Home Sweet Home

I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.

Charlotte Bronte

“Today Africa has emerged from its dark passage. Our Armageddon is past. Africa has been reborn as a free continent and Africans have been reborn as free men. Today, we look to the future calmly, confidently and courageously. We look at the vision of an Africa not merely free but united.”

These were the words spoken by the legendary Haile Selassie 1 on the 25th of May 1963, the day on which the Organisation of African Unity was founded.

Fast forward 50 years into the future, and the Organization’s vision of a free Africa has not yet been achieved; as like a leaking tap, many African citizens are still busy trickling out of the continent in search of greener pastures elsewhere.

Nearly 6 million people have left Africa between the years of 1960 and 2000. Many of whom chose to leave because the standard of living in Africa is just too low. This mass migration is largely due to the wars and countless conflicts that are running rife on the continent.

As a result of worrying statistics like 35 000 people dying in 2014 alone, many Africans no longer feel safe. They then decide to leave the continent in order to preserve their lives.

A large portion of the population that left Africa, left because they were searching for better employment opportunities as its really difficult to get a job here in Africa. And if you do get a job, then most likely it doesn’t pay you enough to live a decent life.

The situation is so dire that even i know a few individuals that have University Degrees, yet have somehow failed to find employment.

It is evident that many Africans leave because they no longer have faith in their Governments ability to have their best interests at heart, so they choose to move to places like Europe and the Americas. With statistics showing six out of the top ten most corrupt countries in the world to be in Africa, does this really come as a surprise?

When skilled individuals leave an area, it creates a ‘Brain drain’ in that specific area as there will be few or very little skilled people left. With many countries on the continent experiencing low levels of economic growth, we can no longer afford to let our citizens move abroad without a fight.

In order to stop or at least decrease the large numbers of people moving out of Africa, you as African leaders are going to need to work together to create more jobs for our people. Jobs that actually pay them enough to live comfortably.

Also, you are going to have to boot out leaders among your ranks that threaten the well being of African citizens. You are going to have to put leaders in power that have the best interests of African citizens at heart as well as those that have shown a high level of responsibility and accountability towards their actions.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that life on the African continent is very, very hard. Our leaders are corrupt, there’s conflict everywhere and the’re limited job opportunities for our people.

As a result, many of our fellow brothers and sisters have chosen to leave our beloved home behind. I cant imagine how heartbreaking that must be for them, which is why i would like to kindly ask if you, the leaders of Africa; can decide to endeavor to make Africa a place were all Africans can live prosperously, and not have to be forced to leave their home behind.

……………………………………………………

This was a challenging challenge. Speaking to a room full of African leaders has never been a cup of cake for anyone. Much less for me that has never been in a room with even one political leader.

The Fantastic Five

Hope never abandons you, you abandon it

George Weinberg

I am so glad for today’s challenge, for it has granted me the power to talk about my hero’s at length.

Behold the mighty men and woman without capes that have swooped into my life and rescued my inspiration from between the mighty jaws of depression.

5. Steve Biko the Father of Black Consciousness

steve biko
Steve Biko

One among leaders of the Black Consciousness Movement
he was a proud anti-apartheid activist
that worked towards the psychological empowerment
of all the beautiful black people.

At first, he studied law then changed to study medicine
so he could heal the wounds his fellow blacks
suffered at the cruelty of the white mans hands.

Eventually, they had to turn him into a martyr
by brutally beating him to death
for when his reputation grew higher and higher
it threatened to leave apartheid out of breath.

4. Marcus Garvey

Born in Jamaica as Marcus Mosiah Garvey Junior
he grew to become a journalist and a publisher
as well as an activist against white supremacism
by growing his philosophy and ideas of Garveyism.

Also, he promoted the concept of African Unity
by encouraging black freedom from a white ruled society.
Furthermore, he greatly influenced the growth of Rastafarianism
as well as a general rise in Pan-Africanism.

3. Ashwyn Mberi

Ashwyn Mberi
Zimbabwean born, Namibian Actor and Poet
that's always seeking to promote art
inspires me for he has changed my mood
that i should always use my poetry for good

So as to try and make the world a better
place, by speaking about the things that matter.

He inspires me because he brings people together
by providing platforms for them to speak
freely about the things that make them weak
so that they can help one another to grow stronger.

2. Sanna Arman

Sanna Arman
 The only Sudan born blogger and performing poetess
to have strolled into my heart not because of the dress
she wore to accentuate her curves, but because of the words
she writes that provoke thoughts on the issues facing Africans.

