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.

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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 … ūüėäOne 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

The cards we’ve been dealt …


I recently found myself getting anxious … Really anxious to the point that I couldn’t function effectively. About 2 and a half years back, I injured my shoulder at work and for a while, it seemed to get worse and worse and I thought it wouldn’t get better. I decided I would apply to go back to uni because if my shoulder didn’t heal, I had limited options. Then I got engaged and rather than defer my uni plans, took on uni and wedding planning on top of the responsibility of parenting and work. Not only is wedding planning stressful, but for me it also brought back a lot that I needed to work through from my past and placing so much pressure on myself to do it all in a year plus a few things going so pear-shaped last year left me just unable to function effectively. I was worrying about things I had no control over … the wedding was sorted, I finish uni this year, and the shoulder did heal.

Recently, I heard a preacher talk about working with the cards that you have been dealt and it got me thinking. So many times, we look at our lives and focus on things we can’t change. You can’t change your family, or your past. Most times, you can’t pick your boss, and sometimes, you find yourself forced to be where you don’t want to be. Things inevitably will go wrong; you win some, you lose some. We all have battles to fight, be it disease, or wars or just facing an unfair world. Instead of stressing, worrying about what’s out of our control, it’s important to remember to play the cards we’ve been dealt.

Everyone has their own set of cards, and I realised that wondering what our lives would have been like, doesn’t help us. Even without the bullies, the unfair boss, the horrible parents, or the lovely parents who died too early, there are no guarantees our lives wouldn’t be as messy as they are now. Everyone has mess to clean, stories to tell and battles to fight, be it at someone else’s hand or our own making. Sometimes we want people to sympathise and find an easier route for us, but life is hard, at different times, for all of us and we must each play the cards we’ve been dealt. I have only one guarantee … God! and that’s all I need. Do I get stressed still, yes! Today I caught myself worrying about not having a placement for prac and how this would eat into my planning time, but again, was reminded that I can work with this, it’s not the end of the world and God has me covered.

So before you start crying over what was or could have been, make a life out of whatever your circumstance is and find ways to get to where you want to be.

Love


Love sits on a throne. He reigns with patience and kindness, and sweeps over the earth like a flood. Love takes us captive, whilst freeing us and renewing all we’ve lost. Love is a wave that covers us over, drowns us and saffocates us … yes, love is death, everyday, every time, when people throw insults at us, Love saffocates us, and gives life to mercy and tolerance. It requires a lot of sacrifice. Love allows us to fail, to fall, to make mistakes, because Love always stays, always catches us and always corrects.

Having too many people on your guestlist is a good thing


Today I had a realisation … having guestlist problems isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means that there are so many people out there who you would love to have celebrate with you. Yes, some may not understand why you would leave them out, but budget constraints sometimes mean that you have no choice but to cut names off.

Most people want to come because they care; because you share a relationship they treasure. Even those we don’t know are usually there to support someone close to you. Those that are there to hate, well, if God is going to set a table for you before your enemies, you need enemies.

What would be sad, is not having anyone to invite; to be alone; with no support and no one to walk you through the wedding jitters, and no one to celebrate with.

Our list is over 500 names strong, and yes, it has been cut and will be cut further, but these people have all played important roles in our lives at different points.

So if you, like me have too many people on your wedding guest list, thank God, because others have no one.

 

Sometimes sin …


Sometimes sin and discover that there is no substitute for the surpassing joy and peace that Christ gives

Sometimes sin, when melancholy hits, promises so so much, until it draws us further into the depths of anxious turmoil … depression

Sometimes sings; our drugs of choice, our weaknesses, promise to drag us to hell; but if only Christ would save us, we would be free

Sometimes sin? We all do, but in Christ freedom is possible …our brokenness sometimes sings our strength in Him

Sometimes sin, if only to break your pride so you can depend on Him to kill sin

There are no sometimes sins. they all break me and enslave me … if only Christ would set me free … I would be free indeed


I don’t know what it is that has died in me … I’m fearful most of the time. If you had seen me back in high school, you would have probably voted me most likely to succeed. But I don’t go after ¬†my dreams anymore. I don’t know if I have any dreams left and the only reason I make any attempts at trying, is that my daughter depends on it. I hate ¬†not knowing where I am going, or how to get there. Today I’ve taken multiple steps backward, but this is my one step forward. This is my life, and somehow I have to live it.

How my mother saved me from one incident of molestation


so today I read a sad story about a 13-year-old who was molested by a vice principal at a her school and the sad events that followed. I couldn’t help but think of my own daughter who is 14 and whether she would be comfortable enough to talk to me about any such experiences. I sometimes wonder, like many parents if we have done enough to protect her or if ever it is possible to protect her.

