Month: January 2019

Selcouth

Discovering and getting to know myself has allowed me to take different views and perceptions about life. It has matured and pushed me to think differently, broadly and challenge my thought processes regularly. I have come to realise that I love movies and books which are based on true events. I have mentioned my love of biographies in my previous posts. The ones I truly love are the ones which provoke the world’s monotonous view on certain issues such as race, companionship and privilege. I will name a couple of books with movies that have challenged my world view and have encouraged me not to lose hope in humanity, even when the future looks bleak and dire.

1.VICTORIA & ABDUL

Victoria and Abdul is based on the friendship of Empress of India, Queen Victoria and an Indian servant Abdul Karim, in 1889 when India was under the British rule. Abdul had come to England as “a gift” for the Queen with the intention of being a translator for the Indian princes at her 50th Jubilee.

Her unlikely friendship with an Indian, who was deemed to be inferior and uncouth, was not met with good merry. The Queen was deemed delusional and was at some point, “forced” to abdicate as she was seen as unfit to rule a nation.

Her unusual close friendship with Abdul went on for 14 years and during that time, he became the Queen’s munshi (teacher) and taught her Urdu, introduced her mango and Indian curries. She gave him gifts, titles and honours, which did not sit well with the members of the royal family.

When the she died in 1901, Abdul was forcibly deported and all his letters and mementos were burnt by the queen’s children. His story however, lived on thanks to his journals and oral history.

2.LOVING

The Loving story is one of my all time favourites, it reminds me of Ruth and Seretse Khama’s story. It is about how two people from difference races fell in love and literally fought to be together. In 1967, they fought the State of Virginia and took it to Supreme Court where they won the case.

Richard and Mildred Loving got married in 1958 and 5 weeks into their wedding, they were arrested in their bedroom early hours of the morning. Interracial marriages were illegal and were punishable. They late on pled guilty to violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act with a judge telling them if God had wanted blacks and whites to be together, he would have put them on one continent.

The judge allowed them to flee the stare of face prison. For the next five years, they lived in exile and had three children. In 1967, Mildred sort the help of Robert F Kennedy, who referred her to the American Civil Liberties Union which agreed go take their case. The judges unanimously ruled in the couple’s favour and interracial marriages were legalised. Eight years after their win, Richard was killed by a drunk driver in an accident. Mildred never remarried and died in 2008.

3.LION

Lion is a story about an Indian boy Saroo (meaning Lion) who got lost when he fell asleep on a train whilst waiting for his brother who was scrounging for money and food to take home to his mother. He was only 5 years old and would spend several weeks hungry, scared and confused in the streets of Calcutta before being placed in an orphanage.

He was later on adopted by an Australian couple who welcomed him and did not treat him differently. He settled well with his new family but he always felt lost and could not stop thinking about his mother, brother and sister. When he discovered google maps, he saw it as an opportunity to trace and find his Indian family. For five years he became obsessive and searched the radius of all the railway lines leading to Kolkatta. In 2012, after more than 20 years, Saroo went to India were he met his biological mother and sister. His mother said she always had hope he was alive.

4.THE UPSIDE

The Upside is based on a movie (The Untouchables) which is based on a true story and memoirs about 2 men whose friendship seemed unlikely but deferred all odds. It is based on the lives of Phillipe Pozzo di Borgo a French aristocrat and Abel Sellou an Algerian ex-con who migrated to France and later on became Phillipe’s life auxiliary. There friendship crossed a lot of social boundaries such as race, classism and giving a second chance to those who are deemed to be least deserving.

After Phillipe had a paragliding accident which left him a quadriplegic, he had to look for someone to help him with his day to day activities. After interviewing over 90 people, of which most were professionals, Phillipe chose Abel. He said he chose him because of his character, he did not feel sorry for him but acknowledged and overlooked his disability. Abel on the other hand, had only gone for the interview so he could keep on claiming his income support.The two men have an everlasting bond and are still friends to this day.

5.THE BLINDSIDE

This has been one of my favourite since I was a little girl. It is based on Michael Oher, a homeless teen who had drifted in and out of school and had no one to permanently look after him. He was later taken in by the Touhy family who ended up adopting him into their family.

His tremendous size and protective instinct, secured him a place in the football world. His personality won the Touhy’s over and they accepted him as their son. It is an uplifting story that will have you hope in humanity again.

