What defines a woman?

Kawi:

Blast (read blog) from the past. Do you think there some truth in there or not?

Originally posted on Kawi Snippets:

With reference to this post:  Every Woman’s Desire : It’s an Excerpt from the book ”Captivating – Unveiling the mystery of a Womans Soul” by John and Stasi Eldredge which my mum had gotten for me as a birthday gift. Well, somethings like this come in handy in life because as it is, this books has helped understand some things about women. Yeah, we try to understands ourselves too.

So here goes, “What defines a woman?” This is the most difficult topic. Even us women don’t really know. But anyway, according afore-mentioned book, “Most women define themselves in terms of their relationships, and the quality they deem those relationships to have.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but honestly speaking. Just take a rough look at all the women in your life…this is for both men and women to  do. Ever since I read that book, I’ve always tried to prove this…

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Back to Life

Let me tell you something we (bloggers) don’t tell you; sometimes, we run out of things to say, then we get a sudden epiphany or an inspiration from the people or things around us. Other times, you have things to say but you question its validity. Considering everyone has their own personal opinion on that thing that you’re about to write on, yet you’re putting your opinion out there for it to be judged. It’s a tough hobby this one, but fun all the same because you put your mind out there.

Where the old school people at? Remember Soul II Soul’s – Back to Life? They had such cool rhythms and flows then, that when you think of a word, the lyrics all come flowing, even if you’re poor at cramming lyrics like I am. I just thought of “back to life” and the next thing that came along was “back to reality” and a tune to back it up. Also, made me think of LPs and how cool they were and if they’re available anymore, even on the olx.com.gh’s of this world, they’d make good keepsake’s now. Took me back for a moment there.

Anyhow, I divert. This weekend we did our 1st traditional visit – I was in the clouds, now I’m back to life. You know where the fiancé comes over with his boys and his uncles to book his girl (for lack of a better way to say it), state their intentions and discuss the way forward in terms of dowry and the marriage that follows. It was a new experience and quite interesting too given the . Life is about learning, unlearning and re-learning – that’s one thing I appreciate about it. There are things they never teach you in school and this weekend I got a dose of what they didn’t teach me, our culture and its importance.

I always wondered why folks made a big deal about the culture. I didn’t think it’s necessary at some point, I thought it was just a way of them making the process hard for you, you know like their parents did. At the mention of culture I cringed, because of the stories I’ve heard. Stories about the bride’s family extorting the groom’s family. I always wondered why people in the western world just went ahead and dated, engaged and got married without any internal processes taking place. Maybe I got that wrong, because I’ve never actually been in one or know a friend who told me the story, it’s what I saw in movies.

I won’t lie, I wasn’t nervous at first because I know my family. I know my parents, my aunties and my uncles, but the more I let the thought of “what if the stories I hear come closer home”, I started becoming nervous. Then I expressed my fear to my parents and aunts and I loved how they taught me this lesson.

Like a girl attending a basics class on tradition and culture 101, they first explained to me how theirs went down. They were all so funny, because none of them were even there, their parents are the ones who carried out the process because they were far but had identified their spouses, but for them to go ahead and get married, the families first had to meet, know where each other is from and create a bond. And this is what the introduction, dowry and many other process did.

Every society has a culture. Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, and ways of life, from the most spiritual to the most material. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Without which we’ll lose ourselves and the core of who we really are. Culture is just not another adornment or accessory that we human beings can use, it’s what makes us human. Culture helps us to define our relationships and engagements with our immediate family and the society at large. It’s also what helps us grow the bond between the different societies, by allowing them to identify with others of similar mindsets and backgrounds. The meeting and mutual respect between two different cultures and how they merge to become one big family.

This weekend, I am proud that my family finally connected with my fiancé’s family and that by living up to our different cultures, we were united. And truth be told, now that it all makes so much sense, when I have kids, I will make sure that we do the same. It’s something to be proud of, especially when done with respect and love … it depicts appreciation to the parents for raising you and that you still want your family (from both sides) to be a part of you. This was just the beginning of many more to come, looking forward.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

 

Always #LikeAGirl

*Disclaimer: Just felt like writing something based on the campaign, but I’m not in any way associated with or endorsing Always.

