Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Africa's Ability To Play On The World Stage

Africa's ability to play on the World stage seems limited but I tell you we can do more to help the continent if we will just learn to say to the box the world's media has placed us in.

Despite its troubles, Africa as far as I'm concerned is still the richest continent on earth. There is wealth of natural resources that is yet to be discovered and if the world thinks its over for Africa...think again because we are on our way to reclaiming our heritage.

We have the power and ability to change the way world sees our continent.
Its time we stand up to our leaders and bring them to account.
Its time we say no more to the traditional mindset that has kept us captive.
Its time we say no to the culture that has kept us conditioned to the point where we now see wrong as right and right as wrong.
Its time we raise our voices and change our song about the motherland.
Its time we raise our voices and sing a new song about the motherland.
Its time we take our talents and paint our own picture
Its time we say our own 'Never Again' and mean it
Its time we stop producing those stories the Western media enjoys as it ridicules our motherland
Its time we start writing the stories that the world will read and realise we have a light that can never go down.
Its time we start producing as a continent and stop relying on aid
Its time we start looking out for each other and stop being all about, me, myself and I. And I boldly say that to our leaders. Stop taking what belongs to the people.
Its time we stand up and be counted as Africans who are proud to be Africans.
Its time Africa and its children stand up and be counted as a continent to be reckoned with on the world stage.

Dealing With Disappointment

How do you deal with disappointement?????

There is no easy way to take disappointment most of the time. When it is something you wanted desperately, it hits you harder and there is a pitbull of rage in your stomach. But do you stay down crying and singing your favourite song, 'No one knows the trouble I have seen?' You alone can answer that but if your choice is to stay down then, you have let yourself down.

There is no straight cut to the ways we handle being let down or being passed up for a role but the key is; once you have done your crying and danced to your sorrowful songs, pick yourself up and try again.

Try and try until you get a yes.

You only have one destiny but there are many roads and choices to lead you there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Sons and Daugthers Are Not For Sacrifice

So much has been written about the upsurge of knife crime in London. The stabbings seem like they will never end. The youngest victim was David Idowu, he was 14-years-old.

I am not a mother and have no idea what it feels like to lose a child. But I can imagine it must be a gut wrenching pain to know you will never see the baby you nutured into a boy and just when he was on his way to becoming a man, he was snatched by a cruel act from you.

I don't want to go into what it feels like to know a knife has just been jabbed into you by another human being. We all know the end result of such an action. Lately, it is the grave for the lives of young men and women, who have fallen victim to these cruel actions.

Our sons and daugthers have forgoten what respect for another human life is all about. They have taken the law into their hands, settling scores with each other by way of the knife.

Some parents have no idea what their children have been up to.

The government is laying down the law to get the perpetrators behind bars. Great that we are getting tough but has anyone taken the time to ask themselves; when was the last time you took interest in a young man you knew was at risk of joining a gang because that's what he thinks will give him protection?

When was the last time any one of us took interest in a young man, being raised ny a single mother? Forgetting she can't be everywhere to keep an eye on him?

When was the last time we got off our backsides and took an action that would in turn empower a young man, a young black man at that? So we can show him that a knife in your bag or pocket is not what empowers you in life?

When was the last time you bothered to ask about their education or mental state of mind?

But we are all quick to judge and write about their past.

Don't get me wrong, everthing has got to be balanced and I refuse to make excuses for the action of one human being which leads to the death of another. In my oipnion, it is despicable, vile, cruel and plain outright wickedness.

It should never be the case where parents have to bury their children but that is what we have been living with for the past year and more.

I am yet to figure out why a young mand feels joining a gang and carrying a weapon is what will empower him. On the other hand, if you look at it with a mindset of, I know who I am, it goes to show the poor state of mind our sons and daugthers are in.

Their self-worth has been eroded by lies. Their values twisted and their ability to care has been frozen, and when they act out or do the things they do, they make themselves a target of getting demonised by all.

I have no expertise in criminology or psychology but some things do not take rocket science to figure out, face the facts and be practical about it.

We need to go back to the drawing board, the home. That's where it all begins. I have no parenting skills and I cannot be judge and jury over other people's ability to raise their children the way they need to be raised but we must start at home.

We need to take our homes back from our children. They are not meant to be running the house but their parents. We need to instill the core values that we hold on to in society which helps to keep life going in them.

