Tamy Moyo : Tekere

Tamy Moyo has a new music video out titled Tekere.  Tamy whose full name is Thamsanqa is a Zimbabwean singer, songwriter and guitarist.  Talk about a tripple threat!  Whoever is behind her music and video production is doing an amazing job to amplify her talent.  I’m a very visual person and colour speaks to me.  Her latest video is making love to my eyes it’s sinful! She officially has a new fan!

You can check out her latest video below.

My other two favourite videos by Tamy Moyo are:

  1. Beautiful Ndozvandiri

2. Lay It Down featuring Nutty O

All I can say is she’s got international standards going on.  She’s really setting the pace for the rest of the Zimbabwean artists and I’m impressed, that time I’m the queen of criticism.  She has shut it down!

Show her some love and check out her music videos and subscribe to her YouTube Channel while you’re at it.

What are your favourite songs by Tamy Moyo?  Also what does Tekere mean?

©MaKupsy 2018

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5 Tips On How To Survive In Zimbabwe

You’re going to need survival skills if you’re going to make it out alive in Zimbabwe.  All I can say about the current situation is that…It’s A LOT.  I had a time I said to myself it’s just a phase it’s going to get better, just give it a few more weeks and all will be well.  Until I realised that this might not go away anytime soon and I had to find ways to make it through the storm.

Just yesterday I finally bumped into a lady who was selling avocados; to say I was delighted to see her is an understatement.  I’ve been craving avocados for the past few weeks but couldn’t seem to find them.  The store bought ones taste different;  I have a certain type I like and the lady I bought from happened to have exactly that.  To my surprise instead of the normal 40 cents I’m used to paying she told me that they were now going for 75 cents.  I bought the avocado grudgingly because I thought it’s just an avocado what has changed?

Sadly the current economic situation has gone from the frying pan to the fire.  Prices are changing every other day or being charged in United States Dollars in some shops that time my earnings remain in the Bond Notes currency.  Instead of sitting around worrying about how my life is going to filled with nothing but stress I’ve decided to compile a few tips for my own sanity’s sake.  I hope they will help you too and even better you can share more tips on how we’re going to ride this blustering wave.  We’re going to be making a lot of uncomfortable changes.

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Image from @ZezuruRockstar

1. Food

Did you know that bread is now going for $1.50?  It used to be a whole buck and you could actually afford to eat bread every single day.  Before you decide to deprive yourself of bread completely like I’ve done you can have a better alternative.  You know how some supermarkets make their own bread?  Yes, that loaf of bread is way cheaper and goes for a cool 80 cents.  Who needs sliced bread when you have a bread knife at home or you can ask the bakery section of the supermarket to slice it for you once you choose the loaf you want?

You can extend this approach to other things as well. If you were buying meat for $15 before just buy for that amount and be happy that you actually have meat. It could be worse…There’s always an alternative or a bargain buy, get your thinking cap on and keep your eyes on social media for good deals.

You can check out meal ideas from this post; Meals To Stretch Your Money

2. Transport

Not too many moons ago there was a fuel shortage in Zimbabwe.  I remember my friend telling me she was stressed out about the situation and my first solution was to tell her to leave her car at home and use public transport instead.  That way she wouldn’t be worried about where she would get fuel from and not be involved in traffic congestion.  The fuel is now readily available but the traffic congestion is still very much.  I’m not a fan of our mode of public transportation; commuter omnibuses.  My friend Larry calls them “death traps”.  However, they maneuver through traffic like it’s nothing and you don’t have to deal with road rage.  All you have to do is pay your fare and hope and pray you arrive alive.  If you still don’t want to try out my tip then I’ll have you know that studies suggest that…

“One of the stress triggers while driving during a traffic jam is impatience—having to wait for the traffic to move and dealing with the mistakes of other motorists on the road.  Stress, according to psychiatrist Emily Deans of Psychology Today, is a “killer disease” that makes people vulnerable to other diseases and even depression.”

Do you want a stress filled life or a happy life?  The choice is yours.

3. Entertainment 

House parties are going to become an actual thing.  When it happens tell everyone you read it from here first.  The beauty of these is there’s no entrance fee and no need to buy alcohol at some insane amount.  All you need is a homey venue, lots of ice, good company and snacks.  You’re going to have to make sure you eat before you leave the house most people can’t afford to be dishing out meals left, right and centre.  Or better yet bring your own meat and do a braai at the house, just make sure you guard the braai stand 🙂

4. Hair Care

  • Learn how to do it yourself.  I’m a pro at African Threading.  If you have internet access YouTube tutorials will soon be your best friend.
  • Change the location of where you get your hair done.  There are still places around town that aren’t charging exorbitant prices.  Out of town is your best bet, just make sure you get a referral you don’t want to get disappointed by trying out someone you don’t know.
  • If all else fails go for a big chop, it’s just hair, it will grow back.

