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.

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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.

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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.

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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

#2018BOTY

#BlogIndaba

#BlogIndaba

Personal

Best of The Year – News Story

When news broke out that a group of 12 teenage boys were trapped in a cave, my heart stopped for a second because I couldn’t imagine the fear and horror they were going through.

It all started as an ordinary birthday celebration for a friend in the group. The boys then decided, with their football coach, to tour the cave which happens to be a tourist attraction. While down under, a storm occurred causing a land slide which led to the group’s misfortune. What could have been their only way out seemed impassable as the rout was a dark and tiny maze. The boys stayed calm throughout their ordeal despite not having warm clothes or enough food to sustain them.

On the outside, a search had been launched by authorities after their parents alerted them of their disappearance. A team of divers then swum through to the cave to begin the rescue. Each diver was assigned four boys and they all made it out alive except one of the divers who drowned during the rescue mission.

Immediately after the group was rescued safely, they were quarantined at a local hospital to ensure that they were in good health. All was okay and the boys, including their coach, returned to their homes safely and made some some public appearances because they became a national treasure.

This story was heart warming for me because of the bravery and resilience exhibited by the boys and the coach. I think fear would have killed me, I’m such a coward.

What news story was your highlight of 2018? Hit me up in the comments.

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Day 10

#2018BOTY

#BlogIndaba

#BloggingChallenge

Personal

Best of The Year – Drink

Source :Temzie Bites

Sorry guys, but I have to be bias again because I’m selling my country. Is it working though? I hope I’m doing a good job because after having a mean meal at Matebeto, your thirst needs to be quenched with a pint of cool drink.

I had written about some of Zambia’s indigenous drinks for the Blogtember Challenge so please follow the link here.

My best this year (and always) was Munkoyo. It’s a local drink that’s brewed from roots of the same name i.e. Munkoyo, yeast (for fermentation) and maiz meal. The fermentation process is the cream of the cake because that’s what determines whether the drink will be good or flat. The longer it takes, the tastier and more alcoholic. Munkoyo can be taken at any time and any place with any meal. And like any beverage, it’s better served with good company so have a sip and pour a glass for a friend or two.

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Day 9

#2018BOTY

#BlogIndaba

#BloggingChallenge