Category Archives: life

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Something done with the audacity of white privilege.

An act showing little compassion towards people of color.

 

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The Kenyan Land Question

Spent the morning reading about how the Kenyatta family came to amass so much land in Kenya.  It’s not particularly long but I had a few other things to do which meant it took me longer than usual. Here are some interesting excerpts:

A CIA report prepared shortly after Kenyatta’s death said that while Jomo Kenyatta owned only about half a dozen properties covering roughly 4,000 hectares (mainly farms in Kiambu and the Rift Valley), his wife, First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, owned at least 115,000 hectares of land and also had a big stake in ruby mining and in beach resorts around Mombasa.

However, a group led by … opposed the buying of land for resettlement; they argued that Africans could not buy back land that was originally theirs, a contention that did not go down well with Kenyatta because “there were no free things and that land was not free, but must be purchased”. Kenyatta’s position mirrored that of the outgoing British colonial administration … It is believed that one of the main reasons Kenyatta was selected to lead the country’s transition to independence was because he had made a secret pact with the British colonial government not to hurt British and white settler interests in the country.

The criminalisation of groups demanding land justice has created resentment among disenfranchised communities. This does not augur well for the stability of the country. As the TJRC concluded, there is a very close link between land injustices and ethnic violence in Kenya.

… the newly created National Land Commission that is mandated to look into these issues and to bring about some form of adjudication or restitution for the landless has not yet yielded significant results. On the contrary, the Commission has recently been embroiled in various corruption scandals related to land, which has further eroded Kenyans’ hopes of finally settling the land question.

Read the full article and feel something or at the minimum understand the complexity around the land question in Kenya.

Want to be Successful?

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9)

True success is found in meditating on the Word of God and in carefully obeying His precepts. I will be honest and say that this is not how I often think of success but my prayer is that for the days to come, this is how I would view it and by the grace of God attempt to live my life out like this.

Breaking up with a friend

So I AM VERY loyal in a friendship but will once in a while call things to a head when  they are just not working between a friend and I. So this is how I go about that whole process.

  1. Take time and think through the entire life of the friendship, the good, the bad and the ugly. Grieve even if you need to.
  2. Be honest about the issues that did not make you happy and why you can’t be in the friendship anymore.
  3. Decide if you want to ghost the friend or if you want to speak to them about it. My key determinant is always: is there a chance that you might make up later or is this the end of the friendship?
  4. If I am going to say something, I always email the friend because it gives them room to process without the added pressure of having to think or say something in response.
  5. If, and as it often happens, they are part of a bigger friendship group then I force myself to be mature enough that not everyone will feel as I do and that their friendship with others need not end because of me. However, I make it clear that my stuff will not and should not be shared with the ex-pal.

Have you ever ended a friendship? How did you do it and did you and the pal make up?

How I want to make Adult Friends

five women laughing

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

I have a friend who is a maverick at making friends. One on one, she seems incredibly shy but I love her attitude to making friends and how deliberate she is about it all. So when I think to myself that I would like to make friends, I always think of some kind of organised activity that brings people together on the regular.

When I think of this though I always wonder how I would go about starting one because it involves putting myself out there in some way or another which is not exactly my thing. But, if / when I get over this hurdle, these are some things I would like to do:

  • Listen to a key podcast each month and then meet and discuss
  • Start an article club – pick a Longread article and then chat about it
  • Pick a cuisine and then assign various parts of the meal (starter, protein, desserts, salad) to different people and thus have a supper club or a cookbook club if you are fancier.
  • Good old Book club
  • Board games with a group of friends, I really have mine eye on this one.
  • A cheese/ wine tasting club.

Do you live in Joburg, would you be keen to do any of this with me and meet some new people?

Three Random Facts

  1. I am convinced someone might one day want to write my biography so I am cataloguing my life in this blog, journals and keeping significant letters and cards.
  2. I sometimes cook like I am presenting a cooking show online. This involves preparing all the ingredients in advance and sometimes explaining what it is I am doing.
  3. I play back all voice notes I send to try and determine whether I do have a good voice for radio. I am not sure I do.

Belated Sunday Reads

Where are you going. You cannot leave with so many pieces of me still inside you. How will I ever put myself back together again.

