An old African proverb… What an Old Person sees while sitted down, a young person can never see even if they stand on a mountain.
Job 8:8-10 “Just ask the previous generation. Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors. For we were born but yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow. But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you the wisdom of old.
So I really didn’t want to watch this episode on the Red table Talk because it’s Topic was of no interest but oh well i went ahead to watch it. You would think someone made my hands tap the link and kept my eyes open yes it was clear to me it wasn’t my interest.
Like I said in my previous post knowledge can bring sorrow too.
Here is a young lady in her early years supporting a “kind of relationship.” She was definitely defensive all through,they brought people on the show practicing this kind of relationship and all in all ,one person at the table just couldn’t let it sink in. The Grandmother.
It’s a show of three Generations of Women it’s interesting seeing perspectives from all ends.
The Grandmother was adamant in questioning this new kind of relationship and intrestingly even the ones practicing it couldn’t give answers clear enough.
Context on the kind of relationship, One of the ladies brought at the table is dating a married man and living with a woman who she says it’s not sexual but she’s still her life partner (she calls her mate)
In real terms she is living with a best friend (giving her a title ) and cheating with a married man who is also cheating on his wife who is also cheating hehehe you get the picture yet.
After watching it I realised how much more we shall need to protect the next generation from all kinds of crazed ideas. To justify your likes , idealistic views and just because they found a term for it, it’s supposed to be okay.
See all the things that the world tries to justify today are not for your benefit but for a destruction. Poly…that… is just cheating in the new age and they want it acceptable.
You will hear things like one of the most important decisions in life you will have to make is who you will Marry….. Let’s keep it diverse and say who you will keep company with.
Why are we so accepting of terms just because you feel different or been treated different? Of course you are different, who else is like you.
I don’t get the hang of all kind of sexual terms out there I don’t need to, I really don’t because if God is not in it it will most definitely end in tears. I mean atleast history will not lie.
We all speak of love but what would we know about love except know it from the one who created it.
Have you seen how love is described in the word?
When you have to forgive someone, to be patient and kind, to endure hardships, be selfless it will have nothing to do with your sexual orientation or whatever terms you coming up with today.
And we say life is complicated. Yoh it’s we complicating it…. There is a Man, Woman and Animals.
There is principles,laws set that you cannot escape. Explore but keep in mind you are not exempt from the consequences of the choices you make.
There is no manual to life but we have tools we use to live this life. Boundaries are necessary.
Job 9:3-4 If someone wanted to take God to court, would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times? For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully?
Happy New Month to you all. It’s become of more importance to be thankful for the littlest of things. Last Year at this time we didn’t know how it would or could end.
While being Thankful I decided to share of a few things I have learned in the past months. It’s true alot can happen in a day just imagine a whole month.
One of the things that stood out living a life of God is a high calling in fact it’s being a true Soldier.
Deep in a conversation with a gentleman recently and his escapades of trying to live a godly life in a corrupt workplace is just one of the few. So show me a Man of Valour I will show you a Man who follows the way of the Lord.
2 Timothy 2:3-4 Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him.
Need I mention the more you exposed to the more you realise how much less matters. I recently tweeted talking about if one vents their life they will find less to care about. Many times we are carrying a load of what doesn’t matter. Just as you choose your battles ,learn to lay down burdens.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Do it and you will regret it, Don’t it and you will regret it. Its Wisdom to do when you have counted the cost.
Luke 14:28-29 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.
Being sad doesn’t necessarily mean you are depressed. Self diagnosis has become such a norm whereas some people are honestly battling mental health illnesses some of you are just going through something painful. Some days will be bad ,some days will be good.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A wise man once said “Doing evil is not hard you just don’t have to make a decision.”
Each day you get up you have to make decisions in moments during the day, some times we make the wrong ones and it does cost us but when you have opportunity to do right, do right, they all lead to a certain way.
Proverbs 2:11-13 Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you, To deliver you from the way of evil and the evil men, from men who speak perverse things and are liars, Men who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,
One thing thou just because you made a bad decision today doesnt mean you cannot make another decision again.
