Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health
Try these tips to help find the right balance in your life and to maintain positive mental health.
1. Value yourself:
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or become fluent in another language.
2. Take care of your body:
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
- Eat nutritious meals
- Avoid cigarettes
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
- Get enough sleep. Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression in college students.
3. Surround yourself with good people:
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.
4. Give yourself:
Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people.
5. Learn how to deal with stress:
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: Try One-Minute Stress Strategies, do Tai Chi, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
6. Quiet your mind:
Try meditating, Mindfulness and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy. To get connected,
7. Set realistic goals:
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.
8. Break up the monotony:
Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.
9. Avoid alcohol and other drugs:
Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems. For more information,
10. Get help when you need it:
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
*Adapted from the National Mental Health Association/National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Ifunaya Mimi Orjiekwe, a model, scriptwriter, actress, and presenter is a graduate of Caritas University, Mimi rose to fame in the late 2000s being featured prominently in over 10 Nollywood epic movies as lead and supporting character. In this interview with Tosin Clegg she talks about her career in Nollywood
I’m a Nollywood actress and an entrepreneur
Right now I’m a business woman set to launch my own new line of cosmetics business. Nollywood started from the scratch for me, as I started out as a Beauty Queen which I won in 2009. After I emerged as the Queen, one of the judges, who was a Director, offered me a hand into Nollywood. We met later on and talked further about it then I was featured in a movie with Jim Iyke and other casts.
2013 was my break-out point I didn’t stay long in Nollywood at the beginning, as I had to go back for my youth service, and when I came back in 2013, I landed a new role. This was when I started building the buzz again.
Nollywood, a way of life
Just like when you are working and you get to do your job that’s how I see acting. And you have to face the good and bad, which is going to happen. It’s my job, and not about it being fun or challenging, but it’s about combining both and making it fun for yourself.
I’m an actress and producer
I have produced about three to four movies. And I haven’t produced in a while because I have been busy but, as you know, you have to keep learning every day. The first film I did was easy, and I spoke to Iroko TV and other platforms about having it and it was successful. Second production was tough because I took it to cinema standard and we shot some scenes across water, which was challenging. You plan a particular budget but things tend to go up. I learnt at the end of the day that you have to be ready.
Being an enrepreneur from in infant
As a Corp member, I was already looking for contracts in Abuja. I still do stuffs for NAFDAC, where I served and WRPC in Port Harcourt and they pay me. Being an actor and also doing business has always been a part of my life, so I combine both. Not because acting isn’t paying well, but I love money and I want to make more of it.
Lauching Flawless Beauty by Mimi
It’s a makeup line but a cosmetics brand because I intend to produce other things and grow bigger. But first, I started with makeup for women with things like lashes, eye liners, eyebrows and more that every woman uses.
As women, we all use makeup every day, so we started with that and we hope that with time we will grow and expand.
Doing Things Differently
And that’s one thing I learnt growing up. When I started this, I knew I had to make my products different from others’, and I put into consideration women of different races, because everyone needs a shade that fits them. In the production of my lashes, I looked at what people use every day and I noticed that it’s more of the upper lashes. Then I thought of how we can make it look sexier. Now, I have lashes with upper and lower lids. My lashes make you look sexy and my lipsticks are very good, well-pigmented and of good standard.
Working with good team
The team was majorly to work with me to put everything right. We are opening our retail store in Lekki, and I’m working on putting it together and getting people to work with me. Aside that, you can’t leave your business to people, so I’m going to watch it and manage it with other things I’m doing. Many people manage several businesses together, as it’s about doing things as they are supposed to be done. I’m hoping it’s going to work, as I have a good team.
Folourunsho Alakija is my role model
She is a rich woman who is happy with what she is doing. I have read her interviews and she said the only time she rests is when she is flying, but that when she is out of the plane, her phone starts ringing.
She has to attend to one meeting or another and, I was like, women can be this busy? I think she inspires me a lot, as from nowhere you become somebody, and she grew very big too. She is someone I look up to and want to be like. Starting this business is the smallest thing, because I will grow bigger.
Meeting Folorunsho Alakija would be a blessing
She is going to teach me a lot of things. But right now, we are expanding in what we do and we hope that by December this year we will open our foundation. My team and I have a whole lot of things to work with as time goes by.
Right now I’m focusing on my business
I really don’t have time for locations yet. But aside all that, I do, I’m just a simple girl that fears God, I don’t talk too much as I watch you do your thing. Sometimes I crack jokes and people don’t expect it to come from me.
I play and I’m just a normal person. As a child, I wanted to be a Lawyer but I thank God I didn’t find myself in that circle as I enjoy what I’m doing now.
Very many people are in love with banana. Its not only rich in potassium, but it is also very tasty fruit! scientifically called Musa banana can be eaten i various styles and forms; fried, raw, frozen etc. Among the many benefits of banana here are few shocking ones;
It Is A Source Of Energy
Right here, we know that banana is not only a very filling, it is also the king energy booster. Especially for professional athletes (even they can testify). Before a strenuous workout, two bananas is enough to pack energy punch and to sustain your blood sugar.
Can Cures And Protect Against Stomach Ulcer
Like it was indicated above, banana is a filling fruit; once eaten, it can sustain the belly for a long period of time. So, consumption of banana on a regular basis helps protect against stomach ulcers. Why?Because over time, bananas thicken the protective mucus barrier in the stomach, which prevents damage from hydrochloric acid. Banana is also known to contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate stomach bacteria which can cause stomach ulcers.
It Treats Hangover
Did you know that like water, banana has been known to get rid of the morning inconvenience that comes after that night groove? Well, it definately does. How you say? Simply blend a couple of bananas blended with ice, berries and coconut or cow’s milk. Now, that’s some yummy hangover remedy.
Banana Fights Cancer
A recent Japanese animal research proves that fully ripe bananas (with dark spots) produce a compound called TNF–a. Now, TNF–a is a cytokine that is believed to have the potential to increase white blood cell count. This, in return, helps enhance our immunity and combat cancerous cell changes
It Improves Digestion
We must know that fiber is very effective when it comes to aiding bowel movement. So it should come as no surprise when banana falls into that category. As banana is a great source of dietary fiber.
Thirteen: You can prevent this from happening by taking minutes to be still, looking your spouse in the eye, kissing their eyes carefully, stroking their hair, complimenting them, and reaffirming your love for each other.
Even if your wife’s hair is almost gone, cradle her head, caress the head and tell her you know she lost her hair while in your house and that you are ready to help her regain it back. When you begin to touch each other, things will feel different, more intense and fulfilling again.
Fourteen: Wife, when you are in missionary position and while your husband is thrusting in and out; to make it more intense, wrap your arms and legs around his body and pull him closer to you for deep penetration.
Fifteen: Don’t just lay still; match the rhythm of each thrust so that your bodies move together.
Sixteen: Holding hands during sex is intimate and loving.
