A Guide to Zambia Fashion Week

This year was the first time I was attending Zambia Fashion Week. I was excited because I love events and nervous because I never know what to wear to these things. I got there and I realized that I shouldn’t have been worried at all. However, there were a few things that I noticed that could improve your experience at the Fashion Week. So here are a few tips on how to get the best from Fashion Week.

Wear Red Lipstick

Wear Red lipstick (or any other color) for no other reason than that it will make you feel pretty. I rarely wear makeup even when I’m going out but I decided to wear red lipstick this time. Because I wasn’t dressed up, it made me feel just a bit more adult.

Look at the Audience

The best outfits are not just limited to the models on the runway. Some of the audience comes dressed to kill. There are so many interesting outfits and combinations among the people. All you have to do is just look for them. So don’t just pay attention to the stage. Look around once in a while, you might find some fashion gems.

Get your phone ready

You’re going to want to take a lot of photos of the outfits and we all know you will take loads of selfies. So you need to be prepared for that. Charge your phone till the battery is full before the event. And if you know that your battery has a charge life equivalent to the lifespan of the characters in Game of Thrones, you might want to carry a spare battery.

You also need to make sure your phone has enough storage space. So backup the thousands of selfies in your gallery and erase them because you wouldn’t want to run out of space in the middle of all the fun. Plus lack of space slows down the phone and the only thing worse than a slow phone is a slow WiFi.

Don’t stick to the final night

Most people just pick the final night of Fashion Week to make an appearance. But I would advise you to also go on the other nights. The designers are all really good and I swear they don’t save the best for last. Of course the big names might be on the final night but from what I have seen in so many industries, it’s the young and hungry small names that are the most impressive. Besides, tickets to the other nights are cheaper and there is no restriction on seating.

Be Early

The tickets say 6 pm and because we’re in Zambia we know the show will start at 7 pm right? Well, yeah the show will start at 7 but if you come late you won’t pick the nice seats. Because there is no restriction in the seating plan, if you come early enough you can even sit in the front row for no extra charge.

Carry reinforcements

Zambia Fashion Week in October which is the hottest month in Zambia. So don’t assume you will be seated directly under an air-con. Carry a cute little paper fan or something like that to help keep cool. Also If you have eye issues, you might want to carry your glasses with you just in case you need them. The runway is really lit up and you will be starring into the bright light for over 2 hours so your eye-glasses will come in handy.

So that’s it. I hope these help you at the next Fashion week you attend or any event for that matter. Do you have anything else that could help? Let me know.

The photo in this post was taken by Fortress Media Photography and you can see more photos of the Zambia fashion Week on their Facebook and Flickr page. Check them out.

Zambia Fashion Week 2015: My Fave Designers

During the Zambia Fashion Week there were some designers that stood out. I saw the work of over 40 designers and while most of them were good, some just reached into my heart with their clothes and made a lasting impression.  As I said on the outfits, my knowledge of fashion is quite limited but I like creativity and beauty so some of the designers did that for me.

Feature Image Designers names

Charity Musowa

The fact that she used environment friendly, hand-made, bio-degradable material just blew my mind. The outfits were roughly beautiful. Two of her outfits made it to my favorite outfit list and the rest were equally beautiful. The richness of the colors stood out.

Charity Collection

Charity Collection 2

Charity Collection 3

Karen Nakamba

This lady explained that her clothes were inspired by the Masai which was quite interesting to watch. She used synthetic hair in her outfits which made so much sense coz Masai men are very good at braiding hair. She also used the red and blue colors that are key in Masai clothes. What caught my attention was a model wearing something that was made up of bath scrunchies sewn together. I was like “Whaaat?!! Who does that? Who even thinks of that?”

Masai Collection KN

Masai Collection

Chizo

Her Collection was elegant and had hints of personality. I loved her collection because most of it was stuff I would wear but it wasn’t plain or nondescript. Some of her outfits were my favorites so here are a couple more examples. I also like how bright the colors are.

Chizo 1

DebbieChu

DebbieChu’s designs were insane, unconventional and outrageous. She went against the Zambian fashion tide and created stuff that most people would not picture themselves wearing. She went ahead and created art. Something you look at and ask “What the hell were you thinking?”. It’s something that looked like the cast of Game of Thrones would wear. It was different. I was glad she didn’t use Chitenge because a lot of the other designers used it a lot. The black rose in the models’ mouth was novel. The models came in with a whole different grungy attitude. I also liked that she made her theme well known and had it written on the first outfit. She really did put a lot of thought in this exhibition. And then she came out and walked down the runway so unapologetic and with the same attitude as her models. She was fierce!

OOTHB

OOTHB DC

OOTHB 2

Which designers stood out for you? What do you think about these designers? Let me know what you think.

All photos in this post were taken by Fortress Media Photography and you can see more photos of the Zambia fashion Week on their Facebook and Flickr page. Check them out.

Zambia Fashion Week 2015: My Fave Outfits.

I’m not fashion savvy but I like looking at people wearing nice clothes so Zambia Fashion week was an event I definitely wanted to attend. There were so many outfits that were modeled and so many designers that exhibited. The Fashion Week was held from Thursday – Saturday (15th – 17th October). There were so many beautiful outfits that I liked and I want to share some of these. Oh and please note that I have no idea about fashion terminology or rules so all the outfits I liked, I liked because I liked them. Gerrit?

The first on the list is this red beauty made by Charity Musowa. I remember her saying the material used in her outfits was handmade and I could see that in the texture.

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Next up is this cute little dress by Chizo (Chisoma Lombe). It’s really cute and I like the print. I especially like the huge hat. Oh and can you see the little purse thingy in her hand? Cute.

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Maybe I’m a historic romantic or I’ve just watched too many epic movies but I loved this next outfit. The designer’s name is Yvonne Katongo and I think she did a good job on this one.

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This dress by Chizo was so beautiful. It looked so soft and quite simple. I love black so anything in black goes. I would definitely wear this dress. Obviously not in the summer though.

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This one was also made by Chizo. I like the upturned high collar. It looks so regal.

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The next outfit I liked was this little piece of work by Yves Designs. What’s there to like? The little reed cups over the boobs. The skirt covered in dry leaves. The little reed umbrella.

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This outfit was by Charity Musowa. The material is handmade like the first red one. Among my favorite this is my favoritest (yeah, I just made up that word). I like the hat and the color. This dress like the red one is bio-degradable. I don’t know about you but I think there’s something sexy about wearing something that I know will rot in the next few months or years. Maybe that’s why Lady Gaga wore that meat outfit.

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Lastly, the next outfit is what happens when someone has zero cares left to give. I liked this outfit immediately I saw it. I know she’s been wrapped in a see through material but on a runway it made sense to me. I think the designer (Mu + Shannon) was like “What? People’s opinions? I’ve run out of cares to give!” and continued cutting up her material or whatever designers do. I can’t show you the back view of the dress though. Because I’m petty and I’m upset about the fact that this model’s bum does not have cellulite (How unfair is that?!!?).

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So that’s the roundup of my favorite outfits during the Zambia fashion Week 2015. Which ones did you like?

All photos in this post were taken by Fortress Media and you can see more photos of the Zambia fashion Week on their Facebook and Flickr page. Check them out.

Home Is Where The Space Is

When I was growing up my parents’ house was always full to capacity. There were always aunts, cousins, and all kinds of relations that were visiting or staying with us at any particular time. We lived in a three bedroom house. The master was my parents’ of course and in the early part of my life when my kid brothers were toddlers, the second bedroom was where everyone else slept. The third bedroom was left as a storage room. So at any given time, our bedroom would hold at least 4 of us. Later, when my brothers got older they were moved to their own room and thus the boys’ bedroom was formed. But the girls’ bedroom was always full to capacity.

I don’t know when this constant lack of space started to bother me but at some point I would spend lots of time in the bathroom just to be alone. While other girls dreamt of their crushes and whatever else girls dream about, I dreamt of having my own room that had a door that could actually lock. I was ferried to a boarding school for the first 2 years of secondary school and my home situation seemed like paradise compared to this. A group of 20 girls sharing a big room was not as bad as always having to share a shower with someone you don’t know. This time I couldn’t even escape to the toilets because they weren’t clean enough. I remember telling my mum that when I passed my Grade 12 exams, I wanted to have my own room. She smiled and mumbled something that I don’t remember.

I rent a tiny 2 bedroom flat now which I like most times. For the first time I have my own space and I’m holding on to it like crazy. But the space issue has left its mark. I can’t imagine sharing my living quarters with anyone else apart from The Hub. I figure I would feel invaded. I have a serious space issue you guys. Unexpected visitors leave me feeling resentful and a bit violated. People that call my phone in the evening when I’m at home make me cringe. My friends have to inform me a few hours before they drop by because I have to mentally prepare myself when someone is coming over.  It’s got me thinking I might be made for solitary life. I dream of living in a farmhouse in the outskirts of town one day, I hope it comes true.

After years of never having any personal space or privacy, I finally have it. It’s probably something some people have never thought about depending on how they grew up. I relish the feeling of freedom at being able to walk half naked around the house. The fact that I can leave my tub of yogurt in the fridge and find it at the end of the day. I like my house and how I feel inside it but most of all I like that its mine. I don’t know if I like my space because of the lack of it when growing up or I was born like this. But one thing I know is that I’ve always desired it ever since I can remember. They say home is where the heart is. Well my heart is in a tiny 2 bedroom flat in the middle of Lusaka City and I love it.

The Born n Bred Video Awards 2015 Re-cap

Last night the Born n Bred Video Awards happened after being pushed forward a couple of times. It was being televised live on ZNBC at 20hrs so I took my nap right after work and I was fresh and awake for it. Of course I live-tweeted my way through it but before we dive in I just want to ask something. How were the Born n Bred Awards before the ZMAs started? Do you remember? Anyway I won’t give you a step by step account of what happened, I’m just here to say what I thought of it.

Red Carpet

Red carpet was not jaw-dropping. There were a few standouts but no one’s attire followed me to my dreams. I noticed that a lot more artists came with their significant others. I don’t know if it has always been like this. Or artists’ partners signed agreement among each other to be present because of the rachetness demonstrated at this event in the past years. Some of these partners and artists gave us a few laughs when they were interviewed. We even got to learn new words like “Haterage” from Brisky.

There were a few hairs that stood out for me; Nyemba’s blond ‘up-do’ was an immediate favorite. It might even make it into my dreams one of these nights. Meyer’s blue/green hair was another that drew my positive attention. It didn’t look too shabby on her and while I wouldn’t do it, I like it when people colour their hair and they don’t look like they tried too hard.

The Refunders

Do artists get paid to perform at this event? If they do then some people need to give the organisers a refund. DJ Cosmo shouted through his whole song and even the shouting was off key, it takes a special talent to do that. I love his song but what he did on that stage was something he should never put on his CV.  So many others did wack performances that I was even starting think it was all on the Sound guys (Sound was pretty bad too though). The tribute to PJay was quite sad, I almost cried because of just how horrible their singing was. And obviously the organisers had no qualms about replicating the scene at the ZMAS with the all-white getup even though it was very clear that the quality of deliverance was several levels below.