When in doubt don’t move. The moment your in doubt it’s already a battle within yourself you will be tossed by the wind.
James 1:6 Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
No one tells us the more we know or are aware of the more we are also awakened to sorrow. It’s a hard truth but oh well King Solomon did see it after all.
Ecclesiastes 1:18 The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
When God brought Eve to Adam it wasn’t only for companionship but also to create a community. We are relational beings and no matter how much you are hurt by others God does still want friends , Spiritual leaders, brothers, Sisters for you.
Many are too hurt to tell you but there is still Good people in this world.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity.
Some Years will be for questions, Some Years will be for answers. Life is multifaceted, keep living and you will discover more of it.
Soooooo….What did you learn in the past month? Would love to hear from you.
I could close this half of the year but then I would miss sharing some of the wondrous things I continue to come across.
I hope I can deduce this in a simple language. Iam here to tell you to “Think Again” because it’s a skill worth picking on as this world evolves.
We have gradually turned our opinions and assumptions into our identities which is troubling especially when we know opinions, judgements can be changed under certain circumstances.
Of course it’s more reason am Anti-cancel culture.
Who is deserving of a second chance when you have received countless ones? Who is beyond saving?
I cannot count the number of things that I have changed my mind due to countless reasons, sometimes curiosity, experience, learning , reading etc.
Today am here to challenge you to have some life decision checkups, relationship checkups , career checkups.
To tell one to think again almost sounds like admitting I was wrong and who says you lose a limb admitting to it anyway or we could just play it down and call it evolving.
Questioning your opinions and assumptions may open up more answers to you than questions. Wisdom says Questions are open doors.
Making your opinion your identity may not serve you for a life time I have learned that along the way. It’s time to rethink the opinions and assumptions especially those that don’t serve you well.
I am personally on that long route and it’s not hard to imagine that alot has gone through the window and still is I have to admit.
I know that I think a lot but it’s also hard to let go of opinions you have formed over long periods of time unless drastic happenings that cause one to think different so be aware this journey is quite intentional.
If you are Christian like me you will probably know the only constant in life is God and yet again his ways are never limited. Spirituality will always leave room for you to rethink because this God is one of mysteries indeed.
That said, your allowed to change your opinions , your allowed to correct your assumptions, your allowed to evolve At the end of the day a life lived is one of the chances we lived out.
I came across an interesting study by an Adam Grant he is an organizational psychologist and author to the Book “Think Again’ hence the Title.
He gives so many examples on different cultures he mentions something in a podcast related to leadership.
He says most of the people most reluctant to take up leadership positions turn out to be great leaders unlike those who are certain of themselves. This is because the ones most reluctant are more open and willing to learn.
Does this sound similar
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
The ability to unlearn and learn is a given to us all but it takes choice to activate it. There is a difference between doubting your skills and self.
Have faith in yourself as a learner. Happy New Month Once Again.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Connie Dia
Ahhhh the #MenSeries ,thank you to all those that have followed the Series to the end. I have received so many messages about the series mostly those egging towards surprise from the Ladies and well for the Men it was a relief to know they are not alone.
Every year my spiritual father dedicates Fathers Day to Men to teach certain aspects and about two years ago after teaching them (I must say very eye opening even for the women) he told us to learn to encourage the Men in our lives because they do have a high calling. Generations are survived by a Male Generation. We are equal as heirs in Christ but we can never be equal in responsibilities.
I hope that after this Men Series you were able to realise our fights, struggles are not the same, What we each need is different. That sometimes we do need help and it’s alright to seek it, that not all questions will be answered but you can still keep on climbing .
A Wise Man once said Don’t try to figure out the entire species of Men or Women figure out the ones God has placed in your path first.
Special thanks to the Men that took part in the series, as surely as times change being vulnerable is strength today and these men showed us a glimpse of what its like a day in their lives and I hope they are encouraged to keep these conversations going and I hope women can learn to work with the Men around them maybe then the ones out of sync will rather strive to belong to the this kind of Group.