A firm believer in the reclamation of the African narrative
as well as the telling of African stories by Africans
her writing is what some sages would dub impressive
for my imagination, after listening to her, always awakens.

  1. Mark Mushiva the Black Narcissist
Mark Mushiva
Namibian tech geek and poet with many a conscious lyric
about black folks every time he's on the mic,
inspires me to always follow my dreams
as he himself followed his dream of making games.

Member of the award-winning Black Vulcanite
he aims to bring the ills suffered by blacks out of the night
by introducing them to the light of what feels right
whenever his pen bleeds because he sat down to write.

What i admire most about him is the fire
of his love for Africa burning in his chest
as well as his deeply rooted desire to inspire
through his god given talent of poetic craft.

A Voice Unheard

It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.

Confucius

More and more Africans have begun using blogs as a form of self expression. This is due to the fact that it is relatively easy to start and maintain a blog.

As a result, blogging on the African continent has enjoyed a lush period of colossal growth. African bloggers, like sculptors are now helping to shape a more positive Africa through the unique stories they tell.

African bloggers are especially prominent within the fashion niche, which has many an African rising star.

This is due mainly as a consequence of the fact that blogging allows them to reach markets outside their own as well as to cut costs related to marketing, public relations and brand awareness.

Blogging is the remote, that has helped turn the usually mute African youth into a group of individuals with a highly outspoken voice that is very loud. It has further helped in transmitting that same voice into the ears of an audience that has for so long been deprived of it.

And as blogging continues to take root across the continent, one can only expect this voice to grow louder and louder(and louder) til our leaders have no choice but to listen.

The Africa I Never Read About

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

I am not even going to lie.

I love Africa, yet growing up i never read much about her. I was always too busy falling in love with her to make time for anything either than exploring the rugged curves of her body.

When i wasn’t doing that, then i was most likely sitting before the television set for hours on end whilst assimilating its lies.

Its true, I LOVE Africa.

Which is why i decided to start reading about her when i grew to be a man. Yet, it hit my soft spot hard when the texts i came across portrayed her as a land brimming with tall, thin, pot-bellied people that have not eaten since the last tribal ritual a full moon gone. Where they proceeded to eating a fire cooked meal of monkey-brain and well spiced snake as well as worms for desert. All this without even flinching an inch.

The Africa i read about is a land teeming with disease ridden insects whose mouths water at the prospect of infecting their next victim.

What i read about Africa is a gruesome tale of a land buried beneath the rotting bodies of black men and women that fought for freedom and won against the White man, only to be crushed by the callus hands of his fellow black man.

The books i read, never drew me a pretty picture of Africa.

Never did they write about the benevolence of African leaders that make promises and actually keep them. Nor did they write about a peaceful Africa with zero civil war, or one were hospitals and social services are readily available to the ordinary man.

The texts i read; always made sure to mention the presidents that refuse to step down after their terms come to an end, the corrupt leaders that steal from the mouths of the poor to feed their growing appetites, as well as the number of people that fell to many an avoidable illness.

I have not yet read all the texts about Africa, so i maintain my belief that i will one day come across that one book that draws a pretty picture of Africa.

An Africa filled with healthy, strong people that are able to tend a rich, fertile soil in order to feed themselves. An Africa filled with people that accept their differences and love each other the more.

Who knows, perhaps in my next life i’ll read about a United States of Africa. Wouldn’t that be a pretty picture?

A Letter From Home

Leap, and the net will appear.

John Burroughs


Dear Lazarus

I hope this letter finds you in good health,
High spirits, as well as in mindful breath.

It has been way too long since last we spoke,
saw you smile, or even heard a fun joke
part from between the dark walls of your lips.
So I'm writing to tell you of some news
i think might be of some concern to you.

I'm telling you, because i always knew--
Even though perhaps you didn't have a clue--
that you were head over heels, deep in love
with the cute girl, from the house next door's crew.
It turns out, she recently got engaged
To that boy that always got you enraged.

I wrote this to inform you, and not break
your spirit so that you feel way too weak
to write back during the course of the week.
Please do. I'd very much like to see you speak.

Lots of Love
Aunt T

© 2019 The Poets Peace

The Nets Stuck In A Net

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.

Mark Caine

 Hey guys, today's a day that's quite hectic 
so I'll try to sum up today's topic
in a poem as short as i can make it.

