ms. Earth International Pageant is a great experience for women everywhere to promote themselves, voice their opinions, get involved, network, promote a special cause, fulfill personal goals, and to have fun.”

Mrs Earth will be streaming live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/beautynetwork

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.

Mrs Botswana at Mrs Earth 2012-Day 1

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Day 1 at Mrs Earth 2012 was awesome! In this video I share a little about how day one went.

I had the privilege of meeting some awesome women from around the world. My “roomie” Mrs Guatemala is a burst of energy and I love it!

I’m looking forward to a great experience. Doing what you love is so much fun when it’s sprinkled with beauty and glamor!

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.

A Black Woman or Man in a Hostile Work Place

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

One day I woke up feeling so drained of energy that I just did not want to get out of bed. I forced myself out of bed, showered, got ready and hopped into my car and went to work. At work, I went through the motions as best as I could even though I felt like was about to collapse. That evening, as I sat on the couch at home, away from my children and my husband (they could all sense that it was best to stay away from their cranky mother/wife), I came to a realization. I was dying, slowly, but surely.

Every day, I woke up, took a shower, put on some make-up, did my hair and then walked, as a sheep, to my own slaughter. You see, the reason why I was dying was because I allowed myself to work in a work environment where there were people who were killing me. They didn’t hold a gun to my head or stab me with a knife. That would be too outrageous-right? Instead, they did it slowly and I was no better than them because I was a willing participant. When they poked at me, I reacted! When they talked about me and I heard about it, I cried and believed what they were saying! Every day I went to the building that the slow killing was taking place and I thought that a measly check, given to me every two weeks, was enough compensation for my own death-a slow death but a death, nonetheless…
What I have just described is my life as it was some years ago before I left the particular job that I had at the time. I have heard a number of friends and family members describe a similar set of circumstances where they were “the only one” at their work place and experienced negative treatment.

The terrible part of what I and many women (and men) of color experience is that it can be very subtle. It can be a feeling of being micro-managed or having your errors being paid more attention to than anybody else’s. Sometimes it’s as casual as returning from the weekend and everyone except you is talking about how much fun they had together over the weekend. Sometimes you step out of your office and everyone is gone… They have all gone for lunch and you’re the only one they didn’t invite.

My reaction to this experience was to find a new place to work. One of the “non-negotiables” in my job search was that the workplace had to have a lot of diversity and have inclusion as one of its core initiatives.

Can anyone really ever escape the effects of being excluded because they are different? I don’t think so but I do believe that staying in a work place that constantly erodes your self esteem and self worth is an unhealthy way of living one’s life. Some might say, “You’re being excluded because you’re unpleasant to be around.” Well, if that was the case, I believe that every person who left a workplace that was not inclusive would continue to experience the same treatment everywhere they went but most people who leave jobs that are lacking in diversity among their employees usually report a better working environment when they are not “the only one” somewhere else.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com

Originally posted at BlackBlueDogs

The Complex Single Black Woman

Friday, July 13th, 2012

I think we can all agree that we’ve heard enough speculation than we can take about why Black women are supposedly not marriage material or are somehow unable to “keep a man”.

How about if we stopped to consider that the single black woman is more complex than the unkind stereotype of some overweight, finger snapping, angry and ignorant woman who walks around looking for someone to just “say something” so she can give him or her a piece of her mind.

Having been part of this ever increasing demographic, I can recall being a much younger single black woman terrified that I was destined to be alone because along with the stereotype of the single Black woman, comes the stereotype of the lazy, angry and dangerous Black man who will inevitably become someone’s baby daddy or a court appointed legal defender’s client. If these were the option, why bother?

To cut a long story short, I realized that just as sure as I did not fit the stereotype of the unpleasant Black woman we can all clearly imagine, it stood to reason that there were also Black men “out there” who did not fit theirs. I was right (*smiling).

There are four basic types of Singe Black Women:

  1. I desperately want a man
  2. I want a man and when the time is right, I will meet him
  3. I want a man but I say I don’t want one because I’m not sure if I can “get” and “keep” one
  4. I don’t want a man

Let’s explore these women a little bit.

I desperately want a man

If you’ve never seen this woman, you’ll know her when you see her! She “looks” desperate. Her tactics may vary but they all scream of desperation. Sometimes she will be the woman you see who seems to have forgotten that her breasts belong inside her blouse instead of the outside or that when you bend over, your skirt is not supposed to be so short that we can see all the stretch marks on the bottom of her buttocks. Sometimes she is that girlfriend who just can’t enjoy going dancing with her female friends and that be the only purpose of the outing; instead, going dancing is actually going hunting-for men.

Sadly, this women is a damaged soul who needs to learn to love herself but has somehow convinced herself that if she finds “the right guy” he will heal her of her many wounds. He won’t.

I want a man and when the time is right, I will meet him

Some women know what they want and also believe that they are worthy of having it. These women recognize that relationships require a level of maturity and a willingness to grow, in order to not only survive, but to also thrive.

This is the woman who will invest in her personal development and growth so that when “Mr. Right” comes knocking, she will be the “Ms. Right” that he has also been looking for.