Tripping But Still Trusting God.

Have you ever had moments when you know God has promised you or put something on your heart, but because it has not happened yet, you start doubting? Yep, that is pretty much how I feel 360 days of the year. There are certain things in my life God has told me (through the Holy Spirit) that will happen and He even reassures me by giving me a peace of mind. I will ask Him if He really told me that or I just thought He did and yet it was my idea.

I believe I have missed some, if not most of my blessing because of my doubting. It is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I even have anxiety because I even start questioning my faith and if I am suppose to be expectant of that, or if I am not expectant enough. Be it liking someone but not wanting to admit it because I am a strong woman of God and having a crush is a taboo. Its ok, I laugh at myself too at times. It is natural to like someone and to have a crush, and I have realised that trying to hide it and bury it will only make it worst. It is not a sin to be attracted to someone, but what you do with the feelings might lead you to sin.

I have doubted that I will actually meet someone who will not be afraid of my candour and “passionate” nature. Someone who is not intimidated by my outspokenness on things that matter and my stubbornness when my opinion is not valued whilst it makes sense. It is unreal for me to even think there are men who can actually accept all this and not want to shrink my personality. However, I still think of the letters I have been writing since 2016, letters to my future husband and I see women with strong personalities or who have been deemed unsuitable for marriage like Serena Williams and my hope is revived again. I do not believe God would just put it on my heart for me to write letters then not have anyone to give them too. It could be possible though, for example, I could died any second from now hence I would have written them because I thought God told me but it was probably a spur of the moment I made out to be God. See, I am doing it again.

(Image from Pinterest)

This does not only happen when it comes to relationships, but my aspirations too. If you have read or followed my blog, I am sure you have come to realise, I LOVE WORDS. I love writing and making up characters in my head, they help me cope with my everyday life and I believe all of the characters I have made up have an element of my personality somehow. Writing is my way of facing reality but escaping it at the same time. I find joy in writing, and you know that feeling you get when you like or love someone? The butterflies in your stomach, heart beating fast, smiling and beaming when you think of that one person? That is the exact feeling I have when I have a storyline, when a character comes to life that I can almost put a face onto them. It is the same feeling that pushes me to keep writing even if friends and family put me down and tell me its not good enough. Or when I feel I am not being supported enough.

My take is, it is God who gives me these ideas and equips me with enough knowledge to create characters I have never known about or thought to exist. I also think it is God who pushes me to write because I believe one day, my stories will be shared around the world and will help black or Zimbabwean girls and boys to know that where they come from does not determine what the future holds. And then there are days I believe its only the hype of seeing other people succeed, that it will never happen for me because come on, who am I that I deserve a good life with hopes and dreams that will actually come to pass? What do I offer to the world to be recognised as a sound voice amongst the youth and a prominent writer in future. At times without realising or on purpose, my friends drill it in me how not good I am. I know I am not a published or accomplished writer, but one good word might lift my spirits. Even saying nice font or nice spacing, I will take it.

I start tripping again, and doubting my ability and gift in using words. I beat my spirit up until I just believe its a hobby that will not get me anywhere. That I will never be recognised because people like me (always feeling like second best) do not get picked or chosen. Then I remember that there is no way I can come up with these amazing ideas and think they are just that – amazing ideas which do not yield good content. And I also have an amazing sister who takes time to hype me up and tell me how my stories are amazing and overlooking that they are not as perfect yet. She takes the time to tell me she is proud of my writing and she sees the same vision that I have, without thwarting it or overriding it with hers. She allows me to tell her about them even if I keep repeating myself because she knows how much it means to me.

Sometimes, God sends other people to believe in what you have. To help you see what you overlook because you have gotten used to yourself, you forget. There are also other times when no one believes in you or envisions what you see to be possible. Times when no one believes you will make it or you are good enough, and even though it hurts, it shows that at times you need to do what God says even when no one is there for you or to help you. It is uncomfortable and you will be crippled with doubt and fear at times (tripping) but be obedient and trust in what God has trusted you to carry. It is ok if it does not make sense now, sometimes the things of God do not make sense, but that is because we can not fully comprehend His thoughts and His power.

