24/10


That date marks three things for me. It happens to be Zambia’s independence day, My small mum’s memorial but also happens to be my cheeky young sister’s birthday. That I think is the best part of it and I will talk about that last (always good to end on a high)!

Our independence day for me sort of leaves me feeling a lot of things. While I am glad that we are no longer under British rule, I see things that go on in my country and I’m saddened. What sort of country will my grandkids live in? Is this all we have to offer our kids? Corruption and misplaced priorities? I often ask myself, “what did our forefather’s fight for?” Did they just fight to break the power of one oppressive force to have their children shackled by another? Seeing the state of my country leaves me thirsty for change and hopeful that one day, we will get there. I am reminded of a story I have been told about a man who went to a shop and was told he couldn’t buy the tea pot he wanted because he was black. Only white people were allowed to buy it. He didn’t leave without the teapot.

That man was Zachiluka Phiri, my grandfather. A man who refused to believe he was less of a human being than a white man. I think even that small action was a step in the struggle for liberty; if not for the country then for our family. He was saying to me generations later, years after he died that I was equal to a white man, that the shade of our skin was skin deep. That we were created equal. The fight for freedom from Britain ended 49 years ago for our beloved country but the struggle for liberation hasn’t ended. Corruption holds us down and is choking us. Its time for us to fight so that we can say to our children and theirs after them that they can achieve all that they set their minds to. That when they apply for a job, that they will be picked on merit and on a level platform with everyone and that corruption does not pay!

As for my small mum, she passed away in 2006 a day before I started my grade 12 exams. I generally don’t do well with death, I just crumble to pieces and I remember being unable to stop the tears for days even though I had exams. At school, on the bus, etc. Bana Bwalya was a woman with a lot of fight! She worked hard and she fought for what she was entitled to. You could not defraud her. She also had a sharp tongue and said what she meant! There was never a time when I had to guess where I stood with her. I guess it’s safe to say, she picked her battles and fought them well.

Then there’s my little sister who turns sixteen today. She has my small mum’s sharp tongue and I pray that God will use her to ignite a fire in our family and country that can’t be tamed. A good one that will purify our gold. She is beautiful and intelligent and my prayer is that she sees her worth and sees her gifts and uses them for such a time as this; for our season. I see a fire in the two that have gone before and I see the same fire in her (among others). Yes Mwaba my sweet, you think you know better than me today but I love you all the same and I see you beautiful. here’s to celebrating a beautiful soul. I still remember a little person in nappies 🙂 and can see a beautiful life changer ahead ! Happy birthday my sweet!

Advertisements

Still single


People wonder why I’m still single. I’m a 24-year-old who’s never been in a relationship and people are getting worried that if I go passed this age bracket, I might never get married. At different stages of my life, I have had reasons for not being in a relationship. One big one was fear. I was not willing to give a man a chance. Then at one point, I discovered I had my heart set on one man and was unwilling to let go completely. I finally did get close to being in a relationship but his heart was not really in it. I was an option, or at least that was the impression I got.

I had to move on and though there have been offers; not many I might say, I don’t believe in jumping from one relationship to the next, so even though I have never actually dated anyone, it feels right for me that I wait and see where God takes me. Those issues are still there, I guess everyone has their own but I need to work on me and my relationship with God so that when that man finally comes I’ll be ready. I wasn’t anywhere near ready the last time. What does ready look like? “In love with God” is what ready looks like and I am not there yet. I know what I am asking for in a man but I have to be working at being that kind of person. So it’s not a matter of counting works or checking a love metre. When I get to where God wants me before He brings a man, if He has one for me, then a man will be there waiting.

I am single because I am a daughter from a long line of strong men and women; men and women who have shown me to stand strong when I believe in something; women who built legacies alongside their husbands and men who respected their wives and protected them. I refuse to settle for less. If he can’t respect me before he marries me, it won’t matter after.

