For Your Daily Dose of MbA

Microblog on Facebook so follow today :)


"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, 24 February 2014


© Sandra Shanungu
I was watching Oprah visiting India and meeting with Deepak Chopra when as they greeted each other he welcomed her to the motherland.  Huh? What the....???????!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought to myself, dost my ears deceive me?

Emmmmmmmmmm, CORRECTION!  There is only one motherland! Where it all begun. On THE continent. Yep that is right AFRICA....THE ORIGINAL and ONLY MOTHERLAND!  

There I was thinking I had educated y'all on this.  In Deepak Chopra's defence he had made that error long before I blogged about Africa being the continent last month and clearly before this post, otherwise I wouldn't be writing it. Well I would eventually but not inspired by this happenstance.  Why is Africa THE motherland?  For those of you who weren't born on African soil or have never been afforded the privilege of disembarking a plane and experiencing her warm, welcoming, comforting, soulful embrace, let me enlighten you...

Kalambo Falls, Zambia
©  MbA
Life began in Africa.  Evidence is repeatedly found in beautifully majestic places like this.  Near sources of water with nearby caves.  And just look at how verdant and lush the landscape is.  Africa nourishes.  If that is not motherly I have no idea what is!

©  Griffin Shanungu
Africa is home to the largest land animal, the elephant.  Elephants live in a matriarchal society.  And even though patriarchy exists in Africa, I challenge you to argue with an elephant and come out alive.  It's more likely you will  be stampeded.  Elephants know all as they never forget.  I rest my case.  

Whenever something bad in the world happens in movies, particularly some sort of Armageddon, Africa is protected somehow.  We are happily overlooked and therefore spared.  People always know if they can get to the continent in time, they can start anew.  We are protected by the continent that is the source of life.  Obliterate the continent, obliterate life!

Wolverine is protected by his Adimantium skeleton, a metal found on the continent.  Mothers protect so that you land safely.  Wolverine gets into so much ish, especially as he lives through the ages, and the motherland has ensured he is better equipped to live his many lives.  Btw, ignore the portrayal of Lagos and rural Nigeria in the movie for your own sanity so you can enjoy this marvel (yes I did he he he ;}). And don't throw Kryptonite falling on the continent and being Superman's Achilles heel to refute this claim.  Kryptonite fell on African soil so it could be safe-guarded.  It is stolen by Lex Luther according to the Christopher Reeves version film.  See - the motherland protects, but what can you do when a psycho comes and pillages?!

To be further enlightened, read Part 1 and enjoy these two songs that further illustrate why Africa is THE continent and THE motherland ;} 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Soul Food Friday: Spreading the Love on Valentine's Day :)

I don't actually believe in Valentine's Day on a personal level.  It is too close to my birthday for one - would rather be spoilt then than have someone skimp coz they are thinking they have to do something again not before long.  More importantly there are 364-5 days in the year that you should be making an effort to show your love in.  Knowing you are going to express yourself on a certain day with everyone else in such cliched ways can make it rote. The best kind of special is not only thought out, but also spontaneous so the receiver is pleasantly surprised.  OFTEN.  REGULARLY.   

However, if this is the day you want to profess your love or reaffirm your commitment to someone, please go ahead!  If you can find meaning in this day, who am I to rain on your parade?!  Exactly, so go make someone feel special.  Ignore the above paragraph and bring on the love fest.

As for me, I am going to profess universal love, wish all you readers a Happy Valentines day, and proceed to express my sentiments through photo and video xo  

And if you would like to celebrate it with me, I will be speaking on a panel of African women bloggers during the Metamorphosis of Love Google + Hangout hosted by at 19:00 CAT, 17:00 GMT.

© George Mutale
Though you may try my patience, my passionate patriotism will never be extinguished.  Zambia I will always love you xo

For those of you who need reminding.  You deserve to be loved because you are "full of wonder"!  Do not sell yourself short and allow yourself to be loved in a lesser fashion because you do not think you should want or demand better.  Don't settle and don't be afraid to pursue that someone who you think is out of your league, life is too short and you are too special.  We are all on this earth for a reason, and that is enough.  And we all deserve that divine requited love :) xo

Love should fill you with rapture.  If you need food for your soul to open you up to love and its possibilities, watch this beautiful documentary. The artist's love of African print and cloth opened her soul up to create such inspired art.  Imagine what watching it could do for you...

