Author - idolor

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Knowing Kigali: Kigali Genocide Memorial
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Knowing Kigali: This is no walk (or run) in the park
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Knowing Kigali: isoko kimironko
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March in review
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G.L.i.B – bed: The Undead
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G.L.i.B – bing: Laughter is the best medicine …for your body and soul
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Reaching the first two digits
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Water, e no get enemy
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Phenomenal Woman
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Flippin’ fat Tuesday

Knowing Kigali: Kigali Genocide Memorial

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who hears the name Rwanda would immediately think of the genocide of the ’90s. Unless, of course, the person has been living under a rock for the last 20years. Besides, who goes to a foreign land famous for something or the other — food, music, monument, fashion, event, etc – and doesn’t experience it? Even if your visit is business – related, you’d probably make time no matter how little. It’s like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower. Or,London and not touring its signature sights – Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Madam Tussauds, etc. So two days ago, we were at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Morbid but I couldn’t not visit and see it for myself firsthand, in all its gory details. That’s why it took the week of our departure to go there, and two days to bring myself to write about it. Even now it is taking quite an effort. The visual and verbal content on display flash clearly and relentlessly through my mind as Ndandika. The deluge of the images wane as the days go by but they are there, nonetheless. This will not be the first time I[…]

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Knowing Kigali: This is no walk (or run) in the park

‘Mwaramutse,’ replied the elderly security guard to my greeting, walking and pulling his well – worn coat closer to his body to counter the morning chill; His tired legs slowly making their way towards the estate gate, one after the other. He’s probably thinking (in Kinyarwanda): Who is this crazy woman in biker’s short and a short- sleeved t-shirt braving this biting cold at 5.45am? I would ask the same question too if I were in his position. He is one of the three guards I come across on my daily walk each morning. Temporarily, I have abandoned Shaun T. for the lure of the alpine terrain that is Kigali. The first morning, I skipped up a stormy heartbeat rate and enough perspiration in the living room before braving the low temperature that was the breaking dawn. Once outside the gate, I took off in a sprint, up the slightly elevated lane right in front of the house. Big mistake. Huge. I almost didn’t make it to the end of it, where I stood – bent over, hands on my knees, breathless – huffing and puffing like a dog who just got outran by its owner’s faster car. I might[…]

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Knowing Kigali: isoko kimironko

Who goes to the market with a language book? When you’re in a foreign land and want to interact with the locals, you will too. We’ve been here icyumweru kimwe now – my mum, myself and the children- visiting murumuna wanjye, muramukazi wanjye and mwishywa wanjye for a forth night. And this is my first post in a while! Nothing I’m proud of but I did have a sneezing fit upon our arrival and it lasted for a couple of days, replete with headaches, cold feelings and spitting out phlegm. We’ve done mini – tours around the city, especially within our neighbourhood, giving visual and locomotive evidence to the words that confronted us as we exited the airport: ‘Welcome to the land of a thousand hills.’ Umusozi. They are everywhere. Under your feet. At your eye – level. Down your driveway. Up the street. And I have temporarily abandoned my Shaun T. routine for the appeal of jogging, running and walking up a hilly lane and down a sloping driveway. The very next day after we arrived, I drove around our vicinity to get my bearing and be independent of a guide. That experience gave me entirely new driving tutorials[…]

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March in review

And to think this month began with a bang that propelled me to march forth into it – conquering, achieving, succeeding. Another bang. I fell ill. The kind that required medication, rest and recuperation. The sudden halt this brought in my activities was more discouraging than the situation itself. Medication and continuous motion can be a deadly combination. I had to tell myself to take it extra slow and watch helplessly as I lost valuable time in the process. The one bright light though was T’s birthday towards the end of the month. A significant age too. She turned 10 years old . The beginning of the double digits years. She’s becoming a lady poco a poco. Any plans of celebrating the event in school were squashed by exams starting the very next day. She spent most her birthday reading after gulping a medium -sized cup of scrumptious ice cream. Perhaps once the exams are over , we’ll do a little something. I read three books this month (Whiskey Beach, The Carnivorous City and The Lazarus Effect) while still juggling my 9 – 5 job. My consulting gigs are still hibernating. Let’s hope I’d be ready (and still interested) when[…]