I am a sister and have younger sisters who need to see that settling is not an option. That there is more to life than a man to buy your Brazilian. That there should be a standard and that it is okay to be alone if God permits (Not yet at that stage). That they are too valuable to settle for a man who only sees their body or a man who is willing to trade them in for pleasure or a man who fills himself with alcohol endlessly or a womaniser. I have seen that too many times; even in my own family. If it did happen that I ended up with a cheat, it should not be because I saw those traits and settled anyway.

I am a mother and I want a man worthy of my daughters affection. The day she was born left no room for men who don’t know what they want. I am too “unstable”! There is no way I am going around adding to my instability by finding myself a man who can’t care for himself. Marriage is not an adoption and I refuse to be a grown man’s mother when I’m called to submit. I want my daughter to see in me, if I do get married, the example that I have seen some before me show. I want my sons and daughters to be blessed by my marriage and not to be maimed by it. I want a man whose example for my sons will leave them loving God, respecting themselves and the women around them; protecting them and not making baby mamas at every corner. I want them to see that I was me and that I was not defined by my singleness or my being coupled. That in whatever state I was in I lived. That I refused to be pushed in a corner and settle for just anyone. That while time waits for no one, focusing on the man I don’t have is daylight robbery. I refuse to let others make choices for me and that the responsibility for the consequences is mine.

I am more than a couple, more than a single woman, I am more than my feelings more than my aging ovaries. I do want to get married but not out of fear of dying alone, yes I am sometimes scared but this is the season of my life and I will live my life as it comes. Along with these things, I want my example to be that I did not sit around and wait for a man but that I lived for God and that nothing held me back. I want to move from where I am and to grow in each season, counting my blessings and not looking at what I don’t have.

Democracy at work


I am not one for giving opinions on other people’s “homes” and I don’t quite appreciate it when other people comment on my home when they have no clue what is actually happening. When it comes to the US government shut down I have heard opinions ranging from the Republicans are just racist and are doing “this” to get the black president out of office, right down to, Obama is stubborn and refuses to negotiate. I will not comment on the ins and outs of what is going on because I am not an American and we will leave that for them to do.

For someone like me who comes from “third world’ country, living in a Western Country, AKA Australia, it looks really bad for America because while we don’t understand completely what’s happening, it looks like a bunch of grown men refusing to compromise and find a working solution. A lot like a Country who is up in everyone’s business, but can’t even run their own Affairs. Constantly deciding what’s best for us Africans yet you can’t even decide on how to fund your own government. That’s how bad it looks and it will take a lot to build credibility.

On the flip side though, it goes to show that man can not be trusted. So many of us look to government to solve our problems, yet this shows us that the people we elect to lead us are just humans, who may or may not represent our best interests and at the end, each community has to find what works best for them. I guess it’s also a good thing that the President doesn’t have all the power. He can’t just act as he wills. Those are safeguards that my country only dreams of. All we can do is pray that everything works out okay

Joy in achievement


I attended a business breakfast a few weeks ago and I left with two lessons that I have been applying. “50 goals” and “just keep showing up”. 50 goals a year equates to roughly, one goal a week. So the idea is that you achieve a goal every week. They don’t even have to be huge goals. Some of mine have been as small as cleaning my room right through to acquiring a musical instrument. It is so exciting when you see small things adding up to huge things.

When it comes to showing up when I’ve committed to doing something, I sometimes can make excuses for not showing up. I find I have to force myself to go where I need to go even when I don’t want to or when I’m scared and I’ve found it’s changed a lot.  I have been practicing my screening after not doing well at my first job and over a month have seen a real improvement in how many slides I can screen in an hour as well as the quality. I’m not perfect but going even when I don’t feel like it has been a real help. One week I had to go in the rain, and travel on a train and walk for fifteen minutes after a three-day conference that required early starts, long days and late nights and with a bad attitude that needed fighting.

