I ‘m an idealist. That’s the first thing to know about me. And I make no apologies for it. I’m also a writer. Writing has changed and saved my life ten times over. There’s nothing inherent in writing itself that does this but it’s the process of showing up and being vulnerable on the page that has allowed me to see myself and my place in the world.
As an empath, moving through the world has felt traumatic from day one. I was the child who felt the pulse of the universe in her tiny body and tried to drown it out by numbing. Anything to make the inexplicable sensations stop. I was the weirdo, the you-are-too-much girl. So I found solace in books and writing. As I grew older, I made peace with this aspect of myself by embracing the fact that the world needs its soft parts too and that means all the sensitive people who keep the rest of the world from tumbling right into the fire. The sensitive ones are the heartbeat, the barometer of the world. It’s our job to keep the world tender and soft. To cry out against evil and injustice; to remind people that performance and achievement isn’t the end all of life, there’s also being alive moment to moment.
I’ve always been interested in people, culture, equity, justice and the rough intersections these elements sometimes make. I remember penning a poem about racism when I was 7 years old. It was filled with indignation and a childlike perplexion that such a thing even existed. Little did I know that I would continue this love affair for most of my life and would go on to have my fair share of experience of this daunting anomaly.
I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa when I was 24. There I was catapulted right into the belly of a country that was still grappling with its traumatic racial history. It was fascinating to be inside history itself, to be confronted by questions of what it meant to heal a whole nation; of what reconciliation looked like when people were still highly reactive to the pain that seemed to live right under the surface of the skin; questions around what it meant to be a second class human being.
As a student, I enjoyed untangling these questions in the safety of a classroom but I remember the day it stopped being about theory for me. I was in my international relations class where we were discussing the Truth and Reconciliation process that South Africa had undergone when an altercation between my black South African and White South African classmates erupted. It drew a line right in the centre of the room separating class into Us versus Them. Aside from the racism I experienced at the grocery store, on street-corners and in public spaces I had not witnessed such raw anger and pain. That day, my relationship to the country, its politics and social history changed forever.
When I was 27 I moved to Australia. That began a hard and interesting journey of trying to find my place and significance in a world where I, for the most part, felt invisible. Being black and female overshadowed my beauty, my skills and my contribution. I had to learn how to see myself; to become visible. Something I realised I had never been taught before, not in the way that it mattered.
Australia is a beautiful country, just like South Africa. But we have this misconception about beautiful countries – that somehow their beauty is synonymous with perfection, acceptance and belonging. In fact, the treacherous journey of trying to belong to countries is what has taught me how to belong to myself first and foremost; and perhaps most importantly, how to belong to the human race; how to be human.
I used to believe in and fight for a kind of justice that was mainly focused on changing our external environments. This is what I was taught. This is a very rational, academic and masculine approach. I tried to make it work, I really did but something always felt like it was falling through the cracks. After many years of personal development; a PhD in cultural studies and working with people in their day to day mess and magic, I have come to see that true and sustainable justice is only possible if it is embodied. This is to say, to create a just world we have to be just ourselves. This is what I now advocate. And this is what I love with every part of my whole being.
I live in Melbourne with my lovely plants, Molly, Bella and Oz.
What people say about Sunshine
“Sunshine has a rare gift for words. She goes beyond eloquence in both her writing and speaking. In addition to creating luscious word pictures that are beautiful for their own sake, she has an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of a matter in a way that really hits home. Through her words and her presence, she helps others navigate the ups and downs of business life and come out stronger and healthier on the other side.”
“Sunshine is really gifted (not just skilled – there is a difference, and she seems to have both skills (learnt) and gifts (natural abilities) in listening and advising others.”
“Dr Kamaloni has a unique gift of expressing the essence of thoughts, feelings in an eloquent way, which touches people’s hearts and gives them inspiration, hope & strength. She can empower with her beautiful words and she resonates with the reader on a deeper level. I highly recommend working with Sunshine if you’ve been longing for powerful changes and transformation; if you self-sabotaged yourself and, perhaps, felt a little bit lost without not knowing which path to take. Sunshine will help you to discover the way to the best version of yourself, your ultimate self.”
“To know Sunshine is to love Sunshine”