The Renowned Statesman, Nelson Mandela: Black History Month

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...
English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that United Nations declared Mandela’s birthday July 18th an international Nelson Mandela Day dedicated to promote global peace, and to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s great legacy.

South Africa and Nelson Mandela inevitably go hand in hand. One cannot speak of South Africa without the mention of Nelson Mandela or at the very least, the thought of him in that context. Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa’s 1st president in 1994-1999. He went on to become the most democratic president, jointly winning the Nobel Peace Price with Frederik Willem de Klerk following the termination of the Apartheid.

Another Monday It Is

English: Monday Morning :: duo pop & Folk Fran...
I wish you a fabulous Monday and a happy new week! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
I have this sense of a new beginning when I wake up every Monday morning. Is it just me or is it a common feeling? A sweet mixture of excitement and anxiety I feel. I wake up at the crack of dawn toss and turn in bed until I finally decide it is about time to rise and shine. Today, I woke up exceptionally early. I can not really determine whether it was the excitement of a fresh start or the anxiety from so much to do and so little time. Either way, as I write to you this morning, I cannot help but feel that familiar built up of pressure somewhere deep within me. At this very moment, I start another week. Starting today, I get the chance to redo all that I may have done incorrectly last week. Make better choices, save more time and accomplish a lot more. Before I walk out my door today, I wish you a fabulous Monday and a happy new week. I hope you feel like I do this morning, only a little less anxious and a lot more excited. I wish you all a productive happy week.
 
~Val
 

Black History Month: February

Fireworks
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Black History month is observed in February in both the United States and Canada. It is an annual celebration to commemorate important historic people and events among the African American Community. Those who led to obtaining freedom for its people.
At memoirsofakenyan we take the initiative to celebrate the great efforts by these selfless people. All through the month we invite you to join us as we keep these wonderful men and women close at heart. People such as martin Luther King and Carter G. Woodson among others.We will post brief facts on fascinating issues and places that have made history.
We take this moment to celebrate all people across the world. All men and women alike. We believe that everyone makes a difference. No matter how insignificant you may find your contribution, someone somewhere is smiling because you woke up this morning. By doing the best you can to make your life better, you unknowingly improve another. As it is consistently taught in economics, our own selfish deeds contribute to the economy of the nation, the invisible hand! Adam Smith has got to be smiling down at me right about now.
Today, we celebrate the world; the efforts made to improve a life, the prayers whispered before bed time, smiles shared after the crack of dawn. Everything that you do, you are making a difference. So keep working hard, continue to do your best and never stop believing that another life is improved because you have given the best of you!
Happy February fellas, happy Friday and stay tuned for our weekly Black History Month Facts.

Aftermath-Honeymoon Phase (Guest Post)

imageWhat happens after your honeymoon? Everyone knows that every new relationship has that period when it is the most intoxicating with excitement, infatuation and full of energy. This phase is when you spend more time with each other than anyone else. During the honeymoon phase life is amazing, every moment is magical and happiness is never ending. Honeymoon phase can last for as long as 3 months to 1 year depending on the couples and their situation. I know mine lasted 6 months!
So in most relationships this is what happens after the honeymoon phase over
1) You stop laughing at their jokes and get easily irritated
2) You tell as it as without hesitation and considering their feelings
3) You stop trying so hard to impress
4) You slack off on communication and planning fun activities
5) You stop complimenting each other
……it’s a fact you can’t be in this phase forever. However, you can ensure that just because your honeymoon phase ends does not mean you relationship should be less intriguing, intoxicating and exciting. Im sure everyone have their ways of keeping the excitement in their relationship. My suggestion is that rather than pretend at the beginning of the relationship show your true self and try to enjoy each other just the way you are! after the “honeymoon phase” there will be no surprises and frustration because you have established your true self to your partner.
Also its very important to keep doing those exciting things that got you to love each other and ensure the chemistry is not lacking. One of the ways to keep the chemistry alive is to go on date nights, plan fun activites whenever possible and NEVER slack off on your appearance. Your appearance is very important the last thing you want is your partner to loose interest in you because you stopped trying. This applies to guys especially! because contrary to popular believe ladies love a good looking and well dressed guys. Communicating with each other about everything! After all their your life partner. Do not take each other for granted. It’s also good practice to remind each other how much you love and appreciate each other.
So this is what I have done in my relationship to keep it spicy 🙂 What do you ladies and gents do to keep the excitement in your relationship?

