It Wasn’t Nothing Like That. First. Time.

Before you ever have sex, someone will definitely tell you that you’ll be in love with your first forever. You will think of them all the time and will have a soft spot for them. A soft spot that will last a lifetime. I don’t remember my first time clearly. It wasn’t that special. It was nothing like the Mills and Boon described. More than anything else, I recall lying still, wishing so bad that it would end. I was actually happy that he moved away and I would never see him again. Saved me the awkwardness.

Fast forward a few years… I met the most amazing guy and we hit it off. So amazing, I was crazy about him before sex with him ever crossed my mind. He simply excited me. Then we dated. I wish this was a great sex story. Really. That would make for far better entertainment, right? Our first kiss was on me; too full of excitement to realise I was making all the first moves. I would feel bad in a normal setup but being his girlfriend made it fine, right? A lot of women are only happy to be in a relationship because they get to have as much sex as they want without being called names. Obviously, you can imagine my surprise when my guy was never the one to bring up sex.

Maybe he got tired of my nagging. Maybe I cornered him into finally having sex with me. Maybe he really wanted to all along… but eventually, it happened. It wasn’t bad but it prompted me to give an assuring kiss at the end. The kiss that tells your guy it’s fine to not get it right the first time and that it would probably work out next time. The fewer words, the better. I had never had to give this kiss in any circumstance beside the action ending too early. His eyes had that look that said the next time would probably never come but I had my own plans. The next few months had me initiating sex and feeling like a borderline sex predator most times. Soon enough, his nerves wore off and I could have all the fun in the world, getting him to know me better. The fun was over as soon as it began. I love the idea of having all the power. Key word being ‘idea’. It should have stayed just that. I was brewing a monumental shit storm.

Eventually, he was just the way I taught him to be. He kissed like I kissed and touched the way he did when my hands guided over his. The kiss at the end, now that I look back, was the constant summary of how our sex life was going. It changed. It became one that was almost apologetic. I was sorry to have spent over a year with this amazing man, moulding him into something I simply didn’t want anymore. He returned my kiss with a huge smile. I knew he didn’t understand what my body was telling him… so I stayed with him another few months, hoping he would get it the next time. Or the time after the next time. Maybe a few more times? He never did.

The sense of sight says so much… followed closely by the sense of touch. After an entire year of knowing his body, I could read into his eyes and touch. I ran out of patience… when was he going to understand what I couldn’t get myself to say out loud? All these things were running through my mind, lying in a heap of sweat. I couldn’t give one more apologetic kiss. When I turned to him, I saw in his eyes what people spoke of when they mentioned loving your first sexual partner. It wasn’t love. It was a dependent look that told me he probably only knew how to be with me. Sadly, I wanted someone that was their own person… not someone I moulded. For the first time, he read my eyes before I ever had to say it in words.

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…And I Lived Happily Ever After

Fairy tales. Aaahh. I love them. When we were a lot younger, my mum brought my sister and I Disney compilations of Fairytales. My sister got princesses, I got animals. We swapped from time to time. However, the first fairytale to ever steal my heart was Cinderella.

Not the fairy godmother, beautiful dress, horse-led chariot or the glass slipper, but the underlying lesson that I’m sure the writers had no intention of spreading to children my age : Fake it til you make it. Wear expensive clothes, mingle with rich people, sound like them and soon, you’ll find yourself one of them.

Now, if there’s a compliment that I receive so often, it’s that I’m so real. It always makes me smile an extra second, sometimes even chuckle a bit at the thought. If only they knew me 10 years ago. Maybe that’s why everybody I was close to 10 years ago isn’t my friend anymore. The realness phased them out.

I remember arriving at school rather early with my then best friend, to laugh at all the below par cars that dropped people off. I remember never opening the food I carried from home around my friends. I remember wearing sneakers when I knew the rules said school shoes. I remember begging my parents to convince the headteacher I needed my phone.

I also remember bullying people, mocking appearances, acting like I didn’t know any local language and perming my hair, constantly dying and cutting it, getting piercings; all against my mother’s rules. I got whipped for all that nonsense but guess what kept me going? Cinderella faked it. Eventually, she was a princess.

Now, I don’t know if this was my parents’ way of teaching us humility but later on, they often took us to Kabwata orphanage to help out. We did their chores with them, played and conversed. The older girls and boys supervised and helped us where our little arms failed us. It was here that I met a girl, who, for the purpose of privacy, we’ll call Emma.

Emma didn’t hang out with the orphans, despite living with them. She had a different aura to her. An aura I was all to familiar with. She was a snob. No surprise that she was the first friend I made. So sitting on the lawn while everybody else played together, she explained a situation that changed my views on everything forever.

