My One-Woman Zambian Mission

Zambia is my mission field. Let me explain why.

There is a certain perception that people have about countries in Africa. Firstly, we have to overcome the hurdle of getting people to understand that Africa is not a country (see the link below).

https://asoulfulstorm.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/what-not-to-say-to-africans/

Once we have done that, we must explain that each country is not riddled with famine, drought and children covered in flies. Thanks Oxfam and Children in Need (insert eye roll)

Zambia is my favourite country in the world, so I have made it my personal mission to highlight the sides of this country that people don’t see. The side that the BBC will never show. I have been trying to show on my Instagram the big houses, restaurants and shops out here. I am going to highlight the Zambian designers who are killing the game out here. I encourage everyone to enjoy eating mangoes, cassava & ground nuts and Simba crisps. Why, you ask? Because there are many learned people in the Western world and those who left Zambia decades ago who still believe that there is no civilisation out here. I need my friends from England, India and Australia to see that my country of origin is not a write off.

I would encourage anyone from Zambia (or any other African country) to highlight the change and development that is happening out here when you visit home. I know this place has issues, but which country does not? The difference between the UK and Zambia (besides all the wealth they stole from every country they ever colonised), is that the UK has done an amazing job of marketing itself. They have sold themselves as the land of milk and honey. Yet I could write two dissertations on everything that is wrong with England.

Think about what you can do for your country because I do not want to see this great land that is filled with so much potential, being handed over to anyone else. If I can at least make a couple of my followers on social media consider Zambia as a holiday destination, then I would consider that as a job well done.

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Five Tips On Surviving Zambia

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So… I am back in Zambia.

After being away for 6 years. It feels a little bit strange because so much has changed over here. It feels as though there are malls on every corner, Chinese people everywhere and there is more tarmac on the road. It only makes sense that I blog out from this part of the world. Here are 5 tips on Surviving Zambia. I am sure that if you originate from the Motherland, you can relate to this.

  1. Don’t Bother Buying Malaria Medication in the UK

It costs £46!!! 46 FRICKING POUNDS STERLING is what my mother and I spent on a small box of malaria medication. Altogether we spent £92 pound! Do you know the things I could do with £92 out here? Ladies and gentlemen, this what we call daylight robbery. Honestly, it is more worthwhile buying malaria medication right here in Zambia. On the slight chance that you even catch the disease, doctors over here are more equipped to deal with it. If you catch it in the UK, you’ll be all over the news or even a news headline.

  1. Mosquito Repellent Is a LIE!

Again, just buy it over on the continent of Africa. I do not know what manner of mosquito repellent I bought in England, but IT IS A LIE! I have been using it for the past 5 days and I have been eaten alive. I’m not exaggerating. The way people are taking pity on me. I have been bitten on both of my feet, my right hand, my left arm and my right leg. I was beginning to lose sleep due to the unbearable itch. I only managed to sleep when I bought insect repellent here. Zambians know what they are doing. They know the demonic insects they are dealing with. Screw English mosquito repellent forever and ever! AMEN!

  1. The Aunties and Uncles

When you have been away from your country of origin for many years, many people want to see you. Not just your blood relatives but anyone who your parents ever knew. I have been introduced to my mother’s school teacher, university friends and members of their local church. My parents often start their sentences with “Do you remember so and so?” Well let’s see. I left Zambia when I was 3 months old, so… no. I do not remember the time that they came to England and visited us in 1997 because I was 7. If I do not throw my arms around you and immediately say your name, then there is 90% chance that I do not know who you are.

  1. The Heat

The sun is a source of joy for me. The weather has been between 29 – 36 degrees and for some reason the people here are complaining. My melanin is popping out here. I am a person who’s mood is affected by the weather so you don’t want to meet me in winter. My fellow Zambians do not want to experience what I have to return to at the end of November. I must reconcile with the fact that when I return to the UK, the weather will be 13 degrees at best. I had to bring my winter coat to Zambia because I did not want the cold at Heathrow Airport to slap me in the face with frost bite. Zambians be grateful. We do not have it as good as you in the Northern Hemisphere.