Sounds good? Yes? Here we go then.

 
In general, internet in Africa is quite expensive
due to the availability of the overall bandwidth being scarce.
And the fact that traffic goes through expensive satellite links
that make it hard for average Africans, to use it and also pay the bills.

Only one out of ten people in Africa have access to the internet
due to the vast majority being mainly computer illiterate.
And the relatively low level of internet infrastructure
that makes it hard for people on the continent to connect on the net.

That’s it for today guys, see you again tomorrow.

The Class

It all starts and ends in the mind. The most crucial skill is how you think.

Zat Rana
Image by MoteOo from Pixabay

The group of about 20 or so students, 
noisily seat themselves behind their desks
and look curiously at the stranger in front.

Greetings class, my name is Mr Wiki Pedia and i’ll be filling in for your usual class teacher, Mrs Gle Goo. Our lesson today will be about blogging on the internet.

But, before we begin i’d like it if you all introduced yourselves to me.

Students introduce themselves.

So let’s get to it then. Do any of you know what a blog is?

Student seated at the back of class raises his hand.

Yes Lazarus, please tell the class what a blog is.

 "I think, maybe it's like a website 
but less professional because it allows one
a certain level of creative freedom."

That’s correct Lazarus, give yourself a tap on the back.

Although Lazarus is correct in his definition of what a blog is. There are a few things that he has left out. Perhaps out of ignorance, perhaps out of respect for my job.

So, what is a blog?

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries.

A blog gives those not fluent in computer language the chance to run a website without needing the technical skills of a tech geek.

Student next to Lazarus raises hand.

Yes Michelle, your arm is raised?

Does that mean anyone can start a blog?

YES. So long as they can read and write; anyone can run a blog, from a single individual to a group of friends, as well as large or small businesses.

Blogs can come in many forms. Such as art blogs(that focus on art), photo-blogs(focus on photographs), vlogs(focus on video) and podcasts(that focus on audio).

Student in center of class noisily clears throat.

Mangy, would you like to ask a question?

Yes i would sir. 
So i understand what a blog is,
and that anyone can run it.
But, i want to know why anyone would start a blog.
Seems like a lot of unnecessary work to me.

Well Mangy, people start blogs for many reasons. You get people that want to share information on a certain topic, you get those that want to promote themselves or their business, and you get those that start a blog, simply to engage with different people and share ideas.

Also, if done right. A blog can be used as a passive source of income.

Blogs generally tend–Mr Wiki, how does one make money from a blog?

It seems Lazarus is getting way too excited. Some blogs, with a large enough following.
Generate income through companies that pay them to write positive product reviews.
For some, selling advertising space is their way of bringing in some big bucks.

Back to what i was saying before Lazarus derailed us with his excitement. Blogs tend to be very topic specific, for example we get travel blogs, health blogs, book blogs and fashion blogs etc.

You guys are actually quite lucky to be living in an era where blogs are being used by millions of people. This makes it easier for anyone starting a blog to grow an audience.

So if there is something you are passionate about,
Why not start a blog and make money from it?

Technology As A Blessing And A Curse

Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.

Anonymous

Good morning, afternoon and good evening fellow bloggers. Today’s challenge has asked a question of us…

 is technology a blessing before our eyes
or is it a curse in disguise?

Me, i was born in the twentieth century. Born into a world filled with all sorts of technology made to make the lives of people easier. So on these terms i’d say technology is indeed a blessing.

Technology has helped us connect with people from lands we’ve never set foot on.

no longer do we have to ruin our style 
by walking miles without a smile.
 no longer do we have to wait 
on the birds of the citadel to read our mail.

We have expanded our eyes beyond sight of the blue skies. Thanks in large part to the capabilities of technology; information, on any topic is widely available.

technology has brought us so much ease
as we, no longer freeze to death in the winter breeze.

Or go without food for thought, because of seven years of drought.

because of technology
I can keep up my energy
by eating food from the factory.
long after its beginning history.

Thanks to the power of technology, we don’t have to risk our lives by heading into a country only to find ourselves in the middle of a full blown civil war.

Thanks to tech, we can find that out in the safety and comfort of our homes and so choose to avoid any places being soaked in the blood of our brethren.

With this in mind, a world with technology should be a better place, right?

Not necessarily.

Technology, with it's helping hand
has unfortunately, also dealt us a mighty hand.

