afrofoto day 4 | cut from the same cloth (on upcycling my late Gogo’s fashions)

FullSizeRender-27Continuing from my last post, one of the things I did whilst in Zim was get some clothes made. Until that point I hadn’t bought anything maternity because quite frankly its all hideous and unflattering…to/for me. I wanted some cute African print somethings I could maybe even wear beyond pregnancy.

 My grandmother was, to anyone who knew her, a very very stylish lady even well into her goto-ness (grandmotherness). ALL, if not 95.9% of her clothes were African print dresses, skirts and tops and whatnots from fabric she’d collected from all her travels. She visited my mother in all the countries she lived in and did quite a bit of traveling herself to others. Those were a lot of countries and she had a LOT of clothes. Like the rooms that were ours when we were little have closets full of her clothes. Her room’s entire wall of closet had more clothes….I’ll just leave it at a lot.

In being my grandmother’s handbag when I was little and well into my adulthood while she was alive one of the things we enjoyed doing together when I’d be in Zim is going to her tailor maNdlovu. They had a very special relationship so while I was home in July I took a day where I picked 2 of my grandmother’s outfits whose print I liked and took those to maNdlovu to upcycle them. At this point it had been a year since my grandmother’s passing and when i walked into her shop she started crying….and then I did too. I think especially that I was pregnant must have really touched her because she knows how my gogo would jokingly nag me about her great-grandchildren. MaNdlovu immediately recognized the outfits I brought because she’d sowed them.

I had a couple of pictures for what I envisioned and of course she had to chime in about the length of the dress and the snugness of the dress I wanted…i had to sternly, but lovingly remind her she was not making a dress for gogo anymore and that gogo would have wanted me to wear whatever the hell i want. After all, in her own heyday, my gogo was a stylish shasha (fly girl)!

Cut a long story short, today’s #afrofoto is what maNdlovu made. It’s cute in and of itself, but sooooooo far from what I showed her. She is one of those tailors, especially when you are first going to her, you need to go back to 7 times for the first 5 things she makes for you before she learns you. I’m glad it managed to be wearable post part.

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*@afropolitaine*

I wrote an obituary a year ago – for the love of *my life

 

A year ago today, life dealt me the card where I wrote an obituary for the person with whom I shared the greatest love. I’ve written a variety of things throughout my life from speeches and poems, to technical reports and executive summaries, blog posts and grocery lists, lyrics and emails. I love writing, but nothing prepared me for the monumental task I asked to take on and was granted the opportunity to. There, rightfully so, should be nothing that prepares one for the writing of an obituary short maybe of having done it once before.

 Coming from a big family of big personalities, coupled with the time sensitivity and pressure to get programs and publishing done, yet countered by the delicate balancing act I knew it needed to be – the below is what I wrote. As much of a loss as it was for me, she was so much to everyone and loved everyone she knew be it friend, family, neighbor or stranger “one by one”. This had to be as much about her and inclusive so everyone who read and heard it felt like yes they were included in that message. Although she was MY grandmother and very specific people’s wife, mother, sister, friend I wanted the words I thought and wrote to reflect the collectiveness of the broad spectrum of love she created with everyone who knew her however long. The personalness of the individual and personal relationship was to be held in each person’s heart and memory to be shared amongst each other, but these last words were for all of us to find comfort in ALL having lost collectively.

Obituary

Eleanor Moyo (née Twala) was born October 29, 1941 in Fort Rixon, Zimbabwe. Her father and mother relocated to Mberengwa in 1948 where she eventually attended the local primary school and graduated from Dadaya Secondary School. In 1961, after 5 years of courtship, she and Cleopas Daniel Moyo, were married. Together they eventually had eight children, four daughters and four sons, they raised in Zambia where they lived for nearly 20 years before returning to Zimbabwe at independence

Although initially reluctant to “entertain” JWs who would often come knocking on her door, Eleanor eventually came to the truth, ironically, after Cleopas agreed to meet with and “interview” them. On his suggestion, she eventually agreed to give them a listen. She was eventually baptized in 1979 in Ndola, Zambia. In 1982, two years after Zimbabwe’s independence, the two moved their family back to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe where they have lived to date. This city, also called the City of Kings, was to become the family’s headquarters. A home filled with beautiful and unending stories for family and friends where she enthusiastically welcomed, hosted and shared her love of food, fashion, music, dancing and fellowship. Stories for days.

