Of Bathtub Memoirs

Genre: contemporary

To look in the bathroom mirror of your old bathroom and not recognise the grownup stranger looking back at you…. That’s what it feels like going back to your childhood home and a stranger lives there now. The mirror used to be so high up I needed ninja skills to climb up the bathroom sink so I could see myself in it (I even fell from high up there once upon a time and my parents were sure I had broken something important, probably because I was crying up a storm and lay there all limb, as if I had broken all 206 bones in my body… Twice.. and that was also the first time I got my x-ray taken and surprisingly enough had not as much as a fracture, someone say miracle bone regeneration.) The sink is only knee-high to me now and the perspective gives me vertigo I feel like Alice through the looking glass.fuzzy.jpg

The bathtub seems so much smaller than I remember it. I remember being afraid of the bathtub after watching a late nite Friday the 13th horror show, I was convinced I could get sucked out by the drain plug then winding up drowning in some sewer but now it seems harmless enough and I cannot imagine how I even entertained such notions.

So allow me to soak myself in the tub and reminisce because going back to where you started is different from never having left, and the only way you can truly appreciate where you have been is to simply go back home and remember.

Everything seems out of place from the arrangement of the sofas in the lounge (the setup feels wrong, the orientation the colours) to the positioning of the beds in the bedrooms (I always had my head to where the sun rose,  because good feng shui to see saw the sun rise first thing when I opened my eyes when I woke up early enough that is) and the windows seem naked without the layers of frilly lace drapes (that I learnt my first lesson about fire and candles. Horrible experience taught me, one must never get too close to lace with a lit candle or look for objects under the bed with a candle for light.)

The rooms seem so much smaller now and there is a blank space where the once were shelves of books (A house without a library *shudders* )

I feel like a giant, I could spread my hands and touch all the walls in places I ran endless circles in, spaces I crawled into to hide from chores or punishment or afternoon meals (they were both a chore and a punishment and one could not watch cartoons on the telly until done with eating and homework)

Even the “great outdoors” that used to be our backyard, the trees are all gone,cut down maybe twas for firewood, maybe uprooted in a storm, maybe the roots threatened the foundation of the house I will never know. The trees are gone, except for the one I once caught my brother cutting up vigorously with his shiny red Swiss Army knife as if in target practise for the some zombie tree apocalypse, he said it was so that if thieves ever broke in and stole it he would recognize it as ours (I was so gullible I bought that story for years and he doesn’t even remember making up that silly story) My brother the cooler older sibling who “kept” a large pet spider and fed it insects he’d catch insects pull their wings or legs off then toss them onto the web and step back and watch….  (He always threatened to feed me to the spider when I snitched on him, as lil brothers are known to do) I wonder what happened to that spider, it really made a tangled mess in the backyard (which reminds me who cleans up all the webs Spiderman throws around??? )

The whole backyard is now a range less than the reach of my stone’s throw (I can throw further now ooops and might have heard a neighbor’s window breaking *tiptoes back into the house*)

Today I took a walk in my old neighborhood.

The dent on the gate is still there from when I went for my first joyride with a “borrowed” red Datsun 120Y (it was also the day I learnt to drive and got into my first high-speed police car chase which I managed to evade Grand Theft Auto style (you know how in learning to swim like pro: for dummies; you are thrown into a shark  infested pond, you either swim or sink and be eaten, well twas sorta like that, drive, drive like you stole it or be busted) with nothing more than a tiny dent  when I turned a little too fast into the driveway. ( I thank whoever invented red nail polish its a life hack for covering up scratches on a red paint job)

My favorite house by the corner at the end of the drive looking picture perfect, manicured green lawn and cosy as I remember it, and yes I still want to live in a house that looks just like that but with Wi-Fi signal and minus the chocolate fountain I am over that I might consider a champagne fountain or beer on tap 🙂

The old playground is still where it used to be (not that I expected it to move or anything) but it’s now broken,  how do you break a playground you ask?

