Of 2018: The Year Thats Mine

Hello 2018

hello 2018

The first page of a new chapter…..

Depending on the parameters, any day, technically speaking, from a strictly empirical point of view could be the beginning of a New Year……

Convention has it that 1 January is the beginning of the calendar year….

January calender

Happy New year and welcome to my first blog post for 2018, and in time for the first supermoon for the year

A local Zim musician Tehn Diamond shared a twitter challenge to giveaway wallpapers with a personalized power word.

My word was Mlilo and this is my wallpaper

Mlilo

mlilo wallpaper

Mlilo means fire in Xitsonga language (also Moto in shona language)

Mlilo moto wallpaper

Fire is my totem amongst strangers I know who my tribal kin are….

Its uncommon to have an inanimate totem, imagine telling people that your spirit animal is fire. (you can read more about my totem in Zimbabwe here)

I am guessing that if dragons were real they would have been my totem and our praise song when you were announcing us in public or thanking us or just being super respectful or down right flattering; you would begin…

Introducing:

The first flame,

His most royal spontaneous combustor,

Consumer of all leaving nothing but ash,

Burner of things,

Bringer of light,

Chaser of darkness,

Giver of warmth

Keeper of secrets

and Maker of Heroes

I guess if we were characters in game of thrones we would be House Targaryen

what keeps me warm the fire inside

Fire fascinates me, fire burns and all fires burn its something you learn for yourself

fire

 

Hello 2018

……This year is mine

Cos I remember looking in the mirror last year 
Like, this is it, this is our year I swear  
Like The Year Before That
And The Year Before That 

Like the year before that
And the year before that

So I’m back up in the mirror singing the same song
I’m back up in the mirror like THIS YEAR’S YOURS
And the year before that . . . .

 

You might want to stand back I don’t know how hot I am going to get but….. flame on!!!

starting digital fires

 

Becoming The Muse

~B

 

Thanks tehn I play this jam at the beginning of every year as I did the year before that and the year before that!!!!!

 

January calendar credit Printable Calendars

 

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Of Being Me

Hello my name is Beaton but by now you should know to call me just B. no other letters, and you don’t pronounce the just. Sometimes I like to tell people that my name is pronounced, you know how in French some letters are silent like the  S in Paris is silent, well all the letters in my name are silent too except for the B……

B.jpg

I am ~B and this is day three of my blog everyday challenge

People are funny creatures, you tell someone to call you B. and next time they call you, they presume to know your name. I have been called Brighton, Brilliant, Beacon, even Brian. I mean Brian? How even? But if there is anything that grinds my gears more than my name being assumed wrong, it’s when I tell someone my name and they pronounce it badly, even when I repeat it…. And I eventually say please just call me B (and save me the drama of hearing my name being mangled) but that other part stays in my head…

Where I come from people tend to give babies names with meaning but I guess most people do to a fashion, like Tawanda (meaning we are many) Tafara (meaning we are happy) Shuvai (meaning Hope) Navelani (also meaning Hope). Most names used here, when you hear them, you understand them, you can define them, you can even find them in the dictionary.

My name is uncommon, I have only “met” one person with it, as a first name, we are Facebook friends… if you are reading this post Hi Beaton!!!!

Beaton

Beaton

When I am asked what my name means sometimes I say, “I cannot be defined because my name is not in the dictionary.” But that’s not completely true I looked up my name it means:

“From the warrior’s estate”

From the warrior’s estate wow… do not mess with me. You see, I am a descendant from a line of warriors that leads back to Shaka The Zulu. Shaka reigned in Southern Africa and consolidated a formidable empire in the late 1700s to early 1800s.

Shaka The Zulu

I don’t think my parents had this in mind when they named me, it was in honour to an uncle….  (hmmmm maybe my grandaparents when they named my uncle….)

In Zimbabwe family kin identify each other by their totems, people of the same clan have the same totem (known as mutupo in Shona language) It’s a patron or spirit animal for your people, you respect it and you are not supposed to eat it. When you have done good, when someone is thanking you or beseeching you or down right flattering you, they can invoke your totem in a clan praise name…….

My mother’s totem is heart (moyo). My father’s totem is fire (moto, mlilo)

My totem is Fire. You become your father’s people…..

