Of The Mistress Chronicles

Sometimes people scroll past my Twitter timeline and get *mused* by the barely formed story plot ideas I have just floating around on the twitterverse, most times they hardly tell me about it, a rare few do though and an even rarer number still, not only do but also allow me to feature the resultant product on my blog.

Melody read this tweet and was inspired to start writing a guest feature series:

 The Mistress Chronicles by Melody Chingwaru

Prologue

As the bible says man that is born of  a woman is of few days, beloved let us remember that our days are numbered and we should cherish the memories we had with our loved one” the pastor’s voice echoed in my ears. Was he gone for real?

Tears glisten in my eyes as I watch his casket lay on the lowering rails and I feel my heart sink. I will never see his smile, the warmth of his arms and how his voice creaked whenever he called me. My baby, my love, my…. ! I hope Mazvita will allow me to throw some flowers into his grave when the casket is lowered.

The pastor’s voice interrupts my thoughts_

It is now time to say your final goodbyes, may all family members collect some soil from the shovels and as soon as the casket is lowered into the ground please feel free to come over” he says

I watch as his casket is lowered into the ground and his daughters form a line to bid their dad farewell. I glance around in search of Mazvita; I need to know where she is first before I can attempt to do the unthinkable. I dart my eyes to the chairs and our eyes meet, her eyes convey that  pity look. I hold my gaze as a way to seek her approval to advance towards the grave.  Her eyes convey nothing as response but that does not deter me as I soon find my way to the grave to throw my roses.

I hurriedly move through the crowd to the grave and I throw my roses. I mutter a few words silently, “Till we meet again, rest in peace Mhofu”. I did it, I know it sounds so little of a gesture but you will soon understand why! You see life does not prepare you for days like this and in as much as I have read many self help books, I was not ready for this.

 

 

…………………….

This is a series so do stay tuned.

Melody can be found on twitter melching91

Melody Chingwaru Book review Gold Diggers

 

 

 

 

 

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Of Coffee, Democracy, Voting and Elections

Of Coffee, Democracy, Voting and Election Results.

voting

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you it’s been a nail-biting roller-coaster of a week, waiting for the results of the harmonized election results held on Monday the 30th of July to be announced.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you not be alarmed, I am safe and sound, and have had to answer the “Are you safe question?” to several people via phone calls, messages, emails, and DMs but to be honest the past couple of days have been hair-raising. You might have seen Zimbabwe, headlining the news, when the army clamped down on opposition party protesters in the city capital, demanding immediate release of unadultered election results by the electoral commission claiming the commission was delaying so it could “massage” the figures.

MDC Protest

The protest turned violent as protesters destroyed property; looting shops, setting fire to vehicles belonging to the ruling party and the military resorted with deadly force. Firing live ammunition into crowds leaving scores of people injured and several fatalities.

Military

If you were having coffee with me, this is the part you would ask me if you heard me correct that military personnel in a nation not at war opened fired on its civilian population. It’s hard to reconcile this image with how the military, just seven months earlier, in November had been on the side of the masses, in a historic seemingly bloodless coup resulting in Robert Mugabe resigning without a single bullet being fired in public.

Zim Coup

when The Army sided with the people

The official statement is that the protesters “overwhelmed the police who were spread thin due to them being stationed throughout the country to safeguard the polls and so the army was deployed.” This might be true but not entirely because on the fateful Wednesday I also happened to be in Harare CBD, and no I was not protesting, I was not even aware of the protests, maybe I should have checked my social media first, it might be full of misleading information but it’s one of the most reliable ways to find out if its safe to venture outside your neighbourhood and into the city.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you, to imagine you were me, in the city’s central business district, not protesting minding your own business when suddenly: chaos and confusion as people run past you screaming and you don’t need anyone to tell you twice, you also run. Assimilating as you go along; the noxious tear gas fumes assaulting your nostrils, the distinctive sound of gun fire, even though you have never heard a gunshot in your life and you sometimes mistake the sounds of a car backfiring to gunshots when you hear an assault rifle being fired you can’t mistake for anything else…….

A lot of finger pointing is underway, from the opposition party leaders for inciting violence to the party supporters heading mindless calls to action; from the army over-reacting to the protestors being ungovernable and the truth, well the truth is an offspring of mistruth, half-truths meeting whispered conspiracies breeding in a silence where no good thing can flourish.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the final presidential election results were announced after midnight on the 3rd of August with President elect Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling party ZANU PF winning 50.8% of the vote and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance opposition taking 44% of the polls and the remaining 5.2% split amongst the other 20 presidential candidates.