Lies, like butter on bread are spread on television in order to blur our vision.

we're being brainwashed into emotional zombies
that do nothing but disturb the peace.

Technology has made it easier for us to wipe ourselves out faster than it takes me to say, technology.

we've become relatively lazy
mentally, physically and spiritually.

With the invention of calculators, some people no longer think for themselves.
Technology is breeding a world of stupid people. Smart phones.

Also; because of technology, we’ve lost our emotional connection with the world, and ourselves.

we don't talk as much as we used to anymore
and when we do, it has nothing to do
with the things we wish we truly knew
but of silly things, of which we don't have a clue.

So, is technology a blessing before our eyes
or is it a curse in disguise?

I think only time will tell. If we destroy ourselves with it or not.

Five Apps I Could Not Live Without

If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach.

Steve Wozniak

I almost did not write this post.

Not because i don’t have a favorite list of apps on my smartphone. But, because i miraculously have not had a phone for five months now (how this came to be is a story for another day).

Still going strong though.

I almost did not write this post. As i would be contradicting today’s challenge.

Me not having a phone for months should serve as living proof that one can indeed live without a phone. In fact, you can actually thrive.
The first few weeks were the worst, but i weathered them and i am now glad to say, that i have thoroughly enjoyed my time without the pressure from a modern cellular device.

I almost did not write this post.

Until i thought back to a time when i had a phone.

Which then made me think to myself; back when i had a phone, what were the apps i could not live without?

1.Notepad

Image by Pettycon from Pixabay

No surprises here, as i constantly needed to have a close outlet for my free flowing mind. I used my notepad on average 2 many times a day. If you were a stray thought in my head, looking like you might be a building block to a masterpiece, then you went into the notepad.

2. Habithub

This awesome app comes in second, only because i’m a poet and a writing app was always going to top my list.

But, when it came to motivating me for the day, as well as maintaining a record of my habits, there was no app more fab than Habithub. I used this guy to help me set and follow a routine for making reading, exercising and meditating my daily habits.

What i most enjoyed about this app were the inspirational quotes it delivered to my notifications bar every morning.

3.LOA Library

In my highly opinionated view, this is by far the best repository app of books about the mind. Boasting the best Law Of Attraction books to be found anywhere, i used this app to educate myself about the power of my mind.

4.Instagram

Image by Webster2703 from Pixabay

Instagram because all those poems written in the notepad needed somewhere to be posted and hopefully admired by the masses.

5. AnyAppThatPlayedMusic

This one just had to be here. I mean, what normal person in their right mind can live without music? If you know of any such person, tell us in the comment section. A poem needs to be penned of such a person.

That completes my list of five apps whose absence would have killed me. What are yours?

Why I Started Blogging

Your attention is the most important asset you have. Be deliberate with it.

Zat Rana

Someone give me a round of applause. Six days in, still going strong. My level of commitment doesn’t usually get this far.

Today’s challenge entails i tell a tale, of why i started with this blogging thing.

I started blogging for a number of reasons really.

Number one and probably least important, i started blogging because i got tired of writing in my journal(too many torn pages and not enough ink to think with my pen) and wanted to improve my writing skills.

Another reason i started blogging is because i had a strong desire to share my writings with the wider world. I thought perhaps i could influence a select few, in a manner that stops bad manners.

Mostly; i started blogging because i came across a blog, that blogged about how to make money by monetizing your blog. It all sounded so easy then.

start a blog.
write a few posts.
monetize your blog.

And viola! money while you sleep.

Well, turns out its not so easy. Or simple.

Five months in, 65+ odd posts later and still no money to be found in and around this blog of mine.

Which begs the question, why not just shut down my blog and start another quick money making scheme? (Perhaps some eCommerce in the universe of verse?)

Probably because i get more follows on my blog than on my Facebook page, more comments and likes then on my Instagram page, and more views then on my YouTube channel.

But; for the sake of my altruistic values , lets just say i blog because i love blogging.

I love reading posts from bloggers who may or may not be making mega bucks with their blogs. I love that i get to engage with interesting birds of a feather that flock together.

Also, I love that i’m constantly having to look at the world through the eyes of people who’s eyes I’ve never even seen before. I love it because it challenges me to write more, in ways I’ve never written before.

But mostly, i love it coz the potential to make money remains.

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

So there you have it ladies, gentleman and birds of a feather. My not so altruistic reasons for blogging. Tell us why YOU started blogging in the comment section below.