Yes, you can have moments where you will be tripping and popping off, and that is ok. However, do not dwell much into it that you forget Who created you and what He has told you to do. Keep on keeping on and know you are not alone in this. I have days I wake up afraid to do or say what He has put on my heart because it might offend or not make sense, but the things of God are always meant for our good. To pray and believe what we ask for is in alliance with His will.

So from a Christian trying to find her way and choose God on a daily basis to another, let 2019 be our year of fully trusting God even when doubt is banging at the front door of our minds.

New Year,same old gnawing questions and views.

Happy New Year to you all, I know its well over a week into the new year however, this is my first post and better late than never. On this post (which is quiet short and serious, you can tell because there is no picture) ,I have more questions than facts or opinions because the topic is quite heavy and sensitive – domestic abuse.

I had a conversation with my mother today about a Zimbabwean man who killed his wife and children recently in London. I was quite curious as to what her views were regarding the topic and serious issue at hand; and her perspective was, most Zimbabwean (African) men do not like the idea of an empowered woman. They feel emasculated and challenged if a woman gets more money than them and is independent (does not ask for money from her husband to buy certain things or anything at all) and that when they move to Western countries,they feel outlawed and are not given the proper respect and honour a man deserves. These are all valid points and I do agree with her, some men have this kind of mentality and that has crippled the system and has misinterpreted the word “submission”  to mean control.

Whilst she was informing and explaining her views, I recognised how this has been one of the major reasons why most women are being abused and killed by husbands/boyfriends and we have fought to be heard and pleaded with men to stop beating their spouses. The way I see it (you can take this with a grain of salt), I believe pleading with men to stop and marching against domestic violence, is similar to removing the top of a weed without getting rid of the roots. We might combat ourselves against men, hate them and trash talk them as much we can but I think until we look at the real cause or rather, the root,we will keep hearing stories of women being murdered by their partners. I believe the root on this issue is men’s mental health, yes I know I have said before and gave elaborate points as to why it should be taken seriously but I think we need to openly talk about it. As a Zimbabwean, I was conditioned to believe certain things about men which dehumanized them and I was biased for a long time.

I now view every human being to have the same emotions and have the right to express them. I believe men need to be allowed to freely express themselves without being judged and “emasculated”. To cry, yes, I said it, CRY without being told to man up or be laughed at. Goodness, men go through a lot than we think. They are pressurised to have a car, a house,a family, a million dollars, a connecting beard and whatever society throws at them to be deemed manly or good enough. They are rarely given room for growth or failure and when they do, they can not or rarely have people to confide in who will pick them up and console them. Most men do not have “besties”,mentors or brothers they can freely talk to and not feel ashamed. They just go on with life and I believe that is an unhealthy way of living. One becomes depressed, stressed and because they can not cry or talk it out, most will project it out on others especially those close to them. Some have never had positive examples of men in their lives (that is not an excuses though), others were abused by women and have had a negative perception of the opposite sex ever since or others are just horrible human beings.

Culture and society is quick to question what the woman did to anger the man but we do not ask what caused the man to do it? Some men are asked but because of deep-rooted issues or not being able to express themselves,they blame lapse of controlled anger or the woman for being “talkative”. It is usually blame rather than admission to error; apology rather than repentance and the cycle goes on. I believe we need to normalise men expressing themselves and therapy too. And by any chance if you laughed at my suggestion of therapy, you might also need it. Men need as much support as women, there should not be fear but mutual respect. We should take care of each other; cater to one another and  help each other. I would hate to be in a world where we hate each other over something that can be corrected and improved.

As women, we need to play a part in helping men – our sons,brothers,fathers and partners etc .I do not mean to be their fixers but to be supportive and have positive words to encurage them. We also need to refrain from phrases such as “man up” and “trash” when addressing to them. Think of them as your brothers, because they are. I strongly believe if we include men’s mental health onto the movements, marches and campaigns, it will have more impact and literally improve quality of life. It will impact the divorce rate, suicide rates, murders amongst partners and a positive environment. We have a long way to go but I believe if YOU start by being a friend or confidant to someone; you could be saving a life or lives.

P.S:By any chance if the message you got from this post is women are not important or their mental health is not as important, that is the complete opposite of what I am trying to point out.Women, we have more room and allowance to express ourselves and 97% of us have someone to confide in compared to men. I am not saying women are less important or men are more important – I am saying we are all important at the same time.