Search

sheXpress Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Same monster, different face

Different face

Same monster

Just another side

Of the same coin

Like Janus

The two faced one

In Roman mythology

Who coincidentally

Was the god of beginnings & transitions, 

gates, doors, doorways, endings and time.

Advertisements

When dreams are like raw material for movies

For me, going to bed is like booking a seat in the front row of a theatre to watch a free movie.

I have the most vivid and sometimes rather entertaining dreams. They range from cartoons to romance and sometimes more serious dramas. The nightmares are particularly horrific.

On some occasions I’ve woken up to the sound of my laughter, when I have a comic dream. Similarly, nightmares induce occasional screams. Once I was woken up by sobs, only to realise it was my voice and I was crying in my sleep. I still remember that dream more than 15 years later, but I’ll leave it for another day.

By the way, on a normal night, I sleep in three hour intervals and usually have a different dream for each segment, although the dreams in the last interval are the ones I remember most.

So today, in the wee hours of morning and during my final interval, I had an interesting dream in which I was not an important person, but just a casual observer accompanying the main protagonist.

It so happened that while completing some forms in a banking hall in some country, I struck up a conversation with the man beside me. He was a six foot tall, lanky Caucasian man probably in his early 50s, with weathered skin because of the amount of time he spent outdoors. He looked every bit the outdoor type, clad in khaki pants, a blue shirt with rolled up sleeves and a well-worn beige leather hat.

He was just one of those ordinary looking but interesting guys with an odd habit. It’s important to mention the habit because it’s a central part of the dream.

During our first conversation I learnt that this man always carried two sets of keys – one for a car and one for a helicopter – the Cessna type that uses an ignition key.

He and his partner, whom I later met, were in the business of rescuing people in distress, a bit like The Samaritans in action. Their rescue operation was designed so they could access cars and helicopters across the globe using the same two keys.

We instantly became friends and they started taking me on their missions.

One day they were called to rescue twins aged somewhere between the late 30s and early 40s, who were planning to commit a double suicide while skydiving. The two Black ladies of mixed descent, intended to jump off the plane, quickly undo all measures designed for their safety, then free fall to their deaths. In this dream, they were to dive alone and had calculated what it would take to ensure they were dead on landing.

They had envisioned every detail of their deaths and the ensuing media coverage.

Twins, together at birth and in death, exiting the world a few seconds apart, in a tragic but well executed double suicide. Their grievances were well documented in a note that would probably be discovered during the investigations following their deaths.

My hero, whose name I didn’t know throughout the dream, got wind of the suicide plan through the ladies’ family – his business was well known back in his home country.

I travelled with him and his partner on this particular mission.

As in an action movie, they managed to catch up with the twins as they began their descent. With his partner controlling the helicopter, they circled the air while my hero jumped out and managed to catch both women in the nick of time so they all landed neatly in the back of an open truck in some desert.

Of course the helicopter and truck used the universal ignition keys.

The twins were grateful to be alive because at some point during the fall, they’d changed their minds about the suicide.

On our journey back to the city, my hero and one of the twins fell in love. They got married and had twin girls, who looked exactly like their mother. They travelled the world as a family, sometimes on rescue missions and other times on vacation.

One day, while on holiday in Zimbabwe, the father went out on an errand, while the mother remained at their temporary home with the girls who were then toddlers. One of the twins wondered off and had a traumatic experience while the mother was preoccupied with some household chore. It’s not very clear what happened to the little girl, but she was dishevelled and distraught when she was found. The father got home in time to rescue her. The mother blamed herself for the accident, but although he secretly felt the same, he consoled her. In the end it all worked out well and the dust settled. That was his last rescue mission before I woke up. The dream ended as the father took an afternoon nap in their temporary home, after ensuring that his wife and daughters were safe.

