That woman

We walked together as best as different species could

I envied the occasional monkey swinging by and never alone

We were raised to compete not support

Such is the silent curse that whispers most females into formation

With that I forgive every sexist female I’m yet to encounter

I am​ willing to give you a second chance

Love demands more than hatred

And I cannot shy away from a challenge

So with every waking moment I challenge myself to be inspired and not jealous

To judge less and ask more

To listen more and speak honestly

It’s more enticing to encourage than break down

Stripped off a countless times I go into the waters to cleanse not just myself but our mindset

Be that woman who just wants to bring out the best in people

Going about Africa Day

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25 May is Africa day. In most African it is an actual public holiday as it should be in all African countries. It marks or rather celebrates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity which lay the foundation of the now African Union.

Back in high school, the importance of Africa day were emphasized year after year without fail and honestly most of us did not appreciate it nearly enough. I do not think you can ever appreciate routine until you start freelancing in the enormous adult world where you can actually forget your birthday, later on Africa day.

I am however grateful for forgetting Africa day a few times because it has made me sit down with my African self and carefully prioritize events I ought to celebrate and their meaning. I did some reading and honestly the magnitude of the forming of the OAU is downplayed a bit, because you have to understand the continent then, not all countries were free from colonial rule in 1963. And yet brave wise men and women saw the need to unite Africa, the free to assist those facing their former struggles, that is Pan African ideology at its best.

So what to do on Africa Day? I would advise you do the most African thing you can do, be yourself and celebrate this beautiful continent, that is if you aren’t like me who does it a little by the day. Better yet, some take this as an opportunity to highlight our current problems, which is commendable.

This year’s Africa Day theme is ‘harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth’. It may sound like a mouthful or political jargon but if you break it down further it is a solution to many of the problems my beautiful continent is facing. Fact is human resource is one of the best assets Africa has, propaganda usually paints it as over population, but a optimistic Demographer in the making as myself would say it is an untapped resource. If the youth are invested in primarily by educating them, providing jobs or the creative space to allow them to take Africa to the next level, whilst making the most of the bulge the youthful population might create.

Happy Africa day, whether you are dancing the day away, or reading up on your fellow brothers and sisters across the continent( I am reading Reality Bites by G.Esplund, J.Strudsholm, E. Miller) or taking the opportunity to highlight ways to take Africa ahead, have fun and thank you for recognizing the importance of this day.

Moon lit

slow dancing under moonlight

It is within inadequacy we find our greatest adversary

And no one knows the enemy more intimately than I

For I lay with it and wake with it

I dance with it and contemplate with it

Regardless of how many times I nurse it to sleep

No one has caused so much of a ruckus as the love I have for you

Your damage resonates beyond my  sound proof walls

I had it in check, surviving was enough

Am I now building false memories from the future

You have not done anything more than become what I need

Or have I evolved around your genetic markers so I can be happier

Complacent: thoughts that infect my mind

I do not think you could ever comprehend how much this all frightens me

it undresses my confidence, cemented in protective layers of self love

So my greatest fear among the few

Is that perhaps you will not adequately clothe my insecurities

Because like a babe I come before you

Warm fire you echo endlessly

Lover, will you not feed off my self-consciousness

Even my third eye hazes in your direction

I walked into this turmoil independently, knowingly

And there is no storm I would rather embrace

I am drawn in by how your frequency

Feeds my soul.

 

Pan African Christian (pt 2)

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In my previous post I started out with a reflection on how I had recently gone for a Christian camp, and never really linked it to my questions on pan-africanism (if there ever was a word) and its relation to Christianity, well in my view.  The camp made me reflect on how far I have come as a young African female.

I started out predominantly a feminist, tomboy that I  am, being raised by a single educated, working mother fortified these  beliefs, especially in the face of close family who still do not believe in educating the girl child, But as the years went on and the most common form of feminism just then became violent abuse of the term and men feared us more as a liability as opposed to the fundamental belief that our founding mothers just wanted equality, I mean ratchet females who have abused this have made me distance myself a bit. By this I mean I am for equality of both sexes, because I am also aware that there are women who feed off these sympathies to find lazy ways to the lifestyles they want. A true feminist fights for equal opportunities to work for her dreams.

