Of The Muse In You: The Ogbanje Hacker

Welcome to the story which I will write with your help.

How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed….

becoming

Thank you all for your input last week  from the story HERE Hero

The story so far:

A stranger who emailed me may or may not be a missing person, abducted by an extremist group. I was invited to join a Facebook support group of people who pray for the safe return of those taken. someone sent me a private message asking me to give them access to my email account so they could run a trace the email

The popular poll result was that I should run a back ground check on Og Banje so here goes

I opened a search engine tab and typed Og Banje and pressed search.

Could not find a match Did you mean Ogbanje? Showing results for Ogbanje

In Igbo lore an ogbanje is a reincarnating  spirit that would deliberately plague a family with misfortune. The ogbanje child would die and be reborn again and again mostly before the child reached adulthood or got to an age where they could do anything of potential. The curse would be broken if a priest could find the ogbanje’s iyi-uwa (a stone that the ogbanje’s way of coming back to the world) and destroy it. The child is confirmed to no longer be an ogbanje after the destruction of the stone or after they successfully give birth to another baby

Well that was an interesting lesson on the Igbo myths  of West Africa, but it did not get me any closer to finding out my mysterious connection. I decided to check out other posts from the Facebook group while I figured what to do with Mr OG. Mr OG that’s how I had been referring to him in m head. There was an update in the group;

“Authorities have announced that one of the abducted girls is still alive after a voice recording was received of her (as confirmed by her parents that it was her voice) asking the government to rescue her. ”

That was good news indeed as some people had started thinking maybe the reason some of the girls had not be released was because they had died.

I typed a new post to add to the group:

Hi I got a private message from someone called Og Banje after the last message I posted in this group and I wanted to know if its someone that can be trusted.

A few seconds later a reply popped up

Ah we see you have had an encounter with our resident white hat hacker. Nobody knows who he really is or where he is and the authorities keep trying to get his account shut down but it keeps coming back to like a curse to expose government secrets and criminal activities, kind of like a phantom online vigilante.

Ogbanje

I typed whih read  “thank you and if I could ask__”

Before I could finish the comment, my phone started ringing, the caller was on incognito mode and the number did not show.

Hello” I answered.

“Hello my friend, you know me as Mr OG. I believe its time we talked ….:”

I froze, what should I do next:

  1. Nothing, hang up the phone
  2. Start a conference call to emergency services
  3. Put on speaker and record the conversation
  4. Find out how he got my number and what he wants then go to the police
  5. Find out what he wants and just wing it from there

~B

Day 18 of My Blog Everyday Challenge Themed Africa: Stories From Home

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Of The Muse In You: Hero

Welcome to the story which I will write with your help.

How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed….

Thank you all for your input last week  from the story HERE  ABDUCTED

becoming

The story so far:

A stranger who emailed me may or may not be a missing person, abducted by an extremist group. I was invited to join a Facebook support group of people who pray for the safe return of those taken.

The popular poll result was that I should find an IT expert to trace the original email and those who wrote in comments said Join The Facebook Group see what happens that seemed like a good idea …. So I will fuse those two ideas and see where the story goes.

I clicked the link to join the Facebook group and a pop up screen asked me a few questions to help the admin decide if I would fit in the group. I scrolled through the question then answering them as I went along.

Do you think all people were created equal?

Yes *I clicked*

Do you think everyone has a right to their opinion whether you agree with it or not?

Yes *I clicked*

What quality makes a hero and are you one?

I paused, thinking of a response. Being a serial binge watcher of superhero movies I wanted to write that, “a hero was someone with extra-ordinary powers doing extra-ordinary things with the powers vested in him whether by being bitten by radioactive spiders or marvels of modern science  or mythological connections and even by virtue of being an alien with godlike powers.”

Then I remembered something printed on a t/shirt worn by the conductor in the taxi I had taken on my evening commute home.