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I guess you let drunk teens (at least I hope it was teens and drunk ones too ) hangout there and now it’s filled with bottles, broken bottles, beer bottles, some look like prescription cough syrup bottles and so many used condoms you would think an end of world orgy has been going on here

And every surface and wall is covered with graffiti, badly spelt graffiti, swear words and “was here’ affirmations (I am pretty sure that’s not what they meant when they said leave a mark in the world ) obscene anatomically incorrect stick figures.

Look at me now King of the jungle gym standing on top of it.

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Facing fears

A trip down memory lane and yes I am still afraid of crossing the same train bridge I was afraid of when I was only this high *makes height gestures* but in my defence it is really a scary narrow bridge even now ( there is a sign that warns Danger Narrow Bridge we thought that was the name of the bridge : Danger Narrow) The courage it took for me to run across and pretend to that my heart was not beating in my mouth from fear that I would fall to my death.

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Danger Narrow Bridge

Looking in the mirror and a stranger looks back at me, but in many ways familiar

Visiting my childhood house and a stranger lives here now but yes it still feels familiar and comfortable and yes it feels like home…

Home is where the memories live.

~B

 

#Blogbattle Entry Theme this week is memory lane trip, prompt Bathtub

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Of A Coffee Affair and Dreams

 

wp-1468828080069.jpgIf you were having coffee with me I would tell you……Ahhh! Even before I wake.. I can smell you..
Mmmm your scent awakens me with a smile.. 

I must have you.. ..
Yes,

Your rich ebony color is so delightful promising sweetness…

Your darkness so deep….

As I consume you…

I savor your taste..

I feel your warmth invigorating me to the core,

You enter my body…

and I feel alive..

I savor every sip , second…every drop…

All I need to face the day..
I take a little of you with me..

Can’t imagine my life without you…
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you of my coffee affair and oh damn! how I love my coffee!

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what was the last good dream you had ? Do you remember, any of your dreams? It seems like I only remember the nightmares….

I had a dream I was test driving a jaguar it’s a phenomenal creature with a  fine balance of stealth  and speed. It was exhilarating experience, I mean have you heard how it roars a display of raw power that makes your heart either stop or beat rapidly or even both at the same time… The ride was a little bumpy and I kept sliding of, and The Jaguar might have tried to bite me a couple of times I don’t think Jaguars fancy being ridden, we will have to ask an expert ….and I think next time I must dream up a saddle…..

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If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you read my last post on The Great TV Licence Conspiracy? Anyway guess what the Constitution Court passed a landmark ruling which means we under obligation to Pay TV Licences if we possess any device capable of receiving a signal regardless of whether you listen to the national broadcaster or not…. I do wonder how they will enforce this law, *thinking frog face emoji* will they make us take out our phones to display  TV licences ….. ?

Word on the street is that legislation is under way to ban citizens from owning or carrying flag and only institutions can display the national flag, this comes after The whole #ThisFlag Movement made waves in the corridors of power. Currently in Court and Parliament people are already banned from displaying flags as it seems to be in support of “The Flag Pastor”….. I thought The Flag was for all patriots *sips tea*

If you were having coffee with I would ask you how your week has been, what’s good with you and here is to an awesome week…^_^

~B

PS we are having lemon tea and scones as we watch the sun dissolve…….

Of Coffee Roadtrips and Flags 

If you were having coffee with me, we would be having a road trip, by bus, it’s a long trip  I hope you brought a book 📖
After a bit of (miss)adventure at the bus terminus, when the touts manhandled our luggage trying to get us into particular buses, we finally got bundled into a bus more to our liking and it was just about to drive off, so we had to do a little run, to catch up….

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you want the window seat or aisle seat?  Well I prefer the window seat,  so I can look out the window to wile away time,  it’s a four hour journey hope you brought a book…..📖

An hour later and we are still in the same  spot…. The driver has been doing this crazy routine; he starts the bus, revs up the engine as if about to leave, goes forward a bit, then reverses again and stops. A new passenger or two rush in thinking its now about to go. The conductor keeps saying “We will leave when we get… just one more passenger....” We have already paid for our tickets and he won’t give us a refund, so we cant get into another bus, unless you want to pay double, we been hustled.
Finally we are off now, oh no, we stopped again. I hope it’s not a fault because the driver said this was an express bus it won’t stop along the way, we are just about to complain loudly when the driver announces over the bus PA system that we should do a quick prayer for safety before we travel, well that’s an unexpected touch, I feel safer already.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the universal symbol for someone who does not want to engage in small talk should be an icon of a passenger with earphones plugged in and a book in hand…….

