Fate: Enemy of Mankind

You! Enemy of mankind

Sender of many dreams to naught

What makes some favorable to you?

Who fits the profile for your merit?

Pitiable you have made many

To destruction you have summoned most destinies

Like an angry hooker,

You have derailed most promising kings

And you have chosen only a few to sup on fortune with you.

Still, you stand; invincible in your cause.

Commanding troops armed with misfortune

On the road to the promised land, you have set a detour

And most of those obedient to your signals

You never en routed.

They perish, and you smile.

Like an angry storm, you strike down dreams

Like a candle in the rain, you blow out hope.

Is your pride in our misfortune?

Is your purpose in our failure?

Yet you fold your arms and smile for a job well done

Stamping our lives with a stamp of misery!

Learning to live with change…

Our strength can only be measured by our ability to accept, handle and live with change… (Sineke Sibanda, 2016)

I have realized that almost every day, I have to cope with change of one kind or another. Of course sometimes I love it because I hate the monotony of doing the same thing for a very long time. However, sometimes it is a real nightmare because one way or the other you just have to make a decision, it might not be a right decision but you have to make the decision right for that particular moment. You make the decision based on the outcomes of the calculations you would have made re-actively in the face of change, sitting on this limbo with no definitive telling of the future.

I remember reading Spencer Johnson’s all time book, Who Moved My Cheese, early this year. The author discusses the subject of change in an interesting way that also offers a panacea for dealing with change. An interesting point he makes is that:

         “What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let                       build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.”

It is not that we do not like change, but it is that we are not so sure if we are ready to match up with it. But how can we know without being tested. True, change normally makes us panic but it is part of nature and has to be embraced.

I have clashed with a number of people who were close to me for frankly standing up against sulking when things change. My simple philosophy when it comes to change is “There is no point sulking over anything, especially the things you cannot change.” In simpler terms, it is a waste of time, in our culture we say it’s hitting a rock and expecting to see it cry, it will never happen, so why waste the energy. It is not wise to build permanent structures on temporary ground, you just have to be prepared for anything. One cliché says that life is a roller coaster, it keeps going round and round in the hands of fate… and knowing fate, anything can swing in any direction anytime, so the best way to cope is to be ready to accept, prepare to handle and to live with change.

Honestly, change is natural and to go against nature is unwarranted folly. It is wasted effort and it can only burn you out. Change, more often than not brings in more challenges that make us more competent and better at what we do. It has an effect of making us feel more accomplished when we begin to cope and eventually overcome it…

There is always fresh cheese elsewhere, and sometimes to have a taste of the new cheese, you have to forego the old cheese. I think this is an interesting way to view change. You can only fill your cup with new wine when you empty out the old. Change is not always good but neither is it preventable. We should always look for the new opportunities in it, at least that is a proactive way to view it and that will always mitigate what I call ChangeBurns’.  I totally believe that our strength can only be measured by our ability to accept, handle and live with change…

#sinelosophy

Never take anything personally: Its never about you after all…

I have been a student of Don Miguel Ruiz lately, indulging especially in his famous Four Agreements. I mastered or should I say enjoyed more his second agreement: Never take anything personally. I would lie if I said I never took anything personal especially with people of the opposite sex. I got nothing personal about/ with guys, we just the same after all. But well, honestly if you really look at life, only a few heavenly sent souls look out for you for nothing in return. Otherwise everyone is out there looking out for their own ass and will only look out for you if they have something they are gaining in return. Ruiz says it in a more interesting way, here:

“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.  Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you.  What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements that they have in their own minds.” Don M. Ruiz 

The honest truth is, everyone has their own life, with enough drama which they cannot handle on their own; how on earth can you expect them to help you carry your own drama as well. Their plates are full already and they have no idea how to keep their falling pieces together either and they will possibly do anything to keep their falling pieces together, even if it means sacrificing you… Nothing people do is because of you, people judge us, understand us or talk to us depending on how they think about us, and what they think about us is really not really how we are or how we should think about ourselves. People are designed in such a way that they see things the way they are.

A good friend and mentor of mine likes to say that if you take three blind people and make them hold different parts of an elephant and then ask them to describe an elephant, they will each describe it in relation to the part they were holding. So what I made of this is that if one was holding the trunk, they will say that an elephant is probably like a snake, the one holding its foot will probably have their own description too. So I mean, people can look at the same you but have completely different perceptions of you, which is reason enough why we should focus on how you see yourself more than other people do.

