Stand Up, Be Confident, And Move

I had the beautiful blessing of traveling South Africa, along with 10 other Temple University students. One of them in particular, Cambriae Bates, has been by my side, while I encouraged teen mothers to get back into school. Bates is the author of http://cambriaebates.wordpress.com/author/cambriaebates/ blog and she decided to publish a short article on witnessing the impact and connection that I made on young South African mothers.

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Durrant & Bates exploring Melville Koppies

Our motto when traveling to Johannesburg, South Africa was to not only learn about South Africa, but to learn ‘from’ South Africa. After our departure, all of us students from Temple University felt that we had accomplished our goal. However Janice Durrant, a senior at Temple University’s School of Media and Communications, accomplished so much more. She discovered that she had a knack for motivational speaking and uplifting young people.

Janice became a teen mom at the age of 15 and her goal while in South Africa was to write a piece on teenage pregnancy. As she interviewed young mothers and researched information she discovered that the ethics of journalism were being pushed aside because she had a stronger calling. As she continued to talk to young girls she became an inspiration. I watched her as she spread her motto to “Stand-up, Be Confident and Move!”

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JMD conversing with South African teen moms

One day while she was interviewing a set of twins, who both had children at the age of 14, I began to cry along with everyone else in the room. Janice reached out for the hands of the twin young mothers and told them that she understood their struggle. She emphasized the importance of them going back to school and that when their children started walking, the twins also had to get up and start walking. The twin sisters embedded her motto in their brains and when asked to repeat it they did so verbatim.

Not only did Janice inspire girls on a one-on-one level — like those twins in the Troyeville section of Johannesburg, she also was invited to speak to a group of teenagers in two different locations in Mabopane -a rural township over 80-miles north of Johannesburg. One of these locations was Mabopane High School. When asked how she felt about the experience she said, “It’s an indescribable feeling. I feel so honored to have had an affect on these girls that look like me, who are going through some of the same things I went through. I’m so grateful to be able to help them realize that this is not the end.”

Cambriae Winifred Bates

Temple University

School of Media and Communication

Stand Up
Be Confident 
And Move

Stay Strong

staystrong… So many obstacles/people will be put in your way to break you down. Remain graceful, remain wise, and remain strong. Do not yell, do not fight, and do not cry. You have worked so hard to get to this very point in your life, never allow one flat tire to ruin the rest of your road trip. Fix your tire and keep it moving! If you do not know how to fix a tire, maybe it is time for you to reach out and ask for help. All in all, just do not quit. Be strong.

Stand Up
Be Confident 
And Move

Bible Verse of the Day

A Prayer For Loving Families

Father, You teach us that we are to love one another unreservedly. The love You give us for others goes beyond our own natural inclinations. It is a love that motivates us to give without expecting anything in return. More often than not we fall short of extending this kind of love to our spouse and other loved ones. Only with Your continued help can we set aside our own expectations and learn to love the way You intend by always protecting, always trusting, always hoping, and always persevering with those You’ve brought into our lives. Amen.

prayer@bibledeck.com

This lovely prayer was shared with me from my mother. I pray everyone has a healthy, safe, and purposeful holiday weekend. As I am on the search of a new church home I cannot wait until Sunday. Wish me luck on my journey. Also, do not allow anyone to persuade you why their religion, church, or pastor is the one for you; allow God to welcome you for where you belong in life. TRUST you will feel it, I am allowing Liani (my daughter) and her opinions to help us out. Children recognize where they are welcomed at faster than adults do sometimes. Children are so honest and unbiased, I just love it. Blessings to all of you beautiful folks.

prayer

Stand Up
Be Confident 
And Move

Mommy J 2 Africa

It is my passion to inspire young mothers to keep faith, after giving birth. I do not advocate young ladies to conceive, but I believe that someone has to help the mothers who already crossed the line into adulthood from giving birth. Check out the Mommy J 2 Africa component of my blog (above) to view articles that I produced, while studying abroad in South Africa. A month surely was not enough time, but for the time that I was there I believe it is safe to say that I immersed myself into the culture. As long as this was accomplished, there will always be opportunity to go back and keep building on what has just begun.

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Stand Up Be Confident And Move

Let’s Celebrate South African Women

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“I love you beautiful Queen, yes you! It is just because you are reading this!” It is Women’s Month here in South Africa. Although I celebrate women every day, I especially want to tell YOU to continue being strong, fierce, and lovely. If it is anything I am thankful for in life, it is being a lady because I can give life to a king or queen at any given moment. We create the everlasting love in this world. Never forget to hold your head high because someone is always watching us to embody success, strength, sassiness, sophistication, and sweetness.

