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Best of The Year – Experience

My trip to Chobe was the highlight of the year. I spent a day with a few friends in the Chobe national park in Botswana, seeing animals and appreciating nature.

Chobe National Park is found in Kasane, the town in Botswana that boarders Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Fun Facts about Chobe National Park

  1. It has the highest elephant population in the world hence it is locally known as the Land of Giants. You must travel during the summer if you want to see the elephants because they come out of the forest in search of water.
  2. Chobe happens to be Botswana ‘s first national park
  3. It is the most biologically diverse National Park in Botswana
  4. During the summer when the elephants come out in search of water, they migrate as far as Zimbabwe in the north west

Ariel view of Kazungula where the four countries meet.

Source: Wiki

Chobe River

The Chobe River is a tributary of the ZAMBEZI River where its waters stem from at Kazungula on the east, forming the Botswana border. It’s a swampy body of water that inhibits different species of wildlife such as crocodiles, birds, the big five and so on. A tour of the river reveals that there is an island where Botswana and Namibia meet. An interesting question is, who owns the island between the two? Well, there were disputes between the two countries many years ago. Botswana wanted control of the island for tourism while Namibia wanted to grow rice for commercial purposes. The issue was settled by the International Court, which ruled in favor of Botswana because the depth of the river is deeper on the Botswanan side. Our tour guide mentioned that there was some trickery involved by the Tswana Govt. Apparently, they sent a team of men to dig deeper into the the river to extend the depth so that they could win the case. I don’t know if it’s true but it cracked me up.

A herd of impala.

The female population is much higher than the male. Males therfore contest in a brutal fight to win over the females. The one that wins gets to lead the entire herd. Whoever rules this group is a lucky guy.

A leopard magestically walking away from the lights, camera and action.

We had given up on seeing any leopards, but one of the game rangers leading another tour gave us an alert to drive as quickly as we could to this location. We only caught a glimpse and the mighty leopard walked away graciously. I think it hated being the center of attention.

Warthogs crossing a muddy path

We were lucky enough to run into Pumba and his little family of Warthogs. Only they know where they were strutting to. Looking for Timon maybe?

Hippos taking a swim in the Chobe River.

This group had a cool and long swim in the Chobe River. We didn’t have a good view because they were submerged in the water for much of the time. Hippos spend most of the day in water and come out at night. They are also sun lovers and bask in it from time to time. When these short tempered animals feel threatened they chase their would be predeters and push them with all their strength. Caution to tourists would be to never linger in the forest on foot lest they are chased by these chubby creatures

I had such a splendid experience as it was filled with history, geography and biology lessons. The tour guides were very friendly and funny. Also, the food at Chobe Safari Lodge was colorful and scrumptious. I’m still thinking about the chicken wraps I had.

So if you ever feel like going on tour, stop by Chobe National Park and indulge yourself in nature’s beauty and diversity.

Bonus Fun Fact: Botswana was voted the best tourist destination in the world.

What was your best experience this year? Let’s chat.

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Day 7

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Personal

Best of The Year – Album

A single song can potentially change your mood. An album on the other hand can alter your perception of life and make you feel like you know the artist on a personal level. I felt that way about Jhene Aiko on her album Trip. It’s a 2017 release but I listen to it almost daily.

The song I like the most is When We Love. In this song she’s basically allowing herself to fall deep and madly in love with her man without caring for the consequences. She actually says:

you lie, I don’t mind it

Coz that’s just the kind of guy that you are

I think when you love, sometimes you see the cracks but you soldier on because of the goodness of the relationship.

My second favorite song is Jukai. Many people may not know this, but this is a suicidal song. Jhene Aiko has been open about her struggle with depression and medicating herself with drugs. Matter of fact, she recorded this album after her divorce from her ex husband and was high of mushrooms and Marijuana during some of her studio sessions. In this line..

I’ve left the house all clean and tidy

Don’t come searching please

I’ve made my way down to the forest

.. she means that she’s going to take her life away and would love her decision to be respected so no one should stop her. Aokigahara is her place of choice to commit suicide, this is a Japanese forest on Mount Fiji and is one of the most popular suicide locations in the world. In Japanese mythology, ghosts linger and entice people to take their lives away. Aokigahara means Sea of Trees and Jhene Aiko in this song mentions it.

