Beginning of…”The Conversation” RANDOM CONVOS #1 : Across Borders

Hello guys,

I am back!!! Its been a while…it was good to be away but alot better to be back. I am back and back with something new, something I am sure will excite you all.

I am one who believes in the strength of numbers…you know like my teacher of many years ago will say “two good heads are better than one”…well here is what I think is an offering of two “good heads”….for those who have been followers of this blog you will know I have a dear friend in the lady Phoenix who I call Noolz…I have written abit about her here, she also blogs among other things (talk about a jack of few trades and master of all) you can click here to check her blog and I promise you won’t regret it.

Well so as we step into a new year Phoenix and I have decided to team up and come up with seasons of conversations…Yay!! ain’t that cool? they will be made up of posts (maybe a few audio and video clips too!!) they will random and interesting.

I have here with me the very first episode of the first season of our “Random Convos”. Welcome to the world of Phoenix and Zeal… We hope you will enjoy it and hey drop your comment to let us know what you think. Feel free to make suggestions too.

Here is….

 RANDOM CONVOS #1 : Across Borders

 

Phoenix: Hi there! I’m Phoenix. I’m many other things too, but Phoenix will do, for now.  This is my friend Zingfa. Say Hi Zingfa!

Zingfa: Hello guys….Zingfa to others and Zeal to friends…since she called me Zingfa it shows who she is to me…friend or not

Phoenix: I said say hi. See all the things that came out

Zingfa: well….hi in my mother tongue means all I said and more…. you want me to continue?

Phoenix: As you can see, Zingfa AKA Zeal is undoubtedly Nigerian.

Zingfa: Naija for ever!!

Phoenix: Sigh. Back to what I was saying: I live in Lagos Nigeria, the land that never sleeps.

Zingfa: And I live in the southern-most tip of the continent…a little garden city called Cape Town

Phoenix: Cool, innit?

Zingfa: 🙂

Phoenix: I and Z are friends but we’ve never met. Have we, Z?

Zingfa: Well feels like we have met hey….I still find it hard to believe we have not met in person…

Phoenix: True that. How long have we been online friends for? Prolly 4 years, yeah?

Zingfa: More than 4 years… I think it’s closer to 6 years… I definitely remember we were already friends on facebook in 2009

Phoenix: Oh really? I can’t even remember that. ha!

Zingfa: but the point I think I got to call and relate to you as friend was around 2010/2011

Phoenix: Really?

Zingfa: yup

Phoenix: But we both went to the same university…

Zingfa: Yeah…

Phoenix: Cool stuff

Zingfa: I wonder how you looked when you were in school…

 Phoenix: I look the same as I do now. I’m just fresher, lol

Zingfa: lol! I looked a world different from what I look now. I had a massive afro and I was so skinny.

Phoenix: So how did you end up in CT anyways?

Zingfa: summary of the summarized version is I got a scholarship to cover for my education and the University of Cape Town was willing to accept me so i got onto the next flight and found myself here….today it is home to me.

Phoenix: Brainiac

Zingfa: wetin be the meaning of that word? oya break it down for us Phoenix

Phoenix:       “brainiac breɪnɪak/Submit noun : NORTH AMERICAN  informal an exceptionally                   intelligent person.”

Zingfa: errmmm…I’m not sure I’ll describe myself in that term

Phoenix: Yeah yeah. Most braniacs are also modest. Except for one guy I used to dig, was never modest about it, the creep.

Zingfa: Lol

Phoenix: I relocated to Lagos during my youth service.  I had big plans when I was coming here. 4 years in and I’m still on them. So much for the big city, lol.  I do still have some fight left in me and things are slowly taking shape so it’s just about more patience, passion and perseverance.

Zingfa: Oh…so you served in lag?

Phoenix: Yeah I did.  During that one year I wondered maybe serving in a rural village might have been better for me, haha! So what do you do besides burying your head in a book, Z?

Zingfa: Errrmmm….what I do…well…let’s say book takes a lot of my time I don’t have time for other things sadly…that has been the story of my life over the last 6years… I have however managed to feed my hunger for writing by keeping a blog afloat…not a very active blog because of time constraints but that’s it…then I hang out with friends and family over free evenings and weekends.

