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AMASHIWI

"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








Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Twit Tuesday: Asikana Network's First Connect Forum Zambia

The first Connect Forum was held at New Government
Complex on the 13th of December 2013.

This is a Storify of my tweets during Asikana Network's first Connect Forum to bring women in technology together to network and learn from each other in Zambia.  It was a great event, especially as a few of my new girl crushes were present and imparted their knowledge :).

You can connect with Asikana Network on Facebook and Twitter as well as Connect Forum Zambia on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date with upcoming events for women in technology.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Nelson Mandela: A Selection of Quotes

The Baobab tree best symbolises Nelson Mandela: strength, nourishment,
staying power,  a vessel of wisdom with age.
Thought it would be timely to create a list of Mandela quotes that speak to me right now.  I love quotes.  They are little but impactful bursts of inspiration, priceless nuggets of knowledge.  People who know how to craft words can say the most profound things, with infinite power to uplift, encourage and/ or lead in such short turns of phrase.  Love it. Madiba was a pro.  And I love that unlike many in the world who tried to make him into a saint who could do no wrong so that they could vicariously be good through him, he never saw himself as anything but a man: a fallible human who did the best with what he had.

I will say though, I am a little shocked that I haven't quoted him more often, not even in the Amashiwi section! And I seem to only mention him in relation to others in blog posts.  Which actually shows exactly what he would keep communicating: that your life is only worth its weight in salt if it has impact on others, if it is measured in relation  to others.  I am still ashamed that I haven't dedicated more posts to him in the past...Well there is a whole future to reflect on him in so not to worry.

Quotes that resonate with me at this point in time in my life:

What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived.  It is what difference we have made in the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one  you are capable of living.

Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will come up even in the end. 

I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.

It is never my custom to use words lightly.  If twenty-seven years in prison  have done anything to us,  it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand  how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.

You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people  you are with and a sense of humour  and a complete relaxation, even when you're discussing serious things, does help mobilise friends around you.  And I love that. 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I have learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Lead from the back - let other's believe they are in front.

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.

It always seems impossible, until it is done.

MbA posts with Rolihlahla inspiration:

Nelson Mandela: Paradigm of Legacy to Follow

My Recent Bout of that Icky Nervous Condition...

Music with a Message

Desmond Tutu Announces his Imminent Retirement

Happy Birthday Madiba







Monday, 9 December 2013

Y Zed Series: Barefeet Theatre - A ROARing Good Time Part II

Part 1 of Roar Festival post includes recounting of Launch and insight into Barefeet Theatre.

Apart from witnessing a great funeral, the Lioness Concert finale at UNZA Goma Lakes was the perfect way to cap off a great festival experience.  I cannot do the night justice retrospectively with words methinks. Good thing I tweeted and took video with my digicam and so that is what I will use to chronicle the night :).


































Y Zed Series: Barefeet Theatre - A ROARing Good Time Part I

From more information, visit
their website and connect with
them on Facebook and Twitter

This post was originally meant to be posted a week after event, then life got away with me.  This is how I felt at the time even though you are reading this months on. 

The first time I saw a Barefeet performance was last year at Manda Hill during their Christmas performance of the Snow Queen.  I had heard a lot about them, and they did not disappoint.  So when I was give the opportunity to have access to them before and during their ROAR Festival, I jumped at the chance to find out more about what they do.

I was immediately enchanted. I met Bernard, Victor and Amos during my first visit to their Thorne Park premises, all of whom benefited from Barefeet as children, and as young men have chosen to pay it forward by training to mentor kids who are growing up as they did.

I then got previews of the acrobatic tricks they were to perform.  You can see all of them on my YouTube Channel.