 

Again this is uncommon as most, if not all have animals or organic totems. Lion (shumba, murambwi), elephant(zhou ndlovu), monkey(shoko), zebra(dube) heart(moyo) and many other totems. The people who came up with this totem thing were clever not to pick animals like chicken, cow or pig because folk would have been in trouble. Eating your totem is said to cause a host of misfortune including droughts until you appease your ancestors.

My Totem is fire…..

There is nothing I don’t eat, my ancestors “discovered” fire and I pay homage to them in a barbecue.

fire BBQ

Hello my name is Beaton and my spirit animal will barbecue your spirit animal…..

My totem is fire and I was born to be uncommon.

Mlilo, Chauke

~B

PS You can read about my how my ancestors “discovered” fire HERE

 

Shaka Zulu Image credit Source

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

Of the secret to flying

Genre: Fantasy

image

Falling. He was falling from the sky. Mlilo could easily imagine the ground beneath him rushing to embrace him, in a fatal embrace.
Splat.
He pictured the red smear his body would leave, well on the upside he would most certainly leave a mark on the world, an exclamation mark even. If he could, he would have laughed at his own morbidity.

When you are already falling, it is a little too late to wonder if there was better way to fly or even if there should be safety regulations. A seat belt? But that would be absurd where would the seat belt be attached to, pinned to a cloud?

Cloud riding, that’s what Sekuru had told him it was called. You simply lay down on the soft brown earth, stared at the big blue sky, looked at the marshmallow like clouds then picked one that was shaped like a bird’s wing that’s the one you would ride. Sometimes you would have to wait for hours to find a cloud with the perfect shape, it was the one rule that you followed, without question.

Curiosity that was his downfall, no not a downfall, at least not all the time, that’s how he got to ride a cloud in the first place. He had watched birds fly, and wished it too, tried it even and fell, many times. That was when he sought Sekuru, for it was said Sekuru possessed many secrets about many things and for a secret, he told you a secret, that was the price. He had found the old man scratching strange symbols in the dirt and then rubbing them out with his bare feet.

“I want to fly”
“One secret I will keep, for one secret I will give, young Chief” Sekuru said without even looking up.
“I know where the moon’s missing bits can be found, when it’s not quite round” Mlilo answered.
“The moon is due, to be full today and I know what colour it will be when it is not blue, the colour of blood that’s the clue and the missing bits they will be that too.” Sekuru replied somewhat cryptically.
“I know the true name of fire, there is power in knowing it.”
” Yes, young chief that is a worthy secret, one I will keep for one secret I will give.”
“I am named after fire, Mlilo, that is what my name means but that is not it’s true name” he begun “Fire is an animal, that feeds leaving nothing but ashes, and to call it’s name is to bind it to your will but only for a while, never speak its true name above a whisper, listen closely.” He leaned close to Sekuru and whispered very softly and for awhile it seemed life stood still, as if the world had taken a breath then held it. The breeze sighed softly and life resumed.
“Yes my chief, there is power in the name, more than you claim. To balance the trade I will tell you a secret for a secret, and also a favour for you my curious delver, when your nose winds you in a bit of a pickle simply sneeze and you will be out in a tickle.”

Sekuru had told him the secret it was childishly simple; imagine, believe, wish and a little faith.

He had found the proper cloud,  imagined himself riding it, believed it was possible and then wished. Just like that, he was there, among the clouds, seeing the world through a wispy mist. Do clouds taste like marshmallows, he wondered as he scooped a handful of cloud to his mouth, some brushing his nose, as a lingering doubt came into his mind. He hoped that his actions would not change the shape of the cloud.
That was when he started to fall, do not eat the cloud you are riding should be one of the rules he thought, as he plunged to the ground.

He sneezed and a familiar voice spoke to him, but in his mind. “Young Chief, the favour I promised, you fall not because your faith is all out, but you replaced it with doubt, to turn this around remember Falling is flying if you never reach the ground.

Mlilo imagined he would keep falling, he believed it, and wished it, to fall, on and on, it was better after all than to go splat, like an overripe tomato.

That was when he realized it, he was not falling, he was flying, he was really flying.

~~
The end

My entry for this week’s #blogbattle

The theme Ride.