In the previous episode on the same night, I dreamt I was at a gig where Zimbabwean contemporary musician, Jah Prayzah, released a new song. It was a beautiful composition in Shona and an instant hit. Of course should he ever sing such a song, I’ll be the first to recognise it. I attended the show with my friends and we danced like crazy. My dance was so breath taking, I wish I could transfer those moves to real life.

So, what’s your dream life like? What images do you see when you go to sleep? I hope they’re as pleasant and entertaining as mine.

Photo sources http://arseurope.com/ and http://bit.ly/2i14u9m

Stressed? Try screaming

Reblogged retrospectively in light of Day 14 of the #30DayAfriBlogger #BlogTemberChallenge #MyAfricaMyWords on mental health…

sheXpress Blog

Screaming has been known to have a cathartic effect on people. A loud, shrill, intense scream gives one a sense of release and leaves the screamer feeling at peace. Screaming is no doubt, a cheap outlet for pent up anger, energy and tension.

A few years ago, as students my friend and I discovered a simple way to manage life’s problems. Rather than bottle up stress or down tablets, booze or whatever options fellow students chose to drown their sorrows, we developed the habit of taking long walks at night, to a place where we could scream. Yes, we would just scream!

Once in a while, after a build up of stress, we would take our crazy, screaming walks, let out the steam and live happily until it was time to scream again. We would find an isolated spot in Harare’s concrete jungle at a time when traffic had subsided…

View original post 551 more words

5 Benefits Of BlogTemberChallenge Halfway Down the Road

download

It’s been a number of days of blogging in the #30DayAfriBlogger #BlogTemberChallenge #MyAfricaMyWords and halfway through the challenge, I must say it’s been fun, although it hasn’t been easy.

Life is happening concurrently as I blog and in between hustling, eking out a living and fulfilling social obligations, I’ve tried to live up to the challenge and blog daily.

My journey has not been smooth.

Thankfully I’ve managed to blog on most of the days – say 90 percent of the time – and I can count the few when I didn’t.

On some days I’ve had to cheat a little and post on the following day but I guess it’s better late than never, right?

Here are five things I’ve enjoyed about the journey so far:

1. Being pushed out of my comfort zone.

I’ve had to write about diverse issues, some of which I’m not familiar with. On some days, the topics have been fun but time was not on my side, on other days the topics have been tough and  not what I would ordinarily write about.  There have also been days when I really felt I couldn’t do the topics justice without spending some time on research, yet I didn’t have time to research. I guess that’s the essence of the challenge and it’s certainly stretched me to go the extra mile in my writing.

There have also been days when I just loved the topics because they were close to my 💓 and I wrote from my heart. Naturally music is one of them.

2. Reading the work of fellow bloggers has been beneficial.

I’ve read to learn about our cultural diversity, get exposure to various writing styles, glean new ideas, get inspiration and be a part of fellow bloggers’ journey in this blogging challenge.

3. Developing the discipline to write daily.

I normally write when I feel like it, but I gave up that choice when I signed up for the challenge. Some days I was just not in the mood to write anything, but once I got started inspiration came from somewhere deep within me I guess. There have been times when I’ve had to write just before midnight to catch the daily deadline.

4. Growth. Personally, I feel I’m growing as a blogger.

I imagine my writing has improved. To start with I’ve noticed my posts are shorter, which indicates that I’m learning the art of brevity. The number of people who are reading my blog has also increased and I hope and pray that momentum will continue. The challenge has also come with benefits such as practising writing daily.

5. The support, encouragement, camaraderie and sense of community that comes with being part of this family of bloggers.

Conversations have been started and new relationships built over this short period. I look forward to continued engagement with this great community.

That being said, I intend to continue with the challenge and hope to blog daily.

Picture source: http://bit.ly/2f1Q6fj

 

Life as I live it

Day 13 of #BlogTemberChallenge #30DayAfriBlogger #MyAfricaMyWords

Researcher

A mentor of mine once told my friends and I that she used to pray for a job where she would talk for a living and get up every morning to do nothing but talk!