5Make More Money

You’re going to have to figure out a way to create multiple streams of income because one is clearly not going to help you through this situation.  Look deep into your natural talents.  Are you good at a certain skill?  Then charge for it.  Do you know somewhere you can outsource something people really need and sell it a profitable amount?  Then get started on it.  Do you have an idea you’ve been meaning to implement but were too scared to try out?  Then there’s no time like the present, go out and create those avenues because the only way you’re going to enjoy spending money is when you’re making money.

*BONUS TIP* Pack your bags and sell your belongings and leave while you still can.  I don’t know where to though because most countries don’t seem to like Zimbabweans.  

My biggest concern lately is medication and I have no clue how to solve that one.  Almost all pharmacies are charging in United States Dollars.  I know we can turn to supplementing with natural herbs or prayer or both but my question is to what end?  I’d love to hear from you.  What are you doing to find calm in all this madness?

May God be with us…

©MaKupsy 2018

 

 

 

 

Day 11: Top Brands To Look Out For

Being a Zimbabwean is not the easiest things to wake up to every morning.  On Twitter we term it as “an extreme sport!”  Unemployment rate is currently sitting at 95%.  In a normal country things shouldn’t be like this.  We are going through the most; from cash shortages, to roads that are filled with potholes, parents unable to afford to take their children to school, employees not getting paid their monthly salaries, failure to access health care…the list is endless and heartbreaking and not something I would want to dive into on a Monday morning.

Most people have taken to informally employing themselves and for some it is working out well for them.  Today I want to share with you what some young entrepreneurs are doing in Zimbabwe to keep themselves afloat during this very trying time.

Retail Apparel 

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Avo Apparel by Kudakwashe Juta

From a young age I had a keen interest in drawing, I would scribble on desks, walls, chalk boards notebooks.  I wasn’t good with numbers but I would always connect with shapes and understand infographics more than digits.   At age 17 my older brother and I taught ourselves graphic design on a desktop computer that had an 8gig hard drive, it was super slow and we had no tutorials, this was a year before YouTube even existed.  We had to figure out the software through trial and error. I would then develop and design my own brands even through college and fail and start over again and again until I started reading up on professional textiles printing, networking with international screen printers online until I had become a master of the game.  It was then that I realised it could turn into something real that had the power to change the industry.   I started seeing it as a business opportunity.

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At age 26 I quit my job to pursue textiles printing full time but I didn’t have bulk production equipment; so I had to work as a freelance designer for almost two years till I was able to get my first machine through the help of a long time friend called Denis Hozheri.  After  3 failed attempts at starting a retail apparel brand I told myself I would get it right if I kept on trying.   It was then that I came  up with the Avo Apparel brand which I developed for nearly a year doing almost 30 designs only to start with 2. The brand was launched in July 2014 and got great online reception which to me was a sign of potential.   However, I had to put everything on hold for nearly 9months because I didn’t want to do door to door and boot sales, I wanted a shop!  The shop opened for business in February 2015 and by then I only knew the printing side and had to learn the manufacturing side of the business and 4 months after we opened the shop we pretty much controlled almost all of our entire production processes. Besides retail I also do Corporate Wear through my company called “Inklab”, we’ve worked with reputable brands such as Tanganda, DHL, NetOne, Ernst and Young, KPMG, City of Harare, Institute of Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe, African Sun, Telone, and Old Mutual.

Follow us on social media and be part of our journey;

Facebook: @inklabzimbabwe

Instagram: @inklabzim

Twitter – @inklabzim

Make sure you get in touch with Kuda for all things retail apparel. 

 

Hair Accessories

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Hair piece and Earrings by Ndini Fugu $10

Unemployment inspired me to start on this journey!  I used to make my own accessories after I found it hard to find exactly what I was looking for. People started inquiring about where I got them from and if I could make them some customised pieces.  I saw an opportunity to turn my hobby into a profitable business.

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Customised Bag by Ndini Fugu $12 each

I have only recently started a few months back but it has been nothing short of a blessing it couldn’t have gone any better.  People still don’t believe I make the accessories myself, actually they still don’t believe it!  The first question I always asked was “are you really the one who made this?” In order to claim ownership of my products I termed my brand “Ndini”.  My hair accessories range from $1 to $10 so there is definitely something to suit your pocket.  You can get my accessories from ISU collections in Eastlea and I also work per order and deliver if it’s not too far out of town.  You can check out my work on social media from these links:

Instagram: @ndini_byfugu

Facebook: @ndinibyfugu

Ladies if you need something to make your hair pop then she is definitely the person to hook you up!  Gents, surprise your girl with something cute and artsy crafty just because it’s Monday. 

Culinary Services 

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I grew up loving to cook and the BBC Food Channel was my all time favourite and I would spend time swooning on Ainsley Harriots dishes and Nigela Lawson’s sweet treats. I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide and I remember even then it was the cooking competitions that we would always win with me leading my team. After high school I went on to study Culinary Arts and I have been in the industry since then.

