on 2014 in pictures…

If I had to pick 1 word I had to use to describe 2014, I would choose laughter. And although it was a very challenging year, I think a smile was plastered on my face most of the time. When it wasn’t tears, I was smiling through it all. My mentor from university (yes Miss Andie, that’s you) taught me that happiness was a choice and while I’m still learning to choose happiness in every situation. Looking through my camera roll has made me realise that for the most part of this year, when I chose it, I was happy!

Change was also a constant them for me in 2014 and through change, I met some AMAZING souls, worked on friendships that I had let suffer and refused to succumb to fear.

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I have been blessed and I’m making a choice to take happiness along with me throughout 2015.

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on sisters, marriage and growing up…

One of my sisters and I have a running gag that has gone on for the past couple of years. Our mom would always tell us how we would embarrass her when we got married as we could not cook and the in-laws would send us back. Now, in the Shona culture, having your daughter sent back is highly “humiliating”. It reflects badly on the girl’s family as it implies that they did not raise her up right hence she was “returned”.   In our defence, it wasn’t that we couldn’t cook. Those who know us on a personal level know that we can hold our own in the kitchen. Truth is – we were just lazy. So whenever we chose to have mazoe and bread over cooking sadza nemuriwo she lectured us!

Don’t get me wrong. Mummy meant well! She just wanted to raise daughters who wouldn’t struggle to put together a decent meal. The idea of us embarrassing her was what made the situation hilarious for my sister and I.  Fast forward 10 – 15 years later, my sister is getting married and as the ever-so-loving little sister – I am quick to tease her about how she must now know how to cook since she is getting married!

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Big sis and I at my graduation.

on growing up…

When it comes to romantic relationships, I rarely blog about them because I don’t consider myself an expert. But as I grow up and watch and learn from those around me, I would like to believe I have learnt a lot in my 25 years on this earth.

Relationships can be complex. Having two people brought up in different homes with different cultural backgrounds coming together and trying to live in the same environment can lead to some interesting events. That being said, the reason I write today’s post is because I have learnt something about myself and about relationships. And because a lot of my friends (guys and gals) are getting married or planning to get married and I worry about their expectations.

I am a big cynic when it comes to marriage. I have seen too many divorces, too many cases of abuse, too much sadness with some relationships for me to want to jump with joy at the prospect of being married. In spite of this, I believe others do find their happily ever after. And I think one’s mindset has a lot to do with it. I believe in love. But I want the old school love. The love that is pure and unconditional. The selfless 1 Corinthians type of love. A love built on respect and trust. I know this love exists within me so I know that once I find this kind of love, it will be easy for me give it back.

When a couple decides they are ready to settle down and tie the knot, I think a lot of growing up has to be done by both parties. I cannot speak on behalf of men because I am not a man. So I will speak for women. I will speak of the type of wife I aspire to be. The type of wife I pray that my brothers, cousins and friends will find. For she is worth far more than rubies. I think to get married, a woman has to be in the right mindset. Marriage is not child’s play. It is not a game nor is it a toy, it is a union to be taken seriously. That being said as a woman, I have to accept that I must be submissive in order to get married.

Before all the independent women draw and load their guns, let me clarify. The Bible says, wives, submit to your husbands and husbands in turn must love their wives. I’m hard headed and strong-willed. But I realise for any relationship to work, especially marriage, there cannot be 2 bulls in the pen. I cannot always get my way. There has to be a level of respect, understanding and listening to. I understand submission as an attitude of love, respect and gentleness in the way you speak and act toward your husband.

Submission means sometimes he is going to make decisions without consulting me first but instead of checking to which level my vocal chords can reach, I submit and we discuss like grown ups. Why? Because I am a woman, and my role is to submit. I often wonder how our mothers and grandmothers got their men to do their bidding. And I realise, it has a lot to do with submission. They found non confrontational way to voice their opinions and got their way. They listened to their men and in turn their men listened back. You cannot change a person. But to be ready for marriage, you have to be willing to die to self every single day and fall in love with your partner anew every single day. To die to self, to be selfless and place your partner first. The nice thing about true love is that you will not feel used or as if you are the only one giving into this relationship but you will be equally yoked with your partner. It will be a mutually satisfactory relationship.

A relationship must be based on compromise and sometimes as a woman I have to be willing to let things go for the good of the relationship. So try it ladies, the next time your fiancé does something and you’re about to blow a gasket, submit. See how it ends for you. And if you find you cannot submit, then maybe you are not ready for marriage…

on my grandma…

My grandmother was 92 years old when she passed away. For as long as I can remember, she came to the city for about 3 to 4 months every year. She had loads of funny stories to tell. I was always laughing around her. When she was younger, she wanted to be in a band. She had categorised my sisters and I into the one who gets her the technological stuff, the one who buys her clothes and the one who brings home delicacies. She never asked for these things outright, she used grown up swag where she hinted and it was up to me and my sisters to take care of her needs. And we didn’t mind coz she was gran! She had the ability to bring people together. She managed to keep the families close knit. She was one of the last surviving people of her generation so everyone came to her. We used to take walks together and chat about everything and nothing.  When we watched TV  she made up her own story lines and her rendition of things was so different from the directors version. As she got older she thought that the people in the TV could see her and as we sat and watched TV, she would say look, look, his eyes are following me. These are the memories I have of my gran – full of of smiles, happy thoughts and laughter. I’m grateful I got to spend some meaningful time with her.

she was a very stylish lady!

On being 100 days old

Heavenly Father

I place Mazvita Olivia Chikoto into your hands. I thank you for her life and for the joy she has brought into ours. I thank you for her health and that she is with us today. I pray that the smile she always has on her face now as a baby will remain throughout her life. 

May you guide her steps as she goes through life.

May her heart and spirit remain pure.

May you fill her heart with love.

May she grow up to be a lady who is firmly rooted in your word.

May she be full of dreams and be free of fear to go for her dreams.

May she have good  health.

May she be guided by your word in all decisions she makes.

May she find happiness in all avenues of her life.

May she achieve all the desires of her heart and more.

May she be surrounded  by people who will build her up, encourage her and inspire her.

May she always be blessed

In Jesus name,

Amen

My niece (the latest addition to the family) turned 100 days old a few weeks ago.

But its broken!

 

The 18th of July was Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The niece had to attend school dressed proudly South African and as we are Zimbabwean and don’t have a national dress, I had to go shopping for the kids to get something appropriate. I say kids because in this household, you can’t buy anything for one child and not the other. The kids have learnt the art of emotional blackmail – you love her more than me etc and I can’t handle that stuff. I just cave right in and give the other what they want lol. So I decided to get a beanie and scarf set for both kids. I then picked out what clothes they would wear. Its winter so I went with jeans and jackets. My nephew has a pair of distressed jeans that I think are so cute so I picked those for him to  wear to school.

He could look like Kanye…

Or look as cool as Usher….

or like teen heart-throb Justin…

but all the little one managed to say was “but mainini, they are broken!”

My nephew didn’t understand why his jeans had to be “broken” by the knee. He didn’t understand this fashion madness situation that his aunt was trying to get him to adopt.

Ah the refreshing innocence of childhood! 🙂