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AMASHIWI

"The day will come when history will speak...Africa will write its own history, it will be a history of glory and dignity" - Patrice Lumumba

"They can because they think they can" - Virgil (Inspirational quote in Zambian newspaper The Daily Mail, 13th February 2012 to describe the Chipolopolo AFCON win)

"Be yourself, everyone else is taken" - Oscar Wilde

"The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever seen" - Albert Einstein








Sunday, 30 January 2011

North Africa Update - Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan

Egypt:

The protesting continues and has escalated to being more deadly that Iran's Green Movement and now people are looting :( and some are guarding their heritage, such as with the incident at the National Museum, while asking for their rights.  I am sad that things are not getting better and that violence is still playing a major role in this struggle.  I have no idea why President Mubarak thinks that having a Vice President for the first time and a Prime Minister is going to sway public opinion.  He is still at the top of the pyramid, which is where the people are calling for the most change! It also always amuses me when the international community put in their calls and pleas for this leader to step down or for justice.  No matter what the West says, what will be done in Egypt will be done and quite frankly sometimes I think that their 2 cents actually hinders rather than helps the process.  Due to the complicated and patronising relationship the West has with the rest of the world, it always seems that if people follow what they say, even if it is the right thing to do, then it causes accusations of puppetry and things.  Sometimes it is just best to watch, however painful it may be, and let people sort out their problems and be proffer help when it is sought.

For great background and ridiculously detailed and regular updates on what is going on in Egypt, take a look at this blog post on Mother Jones that is dedicated to keeping us up-to-date as developments arise.  Thanks to DR JOURNO for letting me know about this and helping me on my quest to get up-to-speed on the Eygptian situation historically and presently.

Here is a video with an update on how the army is responding.  I am glad that the army officer says "Demonstrate and express yourselves, but at night clear the streets and let us handle the thugs." Many people are ignoring the curfews put in place which are for their own protection.  The army is having difficulty distinguishing between the "good" and the "bad".  I hope that other army units take this human approach on board to keep the protests safe.



Here is a Al Jazeera edition of Inside Story that focuses on Mohammed El Baradei, a man who believes that he is the change Egypt needs and his support has been gathering momentum.  There is also a great and balanced discussion about the present regime and the barriers in place to keep the governmental status quo:



I also just want to touch on the fact that the regime shut down the internet two days ago when they realised that social media was part of the logistical tactics of the protesters.  This is unacceptable.  What I love about the internet is that it affords the average citizen the ability to express themselves in the public or private sphere at little cost.  It enables those who are not activists an easy entry to participation in political matters.  It provides low barriers to entry to protests.  All they need to see is when and where and they can mobilise, they don't need to have pledged allegiance to the fight or have paid dues.  This media tumblr image says it all in the case of Egypt.

Tunisia:

Ben Ali's brother in-law is seeking asylum in Canada but has been denied. Here is a list of the key players in the Tunisia's transition.  And here is a video outlining how Tunisia's protests were fueled by people being able to connect through social media to ultimately hit the streets and how Eygpt has been inspired and is following the same trajectory:



"Tunisia is alive.  Don't be afraid.  We are not dead." So beautifully powerful a statement in its simplicity.  Both Egypt and Tunisia are more alive to me that they ever were.  I feel like North African states are portrayed as the "dead" parts of the Arab world in the media.  They are the places you go holiday, places to find middle ground, but not the places that are really focused on as the axis of evil in the war on terror.  I am glad that they are defining themselves in their own eyes so publicly and thus enlightening us.

Sudan:

Secession is imminent.  99.57% voted for seperation and President Bashir has said he will acknowledge the results when they are officially announced next month.




Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Global Fund - A Victim Of Its Own Transparency?

Over the past week I have been following the media coverage surrounding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria spurred by an incendiary article published by the Associated Press. They claimed to have the scoop on serious fraud that affects almost two thirds of grants awarded to countries from the USD 13 billion already disbursed of the USD 27.1 billion the Fund currently manages.  This has spurred a lot of press coverage in the US, and culminating in the likes of Fox New's Billy O'Reilly throwing in their 2 cents and at the other end of the spectrum, articles like this one featured in the Huffington Post.

