“A few years ago i used to hate the overwhelming positivity on Facebook. Why is everyone smiling, celebrating, posing? Am i the only one who feels lonely today? Am i the only one who got issues, who doesnt possess this limitless well of self love?

And then i noticed that beneath all that self-loathing there was a disgusting amount of wounded ego. Its not about you. Not everything has to be about you. That was liberating. I am not here to be challenged or inspired by you.

I am here to be happy for you. Singing, drawing, running, slaying, posing, living, excelling. Being awesome. I am here because you are friends and family and it warms my heart to see you happy. So, be happy.”


-Valentine Makoni
( 16 August 2016)

Life’s meaning, isn’t arbitrary. About what we have or have accomplished. Its personal, about what we choose to value, how we choose to live and how we find happiness, even in struggle.

Halima asked me to show a different side to myself. For, she enjoys that company. She likes it when I laugh out loud. Unhinged at juvenile humor. She likes the ambitious attempts at greatness. Marvels at my castles in the air. She likes the generosity, says it is a warm heart.

The online hustle has taken much. And given much in return. A Curriculum Vitae would have highlights such as

1) Winner: Roilbaa – best literary non-fiction literature in 2018
2) Winner: Birthday Exe (online) debate competition
3) Joint first place, Emisha Hackathon for Indawo
4) Second place, “We love black people tour” by Bitmari (and some Bitcoin ??)
5) Trial period, Zimbabwean tech company influencer
6) Travel: multi-country trek reaching the tourist resort of Cape Town

Yet, such a highlight reel fails to capture the most fulfilling aspects. People. Literally hundreds of collaborators and customers. Thousands of quirky, silly, tense or victorious moments. Intimate conversations. Insightful revelations. Connections, formed in serendipity.

Here is an example.

Gwinyai Dube and I had a collaboration project idea for debate. We approach the Jesuit Centre of Ethics at Aruppe College and have a meeting with the Director. Dr Kaulem is an accomplished academic. The meeting lasts 3 hours. The verdict? A rejection : debate, is an ill-matching format for the center’s current strategy.

Yet, the feeling afterwards was succinctly captured by Gwinyai, “Man…. I love these conversations. It doesn’t happen often that people discuss issues at such depth, with such divergent views, yet enlightening positions. I need more of this.”

Need a hack on how to break the loop of negative feedback? Try this…

I’ve got joy in abundance
I’ve got life full of substance
I’ve got meetings and functions
So I count my blessings

I’ve got something to live for
I’ve got surplus to give more
And we’re all welcome through his door
So I count my blessings

And give thanks to the master
That through all the disaster
We’re still here
Together after
So I count your blessings

  • Damien Marley.

Hip Hop can be too grim. Reggae can be overly positive. Distant Relatives, is the sweet spot. To be truthful on where we stand. The strife, the pain, the choices. Yet, to be joyful still.

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