The world through my eyes

Hello Readers!

This is a little glimpse into my world and those in it! Remember, "My life is my message," - Mohandas Gandhi...... Love and Peace! Gloria

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My Problem with Afrocentrism

Pile_of_books_Afrocentrism

I am sure whoever coined this term “Afrocentrism”  must have been narcissistic in nature or had some narcissistic qualities ingrained in their psyche (but then again, a lot of us do have some narcissistic tendencies). Please do not mistake Pan Africanism for Afrocentrism though the latter was influenced by the former. It is believed that W. E. B. Du Bois came up with that term though this has been a hotly contended subject, so I am not even going to go there. However, I know the whole idea behind this ego-centered term was for a way for African-Americans (those who embraced the ideology) to help validate their identity in a society that had made them feel less than significant and told them that they didn’t matter. But I am of the school of thought that any concept that denies or lessens the contribution of different cultures and ideologies so as to promote and elevate their own concepts already calls for some concern and is trouble in the making. I mean isn’t that how Hitler got started? The problem lies when the society is already in a vulnerable position which makes them susceptible and open to all types of spheres of influence.

I think the mistake we make as the human race is when we allow our diversity to become a crutch in which society can then use against us. Then we continue this vicious cycle by retaliating and doing the exact same thing, ensuring that this malicious progression doesn’t get broken. It is very easy to hate those that hate us and to take an eye for an eye and want to lash back to those who have wounded us and broken us and mistreated us, but how does that make us any different from the offenders? I beg (Nigerian style)! Please do not think I take lightly what happened to Black people and in a lot of places what is still happening. Being a black woman from Africa and having lived in various continents has allowed me to be exposed to different cultures and societies and belief systems. I have lived in radical societies where any form of dissent was met with the threat of death to open societies where people were free to express themselves and all that has taught me this: We are fundamentally all the same.

Living in these different societies and always being the minority helped me understand how important it is to know yourself and understand where you came from because that in turn will help you define who you are as a person. That is why history is so important, but what happens when history is clouded or altered? Such thing like Afrocentrism contributes to this issue by twisting history and the focus so as promote an ideology. I know how important it is to embrace our culture and our heritage, but we should be aware of how we are not isolated in our existence and we impact and influence other cultures and systems through our interactions whether positively or negatively or both! I don’t like the fact that I experienced racism purely because of my color skin, but I don’t hide behind that and make it my ultimate truth. I will probably continue experiencing racism throughout my life, that’s the unfortunate fact, but there is more to my story and I won’t allow that to be my basis of classification for all non-black people. We cannot treat racism with reverse racism and unfortunately that is what Afrocentrism promotes!

We need to come to a place where we acknowledge that globalization is inevitable and we do not have all the answers as a continent and it is OK to allow exchange to take place. We should also look at how we can use this as a leverage to advance collectively and see a brighter future for the African people and the African continent and essentially the world at large.

Love and Other Drugs

I am reblogging this post not just because I am a HUGE fan of the group Sauti Sol or because I have quite a few fantasies of private concerts and featuring on their “Nisheke” video (hotness overload)! No! I am reblogging this post because everything Bien said resonated with my being, as if he took my thoughts and feelings and emotions and conveyed it in this post ( but his of course being the male version).
I find love to be a simple emotion, however we as soulish beings complicate it and mud it up and then say it is complicated. I find that when we stop “looking for love” love finds us. Love hasn’t yet found me but like Beinaime I am taking a step back and letting myself breath!

thetruebienaime

My name is Bienaime, which is French for well loved. Shout-out to my parents for not calling me Pius, SosPeter, Paul etc. I just feel it would have seriously affected my turnover as far as the other gender is concerned. My name is testament to the myth that names beget people, and what you call your child is what it becomes. All my life I have only looked to be loved. I’ve been a performer for as far as I can remember. Growing up a lastborn I always wanted the spotlight (shit!!!! I can’t believe the number of times the letter ‘I’ is already used in this post).

