A Purpose-filled Life

I have always grappled with the idea of having a purpose and the fear of dying without ever achieving it. This inferring that all along I have believed that the people whom I have loved and have passed away did not achieve their fullest purpose, more so if they have died young. One of the most torturous mindsets to carry in life. Believing, that a purpose never was fulfilled.

I cannot begin to count the number of times I knelt down and pleaded with God to drop-ship my purpose in one of my dreams or tether encryption through one of my daily habits or simply send a messenger who will come with a recipe and instructions on how to fulfil my purpose. A bit too self-indulging if I may say. Well, I have had moments of tearing up in the car, in the toilet, in my bedroom or any space of privacy where I could wallow in self-pity for my lack of distinct purpose.

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On one of my lowest and self-hating days a colleague recently burst out as we entered the elevator at the end of the day “what have we done to deserve this!”. Immediately I related the exert to the daily run-of-the-mill of the 8 to 5 job and feel that my job is not attached in any way to my purpose. It crushed me even further. As much as the purpose is not necessarily meant to be attached to the way in which we earn a living, we hope that somehow it is linked to the energy and efforts of the 8 to 5 commitment. 

Then a few days in of the continuous questioning of my purpose, I paused to ask a friend if they knew their purpose. Lucas (the meaning for this very common and un-decorated name is so profound it deserves its own blog), responded in a simplistic, tangible yet profound description of what his purpose was. It was something attached to his passion, something he is already doing in his line of work. With just a twist of having a more focused intent. Eye-roll, did I not just earlier indicate that I am not happy in my job and I find no personal fulfilment out of it? His answer could have been a little more complex and unattached to his livelihood you know? Envious of his answer, I could not ask “Mr perfect”any further probing questions (tongue out).

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This begged for more self-introspection and no light bulb came on, not even a drop of a coin hit the floor but I just got it! My idea of purpose has been attached to the individual that stands at centre stage,  addressing multitudes and most probably the God-complex of one raising a hand to a large number of people who miraculously getting instantaneously healed. What a dream, what a lie and a bit of a narcissistic way to think.

So, the purpose is simple, uncomplicated and earnestly about intention. It is just as pure and innocent as breathing in and out. The purpose is connected to our values and beliefs. The only time we struggle to see it is when we live a life that does not the model who we say we are. My purpose is in my smile, my actions and my character. It’s intertwined with my belief in a God who reigns above my life and orders my steps and my obedience to walk a journey of compassion and love.

Sometimes We Give It Our Best

Wrote an exam today and guess what I flunked it miserably. What hit me after writing was not the feeling of disappointment but knowing that it would not be the only thing I am still to suck at, as long as I have dreams, aspirations and goals.

So we give life our best. My first experience of the negative results of giving my best was heartbreak and guess what I got over it. Then there were a lot more lessons in life about giving it all that I could. Often when the positive happens with hard work and dedication we shy away from counting or attributing it to the result of hard work. Then when we fail we start counting, failed relationships, job losses, business ventures that won’t launch, unfavorable exams results and the list goes on.

Somehow there is a universal understanding that nothing comes without trying, failing, getting up and trying once more, twice more until we get to where our journey leads us. Sometimes it just needs us to try so much that on the umpteenth time we get it that it is not for us. But the reward comes with giving it all we can and ultimately knowing that in all existence we maximized ourselves as best as we could.

Whatever you want full ownership of, you must be willing to take 100% effort, 100% accountability and 100% learnership – Sarah Ravhudzulo

So I am sitting here, drinking some gin and tonic contemplating my next move. And guess what? It includes giving whatever I embark on next my best efforts. My “skin in the game”. How I come out of the next ride will determine how smooth or rough the journey was. I want to win and I want to fail with a hunger for a lesson in mind.

