“We are all like poems. some of us rhyme. some don’t. some are Pulitzer prizes some are just scribbles and yet, we all possess a special kind of beauty that can either heal or cut to the bone one that can never quite be fathomed, nor forgotten.” ― Sanober Khan
Happy new month for starters! *dancing*. I’m thrilled for what June has in stock for all of us. It might seem like not so much, but we’ve literally gone through the first 185 days (approximately) of the year and every after 30 days, we should be appreciative.
I was hosted yesterday on their Twitter page for the shine and share time and it was incredible meeting all these awesome African writers from Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. My heart felt appreciation again.
So today is day 1 and here’s my commitment.
*placing hands across chest*
Khanani Daniella, from Uganda,
Do solemnly commit to these 22 days of the #WinterABC2020.
To have and to hold my prized readers in between the words that I’ll scribble over the next 21 days,
In the ‘yay’ and ‘nay’ days,
In the ‘meh’ moods too,
To love and to cherish your time spent in my space,
Till the 22nd day of June, do us part, momentarily;
According to the Afrobloggers prompts and instructions,
I wonder if your day went fine because, well… mine didn’t.
I’ve been holding onto this for a while now, and it’s not because I didn’t want to talk or write about, but it’s because I was anxious. I wasn’t sure how it would sound coming from me or what it would look like. But here goes.
If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should therefore protest openly, everything… that smacks of discrimination and slander.
Mary McLeod Bethune (1975-1955) “Certain inalienable rights, what the negro wants”.
Today the hashtag #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd was trending all over Twitter and Instagram and so I decided to see what had transpired. My heart sunk. George, an African American, died under the cruel and constricted grasp of a white officers’ knees over his neck, for an alleged forgery and resist of arrest. I wish I could post the video here but just follow the hashtag or google it. You won’t miss it. The video footage from the nearby store showed that he wasn’t resisting the arrest but he kept exclaiming amid muffed breaths that he couldn’t breathe, and that he just needed the officer to get off him so that he would enter the police car but…
See, for the past few months I’ve been preaching against Ideological Neocolonialism all over my social media pages and University thanks to an amazing Nigerian author I met on Twitter that came to our Uni. But it goes beyond that. In the West, its worse. Its actual, overt and uncovered-up racism. In Just Mercy, Jamie Fox, the lead character was prosecuted for a crime he didn’t commit and was on death row for years until the truth was revealed. It was based on a true story. The black man was the easier target to frame because no one would believe in his innocence.
In a Grisham book I read last month, The Guardians, one of the clients of the organization that fought against wrongful convictions, was framed for raping and killing a white girl in the neighborhood without any substantial evidence. The all white jury however, was so quick to pass the guilty verdict in order to ‘secure’ the neighborhood. Dirty white cop business involved with a drug cartel, chose the black man as the victim. 23 years later and after his near death with the needle, he is acquitted on a wrongful conviction and fresh investigations started.
Thinking about all these stories, all triggered by George’s death (RIP), my heart is scorched with so much ire and agony because it seems like ‘we’ shall always be the venom. The outcasts who are criminals, under-educated and not worthy of the time and attention. Its been more than decades since slave trade and the Scramble for Africa, and even with the independence, there are still subtle traces and aspects of the stereotypes and racial divides. Why? Why is it that when a white man commits crime in Africa, he is put in a first class prison cell and escorted with a whole convoy to the jail, while sipping on coffee or a soft drink, BUT when a black man commits a crime in the West, it’s the needle that beckons him or outright death.
But first wait, scratch that…
Let’s talk about the fact that even in Africa, when an African commits a crime or is allegedly accused of committing a crime, the brutality with which he is arrested by his fellow ‘black’ officer is so crude that when compared to how the white man is treated, leaves some unanswered queries. Let me speak for Uganda in particular, just recently, the enforcement of the lock down and curfew by the LDU’s on the streets was so crude and I remember watching a clip by NTV filming police men battering a woman sited on a boda-boda until she fell and rolled on the road, to oncoming cars. Why? Why all that cruelty? At about the same time, I was walking around my neighborhood and saw these white men and Chinese driving their cars around with four other people in the car, without masks, without a sticker or anything to show that they were essential workers. They weren’t stopped. No one asked them why they were not following the Presidential directives. Why?
Yes all #BlackLivesMatter but do we as Africans treasure our lives too?
I was so enraged by the conduct of the police man towards the deceased George, and all these movies and books I read about the brutality of the white dominance towards the blacks that I forgot about my context. We might not have racial divides but what we have is worse. Black skin against fellow black skin. It tears my heart out of my skin. Every day we see human rights violations and brutality being perpetrated by our very own governments towards its people and so, the conservative white man isn’t the only one to blame. Our governments are too.