The food industry has allowed me to visit diffrent countries and given me the oppourtunity to study in the culinary capital of the world Paris at one of the most renowned culinary schools Le Cordon Bleu. That has allowed me to have an appreciation of international cuisine and which I have since fused with local dishes to create incredible bespoke menus for my clients.

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Mozarella and grilled cherry tomato bruschetta

Food is always good business and economically it’s one business that will always thrive no matter how good or bad the economy is. I would like to see more professional culinary schools opening in Zimbabwe with Internationally recognised Diplomas and Certificates.

I’m on social media and you can find me on:

Twitter: @Dananai_C

Instagram: @chef_dananai

Facebook: @ChefDananai

If you want to have top notch meals for an event or any special occasion, Dananai does bespoke menus after a consultation.

*Bonus Brand To Watch Out For!*
“My Zim Hustle” is an educational campaign about investment on the capital markets. They are trying to increase people’s knowledge about the stock market and other investment opportunities available. If you are looking to having multiple income streams and not just depend on your month to month salary from your job then be sure to be a part of My Zim Hustle. For more information contact them on www.myzimhustle.co.zw

I’m a firm believer that you can do anything that your mind conceives.  Even though there as so many negative things happening in Zimbabwe some positive and productive ventures are taking shape.

What are some of the brands that are making noise in your country?  Perhaps you initiated a programme of sort within your community that has spread like wild fire?  Tell me more about it, I would love to hear from you.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7: Lose Yourself In My Top 10 Zimbabwean Songs

Music makes me happy.  It’s my go to place when I need something to evoke different emotions within me.  From getting myself in a good mood, going for my morning run, dancing with my daughter, unwinding after a long day at work…music is art!

I have always been a fan of music but it was mostly international music.  It was only in the early 2000’s that a genre titled “Urban Grooves” emerged that I started paying attention to our local music.  It was advocated that all local radio stations were to play 75% local content by local artists.  What I loved was that most of the artists sang in Shona, bonus!!!  Back then music was soulful, it was rich and high school boys would use that to their advantage and dedicate songs to their potential girlfriends on radio and automatically had almost every high school going child tuned in to listen in case you got a “dedication.” These are the times where song books and auto books were a big hit but that’s a story for another day.  They were still good times indeed!

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Photo Credit EXQ (@exq_papi) Instagram

Enter 2005 a new genre of music appeared on the scenes, ZimDancehall.  Can you believe that nearly 12 years later it’s still going strong and racking in listeners both young and old?  What I love about ZimDancehall is that the artists are telling their story as it is, there is no sugar coating there.  They sing their truth!  However, ZimDancehall is not everyone’s cup of tea and some people criticise it stating that it is shallow.  What some people don’t realise is that it is the day to day reality of a group of people whose existence we don’t like to acknowledge but form a large part of our culture (our real CULTURE not our traditional).  The fact that we keep shunning issues that are on the ground is probably part of the reason why some people are failing to be themselves.

Please be friends with YouTube to get to watch the videos or listen to the audios.  Below is a list of my top 10 favourite tracks in no particular order; straight out of the heart of Zimbabwe, please note that the genres vary.

  1. Nhema: ExQ and Killer T
  2. Ndipe Rudo: Sani Makhalima
  3. Penge Penge: Tytan
  4. Million Reasons: Prayersoul
  5. 25: Winky D
  6. Pain Killer: Stunner
  7. Alleluya: Roki and ExQ
  8. Ndiyende: Celscius
  9. Wakandipedzera Nguva Yangu: Selmor Mtukudzi
  10. Dai Zvaibvira: Killer T

I asked an artist and friend, Prayersoul his thoughts on the music industry in Zimbabwe;

There is no fixed structure in Zimbabwe for people to know what’s hot and what’s not.  For example, the reason we all know about Cassper Nyovest is because of Channel O, Trace Africa, MTV Base and all the other music channels available on DSTV.  They have a strong media presence and this gives consumers access to them.  If Cassper Nyovest does a video it will go to different fans from Africa, South Africa alone has nearly 55 million people!  He has demand and can send out emails to African promoters to let them know he will be in their country if they want to book a show.  Zimbabwe musicians are not getting this type of exposure.  If there was one channel that we all watched in Zimbabwe and it wasn’t Dstv; think a Zimbabwe “Dstv”.  Then everyone in the industry wanting to grow and get popular would try and get on it and viewers will get to know who is who and increase their chances of bookings.

What is your favourite music genre in your country?  Have there been any collaborations that have gone international?  What do you like or dislike about the music from your country?

©MaKupsy 2017

Women Need Help Too!