I then was kindly invited to the Barefeet Theatre ROAR launch at the Intercontinental.  The highlight of the evening was the Children's Council performance: The Funeral that they would perform again at the Festival during the week.  I happened to be dressed for the occassion in mostly black and was happy to be in attendance.  Here in Zambia, we have allowed ourselves to fall into a terrible malaise.  We mosey along, complacent about the daily inefficiencies, the lack of standards, and abuse thrown at us due to people no longer caring about the way they comport themselves personally or professionally.  I am constantly taking umbrage with something or someone and feel like a crazy old lady as everyone around me seems to be completely unaffected.  We have become so numb and unfeeling, accepting mediocrity as the norm.  Which is why I was refreshed and invigorated by these young guns, daring to speak up and out about what is wrong with their country and tell us exactly what should be done about it.  Here is what I tweeted as I was watching:


Also got my first glimpse of Randy McClaren, the Dub and Reggae Poet from Jamaica, who was part of the cultural exchange element that Barefeet always include in their yearly Youth Arts Festivals. He really got me hooked on the idea of Creative Activism, a term I had not heard of, but really should have, as it encapsulates a professional goal in life. That is part of what Project Cascade is all about (over half the team was in attendance at Launch to show support). Video of him in Part 2.

The night then got picture (and) crazy.  This is what I mean: 


Lwanga claims she had the virgin punch and I believe her because I think this is what caused the wonky picture - a whole other kind of inebriation: punch drunk love he he he he (I couldn't help myself ;}):

Part 2 on the ROAR Festival is the Lioness Concert experience in video.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela: Paradigm of Legacy to Follow




I have been a little out of it recently, and have been struggling to keep up with current events.  Today I was at a bank, in line to deposit cash, when I saw "REMEMBERING MANDELA" on the TV screen  on the wall and my heart stopped.  I was momentarily paralysed as I processed the information in front of me.  A couple of months ago, I posted on Facebook that I was not ready for Mandela to die.  For selfish reasons.  One of my life goals was to meet the man.  Unfortunately I am a late bloomer and so did not make my small mark in the world in time to be able to warrant an audience with him, let alone have such a blessing granted.

I remember when he was freed in 1990, as it was a few days after my birthday.  I remember thinking that this man must be really special, as all the world is watching, people have sung songs for his freedom, and he has survived prison for what seemed like a ten lifetimes to the child I was.  Years later, when I was applying to Stanford, I not only wrote about the Matrix being closer to reality than we think as in Japan, robots were being created to be nurse maids for their ageing population and prototypes already existed, bu also about Madiba.

After those moments of shock, I was at peace when I thought about what I had written in my application.  Despite the odds the man lived a full life.  He lived in the lowest depths, in prisons both literal and proverbial that could have shackled his spirit, extinguished the fire in his soul, and yet he came out 27 years later even more determined to defend freedom, even prouder to be a Black man, a South African, an African and most impressively, even more committed to forgiveness.  Even though he had been wronged repeatedly by white South Africans, he was still willing to extend the olive branch.  Even though he didn't believe in all the actions that Black South Africans took, at times invoking his name to justify their deeds, he did not hold that against them.

The universe works in mysterious ways.  Last night I read these two articles on Forbes: the traits of mentally strong people and about how whether we like it or not, we are all creating a legacy, so we should think about what we are putting out in the world.  Mandela is probably the most mentally strong man of his generation, and of the last Century, and looking at his legacy, it is a paradigm to follow.



Though Mandela's time may have set physically in this world, his legacy will endure through the ages.  His impact will forever resonate through the world, and I am glad that I can call on it at any time to comfort, inspire and energise me to do better, to be better, to continually evolve and learn.

MHSRIP

Can't wait to watch Idris Elba as Madiba.  Though he may not look like him, I don't think that is necessary.  The acting is more important, and from what I have seen from the trailer and Behind the Scenes shows, he has captured his essence, his charismatic and powerful presence and has done the man justice.  God is good, the omnipotent one may have taken away the man, but being omniscient, has allowed us to experience him through such a beautiful living body he he he ;}

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

#ZedVideoProject: Kwachas and Ngwees Add Up to Thousands of Pounds

Over the past two months a epic has been unfolding at warp speed!  And that is why I have not honoured my promise to myself to blog more.  However, I have decided December is the month of atonement, and I shall endeavour to at least end the year with redemption.

So what has been happening?  That requires recounting my company, Purple Tembo Media's, journey over the past coupla months, which has been all I have been experiencing pretty much too!