As a working mother of 8 and several grandchildren, she spent 22 years at Mpilo Central Hospital in medical records of the X-ray department until retirement in 2003.

Her official diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer came in October 2012 and she came to the US soon thereafter for treatment and care. The last three years saw her fight a spirited battle with the disease. In all of that time, her joyful, energetic spirit was steadfast to all who loved and cared for her. She laughed, danced, cried and cooked for most of that time.

On September 6, 2015, at Laurel Regional Hospital, she passed on having spent the day with and surrounded by Cleopas, all 4 daughters, 2 nieces, 4 grandchildren, relatives, friends and brothers and sisters of the congregation.

She will forever be celebrated by her eight children, four daughters and four sons, twenty two grandchildren and countless relatives and friends she was very near and dear to.  To all who knew Eleanor she was an amazing daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend and colleague. A phenomenal woman. Legend. May she rest in peace and may we all be blessed for having been blessed by this child and woman of God.

To the congregation and the Kingdom Halls she went to, we are eternally grateful for you all keeping her spirit filled and strengthening her faith. Here she made friends who cared for her like family. The countless errands you took her on, the scrumptious meals she enjoyed in your homes, the scriptures you read and the hymns you sang. Thank you.

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I have the * in the title above because this was not about me and I was not the only one who lost a love. As much as a love like hers is thus far irreplaceable in my life, the my-ness of it all seemed too selfish when I saw the outpouring of love for her I had known was there, but I hadn’t quite seen with my own eyes all at once.

A year on, may my grandmother continue to rest in everlasting love and peace. I look forward to the strong feels she still inspires in me.

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Feeling and Filling Emptiness my Grandmother Left

It’s been exactly a month since my grandmother was laid to rest.

I’m sitting here thinking to myself I’m really about to write about this. To write about death. I can’t quite write about it, but on loss I can. I obviously couldn’t immediately after she passed away on September 6 a beautiful fall day when she went in peace and we were left in painful emptiness. There was so much going on with planning, repatriation, travel, planning and the burial. Immediately after the burial may have been a good time, but again the overwhelming and surprising calm that washed over me from how beautiful the funeral was. I’d never been to a funeral before, but we did that woman justice. She was a perfectionist who cared about the quality of anything she did where people were gathered. They would eat and be merry. They ate, mourned and were comforted by the familiarity of hospitality they always associated with her. There is so much that can be said, yet I find myself not having the strength, confidence, sanity to write and talk about it. There is nothing that I can say or write that fully expresses what it is to lose the person who celebrated and rejoiced your being down to the last minute. The person you yourself knew your presence and existence meant the world to. The person whose love you felt unconditionally no matter or where or when. You knew your absence affected her and your knowingly lame joke bubbled up her spirit. The person you unclicheingly never imagined not existing. In all my imperfections I was perfect. I was Pumpkin. She loved me as I am and wanted the best, enjoyment of life and great grandchildren [eventually hopefully soon] from me. She cared that I’d eaten and knew my favorite piece of chicken and that I preferred the seed of the mango, asked about my friends because she knew them one by one, made a mean omelette in which you could taste the joy she made it with in the tomatoes and freshly grated cheese. Gone.

Every time I’m asked about it the easy answer is that I’m ok, but the lump in my throat and that tear I can blink back way inside the duct reminds I’m not. What I’m working on is remembering then knowing that it’s ok not to be ok. How do I get to OK? How long does it take? Will I be ok if I don’t get there? How can I know in advance? I can’t.