Unfortunately I can’t read my book, the ride is very bumpy, the road is riddled with badly patched potholes, that you want to ask, what exactly do they do with all they money they collect from tollgates I mean we have just passed through two so far, and have been stopped by the police only once I think there is definitely far less road blocks today, that’s one of the reasons people protested about the past week.

Speaking of protest if you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the man who started the #ThisFlag movement, Pastor Evan Mawarire, handed himself in to the police on Wednesday for questioning, carrying nothing but his bible and a flag draped round his neck (and a lawyer…) He got arrested and charged with “… Incitement to public violence...” A court date scheduled for the next day

Social media was abuzz with images of the investigators searching through the pastor’s house for “… a stolen police helmet, a “button stick ” and other subversive materials… ” with a government document that could have such errors even the spelling of government at the top of the warrant is wrong…..

If you are wandering what a button stick is…if not a typo: a helpful but funny internet user posted the following picture as a suggestion:

If you are having coffee with me, I would tell you that a record breaking crowd of flag carrying citizens gathered outside the courthouse during the court session.

Over a hundred lawyers volunteered to represent pastor Evan, and when the magistrate asked who was representing this man fifty hands shot up to present their credentials.

After delaying the case for hours, the Prosecution changed charge to… “subverting a constitutionally elected government

Meanwhile outside, people waited for the verdict; knelt in prayer……

The magistrate eventually dismissed the case on procedural grounds because The State was in violation of the constitution since they had not briefed the defendant  on the new charges prior to court…
Pastor Evan walked free…. 

The people who were present have no words for the emotion they had throughout this long day and it’s final conclusion, it’s a day that will not be easily forgotten. For some it was a massive demonstration of solidarity for others a reaffirmation of their faith in the justice system and for some faith of a different kind Someone tweeted that:

The Third Force is the hand of God 

If you were having coffee with me we would not be having coffee because this bus ain’t stopping for bathroom breaks for a long distance to come,  so no liquids, have a sandwich
Cheers

~B

PS the road least travelled has no Wi-Fi do tell me what’s been happening in your neck of the woods.

Just been catching up on the news and all I can say is:

How much blood,

How much blood,

Can one world shed,

Have you ever wandered?  

Photo credit Simon Allison


Of The Great TV Licence Conspiracy

TV Licence

I answered a knock at my gate, only to find it was a TV Licence Inspector and he was like ‘Sir I would like to see your VALID TV licence, if you do not have one; you can either renew it because I conveniently am authorised to issue out and renew licenses or I can write you ticket and you pay at your nearest police station so in addition to paying your license you also have to pay a fine within 7 working days or risk prosecution……

I might not know law but isn’t that a form of blackmail or extortion setup thing going on?

Anyway as I did not have cash on me nor did I want to go to jail I had a bright idea***:

I said to the guy “toita sei” meaning “what shall we do?” and he said “imi manga mati toita sei” meaning “what do you think we must do?

***This is the same conversation path you would delve down if you were seeking a bribe, I know people who take detours to avoid roadblocks with ZBC radio listener’s licences officials because they won’t pay car radio licences…. Oh I am firmly against bribes and corruption by the way

So I scratch my head looking thoughtfully into the distance and said “well… I dont have a TV…

His reply “I see a satellite dish on top of your roof you therefore have a TV…

And that’s when I was like “….but see if I have a sat-dish, doesn’t that mean to you I care not to watch your local TV and that’s why I might not pay TV licence (if I do have a TV and I don’t pay that is…) or maybe if you had better programmes and I did not feel I was being subjected to propaganda or endless repeats of stuff I watched growing up….

Yes I understand it costs money to get quality programming and if we don’t pay our TV licences then you can’t give us quality programming and well I don’t want to pay for substandard TV until I know I am not paying for shoddy viewing… and we reach an impasse… what for must happen happen now?

hmmm how about, can you as yet bar my TV from getting a signal….. Oh you havent gone digital yet ….. so I must pay simply because I own a TV…… besides how do you even know I have a TV hey wena jus because there is a fridge in my house doesn’t mean there is milk in it, just because my hair is the way it is doesn’t make me a witch-doctor I dare you to go look for my TV AND IF YOU FIND IT.. I will gladly pay the license, but IF YOU DONT…”

The inspector just walked away shaking his head…

I am now keeping gate locked and getting an attack dog and a sign that says

{Survivors will be hospitalised} !!!

I forgot to show him my phone and say “You see this phone it’s got…

  • a TV,
  • a radio,
  • a multimedia player,
  • a home theater system with flashing disco lights
  • the power of the internet and live streaming at the tip of my fingers
  • and other things I don’t know because the manual for it wasn’t in English

Do I need radio and TV license for it too?

~B

PS I where can I buy a TV that doesn’t have TV Tuner, not a TV but is simply a monitor? I wouldn’t have to pay a TV Licence for that now would I?

PPS would you rather have a month of Premium TV subscription or unlimited WIFI internet service?

Of A Sunday Story 

Imagine it’s Sunday and a friend who has been inviting you to their church for like forever, manages to catch you, when you have absolutely no reason to say no, at least not one you can make without seeming like perhaps you burst into flames when you enter the doors of a church ⛪ 

You agree to tag along, and when you get there, you really want to sit at the back, blend in, be inconspicuous, maybe somewhere you can make a quick exit if the sermon drags on for too long but noooo they drag you to the very front row 💺 

When the service starts the pastor asks that if there are any visitors may they stand up, introduce themselves and how they came to be here today and then be welcomed to the church. You try to slouch in your chair and make yourself invisible but everyone seems to be looking at you and your friend nudges you rather obviously in the ribs. Slowly you stand up and mumble your name, as your friend beams beside you. 😁

The pastor says “hallelujah” 🙋 the congregation shouts “hallelujah” back.🙌… 

The choir starts a hymn 🎤

Right in this place, the spirit is moving…. “♪  ♪

Slightly alarmed you look around  😱 For The Spirit  👻 that is moving in this place, right now…  

Eventually the sermon starts and the pastor reads from the book of the First Corinthians 11 verse 14.  About how man must not have long hair but a woman must never cut hers but she must cover it always. 
And you with your shoulder length locks can feel the eyes of everyone trying not to stare at you as the pastor delivers a fire and brimstone service about how demons live in braids and long hair…. 

You want to raise your hand and ask what if you are like Samson?

The Pastor says tell the person next to you, “I want to cast out the demon in you!”

“I want to cast out the demon in you you repeat!”

“Out!” the pastor says.. 

“Out!” the congregation repeats. 

Out!”

“Out!”

Suddenly voices in prayer fill the room, some even start speaking in tongues. It’s a bit disconcerting for you as you are used to more conventional churches where everyone bows their heads and close eyes to pray silently and only a few people one after the other speak their prayer requests out loud then everyone says Amen.. Not this when everyone speaks at the same time. 

You try not to stare at people slamming their bibles into their hands, jumping up and down while praying, filled with the Holy Spirit presumably… 

You realize you haven’t uttered a single word in prayer you try to but it’s rather hard to think of anything to say and finally you notice everyone slowly getting silent as the prayer session draws to a close, till everyone says Amen 
In conclusion the pastor then reads from the gospel of Matthew 25 verses 1-13. The parable of the ten virgins waiting for the groom, five of them were wise and five were foolish. The wise had extra oil for their lamps and the foolish did not…. 
The parable is to teach us that we must be constantly vigilant as no one knows the day or the hour of the coming of Christ…. 

It’s been an interesting service, you think to yourself and everything is going fairly OK until the pastor for emphasis just has to ask you, “So where would you rather be….  In the light with the five wise virgins or in the dark with the five foolish virgins….”