AP acted very irresponsibly.  I would have expected more from such a prestiguous news agency.  The information about the fraud in Mali, Djibouti and Zambia (oh why my country why), amongst others, had already been reported by the Office of the Inspector General at the Global Fund in October and was discussed by the Board in December.  It was on the Global Fund's Website for all to see as this official statement explains. This wasn't a breaking story. And the fraud indicated, while a considerable amount of the funds disbursed to each country, actually amounts to 0.3% of the Global Fund's total grant disbursements of 13 million to date.  This article from the Center for Global Development explains the shoddy reporting and distortion of the truth through statistical convolution clearly.

The Global Fund is the major financier for programs involving AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world and 60% of their grants fund projects on the African continent.  This worries me greatly as news of Sweden threatening to stop funding and big donors like Germany halting funding pending resolution. It is clear that many donors are feeling the pinch and with the furor of articles in the USA, the biggest contributor to the Fund, it seems inevitable that the Fund will not be receiving all the funds that President Obama pledged last year.  If the defense budget in the US is no longer untouchable, it would be foolish to think that money for the disenfranchised far away on the "dark continent" is safe.

Another worrisome thing is that a lot of these articles keep referring to the fact that celebrities back this Fund. Honestly what has that got to do with the price of eggs???!!! They seem to be indicating that even though the Global Fund has tried to model itself differently from the bureaucratic style of the UN and other multilateral organisations, it has failed and we have all been fooled into thinking otherwise by celebrities who know nothing and have just jumped on the bandwagon because it was the trendy thing to do.  I would take this cynical view too if these were just any celebrities clearly would hawk anything for publicity but they are talking of people like Bono and Bill Gates.  These are serious individuals who have gone above and beyond what the average celebrity does and dedicate their time, money, and energy through their own Foundations to partner with the Global Fund.  Bobby Shriver, co-founder of (RED), had this to say in an article co-written with Bono in the Huffington Post.  And Bill Gates issued a statement in support of the Global Fund through his Foundation. Both parties have valid and thoughtful points.


I am glad that the Zambian media are not trying to cover up our government's lack of respect for donors and are acknowledging the shame that comes with being named as corrupt.  Every time I see Zambia in media in this regard I am just so angry.  Why? Why? We are such a tiny nation and usually go unnoticed.  Is this how we want to make ourselves known?! Jeez! The only way to stop people thinking that they can get away with corruption because donors will not stop giving because they are still able to help those in need regardless needs to stop.  This takes away from successes like that of Rwanda who have used the funds they have received wisely and are now on track to achieving universal coverage in providing ARV to all its citizens living with HIV and AIDS.


It is sad to see that in this day an age information has the power to not only empower but to potentially destroy.  In doing the right thing, the Global Fund's information has been manipulated to question its credibility and moreover its usefulness in global health financing and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals.  Are donors really willing to stop saving lives at all when right now they are saving millions with 99.7% of the money that have been disbursed through the Global Fund around the world? Because withdrawing 100% means condemning millions versus losing thousands of lives to save millions. Military triage is necessary here, we have to cut our loses for the greater gain however painful it may be to think about and ultimatley follow through on. The end does justify the means here. Morality does not have to be absolute here.  If you are corrupt then we will not help is too black and white.  The world is grey. We can still do good while trying to snuff corruption out.  At least the Global Fund is trying to not only operate in the current global climate, but is also simultaneously trying to change it for the better as well.  You have to support an organisation that is trying to do the right thing on both counts and is able to acknowledge failiures.  The World Bank and the UN want to be applauded for doing good without being responsible for accountability for fear of losing donors and they have greater loses. Hmmmm...


I think that what Bill Gates said sums up what the Global Fund has done and why all this harping on about 0.3% of Funds going missing is completely illogical and uncalled for:

"The Global Fund has contributed to unprecedented advances in preventing and treating some of the worst diseases in th world.  We know that dealing with these hard-to-reach places is challenging, but not trying to save these lives is unacceptable."

I leave you to ruminate as this Guardian blog does on whether the Global Fund can weather the storm. And here is a video with Koffi Annan and others explaining just how important this Fund is to tackling AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.  I hope that in the future, the Global Fund implements mechanisms to better deal with corruption at the country level.  Even though it is trying to empower countries by giving them control of their disbursements,  it has to figure out a way to make sure that better mechanisms are in place to deal with fraud and corruption in order to avoid another scandal like this from happening again. Being transparent is admirable, but it can be construed as a way to dodge the responsibility of accountability by using this openness as a scapegoat when things go wrong during the implementation of the grants they approve.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Egypt - Following in Tunisia's Footsteps

