Unprofessional Prayers: This Is Living

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Feeling the need to pray, I got down on my knees and I asked God to reawaken. The parts of me that once booming with life, fell into a comfortable slumber. I prayed that He ignite my heart once more. I told him of the constant distraction on my mind. That looming thing that I cannot name that stands in the way of my focus on Him. That competes for His attention. That would rather escort my mind to any place other than thoughts of Him.

My prayers weren’t loud. No sweat was sweated. Tears were shed, but only a couple of warm ones that glided down my cheek and were gone as fast as they came. I didn’t concern myself with memorized exaltation. There were no IWorshipYous, or ThankYouForYourFaithfulnesses, ThankYouForWhoYouAres, ThankYouForYourLoves, PleaseForgiveMeForMySinses…

My prayer was rather unprofessional- on hunger. My prayer was on need. Conveyed simply with everyday vocabulary. My prayer reminded me of His promise to draw closer to me when I draw close to Him. It was the whisper of an ache to thrive and truly live. For the abundant life that he promised, and for which I long.

I am aware, anew, that living without living in Him, is not living at all. A thought came to me. To stop holding my dreams and desires tightly in my clenched fist, hidden behind me as I step into God’s light. As if to keep them away from Him. As if he is the snatcher and shreader and burner of dreams (and as if these are tasks he executes while he laughs fiendishly). As if those dreams aren’t more precious to Him than they are to me. As if they aren’t His.

To be engulfed in His love, renewed by his presence, strengthened by His joy and in tune with His Spirit- THIS is Living.

Source:https://40.media.tumblr.com/e1a18c65dd9357195ea6fb66423e12c6/tumblr_mr4c5cozn01seng8co1_500.jpg

Love and Grace, Grace and Love

Faith, Life

I have had to sit myself down many times and realize that I don’t need to break a sweat to convince God that I am worthy of His love.

To stop trying to earn, or buy, or deserve God’s Love. To understand that His love is not to be purchased. His love is not dished out when I do good works. His Love is not a matter of what  I do or don’t do. His love is not rationed. His Love is deep, and it is wide, and it is true, and steadfast, stretching to the highest of heights and going even to the ends of the ages.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Grace does not oppose effort, but it does oppose earning.” His Grace is not to be earned. So receive it, douse yourself in His love. Accept it an live life abundantly in it.

Understand His Grace. Understand that in its very nature, Grace is weird and unfair and crazy and illogical. Understand that it is a vastness into which you can plunge with all your fears, and doubts and questions and confusions and inadequacies. Understand that it’s an expanse where you can fall freely, where none of these have to be hidden. Understand that Grace is that place where you can fall and know that you will ALWAYS be caught in His love.

So stop fearing. Stop thinking God’s allergic to you, and all the complexities that come with you. Stop thinking that God does not occupy all the places your mind wanders off to. Stop seeing God as one who will take your life away, and dull your living.

Stop thinking there are prerequisites to His Love. Stop defining God through the eyes of men, and seek to see Him with your own eyes. What a tragedy to never know His beauty because someone else’s understanding of Him got in the way.

If you are weary, know that He loves weakness- his strength is perfected in it.

If you are at the end of your wits, know that when he’s trying to be a fool, he is wiser than man’s greatest wisdom.

So stop trying to do God’s job for Him.

Stop trying to clean things up that he took care of already.

Stop trying to be worthy of His acceptance.

Stop feeling guilty.

Yebo

Jesus, Wonderings and Wanderings

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If you are like me, and have grown up hard in that church game, something happens to you. Something happens when you’ve grown up hearing bible stories. When you’ve grown up going to church every Sunday. When you’ve grown up singing Jesus Songs and reading Jesus Books and going to Jesus Camps. The stories lose their wonder. The books lose their depth. The Camps lose their meaning. It becomes routine, and it becomes religion. And it breeds questions. Questions that you fear asking, because “God knows,” and “operates in mysterious ways”. Because you’re busy having it figured out.

