H-Town Glory

Home has been on my mind a lot lately. With elections coming up, I guess it’s no doubt it has been. I was going through some old pics and came across ones from a holiday in 2009 when I took two of my friends, both who are from South Africa, home with me. I got to show them H-town, my ‘home-town glory’.

Most of the media reports to do with Zimbabwe dwell more on the negatives than the positives. Granted, as a nation we have gone through a lot, but there is a great deal more to Zimbabwe than what meets the average reader’s eye. So I decided to write this post in celebrating the place I call home.

If ever you want to rekindle your love for home, I suggest inviting a foreign friend home, exploring it through their fresh eyes. It makes you appreciate the gems you have at home. For me, it is an honour and a privilege to do so. I hope you enjoy this ride ’round my home-town 😉

Pick-Ups and Stock-Ups

First up, we scooped up the hommies, Camme and Didi from Harare International Airport which stands so tall and proud. Our first day together, we rolled through the streets of H-town and did went to do some shopping at Bon Marche, a local retail store. Given the dry spell of 2008, Didi and Cam were impressed to see the shelves fully stocked.

Curio Shopping

A highlight for me was when we went curio shopping with the ladies at Doon Estate in Msasa. There is so much great local talent on display here, showcasing the creativity of Zimbabweans. I had a blast admiring what was on offer. After this, we went to grab some tea at Sam Levy’s Village in Borrowdale AKA ‘Village’ – no trip would be complete without popping through this local hang out spot. Many hours have been spent trolling those paved streets by the young and adolescent.

Flea Market

Avondale shopping centre was a popular hang out spot back in my day. We’d go watch movies, grab coffee, take strolls around the flea market and have lunch with friends amongst other things. One can make some great finds at the local flea market.

Dinner, Dancing and Departures

The final night comprised of dinner at Dongfang, a local Chinese restaurant in Chisipite followed by a fun night out and a quick stop by Pizza Inn on Samora Machel on the way home before bidding the ladies farewell.

My home-town, my heart.

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An Apple A Day Keeps The Doc’ Away

I am a victim and a culprit – more of the latter, less of the former – of cyber daze. By cyber daze (a term I just made up) I am referring to that moment when you are on your computer/phone and can’t even hear what someone – a real person in the room with you – is saying. I have been scolded many a times for this. It’s a terrible habit. I blame nomophobia. That and social media.

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love it because it’s instant, it connects, it makes you feel like a journalist – on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not. It keeps you in touch with friends all over the world in a way snail mail could never dream of doing. So that’s great – all well and good.

So why hate it? Well, aside from how antisocial it makes people, I have learnt that there are some serious implications to being a digital fanatic. There’s a lot of online noise. In the midst of trying to find out the latest scoop, connecting with a loved one or just having a bit of fun, you encounter a whole lot of nonsense. Of course you can control who you follow or befriend, but ‘one man’s favourite is another man’s noise’ – there is a great deal that slips through the cracks. It also affects one’s ability to focus and concentrate on one thing (FYI – I just reached over to check my phone before I wrote this line). Can A.D.D. be developed at adulthood?

More importantly though, it can have spiritual implications. As a spiritual and religious person, I have learnt and believe that quiet time with God is the first thing you need to do to start your day. Instead though, I often find myself reaching for my phone – checking for the latest breaking news or scandals – before I even think of praying or opening my Bible. Shame on me.

I sleep so peacefully knowing my trusted friend is by my side.

I sleep so peacefully knowing my trusted friend is by my side.

The days I do get it right – the days I do make a concerted effort to pray and meditate on God’s word for more than 10 minutes; the days I actually take the time to connect with God and feel His presence – those are the most beautiful of days. No matter what happens – good or bad – I have such an assurance and peace within that comes from God when I make Him my first priority.

So why is it so hard? Someone once said to me, God is a gentleman. He waits to be invited into our lives, into our hearts; unlike the devil who forces his way through every nook and cranny, is loud and invasive. So when it comes to spending time with God, He will wait for you to take the time and be with Him. Just like a doctor waits for a patient to come to his practice, God waits for you to seek him in prayer. If you don’t, He won’t be there for the spiritual, mental and physical healing that comes from communing with Him.

Technology is great but it can also be a hindrance for spiritual growth. We get so preoccupied with it and that’s exactly what the devil wants. He doesn’t want us to make time for God or for our own well-being. Because He knows the power and blessings that come from time spent in the presence of God.

