Stupid Questions People Ask: Part One

“Who is your supplier?”

Unless you are asking about weed (which I don’t even use) then that question is a big no and here is why. This question makes you look like a copycat and I get so many of those. I don’t mind telling someone that I get my stuff from South Africa and China but asking for the exact contact does not sit well with me. I could be wrong but this is a business secret. Don’t get it twisted I wanna see my people winning and I have people copying my moves all the time but making it so obvious is just cold.

There is something called a business secret and a supplier is one of them. You accidentally find my supplier online, that’s cool but you are not getting him from me. This is the same reason why there are so many similar business models here in Zimbabwe because people keep copying each other. When I first started hyping up beauty box I had people asking me that same question and I hadn’t even launched. When I did not tell them they went on to try and start the same business and failed. That’s because people assume running or starting a business is as easy as updating a WhatsApp status. Newsflash sweetheart, it’s not!

So next time you see someone running their business, mind your own. All I can say is, be motivated but try not to copy. Thank you.

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I Write To God

Praying can be hard. The traditional kneeling and bowing your head. I find it challenging when I am going through a lot and I would rather take a pen and paper and write a physical letter to God. It has proven to work more effectively that the traditional way. When I have tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I can barely get a full sentence. Most of it is gibberish and telling God that you know the contents of my heavy heart seems like a lot for me to him. I also write down my goals as letters to God. When they’re answered I tick them off and it strengthens my faith in God.

This could be a method that works for me only and I come from a church where people normally pray moving around, clapping their hands and praying on top of their voices. It’s something that does not work for me personally because after praying in need to feel a certain rapport between me and God which I do feel when I have quiet time with him. Writing always does the trick.

How do you pray? The traditional way or the modern way?

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Online Learning Won’t Work. Simple!

A normal day for me starts around 7am. I wake up, help out with a few chores and eat breakfast. There is a baby here at home so most of the time I am with him because there is always something that needs to be done and I would rather be babysit than water the garden. There are also two young kids here, one is 7 and the other one is 4. They’re always fighting. By 10am I’m both mentally and physically tired from trying to break their fights. It’s messy and I can only take in so much of their nonsense and deal with the pending assignments and research papers.

Online lectures usually start around 12pm. For some reason my university lied to the rest of the world that we had covered 80% of our courses. To think there is a course where the lecturer only showed up twice and this includes the day he wanted us to install Photoshop. 

Anyway, the lectures are being conducted on WhatsApp because that is the cheapest option for everyone. It may seem cheap but 12% of the class does not own a smartphone so they cannot attend these lectures. Sad right? Well it gets worse. When the lecture starts I have a baby by my side. How do I even explain that I’m attending a lecture on WhatsApp?  It’s hard to actually focus when there are messages coming in because people can see me online and not responding to their messages. Some even end up calling – disturbing me during my lecture. The attendance is never above 70%. Like I mentioned, it’s hard to leave your chores and attend a WhatsApp lecture and not all  parents are understanding. As much as I try to explain that I need two hours to myself, the kids never listen and one just runs in screaming my name of top of their lungs or worse – crying. It’s frustrating.

This is the digital age they want us to embrace. As much as I am a bit impressed by the efforts of Zimbabweans to implement E-learning, there are so many factors working against it and here are the ones that affect me the most:

  1. There are kids at home – I can barely study during the day and I have to wait until everyone is asleep so that I can actually catch up. My study hour is 10pm – 00:00 then 00:30 to 2am then I sleep till 7 because chores have to be done. 
  2. Magetsi acho. Zimbabwe has a serious load shedding problem and the whole world knows that. 
  3. WiFi and Data is expensive. I can not afford the  Data needed to attend zoom lectures. It’s so expensive here in Zim. What’s the point of having a lecture for rich students only. Where is the equality? No one is considering the students who came from poor backgrounds and are in university because of well wishers. 
  4. My laptop died and I know so many students that did not have laptops but had to depend on the school’s resources to finish of assignments. How does one even type a whole test/assignment on their phone? 
  5. Not everyone comes from a healthy home. Toxic families exist and that makes it even harder to focus. 
  6. This is a global pandemic – everyone is suffering from anxiety over the whole situation. Nobody got the mental capacity to be processing design rules and cognitive models. 