I have a serious bone to chew with whoever comes up with some of these things.  Don’t get me wrong I am all for taking care of your other half but lately I have been wondering.  Who takes care of the woman once a couple gets married?  Our culture expects the woman to bend and break for her husband.  From cooking, cleaning, making sure the house is in order, being intimate with him as many times as she can take it, taking care of the children, showing up for funerals, family functions, taking in in-laws…the list is endless.  In all this you are bound to ask yourself what the man will be doing in this equation.  The answer is easy really.  He will be sitting in front of the TV watching who knows what and relaxing all day long.  Basically the man does nothing.  Before you get all worked up it’s obvious its not ALL MEN who are like that, but in our culture most men are.

I am going to keep this post as short as possible so that it doesn’t turn into a man bashing rant.  What I would like to know is who is taking care of the woman in all this?  After a long days work she is expected to get home, prepare supper, make sure the children have done their homework and a whole list of other things married people do.  Would it kill the husband to actually cook once in a while if he got home before the wife?  If he isn’t much of a cook maybe pile up the dishes nicely, boil the meat, chops onions and tomatoes (do something) so that when the wife gets home she can start from somewhere and not feel like a slave who has to wait hand and foot for her husband.  Maybe my way of thinking is crazy but it would make the world a better place if people worked as a team.  Heck, women get tired too they are not energizer bunnies who just keep going and going.

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Image from Google

I know a man who is reading this and saying to himself “But I pay all the bills around the house and she doesn’t have to worry about the financial side of things”  Well yes, thank you for doing a great job mister, but it’s not always about the money.  It’s about the small things that make a woman feel a whole lot more appreciated for everything she does.

Our culture has a long way to go…  If by any chance a man is seen by his friends or relatives helping around the house (there are very few of these by the way) he is considered weak and chances are his wife fed him a love potion so that he can do as she pleases with him.  Wrong thinking right there.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing tasks.  It actually makes for a better home and chances of getting more sex because “I am tired” won’t be featuring in the wife’s’ list of excuses.

Teamwork people teamwork!

But then again, I’m not married, what would I know about the ins and outs of a marriage?  It wouldn’t hurt to consider it though, I am sure your wife would be happy to see you do something to make tasks around the house a little easier.

What are your honest thoughts on this subject?  I know not everyone will agree with my line of thinking so I would love to hear from you.

©MaKupsy 2017

Album Review : While I Was Away (Prayersoul)

Music is the art of thinking with sounds. – Jules Combarieu

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Prayersoul

I had made one too many promises to attend one of Prayersoul’s events but last Friday I told myself that come what may I was going to go and watch his live performance.  The venue was well laid out with a comfortable sitting area, drinks that were reasonably priced and a bonfire to keep us warm because winter nights are not being very friendly at the moment. (well thought out if you ask me) Prayersoul was interactive with the intimate crowd throughout his performance.  That makes a world of difference because not only did he get to play his music he also took time to share his story with his biggest fans.  I found that to be one of the outstanding things about the whole show.  I got myself a copy of his new album While I Was Away and I could not wait to get home and have a listen.  Attending this do was my highlight of the week, I didn’t regret it at all.  It was a beautiful experience and you should have been there!

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While I Was Away is Prayersoul’s Second Album.  The NeoSoul musician released his 10 Track album early this year.  The album genre is mainly NeoSoul but it has a blend of a lot of African Nuances in percussion, guitars, rhythm, and vernacular lyrics in most songs but clearly all soulful.  I listened to his album all weekend long and I must say, I was not disappointed.

I already have not one but four favourite tracks from his album and you should have a listen.

Track 3: Uxolo

This was a pleasant surprise.  I didn’t realise that Prayersoul was a Bulawayo boy! Nothing wins me as much as listening in to music that has vernacular lyrics.  English is alright no doubt but vernacular always brings the message home.  In this track he sings about forgiveness.

Track 4 : Million Reasons

My mind went back in time.  It reminded me of the days when love was honest, pure, no games and you were not afraid to be vulnerable.  Remember that time you could sit down with your partner and count the many ways why they meant the world to you?  We are now living in times where you have to extremely guard your heart because you have no idea what the next person’s intentions are.  This is something a lot of people can relate to, when you get your hands on his album make sure this is one of the first tracks you listen to.

Track 5: Go

Screaming!!! The moment I listened to this my mind went straight to Zumba.  It has a Samba feel to it.  I have added it to my running playlist.  I already have a mental image of what the music video would look like.  Women in short dresses, men in tight pants and shirts unbuttoned down to reveal their chests, everyone sweating from all the dancing, smokey room by the beach and some men seated and enjoying the music while smoking some cigars!!  It will be a great setup to go with this track that was clearly made for dancing.

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Prayersoul

After listening to this album one three many times and obviously annoying the heck out of my neighbours I finally got a chance to read through his shout outs.  What pulled at my heart strings was his last shout out that he gave to his wife, Nadine.  You know how they say you always save the best for last…It is beautiful to watch couples celebrate and support each other especially on a creative journey that a lot of people do not understand.

Thanks to attending his live show I got to find out a few things I didn’t know about Prayersoul.

  • He writes his own songs.
  • His favourite social media space is Facebook.
  • He was born in Bulawayo.
  • He moved to Masvingo for High School and University education.
  • He plays a little bit of bass guitar and a bit of piano.
  • He has a BSc in Social Sciences.  When he was looking for a job he would occasionally perform and he started getting calls for his performances.  He never got a call for any of the CVs for his Degree.  He started getting paid for his performances and that became his job.
  • He facilitates for guitar lessons for age groups starting 4.5 years to as old as possible, watch his social media for details.
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Prayersoul & MaKupsy 🙂

Upcoming Events…

Look out for promo events featuring Prayersoul at Chez Zandi , Organiks and a couple of Prayersoul launch concerts and these are mainly to connect with his fans before he travels out of the country.

You can keep in touch on any of his social media pages:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. www.prayersoul.com
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my signed copy 🙂 USD5

This is my first album review and I can safely rate 8 out of 10 for While I Was Away.   You have to do yourself a favour and attend one of his events, his live performances are captivating.  You know I always recommend quality things and this album will be worth your money, trust me.  If you are looking for an album that will soothe your soul and take you to a happy place then you’re in luck!  Prayersoul is a talented man and I wish him all the beautiful things on his creative journey.  Keep making soulful music Mr Soul!

Prayersoul says the best advice he ever got when he was starting out on his journey was that you need to find out what makes you unique because everyone else is already doing the same thing that you are doing.  Find your Africanness! 

©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®

My Hair Grows Towards Heaven!

The first time ever Hair Meet Up was held last Saturday between 10am and 1pm.  Before I left the house a few minutes before 10am I thought I would be one of the first people to get to the venue, you know how terrible most people are with time.  Surprise surprise there were close to 20 people when I got there.  What time did these women wake up??  Wait, the first 5 people to get to the venue were going to get a free hairdo, now it made sense!  The way my hair was a hot mess I should have left home early as well but there is always next time I guess.

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The venue was beautiful.  Chairs close to the pool in the shade away from the unforgiving sun.  I have never seen so many women with different natural hairstyles in one place.  The event started a few minutes after 10am and the hostesses and guest speakers were lively and got the crowd taking part.

We had an amazing time and I learnt some very valuable lessons from this meet up.  I realised that I have been doing more harm than good to my hair without even realising it.  We have too much information around us and thanks to Google we now search for everything and automatically assume that whatever we find there holds true to our own situations.  Below are a few tips and sayings I found very useful and inspiring:

  1. You need to learn what your hair likes so that you know which products to try. Do not use too many products at once otherwise you will not figure out what is actually working for you or not.
  2. Move around with a bottle of water and spritz water to keep it soft. Sometimes you can try adding some oil. Just a bit of oil, maybe a tablespoon or less.  Zimbabwe is dry; your hair needs WATER more than anything.
  3. You can use eggs and avocados on your hair without having to break a budget on expensive products. Most times home remedies work wonders on your hair.
  4. Tea tree and peppermint oil are good for dandruff.
  5. Remember that hair is different. What works for Chido won’t work for Chipo.
  6. Never comb your hair when it is dry.
  7. Our hair is the only hair that grows towards heaven. God did not make a mistake by making it the way it is.

  8. The moment you undo your hair and there is that stickiness it means you are using too much product in it.
  9. Castor oil and blended red onion is good for your hairline.
  10. Speak affirmations of love to your hair.
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MaKupsy & @Pineapple_ZW (Twitter)

We were sold a dream though, the ticket said that Kudzai Sevenzo would be the special guest appearance but she didn’t come through and there was no mention or explanation of why that did not materialise.

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The hamper I won for Tweeting about the event like a maniac 🙂

Over and above the event was well organised.  A number of women walked away with prizes myself included and it was a day well spent gathering priceless information.  I know for a fact that from now on I will NOT buy any hair product that does not contain Aqua in it.  My hair journey has already begun and months from now I will show you if the tips above helped or not.  I really need to get my hair line back it is currently in ICU!

Do you have any more natural hair tips you would like to share?  If yes please feel free to get in touch so that we can have more information available for natural hair enthusiasts.

©MaKupsy 2016

 

Shona Lobola Procedures

Roora (Lobola/Dowry)

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A man marrying a woman from the Shona culture has to observe the roora. This is a sign or show of love and affection when a man saves up and marries his beloved. There are many ways this can be done but I will dwell on the general procedures followed on the following condition  The man has done all the other necessities e.g. proposing (not musengabere, kutizisa), formal Introductions (dated for over 6 months) and more importantly girl is not pregnant (damage) or previously been married (virgin?).  In Zimbabwe, roora takes place in a number of stages and each stage has its own traditions and small amounts to pay. The process can differ from place to place due to the fact that in the Shona culture there are 12 different ethnic groups.

Stage One – Introduction

This stage involves the ‘munyayi’ who is a go-between when a man goes to pay the bride price at his future wife’s family stating to the family his intentions and purpose of visit e.g. “I have been sent by (the husband) to look for Sadza” , literally translated to I have come to marry your daughter (name). Here they are asked who they mean. Once this is done the bride’s family will ask the daughter if she knows the people who have come to marry her.