In September I blogged about Purple Tembo's proud sponsorship of my friend and business partner, Matthew Grollnek's Startup Junction's first Startup Hour.  We made this video to publicise it:



I have no idea how an institution of Stanford's calibre let us both in, clearly we are not smart, but need to be institutionalised he he he.  Luckily we made this video after we secured that paper ha!



At that event, I met Julia and Joe Brown, founders of The Best of Zambia website, whom had seen this video (and still came, braving the cray cray!).  One thing led to another, and while facilitating a networking Happy Hour, I ended up doing exactly what we had hoped others would do: I connected with like minded people actualise an idea.  Our paths had crossed for a reason - our philosophies aligned: we both wanted to showcase Zambia online and wanted to tell quality stories through video.  For more info about this deliciously serendipidous occurence, read this post on their website.




In October, the second Startup Hour marked me shooting the promo for our Kickstarter campaign.  We had discussed ways to finance making a pilot in order to look for more secure funding through sponsorship in 2014 to create a web docuseries focused to telling Zambia's untold stories.  After seeing The Fest Gurus successfully raising funds using a similar platform a few months earlier, we decided to do the same. Chosa the Director of Photography from Fiahlink,  Jacque the videography and software development intern at BongoHive and fellow Asikana, and Barefeet Theatre collaborated with me and my company to create this kick*ss video:



First money was coming in from afar, but not enough was coming from Zambians at home or abroad.  In response, The Best of Zambia came up with the #100ProudZambians campaign for what was now dubbed the #ZedVideoProject, as with the money already pledged, what was required was another 100 K125 pledges to hit the target.  So we created a blooper reel from the promo to spread this information, which unfortunately I cannot embed, but you can find it here.  You know the nonsense tag: yaaaaaahhhhhhh, the embodiment of that for your viewing pleasure...

On the Friday before our Sunday 1st December deadline, we raised just under half the funds.  We knew we needed to get larger pledges than the multiple K890 we had been getting from individual ballers.  We had been discussing targeting businesses and The Best of Zambia stepped up and offered 2 businesses sponsorship perks if they donated K4500 each.


Two businesses along Kafue Road: Day Break Butchery and Sandy's Creations stepped up and just before closing of business in Zambia we had raised the money we needed plus an extra K8.90! By the time the campaign ended we had raised over our target.  I had also collected over K1,000 in cash from people as well.  I now can no longer badmouth that road, or going out to Makeni after I have been blessed so.  Though really Makeni is far to drive and that road is madness and a deathtrap, a terrible combination.  Forget you read that.  Go down Kafue Road and give your patronage to the two lovely businesses that have facilitated us moving forward to create a video about Lusaka's Market scene, a great untold story to bring to you all...they are worth it :)


The best part of this experience was the highs and the lows: my mettle was tested and I discovered a new reservoir of strength in despair.  On Wednesday, days before, after multiple media appearances on radio and TV, I was afraid we would not make it as though people were giving steadily, the only way for all the small pledges to make a difference was for them to be combined with few big ones.  The K890 pledges were not big enough all of a sudden.  In the end, in 20 days we managed to raise over K17,000 and most of that came from terrestrial individuals, people right here in Zambia, and the biggest donations (over half the funds) came from two proudly Zambian businesses.

I am constantly told my faith in Zambians and my country is misplaced, that I should go back to the West where I can be appreciated and understood, and that my country has no use for my crazy ideas or me for that matter.  I have seen through my interactions with the young and the old that we are hungry.  We are tired of being swindled by jokers looking to make a fast Kwacha but are happy to support and engage with serious individuals who want to create quality and are truly patriotic.  

In the end all those Kwachas and Ngwees added up to the Pounds we needed to raise on Kickstarter.  Belief in oneself is important, but belief in others is the only way to make it in this world.  We are not islands, we live together, we work together, we share this world and what is has to offer in its myriad of ways , together.  But I will say this, I really am a Giant Killer, I don't just talk the talk like I did in this post, which I wrote just before all of this started, I walk the walk and take action with the right people too :) And I love that this project is driven by a team of seven, comprising five women, with another to come on board by next year he he he.