Seventeen: Grabbing your spouse’s hands is also a romantic way for you to provide added support and balance when they are moving up and down on top of you.
Eighteen: Alternate this position to having the wife on top, and if husband gets the moves right, it is guaranteed to take your wife’s breath away. Encourage her to straddle you on the edge of the bed and give her neck and breasts plenty of loving attention as she moves on top of you. You can also lift her by placing your hands under her thighs, slowly turn her around, and lay her back on the bed. If you are good at multitasking, kiss her continually as you do this. Confidence is not only built, you graduate from an amateur to an expert. However, it takes constant practice and patience to arrive here.
Nineteen: Hmm! Well, I am certain the guides mentioned above are not only a bonus to the newlyweds but also an eye opener to old couples.
Twenty: Now, to the wives out there, what do you think great sex is to your husband? For some husbands, it might be the ability to get themselves and their wives ‘fantabulous’ multiple orgasms. For others, it might mean being able to last for eight to 11 minutes, which is considered the average. However, for majority of husbands, great sex is in the hand of their wives. Last week, we started this extraordinary edition and today we are concluding it.
Twenty-one: Well, do you know that the testicles are very sensitive to both touch and temperature, so having a hot and wet tongue slide over them is extremely pleasurable. You may wonder how your tongue can produce both sensations concurrently. As I noted earlier, just sip a cup of hot mint drink now and then alternatively while the tongue caressing is ongoing. For the ultimate lick, a wife should start at the bottom or even behind the testicles, and keep licking upward until she gets to the tip of the manhood, at which point, she can slide it into her mouth.
Twenty-two: To increase the intensity of the pleasure at any given time, a wife can wrap a dominant hand around the shaft of the manhood and move it up and down. With the other hand, she can cup the testicles gently but firmly. When a man approaches orgasm, his testicles pull up close to his body and by stimulating the motion, a wife brings her husband close to heaven. Remember to be very gentle here: total feminine control and total masculine comfort is required.
Twenty–three: To create an unbearable height of pleasure, couples can pleasure each other at the same time. If you try this, you will see that it will result in different sensations pulsing through your bodies. This type of pleasuring is call ‘angle 69°’ or ‘sideway 69’.
Twenty-four: This is a real treat for couples: all you need to do as spouse is rest each other’s head on the inside of your partner’s thigh, so you can lick and suck each other comfortably. This allows you to relax and go much easier. Wife, this is not a difficult task at all, just tilt your head back slightly and guide the shaft of your husband’s manhood with a firm hand and take as much of it into your mouth. Husband, you also should pull your wife’s waist down to yourself gently and while she is on top of you, you also pleasure her.
Twenty-five: Wife, while your husband is licking you, help him by opening your legs wide. When invariably he cannot take it any longer and wants to penetrate, as he does so, shut your legs and squeeze your thighs tightly together. This position helps his penis to rub your clitoris – and it gives him a sensation of tightness. Many wives complain that they cannot get to tighten their vagina as they desire. Just practise Kegel exercise frequently and this will be easy.
Twenty-six: Husband, to earn yourself a great approval and enthusiastic response, you can quickly change position and go down on your wife while she is standing on a chair. This gives her a lot of freedom to move, respond, and feel pampered at the same time, while you are having a fantastic viewpoint and full access to her.
Twenty-seven: Remember, nothing impresses a woman like the ability to be fingered by her husband. The best way to do this is to lick the clitoris while slowly sliding one or two fingers in and out of her. As she gets excited, try maintaining a steady, gentle, pulsing pressure on the front [pubic hair side] inside wall of the vagina, which is where the ‘G-spot is. This also helps the husband to maintain an erection. According to research, a normal erection can stay as long as 40 minutes or more.
Twenty-eight: The granddaddy of all ultimate pleasures is to let your wife take hold of your manhood like never before. Here, you stand and flip your wife upside down so that her legs are on either side of your head. She can then take hold of your manhood and do justice to it. Couples must be very careful with this style, especially when the spouse is obese or big.
Twenty-nine: Most time, typical Nigerian couples do not have enough time for the above treats; however, there are other fabulous techniques that could be adopted just to maximise pleasure for couples, especially when time is not on your side. Wife, you can send a short SMS to your husband, saying, ‘Please spare me ten minutes out of your tight schedule to pleasure your manhood in my bed before your next board meeting’.
Thirty: On the other hand, you can say: ‘My breasts are cold; they need a massage from you’. Then again, you can say: ‘I have my bed waiting to give your manhood the only thing it was created for – pleasure!’ Alternatively, you can send a succession of increasingly seductive and suggestive e-mails, telling him how wonderfully made his manhood is and that you want his ‘rod’ to comfort you. This approach most times drive husbands wild in bed and from researches, it has never failed because many husbands come back begging for more. Wow, I cannot wait to hear from you. Until then, keep your sex life and passion aflame and until I see you next week, I remain your devoted and loyal bedroom instructor.
Questions and answers
Are male erections at the same level throughout one’s lifespan?
Funmi, kindly help out here: are male erections at the same level throughout one’s lifespan? Or are there changes with the erections of people with different skin colours?
Well these facts are common about male erections.
Fact No. 1: Men experience three kinds of erections. While erections only indicate the hardness of the penis when sexual arousal occurs, it comes from different sources, either physical or psychological; and these are:
- Reflexogenic – erections triggered through touching or physical contact.
- Psychogenic – erections triggered through fantasy.
- Nocturnal – erections occurred during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
Fact No. 2: Many men experience up to 11 erections during the day, and three to five erections during the night, while asleep.
Fact No. 3: Male foeteses have erections as early as 16 weeks during pregnancy.
Fact No. 4: Smell of some sex trigger foods can increase blood flow to the penis by 32 per cent, according to Chicago Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. The researchers discovered this during their study back in 1995.
Fact No. 5: To achieve hard erections, the penis needs approximately 130ml of blood to fill up the erectile chambers, which is the same amount of ink in certain printer ink cartridges or less than 4 shots of whiskey at 35ml each shot.
Fact No. 6: The longest known erect penis is 13.5 inches long by Jonah Falcon, but recently one man named Roberto Esquivel Cabrera, took the record, but not officially.
Fact No. 7: Smoking, especially as teenager, doubles the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Fact No. 8: The venom found in Brazilian wandering spider can cause a persistent and usually painful erection lasting for hours.
Fact No. 9: There are benefits of having frequent sex and one of them is prevention of erectile dysfunction in men aged 55 to 75 years old.
Two studies, according to Harvard, also found that frequent sexual intercourse is helpful for maintaining a healthy prostate.
Please explain to my wife what ‘surrender’ sex is
Hello Funmi, my wife feels the sexual relationship between us is a boss-servant-surrender sex and she says she doesn’t enjoy sex with me. Now, she has withheld sex from me, saying she dislikes the way I ask for sex. She feels that I am a dictator and not a lover; she accuses me of only satisfying my passion. I try to explain to her that it is a man’s thing to conquer a woman sexually and that it is not a boss-servant-thing. Please kindly help to explain because my bed is suffering now.
