Where evil grows

4c07b81016a16e7b200c9592e18e612c

As life continues to happen, I want to know even more about the woman in the mirror, I engage more with her for that which is unknown
I search within my head for the voice that was in Noah’s head that made him build a boat and fill it with animals 2 by 2
But all I find is a voice of reason and wisdom, a voice that tells me that I am slowly but surely slithering into a narcissistic dark hole
The voice is not comforting anymore, its straight up and rudely anchoring reality of dreams dying. Evil grows where the sun never shines.

Then comes that one moment of relapse, a glimpse of the past in a glass of wine, that reminder of all that has gone wrong,
That moment which whispers to my anxious sub-conscience that I never healed, I just disregarded my triggers,
I take comfort in knowing that that which we collectively suffer from has its fair share of the blame in this mess,
but nothing shatters me even more than knowingly and quietly following that dark hole in front of me that was planted in me by by trying and failing.

The same spirit that plants hope, that plants a ray of sunshine on top of a raw wound is the same spirit that knows pretty well that that wound will never heal,
but will grow to consume every last inch of my reason for existence.
Never wishing to see the day end but still taking a sigh of relief as I see the sun set.
Woke or otherwise, its scary to hold on when its time to throw it all away.

With love, Qhawekazi

Adios #DAY22 WINTERABC2020

June 2020 officially marks the first month I have ever posted 22 blog posts. It has been an emotional journey for me that might not be reflected in the content that I have posted. At some point I cried and shut down my laptop, another time I had to close my laptop to meditate, but most of the time I had a grin on my face. Writing as I reflect on life has been a great therapy for me and after this winter I am ready to try again. Though I would love this to be an “I thank me” post, I cant help it but appreciate the team behind the 2020 WinterABCs. It is really a necessary platform that will go down in history as a platform that gave many a voice. The twitter family has been amazing #AfroBloggers and those who read, liked and commented on posts are extra special, they rekindled the fighting spirit. As we wrap up this challenge, I am determined to keep my blog as active and continue sharing love and light. Adios.

We are now returning to normal programming 🙂 

Bringing “The Years” back

winterabc2020 (5)

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

 

 

Youth Solidarity Power

Choose 5 songs and tell us why they are special to you (1)

I have quite a number of international and local life changing events that I have attended, but today I am going to share about an event that determined how I spent 2 years of my life. In the month of June in the year 2017, I was elected to be the National Coordinator of Activista Zimbabwe. Activista Zimbabwe is a youth movement whose purpose is to fight poverty and inequality as a flagship of Action Aid. So on that beautiful day, more than a hundred renowned youth activists from all the 10 provinces of the country gathered to elect the movement’s leadership and I emerged a victor. I am not going to dwell much on that day but I will share how it changed my life through this speech that I wrote as I left the office of National Coordinator.

#YOUTHSOLIDARITYPOWER

Revolutionary greetings to the brave and courageous children of the soil who have taken a stand to fight against poverty and inequality at a time when youth empowerment is the buzzword and there is a lot of lip service about the youth bulge without concrete action. We live in times where young people are young people are seen as customers by economists, they are seen as a nuisance by society, they are seen as potential threats by politicians and the civil society merely regards them as beneficiaries of their programs.

Our mentors, leaders, teachers and managers; in pursuit of their own life goals, forget that young people have a breadth of their own. They forget that young people are human beings with hopes and dreams and a quest for not only better and brighter days but fulfilling lives as well. With the tokenism pursuit of participation, they forget that we cannot always build the future for young people but we need to build young people today for the future. Instead of all the negative connotations that make young people look like they have no purpose, we can look at young people as boarderless resources, as agents of change who have challenges that come with opportunities for investment in humanity itself.

But now cadres and leaders, the time is ripe for us to strategically position ourselves. The time is ripe for us to make decisions that will change the course of our country. The time is ripe to invest in ourselves as young people. Before us came daring revolutionaries who set the course for us through sweat, tears and even blood. As we follow in some of their footsteps we should appreciate their efforts in living and working in peace with each other and our environment. Solidarity can never be over emphasized. I believe that it is our last resort, our last train to freedom and our last effort at freeing our consciousness. We coined the Activista Zimbabwe Slogan #YouthSolidarityPower in our inaugural conference in 2017 after realizing that young people are not idle but they are doing their level best to rise above limitations in their different spaces across our motherland; yet the missing link all along has been solidarity.

And through #YouthSolidarityPower cadres and friends allow me to appreciate the leaders who walked a two year journey with me and the inaugural Activista Coordinating Committee. These leaders proved that indeed the missing link was solidarity and young people hold the country in their hands. From the Eastern Higlands of Zimbabwe I appreciate Happymore Chibvura, a leader who taught me to be calm in any storm. Through him, Activista Manicaland led a successful start in the fight against corruption through the Watchdog, an initiative that I hope to see grow beyond the seeds he planted. I also appreciate the resilient and energetic advocate for environmental rights, Emmanuel Manyati, who led the Mashonaland East Activista in realizing the value of black granite and how much young people are losing out from it by not being part of the mining value chain actively.

In the same vein of protecting the environment, Ndlelende Ncube, while coordinating Matabeleland North Activista, was passionate about how we relate with wildlife. Through his leadership, youth in Lupane started important conversations about Urban-Rural exchange as a starting point in creating solidarity in Zimbabwe. Gender is obviously an issue that needs great attention as well. There are two great young leaders who championed gender issues wholeheartedly during my tenure and them being feminist they will always make their efforts a little extra special. Moreblessings the Activista Masvingo coordinator did amazing work around child marriages and Buhlebenkosi Mhlanga the Activista Bulawayo leader worked on menstrual hygiene with great care.

