Basic Girl

Africanness

“ Every black person should please remember that you are African before you became anything.” Bose Ogulu (2019)

Identity is one of the is the magnet that draw us home. It gives us security and reassurance of who we are and where we belong. With over 3 000 tribes and over 2 000 different languages in Africa, a sense of belonging and being part of a community is comforting. It is home. It is a sacred and magnetic force that beckons us to find our source of peculiarity, knowledge, perseverance, drive and Africanness.

1. Malenga Mulendema.

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Malenga Mulendema is a Zambian writer and creator, whose show, ” Mama K’s Team 4″, was picked as the first ever African original animated series by Netflix. Set in Lusaka, Zambia, Mama K is about 4 black teenage girls who are recruited by a former secret agent -Mama K- to save the universe with limited resources. At the same time, doing their homework and being good citizens.

Based in Lusaka, her animation writing journey started when sh was given a opportunity to pitch an animated TV series to Triggerfish Animation Studios’ Story lab in 2015. She grew up watching movies and series with superheroes, and as an adult, t is still her favourite genre. Her passion for the genre has taught her that anyone can b a superhero, and with a little “extra” something they can do great things. She emphasised on how it was important for African girls to be represented in animation.

2. Simon Petrus.

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Simon Petrus is a Namibian student at Abraham Iyambo based in Oshikunde village, who invented a cellphone that does not use airtime. Whilst in Grade 12, Simon invented the free call mobile which only needs radio frequencies to work, using spares from a phone and television set. Comprehensive with a light bulb, fan and charger socket, the handset fully functions off power dispensed through a radiator and is able to call anywhere through the radio frequencies.

He is reported to have won a gold medal at national level in 2015 for his invention of a two-in-one machine that works as both a seed drier and cooler. He said he invented the phone in the hopes that it would be successful and carried further. Sadly,  he failed to meet the minimum university entry requirements but has registered for two subjects which he will sit for this year. He has also bee raising money for Namcol by driving villagers to town with his uncle’s truck. Despite all these obstacles, he has also invented a free call SIM-free telephone that will also be operate wireless.

3. Flaviana Matata.

Flaviana Matata is a Tanzanian beauty queen and fashion model. She is one of the top Seven list of models that have recorded the highest income in Africa mentioned by Forbes in 2013. The barrier-breaking model competed in the Miss Universe pageant in 2007, making her the first woman from Tanzania ever to do so and to top it off, she did it with a shaved head. She has walked a long list of runways which include Vivienne Westwood, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch and has appeared on campaigns for Topshop, Diesel, Aerie and more.

However she is far from a pretty face, she studied electrical engineering before pursuing her modelling career. She is also an entrepreneur who has launched a non-toxic line of nail polish which is available in six countries, and has also started a non-profit organisation The Flaviana Matata Foundation, which aims at empowering Tanzanian girls through education.

4. Edmund Albius.

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Edmund Albius was born into slavery in St. Suzanne, a French Island and became an important figure in the cultivation of vanilla. At the age of 12, he came up with a method for pollinating vanilla orchids quickly and profitably. In the 1800’s before the revolutionisation of vanilla, the world was producing not more than a thousand vanilla beans, as a result of the pollution of bees. It was Edmund who came up with the practical process for the pollination of vanilla.

The vines in St Suzanne were sterile because no insects would pollinate them. Edmund showed his master Ferreol how to pollinate with a thin stick or blade of grass and a simple thumb gesture. He soon travelled the island teaching other slaves how to pollinate vanilla orchids. His method was used around the world and has been the patents method for hundreds of years.

Africa to the world.

Africa is well-known for her breathtaking landscape, majestic wildlife and favourable weather. She is the second youngest and populous continent and harbours 54 sovereign states. She offers different climates and sceneries. From sunny and dry weather in Southern African, hot and arid weather in Northern Africa, warm and humid in West Africa, pleasant and cool in East Africa and in winter, snow in Lesotho, Morocco, Algeria and a few parts of South Africa.

However, what makes Africa is not a great landscape or variation in weather, but her people. With over 1.2 billion people, over 3 000 native tongues and hosting the largest diversity of ethnicities and cultures, Africa births greatness through and through. Her people show her beauty and majesty. Today, we look at those who were still able to make it in Africa, equipping themselves with what Africa is known and admired for – authenticity.

