ONE WORD: GRATEFUL

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Would you look at that, the grace of God is upon me with another addition to my age.

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Saying i am blessed is an understatement. Like is it just me but i feel this year’s January has had so many deaths. Every week you hear someone was involved in a road accident or was killed and you can’t help but wonder, why am i so favoured? Can’t help but be grateful.

Speaking of being grateful, i am so grateful for my 23rd year, the Jordan year, . When i was turning 23 i was really trying to take away my focus on why things didn’t work out the way i had planned and diverting my focus on what i could do different instead of reminiscing of what should have been. I mean i believe we can relate right. Sometimes in life we spend time just holding onto memories and beating ourselves about what we should have done different in the last years. So last year, i decided i couldn’t have that anymore. I was so determined to fully focus and keep my mind on the future. I spent last year focusing on the present, forgiving myself for lost opportunities and mistakes. I kept reassuring myself over and over again that things will be okay and working on my personal growth. Its true what the say, the deepest and hardest battles are fought within.

In short, last year i spent most of the time with myself. Don’t get me wrong, its not like i turned into a loner or an introvert. I simply took time to really get to know myself. From my weaknesses to my strengths, my skills, my flaws etc. In short i invested time to understand the person i am in depth so that i stop making the same mistakes and become the person i desire to be. Sounds easy right? It wasn’t! Self doubt can play tricks on your mind and don’t get me started on picking yourself up when you have had a heavy set back. It takes a toll on you. Be that as may i was determined to make changes in my life. But i didn’t do it all alone. It was God and all the people in my life. I learnt from so many people. All the constructive criticism i got, of which if i can be honest, i wasn’t ready to welcome at the time. I mean some truths really pierce through. Lol! But the criticism and advice certainly served their purposes and they still are, i am still in the process.

Nonetheless i can’t help but be grateful for everything i have learnt and realised and the people that have and keep contributing to my life.I have no doubt in my bone that this year will be equally liberating. My hair feels liberated already.

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I don’t know about you but am digging my hair cut. Its not what i usually would do, but i have been wanting to do something totally different from what am accustomed to. I decided to move away from my comfort zone, something i will be doing more of this year as i continue to become the woman i am meant to be and pursue my dreams. This year is all about taking risks, trying news things, going agaisnt all odds and doing everything with a grateful heart. I will keep standing by God’s word in 1 Thessalonians 5:8

In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP

In every situation i encounter, i truly believe that there will be a lesson. I am prepared not to lose any battle, i will either win or learn. I am really looking forward to see all the things God is bringing my way and realising my potential, gifts and abilities.

From the Jordan year to the Kobe year. Greatness upon greatness. #mambamentality

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.

Politics, Politics, Politics…

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I am a self acclaimed advocate of freedom of expression. I truly believe people should be allowed to freely express themselves, ofcourse not at the expense of infringing the rights of others. I mean, even constitution has given as this right though if i am being honest, it comes with hidden clauses of who and what you can express about.

Several years ago, well two years to be exact, i convinced myself to stop writing about politics, mostly because i did not want to get in trouble. Yes i do have the tendency of speaking my mind at times without filtering my words. Anyway, in late 2017 i decided to put those political talks to a sudden hault. However you can agree with me with all that’s going on in Malawi at the moment, one can’t help but wonder where our country is heading to. It has become inevitable not to discuss politics here and there regardless of the gathering, be it parties, funerals, village bank meetings and the likes. At this point in time i wouldn’t be surprised if my 9 year old brother Gary knows the details of the most anticipated presidential case in the history of Malawi.

Needless to say that’s why i have found myself writing about politics. However i will spare you my views on this case, God knows am tired of reading speculations all over social media. If i can be frank at this moment, i am not even sure myself if you will read anything worthwhile, but please go on. Indulge me for a few minutes. Allow me to be your Trevor Noah, who we truly need at this moment. Am a huge fan of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. A clear example of freedom of expression. We need someone to lighten the mood and lessen the tension and anxiety with political jokes and honest opinions at the same time. By honest opinions i mean, the possible outcomes of the case and the games the politicians are playing with Malawians. Talk about the bribing, the arrests, the secret party meetings and ofcourse our legal system.