  1. Eat Everything You Can

What I mean is, eat all the things that are not readily available in the UK. Eat a T-bone steak, devour a real mango (not the nonsense we get in Tesco) and buy ALL of the Biltong that you can. Let me tell you something, never buy Biltong in England I made that mistake and it tastes like soap, but here it is DELICIOUS! The food out here tastes so good. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it has not been injected with all manner of nonsense to preserve it.

Also, be prepared for the fact that whatever house you visit, the owners will try and fill your intestines with Nshima (Pap, Sadza, Ugali or whatever they called it in your respective land). Refusing food is impolite, especially when the owners of the said home have not seen you in years. Whilst you are out here on the continent, you might as well eat, drink and be merry. You did not come home to diet.

I’d like to say ( in a very strange way) that I am enjoying being back in Zambia. This is the place of my birth; the land I call home and I would not be anywhere else in the world.

BTS: Mono & Waste It On Me

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BTS have decided that they will not take their foot off the music industry’s neck. In the past two and half months, their album Love Yourself: Answer has been number one on the Billboard charts. They have been a stadium world tour (that I was unable to get tickets for but I’m not bitter) and spoken at the UN. Yet in the space of one week, RM (their leader) released his new mixtape (named Mono) and then Steve Aoki revealed that the title track for his new album featured BTS. There has not even been seven days between RM (Kim Namjoon) announcing this project and Steve Aoki dropping this new single. BTS I’m one human being. I am tired yet so grateful so let’s get into these two bodies of work.

Mono

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I adore this mixtape. I had to listen to it three times before I felt competent enough to even talk about this body of work. This project needs to be digested. The seven-track mixtape has a very alternative and Indie vibe to it. There is also a theme of loneliness, insecurities and depression that I believe a lot of people in this generation can relate to.

This mixtape is a far cry from the R&B and Hip-Hop sound that one usually associates with BTS and that is what I like most. It shows RM’s versatility. This project will have you lying on the floor in your feelings. Sonically the mixtape is good, but I believe that the lyrics are the best part. RM expresses the words that sometimes we as the audience struggle to say and has captured them so beautifully.

I also want to express my utter joy that Honne produced Seoul (which is my favourite song on the mixtape) because they are fantastic. It is always a musical pleasure when your favs get together.

I would say that if you appreciate music that usually features on A Colours Show, you will definitely like this mixtape. It is emotional and beautiful.

Waste It On Me

I have a quick public service announce to deliver as I address Waste It On Me, the new single by Steve Aoki & BTS. All of you who like to say, “why do you like their music, they’re not even singing in English.” You have the mind of a COLONISER. Take a minute and let that sink in.

A lack of English lyrics did not stop Despacito from being EVERYWHERE! We could not escape that song and believe me, I tried. A lack of English did not stop people from enjoying Gangnam Style and I am yet to witness anyone sitting down during the Macarena just because it so happens to be in Spanish. Music transcends language. It is just a fact. If the beat is right, we will dance all night.

Not everything has to be in English. It is not the only language on earth. There are many countries where English is not the main language spoken. For many of us (I speak for the African Diaspora), English is a language that was forced upon our ancestors. So, let us not mimic the language of oppressors when we say that music can only be appreciated if it is in English. If you have danced to Karolina or Alkayida, and you are not from DRC or Ghana, you have no right to demand English from Koreans

However, I acknowledge that People of Colour have to play the game in order to get a seat at the table and make changes. Therefore, I do not mind that BTS & Steve Aoki decided to Trojan Horse the biggest music market (which is the US) by doing a song in English. The beat is good, the lyrics are strong and the vocals of Jungkook & Jimin never disappoint. Waste It On Me is a good song and I am saying that as girl who does not normally appreciate EDM. It is a song that will probably feature on my gym playlist.