Hamamat Montia

Hamamat Montia is a Ghanaian model, entrepreneur and a former Miss Malaika Queen. She is the owner and founder of Hamamat African Beauty, a brand of skin care products which are all handmade with raw, authentic natural ingredients with freshly unadulterated Shea Butter being the main ingredient. Her technique takes people on a journey on how Ghanaian ancestors had a deep and rich connection with the land, and how they utilized on its produce. The focus of her brand is to utilize ingredients from the three regions of Northern Regions of Ghana and a mixture of Africa’s best kept natural remedies. She aims for men and women around the world to maintain a youthful, healthy and natural skin glow, and to make skincare regimes simple.

She has grown her empire in Ghana and has expanded it by opening a village spa and hotel called “Hamamat African Village”. She has helped her village by creating employment as they help with the processing and making of the raw shea butter products. She runs one of the most successful self-made and African based skin care companies and the first online-based retail to ship freshly handmade shea butter directly from Ghana to the world.

Maxwell Chikumbutso

Maxwell Chikumbutso is a 27-year-old Zimbabwean who invented the world’s first ever green power generator which can produce electricity using radio frequencies. He has designed and built an electrically powered vehicle and a hybrid helicopter which uses six different types of fuel.

Having dropped out of school at 14 years old when he was a Form 2 at Kuwadzana High School, Maxwell has no formal training in technology or science, he has it all comes from revelations of blueprints and visions which he has used to formulate his inventions. He is the owner of the company SAITH Technologies. In July 2017, he closed up shop in Zimbabwe and moved to California, USA. However, it is reported that after he made his announcement, he was never heard from again and he has actually gone missing.

Sherrie Silver

Sherrie Silver is a Rwandan creative editor, dancer and actress who is best known for her choreographing of “This is America” by Childish Bambino. She moved from Rwanda to England when she was 5 years old. Having been inspired by African church culture of dance, Sherrie was always been passionate about dancing and performing; which her mother did not view as a profitable career but through her hard work and drive, she persevered.

Before catching the attention of millions, Sherrie got her start recording dance videos and uploading them on her YouTube channel. She travels the world to bring African dance to the world and regularly makes appearances at festivals and also host small group dance classes. She is also a dedicated advocate and activist, who has financed 200 Rwandan citizens’ healthcare, holds community events and donates the proceed to various charities and on her own, she rents out a home in Rwanda to shelter displaced and underprivileged children.

Peter Tabichi

Peter Tabichi is a Kenyan science teacher and Franciscan friar, who is the winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize and the prize money of $1 million. He is a teacher at Keriko Mixed Secondary School in Pwani Village. The school is in a semi-arid village in Rift Valley, a region affected by famine and drought. He gives 80% of his pay to support pupils at the school, who could not afford uniforms or books. Most of his students are orphaned and almost all come from underprivileged households.

When asked at the why he sacrificed his income selflessly, he said, “It is not about the money but as a teacher, working on the front line I have seen the promise of the young people, their brilliance, belief and spirit of inquiry.” The award had 10 000 other nominations from 179 countries.

On receiving his speech, Brother Tabichi exclaimed, “It is morning in Africa. The skies are clear and the day is young. There is a blank page waiting to be written. This is Africa’s time”.

It’s a season.

You know when you feel like you are in a rut and badthings.com seem to have your personal address? It’s depressing, it’s sad and you go through different emotions, and sometimes even create different scenarios where it even gets worse and you brace yourself for it? I know, its a dark and lonely place, but I just want to remind you that it is only a season.

Just like seasons, this too shall pass. There is a time for EVERYTHING, and it might seem like you are not only in a season but more of an era, but it shall pass. You might have been waiting for that big thing that you have given your all to and for, that you pray morning, noon and night but it seems you are so far from it. It feels like you are chasing the wind and grasping in the dark for something you can not touch but dream of, but I just want to encourage, maybe it is not YET the season for you to have it, maybe you are not ready. I will share a story with you.

When I was in high school doing Form 3/ Year 11, I was amongst a group of people who were chosen to go to a leadership camp, to be prepared and selected to be prefects. Just like everyone who went, I was hopeful. We went to this camping site where we did different outdoor exercises eg rock climbing, waking up at 5 am to hike and do exercises, we were tested on our communication skills, leadership skills etc. It was fun but scary at the same time. On the last day of the 5-day training, we were given our results. They mentioned how good I was good at communication, but my leadership skills and risk taker qualities, were quite low. ( P.S: We had to jump into rivers and climb high mountains with a rope around your waist, I already am not a fan of heights and large bodies of water, so I knew I was going to fail.) The prefects and hierarchy were not mentioned on that day but after the holidays. So from the camp, we went on holiday for about 4 weeks. You can imagine the anticipation, the nerves of having to wait that long to know if you were amongst the chosen or not.

