Category Archives: Heart matters

Sunday Reads

“Silence is often a woman-flavoured thing. It is guilty of holding countless women’s names and voices hostage inside of its spine and its ribcage.” Nikita Gill 

 

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I Got You Friend

I miss my gal pals the most when I see stuff like this that we could do together .

I particularly think of the things that I have missed out on with my better female friends: baby showers, bridal showers, high tea, being able to do random things together, road trips, dinners, first homes, come meet my new guy, the new baby, watch a new show together and laugh about it – just a lot of stuff. Yes, IRL I have friends and people I do this but it’s also different.

From the blog post:

I particularly love #2,6, 9 and have done #3 – adult baking dates are awesome – 10, 13.

The comments as usual provides such gems and so here is my to do with a friend list.

  • Volunteer together at a cause that’s meaningful to either or both of us.
  • More concerts – I watched John Legend with a pal and her cool mom and it was awesome!
  • Coworking sessions. Yes to these.
  • Sit together and read dates.
  • Sleepovers with no husbands or kids.
  • Pottery / learn something class.
  • Try and commit to an exercise class together.
  • Talk about podcast episodes we both love. Tried to get so many pals into this that I am glad I can do it with my sister and partly with The Mr.
  • Watch TV shows together and make comments in between, ideally together or even if separately, concurrently.
  • Same day road trips and do stuff along the way or at the destination.
  • Supper club where each person brings one.

In fact, I decided to have a little snacks and games afternoon at my place next month! Done!!

You and I Always and Again

A friend sent me this article earlier today and it provided me with another answer to the type of love that we have. In particular when I saw this quote:

I know I am not owed love. I also wonder sometimes if I don’t know what love actually feels like, since so many grown men have told me it’s been missing from our relationships. (One came back a year later and said, “Oh wow, I did not realize that I loved you when we dated, I am so sorry.”)

In response I would say that our love is secure and I know that I am loved for who I am and in all different versions of myself, the best and the not so great. 

I Knew I was Married When …

  1. Definitely when we unpacked our wedding gifts and as we reminisced about the little parts of the wedding.
  2. I went back to living with my sister and nephew and something was missing and I knew it was the Mr.
  3. My family would ask whether I had checked with the Mr before doing …
  4. His aunts would thank me for all sorts of things.
  5. His family would ask after me when he went for family stuff solo.
  6. It just made sense to clarify our plans before committing us socially.
  7. We hosted our first set of people at our first place.

Some days are better than others but most times I do feel married and I can’t even say what it is that makes it more than just when we were dating.

 

Our Love Is ..

I remember these cartoons from way back and how they made me feel. Like love was the most grown up thing I could think of because it was so out of my reach at the time. So each day I would look at them in the newspaper and imagine this thing called love and so here are a few things that demonstrate our love.

Image result for love is cartoonsImage result for love is cartoons

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Our love is just us and these cartoons can’t even express but they try …

Book Review: Who Will Catch Us As We Fall

Against the backdrop of the political shenanigans in Kenya, I read this very interesting book on Kenya by a Kenyan Indian author.

About the Book.
Haunted by a past that has kept her from Nairobi for over three years, Leena returns home to discover her family unchanged: her father is still a staunch patriot dreaming of a better country; her mother is still unwilling or unable to let go of the past; and her brother spends his days provoking the establishment as a political activist. When Leena meets a local Kikuyu artist whose past is linked to her own, the two begin a secret affair—one that forces Leena to again question her place in a country she once called home.

 

Interlinked with Leena’s story is that of Jeffery: a corrupt policeman burdened with his own angers and regrets, and whose questionable actions have unexpected and catastrophic consequences for those closest to him. Who Will Catch Us As We Fall is an epic look at the politics and people of Kenya.