Once we get to the point where we value the life of each person, where the color of our skin isn’t the determining factor of the privilege we will get or the school we will go to, when we get to that point, will we then live in no fear.
Until then, let’s not stop creating the awareness and recording all forms of violation. If the courts of law will not give us the justice we seek, let the world know. I’m sure someone out there will get the message and something will be done.
Its starts with us. Value your neighbor and love them like you do yourself, and the seeds of tribalism, race, color, sectarianism will not hatch anymore.
RIP George and all other African Americans and black men and women who have been caught in this cycle. The good Lord will avenge you.
I hope you are doing alright. So the series I kick started yesterday begins today. And so, I shall hand over the blog to my guest, Margaret Noblin. God bless.
A law student I have been mentoring asked me if I would answer some tough questions that were coming up with her friends, so I agreed to provide answers to the questions.
The advice below should help us as we discuss these things with non-believers.
“Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).
Introduction and Disclaimer
To make sense out of complicated world-view topics, we first need to identify our starting point for the discussion. This starting point is influenced by our history, family role models, religious beliefs, educational influences, the media, and our peers. It requires an honest evaluation of the factors that influence us because they impact all our filters when discussing a topic. Are we willing to be open minded to being challenged about our current beliefs?
First, if you are a Christian do you believe Jesus to be who He says He is as Lord? If not, is He a liar or a lunatic as C.S. Lewis puts it?
Second, do you believe that the Bible is true and made up of mysteries, poetry, historical documentation, parables, allegories, and a variety of literary styles to explain God’s perspective? If not, why have so many people read it as a guide for their lives and many atheists have said it is true. (Case for Christ, Lee Stroebel)
Third, do you believe in eternal life and God’s plan of restoration? Do you believe He created everything and is in control of everything? If not, do you believe you can control everything in your life? If so how? Do you understand faith in God and not in a result?
Fourth, what is the purpose of your life as a Christian? If you believe it is to honor God in all your decisions, then you have a truth north compass for your life. If not, you may be in a state of confusion, conflict, chaos, or lacking confidence. Do you understand what it means to be a child of God, created in His image? Is this your main identity?
Fifth, do you understand God’s character and able to measure your decisions based on what He would want you to do? If not, why are you a Christian? Is it only a cultural label or the condition of the heart?
The fifth question is the part of being a Christian that leads to discernment in our decisions. Without knowing God’s perspective, we cannot make decisions that honor God. We say “yes” to God or “no” to God by our decisions, actions, and words.
Before answering the other questions, we need to know where we each stand on these issues. Do we have head knowledge as a Christian or is what we believe in our hearts or is it just a label we give ourselves? The answer requires honesty with our selves. When we do realize what we believe in our hearts as Christians, we have peace and hope because we know our life on earth is but a moment, and our eternal life is everything.
To give you a taste of my background, I am American, and from Texas. My grandmother told me as a child about the time when women in the U.S. first got the right to vote and she influenced me about the importance of voting. I had my first job at 16 years old working in a high-end department store in Dallas called Neiman-Marcus. Stanley Marcus was the owner. Every Saturday morning, he would meet the entire staff for a pep talk. He was a fantastic manager and motivator in the fashion industry. As a young teenager it was my first experience working with professional men and women. It was in the late 60s. As I look back, I was trained well, given professional expectations, required to be accountable with money and expected to treat all my coworkers both men and women with respect. I never once felt discriminated against, like I was less than anyone else, even though I was young. My experience created a foundation for my own expectations of the workplace, both male and female colleagues and what professional behavior looked like.
During university, Women’s Liberation was becoming popular on campus with “Consciousness Raising Sessions” and professors wanting to influence our minds to become activists. At the time I was newly married, and my husband was supportive of my educational goals and career. We shared the household chores and worked. I continued to work part time while going to school in a retail department store. I had some great friends and bosses who were respectful men. One evening I was invited to a meeting with a friend. She wanted me to understand that I was a victim and needed to stand up for myself. It was important for me to listen to what other women in the “movement” were saying. I have always been open to learning new things but also evaluating things with my personal experience and the evidence.
As a Christian in later years and throughout my career in the corporate world I have to say I have been fortunate in my positions and interaction with my coworkers. Are there evil people out there? Yes. Are there standards of conduct which are inappropriate? Yes. Are there situations where things are not equal? Yes. Are there reasons for all these things that can be complicated? Yes.
Does the Bible give us guidelines about how we are to live? Does it give us information about how the family is structured to work the best? Does it reveal how women in leadership are to lead and interact with men in the workplace? Does it show God’s perspective of how He values men and women equally even though He created them biologically different? Does it clarify the difference between a worldly view and a godly view of things? Does it provide truth and clarity about topics such as course talk, discrimination of tribes, noble character, honesty, evil, divisiveness, being a victim or a conqueror and things that are consequences of our decisions? In my opinion it does, if we are willing to open our minds to God’s character and perspective as it compares to that of the world.
