Fiction · Mythology

The Dead Don’t Speak

I saw many things. When a pig from Tepwa’s liter went missing and Daliso denied having a hand in the matter, I said nothing, but I saw him do it. At about dusk, when all the animals in the compound were led to the stables, he tip toed across the yard, opened the pig sty and sifted through to pick out the fattest one and handed it to Pwatu.

When Atate Zulu had traveled to the big city last Friday, I saw Amai Zulu meet with Atate Zondiwe at the river. The sun had just set and the sky was dimly lit in the color orange. All the children had left the banks of the river because it was dangerous to play at that time. I saw them walk far apart from each other, the way people who don’t want to be seen together pretend not to be together. Amai Zulu was way ahead and Atate Zondiwe was pacing behind her and turning his back several times to make sure no one was looking. I didn’t see their bodies, but I saw the shrubs shake and the leaves fall from where they had disappeared and I heard Amai Zulu moan. Something told me to pry, but at the same time, something within the confines of my soul begged me not to. But I pried anyway and for a second I saw the movement of buttocks and the digging of fingers into skin. I ran as far and as fast as my legs could carry me because I had seen too much. I should have listened when my inner voice told me not to, but I was stupid and curious.

Curiosity begs to be fed and so, again I saw what I shouldn’t have. The old man with no wife and children muttered something under his breath when Wenye and her friends walked by his hut from the river. He sat outside with another one of his old friends and they played a game of who could interpret the most difficult of riddles. He was the most feared person in our village because he was believed to have been as old as the earth. He was toothless and skinny and his clothes were worn out but he was not poor. In fact, he was the wealthiest man in all of Mawanda, owning herds of cattle and vast land. I never heard what he muttered, but Wenye never gave her husband any children and they became unhappy with each other. Wenye’s husband’s eye for Mukonde grew the same way a spark bursts into a wild uncontrollable fire and he soon packed his belongings. He settled into her home but they bared no children. Still he loved her deeply, but her urge to make him feel like a man deprived her of her happiness. The villagers talked and her urgency to bare children for the sake of her husband worsened. The attention of other men from the bar excited her. It made her feel wanted even though her husband satisfied her every night. Soon, it wasn’t enough to keep her at home and on one night after they finished, he drifted to his side of the bed and she met with Ngoma the blacksmith. He planted his seed in her belly but she did not realize it until much later when her clothes became ill fitting. I saw her when she sat herself on his lap. Beer in one hand and nsuko in another. She said it made her feel some type of way. Hot, she said. Ngoma laughed and they staggered their way out of the bar to his home. They pushed me out of their way and hurled insults at me. They thought they would never see me again but I was here at the river with the rest of the women filling our calabashes with water. Mukondo seemed uneasy wrapping her belly in a chitenge so as to shield it from my sight. I said nothing, but I knew something.

The old man, I think he tied Wenye’s stomach. The old man, I think he bet his own children for wealth because they died in their infancy, all ten of them. His wife died labouring for the tenth one. Nobody told me, but I know because I saw it happen fifteen years ago. I know because I heard screams from as far as our hut. Mama told me to mind my my own business, but curiosity begs to be fed and so I tip toed out of Mama’s site, walked to the old man’s hut and peered my eyes through the the crack in the wall. The old man’s wife was in anguish. There was an eerie feeling about prying into their lives, as should be, yet I enjoyed it. She pushed one last time and the baby came out screaming like all newly-borns do but the old man took the baby, swaddled him and left the hut. I stood still when he saw me peeking into the hut. What seemed like a private affair, a secret affair, had been shared with me and he muttered something. He didn’t threaten to tell Mama. He didn’t come after me. He muttered something. And from then on, I begun to see things. I had been seeing things for fifteen years now. There was nothing supernatural about my seeing things, but I just appeared when they happened. I owed it to the old man. Not in the sense of gratitude, but in the sense of regret. People were after me now. They were after my head. I saw too much. I heard too much. I knew much. Daliso and Pwatu, Amai Zulu and Atate Zondiwe, Mukondo and Ngoma. And now, The Old Man. They knew that I knew their secrets and they wanted me be dead because the dead don’t speak.