Erm, well, honestly I’d only answer that to a priest during confession.
Finally the service ends and on your way out people stop to greet you and ask you to please come again and you say  “I’ll see….”

~B 

Of Coffee As Usual

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If you were having coffee with me I would say thanks for the visit it’s been an interesting week well maybe interesting is not quite the word, let’s just say eventful or dare I say business as usual.

We live life a hashtag away from anarchy.

I was watching the international news and couldn’t help ask myself what’s happening in the world police officers killing people, people killing officers and robotic bomb thingies killing people….

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you is this how the world ends in anarchy, chaos and riots on the street? I overheard a voice in my head saying to another voice  “Sometimes monsters don’t look like terrifying creatures with grotesque forms conjured from nightmarish dreams, sometimes monsters look like you and me and wear uniforms with shiny buttons and polished shoes.”

Earlier during the week public taxi drivers staged protests about the number of police roadblocks on the roads asking how they could earn a living when they are constantly being fleeced by the police and this ended up in running battles between the riot police and the drivers leaving commuters stranded.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Wednesday was the day the internet stopped, well for us anyway and only for a few hours. Internet service providers apologized for the interruption in service but didn’t explain any further leaving people to speculate that maybe the government had a hand in it because this coincided with the day that was scheduled for a mass stay away to shut down Zimbabwe. The stay away tagged #ShutDownZim culminated from a social media rant tagged as #ThisFlag urging Zimbabweans to stand together as bold citizens and a send a message of solidarity to the government by staying away from work and thus shutting down the country for a day. The ZBC Main News bulletin (which just happened to be delayed by almost ten minutes and popular opinion on the interweb is that this was to “cook” the news) went to great lengths to prove show it was business as usual in the country… and the phrase business as usual was used more than five times throughout the  news reading.

The official ZBC twitter account even tweeted that the stay away was a flop.

Flops

If you were having coffee with me I would say that THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has issued out a statement warning against the abuse of social media and here is a copy that is making the rounds on the internet:

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It’s a bit of a scary statement and has the thin veil of a threat or gag order as we chat over coffee as usual cant help wonder if this coffee post can be construed as causing despondency or unrest, and I want to ask what about freedom of speech? That’s a rhetoric question don’t answer that we just having coffee as usual.

If you were having coffee with me it would not be coffee as usual oh no we are still having herbal Zumbani Tea. Guess what, I happened to notice it being sold in a local shop and it costs quite the pretty penny me thinks I just might start packing my own and selling if anyone interested do get in touch ^_^

Zumbani

So what’s been happening in your part of the world? Here is to a great weekend and a great week ahead

~B

 

Of The Pink Band

Genre: Inspirational

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His hair was an untidy affair held in a pony tail by a bright pink band. That is the first thing you noticed about him, the pink band, followed by the faded army jacket. He sat by himself on a two-seater in a crowded bus with a couple of standing passengers. It’s not that he had refused to share but no one had been brave enough to approach him, an aura of barely contained hostility rose from him, the flavor ripe of aggression.

He was not a small man, you could tell that beneath his camouflage jacket he had muscle, granted he might have gotten a bit soft round the edges. It had been awhile since he last went to the gym, he used to practically live there and could bench press three times his weight in solid gold. But now, now he was out of shape; the fact that he had taken the bus when he could have just walked was testament to how far he had let himself go.

In a dusty old shoe box under his bed were two gold medals from the Comrades marathon and a medal for Valor. Gold of medals has such a heady flavour, something about it makes you stand up straight.

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He didn’t care; he had stopped caring about anything a long time ago, the day he was relieved of his duties as an elite commando soldier. Dishonorably discharged, the word left a bad flavour in his mouth. A decorated veteran, dishonorably discharged, it was a stain on his honour he could barely bear and he carried it like a weight, shoulders slightly hunched.

He sat close to the window, gazing out with a far away look that saw nothing but the past, back to a time when he stood taller and men looked up to him. Lost in the past, he absent-mindedly scratched his beard, it was mildly itchy, he had stopped shaving and a fuzzy fur covered his lower jaw.