I do not want to know about what you believe in or don't as far as religion is concerned. But whatever it is, you need to teach your children what is good and what is evil and the reason they must uphold the good.

Please, believe me, I am not preaching at you. I am being practical. What we have today is the fact that the kids are no longer afraid of anyone. There are different reasons why they are not but I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that.

Discipline needs to come back into the home. The government cannot do it alone, neither can the parents. This is a joint effort which requires our attention and efforts as members of society.

It is time we work together and not aganist each other. Reading the Statesman a few weeks back, there was a great report about Childhood in Britain. Guess what, our children are the most unhappy set of young people in Europe, we have the highest number of disenchanted youn people. We lock them up faster than they can say 'A.'

And we over medicate them and we talk down at them.

Now, there is more to that but I think that pretty much paints the picture for you. We all need to change our attitude to this problem and change is hard but possible.

We need to take decisions concerning the lives of our children, knowing their future is at the heart of what and all that we do.

I personally don't have any answers to a whole lot of questions people have but if we start looking within and stop pointing fingers, we will find the courage to take that first step to make things right.

The lives of our children matters. The lives of our sons, daugthers, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters matter. They are not for sacrifice. They are not lambs for slaughter and its about time the killing spree stops.

Wake up London and agree with me that our sons and daughters are not for sacrifice.

Image from Google

For further reading -,-14,-becomes-19th-victim-of-London-knife-crime.html

Monday, July 07, 2008

Teenagers killed in London street violence this year | UK news | The Guardian

Teenagers killed in London street violence this year | UK news | The Guardian

When is this madness going to stop?

When are we going to stop the blood bath and tears from grieving parents?

Enough is enough London.

Wake up London, its time we take our city back and secure the future of our children.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Too many black and Asian faces on TV, says BBC director Samir Shah | Media |

Too many black and Asian faces on TV, says BBC director Samir Shah | Media |

Please tell me what is going on here.

I am trying real hard to understand the context of his arguement. Is he saying that we have too many faces on the screen but not enough boss men behind the scene who make the decisions?

Is his arguement that the number of Black and Asian faces on the screen is overcompensating for the fact that we don't have enough Black and Asian people who are high on the job ladder in the media industry and can make those decisons which would revolutionise what we see on our TV screens at home?

Its a two way arguement. I am tempted to agree with him and I am eager to disagree with him.

Either way, he has been in this game longer than I have, so he must know what he is talking about.

What do you think?

BBC NEWS | World | Nigeria needs $85bn to fix power

BBC NEWS | World | Nigeria needs $85bn to fix power

When are we going to wake up and take action? They have been promising since I was a child. Soon, I'll be married and I'm still hanging on their every word.

I better get myself a generator if I want to go back home.

I love my country and there is no place like home but I think its time the excuses went out the window and we see some positive action towards getting this power issue rectified.

It has gone on long enough.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Secret witness rule: 50 cases in jeopardy | UK news | The Guardian

Secret witness rule: 50 cases in jeopardy | UK news | The Guardian

Personally, if I am not protected and I am being asked to testify against individuals who are connected in the criminal world, the answer would be no.

I believe in everyone getting their day in court and people being free to tell the truth. However, you also have to look things from the other point of view. If your testimony is going to send a man down, then he has a right to know who is testifying against him. But from the point of view of the witness, they want to go home and know no one is coming round to sort them out.

I concur with everyone who is working hard to get this resolved. A solution is needed and urgently.

Don't make parents who have lost their children, cry all over because they feel justice has been denied again.

Christians must recover nerve, says Nazir-Ali | World news | The Guardian

Christians must recover nerve, says Nazir-Ali | World news | The Guardian

I am not one for helping people make up their minds but what do you all think about what Nazir-Ali is saying about the divisions in the Anglican Chucrh?

Is it time Christians regained their nerve.

What exactly is he trying to say with the statement, Chritians must regain their never?

Its an open debate. Tell it like it is. Don't be afraid.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

When Those You Thought Would Get It Just Don't Get It.

Life is full of ironies but that should never come as a surprise to you or me. I recently told a friend, nothing should surprise me anymore. While I can't claim to have seen all life has to offer. However, I have seen enough for me to get to the point, where no matter what others do, I should not be shocked.

I am not sure why certain things still surprise me as such. Maybe it’s because I am just that way or were my parents too protective of me as a child? Did they shield me from the uglier side of life and now I am wondering why folk are mean and nasty to each other?