So my general thoughts:

  • The book had quite a slow start, I mean you could tell she is hinting at something that happened in the past but she wasn’t going to give away anything quite so quickly.
  • I thought it was a good attempt for the author to include Kiswahili phrases but it probably needed an editor who also spoke Kiswahili as in the absence of that the book had basic editorial mistakes like the police moto: Utumishi kwa wote, not utamishi kwa wote; Jogoo House not Jogo House.
  • I thought that the city of Nairobi could have been more prominent unless the narrow lens through which it was presented was necessary to present how insular the Indian community in Kenya is?

The book had a few major themes that were particularly meaningful to me.

Race/ Tribe

  • Love that she talks about the race/tribe relations between Indians and Africans in Kenya. How there is a sense of mistrust and almost antagonistic hate or resentment. This was best played out by the employer – employee relations by the Indian mama and her Kikuyu/ African maid.
  • I thought the discussion between Jai and Ivy at the SONU meeting about what makes a Kenyan Kenyan quite insightful. It made me wonder whether by the same reckoning I would be classified as one because though by birth and upbringing I am one, then again, am I actually one? Will Indians ever be viewed as Kenyan?
  • My surprise at Jai choosing to study at UoN instead of going to England which as the mom confirms is the better option and generally the done thing among this sub population.
  • It was interesting to read about Pio Gama Pinto because he is one person who history has not represented very well even all these years later.

Gender

  • Jai could play outside but Leena couldn’t.
  • Jeffrey just “took over” his friends wife like she was a spare item and no one questioned that.
  • Also the fact that the wife just rolled over and adjusted to this new reality.

Power

  • The dynamics between a maid and her employer were very startling and playing into the perception of race and/or tribe in the book is the difference in treatment for a maid between a white and Indian employer.
  • Jeffrey wielded significant power and that was how over time he was able to become as corrupt as he was.
  • Who really ran the home between Jai’s parents, the mom or the dad?

Home

  • Leena’s characterisation of being in Nairobi vs being in London and how one can reimagine / build it up into something bigger than it really is. (p. 335)
  • I loved the following quotes that best typified Nairobi.

“I love this country but I must accept it for what it is. A place where thieves are celebrated and good men die unremarkable deaths.” (p. 357)

“Nairobi is a sly town. It is so small that run-ins with people one is trying to avoid are a common occurrence, yet it is segmented enough to keep two searching individuals apart. (p. 384)

Not as ambitious as Dust but for a contemporary book, it was a great effort and I would certainly recommend it to anyone.

How Old Do You Feel?

So while in truth I am 32 years, I hardly ever feel that way. I suppose in so many ways I have age dissonance in that, that’s the number I put down but hardly do I look at myself and think, there she is that 32 year old, nah, nope, never. So how old do I feel? Well, I have three secret inner ages.

12

At this age, I fell in love with Nairobi. I was also deemed old enough to commute to the Library and church and back home unaccompanied. I also loved taking matatus (public service vehicles) and would delight in selecting the hottest one with the best music or the coolest people. I enjoyed feeling like a grown up even in this really small way.

16

At this age, I felt grown. School got tough but I managed to draw on my inner strength and focus. By this point I had chosen subjects that would pretty much determine what I studied at University and essentially my career. Now I know many people didn’t take it that seriously but I certainly did and saw each of those decisions as a major cog in the life wheel. I also remember the clarity I felt around these decisions, I was so bold and didn’t even for a second second guess myself or my abilities.

21

I literally felt like I was on top of the world. I had completed my undergrad and felt like the world was my oyster. I jokingly say, I should have rewarded myself with motherhood because thought I was single, this was the only time I felt the need to bear an heiress 🙂 But I felt young enough to be optimistic and experienced enough to have something under my belt.

In truth though, we have friends who have one or two kids, some who are divorced, others have faced miscarriages – all things that I think of as being done by big people. We have gotten married, changed jobs, moved cities and all that but somehow that’s another person not me. Do you sometimes feel that way or is your life aligned to your actual age?

 

 

 

 

My City is Better than Yours

When I moved to Cape Town, I did not expect to like, or GASP love it, as much as I did Johannesburg. Two years on, I feel like I am cheating on my first love but here goes a list of things I love about the city.

