Archive for February, 2011

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Protected: Not just a kid

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Justice be our shield #Feb28

Our friends in Kenya are taking a stand! But it is a very peaceful stand… They are not taking a stand against their government but rather standing up for their country.

Today, 28 February 2011, at 1pm they will be singing their anthem. That’s it! As simple as that. At 1pm everyone, where ever they may be, whatever they may be doing, they will stop and sing their anthem. No pig protest, no conflict with the military, just a simple gesture to remind themselves that they are still one country and that they believe in the same things.

With all of the violence and revolts in Northern Africa it is a relief to see a country stand together not just because they are fighting some evil villain who calls themselves president but instead a country that stands together and says: “Justice be our shield and defender. May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty”

Now I know that there are many issues facing Kenya and half of them I can’t even begin to describe because I have not been there but this is a great act of solidarity. It’s not always about bulldozing your point across and forcing change, sometimes it is wiser to take a minute and plan how this change is actually going to be the right change. To go back to your roots and figure out where it went wrong and how we will prevent it from happening again and basically just taking a step back and allowing your faith to overrule your fear. Of course I’m not saying that we should all remain quiet and just pray behind closed doors, not at all, I am all for free speech and action is my middle name but violence, however peaceful the intentions may have been, does not work. Simply protesting and eventually wearing your opponent down is not a sustainable option because you still have to fix their mistakes. I don’t have the answers for fixing all of Africa or even just Kenya’s problems, believe me if I did I would most definitely share! But as someone I met this morning said: Following is just as important as leading.

Look, Kenya is not like any other country in Africa, I know the world always likes to place Africa in a box like we are all alike but that is not the case. And obviously with similar uprisings throughout Africa, the media is enjoying flaunting these similarities but there is no country like any other country. We all have our issues but like our languages and our cultures vary, so do our problems. You cannot use a ‘copy paste’ method and think that it will work in every country. For Kenya it is smart and safe and probably highly effective to simply pause their lives for a few minutes and sing a prayer. Remind themselves what it is they believe in; what it is they want to fight for and believe that they can be the difference and that they can bring about change, without resorting to acts generally followed by violence.

It’s great to say that we are making a difference and taking a stand and causing change but just remember that the focus behind all of this passion is your love for your country. South Africa has a motto this year that encourages their people to love their country in any way they see fit. They are sharing their pride and their own unique way of being patriotic. The people in Tunisia and Egypt must have had the same motivation for their protests. Don’t you dare judge the people of Kenya or even Zimbabwe for not actively protesting in the same way, you cannot conclude that they love their countries any less, simply because they are choosing to be more cautious in their more hostile circumstances.

Is there a greater testament to love for your country than singing your anthem proudly? I don’t believe there is. Bring focus back to the love for your country [you know, the one you’re willing to fight for] rather than being concerned about the way the world wants you to show your pride. I have always believed that it is the little things that determine the big things so something seemingly small like singing a prayer, might just be that one little thing that forces the people of Kenya [government included] to be better at spreading the love.

Don’t do it because you want to be patriotic; don’t do it because you don’t want to feel left out; don’t do it because the world expects it from you; just do it because you love your country!

Sharing my view,

AM

Treason

So here’s the deal on treason: basically if you do anything the current government objects to but don’t have a defined law against, they pull out the treason card.

In this particular instance, the treason card is being pulled out for owning a satellite decoder for your TV. Yeah, I know: I haven’t been able to stop laughing either. In a weird way it makes sense or rather in a fear way it makes sense. The government is terrified that what’s happening in Northern Africa in regards to other presidents who refuse to step down when their people no longer trust them to be leaders, will be contagious and happen here in the Southern part of Africa.

Well their fear is justified to some extent; I mean it is a contagious movement sweeping through the top of Africa so of course it would make sense for that movement of freedom fighters to start protesting down here in the south, right? Wrong. We’re still recovering from the last surge of ‘freedom fighters’ to initiate change in our southern countries, so we’re not strong enough to fight again. It’s not that we don’t want to; we just don’t see how our country will survive another battle less than a half century after the previous.

The second reason the government needs to back off and not be so terrified is that we’ve got hope. That may sound trivial but if you still have hope, you are not as driven to fight the powers that be. However, if the government continues this fearful behaviour and start arresting people for being able to watch the SupeRugby, well then they will have a war on their hands.

Zimbabweans are being urged to turn themselves over to authorities for owning satellite TV’s. So if you watch the news, you’ll be tried for treason [or in some of our cases espionage]. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to me! But then again, when the government has no one to answer to except themselves, then this is what happens. They get power hungry and paranoid and basically act all crazy. Now if that is not the definition of a dictator then I need to go back to school!

I honestly believe that what is happening in Northern Africa is long overdue. I also believe that what this president is doing and not only trying to censor the media but now even punishing their viewers for what they may or may not have seen, is so wide of the mark that words can’t even explain. I also believe that change needs to come to this beautiful country of ours but I also believe that change will only come when we actually have someone worth fighting for!

When you fight against someone your passion tends to dwindle but when you fight for someone, your motivation simply keeps growing. Zimbabwe has a fight on their hands but they will not use the tactics of Northern Africa because it is simply not applicable here. Without the full support of the country’s military, protests will only lead to unnecessary deaths, which in return will lead to despair and less people to fight for freedom. Whatever is going to happen in Zimbabwe is still a while off and Mugabe really doesn’t need these scare tactics or any form of intimidation in order to remain in power. Honestly, he could actually win a fair election this year; no one is going to vote against him because his opponents are just as power hungry as he is. Zimbabweans don’t want this circle of suffering to continue. So until we find a leader we can trust, we would rather stick with the failed one we’ve got.