Afrikaanada Woman

Your face is as white
As a blank sheet of snow
Your heart pure black
You’re an African soul
You livin in Canada
But that’s not the place that ya
Call home
Never stepped on our land
You will when ya got the chance
Cause you’re an African soul
Afrikaanada Woman
You’re both, but yet lie somewhere in between
Afrikaanada Woman
You’re white, but you’re heart wild and free
Afrikaanada Woman
You know just exactly what you want to be
Afrikaanada Woman
You livin in a dichotomy
You can’t speak Swahili or even Afrikaans
You don’t know much about the place that we come from
But yet ya one of us and everybody knows
You’re a Canadian woman with an African soul
You dancin to azonto, not just tappin your feet
Lovin our rice and gravy, not to mention the meat
Music is a tongue that you can speak
And to the jambo drum your heart won’t miss a beat
Your white friends may, not know the way you feel
But though it is strange, we know it’s for real
You are livin two worlds and all the more blessed
Checkered board you are, who would have guessed

Where’s the worth?

This poem goes out to all those people who find themselves at a place where they never imagined they possibly could: Faced with the overwhelming dilemma of whether to keep their unborn child, or not. I do not have the right suggest of what choice would be better. But my heart goes out to you at your hour of desperation, of terror and of confusion. I dedicate this poem to you who finds yourself in this situation.

Where is the Worth
Detestful catastrophic dreadful destiny
times filled with piercing pain
fear tearing deep in the soul
gushing hot tears, spasms and sputters

A tense load of murder,broken ties
the devil’s helper he the master
desire to accomplish, longing to surrender
undeserving angel, tiny beast

Innocence above the line of lifelessness
a need to fold up and keep folding up
to shrink to a coin, drop through the gutter
urgency to disappear, more desperation

Buckets of pain, unshed tears, broken ties,
lost love, unformed flesh hiding in the womb,
plunged in depths of sunken evil
struggle in total darkness,

frustration, every muscle strained,
every heart bleeding,
to finally conquer,                                                                                                                  but where’s the worth?

Coming Soon: Rediscovering Africa!

Graphic: African continent
Celebrate the beauty of a developing continent. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Join us in the journey to rediscover Africa. Lets share with the world what a wonderful place it really is.
As part of the memoirsofakenyan family we urge you to drop in frequently and hop into the discussions on the positive aspects that the continent has to offer. Lets make this fun and lively, send in your pictures, share your experience and do tell your stories. No contribution is too insignificant or too vague. Anything goes! Let us by all means, celebrate Africa!
A lot is constantly reported about Africa. There is persistent media coverage and advertisements on the issues faced by its people;  wars, famine, poverty to mention just a few. What many do not realise, is that Africa is a sensational continent.
Our intention is not to argue with the numerous studies and reports that have shown over the years the problems faced in the continent. They really do exist. However, just like there are two sides to a coin, Africa has both challenges and serenity. So much is being said and done about the negatives but not many people reflect the good. Perhaps it is because conflict sells better than good tidings, but the bottom line is Africa needs to be rediscovered.
So that is our goal, to rediscover Africa! To create fresh awareness for the positive attributes of the continent. Things such as decent roads, advancing technology, education, big cities, beautiful sites, water bodies, wildlife and the wonderful culture of the people. We resolve to counter the negativity, to reduce our ignorance and most of all, to celebrate the beauty of a developing continent.
Your thoughts and opinions on this subject are more than welcome!
~Val

Why do People Lie?

