Month: March 2016

A Bootyful Generation

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Somewhere between J-Lo’s headline making butt

And society’s approval of twerking as a hobby

We’ve became a bootyful generation

I’m talking way beyond the third grade butt jokes I casually engage in

 My generation has oddly upgraded from generation X to XXX

The sexualisation of the female rear is a multi-million dollar industry

I do appreciate that God is a master craftsman

But I can hardly listen to a song, watch a movie or a vine before being booty invaded

As genius as we are we sometimes act like idiots

This fetish compounded by the commercialisation of the pronounced butt is somewhat responsible for catapulting pseudo talented individuals to stardom

So we’re preaching hip augmentation

Just to objectify our converts

So if Niki Minaj is a reincarnation of Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman

 The only difference is that Niki’s butt is syndicated and we’re all accomplices to this parade

Fated Companions

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How do you expect me to call you friend
When in your eyes appreciation is a sign of vulnerability
And affection is just another word for weakness?
You stand there masking your quite obvious emotions
With a condescending steely-eye look
Playing tough when you’re really dying to spill out your guts to be heard
Instead you use those very guts to call me softie
You got some nerve!
I’m breathlessly punching at this brick wall you’ve created between us
Steadily making progress and I can tell you that this bond we share is amazing
And doomed at the same time, kinda like a Russian suicide novelist
So whichever way the wind blows
The crushing weight of this straw made friendship will soon overpower my
Not so broad shoulders
And it’ll all come down with a thundering silence

Kabwata’s Not So Ordinary Village

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Take a right at the end of my street, cross Dr. Aggrey Road on to the adjoining street, walk on and take the second left and there lies a little village. But this is no ordinary village, it’s somewhat peculiar as it sits middle of a vibrant neighbourhood. Enclosed by a wire fence and wooden poles, it’s surrounded by high rise flats, plenty houses and a dual carriage way. There’s also a filling station, several car washes and a church close by so you can imagine the energy.

Like any other village, Kabwata Cultural Village has round huts with thatched roofs, over forty of them. But this is no ordinary village,the huts here are not made of mortar and sticks but burnt bricks and instead of clay floors the floors are concrete. Most of the huts are coloured white and a few others orange, the huts sport an elevated doorstep decorated with red oxide.You can also spot a satellite dish here and a light bulb there, thanks to some unorthodox cabling.

The inhabitants in this village are not huntsmen,farmers or food gatherers and they’re definitely not pastoralists.They’re are all craftsmen, manual artists and everything in between.Any day of the week you’ll find the men seated on stools they themselves have made hacking, chopping, cutting and hammering wood and ivory into different shapes. A wide range of well-polished carvings and figurines of birds, animals or people are the end result.

Using disposable materials the ladies make colourful baskets, fabrics and handbags.Fancy jewellery can be made from copper wire, cloth or bottle tops. Other items made include elaborate masks, drums, kitchen utensils and paintings. Besides doing their chores and going to school outside the little village, the kids also try their hand at craftsmanship.

This village was created somewhere in the 1930’s and 40’s to serve as temporary housing for an increasing labour force of servants in colonial times. In 1974, government decided to preserve the village as areas all around were being restructured. Artists from all over the country were brought to settle here in a bid to conserve the country’s traditional culture. You guessed it, no ordinary village.

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From its peculiar location, history and impressive merchandise, Kabwata Cultural Village is a hotspot for both international and local tourist. Many visitors walk through the tiny village every day but numbers tend to swell quite amazingly on public holidays and on Sundays when there is a display of traditional dances in the central arena. I remember going to watch the dancers as a kid of several occasions.

The extraordinary thing about this experience is that there is no entry charge. You’re free to look around and admire the elaborate pieces on display and when you find what you like, it’s time to put your bargaining skills to use.But don’t be alarmed, the artefacts here are quite affordable. You’ll get a better deal here than on the street for the same products. Once you’ve thrown your items in the bag and your wallet consents you can visit Tigwilizane restaurant, a much larger open air hut that serves a selection of traditional Zambian dishes over some lively Zambian tunes.

But the single most interesting thing about this place, the one thing I don’t hear enough when people market this place as a must see tourist attraction is the shared sense of goodwill. I could feel the togetherness as I speak to the craftsmen working on wood sharing a tin of traditional brew. I’m offered a taste but humbly decline, saying I’m on duty hehe. As I talk to the women, several of them look at each other and laugh uproariously when I ask if they ever consider leaving the village. “Our lives are bound to this place, we’re right where we should be”, one of the elderly women responds.

Speaking to the village chairperson Mubita Lubasi, he informs me that the village people try their best to reconcile modern customs with tradition. He explains to me how the sense of community manifests itself when village folk support each other on an emotional and financial level whenever there’s a bereavement or marriage ceremony. He adds, “we share each other’s pain and joy the best we can.”

With those words, I say my goodbyes and walk back home sinking in my thoughts, thinking to myself how there’s a whole different world right in my backyard. A world I’ve been aware of since I was a kid but never dared to venture into. Five minutes later, I’m home. I throw my bag on the bed, get my PC and start putting my thoughts in words.

