Should we hold on or let go?

I do have a name and an identity.
Why do you treat me like a stranger?
Do you still remember the words, “I do?”
I promised to take this walk with you.
If you want to cycle, sail and swim to your destination I will do it with you.

Why do you act like you are forced to come home?
Is this home still your happy place?



When you come home every night,
it dawns on me that we are drifting apart.
You and I have become spectators in our marriage.

Will we be able to save a chapter of our lives that brought us so much happiness?

Time


There was a time you enjoyed playing with mud and toys.
Do you still remember the time you would spend colouring in your books or drawing on the walls?
At that particular time, it was exciting and it made you happy.
But if you were asked to draw on the walls today you would propose valid points why you can’t.

As you grow older you realise that you are not the same person you were two or three years back.
You have different interests, you have adopted and let go of some habits and behaviours.

Learn to use your time wisely, and make the best with what you have!

My friend

I challenge you to be intentional about what you do. May you find happiness,  purpose and fulfilment in your work.

You are not perfect, you are a human being and you make mistakes. But you should be able to forgive yourself when you fail and learn from your mistakes.



If something makes you happy, do it, you deserve to live your best life. Be adventurous, be willing to try something new and choose the person you see when you look in the mirror.

As you fill the jar with acts of service, love, and kindness always remember to leave room for self-care.

A book review -Appearances or Not

Book Title: Appearances or Not
Author: Audrey Chirenje
Overall rating:4/5
Cover rating 4/5
Themes: Culture, marriage, love, societal expectations, friendship, family

Summary
Appearances or Not is a story about two people from two different worlds who meet and fall in love. Margot Biriri is the owner of MargoTech and she resides in The Grange. Whereas Farai Chifuniro Banda is the Technical Manager at Hugh Mechanic and resides in Glen Norah. Margot assumes that Farai is a mushika shika driver because she gives Margot and Farai a ride on their way from work. Farai was in the pirate taxi business because he wanted some extra money. Farai falls for Margot and tries by all means to impress Margot but his efforts are in vain.

Farai openly tells Margot that he wants to marry her but Margot just brushes off the idea. Margot is not excited about dating Farai because of her failed relationships and Farai’s accent and dressing do not sit well with her. Farai’s friends advise him not to date Margot because she is out of his league but these words do not dampen Farai’s spirit. Farai is willing to let Margot into his world, and the experiences are exciting, eye-opening and stressful for Margot. Both families (Margot’s and Farai’s) are not in support of their relationship but their relationship conquers all odds.

P.S The book has an exciting and unexpected turn of events.

What I loved about the book
*Farai was honest about who he was and he never tried to change his appearance.
* Margot and Farai’s relationship managed to break the class barriers and societal expectations.
*Culture does not have to oppress the bride.
*Parents always want the best for their children.


Favourite Quote
“Although they regarded themselves as hundred per cent coconuts-white inside and black outside, the bottom line for me was you remain black with a rural home and background and still be called by your totem“.

Do I recommend this book? Yes

You can listen to the review on my podcast

A book review-In her Words Volume 2: Perspectives of African Girls on Gender equality

Book Title: In her words Volume 2: Perspective of African Girls on Gender equality
Overall rating:4/5
Cover rating: 3/5 Themes: Gender equality, societal expectations, feminism, storytelling

Summary

I was elated when I was notified that the young girls aged 13-18 years were going to be contributing to the Volume 2 of In her words. 14 young girls were able to share their personal stories in the hope of inspiring some girls and women out there and also advocate for gender equality. Some of these stories made me smile because these young girls were able to stand for what they believed and not let society bully them and be in charge of their lives.

In this book, most of the contributors are advocating for equal opportunities for the girl child and the boy child. It is high we create a world where there is no discrimination because of gender. Most of the girls were able to challenge the status quo in their societies and schools. There are a lot of women who have been advocating for gender equality and in some cases, society has not been kind to them. Even though society has been unkind to them, they refused to let their voices be silenced and I believe that their work has inspired many women, myself included.



The contributors were able to share some of their personal experiences that have made them cry . Some women will do whatever it takes to bring another woman down but that should never steal your joy. Some people find it unacceptable to allow a woman excel and instead of applauding her hard work they will try by all means to crush her spirit. May this challenge you to do better, to support a girl instead of hating her. Each age comes with its expectations and pressures in most cases, society will find fault in something that a woman is excelling at. Instead of finding fault in everything make it your goal to support others and ask yourself if you were going to be judgemental if the same was done by a man?