Years later all this has come to pass. (God is Faithful) I have a successful music career with an amazing band of equally blessed individuals. Sauti Sol is a MANBAND, and rightfully so we sell emotions to people, especially women. An emotion…

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#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS: MILEAD FELLOWS TAKE A STAND

MILEAD FELLOWS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH NIGERIA

Some of the MILEAD Fellows standing in solidarity with our sisters in Nigeria

Some of the MILEAD Fellows standing in solidarity with our sisters in Nigeria

It’s been three weeks since the extremist militant group ‘Boko Haram’ left millions wondering about the fate of over 200 girls abducted at the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School. It’s been three weeks since mothers of the abducted girls began to weep—and they are still weeping. These girls have dreams, dreams that will make our world a better place. We cannot afford to remain idle as the system that has threated their dreams remains—a system that denies girls their right to safety, quality education, self-worth and dignity.

The kidnapping of the Chibok girls fondly known to the world as “our girls” has raised several questions. How has Boko Haram existed with relative impunity for the past several years? Do we lack Security intelligence and forces in Africa? Is there a phone number that could have been set up for those who surely suspected the girls’ whereabouts to call? Why is the African Union (AU) mute? Why are individual leaders in Africa silent? Until Nigerians all over the world began an online campaign, most people did not even know the girls were missing.

Terrorism knows no boundaries—let us not forget that an unchecked militant group like Boko Haram poses a threat to each one of us and merits swift action. A collective force has finally been deployed, but it took three weeks for this to happen. Such delays are unacceptable given the likelihood that these girls are being repeatedly harmed. Their suffering is on our collective conscience. And now that a force is, we hope, on its way to recovering our girls, there is still more to be done:

  • Education is a basic right as well a vital part of a country’s development. For months prior to the kidnapping, thousands of students in certain northern Nigerian states had been kept at home due to Boko Haram’s attacks on schools. This situation may remain even when the girls come home. Boko Haram must be completely defeated and the northern states restored to state of peace and security.
  • We wish for our girls to come back immediately, but we acknowledge that we have already waited too long. It may be that some of them come back traumatized, having survived rape and possibly been infected with HIV. The immediate response to the kidnapping was grossly lacking, but there is time to prepare the necessary resources to be available to the girls as soon as they return.

As MILEAD Fellows, from across the continent and the Diaspora, we are hurting together with our sisters, we are in pain, we are angry, and we are frustrated. We raise our collective voice for justice. We are committed to sharing our skills and lending support for their return.

As MILEAD Fellows, we will embrace and celebrate their return; we will stand in solidarity on the rebuilding process and in responding to their issues.

MILEAD Fellows of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa stand in solidarity with NIGERIA and call on leadership to act now with appropriate and practical measures for a safe world and for every girl and every boy to access quality education. #BRINGBACKOURGIRLSNOW #MILEAD FELLOWS

Some of our MILEAD FELLOWS featured; SelamawitAdugna (Ethiopia), Hikmat Baba Dua (Ghana), Lusungu Kalanga (Malawi), HadeyeMaiga (Mali), Maletsabisa Molapo (Lesotho), Dorothy Pasipanodya (Zimbabwe), Samfee Doe (Liberia), Aisha Keita (Gambia), Amina Abdirashid Dubow (Kenya), Chisenga Muyoyoya (Zambia), Amanda Chembezi (Botswana), Aissa Laouan (Niger) and Kondi Chabvuta (Malawi).

About the MILEAD Fellows

The MILEAD Fellows represent some of Africa’s most extra-ordinary young women leaders with the courage and commitment to lead and shape the future of their communities and Africa as a whole. The Fellows represent over 38 African countries and the Diaspora and constitute a truly pan-African network and diversity- with multi–disciplinary academic, professional and social backgrounds. From poverty to women’s economic empowerment, environmental justice and political participation, this new generation of African women leaders are at the frontlines of the struggle for change- providing the bold, visionary and inspirational leadership needed to lift Africa to its rightful place on the global stage. The Fellows are selected through a highly competitive selection process and criteria that includes their outstanding leadership promise, community service accomplishments, and commitment to the advancement of women in Africa.

