Love Is Winning In 2018!

I have declared 2018 to be my year of love.  Most of my love stories have ended on a disastrous note usually with me suffering a serious case of heart break but not this year.  This year my love life is going to flourish, I’m going to love out loud and I’m going to share a lovely post on how love has won this time around before the year ends.  I feel something positive coming my way!

For some reason love and music seem to go hand in hand for me and there’s this Afrofusion artist who has stolen my heart musically!  His name is Ashton Mbeu Nyahora and he is part of the group; Mbeu and The Mhodzi Tribe.  If you don’t know him you are obviously living under a rock. Think love, celebrating women, daily struggles in our country and celebrating life.  He sings it all.

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Photo Credit: Ashton Mbeu

I got in touch with him and asked him what or who influences him musically;

Everything around me influences my music and I owe my mentoring to Dr. Oliver Mtukudzi. To date we still go and seek advice from him, he is a fountain of wisdom.” – Ashton Mbeu

A few facts about Mbeu and The Mhodzi Tribe:

  • Ashton’s family wanted him to join the army but his chose his musical passion instead.
  • The genre of their music is called Mhodzi Music but their fans prefer to call it Afrofusion; the group is not afraid to experiment with different genres.
  • Mbeu and The Mhodzi tribe  are all professional and full time musicians working towards penetrating the international platform.
  • The age groups of the band members vary from 22 to 28 years old.

This is one of my favourite tracks, I even have it on my running playlist!

You can get in touch with the band on Facebook (@MbeuTheMhodziTribeBand) they are very responsive on that platform.

My personal favourites by the band are:

  1. Mbeuyashe
  2. Dhabuka
  3. Ndapfugama
  4. Chawakandidira
  5. Hazvineyi

As I was saying; love is beautiful, relationships are oh so lovely.  However when you get into a relationship I hope and pray that you and your partner take time to talk about what your relationship is about and which direction it’s taking.  Be clear about what it is you want and need.  The year is 2018 refuse to waste your time on things that don’t grow you, relationships included.🤗

How’s your new year coming along?  Have you started working on your resolutions as yet?  Have you listened to Mbeu and The Mhodzi Tribe before?  If yes, what are some of your favourite songs?  If not, what are you waiting for???

©MaKupsy 2017

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Stay In Your Lane

When you finally find yourself you will stop trying to pace yourself against the world.  You will sit down and figure out it is you are really about.  It’s only now, in my 30’s that I’m learning what really makes me me.  I still find it strange that it probably means this whole time I was just existing and not living.  Or better yet, I was living up to society’s standards and having those standards take a toll on me mentally and physically.  It takes a great deal of self introspection to get to this happy place but trust me when it happens your life will never be the same again.

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Image from Pinterest

We have already established that I love all things bright and beautiful but they come at a price called sacrifice!  In the past I’ve limited my needs and desires because I felt that some things were financially out of my reach or the prices were too prohibitive.  It took a lot of reading and talking to other people who have some of the things I want to realise that in order to achieve your goals you need to evaluate your personal circumstances and then prioritise your needs.   If you try and do too many things at once you will lose focus and end up not having achieved anything at all.

I’ve lived in an apartment in town all my adult life and the convenience of walking to work and having my own space has been the best feeling ever!  However, I have a new goal and it comes at a very high price and it meant me having to relocate from town in order to save money.  Change is not easy, it’s very uncomfortable but I keep reminding myself that in a few months time I would have accomplished what I set out to achieve.  The beauty of it all is that this is something that I want, not something my friends or family want but a personal goal and so attaining it won’t feel like a mammoth task…What are you willing to sacrifice for the things you want or need? 

“If you continuously compete with others you become bitter, but if you continuously compete with yourself you become better.”

There’s nothing wrong with comparing yourself with your peers.  Sometimes I go through and like a dozen photographs of my successful family and friends on Instagram doing amazing things in different areas of their lives.  I would be lying if I said sometimes I don’t feel a little bit envious because let’s face it some people are doing way better than me.  However, a little bit of envy never hurt anyone, used positively it can help you set your personal bar higher and aim to achieve greater things.  Be mindful though, you don’t want to end up feeling jealous, bitter or malicious; remind yourself that we can’t possibly all have the same things.