Stage two – Grocery

A list is given to the groom prior the ceremony, this will be a list of groceries required to bring to the family. The items are then checked and should match that on the original list for example, if its 5kg of sugar he should bring exactly that and not less.  Adhering to the stated requirements of the new in-laws is a show of respect from the new son-in-law. It is often advisable to do exactly as stated or better, to ensure smooth relations between the newly united families. Some families are more tolerant than others; A LOT of tolerance is needed as this is not a money making ceremony.

Stage Three – Preparations for payment

At this stage the bride’s family will ask for ‘ndiro’ normally a wooden plate from the munyayi and if he has brought one he would present it. This (the plate); in the past used to be provided by the bride’s family but since some people began charging for them some go with their own wooden plates.  Once the plate has been placed a process known as ‘sunungura homwe’ (loosening pockets) or ‘Vhuramuromomo’ (meaning opening of mouth) where a small fee is paid to for the greeting of the guests. At this stage some fines may be imposed.  For instance if the groom failed to meet an earlier date even if he notified the bride’s family well in advance and any other misdemeanours he might have done, These however should done with humour and laughter just to make the ‘munyayi’ feel at home and comfortable.

Stage Four–Payments

The process of Roora negotiations can be long and complex, and involves many members from both the bride’s and the groom’s extended families so these days due to our busy nature in some parts it being shortened and made less complex. The payment stage has quite a many stages which can even take days to complete. These are now grouped in two main sub processes which are:-

1.    Zvireverere zvaBaba (Gifts for the father)

This stage involves payment that are direct from the bride’s father (a guardian or representative can accept charge for these if the paternal father is deceased or not known) which in the old days had a lot of very long sub-processes and has been shortened. The main payment is the ‘Matekenyandebvu’ to acknowledge him for “the pulling of the beard” as she sat on his knee, or putting up with the playful antics of his daughter as a child. The amount paid for the father is negotiable.

2.    Zvireverere zvaMai (Gifts for the mother)

Same as the process above the payment are strictly for the bride’s mother (a guardian or representative can accept charge for these if the maternal father is deceased or not known).

The gifts for the mother of the bride in the old days included things like ‘mbereko’, for carrying the bride in a pouch or sling when she was a baby, and ‘mafukidzadumbu’ for covering of the belly; this is alternately translated as “carrying the baby in the womb” or “tucking the baby in with a blanket (when she wakes in the night)”. These are now charged under this blanket term due to the complexity of the past processes as well as the fact that people may have even forgotten exactly the names of the processes. The amount paid for the mother is non-negotiable.

Stage Five – Mbudzi yedare (yemachinda) Goat

This is a live goat that is brought by the man and is slaughtered during the payment process. The whole goat is then cooked and made ready to be served after the completion of the ceremony. If they don’t bring a goat a payment will be asked for and this money is shared equally between all the boys available at the household (usually can cause a lot of commotion if the amount is not even).

Stage Six – Musikana/Tete (Gifts for the bride)

The woman being married is required to pick some money from the plate for herserlf.  This money in some places can be set by the aunt or the woman’s sister. This is a small allowance for ’Mari inonhongwa nemusihare’ for the purchase of household or cooking utensils, and this amount is given to the bride. If there are younger sisters or siblings, she may give them a portion of the money. This money is for all the cooking that would have taken place for the party which the groom will finance after the ceremony is concluded. Usually this money can be returned by the woman to her future husband to cover the other payment that would follow.

Stage Seven – Rusambo (Roora, Dowry)

This is the most important stage called “Rusambo” and although the above process is referred to or called “roora”, this is the name given to the whole ceremony and all of the gifts, not just the bride price or dowry. Paying Roora is called ‘kubvisa pfuma’, giving (or parting with) wealth. Roora is wealth and its quantum must be consistent with wealth. This stage can only be reached if the stages mentioned above have been fulfilled. The bride price varies and nowadays factors in things like the social class of both the groom and the bride. This however can be paid as a part payment as long as some form of payment is made. For illustration purposes maybe the above processes may have cost the groom $1400 and he had only brought $2000 it is accepted for him to pay $600.00 and then the rest will follow for the next twenty years. If the groom fails to come up with any part payment then the whole process becomes null and void and will have to be started again at a later date and he will not be give his bride.

