Stop breaking yourself into pieces for some other person. Stop making yourself feel so small everyday. Stop being a food for their ego in the name of love. The first time when they hurt you, you might have believed their reasons. But if people hurt you again and again and give you only excuses and reasons for it, stop thinking that they will grow up someday. When a person wants to grow, they try at the very least. It doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t happen later. It doesn’t happen when they are old. It happens when they want it to happen. You might have so many flaws too, but if those flaws do not cause wounds to other people, then you should know that you cannot keep belittling yourself and thinking that they accept you for who you are and so should you. It is not your duty, darling, to fix the things that want to remain broken.
Stop settling for the hopes that have been hopes for as long as you can remember, dear darling. You are worthy of all the things in the world. You are worthy of something wild and pure. You deserve to be taken care of, and talked nicely to. Stop giving up all of that for people who haven’t earned a place in your life. Your love isn’t free, you give and take. Unconditional doesn’t mean that they are allowed to hurt you and empty you while you sit there and write poetry for them. Stop staying because it will hurt when you leave. It will hurt for a while, and then there will be so beautiful days that you will almost forget what you left behind. Do not settle for all those half-loves. Do not do this to yourself. When you accept yourself, you hug the parts of you that you have never appreciated much. Realize that nothing in this world should make you feel like you don’t deserve all the happiness, like you don’t belong to a better place.
Know that you deserve all the things raw and fierce, darling, know that you are enough.
Your loneliness was hidden behind your independence.
you thought you always needed to be strong though you were on the brink of giving it all up. Your dissimilarity from the crowd stood out, but little did you know, you were just like the ordinary people residing in this planet.
you also wanted your fears to be seen despite their invisibility from the naked eyes, your suppressed emotions to be heard in between your silences, your actions to be fully understood why you acted that way, when it all started.
and where you were coming from. your soul to be saved from your own misery.
You pushed people away, because the closest ones jaded your trust and broke your heart, all the love that was once stored within spilled out, nothing was left inside of you.
never never witnessed your own weakness, until that night you had your worst nightmare. You wanted those you loved to escape, and free themself from your cursed life.
Don’t worry, and that won’t happen anymore. For you will find someone who will be there beside you. I know You are used to being on the dark on your own and that one true person won’t offer you their light if you don’t want it.
but that one true person will stay, they won’t runaway. They will sit there with you, side by side, until you say, “Now you are okay”.
Today was full of unexpected fun! A friend invited me over to celebrate my birthday at his place but ended up busy snapping me unprepared, we had Laughs, food, we discussed about life in a long while.
We talked about the chances (opportunities) that the pandemic has brought and those chances (opportunities) that it has taken away, and he reminded me of those who lost their souls to this coronavirus, those that lost their loved ones and would forever feel alone, I told him that the nature of life is death, and that each of us have our destines ascribed to us during our birth and it was written they would die that way.
I hope everyone of you is doing well, and to those who lost their jobs, plans, adventure, opportunities, and mostly those who lost their loved ones, their parents, friends , sisters and brothers, and also to the homeless, please don’t feel alone we are with you in this ,our thoughts are with you and I’m sending you warm kisses and hugs wherever you are.
I’m so grateful for today. Zeus knew my spirit needed this and this very picture won the moment 😂.
To the girl who constantly searched for her truer self, the girl who has 212 followers on twitter, a little more friends on Facebook, the girl who hated the existence of instagram, to the girl whose horror trikes like a thunderstorm while talking of her self.
To the girl who always found it difficult to start a conversation, the girl who was always befuddled while in the middle of congestive souls, and yet she grew up from the most populated city, a city where all humans are constantly busy, a city no one was shy, a city with all sorts of stuff, a city with over 210+M marvelous creatures.
To the girl who always thought she was boring and hardly started a conversation, a girl who was always lost in her own thought and found it difficult to know herself and figure out her existence out of millions.
To the girl who thinks her existence means nothing so would her death, with her perspicacious mind befuddling her own existence, yet the strong embraces their shadow while the weak denies its existence. Some Parts of who you are have been locked away and hidden within your unconsciousness.
I tell you today that the luminiferous aether with its vastness and by giving space, Sun by giving light and energy. Wind by giving vital breath, Water by being nectarine giving life and satisfaction, Earth by giving grains and upholding all to all fructify their existence.
I tell you today that stop trying to find who you are or trying to change inorder to be accepted. because if you are not interested in Yourself, life becomes more uninteresting that you wouldn’t be able to endure it.
