Protecting children from sexual abuse 


Statistics show that most sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by someone known to the child. So how do you protect your children in such an environment? Do you watch every person they come into contact with? Run background checks or just limit the contact they have with people? Surely you can’t cage your children in, and children need the love of their community to flourish. I believe the best way to protect children from sexual abuse is to teach them to self protect. So how do you do that? Here are some ideas. I am not an expert, however, I have drawn from lessons from my own life.

1. From an early age, talk to them about what appropriate touch is and what it is not. Do this in an age appropriate way, but do it.

2. Teach children never to be behind closed doors with people. How do you do this? Modelling. If your children come into your room, always ask that they leave the door open. If you need to talk to your children in their room, leave their door open and ask that they do the same when other people enter their room.

3. Teach your children to be polite but don’t force them to give people hugs and kisses if they don’t want to. For instance, you might say to children “we always say hi to people.”  and insist they are polite and offer greetings, but don’t insist on hugs and kisses. My nephew sometimes gives hugs and kisses but there are times, for whatever reason, that he says no. In those cases, I just say, “that’s okay.” You don’t want them feeling that they don’t have a right to say no.

4. Make it clear to children that sometimes people do bad things and that if something someone does, makes them uncomfortable, they should tell you. It might be something small, but if you create this sort of environment, your children are less likely to keep things from you. Remind them that sometimes people threaten other people and that if someone threatens them that something bad will happen, they should still come to you. Make it explicit that even if it is you who touches them inappropriately, they should tell someone. If mum and dad are not exempt from the rules, it creates an environment where no one else is. 

5. Tell your children to tell the person making them uncomfortable that if they don’t stop what they are doing, they will tell their mum and dad.

6. Limit sleepovers to only the houses of people you trust but talk to your children before and after they come back. You can’t cage your children in to protect them, but if a child is confident and knows what people can and can’t do, and is confident that you will protect them, they are less likely to get hurt.

7. Pray for your children; where you can’t go with them, God always goes.

8. Keep loving your children, and in the event that all you do fails and abuse happens, love them and make it clear that it wasn’t their fault. And make sure that justice is served within the law. The thing most abuse victims struggle with is a lack of justice. Keeping secrets puts other children at risk. If someone is bold enough to sexually abuse one child, they can do it to other children.

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Cholera


So most of you probably think you know what I am going to talk about. Zambia has been hit by a Cholera outbreak that has seen 2000 cases since September, with 51 people dead. When you consider the percentage of cholera sufferers who show symptoms, you realise that the number is higher. 

This last week or so, we have seen the government launch a clean up of Lusaka that has not been done by any government and the response from some people is a view that they should have done this earlier. But wait, I think we need to develop an eye for good, before a critical one. 

This is the first time that any government has attempted a clean up of Lusaka and yet we want to find fault and say they should have done it earlier.  Zambia, and, on a larger scale, Lusaka has experienced Cholera outbreaks every single year, and yet we have been idle. Opposition and ruling party members, Lusaka city council plus us Zambians all need to take responsibility for what we have bread. Don’t criticise the government when it is the people who throw garbage in the drains; a habit that totally drives me insane.

Rather than being critical,  let’s give thanks that Lusaka is being cleaned up and also take the time to think of those suffering. What we shouldn’t do is shift blame or forget what is important, change has started. This is not something to be used for political gain

Last day of 2017


So today 2017 comes to an end. Many people are celebrating that they made it to the end of the year. That, in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but it’s time to take stock of what’s happening around us and within us. For me, 2016 and 17 saw the worst anxiety I have ever experienced. It was as if I was not in control of my mind anymore. I had gone from the lady who would sing before exams and just not care about the result she couldn’t change after, to a woman who worried about everything. I stripped my blog, and stopped writing. This year, I saw myself going back to my baseline of anxious (or not) and back to a level of trust in God that has seen me being more content with where I am. 

2017 saw me eat my words 🙂 He married me. This man that I love married me and in the words “I do.” God’s innumerable blessings were fulfilled. In my getting married, and being so happy with my husband,  God has set a table before me in the face of my enemies, and the greatest enemy of all Satan. What he intended for God, God went far and beyond in blessing. This year, I saw people I didn’t even expect to bless me, bless me.

My baby grew  a bit more, and I can honestly say, she’s a more resposible young woman, working, and the amount of help she put into planning her mother’s wedding. 2 more years to finishing high school  :). 

I finished my graduate diploma this year and proved to myself that I was capable and while completing that, my family lost  one of its pillars. Ba Shikulu ba Uncle Shaft … lol … don’t  worry about the name, he’s actually my grandfather. He was a gentle bear of a man and I will miss him dearly. His death still doesn’t make any sense, but then, maybe death isn’t meant to … still feels like a nightmare that will one day end. 

This year, close to my wedding, a niece and nephew were born and my sister had twins. One of my baby sisters started her medicine internship and there were SEVERAL weddings. 

My husband graduated, and even though I was not able to attend the graduation,  I am proud of him.  Life happened this year, I achieved a lot, but again not without my family. The words, God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask or think,” rung true and as I go into 2018, it’s all for his glory. 

Forgive my mistakes, I am not going to read through this post 🙂


I seem to write about death a lot, but maybe that’s because I cope better when I put my thoughts on paper, and death is one of those things that I don’t spring back from easily. 

I am trying to understand,  maybe understand isn’t the best possible word. I am trying to come to terms with the thought that God isn’t always going to heal us.