I work with music and sometimes with imaginary music. When I have my headphones on and nothing is actually playing, but for some reason it feels like the music is on – and then I get into my zone. Does that ever happen to you? Anyway, as I was doing my internet rounds some time, I happened to come across this lovely ad. Confession, I love Safaricom and Samsung ads, the rest, I just “Skip Ad”. That aside, have you watched the Always #LikeAGirl ad, no? You can watch it here.

It took me down memory lane. I remember when I wrote this “Yes, I’m a Girl” post. We girls are really sensitive, I know dudes are too (I’m just massaging your ego by the way), but we’re a special breed and by all means, in a good way. That’s why people would tell you you’re doing something “like a girl”. I don’t think it’s an insult per se, that’s what most people perceive it to be. But I don’t think when someone says it that’s what they intend to mean. It’s just that we girls, do things delicately and with such grace. It’s in our nature to be gentle that sometimes it tends to look like you’re weak. Then if you did things in a manly way and had manly features to top that – you’d be classified as a tomboy – which isn’t a good thing either.

I grew up in the 90’s. And because technology had not been fully discovered – the best we had then was Nintendo, Joy Game for the rich kids and brick games, Ending Man (a cheaper version of the Nintendo that used cartridges – 90 in 1 games, my favorite being Duck Hunt, Super Mario etc.) for the rest of us, but that was late in the 90’s. Before that, we were big on outdoor games. You know the kind that got you dirty from head to toe – the hop scotch, kati, shake, rounder’s (the own African version of baseball), bladder, scramboo (with our little BMX bikes, we could do wonders when it came to making 3600 turns). By the time you’re being called back to the house in the evening, the 1st task was to jump into the shower. I can bet all kids had that same routine, because there’s no way you were sitting on the couch with those clothes or that body.

Nintendo, Always, #LikeAGirl, Back in th Day

When we used do this outdoor games, most of them required you to display your masculine side, because they were quite aggressive and tactical. And if you throw a ball in a light or curvy manner, you’d be told, “stop throwing like a girl” or if you got hurt and you started crying, someone will do “stop crying like a girl”. If you happened to be identified as the weaker link by the other kids, you’d be placed as the “helper”. The helper was the useless person in the games – the one who’s given zero roles or attention in the course of the game because you’re team-less and you had no impact on the outcome of the game. It happened to you when the kids were selecting teams and no one wanted you on their teams because you’d make them lose. For some reason, it was always a girl or a boy who’s like a girl … been there, you feel “if only the world could open up and swallow me up” or “if only I could be invisible for a moment”.

Always be the first one to believe in yourself, even before anyone else does, because if you don’t, you might just end up disappointed or de-psyched. ~ Kawi

I know it’s tough believing in yourself – it is even for me most of the time, even when I know I’ve got it. But you don’t have much of a choice, not in this competitive world.

Now that I’m a grown up woman, I look back at my young and wild days, and I’m like, I’m glad I did everything I did #LikeAGirl. I wouldn’t do it any different given another chance because it is in my nature to do things as I do. For me to have gotten as far as I have based on what I do, I sure was doing something right, at least being a girl. So don’t let the experiences in your childhood or teenage hood define who you’ll be or what you’ll do. Just know that by being you, especially the best version of you, things will always turn out great.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Irreplaceable Values in Friendships

I have been silent, guilty as charged. I’ve also felt it. It wasn’t by choice as the other areas of my life were seeking pretty much a huge chunk of my attention. The remaining 10% of which I could have stolen a chance to write, mostly in the evenings, I dozed off, watched a movie with the mister (which means, dozed off) or hosted friends over for dinner (which means, mini-party). However, I’m 100% well, which I’m thankful for, and so are the people dear to me. It feels like we should say AMEN already.

In other news, remember the What Next post. Well, I’m planning to make sure I have answers to your ‘what next’ questions about my life plans. You know things like, “when’s the wedding”. Now that we’re starting on the traditional bit, that’s some good progress. Truth be told, I never imagined that I’ll be thinking such big things (like marriage and a wedding) this soon. I smile every time I remember that we have a wedding to plan, yet I have no clue how to go about it. But that should never be a bother, we have a wealth of experience around us – to think we already have a designer and wedding planner in the family.

