Life Lessons From Facing A Global Pandemic:

Positive

1. Life is short – and unpredictable. Spend every minute chasing the things that set your soul on fire.

2. Over two hundred thousand people have died in the course of a few months. Over a million families were affected (if not more). There has never been a greater time to realize your mortality. And those of your loved ones. Gratitude is must.

3. You have never lacked time, just discipline.

4. Humanity still needs work. Police brutality is rampant. Country leaders would rather fortify their power over ensuring adequate health systems. The wealthy would rather earn more than contribute to your salvation. Capitalism, and the people it benefits, does not care about you. We need more empathy.

5. Live a life worth remembering, and you’ll become more than a statistic.

6. Stay positive. Even when your school was shut down, and you had to travel miles to get back home. Stay positive. Even if your graduation was delayed, and there is so much uncertainty filled in your heart about the future. Stay positive. Even when the media is filled with so much fear, and negativity. Stay positive. Because when everything is said and done, your mind is your greatest superpower. And nothing should be allowed to control it – but you.

Dear. Black. Boy.

Dear Black Boy
Models @wambui_wamaitha @_nanaamakwansima

 

Dear black boy,

I know they segregated your mind to swag, hip-hop and culture. I know they taught you how to rap before you could read. I know your new album confirms your indoctrination. I know your high is not of God, but of the leaf. I know, deep down, that you believe. I know you lose sleep over the dreams you stopped chasing. I know the blood on your shirt means you pulled the trigger. Or is that from fighting the police? I know you sag your jeans as a metaphor. I know your self-esteem hangs much lower than that. I know your “drip” is an ocean of pretense. I know your “ice” is the element you traded your soul with. I know you know how to love a woman, but can’t afford to be seen as less of a man. I know they say black men make poor fathers. I know your father was hardly a man. How could he take care of two sons and his only daughter? I know you know, you can end the cycle. I know you know, that you can escape the prison bars of a limiting narrative. I know you know, because I am you.

Signed,

another black boy.

Burnt.

The face of my forefathers.

men that smoked polygamy once.

and forgot to exhale.

men that –

stirred women.

– like fine wine.

between their tongues.

bitter sweet.

misogyny.

angry black.

women that –

breastfed.

– with both hands.

as if forcing a prayer.

into their children’s existence.

as if our lips.

– knew God.

as if we could empty

– the pain.

of father’s mistakes.

of men like.

– arsonists.

with petroleum for fingers.

women touched –

– between their thighs.

igniting sparks.

– sweaty nights.

deadly fights.

kisses from.

– other women.

– emotional tides.

– sons like.

– fire extinguishers.

– putting out.

– mothers burning.

– from your.

– fuckery.

Reading List – 2019:

Reading challenge – I

To whatever gods inspired this list, I am forever indebted.
  1. The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
  3. Questions For Ada – Ijeoma Umebinyuo
  4. Half Of A Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  6. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7.  Born A Crime – Trevor Noah
  8. Dear Ijeawele – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  9. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
  10. Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
  11.  12 Rules Of Life – Jordan Peterson *
  12. Woman At Point Zero – Nawal El Saadawi
Progress:

– Currently reading ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’ – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The Brave Mister

 

Brave Mister
photo credit @ownherworld

 

I come in many shapes and sizes.

To some, I am a man of charisma; the kind that stifles fear and electrifies the will.

To others, I am the biggest loser; the man with a balding sense of humour.

To the art of words, I am her brave Mister; the fool that tried to tame her and failed.

I do not claim that Poetry loves me in the same manner, but tis the love Shakespeare proclaimed.

A love affair with the sublime that only ends in one way: when the writer stops writing.

I was three when I first met my muse — my Juliette of poetry?

Sparks flew when she spoke in metaphors and I in broken vows and sentences.

I made a mockery of myself; what with the diaper and the lack of sophistication?

So I strengthened my acquisition with the world; I learnt the language of Men and Bots.

I went to pre-school.

I learnt to colour in between the lines to impress her. I was fervently in love with my muse, but I could not express her. I fell sick; my muse ignored me still.

From an early age to adolescent, I buried myself in television. I let the ambient box sing me to sleep. I let it erase my talents. I dragged through life and death — then back through life. I did things I would never trade my breath for — like learning to dance with both feet. The magic was missing. There was no thrill, no spunk.

Till I read ‘My Black Is Beautiful’ by Yolanda Mabuto.

If admitting that I cried means I’ll be stripped of my right to be a man, then set me free. I was revitalised of an energy I once knew; I was alive again. And I felt my muse blink.

Ever collapse to the sensation of being home after a long trip?

