For all it’s beauty, glitz & glam … I find love to be scary in equal or greater proportions.
It’s in the uncontrollable feelings of attachment towards another person. Their happiness becoming your happiness, their sadness becoming your sadness and everything in between affecting you just as much as it affects them.
It’s in the way you are trusted to be a pillar of hope, love, light and joy to another person. It’s in knowing that your decisions are no longer yours alone but have an impact on the life of another person.
The scare intensifies when you realize that love is permanent but people are temporary.
It’s in the thought that one day our loved ones may be no more. It’s in the consuming anxiety of thoughts of loss. It’s in the not knowing when your interaction will be the very last. Whether halted by breakup or death. Loss of a loved one is a real scare.
But someone once said, we like because but love DESPITE …
My mind and I are in a never ending war. It’s like my life is a miniature battle field. Some days, I triumph over it. Successfully reclaiming my sanity, calm and peace. Some days it wins our wars, pushing me to the edge and making me feel things I would rather not.
When does the cycle end though? I always wonder. Will there ever be a time when my happiness is not flavoured with random, intense waves of unexpected sadness? Is it something I should accommodate as “a part of my journey”? – these thoughts constantly flood my mind and the answers are lost on me.
But still, I sigh. Just kidding. I rise….. I guess. lol.
I am a fighter not a quitter. So, every time my mind wages war, I get in the ring and put up my best fight.
I am also one to allow myself to feel, so I live through the waves and this minimizes the risk of experiencing compound, complex lows which I may fail to overcome.
Writing is one of my ways to fight my mind, like right now. A random interlude on a working night to declutter my thoughts.
I hope it gets better eventually. My therapist commends my efforts in attempting wear my heart on my sleeves- I guess that counts for something.
What’s the point of masquerading and appearing to be perfect in an imperfect world?
Anyway, I’ll end here. (now to think of a title for this random blog lol)
If you’ve read this far, please send good vibes my way. (:
I have been struggling with deciding the appropriate structure or form this blog post should take. Should it be poetic jubilation of triumph from the perspective of a youth that took part in a historic revolution? Should it be a detailed narration of events leading up to this moment? Even though the form is lost on me, I’ll write anyway as this has to be documented. It NEEDS to be documented.
For those who may not know, on August 12 2021, Zambia had it’s general elections. With what has been recorded to be one of the largest voter turnouts, people lined up in long queues for many hours- to use their votes as voices to speak for the many years their voices were silenced.
Borrowing the words of an anonymous Zambian Voter:
This was not an election, it was a revolution. No one can stop a revolution
What followed from the 12th of August was days filled with anxiety, expectation, uncertainty and religious following of updates by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). This was also flavoured by the shut down of internet and a widespread use of VPN. Memes and banter formed the basis of most conversations with margins between the two main contenders being at the center of the jokes and commentary.
In the early mornings of Monday, 15th August 2021- a winner was finally announced by the ECZ. The once opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema (HH aka Bally) emerged victorious as the President-Elect of the Republic of Zambia.
An emblem of democracy. History in the making.
As Zambians, we used our votes as voices and instruments of power
I took a much needed hiatus from back to back blogging right after the WinterABC Challenge. I am well rested now and feel very glad to be back 🙂
As an aftermath to the challenge, I was inspired by Shazzy‘s appreciation post and thought it wise to also come back to express my gratitude for being nominated as one of the Most Outstanding Bloggers of the WinterABC 2021 Challenge – it is such a milestone in my blogging journey and I dont take it lightly.
Here are some of the heart warming reviews I got:
They say gratitude unlocks the fullness of life, so here I am… pouring out my love and gratitude to you all. Your sentiments mean SO MUCH to me.
A huge congratulations to all the other nominees, you can find their names and blog links here . A special congratulatory wish to the winner of the Most Outstanding Blogger Award: Elise Tirza!!! A very well deserved win.
Looking forward to blogging and growing in the days/weeks/months/years to come!
Day 22/22 of the #WinterABC Challenge!!!!- WE MADE IT!
Between my generally tight schedule and episodes of writer’s block, I NEVER thought I would make it through consistently blogging for 22 Days!