Performances I liked

Of course not everything was horrible. The newly wed Chileshe Bwalya came on stage and sang and it sounded nice. Her choir even won an award later on. I also J-Rox’s performance though it came when I was already so exhausted and all I wanted was my bed. Ruff kid came on with his usual crazy antics this time on a wheelchair. I’m not really sure how I feel about the wheelchair and dedicating his performance to the disabled people but the energy and the way he jumped about on the stage was too contagious to ignore. He is one of the few Zambian artists that I think takes time to plan his performances well in advance.

Acceptance Speeches

I noticed how everyone delivered their acceptance speeches in English no matter how uncomfortable they are with the language. I am learning not to laugh at people that don’t speak good English because that only means that they are more proficient in another language. But I wish people did the acceptance speeches in the language they are comfortable with. So I was so excited to hear Wilz accept his award in Chewa.

Theresa Ng’ambi

I first heard Theresa’s singing on Wednesday night. We got her album and it’s what we’re listening to in the car. So when I saw her on stage at the awards I was really stoked. I love her music. She has an authentic sound that is so indigenous and beautiful. She makes me romanticize how village life would be.

Dorica (Bob Nkosha)

S/he was the closing act. I thought his dancing during the “Dorica” song was funny especially when she was attempting to pout or whatever that was. Then he did his skit after the song was done. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about her/him. I think the skit went on just a bit too long because he kept repeating some things but if people like him then he must be funny, right?

All in all, the event needs a lot of improvements. The organization wasn’t seamless. There were long awkward pauses, we could hear what the presenters and producers were saying in the background and the presenters looked like they did not have scripts.  There was a lot to complain about but there were a number of good acts. In the end I was just glad I finally had Zambian content to live tweet after all those South African shows I watch every weekend. Now if we could have a few more shows please?

I live tweeted a lot more things, you can see my tweets about the event here

What were your highlights? What made you laugh out loud, grimace or give a side eye? Any thoughts on how the organizers can improve this event? I would like to hear from you.

Get up, Dress up and Be Human.

Have you ever had one of those days when your body fuel gauge is on E? Of course you have. You’re human. Most people use the term “I’m only human” to excuse a horrible thing they did or about to do. In my case last week, I had to keep repeating it to myself to avoid feeling like I had let myself down.  I’m this self-love journey you see. And I’m all about accepting your body and all its quirks. But this day, I just wasn’t feeling the love. I was having one of those days when nothing on my body felt like it belonged to me.

I looked in the mirror and my arms felt floppy and my tummy wouldn’t flatten no matter what I did. I found myself wishing I was pregnant because then I would have a justification for my growing midriff. The worst part of all this was that I was scheduled to appear in front of a camera that evening. Great timing!

Two things caused my trepidation. First being my current argument with my body. Second my usual unease whenever my dress choice is put under scrutiny. I feign nonchalance about my dress code of choice but when I’m at a formal event or one that requires me to dress like an adult; I’m like a non-swimmer thrown into the deep end.

I was nervous about what I should wear but Sekayi from Mafashio guided me through it. She was gracious enough to give me a t-shirt and jeans alternative after I confessed that I was not a beholder of dresses. I was so uncomfortable with my body that I walked over to the mall near home and bought myself one of those spanx contraptions hoping it would help but all it did was restrict my breathing.

When I arrived at the Tikambe* set, I was a bit overwhelmed. There was more than one camera in the room and everyone knows cameras are insecurity’s worst enemy. The team was extremely nice and they eventually put me at ease. It was whole different experience. Who knew looking into a camera and expressing your thoughts is harder than it seems. TV people make it look easy.

After that was over, the first thing I did when I got home was strip off all my clothes and stand in front of the mirror. For some reason I was arguing with my body and I didn’t know why. I looked at myself and told myself that I was beautiful over and over again. I didn’t believe it in that moment but the more I said it, the more it sounded like the only option. I wish I could say I felt better immediately but I didn’t. I went to bed that way but the next morning, I was better.

So many times we feel under the weather, overwhelmed or we’re just in the valley of self-doubt. But life must go on and we can’t allow those feelings to consume us. Sometimes it’s best just to step back and have a healing conversation with yourself. There are also times when you will have to get up, dress up and fulfill your obligations like every other adult because no one else will do it for you. I’m learning to forgive myself. Because even though I have good intentions sometimes I will fail. Because even though I’m on this journey to self-love, I will sometimes fall. And that’s alright because I’m only human. The trick is to get up and continue the journey.

*I’m currently not at liberty to detail what the Tikambe project is about until it airs on TV but I will say this; it is great stuff.  It’s awesome being a tiny part of the creation of a program that adds to the Zambian story. I am so excited whenever I see new Zambian content being made because we don’t have enough of it.

26 going on 30

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

If you had no idea how old you are now, how old would you think you are? In short, how old do you feel you are right now?

The Hub turned 30 last week. In the months leading up to his birthday, he was in quite a state. It had hit him that he was reaching a major milestone in his life. Another point to evaluate just how close or far he was from his goals. I was so certain he would hyperventilate on the actual day so I made sure I had a few emergency numbers in my phone. I had a plan laid out in my mind; if he did panic or faint, I would call the guy next door to carry him to the hospital. So I encouraged The Hub to stay fully dressed at all times because there was no way I was going to try and get his dead weight dressed before anyone saw him. Surprisingly, he was really calm on the day. I don’t know what conversations he had with himself but it seems he has come to terms with it.

For some reason, everyone around me is turning 30. I swear I know more than 6 people who are 30 this year. 1985 was quite a productive year for our parents. The thing about marriage (and any other relationship if you seriously think about it) is that you get to experience certain things multiple times.  The life you share makes it necessary to go through their joys, pains, insecurities and moments of confidence with them whether you want to or not. And so when The Hub was fretting about his life goals and ambitions, I was analyzing mine too.

It was during one of these moments that I realized that somewhere deep in my heart, I am looking forward to turning 30. I’ve been practicing how to be 30 all year long and I didn’t even know it. There are certain things I have adopted or taught myself that normally would have come from living with me for 3 decades.

Self-Love: There have been times I wanted to be anyone but myself, lots of times. But I have been on journey to learn how to love myself. I have been learning acceptance and gratitude. One of the things that prompted this was the realization that the time I spent looking into the mirror criticizing myself was huge compared to the time The Hub spent and he weighed more than me.

Knowledge of Self: In the past I have relied on people to tell me where my strengths lie. I found myself always mining for the negatives in me but not the positives. And I would act surprised when someone pointed out a good thing about me. But now I’m finding out my strengths and any compliment from friends is a confirmation and not a discovery.

I’m not guilty about my dress choice anymore: I have never been the chic girl or the best dressed girl. For the longest time I felt the need to apologize for not being the type to dress up. And now as time goes on I am learning that I value how clothes make me feel way above how they make me look. So I will dress up when I want to but I am dressed down most times because I want to. I’m not apologizing anymore for my dress choices.

I do what I want: So many times we do things because someone in our class or position is expected to. We buy things that we don’t even like just because someone said it is fashionable or classy. We get married or have children because that’s what everyone our age is doing. Coming from a background that expected me to act a certain way because “that’s the way we’ve always done them”, I question my intentions for almost everything now. I am learning to do things because I want to or decided to and not because society expects me to.

I pay my own bills: It’s needless to say a major part of being an adult is paying bills. I swear bills hold meetings to plan on how to haunt our lives. But it’s safe to say no one is out for my head for any outstanding debt.

How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I was? I would probably be 30…for the next 5 years.

How old do you think you would be?

In Sickness and In Health

I grew up in medical home. Both members of my parental unit worked in the medical field; one as a nurse, the other a pharmacist. This made the treatment of illnesses quite easy. In Zambian public clinics where you have to wait for hours to get attended to, we never had to wait in line because the nurse on duty would either be my mum’s former classmate or workmate. There were times when I didn’t even have to go to the hospital. My mum would simply ferry my urine sample to the lab to determine that I had the UTI she had already suspected.

Growing up I rarely got horribly sick. My only downfall was the bronchitis-induced cough that reoccurred every few years. I remember each time I would get sick, my mum would come into my room over 3 times each night to either administer a tablet of this, or a syrup of that. Sometimes when all else failed, she would just come in to lay her hand on my chest and pray. In the morning, she would wake up and get ready for work like she hadn’t been on night duty the last night. This trend went on until I moved out.

Last week I got horribly sick and the nightmare cough was back. I could hardly sleep at night because of the continuous coughing fits that plagued my life. I seriously considered extracting my whole respiratory system from my body and let it cough itself into oblivion somewhere else except inside me. Now I have mentioned before that The Hub has been blessed with the gift of deep and easy sleep. So I figured I was alone in this nightly activity that I was enduring. But every time I had an extreme coughing fit, I would feel his hand on my back trying to soothe me. The poor man would reach out from the fogginess of sleep that surrounded his mind and would try to help me. There were times he would even get up to make me a cup of ginger and lemon tea with no fear of bumping into a wandering witch or wizard at that ungodly hour.

When people are reciting their vows on their wedding day, I doubt they have a full comprehension of what the words mean. I didn’t. When I said, I would love The Hub in sickness and health; I was just repeating the preacher’s words to be honest. The thing that I have learnt is that The Hub is my go-to person for almost everything. Those nights when my mum would stay up all night to look after me are gone. Marriage is The Hub waking up in the middle of the night to make me ginger tea even if he has no idea if it will help or not. Sometimes he would feel absolutely helpless because we had no idea what to do but he stayed up and soothed me. It reminded me of a few months ago when I was up at midnight googling home remedies because The Hub’s ulcer had him curling up in fetal position.

Sometimes you are all your spouse is going to have, and it’s a scary place to be. It’s frightening to be someone’s immediate next of kin or the first one to get a call if something happens. To be the one who stays up all night to monitor their temperature, or be the one who describes their symptoms to the doctor. Someone took my mum’s place, and I in turn took his mum’s place. It’s scary and maturing and sobering. We are adults now; if this doesn’t convince me then I don’t know what will. These are the vows we so quickly recited. This is the marriage we willingly walked into. This is the love we happily fell into.

How to travel when sick

When I was told we would travel to Uganda, I looked forward to the trip. But two days before travelling,  I fell ill. There must be a bug being passed around because I know a number of people that were also sick. I quickly went to the hospital and collected my antibiotics because as much as I hate medicine, I hate missing out on trips more.

I figured that since I am a relatively healthy person with a highly functioning immune system,  two days was enough to get better. But it wasn’t.  When it was time to travel, the initial fever, chills and body aches were gone but the cough was in full force. I was scared that I would not be allowed to board the plane with officials being extra cautious of Ebola. But the ticket has already been paid for and I hate to waste money so I packed my bags and was on my way.

When I got to the airport, my body just decided to betray me. I started coughing so badly I thought I would pass out. A man in the queue advised me to buy a packet of halls to keep me sane until I got to my destination because I just might be turned back like that. So I tried out the sweets and you won’t believe it, my cough was managed just like that.

