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A book review-The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives

Author: Lola Shoneyin
Cover rating: 3/5
0verall rating:4.8/5

Themes: polygamy, secrets, security, family, impotence, societal expectations

Summary
The book is a hilarious piece and it tells the story of Baba Segi and his four wives. The author introduces the four wives and learn or understand how they ended up being in Baba Segi’s household. The reasons include societal expectations, poverty, wanted to be free and a break from their parent’s household. There are some secrets that women are willing to die without telling anyone.

What I loved about the book
*The author managed to write about the challenges that women go through if they are suspected to be infertile.
* Sometimes women are forced to give up on their dreams because of societal expectations(Iya Segi)
*Women bring each other down instead of supporting one another. Iya Segi didn’t want the other wives to be taught how to read by Bonalhe.
*Hatred can make you lose so much, Iya Segi lost Segi due to poisoning when she thought that she had poisoned Bonalhe.

A character I could resonate with:Bonalhe

My favourite character
Iya Femi

My favourite quotes

Don’t think I can’t see the challenges ahead of me. People will say I am
a secondhand woman. Men will hurt and ridicule me but I won’t let them
hold me back. I will remain in the land of the living. I am back now and the
world is spread before me like an egg cracked open.-Bolanle

Although the prospect of freedom excited me, the thought of escaping made my heart
pound.- Iya Femi

Will I be reading another book written by this author?  YES

Do I recommend this book? YES

You can also listen to the episode on my podcast Here

If anything costs your mental health then it’s too expensive. Have a great weekend😊

The lessons that I have learnt from blogging

I enjoy blogging and maybe I should have created my blog a long time ago. The AfroBloggers winter blogging challenge was a great learning opportunity for me. There I was a time I was about to give up but every morning I woke up to notifications that some bloggers had already published their blog post for the day. These notifications kept me going and  I am forever grateful. I hope you will find some of the lessons I will be sharing below to be helpful🤗.

Source: pexels.com

BE CONSISTENT
My blogging experience or journey has taught me that one should be consistent in publishing posts on their blog. The breaks are okay but you don’t want your readers to end up forgetting about you.

TELL YOUR STORY
Writing about your personal experience can also help someone who is going through a similar situation. The reader ends up realising that they are not alone and they can draw lessons from the writer’s experience.

HAVE FUN
It is so easy to get lost in the likes and comments from your readers but what matters at the end of the day is doing something that you love.

PROMOTE YOUR WORK
Before the WinterABC2021 I rarely posted my work on Twitter because I believe that some of my posts were not good enough. Uncle B advised the bloggers to create a thread on Twitter for their blog posts and although I was against the idea I did it anywhere. I am glad that I created the thread for the WinterABC2021 and from now onwards I will be promoting my work on Twitter and my WhatsApp statuses.

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MAKE NEW FRIENDS
I have friends from different countries and it always warms my heart when we talk about some practices that are common in our home countries.

THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A SILLY IDEA
Even when you are doubting your idea one of your readers can end up falling in love with an idea.

NEVER QUIT
There is no shame in trying something new because even if you fail you are a better person and you learn from your mistakes.

What are some of the lessons that you have learnt from blogging?

Our special friends

Guess who is back! I decided to practice what I preach and get the much-needed rest since I was advocating for self-care during the #WinterABC2021. I am well rested and ready to conquer the world😊.

We have great friends that we have never met but their voices do brighten our day. Their craft had become a part of our lives and they always give us something to look forward to.

Radio personalities

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They forced their ways in our homes and they have kept us entertained when we are stuck in traffic, during the school run and even on a lazy day. The radio personalities do keep us informed and entertained and thanks to technology the listeners can communicate with the radio personalities via the station’s WhatsApp mobile number. My contact list has the WhatsApp contact numbers for some of my favourite radio stations.

Authors

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I am a fan of African literature and autobiographies, and I have travelled to different countries through reading various books. The authors do take us on an emotional journey and sometimes the readers sympathise or empathize with the characters. The authors have got the power to raise awareness on different issues and sometimes the readers end up falling in love with the characters in the book they have been reading. I must confess,  I fell in love with Qhawe from the Hlomu series written by Dudu Busani-Dube.

Musicians

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A family gathering in  Zimbabwe would be incomplete if the music playlist does not include songs from the legends such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Simon Chimbetu, Leonard Zhakata, The Bundu boys, Chiwoniso Maraire … should I go on? The music from these legends has managed to cut across all generations and it is still relevant in the 21st century. The music from these legends has been there for me during the good and the bad times. Listening to the songs from some of my favourite Zimbabwean music legends feels like wrapping a warm blanket around your body on a cold winter night.