I stopped using my first name, not because it is not in my native language but with its every utterance it reminded me of the girl i had killed off when I became my own revolutionist in my own small world. It was a name given with much love and I will always appreciate that but when you are disillusioned in as much an intimate way as I have, from my understanding of my own colonial history to just how rigged the life game really is, you want nothing to do with the ignorant person you once were. Not just that but also the painful period of shedding the skin off your eyelids so you are forever seeing regardless of state of slumber or rest and the helplessness that comes with trying by all means not to be black tax to your older siblings and to as painlessly as possible emancipate yourself from the understanding of your mother who as much as who she is why you are so strong, it is also what you want to evolve from. With all that in mind, I chose another of my given name and people judge my decision in that it is disrespectful but I say it is my personal activism, and I have been blessed by some elders who respect the chain of activism.

With that I want to then bring up unfinished activism. I believe even Christianity was some of activism back when it started and as such over the years though not as much as we should have, it should be a movement of love, love shown to us by the saving Grace Jesus gave us by dying for us. So in that can we not find love for the queer, for the other beliefs and for the African who for centuries has been a minority in his homeland. I believe that following such a line of thought one can find themselves where I am, proudly a christian who believes that as Africans we need to love ourselves enough to know that as a continent we are more than enough to solve our problems, that by being proud of our diverse cultures we all come back to the spirit of Ubuntu which unites our struggles and should help us inspire each other. So comes some form answer to questions I raised in my previous post.

Like Angela Davis  explained how the legacies of the past are not static, but are there to help young activists to develop new strategies and give rise to new activism to help realize dreams that have not yet been fulfilled. I go about my day to day life finding new ways of activism that will get not just me but my continent to where we can be. So I will not apologize for not being the same African female I was when I initially emancipated myself.

 

 

Pan African Christian

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I recently went for a Christian camp get away over the Easter break, it was my first break in a while and I decided to do something I have never done, that is, go for a Christian Camp. Funny I should say that because I was born into Christianity but never had enough conviction to follow through camp plans. I always wanted to and my parents supported me just as much as when I decided it might not be for the best. It was a different reason every time, but it all came down to me becoming an adult and never have gone for one church camp. I never felt as though I was any less a Christian so, what the heck.

Still on that ‘Be Inquisitive’ tip, one question has been continuously on my mind, more like an earworm of a societal tune that I got hooked on, but the funny thing is the lyrics were by yours truly. Does Christianity support Pan Africanism. To those new to Pan Africanism, it can be defined as the idea that people of African descent have common interests and should be unified. This is the most vague way I can put it because I believe everyone has their own take on Pan Africanism and infuse it in their daily lives differently. Some incorporate their traditional wear with their work clothes and so forth. Before I go into different ways to work towards our ‘unification’ , I wanted the question “Does Christianity support Pan Africanism?” to be answered first.

Whilst analysing the question I realised that first and foremost I was trying to put pan-Africanism into my Christian beliefs, so came the first fundamental question came to light, was  I to first identify myself as a Christian or as a pan Africanist? Or should it be rightfully the other way around. Well my search began to get me going round and round and well I am no closer to finding the answer but there is one thing that did come out time and time again: Love your neighbour as you love yourself. Love is I believe a fundamental concept to being a Christian. With that vague translation of my take on Christianity, I leave you, my awesome readers with this question: How might the command to love your neighbour as you love yourself  include the need to work for change when that change could indeed make life better and fairer for your neighbour, that is keeping in mind that Pan Africanism is considered a movement for black empowerment.

Dear 19 year old rebel

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Feels like I am back full circle

But do not want to believe that this is it

Blog 3 years old, body 21 but my soul old as ever trying to remember days before the reincarnation

You hustling and working, energised to change the world, keep at it

I come from the other side, the chewed up  hippie

Met a few homies who said my rants won’t save the world

So as the walls come crushing down, I am willing to face them

I have not completely given up on humanity or us

I just want it all to make sense

We still not published though

because the more I read the more I feel I have nothing worthy to say

When we started this, we wanted less kids to slit their wrists

And less beautiful dark skinned individuals to bleach their skin

All I am now is full of phobias and pity because there is a story behind that dysfunction

Feels like by the time they read my blog, if they ever

It’s too late

But regardless, will keep sending my version of Morse code

No manual needed, your heart does the interpretation

Taking a gap year was not a waste of time, I still look back at you

Winking at how awesome you were at being ignorant

In a rush to unlearn all I have

First would be letting go of the saddest love I have ever known

It has me trapped in a cage of endless possibilities

But no concrete evidence that what I believe is real, I think he is my truest testimony at having complete faith in a being

I remember how nervous I was today, three years ago

Now I cannot possibly give any less of a sh@!