See, Emma was not an orphan. Her parents just didn’t get married when she was born. Her mum’s prospective husband didn’t want her in their home and the same situation occurred with her father’s prospective wife. No relative wanted to take her in and so, like some sick joke, there she found herself living in an orphanage with parents that visited her from time to time. Of course with posh gifts.

She said it with a ring of pride, not realising that her situation was actually a lot sadder than the rest. I didn’t get into it any further but it weighed on my mind all the way home, all through the night and the entire morning I got ready for school. That morning, when I got to school, I couldn’t get myself to laugh at cars that dropped people off.

I couldn’t bully anyone or feel above anyone anymore. Emma showed me that in my pool of friends, I could be the Emma. Maybe everyone tolerated my horrid ways because they too pitied me, as I did her. Just maybe, I’m the one in the worse position, doing all I can to fit in.

Lately, people ask my drink of choice and wonder why I’m so raw. They listen to me speak vernacular and wonder why I’m so hood. They might even look at me wearing sneakers among girls in heels, thinking I’m not as classy and usually, its when I’m almost shrinking and succumbing to society when someone always says to me, “you’re so real.” And I remember how far I’ve come.

Brothers and Sisters 

By now, I should be an expert on siblings. I have baby siblings, older ones, MUCH older ones, brothers and sisters too! But I’m not. However, I’ve learnt a whole ton about them.

For starters, not all siblings get along. We don’t need any outsider to jump in and mediate, we got this. The problem, usually, is that siblings are different. Though, having grown up the exact same way, they expect to be more similar. They pick the small differences and blow them up when to the rest of the world, they appear the same.

I never got along with my sisters. They were so annoying 😂😂 (still are). Because of the way we fight and the fact that we’re barely in public together, one would almost think I hate Naledi. And they would be right! I hate her. But for every moment I hate Naledi, there are a million more moments that I love her.

We make each other cry, we fight, we say the worst things, but we always end up back at the same spot, laughing at some mean thing and forgetting we aren’t talking. What people don’t understand is that as her young sister, I’m allowed to do these things.

I get to tease her, laugh at her, pick on her, expect everything from her and not feel like I’m borrowing favors. There’s no favor bank between us. I’d love someone to tease her or laugh at her though… I’ll KILL you. That’s not a joke btw!

As siblings, we’re each other’s keepers. We support each other, all of us. We comfort each other, we fight for each other, we cheer each other up, we’re each other’s cheerleaders, we groom each other, we stick together and most of all, we never forget that an older sibling will always offer their baby sibling the jersey on their back, no matter how cold they feel themselves! 

  

To My Roomie

Today, its been 140 days since you left me. At every turn, I seem to see your name. In my sleep, I hear your voice telling me to move lower so my head doesn’t touch the wall. And when I wake up, I keep my eyes closed and stay in bed a little bit longer everyday so I can pretend you’re here next to me, like you were everyday for most of my life.

I eat breakfast everyday I’m home, remembering you always forced me to. My eyes fill up and tears run over at the mention of your name and the ache in my chest never seems to go. It feels like a nervousness but I can’t get rid of it. I’m jealous that you found a better place. The better place gets to have the sound of your loud giggle and I don’t.

I had to have this moment to confess that I’ve been searching my room endlessly for traces of you. I never find anything but I still search the next day too, wondering why I torture my soul like this. Your absence is so real. Its too real. I sit in crowded places and my mind drifts so far, its almost as though everybody fades away and I’m suddenly alone everywhere I go. When people distance themselves, it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m still stuck on the fact that I lost you.

I should be sleeping but I keep sniffing my pillows to see if at least one still smells of you. All of these months make me wonder what time has in store for me. I said a million and one prayers for you everyday since you fell ill. But since they didn’t work to keep you with me, I know for a fact that they worked to bring me right where you are, to feel your hug even if its one last time. I miss you terribly.

Random Ramblings of One Black Woman

Today, somebody tweeted a Youtube link on black skin by a guy called Tommy Sotomayor. A lot of what he says are the general facts of the nature of black people. I don’t know much about black men, I’ll admit, but I know black women and so, that is my topic for today.

The majority of the time a white man marries a black woman in Zambia, you can almost guess what they look like. There are a rare few that are married for love. A few black Zambian women who do not fall under the description of the usual. They look past skin colour and the definitions of beauty, because those are thoughts of a basic mind. However, this isn’t about inter-racial marriages or relationships. I’m not praising them or talking down on them. Its about the most obvious reasons that people of all races are still sceptical about black women. Be it making friends out of us or even dating us.