I do not think the nature of the ‘surrender’ sex is the issue here, but your lack of understanding of the sexual nature of a woman. I also perceive that you naturally skip loving acts, caressing and romance before, during and even after sex. When wives start giving you all the excuses stated above, it simply means you are not being sensitive to their sexual nature and you are also being self-centered in your approach to sexual demands and also neglecting their needs.
However, I have a word for all our wives out there. Generally, men are conquest-loving creatures in nature, which is why they get so hot when their wives let them take over. If your husband feels like he’s at the top of his game, your surrendering is a power trip and huge turn-on. Wives, please, during foreplay, give the man everything unreservedly. Let your legs be open and hold the headboard or pillows above you so your whole body is exposed to him. Then invite him in. Meet his thrusts halfway by rocking your pelvis upward against his and lifting your legs in the air with your feet spread far apart. This gives him room to manoeuvre his body and alternate between deep thrusting and short pumping. Then drape your legs over his shoulders so he can grab your ankles and position them where he wants them. Tell him you want him to assist you reach orgasm. It means you want him running the show because he has the skills to get you there. Intermittently change to the female domination sex style. With this, the sexual relationship becomes a win-win act. Wives, gone are the days when you are only to be seen and not heard. It is no longer the man’s world; it is our world. He’s been doing all the pouncing and pawing lately. At this point, you take the reins. But a truly titillating takeover has to be authentic and not staged. So, aggressively take over. This is the time. If you don’t, some other lady may and I am sure you wouldn’t want that. All you just need to do is send him an SMS and say, “I’d love to be in charge tonight.” Then gently grab his organ and rub it around your G-spot as if you are so sure of what you are doing. He’ll happily submit to your request. Have a wonderful weekend.
Can this be true?
Hi Funmi, a distant relative of mine who was just in her late 20s was said to have died of high blood pressure during sex. I doubt this finding, knowing that high blood pressure does not occur in people who are of that age group.
The truth of the matter is that any health hazard can happen to someone of any age now. This is because the level of health degeneration in the whole world has increased and ironically, people are looking for an inexpensive way to manage their health. Some are not bothered at all. Heart attack can happen at any age, especially during sex. Heart attack has been a major cause of sudden deaths during or after sexual activities. Middle-aged men with heart problems are much more likely to die during sexual intercourse. A 28-year-old woman died after several rounds of sex with a male companion in a hotel and reports had it that the pair were regular guests of the hotel where the incident happened few weeks ago. During investigation, it was discovered that the lady had a heart condition she ignored, and excess alcohol was found in her blood stream. People who are under the influence of alcohol would feel incredible pleasure when having sex, but it could be a sudden death signal. So many people that engage in the use of alcohol have this belief that with excessive use of alcohol, they are likely going to prolong the sexual act. But that can lead to sudden death if such individual has some underlying conditions that are not detected. It is healthier to do away with alcohol.
Sexual orgasm through intercourse or masturbation could increase heart rate and blood pressure. For people who have problems with hypertension or a weak heart, it can trigger sudden death. I also want to chip it in that although variety of techniques and places aimed at addressing the extreme boredom of having sex is okay, certain risky places such as height on a roof, slippery bathroom, tip of a chipped bathtub, and so on, are not only very dangerous but sudden death arenas.
Source: The Punch
She is a budding entrepreneur who is growing her brand in both beauty and fashion.
But regardless of her busy schedule, Rihanna still has time to help with the business ventures of her loved ones.
The 29-year-old singer was on hand to support her brother Rorrey in Barbados on Sunday as he launched his new clothing line called Orign.
After the fun-filled evening, Rihanna did some plugging for her own products as she shared two very sexy promo snaps for Fenty Beauty.
The Diamonds hitmaker was certainly her best advert as she showed off her cleavage in a very low-cut white and gold top.
Her curvaceous figure and toned legs was also on full display as she sported a pair of light blue Daisy Dukes.
She accessorized with an interesting cage-like translucent clutch, necklace, and multiple gold bracelets.
Reality TV celebrity and wife of Kanye West, Kim Kardashian has launched a new variety products to her KKW beauty line.
The new ultra-light beam powders and gloss duo which cost $32 per piece and $160 for the whole collection dropped today, Thursday.
Kim spoke about her new release in an interview with Stylish, the business mogul said, “You don’t have to wear them together.
“They could be totally separate, and the gloss is sheer enough to where you can put it on top of the pigment, which I think is cool for the holiday.
“If you want to do a really glitzy eye you could put the gloss on top of the shimmer. With the gloss, I just wanted it to really look juicy and not too pigmented. I love a sheer, just pretty, juicy lip.”
The gorgeous TV Star had a bedazzled, nudephotoshoot to announce the release of the beauty products.
See sizzling hot pictures below:
Source: Nigeria News
The Society of Family Health has revealed that Nigerians consume over 400 million condoms annually.
SFH Managing Director, Bright Ekweremadu, who gave this figure in Lagos on Tuesday, said, “the 400 million condom consumption could fall below expectation based on the society’s estimation of unprotected sex in the country.”
Ekweremadu added, “We have been in the business of condom production for over 30 years. We have done a lot of things in educating people to embrace abstinence with our zip-up campaign.
“There are obviously sexually active Nigerians who may not totally abstain from sex and this led to our alternative, particularly at this time when HIV/AIDs is prevalent in the country.
“What we are doing now is expanding choices for the sexually active Nigerians who are using condoms. If you know you cannot abstain, the best thing is to use condom; it’s safe for you and your partner.”
Source: Daily Post
The other morning I was walking to work and a man told me, in passing, to “take my pant[ies] off”. This was, to me, perhaps the worst comment ever received from a catcaller. Stunned into silence, I just kept walking. And the disgusting comment wasn’t delivered from far away, he was but half a metre from me.
In the past when I have complained about street harassment to men the response is often something along the lines of “You should be flattered” or “It’s just harmless – horny guys, man”.
ut as you’ll discover below, women are never flattered by this everyday (every, single, day) behaviour. This is what I have always believed a lot of men don’t get: It’s not to be disregarded as “harmless”, it’s frightening.
“I usually get flustered and walk away or tell them to fuck off if I’m feeling particularly brave that day. I wish I could respond like this girl I once heard about, though.
She had a guy cat call her from a car and she turned around and went “huh?” and when the guy repeated it she went “huh?”again over and over until he realised how ridiculous it was. I wish I could do that, but I don’t know if I could pull it off.”
“Generally, I ignore them and keep walking. But yes, there are times I would like to use every possible curse on them and really tell them where to get off, but I do fear for my safety, especially since I’m a small person.