Don’t just learn, Experience. Don’t just criticize, Encourage. Don’t just relate , Advocate. Don’t Just hear, Listen.
As we say farewell thee to the series meet some of the Men that took part on this Journey.
Bildad Makori is a writer and blogger hailing from Nairobi, Kenya. He is a journalism and Mass Communication student at Chuka University. He is serving as the Deputy Chairperson of Writers Guild Chuka, and also as an editor and reviwer at Writers Space Africa. In his blog, he writes about his life experiences and also focuses on writing about social and gender issues, voicing his mind out for people to learn, enjoy and be entertained through his blogs.
Rogers M. Wanambwa is a Public Relations and Communications Aficionado, Writer, and Accountant working with different entities. He loves to read a good book or watch a movie, in his spare time. This is if he is not listening to NF.
Social Media Handles: Twitter: @wanamdynasty24 Facebook: Rogers M. Wanambwa Instagram: @wanamdynasty7 LinkedIn: Rogers M. Wanambwa
Innocent Whande, known by some as Zimbo Son. I am an Author, Writer, Poet and Storyteller through my Zimbo Son platform where I’ve interviewed over 250 African creatives and entrepreneurs. Author of poetry book, My Heart in Ink.
Multi award nominated blogger, Afrobloggers Awards 2020, Zim Blog Awards 2021, previously nominated for Zim Blog Awards in 2018 and 2020.
Obinna Anyaibe is a writer who lives in, and works from, his home in Lagos, Nigeria. When he’s not playing textbased RPGs, or obsessing over English grammar, he writes short fantasy stories that explore various philosophical themes—such as life after death and the permanence of impermanence.
Ivan Aboga Rackara AKA Lord Rhaikara is a storyteller who uses short stories to address either the issues in his life or that in the lives of the people around him. He is passionate about causes like mental health awareness, human rights and child rights
Twitter,Facebook, Instagram: @rhacky8 Ivan Aboga Rackara on LinkedIn
Benie Langat is a fiction writer, poet, and freelance content writer. At 23, he lives in Nairobi, Kenya and runs a personal blog on WordPress—Benie Writes—where he shares poems, short stories, plays, and thought-provoking discussions.
Just assume the rest didn’t have photos but you can still follow them via there platforms….
Twitter, Facebook : Kambere Bernard Twitter: Garusa Brian
You are perfect in your place as a Man , Use it well.
I Whatever else came before my humanity, Is a night sky of nothingness And before manhood, existed childhood— A time when all was a dream, A time when all we were gods, A time, as fleeting as no other, A time I look back at with pure desire.
I shed a tear in the dark; The curtains were drawn And all else was black, Like my heart was. My mind was at war, No words could describe. My eyes couldn’t hold— I shed a tear. Another dripped, and so Did another: I cried. I fell apart In the moment And fell back together. When the lights came on, My eyes were dry, My smile, involuntary, My heart in pieces. The world shouted: The Man!
I am a man, Yes— By name, By sex, By every right; I am. But I am Human too.
II Watching trees, watching birds, I can see me, little; I can see My father, younger and different. I can feel the influence— I have seen him in me Many times, Standing before a mirror. He smiles and I feel The terror of two in one; O’, are we two in one?
There was a time, Everything father said Was true, was final. Now, I doubt everything— I’m curious to learn, But slow to believe. “Why?” If you asked: I want to discover, Find my own truth.
Written by another brilliant Man (Benie Writes) who weaves words like I haven’t seen before. To all those who have continually walked this journey with us,Thank you.
There is a whole lot said about Women but until you are one only you would/could/should truly understand each other. Today was having a conversation with a Grown Lady and she mentioned something “Nothing works like when there is a woman involved.”
I didn’t want to make a big deal of the Heroines i rarely do because to me it only makes sense when after my life is done, I can look back and know the things I strived to learn were seen, felt, experienced and lived.
It’s on a pause for today just because I decided to share a lil bit on some of the Heroines in my life.
We all need somebody in our lives who will make us do what we can do, . For some Heroines is a traditional sense ,for others it’s in unconventional ways and today we have so many sources. Wisdom knows how to show up in the unexpected of places. As the Word says it calls on the streets.