As we go through the questions, my perspective will be one of truth with a Biblical foundation. I do not discount that there is much evil around the world and much exploitation of women. However, I believe that how we approach these issues will determine the positive outcome in our communities world-wide. Please bear in mind that my experiences in the U.S. are different culturally than Uganda in many ways. I find in all cultures there are un-Biblical things going on that cause pain, hostility, inequity, and unjust situations. Hopefully, we can examine the root cause of these things so we can look to respectful solutions as we impact one person at a time in our world through our examples as women. My filter consistently is empowering people to be all God created them to be. I believe each person is unique and significant to God whether they are male or female. I avoid the label of victim because I find it very unproductive and an opening for the enemy to manipulate, deceive and discourage. When we believe we are victims it impacts our actions, speech, and relationship with God.
Below are the questions I will be discussing one at a time:
Is there anything such as Biblical feminism? If yes, how do you reconcile the two belief systems? And if no, what’s the difference with secular feminism?
How does one (Christian & Feminist girl) reconcile the way minority women are portrayed in the Bible especially in Paul’s letters, with one’s feminist beliefs?
Is the Bible pro-feminism & anti patriarchy? Or there is no particular stand.
As a Christian feminist, how can my desire to see justice for sexually abused females, tally with the teachings on forgiveness and “casting the first stone”? Jesus said she was not condemned but He also said, “go and sin no more.” He did want the best for her and stated this to direct her on a more positive path.
When Paul says “submit to your husband” did that mean doing house chores and adhere to every command of your husband?
What did Paul mean in 1 Timothy 2:10-15 when he said, “women must keep quiet.”
What’s your take on pro-choice especially with sex workers who earn their living from the same?
What’s you take on marital rape? Do you think feminism has helped girls to advance in knowledge such as go to school and inherit property?
Why did Jesus have only male disciples? Why is he portrayed as a man?
Is there anything wrong with a woman being politically and economically dependent?
How would a Christian girl who believes in helping women to reach their full potential do so without affiliation with feminism?
What is your take on inter-sexuality and how can a Christian handle this?
Margaret Noblin, The Rock Outreach-US 501c3/The Rock Kingdom LTD-Uganda NGO
You can get her on email too for any inquiries at email@example.com
Have you ever sat down and questioned what feminism really is? Yes, we’ve read and heard all these things of the quest for equality and equal standing, but have you ever felt contradicted when you see posts of some ‘cold’ feminists, as they call themselves, cussing at men and directing hate speech towards them, and speculated whether you truthfully are a feminist or not?
From time immemorial, I liked to refer to myself as one. A feminist. Set out to fight for the rights of women and ensure equality for all sexes. I always got engaged in provocative conversations on the position of women in the work space when I started my first internship at a non for profit in my senior six vacation. It wasn’t until 2017 when I met an amazing lady who gave me perspective on this subject, that I started rethinking my train of thought and my desire to be affiliated and associated with the ‘movement.’
I started seeing all these posts on social media by ‘feminists’ blurting out hate speech and referring to each other as ‘womyn’ because they wanted no association with the male race and gender, that I started asking myself these questions. As a Christian girl, strong in her faith and her desire to seek the Lord and live by His word, what was my position on this ‘men are trash’ agenda and the call to leave ‘men’ out of women’s lives be eliminating the ‘man’ in ‘woman’ and replacing it with ‘myn’ to make it womyn? The conversations quickly switched from ‘equality of women in the work space’ to ‘why did Jesus have 12 male disciples and not female?’
It was then that my amazing mentor and friend, Margaret Noblin, gave me perspective to this. She didn’t force an agenda on me but made me think about so many things from so many different angles that I decided, I needed to host her on this blog to help young Christian girls like myself, who are torn between their faith and the ‘movement’ to get some perspective on the subject.
The series will be in a Question and Answer format. I managed to collect some question from four of my remarkable friends who are believers as myself, but also have a strong desire to advocate for women’s rights. And so, I asked them what some of their major baffling points were, concerning their faith and feminism, and Margaret will be answering these in the course of these series, starting tomorrow.
Since 2002, Margaret Noblin has been working in Uganda. She and her husband lived in Uganda all of 2005 then traveled back and forth from their home in Texas to the present, spending blocks of time in Uganda. Currently she is a missionary to Uganda working with university students at Uganda Christian University. Previously, she and her husband, Mark helped launch one mercy home in Kenya and three in Uganda and built a clinic in a remote Ugandan village. They launched seven African AWANA discipleship clubs for children in Uganda and Kenya.