The other thing that keeps coming to mind is how King David, was meant to be fighting a war and stayed back and like my elder brother told me once, not doing what we are meant to at the time we are meant to is sin and sin leads to more sin which leads to death. There’s the old saying, “an idle mind, is the devil’s workshop.” The point being that, if David had gone to war, where he was meant to be, he wouldn’t have been on the roof of a palace watching a naked Bathsheba taking a bath and he wouldn’t have found himself an adulterer and a murderer and his family wouldn’t have ended up fighting itself.

Lately, I haven’t been very good at showing up unless absolutely expected to but forcing myself is helping change my attitude to things and though I am far from perfect, I am way better than I was when I lost my job in April. My shattered confidence is slowly returning and I have set a huge goal this week…It’s going to be hard but it can be done! Apply for five jobs. It sounds pretty easy but for me, after losing my job after six weeks, it has been really hard to put myself out there again. So people, get achieving. You can never experience the fullness of what God has for you unless you are willing to get up and try. Resilience isn’t about when you get up but that you do get up. This week, I’m going to have to show up (when I’m alone and no one is watching) and apply for those jobs. Lets just hope there are five jobs out there to apply for…

Celebrating life


This is probably the first year since my Uncle died four years ago that I have not woken up feeling low and depressed, or felt the need to feel that way. Today is my other Uncle’s birthday. So rather than focusing on what’s lost, I choose to give thanks for what I do have. In constantly focusing on what we will never again have, we sometimes forget that every single day, is a blessing and that we can be what that loved one was to us, to someone else. While there might always be a struggle for joy because of loss, it’s a struggle worth having. While sitting in the dark the whole day because of grief might seem attractive, if we allow ourselves to see it, there is a whole world out there that is more attractive than the depression death brings.

Celebrating life, requires we get up and live it, not drown our sorrows in alcohol or drugs or waste it spinning wheels of death as we do burnouts or encasing ourselves in darkness refusing to take part in the land of the living. I’m glad that when God chose to take Isaac, he did it on my other Uncle’s birthday because it gives us something happier to celebrate. Today I can look and say,  today God decided to call Uncle Isaac home, but today also marks the day that he gave us Uncle Solo, a man we love to bits and vice versa. I can celebrate the man who was Isaac and also celebrate a man who is Solomon. There is no shortage of blessings and even in death, Uncle Isaac continues to be a blessing, so I will enjoy the day, rejoice in it and be glad in it.

A21 Campaign


 
I haven’t been posting very consistently but today I wanted to bring your attention to the A21 Campaign which is an organisation that is working to end modern-day slavery. According to the website, there is a person trafficked every thirty seconds and the average age of the victims is 12, usually for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Worse still most perpetrators don’t get convicted and very few victims are ever rescued.

All human life is priceless and it breaks my heart that we as the human race can be so calloused that we can take humans like ourselves and subject them to degradation and bondage, worse still a child. But there is always hope, we can all play a part and help change lives. Every small action counts and every life saved is a victory so if you are at all interested, head to the A21 campaign website and start from there. If you are in Western Australia, head to the Australian Christian Churches website and check the events section where you will be able to find out about the Walk for freedom which will take place on the 23rd of November 2013. It is being organised by the Australian Christian Women but you don’t have to be Christian or a woman  to take part.

 

Home…A reminder of God’s grace part 2


Okay so last post was a bit heavy. Here’s a lighter one, one telling you what was so good about Zambia. There’s something about being home that is liberating, maybe because I’m the kind of person who loves being around people (Not huge crowds) and in Zambia, people were plenty. Before leaving Zambia, I hated, crowds, still do, but having been in Perth for six years and not seeing as many people out and about, I didn’t mind the crowds of Lusaka at all. maybe after a while, it would have bothered me, but for three weeks, it didn’t. I enjoyed being around family and we did rub each other the wrong way once or twice, but there was plenty of joking and laughing. I am truly grateful because our family has something that most don’t. We have unity that most families don’t and we are far from perfect but we are truly a unique bunch.

