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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Life on the High side

Gotta love Malawi. The biggest basketball game I've ever gone to was at the KEY Arena in Seattle. Someone had offered my roommate and I free tickets to watch the now defunct Seattle Sonics play the Portland Trailblazers. I felt like I needed a telescope to watch the actual players because our tickets were not so expensive so our seat numbers were way, way, way up in the Arena. I had to content myself with watching them on the floating screen.

Here in Malawi, apparently, our biggest indoor arena is at the College of Medicine. It's elusive, I've never been there for any game so far. So it's ABC that offers a good gym that's available for public games (there are other places but they are either small or outdoors, I read in the papers that govt. is commencing construction of a big sports complex in Lilongwe next year, that's good news). So anywho, ABC gym is not so large, matter of fact, I'm amazed that not only can I see the actual players down to the laces on their sneaks, but I can hear the coach-players yell instructions clear on the other side of the court. The advantage there is that fans feel part of the game and can actually interact with players, the perks of not having to pay an arm and a leg just to sit courtside like Jack Nicholson... Another thing to love about Malawi.

Ofcourse, the game must not be so big in this country if a full capacity crowd for the just endend National Club championship is like 1,000 +/- What's Chichiri/Kamuzu Stadium seating capacity down in Blantyre? 50,000. Eish. It's Christmas season, I'm happily putting myself in hibernation until 2009 (God Willing). Where am I? pa vepi!!

Eish

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A confluence of Paths



" Two roads diverged in the middle of my life, I heard a wise man say, I took the road less traveled by and that's made the difference every night and every day."
- Larry Norman-

2008 has been quite a year, I almost don't want it to end. As I reflect on events that happened this weekend, I am truly blessed to be a unique human being, traveling on the road less traveled. Lord, bring it on, I KNOW you'll take me there.

pic:www.sneakerfiles.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On "Tough" Posh Malawian Schools and dress codes


Posh schools in Malawi are a hybrid of quality education and snobility...and a sub-hybrid of nostalgic-colonial-eraism and cosmopolity. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt! From Primary to end of secondary,went to two that classified as posh posh (but then if you count every African school with a pool as posh then 3)whether I got quality education is debatable, whether I'm a snob, well I flatter myself that I'm not, so why then does my nose always point upwards (gravity is losing it's strength)and on the colonial nostalgia, I treasure all the fun stuff like games of rounders, hockey....I think the printing press at ol' Cambridge needs to move to Nairobi. Cosmopolity? that's a plus in this global village.

Anywho, it was quite interesting to chat to a new breed "posh-schooler". She's 11. Back in my day, you expected two things only from a posh school: 1. posh, and 2. posh. but this girl goes to a religious posh school and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the tales she was telling me.

Let me paint the picture here. Imagine Malawi suburbia, the works, rich dad, rich mum, housemaid, nanny, gardener, and guard - all to pander to every whim of Suburb prince or princess. Granted not all kids in Malawi suburbia are obnoxious but a fair amount are. In comes this big religious posh school that aims to put things right. At first I was quite elated, didn't mind someone finally sweeping the night clubs of bored under-age students but then listen to this and oh! disclaimer- conversation paraphrased;

"So kid, heard your school is super cool" (trying to be "in" with the young 'uns by using the overused word "cool" you see, clever me)

"Umm, not really, I'd prefer it if I were a day-scholar."

"Why is that, you are 11, you must love being all independent, somewhat, down there in boarding school?"

"Independent my foot, we can't even wear pants!"

"You can't wear pants? Most of your clothes are actually pants."

"yeah, but our principal reckons some girls were wearing pants that were too tight so school rules now say no pants for girls. and for skirts, we can only wear skirts that are an inch below the knee!"

I looked at her with pity, I thought back to the days when I was 11 and it was plain illegal in Malawi to wear short skirts and pants. I'm all for modesty but I never see why an 11 year old should wear an ugly frock, women's style skirts and no jeans. Anywho, the conversation went on...

"What happens when you break the rules?"

"It depends really, sometimes you have to go down flights of stairs on just your knees, we call that detention."

Back in my day, detention was staying in a classroom studying while everyone else was having fun.

"But sometimes it's corporal punishment."

I have no issues with corporal punishment, I have had my share of hidings and they did me good.

"Can boys sag?"

"No way, pants for boys have to fit."

Poor hip-hop star wanna-be suburb princes... heh heh heh Eish!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now Mariah, who could it be for me?



The song below by Mariah has always been a favorite but after my events this year I could do with Santa dropping off a surprise of that nature on my doorstep :-)
hmmmm, now who could it be? Now, not as young as the hunk in the pic here Santa! Goodness No!






Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do
Baby all I want for Christmas is you
You

All the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air
And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me

Oh, I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door
Oh I just want him for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is
You

All I want for Christmas is you baby
All I want for Christmas is you baby.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Fear


I'm stepping into the unknown here. This will be the first Christmas in all my years on this planet that I will not spend with family (of any sort). Stepping into the unknown is frightful. No cable to watch all the Christmas movies, no Christmas DVD's, no Christmas music even. No raisins for mince cup cakes, no eggs for nougat, well at least there is the stocking I'll put up. No tree!!!! Fingers crossed that Santa will put in an appearance, my list is a yard long.....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend of Champions


If there is one thing I fear, then it's cabin fever. You know, stuck at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do. This weekend however i allowed myself to go crazy a la Gnarls Barkley's song "Crazy" and pretended to be snowed in. I stayed inside all day saturday and all night. I felt antsy but it's good to take it easy. I tried my best to read but reading on the bed isn't easy, I slept most of the time.

I wore shorts and a tank, tied my hair back and let all the exhaustion leave me. I miss my usual brain stimulants: movies, music, phone conversations, etc. but it was all good. The Buckaroo is officially well rested and needs to put in a productive week this week. no excuses.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Obama mania continues...

got this funny email today, thought I'd share part of it with you!

..."So back to the ice-skating. Its an hour session. About 50 minutes into the skating all 5 black people from our group coincidentally meet at one end of the rink and Sim points out that the only black people on the entire rink are from our group. Someone mentions Obama and we decide we need to go round the rink one last time for Obama. At this point I had not even fallen once and I was getting a bit arrogant. As I skate I shout, 'yes we can!' The moment I finish those words I fall flat on my back. Sonia sees me fall, opens her mouth to laugh and falls flat on her back. So there we are, two black women lying flat on our backs with arms spread out on an ice-skating rink. Pride definitely comes before the fall."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reading The Shack


I have been going to a little volleyball place called The Shack here in Lilongwe. Good place to meet new people, eat, and watch the game. Wondering now if that was a premonition for a book that has simply just fallen into my lap, "The Shack" by William P. Young.

I am yet to make up my mind on this novel but as Mike said, it is rather interesting. Well worth the read so far. An average, distraught man returns to "the shack" to meet God and God is not what he expects, He's not what I expect: in the kitchen dancing to music through earphones, gardening, and fixing things. Sometimes I think it's bordering on, well, blasphemy but then again religion has been manhandled by man so long that what may be the truth appears to be blasphemous. I wonder what my Systematic Theology and Old Testament Biblical Theology professors think of it. ...Elousia?

I was quite interested in the Multnomah Princess Legend, unforgettable. Reminds me of learning in Bible College about how every culture HAS a shadow story/practice/legend that tells about Jesus and His sacrifice for us. Something that is practiced, was practiced or told in a story or song that shows clearly the sacrifice One had to make in order that redemption should take place. Examples are "The Peace Child" in the South Pacific and this Multnomah legend. Read below:

The Legend of Multnomah Falls:

Many years ago the head chief of the Multnomah people had a beautiful young daughter. She was especially dear to her father because he had lost all his sons in fighting, and he was now a old man. He chose her husband with great care, a young chief from his neighbors, the Clatsop people. To the wedding feast came many people from tribes along the lower Columbia and south of it.

The wedding feast was to last for several days. There were swimming races and canoe races on the river. There would be bow-and-arrow contests, horse racing, dancing, and feasting. The whole crowd was merry, for both the maiden and the young warrior were loved by their people.

