Father is a Doing Word

Yesterday Happy Father’s Day messages were all over social media. One directly sent to me caught my attention and got me thinking about fatherhood.

After reading this message, I wondered what the sender had in mind. I came to the conclusion that probably he wanted to highlight that fatherhood is a doing word. In this article I share what I suppose was running in his mind. I asked for permission to share his message. He gladly agreed. I decided to keep him anonymous. As my thoughts raced on what he probably meant, an acronym came to my mind. What is a FATHER?

F: Father is a Fail-safe Figure
As I read the message, it dawned to me that I may have been a fail-safe figure to this young person’s life. Things may have gone wrong, yet he may have found fatherliness in childlessness. I deeply touched by the fact that he could look up to me as a father. For sure father is a doing word. It seemed to me that fatherhood is not a position one acquires by having a child but a title earned after one has lived a legacy.

A: Father is an Accessible Achiever
The drive to achieve in men may render them inaccessible. They may become present-absent individuals. The quest for wealth accumulation, upward mobility, and becoming the best above the rest may starve out the ability to connect with those in need of care. The young man’s message reminded me that whatever achievement I can attain, I must not forget that I should be accessible. Those burdened with care must find it easy to confide in me. My wife should not find it hard to connect with me because of my thirst to be an achiever.

T: Father is a Tolerant Teacher
There are many people who need direction in life. There is a scarcity of tolerant teachers who will understand that faults don’t mean that the people are the fault. A father is an individual who will be able to get into one’s shoe and walk with them without condemning them.

H: Father is a Healing Hard-worker
From the heart of father fountains of a healing heart spring endlessly. They continually drip with words that heal the hurt, calm the crushed, sooth the segregated, and mend the maimed. This is my view of the young man’s message.

E: Father is an Empathetic Expert
People need someone to be with them. With so many things that call for attention there is a dearth of empathetic presence in meeting the needs of the care seekers. For want of emotional release, some couples have lived with husbands that are experts in solving other people’s challenges but lack the skill of empathy in their own homes. Since father is a doing word, it must be positive and impactful. Somebody rightfully said, “People don’t care how much you know but how much you care.”

Father is a Reliable Role Model
Having no child has challenged me to be a living legacy. I can’t afford to wait for the time when I am in the grave. Father is a doing word. Let me live the legacy: be an example to those that are seeing me a fail-safe figure, an accessible achiever, a tolerant teacher, an empathetic expert, and a reliable role model.

The Pathway to Acceptance

Allow me to have an imaginative look into somebody’s life in retrospect. In the noontide of your life, cotton balls in the blue sky of your mind decorated the brains with satisfaction. They inspired your thoughts into action, flinging happy feelings into circulation and turning rejoicing into motion. You saw yourself getting to the desired haven of your dreams. The pinnacle of your aspirations was not only visible but reachable. But then the winds blew rustling your stately trees bending them ceaselessly threatening to break them. Like a legion of angry demons, the ruthless winds hammered at the doors of your heart leaving its desire foiled and its empire soiled. They stirred the quiet sea of your life into an angry, marauding, and life-threatening belt of liquid. But then the Master came and said, “Peace, be still.”

For someone it was not so, the winds just dishelved all your plans and threw them into oblivion. When you followed the trail of destruction it was so massive that you could not tell where you were located. Directionless, childless, hopeless, jobless, homeless, shelterless, foundationless, and not knowing where to begin. Like the Psalmist, you murmured, “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16).

Besetments litter every facet of our lives. They sometimes form a component of everything we do. This reminds me of someone who said, “If the mountain were smooth, would we climb it?” It is accepting the rough patches of the mountain of life that will help us to get to the desired summit. Through my experience of childlessness, I have come to learn what I call “The Ten Commandments in the Pathway to Acceptance.”