Don't get me wrong, I have seen life for what it is but not all that it is. There is still a whole lot to experience and I am looking forward to it.

It just feels so wrong when you have known people for so long and they pull a funny one on you. You are left wondering; I thought I knew you and have a million questions but no answers.

It’s even worse when those you expected would understand a thing or two just don't get it.

I was having a conversation with a girlfriend the other day and she said: "Well people do that all the time, I am used to it," due to an incident that had occurred earlier in the day.

I thought to myself, that's not normal for people to mistreat folks like they are garbage, ready to be thrown into the bin. It is wrong and I don't care what your excuses are, it is wrong. Nonetheless, people do get away with things you and I might never consider doing.

Now, that is not to say we are saints and we never mess up because we all mess up. However, there are different kinds of mess ups. Sometimes you never know what you are capable of until you are pushed far enough to fight back.

It made me think and I realised, when we become desensitised to something, it does not shock us any more and it becomes normal. But that is not the kind of normal I know.

This brings me to my point, when those you thought would get it just don’t get it.

I refuse to get personal but I must say it hurt and came as a funny surprise but that's another reason why certain things and people's actions should not shock me anymore.

It’s just so funny that they don't get it but that’s just life and I don’t apologise for it. If anything, it made me grow. That’s what it should be about, growing through all of life’s tests and experiences.

I am beginning to understand the title of Lauryn Hill’s last album, The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill.

This is my education.

Image: Google

Mental Strenghth For Each Day

What's this about? Just what it says, Mental Strength For Each Day.

Lately, a few people have been trying it on and I mean really trying it on.

I keep thinking, is it me? Is there something I am doing to attract such attitudes and behaviour pattern from others? I keep checking myself to ensure it is not something that I have done.

Personally, I don't like dramas. I used to be a drama queen but I'm all grown up now. I have way too much to get on with in life that I don't have the energy for drama.

This week, it has been left, right and centre but I made up my mind, these little issues are not goingt to get me to bow my head. Oh hell no. I refer to them as little because that's what they are. When you magnify things, they become bigger than they are supposed to be. So, I am learning not to do that any more.

My friend, bless her heart, said: "B, you have got to pray for mental strength to deal with these things."

Funny, she said that because we went to school together. I have known her for the last 16 years and she knows me. I didn't always speak with my mouth. My hands did the talking. Don't go funny on me, we all do silly things.

But all that has since changed. I am wiser now and loving who I am today. I am a woman and what a fine young lady I have turned into. I say that boldly because that's who I am.

She was right. I have to pray for mental strength to deal with certain issues as they arise. People will always be who and what they are but I don't have to conform to what they want me to be.

The key is mental strength to know who I am and stay unperturbed no matter what others do.

Image: Google

It Only Takes One Man To Make History

Did you ever think that in your life time, a black man would be this close to becoming the next president of the United States?

It seems like what our fathers started on the plantation farms is about to be completed in the White House and my, my, my I believe it is possible. This is indeed, "Change That You Can Believe In."

I could not stop playing the Youtube video of Barack Obama's acceptance speech.

He is smart but he accepts he doesn't know it all.
He has come this far, yet, he is honest. 'The road ahead will be tough.'
He fills stadiums with thousands of people; black folks, white folks, Hispanics, you name it, yet, he remains humble.

Now, you tell me, what can possibly stop him or get in his way at this point in time?

It is a day Martin Luther King Jr, dreamed of in his famous speech, 'I have A Dream.' It looks like that prophecy is about to be fulfilled. A day when blacks, whites and Hispanics, and every race represented in America will come together and stand for change.

I am so glad that it is happening in my life time.

I may be looking in from the outside but it sure feels good to know that dreams do happen if you work hard for it.

I don’t know what the race against John McCain is going to be like but I bet you, it is not going to be an easy ride. However, I am looking forward to it because both camps are going to give as good as they have got but whose is going to be best?

We will all find out in November I believe.

Bring it on. Let’s get the history machine rolling.

Image: Google and Time Magazine

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Why is Growing Up So Painful?

Do you sometimes wish you were a child again and your parents did everything? You know one of those periods in life when you were not accountable to anyone or anything?