About Moremi Initiative

Founded in 2004, The Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa strives to engage, inspire, and equip young women and girls to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs, and change agents–leaders who can transform and change institutions that legitimize and perpetuate discrimination against women. We firmly believe that the full and active participation of women in leadership is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Africa, and addresses the current problem of leadership imbalances. www.moremiinitiative.org or www.facebook.com/MoremiAfrica

Revisiting Pan Africanism: Defining a Pan-Africanist

 

 

 

what-is-pan-africanismWhenever I tell someone that I am a Pan Africanist, they look at me as if I have grown an extra head and/or I am speaking a whole load of rubbish. Or when someone describes something that resonates with the Pan-Africanist rationale and I tell them as much, they react as if I have insulted them and deny all affiliations with the ideology. In fact one of my friends went so far as to tell me that she believes in what Pan Africanism stands for, but doesn’t want to be labeled as such because of what people may think of her!

Pan Africanism has become this commercialized term in an effort to try to generalize and describe a diverse continent and thus watering down the term to become almost insignificant. I have come across people who call themselves Pan Africanist and I am disturbed at the picture they perpetuate by refusing to contextualize the essence of being a true Pan Africanist and twist it to try to make it marketable to the masses. I come into conversations with  people who call themselves Pan Africanists and they are to busy idolizing and worshipping the past to be to concerned about what it means to be a Pan Africanist today. Don’t get me wrong, anyone who knows me knows the amount of respect I have for the founding fathers and mothers of Pan Africanism and those who set to unite  a continent so divided. But what does it mean for me as a Tanzanian living in Africa? Or for the South African? Liberian? What does it mean to be Pan Africanist and how can I practically apply it to my everyday life?

To define Pan Africanism we must start at the beginning. Though there is no definitive definition of Pan Africanism, it started out as movement during the transatlantic salve trade and was more or less a social concept. During the colonial times it became a more political movement and during the post colonial era it became a more sociopolitical ideology for the unification of native Africans and those of African descent. A lot of scholars say that OAU, now AU, arose from the ideologies and sentiments of the Pan African movement as a means of uniting the continent in the light of globalisation. Slavery is not over as we are still slaves in today’s neocolonialism- ” The last stage of imperialism” according to Kwame Nkurmuh.

Pan Africanism isn’t just about getting down with my roots and connecting with the African in me and all the other Afrocentrism crap that appeals to cultural marketing schemes for black people. It goes beyond me wearing my hair in an Afro and rocking African prints. It is not a religious cult  or an anti white hate campaign created as a supposed answer to racism by promoting reverse racism.  I think it is great when I see people embracing what is African and celebrating their heritage and their God-given traits, but that is a very small part of what being a Pan Africanist is about.

A true pan Africanist looks at Africa as a country in terms of development economically, socially, politically and culturally. We always hear how Africa is richly endowed with natural resources and raw materials and how we have the potential to be a superpower if we learn to cultivate, produce, and manufacture our own goods. A Pan Africanist ultimate goal is not to have a United States of Africa (though I personally think that would be awesome) but an Africa  that has learned to share resources through trade and commerce for the economic empowerment of the country  and essentially the continent as the whole. Through economic empowerment can we experience a rich cultural and social interaction as the trade and commerce is not limited to commodities but the exchange of ideas and intellectual property as well, just to name a few.

Some may say this is idealistic, but when one grasps the concept you will actually understand that this appeals to both the capitalist and the socialist, the idealist and realist because everyone gets something out of it. We will spend less money if we trade within our borders, communication won’t be a major hindrance, and transport will be less thus saving money just to name a few benefits. This  is not to say that we should never trade with anyone outside of Africa. No! If I live in A street and they sold  apples in both B and F street (the distance being measured by the proximity of the letters) and I went only to F street though the apples in B street are better and not to mention closer but I have grown use to buying my apples in F street and have formed a good network so it is really hard for me to go to B street despite how good the apples are! That in a nutshell is the dilemma we are facing here in Africa. Now exchange A with any African country and B with any African country and F as any country outside of Africa and you will have a better understanding of the dynamics of some of the interactions.