In addition, sixteen university students were discipled through the Rock Outreach Scholarship program. All of them graduated and six are running their own ministries. They implemented “Doing Business God’s Way” programs in Kenya and Uganda which provided discipleship, basic business skills and no interest loans to selected participants with realistic business plans. The ministry she focuses on now is making disciples and role models in East Africa by using Jesus’ model of mentoring a few leaders who can reach many. Practical empowerment with a Christian perspective is part of what she does with the people she mentors.
Margaret and her husband disciple in conjunction with other ministries on the Uganda Christian University campus with like visions: such as Life Ministries (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), Navigators, Watoto and the UCU Chaplains Department Fellowships. Prior to being a missionary Margaret spend many years in the business world as an entrepreneur and in various corporate positions. Her God-given gifts are analyzing, creating, designing, initiating, implementing, training, simplifying, researching and problem-solving. She used her skills in a variety of ways in all her jobs and continues to use them in ministry.
Whether she is in the U.S. or Africa she is available to mentor ladies interested in finding out more about their identity in Christ, their God-given skills, and how to honor God in their lives whether in a career or in ministry.
It is my prayer, that at the end of these series, whether male, or female, we have a better understanding and perception on what to believe and not believe about the ‘movement’.
Hi there my precious reader.
It’s been less than two days since the last review. I’ve been binge reading these remarkable biographies and it’s been an astounding journey getting to know each of the authors away from what’s on the open internet. I hope you’ll join me on this expedition as we (Ugandans) wait for the masks to be manufactured so that we can start moving around. *winks*
I started reading this book yesterday and it sure felt like Maya was writing to me. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way after this review and when you get round to reading the book. It’s funny that a few weeks back, I was confessing that I only want sons, and when I saw the title to this book, I decided to see what she was telling her daughter. I got hooked.
The book was first published in 2009 by Virago press and is a letter to all the daughters she never had but longed to have. These daughters are us. Anyone who cares to read the book as she shares diverse lifetime lessons she has picked up from experience. It’s astounding to read this, years after she passed on, and still know that someone out there was enthusiastic to share their know-how and push to create a great breed of young women and men.
She died in 2016 sadly, but I know she left behind a legacy.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Don’t complain. Make every effort to change things you don’t like. If you can’t make a change, change the way you have been thinking. Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.”
Maya starts the letter to her daughter by telling her that it took her a while to get the guts to spill out everything she wrote down from the lessons she learned and the conditions in which she learned them. The book is themed into twenty eight parts and in each part, she talks about issues such as the need to be generous, desisting from vulgarity and violence, her journeys to Morocco and Senegal and cultural appropriation, the secret behind telling the truth, faith, humility and family.
With every single word she transcribes and with every punctuation, Maya’s life gradually unfolds before us. The insecurities she struggled with being a young mother and writer in the field. The vulnerability she reveals in the book gave me goosebumps and made me teary as I read it. I now appreciate that you can’t relate with someone who you’ve not been predisposed with. The vulnerability creates a foundation on which most friendships are built and it blossoms beautifully. At the end of the book, I wished Maya was still alive for us to have a cup of hot coffee under sundown and have a heart-to-heart about fighting my inner fears, because now, I knew she had gone before me and faced the same trials.
“When I decide to write anything, I get caught up in my insecurity despite all the accolades. I think uh, uh, now they will know I am a charlatan that I really can’t write and write really well. I am almost undone, then I pull out a new yellow pad and as I approach a clean page, I think about how blessed I am.”
The point in the letter which Maya transcribes this, was when she thought she was the foulest mother for leaving her child to be raised by another, she felt deficient for staying in the attic of her mother’s little rental and her career hadn’t yet thrived. It is at that point that she is reminded that she has to count her blessings every day to surpass the negativity that often clouded her vision.
I know many of us relate with this. Well, personally I do. Every time I want to venture out to try something or even continue what I’ve been doing which includes an audience, I often want to bail out and give up. Even with all the awards and certificates that fill my father’s study, I still get afraid. This is a aide memoire to me and all of us that we shouldn’t let our fears haze the good that we have done. That fear should be the pendulum that catapults us to achieve our dreams and be better. Do better. Win.
“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.”
This is a mantra we should all adopt to live to the fullest potential. We ought to be grateful.
The most emotive bit of this letter was when Maya recounts her encounter to fit in her skin by having a one night stand that not only left her feeling bad about it, but also got her pregnant. She though that the experience would boost her esteem to be more comfortable with her femininity and her body. Feeling wanted was what she sought. On the day of her graduation, she was eight months and three weeks pregnant but she had never told her parents. She wrote a note to her father and left it on his pillow before she went to bed. She was afraid of being shouted at, disappointing her parents and bringing disgrace to the family.
What made me tear up was her father’s reaction.
