By: Lesley Machimbidza
It is such a worrying issue when my fellow Africans look at the continent’s underdevelopment and blame it on the various head of states and those who are in influential positions. The truth is that Africa’s underdevelopment is supposed to be attributed to the lack of passion that we Africans exude towards our continent.
During the early stages of socialization, a child is instilled with the belief that he or she is an African and he has to know that they are inferior to other races. I grew up in a family where I was told that to have a better life, I ought to work hard, earn certificates and qualifications and fly to the west or the east to graze on the so-called “greener pastures”. I lived with such a dream for quite a while in my life but I have only realized that it is drawing the continent behind.
Why do we need to go to other continents to be who we wish to be? Why can’t we be who we want to be in our continent? There is an old saying which says “home is best” but in Africa, it seems like it is non-existent as most Africans have considered leaving their various home countries to stay in other continents. We are responsible for the lack of development that our continent faces because we use the gifts, talents, and endowments that we have for the benefit of other continents. Most of the educated Africans and talented individuals have since left our continent and have gone to render their services and skills to other continents which end up benefitting out of it. It is irrational of us as Africans, we are not be forced to leave the continent, we are leaving it ourselves. After we get established out there, we forget of our roots, we forget our foundation and we even point fingers at our fellow kinsman who would have remained behind at home.
If Africa has to be great, it needs us as Africans to be passionate about it. All the ‘spaghetti roads’ and tech-oriented life that is in other continents can be achieved in Africa as long we put up our minds on it and work on solving the problems that are being faced by the continent. All we need is unity and team spirit as we tackle the problems we have in our continent. If we are to see Africa being prosperous, we need to unite as Africans and make a positive impact on it rather than fleeing to other continents.
The reason why we are referred to as an inferior race is that our actions and way of doing things shows it. We ought to show that our continent is the best and it takes us as Africans. Let us work hard, let us persevere, and change our continent. We have the resources, we have the facilities and it takes us as Africans to bring change to it. Embrace being African, after all, BLACK IS BEAUTY!!
Pursue Your God-Given Purpose
By: Nyasha Sibanda
You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned for you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it. Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment.
You are alive because God wanted to create you! God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the color of your skin, your hair, and every other feature. He custom-made your body just the way he wanted it. He also determined the natural talents you would possess and the uniqueness of your personality. God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are no accident. God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for his purpose. Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It’s all for a purpose.
Most amazing, God decided how you would be born. Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you. It doesn’t matter whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom “you” he had in mind.
They had the DNA God wanted to make you. While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children. Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. God’s purpose took into account human error and even sin. God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.
So there’s this age-old, “Why am I here?” or “What is my purpose?” question. Sometimes we feel compelled to have this all figured out, especially at high school; at least that’s how it was for me. But I wouldn’t worry if you haven’t figured that out yet, I know I haven’t. As somber as it may seem, I constantly remind myself that my time here on earth is rather limited. And so then I precede to ask myself, what is it that I really want to experience or attain before I leave? In every breath I take, and every decision I make, what is it that I’m truly searching for.
To this day, I haven’t quite found a distinct and articulate answer. The revelation is but a blurry image, an abstract portrait of some kind, but it directs me in my every move. I know it is there, and I know there are many routes to achieving it. See, I’ve always been passionate about human behavior, about the human mind, about life and how we experience it, and so; poetry, psychology, and philosophy always lead me towards this portrait I can’t quite make out.
In all honesty, I can’t completely tell you what my purpose is, but I can detail to you so many ways I plan on achieving it. Ironic huh? There are still mornings when I wake up feeling like there’s no point to anything, asking myself; “if I’m going to die one day then what’s the point?” But that portrait, as incomplete as it may be, it’s what gives me the drive to keep going. We poets can’t give straight answers, can we?
My life is an endless search for the inconstant flashes of timeless beauty, a path in which I seek knowledge and truth, one in which the journey is the destination.