Phoenix: Bookworm!

Zingfa: Guilty!

Zingfa: But that will change this year…I’ll get a much needed break from full time studies/research and grow my hobbies and love for other things… 🙂 exciting times ahead, yay!

Phoenix: YAY!  Talking about doing new stuff, we’re going to publish this convo, yeah?

Zingfa: Ermmm….talk about opening up your vulnerable state to others….

Phoenix: True. I’m 70% introvert and 50% extrovert

Zingfa: Well for me I have a coconut complex as far as personality make up is concerned….lol.   I have a very introverted exterior but my core is very extroverted…maybe who get close to me are amazed when they meet this extrovert that they failed to see from afar…

Phoenix: Coconut is quite a way to describe it but yeah. I get the analogy

Zingfa: 🙂

Phoenix: Do you think people will love us?

Zingfa: Well…that’s left for us to see hey!

Phoenix: hey.

 Zingfa: But well I pride myself as irresistible so yeah…

Zingfa: 🙂

Phoenix: *rolls eyes* We’ll see about that.

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES : Episode 9 : New Home. 12 DAYS

Its 12 days left from today and as I type this piece my mind is singing “12 days of Christmas”. I think I can sing my own remix version of the “12 days of my wedding” today thus…for these 12 days to wedding, my true love said to me, I love you and all will be fine… 🙂

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 I moved into the new flat. Tendai still isn’t here and will only see the flat for the first time on the day she is moving into it and that will be on the 26th of April 2015…yes in case you still haven’t caught up…we will be officially Mr and Mrs then!!! I have been in the flat for 4 days now and only about 5% of the boxes have been unpacked. I have thought about unpacking but after thinking of how much effort that will take and the high possibility that Tendai may have a different opinion with mine when she comes in so I decided I will rather wait for her so we can unpack together.

In the meantime, I have the couch and bed set up, I also have the TV and DsTV working then in the kitchen, the fridge, kettle and microwave are up and running. This means activities that I can do now includes watch my favourite TV programmes and catch up on news, sleep and yes keep my tea flowing.

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I am a believer in the scripture that says “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord”. I have indeed found favour from the Lord since I started my walk down the aisle and as I approach closer and closer to the stage and alter, I look at the pew and all I see is friends and family who have stood by me and supported me and us all the way. They have been part of this very eventful walk down the aisle and I certainly will remain eternally grateful to each and every one of them. Their names are being scribbled in gold in my personal hall of fame.

In addition to these great people, I see favour and favour and favour. Indeed this scripture has come alive for me especially these last few weeks when things seem to just crowd my plate and a lot of responsibility needs attention. I still can’t tell how I have managed to meet all the datelines and catch up with all my responsibilities. I have slept less, spent more and still remain fresh and sharp as well as saved more. I keep spending by account balance does not seem to be going down in correlation with the expenditure. I can attribute it to God’s favour. I have found a wife and God has favoured me deeply. Sweet Jesus!!

So as I spend my final couple of days in Cape Town before I commence my trip to Nigeria for the wedding, I am at peace. I am excited and I know that it will be a happy day not because of what we have planned and accomplished, but more because it is a decision I have made. I have decided to be happy come what may. It is my OUR special day, God has blessed it and so long I have Tendai happy and by my side along with friends and family all else can pale into insignificance.

12 days to go and I count my blessings and name them one by one, I am surprised at what the Lord has done and still is doing for me…One week five days to go or 288 hours and I can say I am favoured by God.

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 6: Bonnievale & Broken pieces of my heart – 31 DAYS

I could not post over the weekend as usual as I was away on a camp somewhere in Bonnievale in a farm called River Goose Camp. It was fun being out in nature, away from internet and electricity and all the noise and “comfort” of city life to just spend time with friends and family.

I was there last year exactly at the same time. The 14th of March is the birthday of Mel who I have come to take as my mum. She loves nature and has always returned to the farm to celebrate her birthday so last year we were there and returned this year again. I made a post here last year when we went. If you missed it, here is your opportunity to catch up, see the post here.