Two other great leaders championed issues around service provision with great ease and these are Abel Sibanda (Mashonaland Central) and Tendai (Mashonaland West). I remember the famous protest when Mash West cdes planted banana trees on potholes in Kadoma. Some of the youngest and yet most active Activists that I met in my tenure were from the Midlands Activista and they championed political pluralism with great enthusiasm under the capable leadership of Nkosilathi Moyo the Human Rights defender. Still taking about being active for a difficult cause, Mat South Activistas worked on Sex Workers’ Rights under Norman Mudadisi’s leadership. Lastly, Activista Harare was a bunch of energy and dreams under the leadership of Sheryl Chigwedere. What stood out for me from Activista Harare was their engagement around the International Day of Volunteerism.

In absentia, I appreciate and respect my outgoing Secretary General, His Worship, the Mayor of Chitungwidza, Cde Lovemore Maiko. I also appreciate and respect in absentia my outgoing Public Relations Point the current Deputy President of the Southern Africa Students Union, Alistar Bantu Pfunye. During my tenure, Maiko always reminded me to take things seriously and panic if there is need. Bantu was the extreme opposite, I remember him pulling me aside to get a beer to calm down in Nyanga after we experienced an unfortunate encounter with a suppressive system. With these two by my side we made a formidable force.

These leaders constantly and quietly reminded me that it is present day volunteers that are actually making change in the world. It is those who work without pay, who will actually leave behind footprints worth noting. It is through the above mentioned leaders that I learnt that we making a difference in the world is important regardless of its magnitude and we need to not tire in participating effectively. The question that then remains is;

“How do we want to participate in our own processes beyond the speeches, the expected outcomes and the activity reports on paper?”

The main discussion young people in Zimbabwe need to have right now is on how we can increase our participation in national processes beyond being mobilized. How do we create spaces, infiltrate spaces, and further influence spaces that will allocate resources to our lives today and to our future as well. Above all, are our meetings and engagements feeding into the African Governance Architecture, the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development goals due in 2030. As Africa the continent, young people are the missing link to moving beyond structures protocols and paperwork. We are the most efficient disrupters of suffering and pain beyond our misharps and shortfalls.

The dialogues that we have need to be backed not just by action but by evidence as well. So I am challenging the secretaries of the movement to maintain an accurate record of the revolution. Most interestingly, the revolution will be tweeted and captured in 360 Degrees HD Resolution. So I challenge the Public Relations officers of the movement to work with due diligence. I am looking forward to seeing the incoming coordinators leaving footprints that will put to shame the current world order through inclusive actions that do not leave behind people because of their gender, tribe, sexuality or region. I am looking forward to seeing more informed organizing that will put to shame the current ideological flaws that condone corruption and abuse of power. I am looking forward to coordination that will celebrate diversity, appreciate genuineness and pave way to the respect of voluntary efforts. It will mean being unpopular, turning down gifts, refusing favors and being called names. But all in all, standing for that which is right for us today and in the future.

Over the years, I have learnt that if you are entrusted with a position of power, allow yourself to dream a little even if the environment is rigid.

Those who plant a tree might not sit under its shade but in the words of Martin Luther Jr we should remain vigilant and plant our tree even if the world ends tomorrow. The struggle continues. #AlutaContinua #Solidarity

Songs of Freedom

              Choose 5 songs and tell us why they are special to you

I am grateful that I was born in a world with music. Music to me is an escape route whenever I am faced with difficult stuff to deal with. It is my biggest motivator and source of strength for the work that I do. Most importantly it makes me feel good. Here are 5 songs that are special to me and why;

Chioniso Maraire – Iwai Nesu

Reminded of all the pain and suffering in this world, this song is a cry to a higher power for mercy. We go through a lot everyday and lose hope everytime we see those who have more to spare turning a blind eye on those that are suffering. Instead of growing a concrete heart we need to look within to a higher power that is in us and realize that we are all still humans. 

Beyonce – I was here

It is difficult to continue to be good to people who do not appreciate the good that you you. It is even more difficult to find conviction that your efforts matter in a world where people always want more. But there is some satisfaction in knowing that I gave my all and did my best. I was here by Beyonce keeps me going. 

Lira – Soul in Mind

“I am a child born of love, so let love remain in my heart and my mind. A longing and pounding my heart has led me to want so much more out of life, it has led me to forgive every hurt and let go of the past and allow myself to heal every pain. My soul is alright with me.” This is a prayer for my soul and mind so that I can feel how it feels to be me, and a very special song to me. 

Bob Marley – Redemption Song

If at any point you hear me playing this song and you are part of a system that excludes people, you better run. I have let go of relationships that would have materialized because the other person chose to pardon suppressive systems. This song lights a fire in me that I have failed to switch off even if I try.  It reminds me that none but ourselves can free our minds and urges me to fight for that which is right. 

Hugh Masekela – Send me

So all my life I have always longed to be someone who lends a hand. I remember my mother asking me at some point if she will ever get the school fees she spent on me back because I keep helping people for free. Unfortunately, she wont get her money back now… God rest her soul. But I am pretty sure her soul rests easy knowing that she left the world a helper. My work is very closely linked with my life experiences and the kind of person that I want to be when everyone else is not looking. When I share what I have learnt over the years, it is not because I am doing anyone a favor, soothing my ego, or doing my mother’s efforts injustice. I just want to lend a hand. That is why this song is special to me.