On this path, I am but a voyeur peeking through the window of people’s innermost thoughts, transfixed, obsessively gazing into the depths of the human mind. I quote, “purpose is an expression of the deepest dimensions within us, where we have a profound sense of who we are and why we are alive”
Once your image becomes to clear, you might run the risk of limiting yourself. As we go through life, we change, and that’s okay, but that “portrait…”
No matter how many times it changes, there’s always that image it’s trying to create. That thing… You know… That thing…
“It is purpose that created us, purpose that connects us, purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us; it is purpose that defines… “, someone else would say.
If we let the world will decide it for us, and we’ll run the risk of spending our lives living according to the expectations of others. We might find some form of artificial happiness, or distract ourselves enough to occasionally forget, but we’ll never truly be satisfied with our work. Sometimes life calls for you to just focus on what you want because when it comes to your passions, anyone who tells you what you should doing is just making noise. If your passions are unconventional, even better! I can’t even count how many people are shocked by what I’ve chosen to be passionate about.
But I just use just as fuel, because I know that somehow, I would have stood out as unique; fitting like a puzzle piece into societal conventions is overrated anyway. Our purpose in life sometimes isn’t set in stone or revealed to us when we so badly want to know what it is; sometimes it’s just a matter of going where your passions take you. One thing is for sure, however, and that’s the fact that your purpose will continue to be revealed to you as you live your life, as you move from here to there, as you try new things because a life’s purpose isn’t an occurrence, it’s a whole journey of perpetual discovery, that ends with your last breath.
And here’s a hint, sometimes it is found in the places we’re most afraid to look.
On that note, have a nice life. Have fun with it and remember not to take it so seriously that you forget this handy detail; because you’ll want to look back and laugh, not to look back and wonder. Don’t forget to wake up and own how magical you truly are, and most of all, don’t be afraid to say it out loud, even if it’s to yourself. It might be awkward at first but it’s necessary. If you need to move on from certain people in order to fulfill your potential, then do it with the urgency with which you would put out a fire starting in your own home. It will be hurried and messy, but in the end, you will be really glad you did
A philosopher named David Thoreau once wrote
“Many people live lives of quiet desperation, and they go to their graves with the song still in them.”David Thoreau
A friend of mine once said that purpose brings life, and being alive is a joyful thing. The way I see it if we just seek joy, life becomes miserable. But if we focus on seeking the things that make us feel alive, even in our darkest moments joy is present. So instead of telling people to pursue happiness, I always tell them to pursue life instead, and find happiness there… But that’s just my way of encouraging purpose. You should also keep in mind that sometimes the things people do in search of joy only lead them away from their purpose.
Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera
The miracle, multipurpose herb known as Zakalanda in Tonga is a drought-resistant deciduous tree botanically referred to as Moringa Oleifera. This Horseradish tree is native to Northern India and the Arabian subcontinent. In Zimbabwe, moringa has been found to house many nutritional and health benefits, which has brought into perspective the need to research more about its capabilities.
Moringa is an indigenous natural tree native to parts of Africa and Asia. It falls under the Moringaceae family with 13 species which vary in morpho- logical appearances based on climate differences. From where moringa most likely originated, it has exhibited cultivation characteristics that point to fair toleration towards a wide range of soil conditions suiting it for dry regions with minimal need of water as soggy lands negatively lead to rotting of the roots thus again elaborating to favor environmental conditions inclined to its desert thriving properties.
Although almost all parts of moringa are edible, in Zimbabwe, Moringa- Zakalanda has aided the local community of the third world country in various uses that can be identified based on the three most cultivated parts of the drumstick tree which are roots, leaves, and fruit pods. Based on traditional and historical evidence derived from the local Bantu people, recently Moringa has gained international attention which has seen preliminary scientific research studying to prove whether Moringa-Zakalanda has any effect on health or diseases.
Traditional medicinal and nutritional properties.
Moringa-Zakalanda leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, and roots are used in the preparation of several delicacies in Zimbabwe. Though some of the early practices by the African people may have not exemplified a safer way of administering herbs for medicinal use due to lack of governance and health legislation, the resulting health benefits however cannot be dismissed since the evidence of their efficacy is positive. Further research is required to assist the knowledge of the safer and effective practical application of the herb in both home and clinical setups.
