Harare: An Imported Social Scene

Like South Africans go wild when international brands announce their launch into South Africa, Zimbabweans have enjoyed the introduction of some South African brands into their world. Think of the madness that ensued when Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and the likes touched down in South Africa.

Food Lover’s Market, Sam Levy’s Village
Photo cred: Sam Levy’s

I recently took a trip to Sam Levy’s Village in Borrowdale, Harare (commonly known as ‘the Village’, Harare’s equivalent of Sandton City) to watch a movie at South African major cinema brand, Ster-Kinekor. It was fascinating to see the brands that line the entertainment cul-de-sac of the Village. Restaurants and leisure brands there include Mugg & Bean, Newscafe, Smooch, Ocean Basket and Simply Asia in addition to Ster-Kinekor. All of these are South African brands. I felt like I had escaped the reality of Zimbabwe and transported myself back to Sandton City as the cul-de-sac buzzed with tweens, teens, young adults and families of different races.

Ocean Basket, Sam Levy’s Village  Photo cred: Sam Levy’s

In having a conversation with my parents about this phenomenon of South African brands, my Dad highlighted that the success of brands like Pick n’ Pay and Food Lovers’ Market has boosted the confidence of external investors. We have even seen KFC relaunch itself in the market after previous arrivals and unceremonious departures. This is great for our economy which has been on its knees for years and is in desperate need of foreight investment.

As an avid brand enthusiast, however, I cannot help but look and ponder at what this means for Zimbabwe aside from the obvious economic benefits. This is by no means a conclusive review of the Harare social scene. There are plenty of other local brands that serve the Zimbabwean population. You see, however, the unfortunate thing is the Village is targeted at a small minority of Zimbabweans who can afford to have a thriving social life unlike much of the population. This means the fortunate few are spending on brands that are essentially taking money out of a country that is in a huge cash crisis. Pity.

Another thing is, places like the Village foster a false sense of wellbeing when reality is, there are huge levels of unemployment and poverty in Zimbabwe. This increases the disparity between the haves and have nots. Typical of a struggling economy, it is a sad thing to witness the elite living in excess whilst the rest scramble to survive.

Finally, it saddens me that Zimbabwean citizens are so thrilled by these brands who have come into the country charging premium prices for their services which are, otherwise, standard-tier brands. Try stunt on someone in South Africa about dining at ‘Ocean Basket’ or having drinks at ‘Newscafe’ and see their reaction. It’s really nothing to write home about.

Newscafe, Sam Levy’s Village
Photo cred: Sam Levy’s

At the end of the day, I understand that there are many issues at play and this is a sign of progress for Zimbabwe. There are also some local brands that have done and continue to do well such as Pariah State and Chicken Inn (they opened a chain of drive-thru venues). My concern is that we become so enthralled with importing brands instead of creating, supporting and helping local brands flourish. We have a way to go before local brands can establish themselves and thrive as well as their international counterparts, but I don’t think it’s too soon to be careful.

I really want to see local and African brands grow from the ground up and thrive. One day, I hope we’ll be able to and be excited about exporting our own brands to countries that we have been consuming from for decades.

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The Duo That’s Reinventing African Gospel

From the moment I first heard them, I knew there was something different. Something so incredibly special.

‘Simon & Esther’ was their name. Someone in the crowd joked that their name sounded like ‘Simon & Garfunkel’. Another quipped that Simon ought to change his name to ‘Ahasuerus’ – a more appropriate, biblical moniker given this was a church service. In spite of these light-hearted jokes, there certainly wasn’t anything ‘light’ about these two.

The honesty, vulnerability, truth, passion, humility and strength of their music was nothing to take lightly. From the first phrase, the audience was captivated. Never had we heard anything like this before. We were moved, touched and inspired by more than their talent. We had been touched by God.

So it came as a no-brainer to me that I wanted to – needed to interview this duo. Simon and Esther have reshaped the way I see gospel music and are the epitome of individuals who allow the Lord to use them for their work.

Speaking to them on a one-on-one basis, you realise how acutely aware they are that this is not about them at all. It is their ministry and they do not take it lightly. With their spirits, you can sense they are just like you and I, but in their eyes glimmers a knowing that they are on the path of fulfilling their purpose.

Simon, the brains, strategist and planner of the two. Esther, the gentle but strong spirit who lends her testimony to their performances. What a duo. I introduce to you ‘Simon & Esther’.