Because everybody is going to find some fault

After 300 words of rambling what I am getting to is:

All our pain and suffering was not in vain

I do not have the end game with me now

Actually life took a detour and I am some how where I began

On better days I have a little cheer leader who smiles at me indiscriminately

On bad days I do not jump off because no one is there to mind her but me

And above all I want to protect her from all this for as long as I am allowed to

Her mum keeps reminding me how unhappy I am

She does not get that being alive is as joyous as some days come, because yes a human being can sink that low

All in all I want you and me to make sense, to add up

Friends have shuffled, family keeps dwindling and I do  not know where I am going with this

But I have come to fully surrender to a higher power beyond my full comprehension

That maybe having people touch us in places we never knew existed will never make sense

Or feeling a deep sense of melancholy that leaves you physically paralysed, well just happens

All I am saying to you I guess is I still do not have answers to  even half of what happened to you

But I have stopped living for you because is more rewarding than yesterday

I have become selfish like that

I just want to make enough money to go about living my life

And enough memories for the next life over

So I just walk in anywhere and everywhere identifying myself as an African

No relation.

I am making it up as I go, because everyday I feel like a better version

Gotta Upgrade, meaning moving on from who you thought I should be

With that in mind this is my last letter to you

 

 

 

 

How not to give up on your personal blog

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Having a personal blog is one of the most excruciating thing out there. Mainly because you have to constantly remind yourself that the blog is for you by you and well usually about you too. The tide gets rough when you do not get as much traffic as you expected or wanted, which is the state my blog is in, and you start questioning your writing skills, purpose and reality. You are constantly torn between sharing too much and not saying out right.

This is when you need a support system, family and or friends who were most probably present at the start, to remind you of your original goals, there is a high chance that the cruel reality of the internet will hit you hard and leave you in a state of confusion. Whilst dazed and confused from the back hand of how little an impact you might be making with your blog, the likelihood of you giving up increases and hence the need for a functioning support system. There are some people I am close to but I do not really talk about my blog with them, sometimes the blog is a separate entity, one I cannot fully explain or want to talk about. But the ones I do talk to about it often keep me posting my random weird thoughts that are clearly not everyone’s cup of tea.

Second piece of advice, have clear set goals as to what your blog should be about. I have to confess when it comes to this part I lack consistency mainly because I only write when I have a thought that is nagging my everyday existence. Unfortunately this does not happen as often as I would like and it does not come in one form. Sometimes it is poetry or its like today’s post. Whatever you do, do what you feel is good, might as well make a blog that one  thing in life you do how you want, that is if everything else is minutely controlled by unforeseeable circumstances.

Do not compare your personal blog to other blogs, you will think at first that it is good to check how others are doing it, before long you are caught in the trap of not measuring up to the next guy. Honestly it is like comparing personalities or D.N.A, two will never be the same, familiar but not exact. Three years on, I am proud of my blog, it is my baby and I have no hesitation telling whoever wants to hear about it. I started my blog as a therapeutic way of me dealing with the various issues I deal with, as well as provide some insight for those curious about how some of live on this side of the world. Curious enough most of my readers are not on the African continent. But most importantly I started my blog to help someone out there who thinks they are alone in a similar struggle I am in.

Lastly, do not be afraid to evolve, indulge the change you have become, you can only stay the same before even your reflection is bored of you. Still on the inquisitive tip : Have I evolved to be what I wanted to be or what I was meant to be? Happy Blogging and for my non-bloggers, happy evolving.

Racism’s half sister

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Photo Credit:Township Productions

Just when I thought Racism was the worst I could face with the fast approaching adulthood, I met her more sinister sister Colourism. According to the Oxford living dictionaries, Colourism can be defined as “Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group”.

I was completely oblivious to this concept until I started waitressing back in 2014 in Cape Town. The more I worked the more I met new people and concepts of socialising . One of my favorite hobbies became trying out new restaurants as far as public transport could take me because my older sister was having none of the babysitting my curiosity. Whenever it would be my black sisters and I exclusively, everything would take forever, well most times at least, first was getting anyone to help, then drinks by the time we want to order food, I was already missing my sister’s home cooked meals. I did not notice how much of a breeze eating out was when I went out with my white and coloured friends (This particular friend does not mind being called coloured). It took months before the statistician in me noticed the discrepancies . I started asking around work if it happened to my black workmates too, they were all in the loop. So relaxed was their acknowledgement of the existence of Colourism in the service industry. Some of them went the extra mile explaining how they were selective about the service they gave solely  on the  fact that black people do not tip. Not even most,  just that all of us do not tip, as well as rude and difficult customers. Well in their defense there is an African proverb that says that there is no smoke without fire, so if you tend to be difficult for no reason, for the sake of the rest of the black community, please stop being a little restaurant princess/prince.

