Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Enter Silas Ramsbottom


Ok, I've only recently had a chance to realise that my birthday is on Tuesday, so I'm excited about it. I've never really understood why people don't like celebrating their birthdays. I mean, it's the day the world was gifted with your existence and that's totally something worth celebrating. Every time.

Now that I've got over that realisation, I can share some stories.

The unbelievably talented Daniel Mpilo Richards, has been a part of the Chaeli Campaign family for a while now because he's been a part of a few of our professional productions - most recently 'No Functional Language'. This is actually all just back story because the real reason I'm talking about him is because he has a new show that's on currently, 'PAY BACK THE CURRY', and errybody should go see this show. He's the only one in it, it's a one-man show, it's everything. *enter that guy from Despicable Me, Silas Ramsbottom* Hilarious. It's still on until 27 August sooo go do that! K, plug done.

Daniel and I, and some other pretty cool people are planning something LEGIT, but that's all you're getting for now because greatness takes time to develop. Keep your peepers peeled for that one.

Friday, I spoke at Due South because they were key supporters for the Comrades Marathon and Kilimanjaro. So I was asked to share some of the stories from those experiences. It was awesome to be able to do that and to have a company that wholeheartedly backs what we do is something really special. I also met some pretty cool people there who are keen to get involved in some future adventure plans. Yay!

Saturday was awesome because we had a surprise Kitchen Tea for Tarryn (co-founder of The Chaeli Campaign, as she's getting married in September! Exciting times...

I think now is a good time to chat about the whole "Kbye" declaration in my last post. Last year, along with a group of incredible people and activists in their own rights, started a society at UCT called IkeyAbility where we raise awareness for disability issues on our campus and hold the university accountable for the commitments it makes to differently-abled students. Throughout this process I've had the privilege of meeting and working with some epic humans, (Jess, Yuvini & Robyn) who happen to be Deaf (with a Capital "D", this is important), as well as some pretty legit able-bodied peeps.

I've learned so much over the past year about Deaf culture and how life as a Deaf person has its own challenges that are not properly understood because they're rarely seen/visible. I've also learned that it doesn't take all that much effort to sort out these challenges, all that is needed is some logic and the willingness to find a solution. Let's talk about communication for a bit, because we all know how important it is, but when people don't speak the same language as you it can be problematic. This is an ongoing problem for people who are Deaf, but there has been an increase in people wanting to learn Sign Language and have pursued it. I too, have been learning the language.

Granted, it's a smidgen difficult for me to actually do most of the signs, because of my hands being quite uncooperative, but I can still learn to understand what is being said, and we can work out the rest. So, I've been working with Yuvini & Robyn to somewhat adapt certain signs to make them Chaeli-friendly and it seems to be working out quite well, most of the time.

Robyn is one of the most unbelievable people I have the privilege of knowing. She is possibly the sassiest person I know and stands up for her rights but also advocates for the rights of other people, and constantly shatters people's concept of what Deaf people are able to achieve. There are so many things I've learned from her and it's always with a sense of humour.

Whenever you speak to Robyn - and she agrees with you, or disagrees, or doesn't care -  and you expect an in-depth response, all you get is "K". Don't worry though, it's always said with mostly love. So that's wonderful. And whenever Robyn is done with a conversation, you get "Kbye" and she walks away dramatically.

Tomorrow, IkeyAbility has its first AGM where we will elect a new committee and continue raising awareness and supporting students with disabilities in the year to come. I'll blog about it when things happen.

So, without further ado, Kbye.

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