A loud bang startled him out of his reverie, old instincts took over as he shifted into a defensive posture, and adrenalin flooded his system as he readied to spring to action; identify and neutralize the enemy, it was in the basic training manual.

We hit that pot hole hard” a passenger behind him commented.

I thought the wheel had burst..” someone else added, followed by random passengers grumbling at the driver to slow down as he was not ferrying sacks of hay.

He realised that there was no immediate danger, well not unless the driver was recklessly speeding through a road filled with potholes.Slowly he flexed his fingers,it was only now that he was noticing he had clenched his hands it fists so tightly that his fingernails drew blood from his palms. He reacted to sudden noises in the same way like a beast about to pounce, in the world that felt a lifetime ago, if you were slow to react fatally bad things happened to you.

Bad things had happened to his men. He took out a faded photograph from his wallet it was a photo of a group of men hard to recognize because yellow berets covered half their faces leaving only smiles which were mostly teeth. The picture must have been taken either just before or after a parade inspection because the uniforms were neat, the boots were polished even the buttons were shiny. It was the only picture he had of his brother in arms, but he carried their memories with him.He remembered their names and he remembered their deaths, meaningless just like the war they fought in.

They had managed to roust the rebels only to discover the rebel forces were just slightly grown boys playing at war, they hardly had any weaponry armed  with machetes, scythes and probably a misguided sense of liberation. The ranking officer in his outfit had ordered that they execute the treasonous troops. Execute was just fancy dressing the murder that was to follow. He had snapped and dragged his superior by the collar to reprimand him. It turns out the rebels were not quite as harmless as they seemed because while he was busy arguing with his superior, one of the captured lads detonated an explosive device, everything went blindingly white as everyone was flung like rag dolls and only two people walked away from that encounter.

They had been out of the blast zone by stupid blind luck. The first thing he did, ears still ringing from the percussive blast, was to punch the major square in the face, broke his nose too and that was why he was court-martialed  and discharged from the army, he never stopped blaming himself he should have seen it coming, he should have___

The bus stopped with a sudden lurch that scattered his thoughts.

There was the sound of breaking glass as a stone went through the windscreen narrowly missing the driver. The road ahead was blocked with stones and burning tyres, ropes of thick black smoke rising skywards and an unruly horde of protestors chanting revolutionary war songs.Riot police had tried to quell the mob, wielding their batons and throwing tear gas but this had only had the effect of poking the hornet’s nest and now they buzzed angrily throwing rocks at everything crazy enough to get close.

A revolution starts with the distinct flavour of tear gas and burning rubber.

The police had fled and at the head of this mob, stood a man poised with his foot on a police helmet, as would a conquering hero.

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He held a bottle, with a rag sticking out and the end bit of it was lit. He waved it at the bus shouting

“If you all don’t get out you will burn along with the bus”

The ex-military man was the first person out of the bus and walked straight to the ring leader.

“Hold it there son, let’s not get carried away, no one wants to burn anything or anyone.”

“I’ll start with you ol’ man” the lad growled as he tried to punch him but was easily grabbed and held in an arm lock.

“listen son, I could break every bone in your body twice, even your own mother would not recognize the mess they would have to scrap up from here as her son…  now what’s all this about?”

“Don’t you watch the news, man, today we shut down the country, a massive stay away, we have had enough of lying down, letting the government mess with us, we are showing the government, we lay down no more…”

“and how will burning this bus and stoning all these cars help are they the government?”

The lad remained quiet

“You do realise the riot police will come back in full force, you might be able to hold out but that only makes them more brutal it’s all they know. Violence is like a fire that once you start, burns leaving nothing but ashes… There are ways of getting your messages heard, so there is a strike today, fine can you let this bus turn around and all these people go home?”

“Sure Boss, that’s all we was saying.”

As he boarded back into the bus the passengers started clapping.

….meanwhile someone had been filming the whole encounter and within a few minutes the clip was viral and making breaking news.

When he got to his stop the driver thanked him again and again saying if the bus had been torched his life would have been over, jobs are such hard things to get.

Walking up to the gate of home, his daughter rushed to greet him

“Daddy,daddy I saw you TV they are saying you are a hero,but I knew that already.”