Not all heroes wore capes, some simply hold the door

He smiled as he slid the door open and so passengers could get on. “I want only two serious passengers we are about to go” he would periodically shout even though the taxi needed way more than two people before it could leave, and he was quite theatric in convincing people to get into his taxi than pick any of the other that were also trying to get passengers.

A hero is someone who perseveres against the odds *I finally typed*

Congratulations you are in the group, a notification flashed

#freeLeah

I was surprised to find the group full of people from all over the world, strangers bound together with a common need to fight for injustice and to pray and to lobby governments for the safe return of all abducted people.

There was a pinned message on the group wall:

This group is as a safe place new members introduce yourself and tell us your ideas on how we can achieve our objectives. Faith Without Works Is Dead

I felt nervous and more than a little scared but the word hero echoed somewhere in the back of my mind. What was I getting myself into I thought as I typed:

Hi I am looking for friend who may have been abducted. They contacted me via email is there a computer expert in the group who can help with a trace.

*Ping* A new Facebook message notification. A message from someone called Og Banje, his name, I assume he was a guy because the profile picture was of a guy with a handkerchief around his face like a western outlaw; his name reminded me of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Ogbanje

Og Banje

The message was short and to the point.

“If you give me remote access to your email I might be able to run an IP address tracer and ping the servers of the email you received to track location and find service provider.”

I reread the message as I decided.

What do I do next

  1. Allow Remote Access to email
  2. First run a background check on OG Banje
  3. Ignore the message
  4. verify with group admin
  5. Go to the police

~B

day 12 of my blog everyday chllenge themed Africa: stories from home.

Of Zim Cholera Outbreak: How To Prevent & Save A Life

A week ago I posted an article titled Of Someone Else’s problem, about how we tend to turn a blind eye to problems until they fester into something affecting everyone, and made a brief mention of the poor service delivery in the sanitation and waste disposal department……. Now here we are its our problem now.

outbreak

The government has declared a cholera outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe a state of emergency due to the rising number of cholera infections; over 2300 recorded cases and the death of 20 people since the beginning of September. When your house is burning its not the time to find out who started the fire, first thing is to put out the fire. The last time we had a cholera outbreak 4000 people died, 2008 was a really bad year.

because Knowledge may save a life:

What is cholera?

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine by the bacteria Vibrio cholera.

vibrio

computer generated image of the vibrio cholera bacteria

The cholera bacterium is found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by faecal matter from a person infected with cholera. Cholera is mostly found and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene.

Cholera can be life-threatening, with death resulting in hours if untreated but it is easily prevented and treated

Symptoms of Cholera

  • profuse watery diarrhoea, described as “rice-water stools,”
  • vomiting
  • rapid heart rate
  • loss of skin elasticity (when you pinch skin it stays bunched up)
  • dry mucous membranes
  • low blood pressure
  • thirst
  • rapid weight loss
  • muscle cramps
  • restlessness or irritability

**Symptoms typically appear in 2-3 days after infection.

symptoms of cholera

The diarrhoea and vomiting cause rapid loss of body fluids leading to dehydration, severe electrolyte imbalance and shock. Untreated, severe dehydration can rapidly lead to shock and death in hours.

Treatment:

Death by Cholera is due to severe dehydration, rehydration will save a life. Once symptoms detected, immediately start taking an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) while you seek out medical attention. Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediate replacement of the fluid and salts lost through diarrhoea. Severe cases may require intravenous fluid replacement.

Antibiotics shorten the course and diminish the severity of the illness, but they are not as important as receiving re-hydration. 80% of cholera cases can be treated simply by rehydrating

How to make your own ORS at home:

home made ors

  1. 1 litre clean water (boiled to be sure)
  2. 6 level teaspoons sugar
  3. Half level spoon salt
  4. Stir till it dissolves

Mild and moderate cases can be effectively treated simply by taking this ORS drink 3l a day

*even simply having sips of safe plain can help with the hydration while you seek medical attention

Infected persons, when treated rapidly, can recover quickly, and there are typically no long term consequences. Persons with cholera do not become carriers of the disease after they recover, but can be reinfected if exposed again.