What I have been doing in the meantime is living in a way she did and would be watching down on me wanting me to. With joy and a seriousness about la joie de vivre. Admiring me for my love of my little cousins and taking the role of being a big sister to them seriously. Being a loving daughter to my mother. Enjoying as many laughs as possible with my grandfather. Having good times with my friends. And in ALL of that – making sure to LOOK GOOD. She was the embodiment of look good feel good feel good look good. I’ll start with those things and know they’ll always work. They always did, but without her here there is an emptiness about it.

Writing. WRITING! Writing about it. Hitting PUBLISH will make me feel better because had she been here and I showed her this extremely emotional post through tears running down my face she would have been soooo impressed. So touched that outside of knowing how much I love her already, that it made me feel better writing it. I would have felt better not having to write it, but I have to start somewhere right?!

Writing it is.

P.S. Today is a month since she was buried. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tomorrow is my mother, her daughter’s, birthday. It is also she and I’s birthday month.

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*@afropolitaine*

A Cup of Garri ::: #graphAfrica

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Months ago D’Banj posted a picture to his instagram that linked to his twitter showing off a bag of garri. Some laughed at the idea while others, myself included, found it borderline fascinating. I will talk first about what garri is, then what my relationship to it is, then a little bit of the sociology of food to show why this matters.

 

What is Garri?:

It is a tiny grain made by putting cassava through a long a tedious process of washing, grating and mashing, then fermenting, dehydrating and sieving, and finally roasting to dry. There are several ways to consume it be it hot water, cold water, milk, as a cereal, snack or meal across several west African countries. It typically has a sour taste from the fermenting and can be sweetened depending on what you pair with it.

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My Relationship to Garri:

I first had garri when I lived in Cote d’Ivoire. The maid we had that time was called Geraldine and she was from Togo. Her cooking skills were decent and she had about 5 solid recipes under her sleeve from her previous job where she worked for a family of 5 that had a chef she learnt a few things from. I somehow and randomly remember her love of “un peu de moutarde” in everything…Whenever I would get done with dinner, I had a habit of walking around the back garden and climbing up the steps to the rooftop patio where I would walk past her room to watch the neighborhood fall silent under the street lights. She always prepared her own meals on a small cooker where she would make enough for herself and Émile le guardian who came in the evenings. A few times she entertained my playful curiosity and would let me taste. She was how I first tasted garri. I immediately loved it. It was a starch, but compared to sadza/ugali, rice and couscous – it was not flat. The sourness had me at the first wince of my face. So unexpected and splendid. She would always make it with sauce gombo avec poisson (okra stew with smoked fish) and from then on wards whenever she made it, regardless of whatever “un peu de moutarde” dish she made for mom and I, she would save me a bit. On days I knew she would be making it I would even come home straight after school no passing go no spending my 200CFA buying Hollywood chewing gum at the Mauritanian boutique or with Diage and his questionably scrumptious sandwich brochette across the highway. Garri and gombo were to be had for lunch! I say all that to say I had not previously known garri and I had, until then, lived a culinarily deprived life.

Many of you may or may not know that I have a lot of Nigerian friends..it’s a numbers thing. I remember once expressing nostalgia for it or excitement at having found some at Park and Shop in Abuja. Although I don’t remember her exact words, this friend in no uncertain terms communicated the idea that I was too posh of a babe to be chopping garri AND expressing anything other that superiority over that level of commoner’s provision. I remember vividly, not her words, but the confused feeling in me. It tastes good, I like it, so wettin do you?! Apparently because of how cheap and common it is is, for upwardly mobile [also code for social climbers] people it was/is a no-longer-go zone ESPECIALLY once one becomes an I-just-got-back.

