DAY 21: HOW TO NURTURE YOUR CREATIVE BONE

Many of us have children but we have a picture of their lives and how we want them to play out. We believe that a child should go to pre-school, primary school, secondary school and eventually university; thereafter, they are expected to find a job, find a mate, get married and so on and so forth. I got a list off https://www.helpscout.com/blog/creative-wisdom/. I agree with the 7 ways shared by Paul Jun although I see them a little differently in relation to my world.

Many of us have children but we have a picture of their lives and how we want them to play out. We believe that a child should go to pre-school, primary school, secondary school and eventually university; thereafter, they are expected to find a job, find a mate, get married and so on and so forth. I got a list off https://www.helpscout.com/blog/creative-wisdom/. I agree with the 7 ways shared by Paul Jun although I see them a little differently in relation to my world.

Over time I have come to learn that the same way you plant a seed in the soil and you water it grow, it is the same way you groom or nurture your creativity so that it can flourish even more. It is however so interesting how creatives actually thrive in calm environments which other people may consider unserious environments. Today I am going to speak to the creative in you and how you can actually nurture it.

  1. Break out of your craft; Some times as creatives we get stuck in something we are good at and we believe that this is where we thrive, we then tend to get comfortable especially if we are in structured environments. However, we need to break out and try something uncomfortable. This will bring our brains back to thinking outside the box and see things in a whole new different light. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be discouraged and blocked by the people we have to work with [this is for people who are not exactly self employed or have to work as teams].

2. Be okay with Imperfect work; With creatives, there’s hardly perfect work because there’s always something to change. There’s always a new idea that comes up all the time, it can be both exciting and frustrating. Part of the reasons we keep coming up with ideas is because we want to create something perfect but I am here to tell you that there’s actually beauty in imperfection. There’s no need to put yourself on so much pressure for producing perfect work, you are probably setting a very high standard for yourself.

3. Strive to Be Indispensable; It is important that as an individual you strive to be indispensable. Knowing that you are so useful that people would fight for you, the work you do should speak for you. Do your work so well that people know you for your good work, not them having to look for reasons why they should keep you let alone choose you to do a particular job or project for that matter. Master your craft, whichever it is in the moment and learn everything you need to learn.

4. Be Conscious of Your Daily Schedule; I like to plan and so I am very intentional. Being a blogger has taught me that I need to have a schedule otherwise I might never get anything done. Not planning feeds procrastination and then freezes creativity because you end up being all over the place trying to do everything and in the end doing nothing.

5. Find Your Flow; For example; if you’re a writer, you need to figure out when is the best time for you to write. Do you have a flow in your day? What does your day look like? I am not a routine person but when it comes to work, there are hours when my creative juices are flowing and when I have a brain freeze. So I am learning to capitalise on the hours when I am relaxed and my brain is settled, then I start to create things and ideas.

6. Finally, remember to rest. Sometimes we are too excited to create things that we forget that our bodies and minds get tired. The interesting thing is that if you don’t rest, your body will do it for you…simple!!! You do not have to be sleeping to rest, you just need to take a break…

DAY 20: CELEBRATING AFRICAN CHILDREN

#Qweshunga #WinterABC #StoriesofInnovation

This week is so awesome mostly because I have made it this far, with the crazy schedule I have at the moment, it has taken so much intentionality and love to get here. But as a creative, “stories of innovation” is quite the theme. My mind goes to so many different directions but let me try and catch it so I select a topic to talk about.

Growing up we played so many games but that’s not the interesting part. The most exciting part is that most of these games we created by ourselves! Oh yes we did๐Ÿ˜€. I was not exactly born in the dot come era; so growing up, television was regulated, we therefore had to figure out ways of staying occupied without spoiling things in the house.

We made kites out of sticks and polythene bags; after making the kite, one had to run around with it so that it can gain momentum with the wind and it was even a whole lot more exciting if you attached a really long string, then it would fly so high that even the neighbours would know that you have a kite. This in a way got us bonding and making new friends because we has something common to talk about.