Nine out of ten times that this has happened to me, the man doing it would be part of a group, so me against a group of men makes me fear for my life, so I just keep walking. I have on the odd occasion flipped them the bird, though. I cannot tell you just how much this annoys and disgusts me.”
“The other day as I was crossing the road, a man handing out pamphlets at the robot grabbed a woman’s ass who was standing in front of me. She was quite shocked but just looked at him and walked on. I confronted him and told him to respect women and that it was totally unacceptable.
A female friend of his then chipped in and told me it was none of my business and he was just being friendly. So sometimes women are women’s biggest enemy.”
“I usually swear or scowl at them or ignore and walk on confidently. The swearing is not on purpose, sometimes I just can’t help myself and I often find myself saying “fuck off” before I know it.”
“Whenever I’m catcalled while walking on the streets, I simply walk on without giving the guy(s) any response. I cuss them in my head but I won’t do so vocally, mainly due to fear. I remember telling one guy to “fuck off” but then I felt like running for my life.”
“I used to get angry in the past but now it doesn’t bother me anymore. I refuse to accept his gift of negativity and ignorance, it doesn’t belong to me. What I enjoy doing is stare blankly at that person, engage, make eye contact, make a connection, even stop walking, I have smiled back and acknowledged their existence.
I find he never expected me to look up or ‘confront’ him. Sometimes I also just ignore it, depending on my mood. Generally I really don’t care – screaming in the streets after women is sign of someone that needs love and attention, shame, we cannot judge, we can only love.”
“I’ve been more harassed on the trains by guys. Especially when I’m about to leave, then I’ll be standing at the door to disembark and then they’ll want to start a conversation with me and then one guy actually asked if I didn’t want to stay longer on the train so he can take me home!
But nowadays I don’t make any eye contact with anyone especially at night. It’s hard especially if they ‘psst’ you or say ‘lady, lady’! But I’m just so over it”
“Sjoe, the other day I was waiting alongside a MyCiti bus stop for my lift (In Milnerton and not even the flats where most would stereotype this sort of behaviour) and the number of guys shouting weird stuff at me or cars flashing lights was horrifying. I just don’t see what sort of pleasure or satisfaction these individuals can get out of it?!”
“I almost always end up smiling awkwardly (and immediately regret having any facial expression) because what follows is a “pretty smile” and if you don’t smile then they say “suurgesig” or something along those lines.
I wish I could say something so powerful that it would make them stop and think before they open their mouths again. I don’t say anything because it seems like a bigger issue that I can’t tackle on my own with one guy on the street.”
“I ignore them, because I don’t like to give them the satisfaction of having any effect on me. If I ignore them, I would think they know that they are being purposefully ignored, so I would hope if they think that they have no impact, they would eventually stop doing this to all women.
I wish I could scare them physically so they run away screaming. Like if I had something to klap them with! But never actually klap them. Just a good fright! So that they get the fucking message!
Obviously this isn’t possible… The catcaller is usually with a group of men, so it’s safer to just walk on by and ignore. I don’t ever feel threatened though, it’s more just degrading and humiliating.”
“It honestly depends on my mood.
If I’m in a good mood, I will definitely have something to say. Swear at them and walk past.
If I’m in a bad mood, chances are I will keep quiet but maybe still pull a zap sign at the person but still carry on walking.
I wish men would just greet and move right along. If they have a question, just ask politely and lets end it right there. Mutual respect.”
“I usually keep quiet for fear of my safety.”
“I usually take my phone out and take a picture of them (or pretend to) and then carry on walking with a deadpan face. They usually get quite taken aback and it shuts them up pretty quickly.
I like to think it makes them feel a bit worried or uncomfortable. Like ‘what is she going to do with that photo???’
What I would like to say is ‘do you have a few hours to talk about how damaging your actions are to the women around you’ but more realistically, ‘I’ve yet to give this pepper spray a go and your face looks like a place to start’. But I don’t engage either way for safety reasons.”
“I don’t like confrontation or worrying about how it could escalate. But I think it’s disgusting when men do that.”
“I often walk around with my earphones in, so luckily most of the catcalling is muted, but sometimes in between songs it so happens that I hear a catcall. I usually just keep walking and ignore. I remember one guy tried to caress my shoulder once and I loudly said “fuck off!” He didn’t expect that.
“I wish I could say “fuck off” more often, but you never know when the next F-off may be the last time you ever say it. Sometimes when the catcaller does it in Xhosa I can also find the courage to say “sundiqhela, bhuti,” which pretty much means don’t even try it, sir.”
“Felt like flipping the bird most of the time but also felt really vulnerable to be honest and just tried really hard to ignore and not make eye contact. Yuck!
“I really wish I could come up with something witty, savage and biting to get them to back off and leave me alone.”
“I usually ignore the catcalling and just continue walking. I wish I could turn around and tell them to stop treating me like an object and belittle them in much the same way as they’ve belittled me.”
First prize is to get away so, Run. Run. Run. Attract attention in public spaces.
Fight for all you’re worth if it comes to that, with whatever is at hand. Bricks, knives, biting, pinching, spitting. Whatever it takes.
4. Remind them of the women in their life by saying something like: “Go say that to your mother” or ask him “Would you say that to your sister?”
5. Shame them in public – We love Carmen and Kelly’s suggestions above. Question them or opt for the photo taking strategy, but for safety reasons just be sure you are in a space where there are lots of other people around.
We spoke to Kenneth Petersen, Cape Town Self Defence Institute, who advised the following in the event that the catcaller chose to respond with intimidation, “First prize is to get away so, Run. Run. Run. Attract attention in public spaces. Fight for all you’re worth if it comes to that, with whatever is at hand. Bricks, knives, biting, pinching, spitting. Whatever it takes.”
He also noted that one needs to refresh one’s self defence training regularly as it’s a skill that deteriorates if you don’t train.
The human body is very delicate and the slightest misadventure in your feeding pattern or harmful exposure to harmful conditions, and even accidents can cause damage and erosion of the linning of the gut.
The stomach is the most exposed part of your digestive system, any food you eat or ingest must be processed in the stomach for digestion and ultimate absorption in the appropriate areas of the gut.
It is therefore filled with various digestive enzymes and juices to aid this process.
Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach. Ulcers can also occur in part of the intestine just beyond the stomach – these are known as duodenal ulcers. Both stomach and duodenal ulcers are sometimes referred to as peptic ulcers.
A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer. The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.
The most common peptic ulcer symptom is burning stomach pain. Stomach acid makes the pain worse, as does having an empty stomach. The pain can often be relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication, but then it may come back. The pain may be worse between meals and at night. Nearly three-quarters of people with peptic ulcers don’t have symptoms.
Stomach ulcers are common. Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:
• Burning stomach pain
• Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching
• Fatty food intolerance
• dull pain in the stomach
• weight loss
• not wanting to eat because of pain
• nausea or vomiting
• burping or acid reflux
• heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)
• pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids
• anemia (symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin)
• dark, tarry stools
• vomit that’s bloody or looks like coffee grounds
When to seek medical help
It is important you see the doctor if you have any of the symptoms above and if over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers relieve your pain but the pain returns.