There many unsung heroes but some we just must sing about.
Meet My Mother ,She’s known by so many names Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bestie, Prayer Warrior, Woman of Faith, Counselor, Teacher Mat, Jaja Mat ,Grandma etc.
I would liken her to an Armor in my life.
A few things I have learned from her….
No Argument is worth it if it’s not ending peaceably. Don’t argue when angry you will never see reason. She is probably the most peaceable person i know and it’s evident in her life.
Prayer works because am one of her testimonies. I know I came to God because of her prayers because there was no changing my mind unless it was supernatural heheh.
I remember the times I dreaded her telling me I dreamt this and this , I saw you doing this even when they were true I really didn’t appreciate then to how God was speaking to her and hella I end up in a Prophetic Ministry. Nothing is a coincidence right!
Sacrifice. I saw her live it all my life. She has sacrificed her life, her home, her comfort, her convenience, her money basically at times we just have to remind her that is yours please enjoy it.
I need to chip it in there the reason I read like a manic and y’all can peep into my mind through words has a whole lot to do with her.
Prophetess Doreen Kagyezi …known to some as Wife, Mother , Daughter, Mother of Nations, Wisdom, Director, Mentor etc.
I would liken her to this scripture…..
1 Peter 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
She speaks very easily with her presence, it’s easy to know there is something about her ,stick around her long enough and you will check your life.
She is first person that opened my eyes to the true power of being a Woman. Honestly I just knew i was a Girl with Dreams till the first sermon I heard her preach in 2016 she spoke of a woman being created out of a Need…Am scared to delve deeper Aaah the things contained in a woman are crazy.
She taught me worth. Men if you are challenged by the things a woman asks of you it’s not her problem. You know how they say work with your means many times Greatness in you can be called forth by the Woman. A woman shouldn’t be afraid to have principles,s standards she stands by.
There is always so much learning from her I haven’t tackled even a cupful.
Heather Lindsey is a Preacher, An Author, a Wife ,A Mother, Entrepreneur etc
For her I would liken her to a Voice of reason.
She will easily curb you with the word. Her husband often teases her of how tight her leash can seem to be but for her it’s all God or nothing.
A few wisdom nuggets from her
She taught me a woman keeps her home not in the wifey modulus, or the cliche talks we have probably heard about. She will annoint and pray over every room she steps into yes including hotel rooms, she is not afraid to keep you a distance from her home if she knows you be funny in any kind of way. Better safe than be casting out demons.
She also opened my eyes to one knowing your dreams don’t die. She has openly spoken on her journey for years and how she grew to the places she has. She purposes to dream and see them fulfilled, she is a jack of so many trades her husband is her balance rack I guess.
This is Jackie Hill Perry, a Christian Spoken Word Poet, Wife, Mother, Friend, Speaker etc.
This one I would easily liken her to the harps,the artistic part in the word, the process of writing of the Psalms.
Have you heard her speak!! It’s whole lot of the Word rhymed up.
Nuggets have picked from her…..
Salvation is not only personal but it’s a daily battle of putting down some of y’all desires .
..“If it’s another motive, God will show you. If it’s a real attraction, God will help you.” Jackie Hill Perry
Be Your Authentic Self. Good enough she finally put up a You tube channel (With the Perry’s) even when she questioned why do you want to see her life. Yes she has a very dry sense of humor. She is shy but not restrained, you can call her all you want but she is not afraid to be her true self and her life is a testimony.
Jamie Grace Collins. You probably only know her if you have grown up with her.
I liken her to what freedom in Christ looks like. It’s different to say you are free and another thing to live it. All Christians are free but not all walk in that freedom.
What I have learned from her….
There is always Another way to get to where you want to be. She is a Gospel Artiste but was turned down by many production houses because her music didn’t fit she stuck it out ,learned the art ,she has won Grammies and has impacted a whole generation through her music career .
Live ,Love ,Laugh. She is such a goofy person it’s also partly how she deals with her tourette condition but easily makes you smile. So laugh large laughter is good for your soul.