“ Baby come down and have coffee with me, and by the way, I got your note.”
Her mother walked in shortly after and told her she was worth more to them than any eight month pregnancy.
This made me tear up because if African parents were as supportive as this to their daughters who’ve made mistakes, then we would have fewer cases of unsafe abortions. Most girls, just like Maya, are curious to explore their bodies and experience a kind of freedom they didn’t have while locked up in their parents homes because of the strictness. This usually leads to bad choices, drugs and unwanted pregnancies. It pushes them to clandestine abortions because of the fear of stigmatization, being disowned by their parents or guardians and being harshly reprimanded.
What we should know is that parents have a duty to ensure the proper upbringing of their children and where this fails, especially with regard to unwanted pregnancies; they should not go to the extreme of disowning but rather, be present and help their children raise an innocent child that was caught up in the bad choices of their children.
“The human heart is so delicate and sensitive that it always needs some tangible encouragement to prevent it from faltering in its labor. The human heart is so robust, so tough, that once encouraged, it beats its rhythm with a loud unswerving insistency.”
There are so many lessons to pick out from this book and I’d highly endorse that each person reads it. Lessons about life and how to swiftly go through it in faith, to be a greater person. Always let your soul look back and wonder at the mountains you climbed and the rivers you forged, the challenges that still wait down the road and be strengthened by that challenge. Before Maya put down her pen, she reminds us that:
“If I knew that God loved me, then I would do wonderful things, I could try great things, learn anything and achieve anything. For what could stand against me if one person with God constitutes the majority?”
This is a must read! It applies to everyone. Even if the title directs it to the daughter she never had, she speaks to all audiences: sex and race.
I hope the reviews are helping you know what books you should be binge reading during this lock down before the season ends.
Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting my mentor on the blog to have a conversation on feminism as a whole. I hope each and every one of you will pick a thing or two throughout the whole series.
Loads of love.
Wow! it’s been an amazing past week on the blog. The first book review I did received so much support from you all and I’m honestly grateful. I don’t think I’d have any other readers but you all. Lots of love.
This week I’ll be reviewing We’re going to need More Wine By Gabrielle Union.
If you enjoyed reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and Becoming by Michelle Obama, I’m pretty sure you’d love Gabrielle’s auto biography too, on stories of growing up as African American in an all-white community.
If you’re looking for blunt, raw talk over red sweet wine with your big sister who has seen it all, this book is for you. Searching for a candid conversation on colorism, hypocrisy and racism? Looking for hacks to live past the most trying times of your life? Again, this book is for you.
Gabrielle published this autobiography in October 2017 through Dey Street Books publishing house and it won the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Award for the most Outstanding Literary work and Book of the year by Root.
I’m sure we all know Gabrielle Union from the various movies, sitcoms and series she has acted in: Bring It On, 10 things I hate about you, She’s all that, Think Like a man, to mention but a few. So, you’ll definitely enjoy her straightforward recitation of her childhood and growing up.
“You’re gonna have to be bigger, badder, better, just to be considered equal. You’re gonna have to do twice as much work and you’re not going to get any credit for any of your accomplishments or for overcoming adversity.”
This is the jingle Gabrielle and her sisters grew up to from her dad during their childhood days in Omaha, Nebraska, where they stayed in an all-white community. The blacks there were required to stand out in order to be recognized or they would be referred to as the forgotten heroes. This was the drive she had to always get straight A’s from all academic institutions and also be the best at sports. She however laments that;
“ Most black people have grown so accustomed to the fact that we have to excel just to be seen as existing and this is a lesson passed down from generation to generation. You can either be super negro or the forgotten negro.”
It’s amazing how frank she is as she recounts the complexities she and her family faced in attending all white schools and growing up in their neighborhoods. The desire to fit in and assimilate, while shunning the black culture and everything it stands for is what she had to do. She conceded so much during her high school days just to be considered as equal to ‘them’, and went to the extent of relegating one of her fellow ‘black sisters’ who was new at the school. She realizes this however, years after everything has happened and decides to inscribe these lessons and experiences so that those who come after her don’t make the same mistake.
“It’s a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One never feels his two-ness. An American, a Negro. Two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals on one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”
W.E.B Du Bois, The Souls of Black folks.
This statement illustrates the intricacies that one has to face in one’s body, soul and mind, in trying to fit in and be accepted. This applies to us all, not just Negroes and whites. The struggle to fit into a specific society can be subduing and trying, but we can only get our strength by standing together and remembering our roots. From the community and Ubuntuism.
What intrigues me about this book however is her account of the trauma she had to go through as a rape victim. Her experience is an exemplification of the experience that most rape victims go through and the expectation from society that they have to move past it very swiftly. She became a huge propagator for rehabilitation centers for rape victims and as she tells her story, this is the reaction she gets all the time;
“What were you wearing? They ask. She wonders, I got raped at work and people still want to know the role I played in what happened to me.”