Stage eight – Danga (Livestock)

This stage traditionally is a gift of cattle and nowadays it is most commonly paid in cash, although the amounts will still be representative of fair market price for cattle.  Normally the number is between seven to eight cows and in those the most important one is the one for the mother known as ‘mombe yeumai.’ This should always be a live cow that the groom gives to the mother in law.  The cow is expected to produce an offspring as proof that the union has been blessed, also our belief the most powerful ancestors that protect us are the maternal ones.  ’Mudzimu wamai ukadambura mbereko’ (if maternal spirits let go) spells disaster.  To keep these spirits happy and attentive there is need to follow the ‘mombe yeumai’ protocol to the letter.  To to give ‘mombe yeumai’ is to acknowledge this spiritual symbolism. Once the offspring is weaned it is then expected that the cow can be slaughtered by the bride’s family and eaten by both families just as thanks giving and strengthening both the couple’s relationship as well as the family as a whole.  This will take place after two to five years. This stage is dependent on the Rusambo stage and if Rusambo is not available then they cannot proceed to this current stage.  In old times ‘pfuma/roora’ consisted of cattle, ’mapadza’ (symbolic iron hoes) and ‘machira’ (imported cloth) as indicative of a rich agricultural community.

Stage Nine – Majasi (Clothes)

This stage also dependent on the Rusambo stage.  It is the gift of clothes that the groom is expected to buy for his in-laws. As stated after Rusambo has been paid and the bride’s family are happy the groom and his party will then be invited and welcomed into the family ‘Kupinzwa mumusha’, the groom will then greet the in-laws as a new groom (no longer a prospective groom or stranger, but a member of the family) with the special traditional clapping greeting ‘Gusvi’ and is permitted to be a part of the household. At this stage he will be given a list of items of clothing that both the mother and father require normally full attire from top to bottom.

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N.B Lobola Groceries vary from family to family but the standard grocery list is:

Cartons or boxes of:

Rice
Hupfu
Meat
Cooking oil
Tissues
Soap
Drinks
Flour

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Photo Credit: Blessing Mutinhiri

 

This article was written by Richard Chashamba Thank you very much for the information you shared with me, I hope someone will have a clear view of what the Shona Lobola Procedures comprise of and not be in the dark like I was.  This was very a very insightful article.

© MaKupsy

#ThisFlag One Zimbabwe

The Story Of One Man Who Changed A Nation With A Bible, A Flag & A Smartphone BaeZel

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The first time I heard about Pastor Evan was when I heard him on radio.  You can listen in here.  I just sat on my bed and thought to myself, WOW, this man is saying nothing but the truth.  He talked about all the issues in our country that we are too afraid to speak out on.  This was nearly two months ago and since then there have been a series of events that led to yesterday.  My heart would not let me simply sit at home and do nothing, tweeting did not feel like it was enough so I dressed up and went to join the crowd outside the court.  I was part of the crowd in the evening at Rotten Row Court and the experience there was indescribable.  Never have I seen so many people in one place joined together for one cause and that was to free #PastorEvan.  Black, White, Indian, Coloured all races were there; the diversity was overwhelming!  This will surely go down in the history of Zimbabwe!!!!  People in almost every part of the world were praying and doing any and everything to spread the word.  Social Media is indeed a powerful tool; a wildfire.  The hashtag that was and still is trending is #ThisFlag “#ThisFlag movement’s goal was to “get as many citizens as possible involved in nation-building”.  I tweeted and asked if anyone wanted to feature on my blog today and Mako came through.  This is her story…

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It’s hard to put into the words, the thoughts and emotions I’m experiencing. As a writer, this is both surprising and frustrating – I’m trained to use words as my weapon but words yesterday failed me. That’s what tends to happen when I write about my country. I experience a torrent of emotions that leave me unable to type a thing. However, reflection is a beautiful gift. Sleep and a short break from social media has afforded me time to look back at everything that has happened.

The first time I saw Pastor Evan Mawarire’s very first video, I got chills. The last time someone had dared to speak up, he had been dragged away, never to return. As I sat in my room in a university far away from home, I felt as if he was speaking to me. His struggles were my struggles. His frustration was my frustration. And it felt so good to hear someone say what many of us felt and experienced. It felt empowering to hear him say that our hardship was real and oppressive.  And when I saw the flag around his neck I was reminded of who I was. I am a Zimbabwean, and it’s my duty to do what I can to break the culture of fear and silence.

The stereotype that Zimbabweans are ‘passive’ or ‘lazy’ is a misconception that I have always loathed.  We were not passive when Mbuya Nehanda happily danced and sang to her death knowing that the fight would continue.  We were not passive when young boys and girls left school, crossing the border to join the fight for freedom.  We were not passive when people nationwide stayed at home on 6 July in protest against a system that seems to go out of its way to make life a living hell. We were not passive when we rallied together in support to help free a man that we all know did nothing wrong.  We are determined, hardworking and fiercely patriotic people.  When we rise to the challenge, we do not back down.  Yesterday serves as proof of our perseverance.

The news of Mawarire being called in for questioning made my heart drop. I remembered others whose voices were muted: Itai Dzamarara, Learnmore Jongwe, people whose names never got to reach the public’s ear. The pessimist in me slumped back in defeat.  It was going to happen again. Another one, gone, disappeared, or dead.  However; I remembered my favourite line from the movie The Prince of Egypt, “though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.”  That tiny voice inside me beat back against my resignation, telling me not to give into that sense of despair. That night I prayed not just for the good pastor, but for all of us, not to give in, not to run out of steam. Then I set my alarm for 8:30am and slipped into an uneasy sleep.