• vomiting blood – the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds
• passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
• a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse.
Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed.
Your digestive tract is coated with a mucous layer that normally protects against acid. But if the amount of acid is increased or the amount of mucus is decreased, you could develop an ulcer
It could also occur when the layer that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid breaks down, which allows the stomach lining to become damaged.
• an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria
• taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin – particularly if they’re taken for a long time or at high doses
• It used to be thought that stress or certain foods might cause stomach ulcers, but there’s little evidence to suggest this is the case.
Stomach ulcers are usually caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
These can break down the stomach’s defence against the acid it produces to digest food, allowing the stomach lining to become damaged and an ulcer to form.
• A bacterium. Helicobacter pylori bacteria commonly live in the mucous layer that covers and protects tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. Often, the H. pylori bacterium causes no problems, but it can cause inflammation of the stomach’s inner layer, producing an ulcer. It’s not clear how H. pylori infection spreads. It may be transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. People may also contract H. pylori through food and water.
• Regular use of certain pain relievers. Taking aspirin, as well as certain over-the-counter and prescription pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others), but not acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Peptic ulcers are more common in older adults who take these pain medications frequently or in people who take these medications for osteoarthritis.
• Other medications. Taking certain other medications along with NSAIDs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), can greatly increase the chance of developing ulcers.
• Lifestyle factors:
It used to be thought that stomach ulcers may be caused by certain lifestyle factors, such as spicy foods, stress and alcohol.
There is little hard evidence to confirm that this is the case, but these factors may make the symptoms of ulcers worse.
However, it is thought that smoking increases your risk of developing stomach ulcers and may make treatment less effective.
Your doctor may suspect you have an ulcer, based on your symptoms. They will want to know if you’re taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and may test you for an Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
You may be referred to hospital for a procedure to look inside your stomach (a gastroscopy).
• Testing for H. pylori infection
If your doctor thinks your symptoms may be caused by an H. pylori infection, they may recommend one of the following tests:
1. urea breath test – you will be given a special drink containing a chemical that is broken down by H. pylori; your breath is then analysed to see whether or not you have an H. pylori infection
2. stool antigen test – a small stool sample is tested for the bacteria
3. blood test – a sample of your blood is tested for antibodies to the H. pylori bacteria (antibodies are proteins produced naturally in your blood and help to fight infection); this has now largely been replaced by the stool antigen test
If you test positive for H. pylori, you will need treatment to clear the infection, which can heal the ulcer and prevent it from returning.
In some cases, you may be referred for a gastroscopy to look inside your stomach directly and see whether you have a stomach ulcer.
The procedure is carried out in hospital and involves passing a thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) with a camera at one end into your mouth and down into your stomach and first section of the small intestine (duodenum).
You may be given a mild sedative injection before the procedure and have your throat sprayed with a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable to pass the endoscope.
The images taken by the camera will usually confirm or rule out an ulcer. A small tissue sample may also be taken from your stomach or duodenum, so it can be tested for the H. pylori bacteria.
A gastroscopy is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure, which means you won’t have to spend the night in hospital.
5. Upper gastrointestinal series. Sometimes called a barium swallow, this series of X-rays of your upper digestive system creates images of your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. During the X-ray, you swallow a white liquid (containing barium) that coats your digestive tract and makes an ulcer more visible.
If you have a stomach ulcer, your treatment will depend on what caused it. With treatment, most ulcers heal in a month or two.
If your stomach ulcer is caused by an Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics and a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is recommended.
This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer is caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If your stomach ulcer is just caused by taking NSAIDs, a course of PPI medication is recommended. Your use of NSAIDs will also be reviewed, and taking an alternative painkiller may be advised.
An alternative type of medication, known as H2-receptor antagonists, is occasionally used instead of PPIs, and sometimes you may be given additional medication called antacids to relieve your symptoms in the short term.
You may have a repeat gastroscopy after four to six weeks to check that the ulcer has healed.
There aren’t any special lifestyle measures you need to take during treatment, but avoiding stress, alcohol, spicy foods and smoking may reduce your symptoms while your ulcer heals.
Treatment for peptic ulcers depends on the cause. Usually treatment will involve killing the H. pylori bacterium, if present, eliminating or reducing use of aspirin and similar pain medications, if possible, and helping your ulcer to heal with medication.
Medications can include
• Antibiotic medications to kill H. pylori. If H. pylori is found in your digestive tract, your doctor may recommend a combination of antibiotics to kill the bacterium. These may include amoxicillin (Amoxil), clarithromycin (Biaxin), metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax), tetracycline (Tetracycline HCL) and levofloxacin (Levaquin).
The antibiotics used will be determined by where you live and current antibiotic resistance rates. You’ll likely need to take antibiotics for two weeks, as well as additional medications to reduce stomach acid, including a proton pump inhibitor and possibly bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).
• Medications that block acid production and promote healing.
• Proton pump inhibitors — also called PPIs — reduce stomach acid by blocking the action of the parts of cells that produce acid. These drugs include the prescription and over-the-counter medications omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, particularly at high doses, may increase your risk of hip, wrist and spine fracture. Ask your doctor whether a calcium supplement may reduce this risk.
• Medications to reduce acid production. Acid blockers — also called histamine (H-2) blockers — reduce the amount of stomach acid released into your digestive tract, which relieves ulcer pain and encourages healing.
Available by prescription or over-the-counter, acid blockers include the medications ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet HB) and nizatidine (Axid AR).
• Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. Your doctor may include an antacid in your drug regimen. Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid and can provide rapid pain relief. Side effects can include constipation or diarrhea, depending on the main ingredients.
Antacids can provide symptom relief, but generally aren’t used to heal your ulcer.
Medications that protect the lining of your stomach and small intestine. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications called cytoprotective agents that help protect the tissues that line your stomach and small intestine.
In addition to taking certain pain medications, including aspirin, you may have an increased risk of peptic ulcers if you:
• Smoke. Smoking may increase the risk of peptic ulcers in people who are infected with H. pylori.
• Drink alcohol. Alcohol can irritate and erode the mucous lining of your stomach, and it increases the amount of stomach acid that’s produced.
• Have untreated stress.
• Eat spicy foods.
Alone, these factors do not cause ulcers, but they can make them worse and more difficult to heal.
Left untreated, peptic ulcers can result in:
• Internal bleeding. Bleeding can occur as slow blood loss that leads to anemia or as severe blood loss that may require hospitalization or a blood transfusion. Severe blood loss may cause black or bloody vomit or black or bloody stools.
• Infection. Peptic ulcers can eat a hole through (perforate) the wall of your stomach or small intestine, putting you at risk of serious infection of your abdominal cavity (peritonitis).
