WinterABC2022 Stories of Innovation:How play healed me

My Mum always reminds me that I should let the child in me live and do anything that makes me happy.

Early this year I invented Karaoke Sundays. I pick songs from my music playlist and I have to sing along and dance to the songs. Most of the time I sing the wrong lyrics but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am happy and I have fun. On some occasions, I might have had a long week, and I would be feeling mentally and physically drained. On the other hand, adulting could have been unkind to me. In the moment of feeling broken and suffocated dancing and singing along always feels like a warm hug on a cold June night.

There are some pains or traumas that you do not immediately heal from. For some, it will take months or even years. There was a time I was a bitter girl and I bottled my emotions and feelings. My mother encouraged me to write everything down if I don’t have the strength to talk about it. When I was in high school I would write a journal entry each day. With time I decided to bring my characters to life and let them share my pain or bear the burdens with me. I chose to find healing through playing with words and allowing someone else (an imaginary character) to be a vessel I use to share my struggles, pains and hope for the future.

Playing with words, karaoke Sundays, yoga and dressing up have healed me. These acts are effortless and all you have to do is be present and have fun.

Day 22/22😅
I am happy that I managed to write and publish an article for the past 22days. It was an exciting experience and it was surely a learning opportunity. Kudos to all the bloggers that took part. Thank you for taking this walk with me. I will be taking a break and I will be back before you know it😉.

WinterABC2022 Stories of Innovation: How did we get to where we are today?

There was a time that a bus driver used to deliver money to our family members in the rural areas. Family members in the village could also ask the bus driver to deliver grain or produce of the field to the city. The bus driver became an uncle or brother and a relationship was formed.

People usually joke on social media that if you don’t know the POSB bank book you are still young. People began to deposit money in the bank and the depositing slips never ran out in banking halls. The use of a bank card had its limitations because if there was an emergency during the weekend you could only deposit the money on Monday.

Online banking was a relief for most people because they would make payments in the comfort of their homes. Although online banking was a relief it somehow made consumers practice impulse buying. This is because people could buy and make payments online

Econet Wireless introduced mobile money in 2011 and the exciting jingles informed people of what Ecocash was all about.

When family members in the Diaspora wanted to send money they had to use Western Union but as for today, there are numerous platforms that one can use. You will surely be spoiled for choice from Hello Paisa, Mukuru, WorldRemit and many others.

There are different ways of sending money or making payments and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. To answer the question on today’s title, I will say we got here because of technology and innovation.

WinterABC2022 Stories of Innovation: Unforgettable mind games

When I was growing up I rarely played in the street with other kids. My playmate was my big sister Tadiwanashe. During the weekend my mother allowed my sister and me to go and play at the Shamu’s residence or Zothi and Panashe would come to our house. At our house, it was a punishable offence to play with mud so on some days my sister and I could get bored easily. The boredom could result in a fight and as a punishment, one of my aunts would ask us to come to the house.

The boredom was unbearable and I longed for the weekends so that I could play with Zothi and Panashe. As a way to kill time, one of my aunts introduced a dirt-free game. My mother had once bought jigsaw puzzles that were now gathering dust. Mainini Tendi was patient enough to teach us how to make a puzzle. When we had mastered the skill Mainini Nyarie introduced a competition. One was expected to put the puzzle pieces together while being timed. The person who completed the puzzle slowest was expected to buy everyone a treat at Our Milk(a tuckshop that was close to our house). Putting the puzzle pieces together while being timed was exciting and I was glad that my aunts were part of the game.

Sometimes one of my aunts would lose and they had to abide by the terms of the game and buy a treat at Our milk. The jigsaw puzzle improved my concentration span because I used to get carried away whenever I was doing anything. Although putting the puzzle pieces was fun it was also helpful in many ways. The jigsaw puzzle helped with boredom, brain development, creativity and even teamwork.

WinterABC2022 Stories of Innovation:Day of reckoning

Welcome to the last week of the #WinterABC2022.

When I was in high school people always looked forward to the day when the learners came to collect their Advanced or Ordinary Level results. The week that the results were released teachers rarely attended the lessons since they were in the school office viewing the results. If the teachers attended the lessons they would only come to show off the learners who excelled or make fun of the learners who failed.

Most of the people who came to collect their results would be feeling anxious since they were unaware of their results. Some people would come to collect their results in groups but they would only leave the school in pairs. Some learners would be relieved, shocked, happy or disappointed when they collected their results. On the other hand, the mobile phone would have numerous missed calls and messages from family.

I jokingly told my sister that she missed out on all the fear and the panic associated with collecting results. Viewing results online has been a relief because at least one travels to their former school  being aware of their results. If one has failed, they would have accepted the outcome than dread going home after collecting the results. The learners who would have excelled can find a reason to move around the school premises greeting teachers or friends.

Viewing results online has been a relief to most of the learners. But it also causes anxiety when one is unable to access their results due to network challenges. Oh, I had forgotten, one screenshot to family or friend can go viral.

What has been your experience of collecting results in high school?

WinterABC2022 Stories of our World:African Spirituality

“Wherever the African is, there is religion”-J. S Mbiti

I looked at my son and smiled, he was now a grown man. He was no longer throwing tantrums or sulking and yet I always referred to him as my little boy. He was leaving home for the University of Zimbabwe. Would he be able to fit in and adjust considering that he had spent all his life in Marondera? I sat him down and lectured him about university life and I wanted him to be religious conscious.

I am grateful to my late Religious Studies lecturer who emphasised that most religions are the same. But instead of focusing on the similarities, people focus on the differences and this is how division or hate starts. My late lecturer had passed this knowledge to me in HLT 200 and it was now my duty to pass the knowledge to Chenjerai. My little boy and his name sometimes behaved like oil and water.

Back then some of the religions were only in some parts of the world but people moved from one place to another. Be it in search of greener pastures and the missionaries from different religions had the task to spread the religions in Africa. Some religions have holy books, (Bible, Quran).Religion gives one a sense of belonging or identity and there are always laws that guide the believers of a particular religion. Some religions have commandments, pillars of faith , virtues or even taboos. These laws act as a guide. Some religions believe in monotheism (belief in one god) or polytheism(belief in many gods).

I wondered if Chenjerai was paying attention, and when I asked him the names of the Supreme beings of the religions he knew he was able to mention Allah for Islam, God for Christians, Brahman for Hinduism and Mwari or Musikavanhu for Indigenous religions. To my surprise, my son mentioned the holy books, the sacred places and the founders of some religions.

I  hugged and whispered in his ear, “respect other people’s religions, no religion is inferior to the other. Do not judge or make fun of someone’s religion.  Treat all the religions with respect”.Chenjerai held my hand and uttered these words, “Yes Ma, I have learnt from the best“. But I knew that I wasn’t the best, my late lecturer was the best. He had made a nineteen-year-old woman conscious of other religions. After my forty-five-minute lecture, I was confident that my son would never make fun of anyone’s religion.

This article is dedicated to my late Religious Studies lecturer  Professor Nibsert Taringa affectionately known as Baba Feyi. He taught me Introduction to Phenomenology of Religion and Introduction to World Religions.

WinterABC2022:Stories Of Our World:Earth is home to you and me

I had the opportunity of working at an Infant School for two school terms. The teacher is expected to teach the learners but the teacher can also learn a lot from the learners.

Each work we would have
a weekly theme and at the end of the week each was expected to work on a craft of their choice. Pinterest was my best friend because it is the home of all the exciting rhymes, songs and crafts.

You would be surprised that young children have a sharp memory and they can apply what they learn. Back then teaching some topics was difficult but now internet access has made the learning experience easy. A video on YouTube can help in explaining to the learners what needs to be done to take care of the environment.

There is a poem about planet Earth that says “Earth is home to you and me”. How do you tell a five-year-old that we don’t have another planet and we need to take care of our environment? You ought to practice what you preach because young children learn from copying others. In the home, if you encouraged everyone to avoid using running water the parent or guardian should also do so. You will be surprised when you are reminded that brushing your teeth using a tumbler saves water. You can also use a bucket rather than taking a shower, I am sure my fellow countrymen are used to the bucket system since most households do not have access to running water.

Engage your children in exciting activities that help in saving the environment. Plant a tree in the yard, you will be amazed by the benefits of planting a tree in the act of saving the environment.