This is an existing form of Colourism, which I am sure makes our fallen liberation heroes toss and turn in their graves. What is it with us black people, well the ones on this side of the continent( mind you I am not very well traveled), I mean like we do not have enough problems as it is. There is poverty, gender based violence, pollution and many more other struggles we have to address, but now Colourism. It makes it more difficult to address Racism if we cannot even treat light and dark skin melanin equally. I think Colourism infuriates me more than Racism does because you are being discriminated against by the people in the same boat, brethren in the struggle for social equality.

Fast forward to 2017, I have a bag load of instances where I have had to prefer another skin colour assist me, enough for me to shy away from eating out much, I am sticking to takeaways  and  home cooked food. Yes I admit not the best solution but well at work I put extra effort in being equally pleasant to everyone regardless of skin tone. I use a first come first served approach to avoid as much bias as possible, it is my way of restoring people’s faith in the ‘blackind’ service. Before you get the wrong impression I am advocating for equality, not special treatment because of a shared skin tone. Skin colour does not guarantee a cut above the rest, smile to all and wait to read the character, you will be doing the world a huge favor.

Still on the inquisitive tip, my question to you my beloved (I love you all regardless of skin colour)is what are you doing towards to ending the reign of the two evil sisters(or brothers) Racism and/or Colourism. Not just long term, I mean everyday habits can help end their long tyrannic rule over your mindset. From one awesome waitress/student in Windhoek Namibia, enjoy the week ahead.

Fish in a tree

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I guess if you really are determined you can definitely be that one outstanding fish in a tree, but at what cost? I am sure you have heard of the quote” Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I believe this is evidence of how deep rooted some societal issues really are. I do not know about your school but where I attended high school you could get away with virtually anything as long as your report card was impressive. I believe this is where most of life’s problems begin.I mean it is bad enough you are an average student( if you are lucky), and your guardian(s) chews you out about the potential you are not expanding,but from a young age they have already shown you how things will never swing your way because academics rule it all. In most cases we discover in college there is another pathway, arts and so forth, to making it in the world. By then it is far too late for most self esteems.

I believe the question any educator should ask a student they are willing to grow is “What is your genius”. I am sure we can all relate, unless of course you were blessed with such educators. Mind you I am not blaming the educators, rather the system in place, except for Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Finland (top performing  countries according to MBC Times). I mean in  such countries they hold their teachers in as much esteem as we do doctors and lawyers in the rest of the world, which makes tonnes of sense. Beyond the education system it would help having parents and guardians who would ask questions like “What else can my child excel in”, instead of the monotonous what can I do to make sure my fish can climb the tree you have subscribed.

Reverting from the latter question would save young people around the world a whole lot stress. I am sure there would be less instances of students cheating and yes even suicides among teens. Yes I did just go that far,because not all of us knew there was more to life than grades. So imagine your whole life crumbling around you  test after test, the worst part being that you studied so hard, but you still cannot climb that tree. Even if you are surrounded by the world’s best cheerleaders, the system has made you your own worst critic and you cannot stop until you strangle every part of you on that tree. Or you just reach adulthood thoroughly convinced you are stupid, I mean it was proved to you and the world time and again. Let me not get started on the wolves waiting to exploit your low self esteem in adulthood.

Life already has enough hurdles to make you scream and shout without an education system to make you feel stupid. Well speaking from experience, it leaves scars that seldom heal, you try to forget all those years of second guessing your existence. But once in a while the nightmares find you and how you wish someone had asked you, “What is your genius?”.

Still on that inquisitive tip hey, lets find our own path to being a genius and help those around us. From a fish happily swimming about: Happy Friday the 13th.

Be inquisitive

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Ever since I can remember I have always been that one kid who is always asking too many questions, to the point where my own mother would be too exhausted to entertain me. Once out of juice she would refer me to my school teachers and the library. I found more answers in the library than I did anywhere else.

I do not really have any new year resolutions but I did charge myself to be more inquisitive this year. I am naturally inquisitive of course but I want to find a way to bring it to my blog and reward all the precious people who follow my blog. With its approaching three year anniversary, Fadziville needs to make a stand of sort. So bear with me and lets question everything and anything.