15 Priceless Gems I Learnt From The #30DayAfriblogger Challenge

I blogged my heart out in September, a whole 30 days of creating posts was worth every minute of my time…

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Image from Pinterest

  1. What stands between you and what you want is the story you tell yourself about why you can’t have it. I told myself I was going to blog the heck out of this September Challenge and I did exactly that!
  2. Collaboration is key. There were days when the challenge topics were tough and I had no idea how to tackle them. Thankfully we had the option to invite guest bloggers to write for us on a not so creative day.  I’m grateful for Chantelle, Vimbai and Josh for coming to the rescue.  Through their work my eyes were opened to issues that I had been ignorant about.
  3. Having a Content Calendar makes life easier. When the challenge started I looked through the topics and I was convinced it was going to be one crazy month because it looked like a lot of work.  Turns out it saved me a lot of time because I worked on difficult topics beforehand and sailed through the easy ones.
  4. I’ve spotted my weaknesses and strengths. Before this challenge I was an impromptu blogger.  Thanks to having to do research beforehand I have become more organised and I can create blog posts days in advance.  My number one strength now is that I know I can actually blog everyday if I put my mind to it.
  5. I got out of my comfort zone and learnt about new topics e.g feminism. I always see the topic getting people in heated arguments on social media platforms but now that I am more knowledgeable on the topic believe me I will be jumping in with my views.
  6. Use of different tools and elements to evoke emotion. Pinterest was good to me, word play even better!  These tools helped with keeping my readers engaged throughout the month and I’m happy to note that most readers could relate to different topics.
  7. Blog titles.  The catchier the better.  One of my personal favourites this month was When In Doubt, Eat Sadza.  This post caught the attention of my readers; most readers are currently out of the country so seeing sadza left them feeling nostalgic.
  8. Scheduling posts was the best thing that ever happened to me in September! It gave me time to read other blogs and not work on blogging only.
  9. Excuses don’t bring blog posts! I wrote through both good and bad days.  That’s the problem when you initiate something; you can’t afford to let yourself down so it ends up being both a blessing and a curse.  I seriously think that Sweet Lips should give me a case of wine because I went through a lot of wine this month to keep myself from drowing.
  10. Trust is built with consistency.  My objective as a Blogger is to get people engaged on my blog and the only way to do so is through consistent work.
  11. You may be a blogger but you are also a writer. Once you are something you have the responsibility of being  the best version of that!  What better way to challenge your skills through a 30 Day Blogging Challenge?
  12. September has been the best month of the year statistically with 5,379 views, 3,598 visitors, 524 likes, 137 comments and 31 blog posts!  If you want to get this blogging thing on lock then becoming a reliable source for content makes your blog more useful and therefore popular.
  13. Team work is the sh*t! We had a WhatsApp group running throughout the challenge and we discussed difficult topics in advance and it helped to give you an idea of which direction to choose for your posts.
  14. Bearded men aren’t so bad after all, wait, bearded men are the business! Apparently a man with a beard comes with much wisdom, awesomeness and note there’s D on the end of the word beard!   My friend (who happens to have a beard) would check on some of my posts and read some of my drafts and let me know they were lacking my character.  Make sure you have a person like that to cross check your work before sending it out into the world.
  15. I was going to stop blogging by the end of this year because I thought I was completely out of ideas on what to write about but this challenge just took my creative juices to the next level! I now know how I’m going to proceed blogging wise sit tight, it’s going to be an explosive journey from here on.

*Bonus Lesson: It’s good to invest in learning some technical skills!*

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Image from Pinterest

That said, let’s celebrate good times!!  Congratulations to every blogger who participated in this challenge. It was one energy filled month, we outdid ourselves African Bloggers!!!  This is the end of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and I’m happy to have been a part of something so profound.  The first time I did a write everyday challenge was last year in September and you can read the posts from here.

I would love to hear from you, when was the last time you took up a writing challenge?  How did that go for you?  Did you face any challenges along the way and how did you handle them?