 

Sociology of Food [Garri]

Every country/culture/continent has varieties of foods for certain occasions which are socio-cultural and economic markers. Some of these are shaped and determined by religion, geography and contact with other cultures. For example religiously, Islamic communities, because they do not eat pork, tend to consume a lot of lamb. Ratatouille only recently became an acceptable dish in posh French restaurants because it was originally a peasant dish of whatever vegetables could be scrounged with no meat. Because of geography, a landlocked country whose climate is not tropical like Zimbabwe doesn’t really know what to do with a coconut. I distinctly remember growing up when there was a drought and the only corn meal (mpuphu) one could find was the yellow less processed one compared to the popular white/bleached one. The yellow one then popularly remained a reminder of the struggle, and in it’s being less processed, whether on a conscious or subconscious level, and not something to aspire to for dinner. As consumers of food, whether ours or another culture’s, our relationship to what we enjoy is largely nurture NOT nature.

Garri can taste good or bad based on what it tastes like in your mouth. This is also influenced by your biological chemistry and what happens when the amylase reacts with the variety of starch derived from cassava. Whether you like the taste of it or not is NOT the issue. Can we talk about learning not to like something because of insecurities and keeping up appearances? It is always equally sad to see someone pretend not to like something as it is to see them pretend to. Both seem like such a deception of self, not even worth the pretense.

 

Back to D’Banj

All of the above bring me back to why Koko Garri is so important. One thing we can collectively agree to be problematic is that we neither produce nor consumer enough indigenous goods as a continent. Of course there are several historical, institutional and infrastructural barriers influencing this, BUT there also aren’t enough of invested in ourselves as a market. Coming from a country that was/is largely sustained by an agricultural economy, the richest black people I have ever seen or known were farmers or more generally those who invested a long time ago in making SOMETHING needed by others. Not new money, flashy cars and loud money, but the still waters run deep kind. Long and lasting money. They were/are the people who are invested in the laborious, but high yielding industries that produce food. No matter where you are in Africa, people must eat. The rich people have sophisticated and picky palettes and can consume western imports – let them eat cake! Everyone else does what they can with the staples which tend to be locally grown and affordable. Everyone else is the majority so if you can feed the majority on what they majoritively eat you are exercing the capitalist winning strategy of majoritism. Everybody wins.

I read on a blog today [on his music career from Mo’Hits to Good Music and now…] where D’Banj was described as “former Big Fish in Small River, now Miniscule Goldfish in the Atlantic Ocean” and I admittedly chuckled at the reference. What is serious business, however, is investing in agriculture and better than that is food and better than that is a staple one. If I ever had to predict someone of the cusp of long money and impending membership into the [African] Billionaire Boy’s Club – this would be it. The thing about being a visionary [for/from Africa] is people WILL laugh at you being a Louboutin and Guissepe Zanotti wearing entertainer when they think that is merely what you are. Only when your tree is bearing fruit and your cup runneth over do they want to jump on the bandwagon. The season for sowing seeds into agriculture and investing in ourselves and what we consume is now (before the Chinese get to it too). The hard work and patience paired with faith and foresight is what determines who has to soak their garri in cold water or milk and honey.

mygarri

Anywhoo, I got my personal bag of Koko Garri and I cannot wait to partake!

 

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*@afropolitaine*

#graphAfrica

“When is 4th of July in Africa”? ::: #graphAfrica

The title of this post is a real question that has been asked in real life. Real talk. Really. The easy answer, or in someone’s dry sense of humor, is that 4th of July in Africa falls on 4th of July as it does in any other continent/country. The people who ask this kind of question are the same as the ones who ask if you speak African and don’t know Africa is a continent with more countries than America has states. That’s ok though because I learnt a long time ago if I wanted to live long on this earth with low blood pressure levels that those people couldn’t anger me. They exist and most times the reason they ask questions like that isn’t their own fault. I don’t blame them. There are systems and institutions that come together to shape what information we not only have access to, but we end up giving a damn about. These shapers go back generations and are really hard to undo and unlearn.

 

 

 

So I was asking myself if there is in fact a holiday that is celebrated continent wide in Africa and the closest is Africa Day on May 25. It marks the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 when 30 Independent African nations signed on in Addis Ababa. So yes it is a continent wide holiday, but it’s only observed by about 5 countries – Zimbabwe is one of them. Growing up in Zimbabwe I don’t remember ever celebrating it though.  Even though we are a relatively young “country” – independence was gained in 1980, Mugabe is the kind of African visionary who would ensure its observance.

