Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Encounters with the South African President: Jacob Zuma

So as I mentioned in my previous blog…..Avon and I had the honour of welcoming the President to Godfirst Church. Avon responsibility was to escort the president to and from the VIP room and I had to host the room in which the special guests would meet with the President.
We were all so nervous to meet him. Figuring out what to wear, how to greet him, could we take pictures with him, what to call him Mr J-Z, baba, President Jacob Zuma???? To calm my nerves I pretended that the person that I was going to meet was my Dad….just with a whole lot of guards and stuff around him. The whole building had to be bomb swept with sniffer dogs, the security was in check with metal detectors computers…the works. It for sure was not a normal church service even for us God Firsters. I was more nervous for Avon…I kept asking him are you sure your radio is working…do you know exactly where you are going, what channel should you be talking on.
The VIP room wasn’t too big and could only fit a limited number of people. I had the list of people given to me on a clip bored …which made me look very official. Everyone was rushing around making sure the room was ready with the snacks drinks. The temperature had to be right the flowers. Every now and again I would be like WOW the President is coming. J

Then the presidents personal assistant was gave us the signal that the President had arrived. I was told to make sure no one comes in the room with anything. In my mind “right on…I got this.” As the guards open the door for the president….a cook boy walks in with dessert plates in the opposite door. You should have seen the look I gave the guy. I think I freaked the guy out. It was that look of you better back right out of here coz the president is right at the door!!!! I will show you the look one day.

Once the fuss was over and we got to meet the president himself... he reminded me so much of my father. I observed how he interacted with his daughters how he sipped at his tea and how he laughed and made jokes. He was a daddy kind of a guy. When I looked at him I thought “Here in front of me was the man that was holding South Africa on his shoulders ….the crime the past hurts everything,” I could only imagine what stress he must go through.

When it was time for the interview with the pastor, Avon escorted the president from the VIP room down the back doors and to the front of the stage. I was so proud of my husband J. The interview was with his daughter GUGU and it was so interesting to have the president talk about Gugu the way he did. … so proudly. What stuck out for me was when Sibs asked the president what should the Church be doing…and is it doing enough. Jacob Zuma said the Church should be the conscience of the government…..meaning we should be raising our voices if something is not right. He felt we were not doing that enough….which was true.

The preach by PJ, our pastor, was also very moving. According to Paul, all authorities in the world were put in place by God. We should obey the laws and keep praying that our Leaders will lead our nation wisely and in a Godly manner. We have to focus on the positive aspects of our authorities and pray for the things that are not right. This will make a difference. The government can’t do everything on its own. It can put rules on racism but only God can change the heart of a racist and heal the hearts of those hurt by it. Government can band pornography but only God can deal with a person’s lustful nature, only God can deal with jealousy and greed.

When he came back up to the VIP room I really felt like I knew the president. I also was dying to get my picture taken with him....just to prove that I was actually there. You know a Kanya moment :). Trust me to strike a crazy pose posing with the president. I also got a picture with Avon and I which I said I would give my dad as a fathers day present :).
Anyways, this blog is to encourage you all to pray for our President Jacob Zuma and all our leaders. I was moved by the joining of Christians of all races and backgrounds who all just cheered for joy at the sermon and at Jacob. When we prayed for J-Z people cried. When we sang I could just feel the Holy Spirit moving through the crowd. People were changed and I would only imagine what it would feel like to have the nation changed and believing in God and our authorities too.

If any of you are interested in the preach and the interview with the president please download it from http://www.godfirst.co.za/node/500 Please also forward it to anyone who struggles with believing in our leaders of today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathers Day Special: Loving My Dad

So tomorrow is Fathers Day and I thought I would share with you my experience in loving my father.

I must admit I am not a big fathers day fan, more so a mothers day fan. Not because I love my father any less but because I know how much my mother values Mothers day and that makes me value it too…my dad even gets excited when it is Mothers day. Probably because if they are together they get to have breakfast in bed…so it is a bonus. Maybe I am not so into fathers day as much because I find my dad to be so hard to please. My dad seems to have everything he needs and if he really wants something he could buy it. So trying to think of a gift or a present for Dad is challenging, even for Christmas it is hard. But whatever we buy dad he loves and he is so good at letting us know he loves it.

Which brings me to my dads Love language , which I have learnt to believe is Acts of Giving . This is something that has taken me a while to learn and I am probably still learning it. A person whose love language is “Gifts” means they show their sign of love through giving gifts, money or anything. I think my dad got this love language from his dad or maybe it was a cultural thing…..THE PROVIDER kind of love. Now if your love language is something else like quality time or acts of service….trying to love or to feel love from someone who has a different love language can be very hard. One of my love languages is “Quality time” which is that I feel loved when someone spends time with me and I show love through “Acts of Service”. So on your birthday you won’t necessarily get a present from me, I am terrible at that, but you would probably get a handmade card or baked cookies and I would spend some quality spend time with you…somehow.