I’m going to be away for a while, taking a “break” from blogging but I will still be here reading through all your amazing posts.  Have a lovely weekend ahead and stay beautiful both inside and out.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

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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 15: Why I Initiated The #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

I love me a challenge, especially one I set up for myself.  Last year I did my first Blog Everyday challenge and it showed me just how much I can do the work when it comes to committing to writing everyday.  However, looking back at my posts I was still an amateur at it but this time around my writing has completely changed, things are looking good!  It’s true, practice does make perfect.  In my case perfect(ish) because I believe I still have a lot to learn when it comes to blogging.

I sent out a message on all my social media platforms and announced that I was going to be doing a blog everyday challenge in September and all bloggers in Africa were welcome.  In no time I set up a WhatsApp group and got in touch with  a fellow blogger Thembi and we added interested participants into the group.  We had to come up with a hashtag and we finally settled for a suggestion from Omolayo from Nigeria and we all agreed to go with #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge.

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Image from Pinterest

I could have written a very long post on the reasons why I initiated this challenge but I am honestly mentally exhausted, writing is so taxing so you will have to settle for the list version.

Here’s why I am taking part in the blog everyday challenge:

  1. I enjoy a challenge, with each challenge I get to learn something new.
  2. I announced I would be taking part in the challenge to everyone who would care to listen so yes, I am officially screwed and can’t back down now.
  3. To improve my writing skills.  The only way you can get better at something is through practice and so far I have learnt new vocabulary and I’m paying more attention to my grammar.
  4. To connect with other African Bloggers.  I follow bloggers from all over the world but since the challenge started I have read more content from writers who are right here in Africa.
  5. I want to be part of something original.  In the past I’ve had to search through Google or Pinterest to look for a challenge to take part in but look at me now, initiating original challenges and sh*t?
  6. To have a visual reference of my work.  Picture telling someone you blogged everyday for 30 days and they don’t believe you?  Simple, give them the link to your September Challenge so that they can check it out themselves.
  7. I was starting to write less in the past few months.  I usually post at least 4 blogs in a week but it was down to 2 and on bad weeks 1 post a week.  I needed something to get me back on track.
  8. To encourage other bloggers to write.  To let them know that it is possible to write a post a day if you simply put your mind to it.
  9. To stretch my mental capacity.  I always have a challenge to work on my physical strength but this time around I wanted to take my mental strength to the next level.
  10. To celebrate Africa!  The way I see it if African Bloggers do not share their stories no one else will and this is certainly a great way to start.

September is African Bloggers month!

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 2: Top 10 African Home Rules

It’s a beautiful morning, Saturday is the best day of the week I kid you not!  (now that I have my own place).  Back when I was still staying with my parents sleeping in on a Saturday morning was something you watched on TV and the moment I got my freedom I made sure that waking up at whatever time my heart desired would be a top priority.  Let me share some of the rules from way back when which were drilled into my head.  My parents didn’t have to tell me twice, I was scared to find out what would happen to me if I chose to disobey them!

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image from Pinterest

  1. No sitting on dad’s sofa.  My dad had a specific sofa he liked and even in his absence you were not allowed to sit there.
  2. No going to play outside the gate.  The gate was ALWAYS locked and you only left when you had to go to the shops to buy bread or to go school.
  3. No singing or talking during meal times.
  4. No leaving your food unfinished.  Whatever your mother dished out for you had to be cleared, no matter how sick you claimed to be.  The whole “I don’t like eating this” didn’t exist in our home.  You ate EVERYTHING.
  5. No watching TV after 8pm.
  6. No bringing anything that does not belong to you, it could be a simple pen, believe me the very next day you would have to take it back.
  7. No going for parties that start at night.  No hosting parties either! I remember being told I couldn’t attend a friends party and yet she was just 3 houses away, I was gutted!
  8. No waking up late, I was usually up to help with cleaning the house by 5:30am and if I attempted to sleep any further my mother would come to my room and start singing or looking for something in my drawers or open my curtains and windows because “basa mangwanani” – you should start house chores early in the day.  I guess this explains why I am a morning person.
  9. No locking of bedroom doors.  There were to be no “privacy” as long as I was staying under my parents roof.  My dad used to read my letters when they came through the post!
  10. Everyone had to be home by 6pm.  To this day even when I visit I don’t even go anywhere after 6pm, it’s a long standing rule.