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking on the subject of growing up. While it is a process, it is both painful and enjoyable. There are good days without a doubt but the bad days tend to erode one’s memory of the good days. Now if you agree with me, please stand up. However, you must always let the good days stay with you and let go of the bad days or else they will continue to sap at your strength and energy.

Believe me when I say this is the best time to be alive. I mean technology has so evolved, all you have to do is go on the web and everything you need is at your fingertip. If you are lazy and cannot cook, there is always ready made food. Everything is almost now instantaneous. However, there are things that will grind you and bring the best out of you and those things make growing up painful. Believe me, Mary J. Blige is not the only one with ‘Growing Pains’, the title of her latest album.

Success is sometimes an overnight business for a lot of people but for others, you have top work at it. It may take years before you get to that place where you can path yourself on the back but I believe we should path ourselves on the back everyday for the simple fact that we made it through the day and did not lose our minds. Oh yeah, you are not in a mental institution, that is a blessing and you should be grateful.

There are things that kill others daily but you made it through. You ought to be thankful. If you made one good choice or decision this week that will shape the rest of your life; please path yourself on the back because you are one step closer to your purpose while another is on his or her way to the state prison for wrong choices and decisions.

If you have your freedom, your health and your sanity, believe me when I say you are one of the richest people on earth. Some of us don’t have all of that. We may have one and crave the other.

As for me, this is the best time to be alive. I am growing through all of life’s experiences. I am learning everyday through and from my relationships. Some lessons are painful and others, well, let’s just say, I know better now. If I have learnt nothing at all, I am certain of the very notion that when people decide to walk out of my life, I ought to let them walk because even if I get superglue I cannot make them stay. My heart and spirit might be bruised but is it only for a while. There is always enough grace to heal and move on.

Secondly, when people show you who they are, please believe them because they are mot messing about. They are for real. You ought to realise, that’s just life. It is nothing personal.

This is where I go back to one of my favourite people in the world, Susan L. Taylor, “Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front-row seat in our lives.”

Back to the pain of growing up and accountability, this week has been very stressful to say the least. I am still recovering from my workload and the demands life has made on me. But this is the catch, when you say, I want to be this or I want to be that, when I grow up, you never think about the amount of work and time you will have to put in to become that very thing you desire. And that is when growing up becomes painful; when you become accountable to yourself and no one else for your successes and failures. When you are solely answerable for your thoughts, choices, decisions and actions because you know when tomorrow comes, you have no one but yourself to hold responsible.

I am tempted to throw in the towel and just be lazy but that’s not who I am. It has never been part of my make-up. I am too intelligent, blessed, gifted, and talented to waste all of life’s investment in me.

The greater one has given me more than enough to work with, I just need to make time and do the things I need to do. Time flies and you wonder how and when the day disappeared but that is life. It makes room for you but it won’t wait on you to be ready before it moves ahead.

Truth be told, I have been real tired this past week. If I am honest, I was close to tears on Thursday because I had just had enough. Exams, work and all of life’s little demands but when I looked back on my life’s journey, I said to myself, ‘Belinda, you have come too far to go back down on yourself.’

And that my people, is why growing up is painful, when you become accountable for the way your life turns out and no one else. You have no choice but to face up to the stark realities of life, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep walking.

You keep walking because growing up is a quest and a journey that one embarks on to find fulfilment in their life’s purpose and the key to finding it is in your hands.

Image: Google Images

From despair to fragile hope | World news | The Guardian

You have got to read this. A must for everyone.

From despair to fragile hope | World news | The Guardian

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Even With My Issues

I once read a book by Dr Wanda Turner titled, Even With My Issues, and it was enlightening. A book of self realisation and if you haven’t worked it out from the title, it is a self-help book. I have to admit it was a pretty good book.

I liked it. In its simple delivery, it was honest, unapologetic and true to itself. And if you are honest with yourself about your issues you will find that we all have issues but the key is to know what they are and work on them one at a time. It could be that you over-eat or sleep when you ought to be awake pursuing the dream.

You don’t have to tell me but be honest with yourself. Trust me I have mine to deal with. I’m happy to listen and share, and together we can grow but I would never impose on any one. I have done too much of that in the past and it only got me into unnecessary trouble.

Before I deviate further from my mission today, recently, I have been struggling with a particular challenge. It is affecting a few things right now, especially my studies and I have been under a considerable amount of stress lately. As a woman of African descent with the full understanding that we have cultures, traditions and beliefs about what you tell and don’t tell others about yourself.

