Ever since I decided to live consciously in 2012 my eyes have been opened to seeing the beauty of life without the pressure of perfection. I have lived more between 2012 and 2014 than I have in my whole life. Everything around me came alive because of the change in the way I chose to see it, even the way I saw other people around me took a different form! There was a richness to everything, it all had a purpose, a life and a beautiful story. I am continuously amazed because by focusing on everything I am able to see it all much more clearly.
I must admit that in the beginning I felt like I was catapulted back into the time where people cared very little about much. It felt like someone had taken control of the vehicle of my life and kept pumping the brakes, ordering me to look much more deeply into everything around me. My first reaction was a involuntary gasp, because as I looked outside my window, a beautiful transformation took place. The most amazing thing is that it had nothing to do with anyone else but ME! I had caused this slow motion complete change in my surroundings!
Because I was used to cruising through life from one moment to the next, what was a breathtaking moment soon had me panicking. I wanted to see things the way I thought they REALLY were and it took me a very long while to realise that this was EXACTLY how they really were. The blemishes and flaws that I had been seeing all along were so much more than that; they were just pieces of an unfolding story. It was a really extraordinary story, I only had to have the patience to wait for its completion.
For a long time I struggled with my desire to live a conscious life, it was too awesome and very care-free which really did excite and alarm me a whole lot. It made me more tolerant, more accepting, opened up my arms wider than I thought they could ever be and absolutely transformed me from the inside out. I stopped looking for hidden meanings and depth in everything and began to take time to observe, listen, and understand.
Even the Bible took on a new meaning, it became LITERAL – it became the Word of God and therefore has become like a love letter written to me by my Father. A letter that was relevant 2000 years ago and still is. All His promises and corrections came alive and I just wanted to take it one scripture at a time – it turned my life around this conscious living!
Take one of my favourite scriptures for example, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” – it is a very simple concept – LOVE YOURSELF FIRST then you can really love others. It is a practical, applicable Bible principle for LIFE. But the hurdle was loving myself, that was the really difficult thing. It was a painful process to look at myself with all the things I know about myself and still love myself. It took a lot of acceptance, tears, introspection and so much more. I am still working on it, and it is not getting any easier.
This conscious living thing has taken the weight off my shoulders – I can only imagine what it can do for me in the long run! On Sunday I was driving quite hesitantly and my boyfriend said to me, “Drive with intent – think about what you will do, how you will do it, when you will do it and just do it.” Imagine living like that – living with intent, another nugget has been deposited into my Life Wisdom Jar! Live with intent!
I hope you too will slowly unwrap the gift of consciousness in you – it is for lack of a better word – BEAUTIFUL!
You are enough for you, just know yourself, love yourself to love others, and Live With Intent!
The river flows. . .
I still stand here and watch
Glimpses of you floating past
If only you would hold still
And I would bend you to my will
Which will? You stop to ask
When I have lived and seen it;
Where you have lived, loved and lost!
Which will do you speak of and boast?
Loving laughter bubbling your throat
Jovial @24, bubbly @24
I still stand watch, wondering -
Are you happy @44?
Are you groovy @44?
Are you HAWT @44?
I will not move from my post soon –
That’s when it comes – that whisper;
Surprisingly wrapped in wisdom. . .
“For you to live, love, learn & know-
Leave that post – live a lot!”
Life in abundance! Leave that post!
My Saviour’s intention
To live my life in abundance!
To live a lot
Gale force winds, burning skies
Swaying me from that intended way
Stubbornly I refuse to move
I will live a WHOLE lot!!!
Fear of the unforeseen expiry date creeps in
A little like a little spider in my ear
Whispering words and sentences I couldn’t hear
Tickling sensations pleasantly disturbing
Carry me off to sleep on fearful spider legs
Even in dreamland I can’t shake you off;
Down a forgotten alley I chase you,
Screaming & shouting till I am hoarse
Willing you to, “SHOW YOURSELF!!!”
Flashes of the little lot I have lived go past
My knees meet the ground with a thud
Fists rising and raising dust as I pound the ground
I lift my face to the dead end road ahead
A scorching scream violates my lips & shoots out of me
Energy leaves me – I thought we could meet finally!
Lightning slices the sky dazzling me
Tenderly I feel that spider marching all over my body
Seems it has grown many a leg, its touch feather light
The dream melts into reality
Back to desert waste land from that alley
You are washed away by the rain
Yet you linger on in reality
“Live, love, learn, know –I hear it all over again – that whisper,
Leave the past and live a lot!
The river flows. . .