This got me thinking about the stigma that rape victims face in the general public especially with regard to being hounded on what they were putting on and what they were doing at that particular time. Yes, I know that Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action, there’s an equal but opposite reaction, but what happened to self-control and love for humanity. The burden is on us to raise up daughters who respect themselves and their bodies, but also men who don’t chase after every skirt and forcefully have intercourse with them. So before we are quick to throw comments and judge, let’s ask ourselves; what role did I have? Have I played that role? before casting the stone.
Gabrielle also has an amazing conversation on the deep human nature to outshine another and bring others down while at it. This is the most honest thing that I’ve heard ‘read’ anyone say in a while. Most people hide behind the smiles in public and yet, the hypocrisy that dives in when that person is away, is nastier than what Herod did to the Jewish babies born during Jesus’ time.
“Many people love the attention that comes by trolling others but what they don’t know is that it’s a temporary cure for their invisibility. There’s always an audience for negativity. Negativity and the exploitation of other people’s pain drive so much of our culture and conversation.”
Gabrielle admits that she spent most of her life trolling people and she got a lot of attention and fame doing the same. But what drove her to do this was the need to assimilate and be seen as ‘cool’, but it came at a cost of someone’s reputation. That’s the sad part that we don’t comprehend most times. One time after she’d put up such an amazing performance of trolling some celebrity at a party she attended with her life coach, the coach calls her out and asks her;
“Did you get her guy? Did you get her job? Is your house bigger now? What positive happened because you tore this woman down? On the other hand, you showed exactly how much power she has over you because you spent an hour talking about her to a room full of people.”
This calling out, hit differently. Made me think about how many times I’d sit down with my friends when I was younger to talk about the failures and weaknesses of other people and that made me feel like I was better than them. What I didn’t know however, was I gained nothing at the end of the day. I resolved then, to build other people because it’s in the synergy of a community or nation that we’re able to achieve a conquest. It is maturity alone that made me reach that consciousness. Same as Gabrielle. I hope you’ll take off some time to brood over this.
There’s so much I want to add to the review about her poor choices at men, her failed marriage at first and getting over a heart break, her stand on colorism amongst the African-American community and the amazing mentors she had along the journey to success, but if I do this, you won’t get the much needed anticipation that I want you to have, to order the book online and read it, or download a PDF on your phone. Spoiler Alert:
I must say, her language is very raw and unfiltered. Ha-ha, but sometimes it’s important to have real talk. Stop masking yourself to appear as ‘holier than thou’ yet you struggle with sin in the background. As a Christian, one of the toughest things I’ve had to learn to do is not pretend to be one thing and then I’m something else behind the scenes. Be accountable to the church and they will rebuke you in love where you are going astray. You need to be honest to do this.
That my treasured readers, is the much I can spoil for you on the book. It’s a very insightful read and once you get round to reading it, you’ll realize so many things about society, people, and especially, the you that you’ve been covering up.
I hope you loved reading the book, for those who did. Please share with me what you thought about some of the major themes in her book, and those who haven’t gotten round to reading it, please do and let me know what you think.
Thanks for passing by.
I really hope you’ve had an amazing past week and new week so far.
On the consistency chronicles on this blog, *dancing*, I’ve decided to jumpstart with my book reviews, just so that I can share the remarkable reads that shouldn’t pass you by this lock down spell! As the famous adage goes; ‘If you want to hide something from an African, put it in writing.’ We’re here however, to invalidate those who say that okay? Don’t let that be what classifies us as Africans. There’s so much insight that is shared in ink on paper, that is never esteemed.
Anywhoww, to cut to the pursuit, I’ll be reviewing Coelho’s The Pilgrimage.
‘Have pity on those who are fearful of taking up a pen, or a paintbrush, or any other tool because they are afraid that someone has already done so better than they could, and who feel themselves to be unworthy to enter the marvelous mansion of art. Have more pity on those that have actually taken up these instruments and have turned the inspiration into paltry.’
For those who know Coelho, I’m sure you can identify with how captivating his books always get. There’s not one book of his I’ve read and persisted the same. None. His inscriptions have ways of capturing your mind to make it think beyond the four corners of the world you’re so used to.
Now for those who don’t know him, here’s a quick intro. Coelho is a Brazilian writer that has sold over 140 million books worldwide. Most of his books are autobiographical, re-counting his life experiences and lessons based on his Catholic religion that have however been seen as divisive because of the bend towards mystical things. I’d suggest you read The Alchemist to get a broader perspective into his life and world of writing.
Back to the Pilgrimage.