Prevention

  • Drink water only from trusted sources. bottled, boiled, or  treated water and bottled. When using bottled drinks, make sure that the seal has not been broken.
    • To disinfect your own water: boil or and add 2 drops of household bleach/Chlorine (Jik®) or water purification tablets.
    • Disinfect minicipal tap water
  • Wash your hands often with soap and clean water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner, especially before you eat or prepare food and after using the bathroom.
    • If no soap is available, use ash.

CHOLERA-1.jpg

  • Use bottled, boiled, or treated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food and rinse fruit and vegetables
  • Eat foods that are packaged or that are freshly cooked and served hot.
    • Do not eat raw or undercooked meats or raw or undercooked fruits and vegetables unless they are peeled.
  • Dispose of waste in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination of water and food sources.
  • Avoid shaking of hands

*No cholera vaccine is 100% protective and vaccination against cholera is not a substitute for standard prevention and control measures, including precautions for food and water as outlined above.

Prevention of cholera is dependent on access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and basic hygiene needs.

lets prevent cholera

If you have any other tips and helpful knowledge do share in the comments below

 

~B

Day ten of my Blog Every Day Challenge Themed Africa: Stories from Home.

UPDATE:

According to statistics from Ministry of Health and Child Care, cholera deaths since the beginning of the month are now at 25 and 3 766 cases reported.

Of Somebody Else’s Problem

Of somebody else’s problem

An SEP (Somebody else’s problem) is something we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem. That’s what SEP means. Somebody Else’s Problem. The brain just edits it out, it’s like a blind spot.

If you are not a fan, which I am of Douglas Adams’s book Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy A Trilogy in four parts then you may not be familiar with how the origin of the phrase….

Someone Else's Problem Field

 

“Somebody Else’s Problem field, or SEP, is a cheap, easy, and staggeringly useful way of safely protecting something from unwanted eyes. It can run almost indefinitely on a torch (flashlight)/9 volt battery, and is able to do so because it utilises a person’s natural tendency to ignore things they don’t easily accept, like, for example, aliens at a cricket match. Any object around which an S.E.P. is applied will cease to be noticed, because any problems one may have understanding it (and therefore accepting its existence) become Somebody Else’s. An object becomes not so much invisible as unnoticed”

Life,The Universe and Everything Douglas Adam HITCHHIKER’s GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

But here’s the thing somebody else’s problem has a way of coming back and causing quite a stink which one cant ignore……

There used to be this skinny mangy looking dog that would terrorise our trash can and rip out the big black plastic trash bags we left out for the rubbish man to collect. Trash collection day is supposed to be every Thursday morning. Way back when the city fathers ran an efficient service delivery system,  you knew if you left your trash out at 7 in the morning like clockwork by 8 in the morning the garbage truck would have passed and the streets would be empty and it was beautiful.

Now I guess refuse removal services are not on their list of priorities I guess they have more pressing concerns like trying to prevent water borne disease outbreaks reclaiming the CBD from the street vendors who have invaded the city pavements

harare vendors

Of course they say service delivery is poor because rate payers are not paying rates and naturally the rate payers refuse to pay for poor or non-delivered services  and so we have what we have.

You leave the trash outside and sometimes they come and collect, if they don’t you could brave it out and leave the trash outside, until they eventually get round to coming maybe in a week maybe more; or you could carry your trash right back into the yard otherwise stray dogs will come and have a field day; all your rubbish scattered on the driveway for the whole neighborhood to see.

So there was this stray, a mangy dog skinny, kinda crazy eyed and slightly foaming at the mouth, I never made eye contact with it, they sense fear. That’s what I read somewhere. It would to terrorise the whole neighbourhood, and we had to figure out innovative ways of securing and disposing of our trash until the trashman eventually made an appearance.

Whose dog was it? I don’t know it wasn’t my problem.

