Growing up, I always told myself that I would be married by 25, well am more than 2 years late on that and am still not with anyone. Well I have a boyfriend back home but I don’t see it working out, on my part, because I don’t feel alive with him. He is an awesome guy who would make a good husband and father but we are not friends. I feel like there is that umph missing. I don’t want to just exist but rather look forward to living each day.

When my time comes, I want to look back at the 90 years (I want to die after 90) and smile because I spent it with my best friend (love of my life), we have made beautiful memories together, wonderful citizens of the world and that I have been an exceptional daughter, sister and friend to those that mean the most to me.

Social media doesn’t do much to hide the fact that I might be the last man standing in my pack. I see engagements, weddings, births, anniversaries etc on my feed. As strange it might sound, these events do warm my heart and I pray that when my time comes, I will be over the moon.

Recently a friend of mine said that she was leaving her boyfriend of 6years and I was dismayed because they seemed to be a perfect couple. Like what would have possibly gone wrong for them to part ways. She said to me that after a while she felt lonely even with him so she decided to be alone than lonely with someone besides her.

Usually they say that all works out in good time but when is the good time when my biological clock has a mind of its own? And all the marriageable men seem to be marrying every weekend. Where is mine?

 

thinking

Where are you and when and where shall we meet?

They also say sow a good seed and you will reap a good harvest. I believe I have sown so many good seed, some have borne fruit but this particular one seems to have forgotten to germinate. Am I perhaps looking in the wrong place or am stationed in the wrong locations?

They also say that God’s timing is perfect, I believe so but sometimes the human in me is impatient to get on with meeting the love of my life so that we can start to live. I feel that because we don’t have forever, better to start now than much later.

Loneliness is not for me and am starting to get impatient and it’s worrying me.

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Everything we read, watch, hear and feel plants a seed in our minds. This partly explains the de-javu feeling we get once in a while. This also explains why certain sounds and smells remind us of the tinniest of things and events in our lives. 

I don’t know whether this particular seed is of lust or love or an in-between feeling. Jokingly he said that he would marry me, his actual words were that he wants me to raise his children. What do we have in common; a friendship where we share each others’ deepest worries and dreams. Our love for change in our beloved country explains the long conversations we frequently have, not forgetting the similarity we have in our childhood and general life up to this point in our lives. What he doesn’t know yet is the huge difference in our religious believes, and that is something we both can’t compromise. He doesn’t know it yet but when push comes to shove, i might have to play this card for both our sakes.

You might be wondering why am confused about this seed, clearly it could be love. But am promised to someone else, this someone else, all we have is the fact that he loves me unconditionally and he has accepted the religious difference. I like him a lot but the lack of friendship has barred me from falling in love with him. He is a great guy by far, the greatest i have dated. My fear is losing him to such a petty reason and realizing when it is too late.

platonic-3

I always know how the story ends but this one,i have no idea, none at all

Fast rewind, i have always felt like this about the person am promised to but it is until recently that i realized that maybe just maybe i need a life partner who is also a friend.  I have also been told that love and friendship grows but i am not certain about this particular seed with the one am promised to.Thirdly, i have heard my friends talk about that mushy feeling they get when their S.O is next to them or in the vicinity. Sadly i have never known that feeling with the one am promised to. But i have felt that and more with this friend of mine. And this brought me to another realization, maybe i also want someone who can gives me that mushy feeling when they are around.The rational being in me sensed that the particular time of the month might have contributed to this heightened feeling around my friend. But then again, i have been with the one am promised to in similar conditions but never felt that kind of heat rush through my veins.

The need to be close to this friend of mine exponentially increased as he innocently (now that i think back it might have been intentional) touched my hand as we went around shopping or crossed the road. Him asking me to give him a chance didn’t help the steadily increasing rush of adrenaline or whatever it i was feeling then. In that moment, i was on a cloud but constantly yanked myself back to reality because am promised to someone else. Did i tell you that this friend of mine works out and has just enough muscles to make a girl swoon. He also cooks surprisingly delicious meals. It’s been days since the D-day i.e. the day i felt my friend in a different way but it is yet to go away. Just in case you are wondering, the answer is NO we didn’t have sex.

As i type away at my laptop, i wonder how all this is going to play out. The one am promised to is a really awesome guy and has never given me reason to doubt him. I know my friend a bit more (not better) than the one am promised. Am i at a point of confusion, not yet. Just sitting here wondering what kind of seeds this encounter has planted. In my mind, the stage has been set and the curtains for a life changing experience seem to be opening. The play yet to be staged is unfamiliar to me hence the wonder. 