Now back to my Father-Daughter relationship. My dad and I have always loved each other and always will but over the years of growing up I have probably held a lot of resentment and anger towards my dad because I never understood his love language. Something I hope others can learn from. I would get frustrated that he would work so hard and I would get angry that he would put work in front of family, something I vowed never to do or marry into. All those late nights at the office, shorter holidays - all built up in me. For my dad it wasn’t necessarily an issue…(unless my mom made it an issue) because he was loving us in a different way…..providing for our education and for our lives. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my Fathers hard work. Yet why did I hold onto the lack of time?

I used to think it was a cultural problem….the fact that I didn’t feel like I had a true relationship with my father, but it wasn’t entirely. It wasn’t good for me to blame it on culture, because it made me upset that I was Shona (in a strange way). I would think that if I wasn’t Shona I would probably have had a better relationship with my dad. In my mind Shona culture didn’t enable a healthy father-daughter relationship. But this isn’t a battle that just Shona daughters experience….but many daughters.

But the problem was not my Father and it was not the Shona culture, it was me. I put so much pressure on my Dad for being the perfect Dad. I had so many unnecessary expectations from him that I found it hard to just love him for who he was. It wasn’t till the day that I got married and I heard my fathers speech that all my frustrations, resentments, and unforgiving nature melted into nothing. It had to also do with a lot of our conversations and discussions prior to the actual wedding ceremony. But I realised that night that I had expected my father to fill a gap that he was not suppose to fill and heal hurts that he was not designed to heal. A gap that only my heavenly Father could fill and a wound that only my heavenly father could heal.

I had heard it many times that we should not hold onto the things of this world but only onto God. But as a daughter I held on so tightly to my dad that I wasted time looking at the areas where he fell short and not the areas where he was my Dad. As the words rolled out of my fathers mouth, that night of our wedding, I just cried. I cried not only because every word he said was everything I wanted to hear my father say or that he called me a miracle child. But because I was so wrong in the battle I was fighting. He was destined to be my dad, to be the man that he is today and has always loved me and my family. I was the one loving him wrong. I loved him through daughter tinted sunglasses and not through Godly filtered sunglasses. I still have my moments where I fall back into my frustrations but my prayer is God helps me love my Father with all his perfections and imperfections and I now just thank God that I even have a father.
I love you Dad :).

Coming up:
This morning Avon and I had a meeting with Rachel and Ryan, one of our close friends at church. We were discussing the whole event of tomorrow….the visit of Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, to our Church. Yup that is right folks the president himself is coming to God First. What is even more exciting is that Avon and I have been asked to help host him and Zuma’s Crew. This will be a private visit and it falls into our Celebrity series “What would God say to _________” Last week we did Madonna and tomorrow we are talking about ‘What would God say to Jacob Zuma?’ Each series has been pretty interesting and I have learnt a lot from them all. I am so curious to hear what PJ (our Pastor) has prepared for tomorrows preach. Jacob Zuma will be coming with his daughters. My thoughts are that his daughters have struggled with the same struggles I have faced. My dad could be the president of Zimbabwe and I would still have to love my heavenly father for me to love my own dad. Look out for tomorrow’s blog…..encounters with the president.

Friday, June 18, 2010

When the Winter hits you!

This has been the coldest week of the year, here in Johannesburg, with temperatures reaching minus 5 degrees!!!!! I think all the tourists must be in complete shock! I have been fortunate enough to work from home but even that doesn't warm things up. But it isn't so much the cold that bothers me....but more so the memories of the cold days I left behind in Canada..that gives me the real chills.

I managed to survive 6 winters in Canada and to tell you the truth each winter was worse than the previous one. I dreaded the walks to school, the warming up of your cars before you could take off; the scraping off of the ice and snow from your car. In fact having a car in winter was worse than walking. At least with walking you can just warm up instantly coz you walk so fast......If you are driving, you nearly freeze to death coz after scraping the snow off you sit in the car and wait for it to warm up. ...this is pure suicide for an African.

I was warned about the "winter depressions" which tend to happen to just about anyone. But I thought I was too positive about life to ever get into a depression. I was so wrong it did happen...an unexplainable dullness would come over me during those cold winter months. I would not feel motivated to do anything but just stay away from the cold. It was a cold lonely feeling that chilled you to your bones. I would also get so homesick just thinking about the African Sun, the dust, the sweat.....I would miss it all. Listening to that song " I want to go home" by Michael B. always takes me back to the cold winters of Canada. I would sing with a sad sorrowful voice.....I wanna go hoooooo hoo hoo home....with tears rolling down my face. I was pretty pathetic in Winter.