 

In short we do not have a 4th of July, we have May 25! HOWEVER, given the non-unity within and across borders, perhaps the OAU has a long way to go. What with new countries forming, old ones falling apart and others just lingering in non-progressive obscurity.

 

Not yet UHURU!

 

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*@afropolitaine*

#graphAfrica

The African Youtube Cat Video!

Back from the weekend and I’ve already been told I look refreshed and relaxed! I’ll take that 🙂 So the last time I blogged was Thursday I believe that was admittedly a lazy post. You guys it’s so hard to blog on the weekends, so I’m behind by a few soooo without further ado let me give you something to enjoy your Monday morning.

 

Now we all know about the phenomenon of cat videos on youtube. For some reason beyond common sense reasoning, cat videos are loved on that video sharing platform. They go viral in days and for days with innumerable likes and comments making their way onto the Huffington Post front pages. I personally have never really been the biggest fan of cats after I was traumatized by mine as a child! Ok ok ok I know you want me to tell you what happened, but you have to promise not to laugh. Promise?

My cousin and I had cats when we were younger in Zimbabwe. Mine was a light brown and I think his was black. They were normal cats, not really the friendliest and they kinda just did their own thing, had their own lives and we fed them. Well one day, I can’t even remember the circumstances leading up to this, MY cat ran  after me. As in chasing after me like a dog chases a person. I remember screaming my head off and running as fast as my pata-pata’d feet could carry me. I had to run into the blackberry tree. I had to run and climb into it and stay in it for quite a bit for fear of this cat that, now that I think about it, must have been possessed. There is no other explanation for a cat chasing a person the way mine did that day.

Anywhooo Happy belated Monday everybody, make it a good rest of the week!

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*@afropolitaine*

 

 

Read This and READ!

afropolitaine reads

Since I just came back from Zimbabwe and am kind of back to regular scheduled programming there doesn’t seem to be much travel in my forecast right now (although you are all welcome to surprise me with a trip to somewhere sunny where all the food is cooked or drizzled with olive oil and the language is slightly foreign to me). Soooo what’s a girl to do?! Read books/material from around the world. After all, The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” I’ve traveled quite a bit in my lifetime and lately, but I haven’t really been reading. These were all chosen because of a longing to be somewhere else and experience someone else’s life or to reconnect with a past I’ve lived or a future I want.

1. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

afropolitaine Americanah

I pretty much love everything Chimamanda! I have every single one of a her books and That Thing Around Your Neckwas even autographed when I went to her reading at the Shakespeare Theater in DC a few years back. I haven’t been able to put this book down so I highly recommend it to EVERYone. It’s like an amazing conversation and I find myself wanting to highlight, reread, type out, print and frame some of the sentences. If you’ve ever had one in real life, this book is made up of gems someone extremely intelligent and unaware of it says in casual conversations and you’re left in silent awe. I personally love people who are amazing and all kinds of fantastic, but don’t know it so this book does it for me. At so many points i’m reading and thinking WHO THE HELL ARE YOU CHIMAMANDA?! WHY ARE YOU IN MY LIFE and WHY IS IFEMELU ME?! I KNOW OBINZE! I KNOW THAT GIRRRRL/GUY! STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME CRY. WHAT IF I HAD DONE THAT TOO…I am all up in this book as you can tell 🙂

2. ZOMA – Addis Ababa’s best monthly lifestyle magazine

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My mom who knows my taste in reading and many other things very well so she brought me this magazine when she came to the states a few weeks back after attending the AU’s 50th Anniversary in Addis Ababa. She knows I love to read and write in different voices so great choice here. Haven’t gotten to it yet, but definitely curious to examine the quality and standards of editing, content, etc. Excited to add this to my collection of magazines either from my own travels or my moms and they are all always great quick reads. Will let you guys know how it goes.