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                                          Language

The very first language I learnt while growing up was my mum’s language. I do have a few regrets for not having been able to learn my mother tongue. Over the years I have let it go because both my parents’ tongues are dialects of the bantu language. Growing up I made it a habit to pick a few words from other languages (who knows where this world might throw you and you are suddenly in need of water or food or the bathroom!!!!).

The government is running around trying to teach the youngsters the real meaning of patriotism straight from primary school. As much as it the government’s duty, all charity begins at home and so does all identity realization. Our surnames are not enough to give us all the identity we need but the languages we speak do give us not only a sense of belonging but full blown identity without a doubt. Most people think am from a certain tribe because my physical appearance is very similar to theirs, until I open my mouth to speak the vernacular I know. Only then are all their doubts erased.

The government is also pushing for a national language and my greatest fear is having one of the already existing languages affirmed as the national language. I don’t like the thought of this coming to pass (in my heads it might be the 2nd last straw to the pending political apocalypse in this country). I honestly don’t see other tribes accepting such impositions (I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with being forced to speak a language of a people who think lowly of their fellow countrymen…sadly it might eventually boil down to that!!!!). A good example is what happened in Tanzania, Swahili is the National language and over the years the other indigenous languages have faded out along with most of their salient cultures. The same thing is happening to our neighbor Kenya, in the next 20 years, most of their diverse cultures will be but a feeble memory.

In this “modern day”, our local languages are slowly but surely dying out because “dot-com” parents vehemently refuse to teach their children local languages. Sadly their reasons revolve around it being un-cool and intermarriages making it difficult to chose which language should be spoken at home (I have nothing against intermarriages…but seriously that’s a lame excuse). According to me this is all crap, one of my cousins married a man from the eastern region while she is from the west, but she got a maid to teach her babies their mother tongue as she also learns. The irony is that I know of a distant relative who is married to a man from the same region, both of them speak similar dialects but their children can not hear/say a single word in any local language. Surprisingly the couple talk to each other in local lingual (while the kids look on and wonder what alien language mum and dad are speaking).

In a typical African setting, it is rare to find grandparents, great grandparents and even some aunties and uncles who know English. Children who don’t know any local language are usually shunned by such relatives because they see it as disrespectful, and I honestly don’t blame the elders….i would feel the same if I was in their shoes.

There are so many foreigners in our country especially Indians, Somalis, Ethiopians and South Sudanese. These people come here and still speak their native languages decades after they have settled in. Why can’t my fellow countrymen pick a leaf or better yet a tree from these people they accommodate. This time round, I don’t blame this mishap on the western infiltration but rather on our inferiority complex that makes us believe that all we have and all we are might never amount to anything; that in order to fit in with the rest of the world, we have to camouflage into something we might not even know. The Nigerians are going places with their pidgin, the Ethiopians and Indians still hold all their cultural celebrations no matter where they are, the Chinese and Japanese are so cultural that some of their festivals are being adopted in other countries, the Congolese can’t be separated from their lingala.

Languages of Africa

I do fear for our future generation (s) because we are going to have children with no sense of belonging, with mannerisms that are not African yet they live in Africa. We are bound to have a confused generation with nothing to fall back on.

In fact in one of Hugh Masekela’s interviews he says “What we have lost is our Heritage and most of our children can’t speak their mother tongues and their parents are not letting them do so. In fact when people come to Africa, they come to see the animals, the geographical sites because we are invisible. We are bad imitations of the people who oppressed us yet there is no richer society in the world like Africa because of diversity. We have created design, literature, architecture etc. We are living in age where we don’t do heritage restoration, 20 years from now your children will be asked who they are and they will say, they say we used to be Africans long ago. It is very sad.”

This is the time and place to have a change; teach our children about their heritage (past, present and possible future) and identity. The time is now, tomorrow will be so late to right the wrongs of today.

 

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Cherry blossoms in JapanIt is exactly 6 days since i left home to pursue my Master’s degree.  I was so excited while i applied for this scholarship, i remember all the pictures i painted about all the things i would do if and when it finally came to pass.

Rewind to 3 days before i set off. My boyfriend was involved in a motorbike accident, i had to travel for 3 hours to see him because my heart was aching as i was already going to leave him alone for more than 24 months.

Fast forward to my 26 hour flight that included an 8 hour stop for the connecting flight. There was also the 4 hour wait at immigration that left me spent and begging for a bed that i couldn’t access even if my life depended on it. I can never forget the 1 km walk from the train station to the dormitory will all my 48 kgs of luggage. Exhaustion does not start to explain what i have felt the last  4 days here. 

