Of Blogging Every Day

 

For the past month I have been part of a team of bloggers who pledged to blog every day for the month of September.

One of the objectives of this challenge was simply to see whether it could be done or not, in the way some one climbs to the top of the highest mountain and then when you get to the top you find another mountain to climb.

standing top of mountain clip art

You look like ants from up here

The main objective was to give voice to the African narrative to share posts that help put in to perspective the reality that is my world and if we have enough people telling it, Africa’s voice will be heard this is My Africa and these are my Words

MyAfricaMyWords

#MyAfricaMyWords

It’s not easy, to write everyday but it’s not impossible, life will intrude, it always does but you can either make time or you can make excuses.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from this blog everyday challenge is that my creativity is boundless, as the sea the more I write, the more I have, it is infinite (Did I low key quote Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, perhaps creativity is like being in love).

I have always had a fear that I am like a precious bottle of creativity and I must pour out each drop carefully, sparingly, the way a miser begrudgingly hands out each coin as if it’s the last; I felt it paid to hoard, lest I find my supply diminished and my precious creativity depleted.

………….Now I will pour and pour and pour…….

When you write every day, it forces you to think about writing, every day. You pay more attention to conversations around you, a sentence you read in a book, a quote from a movie or TV series, a leaf falling softly, to the soft brown earth, everything is a story waiting to be told; no one listens more to your story than the person who will write it down and no one reads it more than one about to write their own. The symmetry of the reader and the writer, one can be a reader and never a writer but a writer must be a reader.

I have interacted with interesting bloggers taking part in this challenge and seeing how they write has helped me to define my voice, to write as the stories should be told, to write as the story teller I am.

Goodbye September and Welcome October

~B

Day 30 of my blog every day challenge

Here is quick way twitter moment of my past posts.

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Of 15 and Not Out

Today is day 15 of the blog everyday challenge…….

Confession its not a walk in the park but if it was it would not be called a challenge now would it? So a friend asked me how its been going, I quoted a line from a John Legend song:

My head is under water and I am breathing fine

Hmmm I am thinking unless he is aqua-man or a mer-person there is no way he could be breathing water and be just fine…. Granted you could hold your breath for a long time but breathing under water??? John legend be selling dreams….

Why did I join this challenge?

>because I could

>because I wanted to prove it could be done

>because I was curious to see who else would attempt it because it saw an opportunity and I took it

>because when you want to read something you have write it yourself

>how do I encourage people to be consistent in their blogging if I can’t do what needs doing? I am part of a blogging community where one of the most asked questions is how do I stay consistent and I am that tough love friend who tells you that if you want to, you will otherwise you will find excuses.

Life gets in the way, it always does… if you wait for that perfect moment to write, you might wait for a very long time……….

This post is hastily typed up post as Friday evening is calling…… WHATS a Friday but a reason to celebrate that you have survived blogging for 15 days in row

Friday cheers

Cheers to the weekend

~B

PS have an awesome weekend and be good

 

 

 

Of 5 Things About Zimbabwe

Five things i wish you knew about Zimbabwe:

Things I wish you knew about Zimbabwe

  1. It is not a jungle.

Believe it or not I have been asked several times, if I see wild animals when I look outside the window.

If you want to see to see wildlife, you go to the a national park, you wont be disappointed. Once upon a time someone even asked me how I was on the internet….. Zimbabwe is a developing country, yes it has some areas more developed than others but we are not in the dark ages. I cringe when I watch a movie and they reference it as a some place it really not; we don’t live in trees and yes we have internet.

Trees in Africa unity Square Harare

Africa Unity Square trees

  1. Our hearts are warm as the tea brewed from our heart-shaped country
A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

The economy might be free falling, cash is in short supply and you will wait for a long time at the bank to get the daily minimum, but amidst all the trials our hearts are in the right place on the left side like they should be. We are a nation of kind, tolerant and peace-loving people, with a humorous nature we laugh at the lemons life throws. The capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare is known as the Sunshine City.

harare sunshine city

Sunshine City

 

the Jacaranda trees in bloom Harare

The Jacaranda Trees in bloom

 

  1. We are not our president nor our first lady.

Don’t judge us by the actions of our president, and we are not our president’s keeper too. Please don’t ask me when we are going to vote him out or why we still keep him in power. If you have questions for him,  you can ask him yourself.

  1. We are a nation of educated people

Don’t be fooled by the jobs we are willing to do to put bread on the table, you would be quite shocked to find that the person who hands you a flyer advertising something at the traffic lights is a university  graduate.

amber

At some point our country we might have the highest literacy rate in Africa, last time i checked according to UNESCO we were just shy of making it in to the top ten list.

Also don’t ask me how for a nation of such educated beings we managed to let our country get into a such state……

  1. The Victoria Falls is in Zimbabwe.

Victoria falls mosi oa tunya

Well my Zambian friends might have some say in that….. but hey the Victoria Falls boarders Zimbabwe and Zambia so its both there and here.