It seems that Egyptians are committed to following in their North African brothers' footsteps and are looking to oust President Mubarak who has been in power for even longer than Tunisia's Ben Ali, having had a tight grip on the Land of the Pharaohs for 32 years now. Curfews are now in place as the violence escalates.  I do not condone violence, I'd like to think that as an intelligent species we can use reason and logic through carefully crafted arguments to battle and win, but as a collegue remarked in a conversation last week, we humans forget that we are animals.  We are just as visceral  as we are cerebral.  Sometimes violence is our only recourse.  And it is clear that North African citizens are tired of trying to reason with words or staying quiet through inaction.  With the Tunisians successfully removing and calling for Ben Ali's arrest, while moving forward towards democracy, is it any wonder that other states are following suit?

Here is a video showing just how passionate Egyptians are for change and just how much the current establishment is committed to resisting.



The man showing his bloody hands really got me thinking.  He said:

"They shot at us! Why? I don't know! Who are we, the enemy?! Am I an enemy of the state? I just came here to ask for rights, I came here to ask for a home, for a dignified life. For a regime who's been in power for 30 years to go away."

There is such disillusionment in Egypt that I had no idea about.  I keep thinking of ads I see on CNN about going to Egypt and that is the image that I have:



I think of them as being vital to peace in the Middle East - helpers rather than struggling for their own peace and freedoms. The unrest starting with the Coptic killings has really taken me by surprise.  I am ashamed that I have not looked past the media to understand all parts of the African continent better.  I am glad that I have made the effort this year to cover the whole continent more fairly that I did in the last.

It is interesting that social media has paid a huge part in coordinating protests and engaging not just activists, but the average citizen in both Tunisia and Eygpt.  As a blogger taking advantage of the affordances mobile and online technologies have brought us, I am happy to see it working to help citizens exercise their rights.  I hope it will also be used to educate, not only those who are in the thick of it, but the rest of us in the periphery so that we have an understanding too. I just hope that the violence ends soon.  Tunisia has also inspired a similar movement in Yemen.  I wonder if other African countries will be inspired too.  I am glad that Sudan is dealing with the referendum in a peaceful fashion and seems ready for the change, I think enough blood has been shed there already so I am thankful.  Will other apathetic nations, and I am thinking of one in particular somewhere in Southern Africa find their voice too?

I leave you with the words of the woman in the video who is clearly searching desperately for an oasis in the desert and is prepared to drink sand until she finds it (I know, a very cheesy yet appropriate metaphor I think): "We are tired....We are Egyptians, we love Egypt, but stop this!" Inshallah, her wish will be granted soon.


Sunday, 23 January 2011

My Favourite Time Of The Year

Okay, I must confess this is the first of my favourite times of the year.  Not because of new year's resolutions, (my formal setting of a to-do list, as documented here, is a real first for me), but in terms of what is going on in the world calender.  It's the start of awards season in the entertainment world, and for some reason looking at what people are wearing and picking my favs to win this and that award is highly exciting for me.  I love films - I watch an inordinate amount and I love to hear people's acceptance speeches and wonder what possessed that person to pick what they wore.  Unfortunately, due to my peripatetic semi-homeless state, this year is the first year in 11 years that I will not be able to watch all the award shows on time, but luckily due to the technology that is the pvr, my sister is taping everything for me so I can enjoy when I get home in a coupla months.  Unfortunately that means avoiding the news for the next two months but I have already found out that Natalie Portman did win the Golden Globe, which I am very happy about, but now I know darn it! I don't know how I'm going to keep this up.

The big sports tournament season starts too with the Australian Open that I have only been able to watch one match of :(.  Yesterday I was able to catch the Nadal-Tomic match and probably will not be able to catch another match till the Finals due to time-difference and work.  I really hope he can make the career slam and history.  His after-match speech reminded me how much I love him as an athlete.  I really love strength that comes from accepting vulnerability and being comfortable in honesty.  I am to write a post about that soon. Yes, another post added to my never-ending list that is constantly being invaded and usurped by things that need to be dealt with in a timely fashion.

These are the times I miss working from home and/or being a student which is what I have been for the last four years.  Luckily the Africa Cup of Nations that traditionally happens in January is only on even years so I have time to rectify the situation for next year.  It is at time like this that I feel the holes in my life too.  My enjoyment of film and sport as a fan sort of fills the hole that has been created by not being able to play sport or pursue acting which I was able to do as a student.  These passions provided great relief and clarity to think and be and do in life.