Lastly… Sarah Jakes Roberts. Pastor, Entrepreneur, Wife, Mother , Writer , Daughter to renown Bishop TD Jakes etc.
She always reminds me of what the Grace of God looks like.
She has quite the story but it is how her life was handled with a beautiful grace that she lives out each day.
Nuggets have learned from her.…
Kingdom of God is vast and there is a place for each person. It doesn’t matter even when you feel lost , overwhelmed there is always a place for you. Being a Pastors Daughter her path wasnt as clear as it would seem she battled and oh well she still ended up at a pulpit something she didnt dream or desire hehe.
We serve a God of chances. If you dared to keep count come tell how it’s looking. Like I mentioned above she displays God’s Grace in so many ways. In her work, her marriage, ministry etc.
There you have it my Top Heroines. I learn something from each of them and some I may not have mentioned here because honestly sometimes am speaking in Michelle Obama voice while dressing up like Adrienne Houghton . Let’s not get carried away but its safe to say I have Heroines I celebrate them ,I love and honor them .
Let it not stop you from celebrating the Queen you are becoming. You are Wisdom You multiply all that you touch You wear your crown with Grace You are royalty. Need I say More.
Y’all probably been waiting for the 2nd part as they say Good things come to those who wait, not sure who said it but it fits here.
The fact that Women’s Day is around the door and am here talking to the Men yes you do matter too and we applaud those who continue to strive being the best versions of Men, Husbands, Brothers, Friends that they can be.
How/where can I get mentorship? Or, how do I get a mentor?
Ladies are quite fortunate to have many places to look to for mentorship. They have “mum clubs” on social media, “women conferences”, “girl power groups”, active “women groups at churches” and since they are not under pressure from society not to be vulnerable, they can easily go seek out help.
As for us men, it is a mountain-climb kind of task. We would say we have our fathers to run to but since they too were not well mentored, it would be too much to ask of them to do something they have no idea about.
There are also not so many mentorship programs designed to target men. Even the platforms that are offered, suffer with many inadequacies.
For example, I have been privileged to attend some men’s conferences and have acquired a lot of eye-opening information there.
But I have noticed this trend, that these conferences were teaching us in reference to other people. For example, I heard things like:
“As a man, understand that the woman is a weaker vessel” “To have a stable relationship, when you give money to your wife, do not expect accountability from her”
As insightful as these may be, they teach a man in relation to how they should handle women. That is indeed one area where we need mentorship but that is not all.
Actually, for the biggest portion of our lives as men, most of our struggles have nothing to do with women:
“The fear of responsibility” “Feeding/not feeding our egos” “The fear of unachieved dreams” “Falling short of the standard of fellow agemates”
It is things like this that affect us most as men. So for whollistic mentorship, we can not rely only on men’s conferences and the few platforms that society offers. (Though I recommend that you always attend one whenever an opportunity presents itself)
So I want to make a few suggestions here of only that which I have tried and proved to work. But before I do that, let me share the five things which I find core for effective mentorship / discipleship:
Allow me quote one mentor’s words to his mentees:
“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do.”
These are the things which the mentors formally teaches. (information gotten from his teachings). Like how we read about the teaching of Jesus about giving. So here, the mentor teaches either in word or deed and the mentee watches or listens and takes notes.
These are practices that you acquire due to close association with the mentor. For example, you might find yourself using examples or speaking a particular way because of associating with someone. Also, vices are passed on this way. You start drinking because you are in a company of drunkards. Usually you notice much later that you picked on the traits of your mentor
These fall in the categories of things you hear being said about the mentor, that when he did them, they enabled them achieve some great feats. These usually are stories that emphasize principles you might already know. Like you hear the stories about the courage of the likes of Martin Luther King and Mohammad Ali and how their stories inspire you to take a similar path.
These are conclusions you arrive to after carefully observing the manner of life of a particular man. For example, one of the disciples of Jesus wrote: “As His tradition was, he woke up way before dawn to pray”. The disciple had observed that his master at a specific time early in the morning, he would go to a place to pray.
