Hello there

masengahIt’s more than a year since I last posted.  Having been retrenched, I had to dig deep and get my hands dirty to feed my family.  I found my way back to an office desk full time, also had to realize that I was in some dark place, in relationship-wise and just life in general.

I am happy to say that I am coming out and coming back to what I really love to do.  There is so much to do and with each day I have to motivate myself that I can do it.  Its not gonna happen while I am languishing in misery and self pity.

I am looking forward to life with zest.  So here raise a glass for me I have come out of the worst and rearing to go.

The sad reality about teenage pregnancy



My Grade 9 daughter and niece recently brought home eggs from school which they are supposed to take care of for a month.  This was an ingenious plan by one of the teachers to raise awareness on the problems that teenagers face when they have to raise children

Good effort – for the teachers who are trying to educate children on teenage pregnancy.  Unfortunately, some children out of rebellion cooked and ate the eggs as soon as they got home to make fun of the whole exercise.  The eggs apart from being fragile, really wouldn’t really work in this endevour.

Here is why it wouldn’t’ work.stress

An egg doesn’t cry or nag at inappropriate times, neither does it poop at meal times, throw tantrums and embarrass you in public places. 

You do not have to spend your pocket money on diapers.

Nor does it stopping you from going out with friends because you do not have a baby sitter.

Unlike with an egg, having a real baby can make you lose friends.  The will shun you because you are no longer cool to hang out with and reek of breast milk.  They can’t relate to you because all you talk about is baby this or that. 

People know that without a shadow of doubt that you are naughty and us chasing adult stuff instead of books that even the most promiscuous bunch look like saints only because they didn’t get pregnant. They judge you harshly

The worst is when the father of the child rejects paternity or responsibility then completely cuts off ties.  You will have seen him with his latest conquest who looked down on you, thinking she is the bomb and so much better than you or so you will think.

Your family but most of all your mother will carry the burden of guilt and shame, has to explain to relatives and neighbours.  But that is nothing compared to the financial burden they have to carry.    Parents already have to provide their child and might not be even coping, now how then do they have to deal with the extra cost of baby clothes, food and accessories, day-care and medical costs?

jugglerI find that teenagers haven’t got the slightest idea of what they can get themselves into.  How challenging and difficult it is for adults to go to work, try to raise kids and provide adequately for them.  How you have to lose yourself to give ‘you’ to that little person.  Where you decide you will not eat until that person has eaten or been clothed.  Where you will find that the life and the existence of that little person take centre stage, whether you like it or not.  It is a constant self sacrifice.

I always drum it into my girls’ head, they have told me not to since they have had some first-hand experience in childcare by helping me raise Justin my 2 year old, who has a mind of his own and wants to rule the world.  If they have to stay with him for a few hours while I am out on an errand, they are happy to hand him over even before I step inside the house.

What’s the fuss about baby carrier wraps


white mummy

There is a fuss about baby carriers.  Special wraps are made, with tutorial videos showing how to use them and I shake my head, thinking what is really new here?

warpDepending on the age, any old towel or wrap can do the job perfectly.  For years in Africa, women have used this method of carrying babies on their backs because it leaves hands free to multi task.   We securely strap babies on to our back by making a tight knot using the edges of the towel from two even sides on the top and bottom.  Or one can tightly wrap one flap to the opposite side and tuck the remaining side on the opposite side as one would with bath towel after a shower.

If one is unsure of the security especially with very small children, one can take a small wrap and which they can tie to hold the baby in place before wrapping the baby in the bigger towel.   Eventually the baby will learn to cling to its mother and will not fall should the towel come loose.

One can hardly feel the baby’s full weight as it is even distributed as you walk hence it is easier to carry hand luggage and african mumfor the stronger women, they can even balance something on their heads.  One would think that would put the baby at risk should the package on the head drop but I tell you from young age the girls are taught to lean to the front should they feel their parcel or baby dropping.   The parcel will fall to the ground but the baby will remain on the back as they also lean forward to mother’s back when she bends.

