I have been inspired and motivated by stories of incredible men and women all over the world. These people have allowed me to look at life with hope and to be expectant at all times. To push past the status quo- to break the rules without getting into anyone’s way. Today’s blog focuses on the Top 5 African women whose struggles and triumphs have paved way for me and generations to come. I hope you are inspired too.
1.Tererai Trent (ZIMBABWE)
Tererai Trent (born 1965) is a Zimbabwean-American woman who came from a poor family. She could not go to school due to poverty and because she was a girl child. At a young age, she taught herself to read and write. She began to do her brother’s homework-his teacher discovered that his homework was better than his schoolwork. The teacher begged for her to go to school-she attended for a short period but later her father accepted a brideprice of a cow and married her off young. By the age of 18, she had 3 children and an abusive husband. In 1991 Heifer International visited her village and asked every woman about their greatest dream. Tererai said she wanted to go to America and get a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and eventually a PhD. Encouraged by her mother, Tererai wrote down these dreams, put the paper in a scrap of tin and buried it.
In 1998, she moved to America with her husband and 5 children. After 3 years, she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.2003 Tererai earned her master’s degree. After earning each degree, she would return to Zimbabwe unearth her tin and checked off each goal she accomplished one by one, in 2009 she finally earned her PhD.
In 2011 she was featured on Oprah’s show and Oprah revealed that Tererai is her all-time favourite guest.
Phiona Mutesi (born 1996) is a Ugandan chess player. She won the Ugandan Women’s Junior Championship three times and has represented Uganda at four Olympiads and she is one of the first titled female players in Ugandan chess history. She was born in Katwe, one of the largest of Kampala’s eight slums. At 3 years old, her father died and later at 9 years old she had to drop out of school because they could no longer afford to send her. To survive, she sold maize in Katwe street market. One day she followed her brother to a Christian and Sports mission in an after-school program run by Robert Katende and she began to play chess.
During her trip to the US, Phiona was offered a scholarship at Northwest University in Washington. She began her studies in 2017. The Disney movie Queen of Katwe is based on her life story.
3.WANGARI MAATHAI (KENYA)
Wangari Maathai (born 1940-2011) was an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political environmentalist and Nobel laureate. She explained it like this: Imagine a country as a country with 3 legs. One leg represents democracy, a good government that respects mankind. Another represents peace. The final leg represents accountability, regard for our natural resources. Without the third leg, the base becomes unstable, the stool falls apart. The problem, she said, is that the stool is too often built on only 2 legs- the third is forgotten.”We do not have a broad sense of accountability and equal distribution of resources. The desire to consume…seems to outpace the sense of responsibility for our resource-intensive lifestyles”.
Wangari devoted her life to trying to correct this imbalance. She began in her home country of Kenya, where she observed women in the countryside struggling every day for basic needs water, food, an income. She realized there were very serious activities of deforestation, loss of soil that gradually destroyed the environment and impoverishing them. So she began to plant trees, in 1977 she founded the Green Belt Movement and planted 50 million trees. In the process, the GMB trained 30 000 women in forestry and food processing, allowing them to earn their own income.
In 2004, Wangari received the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts, becoming the first African woman to do so.
4.THERESA KACHINDAMOTO (MALAWI)
Theresa Kachindamoto a woman from a noble traditional family in Malawi is saving young girls in the country from child marriage. Her dedicated passion towards the cause is a reason why she is dubbed the “Marriage Terminator”. She is a paramount chief or Inkosi, of the Dedza District in the central region of Malawi. She is known for her forceful action in dissolving child marriage and insisting on education for both boys and girls.
5.RUTH WILLIAMS KHAMA (BOTSWANA)
Ruth Williams Khama (born 1923-2002) was the wife of Botswana’s first President, Sir Seretse Khama. The Paramount Chief of its Bamangwato tribe. She served as the First Lady of Botswana from 1966-1980.
Ruth was born in Blackheath South London in England. In 1947 at a dance organised by the London Missionary Society, she was introduced to Prince Seretse Khama by her sister. Seretse was the son of a Paramount Chief and he was studying Law at Inner Temple in London. The couple loved jazz music and quickly fell in love. There plans to marry caused controversy both with the tribal elders and the South African government which had imposed the system of racial segregation also known as apartheid. Her family especially her father was also not supportive and was never involved in her life after she married Seretse.
The British government tried to intervene to break up the relationship but they eventually married at a Kensington register office in 1948, The Prime Minister of South Africa described it as “nauseating” and Julius Nyerere then a student teacher and later President of Tanzania said it was “one of the greatest love stories in the history of the world”. The people of Botswana were supportive but Seretse was called to London in 1950 and was prevented to go home and told he had to remain in exile.1951, Ruth joined him and they lived as exiles in Croydon in England.