The whole time I was in transit I didn’t have a coughing fit. I was relieved.  Sometimes it’s the obvious solutions that work.
Firstly it’s advisable to stay put when you have a flu to avoid infecting other people. But if you really have to travel, here are some tips on how to travel when you have the flu. Some might apply to any other sicknesses.

1) Pack your medicine in your Carry-on luggage.  I didn’t want to be weighed down by a heavy handbag so I packed my medicine in my bigger bag – big mistake. I needed to take my antibiotics at midday but because I was stuck in transit and my bag was God knows where, I couldn’t. So carrying your prescribed medicine is a good idea.

2) Keep Hydrated. Most people drink very little water when travelling to avoid frequent trips to the toilet. But you need to drink as much water as possible.

3) Sit near a bathroom.  When picking seats, try and choose one as close to the bathroom as is permissible.  That way you can easily rush into the bathroom if need arises. The plane I got on was free seating so I just explained my situation to one of the air hosts and he led me to the back of the plane. It was the best place for me to sit because I didn’t want to get funny looks from people during a coughing fit.

4) Cough into your handkerchief. It’s bad enough you’re in public with a flu so try and reduce the split as much as possible. It’s polite and hygienic.  I saw a man on the plane who had a mask on. I don’t know if he was trying to keep the germs in or out.

5) Carry hand sanitiser. When sick, you need to wash your hands more frequent than usual. When you’re travelling,  you might not have quick access to water. So carry hand sanitiser and apply it to avoid the spread of the germs.

Is there anything else that you would like to add to these tips?

How to keep your phone healthy

The first phone I ever got was a tiny Motorola C118. My friends had camera phones and flip phones but I was so excited about mine too. Growing up in a household that had so many people, I had learnt to be content with my possessions at a young age. So as I progressed through the phones, from Motorola to Blackberry to Huawei, I used a phone to its highest capabilities until it broke down. Early this year, The Hub decided he had had enough of my talking about how much I loved the Samsung S series and got one for me. Now I could have easily got it for myself but I suffer from such a strong case of indecision that it would have taken a year to choose which one I wanted.

It was going really well until 2 weeks ago when my new phone started being slow and hanging on me like we weren’t best buddies. I complained about it but I already knew what the problem was;

1) I am a digital hoarder

Have you watched those shows about people that keep loads of equipment and trash in their houses? Well I’m like that, I keep everything. I never delete my texts. I take a huge number of pictures and videos every day. I take pictures of everything and I can’t delete any of them just in case I need them some time in the future. I have a long list of bookmarked internet pages. I collect pictures from the internet all the time. And it doesn’t help matters that I have such a wide range of interests from feminist quotes to pancake recipes and how to wear boyfriend jeans. It’s all there in my saved pages.

2) I’m too lazy to backup

I have I.T training, I know with every breath in me that backup is of utmost importance. But I hardly ever backup my stuff. I have all of this year’s pictures on my phone and camera and I haven’t bothered to move them to a more secure place. I have lost data before so I should learn from my experiences but I never do.

3) I have dozens of applications
As a blogger I have lots of technological needs and there is always an app for each particular one. So I find myself getting a new app every few days. The problem is that I don’t uninstall them when I don’t need them anymore and they end up clogging up my phone.

4) I have very little storage
The only extra memory I have is a 2GB Memory card. And anyone will tell you that 2GB won’t hold enough. But I never remember to get a bigger one when I’m at the stores.

The irritating thing is that I know what I need to do but I’m just not doing it. It’s sort of like a doctor who knows he needs to quit smoking but doesn’t. Hopefully I can do it as soon as possible. A few things I need to do include:

1) Let go of clatter
I evidently need to clear out my texts more regularly. Some of the things I keep never turn out to be useful. I need to stop holding on to things just because I think I might want them later. But the truth is I’ll probably never need them again. So I need to clear my cached pages, uninstall the apps I will not use again and delete some of those 10 pictures I took of the exact same thing (one copy is enough).

2) Backup!
Most people think moving data from your phone to your laptop is enough backup but it’s not. You need to have a designated device that is solely for backup. Or you could use cloud storage so you can access it from anywhere. I plan on buying an external hard disk for the singular purpose of storing my videos and pictures.

3) Install more memory
I plan on getting a larger memory card. My 2GB card just isn’t doing anything for me. Some phones have a limit of how much additional storage they can handle so I’ll make sure to check what my phone can take.

Are you a digital hoarder? Or do you have some other technological illnesses? Do you have any more tips and tricks on how to keep a phone running smoothly? I’d like to hear what you think.

P.S: You can also read about what I do to keep myself safe on the internet.

My Moringa State of Mind

I was talking to The Hub the other day and I commented on how life has become so incredibly busy. There never seems to be any time left at the end of the day. When I get home I am so exhausted and grumpy that sometimes I wonder if I’m being a good spouse let alone roommate. As I get older I have so much going on in my life that I just can’t flip the off switch when I want to.

I am what you could categorize as a “worrier”. I worry about everything you guys. Whenever a family member is travelling I’m always on edge hoping they will arrive safely. I am never able to sleep when travelling because I always have my eyes on the road just in case the driver takes his off the road. I’m always asking The Hub if he’s okay because I’m afraid he might have a heart attack. I worry about the world ending in a zombie apocalypse or a huge earthquake, and movies like 2012 and World War Z do nothing to help. So as a result I have a chronic case of insomnia. I can’t sleep peacefully most nights; I toss and turn like the bed is on fire. And of course as life’s sense of humour would have it, I am married to a man who could sleep through a thunderstorm. This usually means I am tired during the day. And when I’m stressed and grumpy, I crave for junk food and needless to say that junk food makes me pack on the kilos.

When I picked up my Moringa powder sample from Umoyo, the green colour and its herby smell reassured me of its safety. It doesn’t get more natural than this. I was a bit worried that my maid would find it in the cupboard and think it was a herbal concoction to keep The Hub in love with me or something. She hasn’t said anything about it yet, but again she probably wouldn’t tell me her suspicions, right? I wasn’t sure how to use it but I googled a few ways and I was good to go. I found that easiest thing for me was to put it in my daily protein shakes. My workouts involve a lot of heavy weight lifting and as a result I require a very high protein intake to repair my muscles. The fastest source of protein has proven to be protein shakes so I decided if I was going to add Moringa powder to anything, it would be that. So I added a teaspoon of Moringa to protein shakes every day.

Moringa Powder [photo credit: dgsspices.com]

Moringa Powder [photo credit: dgsspices.com]

After a few days of taking it I realized that I woke up fewer times during the night. After a week, I had even slept through the whole night. I found that I was less anxious and stressed too. I noticed a significant boost in energy too. I also noticed that my appetite had reduced abit. I had taken the Moringa thinking it would make me lose weight but what I got was probably better. I’ll tell you the truth, Moringa powder is not some miracle weight loss supplement. What it does is that it completely nourishes and energizes your body. When all your nutritional requirements are met, that will naturally bring down your junk food cravings and you will have enough energy to lead an active lifestyle. I don’t know about you but that’s sounds like a great deal to me.

I researched it online and found that it is used by so many communities as a natural remedy to several ailments. Apparently it helps with anemia, arthritis, constipation, diabetes and ulcers. It contains proteins, vitamins and minerals and it’s even used in some parts of Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. It lowers cholesterol and is a great detoxifier. It lowers blood pressure; I guess that’s why it helped me with my sleep problems and anxiety. I read somewhere that it stimulates hair growth so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, it might just be the answer to my dream of having waist long hair.

I’ll keep adding Moringa to my meals for a long time to come, if not for more energy, more nutrition and higher metabolism then for better sleep. As I get older and life gets more demanding, I will need all the help I can get to keep me from crushing. If you want to try it out, you can get Moringa from any Umoyo Health Shop. Let me know if what you think about it.

*This is post is sponsored by Umoyo Natural Health but the opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

Shoddy Artwork and Ugly Shoes

So after our last elections in September, we’re having the next ones in 2016. It’s a no-brainer that the current president will be running for the seat. He has had a few moments in the press like that time when they forgot his portrait. He has also taken a few good pictures with something in common. Now I am not a politician neither am I a campaign manager so I may not be an expert in election matters. But I have one question, whose idea was this?

Edgar Shoes

Let’s start with how ugly the shoe is. It looks like a shoe one of those mushrooming “prophets” on the Copperbelt would wear. We talked about shoes last time guys. We should know better than this. And I know it’s not anyone on the Lungu Campaign team coz no one who loves their job would do this, right? It was probably a joke by a bored shoe repairman who didn’t have a lot of clients that day. Why do people make such shoes though. And talk about branding. It makes you want to vote for Lungu next year or nah? Obviously not. To quote some clever person on social media, the person who made this deserves a high five in the face with a chair. Oh what’s that? You want some more? There’s definitely more. This person didn’t stop at just one shoe, he did two. *insert side eye emoji right here and after every other sentence*

Edgar Lungu Shoe

I’m done. I can’t. I just can’t deal. I don’t know whether to laugh or buy him a can of shoe polish. One question though: Why? And were tshirts too expensive to print?

Edgar seems to be the muse to a lot of artists these days. People are writing songs about him and all sorts of things. There’s an interesting caricature I saw on facebook of him that was quite cool. The thing is caricatures aren’t there to make you look pretty in my opinion so variations are always welcome.

A cool caricature I saw on Facebook

A cool caricature I saw on Facebook

But some people just weren’t meant to be artists or maybe mistakes happen in an artist life. Like these statues:

One of these is not like the others.

One of these didn’t pay the deposit  [phot credit: Mwebantu New Media]

All our presidents past and present. All of them have a very keen resemblance to the person except one, the one at the bottom. Who is that? Coz that doesn’t look like Edgar Lungu if you ask me. It looks cross-eyed and has cheeks that look like a chipmunk’s cheeks filled with nuts. You would think as the present president, his statue would be the most accurate. I have a few questions. What did Lungu or his family do to this artist? Is it something he did in his past lifetime? Coz he seems to attract so much inaccurate and unwanted artist attention. Did he pay the deposit or nah? Or maybe he paid using coupons. Is he waiting for the money from the shoe sales? One word of advise to him and his team: Please pay the artist his money, he doesn’t seem so happy. And to the artist: Don’t be petty man, he’ll eventually pay you.

What do you guys think? Coz I’m done.

An App For Every Successful Woman

I read somewhere that one of the habits that successful people have is keeping a journal. So I tried to write in my journal as often as I could but I have a consistency problem so I would slack sometimes. At times a whole month would pass by with zero entries then I would have to go back and fill it in as much as I could. Now I’m not really into having a diary where I write all my feelings and crushes. I need something where I can document the events of the day and certain sentiments in a particular way.