The first day of school, I went ready and prepared for the best. I was confident that I had made it and some of my family and friends were also confident that I was going to be prefect. At the assembly, after the national anthem, pleasantries of being welcomed to the new term blah blah blah, our headmaster got to the exciting part- announcing the new prefects and the hierarchy. I had sweaty palms, butterflies and my heart jounced at every name that was being called out. When he got to the last name, I waited in anticipation, overwhelmed by emotions, feeling ready, but it was not my name that was called. I was crushed, I could feel my heart tightening then slowly deflating as I stood there. Most of my friends had made it but I hadn’t, and it hurt. I felt like a failure, like I wasn’t good enough, like this was my life. I remember I cried and I told my sister about it. It didn’t help that people were always stopping me to tell me how it should have been me and how I deserved it. It was a dark time.

Two years later, I was now about to start my 2 years of A Levels, I was amongst the people who were picked again for another leadership camp. The memory of what had happened before was at the back of my mind. I had fun, we did almost the same exercises but this time around it was more intense. At one point we had to build a boat/raft in the water, and I hated that bit. I was so scared for my life, but I made it through with the help of others. The same thing happened, we went home and came back for the next term. At the back of my mind, I was ready for failure, I had dismissed the idea altogether and had decided to skip the first day. I had to prepare for the next day too because we were going to South Africa for a basketball tournament ( to be honest, I was just a place holder, I never played and only went for shopping.🤷🏾‍♀️)

I was at home sleeping at 9 am when my school called asking me to come to school. I told them I would come tomorrow since I was preparing for the trip, but they insisted I come. So I showered 🙄, took 2 kombis because my dad had gone to work by then. They started the assembly late that day, I stood amongst my colleagues annoyed that I had to come and have my heart broken again. The whole thing was like deja vu until the names were announced. Guess what, I was amongst the “chosen” this time around. I was happy, and I was ok with that. When it got to announcing the hierarchy, they called in ascending order. They called the games captain (was definitely not going to make that cut.), they announced the senior prefects, they announced the vices and to save the best for last- the head girl and head boy. When I tell you I was shocked when they announced me as the head girl! My heart dropped. A whole me was chosen to lead the school and be the head of all the girls from Form 1 to Upper 6. A whole me they rejected 2 years ago, who thought she would never be good enough. Me!

( The official portrait of the heads and vices. From left: Kudzai, Tineyi, yours truly and Alice.)

(Not the exact day but happy nonetheless. With Rachel on the left and Stacie on the right.)

I went through different emotions, friends celebrated with me. Of course, other people came to tell me it should have been them if only they had done something different etc, but this was my moment. They had seen that I was ready. God had seen that I was ready.

( Top row, 2nd from the left, being nosey on our inauguration.)

I will never forget this story/memory because it clearly depicts how God works. 2 years prior to that, I was not ready or rather, I was thinking too small. God has plans way beyond my imagination because I had never EVER thought of being the headgirl of a school. So as much as it seems as if you are not good enough or things are very dark right now, it is only a season and it too shall pass. God had plans bigger and better than what you can ever imagine. I know He has amazing and unimaginable things and it scares me when I think about it. Have friends and family to talk to during your season, but be VERY careful. Not everyone in your bad season is there for you or ready to help, some are there because they want to feel better about themselves. They thrive on seeing you in a bad season because it shows how “better” their lives are, forgetting seasons change. They love hearing about the dooms of your life, but as soon as the dynamics change, when you now also bear good news, you see their true colours. They do not put the same energy they did when you were in the mire, your good news is just browsed through and they quickly segue into other topics apart from you. Be very careful, see how people react to your victories and also your losses. There are also those who will only show up during good times; those who stick around just in case something big happens in your life so they can claim they were always there. Protect yourself in each season, ask God to reveal those who are not part of your journey whilst you are still in this season so they do not contaminate your good season. Also, be careful those who make you feel bad for being excited about your breakthroughs or who quickly make everything about them. Do not share much with them, they will kill your dreams and discourage you from what God has said and ordained you to do. Yesterday at church, the pastor said, the people who kill your dreams or distract you, are not strangers but close friends and family. I pray I am never this friend/family member, I rebuke that spirit n Jesus’ name.