Walking in the streets of the capital city it’s hard to imagine something as monumental as presidential elections happened, no one is rejoicing, and everyone seems to be grieving, not only for the unfortunate souls, not only from the funerals of those who died on the Wednesday, not just faceless civilians, but people who had loved ones,

and also for the death of hope that had been birthed, still born, that this time around, maybe this time, things would be different……..

If you were having coffee with me I would mention these interesting quotes that I heard:

“its not the voting that counts, but the counting of votes…”

The force of will surpasses the force of will

Well if the polls are to be believed, then we live in a divided nation, where 49.2% of the population did not vote for the president elect, where there are more rural than urban voters in a tale of two voter pools, living with what seem to be completely different concerns and ideals and a diasporian population without a right to vote from their adoptive countries; and where a lot of work needs to be done to unite the population allow room to tolerate divergent views

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you think democracy is a façade or that democracy is unAfrican? I heard some analysts on TV say that it’s a system that is counter to Africa’s Principle of Ubuntu I am because We Are, serving no one but interests of our colonial overlords in their quest to maintain control of Africa’s resources and controlling its finances.

diversity

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I wish I could go to be bed and wake up later, much later, like in maybe five years, because in five years I will be old enough to also be a presidential candidate, if I was president I am sure the world be a better place…… well for me anyway it would be better.

~B

I have just answered a phone call from my mother for the umpteenth who calls every few hours to check if I am still alive and still ok, I should visit her soon and put her fears to rest, she worries so much I start worrying about her too………

Of Waiting For The Election Results

Disclaimer: I am not a political analyst and these are simply my thoughts, Thought is Free

Interrupting my regular blog routine to bring my thoughts on the elections in progress. Usually I do not write on articles of a political nature main reason being Self-Censure. Commenting publically on all things politics has always been high risk event which could result in your untimely departure from life as you know it, sometimes permanently. There has been a serious muzzle on freedom of expression until fairly recently with the ousting of our former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe in the coup that was not a coup, that could have been a coup, you can read my take on it HERE in the Coup That Went To Private School. 

From the time since then, if there’s any change I have noticed its having the basic freedom to say things which have been too afraid to say, you would think its a basic right given freely, you would be wrong, even now, I still keep a wary look on my words making sure I dot my I;s and cross my T;s and step lightly on people’s toes…….

We have just crossed the finish line in the final lap of the race for the polls, historic elections as highly anticipated as the former British colony’s 1980 Independence, and now we wait for the winner to be announced

1980 indepence

Yesterday 30 July was voting day, polls closed at 7pm CAT and now we wait for the electoral commission to announce the Official Results after results have been submitted from various polling stations across the country.

official results

The Electoral Act prevents false/unofficial declaration of the results, makes sense as they try to eliminate fake news but some speculate this is to allow leg room to manipulate the election results as it can take up to five days to get the comprehensive results.

If you were to follow popular sentiment on the street and on social media then this might be the year the ruling party loses, if there’s one thing I have learnt its that popular sentiment does not win elections, the voting numbers do and from previous elections the ruling party has always won, Robert Mugabe may no longer be at its helm (and he declared he would not be voting for it either) but the party he founded is still in power 38 years later…..

What happens now? Now we wait anxiously for ZEC (the electoral commission) to do its thing, although the results for each polling station are displayed outside the polling stations after counting the votes and citizens can take photos and share results from the various centers, but they are unofficial until verified and announced on official channels…..

While I am waiting for the results I can see how this process would take a very long time, the system could easily be sped up by embracing technology, such as the results from polling stations being updated to a secure central server or a database, easily available for transparency and could be done a simple via text …..

Little things like this is why governments need to engage the youth, fresh minds, fresh ideas embracing the power of new tech and not simply finding ways to control or regulate……..

Now we wait…..

Africa Dawn

~B

Of Voting Wisely: The ZimElections 2018

 

zim decides

In a few hours Zimbabwe will be having its historic harmonized presidential elections. Historic because they are elections without Robert Mugabe at the helm, historic at the level of peace and tolerance (not counting the bomb incident) for divergent views considering the history from past elections where citizens where openly intimidated and when talking anything remotely political was practically taboo, if a random speaker asked for your opinion you just shrugged it off non-commitally because having an opinion was hazardous to your well-being.

