WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 5 : Medical Tests and Privacy issues – 40 DAYS

So it is exactly 40 days from today to the wedding if I take out the end date from the count. Yeah the days are rolling pretty fast and if I am to believe the saying that “Time flies when you’re having fun” the  I will confess that I have been having extreme fun since the turn of this year…especially from February! The days have really gone fast I am almost dizzy each time I check the calendar.

In 1 month and 9 days from today I will be walking down the aisle with my friend and companion. Again I am a bag of mix emotions…happy and anxious, excited and cautious. I have spoken to many who have walked this route before and it seems that is the norm so I am not abnormal after all.

This week has been a quite one comparative to the past few weeks since I started this series. We are having a church wedding and one of the requirements the church needs is for both of us to attend premarital counseling sessions with the pastor of the church. Our case is unique though that both of us are not based in Nigeria where the wedding is to hold and the church also has no branch in South Africa where we currently call home. However we didn’t need to sweat it out for long as a solution presented itself soon. One of the pastors is currently studying for his PhD and guess where? yeah right in South Africa so we were asked to get in touch and he is going to conduct the sessions on behalf of the church. We have had a few phone calls and all is going well.

This morning he told us we will need to undertake some medical tests and the results sent to the church via him as this is in accordance with the church rules. The tests include genotype, pregnancy and sickle-cell. Now this didn’t really sit down well with Tendai. Not that she is against these medical tests, she feels that it is in some respect some invasion of our privacy and at best the church should advice us to carry out such tests and not enforce it as one of the church rules. I didn’t have much problem with it as I feel “let’s just do it” besides these are tests we have done before. At the end Tendai agreed but did voice out her displeasure. So it’s one week gone and one challenge dealt with. Let the weeks roll by, we shall overcome and tackle the challenges as they come. One thing though that remains unquestionable is our love for each other and my personal conviction that this lady is the one I will want to spend forever with and this is a conscious decision I made for which with each passing day I am more convinced I made the right decision.

Tendai
My Attempt at a Silhouette shot of Tendai a couple of year back… Not the best shot but proud of my effort so I have kept it safe since then. :_
It was a late evening walk on the Camps Bay beach ..I had my camera and she was willing to pose for my elementary photography skills and we had this shot 🙂
Another old one…I had to dig a bit into my archives to come up with this one…again it was on another visit to Camps Bay beach…but this time was on a typical Cape Town Summer afternoon…
Advertisements

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 4: A HOME – 46 DAYS

The days are really rolling fast hey! February has gone down in my personal records as one of the fastest 28 days ever! It is already March!!! Here is to a very happy March to you all. I do hope March doesn’t roll as fast as Feb did though :-).

At the top of any couple’s marital plans especially after a wedding is to move into a nice house which they can call home. For those who have ever had to do some sort of house hunting for whatever reason, you will agree with me that this is no small deal.

Tendai and I also have as one of our wishes to move into a nice place that we can call home and we have since started a gradual hunt for such a place in November 2014. Nothing turned up and by January we turned up the heat a bit especially as the lease for where I am staying was due to run out in February 2015. The end of January came and we still had not found a place despite our spirited search.

The agent of my current flat had written to ask if I am renewing the contract and I tried to delay responding hoping to get a place first to avoid the awkward situation where I don’t renew and the contract runs out and we have not found a place. I eventually came clean and told her of our plans and she was so supportive and offered me an option of a monthly contract at the expiration of the 12 months lease I had signed last year. This was such a huge relieve and took off some pressure from our over burdened shoulders.

We kept on with the search though and prayed that God will favour us with a nice place which is affordable too. We got a few rentals advertised and most of them fell either in the category of “too expensive” or “too far” from the area we would love to settle in, those that fell within our bracket of “affordable rates had massive competition. After several hours of drive time, emails, calls and appointed viewings of several flats all ending in rejects or not meeting our specific requirements of our dream 1st flat, we were beginning to get a bit worried.
All this however changed last week Wednesday, two days before we had fixed two appointments for same day to view two different flats at two ends of the city, one in the northern suburbs and the other in the southern suburbs. We started with the Northern suburb…it was a north facing flat on the 10th floor of a complex and had large glass windows opening to breath-taking ocean views. I fell in love with the flat immediately! It was quite far from the area we had in mind and we will have to battle heavy vehicular traffic daily if we end up there though and I thought if that is the price to pay then I will happily do so. Tendai however had issues. She just can’t handle heights and living on the 10th floor with such massive glass doors is a nightmare she can’t live with. So we had divided opinions of the flat but agreed to put in an application anyways.