What I loved about the book
-Young girls also want to live in a world where gender equality exists.
-You should not let societal expectations bring you down.
-Your story can inspire someone.
-Some of the experiences that the contributors shared, I have experienced them before or I know someone who has experienced them before. It helped me connect with the writers.
-Women are not superheroes, they cannot do everything and that’s okay.


Favourite Quote from the book To society:
“I am not a commodity. My worth is not measured by whether or not I
have been padlocked to a man in the name of marriage. My pride does
not depend on whether or not a man has knelt to ask for my freedom.
My worth is not dependent on whether or not I have been able to cough
out a battalion of children, of course with preference to males. Do not
define me by these things just because I have female organs. Do not define me according to the behavior or preferences of other women. Allow
me to be me. Allow me to choose who I want to be. Give me freedom.
Give women the freedom they deserve.” Ngwu Princess Adanna Chioma



Do I recommend this book? Yes

You can download a free copy of the book HERE

Bleeding wounds

Ma has been crying in her sleep. She wishes she could have been with Baba during his days on earth. Ma wonders if he was scared, comfortable or hopeful that he would come home.

Baba never got a chance to bury the love of his life, he was in quarantine and he was only able to visit his wife’s grave after three weeks.

Sisi Pearl longed for the mother’s hug and her grandmother’s wise words when she was grieving the death of her only son.

Gogo wept for her grandchildren and the only thing she could do was pray. She prayed that God could comfort her family and take the pain away.

No one came to offer their condolences, even the loved ones failed to travel for the funeral. At night the lights were switched off and a night vigil was never conducted.

They never got a chance to come home for the last time, their loved ones were not able to do the body viewing. Did they wear the clothes we had picked out? Had they lost weight, was their hair shaven? These are some of the questions that remain unanswered.

The  COVID-19 pandemic has taken away from us and sadly some people will never erase the heartbreaking memories. Sending hugs to anyone who is re-living the days they grieved or buried a loved one.

Breaking the bias- The publisher and author

Who is Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure?

I am a bilingual author, poet, editor and publisher. Outside of writing & literature, I work in the legal profession as a regulatory consultant.

I’m from Masvingo in Zimbabwe and I live in Wales with my husband and two children.

When did you know that there was a budding author in you?

I don’t think I ever knew there was a budding author in me until I started writing for fun. I had always written from when I was in school where I won a provincial prize for an essay competition, I wrote for the school magazine and drama club; then went on to write in the legal profession – reports, agreements, training content, policies and procedures, reviewing and approving other people’s written work.

I started writing poetry and prose more seriously around 2018 – 2019 as a cathartic process, until I showed my work to other writers, and they encouraged me to publish. Perhaps it was when I held my first book in June 2020 that I began to believe I was an author.

What has your experience as a Zimbabwean writer living in the Diaspora taught you?

It’s quite important to establish who you are, then decide who you’re writing for and why.

Being uprooted from home is part of the Zimbabwean history. It is our reality, and we need to embrace and accept it so that we can begin to heal from the traumas associated with the dispersion. I write to record this history and to heal from it.

How have you managed to advocate and raise awareness for different issues in your work?

Through stories in my poetry, novels and short stories and through amplifying the voices of others who’s works I’ve published, I have advocated:

• human equality, diversity and inclusion
• rights of women and children
• rights and welfare of immigrants
• mental health
• preservation of vernacular languages

I am raising awareness of:
• abuse and gender-based violence
• bullying and its effects

I am also empowering those weakened by:
• abuse and inequality
• static cultural and manipulative religious beliefs and practices
• systems designed to further the dominant ideology of patriarchy

I also see myself as a literary advocate who is paving the way for upcoming Zimbabwean writers. This will hopefully expand the reading culture in Zimbabwe, and readers can participate in such advocacy through buying books by non-mainstream authors.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The matters I advocate inspire my writing.

Being at one with nature gets my creative juices flowing.

Being conscious of death is probably one of my biggest drivers. It keeps fresh my awareness that our time in this world is finite and helps to clarify my purpose, priorities and values.

How did Carnelian Heart Publishing come into existence?

I established Carnelian Heart to publish my own work in the first instance. Then I decided to use the organisation to drive my advocacy work through the publication of anthologies. Now, my doors are open to individual writers who would like their work published.

What are some of the lessons that you have learnt during the journey of establishing your publishing company?

To be patient and to never take communication for granted.

