Tag: writing

Non-material Inheritance

A lot of us Africans know that our great-grandparents did not leave us a trust fund to be used when we turn 25 or some other fancy dream like that. Even when our parents die, few of us can claim an inheritance, especially the female children. In Shona custom, the male child is often the heir to whatever inheritance is left behind, such as a house or estate and whatever possessions. The female children are expected to marry and live with their husbands, hence not much is left to them in terms of an inheritance. My point is, even having an inheritance to speak of is not common. Most impoverished families are left with a house or a few rooms they have been renting for years and a pile of bills to pay.

When my father died last year, I realised that there is such a thing as non-material inheritance. He was not a wealthy man so I did not inherit any material possessions after his death. None of my siblings did. My family was one that we were always told that education is our inheritance. My mother used to sing that song every school term before I left for boarding school. So, I knew from a very early age that my parents’ investment in my education (school fees) was sowing into my inheritance, which is knowledge, that I can transfer into getting employment and therefore be able to take care of myself.  Growing up like this taught me the value in things non-material, things that actually outlive us as mortal beings. That is why I value education so much and I will pass on this valuable lesson to my children one day.

One thing of immense value that I inherited from my late father was the love of writing. That man would write such beautiful words especially when he was feeling down. Like me, he used to keep a journal and he would write when inspired. He wrote poetry and words of wisdom (quotes) that looked like something from the book of Proverbs. The first time I ever saw the proverb “silence is golden” was in my father’s journal, that time I was 14 years old and he let me read it. I remember wondering for days what those three words meant, but I knew they were powerful. Years later I read that these words originated from ancient Egypt and in 1831, they were translated to English by the poet Thomas Carlyle.

Such was my father’s love for writing and he passed it on to me. Writing taught me to trust in my own voice, to believe in my dreams and to really love myself. Thanks for that Dad.

Image result for writing

Just thinking about non-material inheritance brings so many powerful emotions. Because usually, an inheritance comes after a loss. But, I am starting to think that when we strive to leave behind non-material things, they are more valuable than material things could ever be. The memory of the departed lives on unlike in an immovable possession like a house or a car.

Image result for legacy quote

What would you wish to pass on to your children and/or family that would last forever? Something eternal that no one would ever take from them? 

Day 19 Blogtember Challenge

#MyAfricaMyWords

Advertisements

Don’t let a busy life stop you from writing.

I have become that writer who only writes when they have free time. I used to be able to write even in the busiest of times, as a coping mechanism.  My writing was an escape from the busyness of life and not something I would only do when I got time. In case you missed my post on the reasons why I write please click here → I used to write… Writing used to be so much fun.

Today I found myself wondering why these days I can only write when I have free time. What happened to writing out of inspiration that came from anywhere: a song I listen to; an experience I go through; a beautiful thought I have?

I came up with a couple of reasons:

  • This Ph.D. ok! I know, it is common to be inundated with tasks that include research, academic writing, meeting deadlines for supervision…etc, etc, when you are a Ph.D. student. I haven’t had time to even think of blogging or writing in my journal because I have more pressing writing tasks on my desk at the moment. I always say my blog is always there and it has no deadline.
  • PhD-and-coffee1

Image from blogs.nature.com

 

  • I have lost myself. Ok! this one is a bit melodramatic, but it came up in my thought process anyway. I have lost interest in most of the things I used to find joy in doing owing to my current state of…*wait for it*…being a Ph.D. student. Again, we go back to reason 1.
  • The search for content; which has in the past been relatively easy and interesting to do, has become a chore, one I cannot find the energy to do on some days. I know content must come naturally (to personal bloggers) because we write about our own lives.  But I realized I need to be in my best state of mind to come up with interesting content that readers can relate to, otherwise what’s the point right?

So, today I remind myself of this :

Being creative
Image from Pinterest

I want to do better. I really don’t have to wait until I am free to write because writing is a form of expression. If I cannot express myself, even during those times when I don’t feel like it, then I have lost my voice.

Here’s to wishing words will keep flowing on this page and on paper; ideas will keep flooding my mind and I will stay ALIVE!

GG

What have I been up to in September?

I got this idea of formatting a reflection of the month from a fellow blogger, Maria Nabatanzi. I thought it was a really cool concept and I modified it for this post. Please check out her original post “Taking Stock: September 2017” at http://happy2bflawed.blogspot.com.  Below, you will find my September stock take…in other words…what I have been up to in the month of September:

Reading: She No Longer Weeps by Tsitsi Dangarembga, a Zimbabwean author. I finished reading this short stage play in two days. I went on a bit of a rant on twitter about it, see below:

Screenshot_20170912-182455

Writing: I want to write a detailed review about the book I spoke about above “She No Longer Weeps.  I have also written some drafts for this blog and managed a few posts in this month. I am more focused on producing some academic writing, but my blog keeps me sane so I always come back when I am procrastinating.  I do try and maintain a balance though, for my loyal readers and for my academic career.