If I died would it even make a sound in the sea of trees

New Balance is another track I really like. It’s pretty much about finding the one. The Ying to your yang. The calm to your storm.

Then there’s you

You bring silence to my violent truth

It’s quite a deep song and the lyrics are just so meaningful for those who have found the one.

This album took me through 2018. There’s a lot of pain, doubt, excitement and love on it. She’s an excellent song writer and poet so here’s the track list and give it a listen.

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Best of The Year – Song

My taste in music is for my ears. If you take a look at my Playlist, you’re going to find a lot of Sza, Jhene Aiko, Hozier, a bit of Drake just because I’m trying to accommodate an intruder and Childish Gambino. If I happen to stretch a bit, I may bop to some house tunes but that very rarely happens. My preference falls into songs that aren’t in the least exciting so pardon me for omitting Hip Hop. The reason is that I can’t dance to save my life.

Over the weekend, I got acquainted with my sister’s world and fell in love with Sunflower, a new song by Post Malone ft Swae Lee. I stretched, I must admit. If you listen to the song, you’ll note that Swae Lee carried Post Malone all the way. The video is animated and that’s actually my favorite part. Matter of fact, that’s what caught my attention. The song is a soundtrack on the new animated movie Spiderman : Into The Spider Verse, which is set to be in theaters this Christmas so mark your calendars.

I’m not a marvel fan so I have little knowledge on the spider man franchise but this movie in particular is about Miles Morales who happens to be a biracial kid. Maybe they should consider Michael B Jordan for this role, if they decide to do a live action film, instead of Superman.

The girl is the sunflower in the fact that she is persistent with the relationship and wants the relationship to work even though the guy, Miles, continues to cut her off. He later feels the void of her absence and attempts to correct his decision.

Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy (ooh)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ohh (ooh)
Ayy, ayy
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Needless to say, I keep her in check
She was all bad-bad, nevertheless (yeah)
Callin’ it quits now, baby, I’m a wreck (wreck)
Crash at my place, baby, you’re a wreck (wreck)
Needless to say, I’m keeping her in check
She was all bad-bad, nevertheless
Callin’ it quits now, baby, I’m a wreck
Crash at my place, baby, you’re a wreck
Thinkin’ in a bad way, losin’ your grip
Screamin’ at my face, baby, don’t trip
Someone took a big L, don’t know how that felt
Lookin’ at you sideways, party on tilt
Ooh-ooh, some things you just can’t refuse
She wanna ride me like a cruise
And I’m not tryna lose
Then you’re left in the dust
Unless I stuck by ya
You’re a sunflower
I think your love would be too much
Or you’ll be left in the dust
Unless I stuck by ya
You’re the sunflower
You’re the sunflower
Every time I’m leavin’ on ya
You don’t make it easy, no, no
Wish I could be there for ya
Give me a reason to go
Every time I’m walkin’ out
I can hear you tellin’ me to turn around
Fightin’ for my trust and you won’t back down
Even if we gotta risk it all right now, oh
I know you’re scared of the unknown (known)
You don’t wanna be alone (alone)
I know I always come and go (and go)
But it’s out of my control
And you’ll be left in the dust
Unless I stuck by ya
You’re a sunflower
I think your love would be too much
Or you’ll be left in the dust
Unless I stuck by ya
You’re the sunflower
You’re the sunflower
Yeah
Fiction

A Quiet Passion

Part 1

“Luyando isn’t a virgin anymore,” Chipo thought as she stepped into the bedroom. It was a foreign world she wasn’t accustomed to. There was a huge double bed at the center, overlooking a twin set of identical windows. The curtains danced around continuously whenever the wind blew through. It was a dimly lit room with a tiny brown chest of drawers right next to the door. Chipo was hesitant to make another step so she stood at the entrance and allowed her eyes to savor what was before her. A big brown teddy bear slouched in front of two continental pillows with its toes touching a fluffy fleece blanket that was also brown in color.

