Growing up we used to have a clap-back for the boys who would tout at us. “Usuzithande waqeda yini usuzothanda mina?”, meaning “have you loved yourself enough before you decided to love me?”. Back then, it was just us telling the boys to “buzz off!”. But, as we grew older and looking back at it now, we realise there was more meaning to it than we realised. This was not just a simple question, and it raises so many questions and meaning into it. Do you love yourself enough to know you can love someone else? Do you care for yourself enough to know you have enough care for others? Before you pour into others, is your cup full?

Time and again, life lessons have proven to us that you cannot give what you do not have, nor act upon something, when your energy is depleted. The same applies to personal relationships. Building a healthy relationship requires you to be healthy yourself in the first place. You cannot take care of others, while you also need care for yourself. The phrase “you cannot pour from an empty cup” has a lot to do with self care. If anything, it should be the first rule when it comes to building and maintaining relationships. Take care of yourself first, before you can take care of others. The same goes in love. You cannot love others when you do not love yourself.

When you are depleted you cannot offer our best selves to the world. You have to be mindful of our own needs and ensure that you are taking care of ourselves first. This means taking time for self-care, getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet. It also means taking time for the things you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family or engaging in hobbies.

It is also important to recognise when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. This can be a sign that you are in need of some self-care and it is important to take the time to focus on your own needs. When things get overwhelming and you cannot seem to catch up with your own self, take a break from what demands the most of you. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life, and catch your breath. This will help you reset and restore your personal energy. It does not have to cost you so much.

The most important to remember is that you cannot give what you do not have. Unless you refill what has been depleted, you cannot continue giving. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You have to make sure to take care of yourself so that you can give your best to the world. Besides, how will you know how to love and care for others, when you do not know how to do it to yourself? Unless, if you are toxic.

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Do you have a family member that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth?

Does being around insufferable Aunt Sheila leave you feeling emotionally drained?

Are you tired of being the bigger person because that’s just how “so and so” is?

Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions then you’ve come to the right place.

Step 1 – Grow up with a toxic family

Step 2 – Move out and start a new family

I couldn’t help but pepper in a bit of dark humour. On a more serious note I do hope this piece offers some comfort if you are burdened with a dysfunctional family.

What toxic family members may look like?

You know that gripping fear you get when you receive a phone call from that one family member because you know whatever it is will turn into a colossal argument that will leave you miserable for at least a month? I am pleased to report you are not the only one.

  • They believe they are above reproach – Toxic family members believe rules don’t apply to them and they can say whatever they want to you regardless of how vicious or unkind it could be.
  • Inability/failure to apologize – They are always right and you are always well, not.
  • Constant thirst for drama – They thrive off sowing conflict between family members.
  • Serial gas lighters – They make you feel bad about feeling bad in other words you should not take offense when they say anything offensive. They believe the hurtful things they say, “build character”.

Speaking of things that are detrimental to your mental well-being, take my family for example:

If I never see her again, I will be overjoyed, she is a filthy pig, it is a possibility that she is bewitched, she is a completely useless individual who will amount to nothing”.

This is an extract from an email I received from my uncle, after I resigned from the “family business”. Following this incident, I was told that he said all these things out of love. So that’s how we are justifying name calling and bullying these days. I guess I can’t call it emotional abuse because we share blood. I mean he did get me a pair of socks last Christmas so he is incapable of being a toxic human being.

I am in no way trying to throw shade at my relative but this is just to show how some families like mine are guilty of enabling problematic behaviour and dubbing it all sorts of nonsensical things like care and love.

Do you know where the danger is?

If you don’t heal from scars emanating from your family you end up becoming just like them. Worst case scenario you carry the hurt like daggers in your heart slowly chipping away at your happiness.

How to choose your mental health over family

Unfortunately, there’s no amount of therapy in the world that could change a toxic family member. However, you can ensure whatever they do ricochets off you.