As a first time participant of this challenge, I close the challenge with a bag full of experiences and lessons. Before I proceed to detail my highlights of this journey, here is a song dedicated to all my fellow participants! (Fun random fact about me lol, I LOVE MUSIC so much so that at some point in my life I considered being a DJ 🙂 )
Attempting to accurately detail and off load my full bag of experiences from the challenge may prove futile. But here is my attempt in 3 of my top highlights:
I learnt how to put mywork “out there” and it didn’t back fire lol.
Before this challenge, I was very hesitant about putting my blog out there. I would write and that was it. I knew I wanted to engage with other writers and sometimes I wanted to write things that would spark conversations with others. But, I lacked the confidence to do that.
I am happy to say that the challenge has boosted my confidence and I have gotten awesome reviews, constructive criticisms and generally learnt more about myself.
2. I tried out different styles of writing
I usually lean more towards creative writing with a bias towards poetry whenever I am blogging. However, this challenge allowed for me to try out a wide range of writing styles. From Poetry, to E-nterviews, music reviews, story telling, etc. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone and there is nothing I love more than GROWTH.
3. I have made friends, future collaboration points andfuture content creation ideas
I honestly love that this challenge came with a sense of belonging. I discovered bloggers I didn’t know about and as we created and interacted it is safe to say we have created awesome friendship bonds. I have collaboration ideas and general content creation ideas and I look forward to a continuous, thriving relationship with all the amazing Afrobloggers!
Thankyou all for journeying with me and for being AMAZING PEOPLE.
Wow… I can’t believe we are already at the end of 4 weeks and into the 5th and final week as far as the WinterABC Challenge is concerned.
This week was very exciting as it allowed for necessary conversations to be had. From the pieces I had the chance of reading, we all mostly focused on either our regional culture, that is, the African Culture or various national or tribal cultures. Again confirming the truth which is that culture is VAST.
A lot of aspects of culture was discussed this week. We had amazing and thought provoking posts on food, clothing, music, lobola, Female Genital Mutilation etc. I will edit this post along the way and share links from my amazing fellow bloggers.
This week was also about all things fashion! I think it was strategic that the two topics were paired. In my E-nterview with RKC – A Zambian Fashion designer, she said that “Something that I learned is that fashion and culture dance around each other with people and communities at the center ” and I sternly believe there could be no better words to accurately capture how the two are intertwined.
I loved that most of the fellow bloggers allowed us to journey through their personal wardrobes or national and tribal practices by sharing the types of clothes worn. It was beautiful to see! I like that most people also related with practices of Sustainable Fashion which I shared in echoing guidance from a Zambian Fashion blogger, Taonga.
On a personal level, this week was not the easiest as life kept happening. But, I am glad I caught up all the same and pushed through on my commitment to fully participate on all the 22 days of this challenge- a resilient queen! if I do say so myself lol.
Looking forward to the free story telling leeway in the next three days as we bid farewell to June and the challenge.
I have amazing ideas of the stories I will be telling. Can’t wait to read what others create.
Some months ago, we officially clocked one year into the ‘new world order’. If anyone told me that the world in general and corporate world in particular would swiftly and compulsorily transition into virtual space, I would’ve chuckled in disbelief. But here we are, in a novel place proudly sponsored by the Covid-19 pandemic in collaboration with its numerous variants (deep sigh).
For today’s segment, I will share what remote working has been like for me. With over a year plus into this new world order- I realised I hadn’t yet shared what my experiences and encounters have been like. This is mostly because, the time the first wave of Covid rolled out, I was consumed with the balance between work and school- preparing for my bar exams and I really had no zeal to write for pleasure. I could say, I actually had some sort of Writer’s Block. There was alot I needed to let out but- the how and when was lost on me.
The months that followed were flavoured with anxiety, break downs and other emotions that came with the required adjustments into the new world and again- I did not have any time or zeal to put pen to paper and narrate all that was going on.
Buuuuuuut, as there is no expiry date on experience, I thought this would the right time to share my perspective. It is, after all business and tech week which is all encompassing of the remote working and online learning saga I have been plunged in. As this is write up is dubbed “Tech Talk”, my encounters will lean more on the Tech Aspect.
The unexpectedness of the pandemic and the rapid yet compulsory transition into the virtual world was not easy to take in. To no longer be able to have full control of my experiences and to be constantly reminded that anything could happen to anyone at any time was disastrous to say the least.
