A new chapter

New Year makes a new beginning, a new dawn and it is a new chapter of your life. This is a chance to start all over again, to forget about your past mistakes and never look back.

You have to forgive yourself and learn to be kind to yourself. May you follow your dreams and find a million reasons to smile. Remind yourself of the time you fell and how you managed to get back up. Never doubt yourself because you are brave, you are special and you deserve the best always.

You made it!

We are three days into the New Year my loves❤. Thank you for being part of my journey. I know that the past two years have been traumatic and stressful because of the COVID-19 pandemic but we keep hope alive and well done for being kind to yourself. All the best in 2022😊😚

My 2021 highlights
* I read 24 novels
*I became the Queen of self-care
* yoga has helped me deal with anxiety and stress.
*Watching In Conversation with Trevor has inspired me in so many ways.
*I have been a great parent to my blog and podcast (I love my babies)
*I met amazing and loving friends from the AfroBloggers family☺
*I found peace over the things I cannot change.
*I celebrated a lot of wins

*I have cried, I have felt broken but I have managed to pick myself up.
* I am grateful for the gift of life and my family.

What are some of our 2021 highlights? Please let me know in the comments section.

A chat with Sandra Sigauke

Can you please tell us about yourself and Shcwits? My name is Sandra Sigauke, I turned 31 recently. I am a Veterinary Surgeon by profession. Schwits is a brand I started because I like creating things, looking good and smelling nice.

What motivated you start your business ? I was motivated by curiosity honestly. I wanted to see how it would work out. I am not much of a business person but I like making things and thats what motivated me.


How do you define beauty? Beauty is happiness, its being happy and comfortable in your own skin. Thats how I’d define beauty, being absolutely content with yourself.


Why this kind of business? Skin problems and acne aside, many black girls are not happy with their appearance. Little girls dream of straighter hair and lighter skin. I wanted to help black girls realize that their full of magic. The melanin and the curls are full of magic.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years I hope to be manufacturing the products by myself and supply my products to different parts of the world.

How are you managing your business amid the global crisis? The global crisis has been a blessing in disguise because most people started doing DIY hair and skin care and that boosted the business. Getting our products isn’t easy but we are getting by.


What are some of  lessons that you have learnt along the way? I have learnt that owning a business is not easy. It takes a lot of courage because the losses you endure sometimes are too many. But I’ve learnt to be patient and not give up.


Looking back what do you think you would have done better as a young business owner? I should have been better prepared. I jumped into the deep end before I was a good swimmer and that was a disadvantage. I should have engaged established business people for mentorship.


What have been your greatest obstacles  as an entrepreneur? The greatest obstacles have been to do with getting the products and establishing a brand. People don’t like trying new things, and penetrating the market was not easy but well here we are.

Any advice to anyone out there who is scared of making a big decision? Just do it!

Thank you so much for being part of my journey this year. May 2022 be filled with laughter, achievements and growth.-The Baobab

Is the male species really the evil gender?

“Men go for maids not because of the way she looks it has nothing to do with looks, it is the fact that she takes care of his needs”
A few weeks back I had an interesting conversation with a group of men and they shared a lot of things about women, relationships and why men cheat. What was particularly interesting for me was the reason why men end up going for house help. As women, we take offence when ‘our man’ goes for a woman we consider less attractive than us and we blame the man and ask, “What is wrong with you?” However, if the woman is more attractive we start to look inwards, we blame ourselves for not putting in enough effort to look good or do the things she does for him. We may not even make a fuss about it and choose to just up our game.

Now, I was told that this reasoning or mindset is very wrong. It has completely nothing to do with looks but everything to do with gender roles. They said, “You can use a budget of around 500,000 Ugandan shillings to completely change the look of the house help to match your standard and she will still take care of you”. Just buy her an outfit, pay for her hair, nails, face beat, some nice stilettos and she will look finer than the woman you married.

A good example is the story of Kabuura cheating on Flavia Tumusiime. Everyone blamed Kabuura for cheating on a woman like Flavia Tumusiime but we all do not know what really goes on in their marital home. We do not know what Flavia is like as a wife and the exact reasons why Kabuura cheated. The media painted Kabuura as the villain, but who knows, maybe Flavia was the villain. Ugandans have put Flavia on a pedestal that it is so easy to overlook her shortcomings yet she is actually human, she is not perfect. It was not fair play to put the worst picture of the woman that Kabuura cheated with next to one of Flavia’s best pictures.