It makes me think about what I want to be as an adult.  Technically I have been an adult for quite a while but I have never really felt like one to be quite honest.  I have come to a point in my life where I have definitely finished my education, as I have no inclination to pursue a PhD and have to figure out who I want to be both professionally and personally and whether I have the courage to do what it takes in both areas. To figure out how to reconcile the intertwining and complementary yet polarising dichotomies that these two parts of life create.  How to figure out the concatenations that make the simplicity of the many dualities in life complicated.  Steps have been made but where will they lead?

As much as I am addicted to uncertainty, there is comfort in at least knowing that the path is set even if you have no idea which direction you are going in.  I am currently waiting for that comfort.  Unfortunately I'm the most patient impatient person.  So I am currently driving myself crazy by recognising that all good things are worth the wait, but the wait is killing me! So I am currently trapped in a vicious cycle of applying logic to the illogical to stay sane which could possibly lead me to further craziness. Great! NOT!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Africa In Flux: Tunisia

While I have focused the blog on the Sudanese in the last week, other African countries have also being going through major changes for quite a while.  Unfortunately, Tunisia has gone the violent route in order to free itself from the shackles in the form of a 23 year reign of President Ben Ali who stepped down and fled to Saudi Arabia on the 15th (while eerily that date also marked the last day of voting for Sudanese secession) amidst the rioting and protests led by youth - mainly students and the unemployed.  The Tunisian Prime Minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi has set up a unity government to steer Tunisia through the 2 months leading up to the presidential elections. You can read and watch a video about the intentions of the unity government here.

Hopefully Tunisia will be able to follow in Sudan's footsteps and find a peaceful solution through voting and this will be the last of the violence.  I am glad that the Prime Minister has indicated that they are looking to lead Tunisia to a democratic, peaceful and free path to elections and  to rebuilding the nation politically and socially.

Here is a series of videos giving a recap of the events that started in December 2010 and escalated in the last two weeks culminating the the uncertainty that Tunisia now faces.







I hope the security will be restored soon and that the Tunisians find their way to the future they desire inshallah.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Journey Has Officially Begun

Voting for secession or unity for Southern Sudan was officially over yesterday and now begins the task of journeying ahead with the outcome decided upon.  President Kiir has called for forgiveness and peace.  I am hoping that Sudan can follow in South African footsteps and find a way to peacefully work together to find a solution that brings both sides forward without more blaming and violence.  Preliminary results are leaning heavily towards secession even though the process of counting and verifying is to take a month.

The Sudanese seem to have have been inspired by South Africa in other ways.  In this video after a South Sudanese man voted, he proceeded to blow on a vuvuzela to celebrate! More importantly Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil, Chairman Southern Sudan Referendum Commission,  says that at the referendum vote was "the most peaceful, the most orderly, and the quietest [Sudan has seen.]...It is really a great achievement." I am glad that positives are being drawn out of the situation already.  Positive energy leads to positive results I say.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

60% Referendum Target Reached :)

The Southern Sudanese referendum is valid as they have had over 60% turnout already despite the long lines and safety issues around voting.

I am happy that peace efforts are prevailing regardless of opposing forces.

Here is a video of Koffi Annan articulating his support for Sudan splitting into two countries, his hope that both side realise and positively exploit their interdependence and how he is wary of people thinking that this may lead to being a paradigm solution for other African conflicts.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Messi Business

Yesterday Messi won the Ballon D'Or, beating his Barca teammates Xavi and Iniesta.  And I am not impressed. Absolute rubbish! Messi was crap during the World Cup and only shone during club football.  Both Xavi and Iniesta were stellar for both club and country.  They are the footballers of yesterday, they take pride in representing their team and don't think about all the dollar signs their clubs flash at them.  I am very upset about this.  I have not warmed to Messi being the next big thing in football.  I know he was won because of his global personality.  Everyone knows him from not only Barcelona, but from his Addidas ads.  Basically he was the most marketable and this win will be great for all sorts of spin.  I am not the only one who feels that the Spaniards were robbed. Even he didn't expect it because he had won it the year before!

Here is a video of the ceremony. At least he looks shocked and humbly accepts the award.  I was thinking his brother is spitting image of him its kind of freaky! Yah, coz he's his twin ha ha ha ha! You learn something new everyday...