You start to wonder how much of this truth you claim to have is really yours- how much of it you own. You start to wonder if yours is true salvation, or if it’s a loosely-fitting hand-me-down faith that you have on. You start to wonder why some of the worst people you know are Christians, and how some of the most love-joy-peace-patience-kindness-goodness-faithfulness-gentleness-and-self-control embodying people do not know Jesus. You start to wonder why there are so many politics in the church, why praise team members can’t wear pants, why church mothers cringe when they hear that a seventeen year old has a boyfriend. You start to wonder why Jesus, in many, looks so unattractive.

You start to wonder. And wander.

You start to wonder, and on some days your wonderings are bottled up and kept simmering- bothering you as you sit in church, struggling to listen to the sermon. Other times, you loosen the cap and they float out aimlessly, levitating in the expanse of confusion and fear.

You wander, and your wanderings take you places where there is comfort. Where you are okay with just being. Where maybe it’s okay not to pray for a little while. Where maybe you feel a lot imperfect, and not so on top of your game as you used to. You wander because frankly, the things inside of you right now have become a little messy, and it’s a mess God can’t live with, but you can deal with, so maybe it’s best to be apart.

There is a story Jesus told. A father and his son. A son who didn’t feel he wanted to be with the father any more. A son who upped and left, taking all his treasures, to live his life, free of his father’s rules, free of his father’s work, free, free, free. A son who later returned, broken, and in need of his father. A weary son at a distance. Broken, and coming home. His father saw him far at a distance and he ran to his son. Threw him a humongous party and everything. As if he had never left. As if he had never upped and left to live his life, free, free, free. As if there was no mess in his heart that was just a bit much for The Father. As if it wasn’t best that they were apart.

I’ve gone through my little droughts. My spells of questions. But one thing I have learnt is this, “What good are questions if they ask for no answers?”

I’ve seen this Jesus that multitudes claim in a very few, but in the few that I’ve seen, His light has shone so bright and lovingly that it leaves me convinced that yes, this is the path for me.  And yes, I want to know him for me. That yes, my walk may look different than most. That yes, some rules may be broken. And yes, I, too, am accepted by the God that I worship. So hello brokenness. Hello surrender. Hello questions, walk in and have a seat, and have long back-and-forths with Jesus.

I haven’t blogged about Jesus in a while. My walk with Him has taken some very interesting turns. The bottom line, however, is that more than ever, I am cognizant of how held I am. I cannot come away from this truth that I believe in. I feel so held. As if no matter how far my heart or mind may wander, there in God’s arms, I remain, held, held, held. As if God has me tightly clenched in His fist. To be quite frank, considering the weird aliveness I feel when I am in God, its the perfect place to be stuck.

This is one of my all-time favourite songs;

He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand

Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Traditionally Speaking

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I’ve never been a great follower of tradition. When I am to bow, I stand up tall. When I am to avert my eyes, that is when they flick from side to side, taking the view in inch by inch, giving me away. When I am to keep my voice low, it rings loudly.

When I am to like, I love with a fire in my soul. When I am to sob, wails scratch their ways out of the back of my throat. When I am to sway, I dance with a madness that would leave you concerned.

If I were to follow tradition, my soul would sit quietly and abide by the rules. My life would flow slowly in the channels carved out by tamed forces. My tears would stay closed in, welling and welling, but never drawn out. I would be the breath never breathed out. The sky never flown in. The ocean that stretched on and on- perfectly still and unmoving.

So that no ships would sail.

“Buy” Me “The Netflix”

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There was a woman behind me on my trip to New York city who does not know what Netflix is. I had no idea that she was there, sitting behind me, looking at another lady in a seat across the aisle from me. The lady across from me was hispanic, 30 , maybe, with her jet-black hair tied tightly in a bun at the top of her head. She sat up straightly, I remember, because I saw her and thought how I should, too. She held an iPad with a cracked screen in her hand, and she was watching something on Netflix. We had only one common thing, this lady and I- the fact that we were unaware that the lady behind me was watching her with a curiosity.