The people of Botswana protested to this injustice, they believed Seretse had a right to marry whoever he wanted even if the South African government and the British government thought otherwise.1956 the people of Bamangwato sent a telegram to Queen Elizabeth II and the couple were allowed to return to Botswana. Seretse renounced his tribal thone and became a cattle farmer in Serowe. Ruth remained in Botswana after the death of her husband in 1980 and became recognised as Mohumagadi Mma Kgosi which means mother of the chief or queen mother. The movie The United States was based on their life story.
I usually post my childhood pictures on social media and I find joy in doing it. I love seeing how far I have come,(not the glow up because I am sure I look pretty much the same). A couple of days ago, I posted this picture on social media and a comment was passed that I should keep them in the gallery and not post them. Funny thing, I was not offended but it actually got me thinking-why should I be embarrassed by this little girl who made some of the decisions which built me to be the woman I am today? Why should I start pushing her to the sidelines after what she had endured and gone through for me to have thick skin? Why would I hurt her again by not thinking she was not good enough to be celebrated? I began to think of my childhood and what that girl went through.
Growing up, I was always being compared to my sister (even now most people do and will). My sister and I are completely different (same mother and father) she is very light and I am very dark. People always marvelled when they saw my sister and what would hurt me the most were the follow up questions-Your sister is prettier and lighter, what happened to you? Is she your cousin? You are pretty but she is prettier?
As a young girl/woman it bruised me, it made me feel ugly and it was engraved in my mind at a very young age that lighter skin is more acceptable and celebrated than darker skin. I did not hate my sister or did I ever think she was much better than me-she was/is light and was/am dark, that was it. That little girl on that picture was also met with those questions and comments, from young children and older people. As I grew up I would rarely talk about my sister, even to my friends, because of fear of those questions which I never had the answer to.
In my self-love journey (en route), I had to come head to head with this issue/insecurity. I had to learn to love my dark skin and know that I am beautiful in it because God saw it right for me to be in it. I had to accept myself for who God says I am rather than what people say-which is not always easy but not believing God when He says I am beautiful and wonderful in His eyes is the same as me calling Him a liar.
My teenage years did not make it any better because I grew up in the “yellow bone” era. I am not sure if it is still a thing back in Zimbabwe but the yellow bone era was when light skinned girls were preferred to dark skinned girls. The first thing a guy would mention when describing their girlfriend was the colour of their skin. I am sure most of them were not aware of it but some were-I dated a guy who told me I was pretty but not light skinned. In a way, he was trying to say he settled.
This led to most dark skinned girls bleaching their skin. Most girls changed to be accepted, it was not only physical but psychological-most girls began to hate who God created them to be into what they thought they were supposed to be. I believe it is because not most girls are taught to love themselves from a young age. Most have mistaken being beautiful with being given attention by guys or girls wanting to be them. Beauty has been reduced to Snapchat filters, butt injections and Brazilian weaves.
What of the girl who can not afford an expensive weave or is not curvy-does that mean she is not beautiful? Beauty has been redefined so many-if you try and keep up, you will definitely lose your mind. Be comfortable in your own skin because you are your own beautiful. I had to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to see your beauty just like how you do not always see other people’s beauty. However, as a Christian, we are urged to love others as we love ourselves. That little girl there did not know how to love herself or that she was beautiful. As she grew up she began to shy away from the camera because in her mind she was not beautiful enough. It stuck with her and she still has moments when she does not see it but she feels it.
If you have a daughter, niece,neighbour-boy or girl, please plant good seed in them. Tell them they are beautiful/handsome because that will build them up. I have a 12-year-old cousin when I tell her she is beautiful-it takes her time to accept it but I will make it my life’s duty to tell her she is beautiful because she is and she needs to know and believe it.
I did not write this for people to feel sorry for me or tell me I am beautiful, no this is not a pity party. I wrote this post for the girls/women who have gone through this or are going through it. Do not go with society-either you are dark skinned or light skinned, you are beautiful and you are more than your skin or your hair-you my friend are beautifully and wonderfully made from the inside out. Love yourself from the inside out and know who God says you are. It will not magically happen but make it a habit to tell yourself each day, whether you see it or not-YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL TO GOD.
So I will post a few verses on what the Bible says about beauty. Some are for us not to solely rely on our outward appearance but from the inside and some to encourage us to love who and what we are in Christ:
Ephesians 2 v 10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalms 139 v 14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well.
Songs of Solomon 4 v 7: You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
1 Peter 3 v 3-4: Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather it should be that in your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Last week I bought a bookshelf off Amazon and assembled it with my mom. I did not realise I had so many books and I am still yet to get more. I have always liked reading, one could say it was because I studied Literature in High School. However, I have come to realise I am quite an obsessive reader. I am not always good at maintaining the tempo at which I start with (sometimes I just do not feel like reading and it can go for months) but sometimes I get to a point where my brain yells, YOU NEED TO READ!