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Image taken from Twitter

I woke up at 9:30am on 13 July. I scolded myself for being so complacent as to sleep through my alarm. Others had woken up much earlier to go to the courthouse and make their presence known. I’d simply hit the snooze button and wrapped my blankets around me. As I got out of bed I felt an all too familiar pang in my stomach. A sharp stabbing sensation that spread across my tummy and made my knees buckle. My period had arrived, and this was going to be a bad one. I walked bent over like an old woman, each step on the cold floor amplifying the pain in my stomach. I chastised myself again. It meant that I would be rendered immobile, confined to my bed, battling with nausea and dizziness (I get particularly bad periods). But it would not prevent me from doing what I could to support and spread the word. So blanket, painkillers and hot water bottle in tow, I sat and tweeted and retweeted and posted until past midnight.

The day’s momentum was stop and start. I expected that we’d have to do the VPN dance once again, but to my surprise the Internet connection was working just fine. As I sat scrolled through news sites and social media, conflicting stories came in. Evan Mawarire isn’t at the courthouse. Wait, he is! But there’s been a delay. Oh they’re moving it to a secret location. It’ll be at University of Zimbabwe, a move to have the hearing in secret.  No, that’s a lie; it’s still at the courthouse by Rotten Row. The only certainty was the people coming through to support.  With their flags and their voices they stood outside the courthouse, watching and waiting for any news or development. I’m so grateful to all of those people. They represented all of us that day; those that couldn’t come because of distance, those that couldn’t come out of fear and even those who ridiculed and trivialized their efforts.  They showed power and dignity in their loyalty to the country and to the flag, and by keeping the rest of us informed as to what was happening, they provided factual and up-to-date coverage of what was happening.

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And a lot happened… Mawarire’s arrival at the courthouse.  The sight of 100+ Lawyers from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers Association showing up and all volunteering to represent the accused, free of charge. The police who stood and watched as their fellow countrymen sang and danced.  For a moment, I felt sorry for these police: many looked like they too wanted to drop their uniforms and join their peers, but they couldn’t.  There were celebrities, businessmen, civil rights activists and politicians that came through and raised their flag in solidarity. It was so beautiful to see everyone together for a common cause. I can’t imagine how it must’ve felt to be part of the gathering at Rotten Row.

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Two announcements symbolized the nadir and zenith of my emotions. The first was the change in charges, from inciting violence and disturbing the peace, to treason and attempting to overthrow the government. I laughed out loud. It was a harsh, joyless laugh. Same old, same old. Even as I felt that familiar resignation creeping in I refused to slump back and accept the injustice. That mental shift wasn’t just reserved for me alone. Many others also refused to simply accept it and walk away. We failed others who spoke up for justice with our silence. We could not let it happen again.

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Then the big news came. HE WAS FREE. The tweet from one of the people on the ground flashed on my screen and I exhaled in shock.  As much as I had fought hard against that nagging doubt, the news of Evan Mawarire’s release stunned me. They had done it. We had done it.  I immediately turned to tell my mother.  She almost dropped the cup of tea in her hand and asked me if I was sure. It was true.  Justice had prevailed.  Pictures and videos of people celebrating outside the courthouse filled my Twitter feed. I drank it all in, inspired, humbled, and proud, so proud. It was an unfamiliar pride, something I can’t quite put into words even now. It was the pride of knowing that, despite everything that had happened to us, we still had a voice. We’d just forgotten about it for a while, but now we’re reclaiming it.

I want to use my voice more. I want to give of myself to my country, my people and my future. I want to play a role in building the kind of Zimbabwe we all want: a prosperous, open, fair society.  To everyone who’s been tweeting, taking photos and videos, hash tagging and reporting these past few months, I salute you. Thank you for reminding me that this flag is for all of us.

Mako

 

 

 

I can’t wait for the day we become a stronger, richer and enthused nation.  A country with better opportunities, a country where no one thinks of relocating and leaving their children and loved ones behind because they are happy and content.  I feel like that day is coming soon though, yesterday proved that together we can make a world of difference.  Thank you to EVERYONE who supported this in each and every way they knew how to. #ThisFlag #PastorEvanIsFREE

 

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Got this photo from his Twitter account @PastorEvanLive , he certainly is a History Maker!!

 

This was the highlight for me yesterday:

@simonallison Judge asks who is representing @PastorEvanLive. 50 lawyers hold up their ID cards. Incredible moment #ThisFlag”

 

If you were and still are a part of this movement please feel free to share any or all the moments you have experienced through this.  Let’s talk.

Photo Credits : Tino Nyandoro

Blog Credits : Mako also follow her blog on mwanawevhuzim.com

 

MaKupsy