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Personal

Beneath The Realm

What lies beneath the sky? Is there a parallel universe that exists beyond the human eye? I sometimes wonder if there is another dimension that inhabits spirits or mankind. If stars align like they do here. If oceans rise only for them to swim back into their own bodies. If butterflies go through a metamorphosis.  

What is life? And what’s in front of what’s in front? If I knew, I wouldn’t fear anything. Sleeping on the steering on my daily commute wouldn’t frighten me so much. I’d know when not to turn the reverse gear on to avoid hitting the charcoal burner. And the other day, I’d have slowed down in time to spare a cat’s life. Also I’d have hurried to get to work earlier.  I don’t know why what is to happen forms much of my thoughts, but it isn’t pretty because it turns into worry.

I remember a night when the demon that sits on your back while you try to awaken from a nightmare perched all its weight on me. Its clothes were worn out as if it had been working overtime and it flashed a dark smile that revealed fangs on either side of its mouth. The master of doom had sent its aid to cause me terror at a time when I had little caution of myself.   My very first thought was to shout a prayer and in that moment life had never seemed more precious. When I awoke, the possibility of leaving earth in my sleep crept up on me and I stayed up for hours. And the next. And the next. And now it’s been years since I ever slept throughout the night. I’m what they call an insomniac and the truth is that it gets frustrating sometimes because, well, there isn’t any fun in being nocturnal among sleeping humans. If I had known, I’d have pushed the fear of death that night. Maybe I’d have had a normal pattern of rest.

There is, however, no point in ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’. We can prepare for the future, but even then, the results are not always certain. The weather girl could make a prediction for a heavy storm tomorrow only for it to come in a week’s time, or never at all. You’d have looked funny carrying an umbrella on a sunny day, but at least you’d have been prepared for the rain. Don’t fear what you can’t control, but more importantly, don’t fear at all. Also, nothing lies ahead of the sky until you prove it and nothing exists beneath this realm unless you see it because spiritual things can’t be explained. They can only be felt.

Fiction · Series

Vile Winds

Chapter 1

The hole in the window gave way to a sharp breeze that brushed against my skin and tiny goose pimples formed. My efforts at masking it with tape couldn’t be seen at all. The wind’s persistence was as stubborn as gravity. The kitchen was suddenly sorrowful.

Sneering at one another, Mother and I rushed for the warmth of the brazier.

+ + +

On a Sunday afternoon, back in March, when the sun blazed through the sky and scorched the maize fields, my father peered through our kitchen and demanded I leave with me. With clothes drenched in beer and breath that smelt like a tavern, he balanced his posture with all his might while he and Biggie exchanged speeches. When my father said he was dutifully bound to care for me, Biggie replied saying he was culturally more entitled to me. The two swapped blows until one of Biggie ‘s fists landed on the window and involuntarily opened a hole. My father turned back on his attempts for a reconciliation and like a wounded Buffalo, he dragged his bruised leg across our compound to his. It was a village away and my heart sometimes thudded at the thought of his unsafety. Biggie, being Mother’s older brother had made a ruling over me that I couldn’t protest because he assumed fatherhood over me upon my birth.

I would not see my father again until many moons later. His refusal to take my mother as his bride even after seeing my resemblance to his pained Biggie tremendously. More than anything, it was Mother’s sorrow that cemented his commitment to caring for us.

Every night, as I lay my head against the pillow, my father consumed my feelings. Deep within me, and Mother too, there were open scars than needed reckoning. We all knew it, but no one dared challenge Biggie.

+ + +

The wind continued to cut through the hole in the window, making the brazier somewhat pointless.

“Can someone cover that thing up,” Biggie barked.

Away from his attention, Mother and I gazed at each other and smiled. We spoke no words, yet our minds met to discuss Biggie’s sudden irritation of the cold. “Has he forgotten who is responsible for its damage?” I asked Mother in mind.

“It seems so,” Mother replied, in mind too, and we giggled in mind.