A big thank you to all who pledged to and/ or shared the campaign.  We had support from friends of Zambia from the USA, the UK, Sweden, Ghana and Nigeria.  Truly humbled by this experience.  Still reeling about this achievement.  

A special thank you to The Best of Zambia, I am looking forward to working with you to passionately bring the Best of Zambia online through video by telling her untold stories ;}












Friday, 18 October 2013

Zambia Fashion Week Grande Finale Tomorrow!


So I will be live tweeting from Zambia Fashion Week's Grand Finale thanks to Jewel of Africa, who have a booth and will showcase some serious glittery eye-candy with their beautiful world class jewelry on the catwalk and have pieces on sale all 3 days.  iPad hook-up from Lusaka Voice too :).  Please find information above about the event, organised by Karen Nakawala of Afro Multi-Media Productions.




So I bought 3 pairs of shoes to choose from to complete look for tomorrow, now broke! Was only meant to get a pair and got drunk with the selection of shoes in my size as usually don't find sizes smaller than UK 6-7 in abundance.  Was once told by a sales assistant that maybe I should shop in the kiddies section! Ummm, rocking pink polka dotted Hello Kitty shoes? Think I'll leave my niece to rock those...



Here are some of the Zambian designers who have been mainstays at ZFW.  Designers from Zimbabwe and  Malawi will also be showcasing.  For more information on all the designers go to Zambia Fashion Week on Facebook and Twitter and check out hashtag #ZedFW2013.










Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Twit Tuesday: Zed Childhood Trip Down Memory Lane

My older sister, me,  my younger sister and my Aunty Stella.  Classic
African picture taking with a car.  Why do we love to do that?! ;}
I have always looked back fondly at my childhood in Zambia.  This picture was taken in 1989 before we moved to Kenya in 1990.  Even though we lived in a socialist country, with basic goods scarce, and as we transitioned to democracy, attempted coups and riots common, life was good.  I had (and still have) a loving family and was connected with my extended family in a way that has been lost due to the peripatetic Afropolitan lifestyle that evolved from 1990 onwards.  This Twit Tuesday is my favourite kind of mix: part insight, part nonsense.  Enjoy this storified curation of conversations I had with fellow Zambians about growing up in our beautiful country:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Twit Tuesday Debut: Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon and #Hastags

@jacqu3isawesome and I (@whoops_c) a day
later at BongoHive after  Asikana Network's
 film shoot with BBC Africa
 Let me preface this post by saying that yes, I have succumbed to Twitter, but no I will never be a Twit.  I need to reiterate that coz though Twitter has made blogging easier, it still can be the bane of my existence: for the last two weeks have been all up in Twitter for various media consulting gigs and almost okay, let's be honest, I lost my mind.  I could not be chagrined from from afar like before when I would tuka it while not on it personally.  It was all up in my face close!  Too close for comfort. While my views towards this social media platform have softened, I still maintain the view that much of what is curated on that site is created by Twits and is unnecessary communication stored in the ether.  However, I have decided I am a Twix, because I am chocolatey and hope I provide tasty morsels, be they insightful and/ or silly, for people to enjoy.  Plus, it sounds like something you'd call a midget like myself.  For y'all PC peeps, it sounds like something you would call someone who is vertically challenged, or if like me, you don't like that term as it sounds like you have something lacking, it sounds like something you'd call someone who's petite.  Gone all French and fancy on ya.  You're welcome ;}.

However, despite being a Twix I am debuting the Twit Tuesday tag as Twit sounds catchier and is more about capturing the silliness that can randomly magically occur on Twitter, that is unparalleled on any other social media platform I currently utilise.  This is the recounting of the welcome craziness that occurred mid-week, during the second week of my 12 day work week, that started two weeks ago.  At this point my social media use for work had reached fever pitch and I was constantly having nervous breakdowns from overexposure.  I will leave Twitter to tell the tale:



@MissChissy of @AsikanaNetwork and
@lskglobalshaper joined in and we took a
 photo the next day to commemorate
the previous night's silliness :)
While Jacqueline set me off, another Asikana lady, co-founder and all around badass, Global Shaper Chisenga joined in releasing the cray cray in me.  As much as I appreciate her supporting me, this maybe was not one of those times she should have obliged.  Here is a recounting of the equally nonsensical, parallel convo that happened after Jacqueline set us all off.  Follow this kooky nut: Jacqueline is a breath of fresh air on Twitter.  A lovely young woman in person to boot :).