Such organisations such as Africa 2.0 which is a “Pan-African Civil Society organization that consists of young and emerging leaders from Africa and the Diaspora who share a collective vision for Africa and a commitment to finding and implementing sustainable solutions that will in turn leapfrog the development of the continent.” <<< That is what we need to be doing as Pan Africanists! We need to be moving and consolidating our efforts as we are stronger together than apart. That is why I get annoyed when I hear people going on about how they are not going to succumb to the white ways and never wear a relaxer. That is all good and it carries its own empowerment but don’t end there, because there is always more that can be done!

Before I go, I stumbled upon this blog written by a pan Africanist and he goes more into detail about what I touched on here. I will encourage you to read it paying particular interest to where he talks about the African economic potential: http://therisingcontinent.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/pan-african-today/.

Where is the Love?

Young man text messaging with young woman sleeping

 

“All men cheat!” Nope, this is not from a title of a song, though it has become a declarative anthem from almost all the women I speak to.  Now I will be the first to say that this generalisation does not hold true only because of the use of the  word “All” which makes the statement an unfair rationale. However the more I look into it and talk to both men and women who are either dating, in a relationship, or are married, it is almost impossible to find a man who doesn’t! Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of women that do cheat and play the field while the man remains faithful, but it is still easier to find a woman who is faithful than a man who is (this is based on my experiences and some of my friends experiences). I remember talking to one guy and he told me that he doesn’t believe that man should be monogamous and the reason we see a lot of broken relationships and marriages only adds substance to the fact!

I am going to be honest and say I have never cheated while I have been in a relationship. At least not physically, my thoughts and my eyes have sometimes wondered, but when I am in it, I am in it. Now this comes down to a choice I have made for myself. It is not like I haven’t been approached by men whilst I have been in a relationship and there are times when the temptation is almost overwhelming, but I already know where I am weak and if I know I can’t say no, then I just choose to not put myself in that situation.  It’s hard, but not impossible.

But then someone asked me, “Would you ever cheat?”….. and that made me ask, “What makes one cheat?”  I know it is all relative, but I would like to think that there is something fundamentally there that when it boils down to it, it is universally true. Like the fact that we all want to be loved. I don’t care who you are or what you have been through, as long as you are human this holds true. Some people cheat because they are “Unsatisfied” (I use this term loosely) in their relationship, others cheat because they want to experiment, some cheat in retaliation, others because they are bored or a combination of all the above and others still just because they can. The list can be exhausting and I don’t have an answer to the question  on what makes one cheat, just my thoughts and speculations and my own life experiences.

Quite some years ago, I dated a guy that I thought was my dream guy. He had the looks, the charms, the name, the money, the entire package. Very shallow and superficial qualities, but hey I was young and I thought it was enough. It didn’t take long for that dream to turn into a living nightmare as I discovered things about him and myself that woke me up from dreamland. I  was warned left and right about this guy, but when you are ” in love” you don’t want to hear anything bad about your boo.  I gave up a lot for him, including my friends and family. I soon became this shell of a woman as this guy gained more and more power over me. I had always considered myself  a strong woman, but I had never felt so weak. With all the sh*t he put me through, I was appalled that I still loved him. It made me hate myself  because I was sure something was wrong with me. This guy was cheating on me and playing me for a fool  and I let him. When a friend confronted me with the truth, it hit me like a slap across the face, which was exactly what I needed. So I understand what it is like to be so caught up in something it is hard to see the truth or even accept it. I am thankful I came out of that relationship with only a broken heart, but I am also thankful for it because what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

It is very easy to blame someone else for our actions, but at the end of the day, we chose to do what we did and must live and deal with the consequences. No one knows you better than you, and you know what makes you tick and what gets you going. When you cheat, you make a conscious decision to do so, so please don’t blame it on the alcohol, the drugs, or the fact that you were seduced and you had no choice “but to do the deed.” It’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean we get to reset the past and have a clean slate. Instead of letting the past weigh us down, let’s learn from it and become better human beings for ourselves and those we love. Tomorrow is not promised to us, so let’s make today count.

