Of My Life Changing Event- A Culmination Of Events.

#day20 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggers

I recently took stock of a culmination of events leading to an event that has changed the trajectory of my life and those around me. I have always valued the concept of civic duty not necessarily in the context of exercising my democratic right to vote , which is important but rather an obligation towards my fellow men to add whatever value l can to others, even sometimes at my own disadvantage. Some offcourse do look at this as a sign of weakness and a chance to run roughshod and take advantage. l decided a long time ago that it is seldom helpful to want to explain one self or protect self from the vagrances of those with character excesses. My personal motto is to plant a good seed because l understand the value of generational good will building. What happens to our future kith and kin is very much a product of our current settings-that which we are investing in now. This is so elucidated in the teachings of Jesus Christ when he clearly articulates that one of the primary bases of his teachings are founded in the law of reaping and sowing-the law of seasons. Some call it the secret-call it whatever you want. That which is planted and spoken , acted on , the universe will recreate a corresponding effect-only multiplied. You sow at your own risk and present your own harvest. I have not wanted to harvest for me and my children bitter pills neither for their future children. So l try to plant good as much as possible and l am so ably partnered by the man l have chosen to spend the rest of my days here on earth with.

So a culture of service has always been engrained in me coupled sometimes unfortunately with a competitiveness edge. I do justify the competitiveness element from an economics point of view-being more amenable or offering better opportunities for less expenses. It is my thorn in the flesh.

I started a culture of service learning in primary school when there was still a Red Crescent Movement , when l was the only first aider in the whole school together with the first aid teacher. I criss-crossed the whole school field at break time taking care of bruises , sprains , fainting and noise bleeds -mostly nose bleeds. It was not a paid voluntary job- just the thought of getting the first-aider of the year award was enough for me- l loved the ethos of the Red cross and Red crescent movement -in normal wars if wars can ever be normal it is red cross and crescent volunteers who would be able to cross the enemy line and take care of casualties without being fired on.

Then there was the Scripture Union movement in both primary and secondary school. One clarion call of Scripture Union was to inoculate us with the word of God in a way that w impressionable teenagers understand. It also helped to teach voluntarism. There was nothing like a scripture union meeting -the singing and dancing ,the praying was so sincere that over the years l have struggled to see such authenticity in most of what we profess to be Christianity today. Here we made our pledges to abstain from the perils of sex-before-marriage as it was called then. At this time l also discovered l was an eloquent speaker and being an empowerment group , scripture union groomed future leaders and prayer warriors-like seriously. I attended church zealously and can affirm that from age thirteen to nineteen l had attended over 23 youth camps. I was a church usher for 8 years. Those who have been ushers know that it is not a pretty church title and neither does it have a pretty job description-no siree , you are the first to arrive in church for every service which is about three services a week , clean the church and make sure everything is ready and pass the offering baskets-that was before people could just rush to the pulpit and put money there. There was order in church then- ushers were bouncers slush gate keepers slush pastor protectors slush church cleaners. You do know that in church most services are pro-bono right. So l did this for seven years until l moved to a big church. When l moved to this new church l was so exhausted and tired such that l just blended with the crowd and focused on self for some time. Heard though that they missed me sorely at the other church-offcourse l have no proof but l would like to think they missed me.

Then l applied for bible school and discovered at the time l just could not afford the high fees. Back in the day accessing courses and programs for theology was expensive and involved church politics. The failure drained me , life happened and l kinda of shut-off for some time- mmm years. Christian’s call it backsliding -tongues and all.

I found myself again in my mid- twenties. I little bit wiser about church and playing church. One day l heard about the concept of Christ in the market place. The gospel that l had heard for a long time was separating ourselves from the world but here was a message resonating with my spirit because in between the years l had studied Marketing and was a full fledged marketer and entrepreneur and had seen how detached sometimes from reality our Christ Walk was. The basis of the market place believer is that we dont have to divide our lives in segments of church , home and business but rather that we can incorporate a Godly walk even in our work life and business world. We do not have to shut other people based on our differences but rather to find a way of winning them with our conduct in the work field without neccesarily putting labels on our faith. Bringing the walk of faith in the market place. Applying the principles of the Kingdom of God in the market place. Respecting and believing people even if we do not necessarily agree on life styles. That’s why l will hang with people that in my younger life l would not. l dont have to agree with all aspects of your life style or religious choices but l will respect and love you.

So l have become more open, more encompassing, more accepting. l am quite firm on what l believe but l will not be your judge because l dont want to be judged-l hope to showcase the Christ who hanged out with tax collectors , prostitutes and politicians and l am not perfect either.l will make friends with those l must else how will they here the good news. Oh it will never be a profuse you will be damned message. It will be little hints , little acts of kindness until you want it too.

The culmination of all these events is that l met my husband about 11 years ago who also loves volunteering. His first voluntary act that l saw was to change his church and come to mine-l did not ask him, he volunteered , he immediately became a good fit. We moved to Victoria Falls from Harare for him to pursue better art opportunities. We found a small church. We become youth leaders. He volunteered at an orphanage for nearly three years teaching art because he loved it. l focused on grooming young people in the Kingdom. We ended up studying theology. Five years ago based on his work and mine we begun a non-profit organisation called Rise N Shine the name coming from Isiah 60. This organisation is based in rural Victoria Falls. We initially came across these villages in our theological work and fell in love with the people and saw the great educational needs of the young people. The organisation uses the Arts in all its forms to bring sustainable change in the lives of rural youth and women-our programs have mostly focused on girls not because there are more important but their needs are more stark in contrast to the lives of boys and men in rural villages due to patriarchy entrenched in our African Societies. When l was ordained l made the personal decision that l would seek not to start or head a church but rather that l would be a market place Pastor. Change the lives of rural youth through my private convictions using the gifts of Art which we are well endowed with. A lot of people struggle to understand this.They ask why l dont start a church. l wish not to be understood-l wish to do my part because they shall be a day of reckoning and l want to be true to my calling.