I want a man but I say I don’t want one because I’m not sure if I can “get” and “keep” one

Many women who claim to not want a man are actually women who want a man but have had and seen too many unsuccessful and dysfunctional relationships to ever dare to hope that they may end up in a healthy, happy and functional one, themselves. Instead of continuing to hope and keep facing disappointment after disappointment, they will just proclaim “I can do bad all by myself”. This would be okay if it were true. First of all, if a woman is going to be by herself, why would she want to “do bad”? Second of all, why are her feelings about men so negative?

These women are like the friend or co-worker who passionately proclaims, “I don’t care” when everyone can see that she clearly cares or she would not be so emotional.

These women would do well to start healing the wounds that are causing their negative reactions to the thought of being in a meaningful relationship. Your life is as you confess it and if you say “I can do bad all by myself”…you will.

I don’t want a man

There are women who have had some successful relationships with men and have also experienced some disappointing and hurtful ones. They recognize that relationships require a lot of commitment and hard work. They decide that they would rather not make the investment and would rather enjoy life flying solo.

These women are extremely rare, but you’ll know then when you see them. They are typically joy-filled women that you can enjoy being around without having to listen to an angry rant about the many evils of “Brothers”. These women have a full life and enjoy spending time with friends and family or serving their communities or maybe just being alone tending to a beautiful flower garden.

Ladies, are you courageous enough to acknowledge which woman you are? If so, please share where you are and if you want to stay there.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.

Originally posted at Black Blue Dog

Nomalanga: Miss World announces contestants list-what about the judges?

Friday, April 20th, 2012

It is being reported that a list of 50 winners of national beauty pageants around the world was made public. These 50 are the first of what is expected to be a total of 120 women all vying for the Miss World 2012 title. What I find interesting is that we always know so much about the contestants but so little about the judges.

It makes sense that in order to protect the integrity of the judging process, the international beauty pageants would not disclose the names of the judges but I also think it is reasonable to expect that after the pageants, there should be full disclosure. If there is no transparency in the judging process, we can never be certain that the winner was chosen fairly.

My experience at Mrs World 2011
led me to write a letter to the Mrs World Pageant owners, specifically because the pageant lacked both transparency in the judging process and there was a lack of diversity in the selection of the judges as well. Of the nearly 60 women that entered the Mrs World pageant, there were no less that 12 women who were either African or identified themselves as being of African decent and yet, not one single one made it into the top 14. Of the women that the judges selected to go into the top 14, only Mrs Vietnam (a gorgeous and phenomenal woman) made it in. The problem with this is that the only non-white judge on the judging panel was a Vietnamese woman who is also a former Mrs Vietnam.

I’m saying all this to make one basic point, we need BOTH transparency and diversity in judging international pageants. If pageants are going to define beauty by narrow, euro-centric standards, then it may be best for those that do not fit into those narrow stands to forgo entering the pageants all together. Although pageants are about more than how the women look, it is next to impossible to deny that how the women look is certainly a critical factor in deciding who walks away with the title.

The main reason why I wrote the letter to the owners of the Mrs World pageant is because I believe that the Mrs World did not select a diverse pool of judges and in so doing, they opened most of the Mrs World contestants to an unfair pageant experience.

One thing that I absolutely love about the Miss World (not MRS) pageant system is that their judging system is such that they always have a finalist from every continent or region of the world. That being said, in their history, they have only, to my knowledge, ever had two Black women win the title. Statistically, that is not high enough and I hope that in the coming years, we will see an improvement. Being a finalist and or runner up is great, but black women deserve to wear the crown as well.

Do We Sometimes Seek Out Abusive and Disappointing Relationships?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

In the video below, Dr. Boyce Watkins and Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses ask whether or not many African Americans are using the wrong formula to build their relationships.(The audio on my end has an echo but is still audible).

Originally posted at Your Black World.

Nomalanga: Why I wrote a letter to The Mrs World Pageant Owners

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

These are the reasons that I wrote the letter:

1. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and skin tones. The judges selection of the Mrs World 2011 finalists did not reflect that.

2. An all white judging panel is less likely to see the beauty in a black women and other non-white women than a panel of judges that has a mix of both white and non-white judges.

3. I believe that because of my letter, the next time that the Mrs World organization holds a pageant, they will diversify their judging panel or they will have a judging system in place that will ensure that they select finalists from very continent or region of the world.

Side note: If they don’t do what I mentioned on point number 3, above, I will be writing them another letter and publishing that as well!

These are NOT the reasons why I wrote-the letter:

1. Mrs. America, April Lufriu did not deserve to win. -In fact, I actually believe that in spite of all the inconsistencies of the pageant, she probably would still have emerged as the winner!

2. I was mad that I did not win. -I have entered more pageants than I can count and have never actually won a national or international title and have never complained because there was a fairness, diversity and transparency in the judging system. I have been a first runner up twice and a finalist in most of the pageants that I entered and each and every time, I graciously congratulated the winner, thanked the organizers and then went on with my life.