3. We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo

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For all the popularity NoViolet has gained in the last few years, I still have not read any of her books so the other day as I was waiting for my salad to be ready at a little cafe, I decided to browse the outside sale table at the bookstore (Bridge Street Books) next door. I chose the book below and when I went inside to checkout We Need New Names was right in front of the register staring at me. I’ve read excerpts and reviews already (I wish I hadn’t) and look forward to the beginning of a great relationship with this writer. She is a fellow Zimbabwean after all 🙂

4. Madeline in London – Ludwig Bemelmans

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You guys promise not to laugh? I hope you understand when I tell you why I bought this book. My childhood years were spent in Zimbabwe and one of my favorite cartoons was Madeline – a little Parisian girl who went to a boarding school run by nuns and the [mis]adventures that happened to her because she was so small and outspoken. I internalized Madeline in so many ways and seeing this book on the sale table at Bright Street Books brought so many good emotions and heavy nostalgia flooding back. I BOUGHT THIS BOOK FOR  MY DAUGHTER. No I do not have one yet, but I do think about parts of my life i’d love to share and continue with my future children [along with things i’d like to be different] every once in a while. I want to share Madeline in all her awesomeness with my daughter one day. Of course I will read this myself, but ultimately I want to keep it for her. She will see the world through travel as well as books and no matter how small she is, inside she’ll be tall (theme song reference).

Hopefully I’ll add more to this list and you’ll be inspired to pick these or other books up yourself. I’m thinking I might even review these post reading 🙂
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*@afropolitaine*

Upon Touchdown in Africa

Yes these are random, but i was just looking back at the first several pictures I took upon moving back to Zimbabwe at the beginning of March. Enjoy 🙂 :

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yes i put a full face of makeup in my excitement to go to town with Gogo. Say it with me – “meltdown”! I have since reduced what I put on…

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my feet kicked up and watching Press TV. Think what Al Jazeera was before it went mainstream, but better. AJZ rocks though!

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Tired, but very happy face

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Was watching tv with my granddad and he fell asleep. (This was the stage i was whatsapping images of every single moment to my cousins and aunts back in the states)

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roasted groundnuts, freshly harvested and still a bit damp. Lordt! :p

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went to visit a friend and enjoyed the fresh breeze, greenery and spaciousness of a typical Zimbabwean yard

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out to lunch at Cafe Munandi with my favorite person in the world – my grandmother ❤

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Still eating freshly ground peanuts, freshly grown corn and mangoes from the garden

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(out of order) had just gotten on the bus from Johannesburg to Bulawayo – my first time travelling between the 2 countries by road

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my baby cousin (uncle’s daughter) Olwethu (means “Ours”) where I spent the night upon arriving in Jo’burg

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catching my breath after that 1st shower after a loong flight (went from DC to NY to Amsterdam [3 days] to Paris to Jo’burg)

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my childhood friend, Dean, now lives in Jo’burg and picked me up from the airport

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*@afropolitaine*

Caught the Bouquet

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On the weekend of Easter some friends and I drove to Johannesburg just to have a change of scenery and roadtrip/hangout. We left early in the morning at about 2:30 in the morning and eventually arrived in Jo’burg later that day about 2:30 in the afternoon. Yes a whoooole 12 hour long drive. I’ll definitely tell you more about the drive in a separate post.

While I was in Jo’burg I was torn as to when I would come back to Bulawayo because my friends I’d gone with were planning on coming back on [maybe] Wednesday. To be fair she was coming to see her boo so I fully anticipated the possibility of staying longer, but knew I couldn’t be away from home that long. A friend of mine was getting married in Bulawayo that Sunday, but I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to attend. That Saturday morning my grandmother called me telling me she wasn’t feeling well and asking when I would be back. That was all i needed to know  I was leaving THAT very day. I logged online and bought my Intercape bus ticket for the bus leaving at 6pm. I  was going to make it to the wedding after all. I got into Bulawayo on Sunday morning and showered and took a nap once I got home. Woke up and went to the wedding with my grandparents.

