Day 25: What Feminism Means To Me

Day 25 of #30DayAfriBlogger Challene topic is Feminism or Humanism or Womanism.  Where do you stand and why?  I have a Guest Blogger who shared her thoughts on Feminism with me, enjoy the read.

“I am compelled to remain on this feminist path by the many women that…feel comfortable in living differently” –​ ​Florence​ ​Butegwa

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Vimbai Midzi

 Women deserve to be treated equally, to be given a fair chance to succeed, and a safe environment to live their lives in. – Vimbai Midzi

It was a quiet realisation in a room full of women who had been through the abuse I had experienced. I hadn’t spoken at all that day, and my heart was heavier than I can articulate. There were hundreds of candles for the vigil, and hundreds of women sat in the hall – some shocked at the stories that were told, some crying, some humming quietly. My friend, who had been the closest person to me since school started, held my hand as we swayed back an forth. Without warning, surprising myself even, I stood up and began to tell my story too. I spoke with the smallest voice I’ve ever heard come out of me about a violence I wish I could forget. I stopped, one minute in, fighting tears. I looked up for reassurance of some kind, and when I looked back at my friend, she had a sign up that simply said, “You matter.” That tiny act of kindness which probably only I noticed, was the beginning of my journey with feminism and defining what it’s meant to me.

Feminism, broadly speaking, is the belief that all women and men are fundamentally equal, and that the differences in the way women and men are treated comes down to patriarchy.

Patriarchy is basically a system that privileges men over women in society – whether with regards to workplace opportunities, access to education, inheritance laws, political leadership positions or romantic relationships. Patriarchy is the thinking that says that women are intrinsically inferior to men, which trickles down into various sectors of society. For example, patriarchy is the reason in many developing countries, if a family cannot afford to send all their children to school, they’d rather send the boys and not the girls. Sometimes it’s subtle. It’s in the way girls are raised to aspire to marriage and are ‘trained’ to take care of a family’s needs, while boys often lack basic domestic skills because they aren’t expected to take part in domestic labour. Patriarchy is the reason why, for years I stayed silent about my sexual abuse, and was willing to go to the grave with it, for fear of being ridiculed or blamed. Patriarchy says that women’s lives, ideas, dreams, bodies don’t matter as much as men’s, and feminism exists to counter that.

You matter.

African feminism stems from African women’s actions and thoughts around equality within the context of African societies. It’s important to stress that my African identity is integral to my fight against patriarchy across the continent. It is particularly important, on a continent where women are systematically excluded from economic, political and social spaces, that my feminist work does everything in its power to tear apart the patriarchy that holds women back and under the feet of men. African women, post colonialism, had to deal with fighting racial oppression from white regimes, and further oppression from their own black male family members, colleagues and leaders.

Feminism is both collective and individual in its practices. Many of the changes in laws protecting women’s inheritance rights, fighting violence against women, ensuring equal opportunities in professional and educational spaces, have come as a result of the collective action of groups of feminists across the continent.  Being a feminist also means that feminists over the years have fought for me to have autonomy and personal choice –an integral part of feminism.  It also means that I’ve come to have a personal understanding of the different ways patriarchy affects me and the ways in which I fight it in my daily life.

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Vimbai Midzi

Personally, there are two things that come to mind when I think of what feminism means to me.

1. YOU MATTER

The jokes about self love aside, loving myself and acknowledging my intrinsic worth has been the foundation of my feminist journey.  Women deserve to be treated equally, to be given a fair chance to succeed, and a safe environment to live their lives in. Feminist policies like advocating for free sanitary pads so girls don’t have to miss school because of their periods, is telling girls that they matter. Their ability to attend class and society’s effort at leveling the playing field for their start in life, matters. My pain, my joy, my failure, my success, my ideas, my dreams – they all matter, and they should be taken seriously.  Feminism makes it necessary for this to be actively made a truth in women’s lives. Every demand for harsher punishments for rapists and kinder environments for rape survivors to tell their stories and get justice, every push for states to address femicide and emphasise women’s autonomy over our bodies, is feminism telling us that we matter.

2. PATRIARCHY MUST FALL

It’s important to note that patriarchy is enacted mostly by and for the benefit of men, but that women can perpetuate it too, and that men can suffer from it. Feminists fight against patriarchy as a system that harms both men and women, albeit harming women more.  Patriarchy sets impossible and toxic standards for men and how masculinity should be performed. This often means that masculinity is associated with violence, strength (the kind of strength that can never show signs of perceived weakness) and unchecked power. Men are therefore socialised to believe that they cannot be emotionally vulnerable.   for example. This would explain the rise in male suicides as a result of men being unable to seek help for mental health issues like depression. Patriarchy also socialises women to make decisions or say things that are harmful to other women, and that ultimately benefit men. When a woman judge in Uganda suspended a female court clerk for wearing a mini-skirt there were a lot of comments. In this instance, women’s dressing and bodies continue to be policed by a system that takes away women’s bodily autonomy.  That the decision was made by a woman, shows the pervasiveness of patriarchy and that; as a whole system, it needs to fall, for the sake of women mostly but also for the sake of men.