“I love talking and I could do it all day, so that’s the sort of job I’d like to do,” she often said.

Well, she certainly got what she asked for, a talking job!

Armed with a medical background and her passion for talking, she was hired as a trainer and traversed the globe to “talk” to various groups of people about HIV and AIDS. This was some time ago, when the virus was new, information limited and the death toll high.

Emboldened by seeing someone else’s dream come true, I did some soul searching and asked myself what I wanted to do. I figured since I love writing, I too could write all day, so I prayed for a job where I would do nothing but write all day.

However, I didn’t just want to write, I wanted to write for an audience and to make a difference. If someone could read what I wrote and either learn something from it, or feel inspired to take action to improve their life, then my work would be done.

I, too, got what I asked for, a writing job. Not only once, but repeatedly over time as I changed jobs. My entire career has revolved around writing. So, with my background in journalism and passion to impact lives combined, I started writing for particular causes and that has been my life for over a decade.

So, on a typical day, I interact with different people, obtain information from various sources then write it in such a way that it makes sense to the ordinary person. I enjoy breaking down a seemingly complex issue so the average person can understand how it impacts their life at individual and community level. For example, what makes you vulnerable to certain diseases and how you can protect yourself and your community at large over time? It seems like common sense, but only if you have access to information. We live in an unequal world, so not everyone has the same access to what seems basic.

I’m often amused by people who dismiss writing as a “soft science,” without realizing how writers like us, make their “hard science” more accessible and practically applicable to the majority of people.

I find my work very rewarding when I realize that someone, somewhere has read something I wrote, applied it and benefited from it, or when a policy I have written consistently about is changed. Although I acknowledge that it takes a lot to bring about change, I also realize that every effort, no matter how simple, contributes to the final outcome, just as grains of sugar contribute to the spoonful and add to the taste of food.

Knowledge is powerOver years I have written about diverse issues ranging from constitutions to technology and diseases. I enjoy the flexibility that comes with my work and the fact that I can apply my skills to various causes. I also enjoy breathing life into the mundane by tackling seemingly boring issues, and making them interesting enough for people to actually pay attention. That is both the joy and challenge of my work.

Essentially, I learn and share, then hope that armed with knowledge, together, we will make the world a better place!

Picture sources: http://tinyurl.com/y9gndxjv and http://bit.ly/2vUxPqT

A Human Work of Art

Day 12 of #BlogTemberChallenge #30DayAfriBlogger #MyAfricaMyWords

Human work of art.png

Yesterday you asked
If I was done painting myself
Unsure of that question
I did not answer
But today
I can confidently reply
Yes, I was done
Painting myself for the day
Today is a new day
I will paint myself again
It’s a daily ritual
I associate with my femininity
Daily I paint myself
For when I look in the mirror
I see raw beauty
Like a skilled painter
I enhance it
Armed with my make-up palette
And my face as the canvas
I sit before the mirror
And start to paint
Like spices and condiments
Add flavor to food
My paintworks
Enhance my beauty
A little foundation
To smooth the complexion
Some shadow on my large eyelids
So they look like awnings
Over the windows of my soul
A dab of lipstick
To enhance the pout of my lips
A touch of blush
To make my cheeks flush
Some tweezing of the eyebrows
Into a permanent arch
A brush of powder
For that polished dry look
And finally some spray
To make the look stay
And I’m done for the day
Now I can go out
For all to see
This human work of art
That is me!

By Matilda Moyo 29 August 2010
First published on: https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/matilda-moyo/posts/11508
Picture source:http://bit.ly/2h37bpH

Tying The knot in Zimbabwe

Day 11 of the #BlogTemberChallenge #30DayAfriBlogger #MyAfricaMyWords
zimbabwe-traditional-dance-wwwpachikorocozw
Marriage, in any society, is always exciting. Today, I’ll share a little about our customary marriages, informed mostly by my Karanga culture.

