There are things we males do not ever want to admit. We would readily admit that we find cooking a not so pleasant task a human ever had to carry out. I’m telling you; it is of utmost ease for us, the three legged to say yes boss than it is to go around and actually tell people that a certain not so good looking Bill is our boss at work…And that he actually has a say on wether or not we and our better halves are happy or not at any cussed or blessed point in time.
My mother taught me how to cook. It was never a task to learn because I needed to-well at least in my head any ways. Rather I learnt because I enjoyed the idea and the ability to have control over the outcome of an effort. The truth is all else on earth is very much already rigorously controlled in its design and also/ therefore in its outcome. You have no choice but to follow certain rules and then and only then can you be able to, after so much effort, get a desired but often pre-defined and confined result. It is different with cooking. The main cause of this difference is the variety of the ingredients the cooker is free to use, provided he has the muscle needed to access the variety. The possibilities are only limited by the cooker’s imagination.
Cooking affords me the space to enjoy my innate and God given gift to control the outcome of my efforts and to actually admit when something wrong happened to my cooking. It might be that my black naughty cat came into the kitchen, got on to the table and touched the wrong button and burnt and my well thought out meal for the night. Perfectly ruining the perfect occasion and spoiling the perfect surprise I had planned out and almost perfectly executed to my perfect better half’s perfect and much sort after enjoyment.
Because of this unfortunate incident, an almost perfect day got itself ruined and therefore changed my lady friend’s day- and therefore ruined my own mood. I could have never known the cat could get me into such unlucky conditions. Not ever.
Having seen the above, I am sure you now begin to understand why I very much enjoy the art of cooking. It one of the very few things in life where I as a male person am allowed to admit-essentially-that I basically burnt the food and that in the process ruined mine and my love’s day. Women know this but because of being the devilish sweet hearts they are, they decide to let us slip the rod and let things be.
There however the more pressing issues a male person would rather find himself in much greater and often very necessary trouble than to admit. Besides learning to smoke and drive cigarette smoke out his nose, this in-ability to admit affords us the luxury of this monkey business we have come to know as a family unit. You see; were it not for the three legged animal’s in-ability to admit, we wouldn’t have this family thing. By default, men and women fear each other( I suspect we men fear women the most-sometimes not all animals are created equal). As a result they wouldn’t dare speak to women were they allowed not to punish themselves so painfully unfairly. Do you by any chance know how very scary it is to say hi to a girl you got yourself no choice but to like? I mean really like? I wouldn’t admit I know dear but yeah it is. You look at and the minutes pulls those rabbit eyes of hers over yours; you lose your bearings; your boy personality GPS goes all raving bonkus and squishy all at the same time. A horribly too nice a feeling for any three legged poor soul to experience. Sex could be just sex to a donkey and nothing else but this, this is the stuff legends. Sex pales in comparison to it and nothing else will ever matter as much. Not ever. It the one thing that pushes us males to go all braging all over town about our one true moment with the most beautiful girl our poor souls have ever had the pleasure-and torture of seeing. Poor thing never said a word but got a please don’t hurt me smile on her face and now she’s all this three legged bear lives for. She is why he freely and fearlessly goes a 150KM underground each and every day, why he lets Billy be his work boss and insult his ego all day and night(in his dreams), why he all of sudden is at loggerheads with not just the world but his own very cross and scary mother. This girl finally kicks the bad breathed player out of him and makes him admit- after all this years that he is nowhere close to being invincible after all. She after one rabbit eyes look has become both his strength and weakness. She is not just everything to the poor soul but also, above all his ability to actually admit.
Few things are as powerful as this in a man’s life. We don’t often admit so easily but the girl we love will have unlimited power over us should she learn how easy it is to make us admit. But being the sweet hearts them lady friends are, they let things be and let us slip.
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Below is a photo show casing one of Swaziland’s most world known traditional ceremony. The Umhlanga or Reed dance the English call it, is a Swazi national event held by the
Swazi in honor of the reigning king( King Mswat iiii ). It is attended by thousands of the Nation’s virgin girls, from all the country’s chiefdoms and allegiances. The year 2013 saw about 50 000 young,old,poor,rich and high born virgin girls attending the event. Among them were visiting girl attendants from Kingships across Southern Africa…The Zulu are always there, a number of participants-from as far away as Germany frequently frequent Umhlanga and dance their hearts out to swaying simple rhythm of the masses to a song they rarely if not at all understand.
Back to basics. Umhlanga-reed dance is held every August,the date is announced by traditional astrologers after a study of the moon and a number of other cultural considerations. The date is then relayed to traditional authorities, then the traditional councils at the Ludzidzini Royal Palace then to the Prime Minister and his Parliament. After that the Induna/maiden head-girl is free to relay the date to the whole nation. Girls are then, when the day arrives, relayed by the numerous Chiefdoms scatterd all over the country to the Ludzidzini Palace where they register their names and prensence in song and dance. From that day forward the girls are considered holy and therefore verily untouchable to the present male population. The funny thing is, even though indlamu and the whole traditional regalia scantly covers their precious bodies up,things like the word sexy and nice seldom enter your mind when you look at them. The only word/words dominating the poor three legged monster’s usually unholy mind is ‘beautiful and precious’. Nothing more. Then second day is a day of rend and dance, the forth comes with an early morning long walk to numerous but designated wetlands. Here the Umhlanga or reed grass is cut… It customary though that Inkosatana/head maiden(usually and elder princess ) be the first of all present to cut the first reed. The girls then carry the reed to the Royal palace; I do not know where they take all this energy but their singing never dies out. They will walk-dance all the way to Ludzidzini until, under the watchful eye of the King,Queen mother and the queens they deliver the reed and dance some more. I am telling you: there but a few things ever so naturally beautiful in today’s fake clogged world. And one of them is the Umhlanga ceremony of Swaziland.