God is on your side, don’t always run to people for help or advise, ask God first. As much as people have different opinions and solutions, God has the plan and the means. He is the one who has promised you, He is the one who has instilled in you. You know what He has assigned you to do, you know. You very much know it. Also, do not wait for people’s validation, do not try and please people to be liked or accepted. Grow and improve yourself, like who you are first and always be authentic, trust me, a lot of things will not get to you. Validate yourself, validate your work, validate your art and if it is the criticism you seek, I would strongly advise you ask experts in your field or someone you know has a bit of knowledge or is excited by what you do. Everyone is not going to like your work, craft or just you in general, but keep pushing forward. You will fail, you will be mocked, looked down on but keep pushing, it is only a season and not your life story. And like the Shona people in my country say Mwari ndewe munhu wese which means God is for everyone. He sees you and He knows you, come on, we can do this. We will cry, attempt to give up, lose friends along the way BUT we know the plans God has for us.

So from one person in a bad season to another, keep your head high and just know your time will come. Maybe you are not ready, maybe what you want is not what God wants you to have or maybe, just maybe, you are thinking too small. Keep doing you, keep thriving to be a good human being, keep drinking water, keep minding your business, keep competing with yourself and keep trusting in God.

Ok, fine. I cheated.

Remember a few months back when I vowed to read only 12 books this year because I wanted to “study” and fully fathom the writer’s intensions? Well, I failed, DISMALLY! I was very determined to go by my list, and I tried, believe me, I really tried but then new books began to show on my raider. I cheated on my list and to be honest, I do not regret it.

For someone who does 85% of things by the book, this was a bit out of my element, this cheating. I only managed to read 2 books from the acclaimed list: The Narratives or Fredrick Douglas and The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I enjoyed both, took my time to savour the words on each page, took a minute to ponder. I did all that to try and buy time but I ended up realising I am book junkie.

From January till now, I have read (still reading) 7 books. 5 of them were not part of my list and to be quite honest, I knew I was setting myself up for failure. How was I going to read 12 books in one year?! Gosh, 23 year old me was naïve and should have known better.

Let me tell you how it all happened. So, as I was busy committing to my list, someone I follow on Twitter posted about An American Marriage. Me being me, you know, respectful and courteous, I did not want this person to feel as if they were not being heard. You know Twitter can be a cold place; no likes or retweets et cetera. I opted to look at the book, see what it was all about, no harm in that. I was even holding Frida Kahlo at the time, we were about to spend some time together. I quickly read the reviews and even went on to peep at the #anamericanmarriage thread.

I did not mean to, but 3 days later, I found myself in a bookstore buying the book. I do not know what happened, but in 4 days I had read the book from cover to cover. It was so good, like the forbidden fruit, I savoured each word and pleasurably engaged in discussions about it on Twitter. I thought about the characters for a long time, I held on to the last few pages of the book because they were to decide the fate of the characters. I forgot about Frida, not because she did not matter but…

I fell into a rabbit hole and before I knew it, a few days later I found myself at a book discussion. I found out about it on Twitter ( I am beginning to think there is a pattern here), about the highly acclaimed and controversial House Of Stone about Gukurahundi. This one has already stolen my heart, as I write this, it is in my gaze and I have been confined in its pages for the last 5 days, drinking every word. I think this is the only book so far, that has challenged me to know more about my history. My parents history, what kind of people they were before they became my parents; how were their lives altered by the Second Chimurenga; did they have hopes and dreams et cetera. It provoked me to question history and to also realise that Zimbabwean and black history, is also world history, no filter!

I began flirting around with Jazz by Toni Morrison, which has been hard because Jazz demands fully and undivided attention. I appreciate Toni Morrison’s way of writing, she said that she writes for the black audience. Her writing is highly intelligent and supreme, she forces you to look up new words and better yourself. She shows that black people are as smart and intelligent, fearlessly.

I messed around with Ordinary People, it was a window into living in London as a black person. I could see everything that was being described, not that I have been to the areas which the writer was writing about, but because the description was so vivid and crisp I could almost taste it. It was a glimpse into marriage, how at times, love fades and people fall for other people whilst married. Cringe! I am still reading this book, it is welcoming and warm. Takes you through an emotional rollercoaster of love, pain, confusion, guilt and anger but its worth it.