A couple of days ago I was at the library when a radio presenter walked up to me armed with a list of questions ready to unload them on anyone willing to respond. ‘Why do people lie?’ was his topic question. Well, first off I was not prepared to answer. I would have been grateful to read through his questions prior to the interview. You see, I like to sound intelligent-which we all know, I am.
I have never been on radio before therefore the prospect made me rather anxious. A very large part of me wanted to turn down his request but somewhere deep down, I lusted to be aired. I thought it would be a great experience. A few seconds, maybe a minute on air? I figured it would not hurt. I went for it!
My answer to his question was simple. Lying is something that is inside of us all. We have it from when we are born. That explains why our parents will tell us from infantry that lying is bad, that you have to tell the truth. We have to be trained to run from lying, to despite it, to always expect the truth. What I am saying is lying is innate but we can break free. We choose to rise above it. With good upbringing and constant practice, lying could become a tremendous task.
So what is your opinion? Why do people lie? Is it ok to lie in any case? Why or why not?

To Be Loosed (Guest Post)

To Be Loosed
To clear the clarity of confusion
And stomp upon its muddy waters,
Seeking to find meaning with further chaos.
But it is such dissention of the mind
That is soothed, and brought to some
Reasonable piece of order by the pen.
Do not misunderstand me. I care nothing of reason, common sense, or the rational.
When pen is in hand, my mind is free—
Free to explore the unexplainable.
Free to make a muse of the unresolved present predicament.
FREE.
Wild at heart like a stallion that has its reigns loosed.
No longer is there need for the obedience of conventionality.
Words usher out just as they please, never to be critiqued—
Although perhaps refined at some distant date.
But in the moment the pen touches the sheet,
A ferocious spill-over of mind-boggling thoughts converge into black ink,
Impressing their mark onto the white.
The grip upon my mind has finally been loosed.
~uncaptivefreedom

Countering the Monday Blues

See Sunday evenings are generally deplorable. Depressing even I might add. After having the weekend off, the thought of getting back to it is almost unbearable. Not having the option to sleep in or have coffee while reading the weekend paper edition from back to back, or even simply just being. You know, doing absolutely nothing and still having the justification of it is a weekend, the time to take it easy. Sigh! That ship has sailed, now it is time to plan another week.
But do Sunday evenings really need to be so disheartening? Maybe not. Like the famous expression goes your cup could be half full or half empty depending on how you choose to see it. So you see Sunday evenings could be something entirely different. A chance at a new beginning, the eve for new opportunities, fresh ideas,  a new chapter! And by extension goodbye Monday Blues.
So instead of starting out mad at the universe for refusing to take a break, the morning brings an eagerness to grab that coffee and run out the door,  ready to explore what this new Monday brings your way.
Happy Monday Folks!
~Val

My Workplace Hypothesis

20130111-094534.jpg I am not about to acclaim myself the corporate ‘guru’ of outstanding workplace countenance, but I firmly believe I have in the recent past, gained significant experience to base my profound workplace disposition hypothesis on. To ensure complete clarity, I will first point out that I am merely an amateur, learning by experience. In Latin they call it discere faciendo. I do not possess any formal training in corporate savoir-faire. I have been working at the same organization for three months shy two years now. As a result, I have gained immeasurable knowledge of work place do’s and don’ts which I gladly share with you today. Again, I do not in any way proclaim myself omniscient to work place matters. It is in fact quite the opposite. In sharing the much that I have learnt over the years; I hope to trigger a reaction from you. That you may agree or disagree with my point of view or add onto my growing list of exceptional work place practices. In the end (assuming there will be an end although I would rather this list grows to infinity), together we should have developed a much more thorough list of norms acceptable in office settings.
· Treat EVERY client like they were your FIRST of the day
· Care about the IMAGE you create
· Always DRESS for the job you want
· Do NOT CRACK under pressure
· Care about the QUALITY of work
· Have a sense of LOVE for the job
· Always EXCEED expectation
· Do NOT be a PUSH OVER
· Do NOT CRAP where you eat
It is a brilliant idea to separate your professional and social life. Yes, you got that right, I mean romantic relationships in particular. I know it has been said before, but I cannot stress this enough. After all, prevention is better than cure, right?
· Never pick a FIGHT you cannot win
I am talking about your clientele. No matter how annoying they may be, you will never win a fight against them. Do not get engaged, disengage! Let them vent, allow them a chance to let off steam and perhaps later explain yourself calmly. At the very worst refer them to someone else. Whatever your choice of action, refuse to get caught up in a fight.
~ Val

