This is a blog about me and the things that make me laugh, smile, hurt or cry!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hitting The Big Three Oh

In 2009, I turned 30 years old and threw myself a party to celebrate my three decades on this earth. In the run-up to this momentous occasion, I listed (in alphabetical order), thirty things that I am grateful to God for in my life:

1. Books
I have been a book lover since I was able to read. Through books you experience worlds that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to and you meet people you would never have known. It’s up to you to imagine the reality hidden in the pages. The Lusaka and Chipata book clubs that I started have been the source of some fascinating discussions in the last few years. I don’t think I could have lived in Chipata as long as I did without the book club to keep me sane. For those of you that don’t already know, my favourite book in the whole wide world is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

2. Brothers and Sisters
There are some memories that you only share with the people you grew up with, and I have been through thick and thin, good times and bad times over the years with my brothers and sister. One of my favourite things is the words and nicknames we developed for so many people, places and things. Case in point, a bajeeba – which means a little bit

3. Chingola
Chingola has a strong heritage of producing people from the arts. A sizeable majority of playwrights, musicians, actors etc hail from this small town on the Copperbelt. Many of these went to Chikola Secondary School which is about two minutes from our house. As a Chingolan, I support the Rampant Lions Rugby and Nchanga Rangers Football teams. Chingola once had the title of being the cleanest town in Zambia. For these reasons, I’m proud to call Chingola my home town.

4. Communication
The year 1989 stays in my mind because of four major news events that captured the worlds and my attention. The Berlin Wall came down; the Exxon Valdese ran aground off the coast of Alaska and the oil spill caused untold damage; the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China, where scores of students and others were killed while protesting the death of a prominent critic of the communist government; revolution in Romania leading to the downfall of Nicolai Ceau├žescu and culminating in his execution on Boxing Day.

I wanted to be a journalist ever since I was about ten years old. I loved current affairs and watching news, discussion and documentary programmes on TV. I believe in the power of the written and spoken word to change lives and nations.

5. Family
Where would I be without the people whose blood runs through my veins? I value my extended family more and more, the older I get.

6. Films
There’s nothing like a good movie! Many of my favourite films have similar themes of sacrifice, passion, a cause, justice, resilience, faith and courage against all odds etc. These include the Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Gladiator, Braveheart, The Shawshank Redemption, Casablanca

7. Food
I thank God that I am one of those people that appreciates food. Sadly, most Zambians are not big on food. They like eating, but they don’t like food, which is why every restaurant in my country be it Italian, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese etc also serves chicken and chips to cater for the average Zambian. I will never say no to Indian food or pizza. For a long time, my favourite dish was lasagne – Italian food is still on my list of top three favourites. I also love seafood and Thai food.

8. Friends
You don’t choose your family, but you do choose your friends, and sometimes, they choose you. I lost touch with most of my friends from primary school, but I’m glad that almost 20 years later, I still have friends I met in high school. Some came aboard at college and then university; more at the various places I’ve worked and others along the way in meetings and conferences in various countries across the world.

9. Girlfriends
They are my inner circle and a point of reference in my life. By coincidence, almost all their names begin with M, with some R and S to mix it up. You know who you are…

10. Health
Health is something we often take for granted. I have no major health issues as yet. I’m in good health and can pretty much do whatever - for that, I’m grateful.

11. Local Church
Moving to Lusaka from Chingola was not easy, neither was settling in to a new church family. Like all of us, they are very far from perfect, but my peeps at Great East Road assembly are sincere, passionate, dedicated and loving and that’s why I count myself one of them.

12. Music
I’m not a huge music person, so I’m the last person to consult on latest music. But I do appreciate the divinely inspired music and lyrics of Fred Hammond, Cece Winans, Twila Paris, Rita Springer and Third Day. Nobody rocks it like vintage Michael Jackson, The Beatles or Abba. I’m also partial to India Arie, Bon Jovi and John Legend.

13. My House
Accommodation is hard to come by these days, so you know when you got a good deal. I love my house and I have a great landlord – I have no complaints, only thanks.

14. My Parents
My Mum and Dad made it a priority to make Christ the foundation of our home and the focus of our upbringing. This was the inheritance they built and passed on to their children. It is from them I learned the value of learning and reading.

One of the most important things for a woman is to be secure in her Father’s love for her as this makes her secure as a person. I have always been sure of my Dad’s love for me. Growing up my Dad was very strict. One of the rules was that ironing of clothes had to be done in advance as ironing one item was a waste of electricity and evidence of poor planning. One day I was made to attend church in un-ironed clothes. I am eternally grateful for that and I think it contributed greatly to my being the detail-oriented person that I am today.