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence.” – Robert Frost

  • Create boundaries – put your needs above theirs. It is your right to protect your peace.
  • Limit contact – They can’t hurt you if they do not have access to you.
  • Do not engage – This is probably the hardest thing to do as it requires a lot of restraint but with enough practice you can learn to tune out all the vile things said to you.
  • Create a solid support system – Blood is supposedly thicker than water but sometimes it isn’t, lean on your friend groups, get a puppy, whatever is it that brings you an inkling of refuge, do it
  • Evaluate their value in your life – if it calls for it, cut them off completely especially if they are violent or threaten your life

Take away

“A toxic person is the product of a toxic environment themselves” – there is nothing wrong with you, how they feel about you is not a reflection of who you are.

If you or a friend are in this predicament You are not alone and I’m sorry you do not feel safe around people you’d expect to have your back. You can create your own tribe that isn’t connected to you by blood. Do not let them see you sweat You do not have to deal with their venomous personalities despite the amount of times you are reminded of your blood ties. They can still be your brother or your cousin from the curb. You do not need permission from anyone to put yourself first.

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Don’t you just hate it when you are spilling your guts out to your best friend and then the very next day, they’ve blocked you?

No warning, nothing.

Like you meant so little to them you weren’t even worth an explanation.

I think I know where it stems from. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of things which will be scattered throughout this lengthy blog post.

Why I think female friendships are important:

Ever wondered why women live longer than men?…you guessed it! I’m kidding please do not quote me on that it is definitely not scientifically proven.

  • They allow you to be vulnerable – Women are social creatures, we love having people we can rely on. We love going on and on about that guy we’ve been texting or the new job we just got or the fancy apartment we just moved into.
  • Free emotional support system – Nothing beats having someone to share similar life experiences with i.e., post grad blues, unemployment or financial dependency (if you are in your mid-twenties, you will probably relate)
  • Improve your quality of life – Sincere and supportive female friends are the must have accessory for boosting your self-esteem in a society that prospers from women hating how they look.

What the internet tells us:

Cut off culture is disguised as “self-love” and claims to promote peace of mind but in all honestly the internet just loves a good cat fight otherwise they’d be nothing to tweet about.

  • You don’t owe anyone anything not even an explanation” – Please just stop. Queens of our calibre know how to communicate without being malicious and strive for conflict resolution in friendships.
  • Female relationships are not like romantic relationships” – Yes, they are. They require mutual effort. Schedule those phone calls, show genuine interest in their lives, ask about their well-being, reassure them where necessary, celebrate their accomplishments. The world is filled with so much uncertainty as it is you do not need that in your friendships
  • You don’t need anyone besides yourself” – We celebrate women who act like men, the ones that topple each other to get to the top. How can we rule the world if we’ve torn each other to shreds?

Did someone ask for a story time?

Nothing beats the loss of a female friend, heck I’ve lost three. Its heart wrenching when you’ve known someone your whole life and suddenly you don’t know how to reach them. Because I never got a chance to say any of these things to each of them, I’d like to take this opportunity to get a few things off my chest…

Dearest best friend(s)

I hate how one sided our friendship had become, how you made everything about yourself and never stopped to ask how I was doing. I hate that you still entertain my exes. I hate that you post the most hurtful things on your statuses after we argue. Most of all I hate how you did not defend me when I wasn’t around. I hate how you didn’t notice when I cried at work. I hate how you chose a guy over me, the same guy that violated me. I hate how I couldn’t be myself around you anymore for fear that you’d derail the conversation and make it about you. I hate how you think I stopped caring. I hate how you think I believe I am free of blame, more than anything I hate that I still love you, I just don’t know how to talk you.

Your ex-best friend

What the internet doesn’t tell us:

  • The most painful thing about being ghosted by a friend is that you have to invent a reason for them leaving which in most cases is more hurtful than the actual reason.
  • Friendships should not remain stagnant. Learn to grow, evolve and progress with your friends. You can’t be upset at a friend for not picking up their phone when there are demanding jobs, spouses, children, heck maybe they just didn’t have the energy to talk
  • Avoid involving third parties in your squabbles this includes posting subs on your WhatsApp status. You don’t need advice from your mother to tell you how to fix a situation she was not involved in. Talk to your friend directly, don’t cut corners. Sibadala!!!