Simon and Esther

Simon and Esther

Profile

Who is Simon? Who is Esther? Tell us a bit about where you are from

Esther: I’m the youngest in a family of four. Mine is a very musical family and that is where I obtained my musical side. As I grew up, that musical side has developed into what it is now.

Simon: I’m 27 and I come from Zimbabwe – Triangle though I spent most of my time in Harare, currently in Johannesburg where I have been working and studying for the past 6+ years.

What are you currently doing aside from music?

Esther: I’m currently doing my final year of Economic Sciences Bachelor’s degree at (the University of) Witwatersrand.

Simon: I’m currently working as an analyst for a management consultancy in the energy industry. I’m also a tech startup founder– launching a product (in) 2017.

What defines you?

Esther: A woman who has given herself to serve God through music of the olden day with a modern feel.

Simon: not sure if this is the answer for your question but I like to be “defined” by my value system – my beliefs, my family, my passions, my fears, my dreams, hopes and not necessarily what I have or what I’m able to do.

Tell us about your history in music that brought you to this point.

Esther: I was a member of choir in high school and at church, though I was rather a reserved member. Over the years I developed a fascination of music that is rare in its taste and was fascinated by how old hymnal songs could be given a unique nowadays arrangement. It sounded beautiful to me and to others I shared with. That is mainly what I do as opposed to composing new songs.

Simon: The guitar was a dream from about 4 years old – I remember praying to God for a guitar to drop from the skies. My proper introduction to music came when I was 15 when I was taught about music production and creation via DAW (digital audio work station) by a musical urban grooves singer that used to stay next door to my brother in Harare. So I spent a lot of time making beats, mixing and arranging instruments on Fruity Loops 3. And I remember thinking thank you Lord for blessing me with all these guitars and instruments. So that went on for a while and died down. Fast forward to 2010 on my 21st birthday my cousin bought me a guitar as a birthday present and the rest is history – I taught myself through YouTube videos and theory almost on a daily basis from 2012 onwards.

Simon & Esther

How did the ‘Simon & Esther’ duo come to be? When did you meet?

Esther: We met at a Wits fundraiser concert in May 2016. In addition to being in the mighty Wits SDASM choir that was hosting the event, I was presenting two songs with some friends of mine. Back then, I wasn’t very active in ministry work but was keen to start, so I’d prayed that God would make it possible that I meet somebody whom I could work with. Right after the concert I met Simon for the first time and he asked if I could sing over an acoustic background which he would provide. At first, the purpose was simply to hear how it would sound, simultaneously sharpening our own vocal and guitar skills. We agreed to meet and our first practice session which was very successful and full of inspiration

Simon: In addition, I [Simon] had received inspiration from God to start a unique acoustic sound (guitar and vocals) and I remember sharing it with a friend of mine in the music space. I felt that there was a need for a different sound and approach to our (sda) music as 90% of it is mainly acapella which has been stretched. So I prayed to God to start a guitar and vocal duo and I started keeping an ear for a good unique voice.  4 weeks later, Wits SDASM choir had a fundraiser concert which I became aware of on the day and had no intentions of going but I decided to go and see a friend of mine from Zim that was performing a solo act. As soon as I heard Esther literally the 1st line I knew the reason why I was there and like she said I approached her after the concert and the rest is history.

How would you describe each other?

Esther: Simon is my older brother from another mother.

Simon: Esther is a gifted young lady, a sister, a friend and a talkative person often disguised as very quiet and reserved. She will laugh at any opportunity regardless of the expense.

Your musical style is very unique to what most would associate with African gospel music. Tell us a bit about your creative process and what inspired you to almost reinvent how we have come to know gospel music to sound? Do you write your own music?

Simon: I often come up with short melodies on the guitar and 90% of the time I just record them and then I revisit them and look for words that are fitting (existing songs or new words or a mixture of both) and allow it to be a workshop with Esther so that she puts her ideas, feel and style to it.

Esther: I am still trying to learn the art of music writing. I rearrange old hymnals. Simon writes some of our song and other friends as well.

How long does it take for you to complete a song?

Esther: It usually takes me a day; however it only comes by inspiration. I can hardly just come up with a beautiful rearrangement randomly.

Simon: Anything between a day and a week and months J

How often do you meet and rehearse together?

S&E: Depends if there is a concert or new song for presentation but at least once a week.

Influences

Esther, your voice gives Tracy Chapman/Chiwoniso-esque vibes. Could you share your inspiration?