The first reason is that most of us black women are rude. I don’t mean that we should all greet strangers or sit and listen to every person that wants to engage in conversation but basic politeness. There are barely any thank yous or pleas from us. The need to look tough or be strong is there in every person but only black women rub it in people’s faces. We go off and make scenes anywhere and in all honesty, it is NEVER really that serious.

We will challenge anybody over the smallest things. Its beyond rare to find another race making an entire video to bash men of their own race. Its just us. A black woman will raise hell online about men (in video form, at that) with a million people watching and go back to complain about a husband that ran away. But if we’re really being honest, who wants to wake up to that drama every single day for the rest of their lives?

Second would be that we tend to think that having a whipped man is winning. That, in itself, explains why most single mothers below 20 are black. When you strip a man down and bring him to your level, any other woman that gives him even an ounce of respect has the upper hand. If the man you’ve stripped down to a boy doesn’t snap eventually, count yourself lucky.

We’re rarely supportive. Even when the person winning is our man, we’ll find a way to rain on that parade. Unless of course, we played a major role in it. We dismiss innovative dreams, calling them childish thoughts and still stand there in awe when he achieves those dreams and makes it a point to cut us off. A man does not jump every time you tell him to. Its not something you need to change; its something you need to embrace.

In addition, I’d say that black women are always so quick to shy away from being black. A lot of us will take any route to tell you we have traces of other races. Speaking so proudly of a slight hint of another race, as though being black is something to be ashamed of. Tommy Sotomayor said, “black people are the only race that has no problem being at the bottom but would much rather pick out amongst themselves who is furthest down.”

We also love to be around certain people just to make ourselves feel better because somebody at some point did that to us. I’ve been that black girl with a friend who I thought was beneath me. She never was beneath me, I realise that now. I thought the fact that I was once the ugly friend that somebody took around, made it justifiable for me to do that to somebody else. Its not. It never was, and I have outgrown that level of immaturity.

Other black girls do the opposite and seek the girl that people say is better than them and looks better than them. That isn’t better in any way at all. You can have the cool friend with every single thing, from the looks, all the way to material things but where does that put you? In a position to never ever improve, because you think having that friend puts you above others. It doesn’t. All it does is keep you glued to one spot.

Another common characteristic of ours is treating others as though they are obliged to help. Helping a person is not mandatory unless you are related or married, and even then, it depends on the type of help you require. Most of us don’t even know the difference between asking and demanding. We are really the only women that would turn to someone helping us change a tyre and say, “could you hurry up? I’m running late.” Adding a smile at the end! The smile on your face masking the fact that you’re demanding and not asking already takes you there.

I used to hate hearing opinions that start with, “the problem with black women…” Used to. But when I look around now, I see that most of the things that people have observed are actually true. I went from defending our usual bad habits to picking out what things I do and how others view them. Its so hard to identify intelligent black women because too many of us are so locked on comparing, complaining, gossiping and throwing shade. It is rarely an intelligent conversation.

Nobody just wakes up and looks at a black woman and says, “black women are so ugly.” Its when we open our mouths and a rotten attitude spills over, when we are out in public airing all our dirty laundry to win an argument, when we look over at the next girl and call her ugly because she’s darker, when we roll our eyes at compliments from strangers… It has nothing to do with our skin; it has everything to do with our attitudes.

P.S. Not every black woman is like this. I specified, ‘THE MAJORITY’. 🙂

Only Death Will Do Us Part

Every person, including me at some point, has nothing nice to say about death. The never-ending sadness at the thought of never seeing somebody or hearing their voices ever again, the huge gap that stays when everybody’s lives go back to normal and yours doesn’t and least of all, funerals are tiring.

I’m a lucky girl. Lucky in the sense that I’ve only lost very few close people to death. People that I can honestly say I love and miss everyday. Naturally, people will pass on their condolences. Some, solely out of respect, some to look like they are actually kind and others that genuinely care about how you feel. Of all the condolences I’ve ever gotten and/or received, the one I value most is, “they are in a better place.”

I sound so crazy when I say this, but I’m truly convinced that here where we are; Earth, this is hell. The older you get, the more burdens you carry everywhere with you, you bury all your loved ones and you get illnesses that just seem to make room for more when they leave. At some point, you forget what peace feels like… You forget what its like to wake up in the morning and not think about anything besides what to eat or what to watch. Your mind always worries because people die doing literally anything.