Thursday, 13 February 2014

LEMBA: African Female Bloggers and the Metamorphosis of Love

Mazuba Kapambwe blogger at Afrosocialiting
and I after the Ngoma Awards in
Lusaka, December 2012.
Photo by Silumesii Maboshe
© Pencil Case Studios
Tomorrow as I have mentioned I will be speaking with other wonderful African women about the "Metamorphosis of Love".  This all happened because one of my Stanford besties happens to be besties with Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah of the Adventures from the bedrooms of African Women. I crashed her bday party while falling in love with Ghana in January and afterwards reached out without looking like too much of a stalker fan (ahem I hope he he he).

In my early days of blogging, the Adventures blog was one of my go-to sites for inspiration.  I was so impressed by how bold these women were as, sex is such a taboo subject on the continent.  So is love.    We talk about AIDS and the perils of fornication, and if we do talk about love and sex it's in a church during a wedding where you are given blessing to copulate for procreation and where love is celebrated in a very traditional fashion for a coupla hours.  I digress, as I was saying, this blog inspired me to blaze my own trail with my own voice.  They disappeared for a while, which led me to believe they had been abducted by the forces of silence, but they thankfully came back.

Nana introduced me to Malaka Gyekye Grant, the other half of Adventures.  And then it clicked after a couple of exchanges  that she is the woman of Mind of Malaka whom I had stumbled upon after looking for the original of You Intellectual Scum account and I had another round of geeking out on Twitter with her.  Both have been so kind as to think that I may have something to say about love and the African woman.  I have not blogged much about the subject to be discussed - this post is the only one completely dedicated to it in the Love tag is and I have only made one PSA about safe sex, though I did speak about sexual choices in this post and discrimination here. I basically have skirted around both issues, only really directly addressing them in the first year of the blog and in the AIDS tag.  

Check out the other ladies who will be a part of the Metamorphis of Love Google+ Hangout at 19:00 CAT, 17:00GMT which will be facilitated by Malaka and produced by Nana:

Tosinger from the Nigeria and the USA
Tiffany from South Africa and Kenya

And just for Malaka, as promised, I appeal to a baller Nigeria to be pimpin' and donate to Blogging Ghana's indiegogo campaign to help Ghanaian bloggers tell more stories. Or anyone else with deep pockets for that matter :)... 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Woolgather Wednesday Debut: The Illusion of Space for Multiple Stories and Identities

Mutanga Lindunda and I are the same yet different: We are
both Zambian.  I am slightly older, she is married.  She has a
weave, I have styled my own hair.  She is a career woman,
I am an entrepreneur.  She is a mother, I am an Aunty.  We
both love technology, believe in equality and both respect
each other's life choices by celebrating our differences and
embracing our similarities.  We both feel the pressure to
 conform to the perceived notion of what it is to
be a professional in Zambia today.
 © BongoHive 

First can I just geek out on this new word I have discovered!  I am in the process of naming each day of the week for the blog to help me focus my ideas and to structure my writing in order to post more.  

Wednesday was whooping my bleep a little (okay a lot) as I couldn't figure out a word that encapsulated the profoundity in nugacities and the power of excogitation - in other words the awesome possumness of nonsense that inspires and my love for pondering life's questions from identitiy to the concepts, schemas and codes that populate and inform our existence.  I finally stumbled upon and happily discovered this word woolgather  - synonyms include: fantasise, stargaze, ponder, excogitate, mull over, ruminate, as well as hallucinate, which all fit  to describe the cauldron of thoughts that mix and mingle in my mind, from which insightful and/ or silly posts are then created.