The poor citizens vote every half decade after being seduced and caressed by the empty promises of politicians. On the other hand the rich politicians in those 5 years play prostitution, jumping from one party to the other, squander money and blame their previous lover. I have had enough, just like any other Malawian citizen, unfortunately these games are far from ending. So what is the solution? We can engage on an endless debate on what we truly need but one thing is for sure, we need a legime that will think about the poor Malawians who spend time on the long lines to cast their votes hoping they will be considered. This is why people are expressing themselves in the streets, they want to be considered. They are hoping for leaders that will think about them and not fattening their pockets.

So i don’t know what the verdict will be, am anxious, every Malawian is at this point. I can only imagine what the judges are going through. Either way, they won’t please the whole nation and we must expect some sort of resistance. Nevetheless I pray for once, what ever the outcome maybe, Malawians will have some sort of hope and maybe closure because if not, i fear for my nation.

God bless mother Malawi.

DO YOU BELIEVE: A book review

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My first instinct when someone states something as a fact not as an opinion is to question their basis. In other words i ask for evidence, a proof to that aforesaid fact. I mean what do you expect from someone who has studied law right. However reading Do you believe by Robin Pemba actually did the opposite.

Robin Pemba is a Malawian christian author who has written and published several ebooks; Passion for purity (2016), Today’s real talk (2017), Now i know (2017) and his latest being Do you believe which was released on his 28th birthday this year. It’s a book that i’d personally describe as one that constantly questions your faith. Many are the times as Christians we forget what the Word of God says about us. We forget the promises and declarations God has made upon our lives. When life becomes too hard and unbearable, it is the word of God we have to run to because it reminds us and gives us hope. The word of God is an assurance to what we constantly linger upon to be possible or true.

The author takes us through a journey of self reflection as to what we believe as christians. He asks a number of questions such as;

Do you believe you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you?

Do you believe that you are more than a conqueror?

Do you believe you can lay hands on he sick and he sick can be healed? 

Do you believe that unless one is born again they can not enter the kingdom of God?

Do you believe that all things are possible to the one who believes?

I must admit as i read the book, i couldn’t help asking myself if i really believe. I would have easily said yes, except sometimes my actions don’t correspond with what i claim to believe. I doubt and yet proof is there in the bible. After each question that the author poses, he gives us proof through different scriptures. He furthermore gives examples of circumstances that we go through our day to day lives and possible questions we tend to ask ourselves. In his book he enlightens us and directs us to the scripture in which all our doubts, worries and anxieties have already been resolved and addressed by God. The author however eludes from quoting the whole verse to give a chance to the reader to actually refer to the bible for themselves.

The book is a certainly a page turner but only consists of 34 pages as it is written in a precise manner to make one more focused on meditating on the word of God and not the author’s. With its constant reference and interpretation of the scripture, the book can certainly be used for bible studies or as a personal guide to particular scriptures that talk about specific topics such as prayer, repentance, sickness, healing, faith etc. Its a book that every christian has to read and have.

The book can be accessed for free by simply downloading it on https://docdro.id/60FCOlG or simply requesting it from the author himself by simply sending him an email to robinpemba91@gmail.com or uzimuvibes@gmail.com . So dear reader if you are looking for a great way to start the year 2020, i recommend you start it off by reading this book and build your faith in God.

Mr Robin Pemba is married to Clara Pemba and together have a beautiful daughter Karyn Happuchi. Mr Pemba and his family reside in Salima.

FEMINISM: JUST OR UNJUST

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Feminism. If you have not come across this term then its safe to say, you are not in existence in this world.I must admit i have debated with myself whether to write this post but anyway here i am. And mind you this post is sorely my opinion not only on the topic per se but with my observations on different people that identify as feminists.You might be wondering whether i am a feminist or not, some think i am and others think otherwise due to various reasons that i will explain later on.

So one would wonder, what is feminism or who is a feminist? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (one of my favourite authors by the way) defines a feminist as a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes. She further states that feminism is about justice for everyone but you have to name the problem and the problem is that women have been excluded so we need to call it what it is.

I really couldn’t agree more. The problems in our society and community have to be clearly stated and definied. I truly commend the work so many feminist in the world have done. However i have observed of late that feminism has tend to lost it’s way if i may say. It has gone off track.Sometimes when am listening and watching arguements on this issue i begin to question myself if this is an advocating of equal rights or dominance.

