Thursday, August 27, 2009

There's room for everyone.....

Love is a predominant theme,in poetry,drama,soapies,movies,novels and the list goes on.I have often wondered aboutt he effect of this magical,misconstrued and sometimes controversial word.Yes,'controversial' because in some people's dictionary it may intereprete something else.What somebody calls love might mean absolute stupidity in another's book of translation.We genrally hear of phrases like"Love is kind,love is gentle,love is giving,love does not judge nor condemn...."At the same times,"love hurts"..now how about that???But thank heavens that love cannot be quantified or measured in yards.It can be measured in principles however.You can ask someone"how much do you love me"???Andthe reply could sound something like"enough to die for you" or "enough to tell you the truth".But the love for or of what is what the question should really be.The love of money.The love of life.The love for wealth.The love for fame.The love for family,families,friends.Whatever or whomever we choose to love,there's always room for everyone and anyone.The heart may be a small organ imbedded in our chests,but there's room in it for whatever we choose to love.

Parenting is a lifelong duty and responsibility for those who value that title,not those who father or mother children and shy away from their responsibility,be it emotionallyor financially.We bear children,fend for them,rare them,watch them grow up to become independent individuals.But it never stops us from worrying about their wellbeing.We worry,that's what parents do,even when they've become parents themselves,we still worry about them.I know I have some habits that I wouldn't want my kids to inherit from me(what if it's in the genes?).But the fact is,whether they emulate or immitate me,they'll form their own habits or even pick some along as they grow.My son twists his mouth to oneside when he's talking and I wonder how that makes him feel.I definately do not do this and have been on his case trying to make him stop.He hasn't been listening but something I told him recently made him sober.I told him he won't look as cute and fine as he is if he keeps doing that because,if he doesn't stop now,he wouldn't be able to stop later.This poor boy has no idea he wouldn't get attention by making funny faces like that.He's an attention-seeking child and am learning to deal with him calmly because he drives me to the walls when he whinges.But what can I do,afterall he's my son.They think parents know it all,but we also learn from them.I am learning to be more patient because of his overtly sensitive nature(look who's talking).I have been continually remindng him to be strong and not appear as a weakling because I won't be there to defend him when he's been bullied at school.Poor thing-there're times to display your masculinity.I look at him at times and wonder if him taking so much after me is a good thing or something to worry about.I am a woman,who also looks meek but tougher than my apperance (inwardly,I mean).I cannot remember anyone daring to bully me right from my elementary school days.I always gave the boys a run for their money.They never dared me.But I have to listen to my son tell me different stories each week of how a boy pushed or shoved him,collected something from him forcefully and even ruffle him up.I ask him to go straight to the teacher to report because I do not want to teach him'violence',He tells me someone in his class is cursing him and that he cursed him back.I tell him not to do that then he asks,"what must I do"?That's the question my son asks me a lot of late.I have now realised that,it's either the teachers are having a handful of kids and do not have the strength to scold every kid each time they bully the weaker ones,or they are ngeligent of the effects of such attitudes.My poor boy's torn between two worlds-his teacher's and mine.Mommy says"don't curce,don't fight".Teacher says"smack him back,hit him back,curse him back".Confused little fellow!But I know where to draw the line.I just don't want him to be bullied so much to as to lose his self confidence.That'd be detrimental and counter-productive.The reason he's in Creche is for psychological,mental and for social development.They do not have kids or even anyone at that to play with (besdies me and their dad) when they are home.So far,the school's the only place of'external interaction' and we can't deny them of that.I on the other hand is way not equipped to be a home-teacher.It ain't gonna happen!!!

