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 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 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.

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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

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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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

FIFTY

appreciation

Seven months after I made a post celebrating my first 50likes on this blog I am again moved to make another post to celebrate another FIFTY..and this time it is a cheers to 50 followers!! Whoop whoop!!!
My foray into blogging has been one borne out of a desire to create a platform where I can unleash my almost unending torrent of thoughts and sometimes opinions on EVERYTHING…and yes I mean everything…many times I sit down and think to myself I surely must have the craziest mind on earth…I am amazed I have managed to stay sane for the three decades of my existence. So yeah to keep my sanity intact, I thought a platform to unleash the creative and not so creative side of me that is sometimes hidden and sometimes not to the real world is necessary.

So has everything gone according to plan? No, not really, it has not all gone as I expected…I have not been able to blog with the frequency I thought I would…I have fallen short in the respect…am I surprised? No, if anything I have learnt to give that allowance in my life to never say never…I always give room for change (both pleasant and unpleasant). So yes things have not gone as planned and I have like a pile of excuses..yes but I won’t even go there!!

It has not all been down though…in all honesty there are a lot of plus and ups. One of which is why I am writing today…fifty terrific and marvelous followers…that is a wow for me and I celebrate everyone of you who have taken time to stick by even when you had that option not to…thank you!

I have made a deliberate effort to hold onto some character traits that I think define my personality. One of these character traits is appreciation…I show appreciation for everything…baby steps, giant steps, little leaps, massive leaps. I show appreciation and it has worked in keeping me sane in a crazy world, it has kept me happy in a sad and gloomy world. I recommend same for you…and it costs you absolutely nothing.

So to all my 50 followers…here is a deeply appreciative bloke taking a bow and blowing out a kiss to each of you. Your virtual presence is acknowledged and appreciated. So let’s click cheers to the next 50 followers.

tHANK U

One last word…yesterday South Africa received the news of the gruesome murder of the Bafana Bafana goalie and stand in Captain Senzo Meyiwa at the young age of 27…such a happy and friendly man and excellent footballer…in his short career with the South African National team he is yet to concede a goal…today news and social media sites have been flooded by news of his demise…many paying tribute to a friend, a brother, a player, a colleague whose life was cut off in its prime. We all will die too someday…what will we be remembered for? Rest in Peace Senzo!
Cheers

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Photocredits: GoogleImages

BACK…again!!!

Yes..It has been 98 days away…that is long I know and if you read my “about” page you will see I confessed I am not a regular writer (though I am working on becoming one)…I am more of a “therapeutic writer”…I wonder if there is any such term…anyways I think that is the term that bests describes me when it comes to blogging…I write to keep me sane and alive…now if my last post was 98days you can only imagine how close I am to a full blown insane man…actually I think if you will rate insanity on a scale of 0-10, I should now sit comfortably between 5 – 6…or maybe higher….hehehehe…now you know my current state…and after seeing my state on the insanity scale, I had to jettison my initial plan to make a return after 100 days!! A lot can happen in 2 days you know…so yeah it’s time to let out the steam and return to a more decent frame and state of sanity.

I spent the last weekend camping with friends and family….it was at the camp that I realized and decided it is time to return from my break… The camp was at the River Goose Camp site..the bit I will say about the camp is if you are planning a vacation in South Africa and you are an outdoor camp freak like me…you love to be in the farm, close to nature, treated to a serene star filled sky at night and an all-day orchestra of bird calls and songs around you, paddling, kayak-ing and just leaving the hustle and bustle of the busy and noisy city life then Goose camp is your destination…you won’t find a better camp!!! see more about the place here and let my pictures do the rest of the talking…
😀

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