Of A Woman’s Worth

woman queen

The value of a woman is not measured in how many cows you pay for her,
Nor is it measured by  how many children she will birth,
It is certainly not measured on a scale like you weigh a choice piece of meat at the butcher,
the value of a woman is not measured in her figure and shape or ratio of her waist to hips,
Nor is it measured in her equality to man
The value of a woman is priceless….
Measured in currency more valuable than gold…
The value of a woman is measured in the same way you measure the worth of any man of worth..
In the depth and goodness of the soul beneath…..

*work in progress*

~B

 

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Of Coffee and Cabinets

Of Coffee Cabinets

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If you were having coffee with me we would be sitting outside watching the water sprinkler, sprinkling the lawn and I would be wishing I was a child again running and jumping over the spray of the water sprinklers. I can almost hear the laughter and happy giggles from my childhood as if they are just beside me, shhhh can you hear them too?……

lawn sprinkler

I think the heat is getting to me, the days are long and hot, we definitely not in winter anymore, I wish I had a swimming pool in my backyard or a giant pond …….

Speaking of swimming pools, the newly elected president Emmerson Mnangagwa announced his  cabinet ministers and the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is gold medalist Kirsty Coventry….

Minister of sports Zimbabwe

Gold medalist Kirsty Coventry

This appointment is quite the dive into a cool pool Kirsty Coventry having participated in 5 Olympic games won 7 medals and set 5 world records she is easily the most decorated African Olympian and holds the current global record having highest number of individual Olympic medals of all female swimmers in history.

Since 1980 Zimbabwe has collected a total of eight medals three golds, four silvers and one bronze. Seven of these medals were won by swimmer Kirsty and  the other gold medal by 1980 Zim women’s hockey team. Kirsty Coventry has a track record of supporting the country has even denied requests to change her citizenship to countries that head-hunted her.

Who knows with a new minister sports maybe we might see our sports, arts and recreation sector focusing more on diversifying than simply soccer which seems to be the be all and all of sport and the rest not getting any mention or support until of course they win……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that as for the rest of the cabinet minister appointments, the most notable thing is the absence of old familiar names who have always been recycled and reshuffled into cabinet positions as one would shuffle the drawers of an antique cabinet and call it a new cabinet.

old cabinet

Although the cabinet didn’t achieve the promised 50/50 gender parity its gone up from 24% to 31% female representatives and we have our first female Minister of defence.

So lets see our new cabinet, has technocrats, more women and young blood, its a step in the right direction, is this simply another ploy at the power games or a genuine move? Well all l I want is a country which works.

~B

Day 7 of my blog every day challenge themed Africa: Stories from home

#MyAfricaMyWords

Photo Credit: Kirsty Coventry www.kirstycoventry.com

 

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 Black Panther: A review of sorts

I finally watched Black Panther I get what all the noise was about

Yey

This isn’t exactly a review as such:

Wakanda could be Africa’s story had Africa not been colonised and allowed to flourish …agreed.

However if Wakanda existed the way it’s depicted in the movie then it would have been an inward-oriented country; that would have probably let the rest of Africa be colonized. I find it hard to imagine an empire which would not adhere to the uBuntu philosophy (uBuntu is Nguni-Bantu word for Humanity) I am because We Are

ubuntu

If Wakanda where truly an African country (Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther is said to have told The New York Times that Wakanda is a fictional version of “the Mutapa empire of 15th-century Zimbabwe.”) Wakanda would have dealt with world outside its borders with more humanity, humanity towards others.

mutapa empire

The Mutapa Empire which spanned a significant portion of southern Africa might not have had vibranium but they had gold and vast amounts of it too which they traded freely, far and wide if not a bit too free and far which is how mining claims became colonial instruments one treaty at a time……..

Founders of the Mutapa Empire are descendants of those who built the Great Zimbabwe in the 11th century

great zimbabwe20180528170332
Great Zimbabwe from where the name Zimbabwe are the largest and most puzzling architecture South of the Sahara competing only with the Pyramids of Egypt.

“Among the gold mines of the inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers there is a fortress built of stones of marvelous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining them…. …. This edifice is almostsurrounded by hills, upon which are others resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absenceof mortar, and one of them is atower ”

1531 Vicente Pegado, a Portuguese army captain

The architecture is so mind boggling that it’s not surprising history would not allow us to have achieved this by ourselves and would rather write about the Portuguese, Phoenicians or biblical characters yet it is a birthright from our ancestors how far would we have gone had we been left to flourish?

Back to Wakanda

So vibranium, all I know about it, is that it’s what Captain America’s shield is made from and the Black Panther’s suit and claws and that it absorbs kinetic energy but how does this explain how Wakanda managed to get so technologically advanced to be many years ahead of the rest of the world unless if the heart shaped herb not only grants you superhuman strength, speed and instincts but makes you smarter………

I kind of sympathized with Killmonger and thought they deserved having him come back and shake the cobwebs out of the cocooned lifestyle they built around themselves and even rooted for him a little bit.

What I loved most is how the women of Wakanda where their own people first, strong, proud and stood up for themselves; from Princess Shuri who would not let tradition limit hair, to the regal Nakia

A-great-queen

and lets not forget their most elite fighting force the Dora Milaje an all woman ensemble led by the formidable General Okoye

When what’s his name says “would you kill me my love’ and Okoye replies “for Wakanda without a question

black panther scene

But I did feel their “civil war” escalated on flimsy grounds and I think I might have disliked W’kabi more than the “villain” killmonger for taking so long to get to back his senses.