Whatever you do, don’t stop being grateful for what you currently have.  Accept your situation and work on improving it.  There is so much more joy in celebrating what’s already there than wallowing in misery for what you don’t have(yet).

These are some of my favourite quotes that help me to remain sane and focused:

  • Your attitude determines your direction.
  • Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
  • I’m too busy working on my own grass to see if yours is greener.
  • Everything comes to you in the right moment, be patient, be grateful.
  • Beach more, worry less 🙂

What are some of the sacrifices you have had to make in order to reach your personal goals?  What lesson did you learn from the experience?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

My 6 Year Old Is Being Bullied

Never in my wildest dreams did I think preschool children bullied each other.  I mean these are supposed to be sweet and innocent little human beings, where could they possibly get a mean streak from?  Turns out I was wrong, very wrong and my daughter told me the most heart breaking thing a few weeks ago.

Me: What are your favourite things in the whole wide world?

Miss Kupsy: Pizza, going to school, princess dresses and exercising with mummy.

Me: Aww sweetheart, isn’t that lovely.

Miss Kupsy: But Alex from school pinches and smacks me sometimes…

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Image from Google

I gave my daughter a warm tight hug and asked her to tell me more about the incidents.  She told me that the boys were twins but only one of them gave her grief.  He apparently drinks her juice, pinches and smacks her and sometimes takes her lunch.  I was gutted!  I have never smacked her at all and here is this little person making school a nightmare for my daughter!!  I instinctively told her that she should fight back (which by the way isn’t even in her nature) but also realised that it would probably make the situation worse for her and that there surely should be another way of handling the situation.  She didn’t want to dwell on the subject any further and asked we change the subject, which we did but I had to do something about it.  I spoke to her teacher who confirmed that the little boy was indeed a problem and they had taken to smacking him whenever any child reported his behaviour and that my daughter is not the only one being picked on, there were plenty more who were victims.  Thankfully schools closed and she won’t have to face him again because she’s off to grade school.

However, I still feel that this isn’t going to end here.  I know this too well, I experienced bullying first hand and it’s not a pleasant space to find yourself in.  The form of bullying I had to deal with was isolation.  School children can be evil little creatures!

You would think bullying would stop by a certain age right?  Unfortunately for me I had more bullying in store for me in my adult life!  This time it was in the form of cyber bullying. Turns out my blog wasn’t “cool enough” to be regarded as a blog.  My writing style didn’t conform to what bloggers from my country were used to and it wasn’t a themed blog as well.  I would sit and read the most hurtful comments and wonder what exactly was wrong with being different?  I wanted and still want my blog to be a reflection of me, I have multiple layers to me, why should I restrict myself to being one set thing? 

I spoke to my close friend about my daughter being bullied and she recommended that I teach her to be bald and fight back.  I think enrolling her in a self defence class of sort will actually be to her advantage.  As women, we aren’t actually taught how to defend ourselves, if anything we are given a whole list of chores we should be able to do by a certain age and absolutely nothing on our own safety!

A male friend suggested speaking to the authorities at school the next time it happens, or better still to confront the parents of whoever gives my daughter grief, that way it would help tackle the situation head on.

According to Google; “Long-term bullying can lead to depression and feelings that you are worthless. Some of these effects can last for a long time, even into adulthood. A person who is bullied may become an adult who finds it hard to trust others, has problems making or keeping friends and lacks in confidence or self-worth.”

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Image from Unsplash

I want the best for my daughter and I don’t ever want her to let one of the things that make her happy be the same thing that brings her sadness.  School is clearly her happy place and I would be more than thankful if you have any ideas or suggestions on how I can help her take care of herself at school in my absence.  I’m welcome to ideas, as long as they don’t involve her becoming a mean little person, she’s a little angel and I would like her to stay that way for as long as possible.

Have you experienced bullying?  How did you tackle the situation?  What makes people bully others?  Please help me understand this madness, I’m losing my mind!

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

 

10 Things Better Than Sex

“Here lies X, they died from lack of sex.”   I would like to believe there is no tombstone in the history of human kind with those words on it and that shows you that there are truly other things that are better than sex.  Let me tell you some of things I know can bring you such feel good hormones sex will be the last thing on your mind.  Prepare to be amazed!

