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 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.

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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

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.

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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?

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 🙂 .