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Then there was the different kinds of cars; some you would be able to sit in, others you would have to drive while on the outside. This was so much fun mostly because you would make it from scratch and the fulfilment of having to drive it thereafter was such an achievement! for us it was as big as owning a real car๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

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There was this tyre drive, oh my goodness the thrill it would give you! Some of us would even have big tyres, pour some water in there, fix 2 sticks in there and start running [also translated as driving]. In a way we actually stayed fit because these games were such an exercise…eh! We would even do competitions to see who drove faster than the other.

There was also our version of an aeroplane though now when I think about it, I realise it was more of a wind mill๐Ÿ˜‚ but who cares, each one of us was a pilot at some point๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€โœˆ๏ธ. You would fix a stick in the leaf and run! then the leaf would spin, the faster you ran, the more it spins. We even made a doll out of banana Fibre, look! the amount of time you would spend moulding this doll, brought so much value to it that even my mother would applaud you once you brought that project to completion.

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I can go on and on because the list is endless and it is on this basis that I confidently say that Africa is such a pool of innovators. Imagine if all these brains were put together in this day and age, the awesomeness that would be created…so allow me celebrate African children for their creativity and innovation….here’s to you๐Ÿฅ‚.

DAY 19: MY MIND… A WHOLE ROLLERCOASTER ๐Ÿ˜‰

First of all, allow me to show off a little bit; today’s topic is “sponsored” by Qweshunga, an organization I am privileged to be a part of. Did you ever think that play therapy is a thing? Did you know that play can help you heal from so many things including low self esteem, anger, pain, rejection, fatigue, name it! Check us on on all social media platforms…you can even watch a couple of Qweshunga episodes via https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQPdTRt0Ljed2y1HRvNF2Ew/videos.

Anyway, back to the topic of the day. Being a teenager wasn’t as eventful for me but what I remember really enjoying was knowing some guy likes you and you deliberately keep him guessing whether you like him back or not. This didn’t happen with just one boy… Oh my! I owned this mind drama.

Let me paint a quick picture for you; as a teenager, I was such a tomboy that dating was no where close on my agenda. I liked hanging out with boys because they were easy to be with, straight forward, no drama, no mood swings, it was so easy. Then it came to my realization that I am a quite attractive girl like boys took interest in! This became a game for me (I know! Stop judging me). It was so intriguing to know that a guy had a soft spot for me and could do things for me even before I ask. So I would ride on that to get things done for me, yes I did. (now I know you’re really judging me).

In my defense, I grew up knowing relationships are for adults and by adults I mean people done with school. I really didn’t know what to do with these boys let alone figure out how I feel. Truth is I found the attention rather exciting so I fed it enough to keep getting it but never exactly came out to say anything. So I would give an occasional smile in the middle of a lesson and the boy would be all over. It was a whole casino in my head I tell you; so I would try a couple of things here and there to see the boy’s reaction. Some would even secretly follow me just so they can pay the bill at the canteen… Haha yes!

So these were like mental relationships if you asked me. There was never a time any of them was bold enough to tell me how they felt. I just kept getting special treatment and with time I chose to enjoy it and not necessarily commit to anything. I will tell you that my mind had the most fun with these guys๐Ÿ˜‚. Today though, I know the danger of playing this game because I have learned that non-verbal communication is very loud. I have had opportunities to do and yes for some people I even started the game but now I deliberately stop it before it gets crazy.

The mind is a very powerful place to be, I can confidently tell you that if I had to choose between my mind being displayed on a screen and being shot, I just might go for the bullet… Yes! It’s that crazy in my mind. Thank you yo Qweshunga for reminding me of this… Haha, even now I have a silly smile on my face.

DAY 18: AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY

When it comes to Africa, spirituality can be a broad topic to tackle. The beliefs of Africans are very diverse and involve a number of groups of people. Spirituality is passed on from generation to generation through stories, songs, poems, beliefs, festivals, folk songs, I could go on.

African spirituality encompasses God, taboos even witch craft is in there. People believed and still believe in traditional healers, the use of magic, veneration of the dead and the efficiency of herbs as medicine. Some animals even have a strong spiritual representation in Africa. For example; a black cat signified bad luck, a woman lifting her garments and exposing her buttocks was a curse and so on and so forth. There are different ceremonies that are done in respect of the spirituality of our continent. For example; the ceremony to dedicate twins in Uganda, the Okuyi from Ghana and Gabon.