On my evening commute from the city in a public taxi, after everyone had paid for their fares, the conductor surprised the passengers by donning a graduation cap and declaring that he was University Graduate and yet here he was working as a Sliding Door Operator, opening and closing doors for passengers just like us, who just like him have dreams too, but working as a “hwindi” (the colloquial name for the minibus conductors and touts who try to get passengers to board their taxis; said to be derived from the sound the minivan door makes as it rolls on its railings and slides shut….. hwiiiiiiiii Ndiii) was never his dream, nor a job opportunity he would never pursue willingly.

He chronicled how he left for work at four in the morning and the earliest he got home was half-past ten in the evening; how he wasn’t even sure if his wife was beautiful or not since he only saw her at night. He is a stranger to his children, they cry when he tries to play with them; never play with strangers they were taught well; he leaves home before they wake up and returns long after they have gone to bed.

Even on the few off days he does get, they just stare at each awkwardly and his wife will be away, working. She is a qualified teacher but runs a tiny flea market right next to the cash dealers, the ones who hold thick wads of cash and sell money at a premium,

and sometimes she comes home with groceries and crisp new notes in a country where cash is a scares commodity, he worries that maybe she sells more than just pirated DVDs and secondhand clothes but he never asks, she isn’t really his wife, he cant afford a wedding, she is just someone with whom shares living expenses with and oh yeah they have children together.

At some point he asked the passengers to show by show of hands if they had family who had left for distant lands in the diaspora whom when they said goodbye at the airport  said that they would be gone only for a little while, its been years and now you wonder the only time they are coming home is in a coffin (that is if you can pay for the international body repatriation fees) Everyone raised a hand, me included, the family structure has gaping holes left by those who sought economic asylum in the better world and sometimes as I rub the dust of my passport the only thing that keeps me here is that I can’t a plane ticket to greener pastures and not out of love for country…..

You could tell as he spoke this colourful account of his life that he was somewhat intoxicated, even he admitted that he had imbibed some cheap strong spirit alcohol known as “Musombodhiya” the only kind he can afford to drown his woes but the fact that he was drunk should not diminish the gospel he was preaching all he was saying was “Please Vote Wisely on Monday

Someone asked the conductor whom he meant when we should vote for when he said vote wisely he laughed and replied “Isnt it obvious? The are three schools of voters those for whom the current regime has been good to, puppets of the regime those who cant think for themselves and those who want change, if you are in this taxi and not in a car of your own you need  change in your life…Vote Wisely

Vote Wisely wise ……. Who am I voting for? Ha! Isn’t that obvious, my preferred candidate talks a good talk but even though he talks such a good talk not enough people are listening, and this is all a numbers game, and out of 23 candidates.

I would vote for anyone who is willing to give him a chance in their next government because man mad great points well the the future is about to begin, dare we relive history…..

As I got to my stop and was getting off, the conductor concluded by asking if anyone had seen the eclipse, it was an omen, the end of an era, “ane nzeve anzwa tosangana paVotelet him ears listen: Vote Wisely

~B

 

 

 

 

Of Coffee, Mars and Sunsets On A Blood Moon

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I love the moon….. there I said it. *From one moon lover to another.*

Moon howling

 

So obviously a liquid lake would have to be found beneath the surface of Mars before I missed writing about the longest lunar event of the century, wait, they did find liquid water on Mars and I almost missed writing about the total lunar eclipse. In case you didn’t know some researchers have discovered what is believed to be a lake of liquid  water under Mars’s south polar ice cap about 12miles (20km) across and estimated to have a depth of about one meter.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you the lake was discovered using some sciencey radar instruments, its not an exact science but its still science isn’t that ironic, but they are almost sure the readings from their instruments indicate the presence of liquid water. If you are wondering what all the excitement is about, well if they found water on some part of Mars then there’s probably water elsewhere beneath Mars’s surface and if there’s water then that would be like  the X on treasure map indicating where life beyond planet earth would be most likely alone.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you think we are alone in the universe? If you never wondered if  maybe lightning is really from the camera flashes of highly evolved extra terrestrial species taking photos of us……….

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you went outside on Friday night to witness the longest blood moon of the century, with moon passing right through the center of the Earth’s shadow which where it is the widest. And of course Mars just had to be there, the brightest star next to the moon, you couldn’t miss it.