Young children are little helpers and when you are working in the garden ask them to join you. You can talk about the benefits of using compost rather than pesticides in saving the environment. Organic foods are the in thing these days. You can use countless songs in teaching young children about saving the environment. Don’t forget the 3Rs in waste management (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)

WinterABC2022 Stories Of Our World: The gateway to endless possibilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has either infected or affected every one of us. Families were in different places, people were feeling anxious and all they wanted was a break. Some television stations didn’t have any new content and they ended up repeating most of the shows. Some people binge-watched their favourite series and within a week they had nothing to watch.

There is one application that has managed to capture my eye during one of the many lockdowns. I discovered that this application had a lot of content and yet I had only used the application as a music streaming platform. I would like to introduce my new friend ….YouTube

During the lockdown, many churches used YouTube to stream their church services and families had church services in the comfort of their homes. One of the YouTube channels from my church still uploads different church programs on their channel and the content always gets better.

YouTubers from different parts of the globe got recognition and managed to share their work during the pandemic. YouTube allowed content creators to connect with the audience in different places and all the audience need is an internet connection. YouTubers were also aware of how big their audience was.

Although the world has opened up, YouTube still stands out as one of my favourite applications. This is because I can watch content from any country or countries as long as I have an internet connection.

Some of m

My YouTube channels recommendations
😉In Conversation with Trevor
🤗The Hustlers Corner SA
😅Africa on Netflix (Never Late African Time)
😃Mandara Church
🥰Bluffhill Church

Which YouTube channels would you recommend?

WinterABC2022 Stories Of Our World: Loadshedding

In 2019 the load-shedding hours were unbearable in Zimbabwe. Loadshedding hours would start from 4 am to around 22hours. People rarely used power those days and the only sign that notified you that at least it wasn’t an electrical fault was the temperature of meat or food items in the refrigerator. The thieves lost their business during that period because as soon as the power came back on people in different households would start ironing their laundry, studying and sewing their clothes if one was a tailor. The phrase magetsi auya,  wasn’t popular anymore because the houses became dark cities.

The houses became alive at night and some people always went to work feeling sleepy. It took time for people to adjust to the new normal.

Although the routine was hectic, some households never had to change their sleeping patterns. The households had invested in solar energy. Those households became the coolest families in the neighbourhood because when there was no power their households would stand out in the whole neighbourhood.

Investing in solar energy can be costly at first but the investment will be worth it in the end. Imagine the hustle of having to scrap off candle wax from the floor each morning or waking up in the middle of the night to study.

My advice to you is to invest in sustainable energy if you can.

WinterABC2022 Stories Of Our World :Social media

People go on social media for different reasons. Some people want to interact, share their work, de-stress or bully others. I always joke with my sister because I have realised that times have changed. When I was a teenager smartphones were being introduced and WhatsApp came into existence when I was in high school. A few people had access to smartphones but today most of the teenagers have smartphones and are on social media.

Some people have used social media for good reasons whereas some people have been using social media to bring other people down. The trolls might have an extra fake account for every social media platform. These people might use hate speech or vulgar language when reacting to someone’s post. What is heartbreaking is that these bullies have forgotten that there is someone behind the account they are bullying. What has got in the bullies to the extent that they forget about people’s feelings and emotions?

The bullies live double lives, they always have clean social media accounts that they can mention when asked during an interview. Most of the bullies are not strangers, they might be a friend of family member. I hope if you are reading this you are not one of the reasons why people are anxious or shy away from commenting or posting something on social media because of the fear of being attacked. If you were one of these bullies, it’s never too late to start afresh. Imagine if you were the one being attacked, how would you feel?  If your answer has negative rather than positive responses please do the right thing.

WinterABC2022 Stories of Awareness: African Women

African Woman

I celebrate you because you have a good heart.  You have proved that all skin types are beautiful. Thank you for turning your house into a home.

Dear African woman I applaud you for your creativity, you have woven beautiful crafts. Your crafts celebrate the African culture and tell the African story. I celebrate the African women who are mother figures in their communities and families. Women who have preached the gospel of love, kindness and gratitude through their acts.

I celebrate the African women who have refused to be silenced but have chosen to speak out. Women have questioned culture and have used their voices to speak out for others.

Thank you for being a role model, a mother and a friend. Thank you for using the pen to share different stories. You have proved that even Africans deserve happy endings. You have written about different issues and the readers have always found comfort and healing. Dear African woman, I can never thank you enough I hope you know that efforts are never taken for granted.

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