The years

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Wake up and wear lipstick
Find a purpose even if that’s the last thing you ever do

See the thing with age is that it creeps up on you
It slithers through the night and hits you in the face one morning as you look in the mirror

At that point it dawns that you used to wake up to a colorful mirror
Now you don’t even smile even when you apply lipstick
The same mirror that used to bask in red lipstick kisses and sticky notes
Now stands traumatized by the tears and frowns it has seen over the years
The same mirror that was blessed by songs of praise
Now yearns for the slightest hint of an utterance that says we still believe in a higher power

See the thing with age is that regardless of the experiences it brings along
It is still a treasured experience, a ticket to bragging rights
Age is an accumulation of emotions, a heap of feelings and a summary of all our choices
In the end we only regret the things we didn’t do
To be someone, be somewhere, feel something is a blessing
Find your space in the universe either way

 

 

Being her isn’t weakness

See… your view is flawed by prescriptions written by a bad doctor’s handwtitting who didnt bother to research about the Black Woman’s Body Mass Index

The labels you give her are not her identity
It doesnt make her a sex worker to sleep with multiple partners
It doesnt make her weak that she has embraced her sexuality
It doesnt make her a misfit either

See… your conviction is shadowed by your very own experiences, beliefs and values and you don’t bother to research about my own experiences and what makes me happy

The harsh words you say behind her back do not define who she is
It doesnt make her weak that you gossip about her
It only exposes who you are as you seek relevance in society that taught you to always be looking for endorsement that you are relevant

Time to look within dear society and let her live her life to the fullest

Lights out

This is not the home I used to know anymore
I do not know where my heart is anymore
Day by day my soul drifts further and further away from that which was an aspiration
Drawing closer and deeper into a void… longing to be lost

As I try to endure sunsets
the thought of seeing gloomy expressions crushes my spirit of optimism
And as I try to rest this weary and worn out vessel of mine
the thought of losing consciousness to creatures of the dark that manifest as nightmares bites a chunk of my existence every single day

I resort to political chitchat, a glimpse of global issues and the correct serving of the Queen’s tears
The body disintegrates as I long for a faster process to rid me of my misery

Legs folded… searching for my center, ears rotting away… seeking comfort in music
I long for silence, silence within because all the thinking and worrying cannot silence the hurt, anger and pain in this place i call home

I want to dance again, I want to share music, to read a novel with my lights on all night, and to work from the comfort of the couch through to midnight

I want to breathe clean air, to hear that voice angry and roaring with concern but assuring

Noone told me that adulting comes with a heap of disappointment,
It comes with wars your didn’t start and battles lost left right and center

Though I seek inner peace, I am quickly drifting into insanity
I cannot be someone’s hope
I am the middle child who want invisible but experienced the most in this home

Brcause my loving is true
I hold on to those few remaining shreds of a connection that was
But this is not the home I used to know.

#BOTY2019

I accepted a blogging challenge and I will be sharing my best memories, experiences and lessons of the year 2019 throughout the month of December…

1. Movie

If I was asked what the best movie I watched in 2019 was last week I would have straight up said Aquaman. Its exhilarating energy and thrill kept me awake in my previous trip from Harare to Nairobi and it boosted my interest to catch up with Warner Bros entertainment. Though it was released the previous year, it felt fresh and recent probably because people didn’t spoil or overglorify it like they did with most Animation thrillers. I appreciated the storyline, a step back into the legendary Trident of Atlan and most importantly I loved the insane visual imagination and action.

Though the Aquaman story is easy to comprehend and a pleasantly relatable tale of a happily ever after, the movie that really got my attention to an extent that I even tweeted about it was titled “Us”. I still get goosebumps and shivers all over just thinking about it. I am definitely not watching it for the 2nd time but it is my best of the year 2019 #BOTY2019.