Believe me, I’m not one for sharing my challenges with the world either. In fact, some of my closest friends don’t even know what I am about to share on this page. It isn’t that I don’t want them to know. I just feel its best if I don't make an issue of it.

I was raised to always smile even when you are dying, no one needs to know. Forgive me but I have to admit that I agree with that mindset to a certain degree.

Now before you get all judgemental. Hear me out. Why share your challenges and troubles with individuals who are neither the cause nor solution to your problem. If they have no significant role to play, then it is none of their business.

Here it is, I am a young woman living with a medical condition. I won’t share the details with you because you have no right to know. If I change my mind tomorrow, I will let you know. I respect Kirsten Dunst for letting the world know she struggles with depression. That takes guts and kudos to her. I respect the young man dying of leukaemia, yet, he is using the platform of his blogpage to help others.

I respect individuals who bring a voice and attention to any medical challenge that society needs to pay attention to. If Magic Johnson didn’t tell the world he was HIV positive when he did, the attention it garnered would have never taken place. People would have never woken up to the fact that HIV is not a disease from Africa or a poor man’s disease. It is a respecter of no one and it can happen to anyone.

Magic did so much coming forward and I respect him everyday for that because he didn’t give up. He has fought all the way and from where I am standing; he is a fulfilled man.

Back to me, when I am ready to let you know I will but this is the point I am trying to make and don’t get it confused. It remains uncontested that our medical records is indeed one of the most private things we have a right to. It is no one else’s business.

I chose not to share mine because it doesn’t matter. It is what it is, life and my personal little challenge. The beauty of it is that I never let it dictate the pace of my life. There are good days and there are bad days. There are teary days also. Today for example because I was overwhelmed by it but the good days are better than the bad days.

I picked up my newspaper this evening and found out presidential hopefuls in the US have to let the world know about their state of health. Obama, was today, declared healthy and fit by his doctor. McCain has also been said to be healthy and Hilary is yet to reveal her medical records.

Surprise is not the word to use. This is the first US presidential election I have followed closely and I am learning new things everyday. However, I can understand why they have to let the world know they are healthy. After all, if you want to be my president, I need to know you will last the four years you have been elected to lead.

This brings me to the point where I ask, who really has a right to know those issues we struggle with? Don’t get me wrong. I am not ashamed of my challenge. To be honest, I am so proud of the fact that despite all I have to deal with I still have a zest for life. If anything, it has made me so passionate about life that every minute counts. I’m living and loving, learning to be me and no obstacle can stop me because nothing can stop me. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you, B is crazy. She does things she knows she should think about twice or has no business doing.

I only ever tell those who need to know because of my safety or for the purpose of work and education. I remember when I was at Uni and had to tell my lecturers. It helped a lot because they understood why I was missing from class or could not meet a deadline or needed a deferral. It also meant they understood when I slept off during a lecture or seminar, and didn't pick on me because I could not help the situation. Yet, I completed my degree.

Even with my postgrad right now, the sitaution is the same. I look so drunk when I get home, all I can summon strenght to do is take off my shoes and hit my bed.

Recently, I had to fill in a job application form and there was a question about any personal or ethical challenges you may have faced and how you dealt with it. After much consideration I used my medical condition as one of the most challenging things I have faced in life and was quick to explain how I have dealt with it to date. Low and behold, I have an interview with one of the world’s most respected newspapers very soon. Now I don’t know if that was appealing to them but it was a milestone for me. I never share that part of myself so publicly but I took a chance and it worked out okay.

I don’t know what you or any one thinks about this or how you feel about it. Do people have a right to know about our personal health issues? I’ll leave that decision to you.

As for me, I am happy to keep my issue my issue because even with my issue, the beat goes on. Life goes on and nothing can stop me.

Image: Google Images

Monday, May 26, 2008

All About Love - Book Review

In the last three years, I can boldly confess that I have not missed an issue of Essence. It is and will forever be one of my all time favourite magazines. I find it therapeutic to read the stories of courage and empowerment every month. The magazine caters to the needs of an African beauty like me.

The first time I read the column, ‘In The Spirit’ by Susan L. Taylor, I was blown away. It was touching, honest and real. Here is a woman, who is known world over sharing her heart and soul, from her failures to her success, her fears, insecurities and anxieties. It takes courage to stand bold and be naked with other women because you know what we are like. Come on tell the truth, you know I am talking about you.