The edible portions of Moringa are associated with a high nutritional value and this nutrition availability widely varies according to the region of the plant used. The remarkable range of nutritional properties makes this plant diverse in terms of its uses. Largely, the sub-Saharan region has been prone to malnutrition. According to M. oleifera’s nutritional content, it can be taken as a Malnutrition relief dietary supplement in infants. The mobilization of the early Zimbabwean local communities to administer Moringa to nursing mothers and infants has been an effective method of combating malnutrition in the presence of poverty and droughts that lead to poor protein and nutritional nourishment in daily diets.
Regional Scope of Moringa Nutritional value
In Zimbabwe, Binga area, and other parts of the country residents consume moringa- zakalanda leaves to boost their immune system. Compared to the rest of the plant, Zakalanda leaves host a significant value as a high source of nutritional content. The leaves of moringa- zakalanda are rich in nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, Vitamin A, and several minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese and proteins, amino acids. People who suffer from scurvy are encouraged to take moringa leaves since it is a good source of vitamin C. With regards to Vitamin A, Moringa is widely known to be rich in Vitamin A that is important for developing good eyesight, protecting and nourishing of skin and hair.
Citizens are adding moringa powder in their diet to maximize the abundance of magnesium and calcium in Moringa that can promote the formation of strong bones and teeth. The leaves have a slightly bitter flavor with grass-like and can often have a horseradish-like heat taste if one takes them raw but if cooked produces an aroma scent. Moringa zakalanda has essential amino acids that the body cannot manufacture on its own, making it a vital dietary supplement in everyday meals. It is also believed that the leaves are a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C which helps to enhance one skin.
Zakalanda has many culinary uses in Zimbabwe and at most the seeds are also being consumed as snacks either roasted or raw. Moringa seeds are also a good source of fiber that enhances the smooth movement of the bowel in the digestive system. When chewed raw the seeds taste sweet followed by a tingling bitter afterward.
Brief Medicinal Uses of Moringa
Moringa has various potentials to combat different health problems. Having several vitamins and minerals, Zakalanda has many medicinal properties that can protect the cardiovascular system, protect tissues, aid in fighting against bacterial diseases, and alleviate inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties. The use of moringa in Zimbabwe is widely common within the HIV/AIDS community. It is recommended in traditional and herbal institutions because of its properties. In Zimbabwe the use of moringa as a medication is usually favored by consuming it as a part of the daily diet, making Moringa a useful culinary ingredient. Moringa leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant to combat flu, asthma, skin disease, headaches, ear infections, and blood pressure.
One can take fresh leaves or dried as a tea or use them as a spice. When ground, the powder from the leaves can be mixed with porridge or added to meals, soups, and sauces as a spice. The local Zimbabwean community used to prepare the leaves for medication by crushing or boiling the leaves and then use the resulting products to reduce symptoms of aches, pains, and help to combat sores. Moringa root has antimutagenic as well as antioxidant properties. Also, the plant seeds contain a range of phytochemicals, that include antioxidants such as vitamin C that help in preventing and treating cancer. Moringa seeds can help to combat sexually transmitted diseases, gout, epilepsy can also act as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent.
One can chew the seed or take it as a pill. The mature seed of moringa is rich in oil, containing crude oil which can be used to protect and nourish the skin and hair in people with skin conditions. The oil has a high proportion of monounsaturated fatty acid, which is has backing evidence that demonstrates that a having diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acid will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Moringa seed consumption helps in treating diabetes. The presence of minerals like magnesium and manganese in the root bark of Moringa neutralizes the acid and increase gastric juice pH. This has seen Moringa housing the ability to cure gastric ulcers. To mitigate Ulcer pain, one can grind the bark and roots into the powder then dissolve the substance into the water or mix the powder with porridge before ingesting.
Moringa tree is indeed a multi-purpose tree, a gift from God, a miracle tree as it is termed in Zimbabwe. All parts of the moringa oleifera tree are said to possess vital elements that can help humankind. With vast uses, but yet little research and less clinical study, Moringa Oleifera remains to be fully explored in the clinical and food industry.