Am I saying technology is the devil? Far from it. As people, we just need to manage it and not let it run our lives. My advice:

1. Take a break from social media from time to time – a Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest fast of sorts. When it gets too loud and you’re getting too consumed in it, spend a week or as long as you need to focus on reality. Go watch the sun set for a change.

2. Have a cut off time from being on your phone/tablet/computer – have a time at night where you no longer check these. A quiet time before bed where you prepare for the day ahead and meditate before you go to sleep.

It can be so relieving. Oh, and read. Read a book. It really is refreshing.

I really need to start listening to my own advice.

“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”  – Revelations 3:20

Diary Of A Sad Black Woman

All we want to do is get married. That is our sole purpose here on earth. At least that’s what we’re told.

We grow up on fairy tales. Prince charming will come and rescue us from the lonely tower of singlehood. At least that’s what we’re shown.

Lies

Our purpose is to be a glamourised slave for our families. Cooking and cleaning, being at their every beck and call. We were born to be the perfect wife who always looks perfectly happy raising her perfect little children. At least that’s what we’ve read.

Who came up with this stuff?

The most annoying part is probably the men who think they’ve figured out everything about women. That a woman’s sole purpose and desire in life is for a man to ‘Put A Ring On It‘. I beg your pardon?

The saddest part is when I see my sisters who buy this dream that is sold with all their being. Who search high and low for a man, holding onto him for dear life in the hopes that he will pop the question, disregarding his – I don’t know – lack of a moral compass, genuine concern, loyalty, or interest in a future together with her. I cannot pass all the blame on these sisters of mine – the dream is being sold at every wedding store, kitchen tea party, magazine rack, movie theatre and family gathering.

So do we not want to get married? That too is incorrect. Of course there are many women who want to get married. Myself included. There are also many women who don’t want to get married. My point is, it is not our reason for existence, nor should it be.

Our purpose here on earth is to live for God. Men, women, young and old. I have come to understand that. We are here to fulfil the purpose He has for us in our lives whether it be working in the corporate world, at our local church, running an outreach programme or business; or being a stay-at-home mum.

That is what we ought to live for. For marriage, as I recently learnt from Pastor Myron Edmonds, is not about happiness. Marriage is about holiness. It is a ministry and should help you in your journey to heaven.

So sorry to burst your bubble. There is so much more to women than fashion, tea parties, wedding planning and making babies. We’re here on earth to live, learn and lead. Allow us please.

“So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

10 Songs That Make A Zim Wedding

Weddings. The joys!! These are a huge deal in Zimbabwe. This is where, aside from funerals, you get to catch up with long-lost family members over a plate of overcooked rice, tomato gravy, crispy chicken and coleslaw as you sip on your bottle of Fanta or Coke. To some it may seem basic, but to us, this is what weddings are made of. And we love it!!

The highlight of any wedding of course is when the bridal party does ‘ma-steps’ during the reception as the Mamas weave inbetween them, ululating till kingdom come after which the dance floor is opened up and the guests join in, breaking it down to the latest hits. Weddings are one of the few times you see young and old, Sekurus and vazukurus, dancing the night away together in celebration of a new addition into the family.

I decided to compile a list of songs that I grew up hearing at weddings – and boy did they make a wedding pop!!

1. Vulindlela – Brenda Fassie

The late, great Brenda Fassie gave us a wedding anthem that will last for decades to come. In this song, she is speaking about a traditional African wedding, telling guests to make room for the bride. The beat makes it a perfect song for wedding steps.

2. Come Duze – Zizi Kongo

This song is a call for a loved one to ‘come duze’ (come closer). Perfect for a wedding. It takes me way back to when I was a little kid watching my aunts and uncles two-step to this track at our family weddings. It warms the soul.

3. Loi – Koffi Olomide

South America has the salsa. The Caribbean Islands have the dutty whine. Africa has got the ‘Soukous/Lingala/Congo’ or as us Zimbabweans like to call it, the ‘Rumba’ made popular by this Congolese legend. Loi is one of his most popular tracks which makes for a great wedding jam.

4. Nkalakatha – Mandoza

I have no clue what this song is going on about. All I know is when that first beat drops, people lose their ‘unhu’ as they scramble to the dancefloor.

