Being Zimbo Part 1 :Glen Norah B

Follow the continuation of this series on the page”Being Zimbo” every Wednesday.

Waking up in Glen Norah B on a Saturday morning was dramatic on a sensory level to say the least. I can still smell that morning boil of the maguru and mabhonzo that my mother would make for my step father and his prying greedy friends. They would be desperately trying to drown the effects of the bhabharasi caused by the alcohol binge from the previous night. Hoza Friday it was called. Hoza Friday was a guaranteed event especially for drinking men and daring women who could brave the bar on Friday night. It was then that they would take time to themselves after work, wind down from the stresses of the week, drink like fish and dance like there was no tomorrow. The Saturday brunch menu was maguru, pigs’ trotters, mabhonzo or mazondo served with sadza and fried collard greens glistening with generously drizzled cooking oil. I don’t think I ever recall anyone talking of dieting back then. The more your family was nice and round, the more well taken care of they reflected to society. This “African Goulash“, like maguru, unfortunately took forever to cook so the pot would be put early morning on the stove but they would attract roaming flies that would harass you until you woke up.

Living in such close proximity to each other at the flats, families displayed all sorts of subtle showing off. Our flat was one of the “fancy” ones with Old Mutual employees living there. By fancy I mean it had a durawall, a bit of a lawn and the pink and white paint job was still decent. Other flats had no sign of a lawn at all. At least our lawn existed…even in patches…it was still a lawn nonetheless and a source of admiration and attraction to our flat. The lawn was mostly destroyed by us, the kids, with our daily nhodo, dunhu and pada escapades. The boys liked playing soccer, the ball expertly crafted from paper and plastic bags. Soccer was usually a match against kids from the other flats outside the durawall on the open area and there the boys would get up to all sort of nonsense. Their shenanigans are a story for another day.

You would hear the mabhodhoro guy with his ngoro on his early morning hustle shouting his lungs out pleading to exchange your empty bottles for maputi or mazadzadama which were huge yellowish orange sweets that could fill up a little child’s cheeks. These were my favorite weekend treats. The verandas would be glowing, after a generous splurge of cobra was plastered,dried and shined on the floor. The women must have had some sort of silent competition on whose floor shone the best. All floor polish at this point was called cobra…just like how washing powder was Surf and all toothpaste, Colgate. Zimbabwe especially back then in the early 90s was the “pride land” of any marketer. Coca cola would be the Christmas brand alongside rice and chicken.

I remember all 12 households on the flat would contribute for a massive Christmas party each year and a family would volunteer to host it at their house. We displayed our body and waist shaking skills to Rumba. My mom made me a camouflage guvhu out top and mini skirt to dance in. I took dancing seriously. Before I discovered any other talent, dancing was IT for me. I would first wear my new fancy Christmas outfit which was a must for the big entrance and arrival to the party where I’d expect other kids’ jaws to drop at the sight of my amazing sense of fashion. We would eat so much food and when we were nice and full, our tummies protruding, we were ready to show off our moves. I would run home to change into my dancing outfit that would match my overly confident alter ego. I would request for Yondo sister, Kanda Bongo Man or Pepekale and display my new jive for the year that I would have practiced for weeks prior to the party, with my mother shouting “Chops…. chops …..chovha George…” in the background. I have no idea where that statement was derived from. I just knew when she said it, it gave me more groove and confidence as I wriggled my body and my friends with stiffer bodies would try to copy me with more weird sharp jerking moves. “ Hende bhebhi…chiiiisaaaa” the mothers would cheer us on and we would continue for hours to entertain the adults with some cracking up at our dance moves. My moves weren’t necessarily funny as I was a pro and the queen of rumba… I don’t mean to toot my own horn but it’s true…i was good. Shame, come to think of it, it was probably my poor friends’ moves that they were laughing at.



Maguru Tripe

Mabhonzo Beef bones or pork bones

Bhabharasi Hangover

Hoza Friday “Thank God its Friday” partying vibe

Mazondo Cow trotters

Sadza Thickened porridge usually made from maize flour

African Goulash Although goulash commonly refers to a stew, goulash is a term coined by a famous Zimbabwean actor called Mukadota which referred to a delicious meal (he called it American goulash).

Nhodo A game whereby you throw a stone in the air, move the other stones in the circle before you catch the one in the air….ermmm watch this below. How to play nhodo!!!