I keep saying that BTS are after world domination. You people better start reading the signs.

Please let me know you favourite songs are on Mono. Do you like Waste It On Me? Do you think BTS needed to sing a full song in English?

Harry & Meghan Are Having a Baby

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I, for one, am excited!!! My favourite member of the Royal Family (I only ever liked Diana, William and Harry) got married and wasted no time getting in pregnant. There are many blessings and prayers that I am sending up to the Lord for this new royal baby. Here are some of them.

  1. The Black Throwback

Come on, we are all secretly hoping for it. I am not ashamed to admit that I praying to the Almighty that Doria Ragland’s (Meghan’s mum) genes will kick in hard and that baby will come out as brown as possible. If it can happen for Tamera Mowry’s daughter, why can’t it happen for Harry and Meghan? Can you imagine a brown skinned, legitimate heir to the throne of England? The racists of this country would be sick and I live for the idea.

  1. The Curse of the Hair

None of you people should act like you do not know what I am talking about. We need to pray against the curse of Prince Charles’s genes. We all saw what happened to Prince William. That man had a beautiful golden mane in his teens and early twenties. Now he looks like Mr Potato Head but with less melanin. Prince Harry’s hair is not as bad however, we can see that it is fighting for dear life. We can only hope that Meghan is rubbing his head with coconut and almond oil daily. These men are not even in their late thirties. Needless to say, that child’s hair needs to be covered with the blood of Jesus.

While we are praying over the hair, I hope it comes out with 3c/4a hair texture. Anything is possible

3. Dusty Old Names
I beg, when the baby gets here, I need them to give the child an updated name. I am tired of Georges, Henrys and Elizabeths. Consult a baby naming book and get some new ideas. This does mean I am not asking for names like Brooklyn, LaMarcus or North West. Just give us a name that is not reminiscence of our Year 9 History lessons.

All jokes aside, I hope Meghan and Harry have a happy and healthy baby. That is all any parent can ask for.

What are your hopes for the Royal Baby? Let me know in the comments below.

Why Do African Parents…

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*Disclaimer: I love and respect my parents dearly and not everything on this list is about them. Now without further ado. *

 

1. Send so many videos on Whatsapp?

First and foremost, where are they getting all these videos from? I need to know who is responsible for this. I know for a fact that they are not making the effort of searching these videos on Youtube. Every day I get motivational video from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Oprah or an 11-year boy who has figured out the secret to life. Do not get me wrong, I am thankful that my parents want me to be motivated and inspired but these videos come every single day. They are taking up all the storage on my Samsung! And they get so upset if you have not watched every video they sent. This is emotional blackmail I tell you. How do we make them stop or at least limit them to one video a week? I am willing to take suggestions.

Side note: Can we also put an end to the chain messages too. You know the Send These to Ten People and God Will Bless You messages. Make them stop I beg.

  1. Talk So Loudly On The Phone…

When they are on the phone to a relative? I feel as though they literally go up by three octaves. Someone calls from back home and suddenly people down the road can hear the conversation that our parents are having. I really want to tell all the parents, aunties and uncles out there that technology has changed. We no longer depend on phone cards, you do not have shout. We love you all but you are embarrassing us.

3. Make Us Feel Like Failures If We Get Anything Less Than an A+?

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I emphasize the + because they will still question why you got an A- is not an A+. Our parents will treat a B+ as if it is a D-. If you get a C… my friend. Heaven help you. You and your report card should set up camp at the school because you cannot return home. Now I lowkey know the answer to this question. Our parents came from their respective countries for better opportunities and to give their children a future that they may not have got back home. We have no choice but to be nothing less than the best, because as children of immigrants, that will give us a fighting chance.

Good grades will put you on the path to be a Doctor, Lawyer or an Engineer (because no other career will do). Our grades are a reflection of their parenting. They did not leave their family and friends in Africa for you to get anything less than an A star.