Fstreet mumor an African mother, one can hardly afford to stop working as most of the work around the home is menial.   There is never enough time to tend to the crops and the home, so strapping the baby allows one to multi task.    Because of the frequent motion as the mother moves about doing her work they baby will quickly fall asleep, then the mother can put them down and continue to work. Even on harsh cold day, a mother can strap her baby just to keep the child warm.

The mother’s back then becomes a human cradle, a place of safety and protection.  Mother and child are bound together by simple cloth.  There really is no need to have specially made wraps, the baby trusts its mother to not let it fall and the mother will by all means protect her child from falling.   She can flee from whatever danger she faces without leaving.

Child Development

IMG_20140705_171153Justin is 33 months old and of late I have noticed that he is really becoming a big boy.   I can actually identify and pinpoint areas where he has developed.

Just yesterday he managed to put on a pair of shorts unaided.  Wow!!! So proud of him.

Today he walked to the shops and back, which is over a kilometre away.  I wanted to carry him like I usually do but now he utterly refuses to be carried around.

Of late he  uses one hand to hold his penis when peeing so that he can direct the flow of his urine.  Two months ago he just would thrust his pelvis forward and hope he doesn’t mess his pants.

When going to day-care, he sometimes lets me carry his backpack but as we draw close to the school, he wants to carry it himself.  I guess he wants to make an impression to his peers that he is not a baby that his mum thinks he is.

He doesn’t swallow fluoride when brushing his tooth, knows he should spit it out.  He also knows he should rinse his mouth and always does, if he doesn’t get distracted by something.

One of his best achievements to date is letting me go, he can say goodbye without making a fuss.  He can talk about me while I am gone but he will not nag.

I am so proud of his latest achievements which however are little reminders that sooner or later I will have to cut loose the apron strings

Ridiculous selfies!!! But how come they are popular?

Inspired Mom

selfies-w-kidPoor boy!!! People there is a disease called a selfie, and almost everyone has caught this bug.  Since the advent of cellphones, we all have at one time taken selfies.  I don’t know how we got tired of taking proper pictures and decided to be more inventive by taking ridiculous selfies.  I have vowed and will never take the latest kind of selfie mainly because I think it is a silly trend that is overrated.

What is so cool about taking a picture with your mouth screwed as if it was quickly sewn by a mortician, who was rushing for a lunch break?  Or trying to be sexy or funny, sometimes at the expense of those around us.  What would possess someone to take a picture looking like this?

jessica-simpson-pregnant-bikini-pictures-e1383793796417This is beyond hope and redemption.  Poor unborn baby, imagine if this picture surfaces when he is a teenager and people…

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Ridiculous selfies!!! But how come they are popular?


selfies-w-kidPoor boy!!! People there is a disease called a selfie, and almost everyone has caught this bug.  Since the advent of cellphones, we all have at one time taken selfies.  I don’t know how we got tired of taking proper pictures and decided to be more inventive by taking ridiculous selfies.  I have vowed and will never take the latest kind of selfie mainly because I think it is a silly trend that is overrated.

What is so cool about taking a picture with your mouth screwed as if it was quickly sewn by a mortician, who was rushing for a lunch break?  Or trying to be sexy or funny, sometimes at the expense of those around us.  What would possess someone to take a picture looking like this?

jessica-simpson-pregnant-bikini-pictures-e1383793796417This is beyond hope and redemption.  Poor unborn baby, imagine if this picture surfaces when he is a teenager and people have long forgotten there was something called a selfie around the time he was conceived.  Imagine trying to explain a silly trend that he has no idea about.

The duck or squirrel like faces are the worst.  You can’t even call it a pout, it reminds me of a game we used to play when we were kids.  We used to fill our mouth with water, puff out cheeks am much as we could to take in and hold as much water as duck-lips-e1383783102563possible.  Then open our lips slightly and try to squirt the water at whatever target for as long as possible.  Kids play that is what it is, and no sane person must do it and worst of all put it on the internet.

Whatever happened to just smiling or whichever way you chose other than that ridiculous mouth screwing or duck like poses.    But as humans, we like trends and so the madness continues



Laugh like no one is watching you

There is something warped in the way we think, about how we look or should look. I think we are the only animals who actually care about how we look all the time even when we are laughing or crying (trying to keep the mascara from running). For whatever reasons, the hyena giggles, it doesn’t hold back or cover its mouth in name of fashion, trend or sophistication.