🔥🔥🔥Fire is my spirit animal

~B

Memoirs of my heritage

Hi mina Beaton
Wa Gilbert
Wa Tsamwisi
Wa Muzamani
Wa Ndalega
wa Ngwena
Wa Matsena
Wa Bhangwani
weka xinyori xahomba
Wakanga nzela ribwe
….. and growing up my grandad (bless his soul) did make us recite the names of our ancestors and our heritage of fire, as far back as was known….
So that we would always remember, and still do…
The Origins, technically our culture ain’t from around here hence the strange totem and stuff some guy just kinda made it up cause they was asked by local folk “hey whats your mutupo” and they be like “whats that“…
“Well its like your spirit animal and you can’t eat it…
So next guy was like “Love to eat strange strange things I got a strange problem hmmm
I know, FIRE that’s our mutupo…”

and these guys were all warrior like, we are the lost descendants of Shaka The Zulu after all,  noone was willing to challenge the choice and so it stayed and fire it was…
So it was written, so it was.
And ama tell my kids that story… Or blog it

Or WRITE A  BOOK

Memoirs of a fire lord

how we became ;

curates of the fire
*memoirs of a fire lord*

Once upon a time one of my ancestors went hunting, but luck was not on his side, there was no game to be found. He ventured further than he had ever gone before and got lost. Hungry and forlorn he tried to find familiar landmarks as he struggled along with near exhaustion. Eventually he ended up at a strange strange village guided there by an even stranger pillar of smoke billowing out from its center like an ominous beacon
……

The villagers where really friendly for they hardly got visitors as their location was rather obscure and shrouded in secrecy. They welcomed him with water for his parched throat, rest for his weary feet and a feast. They served him a meal, smiling, they watched him, as he eyed the steaming food curiously, his thoughts his own , “so be it”, he thought and took a bite.
It was a meal that tasted of the warmth of the sun and heavens. The meat felt like an animal fished from the bowels of a volcanic ocean, definitely a meal for the Gods.
So nervously he asked the smiling men, “Are you Gods and if yes am I departed?”
You must understand this where he came from they ate their food au naturel, served their meat raw and bloody. So his first cooked meal had him perplexed, naturally, its warmth, its rich smoky flavor, for there is nothing that compares to your first bite of a flame-grilled succulent steak, when all you used to is a fresh kill like a lion on a rampage, leaving you with a bloody smile.
So thus he asked, “are you Gods or demonic fiends and am I dead”
The strangers laughed and replied “we are neither Gods nor demons but mere mortal forms such as you only blessed with a special secret”

He asked for their secret and so they told him

One summer many moons ago, the sky kingdom had a terrible quarrel, thunderous drumming and shooting bolts of power from the heavens, one of the bolts struck the tree-that-has-no-name which was at the center of their village homestead. It caught fire and nearly razed their village to the floor, what could they do but watch, for you see when the elephants fight it is the grass which gets trampled….
Meanwhile as they were cleaning up after the fire they gathered round the still flaming tree-with-no-name and discovered that the tree had fallen onto a wild beast transformin it into a burning carcass. Someone was brave enough to pull off a piece of the meat and taste it, their lives were never the same.
Eventually they learnt how to domesticate the flames, guardians were appointed to feed it wood make sure it smouldered forever, kindle it into flames when required.
Each family could take embers to their own private fire spits and have their little fire to cook by and douse afterwards but the central fire always glowering, eternally.

After a couple of days of rest he broke the news, over their evening fireside chat that he was ready to journey back to his own people, if the villagers would be so kind as to help him with directions and a glowing splint to take with him his kinsmen would trade generously, they granted him an escort and safe passage, for the following morning but declined the latter, told him their secret they would not part with whatever the price..
In the middle of the night he crept to the great fire and picked up a strongly glowing amber and placed it into a shell of a snail, then he stole into the forest and buried it in a shallow hole, stealthily he went back into the village and went to sleep.
In the morning he was escorted through the forest till he got into familiar territory then his escort , before they turned back searched him, finding nothing, bid him safe journey and turned back, he waited till they had disappeared into the horizon  before retracing his steps, then to the place he had buried the secret , he dug it out and it was still smouldering, although weakly he blew it back to life,igniting it into a flame, he raced back home

He was treated to a heroe’s welcome for they had feared  him dead now  he was the village champion, asked of his exploits he narrated how he had dined with the Gods and they granted him a boon of their dragon breath..

They would not keep their flame secret they lit it for all kingdoms sharing their knowledge and so thus they became known as the Lords of the fire….
He became their great chief And knowledge of the true origin of the fire he passed onto his children and them onto the next, from generation to generation, and this is our  story, our secret, my story, my secret…