When our paths are paved or us

Everybody has a story. And there’s something to be learned from every experience. – Oprah Winfrey

My mother and I connected after the passing of my father, we had an analogous pain causing us to seek strength in each other. She had just lost her lifetime partner and I the man I adore and love so much. Yes, I am such a daddy’s girl and I own it. On any other day, when he was still alive I would have chosen to hang around where he was and even go through pains to come up with a topic that would spark a conversation with him that we would debate.

I loved his company and learned so much from him. He really was my hero.

Fast forward, after losing my father I found my mother waiting at the end of that road to embrace me and pick me up where I felt lost, broken and paralyzed. Really I did not know what to do next, my being and worth had hung on my father’s existence with no expectation for an end. But my mom had allowed herself to remain in the background, though somehow there is a tacit sense I get that she orchestrated and encouraged the bond and I appreciate her even more for that wisdom.

When you lose someone you love, a part of you fades. But with me, everything went numb. It was the stories my mother told me of herself when she was growing up as we mourned our beloved that restored my will to live. A humble upbringing, similarly, her father’s love was was all she could rely on considering that her step mother tyranny. A tyranny that ultimately birthed resilience in my mother that was similar to that of the shell of a tortoise and a love as tender as that of a rose unfolding the gift of its beauty in the midst of spring. My mother gave me the gift of knowing her a little bit more than I had ever allowed myself.


Her stories are so full of countless moments of rejection, hurt, hate, pain and betrayal. Yet a sense of victory hangs around her every time she finishes her stories. As if an she never was alone through every encounter. When she was sent out late at night to go buy food stuff at a convenience shop that was a long distance distant from home because her stepmother had protested saying, “this one is afraid of nothing”. She would not dare send her own darling children and she saw my mother fit to encounter whatever fate waited along the way. Mom vividly recollects another time she was so ill with mumps she had to walk herself yet another long distance whilst braving an intolerable fever causing her to collapse under a tree before she could get to the clinic. A passerby who happened to know her father found her passed out and helped her walk the rest of the distance.

I find courage in knowing my mother’s journey  because it recounts a grace and presence of God. I know now that my father was most blessed to have had her in his corner. This also makes me reflect on my own life’s path and I do acknowledge that though we are given free will there is a greater power that paves our path.

It is in submission to the great unknown (God) and letting go a little of the need to control and dictate who, what and were we should be that we can fully experience and appreciate our journey. To allow our paths to fall in the hands of the porter and graciously allow for our paths to be formed, carved and paved that as we walk, run, stumble and navigate our way we may know that there is a greater good that guides us.


Brocken Vessels

A fine glass vase goes from treasure to trash, the moment it is broken. Fortunately, something else happens to you and me. Pick up your pieces. Then, help me gather mine. – Vera Nazarian

I recently encountered a whirlwind that sucked me in. It dragged me from solid ground, hurled me into a vacuum, spun me in different directions and spat me out, leaving me in a hot mess of emotions and a limping spirit.

This whirlwind, being an outpour of emotional events which played out in a form of a dear friend grieving the loss of a beloved friend that made my soul ache with a familiar pain, a stranger confiding to me about a sickness that has little chance of cure which anchored my heart to the sea floor as I realized the inevitable, someone I respect have an erratic episode towards me that left me shaken and as though it was not enough, self affliction reared it’s head as I slipped into a deep whole of self pity marred with insecurities. And as a result to attest to the mashed up gravy of emotions my face broke out into a gravy of adult acne, what a reward!

Life opens us to moments of experiencing things we are not prepared to deal with, even at the times we feel resilient. These are moments that beg for our strength abruptly, yet leaving us feeling thrown into our most fragile state.

My lesson in this has been that at that very moment, our strength is not in knowing what to say in the moment of pain and grief or how to react when feeling attacked or even how to pull yourself out of a vacuum of negative emotions. But to surrender to the moment as it presents itself. We have to allow the cracks to surface, the broken pieces to fall off and the gaping parts of our souls to lay open. All this because magic lies in being able to acknowledge that a vessel is broken. When we acknowledge the moments in the raw, uncut and pure state, we allow ourselves a salve for restoration and healing.