This book is alienated into eleven parts, each of which is a story of the lessons he acquires on his journey to Santiago. He takes this pilgrimage in search for purpose, his faith, humility and belief. It’s based on his life, and his journey to find purpose that started in 1986, when he decided to take that tread.
At one point in the journey, Coelho says:
‘I began to feel great pain, because now I knew I was only one step from success. This is the moment when one’s strength begins to flag and one loses confidence in oneself. On a few occasions in my life, I had lost at the last minute-swum across an ocean and drowned in the surf of regret. But I was on the road to Santiago and that old experience mustn’t be allowed to repeat itself- I had to win.’
The profundity of this quote goes a long way in portraying the scuffles that Paulo faced along this pilgrimage. He nonetheless, blends it savvily with hands-on ways to counter the doubts that keep roaring in your head telling you that you can’t do it or you’re not enough or worthy of good tidings. The detail with which he describes each chapter and lesson, got me turning each page and absorbing each syllable while reflecting on my life picks and verdicts and re-strategizing for the future.
His story commences with him arriving at the highest and last point of the RAM Traditions and his master is meant to give him a sword, which he eagerly accepts without hesitation. He is bewildered when the sword is taken away from him after so many years of investing in the tradition. His master tells him that he still needs to work on himself before he can receive the gift from the tradition. He is then told to set out on a path of soul searching before he can be given the gift again.
‘The road of the tradition isn’t for the chosen few, but for everyone, and the power that you think you have is worthless because it’s a power shared by all. You should’ve refused the sword, because if you had done so, you would’ve shown that your heart is pure… but you stumbled, and because of your avidity, you will have to seek your sword again.’
You can imagine the expression of Coelho’s face when he had been deprived of the sole object, he had been anticipating all those years of practicing the RAM Tradition. He had to start all over.
This got me reflecting on the number of times we think we have run the race and fought the good fight and deserve a win, only to see it being whisked away and given to someone else. The hopelessness that we are left with at that point, should be the momentum we need to catapult us towards the next goal, to do better and be better. To win.
The pursuit to faith and excellence will require us to fight several battles both within ourselves and those that have been positioned around us. Nevertheless, this needs utter focus, time, commitment and intentionality. His guide, Petrus, keeps reminding Paulo that:
‘When you are moving toward an objective, its very important to pay attention to the road. It’s the road that teaches us the best way to get there, and the road enriches us as we walk its length. That’s the same thing when you make an objective in life, it will turn out to be better or worse depending on the route you choose to reach it and the way you negotiate the route.’
The knowledge in this book kept me flipping each sheet and delving further into Paulo’s world of self-discovery, battles and recreation. The astounding thing is that he turns out as a Master and guide at the end of his pilgrimage, he appreciates life more and his careers and take more notice of creation and the surroundings.
For all those who have been struggling with authenticating their dreams and finding purpose in what they are doing, walking this pilgrimage with Coelho will help you realize the misplaced link of gratification in your regular routine.
I must warn you however that much as Coelho professes to be a Catholic and to have grown up under the Catholic traditions, his affiliation to the mystical and superficial beliefs is depicted in his writings in this book in particular. Being a Christian like myself, I had to take extra precaution to guard my heart and my beliefs. If you aren’t sturdily grounded in your faith, I wouldn’t recommend this book.
The beauty in living in a global village is the diversity it comes with. We all have something to add or remove from each other but what you choose ultimately is what will resonate.
Yes, that’s pretty much it with the spoilers I can give on the book. Its one of those books that you can fully have a conversation about with someone who has read and experienced the motions along the pilgrimage. I look forward to your two cents about the book once you get around to reading it and those who have, what stood out for you and what take homes did you get?
One last quote from the Pilgrimage that I’d want to share as you go through this week and this quarantine season, just to let you know that your mind and attitude goes a long way in supporting your survival.
‘Time isn’t something that always proceeds at the same pace. It is we who determine how quickly time passes.’
Hahaha forging those signatures 😂🙌🏽🙌🏽 corruption indeed. My brother and I used to make the driver sign. 😂.
Also fighting for the remote is a highlight. Bambi sunset Beach is a classic. 👏🏾
Haha indeed you were naughty, I hear my ‘walala’.
Wow. You’ve made me laugh.
Thanks for sharing Dee.
It’s day 21 of #UGblogMonth and trust me to show up to the closing of a party, why not! I need to hear the Deejay last song choice and him making that announcement they usually play at parties ‘the DJ says thank you and goodnight’ so yes I’m here for all the closing remarks and how lit the journey has been. First of all before we get in to the gist of today’s post, allow me applaud each one of you that took part either as a writer or reader. I couldn’t have done it without you. Your stories gave me reason to write but also gave me a sneak peak in to your world as I took steps in each of your minds and I loved it. As for my dear readers, thank you for showing up because you kept me going and not feel like I was talking…
Its with deep sorrow that this has to be my last blog for the UGBlogMonth 21 days challenge, http://ugbloc.com/ugblogmonth-april-may-2020/ *sniffs* It’s been a thrilling ride, especially with all the opening up I’ve had to do and just share my views on contemporary matters affecting Uganda.