My grandfather passed away a month ago yesterday, and it’s hard to believe because I am away from home and have rarely seen him the last 10 years. He was a kind man and went too early and too young … and his death has left so many questions about the love and healing power of our sovereign God. 

Yesterday, someone said “Faith is not hoping that God will do it,  it’s knowing that he will.” What does thag mean? Were we hopefully praying that he would live? Did we not have enough faith. Did we doubt? 


We all knew that a day like this would come. Christians all across the nation must accept what the law of the land has become. Before the stones fly, I don’t mean accept anything that the bible calls sin as right but accept in that we understand what has been passed and not fret, because at the end of the day, “we know in whom we have believed.”

We must continue to respect people and love them, but above all else, we must love God above all else. That is our call. That might become harder now but like the first Christians, we are not victims but victors, with a God who promises to be with us in the Lion’s den and in the furnace.

Be still and know that He is God.

Self harm


today a briefly watched a show where I heard a psychologist talk about self harm as a way of getting attention. That’s interesting because a lot of the time people who harm themselves,  in whatever way possible, usually do so in hiding. I guess maybe she meant that it can be a component of some people’s self harm. She talked about behaviours like drug abuse as forms of self-harm. Got me thinking … do I possibly create drama or self sabotage for sympathy? I guess there’s scales to our habits … and most people who know me will run to the no answer if I asked them this question, but really, it got me thinking and the answer is yes … to an extent … yes, yes, I am probably using a magnifying glass on my life, but it’s true. This for me feels like a dangerous thing, that if unchecked, could grow into something that could,  potentially, destroy the good I’ve been blessed with. After all, “a little leaven …”  

the truth is, on this journey with Christ, until I die, there will never be a time when I can safely say “I have arrived.” There’s always something that we can grow in. I honestly don’t know when it started, but yes, there is a part of me that seeks sympathy … there’s this internal fight, like in all things, the good and the bad, waring inside me. The Spirit and the flesh … 

Zambians as victims


The day before I left Zambia this year, I had the honour of talking to my grandfather, who has a briliant mind. I was talking about how things were so unfair for Zambians and the usual “investors don’t pay tax.” Blah blah blah … This is what he told me. Every Zambian has access to the same investment portfolios as foreigners through the Zambia Development Agency. He also told me that  Zambians, if they have a good investment plan, have access to loans through the Citizen’s Empowerment Commission. Sadly some people accessed the CEC, taken money and misused it. They have not achieved what they said they would, due to lack of discipline. Those unpaid loans are stolen money from public funds. I found out there’s even loans available in the agricultural sector if you want to upgrade irrigation, again, only available to Zambians. He also told me that while there was no transparency in how much foreign investors gave in royalties they did.

I was of the view that investors all got 5 year tax exemptions. I found out that day that the tax exemption is only applicable if you import equipment for use in the “investment” and Zambians too had access to those  exemptions.

I remember, a few years back, my father told me about a farming project started by government to empower people of  a certain area (won’t say where).The people the government was meant to empower were meant to put money back into the farm so that when government stopped funding it, they would still be able to run it. The farm started making money, and government funded the project for longer than the terms had stated. 

The people involved apparently started living luxurious lives and some even started having affairs instead of growing the farm. Unfortunately, When government pulled funding as was meant to be the case, the project failed and people were up in arms. The project didn’t  fail because of government but because we as a people, generally lack self discipline. 

Why am I putting it all out there? Because we as a people have too many misconceptions about what we have and what government is and isn’t doing. We talk about colonial powers and how they bought our mines but we neglect to mention the part where we mismanaged the mines to a point that they needed selling. We are more responsible for our plight than we would like to admit, but it’s easier to deflect than look at where we fail. 

Am I saying government has nothing to answer for? No! Am I saying that accessing the services I talked about is easy? No! I don’t know if it is, but how many of us have actually tried? My point is, question everything you hear and don’t be so quick to jump on the “victim” bandwagon. What are we doing as a nation? If whenever you have money, what you spend it on are sex/drinks/food/expensive clothes/expensive cars, what will change when you have these investments we cry foul over? 

I hope that somehow this makes us all look inwardly and hope that we are able to ask for the wisdom to get ourselves out of ths rut we are in.

Shama


A little background: I was on YouTube wanting to play a playlist I made before my wedding. It mostly contained songs I wanted at the wedding, that didn’t end up playing (that’s a story for another day). I accidentally clicked on an old playlist and started driving, which meant I couldn’t listen to anything else and wasn’t prepared to stop … 😊One of the songs that played is a song called “Shama,” by Mr. Fortune. The term can be translated “cursed…” uku shama is the quality of being cursed(the irony in that statement). Mr Fortune talks about how we can experience God’s blessing and then the minute things  go amiss,  we forget that and immediately lament how cursed or unlucky we are; of course  his song is a lot more poetic than that. He further prays that God would change his ungrateful heart, uyu umutima uushi tasha (this heart that doesn’t or never says thank you.)

I don’t know,  but lately the theme running through my life is a need for  greater awareness of my blessings and this reminder to remember that God is who He says He is and promises so much. He has seen me through so much and anxiety and worry only rob me of the joy in Him. We need to remember the gravity of what He has won for us and not treat “shama” like a close relative we call upon when things are tough. To listen to the song here’s a YouTube link. https://youtu.be/ua9TKVjZvEo