And then last by not least, I have been on and off with this book. Not that there is any bad blood, but because it is mandatory and suitable for any season. It is my go to when my Spirit man is parched. It guides me and helps me find my strength. I feel freer and more hopeful in my faith because this book for the last 2 years has helped me realise I need a personal relationship with God than just being religious. My anxiety is almost nonexistent ( but it shall be HALLELUJAH), I am more hopeful of my future and more confident in who God says I am. It has helped me relearn how to pray and to read my Bible more frequently.

So, this is how it all went down. How I ended up cheating on the other 10 books on my list. I feel them gawking at me from the shelf. Longing for me to flip them open and spend time with them, hoping for me to smile into each page and stain words with my tears. I too hope for that day, not now but soon, because as we speak, my Amazon basket has 19 books waiting to be checked out. I admit, I am a serial cheater but please do not save me.

You are doing great sweetheart.

Hey there!

I am not going to take much of your time but just a quick reminder: YOU ARE DOING GREAT! You know when you feel like you are a failure and you are just pathetic at what you do? You think you are the definition of failure and dead end? If not that’s great and I commend you for that, but if you are, like me 90% of the time, I just wanted to let you know, tell the committee in your head that tells you that to zip it!

Whatever you put your mind to, you can do it and do not succumb to the fear of failure. Just to put it out there, I am talking about heinous crimes like tax invasion or bank robbery. Please, I do not want to be an accomplice and end up being quoted in the Court of Law. I am referring to hopes and dreams that bring peace, joy and all the fuzzy feelings that leave you giddy. That thing that keeps you going and is always on your mind.

I have heard it being said that failure is a bruise but not a tattoo. You are not your failure and it does not define you. I always try, after a few days of ugly crying and wallowing, to find a lesson in my failures. Where and how can I be better? It is not easy because I do not always want to be positive. At times I choose to dream than actually put in the work, and I believe, actually, I am certain that is the one thing that kills most dreams. We spend so much time imagining and fantasising how it is going to be like but hardly put any work towards it. Most people die dreaming and to be honest, that is my worst fear. Well, it is actually a draw with human trafficking, but you get my point.

Do not dream but do. You will feel like you are not good enough, that is guaranteed but just do. Everyone is not going to like your book, song, drawing, dish etc, but just do it. Do it when you do not feel like it, do it when you definitely feel like it. You are the one who knows what is in you and what God has trusted you with. A few months ago, someone suggested I should write in a certain way. That I should structure my writing in the way people would like to read it. As always, well usually, I am open to criticism ( I am working on not taking everything to heart) but the way it was relayed to me, it implied I had to write what people want to read. To be frank with you, I spiralled into a minor identity crisis, I felt like the way I was writing (the authentic and purely Zimbabwean me) was not good enough to produce quality material. Each time I sat in front of a keyboard to write, the words always took precedence to my ideas. I was stuck and every idea that did not go inline with what is perceived as “good”, I quickly eliminated it. I lost myself and my writing lost meaning to me.

It took me time to get back up ( I am still picking myself up), but I realised I was only fooling myself. I am not saying do not take criticism, by all means do. However, be very careful of some of the advice you get. If it involves you completely changing yourself or craft to fit certain people, you might need to take a step back and reevaluate. You more than anyone know what is in you. You know what God whispers to you behind closed doors. You know what you want to say and what you want to be. So start, now and it is guaranteed you will be rejected and sidelined BUT keep going. You are doing amazing and please, do not die with your dream. The one thing that keeps me going is, every day I am quite aware I might die. The worst I can do is die without fulfilling God’s purpose in my life. I do not want to be the servant who buried his talent.

Also learn to take compliments, you might not be used to it, it takes time. At times you do not realise how good you are because you are used to yourself. You do not see your importance because you are ordinary to you but not everyone else. With that in consideration, do not wait for other people’s validation or approval, give yourself validation and permission as Ava DuVernay once said. You do not need permission from anyone but yourself. So start now, start small, start unmotivated. Do not wait for motivation, create bad craft because there is beauty in that. Allow yourself to be crappy and bad, you will get better eventually. I have not got a hold of it but I working towards it, so brace yourself for some bad and crappy stories but I will keep going.

