Tag: africa

Thank You Mrs. Mom

I am currently working on my Master’s defense. But, I just had to squeeze out time to brag about the person who has made it physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally possible for me to be able to do it.

I’m talking about an African Queen, Mrs. Mom.

She is one tough cookie. She is sharp too! In fact, she is so sharp you could get cut standing right next to her.

If I told you about her, you’d feel like you just got served a slice of heaven. She is dubbed the Iron Lady, has one “hell” of a right jab, and knows how to groove to the beat people. If Michael Jackson was alive, she’d beat him hands down on his moonwalk.

Her presence is a triple threat.

But she didn’t start off like that. Mom grew up poor. I mean…really poor. She used to carry me on her back like African women do, frying and selling “Gateaux” on the side of the road. See, I grew up watching this.

I heard and felt her pain, tears, sorrows, betrayals…you name it. Figuratively speaking, she’s been left at the altar several times. But she did what she could to survive and with the help of God, she pulled through.

Both her and grandma would send me out to the streets and markets to sell peanuts and other stuff. That’s how I made my lunch and transport money.  Mom eventually got into typewriting school and got a job working as a typewriter. She went on to work for the Department of Finance. Being a woman didn’t help. But, she took her talents into business while working at the department.

That’s how she eventually emerged successful, beating men at the business, rewriting the rules, and inspiring a community of young and old women. That’s where the name – The Iron Lady – comes from. If kids were stubborn, their parents would say, “We are taking you to Ma Ceci’s” house.” That alone made literally “ALL” the kids and even parents in our community readjust.

No kidding.

She now takes care of orphans and widows and mentors young women and single mothers.What’s cute though is that kids still loved to come visit her and talk about life. My goodness, how does she do it though?

How does she make both – love and terror – seem so casual and fun?

She is a trip! Kids with love and laugh and play with mom. But, when a kid knew they’d done wrong, they ran away before mom got back. Mrs. Mom is a real firestorm, but you’d never know it because she seems so sweet and cuddly.

Listen! Ms. Mom is so loving and terrorizing that a stubborn cousin who was forced to live with her because of her behavior studied hard and passed an exam that took two years to prepare for, in a year.

Do you get the picture yet?

And…Lawd….we had our moments.

Oh yea – an uppercut worthy moment. Like a Mike Tyson type of moment. Mom and I got into it after I graduated high school. Let’s just say emotions were high and I wasn’t exactly a peacemaker then. Mom got so furious, she wrapped that cloth around her waist and well…my face was almost history.

Awkward…

But, she is wise too. She often tells us –

  • God has a broken clock. Stop trying to hurry. His ways are not your ways
  • A closed mouth is a closed destiny
  • Always think beyond yourself
  • Speak forward and learn to enjoy life even in the midst of a mess
  • Don’t be afraid. My life is a testament of what God can do. Keep looking up and forward
  • In life, only 5% of people fulfill their calling. How come only 5%? Because they chose to pay the price. Stick it out and it will be better for you too
  • Ahhh…don’t worry about what people say. Let them talk. They talked about me too. Where are they now? Be strong and courageous
  • When you are in a place where you are not in control, be humble and respectful. Take whatever “shit” is given to you. You have your own time and your “own” is on the way.

There is more to tell. But, let me finish preparing this defense. Let me do “us” both one and make her proud. After all, I’m her son.

And to you Almighty God –

Cause the works of my hands to prosper so that I can honor her even as I live to glorify you, in Jesus name. Amen!

 

I love you mom.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 


Miraculously Lost in Music

Phew! Last week was rough.

So, I forgot to write something in time today. My bad! I was writing a defense for my Masters and briefly stopped to write about what God is doing.

First off, thank you all for reading my posts. A special thanks to Maurice for sending encouraging words and prayers. God bless you. I just figured if I am ever given a chance to tell my story, I would need to be deeply vulnerable. So, “Why not start here?” Isn’t that what a blog is for anyway?

Anywho!

Last weekend, I found solace keeping it real with big brother J.C (Jesus). As it says in Hebrews 10:22, “Draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings.” I did and this past weekend, I found comfort and peace. But, that’s not the surprise I want to tell you about.

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I feel like Groot right now

See, while I was vacationing on the wild side of Catalina Islands, I discerned the Holy Spirit leading me to write a short book for diplomats, leaders, visionaries…in Africa. Of course, I questioned my ability to do that. But, I wrote down the idea.

Since, I returned, in the midst of the pressures and trials, somehow, I finished it in three weeks. I realized that even though I didn’t know much, the more I wrote down or typed what came to me, the more the words came forth. It was beautiful.

Then, I started drawing and came up with illustrations for theories that just blew my mind. I was in awe of what God can do when you just let go and let God. When you just swiftly and completely obey.

But, this is not the surprise.

During the weekend, I was just thanking God in the midst of the tasty challenges comprising of disappointments, loss, betrayal, and criticism…when I got a phone call. It was from Mike, a former Hollywood actor, entrepreneur, cyber security buff..whom a friend had recommended me to months ago.