“Feel at home,” Aunt Jane said as she gave Chipo a little push on the back. Chipo looked around until her eyes settled for the radio on the table that was besides the chest. She recognized the soft ballads of Alick Nkhata on the Taxi Driver song while some words drowned in the haphazard keys of the piano. By that time, the likes of The Beatles and Elvis Presley had influenced local artists so much that it was not easy to distinguish them.

Chipo, within herself chuckled as the lyrics registered in her mind. The taxi driver had over billed the passenger yet the distance was rather too short. She gave an involuntary smile and Aunt Jane had seen it, thinking she was easing into her new home.

“Take a bath and dash to the table for supper, will you?” said Aunt Jane, then she disappeared into the darkness of the passage.

Shortly, Luyando burst into the bedroom, startling Chipo. She held onto her Rambo plastic bag on the edge of the double bed for comfort, while panting heavily.

“I scared you?” Luyando asked mockingly. Chipo said nothing and gathered the senses she had lost a moment ago. The two felt strongly towards each other as if their mothers were not sisters. Chipo remained seated quietly, sorting what she would wear after her bath while Luyando threw what was on her body in the laundry basket.

Chipo observed her. She was sure, by the strand of each hair on her head that Luyando had lost her virginity. Her hips now seemed to curve more outwardly and she had suddenly become flexible enough to cross her legs. Town girls were lazy and stiff like boys, but now Luyando had the ability to sit cross legged without any complaints. Surely she had been spreading them for someone. And her breasts looked more swollen. They had been fondled countless times until they lost their firmness. They were too fluid now and had collapsed. Her mind journeyed towards a colorful imagination of what her cousin’s encounters were like and non were pleasant so she tried more amusing paths with less trenches.

Bama, her mother, appeared in her mind and brought a smile to her face. Her smell was still on Chipo’s dress and she breathed in until she made her mother’s scent unforgettable. Smoke and fish.

The two took turns bathing and had supper with Uncle Mumba, Aunt Jane and Fred. Their family was little and everyone had a room of their own. When the evening chores had been done each one went into their own space without engaging the other in their activities, much to Chipo’s surprise and disappointment. She was used to the usual folklore tales by the fire, dancing in the dark and singing all night long at meaningful occasions. She had missed it already.

She was used to sharing because there was not much she owned. In contrast, her aunt and uncle had bought her new church shoes and a whole new set of clothes yet discomfort crippled her. Aunt Jane had told her that she didn’t need to keep her Rambo plastic bag so the maid tossed in the bin. Including the dress that smelt like Bama and that made her particularly unhappy.

She sobbed in the silence of the night on a mattress that had been spread for her by Luyando. At home, a sack was her bed yet she missed the hardness of the floor. She overhead Luyando telling Aunt Jane that all village people smelt the same.

At long last, when the crickets had chirped their chorus in harmony, sleep begun to creep up on her and she gave in involuntary.

Alick Nkhata sung quietly on the wireless radio in a song titled Uluse Lwa Nkwale. This time the driver’s mercy had landed him in hot water. After pitifully giving an old man a lift, the man died and his family shifted blame to the driver, saying he should have left him alone. It was based on a fable tale about a quail that assisted a snake by carrying it to safer lands, upon landing the snake turned on the quail and ate it.

~

To be continued

Personal

Best of The Year – Non Fictional Book

If there is a book that changed my outlook on life, it’s The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It was released years ago but I only got to read it this year. No, you don’t need to be married or in a relationship to read this book. The author released different editions so there is the Five Love Languagea for married people, singles, teenagers and small children. The author who happens to be a marriage counselor did some research and found that there are five ways in which people express themselves and expect others to show love to them. Gary Chapman breaks them down according to:

1. Physical Touch

A person whose love language is physical touch tends to express themselves by the use of bodily contact. This person likes to hug and touch and doesn’t shy away of intimacy. So if you have a friend or partner who’s touchy, this might be their love language and you might want to respond to their expressions of love because that’s how they too feel loved.

2. Quality Time

This love language is self explanatory. Additionally, people who are big on quality time tend to spend more time talking to their loved ones so if your best friend or girlfriend is always making plans for you to spend time together, this is probably their love language and they’re praying for you to say yes to the date. This is unashamedly my love language. I can spend hours on end with people, both on the phone and in person without feeling like I’ve had enough.