Notice how I use past tense when I mention the dog, that there was this stray dog, that’s because one day not too long ago, some speeding motorist ran over it, who didnt see it because it wasnt his problem ended its streak of tyranny, didnt even slow down or stop just kept speeding on and before it died, in one final act of defiance, the dog crawled and died right across from my gate. I guess somehow it must have heard me curse as I cleaned up after an episode of its rampant ravaging of the trash “someone do me a favour and put that dog out of my misery

Well, now there it was dead and just outside my gate, too.

dead dog

Somebody should take care of that I thought, but it aint my dog and I didnt run over it. “Its somebody else’s problem” I thought as I walked right past it.

I walked past the dead dog and I did not see it. I did not see it decompose a little each day I didn’t even as much as spare it a thought as it changed into a rotten carcass, stinking up the neighborhood, I didn’t see it but I could smell it, the putrid stench of decay and after a while not even that because it wasn’t my problem, it was somebody else’s problem……. I suppose it eventually decomposed away or whatever. Does this story sound familiar?

There’s a somewhat stinky moral in there somewhere. Half the problems and challenges we are facing these days are that no one steps in because its somebody else’s problem, you walk past a long queue of people waiting to get just a little bit of cash from the bank but that’s not your problem because the central reserve bank is your personal bank, you walk past a child too young to be in the street and you keep walking because its somebody else’s problem, you walk past a group of people being abusive to someone else, and well…. Its somebody else’s problem.

I am not saying we should walk around not minding our own business and butting into everything and anything but maybe we should. The first step is simply stopping and pointing out to someone else, this is a problem what should we do about it?………….

What happens when a generation who wont ask for help because they cannot admit being wrong or that things aren’t working out meets a generation who won’t stop to help because well its not their problem…….

its NOT someone else's problem

~B

Day five of my blog everyday challenge

#MyAFricaMyWords

 

 

 

Of Coffee With Ojoma: Head of Arts, West Africa for British Council

Coffee with Ojoma

If you were having coffee with me we would be having an easy chat over coffee with Ojoma Ochai. Ojama is the Director Arts and Creative Economy West Africa British Council

B: A pleasure to have this chat, thank you for your time Ojoma, first question tea or Coffee because there are only two kinds of people in the world.

O: Coffee – No sugar, no cream; so real coffee. Haha.

B: Your title has us impressed but, what exactly do you do? We are intrigued by the Creative bit especially.

O: I lead the British Council Arts and Creative Economy programme in West Africa which essentially means leading design and delivery of skills programmes, artistic showcasing and other activity that connects the arts sectors of the UK and West Africa. We work across film, music, fashion, visual and performing arts etc. so quite a wide range of work. I also lead our policy advocacy, partnerships in this area and work with partners and funders across both locations.

B: Most times the creative arts are viewed more as an aside project than something taken seriously any ideas how we can change this perception?

O: we need to provide evidence to the contrary and make the case every time. Economically for example, the UK creative Economy contributes half the size of Nigeria’s GDP to the UK economy every year. It’s hard when confronted with such figures to see it as a side hustle. We need to have the evidence and say it over and over again till it gets through.

B: How do you see the future of the creative arts in Africa especially in this digital global world

O: There is a lot of evidence that shows the rising trajectory from East, West, Southern Africa – I think with growing internet penetration, the talented youth, it can only grow. My only concern is where the value will be created. If we don’t find ways to capture the value here on the continent, it will be capitalised on for value elsewhere. It is not either or but Africa should benefit economically ad socially form its creative outputs but if we don’t own the means of production and distribution, we won’t.

B: You were in Harare; Zimbabwe for the 2018 Global Report of the 2005 Convention launch how was your experience, country people culture?