Although cultural practices have evolved over time, the practice of lobola (siNdebele) or roora (Shona) has withstood the test of time, although it is sometimes highly misunderstood.

Roora is usually paid by the groom to the bride’s parents as a token of gratitude for raising a wife for him – that’s how it was explained to me. The amount charged varies from place to place and has related sub-charges. One of the related charges that intrigues me most is “matekenya ndebvu” literally translated as a charge for “tickling the beard.” This amount goes to the bride’s father. Whoever came up with it was very clever because children generally play with their dad’s beards, particularly when he is speaking. I guess they are fascinated by the movement of the mouth and beard. When my young nieces touch my brother’s beard, I tease him about how he’ll need to charge extra for matekenya ndebvu when they get married.

The practice of roora has been highly misunderstood. In some quarters it has been misconstrued as buying a wife. I do not think any human being can ever be bought, nor do I think human life can have a monetary value.

Some have also misunderstood the practice to mean the groom is paying for the bride’s virginity, so he should not be charged if she’s not a virgin. None of those propounding this argument question the groom’s chastity.

In the past, lobola/roora could be paid using cattle, labour or implements such as a hoe. The bride’s parents were usually considerate in their demands. However, in modern society, some tribes have abused the culture, demanding cars or high value assets while milking the groom dry before he begins his new life with the bride. I know a few ladies whose grooms opted out and chose to marry someone else because the lobola/roora being demanded by the bride’s parents was too steep. In some cases, when the charges are too steep, the bride can secretly assist the groom by contributing. However, the bride’s family should never find out as this would be tantamount to “kuzviroora” or marrying herself. I have a relative or two who were stigmatized because of that.

Once lobola/roora has been paid, the couple is considered as married. However, most Christian couples, which is the dominant religion in Zimbabwe, prefer to wait until they have their white wedding before they start living together as a married couple.

Photo source: https://www.musicinafrica.net/magazine/traditional-dances-zimbabwe

Talking music…

Day 7 of #BlogTemberChallenge #30DayAfriBlogger #MyAfricaMyWords

Sax player
A saxophonist.

 

Music, is not only the food of the soul, but represents one of the highest forms of emotional expression for me.
Wish to know what’s trending in Zimbabwe? I’ll probably tell you that Jah Prayzah is probably the most happening musician at the moment. I could also tell you about a few of his tracks. I’m likely to inform you about Zimbabwean musical maestros like Oliver Mutukudzi, and educate you about Victor Kunonga, who happens to be one of my favourite local musicians. However, that’s as far as it goes.
You see, my taste in music is not determined by trends and in fact hasn’t been for some time now.
Strangely, after I turned 21, music for me stopped being about trends and became more about mood and expression.
I’m of the melancholic choleric personality disposition, by implication this means I’m predominantly melancholic – the moody, emotional and romantic type (see http://bit.ly/KrvuLz). That’s probably the most apt personality description I’ve ever come across. Naturally, this influences my taste in music.
I love jazz…
I could listen to it all day. I particularly like instrumentals because the absence of lyrics means I can slot in my own words and give the tune my own meaning. I thoroughly enjoy that flexibility and the music takes on new meanings, depending on how I feel and what I’m experiencing at that moment.
I’m deeply moved by the sound of the saxophone, I find it intensely emotional, although that does not mean I’m not moved by other instruments.
Because of the meaning I attach to music, I tend to stick to specific tracks and musicians that best express my emotions.
For melancholics like me, who like to sink deep into ourselves, there comes a time and mood for expression and nothing expresses feelings more than jazz.
My long-held top 10 loves include:
1. Alone in a strange place by Sipho Gumede – this is my all time favorite.
2. Fikiswa also by Sipho Gumede – I don’t know the story behind this track, but I’m sure it’s no coincidence that this was also his wife’s name. I presume it was composed for her and wow, I think that is the height of romance. A man, using his creative to express his love has to be the ultimate expression of love.
3. Natural thing by Earl Klugh – is extremely soothing and has a calming effect on me.
4. Tropical Legs, also by Earl Klugh – always takes me back to my childhood.
5. Mr. Mokoena and Walk of life by Jimmy Dludlu – strangely lift up my mood. I’d play these jovial tunes while driving to work on dreary mornings just to give my mood a lift.
6. Love is on the way by Dave Koz – communicates hope for the single. The song seems to hold a promise that something good is about to happen.
7. June 16th by Jimmy Dludlu – that date happens to be marked as the Day of the African child annually and the historical meaning of this heartrending song should not be lost on anyone.
8. Shamwari by Caeser Kajura
9. Song for papa also by Caeser Kajura – is very sentimental and triggers emotional thoughts about fathers.
10. A year ago by Kenny G – particularly appeals to me on rainy days. I don’t know why I associate it with rain.