In the 19th century, laughing out loud showed you lacked class, and we have carried this manner till today. If someone were to burst into laughter, we all turn to see what they are laughing at and even if we find it hilarious, we don’t join in the laughter. The best we can do is manage a little smile in the name of sophistication. It is almost like we love to imprison ourselves by following norms put in place by people who believed in dividing people into classes of society.

I guess that is why people found it cool to be hippie in the 60’s, they were tired of following norms. Teenagers always set the pace. Today’s teens have taken both the old and new. The trend is to put a fist to one’s mouth and then burst into laughter, collapse into heaps if you must, they don’t hold back.


One might argue that in a professional or unfamiliar surroundings, they would not want to be seen as behaving improperly. But what is proper, covering your mouth with three middle fingers, or coughing the laugh into your fist?  We set these kind of rules for ourselves and bind ourselves by them. Then when break we our own rules we come down hard on ourselves and others.

We do not get any satisfaction for doing so, but actually enhance feelings of shame and low self esteem.  But I guess at the end of the day we fear being judged and labelled so much that our actions and mannerisms have become involuntary.  We often do what we feel is acceptable to society.

There is hope for us however, we are slowly breaking from the norms. I am so glad that the world is fast changing and we are loosening up a bit more. We can wear flip flops to work and not always wear suits and ties, high heels for ladies in the name of sophistication. We all don’t have to go to the office but some can work from our home offices with our children and pets running about us. We can have a business meeting at local café and when business is done we, chill and be able to have fun without thinking of etiquette.

Laugh out loud, double over give each other hi-5’s, after all “laughter is the best medicine”

So Why Should I Hire a Virtual Assistant?

very busy business woman by jesadaphormIf you’ve got this far and have opened this article to read, then you have already recognised that you may need a little bit of support in your business. I’m glad you’ve chosen Remote Associatesto give you a little bit of an insight.

You’re possibly feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do? Spending more hours doing those menial tasks that take up your precious time, when you could be concentrating on the elements of your business that make you the income. For example, clearing and prioritising your inbox, sending and chasing up invoices,  scheduling appointments, answering enquiry telephone calls, proofreading and editing documents, keeping on top of your social media or even taking time out and remembering to have lunch (VA’s offer reminder services too!). Well then, you need a virtual assistant!

So just what are the benefits?

Hand holding benifits buttons by Photokanok

1. Virtual Assistants are independent contractors. So you…

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How success is defined in the diaspora

With the economic meltdown, so many Zimbabweans have flocked to South Africa and other countries for better living conditions. While a few have been disappointed, the majority have realised their dreams, buying cars, techno gadgets, furniture or even clothes. For a person who hardly had anything other than the clothes on his back at home and now be able to walk into any store and buy whatever the heart desires, it is truly a dream come true.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They damn well must feel this good because they have work so hard, some working for more than eight-twelve hours/six days a week. Education does not really count here as even university graduates can find themselves doing menial jobs next to an uneducated person because they do not have the right documents to acquire the jobs that they have trained and qualified to do.

Success is then characterised by how many goods you send via “courier” often by a guy who has worked equally hard to acquire a truck so that he can ferry the goods of fellow countrymen back home at a price. Though quite risky as the courier is unregistered and often results in good being lost, damaged or stolen in transit it is still the most favoured method of transportation.

Another measure of success is owning a car, no matter what shape or condition it is. From a person who maybe only travelled several times in a bus before, owning a car is a huge step, often worthy of respect from peers and family.

One can also command respect by having the latest smartphones or techno gadget like iPads, notebooks or even just a desktop pc.

The biggest success is being able to buy a plot back home and building even just one room. This is understandably a success measure, because from the getting the plot to building a room, everything is obtained using cash up front. So it means working long hours so that you can support your family wherever they are and still be able to save money to purchase building requirements.