A book review -Mess

Happy new month my readers, I wish you nothing but good health, achievements and happiness.

Author: Dudu Busani-Dube
Cover rating:4/5
Overall rating:4.9/5

Themes: Mental health, family, support system, death, trauma, suicide, therapy

Summary: Mess is the fifth book of the Hlomu series. I cried myself to sleep when I finished reading the book because my heart was sore and I could not believe that Mqoqi had died. The Mess afforded me a chance to get to know Mqoqiwokuhle better and who he was on his own with the Zulu brothers title. A lot of secrets from the past also came back to haunt the brothers and these include the heist, Amanda and the Bhungane brothers.

What I loved about the book
*The author managed to talk about mental health issues.
*Men are also victims of domestic violence.
*It is okay for someone to express their emotions or feelings.
*Toxic relationships can kill someone slowly.
*Money cannot buy happiness.
*Childhood traumas play a part in our adult life and choices.

My favourite characters: Mqoqi, Lahliwe

My favourite quotes
“I am tired of being decent and good in the hope that this life will be good to me one day and give me my big break. I hate it! I hate people like you, Lale, and….”– Ntuthuko

You can listen to the review on my podcast HERE

Will I be reading another book written by this author? YES
Do I recommend this book?
I do recommend the whole series🙂😉

WinterABC2021 Day 22- Homecoming (Part 2)

Day 22/22 is the last day of the WinterABC2021 and I am proud of everyone who decided to take part. I never thought I would come this far but here I am. I am thankful for the friends I have made, the lessons I have learnt and for my lovely readers who have taken this walk with me.

🤗

Today’s post is a continuation from yesterday post and you can read it here https://tcndangana.wordpress.com/2021/06/29/winterabc2021-day-21-homecoming-part-1/


When the car pulled over, two naughty faces peeped through the window and they both shouted ‘Baba(father) is home’.The young boys were so excited that their father was home but no one had prepared them to face a man who struggled to stand on his own feet.

Source: AforBloggers

Thank you, Bhudhi Joe, mari tinoisa paEcocash kana tamumba‘,( I will send you the money through Ecocash when I am in the house. Bhudhi(brother) Joe helped Madzudzo walk to the house and two terrified faces stared at their frail father. Before the boys could greet their father, Madzudzo threw up on the beautiful doormat on the veranda. Maslyn was about to scream but Bhudhi Joe squeezed her hand. Was Madzudzo that sick that he would not feel like he was about to throw up anymore? Or all he wanted was to punish his wife? Maslyn was not supposed to be punished, she was the victim.

When Maslyn soaked her colourful mat that was now covered in vomit she broke into tears and knelt on the ground. She was heartbroken and confused. “Are you alright sisi? ” Bhudhi Joe asked. Maslyn tried so hard to fight the tears that were stinging her eyes but she let them fall. Tears rolled on her cheeks. ‘My sister no matter how dark it is the sun will surely rise again, it might hours, days, months or years but the sun will surely rise again. I cannot tell you to be strong because I do not know how it feels to nurse an ill husband, l do not know how it feels to be betrayed by the love of your life because I am only twenty-two-years-old.

Source:AfroBloggers

“Sisi(my sister) when you feel like crying please do, when you want to leave the house please do but do not lose yourself in the process”. The young boy
the man bid Maslyn farewell and walked to the gate in silence.
Maslyn smiled, Joe was only twenty-two- years-old but he was so full of wisdom. He had been raised by a single mother maybe that’s why he understood her pain. He was a brave young man and she prayed that he would never grow up to be like Madzudzo.

When Maslyn walked into the house she saw  Timothy crying and Titus was comforting him. “Chirega kuchema kani Timmy,(Please don’t cry Timmy) Baba will get better, go back to work. If Mhai(mother)catches you crying you will be trouble”. The eighth years old boy quickly wiped away the tears on his cheeks but the swollen eyes and the tear stains would easily betray him. The two boys hugged each other and when they are about to walk to the living room they bumped into their mother. 

Timmy shyly looked away and Maslyn did not bother to ask them what was wrong because she knew that everything was falling apart and nothing will ever be alright. “I thought you guys were outside l have been calling you, l need you to go to kumagirosa(grocery store)for me, come let me give you the money. Timmy made a loud sigh of relief since fear had imprisoned him and he dreaded the lashes from the leather belt. ‘Munotenga chicken ye three dollars maHuni please, (Go and buy chicken pieces for three dollars in Mr Huni’s butchery) tomatoes a loaf of bread and a pint of milk, here is a dollar spending money do not be late l need to start preparing supper. The two identical twins both smiled and wore their sandals that were on the doorstep and walked out of the house.