This year we had more friends and family so it was fun. I had a great time and enjoyed the long drive too. Highlight of my weekend was the time spent with the little angel Nina who is just 2. I have not seen such a sweet kid in a long time. so adorable and she is so intelligent, engages in such meaningful talk that left me wondering if she is not way older than her age. Everyone who came for the camp fell in love with Nina.

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It’s exactly 1 month to the wedding. 31 days!!! I am excited about what lies ahead and I write with joy but my joy is not complete. I write this with some pain and half a tear. Perhaps it is the way I am made, maybe it’s a man thing or maybe I am yet to just understand it fully.

I had a chat with a dear friend last week and told her about the wedding (I think she already heard from some friends). I told her and she went quite for a while then said congratulations and later told me things will change and said she is warning me “in advance” to anticipate a weird reaction. She said she was “shocked” by the news and later admitted it’s difficult to remains friends with and watch me build my life.

The discussion left me feeling sad and broken. I love my friends and will always hate to lose any. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my friendship especially with her and kept hearing the word “unfair” ringing in my ears…that was what she said I was…unfair to her…always have been unfair to her.

So as I take my walk down the aisle, I will take these thoughts with me. There will be friends I will love to see around but will see them no more. There are friends I will love to have around in my life but they are leaving and maybe never to return. Life is funny, such a happy phase in my life laced with some bitter flavour. In the course our relationship and planning for the wedding, I have met new friends who have come into my life and made it better. However, I am not faced with the flip side…just as friends come, some are changing and some are leaving. A sad truth which I must accept no matter how unpleasant it sounds. It makes me sad and if only I could change things and keep all my friends happy I will.

I love my friend and it will hurt to see her change and start acting “weird” but for now it is out of my hands. I can only wish for the best…I have searched my conscience and I still can’t figure it all out.

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!! 😉 ).

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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.

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365 days and still counting…Its a “blog-a-ver-sa-ry”!!!

ImageI was pleasantly surprised when I got the happy anniversary notification from wordpress.com a few days back. I was tempted to hurriedly make a post immediately but I paused for a few seconds to think and those few seconds grew into minutes…the minutes also gathered and became hours and the hours rolled into days…well the days added one to another and I am here today….still reflecting on my first anniversary as a blogger.

My reflections brought up the good and some not so good memories…luckily for me there was no sad or unpleasant memory (yay!!! 😀 ). If I am to summarize in seven or eight words what my experience has been  I have this to say: “Without regrets, it has been an excellent experience”. However since I have more than eight words to summarize let me build on what I have squeezed into those eight words.

The inspiration to start blogging came to me not out of the blue but sort of built over a long period of conversation with me. I was encouraged by a few friends who believed in my budding writing skills a while back to start blogging but I declined…I felt I was not ready yet (maybe I was too scared to step out of my comfort zone, maybe I was afraid I would fail…so I held back 🙂 ). Well a year ago I took the bold step and spread my wings, took a leap of faith off the cliff and started flapping my wings to fly. I looked around and smiled…it felt good I looked up and smiled, it was beautiful…I looked down and was shocked at how far off the ground I was…I looked back and was alarmed…I had left my comfort zone behind…fear set in and I panicked and started falling down.

That was when God sent my first ‘blog angel’ to the rescue. In came Nuala, the Bluphoenixrebel…now I cannot say enough about her in a few lines..maybe a complete post will suffice 🙂 She gave me that support I needed to overcome that initial panic attack….she had the the time and patience to edit some of my early posts. She encouraged me by posting some of my pieces on her blog like this. That was the confidence boost I needed at that time…I felt the energy rush into my literary wings again and I flapped and flapped and flapped and gained heights again flying higher. She has a brilliant blog….make out time to have a look here…you won’t regret it I promise. 🙂

Through the months that followed up to make the 12 which gave me the anniversary badge, a few more angels came at appointed times to give me the push I needed to keep going. For want of time and space, I won’t mention them all today. My post on “literary angels and demons” will be dedicated to that and more. Watch this space 🙂

Looking back now, I really have no regret…I have had a wonderful experience. I am not yet the best writer I can be but I know I am enroute that destination. If I have one wish, I would say I wish I had written more often 🙂 I have a tight schedule and though my mind gets loaded with ideas almost always, finding time to pen them down is proving more challenging than I anticipated. One big lesson I have learnt is never to give up on a good cause…so I will keep writing, keep making time…keep putting in my best till I arrive at that place where I aim to be.