The following where my main pain points as we transitioned into the virtual world:
Not being able to hug
Lol. No but really, I am such a hugger and physical touch ranks highly on my love languages. The limitation was overwhelming. I remember this one time, my parents came to visit my apartment to bring fresh supplies- vegetables, fruits and all. We could not hug and embrace each other and they stayed in the car the entire time, masked up and sanitizing their hands after the drop offs. I sobbed when I got back into the apartment. I look back then and feel we were just a tad bit overly cautious, but they are elderly and the first wave pronounced the older people as the most high risk. I had to trade in my affection for their safety. A brutal trade.
2. Not being able to go on solo dates – breakfast, dinner, movie etc
Prior to the pandemic limitations, my most reliable coping mechanism included being alone in crowded places (that sounded a lot better in my head lol but seriously). I enjoyed solo breakfast or dinner dates, attending live music and poetry shows, movies from the cinema etc. In a flash, all this was taken away and I struggled. I was forced to be indoors. ALL THE TIME.
What made it worse (or rather, better as far as Covid prevention is concerned) was that, my workplace immediately transitioned into full time remote working- we have not looked back since then. My school also introduced online learning and my screen time significantly increased. Church also started streaming services and let’s just say, I had no reason to be out there.
However, having to work, learn, relax and generally exist in the same environment was very triggering. I would take walks once in a while and spot a few people without masks and go back to safety (hate that surviving Covid is a group project, if others are slacking no matter how careful you are you’ll be gone). Also, my eyesight got compromised in the process and I now wear spectacles 😦
However, I very soon realized- this pandemic was not just a “wave” that would fade away quickly. It dawned on me months into the pandemic that this could be, as most people were calling it, the new normal. At that point, I knew I only had one choice- to ADAPT, quickly. The most vital thing I needed to work on was a perspective shift. It mattered not whether the glass was half empty or half full, I had to be grateful to still have a cup at all.
I trained my mind to see the good in the new world order. I happily set up my home office work station and begun to embrace the beauty of the Virtual World.
The unsung benefits of the virtual world which I have been dwelling on are as follows:
Since the first wave of Covid, I have been working remotely- I do not miss the traffic jams that would be the norm of most of my days pre-Covid;
2. As an ambivert, there were many times when my extrovert side was unwillingly dominant over my introvert side because, of social demands! I love that I am now able to attend parties, weddings, church services etc in the comfort of my space. This was the balance I never thought I needed!
3. I love that most companies are now intentional about providing delivery services for goods and services. I will choose convenience any day and what is more conveniencing than door step deliveries of favourite supplies? This has definitely been a plus!
4. I loooooooooove that most institutions are now being intentional about online learning programs/ discussions. I love to network and sometimes time, distance and lack of resources to move from one country or to the other would make me miss out on amazing opportunities. But now, I am able to connect with many people through my screen. Who would’ve thought I would be this pro-tech!
As controversial as this may sound, I have come to realize that there is beauty in every situation. All we must do is train our minds to focus on the positive. The new world order necessitated the transformation of my mind and birthed my perspective shift.
I still miss the world as it was before, I had hopes of travelling more last year and this year but all that has been down-sided. The grief that has come from losing loved ones and seeing loved ones lose their loved ones has also been very devastating.
Nonetheless, as far as tech is concerned, virtual reality has made some things easier.
In the days to come, I will profile some Zambian Entrepreneurs as they share their lived experiences. We will be talking, business, tech and the pandemic. Be sure to look out for that exciting segment.
Welcome to yet another exciting week of the #WinterABC2021 Challenge by Afrobloggers. This week we are ushered into Business and Technology conversations– a very timely and much needed topic given the time we are living in.
Before we dive in, here is a reminder of where we are coming from, where we are and where we are going:
This post is a rant. lol. Quite unethical to get the ball rolling with a rant, right? But, I believe there are no strict rules to this … so here goes.
There have been a number of things that some business owners do/say, which I don’t quite agree with as a customer. I believe that every customer regardless of the age or pocket size, must be accorded a certain level of respect and etiquette. I decided to call this post “Mind your business” as I believe business owners have to be mindful on how their businesses are run.