Facts and History

The Land of a Thousand Hills

Beneath the green slopes and fertile contours that moistened Rwanda’s coffee fields, streams of blood flowed through the country. Bodies with missing limbs and heads were littered in numbers. Orphaned babies sucking from their dead mothers’ breasts sung cries of hunger and pain. Women were raped. Fathers were butchered. Survivors fled to neighboring countries for refuge. It is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, but a dark cloud descended upon the hills that scraped the skies.

This week marks 25 years since the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide. 100 days of fear. 100 days of bloodshed. 100 days of pain. Even though time has passed, memories of the horror still linger in the minds of the victims.

On the 7th of April 1994, the mass murdering of Tutsis begun.

Background of the Genocide

1918 – Rwanda is occupied by Belgium under the Treaty of Versailles. A class system is        created through the issue of passports in accordance to tribe to give Tutsis superiority over Hutus because they (Tutsis) have more Caucasian features i.e. fair skin, long noses, tallness.

Tutsis are given better jobs and enjoy the Belgian education system.

1959  -Ethnic tensions are heightened. Hutus rebel against the cast system thereby killing thousands of elite Tutsis. Few flee to neighboring counties, reducing their population in Rwanda by far less.

1962 – Rwanda gains independence. Tutsis remain the target of tribal violence by Hutus.

1975 – Hutus continue to oppress minority Tutsis. President Juvénal Habyarimana of Hutu ethnicity enables the segregation.

 1980 – A record of 480, 000 Rwandans are refugees in neighboring countries.

1986 – RPF is formed by Tutsis currently exiled in Uganda. The guerrilla troop is led by Paul Kagame.

1990 – RPF invades Rwanda after President Juvénal Habyarimana’s dictatorial leadership plunges Rwanda into an economic recession.

1992 – Hutu activist Dr. Leon Mugusera calls for Tutsis to be displaced back to Ethiopia; the land of their origin.

1993 – Peace negotiations between RPF and the President fail. Radio stations owned by Hutu supporters endorse the killings of Tutsis.

1994 – On April 6th, a plane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira, president of Burundi, is shot down in Kigali by unknown people. Conspiracists allege that the assassination is performed by the Tutsi led Rwandan Patriotic Front party (RPF).

Habyarimana  and Ntaryamira are both of Hutu ethnicity.

On April 7th, the mass murder of Tutsis at the hands of enraged Hutus begins, in order to avenge their slain tribesmen.

 For the next 100 days, a door to door killing of Tutsis takes place. Approximately 800, 000 civilians are recorded dead.

In July, RPF ceased control of Rwanda. The genocide finally came to an end shortly after.

 

Method of violence

Rape

Rifles

Machetes

 

Aftermath of the genocide

A lot of Rwandans became refugees in neighbouring countries

Many who trekked to other countries died on the way due to cholera and other                   illnesses

A number of children were left orphaned and/or lost their identity. Till date, a                       handsome number of young adults can only estimate how old they are.

The number of physically challenged persons increased

Ethnic debates/conversations were later forbidden to avoid tension between the two          tribes

 

Let it be known that the tension between the two ethnic groups was perpetrated by the Belgians who used the Divide and Conquer tool to colonize Rwanda. Even though 25 years have gone by, the scars have not completely healed. Every raindrop in the month of April is a grave reminder of the hate that crippled the Land of a Thousand Hills.

 

Sources

https://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/rwanda/historical-background.shtml

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/etc/cron.html

https://www.history.com/topics/africa/rwandan-genocide

 

 

Reviews and Features

Bake Fest – A Sweet Chat With Meebelo Chiwala

Ola!

I hope everyone of you had a restful weekend and is all charged up for the week.

It’s suddenly chilly today so you might want to put on a light sweater and sip your morning tea with a bite of your favorite biscuits, or better yet, treat yourself to some of Meebelo’s cup cakes. You know, shake off those Monday blues.