Its a horror movie, a tale that literally translated the saying that goes, “you are your worst enermy.” In this movie family of 4 found themselves fighting and running away from themselves. They were their worst enemies in deeds and beliefs. To their horror everyone else in town was also dealing with sets of people who looked and acted like their mirror images. The tale began at young age for the lead character but grew to haunt everyone in future. The scary part is that the part of herself that she shut out at infancy might be her authentic self.

This movie got me reflecting on who I really am and if the problems that I am going through today are a result of the authentic me that has been shut out for most of my life? Could the interventions I need be stepping into my childhood to discover where it all went wrong? What if my demons have a life of their own and a genuine reason to be haunting me? I guess like the ending of the movie… we will never know and life goes on.

2. TV Show Season

There are no two ways about this one my best TV show season this year was Game of Thrones the season finale. After binge watching season 1-3 and following 4-7 in time, waiting for season 8 was the most emotionally draining thing I ever had to do. Well maybe not ever, but yeah, it was quite a dramatic wait. When winter finally came my Mondays were never the same, we actually organized watch parties at work and went through the emotions together.

GOT season 8 was a win to me on so many levels when it comes to harnessing feminine power. Arya slaying the Night King marked a happily ever after and recognition of all the struggles that she has been through over the years. She was not a young girl anymore but she was still a strong and fearless Stark and people need not forget that. As she remained a vigilant warrior she asserted her femininity and sexual liberty, a scene that sent shivers across most of the male members of our watch party. This is a true reflection of our society, we don’t want women to have it all and i think it is time to feel a little bit guilty about that.

While everyone is complaining about the ending, it was perfect for me. Like everyone else I had grown in love with Jon Snow and I was rooting for him up until it was discovered that he is the rightful heir to the iron throne because of he is a male Targaryan. Daenerys Targaryan had reared dragons and fought fiercely and vigilantly for the iron throne. When it was time to sit on it she was suddenly female.

Women go through hell and back for the many struggles that we face collectively as communities. But when its time to sit on the table and get your slice of the cake the rules suddenly apply.

3. Book

This part of the challenge was supposed to be divided into two parts. One part talking about the best fictional book and the other the best nonfictional book. However, I have an unfortunate book that I read and finished at Addis Ababa Airport on transit this December that fits both categories. The other unfortunate part about the book is that I was supposed to read it in August but it spent months gaining dust on my shelf as I read other interesting ones. This book makes it to my #BOTY2019 list because it is the best book I read in 2019 that stirred hatred and anger in me when in fact it is supposed to have assisted me in choosing my path to healing.

This book’s title is Journeys to Healing, written by my former lecturer Geof’s wife Jane Fisher in collaboration with Elie Westerman. In the “Journeys of Healing,” the authors highlight a true story of a community called Chikukwa in  the south-eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. The book is guided by the 3 circles of knowledge which are indigenous knowledge, spiritual knowledge and analytical knowledge and it highlights steps taken by a community towards healing. It is a detailed, comprehensive and practical guide to understanding approaches to healing especially for trainers.

 

 

 

Adversity from the belly

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A series of misfortune

Each season with its own series of battles

Each episode with its serving of turmoil and suffering

Each defeat with shreds of hope that never saw the break of dawn

Still we had dreams of a happily ever after

A fairytale that never saw the light of day for this and other generations

 

See when we tell our realities to our children for them to pass on as stories to their children

We tell positive stories, stories of hope stories with lessons that give rise to a new and better people

We tell stories of how the decline of a kingdom led to the birth of another and how a people evolved to what they are now to have the surnames they have now

We tell stories of traditions built through a lineage that created a legacy of victory in their own right

 

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We do not tell the story of how a hound ate his own pack, crushed the bones and laid down the skins in a fluff mattress and enjoyed the rest of his life

We do not tell the stories of how the starving lioness tried unsuccessfully to build a legacy that was destroyed like an anthill in a child’s playground

We do not tell the story of the cubs who with big dreams spent a lifetime hoping for a meal that never come though they hunted from a tender age