We are all just a tad bit broken! And universe allows for special moments, whether we chose to see them as special or horrid, the moments are a mirror reflecting the cracks and scattered pieces in us or those around us, so that we may learn something about who we really are.

Well, how did I deal with the whirlwind moments? For whatever it’s worth, I chose the magical powers of compassion. Yes compassion for my friend, the grieving lady, the relative with the outburst and in the same important vein, compassion towards myself. I cried all these different moments because my compassion was about being in touch with my emotions. I chose to reflect on the meaning of each encounter and learn something from it. I prayed for spiritual discernment for each aspect that I had encountered and to understand what the lesson is. I also expressed gratitude for being afforded the opportunity to encounter moments that validated my existence.

Compassion is a strong adhesive that puts back all the broken pieces. It may not take one moment of using the magical powers of compassion but the conscious application and repetitive efforts of compassion surely pave the path to healing, comfort, forgiveness and restoration.

When things come undone

The start of something new poses a positive and tangible optimism in the air. A renewed hope and a restored soul. To see something that you have prayed for, hoped for and worked so hard for finally get in motion, the heart does a back flip lands on its feet and jiggles in a happy dance.

So a week ago after our church ward meeting I stood with two beautiful souls that God brought into my life or rather God delivered me into their lives, by the parking bay and I blurted out “please pray for me, I am struggling to get in touch with my emotions”. That came out quicker than I could articulate what I was trying to say or to even stop myself from saying what now sounded absurd to me. What had I just said, did I even know what is was saying? It was too late, the cat had jumped out of the bag and now I had to deal with the touchy-feely responses of the people I knew cared. They where definitely going to take it seriously and they did.

Why I say I had to “deal” with the responses is because I actually was not looking for a response. I was not ready to dive into my emotions, if there were any to find in the first place. Not at that moment when I did not even know what I had just said, to say the least. So, one of my God given angels reached out to me and hugged me as she told me it’s okay to surrender to myself and my feelings. My other angel related to her own battle and they held me close. And an annoying void glared at me, it glared at the situation until it all felt awkward. An annoyed voice in my head retorted, saying “This is a moment you could show that you are human being you know, a tear roll or an unstoppable vent on what is causing this lack of emotion could do right now”. Silence, nothing but the void glared back, I held my angels close, but still the void glared right back.

We soon changed the topic after some heart warming advice from my angels with some pleasantries, an exchange of hugs and everyone started for their homes. Before I could turn on the ignition I gave myself a pep talk that went like “Are you crazy, how can you start something like that and not even go deep, surely whatever you are feeling they could have helped you get over it or you could have cried it all out with them and be fine by now”.

I often say I cannot cry before attentive eyes, and yes, it is real. So, lo and behold as soon as I left the church premises and turned into the street that headed home my tears welled out like a fountain. I cried the ugly cry. My wails and screams filled the air in the car. The thick air filtered into the void in my heart with a rush of emotions and the ugly cry turned into a soft sobbing of song “I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee my blessed Saviour I surrender all” in my nasally squeaky voice of course. Immediately I knew what was the cause of my “I am struggling to get in touch with my my emotions” tantrum. It was a facet of things that I had refused to deal with because it meant dealing with the bad and the ugly, it meant wrestling and logging heads and it meant the feelings of helplessness and the feelings of defeat. I had for a long time turned my head away to all this and put it all at arms length and said “Nope, not my cup! not this year!”. Now, I have to confront it all before it fully consumes me.

So, I begin my journey of letting go. The journey of surrendering to myself and being vulnerable. I will stumble, fumble, rejoice and eventually, though it will be at a slow and gradual pace, I will get in touch with my emotions.