Tough pills to swallow

  • If they make it clear that they want nothing to do with you its time to move on
  • It’s easy to blame the other person, Start taking accountability and sharing your side of the blame.
  • You don’t understand your own emotions and triggers as a result you end up losing someone important because you don’t spend enough time with yourself and ask the hard questions i.e., why did I react like that? Have I eaten? Is this trauma from a previous relationship? Is there a better way to convey my emotions in future?
  • We have shallow relationships with our girlfriends. We want our friendships to be a fairy-tale but that’s not realistic. You will fight, you will have different pov’s, that’s normal. Don’t let the internet tell you otherwise. We are not meant to be clones of our friends otherwise you wouldn’t need them to begin with.

Queens should stick together. Let’s fight the patriarchy sis. There’s nothing in this world that can’t be solved with open communication and having both parties actively work towards addressing any issues. We can accomplish so much by doing away with the cattiness, I implore you to start building long lasting friendships that leave you feeling fulfilled and empowered.

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Will somebody please call an ambulance! Actually wait, I forgot to introduce myself, hie I’m La Louve and I suffer from post coital dysphoria or at least I used to. Post Coital Dysphoria (PCD) is also known as Post Coital Tristesse in France (I’m kidding, I have no idea what they call it in France however triste is French for sad, anyway I digress).

PCD entails being engulfed by sheer sadness and despair after testing the mattress (okay so my definition is a little over the top but it got your attention, didn’t it?) Moving on, it is usually attributed to a dip in hormones (i.e. oxytocin – the love hormone) after a sexual activity. I guess you could compare it to the aftermath of a sugar rush, you know coming off a high. It includes but is not limited to irritability, sadness, crying, and feeling like you’ve been “used” sound familiar?

So why does it happen?

The reasons differ from person to person but they may include:

  • Personal values, religious beliefs, etc.
  • One’s feelings about sex i.e. embarrassment, anxiety and even paranoia, this could cause you to feel vulnerable and restless afterwards,
  • One’s feelings about their partner perhaps you want to be more than just casual lovers (?)
  • Unrealistic expectations about sex (You’ve been watching too much Fifty Shades haven’t you?). On a serious note, if you envisioned rose petals and eye contact only to end up with huffing and puffing, zero eye contact and an Uber waiting for you outside when you are done well that could be quite disheartening

Prevention? Cure?

You didn’t think I was just going to dump all of this on you and not give you a way out did you?

  • Self-introspection – this involves digging deep and asking yourself why you feel the way you do: religious reasons perhaps? Did the act trigger past trauma?
  • Physical check-up – Ask yourself if you feel safe, have you been hurt in any way?
  • Open Communication – is there anything your partner can do to make you feel better? Is there somewhere else you would rather be? Is there anything you need? a bagel? a cuddle?
  • Sexual Aftercare – this is perhaps the most important bit when it comes to love making.

Sexual aftercare is checking in with your partner after consensual intercourse, it involves:

  • Pillow talk – it is said that it builds an emotional connection after a primarily physical activity,
  • Replenishing your body with fluids – water break anyone?
  • Solitude – being alone with your thoughts and emotions might be what you need depending on what works for you.

Side bar – Aftercare originated from the BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism) community but applies to everyone who has sex and yes masturbation counts too. If you feel sad after finger painting clears throat or making it snow (if you know you know and if you don’t, you’re definitely too young to be reading this) try putting on your favourite comedy or watching a YouTube video or even snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa. Aftercare is different for everyone and for some people aftercare is the best part of the entire experience.

That’s it from me folks, boink responsibly!

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The internet has so many hot takes about relationships and some seem to strike a cord with me harder than others. I am happy that Andrew Tate has been taken off the social media platforms but that doesn’t stop his followers from continuing his legacy. The truth is, there are men out there who subscribed to Andrew Tate and Andrew is better because he was public about it. Almost like, “the devil you know kind of thing.” This blog post was inspired by a tweet! This tweet in particular.