Then there has been the paper pushing for the last 3.5 days. Yesterday the rain woke up “shinning” i.e. showing off for all to see. It left me drained and drained, i was forced to walk another 2 km to look for rain boots that i didn’t have on my budget. I have a sprained leg to show for these exercises.

But this is not the biggest of challenges, i think being away from home especially from family and my boyfriend have given me a heart ache (i last felt this way when i was dumped more than 4 years ago). The time difference and lack of sim-card does not help matters. I had a brief lapse and wondered if i truly made the right choice to come here and leave all the above behind. Then i remembered that God does not make errors, it is us human beings that take long to see what we have in-front of us, all the favor and opportunity that thousands are yearning for.

Friends are one of the things we need around us, just this evening an old friend of mine from 9 years back called me and gave me some really good advice as he has been living here for the past 7 years. It has been a relief to hear the hard truth and reassurance that all will be okay if i take it one step at a time. My weapons to fight these challenges are dialogue with boyfriend, friends and everyone here. But i should not forget that the God that has brought me thus far can not abandon me for dead, “alinaitwe tulinawe, kyamziima kugambaga isiitwe alinaitwe“. The loose translation is that “He (God) is with us and we are with him, and it is true to always say a prayer.”

 

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I Should Be Engaged.

Corinne Steele

I want to be engaged this year. As of yesterday I’ve been on this earth for more than twenty-three years, and I think it’s about time for me to be engaged.

I’ve been asking people on my Home Team what one word they want to hold true for 2016, and when the question was finally reciprocated by my friend Sanford, I couldn’t come up with anything. I hadn’t found one that quite fit just yet.

I would  say seemingly meaningful words aloud to see if their meanings would hold any significance for what I want this next year to be.

I rustled up words like depth or rest or value and announced them to myself in the car or in the shower or on my walk to work. Nothing was clicking.

Until I drove to Joshua Tree yesterday morning, and that’s when a word so unexpected was whispered into the silence…

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The first day I saw him in office, I was (to put it lightly) blown away. He had that slim frame, beautiful eyes and a composed appearance, his lips (yes his lips, I could imagine all the sweet kisses we would share). I had back to back deadlines to meet that day, ordinary in situations like these, I can only spare time for bathroom breaks and pick calls from family and close friends only. That morning was different, he was the family and close friend I would spare a few minutes for. I kept turning to the reception to check out his profile and all a girl would do was build a future. There and then, I imagined my ssenga introducing him to the world as my one and only. Double takes, triple takes, quadruple takes were not enough to take in all his glory. I was smitten in under five minutes, in the preceding hours, I kept stealing peeks at him and affirming the colors for our future ceremony.

 

He was a new employee at office (I had seen emails to this effect), and I started making plans to be his bff come tsunami or sand storms. I would put this plan into action when they brought him to be introduced around. I was determined to put my bestest foot forward, I rehearsed the words I would say to showcase my impeccable English and polished self.

That moment happened an hour into my day dream. The human resource assistant went desk to desk to introduce him, this whole time I was fighting hard to calm my nerves lest I asked him to marry on the spot. They were finally at my desk and I had to double pinch myself to stay focused.

“Laura, this is Derrick and he is our new I.T guy” said Rachel the HR assistant. In my head I was thinking to myself, gorgeous looks, good brains and that sex appeal you can’t deny, this is the real deal, this is man I want to have kids with.

The hand shake came before the greeting. “Strong hands too I must have done something right last month” I thought to myself.

“Hello Laura, am Derrick nice to meet,” I thought I saw a hint of a wink as his playful eyes met my best smile. “Nice to meet you Derrick, I hope you will find a home here, welcome to the family’’ I replied in my most confident voice.

“Will see what happens,” he replied in a sultry voice. I was vigorously doing a dance festival in my little head.

My project (s) were at the peak and so was forced to work into wee hours of the night. As fate would have it, so was he. I used this opportunity to chit-chat with him and soon we starting freely talking and the sweet goodmornings started pouring in. I knew I was onto something remarkable, only if we could just exchange numbers. As much as I wanted to win this boy over, I had promised myself not to ask for his number before he asked for mine (I still had a little pride tucked inside me somewhere).