Now imagine the points that will be raised by someone in a situation that is worse than mine. The authorities won’t even listen to us students and the elite kids won’t join forces with the rest in addressing this issue. We were told point blank that if we do not attend these lectures we’ll have to repeat. I am one year away from graduating. 

I guess it’s safe to say that life is indeed unfair. 

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Dear Zimbabwean Girlfriend

You need to trust me on this one.

There is always this gut feeling when you start dating someone and deep down you know you love them and they love you. Spiritual people would understand this but it’s something to do with the energy between two people. You love your man with all you have and all of you. Stop allowing these other external factors to rule your relationship. Social media went wild two weeks ago over the “girlfriend allowance” issue. Your man is out there trying to create a future for you and your unborn children and you’re in the streets destroying the little that is left of his dignity. The economy has been rough on everyone and most of our kings have fallen victim. He loves you and he does not need to give you a certain amount of money every month to show that he loves you.

Queen, you deserve to be spoiled and I am not here to tell you to go and date a stingy man. Hell no! I am that don’t be greedy sis. A man should not be out there spending his last dollar to make you happy. It’s the little things that matter. A trip to Bali might mean as much as a walk in the park just before sunset. Be that woman that motivates her man to work hard, chase the bag and invest in his future which might include you if you play your cards right. Do not let social media drive you into wanting the things that do not even matter in life. You are busy putting pressure on poor John from Mufakose to take you to a fancy restaurant every weekend when the little money he is earning as an intern is not enough to get his mom groceries just to show her how much he loves her. Let’s be civil here girl.

All I am trying to say is, if you are out there craving everything those sugar babies are posting online then you are going to lose a good thing and in the process, you will also lose your ability to accept the importance of the sweetest and smallest romantic gestures. Let’s not destroy authentic romance. Correct me if I’m wrong. Thank you

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What’s Your Takeaway?

I recently started watching a new series called Lockdown. For a second it made me want to experience prison life, besides the part were a woman gets raped by another woman. One theme that I got from this SAFTA nominated series was loyalty and friendship. This has always been something I struggled to find over the years and the way it’s being portrayed is Oscar worthy. We all know that there are gangs in prison and one always has to pick a side, fine. That’s not even what I am talking about.

There are 2 main characters that have caught my attention so far and that’s Mazet and Slenda. I’d go to war to save a friendship like that. The type of friendship where your friend defends your truth no matter what the world says or thinks. That’s my takeaway from the series Lockdown.

Now my question to you is, what are you taking from the series you’re watching? We watch a dozen series every week, finish and continue the cycle without trying to find the message it carries. For my fellow Power fans. What did you learn from Angie and Ghost? Personally, my takeaway was sometimes love will be the death of me. Old flames should remain like exactly that, old and buried in the past. In fact, old flames should be extinguished. That’s my 2 cents. That’s my takeaway from Power. I also because I didn’t finish watching it. I just read series summaries on Wikipedia( Power was never that good am I right?)

My point is that every time we watch a series we should not focus on how the drama but on what life lesson we can get from it. There is always something to learn you know. I love my drama as much as I love to know what I am gaining from watching that same series.

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Sit Still, Look Pretty.

You are beautiful, but learn to work for you cannot eat your beauty.

African Proverb

The first book I read when I started university was Diary of A Side Chick and a few months later I read Bare the Blesser’s game. They are both amazing books and I finished them within a few days. I have always wanted to learn more about how the world of sugar daddies and blessers works. Would I ever want a blesser? The answer is I do not know because I have never been in a situation that made me consider getting one and I am one confused child. I don’t even have a favorite ice cream flavor.

There were two things that I noticed from both books, men do not want to invest in their arm candy because they know that as soon as she secures the bag she will feel independent and leave. The second one is that the girls get too comfortable they forget that one day one day it will all disappear. Yes, this does not apply to all blessees but most of them assume that the lavish life is going to last forever and forget to invest in a side hustle or anything that will sustain them when the blesser is fed up and decides to move on to his next victim.

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I watched girls change and turn to blessers ever since my freshman year. You think you know someone and they just change right in front of you. There is no formula to processing it. Best believe they are going to keep it a secret from you and you’ll find out through the hostel gossipers. Such is the adult life. Who am I to judge? It hurts to see them broken and concealing it in heavy makeup, good hair and designer clothes but it is no longer my business. I just hope they read this and get an idea or two.

