Ideas matter. Writing matters.
In early 2007 I had my first email address, which my aunt created for me. I’d check emails on a regular basis. I met Kameelah Rasheed during that year, I had started writing and she encouraged me to build an “online life”. I started off with a My Space page, and then a Facebook page and I learnt my way around the internet by spending at least two hours a week online.
During that same year, I became actively involved in Girls'Net - a South African social and multi- media programme, which gets girls actively involved in the use of technology for their development with the aim to use ICTs to help girls realize their full potential. Girls’Net allowed me to learn more about a positive side to ICT’s, other than checking my emails and chatting to friends – I was made aware of a world that is using the power of online technology for the advancement of women and girls. We were encouraged to share our stories by using blogs and watching digital stories created by other women and girls from different parts of South Africa and the world. We also created a newsletter called GIST; we shared stories, poetry and art in the magazine.
Here, I learnt the power of sharing stories, whether painful or joyous – each story told teaches us something about the human experience. For the first time, I begun to write about my insecurities, things that bothered me and what being a 20 year old girl meant for. Throughout my teenage years, I had a low self esteem, writing came more naturally than speaking (and still does at times).
After joining Girls’Net, I went on to intern at a publishing company, Unity Design, a company which was bringing out young, urban voices. The internship focused on building my skills as a writer across mediums and styles. I was given a variety of assignments and it dawned on me that the internet is, in fact a useful resource in South Africa, which is very important.
With Facebook, I’ve realized that a lot of the time is spent idling, chatting and doing nothing in particular. When Kameelah sent me the link to Voices of Our Future, I decided to grab the opportunity with both hands and take time to network positively. Being on a social network, where everything is solutions orientated and time is spent usefully creating content that reaches out to women all over the world.
As a writer, I’m constantly looking for ways to share my work, add to what I know and improve my views about the world. What motivated me to join World Pulse were the interesting stories of women from around the world. This made me realize that we have so much in common, the different countries and cultures we come from all come together on this online space. I finally feel as though I’m apart of a global community, sharing my views, ideas and making new discoveries on a single website.