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Image from Pinterest

  1. Credit bank alert!  Especially the one that comes when you are dead broke and all you have between you and poverty is your empty wallet.
  2. Free WiFi.  Picture walking into a restaurant and after ordering your meal your phone picks up WiFi signal and it’s free!  Best believe you are going to be ordering more coffee to compliment your food; you will definitely be sitting around to enjoy updating your phone and searching for all sorts!  Data is expensive this side of the world so free WiFi will make anyone happy.  Do you know any restaurants in Harare that offer free WiFi?
  3. Masturbation.  If there is one thing everyone should do if they intend to have great sex, it’s to masturbate.  How else will you get to know the ins and outs of your body if you don’t spend time learning it.  Great part is that an orgasm is ALWAYS guaranteed.
  4. Great conversation.  Ever spent hours on end talking to someone over the phone and you just wished your phone had never ending battery life.  I know sapiosexuals can relate to this.  Nothing beats someone who makes your mind tick!
  5. Alcohol.  Nothing to make you happy like a strong drink(vokda) of your choice.  It makes everything better.  Which drink takes you to a happy?
  6. Winning the lottery!  I would like to believe you have dreams and aspirations which you wish would materialise if you had money.  Guess what, if you won the lottery all that and more could come true.  My question is, are you playing the lottery?  If not, how do you expect to win the lottery??
  7. Running water.  After a long day at work the first thing I want to do when I get home is enjoy a relaxing bath.  You only realise the importance of running water after you go for a week without it.  I would rather enjoy a bath than have sex if I’m really honest with myself.
  8. #BlogIndaba and I’m not even saying this to try and sell you an idea.  There is never a dull moment when the Bloggers on this platform come together.  The engagement on different topics leaves you wanting to read and research more on issues that affect us all.  It’s a great place to unwind.
  9. A good morning text.  I don’t know about you but waking up to a message from the one person who you are foolishly and happily in love with is one of the best feelings in the entire world!
  10. Hearing that Mugabe has resigned!  After having the same president for a whole 37 years no feeling can compare to this.

What’s on your list of things that are better than sex?  Show me yours, I’ve shown you mine 🙂

© MaKupsy 2017

Friends Are Like Breasts

“Friends are like breasts, you’ve got big ones, small ones, real ones, and fake ones.”

I’m that one person who has very few friends.  I can safely say I have just 5 close friends and it’s a great feeling; I have way less drama in my life thanks to that.  These friends are in trouble though, we share the most random life experiences and I promise you if anyone went  Over the years I have lost and found new friends at different phases of my life but one thing stands true, all of my friendships have come with both positive and negative lessons which I will write about at a later time.  Today let me share my thoughts on how you can keep the sparkle in your friendship.

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Shami & MaKupsy 🙂

Communication

Friendships just like relationships take a lot of work.  Thankfully technology has made life easier for everyone and most people have access to WhatsApp, Skype, phone calls, social media platforms, think Facebook; there really is no excuse not to stay in touch.  If you plan on staying friends for a while you have to make sure you take regular communication seriously.

Spending Time Together

Yes ladies, you know how we always complain about that guy who only texts but never makes an effort to meet up and see you on a face to face date?  No prize for guessing that the same thing applies to friendship!  Make an effort to meet up in person as often as you can to do activities you both like.  I know one of my close friends has a “no phones policy” when we go out on dates, she believes it’s important to give each other 110% attention when we finally get to spend time together because cellphones are generally disruptive and I now completely agree!

Space

There is a huge difference between catching up and suffocating your friend.  Don’t be that friend who doesn’t understand the art of leaving someone alone with their thoughts.  It’s perfectly fine to go a day or two without talking to a close friend, life is happening to all of us and sometimes spending an entire day chatting away about nothing is not the most productive thing to do.  It’s welcome on most days but certainly not on all days.  If you are this person, please give your friend some space.

Surprises

I would have said gifts but everyone’s language of love is different.  I remember the one time I was crazy in love about shoes and my best friend Tanya, who happens to be all the way in South Africa got me a pair of designer heels for my birthday.  I was in tears of joy the entire day thinking of how she planned for weeks to get the shoes to me on my birthday without ever showing a hint of what she was up to.  She knows my language of love is all things pretty if that’s even a language but she gets me.  You know what your friend values the most, whatever it is, make an effort to go out of your way and get it done for them.  Here’s a free idea, get someone to clean their house and do their laundry and iron it so that they come back home they get back to a sparkling clean house!