1. Acceptance is not a destination but a journey.
Life has taught me that I will never get to a place called acceptance but I will arrive at a destination called tolerance. Let me give an example. Blogging, tweeting, and posting on Facebook about being a childless pastor does not mean I have accepted this painful experience but that I tolerate it and have learnt to live with it. I have picked up this wound and chosen to use it as a tool for ministry, bandaging those in pain. There are moments when I am reminded that I am not a dad. Then I remind myself that this is just another rough portion of the mountain. I am on a journey. Someone may ask, “How do you go through it?” I focus on the things that make me happy. Turning my pain into gain. Another coping mechanism is that I express my feelings through poetry. The recent one I wrote for father’s day is entitled: “More Important than A Rodent.”

2. Acceptance is a bitter pill to swallow that heals slowly.
There are moments when people say, “Your loss has been there for a long time, you must get over it.” Some people say time will heal, but it does not. It is embarking on a journey to acceptance that heals the traveller. In my case, if I do not swallow it by accepting that a child is a gift, prolonged grief will always be my portion. It will stall me from climbing up the mountain of life.

3. Acceptance says there is more to life than having things I wish to possess.
Truly there are things we can change but others will never be changed. There are things we will never have. Instead wisdom calls for looking at other projects in life to enhance oneself. Seeking to improve oneself daily in other spheres that you are able to handle. Somebody pointed out that, “If you are not able to alter the sky, work on the ground.”

4. Acceptance says, “The miracle is here.”
When people discover that I don’t have a child, some will say “a miracle is on the way!” One prophet, said, “Your wife is pregnant.” I almost asked him, “Did you impregnate her?” The point is, I have not heard anyone who said, “The child may not come, don’t worry!” I have developed a new response to those who tell me about miracle babies. I tell them, “The miracle is here and you are missing it.” Some ask, “Is your wife pregnant?” To that, “I say no. You have missed the miracle which is the existence of an African childless marriage without divorce.” In your situation, look for a miracle. Others may not see it. It is a miracle that you are still not married, you may have been preserved from being hooked to an abusive spouse. There are miracles dotted all around us and we miss them on each day.

5. Acceptance says, “I’m not others.”
I have been told, why are you playing when others are having children. In processing this thought I have said to myself, “I am not others.” I colour the world by my deficiency. Let me be, I am not others. Read more here.

6. Acceptance says, “Redefine your Losses.”
We are normally given names by the losses we incurred. A woman who has lost a husband is called a widow. A man that has lost a wife is called a widower. A child that has lost parents is called an orphan. A man or woman who has lost parenthood is called childless. A child who is a never do well is called a dullard. In my case, now that a child is not born, what next? Should I have a daily pity party? No, I just have to redefine fatherhood. For instance, a limited definition that is soiled by traces of pronatalism sees a father as a masculine biological offspring producer. It reduces him to a male animal that is connected to the child by a sexual relationship with a female of its specie. It promotes irresponsibility among those whose virility results in the birth of children. However, to me, a father is one whose shoulders are broad enough to carry those who are hurting without complaining. What I have just done is to redefine my loss.

A Demonstration of Re-authoring the Losses

7. Acceptance says, “God has the final say.”
When John was in prison, he was heartbroken because Jesus healed the diseased, comforted the weary, and strengthened the weak. He was asking why Jesus doesn’t release him from prison. He died in prison. This is difficult. This is where we need to swallow the bitter pill of acceptance. Somebody said, “Don’t try to understand everything. Sometimes it is not meant to be understood, but accepted.”

8. Acceptance says, “Pain is my fuel.”
We have been raised not to accept pain. We have been taught to shun it. As little children, we have been protected from its experience. We are pampered and claim our rights to be shielded from it. When pain, loss, disappointments strike we are ill-equipped to handle these. The day we will learn to turn our pain from being a foe to a friend and our fuel, we will rise to conquer the world.

9. Acceptance says, “Pain is my teacher.”
Somebody said, “Experience is the greatest teacher, it first disciplines and then educates.” Each time you are in pain ask yourself, “What is this teacher trying to tell me?” In my case, when I was dumped two weeks before a wedding, I learnt my lesson the hard way. I remembered the danger warning signs I had ignored. I vowed never to do so if God would give me another chance. I had seen some things in my girlfriend that I just brushed aside because of immature love. This is a kind of love that doesn’t want to be realistic. It is afraid of being in pain and causing justifiable pain.