But without warning the happiness changed to sorrow. A sickness came over the village. Children and young people were the first victims, then strong men became ill and died in only one day. The wailing of the women was heard throughout the Multnomah village and the camps of the guests.
"The Great Spirit is angry with us," the people said to each other. The head chief called together his old men and his warriors for counsel and asked gravely," What can we do to soften the Great Spirits wrath?"

Only silence followed his question. At last one of the old medicine men arose." There is nothing we can do. If it is the will of the Great Spirit that we die, then we must meet our death like brave men. The Multnomah have ever been a brave people."

The other members of the council nodded in agreement, all except one, the oldest medicine man. He had not attended the wedding feast and games, but he had come in from the mountains when he was called by the chief. He rose and, leaning on his stick, spoke to the council. His voice was low and feeble.

"I am a very old man, my friends, I have lived a long, long time. Now you will know why. I will tell you a secret my father told me. He was a great medicine man of the Multnomah, many summers and many snows in the past.

When he was an old man, he told me that when I became old, the Great Spirit would send a sickness upon our people. All would die, he said, unless a sacrifice was made to the Great Spirit. Some pure and innocent maiden of the tribe, the daughter of a chief, must willingly give her life for her people. Alone, she must go to a high cliff above Big River and throw herself upon the rocks below. If she does this, the sickness will leave us at once."

Then the old man said,"I have finished, my fathers secret is told. Now I can die in peace."
Not a word was spoken as the medicine man sat down. At last the chief lifted his head. "Let us call in all the maidens whose fathers or grandfathers have been headmen."

Soon a dozen girls stood before him, among them his own loved daughter. The chief told them what the old medicine man had said. "I think his words are words of truth," he added.

Then he turned to his medicine men and his warriors, "Tell our people to meet death bravely. No maiden shall be asked to sacrifice herself. The meeting has ended."

The sickness stayed in the village, and many more people died. The daughter of the head chief sometimes wondered if she should be the one to give her life to the Great Spirit. But she loved the young warrior, she wanted to live.

A few days later she saw the sickness on the face of her lover. Now she knew what she must do. She cooled his hot face, cared for him tenderly, and left a bowl of water by his bedside. Then she slipped away alone, without a word to anyone.

All night and all the next day she followed the trail to the great river. At sunset she reached the edge of a cliff overlooking the water. She stood there in silence for a few moments, looking at the jagged rocks far below. Then she turned her face toward the sky and lifted up her arms. She spoke aloud to the Great Spirit.

"You are angry with my people. Will you make the sickness pass away if I give you my life? Only love and peace and purity are in my heart. If you will accept me as a sacrifice for my people, let some token hang in the sky. Let me know that my death will not be in vain and that the sickness will quickly pass."

Just then she saw the moon coming up over the trees across the river. It was the token. She closed her eyes and jumped from the cliff.

Next morning, all the people who had expected to die that day arose from their beds well and strong. They were full of joy. Once more there was laughter in the village and in the camps of the guest.

Suddenly someone asked, "What caused the sickness to pass away? Did one of the maidens---?"
Once more the chief called the daughters and granddaughters of the headmen to come before him. This time one was missing.

The young Clatsop warrior hurried along the trail which leads to Big River. Other people followed. On the rocks below the high cliff they found the girl they all loved. There they buried her.
Then her father prayed to the Great Spirit, "Show us some token that my daughters spirit has been welcomed into the land of the spirits."

Almost at once they heard the sound of water above. All the people looked up to the cliff. A stream of water, silvery white, was coming over the edge of the rock. It broke into floating mist and then fell at their feet. The stream continued to float down in a high and beautiful waterfall.

For many summers the white water has dropped from the cliff into the pool below. Sometimes in winter the spirit of the brave and beautiful maiden comes back to see the waterfall. Dressed in white, she stands among the trees at one side of Multnomah Falls. There she looks upon the place where she made her great sacrifice and thus saved her lover and her people from death.

(Tom Ka'ili)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Doctrine of Hand-outs and Photo Shoots


The Buckaroo started this entry differently so if this sounds like an entry written by a bi-polar blogger, well, that's life....

I had the rare privilege, yesterday of seeing two players on the "African field" (if I may call it that). The diplomat, and the missionary. The difference was a matter of just a sentence. And dare I say, an attitude. The diplomat was visiting a support program for underprivileged children and he came bearing gifts, he said, “Let these gifts go to the students that have done well academically.” There were few gifts, but they were practical (... and of course they bore the emblem of his embassy). Now, see, that was my language. Isn’t that how life is? For the children there are the important things in life, like education, that should be encouraged with incentives.

The missionaries on the other hand had bags and bags of freebies: for example, sun glasses to be distributed to all them children. Now kids like such things indeed! It’s like candy because it feels good to have and is pleasant to the eye and one missionary said,
“oh! How cute!”
and took pictures (and as per whoever told them that these little ‘uns have never seen their own faces before - they took the pictures and made sure to show the kids on the digital camera screen (sorry all y’all mirror vendors in Kauma Market and minibus drivers with rear-view mirrors, your mirrors don’t exist, don’t even know why glass panes on windows or streams and rivers in Africa might not reflect their little faces, search me). Side note: one of them brought a polaroid camera just to make sure the little ‘uns would be sure to have their image somewhere! Wow, poor little ‘uns ! How much cuter do they need to look before people realize their life goes beyond the surface “needs” of receiving and receiving and posing for cute pix?

The Bible says blessed is the “GIVER” I wanna see you little ‘uns blessed too, as a giver one day. Heh heh, when you know what you look like, ahem…that was uncalled for nie?

....and then today I was put in that position of receiving. i got a beautiful bag which was full of goodies and a chance to pick clothes from a bunch that was being given out to the people at that same place mentioned above. It was movie-like, there I was, the veritable buckaroo who has qualms about hand-outs, photo shoots, and freebies happily selecting freebies in the form of a top, beach shorts, and cargo pants. and on my way back to where I'm typing this I was handed a gift of a the bag and the goodies inside. Agh! shame. someone shoot me! I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun at Kumbali Cultural Village


My only other visit to Kumbali was in the company of tourists and was very short but last night was super fun. I got the opportunity to rub shoulders with corporate Malawi and can I tell you, it's been years since I ate dinner served in cauldrons under the skies. The last time I did that I was 11, at Mafutseni ranch just outside of Manzini, Swaziland.

I have treasured that memory for so long and last night was so fab I feel like deleting that memory. I won't. It's good to experience the simple things of our African life amidst good and educative conversation. It was an IT conference and I hopped on with friends in the IT world. Didn't know much so I kept munching while everyone talked about cantennas and open access, etc.

What was in the cauldrons? ah, don't remind me...atcharred beef stew(I love Atchar, gots to get me some in Zomba, Atchar capital), stewed cabbage, beans, greens, steamed rice....aaaaahhh! you get the idea.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Farewell Mirriam Makeba



Sad news here in Africa today. Farewell Miriam Makeba

November 10, 2008, 10:00
Tributes continue to pour in for the late singer Miriam Makeba. Makeba (76) died of a heart attack after taking ill near the southern Italian town of Caserta. Musicians Yvonne Chaka-Chaka and Sipho Hotstix Mabuse say they will miss Makeba dearly.

Publicity manager Mark Lechat says: “She was a person who was larger than life. She meant so much to so many people. The space she filled is going be an empty one from now on. But as she always said that when one door closes another one opens and for that she was a woman of great stature who had an ability to take people on a journey of hope and resilience.”

South African Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa says: "Miriam Makeba - South Africa's goodwill ambassador - died performing what she did best - an ability to communicate a positive message through the art of singing.

"Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of Apartheid-Colonialism through the art of song."

Makeba, affectionately known as Mama Africa, was born in Johannesburg in 1932 and was a leading symbol in the struggle against apartheid.

online newssource

Thursday, November 6, 2008

OBAMA and MANDELA rock my world















The Buckaroo has been away from the computer (and the mobile fone screen is too small to fit all my thoughts on) but I got this email from a dear friend in the US! Thought I would share it with you.

