My name is…

What exactly is there in a name? We all have names…wonderful names. Lately, I have found myself thinking a lot on significance of names and what actually goes into a name…what factors guide decisions in picking a name or nick name? I grew up in an era where there was a tide of English names been preferable to native African names. I know a few of my friends who dropped the native names given them by their parents and picked up an English name because it was considered almost a shame to bear a native name.

What-is-Your-Name-o

It was the norm then when you meet a new person and introduce yourself by name(a native name) the first question that comes your way is don’t you have an English name? This led to many picking up English names while others who didn’t have the guts to completely drop off the native names resulted to adding an English name to their native names.  They then only use the native names on official documents like certificates while they introduce themselves to everyone with an English name which in some cases is the English translation of their native name. I remember a friend whose name is “Sarki”…a name which in Hausa language means “king”….on paper Sarki remained Sarki but to his friends and everyone else, he was King.

Back then I found it really hard to make sense of such decisions to desperately need an English name. Recently, however, with me thinking a lot about names…I am beginning to having a rethink. This morning my usual quite/meditative hour was interrupted by my friend laughing hysterically…I wondered by the laughter in such an early hour and I asked why. She passed me her phone and I saw she was on Facebook…looking closer I see she was looking at a picture posted of someone’s ID card…I looked back with this “and then” look on my face and she asked that I look at the name…the name was “Stages of War” and that is someone’s name !!!. I shared in the laugh and that ended my quite time…

That thought has been on my mind all day and I was wondering if my parents had named me “Stages of War” what will I do? Now I also was wondering why the parent gave him such a name? could there be a history behind it? yes most likely but could it be worth giving a child such a “herculean” name? It led me to thinking of some names…names I consider either strange or outright funny which I have heard or seen lately and it was even more weird that all these names come from the same country…which led to me wondering even further..what goes into name giving in that country? What was going on in the minds of the parents when they give names like “Perpendicular”, “Acknowledge” and “One day” among others?

I somehow believe we all in one way or the other live out our names…hence when I hear a person’s name, I am keen to ask more or ponder about it….the name “Art of War” has defied all logic and I only wish I get a chance to ask the parent why the choice of this particular name…

So again…what is your name?

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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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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 😉

Away, Back and In-between

 

Hello guys, it’s good to be back, Well, I am back…after a long unplanned break….I feel like starting with a few excuses but not I won’t give any…I will rather tell you what I have been up to through the period I have been away…but too will be too much to squeeze into a single post…so this is what I will do, I will give highlights then take it from there on my next post which should not be too far off from today…

So between the last time I made a post and today (*Thinking*)…yes I have gone through more than a few life lesson classes…and I grew older…but wiser…yes, it was my birthday on the 3rd of May…I should have made a post that day…no I actually should have made a post on the 1st of May, and the 2nd too…ok what I mean to say is I should have posted on each day of the month…I had made that promise but I failed again…see, my list of lessons is building up!!! Phew!!

Well, I am back and determined to make it up…I have all the experiences of the past few weeks locked up in my mind…some of the memories saved as strings of words, others saved as pictures, still others saved as motion pictures and others saved as sounds…I promise to share them all with time…and like my favourite radio DJ would say, “Keep your dial here”…I feel like saying same now :-D.

Besides my birthday and failing to write over the past month, I have also had to do abit of travelling within and outside of South Africa…now that is one interesting part…if you have not been to Zimbabwe and plan to visit that lovely country in future, you will want to read my “Zimbabwean Epistles I&2. If you also plan to visit South Africa, I am sure you will be interested in knowing that a visit to Mzansi is not complete without touching the mother city (Cape Town)…now among the million and one fun things to do in Cape Town, is an experience of the night life in one street with a special name: “Long Street”…you will love my “A Long Encounter with Mama Africa”.

Love!!!! Yes Love…Ok now I got a love song…I found love and you will be told the love story from the eyes of a young, daring, naughty, caring and bullish Taurus…Phew!!! Now I hope I won’t regret saying that later on… :-).  I also had this encounter with a couple of ‘too clever’ babies, toddlers, kids…one thing about me, I gave a super soft spot for babies (and dogs)…I can’t wait to have mine and now that I have found love, I hope that won’t be in the distant future from now…well, before then I will dish you my encounter with these really clever kids… and tell you what I think of the kids around us.

I am back…and as you can see the experiences and stories that will come with me after the long break are juicy…and I hope worth it. I am back again and I am here to make open up and again make myself vulnerable. But I am also back to learn and grow…to earn my first next grey hair 🙂 .