This last prompt brings a smile to my heart. It’s often grim to have a dialog with someone where you’re just talking about what makes you happy. It odd to just think about it. So, here’s a chance to put it down so that those who are interested in making me happy, can take notes. Hahah.
I’m not sure whether to bullet these points or just keep writing, but ill go with the latter.
The first thing that makes me soo happy is people who call me Danny. I know it’s a common nickname for people who are called ‘Daniella’, but trust me, very few people call me Danny. They prefer to use my surname. So those that actually call me Danny put a smile across my heart.
The second thing that exhilarates me are people who speak my love language. Oh my, let me just add that these ones have a special place in heaven. So, I have three main love languages. The first is quality time, followed by words of affirmation and physical touch. People who make time to have a good laugh or chat, in person, not virtually, brighten up my day. I’m such a sucker for hugs and cuddles. Any day anytime. Gets so cozy.
The third thing that makes me happy are animations. I love animations! I’d actually pay for a cinema ticket to watch an animation. Hahah, to think I finish my four years of Uni in a few months and I’m still watching animations is absurd right? I’m not sure when I’ll grow up, but the little child in me still glimmers on.
The last thing that I can think about that makes me happy are dairy land chocolate popsicles. Yum! There’s this specific one called Choco stick. Its my all time favorite. Incase we’ve had a fight or you feel like you want to extend a kind gesture towards me, just get me one of these. I’ll instantly forget everything that just happened.
I’ll just emphasize that it has honestly been such an amazing journey doing these 21 days organized by the Uganda Blogging community and I’m grateful to them and you my readers. You’ve been the biggest support system for this consistency. To all the amazing bloggers I’ve met, I’ll keep cheering you on. Uganda is unquestionably blessed to have you writing.
I was having a conversation with Denise Agasha yesterday, you can follow her blog on here, https://t.co/ZZe0f4UIeg?amp=1, and she was giving me tips on how to keep consistent. So, for starters, I think I’ll do book reviews and share with you the amazing reads I’ve been engaging in this lock down, and probably have a guest on the blog.
It’s the second last day of the UGBlogging month http://ugbloc.com/ugblogmonth-april-may-2020/ and I’m feeling very gushy about this challenge ending. I’ve met amazing bloggers through out the course of these past 20 days and I hope the interaction will not end here, because Uganda has some stellar brains! We must all attest to that.
Plunging into today’s prompt gave me so much nostalgia. There are so many child hood remembrances I can relate with but I think growing up with my brother has been my biggest highlight of my childhood memory.
So, my brother and I share both parents and we were the only youngings left at the house with my father by 2004. We literally did everything together. I remember a time when we wanted to have a bubble bath as we used to watch in the movies, and decided to get OMO to create the foam in the bathtub. And when it was full, we slipped into it and boy oh boy! After an hour of soaking ourselves and trying to savor our ‘bubble bath’ we scrambled out of that tub in burns. Hahah, thinking about it right now just cracks me up.
I recall every weekend, we would fashion a spring of water from the tap that was located at the furthest corner of the house in the back yard, and play in it in turns in our swimming costumes, because our dad was either too busy to take us for swimming or was back at the farm. We would then play a famous Kenyan game that we always played back at home in Kenya with our cousins called ‘Mukokoteni push’ which is translated to mean a ‘wheelbarrow push’. So, one would sit in the wheelbarrow then the other would push the wheelbarrow down hill and around the compound until they were back to the starting point and the humdrum would continue.
We also both loved watching Dexter’s lab, so he had an imaginary lab he created out of a cereal box and he kept all the bulbs and wires in there always conjuring up something that we deemed genius at the end of the day. The goosebumps book series were also a fave for us. Every weekend or holiday we would re create those adventures in the house and it was as thrilling as it had been in the books!
Those were the good ol’ days.
I also remember the time when I hit puberty and we had to stop sharing bedrooms and bathing together. Hahah funny right? So, I think what made me notice that I was different was the fact that my bosom had started growing and his was staying the same and I remember asking him why that was happening. He told me I was becoming a woman now. Hahah, that realization freaked me out but oh well. I got to get my own independent room.
So, my largest memory was growing up with my brother at home, with the dramatic encounters and adventures we created for ourselves. He moved out of the house two years ago and is set to be wedding sometime later this year. That’s how much time has flown.
Every time I walk around the house or in the backyard, I remember those joyful giggles that filled the place at least 15 years back and all that’s left now, is an oddly silent house and routine.