In talking of legacies,values and being role models for our offsprings.I am also retrospecting and wondering if not growing up with either of my folks contributed to the values I hold dearly or not.I found out only in my mid-twenties that I was so much like my father in several ways.I had inherited some of his remarkable genes and am so proud of that.But am not as patient as he is-wish i were though!I have also learnt from him that I might have got my headiness from my mother.More like,'got it from her actually'.So I was now thinking of how the title'mom/mommy' never really sank or effected on me in the last five years.In the African context,the woman that bore you from her womb isn't the only one deserving of that title.Where do I want to begin from?You're inclined to call your aunts'mommy',your uncles'dadddy',your mother-in-law,mommy,your father-in-law,'daddy'....You even call your neighbours brothers,needless to say your cousins.It goes further,you call an older man in the neighbourhood,'daddy' and same goes for an older woman.Again,your friends'folks automatically are referred to as'mommy' and'daddy'.This has always been the practice.I look at my kids and I really feel for them.It gets confusing sometimes and I wish I could make it easier for them.But I didn't create that tradition.All I know is,as they grow older,they will begin to understand that,grandpas and grandmas of their parents aren't the only one culture and custom gives such privilege to.
I cannot recall the number of people I grew up calling 'mommy' and still call mommy.Ironically,I haven't even called my own mother 'mommy'.It's a good thing the kids're still quite young now and they've not started asking questions'cause I know the time would come.They would eventually realise they can see their father's folks,and ask where mine are.When I get to that bridge,I will cross it,God willing!
My eyes're hurting,head aching and there's no one to 'chat with'(as in "talking")....!!!It would have helped because am completely useless when am in this state.....no reading......no thinking or worrying.Yet,I can't take a nap!!!!Lord help me!

The giver and the taker....

If I had to consider what am feeling right now at this very moment,I should be alying with my back either on the couch or bed.But I won't give in just yet,because I surely need a break from any rigorous mental activity.My head's spinning and I think I know the reason.Aspirin won't send my headache away because that's not what it needs.But I know I'll be fine,by God's grace.

Well,since my head's usually filled with tons of thoughts,I thought I might just as well de-saturate my brain,perhaps I'd be relieved of the ache.I was almost feeling'guilty' because once again,I have placed an unwarranted responsibility on myself.Something I do more than not.I would have sent messages to virtually everyone I know and have the contact number on my phone,wishing them a fulfilling Ramadan.This, I have done though on a smaller scale.I didn't exhaust my list of Muslim friends because I went as far as I could afford.Sending international text messages is no cheap cake too.Of course I should have reminded myself that technology has eased things and I should have sent mails to some.Well,I realised access to the Internet might still be a luxury back home,so I sent the smses instead.What I do not often do is ask why they can't send me the message as well.I don't do that.The thought only crosses my mind after I've beaten myself up for not following suit.And the question crossed my mind,"when does receiving become selfishness"?When does the one that gives 'demand' to be given?Well,am sure the response to that would differ depending on the circumstances.The act of giving as I've always believed isn't just about having anything in excess,either materially or just being a good listener to a depressed friend.It has more to do with sacrifice,sacrifice of time,money(however little),any tangible material.So,I had to really tell myself to let go for a while and stop battling against what's beyond my control.
It is indeed true that to whom much is given,much is equally expected.But in reality,not every receiver feels that the law of reciprocity should take place all the time.Some people're helpless and returning a favour to them might interprete having'money'.Whereas,what one really needs is the "act" of willingness to "do",not necessarily "give"-in cash or kind ,or even both if you're so endowed.I think I deserve a break!

Monday, August 24, 2009

This is me..moving on!

I didn't vouch not to get close to this machine-impossible.Although I might not have had to.But it's no use fighting it because it's my last resolve.Not having a companion during this time of the day(physical I mean) and not being bale to do much this fasting period wasn't what I had anticipated before Ramadan commenced.But then again,I have told myself to now start practising the things I so claim to believe in-less talk,more action.First and foremost,it's my academic tool however hard I've tried sticking to prints alone.It just wouldn't work for a distance-learner.I'd have to keep myself updated on things via the Internet.So whether I want to take a sneek peep into FB or browse through the Islamic sites,it is inevitable.And I've accepted that.