4. Call You From Upstairs…

To change the channel and remote is on the table in front of them. It’s right there… IN FRONT OF THEM! All they had to do was stretch. I cannot. I just cannot. The memories are coming back and it’s too much for me.

 

5. Proclaim That We Want to Fight Them…

If we dare block a hand that is about to beat us. This usually happens when we feel that we are told old to be popped upside the head, have our ears pulled or worse (you fill in the blanks). You blocked the hand coming towards your face and suddenly “SO YOU WANT TO FIGHT ME!!!”

At this point, all I can suggest is call your Pastor, favourite Aunty pray/or run away from home. All hell is about to break lose.

 

Please feel free to comment or share any of the interesting or strange things that African Parents do.

Insecure Finale

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The Insecure Finale happened last night, and I am already going through withdrawals. How has it already been two months? Now we have to wait until next year for the next season. I am going to review last night’s episode. There will be major spoilers below.

Issa

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The word to describe Issa’s journey throughout season 3 would be growth. We can see that Issa has finally has taken control over her life in this episode. We witness Issa taking a job interview at Beats Crew (where she can finally put her mirror rapping skills to good use). She was originally discouraged by the amount of rejections she was getting over her block party but she renewed her strength after seeing the success of The Black Outdoor Cinema. May I add that I would really like to go to an event like this.

I am very happy that Issa made links with Condola (Tiffany’s friend and the organiser of the Black Outdoor Cinema). I think it is important that Issa connects with someone who supports her vision. I was disappointed with how discouraging Molly was. Events for us,  by us are so important.  Unfortunately, the people that are the least supportive can be the ones that are closest to us.

We also see Issa’s growth with how she deals with Nathan and his piss poor apology for ghosting on her for a month. I am convinced that Nathan is dealing with a mental health issues of some sort.  This will be a great way to address mental health in the black community.

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Molly

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The level to which I adore Yvonne Orji, is the same level I want to violent shake Molly. Her lack of self-awareness is FRIGHTENING! Molly has a bad habit of creating situations and then getting mad at everyone else because she does not like the outcome. Let’s start with work.

Molly’s co-workers ganged up on her this episode. Honestly,  a blind man could have seen this coming. She screwed over the female lawyers in order to work with arrogant Taurean. Everyone take a mental note; you never screw over black women, it will not end well for you. Then she was shocked by the fact that Taurean was angry that she went behind his back and did their presentation to the partners.

It does raise the topic of double standards in the office. Men can be arrogant and bulldozers in the workplace (like Taurean is) but their behaviour can go unchecked as long as they get the job done. Women (especially black women) in the workplace have to be delicate and likeable. I personally thought that Molly was too new at the job to be agitating her co-workers. She should have at least apologised to Taurean and the ladies for the sake of peace. However, that would require Molly to have emotional intelligence.

I’m not even going to get started on the ridiculous way Molly acted towards Jared when she saw him.  I did a praise dance in my bedroom when he came on screen because I have been on Twitter begging Issa Rae to bring him back. I also enjoyed the way her face cracked when she saw him with a beautiful new girlfriend (who’s skin reminded me of the smoothness of Duckie Thot).

Now here comes the million-pound question, was Molly right for blocking Nathan from seeing Issa on her birthday?

However, we do see a small glimmer of maturity from Molly when she calls Andrew (who looked like a luxurious King) and apologises for the way she treated him. She admits that her previous relationship had hurt a lot more than she would like to admit. Now let us all stretch out our hands in the name of this reach.

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Molly and Dro were NEVER IN A RELATIONSHIP! The man was in an open marriage, he made zero commitment to her. Let me stop, that is a rant for another day.

I swear, Molly’s only redeeming quality is her friendship with Issa. That girl needs to return her therapist.