Stop being a pity to the passersby in your own thoughts and imaginations, stop thinking that you are not fit in this human race , your existence matters, you will be loved for who you are, you will be featured to lead for who you are, your existence is a blessing to others, it’s the reason others live today , though you are yet to meet that one person, just know that: If our existence is for the welfare of others, it is meaningful. And Instead of thinking about that which you want to do think about who you want to be. Do you want to be more self-aware? Do you want to be more conscious? Do you want to be a better person? Do you want to be difference in the world?
Know today that you are A god, your brain consists of all magic and has the power to change everything, people, thoughts, and life, stop trying to please everyone or to be liked by everybody because the nature of life hinders us even from liking everybody.
Know today that you are the most beautiful girl of all time but in your own form,those enticing smiles belongs to you and not anyone else, those alluring self of yours that you thinks is a boring self is the most valued in the world.
Know that your existence is a total superstition, what you believes in is your true self, no matter how hard you try the world will always see the negatives in you and no one is perfect in escaping that reality.
Ever thought of the moon as it shines with the existence of the sun? But they are always great enemy, when the sun says goodbye it’s always a pleasing moment for the moon to say a new Hello and for this reason they are always a sworn enemy, so does life and all the homo-sepiens that exists next to you, some will be there to ruin your life and make it miserable and some will be there who always will have to finght for your smiles.
“When life is put into a total misery it becomes the worst thing to ever happen to man and yet it’s the most beautiful thing to ever happen to man”
You are not alone today as each of us share the same longing to be truly known and truly loved, to discover and know our truer self.
I think, all of us, fall in three major kinds of love at least during our lives.
The first is the childhood one. The purest one. The one where we believe love would conquer all. The love where we are shy to hold hands. The love where we confess to it, in the most roundabout way possible. The one where we may or may not have kissed, but we carry the stamp of their lips on our hearts forever.
The second is the love that teaches. The one which was destined to not work out, but we were too adamant to accept it. The one where we find out that we do not really like that quality in our special someone as much as we thought we would. The one which leaves us broken and battered and howling in pain. The one which makes getting up for work harder than it should ever have any business being.
And the last, is the one that stays. The one which picks you up and accepts your scars instead of trying to hide them. The one which kisses you slowly because it knows it has the rest of it’s life with you. The one which breaks away the walls around your heart. The one which loves your messy self just the way you are.
And I know we all desire and envisages the last one , we are human after all. But, you cannot have that without having the others. So if you’re stuck somewhere in the first two, have patience. Love will find a way.
We first met at a time when texting had efficiently replaced calls, real-life interactions were scarcely looked forward to, and the only approachable way to start a conversation was social media. I texted you first and everything else magically fitted in, like every inch of it was meant to be.
Ah, I still remember that two-hour-long debate I had in my mind when I first wanted to tag you in one of the memes, and the anxiety that followed because I had absolutely no idea how you would react to a stranger tagging you in a random post.
You and I are exactly 18 hours and 45 minutes apart which makes my desire to meet you once understandable. For once, I would really want to have a good look at your face and not your filter-applied photographs; I want to know how you move, how your eyes wander around a place, how you panic. I want to touch you. Know what you feel like. Look at you smile, look at you weep. Look at you blush, look at you annoyed. I really wish I could do all that.
And, while my brain knows that you are just two states away, my heart constantly argues that this physical distance between us is equivalent to distance between the two poles, as most of the time I find myself waiting for your replies.
While the emotional fool in me fantasies to have a warm hug instead of those calming words of yours, which inculcated a sense of being in me, the realist in me quietly saves all my pocket money for making that one trip to an unknown land which nests someone so close.
Of all the Internet strangers, I am glad that you were destined to be mine. You taught me many things, from Islamic laws, law of nature to philosophical agendas of life, and my favourite one being that people will come and go, but you were here to stay.
You are my emotional support, the only one I trust enough to fall back on, and share all my uncanny secrets. Without you, I am a wreck of flawed dreams and forced smiles.
The funny thing about forgetting is that the more you try to let go of each memory, the more they cling to you like grapevines on the trellis hanging on for dear life, going higher and higher in an attempt to catch the touch of the sun. Each attempt of erasing leaves behind a more vivid and vibrant sketch of the memory you want to lose.
The more you try to drunk yourself into oblivion, the more it resurfaces like unsuccessfully trying to trap with a handmade net the ocean waves carrying with it tempestuous storms all together coming out from the depths they were tried to be kept which by all means will drown you and you know you can’t swim.
The funny thing about all of my abysmal attempts in losing remembrance of you is that by doing so, I am actually forging you deep in my own memory like a burn leaving a mark with no intention of ever healing. The more I try to forget you, the more everything comes crashing back to me like cold water as if trying to tell me to not forget anything at all.