Blood moon

Mars

In the Shona language we say “mwedzi waora” meaning the moon has gone rotten; due to its reddish colour,; which is also why its called the blood moon. The moon goes red because it is in the Earth’s shadow…..

Lunar eclipse

something like this

Here’s a fun fact: The Earth’s shadow is black, if it were black the moon would simply vanish from the night sky. The Earth’s shadow is reddish because of The Scattering Effect of light, the same reason the sky is blue, the midday sun looks yellowish-orange and why sunsets and sunrises are reddish/orangeish. You could think of it like this: During an eclipse the moon will be reflecting light from all the sunrises and sunsets happening as the Earth spins away on its axis day turning into night.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that if it weren’t for the scattering effect of white light from the sun by the Earth’s atmosphere, then the sky would look black and the sun would be white in colour….. how about that ^_^

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that in less than a day my country goes to the polls to vote for the next president and government ….. It feels like the whole country has just taken a deep breath and is now holding its collective breath; dare we dream?

~B

 

Of Coffee with Cat

If you were having coffee with me, I would first apologise that I could not get up to greet you properly, its the cat you see, its sitting on my lap and has decided I must never stand again, not until our chapter is complete…………

A cat

Like a thief of time,

the sleeping cat,

that never moved,

watched you, watching it, watching you…………

You can help yourself to the beverage of your choosing as long as its herbal tea or plain water hot or cold but I wouldn’t recommend the ice cold water, its still winter this side of the hemisphere, oh I hope you dont take a lot of sugar and you like it black because its that time of month when everything runs out,…. waiting for a month end windfall and praying we don’t get unexpected visitors, because what would we even feed them except tea and conversation.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have recently discovered I am a cat person, who knew? A stray cat recently adopted me as its new co-owner and it’s worming its way into my yard and life; coming and going as it pleases and disappearing over the fence with a feline grace……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the cat is an awesome edition to the family as you may or may not know had a recurring problem with rats, you can read about my misadventures with Mista Whiskas and Speedy Gonzales HERE – The Thing in the ceiling. Well thanks to this feline visitor, havent a seen a single uninvited visitor of the rodent genus.

Quick question: are cats carnivorous?????

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you which kind of person are you are, because the are four kinds of people:

  • cat people
  • dog people
  • non-pet keepers
  • and those who simply don’t know cause never kept either…..
If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if saw/read the Obama lecture at what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday had he been still alive, my last post HERE – Nelson Mandela Lecture is my overview on the presentation. Not taking away from the late Nelson Mandela but sometimes I feel he is being made into a brand much larger than life and commercialized  for self-serving purposes.
Nelson Mandela
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that we have just about a week till we have Zimbabwe’s historic presidential and parliamentary elections on the 30th of July wish us the best of luck…………
~B
PS at what stage do you have “the talk” with your cat when you tell it, its a pet and not quite human but its a non-human person??????
Have an awesome week 
cheers

Of Barack Obama’s Nelson Mandela Lecture: An Overview

On Tuesday the 17th of July 2018 former president Barack Obama delivered a lecture on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late statesman Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa.

Barack Obama Nelson Mandela Lecture

Nelson Mandela is an African Icon and a global symbol of such epic proportions that I am sure even he would be hard pressed to walk in the shoes the world but we should try to find the Nelson Mandela inside of us

Barack Obama meets nelson mandela

Madiba’s light shone so brightly, even from that narrow Robben Island cell, that he could inspire a young college student on the other side of the world to make me consider the small role I might play in bending the arc of the world towards justice.

Don’t try to be a great man. Just be a man and let history make its on judgments

Zefram Cochrane – Star Trek First Contact

In a lecture to celebrate the birth and life of one of history’s giants, President Obama touched on three distinct facets of the last 100 years of history:

  • Where we have been
  • How we arrived here
  • And the way forward

Where we have been:

And such a view of the world – that certain races, certain nations, certain groups were inherently superior, and that violence and coercion is the primary basis for governance, that the strong necessarily exploit the weak, that wealth is determined primarily by conquest – that view of the world was hardly confined to relations between Europe and Africa, or relations between whites and blacks.Whites were happy to exploit other whites when they could. And by the way, blacks were often willing to exploit other blacks. And around the globe, the majority of people lived at subsistence levels, without a say in the politics or economic forces that determined their lives.Women were almost uniformly subordinate to men. Privilege and status was rigidly bound by caste and color and ethnicity and religion. And even in my own country, even in democracies like the United States, founded on a declaration that all men are created equal, racial segregation and systemic discrimination was the law in almost half the country and the norm throughout the rest of the country.