Oh, before I forget ( I wasnt really going to forget but anyway..), I met Novuyo Rosa Tshuma recently and she encouraged me to keep going. I was so happy and what moved me was that she saw something in me. It ignited in me the fire that was almost out because of doubt. It was not validation but more of recognising yourself in someone. Check out what she said:

I know right!? I geeked out for a long time. I just want to thank God for making me go, He knew I needed it. She is one of the most popular Zimbabwean authors and a kindred spirit. She started working on her book when she was 23. She has walked so I can run, just like the other women who inspire me Tererai Trent, Shonda Rhimes, Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Luvvie Ajayi, Maya Angelou to name a few.

Keep pushing and pray for God to show you the way forward. Be a doer and put in the work, because you are doing great sweetheart.

P.S: Sorry it ended up being long, thats how much I believe in us.

Relationships and all the other adulting stuff.

Hey there.. How are you today? Oh me, I am highly favoured, thanks.

This might seem as an odd way to respond, but I am learning to speak positively upon my life. Which is something that did not come naturally, I had to learn it. Actually, I am still learning and it is safe to say I am almost past the cringe moments, when I question if I really am favoured. As usual, the Holy Spirit is working overtime to show me I am worth dying for and God has a plan for me, a good one. Which does not involve me stressing,doubting or overthinking- as I usually do. He wants joy for me, peace, a house in Maui, hope and relationships. GOD WANTS A RELATIONSHIP FOR ME.

Now, before you think I am taking about a significant other- to an extant, yes but not really. I mean God specifically wants godly friendships for us. He wants us to have friends who encourage us and push us to be better. Who are truthful and tell it to us upfront but with love. Who teach us to be hopeful and who teach you new ways of thinking. Like one of my best friends, every time I text to ask how she is, she never says I am good or alright. She always, I mean always says ,I am blessed, thanks.You?. ALWAYS. At first, being the dark-cloud-over-my-head-always-second-best thinking person I was, I always found it odd. It was foreign to me, it did not immediately register to me that she was/still is speaking and claiming blessings upon her life. And boy is she blessed! She is one of the most blessed people I know and I am grateful that God brought her into my life. Mind you, I prayed for Godly friends ever since I came here a few years ago. I realised the same way we pray for our future baes and wait patiently, is the same way we should pray for godly friendships. And choose wisely, do not just take people at face value. Ask God if they are meant to be in your life or you are just thirsty for a friend at that point. Trust me, I know!

He wants the same for you too, you might have found them already and thats good- but never stop praying for that relationship. It is very important and just like any relationships, it has its challenging times. There will be fall outs, misunderstanding and silent treatments. Which isn’t good but it happens. Pray with your friends, celebrate with them and do not compare their lives with yours. Just because you are godly friends does not mean you have to imprint on each other and have the same things happen at the same time. You might feel disheartened when it seems they are getting ahead and you are just lagging behind. Or they seem to have it all together and for you, the only thing that is stable is your breathing pattern. Please, do not compare yourself. It is an easy and comforting thing to do but very deadly! Talk to God and your friends too. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy and friendships are not excluded.

As I am approaching my birthday (04/04) just incase you are curious, so many people have been telling me I am now “ripe” to be a wife. I know, you should see the look on my face as I am writing this. Anyway, whilst I have nothing against marriage, I am not sure if I am for it- as yet. Now before you gasp in horror and holding on to your seat because of this bomb I have just dropped- let me try to explain myself. First of all, I love love ok. My name literally means love, i am in love with love. I mean cry-in-the-theater-googly-eyed-aaaw-thats-so-cute-love loving person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and the primal receivers of this love are my siblings, friends, puppies and babies. So there, I am not Medusa or the Wicked Witch from the West who has a vendetta against love.

However, I do not see it happening anytime soon. This I have realised, is due to so many factors I was not aware of, to which 3 I shall share with you. The first being fear. I am not afraid because I was heartbroken and can not trust again- nope, not at all. I am afraid of marriage because of the examples I grew up around and the relationships I am seeing now. I fear I am going to be another statistic, a single mother before my baby is even a year old. A bitter divorcee who preaches all men are trash. The church mother who preaches men are just being men when they cheat. The girlfriend who casually slides in how she caught her boyfriend with another girl- AGAIN but she will forgive him because she feels its her fault.

Whilst some divorces are due to serious issues such as abuse on both sides. I fail to understand when and how people wake up and turn against each other? Mind you, I am not naive to how people are different and how bills, families and all take a toll on people but what happened to for better and for worse? What happened to, I love you and I will not hurt you? What happens to, you are the love of my life? What in the heavens happens to, its you, me and God in this?