O: I loved, loved loved Zimbabwe and I will come back!! You hear a lot of stuff in the media and the experience wasn’t as dire as the media paints it. And yes, the work I do for UNESCO on the global panel of experts for the 2005 convention is very stimulating and so I enjoyed the workshops and talks thoroughly.

ddt5f7dxcaack_h.jpg

 

B: I watched you deliver a presentation during a panel discussion at the launch of the 2018 Global Report; could you just briefly outline how stakeholders would best work together to make creative and cultural industries work?

O: yes, the main gist of my presentation was that there are many stakeholders that can work together to make the culture and creative industries work – education, trade, finance etc but we often leave them out of the conversation and so we should do more to bring more people around the table. To do so, we need to have evidence of course of the value so back to the point about making the case to show why the arts are important. That’s always a starting point.

B: You were once nominated young person of the year in Nigeria by the Future Awards once; wow! Do share what had you done?

O: ha ha. Just for being fabulous… seriously – it was for my work creating opportunities for young Nigerians through my work in British Council…

B: Its inspiring when the young can make an impact in the world around them and not only that you were on a list of most influential women in Nigeria tell us about that; Do you consider yourself a big deal?

O: I really don’t consider myself a big deal or take myself too seriously. What I do take seriously is the quality of my work and I guess people notice that. I have been lucky to be in a position where I can visibly do good thing and create opportunities but for everyone visible me there are hundreds, maybe thousands, doing great things in their closets everyday… 

B: Most of our audience are of the writing persuasion; and sometimes it does feel like an art the world forgot about; any words for the Literary Activists

O: I leave them with a quote credited to the English journalist Jim Murray : Learn to write. Never mind the damn statistics. If you like statistics, become a CPA.

B: As a woman; have you felt you had to prove yourself more to be who you are ? What can you say to the fellow sisters?

O: Not really and I suspect I am the exception. I have been lucky I have had the opportunity to be in spaces where my work and contribution speak for themselves.

B: How do people get in touch with you?

O: twitter – @ojomaochai

B: Any people you want to give shout outs? feel free to wave like they can see you…

O: Hello world! Haha.

B: Its been awesome having you thank you for your time; Last Question; What is the weirdest question anyone has asked you?

O: they asked me what’s the weirdest question any one ever asked me. -_-

ojoma ochai

Bio:

Ojoma Ochai is Head of Arts, West Africa for British Council. In this role, Ojoma works with public and private sector partners in the UK and West Africa to develop and deliver programmes that build skills, international and local networks and other capacity that promote the growth and collaboration potential of the arts sector and creative economy between the sub region and the UK.

Ojoma is also a member of the UNESCO global expert facility on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. From 2014 to 2016, she was Entertainment Specialist for a World Bank Growth and Employment project in Nigeria, advising on cluster based approaches for film and music sector development in Nigeria.

Nominated Young Person of the Year in Nigeria by The Future Awards in 2010 and listed on the YNaija list of 10 Most Powerful People In Nigeria’s Arts and Culture (under 40) in 2014, and YNaija 100 Most Influential Women in Nigeria, in 2015; Ojoma is also a Fellow of the DEVOS Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, USA and an Associate of the Nigerian Leadership Institute (NLI). She is chair of the Lagos Theatre Festival Board until July 2018, Chair of Open House Lagos Board ( 2015 – 2017) and sits on the board of Music Museum Foundation of Nigeria

@ojomaochai

linkedin.com ojomaochai

 

 

Day 4 of my Africa: Stories from home themed blog everyday challenge

~B

Of Months and Their Names

Hello September

Gunyana

September in the Shona language is Gunyana. Shona is one of the three main languages spoken in Zimbabwe. I don’t know what Gunyana means its just a word, maybe but when those who were naming names did it I am sure they had their reasons but they never wrote it down, taking with them, that knowledge and many other things……

I know the origins of names of the month in the English language and a Google search can easily find your answers if you don’t know, but hey, I got you. Let me  briefly list them:

month names

January – from  Januarius  meaning month of Janus the Roman god who presided over doors and beginnings.