I could go on and on about my favorite jazz tracks and tell a story or two about some of them, but for today I’ll stop here.

Photo source: http://bit.ly/2gQjIwC

Three Gems Nestled in Zimbabwe

Day 6 of #BlogTemberChallenge #30DayAfriBlogger #MyAfricaMyWords

Zambezi
The Zambezi River.

Planning a holiday and wondering where to go? I suggest a visit to the magnificent Zambezi River between the southern African countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Although the Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, there is some value in visiting it because of its link to the majestic Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba.

 

The Zambezi is the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The Victoria Falls, locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders) in Tonga, is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. With a width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and height of 108 metres (354 ft), the Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume. A double curvature concrete arch dam in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi river basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Kariba Dam forms Lake Kariba.

Victoria Falls
The majestic Victoria Falls.

 

Apart from looking at these diverse and majestic water bodies, you can take a boat cruise in the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba, or go bungee jumping over the Zambezi and white water rafting along the river. You can also go for a game drive and enjoy the country’s wildlife variety. While in Victoria Falls, assuming you’re on the Zimbabwean side, you’ll also get to see one of the world’s best known baobab trees, reputed to be over 1,000 years and you can also tour a crocodile farm.

Kariba Dam
Kariba Dam.

In addition to admiring the beauty of these water bodies, one can also derive some psychological benefits from visiting them.
Some time ago, the company I worked for underwent a change of management, which shifted the work environment from happy and healthy to gloomy and dreary, while the family set up we’d enjoyed became a dog eat dog scenario. Everyone was stressed. This was one of the rare instances when my blood pressure shot up. In addition, to the stress my mind was clouded, I could not think my way out of the situation.
I happened to travel to Victoria Falls and while there I went on a boat cruise with friends. It was a beautiful early morning cruise. A tranquil ride in the mighty Zambezi River.

 

I don’t know what on earth happened while I was in that water, but one thing is for sure, when I got off that boat, I was a different person. The stress was gone (I even tried to feel it but couldn’t). I guess somewhere along the river, my sorrows drowned, or perhaps the seemingly endless body of water had a calming effect. I went into the water stressed and re-emerged exhilarated and rejuvenated, with a very clear vision for a bright future.

I remained in that jubilant mood for the rest of the month, during which I returned to the same old work environment with a new attitude. That same month, I went back to the drawing board, plotted my next move, secured a new job and resigned from the old one. I guess the superstitious would say I was cleansed of some misfortune in the river – there’s a religious sect in Zimbabwe that actually practices the ritual of cleansing bad luck in rivers and under waterfalls so perhaps there’s some psychological insight to that belief.

So, as you plan your holiday, do consider these three gems all nestled in beautiful Zimbabwe and shared with our neighbor Zambia.

Photo sources: Zambezi River http://bit.ly/2gHIoaA, Victoria Falls http://bit.ly/2w874P8, Kariba Dam http://bit.ly/2w93JPW

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