3. Words of Affirmation

Words like thank you, I love you, I miss you, you look nice fall under this category. Some people like to feel validated by hearing such sentiments and don’t take kindly when they don’t, so please say thank you to your partner or friend the next time they do something thoughtful.

4. Acts of Service

I’m the first born and because of that I’m always taking care of things at home and people. Cooking, cleaning, babysitting all make up my resume so whenever someone is willing to help lighten the burden, I melt inside. That’s my second love language. People like me love to get help from others; we feel appreciated in this way.

5. Gifts

Birthdays, valentines, Christmas day mean a lot to people whose love language is receiving gifts. It doesn’t mean that they’re materialistic, it just means that they feel appreciation in this way. Have you ever gotten into bad books with someone because you forgot their birthday? Well, it was their way of telling you that they didn’t feel loved so you better make up for it.

But how do you know your partner or friend’s or mother’s love language? Listen to the things they say you don’t do for them. Our parents often tell us we’re lazy, so in relation to most parents, their love language is mostly acts of service. However, parents differ. Teenagers usually drift away from everyone and spend more time with their friends than their family, so don’t feel too bad if your siblings aren’t spending time with you, quality time is just currently not their love language. Not from you at least. My 15 year old sister would much rather get a pair of sneakers than see a movie with me. Also love languages evolve over time so what may rock your partners boat today may change after 10 years because our needs transcend.

What is your love language? Garry Chapman indicates that a person has two primary love languages, so which ones describe you? Let’s meet in the comments.

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Best of The Year – Fiction Book

I will start by saying that Chimamanda is an impeccable story teller, therefore her books top my list. The most exciting part for me is that she was inspired by Chinuaba Achebe who happens to be one of my favorite authors.

I read No Longer at Ease around July this year and immediately fell in love with protagonist because some of the hardships he encountered mirrored mine. ie the difficulty of job hunting and trying not to fall into the trap of corruption because you want to get a job on merit. Also I developed an an admiration for post colonial Nigeria based on the naritive presented by Chinua – there is still tension between the government and its people and Nigerian pidgin is prevailant in town.

Purple Hibiscus has become my favorite book of all time. Its a coming of age book about a teenage girl who’s trying to figure her life out based on her father’s strictly measures. I give this book an approval rating of 10/10. If you read it, you will know why. If you haven’t, please read it to know why. Nobhulennyoni went into the details of the book.

Sadly I didn’t read much but that will all be corrected because I have taken a peek at what the other bloggers have listed and I will surely feast my eyes on their recommendations.

Day 3

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Best of The Year – TV Show

Like a said before, I suffer from commitment issues so there isn’t a TV show released in 2018 I watched. I suck, I know. However, I’m a devout follower of This Is Us. It wasn’t released this year, but it makes the cut because it’s the one show that makes me cry. I may have mentioned previously that I’m not a spoiler but here goes. This Is Us chronicles the ups and downs of an interracial family. It tackles race, weight, drugs, sibling rivalry and death. Yes, two characters have died so far but they appear in the show because it’s a then and now type of thing.

Although I don’t watch Grownish, it’s a pretty neat show not just for teens. It’s a spin off of Blackish.

Blackish is centered on a black family living in a white neighborhood. It is my favorite show and makes the cut because the just ended season nearly broke me down. I felt like I was a part of the family. I love the cast and their execution of the characters they play. Starting from Pops, their grandpa who happens to be played by Lawrence Fishburn.

On Zambezi Magic, channel 160, Mpali airs Monday to Thursday at 2030 for an hour. It’s a 2018 release, a telenovela apparently, which I love not only out of patriotism but out of originality. The word Mpali means polygamy, so the show is about a man whose 6 wives are on a quest for his undivided attention. I’d say it’s the best Zambian production yet.

Last to make the cut is Date My Family Zambia. Season 2 actually just premiered last Thursday and it was nothing short of hilarious. It was 40 minutes well spent on laughter.

So where’s your list? What have you been watching this year?

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Day 2

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