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

 

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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

Free Blogging Tips And Tricks

I wish I knew someone had given me these blogging tips and tricks when I started out.  I have been blogging for the past 3 years and over time I have gathered a few blogging tips which I randomly share with people who are starting out.  This morning I decided to compile the entire list and share it with you because I know there is a beginner out there wondering where to begin; how to make their work visible in a world full of bloggers and how to keep readers coming back for more.  Take out your pen and paper and get ready to take note of these blogging tips and tricks which by the way fall in no particular order.

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Image from Pinterest

  1. Choose a user-friendly blogging platform. When I started out my first few posts were on Blogger.com it didn’t make me happy so I changed to WordPress after a friend recommended it. (best decision ever!)
  2. Proof read your work over and over again.  You don’t want to be that blogger who publishes work that has typos or grammatical errors.  Even after publishing your post it’s important to read through it to make sure everything is in check.
  3. Keep it short and sweet.  You don’t want to overwhelm your readers with too many words.  Yes, sometimes it’s okay to write up a lengthy read but remember we are living in a time where your readers attention will easily be distracted by something else.
  4. Explore new adventures.  Whenever I hit a writers block I try something new.  It can be taking a walk using a different route, eat out at a new restaurant, visit a friend in a different part of town or write about a deep dark secret that I haven’t shared with anyone. (this depends on how brave you are)
  5. Read, reblog, share(on your blog or on other social media platforms) and comment on other blogs.  That way you get conversations going and other readers will visit your blog to read what you’re about.
  6. Don’t bombard people with your links on social media once your blog post is out.  I used to be guilty of this.  Tagging a million people on my blog post link.  From experience most people actually won’t read it so it’s best to tag a friend or two that you know will actually read your work.
  7. Connect with your reader.  Each time you decide to write a post ask yourself if it will teach something, make someone laugh, inspire them, have them remember a similar incident, make them sad?  In short whatever you decide to write make sure it brings some form of emotion.
  8. Plan.  Write down how often you want to write, what time, which topics and get on with it.  Have some form of a routine which your readers will get accustomed to.  It can be writing twice or five times a week whatever you decide do it religiously.

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    I love writing about events in my city 🙂

  9. Write about what you are passionate about.  When I started I asked other bloggers what I could write about and most of them suggested I have a blog that was set in stone.  I am a versatile individual and I knew that sort of blog would soon have me running out of things to write.  I decided to have a lifestyle blog instead.  That way I am able to write about any and everything.  I look forward to writing on my blog and sometimes I have to stop myself because I end up oversharing…But you get where this is going right?  Make your blog something that you enjoy and write the sh*t out of it otherwise your interest in it will soon waver.
  10. Follow other bloggers on the blogging platform you choose as well as on other social media platforms.  My personal favourite place to find new bloggers from across the globe is @AfroBloggers
  11. Use images on your blog posts.  Never ending text gets boring.
  12. Respond to your readers comments as soon as you can.  I try and not let a comment go for 3 days without being answered.  You want your readers to know that you appreciate them and this is a sure way of doing it.  If you ignore their contributions whether good or bad chances of them reading, sharing your work or even coming back to your blog are close to none.
  13. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Unfortunately you can’t be good at everything and it is perfectly okay to ask other bloggers how to do certain things.  I didn’t know how to add Testimonials to my blog but thanks to a fellow blogger I can now do it with my eyes closed.
  14. Use catchy titles for your blog posts.  You want your reader to get curious and click on your link to read your post.  These are my two personal favourite blog posts that got my readers going crazy! 30 Things Women Want Men To Know and 8 Wallet Friendly Date Ideas.
  15. Read!  I can  not stress this enough. I think every good writer out there reads a lot. You will be exposed to a wide range of words, you will get to read other styles of writing and it will give you some ideas for your blog as well.
  16. Choose an attractive theme. You want your blog to stand out and also have your readers come back for more.  I have probably changed my theme 4 times to date and I am currently loving the current one, it looks fresh!
  17. DO NOT PLAGARISE.  People work hard on their blog posts whatever you do always give credit to the owner’s work if you choose to use it and that includes pictures.
  18. Reschedule your posts. Sometimes you write up a blog post that doesn’t get enough traffic and it’s perfectly okay to reschedule it for another time.  You don’t always have to write up new content.
  19. Self promote.  You are your own biggest cheerleader.  Whenever you get the chance to mention a blog post that relates to a certain subject on social media platforms be sure to have links ready to share.  Tell your friends, family, social media fans about your blog post until they know the link by heart.
  20. Be 100% YOU.  I can not stress this enough.  If you try and imitate someone else you won’t last in the blogging world.  Keep your blog authentic and you will never run out of inspiration.

*BONUS TIP* Use tags on your blog posts.  Don’t just leave that area blank.  When bloggers search for certain words you want your blog to also be a part of of the links that show up under the search.

These are my blogging tips.  I was hoping to keep them short but it seems I just couldn’t stop myself from sharing more blogging tips.  This is just how much I get carried away!!  I strongly feel that if you specialise in something then by all means share information so that you can help the next person grow.

I know there are other blogging tips that I left out and I would love to read any additional ones that you might have in the comments section.

©MaKupsy

Thank You

Thank you; I have never taken time to say this but today I want everyone who has been a part of my journey to know that I am eternally grateful for their support.  My purpose would have gone unnoticed if I didn’t get a push.  I remember the first message I got from Tichaona asking me if I had found a way to monetise my passion.  I was clueless as to where to even begin but he encouraged me to work with the one idea that seemed easiest to follow through and I did exactly that!  The universe has a way of directing the right energy towards you just when you need it because a few weeks after Tichaona reached out to me a lot of other people did the same and they have not stopped surprising me.

I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the following people.  I would like to say thank you to:

Kudzai : For Audio Books.  My life has taken a very productive turn ever since you introduced me to them.  A week can not go by without me taking in a dose of them.  Thank you for always being a message away, for the fresh ideas, for pushing me even when all I want to do is give up and for being my biggest cheer leader.

Tichaona: For reaching out to me, I would have never thought outside the box if it wasn’t for you.

Tanya: For the positive talk.  Thank you for reminding me each and everyday how important it is to reach for the stars.  To go for the things that bring me happiness with all I have.  To put myself first and not compromise on what I am worth.  She is my personal Finance Manager, where money is concerned she is the one who makes sure I get a good deal.

Onai: For believing in my dream.  Whenever there is a Fitness In The Park event you are there and you bring friends with you.  Growing the team one event at a time.

Dumisani: For standing in for me on days life overwhelms me.  Thank you for the days you can get the team together for basketball games, for co-hosting Fitness In The Park events, for being the biggest motivation in the group and for being my Instagram Content Manager.  I know I can be pretty picky but you are patient and do it all the same.

Colleen: I would actually need an entire blog post to say my thank yous because you have helped me through so many different areas of my life. However, today I want to say thank you for all the brilliant blog ideas not only for the fitness blog but for my lifestyle blog as well.  Thank you for reminding me that blogging is not just a hobby but an art that people need to start respecting.  Thank you for always directing me to useful reading material and thank you for believing in me.

Sir Nigel : Thank you for sharing my blog content on your ever growing #263chat community.  You have no idea how this had me taking a step back to decide on what I should be writing. If 74 000+ people are going to see my work it better be some quality blog post!  Thank you for this, my fitness blog will certainly go far.

Tillo: Thank you for always having my back.  You are the one person who has known me the longest.  You give me strength when I need it the most. Thank you for showing me that once you get to that happy place nothing can stop you from growing.  Thank you for always sharing my work on all your social media platforms, sometimes all my blog link needs is a retweet that will reach hundreds of other people.

Wesley: This is the man who is responsible for my logo.  I remember he asked me what I would like it to look like and after sending him a short message he sent me my logo and I fell in love with it on the spot.  Thank you for making my ideas more visual.  Thank you for being ever so patient with me when I send you requests.  Thank you for the beautiful apparel you make for my brand.  Thank you for being such a professional Graphic Designer.

I may have left out a lot of people in this blog post but please know that I appreciate every single one of you.  You expect nothing in return but still help me all the same, I hope that one day I will be able to return the favour.  I am surrounded by people who are dependable and who bursting with positive energy.  I wish you well and I hope you never forget that you have played a huge part in what is now a fitness brand.

Words are not enough to thank you for everything you continue to do for me.

Fitness Bae®

 

 

5 Brutal Truths

I have been through a lot of interesting experiences to date and all of them have taught me a thing or two.  If God grants me more years on this earth my grandchildren will hear the most bizarre tales.  If they are lucky they might actually get to read them instead because I am planning on writing a book at some point but procrastinating is my greatest enemy at the moment.  Right, about those life lessons…

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Lesson 1

You have to love yourself first before anyone else.  Be good to you and treat yourself right.  That way you make your life easier by avoiding toxic relationships.  When you know what you deserve you make sure you get nothing short of that.

Lesson 2

Don’t beg people to stay in your life.  Don’t beg them to love you.  Don’t beg them to call you.  Don’t beg them to treat you right.  The ones that truly love and care for you will not need you to beg for their affections, they will do any of these things naturally because you actually mean something to them.

Lesson 3

Use your head and not your heart when you make life changing decisions.  I have made one three many decisions based on feelings and those never ended well.  Since then I have constantly reminded myself that the best decisions are those made with a sound mind.

Lesson 4

Social media can be used for the greater good.  I know I follow people on Twitter who have landed jobs and life changing opportunities through that platform.  I have also been lucky to be invited to events thanks to blogging and Tweeting and had a chance to network.

Try not to use your social media presence to troll, complain and shame others.  Let me also say my 2 cents on nudity while I’m at it.  Don’t take nude photos that show your face and send them to your significant other, you don’t know who else he will share them with or where they will end up.  If you can help it DO NOT SEND NUDE PHOTOS AT ALL.

Lesson 5

Do not make decisions based on other people.  Be it your education, love life, career choice the list is endless.  At the end of the day YOU are the one who lives with the decisions that concern your life.  You have no one to answer to but yourself when you look back and wish you had done things differently. If you want to be a pilot, do that!  If you want to have a life partner and live happily ever after with no kids, do that!  If you want to write for a living, by all means do that!  Why?  Because life is too short to not do what truly makes you happy!

That said; what are some of the lessons you have learnt so far?  I would love to read all about them.

MaKupsy

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Compliments of the new season to every single person who reads my blog.  I hope you entered the New Year in good health.  Nothing is as important to me as my health.  I make sure each year I get my medicals done just to make sure everything is functioning as it should be.  I hope you do the same; your health is your wealth.

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Photo taken by yours truly 🙂

I had taken a break from blogging to enjoy the rest of 2015 and make priceless memories.  You have no idea how beautiful it is to end the year on a great note.  It felt good.  I remember compiling a list of places I wanted to visit in 2015 but never got to go to two of the destinations BUT this year I will definitely make my way to Malawi within the first half of the year without fail!

New year resolutions?  I didn’t make any this year.  What I do have are goals.  Let me elaborate for those who don’t know the difference between a goal and a resolution:

A goal is a desired result that a person wishes to achieve. It is a target that a person wants to reach

A resolution is a  decision or determination; a resolve: to make a firm resolution to do something.

From my own experiences in the past I have failed dismally at keeping my resolutions and that is the main reason I stopped making them.

My goals for 2016 include:

  • Making moves to write for a website which I have had my eyes on for months now.
  • Turning my fitness obsession into a money making machine.
  • Traveling, my goals would be incomplete without this.
  • Learning new skills pertaining my line of work.
  • Going back to school and beefing up my CV.

I will obviously have more goals as we get into the year but these are my goals for the first half of 2016.  Wish me luck!

Lastly, 2016 going forward I WILL PUT MYSELF FIRST, MY HAPPINESS, MY INTERESTS, MY ASPIRATIONS because life is too short to not make things happen for yourself!

Here’s to a fruitful new year.

MaKupsy

 

Day 27 – My Blogging Style

I have no clue in which category my blogging style falls into.  I am one individual who writes what is exactly on her mind.  I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing but either way that’s how I get my blogging done.  When I started this journey of expressing most of my thoughts online I decided to go through other blogs and see how they were going on about it.  Trust me there are a million and one ways to blog but most of them didn’t seem to speak to me.  I am one of those people who like to read something that is short, sweet and straight to the point.  good-writing-style

However, I was bumping into very long reads that got my head spinning because I easily lost interest.  Once I realised that I told myself my writing style is going to be something my readers can relate to, look forward to and generally short.  There is nothing that puts me off as much as bumping into a catchy blog title that comes with endless paragraphs.  Please don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this style of blogging but it is just not for me.  I want to stay captivated by what I am reading so I stick to the short reads because I want to get to other blogs that leave me wanting more.

What’s your blogging style like?

MaKupsy

Why Do I Blog?

 

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  1. I blog because I got tired of writing in my journal. I have always kept a journal for as long as I remember but thanks to technology my handwriting has gone from bad to worse.  It’s a task putting my thoughts to paper now so blogging works like an online diary for me.
  2. I talk too much, I always have something to say and because those around me have things to do they can’t always be sitting and listening to my stories. This is working as an outlet for me to express my views and opinions on different things going on around me.
  3. I want to keep my memories alive especially for my daughter Kupsy. Someday I will be dead and gone and I would like her to have access to my blog and get to read all the things, both good and bad that I went through.
  4. You know how you forget about all the details that happened on a certain event years after it has happened? Well, thanks to blogging I will never forget the priceless moments and they will be right here in detail.
  5. To learn new things, since I started blogging not a day goes by that I don’t have moments that leave me thinking and adding on things to my life skills.
  6. For entertainment purposes, some of the bloggers I follow are witty and provide a good laugh on days when things aren’t exactly going my way.
  7. To get a wide readership for my work and a lot of interesting followers. By the way, I actually read some blogs posts before I hit the follow button.
  8. The original reason I started blogging was because I had fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with a certain guy and there was no way I was going to tell him about it so I wrote an article about him instead which you can read about here.
  9. To keep me sane, I have days that writing is the only thing that makes sense and it works for me, it’s more on the therapeutic side.
  10. To get over the bad and heartbreaking things that have happened to me in the past. Putting them out there helps me deal with them and move on to brighter days.

MaKupsy