Wednesday, 25 September 2013

(Non)Sense: Startup Hour TODAY 17:30 and Twit Talk


Yesterday I Twitter blasted, okay spammed he he he he, all my Zambian followers and those I follow to invite them to Startup Junction's first Startup Hour.  As a company part of Project Cascade, my company Purple Tembo is co-sponsoring the event with C1rca 1964.  As a passionate entrepreneur with a start up myself, this was a no brainer.  Personally, it is really important for me to engage with people from all walks of life, in all fields, as to continue to grow personally and professionally, I believe interaction, skills transfer and knowledge sharing are paramount to perpetuate evolution.  Remember keep growing up, don't grow up he he he as I have said before here and here.

While spamming I started a conversation with one of my followers, Charles Chitundu.  When you write, letting your thoughts and words float in the ether, you only hope that people read and actually take something out of it, while wondering if your humour resonates with others, bringing them the comic relief you intend: I am a devotee to the school of "Laughter is the best medicine". Though I tackle serious issues on this blog, I also want it to reflect my equally silly side that balances out the intellectual side.  It is important to be rounded methinks.  My favourite part of the blog is actually the Nonsense tag (which weirdly enough still hasn't overtaken the World Cup tag that started this blog off in 2010!).  I feel that the happier and carefree side of me has been in umbra lately, due to the specter of the dark side of uncertainty constantly looming overhead as I continue to fudge my way through establishing my business and coping with the dirty 30s, as a single woman, in a chauvanist society, that is still unaware of, and/ or has no idea how to deal with the both latent and blatant mysogyny that pervades every corner of our nation. I have blogged about this recently here and here.

I will leave Twitter to best tell the tale and enjoy the video at the end telling you why you should turn up for @StartupJunct #StartUpHr. Also follow @MatthewGrollnek, @PurpleTembo, me at @whoops_c@c1rca1964, and @MsKkj to join in convo if you can't make it :). (And excuse my shifty eyes, we did so many takes I wanted to make sure I didn't miss my cue as I kept interrupting Matt.  Shameful seeing as I am meant to be the professional!)














He he he MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: a post that went from sense to nonsense that makes sense ;}!


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A Tale of Self Motivation Through Video and Images

© Pencil Case Studios
Yesterday I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown as my professional and personal life seemed to be blurring in very disturbing and discomforting ways.  My mind is a terrible place to get lost in when my soul is morose and my spirit is flagging.  To help myself along, I posted this image on Facebook, laughed at the attempted typo correction, then decided to take the rest of the day off as it indicated that only men were meant to be working.  Yes I can twist anything to my benefit when needed.

With so many things up in the air, and unsatisfactorily so, I thought it best to forensically sift through my thoughts and feelings to root out the evil and get back on track.  Last week I blogged about maintaining the happiness inside while making sure it reflects outwardly too, and so need to keep honouring that. So here is what I came to realise:


I am a giant killer! I am David out to conquer her Goliaths.  Great things come in small packages ;}
© George Evans
I am fearless and this fuels my persistence.  I will never give up, I will find that rainbow and ride it till I get my gold: I am looking for more than just money, I need meaning to be truly content.  My journey may take a little longer but I WILL GET THERE! 

© Pencil Case Studios
I can auction a goat that doesn't want to be sold even after tries to run away then jumps and bites me in efforts to escape. That's some serious skill! 


Was asked last minute to help with an auction
to raise money for Chibolya Clinic to service
35,000 people with no immediate access
to healthcare.  Check out Empowerment Zambia
We all have been blessed with the power within to be our own hero, to fight our fights and to keep going, even when things are hard.