February –  februarius, from februa, the name of a purification feast held in this month

MarchMartius from Mars Roman god of war

April – from Latin Aprillis, the fourth month of the ancient Roman calendar.

May – named after Maia a greek goddesss daughter of Atlas and Hermes

June – named after the ancient Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and goddess of marriage and childbirth

July – renamed in honour of Julius Caesar but before that it was named Quintilis meaning fifth.

Augustrenamed to honour Augustus Ceasar but before that it was Sextilis meaning sixth

Septemberfrom the Latin septem, meaning seven. September used to be the seventh month of the year.

Octoberocto is the Latin for ‘eight’

Novembernovem, ‘nine’.

December – from decem, ‘ten’

And if you didn’t know here’s a fun fact: There used to be only 10 months in the year, namely Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December…..

Funny thing though, actually, its not funny at all, its alarming that I don’t know the origins and meanings or why the months in our Shona language are called what they are called or who even named them that, what were they celebrating or honouring?

Ndira (January)

Kukadzi (February)

Kurume (March)

Kubvumbi (April)

Chivabvu (May)

Chikumi (June)

Chikunguru (July)

Nyamavhuvhu (August)

Gunyana (September)

Gumiguru (October)

Mbudzi (November)

Zvita (December)

As a child I was taught/told at shool that the name Nyamavhuvhu is a fusion of the Shona word Nyama (Meat) and Vhu (sand) because back in the day, when people used to preserve their meat by drying it in the sun, making a sort of biltong, the August batch  would end up sandy, nyama yazara mavhu (meat full of sand) since August is a very windy month this side of the hemisphere, coincidentally, -vhuvhu is derivative from vhuvhuta an adjective which describes A Gust of wind (I didn’t even see what I did there until much later…… Life is littered with strange coincidences)

Gumiguru – Gumi is the number ten when counting in Shona

The word mbudzi (from the month of November) means goat but what about a goat? Is November the month of the goat?

Here’s what I do know about November, that it is taboo to hold marriages or have Marooro/lobola ceremonies (you can read about this ceremony here Of Marooro), or have any form of traditional gatherings as it is a month of rest for the ancestral spirits.

What are the months and origins of their names in your mother language?

I just had a scary thought that we might be the generation that loses itself because we forgot where we come from or how we got here, do we even know where here is anyway?

And that is why I write…..

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

Day 3 of my blog everyday challenge.

UPDATES:

Gunyana – as I have been informed by a blogging friend also doing the blog everyday challenge RukuTitus:

Let this Gunyana/ September baby tell you what Gunyana means. Gunyana is a time of baby birds (chicks). There is no other month you will find chicks in abundance. Not sure of the prefix Gu- but the stem -nyana means a young one of a bird in Shona.

Of Coffee Blog Anniversary and Blog Everyday Challenge

Of Coffee Blog Anniversary and Blog challenges

If you were having coffee with me I would say hello September and goodbye winter, does this mean we are in summer now? I really don’t know we seem to have only two seasons summer and winter or rather cold dry season hot dry season and hot wet season.

Guess what my blog turned 5!!!

blog anniversary

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I am celebrating my blog anniversary in exactly the same way I did last year, looks like it’s become a tradition, doing a blog everyday challenge. The theme for this year will be Africa: Stories from home.

And of course because Africa’s secret weapon is community, I am roping in my Afroblogger friends to take part in the challenge too, because the more the merrier, and also a burden shared is burden halved…….

africa unite

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you to expect stories from Africa, about Africa, the little things that never make the mainstream media, the things I want to read about but can never find online. You know the saying “if you want to read something and you cannot find anywhere perhaps you should write it yourself

If you have any topics and curious questions you have always wanted to know about Africa and where I hail from go ahead ask, and I may dedicate a blog post to explain. Not only will it help me find material to write about but one of my reasons for doing this challenge is to share the real story about Africa #MyAfricaMyWords

I am from Zimbabwe a teapot shaped country in southern Africa.

