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.

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WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 10: The finale – Ringed

How time flies hey!! The last time I made a post was April 6th…in another two days it will be a full month!! And yeah this last 4 weeks will definitely go down as one of the most if not the most dramatic, event-filled and action packed month in my life.

This post is the final in the series. It was meant to me a countdown to my wedding…I missed one post which was supposed to come one week to the wedding and I initially thought I should post that now but again I thought why hold back? The aim of the series is the wedding anyways, why waste more time talking count down while I can as well talk about the big day?

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So on the 18th of April, I walked down the aisle and got ringed to the love of my life Tendai. It was a beautiful and well attended ceremony. It held in a small town called Gindiri about 120km from the city of Jos, Nigeria. This was followed by a second event in Cape Town which mainly was organized for the family and friends here who could not make the long trip to Nigeria for the wedding. The event in Cape Town was held on the 30th of April and it was sandwiched by our birthdays with Tendai’s birthday on the 29th April while mine came up on the 3rd of May. Now you see what I mean by an event-filled month! 🙂 …yes I can’t dish out all the juicy details in one post so again take a chill pill, sit back and relax as I take you through another series…this time shorter  than the 10 episode Walk me down the aisle. In the new series titled “Through the eyes of the Groom” I will tell you about the wedding days (Nigeria and South Africa) and the “after drama”.

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How does it feel to be “finally” married? Is one question I have heard many ask me a lot over the past two weeks. My response has always been two fold, maybe three fold, the first is non-verbal (A Smile), the second is verbal(It feels good) and the third is a silent and secrete response which is not seen by anyone because it usually is in my mind…In my mind I wonder why “finally”? It was no prolonged battle. It was just a matter of “when” and never “if”. But how can I start explaining that to the countless people who ask the question? I know it will lead to a long essay and sermon none of which I was ready for… 🙂

I am happy, I am married to one who I love and I know love me too so dearly…at this moment in time nothing else really matters. Every time I look at her, my heart warms up and I just smile, I know that come what may everything will be fine….and this is not a feeling based on some fleeting sensation of newlyweds, it is a deep conviction. I have known Tendai for 4 and a half years now and have seen enough of her to know she is right for me and these words I speak are borne from all the experiences of these years leading up to 18th April when we stood before God, family and friends to profess our love and exchange marital vows that will bind us for as long as we have breath in us. That is my conviction. That is my feeling. That is where I stand. I love Tendai and she loves me too.

🙂 ❤

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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 8: Tired…but the Journey has begun. – 17 days

I guess I am permitted to feel tired. I have always had deep respect to all those who have planned and executed a wedding but now more than ever before my respect for them has shot right through the roof and now sits at an all time high.

It is exactly 17 days left between now and MY our wedding day. That is two weeks and three days. To make me feel better, 1,468,800 seconds or 408 hours to the day. I feel drained emotionally but my heart beats with excitement. The whole planning period leading up to the day has been a huge emotional investment on my part. It is a very special day and I am determined to make every second of the day a memorable and happy one for me but more especially for Tendai. I know it will mean a lot to her.

As my fingers softly tap on my computer’s keyboard, my mind is still contemplating on final plans and going through all that needs to be done, what has been done and what I need to check up on again. That seems to be the sequence of thoughts that my mind has had on replay recently. I know can understand why some hire wedding planners to plan and execute their plans for the big day. While I can understand why, I thought I can’t do it. I think the wedding day is such a hugely significant and special day in the lives of the couple that the least they can do is to enjoy it fully and this includes the planning phase too and all the excitement and stress that comes with it. Having some stranger or anyone else plan for your wedding robs you off this very significant and part of the wedding. I feel tired and almost spent yes but I won’t have it another way 🙂

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Our trip to Nigeria has started! Yeah…Tendai is currently in Zimbabwe, she will spend time with family while she applies for her visa to Nigeria, I will leave Cape Town to meet up with her at Johannesburg next week then we proceed to Nigeria together for the final 10 days that will lead to the big day. So Tendai is gone this means the journey truly has started…and this is only getting more real.