We managed to see at least seven of my grandparents  and unfortunately only two of my great grand parents, plenty of mothers and some aunts and uncles, one of them being my Uncle who passed away last week, siblings and cousins and a few friends.

After spending time in Zambia for three weeks, we headed to Zim, where the hospitality was beyond words. We attended my elder brothers wedding – I have a Zimbabwean brother 😉 -and boy was it fun! Its funny because generally, I hate it when people speak in a language I don’t understand but this time around, I quiet liked it and by the end of  five days, I was beginning to understand Shona.

The food in both places was tasty and coming back here, the difference is noticeable. The weather was very mild and the scenery was just lovely. Generally, the trip home, has left me even more unsettled in Perth but for now, this is where I am meant to be. The trip was definitely a God given gift and I am grateful!

Resiliently Joyful


I was going to post Part two of being home but I take a moment out to honour a man we loved. This weekend we lost an Uncle and I think he qualifies as the most joyful man I have ever known. He lived with a condition that was crippling and left him in pain but I don’t remember him ever being gloomy. He always had a smile on his face and I don’t just say it because he has passed away but he really was that kind of person. I never once heard him speak ill of anyone and that is the rarest of qualities. We saw him this holiday, after a very long time and I’m glad about that.

I recently saw a documentary about a condition called Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive commonly called FOP or Stone man Syndrome and it looks a lot like what Uncle suffered from, however that was not the diagnosis he was given and I guess we will never know for sure but I have never seen anyone other than him with such a condition except those in the documentary and it is truly rare.

We all love to gossip and whin about how life’s going bad for us but if we could take the time to be thankful for what we have and not think about what we don’t have, maybe, just maybe, we will live life fully. He lived independently for as long as he could and I can honestly say, we have lost a treasure but can also be glad that we had our time with him and he is finally at rest. We hold on to hope that God in His infinite mercy and love, will count him among those that are His and that we will see him again soon. Rest in Peace Uncle Davie

Home…A reminder of God’s grace Part 1


I just got back from home this Thursday the 8th…It was the best thing ever! There truly is no place like home. I was at peace, burdened somewhat by some things but at peace. Don’t know if that makes sense. It was weird in that it felt like we never left but my kid sisters and brothers are no longer kids. They are young women and men. I still can push them around and I’m even more protective over them than I was six years ago.

I no longer see my family through romantic eyes. I am no longer the naïve young woman who left (Considering I never ever thought of myself as a young woman when I left – I was female) I am a woman now. I see things differently and to be honest, my family like all families has issues but we also have love and gifts and talents and a unity that is not present in many families. This trip for me was enjoyable in so many ways and difficult in others.

To start off we almost missed our flight out of Perth but thank God we had checked in online. When we got to the airport, I had to run inside with my hand luggage and stand in line and then had to wait for the other three who casually walked to where I was. Then ran back out when they had come in to help my dad with the remaining bags. Of course this whole time, my daughter was telling me I needed to have more faith and my young sister kept saying to me “woman, calm yourself.”

I was standing at the counter still not believing I was finally going home and even after the boarding passes were given, I was panicking. my mum had to get money changed and I was freaking out. Even after we were on the plane, I still didn’t believe I was leaving the Island and it was only once we were in the air that I relaxed.

My daughter turned to me and said, “You really need to have more faith…I told you we wouldn’t miss it.” In Dubai we almost missed our flight again and this time people were already boarding when we got there. I had gone to the toilet and found my family had walked ahead. I found them but then my mum and sister went shopping. 

My daughter still kept saying we wouldn’t miss the flight and at some point I did tell her to never change and always view things with eyes of faith and not fear (paraphrased). I really pray that she doesn’t because life does knock you around every so often and the older you get, the harder it is to believe that good is coming.

I was struck by joy at being home and grieved when my plane approached Kenneth Kaunda International from Harare on our way to Perth. We couldn’t leave the plane and it was as if my heart was telling me, you don’t belong here. There’s a fear that it will be a long time before I see my family (the one left in Zambia) and that like last time, they might not be there when I go back.