The warrior stands alone

Africa has bore her children in labored and excruciating pains that run through her veins to connect all ethnicities and cultures through the voluptuous valleys and majestic mountains of her continent. Her daughters are raised as warriors and her sons groomed as kings. She boasts the beauty of the melanin hues of their skin and the textured crowns they carry on their heads, inherited from her soil and jungles of her earth. Their blood carries minerals and precious stones like salt to nourish the rivers and seas that feed into the souls of her young.

Thabelo ignores the deafening sounds of the hooters from the cars that surround him at all angles. He has deliberately walked without a trace of fear nor a wince of hesitation to the centre of the busiest road in town, causing cars to stop at a holt whilst others swerved to avoid crashing into each other. All this commotion to avoid hitting him. Could he be drunk, or mad maybe or just plain stupid? What has got into him? Only Thabelo knows. He stands in the middle of a busy street in deep town, surrounded by tall buildings hovering over him like dead branches of a giant tree and concrete streets meandering in and out around and behind as just like the confusion that has muddled the wires in his brain. Some people walk past as if unaware of the “crazy” man in the middle of the street and some stare with shock, some amazement and some in anticipation ready to capture through their devices the action for the day, something to share with family, friends and strangers on social media. Yet he stands there not oblivious to the chaos, but choosing to block it out of his’ minds eye. He stands there stuck, still and waiting like a tree rooted deep. Waiting for a thud to jerk him back into sanity, yet with a deep fractured longing to end it all.


Thabelo closes his eyes for a moment and allows his imagination to take him back home to Limpopo. a deep sense of longing and loss collide into each other within. But with his eyes shut, all he sees is a dirt road, and a young boy wearing a neatly ironed yet worn school uniform. The boy is walking to school full of hope and trust in the possibilities for his future. A very smart kid, a top achiever in his whole school. The intelligence that afforded him an international bursary to study abroad and come back to head one of the top law firms in his home country. But the young boy on the dirt road, at that time has a sense of contentment and he is so sure of the future. Life is not easy for his family but the love and support that surrounded him had him grounded. there is an invisible cord that connects him to the very earth he walks on. A smile creeps onto Thabelo’s face as he remembers playing soccer in the dirt of the school fields, returning after a long fulfilled day to a home cooked meal and a warm bath in the steel basin behind the family hut. Life so simple, yet so rewarding.

The persistent car hooters bring him back into the current moment with a jolt that brings back those voices in his head that just don’t want to give him peace.  For the first time since he walked into the busy road, Thabelo makes eye contact with one of the passer-by’s ad all he can see is an empty stare. A stare that dares him to make a jump right in front of the next moving car and end it all. Through his eyes, everyone seems detached to the umbilical cord of Africa and she weeps. Thabelo longs to be released into Africa’s spirit, to return to her loins and back in her arms.  One by one the voices in his head chant “just end it” “you’ve failed ” “loser” “it’s too much” “it will be quick” “no one will miss you” “see you are a joke” “just end it”….

Depression is real, it doesn’t matter how accomplished you are in life. The bottomless pit is the same for everyone, it it just deep, dark and antagonizing in the same vein…I dedicate this to everyone that suffers depression and faces it as a daily battle. I don’t have a remedy but I ask that you who read this insert take some time to pray for someone whom you may know is going through depression.

Africa weeps and wallows, her beautiful creation falls away like leaves plucked off a tree before the flowers could bloom. Her precious children, swallowed by a dark invisible and intangible beast.

The beauty of scarves

Experiences in life can strip us of the basic human dignity and leave us bare and feeling naked. As if the virtual garment of self-worth and a genuine sense of value can no longer exist. It could be the loss of a loved one, a betrayal, a sense of failure, a mutual separation or a rejection which leaves us feeling that the translation opens us to be judged or condemned by the world and boxed in certain societal translations of that very experience. There is a saying “Love covers all”, but maybe scarves are made to compliment love when the arms of love struggle to come full circle.