Dunhu a.k.a maflawu Dodge-ball

Pada Hopscotch

Mabhodhoro Bottles

Ngoro Cart

Maputi Corn snacks

Guvhu out A top that shows off your belly button a.k.a crop top

Hende bhebhi…..chiiissaaa “Lets go girl…hot!!!!” As in go girl, your dance moves are fire lol.

The meaning of sexy…



sexually attractive or exciting.”sexy French underwear”

Similar:sexually attractive seductive desirable alluring inviting

very exciting or appealing.”business magazines might not seem like the sexiest career choice”

When i was younger, i found myself cringe at the word “sexy”. Not to sound old school but sexiness always had to refer to some juicy body part lol. It always sounded so…vulgar. Anybody who showed any acknowledgement of that on me i would dismiss as being so shallow. But of course for any woman, being desired BY THE RIGHT PERSON is also intoxicating. You know how something can sound like a dirty insult coming from the wrong set of lips and music to the ears from the right ones. So in turn, sexiness has been something i reach for and gravitate towards because its so attractive, bold and daring but i also find it uncomfortable to declare and fully own “sexiness” shamelessly on my own terms. When i did decide back then to accept the word from another as a compliment, id have to tone the effects of its meaning to me by smiling with my head bowed down shyly, you know, to show some “dignity” amidst the “nastiness” lool. It always felt to me like something one had to humbly accept as a compliment from someone else and not declare it least you embarrass yourself if noone else approved. Sexiness was a public consensus for me not a self proclaimed status. Proudly declaring ones’ sexiness seemed very narcissistic and shameful to me.

I can see how that mentality was embedded in me because i associated the word with sexual body parts…bust, bums, hips, legs,lips…and sex on its own was a shameful act for a woman to acknowledge but a sign of prowess for a man. No dignified woman was to be found discussing her enjoyment of sex or anything associated with it. You had to be shy about it. In patriarchal societies, a woman’s body is not her own, just like her life isn’t. She is owned by her last name, by birth or by a couple of thousands or cows paid. Her chastity, her beauty and value is determined on a village stool until its declared in ceremony by her suitor where he privately dictates how it goes as he sees fit. He could and still can dictate how much sexy is too sexy for her or if any sexy could or should be allowed at all depending on how secure he feels not how comfortable she feels. Her body can be a powerful tool used to shame her and demean her but in some ways, it is also her source of power as she holds the potential to create within her womb, allure men and bring them to their knees with the same “shameful” sexiness. Marrying a virgin and marrying a non virgin came at different price tags…still does for some, as if her body depreciates with use. Her body valued according to society’s opinion, sexual mileage and standards. A dichotomy causing conflicting emotions to any girl or woman.

I remember feeling embarrassed about my body at such a young age. When i was around grade 5 my chest was starting to blossom. I was one of those that started to develop breasts earlier than my peers. One day this curious little boy ran to me and grabbed my tiny growing painful buds and ran off laughing hysterically…ouuuccchhhh!!!! He must have been rehearsing and planning his quest for days and squealed with joy at his success. I stood there, filled with tears from the pain from the careless rough grab and the shame of feeling like it was my fault. That was my first reality check and realization that i had no rights to that little body of mine and i told no one of that incident because of shame. Being a teenage girl using public transport was also an extreme sport back in the day. If you looked too nice, you could be harassed with insults due to bruised egos by “mahwindi” (commuter omnibus conductors) if you told them off for trying to get with you and if you wore something too short, they could undress you leaving you naked, shamed in public and even grope you with onlookers doing nothing to help you. It was as if you deserved it because you wore something short or too sexy. If they decided it was too much,they could act like barbarians towards you and get away with it.

As times change, sexiness has become the norm instead, with social media as tasteful sexy bikini shots…(some not as tasteful but found as sexy by some with that taste) sexy pouts and sexy poses become entertaining and exciting. It is less vulgar, more accepted and even praised by some by show of hundreds of likes. In as much as this era might seem superficial, it definitely comes with more freedom of expression. As much as sexiness has a lot to do with showing glimpses of body parts, people have found more creative ways to show what sexy means to them. Now a nice car can be considered “sexy”, financial independence “sexy”, education,wit,funny, charisma… “sexy”, confidence and owning your space and your body “sexy”. Sexy has taken a whole new meaning and there is more room to accommodate it in society than it was back in the day. That huge chest i have that i used to hide in a hunchback in my teenage years now comes out to play (oh yes it does!!!!) and proudly so in outfits that have considerably bold cleavage displaying power. Sexiness to me as i get older means being comfortable in my own skin, confident in my step and excited to have the freedom to express myself in the way i want to…in the way i see fit and in the way i personally approve of first before any other does. Freedom to be you is down right sexy and so is the one who is secure enough to accept your expression as it is. That is damn sexy…to me.