Source:AfroBloggers

Maslyn knew that Timmy was fragile he never wanted to be hurt but Titus was strong he was a brave young boy. He believed that his father would get better and go back to work but his wife did not believe that. Maslyn believed that her husband would get worse and eventually die. Why did she not have the positive attitude that her son had for once?


She was so scared, was she going to lie in the same bed with that man and satisfy him with his sexual pleasures? The thought of it made her sick. Maslyn had to be strong for once in her life, she was supposed to face her fears and fight . She made a silent prayer and walked into the living room where Madzudzo was sleeping. She wished that he was dead and that way everything will be alright. Then she thought there would be war and Madzudzo’s family members would only blame her for being a witch and blame her for killing him. Madzudzo was supposed to live and tell his parents that he had hurt Maslyn and that he was not worthy to be her husband and ask for a divorce.  Everything was falling apart. What was she supposed to do?

WinterABC2021 Day 21: Homecoming (Part 1)

A man is lying on his bed starring at the window. Some people are crying whereas others are groaning in pain. Madzudzo is wearing grey pyjamas, a woollen hat and a pair of thick stockings. One would wonder why this man is punishing himself with the high temperatures experienced in the Lowveld of Zimbabwe during October. With tears stinging his eyes he clears his throat and holds his wife’s hands. The woman who seems to have been now dozing suddenly sits up straight and holds Madzudzo’s trembling hands. She is hurt, her eyes carry nothing but fear and lost hope. She cannot tell him that one day he will not watch the sunset. Why is the world such an evil place? Why do some people live happily till they die and yet some people are always in pain?


‘Maiti nhai Shumba?’, Madzudzo looks in her eyes, “Maslyn my wife please take me home, there is nothing left for me here.” With tears streaming down his cheeks, he tells his wife how someone dies from this ward every day and that some family members when they come to visit their loved ones they only find an empty bed. “I want to breathe my last in your arms, l know l will be safe with you”. Maslyn holds his hand and tries to squeeze it hard to show that she understands but the man is too frail she can end up breaking his bones.

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“Mrs Nhema, you have to be strong sezvamaiona misi haifanane, on some days, your husband will throw up, spoil his clothes not have an appetite the list goes on and on.” The woman just nods her head and quickly signs the discharging forms. She had never imagined that one day she would be in this situation, she was not ready to bury her husband. But she was taking him home and waiting for the day he breathes his last. Maslyn had prayed for her husband to get better, she had been a good girl when she was young but why did she end up being in this situation? Maybe one day she would have the answers but all she had were a lot of questions.

As she walked to the male ward she met a woman who was throwing herself on the floor, what if she hurt herself she wondered. The angel of death seemed to have been targeting this particular wing of the hospital each day. The atmosphere was tense and gloomy, the men lived their lives in fear, fear of what will happen to them. The men rarely smiled they only joked with the doctors and the nurses.

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  Madzudzo had brought nothing but pain and misery in his wife’s life. He had cheated on Maslyn and infected her with multiple sexually transmitted infections and yet Maslyn had decided to take him home. The woman who had lost her baby to ‘IT’. Surprisingly she did not hate him she had been patient with him, she prayed that she would not have a walk on the same road that Madzudzo was walking on. She wanted an easier and less painful path. A path that was peaceful and restful.
Inga hako wave kuenda, (lucky you, you are finally going home) madam, God bless you’, Maslyn looked at the young boy and smiled. Some patients had been abandoned by their family members all they did was pay the hospital bills and keep in touch with their doctors. They hoped that they would never get discharged but only leave the hospital when they were dead. No one loved them the way Maslyn loved Madzudzo. She was a woman who meant every word of her marriage vows. A lot of people could have envied Madzudzo but some men despised him. He had a beautiful, loving wife and yet he had broken her heart and left a scar that would be a constant reminder of his unfaithfulness.

Source:AfroBloggers

The drive to his house had been long, Madzudzo was uncomfortable and kept coughing and clearing his throat. Maslyn was scared of how the boys react when they saw Baba in this state. The boys had written him countless letters but he had never replied to them. The man was busy jumping out of bed with different women and he had forgotten that he had a family. Why had he been so heartless and inconsiderate? Everyone was going to suffer the consequences of his actions.
The hooting of cars and buses, people shouting and the young boys playing ball in the street notified Madzudzo that he was finally home. The man began to shiver and cough, was the man ashamed of his actions or he was scared that everyone would know that he had finally come home? 