Let’s be honest with each other, looks and a sexy body will not last forever. Open up a secret account and start depositing money and start a business that he does not know about. I would like to believe that no one dates an older man for the fun of it. I mean if blessees just loved the idea of dating older man then they would not go for the rich ones. It makes perfect sense. They are obviously in it for the money. Which is why I keep stressing on the fact that one should remember what she wanted before the money started flowing in and that it will not be there forever.

Mkhulu bae is either going to break up (I avoided the word dump) with her or die. Chances of you getting money after that are lower than the chances of me getting back with my ex.

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Remember this, whatever lifestyle you choose, just make sure that you’re winning. Do not just be reduced to arm candy for the rest of your life only to be discarded once he is satisfied. Think about yourself. What you want in life. That’s all I am asking from you.

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Kids Hurt Too!

One of the most controversial issues I am trying to understand is good parenting. I really want to be a good mom and that’s the main reason I work so hard to be somebody. I’ve never had a child or been pregnant but (big but!) I’m a sister and a babysitter and I’ve been taking care of children for a long time now. My foundation works with children so I think on a scale of 1 to 10 on the parent-meter I’m a decent 4. 

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One thing I’ve learnt from my experience with children is that children have feelings too. It’s almost as if most parents and guardians do not realize this, and this even applies to toddlers. Depression and stress is not just an adult thing. The other day when I was taking a walk with my 7 year old little brother, he started asking me questions about University and what I did there. I told him the good things obviously. Then he asked me if the teachers were nicer there just like his old teacher that was always nice to him even though he bit her on his first day of school. My little brother loved his old school and everyone knew that. He always did his homework, never complained and signed up for everything. Then he had to leave.

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Due to financial reasons he had to switch from a private school to a government one because the former wanted payment in USD.  He had never opened up on how the issue had affected him and on that day he did. I asked him one simple question, “So what would make you happy right now?” His answer was funny at first because he mentioned burgers, pizza, toys and a new phone. After a short pause he started talking about how much he missed his old school and his friends there and how his friend Chuchu from our neighbor was always talking about everything that was going on which made him feel left out. I was heartbroken. If my hustle could pay the fees I would have asked my parents to have him transferred back ASAP. Growing up my case was different and for him to be affected by the economy like this literally broke my heart. When we got home I had to tell my parents what he had told me and they reassured him that by the time he got to high school he would go to a better school. My dad tries his best, considering the fact that he has 3 kids in university. 

I loved the way he talked to my little brother that day. He was so chilled and so calm. It’s hard to describe because I do not possess that level of chill in my body. My mother on the other hand is the exact opposite. I know it’s all love and I’ve come to realise that she is the way she is because she also can’t handle the pressure of not doing enough for her kids and we have managed to adapt. We don’t ask for too much, we don’t open up about our problems all the time and we shower her with choking love. It’s not something I’d want my daughter to do for me, not that we’re not being honest, it’s all love. I hate the fact that sometimes we have to hide stuff. 

I want my kids to be open with me the way the Heartwave kids are open about their problems. They will talk about everything even when they are used to people claiming that they will help and still do nothing about it. 

To the person reading this, 

Remember that kids are human too. They catch feelings and they feel pain. That annoying kid at the supermarket will not forget how you treated him. I still remember the old lady that babysat me when my mom was busy at the church conference. It was 14 years ago but I remember her kind, gentle soul. So next time you’re dealing with an “impossible” kid – remember this Shona proverb, the axe forgets but the tree stump does not.

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#MentalHealthMonday: Moving Past Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse has a way of stealing the best parts of us. I was taken through an emotional roller coaster by an ex and it took me 5 years to move past it and get into a relationship (Yes, I am finally dating again). It took every ounce of strength in my body to do this and the good thing is I am not afraid of what the future holds, good or bad. When I realized that I had managed to fall in love again, I knew this was what I had to talk to you guys about. Moving Past Emotional Abuse. I found love and I want someone out there to do the same despite how they have been treated before.

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Both genders are susceptible to emotional abuse, particularly within intimate relationships and those who have experienced it are deeply damaged. It took me 5 years to heal. My sense of worth and capacity to protect myself in subsequent relationships was permanently dismantled because I did not go through a successful healing process. The emotional and physical expressions of these symptoms are uncannily similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder victims: unwanted and upsetting memories, nightmares, flashbacks, disturbing bodily reactions, hyper-vigilant anxiety, blame, guilt, startle responses, as well as internal feelings of isolation and helplessness. My healing came in the form of a “I am so over this” moment. I was mentally tired and I wanted to experience love once again. There was this amazing person in front of me and he was perfect in none of the ways I had imagine. He might not be the love of my life but he is, right now it’s all about him.