The Victoria falls is a breath-taking site, locals call it Mosi oa Tunya , meaning The Smoke that Thunders…..  its the largest body of falling water by volume and something one just has to see fro themselves even attempt to bungee jump or dare the Devil’s Pool.

~B

 

Visit Zimbabwe some time I promise you wont regret it maybe we might even hang out and have a real cup of coffee together……

 

 

photo Credit Victoria Falls

City of Harare photos view from Africa Unity Square courtesy of Tendai

Of Tomorrow: A Place A day Away

Tomorrow comes, when tomorrow comes……

tomorrow loading button

I dream of tomorrow a place better than today and then I wake up tomorrow is today, tomorrow never comes……

The future is filled with tomorrows that become today, a day at a time.

Life is a poetry of possibilities,

Fused with expectations and uncertainties.

Tomorrow comes. And how often can a man say that? “Every night, because tomorrow always comes everyday, after every night”

I live in a world where planning ahead is hard. Our economy is burning, hard cash in hand is worth more than money in the bank, and everybody is running a hustle. In 2008 a bank apocalypse happened; savings and pensions eroded in value to nothing; overnight, and everyday feels like a day away from the same thing happening all over again…..

Tomorrow comes when tomorrow comes.

Tomorrow never waits.

By the time my parents were my age,

they had:

three children,

 two cars,

 one house

and a dog named Bingo…..

I loved that dog, a German Shepard big and mean looking but gentle as kitten, unless it felt we were threatened, strangers, suspicious characters, the odd postman. Today I cant afford to keep a pet, I cannot even afford to feed myself three square meals plus snacks, the kind of diets we had growing up.

My parents had this life thing on track, they had life policies, invested in shares and those pension plans which pay out a windfall 25+ odd years later. The economy crashed and all that turned to a little less than pocket change.

Today I found a dividend cheque in the mail, it should have been paying my mum a neat little windfall back in the original economy…. but today it pays out USD$1.40

Dividend.jpg

Cheque.jpg

And I ask myself where do I even begin to plan for my retirement, one day I would like to do something really nice for my mum, like by her car to replace the one I know she sold to send us all to school but never told us about… maybe tomorrow I will.

Next year we have elections… the ruling party candidate is the current president, he has been president all my life, he turns 93 in February. Zimbabwe will decide and it seems everything awaits that; what comes after…? Politics in Africa is a messy affair.

And still I dream of tomorrow, a place not like today, or yesterday… a place where things are better…

~B

Day 5 of my blog everyday challenge

 

Of September Blog Everyday Challenge

Hello September

Today marks the anniversary of my first blog post, a dedication to my sister moonI deleted that particular post; but it’s been four years since I created this WordPress blog.

Today is also Day One of my blog everyday challenge(s) during the month of September.

My name is Beaton but you can call me ~B.. everyone does.

beaton

My blog is titled Becoming The Muse; but to be honest the meaning of that changes everyday; there is no one truth. Yesterday I wanted you to be my muse, today I want you to be mused by me, and tomorrow maybe you shall muse yourse…… in musing you, I (a)muse myself…..

I hail from a teapot shaped country south of the continent of Africa; Zimbabwe.

A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

NOTE: The map is drawn not to scale, superimposed Zimbabwe to its relative position to bring out the shape

It’s the first day of spring today but we basically have two seasons, summer and winter, and it doesn’t snow, not ever. I wouldn’t be surprised that our winters are warmer than some people’s summer. Basically our seasons are hot dry season, hot wet season, cold wet season, cold dry season…. Repeat.

My blog has shifted a lot from when I first started, when it was basically a digital diary of all the stories I wanted to eventually tell and I posted at a frequency of once a very long time *hides*

Dear diary

Now my blog has become a place; alive all by its self, a place I make friends and learn and teach a thing or two… who would have thought it?

I have had a blog for years now and still I confess I never think of myself as a blogger; I am a writer who happens to  have a blog:

 

If I am somewhere and they say we need a blogger here, the way they say *somebody call a doctor* in the movies….. 

I would be looking around as well, looking for the blogger being called for……. 

And here I am, a part of not just one blogging challenge but two …. #BlogTemberChallenge and #30DayAfriBlogger both are aligned with sharing the African Narrative…

Its official; September is Africa month at least on this blog it will be….

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

PS I am curious if you could let me know where you are, its weird how you never really think about where the person on the other side of the screen is and sometimes you assume, even wrongly too ^_^

Of Feeling The Earth Move

I felt the Earth move beneath the soles of my feet, a tremor deep from the bowels of the planet’s core.

I was sitting on the sofa watching TV and tweeting about it….  and then I noticed that it was just that I could feel The Earth beneath my feet but the sofa was vibrating ever so slightly like it was a massage chair and the windows were rattling like a freight train was passing through my backyard…. There is no railway line in our backyard, so it could only mean one thing…. a derailed freight train was being all unstoppable outside the house…. I got up and peered casually outside the window half expecting to hear the shrill blast of a train’s horn or see the headlights coming straight at me and I could look like a startled deer watching a flame come to burn it, wait that’s a moth, but see a moth would have flown to the flame, the flame would have come for me…..I guess my imagination is just like runaway train of thought….