This is your active involvement in making a practice of all the knowledge you have acquired either by learning, receiving, hearing or seeing. Without deliberation in this area, then the other four are a wastage of your and the mentor’s precious time.
Having looked at these five aspects, we learn that we can actually be mentored by men whom we don’t share physical spaces with us as long as we are willing and ready to “do” what we are taught. So my suggestions are:
There is a lot of valuable learning points that are shared in books and writings of others. You will learn vastly about any topic of life from the writings of others.
I am personally under the mentorship of Sol Stein as far as writing is concerned and I am learning by reading his writings. But there are great books about finances, strength, courage, dealing with fear and the likes which will indeed make you better.
I have had people say that you need to surround yourself with people that are better than you, who can lift you up.
I think this is so selfish and most times impractical. What would those better than you need you for? I think what we need is to make the best of those God has put around us. We can learn from the people and the things in our circles if we can associate and engage with them better.
A certain mentor told his mentees, “Go to the anthill and learn from them”.
I remember I used to have confidence issues and had listened to many motivational speakers without any positive results. But under illaudable circumstances, I met a lady that challenged me. She was over a decade younger than me, came up to me and told me to pick up a bottle I had just thrown by the roadside. Oh, the authority with which she spoke. But it turned out that that is all I needed, my confidence has since been on an upward trajectory
It is important for us to understand that the first step to learning something new is by cutting off any exposure to old thing and then unlearning.
When it comes to morals, the company you are in matters. As the Bible says: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” If the morals of your company are not admirable to you, then cut ties – there is no other way. Stay around thieves long enough and you will soon be stealing with them. So when it comes to vices, the best mentor will be one that helps you unlearn and de-association will do that perfectly.
Some things, like career can not be learned from a distance. For example, if you are in a practical field like (engineering), watching from a distance will not help you much because you will not understand why you are doing what you are doing.
So the onus is on you to approach someone more experienced than you to explain these things to you. It is here that I should also encourage you further to always attend seminars, conferences featuring those more experienced than you. You might never get an opportunity for a one on one with some people, but you can find them in conferences. So it is a good practice.
But whenever you can, please approach someone more experienced than you for help. Yes! Take time to talk to your father if you have the opportunity. It is a good mentorship opportunity
Finally, I will suggest you join a “ME TOO” club (such clubs are not common among men so you will maybe have to create one).
Social media has in many ways made the challenges of being male even worse. All the time, you are comparing your worst moments with people’s best moments (people mostly post their best moments on social media) and you feel insufficient.
So you need a group of people from whom you can here the word, “me too”. People from whom you can learn that you are not alone in this struggle.
You are not the only over 30 that is not married.
You are not the only one to seem to be an underachiever at your age and it is fine.
Being in the know that you are not alone helps a lot especially when it comes to opening up, which in turn gives room for you to actually deal with whatever it is.
I must confess that following this series closely has helped me realize that I am not alone that is struggling with Father issues (or not being well fathered) and in this was given me an opportunity to learn from those that were willing to share their stories.
As I bring this to a close, I must admit that I am not there yet. Do not fooled to think that anyone of us has apprehended already. Learning is a life long process. So I keep on learning. I keep on getting role models whose lives I learn from and emulate in many ways. And one of the resources that has really been of great help as far as whollistic teaching is concerned has been the Bible. I therefore recommend that you regularly visit it and you will be made better in every aspect of life. Be blessed.
Np: Kindly note to the Men I do know a Men’s conference that is happening this weekend at a small fee. Topics are in relation to Finances, Relationships and Spirituality. If interested feel free to reach me on my Social handles .
We shall have a short break tomorrow to celebrate the heroines in my life just so you know we are being taught too. A Race Worth finishing stick around to the End.
If Excited was to express this ,it would be an understatement. I have enjoyed speaking to different Men during this series. They all jumped in on an idea that was just rough on the edges and to me it spoke volumes.
I had an Idea of what I wanted and honestly it involved one person i knew who could bag it but well it spiralled into a series and this is what community looks like.