When I was going through last year’s journal I realized that I use it mainly for one thing: tracking my menstrual cycle. For someone who likes knowing stuff, I want to know everything about my body. I want to know why I feel like smiling at everyone one week and ripping the grins off their faces another week. I also like being prepared for stuff. They say forewarned is forearmed, right? I don’t want my uterus ripping itself apart and causing the crazy cramps during a vacation. Which reminds me I’m finding that my cramps are getting more painful as I get older, if anyone else is experiencing this let me know so we can be best friends and form a club. We can make cocktails filled with ibuprofen and any other painkillers we discover. We could have matching hot water bottles and binge on bars of chocolate. We would have so much fun, I promise.

But because I was always forgetting to write in the journal, there were times when I would have panic attacks because I couldn’t remember when my last period was. One thing they don’t tell you when you’re getting married is that you’re going to have pregnancy scares, lots and lots of them. I remember biting my nails raw with a calendar in my hand trying to figure out if I was late or not. Not a cool feeling, not a cool feeling at all.

An App For Every Successful Woman

So some time ago as I was trying to count when my periods were due and not succeeding because I kept running out of fingers, I had an epiphany. I realized that there was probably an app for this because there is an app for everything these days. I went to Google play, searched for period calendar and lots of apps came up. I read reviews, and checked out the stats and I finally picked one that I wanted. After years and years of denial, I have come to the realization that I like pink. It triggers a certain dosage of happiness because it’s so pretty. So I picked an app with some pink in its UI.

This app is so good you guys! I filled in the past period dates I remembered and it calculated when my next will be. It allows you to track the flow, symptoms and even moods of each day. There’s even a little check box to tick if you had intercourse that day. You can keep track of your weight, the medicines you take and the birth control method you’re using. It gives you an alarm like 2 days before your periods so you get prepared and stuff. It even tells you when you’re ovulating so that it makes sense why your significant other is suddenly hotter than usual.

Period Calendar UI

Period Calendar UI. Get it here

I’m happy because I don’t have to think about that anymore. The best part is that I don’t have to wait till I get home to input the data. I’m already on my phone all day so all it takes is just 5 minutes to log in the headache I’m feeling. The other day I was getting all weepy and I figured it was because of Jon Snow then I checked the app and it said I was PMSing. See?! This app figures me out man! If The Hub wants date night tomorrow, I’m checking the app first. I need to know when and when not to watch all those touchy movies which give me a running nose. Next time you want me to meet you up for Ice cream or invite me to your event and I tell you I gotta check my calendar, it’s the app I’m talking about. I have to know if my body will give me enough mental power to deal with what comes my way, I just have to know man! I’m done forcing myself on hard-copy journals, my app is right at my fingertips. Like literally, my phone is always in my hand. And as for being successful, I think I’m a very successful woman. The fact that I haven’t ripped anyone’s head off during my periods is a clear sign that I’m successfully womaning.

As Sweet as Xylitol

What’s your biggest weakness? What kills your self-control with just a glance? Mine is sugar. I have a serious sweet tooth. I love sweet things so much you have no idea. I love sugar so much that there are certain things I don’t eat just coz they are not sweet. For example, I rarely eat maize cobs and pumpkin because they have a sweetness that is not so sweet after all. Every month when on my periods, I survive on chocolate bars and cake. It’s probably not surprising that I have 3 extracted teeth and 3 cavities to show for my unhealthy addiction.

Xylitol
In my quest for better health, I needed to find something that would give me the same pleasure while not causing as much damage to my teeth and body weight. So when the therapist at my Umoyo health consultation suggested using a sugar replacement called xylitol, I was definitely interested. I have occasionally used honey and I know that it works for some things but not all. So I was interested to see how xylitol would be.
I picked up my sample pack from Umoyo and I was ready to go. First of all, Xylitol is a pure white grainy substance just like sugar so I was already feeling quite comfortable to use it because it looked familiar. It’s almost as sweet as table sugar but it has 33% less calories. I had a few worries about the origins of xylitol so I looked it up and I found out that it is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables and people have found a way of producing it commercially.

Xylitol on spoon
Xylitol is very instrumental to attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Table sugar is everywhere like carbonated drinks, pastry and all the good stuff that bring the extra kilos. It might be possible to abandon those vices but there are just some things that are necessary in our diets. There are just some things that require sweetness like tea and cereal. But the problem is that table sugar is addictive and is an empty food that gives us nothing healthy. So Xylitol comes to the rescue. It does not spike blood sugar and insulin levels like table sugar. This makes it safe for diabetic people to use it. It is also not addictive and is very good for our teeth.
Xylitol can also be used for baking though it can’t be used in a recipe that requires yeast because it won’t rise. I tried to bake a chocolate cake using xylitol and it turned out quite well I must say. Xylitol is very safe for humans and has almost no side effects but if you have a dog I would think twice about feeding it anything containing Xylitol. Apparently a dog’s digestive system doesn’t take kindly to xylitol.
Xylitol is something that I will probably always use. With my love for sugar, I can’t completely stay away from sweet things so it provides a very good compromise. I am just glad I won’t have to extract any more teeth. I was afraid I would have sunken cheeks in my twenties. Though I think I would have looked exotic, what with my high cheekbones and all. If you want to avoid a toothless mouth or you would want to help lose or maintain your weight or you are diabetic and would like an alternative to honey, you can try out Xylitol. You can get it from any Umoyo shop and try it out. You’ll thank me for it. Let me know what you think when you try it.

*Please note that the post is sponsored by Umoyo Natural Health but the opinions expressed are my own.

Monster In My House

Guys! I have a problem. There’s a monster in my house. I don’t know what to do. Should I vacate the house? Should I set a trap for it? I don’t know man. Let me start from the beginning.

MONSTER

It started when I was a teenage girl just fresh into college. My everyday attire was a T-shirt, jeans and canvas (I have never been a dress girl). I was extremely comfortable with said dress code but I faced one problem; I never had clean socks. Some mornings I would find myself looking for clean socks but I never found any. So I found a solution to my problem. My father had a habit of washing a pair of socks each day right after taking a shower. He would hang the socks in the bathroom and they would accumulate as he waited for them to be completely dry. So I devised a plan; I would get a pair of his socks every other day, wear them and then drop them on the pile for the maid to wash. This plan helped me survive for the next few years until I moved out and dad never found out.

When The Hub and I were dating, I realized that he owned a maximum of 2 pairs of socks. So I promised myself that immediately we got married I would buy so many socks that he would have enough to last him 2 weeks. In the first month after our wedding I went out and bought 5 pairs. After that I bought a pair or two whenever I went grocery shopping. He had so many pairs that I would sometimes open the sock drawer just to stare and pat myself on the back for being such a good wife. When I washed and hanged the socks they would fill an entire clothesline and all the neighbors looked on with envy.

Then the invasion happened. I should have known my sock happiness would not last. It started slowly at first. A pair would go missing and I would think that maybe it was just among the other clothes. Then when I would roll them up to load them in the drawer, I would find some single ones without a partner. I figure I would eventually find them. When the number of pairs reduced significantly I started to worry. My first suspect was The Hub because he’s the only other person who came into contact with them. I interviewed his with all the intensity and tactics I have learnt from the numerous crime shows I watch. But he didn’t break. This probably meant he was innocent so I left him alone.

But the disappearances continued until I was down to seven pairs. I sat myself down and I realized that it was time to face the facts. And the truth is my house has been invaded. There is a sock monster on the loose. He specializes in driving me crazy. And to drive me up the wall, he sometimes just gets half a pair just so you know that he’s been around. The other day as I cried in defeat over the lost socks I could have sworn I heard a chuckle. And he starts with the most expensive socks and leaves the torn ones for last. I have resorted just patching up the old socks because I’m trying to avoid bankruptcy. Maybe I’m being punished for my evil deeds to my dad. Maybe karma summoned the sock monster and sent it to my house. How shall I get rid of it? I have no idea what to do next. I’ve only got five pairs left. Soon it will be too late. Somebody, Help!! Somebody….anybody….help!

My Umoyo Health Consultation

When the Umoyo Natural Health media team asked me to try out some of the weight loss services they offer, I was a bit pensive but excited. Everyone knows that weight loss is never an easy journey so I braced myself for work and starvation. But what I found out was the contrary; there wouldn’t be anything like that here. The first step was to go through a health consultation.

How much would you pay for a comprehensive health consultation? A sit-in session with a qualified health therapist to discuss solutions to some of the health issues you’ve been carrying around? What if I told you it could cost nothing? I found out that Umoyo currently have a promotion. They are offering a free health consultation (which is worth K100) to anyone who has one of their fliers.

So I quickly carried a flier and went to their woodlands shop. I met the lady at the counter and told her I wanted a health consultation. I was sort of nervous because free things do that to me. They fill me with such an excitement and thrill but also fear of it not being real. But the lady smiled at me and told me to wait a short moment while the therapist got ready for me. I looked around the shop and saw so many things I wanted to carry home with me.

I finally sat down with the therapist and the health consultation began. She asked me how she could help me and I went blank. I didn’t know where to begin and what exactly to tell her. Was I supposed to tell her that I have dreams of an army of zombies and that I sometimes wink at dogs and I swear they wink back? I’ve never met a therapist before; I don’t know if they all can handle my mental health or lack of. But as I looked at her, I remembered why I was there and told her about my weight loss journey so far and asked her what she could recommend.

She gave me some dietary recommendations which included increasing water intake, reducing carbohydrates, increasing green vegetable intake and avoiding sugar. She also gave me a list of some supplements that would help me in achieving overall health. I will be talking about some of these in the next few weeks. I asked her so many questions but she had an answer for all of them. She highly recommended the 7 day weight loss program that Umoyo offers which contains cleanses and juicing. I asked her if she only handled weight loss issues, it turns out she can handle questions ranging from diabetes to reproductive health. 

The promotion for a free health consultation is still running. Just get yourself one of these fliers from any Umoyo shop and you’ll be able to get personalised consultation and advice. For more information on them, visit their website at umoyo.com and they are highly present on the social media sites. 
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*Over the next few weeks I will try out different products offered by Umoyo that help in weight loss and general health. Please note that the post is sponsored by Umoyo but the opinions expressed are my own.

People need to relax their shoe game

Everybody loves shoes. Or so they say. I know some people who own dozens of shoes. I own about 2 dozen pairs but I only ever wear like 2 pairs on a daily. I love how shoes look on some people but I mainly look out for comfort when buying mine. Some people though want their shoes to shine brighter than 10 suns and cast away the darkness. Which brings me to this picture:
image

Some Zambian church folks are big culprits you guys. They go out and buy the whitest suit they can find and wear it with shoes like those labeled Daddy pastor. They even change their accents and adopt a Nigerian one. Which reminds me, what’s up with some church folk speaking like Nigerians? They even change their vocabulary and use “blessed” instead of “fine” when you ask them how they’re feeling. They call you sister or brother in a disturbingly deep and hoarse voice that is different from the one they use at home. Anyway, so these men have a high affinity for really flashy shoes and it’s hard for me to imagine that they spent so much money. I am particularly adverse to those crocodile shoes that seem to be liked by some. The building committee guy’s shoes are cool. I have a love/hate relationship with brogues. I think they’re ugly but I love them because they have so much character kind of like a bulldog.