2013: My Year of Love

I can sum up 2013 as the year I learned to love. Anyone who knows me, truly knows me, knows that I struggle to let people in. Yes I am a social person and yes I enjoy meeting new people, but very few people actually see beyond the surface into both the beautiful and the ugly.  This is the year I learned to love, to forgive, and to let go. I experienced some of the worst moments in my life so far as well as some of the best moments. I recall spending the first few months of the year virtually depressed and miserable and wanting to call it quits, I couldn’t understand why things were going the way they were going especially when I was so sure that 2013 would be my year and it would be smooth sailing. Ha! Joke was on me! Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Just when I thought I had hit rock bottom, someone took a drill and a shovel and I fell further in. But it is during this time that I got to experience some of the strongest bonds of friendship and I also learned the power of prayer. And it was also during this time I learned to let people in.

I didn’t realize that a lot of the negative that was going on in my life had to do with my surroundings. My turnaround came after I started letting go of some people and some things. I slowly started coming out of the dark hole I was in and could actually see and feel the light. Not to say that all my problems miraculously disappeared, but I had a better grip on what I needed to do and doors started just opening everywhere and I was finally doing things that mattered to me such as my project African Queens.  2013 was also the time I met a man who showed me that good guys still exist and he had opened my eyes and my heart to a world of possibilities.

Just as doors had opened this year, others have shut, however I am not afraid of what 2014 may bring. I have never been so thankful for life as I am now, and though this year ends with an unexpected twist, I  can only take everything that I learned this past year and use that as my foundation for the new year. I look forward to continuing to strengthen my old friendships and to making new ones. I am excited for the new adventures that are in store for 2014 and I know a lot of people will be surprised when they see what I have got going on behind the scenes.

I also want to say a big thank you to all my faithful readers and subscribers of this blog in over 116 countries around the world. Wow! I am humbled and blown away. All I can say is you will definitely not be disappointed in 2014 as I plan to turn things up. I am going to really expose myself in the hopes that people learn from my mistakes and hopefully they will also see what I am doing right and apply it in a way that makes sense in their own life.

I leave you with this quote from one of my favourite authors: “Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

 

*NEW CAMPAIGN* – African Queens Project – Going Rural

Africanqueenslogo

 

I had started a project, “African Queens Project“, this year with the intention of impacting a marginalised group in Africa: women and I have now seen it grow beyond my expectations from wining an internationally renowned award to impacting and changing the lives of young girls and Women.

I realised however that the people who would really benefit from this project were not being reached and thus have launched a new campaign called “African Queens Project – Going Rural.”

Everybody has a story and a story has the power to change someone’s life. The award-winning project, African Queens Project, has become the source of all things related and affecting African women. We collect the stories of phenomenal women from around African who are shaping their communities and countries and put it on the website in the form of videos, interviews, and audio bites as well as sharing news stories and articles about African Women. For to long African women have been marginalised and we have taken the initiative of changing women’s mindset to believe that the impossible is possible.

We want to make African Queens Project more accessible to women and girls within the rural areas in Tanzania by creating applications, books and conducting workshops enforcing our message of leadership and working towards your dreams.  We would also like to create documentaries about phenomenal women and girls doing amazing things from the grassroots level and instilling change in their communities. We also want to do this at absolutely NO cost to the women and girls who can benefit from our services.  This is where we need YOUR help.

Your contribution in any amount will be instrumental in changing the lives of women and young girls living in villages who think that this is as good is as its going to get. Change begins in the mind and mindset transformation is key if we want to see a new generation of women who can be the leaders of tomorrow.

If you would like to support us you can do so by going to this link:

http://igg.me/at/africanqueensproject/x/5356679

I would like to say a BIG thank you to all the friends and supporters who have believed in this project thus far and have seen it go from being a dream to a reality.

You are royalty!

Mental Health Campaign: #HugSitawa

I remember looking through my Twitter timeline and seeing a young woman called Sitawa Wafula being congratulated for winning a philanthropy award and when I looked into her, I knew I must share her story on African Queens Project: http://africanqueensproject.com/2013/08/12/sitawa-wafula/.

Sitawa advocates on an issue that has been a silent killer on our beautiful continent, an issue that is usually blanketed by age old beliefs and harsh traditional views thus leaving the victims of this silent killer to miss out on much needed medical treatment.  The issue I am talking about is Mental health related sicknesses. Sitawa Wafula, after suffering a rape ordeal, rose up from the ashes by giving a voice to the voiceless via promoting awareness on Victims of rape as well as mental Health sicknesses, having developed one after her rape ordeal.