I have come to try and read a bit of everything-fiction, biographies, poetry, motivational etc. I have also come to read a book with topics I do not agree on to challenge my brain and the way I see things. I make sure I am guarded in what I stand for and believe in though. It is very easy to fall for anything these days, people are coming up with different ideas and theories that you get to a point where you can not distinguish between the truth or a “theory”.
A few people are fond of reading in this technological era where social media has taken most of our life. Yes, technology has enhanced and improved daily life but I think it has made us so dependent our IQ’s are slowly lowering without even realising it. I see it with myself at times, I will be on my phone for hours scrolling through social media until I can feel that my brain is tired. Most of the time I will not even be doing anything meaningful- 90% I will be switching from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter then back to Facebook. It can go on for hours and seriously, I could use that time to do something better with life. I could be using that time to read the Bible, working out or improving myself in another way.
I am not saying being on social media it is wrong, no it is great actually. People make business on social media, people connect in different ways and others get inspired. However, when you just sit there staring on your screen and not doing anything productive, it becomes a problem. Try and challenge your mind and read a book, it does not have to be a big book. You can start light, with a magazine or a newspaper and go on from there. Yep, it sounds geeky but trusts me some of the greatest leaders, innovators and public figures are great readers.
I will list down a couple of reasons why reading is good for you:
1. Mental Stimulation- keeping your brain active prevents it from losing power. It also slows the progress of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The brain is a muscle with needs exercise.
2. Stress reduction- No matter how much stress you have at work, personal relationship or any other issues in life, you can escape by losing yourself in a great story (highly recommend Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). Reading will distract you and keeps you in the present moment allowing you to relax.
3.Knowledge- Everything you read fills your head with new information.The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle any challenge you face. Knowledge is something no one can ever take away from you.
4. Vocabulary Expansion- This is also tied to knowledge- the more you read, the more words you get exposed to. It can even aid your day to day life, at work, school etc.
5.Memory Improvement- When you read a book, you remember the character, environment, history etc. Brains are amazing things, every memory forges a brain pathway so when you see something relating or similar to something you read-the brain quickly reminds you.
6.Improved Focus and Concentration-In a single 5- minute span, the average person will divide their time between checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via Instagram, Skype, etc.), keeping an eye on Twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers. When you are reading, you focus on one thing and the rest of the world becomes silent.
7.Better Writing- Reading gives you more ideas and improves creativity. It goes hand in hand with the expansion of vocabulary and knowledge.
8. Free Entertainment- Reading is fun,keeps you occupied and captures your imagination and curiosity. If you can not afford to constantly buy books (I prefer hard copies),you can visit your local library or install PDF on your devices, you can also get free books – download e free books. SO GO HUNT FOR SOMETHING TO READ AND EXERCISE THAT BRAIN!
It has been ten years since Shamiso last saw Kuda, but she still closes her eyes from time to time to relive how safe she always felt in his arms. It’s a sunny Wednesday morning in September, the air is dry and she can hear the noise of the kombis and car hooting from her fifth-floor apartment. Shamiso sprays the Cantu detangler in her afro, she looks at herself in the mirror, takes a deep breath and cinches her bathrobe tighter. Ever since Rutendo told her about the Ten Year Reunion, she began to have breakouts on her face. It has been ten years since she last set foot at Tynwald High School and the thought of that made her giddy. She sits on the bathtub and begins to massage her scalp and to distract herself, she decides to turn on the radio in her bathroom. DJ Scott is on, she always likes his taste in music and his voice makes it even better. On top of the world by Dj Kent featuring Liquideep is playing on the radio, Shamiso smiles and looks at the mirror again. Memories of her and Kuda debating on who was better Liquideep or Mi Casa begin to flood in her conscience. Kuda always thought Mi Casa was too Eurocentric for him, as to Liquideep which had a more African rhythm to it. They would argue over it, tease each other until they had to listen to both albums all over again.
She combs through her hair and puts on her favourite navy pantsuit. She stands in front of the mirror thinking of what to say to Kuda when she sees at the Reunion. She looked at the mirror, turns from side to side and smiles.
“Oh my goodness, hello Kuda. Its been a long time, how is America? Are you married yet?.”, she looks at herself and grimaced, knowing she can come up with something better than that.
“Hie Kuda, how are you? Oh me? I am very single and successful, thank you very much.” She smiles at her reflection satisfied with her act. Her phone rings as she is touching up on her makeup.”Yes Rutendo, I will email him again to make sure he comes to the Reunion. His sister said he will be in Zimbabwe the weekend of the Reunion. I will do it as soon as I get to work.”, she says as she grabs for her keys-looking at the mirror again and bolting out the door.
The last time Shamiso communicated with Kuda was a year ago. She had heard about his engagement from Rutendo her best friend of ten years, the only person who bothered to keep in touch with everyone from High School. The day Rutendo called to tell her, she had been promoted to CFO at Chiriseri and Associates-but hearing about Kuda’s engagement sent her home early from her celebration. Imagining him at his wedding left her feeling gloomy, but a faint gloominess. To reassure herself that she was unbothered and happy for him, she wrote an email to congratulate him on his newfound happiness.