I remember the mister once telling me that I was the 1st girlfriend to actually take him to a wedding or traditional wedding (ruracio). Sometimes I have goldfish memory, but that one stuck in my mind. For once, when he told me (I must’ve just aww’ed then, however this is the real feeling), I felt like I have made a difference in my partner’s life. In an insignificant way to me (because to me, it was just another traditional wedding or wedding) but in a significant way to him (because to him, it’s something he’d always wanted to do but an opportunity had never presented itself). On the upside, at least he never got an old person poking him and telling him “you’re next”. Now, he has a person to point to if that questions ever comes his way.

Just before you wonder what I value in our friendrelationship, let me tell you just one before I drop down a long list. He was my first cooking and now baking buddy. He taught me how to grill (or basically use the oven) – at least I’d mastered the pan, so food-wise he was sorted out. We also baked our first cupcakes together – Google was the teacher. No pans or sufuria’s have been thrown to the other in the process so far. That’s a good thing, considering we still cooperate even when the recipes get confusing or when one thinks they can do it better than the other but figure how to accommodate each other’s expertise.

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That got me thinking of values. Do you ever think of what value you add to the person(s) you meet or the people you spend your days with? Because what’s friendship if you don’t add some value to someone? If you don’t feed off each other? Yes, friendship is a symbiotic relationship. I usually say that if I meet someone and we hit it off, at least let us have a conversation that will somehow build each in one way or another, even if for humors sake. Like leave someone laughing their guts out or happy about themselves or what they do.

What makes someone irreplaceable is not who they are or seem to be as individuals, but the value they bring to your life, even if for the moment you interact with them.

There are people you meet and you feel like they’re sucking the life out of you, like you’re offering too much of yourself yet you’re getting nothing in return. While there are others you meet that speak life into you and the moment you part ways, you feel reenergized, and given a chance, you’d not want to let them go. What are those things you value in your friendships?

Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Our First Cupcakes

Sometimes, I live for firsts. They make you feel like that there so much that the world still has to offer. You know those things that to others, would seem like such a normal day-to-day thing but to you, having been presented an opportunity to do it, or even getting the courage or psyche to go ahead and do it, is a big deal.

That was me, when I woke up one Sunday morning feeling like this -> Baky. Those cupcakes were just calling out my name, “hey Kawiria, bake us”. And I blurt out, “why don’t we bake today?” Thank God the fiancé gets just as excited as I do about firsts. We set out to get the baking equipment, all thanks to Google. He was extremely cooperative, despite the rounds we had to make. I think in our minds, we were seeing the end product, those delish cupcakes. Nothing, even the unavailability of equipment was going to stop us, we were ready to substitute (actually we did for some) . Some of the equipment we used:

Measuring cups | whisk or hand mixer | wooden spoon | cupcake trays | cupcake liners | cooling rack | bowl | flour sieve | oven | grease proof paper | among others.

We we’re looking at quality, functionality and affordability. Some of the equipment was ridiculously priced at Nakumatt, but much cheaper at Naivas. Some cheaper equipment at Naivas looked like it was of poorer quality, or they just didn’t have them available, like the measuring cups. In the end though, we managed to cover the list after running from one supermarket to another.

We used this recipe for our first try. We of course added our own crazy twist to it, the chocolate shavings, I thought it would taste a little yummier with them on. Let me say for first timers, those cakes were everything. The butter was a little too much, but you know what happens with butter, it makes it moist, so winning!

Ingredients
110g/4oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature -> We used butter
110g/4oz caster sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract -> We slipped in a drop of strawberry essence
110g/4oz self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk —> We kinda used whipping cream too

Cupcakes, Baking

Now, we’re looking forward to making that moist mouth-watering Red Velvet cake. I hope I made you salivate a little, I am. So whose party are we crushing and bringing over cupcakes? We’ll upgrade ourselves to cakes very soon. I told you that on our next birthday, we’re baking our own cake. No more Valentine Cake House or Cake City. I wasn’t joking, we got this :-) to learning new skills.

Have a blessed weekend. Let’s do more, like laugh a little more, love a little more, learn a little more, but live much much more.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

What Next?

Dreaded question? It could very easily be mine.

One of those that fall under the “best and worst question”, all in the same intensity. Best when I know what’s coming next, like I have it all planned out, with the answers at my fingertips, more like a – bring it on – kind of scenario. Worst when I’m trying to figure it out. Chances are that I haven’t even given it a thought or talked about it yet because I fear the answer is “I don’t know”. I was brought up being told to never say “I don’t know”. I’d rather give you a tentative plan or an “I’ll get back to you”. I can’t recall where I picked up that habit from, and I don’t think it was not home, because I was never harassed for not knowing. Maybe school. Well, at least it helped because I never left any blank answers during exams. I’d rather cook up an answer than admit that I don’t know, then find out later what that was all about.