I have not come to terms with loosing my grandmother Bwalya (have to specify which one) and Uncle four years ago and seeing my grandmother’s grave for me was the most difficult part of the whole holiday, She was part of what it meant to be home. I spent a week in her old room and it was confronting because she’s gone. My Uncle, just feels like we just couldn’t meet because he was away or something. didn’t see his grave and so his death is a little less real than hers.

At the memorial, I gave a poem, was going to do two but decided not to. My brother gave a speech and what he said was as true as ever. Life is short and family and God is all we have. Lets not let material things come in between us as people, as family and friends. instead of asking what it is that “this family” can give you, ask what you can give your family. It’s only then that we will be able to help those in need without grumbling, and it’s only then when we can work together to strengthen our families.

its hard to get past thinking about the loss and move towards thinking about the long years we had. I pray that one day, I will be able to look a photos of mama and write poems about both her and Uncle Isaac that are happy. Life is short, Don’t waste a moment of it. Love those around you and be a light and pillar for someone else.

Why Porn is good for Society


This might come as a surprise but I thought I might give some insight as to why porn is good for our society. Christians constantly claim it has bad effects on the people viewing it and that it is destroying our society. But then can we really listen to a bunch of “fairy tale believing adults”? Porn is simply adult entertainment and adults have the right to access whatever it is they like. Also, internet pornography comes with an age verification process, thereby allowing for the protection of children from viewing adult material. That makes sense doesn’t it?

Adults do have the right to do with their lives as they please, however, statistics show that the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old…11 years old! How effective is the age verification process if all you have to do is click “Yes, I am above 18” to view porn.  According to the ABC, children are viewing porn online as young as 6 years old.  Porn is addictive, yet unlike Cocaine it is legal in most countries. Adults should have the right to access what they please but in the case of drugs, we as a society don’t afford that right to people. Why? Because it destroys people and it has negative effects on society.

While there are many studies into the effects of childhood exposure to media violence, there is very little being done in the area of exposure to sexually explicit material; sex scenes in movies inclusive. Is it so important for adults to have their entertainment at the expense of children? Clearly, what is intended for adults is mostly being accessed by children and believe me, we have given way to a storm that will destroy our world in ways we never thought possible. Sex isn’t meant to be watched, but what we have done is taken private acts and made them public.

I am the face of a child whose first exposure to sex in the media was before age 11. It was a sex-scene in a movie. I have no idea who brought the movie into the house and I don’t think my parents even knew it was present. I had already been exposed to sex at the time and maybe that made me more curious, I don’t know and I won’t make excuses. I used to sometimes wait till no one was there or when everyone was asleep and put the movie on and fast forward to the one scene. At age 16 I viewed porn online and it left me feeling suicidal. I watched it again and again and believe me, it has ruined me in ways that most can never understand. What is the real cost of adult entertainment? Can anyone really answer that?

Fact is, we are learning to objectify each other, yes, men and women, not just men. In a world where we only see human beings as something that can satisfy our desires, how then do we function as a society? In a world where kids grow up as sex crazed animals, what sort of leaders are we producing? Porn crosses all sorts of boundaries and the more you indulge, the more of it you want and soon watching behind a TV screen or monitor isn’t enough and you want to experiment. And even that ceases to be enough and you start crossing boundaries in relationships. A few years ago, there were news reports of kids dying because they were choking themselves during sex. Where did they learn to do these things??? Marriages are breaking down, Congress men are tweeting nude photos of themselves, Sexual violence and perversions are rampant, we are a society destroying ourselves and refusing to protect the most vulnerable. I have to say the fairy tale believing adults (I do not in anyway think God is a fairy tale and totally believe in Him), are right in their assessment of porn.

I wish I new then what I know now, so let me sound the warning! DON’T INDULGE IN PORN, YOU MIGHT NEVER COME OUT ALIVE AND YOU MIGHT TAKE A GENERATION TO THE PITS WITH YOU!