For Your Daily Dose of MbA

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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Monday, 31 May 2010

Balls And Genethlia

Very eventful day today on  Court Philip Chatrier. Fed had no mercy for his countryman Wawrinka and has set up a quarterfinal with Soderling, and hopefully will get the better of him as he did in last year's final.  Soderling has never beaten him and I'm sure Federer would like to keep it that way. I also really don't like Soderling, he had always rubbed me the wrong way - his history with Nadal is long, and I'm still not recovered from him being Nadal last year and if Nadal can't avenge himself, I'm quite happy to have him Fed-Exed instead! Tsonga unfortunately had to retire, clearly the pain was too much to bear poor guy, hope he is able to recover in time for Wimbledon :(.  Doctors think it's his thigh, he has to go in tomorrow for tests to figure out exactly what he has done to it. Venus continues her bad luck at the French and went out in straight sets and Henin ended Sharapova's hopes.  I think it is time to spend less time thinking about outfits and more about tennis girls.  Venus seems more focused in the doubles, and her outfit is better there too!

Here is a transcript of Nadal's interview after his match yesterday.   He dismisses people talking about him being the kryptonite to Federer's Superman.  He has a great perspective, a good head on his shoulders. A champion already and set to be one of the greats in years to come, just like Federer.  He also excited about the World Cup and is of course supporting Spain (who I will be following as their play impressed me when they won Euro 2008). However I am all for an African country holding the trophy come July 11th. More to come on that later :)

Tomorrow we have Serena and Nadal up on Philip Chatrier.  I expect everything to go according to plan, today was enough craziness, my heart can't take it.

And here is something to ponder: If Marcos Baghdatis were a song he would be called Genethlia. Do with that what you will...It means birthday in Greek people! ;}  He also would be Wayne Rooney if he were a football player. Again do with that what you will....

Sunday, 30 May 2010

A Little Rain, Lots Of Fire

Serena started off well, then seemed to have a brain fart in the second set and then came back to fighting form to make it through to the fourth round and Nadal had to battle "Never Say Die" Hewitt, wind and a little rain to make it through in straight sets.  I think this match was a good one for Nadal, the elements, Hewitt included, seemed to awaken the sleeping bull.  Even though he conceded more games, he definitely improved on his previous performances, despite the conditions.

The Lakers are the Western Conference Champions, after coming close to being scorched by the Suns.  This game reminded me why football and tennis are top on my list and I can only watch basketball during the play-offs.  This was a particularly dirty game. The Lakers had the upper hand from the start scoring the first point and by the 3rd quarter had a 15 point lead.  And then the dirtiness came.  Playing on rivalries with the Slovenians caused a flagrant foul against the Lakers' Slovenian dude that was then the catalyst that turned the game into a lot of fumbling on the Lakers part and a lot of bravado on the Suns' part. The Suns' Slovenian went on a scoring frenzy (which eventually made him too big for his britches and he started going for really ridiculous shots) and Lopez, an awkwardly tall dude, was being all "in your face" from the bench every time more points were added to the Sun's tally, lessening their deficit.  Kobe did not appreciate this chain of events, as he expressed in his interview on-court post-game.  If you hear he has been arrested for murder, there is evidence to show it was premeditated.

Steven Nash however was all class, trying to rally his team and Frye was awesome with his 3-pointers throughout the game.   Kobe may be an awesome player but when he scored that ridiculous 3 while being double-teamed, smacked Gentry on the butt and then put out his hands and glided towards the Lakers huddle after the timeout was called was just so crass.  Really! Really! I don't find that sort of conduct sportmanly.  And it got worse, especially at the end when it really got down to poor Grant Hill having to do the whole "yes  I know I'm pulling on your arm but I have to foul you Kobe" dance,  Gentry calling a timeout  to gain ground, Steve Nash hauling to the other end to try score a 3 or Kobe going up to foul line.  Such play just chops up the game, although not as badly as in American football (and don't get me started on that).  That last minute was really stretched into what felt like forever - it was excruciatingly painful to watch, not nail-biting like in game 5. The whole" in your face" things is a huge part of strategy but I think it takes away from the talent and fun of the sport. And timeouts really just break up the flow of the game - let them hash it out!  Like when Stoudemire scrambled for the ball and ended up on the floor, Gentry called a time out to save him from a travelling call -that seems like messing with fate man. It just puts a bad taste in my mouth. But I'm sure all the Lakers' care about is they had enough water to put out the fire the Suns' tried to start towards the end.

I am curious to see what the next chapter of the Celtics and the Lakers rivalry holds.  I just hope there will be less of all the bravado and more of just playing the game.  To get ready for the first game on Thursday, keep up-to-date here.

