Saturday, 3 October 2015
The long awaited ZIWA Awards are finally here. I will be there celebrating with my beautiful Zimbabwean women. So proud of them. To watch this red carpet event live tune in to http://www.zimbolive.tv Doors open at 5pm! #PROUDZIMBABWEAN
Saturday, 26 September 2015
‘Everything happens for a reason.’ We like to use these words a lot. Mostly, I find, it is because they are words filled with hope and promise where there is despair. I reckon we all need that to keep us going and motivated in life. But do we actually believe them? Do we stop to reflect and meditate upon them? If you had uttered these words to me some twenty odd years ago, I would’ve told you that it was all just some BS invented as an excuse for life to get away with being unfair! But after having experienced what I’ve experienced and endured what I’ve endured, I could be excused for coming to the conclusion that everything does indeed happen for a reason.
Saturday, 15 August 2015
Thursday, 13 August 2015
I am delighted to let you know that I've been nominated for the Zimbabwe International Women's Award in the category Author of the year. It is indeed a privilege and an honour to be recognised by my own people. To vote for me click on the link below.
Please Click Here To Vote For Me
Thursday, 6 August 2015
Recently I asked a friend of mine what they thought doing the right thing meant. After a few stabs at different explanations, they concluded that doing the right thing 'is telling somebody the truth.' The truth that has to be uttered regardless of how the person on the receiving end might take it and/or be affected by it. I probed further and asked what if the truth led to disastrous consequences e.g. suicide. Of course I was playing devils’ advocate and the answer I got was if one listened to their gut and act upon it then it was still the right thing to do. Still unsatisfied I asked how they could be certain that what their gut nudging them to was indeed the right thing. They told me that the gut is never wrong as long as reasoning and justifications from somewhere doesn't come into it. They said that our decisions have to be led our feelings. Feelings that come from the pit of your stomach and that's how you know you're doing the right thing. Well, in the end I had to embrace their opinion. It was after all their opinion.
It's a tricky one because what is the right thing anyway? According to whose standards do we measure right and wrong? If you’re Christian like me then the right thing is according to His ten commandments- Thou shall not steal, kill, and commit adultery and so on. When I was growing up it was always being hammered into me that I should always do the right thing. I was taught what was right and what was wrong. Our society sets standards and expectations and it is these that determine what is right and what is wrong. But I’ve since discovered that this so called right thing isn’t always the easiest of things to do regardless of what that may be.
Sometimes it means putting all your wants aside. And there are times doing the right thing demands that you put the wish of others before your own. Have you ever had to put your pride aside and apologise for something you knew you had not done wrong because it was the right thing to do? Have you ever had to say no, give up something or someone because you knew it was the right thing to do? Not always the easiest of things to do. A story is told about a homeless man (and it’s a true story) who picked up a lot of cash but returned it to its rightful owner because it was the right thing to do. Even though he had nothing the homeless man recognised the fact that the money didn't belong to him. Perhaps he felt a tinge having to give it all up especially in his predicament, perhaps he didn't. It really doesn't matter because what he did is what he decided was the right thing to do according to his standards. And those were very high standards in my book. So what was poignant about that scenario? The man was rewarded immensely. His honesty evoked acts of generosity in the hearts of many in the end he was indeed a rich man. That, my dear friends, restored my faith in human kind. The response made me realise that when it comes to the crunch, people do recognise the right thing when they see it.
So how do we know we are doing the right thing? If the homeless man example is anything to go by it is by the response we get from those around us. We have something special that distinguishes us from animals and that thing is called a conscience. That inner voice that whispers to us when we know we aren't doing the right thing. The way our heart beats. That's how we know. We may ignore it for a while but eventually it comes back and pokes at us again and again. It will keep knocking until we can bear it no longer. But there are times we as human beings ignore this voice, repeatedly, and in the end we destroy ourselves be it physically, spiritually or emotionally. We lose our self-respect, our dignity as well as faith in ourselves. I've said it and I will say it again - doing the right thing is not always the easiest of things to do. You will lose friends, family members and there are times you will get hurt, but I would like to believe that in the end what matters is that you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror and smile knowing that you've done the right thing by you and by others, difficult as it may be!
Keep on doing the right thing!
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
We are halfway through the year and I’ve just been reflecting on my goals. I haven’t achieved all that I had set out to do by this time of the year, but I am pleased to say that I have made progress. At the beginning of each year some of us like to go to the drawing board and make plans and set goals for ourselves. But we mustn’t forget that life happens during the process of working towards our goals and dreams. Death and disease may come in the way and we may find ourselves putting our goals aside in order to deal with that. It’s called life and that is okay. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. What we have to do is give ourselves time to deal with the issues at hand, get up, dust ourselves off and keep going. That’s all we can do.