Now, I was told that this reasoning or mindset is very wrong. It has completely nothing to do with looks but everything to do with gender roles. They said, “You can use a budget of around 500,000 Ugandan shillings to completely change the look of the house help to match your standard and she will still take care of you”. Just buy her an outfit, pay for her hair, nails, face beat, some nice stilettos and she will look finer than the woman you married.

A good example is the story of Kabuura cheating on Flavia Tumusiime. Everyone blamed Kabuura for cheating on a woman like Flavia Tumusiime but we all do not know what really goes on in their marital home. We do not know what Flavia is like as a wife and the exact reasons why Kabuura cheated. The media painted Kabuura as the villain, but who knows, maybe Flavia was the villain. Ugandans have put Flavia on a pedestal that it is so easy to overlook her shortcomings yet she is actually human, she is not perfect. It was not fair play to put the worst picture of the woman that Kabuura cheated with next to one of Flavia’s best pictures.


In my opinion, there is no equality in this world. People fighting for equality are simply wasting their time, you can fight for things to be fair and that is logical but equality, no. God created Eve to be a helper to Adam, a supporting role, a comforting role… the role of a woman. Women expect men to provide and protect and they do this without complaining. Women are expected to look after their husbands, cook, clean, and give birth. Basically gender roles. But why do women complain and manipulate their way out of executing their gender role?
Is there a house help that takes on the duties of a man to provide and protect? Now, why are you allowing the maid to cook for your man, go the extra mile of serving him and clean your bedroom? It is actually not rocket science why men go for maids, we let it happen, in fact we watch it and aid it then say, “The maid went for my husband.” We should be ashamed making such statements.
Men like that feminine energy. They want a woman who knows when to be soft, comes home and prepares his meal, serves him. Takes care of his needs, and when I say ‘take care of his needs’ I mean the sex too. It cannot be the same sex style every day. I can already hear some of you saying, “He will still cheat.” Well, if he still goes ahead and cheats, you did your part and the fault may not be yours. Maybe consider having a dialogue with your spouse before you rush to tell the world about it.


Point is, be kind to these men. They are dealing with psychological and physical torture from women. Most organizations are continuously fighting for the rights of women and the girl child, and men are left with nowhere to turn. They are afraid to talk about what they are dealing with at home because society will say, “Be a man.” But they are humans with feelings too. Men are just a vulnerable as women. Let us be fair.

This article was written by Atim Jordana and you can read some of her work Here

A review -Chances

Author: Audrey Chirenje
Cover rating:3/5
Overall rating:4/5
Themes: love, forgiveness, trauma, family, relationships, loss of a child, forgiveness, mental health

SUMMARY
Ropafadzo Kondwani lives in Canada and is Riko’s sister who we met in Life will humble you which happens to be Audrey Chirenje’s first offering. The events in Audrey Chirenje’s two books seems to be interconnected and I fell in love with everything. Ropa is still traumatised and healing from the loss of her child and she had also lost her faith when she meets Ralph at the bar.

Although Ropa fights hard to push Ralph away, Ralph is patient with Ropa and he promises to protect her. Ropa and Ralph’s relationship blooms from a friendship to an engagement and eventually marriage.

What I loved about the book
* The author highlighted that although life is maybe full of challenges it will get better.
* One can face their fears and heal from life traumas.
*When you love someone you allow them to be the best version of themselves.
*Expressing your emotions and feelings doesn’t make you a weak man

Favourite character
Ropafadzo

Favourite quote
“So yes, it’s real because you literally feel like your heart has been torn into tiny miniscule parts. The problem with classifying it is that people then try all different tips to dull the pain, to fill that hole inside your heart, that emptiness, that feeling as if you are sliding  into oblivion but nothing can help.”


If you love happy endings it’s time you look for Audrey’s  book😜
Do I recommend this book? Yes

Will I be reading a book written by this author? Yes

A review- These things

A review- These things

Author- Elizabeth Awori
Cover rating-3/5
Overall rating -3/5
Themes- Mental health, love, loss, memories, abuse, masculinity, therapy

Summary
These things is a collection of poetry which is divided into four parts.
*Mauwa
*Pecho
*Buuru
*Baluwa

The poems are not far-fetched and they will take you back to a time or a person. Although the poems are fictional the reader can see parts of his or herself in the work of art. The author was able to raise awareness for rape or abuse in a relationship which is told through the eyes of a woman who is a victim and the poem is one of the poems that stood out for me. The poems carry words of healing, hope comfort and on the other hand, they evoke different emotions in the reader.