Which reminds me, I didn't really appreciate Hewitt in the game today - throwing out expletives, throwing his racquet and basically throwing tantrums.  Nadal was having to deal with the same conditions - get it together, just play the game man, just play the game. To make it worse Hewitt didn't get a warning, but Nadal did for time violation. Not a happy puppy about that.

This is completely unrelated but it really bothered me that Nadal was wearing his watch today while playing.  He never does that.  What does it mean?  As an admirer of his little quirks on-court I was quite perturbed by the whole thing - silly I know :}.  He usually puts it on after the game just before he signs the camera when he wins. But he had it on, and he didn't sign the camera until he was almost off the court.  At least it didn't affect his play.

Sharapova and Henin finish up tomorrow, followed by Federer and Tsonga, all on Court Philip Chatrier! YAY!

Saturday, 29 May 2010


Unfortunately the South African Tenor, Siphiwo Ntshebe, died recently and will not have the honour of performing at the opening ceremony and the Algerians suffered a thrashing from the Irish in a friendly in preparation for the finals, 3-0.  And my beloved Essien is injured. However, we still have much to look forward to!

To keep updated make sure to check up on the Official Site and come here too of course!

And here is something to really get you excited.  Can't believe I spent $5 to get this! The Vanity Fair article was terrible because it was trying to school Americans once and for all about the beauty of football.  All they had to say about the World Cup and Africa was this: 

"African football is marvelously exciting.  No African country has ever gotten past the quarter-finals, but they play with an eager, individualistic enthusiasm, often without any apparent defensive strategy.  In South Africa, while rugby and cricket were played by the white ascendancy, deafening football has always been the game of the township."


But the photos were absolutely beautiful and the recounting of pivotal moments in the game such as England 1966 win and Zidane's head-butting debacle were spot on.

So here is the front cover, and I will post the rest of the goodies on the inside in coming posts...


Tennis, Tennis And More Tennis :)

Nadal and Serena are through to the third round and Venus, Federer and Tsonga to the fourth! :)

Nadal played another solid game with moments of flair but it is clear he has not calmed those nerves yet. I am waiting to see him lasso his opponents into submission  with his forehand as he did in 2007-8, before the little blip that was 2009. As he said last year he was considered a fav and ended up losing so you never know- but he was injured last year and as he also said conditions were different you can't compare. It always amazes me how humble and human he is even though he has superhuman muscles, i mean talents he he he ;}  

Federer is not worried about the World Cup interfering with Tennis or Wimbledon, which I think is perfectly valid - that is what TiVO/ PVR or however you may refer to the device you use to tape tv while watching something else, is for.  Also I think they are scheduled at different times in the day. Federer is also confident he can win a second title, which is true to his style - cool and confident. I personally feel he needs to win against Nadal to really win the French Open in this era, because if Nadal makes it to the final and wins he will have never lost a final at the French and that's really saying something.  And it will remove any doubts that people have in Federer's win last year, which some attribute to him not having to play Nadal seeing he was trounced in the 2008 final - there was no contest, it was quite beautiful to watch.

A bit worried about Tsonga, most of his press conference was focused on pain. He had a back injury that had him pull out of Madrid and he had to fight through pain to get this win.  But I can't remember which sports player said this but they were like you are never 100%, you will always have a little niggle here and there so you need to know how to play through those to be a champion. And it seems he found a way to get to the next round, I hope he continues to progress, without pain prefereably...

I don't know what was going on with Venus's hair in her press conference but it is nice to see her relaxed and focused. At least she is not being distracted by the lack of focus on her game at the beginning of the tournament. I am glad Serena seems to have both her on and off-court game on because that is what I admire the Williams Sisters for - being able to be stylishly brilliant at tennis and life in general.  

Saturday is going to be a great day.  Serena followed by Nadal playing for a second day in a row due to the rain delay, as well as Henin going up against Sharapova! 

And the 6th game in the Western conference :)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Another HBO Documentary - Ghetto Ballet

Caught another HBO Documentary today, this time it was Ghetto Ballet, set in a South African Slum.  Once again I really didn't like the framing.  The main character is a girl who talks about how ballet used to be for white people but now she's going to be the first black ballerina.  However, it is quite clear from her body structure that she can be a dancer, just not of the ballet kind.  We see her best friend, who has the body type  a few moments later.  We then get to follow them, as well as the rest of the group of underprivileged kids given the gift of ballet through the "Dance for All" program, culminating in an audition to become a professional.  We see a boy become Cape Town's second black ballet dancer, and the best friend being picked at the end as she has real potential (this outcome was predictable from the start).  Meanwhile, the main character fails to move on to the professional level and is told that maybe she could go on a diet.  We are supposed to admire her determination to keep trying.  It just made me sad.  TELL HER THE TRUTH!!!!