Nikita Gill

Recipes

Transformed by God, for His Purpose

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

We recently read this at BSF and here are a couple of thoughts that I would like to share with you.

  1. Our response in sacrifice, follows God’s mercy to us, former sinners who now believe in Him, receive righteousness. and therefore belong to His family This is the right and reasonable response. Have you consciously made this choice to belong to Christ’s family?
  2. A living sacrifice signifies that it is a voluntary choice, continuous and implies a death to self. All Christians are called to die to self daily, take up their cross and follow Christ.
  3. Something holy is something consecrated and set apart. What we offer to God is different from what we offer to anyone else. This particular thought struck me because we live in a very secular world and I struggled to think of those holy things that I only set aside for God.
  4. The verse speaks of either the pattern of the world or a renewed mind. It is truly binary. God will not be mocked and we cannot fool Him by adding on anything to His word. Off the top of my head, I think of ancestral worship, superstition, witchcraft, modern/ humanistic thoughts. None of that compares to God, it is the world or Christ’s way.
  5. Ultimately,  we all struggle with discerning God’s will. What is God saying, what does he mean, what should I do …? All of this is never easy or obvious but this verse makes clear that it is found by abiding in God’s presence and dwelling in His word, only then  will one know His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Be Blessed!

(Belated) Sunday Reads

Recipes

Sunday Reads

“To all the little girls out there,
we will set fire to this world
that steals your childhoods
and stops you from being
everything you want to be,
and build you a better one from the ashes,
the kind of world that treasures you
for all your powerful capabilities.”

– Nikita Gill, Women’s March 2018

Recipes

Guest Post: Motherhood: the first 12 months

Show some love today for a regular guest poster here on the blog for Simple Girl blogging over at (Simple Girl Writes) who defines herself as Slightly Neurotic, Cheerful, Blessed, Wants to be a back-up singer in the next lifetime, Sh*t scared of pigeons and chickens, Econometric nerd extraordinaire, Just a simple girl

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Mummy and her Little Madam 🙂

Technically my little one is now just over one year  (13 months to be exact) and I honestly can’t believe that I’ve been a mother for a year. WOW – we made it 🙂  (albeit with a lot of bumps and bruises along the way and don’t forget the many, many tears)!

I’ve never really liked children. I know that may be a shocking way to start this blog post but I always thought that I was a better aunt especially to little ones over the age of three. But babies? Yoh, I was not present for the diaper changing, constant burping, bottle feeds and anything else associated with newborn babies. So when I found out that I was going to be a mother, my biggest worry was whether I would genuinely like my child. Of course I would love my child – that goes without saying but I was honestly worried about how I would cope given that I knew nothing about handling babies and whether I would genuinely like the experience.

I was pronounced a mother on 28 November 2016. When I finally got a chance to look at the little human that I had been baking for nine months, all the fears and trepidation I had did not miraculously disappear (contrary to all the lies you are told at the baby shower) – but rather completely enveloped me.

Yes, I was that woman.

I was scared and completely nervous about being a mum over the first four months. I was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with raising a child. The sleep deprivation and hormones did not help. And let me not start on the struggles faced with breastfeeding. It didn’t help that I also did not receive proper support regarding this and went into it completely blindsided. People take it for granted that every woman will have sufficient (milk )supply and the right technique for baby to latch. Needless to say, I struggled with breastfeeding. We had incorrect latch and minimal supply (a teaspoon worth of milk was produced after pumping for at least an hour). Breastfeeding completely humbled me. I remember hysterically crying after another (well-meaning, I’m sure) relative called to give me a lecture about the benefits of breastfeeding and that regardless of the pain and difficulty I faced that it’s just something I must do if I want to give my child a good first step to a healthy life (yes, those words were actually said). The judgement you face from other women when they hear or see that you aren’t breastfeeding is real 😦 I still haven’t gotten over the guilt over my failure with breastfeeding  – this despite having a happy and healthy little girl. Lol, I actually think I am quite scarred by the experience, especially people’s reaction to my attempts. Baby steps I suppose.

But the past year hasn’t been all gloom and doom. The first time she smiled at me, first time I saw her sitting up on her own, the first time I came home from work and received a massive toothless smile and of course the first time I got a wobbly hug after someone took her first steps were literally the best moments I’ve had in a while. Those were the days I honestly felt like a mother and realised that this little person knows that too.