It's been a while since I've been inspired by 'someone' to write until I met this young talent waiting to be discovered.So,if in the next four,five years I want to start regretting not being in a classroom and interacting with students,I would swallow the thought because of this young friend of mine.She's quite brilliant and talented.I'm not sure she realises this yet,but am on the mission to remind her 'never to sell herself short',no matter how bad the circumstances.She reminds me so much of my teenage years....somethings you can't have back!Well,besides the fact that she's helping me out with two of my modules-yeah,am rusty in Literature now.She's also opened my eyes again and revitalised me somewhat.She doesn't know this too,but I do.She reminded of how much I enjoy mentoring,and I've missed that so much.I get mentored by older and like-minded ladies too.And it's quite natural because I always enjoy doing the same for others.It's almost scary too that we share so much similarities.A lot alike and having same interests.It's almost unbelievable.And it's amazing how we're torn apart by geographical boundaries,thousands of miles away yet connected so incredibly.It's simply awesome!I haven't met a young person that enjoys writing the way I do and seem to have similar choice of words for expression.Poetry is that form of art that brings hearts together,connecting them in a way even they cannot comprehend.It's effect is magical!

Before I got out of bed this morning,I had tons of thoughts tossed round my head and wished I had a laptop.Most of the time,I end up not being bale to recall everything as they're usually random of thoughts.Well,no hassles.It'll come back to me if it's meant for the record.

Oh!I remember how I thought the society has placed so much authority in men,cultural norms and values worsen this situation by expecting women to be submissive,at all cost.Male chauvinism is regarded as'normal' and not unexpected.I think I probably wouldn't have had problems with this backward reasoning if it didn't translate to women being treated like'subjects or some possessions'.It is this unchecked practise that pushes some women to the end of their teether and become rebellious.When it comes looking for a'twisted' argument in support of men exercising their God-given rights,they make references to religious Books.But when it comes to the issue of equality and fair treatment,they simply become clueless.I know there's this thing in me that always want to "fight for the helpless".It's always been there and it's the bedrock of all the choices of careers I've always been interested in.When I was a child and wanted to become a Lawyer,I had criminal law in mind.There was the will to defend the helpless and seek justice for the less advantaged or oppressed.At some point,I got interested in academics because am a very firm believer in knwoledge acquisition and believe it will wipe out ignorance.It may sound like a tall order but it's not impossible.If I teach one student right,that student will pass on the knowledge and the transmission will continue.
A choice career in the media has never been far from my reach.it's innate.I have always been a writer and speaker at the same time.Well,the two seem to be impossible as some would say.But what can I say?It's only natural for me and I plan on developing these skills to use them to the optimal benefit of humanity.I want to be the'people's voice' when they need to be heard but cannot be heard.I want to 'write right',dismiss wrong' and clamour for justice.I want to help feed hungry souls with hope,the lost ones,find their path and the doubtful ones,certainty.I want to reach out to the lowest and go to out of reach places.I want to fulfil my purpose here on earth,to serve God and humanity.I want to leave a legacy that generations after me would be proud of.And if I can combine all these things,academics with media,author,Poet,editor,volunteer,why not?I would not set limits to achieving all these goals because it can be done.It's been done,it's still been done and I can do it as well,with God on my side.
I still do not know what the future holds but I sincerely pray that whether home or abroad,I get to make that breakthrough.But I wish so much that I would be able to play the part I want to play in making my homecountry a better place.I would really love to share my ideas and impact on the young generation.I believe they need all the moral support they can get to help them make the right decisions in life.It's never too much!Time will tell,God willing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jammed thoughts....

I just had to break the jinx this morning before I get down to serious jacking,as my people will call it.It's almost at freezing point outside,even wehn we're near spring...God help us!My hands were so cold this morning I couldn't feel any blood flowing.I tried warming it up in my pockets,but even the winter suit couldn't hold that much.I had to boil some water using the electric kettle because I didn't put on the geyser last night--saving energy.That's me for you!And I poured some into my kids' plastic cups-one for each and soaked my two palms in...It wasn't soothing.That contact is definately not a good one...I mean,it's like ice falling into a water at boiling point.But I had to bear it..I still do not have a description for that feeling.But it definately wasn't fun.I had to,I just had to put the clothes on the line and it just reminded me that there're no basements in SA.I remember winter period in England.We dried some of the clothings indoor while the most of it was taken down to the basement.Alright...it's going to be a very chilly day.Yesterday was quite windy and I suspected we'd still have something more of it.The previous week was deceptive.But I didn't fall for it because this is South Africa',the land of unpredicatble weather-forget the forecast!But in all,I still prefer it chilly or windy-so long I don't fall sick,than the scorching,burning and unfriendly summer heat.I know 'these people' are dying to go skinny dipping or whatever it is they do in summer-walk half-naked?Anyway,I prefer it cold because it's good and better for my skin.And I also won't have to go bunkers chasing the flies.They've been showing up lately.I think they're warming up for summer before they bombard me.And here I was thinking we only have so much flies in my part of Africa because my people aren't the cleanest you come across.Anyway,enough talk'bout flies.I had something more serious on my mind when I logged in.Which was why I titled it'jammed thoughts'.