When the year begun I told myself that by this time I would’ve published my second novel. But as the process is progressing I am discovering that I have to make adjustments. Furthermore, the plans I had for this book as the year begun have somewhat shifted. As I gain new knowledge and understanding of the writing industry and all matters regarding publishing, I find myself needing to give myself more time and room to work in order to really get to where I want to get.
Sometimes we set goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year only to discover that we need to raise our standards and expectations. And if that means giving more time, changing our mind-sets, our circles and our strategies, so be it. Do what you’ve got to do in order to get to your destination. Make those necessary adjustments and never let anyone pressure you because it doesn’t matter so much whether we have achieved everything by a set time. What really matters is whether we are making progress. Real progress towards achieving our goals and dreams.
Speaking of progress, a while back I blogged about my fear of public speaking. When I was asked to speak in front of hundreds of women at a church conference in Nottingham a couple of years ago, I swore I was going to die. There was no way I was going to stand in front of an audience and speak. It was unthinkable. I could not fathom all those eyes on me. I mean, after all, what did I have to say that was worth listening to? This is what was going on in my mind. I was trying to talk my way out of it. I didn’t have the confidence and self-belief that I could do it. But guess what? I went out there and I did it. I gave it my all and I am still here, alive. Now a couple of years later I found myself doing it all over again. This time with the understanding that all it takes is the right mind-set.
Not only have I developed the art of speaking, I have made progress in other areas of my life too. I have achieved things I never thought were possible and I now believe there is greatness in all of us. All we’ve got to do is tap into that greatness without fear and with confidence. We were all born with unique qualities and if we hide in our shells, then what we’re doing is depriving the world of ‘us’. Of our greatness. No one is going to write your book, deliver your speech, invent that great machine you've been dreaming about or run your company. Only you can do that. The world needs you because there can only be one you.
So worry not if you are a little behind on your goals and dreams. There’s always tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. Deal with life first if that’s what getting in your way; but once you’re done come back and refocus. Anything is possible and as I continue to explore my own greatness, I am learning that there are no shortcuts to success. You will fail, meet challenges and stumbling blocks along the way, but what sets you apart is the manner in which you navigate around those.
Thursday, 18 June 2015
‘In a field full of dandelions, it can be hard to see a hundred wishes instead of a thousand weeds.’
There's is an old African proverb which says "If there's no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm." If you want to effect change, then you should start with what's inside. Your heart and your mind. Crucial but not always easy for everybody to follow. Especially when life has left us battered and bruised. How do we even begin to process our circumstance and turn our life around?
The moment we are born our environment subjects us to some harsh realities of life. This kind of stimuli, if persistent, conditions us to almost expect adverse outcomes and to maintain a defeatist attitude. It becomes virtually impossible to think positively.
I am reminded of a story of a woman who had devoted all her life to God. She shunned all things evil, and no one could fault any of the things that she did. But this woman’s righteous life did not spare her from grief. She lost a husband who adored her to a horrific accident and her two beautiful children fell off the wagon and left school. One child began dealing drugs, the other got pregnant. To add salt to injury, the woman was later diagnosed with cancer! She considered committing suicide because the God she had served all her life had forsaken her.
As you can expect the woman went through all the stages of grief. It took months for her to finally come to terms with all that had happened to her. Although she had wanted to give up on God - she didn't. She continued to attend church services and serving the same way she did before she came face to face with adversity. After weeks of fasting and praying and gruelling chemotherapy, doctors told her she was in the clear. Her children returned home and went back to school.
This woman’s experiences inspired her to birth a book which inspired many who had gone through the same experiences she had and those who had not. The woman moved around the country holding motivational seminars drawing from her life experiences. She went on a campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and dealing with grief. Before long the woman had raised enough money to open a Youth Support Centre for kids going through a tumultuous time in their lives. Through her experiences, lives were changed and saved.
Out of all this, the woman got something that money couldn’t buy - satisfaction and fulfilment. She came to realise that although God had allowed awful things to happen to her, there was a higher purpose behind her suffering. Had she continued to wallow in self-pity, blaming everybody and everything, her life wouldn’t have turned out the way it had. Her children would not have learnt great lessons from her, and it would’ve been a complete tragedy.
So what can you do to turn a negative situation into a positive one:
1) Write it all down. Writing is a catharsis when your heart is heavy. Instead of bottling it all in, pour your heart out on a piece of paper. You will also discover some truths about yourself as you put pen to paper. You may get emotional and cry. That is okay. With that comes healing. Isn’t that better than popping pills into your mouth each day?
2) Forgive and let go. Reflect, retreat and learn lessons. There is always something to be gained from every situation that we go through. This way we know not to repeat the same mistakes.
3) Someone once said ‘Every situation when properly perceived becomes an opportunity.’ Use your negative experiences to build others. Have a dream and set goals. Start a support group, write a motivational blog, or indeed birth a book. This way you will get a sense of purpose in life, and that will spur you on.