As we neared New York city, as trees became buildings, and wooden structures morphed into high concrete and glass that sought to kiss the sky, the lady across the aisle received a phonecall. Hastily, she clicked on the cracked screen of her ipad several times, until the picture froze- a woman running out of a building calling out to someone. She answered the phone.

She had left her baby in Springfield with her family, she said into the phone.

She couldn’t take him to work with her as she cleaned hotel rooms, she said into the phone.

She had a new job and this time she was bent on keeping it, she said into the phone.

Her family agreed to keep him until she could secure childcare, she said into the phone.

Then, Netflix resumed, but only for a few minutes. Her phone rang again.

How are you, baby, she asked into the phone.

You having fun? she asked into the phone.

Spanish into the phone.

I will see you soon, baby, she said into the phone.

More Spanish into the phone.

Okay, baby, let me talk to Grandpa.

Spanish into the phone.

Back to Netflix, but before she could press play again, an “Excuse me” from the woman behind me (the sort of an “Excuse me” which said “I have been waiting to talk to you between your calls and Netflix.”)

“What are you watching?”

It’s a movie called (I can’t remember), she said.

“Oh, I like those actors.”

A mildly disinterested but still polite chuckle and a Yes.

“What is that device you are watching on?”

It is called an iPad…

On went the conversation, with the mother of a son she was hustling for educating the eavesdropper on the ins and outs of Netflix and iPads.

There I was, mildly amused at the thought that most back home would not believe that an American did not know what an iPad was. Hede!

While I am on this, I have remembered. Tchuzi kaye. There were some teenage missionaries that visited my friend’s church some years ago. One of them, Ivan, a freckle-faced boy with piercing green eyes, mentioned Reese’s Candies. Puzzled, we inquired about them. What sort of candies were they?

“Oh my God, you don’t know what Reese’s Candies are?!”

No, Ivan, we do not. I wonder what Ivan would say if I had not known what an iPad or Netflix, were and asked him. Anyway, tchuzi over.

I won’t lie, it’s silly, but I internally chuckled when the lady explained about these things. I chuckled and thought, my cousin Nelia in Suntche village does not even know what an iPad is. And I know that upon learning the fact, what, with her Africanness and all, the matter would inspire a pity-tinged tone by any such Netflix/iPad educator. As if life is somehow bleak without such technological advances. Because obviously, on account of her Africanness, it would be owing to the fact that she is so ignorant.

On went the conversations and I laughed to myself. At how our not-knowing some things as Africans serves to reinforce our plight. Confirms our lowliness. But tell me, since when was not-knowing synonymous with ignorance? Not knowing iPads on my side of the world is a tragedy, my friends. Take a moment to pity the not-knower. Not knowing an iPad as an American is simply an opportunity to be explained-to.

Chonde, don’t hesitate to speak up if I am reading too much into this.

But anyway.

“I should buy The Netflix for my television.”

Yes, she said, with a tinge of suppressed laughter. Me I was laughing, yo. “The Netflix.” “Buy.”

Can I just say, my darlings, that I Cannot, Even?

Can I also say, like my cousin wrongly would, Palm To Face?

The bus was arriving a the station at this point, and the journey was coming to a close. I was anticipating meetings ahead of me with certain people, and my mind ran away to thoughts of them before I could eavesdrop more. But now I am reminded of it. It’s funny.

I just thought I would share that.

Gilmore Girls (on “The Netflix” awaits).

Journeys

Journeys

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When you have traveled alone as much as I have, things get…complicated.

Especially when you over-think, and over-plan, and make sure that you are there well, well, well in advance.