This documentary reminds of  Remember the Titans and when Denzel Washington's character chastises his white counterpart for coddling the black kids.  He says you aren't doing them any favours, you are crippling them for life.  This was not about white/ black, or the haves/ have nots.  These kids had the chance to be ballet dancer through the program, but if they didn't have the chops of the body type, that is something that even opportunity could not fix.  Instead of telling the poor girl to go on another ridiculous diet (by the end of the documentary her mother was already exacerbated by her child's eating), they should have given her realistic options, like dancing in another genre like modern or jazz or something. :(

Basketball - OMG!!!

Man the 5th game of the Western Series was nail-biting stuff...Lakers had a 15 point lead in the 3rd which was quickly whittled down until the last few moments of the game in the 4th, 101 a piece, 3 and some seconds to go, and a play that had Kobe miss and Artest redeem himself after missing twice a few moments before, which caused loss of possession and a chain of events that got them into this hair raising situation.  As the Sun coach said later these are the things that separate very good teams from champions.  Crazy stuff!! :)

I have been wondering about the Sun's game plan and whether it is too risky.  It seems that when executed correctly all that reliance on 3-point streaks and pushing for big 4 point plays can pay off, but is it enough? I guess we'll see what happens in Game 6 when the Lakers are away in Phoenix...

French Open Update...

Rain caused delay, so Nadal didn't play today :( but that means that tomorrow is going to be great with him up first on Philip Chatrier and Tsonga to follow sometime in the afternoon, as well as Federer up second on Suzanne Lenglen, so it will be a great tennis day!!! :) So pray for NO RAIN!

Unfortunately true to form Monfils is out, I still hope that he fulfills his potential and then he lets me down :(.  Justine Henin and Serena Williams are also up too.

You can read a lovely article about Nadal's resurgence here. And here is a completely useless video of Tsonga.

Summer Movies: Sex And The City 2 And Iron Man

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Sex and the City 2, all for free with Moet and popcorn gratis to boot he he he ;}.

It was interesting to see the girls evolving.  All I can say is that if you expect Sex or the wonderful city of New York then don't go see the movie coz there literally isn't much of either to the chagrin of this particular writer. However, I enjoyed it, because these women are not what they were when the series started in 1998 but the essence of the characters is alive and well, which is how it should be. Carrie scracks her silly pun jokes and is still a little bit ridiculous, Miranda is still defined by her job and making sure that everything runs smoothly, Charlotte still has her prissy, traditional and sometimes naive but endearing ways and Samantha is ever-chasing the fountain of youth proverbially and literally, as well as you know what.  A lot of the people I was watching with were a little shocked that the film tackled serious issues like motherhood, cheating and balancing femininity with independent individuality.  I thought Sex and the City has progressed to discuss the issues of marriage in the same way that it tackled sex for the single girl.  However, some were not having it.  They wanted to see their beloved characters on screen live the life they can't have or don't have the balls to have, kind of like the fan Carrie meets at the beginning of the movie.  

Interestingly enough, most of the movie was in Abu Dhabi, which I think was relevant and was a great way to discuss gender roles and also misconceptions about the Middle East and their women.  Also it talked about respect for other's cultures ,which I liked too.  Another unexpected thing was how representative the demographics were.  I have never been to Abu Dhabi but I have been to Dubai and know that there is an African presence about and was surprised to see that we were there in the background, of course in African garb to make sure that the audience knew we were there ha ha ha.  Funny though how they had only black people donning South African rugby shirts at the hotel that was hosting the players for the Rugby World Cup trials...I know they wanted to contrast them with the Aussies but really Rugby is dominated by Afrikaaners and they are Africans too! Then in the Karaoke scene they had Nigerians MC the whole thing, in a very stereotypical way, but what can you do.  

All in all I enjoyed STC2, the champers may have helped ;), but it does not hold a candle to Iron Man 2, which leads my Summer Blockbuster list so far.

Also a sequel but unlike STC2, which was good, but not as good as the first, Iron Man has moved from strength to strength.  It has not disappointed like say the way the Matrix 2 did - that movie was made clearly as part one of the next installment which ended up being even worse.  Iron Man 2 had a full story as well as great set up for The Avengers movie as well as for a third.  I heart Robert Downey Jr and as Tony Stark he's still hot, intelligent and flawed in the movie, what more can you ask for ;}.  Don Cheadle made it seem like he was in the first. And I do have to say Scarlett Johansson was hot too.  I was quite taken aback about how mesmerising she was on screen.  And she did this move involving a split on her part and pain to an unfortunate guys nether-regions that was quite impressive ha ha ha!  Critics were clearly wrong about this one.  It's summer fun, what more can you ask for?! :)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tennis And Basketball

