ThreeFiftyOneAM

I cracked then I broke but I raised myself up, mended and polished the rough edges,

Sanded the corners smooth like the glide of the lipstick I wear daily because everybody needs their armour.

I made myself hard where others are soft, jagged edges, sharp corners –

Fragile and strong because I created myself out of the contrariness of my life, pulling from heat and cold and dark and light,

Moulding myself from the hidden yet freely available grace, filling my spaces with both the stolen and wilingly given words of the world,

Stitching together my heart’s pieces with the divine thread of a natural self-love.

I do not deny that I am afraid, frightened because much has been given and in return much from me is expected; but I am bold because I cannot turn away from that which I know to be my destiny.

“You’re not good enough, simply not enough.” The voices. Mutterings rising from the dust of my past like the unwanted memories of gone lovers, 

Words biting just as they did in that Unforgotten but never to be recalled past.
I swallow the white man’s muti to deafen  the voices, breathe in the new silence as the black woman’s  incense burns forcing demons to flee and giving angels voice.

I cling to truth that brings freedom and peace. “Darling. You’re all you have.”

Art: Black Queen Work by Sarah Golish

​Akeni Liyekele Amadoda Angalifuniyo

One of the things I’m going to get my squad to teach my daughter is never to spend time on a man who has rejected her. The work you do to put yourself back together is painful and time- and energy-consuming -why willingly go through that for a man who doesn’t want you? That will be the gist of the lesson. 

 

What this means is that I need to expose my daughter to women who know that they are goddesses and live like it; women who have learnt the secret of feminine power; women who do not apologise for giving zero fucks as they live their lives, but are graceful and poised (think Adichie in any interview) at all times because they’ve fought the battles and won the wars, because they understand that to be a woman is to not be a man, and know too that different is not the same as less-than. The kind of women who don’t chase after men who don’t want them, because each and every one of them knows that just as everybody is not for her, she is not for everybody. 
It means I need to be that woman. The kind of woman who has all her shit together. 

Basically what I’m saying is: if you’re in my squad I’m going to ask you to help me set a good example for my daughter and yours, for all the daughters. We owe it to younger women in general and to our daughters in particular to do better, to be the examples we say they need, the ones we wish we’d had. 

We owe it to them not just to ‘lean in’ but also to live true and to live loud; to show them what power looks like; what love looks like, both in terms of loving and being loved; we all owe it to our descendants and the descendants of our ‘villages’ to help every other woman live her highest calling. We owe it to them because we owe it to ourselves. We are all learning, us and the daughters, but we have something they don’t have: experience. We have to stop lying about life and start being honest about what the game is and how it’s played; we are the ones to break the news that it’s actually not a game anymore. 

Life is farquing hard work and I’m too busy finding the virtue in honest labour to spend any time or energy on men who don’t want me. Ain’t nobody got time for that, and our daughters can only learn that from us. We have not been able to treat ourselves right but let’s treat our daughters right: we can start by not forcing them to watch us be rejected and humiliated by men who would never have had the opportunity if we hadn’t given it to them. We need to get our shit together. Let’s at least give our daughters that. 

Squad Salute!

Zero Apologies For Authenticity

Zero Apologies For Authenticity
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You have friends who resent your success but never hesitate to ask for favours or to enjoy the fringe benefits of your hard work. You sleep with men who take advantage of you and your resources (and your A1 sex game), men who give nothing in return except bitterness and heartache, not even an orgasm for you to write bad poetry about. In addition, you’ve committed to being someone you can’t really be proud of because you’ve been hurt so often and so deeply that you’ve decided it’s time you stop being your loving, kind, generous self and become someone different.

You need to understand that your relationships are an accurate reflection of your perception of yourself.

What and whom you allow into your life is based on what you believe you deserve. If people take you for granted it is because you do not value yourself or your contributions. When you understand, internalise, and begin to live the truth of your God-given worth you will be more authentically yourself and your relationships will be transformed. Your fears of rejection and your need for external validation will be washed away in the flood of genuine love you have for yourself and for your truth.

Don’t you know yet that perfect love casts out fear?

In other words, keep it real and just do you.
Also, give zero fucks.
Also, don’t be stupid.
-Unknown Woman

Bulawayo’s Got Talent

Lots of things make me happy of course, seeing as I’m a happy kinda person, when I’m not battling mental health issues but of all the things that have made me happy recently, this is the most brilliant, for a variety of reasons.

  1. it reminds me of home
  2. it reminds me of my two favourite nephews
  3. it proves that singing in Ndebele is possible and it doesn’t have to be Imbube
  4. it acknowledges the dynamism of the language with the use of such phrases as ‘ungangeni nge heart’
  5. Bulawayo and surrounds has talented people and this is proof
  6. the concept is clever – this is what boys say about girls, to each other. Men talking about women is a whole ‘nother ballgame, I hope.
  7. it’s catchy
  8. I THINK IT’S BRILLIANT AND I LOVE IT

Click and ENJOY!

Have You Started On Your GOALS

I have, kinda. I’m still in the ‘get information’ stage with most of my goals. What about you?

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So your goal is to lose weight. Did you know that how you lose the weight is how you’ll keep it off? How much weight do you want to lose and how?
Want to save more money? How will you save it? Where?
Want to go to they gym? What will you do when you get there? Are you one of those people who has a gym membership and fancy workout gear so you can look cute on the treadmill? Do you know the difference between cardio and weights in fat-burning efficiency? What about HIIT?
Perhaps instead of going to the gym straight away you need to educate yourself first, get information?
Perhaps you need to read up on the different savings plans out there and choose one based on your financial goals?
 