We tell stories with a destination stories from rags to riches not stories where zero is the only number reachable to work with

This story could start and end somewhere if it were not for a series of misfortune

Curses planted before birth; misfortune written in the stars

Still to ask what the worst thing that ever was is…

 

Experiences, Memories and Lessons (Season 2 finale)

Get over your addictions

At some point the creative outlet ceases to be theraupetic, it ceases to matter, it ceases to be worthwhile or to rekindle happiness. This is the point when you think you are busy without realizing the pit that you are falling into…

This morning I had a moment of introspection and I realized that I do not always give thanks for all the good things in life, like any other “normal” being. The person I really wanted to give thanks to at this moment of introspection was Thembie Zulu, I still don’t know how to though. Down and defeated, recovering from 2 serious addictions, she took me in. She knew nothing about my addictions but constantly asked if I was happy and if she was happy, she would tell me. I sometimes say “ngahlupheka” when I relocated to Harare but in real fact it was my own addictions that I was trying to get rid of that were the source of my pain. I would listen to depressing music, sleep a lot, take emotional runs and complain often. Thembie was equally trying to locate her niche in life. We didn’t do it together eventually, but we did it.

Most of the times it is really not about the person that you are, but its about the person that you want to be. It sometimes is not just about the climb, but knowing the destination makes the climb worth while. At times you know fully what is blocking your progress among other things but paying attention to that particular item is very painful. At times you also are not entirely certain of the person you want to be but it all adds up when you take time off to introspect.

The last episode of Experiences, Memories and Lessons spoke strongly to reinventing the self and persevering, all within a tense setting that gave a false sense of being busy that accumulated to an eventual burnout. This diary then got populated with poetry both fictional and real as a way of venting out. Things have been down and up but through it all I appreciated a reason to look forward to tomorrow. There is a track that my besty Sithabiso once shared with me the message was broad but the line that caught my eye said, “I hope you still feel small when you stand besides the Ocean” and when I stood besides the Ocean in Accraa, Ghana I really did feel a reason to look forward to tomorrow.

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I have since had experiences that are photo perfect moments, experiences that bring life to my career, my personality and my community. In Ghana I identified as a youth for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I had always stood for development but putting a pin on that niche made sense, airing out Southern Africa’s needs as they are from the people I had interacted with and people I first explained to what SDGs are was joy. The purpose was big and I felt small just as I felt small standing by the ocean at Labadi. Something about the SDGs summit revived in me the need to recenter my attention and focus on that which promotes sustainable growth in me. I had an interesting encounter with Boitumelo who works for the South African gender commission, she was a heap of encouragement and a load of fun. We actually exhausted ourselves eating good food and riding horses at the beach. But one thing that stuck in my interaction with her is how she views the word. We had a conversation about her previous experiences that made her embrace seemingly odd choices that people make. Some obsessions bring in a peace of mind and if they are socially acceptable they are even easier to embrace.

I interacted with the sea again in Grahamstown at the Highway Media Conference, however at this instance I stood by the sea facing some of my most harmful addictions. Without dwelling much into them, my poor planning had me enjoying one hour long conversations with strangers on a breathtaking drive from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown daily, twice a day. I go to meet a lecturer at Rhodes University who was passionate about social work and a young immigrant from my hometown who had established a career and a life there. The interesting this about the conversations was the passion and satisfaction in what the young people were doing with their time. The Highway Media Conference itself was enjoyable as I continued to explore another dimension of the media that infuse innovation and consciousness.

Through it all there were always new ways, and new strategies to be learnt. All these learnt within the different roles that I was juggling. Hunger for the best, for justice, for progress kept brewing though at some point I discovered that habit has been keeping me away from quenching that thirst. Towards the end of last year I had not achieved much to write home about but had taken the first steps towards two most pressing challenges that I had set out to achieve; my driver’s licence and masters degree. At this point currently I have successfully sailed through the 1st year of my Masters in Applied Conflict Transformation and flunked my Road Test for the driver’s licence. It has been and still is roller-coaster of emotions.