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Image from Pinterest

Feminism for me means learning and unlearning everyday.  It means standing up for myself in an environment that seeks to shrink me.  It means standing with women at all times, ensuring that our rights are protected, our voices are listened to and the war on our bodies is being stopped.  It means being unapologetically me and living myself past the pain of years of ingrained patriarchal practices and language. It means reclaiming the identity that men for centuries have given to women, and forming one for myself. Most importantly, feminism for me, is the quiet realisation that I matter.

You can find Vimbai on Twitter; @Just_Midzi she loves, supports and fights for or with black African women.  She also has a new project under way and you should watch this space for it.  A big thank you to Vimbai for sharing her thoughts, I for one now have a better understanding of what Feminism is.

©MaKupsy 2017

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Day 24: I Came, I Saw, I Captured

“For my birthday I want a photo-shoot, a piano and a baby sister.”

Talk about a little person who know’s exactly what she wants!  That was my daughter Miss Kupsy telling me her birthday requests a few weeks ago.  I just smiled and thought this child is from another planet.  Where in the world will I get a baby sister from at such short notice?  I reminded her that she had a brother but she quickly pointed out that she wanted a sister NOT a brother.

I make sure each of her birthdays are memorable and this time around her photo-shoot wish came true.  The photographer was convinced she had gone for a photo-shoot before but I confirmed that it was definitely her first time.  We had a lot of fun.  It ended up being a mother-daughter shoot but the highlight was on her.  She got over 100 photos taken!

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Miss Kupsy 🙂

Who: Timeless Photos

What: Focusing on weddings, commercial projects, corporate events and studio photography.

Where: 66 Nelson Mandela Ave, 1st Floor, Strachans Building, Harare

Price: $15 for 15 minutes, $25 for 30 minutes and $50 for one hour (studio photographs) where you only get soft copies transferred to your memory stick.  For more information on their price guides feel free to get in touch with them on their Facebook Page.

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Miss Kupsy’s 6th Birthday

I chose the package for 15 minutes which also comes with two printed copies.  Timeless Photos provides pretty temporary picture frames and they have more durable ones they sell for $5.  The whole experience cost us $30 and I left a happy woman because I still had more birthday treats lined up for Miss Kupsy.  A friend of mine sent her money to buy her a toy piano.  Being a child is certainly the best time of your life!  No one sends me money on my birthday.  I’m still to buy the piano for her the ones I see when I shop around aren’t durable.  I’m one person who believes that you have to buy the best from the beginning.

If you are working on a budget then I highly recommend you try out Timeless Photos.  I’m definitely going back before the year ends to get some pictures taken for my fitness brand.

There are also some very good photographers in the country.  They are doing amazing things.  Their work is all over social media and you should certainly get in touch with them to get some work done.  Don’t say I didn’t give you the hook up!

Kennedy Famba : @KennedyFamba (Twitter)

Tino Nyandoro: @TinoNyandoro (Twitter)

KB Mpofu: @KBMpofu (Twitter)

Who are some of the best photographers in your country?  Have you been for a photo-shoot before?  What was your experience like?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 23: Are You Wifey Material?

Scratch that are YOU husband material?  Society really needs to take a chill pill and stop putting all this unnecessary pressure on women.  We already have this thing called treating ourselves with tender loving care first and then add labour to deal with so y’all should just give us a break.  I laughed out loud the one time I had a conversation with an unnamed man and he told me that some of the qualities he looked for in a woman who was going to be to his future wife included:

  • going to church every Sunday
  • wearing “decent” clothes
  • someone who didn’t smoke or drink
  • someone who wasn’t on social media platforms
  • someone who didn’t question his whereabouts

Basically someone who lived in the 1960s because he certainly won’t be find her in 2017 we now know better!  Ain’t nobody got time to be babying grown men and reacting to their every whim.  (Please note that I’m not married so of course I will say crap on the subject matter because I have zero experience)  Then again we all have preferences and if that’s what he is looking for who am I to stop him from choosing what makes him happy?

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

 

In the real world a lot has changed and most women are now looking for a man with qualities that excite her loins.  There is no way anyone is willing to bend and break with the wrong person for the rest of their lives so women now have a “husband material” list as well and qualities obviously vary.  However, in as much as times have evolved there are still some men who want to be the head speaker when it comes to what his woman should or should not wear that time they aren’t even taking her shopping.

My opinion when it comes to this subject is that life is too damn short; dress for occasions, dress comfortably and always dress to kill.  Then again what do I know, I don’t even like wearing clothes in the first place and that’s why today’s post features guest blogger Chantelle who knows all about fashion!