Can you say OBAMA???!!!!!!!!! Thandi...last night as we sat in the family room (that you know so well) I kept thinking of YOU! I remembered you reading Obama's book [Dreams from my Father] almost two years ago now...and the conversations we had. It felt like a dream back then...and it is now a REALITY! I wish you could have been here with us...glued to the TV....hanging on every word last night! Dad and I ran out into the street banging pots and pans screaming OBAMA!!!!! PRESIDENT OBAMA....HE DID IT.....WE DID IT!!!!!! I know you would have been right there by my side banging and screaming in the Hickories;)! I can't stop smiling today....know I rejoice with you and all those throughout this world who this is a VICTORY for!

Obama reminds me of Nelson Mandela in that he’s the first Black man to be President in a country that had all White Presidents. Nelson did us proud, I was living in Swaziland and was able to witness the transition from close-range. I was 11, I was infinitely proud.

Now I’m in my late 20’s and having read most of Barack’s “Dreams of my Father” I am proud again to see another Black FIRST.

I’m not vain enough to think this is monumental for Blacks only. Here is what the rest of my friend’s email had to say,

PS-Grandma and Grandpa proudly voted for OBAMA yesterday! I think they were the only two over 70, white southern voters (ha!) I am so thankful for their hearts! My grandpa and grandma were screaming for joy last night and stayed up so late celebrating in Arkansas! They kept saying how thankful they were to live to see this day! I thought you would enjoy hearing that about Grandpa and Grandma

U BETCHA, I am enjoying hearing that!! and Obama, JAPAN, you guys ROCK!!


End note: Big up to Afrigator (afrigreator ha! ha! u know what I'm up to. You guys me likey. Watch this space..

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On Basketball, Love, and Grace

Disclaimer: to the makers of the movie Love & Basketball, you have no idea....


Love and Basketball
Can a weekend ever have less drama? I read in the paper (not early enough) that there was going to be the biggest basketball tournament on November 1 (at Saint Andrews International School SAintS) in Blantyre. Now, am I so high and mighty to think that all things basketball have to be told to me in good time so I can make a grand entrance, ahem, no.

The tournament was between the Southern Malawi all-stars (read Blantyre and Zomba) and Central Malawi all-stars (read Lilongwe). If you follow this blog you'll remember that there was once a Mr. Zomba Nice Guy and a Mr. Lilongwe Nice Guy (potential boyfriends). We have moved on from those days as there is now a Mr. Blantyre Nice Guy. Now I'm not a finicky woman but as Christian Carter and John Gray would agree, I need the scientific skills to spot and keep a "Keeper".

Anywho, back to my drama. So Mr. Blantyre Nice Guy (current potential boyfriend material), code name "Joe Black AKA JB" is an all-star basketballer. This game was a "meant-to-go-support" game but I didn't go to support as I meant to. Turns out there was another lady there front row and center keeping tabs on buckaroos like me with the sole intent of developing skills to spot and keep JB ala John Gray/Christian Carter right under her pretty mocha nose.

We'll code name this lady Miss Wow. Now me being a darkie, I had the good foresight not to show up. Darkies are known for drama so one less darkie that showed up, far less drama. Miss Wow, big up to you for being there to cheer JB as he played, I won't hate, but appreciate. You see, my girl Gile broke her arm (literally) getting to that game. Consolation to Gile and I: JB's team won.

Now about JB and his crew hoaging (sp) spots in the All-Star team and not leaving room for younger athletes, BALONEY! They are only 29 years old so zip the lip "Hvordan gar det", I heard you! And Miss Bedon...thanks for capturing the events on film, we'll post them pix on here when you come back from Blantyre!!! Go JB, go, ahem...Miss Wow! Good times!

Christian Carter/John Gray

Now you two (John Gray and Christian Carter) have really given me and continue to give me a lot of food for thought in your two respective books, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and How to.. (the title is too much for the Buckaroo to type down). Your books rock BUT you are still men so I have to exercise Godly wisdom as a Christian woman in what I read from y'all. That said, thank you for pointing out my multiple faux-pas a tad too late, where were you all this time?? Johnny-come-lately's to my life-OH tssk-tsssk-tsssk! What is this I read about one of you guys being into all this ethereal business????

Grace

If it weren't for God, I wouldn't have survived this weekend, what's explained here on the blog is the tip of the iceberg so thank you Jesus for the gift of GRACE. Hallelujah!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hazel Warren!!!!!!






I should admit, Big Brother Africa is progressively going to the dogs. Are we really like THAT as a people? Ag, no man, we can be so much better. As for our Hazel Warren, I may be biased (and I don't watch the show daily as I own no TV) but I think she's carried herself better than most. She's been nominated for eviction for the second time.

Is she IN or OUT next week? I think she's IN!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ode to Child Soldiers















Ode to Child Soldiers

If he were your son
your brother, your nephew
your grandson

would you turn a blind eye
and hope that "it will all work out in the end"?
as the visions of what he's forced to do
made to do
taught to do
keep him awake at night
and make him delirious during the day

If he were your son
your cousin, your friend
your own

would you hope he'd forget
the "skills" of murder
rape and crime he's been made never to forget

would you pray it away
think it away
brush it off
if he were your own?

What would you do?
or most importantly What Would Jesus Do?


pic from www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Malawi's Finance Minister being # 1 in Africa

I heard it from a good source (still trying to get all the official info.) that our Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe has been voted best Finance Minister in Africa. Ah! the joy of hearing a positive report on a continental scale. Congratulations to him and I wish him all the best in the implementation of his policies. Komanso a DK (Turtles) ndiye kuti ntchito mukugwira nanga sinanga Capitol Hill yonse ili mweeeeee ndi chimwemwe. Ayi, gwirani ntchito musawachititse manyaza a Bwana Gondwe kumeneko!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Bee in my Bonnet


What do you do when you have a bee in your bonnet? Of course we are not being literal here but what do you do? You either take off your bonnet and get rid of the bee or let it sit in there and expire on it's own.

I don't know if anyone ever tried to make a flap in their bonnet so that the bee could have good ventilation in the hopes that it can make honey in there. Suppose that did happen, then the bee being in the bonnet becomes beneficial.

What am I trying to say? I've usually looked for negative solutions to what could potentially be a positive "problem". I've just recently learned that I don't have to run from confrontation.

Where there is a bee, there should be honey in the offing.

Deduce that...

"Let today be your SOMEDAY. Aspire to inspire before you expire." Anon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

University of Malawi Quota System

I used to hear when I was a child that the quota system was introduced in the University of Malawi student selection and Kamuzu Academy student selection to limit the number on Northerners entering into those institutions. I was doubtful then, thinking everybody thought Northerners didn't deserve to be treated so.

Forward to 2008, suggestions are put forward that the quota system at UNIMA be re-introduced. The suggestions were put into effect and in today's paper I read that 2 senior staff members went to court and got a court injunction to stop this quota system. I thought, well, they sound like learned men, they are probably doing it for some good reason. Then I read their names, and their lawyer's name.... Northerners!

What do you know? It looks like they probably know what I knew as a kid. Hail Entering institutions on MERIT and down with the quota system!! Let all be free to enter!

Amen

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A lesson for me

DISCLAIMER: The thoughts from the book mentioned below contains ideas that I believe are effective and helpful, the beliefs held by the author in his personal life are in no way my own.

I apologize to all men and women for my uneducated opinions in regards to men/women relationships in entries such as the October 1 “Quoting Jaime on Vain Games Men Play.” It's a blessing to have embarked on a new personal development research, I am actually studying myself now, finding out what I need to know about relationships. There IS so much to learn especially for one who thought being 25+ is enough to take on the challenge. Expecting I would be using the phrase, "I already knew that" often.

I am reading John Gray’s “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. Man, there is so much I need to learn from that book. Some critics have made their comments on that book, as for me, ME LIKEY because I relate so much to the women described in there, and here I was thinking I was pretty A OK I am yet to finish the book, it’s a slow read for me because it’s so personal, it’s like someone is telling me the story of my life. So, if you read that entry and actually agreed with me, yeah agree with me now: GO and buy “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” If you’re a guy and were confused with that entry, I recommend you get the book as well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rest in Peace Chimwemwe Festino

Two people sat together on the night bus, or the “night compost” as we called it then. It was sometime in 1997. I was 16, he was much older. Fresh on my mind was the fact that I was going to my 3rd Secondary School.

