I haven’t written here in years… And it is okay. I forgive myself.

Blogging became a place of love and acceptance. A place of joy, no judgment and not a hint of fear. Writing here was, and is again, a place where I can throw my words from my mind onto a screen and breathe at it.  Total contentment.

Since my last post, my place of contentment and love has shifted. We have two beautiful kids now. They have unapologetically taken up so much space in my heart. They have shown me that life is worth living to the full, EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY.

My words, however, are spilling out and I need this space again. I am glad to be back…


On Sunday, 23 September, we celebrated Heritage day at church. It was our second heritage day at Every Nation Ruimsig.  We moved to Jozi for this church and the church with all the people in it – became family. God knew exactly where to place our little family and He has provided for us in every single way.

My favourite part of how heritage day is celebrated at church is of course… THE FOOD! Imagine having a peek (and a taste) into the gastronomical favourites of a vastly multicultural community.

I wrote and shared a piece as a part of worship. It is a deeply personal one, which is why I am sharing it here.

Translation below…

Herkoms (1)

All Afrikaans bits in the original piece have been translated into English (in Italics). 


Heritage        by Ilze Gopal

“I know you.”

He whispers.

“I see you.”

He tells me.

“I choose you”

He reminds me

His word is a promise that has been fulfilled years ago.

A man with an old guitar is sitting on the plains. 

He is singing koortjies.

The same koortjies that his grandma sang to him on the same plains.

Who is He that is walking on the water?

It is Jesus, The Son of God. 

These plains – This land has only been good to him. 

This land has only been good to us all, 

Because it belongs to the Lord

and it is consecrated to Him. 

Touch Him when He passes you by, 

It is Jesus The Son of God. 

A single mother drives with her two daughters.

She prays that the petrol will be enough to get them to school.

She is praying to a God who has seen her desperation.

Bend me lower Holy Spirit, lower down at Jesus’ feet.

Till my body, soul and spirit, be a sacrifice complete.

Great is thy faithfulness

All I have needed, Thy hand has provided.

Don’t doubt any longer

Trust the Lord

He never disappoints. 

Trust in the Lord, 

And don’t despair

He is a friend so true to you. 

You are my treasure Lord!

You are my vision!

Today, our entire country will be reminded of their heritage.

Be it culture or tradition.

Food or clothing.

What went through your mind when you chose your outfit for today?

Did your mind float back to memories of old?

Was it difficult or easy to choose the culture that you wish others to see?

It has always been a challenge for me.

My eyes, hair and complexion do not always fit into one box.

I am a medley of cultures, thought processes and love,

My bones and blood are inside a yellow complexion.

My thoughts are embraced by a crown of kroes curls.  

My Father made me this way. 

My Father has placed me here. 

An African.

And if you find yourself on this continent – in this land – Be Ready!

The ground you are on is His holy ground!

Our heritage is one of prosperous peace, attainable abundance.

We are seeds planted in this land.

To bring forth fruit in its season.

We are grafted into the King of kings. 

Ruler of rulers!

Warrior of warriors!


Koortjies – Short simple hymns that are often repeated.

Kroes – Previously derogatory term used for very curly hair.

Both of these terms are very familiar with coloured people. Which is why I chose not to translate them. Kroes koortjies! It has a poetic ring to it!


The mystery of a pregnant bi-polaroid..

This is my husband’s blogpost… I am sharing this post because couples need to know that its not easy. This why he is my husband and why he already is the best dad our unborn son could have chosen. I love how he loves us. Please read and enjoy.


So this post is obviously not about me, well kinda, but I’m not the pregnant one…well you know…sort of…anyway, the moral of the story is that it is almost due date. Now the …

Source: The mystery of a pregnant bi-polaroid..

Weer die hare

Ek het van kleins af minder as en not really true to myself gevoel. Veral tussen meisietjies wie so mooi met hul lang lokke rondgeloop het. Lokke.. My hare kon nooit lokke maak nie – net rollerkrulle. En die rede? My hare was te straight. Ma nie omdat ek wash & wear het nie – juis die teenoorgestelde!

My bosgasie was te veel, te krullerig en net… te baie hare wat nie hou van gerem en getrek word nie. Want sodra jy hom uitkam, spring hy terug na sy original vorm toe.

So wat was die oplossing vir my liewe ma? Presies dieselfde oplossing wat daar vir haar bosgasie was. Mediscalp of Sheen hom – minstens 2 en n halwe tjoepies!