A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

If you were having coffee with me I would wish you an awesome new month and ask you to wish me luck, I intend to crush this challenge, this will be my third such blog everyday challenge, I think I got this!!!

beatonm5

Whats going on in your neck of the woods?

~B

Of A Letter To Africa

Dear Africa

There’s defiance and determination in your depth.

They came, they saw and they conquered. They plundered, as they they convinced themselves they were bringing light to your dark shores.

mad scramble for Africa

They convinced you to believe your darkness was ugly and that your past was shameful and they would teach you real salvation, civilization and sophistication because the things worth striving for could only be found beyond over the seas.

AFRICA

They took bits of your soul, your blood and bones and created a restlessness in you. How can you be anything but restless when the bones of your ancestors lay displayed in museums in foreign lands, when descendants of your blood struggle to relate with you?

How can you prosper when you were taught that the spirits of your ancestors are demons and communing with them is to practice heathen ways and to invite evil into your life? Commune instead only with the Holy Ghost and the One True God

cavorting with evil

How can you advance when they saw all the magic and beauty in your ancestry and called it witchcraft? Parts of it could have been malevolent but it all got heaped up together with the benevolent and cast away like a nightmare bedtime story..

See how they broke you, they taught you how to read but only after they rewrote themselves into your history and all you know about your past is how they wrote it juxtapositioned with how your own tried to rewrite it back and the truth, well, the truth, lies lost somewhere in-between because no one owns the truth.

See how they made you shun the melanin in your skin, the kinks in your hair and how you bleach it out and straighten it out as you weave for yourself a whole new identity.

How comfortable are you in your skin when everyday a struggle to battle the uncertainities that were bred into you when they told you the colour of all things evil is dark and light is all things good.

There’s darkness in your past, a past that fills you with rage and shame, but it’s OK because if it did not it would mean you don’t remember where you came from. The past doesn’t have to define you but that doesn’t mean you should pretend it never happened or it did not change you

You have changed ……

Like a child learning to walk, your footprints are all over the place; neither neat nor straight as you struggle to find your roots and your place in the world.

footprints

They broke you but the cracks are healing, filled with something different, something stronger…….. Divergence

Africa remade

 

You are no longer whom you were nor whom they tried to turn you into, you are different. Find peace with the new you and your divergent flavours, from the dark roasted caramel to the milk rich vanilla and everything beneath all the layers that make you up……

diversity

You were unmade and now you are remade, embrace all your Divergence.

Africa Dawn

 

You have a story to tell, don’t let anyone tell it for you but most of all, don’t let anyone else tell you how to tell it, find your voice…….

All my love
My Africa, My Words

~B

Of My Blog Resolutions

Resolutions: The Journey So Far. Day Five of The #FEBlog blog every day challenge.

  • One of my resolutions was to blog more and what more than a blogging everyday challenge to jump start the year….. Day Five and not out.
  • I also want to maintain and increase an active network of bloggers. So every once in a while (depending on its initial success) I will host The Muse Blog Party;

  • this is when I will share a blogroll of articles from bloggers I interact with.
  • If you are interested: let’s get this party started, here is how it will work; in the comments drop the link to an article of yours past or present you think fellow bloggers (and me also) should check out (I promise to read every link.. eventually
  • Follow up on the comments posted and read at least one post from a link posted by another blogger and when you comment sign off at the bottom ~With Compliments from B and me (your name)

  • I have been neglecting a creative writing tag of mine where I write a story and the reader picks how the story proceeds… starting this Friday I will be resuming it; if you are a curious cat, you can catch up on the story so far at this link…..
  • To self host my blog or to upgrade to a premium wordpress plan… decisions decisions but we certainly going up notch
  • Ah yes also I’ll be doing more posts on how to amp up your blogging game, stay tuned. I have just made myself an expert.
  • Blogger Meet Ups! ! ! ! ! ! ! Coming soon.

~B PS And I owe Mable a letter…. I am completing this resolution on Wednesday!

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.