” Wish you all the best and congratulations on your engagement. God speed bro.”
That Wednesday evening after work, Shamiso stares at her high school photo album in her bedroom as she sits on her bed. She begins to reminisce a year ago when she sat on the same spot talking to Rutendo after sending the email. She vividly remembers as she has on the same bed covers as on that day.
A year ago after she sent Kuda the email, she called Rutendo. She was panicking and instantly regretted sending the email. Finishing off the email with “bro” was her way of proving she was over him but Rutendo was always the voice of reason, so to be at peace she called her.
“Aah iwe Shamiso, you are telling me you emailed your ex of over six years to congratulate him on his engagement and called him ‘bro’?”, Rutendo chuckled from the other end of the lines, Shamiso was quiet on the other end of the line. “Shamie, I do not think he will mind or even think about it. It has been a very long time since you guys broke up and that was in High School. Takurashaa, and I am sure no one still thinks of High School romances. Do you still love or like Kuda because iiih askana it has been a while.”Shamiso exhaled, “Iiiiih shaa, who stays hung over their ex for such a long time. I just wanted to show him support and be happy for him. What happened in High School is in the past. I am focusing on me now and you know I have been talking with Ngoni. He seems to be a nice guy.” she reassured herself, waiting for Rutendo to say something that would confirm her newfound happiness for Kuda, the love of her life as their classmates used to tell her. “Shamie, he is engaged now and you know how he is very committed. The guy still uses the same number he had in high school. You are the CFO of a prestigious firm and you have Ngoni. You are both happy and over the past”, Rutendo said and Shamiso wondered if she was just saying it because she also liked Kuda in high school. Kuda always told her that he was never comfortable around her and how she always passed in front of him and rubbed her bottom on him. Shamiso always said it was because she was friendly but he was not the first of her boyfriends to say that, even Simba who cheated with anything that moved had said it.
For the next ten minutes, Rutendo talked about the married guy she was seeing, how last weekend they had gone to Ibiza and had told his wife he was going there to see if the hotels were suitable for their upcoming anniversary. Shamiso clucked and sighed loudly at the appropriate times. She did not remind Rutendo that the last time she went away with someone’s husband, the wife disguised herself as a taxi driver and drove them to her house where she dragged her by her weave and snatched her edges. Shamiso chuckled at the memory, coincidentally laughed with Rutendo who had said something funny. Finally, before she hung up, she promised to tell her if Kuda replies -a promise she knew she would not keep.
She smiles to herself as she thinks about that day. She walks into her kitchen, pours a glass of water, and leaves it on the table, untouched. Back in her bedroom, she stares at her high school photo album, the maroon cover reminded her of the school colours, the school blazer- her school blazer which she exchanged with Kuda when he went to America.
“Shamie, Kuda is engaged. He is taken and you need to understand that, wazvinzwa! He is happy with his girlfriend..no fianceè. He will bring her to the reunion.”, she says. She goes to her desk, opens her laptop to check Kuda’s Facebook Profile. She never bothered to check his profile, but because she could not remember his fianceè’s name- she had to check his profile. As she types in his name, she receives an email, it’s Kuda.
“Hey Shamiso, oh wow it been a while hey. I just received your email about the Reunion. Rutendo had already invited me and told me about Simba. Heard you two are happy together. Congrats”
“Simba?!”, Shamiso shrills and jumps from her chair, almost falling to the floor. “What does he mean Simba? I was with Simba for less than six months after he found someone who did not have too many technicalities”, she says as she paces in her bedroom. She decides to reply to him, it takes her half an hour to find the right words. Not too upfront but subtle enough for him to reveal his source.
“I see you have been checking on me. Its a long story but with Simba it was never as serious as you are portraying it to be? So what is new with you?”
She waits for his reply but after almost forty-five minutes, it occurs to her that there is a nine-hour time difference. She decides to retire to bed, but as soon as she is in her bed, she can not stop thinking about what Kuda would reply. She thinks of calling Rutendo but she knows she will not answer her phone at this hour. She holds her covers to her chin and secures her bonnet.”He will reply.”, she says as she drifts off to sleep.
Three months passed, Kuda did not reply, Shamiso wanted to send another email but she thought it would seem desperate. She told herself he was busy, and with her being CFO there was more work and she had better things to worry about. She wondered if she had said something offensive, she reread the email almost every day but could not find anything offensive. She even made Kudzai her assistant to read the email and asked him if he would reply if he were Kuda. Nine months passed and there was still no reply from Kuda, she decided to concentrate on her work and before she knew it, she no longer thought of Kuda. Business trips and aiming to be the CEO made it quite hard to think of Kuda, but mostly she avoided it because she knew he was engaged. He was taken.