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G.L.i.B – bed: The Undead

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to read The Lazarus Effect immediately after The Carnivorous City. The cover art did me in. That hand, in the shadows, rising out from the ground was too much of a temptation. I wanted to know what was behind it. What was the novel all about? How was the biblical story of Lazarus woven into its plot? So I grabbed the book. I also couldn’t help but glean the similarities of both books cover arts – the same use of colour and shades to interpret the titles, the fact that they shared the same publisher… It was my first modern South Africa – based book, post-apartheid. Mine Boy, back in literature study days, did well to introduce my younger self to a glimpse of the South African way of life during the apartheid. Who can forget the ‘Free Mandela’ songs or the ‘Black President’ ones? My then innocent mind read for the pleasure of it; apartheid and white supremacy were concepts I didn’t quite grasp completely. I’m older and wiser with more exposure to the then black South African plight (I was well aware of the official end of apartheid in the ‘90s,[…]

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G.L.i.B – bing: Laughter is the best medicine …for your body and soul

Growing up, I read more editions of Reader’s Digest than I can count. Each and every time, the first pages I’d turn to were the humour sections. I’d have my fill of the jokes featured before reading the more serious issues of life contained therein. I haven’t read a copy of Reader’s Digest in a while. I miss it. In this present times of everything going sideways in the world and particularly in Nigeria, a good laugh is exactly what the doctor ordered. And causing me hearty, bellyfuls of it is a compact book I didn’t know I purchased last year. I stumbled upon it last week while searching for yet another novel to devour. Titled The Mini Manual of Humourous Quotes, it is divided into categories (eating and drinking, love and marriage, social…) where sayings of famous people from all walks of life are presented. The last two days of burying my nose between its pages have elicited loud guffaws as well as wry smiles from me. Reading through it has been worth every hilarious moment. It has also taken me down memory lane to my first year at the university. A volume named The Book of Insults kept[…]

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Reaching the first two digits

In editing, you are advised to write numbers 0 – 9 in words; once you reach 10, the instructions change – 10 and beyond are preferred in numbers. Perhaps to stand them out? Highlight their double digits significant? Or simply because attaining the number 10 and higher in any endeavor is no mean feat? Before now, there used to be quite an emphasis on the 10th year marriage milestone. We’ve been together for a decade. Wow! We’ve made it thus far! Congratulations to us! Not anymore. One year, two, three, five, seven, nine years anniversaries receive equal importance and relevance these days. Months and weeks too! However, nothing truly beats the 10th year anniversary; it’s the first of the major milestones anniversaries according to About.com. The harbinger of all the others. The zero in 10 in the form of circle is a symbol of unit, completing the meaning of the number 1 to show that the number 10 contains all preceding numbers as a whole contains its parts. A child’s 10th birthday signals the tween years and the last chance you will have to celebrate childhood as you know it. Double figures at last! Your baby has left single birthdays[…]

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Water, e no get enemy

Wherever you are and whatever you do on March 22, make it about water. -World Water Day It was with renewed sight she stared at the meruwa this morning. Positioned by the opened gates, she watched him heave the iron and wooden makeshift contraption gingerly into the grounds and towards the back of the house where the water tank stood. 12 tired- looking, dirty – black coloured, water – filled jerrycans made iron and wooden rub against each other and creak noisily under their liquid weight. Two of the four wheels on the cart joined in the chorus as they jutted out awkwardly from their once – fixed located in front. Were they always like this? She wondered, as she swung the gates shut. Probably. But she was always occupied with other thoughts to notice before now. Thoughts of her dislike at attending to the gates in order to get water for daily use. Especially during the weekends when she could be using her time in other ways or activities. The length of time the water would last before another round of gate opening was required. How much it costs (financial, emotional, physical) to buy water twice (or sometimes, three[…]

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Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Now you understand Just why my head’s[…]

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Flippin’ fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras. Shrove Tuesday. These are familiar terms to me. I’ve known them for quite a while now. What they stood for. The dessert involved. Their meanings. This is no new territory to me. Then why…why haven’t I, in all my flipping pancake making years marked ‘Fat Tuesday’? Ever? I mean, pancakes were the first kind of pastry I learnt how to prepare in my early teens. My godmother – as she made to leave our house that morning back to hers) ran me through the ingredients and process in about three to five minutes. And since then, it stuck. Thank you, Aunt Alice! While my sisters going gaga kneading spongy dough for chin – chin and mixing batter for vanilla cakes, I was serving up my very first batch of very sweet, very burnt pancakes. That was more than 20 years ago. From one generation to the next As I grew up, so did my mastery and manipulation of this pan – fried cake; from the initial basic sweet ones eaten alone to sweet stacks drizzled with syrup or wedged on the side with yoghurt. There have been those with filling folded into the batter – corned beef, coconut[…]

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