Now after feeling such cold depressing weather like Canada I am really struggling to fight the cold here in Johannesburg. I am home right now so I can't blame it on the homesickness...and I am definitely not lonely. As I write this I cannot feel my feet and my finger tips are blue. I am wearing jeans boots, hoody, thick panties warm under shirt and a warm cuddly night gown over everything. The heater is under my desk and I am boiling the kettle just to keep the air moist (the steam in the bottom right of the pictures …..is the boiling kettle). IT IS NOON>>> and it is still COLD. As much as I was depressed during the Canadian winters, I am realising that I had a lot more things to be thankful for.......

For starters Central Heating!!!! Everything was designed for those cold days. No matter how long I keep my heater on here...the room doesn't even get to half as warm as the homes in Canada. Plus the heater dries me up till I feel like a prune face. You know when it is so cold that you are even afraid to go to the toilet ....you would rather hold it in till you have no choice but to get up....thus risking yourself having a bladder infection. THAT IS COLD. I am even scared to get into the showers because taking off my clothes makes me feel as if my nipples are going to fall right off……THAT IS COLD.

But on a more positive note. The thing I love most about the Johannesburg winter is cuddling with my husband :). We sleep holding each other as if letting go would mean Death in the COLD. Spooning is a under estimate of how close we are...more like moulding or roping because our legs are twisted into each other. We are like our own personal heaters....at least I know if I dared to go pee in the middle of the night....my touchable heater would be waiting for me!

So to wrap this blog up. I would rather be a nippleless, bladder infected, prune faced wife than a central heated, depressed, homesick, student living in the snow. That’s the winter talk for you :).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It is the week of the World cup and even though I am not a soccer fan I seem to be stimulated by the excitement around me. Our city is covered with colours and flags of different nations and every now and again I catch that tourist. But for now ...at this moment the South Africans are dominating and are stirring up the coals for the FIFA Fire and it is hot. Cars are zooming around with one or two flags on them. There is this new thing where the car mirrors have flags on them like a cover. If you see the car coming towards you the flags look like little wings on the edges as if the car is going to take off any time soon.

I admire the energy of the supporters from the clothing to the instruments. Probably for the past month and a half every Friday companies have asked their employees to wear Soccer Jerseys.....it was an official Football Friday. For me it was funny coz everywhere you went people were wearing they yellow and green football shirts....as if it was NORMAL. If you were not wearing it you did feel a bit out of place.

Every household has a Vuvuzela the long plastic trumpet which can make noise for miles. Even this morning when I woke up I thought I could hear the vuvuzela. On Sunday I just saw a man walking with his Vuvuzela and blowing it like no mans business.....ON HIS ACE. I can only imagine how it is going to be when the real games start and the fans are going wild in the street. Imagine when your country wins and you see that other car covered with the same flags as your country, I am sure you would just die to blow that VUVUZELA with VUMA. I am sure there will be some sense of WE ARE ONE :) as the trumpets and music come together. People are really worried about the noise levels in the stadium and just yesterday I heard that there is a thing called the Tulazela. Which are ear plug/muffs that will block out the sound when you are at the games. lol.

On an even more positive side our Transport system is finally getting their act together. Our roads are finally starting to clear up and be fixed. Its like Gauteng has been under construction ever since I moved here and for the first time today my drive to work (N14, N1north) had all lanes open and it was even more smoother sailing. Yesterday the Gauteng Train (GAUTRAIN) was opened to passengers and people could travel from Sandton to the airport in 15 minutes at a cost of R100. I know of people who just went to the airport for fun....just to see what it was like and so far the feedback is good. South Africans are even proud of it as if they had built it together :). I just can't wait till they finish the train from Jozi to Pretoria. Maybe my rides to work will be on a train. It would be like travelling on the GO train in Canada from Missisauga to downtown Toronto. No more traffic, no more smash and grabs maybe I could even catch a nap. Wow that would be amazing.