As she was busy viewing her calendar for her next business trip, Shamiso received an email. She ignored it the first time but she received two more emails. The email tone bothered her and she had told Kudzai to change it but he would say, the fact that it bothered her meant she would react to the emails quicker. He always had new theories and facts about something every day, it was the main reason she hired him. The day he came in for the interview, he appeared to be shy and introverted, Shamiso was put off by him before he opened his mouth. Just as she was about to finish off the interview, he commented on her Dyson Cool AM06 Desk Fan. Her colleagues had thought it was too extravagant but Shamiso liked how simple it was and how cool it looked. “Excuse me ma’am”, Kudzai said as he shuffled in his chair, “Do you know the Dyson Cool AM06 draws air in by a compressor in the base and then directs it into the ring? It comes out of a slit around the ring and passes over a shape like that of an aircraft?.”Excuse me?”,Shamiso said as she raised her eyebrows not understanding and not interested. “Your fan, it is a Dys..”, Shamiso cuts him off. “I know but what is your point? she said putting her files in her bag getting ready to go home. “I think it is pretty cool”, he said as he sat back in his seat. And just like that, she knew she liked him.
Shamiso smiled as she reminisced about that day, she did not bother to check her emails until she was at home getting ready to go to bed. She saw two notifications from Kuda, it had been a little over nine months and now he was replying to tell her he was back in Zimbabwe and wanted to meet up with her before the reunion. She thought of how long she had waited for his reply but she was very conscious of how much she wanted to see him. She was hopeful he had come to talk things out, leave his fiancee and realise she was the one after all. She agreed to meet him the next day as it was a Saturday and told him where it was more convenient for them to meet.
As Shamiso drove into the Cafè Nush parking lot, she saw Kuda sitting by the window table. She stared at him from her car-he had not changed much it was easy to recognise him. His beard was well oiled and well-trimmed, he smiled at the waiter as he brought him a drink. She smiled at herself as she remembered how she used to tease him about how his smile made girls weak in the knees. “Why do you think Ma’am Jeka never gives you detention, it is your hypnotising smile. Why do you think I agreed to be your girlfriend? Its the smile I fell for not iwe”, she would say and he would chase her-forcing her to say he loved her. She always gave in and kissed him before freeing herself and running to her friends who were in class. Leaving him behind the classes smiling and making funny faces at her.
“Hey, Shamie.Are you almost here? Which drink would you like so you do not have to wait longer when you get here”
She saw him put the phone down, looking around but he did not look in her direction. She was prepared to hide if he were to turn her direction. She took a deep breath and walked out of her car towards the Cafè. The aroma of coffee and cinnamon hit her, the aircon’s fresh breeze helped her breath again. She trembled as she walked towards him, he had his back at her. She tapped his shoulder, once,twice-he looked back and smiled. That smile that got him out of detention-that smile that made her weak in the knees-still made her weak in the knees.
“Kudakwashe Mugota!Long-time!Look at you, you haven’t changed!”, she was flustered as she reached to give him an emotionless hug, but he pulled her so slightly close to him-her nose touched the nape of his neck. He looked at her, intensely and then smiled. She could not hold his gaze, her fingers were shaking involuntarily, which was bad enough. She did not need to look into his eyes, she would never forget his eyes. “It’s so good to see you, Sham, you look great”, he said as he pulled the chair for her. He was calm. She had forgotten how calm a person he was. He still had his boyish traits which she always clung on to when she thought of him. He still had the charm, a trace of his teenage history; the one which made the boys want to be like him and the girls be with him. “You have a beard”, she said. He laughed and stroked his beard, “Yeah,ndebvu dzaAaron“.They both laughed out loud as the waiter came to ask if they were ready to order. He had filled out, from the skinny boy of their high school days to a fleshier, muscular man-he looked taller now. With her high heels, she was shoulder length to him. America had not changed him, he was still as simple as she remembered-he wore a pair of chinos, a Polo shirt and Taft boots. He still had that confidence that demanded recognition without asking.
“Let us order”, he said as he looks through the menu. Shamiso would peep over the menu to get a glimpse of him, she looked at his left hand searching for the wedding rich.No ring, she smiled to herself and pretended to look through her menu. The Cafè was dimly cool, its air heavy with fresh coffee grounds and the atmosphere was eclectically complimenting the music. The waiter came back again to take their orders, Shamiso ordered a salad and pink lemonade. He looked at her as she ordered, she had not changed. Her natural hair which she styled into a French Braid enhanced her features. Her eyes looked bigger and her lips fuller, she still looked directly into people’s eyes, he always hated it as it made it impossible to hide anything from her.
