Posted in African literature, book review, challenge, culture, my library, reading

Changes: A Love Story

“Guilt is born in the same hour with pleasure, like anything in this universe and its enemy.”

At first i thought it was going to be a love story that brought changes to it but nada! The book focuses on 3 women Esi, Opokuya and Fusena and their spouses Oko, Kubi and Ali respectively. Esi is a career oriented woman who has no time for her hubby nor her daughter. Due to her busy schedule she hates been married, been a wife where a woman submits and the only way out is when Oko “rapes”her that she files for a divorce. Freedom, maybe! She falls in love with Ali who on the other hand doesn’t value the Muslim norms (marry a virgin who is a muslim) but introduces her to the family as his second wife but still isn’t getting enough from this marriage too. Fusena, does not get the opportunity to advance her career (children and hubby disagrees since he is rich) while Ali has his way to his education desires. However, Fusena’s shop business is the talk of town as she manages it quit well. Opokuya, a nurse by profession has 4 children, manages her home well enough but Kubi cheats on her frequently (add Esi to his list).
The overall review is that Ama brings out elements of motherhood, marriage, friendship, independence, money and culture in the female autonomy where CHANGE bypasses the old traditions. “It is a record of changing circumstances of women’s lives in contemporary Africa…..constructs a psychological blueprint for female portraiture.” The conversations between women in this book shows a lot of social change and from it, can truly say it is what happens in today’s era. Quite an interesting read that leaves one with lots of questions

Posted in African literature, book review, challenge, inspiration, my library, reading

Born A Crime

This failed to be in my list of memoirs (i literally refused to put it in that folder). Reason being he is too funny and unlike other serious biographies that has got a certain order of events this was one hilarious childhood book read. No wonder he is a comedian. So why born a crime? In a nation where apartheid ruled and two different colors of people could not mingle, his coming to being was illegal/ crime that saw him get bullied, hide while other children played and even get smuggled to see his father who was from Switzerland. Thank his mother’s christian ways that made them attend 3 different churches every Sunday where he got to mingle with various races that challenged his thinking.
Growing up he had it pretty rough but he managed to maneuver by learning all languages in SA that made conversations much easier while reducing racism at the same time. Trevor’s mum was a hyper woman who breached laws where possible to achieve her goals that saw her even work as a secretary in various government offices. Through it, she was able to provide a good upbringing to Noah until Abel became his stepfather and hell broke loose. (Drunk, violent, non-provider, shot Noah’s mum but she survived).
Noah takes a reader through his childhood in an exciting way but he does not dwell onto his success as a comedian or how he even got there. All we know is that he was a good DJ who used to burn CDs and sell out to buses that saw him go out to DJ at parties, and open shop at the hood where he made it big then a radio station took him in and before we know it he was conquering all. His jokes were his way to get along with ladies as he believed he was ugly and not good enough to date but boy, did he screw up so much!

Posted in book review, challenge, disability, my library, reading

Me Before You

Lemme get this straight…why does everyone cry after reading this book? I never cried! Am i that inhuman? No. Well i watch many Indian films on Zee Cinema and Star Gold that the right to die was once captured on Guzaarish a 2010 film where Hrithik Roshan (Ethan) was a dancer until his friend planned an accident that saw him paralyzed and he requested for Ethanesia to end his miserable life….(story for another day).
Back to basics, Lou a 26yo too comfortable, ever chatty, stressed, weird lady loses her job at her cafe when the owner shuts it down. In a quest to find another she gets employed as a carer at the Traynor’s where their son Will is a quadriplegic- as a result of a motorbike accident. With no skills nor education on handling a disabled person she is in for a 6months contract but what she doesn’t know is that this is the duration he has given his family to bond with before he goes to Dignitas. Lou’s work is to make him change his mind.
When the cat is finally out of the bag, Treena, Lou’s sister helps her come up with activities that might help cheer up Will and at the same time researches on how to deal with the mind of a quad. Nathan, Will’s doc is stunned by Will’s recent behavior when he finally talks too much, goes out for outings but at the back of his mind he surely knows nothing can be done to reverse his death wish. During the months allocated, Lou becomes a transformed lady who gets out of her comfort zone and achieves things she would not have thanks to Will’s pushing demeanor (I love this guy). On the other hand, Will becomes a happy fellow who only goes to vacay with Lou to make her happy but not to live longer.
A girl struck in love ends her 7yo relationship with Patrick (i was really waiting for it to end) and focuses on making Will’s life worthwhile. She even chats with the quads group online where she gets tips from, money not been a problem for the Traynor’s gets him equipment to make communication easier and their sarcasm gets better by the day. During her last days of work when she thinks she can convince him to change his mind, they have a huge argument that makes her regret of her efforts. In a quest to fulfill his last wish she sets off to see him before his death…*sob.
She is in for another shock as Will’s will has her as a benefactor and sets out to achieve her lifetime goals.
Lou’s character in the book already names her carer since she has been taking care of her family through her meager income till her father gets a job with the Traynor’s as a castle repair man. The Traynor’s on the hand depend on Will’s death for life to at least get back to normal (his dad can marry the redhead), Georgina-sister can live peacefully without forcing she cares. As for me i now know how to handle a quad and even got ideas going around my head.
Now can i watch the movie and see if tears will flow? Moreover, read the second book: Me After You.
Question: Would you support one ending their life?
Posted in book review, inspiration, my library, personalgrowth, reading