Through our programs we run girls and boys clubs in a cluster of rural villages and l am proud to say we have met consistently every Saturday across these villages for the last five years and only stopped to meet in groups due to the Corona-virus. This is the only time our family has been truly able to spend with each other as our lives are filled with so many of our club and program activities. My daughter started attending clubs at 4 and now she is nine. My twin boys started at three and now there are five -they prefer to attend the girls clubs rather than the boys clubs.We try to make everything fun ,we do annual camps for five to six days. I have to play the part of mentor , protector and discipliner all at the same time.We dance , sing laugh and dance. We hold youth expos in villages and try to do our part. Everybody knows we all have to do our part.

Four years ago we made the decision to live town life-can’t really call Victoria Falls a city , to come and take up residency here in the rural areas so as to be near our work-our market place.That was a major event for me and my family. I can bet you, you will not see me running a church but you might see me with a couple of people that you might frown upon. Actually you might not notice the difference with my shaggy locks-l blend in well , we both do. I have to be honest though that l still cringe inside when the girls and boys tell me about their life style choices ( l am still old school, l believe in abstinence ) but l learnt a long time ago that young people dont need sermons they need someone who listens to them, who believes in them , who encourages them. My main aim is to help equip them with education so that they can make better choices which will serve them well in the future. I want them to have access to choice the same way l have been given choice. This type of work is not for those with an affinity to judge -you will have an early heart attack. I am not perfect-I have my own battles to fight , after all Paul says work out your own salvation. l have found mine l hope you find yours. Today l sign as Pastor Sfe-just for today.

My five favourite songs-‘ Wanna be starting something?’

#day19 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

Back in the 90’s in high school l was part of a group of high school girlfriends who loved hanging together but all loved different music. We shared food and our misguided love for all things American. We collected pictures of our favourite stars and stuck them in special notebooks. We saved our donut monies and bought glossy magazines from America especially People Magazine. In the group l remember there was a Madonna fan , a New Kids on the Block fan and me -a Michael Jackson fan. l had the biggest Michael Jackson poster in our shared bedroom and only used to listen to Wacko -Jacko. Like all teenage phases fortunately it passed.

l recently remembered this period when l saw a character in the despicable movies called Brat dancing to MJ , then l became excited and l said to my kids ‘ Wow Michael Jackson ! ‘ imagine how l felt when my nine year old daughter said ‘ ‘who is Michael Jackson ? ‘ child where do l begin. I decided to keep quiet because my nine year would just not get it.

I am quite eclectic, listening to different genre’s with others seemingly clashing with my faith but l learnt it is the conditions of our hearts that matter not what we profess on the outside-lest l become entangled by the yeast of the pharisees. Thus I have a done a Kenny-Gee phase. I love big band music-think Phil Collins renditions in big bad style.l have crooned to Mahalia Jackson a lot-my voice is nothing to write home about-God cant give you everything . I get Chiwoniso Maraire Zimbabwean female mbira maestro , Bethany Pasinawako -Wangu is epic. Can you be Zimbabwean and not fall for it least one Jah Prazah song.

Being an artist l have attended many live shows and l do thank God l have seen our own Winky -D , Jah Prazah , Oliver Mtukudzi , Chiwoniso , Hope Masike-l forget to tell you about the crazy Nguvayakwana shows hosted by Gospel Train and all those great gospel artist that we attended. So truly it is difficult to choose five favourite songs but l feel that l need to do my Michael Jackson period justice by this ode to wacko Jacko.

To me ( remember it’s about me) the late Michael Jackson was the best personification of the power of the Arts to recreate new worlds. He lived a life to the whims of his artistic creations both flawed and good. He created his own world and fell at the peril of his own sword. My relationship with Michael Jackson is the same as the one l feel for the late Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Always leaves me conflicted. At the one end you loathe the direction and steps they took in life but at the same time admire the brilliance and resolute standing for their passions and beliefs. That’s why the song ‘ Man in the Mirror’ by the King of Pop means something to me. Its a call to action for the man whom we see in the mirror to begin the process of change. Maybe it was a reflection of what he saw in himself but it should also be a reflection of what we do see in the mirror-are we proud of what we see when we dare look beyond the artificial veneer ? Can we continue looking at ourselves or we begin to avoid the mirror because it reflects our true selfish , greedy souls who care not for others – what awesome words by Michael Jackson with the chorus bidding :

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.

My second favourite from MJ is the enduring enigmatic song penned by Jackson and Lionel Richie , produced by producer-par excellence Quincy Jones. Written as a call to the world to not ignore the ravaging effects of hunger on the people of Africa when images of starving Ethopian children, emaciated to their bones were shown on television networks in the early 80s. A who’s who of top artists in America was assemblied and sung the lyrics of this song that shook the world to act. USA for Africa. I loved how America was trailblazing the world, leading the way in making the world a better place. What has happened to that America ? Herein part of the lyrics as penned by Jackson and Richie :

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

What a song!

Smooth Criminal has to be one of the best songs of all time , what with the incredible video. I used to call it ‘ the gotta be starting something ‘ song because l thought that line was just amazing and l put this song in my top five.

Who could have spoken about race so well without causing drama than MJ in his epic song Black or White, when l see the images around the world in the aftermath of BLM, l always think of this song.

My last song in my top five is the Jackson 5 song ‘l want you back’ when a young black , flat nosed Michael was towards breaking out on his own. He struggled with how he looked and was one of the pioneers in changing how a person physically looked. The world disparaged him for this but l always think how hypocritical we humans can be because now botox , nose and boob jobs , skin bleaching are all every day occurrences that are raking in billions and acceptable. Then again he was a pioneer-somebody had to start it. And now that l have my little secret in the public domain l don’t need any bashing unless you wanna be starting something !

The Sound Of The Hilly Place

#day18 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

They had tried everything. They had hoped for the best. They kept on believing that the best would happen to them. Thiers was a fairy tale that needed to end well.

Tichatonga had swept Aunt Nomsa’s heart from the day he set his eyes on her beautiful well sculpted African body. His shy eyes hiding his passion for life and love, but meeting the gaze of Nomsa Strongly. I was visiting my Aunt who had moved here some time ago with her husband who was now facing challenges associated with his age and an unknown health ailment. I had come to help to take care of him.