I had attended Kamuzu Academy for my first year of Secondary, had been very playful there and was deemed not capable of making it into the next class- I had been 11- I have since forgiven myself for failing everyone. Hmm. I had proceeded to study at St. Theresa’s High in Swaziland, my parents decided to return to Malawi a year and a half before I completed my Secondary-I have since forgiven them for failing me. Hmm. I was now riding on the bus to my third and last Secondary School. A boarding school. About 7 hours from home. The school was Mary Mount Girls Secondary School in Mzuzu.

He was heading to Mzuzu for goodness knows what. All I remember was we sat next to each other and started to talk. Strangers heading in one direction. Chit chat. I wanted to sleep but when he told me his name, Chimwemwe Festino, I sat up and took notice. Even by then, he was a household name, a sports reporter of great repute. He shared the adventures of his job and I told him the adventures of my little 16 years; of travel and school. Must not have been too impressive. His were more interesting. He was a reporter after all and had traveled far and wide.

He shared about the time he was on a bus in Lesotho,“Oh! That mountainous country! Do you know, I was on a bus there and it was so COLD. The bus driver put the heater on and fell asleep. Before we knew it, the bus was careening down the mountain! We all shouted, DRIVER! DRIVER!” I listened with keen interest, laughing, frowning, as the stories came. Wondering whether I would ever have such adventures.

Today I heard the news that Chimwemwe Festino is no more. The bus memory came to mind. He was one of those people you hear about in the media,he wasn't a reporter anymore, he'd gone on to do greater things in the Malawian sports world. You always think people in the news are a fixture. They will always be there, contributing to the nation’s progress in one way or the other. What a life he had, and what a loss to our nation!

Rest in Peace Chimwemwe Festino

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Journey into the Mind

What makes a mind?
What breaks a mind?
Does being mindful of something make one’s mind better than the one who never minds?

Never mind.
I just want to know,
What makes a mind strong?
What makes a mind weak?
Does being headstrong help one get one’s way better than the one who is na├»ve?

Bear in mind,
I do know that minds are made
Minds are broken
Minds are strong
Minds are weak
Minds accomplish
Minds destroy

Mind your manners
Never mind
Don’t mind me, bear in mind,
Remind me…what am I on about?

Monday, October 13, 2008

What the Malawi National Football team's victory means and BSU Bronco's win AGAIN!!






In other happy news: Boise State Bronco's won (never forget I may be African but I'm still a BUCKAROO!)

Go BSU!

Now interesting fact for those that love collecting facts, BSU has the only blue turf in the US and indeed the world over. We got some green turf over in Blantyre here in Malawi where we won the crucial soccer game but alas! I suppose the whole world has green... (I still love it, Go Blantyre). Broncos beat Southern Mississippi 24-7. They're ranked No. 15 in polls for the nation (USA)Broncos have played 5 games. 7 more to go. Go Broncos!

Back to Malawi, thanks to Frederick Bvalani, the Buckaroo stands corrected. Here is the correct info on what the Flames' victory means:

frederick bvalani said...
Thandi, Malawi hasn't yet qualified. It is just one of the 20 teams that have progressed to the next stage.

The 20 teams will be grouped in groups of 4 teams each. The group winners will qualify for the World Cup and the top 3 teams will qualify for Africa Cup of Nations. One team in each group will go home.

The draw for the groups will take place on Oct 22. The games will be played next year.



Sources: Melomaxy, pix: broncosports.com<

Gr8 weekend for Malawi!!











Two Firsts for Malawi. Malawi had two firsts this weekend:

#1. The Malawi Football national team qualified for the first time ever in the Africa Nations Cup, or so I hear,

and #2. Malawi’s Big Brother Africa representative, Hazel Warren is the first Malawian housemate to ever survive a nomination for eviction. On second thought, Zein might have been nominated alongside Bruna in BBA1. Ah forget it! It’s still great that with that much competition Hazel survived.

Congratulations Malawi! Way to go on the international arena!
Malawi woyee!! Kinnah woyee!! Inenso woyee!!
Story below:


----Blantyre, Malawi - Malawi's less-fancied national football team, the Flames, scored twice to reverse a first-half goal deficit and send the much-fancied DR Congo out of the Africa Cup of Nations in an explosive match played at a packed Kamuzu Stadium in Malawi's commercial capital, Blantyre.

Twenty-year-year-old Chiukepo Msowoya's 80th-minute goal means Malawi now has the best chance in over 20 years to participate in Africa's highest-level football tournament, the Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for Angola in 2010.

Lomana Tresor Lua Lua put the visitors ahead after only 12 minutes, but Malawi turned the game around in the second half when coach Kinnah Phiri made a tactical switch by replacing winger Joseph Kamwendo with the goal scorer.

The change paid dividends with Malawi putting pressure on the visitors, and the equaliser came in the 65th minute through Robert Ng'ambi.

The goal revived the 60,000 fans who were in low spirit following the first-half goal and they were later thrown into wild celebration when Msowoya scored the winner.

Blantyre - 11/10/2008

Pana

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Making Good on a Promise

The Buckaroo made good on the promise to find out more about the little old lady that showed up on our doorstep, yes, the one with the Cape accent in the last entry. It turns out she IS from the Cape in South Africa. Hers is a grim story.

Years ago she was married to a Malawian pilot who brought her here to live. Her husband died in an accident later on and, I can’t believe people do this but, yes, her in-laws came after all the property she owned with her husband. She became a destitute. She decided she was going to continue to live here for the sake of her children. Now all her children are grown but one of them died leaving behind 3 orphans. She now has to work (and she’s clearly a senior citizen) to support these children and herself. She's too old to work full-time for my friend so she works once a week for her and once a week for one of the neighbors. I don't know is she works anywhere else. She lives just outside of Lilongwe City in a high-density peri-urban location. She rents a home but she's just acquired land to build a house (good for her!)

My friend narrated the story and a sad rhetorical question I remember is: “She’s looking after orphans, shouldn’t she be the one to be looked after [by her own children].”

I note 3 social problems in her story and I’m sure there are many more if I dare look hard enough:

1. Property grabbing
2. Inadequate public welfare for the eldery
3. Lack of family support for the eldery (children not looking after aging parents well enough)

I don’t know what I’ll do personally to help her out, what would you do??

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reverse Xenophobia


I got a fright this morning when I thought I had woken up in South Africa (Mzansi)! I now live in a new part of town with a friend and my friend was happily entering the new day in another part of the house when I heard a knock. I assumed it was one of the people employed by my friend, I opened the door and found this little old lady on the door step. she is black so I spoke to her in Chichewa.

She responded in a strangely familiar English accent, it took me back to the time I lived in Swaziland and watched TV 1 (now SABC 3 or something or other). Now for those of you who don't know what TV 1 is, before Mandela's time, TV 1 was the channel in South Africa you watched if you wanted to watch the shows that appealed to Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. I picked up a few Afrikaans words and phrases thanks to that channel in those days like "Goeie more Suid Afrika!" just before the morning news and "Ja" and "Asseblief" etc. The English accents that were on there, correct me if I'm wrong, were Cape English.

This old lady on our door step was speaking Cape English. Now what was a little old lady with a Cape accent doing on our doorstep?

"I worrk here." She said to me, "My naam is Evelynn. Didn't the madam tell you that alrready? I come here on Thurrsdays." I recalled my friend telling me that, with relief, I opened the door a little wider and let her in. I asked her where she lived,
"I live in Kauma, but not the actual Kauma, that side called DURRBAN!!"

No alarm there, there IS a Durban section in Kauma. We chatted a little and I left for work. In the street another lady was pushing a stroller, chatting up a toddler in accented English, I didn't need to pinch myself, familiar Lilongwe came into view just then. I'm still in Malawi. Wouldn't it be scary to wake up a foreigner? Don't get me wrong, I love South Africa, just didn't want it to creep up on my doorstep while I slept. I've made a mental note to ask my friend about Evelyn. In the meanwhile, South Africa, I got nothing but love for you, say NO to Xenophobia!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dollar Dollar Bill Y'All




According to AP News, "Washington's financial bailout plan is now law." Recovery is on the way but it's time to wonder...is this Global Village idea ideal? When America has a shake up in their economy, we all have a shake-up in our economy. And some are so keen, this past week some stood on the figurative roof tops and proclaimed "your end is nigh Africa, the American economy is in recession." Well just because someone gets on a roof top doesn't qualify him to speak intelligently on such matters, it only makes his voice heard by more than a couple people.