    To be continued…..

WinterABC2021 Day 20 – Bhudhi Farai

  Welcome to the storytelling week, my readers😊. This month has been exciting and I am happy that I decided to take part in the AfroBloggers Winter Challenge 2021.

When Mhai (mother) opened the front gate a part of my heart sank and a part of it was beating like an African drum. He had finally come home after months of being away. Were we ever going to have a normal conversation or we would never get along? I was scared, what if I asked him the wrong questions? What if l hurt his feelings? “Bhudhi(brother) Farai, welcome home how are you feeling ?”, my siblings and l shouted. He clicked his tongue and ran to Mhai. “Mhai take me home that is where l belong”. I  watched a twenty-something-year-old man cry like a baby in his mother’s arms. The armour inside of me cracked, we should have never asked him that question, what mattered was that he had come home to us.

Source :AfroBloggers

Bhudhi Farai had a good heart, he did not deserve to suffer the way he did, he deserved to enjoy the fruit of his labour. When l rushed into the house to warm Farai’s bath the beautiful portrait hung on the wall caught my attention. Bhudhi Farai wore a beautiful smile on his graduation day. With tears stinging my eyes I unhooked the portrait and held it in my arms. My brother deserved to drive to and fro the township in a fancy car. Why was the world such as evil place? The sleepless nights and the unsettled debts had gone to waste. Mhai had made sacrifices so that his only son would attain his University education. But today my mother is drowning in debt to ensure that his son who holds a Bachelor’s degree has his medication.

I remember being woken up by screams and a loud noise coming from the kitchen. I quickly wrapped the chitenge around my waist and ran to the kitchen. Bhudhi Farai was screaming and throwing Mai’s special kitchenware that qualified to have a spot in the display unit. I begged him to stop but he seemed deaf and he continued to scream on top of his voice, “musanditevere, avo varikuuya kwandiri” (please do not follow me, they are coming after me ). He continued to scream and break Mhai’s beautiful kitchenware in the middle of the night. He seemed tormented by something, and he was crying for help l wish l could save him but, l could not.

Mhai was away, she had gone to purchase goods for her flea market in South Africa l quickly unlocked the door and ran out of the house. To my surprise, a lot of our neighbours were woken up by the loud noise and stood by the gate. They were indeed scared to enter, Baba Kayla and his wife walked into our yard and asked me what was happening, I told them what happened and they immediately called the hospital. When they came to take him away, he groaned in pain from the multiple injections he got since he had become violent and they chained him like a prisoner.

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I watched my childhood friend being taken away from me and the words he uttered still haunt me up to today “varikunditevera avo vari kuuya”. When Mhai got back she was welcomed by bad news, when Mai Kayla told her what had happened she threw herself on the ground and cried and my younger siblings did the same. With tears on her cheeks, she took her headscarf, covered her long hair and hugged her twins who were only ten years old.

Bhudhi Farai was not allowed to have any visitors since he was violent this broke Mhai’s heart and she quit going to the flea market and found comfort in Gods word. I was eighteen years old then but l failed to get answers to what had happened to my brother. Bhudhi Farai had attempted to take his life twice in a month and Mhai would receive the calls in the middle of the night. We had prayed to God to bring him home to us and give him peace but when he had finally come home we had failed to give him a proper welcome.

When Mhai walked into the living room l realized that l had not heated Bhudhi Farai’s bathwater. I quickly ran into the kitchen and began to do my assigned task. Bhudhi Farai walked into the house following Mhai with the stranger’s pace. Some days he was going to be violent, moody and happy. Bhudhi Farai needed our love, support. There was one thing that was never going to change, Bhudhi Farai was my older brother.

WinterABC2021 Day 19- My roots, my identity

Hello, my readers and welcome to Day 5 of the Culture and Fashion Week. I enjoyed reading about different cultural practices and if you would like to join in the fun you can follow the following hashtag #WinterABC2021

My name is Takudzwanashe and my name means we have been honoured or exalted by God in Shona. My totem is Moyo Sithole (the heart) and the women can be referred to as MaMoyo. I am originally from Chipinge- Zimbabwe but l have never been there because my grandfather left Chipinge and relocated to Zambia. To be honest, l do not know much about my family tree. When my paternal grandmother moved back to Zimbabwe she bought a house in one of the low-density suburbs in Harare and they never went back to Chipinge.