I felt the same; I felt the rush of belonging to something bigger than self — of belonging to Juliette.

I read more and she spoke a little louder. We dined over Jane Austen’s passages, laughed like children in Chuck Lorre’s ‘Vanity Cards’ and survived horrors in Stephen King’s ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes’.

The more I marched over the terrains of literature, the closer I came to my muse.

Soon, we became one; we became night and day.

And with a kiss, she vanished.

She said I was ready.

Ready for what?

Ready to write.

 

 

Of Rapists & Victims: The First Of Its Series.

Sometimes we forget. That those closest to us are capable of the most heinous acts.

Photo credit: @ownherworld

I.
The hum of her skirt,

Stories of lust sewn in,

He sings along,

Thoughts of skin on skin,

And echoes of her plea,

Melodious,

The subjugation of her will,

Melodious,

The screams of her inching to survive,

Yet moaning to the thrust,

Of him,

She denies the face of the man that robs her,

She denies,

Yet moans?

She denies,

The face of her father,

She gives in,

Because she feels,

That’s the only way,

Out.

Lit, a recollection (II)

Read the first of this series here.

White lights queued. I made a new friend, and (much to my frustration) I cannot make his face out. I do, however, recall a sense of belonging; a nervous pain and desire that spoke through our eyes. We wanted to escape, to run with the liquor because childhood doesn’t drink. Adults do, and we wasn’t adults.

The baths were clouding. I wasn’t ready to see reality through a broken filter. The water was colder, saltier, and plenty. I wondered if he was going through the same thing, or maybe worse. Like AIDS? The thought was uncomfortable.

Getting dressed was easy, staggering through the hospital wasn’t. I made it, one stiffed leg at a time; I made it to the corridor. White lights queued. It was quiet, free from the clank of test tubes and needles.

Homie had a plastic ball. He had been waiting. We hit it hard and forgot the pills; we hit it hard to forget the misery. Our focus was on ruining something so beautiful,

And undisturbed.

Just like what life had done to us.

I was discharged six weeks later, Homie wasn’t.

Lit, a recollection…

Tyrone Takawira

PART I:

Moments of pain are so intricate with probability. It’s only when you sit in a 4WD hitting sixty — that you begin to connect the dots.

I got soaked in hot water when I was ten. Quite a prolific moment. If I hadn’t slept in my long PJs the night before, I wouldn’t have tripped. I wouldn’t have let go of the heated pot. All I could do was watch the steam rise, and the water fall.

Onto my skin.

It was a hundred degrees of fucked up; kerosene on the Sun shouldn’t burn this slow. I couldn’t see past the light, the vapour of flesh and pain was blinding. Between crying for help and regaining balance, I couldn’t breathe.

Worse, I was lying right in the center; too dismantled to leap for salvation, too hot to stay.

My mind is blank here, how I got up is for Holmes to solve.

I do, however, remember knocking on mother’s door; she didn’t answer. Mother was pressed in sleep, and I, in boiling melanin. All I could do was blow on my skin, and keep moving.

“Keep moving, sonnie. Gets hella hot if you don’t.”

Blowing spurts of air on myself was like running a garden hose from a kitchen sink — in the hopes of putting out 9-11.

My mind draws another blank, next thing I’m seated in dad’s 4WD, hitting sixty on a highway. He asked if I had ‘cooled off’, which was a bad joke. I nodded. What I meant to say was,

“i’m friggin’ drowning,

in ashes,

save me,”

We stepped into Pari Hospital some minutes past eight. It smelled like detergents and government service, with an attitude. Papers got filed. I slept in on a hospital bed; the first time since 98′.

The next morning was a mess. Puss ran from my blisters, and my skin had crept into the bandages. The nurses tossed me into a tub, like a dead somebody. Two locked my legs, one gripped both arms, and the other tore the bandages off. That son offa’ never counted to three.

It was not a poetic scene; the red and black of tissue in dying skin is as fantabulous as it gets; no kitty glitter anywhere. I buried a kick in someone’s neck, all in the name of pain.

I was scrubbed in salt water, which is something of a pinch in the groin, the kind were the pincher doesn’t let go.

I sat on the bed hours later, with a fresh kit of bandages, ready to bat into dreamscapes.

I stretched a smile,

“i’m glad THAT’S over,”

A nurse turned on the lights. He left a glass of water and said I was real brave today.

He also said I best get a good night’s sleep for another bath tomorrow.

I didn’t say a word.

How To Be Alpha In A Beta World:

The second series in adopting an alpha mindset.