I thought to me myself, isn’t she a lady? She is the epitome of beauty, at 61, she looks good for a granmama. I love her to bits. Then I discovered the first instalment of those powerful columns I had been reading for months. She had put it into a book years back. If you have never read, ‘In The Spirit, The Inspirational Writings’ Of Susan L. Taylor, go get yourself a copy.

I am not one for plugging people’s product but you should get one as a woman. Read a chapter before you go to bed, meditate and girl! You will feel good about life and love even if you are all alone in your bed.

Since then, I have read every article by her religiously. It gives me strength to know a woman like Taylor is willing to stand naked before the world, and she is not afraid to say, this is who I’m.

Her latest offering, ‘All About Love’, is no different. Powerful, punchy and straight to the point; she is telling it like it is and I’m saying ride on sista. The stage is yours.

Once again, Taylor takes us on a journey of self-discovery, inner strength, self-love, faith to walk on water, forgiveness, family, finding peace, your love relationship with yourself and of course your man. She tells us about her struggles, her fears and how she takes each day as it comes to her.

Above all, she puts things into perspective from the point of view that there is a higher source you can always go to. She tells us the answer to life, our challenges and those personal issues your friends don’t even know about is LOVE.

When you love yourself, you will treat yourself right and because you are love, those around you will also feel the love that is within you because it will come out. You can’t fake it, sooner or later, the mask will come off.

I have devoured my copy every night since I got it but when I got to the section on relationships, it blew my mind. Here I am, a young woman in waiting. If you are wondering what that means, it means, I am a single lady who knows one of these days, she is going to meet the right man for her. You know what we call it. My heartbeat. At the same time, I am doing what I know to be better in life because I don’t want to mistreat my man. Hell no, he gets enough of that out there. Hence, when he gets home sista needs to set the atmosphere for brotha to flow.

Guess what Miss Taylor did to me, she took the lid off. She told me the truth to my face and said, Belinda, you have work to do. It isn't all about getting the man. You must be ready for whatever he brings on board. Ouch! That hurt but it is the truth. How about this for some home truth?

“When a sister is connected to her spiritual core, she has found her glory. She is on fire with desire for living and loving. She’s openhearted, full of joy and passion. Her way of living is an expression of reverence for life – for her own and all others – so she’s soft and sensitive. She honours above all else her covenant with God, and so she wants for nothing. Men of dignity and faith show up. They can’t resist her. They feel at home with her because she’s at home with herself.” Susan L. Taylor – author, All About Love

Can you boldly say you are at home with yourself? That is the task every young woman out there should set for herself, to be at home with herself. To be comfortable and love who she is and never apologise for it. It has taken me years and I’m still in that classroom of life, where I’m learning to be at home with myself. You see, when you are at home with yourself, people will know. You will never have to conform to be accepted because you know who you are.

Society has given us different images of a woman but I ask of you today, what kind of woman are you? Who is that woman you have you defined yourself as? Have you mapped out an action plan to becoming her and finding fulfilment in her?

Before you can find fulfilment in a man’s bed, you must first find one with yourself. If not each time you get with your man, it will be sex and not love making. When you are filled with love, you will make it memorable for him. Remember, it is you the woman, who comes to bed with your emotions. For him, it is physical. However, when you are the fulfilled woman that you are, you will make it memorable for him. He will be at work and start calling, I’m on my way home. Why - because you left a piece of yourself in and with him last night. Don’t you dare stop reading; you know I am telling the truth right there.

In conclusion, like Miss Taylor, I will never apologise for the behaviour of a man who does not know how to treat a woman right but if you are like me, take this to the bank.

“Choose a man you can love, and work with him. Or commit to understanding more deeply the one you’re with. But before any man becomes your lover, make him your friend and, most important, see him as your brother. Don’t let little things irritate you. When there’s conflict, soften your heart, recognise his innocence – or ignorance – and don’t have an attitude. Speak kindly. Be reverent. Practice peace. Be a role model for the behaviour that you want him to adopt.” Susan L. Taylor - author, All About Love

Easier said than done but it is possible. This is where I tell you that's one of many nuggets in this book. Go get yourself a copy because I am not coming back to this subject.

Images: Essence Magazine and Barnes and Noble

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Killing Streets Of London

It was just another normal day for me today but it wasn't normal at all.