Before long, we started having lunch at the same places, talking about similar things. Now we really on the friend-ship and this was a very comforting sign. He was single so was I though i never let him know that I was. I am told that forbidden goods usually make a killing on the market. This was my other strategy to draw in as if I was off the market. Our “office friend circle’’ grew and voila a whatsapp group was born and voila we had each other’s numbers.

This was getting good, really really good until he started using very profane language on the forum. You know how our vernacular can sound extremely vulgar. The shock I felt at seeing him type and also start to throw around these words over lunch, was enough to call it quits. Not only was he extremely profane but clearly had no life plans other to party his way to oblivion. To put it mildly I was slapped out of my day dream and all the hype I had over him died faster than it was cultivated.

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WHY I CANT HAVE HIM

Do I have regrets….yes. My only regret is not having the patience to hold on. But I have learnt my lessons and am not going to make this mistake again. I have had sleepless nights and wished all of them hell on earth, but I have been seeking absolution. It’s not easy, but I want it so badly and have no choice but to make it work at all costs.

Growing up I heard lots of stories of relationships going sour and always wondered why. Yes I did wonder but now I perfectly understand. Once bitten twice shy, ohh yes like your ex dating your friend or is it your friend dating your ex. (I will whine about that some other time)

It all starts with a smile and then a conversation and the rest is history

It all starts with a smile and then a conversation and the rest is history

So we flow, he is a good listener who is not trying to impress me, he says it as it is or not. I like him because he knows my craziness well and he lets me be me around and most importantly he makes me laugh. Deep down I know it might not work because of different religious affiliations. But I can’t deny myself this beautiful creature.

He is surprisingly brilliant, a man of action and he keeps his word. Strangely we agree on things that I usually disagree with all my other guy-friends. This is one of those moments I pinch myself to make sure am not dreaming.

When the time comes to say goodbye it will be difficult to let go but I also pray that there can be a happily ever after story. It is what I badly want but we don’t always get what we want. So I choose to live in the moment but I have to tread carefully because this could end like the last one.

When it stops raining will you be hot or cold

When it stops raining will you be hot or cold

I am so comfortable and yet am scared that am not afraid of what the outcome might be. In the dead of the night, I keep telling myself that sometimes love is not enough. But in the meantime I will enjoy this adventure.

PS:Valentine has come and gone and i had nothing special to write about so i decided to publish this piece I wrote  on 27/04/2014. I was so nervous then and totally excited about him. Well today we are very good friends, bordering on besties.

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Ahhhh

Ahhhh

During the December holidays, I bumped into an OG (old girl) from high school at the cinema. We stood at the cinema entrance for almost 15minutes catching up. The hottest topic (as expected) was who is married, getting married, has children blah blah blah….. As the chat ensued, she boldly tells me that she has given up on marriage and is not even looking forward to it anymore. Her fear being that most men these days are on a hit and run schedule, which might result into one becoming an unprepared baby mama. She cited that so many of our OGs (2-3years older than us) are baby mamas or side dishes for many older men while others are in relationships for the money while others it is for fear of being alone . Was I shocked at this revelation, no. It seems to be the trend these days especially in this “cooperate world of ours today”.

That aside, she swore that she cannot bend low for any guy (not now or even in the next lifetimes) especially if she makes her own money. At this juncture, I realized part of the problem why there were so many broken “young” homes and perhaps side dishes. The misinterpretation of women emancipation and the ongoing feminism war is partly to blame for most of this chaos.

Being a traditional girl at heart, this unsettled me immensely. It is important for young women today to realize that despite the fact that women are evolving, the men today have similar traits to the men of more than five decades ago. A man will always be a man, education and exposure might polish him a bit but the way they want to be handled is no different from our ancestors. It is in the men’s nature to want to feel needed, be the provider and to be king, and this is something technological evolutions cannot take away.

Anha

Anha

It is true that some men today have refused to stand up and be counted among men and still act like the little boys. There is always an exception to the rule, I mean we have tom-boys and “cisses”. That said men will always treat you the way you present yourself from day one, all the rules and regulations before you were married will still prevail in his mind. This is why most women complain the man has changed, most times it is us women who do. Most women make the mistake of being extremely accommodating (being accommodating is not bad, but how far you take it is what matters) and let all these “strange” behaviors from their men slide. After marriage, they think the guy will camouflage. Men are like plants, if you want to bend that rod, bend it while it is still a seedling, for when it’s a tree, you might break it or yourself in the process. What do I know about marriage, good question, close to nothing.