Cup cake

I had a little chat with my friend, Meebelo Chiwala, who happens to be an entrepreneur and owns an exciting business called Bake Fest. I know I’m not the only one who’s been wondering how character cakes come into being. I mean, how are the Moana and Frozen characters edible? Haha. Well, there’s this thick sheet of paste (kind of like icing/frosting) called fondant, that bakers manipulate and voila:

Moana.jpg

Frozen.jpg

Amazing right? It’s something that I just can’t wrap my head around, so I had to ask.
Me: How long does it take you to bake a cake?
Meebelo: It varies depending on the complexity of the cake. Standard baking time in the oven is about 1-2 hours. Then decoration can vary from about 30mins to 5hours
Me: I take it the Jack Daniels cake took 5 hours? 🤣

Jack Daniels
Meebelo: Lol it depends how you want to look at it. The ice cubes take 2days to make. But the decorating itself takes only about 1hour actually. It’s not a very complex cake.
Me: So each and everything on this cake is edible?
Meebelo: Yes it is.
Me: What’s the most challenging thing with baking?
Meebelo: Sometimes things just don’t go your way. Especially with fondant. It’s very delicate and not the easiest to work with. It takes patience. Also cause mostly it’s store bought you have very little control over it. It might come bad from the store and trying to correct it is such a pain. It’s really hard. Also sometimes what you envision and the reality come out totally different and it’s soo hard to deal with that.
Me: From the cakes I’ve seen, I wouldn’t think you ever face such challenges.
Meebelo: It actually happens a lot. I guess cause the vision is in my head so I’m the one to get disappointed. But to others it looks just fine.
Me: And the funnest part?
Meebelo: Seeing where the cake has come from and seeing it complete. It’s literally the funniest and most amazing thing. Especially when it comes to children’s cakes. Children’s cakes are amazing to make.
Me: Why baking? 🤣
Meebelo: To be honest I never really picked baking as something to start seriously per say. I finished my university and got my degree but I was pregnant at the time. I knew I couldn’t search for employment cause my chances of being hired, even if I scored an interview would be slim looking at how heavily pregnant I was at the time. So one day it clicked in my mind how people always complimented my baking and would always ask me to bake for them. So I went out and got my first order from a family friend for her birthday. And so I became a baker with the hopes of adding money to fending for my son that was my own.
At the end of our chat, Meebelo penned a hearty thanks to her partner and family.
Meebelo: They would always mention it in passing before; how I should take it up as a business. I would always laugh cause in my mind I was dead set on a certain career path and did not see the necessity. Being pregnant opened up my mind to taking it up.

+++

Indulge your taste buds by getting in touch with Meebelo on 097 2025747. Also, like and share her facebook page Bake Fest.

chocolate cake

man u.jpg

jack daniels 2.jpg

Aaaand don’t forget to like my page Leaf-lets.

Facts and History

Eponyms of a Namibian Suburb – Exploring the Streets of Academia

On my daily commute to school, the names of the streets in my neighborhood piqued at me. I often wondered if they belonged to freedom fighters, plants, animals or historical figures I hadn’t been taught in school. I remember making miserable attempts at pronouncing the names and laughing it off while I crossed my way to school from street to street.

Locke. Jasper. Socrates. Spinoza. Plato. Aristotle. Satire. Hume. Spencer. Descartes. Bacon.

An extensive Google search revealed that these were philosophers whose convictions contributed tremendously to the foundations of modern education. Who then were these philosophers and why is a Namibian suburb filled with their names? My findings led me  to the three most influential scholars of all time. Their teachings, whether we are aware of it or not, lay the foundation for research, theology, politics, poetry, ethics, psychology and so on.

1. Socrates
Socrates is known as the father of philosophy. While his work is groundbreaking in Western Philosophy, he did not write much about his teachings because he preferred walking about in the streets of Greece. He attracted a number of young students due to his nomadic teaching style, as a result, Plato was intrigued by Socrates’ beliefs and hence joined his academy at 17.

Socrates held the belief that no one does wrong willingly. Additionally, he asserted that humans are only truly happy when they acquire knowledge. Socrates believed that the more intelligent man became, the happier he was. He had strong convictions about community oneness which he proved by refusing to escape Athens after his arrest. The arrest was as a result of being a constant government critic. He died from poisoning at the hands of the government.