2014 has been declared the year of finding and owning the multiple yet unified voices required to express my Afropolitaness proudly, and to expose, celebrate and respect the various ways in which Zambian and African identities can, have and will manifest.  However, while I decided that this would be my goal for the year I realised that although many of us: abwana ba Afrika strive to actively raise our voices and express ourselves, we are doing exactly what we vilify the western hegemony in global media does: narrowly depicsing and essentialing our continent, culture and peoples.  We are also creating silos of identity, instead of allowing for fluid exploration and evolution.  We are starting to impose certain acceptable identities on ourselves which is more dangerous.  It is much easier to write off outsiders for not having an understanding of the intricacies and experience of being an African, but it is perhaps a lot harder, a lot more personal, and a lot more emotional when your own peeps tell you you do not belong, that you do not fit it, that your identity will not be recognised as the norm and therefore is not authentic and/ or is a fringe freakish identity best hidden from view.

Naturally having a nervous condition has had me explore this extensively on the blog.  Zambia is a very conservative country and I have struggled to maintain my voice and not modulate or frankly to resist the urge to just disappear from view all together to avoid people's very violent and insidious reactions that then lead to them somehow trying to snuff my light out. Two weeks ago I spoke on the radio about my life's journey and how I have come to be at peace with myself and the struggle, my choices and my identity and I spoke about my experience rocking natural hair at a documentary film screening.  This Friday I will be speaking about love and relationships in a Google + Hangout with fellow African women organised by the lovely ladies from the blog I am hoping that through sharing my experience and thoughts I will be able to create more dialogue about these issues surrounding finding your voice and living your truth.

As Zambia turns 50, I feel like we are schizophrenic.  We do not allow for a myriad of identities to bear the common stamp of being Proudly Zambian but continue to want to box people into a select few ways of expressing oneself, particularly with girls and women.

Here is to being who we are, and allowing each other to be, agreeing to disagree, and taking the time to look deeper to see that despite being profoundly different, we are fundamentally all the same :)

Hangout with me and other awesome African women speaking on the Metamorphosis of Love panel on Google+ organised by the Adventures blog this Valentine's day 17:00 GMT, 19:00 CAT.   

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Twit Tuesday: Zed Music

During the last Startup Hour, I had a chat with Head Honcho of the Black Rabbit Agency Muya and even though we have met up regularly during this monthly networking Happy Hour, I still have much to discover about this multi-talented Zed Creative.

I found out that one of his projects is the music magazine Music Xtra.  The goal is to have this be the industry's go to trade magazine to find out what is going on in the business, the current trends, new developments and future possibilities.  I was impressed by the content in the current issue which covers everything from the failiure of the new hologram system introduced to curb piracy of local artists' albums and to encourage fans to by authentic CDs, to artist interviews and articles and information about traditional drums explaining the relationship between the 3 types that form the ing'oma ensemble: the ichibitiku provides the lead drum beat that the sensele then complements and brings in the itumba the big drum.

Here are the tweets included in the mag that illustrate the issues facing the Zambian Music scene as well as praise voiced by artists, producers, media personalities and music fans:

I am excited to see how this magazine grows.  You can connect with Music Xtra on Facebook and Twitter and find out where you can get a copy of their magazine.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Mama Monday: Design Zambia's Golden Jubilee Independence Logo

© George Mutale's submission to #BeautifulLusaka.
 Check out the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
Submit a logo as iconic as the Cairo Road skyline
and as beautiful as this photo :).

This is an exact replica of document expressing the official call from the Zambia@50 Secretariat that has been circulated:

Create a Unique Logo Design for Zambia’s 50th Independence Anniversary
Are you a patriotic Zambian with a passion for your country?   Then this contest is for you! The Zambia@50 Secretariat is launching a contest to find the best logo for Zambia’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations and we want you to participate. The Logo Design Competition is now open!
To win simply submit an original logo design. You can only submit one design, so make sure it's your best! 

1.  The Contest is open to individuals living in and outside Zambia. The Contest is not open to companies, educational institutions, organizations, etc. or to groups associated with such institutions.
2.   Members of the Zambia Adjudicators Panel, the contest judges and their immediate family are not eligible to enter the Contest.
3.  Entrants must be of sufficient legal age and standing to enter into a contract with the Zambia@50 Secretariat as required below.