It had been folly on his part to marry a woman half his age. Her energy and stamina had contributed to his ailing health as he tried to keep up with her stamina but his old bones had gone to frail. That he could no longer satisfy his young wife eat him up as he watched in plain sight men gazing unashamedly at his young bride hoping for his peril so that they would sneak in and take his place. He hoped that when he had left the earth his young wife my fathers young sister, my Aunt would not fall for such tricks. He knew that he was leaving the earth soon enough and as such had left ample protection for her in the form of a will. His wealth was legendary in these hilly parts , he had acquired by sheer hard work cattle , goats, sheep ,turkeys and birdlife and by good fortune had found a wife that he was willing to spend the rest of his days and wealth with.

Tichatonga meaning one day we will rule- was the name his father had given him when the Chiefdom war between the two Mazondo families had escalated. With the Chieftaincy taken away by his younger brother while he worked in the city his father had become bitter and called him Tichatonga. He never did get the chance to rule as a quick death met him after imbibing at gogo Mazanas homestead. He came back complaining of a headache and went to sleep early but he never did wake up.That is how Tichatonga lost his father.

Angry and bitter Tichatonga left the hilly homestead of his ancestors to find solace in city life, with his integrity and determination he soon found work in Harare as the trusted driver to the big Chef. He was a rural boy and new the value of money -sending back ever so often to his mother to buy his livestock, and buy she did and multiply they did, until the homestead was teeming with all manner of livestock. He was not much of a ladies man so he did not see the years pass him buy but fate brought him to my aunt when he he picked her from Mbare in pouring rain and as her wet clothes stuck to her body he was mesmerized by the sumptuous silhouette and her youthful and innocent face. They hit it off immediately and fell in love. He had found medicine for his broken heart and a remedy to help him return and settle back to the land of his ancestors. My aunt being a rural girl did not mind relocating to his rural home were there were supposed to live happily ever after.

Everything was going well until the whispers came from the older women that something was wrong in the marriage because there was no sound of a baby in the yard. Offcourse they had been trying for a baby but it was now evident that this endeavour had failed. Now Tichatonga was also showing signs of ill heath. At first he thought it was tiredness but he kept on feeling weaker as the days and months went by. Being a proper African he tried a little bit of everything , Pentecostals , vapostori , African traditional medicine but nothing seemed to give him varlour, strength and health.

Aunt Nomsa being a clever African woman had not been sitting idly while her man waisted. When she realised he was losing stamina she had quickly told her friend who had said she knew just the portion to get her man right on track to strength and power. She aptly gave her a powder and told her to put it in his porridge every morning and he would be soon mended. Alas, as the days went by he became weaker and weaker -unbeknown to Nomsa her dear friend had been given a portion of deadly slow poison by gogo Mazana. Tichatonga wasted away with each day as the poison slipped through his blood.

When l visited l was told that he always needed his powder with his food. Being observant l had noticed how my aunt’s best friend always came to check on my uncle Tichatonga and his health and become rather agitated when asking about his health taking aunt Nomsa to ask if she was giving him his powder. I could see how the disease was taking a toil on aunt and asked her that she not worry herself with too much work. l would take care of everything including cooking for uncle Tichatonga. I stopped giving him the powder and he improved ever so slightly. One day l asked to visit the big city for two days. I took with me some of the powder and dropped off at my friends workplace were she now worked as a lab assistant. l asked her to check on the powder. She said l should come back tomorrow-when l arrived the next say she asked were l had got the powder .l explained and she told me it was a type of slow poison . Aunt Nomsa had been hoodwinked. They wanted to kill Tichatonga for the hcchieftainship.

I quickly ran and boarded a bus to the hilly place with the mountains. I found aunt Nomsa looking pale and worried. Uncle Tichatonga was at his last ebb, he had been sleeping all day and was probably now on his last few days on earth. l needed to see him. l had been given an antidote that had a quick turnaround and if administrated quickly would save him. He had to survive. I needed him to be alive. I narratived everything to Aunt Nomsa and while doing so l saw uncle Tichatonga stirring. As he woke up l was dying in my heart to let him know what l had discovered, l needed him to know there was a chance for him.

It is now two years since that fateful day that he woke up and took the antidote that l was dying to give him. The sound of a baby cries as Aunt Nomsa washes him. A future Chief. Tichatonga!

Afrophobia Has No Place ln Modern Africa.

#day17 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge #Africawillrise

I do feel sad that l would have loved to write a more alluring post about a particular current affairs issue with a more enduring impact on popular culture than a piece on Afrophobia. I did not want to write about a difficult subject but l am compelled first as a proud Zimbabwean and secondly as a proud African to pen my thoughts on the recent hashtag Zimbabweansmustfall on social media especially twitter.

In this day and age we have people on the African continent peddling the fall of fellow Africans. The irony of this is the same peddlers of such rhetoric jump on the black lives matter mantra.

My fellow Africans who are Afrophobic l feel sad for you. It is shameful to even ponder that there is a generation in our midst who even have such incredulous thoughts. You bring shame to our heritage as Africans. I put it to you that you must put ideas and notions in retrospect-the crimes do not justify the rhetoric , it is sad. George Floyd sparked a movement despite the fact that he had his flaws like every human being but his flaws did not justify his murder. To those fellow Africans who practise Afrophobia -the hatred of fellow Africans ,l will not peddle a narrative to justify or deny the accusations you profess against my kith and kin but only to say fellow Africans-we are better than this , we have a responsibility to each other to take care of each other and to support each other. We can speak about the issues we face as Africans without pointing fingers. We can hold each other accountable without name calling. We can improve the lot of our people without blame shifting. Our continent can grow bigger and better when we are united. We can hold our governments more accountable as an African citizenry than a divided people. We can claim a better place for African when we join hands.