He scooped her up in his arms “silly daddy” She said“you are still wearing my pink hair scrunch.”

That’s when he remembered way earlier his daughter had asked if she could style his hair; so he had spent the day with a bright pink thing in his hair and was probably going viral on the net, some things have a flavour all of their own; he begun to laugh as he twirled his daughter in the air….

 

~B

#BlogBattle theme: flavour

Of The Silent Treatment

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Love

She was Stubborn,

He was Patient,

Or maybe he was Obstinate,

And she was Persistent;

Yet back to back they sat,

And neither said a word,

Only silence,

An invisible wall

Too flimsy to see

until with time it was an unbreakable barrier,

and the price of silence;

regret……©

~B

PS inspired by the image**

**The image is of a sculpture titled Love by Alexander Milov from Odessa, Ukraine exhibited at the Burning Man Festival.

“The outer and inner expression of human nature….. Their inner selves are executed in the form of transparent children, who are holding out their hands through the grating. As it’s getting dark (night falls) the children start to shine. This shining is a symbol of purity and sincerity that brings people together and gives a chance of making up when the dark time arrives.”

~Alexander Milov

Photo: credit Dust to ashes©

Of Coffee, Herbal Persuasion And Corruption

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 If you were having coffee with me it’s not coffee we would be drinking but an interesting cuppa of Zumbani tea, me thinks someone is beginning to like it…..

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Zumbani Tea Leaves

I recently got a fresh batch and am waiting for it to dry up then I shall grind it and presto we have herbal goodness. It tastes like the love child of mint, lemon, thyme and possibly ginger, dont even try to visualise how that happened….

My niece even made an awesome label for it.

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If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I got invited to a Food For Thought discussion about The Role Of Artists in Fighting Corruption hosted at the Public Affairs Section of  the US Embassy. The panelists were Dumisani Mthombeni an anti-corruption advocate, Peter Churu chairman of Arterial Network Zimbabwe and Chirikure Chirikure, a renowned poet.

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My first thought was that I am not an artist, artists are the sculptors, painters, musicians, actors of the world….. The more I thought about I realised I am an artist too, I sculpt, paint, and create but with words; A wordsmith. As Mr Chirikure put it Art is a calling.

The world is full of artists; art imitating life, life imitating art. Art is the mirror through which the society views itself, Art is not only the voice of the society but its conscience and custodian of morals.

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Corruption has reached unprecedented levels and it’s a beast; eating away at our moral fiber; a beast that devours the future for the comforts of the present. Corruption is fueled by the levels of desperation in the society. How can people not get desperate when the government is having trouble paying civil servants and instead would offer a $100 advance; yet you find individuals being awarded government tenders making hyper-inflated profits and government officials driving the latest luxury vehicles.

Zimbabwe rates at number 155 out of 189 on the Ease of Doing Business ranks, taking about 90 days of procedures to get a legitimately operated business licensed and running. People end up either  “palm greasing”  or buying literally a briefcase company.  We have an unemployment level speculated to be 90%  and almost everyone is a dealer, a hustler, an entrepreneur (read as tenderpreneur) dabbling in a side enterprise to just to get our daily bread. There is generation of graduates who have never worked and it’s normal to hear someone making a comment that being A Zimbabwean should be written on your CV as work experience.

Corruption has become the norm and the thing about corruption is it feeds on silence.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

One of the panelist  made the following  quote “I fear more a corrupt society more than AIDS or Cancer because a corrupt society does not allow anyone to legally rise.

How diplomatic can you be when the house is on fire?

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you have any ideas about how to fight corruption, do share.

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Against Corruption Together

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the protest play I  reviewed here Missing Diamonds: I want my share was recently showing in Norway at the Bergen Afro Arts Festival, a one man play about someone asking what happened to the 15 billion dollars our government says it “lost.” and the actor Silvanos Mudzvova is rehearsing for a new play coming out soon.

If you were having coffee with me I would say “It’s the  eve of the 4th of July…… Happy fourth of July and have an awesome week ahead thanks for dropping by ^_^”

~B