Apparently, Mike had been working on a project and while praying discerned the Spirit leading him to call me and discuss ideas, find out what I was doing etc. When he first reached out, I was at a loss. I didn’t know who in the world he was. He had to remind me.

Anyway – we talked and he told me about things he was doing in Africa and how he was working with this CEO from Africa and how they agreed they need ideas, a framework etc. to help diplomats engage communities, entrepreneurs etc.

Well! How about that?

I just cracked up and explained that all the questions he just asked was what I just wrote about. I told him of the sense of urgency from the Holy Spirit to do it. I’m glad I obeyed. Then I told him of some other stuff and it just blew his mind.

He’d just been reading the scripture which I used to create these frameworks for gold medal peak performance for business and leadership. Halo! And what did I have to do with it? Absolutely, “rien du tout” (nothing at all). God is good, ain’t he?

Wait! There is more. 

People of stature – Marine Captain, Innovation Strategist, Ambassador, City Inspector… – are accepting my request to review it. How is this happening? Man, God is good. Oh…and there is this Pastor whom I met who is reading it to. He was so kind to me. Our meeting was a kind of divine appointment. Unplanned people, unplanned!

Wow! This is bigger than I expected. God is good. Consider keeping me in your prayers.

I write to encourage you and me to keep being faithful, pressing on, and never –

“Become weary of doing good for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9

That said, you need to hear this Old school jam remixed by Dmitri from Paris. Listen! Its got your boy #Motown here sliding to the goodness of God and looking up, trusting His process, and looking ahead with faith.

God throwing this surprise at me as well as me finding this jam is no coincidence. I  think its God inspiring me to become miraculously lost in the music of His unconventional ways and in the music that is life.

Enjoy folks! Y’all have a marvelous week.

 

THANK YOU, YOUR HONOR

Thanksgiving is the reason for the season.

With that in mind, I want to thank The Two Most Important women in my life – Grandma Dinah and Mom. These women sacrificed almost everything to raise me. They would die for me. Thank you so much.

Here’s is an intimate look at my origin through Grandma’s eyes.

She is over 100 and still going.

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Zongkra Bigmami (Dialect for Thank you Grandma)

First, I mention them to show you where I came from. Secondly, it is to add life to a  blessing/prophecy they gave me when I was young, a word which is unfolding. And lastly, their blessing connects me to the person this post is about.

What grandma and mom prayed and prophesied was –

“Son, you will have many mothers in your life.”

Its a parable which means – Continue reading “THANK YOU, YOUR HONOR”

PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT

And…..I am almost died!

Seriously! I almost died!!!

First, literally! Then, out of embarrassment. And then, I wished I had really died. Strong thing to say, ain’t it? Well, here’s the story.

I HATE HEIGHTS! I DO!

But, I desperately wanted to join the swim team. I had done gymnastics. So, I decided to combine gymnastics and the spring board. Yep – diving!

What in the world was I thinking!?

I did all the swim team traditions, became part of the team, and boasted of my new un-tested skill. After all, coach was the one who invited me to combine my skills and break records. Yeah – right!

Then, one Sunday, for a team bonding experience, we went to a water park. Folks were sliding here and there having fun on the deep end. I stayed at the shallow end.

Why?

I just happened to remember – I AM SCARED OF HEIGHTS.

But then the cool kids on the swim team started showing off their skills on the diving board. And it was my turn. But, I stayed on the shallow side of the pool and acted like cool catz do.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t tough enough to escape the cheering and hollering of my nickname which had been so carefully crafted for a man supposedly as skilled as I was.

I couldn’t escape it anymore when they called out that name – ISH’ THE FISH.

That’s right – Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…

Soooo…., I walked up to the diving board, got on the board, and began to tremble. Against my better judgement, I wore my swim goggles. Then everyone became quiet. I couldn’t turn back from the edge of the board now.

It now became – NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!

So, I approached the board, jumped the wrong way, on one foot, and did a front flip which was the lousiest front flip in human history and landed head first in the water.

That wasn’t the embarrassing part. The next part is. Continue reading “PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT”

CIRCLE OF VISION

Someone has to. Its the only way!

Do what, you ask.

Well, you’ll see!

After hearing about the shooting in Las Vegas, I felt hurt inside. I had to change the topic of my post. That’s the reason for the delay in sharing this weeks thought. Strangely, the shooting coincided with a movement in my homeland where we are fighting for our freedom and independence. Unlike the shooting in Las Vegas, the police and army are shooting at unarmed civilians.

How ironic! Continue reading “CIRCLE OF VISION”

FAITH SIMPLISTICS – PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Faith is a fruitcake.

NO! I don’t mean the slur used to describe gay people.

I mean – fruitcake – as in acting with conviction in such a way that others see and think of you as being weird, foolish, unusual, – a fruitcake.

Faith is simple. It is simply the action behind your willingness to be “foolish” or “look foolish” for what you believe in and WHO you believe in, even if that means looking like a fruitcake in front of others. Continue reading “FAITH SIMPLISTICS – PRACTICAL APPLICATION”