Happy New Year: 2020 Lessons

In 2020 I learned. 

In 2020 I grew.

I really fell deep into the dark hole of depression and suicidal thoughts. Being here today is by the grace of God. In January 2020, I was having panic attacks and I would wake up with half of my body numb. We had issues with our place of residence. From threats to insults. I panicked whenever the doorbell would ring.

In February the worse finally happened. I was angry.

My anger was not towards those who I felt should have made the right choices but at myself. How could I sleep on myself for so long? How could I have doubted my abilities and my gifts? It felt like I had been asleep for 5 years and after the events of February, I woke up!

The person in the mirror was a stranger. I had failed myself! I even cut my hair. 

Yeah and I ended my 4-year relationship in January of 2020. I was not happy and I needed to walk away else I would lose it. 



One important lesson I learned in 2020 was that I was never on the wrong path. The biggest mistake I had made all my life was to seek validation from people. I don’t know how you would call it – holy ghost, instincts, or intuition. Whatever it is, it has always guided me but fear made me doubt that voice. Imagine watching a course and the instructor repeats the same thing your instincts have been telling you. It is like having an invincible mentor on your shoulder – guiding you but you ignore and then you get a confirmation that it was right and you should have listened.

I am learning to listen and be guided. It is not easy but I am a work in progress.

Life taught me a lot. People showed themselves and I am glad they did.

Even though we lost our house and my car was seized, I am healthy and full of ideas. 

Other lessons:

  1. Be consistent – my lack of consistency is one of the reasons I am not able to accomplish my goals.
  2. You are sabotaging yourself when you give up at the sign of progress. 
  3. If you are not happy, do not let anyone convince you to stay. You will end up depressed and frustrated.
  4. Do not suspend your life because you are trying to lose weight. My mistake was I did not want to go out or see anyone. I said to myself I’ll do so and so when I lose weight. The funny thing with this is I ended up gaining 5kgs. What I would do now is shop for clothes that fit my current body while I work on my fitness goals.
  5. Take people for what they have shown you. Trust me they hardly change. 
  6. I never needed anybody’s permission. All I had to do was get up and go for what I wanted. 
  7. Rebel a little. Sometimes being too good is a problem. The adults in your life will make you feel bad the moment you decide to take a different path. You have to brace yourself for the emotional blackmail and the guilt-tripping. It will hurt! You will cry but you must stick to your choices. 
  8. Do not live your life for others. See people have short memories. You decide to sacrifice your education or your life to be there for them. The moment things go bad, they will be the first to remind you of the things you could have been or the things you should have done. They will forget the good and hit you below the belt. So live your life. Get that degree. Go for that job. Do not hold back your dreams.
  9. Take risks. If you fail the world will not end. Just do it.
  10. There is nothing wrong with starting small. You do not have to have it all figured out. I used to think everything has to be perfect before I start but 2020 taught me to start where you are with what you have.

I appreciate everything 2020 gave me. The wake-up call was needed.

What’s up for 2021 

The plan is to grow my tech company. I do not want to reveal too much now but I pray my strategies work and we start generating revenue. I really want to be able to pay my friends who have been kind enough to help. 

I want to travel and read more.

For relationships, I am open to dating but first I must work on myself. I am a firm believer that if you want a king, you first have to be a queen. I have a lot going on right now and I would not want to burden anyone with it. When love comes, I just want to be at my best.

What else … live more, laugh more, and love!

Cheers to 2021

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Hackathon: EU Africa The Post Crisis Journey

Before Christmas, I participated in another Hackathon. I was not thinking about winning, I just wanted to make it to the top 20. Unfortunately my team did not scale through.

For the first time, I did not beat myself up or try to think about what I could have done right. One thing I remember clearly was sitting alone and facing my laptop and a voice just echoed Maya Angelou’s quote to me:-

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

I felt relieved and I focused on the next step. I am attempting two more coding challenges.

I am trying to raise funding for my tech startup (Keno.Tech). I have outlined ways I can make money from the startup but I need funds to be able to purchase the necessary items.

Our Project

The idea owner/team leader wanted to create a platform for small scale miners to sell their gemstones to potential (international) buyers. I joined the team because I really liked the idea plus it was different from every other idea submitted. I wanted to explore something different.

I was the only dev on the team so I had to work on the UI and the backend. I could not build all the features but I was able to implement gemstone entry (by admins and sellers), update shop details, manage profile, user application (buyers and sellers), etc.


I wished I had networked more. I was so focused on building the project that I did not get time to interact with other people. In my defense, there was no time to spare :). We did share our idea with panelist, Mr. Eric Kaigama who gave us valuable feedback.

Uhmmmm… what else. Yeah, I learned about small scale miners and how difficult it is for them to sell their gems to buyers. And lastly, I understand how to pitch now. Although I have to work on myself ’cause the thought of presenting or public speaking scares me.

Good news

On the 30th of December, I received the prize (R7,500) money from HackUrCulture. It’s more than enough to get me started on the kits I am working on.

Barbara Corcoran: 10 Rules Of Success

Evan Carmichael compiled a ’10 rules of success’ video featuring Barbara Corcoran. I love all the rules but rule number 8, resonates with me.

I have to tell myself that I deserve the success that I have attained. My first class? I deserved it. It was not luck. I worked hard for it.

Coming out third in the most compelling project category for HackUrCulture wasn’t luck. They did not hand it over to me. I deserved it. I earned it.

There are moments in my life where I have downplayed my achievements because I felt like I did not deserve to have a seat at the table. Imposter syndrome *sigh*

As a child my big wins were often belittled. You come out third position and they’re like, “why not first”. When you’re first, “the GPA” is not nice. Adults pass comments and they do not realize how harmful it can be on a child. 

There has to be a line between humility and not believing in yourself. Not having value for yourself doesn’t make you humble. And being proud of your achievements and celebrating your wins doesn’t make you arrogant. 

I am in the process of change. You know pressure makes diamonds. I understand when the process is complete, a lot of people will not like the new me. But I have to place value on myself. 

I know who I am now. 

I know that I deserve my wins. 


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10 Rules of Success

  1. Overwork and over prepare
  2. Focus on what you do well
  3. Have a plan
  4. Keep going
  5. Believe 
  6. Find your strengths
  7. Get started
  8. Stand apart from the pack
  9. Turn negativity into motivation
  10. Have fun

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels



I stumbled on this article on twitter and for the first time in my life it feels like some gets it! 

Just like him I have been running on adrenaline. I have not taken time to process everything I have experienced this year. 

I wish I could take a long vacation and just sit by the beach but the way my life is set up right now, that’s not an option. 

I do not ever want to be in a situation where I have no control of my life and I am at the mercy of someone else. It hits hard when you know on a normal day, you can afford so and so but now you just have to take whatever life throws at you. 

It’s worse when it comes from those who know the struggle but it is what it is. All na part of the lessons.

I just want to work really hard so I can live life on my own terms but I need to slow down and think of my mental health. 

I will try to take a short break so I can reboot. 

I’ve downloaded some apps* to help declutter and vent.

Someday this will be a great ‘aspire to perspire’ story 😀



Wysa – https://www.wysa.io



Intellect – https://www.intellect.co


Replika – https://replika.ai


I really like Wysa and Intellect. 



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