I have so many questions which are always met with- you will see when you get married! Its life, thats how it is. As women, it is our job to take care of our men and stand by them when they mess up. Ah, ungarambe munhu nekuti aita small house? ( You are breaking up because he had another girlfriend?).

These answers force me to go back to my relationship drawing board and rethink this marriage thing. It consumes me so much I push back what God has told me, because the negative examples are louder than God’s voice when He tells me to write to my future husband. People are settling for less and still being dumped yet God keeps raising my standards, and I think, what chance do I have? It is a lot to process and it does not help being from a generation that does not solely believe in marriage. Come on, do not act as if you are not aware millennials will settle to be forever girlfriends than die alone. Its sad but true, and I wrestle with this. And dying alone is a very viable option for me.

The other thing is, I feel like my life has to be in order for me to start dating. Yeah, I know. Hilarious! Like who ever has their life together? Seriously, who can boldly stand there and say they have everything figured out? Everything!? From your mommy/daddy issues, finances, emotional wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, God’s right hand man, skin popping no ance, I woke up like Jesus on the third day glowing to I drink water and mind my business? If you are one of these people, I salute you and I lowkey envy you.

I am that kind of person who has to plan things ahead and strategise certain things to get the best result. Which however, is the complete opposite of God. Man, if I tell you how God has been interrupting my plans and making me question my entire life, you will not believe it. You might not see it because its more internal than anything but all I can say is WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! He has been teaching me to leave everything to Him and trust Him. That He has my back and will not leave me, He will not abandon me. He. Will. Not. Abandon. Me.

Abandonment is another factor that has scared me off marriage. I am afraid of being left. Too many people have left me, friends included. Just iced me out, no explanation or goodbye-you-wont-see-me-ever-again card. Now, before I play the victim, it could have been they prayed for godly friends and I did not make the cut- ouch!! Nonetheless, there are people who just left me, high and dry. It might not be physically but emotionally- people who just thought I wasnt good enough to hang out with. It hurts, it really does and it still hurts. I realised I still carry this mentality with me, which is toxic, because I push people away before they even try to make any contact. I feel safer closing myself off than allowing someone in. Believe me, its safer and if I miss an opportunity at least I would have let me down, not anyone else. I can stand letting me down, I mean, I cry it out and regret it and it only pushes me to a mild depression but I will be A ok after a few weeks. See! I am goooood!

Ok, FINE! I am lying. Of course I am not ok! How can I be? I am literally blocking my blessings, slowly but surely. How can I say, I am blessed thanks and you in this state? I am a mess, a hot, piping one and I know that, I will acknowledge and expose it but I am not going to claim it anymore. I am going to be hopeful, expectant (one of my resolutions) and claim my blessings. And I must say, talking about this has made me realise I legit need therapy.

Sharing all this has made me realise that adulting is a scam. You deal with a lot and you are just suppose to suck it up and deal with it like the rest of the world. You have to deal with your emotions and spiritual life, family feuds, bills and tax! Do not make me talk about tax! Gooooosh, its the worst. Its like paying for being born, I did not ask for this. I am also a victim. And as a black person, on top of tax, you have black tax too. You have to take care of the whole clan, by clan I do mean the whole clan. I miss the times I took sleep for granted, now I just want to sleep. Anywhere and everywhere is a bed, I just want to stay at home and binge on Netflix and repeat Shrek for the umpteenth time.

Adulting is scary, weird and stressful, and the fact that there is no adulting manual makes it harder. I think I will write one and I think, I THINK I will title it: Oh, so you think you are grown now? Ok, watch life knock you out and God revive you. I do not know about you, but that pretty much sums up my life. That was a joke, or way it?

Anyway, I hope you have a blessed day and you are highly favoured. Please, let us all learn from my friend and claim our blessings. Even if it sounds weird, claim it. Its yours. God wants us to know and believe it and to step out of fear into favour. It will not be easy but it is possible, I will be your example.

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.

From the year of “at least you tried” to the year of “i am remaining expectant even if..”.

 

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For my closing post for this year, I thought I should share one of my resolutions for next year. Just like 89% of the world’s population, as the year draws to an end; I tend to reminisce and think of all my accomplishments and failures. I attempt creating and setting standards for myself; which I fail at most of the times. I know for some its quite cliche to make “resolutions” but for a person as the year draws to an end; I tend to reminisce and think of all my accomplishments and failures. I attempt creating and setting standards for myself; which I fail at most of the times. I know for some its quite cliche to make “resolutions” but for a person who makes appointments and meet-ups months I completely forgot all of them and misplaced the paper. For next year, I decided to set only four resolutions of which one I will share with you.