The first time I heard of Miss Earth Zimbabwe was in 2012 when Dimitra Markou was the reigning Miss Earth and I was involved in the Bin-It Zimbabwe project. My first thought was “this is great, they have a pageant for the environment!” I never once thought I would be a contestant because I am more of a behind the scenes girl! This year I saw the call for Miss Earth contestants and I decided to give it a try. When we were told to plan and implement a project I was simply even more excited by the Miss Earth Zimbabwe pageant! It would give me a shot at my beauty pageant queen dream AND also let me run a project!
My project is called “Environment Matters” (yes, that double entendre was intentional). It is a project that is mainly based in Kuwadzana, Harare. I am going to be working in Kuwadzana for a very long time hence I decided to lay the foundation of some environmental work in the community through this project. The project has a triple touch point which encompasses schools, communities and online presence. I set out to form “Green Zim for Life” Environmental Clubs in schools, engage with the Kuwadzana residents and interact with the online community as well.
On the 26th of July I took part in the Robofest Zimbabwe First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition which was held at Hypercube Hub. Trust for Education in Science and Technology (T.E.S.T) organised competition together with TechWomen Zimbabwe. In this competition kids aged 8 – 18 years built robots to solve litter problems. On the day of the competition I managed to get some coloured bins from Environmental Management Agency (EMA). The bins came in very handy because we managed to demonstrate separation at source as well as use them during the competition. I also made the opening remarks and talked about separation at source.
Even though I coached some of the volunteers who were coaching the kids,it boggled my mind how we would be using robots to solve litter problems. While I was coaching the volunteers building and programming the robots looked easy because we had pictorials to guide us. What I didn’t know was that on the day of the competition the teams of 2 -3 kids had to build and program the robots without pictorials. We all had no clue what the challenge for the competition day was and so we did our best to make sure that the teams we were coaching were well equipped for anything. As the day of the competition drew closer I was probably even more excited than the kids, I kept wondering what the challenge was and how they would tackle it.
The 26th of July finally arrived and the challenge was revealed: the teams had 150 minutes to build robots that collected litter from 3 bins and 1 bonus bin which had an obstacle in front of it to make it more difficult for the teams to reach it. As soon as the challenge was revealed I was even more excited! Teams started working on turning their Lego pieces and Mindstorm kits into robots. These kids were really geeking it out! They were connecting Lego pieces together and typing commands on laptops for their robots to follow – all this at top speed! I went around the tent asking the teams tons of questions and found out that most of them joined the Robotics club at their schools because it was something different. I promise you – it really is something different and it is very exciting.
Project teams were also part of the competition and these were made up of 4 – 6 members who had to research on various topics. The team that I was working with researched on water purification and they had a very well researched presentation. Other teams researched on ways of recycling plastic, paper and even on waste management. The solutions that the project teams came up with were simply mind blowing! They were showing how to make recycled paper, use plastic waste for repairing roads (a solution I believe we really need in Zimbabwe) and much more.
At the end of the competition the teams had all managed to construct robots that DID collect litter from the bins. In case you are asking yourself what kind of robots these 8 – 18 year olds built, let me define a robot for you. A robot is an automated machine that is programed to follow certain commands. So in other words, to simplify it – anything that has a brain with a list of commands to follow and cannot think for itself is a robot. I am looking forward to so much more Green Tech initiatives, this is just the beginning of it all!
I have always wanted to be a model of some sort, it was one of those things I have sincerely wanted to try out. For years I used to dream of being stumbled upon by some agent the way Naomi Campbell was scouted, and that is still a dream. Up to now I wonder if we have scouts in Zimbabwe – maybe there are, but they haven’t seen me yet. I am finally a model and it is not as much glitz and glamour as I thought it would be! I am a Miss Earth Finalist for 2014, does that make me a model? I think it does!
In 2010 when my cousin and I started an Artiste Management Agency and I thought my dream had been taken away from me because “who would hire the one who hires the models?” I resorted to walking around in high heels everyday & strutting my stuff while crossing the road as a song played in my head. It must have been the most hilarious thing ever to witness, especially because I really did “work it” while I crossed roads and then I would walk normally as soon as I touched the pavement. Those were awesome days! I was 20, felt like I owned the world & I was the queen of everything! The agency was alive for 6 months then we closed it because of my full time employment elsewhere.
Every now and then I remembered the time I told my mom and aunties that I was going to be Miss Zimbabwe one day. It made sense to them because I was a tall, beautiful 6 year old with the loveliest hair & eyes! I was watching the Miss Zimbabwe 1995 pageant with my family and I had been vouching for Dione Best who went on to win the contest. As soon as she was announced as the winner, the loud mouthed little girl that I was decided she was going to be Miss Zimbabwe & everyone simply had to know. I was sitting / lying on the floor & told them one day that was going to be me. It is weird how for a couple of months that was my dream till I got onto a plane and decided I wanted to be an air hostess instead.