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Finally I am moving into the flat that is going to be home for Tendai and me. It has been physically tasking for me…so add to the guy low on emotional energy fuel the stress of moving and you have an idea of the state I am now :-). Everything is packed into boxes now thanks to Tendai who saw to it before travelling. The bit that was left unpacked I have used the last few days packing and now I am all but ready to move into the new flat…this flat will be “our home” now that’s new terminology if you get where I am coming from. We even signed the lease contract in both our names!!

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Yes, this indeed is getting more real…

I am still tired….

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…

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

CHINA AND LEIBSTER BLOG AWARD : “11 random facts about myself”

This year is really ending with a BIG BANG for me….So I am having a “double-barrel” post today but I will keep it short so let’s say a Double-barreled-Short-gun!!! 😀. I just got back from China and my experiences will make for some interesting blog posts… I will write about the full gist in a new post soon…I am also heading to Israel in a few days and that again is another series…so see, I got a lot to talk about…y’all just hang on there and enjoy the year-end cruise.

Today is the first time I am checking on my blog since my return from China and I was that I have been nominated for the Leibster Blog award by my very good friend Bluphoenixrebel…I must confess that I can’t hide my excitement So had to do a quick ‘zeal‘ dance steps in my office space which really isn’t strange…in case you don’t know here in South Africa dancing and singing is just normal hey…when we are in a celebratory mood we dance and sing, when we mourn, we dance and sing, when we are protesting against government policies, we dance and sing…we dance and sing about everything and anything and in fact we dance and sing about nothing. Dancing and Singing is a lifestyle here…so when you visit South Africa you know what to expect.

I had to dance when I read my friend’s comment informing me of the nomination…I could not sing however because I use a shared office space and I had to respect others :-). The nomination for the award is conditional though, I have to complete four steps to finally win the award.

  1. I need to post 11 random things about myself
  2. Nominate 11 other people who I feel deserve this award as well as links to their blogs
  3. I also need to go to their page and tell them about the nomination (and procedures)
  4. No tag backs! ( I honestly don’t know what this means yet but since I am only concerned in starting with the first step today, I won’t stress about knowing what “No tag backs” mean  🙂 I will get to know about it before I get there).

So here are 11 random things about Me!!

  1. The first thing I do when I wake up is to brush my teeth…I don’t speak or eat until my teeth are brushed.
  1. I love to travelling…(I have so far visited only 2 (3 if you include Africa where I am from) out of the 7(or 6) continents so I still got a long way to go.
  1. I am a late ‘nighter‘….my sleep time is about 2 am at the earliest.
  1. My friend Blue who nominated me is among my best friends, I love and cherish her a great deal BUT (…wait for it….) we have NEVER met in real life!!!! I feel I know her more than most of my friends who I live with though…Thank you Facebook and Twitter.
  1. I have only been blogging for 2 years now but I have been writing articles and songs since I was 5. I still have some of the newsletter-styled articles I wrote all those year but I don’t have the courage to share them. A large chunk of the articles have been lost though no thanks to moving houses…they are in some pile somewhere in my father’s house but I don’t know where.
  1. My fiancée is Zimbabwean and I am Nigerian, we met in Madagascar but now live in South Africa…makes me feel like a true definition of African…my Identity can’t be pegged to one geographic region…if you add the fact that I spent my first formative years in the US …kindly help tell me who am I ? 🙂
  1. I love birds…and Music and I are inseparable.
  1. I am passionate about Israel and unashamed to be associated with pro-Israel causes.
  1. When it comes to Soccer, there are only two teams in the world, (i) Liverpool and (ii) The rest. I support Liverpool and we are the best…#EndOfStory
  1. I have always fantasized about possessing some super powers and I really do think I have some.
  1. I think my calling in life is to help others even at the expense of myself. I am most at peace and happy when I see a smile on another’s face.

Phew!! now that was not as easy as I thought it was going to be….11 random things took me a little over an hour!! well, there you have it.

Now watch out for my next post about my China experience….and to give you a little here is a photo of me in a Chinese warrior suit…my friend upon seeing the picture said she thought it was a stature of Shaka the Zulu and was wondering what a black stature of Shaka will be doing in China!!

Shaka the Zulu on the Great wall of China
Shaka the Zulu on the Great wall of China