At the beginning of this year, I had set a target of reading fifty books and improving my vocabulary. I was very adamant on reading more books than I read in 2017 and boy did AMAZON make money with me this year? I bought so many books I am surprised I have quite an awesome collection. And if I am being honest,60% of my money goes towards books (and shoes come on, I am not an animal) which is why I RARELY share my books. I love the feel and smell of a book; the anticipation of a new character brought to life and the infinity excitement of learning new worlds. However, I realised it is not about quantity but quality; which is why I decide to only read twelve books next year. Which will be a challenge for me because I tend to read two books at the same time (a day book and a night book) but for the sake of discipline and actually knowing and understanding the content of the literature, I will stick to it.

2017 was around the time I dedicated myself to reading more and being intentional, I was still trying to find a genre I preferred and as you can judge from 2018; I think biographies are my favourite. I am intrigued by prominent figures and tracing their journeys helps to understand my own to an extent. And just to put it out there, my books for the year is Malcolm X: The Autobiography. I was and still am intrigued by his mind and his tenacity-even though I do not fully agree with him. Which gave me the chance to actually dissect his character and being; learning and unlearning certain things about myself; learning to think for myself and ask questions.

Anyway, my collection for next year is as follows (and I hope I will stick to the order) and please excuse my poor attempt at taking mind-blowing pictures, I lack the skill;

JANUARY: The Narrative Of Frederick Douglas

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To ease my mind, I will start with a bit of light reading which requires research and deeper understanding. It was highly recommended around the time I was reading Barack Obama’s Dreams for my father.

FEBRUARY: The House Of Hunger

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I realised I have only read (willingly and intentionally) two books by Zimbabwean authors; Nervous Conditions and Pashena. It only makes sense if I want to be a good writer to learn from those who walked so I could run. And I heard that this guy was super intelligent,so duh, of course, I am going to indulge myself.

MARCH:Frida Kahlo

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I do not know why or how I am drawn to this amazing woman, but I am. She seems like she was fearless and vulnerable at the same time. I love how her art spoke in a way words could not express.

APRIL:Born To Love;Cursed To Feel

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Because I love poetry/spoken word; though it does not love me back. I will and I shall read this book!

MAY:Year Of Yes

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HELLO! ITS SHONDA RHIMES .Of course I am going to read it!

JUNE:Assata Shakur

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FBI’s most wanted woman? Say no more!

JULY:M.K Gandhi

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I was just told he was a great man,but have never known why.I think it is time he explains himself to me.I mean through the book,obviously.

AUGUST:Why I No Longer Talk To White People About Race

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I will let you know “why” when I finish,but can’t wait.And do  not judge a book by its cover,LITERALLY.

SEPTEMBER:I Hope This Reaches Her I Time

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More poetry/spoken word and R.H Sin is good.He is one of the few men I know who bares it all.

OCTOBER:Slay In Your Lane

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The slay part I can not relate,but the “staying in my lane” part is something I aspire to accomplish.So,why not!?

NOVEMBER:Her

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Fell in love with his poetry and how he encourages woman;and advises men.I think it is time I read it fully.It is more of spoken work.

DECEMBER:One Day In December

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I received this today as a Christmas present from my friend.She said she images this story portrays how she thinks I will fall in love.I have no idea what happens or how it made her think of me;but I will save it for last because it means a lot.

I hope I follow through and the main reason I cut down on my reading was so I can intentionally make time for Bible study.I have been slacking this year but now (with the help of the Holy Spirit) I pray to accomplish this “resolution”.And that I always remember it is about quality,not quantity.

And thank you very much for reading my blog,it means so much to me knowing someone actually cares about what I talk about.I am so ever grateful for you,yes you,you encourage me to keep going even when I feel or think only my family read my blog;after pestering them of course.Stay tuned because next year,I will be writing more stories with better grammar now (I am going to a Writer’s Circle now for criticism,yeeey!).

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and an amazing new year filled with hope and joy.Enter with the mentality that it will only get better and you matter.Lots of love and see you next year!Oh and yes,my mantra for 2018 was “at least you tried” and for 2019 it is,”i am remaining expectant even if..”,TRUE STORY!img_1378-1