When it comes to children, if you put your child in an English speaking school or preschool, then you are on top of your league. Though most criticize English speaking peers, alleging that they are trying to be too white, one gets a kick when their child wows crowds by speaking through the nose, as they call it. Then they claim that it’s the school’s fault because the school teaches the kids to be like that.

For women, if you can wear heels with stockings, boots and coats in winter, switch hair styles frequently, then you are making it big. Having your nails done even if you work as a domestic is a sure sign of success. In the home you can’t miss having a fridge, microwave oven, plasma TV and a room divider, those top the must have in the home. If you can add satellite TV then you are surely successful.

All this comes through working extremely hard in the diaspora at the expense of raising your kids. They are raised by extended family back home in Zimbabwe, sometimes it can take years before one can visit, for others who can afford, they can do one or more visits per year to see the kids. I guess the kids are only too happy to see their parents when they visit or send goods and money every month, no matter the circumstances or conditions the children live in. It is a choice the parent makes in the name of success.

Mother to child communication

levelOver the last few years our parenting skills have significantly changed from the way we were raised. This is because we have an overload of information resources which can be easily accessed through the internet, workshops, clubs, groups and so on. Because of the internet we have an endless sea of self made gurus who seem to know all and are willing to impart information freely or at whatever price we can afford to pay.

While it is good to instil good self esteem patterns, it is also important to maintain discipline. Effective communication lines should be open at all times and one must know when to use the best method. You cannot always have time to reach to your child’s level or even talk to them. Even when you are busy they should know that you have their attention.

As an African, I remember growing up that most if not all mothers had serious eye communication skills for every situation. Having several children in an extended family set-up, mothers did not have time to give full attention to every child yet they were expected to raise well behaved children. A child’s behaviour is a reflection of the mother’s character, so one had to be ingenious in any circumstance and come up with effective ways of dealing with their children.

It did not matter if the mother was standing across the room or street, sitting with the child or away from the child, if she was busy with something, occasional she would take a quick peek at what the children were doing, it seemed their eyes were everywhere. Though not perfect methods, the different eye communication was very effective and I happy to use some of the ways I learned from my mother.

Don’t let me come there
Just means stop what you doing, because if I come there, there will be hell to pay

Don’t you dare
Is when she somehow can tell what you are about to do and her look will tell you not to even think about it. As a child I remember always wondering how she knew what I was going to do next.

This is not over
She realises you have done something and just maintains her cool but not before telling you that she has reserved a lecture for later.

We have spoken about this
After so many warnings you still not listening. It’s like “how could you do that again?” “We are going to have another talk about this because I do not think you heard me correctly the first time and we are going to have to escalate this, if you not listening” No child wants to go there for sure.

Time out stare
A child will just go into their own time out, when a child has gone past the limits and the mother says you need to leave my presence before I lose my cool. Even when others call you to play, you dare not get up

Killer Stare
Is the look that tells you to stop whatever you are doing or you will die. This was usually applied when a child is pushing the limits in front of guests. One look and you just get on your best behaviour.

Is when she gives you the go ahead to do something. In the case another adult asked you to do something that was against mother’s rules, confused yet you want to be polite. To calm the situation, mother will give her approval and then you will know what to do. It can be equally used in the opposite when another child invites you do something she doesn’t approve of.

I understand you
Growing up in an extended family, sometimes the mother cannot voice her concerns over the way other adults behave or say to you, mother’s eyes will tell you that she understands and is on your side. She will wait for a moment when you can be alone to explain why she could not speak out to whoever because of the circumstances and how best you can deal with the situation.

I am proud of you
When you have chosen to swallow your pride and do the right thing on the playground. She can tell you are hurting but have chosen to be the bigger person. Not wanting to interfere her eyes will tell you that you have done well and that she is proud of the way you handled the situation. This is good for any child’s self-esteem.

Often times I have tried to use the guru methods but can’t help but slide back into the old ways methods which are more effective. My children know exactly what I mean through my eye communication.

The best way I have learnt, is to take the basics and spice them up with new age methods. Doing things in moderation also helps, you can’t over use one method because these little people are clever and will come up with ways to counter your methods. Communications lines should be open with or without physical body contact.