Because truthfully, well, well, well-in-advance is much better that suitcase hauling madness dropping things everywhere- dropping  neck-pillows, boarding passes, books, even bride price- running ungracefully, sweating profusely in the hoodie you wore because in that airport, the temperature is remote-controlled, but not by God.

When you are like me, you have had to go to close by places and far away lands (and close-by places in far-away lands), alone.

Then you realize that it is quite a shame that you have only two eyes with which to read the many signs to get to the gates to get to the flights to get to the far away places or close-by lands.

Then you realize that your two ears must do an impeccable job of being alert and listening, to grainy voices that speak Englishes dipped thickly in foreign tongues. Then you realize that for the lone traveler, headphones are not always the best idea, and that Emeli Sande just may have to wait for when the captain turns off the seat-belt light to serenade your soul.

Colorado Bus-Ride

You learn that No, there is no conductor on the bus and No, do not hand your dollar-twenty-five to the bus driver.

Yes, feel the shame he intends you to feel when his eyes bore into yours Questioningly.

Yes, feel a pang of guilt when yours look back helpless, Answeringly.

“In the machine,” he says. It whirrs.

You walk away wondering why he didn’t try to hide his annoyance.

Accra

Sitting on a quiet street outside Lincoln Community School, you think, not for the first time, of how alike this weather is to October at home. Save for the humidity. Which yanks your pores open and fills them with moisture. Then dust. Hello, break-outs.

I am a beautiful, fair faced angel on the inside and that’s what counts.

Berlin

You wave goodbye to your mum and dad, unbeknownst to you that your suitcases do not intend on journeying with you.

“See you in Boulder,” they, the suitcases, say. But of course you are too busy waving to mum and dad, that you do not hear them.

Jozi

Ah. That bored-looking woman who held the now familiar logo in her hand with her bored-looking wee lass. The wee little lass who said, obligatorily

“Pleasure to meet you,” when really, you knew she didn’t care about meeting another student from another country in Africa to take on another (what was it, 45 minutes?) 45 minute-long bus ride to a clove of green-roofed buildings.

The wee little lass and her wee little sass as she eyed the pack of gum you offered which her mother told her with one look she was not to have.  (Is that really how it happened?)

The little girl’s outfit was a pink rainbow, yo. Pink rainbow. Red and orange and pink and blue, but all still pinkish.

You were the only one with a flight at that time, the bored-looking woman said, while yawning.

It didn’t occur to you that this would be a pattern.

Mphunzi

Eh, koma the way the children run after the wobbling white car. With such speed and determination. Such big smiles for distant cousins from distant places where no children run after cars. Such big holes in their shorts. Running fast, to be first to touch it when it slows to a halt in front of Agogo’s new iron-sheet-roofed house. Then shyly line themselves along the wall for mum to get out of the car hand them a hundred kwacha To Share- all one million of them, at which point their neat line breaks up into a mad frenzy and, when they think you’re not looking, they do weird obscene dances that you highly doubt are appropriate for children their ages.

But I digress, you were not alone on that trip

.

When you are like me, you plan, plan, plan. Make sure your passport’s reachable always. Nobody likes a fumbler fumbling through her bag for her passport while they wait in line. Make sure you are calm, you will not crash this time. You will not be the exception to how safe flying is. You will not miss your bus stop. You will get on the right train at the right time, do not sweat it.

Jozi

Eish but with those newly done micro-braids, I hope your hairline doesn’t suffer. But they last long, as we all know. And they look neat. Future leader? You definitely look the part.

 via Jozi waku Mauritius

If this plane crashes, may God forgive all your sins, Known and Unknown. Said, thought and done. Words, thoughts and deeds.

The clouds outside your oval window are so thick, so dark and, judging from how violently the plane is shaking, not playing at all. Holding tighter to your seat will not help you in any way, shape or form, my darling. Say your prayers. Those loud African American college students filling the middle aisle certainly are. So say them loud, say them proud.

If you are to die, let it be while you say the name of Jesus.