I am not Afrophobic and l refuse to channel fear-mongering. Those whose lives are centered on phobia-mongering build on foundations that will crumble. Foundations and institutions based on fear never suffice or grow. If the idea of the hashtag is movement building -it has failed even when it is beginning. If it is to peddle influence -those who carry it need counseling and healing . Such movements flounder and tether and eventually crumble. Yes , it is possible that we have Zimbabweans engaged in abominable activities on the continent but each race and tribe has such people. Each race and tribe has it’s own great people too and Zimbabwe is no exception. I live in a border , tourist town and l come across different races and tribes every- day. Zimbabwe is a plethora of different races and tribes with Africans from across the board. We choose to celebrate our brothers and sisters. Faulted as we might be Zimbabwe has taken her son’s and her daughters into harm’s way many a time. It might not be to the knowledge of those who peddle such hatred but our economy begun to tether when thousands of our sons and daughters were put in the frontline to defend the Republic of Congo were a blood bath awaited her people had Zimbabwe not intervened. Our leaders led with the baton stick and always they do -clearly they lack in other aspects but the defence of the African brotherhood is not one of those. Just recently Boko Haram were laying siege in Mozambique . There is a recent silence to the Boko -Haram noise in Mozambique all thanks to our leader who took a trip during a Covid pandemic to help a fellow brother out. Mind you Boko Haram is not child’s play. We are only about 10 million in Zimbabwe , they would bomb their way very quickly to the citadels of Afrophobie headquarters. The paradise you call home, were you sit being keyboard warriors disparaging fellow Africans who risked life and limb for what now you think is emancipation would crumble all the more quickly. Have you not heard -that those who live in glass houses should not play ball with stones. The classes that are being brewed by unskewed distribution of resources will create a plethora of problems that we experienced know only two well. You would do well to learn from us and avoid our pitfalls rather than deride our shortcomings. Afterall Zimbos are made of sterner stuff. What we have survived all to well others might not cope so well with. I am not ashamed that l am Zimbabwean. I love being Zimbabwean and love my fellow Africans .

Afrophobies when those with the same color skin as you own the resources that flow through your country then you will know what is emancipation. When you value the part that the whole of the African continent played for you so that you can bleach your skin yellow and start thinking that you are not one of us then you will be emancipated. When you know that all of us Africa we are one then you will truly be emancipated. When your fellow countryman can die for other Africans then you will be emancipated. Our continent will not be built by Afrophobia.

We are Africans , belong to each other , and must help each other grow. We will not always get it right all the time -when we fail , we must question each other in love and not let bigotry, religion and self hatred be our stumbling block.

P.S when the tide turns as it surely always does and you need help from my children, they will offer it gladly. If its love they might find it. Let us not pander to racism , tribalism, xenophobia and Afrobhobia.

It is only prudent to discover while the sun shines that other countries are embracing fellow Africans and learning from each other , finding solace in African brotherhood. l for one love my fellow Africans and wish that our works and character will not be judged by our tribes , race , ethnicity but on the mantle of our individual characteristics. Zimbabwe will rise !Africa will rise! Aluta Continua!

Connecting The Dots Between Fear And Loss To Find Hope.

#day16 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

A relationship exists between fear and loss. Either one can precede the other-loss leading to fear or fear leading to loss. I had my moment a few years back , but l learnt a valuable lesson. Loss is part of the human deoxyribonucleic acid but fear does not have to become a part of us.

The blessings in my life come in the form of my three children , a nine year old girl and five year old fraternal twin boys. They could have been more or less -l not being a creator do not know exactly. I had a miscarriage at five and half months after l gave birth to my daughter who was now three at the time of our trying to have a second child. When the miscarriage happened l put on a brave face , l did not cry , l did not flinch – l continued life as if nothing had happened.l even refused counseling. What an African thing to do-go for counseling. That only happens to white folks in movies.

I had the miscarriage around 12 PM and by 6.00 a.m l was sweeping the yard in the morning. l had even refused to sleep at the hospital. The whole experience was not physically painful and l told myself l would not make it a spiritual painful process. I was a preacher of the gospel , immune to pain and despair and l was strong , all things work together for good. We decided we wouldn’t try for a baby for another year. l even told myself that my one daughter was my portion in the world and so l was quite content. My husband became attached to his one possible child and so we lived our lives. l had conquered loss and came out on top. So, l thought.

The signs and symptoms came in a manner l had never experienced before. I would throw-up and urinate at the same time, then immediately fall asleep. Sometimes l would literally sleep while walking. Eventually l discovered l was pregnant. I could not eat anything for days on end except sadza and offals. I ate sadza and offals until the very end. Then the fear set-in. I had not dealt with my loss but rather tucked it away far away and told my self Christian’s do not grieve. I became fearful of going to the hospital to register the pregnancy and begin antenatal care for myself and the baby. At the same time my stomach kept ballooning at an incredible rate. I would feel faint easily. One night l felt like my uterus was giving up again and by then l was in the fifth month and we had decided that we would be using a private doctor instead of government hospitals, at that time our health delivery system in Zimbabwe was starting to break down. The year was 2014.

We gathered our daughter and the few US dollars we had been saving in order to go to the private doctor. I was flooded with the fear of another loss. We went expecting the worst. After the nurses went through their paces with me the doctor was then called. He did his tests and examinations and thought that my fear was a bit unfounded as my uterus was feeling and looking intact. However he said we needed to be on the safe side and make sure the baby was okey and prepare for a possibility of giving the baby a fighting chance by giving him/her drugs that would make his/her lungs strong. In order to prepare we needed to book a scan. After two days we came back for our scan together with our daughter. We never left her.

In-we arrived in the scanning room with the radiologist alluding to how he thought my pregnancy was a bit to big to be at the beginning of the second trimester. He then put the jelly that helps navigate the tummy when doing a scan and then said matter of factly ” the kids seem to be doing well and sitting okey, the amniotic fluid is enough-actually everything is in order “- he then looked at us and saw us with our mouths wide open. His assumption was that we knew that l was carrying twins. He then realised that we didn’t know. He said let me show you the sex of the children. Then he pointed at the one we could see and said this one is definitely a boy but the other one looks like a boy but he was not to sure.

We left the complex dumbfounded. It was not what we were expecting at all. We went in fear of loss but now we were filled with hope. We do not have twins from my side of the family neither from my partners. In my loss God had replaced my lost baby or babies.