Men probably lack a lot of choice when it comes to shoes. Women are spoilt in that aspect. So when you are faced with a career crisis all you’re left with is this:
image

Please tell me those are not real shoes! Tell me someone photo-shopped this image because I need to sleep tonight. The horror! No shoe company would ever commit such a crime, right? I don’t know man. There are so many crazy things going on in this world. This might be legit. I have questions though. How do you kick a ball without puncturing it? How long should the trousers be when preaching? I just don’t know anything anymore.

Then there are the women whose toes are out of control like this:
image

WHY?! You have got to know when to quit! When your toes are acting like unruly toddlers you have to bring order. That small toe though! It’s a hater! It lives to bring anguish to its owner. Or maybe it’s rebelling! After years of being hit on the bed corner or table leg it finally decided enough was enough and gave up. The questions I have: What happened for the toe to just give out and betray this woman like that? Why does the woman not care? Whose relative is this? I kind of believe the caption. This is a punishment. Something happened. It could have been the tithe or something else. Maybe she urinated in the shower or forgot to flush after using a public toilet. Or maybe she’s one of those people that don’t wipe off their sweat after using equipment in the gym. I don’t know man. I just can’t deal.

What happened to Dora’s Eyebrows?

When I was growing I remember seeing Dora Siliya on TV. She was one of the best looking female journalists and I loved her. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be so upset with life if I ended up looking like her as an adult. When she went into politics she kept up her appearance and was still known as the good looking one amongst all of them. But something has been happening to our dear Dora and I need to get to the bottom of it.

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Where have her eyebrows gone? Who took them? What happened? I need to know! Here’s what I think happened: Some unscrupulous men came into her house one day and held her at knife point. They told her “Dora, we know you’re a rich woman and we need money” When they found that there was no money in the house, they decided to take her eyebrows as hostage until she could pay them off. But what they didn’t count on was the fact that Dora would not miss them. See, Dora has learnt to adapt to the challenges that life throws at her. So after the men left she figured that she could live without her eyebrows. Who needs eyebrows when you’re a politician? And so she has adapted and now draws a tiny line in the place where her eyebrows once stood.

Now one of the greatest things in life is discovering you’re not the only crazy person in the world. So when I asked my people on Facebook and Twitter to find Dora’s eyebrows I got some crazy responses. DC suggested that she is a warrior who probably lost them in one of her political battles. EM said Dora probably wasn’t born with any eyebrows at all. NNM thought that maybe Dora is in disguise so if you can’t see her eyebrows then you can’t see her.

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What happened to her? Why are her eyebrows MIA? Are they on a mission somewhere in the desert? Maybe she traded them in for some cash. I don’t know man! I’m thinking of sending out a plea to her. Maybe not. I won’t even talk about that hair. What do you guys think?

The Day I got Screened for Cervical Cancer

I was nervously pacing across the tiny room. I knew I was crazy to be this scared but that didn’t make it any easier. I told myself this was just routine and nothing would go horribly wrong. But I didn’t believe a single word I told myself. I was in the Cervical Cancer screening room waiting to be screened. You would think that I was waiting to hear my HIV status by the way I paced.

Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in Zambia and Zambia has the second highest rates of Cervical cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa. I knew all this and that’s why I was nervous. I have heard of women who have died from Cervical Cancer. It shows no signs or symptoms until the cancer is in full gear. Many people have crazy misconceptions on how a woman can get it. But the simple explanation is that it is caused by the viral infection of the cervix by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Oh yeah, and this HPV is sexually transmitted.

But here’s the crazy thing about Cervical Cancer; it can be prevented. See, before the viral infection causes the cancer, there are some precancerous cells that can be detected and removed to prevent the cancer. So routine screening is very important. Now I know all this but I still hadn’t gone for a screening yet. The thing is I don’t trust “routine” checkups. Each time I have gone for a checkup, they always find something wrong with me. And because I work in a place where I see pictures of full blown cancer ridden cervices everyday, I had the worst-case scenario in my head.

I was tired of the anticipation so one morning I just walked over to the clinic and told the nurse that I was finally here to do it. She had been prompting me to do it for a while so she was ecstatic. She left me in the room and told me to get ready, I already knew the drill. I took off my underwear and got on the bed. Oh, I forgot to mention, the Cervix is slightly past the vagina and is the door to the uterus. So taking off my underwear is a necessary move. When I get nervous, I get a gassy stomach so I was so worried I would accidentally fart in the nurse’s face.

The nurse then inserted a Speculum that looked quite scary, I must say. The key is to relax, then it will only be slightly uncomfortable. Try thinking of chocolate cake or something.

Then she swabbed my cervix with vinegar and waited for a few minutes. The vinegar makes everything on the cervix visible enough for inspection. Then the nurse got a camera which was connected to a T.V besides the bed and got a picture of my cervix. Because it’s impossible for the human eye to detect anything, they use the camera to zoom in and pick up every single detail. If there are any precancerous cells (cells that will turn into cancer after some time), they show up looking white on the picture. So while the nurse was taking the picture, I was on the look out for anything that looked anything close to white. I think sometimes knowing too much is a bad thing because the worry is unbearable.

She showed me the picture on the TV. It was clear! I had a very clear and pink cervix. No precancerous cells and no cancer. The relief I felt was almost tangible. I almost cried. The picture of my cervix stared back at me like a pretty little baby. I thought it looked beautiful. If I had got the picture I would have shown you guys. I have encountered cases of women younger than me who found out they had the early stages of cancer so I knew just how blessed I was. I got up from that bed feeling so relieved, I didn’t even care if the nurse saw my stretch marks. I was also so happy my sphincter muscles hadn’t let me down.

The whole procedure took about 15 minutes. 15 minutes that made my life a bit lighter. 15 minutes that took away the worry of cervical cancer. Even in the event that I had been found with cancer cells, it wouldn’t have been so bad because I would have caught it early and something would have been done about it. Most women die from Cervical Cancer because they catch it really late.

Any woman who has had sex needs to get screened for cervical cancer. It is done for free in government-run clinics. Go to a clinic near you and get screened. Have you been screened for Cervical Cancer? You might want to do it soon. Early detection leads to early treatment.

My next appointment is in 2018, three years from now. I’ll make sure I keep it.

keep-calm-and-fight-cervical-cancer-1

Highlights from the Zambian Music Awards 2015

Last Saturday, the ZMAs were held. I got to watch them on location but they were also televised live. This year they were even being streamed online so everyone was included. The awards had great moments and some moments that made me ask the ground if it was possible to open up and swallow an entire human being. Here are some things that stood out for me, both good and bad.

The Stage

The stage was amazing. You could see that so much work had been put into the design and setup. Almost a dozen TVs were put up on that stage. I thought of carrying one home after the event but the thought slipped my mind (I should have set a reminder on my phone).

The Anthem.

He delivered the the national anthem coated with milk and honey.

He delivered the the national anthem coated with milk and honey.

Abel Chungu Musuka SANG the national anthem like it was some call from God or something. He took me to church and back. I found myself raising my hands and stuff. That has got to be the best version I’ve ever heard. The attire he had on kinda resonated with the song and reminded me so much of Kenneth Kaunda. Why did people pick out the safari suits and dump the wrap? It is way cooler if you ask me. I later asked him what he had under the wrap and he disclosed he was wearing jeans. If I wore it, I wouldn’t wear a single thing under that. I would let the Lord’s precious breeze pass through strong and free (pun intended).

Exile (Israel) and Nalu

Exile singing his heart out

Exile singing his heart out

So Exile is undoubtedly one of the best musicians and song writers in Zambia. And Nalu has an awesome voice. So when Exile started singing his medley of old songs, the crowd was filled with nostalgia. I like Exile’s songs and to hear some of them in a mash-up like that just made me go gooey inside. And then Nalu stepped onto the stage with her VOICE! We haven’t seen her in a long time. Family responsibilities took her away from the big stage but she came back to show everyone that her talent is still there y’all. She did her old hit “House,Money,Car” and made me remember the video of her in the pink thingy with slits. And the romance!!! The love between them was so visible you guys. Zambian people are not used to seeing PDA in a couple that has been married for a long time but they showed you! They were looking into each other’s eyes and holding hands. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for a kiss. It never came but what we got was enough.

The P-Jay Tribute

Tribute to P-Jay

Tribute to P-Jay

Tsean, Scarlet and Starn sang a medley of the P-Jay’s songs. It was beautiful. Tsean started off with my favorite P-Jay song “Piano”. Then Scarlet came in looking like a vision. I love her dress. She looked magnificent. Then Starn came and hyped it up. P-Jay might have died young but he definitely left his mark.

The P-Jay Speech

This boy needed to sit down so bad his mouth ran.

This boy needed to sit down so bad his mouth ran.

So the late P-Jay won the Best songwriter award. Exile (Israel) never stood a chance in that category. You don’t contest against a deceased person and think as if you’ll win. Zambians are superstitious like that. The dead can do no wrong to us. So P-Jay won the award and then his brother came to accept the award. Let’s pause for a while. The unspoken rule is that if you’re accepting an award on behalf of a deceased person, you identify yourself and your relation to the person and say some touching statement about the person. We all know that, right? This boy did not know anything about it. He goes on stage and starts talking about being the future that P-Jay always sang about. He did not bother to let us know how he was related to P-Jay. He rumbled on and on about the albums that were out and advertised himself with neither finesse nor shame! I sat there hoping that the saliva in his mouth would magically turn into glue so he could shut up but nothing happened. I almost stood up to shout “Boy, sit down!”. Then when his sister and B-flow had spoken, he came back to the mic to wish his mother a happy birthday. You should have said that the first time! This is what happens when an attention seeker is suddenly put on a big stage.

The Zamrock Legends

I love rock! It defined my teenage years. So when I saw those elderly men rocking away like their life depended on it, I LIVED! I rose up from my slumber and looked alive. OH. MY. WORD!!! Those men had more passion than I’ve ever seen. The lead singer was on fire y’all. The way he ran across the stage dancing like he’s convulsing. The way he moved from mic to mic and then just got both mics and screamed into them! Victor Kasoma, the lead guitarist, did not let the wheelchair take his joy! He played that guitar with such a look on his face that I kept on looking at him. Maureen Lilanda, you guys!! I love her!! She has so much energy on stage. She’s not just doing her job, she’s creating art every time she’s on stage.

Abel Chungu Musuka’s Speech

Abel Chungu Musuka was a big winner this year. He went home with 3 awards. The second time he went to receive an award he started SPEAKING! He talked about how people listen musicians and music shapes people’s lives so it is the responsibility of musicians to produce good and whole music. Then he went on to talk to the people

Music opens doors that even politicians can’t open. So I say to all those people out there who disrespect artists, you are disrespecting very influential people in this nation. So many times we are underpaid, undervalued, looked down upon but it is our music that taught you your Abcs, how to count from 1 to 10. It is our music that heals your marriages.It is our music that helps you go to sleep at night thinking about a better tomorrow.”

I was nodding my head so hard that it almost fell off. As someone married to a musician, I see that disrespect all too often. And to hear someone scold people on national Television, the level of agreement I had was too high. I nodded myself into next year.