  • Franschhoek and the annual literary festival
  • The Book Lounge
  • The Mountain View
  • Camps Bay – I don’t do this often because it gets touristy and it’s a big contrast to the daily inequality but occasionally, I do note its’ beauty and appreciate that.
  • Wine Farms
  • Unstuffy Markets – Mojo Market, Old Biscuit Mill and Oranjezicht. For some reason in Joburg, peeople need to dress up and then get to markets and look like they just walk up like that, URGGGH!!
  • An Evening BSF Class
  • The Promenade
  • Being able to walk around to most places
  • A main street that means not having to get into a mall unless you want to, Yay!!!
  • Off-street Parking
  • Kalk Bay
  • A gorgeous CBD
  • Love the pace of drivers and their general chill
  • It’s a very outdoors and family-oriented place

Some local food loves and hates

I have previously spoken of both positive and negative impressions of South Africa. Recently, I caught myself thinking of some local meals that I really enjoy, namely:

  • Milktart
  • Rooibos tea
  • Malva Pudding
  • Dumpling
  • Chakalaka
  • Amagwinya (Fat Cakes / Vetkoekes)
  • Snoek fish

Equally, you could miss me with:

  • Chicken feet
  • Biltong
  • Boerewors
  • Peppermint Crisp tart
  • Bobotie
Pictures and a fuller description available here.

Faith Lessons so Far

So far in BSF we have done Romans chapter 1 to 3 and if I could summarise my thoughts, it would be:

  1. God’s gospel has transforming power and we should not be ashamed to proclaim it widely (Romans 1:16)
  2. God’s wrath is now being revealed – meaning, right now, right this moment but also one that great final day, it will be revealed against those who have not believed in Christ (Romans 1: 18 – 32)
  3. Not one of us is righteous. None of us can stand on our own and claim that we are not guilty of sin. None of us, not even one of us (Romans 2:10 – 11).
  4. The good news, no the great news is that we are justified by faith apart from the works of the Law and this applies to all, Jew and Gentile alike. We are free from the penalty of sin which is death and free to claim eternal life if we only believe.

Will you believe? And if you have believed, will you persevere in your Christian walk?

Podcast Love

I have spoken about podcasts and how much I love them here so many times before. Here are some of my favourites and as an added bonus recent episodes I have listened to that I just loved (please click on the image to get the episode that I loved).

Ear hustle

Hidden Brain

Fresh Air

CYG

 

Interview with a 13 year old

Describe yourself in three words Happy, kind, mhhhh happy.

Favourite Activities Gaming, talking to friends and family, reading and watching TV.

Favourite Food Cheesecake

Favourite Colour Green, Blue

Favourite Book Body Guard – Chris Bradford

Favourite PSP Game FIFA 16

Favourite Movie Cars

Favourite Song Speaker Box

Favourite Artist Kendrick Lamar

Favourite Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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What’s the best thing about your life right now?

That I know what school I am going to for high school. I was scared I would not get into a high school.

What don’t you like about your life right now?

Some of my school teachers because they are very rude and not nice to me.

What are you most looking forward to learning in the upcoming year?

Getting an iPad and a phone because I have never had either.

 

In ten years I will be …

23 years old. The youngest pilot ever.

Most important friendship trait? Kindness.

 

Why is the sky blue?

It is a reflection of the sea (apparently this question gauges maturity)

What do you know how to do that you can teach to others?

How to game and play play station (a bit contentious because he hardly plays with anyone but family or himself).

If you could be a sound, what would it be?

The speaker when it plays music because it is quite loud and the vibration sound it makes.

Who is your biggest hero at the moment?

My mom – she works hard. My grandparents – though old they still work hard (his grandma) and coz his granddad worked with planes.