2. Plato

Plato was Socrates most popular student. I for one think he was the favorite because they had regular conversations and debates during their walks in Athens. Most of what we know about Socrates was delivered by Plato in his writings, since Socrates himself did not pen down his thoughts.

Plato is popular for many things, but the most striking for me is his Tripartite view of the Soul. He asserted that the soul was made up of :

a) Reason

This is the logical part of the soul and it loves to learn. Reason is located in the head of man.

b) Spirit

This is the part of the soul where our anger and temper are formed. The spirit is located on the heart. Makes sense right?

c) Appetite

This is the part of the soul where erotic love, lust, love for money, hunger and thirst are formed. Appetite is located in the abdominal region or around the naval.

In the end, reason, spirit and appetite morph into one. We control our anger (spirit) or hunger (appetite) with our thoughts (reason).

>>Fun Fact about Plato

The term Platonic Love is named after him because he was of the opinion that the feeling of love could evolve into non sexual love.

3. Aristotle

Aristotle has come to be known as one of the most influential and popular academics of Western Philosophy such that modern philosophy is composed hugely of his teachings.

He expounded the subject of rhetoric from his teacher Plato and after much research found that a speech has three levels of appeal.

1. Ethos – Appeal to Character

This is the part of a speech in which a speaker or writer uses their character to influence the audience. Charisma, humor, seriousness all form character.

2. Pathos – Appeal to Emotions

This is the part of a speech where the speaker or writer capitalizes on the audience ‘s emotions by influencing feelings such as joy, sympathy, excitement, anger.

3. Logos – Appeal to reason

This is the part of the speech where the writer supplies a handsome amount of evidence for their claims so that the audience believes in them.

After researching on this, I then came to the realization that Academia in Windhoek was named after these scholars. The University of Namibia is also situated in this Suburb to sync the university with the philosophers. Interesting right?

Yellow – Socrates Street

Pink – Plato Street

Purple – Aristotle Street

Socrates and Plato Streets intersect so show the relationship of teacher and student.

(Photo Cred : Google Maps)

Pink – Plato Street

Purple – Aristotle Street

Further from Socrates Street and into the depth of Academia, Plato and Aristotle Streets have two intersections to indicate their relationship as teacher and student.

(Photo cred : Google Maps)

 

Below is a picture of Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) discussing their beliefs on forms and ethics respectively.

800px-Sanzio_01_Plato_Aristotle

Photo Cred: Wikipedia.

 

Disclaimer: all findings are not my own, but belong to Wikipedia.

Personal

Best of The Year – Purchase

So I had to painfully end my relationship with my tecno phantom 6 a few months ago because it was misbehaving. The cracks had come undone. I wasn’t happy because we had a good beginning. The picture quality was A1 and the volume was super loud for music. I must admit I got too comfortable and stopped paying attention to it, dropping it on the floor and letting other people abuse it. In the end it turned on me and developed a charging malfunction. The painful decision of diverting funds to purchase a new phone had to be made. I’m not into gadgets by the way so I was very OK with my tecno, but someone convinced me we (the phone and I) needed to part company.

When I got the Huawei P20 lite, I wasn’t excited about it. It took me two weeks to actually set a phone lock because I had no sense of attachment to it and the music wasn’t that loud. I hadn’t let go of my old phone yet it was no longer looking pretty. I’m not a hoarder by the way.

Anyway I begun warming up to my new phone and it’s actually neat. The most impressive thing about it, for me, is the finger unlock. I find it very convenient. The picture quality is also top notch. Actually that’s my favorite thing. I can also operate two separate activities by splitting the screen in half, so I can have whatsapp on one half of the screen and Instagram on the other. I don’t know much about the other specs like speed and what not. That’s not my area of interest but I love what I can do with this phone so far. No complaints except the volume. But the tecno is still a side piece I carry in my handbag for music and YouTube videos.

I would encourage anyone to purchase the Huawei p20 lite. It’s a slim and light phone to carry. The specs are here for those who are interested.

Source :Amazon.com

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Day 11

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