Esther: I will be very frank that I did not even know about Tracy Chapman until people mentioned this as we were doing the ministry. I want to believe that God can inspire people by himself because I also do not know why my voice is inclined to that kind of music.

Simon, how long have you been playing the guitar and who inspired you? Do you play any other instruments?

Simon: Consistently for 4+ years (almost every day). I just liked the instrument without any particular inspiration somehow as I said from like 4 years old. However when I started to learn and play the guitar I was attracted towards more quality music as opposed to noise so the likes of Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, Asa Louis Mhlanga etc. I’m a beginner on the keyboard.

Mission

As a duo, what is your objective?

S&E: To spread the message that Jesus Saves, He cares and He loves Mankind.

What do you think the world needs to realise about Christ’s soon coming?

S&E: We want the world to realise that this event should be viewed as an exciting event as opposed to something that arouses fear within us.

If you could perform anywhere in the world for any audience, where would that be and why?

S&E: The idea is not to limit our music to “SDA’s” (Seventh-Day Adventists) but to genuinely take it out there so one day we would like to present at a church with a huge following  or on the DSTV gospel channels, but of course we believe we are going to travel abroad as well and wherever English is understood would be nice to go and minister.

When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?

S&E: The duo that sang more than music. They sang Christ.

Safe to say these two are doing just that & I look forward to following their ministry. To keep up with them, be sure to like their Facebook page: Simon & Esther Music.

Sister Solange Slays

And those three words are so fitting for her.

Sister
Infamous for being the younger sister to megastar Beyoncé, Solange once lived in the shadow of her sister’s relentless talent and ambition. She was formerly a back-up dancer for Destiny’s Child and when she decided to pursue her Solo (pun intended) career, fell pregnant, got married and moved to a new town. Isolated and alone she divorced her husband and started all over.

Photo cred: Pop Sugar

Photo cred: Pop Sugar

Photo cred: Huffington Post

Photo cred: Huffington Post

Solange
An individual and an anomaly, there really is no other Solange. A unique individual, Solange moves to the beat of her own drum, treading on uncharted territory and opening doors for other young, black people. Her style and vision is unparalleled. A constant inspiration to many. Her own 2014 wedding to director husband, Alan Ferguson, had us all in our feels and shifted the way we envision weddings and wedding hairstyles at that.

Photo credit: New York Post

Photo credit: New York Post

Slays
2016 is the year I think the world finally stared Solange’s talent in the face with her number one album ‘A Seat At The Table’. Yes, she had been referred to as the ‘it’ girl when it came to her fashion and style. But I don’t think folks took her very seriously. But look at God! His delay is never a denial. This album placed her and Beyoncé in the elite group of siblings with number one albums on the Billboard 200, all in the same year. A great feat that was seemingly long overdue, but right on time.

This year she turned the big 3.0. – a pivotal age for most and she managed to do the most as she entered into this new chapter. She did so with so much style on a birthday trip with friends and family to White Sands, New Mexico with an  Instagram feed that left us all with deep-seeded FOMO as she frolicked with her friends in matching AWAVEAWAKE frocks against a stunning white backdrop. Just one of the many ways Solo sets trends and raises the bar.

Photo credit: Instagram

Photo credit: Instagram

Photo credit: @saintrecords Instagram

Photo credit: @saintrecords Instagram

A Seat At The Table

Photo credit: Pitchfork

Photo credit: Pitchfork

“I’m weary of the ways of the world.”

The opening line on track two of her album sums up the tone of the album. This is not a pop-licked project for folks to dance to and forget their woes.

In actual fact, quite the contrary. This album forces you to think about your woes as a black person in the world, specifically in America.

She resigns, questions, struggles, fights, stands tall, defies and cries unapologetically on this project with so much finesse and beauty. This record, though tackling real and painful issues, does so without portraying the stereotype of an ‘angry black woman’. No. Solange strikes an incredible balance of making her voice heard whilst practising great restraint over an angelic backdrop as her melodious voice flitters and floats in exquisitely delicate harmonies.

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That is why this project is so special. It took four years to come to life (one of her songs and a fave of mine, ‘Cranes in the Sky’, was actually written 8 years ago).

Her story epitomises what it means to stay true to yourself and your vision whilst patiently pursuing your purpose. She has managed to forge her own path so beautifully and rise above in spite of all adversity.

One of my greatest inspirations. Slay on Solo Slayah!

The King Behind Queen of Katwe

Photo credit: Walt Disney Company

Former finance professional, Tendo Nagenda is one of the key players who brought Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ to life and in such a beautiful way.