M.K. Nair, C. Varghese, R. Swaminathan Cancer current scenario, intervention strategies, and projections for 2015 Burd. Dis. India (2005), pp. 219-225 4on page 3
I. Oduro, W.O. Ellis, D. Owusu Nutritional potential of two leafy vegetables: Moringa oleifera and Ipomoea batatas leaves Sci. Res. Essays, 3 (2008), pp. 57-60 3.1 on page 2
A.L. Al-Malki, H.A. El Rabey The antidiabetic effect of low doses of Moringa oleifera Lam. seeds on streptozotocin-induced diabetes and diabetic nephropathy in male rats Biomed. Res. Int., 2015 (2015), pp. 1-13 4on page 4
T.G. Monera, C.C. Maponga Prevalence and patterns of Moringa oleifera use among HIV positive patients in Zimbabwe: a cross-sectional survey J. Public Health Africa, 3 (2012), pp. 6-8 4 on page 3
M.K. Choudhary, S.H. Bodakhe, S.K. Gupta Assessment of the antiulcer potential of Moringa oleifera root-bark extract in rats JAMS J. Acupunct. Meridian Stud., 6 (2013), pp. 214-220 4 on page 4
Filter The Advice
There is so much information, noise, thoughts, opinions, advice, schools of thoughts, pieces of advice, etc. nowadays and it seems like almost every other person is out there trying to give advice t another. I don’t have anything wrong with giving advice but remember not every other piece of advice is good advice, some of it you have to ignore or take with a pinch of salt. Just because that person has stood up to speak doesn’t mean he is talking sense, just because you are asking them for advice does not mean they will give you sound advice. I always watch, listen and read some advice that is being shared and dished out online and offline from entrepreneurship, relationships, personal development, etc. and most of them are good but some are faulty.
Of late I almost fell into the trap of almost taking every piece of advice that is being shared out there but it was until then I started reflecting on every piece of advice that I was getting and I learned that I had to take some advice with a pinch of salt. I will give you a very good example of debatable areas of starting your own business, employment, and entrepreneurship; this area has seen almost each and everyone sharing their opinions and advice. Imagine if you are to take and implement all the advice you are to hear; someone will tell you to quit your job and be your boss, someone will tell you to stay on the job and start a side hustle, someone will tell you to stay on the job improve yourself and grow on your job as that way you can make more money, etc. You can get five or even more conflicting pieces of advice on this area or many other areas and imagine if you are going to take it all….You can end up confused and at the end of the day basically, it can’t work out but unfortunately, we see many of us trying to rope in every piece of advice that we can get and worse still trying to follow it to the book.
Many a time most of the advice we share is personal, we share what has worked or not worked for us, trying to project our fears, insecurities, hurts, aspirations, preferences, etc. onto others. This is often masked as advice that we try to share and worse still even force it on others. A wise person filters the advice that you get from every other person, you filter what you hear, what you read, etc. In Shona, there is an interesting proverb that goes like, ‘Zano pangwa uine rako’ meaning you have to receive advice whilst you have some form of idea or advice for yourself, but unfortunately sometimes we want advice yet we don’t have our own. Other people’s advice should work to support your thinking, beliefs, ideas, etc. and you ought to filter the advice.
It is not compulsory to take every opinion or idea that you hear getting shared, some of it didn’t work out for them but it doesn’t mean that it will not work out for you; just because it worked out for them doesn’t mean it will work out for you too. Some people were lucky, time and chance happened to them some worked hard & smart, they tried out their formulas and worked but that doesn’t mean if you copy and paste it will automatically work out for you too. The greatest favour you can do for yourself is to master and know yourself, know and master yourself, know what you want, what you believe in, your strengths or weaknesses, and this way you can easily filter the advice.
It is not every piece of advice that is good for you, you must filter the advice, remember there is so much noise and everyone is out there sharing their thoughts and opinions but that doesn’t mean you have to take it all. Be wise and filter the advice there.
Founder & Director MOTIMAGZ Magazine, Blogger, Personal Development Enthusiast, Content Marketer, and Freelance Web Developer.
Contact Details +263785413075
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