*P.S. Surprise money is also nice*

Honesty

If your friend is always in agreement and never questions your choices or decisions is that even a friend?  At some point you will mess up and you will need someone to hand it out to you in black and white, no sugar coating, no playing nice; just the hard truth.  They will also give you advice on how best to deal with a situation because criticism without a way forward is pointless.  When your friend is losing the plot be the one to remind them, good friends look out for each other.

Grow Together

Grow in all aspects.  Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  What’s the point of being friends if you remain exactly the same?  Most of my friends are book worms, they are always studying for some programme of sort and it’s only natural that it rubs onto me.  The last time I was on a coffee date with Chenge she encouraged me to take up an online course which I delayed on taking any action on until a few weeks ago.  You see, our lunch dates are productive after all!

These are my top tips on how to keep the spice in your friendship.  I know there are a lot more of where those came from but I would like to hear from you.  What do you do to maintain the friendship connections in your life?  I’ve observed that men don’t seem to do a lot of work to maintain their friendships.  How do you men do it?  Please share your secrets!

That said, when it comes to the sort of breast friend I am, I’m right up there with the “real breasts, have you seen the size of my breasts?! *insert forever laughing emoji here*

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

 

No Romance Without Finance!

You better get a J.O.B if you wanna be with me!  Dating has just gone to that next level if you ask me.  Gone are the days you used to enjoy leisurely walks, go for a picnic or enjoy ice-cream cones with your significant other.  These days it’s about how much money a man pursuing you can splurge on a date.  Goodbye creativity because as far as I have observed the most that will happen is a night out of drinking expensive alcohol and actually not getting to talk to and get to know the next person.  It leaves me asking myself, why are people dating?

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Image from Google

There’s a world of reasons why people decide to date:

  1. Dating for companionship
  2. Dating for sex
  3. Dating for free food
  4. Dating to have someone take care of your financial needs
  5. Dating to find a life partner
  6. Dating out of loneliness

There are obviously more reasons why people date but those are the first few that crossed my mind.

One of my male Blogger friends said;

“A lot of Zimbabwean men are too eager to spend money on women.  Not even in the club when you’re trying to take her home for a one-nighter but when looking for an actual relationship men do the most!”

Some men date for fun and if that’s your cup of tea by all means let that money fall on the flavour of the night; after all you have nothing to lose even if it involves you selling your belongings or ending up neck deep in debt trying to impress a woman then go ahead. From what I hear and read everything men do is to get laid.  They work hard to get more money to buy fancy cars, phones, homes so that they can get laid!  It is after all to make an impression and get between her legs right?  You get laid, she gets a fancy night or two out everyone is happy, yes, no, maybe?

Most women love things, me included but it seems most of them are taking this loving things a bit too far.  Just the other day there was talk on Twitter about how Zimbabwean women want things that they can barely afford and expect whoever they are dating to provide it for them.  Example, demanding a date at Victoria 22 that time you can’t even afford to buy a single glass of wine if you tried to go there on your own.  Dear Zimbabwean men, there is nothing wrong with your woman wanting nice things but if you can’t afford it it’s perfectly okay to tell her that it won’t be happening anytime soon.  At the same time, ladies, if you can’t afford to go there yourself then maybe just maybe try and go somewhere else and come back when it’s something you can both afford?  Then again most people date someone who can upgrade them in all aspects and if you are dating someone who can’t upgrade you then maybe you need to reevaluate things?  Or maybe that’s just too drastic it is after all just a date!

Money makes the world go round but it’s the same money that will ruin a perfectly great relationship if you don’t address the issue in the right light from the get go.  I love beautiful things, I really do; but I want to enjoy well thought out dates that show creativity and have a personal touch to them that will leave me with a beautiful memory for years to come.

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image from Pinterest

What are your thoughts; is dating about money?  Do you think your potential or current significant other should break their budget to impress you or there are other ways of winning your heart that don’t come in the form of spending?

