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thandekamwakipesile

Abyss

I see myself

I’m by a river

It’s cold, the fog almost blinds me,

I look in the water trying to find you

Hoping that because the water is still

You are there just waiting for me to find you,

Maybe you’ve been there all along

It becomes a mirror, all I see is myself

Outside of myself

In the water
I don’t know why its been like this for so long

“The moon rolls over the roof and falls behind my house, I am not talking about the moon, I’m talking about myself.”

Curnow ‘s voice comes to me

And all the words of poets past,

Ones I once whispered to myself

They all speak to me, loud, all at once

They consider my distress my induction,

And then its too late, I realise I’m drowning,

Drowning…

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Gossip

So I just watched a Tedx video on YouTube by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in which she talks about the danger of a single story.

In this speech she basically says how dangerous it can be when one only has a single story/perspective about an event, race or character. She herself said how she fell in love with writing at a young age, but when she would write she wrote about white families who ate toast for breakfast and ate ginger biscuits. Nevermind that she herself had never had ginger biscuits, but as a child, those are the stories she read and so she believed that was what stories were meant to be like. It was only when she read African stories about girls with kinky hair that could never form a ponytail, that’s when she realised she too had her own stories to tell.

What does this show, it shows how easily stereotypes can be formed, how easy it is to label a whole population based on one story. Just like gossip. Now, I’ve always had a problem with gossip not because its sometimes not true, but it makes people form one perspective of a person based on perhaps one thing they did. Not taking into account that they have many good attributes. It puts someone’s flaws into a single conversation and leaves little space for anything good. 

I know a girl who played hockey on the Zimbabwe U19 national team, she is a straight A student and an avid writer. A week ago, at her school, she was caught making out with a boy in a classroom. Now when I hear people talk about her to strangers, they say, “oh that’s the girl that was caught kissing in that classroom” and to people that didn’t know her prior to the incident now only have a single story about her. Kissing is not bad but I’m sure that’s not all someone wants to be known for.

So, next time you want to gossip, remember that the human you’re speaking of has thoughts and emotions just like you. And if it were you hearing that gossip would you bother to say “yes she did that but she’s not a bad person”. Don’t let people form stereotypes of other people right under your nose and do nothing about it. Because one day they’ll form a stereotype about you.

Pretty Wings

In the midst of all that’s happening around me. Just all the ups and downs of life I’m able to find solace in music. 

As I write this, I’m listening to “Pretty Wings” by Maxwell. And I can barely describe it but with every note he sings I feel myself unravel. It’s like its own kind of peace, it’s been a hectic week and its just so beautiful how music is its own kind of therapy. Serendipitous doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So thank you to the writers and artists like Maxwell, who use their voices to sing our remedies . Every tune a chance to believe again, a chance to believe in better days

Zimbabwe’s Awakening

Towards the end of last week on the 1st of July there were whispers that there would be major protests in the following week on the 6th of July 2016. There were many skeptics who said Zimbabweans are too squeamish to rise up against their government in opposition to the ongoing corruption and poor economic management of Zimbabwe. The skeptics were wrong.

For those of you not familiar with the current situation in Zimbabwe, I’ll put it plainly, the people of Zimbabwe have had enough. They’ve had enough of corrupt ministers reading speeches written for them by their staff about how the government is taking strides to build the Zimbabwean economy whilst people are continually unemployed and ministers build themselves million dollar mansions with tax layers money. They’ve had enough of spending whatever hard earned cash they can get to send their children to school, only to be betrayed by an economic situation which denies their children employment. They have had enough of all the promises the President makes every election, promises that are never fulfilled. Zimbabweans have reached their breaking point and with all major Zimbabwean news outlets being under government control, we shall not let our voices be stifled any longer. Zimbabweans declared they would be shutting down Zimbabwe and not go to work in defiance to the government.

This the image that circulated Zimbabwe on social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others and indeed Zimbabweans did not go to work today on the 6th of July 2016. Today marked the beginning of a revolution in Zimbabwe as we Zimbabweans have said enough is enough. The above poster reads “Hatichada & Hatichatya Asisiafuni” in Zimbabwean national languages Shona and Ndebele meaning “We do not want this anymore & We are not afraid anymore”. As expected the Zimbabwean police have been no help in standing with the people in protest and have actually beat up Zimbabwean citizens engaging in peaceful protest.

The government was aware that there would be protests going on, on the 6th of July and amped up the amount of police in “protest hotspots” with some police even sitting in buses to keep an eye on regular civilians. Instead of addressing the issues at hand the government continues to ignore Zimbabweans cry for help. To make things worse Zimbabwean politicians who are members of the ruling party ZANU PF continue to say that all is well in Zimbabwe, Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa even went on a UK news show (Hardtalk) and said that “ZANU PF remains a very solid, cohesive political force in Zimbabwe…As far as Zimbabweans are concerned, we are happy…”Chinamasa Interview on Hardtalk Thus illustrating how much Zimbabwean government is keen to try and uphold a façade of normalcy to try to show the international community that all is well.

Even if they shut down our social media applications (such as WhatsApp) We shall not be silent. I thank God for this WordPress platform. If you are reading this please tell someone about it, don’t let the Zimbabwean government’s attempts to silence Zimbabwean people win. On social media use the hashtag #ThisFlag to show your support to Zimbabweans. Our voices will be heard.