• Obstruction. Peptic ulcers can lead to swelling, inflammation or scarring that may block passage of food through the digestive tract. A blockage may make you become full easily, vomit and lose weight.
Source: This Day
Whether you are newlywed, or refer to yourselves as ‘old Ball ‘n’ Chain,’ every marriage has its share of ups and downs.
While it may sound cliché, lulls and patterns of mundanity are natural to the ebb and flow of married life. Periods of stress, boredom, and poor communication are part of the course.
“Marriage takes work.”
Marriage does take work, and like anything else in life, you have to do the work to reap the reward. But the work of marriage is not like cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash. The effort that goes into a successful marriage (read happy, functional and fulfilling) is the type of work that can be fun and therapeutic.
In a survey that we conducted, we asked happy couples to divulge the key to successful marriage.
Read on to know their 15 tips for a successful marriage.
1. Be independent
Independence was rated ‘extremely important’ in a marriage. In order to be happy in a relationship, we must be happy first. That is, in fact, the key to a successful marriage. With that in mind, wives and husbands must continue to take out time for themselves, enjoy their personal hobbies, and in general, spend some time apart. Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but in the time we spend alone, we get to reunite with our spiritual side, re-establish our sense of self, and check in with the progress of our personal preferences, goals, and achievements.
Being dependent, on the other hand, weakens your resolve and ability to move forward as a free thinker. When we maintain our independent sense of self, we will always have something to talk about at the dinner table, and we are forever stronger, healthier, and more attractive to our partners.
2. Be a good listener
While all women should work at the art of active listening, we emphasize this as an area of special attention for men. Too often, men do not realize that all their partner needs from them is a listening ear. This is due to their programming and the way in which they are taught to relate with others.
Remember that listening and hearing are not the same thing. Listening involves our hearts. Open yours, hear what she says, look at her while she speaks, paraphrase even, and reassure.
3. Agree to disagree
Being good together does not mean that couples agree on every little thing. Most of the couples we interviewed actually had varying attitudes, opinions, and belief systems; and even held opposing views on major areas in some cases. All couples should have some level of disagreement somewhere. Successful, loving couples respected the point of view of one another, and even had a sense of humor over their points of contention. Recognize that of two opposite views, one of them does not have to be “right”.
4. Communicate – know your partner’s ‘Love Language’
There are several books out there on the Languages of Love. This was developed of the concept in psychology that each individual has his or her own unique way in which they communicate love. By knowing your partner’s preferences and hobbies, metaphors can be used in communication that relate to something the person understands well.
Observe the physical way in which your partner shows love. This could be, washing your car, or picking up the kids. From her, it could be keeping the toiletries stocked and ironing his shirts. For others, its words, letters, and affection. Figure out your partner’s love language so you will always know how to speak to him or her.
A major relationship killer, lack of acceptance is a trait more commonly attributed to women, who are known for their nagging. Remember, we married our spouse for who he was then, and who he is now. Even if we wanted to change him now, we can’t.
When urging or persuading him, you are only focusing on his weaknesses or problems. Change your perspective immediately and start focusing on positive traits instead.
6. Take responsibility
It is that easy and one of the secrets of a successful marriage. When you participate in a project, take responsibility for your successes and your failures. When you and your partner have a disagreement or argument, remember to take responsibility for your actions, including anything you did or said, especially if it was hurtful, unthoughtful or created adversity
7.Never take one another for granted
Taking one another for granted may be the most toxic pathogen of all. Once they are comfortable, it is easy for couples to begin to slip into a complacent state – and expectations form. This is actually only a matter of human nature, as we get comfortable with what is familiar, but in marriage, you absolutely should never come to a place where you take your partner for granted.
Pledge to respect your partner indefinitely no matter what. Avoid assumptions, and offer to do nice things for your partner whenever possible.
8. Date night
It does not matter what a couple does on their date night. Simply having a night when they spend their time just with each other strengthens the bond and maintains it over time. When you have date night, you should turn your phones off and put them away so you are free of distractions. Watch a movie at home with popcorn or go hiking or rollerblading together. Change it up often and be helpful and positive for one another.
9. Add romance
Romantic acts can be many – try giving her a flower someday or place a love note in his briefcase or backpack. Surprise him with his favorite meal, or watch the sunset together. There is no shortage of ideas; and you’ll be amazed at how far a little romance goes toward strengthening
10. Keep intimacy alive
Sex is very important to a healthy marriage. Sex should be regular, and therapists suggest doing it even when you’re not in the mood! We suggest keeping it interesting by talking about what pleases you, and adding any fantasy role playing, positions, or bedroom props you may want to introduce to keep it exciting.
“A compliment a day keeps the divorce attorney away.” Acknowledging your partner’s positive attributes every day, and paying compliments, will go a long way in your relationships. Stay positive, and keep track of what your spouse does well. When the going gets rough and his not-so-great attributes come forward, rather than focusing on the negative, try switching gears, and point out the positive stuff instead.
12. Look for the soft emotion
Behind every “hard” emotion is a soft one; this is a concept taught by psychologists. When we feel anger, it’s usually masking another emotion behind it, such as sadness, disappointment, or jealousy. We often just use anger as a disguise to protect our vulnerabilities. Looking for the “soft” or, vulnerable emotions underneath someone’s hard display of anger, will help keep you connected as you are better equipped to empathize with that person’s true emotion.
13. Let go of the fantasy
Unfortunately, we are socialized to believe in fairy tale endings and we may carry some false perspectives on reality with us into adulthood. We need to recognize that, while marriage can be a beautiful thing, it is not effortless, nor will it ever be perfect. Have realistic expectations and do not fall victim to the fairy tale – you may find yourself sorely disappointed.
14. Do not control
Married people often come to a place where they start to lose themselves, they give in to jealousy or feelings of inadequacy, or they forget that they are separate people away from their partners, and they may they may try to control their partners. Most of the time this is done inadvertently, as expectations may grow over time. Communication, independent time, and healthy indulgences will keep any couple on track. If you sense you are being controlling or are the controller, get a handle on it or make an appointment for a family counselor.
15. Never use the D- word
Presuming you don’t really want to get a divorce, don’t threaten to. Couples that use the D-word or talk about separation during fights use this as a control mechanism. Couples using it in a threatening way are more likely to see Divorce come to fruition. Making threats is not a mature strategy for solving any problem, so don’t do it.
Follow these tips on how to have a successful marriage; you will not only be able to save your marriage but also be able to enjoy a highly successful one.
You may think you know all about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but make sure you aren’t fooled by some of these common myths.
3 Common STI myths
Myth 1: You can get an STI from a toilet seat.
False! Most organisms that cause STIs can’t survive outside the human body for long.
Myth 2: You can’t get an STI from oral sex.
There are indeed some STIs you can get from engaging in oral sex. For example, an STI such as genital herpes can easily be transmitted from one partner’s mouth to the other partner’s genitals.