Nadal made a good start today.  6-2,6-2,6-2 but don't be fooled by the numbers, he had to work harder than I'm sure he expected to "breeze" through to the second round.  I was very impressed by his opponent, the young Frenchman Gianni Mina, who eerily reminded me very much of his fellow countryman Gael Monfils.  Same body structure, same dressing, although now Monfils has been dropped by Nike.  The sleeveless shirt reminded me of what John McEnroe dubbed Nadal's "pirate" days.  He needs to go back to wearing the malanga mpamvu, which literally translated means showing power.  This conventionality of dressing he has employed in recent years after he became World no 1 is not on, and I liked the checked shorts he was wearing in the tournaments leading up to the French.  I digress. I was talking about Gianni Mina.

I just hope that Mina does not follow in Monfils footsteps and becomes all flamboyance and flash and no substance with the gifts bestowed upon him.  I had such high hopes for Monfils, who along with Tsonga showed a lot of promise.  Tsonga managed to make it to the top ten, while Monfils continues to lounge at the brink of greatness.   His mental game is terrible.  He clearly has the fire power and plays to be a greater player.  Instead he chooses to showboat, with unbelievable gets, tumbles to the ground, and ridiculous splits on hard courts to reach balls. Or he does the complete opposite, cowering in a corner when he should pounce and being aggressive when he should be cautious.  I hope that Mina only uncannily resembles him superficially.

I have now been sucked into the Western Conference play-offs and watched the Lakers lose to the Suns which now ties up the series at 2 apiece.  Kobe Bryant was not very nice in the conference following, and rightly so - the commentators were asking stupid, repetitive questions and clearly he was angry at the loss.  And he said that the team needs to defend and it's not about offense so many times really why ask the same question in a different way?! However, he said something with regards to something I always wonder about - the validity and virility of stats.  I mean some of them are really interesting but what does what happened in years before got to do with anything?!  Especially with teams because its not only a different set of circumstances, its also a matter of different players altogether.  When someone talked about how in game 5, the Lakers have put the pressure on in the last few years, Kobe completely dismissed them and said what happened before doesn't matter, its the present that he has to worry about, or something to that effect. The Suns are a powerful team and they can beat the Lakers so that should not be taken lightly. Which reminded me of Nadal and how he seems to play as if every point is in itself is the most important thing, he is able to shrug off the past so easily and never gets carried away into the future either, nor does he seem to think or care about what he has done before. He's a very in the moment kind of guy...Hence the post: Tennis and Basketball :)


Celebrate the beauty, the vibrancy, the mystery, and the struggle and challenges that have made our continent what it is today!

To Mother Africa I dedicate this song by Akon:

To all of you who are as proudly African as I am, a song by Jozi:

I suggest you get your 'frique on, I provided the music, it's up to you to party ;}

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Euphemisms Of The Day: MBAisms

Please my children:

"If you want to dance in the rain, make sure you have your raincoat on."

"Before the cock crows, make sure you have eaten your alphabet soup."


AIDS Documentary: "The Lazarus Effect"

Today I watched The Lazarus Effect, a documentary sponsored by (RED), the cause famously championed by Bono to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.  Here is the trailer:

I was particularly eager to see this documentary as it was shot in Zambia.  However I was to be disappointed.  This 30 minute documentary was really a 30 minute plea to get people to donate.  It focused on the pain of people losing a loved one to AIDS and how free ARVs have saved their lives.  I was moved by the before and after shots of the people who were able to benefit from the free ARV program that provides 3 million Africans with treatment. In Zambia 250,000 people get the free drugs, amounting to about 1/10th of the infected population being serviced.  Stats like these and others would flash on the screen every 5 minutes or so to put what things into perspective and to lead up to how ultimately with just 40 cents a day we can make a difference. They shot the documentary in such a way that only one of the buildings in city centre was visible so it looked like there are no buildings in the capital, not that you would know they were shooting in Lusaka from the way they shot it.  But of course you can't show anything that a Westerner could relate to, because they would more than empathise and then would not want to give because they would think that everything is alright naturally! I really wished they had asked the subjects how they had contracted the disease and how they would advise others not to walk the path they walked and what they feel needs to be done to reverse the pandemic.

Can we please stop plugging holes after the fact and get down and dirty and deal with the heart of the problem.  Serious social issues in Africa are perpetuating the spread of HIV and AIDS and these then exacerbate the financial ones.  If we deal with the causes then we won't have to think about prolonging people's lives with drugs and worrying about people suffering when they do not have access to them.