What I Know For Sure

In just a day I concluded this awesome book by the one and only Oprah. She lets a reader through her life but take note this is no memoir but aligning her life to some things she knows in a most captivating eye opener mode. She fuses in joy, power, connection, possibility, gratitude, awe, clarity and resilience to compile one short motivational book.  And from that, this is

oprah.com
What Eva knows for sure
  • Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and step out and dance-to live free of regret and filled as much joy, fun and laughter as you can stand.
  • Pleasure is energy reciprocated. What you put out comes back. Your base level of pleasure is determined by how you view your whole life.
  • Life is full of delightful treasures. If we take a moment to appreciate them, these moments are powerful. They can be your recharge, your breathing space, your chance to reconnect with you.
  • A meal that brings you real joy will do you more good in the long and short term than a lot of filler food.
  • I don’t want to live a shutdown life-desensitized to feeling and seeing. I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.
  • Reading opens you up. It exposes you and gives you access to anything your mind can hold.
  • Healing the wounds of the past is one of the biggest and most worthwhile challenges of life. It’s important to know when and how you are programmed, so you can change the program. And doing so is your responsible, no one’s else.
  • When you have nothing to be ashamed of, when you know who you are and what you stand for, you stand in wisdom.
  • Lack of intimacy is not distance from someone else; it is disregard for yourself.
  • Life is better when you share it. It even gets sweeter when you expand the circle.
  • Pets represent our lives: a connection to caring that’s unconditional. And reciprocal.
  • Appreciating whatever comes up for you in life changes your whole world. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots. If you make time for a little gratitude every day, you’ll be amazed by the results.
  • Whatever you fear most has no power-its fear that has the power. The thing itself cannot touch you but your fear can rob you of your life. Each time you give in to it, you lose strength, while your fear gains it. That’s why you must decide that no matter how difficult the path ahead seems, you will push past your anxiety and keep on stepping.
  • If you can get paid for doing what you love, every paycheck is a bonus. Give yourself the bonus of a lifetime: pursue your passion. Discover what you love. Then do it.
  • The big miracles we’re waiting on are happening right in front of us, at every moment, with every breath. Open your eyes and hear and you will begin to see them.
  • Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life. When you can let go of the desire to acquire, you know you are really on your way.
  • Always do your best. That is the most fulfilling path to personal freedom
Posted in African literature, book review, humour, my library, personalgrowth, reading

We need New Names

“Look at them leaving in droves, the children of the land, just look at them leaving in droves. Those with nothing are crossing borders. Those with strength are crossing borders. Those with ambitions are crossing borders. Those with hopes are crossing borders. Those with loss are crossing borders.  Those in pain are crossing borders…”

The characters, the names oooh my . Who comes up with such names? Bastard (naughtiest of all), Sbho, Stina, Godknows (always asking ques), Chipo (if you in my country this is fries/ female got laid and in the book she got laid by her grandfather?!), Mother of Love, Mother of Bones, Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro, Bonfree…man i could go on with the names but someone take me back. Take me back yas-yass-yaaasss. I think i need to see more creativity of names in the books i read next. Any who, Darling the main chic used to live a normal life where food, clothes, luxuries were not an issue until all that went away and her family relocated to the shacks. Her father ran to South Africa since tough economic times in Zimbabwe needed one to man up only for him to come back with AIDS! Life at the tins was not bad at all as tree climbing and stealing of guavas survived her and her pals. The gifts they got from the NGO peeps made them even more happier. And then all that changed for cabbage ears as her aunt took her in, in America and adjusting was not easy but she managed although missed her home terribly.
What happened on the last chapter of the book is that i lost concentration dance. I got bored by the ending (a jealous Chipo blaming D from running away from home, D reminiscing or did i miss something in between?) and just winded it for the sake of winding it. However, what captivated me the most is that Bulawayo deviated from the norm. The norm where authors come up with sweet names, the ideology where one leaves for the States and all this racism occurs;didn’t dwell on that just a sneak peak. The belief that living in shacks is hell nope-gif but the life these buddies had i would die for-Paradise is where the fun is. The humor, way of expression i mean you have to read it to know what am talking about. But all this misery boiled down to: poor governance, inflation, dictatorship, corruption, colonialism and a cry for change.

“……they flee their own wretched land so their hunger may be pacified in foreign lands, their tears wiped away in strange lands, the wounds of their despair bandaged in faraway lands, their blistered prayers muttered in the darkness of queer lands…”