Myth 3: You can’t get an STI if your partner is a virgin.
This depends on how your partner defines virginity. Certain STIs such as herpes or HPV can be transmitted by intimate skin to skin contact. Your virgin partner may have contracted an STI through other means than vaginal sex.
Use a condom every time
Believing these myths can influence decisions that may put you and your sexual partner’s health at risk.
Not all STIs can be cured, so protect yourself by using a condom each and every time you have sex.
National Condom Week was a friendly reminder about our sexual health, so that we do not unwittingly put ourselves at risk in our moments of passion.
Nowadays there are many fun and sexy condoms available, from flavoured to glow-in-the-dark – there are even non-latex condoms for those with latex allergies, making it easy to have hot and worry-free sex.
The essential service says they only have enough type O blood stocks for two days.
The 19-year-old beauty mogul has become the youngest millionaire according to Forbes Celebrity 100 Power List, two months ago announced her own reality TV
Show The Life of Kylie which is set to premiere on the 6th of August.
For the magazine spread, the curvaceous teen star wears skin toned swimsuits, her makeup is light and peachy with her hair falling over her shoulders – a tousled demure look.
The covers have raised a lot of dust as some fans are gushing about the racy shoot, others are questioning why Kylie is on the cover of GQ Mexico and Germany.
Not letting her famous selfies be her only asset
she also recently launched a sock line with her brother Rob Kardashian under the King George brand. Kylie announced this on her.
Snapchat and also showed the sleek packaging bearing the names of her and Rob’s brand.
For GQ Germany she’s photographed again by Mike Rosenthal posing with the bed sheet in a dingy room.
Health and safety are the primary considerations for water purification.
When choosing the right water purification system for your home, keep in mind that any water purifier is better than none at all. It’s just that some water purifiers are better than others. Price, in this case, is not always indicative of quality. Here we have some information that should help you choose the right product for your family.
When choosing a water purification system, health and safety should be essential elements to be taken into consideration.
Depending on the steps used by the public treatment facilities to disinfect the water, you may end up using more than one water purifier depending on the source of your water.
If you do not have a water treatment facility in your area, then you should seriously consider the source of your water before you decide on a water purifier. There are usually a number of pollutants in water that need to be dealt with and consequently there are various steps that need to be taken to accomplish that purpose. Public treatment facilities use various steps to disinfect the water and you may end up using more than one water purifier depending on the source of your water.
For instance, in the rare occasion that your water is obtained from a river or lake you need a thorough lake or river-water purification. In that case, the total process may include the following water purification systems: reverse osmosis, selective distillation and filtration. This is so because each water purification system focuses on specific contaminants and fails to eliminate others. Just look at the following analysis:
Water purifiers that use distillation are needed to kill bacteria, but if you boil the water you can get the same effective results.
When your water comes from a treatment facility, disinfection has already been done, and usually E. coli and other bacteria are not present, except in the case of a massive storm or similar event. But bacteria might still be present in the spore step of evolvement. Reverse osmosis water purifiers do not remove herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, THMs or bacterial contaminants. You are more likely not to use this purifier since your water source might not be a lake or river, and consequently you can skip this step in the process. This step is completed at the public’s water purification program if your water comes from that source.
The water purifier that uses distillation does so in order to kill bacteria, but if you boil the water you can get the same effective results. If your water comes from a treatment facility, disinfection has already been done, and E coli and other bacteria are not present, except in the case of a massive storm or similar event. Although, bacteria in the spore step of evolvement would be present.
Water purification systems that are finicky use a selective filtration or a variety of filtering media to get rid of the different contaminants. Careful water purification systems use thorough filtration or a various filtering media to get rid of the majority of contaminants. You need to check about the quality and steps used by the water purifier before you buy it, since these elements will affect the outcome regarding the removal of contaminants and the operation of the system. We can take a look at one of the best water purifiers on the market with a multi-stage system. In the first step, activated carbon granules remove chlorine, chemicals and disinfection byproducts. After that, a multi-media block catches gaseous contaminants, like THMs. The public water purification uses methods that cannot remove the bacterial cysts that the sub-micron sized pores of the block remove. Ultimately, the water is purified by passing it through and ion exchange stage.
The ion exchange step removes lead and other metallic contaminants by exchanging the ions of the contaminants for potassium and sodium. Through the addition of this last step, the final outcome is an improved taste and healthfulness due an improved mineral content and balancing of the pH level.
Most homes only require the use of a selective filtration water purifier, but in cases of floods or even heavy rains E-coli bacteria may be present. But usually, the public water purification facility will inform the public in that situation. If that is the case, you would want to filter the water first and then boil it. Make sure you drink healthy water.
SOUTH AFRICA AT A GLANCE
Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is 1 233 404km² in size and is edged on three sides by nearly 3 000km of coastline, with the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also encloses two independent countries, the kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.
South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).
The Union Buildings, Pretoria. Image courtesy of Michael Jansen
Since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994, South Africa has had a democratic government. The Constitution is regarded as an example to the world and enshrines a wide range of human rights protected by an independent judiciary. The head of the country is the president. The current incumbent is Jacob Zuma, who is the head of the ruling party, the African National Congress.
Regarded as an emerging market, South Africa has a well-developed financial sector and active stock exchange. Financial policies have focused on building solid macroeconomic structures. The country’s central bank is the South African Reserve Bank.
Tourists on a bike ride tour at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park
The tourism industry is well established with an exciting sector of emerging entrepreneurs. The country is strong on adventure, sport, nature and wildlife, and is a pioneer and global leader in responsible tourism.
The last census in 2011 showed a population of about 52-million people, of varying origins, cultures, languages and religions, of which 79,2% are African, 8,9% ‘coloured’ (a term used in South Africa to describe people of mixed race), 8,9% white, and 2,5% Indian. Just over half the population is female.
South Africa’s currency is the rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
South Africa is known for its long sunny days, hence the title, ‘Sunny South Africa’. Most of the nine provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape, which experiences winter rainfall. The high-lying areas of the interior can be chilly in winter. The South African Weather Service uses the following dates for seasons:
Spring: September, October, November
Summer: December through February
Autumn: March, April, May
Winter: June through August
South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas.
There are nine provinces in South Africa, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.
Springbok in Namaqualand, Northern Cape
The South African flag is a much-loved symbol of the ‘new’ South Africa. It comprises a geometric pattern of green, white, black, gold, red and blue.
South Africa’s national bird is the blue crane. The national animal is the springbok; the national fish, the galjoen; the national flower, the giant or king protea; and the national tree, the yellowwood.
South Africa’s national anthem is based on the Xhosa hymn, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), composed by Enoch Sontonga in 1897, and Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (The Call of South Africa).
South Africa is a multilingual country and there are 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.
About 80% of South Africa’s population is Christian. Other major religious groups include Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. A minority does not belong to any of the major religions. The Constitution guarantees freedom of worship.