I'm not an economist but all I know is that maybe we need to get the chinks out of this Global Village thing so that shake ups in one area of the world don't spell doom for the rest of the world. Wishful thinking? Maybe...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quoting Jaime on Vain Games Men Play

Disclaimer: This entry is based on a conversation with a very "young at heart" man. His views may be different from your own. My take on this might change by tomorrow. He might be more vain than regular guys. This is just an insight, nothing's set in stone... Enjoy!

Jaime is a few years younger than me, he doesn’t know it but he’s still young enough to spill the secrets of the trade to the Buckaroo without too much prompting from me. How do I describe Jaime? Apart from being young and successful, he has a way with the ladies, hence the nickname he has borrowed from US star LLCoolJ (Ladies love cool James). So after going through some icky emo-stuff I cornered Jaime with the question, “Why do (grown) men act funny when a woman starts to like them back?”

Following is the, ahem, conversation I had with him:

Buckaroo: So, ayise (friend), tell me, why is it that men act so weird? when a woman a guy has taken his time pursuing does actually begin to fall for him, the guy becomes aloof all of a sudden. What's up with that?

Jaime: (With glee) Well, it’s actually like a game of ball. You start by noticing a woman you like and you know in the back of your mind that she’s not the type that is going to say “yes” to you right away. She has misgivings about you….sometimes those misgivings are validated, like perhaps you are seeing someone else already, or perhaps they are not validated at all like she feels you are they type that would break her heart

Buckaroo: OH-Kay

Jaime: ….but you know, when you see that there’s at least a 50 % chance that she finds you interesting, at the very least, you devise a plan.”

Buckaroo: Wow, it takes that amount of forethought?

Jaime: Definitely, you want to “play ball” just right. So as a guy, you imagine yourself on a court. You have full ball possession depending on how long it takes to woo her. Full ball possession is going to great lengths trying to impress her. She may at times make you feel like an idiot as you “pursue” her but you don’t get shame get to you. You know what you are doing. You say the right things, you spend a lot of time with her, you know, run the whole gamut.

Buckaroo: (with keen interest) Aha!

Jaime: Yeah, then she begins to crack. You answer her every “but Jaime what about this and what about that?” with a sweetly ambiguous answer. You don’t want to make false promises, and you don’t want to lose the trust you’re building . When you get to the point where she’s asking you questions using “but”, you know it’s almost time to change ball possession?

Buckaroo: Say what?

Jaime: (gesturing animatedly) Ball possession. See, once she begins to consider the possibility of a relationship despite the misgivings she has, you know it’s time to throw the ball to her.

Buckaroo: And how does that happen.

Jaime: Lead her to a point where she stops asking all the deep questions. Let her have fun with you, make her feel you, the dude, is doing all the work. Then pass the ball.

Buckaroo: Explain please…

Jaime: You stop calling. She has to hunt you down. You start hanging with your buddies, you become BUSY. She has to decide how she’s gonna play the ball now.

Buckaroo: (Confused) But, but…she’s not aware she has this “ball”

Jaime: That’s where the fun comes in. That’s when she begins to pursue you without her knowing it at first.

Buckaroo: This doesn’t sound right at all!

Jaime: (Snickering) you women give us so much strife it’s only fair that you know what it feels like.

Buckaroo: But why do this to someone you profess to “LIKE”

Jaime: The “liking” doesn’t stop. We still like the girl but want to know how hard she’ll need us. What she’ll do to “win” us back into a mutual ball possession

Buckaroo: People actually do this?

Jaime: Heh, Heh, you didn’t hear it from me

Buckaroo: So, what happens next?

Jaime: If she’s a prideful woman, she expects the man to take the “ball” back no matter what, usually she’ll end up losing the man. Some women choose to take up the ball handling responsibility, we take the back seat and enjoy the ride. We don’t know where the ride will take us, if she plays the game well, maybe the ride takes us to a solid relationship and marriage. Hah hah, who knows……? You know what the say, 'A wise woman builds (a good relationship) with her own hands and destroys it with her own hands." It's all in her hands.

Buckaroo: But that's unfair, if she does all the work, men label such a woman as needy, desperate, all loose

Jaime: She has to take her chances

Buckaroo: But won't you label her that?

Jaime: Depends

Buckaroo: Depends on what?

Jaime: On what measures she uses

Buckaroo: Huh?

Jaime: Huh?

Sick, isn’t it? I think it’s rather childish behavior and spiteful. Does it matter what I think though, someone out there is doing this to some innocent woman as I type. Sadly, Jaime’s words ring true, I have seen it happen so many times but never explained so simply. Thank you Jaime for telling me this, I’m using your words to sober up women who have been, are, or will be engaged, albeit, without knowing it in this ball game of folly. The older bachelors polish this routine up to a shine and it’s hard to detect. Teenagers are brasher. It’s all the same. Even some married men dabble in this routine. Girls, women, Let God alone bring you your man. God won’t bring you an imposter who’ll waste your time and energy, and make your hands all rough playing some sad, sad ball game. Let these types of men waste THEIR time and not yours!

Peace

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prophets of Doom


image from doomonger




Uncanny! There is something I've noticed about our Malawian culture, this thing I've noticed is bad, bad enough that I am evening blogging about it. Normally I leave all the negative comment-making to foreigners who live here or have lived here or are yet to live here. This though is an inside thing so Malawians, let me have your ears. I'll start with an example: In the past month we’ve had the Big Brother show beaming on TV’s across the continent. It IS the biggest show on Earth. 12 countries sent in representatives as housemates, 6 men, 6 women. Now, the buckaroo, not being blessed with her own TV and let alone Digital Satellite TV decoder, has been making stops over to friends’ homes where a bunch of people will gather to watch the highlights of the show, mainly the launch, the eviction shows, and the nomination shows. These shows fall on Sundays and Mondays, respectively.

With no exception, there will always be at least one member of the viewing audience who will say, “Ah, our Malawian will not make it (to the finals).” When I ask why, the response is usually something like, “When did a Malawian ever make it to the finals?” This is then followed by a narrative of our Malawian housemate’s (Hazel Warren) character, personality, and appearance flaws. Not much attention is paid to the flaws of most anybody else in the Big Brother House, after all, by virtue of them being non-Malawians, some deem them worthy of the $100,000 prize.

Upon further probing, I realize with each passing week that it’s not only my cronies but even the media and the general viewing populace that “they are all better than we are”? Why is this, why do we have such low self-esteem when we have to compete on the international arena? It seems to me that for most people, prophesying doom (for Malawian competitors) is the soft cushion that cushions us from disappointment and shame. If someone says, “Hazel is such a bore. She won’t make it.” When she does not make it they’ll be proud to say, “I told you so, I just knew it.”

Goodness me, then. What will the next generation be? I am not saying I am a Hazel fan, remember I don’t own a TV, but by virtue of the fact that she is a Malawian, there is no need for me to suffer in silence as I listen to what I hear said about our soccer team, our netball teams, our boxers, our musicians, all the negatives….where will that take our nation, I fear other countries are beginning to notice…

Stand up Malawians and be noticed. Our president is giving us an example, 2 int'l awards in 2 months, can't beat that, at least so far over here. We CAN make it, we just have to want to...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kgalema Motlanthe, the New South African President
















For all my love for Africa, I will confess, I have never heard of Kgalema Motlanthe until today. Now that he's president, I have homework to do, who is this man? I'm sorry Thabo, I hoped you'd finish successfully brokering the power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe.... Changes, changes, but anyway, congratulations Mzansi (South Africa)for a peaceful transition of power.

Here is the article as written by AFP:

South Africa names new president

"South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has named the deputy head of the party, Kgalema Motlanthe as the country's new president.