That being said, here is a list of things that business owners do that I don’t like:
“DM for Price“
For readers who may not know, DM stands for Direct Message. When advertising their products, some business do not put the prices out there but instead insist that any potential buyers should contact them directly and request for the price. To be honest, I find this lack of transparency very questionable and also inconveniencing. Questionable to the extent that, I feel some prices maybe altered depending on the person asking and there is no way to hold the business accountable as they do not have a written record of what the price should be.
2. Bad Communication Habits
Understandably, running a business is not the easiest thing to do. But there is no excuse in the land above or the land below that would sufficiently create reason for a business to be rude to it’s clients. I am a very “may I speak to the manager” person when confronted with impolite services because I feel that it is a terrible habit needing fixing.
In the classic movie, Matilda (one of my all time favourite movies), there is a scene where the father is orienting the son on selling cars. He then says something like “people don’t buy cars, they buy me.. that’s why I have to be presentable” The same can be said with every business. As a bonafide member of the Zed (Zambian) Twitter Community, I have noticed how people with likable personalities easily drive they’re business agendas and rally up support. It is not a coincidence. One’s personality has a bearing on the customer of potential customer- whether this bearing is positive or negative depends on the communication mannerisms.
When I think of business owners who have given me a run for my money because of dishonesty, tailors come to mind. To accommodate the lack of efficiency and dishonesty of some tailors, there are unwritten rules that clients have come up with such as moving up the expectation date to avoid disappointment. I don’t think this should ever be the case. Businesses must openly communicate when to expect the product and stick to their word. In the fashion week, I will strive to profile one of my favourite Zambian tailors and commend her for her timely deliverables and exceptional work.
4. Over promising and under delivering
The bakers take the cake in this category. Pun unintended. I really do not like it when businesses indicate they have capacity to execute well and fail to deliver. I find it more honourable when some businesses admit they have never worked on what is being requested but will strive to deliver, this way client expectations are realistic and there is an option to go to another vendor.
All in all, to the readers running businesses (myself included lol), you’re commended for the hard work and the services you provide. This post is not to disregard all the strengths you hold but rather, it was just a gentle reminder to mind your business and take care of it’s growth by working on a few things that would make at least one customer (me) happy. 🙂
In the days to come, I will share more business and tech content (which most likely won’t be a rant as I have let things off my chest here lol). I also look forward to reading the amazing content from other bloggers.
In the meantime, please share what some of your pet peeves are when it comes to businesses.
Almost signed the blog off with “Kind Regards” – perks of Mondaying in the Corporate World.
Today is the last day of yet another week into the #WinterABC Challenge by Afrobloggers. This week was Advocacy Week. At the beginning of the week, I expressed excitement to hear “Loud, Unapologetic and Unfiltered” voices from bloggers across the continent and beyond. Unbeknownst to me in that moment, advocacy and activism alike have a tendency of opening up wounds as they’re usually platforms upon which people freely bleed with hopes that the injustices mourned for will not reoccur.
Understandably, this week was a cocktail of emotions and perspectives. There was strength, there was information, there was controversy …. but, there was also pain, trauma and gloom. To all the bloggers who shared this week- whichever voice you let out, I would like to remind you that it was not in vain. For those who faced their traumas, I send lots of love and virtual hugs. I pray healing visits y(our) hearts and souls.
Today’s “pat on the back” will be a hug through a song that always sometimes lifts me up (I hope it will have the same or similar effect). My dedication to everyone whose emotions were wrecked as they created and advocated this week:
As I committed on the last day of creatives week, every last day of the week will be a Recap & Highlights moment with sharings from various bloggers and seasoned with some Nsatu-rated Thoughts.
The invisible string that tied most perspectives last week, continued to do so this week. There were some post that were connected in a beautiful manner and where one blogger left off- another picked it up and the harmony was heavenly. I must reiterate that adequately capturing all the various topics or posts that were shared this week would be nearly impossible to do. However, you’re all commended for using your voices bravely.
I begun my week by talking about the difference between Advocacy and Activismhttps://missnsatu.wordpress.com/2021/06/07/advocacy-week-advocacy-or-activism/, I shared that where as activists are regarded as having lived experiences of the injustice fought for, advocates are mainly people that empathize and occasionally have audience with centers of power and can use their voices to effect change. I then reiterated that the classification or labeling between the two should be secondary as the end goal and primary focus should be the vocalizing and amplifying of voices against injustices.