In urban areas tap water is usually of high quality and safe to drink. It’s quite safe to have ice in drinks and to eat salads. However, when travelling to remote rural areas and the bush you should take your own drinking water along or buy bottled water.
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town
ANIMALS AND PLANTS
In 1998 Conservation International declared South Africa one of the 17 megadiverse destinations in the world because of its rich biological diversity. Expect majestic and intimidating animals such as rhinos, elephants and great white sharks, and smaller ‘cute’ ones such as meerkats, bush babies and bat-eared foxes, as well as diverse plant life from succulent Karoo through to fynbos and indigenous forests.
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. With a few exceptions (in deep rural areas), electricity is available almost everywhere.
South Africa’s three major international airports are OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg); Cape Town International Airport; and King Shaka International Airport (Durban). There are also many regional airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit).
TRAVEL BY ROAD AND RAIL
South Africa has an extensive road infrastructure including national highways and secondary roads. Speed limits are set at 120km/h on highways; 100km/h on secondary roads; and 60km/h in urban areas. Most roads are in good condition, but there are a few exceptions. There are rail connections between the main centres, such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Visitors arriving at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg
For visa requirements, please contact your nearest South African diplomatic mission. South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all foreign visitors and citizens over one year of age travelling from an infected area or having been in transit through infected areas. Infected areas include Zambia and Angola in southern Africa.
South Africa has been well known for its medical skill since Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human heart transplant in the country in 1967. There are many world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban areas, while many state hospitals also offer excellent care, among them Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but if you are visiting the Kruger National Park or low-lying parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal, be aware that you are entering malarial areas and should take precautions in the form of prophylactic medication.
TIPS AND TIPPING
As a rough guide: give 10% to 15% to a waitron in a restaurant; about US$10 (or equivalent) per day to your safari ranger.
Use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewellery, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. Keep car doors and windows locked at all times. If in doubt, ask a guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.
South Africa has its fair share of sporting, movie, music and political celebrities. From global political icons like former president Nelson Mandela and Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to golfing greats such as Gary Player and Ernie Els, movie stars like Charlize Theron and musicians (think Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the group Freshlyground), expect South Africans to make news anywhere in the world.
Smoking is banned in public places, but there are usually designated areas where people can smoke. Under-18s may not enter a designated smoking area or buy cigarettes.
OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
Most places welcome children and many establishments have special facilities such as family rooms or children’s entertainment programmes. Enquire about these when you book. All national parks are child-friendly.
There are facilities for disabled people (although fewer than in the United States or many parts of Europe). All major hotels will have facilities for disabled people. When renting a vehicle, discuss special needs and parking dispensations with the car-hire company.
What would be your reaction if you realize that the children you have always called yours belong to another man?
My name is Bayo, an international businessman who has been married for twelve years with three lovely children; or children I thought were mine. I thought I had a perfect marriage with Kike but I have just discovered that even the best woman could turn out to be the deadliest serpent.
I had no reason to believe that Kike could have cheated on me until I got a disturbing email from a woman I have never known, telling me to conduct a DNA test on my children to ascertain they were mine because my wife had been cheating on me right from the day we were married.
I could not believe what I saw but I decided to act without informing my wife or anyone about the mail. On my last trip to the United States of America in December, I took the three children along and conducted the test and got the shock of my life.
It turned out that none of the children are mine. I have been unable to disclose this to anyone, not even my wife because I do not want her to have a ready defence when I take my action. Most importantly, I do not want the kids to know they are not mine because I love them with my life and would not give them up for anything in this world.
How do I go about handling this issue?
While we can often brush off harmless embarrassment, like wearing their Superman gown when we have visitors or taking money out of their bra in a long queue at the supermarket, some scenarios are too much to overlook, and can even cause a rift in the relationship. That can happen in front of colleagues, friends or family.
Here are a few scenarios that can make you want to crawl into an ant hole:
Everything under the sun is being discussed, from politics to the rand and suddenly your partner feels the need to join the conversation. They completely miss the point but insist they are right, and start a big debate with everyone – even though they are talking utter nonsense.
No doubt, all these make for definite eek moments.
But what if your partner embarrasses you all the time?
Dating expert Dudu Nhlabathi says that there are different types of embarrassments.
“Sometimes, it is not so much that you are embarrassed by your partner’s actions, but that you are worried that other people might be laughing at your partner – and you by extension.
“You are embarrassed that your spouse is the butt of the joke and worried about what being linked to them says about you as a person. This is called reflective embarrassment.”
Nhlabathi says reflective embarrassment does not only stem from what your partner might or might not be doing, but it could also be because of your own insecurities.
“. self-conscious emotions, including shame and embarrassment, are complex, and require self-reflection and self-evaluation,” she says.
The second form of embarrassment, Nhlabathi says, is targeted embarrassment.
“This happens when your partner intentionally singles you out or targets you for embarrassment – with a good-natured jibe or a mean-spirited comment.
“This behaviour can sometimes be a sign of an abusive relationship, among other issues. Sometimes this occurs when a partner lets slip to a friend a personal detail you would rather have kept private. You cringe and try to shift the discussion but secretly you feel your trust has been violated. Targeted embarrassment is the most damaging of all and if left unaddressed can fester into serious relationship problems.”
Source: Sowetan Live
Dear Jade, I experience a lot of pain when I’m about to have penetrative sex, even though I feel that I’m well lubricated. Is it a matter of the size of my man’s penis, or could there be a problem down there? I’d also like to know what the best sex positions are for someone with a back problem.
Jade: Not to take away from the size of your man’s penis, but cases where the size of the penis and the vagina are incompatible are few and far between. This issue can usually be resolved by using a lubricant. However, because you say you feel well lubricated, there are a few possibilities behind your feeling of pain.
One is vaginismus, which is an involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles because of psychological reasons. These can include a history of sexual abuse or even a subconscious fear of sex. Therapy and hypnotherapy are popular treatments for this.
Another reason could be tears on the entrance of the vagina, or an infection of the vulva or vagina, which may not necessarily present with other symptoms. These can be treated with antibiotics or steroid creams. See a gynaecologist for a thorough examination to treat your condition accordingly.
For your backache, use any position that doesn’t require the active use of your back. Try the missionary position with a pillow under the small of your back for support.
Dear Jade, I am 52 years old and I struggle to get an erection. I have been to the doctor to do a health check and results show that I don’t suffer from diabetes, my testosterone levels are fine and I don’t have any prostate problems. What can I do?
Jade: Your inability to get an erection even though you are aroused could be because there is blood vessel or nerve damage in your penis. Ask a urologist to check for this and they will be able to prescribe a treatment.
Dear Jade, I’m 30 years old and my girlfriend is 66. Is it wise to have an intimate relationship with this lonely spinster? And yes, we enjoy each other.
Jade: As long as your girlfriend is open to it, I see no reason you shouldn’t have intercourse with your lady
Do you have a question for Jade?
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Source: City press
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