Can we also talk about the language of Wakanda though; what was that? I can’t be the only one made to cringe by them murdering the Xhosa language like that; what was with adding west/central African inflections to their speech and not just picking a west African language, maybe if the cast had been peppered with a more local talents then they might have spoken more naturally. I noticed a few faces from local TV soapies such as fondly known as Mamokhete from Rhythm city, Connie Chiume played the role of the Mining tribe elder

conie-chiume

Overally well what can I say the numbers speak for themselves it’s a record breaking blockbuster

Wakanda Forever

~B

What are your thoughts on The Black Panther?

Of Picture It: International Women’s Day

Happy Women’s Day

Every day is woman’s day on this space of mine especially this month of March. I pledge to #PressForProgress and Forge positive visibility of women

#PressForProgress

#PressForProgress

Yesterday I had the honour of being on the set of Picture It with Sibs Jolie hosting a special International  Women’s Day edition.

International women's day Picture it with SIbs

Picture It with Sibs

The panel was made up of remarkable women; who leave unique footprints in the space around them:

Candice Mwakalyelye, radio personality and newscaster

Candice Mwakalyelye

Candice

Pastor Catherine Magadzire Pastor and business woman

pastor catherine

Pastor Catherine Magadzire

Rachel Adams Life Coach, Leadership Developer and also a Breath Practitioner in training

Rachel Adams

Rachel Adams

I promised myself that I would play my part, even if my part is to be a fly on the wall; to observe and write down; to amplify voices in the way a writer can. I sat amidst a handful of other men in a roomful of women and I will confess though I didn’t know what to expect, but I did wonder if this is how women felt all the time, like must you ask for permission to simply be yourself, to be where you are, to belong, to be part of………….

At the rate we are moving; according to various studies; the gender gap will be closed in over 170 years. 170 years that’s how long it will take unless some serious changes happen to the way we have been taught to think and act.

gender equality

Candice mentioned that the world was never ready for the force that is women. (Well the world better start shaping up and taking notice stop being stifling) Candice said that before you hold yourself back from doing something ask yourself “whats the worst that could happen?” You could fail and  if you fail you learn, that’s experience; its also ok to be scared…..

You must constantly open yourself to new experience, learn and teach what you learn!

One of Candice’s goals is to make at least one person smile every day, she says for her it makes her that even if just for a little bit she has made that person feel better…………………….

Pastor Catherine Magadzire spoke on how we are all wonderfully and fearfully made creations. She said that we do not need to ask for permission to shine or to be the best of version of yourself. Pastor Magadzire is a pastor not because he her husband is one; her husband is titled pastor by marriage to her.

If a woman can make a home, can she not also run a business successfully??

Rachel Adams introduced herself as being from a small town and as with most small towns the dreams there are small. She still maintained that you should dare to be anything you want, to light that candle and courageously take your place in the world, and breathe properly while you are at it, you just might be surprised what a breathing exercise each morning could do for the quality of your life…..

Rachel made a thought provoking remark about how its not all about man holding back women but  that women should start fully being themselves; to stop thinking of themselves as just women but as human beings to proudly and unapologetically be who they should be….

We need to start having Courageous Conversations; saying what needs to be said and living with the consequences

Rachel shared a quote by Arundathi Roy:

“Another world is not only possible,

She is not only on her way .

On a quite day,

I can hear her breathing”

 

~B

Ps At the end of the day what I took home is that if we strive to be the best human beings we could be and helped others to be their best selves, as a candle lights another, maybe gender parity could be achieved tomorrow….

Of Coffee, Women And Progress

If you were having coffee with me; I would greet you as a stranger who suddenly realises that amongst other strangers we are kindred spirits you and I. How alike yet totally unalike we are; which is probably why I enjoy our little visits. Please do feel at home, grab a cup of coffee or juice or whatever rocks your boat (……water, that’s what rocks boats)

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that its March, but of course you know this. I don’t know if its International Woman’s Month but I do know International Woman’s Day is on the 8th of March and in the USA, UK and Australia they  celebrate women’ s history month in march and Canada observes it in October. This March it might as well as be Women’s Month on over here; as I will be using this space to celebrate womanhood.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I shall endeavour to bring the female narrative to my blog, featuring guest articles from ordinary women and the extraordinary things they do disguised as ordinary; book reviews, author interviews and other things I’ll just make up as I go along. Maybe I shall write a story from the female perspective I don’t think I have ever tried that…..

If you were having coffee with me I would tell I #PressForProgress

Press for progress

I will #PressForProgressTo kick start my March Goals, if you were having coffee with me I would tell you I had the privilege of attending Batsirai Chigama’s Gather The Children Book launch at  Alliance Français Harare.

gather the children book launch

gather the children Batsirai Chigama

Gather The Children is a self-published poetry anthology drawing inspiration mostly from her experiences and the prevailing socio-political climate.  During a live onstage interview she revealed delaying the book launch in October last year, fearing what could happen, how her book would be received but after a while you run out of metaphors to hide your anger behind, to break the silence…….

“……Silence was taught to our mothers

We rejected it at birth”

–excerpt from Daughters of Fire a poem from Gather The Children

Batsirai Chigama is a spoken word artist with years of stage experience and you can feel the vibe in her poetry. The poems in her book are meant to be spoken out aloud.

A selected few of the poems were performed during the launch alongside backing vocals and sound effects from Mangoma Percussion group. It was breathtaking; I wish you had been there, I wish I had a camera but then again maybe not; I was so busy being in the moment I would have probably forgot to press record….

 

The stage set was simply art; a bowl with candles burning, a vanity case full of old bearer cheque notes, a table hanging from the ceiling and a basket with a bow on the handle full of her books. Ah yes and there was a soul warming performance by Hope Masike.

 

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you know what separates animals from angels? Its Art!!

~B

 

PS even Johnnie Walker is celebrating women this month cheers:

Jane Walker

 

Photo Credit: Batsirai Chigama 

Hope Masike

Johnnie Walker

Becoming the muse #PressForProgress