Dr. Mannasseh Phiri, who is well known in the community and has radio shows that actively promote prevention was underutilised in this documentary.  His most recent post on condoms and marriage tackles one of the social issues that need to be dealt with to halt the pandemic.  I also liked his post on abstinence which shows how even in the western world, the idea of promoting only abstinence is not sufficient to preventing teenagers from engaging in sexual practices, let alone safe ones.  Why this "abstinence only" proviso for aid is being pushed on African is beyond me.  Yesterday the BBC published an article about how studies in Africa have shown that pregnancy increases the transmission of HIV/AIDS and finished with the interesting fact that 1 in 4 people in the UK who has the disease doesn't even know they have it.  Condoms no matter where you are are pivotal to safe sex practices.

An STD is an STD, it is best not to get one, and AIDS is everywhere, we all need to be careful.

Roland Garros - Roger Federer And Venus' Outfit

Unlike Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had a horrible 5-set win in the first round :(, Roger Federer has started off the French Open in true defending champion style, breezing through his first round match.  He Fed-Exed his opponent back to Australia in straight sets: 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

Federer is both a Swiss and South African citizen and it is quite clear that his je ne sais quoi is directly linked to his mother's South African blood ha ha ha ha! He has been active in promoting tennis in South Africa and his foundation currently has projects in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia as well as in Switzerland. I wonder if it is a coincidence that South African Airways is an official Sponsor of the ATP World Tour?

The Williams sisters are both off to a great start, with Venus causing a bit of a stir with her outfit. She seems to have raided Sharapova's wardrobe, she is usually bang on with her designs.  I don't understand the lace and why did she have to wear nude underwear, if she wore black she wouldn't have been looking like she was flashing everyone! I'm all about fashion, style as well as comfort on the court but this time you went too far, and being in France, the fashion capital of the world does not excuse your silliness Venus I'm afraid...

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The French Open Starts Tomorrow :) - Jo Wilfried Tsonga

I'M SO EXCITED I JUST CANNA HIDE IT :)!  Roland Garros starts tomorrow!!!!!! We have an African connection staring off play with Jo Wilfried Tsonga last on Philip Chatrier (centre court) against some German I have never heard of.  Although he plays for France, he is half Congolese (DRC).  His father moved to France in the 1970s to play handball.  He plays with the a pendant with the African continent on it :).

Check out the video below.  Definitely has some African blood, he is all about colour and matching his skin tone and looking good on court ha ha ha...

Friday, 21 May 2010

Colonialism - Can Both Sides Of The Story Be Told?

An Algerian film premiering tomorrow at the Cannes film festival is already causing quite a stir.  A few French people have started protesting, afraid that their side will not be told favourably.

Colonialism is always a touchy subject.  At school in England it always frustrated me that we learned all about William the Conqueror and 1066 and we learned about World War I and II but colonialism was NEVER mentioned! You can't forget the past, it has forged the future we presently live in. You can't just sweep such an important time in our global history under the rug.  We are still recovering from the change it brought! And I think that it is very important that we tell these stories in order to understand where we came from so we can bridge gaps and move on.

However, I do not think colonialism should be used as a crutch on Africa's part: an excuse to keep on walking around like headless chickens or worse like ostriches with their heads in the sand.  It is time for us to take control of our own destinies :)

Awesome Nike Ad For The World Cup

Nike has created a great ad with its stars and not just from the football field.  They also managed to include Homer Simpson!

"You are so beautiful, how come you haven't had anyone's babies yet?"

At this point in my life, I am old enough that it is expected that I should have settled down or be actively searching for my white picket fence.  Instead I have been educating myself in true African fashion, to the point that I'm now educated up to my eyeballs, with just enough space to achieve more certification in the future, if I feel so inclined.  It seems people at home are waiting for me to get over this phase and forget pursuing my dreams  after all this school and come home and marry some eligible bachelor from a good family.  I just aspire to make something of myself and would like to be able to not settle, but to marry as part of my evolution as a human being.

Recently, a 15 year old boy said to me "You are so beautiful, how come you haven't had anyone's babies yet?"  That seems like a compliment, but really it's a backhanded way of asking what's wrong with me.  NOTHING!! I just haven't found that someone.  And I'm okay with that. I am not ready to have children - I am not in the emotional, evolutional, or financial position to do so and do not expect the father of my children to carry that burden alone.  What is something happens to him along the way - he dies, he finds a younger model, I get bored of him :}?

This isn't just an African problem,  I have a lot of Indian friends who are avoiding being set up in arranged marriages and fending off family members who put them up on online marriage sites and expect them to participate.  Thankfully my immediate family is not pressuring me at all to tie the knot with that special somebody.  They just want me to be happy.