My career choice kept changing, at some point I wanted to be a neuro-surgeon after hearing about Ben Carson, then I wanted to be a paediatrician because babies make me light up, I remember wanting to be a geologist because my uncle was one, the list and reasons are endless. Now I just want to make a difference in any way that I can and work with my two favourite things on earth; people and smiles.
The Miss Earth Zimbabwe Foundation promised me a platform to create a sustainable difference & I must say they did deliver on that promise! This is a pageant with a difference because all finalists have to run an environmental project for 60 days and the project constitutes 40% of our total pageant scores. It is only natural that I chose to work with people and smiles for my absolutely fulfilling green project! I have been working on my project called “Environment Matters” in Kuwadzana since the first week of August.
All I can say right now is my experience has been simply eye opening, enlightening and amazing! I can’t wait to share it with you all. My next few blog posts will be about my project and how the Miss Earth Pageant is slowly chipping away at the tomboy in me. Yes, sometimes I am angry at that – I love my simple hair, tees, jeans and sneakers: BUT I am also discovering that I like lipstick, curled locks, mascara & pretty dresses too. I am not sure how I feel about foundation though, however I know concealer is amazing!
It seems most people are liking my new look, my aunt Nomvula looked at my Whatsapp profile picture one day, sent me this message – “Siyabonga iMiss Earth nge profile pic” (“We thank Miss Earth for the profile pic”) then told me to thank the Miss Earth Foundation on her behalf. I haven’t done as she asked so;
“Dear Miss Earth Foundation,
Thank you for giving this opportunity to my niece and for contributing to the lovely profile pictures we are seeing on social media. I hope this is here to stay or at least to be constant.
I hope you guys will all enjoy my Miss Earth Finalist journey – I promise you, it has been very different from what I expected it to be!
The river flows. . .
The day she left I felt some kind of relief; the past four years had not been easy on her. That phone call is one I think I will never forget. How can I? It heralded the setting of her sun and the dawn of a new era in our lives! Soon after that relief, a pain such as I have never felt before made its way into my heart and threatened to live there till I booted it out by force.
We had walked this earth together since I was a baby on her back; she carried me, fed me, clothed me, bathed me and loved me. I’m sure I was not an easy baby at all! I must have been a loud mouthed, always talking kind of little girl. I was forever all over the place so much that my granddaddy called me ‘kashiri’ meaning little bird – non-stop chirping, continuously moving! Yet she would let me talk her ears off all the time. Sometimes I would call her just to hear her answer – a habit I carried into my adulthood, one that we would laugh about.
It used to look like she was really big when I was a kid. Only in 2008 did I realise she was really quite very tiny! It shocked me quite a bit that I could hug her and she would fit right under my chin. I would hug her and smile right over her head – every hug reminded me of just how little she was and how not long ago I used to think she was quite the opposite. Do not be fooled by the outside! This little lady was made of tough stuff; she was so strong we all leaned on her. All of us! All of us being her husband, 6 children (incl. her sister’s daughter that she adopted) and 9 grandchildren. The only thing that seemed to shake her much was us not going to see her for the holidays. I guess in short I can say she was our rock.
There never was an interaction without a lesson. My favourite lesson that I still carry around with me is money isn’t everything, as long as you are happy you will be alright. This woman also taught me the value of working hard and pushing hard to get what you want. I remember one time she told me to “vuk’uzenzele” meaning “get up and do it for yourself”. Those words stuck, I tried working hard and the rewards kept me going. I still work quite hard today, largely because of her encouragement and the look on her face when I told her of my achievements. That was just priceless! I lived for that look, for seeing the excitement registering – it was that ‘ding!’ that made me want to accomplish even more.
Contrary to popular belief, being a pastor’s granddaughter and a therefore a pastor’s wife’s granddaughter was one of the most amazing things that I have ever been. I remember getting ready for church, knocking at their bedroom door in my Sunday Best and being handed my offering; 5c coin which had a rabbit on it. I wonder if it was taken from my pocket money or if they just decided to give us the money. I grew to love that 5c coin till I graduated to the 20c one. If the beauty of a soul could be defined by the love one has for their creator, hers would be stunning! The woman loved God so much and tried her best to show us how to do that too. Sometimes we walked over 15km just to get to the church where she would be preaching at, when she could she would simply cycle the distance.
This is an ode to Nyakutumbura Nyakutumbura, Amai vaAmai vangu, Ambuya vangu, Gogo vangu, the one who loved me like my own mother did. The one whose love for all people, especially her grandchildren can never be replaced or even remodelled. She was a pillar of strength, my cornerstone, my guide, my yardstick. Rest in peace Gogo, you are simply an amazing woman and I hope to become half the woman that you were on this earth!
Signed . . . The proudest granddaughter ever!
The river flows. . .