What’s scary is that about 160 something people liked this tweet and the comments? Don’t get me started on the comments, I was appalled to see how many people actually agreed with the hogwash that this man tweeted. Meaning that we live amongst men and women who feel this way. The whole tweet was upsetting but I’ll focus on just three things.

Count To Three Lets Go GIF by Honed Not Cloned - Find & Share on GIPHY

​I mean I get that people have preferences and that’s alright. I mean whatever floats your boat but he had me when he said “don’t marry a woman who is raised by a single mum.” I wonder why that is. What I find baffling is the fact that he said” single mum” not parent which goes to show that the war is on women not men. Men will not rest until we’re dead I’m sure. ​This is a conversation we need to have and there’s so much unlearning to be done by our generation. Where is this hate coming from? How do we fix it? How do we teach ourselves and the next generational line to stop thinking like this? It’s such a toxic way to look at life and women. Also it just further perpetuates GBV (Gender Based Violence). And from my observation sometimes one single mum is better than two toxic parents who are staying together for the sake of the child. The hate towards single mum’s shows that these men are bitter and the toxicity runs deep because of the hostile environment that they grew up in.

​Another point on his list was do not date a woman who drinks alcohol. I mean it’s not every woman who will drink excessively and if so there’s probably a reason they’re drinking that much, for some of us living in Zim life is tough and people have different coping mechanisms some women might drink to help them cope with life and what’s going on. I feel like if you love someone you’d definitely do anything in your power to get better. I’m not making excuses but some people feel it’s better to self medicate and instead of being written of they should be given the necessary help to get them better. I mean had it been a man who was drinking the woman would be told to ‘bekezela’ which means be patient so why can’t women be given the same love and treatment. Indoda layo mayibekezele! Periodt!


​The third one, last but not least is that men shouldn’t date materialistic women. I mean, what? I wouldn’t recommend not dating a materialistic and let me tell you why. Imama that is materialistic will push you beyond your limits, she will motivate you to get your life in order and is the fuel you need. Materialistic women can stimulate men’s desire to some extent and stimulate achievement motivation. This achievement motivation can improve individual income and living standards, also we know men love to provide, they’re natural born providers and doing so gives them a sense of pride. Also I believe that men who don’t date materialistic women and advise men not to are the ones that provide the bare minimum and are deadbeat husbands and fathers. It’s always the men with the imaginary gold that are afraid of the goldiggers but hey that’s just my opinion.




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Moments after I had sent it, she called my phone in a panic. “Are you okay?” she asked. I reassured her that I was fine. She went on to explain that she thought something was wrong and that perhaps I was contemplating taking my own life and that this message was goodbye. 

Why is it that we don’t tell people that we love that we love them? Why is it hard? 

When was the last time you sent your sister, brother, mother, father a message telling them that you love them? It’s almost like we assume that they know that we love them. How would they know when we don’t tell them? 

Telling someone that you love that you love them requires a level of vulnerability that’s almost repulsive. It’s so much easier to say an ‘I love you’ that you barely even mean like those windis who love every woman who passes by. When the ‘I love you’ feels like a boulder in your throat, that’s the one that really needs to be said. 

In African homes, we are yet to normalise telling each other how much we mean to one another. It’s like the “I love you” statement is solely reserved for romantic relationships. We can live in the same house for years and only tell you that we love you on a WhatsApp status on your birthday once a year. A long essay on Facebook pouring out our love for you is easier than sitting down with you, looking into your eyes and saying the very same things to your face. Why is that? 

Charity begins at home 

Our homes are the first place where we ought to grow and nurture love. Where we grew up is where we were meant to formulate an idea of what true love is like to prepare us for the world. We are currently searching for love in all the wrong places to fill the void of not receiving it from our families. Umjolo is giving us dating problems because frankly we are a Lil Wayne song and we don’t know how to love. 