The importance of Advocacy and the need for everyone to take a stand was succinctly yet accurately captured by Joseyphina’s World (https://joseyphina.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/wbc-advocacy-5-why-you-need-to-take-a-stand/) when she wrote: “We all believe in something; hence there is always something to stand for. Regardless of whether you’re religious or not, we were all created for something. None of us was made just to waltz through the earth with nothing to offer and yet every opportunity to mess it up” .
Mental health also appeared in the soul deep sharings by Valentine which he called “Please Come In” . He let us into his real life encounters and left us with life altering perspectives to ponder on. The Please Come In sharings can be read on his site, accessible here: https://valentinewrites.co.zw/visceral/
Rufarocarol added her voice to the very important mental health discussion by writing on Drugs and Mental Health. She importantly and thoughtfully, shared resources available to help anyone struggling, these can be accessed here: https://rufarocarol.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/252/.
In one of his artistic romance tales, Casa tackled an angle of mental health that comes with loving and losing. In a letter he called, “To a woman who broke my heart” (https://casaldotonline.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/winterabc-day-7-to-a-woman-who-broke-my-heart/), Casa showcased the power that comes from harnessing the mental strength to look on the bad things done or said to us as ushering us into our greater good. In his words, he wrote “I may never find true love again, but it doesn’t matter. Because I was forced to learn to love myself. And that’s the most romantic love story of all” – so profound.
Governance, Youth Leadershipand Constitutionalism were also tackled this week. I believe these are conversations that need to be had constantly as the leadership and governance trends in Africa have left much to be desired. In tackling this topic, Tee Madzika https://teemadzika.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/chronicles-of-the-youth-and-leadership-winterabc2021/ shared that: Africa’s leadership operates to simply obtain power and hold onto it by any means necessary and later raised an array of thought provoking questions we all need to ponder on: “Why is it that Africa’s best and brightest are lead by the worst? Why is it that there’s no room for the youth in politics on the world’s youngest continent? What is it about retirement that African leaders fear so much?”
Later this week, I wrote about Access to Justice (https://missnsatu.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/advocacy-week-access-to-justice-poverty-reduction-winterabc-day-7/) and the role it would play in reducing poverty if upheld. I highlighted that it was important for the courts of law to to be impartial irregardless of the litigants difference in economic and political power. In reply to my post, Benjamin question the question ofcapitalism in a post he called the Fallacy of Capitalism (https://musanjufukavubu.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/advocacy-fallacy-of-capitalism/). He asserted that there is need to reform capitalism. He argued in his controversial yet insightful post that, ” The origin of all inequalities and suffering is caused by capitalism. Not defining it but I will say a line about the economic system. It’s one where a tiny fraction of people in the world own and control all resources, products, and their only objective is to maximize profits for themselves. This is outrageous or even sad for a human with as fully functioning mind.“
The African Culture was another topic addressed this week. In her post on the Mother Tongue (https://sanctuaryofgreatness.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/mother-tongue/), Shazzy stated that – as someone who is very Afrocentric, I found this post to be very “on point”. There is need to uphold the African Culture and to stay rooted through language. In here words, Shazzy stated that: “I want to talk about the new generation of children who cannot speak their mother tongue at all. They twang like they were born with oxford dictionary on their mouth. I’d blame the parents on this one. A child is taught good English at school, and even when they come back they still allow them to speak English in the house. Parents should prompt the children to use their home language at home.“
Connie wrote about Death and Wills generally. However, I feel this awareness can be tailor cut to the African culture as it is uncommon for most people to prepare for their deaths. Some deem it as summoning evil spirits or bac luck whilst others have reservations about their dependents feeling entitled. Nonetheless, it can be agreed that the need to leave wills that adequately carter for loved ones is important. Read more on this topic here: https://behindclosedscreens.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/death-and-wills-advocacy/.
As can be noticed from the recap shared, indeed this week was a cocktail of emotions and perspectives. I appreciate that different causes where given the audience they deserve and were talked about with conviction.
To read more on the amazing content that Afrobloggers brought this week, search for the #WinterABC2021 hashtag on Twitter.
Next week, we tackle a very futuristic topic: Business and Technology. I am excited to create content around this and to also see what my fellow bloggers will have in store for us.