Dai kenmerkende reuk van vars gedoende hare wat in walms om jou hang; die brandende kolletjies in jou nek. Dis nou afhangende van waar hulle begin aansit ne. Dit hang ok af van hoe vinnig die meisie uitkam en dan natuurlik ook of daa darem n laagie haarfood heel eerste aangesit is.

So het ek grootgeword. Elke 3 maande was dit die ritual. Daai laaste week voor “doen” tyd was vreeslik  erg, want my growth is showing! My nora sit soos vlieë – regte weeskinders en die soolkous help nie eers meer nie.


Hoekom praat ek hieroor? Want dis deel van my storie. Ek verwyt glad nie my ma nie. Sy het gedoen wat die beste was at the time. Shame orange rollers van 4 jaar oud af is nie jokes nie. Maar toe ek 25 was, het iets begin krap. Ek wou sien wat God se plan nou eintlik was toe Hy my geskape het.

So I went natural! I grew my fro en try toe al wat ‘n style is vir naturally curly hair.  And I loved it!

Dit het natuurlik baie lank gevat en baie verduidelik gekos om almal on-board te kry met hoe God my eintlik gemaak het. Maar my grootste supporter was en is steeds my ma.


Daai was nou in kort net ‘n agtergrondjie ten opsigte van my hare. Nou… indulge my gou en lees gou net die article hieonder…


Deur Son Digitaal | Sondag, September 04, 2016 12:00

Sussie Soolkous van Leiden, Delft skryf:

Die meire met die kroeskoppe en kortkoppe moet besluit wat hulle uit die lewe wil hê.

Eers het hulle hul hare ge-straighten en elke dag in ’n soolkous toegedraai sodat hulle dit lank kan uitkam.

Toe kom hulle met die pruike en elke liewe kroeskop het straight hare gehad wat hulle by die winkel gekoop het.

Jy moet ook maar na die winkel­hare kyk, want dit kan gou sy shine verloor en dan lyk jy na allesbehalwe ’n winkelpoppie.

Nou’t Kroes en haar susters weer besluit hulle wil dit alles natural hou en hul bosgasies vir die wêreld wys.

Ek gee nie om oor die kroeskop-bosgasies nie, maar jy moet darem reg daarna kyk.

Om jou kop na ’n kroesmis-boom te laat lyk, is maar darem nie reg nie.

Hou dit ’n goeie lengte en kam dit gereeld uit, dan sal jy netsoveel respek kry as dié met gladde hare.

So in response vir sussie vannie Delft…

I am not my hair.

There is so much more to me. En of ek nou ‘n pryk dra of 3 maande nie my kop uitkam nie – That is none of your business.

Jou opinie is ongevraagd en oningelig. Before you judge – educate yourself or ask your fellow sussie – hoe maak mens. Want ons almal ken van soolkous en gladde hare is nie die standard van beauty nie! Os is kallits antie sussie vannie Delft. Os is n geurige, kleurige mengelmoes van mense.



Thank you Women’s Health!

This post is LONG overdue! Thank you so much to Lori Cohen and the entire team for this feature in the October issue. It is such an honour to be associated with the Women’s Health magazine.



The article features women from different walks of life, who share a small glimpse into their journey with bipolar disorder. Even though this is a short sight into our daily lives; it is such a great opportunity to share and bring awareness.


In all previous interviews, I have always said that there isn’t enough bipolar awareness in the media. So when I was contacted to be part of this article I was overjoyed! Not just for my own voice to be heard but for the pending spotlight that will be onto a diagnosis that is seldom talked about by ‘normal’ people.

The truth of the matter is that bipolar disorder is not an illness that turns you into this constant, moody whirlwind of artistic genius. Sure at times this is exactly what you think you are but most of the time we are trying to blend in with the rest of humankind.




So friends and family if you have money to spare, get yourself a copy and read about real women and their mental health.

It’s just hair…

I was on the line-up at our favourite wateringhole for the soul, Expression Session Kuilsriver, on Sunday 26 June 2016. I contemplated doing a deep, insightful piece about living with Bipolar Disorder. I wanted to change perspectives en al dai goed. I ended up writing the piece an hour before I delivered it to the ears of eager listeners. I have never done a piece like this one, maybe it’s one of many. Through it I have discovered my love for storytelling.