I have always had a strong fascination with the people behind the scenes that are instrumental to creating works of art that we enjoy today. For me, it’s about the minds behind the brilliant concepts and ideas that the world loves, and the kind of qualities these masterminds possess in order to accomplish what the world is truly inspired by. That is my inspiration.

About Tendo

Born to first-generation immigrants, Tendo is the first son of an Ugandan father and Belizean mother. He was raised for a while in Los Angeles and at age 12, spent two years living in Kampala, Uganda where he got exposed to his African roots.

Professionally, he obtained a degree in economics and politics which led to him becoming a finance consultant at Deloitte & Touche. He then chose to pursue a different career path altogether.

Tendo Nagenda: A Career Trajectory Many Africans Can Relate To

In reading his story, a lot elements resonated deeply with me. Having been raised across different countries and travelled to several regions myself, I too have developed a strong love and desire for my continent. Here are a number of reasons why I connected so deeply to Tendo Nagenda’s story:

  • Similar to him, I am the by-product of an inter-cultural marriage thanks to my Ndebele father and Shona mother.
  • He initially studied and pursued a career path that would provide him with a secure future. As Africans, a lot of us understand that job and financial security are at the top of our parents’ priority lists for their children. In so doing, there are often restrictions and pressures to study for certain degrees (think accounting, law, medicine, commerce). This often leads to being unfulfilled as Tendo was and the subsequent quest for purpose and meaning tends to happen once we are established in said ‘approved’ profession.
  • As a result, we often have to juggle our reality and our dreams. Tendo took classes at the New York Film Academy & then UCLA in order to bridge the gap between his current position and desired career path.
  • Our success tends to happen against all odds. Africans are often deemed to be at the bottom of the food chain and in a lot of ways, few hold influential positions in key industries that shape perceptions and the world. Tendo had to fight against these restrictions.
  • We often have to work for a lower pay and sometimes discriminatory conditions because we are foreign. Tendo articulated this so well in his interview with Face 2 Face Africa:

“Another challenge – and I expect it would be for a lot of people, in particular first generation children of working-class immigrants – is that when you’re first starting out in the entertainment industry, you are very poorly paid and it’s hard to make a living. You have college debt or family obligations; you want to help your family out and not be still dependent on them.”

In a lot of ways I can resonate with this. As an immigrant or someone living in the diaspora, you do whatever it takes to build a career for yourself and sometimes it means being taken advantage of. This goes beyond just the entertainment industry.

  • You have to prove yourself ten times harder than most. Even though he stumbled across Tim Crother’s article of Phiona Mutesi’s story in 2011, the world only got to see his vision come to life in 2016. In order to make it happen, he had to first prove himself with Disney success films ‘Saving Mr Banks’ and ‘Cinderella’ before his dream project came to life. I have always felt that we have to work much harder as Africans to prove ourselves to the world especially as young, black African women.
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: (L-R) Executive Vice President of Production, The Walt Disney Studios, Tendo Nagenda, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, Sean Bailey, chaperone Mark Mugwana, Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende, Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi, Director Mira Nair, actors Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong'o, Martin Kabanza and David Oyelowo, screenwriter William Wheeler and composer Alex Heffes arrive at the U.S. premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The film, starring David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, is directed by Mira Nair and opens in U.S. theaters in limited release on September 23, expanding wide September 30, 2016. On September 20, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Tendo Nagenda; Mark Mugwana; Madina Nalwanga; Lupita Nyong'o; David Oyelowo; Sean Bailey; Robert Katende; Phiona Mutesi; Mira Nair; Martin Kabanza; William Wheeler; Alex Heffes

Photo credit: Moms n Charge

All of this is such an incredible inspiration especially for me as a young, black African. So moved. * Queue Donny Hathaway’s “To Be Young, Gifted & Black”.*

Beyoncé’s Lemonade: The Visual Diary Of So Many Black Women

Lemonade | Beyoncé

Lemonade | Beyoncé

Listening to ‘Lemonade’ for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d been highly disappointed by her previous body of work on her self-titled album ‘BEYONCE‘, so I tuned into Lemonade with much skepticism.

I was pleasantly surprised. At last I felt that we had caught a glimpse of the actual woman behind Beyoncé. Not in her state of performance – picture perfect and well poised. But she allowed us a small glimpse into the true pieces of herself for us to ponder and think on.

From infidelity to desperation, anger to reconciliation, we see Beyoncé battling the inner turmoil of so many women who’ve experienced the infidelities of their loved ones.