5. Tauya Naye – David Chifunyise

David Chifunyise released this song and it took Zimbabwe by storm. Similar to Brenda Fassie’s ‘Vulindlela’, this song speaks about the arrival of the muroora. He narrates how he first met his girl at school, realised there was chemistry between them, and the road that led to her becoming his bride. A great sing-along song at any Zim wedding!!

6. Roba Letheka – Ishmael

I remember doing ma-steps to this song for a cousin’s wedding. Again, I have no clue what he was saying, but this song definitely got the crowd going!!

7. Ndihamba Nawe – Mafikizolo

Mafikizolo is one of the greatest South African house groups of our time. They gave us one of the best house songs to ever grace a wedding reception stage. Ndihamba Nawe is a song you definitely want to hear at your wedding reception!!

8. Thathi Sgubhu

This is a track by South African kwaito group which included Jah Seed, a Zimbabwean native. Some of their music is in Shona as a result of his influence. This band has delivered a number of hits that helped make kwaito popular across the Limpopo River. This is a wedding favourite for many!

9. Destiny – Malaika

Another classic from a South African house band. This makes for a great sing-along at a wedding – you can catch young and old belting their lungs out to this simple yet soulful track!

10. Mamaland – Yvonne Chaka Chaka

A song celebrating the motherland! Yvonne Chaka Chaka is an African musical legend and this song is one of her greats!! Takes it way back and lights up any wedding dance floor!

Born To Die

That’s a fact.

The death of ‘Glee’ star, Cory Monteith as well as the verdict on the George Zimmerman case really got me thinking about death. Each moment that we live draws us closer to our day of departure from this earth. How sad it is that parents have 9 months to prepare for a new life which can be taken away in an instant.

Obviously life is not about living each day wondering when death is going to come. You have to make the most of it while you can. In understanding this, surely one cannot make light of their existence here on earth?

We really only do live once. Unfortunately though, the YOLO movement took things a bit too far. We even saw some corporate companies jumping onto the ‘YOLO’ bandwagon.

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The fact that we only live once shouldn’t make you throw all caution to the wind, risk your life and have no dreams about tomorrow.  On the contrary, YOLO is not simply about living in the moment. It is about realising that you only have one life to live and you need to care for yourself and make the most of it. Be it in the relationships you have; your faith and spiritual well-being; your health; your body; your education; your career; your dreams and your aspirations. Yes, you should also challenge yourself and do something that frightens you, but not to the point of death.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:19 -20

Live a life of purpose. God makes no mistakes and He put you here for a reason. How will you honour God? How will you make your stay count?

Come To Victoria Falls Part II – White Water Rafting

I mentioned last week that I would be posting Part II of my ‘Come To Victoria Falls’ post and here it is!! Whilst we were in Vic Falls, we had the awesome experience of going white water rafting.

I was very anxious about this little ‘adventure’ when the decision was made that we’d be hitting the waves in this manner. For some reason, I was certain I’d hit my head on a rock when the raft capsized. The fear ran deep even though I knew they wouldn’t let us go rafting if the water was not deep enough.

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Despite my fears and uncertainty, I went along for the ride. We used Shockwave Rafting‘s services for this experience and they were awesome!! Our captain was so much fun and really got us to get out of our comfort zones. The excitement grew and by the time we got to our destination, I was all smiles!!

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We were all smiles not quite understanding what lay ahead of us.

One thing you don’t quite realise when you go rafting somewhere like Victoria Falls is what a steep hike it is to get down to the gorge. And you have to do this whilst carrying your equipment. Luckily for us, we got the guys to carry our oars for us. We finally made it to the bottom where the captain gave us some safety instructions and we practised our safety skills. Don’t take these for granted!! It really helps to know what you’re doing especially when the raft capsizes.

We had such a blast! The raft capsized several times but we all made it out alive! It was one of the most thrilling experiences I have ever had and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

During the quieter moments, we got to observe the scenery and what a scene it was. So breathtaking. Seeing the world from such a magnificent angle was such a treat.

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We also got to pause at the edge of the river. Here we dove from quite a height into the water below us. It was an unreal feeling. The guys also got to go down a natural water slide – Am and I weren’t too sure about trying that, so we stayed in the raft!

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After all was said and done, we made the long, breathtaking – in more ways than one – trek back to the top. Once again, the guys carried our oars. The crew ran up and down (literally) past us as they collected the rest of the equipment. I was amazed at their levels of fitness considering how much huffing and puffing I did as well as the number of breaks we had to take to make it up top where the crew was waiting for us with a delicious lunch spread.

An incredible experience.