It was a lovely garden style wedding. The girl was getting married to a Belgian guy and his brothers and boys had come all the way for the ceremony. There was very good entertainment and the food was decent. The dance floor opened up and then the announcement for the bouquet throwing came. I smoothly and sharply went to take my seat with a childhood friend’s parents as we caught up and chatted a bit. Music stops and single ladies are asked to get on the dancefloor for the catching. I sat there and rolled my eyes because I always haaaaate this [silly] part.

My grandmother shouts from the other side of the room that “Pumpkiiiiiin!! Sukuuuuuuma [get up]!!” Oh snap, how do I say no or not  stand up? So I did. All the dressed up ladies are all screaming at the bride to throw it at them, some are pacing so as to maximize the surface area and probability of catching the bouquet. Since I was not the most excited to be up there I stood still in the back. The bride approaches, turns around and chucks the bouquet. Before the flowers even left her hands all the other ladies were screeching and jumping/dancing. As if in slow motion, all I did was put one arm up and the flowers came straight to my hand. I didn’t even lift my calf or ankle or anything [the heel on my shoe was so high I might have fallen had I tried to anyway).

I was glad I came back because my grandmother was happy and actually felt better with my return, but LOOK at GOD?! – I caught the bouquet for the first time I stood up 🙂

Apparently I have a year according to the people who came to congratulate me. A year to do what I’m not really sure. It might be to have a wedding or it might be to meet someone….*shrug*. My mom, who wasn’t able to attend because she lives in South Africa and had travelled to Indonesia during the wedding, called the mother of the bride to confirm that I had in fact caught it lol…..

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I came home and put the flowers in a vase. They died about 4 days later.

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*@afropolitaine*

afrofoto: what’s more belated than belated?

afrofoto *day 15:

I really had a lot going on in this here outfit! I guess you/I can focus on the necklace – a gold necklace from Egypt a veeeeery loooong time ago that one of my mom’s friends gave to be on my 15th or 16th birthday. It’s got the head of Nefertiti as the pendant 🙂

I mentioned in the previous post that I went to Jazz in the Garden with a group of my good friends and this is then on the patchc of ground we managed to get situated on – the garden was packed. Hardly a patch of grass was free. It was a great time though, as is always the case in good company. Nigerians, Eritreans and Cameroonians in the picture and I know some of them from Abidjan where we grew up together.

 

afrofoto *day 16:

The main feature of this outfit was the purse I was carrying. You’ll see it later in the day…..check the beaded bracelet I wore. I took this picture cuz i was ecstatic about the new matte red nail polish I got from Sephora :)))) (Nails Inc Matte – Gatwick) Loooove it and it looks great with matte red lipstick.
Anywhooo….back to the bracelet – honestly there isn’t anything too special about it because these bracelets are the trademark/easy-to-come-by/ African jewelry at least in my experience here in the US or even in market in different African countries. They come in aaaaallll kinds of patterns and colors and combinations. They’ve made a successful transference from traditional jewelry to contemporary appeal and use. From the hipster to the soul-sister, for yourself or as a gift – it’s hard to go wrong with them.
Wifey had tickets to Beauty and the Beast and the bag I carried I got from the bottom of my aunt’s closet a couple of years ago. It’s made of leather died into 3 different shades. It doesn’t fit much and as i didn’t need much that night – it was my pick 🙂 We all went home afterwards, the next day waaaas…..

afrofoto *day 17:
Nothing much to see here – for some reasons I didn’t take a lot of pictures on this day. Went to a Zimbabwean cookout with my roommate – it was a lot of fun. My barely visible cuff I  got in Ivory Coast from a Mauritanian vendor at  Cocody Marche. There is a very large and merchant based Mauritanian community throughout Ivory Coast. A lot of their jewelry tends to be made of silver or bronze and has designs and patters etched into it. I love the finishing because a lot of it is intentionally made to look rustic of antique-ish. I’ve had that one for almost 10 years now.

That’s all for now…for this post 🙂