New York City

Where, oh where is that email. What did it say? Did it say I should look for the words Three Dot Dash, or for three dots and a dash? Or for my name? Eish, abale.

Drag your luggage this way. Drag your luggage that way. Look left, look right. As if you are safely trying to cross the road, but that’s not it. Where is he? Ah, there he is.

“Hi, I’m Priscilla Takondwa Semphere,” you say, pointing to the the placard he holds with your name written on it.

“Where are you going?” he asks.

“Three Dot Dash…” you say clumsily, after a  most awkward I-thougt-you-were-joking laugh.

“Yes, but where,” he asks.

You frown, and pull up the email you were finally able to find.

“Affinia Manhattan Hotel¿” you half declare, half ask.

“Alright, then! Welcome to New York City!” he exclaims, his new-found enthusiasm causing you to jump a little, a little jump you disguise as a shift forward to get to the waiting car with him.”Sorry for that. Security measures.”

And given everything you have heard about America, you can’t help but wonder if security measures would be in place if your skin were a different colour. But he was nice the rest of the way, so you let it go.

You let it go.

Northampton, Massachusetts via  Jozi

You let it go, ma’am” you repeat. A little rudely mimicking.

Eish but Priscilla where on earth is this boldness coming from?! Hm! Zoketsa zedi.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. but don’t you have a 50 ml restriction? This is not even 20 mls.”

Ah, ah. Again, I ask, where is this boldness coming from? And over mildly scented Nivea lip balm. A kiss of smoothness.

“Ma’am. Please just let it go.” You let it go and look at her offended.

Do you honestly look like a ‘ma’am’ to her?

London

Clementines in a cardboard box, £1.69 per kg. Honestly, you would not pay that money for those normal looking “clementines” (simanachesi awa? Tangerines? Ih, kaya mani). Right after the clementines in cardboard for one pound sixty-nine per kay gee, there is a wall of… just…utter unLondonness, to be frank. The ugliest green and the ugliest white in the ugliest manner. Such an ugly scene. Some sort of a building. If this was 2015 and you had your Samsung Galaxy with you, you would take a picture of this and put it on Instagram. You would tag @thesanmi and the caption would be,

“This is the London they never show you. #omg #thirdworldsavesfirstworld”

But you are not alone on this trip. Again, we have digressed.

See, if you are me, and you have travelled mostly alone, you don’t really see things. Something about travelling alone doesn’t permit you really looking and taking in. Because your eyes are constantly on the signs ahead of you. And you have a place to be. And you have a set destination with set and scheduled plans. But see, there are those moments when you permit yourself to see, and when you do, the memory lasts forever.

Mauritius

Green, green, green. Blue, blue, blue. Water, and school uniforms. Noodles with a sunny-side up egg on top. A first for you. Guitars and people and books and waves and a peek into the future.

Humidity, but the refreshing sort.

Purpose

This one is a journey that only you can travel. Nothing odd about doing this one alone. This one is a journey where the only signs you read are probably in your heart, or hidden somewhere in God’s mutterings. And then sometimes they are personified. In this journey you are not allowed to not see. You have to, my dear. Here, you are the only one on the queue, so feel free to fumble through your bag, fumbler.

Here, handing the driver the bills is okay. If you need to learn that the bills go in the whirring machine, handing the driver the bills is a sure way of finding out.

“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Rules for Engagement

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Those who seek to know me

Must have the upper arm strength to dig

Must have tools for excavation

Must seek not only to look, but to truly behold

Must not only see but perceive with the sharpest of eyes.

Those who seek to love me must have perception

Their soul’s eye must be sharp and catching

They must have patience, to teach as I learn to love, to learn as I show them how I am to be loved

The ones who dare to knock on my heart’s doors must know

That I do not open it to strangers.

That when I do let people in it is, at first, to sit down and converse over hot beverages

That I do not walk them up to my mind’s bedroom to see the most intimate places of my soul

That if you are to stay, it is with waiting, as I learn how to share my private space.