Reminds me of the way I felt when Eto'o won the 2010 CAF Footballer of the Year award. He always plays so well for his club and look at how he played at the World Cup as well. And he was won it before, I don't think he did anything particularly special this year to deserve it.  I really thought Gyan was robbed by his own people man! Thought his BBC award would be an indicator. Sunderland is not as big as Inter Milan I guess. I have only been able to talk about it till now that's how mad I was about it and have still not quite recovered!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sudan Referendum Update

Despite both Presidents Kiir and Bashir asking their people to conduct the referendum in peace, there has been violence with lives lost.  Is there any way to get peace without such conflict? Does freedom always come with a violent struggle?  This mars the momentous occasion taking place. This is so unfortunate as you know that is all the media will concentrate on, another conflict to talk about in Africa continuing the "if it bleeds, it leads" journalistic trope that plagues our continent particularly.

Here is a video from AFP  including comments from George Clooney and Koffi Annan that shows just how important and historic this moment is.  I love the woman who is so excited and is convinced she is "going have her [own] country." And the dude who had been waiting since 2am really epitomises the gravity and urgency of the situation.

I hope that by January 15 everyone will have gotten to vote and Sudan can keep forging towards a better future.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sudan's Landmark Referendum

As I write this people are turning up in droves in Southern Sudan  to vote for what most are assuming will be for secession from the North.  By July we could be seeing a new introduction to the African continent, our youngest nation yet.  While we vowed not to further cause turmoil by redrawing the very inconsiderate lines that were once so callously decided upon on a table by European powers over a century ago, think that it is very brave of us as Africans to recognise that in the case of Sudan, Africa's largest country geographically,  it is too big and too culturally diverse to be kept as one.

For more information about the referendum and the circumstances surrounding it, the BBC has comprehensive coverage here that leads to other links and information.  Earlier in the week President Bashir, the current President of Sudan visited the South to express his support.  His views on the referendum are that "the work of freedom is just at its beginning, [He is] confident that the southern Sudanese people have the strength and spirit to succeed in that endeavour." He understands the South's need to divorce itself from the north but is also wary that they are not aware of the potential pitfalls and tribulations they will face as they forge their own future independent of the south.

Here is a video of him articulating his views further:



You can also read a summary of the interview at Al Jazeera.

You can also find out more about the Government of Southern Sudan at their official website. Salva Kiir was sworn in as President of Southern Sudan in April 2010. You can view a video of the ceremony here and his views on the referendum hours before calling for co-existence and peace with the North here.

Watch this for a quick profile President Salva Kiir:



May this be the beginning of real progress in solving the Sudan's North-South divide, whatever decision the people decide.  For the vote to be valid, 60% of registered voters have to participate.  I am glad that those overseas are also able to vote as well :).

Friday, 7 January 2011

Afropolitan Elephant Delicacy

In an effort to preemtively get my brain functioning in French for my classes that start next week, I decided to start reading the paper while eating my lunch.  (Yes I do keep some of my promises). In the kitchen, there usually is a copy of 20 Minutes, a very light read that basically steals a lot of its news from the BBC ha ha ha.  Which made it very easy to fudge through as I was like I read about this yesterday....Anyhoo, I came across this little fluff piece, which is not available online, so I took a picture of it.

Elephants are my favourite animal due to the affinity I feel for their way of life and because they are just awesome possum!  They are family oriented, smart, majestic and have a taste for marula fruit that I would still like to believe gets them a little tipsy as does Amarula when I fancy a tipple :).  And they are a little destructive for no apparent reason sometimes, which I can completely understand and this imperfection makes them perfect. Sometimes you just need to stomp about and let it out. You have to have flaws to be truly beautiful I think.  And now it seems they can be Afropolitan too!  Here they are in Switzerland and like me are also partaking of local delicacies and delights.  Badly translated the caption reads:

"Christmastime is over, the Bale Zoo animals are always at the party.  Christmas trees that don't find a buyer are given as dessert. A culinary delicacy that is much appreciated by the elephants!"

Here they are being all cosmpolitan it's awesome! As I was walking home I saw a pile of abandoned Christmas trees and wondered if they too will end up rounding off an elephants meal in the future. My hosts have been coaxing me to have one more glass of wine and feeding me horse.  Oui, cheval! Je sais, je sais...I would try some sapins de noel too but I think I'll stick to my wine, cheese, chocolate and Haribo thanks.  I've had fondue (with cognac in it he he he), now to try raclette...