*Images courtesy of tripadvisor.com and greatmirror.com

The Birds And The Bees

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The birds and the bees
And the flowers and trees
Made some guy get down on one knee
Claiming that for her he’d swim the seven seas
He rumbles on blah, blah, blah baby please
Until in his eyes she sees
The man she’ll be with even in her nineties
For a moment his manly heart she’ll tease
As her silence makes his state of mind freeze
But from the fetters of bachelorhood her knight she frees
When she says yes with such majestic ease
And once again his world turns as he breathes
They enjoy their honeymoon overseas
Walking along the beach barefoot in plain white-T’s
Enjoying all sorts of exotic luxuries
Professing love to one another under tall palm trees
But just after two anniversaries
I just have to spell it out S-H-I-T
She says that her love was blind but now she sees
He hears this and gets real weak at the knees
And out of their beautiful home he leaves
A week later, his body is found in one of the seven seas
Another fairy tale botched by time – geez!

Zed Delights

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I love my nsima thick and hot, abundant in calories

Breakfast, roller meal or right off the chigayo, nsima ni nsima

I love the sting kapenta leaves on my tongue

 Hate the rash that comes with it though

I prefer my rape deep green, leafy, cut up into long strings

Mama knows that nothing can separate me from my beans

I’m talking kablangeti, lusaka, solwezi… I love em all

I like my bondwe steaming with its infectious aroma, quite appetising

I like the smooth feel of kalembula as it slips and slithers all over my tongue…ummh

I enjoy chibwabwa lightly simmered and without the broth

The most delicious vinkubala are the fat and juicy ones

Too bad I won’t be having em again coz they get my face puffed up like Will Smith in Hitch

I favour lumanda’s edgy taste over adding soda to it

And you gotta love roasted tute and groundnuts, best snack ever

What I See…

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I’m not a man of many virtues
And I’m not out here to preach or church you
But I’ll be the first to speak when he hurts you

I look at you and see beauty wrapped in a mess
A lively soul ẃearing a sullen face
An unlikely alliance of folly and finesse

But when I begin to unfocus my eyes
And let his late night drinking patterns take rise
I see your naivety constantly falling for his lies

Peering out my window, I tilt my head slightly
I see how he’s the brute yet it’s you that lives contritely
Playing the good wife when he comes home fortnightly

Like a peacock unaware of its lovely feathers
This world will never truly know your splendor
An unsavoury thought from a keen observer

Disney Princesses To Kim Kardashian: What Are We Teaching Our Little Girls

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We all love a good Disney princess story; a bit of trials and tribulations here, a few catchy songs and a happily ever after where prince charming comes to the rescue of a hopeless but dashing princess, what could be more inspiring? But there’s more to these fascinating and colourful characters, Disney princesses shape our culture way beyond entertainment. They send out a message to little girls, a message that might well govern their actions as they grow up.

Of course every little girl dreams of being a princess, at least most do and these screen heroines serve as inspiration to little girls. Perhaps an admirable thing considering the delightful appeal and popularity of these characters but it’s not all roses when you take a closer look at the main themes of these stories. In nearly all these tales, looks are valued over brains, the heroine is constantly helpless and in need of a male to protect or rescue her and the success of the plot solely balances on the romanced focused lead female falling in love with her knight.

As subliminal as this message may be, this image perpetuates a girl’s dependence of men and their approval. Girls are being told to pay more attention to how they look and what they wear even if they have nothing of value to say. That it’s okay to lose one’s self-worth as long as that will secure you love. The classic example is Ariel from the Little Mermaid who changes her appearance, loses her voice (the one thing she would use to reaffirm her identity) and is ready to abandon her family all for a shot at love with a stranger. Now explain that to a five year old girl.

All our favourite princesses save for Pocahontas and Mulan are somewhat weak and so ready to fall into the arms of a man. And they are saved from peril merely because of their beauty and in Jasmine’s (Aladdin) case sexuality. Don’t get me wrong beauty is a wonderful thing and I give credit where it’s due but the point here is that Disney has its own prescribed definition of beauty: pretty face, an ample bosom and slender waist – so stereotypical. All the little girls see on the screen is a princess and that’s who they wanna be. Now imagine their struggle when they find themselves unable to fit into this version of beauty (keep in mind that each different society  judges beauty by a different scale). Yes Tiana (The Princess and the Frog 2009 remake) is African American, Mulan is Asian, Pocahontas is American Indian and Jasmine Middle Eastern but they basically have same frame as the other princesses and fall into the same formula of beauty. Here diversity is only used for wider appeal.

And once this dreamy stage is over, maybe these kids will crossover to “reality” TV. There they will perhaps identify some one time child star, better yet former Disney channel real life princesses like Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus who’ve now broken the mould and turned rogue, making them role models in some 11 year old girl’s mind. Imagine that right about the time puberty hits, when appearances mean everything and rebellion is rife our little girl upgrades to today’s reality TV’s crowned princesses Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. It’s nightmarish!!! Think about it, both these women found fame after their sex tapes were made public. Since then they’ve spent their days fussing about nothing and we glorify their actions by calling them stars and entertainment royalty (at least Britney and Miley got some talent). So tell me, what are we really teaching our little girls?

Now let’s say that little girl has been feeding on this staged reality till she’s in her late teens. The message has been constantly drummed into her head: as long as you got a cute face, as long as you’re 36-26-36, as long as you can imitate others, as long as you can dress fancy, as long as you don’t demonstrate or demand respect in your actions or speech around men, well, you don’t need to depend on yourself coz there’s a hunk right around the corner who will come sweep you of your feet and treat you like a princess. Sad I know