Now before you get those pitch folks out, hear me out. For example, a week ago a topic arose on twitter when a respectable female politician and former member of parliament knelt before a group of men who were seated. This act was taken us an inequality between men and women and she did not have to kneel to show any respect. Some feminists went on to say they could never stoop so low for a man whether elderly or not. A few others went on to argue that this has been our culture all along, women kneel and men squat, that the act was not at all undermining her or belittling her as a woman. This whole issue got me very baffled honestly. Where do we draw the line between inequality and culture? Certainly this lady is known to be a respectable and cultured woman and she merely showing her way of life. Is it truly wrong? Should we dilute our cultural practices because they are belittling women? Are such cultural practices really belittling women?When men kneel in front of women to propose is that also a sign of belittlement? I took it a sign of love, respect and humbleness to ask the lady you love to a life long commitment.So why should kneeling to show respect to elders or someone you look upto be a sign of weakness and injustice?

A few months ago after the presidential elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Dr Jane Ansah was asked to resign in a series of peaceful demonstrations. A select number of feminists in the country held a counter demonstration against this “injustice” faced by fellow woman. As a woman i did not agree with the stand these feminists took. To begin with feminism fights for equality. This encompasses no gender privileges. There had been misconduct and too many irregularities under her supervision as a Chairperson of MEC, people were not far from the truth to call out for her resignation as she did not do her job. Calling for her resignation was not any point injustice against a woman because i truly believe, if a man was in her position, people would still have called for his resignation. This was not in any way an issue of gender inequality but it seems as though women can longer be called out without feminists jumping on your throat.

Not long ago a young man at DMI university was stabbed multiple times by his girlfriend because he cheated on her yet no one called this lady out for such a barbaric act. Last year a well known artist recorded a song titled rape in which he confessed his intentions of raping a woman. If i can be honest that song got me sick to my stomach.Both of these events were unjust. They all deserved equal attention. Our society needs not to entertain such behaviour but it looks as though only acts committed by men are being addressed and acts committed by women are overlooked.
Is this what we call justice?

I believe the main essence of feminism is for there to be a balance between male and female. Equal jobs , equal pay and also equal treatment. Justice has to be served both ways without limiting one side. Where fighting for justice of one side is overcrowding the other side, then is justice truly serving it’s purpose?

Now i know that not all who are reading this follow the bible. So whether you are more of a philosopher or a christian, indulge me for a minute as i would like to take this issue from a christianity point of view. What does the bible say about a man and a woman? What does God (whom i believe created us) expect us to co-exist as men and women? What are the principles put forth for a man, and what are those put forth for a woman? Are they equal? Is there a need for justice for any of the parties? Are a husband and wife equal?

To be continued…

BLIND LOYALTY

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Lately I have developed a habit of asking myself this question over and over; “are my thoughts or actions independent?” By this I mean, is what am I thinking or doing what I really want or has it been influenced by another person.

If I can be honest with myself, many are the times in the past I did things because of peer pressure or I didn’t wish to be the odd one out. So many of us are guilty of this act. We let other people make alterations to our thought process to the point that at times people pass on their hate of other people onto us. Just because your friend doesn’t like a particular person, then you also develop some unknown dislike towards them. The reason behind their dislike we do not know, yet we develop this blind loyalty.

But is blind loyalty worth fore going friendship with other people or enjoying a moment? I mean why should you let someone’s own personal relationships or negativity be your own? Take a moment to really think about the unknown burdens we have collected through different friends through out the years. Are your actions and thoughts really independent?

Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.”1 Corinthians 15:33 GNB.

This verse is one of my favorite verses because it always reminds me that I need to stay alert of what am I being exposed to. Bad company does always mean your friends have bad habits but that they may carry bad or negative beliefs that may influence your character. If you are not careful you can adopt wrong thinking or behavior just by a having a blind loyalty.

So always remember to be your own person at the end of the day. Carefully analyze everything before believing or adopting a certain lifestyle. Ask yourself if it is beneficial to your well-being, if it is having a positive impact to your life and most importantly if it is worth it. Remain woke.

The age of depression

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Two weeks ago i talked about how many are the times as people we tend to just assume things without really communicating with each other to truly know the thoughts and feelings of another person. This has led to many of not checking up on each other to see if others are doing fine.

When last did you randomly call or text a friend just to check up on them? When did we last just simply ask someone how they are doing or give them reassurance that you there for them? I guess when we see their status updates, tweets or facebook posts we simply believe they are doing okay. But are they really?

Lately in Malawi there has been so many suicide cases (yes i said the S word) especially on the male gender. So many people out there are struggling with depression, some who are even our family members but we don’t know that. Robin Williams was and is still one of my favourite comedians. He spent his life trying to make others laugh and smile. He strived at bringing that moment of happiness in people’s lives and yet he committed suicide cause he was depressed. In other words he couldn’t deal with that extreme sadness and loneliness in his life he couldn’t bear living any more.