Today you all get to meet one of my teachers in this writing arena ,the teaching is really him pushing me and me fighting back but oh well we are here now. Right!!
He penned this down without me mentioning the series to him heheh but if you will read this to the End you will know that this work was a universe plan with God at it.
This is a Two Part , Let’s Talk MeN Mentorship/Discipleship.
“Discipleship? Mentorship? What do these words even mean? I can be open to the idea if I get to really understand it” Kakande
Just like Kakande above, for most men, especially here in Africa, mentorship and discipleship is a vague idea whose importance eludes the eye. I was not any different. I am Bernard Kambere and this is my story.
While I was at campus, my friends started addressing me as Teacher Ben (a teacher of the word of God), because of the counsel I would share with them. With this address came a great expectation on the part of everyone that heard it, that I had answers to all their questions. But did I?
No! That did not make them relent; they kept on inquiring from me, even on matters that were beyond my comprehension.
That would have been okay if I was not “male”. Yes! Being a man, failure was not an option. And being a “man of God” (in quotes), woe… not having an answer was just unacceptable. Unfortunately, this mindset led to some regrettable places.
But this is how society had raised me. My story is not any different from other male children.
The male child is taught never to be vulnerable, to always “appear” strong even when he is not. “You are male, so you must be a fixer.
You must have it all figured out one way or the other.” The unfortunate bit is that no male child is trained to deliver on such expectations. “You are male; it is in your DNA” society alludes to something the reality of which is not.
In my 20+ years of existence, I have come to learn from experience that there is nothing extra special in the male DNA to warrant all this outrageous expectations.
For example, society says: “A real man does not hit back a women, (irrespective of the trigger)”. The assumption on which this is made is an idea that “male” anger is more controllable than “female” anger. So it is okay for a lady to get angry and slap you, but should you get angry in return, retaliate by walking away. That is you being a “man”. Wow!
There is nothing special about male anger; in fact, there is nothing like male anger. Anger is anger and it is all dealt with the same way.
So if only the male child had been trained and mentored better, each one of us would have discovered their true strengths (and how to make the best of them) and weakness (and how to deal with them) and lived a more honest life.
So I believe in mentorship and can proudly say I am taking on mentorship and discipleship classes.
What is mentorship?
I will put it simply as a period of time in which one receives guidance from someone more experienced than them.
In this time, one has a relationship with someone more experienced, knowledgeable and connected than them, and that person passes on all they have learned to him.
What is discipleship?
Discipleship on the other hand I will define as the act of being a follower (one who learns and practices) of a philosophy (a belief on how to live).
So as men, I strong believe we need these two closely related practices.
First of all, you do not know it all! (Let that settle in). [You are not the superhero that your mama made you believe you are. But that is not an issue because you don’t have to be one anyway.] And since we are not the fountain of knowledge, we ought to get it from those that have gone ahead of us.
This is where mentorship comes in handy. And here, I am talking about every aspect of life; even where you think you are very knowledgeable.
I used to think I was a great writer, thanks to the showers of praises from those in my social circles. But one day, someone read my article and inboxed me saying: “Wow! You have great raw potential but there is much more for you to do to harness it. I can recommend a book for starters that will help. ‘Stein on writing'”.
I was shocked to have my writing skills undermined, (for the first time in life) but was humble enough to go purchase the book. (well, I didn’t actually purchase it. I did one of those “free download” searches on google and I had 10,963 results in less than 0.15seconds.)
Reading through just the introduction of the book, I realised how way-below-per my writing skills still were and how much more work I needed to get where I wanted.
The moral of the story is, even when you think you know, there is someone that knows better and you can learn from him.
Secondly, mentorship saves us the burden of having to dig a foundation for ourselves when we can build on another man’s foundation.
If we can learn how they have been able to make it, our path will be made easier. If we can see their mistakes, then we shall be empowered not to repeat them. (though this is not always the case).
Look at it as playing temple run, each stage you finish, you become a pro of it. So whenever you are taken back to the start, you navigate easily through the earlier stages because you know where the danger is.
And why discipleship?