I think what frustrates me most now is that with the education and life I have had it seems that men are either intimidated or uninterested in someone who has achieved so much no matter where they are from as a general rule.  Or worse, they are not ready to be with the kind of woman that will challenge them to be the person they are meant to be, they are still in the "playing around" phase.  Most of the women I know who are like me from other parts of the world seem to be facing the same predicament. Why is it that men seem to be assuming that educated and confident women want to be serious in relationships?!  Of course ALL we are thinking about is settling down and having your babies.  I don't think that there is anything wrong to want to do  that.  I just think that this need that women supposedly have is highly played up.  Some women it seems get married and have babies because they feel they have no other recourse.  Which makes me sad.  You should want to get married and have kids for all the right reasons.  It seems more and more to me that this is a luxury or an ideal to aspire to, it is not something to expect is the norm.

At home, men seem to wonder what they can offer me, what they can provide for me.  I have been told not to drive the car I have access to when I am home for the holidays because it sends the wrong message - how will you find a guy if you are telling him you already have everything?! And it's even worse in America, because you are burdened by the race politics that are particular to this part of the world, and when they find out you are a foreigner they get even more confused as they don't quite understand how you are the way you are and consequently what to do with you. Money (and power) can buy you a woman, but love is priceless. However funnily enough the one place I have found dating easier is London. Unfortunately I no longer live there :(.

Dating in America reduces everything to blackness.  At home its more cultural, if you are from Senegal marrying a Ugandan there are going to  differences that the families have to overcome.  Whose tradition will be followed or how how can the two be reconciled through compromise?  Race does come to play, but in a different fashion. Of course South Africa has a very unique history that is somewhat comparable to the American condition but even there it seems they are making an effort to bridge the gap by focusing on similarities, and young people are more open to learning about others from what I have seen and heard.

However in America, black women seem to be very loyal to their black brothers, and are not very open to dating outside their comfort zone.  This has spawned articles such as these from MSNBCNewsweek and The Economist that are heavily skewed to the African American experience but are labelled as black issues. They are also highly conflicted with opposing views, especially when referring to educated women.   This has also been addressed in movies and the difficulties address in Something New make it seem like sticking to your own race is easier, even though the movie is supposed to show that love conquers all. The loyalty I feel to Africans is out of pride, not out of fear of selling out due to a perceived or latent shame of my people.  My education is not considered a hindrance back home.  It is considered a bonus, my family can ask for a higher dowry: lobola he he he...

What the problem is for those of us who have found ourselves in the far reaches of the earth is trying to date in a country that sees you in a certain way and applies history to you that you do not have an adequate understanding of!  No one, not even the black men i.e. African Americans want to date us in America, so being an equal opportunity dater is of no help if you are.  We are an entity they are not familiar with and men of all shapes, sizes, colours and backgrounds are too scared to venture to try.  And unfortunately I'm personally not a fixer, I have no desire to coach and man into loving me.

When a man is ready to find his way to me he will. Just as I am finding my way to him :)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Didier Drogba, Les Elephants And Eye Candy :)

Didier Drogba has been honoured with a place on Time Magazine's 100 list for 2010. Considering his influence not only in Cote D'Ivoire, but also in the world through football, this is not surprising.  You would think that seeing as I have bled blue since 1996 I would be a real Drogba fan but alas I am not.  I find him quite a petulant childish man on the field, and if he was not so talented a player I would not care for him at all.  I suppose it is the nature of the striker to have a bit of diva in them, but sometimes I think that he indulges this to ludicrous points that overshadow his football and puts a sour taste in my mouth watching him.

If we are talking Ivorians I love Kalou. He is such a clutch player and I love his little mohawk, love that he is silent but deadly.  His efforts are often overshadowned by his more flamboyant teammate, both at Chelsea and when representing Les Elephants, but he is a vital cog in the  machine on both teams :).  My love at Chelsea however is Essien.  He has such grace, such style, such power, and he's good looking to boot.  PERFECT :}.  My friend COMBINE (com-be-nay) will not be amused by my proclamation because she is convinced that she is his future wife.  Ha!

My second pet peeve is Drogba's hair. WHY? I know all these footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, (with whom he features on the current Vanity Fair cover) like to experiment with perms, relaxers, length, gels, colour, braids and anything else they can think of, but really, I do not enjoy a lot of their hairstyles.  A little too prima dona and metrosexual for me these footballers.

However, I have come to respect and like Drogba off the field the more I have come to know about him.  This article shows how he is growing as a man, and how he knows that he can be a bit of a baby.  I also like his hyperawareness of his position in society and how his actions have a butterfly effect with quite grandiose consequences at times.  His devotion to charity and hospitals redeem his on-pitch antics.