After filling the form and getting all required documents faxed to the agent we headed off to the second viewing which was at the southern suburbs. Before leaving Tendai was tired and suggested we stay back as she remembered our many other applications in the southern suburbs which all didn’t favour us. She was certain there will be a lot of competition too as the rate at which the flat was going for was almost too good to be true. I encouraged her we just go give it a try as we have nothing to lose. As our GPS announced to us “You have arrived at your destination,” Tendai said something is wrong this may be a wrong address because there is no “crowd” as expected. I also thought it is strange as we usually see at least 6 couples waiting at each of the other flats we have viewed. I parked anyways and I looked up to see an elderly looking woman smiling at us. I asked Tendai do you know her. She said no, and we said maybe she is also here to view the flat so we got out and greeted her. She asked if we are here to view as she is the agent. It was the first time we have arrived to find the agent waiting alone.

We went in and this time the flat was on the 2nd floor and was also a lovely flat. Tendai loved it from the door…it also had a balcony which Tendai had always loved as she wants to grow her potted plants and some vegetables.  So yes we put in an application too…this time we did right there and then as the agent waited…Tendai just didn’t want to lose this flat as I could see from her eyes she would be deeply pained and disappointed to miss out on this. For the rest of that day all we spoke about is that flat and Tendai was already elaborating on her plans for when we move in. It was an older building so had lots of space and Tendai can think of a million ways to utilise all the spaces.

The following day at 12:24, my phone rang, I looked and it was a strange number, I picked and it was the agent for the 2nd flat…she had been in touch with the owner of the building and the flat is ours if we are still keen to sign the lease contract.

Emocionado-excited

WOW!! I thought so this is how it is…I smiled and said my million thanks and reminded her again how keen we were, we fixed a time and date to meet so we can sign the papers.

This afternoon at midday, we signed the lease contract so come April 2015 we will be moving in to the flat which Tendai and I will be calling home for the foreseeable future. We are both very pleased with the flat and now all the stress of emailing, calling, driving and receiving rejections seem to be a very distant memory.

With one month 15 days left to our big day, we have struck out one more item on our “to-do” list. A home is now sorted and we look forward to the next item to be accomplished.  There is this joy that comes with achieving something…anything, it does not matter the size…just that knowledge and feeling of sharing the victory of achieving something with someone you love is so exhilarating.

New home

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES : Episode 3: One of those times!! – 56 Days!

As my fingers click away on the keyboard and my eyes follow the sequence of letters that print out on the screen to form words that make up sentences which grow to paragraphs that eventually crystallized into this article, my mind is in a different spaces now…I am trying to join the dots and make sense of how it began, trying to weave a story out of it so I can use it as my Episode 3 or this series but I just failed to join the dots, there were no dots no join…If I picture can perfectly describe the state of my mind now is the picture of a duck on a pond. On the surface, it looks all calm and serene, but underneath the water the feet paddle furiously….yeah that’s me now.

Duck on a pond

I still can’t make a story of it but I will try say it as it is. Tendai and I had a bit of misunderstanding…it was nothing big but it still left me feeling bitter and upset. Tendai was telling me about some plans she had for the future, it involved some brilliant business ideas she plans to pursue, she wanted input from me in two aspects, first she wanted to know what I think of it, secondly she asked if I know of any potential source of funding she could exploit for the business.

Now a bit of background about the biz side of me. I am not in any way an entrepreneur. I am just not wired that way. What I think I am is an excellent manager or what I call secondary entrepreneur. Present me with an idea and I am you man to trouble shoot it and execute it to your specifications. Tendai seem to be the entrepreneur – one of the reason I love her really. As she talked me through the biz plan she mentioned she had done a lot of thinking about it and it was obvious…she had even made a potential move on an investor which looked promising.

It was obvious to me that she had invested a lot of thought into it and as I soaked in on everything she said and tried to think it through she popped the two questions…first that caught me off guard then my zero entrepreneur mind started to boot and come up with an answer…the first answer was easy and I told her it is a great idea and yes I believe it can work. Next question I told her what I thought and maybe that was not what she expected of my response. It was a short answer really, I told her I think we may be faced with a greater challenge getting funding because not many people or companies out there exist that will be keen to invest significant amount of money into a start-up biz. I said the risks are high and it will need a bit of re-strategizing.