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

Fashion is an art form that allows you to create and inspire through fabrics , textures , colors you name it. I love expressing myself through what I wear and revealing a little bit of my character, who I am, what I am about with what I wear. As a creative , it’s always evolving; I can be a siren today through a little red dress and a powerhouse tomorrow through a black tailored suit.

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

Fashion Tips
Know yourself 

When you know who you are and what you stand for , trends, especially the idiotic ones will come and go and you will not be swayed by wearing a see through fishnet as a whole dress in the name of fashion. When you know who you are, you will have your own style that will be timeless and unique to you.

Know your body  

Are you top heavy?  Bottom heavy?  Do you have a small waist or a bit of a belly?  Thick thighs?  Long legs? There is something that works for everyone. Knowing the right fit for your body type will give you a fitting silhouette and Knowing the shape of your body is a sure way to wear flattering clothes that will give you a confidence boost and a nice ass! I mean , don’t we all want a nice ass??

Dress to make yourself happy

When you dress for yourself you take back your body from the body shamers and oh so entitled critical pigs that we often call Men Are Trash and I said it! You take back the power because you are no longer allowing them and their opinions to matter.  You’re telling them I will wear this flowy short little print dress because it’s very hot outside and my legs give Venus and Rihanna a run for their money.  You are standing up to the bullies who told you no and basically dressing for yourself is a big fuck you to all the self esteem bashers out there. Plus you will love what you see every time you pass a mirror. Hello mirror selfies!!

Dress codes👗👒👜
I love guidelines especially for events, is it black tie, formal, casual, high fashion you name it.  I personally follow guidelines because it’s showing respect to someone’s vision. When people take the time to plan an event, bring it to life and invite us to be a part of their vision, the least we can do is bring a bottle of wine if it is a friends dinner party or wear what the invitation says to wear.  Although my Zimbabwean beloved country people do not have a regard for dress code as I have seen many wearing jeans and sneakers at a red carpet even, I have hope. Dress code allows the vision created to line up accordingly and as how the planners wanted it to be.  If it is a grand soirée, bring out that long train and sequins , if it is formal casual , those nice fitting jeans you have been saving and a nice tailored blazer.

A big thank you to Chantelle for sharing these priceless fashion tips with us.  She’s a Zimbabwean Fashion Blogger and you should definitely check her out her work on:

Instagram: @riso_jeradi

Twitter: @risojeradi

What’s your take on your partner policing what you wear?  Do you also have a husband or wife material list?  If yes, how’s that search going for you so far?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 22: Who Are You To Police My Black Hair?

I think people are just jealous of the way black hair is so versatile!  Not just any black hair but a black woman’s hair.  What I love about my hair is that I can do any and everything to it everyday.  One day I have twists, the next day I have a mini afro and who knows maybe the next day I will let it out to flourish and be happy.  The thing with black hair is that it has so many layers to it.  It can be both creative and daring and that makes people unhappy, especially people you work with.    It’s a damn shame for them because I won’t stop being myself, I love every inch of my black hair!

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MaKupsy

That’s me in the photo above; making people very unhappy with my uncombed hair.  Shout out to The Quarter Wife for the beautiful picture.  If you are a black woman I’m sure you are familiar with some of these statements.  Some may call them insults depending on how they take them.

  • Do you need a comb for your hair?
  • When are you getting your hair plaited?
  • That’s a school girl hairstyle, you really have gone broke!
  • Why do you have a maids hairdo?
  • Can I touch your hair?
  • Aren’t you wearing a wig on top of those cornrows?

I’ve been asked a few of those questions above about my hair.  People really try my patience I tell you!  I sometimes wonder they ask just to hear what I have to say.  I would get really worked up the first days but lately I just smile or completely ignore their remarks.  My favourite one is “That’s a school girl hairstyle, you really have gone broke!”.  The reason why I like it is because each time I get cornrows done I shed off a whole 5 years from my age, people start thinking Im in my 20s, what’s not to love?  I’m not even insulted, Im excited, all the more chances of getting hit on by a young hot blooded man.(just kidding!)  

What most people don’t understand is that protective styles are actually good for your hair.  My hairline used to suffer in the past but ever since I attended a couple of Natural Hair Events I now know how to take better care of my hair.  When I think back growing up we used to do each other’s hair during school holidays or on weekends and our go to hairstyle was mabuns (African Threading) not a single person had hairline problems then our hair was intact!

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(African Threading) Photo Credit: Shuvai Murumbi (Facebook)

Show me one woman who doesn’t want an intact hairline and I will show you a liar!  This hairstyle just needs your time, $1 to buy wool and voila you’re good to go.  Tell me one person who doesn’t want to save money the way our economy is currently set up?  Some people will call this a maid’s hairstyle I call it a wise woman’s hairstyle.  If there is one thing all women need to do more it’s to be comfortable in their own skin, even if it means rocking mabuns!

If your hair is nappy they are not happy” – Paul Mooney

If there is one thing you need to do for your hair it’s learn everything you can about it.  We all have different hair types and what works for me will not work for you.  I used to be super obsessed about my hair length but I realised that what matters the most is that I have healthy hair more than anything.  Be kind to your hair, don’t be stressing the heck out of it.  I think hair can actually hear things if you ask me so feed it with love, attention and products that will keep it well hydrated and moisturised.

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Photo Credit: Alice Murewa (Facebook)

My colleagues have since stopped asking about my hair.  Now they just watch and get the shock of their lives.  They realised they can’t steal my joy and they have probably embraced that I’m fearless when it comes to my hair.  I don’t conform to society’s expectations.  If I want my hair natural I will wear it as is, I’m not everyone, I am uniquely me.

To all the black girls who are constantly harassed about the state of their hair, next time anyone tries to insult you tell them to focus on their own hair and leave yours the heck alone! 

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Photo Credit: Thembi

You can read about some of the events and my hair experiences from here:

  1. My Hair Game Is Non-Existent
  2. The Power of A Referral
  3. My Hair Grows Towards Heaven
  4. I Love My Natural Hair

What are some of the worst things people have said or done to your hair?  Are you comfortable walking about with your hair in it’s natural state?  Let’s share your hair stories.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Day 21: The Disgrace Of Infertility In Africa

Infertility is a very hushed subject in our society.  From my observations in our society most times when the woman stays in marriage that is childless it’s usually the man who is probably facing infertility.  Us women are programmed to take it all in, the good, the bad the ugly so it’s highly likely that even when we are in very unfulfilling relationships we will stay on for the sake of love and to save face.  If the tables are turned and it’s the woman who is unable to conceive it’s a completely different ball game!

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Image from Pinterest

Today I’m going to share details of a highly controversial practice that used to be a part of our Zimbabwean culture a very long time ago.  It might still be happening now but I unfortunately don’t have those details so for now let me take you back in time…

Infertile Man 

After a couple had been married for close to a year and didn’t manage to conceive eyebrows started to be raised by family members.  Aunts would have been all up in the wife’s business by then and tried to find out what was going on.  Please note that this was a private matter and the husband was not aware of what was going on behind his back.  The aunt behind the crafty plan would ask the women to her to wipe off some sperm from their bed linen after they had sex so that elders could “examine” the strength it held.  It was after this examination that plans to find someone who could help with conceiving were made.  The aunt would approach the man in question’s younger brother and tell him about the pressing matter.  If there was no younger brother they would sit down with a trusted neighbour or relative and state their case.  The older brother was not to be a part of this as he is viewed as baba(father) and could not enter his siblings home to carry this out. If the parties agreed the woman would only meet up with the man during her ovulation days and try to conceive.  Most times it worked and a few months down the line the wife was pregnant and expecting a little bundle of joy.  Problem solved, happy woman, happy man!  There was never any mention of what transpired to finally get pregnant, it was a very private matter.  (Well now it isn’t!)

Think about it…The little brother steps in and people hi 5 the man!

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Image from Google

Infertile Woman

Her “condition” was an open discussion. (I have so much to say about this!)   The aunts and uncles would sit down with the couple and address the infertility subject.  They would approach the little sister to the wife in question.  If she agreed to stand in for her sister and try and give her uncle an heir a token of appreciation would be paid to the family and she would move in with the couple.  However, not all sisters agreed to this and in such cases the husband would get some of his lobola (stage 8- danga) back.  When this happened the husband was asked to marry a new wife so that he would be able to conceive and have his family name grow.  Back then most women stayed and took the role of first wife while a second wife was brought into the family and everyone lived happily ever after.

Think about this: The little sister steps in and people still look at the woman!!!

5 Facts About Infertility – extracted from www.owletcare.com

  1. Infertility is generally defined as not being able to conceive after one year (or more) of unprotected sex.
  2. Around one in eight couples struggle to become pregnant.
  3. Both men and women can contribute to infertility.
  4. There are various ways the infertility can be treated, including medicinesurgeryintrauterine insemination (IUI) or assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). These methods aren’t always successful, and can be quite painful.
  5. Secondary infertility is real; you can still experience infertility in subsequent pregnancies even after previously successful, easy-to-conceive pregnancies.

Back to my rant on Female Infertility!  Why are men’s issues kept under lock and key, why must women’s flaws be laid out to bare for all and sundry to see?  This is NOT RIGHT AT AT ALL!  What makes men so special?  Why must we be the ones to be shamed???  Imagine how a woman felt.  She was already dealing with emotional issues, feeling like a failure and now she had to face a whole group of people blaming her for being infertile?  Do you have any idea what people especially relatives say about infertile women? From accusing them of having gone through several abortions to being called a witch!  Next thing she’s depressed and no one acknowledges depression; it’s too much for me to take in.  No man, this is not how things were supposed to be handled, women have feelings too!

That said, children are a gift and unfortunately not everyone gets to receive that gift.  That should not in any way bring tension into your marriage, when the time is right it will happen and if it doesn’t happen I believe there will always be something positive to bring fulfillment in both your lives.

What are your thoughts on the subject of infertility?  How is this topic handled in your society?  If I took you back in time would you agree to the practice that I just shared with you?

Today is day 21 of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and our topic is My Thoughts On Infertility.  Feel free to join the conversation.

MaKupsy 2017

Day 20: Breathtaking African Destinations

If I had all the money in the world I would travel the whole world; twice!  Nothing gives you that kick as much as leaving your day to day routine and simply plunging into a completely new environment.  The first time I went on a travel adventure I went to South Africa all by my merry little self.  I made bookings and hit the road.  My parents were worried sick because they thought something tragic would happen to me but nothing did and it was one heck of an astounding experience!

Sadly I’m not as well travelled as I would like to be so I got some travel junkies to help me out with today’s post.  After reading this I promise you the first thing you will do is be friends with Google and search for the first flight out of your country.

Vumba, Zimbabwe

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Photo Credit: @NdiSandra (Twitter)

My favorite Destination in Zimbabwe is definitely Vumba. I am still to travel to a place more beautiful than Vumba. Very quiet and serene with the humming of beautiful birds. The weather is amazingly cool and I have done a gazillion countless trips there because you can never get used to the beauty.  The food is amazing. Tony’s cakes are out of this world. I’m sure that’s the best cake one can ever eat. Forest Hills is my favorite resort in Vumba, it’s such a homely place with amazing people. The food is beyond amazing and Takura makes bomb weird dishes. I would totally stay there and just get fat!!

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Prince of Wales View

Minus the good food and hospitality at Forest Hills, they have amazing views. Its not far from Leopard Rock Hotel so if you need to play some golf or go for a game view Leopard Rock is the place. Game views are so much fun and you get to feed the Ostriches.  Make sure you also pass by Prince of Wales View point on your way. The beautiful view of Mutare will always brighten your day. – @NdiSandra

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You gotta love Vumba!

 

Arusha, Tanzania

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Tanzania

I recently had the pleasure of travelling to Arusha, Tanzania and I would definitely recommend it as a top destination to visit. As a Zimbabwean I warmed up to it very quickly because it reminded me of home. The people there are so welcoming and friendly and the food is the organic goodness we grew up eating in Zimbabwe. Although I never got an opportunity to sight see as I was on a business trip I managed to visit some of the local Masai markets and the markets in the CBD. The Masai markets boast of beautifully handcrafted proudly Tanzanian pieces; from bags to shoes, to jewellery. If you are looking for souvenirs from your visit to Arusha this is definitely a place to stop by. I also enjoyed the markets in Arusha’s CBD. I’m an avid fan of African print material and in the search for an originally Tanzanian piece the CBD was definitely the place to visit.

The people there are so welcoming and friendly and the food is the organic goodness we grew up eating in Zimbabwe.

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Although I never got the chance to go out to try their local cuisine or their braai spots or as they call them “nyama chomas” I think this is a definite must do for anyone visiting Arusha. The night life in Arusha is also something worth exploring. I would say it is different from what I am used to in its simplicity. The prices of alcohol are very reasonable. On a night out we spent about 60 000 shillings on two rounds of drinks (several beers and double whiskeys and cognac orders for four people), which is equivalent to R400. Tanzania seems to have a great appreciation for African music from not only within the East African region but also from the rest of the continent. We enjoyed ourselves dancing to music from Angola, to the DRC and the DJs even accommodated us by playing our favourite Zimbabwean and South African songs.

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Photo Credit: @_____layslee (Twitter)

Due to my limited time there I was unable to visit Mount Meru which is one of the main attractions in the city. Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and is the fourth in Africa. It is a definite must see. Of course there is Mount Kilimanjaro which everyone deserves to see at least once in their life. There is so much one can do in Arusha as the city boasts with many National Parks such as the Serengeti National Park, the Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro National Reserve and Lake Manyara National Park. I would definitely visit Arusha again so I can experience everything it has to offer. – @_____layslee

White Sand Beaches, Mozambique

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Image from Google

The White Sand Beaches of Mozambique are on my list of dream destinations.  If there is one thing I NEED this year it’s definitely a holiday!  I need to get away from all the stresses this country brings me on a daily basis and just enjoy an adventure filled weekend away.  I’ve been to Mozambique before but to the boring parts of it and on business so that wasn’t any fun.  I have a vivid imagination and I’ve already pictured what my trip will be like once it materialises, at least dreaming is free right?

I will arrive in Mozambique on a Friday evening and check into a medium range hotel.  Apparently accommodation in Mozambique is pretty reasonable averaging $24 per person.  I can’t go all out high end accommodation because I have a daughter starting Grade School next year(the joys of parenthood).  I’m obviously tired from my flight so I settle for an early night.  Still deciding if this will be a solo trip or I’ll bump into a chocolate brother over the weekend…

When I’m there I try out everything from the food to the drinks, no time to waste I’m here to have a ball of a time!  I’m honestly tired of all the food lately so it will be a welcome change to try out a local dish and definitely delicious sea food; I love all things white meat.  As long as it’s prepared in a way that I normally have it I’m going to enjoy every bite of it.

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Food of Mozambique (Image from Google)

You know those drinks in coconut shells you see on TV?  I want to try them out and I know there is no way they won’t have them in Mozambique.  I mean, this is my dream so it’s definitely there.  I will have me some sex on the beach both figuratively and literally!  How am I going to come all this way and not get laid???  But keep it on the hush, what happens in Mozambique stays in Mozambique…

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Image from Google

These are some of the activities you can do when you visit Mozambique and I will try out all of them because life is too short to not go hard.

  • Diving
  • Ilha de Mozambique
  • Maputo Central Market
  • Cocktails at the Polana Hotel
  • Swimming with Wild Dolphins (just wait till you see the pictures I will take!)
  • Gorongosa National Park
  • Sailing in a Traditional Dhow
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Image from Google

Don’t forget the walks on the beach.  My trip would be incomplete without it.  Take a dip every other minute to enjoy the cool water on my skin while taking in the clear blue water.  This is the one trip I will be completely off the radar and not even buy a sim card.  I will simply take photos of beautiful views and interact with locals and dare to do something different.  I can’t wait to visit Mozambique!

What are some of your favourite destinations in Africa?  What’s your dream destination and when do you plan on going there?

It’s day 20 of the #30DayAfriBloggerChallenge this is the first time I have ever actually counted down days in a month!

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 19: Your Career Your Choice?

On the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge today’s topic is “Why Did You Choose Your Career Path.  I’m a qualified Secretary and now that you know what I do let’s talk about the fun stuff!

What did YOU want to be when you were growing up?  I know with my generation everyone wanted to be a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, a soldier an accountant, a businessman or a pilot.  Those seemed to be the only options one had to choose from in order to be labelled successful.  I on the other hand was completely different.  I had other plans on my mind and none of those occupations tickled my fancy.  I had different dreams and who knows some might still come true in this lifetime.  I always felt that if I became or got to do some of the things on my list I would be happier; so here is my list of things I thought I would one day do once I was all grown up.

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Image from Pinterest

  1. Study choreography.  I love to dance,(not professionally) think naughty suggestive shake your ass like a salt shaker type of moves.  I’ve always felt that if I had the opportunity to actually study dance I would have one job I would love and literally run to every day because I can never get enough of all the dance styles that keep being created every single day.  Seeing that the choreography dream isn’t coming true soon enough I have taken to never leaving the dance-floor when I go out to party.  You should see my moves, Beyonce ain’t got nothing on me!
  2. Music.  Sometime in my early 20’s I thought being a DJ wouldn’t be a bad idea considering the way I love my music.  I remember applying for some voice over positions and that never materialised.  A friend who happens to be a DJ needed some Voice Over’s done for his music mix and approached me some  years back.  I enjoyed the few seconds of fame and loved hearing the sound of my voice.  I figured it wasn’t too late to pursue that career but what else must one do after being a Voice Over Artist?  However, this is definitely a dream that can still come to life if I put my mind to it; I just have to make it a side gig because the way Zimbabwe is set up you can’t make it your end and all!
  3. Counsellor.  I would like to believe I am an attentive listener and once I put my mind to it I will encourage someone to talk about issues they feel they cannot normally share with other people.  I already have a qualification in HIV/ AIDS Care and Counselling so one day when the opportunity arises I will step up and use it.  Methinks studying couselling works to my advantage because people feel safe to share their problems with me.  In this case health and fitness problems and I’m always willing to help no matter what time of day.
  4. Globe Trotter.  I wanted to travel the world. I didn’t want to have a permanent address.  I wanted my life to be different and planned that each year I would stay in say Kenya for one year, then move to India the following year and off to Netherlands, anywhere but home was going to be absolutely perfect for me.  I wanted to learn about different cultures and traditions while I enjoyed being on a travel adventure.  Alas, that hasn’t happened yet, but on the upside I have travelled to some parts of the world and still plan on travelling beyond Africa.
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Image from Pinterest

I have a fun personality and I want to do things that unleash my character.  My current job doesn’t allow that though, it was an occupation chosen on my behalf and each day I make steps towards pursuing what I want and find a way to escape from a job that steals my joy.  I know it’s not too late to give what I love the most my full attention.  I want to leave this earth knowing I did everything that brought joy to my life.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” — Steve Jobs

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 18: Sex Education

Sex posts are one of my favourite things to blog about but today I won’t take you on an erotica journey, sadly for you.  Today’s challenge requires us to write about sex on the first date but I’m taking this opportunity to reshare a post I wrote 2 years ago.  Let’s talk sex education.  Are you taking steps in educating your children about sex or you are hoping they will remain virgins till the world comes to an end?  Remember you are responsible for how they perceive a lot of things, sex included, don’t wait for someone else to feed them with false information.  Today’s read will take you less than 10 minutes to enjoy, grab some popcorn it’s about to get real!

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Image from Google

You know that talk a child gets just before they enter their adolescent stage?  Well, I got that talk, the only difference was that mine was a very scary version.  You see, in our culture back then most parents were not very comfortable talking about sex with their children.  That job was left to the aunt but with people moving far and wide in the end your mother was left to do all the work and boy did she do a shoddy job of it.  In order to stop me from indulging in any sex her plan was to tell me stories that would stop me from even dreaming about having sex. (they worked for a while though)  I remember the day my mother sat me down to tell me how I should not have sex before I was married.  Mind you she didn’t even use the word sex; I am still to remember what term she used but I just concluded she meant sex.  She told me that if I got too close to a boy or even let him touch any part of my body her back would break.  THE HORROR!!  I didn’t even date anyone during my teen years because I was obviously scared shitless.  Why would I want a boy anywhere near me?  So that my mother’s back breaks??  That was definitely going to happen on my watch, I love my mother too much to cause her any harm!

And so I sailed through my teen years until one day a boy I fancied started writing me letters.  I was obviously excited and kept this my little secret.  I remember going for a walk with him one afternoon and then before we said goodbye he kissed me!  OH MY FREAKING GOSH!!  I was terrified!  I ran all the way home, locked myself in the bathroom and kept looking in the mirror to check if my parents would be able to tell if I had been kissed.  I was miserable for the rest of the day and when they came back from work I acted normal but my heart was pounding so hard I felt like it was going to jump right out of my throat.  The next morning and the weeks to come I woke up worried thinking my mother’s back would surely break after that kiss!  But of course nothing happened and years later I started dating, I even had sex (protected of course) and no one’s back ever broke, like ever!

I had to learn about sex through school mates and talks the women who would occasionally come to school and talk about not allowing anyone to touch your body.  They didn’t actually say anything about safe sex or contraceptives and the whole shebang.  And so I had to read about most of the things in books and or overhear my sisters talk about condoms then I figured that’s what you were supposed to use.  To be honest that was the only form of contraceptive I knew of; that and abstaining.  I still feel that my mother could have done a better job of informing me about sex and not have me wonder and seek answers from outside sources.  She did a very good job of letting me think that sex was a very bad thing not to be talked about, had or enjoyed because something terrible would happen to you.  At the same time I don’t blame her because she grew up in a time where such talks were unheard of.

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Image from Google

I asked a few friends around me to tell me how their “birds and the bees” talk when they were younger and this is the feedback I got:

“Ahh, I don’t remember being told anything by my mum.  She just told me no boys before finishing school.”

“She gave me the finer details about sex when I was around 16.  Even told me how people have sex so that little boys wouldn’t trick me with the don’t worry it isn’t sex line.”

“She never said anything.”

“I had sex figured out from my teacher.”

“We never had the talk she just said if you get pregnant don’t ever come back home.”

“Stay away from sex because you will get pregnant!  If a boy tells you he loves you run for your life!”

I am happy and sad at the same time with this kind of feedback.  Happy because it shows that I wasn’t alone in being told ridiculous things in the name of no sex before your time.  Sad because we were not given enough information about what sex really was even though we were still too young to understand it.  At least one person out of all my friends actually got to know what sex was the rest of us have to figure it out by ourselves!

When my daughter gets to adolescent stage I will sit down with her and we will have an honest and open talk about sex and not hide anything from her so that she knows how to protect herself and be aware of the on goings of her body.  I won’t scare her or tell her any lies because I want her to know she can come to me and talk about anything at anytime.

A fellow Blogger www.conscious2conscience.wordpress.com taking part in the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge shared these sentiments;

Media will have us telling our kids too much too soon but I’m a firm believer in things being age appropriate and in parenting instincts.  When your child asks you what sex is ask them what they already know, ask why they want to know, and then take it from there.

What was your first sex talk like?  Who told you about the ins and outs of sex?

©MaKupsy 2017

Bulawayo UnPlugged

UnPlugged Zimbabwe decided to branch out to Bulawayo because they are amining to build a national brand. How often Unplugged goes to Bulawayo will depend entirely on the take up. If the people of Bulawayo come out and have a great time, UnPlugged will definitely look into making it a regular fixture, similar to Harare.

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CalVin

I caught up with the energetic and charismatic CalVin who was one of the main acts of the Bulawayo UnPlugged event held last month and here is what he shared with me.

Which genre does your music fall under?

My music falls under Hip Hop and Jazz.  I’m currently experimenting with Jazz so I’m a rapper who vocalises, you could say I’m Jazzy Hip Hop.

What are your favourite songs and which ones are your fans favourites?

My personal favourite songs are: King, My Life and Uthando
My fans like: Zkhuphan, Jeki and Bebengakholwa

What inspired you to pursue music?

Music is something that I grew into.  It’s something my cousins were seriously into and I caught up with that fire and I ran with it ever since I was 10 years old.

How long have you been singing?

I’ve been rapping since 1996 so that makes it 21 years of singing.  The first time I recorded something commercially was in 2003.  I can safely say I have been a commercial artist for 14 years now.

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CalVin

Top 3 things that people don’t know about you?

  1. I love comedy.
  2. I enjoy watching soccer.  I’m a Highlanders Football Club and Manchester United Football Club supporter.
  3. I don’t write my music I just freestyle my way through it.

What did you like about UnPlugged Bulawayo?

I liked the vibe that UnPlugged has.  The chilled out vibe is something you want to continue to experience.  It’s a family oriented event.  People came through with their drinks, food and their kids as well.  It was properly organised, the sound system was on point and the money was good too!

What was your experience performing at UnPlugged Bulawayo?

I enjoyed my performance.  I loved the vibe people threw back at me.  I actually took the opportunity to perform one of my Jazz songs and I did well, the crowd loved it!

Any precious gems to drop for those who want to pursue music?

If you want to pursue a career in music the first thing you need to know is that it is going to eat up most of your time.  It will demand your full attention, your money, your energy, your everything actually!  People always think it’s just about coming through to the studio and recording a song.  It doesn’t go down like that, you have to put in the work if you want to shine through a world full of artists.  We don’t want any lazy artists in the game waiting for handouts, come into the music industry knowing that you are here to work!

 You can follow CalVin on his social media platforms to stay in touch with his musical journey on;

Instagram: @iamcal_vin

Twitter: @IamCal_Vin

Facebook: @Cal Vin

Website: www.cal-vin.com

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Sunday 1 October 2017 for another blanket, wine and music affair at UnPlugged Zimbabwe, see you at Wingate Hararians! 

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 17: When In Doubt, Eat Sadza!

Growing up I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have sadza included in our meals.  It was an all day everyday kind of meal.  Back then the only time you had rice or any other starch for that was on special occasions namely Christmas.  We all looked forward to this time of the year because rice, chicken and coleslaw salad would be served and we would dive in and enjoy every bite of it.  Not only did we get to enjoy fancy food but we also got to show off our Christmas clothes to all our friends in the neighbourhood.  On some Christmas’s the rains would come pouring down and we would be stuck indoors and have no opportunity to display our latest gifts.  Sigh

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Sadza, grilled pork chop, vegetables, thick tomato and onion soup + Glass of Mazoe Cream Soda for control! Photo Credit: @MsSmileSoBright (Twitter)

My mother taught me how to prepare sadza at around age 10 and I didn’t like it at all.  That meant an additional thing to do on top of my already long list of chores.  (I hate doing housework).  Thankfully I mastered the art and in no time I was preparing a mean plate of sadza.  Sadza is our staple food in Zimbabwe and the one time you know you can’t live without it is when you travel and you have to live on hotel food…you will miss sadza in ways you can’t even fully fathom.

The reasons why I love sadza aplenty!

  • You can have sadza for breakfast
  • You can have sadza for lunch
  • You can have sadza for supper
  • You can have sadza a few hours before going out for drinks to “cement” your stomach so that you don’t throw up
  • You can have sadza to cure a hangover
  • You don’t need any fancy cutlery to enjoy it, your hands will do all the work
  • You can enjoy a plate of sadza with almost anything from beef stew, chicken, mushrooms, green vegetables, madora (mopani worms), kapenta, sour milk…I could go on forever!  It’s one of the most versatile foods I know.

Here’s a recipe on how to prepare sadza that I extracted from ZimboKitchen:

  1. Put mealie-meal in pot. Add cold water to make a paste. Put pot on stove and add boiling water whilst stirring simultaneously.
  2. Keep stirring until rakukwata (it’s boiling). Cover pot, reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, add more mealie-meal bit by bit and as we say it in our vernacular, mona sadza(mix). Be sure to do it well. When it’s just about to reach the consistency you want, cover it rishinyire(loosely translated- let is simmer) for 5 minutes. Your sadza is ready. Serve with your preferred relish.

 

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Photo Credit @MsSmileSoBright (Twitter)

There you have it.  The staple food in our family.  Now that I stay alone the staple food in my house is anything that cooks fast because I don’t have time to be slaving in the kitchen all day!

What’s the staple meal in your family?  How often do you eat it?  Please share a picture or a recipe, I would love to try out something different.

©MaKupsy 2017