It's just hair

I was gonna blow your minds with this amazing piece. I figured it was going to be about my mental state, basically about being a bipolaroid. An activist, spokesperson, sufferer of this acclaimed disorder. But then… The disorder got me. So I didn’t write the mind-shifting piece because I basically live the piece. Instead I’ll tell you about the past few hours.

Ons het omtrent half 8 vanoggend uit Worcester uit vertrek. My ma en sussie het ons op die stoep in die mis afgesien. Dit was die laaste ‘enkel-ma’ naweek met haar. Sy trou mos volgende naweek.

So ek en my Calvin vat toe die pad aan. ‘n Oggend koffietjie was eerste op die lys. Die kry ons toe by vida e caffé net buite Worcester. Ja mense daar is nou twee vidas by ons, een aan elke kant van die N1. Koop toe vir Cafe Mocha en toe ons al te ver is om om te draai – proe ek dat myne soos suurmelk proe! Curse of the first customer? Want Calvin se hot chocy was perfek!

Ons land toe nege uur se kant hier in kuila, daar by Kelly se kerk. En ek besef toe… Is ek dan nou ‘n pastoor se vrou? Dis al die tweede week dat Calvin preek. Moes ek hakskoene aangetrek het?? Maar ek’t vinnig daaroor gekom. As die pastoor (Calvin) net sneakers dra, is my rooi stewels seker okay.

Na die diens moes ons weer inderhaas huistoe, want Calvin moes gaan werk. Ons besluit toe op McDonald’s (baie gesond) en Calvin vat toe die triple boerie burger. Daai naam moet eintlik triple droë burger wees want daar’s nie n blaarslaaitje of sousie in sig nie. My meal was natuurlik die hele R29.90 werd.

Ek bly toe alleen oor by ons flat en try toe om my culture nap te vang. Maar my hare pla my toe al ‘n paar weke al. Ek kon dit nie gisteraand uitkam nie. My curls were amazing maar die gekoekery! My ouma sou die horries kry.

So toe vlieg ek op, trek aan en ry na die naaste barbershop. I walked in with my pounding hear and asked, can you cut my hair? Maar dink toe – natuurlik Ilze, dis n barbershop! Felix, die barber, sê toe take a seat en ek vat toe vir seat. En toe begin ek heeltemal uitfreak. Sê nou my man dink dis lelik. Sê nou die lemme is vuil. Sê nou die kar word gesteel. Sê nou, sê nou, sê nou….

Toe bid ek maar en smile en luister na die gezoem van die masjientjies. Eyes closed, I took everything in. From the sound of a bunch of buzzing bees, so close to my ear (dis nou die masjientjie ne). To the smell of surgical spirits and baby powder. English and French and the sounds of the commentators on wrestlemania filling the small shop. The questions – It that all your own hair? How long have you grown it? Why are you cutting it? And in the meantime I am thinking –  Sny jy net my hare brother. But out of my mouth came a silly giggle want eintlik stress ek toe want Felix skeer dan nou net een kant se hare af. Al wat hy te sê het is toe; close your eyes I want to surprise you. All I was thinking was, my husband will surprise you with something else as jy nonsins anvang meneer. Maar clearly ken hy toe sy storie want hy het stap vir stap verduidelik wat hy maak. En als die vir net R40.

Soos die vuurwarm lem al teen my kop gesny het, bid ek toe net meer en bless toe sommer Felix hulle se besigheid en almal wat daar sit. Net om die nerves te kalmeer.

Maar een ding kan ek met groot oortuiging sê- cutting hair is an art!

Haircut!!So that was my storytelling session… It’s meant to bring insight into the mind and the life of someone living with bipolar disorder. Impulsivity was at the order of the day. Perhaps it was a gift, a better-received one. The previous Friday’s gift was rage that was not very well received. Living with this disorder is living life to the full. It’s lying down to take a nap and then cutting off 80% of your hair.


Starry nights…

Our Lived Experience

Does my life story, make for a good story? How many people think that their lives would make great stories? Be it through films or books.

I wanted to live off the land once. It was a great idea. This is also one of the many concepts that are usually used in movies about people with mental illness. The loon that lives in the wild, battling society’s institutions and rules.

As I am watching yet another movie about mental illness. About the star-crossed lovers. About their search for their own truth. About how their highs and their lows. About? ME! About crazy, special people like me! I am more than slightly upset because…. I see myself in these characters.

Because I had these friendships with other disordered people. I had these influences and inspirations. I saw these rhythms and patterns and codes… and it was beautiful and magical. God spoke to…

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