When I read Proverbs 31, I think of my mother and how hard she works for all of us. She gets up early and sleeps late. She is a rock. She senses and knows things and loves me in a way that only a mother can. If I can be half as good a person as my mother has been, I will have achieved much indeed.

15. Opportunities
Throughout my life I have graciously been afforded many privileges and opportunities that have given me advantages that others have not and do not have. This goes beyond just education and employment; to many things such as exposure and travel to just plain good things happening.

16. Pearls of Wisdom
We all make mistakes in life and have ups and downs. I am so grateful for the people who have influenced my life with well spoken words of wisdom. My uncle has intervened with sound advice as have friends, my mother, my brother in-law to name but a few. Sometimes you need someone to tell you the right thing at the right time and it helps when you know that person genuinely cares for you and has your best interests at heart.

17. Pictures
They say a picture tells a thousand words and that the camera never lies. I think both of these are true and that’s why I love photographs. Thank you PM for teaching me so much about pictures and for making me feel that I’m not alone.

18. Sakeji
I would not be the person I am today if I did not have the privilege of attending Sakeji School in Ikelenge, Mwinilunga District, Northwestern Zambia. I started school in grade one at the age of five some 24 years ago. Having lived only three decades, I look on my Sakeji years as the most exciting, enriching and nurturing time of my life so far. But I’m pretty sure that if you ask me when I’m 60, I’ll still say the same thing.

19. Salvation
By grace I have been saved through faith, not of works, lest I should boast.

20. Sistren and Brethren
The sistren and brethren keep me on track, rightly dividing the word of truth in the way only a man or woman of God can do. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another

21. Technology
I think that we have some wonderful inventions that make life a pleasure. I am one of those people who love gadgets and ‘tuntu tuntu’. The potato peeler, microwave, electric kettle, geyser, television, the original walkman, tipex, the ball-point pen. I could go on, but I’ll end here.

22. The Bible
My manual for life and living in any and every situation

23. The Bro’s
As a first born, I always wished I had an older brother. Since that ain’t gonna happen, I have honorary older brothers.

24. The Earth
Environmental conservation is one of my passions. I believe that we are stewards of the earth and intergenerational justice demands that we manage her resources sustainably and responsibly.

25. The Navigators
The Nav mission is to know Christ and to make Him known. I was wandering spiritually until providence lead me to the Navigator ministry at university where I was very broke while staying on campus during the vacation. After weeks of strategically visiting my neighbours at meal times (or diving), and their turning a blind eye I felt it only fair that I attend one of their meetings, especially since they seemed so nice and genuine. I took a step of faith, not knowing what I would find and I have never regretted for a moment. I’ve built great friendships and experienced true fellowship. I have learned many important lessons but I will share one; the Bible is not just a collection of words but it has power to transform lives

26. The Netherlands
I spent three months in Holland in 2004 and it was a life-affirming experience. My stay there coincided with my 25th birthday. It was a low time as I felt I was getting old (little did I know). It was also the first time I had really been away from home and I kind of had to find myself. I had an identity crisis and I had to question who I was and everything I had believed in up to that point. I went on to spend a month in Bermuda and I came back home as Masuka – the same but different. It was from this point that I described myself as a ‘journalist and social activist’. I also cut my long hair and grew dreadlocks that I kept for over five years. Currently, I wear my hair natural - rocking a baby 'fro!

27. Travel
I love travelling, meeting new people, seeing new places and experiencing new things. My work takes me to many countries but usually does not afford me the opportunity to go beyond the hotel and one or two tourist excursions. There are so many places where I want to explore the land, the history, the culture, the people etc. Top of my list is to further explore my own country of Zambia, as well as Egypt, India, Ethiopia, Australia, Brazil, Spain, Malaysia.

28. Work
I love that in development work I can look into someone’s eyes and see the change that has happened in their life because of what I do. Obviously every job has its challenges because we have to work with people and people have never-ending issues; but in the midst of office politics, you always get one of those days when you know you’re making a difference. I know I can look back on my career so far, confident that I contributed in a small way to making this world a better place.

29. Young People
Children and young people are my passion. This is what lead me to work in a youth organisation, to study children and youth development and to work to improve the lives of children and young people in my day to day job as well as in my own time.

30. Zambia
There are many countries in this world, but I was born and bred in Zambia. We have lots of bad stuff like poverty, disease, corruption. We have lots of good stuff like a beautiful country, rich culture and traditions and really nice people. I am proud to be a citizen of the Republic of Zambia.

Being thankful is something we all need to do at regular intervals in our lives. There is an old chorus that says, 'Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done'.

Modified on Sunday, 20th May, 2012


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