For Avon, my husband and media manager for Montecasino, the past couple of months has been non stop WORLD CUP preparations. From learning the Diski dance, to advertisements, to camera purchasing and setup. For him it is work but I slightly envy his job because he is really right in the heat of it all....he has been working that FIFA Fire and the coals are now ready for the tourist meat (lol). From organising what games should be shown on the big screens to how the stage should be laid out for entertainment and the fan area should be. Montecasino is already packed with tourists from all over the world and I am sure they are going to be in awe of what Montecasino has to offer. .....even I get surprised by it all and I practically live there. You can check out the Montecasino commercial for the World Cup on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GVD7VG1Sik

With all this gearing up for the world cup....I can't help but think about all the people that are going to be watching the games on TV, on the radio they said it would be approximately 3 billion. Will they be shocked at what South Africa is like, are they only interested in the games? All my friends that I left in Canada; would they feel a sense of closeness to me when they see exactly where I am living. I am sure the very streets I drive and walk on will be filmed on TV. Might they understand why I am here? I pray that the energy, the fire and flames of the 2010 FIFA World Cup heats up their hearts with a desire to come and see for themselves. Who we are ......and where we come from.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gauteng Crime: Smash and Grab

Hello my readers,

Okay sorry for the lack of Blogging. I finally got a job and have hardly had time even just to check emails. But I ain't complaining...having a job is amazing. I am working as a GIS and Remote Sensing specialist for a environmental company (SEF) in Pretoria...a 45 minute drive from where I live. The drive isn't so bad infact I find it very theraputic. Its my quiet time. I love people watching...even in traffic and blasting my 2 Christian CDs over and over again.But this blog is about my incident yesturday..SMASH AND GRAB. For those of you who don't know what that it....it is what it is. A person smashes your window and grabs what ever they can see....this is a common crime here in Gauteng.

Approximately 20 minutes of my drive is along a informal Settlement (Diepsloot) an apparent Smash Grab hotspot. I usually spend my morning drive wondering what the lives of the people around me are like. Funny enough I feel like I know the people I drive by (opposite direction). The morning runners, the constructions guys with their plastic lunch bags tatty shoes who always seem to be sharing some funny story while walking briskly, the school children and even the taxi drivers. Many people say the route I take isnt the safest route, but I try not to think of the negative too much.

But yesterday I was made to rethink things. On my way home form work (4:35pm) I approached the Diepsloot intersection (william nicol and N14). As I pulled in to make my right turn onto william nicol I realised the traffic lights were not working and the car infront of me had stopped. At the same time two guys were crossing the street both in different directions. It was as if they had just finished a conversation. I began day dreaming about the guy walking away from me. He seem strange...not very friendly to look at. I couldn't seem to get any pleasant thoughts about him and had a moment of "Kanya not every person is bad." The other guy approaching my car made a gesture to say he can walk behind my car instead of infront. So i pushed close forward and thought...see people can be nice but I really should have let him go...hes walking and I am driving.

Then everything happened so quickly. The guy who walked behind my car had come to the window behind me and SMASHE IT. The sound was like a bomb. I could not see anything except glass. All I could think of was a gun and my life. So I panniced and accelerated into the car infront of me which created another bash. Then there was that moment of WHAT DID I JUST DO! My heart was racing as I turned to look out my window. There I could in full speed was the theif gunning it towards Deipsloot settlment. He was struggling to carry my broken gym bag. I had a bit of a laugh thinking what an idiot he would feel when he gets to his destination only to find a bag full of dirty gym clothes and shoes.

Getting back into action. The guy I bumped into had stopped by the other side of the road. Knowing that there were more than one theif around...I rolled down my window and asked the guy if we could talk in fourways because I just got smashed and grabbed. The guy was like "YOU SMASHED MY CAR" I was like "um yes but I got a SMASH AND GRAB" ....."YOU SMASHED MY CAR" he said in a french african accent. I knew this might be a tough situation as I followed the man to fourways/lonehill shopping centre. During the drive I just prayed. That the Lord would calm this man and calm my spirit. The devil comes to install fear in our lives and I wasn't going to let that happen. I was safe, I was healthy and I will remain that way.

I managed to get the guy to come with me to Peugeot dealer by Monte where Avon could meet us. On my way there I somehow lost the guy and didn't exchange numbers with him. I thought he was behind me but he was infront and already had arrived at the dealer. While Avon was there waiting he saw a man come out of his car Cursing and punching the air saying "F#(#)*$, that is the last time I will ever trust someone" Avon came up to him and said "Hey man is everything okay" The guy explained the situation and Avon was like don't worry you can trust her...she is my wife. I think the guy felt a bit bad as I pulled in with a "where were you face."

The damages were not so bad. We managed to pay to fix his light and he was going to get a quote for the bumper.

I felt a bit dazed by it all. Even when giving the statment at the police station it still didn't quite hit me. The only time I really cried was when I tried to explain the story to Avon. I just wanted to be close to him.

This morning as I drove passed Diepsloot. I looked out at everyone shoes looking for my shocks!!! As a man tried to cross infront of me using the same gesture as the smash and grab. I let him go first...he smiled and waved. I then felt bad for the perception I had of him and said to myself agian..>I can't live in fear and I won't! So I was going to focus on the positive and not let things like this get me down and negative and continued my drive to work like any normal morning....blasting my Christian music and people watching.

These are the rhythms of my life....I will be blogging more...