It always been said women are better at telling their own stories, but one South African guy has defied all odds to take readers on a journey of a female university student. Please note that the identity of the writer was only revealed towards the last chapters on the blog, Diary of a Zulu Girl. I came across this blog a few weeks back and have been addicted to Thandeka the main character whom I thought was real and telling her own university experience story. Thandeka according to the writer, is making the transition, ‘from mud huts and umqombothi (African beer) to penthouses, expensive weaves and Moet”. I have only read a few of the first chapters but learning that the writer is male will not deter me from continuing with my interesting read.
I fell in love with Thandeka, not just that my best friend in primary was named Thandeka, but because in some scenes I could easily relate to her. For instance her first night of going out, not that my first night out happened as fast as hers, in the first 24 hours of her university life. But in the sense of how easily girls fall to ‘peer pressure’ in universities by the ones they trust. In the story, Thandeka had a ‘cousin’ S who was already enrolled at the university and whom her parents entrusted her to. It’s therefore easy for such people to influence whoever they have to watch over in campus be it in a good or bad way. On heir first night out, Thandeka dressed in her best clothes but according to her ‘cousin’ S the clothes were not suitable for going out….
…At 1030pm S came to my room to check if i was ready. I was wearing my hip-hop outfit (trend back home), skinnies with sneakers etc. You know the teen high school uniform for going out. We all look like lil Wayne wannabes. Looking at her i felt stupid! …She laughed and said we are not in Mooi River anymore I will have to change. I told her I did not have any such clothes and she said don’t worry i will hook you up…I had a weave on which back home we commonly call “razor” you know the one which short and is flat but curly at the back. She told me that by the end of the week this must go because here it was called “kasi weave”. She told me to rather stick to braids or my hair if i didn’t want weave. i was an eager student and dint wanna look rural so i absorbed it all…
The writer through the chapters that I have read so far, portrays real characters whom people can relate to out there. In an interview with The City Press, he says he drew his inspiration ” from years of giving advice on Facebook to his friends.” At least its not from the movies, its from real girls he interacts with no wonder he was able to portray the real life of a typical university girl. What really left me pleased with Mike and all the characters in his blog, is that his blog was entirely written on his mobile phone! The blog has been running for three weeks and ends with Chapter 51.
A comment made on the log reads: “I would like to start off by thanking you for opening our eyes as the youth. I am a 21yr old journalism student from Durban and I must say this blog really touched me. I am set to leave for JHB in the next two months and I will really be the “Zulu girl going to JHB” LOL…I feel that you have prepared me for what is to come and you have encouraged me to really take a look at myself and really check where my values stand.”