Stand Up, Be Confident, And Move.

Learning from mishaps

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And because of where I made it at, I can make it anywhere! I am truly a diamond in the rough and I cannot reiterate how I WILL NEVER FORGET where I come from; for where you live does not measure how successful you will be. You cannot tell me anything about my hood. I come from a hood where dirty faces have hearts of LIONS. Sometimes individuals will try to degrade you or challenge your capabilities because of your past, but first thing first, remember that when you have already experienced rock bottom, no one can ever knock you down. Only the individuals who have experienced low act carefully when he/she is high. People who have always been high are willing to do anything, including oppress, to feel superior; however, they are truly the ones who are low. Do not let anyone control your mind and reach for the stars.

Stand Up, Be Confident, And Move 

Traditional Dishes via South Africa

Food is not the only way to a man’s heart, food is a way to fall in love with a culture. 

One of the first things that goes through your mind when you travel abroad is, “how will the food be.” I sure know that before leaving to South Africa, I asked my aunt to prepare all my favorite meals, as if I could mesmerize about them my whole month abroad. Thing is, South Africa’s selection of meals are actually someone of the best foods I have ate, outside of my culture. South Africa, like any other city, has a combination of traditional meals, but also has specific meals that are influence by other cultures such as Indian. What seems to be common, amongst all the variety of foods eaten, is that the meals are very light (little to no grease), very tasty (seasoned well), and contain a piece of meat (mostly chicken or beef). As I continue to emerge myself into the culture, the best meals have came from traditional shops that have been passed down from generations before. Food is merely one way to connect with a different culture. Many foods are common to other cultures, but when something is delicious that is global. Let’s us recognize the unique skill of the chefs/bakeries of South Africa.

Soweto

Chesa Nyama

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All of us had to put some work in before earning the pleasure to eat the most traditional ‘Chesa Nyama’ meal. Translated from Zulu, Chesa means burnt and Nyama means meat. We had to purchase meat from Tintie’s Butchery. The meat had to be taken outside, to a few men, where they cooked the meat in one of the largest grills I have ever seen, in a similar BBQ affair. The meat of my personal choice was pork sausages, but the group’s favorite seemed to be the lamb. In addition to the meat, the pap is very similar to stiff grits and the sauce in the container was mild peppers, cabbage, and a special curry sauce. We left the forks and spoons down and used our hands to enjoy the tasty meals as South Africans do. First you had to grab some pap, then you had to add some sauce on top, and lastly putting the meat on top to enjoy. This by far was one of the most common traditional meals that you could eat on a family night.

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Troyeville

Kota

Kota is not like your ordinary bologna and cheese sandwich. Kota is a famous food that originated in the Durban area of South Africa. Although my classmates and I brought our Kota in Troyville, the sandwich could have not been any better. The sandwich included a huge piece of bread as the base and a small tiny piece at the top, this specifically makes Kota look messy and uneatable; yet, I ate all of the Kota without any issues. Inside of the Kota was lettuce, potatoes, french fries, cheese, bologna, a hot dog, and a special ingredient sauce for he flavor. It took about 10 minutes for us to receive our Kota and the price was R15 (R = rand). R15 is equivalent to  $1.5o in the states.

SA Girls

Mabopane

Lesidi’s Bakery

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Lesedi’s Bakery is located
in Mabopane. Let me just start off by saying that, I DO NOT LIKE DONUTS. Donuts have never been my favorite, although Liani (my daughter) is delighted when given fooda donut, I never was pressed for donuts. However, Lesedi’s Bakery has the best donuts that I have tasted in the past 10 years. At first, I just wanted to support, but I cannot wait to go back to buy some more. Donuts are generally too dry from sitting around and tend to have either too much icing or too little sugar. The donuts from Lesedi’s Bakery were served fresh out of the fryer and had special flavoring from my first bite to my last bite. Even when my donut sat for about ten minutes it remained soft and favorable. The bakery offers community bakery classes to the public, so that everyone can benefit from not only enjoying, but making these delicious sweets.

EAT 
Stand Up 
Be Confident 
And Move 

Happy MANDELA Day: BE MANDELA

Rest In Peace, Madiba

142268-Nelson+mandela+quotes+with+picI specifically remember when Mandela Long Walk to Freedom, the movie, was coming out in theaters. It was a movie that I surely knew that I had to go see. To have an iconic individual still alive while their movie is being released was by far amazing. Sadly, this was also around the time many suspected for Mandela’s life to reach the heavens. Mandela past away of December 5th of 2013, making July 18th, 2014 (his birthday) the first of which he would not be along with us. This day, the 18th of July, 2014 is and will always be another historic contribution to Madiba’s story. In addition to that, for myself, waking up and being in South Africa is by far the most memorable blessings to come.

