I have found myself thinking about how important it is to preserve individual freedoms. This, probably because of a few things that Ive heard happen recently that challenge the idea that everyone has the right to self determination.

If you live in the western world, you have no doubt heard of the debates that rage about hijabs. If you havent, you can read about it here; in Australia’s case you can read just one of many stories here. There are more stories from Canada and the United states, however Americans tend to believe heavily in the ideal that everyone has the right to choose the course of their lives, at least in theory, and for that reason, a ban on head coverings seems unlikely.

Recently I’ve heard it said that some employers allow Muslims and not the Africans in their employment to have head coverings. In Australia, some people take it further, holding the belief that African employees are bad for business, and a investigative report a few years back showed that people with African names were more likely to be passed up for a job than people with names indicative of another ethnicity. The fact that Job prospects improve if you have an Anglo-Saxon name has caused some people to acquire a more “Western” sounding name in order to land a job and there are parents who even choose to give their children English names, to make their lives better.

Now, in the event that you hear someone in the workplace express views that indicate they feel one ethnic group to be inferior and that opportunities for furthering themselves should be limited, do you report that person or do you ignore it with the aim of protecting the person’s freedom of expression? Where does the balance lie? Are such views a threat to the individual freedoms of the ethinicity in question? And is reporting such veiws a threat to freedom of expression?

In today’s world, you see conformity becoming the new aim. People’s right to pursue a livlihood seems constantly under threat and government policy seems hell bent on making people conform to what some consider the norm. Take for instance the vaccination debate; I am a partial vaccinator, and a lot of people look at me funny when I indicate that I dont get the flu vaccine. I recently had a workmate stare at me blankly when I told her that.

You see, I work in the health sector and the health department recommends that health workers get the flu vaccine yearly. Currently, people are allowed to refuse but I wonder how long for. Previously, in Australia, parents could conscientiously object to children being vaccinated and while they still can, in recent years the government has moved to cut entitled payments for non-vaccinators. I believe that in order to maintain the health and wellbeing of families, the role that parents have always had in deciding what is best for their children must be protected. Rather than heavy handed tactics, and threats, and in this case, withdrawal of money that could put children at a disadvantage, goverment needs to create opportunities for discourse, where concerns on both sides are heard. In a democracy, we convince with ideas and not coerce through legislative power.

And yes, I do understand that parents don’t always get it right but to assume that governments are better able to decide the welfare of children is a misplaced idea. For instance, a few years back, there was something wrong with the flu vaccine and had severe reactions, with one child in particular experiencing life-long disability. Personaly, I would be better able to come to terms with something going wrong if I had made the decision on my own, rather than through coercion, and ultimately, it is the family that has to pick up the pieces of any adverse outcome of any choice they make.

That aside through, we also need to remember that the power that government has, needs to always remain in check and that if we give up to many freedoms, we give rise to tyranny. The idea that humans today, are better than those of old, is something we might need to view with a lot of scepticism. The assumption that the rights we take from ourselves and give to government are going to be used to the benefit of society seems to me, a dream far removed from reality and what we have seen happen time and time again suggests that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


One year married

I was aware that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I said “I do,” but I was not aware just how true that was. Nothing has gone to plan this year, but it has become more apparent just how much strength and grace God gives for each season. His provision has left me in awe, and I am more aware of the undying bond that exists with our kin.

I haven’t settled in to running a house as well as I would have liked and there have been lows, but the highs have been far greater. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and a lot that I didn’t know about my husband, and my daughter. I have once again fallen in love with parenting and the things I once feared have proven to have been an illusion. I love, love, love where my life is at, but realise now more than ever, that where we are is not an achievement, because in the end, it’s not how we start that counts but how we finish this race, but still recognise that it’s something to be grateful for. Pressing on towards what is ahead, eyes focused on the surpassing greatness of Christ, I can only imagine what’s to come.

My mother on replay

So yesterday, I was at work, and right in the middle of attending to a client, this song that my mum sometimes sings and I don’t have a title for it, but every time that I remember this song, it doesn’t leave my system for days. The sad thing though is, I can never seem to remember the words and eventually the tune evades me too, and I am left with this itch and a need to sing a song that I can’t remember. So I messaged mum last night and asked her for the words and in the process, I remembered the tune. Mum sent me two audios and lyrics and I keep playing the audio. There’s something soothing about my mum singing that song and it doesn’t feel like I am playing the song over and over. Whenever I was away from home or from my family, I prided myself in not missing my parents, but after not living with mum for just over 4 months, I think I miss her. Key words being “I think.”  I’m also beginning to think that maybe, (just maybe) this is a song I will be singing to my children.

The little I have seen of the show.

When you have watched too many western shows and decide it’s time to create something similar but for Zambians, what you get is a misrepresentation of your country and its ideals and can’t even get speech norms right. This I say about the misnomer that is “Zuba.” definitely not authentically Zambian and makes me wonder if it was written with the worlds acceptance in mind or to portray our very valid stories. Now, if we the Zambians can not get our own stories out with ourselves in mind, who then will tell these beautiful stories? Or do we just want to seem like zee world and Disney channel, or whatever it is people watch these days?

I have to admit that I have only seen trailers of the episodes and the Character that is Zuba seems to portray some good traits and I would probably like her. I do however look forward to the day when authentic accents and authentic norms are celebrated as vital parts of our story telling process. How many Zambians can relate to the characters? They seem to lack depth and dimension and seem to exist merely for the dramatic; to act as a superficial pastime, a place to let your mind roam, stagnant, with no value to gain.