Just from reading my own list I realise growing up was hard man.  Who does that?  I could actually go on and list more rules but this list made me realise some of those rules helped mold me to be the person I am today.  I guess my parents meant well and wanted to inform some form of discipline and order.

Right now I have my cup of tea right next to me and a plate of fruit, I know if my mother knew I was eating in bed she would throw a fit!

What are the rules that you grew up strongly abiding by? Let’s share some them in the comments section, I would like to believe no one can beat my list!

#30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 1: My Blogging Journey

Last year I challenged myself to blog for 30 straight days in September and this year I had no plans of going through that madness on my own.  I think if you consider yourself a blogger then that challenge is something you need to do try out at least once.  This year I went through the challenge options on Google search and nothing on there got me excited.  All the topics were uninspiring and I thought to myself why are bloggers in Africa not coming together to make some noise about our colourful continent?  No offence on the “Share your outfit of the day topics” but gosh they are tiring to say the least!  I’m that one person who no longer wastes time hoping someone else will create something,I now make s*it happen!  I spread the word on different social media platforms and wasted no time bringing African Bloggers in one space to get involved in what the group termed the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

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Emotional Well-Being

When I started blogging I was still hurting over past relationships.  I was in an a very bad space.  I needed somewhere to bleed out my emotions.  I had no idea putting my thoughts on my blog would actually help me heal.  It was a tough journey but when I wrote about my experiences and I read through comments I realised that I was not alone when it came to some of the things I had been through.  A problem shared really is a problem halved.  When I look through my posts now I realise I have really come a long way and I can safely say I am happy and I let go of all the things that used to steal my joy.  It’s a great space to be in.  Sharing my story and being a part of the blogging world activated my mind to opportunities.  Not only seeing opportunities but acting on them as well.  I am currently a blogger for UnPlugged Zimbabwe and enjoying every moment of it.  What’s not to love about pursuing the things that fire your soul?

Health

The same time I started blogging was the same time I started my health and fitness journey.  There is nothing that puts you under pressure as much as documenting an activity because now you have to actually show some results!  However, it was a great move because if I had not done so I probably would not have lost 10 kgs in a year!  The toughest year of my life if you ask me.  It’s really easy to gain weight, it can happen in a space of days, losing weight on the other hand is a real mission!  I have made new friends through the different challenges I set up each month.  (I have also gone on to create another blog that is specifically for fitness and you should check it out!)  Creating challenges not only helps me stay focused but those around me also get that extra drive to exercise because they can see that I am consistent and actually get results.  Now I have the body I always wanted and I feel fantastic!  I will tell you this for free…maintaining your weight is the hardest part of the journey.  One of the best things that has come from my blogging journey so far is partnering up with Steward Health for both the September Challenge as well as working together on my vision of parkruns in Harare.  It promises to be an exciting journey ahead.

Humour

There have been occasions I have been upset about something and all I want to do is rant about it on a blog post.  The ironic thing is after a few sentences into the post I actually find that I am being petty but continue to write about it all the same.  You see, life doesn’t really have to consume you with negativity.  Fair and fine you will have a bad day or two but there is always something to smile about.  Blogging has helped me through bad days because I have a few blogs that I follow that specialise in humour and there is never a dull moment there!

I have had access to some exciting events and partnered up with some digital savvy brands over the years, that’s definitely the upside of being a blogger.  I have worked with #PPCZimbabwe #ZarkLaunchParty #ZimBiggestBraai #NafunaTV #UnPluggedZim #KidzCan #NaturalsZW #GoldenPilsenerGo4Gold

Blogging has given me the voice I didn’t realise I actually had.  I am MaKupsy.  The Blogger. The Fitness Consultant. The Traveler. The Naturalista. The Social Media Influencer. The Mother.