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MEN DO NOT EVOLVE…WOMEN DO

Ahhhh

Ahhhh

During the December holidays, I bumped into an OG (old girl) from high school at the cinema. We stood at the cinema entrance for almost 15 minutes catching up. The hottest topic (as expected) was who is married, getting married, has children blah blah blah….. As the chat ensued, she boldly tells me that she has given up on marriage and is not even looking forward to it anymore. Her fear being that most men these days are on a hit and run schedule, which might result into one becoming an unprepared baby mama. She cited that so many of our OGs (2-3years older than us) are baby mamas or side dishes for many older men while others are in relationships for the money while others it is for fear of being alone . Was I shocked at this revelation, no. It seems to be the trend these days especially in this “cooperate world of ours today”.

That aside, she swore that she cannot bend low for any guy (not now or even in the next lifetimes) especially if she makes her own money. At this juncture, I realized part of the problem why there were so many broken “young” homes and perhaps side dishes. The misinterpretation of women emancipation and the ongoing feminism war is partly to blame for most of this chaos.

https://tenderpetals.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/women-e-man-c-interpretation/

Being a traditional girl at heart, this unsettled me immensely. It is important for young women today to realize that despite the fact that women are evolving, the men today have similar traits to the men of more than five decades ago. A man will always be a man, education and exposure might polish him a bit but the way they want to be handled is no different from our ancestors. It is in the men’s nature to want to feel needed, be the provider and to be king, and this is something technological evolutions cannot take away.

Anha

Anha

It is true that some men today have refused to stand up and be counted among men and still act like the little boys. There is always an exception to the rule, I mean we have tom-boys and “cisses”. That said men will always treat you the way you present yourself from day one, all the rules and regulations before you were married will still prevail in his mind. This is why women will constantly say the man has changed, most times it is us women who do. Most women make the mistake of being extremely accommodating (being accommodating is not bad, but how far you take it is what matters) and let all these “strange” behaviors from their men slide. After marriage, they think the guy will camouflage. Men are like plants, if you want to bend that rod, bend it while it is still a seedling, for when it’s a tree, you might break it or yourself in the process. But then again, what do I know about marriage, good question, close to nothing.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX

I have never had the proverbial sex talk with my mum or any female adult in my life. All that I know about sex, I have heard from friends, tv, internet or just read about. Yes my mother is very shy when it comes to some things, she coarses me to talk to my siblings about sex. But I know when the right time comes, I will ask her all about it (this right time in my mind is when am about to get married).

From the few hints, I realized that she would prefer for me to engage in it when am ready and sure about myself and the other party. Am a 20 something female who wishes she had been told everything “they” possibly could about sex from the start. Don’t get me wrong, I was told about the “cons” and hardly anything about the “pros”.

Growing up in a mostly typical African setting, we were always told to stay away from sex because it was a bad thing especially for young adults. They constantly reminded us about the risk of unwanted pregnancies, STDs and HIV/AIDS. I know where they are coming from and I understand their fear but in all honesty, there is two sides to every coin.

barriers

Growing up with all this negativity in my head, I have realized it has kept me on the straight and narrow (yes am still a virgin) but also made it a bit difficult for me to comfortably relate intimately with all the guys I have dated. Without a doubt, intimacy is part and parcel of any healthy relationship but how one (two people) approach it is vital. I believe that it might also be a deal breaker for someone who wants a serious relationship to lead to a lifelong commitment.

I wish I had been told the sex is in fact a beautiful thing and that our bodies (especially as young women) were made to be adored and savored for this purpose too. I wish I had been told that sex is therapeutic and plays a role in our health. I wish I had been told that sex is not just an animal instinct but a beautiful melody sang when two people are in love. I wish I had been told that sex does not have to be like in the movies that you can in fact customize it to your taste. I wish I had been told that sex is not only physical but more spiritual than most activities, yoga inclusive. I wish I had been told that sex is journey where two individuals have to meet each other half way. I wish I had been told that being sexy is beautiful as long as it does not border on looking hoochie. I wish I had been told that it is ok for a guy to say sexual things as long as it is not derogative or abusive (flattery can be nice).

200025260-002

Do I regret all the above, yes and no. Yes because it would have prepared me better for what I should expect when i am finally thrown into the world. No because I have discovered some things am sure my parents would not have heard the stomach to tell me.

In this world of the internet and social media, it is our sole responsibility to tell our young girls about the pros and cons of sex so that they are better prepared for the real world. And also educate our young boys about their roles and responsibilities when it comes to this dance.

romance

I am still naïve about so many sex related things but what puzzles me most is the on-going hook-up culture. Anyway that is an elephant for another day.

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