Fascinating enough, she ends the album off with a glimmer of hope. That all is not lost. Many women who have been in a similar position would understand. When you’re bent on walking away from a marriage but somehow you still have fight left in you and are committed to your marriage beyond what you thought you could tolerate.

The ugly truth is what she relays on this album – whether or not this truth belongs to her and Jay Z. It has resonated with so many. It is the story of our mothers, aunts, sisters, friends and so many women before us, amongst us and our daughters to come.

The first half of the movie was uncomfortable for me. There were no holds barred and it was a true testament to the genius in this body of work. She speaks a truth so bluntly and boldly, a truth that so many of us can resonate with. There is so much power in that.

Media and manics alike have been bent on watering down this body of work as a pure marketing stunt or about figuring out who ‘the other woman’ is. It was inevitable that many would think this way, and I don’t doubt that Beyoncé wasn’t aware. But at the heart of it are tales and testaments that we can all resonate so deeply with.

Ijeoma Oluo’s article in the Guardian put it so well. There is so much value that can be derived and the story of the black woman is being relayed as has never been before.

Forget Piers Morgan. Forget Rachel Roy / Rita Ora or whomever else the other woman can be. Forget the publicity stunt for just a moment. Forget the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype for just a second. I am not even asking you to delve into the visual excellence that was accomplished in this movie. No. I believe the focus should be on the fact that there is a lesson and meaning to be drawn from ‘Lemonade’. Can we acknowledge that and what it means to the many women who’ve had to draw strength from the deserts and dried up wells of their lives after hurt, loss, betrayal, pain and so much more. The women who have managed to pick themselves up and carry on.

A corny title it may seem but truly, when life gives you lemons the best thing you can do for you and your loved ones is to make you summa that lemonade.

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Black Woman, Love Yourself

Love thyself

Love thyself

And yes, I speak of the black woman.

I speak of the black woman, because she is oft at the bottom of the food chain.
I speak of the black woman, because she is constantly in question.
I speak of the black woman, because I am she.

The realisation that hit me is that when all is said and done, if we don’t love or care for ourselves, who will?

When I say ‘love thyself’, exactly what am I talking about?

Embracing oneself and genuinely taking time out to be one with yourself. Taking a moment to take care of you FOR you. Whether it be a long bath, reading a book, meditating on the Word, praying, going for a jog, writing, getting your hair did or getting dolled up to take yourself out for a date.

I recently read an article that spoke on the life of creatives and the need to replenish the creative bank. I think we could all take away something from it, creative or not. Taking time out to replenish the ‘me’ bank.

I think most modern black women can resonate with it to be honest. Especially historically where we come from, a woman’s role was so often about doing without feeding the spirit. Today, the duties may have shifted but the concept still remains the same. We’re so busy serving, cleaning, cooking, obeying protocol, giving life, taking care of bills, appeasing others, praying for others, mothering others – the list goes on – that we forget to get busy with us. One of my greatest fears is to look back and wonder what I did with my life in spite of all the hecticness.

Lately this has been on my mind. The being busy syndrome we tend to have without really focusing on what it is we want to do for us in order to progress, grow and to be at a place of peace, calm and joy.

I think sometimes we put too much pressure on others loving us, and when that love doesn’t seem to be flowing through, we feel that we are somewhat failing at life. The responsibility of being and feeling loved, at the end of the day, lies with us as individuals. Not in a self-conceited, vain and inconsiderate way. No. In the way that God calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves. We’ve heard it said time and again – “how can we expect to love others if we cannot love ourselves”?

I come from a place where sometimes I’m so caught up in doing, I often forget about being. So this is a lesson I am really trying to learn and embrace.

“Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done.”

-Rudy Francisco

Guest Post: ‘Help! I’m Attracted To Bad Boys’ by Sonia Dube

Photo Cred: Tumblr

Photo Cred: Tumblr

I recently watched an old movie called “Rumour Has It”. It’s a rather twisted movie about a young woman named Sarah who is returning home with her fiancé for her little sister’s wedding, and finds out a family secret: a week before her wedding day, Sarah’s mother slept with a man who had previously slept with Sarah’s grandmother. This obviously rocked Sarah’s world because there was a possibility that this other man was her father, especially because she had never felt like she fit into her family. She goes seeking out this other man (Beau Burroughs), finds out he is not her father and ends up sleeping with him herself. Her fiancé finds out and obviously leaves Sarah.