She thought I was not supportive enough and my answer was too brief, I thought she was unreasonable I need some time to think and also research and I said that in few words before I felt upset and clamped my mouth and said no more. As I typed this we have spent half of the day not saying more than a few words to each other. I looked across to her on the sofa as she watched one of the many versions of master chef programs on TV. I don’t follow any so not sure which it was. I looked at her and though I still was bitter I still felt love for her. I looked at her and looked at my calendar and saw the reminder than it was exactly one month and 28 days left before she becomes my wife and my heart warmed up and I felt like walking up to her and gathering her up in an embrace to tell her how much I love her and how blessed I am to have her in my life but I quickly put off that thought and embraced my bitterness as I typed even more furiously, if only the keyboard can talk they would have complained.

As I reflect on what we were going through I asked myself will such misunderstanding occur again in future? yes I knew it would…I still have misunderstandings with myself and I will only be fooling myself to think no misunderstanding will come up again. This is one fact about marriage many may not realize or want to accept. Misunderstandings are part of any relationship even the best of couples do have their moments of misunderstanding. So I learnt something new from this latest experience. Misunderstanding does not negate love. The fact I was upset didn’t make me love Tendai any less. I would wish we never have to go through a misunderstanding again but I am grateful for the lesson I got from this instance. I am still convinced that come the 18th of April I will be as excited to take the vows and promise my eternal love to Tendai.

One more thing, Pride is a big giant which is always close by and when allowed can wreck utter destroy the happiness and joy that has been laboriously built with love over the years. For those periods I held to my bitterness and looked at her as she watched TV, I told myself I love her and wanted to reach out to her but pride held me back and I embraced my negative spirit. I now look back and regret those moments which could have been spent doing something fun together but now those periods have been lost forever…stolen by that thief called PRIDE.

Well, we are all cool with T now…. 🙂 yeah i could only be proud for so long…I rather love than get bitter…the doctor said that’s good for my health.

NOTE TO SELF.

  • Swallow your pride, never allow a misunderstanding drag longer than reasonable.
  • Look out for the positive in every unpleasant situation. Focus on the good and hold onto sweet memories.
  • The longer a misunderstanding is allowed to linger, the more complicated it will become and the more difficult it becomes to solve the misunderstanding.

SIDE NOTE

Have you listened to the song Sugar by Maroon5? Have you watched the Video? If you have not now is the time and well…that’s one song that must be on my wedding playlist. 😉

Walk me down the Aisle series. Episode 2 It’s Valentine again!! – 63 Days!

Happy Valentine friends, and welcome to the second episode of this series. I was thinking on what to write on that will speak the language of the day as well as address one of the issues I have encountered and experienced in the course of my relationship.

In my search, my mind went back to several months ago, perhaps over a year now. I remembered a post I saw on facebook and how it caught my attention…I could not remember exactly the words used so I did what have become like a habit of mine lately -I googled the bit of phrase I could remember from the post and waalaah!! It appeared. I read it again and still chuckled at the realisation that several months after, the quote still hard the same effect on me.

The quote is by Eric S. Gray “Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit! ”
I read it again and think…so much truth in so few words!

So as I celebrate Valentine this year beside the woman who I have invested little in yet have been reaping tons and tons of goodness, I take time to reflect in the blessing that she is to me and make time to appreciate her even more. But more than that, I also will look inwards and ask myself what can I do better than I am doing now? How can I invest in her even more?

So while I celebrate what is going to be my last valentine day as a bachelor, I continue my count down to the big day. As at today, we are 90,720 minutes away…it other words 1512 hours or 63 days! It is exciting and daunting at the same time (that’s how the heart of a man works), I am happy yet worried, I am looking forward to that day and 9 weeks doesn’t seem such a long time to wait especially considering all I have to get done between today and that day.

I will be spending most of today with Tendai. I however don’t think the day is more special than the rest. I also don’t think it is a day for two people. Love is a universal language and this day should be such, celebrating love and that includes with loved ones and also with everyone out there…this should not just be an activity of one day…it should be our live long calling.Today should be a reminder of that calling on everyone.

This day should remind us of our responsibility to make the world a better place, to show some love on a daily not just one day.