Source Pexels.com

When l was in third grade my teacher gave us homework to go and prepare a presentation about our totem praise. One of my friends was happy because she knew her totem praise by heart and the only thing she had to do was look for a picture of a  zebra and stick it in her Shona homework book. I struggled with my homework that day because l knew nothing about my totem praise. My mother was away and l had to ask my mainini (my mother’s little sister)to call her on the landline. Unfortunately, my mother did not know my clan praise by heart and she ended up asking one of her colleagues to assist us. Mainini sat close to the landline and wrote down the clan praise. I am sure it would have been easier we had WhatsApp but that was in 2005.

It was difficult to memorise my clan praise in one day and l struggled to make the presentation in class. However, some of my classmates recited their clan praises with pride and confidence. I envied them and if my class teacher had given me a score out of ten it was going to be either a one or two.

My second experience at the national registry office made me realize that if I knew about my roots it would have been a less stressful day. The day after l finished writing my Ordinary Level examinations l went to take my national identity card. You have to carry your birth certificate and know who is the chief and the village head in your area. My mother had written the names down for me. I mixed up the names when the assistant asked them about them in Shona and  l was confused. The assistant had to send me away and l ended up calling my mother so that l could clarify.

If my cousins have to divorce their spouses l would not want my nieces and nephews to go through what l went to. I will be an available  Tete(aunt) and help my nieces on their lobola day, kupereka ceremony or wedding days.

I am trying to learn about my clan praise all thanks to technology. I would like to converse in Ndau and learn about my family tree one day.

WinterABC2021 Day 18-The Journey to motherhood

When I was in high school I believed that the masungiro practice was about tying a pregnant woman and a goat on the same tree. I was angry because I believed that my Shona culture ill-treated an expectant mother. When I visited my grandmother during the holidays and l was researching about one cultural practice of my choice and I chose the kusungira or masungiro. The first question that I asked my grandmother was how had she survived being tied to a tree more than five times. My grandmother stared at me in disbelief and agreed to explain to me the masungiro practice.

Image from Pexels.com

Masungiro or kusungira is a practice/ceremony where a newly married woman who has fallen pregnant for the first time, is taken back to her parents to live with them from six months to until she gives birth.-(Fingaz. 10 April 2014.first pregnancy traditional rituals. Financial Gazette.)

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During the masungiro ceremony, the son-in-law must bring two female goats. One will be for relish that the expectant mother and her family will eat while the other one will be a gift to the in-laws.

This practice is done to ensure that the expectant mother is comfortable and well taken care of during her first delivery. If the mother of the expectant mother is out of town the son-in-law can organize for his ambuya(mother-in-law to come). However, if there are good health care facilities in the area where the mother of the expectant mother lives the daughter can end up giving birth there. The masungiro process is helpful because the last trimester of pregnancy can be challenging for the expectant mother. The new mother might need moral support, someone who ensures that she eats healthy and get some rest before and after the baby is born. When the child is born the new mother might need assistance while bathing or feeding the baby. The masungiro process enables the mother to get some rest and adjust to her new sleeping routine.

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However, there are some disadvantages to the masungiro practice. The father of the child might miss out on spending time with their child when the child is born. Sometimes the new parents might be living in a different country and continent and their parents might fail to travel and assist the new mother. Not everyone’s parents are still alive and the Sarapavana(guardian) might not be willing to host the new mother or travel to and assist the couple.

Have a good day!

WinterABC2021 Day 17-One thing in your closet  you can’t live without

Welcome to day three of the Culture and Fashion week. In today’s post l asked two of my favourite people to share one thing in their closet they cannot live without. Enjoy!

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Bra
My boobs have special swinging abilities so a bra keeps them in place. I am a gifted lady so my boobs need a restraint. My clothes fit better with my boobs in place.- P

Jogger pants
It’s one of the things I can wear anywhere well maybe except for an indoor church service. I can wear my jogger pants on a date, when l am going for a jog and even during a lazy day. My jogger pants are the first thing l wear as soon as l get out of my work clothes. Jogger pants are comfortable too.-C

My chitenge or wrap cloth

I don’t know what you call it in your country but l would love to know. My chitenge is a lifesaver and it has numerous functions. Whenever l am travelling l always carry my chitenge because l might end up having to sit in the bus corridor #Zimbusdiaries. On a hot day, l can use my chitenge to cover my body at night. Sometimes when l am struggling to find something to wear l can wrap over my chitenge and look for something to wear in my closet. Before home worship was introduced l always carried my chitenge to church to cover my legs in church just in case l had worn a short dress. Whenever l need to clean the house or sweep the yard and l don’t want to change into a longer dress l prefer wrapping my chitenge over my waist. One last thing a chitenge has a thin material and you can wash it before you take a bath and in less than an hour, it will be dry.-The Baobab

Name one thing in your closet you can’t live without?