Not all of us can jump in and start going to the gym or immediately start squirreling away sums of cash or develop a clean-eating super power. Yes, super power because how else can one enjoy one’s meals if they consist largely of brussel sprouts and rocket with a side of balsamic vinegar?
 
It’s A-OK if you need a period of information-gathering first. You might need to clean out your cupboards and your pantry before going grocery shopping for ‘clean’ foods; you might even need to brush up on your knowledge of what clean food IS, before you go shopping. Or, perhaps you need to track your spending before getting on that saving grind. How can you save if you don’t know how you’re spending related to your wants, needs and income?
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So maybe January isn’t going to be the month when you slay all your dragons, maybe it’s going to be about getting to know your dragons, identifying their weaknesses and yours, and getting your weapons ready for an efficient, annihilating attack.
We don’t want to wound or maim dragons, we want to slay, win, CONQUER – and that takes planning.
Don’t go half-cocked into the new year – once the momentum of the season wears off you’ll need a solid plan to keep you going. Invest time in learning, getting information, so you can build that solid fail-proof plan.

Flickering Lights

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Every now and then your grip slips and you slide into the abyss. You don’t even fight it anymore, it’s going to happen, so let it happen. You do the bare minumum of everything, just enough to keep your head above water. When the conversation turns to shaving -as it does- you sit there wondering when people find the time and where they get the energy. You shower only because you have to, because you know that lack of selfcare is one of the first signs. And then one day, something gives. A crack mends, maybe it’s a song that was so beautiful it made you cry even though you didnt know why, and as you wiped away the tears and the snot you thought ‘I’m ok.’ And you didnt know why or how, but you felt that something had shifted deep inside, like your planet had reoriented itself, and you were back on an even keel.
So now, sliding into the abyss and knowing how dark it is in there, you’re not as scared as you once were because now you know like you know your most intimate thoughts, that you will come out, and you will come out stronger. You know that you are great and that you are awesome, and that you are also flawed and broken, and it is all ok. You know that it is all ok.
– “What comes, will go. What is found, will be lost again. But what you are is beyond coming and going and beyond description.” -Rumi

He Called me Unworthy

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He called ME unworthy? Perhaps my ears deceive,
Perhaps you misheard.
Unworthy?- when between my legs
He saw actual heaven?
When my touch brought him,
And brought him,
And brought him again
Till in hoarse voice he cried “No more!”
Even as his body begged “Go on!”?

When t’was me with whom he cried
And from whose breast he drew
Only tenderness, only love;
That special kind of nourishment
Only a grown woman can give her man?

When I saw him at his weakest
And called him strong
And by so doing spoke strength into him?

Forgive me for saying it, but I made him.
With my arms and my words
And my sweat and my tears
And my heart and my prayers –

I made him.

With my love and my wetness
And my blood and my affection
And my acceptance –

I made him.

I covered his weakness
Erased his mistakes
And together we stepped into fullness.
One and one became a greater one,
Greater even than the sum of the parts.
I drew up the game plan with which he slew the dragon –
When did I become unworthy?
When did I become a ‘thing’ he needs to get over, let go of,
Speak of no more?
When did that happen?

“When?” I asked them.”Why?”
“Stop,” they said. “You’ll never understand.”

Am I not human enough?
Woman enough?
Or is it that I am too much of both?
Why am I held to a higher standard
Than that to which he holds himself?
Blank slate he said, as if he himself – as if anybody – is untainted.
Fresh start he said, as if he can ever go back to not knowing.

I said nothing and let him go.

I watched him live a small and narrow life,
Watched as his dreams disintegrated
To be interred with the ashes
Of what we once shared,
His greatness tempered by lethargy
And a weariness that he could not shake off
No matter what pills he popped
Or what art he made.

He es still great, don’t mistake me,
For that was thrust upon him at Creation-
Just not as great as he could have been,
If he’d dared do the hard thing.

A tinge of grey colours his world,
And a miasma of secret sorrows and hidden regret
Clings to him and all he touches.
The terror of never reaching quite high enough
Or digging quite deep enough-
He dreads never quite making the mark.
He’s always searching for that nameless thing
That will satisfy his thirsty, seared soul.

He’s always seeking, never finding.
Always needing, always wanting.
Always hungering and thirsting
Yet questioning what it’s all for.
Never content, never really happy,
Yearning, always pursuing
And striving –
We would have risen to dizzy heights
If he’d heeded love’s call to enter.

Who hasn’t loved and lost?
Who?
Who doesn’t carry the scars
And the unhealed wounds of past experience,
Hasn’t been shaped and moulded by it all?
I have walked through the fire
And come out the other side rarefied.
I’ve been stretched and pulled and folded
And broken and mended
And lived to not only tell the tale
But to seek the high love and the deep love,
The kind of love from which sonnets are written
And poetry recited.

They said he was an idiot and a fool.
They said he was weak and a coward and a tool
But none of those things are true:
He straddles the line between man-child and man-whore.

The real truth? Feelings aside?
He just never knew what we could be,
Never saw the vision I did-
I cannot fault him for that.
In love and in love only
Ignorance is an acceptable defence.

-Beauty’s Daughter