“So how is America? With Trump as President, I heard there is a division in the country. Almost like here with Zanu and MDC. I also have heard that Trum…”, she stopped talking as she saw him staring at her. “Still the researcher I see, you haven’t changed a bit Shamiso”, he said. He reached for the menu again and started flipping through it, grimacing and smiling at the different dishes. He looked up and smiled at her.”Sham, how are you? How have you been?”, he put the menu down and focused on her. Her nervousness was melting away and they had raced past the moments of awkwardness. “I am good, great actually,uhm I have been the CFO for almost three years now and aiming for the CEO position.”, she said sipping on her pink lemonade. “I know and congratulations on that but I meant your personal life, are you married or seeing someone.”, he said gazing into her eyes. Shamiso was taken back by how forward he was, she found it rude and too intrusive. “Excuse me?”, she said as she folded her arms against her chest. “Shamiso Moyo, are you single, taken or married?”, he said looking at her and not flinching. “Kuda we just met after ten years, don’t you think that’s a bit too forward? Aaah you do not see me asking about mukadzi wako. I do not see a ring, obviously, you are not married or still engaged. That was too forward”, she said, trying to calm herself taking the menu again and stared at it annoyed. “I am sorry, Shamiso. That was uncalled for, I am sorry. I just needed to know.”, he said. Sitting back in his chair, he saw how annoyed she was. He began rummaging through the menu to fill the silence which was screaming louder than the music in the Cafè.
“So, are you still engaged or you just do not like wearing your wedding ring? Are you one of those men who hide that they are married?”, she said. He looked up to her not knowing if she was serious or teasing him. “We decided to break it off, she wasn’t the one I wanted. Shamiso it has always been you and it will always be you. I know the way we broke things off was childish and I am sorry for hurting you. I just thought the long distance would never work for us. I know you do not have anyone, come on, of course, I have been keeping track of you. I love you Shamiso. I am only forward because I now know what I want and that is you. Give us a chance.”, he said as he stood walking towards her. The waiter was behind her holding flowers, everyone in the Cafè stood up and started clapping. She stood up with tears in her eyes, hands shaking and speechless from what Kuda had said. Suddenly her phone began to ring but it was not the usual tone. She looked down at her phone and realised it was her alarm.
Shamiso woke up with a start, it was a dream. It was all a dream. The Cafè, Kuda confessing his love, the waiter and all the people. As she turned off her alarm, there it was, a reply from Kuda. It had not been two years or nine months or three months, it was only last night she sent the email. She sat up in her bed, palms sweaty and opened the email.
“Rutendo told me about Simba, she said you guys were pretty serious and planning on getting married. I am happy for you. I am sending you an invitation, the wedding is next weekend. I know it is short notice but we just could not wait. I think I will have to skip the Reunion. Cheers
Shamiso read the email again and still could not understand. She could not move from her bed, she held her phone to her face for a good twenty minutes. She decided to call Kudzai and told him to cancel all her meetings as she had the flu. She thought of calling Rutendo but she knew she was too angry to talk to her. She then decided to call the wife of the husband Rutendo was planning to go to Ibiza with. She still remembered her name from when Rutendo was stalking her on Facebook. She called her with an unknown number and told her where to find her husband and were the girl lived. She hung up before the woman could ask her a lot of questions.
She laid in her bed and looked up at the ceiling, she could not sleep and she could not distract herself. She began to think of going to America and disrupting the wedding. To confess her love for Kuda and not be ashamed. She watched the world outside, she could hear cars passing by from her fifth-floor window. She was bloodless, detached and motionless. Rutendo called her many times but she did not answer her phone. She deleted Kuda’s emails, blocked his Instagram and unfriended him on Facebook. She turned off her phone and coiled herself into a foetal position. She felt herself sinking, sinking quickly and unable to pull herself up. She turned on her radio to try and distract herself, Welcome aboard by Liquideep was playing. She abruptly pulled the radio cable from the plug, laid on her bed and cried herself to sleep.
I am always emphasising on my self-love journey because truthfully, it is the real reason why I started this blog. It is to show people (especially young women like me) that God really is there for us, we do not always see it but He is in every single situation of our lives. I am going to talk about one of the areas I used to exclude Him in and that is my love life. I really do not think most of us include Him, mostly because we think He does not care or it’s not really His business. We kind of shut the door on Him when it comes to our relationship because we think He is not that kind of God who wants to hear about heartbreaks and crushes but believes me, He wants to hear it all. He is such a gentleman.
When I began my journey (still en route, I believe you never arrive) and started praying for my future husband, I came to a point where I found it silly to just “talk” to guys. I wanted validation and to know exactly “what we were”. I tried “going with the flow” but I would always change my mind because I knew I deserved more- I still know I deserve more. So I made the decision to start cutting off guys who I would “talk” to or entertain when I was bored. It was hard, to be honest, but I learnt to find refuge in God. It felt silly at times going to God because I had no one to talk to but it helped me to build a relationship with Him and not focus on things that disturbed my peace.