What does sexy mean to you?

Songs of freedom…

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our mind” Bob Marley

Songs of Freedom by Michael Aboya

What if i told you, you are as free as your mind allows? What if i told you that you hold the very keys to the emancipation of your shackles, whatever they may be? Would you believe me…? What if i told you, you could free yourself from every oppression of any kind no matter how powerful, if you just put your mind to it? What if i told you… it all starts in your head. All liberating redemption is super charged by what you feed your mind, what you believe to be true. Your beliefs, your mind alone is your sole oppressor, even more than the agent used to oppress you. I can already feel the breath of angry protests wanting to erupt from your victim filled throat. I say victim, not in judgement but with compassion pointing to your potential power…only if you choose to use it. “But…but he did this…she did this…they did this to me…”. Oh yes, i don’t doubt they did…but you are doing the rest to yourself. Note that “did” is past tense and “doing” is present tense.

Before i lose you to overwhelming defensiveness, please understand this…we are not responsible for how another hurts us…but… we have a choice on how to act towards an act of dishonor towards us. That choice will be our ultimate prison or our emancipation. There are bad people out there, people who do not care how much they hurt others but we have the power to stop allowing other peoples’ actions to dictate the trajectory and quality of our lives. That moment of oppression by someone else is always a passing moment…always…its gone in the moment… but the shackles…the continuation of oppression by the same oppressor whether in our minds or in their action is what we have power over because the oppressor has revealed to us already what pain they are capable of inflicting on us. They have shown us their stripes. This revelation is not one to demean you, but to empower you. You cant change your past, but you can control your future.

I have seen the power of the mind play out in my own life very strongly. I have been a victim of so many unfortunate events, but i have been my own perpetual oppressor as well. I have seen events that happened to me donkey years ago that still sit on the throne of the basis of my decision making and they still continue to govern my life choices. Moving away from the obvious oppressor who is usually in the form of a person, I remember vividly in grade 6 i was in a public speaking competition that i thought i had slayed. But i did not come first, second or even 3rd and i started to question my ability as a public speaker. For anyone who knows of my childhood years, i was the ultimate public speaker. Yes i was!!! I would perform the poem ” I think mice are rather nice” to death lool or perform the phrases of the song “All things bright and beautiful…” poetically, confidently with no desire to search for cues of approval from my audiences’ faces. I would just perform the hell out of it and know in my core that i shook the heavens and i found myself in early leadership positions because of that confidence within me. In my head i was good and that was all i needed to make it a reality. This was from when i was as young as kindergarten age but the decision by the teachers at that event in grade 6,to not choose me in that moment, made me feel like i was a horrible public speaker from then on. That one bad moment triumphed over all the 100 other good moments and till this day i believe im a better writer than i am a speaker yet i fell in love with spoken word first before i fell in love with written prose. Its been perpetuated in my head and my fears have exaggerated the actual incident and made it bigger than it originally was.

I have read so many financially emancipating books…more than i can count and i have seen a common thread in them, financial freedom starts in the head. People do not see poverty as an obvious oppressor and yet poverty is a mentality, it all starts in the head. If it wasn’t a mental battle, then how do we explain those who were able to free themselves from the grasp of lack. How many billionaires came from nothing? Most of them. The best way to help a starving child, is to educate them first that there is no need to starve before we show them how not to starve. The mindset of their financial blueprint has to be completely shaken for it to be long lasting, otherwise even with the tools to free themselves from starvation within grasp, they would still starve. If we trace back a lot of our problems, the seed of perpetual lasting oppression stays rooted within our minds.

I leave you with this question, who…what have you blamed for your misfortune or pain for so long? Even if you do not agree with me that your mind is the ultimate oppressor, at least take the time to hypothesize that it is…then what difference will it make to how you live your life from then on with that mindset? Total accountability for your life…total control, less hopelessness and more bravery…maybe?

Just maybe…

That old school kind of love…

The old school way, dedication to my readers: Old School Love- Lupe Fiasco ft Ed Sheeren

Old School by Maggie Chideme

I wish that…

I miss that…

Wait all day to watch me walk

Have all day to hear me talk

Write all day to make me yours

PS: Babie be mine

Tell me how much you like my style

Take mental pictures il be your muse

Stimulate my mind with verbal views

Take your time…

Show me i’m worth it

I wish that

I miss that

That old school kind of love.