Walk me down the Aisle series I – 70 Days : Once a week for 10 weeks

I am about to take a plunge into a world that is unknown to me. I am about to embark on an adventure that will last the rest of my life. The feelings I have about the whole new life and what it holds for me and the future is a true cocktail of feelings…runs through the whole range from extremely excited on the one extreme to a little apprehensive at the other extreme.

In Exactly 70days I will be walking down the aisle with the one I love and call my “soul-mate”. I will be getting married to Tendai Musvuugwa( I will teach you how to pronounce that name though after 5 years of trying I still have not perfected it…I have to doff my cap to Zimbabweans)

This will begin a series of post I will be making over the next 10 weeks as I count down to this big day of my life. I will be addressing all the issues I have encountered and will encounter leading to this big day. I will also tell our story or rather some more of it…previously I had told you abit about us..if you missed it, you can read it here. I will also in addition to writing about my thoughts also share the thoughts of others I find inspiring or insightful on this subject. I will also share some of our pictures, some songs I love and more…it will be a new thing for each post for the 10 weeks leading up to April 18, 2015.

So why the big deal about writing anyway? well, because I want to write about it! I have seen a lot written about weddings and the married life but mostly by ladies so I thought I through in something different into the mix…and here you have it…a wedding and married life from the perspective of a man.

 I read somewhere that there are three most important days in a man’s life. The day a man is born, the day he gets married and the day he dies. Everyone gets the chance to experience two of these days – the first and the third. Others are privileged to experience all three. It went on to say of these three days, one stands out as most important…the other two are not as important and the reason being that on the two occasions(the first and last), one is helpless and can do little about the when and how of it.

The first day one is born you are an infant and totally dependent on others for everything, you also have no say in when or how you are born. On the third day when you die you also have no say and your body will be interred the way the loved ones you leave behind go about it. The 2nd of these three days however is most important because you are alive, an adult and call the shots on what and how things will be done. This therefore makes it the most Important of the three hence the need to cherish it most and make it as memorable as you can.

I am moved to agree with the story so I plan to have a great wedding and plan to enjoy every bit of it as I plan to have only one wedding so it’s a one shot at making it work for me hence the big deal about it.

WEDDING DAY

First interesting fact about is if you have not noticed is we are from different countries, different regions and traditions, same continent and share the same heart with a Love that’s tailor-made in heaven just for us. She is Zimbabwean and I am Nigerian. We met in Madagascar and now both based in South Africa! Now let that sink in…I will give more as the weeks roll by.

So for the wedding we decided to have two functions. One in Nigeria and another in the mother city – Cape Town. We wanted having the second function in Zimbabwe but really couldn’t pull it off for some reasons….ermmm let’s say being a Nigerian comes some with a lot of free add-ons and I have had my own share of it J. By virtue of our being an “international couple”(I wish I know what that means), we are expecting both functions to be a reflection of that. As at today I can confirm the wedding will have guests from over 13 countries spread over 3 continents!!

Ok…that is it for the first in the 10 week series…stay with me as I return next week with the next episode in the series. If you have any particular topic you will want me to address in the course of this 10 week marathon, You can drop a comment  and I am sure to address it.

That’s it for now folks….CheersMe and her

Little Things

Recently I got the excellent opportunity to visit Israel for the first time. I had always looked forward to visiting Israel so this was a dream come true for me and the 10 days I spent in that very tiny country definitely marks a highlight in my life. Thanks to DEISI who sponsored this all-expense-paid tour (Topic for another day!! 😉 ).

DSC04474

On one of the days we spent in Jerusalem, we had a free night and we decided to take a walk out to have a feel of the night life in Jerusalem..we have heard there is a very vibrant and active night life prior to arriving so we were already looking forward. One of us had a friend who was serving in the IDF and she was also coincidentally off duty that day so she volunteer to come and take us out.

While we excitedly walked the streets of Jerusalem that late night we were all excited and chatty as you expect of any typical South African group – Yes we are a proudly happy, loud and colourful bunch here in South Africa….that name The rainbow nation was no mistake!! If you doubt just come visit South Africa. So while we walked, we got to a traffic light which we call them robots here in SA (yes ‘cos that’s how cool we are! ). There was a Zebra crossing for pedestrians but the lights were red, however, it was very late and there was virtually no vehicular traffic so we did what is the norm here….look left, look right, look left again, no approaching vehicle? ignore red robots and cross!