This post will be incomplete without due mention to all the guys who have taken time to visit, like or comment on this blog, you give me reason to write. Those who follow this blog…thank you, I keep trying hard not to fail you and to pay back your trust and believe in what I have to offer. You encourage me. Finally to the bloggers I follow, yes a huge source of my inspiration and believe comes from the encouragement and challenge I get from your talents and rich blogs (more on this in my literally angels and demons post).

Osisiye thank you for making sure I get a good laugh every time for free…but beyond the laughter I also gain from the lessons that are never ended coming from you. Lahmeet…I still call you my pastor…thank you and now I can say this thank you is a double portion so share some with drepayne my latest source of inspiration…

Now I am beginning to mention names…I got to stop…thank you everyone. One year down and yes, it has been great…Above all I thank God through whom all I do or say becomes a success. 365days and still counting…I am just doing the ‘blogging jog’…yet to start the sprint…this isn’t even the beginning. 🙂

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Cheers

Making Love at the Edge

Two days ago I received an email from Marta…now I am not sure what prompted her to send me the email (I should make a note to send her an email asking why). She said she just returned to Portugal from Greece where she had gone to meet with her boyfriend’s folks. Perhaps that may be the reason why she sent the email…maybe not.

Ok, I met Marta in Madagascar in 2009…I still remember the day we met…it was October 30th …we met at the airport in Antananarivo. She had the most amazing smile I had seen and she was so chatty from the word go…you know one of those people who are sanguine to the core? Yes that is Marta…we both had arrived for a Tropical Biology Association (TBA) course along with 16 other participants from 13 countries spread over Africa and Europe. We had participants from Benin Republic, Germany, Cameron, Ireland, Rwanda, the UK, Nigeria, France, Netherlands, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Portugal and Madagascar.

It was love at first sight for me and Madagascar. It was my first time on an island, I had read a lot about the country and yes I had also watched the cartoon and have fantasized long enough for the day I will get the opportunity to also sing and dance  “I wanna move it, move it”.. :-). My dream was finally coming to reality. Geographically, Madagascar is located off the south easterly coast of Africa. I call it the other edge of Africa. We became a family and formed a strong bond. Its been over 3 years now since the course ended but our bond has only grown stronger, we exchange emails and have kept in touch since. There at the edge of Africa, I found love, and there love was made; A new family was born; a family that included Marta and all the other members of the TBA family.

Yes, so while love was made and a family was born, a bond which was more special to me was also developing in Madagascar…I was bonding with the entire participants and other staff of the course but I experienced something more than just an ordinary bond with one of the participants. I still am not sure when it started, but I all of a sudden discovered that there was an angel within our midst I felt my heart beat quicken each time our gaze lock. I was falling in love and for all the right reasons. The participant from Zimbabwe has captured my heart…I felt the chemistry and other participants also saw the magic.

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Marta’s Photo of Tendai and I
2009
Kirindy, Madagascar

Marta also saw the bond and never wasted an opportunity to tell us how good we look together. We seem to be everyone’s ideal couple. In Marta’s email, she attached a photo…I was completely unaware the picture was taken…Now Marta has a way with words….so since she took the photo and sent it to me…I will allow her do the talking  as well…this is what she had to say in her email. “…I was looking at the old book of memories and found something I wanted to share with you… 🙂 I took the picture attached when we were at kirindy. You were so deeply connected in one of your thousands conversations that you didn’t even noticed my presence inside the room. I still remember my thoughts while I was taking the picture. “I have to immortalize this moment. What a deep connection of souls. This is the beginning of something beautiful. I am happy I took it…I am happy I am sharing it with you… 🙂  A big kiss for you both!! And Love…Always love…”

I can’t say more…thank you Marta for immortalizing that moment…I will forever cherish the photo. Indeed that was a connection of souls and the beginning of something beautiful… today, three years down the line, Tendai and I are still exploring the world of love together…I love her more even as the years go by and each day we spend together, is a reminder of the great privilege God granted me to meet Marta and the other beautiful souls in Madagascar in 2009. That year, at the edge of Africa, love was made; a new family was born….but more importantly to me, a bond was formed, two beautiful souls were eternally connected and I found Tendai…the love of my life.