I had to go for check-ups nearly twice a week. Then my uterus started to show signs of opening again….and the fear of loss returned. It was a shadow upon my head. I was asked to stop all manner of physical work. For three months l had spend my whole time on my knees with my head in between my shoulders to help the babies stay inside. I only went out to visit the bathroom. My husband took care of our daughter and had to stop doing his art to take care of me. For that l love him. Our small church group was amazing -they kept me sane. I knew or rather feared something was going to give with this pregnancy. It was either going to be me or the babies or all of us.There is a darkness that hangs when death faces you. When you close your eyes you can smell the death and hope that one it comes it will be peaceful. I would hear them pray for me. My husband would sit next to me with his bible and pray silently. He is not a loud person but is rather shy and is nothing like me when it comes to praying. I being boisterous and all over the place-him being quite and calm. He decided to fast for me up until delivery.

The second scan showed the twins were doing okey but the third scan produced a scary assessment . The big amazed eyes of the radiologist said it all. He just managed to mumble something is wrong. He pointed to a large circle in the uterus together with the children. It was the same size as the head of the children. It was a fibrod growing inside the uterus and with the constant supply of blood it was growing expotionally fast and taking up the space in the womb. By a miracle of sorts it was placed at the far corner of the uterus away from the children but the space in the womb was now very limited. When the doctor saw the growing humogous fibroid he said he had no choice but to operate in the next two weeks when the pregnancy would be at 36 weeks. We went back home l decided after coming face to face with my fear of loss-loss of my life , loss of the babies or the possible loss of all of us that it was in my best interest to not have the fibroid removed.

The doctor said it was a possible option to cut the fibroid or have it removed later.l told him it would be better it is returned where it came from and never to be touched.We did our prayers and placed our fate in Gods hands.

The day they operated twin one was entangled three times by the umbilical cord and twin two twice. If we had tried natural labour we would have lost them both. Three assistants and the doctor forced back the fibroid into the uterus after cutting the deliverying the babies. It had also pushed through. I could hear them pant and gasp putting it back inside my uterus. I had finally over come my fear of loss. The nurses and that doctor at the hospital still look at me in amazement.

My fraternal twins are doing well. One looks like the dad and the other looks like me. One is called Seth which means God has restored unto me -inspired by Eve after God gave her a replacement of her child who had been murdered and Sela’h which David in the psalms used to admonish us to pause and praise the works of God.

I do no know what became of that fibroid. l have never been checked. I leave a normal life and am healthy and l have learnt that its okey to grieve and that love , hope and faith overcomes fear.

Matters Of My Heart-The Access To Equitable Education By girls And Women ln Rural Areas.

#day15 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggers #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

I am very passionate about the access to equitable education by girls and women , more so for the girl and woman in rural areas.

There is a convergence of issues that women and girls face whose only possible emancipation from this nexus is the access to equitable education . The freedom from the shackles of poverty , patriachy , violence , injustices , early child bearing , teenage pregnancies and limited civil participation can be set in motion when society understands that access to equitable education will break these shackles. It is when women and girls can access this vital resource that society grows.

My passion is thus centered on understanding the issues around the impediments to access and finding creative ways to rewrite the narrative and change the story. My experiences as a development practitioner and mentor for a number of girls over the years and being a resident villager gives me rear insight on such intricacies. Most of the times l have gone-in with my heart , soul and head resulting in emotional turmoil when some of the interventions and strategies have failed dismally. l have then learnt to just go in with the head and learn to keep the heart far-away. Poverty and the injustices around issues to do with women have tended to exhibit themselves as generational cycles that unfortunately have blinded completely those that are shackled by such chains with the resultant effect being that they who need the emancipation do not know the fact and can misconstrue or misunderstand the whole process when offered opportunity to change the trajectory.

The first step towards equitable access to education is to make those suffering from the lack thereof to understand the importance of not only access but of receiving equitable access. Communities are apt to accept piecemeal tokens as better than nothing which usually mean resources are limited resulting in the first losers being women and girls as patriachy rears its ugly head fighting for scarce resources.

The sword is double aged as not only do communities need realignment of values but policymakers need to be made aware and most of them unfortunately drink from the same cup of ignorance and arrogance and these also need a paradigm shift in their thinking. The mentality that rural people are third rate citizens only good to fish out votes from during election cycles need to be drained down the drain along with other archaic thinking. The other notion that rural folk can only do well after moving to the city must be dispelled with the contempt it deserves as most who migrant to cities end up as slum dwellers facing challenges attributable to slum dwelling.

The menaces that catapults poverty in the life of rural girls is the generational early childhood bearing. The moment one encounters this obstacle the less likely the ability to break the chain of poverty. Every year a girl child spends in school helps with reducing the possibility of early pregnancy and early marriage and systems and structures must be put in place to suffocate the trends towards young girls dropping out of the school system. This means increased direct investment in rural education , increased social amenities that foster educational advancement and institutional support of educational endeavours through building more robust well equipped schools , vocational colleges and training centers across rural villages with fiscal support for the same. It is important to have community level support for girls by aligning laws that promulgate their inclusion in education and protection from would be instigators of their educational demise.

Zimbabwean laws are sometimes not aligned as seen in the age of consent which is at 16 years while the child marriage is a marriage of those 18 and below . Law enforcement officers and child development practitioners complain of a divorced relationship between institutions as roles sometimes clash and are not geared towards one purpose of protecting the interests of the girl child.

Education is the turbo-engine that is thus needed to enlist new life style patterns and new paradigms and my hope and desire is that more and more young girls in rural areas find the solace and respite offered by access to equitable education and fight hard for the right to this important resource.

Like any passion it is a product of the heart and is not an easy journey but the rewards can be satisfying and well worth the effort. l have now learnt to accept both the applause and the naysayers who always tell me year in and year -out that you cannot stop all young girls from getting pregnant and dropping out of school. My response is always that l am not trying to save everyone but rather l am recreating a new generational arrangement were less and less children are born from mothers with limited years in school. l might not be able to change the generation l see but l choose to plant good seeds for the future.