That was the world just 100 years ago.

How we arrived here:

A second World War, even more terrible than the first, along with a cascade of liberation movements from Africa to Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, would finally bring an end to colonial rule.

A new age began founded on principles of democracy, rule of law, civil rights where the marginalised could re-imagine themselves in a world of freedom equal rights and democracy…..

But it hasnt all been sunshine roses and progress. Globalization and technology though growing economies have greatly reduced the demand for workers and by extension influence of labour movements resulting in economic inequality “a few individuals control the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of humanity”

The politics of fear and resentment is now the order of the day, as those in power corrupted by unaccountability and greed seek to maintain their influence and wealth at the expense of basic rights of everyone else through lies and coercion.

“Who needs free speech as long as the economy is fine”

No individual – not Mandela, not Obama – are entirely immune to the corrupting influences of absolute power if you can do whatever you want and everyone’s too afraid to tell you when you’re making a mistake. No one is immune from the dangers of that.

“In other words, for far too many people, the more things have changed, the more things stayed the same”

The way forward

So on Madiba’s 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads – a moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be. How should we respond?

Barack obama Nelson Mandela lecture

 

The president’s lecture has been said to be a rebuke to particular individuals but without mentioning any names and some have felt targeted by the speech but I kept thinking of a quote from one the books on Obama’s Summer reading list

An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned

Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

It basically means that someone who has a problem with something cannot easily laugh it off or take it lightly; hence, old women (who typically have dry bones) feel uneasy when dry bones are mentioned.

“We’re going to have to learn from the mistakes of the recent past.”

Basically democracy is more than just elections we need to work harder to achieve equality; to strive to embrace people with views divergent from ours and the power is in the hands of the youth to remake the world

Barack obama

President Obama’s closing remarks are the kind which 100 years from now we will look back upon and say this is when history was made:

Madiba reminds us that: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” Love comes more naturally to the human heart, let’s remember that truth. Let’s see it as our North Star, let’s be joyful in our struggle to make that truth manifest here on earth so that in 100 years from now, future generations will look back and say, “they kept the march going, that’s why we live under new banners of freedom.

“Its a long walk to freedom.”

 

~B

Did you see the speech what are your thoughts?

You can read the full transcript of the speech here: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT THE 2018 NELSON MANDELA ANNUAL LECTURE 

Images courtesy The Obama Foundation

Of The Gold Diggers: A book Review

Guest Post: A Book ReviewThe gold diggers Sue Nyathi

Gold Diggers 

We all know our final destination but we have no idea what will cross our path as we journey” is testament to the latest instalment from the Bulawayo born writer Sue Nyathi. Titled “Gold  Diggers”, one would mistake the title and its cover for a novel about women and men who dig  for the finer things in life. However once you open the book you learn that it is about several Zimbabweans from different walks of life who embark on a journey to the “City of Gold”.

The Gold Diggers a novel by sue nyathi

Set in Johannesburg, the writer journals the various experiences of fellow Zimbabweans who sought for a better life in Johannesburg during the 2008 economic demise.  For most of the characters in the book, hope and the itch to realise their dreams propels them to  pave their way in the  city and they soon discover that there is more to the city than its beautiful skyscrapers.

The writer explores the question that often hangs in the air. “What does one need to endure in order to thrive in an unknown land?” This question opens a Pandora box of themes namely sex work, human trafficking, family disintegration, xenophobia, illegal border jumping and resilience. Through these themes, this book allows you to see the faces behind the headlines, the spirits and souls behind the stories; the reader learns that the victim of xenophobia has a name, the illegal border jumper is that unemployed graduate who wants a better life and yes even your own kin can turn their back on you when desperate.

In this book the writer removes the blinders and allows the reader to see the struggles of being an immigrant in a foreign land; the good, the bad and the nasty and to acknowledge its effects on the family that’s left behind,…..”For those left behind ,bonds withered and the only connection they had with loved ones was the foodstuffs and letters brought by the malaitshas” (sp)

As I reached the ending I realised the “gold” is subjective to each being, it is there but the journey to the pot is a trial in itself and that we need to be a bit kinder to each other its the least we can do with what we face.

A simple fast-paced read which begs the reader to realise that no matter where you are and who you are, fate awaits but before then a journey ought to be taken to meet fate.