Lawrence

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Lawrence had mentioned at the end of season 2 that he has certain expectations of his life and when things don’t go his way, he shuts down. This was addressed well in the finale. We see Lawrence having a conversation with his dad about his expectations of dating and love. He expects to fall in love with a woman with no baggage (as if he isn’t dragging around a suitcase of his own). I am glad that his dad laughed in his face and told him that Lawrence’s mother and himself had “matching luggage” when they met, and “the problem with kids of this generation is that they don’t want to put in any work.” I think this rings very true. A lot of people romanticise their parents/grandparents’ relationships but have never asked them about the level of effort and sacrifice they had to put in, to make said relationships work.

Lo and behold, we see Lawrence and Condola (who is divorced) go on a date. Clearly, he has taken his father’s advice. However, this going to be messy as hell considering Condola’s business relationship with Issa. BRING ON SEASON 4!!!

Conclusion

All in all, the Insecure finale was fantastic. This show does not disappoint.  I cannot wait to see what Issa Rae and the rest of the team are cooking up for season 4. I look forward to what awaits this Black Girl Magic (in training) duo, the Kelly and Chad one-liners and all mess that comes with this amazing show.

I would also love to know your thoughts about the finale. What do you think is going on with Nathan? Was Molly right to stop Nathan seeing Issa on her birthday? Do you think Issa is going to get back together with Lawrence in season 4?

More Things Not To Say To Africans

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The helpful guide of ignorant, misinformed statements that you should NEVER say to people of African descent continues. If you have not seen the previous post, refer to the link below.

https://asoulfulstorm.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/what-not-to-say-to-africans/

6. I don’t think I’ll be able to remember your name. Can I shorten your name to…

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NO YOU CANNOT! My fellow Africans, I need all of you to stand tall in the names that you have. If your name is Kofi, Oluwaseyi or Mwansa, be proud. If you are named Memory, Moreblessings or Progress. STAND IN IT! Your parents went through an entire naming ceremony. They had consultations with the elders of your family to come up with your name. Your name has power, meaning and shall not be disrespected.

So no Becky, you cannot shorten Abena to Abby or Sampa to Sam. You can use a nickname as and when we give you a nickname to use. Until such a time, suck in your breath and sound it out, like the way they taught you to in school. If I can say Lindsay, you can figure out how to say Tapiwa.

7. Did you have lions in your back garden?

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I think some of you were deceived when you watched Aladin and saw Princess Jasmin with a pet tiger. However, I will help you out. This is not the Lion King. I have never lived on Pride Rock. Lions are big, scary and dangerous creatures. They are not domestic pets. There is a reason why they are behind cages at zoos and you are advised not to touch them. They WILL kill you. Your death will not be pleasant. If you are unsure, you can attempt to put a lion in your back garden and see what happens.

8. When are you leaving?

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My mum told me that someone said this to her. I do not know who said it. I do not know when it was said. What I do know is that I am ready to fight behind that statement. Do NOT say this to someone. It is beyond rude. You have no right to ask ANYONE their immigration status unless you are an immigration officer or an employer. Zinhle’s family could have been in England (or wherever) for three generations. Mind your own business.

9. Can you speak African?

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“No, I cannot. Can you speak European?”

African is not a language. Next.

10. Can I touch your hair?

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This is not just for African women but for all black women across the diaspora. The answer is a resounding and emphatic HELL NO! We are not your dogs, pets, or zoo animals. Yes our hair is a different texture to yours. I understand that it may be confusing to see your co-worker switch up her hair the same number of times as Beyonce on the Formation World Tour. However, you still cannot touch our hair. It is disrespectful.

And there are some people who do not even ask for permission! They will take their hand (and we do not know where this hand has been) and insert it into the scalps of black women. Let’s imagine if I decided to touch Karen’s hair after it has been feathered without her permission. I would probably be charged with assault. If you would not like such an invasion of personal space, do not do it to us.

What not to say to Africans is an expanding list. Please feel free to comment and share the ridiculous questions about Africa that you have heard or been asked.