Takalani stands in a trance in the middle of the town market, yet her eyeballs dance to the rhythm of the scarves that flap and fly mid-air showing off their colours and carefully crafted designs and patterns. The seductive dance of the scarves holds onto the strings of her soul and play a love symphony, a soothing melody that flickers a flame that warms up the cold compartments of her whole being left vacant and wanting. Like a shield so soft and supple yet a solid protection against so much that hovers above an imperceptible threat to her soul.

Shaking herself off of the trance she moves to pick the scarves that move to the rhythm in her soul. One for the time that she lost her father, another for her marriage that wanes on threads of destructive cycles and a few more for all the businesses that she has started but never saw through and one more for the vacant spaces which she can’t quite articulate as to the cause for the void. As she pulls all the scarves closer to her chest the flicker burns out into a hot flame that comforts and caresses her into a burst of joy and a fevering glow on her face. She smiles to herself when she imagines how she will carefully fold and pack them as soon as she gets home, adding to the collection in her cupboard where she has created a special place just for her scarves.

Then what in your life, holds you back together again?

Takalani has found a beauty in scarves that translates into a world that holds her back together into one whole piece. She wraps each one with a very dear and sentimental meaning, only known to her. Whilst everyone else marvels at just their beauty and attractiveness, she really knows the true value. Whether going out for a simple lunch with friends, dressing to a formal outfit for business or a communal gathering, she knows in each occasion she is backed by the force that the scarf stands to represent.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

The tunnel bares a promise of light at its end. The journey through the tunnel, to reach the light may be short or longer than expected, but there is light. Those who have never seen it, never lived long enough to reach the end of it. A tunnel that does not open, becomes a cave, a dark and dim promises of oblivion that promises no hope.

Sedzani grew up with the sense that he could do it all, he lived up to every challenge. He enjoyed the rewards and failure had because to him it all birthed an even bigger challenge to tackle. He had dreams that scared him and aspirations that invoked the feeling of fluttering butterflies in his stomach. There was a light that shone right through his eyes and a brightness that beamed from his face. He was a natural creative, he thought sharp on his feet and provided constructive input wherever he could and always tried something new. He was like an ever expendable rubber, never tiring or stretching out. But all that had died. All he had left was a worn out shell hanging onto a lifeless soul.

The world in it’s essence does not allow people to live in silos and with that it comes with an inevitable desire to influence and contribute to who we are as individuals and what matters is what we take in, what we leave outside the door and how we let it affect us. Sedzani, along the way encountered antagonism, doubt and fear… all these being learned instincts. Drowned and tangled in the marshes of seeds of doubt planted in him, he has grown weary and allowed the light to be snuffed out.

Along this journey of brokenness all he has been thinking about is the one thing that always gave him an unconfined excitement, capturing moments. Photography had always been a passion that he took for granted, he grew up seeing the talent being shunned and looked down upon, yet in him a great desire to capture moments spoke life. Photographers had always been seen as misfits and lost souls and because of this he avoid inheriting the labels that came with it, until he had to face the label of failure had on.

Hope…sometimes is all you have when you have nothing at all. If you have it you have everything.

A year into a world that he has found himself lost, tattered and lifeless, today, he is sits with a neat box on his laps that he had stashed away in his cupboard trusting he would never want it again. Inside it is his camera. As he picks up the lifeless contraption the weight and realness of this “thing” makes his heartbeat quicken and soften at the same time. Tears started roll down his cheeks as a year of hopelessness flashes in his mind and a spring of hope starts to brew in his core. Could it be possible to feel such a deep love for something you have avoided so long? Could this be the light?

Light Gives Way

Albert Einstein described enlightenment in one of his many famous quotes, saying  “The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.” the Wikipedia states enlightenment as an insight or awakening to the true nature of reality. Ten people can look at a sculpture, experience an event or a even read an insert and come up with ten different insights and motivations. How you seek the light and how you choose to see the light gives way to your wisdom and understanding.