Those who are insulted by their discoveries must kindly bid their goodbyes

There will be no need for plate-smashing, door-banging exits

There will be no strength for lung-bursting screams that crack my heart’s windows

There will be no appreciation for belittlement

They must kindly bid their goodbyes and walk out, heads preferably held at level-height.

Those who choose to stay must roll up the sleeves

For sometimes the house that my heart is is falling apart, so we mend

Sometimes, the carpets need cleaning, so we bend

Over and over, cleaning and scrubbing

Sometimes, the dirty work is loving

Frustration is grime,

and passion takes time.

Mostly, sit with The Lord, for he sits with me.

If you do not understand what you see, sit anyways,

in abandon with me. Maybe listen. Maybe learn.  But do not spit on the ground before him,

Or I will spit in your hot beverage, my friend.

 

I don’t imagine that was how you envisioned my spit in your mouth?

 

 

Seeking

What-Ifs and All

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Eyetu

Let’s talk, you and me.

Let us have the frankest of conversations because see, time has kind of flown

Wasn’t it yesterday, I was asking you to cut my hair?

Wasn’t it yesterday, you asked me if I was sure about the choice?

Wasn’t I insistent?

Hm! Ine nde I wonder, very often. What did you think, when I walked around with that strange new hair-do. Glistening in the sun with Too Much Gel?

I don’t regret that hairstyle- do you? (Is the regret even yours to be had?) The way I see it, it was good for me to be a fool for a while, and look the part. And it was wise of you to allow my folly. Because now I know that the smell of cheap hair-gel is quite unpleasant. And that it is nearly impossible to remove by hand-washing with Omo from a white pillowcase.

But be all that as it may, it is hardly the topic of our chat right now.

Let’s you and me have a frank conversation, mum.

What if I fall in love with a boy you do not approve of?

What if his God is different from mine? What if his intelligence is not enough for you?

Or what if his God is the One True One, but he worships differently.

Like maybe on a different day.

And maybe in a different way.

What if you disappointedly look on as I dance, elated,  at my wedding one day?

What if my love for him is blinding, and emboldening, and dares me to do things that you trained me not to?

Can I love him, mum? Am I allowed?

And what if, instead of doing something useful with my life, I decide to maybe just escape everything and settle into a simple life of nomadice? Inventing words as I go for feelings that are too strong to be insulted by the shallowness of those that exist?

What if I write books filled with hot sex scenes, the kinds that you made us shut the TV off and not watch?

What if I say bad words? What if I wear very short skirts?

What if I serve beer at my wedding? What if I don’t even marry him at all?

Eish, please answer- the silence is killing me.

And be frank with me. And please, do not, like Estha’s Ammu, love me less for breaking the laws of who I can love, and how, and how much.

Lastly, let me just say what a fine mother you are.

*Inspired in part by Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things*

This Was Meant To Be About Disney, But Bill Cosby Is Ruining My Childhood

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I am learning that a part of growing up is discovering, often with a heart-shattering realization, that things are not what they always seemed to be. Having the gravity of the reality of what things that I once looked at with a wide-eyed juvenile awe finally exercise its tug and drop the scales from my eyes. Things aren’t what they always seemed to be.

Just about a month ago, I published a blog post called, “I Will Be Sad When Bill Cosby Dies.” In it, I reminisced about the shows that I watched as a child that either starred or were produced by Bill Cosby. Shows like Little Bill, The Cosby Show and Kids Say The Darnedest Things. The very next morning, I suppose as a result of the glorious way in which browsers and our social media networks serve us up links that are influenced by what we have posted, shared, searched or liked, as well as as the general result of the fact that this was something that the world was abuzz with, I saw a link on my Facebook timeline about the sexual assault allegations that Bill Cosby had laid against him.

Little Bill

Little Bill. One of the few animated shows I watched that featured the lives of people of African descent.