It’s sort of ironic that President Mugabe’s biggest asset is his declining health. See, if he goes out on his own, we can anticipate less violence and a smoother transition. If someone younger [even just by a few years] is being voted in, they will have even more time to wear down the people of this country and destroy their land. So we need to find a leader, unlike Tsvangari, we need to find someone willing to step up and stay true, not turn their back on the people who elected them. Someone willing to give the power back to the people. Until that happens, this government has nothing to fear, not from its people.

Removing the simple pleasures of watching Cartoon Network or international sports will just give people more time to discuss their anger. Denying people the option of celebrating their fellow Africans’ victories will only serve as a crusher of hope and that is dangerous. So to the authorities of Zimbabwe: rethink your treason trials. Don’t judge your people by the actions of others. You really should know better and if you don’t then it just proves that you are no longer in touch with your citizens and therefore not fit to lead them.

Sharing my view,

AM

Protected: Face The World

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Protected: Waiting

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Citizen of the world

So at this very moment the people of Libya are fighting for their freedom and essentially their lives. A couple countries away, my little baby cousin is about to enter this world of ours…

My entire family and everyone I come in contact with are sharing my excitement because this new little life is about to see… well everything for the first time. She’ll be looking at everything with excitement and without judgement in her eyes. She will be completely defenceless and expect only the best out of everything.

In a weird way this is exactly the mentality of the people in Libya and several other countries: we expect things to be better. Instead of just waiting for a hero like in the legends we use to read as bedtime stories, we’ve decided that there is power in numbers and every country heavily out numbers their president and his few handlers.

I’ve been writing a diary to my little cousin and I’m sharing random thoughts and memories and basically just things happening in our world. Why? Because she’s part of our world now. This world is as much hers as it is mine. She should have the same rights I do. She should have all the opportunities I have. So when I tell an unborn baby about the politics in Africa it is not because I don’t have anything else to say to her or because I want to impress her or even confuse her. I just want to show her that it’s not something reserved for the elderly. Politics is not something you have to earn the right to get involved in. Since your first breath you are a citizen of this world and you deserve the right to grow up. Eventually your generation will rule this world of ours and there’s a lot of fixing to be done, so if you start early then you might just be able to do it.

We need to go back to being little kids who tried to change the things we disliked in our world, instead of these people who have become content with waiting for the world to change. I’m not expecting my little cousin to save the world but she doesn’t have to know that. She can be anything and she can do anything and as a matter of fact, so can you!

Starting small by simply just smiling at your neighbour and saying ‘hello’ without getting caught up in what he’s driving or what you’re wearing, just seeing people for who they really are. If you have something worth fighting for like freedom or peace then get out there and start kicking some ass! Don’t wait for Joan of Arc or Hercules or Superman to come to the rescue. You have the power but you have to actually do something!

If you’re sitting in a country outside of Africa wondering why there is such an uproar about our presidents, well that’s because they’re not good at their jobs! We should get Donald Trump to have The Apprentice’s next season in Africa and put all the presidents in the show just so he can say: “you’re fired” to the weak-links. And also, you will be wise to remember that none of us are truly free until we are all free.

AM

Protected: Push

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When It Rains It Pours

You know those days when everything seems to be going wrong? Well my boyfriend’s parents have sort of been having that for the last 3months!

You can read about it on my other blog posts so I won’t bore you with the details now… Basically it comes down to losing everything you have except the clothes on your back through no fault of your own. Having every new venture you embark on crumble underneath your feet is not exactly a motivational beginning.

Obviously it hasn’t been all bad, there have been some amazing friends who stepped up and are holding their friend’s heads above water. And for this they are grateful. I am grateful. But it is not easy accepting help from others, especially when you haven’t really kept in contact with them as well as you should have.

For me as an outside, I get to chose what I focus on. I get to choose which story I tell. Do I tell the one about despair and how when it rains it really just pours, or do I tell the one of friendship and Ubunthu? Well I’m choosing to tell the one about people caring about each other; about people looking past their differences and focusing on the friendship they once had. We have this uncanny ability to drop everything [including a grudge] the second someone we care about needs us. If they are in trouble we run to them and crush every soul that gets in our way. It’s like we’re all super heroes who love that ability to catch someone when they’re falling off a 70 story building. We love being strong enough to help them fight their battles and in the end all we want is for them to be safe, we really don’t care about the ‘Thank You’ part.

I’d gotten so use to people doing the whole *you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours… or maybe stab you in the back if a better opportunity comes up* thing, that I find it refreshing to see how many good people there still are in this messed up world of ours…

Occasionally it is good to just take a little step back and while you’re looking at your life, realize that it really isn’t all that bad. Chose to see the good and then go see if you can help someone else out. It really is a great feeling that we don’t experience as often anymore. Go make a difference in someone’s life; just say ‘hi’ and ask them if they need a hand… it really is a good place to start.

I’ll remind you all that we should be working towards world peace, hey. But we’ve gotten a tad lazy so we should ease into it by doing all the little things again. Just smile and lend a hand and show you care. That’s it! It’s not just the huge things that should be given credit for peace; after all it is the little things that determine the big things.

Go make a difference… actually no, go be the difference!

AM

PS: check out my friend’s charity event in the UK http://chriselle.com/?p=137 Bands needed! Models needed! Help needed!

Protected: World In 9 Months

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