Falling in Love and Having a Relationship are Two Different things

Love Love Love
Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things. (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

Falling in love! Falling in love is the easiest and most desirable aspect of building a connection with someone. A relationship, I dare say is the best and most difficult aspect of that connection. I like to think that “’love” and “relationships” only got complicated in the last 2-3 centuries thanks to the rise of civilization and modernization, which have had their positive and negative aspects on both. But that is a topic for another day.
My goal is to share my understanding of the difference between love and a relationship. Relationships and love are intertwined. However, it is possible to have one without the other. Continue reading “Falling in Love and Having a Relationship are Two Different things”

A Painfully Fabulous Christmas

Overeat
Well, something that does not involve detrimental self-indulgence. (Photo credit: K. Yankov)

It is a quarter after 1 a.m. and yet I am still wide awake. I feel exhausted but not from keeping busy or working all day.  No, from sitting around watching none stop comedy, movies and listening to music. I know I should be festive and I truly have been but still, I need something more. I know you see it too.  I might be turning into a workaholic and oddly enough, I like the sound of it.
This Christmas my feasting was a little over the top. It was incredible; with candles and wine, barbecue ribs, roasted chicken, steak, french fries and believe me, the list goes on, and on! We had our dinner unusually early, say about 4 p.m. Turns out a festive dinner at 4 p.m is the way to go. Continue reading “A Painfully Fabulous Christmas”

Happy Holidays

Fireworks
Fireworks (Photo credit: bayasaa)

Again we have come to the end of the year. Oddly enough, I recall last Christmas as if it was yesterday. The Christmas trees, the lights, the decorations; all still in perfect condition, almost as if no time has gone by. I can vividly remember typing furiously at my computer what would be my new year’s resolutions. No, you cannot laugh. Some of us still make those. I made two very specific ones. First, I resolved that I should go out a lot more than I did in the prior year, and the one before. Did I keep it? Indeed, I did. This year, I am proudly reporting that I have done a lot more than just work, school, home and then some more work. I went camping even though it is not usually my cup of tea. I took a road trip, four days on the road and it was a refreshing experience. I spent most of my summer weekends at the beach. Continue reading “Happy Holidays”

Turning Over a New Leaf

Packing up to leave my home is by far the hardest thing I ever had to do. True, I have moved around a lot. But this move, two years ago, was different. I was not going away to school or to temporarily live  with some relatives. This was a complete move to a brand new home. A place I knew nothing about. I was turning over a new leaf.

I wore a brave face even though it was terrifying. As I trimmed down my earthly belongs into two suitcases, I fought back tears with every energy in me. I did not want to leave anything behind. Everything I owned symbolized a memory I desperately needed to hold on to in that moment.

My heart broke as I Continue reading “Turning Over a New Leaf”

It's an Honor; Finally on Board!

On board Resolution
On board Resolution (Photo credit: L2F1)

Dear readers and fellow bloggers,
It is with sheer excitement and a hunger to explore the cyber world that I join this community. It has long been overdue. I should have started a proper blog a long, long time ago. I am thrilled to have finally made this bold step, but I am a little afraid of the dreams that I have for this blog. Continue reading “It's an Honor; Finally on Board!”