What can be done to improve the reading culture in Africa.

Authors need to write authentic stories so that Africans can read more about what resonates with them. Books by African authors need to be made available not only in bookstores, but in schools and libraries. And most importantly, children must be encouraged to read for fun.

Any advice to a female creative who is doubting her craft?

Be shamelessly intentional and your intentions must be aligned with your actions. Do whatever it takes to bring yourself in balance, because that is the only way creativity will flow through you. Eat well, exercise, meditate, don’t self-sabotage and be authentic in your creations.

Most importantly, do not fear judgement. No one is perfect and it’s ok if not everyone appreciates your art. But, there will always be someone who appreciates your craft.

Starting all over again

This poem is for anyone who is making a big decision. It’s okay to start all over again🤗.


I forgot to cover the bruises and the scars today.
Oh, my this is how far it has gone.
There is a voice whispering saying, it will not end well,”.

I have avoided all the signs and the fear has been crippling.

Will I be able to start afresh?
Is it easy to start all over again?

I have tried to wear a brave face and to take one day at a time.
But a day at a time feels like an eternity.
Maybe the second hand of a clock is only moving.

I don’t want to lose myself, I have lost myself before and bouncing back was not easy.
It’s time I make myself the priority.
It’s time I make a difficult decision to do right by myself.

You can pass by my blog and listen to the latest episode.Here

Breaking the bias-Women in a male-dominated industry


WHO IS GLORIA AMOS?
Gloria is a God-fearing woman, a mother to a lovely girl and a wife to Dr Farahd Amos.I am a goal-oriented, hard-working, ambitious and adventurous person who loves trying out new things.

If you were not an engineer which career path were you going to choose and why?
I would be a psychiatrist simply because I have noticed that most other mental health conditions can be treated if detected early. Sadly, most people suffer in silence because of the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health. I have encouraged myself to do what I can to ensure that the people around me are in the right state of mind.


Did you ever belittle yourself on your journey of becoming a female engineer and how did you manage to bounce back?
I became pregnant while working as a graduate electrical engineer and unfortunately I couldn’t perform some of my roles well because I felt tired most of the time. This slowed down my progress in completing some tasks and I doubted myself at times leading me to question myself whether or not I was in the right career path. I decided to focus on Planning engineering activities (Preventive and Corrective) and researcjh as I awaited the birth of my child. This worked for me and I got my confidence back. In addition ,I learned a lot along the journey.


What excites you about wearing a pink helmet?
Being part of the few women moving out of their comfort zone and breaking the norm excites me . Also Providing the engineering field with a feminine touch makes me love my job even more.My field is broad and I could spend the whole day talking about the possible working opportunities for someone who studied electrical engineering.


Do you think there is still a gender gap or discrimination in the engineering field?
A gender gap is there, since we have less oestrogen in the discipline.I haven’t encountered any discrimination based on my gender yet.I feel sometimes as women we belittle ourselves and think we aren’t good enough for engineering.


What can be done to bridge the gaps of gender equality in the engineering space?
Career guidance will be our very first move and it will go a long way. Engineers are quite busy, but as women, we should create time to invite more women on board to explain our titles and descriptions to young girls.
I feel the physical work required in engineering is sometimes overrated as we aren’t painting the right picture to other women to encourage them to pursue careers in the field.


How have you managed to excel and not lose yourself in a male-dominated industry?
Women shouldn’t be afraid to come to wear helmets and work suits with us. It would be much more exciting to work with more women. As hard as it might seem it only needs a little push and discipline, and l believe all fields require that. There are challenges we can face along the way but we conquer those and soldier on.


Any last words to women out there?
Come and join the engineering field so that through our feminine touch we add finesse to whatever we design…

Extraordinary woman

May you not lose yourself in the process of becoming independent.


May you become a friend rather than an enemy.


May you be brave to mention the hidden figures that made it possible for you to be here today.


May you carry the young girl’s wishes and dreams on your shoulders.


Hold onto the wise words that the incredible women in your life told you and the values they instilled.


You are a woman, you are a fighter,  you are beautiful and you can do anything!-Takudzwanashe

May you realise you are enough.

May you realise how much value you bring to the table

May you let your light shine

May you never let anyone tell you otherwise..
You are beautiful, strong, courageous , bold and beyond description.

Ever wonder why God made you the custodian of life?
You are special.-Tikia

To celebrate International Women’s Day I worked on a collaboration with my bestie😊. You can check out and follow her blog

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