I left my house this morning for my NCTJ Mock Exam because I have a news writing exam tomorrow. So, I thought why not pop down to Oxford Street, get myself a portfolio to use for my news cuttings.

You see, I am a trainee journalist. I went into Ryman's and being the woman that I am, went down to H&M to get some tops for the summer. I never got the tops because it wasn't important anymore.

So, I walked on and got the shock of my life.

A young black man in his twenties had been stabbed. "A severe stab wound to the chest" according to the police officer, who unknowingly blurted it out without realising I was a journalist.

Today wasn't about getting a great scoop or being the first journo on the scene. It was about the fact that for months I have read about knife crime in the newspapers, seen it on television but to see it live is a different ball game.

Yes, the journalist in me kicked into action. I took pictures, asked questions, even called the BBC news desk. Almost got my head taken off but that's okay. It comes with the job.

But the story before me didn't change. The young black man was being worked on by paramedics and I could see them trying to stabilise his heart. I have never seen so much blood or seen a heart beat so fast.

He was so helpless and I knew it was a case of fingers crossed.

A stab wound to the chest is always fatal.

This is where I say, enough is enough London.

Its time we wake up and reclaim our city. Its time they stop killing our sons, brothers, cousins, friends and family members.

We need to take a stand and this is the time to do just that.

I don't care if the government is struggling because the public has lost faith in them.

I don't care who is saying how it should be done or shouldn't be done.

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of this. If we are not careful, society will soon become desensitised to it and soon, it will become just 'another stabbing' and that should never be the case.

Now is the hour for real action and we must take our children back and let them be children again. We must take our sons back and let them be our sons again.

I am tired of all the promises and never seeing any action.

Parents, take charge of your children. Communities stand up to your sons and tell them this isn't the way to go.

Where is the 'golden youth of Britain' going to?

Very soon we will have no young black men left because they are either in jail, unemployed or they have been killed by way of the knife.

I have had enough and enough is enough.

'It takes a village to raise a child,' let's raise our sons to be men and not murderers.

What are you going to do about this evil that is hovering over the land?

What am I going to do about it.

Alone, we can achieve nothing but together we can get our sons back.

Let's go get our boys and raise them to be men of valour and honour.

Image: Belinda Otas

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Whole lotta Political Stuff

There's a whole lot going on in my head right now. I'm wondering, who the next American president will be? A new survey shows 19 per cent of Americans are not ready for a black president. I say wake up baby, its the eight year of the new millenium and you ain't see nothing yet.

This is the first of many surprises to come your way. You best get with the programme.

I have never been one to get political because I think politics is a dirty business but the last time I checked, democracy is government of the people by the the people and for the people. So, I best get with it and voice my opinion because I am affected by their f**king damn policies.

I have always been a big fan of the Clintons and I still like Bill Clinton despite his track record. I don't care if he slept with anyone in the Oval office. Was he good at his his job? You bet and that is what matters to me.

Did he have a heart? You bet. Was he wrong, oh hell yes but do I condemn him? No. We are humans and make mistakes. Did he deserve the witchhunters who went after him? No, it was a bloody waste of time and tax payers money because he is still alive, the CLINTON name is still ringing big on our televsion screens and newspapers but I wonder what became of Ken Star? Not sure if that's the right name but that tells you how obselete he is. I don't even remember his name. The damn f**ker!

Anyhow, before I was rudely interuppted by that name, Ken Star. I think the Clintons do a great job selling their story to us. Well, Hillary does. However, recent times have shown a different side to her that I don't like. The one which shows me a woman, who is a high achiever, I respect that. The politician that cries in public, I like that. The one that fights for children and women, I like that. The Hillary who gets the crowd going, I like that but what I don't appreciate is the way she took Obama's gaffe and turned it into a media circus. I don't like.

So, he said what he said about the working class of Pennsylvania. I am no American citizen but there is a lot to think about on that. Was he right? I don't know. Is there any truth to it? You be the judge.

Now, please, don't get me wrong. I am in no way insinuating that what he said was right. I don't think it was wrong either. But is there some element of truth to it? You be the judge once again.

However, based on Obama's slogan, if you want change, you must be willing to let go of the things that hold you back in order to attain the things in your future that you so desire right?

Now, that said, he rightly apologised and admitted it was wrong judgement. But no, my one time nice Hillary won't let it go. She drummed on it until the drums just couldn't hear themselves.