4) The human mind has a tendency to move towards that which occupies it. Therefore, choose to dwell on the positives in your life rather than the negatives. The fact that you are able to read this is in itself a blessing.
5) Give people and life a chance. So you have lost and been hurt a few times. It happens to the best of us. God never promised a life free of trials. Humans were made to overcome difficult times. You will bounce back and when you do, try again and do it with an open mind.
6) Care for someone, love, smile, respect, forgive and give to others. The vibe that you send out into the world is the vibe you will receive in return.
7) No situation in life is permanent. Things change and sometimes for the better. Trust that you too, just like the next person, deserve happiness and peace!
8) Last but not the least, pray. It is not your job to fight with the Devil, but God’s.
The message here is simple. When life throws stones at you, grab those stones and build your own castle!
Friday, 10 April 2015
My Easter break in Texas was an experience of a kind. I began by attending a church retreat which was held at Lakeview Camp in Waxahachie. I do not impose my beliefs on anybody, but I also believe that for me not to share that which is a part of who I am would be doing a disservice to those who follow this blog for they may never get to know the real me. To me this mission is bigger than my own fears, feelings and desires, and if my light is to fully shine, then I shouldn't feel embarrassed or shy away from revealing my true character.
The retreat was themed ‘Oh For That Flame’ which meant that we (the women from all over the world) were seeking the ‘Lord’s face’ and wanted the holy spirit to ignite us. And oh boy did we find ourselves burning with passion for the word of God. There was music, dancing and lots of laughter.
The health message was and still is an integral part of our worship. The women who attended the retreat were reminded of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The food that we put inside our bodies, as well as exercise. On day 2 we took part in aerobic exercise routines and we were encouraged to make these a part of our daily routine. After all, the body is the temple of God and should be looked after properly.
A typical day at the camp comprised of prayer sessions, testimonies, and workshops addressing poignant issues in our society today some of which included domestic abuse, raising children and looking after our finances. The sermons were moving and the food to die for.
Once the retreat had ended it was time for me to head back to Dallas for a bit of touring. I went to the Dealey Plaza to find out more about JF Kennedy's assassination. Of course nothing good about the president's assassination but over the years I have read and watched documentaries about how President JF Kennedy was assassinated. I've also learnt about the conspiracy theories surrounding his assassination. But for now I choose to believe the account as given to me by the tour guide as I went on the JFK bus tour. It was as they say, ‘one thing to read about it, a whole other thing to see it for yourself!’
The tour guide set the scene for those on the bus, including myself, as we drove along Main Street. In my mind’s eye I saw the cheering crowd and heard the excitement in their voices as the president’s motorcade proceeded along the streets of Downtown Dallas. As the tour bus turned into Elm Street which would be the last turn made by the unsuspecting 35th president of America, who had only ruled for 1000 days, I saw the tour guide become misty eyed. His voice wobbled as he pointed to the window where the sniper fired his shot, and as he took us back to that fateful moment that resulted in JFK’s death on November 22, 1963. The passion and the patriotism that the tour guide displayed was nothing like I have ever experienced.
Oswald's boarding house
We were also taken through the route walked by Oswald, and shown the shops he entered as he tried to weave his way through the disquieted crowd. A police truck still stood on tenth street where Oswald shot a police officer who was also an eye witness. We were also made to listen to conversations by police officers, the crowds cheering and heard the voice of Oswald himself. By the end of the tour I felt emotionally exhausted. And although I wasn't present on the day it had happened, it sure felt as real as the day it happened.
After this tour I needed something to cheer me up. And for me there was only one place that came to mind - Southfork Ranch. During my early teens I remember my dad telling me in no uncertain terms that I shouldn't watch soaps, especially Dallas, Dynasty, Santa Barbara to name but a few. The reason being that he didn't want my mind corrupted before my time. He felt I was too young to be watching people fondling and frolicking inside swimming pools and bedrooms. But I am ashamed to confess that despite all his objections, I used to sneak into the living room after he had gone to bed to watch my favourite soap which, at the time, was Dallas. I was hooked and my dad's threats weren't going to deter me from watching it. So when I finally strolled on the grounds of Southfork and entered the house where they ‘shot JR’, and sat on his chair inside his room, my dream came true!
Driving the highways of Texas was a joy. The roads are wide with an amazing architectural design, the cars huge, the terrain spreading as far as the eye can see. The views on either side stunning; although one had to bear in mind which side of the road they were meant to drive on!
You either make love or war in Texas apparently. Thankfully, I never got to experience the warring side of Texas. It was love through and through. I didn't know how to get from point A to B, but exploring was a pleasure as I met some lovely people along the way. The strangers that I met were warm and welcoming, patient and smiled into my eyes. They even addressed me as ma’am!
I toured other places too. And even though I only stayed for a week, the inspiration that I got from Texas is invaluable. The experience will remain seared in my mind for years to come. And I reckon I couldn't have picked a nicer place to spend Easter, 2015!