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Structuring a New Universe

“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth.” Albert Einstein.

My favourite part of newspapers and magazines, have always been the letters from readers, I found these interesting, I also loved columns and my favourite columnist became Fred Khumalo. Khumalo’s writing is frank and straight to the point. His columns made want to say something, he sparked something in me that said – write, write, write. With the column being print, I couldn’t find a level of communicating with Khumalo and telling him that I agree or disagree with whatever he says. I was a teenager with no access to the internet in order to email him like it said at the bottom of his articles, there was also an option to snail mail him. I drafted letters to him which I never got around to sending. Now, Web 2.0 has simplified sharing my thoughts with writers like Khumalo.

Web 2.0 has changed the world of news sharing, there are more voices and each one is unique. The internet links people from different societies and sparks debates amongst readers. For example, a few weeks ago I wrote an article about “white tendencies”, this term is explained in the article. The website, itself is targeted at South Africa’s young, emerging urban market. Now, the comments I got varied, most people were happy that I started talking about these matters, an identity outside my skin colour. Now, if you link to my article and read the comments – very interesting debates took place, people’s eyes were opened and, most importantly, I shared a story close to my heart and realised that I’m not the only one who feels that way. The fact that readers react to my writing in a similar way that I want to respond to Khumalo’s articles thrills me because it means that I’m a voice for South Africa’s urban youth.

In terms of my own development as woman, writing has been an outlet for me which helped me deal with my insecurities and my identity. Publishing my writing online and seeing people’s opinion of it, has helped me veer from making my personal issues everybody’s issue and treating my writing like a personal diary. The empowerment of women all over the world comes from sharing challenges in Mexico for example, and a solution comes about in South Africa. Reading each other’s stories from all over the world on a shared platform, which is Web 2.0, gives women a greater voice and various solutions to a problem and can be explored. Learning from each other’s experiences and not seeing each other as faceless bloggers strengthens our ties as a global community of women, fighting for equal rights and justice.

“Learning from each other’s experiences makes life an easier recipe to follow, cook and delicious to devour.” Miss Live Life.


Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture

Very articulate and inspiring

Very articulate and inspiring post Vuyo, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being the second person to complete the assignment!

Keep it up!

Kind regards,


"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

One of Many's picture

What a Title!

Hello, Vuyo:

I am Anna, and I am a listener who is just getting acquainted with the process. Yours is the first essay I get to respond to -- it is an informal response: I don't yet know which writers I will be the official listener for. So, thank you for the opportunity.

It sounds like empowerment is in your very nature, Vuyo! "Wow!" is the first thing my heart says -- or maybe my mind says it after my heart goes " fffwwwuuupt" and opens in listening to your words.

I am especially impressed with your distinction between your professional and your personal writing voice. I would imagine that is a "dicey" (tricky -- and possibly changing?) challenge to undertake.

Isn't that cool how writing works such magic? At least for me, and it sounds like for you too, I have insecurities especially before I write, and then I get the courage to share my writing, and then that prompts interaction with others, and the whole process helps me feel strong. A wonderful interplay between vulnerability and strength.

I also appreciate your awareness of the wonder of a person from one part of the world solving a problem on the other side of the world. World Pulse is making this possible!

Thank you very much for your lovely piece, Vuyo.


Speaking my Peace

Vuyo_Seripe's picture

It's my pleasure Anna. I have

It's my pleasure Anna. I have deal with the challenge of distinguishing my two voices every time I sit down to write and finally complete a final draft. Having insecurities as a writer is a constant: Kafka never wanted his stories published when he died but a great friend went ahead and published his stories anyway... He went against Kafka's wishes but look at Kafka's books today? A great source of knowledge to the rest of the world. World Pulse and many other constructive are like Kafka's friend, bringing out voices that wouldn't have been heard had it been for different circumstances.

"Where is the what if the what is in why?" Moloko

Rudzanimbilu's picture

Of Fred and "white tendencies"

Hello Vuyo,

I like your piece and regarding Fred Khumalo, I've been reading about him since I was a teen and I sent him letters which were lost in the post for he never replied and after a year waiting for him to accept me on Facebook I realized how powerful Web 2.0 is. I told him stories that I remember et al and how much he inspired me to read as a child.

I've always been scared to write and I think for the next couple of months I am going to be personal in order to get over my fear. I read your white tendencies piece as well. There's a thin line between the writer and the subject or is it because I don't believe that there is a distinction between a professional and a personal voice? It's hard because when you write, you put your personal stamp, we live through your choices of scenarios even if you are detached. Like Fred, all his ramblings are about his professional and personal moments. I think I need more clarity on that one.

I am proud of you Vuyo.


Rudzanimbilu Muthambi

Vuyo_Seripe's picture

Fred and "white tendencies"

Fred Khumalo can get a bit personal but I was simply highlighting the fact that, like you, he was one of my favourite writers. White tendencies is an article which I wrote on personal experiences but felt the subject could do with more exploring in a country like South Africa and the kind of readership Mahala has. I felt I wasn't the only one with this kind of question in my head. I remember the first draft, it was filled with too many personal (extremely) opinions, very subjective. But as the piece grew, with the help of an editorial team that understands it's audience, my piece resonated with the people I was targeting my questions at, Post Apartheid Youth. I understand your point on Fred, try to think back to when he was an actual columnist - saying things that no paid journalist would even dare to mention. That's the guy we wrote letters to, the guy that made you sit up and say, "but he's got a point... maybe changing my attitude towards this or that will help." ...and you were only a teenager!

I look forward to talking to you more. SA is a very small place, we might bump into each other :-)

"Where is the what if the what is in why?" Moloko

Rudzanimbilu's picture

Hi Vuyo

Yes I read the article on Mahala, I found the heading very catchy, well my reason for putting it as a subject. I immediately thought of Malema but while reading I realized it was more about colour, being a young person in South Africa and of course exploring ways we can live together with no colour, black or white. Yes, Fred is great and I always look forward to reading his articles and I look forward to reading yours too. You've got something, you tell it like it is and even your story may be detached it still brings in a new meaning.

We'll bump into each other someday, don't you worry!

Rudzanimbilu Muthambi

Aida Dervishi's picture

I found your post very

I found your post very inspiring dear Vuyo. Nice to hear that now it is easier for you to share views with your favourite writer.

AmyM's picture

Your voice is powerful

Vuyo --

The way you've written this is strong and compelling. The impact Web 2.0 has had on you is very clear. I'm so glad you're sharing your voice with the world through the Web. And thanks for introducing me to Pavement!


cbenkov's picture

Blog Comments

Vuyo --

How great to see such a response to your article in Mahala. When I checked just now there are 39 comments posted below the article! For me, this is such an interesting aspect of the Web 2.0 phenomena. I often get frustrated as a reader when I see hundreds of comments posted underneath an article - because I don't have time to read them all!

But I enjoy hearing your perspective on the comments as the author of the article - it's such an easy way to create a dialogue around common interests. It's no surprise to me that your article has spurred many comments, and I look forward to reading more of your World Pulse posts, as well as all of the comments below them :)

- carly

mrbeckbeck's picture

Great work!

Hi Vuyo,

I loved how clearly you showed us the impact Web 2.0 has had in your personal and professional life. It's exciting to see the connections that are possible through technology.

I also really enjoyed your article that you linked us to. Thanks for sharing that! It's definitely an interesting topic for South Africa, and for the US too. Our histories are linked in many ways. I think that "identity" is so complex, as you say it's not about "this" or "that", but the fact that we must live together, and realize the beauty in diversity.

Thanks for sharing here, I look forward to reading more from you.

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

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