She has recently launched a campaign called #HugSitawa, “that aims to create awareness about mental health and suicide and also raise money for a toll free help line.”

“Currently, 1 in every 4 Kenyans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. This narrows down to each and every household in this country having a brush with either bipolar, depression, suicide, alcohol and substance abuse disorders, just to mention a few.
…All these households will have to compete for the services of 79 psychiatrists serving a population of 40 million Kenyans.
…All these households will also compete for space in one referral hospital what is understaffed, underfunded and overcrowded.
…And like me, all these households will not have a proper support system.”

If  you would like to find out more about this campaign and how you can be a part of it, please check out this link for more information: http://sitawa.blogspot.com/2013/09/hugsitawa-campaign.html

I am hoping that by my sharing her story and her campaign that is currently located in Kenya, that it will be an eye opener for other campaigns in other countries like Tanzania, Uganda, and Chad just to name a few. Below is a blog post that Sitawa wrote where she poetically describes what happened to her the day that shook her world and turned it upside down. #HugSitawa

Sunday 15th

“I will keep telling my story because everyday,
a man, a woman, a child is raped”
Vip Ogola
In her interview on NTV,Vip Ogola said that she will keep telling her story because everyday, a man, a woman, a child is raped; and they need to know its going to be ok,that they are not alone. Back then I wasn’t sure, I was scared, I had no one to tell me it will be ok,there was no story for me to relate to; pen and paper were all I had, my poetry was the only solace; so I did what I thought best…wrote a piece about it and went on. Right now I am sure of myself and I, too, will tell my story so that someone out there will know they will be alright, that there are people who care, people who have been there…Sunday 15th

Sidenote: It is a long piece, unedited (OK just worked on the paragraphing, period). When I was working on my book I thought of shortening it, but yet again I looked at those pieces and saw how they have made me, and the fact that I didn’t write this or any piece for entertainment or for literature critics to see if it follows the rules. Poetry is my vent and the book is me opening part of my diary to the world and yes it was to be out mid this year, and it is ready but I, too, have to be ready.@Vip, you don’t know how your voice has helped me, right from when I read your story on The Standard to seeing you on national television plus the many things you do for people who have been raped. Makes me kinda wish I met you back in 2003,but all things work at His time so its never too late…May He continually bless he works of your hands.
Oscar Wilde said, ‘There are many things that we would throw away, if we were not afraid that others might pick them.’ I have held on for far too long, now it is time to let go. I wrote this piece on after events that took place on Sunday 15th June 2003 for therapy and it has helped me for the last 6 years. Now I write it in my notes, praying it does the same for someone.
I am ready to move to the next level of healing.
SUNDAY 15TH
If the sun was there on that day, I don’t know;
And if it shined brighter than ever, I don’t care.
My tears, all view they clouded.
What moved me, to date am yet to know.
An errand to run, you said you had,
Before I fully awoke, you’ll be back,
As the day to spend together you desired.
So over I turned,
And deep into sleep I fell.
If all the anger I feel is at you, I don’t know;
And if you spend your whole life making amends, I don’t care.
Nowhere in sight, so off I go.
Your best friend I meet, wish I never stopped to buy that gum.
A message from you to me, he to keep me company.
Back to the host we agree, a little more time he said.
A little spike in my cup of tea he added.
One sip, two sip;
Cant recall if there was a third.
If the hosts heard me cry out for you, I don’t know;
And if you know I cried for you, I don’t care.
Back from the dead I return, warmth behind me I feel.
My love when did you arrive, stone face meets my eyes,
Shock, worry, their brothers and sisters on me descend.
A leg out the bed, chill over my body.
Naked as a new born
Not a cloth in sight.
Just a rubber on the floor.
If I vomited on the bed and blankets, I don’t know;
And if the vomit remains to date, I don’t care.
Sick all over my body, headache, numbness, anxiety.
I need my clothes, I want to go home
A word out, a threat
One look at his monstrous face, more vomit,
Disgust and fear.
Slowly he dresses,
Looking satisfied.
If my best friend thought my request for a dagger was a joke, I don’t know;
And if I got one and killed him, I wouldn’t care.
He is mocking me,
Enjoying every moment of my anguish
Where are you?
Did he know you wont be back?
Why did I go back?
If I didn’t care about my breath and stop to buy gum
Or drink that tea?
If everyone pointing and laughing, knew my dirt, I don’t know;
And if it became local gossip, I don’t care.
A cloth at a go I get, as against you he talks,
To every comment I agree and thirsty I claim to be.
A glass of water he fetches, out the door I run
Tears streaming like a river
Tripping and almost falling
All this after a pretend siding with him
The only way out I saw.
If one should or should not take a shower,I didn’t know;
And if that was removing evidence, I didn’t care.
I was out
Feeling dirty
Ashamed
What would you say
Would you want me anymore
My best friend on road I meet
Why the tears
What tears
I’m just high, its the weekend so it allowed
Cold shower
No effect
If someone had seen me and told the folks, I don’t know;
And if she could have thrown me out, I wouldn’t have cared.
Home I go, effects of whatever spike taking toll
Seeing three roads, all leading to hell
A slap so hard no sense it brings, scissors on my hair
No longer beautiful, just a dirty, slutty piece of shit
Desiring death
Medicinal concoctions
Nothing works
If the folks sensed something was amiss, I don’t know;
And if your unbelief was shock, I don’t care.
A week outside I don’t step
Waiting, counting, wondering
Will they come?
Lord I cant be pregnant
Was that a cramp?
Away I go
As there is no one to talk to
If you’ll get to know what really happened, I don’t know;
And if you don’t, I don’t care.
Word around for me you have been looking.
Together I see you
Worry grips me anew
Do you know?
To ask I decide
Disbelief; you reaction
Driving the knife deeper
Though severely bruised,
Under this I try to arise.
A way to heal I need.
As much as you look at me,
You cannot see it.
But I carry a scar with me wherever I go.
And in whatever I do,
It is always there,
Watching me,
Mocking and degrading.