As if, trying to say that I should not forget you at all.
As if I really can.
/the last thing i remembered was your empty side of the bed/
We are sitting next to each other yet the distance between us seems to be the longest No one says a thing This silence is impregnated with empty words that now carry no meaning, songs that are no longer reminders of promises that were made in the spur of the moment, emotions that were felt superficially, arguments that are no longer debated, merely accepted or silently discarded, With sighs and tight lipped smiles With words that form lumps in our throats With everything that deafens me But I’m not complaining, I knew we’d get used to love Just not so soon Just not so soon.
What reflection crosses your mind when you hear the word home? What reflections does a native Zande see when they hears the English word home (kporo)? In this essay, I will focus and attempt to describe home and housing which I have seen in the past 19years of my life as a native Zande. What makes home complete among the Azande? How did Azande used to build their traditional walls? What are the current types of houses among the Azande? Please feel free to share your own experience on home and housing among Azande in the comment section!
A complete home
For a home (Kporo) to be complete, there are three essential requirements: 1) Pit latrine (Bumbu-agino\ bakana), 2) House[s] (abambu) and 3) a courtyard (vurukporo)
A home that lacks latrine is incomplete. Among the Azande of South Sudan, construction and maintenance of a relatively clean pit latrine is highly considered and valued both in rural and urban centers. Azande oral history teaches that before the introduction of digging pit latrine by Europeans (abaramu), most of Azande homes were using ‘dead termites hill’ (kurugbo go) as latrine. The ‘dead termite hill’ latrine was always out of sight and had an opening on the very top of the hill where an individual would squat and defecate. When pit latrine was introduced, Azande continued to construct it out of sight from the home. While the rural Azande today continues to enjoy the tradition of having pit latrine concealed, pit latrines are becoming more and more visible and in some modern houses even attached to sleeping rooms among the Azande living in urban centers.
House (s) (abambu), is the second important requirement for a complete home. Every house has a door ‘edge of the waist’ (ngbadimo). The house (bambu) is located within a courtyard” (Siemens 1990:237). A house is described based on the materials used for roofing or its walls. The well-known roofs that are used to describe different houses since 1990 to date include: Grass thatch roof (bambu nvuo), Aluminum roof (bambu Tutia) and Iron sheet roof (bambu zingii). And the common walls include: termite clay walls (bambu pere), mud bricks walls (bambu block) and Clay bricks (bambu zozo sende/asimindi). ‘A grass thatch (roofed with spear-grass) house is viewed as a temporary structure which will need replacing in about three years. The main factor limiting grass thatch houses are termite damage’ (Siemens 1990:237). However, hyparrhenia (bambu Naugare) roofs that are seen in the homes of the elites are believed to take more than 4 years before it can be replaced.
Courtyard (vurukporo).’The courtyard is a place without grass or other plants. One important function of the bare courtyard is to provide protection from snakes. Snakes crawling on the flat bare surface move much slower than they do in the grass…the courtyard is also a place to spread food for drying … or any of a number of technical activities requiring time and space to perform’ ( Siemens 1990:216). A traditional courtyard is bordered by ‘ridge’ (nduka) with kitchen garden and the vegetables that dominate on this borderline ‘ridge’ are pumpkins and okras. Most courtyards and good ‘ridges’ are done by women.
Traditional walls vs modern walls
For over a century the Azande were known for building their traditional walls using termite clay mixed with straw. But then from 2007 the Azande started to abandoned it in great numbers. Unlike making grass thatched roof, building traditional walls were not a one man’s business, instead it would require at least 5 experienced men equipped with a tool known as ‘consuming by power’ (ringbaome/ kparawadi) to complete a house in a day. Building traditional walls came with other advantages such as generosity to community members, socialization, free food and drinks for workers. But it’s rare to come across such walls these days.
Azande traditional wall
Mud bricks walls (bambu broko), as its name indicates, is a new type of wall which is common in many homes since 2000. The English word ‘brick ‘or ‘block’ has been integrated into Pazande. Building this type of wall in many cases requires only one builder and a helper. This looked odd to the elderly Azande, and in fact my grandmother used to call it ‘bambu ringi’ selfish house. This ‘selfish house’ has also come with added advantages, which includes job creation for the mud brick layers, builders and their helpers and more important – it helps avoid termites reaching the roof.
Current types of houses
For the past 19years, I have constructed and come across different types of houses among the Azande people of South Sudan and Congo-Dungu. All what I have seen include:
‘Elephant’s back’ (Ngongombarã), the name is derived from the shape of the elephant’s back. Despite the influence of modernization, this type of house is still seen in the gardens, market places and some homes.