Chef 187’s closing performance

So after winning the highest number awards and going on stage so many times, Chef 187 came on one last time-to close the show. 99 Jobs is my favourite song by him so I was excited. The band played it so well. The dancers were really hyped up. But my favorite part was towards the end when the beat changed to Dubstep. I was like Whaaaaat?! No they diin’t! There was beat-boxing and crazy stuff going on. I loved it. It was a great way to finish the show.

All in all, the show was well arranged. There were some performers that went off key and others that just didn’t have the oomph but generally it was good. See? Good shows can be held in Zambia, all you need is just a big time sponsor and organizers willing and dedicated to work really hard.

A weekend away in Siavonga

For someone who claims to love travel, I have been to very few places in Zambia. So when friends of ours suggested we drive over to Siavonga for a weekend, I was ecstatic. It had been on my to-visit list for too long. Because we were a large group of 10, we decided to carpool. We started off early on Saturday morning and arrived two hours later. The thing that struck me was how beautiful the country is once you drive out of the city. We drove past hills and valleys all covered in green.

The beautiful green landscape

The beautiful green landscape

We had already reserved rooms at a lodge called Freshview Homes so all we did was go straight to our rooms. The room was a decent size. I was glad to see an air-con because Siavonga is really humid.

The room was a good size

The room was a good size

Now for those who might not know, Siavonga is on the edge of Lake Kariba, the biggest man made lake in the world. So imagine my awe when I found that we had an awesome view of the lake just from our doorstep. I want a life like this you guys. A place where I can write while looking out on the lake. I bet I would never have writers’ block.

The awesome view of the lake

The awesome view of the lake

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by lizards. So my siblings and I would kill them and arrange a whole funeral procession for them. We even had someone give an eulogy of the life of the poor lizard. So one of the things that I noticed was how the lizards were so different from the ones I used to bury. These ones had blue tails. I tried to capture one but they moved so fast. I suspect word about me must have spread across the Zambian lizard world.

Blue tailed lizard

Blue tailed lizard

If you’re trying to decide on what to eat in Siavonga, let me make it easy for you. Eat fish. Because of the proximity to the lake, fish is guaranteed to be extra fresh. In Lusaka, by the time a fish gets to your plate, it has traveled far much more than you ever will. It has been touched by more people than necessary and is on its way to rotten. Siavonga fish is fresh y’all. And that’s what I ordered. The cooking is quite ordinary I must say. I kept on thinking I could have cooked a better meal. But then I’m just a budding foodie so I ate what I was given like a good girl.

Fish served on a fish-shaped plate. These people have a wicked sense of humor

Fish served on a fish-shaped plate. These people have a wicked sense of humor

By the time it was afternoon, it had become really hot. So The Hub and I decided to take a dip in the pool. Because of my fear of large bodies of water, I still don’t know how to swim so I never set foot in the deep end. But The Hub quickly went there and started showing off his skills. It was weird because I had never seen him in a pool ever since I have known him. (That goes to show just how much I avoid water)

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The lodge does not have a gym but that didn’t discourage me. Siavonga is very hilly so you are always going up or down. So I just ran up and down the rocky stairs a number of times, did some push ups and dips and I was good to go.

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Great workout space

Just to prove that I was there and I didn't get these pictures from the internet.

Just to prove that I was there and I didn’t get these pictures from the internet.

The restaurant prepared an awesome breakfast (it’s very difficult to mess up breakfast). And after lots of group photos and weird poses by the pool, we started our journey back to Lusaka. We didn’t get to go on the boat cruise because of our tight program but it’s in our future plans. I wish we had stayed longer but life was calling us back. I wish I could go away every weekend because it is such a peaceful place.The great thing is that it is just 2 hours away so it’s easy to get there. It is a great place to go and relax. I’m definitely going back there soon.

Day Trip to Chaminuka

Zambians are spoiled with a wide variety of places to ogle at wildlife. All you need is a functioning car and a tiny heap of money and you’re good to go. A few friends of ours suddenly decided they wanted to visit Chaminuka, a privately owned game reserve in the outskirts of Lusaka. Lucky enough, it coincided with my day off from work so I gladly tagged along.

We were all from different parts of town so we met in a central place and got into the two biggest cars and started off. It takes 30 minutes to get to Chaminuka from the Kenneth Kaunda airport. The road is not tarred the whole way but thankfully it is not bumpy either and we quickly got there at 11am. Chaminuka offers a load full of activities. We decided to go for a game drive first. We hopped onto the open safari vehicle and we were off. The guide really knew his stuff and described each animal we came in contact with.

The elegant giraffe

The elegant giraffe

By the time the drive was over we were famished. Chaminuka serves lunch at 1 pm so we rushed to eating area to eat. I was relieved to see that it was a buffet arrangement. There was such a wide variety of food, I didn’t even taste some of it. After lunch it was time for a boat ride and we were driven to a beautiful large body of water on the property.

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Now the problem is that I am terrified of water. When I was a kid, an evil friend of mine pushed me into a swimming pool. I just remember so much confusion going through my mind and my mouth involuntary taking in gulps of water. Needless to say I was pulled out alive, unless it is my apparition writing this. So when it was time for the boat ride, I tried to get out of it but the horrible people I was with insisted that I get on so I had no choice. I screamed half the time and was so tense no amount of massage would have helped. I kept on flinching every time the boat tilted and I was convinced we were going to die. I lamented not having left a will and regretted not having finished the chicken at lunch. But the longer we stayed on the water, the more I became at ease. So I braved a smile and took a few pictures even though my soul was dying inside.

When mean friends force you onto a tiny boat, just grin and bear it.

When mean friends force you onto a tiny boat, just grin and make a peace sign.

The guide led us to a tiny island in the middle of the water and we settled there for a while. I wanted to claim it as mine and name it after me but it was so tiny I knew that any hint of rain would make it disappear.

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The tiny island almost sinking under our weight

When we got back to shore, the adrenalin was kicking in and I wanted to go again but I got distracted by the sight of The Hub fishing. He looked so natural at it with a bored face that I wanted to dig a lake for him in our backyard (which we don’t have because we live in a tiny flat). But after 10 minutes of catching nothing but the sun on his face, he got tired and gave it up.

The Hub fishing (Is it still fishing if you don't catch anything?)

The Hub fishing (Is it still fishing if you don’t catch anything?)

After the fishing, we were driven back to the lounge area. None of us had carried swimwear so we just chilled and chatted until it was time to go home.

One of the activities we missed out on is walking the cheetahs. But I made a mental note to do that the next time we go there. It was a day well spent and I had lots of fun. I would definitely want to go back and spend a night. It is perfect for a romantic getaway trip or group/family outing and the food is great.

To find out more about them, check out their website.

The Sean Kingston Concert is a fake!!

Why do some music promoters insist on treating us like idiots? So some promoter decides to come up with a grand plan of lying that Sean Kingston would be performing in Zambia on 21st February. He even puts up radio adverts for almost a month. I heard the adverts and I was wondering why I hadn’t seen any billboard ads. I even remember feeling a bit sorry for the organizers because I thought the show would be a flop. And what do I read in the paper this morning? This:

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The reporter had emailed the manager to ask about the show and the manager probably thought “No sir, I aint never heard of Zambia before”. So the manager said they had had no contact with anyone about the issue. No one has ever talked to them about a show in Zambia. So that rules out the scenario of the fake promoter, whom we shall call Nick from now onward, calling Sean and assuming he said yes and that’s why he began advertising. This means that Nick can’t say that there was just a misunderstanding between him and Sean because Sean doesn’t even know he exists. How do you have a misunderstanding with a ghost promoter?

The other scenario would be that Nick was scammed. Maybe he contacted someone he thought was Sean’s manager and set up a date when in fact it was some Nigerian scam artist. Which would make Nick a very dumb man.

No, I think Nick was trying to be clever. Nick’s wife walked up to him and said “Nick, I’m tired of your dumb behind sitting of my couch, watching my TV and not having a job. Get up and get yourself a job!”  Then Nick meets up with a couple of friends and connives a plan to shut his wife up for good. Nick and his friends plan to tell people Sean Kingston is coming. They set the ticket price at K250 and K300 because then, all they’ll need is just a few dozen gullible people. And to take the lie even further, they put the advert on radio to make it more believable. They borrow the radio money from a guy they know around the corner. Nick goes back and brags to his wife about the investment he has just made that will bring huge returns.

Game over Nick! We know the truth now! The sad thing is that some people probably lost their money already. The even sadder thing is that the police will probably not pursue the matter.

I won’t pretend to be an expert and say what needs to be done to prevent this from happening again. But whatever is required to prevent scam artists in the music industry needs to be done NOW! This has been happening for sometime now. Some promoters put local artists on concert posters without booking the artist first. Regulations need to be put in place soon.

As for Nick, may the pop culture gods breathe non-talent on you. May they poke you in the sides with your various scams until you cry out to be saved. A quick buck scam is not the way of getting out of your wife’s couch NICKSON! Get a job! Start a legit business! Do something worthwhile with your life NICKSON! Oh and *clears throat* We will find you!

Valentine’s messages should be funny and true

I dislike mushy things that don’t make sense. Love messages that are copied and pasted from popular love songs that defy all forms of logic. “I would travel to the end of the earth just to find you”, really? How are you going to do that when you don’t even have enough money to travel to a neighboring country? Mushy stuff just doesn’t make sense for me. Valentine’s day is when the world is a giant playground box of mushy quicksand. Everyone’s talking about love in all those out-of-this-world descriptions they don’t even understand like “You are the apple of my eye”. What does that even mean? (I don’t even want to know what it means)

Imagine my pleasure when in my travels around the internet, I stumbled upon valentine’s messages that were so true and funny I could have sworn they picked them right out of my mind. These messages said exactly what love was to me without being pretentious and stuck up. I just had to share them with you.

Let’s face it, people suck. We all have qualities that we would be better off not having. We all end up mistreating another human being in one way or another. But when you have that one person who sucks less than most people, you have to tell them.

When my siblings and I were younger, we would have contests to see who could burp and fart the loudest. It used to be so funny. The older I get the less funny it becomes. To hear someone fart an endless number of times and still love them is true love y’all.

Have you ever wanted to get away from a crowd so bad? Crowds drain me and life tires me. At times I just want to retire, buy a house and never come outside ever again. But I find myself wanting that less and less with The Hub around.

Every time we watch Walking Dead I always ask The Hub where he would be if it were real. And we always say that he would be a Zombie by now. Well since we all know I would be one of the survivors, I’m glad it’s not real because I wouldn’t have to kill him.

Yep, Jesus definitely loves him more. But I pull in a close second though.

Sometimes all someone wants to hear is just how phenomenal their butt is. How else are they supposed to feel comfortable when they’re walking away or in front of you?

Nope! I would not! Never! It was in the vows, I swore to never shave my legs. Well, the silent vows in my head. It should have read “I love you but I will only shave my legs if it will stop a Zombie apocalypse.” It is such a commitment, and I have too many of those already.