Patriarchy-A Common Attribute Of Our Culture.

#day14 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

The domination of men in all spheres of life and decision making is the essence of patriachy. It is unfortunate that this is not only a community level problem but a national and African problem and a tendency that is amplified by its proximity to our African Culture . It is so well practised and enshrined in the day to day lifestyle that it has become the fabric of our communities yet the purveyor of the inequalities and injustices befalling our women and girls the world over such that although its existence is microscopic its institution has macro effects.

Patriachy has a allowed the perpetuation of a system of subjugation under the guise of culturap respect yet it is the very muffler of women and girls dreams.It emboldens our cultural acceptance of violation and degradation of women and girls , so well thought out and planned in and out of season to such an extent that young girls aged even ten endeavour to pull their labias in the pursuit to ensure they do not suffer the consequences of failing to have the attributes that the system has taught young men to look out for in a future bride. The patriachial system has taught boys to look for the pliable characteristics of a women to its institution creating in young men a confused symbiosis of what a woman should feel and look like by instilling visions of sumptuous breast beckoning to their desires , with buttocks and hips the true analogy of a women leaving our communities with desperate girls and women drinking poisonous concoctions of hip and buttocks enlargement while stripping off the top protective melanin from our dark skins to please the ogling eyes of enslaved African boys with a warped perception of beauty.

When a boisterous untrained, educated female takes the reins then patriachy emboldens the manhood to call her a prostitute and charlatan for demanding a level playing field even in such unalluring professions as politics and academia all the while society looking on , pliable to the tendencies of this heavy load on the earth.

Patriachy emboldens violence and mistreatment of women justifying huge expenditures on defences budgets in the name of fortifying defences systems while it is a way of ensuring its endurance , while amenities such as water systems and infrasture are dilapidated and decimated in the name of satisfying the sprawling empires of sperms scattered everywhere to preserve generational patriachial mobility frowning at women who produce girls at child birth all the while ulogising births of sons as a symbol of manhood-women so well trained to celebrate this naive achievement.

The adjudication that men must make and prelude all the events in the lives of women and girls is not only myopic but suffocating and a disservice to the growth of our communities and nations. The role of community building cannot be left to the self serving nature of men and this has been aptly demonstrated by how well countries run by women have been able to cope with the impacts of Covid -19. It is not to put men and boys at the periphery of decision making but rather to leverage the relationships so that a more balanced view point becomes obtainable. Men and boys are apt to use biology as the stumbling block to the emancipation and growth of the women movement but biology is meant to promulgate the extension of the human territory and prowess rather than as a means of subjugation. It is the combination of the human spirit as represented in male and female that society can advance forward. While others are apt to use biology others have found relevancy in religion and have used the words well articulated in scriptures as a means to imperil the advancement of women but history is full of events of those who used religious manuscripts for evil rather than for good which could not have been the desire of the author of the holy scriptures. Some still have used tradition as a tool to celebrate and deliver bondage to women yet still this is highly unfair but a negation of roles from the early iron age with women helping to hunt and gather.

Our differences as men and women are not meant to divide us neither are they meant as a process for one to run rough-shode over another but rather that we compliment each to grow and cause the human race to multiply and replicate. It will take men of greater intellect and resolution than most in this generation to come to a realization that gender equity is not a misnomer but the standard and that we cannot continue to incalculate these unfavourable tenets within the fabric of our community in the name of accepted cultural norms and values for it eventually becomes an endearing pandemic that will lead to a quick demise of the human population as grown men seek to obliterate the voices of young liberated females calling for a just and equal world while the mysogonist cherish the brutality that is espoused in patriarchy.

Our fall as humans in the present world is much engrained in the failure of systems like patriachy to disengage from normal day to day living with sadly women in our communities so indoctrinated to such a level as to be enablers of patriarchy instilling in future generations the patriachy label that is so difficult to diffuse. The benefeciation of only one aspect of the human race is the center of the lopsided nature of the human life cycle as patriachy is the enabler of unbalanced resource allocation as only the strong and capable are left at the top of the food chain while the vulnerable are left to die. Nature shows a more balanced viewpoint of how the difference in biology can be used to advance a species. When we continue to practice patriachy we will continue to see skewed populations and adverse effects such as the gap between the rich and poor expanding. Those who will flourish are those who have seen the the folly of one sided non inclusive cultural approaches.

When a cohort of women breaks up and sums up the courage to fight the injustice then whole systems are created to destroy the very essence of the struggle with communities lapping up this poison. Whole industries built on the fetishes of patriachial societies. Fights against corruption and social decay target the cornered existence of women taking women to the gallows in the name of witch-hunting and whistle blowing while the tide and wave seemingly curved to miss the machismo. When one of their own fails the patriachial system rushes to protect with cronyism and enablement. Tradition and culture leveraged to take away the rightful heir to the throne in the name of the patriarchial tribe with the young woman cowering at the accusation of wanting to usurp the traditions of the forefathers. The same who ensured never a woman was to break forth through the ranks placed ever so carefully at the peripheral ensure the perpetration of vile practices as asking for a cow to indicate that the girl at marriage was a virgin while by night they come to seek out the services of the same girl. women to. Villages with elongated and higher sits for the man and women sidelined to the African reed mats.

Fathers gone so long to hunt and gather food while women wait patiently for conjugal rights while he exercises his , the shame of journeys to Egoli the place Gold. Patriarchy so etched in our society that whole lockdowns have seen women bearing the brunt of family care while men imbibe on their addictions of varying sorts. The sound of women and girls going to cut grass in the early cold hours in a bush teeming with lions and elephants leave the question begging that what is so special about these particular villages that the men negate grass cutting to women in order for the grass to cover the same roofs the women will experiance patriachy in.

Such is patriachy in our communities , well engrained and flourishing a common cultural attribute.

My Ode to the African President l Wish to Meet.

The African personality l care to meet with is Paul Kagame , the President of the Republic of Rwanda. The Chairperson of the East African Community.

