#afrofoto day 10 | I went into a stinky graffiti alley for YOU!

What have I learnt so far?

That it is impossible very difficult to blog everyday when a small human being depends on you for nourishment, entertainment and prefers you are mostly within her lines of vision [unless she’s sleeping] on weekends…and you also enjoy doing that AND need to nourish and entertain yourself with her.

I owe you guys 3 posts now! You will get them I promise! As I type this one I already have tomorrow’s *insert salsa dancing lady emoji*.

Today was HOT (upper 80s) and we started the morning sleeping in a bit. We got up to get ready per the usual when my cousin called saying he wanted to take us (his niece really lol) to the farmer’s market in DC so we ended up doing that. We went to the Union Market area where there are a lot of wholesale fruit, veggie, meat and all sorts of in between vendors only to find them closed so we ended up going into Union Market itself. We walked around to choose something to eat and settled on  Takorean. So good! Afterwards….well earlier when looking for parking we’d seen 2 guys taking pictures in one of the graffiti’d alleys so we decided to do the same. My cousin loves his car and is into that type of thing so me too I joined in. I remembered #afrofoto and that I was WAAAAY due for a post so I thought hey me too let me get some pictures in here. It was stiiiinkyyy in that alley, but because I love you guys I endured it 🙂 I love how the pictures turned out with absolutely no filter 💗!

(no filter no nothing)

This basket-bag was my late grandmother’s and I got it from her while she was still alive. She’d already been in the States for 2 years undergoing treatment at that point with my grandfather coming and going between here and Zimbabwe months at a time. At some point while he was in Zim, I decided to go and visit him since he was mostly in the house alone and it had been a while since I’d seen him/been in Zim. This bag was in the closet in the room that used to be mine as a kid and is always where I stay when I go. I really liked the bag so coming back I used it as my carry on to hold those extra things we somehow accumulate despite having come/traveled light. My grandmother and I would be on the phone coordinating the things she wanted me to bring back for her and there was quite a bit.

She definitely got the bag herself when she went to Tanzania while my mom lived there and Kilimo Kwanza, in Swahili, means Agriculture First. I’m not quite sure if it may have been promotional for something or just was like that at purchase. What I love about it is how durable it is! It’s made of woven rafia (i think) material and reinforced along the edges and straps with fabric so it does not give no matter what you put in it. I also love the wide strip of kikoi on the front with the fringe uncut. I used to use this as my bag at work, but retired it for something else in the rotation. Today I came full circle back to it for the market because it could fit my baby necessities, wallet AND I’d have been able to add whatever we would have gotten.

Happy Sunday folk and may you go into the new week with new energy, joy and focus….says the person typing a blog post at a quarter to midnight on Sunday night and hasn’t finished packing the baby bag for the baby sitter because it’s better to let the baby sleep than end up waking her up accidentally for that.  Yes…!

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*@afropolitaine*

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afrofoto day 6 | am I a “sweet mother”?

Today was a hard day. It really tested me not in the general general sense of testing, but in that LIFE revealing way. I will not get into details and save that for my memoir or maybe sometime way down the road when it’s actual comedy…one of those things people tell you many years after the phase that oh remember that time when such and such, now look at you. By the time the day ended early evening baby and I came home and I had a snickers ice cream bar, a glass of wine, some kettle butter popcorn, 2 lollipops, a huge salad, some pasta and mussels I made. I came home from battle I won and enjoyed the spoils if you will. Sooooo in all of that I completely did not think about #afrofoto until literally right now. I don’t even have a picture, but I was like I can’t just skip this day. I already have a skweredi (debt) with you guys for day 3. I really have nothing for you guys today, but also a LOT. But since today has already been a LOT, I will leave you guys with this picture and leave you all to your imaginations on what the mood of the day was and now is.

#mood

Looking at myself in that picture I relish looking like an African mama – it’s a superpower! and as I thought that the song Sweet Mother and it’s lyrics came to mind.

Sweet Mother – Prince Nico Mbarga

It’s funny cuz on Mother’s Day when I went to church (mostly Ghanaian), that was the song they played on the letout. It was originally sang by Prince Nico Mbarga a Nigerian-Cameroonian highlife artist. It’s ever poignant and ever timely for mothers universally and today was one of those days me myself the song could be about me, but just generally a reminder of how much mother’s go through and still keep going. I’m so proud to be a mother and I’m glad in everything that motherhood takes I managed to get #afrofoto day 6 up.