I am truly blessed with women in my life, old and new, who are there for me to rant, to be vulnerable, to encourage me when I doubt myself, and support me no matter what.  Communion with women I have found gets harder as one gets older.  Glad that the ones in my life aren't the kind that secretly hate you and are friends with you so they can feel better about themselves, or want minions to follow them and worship them.  My friends are invested in my happiness as much as I am in theirs.  A lot of my friends live scattered across the world, mainly elsewhere in Africa, Europe and the US so having a group here to support me so selflessly is really special. 





I have found community on and offline through people like Mwanabibi, Lwanga and MissBwalya, online forums like Zedian Naturals (sorry closed Facebook Group, but if you have natural hair and are thinking of transitioning, let me know on Facebook and I can request for you to join) and Insaka Chat, and have found my creative niche through a collaboration with fellow entrepreneurial creatives through Project Cascade: check out #ProjCascade.

@projcascade@HartwrightAZ @PurpleTembo @c1rca1964
@pencilcasestudi @Yandapps @BongoHive @StartupJunct
© 
Dan Hartwright Photography
All the men in my life, most of whom I happen to be collaborating with on this project, treat me as an equal, respect my opinions and are such gentlemen. They express their indignation when the misogyny, chauvanism and sexual harrassment that comes with it, rear their ugly head in my life and in others.  As my father says: never be a lesser woman because of a weak man.  They never ask me to be anything other than myself and for this I am eternally grateful.  To the men in Zambia who chose to act like $"#@*&s:




After remembering all of this I said to myself quiet little one quiet! Hush, all is well :)  Hope this little sojourn through my thought process to keep my optimism afloat helps you too...


© Pencil Case Studios




Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Happiness :)

This is how I feel on the inside but it doesn't always reflect on the outside.
This image will help me to remember myself, which is much needed right now!
African Print Hoodie designed by my favourite ready-to-wear proudly Zambian
label Kamanga Wear.  Photo ©  Pencil Case Studios
I needed to take headshots for an article and ended up spending the afternoon shooting in various locations in Lusaka, just so I could have some professional stock photos.  I am crap at taking pictures coz my face is so expressive I end up looking manic, deranged, psycho, confused, angry, disgusted...< insert unseemly derp face type here >.  As a child I came to accept images of me would not really capture my essence, as being passionate comes at a price.  It could be worse... Not really bothered by it, but it doesn't help when trying to express yourself through photos in my line of work and they don't really reflect you.  Perception and representation are everything in the media.  I come off as inaccessible and aloof when really I am so carefree and silly.  My seriousness is perfectly counterbalanced by a childlike lust for life.  And my happiness is directly proportionally to feeling like I am doing something meaningful with my life.  It doesn't have to be large, even something as small and ephemeral making my niece smile gives me a profound sense of worth and accomplishment.  BIMBO recently sent me this article, that reinforced this and also gave me reason to keep searching for meaning as there are added health benefits that come with it!

Silumesii, the awesomest photographer on the planet, was able to capture my spirit and soul honestly and authentically.  He did not tamper with the image.  This is me unadulterated: no photoshop, no airbrushing, just mother Africa warming my spirit and the sun shining to illuminate my soul from within.  I am an inherently happy person.  I don't actually deal well when I have negative emotions swirling around in my head upon my heart aching to let me know they exist.  My professional life has been causing such angst I'm schizophrenic.  I can feel the ugliness oozing out my of pores and to my detriment.  My see-sawing is affecting others, to my chagrin.  I want to feel like me everyday and not have to hide in the shadows until the darkness allows the light in.  My honesty, though a strength, is also a weakness.  My physical being cannot hide what is festering inside and finds a way to purge, through illness if necessary.  My face betrays me when I do not have the requisite energy to shield those around me from the side-effects of tribulation. This quote sort of encapsulates what I am facing in Zambia right now: People keep trying to thwart my efforts to be my best self through my company because it means them stepping up their game and doing their best too:

"What is apparent, however, is that many Zambians have continued to fold their arms in the false hope that a 'magical' transformation in their lives will magically occur without them necessarily putting in any effort" - Sam Phiri, from article in The Times of Zambia, 4 October 2011

In honour of this photo, I have leafed through my little scribble book and gone through my quotes collection.  I have also done this as it's about time I change the Amashiwi up top in order to reflect my current state of excitement and anticipation as I reemerge after a serious battering, which I address in the aforementioned article that inspired the photoshoot. I will post it when it is published.  As I keep telling myself: don't just sleep, start walking: don't just dream, LIVE!  