What Next?

What Next? Is that kind of question that’s hooked to the human DNA. We usually feel the need to ask it especially after receiving some good news. You’re never given that honeymoon period to gloat in your glory. The moment you share something exciting, the next thing is, “What Next?” I’m guilty of doing the same thing to others and even to myself. Someone just got engaged, so when’s the wedding? Someone just got married, so when’s the baby coming? Someone gets a baby, so when’s the next one? Someone gets a job, so what are you looking for next? Someone graduates, so what will you study next? Someone chops their hair, so what will you do with it next? Someone buys new shoes … ? It’s crazy, the little heaven here on earth is always so short-lived.

I got my Post-Graduate certificate … finally! It’s one thing to graduate, but it’s another to actually get a clean bill of health from the University and receive the certificate. The excitement lasted as long as the hand over.  We can measure that in seconds. As soon as I received, the question I asked myself was, what next? Then I bump into my friend and share the same news right outside the school gate and she asks me, so what next? PhD?

Graduation, MBA, Strategic Management,  Daystar University, Thesis

I told her, kids, but of course I was kidding (see what I did there). Truth be told though, I had a plan to do a PhD, I even know what it’ll be on – that was in my young and school-loving days, but today, I’m not entirely ready. The thought of lectures, assignments, evening classes, quarterly exams, dissertations – I’m just not ready for that kind of torture just yet. Unless, I’m the one on the front side of the class making other people feel that way *smirk*.

Sometimes, I wish we had the answers to all things future. That we always knew what next or even where and what you want to be? So that when someone asks you, you don’t look like you just swallowed a hot potato. It could very well be a conversation starter, a tough one though. Same thing as asking someone, what their 5 year or 10 year plan is. Now that I’ve mentioned;

What’s your 5/10 year plan? (10 if you think 5 is too shortsighted. I’ll accommodate y’all). Let’s think about it together, then individually jot it down somewhere (a permanent place that is, like a notebook, not your phone, technology is tricky  – it could crash or become obsolete. It’s a funny thing that books still live and last longer).

Then 5/10 years down the line, we’ll retrieve it and see if we’ll have gotten there. If we stuck to the same plan, changed course or well, it just didn’t work out and you did something different. Because we never give up, yes?

Have a Super-Charged Week Champs!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

What Are You Doing For Others?

Just imagine you’re on traffic and you want to join the next lane, but this person keeps on blocking you from joining his lane. Annoying right? Well your mind goes on an overdrive, “*throws some curse words their way* stingy blocker, they just don’t want me to prosper.” That’s what runs through your mind, no? At least that’s what we say about the people who just can’t bare seeing you ahead of them or successful.

Then, there’s this person that just paves the way for you. You indicated that you want to join his lane and he just gives you way struggle-free and life moves on. Not that you deserve it, they’re either just generally courteous or they felt that desire to momentarily put their needs aside and give you a hand in handling yours. Sometimes you’re the road hog and you think that your business is more important than the other persons’, or that you are more deserving (which means, at that moment you think they’re not).

We forget to then that reason we get through a couple of circumstances is because someone somewhere paved the way for you. Not necessarily giving you way in traffic, but that counts too. Like going out of their way to make sure that you’re sorted out if you had an issue; taking time out of their tight schedule to be there for you, it could be through a visit, a call, a text saying “hi” or simply, liking their Facebook status; finding out what disturbing your friend/acquaintance and giving them your ear even if for a moment; biting the bullet for your team-mate and walking with them through a tough situation.

This may go unnoticed. Actually, in most cases it always does, at least by the public, but it makes a humongous difference for the person directly impacted. You that feeling when the person in traffic paves way for you and you want to; get out of the car and shake his hand, or wave frantically, or give them a big “THANK YOU” shout out. Now imagine if we generated that kind of feeling in all the places we grace or the people we rub shoulders with?

Kawi Snippets, Paving The Way

Doing something for someone (small or big) without necessarily expecting recognition or a return of the favor, but just because you want to see them ease-up and smile, even if for a moment. Those are the things that keep me awake at night. Most of the time.

Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*