The internet is such a handy tool, instead going crazy trying to figure out if I had gone crazy a few clicks later I knew what happened…..

Turns out it was an earthquake:

Africa

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake with an epicentre in central Botswana occurred at 1940hrs CAT, and the tremors were felt in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

I haven’t heard of any causalities so I presume people only got a little shaken up nothing serious…

Its amazing isn’t our ability to laugh at  the things that frighten, our on way of assuring ourselves that, that wasn’t so bad give me another challenge… see fear cant abide humour, were it not for laughter sometimes fear  would never leave, that’s because fear usually arrives late, inevitably leaves early, and ends up never going out at all.

So when you wake up in the morning and find people joking about earthquakes all over social media maybe they are not just being funny, they are saying hey lets laugh because we are not afraid… at least lets pretend we didn’t for a second think the world was going to end, aint no body got time to live their lives like that….

I felt the Earth move beneath my feet and I laughed, did you feel it too…..?

~B

PS If you didn’t feel anything and you are wondering if it was real, the internet says it was real so it was real

 

Of Celebrating Africa With Afrobloggers #WeekendCoffeeShare

Afrobloggers AwardAvuxesheni avuxeni (hello hello) If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I was #GuestBlogger for @Afrobloggers and they nominated me for Afrobloggers Recognition Award. This is an award to showcase African Bloggers. They believe Africa is rich with African creativity and they offer a platform to share such work.
If we were having coffee we would be celebrating Africa with Afrobloggers.
If we were having coffee, it would take a bit longer for the water to boil as the electricity is out (load-shedding) so can’t use the kettle. We would have to wait for the water to boil on the gas stove. They say a watched pot never boils so while we wait for it to boil I will tell you the little that I know about my culture.

kettle on stove

I am Machangana or Shangaan, a tribe of the Tsonga people. The origins of these my people is steeped in controversy. People use the term Tsonga interchangeably with Shangaan and to further muddy the waters the same language XiTsonga is spoken but it means not the same thing. Before the were Shangaan people the were Tsonga people, who hailed from East Africa part of the Bantu groups of the Ronga, Tswa and Ndau who slowly migrated south of the continent, in search of greener pastures, literally, for their livestock, they were pastoral people.

The water should have boiled by now, hey if someone “invented” glass pots, you know you could see the water boil? If we were having coffee, we would be having herbal tea, in coffee mugs.

I would continue my tale of how the Tsonga, finally settled South of Africa and then along came the Mfecane (time of trouble/ forced migration) as Shaka The Zulu consolidated the Zulu Empire. Soshangane an army general “fled” north crossing the Zambezi into Rozvi territory (what is now Zimbabwe) with some of “his people” finally ending up in Mozambique.
The name Shangaan is derived from the name of Soshangane. Somewhere along all that, we came to be here.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you try the biscuits I made, well they were supposed to be scones but I think the heat was too high and I left them a little too long now they are dry and crunchy just like biscuits. You could dip them in your tea to soften them. They have little hashtag symbols on the top, my niece made that with a fork.

If you were having coffee with me, I would show you a photo of my grandfather and I. He taught me some of what I know about who I am, my totem the praise song for my people.

generationUya chisa mlilo
Hikisile chauke
Chakungedzele ribweni
Loki uchiona chiehixele
chifile katika
Chihanya hlungwani angahlinga
Aukhosi wahina u’nzilo
Hi mina Beaton
WaGilbert
WaTsamwisi
WaMzamani
WaNdalega
waNgwena
WaMatsena
Wa Bhangwani
wakanga nzela ribwe.
Xikovele xigombeeeeeeeeee
I imagine people dancing around a huge fire as they say that.

Shangaan village

I am not entirely sure of the spellings or what that all means I know its something about an ode to Fire (my totem) I have been using the internet to learn XiTsonga if you do know please help translate

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you about yourself, where you come from.

In the spirit of UBuntu I am because you are…
Let me nominate a few blogs for the afrobloggers recognition award:

The Baby Steps Of Sinawo Bukani

Bookenies

Kuwe Nkosi

Bantu Voice

Naughty Notties

The Spider Blues

Curious Chido

From Tokyo To The World

Here are the guidelines on how this award works:

  1. Once you are nominated, make a post titled CELEBRATING AFRICA WITH AFROBLOGGERS.
  2. Your post should share a brief on Afrobloggers and the work they are doing. Also thank and link  the person who nominated you.
  3. Celebrate Africa in the way you feel is more appropriate and in line with your blog”s overall theme.
  4. Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  5. Ensure all of these bloggers of African heritage.
  6. Lastly, COPY these rules in the post and include the link to this original post