Not to be boring I honestly do not have a bucket list. Before you roll your eyes, and feel like today’s challenge was a complete waste of time, feel free to read my other previous 9 challenges. It hasn’t been easy posting everyday, especially with my hectic schedule, but I never back away from a challenge.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be
Wow, any job, that’s a lot of ways to change people’s lives. I would like to manage/own a statistics company. My team and I would specialise in not just collection but processing of raw data specifically in Africa. Statistics is a language we all speak absent mindedly, and I have always felt that my continent needs serious change. Also having statistical literacy introduced in school from an early age would help.
I’m not undermining current efforts in place, but I want to significantly put effort in getting our information right and have people correctly understand the real African situation. By Africans for Africa kind of vibe.
To be honest such an opportunity would allow me to travel my beautiful continent intensively and get to know more about what I’ve only read about, that’s the real life experience worth fighting for.
I can somehow say I am in an educational relationship of sorts. I have found a foreign concept and I am following it and I see some silver lining. I’m being taken, voluntarily through a detour of just how different life can be and still be okay. It’s almost like learning how to walk again, walking away from the darkness of prior heart aches. I do quite enjoy the baby steps to not only peace of mind and tranquility but to endless possibilities of how it all could end. I am happy.
This has been on my mind for too long and I’ve been falling victim to procastination and endless excuses. Every year in July I try to do something I’ve never done, because I’m a adrenaline junkie (on a budget 😂) and an explorer both of the physical and spiritual realm. Last year I went quad biking in a desert, I’m hoping to go paragliding this year, will see. For now I’m going to tackle a 30 day blog challenge, anyone else feel free to join, maybe we can have a blog-off, haha. I’m starting my challenge on the first of July.
Please keep an eye out as I blog in response to the questions on my 30 day blog challenge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.