So many people people have been driven to the point of taking their own lives and are sgruggling with depressions because of life pressures, anxiety and loneliness. Are they sorrounded with people daily? Yes. Do they have family members? Yes. Do they have friends? Yes. But they still feel they cannot bear that struggle, why? Cause most times they feel alone. They do not have anyone to talk to. I bet you are wondering how i know this, well i have had a couple of individuals confide in me the first time i talked about the issue of depression.

They all have one thing in common, they feel like they have no one to talk to. Especially in our African culture, a man can not show any sign of weakness. He needs to be strong, he needs to have his head up high all the time, he cannot disappoint his parents not his family. So everything they go through is buried inside.

If there are any parents reading this, when last did you check up on your children? I mean when last did you really find out about their well being? I am not talking about education nor career, i am talking about their mental health. Sometimes an assurance from your closest, a listening ear, a simple hug, a short prayer brings great relief. So if you feel a great urge to pray or check up on somebody, don’t resist it, please do so. Perhaps God wants you to reach out to them.

Lastly, if you are reading this and can relate to what am saying or maybe currently you are going through a tough period in your life please seek help. Reach out to somebody you trust, a family member, a minister or counsellor. Suicide will never be an answer to your problems. The fact that you are alive today means God has a bigger purpose for your life. HE wants you to succeed and achieve great things in life.
Below is a link of something you can read and a helpline (free of charge) you can call and talk to someone who can help through this process

Facing Discouragement And Depression

http://bible.com/r/3MX

116 (Tithandizane YONECO helpline Malawi )

21st Century Communication

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I don’t mean to sound creepy or anything but sometimes i wish i could read people’s minds. I think it could make my life easier to just know what they are thinking so i know the right way to respond. Unfortunately that is just wishful thinking that many of us have pondered upon.
Why is that though?

Communication is key to every relationship. That is my sole belief, that inorder for any type of relationship to work, we need to communicate, we need to be able to talk to one another, exchange a few ideas and thoughts and come to an undertstanding.
Whether it is at work, among friends, in a family or a romantic relationship with a special someone.
But it seems like people in this generation would rather guess or assume what another person is thinking than actually talk to them. They would rather skip the whole process of sharing an idea or though and send it across it to the other person and get a true and accurate answer from that person. They would rather just go with an assumption of what the person might be thinking based on their own personal understanding of things.

I mean, its a whole complex process if you ask me. So why do we constantly do it though? Why is it that our generation is failing to communicate? Why do we find it easy to assume rather than get the actual facts? What are we so afraid of? The truth? The probability of lies?

To be honest, i think it’s non of that. We are definitely not afraid, we just don’t value the relationships we have in our lives.
Hold up before you go like, “she probably doesn’t know what she is saying”, indulge me for a moment.

Let’s say you buy a new car, this advanced technology cars. You don’t know how it operates. What is the first thing you do? You read the manual. Why? Cause you want to understand it works. If after some time the car is producing some funny noises and begins to give you problems, do you just deduce the problem or you have it checked to know what is actually wrong? I believe you choose the latter. This so that you absolutely sure and you give the car the proper servicing.
So why do you go through all that? Simple, cause you value that vehicle. It probably cost you so you have to take care of it.

The same applies with our family, friends and loved ones. Inorder for us to get to know them, understand them and show that we value them, then we have to learn to communicate more with them.
An assumption is basically your own idea or opinion of that particular issue not what the other person is actually thinking. We need to come to terms with the fact that we are not always right. The more we communicate with people the more in depth knowledge we have of them and less misunderstandings occur.

Communication in the 21st century is not old fashioned, it actually shows you are human and that you care and value other people. Let’s be honest no one actually wants to be alone, we want to have long lasting and amazing relationships with others. But a relationship is a two way street that involves both parties to make an effort. So that goes to say learn to express your feelings, ideas and thoughts into words and let the other person know what you really think. If you value them, talk to them, don’t leave them guessing. You will be amazed to know how liberating that feels.

So i hope we get to drop this 21st Century Communication which is assumptions and actually be able to talk to one another. Drop the status posts and quotes and actually approach someone. But that’s a topic for another day. For today, learn to communicate with those around you. You don’t know how much time you have left with them, so you might as well value the time you have now.