Yes, okay! I do it! I look at my phone all the time, and I practically live on the internet but who better to do it with?

So this Valentine’s day try to say what you really mean and not what you think is appropriate for the occasion. Be original without spending a lot of money. Do things that would really mean something to your person. And don’t wait until Valentine’s to be all mushy and stuff. Let your person know how you feel every so often. As for me, I’m not a big Valentine’s day fan. But I admit, the world needs a day totally dedicated to love because there’s too much hate circulating.

Happy Valentine’s.

They didn’t include the portrait of the President with a bible and they killed me!

Zambian media will be the death of me. For anyone who is out of touch, we had a new president sworn in almost 2 weeks ago and people are not yet over it. So some company decided to get their money and use it to pay for a congratulatory message to the new president. I don’t get these messages though, it’s not like the president will read them all. They’re all just adverts aren’t they? Anyway, so they get their hard earned cash and pay for space to post their message/advert giving full instructions of what they wanted and what do they get? This:

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I died a thousand deaths! I looked up to the sky and howled at the media gods. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well this one is just worth six. How did anyone let this get to the printers? And to compound the problem, the spelling of portrait is not even correct -“portait”. Who ever was responsible definitely had been having a bad day. ZESCO had cut the power to his place. The shower had broken down, his maid had cooked him Nshima with eggs for the third time that week and his wife had just told him they were having a fifth baby. Maybe the new president just doesn’t have a face y’all, who knows.

Of course like every other mistake, they realized it when it was too late but still corrected it the next day. And now the portrait had a face. I wonder if they had to pay twice or was it free the second time?

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These newspaper people aint loyal, reducing the president’s face to just a few words?! Tsk Tsk! May they forever be tickled by the media demons until their stomachs hurts so much they start to weep.

Our new president is a very decent man

When I was a little girl, I would wear little dresses and sit with each of my legs pointing to a completely different point on the compass. Then I turned a certain age and I was told by the women folk around me that I had to keep my legs together. It was indecent to let each leg be lonely whenever I sat down. So I learnt to always keep my legs touching. Imagine my chagrin when I realized some men could sit however they want. It’s like they were given a mandate to do the opposite of what we were supposed to do. They were ordered to go therefore and spread their legs, especially when seated in a crowded mini bus or taxi.

But not all men though. Some men were told to cross their legs whenever they were seated and the new president seems to be one of them. Every time his social media team put up new pictures I can’t help but notice just how often he crosses his legs or “makes a four” as we say it here.

Photo cred [mwebantu new media]

When he was young, his women folk sat him and told him “Eddie, you are no longer a boy. You are a young man who needs to cross his legs whenever he sits.” Then one very old woman said “Our son, You shall be the president one day and you need to start practicing how to look good in the pictures on The Facebook” The president being an obedient child kept their words close to his heart, probably in a pendant he wore around his neck, and swore to always cross his legs.

Photo cred[ mwebantu new media]

Being the suspicious person that I am, I think it might just be a classic pose. Like every time his photo guy is about to get a picture he stops him and says “Wait wait wait, I need to get into my position first!”

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So now when mothers teach their puberty-inflicted daughters how to be decent, they shall use Powerpoint presentations with the Lungu’s pictures to illustrate just how decent they should be.

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Now I, by the power vested in me by the internet, name this position the Edgar. So when you’re sitting like this you’re no longer making a four, you’re making the Edgar. Talk about leaving a legacy.

The Dude that missed his wedding has me dead!

This past week has been heavy for Zambians. It has been filled with elections, results, accusations of stolen votes and reports of tribalism. I had stacked up canned foods and water just in case I wouldn’t be able to leave the house. There was a lot of tension all around. The new president was declared and people took to the streets celebrating. I could hear the noise outside but I didn’t dare to come out. Then on Sunday the president was sworn in and people flocked to go watch the procession. Again, I didn’t dare go. I hate crowds.  Then I saw a picture from that day that made me drop dead. 10945630_700789713374460_2953312246581213422_n

Oh Lawd! Where to even start from. This guy looks like he skipped more than just his wedding. He skipped English classes in school or maybe he skipped school completely. “I have MISED my WEDING BICOZ of this” – his school teachers must have been howling in pain when they saw this.

But since I’m a nice person, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was just saving space. But he seems to have left a lot of it on the left side of the board. Maybe he wanted to make a paragraph y’all.

Imagine if he skipped his wedding for real, how crazy would that be? The girl would probably end up hating the president.

But I get the joke though. I get that he meant to express just how important he considered this ceremony to be. He definitely wasn’t serious about missing his wedding …..right? right? Come on, no one can ever do that! Just because he can’t spell doesn’t mean he’s crazy! ……Right? Oh well, there’s no way of knowing these things.

9 things to carry to the gym

When I decided to join a gym, I had a very basic idea of what I would need on each visit. I only knew I needed workout clothes and a towel but I discovered I needed more things. With every session I found myself requiring more and more items. So to save you from that discovery journey and to let you walk into the gym like a well equipped boss, here are some things that you will need in the gym.

1) Workout Shoes – When I first started, I would wear canvas during the workout. But that proved to be uncomfortable and my feet would hurt. So I bought tennis shoes that were half a size more than my foot size and that did the trick. Feet tend to swell during exercise so make sure you buy shoes that are half a size larger than your foot size.

2) Sports socks – Make sure you buy more than one pair because if your day is anything like mine, you will only have time to do your laundry on the weekend.

3) Full set of fitness clothes – I’ve seen some people workout in t-shirts and sweatpants. If that’s your cup of tea then go ahead but I prefer tank tops and leggings. I might graduate to shorts when results start to show but for now capris work just fine. Make sure you have at least two sets of workout clothes.

4) Sports bra – Buy a good fitting sports bra. It shouldn’t be too loose but should not be chest-clenching tight either. A good sports bra restricts boob movement down to a healthy minimum without being uncomfortable. Have at least 2 bras because they are the first contact with your body’s sweat.

5) Gym towel – Some people overlook the importance of a towel. The whole point of working out is to work up a sweat and that sweat needs to be wiped away before it gets into your eyes.

6) Shower essentials – If you’re like me then you prefer leaving the gym clean with no evidence of sweat. If you prefer to take a shower at the gym you will need to carry a few things. A travel sized bar of soap or a small bottle of shower gel, a shower cap and flip flops. You might need to carry spare underwear because people often forget that they get sweaty down there too.

7) Water bottle – One of the biggest rules of exercise is to stay hydrated. Most gyms sell water but I suggest carrying your own water bottle. This is cheaper and less cumbersome.

8) Lifting gloves – If you’re going to be lifting weights, you will definitely need gloves. I still have blisters on my hands from before I realized I needed them. I had to keep removing my rings just to lift weights and that made me fear I would lose them one day. But with gloves I can keep them on the whole time.

9) Gym bag – You will definitely need a gym bag for all these things.

There are other little things that you can carry if you prefer, like a sweat band and an ipod. But the listed items are the necessary things every one will require. Beware though, it might get addictive. I find myself buying leggings and tank tops every time I go clothes shopping, somehow they now look more appealing than jeans. If you have any questions about where to get any of these things, let me know and I’ll help.

This Girl Loves her body ….Finally

I was out of breath, trying to keep myself upright. Rihanna’s “Where have you been” had just started playing in my earphones and I kept telling myself just to keep running until the end of the song. The gym instructor walked up to me and told me he was impressed with my determination then he asked which part of my body was bothering me and what I wanted to get rid off. I could see he was ready to dish out some advice about which exercise was the best. I slowed down the treadmill to think about it and I came up with nothing. I couldn’t think of a single part of me that I hated. I told him all I wanted was to be stronger and healthier and for the first time I meant it.

A friend of mine sent me a picture of us in college. When I looked at it I gasped with surprise. I was so small back then. And the worst part is that the size of my head was exactly what it is now. Seriously, I looked malnourished. This was the past I kept looking back to. This was the 60 kilos I kept on aiming at. This was what I had been craving ever since I gained weight. I had been glorifying the past, wanting to go back not knowing that my present was better. The crazy thing is that when I weighed 62 kilos all I wanted was to lose a bit of weight. When I went up to 65 kilos, I stopped eating just so that I could go back to 62. And now on the upside of 70 kilos I found myself just yearning for the 65 I once had. I noticed a trend here, I was living in the past, forever looking back. This nostalgia could easily be triggered by anything, like someone commenting how much weight I had gained or just an old pair of jeans not fitting. I stopped taking pictures of myself because I wanted to lose some weight first.

That picture made me realize that if I didn’t love myself now, I wouldn’t love myself when I lost weight. So I stopped taking the diet pills and I sat myself down (I seem to be doing that a lot). I had to stop mistreating myself. I had to stop punishing myself for who I was. I had to forgive myself for all the neglect I had suffered by my own hands. I had to accept myself. I had to, I had no choice because no one else would do it for me. I knew it would be a long process but at least I had to begin. So I started researching and educating myself on health and fitness. I started learning how to cook so that I could prepare the best food my body deserved. I finally joined a gym. I told myself each time I was changing into my workout clothes that I was doing this because I love myself. In the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping I would lose weight. I started lifting weights and discovered just how much I loved it. I started learning things about myself that I never knew, like how I have the endurance of a horse. I was realizing I felt my happiest after a hard, tiring workout session. In the two months that I’ve been religiously working out I have had zero depression episodes. That is such a great improvement considering that I had them on an average of once a week.

I fell in love with myself with each day that passed. And so when the guy asked me what part of my body bothered me, I learnt something about myself. I finally work out not because I despise myself but because I want to be strongest version of me. Let every action you take be driven by love and not hate. Every time I see some new muscles showing, I get excited even though I know I’m the only one who can see them. And it must be life trying to teach me a lesson because I haven’t lost a single kilo since I started working out but I’m definitely feeling healthier and more content. I have a spring in my walk now. I’m not apologizing for the space I occupy anymore. It’s my space and I love it.

Is there something keeping you in the past? Something that keeps you turning back, comparing and living in constant discontentment? Maybe an old relationship that looks better than your current one, or an old job that is better paying than your current gig? There’s a chance you might be looking at things the wrong way. Love where you are now then strive for better things. It’s the only way to be happy, well there’s chocolate too but you know what I mean.

This Girl Can

This Girl Lifts

Here is a video that perfectly describes where I’m at now. It’s called “This Girl Can”

Don’t welcome me (to 2015), You weren’t here first!

“Welcome to 2015!”

I keep hearing people say that like they arrived earlier than me. Unless they are in a timezone ahead of me, they really should shut up. People talking about leaving their problems in 2014. What I know is problems are there to be solved so if you leave them in 2014 who’s going to solve them for you?

It’s the beginning of a new year and people are reviewing how their life turned out in 2014. They are standing on (facebook) rooftops and shouting out all the things that happened and all the things they intend to do in the new year. Some lists are practical, like losing 10kgs and enrolling for a Masters Degree. But others just make me wonder how the hell someone will do certain things. Someone listed falling in love as one of the resolutions this year. Um, maybe it’s just me but love can’t be dictated to. Another girl said she intended to get married and have a child. How are you going to do that if you’re not in a serious relationship? I think people forget that a year only has 365 days.