That is just a background to the story. It is certainly a warped plot but it is more the character Sarah that intrigued me. You see, Sarah was about 30 years old now but felt confused and like she did not understand herself well. She felt almost stagnant and like she needed to enter into an adventure in her life. It didn’t help much that her fiancé was a normal, devoted and “boring” guy. He loved her dearly and desired to cherish her. Yet, Sarah felt terrified at the thought of marrying him and felt like she needed someone who excited her. She couldn’t imagine a long life of just normal I suppose. I’m sure she was wondering what was wrong with her. I mean this was a great guy – any woman would dream of being with him! Yet she just wasn’t sure. In a way, I realized as I watched this movie that I resonated with some of Sarah’s internal struggles and I’m sure so do other women.

You see, during my younger years at varsity I was drawn to your “bad boys”. I don’t think I need to explain what a bad boy is. We have all come across them or heard about them or read about them. If not, just Google the phrase and I’m sure you’ll get the idea. Lol. I’m someone who likes to be enthralled with life. Like Sarah, I desire adventure out of life. I seek it out. It has been the same with the guys I have dated or liked. I have been drawn to the men who are mysterious – they have clear life issues and it feels good to me when such a man lets me into his space. Or at least makes me feel like he has. It’s the man who has this “I don’t really care about life or about you” attitude who gets my attention. I know – twisted right?!! The one who lives for the thrill of life – travelling to different places; trying out new things; living a spontaneous life. Someone who just cannot be pinned down by anything or anyone. It has always made me feel alive!

But.

Like Sarah, I realize now that it’s not what I need. And like Sarah, I understand that just because a good man does not initially excite me, it does not mean he is not good FOR ME. By the end of the movie, Sarah realizes that in as much as her ex-fiance is lacklustre in her eyes, she loves him and he loves her. He is constant and reliable. He is a truly strong man because he does what is most difficult in the world – he eventually forgives her like she’d never cheated on him and takes her back after she asks him to. Even though she may not feel excited about him, it does not mean that her feelings don’t run deep for him and vice versa.

I’ve come to understand this is true with me. I may be excitable, spontaneous and driven by passion half the time but it is not a dangerous or exciting man that is good for me. It is not necessarily the man who evokes tingles or thrills within me who will be there for me when life gets real. It is not the man who puts up a front about his feelings for me who actually has those feelings for me. Instead, like Christ, it is the man who respects me and loves me for who I am with all my not-so-great-qualities who is right for me. It is the man who is willing to forgive me when I mess up rather than create drama (thrilling as it may be) who I need. It is the man who is willing to gently but firmly call me out on my bad stuff who will build me up. It is the “boring” man who desires to do the right thing and to obey God who will encourage me to do the same.

You see, I have a nature that is free and loves to explore. There is nothing wrong with that I finally realize. It is a part of who God created me to be. I’m not confused or crazy or untameable. I am not abnormal or unable to settle down. However, I need the right partner to walk with me on this journey of life so that this adventurous nature is harnessed in the right direction. In the same breath, I need the right partner for me to introduce some spunk and spontaneity into his life too! You see, I’m learning that we need the person God knows we need and not the person we think we want. As the saying goes, what we want is not always what is best for us.

It is also so true that love is not a feeling but a principle. One of my favourite quotes on love comes from a book called “Letters To Young Lovers” by a lady named Ellen White. It reads:

“True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which

is awakened by impulse and which suddenly dies when severely tested.

True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. On the contrary, it is calm and deep in

its nature. It looks beyond mere externals and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and

discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding.

Love is a precious gift, which we receive from Jesus. Pure and holy affection is not a feeling,

but a principle. Those who are actuated by true love are neither unreasonable nor blind.”

This is beautiful. It encourages me that it’s alright to seek out a love that is calm and assured. My feelings cannot lead in this decision. So yes, I may naturally be drawn to bad boys but that’s because of my unhealthy and sinful ways of thinking that I’ve developed probably from past experiences. It does not mean though that I need to follow through with them. I just need to trust God to guide me in the direction of the right man for me. I may be attracted to bad boys but it’s not the end of the world J

What’s been your experience with “bad boys”? Do you have a completely different story? I’d love to hear it!

With love,

Sonia Dee

Sonia Dube

Sonia Dube

Sonia Dube is a daughter, sister (my big sister), friend, founder of black African woman, young professional, counselor and people-person. She has a heart of gold and offers great counsel to many on the daily. She taught me what it means to truly love God and I am constantly learning from her. I hope you can take something from her article too.