Mr Mothlanthe will serve as acting president until April next year when fresh elections are held.

He replaces Thabo Mbeki who resigned this morning after being forced out by supporters of his rival Jacob Zuma.

"Motlanthe will be the president, not interim, he will be the president of the republic until the election," spokesman for the ANC parliamentary caucus KK Khumalo said after a meeting between the party and lawmakers.

Mr Motlanthe was elected party deputy president at a crunch ANC conference in December last year, which was when Mr Zuma toppled Mr Mbeki from his position as party chief.

According to the South African constitution, parliament elects the president from among its members, dominated by the ANC since 1994.

Motlanthe was only recently appointed to parliament as minister in the presidency charged with smoothing the transition from one administration to the next.

Mr Mbeki was called to resign after suggestions by a judge that his Government had interfered in a corruption prosecution against his arch rival Mr Zuma, which was thrown out of court over a week ago.

Mr Mbeki denied any such interference in a broadcast to the nation on Sunday."

- AFP

Anonymous Response to VRPRA's Entry

Dear Thandi,
Actually, I don't agree with you. Your VRPRAs are basically friends. We all have friends for a reason.
One of those reasons is to give us advice. When you're in a relationship or like a guy its hard to see
the forest through the trees. Our judgement gets clouded by our emotions and logic goes out the window.
Like you once said yourself, no matter how many degrees one has hormones are not logical. When we're
dealing with men, we're dealing with hormones not logic. At such times we need our
friends who don't have the problem of dealing with hormones when it comes to that guy to give us advice.
Everyone woman needs a true friend who can give her proper advice and help her take the blinders off. Even
the most wise woman wears blinders when it comes to a man she likes. The problem is that we sometimes go
shopping for friends who will tell us what we want to hear and not what we know we should hear. We search for
friends who will help suppress the voice of reason, instead of those who will help bring it out.
Yes, God's will is what matters and we need to hear His word. But how many times in the Bible did God speak through people?
That's what our friends are there for and if we're truly honest we can all identify the one friend who can speak the
word of God into our lives concerning our relationships. The problem is that is usually that's the friend we avoid. Personally
I'm all for friendly advice and I'll enhance that through prayer. I'm not going to seek out the reason suppressors. I'm going to
seek out Godly friends. Most importantly, I'm not going to go through life pretending I know it all and don't need my girls.
True girlfriends are the ones who identify the loosers as well as the keepers. True girlfriends will tell you to your
face that there is no such thing as a perfect man, but the one you have is sure close to perfect for you.

Yours Truly,

Miss Anonymous

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Volunteer Relationship Psychologists and Relationship Analysts

Disclaimer: This is not targeted at any of my friends, it’s an inspiration I got over time going through different encounters with various friends, not one particular one. Some of them my own personal issues. It’s meant it inspire into action not to belittle anyone or anything else negative. If anyone is offended of my friends, all I can say is GIRL YOU GOT ISSUES!! GET OVER YOURSELF HA HA HA!!

Every once in a while a young lady wants to get married. To get there one needs to have a man in her life that she knows will propose and she’ll be more than happy to say yes. Now the potent combination that Q presented in one of his poems at Umunthu comes into effect to derail some women, i.e. upbringing, Hollywood, and lust. I’ll add one more, the plethora of , I’ll call them , “Volunteer Relationship Psychologists and Relationship Analysts” AKA VRPRA’s. I will make my own confession. I have been a VRPRA myself and I have sought the counsel of sundry VRPRA. Generally VRPRA’s don’t sign up to be VRPRA’s it’s just one of those things that come with the territory. I have grown very weary of it all that now I have retired, happily. Girl, if you got a problem with your man, maybe try pointing the finger at yourself, if you are blameless, ask him, if he’s blameless, ask God for wisdom. Tell you what, if a marriage is between 3, that is God, man , and woman, then let the three sort it out. Same goes for a good and healthy boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.

Why am I rambling over this? In all these years I’ve been your regular approval seeker when it comes to relationships, approval seekers are almost always VRPRA’s and they tend to congregate with VRPRA’s and here has been the common scenario: Guy likes you, you like guy. You appoint yourself VRPRA. You psycho-analyze the dude. You seek out VRPRA’s amongst your friends. They psycho-analyze the dude. You ALL psycho-analyze. You psycho-analyze some more. You find the flaws you’re hunting for. THEN panic with the “he’s so great but he’s not all of these things we want (how did the “we” get in it anyway?) .” You start to dislike the guy. You lose the guy. You feel miserable. Well, it’s time to get over it if we do profess to be a Christian women in the waiting. God is the first counsel, what does His Word say, it’s where we find HIS wisdom, free of charge. In His wisdom if He should send His daughters who are praying for a godly husband genuine VRPRA’s then may it be so. But no more seeking them out.

Sonrise at Umunthu Theater


I went to attend Q Malewezi's recital that I blogged about. It was held at the Umunthu Theater in the heart of Lilongwe. It was great, it reminds me of my childhood when I was told that poetry was good and not boring. Growing up poems take the backseat, music and movies offer more instant gratification but this way of storytelling - Poetry - remains so beautiful.

Congratulations to Q for an excellent presentation and ahem, I love freebies, can I negotiate a free "iPoetry" t-shirt from ya?

There will be a "Poetically Correct"event once a month (which I believe will be open-mic and hosted by Q) at Umunthu Theater. Check out Umunthu at www.umunthu.com for more info on them. and Q's website, www.fulltime-poet.com and www.abstrakbeatz.com for info on his magazine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Philly Eagles, Dang Terrell Owens!


I'm entitled to a pick of three football teams having lived for at least more than a couple months in three States. So between the Seahawks, Denver Broncos (Idaho shares with Colorado in Football), and the Eagles, I've always been for the Philly Eagles. Of course in College football I'm down for Boise State Broncos all the way, still have the orange and blue on my mind... Anywho, I'm quite ticked off that TO (or Terrell Owens) my former favorite player back in the day when he played for the Eagles was yesterday up there in his current team, Cowboys, playing a part in defeating our Eagles. I mean I'm happy for your career and all but hey, that stinks!!

Cowboys 41, Eagles 37

Tha Gosple



Congratulations to Aubrey Mvula aka Tha Gosple for his first album! I won't hate, I appreciate... Gosple, dude, you was a kid, knee high to a grasshopper when I first saw u in them baggy basketball shorts shooting hoops at ABC. Now look at you! Proud of you dude. Wishing you the best in your music career, and you is a chartered accountant too? No way! that's what's up!!! Umm, HALLELUJAH!!
Check out Tha Gosple's mad rhymes @ his blog:
Write & Rights godlyrix.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Of Zain and TNM



I got wise and got a TNM card. Got so excited when they introduced the free calls after 11 PM and then got excited again when my usual cell line, Zain, changed the easy talk time from 6pm to 6am to from 9pm to 9am. Who doesn't want to use their bonus airtime in the morning on their way to work. Smart.
A few days ago, TNM gave us the free texting time from 12pm to 10 PM, just for that day. So I crossed the floor again to TNM, just for that day. I usually keep my TNM card on standby for such exciting times, so Zain, you know I'm ur girl. Wow, am I beginning to love capitalism? Can't help but enjoy watching these cellular networks try to outdo each other, now MTL has come up with a cell phone, so now you can walk around with your land line, shah! it'll only get better...

pix: Zain and Old School TNM (no copyright granted to me, don't arrest me-O)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Qabaniso "Q" Malawezi presents "Sonrise"





This is so exciting, a few years ago there was a blackout in Lilongwe, a literal one and to save on candles, my then housemate and I decided to vacate our home and spend the dark hours at a neighbors, well, only until the power came back. There was an interesting mix of people there, people that have since grown to pleasantly surprise: one of them being Qabaniso “Q” Malewezi. Q, on that dark night when there was no power introduced himself to us and told us he had just returned from England and his vision was to promote indigenous music here. He was skinny and brought a drum with him. I was like, “OK, Good Luck Ohn.” Lesson 1: never underestimate nobody (sorry Grammar teacher but I just couldn’t resist Ebonics….)