I smile when i think about old school love. I’m smiling now… The memories leave a trail of warm fuzzy sensations in my heart…you know… like the way you feel when you hear that song that just takes you back…waaaay back…back into time:-) The long walk to the shops was never lonely for a budding teenage girl or a beautiful young lady with suitors patiently waiting for her to come out so that they could have a chance to talk to her…if they didn’t have the guts to approach her, they would secretly watch her pass by. They would pretend to be chatting with their friends, “minding their own business” but with the corner of their eye glued on her… or maybe play basketball in the way that she would have to pass through. And when she did pass by, time would stop, each step she took like a breath of fresh air. The chap would return home so satisfied with all the memory of her he would have collected that day…enough to replay in his day dreams until he saw her again the next day…at 10am.

Sometimes a girl would be aware of that cute guy who was always by the bridge or by that corner every time she went to the shops… at 10am of course. There were no cellphones back then so she would create an obvious timetable for her admirer to follow so that he wouldn’t miss her or she wouldn’t miss him. Her heart would thump as she got closer to where he’d be. “Please don’t let me miss my step…please don’t let me miss my step…” she would whisper to herself as she passed him. Depending on how cute she felt that day, she could throw in a bonus sway to her hips, walking to the theme song playing in her head. If his gods were with him that day, and shes feeling a little daring and sassy…she could flash him a beautiful smile as their eyes met. She would walk away thinking “Will he talk to me today?” And most times he wouldn’t for what seemed like an eternity and each day they would dance to the pattern of a beautiful infatuation.

Then one day for the lucky and brave, he would pick up his balls dragging timidly on the floor and get the guts to go and talk to her. “Hie…can i walk with you?” And that would be the beginning of potentially their first love…their old school type of love. It would be the beginning of long hours of writing the perfect love letter…of trying to describe to this person how they made them feel. It was the beginning of lost dazes outside the window during class as a day dream unfolded sweetly. It was the beginning of magical sensations as they held hands for the first time and the genuine smiles filled with pure joy that radiated untainted, straight from their heart to their eyes. And then came the kiss…that light caress to the skin on their lips…then… they’d stop breathing… in fear of letting that moment pass…holding on to it for as long as they could. Oh!!! How i miss that old school type of love…when hopes of love were high…when heartbreak didn’t exist in the future for the optimistic young lovers full of dreams…before real life slapped them in the face.

I hope i took you back. I hope i made you smile. Tell me, who gave you that old school kind of love ?


I can vividly remember the times i have been most afraid in my life. During an anxiety attack while in bed at night, feeling alone and filled by an indescribable suffocating gripping void…or during my divorce with an empty house, an empty bank account with a 3 year old to stay strong for and feed, not knowing how i would do it with no family or closest friends close by to be my physical support system…or when a car rolled 5 times while i was in it, stepping out of a pile of glass and deformed steel… with the radio still intact playing loud…everything in slow motion in my head…like i was stuck in an unending horror movie and seeing a gruesome scene with one of my best friends crying in pain and her leg shattered in pieces and another breathing his last breath…and then recently, the fear of losing my family and loved ones to the corona virus and afraid of not ever seeing my mother again, my brother and my sister…all who live a thousand miles away from me. In that moment, when you are afraid, fear is undeniable and every single inch of your body responds to it. Its real. Its raw…and its ugly.

In as much as fear is the dark knight with a promise of a looming gloom, it is a powerful agent of change. It can sometimes fuel our drive and catapult us to a great level of success or it can cripple us to inaction and numbness. But whichever way we go, its always our choice. Have you ever wondered why we naturally were born with adrenaline in response to fear. Adrenaline that can make you run as fast as Usain Bolt when you see a snake, yet you could never win a race to save your life? It is natures’ way of telling us that fear is amazing ammunition.

I found myself afraid this week of fully stepping into declaring myself as a writer publicly. I don’t know, maybe its a fear of not being accepted for who i am…fear of being judged. I went from being excited about this new venture to wanting to throw up with anxiety lol. Although just like any human being, i feel fear, I also try to find a home in it…most times anyway. If something is important enough to you, i believe fear should become your compass. You run towards it. Im not saying run towards a gunshot and get your ass killed…im just saying fear shouldn’t deter you from anything worthwhile experiencing. So when you are scared…and you cant breathe…your palms are sweaty and your heart is racing a million miles per hour…what do you do…apart from pass out?