Slide1Mandela worked, served, and never settled. It was his duty to earn the title of a man and he humbled himself in the most courageous ways, despite the barriers he had to overcome. Mandela started his life for his family and himself, but he surely ended it with South Africa on his back. South Africa, the locals, all of us, would not be here today if it were not for the path of which was paved from Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Be Mandela 

As a class, on Mandela Day, we all served our 67 minutes. It is common for the South Africans to use the term 67 minutes this year because Mr Mandela spent 67 years making the world a better place. Our Mandela Day of Service took place in Emathonisini. Emathonisini was a family name and this home was opened up to cater the elderly in the Soweto community. God bless the owner because she then found herself taking in blind children and other human beings, who were left alone or mistreated. As we painted the walls, sung songs, and ate, all I could think about is how peaceful Mandela must be. The whole community contributed in some given way, just as mandatory it is to dedicate time to church on Sunday. Mandela is a legend, he will forever be remembered, July 18th will always be a tradition. “Wise words won’t make you a Nelson Mandela, acting on them will!” HAPPY MANDELA DAY, BE MANDELA (IN YOUR OWN WAY) EVERYDAY.

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Myself (Janice), my friend Vivian (blind mother-to-be <3 ), and another young volunteer #BeMandela #Beauty #IBelieve

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It is a blessing to be HOME, in South Africa, for Mandela’s Birthday RIP I love you King! Painting the home for my family…

Be Mandela 
Stand Up 
Be Confident 
And Move

 

Amongst The South African Clouds

My Purpose

I want to retain knowledge about where my ancestors are from. I also want to relate to the brothers and sisters who experience poverty, injustice, and teenage pregnancy, just as Americans do. Different culture, different stories, different hardships, yet we all have one dream, one vision, and one goal – goals that coincide with UNITY, EQUALITY, OPPORTUNITY, and RESPECT. I want to increase my voice for those who are counted out because they did not solve a math problem correctly, their parents did not go to college, or they had a baby young. We still are working, despite what society may depict through your television screens.

Wearing my JMD Motivational T', which was directly inspired by my study abroad abroad experience.

Wearing my JMD Motivational T’, directly inspired by my study abroad experience 7/11

The Beginning

At 11:30am, Friday, from New York City, I boarded my first international flight. I could never imagine traveling out of the USA, especially as a college mom. Currently, I am a Temple University senior, more than prepared to graduate in the Spring of 2015. Growing up in North Philadelphia, more specifically the Hunting Park area, seemed like one of the best things that life could offer. The thing is when you get older and reality smacks you in the face, you realize there is so much more to offer. A few of these offerings include education, academic success, traveling, wealthy conversations, etc.; No my past is not squeaky clean, for being a teen mom was one of the most tragic things that could have happened to me, “PLEASE!” who said I would let the society determine how my timeline would go. Besides, we all know my daughter, Liani Janae’ Durrant, is pure motivation along my road to who I am fully capable of being. All in all, as I was sitting on my 204 flight to South Africa, I understand my growth. Life is full of different cultures, books, and traditions. Even if it’s the scariest thing you can picture yourself doing, save up and plan a trip out of your country. Even if it does not align with your funds, save up. A lot of people from my community do not get a chance like this, whether it is being abroad or being a college student. I realize this is merely a blessing, so I assure you all that I will embark on this journey. We are about a day and a half into our new discoveries, therefore, I advise you to stay tuned towards what is to come. IMG_6921 Despite the 15 hour plane ride that brought me to this joy, the plane ride and watching the sunrise was beyond description. Life above the clouds seems endless, so even when you are at ground level, remember, “Life is not solely about having dreams, it’s about pursuing them” (janicemdurrant/slogan). All of those visions you have, be proactive and fulfill each and every one. Through my testimony, I know for certain that this South Africa journey is one of many incredible life changing events. What makes this greater and more amazing is knowing where I came from, with no vision or dream, to knowing and trusting in my God to take me higher along. First step to getting this far is allowing your wings to spread without shallowness and ignorance holding you back. For the next month, I will try my utmost to allow you to live this opportunity with me. I will put my all into documenting, as descriptively as I can, this Temple South Africa Aboard experience.

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The palace for the next 4 weeks

5:54PM
Melville, Gauteng
South Africa

Stand Up
Be Confident
And Move