I remember one time we were taken to a traditional healer apparently for him to free us from all form of disease; when we got there, there was someone he was attending to, he handed him a nicely done banana leaf and asked him to place it on his forehead; after about 5 minutes, he picked it from his head and cowrie shells appeared on the thing… The fear that grabbed me, I immediately felt a rambling in my stomach as if I needed to dash to the bathroom. Did I mention he was also seated on a bark cloth? This was the start of my fear for the bark cloth and yes… I still fear it ๐Ÿคฆ.

But now that I am older, it hit me that this is how the people got through their times. There was no fancy hospital to go to, all they had was herbs and a traditional healer. But African spirituality is so deeply rooted that if one chose to even understand it, it wound take a long while because at some point you have to deal with different ethnic groups, tribes, countries and each one has its own beliefs. At the very center of it we agree that there is a superior God somewhere even though we have all these gods sort of to assist in the different “departments”.

In Uganda, there was/is a God for nearly everything ; the god of rain, the god of wind, the god of the rainbow; look… Just name it and we shall tell you which god is responsible for it. These then directly speak to the taboos and beliefs that we run with, in our daily lives. Like, do not sweep at night, girls do not whistle, do not jump an elder when they seat with legs stretched out among others.

When you sit down to actually analyze the African spirituality, you will notice that therein was a formula for raising children, helping them through sickness, keeping them in touch with where they come from among others. I have come to learn that it is difficult to make decisions today without first understanding why things were being done the way they were then. This even affects who you marry and the things they believe in.

What are some of those beliefs that got you thinking about spirituality? Talk to me in the comment section; can’t wait to hear from y’all!!! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ

DAY 17: IT’S JUST COLOR

I have been looking at the world around me and admiring a couple of things and people. I have had the privilege of meeting and working with many people from all walks of life. I have seen blacks rise and do things we only dreamed of and thought they only happen to people in different continents. Even as Africans, there are things we have distanced ourselves from thinking that they are way out of our reach.

Before, doing heart surgeries in Africa was unheard of; someone had to travel out of the continent to get it done. Now you can do plastic surgery in Africa, recently in Uganda (where I come from) ๐Ÿ˜, doctors separated siamese twins; https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/ugandan-doctors-separate-conjoined-twins-3803806. It’s so funny that even I doubted the first time I heard of it, and this is exactly what I am talking about…the mindset! We have locked our minds into quite a number of impossibilities that even when growth happens or the unexpected for that matter, we are so quick to dismiss it.

What happened to belief in ourselves as Africans? Why do we very easily tear our people down? I have seen our people shine in movies and they do such an excellent job; Cherlize Theron is South African, Djimon Hounsou is from Benin, Edi Gathegi is Kenyan, Chiwetelu Ejiofor is Nigerian, Boris Kodjoe is Ghanaian, Daniel Kaluya is Ugandan, the list is endless…Africa is shining!!!!

It is things like these that have showed me that it is just color that we have allowed to shape our mindset and block us from the many opportunities availed to us. What any continent can do, be sure Africa can do. Let us stop limiting ourselves; you know that saying that the sky is the limit? Let us stop editing it to color is the limit. I am not dismissing the fact that racism exists, I am saying that we could be a part of that change that we so much want to see.

As for me, I am going to continually celebrate Africa because we have got all the cool things… It’s TRUE. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ

DAY 16: WHAT IS CLIMATE TO YOU?

Apart from just answering the question in class; “what is climate?” do we actually know what climate is or what it means to us? I have had an opportunity to travel outside Africa and I must say I did not appreciate the drastic weather change. Some places are very cold based on the season, even when it’s shining๐Ÿคฆ, others are hot and this requires a real shift in your wardrobe. Trust me this is not the case in my country Uganda.

I have been to the North, East, West and South of Uganda but the weather is not so different. At the very least, for the cold places all I need is my hoodie and socks and I’m okay. I have had the opportunity to really travel around my country and appreciate the green or the lack there of; like in the Karamoja region, here even the water hits your body differently.