The Healing Process is not easy, but you can try the following 10 steps:

  1. Recognize the Qualities of a Healthy Relationship.
  2. Recognize that this type of behavior is not okay.
  3. Understand That Abuse Is a Cycle
  4. Reach Out to Family and Friends
  5. Seek the Guidance of a Professional
  6. Stand Up for Yourself
  7. Be Confident
  8. Prepare Yourself with Reasons Why Their Behavior Is Not Appropriate
  9. Know That It’s Not Your Fault
  10. Find your happy place.

Emotional abuse and its consequences are difficult to heal from. You are rebuilding yourself from the aftermath of months, years, or decades of harm, and it is very common to feel like you’re struggling, because you are. You were abused, and that is what abuse does. Healing is not linear, and the process can take months, years, or decades. Everyone heals on their own time.Your journey can take on many different directions as you address each part of your situation, and there are resources available at each and every step of the way. Above all, know that you are loved, and that you are not alone.

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#MentalHealthMonday: Studying and Anxiety

Exams and anxiety are the best of buddies. It is almost close to impossible to prepare for exams and not be anxious about the day. I remember the day before my final mathematics exam which was my first exam I collapsed and had to spend a full day in hospital. I just did not know how to handle the stress and because of that particular experience I have decided to share with you how to overcome anxiety when faced by the study pressure.

There are four main areas which can contribute to study anxiety:

  • lifestyle issues,
  • information needs,
  • studying styles,
  • psychological Factors .

Lifestyle issues that can contribute to exam anxiety are

  • inadequate rest,
  • poor nutrition,
  • too many stimulants,
  • insufficient exercise,
  • not scheduling available time,
  • not prioritizing commitments.

Information needs that can contribute to exam anxiety are

  • exam-taking strategies,
  • academic information such as course requirements, teachers’ expectations, exam dates and testing location,
  • knowledge of how to apply anxiety reduction techniques
    • while studying
    • before an exam
    • during an exam
  • studying styles that are
    • Inefficient
      • inconsistent content coverage
      • trying to memorize the textbook
      • binge studying
      • distance environment
      • all-night studying before exams
    • Ineffective
      • reading without understanding
      • can’t recall the material
      • not making review notes
      • not reviewing
      • not studying

Psychological Factors

  • feeling no control over the exam situation (rather than knowing and applying exam strategies),
  • negative thinking and self-criticism (rather than being one’s own best friend),
  • irrational thinking about exams and outcomes,
    • Irrational beliefs “If I don’t pass my (parents/partner/boss) will kill me!”
    • Irrational demands “I have to get 100% or I am worthless.”
    • Catastrophic predictions “I’ll fail no matter what I do.”

How do I reduce exam anxiety?

Eight steps to reducing exam anxiety:

  1. Effective studying
  2. Healthy lifestyle
  3. Accurate information
  4. Exam-taking preparation
  5. Attitude upgrading
  6. Rational (instead of irrational) thinking
  7. Test-taking strategies
  8. Anxiety reduction techniques

If exam anxiety persists even after using these methods, please contact a professional psychologist for further assistance and support.

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#MentalHealthMonday: What’s a toxic parent?

A toxic person is anyone who is abusive, unsupportive, or unhealthy emotionally—someone who basically brings you down more than up. The same goes for a toxic parent.

Yesterday I kept tossing and turning trying to figure out what I would talk about today and then a good friend of mine, Speaker Tendai Dara then bought up the issue of identifying and dealing with toxic parents. His question to me was, “Are you scared of being a toxic parent?” My answer was obviously a diluted yes. I don’t want to be a toxic parent but then again what is the proper definition of one? When I have children I want to love them with all I am and all I have but the tricky part is how can I do that without being toxic to them. There are almost 15 traits of a bad parent and after being raised in an African household, it’s not easy to be a whole new parent. I do not want to harm my child in any way even if I adopted them.

Here’s a link to a whole article on toxic parenting, I advise you read it and all understand.

Read it here.

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