What I have learnt over the past year is that it’s ok to not be in control of everything and to ask for (and accept) help. Once I learnt to let a few things go, motherhood was not as scary anymore and I was able to enjoy being a mother. I luckily went through this emotional roller coaster with probably the most understanding partner I could ever have asked for. This coupled with the support from the grannies and aunties also helped (especially when all the nanny drama started – that’s a story for another day).

But honestly, I think motherhood (especially with your first child) is made to appear all shiny and sparkly and perfect (like floating in a field full of candyfloss perfect). And in my experience, I was rather running through a field of thorn trees 😦 Yes – It does get easier and becomes quite enjoyable but it’s not always easy to start off with. I just wish someone had told me that so that maybe I could have prepared myself a little bit more for it.

When I think of motherhood now, I’ve learnt to be kind and patient (nothing like a few weeks with minimal sleep to test your patience). That Googling if the colour of baby poo is normal at odd hours of the morning is ok. I also know that I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. Importantly, I’ve learnt to humble myself and to be willing to do just about anything  (including crawl on the floor if I have to)  to get that amazing laugh (now with eight whole teeth!) from the little madam.

I’m constantly amazed by my child at her sheer resilience to reach all of her developmental milestones (regardless of the many bumps, tears and falls on the way). I’ve also fallen completely in love with my husband again and again while watching him interact with his child – their bond is love in its purest form, it is beautiful to watch. So here’s to the first year of being a mother – it hasn’t been rosy and perfect but hey, aren’t those imperfections what makes for an interesting ride?

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The Little Madam Herself …

Thanks Mama, please check out her past posts here and here.

Thanks so much for this post, I already shared with you how much it means to me that I can guilt/bully/ ask this of you and know that I can depend on you to be honest and vulnerable with me. It is much appreciated. As someone that has witnessed you come into your own as a mother and wife, I am so delighted to witness this growth and wish you and your family many more joyful and blessed days ahead.

Ambition Over Time

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spoken to close female friends about the nature of ambition in women. In this time as well I have looked back at journals I wrote when I was in my late teens and possibly into my early twenties and that young voice was so clear about all the things that I had to achieve by a given age. It’s amazing that I did not envision life happening and how determined I was that my goals would happen when and as I planned. Years later, I somehow feel like I ticked off some of these things and yet so many others I did not. Does this mean I have sold myself out? Am I less ambitious now? What’s happening to me?

What do I know for a fact? I am still driven. I still love to excel and push myself. I enjoy making plans and looking to improve and exceed my own expectations.

  • The most significant difference as I have gotten older is that I am now more pragmatic and better able to understand that life is what happens between the achievement targets.
  • That comparison is the thief of joy and anytime I look at others’ accomplishments, I come off looking worse and feeling horrid about myself.
  • That dreams and targets can change as I also grow and experience life. And that’s OK too.

Mini- December (Reading) Goal

So I recently had occasion to reflect on the past year and to start planning for 2018 and decided to close out the year by reading ten books until the end of coming February. SO here is my reading list (the ones struck off are already complete):

  1. Kintu – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
  2. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doer
  3. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
  4. Her Body and Other Parties – Carmen Maria Machado
  5. The Leavers – Lisa Ko
  6. Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
  7. A Column of Fire – Ken Follett
  8. Negroland: A Memoir – Margo Jefferson
  9. Dear Ijeawele or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  10. The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson

Bonus

  1. Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  2. Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. The Gene: An Intimate History – Siddhartha Mukherjee
  4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Harari
  5. Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home – Sisonke Msimang

Sunday Reads

 

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.

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

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

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?

Three Recent Experiences

  1. I recently went to the Zeitz Mocaa and had my breath blown away, it’s a lovely experience and has quickly become one of the top things to do in Cape Town.IMG_9468
  2. A pal celebrated his birthday and we went to the Reverie Social Table. Had such a great time while there that I immediately begun to plan the return visit. Do check it out. Below was the first fish course. IMG_9502
  3. Went with the Mr for our first spa day and we enjoyed it so much, we promised ourselves to do it often enough. Afterwards, we had a nice health lunch.img_9511.jpg

 

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?