But life would be meaningless without each other right? But we live in a world so cruel that only a few if any would at all take a fall for you. One thing Ruiz teaches me is to be optimal and honest with myself. The more you lie to yourself, the more you get hurt. So one way to avoid hurt is to try and be in charge of your own sh*t.

Time and again we need other people’s approval, its natural I know and sometimes we don’t want to hear objective opinions. This maybe does somehow confusing or contradictory but not so much if you are aware of yourself and honest to yourself. At times we try to be true to others but fail to do the same favour to the person who deserves it the most. I have realized that the more you become honest and true to yourself, you begin to see things in a different way and even do things differently but the ultimate feeling is that of freedom. You do something the way you see best because you are only concerned about your own approval and not anyone else’. At the end of it all, its good to be concerned about what other people say or think, just in case you are wrong but it is not as good to tie yourself down to everything they say because whatever they say or think is just a reflection of who they are and what they are from wherever they stand.

Of what use are our degrees then?

I’m so thrilled that for one of the few times as a country we have been able to construct or rather fix another road other than the common patches that we are used to, when patching potholes which make it hell to drive on anyway. Keep it up minister Joram Gumbo, you have done well.

I’m however worried with the kind of faith that our current administration has shown towards its people, its structures, its institutions and above all its future, the graduated youth. Apart from feeling betrayed that they school their own children in other countries to increase their chances of being international employees, I’m insulted that they have totally shunned opportunities for the ordinary people too.

Just a few days ago, they were banning imported property for the very reason that there is need to promote local property but surprisingly, today they are themselves importing ‘intellectual’ property from China to come and do a road construction for the Harare-Beit Bridge-Chirundu highway. A clear picture that for the past years our teaching stuff has been vainly working towards producing theoretical idiots that are incapable of doing something practical for their country. I do not have the statistics of how many personnel we have drooled out of colleges with expertise in the built industry, architecture, civil engineering etc. but I’m sure there are skilled people in the country who studied the relevant bit and could carry the project.

now what
www.kenyawest.co.ke

The worst betrayal you can feel as a college student under this administration apart from the fateful drought of jobs is when they show you that your degree is useless and cannot move your country forward. This actually tells an interesting tale, a sorrowful song that we are not good enough for the jobs they promised. You tend to wonder, to whom the promised two million jobs were for? The Chinese or the locals? If it’s the indigenous Taku or Sihle of Zimbabwe, then which jobs, digging the road and wheelbarrowing around a half-ton of wet cement? It is said the project given to Chinese based China Harbour Engineering Company will create about 300 000 employment opportunities, but which kind of jobs? It’s not the indigenous Zimbabwean in the lead, despite all the professed qualifications.

I don’t know if this doesn’t tell you a story about our education system. The common story here is that our education system has been turned into a commercial entity than a country building developmental lifelong project. We are still learning to be employees and our government endorses that. It is for this reason that our government has ignored the whole fairy tale that we are the most schooled in Africa. I call it a fairy tale because a fairy tale is a creative story of things that cannot be touched or felt but only imagined. If it was a reality, our government would be contracting us to do the jobs other than look elsewhere for expertise. So what is the meaning of going to college if a group of people are imported from China to do the exact same things we have been taught in college?

I read that the Zimbabwean consortium of 13 capable companies which had come together to work on the tender sometime in 2013 were betrayed by some government officials who demanded bribes before the project even took off. It seems we just don’t want to see a fellow Zimbabwean getting better in life and I bet now our administration is satisfactorily happy that the project is not in the hands of fellow black Zimbabwean professionals.

Of what use is our education if it cannot build the country and save government millions of US dollars used to import, accommodate, entertain, feed and pay other countries’ nationals for a job we can equally do? It’s no use at all because it is every graduate’s dream to leave behind a legacy of offering national service in return for a better profile other than just a degree certificate hung at home. The best thing you can ever do for your people as a failing government is to at-least invest in your own people. By contracting foreigners, whose profile are we building here? We all know that government is broke, at-least that’s what they want us to believe and we have witnessed it in the way they pay our civil service staff. But even if you can’t pay your people much, give them a profile and increase their opportunities to get better jobs in future.

btech
www.mashada.com

With the state of job-scarcity today in Zimbabwe, I swear it is far much cheaper to employ locals to do the actual job than it is to hire foreign expertise because all we want is to evacuate the bridges in our suburbs and come back home in the evening with bread for our siblings to take to school the next morning, I’m sure they are tired of ‘Maputi’ and jolly-jus in their lunch tins.

It is so funny and hypocritical how this government preaches ‘indigenisation’ and go on to do the exact opposite. You should see them when they talk about this concept and emphasise it, OMG! It’s the best gospel in town, so sweet to your ears yet so bitter in taste. We are on a mission to indigenize but there is no faith in our own indigenous people and skills, so what are we exactly indeginising if we cannot invest in our human capital?

I can go on and on because of the injustice that has been done to our graduates, our learning institutions and a whole lot other things but today I just wish to get an answer for my question, of what use are our degrees? Who will employ our graduates if our own government which expects our votes in 2018 does not have faith in our capabilities. We are not that stupid, if the jobs are ours, give them to us, if you don’t trust us, give us a chance to prove that we are ready to build our nation. I write about this because I’m a student too and if I keep quiet, when my opportunity opens, you might pass it on to people of other countries while I wallow in poverty, joblessness and misery.

The Open Secret: Value

 

Sometimes being young and going through all the growth stages can be such a pain. You stumble and stagger around like a drunk, not because you are not too sure of what you want to do in life. Sometimes you do, but some pieces of the puzzle seem completely unrelated to what you are trying to work out. And because of that, we keep looking and hoping that one day it all works out; ask me how? I’m completely clueless too… The good thing is, you are about to find the answer.

Moving away from my city for industrial attachment was one hell of an experience, knowing fully well that I wasn’t just going to survive and live one day at a time. With a grotesque economy in our country and a very unbelievable unemployment rate, attachees tend to do all the work because they are still at school anyway; the common slogan is, ‘it’s not about the money, it’s about the experience!’ True, it is about the experience… and about the money as well. So trust me, anybody who told you it’s not about the money either hates you, is exploitative or is capitalist, if not all. You need money for almost everything, to go to work, eat at work, clothe while at work among a lot of other things. I was imprisoned in the two but not for long.

Growing up has taught me so much about seeing an opportunity in almost everything. I have a Venda friend, Khumbudzo and she loves a quote that says ‘risk nothing, lose nothing and be nothing’, this has had the same effect too in making me realise opportunities in everything. But one thing I learnt in all this was one friend’s advice, the guy is fairly old, in his sixties now, he told me words I struggled to understand. He said:

“Young man, you are still young and energetic. If you’re not careful, you will lose your                   whole life looking for meaning in it. My advice is, as you look for that meaning, create                 value around what you are good at. Focus on making yourself valuable, that will answer            most of your questions.”

His simple message was, ‘identify your skill, be so good such that if anyone thinks of doing something in your line of work, they will think, YOU!’ I know it sounds a bit vague but it’s true and its possible. Since the time he told me, it is only a few weeks back that I started to find meaning in his words. I read an article published by Forbes on creating value around yourself. The author of the article emphasized that adding value to yourself is to look at yourself as a product and to keep on improving that product every year.

Basically, the message here is, you are the first thing people interact with before they see what you do and all. They should be impressed by you first. I know some of you are thinking, ‘you know what nigga, I don live for nobody but myself n m gonna live this the way I wan to.’ Well, I won’t say you are right or wrong, I would if only I had seen a formula to life. Despite all what you thinking, at the end, it’s all about you. I have learnt over the few years I have lived that the moment you stop improving yourself and become satisfied with where and who you are, your value gradually starts decomposing and it should never be like that.

View yourself as a valuable product and endeavor to develop every year. According to the author I met at the Forbes website, there is so much to learn in life and develop in. He says that say you decide that you will learn something new every year, for example social styles, Communication techniques, Leadership, Strategic Planning, Finance among all other things you think are necessary to you. Look at yourself in 10-20 years, how many things would you have mastered and how much do you think you will be worth?

It’s all about making yourself better every time, no matter how many times it fails to work, as long as you’re still alive, make every moment count, be it having fun, working, family time, you name it, do it so well such that whenever anyone thinks of anything in your line of work, they think, YOU!