Also, the older you get, your quality of life deteriorates. It goes downhill after forty with physical health and mental health being the main issues. Everything aches, all the food you love can’t be eaten anymore, all your favourite activities can’t be done anymore, all your best friends are gone… But with time, you’ve become a rock to so many people that even when life is sad for you, you try so hard to hang on for fear that everything will fall apart when you finally make your exit. There’s always going to be one last thing you wanted to fix.

To say that I don’t fear death would be the understatement of the year. The thought scares me so much. I dream that I’m dying quite a lot and it makes me not want to sleep. However, losing a loved one scares me more. Of all the ‘luxuries’ people dream of in the world, immortality would always be right at the end of my list. The very end! Because nothing would hurt more than losing every single person that I learn to love.

Looking into somebody’s eyes, I wished I could take away their pain. I wished so hard that they could talk to me and say all the things they used to say before the parts of their mind that I loved so much faded away. I wished for so many things in the shortest space of time and only afterwards did I realise that if their lives ended, they would know peace. They would know a life without fear, pain or worry. That single reason makes me believe that they go to a better place.

Quality of life over quantity of life. Watching a person suffer every single moment you spend with them, knowing fully well that they will never bounce back, hurts a lot more than losing a person on the spot. I’m only learning this now and it hurts. A lot. I will break down and cry a million times before I ever speak of them normally after they leave us. After they leave ME! But hey… I guess some people are so awesome that even God misses them too much sometimes… And that’s okay.

The Rooted Rope Weaver

To stay grounded isn’t human. We grow, we change, we move, but most of all, we speak. With every heartfelt word we say to a person, we form a thread. No matter how short or how thin, we still have a thread.

The longer we linger, the more threads join the very first one you built. Nobody realises how many heartfelt words we say because when a person makes you comfortable, the words just flow. Those are enough words to turn many tiny threads into a string. I used to think the string was the peak but looking back now, I realise that its just the start.

All strings attached and I form a rope. The thicker the rope gets, the stronger the bond. Its literally impossible to not have a connection even after the person is out of sight. Problem is, the longer the rope gets, the further these people seem to move, taking with them the other end.

A lot of people used to be so close to me. I could see their smiles when they glanced at this rope that we built together. Dare to scream. Dare to tell a person all of this; that you created the bond and its just so hard to cut it and act like it was never there. Its too much to forget.

My actions say it. But nobody hears me anymore. They don’t even see me! Sadly, I’ve gotten to a point where even the words I don’t say are still forming string, still weaving. To see you again, I have to stop weaving. I just don’t know how to tell my heart to stop saying the things it says or feeling the things it does.

I keep hoping one day you’ll be stuck and follow the rope. Of course you’ll find me. I have changed and I have grown but I’m in the very same spot with my door wide open. The fact that I can’t stop weaving only makes it worse for me. I’ve formed so many ropes, I wouldn’t even know which ones to follow for who. I just watch everybody move further as I keep weaving.

I wish I could get up and find a lot of you but everything is tangled. Its all gone wrong. But you know, they say that if nothing is wrong then nothing is true. Got me wondering if to know me really is to love me. I’m still here, rooted down the very spot you found me in, still weaving ropes with hopes that each of you will return to me someday…

The First Time I Ever Met ‘The Dictator’

The easiest way to become a legend is through sport. Beside the doping scandals here and there, sport legends are loved for a lifetime. In politics, however, it is a whole new situation. Your fan-base remains divided, no matter how much good you do. You are either loved or hated and so it remains even after they die.

Growing up, the adults around me spoke of him very often. Some said that during his time, people who had qualms with him disappeared. Some said, during his rule, his countrymen generally lived best and citizens that existed even after his rule owed everything to the man that built their foundation.

They say his twenty-seven year rule was the downfall of his country. They said that he was a selfish man, who had his fun whilst in power until he was pushed off the throne. Apparently, he gave away all the countrymen had. In nationalising everything, he gave inadequate people big companies to run. He left his country to rot in poverty while other countries and the politicians that came after got rich off the sale of the state-owned companies that he left after 27 years, all in the name of privatisation.

Seeing as views were biased, I decided to research this man with the help of history books. Wow! Views truly vary. South Africans praised him, Zimbabweans praised him and so did the Namibians, Malawians, Batswana and even the Angolans! All but Zambians seemed to picture an angel when this man’s name came up anywhere. That was then. Things have changed now.

When you hear the word ‘dictator’, you expect a man that looks like Idi Amin maybe. A face that exudes total cruelty and a presence that demanded your fear! I got none of that when I visited the home of the man so many people spoke ill of. I met this old man with a limp, gleaming as he saw my father. “My son!”, he exclaimed.