According to his website , he led and commandered from the beginning in 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), he led the struggle to liberate Rwanda. The RPF halted the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

I am mesmerized by how he has morphed from commanding warfare into the African statement that he is. Looking ever so calmly and well etched in suits he seems to have gone against the tide taken by most African leaders who struggle to rationalize the military man against the statesman. My mind does prodd what drives him to become the unifier of the Rwandan people who suffered an incredible blight on their history-was it the pain he saw and felt or it’s a desire to never have such an event on earth again? If he can feel this way why is it difficult for fellow African leaders to follow suit ? Many an African population have placed their lives in the hands of former guerrilla fighters and have been aptly disappointed , but, not Rwanda. Warfare alwayd remains the default strategy of most African heads of government becoming despots to their dying days. Rwanda though is flourishing in the hands of President Paul. I always look forward to something he has to say because it is always refreshing and well constructed with no gaffes like we have become so used to on our Continent.

I would want to ask him whether world leaders know that there is a day of death? I believe he would be the man to give a fair honest answer.

My passion is for young women empowerment . l would therefore have an opportunity to applaud his reformist attitude in the Organisation of African Union and say how in awe l am of how he is turning technology to benefit his people especially the girl child. l sometimes think how it would feel like if the thousands of the tech savvy young people in Zimbabwe were so empowered and given support and leverage as the current crop of young people in Rwanda, what would become of Zimbabwe.If Zimbabwe can produce Strive Masiyiwa in this dark room how about when all the lights are turned-on such as in Rwanda.It is not that l regret being Zimbabwean but far from it l just wonder what it could be like to be energized, supported and believed as a young person and not used for political patronage. A lot of young people must feel this way across the continent.Sadly our years of being young and viral are leaving us and we are faced with the stark observation that not only are our dreams withering but that the dreams of our little children are evaporating right in front of our eyes as we etch out a survival not for relevancy but for stomachs just to be filled while we watch leaders in power across Africa gather riches they will not use in their lifetime. l am encouraged by how Rwanda escaped its past as they managed to emerge strong from its ashes ably led by President Paul Kagame.

I would want to ask him if our leaders ever chit-chat with each other outside of diplomatic niceties and if he ever gives advice or it is each to his own.It must be each to his own else how do we justify the plunder and political failure in most African countries. How can so many of our African leaders miss the mark selling our birth rights and resources to concession seekers and allowing once again the colonization of the African people to fortune seekers who care not for the future African generations ?

Rwadan people will leave an indelible mark not only on the continent going forward but the world over because of Paul Kagame.History mr President will be kind to you.

May your flame awaken on the African continent peace and reconciliation, women’s empowerment, promotion of investment and entrepreneurship, and access to information technology, all causes you champion as Co-Chair of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. In you , as Africa we are led.

In the Kings Kraal

#Day12 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

Wild was the applause and ululation as the head Kingpraiser ulogised upon the second Ndebele king , the poet danced up and down as he chanted and danced belly protruding forth –

Gee! ee ! yebo Nkosi !

The one who grew up in the Amashlogoshlogo regiment , Inyoniyamashlanga,

Son of Mzilikazi ,

King of Bulawayo,

You who were meant to be killed but not killed , Bayethe!

Bayethe Nkosi yamaNdebele

Umthwakazi wabantu

The son of the Nguni

Proud Matebele

Bayethe!

The King watched proudly imbibing on his traditional brew surrounded by all his queens, because , today was a day of celebrations as the Kings envoys Babayane and Mshete had returned from seeing Queen Victoria together with Edward Maund and had brought thrilling stories of the grandeur they had seen and the might of the British. The might of the British on his side was a prospect the king salivated on. Levereged well,he would use this growing relationship to his best interest he mused to himself.

I went about dutifully serving beer and food with the rest of the women called upon to perform such duties in the Kings kraal-a nameless face hardly recognizable to the indunas in the Kings Kraal, as they continually called for more of the tasty brew and chewy venison with the dripping fatty pieces of meat from our handsome cattle.

Ours was a proud nation and well endowed with majestic tracts of land feeding thousands upon thousands of cattle obtained from our finesse and brutalness in the art of war , having continued the lessons indoctrinated in us by the forebearers of our proud Ndebele Heritage as descendants of Mzilikazi and all those who had come before us. In our quest to flourish and ensure our armies were replenished and satisfied we had managed to take all the lands within Matebeleland and had vanquished the occupants of Mashonaland scattering them into small states that had to become our allies if they wanted to survive. It was after all a time of war and survival -we took the best of the cattle , land and all the natural resources ensuring we scalped the better looking women as trophies to integrate within our own tribe . We women were round and verbose with very feminine structures but the woman from other tribes were taller and generally less round but our men liked the fact that there were strong and mixed with our Ndebele blood could create more soldiers in our quest for more.

Usually when we were in war we would annihilate our enemies with our superior art of war passed down from our forefathers the Zulu , after all my father had run away and come to settle here in Matebeleland and come with the skills of the Zulu. The occupants of the land had never seen anything like our men. Large men with thighs and feet so big they would make a sound as they ran to vanquish the enemy with our well fashioned spears. We had conquered quickly and swiftly and the Shonas resented this -l am sure their offspring would resent us forever, because we would kill their best warriors in war , and take all plunder and the weak would cower in fear choosing to live a life of homage to us. Really one must put all this into perspective instead of imagining us just brutal -there was no other way , it was either us or them.

War was the language of the times. So our kingdom criss- crossed all the way from Matebeleland upto Mashonaland. As a king , uLobengula did have a taste for the ecclectic and loved novel items but he did thirst for more power and more occupation and needed to consolidate what he had achieved. The men without knees had been trickling in and out trading offcourse in different wares but it had been mostly the Boers . Greedy offcourse for our natural resources but not respecting our boundaries so dealing with them was a bother. It is offcourse the Boers who had led our ancestors this way telling Mzilikazi of beautiful plains and so we had found them.