Now that skinny, drum-carrying man is the brains behind Abstrak Beatz Entertainment that brings us among other modes of quality entertainment, the Abstrak Beatz Entertainmet magazine. It’s a modern, informative, creative, and entertaining youth mag, and it’s FREE! Bottom line, here’s a Malawian using his creativity to bring across his unique messages that are relevant to our society and beyond not only through song or writing but…even using the ABSTRACT….

Q will be making an exclusive performance of selected pieces from his compilation called “Sonrise”. Let’s all (those who’ll be in Lilongwe on September 18) be there to show our support and learn something.

Here is some info on Q.

Qabaniso Malewezi better known as ‘Q’ was born on 7th September 1979 in Lilongwe, Malawi. Passionate about performing arts, he was accepted into the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) whose patron is Sir Paul McCartney. Q’s acceptance into the institute was a historical mark because he was the first African to ever be accepted. After LIPA he went on to the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM). Although most of his training has been in music, Q has always been a poet and a writer at heart. His vivid writing style is full of life, vibrancy, rhythm and imagination as echoed in his self described ‘I will not tell you, I will show you’ approach to writing. As a performer, Q has the ability to capture and relate to any audience invoking a range of emotions through his heartfelt performances laced with slight doses of humorous undertones.

And go ahead and check out www.fulltime-poet.com and www.abstrakbeatz.com for updates, info. etc.

l8as

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mugabe and Kirsty Coventry








A breath of fresh air to see good news from Zimbabwe. I gotta admit, inasmuch as I loathe the injustices, Zimbabwe has beautiful people and I love them. It's with pride that I post, belatedly, Kirsty Coventry's triumph, she broke the world record in the backstroke at the Olympics. even though she is living now in the Land of the Free, go girl for making Zimbabwe proud!!

pic courtesy of Reuters

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Big Brother Africa 3

This time last year Big Brother Africa 2 came out. I see-sawed between elation and utter disappointment with that season. Elation because the world could be forced to see that Africans are far from the backward homo-sapien they portray us to be and disappointment because our vices are just as bad as the rest of the world. In my idealistic brain I tend to believe we have more class when it comes to morals, ah well, no.
Last night I watched the launch of Big Brother 3. I noted that this season they have taken beauties and hunks. For the first time, Malawi is represented my a woman, Hazel Warren. for the sake of being patriotic I'll certainly root for her, I do hope she represents Malawi well, and Africa. My favorite hunk though is the Nigerian.....check them out: Hazel and Uti


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden




















the announcement has come, Barack chose Biden. At the back of my mind, for some strange reason i half-expected Obama to choose Hillary Clinton. Ah, well, Biden it is. The journey to the White House continues...
By the way, I don't pop my head much into celebrity news but seriously people, what is this about Ellen DeGeneres wanting to wait to have children (now that she's newly married), at the age of 50? Not to mention the fact that the pregnancy will not be straight forward one (note the pun on "straight") Anyway, I've always thought Hollywood is crazy. Let me focus on Lilongwe for the time being...naf naf naf.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

RIP Mwanawasa

To a great man, May Mwanawasa rest in peace.

For Yanjanani Chingota

I have never met Yanjanani Chingota, and sadly, I will never meet him. I am friends with his brother, I go to Church with his sister, I used to go to Church with his other brother. And, I share an Uncle with him, don't ask me how. Yanjanani was found dead on Sunday morning by members of his family as they returned home from Church, he was young, he was alone, he was murdered, they found him near a bridge. I sometimes get carried away in thinking that people are basically good, even though I know that this is as far from the truth as we can ever get. Read the Book of Romans, especially Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23. How people can live with themselves after murdering someone and dumping him in a dirty stream I will never understand.

It only reminds me of the reality of evil...and good, as I saw the women toiling, getting things ready for the funeral, the men, condoling his father, the preachers, preaching messages of salvation and men and women singing, consoling, praying, helping, feeding one another, caring...for four days, as they waited for his mother to arrive from a trip abroad. Thank You God that in the midst of turmoil, Your Son does shine. May your Name be blessed forever and may incidences such as this end. Yanjanani, I never met you but will hold your memory dear. Rest in Peace.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Of Charcoal and The Law

It all started when a truck-load of charcoal wanted to make it's way past The Law. Apparently there was a scuffle over some shady business I'd rather not discuss, the end result: three casualties and riots, teargas and smashing of windows, blown tyres and the truck's crashing into a minibus with passengers (not in that order but it all happened). It is terrible stuff to happen in this country, I neither side with The Law nor sellers of charcoal on this one. A bad situation that got worse.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Soldiers and Parliament










I've heard both sides of the story: the opposition isn't too crazy about "threats" that the government will send soldiers to close down parliament if they carry on with dilly-dallying on passing the budget. and the government says that it's not a "threat", the Police and Army are the security to the parliament grounds so they'll simply be ordered to close the gates to the parliament should time-wasting be prolonged. I don't know what is what, all I know is that we aint a military state so let Malawian peace reign supreme!!! Abeg, Abeg (notice for once I've used "Abeg" twice. Malawi, Malawi, Malawi...how many times have I called you-O, listen-O, peaceful reconciliation is not for losers-O. Oho, ndanenatu

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bernie Mac, life and death

Bernie Mac was an artist that I took note of. He made me laugh and there was something very familiar about him that even though I'm Malawian and he was a Chicago native, it felt like he was family. I never met him, never met a star in my life, but it's so sad to hear of his passing. He passed away yesterday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Saturday from complications related to his battle with pneumonia.

Bernie's real name was Bernard Jeffrey McCullough (see I didn't know that either), he died at 50. Are you ready for death? What do you think about Jesus? He's THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life - even beyond the grave. See, ever realized He uses "THE", meaning people think it's polite to say, "Well, there are many ways and truths and many pursuits for life, but nah, get it right, right now. He is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. Amen

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympics and Chinese construction workers in Malawi

I was an ardent supporter of parents who are believers in the "no TV running your life" philosophy. Well, now that the Olympic Games are here, I'm getting quite jealous of those who are getting to see all the action. I got a text from Wyoming at 4am telling me my fellow Malawians were on TV. I wasn't upset at the timing of the text, I was upset that I don't have a TV running my life. Fancy all those hours spent productively watching Beijing, sports, Beijing, sports, Beijing.....

On another note, I was quite surprised to see a truck ferrying Chinese construction workers in Lilongwe. I've heard about Chinese construction workers elsewhere in Africa but to me this was a surprising sight all the same. Am I being idealistic in hoping that they will teach us their unique skills in building and pass the construction mantle back soon after? Abeg

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rwanda Accuses France over 1994 Genocide

I remember clearly the night my then-housemates went to watch Hotel Rwanda in Cherry Hill, NJ. At the time, I didn’t know what the movie was about. I didn’t want to know, I figured it was probably some depiction of the stereotypical African: speaking in a “click-click” language, scratching butts and living in abject poverty. I was wrong, one housemate returned from the movie and collapsed on my bed, bawling, “How could we let that happen?”

I have since watched “Sometimes in April” and developed my own observations since that night back then. Today, as a report comes out from Rwanda, a report that points an accusing finger at France;

“The French support was of a political, military, diplomatic, and logistic nature. Considering the gravity of the alleged facts, the Rwandan government asks competent authorities to undertake all necessary actions to bring the accused French political and military leaders to answer for their action before justice.” Reads the report in part. (Report is from an independent Rwandan commission that was set up to investigated France’s role in the bloodshed) credits: Reuters/Malawi Nation News.