I have learned that my country is very beautiful but most of all that many people do not know what their contribution is to the climate/weather issue in our country. There are many furniture stores, so much garbage thrown all over the place, pretty much 90% of the people can’t even filter their garbage to differentiate non-bio degradable and bio-degradable. People happily toss garbage out the window of taxis and even personal cars; this breaks my heart every time I see it. People are confidently building malls and apartments in swamps!

Imagine a world where each one of us makes a deliberate contribution to the environment. No littering, each home separated their garbage based on degradable and non-degradable, people dispose off garbage rightfully, we reduce the usage of kavera (polythene bag), people refrain from building in Swamps, this list is endless. Uganda would be way more beautiful than it is now but most of all, the climate will have been catered for, and agriculture being one of our core activities, even the farmers would be smiling…

Tell me; as an individual, what are you contributing to the climate change? ๐ŸŒ…๐ŸŒ„

DAY 15: DIGITIZATION; A NECESSARY EVIL

Been thinking about the transition from analog to digital… It had been a gradual one but rather interesting, it still is for me. One minute we are enjoying rotating the phone to dial a number, next we are fascinated about the first mobile phone that we ever saw. Never would it have occurred to me that that mobile phone could become and do so many things including physical human detachment.

I could sit in my house with my phone and not care about the world outside. I could order for food, catch up on people’s lives on social media, watch the news, play a game, watch a movie, name it! Digitization is so cool and mind blowing. It however leaves me wondering if it has done more harm than good to my country. Uganda has warm people, we are known for being really hospitable and accepting.

Right now, with our lives moving so fast and in different directions, friendship are run differently. We could have a regular zoom call just to catch up on life. Which is great; the issue is, then with time it becomes redundant. Some people will have data challenges, others network challenges and for others device issues. I then ask myself, would we die if we just met in person?

Some people even say “I have not seen you in a long time but I know you’re okay because I see your posts on social media” ๐Ÿค”, this is so heart warming๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„. Don’t get me wrong, digitization is so brilliant and necessary, my question though is to what extent do we allow it to affect our daily lives? When asked how your parents are doing, you have no clue except for the fact that you wired money to them and that on the video call you had with them, they “seemed” okay.

Today i looked at my calendar and the number of zoom calls there in are way more than the physical engagements I have had since the year began. And this is all round; work, family, friends, all of it! Do you think our generation would survive if we suddenly had a shift back into analog? ๐Ÿ˜‚ When I traveled to the Karamoja region in Uganda, it made me reflect on so many things. Like https://justynlove.wordpress.com/2022/06/02/stock-taking-35/ likes to do… Let’s do some stalk taking of our lives, appreciate where we were, where we are and plan for what is to come. Let’s not let go of what’s important.

DAY 14: KNOW ME THROUGH THE CLICK

Influencer ZW: “Social Media”

My brain has been racing and wondering what it is about social media that I would like to talk about. So much going on regarding social media; the good and the bad but that you can even decipher on your own. But this whole brain work got me reminiscing about what the world was like before social media…

The letter writing; oh! this I really enjoyed because it was so thought through. The colored, perfumed paper, the fancy pen used to write๐Ÿ˜, I loved it all. The intentionality to meet and catch up [not that there was any other option anyway] but the fact that even time keeping was key because there was no way of informing each other on arrival, I loved it. So much discipline was put into meeting, catching up and friendship as a whole.

Family time was inevitable because there was nothing else to do but bond especially when the major television and radio station took a break. Don’t get me started on the load shedding, all this would make you focus on the people around you. I remember back in the day my parents, siblings and myself would sit outside, enjoy the moonlight and share stories and jokes. It was such an amazing time spent together.

Today though, with all the technological advancements and social Media platforms, one is able to make a friend at 8:00am and unfriend them at Midday๐Ÿคท. One can befriend even people they have never seen. I think for me the coolest thing here is the fact that different worlds are opened up to each other. I do not have to wonder what the Kardashians are up to, all I have to do is follow them on Instagram or which ever social platforms they are on and I am brought up to speed.