After crossing we looked back and our friend from the IDF was standing still at the other side of the road. We wondered what was the problem and called out to her to cross and join us but she smiled and said no…after waiting what seem like hours to us( it was about 3mins) the lights finally turned green and she crossed along the zebra crossing to join us. We asked her why she had to wait even though there were no cars and was “safe” to cross…she told us it was the law that pedestrians only cross when the lights turn green and she can’t break the law especially as she was in uniform.

Now this might sound like a non issue or insignificant but it got me thinking deep and it reminded me of a verse in the Bible “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities”.  Little wonder the nation of Israel has been able to succeed greatly inspite of the overwhelming odds against them. This is a trend I found occurring again and again as we travelled through Israel. Everyone is faithful in his/her responsibility and everyone holds himself accountable and is determined to excel in whatever they find doing. It is mindset that has become the norm amongst the Israelis.

What can we learn from the Israelis? Anything is possible… the change we desire in our society, the growth and development we yearn for is not beyond our reach. Let us learn from the character of this friend of ours who chose to do right even when there was no one there to caution her if she decides not to wait for the lights to turn green. If she is faithful in such little things as waiting for the lights to turn green even when the whole group crossed when it was red, there is little doubt she will be faithful in greater things and when she is given a greater responsibility she will deliver.

Make a decision to do right even when it means standing alone. Let your conviction drive you to seek excellence in your responsibility. Decide to do right not because of any expected reward but because it is the right thing to do.

20141203_184131_LLS

ONE FOR THE FATHERS AND MOTHERS

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano

“No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.” – Godfrey Winn

Today I write one for the fathers…

father+3

…and the mothers too…

mother

I have had one of those weeks…tough and difficult. Exactly the type of week I thought I had waved goodbye to with 2014.

I found myself thinking of how difficult it is to cope with the loss of a loved one especially a parent. I still don’t remember what triggered that thought but I found myself getting depressed with that thought especially as I have not experienced that with both parents still alive.

The following day I was chatting with one of my close friends who had lost her mother about a year ago and I asked a question which perhaps sounds selfish and insensitive (now you can give me the stick now…I think I deserve it). I asked her “Does this pain ever go away?” and I immediately apologized and asked her not to answer but she smiled and said she does not mind and she would answer. She said “No…it doesn’t go away, but there are better days and not so good days” then she added.” While you have the chance, enjoy live with your loved ones and make every moment count because there are no words to explain the pain of losing a loved one when they are gone”.

family-silhouette-

Two days after that I woke up to my alarm and picked my phone to put off the alarm then saw my BBM notification icon blinking….I checked and it was a message from one of my best friends…the message had just two words. “Lost daddy”… that was it. I immediately felt pain and sadness…I tried to reply but was loss of words…we had chatted 2 days earlier when she told me dad was not doing too well and I had told her I will be praying with her.

Yesterday, another of my friends posted on Facebook how he missed his dad who passed away 20 years ago to the date yesterday and he wrote what I think was a great tribute to a great man…I also read his sister’s blog where she also wrote on the vacuum created since the father passed on 20 years ago…she was a toddler then and had no idea what was going back then but today as a young lady she feels that vacuum that was never filled and never will.

Today I woke up still thinking of the pain and challenges that many face with the loss of a parent. I again remembered that all my close friends have either lost one or both parents (coincidence?) my best friend is an orphan. So I decided I write something down especially for my dear friend Ngunan whose loss is still so fresh and the hurt of losing a father still indescribably deep and almost insurmountable. As well as to other friends who have also lost a parent. I salute these friends who are experiencing this pain and have been battling this challenge of living without one or both parents.

candle

I still don’t get it completely though I have a slight idea of what you are going through. I salute your strength and character. You all are my heroes today and I celebrate you. I am encouraged by your strength of character to forge ahead and keep your heads up and walk through life…through the difficult days and through the lighter days you have come through and still matching on. I salute you.

To my friends who like me have not experienced this phase of life yet, may I offer you my friend’s advice to me…” While you have the chance, enjoy live with your loved ones and make every moment count because there are no words to explain the pain of losing a loved one when they are gone”. You can never tell when it comes but the reality is it does come and what better way to try to ease the pain when it comes than to spend quality time with Dad and Mum…listen to them…build up golden memories of time together while you can.

Photo credits: All photos Google Images