So I find myself in the second week of the new year, still hesitant to list down my expectations of the year because I don’t trust myself. I’ve let myself down far too many times. Last January I wrote down that I wanted to join a gym. There must have been a shortage of gyms in Lusaka because I only got round to joining one in December. A few months ago I found a piece of paper while cleaning out my stuff, it was a list of my resolutions for 2010. When I read it I cried (well, not tears or anything but I could hear my heart wailing). It was so full of hope and wonder. I wanted to do so many things, things that I have long forgotten to keep wanting. I saw a girl who trusted in her ability to make things happen, a girl who really believed the world was at her fingertips. I saw the girl I still want to be but have forgotten how.

Now I’ve not grown, but just learnt how to act. I have now mastered the art of not expecting too much from life. I’m still considered quite “out there” by some people’s standards but by mine, I’m under-performing. I’m stuck here, unable to make resolutions not because I don’t have any but because I’m afraid I won’t achieve any. I’m reading all these articles about how to set smart goals hoping this time I won’t let myself down. But while I set my goals, don’t worry. There won’t be any of those sentimental unrealistic babble like I want to be a better me and whatnot. I’m setting tangible, achievable goals this year. And I’m not telling any of you unless it’s got an interesting story tied to it.

What have I achieved in 2014? A lot that I’m thankful for and can only attribute to good fortune and being blessed. But I won’t go shouting it on “The Facebook” as some senior citizens would call it. Sometimes I think people posting their “blessings” is just a sleek but obvious way of bragging. Things like “I would like to thank God for my brand new car in 2014”, if it’s God you’re really thanking why not just pray huh? Is he on facebook? Away from that, I’m very glad that I’m alive, healthy, in love and happy.

I wish you health and happiness.

Happy 2015.

May this not be you!

May this not be you!

What Christmas means to me

Is it too late to wish you Merry Christmas? What is the statute of limitations on that? 1 week or maybe as long as we’re in the holiday mood? I totally have no idea but I will do it anyway.

There is so much excitement and hype about the Christmas period that it’s difficult not to get caught up in it. This was The Hub and I’s first Christmas together as a married couple and we wanted to make it special. So many TV shows and commercials made us want to do something we’ve never done. We wanted to make our own tradition, something that would stand out from the rest. It was the holidays and everyone does something extraordinary during this period right?

But in all that hype and noise I realised something. All I wanted to do during my Christmas break was rest and be quiet. When I sat myself down and had a talk with myself, I found out that I wasn’t excited about Christmas at all. What I was excited about was the break away from work, the 2 weeks of not having to wake up at the crack of dawn. Christmas in itself was something I had become numb to and I suddenly watched people’s excitement while detached from it. It’s the same thing with birthdays, after celebrating 25 of them I don’t get the fuss anymore.

When I was a child, I was in the Nativity play every year. And for some reason, I was always the narrator (I have something in common with Morgan Freeman, he and I would make awesome friends). So Christmas would mean memorising lines and preparing outfits. We would have a huge Christmas lunch after church in our new clothes then go out and play. As I got older I realised that the huge Christmas lunch doesn’t cook itself and I was now in charge of preparing it. This year we still held the Christmas lunch at my parents’ house but I wasn’t a host this time.

What does Christmas mean to me? Christmas is spending the few days before it shopping for herbs, vegetables and meats. Christmas is trying to locate gammon in all the supermarkets and butcheries and only finding it the day after Christmas. Christmas is waking up at 5 am to prepare for a 2 pm lunch. Christmas is my feet and calves aching by 9 am and realising there is still a full day awaiting. Christmas is preparing an awesome assortment of food and forgetting to get a photo for Instagram (bummer!). Christmas is two families that did not know each other 2 years ago eating and laughing together like they’ve known each other for ages. Christmas is receiving our first (and only) Christmas card addressed to Mr and Mrs The Hub and thinking “Oh crap! We actually did this marriage thing!” So Christmas is really cool and remembering the birth of Jesus keeps us thankful. But the excitement around the celebrations is tiring. So in my last week before I go back to work, I’m retreating from the world and taking time to recalibrate myself. I need to be on top of my game in the new year.

I hope you had the Christmas you wanted and I hope you’re taking some time for yourself.

Happy Holidays.

Mind your own Space!

If you’ve ever been anywhere public in Zambia then you know that we have a small problem with personal space. Chaps be pushing and touching skins like we’re all related or something. A bus conductor will be happily counting his wad of cash oblivious to the fact that his hand is touching your boob. This one time I felt a hand on my thigh, I looked up to find the owner of the hand with an innocent look on his face. Apparently he wasn’t seated comfortably and was using my thigh to support himself. A few choice words and a murderous look later, he moved his hand. Continue reading

Our President is dead but our peace is not.

I woke up this morning and checked into my usual social media sites, a second later I wished I hadn’t. Various news sources were claiming that President Michael Chilufya Sata had died. I figured it was true because he had been ill for some time but I still had a bit of hope. It wouldn’t be the first time that news sites have wrongly reported someone as dead. The last time it happened, I arrived at work in black, thinking I was mourning Will Smith only to find out that he was very alive. So I held on to hope until I read the statement by the Secretary to the Cabinet officially announcing his death. Continue reading

eNCA featured Zambian Bloggers this time!

When you’re a Zambian blogger, you get used to being ignored. Very few people comment on your posts or even like them. When you tell someone you’re a blogger they ask you what that is. So I was surprised when a reporter from South Africa’s eNCA emailed me and asked if I could contribute to her coverage of Zambia’s independence. She intended to take a few Zambian bloggers’ points of view. I gladly agreed and provided her with the information she needed. I’m so excited! Zambian bloggers are being recognized as credible content providers.

You can read the interview here

Here’s to more great Zambian content creation!

Keep Your opinion to yourself or get punched!

It is widely known that Zambians are friendly people. They will stop what they are doing and gladly give you directions if you ask. They will randomly start a conversation about politics with a total stranger on the bus. It really is a good quality and I appreciate it but I have a complaint; some Zambians have no limits. They dish out their opinion whether you like it or not, whether you look accommodating or not. They will just blurt it out with no regard of who is listening. A supermarket employee will start giving you marriage advice right there at the till just because you said you don’t know how much sugar you should buy. Continue reading

Why I’m worried about Ebola and Why I shouldn’t be.

I sat in the corner of the minibus waiting for it to fill up. It was after 2pm and the sun was blazing. I was dying to get home and just shed off my clothes and cool down. Then an overweight woman came in, with sweat gushing out of her poles and wetting her skin. She chose the seat right next to me squeezing me further into the corner. I was wearing a sleeveless top so our skins were touching and all I could think about was “Oh God! please don’t let me get Ebola!” Continue reading

Gender based violence and Why women return to their abusers

What kind of hitting does it take for skin to break and blood to gush out? Obviously the hitting of a maniac. The police man comes home at midnight (Every husband knows that is way past any married man’s ‘bedtime’) and starts playing loud music when everyone else is asleep. When his wife confronted him, he beat her up and left her looking like this.

Woman beaten by cop husband.

Woman beaten by cop husband.

The woman could have died for Pete’s sake, people have died from far less injuries. And the worst part, She went back to her matrimonial home after being stitched up and forgave her husband. I think this man’s betrayal is on two counts. One as a husband, he is supposed to protect her from the world and all kinds of horrid stuff but here he is being the administrator. Two as a police officer, his job is to protect citizens from evil people that do such horrible things.  What do you do when the man you trusted with your heart, body and life harms you worse than you can imagine. I can’t even imagine how it must feel. Continue reading

From Enormous Body Parts to Tiny Baby Ones

I wasn’t going to say anything. In fact I promised myself I wouldn’t say anything about it. But I can’t hold it anymore. So a clergyman decides he wants to join politics, that wasn’t remarkable enough coz it’s been done before. Then he formed a political party and gave it a reasonable enough name. I can’t judge that coz I have enough trouble coming up with titles for my blog posts. But then he decides on a party hand signal.

Party signal

Party signal

So the clenched fist has already been claimed by the ruling party and a few other relevant hand signals have been used up by other parties, I get that. But was that the only symbol they could come up with? In Zambia, that symbol represents a man’s *cough* you-know-what! So the first time I saw this picture I cracked up! Their facial expressions don’t help matters at all. A simple thumbs up would suffice if you ask me. Apparently the signal represents a pot which is the party symbol. A lot of people commented about it on social media and the party decided to change it to show you guys that if they ever come into power, they will definitely be a listening government. And the brilliant idea they came up with is this:

New party signal

New party signal

From enormous male body parts to tiny baby ones! I seriously need to see whoever comes up with these ideas. He has a wicked sense of humor! Next time it just might be the finger. This has made my day you guys. But to be fair, is there any other hand signal that can represent a pot? If any of you can think of any please let me know, and maybe we can get in touch with these hilarious people.

I’m sick but I swear I’m not pregnant!!

Life has a crazy notion of timing. I moved to a new job less than a month ago and I’ve been trying to learn the strings. My previous job was extremely stressful and I dreaded having to go back every morning but then I got a new job and I was relieved. One of the best benefits of having a job for me has been medical insurance. I can just walk into a private clinic when I don’t feel well and I won’t have to pay a ngwee. But right now I’m in between insurances, I just gave up my old one with my old job and the new one is still being processed. So if I want any health services, I’ll have to pay for them myself. And as if life is a serial prankster, I fell ill last week. Continue reading

Festival Madness!

Lusaka is really becoming a hub of activity. People often complain that there is very little to do in Lusaka but I think that is being turned around.

Last month we had the Barefeet Festival and on 29th August there was a concert that just rocked! It brought brilliant performers to the stage. Pompi represented Zambia. Zimboita, a Zimbabwean and Italian group, wowed the crowd. FreshlyGround from South Africa just came to blow off what was remaining of our brains. I danced so hard I had body aches for a week.

Photo cred: barefeettheatre.org

Photo cred: barefeettheatre.org

This month on the 21st and 22nd September, Stanbic bank and The Misty will be hosting Zambia’s first ever Jazz festival. Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi and Zonke will grace the stage alongside Pompi, Maureen Lupo Lilanda and Uncle Rex. I’m really excited about this one though I must admit I have listened to very little Jazz. For more information follow @SMJazzFest on twitter and like their facebook page here

photo cred: @SMJazzFest

photo cred: @SMJazzFest

Next month R and G events will be hosting their annual festival called Oktoberfest on 11th – 12th October. I am absolutely excited about this one because I couldn’t make it for last years. It will be 2 days of extreme fun, music, food and drink. It will definitely be the highlight of my month. South Africa’s Liduideep will be the main acts.The organizers have planned it very well and have developed a website solely dedicated to providing information about this event. You can get all the information you need at www.randgfestivals.com

There are a lot of other festivals that are being planned and are probably happening right now that I’m not aware of. I am just glad that we get to have so much choice.