Before fast forwarding to the current state of affairs, the year 2019 was filled with a lot of uncertainty about my immediate and next steps. I remember having to attend the National Youth Indaba at Harare earlier in the year, an event that left me thinking about what I am doing in the youth movement. When Zimbabwean politics took a shift from Mugabe to Mnanagwa I was one of the very negative individuals who had no idea why people were excited. I actually remember being amazed by fellow young leaders who confessed to have faith in the idea that things will change and spaces will open up. When I was engaged frequently by the Bulawayo Chapter of the Ministry of Youth I really started warming up to the new minister and being invited to interact with her at the Indaba I was eager to be part of the process. Then my thematic area on Governance and Politics was automatically scrapped off from the program completely. If not to talk about the power that youth can yield I wondered about the purpose of the engagement. Just like most people marched to give legitimacy to a military state I rubber stamped a bogus event by attending it. I dares to hope and hope took me a few steps back emotionally. At times we do not get comfortable by being addicted to stuff we are addicted to but in actual fact they might be our most real narrative because the same old dreams do not come true.

Nonetheless, there are always those positive moments that give you a nudge at the back. They do not come more often but when they do they motivate. One of those nudges was the Pan African Youth Conference held in Addis Ababa that came shortly after a meeting on South-South Cooperation with progressive comrades in Kenya. It was those typical encounters that make you feel like you will change the world the minute you get back home. At that point I was prepared to get over my addictions and start on a clean slate. Little did I know that fate had something else in store for me.

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Just when I thought I had a good thing going at Youth for Innovation Trust and other spheres of my professional life, my personal and family life had something different in store for me. The negative energy following me cold be felt miles away. Just soon after flunking my road test I could not file my visa application for a fully funded and paid for trip to Sweden. At that point my pillar of strength, my mother, fell sick and passed on. Just a week later my car was involved in an accident and became a write off. Exactly a month later Durban University of Technology unenrolled my whole class from the Masters Degree program. Without delving into the nitty gritties I am a mess. I have gone back to working my ass off and drinking to shut out any feeling or reaction to my current life situation. Traveling helps, it gives me the ability to cover a few gaps and forge a way forward.

In the few months later I have been to SA at Sunnyside Hotel and to Harare several times on YIT business. I have received a few other invitations that massage my ego though I could not honor them i.e. to speak about the land issue from a youthful perspective in South Africa as well. Locally I have also made great strides presenting and moderating several platforms including the New Media Summit for the 2nd year in a row and continuing to work closely with friends in local initiatives. As I write I m at the airport on my way to Mombasa to stand by the sea again at the Africa Crossroads. Compressing this post was very difficult because I had a lot of emotional stuff to pour out.

And so I am guessing maybe we do not need to get over our addictions for they comfort us. or because they are the only real thin that we have.

 

 

Leading from the South

The bones in shallow graves, dry but loud,
The tummies of future leaders silent in their growls,
Dreams vividly staring at the cracks of hope in the barren land that yearns for ululation from the dry lips of the strong hearted heroines.

With blood shot eyes and alcohol infested blood cells,
She sits with the esteemed, dines and shares wine with moguls,
With a vision unforeseen and a story untold,
The sweat on her forehead reveals the mystery of a challenge accepted,
A quest to lead from the South.

As they dine they talk about her backyard, her home, daily bread and call it a project,
They place their business plans on the table and call them her targets for development,
They call her family, friends and loved ones key populations,
They overlook the value of the times of suffering that humanity has endured,
And set timelines for fiction stories they have created with their warmongers,
And they call them our vision.

She roars and retreats to her humble quarters,
As they march back to their hot showers with clean water,
She serves with conviction and due diligence,
Hoping that the little crumbs thrown at her will spark the drops of rain that triggers ululation,
And at night she finds comfort in believing in the greatness of that which is yet to blossom,
After all,
She is leading from the South.