The Birth of the “African Queens Project”

Sealwinners2013

African Queens Project wins at World Summit Youth Awards

So a post has been long overdue, but I have been busy working on building a project very close to my heart called “African Queens Project“. A lot of people have been asking me who is behind this project and how did it come about. So I have finally decided that with recent events that have taken place (which I will happily share) this will be the best time to let you guys in on the behind the scenes of “African Queens Project”.

First to address the questions of who and/or what is behind ‘African Queens Project’ I must take you to the beginning to where it all began. It was the summer of 2012, in the bustling city of Accra, Ghana. I had just landed and was busy taking in my surroundings and praying that the people who were to pick me up were not operating on African time. I saw a tall lady holding a sign with my name on it and made a beeline for her pushing my luggage on the trolly as I went. I did not know what to expect, all I knew was that I was going to be surrounded by 27 women from different parts of Africa for the next 3 weeks. My prevailing thoughts were: PMS and a whole lot of Estrogen! If someone had told me that I would form life long friends and inspirational connections with my fellow African women, I would have given them an, “In your dreams” look.

So I bet you are now wondering why was I in Ghana with 27 other women? I had been selected to attend a prestigious fellowship whereby they look for 25 young African women leaders each year in Africa, and bring them to Ghana for intensive training and workshops and upon graduation you become a part of a prestigious network of women known as MILEAD Fellows. Part of the fellowship requires each fellow to carry out a project that targets women and children in their home country for at least a year.

So I remember taking my time while I thought about what I could do that I could willingly and happily put all my heart and soul into that would make a sustainable impact. I went through a lot of ideas in my head trying to think of the best way I could go about doing this while still staying true to my passions which is media and journalism. I knew I didn’t want to do just another program or project that would eventually die or be forgotten. I continued to ponder this as I went through the fellowship, listening to the intensive lectures and taking part in some of the workshops. We got to the part  where different fellows shared their stories and backgrounds and what they are doing to revolutionize their country and community. As I sat listening to these stories, I was moved to tears several times when I heard stories of hardships, defeats, triumphs, and accomplishments from women who were still relatively “young”. That’s when I knew what my project would be about: providing a uniform platform whereby inspirational women can share their stories thus inspiring other young girls and women to aspire for more. ‘African Queens Project’ was born and the rest is history.