Of course, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. How couldn’t I? This was the first I was hearing of any such thing, and of course it had to be a lie. He was my Bill Cosby. My Dr Huxtable. As a little girl, curled up in our small sitting-room in Blantyre, Malawi, he had sent me tumbling to the floor in fits of laughter. He had, in my childhood, become the image for what I would want my grandfather to be like. His relationship with Olivia in The Cosby Show epitomized the sort that I would have wanted to have with my own grandfather. He was goofy-faced, silly-voiced Bill Cosby, and I did not want to believe that he could have even as much as conceived the manner of things that these strange women were all of a sudden piping up about.

And thus began my quest to learn about these allegations, which, unbeknownst to me, had been going on for years. My heart sank. How dare he ruin the glorious memories of my childhood? More, I was horrified at myself. I was too concerned about preserving my childhood perceptions of him, and the happy experience I had had with him, that it did not even occur to me to consider the unpleasant ones other girls had had with this same man. What scares me more is that my first instinct was, based on my affection for him, to side with him. This is the reality for so many victims of assault- mothers refuse to hear their daughter’s accusations of their boyfriends, societies refuse to as much as consider that perhaps girls were raped not because of their own misdeed, but because of their rapists’ wicked intentions. The world refuses to see that even those we view as saints can be wolves in sheep’s clothing. I was clouded in shame.

My Consensus? I think it matters to separate Bill Cosby’s art from his person. To separate the characters he played from the person he is. The truth is, it was Dr Huxtable I adored, not Bill Cosby. It was Little Bill I was charmed by, not Bill Cosby. Of course, it was, to a great degree Bill Cosby that made giggles tumble out of me in Kids Say The Darnedest Things, and that frightened me. The Bottom Line is, Bill Cosby is the alleged rapist here, not the characters he played. I suppose this is in a bid by my sentimental person to preserve my childhood experiences with these characters- to ensure that the tinge of Nostalgia I get when I watch those shows even today is one that is not tainted by the least amount of horror. To allow 7 year old Priscilla to remain in that glorious state of naivete, even though 20 year old Priscilla is discovering frightening truths.

That said, however, it more than matters to take these allegations seriously. Regardless of how greatly Bill Cosby was a part of any of our childhoods. It’s difficult to conceive, but how many more women do we want to come forward before we believe. We do know for a fact that there is no smoke without fire. We also know that this smoke is way too dark and thick for the fire it rises from to be anything less than raging.

This post was originally meant to be about Disney Princesses and the discoveries I am making about them, but alas! My heart tugged me elsewhere. So stay tuned, I suppose.

As My hair Stands Akimbo

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When Solange Knowles wed, she received backlash for wearing her hair the way that it grows. I am not here to rant or be bitter, or insult those who insulted her. I am here to remind myself of the validity of my appearance. I am here to claim, with a sure-footedness, that my hair grows skyward for a reason.

We- kinky haired women- wear our hair in different ways. Some of us make it relax and fall down tamely to our shoulders. That is valid. Others of us leave it to grow upwards. That, too is valid. In the way that we wear our hair, I pray that we do not deem any one way lesser. More, I pray that when our hair begins to grow out underneath its sleeping state, its urge to stand up and be seen is not frowned upon, but that it reminds us to make like it and stand tall and proud. However you wear your hair, give it the sweetest of loving.

As for me;

Each time I let my hair out I cannot help but think
That as much as I try to refuse it
As much as for me, the decision to leave my kink to grow as it pleases, unaltered, was one born merely of necessity
It will forever be a tightly clenched fist raised high
Standing tall and reaching to the heavens
Firmly planted and unmoving
In protest for a redefinition of beauty
And a shift in how Takondwa, a black woman, sees herself
And how the world demands that she does.

And each time, the fist is raised higher,
As if to make its point more heard.

It will always be political.

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<a href=”https://takondwasblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/