Celebrating sucesses

It is often said that women rarely celebrate women’s sucesses, but maybe it might be that we require reason to celebrate. I don’t think men celebrate every man’s victory or success … So maybe they just need a reason to celebrate … Like me today.

For the right girl, it’s not a might celebrate, but a definite I will honour this beautiful soul. In this case it’s a girl who has worked so hard despite falling a few times and inspite of her own fraying self belief at times. People see her now holding her degree and all they see is the beauty of it all. Behind the scenes though, they have not seen the tremendous hardship she has had to endure. The tremendous sacrifice that has been hers and her family’s to make.

Tabeth Mwema, well done. Keep keeping on and remember that whatever fight comes your way, you can take on, and whatever dreams God sets before you, He has graced you to achieve. I’m inspired by you.

Sometimes … Okay … not sometimes, Most of the time, I struggle with the idea that God will provide all our needs. Especially when there are deadlines at play. It’s easy to try and get everything done in your own strength, but I’m reminded of the prayer “God give me only what I need for today, lest I become rich and disown You, or poverty stricken and steal, and so dishonour Your name.”

He is a loving father, and so will in all things provide what we need. He sees those needs before we know them and even in those times when we don’t know what we need.

Our river of offence

I had an experience recently where I was enrolled into a course that I felt I did not need. I found it insulting because I assumed that it was because I was not of an Anglo-Saxon background that I was there. In my anger I sinned and did not represent the name I carry with the pride and dignity it deserves … But we won’t get into that right now.

soon found out that I was wrong and that there was nothing discriminatory about the opportunity. Yes, sometimes we do face discrimination, but when we carry those experiences and filter everything that comes our way through them, we become the ones being racial and discriminatory. We stop seeing the good in people and assume that every white person is out to get us or is framing their opinions of us from the view that we are inferior.

It takes a lot of commitment and conscious thought to challenge what it is we are internalising, but in order to not see yourself as a victim, it is essential, because, as the proverbs warn, we need to keep our hearts “with all vigilance, for from [there] flow the springs of life. If I let the source for all I do, become toxic, then I will be unable to give off anything good. When I changed my attitude, I ended up learning more about myself and about opportunities open to me that if I hadn’t attended that session, would have never known.

What are the filters that you are viewing life from? What is flowing from your life and colouring everything you come into contact with? Are they rivers of offence or hae your negative experiences left you a richer human being?

Hair tip 7: Hair washing … No one likes smelly hair.

It’s been a while since I posted, so I thought I would give you another hair tip. I was moving house and settling in has taken me longer than I expected and there just didn’t seem enough time in a day. I’ve also had internet issues, and that means that sometimes videos just won’t upload.

So how often do you wash your hair; are you washing too often or not often enough? What products should you use?

In order to determine whether or not you are washing your hair too often, I go by 2 main things. Is my scalp itchy from product buildup and sweat or dry and itchy due to overwashing? If the former is true, increase your washing, if the later is, reduce it. Generally my hair gets a wash every week but if I start to smell it, before anyone else can, I wash it.

What products? This is a personal decision. I would suggest trying cheaper shampoos and conditioners and based on the way your hair and scalp react, decide.

Happy watching.

Easy breakfast in a glass

I got this inspiration from a lady at church who can cook a mean feast (Hi Kitty!) Last year she posted a photo of her breakfast in a bottle that you could make a few days in advance so you have something healthy to eat on your crazy mornings. I decided to make it on one of my days off.

I used

  • 1 mango
  • 1 yellow nectarine
  • 1 cup of grapes
  • 1 Orange
  • 4 table spoons of Yoghurt
  • Half a teaspoon of Honey
  • 2 table spoons Oats.

I put the oats in a pot and put it on the stove and while they roasted, I cut the fruits and put them into two cups before whipping the yoghurt and honey (I find whipping makes it easier to mix than using a spoon) and added that on top of the fruit. When the oats were done I placed them in the fridge to cool them before adding them on top of the yoghurt.

I have my whole life planned out

I like to think of myself as a master planner when it comes to my life but if you know me, and know me well, you know that I really am not that great at planning. I used to be one of those people who just went with the flow, but I now find that in order to maintain my sanity, I need to have some set plan; and by that, I mean one of those unchanging fixed step by step guides for my day.

Life however is not like that. My parents, I am sure always had plans for each of their kids, and I am sure me having a child at a really young age was not part of it. Still, when it happened they rose to the challenge and walked out the days ahead.

I hadn’t planned on my daughter being as attached as she is to my mother, and I definitely had my mind set on becoming a vet. I had never intended to fall for any man; that to me, was an unnecessary distraction.

Our plans are not to be seen as set in stone, fixed paths on a road, but more like sign posts on an unknown road. Think about it in this way, someone with a good, kind heart wakes you up and says, I want you to get to a place called Destination, but I want you to get there with only a few clues that I will keep giving you as you make the journey. You don’t know what deviations exist on this journey, but you start off. At different points you may find road closures for whatever reason with signs saying detour. Sometimes the earth quakes and leaves you shaken. Sometimes you get magged on the way to Destination and you are left wondering why this good person has led you to this place.

We plan, sort of as attempt to get to what we think the destination is, and then we realise we have not arrived and have to forge ahead towards another pitstop. There are times we allow winds and tides to take us along and sometimes even take us backward. Sometimes we fall and break and lose hope, but rather than feel like failures, we need to trust the One who set us on the journey and walk it out, with plans that we intend to fulfill; plans we are truly working to achieve, but all that in line with the view that Christ is above all, and ultimately, His will is above it all, and that our plans might be changed by the true master planner.