The Boers did have shifty eyes so Lobengula was not keen on trading with them but there were better at war than the British but the British had strong fire power. A few had come to preach a new type of superstition that they were calling the gospel.With what they talked about my king who being a proper Ndebele men believed in life even after the grave had taken to give time to these men of the cloth. They spoke very well these men , and seemed in awe of their God and would contribute to his ultimate downfall. One such man was called Charles Helm and he actually had become an eloquent Ndebele speaker. But we had our own African gods so it took time for the king to be pliable to accept their God. The king had his reason to bring these men close-Guns. My dear king being the man of war he was , wanted guns these men could help him secure-to secure his kingdom and his people. Well he thought, having more of these men of the cloth would do no harm. Sometimes they had other company which fancied Ndebele women ,their eyes gave them away as we saw how they looked at us as we served them food and beer looking at our dangling breasts with their giddy greedy little white eyes mesmerised by our exposed breast and only a small animal hide covering our behinds. l had never been called to these encounters but those who came from these encounters laughed at the encounters saying that the men hardly carried any weaponry in respect of their sexual prowess and it was said they soon became tired unlike our Induna warriors who could continue into the early morning until their backs glistened of black sweat.I did not wish to be called for such an encounter because the very thought of a pale white body did scare me -after all my superstitions made the bedrock of my life as a Ndebele women.

This particular season the trips by the white men had become so many-whispers among the indunas said the king was now getting tired of the many request by the white men who frequented his king’s kral. They had been endles envoys seeking favourable terms of trade with the Matebeleland kingdom and our forays into the kral to help with serving the guest had become all too frequent. The Indunas were themselves not settleted worried that the king was too in awe of the guns peddled by the men with no knees.

These envoys sought what the Indunas termed concessions-rights to certain items in the kingdom. The other white men who had come in the past were from Transvaal with no manners at all wanting the king to give away our lands. The Indunas said the king had become drained by the incessant calls by the envoys into his kral and that he needed to protect his kingdom for a price that did not include land rights. He envisaged that if he could enter into an agreement with one party the rest would back off while he would have secured the security of his people and territories in Mashonaland.

The king had finally decided to listen to the entreaties of the men of the cloth and the other white men he knew, to give , concession to the British. For he thought it was a fair deal to give away mineral rights and in return recieve British Protection and a thousand guns. For the British it was the pretext to enter into the territories run by Lobengula and his people.

I will not forget when the envoy of Charles Dunell Rudd, Rochfort Maguire and Francis Robert ‘Matabele’ Thompson arrived in the Kings kraal to partake of a certain ceremony. Every one was joyful but a few years later as we said goodbye to our queens and king as he disappeared into the dark of the night we realised we had been sold a dummy and history has not recorded us kindly but even today l have heard my great great grandchildren still cry about the marauding foreigners seeking to recieve concessions in the pretext of kindness.Children beware.

The Bedrock Of Africanism-Our Proverbs.

#day11 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge

I am of Sotho origin from Matebeleland South in Zimbabwe with a Ndebele mother, raised in a predominately Shona environment in Mashonaland , who learnt Shona in primary school and now lives among the Nambiya , Batonga and Lozwi in Matebeleland North and , so , to do my Zimbabwean proverbs in one vernacular would be an injustice although l lean easily on the language l learnt in school.My children are born from a Zezuru father who comes from Uzumba in Mashonaland East , to a Sotho mother and we are living among the Nambiya and Batonga in Matebeleland North while she is learning Ndebele in school- it’s all so ironic. So when l ask my daughter who is nine for her proverbs she tells me in Ndebele yet she is Shona and my husband tells me his in Shona and l know mine both in Shona and Ndebele, l decided to do a direct translation of five Zimbabwean proverbs straight into English, however , because it is a direct translation it comes across as a good movie with poor subtitles .

Zimbabwean proverbs cut across all our cultures and represent our journey as bantu people and are mostly seen as warnings to those about to fall into traps. Concieved by expermustiance and the journey of time they take after our African culture of not speaking directly so as to avoid the consternation of ‘ l told you so ‘ and to avoid to be seen to be wishing ill on others when giving advice in good faith.

My first proverb is ‘ Goat eating tree leaves , it is like mother ‘ basically put it is to say that a fruit does not fall too far away from the tree.A child takes the habits and mannerisms of parents.One must never be surprised at a young goat eating the leaves of the mufenje tree because the mother also eats the same tree leaves-the child has grown and seen the mother eating leaves and assumed the same nature. Unfortunately it is seldom used in a good way but rather to express dismay at a child taking after the mother and the father in particular the mother who might have a bad habit of stealing or straying eyes.

My second proverb is’
Big Baboon fold your tail so the little ones can fear you.’ This is a call to grown ups to behave in a manner worthy of respect.It calls out for adults to give young people space so that the same young people can afford the elders a platform rather than playing tango and fighting for space with the young . Unfortunately this proverb seems to fall on dead ears nowadays in Africa, as old people seek to hold on to resources and opportunities without affording young people a platform and when the young people retaliate when they get an opportunity then the same will cry ‘ mavara angu azara ivhu’ an African idiom by a cheetah which means to say they have ruined my marks by covering me in dirt.

My next proverb is ‘Wasp fold yourself in one place the flowers of the earth do not end.’ It is speaking to that particular stage in life when one always seems to be attracted to different partners seeking different adventures like a wasp looking for nectar in the different wild flowers attracted by the diverse colors only to not realise that flowers will always be there and one will not be able to finish all of the flowers in the wild.Mostly used to admonish young men to find solace and permanency in one young lady because there is a peril in searching for young beautiful flowers at every turn the flowers representing beautiful or handsome prospects.

In an endeavor to encourage team work our elders produced the proverb ‘One must smell their own armpits’. One would need to check one self before hoping to involve themselves in others people’s business.The scenario being that usually there is a proverbial smell in all of us that we carry.Clearly not conceived with perfumes in mind.

My final proverb is ‘ leave well where you are from , travels are engulfed with darkness’ . This is a call to ensure that whenever one leaves a place it is always a good thing to leave in peace and in good standing with the dwellers there because it is never a guarantee it shall go well with you where you are going and as such you might need to return or need a referral.

I love these Zimbabwean proverbs and hope you find hope , solace and advice in them as we do in our own lives.

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