Should we be going out of control on dates? Is it necessary? Desired? A turn off? Ladies do you like it? Men do you like it? Both when it’s done to you and if or when you have to do it?  So many questions and I would love to hear your answers.

We have an exciting blogging group on WhatsApp (Blog Indaba); its a meeting place for Bloggers who want to improve their blogging and if you would like to be a part of it no matter where in the world you are, please contact me so that you can join in the fun.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Sex On The First Date

First dates are designed to produce a number of relationship outcomes. (e.g. sexual partner, friendship, short-term romantic relationship, or life partnership.) – Wikipedia

I don’t know about you but I know that sex is a pretty enjoyable experience.  Without it the world would probably be one very boring place!  A lot of people are not comfortable talking about sex, which is very much okay because we are different but unfortunately for you I love to go on and on about it as and when.  Today I want to share my thoughts on having sex on the first date.  It comes with a lot of controversy of course but look, dating as described above is a process that yields different outcomes so having sex or not largely depends on the individuals involved.

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Image From Pinterest

 

First things first, you have to decide if you want to establish why you want to date.  With that out of the way your first date won’t be too awkward.  Below are some of the reasons why you should totally have sex on the first date.

  • Life is short!  Do you have any idea how you can go for weeks, months or even years without getting laid and here you are trying to deprive your lady bits of such pleasures?
  • If the chemistry is there there’s really no need to hold out on him, be a go getter!  Let’s just dive straight into dessert, who has time for the main meal, right?
  • You are confident that this is what you really want and you won’t start regretting it afterwards.
  • The earlier you have sex the better to save yourself time.  You might choose to wait for months only to be disappointed that time you have already caught feelings and now you end up staying with that person for all the wrong reasons!
  • Whatever you do just make sure you get yourself a shattering orgasm and not leave yourself unsatisfied.  Do you have any idea how lovely those sex hormones feel, not forgetting the after sex glow, you will be smiling for days to come.

However, I do understand that a lot of people, women especially have some reservations when it comes to having sex on the first date.  These are some of the reasons why having sex on the first date might not be a very bright idea.

  • You probably don’t know enough about someone to let them into such an intimate part of your life.  Are you ready to deal with the demons that come with them?
  • Your partner might judge you for being too forward.
  • Say goodbye to your judgement.  Once you get some good dicking you can kiss thinking straight goodbye.  Most people get attached to someone once they have sex with them and if things happen to go wrong it will be difficult to let go.  Now you are stuck with a complete as*hole but the sex game is out of this world.  Good dick is NOT your friend!

I’ve read a couple of articles that encourage women to wait to have sex with their potential partner for 90 days. Apparently this will determine if someone will stay with you for the long haul.  Truth be told, some people had someone wait for a whole year and they still left!  After all is said and done someone will leave if they want to, whether you have sex with them on the first date or after 90 days.

There’s absolutely no formula to this whole sex on the first date thing.  It can work out for the good or the bad depending on the couple involved.  However, if you do decide to have sex whatever you do ALWAYS practice safe sex.  My thoughts still remain the same on the subject.  I’m too old to die from lust because a, b and c said you should do this.  I will do what I think is right for me because You Only Live Once!

You can check out some of the comments on the subject from one of my favourite Facebook Pages from here.  There is never a dull moment there and you should like and follow and never miss out on daily discussions.

What are your thoughts on sex on the first date or even better, care to share your experience on the subject?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

Day 29: Are You The One Catching A Grenade?

Relationships are a sensitive subject and there is always something new that happens to f*ck things up!  Just when you think you and your partner are smooth sailing you start picking up a red flag or two and think this too shall come to pass?  Most times it does but some times it doesn’t and you end up stuck in a relationship that is slowly sucking the life out of you.  There are different signs for everyone but I would like to believe that the following usually spell bad news is on it’s way.  I know I always want to look at the sunny side of things but let’s be honest sometimes you might really be the only one catching a grenade in your relationship.