Social media has created such a platform of knowledge and entertainment as well. The fact that one can follow any inspirational person and still be edified and developed without necessarily ever meeting them face to face, that’s fascinating! Likewise, friendships are being formed on all social media platforms! So interesting how someone can be super anti social but has like 10k followers on social media.

I am going to confidently say that social media is a necessary evil. If used well though, everyone has the ability to grow and also make a mark depending on what the motive is anyway.

On that note, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter as @vhusky27, ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰…you can also follow and read my blog. I’m just a click away๐Ÿ˜ƒ

DAY 13: STRENGTH OF AN AFRICAN WOMAN

Teakisi: “African women”

Many years ago, (and I say that because I wasn’t in existence) women in Africa were looked at as healers, home makers. And for much older women after menopause, they perform priestly duties to a smaller degree. In a way, a woman was a big deal on society, just not the bread winner๐Ÿ˜‰.

There seems to be an invisible template that most of the African women use when raising their daughters. Naturally, even our parents raised us to be good wives to a man in the future. We were taught how to submit (indirectly), how to cook, serve a man, how to do ALL kinds of chores! When it came to submission, I do not remember having a clear lesson on this but nearly every African woman seems(ed) to know how to do this (of course I’m hardly talking about today’s woman) – I will get to her in a bit.

In a bid to “submit”, we were taught to put the man first and get to yourself later; if you ever do. This meant that you cooked the food he wanted to eat, made sure the kids are not making noise for him while he sits in the living room to stare at the ceiling or read a newspaper or maybe watch news๐Ÿคท. If he was in the mood for sex, the woman had to stop and be available. This for me is why so many women gave up on climaxing, because 80% of the men make it their show and decide when it ends and most times they hardly notice her absence, her physical presence is enough๐Ÿ™„. Also in a bid to submit, we ended up giving more room for abuse, be it sexual, physical, emotional or otherwise.

Today it’s even worse! Most women have had an opportunity to go to school and advance in education, they hold very important positions in the work places and this has made a number of woman so busy and for some even unavailable. With this most women are enlightened on the fact that they do not have to struggle as if they are in the African Traditional Society anymore! Women now make their own money, the now “win the bread”… Haha.

A part of me misses the traditional society African woman. But one thing will always stand out, African women are gold; they have beautiful hair, bodies, if raised well they are a force to reckon with. So ๐Ÿฅ‚here’s to all African women, I celebrate you!

DAY 12: LET’S TALK ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

UCLA focuses on preventing sexual violence and harassment with week of  special events | UCLA
Picture from Google

In the simple explanation of Mr. Google; “behaviour characterised by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation“. Google goes ahead to describe the different types of sexual harassment; Physical acts of sexual assault. Requests for sexual favours. Verbal harassment of a sexual nature, including jokes referring to sexual acts or sexual orientation. Unwanted touching or physical contact.”

I am an adult now and yet I am not sure I understand sexual harassment in its entirety. The first time I was sexually abused was when I was a little girl. I wrote about this in my blog post: https://vyolaz2cents.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/how-i-became-a-boy/. As a child there was no way it would have even dawned on me that I was being abused. If you were raised in my time [which by the way is not so long ago], you know that our parents never ever spoke about sex and technology was not as big as it is now.

Now I am older and I have learned that there are little things we let slide or perhaps ignore but they eventually lead to sexual assault. The random comments people make about our bodies, dress code, some are even very direct! You know that you have not welcomed it but you ignore hoping that that person was just joking. However, for the other person, the communication may be different; it may be that they. think you are welcoming these advances and seem okay with it.

I should be at liberty to wear my beautiful dress without fearing that so and so is going to give his usual sexual remarks [ I am using a female perspective because that’s all the experience I have but I am not ruling out the fact that this happens to men too!]. I know of guy friends who have given up wearing their comfortable sweatpants because women are going to comment on how they have packaged their privates.

There are things that have happened to me as an adult that made me revisit my past to deal with what happened to me then. Today I am very aware of sexual harassment and I stop it every time the light bulb goes off in my head. You have had people make sexual remarks at you, comment on your body, touch you inappropriately…honey, you’re being harassed…speak out!! We have allowed our friends, relatives, colleagues sexually harass us, this might even be happening to our children. Let’s talk about these things people…let’s!!

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