The third day is the same as the others,only that the girls dance and sing all day. It is however the most anticipated day of all other days of the Swazi year. Why? It is the day we the Swazi see the new Liphovela…The girl according to the King, who is the most beautiful, most elegant maiden of all present. And believe you me, he never disappoints. King Mswati iii has an eye for beauty, his wives are the most beautiful of all queens. Hands down. Full Stop.
We will again have Umhlanga this year. I hope we continue having it till a time immemorial. Unfortunately political parties world over are discrediting the presence and validity of royalty and therefore threatening the continued presentence of true traditional culture and customs and therefore world attractions and events such as this. Also, the death of original and ethnic traditions means the death of holy,often sacred and ecologically valuable and thus ethnically protected resources. There is much to lose in the long term should we lose the Kingship of the Swazi King.
I was never a person
Never in my short life
Have I ever become
Elated of spirit
All for the sake
I hate these…
I hate this country
And I hate these,
It is June sixteen
The day my forever
Age mate died.
It is June sixteen
The day my forever
To remain father
It is my day of failure
My day of success.
It is my day of joy
My day of disappointment
I the son of Mathonga-Ntunga
Am nothing today,
I the son of Mathonga-Nguni
Am a shadow today
I the son of Ndaba kaMalandela
Am a pi-dog today.
You died for nothing my brother.
You died for nothing my dearest father.
This your sweat and blood amounted to murder and pain,
My mother cries daily
My father sees me not
My family loves me no more
My lover loves to leave
And my friends die with me
Her appeals meant nothing;
I chose to run to the bed of
My freedom is for drugs and rape
My room for sex and death
My brain for fornication and abuse
My genitalia for pain and pain only
My hands for rot and furry
I run to pleasure and inflicting pain.
I know no value of conscience nor God:
He is a prison warder for me,
He is not my power but is my weakness
He is a vengeful fable of a child’s doll she calls a God
A living, thinking and rational being such as I am
Is in need of no God but himself!
I need not the God of my fathers
I need not the God of my oppressor
I need not this person who for 400 years forgot me.
His inexistence from this my mind
Is my freedom,
My freedom to steal, rape, hate and inflict pain.
My liberty to ignore education and own grand mother’s cry
My freedom to uneducate and murder this, my own son,
Starve her to death.
Let him eat or die with the dogs
Rot this my pain
Kill this my society
Murder this my own country
And scatter this my own people
I the son of my father’s black house.
This my country is my freedom
This my forever young age mate is my liberty
This my dearest father is why you died.
What then makes you believe
I love my country
All I do is show her hate.
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I have always wanted to be a somebody in life, who doesn’t really?
I grew with rough father…And sister. She the older one. She was fun but most of the time she was the kind of person you wouldn’t count on to have fun. She wasn’t mysterious or anything, only bitter. Very bitter: the kind of bitter you only see in old English stories. To frank, I never got to see her as a person. Only a strong female bitterness impersonated. Even more so when it came to me; the skinny little brother who always talked little and stuttered if you happened to corner into a conversation. To add salt into the wound, my face was always a mess…I had one constantly runny nose. Imagine… Oh dear.
I can’t say much about my father, I understood little of him and what I did wasn’t very pleasant to an unsecured child such as I was. Mother says he loved me but I really cannot remember him loving me. Sure he made marvelous toys for me but pity and failure was all I saw in his eyes. That was the look in his eyes when he looked at me. It was different with the others. My brother, the eldest died before I knew him. Maybe that the reason behind my father’s eyes, I can never be sure now cause he has lost his eyes…and with went all his skills and abilities besides his pride and stubborn nature.
My father used to call me names…The worst of which was dummy. I hated that word, really did-even now I hate it; passionately. That word is the one major thing to ever shape me. Outwardly, I proved myself at every chance I got. I had to be better at everything; had to pass, had to fight everybody, had to have the better toys, the better brothers, the better girls, house, words and knowledge. Every had to be better. Trouble is I couldn’t. I try all I could I couldn’t. All I could was to fight and fight I did. Mom was always crying, always concerned; always there. She never failed. Until once she called me into the bed room, sat me down and asked me when exactly was I to change?
I never answered. The only thing that bothered me was that she was crying. Nothing more.
We were having the time of our lives once. You see, I was only happiest when I was alone with my friends. They were different off course; securer, smatter and more alive than the shadow they played with. The one who never talked just played and followed the leader. There’s something funny though; in all these, Gift Sibiya always observed. Observed almost as if in a dream…Saw and felt everything but never quite there…Never fully involved, never really with others. And then I knocked my head. I fell from on top of two desks and knocked the back of my head.
From that I had things not so different but quite differently. I never noticed it but things fell well into place. As would a child who had lost his hearing without notice I again gained my hearing without notice.
I had the same feeling of in adequacy, shame and disgust at myself but never was I involved…Not until I found myself in standard two and left alone well into the top three while the teacher was calling on those who got lower grades than mine to sit down. I looked at my paper and realized that I had not just gotten the highest score in a Social Studies but it was a 100% pass.
From that day I got involved-I always will be. Jehovah help me never to lose this.
It is not the excellence that made me human. It is the involvement with the people around me. That what made me human…A someone in life.
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