Happiness and inspirational Quotes:

"Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions" - Dalai Lama

"To thine own self be true" - William Shakespeare from Hamlet

"I think that feeling that if one believed in any cause, then one must have the confidence, the self-certainty, to go through with that particular course of action" - Wole Soyinka, Nigerian Nobel Laureate: Literature 

"Hate is a too great a burden to bear, it injures the hater more than the hated" - Correta Scott King, Human Rights Activist

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve" Albert Schweitzer, Theologian and Physician 

"Sometimes, people call my way of speaking ranting.  Why are you always ranting and screaming, they ask.  But here's the thing...the reason why I rant is because I am a voice for many women that cannot speak out to...those that influence systems of oppression.  And so I rant. And I will not stop ranting until my mission of equality for all girls is achieved" - Leymah Gbowee

"I am not on this earth by chance.  I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink into a grain of sand" - Og Mandino

"I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself" - Rita Mae Brown

"Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself" - George Bernard Shaw

"We are boxed in by the boundary condition of our thinking" - Albert Einstein

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything" - George Bernard Shaw

"What I know for sure: There is no greater gift you can give or recieve than to honour your true calling.  It's why you were born.  And how you become most truly alive" - Oprah Winfrey

"Life is going to give you just what you put in it.  Put your whole heart into everything you do and pray then you can wait...God helps those who help themselves" - Maya Angelou from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door" - Milton Berle

"If you are going to do creative work that will change the world, then there is one ingredient to your success: REST.  You must take time to take care of your soul, to check in with your emotional self and make sure all is well with your inner life.  This is ESSENTIAL more than with any other type of work in my opinion.  Because your vocation requires you to pull from within, to consult the genius inside of you, to reach into the depths of your soul and share it with the world - to inspire to encourage, challenge and change.  I will say it again: If you endeavour to create, you must rest" - Jeff Goins

"The fact that you're struggling doesn't make you a burden.  It doesn't make you unlovable or undesirable or undeserving of care.  It doesn't make you too much or too sensitive or too needy.  It makes you human.  Everyone struggles.  Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart.  During these times, we aren't always easy to be around - and that's okay.  No one is easy to be around 100 percent of the time.  Yes you may sometimes do or say things that make people around you feel helpless or sad.  But these things aren't all of who you are and they certainly don't discount your worth as a human being.  The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.  You can be difficult and still be cared for.  You can be less than perfect and still be deserving of compassion and kindess" - Daniell Koepke




Friday, 16 August 2013

A Zarty Farty Interlude: Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre

Yesterday I went to visit the Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre to find out more about the International Arts Workshop that will overlap with the UNWTO GA conference in Livingstone, starting on the 18th of August. Organised by the Insaka Artists Trust, Zambian artists, both terrestrial and from the diaspora, as well as artists from around the world, including China and Finland, will help each other further their understanding and mastery of their own disciplines, while being introduced and exposed to new ones.  They will also debate the meaning of art and have a good time. I love cultural exchange!

You can find out more about the Insaka Artists Trust here and here. Here is a post about him on C1rca 1964.

I was invited to the Centre, whose premises are located in the Lusaka Showgrounds, and was given a tour of the artists' workspace in the back.

The Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre is located near the police station opposite the Main Area.  If you use the entrance off Nangwenya Road (where Portico is) keep going straight through another set of gates.  When you get to the triangle roundabout still keep straight and you will then see the Police station on your left. Take your first  right and the Centre should be on your left almost immediately.  Huge wooden doors and statues flanking the entrance.  Plus there is a Proflight wire sculpture using recycled materials that you should see further ahead. 

Here are pictures of the amazing visual arts in various mediums, using multiple materials:











Mulenga Mulenga, one of the Insaka Artists from
Zambia proudly stands by her work and talks
about her favourite: the blue abstract on the left

An UK artist preparing for the Insaka International
Arts Workshop in Livingstone 






Artists polishing their stone and wood sculptures: