#brokenbutnotafraid 4

Shoot me !!

The above picture is a long range photo of a monkey seating on the top of a hillock at Maramani Rest Camp in the Shashe area in Beitbridge West.

I take photography as a hobby and it has helped me have a clear introspection into life in so many ways.

I have shot thousands of pictures ever since my high school friend Knox Lollipop L Chipengule taught me how to operate a camera as far back as 1993.

Now back to the picture. Monkeys are very perceptive and respond with quick reflexes. Their lives depend on that.

I was at least eighty metres away from the fellow when I spotted him and tried to capture of him. I believed the distance was not obtrusive but was I wrong!! He had already spotted me as I raised my camera and extended my lens of the Canon SX410 IS.

All he did was extend his tail down the rock and turn slightly to the right as if in a pose. Two frames later he bounded off.

Therewith my lesson. The fellow knew his environs and was aware of what was focusing on him even if it was eighty metres away.

Because he knew his environs, he also knew what posed a threat to him. I guess little urchins have taken potshots with a catapult at him and he knew how to duck to safety but I guess because he knew of what danger is, he was aware that the camera meant no harm.

The fellow knew his environment, knew his abode and knew what would harm him hence he had no fear of the fellow at the mountain bottom.

There I learnt, when I know where I am, what I am facing and where my refuge is, I have no reason to fear.

I am not afraid of fear.




#brokenbutnotafraid 3

Who’s got the power?

The above picture was taken by me on the river bed of Limpopo near Sentinel Farm a few days ago.

There are two apparent things, a mound of elephant dung and a helicopter.

This photo taught me the third lesson in my fear losing series.

1. A helicopter is at the mercy of an elephant as long as the chopper is on the ground. The elephant can actually crush the perspex glass and aluminium frame without breaking a sweat because the chopper is powerless on the ground.

Whoever is on a grounded chopper when an elephant comes ambling has all reasons to fear.

So, on the ground the elephant has no fear of the chopper. He can deposit a mound and release litres of urine under no threat and amble up the river bank. Safe.

2. An elephant is at the mercy of a flying chopper. I have seen helicopters coral and herd off herds of elephants in a wanted direction, seen darts shot from choppers to temporarily put the big beasts to sleep and have seen elephants shot from choppers. As long as the chopper is in the air, the elephant has all reason to worry to an extent of stopping dung depositing and river bed watering to run for cover in the Mopani foliage.

Therewith is my lesson.

The moment I learnt my place I lost fear of the odds against me.

I choose to walk and stay where I am strong and safe, after all, elephants don’t fly but rule the ground and choppers rule the sky.

So, I have the power when I am grounded. I am not afraid. I have lost fear of fear.



Listen carefully to the toxins

A toxin is an organic poison — it’s made by plants and animals. Toxins make people sick. If your appendix bursts, toxins are released into your blood stream. Also breathing in a toxin like ricin will make you very ill.                                                                                               Toxin definition courtesy of http://www.vocabulary.com

I have since learnt a good lesson. 

I thought to share it with us today. 

In the life I have lived I have come to learn that not everyone will run the race with you. There are those who have no intention to run but will stop you from running. Life.

In the same sphere there are those who will whisper honey into you but secretly connect a poisonous drip into your system. That’s life.

I have learnt to listen to words very carefully and usually let my slow processor digest before I respond. In listening to words I have learnt a number of lessons and I list them below.

1. Listen carefully to what people say to you and about you when they are angry or emotional. It is the real picture of what they think of you. When you hear only derogatory and degrading terms thrown at you in disagreement, listen carefully. That is what that person perceives of you.

2. My English teacher at high school used to tell us that anger is a state of temporary madness. In anger people lose restraint. The same restraint they apply when whispering sweet nothings in the throes of NSFW 18 activities. So to me what you say to me when you are not in control of your emotions portrays the real picture of your perception of me.

3. Toxins are not poisonous if not ingested. I have learnt not to let poisonous people pass their toxins to me. As long as they keep their toxins to their system I am safe. The same way I am safe if I do not let a black mamba bite me and thus inject its venom into me. The mamba can keep on living….. As long as it does not entertain the idea of introducing me to its venom..

4. Toxins are safe in their place. I have learnt to know my place. My place means I will not allow the toxins to come my way. That way I am safe. Smell the toxins but never inhale them.

The next time toxins rain towards you do not listen to reply. Listen to the toxins. They will tell you more about the person and what they perceive of you.

That wisdom will help you decide where to walk and whom to walk with…


Lessons from a setting sun 

​Lessons from a setting sun.

I learnt from the image I took today that no matter what happens, matter what mood we are in, the sun will set to rise again tomorrow.

The sun was shrouded by clouds but it did not stop the rays from permeating the clouds to touch the earth.

In that I learnt that a light cannot be blighted.

Even when surrounded it will shine its rays through.

I know some time after I had passed the sun set. 

Whatever happens the sun will rise again tomorrow.

The sun taught me a great lesson. Rays, clouds, sunrise and sunset all lead to lessons in life.

You either pretend it’s too dark because of overwhelming clouds or you use the last rays to make your way home but all of us have a place under the sun.



And they shall fight against you, but they shall not [finally] prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.Jeremiah 1:19 AMPC

As I meditated on the above scripture this morning something struck me. I realised that the fight and battles will always be there and that it’s not the fights I should concern myself about.

I realised that if the fights are going to be there it means at some point I will have split lips and black eyes from the hits. 

I realised that it means there will be pain yes…..

But I learnt something. 

From those fights I will not lose !!! 

Battered yes, 

bloodied yes, 

rumbled yes but the greatest promise is that ………. I WILL PREVAIL.

And the prevailing ain’t my doing either kkkkkkk. It is because JAHWEH the Almighty says HE is with me…to deliver me.

So all I have to do is STAY IN HIM and confidently know that whatever war I get into, whatever bruises I incur, whatever tears I shed,  as long as I stay in Him I shall prevail BECAUSE THE LORD SAYS SO AND HE IS WITH ME.


The man, the cross and the shadow (1) Whose cross is that?

“You cannot be a hero without being a coward.” -Bernard Shaw

For many days I have been staring at the picture above and I must confess there is something haunting me about it. They say a problem shared is a problem solved (who said that anyway?) so I hope to share my haunt with you. Like I said, I will like to dwell on the man, his shadow and the cross though not necessarily in that order but then, how did we possibly get to having such a picture?

I surmise someone woke up with the intention of driving a message across. I surmise they wanted to be seen and heard, possibly. In view of the past occurrences I believe that the person sought a form of identity and possibly protection. That , in my view, came in the symbolic form of a cross. A brand new cross. A spanking new cross.

I believe the person , let us call him( I settle for him for all players in the image are male, which is a story for another day) the Bearer, is (or was?) a religious person who believed in the sanctity or at least the sacrilege or at least the defence ability of the cross.

The fact that the Bearer went out of his way to procure a cross for his intent is something we can write acres of pages about but let us fast forward to the picture. We have to dispense of the issues relating to where the Bearer lives , how he carried his cross to the picturing point etc and get to answering the question : Whose cross is that?

I respectfully submit that the cross does not belong to the shadow owner. The little I know about trajections and mensuration show that there is now way the shadow owner could have dropped (or placed?) the cross on the floor under his feet and strike the fleeing pose at the same time while avoiding what was pursuing him. So I know at least one person who the cross did not belong to and I choose to call him the Shadow Man.

I submit the owner of the cross is not in the picture but was definitely at some point somewhere around the photographing point. Maybe he was breathlessly watching the camera man at some hidden corner, but then that’s a maybe.

The Bearer would tell a tale about why he dropped the cross as I believe it was not his intention to place it on that ground. What cracks my head is why he let go of his shield and possibly his symbol of faith? Those in the know will tell us of the theory wherein one has to choose between options and I aver that whatever was facing the Bearer made him decide that his cross was optionally now a burden or was going to bring him troublesome attention that he was not wont to handle at that time and he chose to jettison it.

So, did the Bearer lose faith? Or courage? Or, did the cross let the Bearer down?

But then,I digress, whose cross is that?

My simple summation is that besides the people in the picture , the cross belongs to anyone of us not in the picture.

Is it your cross?

Could it be mine?

“Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.”                   ‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭AMP‬‬                                                                                                                                        http://bible.com/8/luk.14.27.amp

To be continued…….

A tribute to mamo’mdala Maria Zondo

We Africans have many mothers. Old mothers and young mothers and it will take an African like me to understand the whole symmetrics. 

In my mother’s family they were ten siblings and my mother was second last.

High up in the hierarchy as the fourth child was mamo’mdala Maria. Records say she was born on the 14th of September 1938 to Nhlanganiso Zondo and Jessie Manholo Sibanda. 

On Saturday 30th July 2016 around 0300hours mamo’mdala Maria breathed her last. She died. She was 88.

My ealiest memories in the early eighties hinge on that she owned the first American fridge in the whole clan and this novelty was worth a 15 kilometres trip to Pumula East from Luveve every Saturday by yours truly and his sidekick Zibusiso. 

Without fail every Saturday that we got there the fridge would be switched off and defrosted so that we could feast on the ice blocks like water melons !!!

Years later as she aged, she became the matriarch of my mother’s clan. We had a love hate relationship that always ended with her smiling in a manner that even reflected in her eyes. 

I remember that she christened me Ndabezinhle (good news) and that name never made it to my birth certificate. 

I remember when she fought me tooth and nail about a decision I had taken that she swore was wrong and she believed was going to haunt me. I thought she would never talk to me again, was I wrong…!!! Three months later I walked into her at my mother’s home and tensed recalling our fight and braced for another barrage of missiles. 

I was embarrassed.  No mention of the incident. No grumpy talk. She was her old self. Water under the bridge though she didn’t miss a chance to tell me that she still did not support my decision  but that didn’t change the fact that I was her child ( remember Africans and many mothers?)

Fast forward to her last two weeks. At my last visit to her I promised her a road runner (another African issue) and was supposed to bring it midday Saturday 30th July. And early that morning she left without the promised chicken.

As I remember her, I have this image of her mounting the last step to the Pearl Gates, stopping to catch her breath by stooping and holding her knees and then straightening a minute later to behold St Peter lowering his bifocals to his nose to verify if it was really mamo’mdala Maria.

I see him handing her an arrivals slip and a full roasted chicken with a message :

Mamo’mdala Maria. You forgot your takeaway meal in your haste to answer the Pearl gates bell. I fried it to your liking and didn’t include the feet and gizzard as per your preference. 

Happy journeying mamo’mdala. 

Ndabezinhle aka Nqobile 

I see her smiling in memory of the little boy she used to call fana (boy) who forty years later she was calling baba  (father).

May your soul rest in eternal peace mamo’mdala. 

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