‘Emerging from earth’ (Gbasendeyo and Bandai) the name of this house was a description of how its walls were emerged from the earth at the time of its construction. Building Gbasendeyo used to proof how experienced the men were, since there were no polls that held the mixed clay with straw together. Only the skills of using ‘consuming by force’ (ringbaome) and wall supporters which were used at latter stage. For Gbasendeyo that were constructed by youths, the posts were not used to support the roof, instead right after finishing the wall, ngbege (gardenia) (gardenia is a termite resistant) branches with a Y ends were inserted into the wet edges of the walls which latter would supports ngbagoro bambu ‘edge of the neck’ (Siemens 1990:385). Granary (Gbamu) walls were also built using Gbasendeyo style, however without inserting gardenia branches into the edges of its walls. However, with big sizes Gbasendeyo, about six or nine post would surround the walls so as to support the weight of the roof. The Gbasendeyo walls that were much thicker were known as Bandai. It’s so rare to come across Gbasendeyo walls in urban centers.
A complete Gbasendeyo wall with grass thatch roof
Granary (Gbamu, Kata and söro) ‘is like a small house raised on four thicker and termite resistant posts. Four large posts support a wooden platform which forms the granary floor. Termite clay walls are built on the platform. The walls are topped with a roof. Some granaries are ratproofed by inverted clay cones on the supporting posts’ (Siemens 1990:218). The roof of granary was first set on the ground out of light polls. After thatching three lines of the roof, it was then lifted on the walls where the roof would be finally thatched. The uniqueness of Azande granary is; the roof was just rested on walls with nothing fastening it to the wall. The secret of building the granary this was, if fire would catch the roof, people would just push away the roof and save the grains and seeds in the walls. The granary among Azande signifies a home that has good food security, seeds and riches. Other types of granaries include: Kata and Söro.
Granary among Azande signifies a home that has good food security, seeds and riches…
‘Kitchen house’ (Yepu, yapu or gbapu) the name was derived from the fact that one could pass through any part of this hut since it has no walls. ’Generally a yepu is understood to be a kitchen’ (Siemens 1990:268). A kitchen always had three large stones (kere mbia) on which to hold pots over a fire, a large grinding stone for millet and a smaller grinding stone for peanuts. Yepu was considered as ‘place for women’ (baa ade). Yapu is still visible in Azande towns today.
’Generally a yepu is understood to be a kitchen’ and considered as ‘place for women’ (baa ade)
‘Men’s sitting room’ (Torï /Payote) peyote was a version of a sleeping house without clay walls. It was considered as a sitting room where men sit. In homes that had a granary, that was instead used as sitting room. In this era of mud brick, many peyotes have walls with huge windows on each side of the wall.
‘Mud covered structure’ (Badikä) the name of this house was derived from its walls. The walls were first connected with several sticks (wiri angua) for structure, and then termite clay would be used to cover up the structure. Just like Gbasendeyo, the roof of badika used to be supported by several posts that surrounded the walls. Building badika walls were much easier compared to gbasendeyo. Though this type of house was fast to build, it was also fast and easy to get destroyed by termites. To help monitor the activities of termites in badika houses, some Azande used to dig outside the house a ditch as deep as one or two inches. Badika houses were the first to be abandoned due to its weakness.
Building badika walls were much easier compared to gbasendeyo.
Mud bricks wall (bambu block) and Clay bricks (bambu zozo sende) the name was derived from the materials used to build the walls. Since 2000, mud brick / clay bricks walls were fast conquering Zandeland. These types of walls are the most desired in both rural and urban centers. While many hired builders are used to build bambu block in urban areas, Azande who are in the rural areas gambles in building these new walls under the Zande expression mo andu ka wirika gamo wari? (Where will you learn yours?)
Since 2000, mud bricks / clay bricks walls were fast conquering Zandeland.
As the Azande continues to embrace modernization at higher speed, it terrifies me that in the next 20 years, most of our essential heritage will vanish. How do we confront the current Zande trait of being too fast to forsake their culture and adapts foreign culture? Between 2007 and 2019, some native Azande who were displaced attempted to build Gbasendeyo walls in Yambio town only to find out in the following day that unknown people had smashed the entire walls down. What a torture to individuals who wishes to sustain our culture! With modernization on the right, and conflict on the left hand of Zande culture, traditional grass thatch (abambu nvuo) continues to battle with iron sheet roofs (bambu Zingii). Do you have any of Azande traditional houses in your home, share with me the picture.