The world is going through a tough time. We lost so many people to the pandemic. It’s time for us to come together and relearn how to love each other loudly and blatantly in our homes and within families. This means more hugs and more ‘I love you’s. Our mental health is in shambles and there are people who literally need to hear how much they mean to you because they are not soothsayers. Tell them so that they don’t have to guess that you love them. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

Fathers tell your sons how much you love them. It is not homosexual for a father to love his son. 

I challenge you to send out those messages of love today. Take note of their reactions. One response that I got was, “I really needed to hear that.” It broke my heart. Why had I never said it before?

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As young girls we are taught to aspire to have relationships and the promised land of marriage with a suitable partner. But we slowly come to the realisation that life isn’t like a page from Cinderella’s story or #couplegoals. Relationships are difficult and romantic relationships are even more challenging when looking for that ideal partner. Although the quest for finding a ‘bae’ is tough and unpredictable, one constant thing is that the 14th of February will always come knocking each year. So what happens when you aren’t in a relationship? (by choice or by circumstances). Without a doubt you can expect several remarks as early as the 1st of February like “When will you marry?” or “Valentine’s is coming, where is your boyfriend?” These comments can leave you feeling extra lonely, depressed and hopeless for the bulk of the month and people rarely think of how their remarks can have an effect on someone going through their single season. I find that it helps to have a plan for the day. Here are some simple ideas.

  • A gift for an amazing someone-You!

Try to do something for yourself that you truly look forward to. You can buy yourself something nice or spend the day on a solo date.

  • Have a completely normal day

Start your day as usual and keep busy. It really is just 24 hours and they go by very quickly. So have a normal day and ignore the madness around you.

  • Unplug For the Day

If all else fails try to unplug. Stay off social media and people’s statuses. It’s nice to see people in love but if it’s at the expense of your sanity for the day – then let it go sis.

  • Focus On Your New Year Goals

In the spirit of keeping busy and undistracted you can decide to focus on your goals. After January you might be able to note resolutions that you need to realign.  Manifesting on the to do list you have for the year can be a great way to spend February alone

  • Start Planning for the Partner You Want

This one applies where one of those resolutions on your list is actually to put yourself out there and find love. Although Valentine’s Day is just one day, if you have done the work and you are ready to be with someone then make this month your time to get back out there. There are usually mixers and get together’s for single people around this time that you can get involved in. With the digital age you can also take time to spruce up your dating app profile on Tinder, Hinge and Crosspaths. If you are new to online dating you can check out my blog


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I was on Twitter when I bumped into a tweet about how full figured women struggle with being naked during sex. I had never considered this or thought about it because I’ve just always had my body issues even though I’m not exactly full figured but I did some research on the matter and I have thoughts.

Yeah, this one is for my b- with a fat a- in the f- club like a Nicki Minaj song

When we speak about fat shaming we hardly ever discuss some of the fat shaming that happens in terms of the bedroom. This is usually so embarrassing that the scars and the repercussions of it are hidden away in the women’s psyche, in her self-esteem and in her memory. The fatshaming that happens online goes straight to their self-esteem and the insecurities start to show up in the bedroom. Now women are unable to be comfortable in their own naked skin with another person in the room just because of your horrible tweets.

I had a friend of mine ask me if she if I thought she smells bad and I was like why would you think you smell bad? Why would you ask me that? And she said it’s because of the general stereotype that fat women stink. And I was like no you don’t smell bad and I’m sorry that this affected you so much that you felt you should come and seek clarification about how you smell.

Sex is for everyone except children. The fact that we hardly ever see love scenes even in just general movies that include bigger women is disturbing. This says a lot about the lack of representation for full figured women. I think it’s rooted in the flawed ideology that big women are lazy, they don’t exercise and you automatically assume that they won’t be active in bed just because they’re bigger. Contrary to your inflammatory beliefs, there are a wide range of reasons why a woman would be bigger and laziness is not even the top reason. There are big women that are more fit than skinny girls.

We see the #ThickThighsSaveLives but we forget that thick thighs can come with rolls, pot belly and flab. The problem here is that too many people have been brainwashed by the slimthick Instagram baddies who have risked their lives to get plastic surgery for those impossible, improper-fraction, disproportionate body features. In the lyrics of Big Sean, “how your waist anorexic but yet your ass is colossal?” Yes, how Sway? Normal women can’t have their cake and eat it. They can’t afford plastic surgery. Why slam them for it?