HATICHADA, HATICHATYA ASISAFUNI TAJAMUKA! 

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“Reading is my way of being a warrior, I’m being free on the inside” -quote from “Roots” This quote was said in a book turned into a series and its about the lives of Africans sold into slavery, when one girl (a slave) is asked why she needs to read so much she says this. So powerful. Freedom…

AFRICANNESS

I’ve been on many fashion blogs recently and seen an array of African inspired clothing. I’ve gone into the music library on my phone and pressed play and listened to American and British artist’s belt out African inspired ballads and thus one thing has become profoundly clear to me… If you don’t have a solid sense of identity, people will give you one and run with it.

Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of the African print you see online is truly African print that is worn traditionally by some African countries, and some African inspired music is somewhat authentic to the theme. But, that’s the thing, only some. It is impossible to completely encapsulate a continent with 54 countries in one song or in a headscarf. The countries out of Africa seem to think that they have defined what being an African is, that by wearing Nigerian inspired clothing and trying to sound African on a song is reason enough to define Africaness. Which obviously isn’t true.

I read a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called Half of a Yellow Sun in which she makes a strong point about who should be writing the stories about Africa. That someone’s identity should be defined by them first before people hop on to whatever definition suits them. There is an African proverb that says, “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter” but first, before we Africans write the story, I have to pose the questions, “Do we know who we are, and can that be defined simply?”

I think that answering that question is the greatest hindrance to our progress as Africans, because after being colonised and then being independent, the remnants of who we are has been tangled in pre- colonised African and Independent African. My point is that Spanish people aren’t just tequila and salsa the same way all Africans aren’t an African rhythm and headscarf. Also, it’s very important that we as human beings think about how we define ourselves and if that is what we project

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Why do I Write/Blog ?

I’m a firm believer in the power of story telling, I myself was only encouraged to take my blogging and writing after reading work other people had done. Writing isn’t only important, its an essential part of the human experience. From centuries ago story telling has long been a tenant of the human experience. And as we are introduced to every new character in a novel or book, we, in turn are introduced to ourselves.

When the pressures of this world get too much we can simply push pen to paper and create our own world. As we venture off with the protagonist/antagonist/persona in every piece of writing we realise that we too determine our story and are in fact our own biggest hero, cheerleader or villain. Reading other people’s thoughts often reminds us that we are not alone and after every comma we can find a new character who reminds us of ourselves or someone else.

I write because all forms of literature expose our humanness. As an advocate for human rights a common problem in the advocacy for Human rights is that some people often forget some people are human when they are presented as a statistic, telling their story makes them individuals not just another number in the billions of people on earth.

I write because I want to be the person to help someone have their ”I wanna write” epiphany. I write because I need too, I write to show you that you need to too.

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When Art is Uniformed

I tried to hide my weird, but

It just so happens that weird is called

Artistic

When its put on camera,

So,  I got up, out of the hallows of wallowing in my indifference

Contoured my cheekbones

And smudged my eye makeup to look the part

I pressed record on the camera

And I realised that my weird began to feel strange

When it was all for show

When I was trying to make it a declaration to the world

That this, too, was acceptable

When I became an advocate for my weird

It wasn’t mine

It became something for all the grief stricken to march for

It became a hashtag for the media obsessed

It became a statement to excuse, not glorify my weird

So I took the regular face towel and rubbed the ordinary from my weird face

And when all the mascara and bronzer was off

I looked into the camera

Smiled

And took me and my weird outside to play

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”Education… Enough?”

So as I sat down to write this little piece of enlightenment I contemplated its relevance and how to make it sound fancy… But this is just a human to human article.

For some people, the statement, “Education is not enough” is a common phrase, for some not so much. I’m a 18 year old girl from Zimbabwe and just like most Zimbabweans the common phrase was always “Shanda nesimba” which means “Work hard” and they meant work hard in school. So I did. By the time I got to high school I was an A student and as I was doing the Cambridge syllabus at school I got a bunch of A’s for my  O’Levels and A’Levels and I had dreams of being a human rights lawyer knowing that my grades made me eligible to be accepted to some of the best universities in Africa and abroad. But, hold on, before you start thinking this is a boasting thing, let me break it down for you.

After the liquidation crisis in Zimbabwe reached its peak in 2013 according to the Zimabwean newspaper the Sunday Mail about 300 companies were liquidated as of Dec 15 2013 and counting. My fathers company being one of them, this has resulted in many Zimbabwean children not being able to afford going to school. I myself studied at home for three quarters of my senior year and registered at a local school to write my exams and came out with flying colours as I don’t shy away from hard work. And as I started to apply to my preferred universities I found that I couldn’t afford the application fee or I found that some scholarship applications had an application fee. It became very apparent to me that education is not enough anymore, neither is hard work and passion. Not when you live where I do. I am in a society where the economy so pathetic that people with masters degrees and doctorates cannot get jobs because people don’t have enough revenue to pay employees even if they need them. Thus no amount of philosophical and practical understanding of Pythagoras Theorem or Shakespeare or the French Revolution and its importance in the modern world’s systems is enough to make sure that after almost 13 years of school I can actually go to university and then get a job. So I don’t know what to do but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. But it’s still kinda shitty don’t you think ?

So I pose the question: If there is unequal distribution of wealth in the world and its not enough to work hard in order to obtain that, what then?

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