Would you rather:

  • Travel for one week to a foreign country OR travel round your country for four weeks?  Travel round my country.
  • Be the best player in a team that always loses OR the worst player in the team that always wins? Worst player in the team that always wins.
  • Not be allowed to eat your favourite five foods for an entire year OR be allowed to eat only your favourite five foods for an entire year? Eat my favourite five foods daily.
  • Get to take a shower every day in cold water OR shower once a week in hot water? Every day in cold water.
  • Be given R1000 right now OR R50 monthly for the rest of your life? R50 for the rest of my life.

How much is a litre of petrol? R12.66 (It’s actually R14.01)

Would you ever break the rules for someone you loved or cared for. Why? Yes, it depends on what the thing is.

When you get to heaven what is one question you want to ask God? Where did you come from?

What fears have you got in your life at the moment? Contracting HIV and not waking up in the morning.

Enjoy xoxo

Also look back at an interview with a nine year old and an 11 year old .

Characteristics that I value in others

  • Curiosity about one self, people, life or other.
  • A passion for life. You have to have that thing that drives you.
  • Ability to laugh at one self and others but not in a mean girl way. 
  • Loyalty.
  • Not being clingy / able to chill with yourself and do stuff on your own.
  • Ambition or wanting to better yourself.
  • Being comfortable in your own skin and trusting that people walk through life in different lanes and being OK with yours.
  • A love for simple things. Yes big luxurious things are great to have, but someone that you can enjoy the small everyday things with is even better.
  • A fear of God, I don’t know any atheists/ agnostics because I feel it is important to have a fear of God, an external standard that guides you and reigns in your own inner and crazy self.

What about you, what qualities do you look for in other people?

 

Poems for my Daughter

One

When your daughter asks you if she’s pretty, looking like the universe is weighing down her little bones with insecurity, resist the urge to say “Of course, darling, Of course you are.”
Tell her instead: “Everyday, I bless the stars that fell apart to allow your body’s embers to glow to life.”
Tell her instead: “In the 7 billion that exist on this planet you are the only one of your kind.”
Tell her instead: “You are so much more than pretty. The stars that gave you to me made you to be like the sun. You are their best ever masterpiece. You aren’t pretty. You are inspiring.”

Nikita Gill

Two

“i will tell you, my daughter
of your worth
not your beauty
everyday. (your beauty is a given. every being is born beautiful)
knowing your worth
can save your life.
raising you on beauty alone,
you will be starved.
you will be raw.
you will be weak.
an easy stomach.
always in need of someone telling you how beautiful you are.”

Emotional Nutrition – Nayyirah Waheed

 

Sunday Reads

Recipes
Entreprenneur's Life

Travelling through Africa / To- Read Books

I recently noticed that I have been reading a lot of Nigerian/ Ghanaian authored books and so I set myself a challenge to diversify my reading to other parts of Africa. Here are some of the books on my to-read list.

  1. Lyrics Alley – Leila Aboulela (Sudan)
  2. So Long a Letter – Mariam Ba (Senegal)
  3. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze – Maaza Mengiste ( Ethiopia)
  4. Flame and Song – Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa (Uganda)

Enjoy!

Sunday Reads

Tuesday Tunes / Prayer

I have often heard of this verse (repeated three times) as a caution to young unmarried people to guard their hearts so I enjoyed hearing it as a prayer to God to stir up those feelings of first love we felt when we first became Christians.

 

Sunday Reads

Recipes
 

Best Part of your Wedding

I read this post where couples talk about the best part of their wedding. Three years on, the parts I loved best are:

  1. When the Priest placed our hand under his cassock and prayed the marital blessing upon us. More than when he prayed for the rings or pronounced us man and wife, this is the time I knew we were married and I felt God’s presence in our marriage.
  2. There is a picture of us talking about something so intense after the ceremony. I can’t remember what we were talking about but I love to think we were both excited and happy to be married.
  3. I have had the same WhatsApp profile pic since then because that was the first picture we took in our first house after the wedding. We stood in the bathroom replaying the day as I took off my make up then we decided to take a selfie and voila!

What about you, what parts of your wedding do you still remember and why are they so memorable?

PS: Please read the comments from the blog post, so darling and warm!!