Breathing gives you a moment to think with clarity. If you need more than a moment, then take your time to find your true north. Most fear is in the past or the future. Yes, you heard me. Fear most times, as real as it feels, is not real. We recreate a dreadful scene in our head of either something that has already happened or create something that we think is yet to happen. Unless we are facing a lions jaw in the moment or some sort of obvious danger, a lot of our fear is self inflicted and self created. Now in that moment of fear, ask yourself if its real, if you can see the danger. Most times we stop in our tracks because of something thats not there and that will never happen…most likely something that can never happen…like its not possible for it to happen. For example the reason im so scared of swimming in deep water and a reason why im not yet Kirsty Conventry is because i think a mermaid will pull my leg while im at the deep end and drown me. Its a real fear i have but probability of it actually happening is one in a gazillion. But as soon as i see the deep end, that sneaky mermaid is there waiting for my demise…in my head anyways. And if our greatest fear happens anyways, its gone as soon as it came. So if its fear stopping you from your dreams, tread on…don’t stop. Throw up if you have to because the fear itself will never go away, but its still not a reason enough to give up on what gives you life. There is no greater fear for me, than a life not well lived in the face of death.

In the meanwhile, lets stay safe, wash our hands, wear our masks and keep our loved ones safe.

Disclaimer : This post does not refer to stupid heroism and bravery like bungee jumping and sky diving although i do think is cool and will try it one day 🙂

The wound and the light

So i had abandoned this website for years. I created it, used it to heal and i moved on to another phase of growth. You see, most of my writing is instinctive. I follow my intuition and the whispers that move me into action on how to express and share my intimate thoughts with the world…my world. If my lover demands to express themself on top of the mountain then i gladly listen, but sometimes this love affair is selfish and requires solitude. When the time of solitude came, i enveloped myself into poetry. Id always written poetry but this became my main way of written expression for the past few years. I poured out all my pain, joy, thoughts, desires and experiences into my poetry and decided to compile a book from them which im excited to say is almost out.

The thing with how i write poetry is that its very authentic. It is my truth. I cannot write something i do not truly feel or believe. I usually don’t share those because they are the most intimate part of my writing. Im strong, im sexy, im weak, im ugly when im a poet. Im my most true self and all the beautiful and ugly truth comes out. Its a very vulnerable position for me to decide to put this book out there because then i open up my thoughts to everyone and anyone. Its like putting my diary out there for people to read and judge. Its both an exciting and scary time for me. I will probably release more books after this one but this one tugs at my heart strings. Im so attached to it and each step has been surreal for me. I almost feel that with this book, im stepping into my light finally. It may not be a best seller, maybe a few hands and minds will experience its caressing words but i feel my work would have really began…like really began.

Thinking of where i have come from, from the woman who once wouldn’t want to come out of her house because of the fear and pain i felt of the judgement i faced within my community to the woman brave enough to pour out her heart to the world is amazing to me. I have come a long way. It also feels like i was being prepared for it internally. All my fears, pain, joy, searching became this beautiful book. I say beautiful before you get to read it because i truly believe in its power because its words have freed me. Word by word, moment by moment i slowly glided into myself. I feel comfortable with who im becoming and growing into each day and the book has allowed me to remember and play out my journey with a little more consciousness and a little more wisdom. So its important for me to package and deliver it to you in a way that i give it a 1000% percent chance for it to succeed to its full capacity, whatever that capacity may be. Its important for me for you to experience and resonate with the magic of the journey i felt in mine and to find your freedom through it. But i warn you, i spare no topic considered taboo. I know jaws will drop and eyes will open wide. I know tears will fall and some anger will rise. I know words of judgement will be thrown at me. Some may be in shock and some minds will be opened. But whichever your reaction will be, i would have done my job, said my 2 cents because after all, what is life without ever anyone hearing your voice. We each have one but not everyone uses it and im choosing to use mine.


The stretched smile…


Painting by Sylvia Munodawafa

Its hard to put up a show…of yourself mainly…have you ever been to some gathering and you didn’t feel like smiling but you just had to…it was required of you to smile but it took so much of your energy to keep up with the aching muscles of keeping that smile on and then you end up with this weird looking over stretched smile lol….iv been there countless Continue reading “The stretched smile…”


46333_10154110880581122_6187659920913421946_nPhotography by Nigel Tadyanehondo


….man has but to right himself to find that the universe is right, and during the process of putting himself right, he will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter toward him…” I just read this statement from a book called As the Man Thinketh by James’s a very short book but it’s taken me a week to read the first 10 pages which is almost half of the book…reason it’s taking me so long is because I find it to be soo deep, I find myself reflecting on the words for some time Continue reading “Reflections….”

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