How to Enter
1.   Entries must be submitted by email to The entries must be submitted as a scalable vector graphic in EPS format, and or as a JPG. See the Submission Guidelines below for further information.
2.  The email or physical submission must include name, age, postal address, phone number and email address of the entrant.
3.   Physical or hardcopy submission must be posted to P.O. Box 30208, Lusaka or hand-delivered to the Zambia@50 Secretariat, Government Complex, 2nd Floor West Wing (Conference Centre side, entrance facing State Insurance Building)
4.   Only one Entry may be submitted by any one Entrant.
5.  Entries must conform to the Submission Guidelines set out below. Entries which fail to do so will be rejected.
6.  The deadline for Entries is February 15th 2014 Zambian time.  (Btw I have no idea what that means!)
7.  We will attempt to keep all entries safely; however, we cannot be responsible for entries or responses lost in e-mail.
8.   There is no fee to enter the Contest.

Submission Guidelines
The purpose of the contest is to design a logo for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations Celebrating 50 year of Zambia’s Independence. The logo will be used online, in print, on merchandise and will be placed on billboards, T-shirts, books, key holders, DVDs, commercial products, stickers for cars etc. Flexibility is a key requirement, including the need to resize easily and to look good in black and white as well as color, as well the ability for the logo to be animated. The final version of the logo will need to be suitable for high quality printing. While the logo needs to look good at relatively small sizes, it will not need to be shrunk for use on small items.
Because of the requirement to register the logo as an official logo, Entrants should take care to ensure that their Entries are not in any way similar to existing logos or other copyrighted images.  
This image should not be photographic.   The logo may contain the word Zambia, or symbolic representation of the country Zambia, but must also contain the number or word “50”. The logo must not contain any text apart from the words suggested here. Due to the requirements for high quality printing and re-sizing Entries must be submitted in very clear distinguishable colors.  

The limit on attachment sizes for our email is 5Mb. If your submission exceeds this size, even after compression, please send the images individually and note clearly in your emails that you are doing so.
Subject to the legal requirements outlined above, the winning design will be announced through the public media.  Every effort will be made to inform the winner in time.   
The winning designer will receive:
1.    A cash prize of K5,000. (Five Thousand Kwacha )
2.    A unique certificate signed by the President of the Republic of Zambia.
3.    Official invitations to all Celebratory State Functions in their town or locality.
4.    The right to identify him/herself as the Zambia 50th Anniversary logo designer.

Judging and Selection of Winner
1.   The final winning design will be selected by judges appointed by the Zambia Adjudicator’s Panel. Their decision will be final. No further correspondence shall be entered into.
2.  Zambia@50 Secretariat reserves the right not to select a winner if, in its sole discretion, no suitable entries are received.
3.  The winner will be required to sign a contract assigning all ownership of the logo to Zambia@50 Secretariat.
4.   Accepting the prize constitutes permission for Zambia@50 Secretariat to make public and otherwise use winner’s name, and country of residence for publicity purposes. Further personal data may be requested but is not required.

Intellectual Property
1.   All submitted work must be original and not based on any pre-existing design.
2.   All Entries will become the sole property of Zambia@50 Secretariat and may be used by the Secretariat, including the Zambia@50 Secretariat web sites and by such entities as the Secretariat may permit.
3.  The Entrant agrees to transfer all right and title to the Zambia@50 Secretariat in accordance with the Official Rules of this Contest.

Participation constitutes the Entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. By participating in the Contest, the Entrant is representing and warranting that he/she has read and understood, and agrees to be bound by, these rules. Including the guides and rules referred to herein, these Official Rules constitute the entire agreement between the Entrant and the Zambia@50 Secretariat in relation to the Contest. They govern the Entrant’s participation and supersede any prior or other agreements between the Entrant and the Zambia@50 Secretariat and relating to the Contest 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Soul Food Friday: Hair Ninjas and Afrolicious Samurais