Monday, 3 January 2011

Top 10 posts of 2010

Well really its the Top 9 with one from this year but seeing as resolutions are shaped by the year that has just been I think my resolution post is really a 2010 post he he he.

I wasn't going to have my Top 10 posts featured on the blog as I thought it was rather didactic and chose the democratic route and used the data the site collects to have your top 5 posts featured on the right.  However, as my blog has been growing over the last 7 months I feel that people are still coming in and out and so may have missed some posts that I feel showcase both my best writing and really encapsulate my love for the continent, the issues I am passionate about, and my nonsensical nature.  An African without a little despot in them is not an African at all I say he he ;}. So here are my Top 10 ranked in order, starting with my favourite:

1. Transitioning from Young And Eager To Accomplished
2. Resolution Time
3. World Cup Lessons
4. Dress To Express: Proudly African Accessories
5. "You are so beautiful, how come you haven't had anyone's babies yet?"
6. Why It Sucks To Be A Young Educated African Woman Today And So On...

7. Thoughts on The Hybrid Nature of the African/ Afropolitan Inspired By Music
8. Obama's Address To The President's Forum With Young African Leaders: You represent a different vision, a vision of Africa on the move"
9. Interesting Debate
10. What Are Our Priorities?

And they are also featured on the right :).


I have also just started to use Google Analytics to track traffic and see who is reading that is not formally a follower.  I did not do this at the beginning as I wanted Mwana Ba Afrika to evolve on its own without really thinking about trying to get an audience and pandering for support.  I think now I have gotten into the groove and I'm in a healthy place, so this tool will be used more out of curiosity than shaping what I write about and how I write.

I have also joined Afrigator, a leading African blog aggregator and social media site.  If you are on it please connect with me, I am registered as MBA.

2011 has started off well, I am so excited to see what it brings!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Resolution Time

I am not one for formalising New Year's resolutions but I have decided to live dangerously in 2011. I have discussed trying to be the person you want to be in this world that seems to be allergic to the young, eager and passionate. 2010 was a rather strange one for me. I have gone through a lot of change but have not really been steering the raft that I am on. I am not even sure whch waters I am travelling. However that doesn't mean that my journey has not been enlightening. I may be a peripatetic destined to outdo the masaai with my crazy nomadic lifestyle but I am determined to roam this earth with purpose,happiness and effectiveness.

One of my flaws is inertia.  I challenge people to be the best they can be while I cower in the corner gripped by the fear of failiure when it comes to endeavouring to realise my passions all the while appearing to be in control and productive because I dream big. This seems like I am stating an oxymoron rather than confessing. I am doing both it would seem. Starting this blog was the best thing I did in 2010 as it forced me to confront myself. In having an open conversation about my passions, frustrations and fears in the ether I have exposed myself by shining a light into that corner. It has empowered me to take the bold steps I need to take to be the person I am screaming to be.

2011 is all about taking those steps. To not be gripped by the fear of being a good African child and play it safe and do what needs to be done in an invisible manner. To not worry about what people may sayabout the  unorthrodox choices I as an African woman have been champing at the bit to take. You only live life once so you'd better live it the way you want right? There is no such thing as the African woman. There are only African women. And I plan to be one that lives on her own terms, that grows and loves and contributes positively to her family, friends and community. Most importantly, one who is able to look in the mirror without regret. I may have detoured but if I commit to sticking to the path in 2011 then 2010 will have more meaning. And I will be able to do the things I need to do and my life will have an impact rather than only  serving  to merely confirm my existence.

I am glad that I ended the year at home. The temperature is not to cold, like Switzerland, and not too hot like when I left a couple of months ago, just perfect :)!  I have been able to reflect on the year and regenerate to make the necessary steps to be whole again. I have also thought about replacing Goldilocks that's how perfect the weather has been he he he. I have not followed MRS ANTELOPE's advice as much as I should and have let others take my peace.  TMINI MI has this quote at the bottom of her email that I have always read but has never really resonated with me until now:


A person is only as big as the dream they dare to live.


The source may be unknown but the person who came up with this was able to encapsulate such a profound concept in such a simplistic and succinct fashion! Hence the new Amashibi - this quote is right on the money for what 2011 is to be for me and of course you can join in and make your 2011 awesome possum too :) . 

Happy New Year once again! As a realistic optimist I am commited to continuing to dream but I don't expect to have everything fall into place. But I do expect my life to change for the better. I never expect anything
less. It's the only way to keep trying...

Saturday, 1 January 2011