I would like to hear from bloggers…what was the reason you started and are still blogging?  What are some of the lessons you have learnt over time?

For the readers, what do you enjoy reading the most from my blog and what keeps you coming back for more?

You too can take part in the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge, the more the merrier.

©MaKupsy 2017

My Battle With Suicidal Thoughts

In our African Culture suicide is something people don’t openly talk about.  I would like to believe there are people who have gone through what I used to go through but never told a soul or perhaps went on to carry out the act of suicide because they had no one else to turn to.  This is not an easy post for me to write because I know it will open old wounds and raise eyebrows but I feel it’s a story that needs to be shared and hopefully help someone who is probably contemplating suicide.

I have three close friends and I have told them about my battle with suicide thoughts.  It wasn’t something I just woke up one morning and decided to share with them; I had to make sure I could trust them with my dark side and have confidence that they would not ridicule me…I have always been a neat freak.  The state of my house reflects the thoughts in my head.  If I am in a happy and healthy space my house is sparkling clean.  If I am upset and overwhelmed then as you can expect my house will be an actual mess.

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Image from Pinterest

However, there was a time being a neat freak was not only about keeping my house clean.  It was my way of preparing to leave.  Why was I sticking around anyway, no one loved me, no one cared about me or believed in me so what wast the point of it all?  I thought to myself if I finally decide to end my life then at least people should come to a clean house and pack my things away without a hassle.

This happened to me for months on end. I would think about how I was going to go about it.  I walk to work and I cross a very busy street.  Some days I would contemplate throwing myself right in front of an oncoming car, other days I would think of jumping off from an office building and on the worst days I would think of getting run over by a train.  The one time I even asked my doctor friend if slitting my wrists would kill me.  I obviously asked in a round about way and when he told me it would send me straight to my death bed I had one more method to add to my list.  What made all these thoughts more real was all the suicide incidents that I would read about in the paper every other day and I would think to myself, why not; this will definitely end all my misery!  I was in a very dark space and what fueled these suicide thoughts were the obstacles that I kept facing; (heartbreak, unfulfilled dreams, low self esteem, no life purpose).  

The thing about suicidal thoughts is that you can’t go around telling people that’s what’s going on in your head incase they might think you have lost your marbles.  You will be fighting demons that you can’t see but can feel at every waking moment.  I had an injured soul and I took to many devices to try and cure it with no luck.  My friend used to complain about my “mood swings” not realising that they had more to do with my thoughts more than anyone in particular.  I could go for weeks, months on end without wanting to speak to her and some of my friends.  I just wanted to be left alone.  I withdrew from social media platforms, I even stopped going out but took to drinking alcohol instead to numb my thoughts.

From my experience suicidal thoughts come with depression which is unfortunately not acknowledged in our culture.  Tell most people that you are depressed and they will tell you to get over it.  I know you are reading this probably asking yourself why I didn’t talk to anyone about what I was going through.  Well, I did actually but I didn’t tell them the full details. What I got in return was “It’s a phase it will pass.”  Unfortunately this phase stuck with me from College days till just a few years ago when the suicidal thoughts finally left and set me free.

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Image from Pinterest

I would be lying if I tried to give you a formula on how to get rid of that heavy feeling you feel around your chest.  The thoughts of how you are worthless and how you are not serving any purpose on this earth.  The thoughts that suicide will make things right for you.  I don’t have that because for me I just woke up one morning and the dark cloud that had been hovering above me was gone.  I think whatever it was realised that it was putting me through unnecessary pain because with each day I was becoming more and more disinterested in life and I could hardly recognise myself.

Suicide is real.  I have seen friends take their lives over a heartbreak, people throw themselves off a building because of financial stress and wives burn themselves to death after finding out about their husband’s infidelity.  Before I experienced suicidal thoughts I mocked them and thought to myself who in their right minds would end their lives over things that could be fixed? I hadn’t walked in their shoes and it was easy for me to judge them.  I didn’t know that sometimes the thoughts in your head can be so bad you have to find a way to run away from them and suicide may be the only way out.  Now I understand that some people, me included will go through and have gone through some dark phases in their lives and unfortunately for some they will not live to tell their story but for the lucky few you get a chance at life again.

I am thankful that I never went through any attempt to commit suicide.  It all ended in my head.  Had I gone through with it I would have never had the chance to see my beautiful little girl.  I would have not seen how much of a positive and determined individual I have become and I would not have had the chance to write this and share this with you.

I am generally a bubbly individual. I have great days and not so great ones but my life experience so far has made me realise that we are all going through something.  It’s easy for us to forget to be kind to the next person but if you can be good to those around you.  You never know the difference your encouraging words or smile can alter their entire day.  Your positive energy may the the one reason they won’t go ahead and commit suicide.

In most cases of suicide a person doesn’t want to die they just want to stop the pain.

©MaKupsy 2017

I Found My Purpose

I never really wanted a lot of things badly enough.  I could like something alright but really want and need it was a different story.  I went through the greater part of my life having a luke warm attitude towards a lot of things until one fateful day.  The day I went for my regular medical examinations and hopped on the scale to reveal how I had gone from being fat to obese was a life changing moment.  It was at that very moment that I decided I was going to do everything in my power to do something about the excess weight I was carrying around.  I was 85kgs and NOT pregnant.  Why is this important to note?  Well, when I was full term and a few days before giving birth to my baby girl I was 85kgs so you can imagine the horror!  It was time to get up and do something!

I was 85kgs and NOT pregnant.

With no money to subscribe for gym membership I was left to my own devices.  I decided running would be my best bet since it was free and all I needed was myself.  The first days were hard and I power walked through the most of the distances I had set out for myself.  After weeks  of pushing myself I eventually ran for longer without stopping and I got all the motivation to keep going…I haven’t stopped running since.

I did not have much information to work with when it came to my eating habits so I simply worked with what other people were trying out.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night and sending a message to my friend telling her how hunger was stopping me from sleeping.  I had adopted a diet where I ate a very heavy breakfast, sometimes it even had sadza, a heavy-ish lunch and close to nothing but a glass of water and fruit for supper.  The scale was not moving, I was unhappy, I was hungry.  It was only after reading an article on the internet that I realised that I was doing myself more harm than good and started learning the art of preparing healthy balanced meals.  That was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

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I am going to be the first NikeWoman from Zimbabwe 🙂

Running got much more fun.  I had set out distances to try out and each time I managed to run through them.  My goal was to run 10K and if I could do that I would have officially accomplished the biggest goal in my life.  It did happen and it was just as I had pictured it.  From thereon I started challenging myself to run not just longer but faster and the hobby slowly became an addiction.  When I started I showcased my fitness journey on social media.  I knew I would have no choice but to show up come rain(in every sense of the word) or shine because my followers would be expecting to see my progress.

I switched things up and added Zumba, Yoga, NRC Workouts, Aerobics, Swimming and Tennis.  I realised that running alone was going to get boring at some point so the more activities I included the better variety to choose from.  I was bubbly, stronger, happier, fit and lean.  I did all this from the comfort of my home and never had to part with a single dime to reach my desired goal.  I have bumped into friends from College who can’t believe I haven’t changed at all because I am physically the same person.  If only they knew how much change that has taken place mentally as well.  I am a completely different person now.

With family and social media followers starting to compliment on my progress I felt the need to to work harder.  When I realised the impact my journey had on people around me I created a WhatsApp group which has turned into a movement termed #RunWithFitnessBae.  At the beginning of the year it was trending because of a Fitness Challenge I had planned and organised.  The movement has participants from different parts of the world but mostly Africa.  I have taken the movement from WhatsApp to Facebook, Blogging and Instagram.  As it stands I am currently the only Zimbabwean Fitness Blogger and I create fresh content each week!

It brings me so much joy to know that even though my fitness journey was mainly pushed by a case of depression; the fruits that have come from it have actually created a passion and purpose that I could have never imagined.  I have managed to inspire people across the globe; especially mothers, to exercise and get back to their pre-pregnancy bodies.  Those who have come into contact with me have become better not only physically but emotionally as well.

I am a woman on a mission to make the most of every opportunity life throws at me.  I believe everyone can exercise for the body that they want and if you can not afford the gym there is no excuse not to get fit.  I am a living example of what park runs can do for you.  I am currently 74kgs and I have never had to part with a single dollar to lose weight.  I have been through it all, the fad diets, the hoping for miracle weight loss, the drinking fruit juice all day but at the end of the day what I have learnt is that you have to eat right, exercise and be patient.  The results will come, just make small changes everyday and you will be amazed at what your body can do.

If you would like to talk to someone about weight loss or weight management then I am the person for you.  If you would like to be a part of the current Winter Challenge feel free to join us, all the more competition for the team.

Never give up on what you truly want, it’s not everyday that people get to find out what it is that fires their soul!

I found my purpose.  The one thing that makes me get up in the morning and look forward to starting the day.  The one thing I dream of, the one thing I get excited talking about, the one thing that keeps me up at night writing up ideas and chewing up my data while I do research on the internet.  The one thing that I can’t live without.  I think, eat, dream, live fitness.  I am Fitness Bae.

Fitness Bae®

February Challenge

It’s a brand new month and team #RunWithFitnessBae is ready to take on a new challenge.  Team members have been itching for a running challenge since the last one was last year in December.  This month, there is not one but three different challenges going on and trust me, you were never ready for this!

AB CHALLENGE
This is a 30 day challenge which will spill over to the first two days of March because there are only 28 days in February.  Most people in the group want to have a flat tummy or better yet solid abs so this is what we will be aiming for.  The first few days are a breeze so #TeamFitnessLite (Beginners) will be happy to take part without any complaints.  The workout is for mornings and evenings.
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DT CHALLENGE
DT won the #UrsulaChallenge in December and so he got to come up with what the next challenge will comprise of.  #TeamFitnessLite  I strongly encourage you to take part in this challenge.  You can walk, jog, crawl, sprint whatever the method the important thing is you get through the challenge.  A special rule for the beginners is that they only do half of the prescribed distance for that day so that they too can take part and not feel too overwhelmed.
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JUST DO IT SUNDAY
There is a running community on NRC that started a 5K Sunday run and named it #JustDoItSunday.  I discovered it on the 1st of January when I went for my first run of the year.  This month, the team will also be taking part in this and make sure that we run 5K each Sunday of February.  Running is the reason why we are all in this group in the first place and I believe it will be a walk in the park.  Beginners are still welcome all you have to do is do what needs to be done to get the job done…you know the drill.
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It’s going to be an action packed month and we will continue to encourage each other to stay on track.  This month we will also be talking more about what to eat to get those abs in great form because experts say that fitness is 80% nutrition.
Fitness Bae®

Tehn Down For What?

I had an interview with Tehn Diamond on Wednesday at 5:30pm at
Book Cafe.  These were the most interesting 30 minutes I got to spend with “The Happy Smurf”.  It was great to finally meet up and chat and ask him random things about his life and get to share them with you.  

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What are your thoughts on Social Media?

I believe everything in this world is neither good nor bad until we touch it; until we decide what it’s going to be.  If you know what you are doing, if you know why you are there and you manage yourself and your time well social media can be very good.  BUT it can easily become an addiction.  It can be very bad if you let it own and control you.

Would you consider acting?

It was actually my first love.  I started out as an actor and spent a lot of time on stage.  I was the lead role in most of the plays I did in High School such as Romeo in Romeo and Julliet.  I ended up excelling at my third love despite attempting to venture into acting.  I have managed to do the things I love the most which is rapping, singing and eventually I will look into acting.  I have been offered a number of scripts over the years but time has never been on my side.

Have you been in any commercial adverts?

Yes, but a long time ago. It was a Christmas advert which went like “We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!!”  Unfortunately I can’t seem to remember which company it was but yes, I have been in a commercial advert before.