I felt no sudden race in my heart, no fear to approach him, no lump in my throat… This old man looked so humble, limping towards us with a huge smile and his white handkerchief in hand. So fragile! All I wanted to do was hug him! And I did. This is an account of the first time I met my grandpa, founding father of Zambia. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

Yours truly,
posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

A Crack In The Dam

Dams, like all other buildings, never just collapse. Everything has a start. Its not like God snaps his fingers and suddenly, the bricks begin to fall apart. It all starts with a drop. One single drop from a crack we ignored for too long.

So I was sitting at a table, having a conversation with this guy and I felt a drop of water hit the top of my head. Hmm. Strange. I ignored it and kept talking. It wasn’t long before another drop hit my head. A little heavier than the last. I asked about the crack with a smile on my face. You know, that way I wouldn’t seem too pushy.

As more drops hit different parts of my body, I started to ask about every single crack and every single drop. They began with ‘I’ll fix the cracks’ but slowly turned more and more harsh. Every response made me feel more and more ungrateful. Was the water really that bad? Did I have to ask about every single thing? Did I not have any cracks in my own structures?

Moments later, carrying on with our chirpy conversation, I realised the water had reached my waist. I stood up because maybe it was I that needed adjusting. Nope. It got to my waist once again in no time. This is when I thought to remember that I can’t swim. How did I really let it get this far? Dude looked unmoved!!! He didn’t seem to notice the disaster. He went on as though nothing happened.

The water was now pouring in. The droplets were much desired then. I said my goodbyes and found my way to the door. To my amazement, there was a flood outside that came rushing in! I looked for the very person I walked away from and our drowning began…

P.S this was meant to come right before ‘The Drowning Man.’ Be sure to read it too! Merry Christmas.

Yours truly,
posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Colours of Inspiration

The underestimation of the people we each choose as role models irks me. Some of you will cite Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Ronaldo, LeBron James, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah and even Obama. I wish you took a moment to sit down and think of what these things say about you. Usually, all we want us to get rich quick.

Though many of us are in denial, we live in a third world country. A country where up to a million other people have the same not-so-ambitious dreams. Some people call it negativity, I call it honesty. Po-tay-toh, po-tah-toh. The kinds of friends a lot of us like to accept are those that will not dispute anything you say. All the nonsense you do will get an applause from them. And coincidentally, if you look at their lives, they are probably doing the same nonsense you are.

My first point is the music industry. A lot of Zambian music is crap. Not worth downloading, not worth airing on TV, not even worth sharing on BBM for free. A handful of our music is good. A handful. Many musicians look filthy, have terrible English and have that annoying beat to all their songs… I can’t quite place my finger on the shabby producer. That’s the point! They crowd the industry so much that those with actual talent are not shining like they should. If its not you, its not you.

Secondly, looking up to a person who is currently not doing anything. What is it you admire?! The free time? Some people are lucky. They can go far without an education or hint of ambition but that doesn’t mean we can all be lucky. Some have their inheritances, some have siblings that will look out for them no matter what, some may be into dodgy activity and the rest could be lucky. What are the chances that you’ll be one of those? Slim to none. Their lives look desirable now but a few years down the line, it usually gets sad.

Third is sport. I love sport! And sportsmen 😛 however, the biggest problem with sport is that the peak ages are the ages when we should be in school. There is a lot of passion for sport and a huge reward. Even more than the money, its the recognition people appreciate. Passion is great. Again, I’m about to be quite negative here but do people ever look at the possibility that things may not work out after putting in so many years? A permanent injury? A whole bunch of younger and better players?

Fourth! Being a socialite. Eish. I can’t stress this enough. This is not the country for such. Kim Kardashian got famous off of dating celebrities and her sex tape with Ray J, not even because he’s an A-list celebrity but because his sister is. So I’m asking you now to pick a random Zambian musician, find and date their sibling, make a sex tape and see how far that takes you. Because really, if Kim Kardashian is your inspiration, might as well step into her shoes. I still LOVE all her clothes though. LOL.

Sport is good. So is music, modelling, hustling and all of that. But with education, they are even better. Whether G12, a certificate, a diploma or for the more patient, a degree. Do you really want to be the 35 year old with two kids and a wife in first year because your ‘career’ or ‘hustle’ didn’t work out as planned? Bet you’d never looked at it that way. Time flies. I finished school at 14. I blinked twice, now I’m almost 20.

I have failed many exams in my life and I have had many useless dreams too. But I chose my inspiration correctly. I chose my dad and Shuko. Very educated men, very ambitious and never in a hurry to get rich or show off. So if I ever drop out of school without a qualification, it will be to do more school until I get one… Or more. 🙂

Yours truly,
posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.