Londi, cries a lot, she cries tears of sadness and an even truck load tears of joy. Life for her is a big event and might as well come with a sound track to accompany every moment, an array of voice overs and consistent sound effects. She carries within her an innate positive impulse as if a flower grows within her and blossoms every time life calls for it. She smiles a wide and generous smile that pulls her cheeks up towards her ears and she lets out a shrill of joy that can be translated into nervousness or uncontained excitement. Barely a sad note nor a negative utterance is confessed past her lips.


You could swear she was born enlightened, an old soul buried deep within her and answers to life etched into the layers of her skin. But it has not been all smooth sailing. It has taken losing multiple times for Londi to fully understand the goodwill of life. She knows that with every loss there is a gain and with every strain there is a relief. The fall down has always been so instant, a heavy thud as she hit the solid ground and the rise slow and trying that lifting her head begged for every ounce of her patience and strength. Her strength has become the light that radiades from her face and her resilience the firmness of her feet with every conviction her steps take.

Every person caries a light that shines and radiates with love, kindness and joy, summed up as being “content”. How often does you light give way to the feelings of contentedness?

Londi aspires to stand before a multitude of people one day and share her life stories. She would like to give hope, strength and courage to people who find themselves in the tender moments of failure, loss, grief and worthlessness. This, she know is not just a wish but what she was born to become, a destiny that is developing is it’s pace and acquiring it’s own standards.

She Matters

There are a lot of connotations attributed to the role of a female. In one aspect she is seen as a driving force that yields change, impact and value, in another note she is objectified to fulfil a certain context of a servant, weakness and worthlessness and in another footing she is seen as non-essential whether she puts in value or not. There are a lot of nuances and undertones that cannot be captured in one expression yet all can be felt, experienced and lived whether positive or negative and this comes with no punches spared by people of all sexes, races, creeds and generations.

Khodani grew up in a world that all the nuances and undertones that come with being a female have been affected on her. She has been made to feel larger than life, invincible and wise and in the same vein she has been subjected to feeling lower than an ant’s shadow and in many instances she has been overlooked and made to feel of no value at all. She has walked the road, taken in all the experiences, absorbed the lessons and out of it, she has chosen to entrench the attitude of consciously asserting the fact that she matters.

She walks with a stance of an overly confident peacock, declares words of affirmation and reassurance in her conversations and lives a life that seems self-serving. She carries the amour of a thick skin with a fashionable feminine touch to avoid looking rough around the edges. It is a fine balance of being tough and yet supple enough to make a statement of worth. Khodani recently faced the demon straight in it’s face when she had to let go of her partner who she believed they were compatible in many ways.

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They dated over 5 years when she literally took Nina Simon’s quote “You have got to learn to leave the table when love is no longer being served” the day that she decided it was time to pick up her dignity from the floor. One of the easiest and liberating decisions yet so heart wrenching at the same time to realise that he had not given their relationship that much value to begin with. He was not shaken by her departure. She had hoped for some resistance, questions or even tense exchanges to indicate that there was a bit of fire that still burned, but she knew it was not about the relationship but the value that the other placed on their partner. They had a perfect relationship, in the sense that it offered a lot of freedom, space and flexibility however it offered all that with the undertone that her presence was neither felt nor appreciated and the breakup indicated just that, after she poured her heart out on how it would not work he managed to groan a short “noted, well understood”.

A slap in the face! She did not expect marriage or luxurious trips all over the world out of the relationship, just validation that she mattered.

Khodani does understand one lesson out of this encounter and many more situations that carried the same nuances. That is, the value that one places on herself, no matter what script in life you live out, self worth and respect matter more than any other tag a woman can place on herself.  Knowing that all woman have been given life because God trusted them to live it and out of that, what great respect we give to God living it knowing that we are worthy, valuable and important… knowing that we matter.