A lot has happened since the last time I blogged.The most interesting was me thinking I was ready to carry another child now.Well,besides the financial implications,the psychological and traumatic effect of the last birth are still very fresh in my head and mind.But this is me,everything is a miracle,nothing is a miracle! I can handle it and would have handled it however the difficulties.But that's over with now.
I have taken that leap of faith and sent forth my poems for'evaluation'.I have sent a score collection of them in all to a publishing firm.I didn't really plan on doing it,but I did it.I have to start doing the walk and not just the talking.I have talked about how I want to stop procrastinating and this is the time to act on that statement.That was why I decided I wasn't going to wait until I wrote fifty or try to "perfect" the ones I had written for over a decade now-sounds like a lifetime ago!I know I have entered some of them in Poetry contests,but it's not consoling enough .And that doesn't mean I should keep writing them for'keeps' in my notebook,where it doesn't get read except my 'me'.So,it's one down,about three or four more to go.That would be the Non-fiction and something like a memoir.The Religious angle of women and how their rights are protected in Islam(I would so love writing this book because it's a subject am very passionate about).And then the Children's book that I haven't really discussed with anyone yet.I hope to write on moral lessons for children of a particular age-haven't decided what age group it would be yet.But I will figure it out.The future of course would now determine my'autobiography'-if I live long enough to do it.Otherwise,someone else would have to write my Biography.I just hope it would be what I would have loved to'read' or approve of.But that doesn't even bother me now.Time will tell,God spare our lives.

In a couple of days'time,we will commence fasting,God willing and am so looking forward to it.It's a period of the year that makes me reminisce so much on the times we spent attending programmes,lectures and so much more at this season of the year.Of course residents and some fortunate foreigners in this country,who live amongst fellow Muslims,still enjoy all these privileges,but I don't!I call it a privilege because we're in a multi-cultural , multi-racial,multi-religious environment.Everything here is'multi'-which means complexity,not"the more,the merrier"! But we'd have to just practice and do what we can with the situation.I don't want to sweat over it because there's nothing I can do to change the situation.It is what it is.But I will never mince words in saying I miss home,terribly this time.I particularly miss my friends at this period.I remember how it was while we were still at College,hoping that we don't just slump and collapse in the heat,while running back'n'forth lecture rooms.But we survived it,however hectic it was.I mean,it was a period everyone would be sober and then be identified with their faith.Some people would not even tell anyone they were muslims.But there's something about Ramadan that juts touches people and make them 'different',however temporarily.They adjust and even if for some reasons someone isn't fasting,they don't flunt it.The christian faithfuls are aware of this religious practice like we are of Esther and Chritsmas.They would even hold us to ransom if we did not invite them after the fasting is over-the feasting!
Well,I guess I'd just have to relish on those days and wish that it gets better in the future for the sake of my kids who seem to be missing out on so much-their mother tongue,culture,religion,peer-plays and the rest.For their sakes,I fervently pray and hope it gets better with time because we can't give them back those years.

I'm exploring my options now,even though the timing may not be exactly right since am preparing for exams and still have assignments to submit.But I have finally decided to see what I can do if I get the chance.I'm seeking an avenue to do'voice over'.I've been doing so many things for fun and for charity,but this time around,am in for the'bucks'.With the Poetry publication and the job quest',it's all about the benjamins!!!And am not giving in,not a chance!If one door closes,then another one opens.I'll keep looking till I find some door to open and get me out there doing something before I become a BA.Com,by God's grace.I'll be asking God for that special favour during this month of Ramadan.Am tired of waiting in limbo.It's about time I did something about the goals I've set for mysel.The ball's in my court now,and am not giving in to rejection.Am going to become Abraham Lincoln now,in my head!

Signing off..!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"As women we’re so often caught in the whirlwind demands of our work and home lives that we don’t have the time to focus on ourselves and the goals we once set"-W&H magazine.I couldn't agree more because it's the reason I haven't had enough time for myself and my studies lately.I honestly ask myself if being a worker would be any different from being a housewife.Huh!Housewife,home-maker,stay-at-home mom and the rest of the phrases used to describe people who fall in my category.Something tells me the life of an entrepreneurs'wife is no different either.Unless of course,if you're completely 'detached' from the business,which am clearly not.And so it has become a routine that,at one point or another,we have guests who are not 'just guests' but freinds and hence,we offer a preferential treatment in hosting them.
I definately have got no problem welcoming our 'special guests'.As a matter of fact,it's therapeutic for me as it gives me an opportunity to interact with people from home and enjoy the privilege of going out while their stay lasts.It's usually the case,even if it's somewhere I've been before like the malls.It's usually a huge difference,no matter what.There're many stores I've never been too keen on discovering since I've been in SA.But when these people're around,I enjoy taking them around and never stop them from walking through the doors of these stores,however expensive and unaffordable they are.It gives them a different feeling and they gain more awareness compared to our motherland,which operates an entirely different system when it comes to shopping.
Ok,so after I struggled with it for a while,I realised it was a futile battle and a wasted effort because there're times I'd rather be left alone and enjoy some'me time'.But that rarely happens when there're issues to be attended to outside the home.
These reasons and more have been hindrances to the things I enjoy doing as stress busters and a form of meditation.I haven't been able to update my blog regularlyI have been behind in keeping my diary,even left a vacuum where my studies'concerned.But a lot has happened since I last updated my blog.
I was finally able to attend the awaited Conference at the main Campus of Unisa and was happy to.That was last Thursday-6th August.And my dear friend from motherland here was delivered of a baby boy on Monday,the 3rd of August.Am so,so happy for her and the naming's holding today.Which brings me to one of my "extended duties".I'd be doing a lot of cooking today and am just awaiting hubby to bring the slaughtered lamb (do I owe an apology to vegetarians?).Well,until then,let me enjoy my little 'freedom of thought' before I resume to the kitchen.
Oh!And it's 'Women's day' today and I've played my part by sending a number of text messages to people I think I needed to.It's one of those days I wished I was more than a wife and mother.I look forward to the future,God willing and wait for that day when I'd be standing on a podium,with the microphone in my hands and dazzle my audience with an inspiring speech,lecture,talk or whatever I would be doing then.It will come,by God's special grace.That day will surely come,if am still living!

Not having the time to write does not mean there wasn't anything to write about.Infact,there were times I logged in but ended up shutting down without being able to write anything as a result of exahaustion.The past few days have been somehwat tiring and I would be lieing to myself if I denied it.I also notice it's unsual considering that I haven't done anything outside the ordinary recently.Ok,I think I should just pause on that for now.It will get better,hopefully.

It's close to that very special month in Islam when brethren get closer to their Creator and endevour to be better Muslims.We are half way through the month prior Ramadan-Shaaban and as always,there's nothing special going on here.I should have got used to that by now,but am apparently not and doubt I would.Sundays, as always reminds me of what we used to do and where we used to go few years back.Things aren't the way they used to be.Not that I expect them to,but surely not what it's like now.But perhaps,this year may be slightly different if we get invited to some programmes organised for this season.At least,so I hope.
Huh!Guess who's hope got rekindled'bout going home this year?I won't hold my breath as we may end up on a different planet outside Africa.Girl,don't I wish i were done with assignments and exams at this stage?Each time I imagine spending a'care-free' time somewhere and anywhere but here,I quickly remind myself am just a beginner and I've got a long way to go before am done witht the classroom.Yeah!I know it's one of those days you just want to disappear off the surface of the earth.When you wished you didn't have anything to worry about a thing.Wishful thinking,huh?