L-R Samba Yonga, Mwanabibi Sikamo, Me, Alice Kabwe,
Masuka Mutenda, Chiteu Muyoya-Mudia, Mwaba, Chisenga
Muyoya, Irene Banda Mutalima, and Mukuka Mayuka after
TEDx Lusaka last year.
© Chosa Mweemba of Fiahlink Photography

Natural Afro hair is a big deal.  It shouldn't be but it is.  The politics, angst and/ or liberation tied to it cannot be overstressed.  When I went natural in 2007, I did it for personal reasons.  I did not do it for for grander causes: to be more authentic or to be true to my roots.  The decision to relax my hair at 11 was due to the fact that I went to boarding school in Bristol, England at 11 and they would not let me braid my hair (they did the next term after my hair fell out responding to the sheer cold and the trauma my hair suffered from chemicals straightening and thus weakening my hair).  After that I spent the next half my life miserable every time I relaxed and always got scabs from the process and my hair never was as thick or as long as it was natural as a child.  I could feel the undergrowth, lovely soft virgin hair that was then destroyed every 3 to 6 months with each retouch.  I just wanted to feel that 24/7 and I wanted to know if natural hair was really harder to take care of.  It wasn't, it is easier and it fits my personality and lifestyle a lot better.  I also wanted to be able to wear a halo fro.  Unfortunately through education I have found out that Afro hair is much more diverse than the coarse and dry that is assumed to grow out of every black person's scalp.  My hair is too soft and too floppy to fro once it is longer than 4 inches so I cannot rock the 10 inch fro that was my original goal.  But I can do so many creative things with it that I had never imagined and so now I don't care and I can pseudo fro with twist outs :).

When it comes to beauty I am the easy-breezy lazy type.  And my afro hair fits in with that.  Last week as I mentioned I spoke on a panel after the screening of the documentary Kicking it with the Kinks.  During the discussion we talked about how even if your choice is not political, because of the current environment in Zambia it can be. You can be labeled the afrocentric, political and/ or militant type.  I am not pushing any agenda. I am astute and aware enough to acknowledge that black and African hair choice can be loaded, and while I do believe you should make an informed choice about how you wear your hair that is not based on the stereotype of all afro hair is kinky, coarse, dry, unmanageable and doesn't grow, but through exploration and understanding of the limits and the possibilities of the way your hair natural grows and curls out of your head, I do not begrudge anyone who decides to alter their hair texture, colour or chooses to add hair through extensions: weaves and braids. I do however take umbrage with the assumption that allowing my hair to grow out the way God intended is radical, and is political.  It's hair for bleeps sake really! It really should not be that deep.  Yes, yes, there are colonial and global media hegemonic forces that have contributed to the self-hate that many afro-haired women have internalised and it should be addressed, but as was pointed out in the discussion, it also is not that deep to people as well.  Each individual has their own hair journey.  And these issues come out in different ways with other races from straight and blonde being the ideal for example.

However I also acknowledge that my choice has impact and that I can be an ambassador for education and exploration and can even be inspiration.  I have always had people ask me how my hair is so soft and if I am wearing a wig and recently how I have been able to grow my hair especially when I have blowdried my hair straight.  Last year, the few months I was on Zambian television had a real impact.  I still hear stories of people who loved seeing me rock natural hair.  The most recent account was from a lady and her friends who used to hold viewing parties with their daughters and she expressed how much the young girls loved that I was able to present an articulate, educated and beautiful image with natural hair and chitenge clothing.  I made the choice to dress and style my hair that fit with who I am and honestly what was easiest as I had to do everything myself, I had no glamour team travelling with me.  I did not realise at the time that my innocuous and selfish, practical choice would touch people as profoundly has it has and still does.  I have vowed to honour that in the future.  I am truly blessed: it is a humbling priviledge to bring people happiness purely from the way I live my life.  

Tomorrow: Saturday 9th February, in Lusaka is a Natural Hair Workshop hosted by Masuka Mutenda and Mwanabibi Sikamo (who are in the picture above) of ZedHair.  It is a Q & A session about all things natural.  I hope to see you there if you can make it :)

Also look out for my post on TEDx Lusaka as videos are to be posted in the coming weeks...