 Why is Zimbabwe hip hop not taking off like South Africa and Nigeria?

  • We are completely different countries, different setups.
  • South Africa and Nigeria have well defined industry structures.
  • Access to funding.
  • Massive population.
  • Zim Hip Hop is the fastest growing genre in this country.  It’s a shame that people don’t really see that because they are constantly comparing us to our peers in South Africa and Nigeria. We are hot on their heels and this year is going to be the defining year and showcases how big Hip Hop is in Zimbabwe.

What are your personal goals for 2015?

I want to generate $100 000 worth of revenue this year from my various music business activities.

That’s what’s keeping me busy…

What have you lined up for your fans, album wise, live performances?

This entire year you will catch me performing somewhere at least once a week.  Alternatively have a look at my website or type in or hashtag #SOTGNews and something will come up.

Album wise I am finally releasing my debut solo album by the second quarter of the year.

Relationship status?

Yes I am in a relationship but I will not be sharing her name.  Some people know her but I believe that in life when you have something you cherish you have to fight for it and protect it to keep the magic alive.

How old are you?

I am turning 30 next Saturday and there will be a party here at Book Cafe.

I don’t usually celebrate my birthday; I usually use my birthday to give a gift to my fans such as releasing a song.  I have special things in mind for my big day.

Do you play sport? When did you start and why did you stop?

No, I don’t have the time.  I enjoy exercising more.

I played a lot of sport when I was in High School.  I played Rugby, Swimming, Water Polo, Basketball, Athletics; I was very much into everything.  I was involved in all extra curricula activities like Toast Masters, Debate, Interact, Drama, Music.  However, my heart was always in entertainment, the moment I left school I simply ditched all the sports stuff and focused on how I was going to get myself on stage for the rest of my life.

Any team sport you support?

I never used to watch sport I never used to support a team until I fell in love with Barcelona !! I love everything about that club (I wish it had never happened), they take me high and they take me low…I don’t watch every game though; I will probably just wake up to check the results or watch from twitter.  I will try to watch the Champions League or El Clasico but I try not to let it get out of hand but I love me some Barcelona!

What is your take on the youths not respecting their elders?

I believe that what is construed as the youth not respecting their elders is quite generally the natural progression of life.  We come into this world as a broom (clean broom), to renew our values, to continually push the boundaries, to reassess ourselves.  It is the kind of task that is best fitted and suited for the youth.  When you have been on this planet you are set in your ways and not so open to change and not open for innovation and change.  We are all meant to learn from each other; the old from the young and the young from the old and everything in between.  If you go back in time you will hear people saying “Oh but when we were growing up…” It is not supposed to be the same as it was for you because times change and people evolve.

What advice would you give to kids who look up to you as their inspiration?

Don’t look up to me, look beyond me.  If I can do anything to inspire you that means you should tell yourself you want to be bigger and better than me.  When people see when things that people say cannot be done being done it expands and opens up the realms of possibility.  Now if some kid somewhere says I want to grow up and be a rapper and if someone objects they can point out and say but this person did it and that means I can do it too!

Where can people get in touch with you?

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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Tehn Diamond

  1. He went to Saint Georges College
  2. He is releasing his debut solo this year titled The Perfect Tehn.
  3. When he left school his plan was to get into Theatre or Movies.
  4. His three loves are acting, singing and rapping in that order.
  5. He doesn’t own a TV; he doesn’t want to be enslaved to it.
  6. He loves hanging out with his little brother and teaching him new things.
  7. He loves to read.
  8. His favourite movie of all time is The Matrix.

It was close to a year ago when he asked me to be a part of the Bloggers on his website but back then I had too much on my plate and I could not take part.  Funny how a year later I am interviewing him for my own blog.

Many thanks goes to Tehn Diamond for taking some time out of his busy schedule to meet up for this interview.  You have a great personality and you are very well spoken, no wonder you want to spend your life on stage.  I wish you nothing but the best in 2015 and the year to come.  I will definitely be around for your birthday party next weekend!

MaKupsy