From that Madagascar to the other coast of Africa, the south-western coast of Africa, actually the most south-westerly point of Africa continent, The place called Cape Point, South Africa, another of my/our giant love stride was taken in April, 2013…Seems, my love story has always been made on the edge… 🙂 I will tell you about that in my next post…for now I got to go…need to call Tendai who is currently away in Kenya for a few days…another edge of Africa 😉

“Finally”

I joined fans and foes of Dbanj to await the release of his latest single…the hype was high and the social media was going wild with frenzy. Last week, we were finally hit by the single “Finally” and the lunch of the dance competition that accompanies the song. While I was happy we have a new song, I could not hide by dismay for the release of yet another “ordinary” song by an “extraordinary” Dbanj. The song was at best flat…the beats are danceable alright but there is nothing more to the song…the beats did not sound original…it came across to me as a poor attempt to create a model patterned after a Don Jazzy hybrid with Gangnam style spiced with some African skank…nothing really original.

I have been a long time admirer of Dbanj’s music and I have noticed the change in fortunes that have characterised his career in-between what I call the two phases of his musical life.

Phase 1: Dbanj-Don Jazzy, MoHits Records.

There is no doubt Dbanj is an extremely talented artist and performer. We all fell in love with the Kokomaster and could not wait for his next song to drop and he did not disappoint us as he dropped hit after hit…we went crazier and danced with wanton abandon to hit after hit from ‘Don Jazzy again’. The match between Don Jazzy and Dbanj was almost perfect…like one made in heaven as everything they touched turns to gold.  And so rose his fame, and fan base just as his bank account grew fat and shapeless. The world watched in awe at the best art to come out of Africa…African Micheal Jackson…a trail blazer. That was Dbanj of Phase 1.

Phase 2: Dbanj- Kanye West – G.O.O.D Music

Then came the year 2011 and the news filtered in…first as a rumour …Dbanj wanted to part ways with Don Jazy and MoHits…later it was confirmed…Dbanj has left Mohits and is now signed to G.O.O.D Music by Kanye West. This news was met with mixed reactions both for and against the move. Over two years down the line and we really are yet to get any big hit from the kokomaster. What is happening? We don’t know…one thing we know for sure is if he was still with Don Jazzy, we would have heard more from him in-between this time as Don Jazzy has gone on to release more hits with the other members of his New Mavin records. Maybe there is really nothing good about G.O.O.D Music for Dbanj.

Finally….

Isaac Newton during an interview was referred to as a giant of the time, but he quickly corrected the interviewer that he was no giant but indeed a dwarf who has only seen further by standing on the shoulders of giants. So while he may appear to be head and shoulder above all his peers, Newton was quick to recognize the importance of TEAM in his winning formula. This can be a lesson which Dbanj has failed to learn or maybe he is about to learn.

Talent is important, but talent is not all it takes. Just like a tree alone does not form a forest and a single broom does not sweep a room, we need to learn to identify, acknowledge and keep in place the support structure that enhances our talent.

Messi is the Messi he is today not entirely based on his talent alone but also on his team which played a game patterned to his strength. Torres is one guy I love to hate…his talent is also undeniable and he was at his best when he played for Liverpool. He played in a team that played to his strengths and enhanced his talents which made him grow into the best striker he is. He moved to Chelsea and the rest is history. His talent is still there no doubt (he scored 4 against Tahiti right?J) but Chelsea does not play around his strength.

When we taste success in life, we are tempted to grow and to out do our best. In our efforts to do so, we easily forget the foundation on which we stand, we forget the giants on whose shoulders we stand. We can decide like Dbanj to leave MoHit for G.O.O.D or like Newton to acknowledge the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Take a look around…identify the support structure in your life…your true friends? Family? Hold onto them…I love the quote “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” I think this may not be true in all cases but in this case, it surely does fit.