2015 May 14: “I’m happy living my life the way I am”


I’m Ziningi Praiseworth Ndovela, a 31year old born in Izingolweni (kwaXolo tribal) and grew up there until I obtained my Senior Certificate, then moved to Durban in Umlazi township.

I belong to the lesbian world, the life that some people hate and discriminate, while lesbians live it and love their lives. I was 11 years old when I started noticing that I’m different, I would look at girls and fantasize about being more than friends.

The portrait of Ziningi Ndovela by Charmain Carrol (2015/02/27).

The portrait of Ziningi Ndovela by Charmain Carrol (2015/02/27).

It made me curious about what kind of a person I am, I was so confused and started locking myself in my room to study, but my mind was far, thinking about who I am.

Most of the things happened in high school, when I was in Grade 11.
I asked my friends what they would do, if they found out that I’m dating other girls?
They just laughed at me because they knew I had a guy that I was dating. I wasn’t happy in that relationship because I knew where I belonged. When I dreamt I would dream about myself with another woman.
After a while I dated my church mate and we loved each other, while nobody knew.

I was afraid to let anyone know about my feelings, because I feared rejection in the family, friends and community. My mother suspected because I played football. She said, ‘I must stop doing boys’ things and stop wearing trousers, that was sad. I tried to do the way she liked me to, and realized I was supposed to live both lives, while that was not my intention.

In 2002, God blessed me with my lovable son, Thapelo. During pregnancy I thought of committing suicide. I couldn’t, and thought to myself, if I do, it would mean that I’m a coward who can’t face challenges in life. When my son was 2 years old I came out that I’m not into men, but women. I love my son and respect him a lot. We used to play to together, and I’m proudly lesbian, and love it when my son calls me mum.

As time went by I became sick, doctors couldn’t find a diagnosis. I visited traditional healers who said I have a calling. Although I had some visions, I wasn’t so sure about it. My mother understands all that, so I started the process of traditional healing. I have not completed the training as yet, but I’m capable of helping people.

I’m a Christian who attends a Zion church. I like that they don’t criticize me, they give me the same treatment like other people. I’m a secretary at church, and want to reach my goal. I’m working on doing my studies in Civil engineering.

Ziningi and friends in Umlazi township.

Ziningi and friends in Umlazi township.

I’m happy living my life the way I am.
To all lesbians, stay blessed and be proud of who you are. Don’t worry about people and what they say, as long as you happy, that is all that matters. We live once the other life is in heaven. Don’t even care who judges you because only God can judge us.

Thanks to Lerato Dumse and Charmain Carrol,  you guys gave me more strength.
Keep up with your good work and for your encouraging words.
I Salute you. Thank you!

This entry was posted in 2002, Acceptance, Affirmation, Another Approach Is Possible, Another woman, Archived memories, Archiving Queer Her/Histories in SA, Articles, Articulation, As we are, Believe, Black lesbian mother speak out, Black Lesbian over 30, Blessings, Calling, Challenges, Committing suicide, Community, Criticism, Dating, Diagnosis, Documentation; Filming; Photography; Community, Documenting our own lives, Documenting realities of the townships, Dream, Dress code, Education, Expression, Family, Feelings, Football, Friends, God, Grade 11, Happy, Heaven, High school, Homosexuality, Human being, Intention, Intimate relationship, Laugh, Lesbianism, Life, Life story, Live, Living, Loved, Loving, Men's wear, Mother, Person, Pregnancy, Proud, Proudly lesbian, Rejection, Respect, Sad, Senior certificate, Son, Studies, traditional healers, Traditional healing, Trousers, Umlazi township, Visions, Woman, Ziningi Praiseworth Ndovela, Zion Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 2015 May 14: “I’m happy living my life the way I am”

  1. Pingback: 2015 May 5: My journey so far in life | inkanyiso.org

  2. Pingback: 2015 May 19: “I wasn’t comfortable with the one before” | inkanyiso.org

  3. Pingback: 2015 June 30: “How it felt to be touched and caressed by the one you love” | inkanyiso.org

  4. Pingback: 2015 July 15: Doing the best for my daughter | inkanyiso.org

  5. Pingback: 2015 Aug. 9: Balancing culture and activism | inkanyiso.org

  6. Pingback: 2015 Oct. 18: “I reminisce about her” | inkanyiso.org

  7. Pingback: 2015 Nov. 21: The story of my life from what I can remember | inkanyiso.org

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