The Habit Manifesto.

habits

Series II: The Habit Manifesto

The first part of this edition started with the fear of judgement,

— and in many ways, how it’s killing you.

In case you missed it, read it here.

Once free,

You become erudite,

life is as light as a Pelican’s feather,

free flowing as the essence of Spirit,

You are born again,
fear drapes itself somewhere else,

A magnetic wavelength colors itself in all that you do,

in all that you think,

You are free,

free at last,

— but this, however, is not enough.

You must control this energy,
You must concentrate it into things of value,

You must build the right habits,

– of being and doing.

Habits are what separate lions from gazelles.

The biographies of great men are filled with many disciplines.

I understand, favorably, that it’s not as easy as I point it out to be.

Mainstream media preaches, and never practices. Hence, I have created the habit manifesto —

a compilation of the steps that will get you there,

You want to be alpha?

Here’s step one: Find Your Darlings, And Kill Them.

kill your darlings

Darlings are the small, almost intangible habits that we hold dear to our hearts,

These are the dopamine-inducing sweethearts that add nothing of value to your life,

The Facebooks, The Twitters,

Binge watching ‘Friends’ and shooting hoop with your boys all day,

Kill these first,

Kill these fast,

Because given the chance,

They won’t hesitate to stab your greatness in the back.

Step two: Play With The Ugly, The Bad, The Tasteless.

Ugly_Betty_intertitle

 

Life has a sense of humour that most won’t catch,

The disciplines that mold character and fortify strength are always painful, unexciting and revolting,

Just like how over-weight, unattractive girls have better personalities than the slim, pretty blondes,

You need to accept this, and play the game with this awareness in mind.

You must lift weights and read religiously,

You must meditate and journal daily,

You must wake up early,

You must jog, pray, learn.

You must seek the pain of discipline,

in fear of the pain of regret.

 

Step three: If You Are Going Through Hell, Keep Going!

1738691-Victor-Hugo-Quote-Perseverance-secret-of-all-triumphs

Perseverance is the trait of kings,

it is sharper than Poseidon’s Trident,

it immortalizes the mortal,

it builds conviction,

Once you have married the ugly, the bad, the tasteless,

— all that’s left to do is stay faithful,

You place the law of momentum in your hands,

And life (the comedian),

Has no choice but to give in.

 

1_1rMVnfCZPbJh_AupNyem-w

 

 You want to be alpha?
— build the right habits.

How To Be Alpha In A Beta World:

The first series in adopting an alpha mindset.

98tolife

Series I — Fear Of Judgement:

I cannot accurately define the term ‘alpha’ — for any attempt to do so will greatly limit its meaning.

I will, however, say that any man is justified in pursuing an ‘alpha’ state of mind — more so in this era of timidity and purposelessness found in the average personality.

One attribute of a ‘beta’ (for lack of a better term, ‘not alpha’) is people pleasing — and no matter how eloquently you may excuse this as a form of ‘kindness’ or ‘niceness’, this character trait will never inspire into success.

If anything, it is an exponential spiral towards personal failure,

— and you may not even realise this.

Why?

Because you have been conditioned to place value on opinions and judgements,

— even if they are dumbfounded,

— even if they bite down on your self-worth,

— even if they kill you,

I laugh at the absurdity (and subtle truth) of this forthcoming statement:

but the average person would rather swallow cyanide than be judged,

because judgement is its own slow, agonizing death.

This is a hard pill to swallow,

and however successful you may be, your success could easily be multiplied by a factor of ten thousand,

— if only you stopped caring what other people think about you,

How many times has a fear of judgement stopped you from pursuing your deepest, most intrinsic goals?

What will they think of me,

if I said I applied to Harvard?

What will they think of me,

if I asked for a raise?

What will they think of me,

if I wore this today?

What will they think of me,

if I asked her out?

Does this voice sound familiar?

Of course it does,

You listen to its fear-inducing hypotheticals daily.

Practice silencing it,

Practice clutching its mouth,

Because this ego-preserving voice has killed more dreams than death is blamed for,

It loves mediocrity,

— because no one questions average,

It loves comfort,

— because no one questions the norm,

It loves beta,

— because no one is threatened by beta.

You want to be alpha? You must free yourself from this fear first, anything else I say will be pointless.

Picture15

I am no advocate for narcissism,

But consciously place yourself first — always, in all that you value and believe in.

If you have to cancel a date because you need to submit a chemistry paper
— then do so.

Be the first in line when it comes to accomplishing your goals, your dreams
— your purpose. ( See A Written Letter To All Men: )

Be ruthless in virtues,

You want to be alpha?

Well, stop giving a f*#!

gaf