Also, the cloth wrapped around me was my grandmother’s and she got it in Zim and I think I’ve had it since I was like 18. (cloth talk again lol)

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Bring Some of the Old into the New Year

Three days into 2015 and it’s so far been pretty good. The end of 2014 had some great beginnings so my resolve to define, list, swear to goodness I will do this or that wasn’t as urgent. I learnt a lot about myself and uncertainty last year. I realize in hindsight the importance of consistency and hard work, as I went through 2 raises and promotions in a single year, that I mostly was focused on the working and when they were happening they were fitting and due so I never really stopped to acknowledge and celebrate myself. Not only did work need to be done, but by virtue of the new responsibilities – there was more of it. The latest change with my work made me a little less anxious about my immediate [1-2 years] future because it’s where I’ve wanted to be for a long time and it promises to be dynamic and a great learning experience where I will really get to apply my capabilities, passions and my person[ality]. I am so grateful for it all and that change was really the result of serious, active and actual prayer. Although this is a personal post, this being a public platform, I will not get into details about incapable people’s attempts to derail and undermine my great work ethic as evidenced by so many things….in the end, the universe conspired in my favor to remove me from what would have definitely led to me not being my best self. I gracefully let go of things not meant for me. HalleluYAAAR!

2014 taught me how to protect myself from people who have shown themselves time and time again… Protecting myself by focusing on those who are a positive and regenerating force in my life whilst being unbothered by those who aren’t. I made new friends, re-categorized those I already had and possibly lost some in the process…but such is life – we will all be ok. I love the friends I have and the parts of my family I’m close to and see often and I can’t wait to spend more time with them creating memories [that may or may not be shared here *wink wink*].

I think the best way to start the new year is to look back at the previous one. So much happens in the year and measuring our successes and accomplishments is best done in hindsight. We have all mostly learnt that new year’s resolutions are not a plan. They will not be met and there is a thing called LIFE that tends to happen and trying to control what happens in the space of a year is a sure way to either fail or feel like a failure at the end of it. Yes make plans for specific goals, hope for the things your heart desires and keep on being yourself. Some of what we want to happen in the space of a year will take a lot of work on our part, but putting positive energy out there, being a good person and genuinely doing good unto others has a way of creating such good karma that things we never imagined or planned for start to happen. Let yourself enjoy those moments and use them to inspire and fuel more good and excellence out of you – it will quickly become a viciously positive cycle that cannot be derailed.

I want to travel more, get an almost routine for fitness, write more and grow in my friendships and relationships to others and be more engaged than I am a content loner sometimes. I also want to deliberately dedicate and designate time to my 2 projects passions outside of work as building blocks for my future. More on those another time – when there is sometime to tell about them you’ll definitely read about it. In enjoying the year and the 362 days left, I would like to be more FOCUSED. I watched a TEDx talk with Cobhams Asuquo, a Nigerian music producer extraordinaire who is blind, called “The Gift of Blindness” where he talks about there being no excuse for failure. About his blindness being a blessing that insulated him from the distraction that is sight – literally (walking into a store and not being distracted) and figuratively (being focused on goals and achieving them). It’s an excellent and inspiring glimpse into the struggles that shape greatness, with or without disability, but I’ve selected his last words as the most poignant:

“Do not excuse failure, on no account, for no reason. Trust even when you have no reason to and finally, and I do not mean this literally, be blind to be focused.”

I shall. Woza 2015!

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*@afropolitaine*

“your dreams are valid”

photo (1)

For all the things that we are obsessed about. Those we lose sleep over. Those we get panic attacks about from lost sleep and anxiety about. The ones that will change someone’s life and invariably our own. The ones that drive us and scare the crap out of us for the audacity to dream them. Their guts to come back over and over – invading our thoughts when we are wide awake during the day. The ones that wake us up in the middle of the night and have us grabbing the notebook, staring at the ceiling and climbing out of bed for a glass of water. The ones that paralyze us with fear from an awkward combination of inspiration and visions. Visions of success, change and joy. The kinds that once started are what it means to live a life we don’t wish to take a vacation from yet are the same ones storybook vacations are made of and paid for with [haha]. The ones we protect so fiercely because we know. We KNOW. We know because it’s a feeling so persistent and clear that it can only be God making sure you do not miss or forget – we almost don’t find peace and fulfillment until we are knee deep in them. Listen to yourself. Listen to that voice that is no longer a whisper. Respond. Respond to that clear voice in your head you have been hearing every single day. Respond in action. Act by doing. Do whatever it is you need to do whether you know how and even if it’s not part of the plan. Do. Do it! Do something. Everything and what you can now.

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*@afropolitaine*