As time went on, I got to a place where I was not interested in contacting them. I began including God in my love life, watching videos and reading books about people who had included God in their love life. That is when I came across the term-waiting for God’s best. For most of my life, I never really understood the whole waiting concept- I had heard about it but never considered it. It seemed like too much work and a bit unrealistic for example waiting to kiss until your wedding day. I know right, outrageous- but right now that is where my mind is set.
I began to take a look at myself and what I deserved as a child of God. It took time to believe certain truths like that I am beautiful or that I deserve to be loved and cherished. With the examples of relationships that are around us, impulsive courtships, dysfunctional dating and “doing it for the gram”, it was quite hard to actually believe that there are Godly men out there(not guys who just go to church but men who really fear, love and obey God). I then chose to accept myself as God sees me and began to include Him in my love life. At first, I was just all over, each guy I saw I would lose my head thinking if He was the one or when he did not look my direction, I would think maybe there is something wrong with or I am ugly. I had to renew my mind daily (Romans 12 v 2) to be freed from that mentality. I had to take time and really listen to what God was saying about me rather than me rushing to think that a certain guy was sent by God. I think most girls we all get to that point where we think we have found the one and we will be quoting scripture and thanking God for someone God has not even open our eyes to.
There were also days I thought I was going to die alone because literally, no one was looking in my direction. I then began to pray for God’s will to be done, and as I was praying I questioned myself as to whether I knew His will or I was just guessing. What if God wanted me to be single for the rest of my life? I had to be ok with that because His will is better and far greater than my imagination. It was not easy coming to terms with that- I have always desired to be married and have children but I had to consider singleness as God’s will. I guess to answer me God then convicted me to write to my future husband. I do not take the wait lightly because to me, it is a way of honouring God first then my future husband. It is not easy because there are days I just sit and think- so this is it? My faith wobbles at times, I get scared at times and it is mostly because I will be looking at those around me and not God’s work in my life.
I came to realise that the wait (waiting to be found by your future husband (for the girls) or pursuing your future wife (for the guys)whilst walking in your purpose) is also not a ticket to condemn those who are not walking with you but to encourage and wait with them. However, most importantly it is to serve and honour God with your body, mind, soul and spirit. It is not easy either, in our generation of engagements and grand gestures of love, it kind of sucks being by yourself- but it is worth it. It will get hard, there will be temptations and people (family and friends) will think you are crazy, cursed or odd but if its God’s way it is the right way.
To all the people praying and waiting for their future spouses- please do not just wait but do something to improve yourself. Learn a new language, find a new hobby, travel (yes, on your own, no one will care), socialise, get to know yourself and live your life. Life does not start when you meet someone but it starts when you choose to live. Being single is not the end of the world or disease as I read somewhere- it is a season where you get to know yourself and build your relationship with God because there are no distractions. Just like any season, it passes and if God has called you to singleness-there is nothing wrong with that, Paul was single and he had an incredible relationship with God.
I believe I do not do this topic much justice, so I will link some videos which have really made me comfortable in this season and choose to learn and cling on to God’s word and promise. It is hard, yes but it is worth it. I will wait for my future husband because as much as I deserve the best, he deserves the best too.
P.S: This message does is for everyone who has been in a relationship or not.Those who are trying to renew their faith in relationships, new singles or those who have been single for a long time. It is for everyone who wants to do it God’s ways or considering it. It is hard but very possible.
The last one is a sequel of the second one to show that God is out there, looking out for us and we need to be hopeful and let Him work.
Egotist~a person who is excessively conceited or self-absorbed in themselves.
Decree~the official order that has the force of law.
Declare~ saying something in a solemn and emphatic manner.
Pride~feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements if one’s close associations.
Confidence~the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.
Growing up, having self-confidence or being bold enough to believe in yourself was taken as being full of yourself or egotistic. It was seen as being in over your head because well, you are not that important and you are just like everyone else. Which to some extent is true but I always believed we are great in our own way-I still do. This self-love journey I am on (still en route) has taught me that self-confidence is important. I have had low self-esteem issues in many areas in my life and at times it was intentional. I have never liked being the centre of attention, so at times I would intentionally dial myself down to try and fit in with everyone else. I know, it’s sad but true.
I would not yield to my full potential because I would try and make those around me feel better about themselves or not feel bad about not doing very well. I realise I was actually setting myself back and damaging them in the process. The first I thought it was the noblest thing to do then, but now that I know a little better, I would have done my best and not limit myself. I would have done my very best, push myself and help those around me. That would have been the best option because we would have challenged each other and grew from that. We would fail, yes, but we would have been confident together.
I was binge watching this other day and I came across a video by Simon Sinek (one of my favourite speakers, oh my gosh!) and he was talking about how Mohammed Ali would always say, “I AM THE GREATEST”.He said it in a way I never imagined and it stuck with me. He said, when Ali was saying (decreeing and declaring -for the saints)that he was the greatest, he was simply talking himself into believing it first. And when he started to believe it not think it, the whole world began to believe with him. It is amazing how this self-affirmation (self-confidence) made him the greatest, all because he believed it and worked towards it(mind over matter). He loved himself enough to believe he was the greatest-just as how you should believe in yourself first before anyone talks you down and defines you.