I was reminded of my own experience from about 20 years ago. I am a Trust school kid, and at the time was in Grade three. I was one of those students who didn’t do her homework and didn’t finish her work in class but still managed to come 12th out of 24 students on the grade ladder. Eventually I think my teacher and my headmistress tired of my attitude and notified my parents. Mum straightened me out on the homework front, but my speed when carrying out tasks was none-existen … still isn’t great. One afternoon, another student and I didn’t finish taking down notes and we were asked by our teacher to go back and finish them (we could go home and eat lunch and then go back ¬†to school). I went ¬†home and because I lived 30 minutes out-of-town, by the time dad dropped me off at the school my classmate had already left.

I went into the class and started taking down notes and a janitor came in to clean the class. At some point he was ¬†standing close to me, and though I can’t remember the conversation, I felt uncomfortable. He reached to touch my face and I pulled away. He kept reaching and I was going to fall off the chair when I blurted out “I’m going to tell my mum”. He left me alone and I stayed clear of him every time I saw him in school. Of course I didn’t tell anyone about it but the reason I have blurted out that I would tell my mum was that I had remembered my mum saying that if anyone touched us in a way we didn’t like (not her exact words) that we should tell her.

I moved to the upper trust school the following year and sometime later, the same Janitor was with another janitor (one who was nice to students) and he tried to join a conversation that the nice janitor was having with me and my sister. I pointed out that I didn’t like him and that I hadn’t forgotten what he had done. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about and I insisted he did and he walked away. His collegue looked puzzled and hezitated before continuing the conversation.

Just that one experience has informed my parenting in an attempt to protect my daughter, but I don’t know if it is effective or not. I started telling her about inappropriate touch from about 2 and a half and tried to make it ¬†clear that if anyone touched her in a way that made her feel bad, she should tell me. Why those words? because most sexual abuse victims will tell you that they felt something was wrong or they felt bad or ashamed and the language needs to make sense to the child. As she’s grown older, my language has also changed and sometimes I simply give her scenarios and ask for her responses. By no means do I think it’s fool-proof, but our options are ¬†limited. We can’t go everywhere with our children but we can give them tools to protect themselves. Even with those tools, their courage may fail, or things might still happen for whatever reason. In such cases, remember to not place blame on the child, and to show them they are loved. And always remember to pray, because where we don’t go, God still goes, and in the end, His ways are higher and His healing hands always able to bind what the enemy destroys.

As for this child, I pray that she ¬†finds peace and that she remembers her worth and beauty and the courage to live life to it’s fullest.

 

my experience buying a dress from Owprom


I bought a dress from Owprom.com for my wedding. I was looking for a different kind of dress and found one I liked in a store but it was too expensive. I decided to check online for it and I found it. I checked the website and made sure there was nothing funny about it and it was listed as an American Company. I bought the dress and online banking showed two transactions by a Chinese company. That was rectified with one transaction reversed. when it was shipped, I was given a tracking number and when I checked where the parcel was, discovered it was coming from Singapore. When it arrived, was the wrong colour and didn’t have a built in corset as advertised and the lace at the top looked a bit funny. a tailor’s pin was also sewn into the dress. The veil is horribly done and can’t be used. I have been in contact with the Company and a lady called Fiona has refused to give me a full refund, offering me $80 to $200 and keeping a dress I can’t use on a total Au$570 spend. She says they can only guarantee that a dress will be 95% similar and that dress was not near 95% similar and that ¬†was not stated on the website. I have checked the site again and the description of the dress has changed and doesn’t come with a built in corset anymore. If any you are thinking of buying a dress from Owprom.com … don’t do it!

Sister love


20150919_110942 20150919_112623 20150919_110906 20150919_110628Two weeks ago, my sisters and I went to South of Perth and spent the night just outside of Dunsborough, then, the following day, we went down to the Mammoth cave and did a self-guided tour; this was by far, the highlight of the trip, especially the bush walk at the end. We then drove down to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, and the Cheese Factory not before heading back to Perth.

Just four girls on the road, not really knowing what we were doing, maybe that was why it was so fun. I didn’t even sleep as much as I expected I would. It was good to get away, and be filled with a sense of nostalgia as we zoomed past the bush, feeling at home as we walked through the bush trail after our cave tour, with some people jumping because a twig brushed their leg. Walking down the beach, in the cold, wondering what snakes were possibly around (I promise you, if there were no snakes in this world, I would gladly live in the wild, with no care at all). Yes I know they have been given a place in this world, but I can’t stand to even look at them on TV.

Hunting for places to buy food and preparing a meal, took too much of our time, but girls gotta eat! Then there was the candy at the reception of the place we were staying. I’m the type of person who eats the sweets while the others make enquiries and then take some for the road … shamelessly. Let’s admit, we all like free stuff, I’m just honest about it.

I have to admit, that on this trip, I was struggling for joy, and I had to keep reminding myself, not to ruin the trip for everyone, especially considering I have done that before. In the end, we all ended up having fun, and I can say, that I’m grateful for those around me, who can cheer me up without even realising the power they have.

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