So currently I have seen ‘African Queens Project‘ taking shape and growing and becoming even more than I had imagined. I can happily and officially say that ‘African Queens Project‘ is an award winning project, and we will be honored in Sri Lanka as part of the World Summit Youth Award winners event. So that is it in a nutshell, you can read the press release to fill you in more about the award: http://africanqueensproject.com/awards/. I like what the Professor Peter Bruck, Chairman  of the World Summit Youth Awards Board said about ‘African Queens Project’:

“African Queens Project’ is helping many women in Africa to exchange vital experiences and share a new world of possibilities and opportunities. It is important to make visible the struggles, triumphs, and victories of anonymous African women who are making a difference in this continent.”

So I leave you with that and be sure to check out the website as well. Until next time, inspire to aspire!

Human Nature

human-nature

Have you ever been at a point in time when you had so much to say and so much you wanted to do that you ended up doing nothing and saying nothing at all? Well that’s the mode I have been operating on the past couple of months and I can only sum it up in one word: Overwhelmed. There have been moments when I really wanted to post something up and my emotions will literally be on the brink of spilling over that I had to take a step back and re-evaluate my motives and thoughts and try to make sense of it all  and figure out how I can best articulate myself to myself first!

Yesterday I think my emotions finally did spill over when I received some very distressing news that left me feeling one disturbing extreme to the other. I was so disturbed it came to the point of questioning my faith and essentially questioning myself. You see, I always try to view people with an open mind and not pass quick judgement based on preconceived notions, especially in light of my own flaws. By now I am sure whoever is reading this is probably wondering what has sent me over the edge….

Well to put it simply: humanity or more specifically human nature has left me feeling like a whirlpool of emotional perplexity! What causes some people to do things that are constituted wrong in certain social contexts, yet in some societies it is tolerated and maybe even celebrated? Let me give a simple example: I remember learning in sociology (in my undergrad years) how in some social groups, it is the men that stay home and take care of the kids and do the cooking and cleaning a.k.a the househusbands or better yet, the Stepford husbands! This is considered socially acceptable and anything that goes against this, goes against the norms and is socially and traditionally unacceptable! So in the other social contexts where we have the Stepford Wives and the traditional housewives, are they wrong for doing what they are doing when judged by other social pretexts of other groups? What is the measurement of right and wrong in this context? Is it safe to conclude that right and wrong are based within a sociological framework?

Allow me to go deeper: the social complexities that go past culture and tradition and goes deeper into the mind is where my true interest lays. What causes someone to be a sociopath? Does this mean that they will be appraised in a different platform than others? For in their world everything is upside down and right and wrong are merely terminologies that they do not comprehend. Therefore does that make it right when they do something substantially wrong?

Where does God fit in? I understand that He/she is creator, sovereign,  omnipotent,  omnipresent, etc yet when I hear how a human being can molest an innocent child, I question again, where is God? Don’t get me wrong, when it boils down to it, I need my faith, because I remember trying to live it my way and that path is a path I NEVER want to revisit. Its like being in a room full of people yet feeling utterly alone, everything is meaningless, basically superfluous. To me that is one of the worst feeling one can go through. So as one who has renewed their faith, I do not follow blindly and religiously,  but I follow as one who has been given a mind to analyze, critique, question, formulate  and try to comprehend the intricacies that life offers. However, I will be a fool to say that we can even comprehend a fraction of this being known in the Hebrew as, “I AM.”

So alas, I don’t want to dissect this topic any further for it may expose some things I am not sure some people are ready to read or hear about. But I will say this, human nature has long been analyzed since the beginning of time, as far back as the garden of Eden to the present time we are living in and yet, I don’t think we are any closer to understanding the soul (the mind, will, emotions) versus our Spirit being as we were B.C.  So until next time when I am not so overwhelmed…..

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