I understand to other people, it may seem as if I am encouraging pride or forming an egotistic army. Not at all, God wants us to be confident in ourselves and most importantly in Him. The Bible encourages us to be confident because if we are not, we are easily shaken and end up following and falling for everything that comes our way. As Christians, self-confidence is super important-Paul emphasises on it:
2 Timothy 1:7- For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Hebrews 10:35 v36- Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.For you have the need for endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what He promised.
Hebrews 13:6- So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
This post is for anyone who feels they are not good enough or have been told so I understand, I have been there and will be told so in future. Let us start by believing in ourselves and most importantly God-be it a business plan, career choice, parenting, marriage whichever you are facing be confident and pray. Confidence and pride are completely different, God loves confidence but detests pride. Confidence involves Him but pride replaces Him.
Each day, take a moment to look at yourself and decree and declare that:
I am blessed
I am loved
I am victorious
I am beautiful/handsome
I am the glorious
I am powerful
I am saved
Add more to the list and talk yourself up. Do not wait for anyone to do it for you because no-one might ever say it to you. Believe it and the world will believe it with you.
I will post a couple of videos that have helped me and I hope they help you too. Please remember that you are important, loved, special and beautiful- not in everyone’s eyes (not that it matters) but in God’s heart. THAT MUCH I BELIEVE.
P.S: The last video is a bit focusing on Quarter Life Crisis but I believe it fits here too.
This is my own personal experience, it does not apply to everyone but if it helps that will be pretty awesome.
I started praying for my future husband when I was 17 years old. Then I was oblivious as to what it really meant to pray for your husband as I only focused on the physical attributes~tall, nice smile and “buffy” body. I thought that was all it took, at that age, I never really thought that I had to pray for a Godly man. It never registered in my mind that, praying for my future husband’s spirit man, health and friendships.
It was until around the time I turned 20 years I began to intentionally pray for him but I had to heal from my past first. I thought healing from my past relationships would be as easy as deciding not to think about them and convince myself that I had forgiven my exes and I was fine. So I DECIDED I was cool, I would pray for a Godly man, patient, loving, leader, provider, understanding and all of that. I enjoyed praying for him and would ask God to protect him in the now and for him to know he was loved etc. Funny but not so funny thing about it is was, when I was praying God would convict me to pray for my exes. At first, I thought maybe I was just subconsciously reminiscing or the devil was tampering with my future(which he loves to do by the way) so I ignored it. However the more I ignored it, the more God convicted me to pray for them. He would randomly drop one of their names whilst I was praying. I began thinking maybe I was still clinging on to them or still had feelings for them but actually it was because I had not completely forgiven them.
It was after I acknowledged and admitted that I had not fully forgiven them and that I was broken, angry and hurt~I began to truly heal. Praying for them became easier and I prayed from the heart but I never contacted them. I learnt that when you forgive, you don’t necessarily need to keep in touch. It pushed me harder to pray for my future husband but this time around with purpose and passion. I began to see praying for my future husband as war-not against my exes or anyone physical but the devil. He is at work lying to us that love only hurts, stealing our joy and hope of courting God’s way and killing our faith by only presenting broken homes and unhealthy relationships to have us believe that love, happiness and commitment do not exist.
As I was going through that process, the Holy Spirit then convicted me to write letters to my future husband. I began to write every month (from June 2016, even though sometimes I forget or become too busy), each time I bare my soul and I write everything single thing about myself. In my mind writing him letters is helping him to understand me more but I am sure God has other reasons for me writing them. It’s crazy but sometimes I write to him when I miss him (I haven’t met him yet and I have no idea who or where he is) and I feel giddy (the good kind) thinking about him though I can never put a face to him.
I plan to give the letter to my HUSBAND (that means after the wedding) as part of his wedding present and I pray he might know and understand the reason why I listened to God and wrote them. God works in a mysterious way and at times we never understand why He makes us do things but in due time it will make sense.
Now, this is my own story on how I healed from my breakups, it was not easy but each time I wanted to ignore it(pain, brokenness, resentment etc) and forget, God would remind me how I prayed that He prunes me and make me more like Him. I understand we all have different healing methods but one thing I know is true healing comes with fully admitting you are broken. If you are going through a breakup or you are still mad at your ex-please pray and heal. Let go of all of the negativity and be hopeful that God heals and restores you. I chose to heal because I believe my future husband deserves the best as much as I do.
This time around I has a book which might help with courting God’s way by Myles Munroe (the one in the picture at the top). Its obviously after the HEALING PROCESSES..but I believe this book will open your mind to what builds a relationship- from friendship to marriage.
Thank you for reading..feel free to share your healing methods, they could help someone.