Then I thought, she ain't so innocent after all. She is a bulldog and knows how to fight dirty.

Yes, that comes with the arena of polictics but that is also what I hate about it. They tell you sweet things to get your votes, fight dirty, know how to paint an image but when it really comes down to it, you will be surprised how fast that mask can come off.

Then again, nothing surpises me much about politicians these days. They are not so superhuman afterall. They are flesh and blood like you and I. Give them a break.

This is where I ask, is Obama really about to make history? Well, so far he has. I mean, he has gone way further than Shirley Chisholm or Jesse Jackson in their bid for presidency and I am liking Barry a whole lot.

Fair to state he has done a few tihngs I don't appreciate. When Donnie McClurkin was attacked in the press because of his statements about homosexuality, Barry went the opposite way. He missed the point on that in my opinion. You can't please both sides. Donnie wasn't attacking anyone. He was simply telling his story and stating what he belived. I thought that is what freedom of expression was all about. Now if you are tyring to get black folks, who love the good Lord God almighty to vote for you. Please don't treat their role model like he is the devil. Selah!

All he said was, 'What people do in their bedroom is their business.' I agree. There is enough dirty laundry out there. Keep your personal business your personal business.

We all need to learn to respect each other and our differences even if you don't like it. You respect it. That is what Human Right is all about right? Live and let's live but we must learn to respect each other.

Oh well, before I deviated, the jury is still out on Barry. Until he gets there and starts doing what he promised, I won't tell you anymore.

All I am saying is, we are seeing things we would never have seen 50 years ago and in my opinion, that's good.

Personally, I'm sick and tired of folks who say the right things to get paid while a minority group in society gets played. If you have a problem with that go f**k yourself.

For now, I am keeping my eyes and ears open to see how Hillary and Barry play this out because it has dragged on for way too long. I mean, even the damn Republicans know how to get it over and done with, and in time. Then again, I don't respect anyone who quits. So keep the good fight going. Selah!

Image: (Google)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back To Basics

Been gone too long. However, I am going back to my first love Writing the stories I would like to read. The ones that make me say awww! The ones that make me think and the ones I can learn a thing or two from.

Its time to come back and pay attention to my blogpage.

It was never my intention to neglect you. Life gave me other things that needed attention and I got carried away.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What have I been Up To?

Life sure has a way of knocking sense into us. Like it or not, your life's trajectory is in your hands and if you do nothing about it, get ready to watch life happen rather you making it happen.

We can all make up an excuse for why we are busy. Yet, achieving nothing. I can't speak for anyone but myself. Studying for a full time degree is scary, working at the same time is hard. Doing all you can to make it in a world where you are the 'Queen B' one day and a nobdy the next, even harder. A world where people can be flaky but you must remain true to who you are.

A world where you will meet some of the nicest people and don't be fooled, some of the cheekiest also. That's my way of not wanting to use the word nasty. However, none of that matters. It isn't about them. Its all about you and what you want out of your life's experiences.

I have just finished a degree, now working on a postgrad and at the same time wanting to earn a living. What I have been up doesn't compare to the lessons I have learnt. The biggest being that life is indeed what you make it.

You will only get from it what you put into it. Bottomline, if you want it bad enough, you will do what you need to do and do it well to get to where you want to get to.

I have cried and asked questions. Sometimes, I get no answers. Sometimes I am too slow is the response I get. 'You need to move faster' my intuition tells me. I sit down and argue but I'm moving. It says 'Na! Not fast enough. You are making excuses and I don't like excuses.

This brings me to what I have been up. Why leave my blogpage unattended to for a little while when writing is my passion? Where did all my energy go to? I wish I had answers.

I haven't been playing for sure. Like I said, was finishing off a degree, now working on a postgrad and still writing for every publication that likes the ideas I send them.

Is that enough? Hell no. I need to do more and time is moving faster than I can keep up with it.

Hence, I feel lazy some days and other days angry that I am not doing enough. Everyone around me tells me I'm and I shouldn't be hard on myself. You see, I don't know how not to be hard on myself. Sometimes, it feels like that's the only way, I can stop making excuses, get off my ass and get some work done.

Do I sound like a perfectionist? Yes I am but I have learnt, 'perfection is a myth but excellence is a reality.' Now, I am working on being excellent. That is what I have been up to. Taking life as it comes but making the most of it, so it doesn't leave me behind.