I echo my housemate’s words, “How could Africa and the world let France do that?” Do we even care to know the truth behind the accusation? Things are not as simplistic as presented in Hotel Rwanda. Now our eyes begin to open more and we ask more and more questions with the hope that the answers will guarantee that such genocides will not be repeated elsewhere. It’s a frightening process when you realize that the story is not just, Hutu hates Tutsi, then Hutu decides to wipe out Tutsi, Tutsi tries to defend himself, 800,000 people die and many more are displaced.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cuil

Cuil

I just love this new search engine! For one, it's new, everything new, I just love. And then when you do search, it actually gives you cool excerpts of the search finds. I searched for something not easy to find on Google, an African thing, Google et al. turned up a handful of finds but CUIL came up with more finds (I'm yet to decide whether the finds were fruitful or not). From this Hemisphere....Here's looking at you CUIL!! sorry Jeeves, can't google you much these day, might Yahoo search you or MSN search you at some point but don't you just love cool cuil?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Yvonne Chaka-Chaka


It's a problem when one gets so used to Malaria being there and people dying of Malaria that it just becomes part of the norm. When Code, Malawi's Big Brother Africa representative last year, took up the task of fighting against Malaria, I was like, "Wack bro, why don't you crusade for the most popular things like HIV/AIDS and vulnerable children etc. " It's quite possible that more die of Malaria than AIDS and not enough funds are going into malaria research.

What I know is that new drugs are coming up all the time as the parasite becomes resistant. Although I am quite suspicious of malaria drug makers, just between you and me, I think they make a killing. After all it's only in Africa that the disease is prevalent (pardon my ignorance but I have actually never heard of it elsewhere) so I think they have a field day:

"Right, let's hit them with this SP."
"Nah, we'll expire that SP next year, is it time to pull out chloroquine again?"

Ever watched "The Constant Gardner"? Who knows, I may be way out of line, just a thought.

So to Yvonne Chaka-Chaka who came to M-Dubs (Malawi) to support the cause against Malaria, thank you for all the good you are doing. I'll let you know I don't suffer from malaria in the way other people do because my blood type is different but as a Malawian, when you suffer with Malaria so do I.
Peace.

Here is the article as written by http://www.afriquenligne.fr/

SA's Yvonne Chaka Chaka in Malawi anti-malaria campaign

Blantyre, Malawi - The South African songstress, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, is in Malawi to launch an ambitious anti-malaria campaign. United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF] Communications Officer Kusali Kubwalo told PANA Thursday Chaka Chaka - who is UNICEF's Regional Malaria Goodwill Ambassador - would launch a two-week campaign to distribute 1.1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to children under the age of five.The ceremony will be held in the lake-shore district of Mangochi on Friday."The campaign seeks to distribute over one million treated mosquito nets to benefit under-five children and pregnant mothers at no cost," she said.Kubwalo said government adopted the strategy to use treated nets among children and pregnant mothers as a key tool to prevent and control malaria in the country.Malaria remains a leading cause of death of children under the age of five in Malawi.At least 18 per cent of all hospital deaths and 40 per cent of out-patient visits are due to malaria.Malaria, according to UNICEF, is responsible for anaemae among children and also contributes to absenteeism in schools.Last year, there were 4 million reported cases of malaria in Malawi, with 7,000 people dying of the disease. Blantyre - 31/07/2008Pana

Thursday, July 31, 2008

TNM, Telekom Networks Malawi

Glad to see the day when you can talk on the fone for free in M-Dubs. Finally! TNM's new service, in which, for topping-up on your pre-paid account with $1 minimum, you can talk on the night of your topping-up for free from 11pm to 5 am. Makes me remember Verizon fondly...free nights and weekends, uhhhh....so, yes, good start TNM. glad to be talking on the phone for free right here in Malawi. I hope that you'll keep bettering your services. Big up TNM!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Day at the Police

I went to the Police today to make a statement over some stolen goods. I was pleasantly surprised, my last visit to a Police station was more than miserable but today, I could actually touch my confidence in the system being built. Well done our Police, that's the way to go.

In my last visit, which was some years ago, my sister and I had just been jumped and we walked barefoot to the police station. The first thing they thought was that we were ladies of the night. Granted, no one should be walking barefoot to a Police station at night but hey, give some ladies the benefit of the doubt... but that was then. Today I'm happy to walk with my head up knowing that things are getting better. Nuff respect men in blue (and Khaki).

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Braai, is what the Doctor has ordered


Never been a party maniac but in Malawi, when the weather is good and you're feeling out of sorts...the Doctor orders a Braai (Bbq). Of course that's an imaginary doctor but I'll take his advice anyway, we're having a (hopefully) big braaii just to celebrate life.

The "porn suspects" (as the paper calls them) have been arrested and released on bail I still say, arrest the computer geek who published the pix as well! To act and to sell, both wrong, innit? Justice should go across the board.

That aside, I'm sad the Malawi Football team is out of the COSAFA tournament, and to think it was all because of Malaria.......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Porn Scandal

So now that prominent members of society have been exposed in this porn scandal, we're all pointing a finger at them. True it's bad what they were up to but the "computer fixing wizard" that uploaded the dirty pix file online is also bad. What happened to clients' rights to confidentiality. And the vendors selling the smut for MK600 are bad too. and so are the folks forwarding the pix as attachments. What happened to helping people see the light, things like counseling etc. ..we replaced that for public humiliation, shame on us. It's so sad that we can laugh at others when noone knows what we do in private. Remember what Jesus said, "He who has no sin cast the first stone...."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bulesingisi

I’ve had a chance to encounter some unique ways of spelling English names. The first time I encountered this was when I was 16 and attempting to tutor neighbor kids. One kid told me his name was Christopher. I asked him to write his name, he wrote “Khilisitofa”. As a tutor I wanted to teach him the right way to write his name but as a romantic I decided he was, at age 13 or thereabouts, already attached to his name spelt that way, the “proper” spelling would be strange and alien to him.

Today, I came across a list of names, many were spelt funny but “Bulesingisi” took the cake. How many letters in “Blessings”: 9 and “Bulesingisi”:11. I say, this Chichewarising of names i.e. insertion of a plethora of vowels- can make our hands weary of writing. Make no mistake, Jan is to John as Blessings is to Madalitso so what to do about “Bulesingisi”? Alas… I am of the mind to launch a “Spell Right” campaign…
As a matter of interest, some choose to spell the name “Thandi” as “Thandie” (Think Thandie Newton). Well, would that be bantuarizing or vice-versa the above comments

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Malawi Wins

Again, Malawi carries the day with a 1-0 victory over Lesotho. Now I'm beginning to think our past run of losses was due to one coach who shall remain nameless at this point in time. Malawi, especially you Chiukepo Msowoya (yeah, you, you scored against Egypt as well) well done! Go Flames!!! Flames woyeeee!! Inenso woyeeee!!

Goodby to Dancing

I've enjoyed boogeying quite a lot this past year. I've had so much energy (a little bit of stress here and there) pent up during work weeks that it's been a joy to go out there on the weekends and just get down to boogey and refresh. Problem is, a lot of people don't see why a Christian should be out there boogeying in the midst of all that chaos (if you've been in some of those places you know what I mean). Paul in the Bible said, "all things are permissible to me" as he understood what he was doing but went on to say that he would not allow himself to be a stumbling block. Neither do I, if people are going to put question marks on this boogierthat will lead to matters of faith, well, I'm fixin' to... matter of fact, I've already fixed to be an ex-boogier. So, goodby "Place of Lighted Stars" and "House of Nt.." I'll miss boogeying but I won't miss being a stumbling block....so long loud music and light....alas......

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He's Alive

The Church I attend hosted an intercession session for Levy Mwanawasa's healing so I'm glad to hear he's alive
That said, what are we going to do about the Budget here in Malawi?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bus conversations

One thing I love about going on a long bus trip here in Malawi is that without fail, there shall always be talkative people who don't mind airing their intimate opinions to strangers they are never likely to meet again.
I was on one such trip on Friday night, I got off work very late and took three buses home to the City of Zomba. The first and longest was in BigFoot Bus. Everyone was quiet to begin with until a drunk or mad man (we were not sure which) stood in the middle of the road and the bus had to swerve violently to avoid him. From the back of the bus a man could be heard lamenting, "Driver, if that happens again, stop the bus so we can beat the living daylights out of such a person. You know, important people are in here, if we were to pool the money in all our wallets together, do you know how much it will all add up to? A lot. some people in here have frowns on their faces, they might be on the verge of separation and they are busy thinking about how to apologize to their spouses when they arrive. Some are Pastors in here. Some are witchdoctors....on and on he went until a few other young men joined him in talk about politics and HIV/AIDS. Very interesting insights. At times I wish I had a recorder and record the wisdoms of Bus riders...