Without your commitment to both learn and practice what you have learned, then mentorship is a waste of time.
Whatever is passed down to you, you ought not to just listen and appreciate but find practical ways of applying it in your own life.
This is why these two move hand in hand. I usually say, they are two sides of the same coin.
Stick around for Part Two and let’s find out how and where to start with Mentorship /Discipleship Journey
The Beauty of learning is that it’s indispensable and no one can take it away from you.
I hope as we read through this short interview from the different Men. We saw Differences, Patterns, Similarities etc. Today we interview the last Gentleman as we await the Finale. Thank you to those following, Stick around to the End.
What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Valentine Makoni and I come from Harare, Zimbabwe.
What are some of the things you remember most about your father ? (If you knew him or a father figure in your life)
My father loved photography. From a young age, my father was the “camera guy”. Remember, this was in the 90’s and early 2000s. There were no digital cameras or smart phones. So, it was exceptional for him to have a camera.
At every family function: weddings, birthday parties, engagement parties, Christmas gatherings… my father would be there with his camera. Our house was full of photo albums when I was young.
My father has a dual personality almost. A public one, and a private one. At home, he has always been quiet and reflective. Watching news on TV, reading the newspaper, running, washing the car.
He would speak, but sparingly. In public, he would laugh, do speeches, connect and generally be very extroverted.
I started to understand his quiet times as a means for him to recharge emotionally for the moments he has to be engaging in public.
What was a random compliment that someone gave you and stuck with you ?
You sound learned. I was having a social conversation with a girl and she said, “you speak like someone who is well read. Who knows a lot. I like that when talking to you.”
Its stuck with me a lot. Sometimes wondering if its true. Sometimes as pressure to live up. Sometimes as a reminder that knowledge is not only what we get through diplomas and degrees.
What is the worst thing and best thing about being Male?
The best thing about being male is… time. I have often felt like being “left behind” by my peers. On things such as having a degree / a job / a place to stay / a wife. But, being male seems to give me a lot of time. I have time to make mistakes. To think. To grow. To decide.
As hard as it is, to decide to do things on my own terms, in my own time.
The worst thing about being male is having a broken relationship with the female gender.
In the words of Kendrick Lamar: “We do it all for a woman from haircut to a war.”
We like to live in the jungle like to play in the peach” It is limiting to design a whole life around acquiring / getting / impressing women, but its tempting to do so.
Is there anything you had wished you asked your dad and you didn’t?
I guess, I wished I had talked to him more. Just, in general. About nothing in particular.
People in general have a way of revealing their personality and wisdom in conversation, and he does that very well.
Do you have a role model or idol and who is it?
Honestly, I have never had a single “role model” or “idol”.
I watch, learn and like things from a whole range of people, each with their own… way.
But, Kendrick Lamar could be the closest to it. I resonate with his honesty and creativity.
What is your definition of a real man ?
A real man is one who… is in control of himself. There are a lot of pressures from family, society, capitalism, impulses, governments, friends, peers, women.
A real man is one who can define truth for himself and be able to live within that truth.
What are your thoughts on Discipleship, Mentorship for Men ? Is it something you are open to?
I think discipleship / mentorship for men is an interesting concept worth exploring.
There can be some learning and companionship that comes from it. However, its not something I would be *personally* open to.
I just have a preference for non-formal learning and association.
When last where you vulnerable and opened up to someone?
In December 2020, after feeling overwhelmed through my mental health, I wrote a public post on Facebook.
I have found it helpful to be vulnerable and open in my writing, even when I share this writing on a public forum.
What is the one thing you think every man should experience?
Happiness. Every man should know what happiness means to them. Where they can forget everything else and just be in a moment and happy. Its good to know what that is like.
Besides religion and politics, what other topic gets heated amongst your friends during conversation.
Sports, women and money. Top 3, easily lol.
If you had an opportunity to teach your child, brother, friend ? What would you teach them?
I would teach them to be in tune with themselves. What do they think? What do they want? What do they fear? What do they feel?
What is your phone wall paper? (Screenshot)
The standard phone wall paper lol. I never change it tbh.