 

 

Guest Book Review by Melody Chingwaru

Melody Chingwaru Book review Gold Diggers

Bio:

Melody Chingwaru is a book lover, avid reader, soapie fanatic and the editor of Untitled263 . She tutors French and Portuguese.

You can find her on twitter: @melching91

 

 

 

 

Of Obama’s Summer Reading list and The Obama Leaders Africa

Former US President Barack Obama is in Africa for the first time since he left office; he draws great inspiration from Africa’s literary traditions and shared with me his recommended summer reading list (technically he didn’t share with me but the Obama Foundation passed it along to me as an interested party in the  Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program.)

Obama summer reading list

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A chronicle of the events leading up to Kenya’s independence, and a compelling story of how the transformative events of history weigh on individual lives and relationships.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s life was one of the epic stories of the 20th century. This definitive memoir traces the arc of his life from a small village, to his years as a revolutionary, to his long imprisonment, and ultimately his ascension to unifying President, leader, and global icon. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From one of the world’s great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

The Return by Hisham Matar
A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons.

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
It’s true, Ben does not have African blood running through his veins. But few others so closely see the world through my eyes like he can. Ben’s one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign. His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.

**And I pleased to say I have read 4 out of the 6 books

President Obama will also address 200 emerging leaders who are in the Obama Foundation’s inaugural class of The Leaders: Africa program. A program to train and mentor the next generation of Africa’s leaders and exploring new ways to take on the biggest challenges in their communities.

You can find updates on this program on their website Obama.org or follow the hashtag #ObamaLeaders on social media

On Tuesday, July 17th, President Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. He’ll talk about how we can create the conditions to bridge divides, make change across ideological lines, and work together to resist oppression and inequality. The following day, July 18th, marks Mandela Day—the 100th anniversary of the South African leader’s birth—and people around the world will be honoring him by making a commitment to help make the world a better place.

 

 

Photo Credit: Whats Obama reading this summer(Olivier Douliery-Pool )

Of Coffee, Friday the 13th and Scary things

If you were having coffee with me I would greet you with a fun fact. Did you know that if the first day of the month falls on a Sunday then the 13th day would be a Friday…. Friday the 13th *cues somewhat slightly ominous music*

friday the 13th

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what the scariest movie (and or book ) you have seen (and or read). I used to be a sensitive viewer/reader I guess because of the crazy creative runaway imagination. Growing up, when watching a movie, I would check the age restrictions and those viewer discretion warnings that came at the beginning of movies for anything that would offend my delicate sensibilities, and I grew very adept at identifying the soundtrack music that signified something bad was about to happen.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about this one time when I watched a Friday the 13th horror show about Jack The Ripper and I couldnt sleep properly for days upon days. I imagined decapitated heads in bed with me and headless corpses somewhere trying to find their way to me like I was some headless ghost whisperer…… *goosebumps* Now I am all grown up I am not so afraid as I used to be and I guess I am catching up on all the macabre morbidities I shied away from as a child, reading all of Stephen King and Dean Koontz; watching Insidious, Conjuring, Drag me to hell and a host of other horror flicks and I laugh and laugh and laugh

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you if there is anything I ask myself at the end of every horror movie its that “How do they explain all this to the police?”

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I have been having a no good absolutely horrible week, first my laptop decided to grow legs in the middle of the night and find a new home without so much as a goodbye taking with it all my unpublished drafts and oh so many other things and then my external hard drive with the back ups decided this would be a marvelous time to corrupt all the data contained within it *cries in unsaved words from the book I have pretending to write for the whole year*

And what did the police say: “fill in this here form and we will get back to you” and that was that, and that’s that…….

Wish me luck so I can win the lottery or some windfall to buy myself a replacement laptop cause life without one kinda sucks I cant write half less than half the times I wish could *sigh*

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that it looks like a stray cat which I sometimes feed leftovers has adopted me as its new owner, and it even tried to cheer me up, it brought me a live free range chicken and laid it at my feet like a gift, I don’t know where it got it from I wont even ask besides it can’t answer but looks like I have a pet chicken until I get hungry that is……

Did you know cats only meow at people and not at other cats???? look it up 

Have an awesome week ahead cheers

~B

 

PS do not play footsie with a cat, it might seem like a good idea, but those claws are super sharp. Cats are predators, I wouldn’t be surprised if the horror movies got it wrong, vampires don’t turn into bats, they turn into cats!!!!!!!!!