Social Life: wouldn’t you want to know 🙂

Wishing: that time would stop moving so fast so I can spend more time with my queen (my mum). I love being at home and I am making good use of the time. My other wishes will never see the light of day, LOL…they stay in my head.

Can’t get enough of: Insecure, the series. OMG, I can relate on so many levels, plus the main character is a black woman!! Go ISSA!!!

 

insecure-feature
Image from Google

 

  •  Bruno Mars’ song “Versace on the Floor”…sigh.  Do yourself a favour if you like the 80s kinda vibe. I will tell you more about how this song makes me feel one day…

Trying out: fitness!! Good Lord, yes I have decided to start working out. I have some areas on my body that I feel need to be toned and shaped 😉 but let me be the first to tell you, it is not going well. I am just not made for the gym or any kind of hard physical activity, plus I hate waking up in the morning. I am not sure about this one, hence I AM TRYING IT OUT.

Worrying: I constantly worry about my Ph.D. although I know I am not supposed to worry as a child of God.  The other day, I could have killed a friend of mine who suggested that I may not be taking Ph.D. seriously. You never mock someone’s Ph.D. journey or make jokes about it, EVER!!! I am always on edge about it and worry about getting it right. My friend is very lucky he is all the way in the UK, that saved him from being strangled. I *heart* him though, so he is forgiven.

Knowing: I know for sure that I am loved, I am beautiful inside and out, I am blessed every single day and I have a bright future ahead of me. I make plans every day and take actions towards achieving my goals. I practice positive affirmations on a daily basis. One thing I am absolutely certain of is that, if God is for me, no one can be against me. I am covered by the blood of Jesus.

Thinking: about the next few months and my upcoming vacation in a bit. I am so looking forward to some fun with the girls. Location unknown.

Needing: Ivy Ejam’s Journal called #MindingHerBusiness. As soon as I am able, I will purchase this woman’s guide to success and how to live a happy and fulfilling life. She gives me life on her live Instagram feed. Do yourself a favour and check her out on mindingherbusiness.com or follow mindingherbusiness on IG. BTW, my birthday is in four months, so gift ideas *hint hint*

Grateful for: This list is long, but I will keep it short. First of all, the gift of life. I lost my dad a few months ago and although I know he is in a better place, it is never easy to know someone you once knew and loved is gone. I am grateful that I have come to a place of accepting it and forgiving myself for things not said or done when he was still alive. RIP DAD. Secondly, I am grateful for good internet in Zim…that’s a relief. Gone are the days of load-shedding every day and I can actually get some work done. As always, I am grateful for my family and the few people I call friends. Lastly, my beautiful mind.

Planning: I prefer to keep my plans private, you never know who is truly cheering you on. Most humans are secretly plotting your downfall so I will pass on this one. You will only see results.

 

gr8-ppl-gr8-thoughts-dont-tell-people-your-plans-show-12869481.png
Image from Google

 

Stay blessed,

GG

I used to write…

I used to write…so freely and with pride, I would let my words fill a page. I took it for granted that my words would always flow so freely.

I used to write…about anything my mind pondered upon, my reflections, dreams and thoughts. I always thought these would always be available.

When I used to write, my mind was innocent. I was just a writer, wanting to share with whoever cares to read. I wrote for the lovers of the written word. I always thought this passion would always bring me back when I lose my way.

What happens to passion that is not allowed to grow? Passion that is controlled or tamed… Real passion or love is supposed to be beyond control, released or felt with wild abandon.

For the first time I felt my passion fading slowly. It slipped through me and I held on to it with all my might, but it was being pulled from me violently.

My love for writing was no longer a freedom I could enjoy. How could I when I was no longer free?

My mind could no longer be freely expressed, my words strangled by censorship…both my own and that of the world around me. I allowed conformity to distort my free will.

When you can no longer write what you feel, what your eyes behold and what your beliefs may be, then what is there to write about?

When there is too much going on around you to the point that you cannot pick a single point of focus…to the writer’s mind it is anarchy, it is a destructive force, killing creativity and passion.

When you can no longer be objective, for who can write from the heart and write lies?

I lost my passion for writing until I remembered that I used to write…

I remembered why I used to write and why it meant so much to me and to my world.

And my passion could no longer be tamed or controlled!!!