If you find yourself in bed with someone who you can’t get naked with, he is not the one Sis. Sex is about being free and vulnerable. You won’t enjoy it if you are caught up in your insecurities. Find yourself someone who appreciates you for who you are. He is not doing you a favour by having sex with you. Let him know it’s an honor and a privilege to be in your presence. A pot belly still gives good loving.

The exclusion of big women from the sex industry also seeps into the lingerie industry. Miriam C. R. Mushaikwa blogged about it here. It is laborious to try and find lingerie for bigger women. It’s almost as if they don’t exist or they don’t like nice things.

What can you do?

If you’re a fuller bodied queen, and you’ve been struggling with your body, I’m sorry you had to go through that turmoil. You are beautiful. As you try to conquer your issues, try and spend more time looking at your naked self in the mirror. Make peace with who you are and appreciate all your wonder. Once you master this, no one can take your peace from you. You can also start journaling to make sense of your limiting beliefs. Journaling helps you to get to the bottom of your self-esteem issues. Write about some of the slurs that you’ve heard, how did they make you feel? Bury that hatchet and create new positive affirmations to replace the limiting beliefs.




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A lot of women and girls see marriage as some sort of emancipation. This stems from fairytale storylines about true love’s first kiss and living happily ever after thereafter. The truth is, marriage isn’t the freedom you think it is. It’s an intensification of all the things you thought you were running away from in your father’s house.

Quick question, why are we trying to be free from our parents’ houses so badly?

Young women are hardly afforded the opportunity to live by themselves before marriage. Some are even told that, “the only way you will leave this house is by marriage.” It’s almost as if a woman cannot be her own master. Even in the Bible, an unmarried woman must concern herself with the things of the Lord, when she marries, she must prioritise the things of her husband. You can’t catch a break to just be yourself. From being under her father she can only be passed onto being under her husband. In between the two, women need to experience life by themselves and they are not afforded that opportunity. This is why marriage isn’t as great as they’d like it to be.

Sexual emancipation

I’ve seen a tweet from a young woman who claimed she can’t wait to get married so that she may enjoy ‘legal sex.’ While it is legal, there’s a wide range of issues that come along with it. This is where you find out why so many married men are out in the streets with extra marital affairs. “When I get married, I’ll have sex everyday,” oh poor baby. Remember when you couldn’t wait to be an adult? How’s that working out for you?

Financial emancipation

Getting married does not automatically grant you access to his money. Maintance Court is based on this premise entirely. You could marry a rich man who is stingy. You can also marry a man who spends his whole paycheck at the pub/shebeen with his friends. There is a reason why money is one of the top three causes of divorce. The assured financial benefits of marriage are the bride price/lobola/roora which you will not get a single red cent of. Be wary of which voices are pressuring you into marriage, they may have financially vested interests which trump your best interests.

Spiritual Emancipation

If a woman is unmarried in her mid-thirties, the family will see it as a cause for concern and start a witch hunt for the underlying cause. Between pastors and witchdoctors, they have seen more prayers for marriage than for salvation and repentance. Unlike Disney princesses, marriage will not solve any of your issues, spiritual or otherwise. If an evil stepmother has cast a spell on you for being the fairest in the land, you will go into the marriage with those problems. Marriage is not a curse-breaker in any way, shape or form.

There’s a freedom that women are yearning for and it’s not found in marriage. You are tired of sharing your room with your siblings? In marriage, you will share your bed forever. You’re looking for your own sovereignty without yout parents but guess what? Marriage means that you now have 2 sets of parents to report to. The dishes you hated to do at your mom’s house, you now have to do them for all family functions which do not have professional catering. As the family sits kwejisaring by the dinner table, guess where you are, by the sink washing dishes. Enjoy your wedding day, it’s the first and last time you will enjoy the limelight, thereafter it’s the background for you by the sink or by the fire.


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