I do believe that Drogba can lead Kalou, the Toures and the rest of the boys to victory at the World Cup. Les Elephants are set to trample all those put in front of them if he keeps his head.  They are in a difficult group though with Brazil and Portugal in the mix (this is group G with Korea DPR as well). Qualifying out of this group will be a herculean but not a sysiphean task. We will have sangomas, juju and mother Africa's protection on our side he he he ;}! He himself is cognisant of the weight on his shoulders and how he carries the dreams of Africa.  He is already championing for his team, letting everyone know they are a force to be reckoned with, and that 2010 is the year to present Africa to the world in a different and more positive light.  You can read his thoughts here.  You can also read what Ya Ya Toure has to say about Cote D'Ivoire and 2010 here.

Drogba is actually quite a soft spoken man for someone who hurls obscenities at referees and dives about in grass so much I'm convinced he is at least part fish.  Here is a video of who he feels is the most influential person in his life.

And here is some eye candy featuring footballers participating in the World Cup next month, including Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o of Cameroun and Sulley Muntari of Ghana. Unfortunately, they will not be so skantily clad when playing next month :(

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Prescriptions Without Consultation

This article asks the question whether foreign aid is bad for Africa.  First of all, most of what is considered aid is actually loans that cripple our governments with payments and interest far beyond the borrowed amounts, although people around the world think its free money given with no stipulations like payback.  This article does however touch on something that plagues my beloved continent: a specific group of well-meaning Westerners who have no clue what is going on in places of need, but seem to think they have the answer.

People don't realise that most Africans go around clothed, unless they are the Himba in Namibia and other tribes that have managed to maintain their way of life far away from the modernity of urbanisation. And they wouldn't want the clothes if you offered either.  In fact, a lot of people get the clothes given for charity and sell them for profit: salabula baby ;)!  The good thing about the man in this article is that he was able to readjust his unoriginal plan to send T-shirts to Africa after aid workers berated him for his arrogant ignorance.  However Africa needs money, investment and corruption to stop, and not just on its own shores either:  It's a two way street - enablers and enforcers on all sides.  Although this has nothing to do with aid, the case of Lesotho suing a Canadian and German company who bribed their way into working on a project comes to mind.  I read a case study on this that likened the tiny Lesotho to a mosquito that was able to defeat the elephants.  Lovely metaphor that.  African governments also need to start acting like adults, not like petulant children who take what they want and then have to be chastised with sanctions, repayment schemes and other stipulations that continually disallow them from thinking for themselves.

The issues of aid, charity and donating brought to mind the New Zealand lady who thought it was perfectly feasible to send dog food to the starving children she had heard about from her daughter in Kenya.  Why?! Why?! But why would you think this is ok?! These kinds of things just make me so sad inside there is nothing to do but just ask why?! I just don't understand how you would not think this is insulting.

The funny thing is that after September 11 Kenyan Masaai donated prized cows to help those affected.  The BBC called this an "unusual gift". How is it unusual, people eat cows all the time, it's called beef!  Drugs I tell you drugs is all I can say to explain this! That seems a logically compassionate gift to give.  You see people in need, you give what you can.  You empathise, you don't give them something you wouldn't take!

And no one ever talks about the African diaspora who are in the millions but remit billions home every year.  We are always portrayed as sitting around or dancing about waiting to be saved instead of taking control of our own destinies.  We are, if only we would be allowed to in public! And the rest of us that aren't, its time that we do :)

Thanks ALICE for bringing this my way :)

African First Ladies

BBC online posted an article on Monday about African First Ladies that was intended to give us some insight into to the women behind th men.  Unfortunately I think it fell short.  This article was more suited for a magazine than a hard news site.  The accomplishments of the women I think were overshadowed by trivial things like loss of freedom, and how they dress, which made them sound like spoilt celebrities.  

However at the same time it was nice to listen to these women talk in the accompanying audio clips.  I particularly enjoyed Sia Koroma, First Lady of Sierra Leone.  Her story of moving to England in 1997 to escape the war with her children, retraining as a nurse (she was a Scientist beforehand) and living in a council flat, to her currently using her skills at home  while living in State House, was very moving.  I also liked how she is trying to bridge the gap between tradition, (a word commonly used for the indigenous culture) and modernity (the polar opposite i.e. all things Western) by reaching out to leaders in each realm in her country.  I also admired how confident she is in herself as a woman.  The journalist clearly wanted to lead her down the path of berating men of power, particularly African men, and make it seem like women are in a helpless situation in this regard.  Koroma repeatedly dismissed questions and remarks by proclaiming she is a beautiful woman, women throwing themselves at her husband is to be expected and really she has better things to do than worry about what they are doing, she'd rather concentrate on working on her marriage and being herself. 

Read the comments made on the article. From vitriol to praise it is all there.  There are a lot of bitter men out there it seems.  A lot of negativity.  Makes me sad :(

Thanks to BIMBO for passing this on :)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Euphemism Of The Day: Simba

Today I was talking about how I feel energised: refreshed, revived, and refocused and this blog has a lot to do with it as well as other positive things in my life despite the uncertainty I am surrounded by. This spawned the euphemism:

The lioness is no longer sleeping, she is ready to hunt! ;}

A friend pointed out that this can be interpreted in a myriad of ways so use it as you will.  You are welcome :)

I think lions really are a very good animal to describe a certain way of life that I am quite happy to adhere to.  They are considered lazy because they lounge about most of the time in the shade, away from the heat, yawning and sleeping away.  But then when they are wounded they fight like champions, and when they are ready to feed every coupla days they hunt with precision and determination. Its all about conservation of energy to then utilise to its fullest at opportune and appropriate moments.  Its a "green" way of life if you will. They may not be the fastest like the cheetahs and they are certainly not shameless like hyenas that wait to feed on the left overs but they still manage to awe and impress us.  Hence the title as the King of the jungle. You don't have to be necessarily the very best, but you need to be near the top, you need to be tactical to be able to use your potential to the fullest.

 However I think there is a caveat.  The lions don't hunt the lionesses do.  Lions sit around growing beards and preening and looking pretty.  So I say lionesses are Queens and lions are useless and undeservingly have the title of King.  This has absolutely NOTHING to do with gender bias on my part he he he ;}

Monday, 17 May 2010

Happy Sports Weekend And More To Come!!!! :)

This has been a good weekend.  My beloved Chelsea achieved the double and Rafa Nadal achieved the Masters Series clay trifecta and is looking like he will reclaim the French Open!

I am so excited for the next few months.  Roland Garros. The World Cup debuting on the African Continent in SA. Wimbledon........ :)

Speaking of the World Cup, FIFA went with a Shakira/Freshly Ground collabo for the official song.  While I am glad that they went with the South African group, (love their music), I am kind of sad that they more in the background than equally carrying the song.  However, I do love Shakira, and the song has a definite Southern African sound to it. What do you think?

Inaugural Post :)

I feel the pressure of making this post the most fantastic thing you have ever read because it is the inaugural post and as they say the first impression is most important.  I have finally mustered the courage needed to write.  I suffer from self diagnosed ADD, ADHD, (whatever they call it these days or are those two different things?) coupled with  a dose of inertia and a couple of shots of procrastination : )  (As we become more acquainted you will learn more about my hypochondria and penchant for psychosomatic diagnoses). I guess the best thing to do is to outline why I have started this blog and why this is a vital drop in the pool that is the blogosphere. 

I am tired of my beloved continent, mother Africa’s name being tarnished.  There is a latent but very robust renaissance going on that many of us are a part of that no one is talking about.  There are amazingly formidable movers and shakers doing great things that deserve to be highlighted.  Africa has so much potential, and yet it is bogged down by the senseless, irresponsible and insensitive actions of some.  I am not denying that Africa has problems.  But so do other continents.  I have lived in Europe and the USA and from what I see their problems are latent due to pecuniary advantages.

This blog aims to cure my nervous condition. My life as a peripatetic, wrought with constant reinvention to fit in while still maintaining the essence of my roots, has culminated in a hybrid that is hyper-aware of Africa’s standing at the bottom of global rankings and how no one else in the world has it right even though they think they do.  This is my quest to find inspiration from its sons and daughters, indigenous (I hate that word, you will find out more words that I cannot stand due to the way the word has shaped their semantics) and adopted, are striving to tap into Africa’s potential.  At the same time I want to indulge in its mystery and frolic in its whimsical nature.

This blog will not be all seriousness.  I do have a ridiculous and somewhat subversive humour.  I love movies and pop culture.  I will make comments on the zeitgeist.  I think a healthy balance will not only hopefully keep you reading, but also keep me writing.  THIS BLOG WILL BE WELL WRITTEN.  I will indulge in superfluous and grandiose language and revel in instances to fully exploit it as we Africans so enjoy.  This will include colourful euphemisms. This blog is not just for Africans (and I mean all Africans, none of this sub-Saharan - North Africa artificial splitting the world likes to do to separate us). It is for anyone who has a genuine interest in this quagmire of quandaries that make up the motherland and wants to see the forest and the trees for what they truly are.

This blog is also dedicated to my parents, who have worked all their lives on the African continent.  To my father who has proudly worked all his life in Africa to send his children abroad and who never treated me or my sisters like girls, but like human beings. To my mother who has always instilled in us a pride for our culture and has consistently shown the strength of the African woman.  To my sisters - there is no definition of me without you.

On that note I shall end, and hope that this is a start of a sojourn into the many facets of Africa with a mix of my insightful and demented thoughts interspersed to make this blog an enjoyable read!

xoxo ;}