My favourite quote
“Some days I’m the moon visible only in the dark, other days I’m the sun; alone but enough.”

Will I be reading another book written by the same author? YES

Do I recommend this book?
YES

You can listen the review on my podcast Here

Stormy seas

Somedays I smile but deep down I am crashing.
I act like I am okay but my pillow soaks wet at night.
I suck my teeth to avoid wailing and  waking up the whole village.
Is it possible to feel your heart crash and  the tiny pieces crumble?
Is it normal to wish you could reach out to the poor human being and help them?
If it is possible why is it that you feel powerless, weak and defeated.



But
You don’t have to give up. You are stronger than you think.
You don’t have to walk away from the people that you love, allow them to walk with you.
Your life might not be perfect but you are here and that calls for celebration.

December is here and I am proud of you for not giving up. May this month be filled with joy and good news month.

***PS this piece is fictional

My child

I will always love you. You are my ray of sunshine and you have brought so much joy to my life. There is so much I thought I knew about motherhood but you taught me to be kind, loving and not selfish.

Your smile always warms my heart and I cannot wait to see you crawl, say your first word and take your first walk. I hope I will be able to capture every moment.

Mwanangu,(my child) I will never let go of your hand. I will teach you about our culture, how to use your voice and always believe in yourself.

It’s not going to be an easy journey, you might cry, get disappointed and fear might overpower you. But you will never be alone. because Mummy has got your back.

A chat with Derrick Manyika

Who is Derrick Manyika?

Derrick is a photographer and videographer based in Harare Zimbabwe. Outside work he is a son, a brother, and a friend. Most importantly Derrick is a God’s child.

What inspired you to become a photographer?

 Growing up I have always been fascinated with all things related to art and fashion. I used to spend time trying out different outfits and taking pictures. I used to find so much joy in buying clothes for people, exploring new joints and trends for my friends. Funny enough I eventually made it my side hustle in high school lol. Additionally, I loved painting, until this day my sister has some drawings I did for her when I was in primary school. I was also very much interested in interior design. I remember, I used to change my room set up every other month trying to find new ways to make it look cooler than it was before. I have always been pretty much passionate about art. 

The best thing that happened to me was the discovery photography.  It stole my heart right away. I had found something that brought everything I love together and still it continues to do so. I feel like I get to learn a lot more about myself through photography which is a blessing.  I get to travel, meet and work with different people, learn about businesses, explore different cultures, try out different foods☺️ and guess what? I do all this while I am working so I get to have beautiful experiences while getting paid!  I honestly would not have it any other way. If you know me well then you know I’m one person who is so confident in the fact that I’m living my purpose. I LOVE my Job and what I do so much, I feel humbled that I get the opportunity to do what I love and it keeps me going.

Is there anything you wish you knew before becoming a photographer?

Uhm.. I honestly wish I started earlier 😂. I wish I nurtured the gift and passion from an earlier age. I only started when I was a university student. But I also believe everything happens for a reason.

Do you have any renowned photographers that inspire you?

Weirdly, I get inspiration from things that have nothing to do with photography but yes I do have friends that are doing so well  that inspire me a lot. These are the likes of 

VisualsbyProsper 

Naka Visuals 

Gorealrphotography 

Creativemindart

 The list is endless! But shout out to all the Zimbabwean creatives representing us!

How has the Covid-19 affected your business?

Part of my job includes covering events and that has been affected a lot by Covid-19. When the lock down restrictions were announced it was difficult to create outside and to find jobs during that period. 

Any last words to someone considering photography as a profession?

Start now and start with what you have! I have learnt that most of your insecurities are your power. That thing that makes you feel weird or different is what makes you. That is what sets you apart. Embrace it, the world needs that!

How does Derrick relax after a long day?

I love music, I love listening to music. 

You can check some of Derrick’s work on his Instagram account https://instagram.com/derrickmaniecaphotography_?utm_medium=copy_link

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