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Image from Google

  • Envy
  • Cruel behaviour or attitude
  • Negativity (general outlook)
  • Lack of interest in you or your life
  • Abuse of all types
  • Feeling that you are no longer happy within the relationship

Methinks toxic relationships can be summed up in Bruno Mar’s song, Grenade, have a listen…

You thought this was going to be a never ending post on relationships right?  It’s Friday and there is just one more day to go on the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge.  I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

Do you have any signs that you would like to add to the list?  I would love to hear from you.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Day 27: The Joys of Singledom

After asking a few people they told me they have never been single in their life, like ever.  They have jumped from one relationship to the next and never had the chance to just be on their own.  I know one friend who told me she would never cope being single because she is so used to having a man on her arm showering her with love and attention.  The reasons she told me about always being in a relationship will obviously be a topic for a different day because that will just spoil the mood I am trying to set in this post.  So what is being single?  Google will have you know that they define single as not married or not having a serious romantic relationship with someone.

I’m a mother and dating can be one heck of a tricky scenario because it’s no longer about what I want anymore.  I make decisions on who I will date depending on whether they will be good for my daughter or not.  I’m still working on that formula but trust me my intuition is never wrong when it comes to deciding on who to and who not to introduce to her.  Whoever I choose to be with has to be someone I can count on and be supportive especially emotionally supportive when I’m going through the most.  A bonus is someone who can develop a relationship with my daughter naturally.  When I feel confident that this is someone who will be around for a long time then I can gladly introduce them to her.  That said…

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photo credit from my Twitter tweind @monakadurira

I initially wanted to look at both the good and the bad things about being single.  But I decided not to because I am in a happy place and want to keep everything around me filled with positivism.  That said let me jump right into the joys of singledom and then later on add a few people’s views on their single status.

So; about that single life.  You do not have to answer to no one and that means you can do as you please, no questions asked.  (doing who you please is also very much an option)  You have this thing called “me time” that comes in abundance.  For someone who likes her space like me it’s the best thing about being single.  The other thing that just brings a huge smile on my face is that when you are single you are not busy worrying about what your partner is up to, with who, why, where and how.  That can be really taxing on your emotions given the rate at which most people don’t seem to be taking their relationships seriously these days and cheating has become a way of life for some.  You can sleep on your own in your own bed in any way you like, you can sleep like a starfish, upside down, back to front, inside out (does that even exist?) Whatever the case you have all that sleeping space to yourself and no snoring or farting partner to deal with!

The trip to New Start Centre is a breeze when you are single and have not been sexually active.  You can go there with your head up knowing you have been good to yourself and your body.  Have you been to New Start Centre when you have been busy sexing your boyfriend without protection and then found out he has been cheating??  That’s round about the time you wish you had stayed single and celibate and wish you could just cut out your vagina and throw it straight into the sea because it is clearly giving you unnecessary stress!

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Image from Google

Anywho, let’s see, what else is great about being single…oh yes, you get to treat yourself right and that can also be a yardstick for the way you would want your partner to treat you when you get into a relationship.  You learn the art of dating yourself.  You can try out going for dinner, a movie, coffee, stand up comedy, anything that tickles your fancy because there is no way you should miss out on the fun side of life just because you do not have anyone to share it with.

Some of my single blog readers had a few tips to share on what they love about being single, here goes:

Blog Reader 1
  • You can be alone and learn to love it, live with it, use that “alone time” to love yourself and nurture yourself! You deserve it!
  • Being single is the perfect time to amend your relationship with God, draw closer to God as well as to give all your petitions to Him.
  • I love having to make decisions without having to consider if someone else will be okay with it.
  • Less stress if you have had to deal with a cheating partner and their shenanigans in the past.  Being single means you have peace of mind.
Blog Reader 2
  • You get to spend all your money alone.
  • You have the freedom to have sex with any woman guiltlessly.
  • You don’t have curfews.
  • You have more money to spend on beer.

(I’m sure you can tell this blog reader is a guy!)

Blog Reader 3
  • You concentrate on whatever it is that makes you happy.
  • Being single means no unnecessary insecurities.
  • I’m at less risk of sexual immorality because I’m single.
  • I want to empower myself before anything else so right now I can fully concentrate on my goals without the distraction of a significant other.

So to everyone who says being single sucks, I guess you have been looking at it the wrong way.  If you are single there is hope for you to enjoy the season if you stop whining and take a step back to look at all the good things that come from flying solo…

You can also check out some dating blog posts from the following:

Dating While Parenting  by The Quarter Wife

Let’s talk about your dating journey, are you single or ready to mingle?

©MaKupsy 2017

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