When I got married, the pain of having no child taught me that there are things that I love, that I may never get. Their absence in my life means the presence of those that are supposed to be in my life. I looked at this and I concluded that I have been given an extended honeymoon.

10. Acceptance says, “Patience is your engine.”
The issues that surround us need and call for patience. This is the reason why those who will emerge victoriously are described in this way: “Here is the patience of the saints.” (Revelation 14:12). In the journey of acceptance, patience is the engine, fuel is pain and you are the driver. So each time you experience pain, remember that you are refueling. Keep driving until you get to the zenith of your dreams.

These are the 10 commandments that no book has taught me. I have been to the University of Pain, in the Republic of Childlessness. When I was admitted into this institution, I was given a certificate of re-authoring my losses. I am destined to graduate with a PhD in Patience Science. You can join me in this pathway to acceptance.

Sikhumbuzo Dube
Born to Win, Inspired to Excel

“Buried with a Rat”: The Ordeal of Missed Fatherhood.

Today is another day when the happy Father’s Day messages are flying across various social media platforms. The majority of these posts are celebrating men who have managed to be biological fathers. While they are well-meant, they may evoke negative emotions among those men who don’t have children because of a number of prohibitive circumstances. It is unfortunate that these emotional hurts that may be sabotaging the whole system and robbing it of its complete joy may not be easily expressed because men have been taught that boys don’t cry. Their expression will not only be seen as being sissy, seeking empathy and admitting failure but also a parade of shame.

As the world commemorates this day, I am reminded of one of the insults that an African childless father may have received. It has been said bluntly, “You will be buried with a rat.” While this custom is not all over the continent, it is still dotted in some communities in Southern Africa. It stems from the image of a father which is associated with being a real man.

When a young man is growing up, he is expected to get married. Furthermore, he must have children. This is anchored in the endeared connection between those who are alive and the departed elders. The birth of children is believed to prolong this spiritual relationship. In his explanation about this phenomenon Mbiti wrote, “The living are the link between death and life. Those to be born are the buds in the loins of the living and marriage makes it possible for them to germinate and sprout.” Consequently, a man who does not marry is not only guilty of failing to perpetuate the family name but also being a source of disconnection with the spirits of the departed elders. In some instances, he is buried with a rat tied to his back. This is to show the societal displeasure.

While modernization may have minimized the exercising of such cultural practices, the shame attached to male childlessness is not eradicated. The “buried with a rat” mentality pervades some conversations. Statements like “you are shooting blanks,” are not only demeaning to the childless men but also adding insult to injury. In some instances, anyone who does not have a child cannot fit in the company of “real men” that make solid decisions. Consequently, desperation may drive him to have extra-marital affairs in order to attain the envied status of a father. This stems from the narrow lenses of ideological pronatalism.

A limited definition that is soiled by traces of pronatalism sees a father as a masculine biological offspring producer. It reduces him to a male animal that is connected to the child by a sexual relationship with a female of its specie. It promotes irresponsibility among those whose virility results in the birth of children. However, to me, a father is one whose shoulders are broad enough to carry those who are hurting without complaining.

In the Christian world, the “buried with a rat” mentality exhibits itself in the sentiments that everyone who calls upon the name of God must be blessed with children. Having none is seen as God’s displeasure towards the couple. As a pastor, I have been accused of opening up about my childlessness—a thing that is seen as bringing shame to the God that I profess. Some have declared that a miracle child is on the way. They have always missed the one that I already have. You may be wondering which one. Yes, it is the existence of a happy childless African marriage. Procreation is not the glue that should bind spouses together, it is love that cements them.

The “buried with a rat” mentality may have littered your pathways as a childless man, I have a special poem dedicated to you. May it speak to your soul.

More Important than A Rodent

Your story has been inked in pain.
Included in the list of the insane.
Who make love but in vain.
With clouds that bring no rain.
Inflating the scoffers’ gain.
For the thing you cannot attain.
You can still cut across the grain.
In a loud voice pronounce the claim.
I’m more important than a rodent.

Your adjective has been impotent.
By those whose lenses see a rodent.
Helpless but cunningly malevolent.
Inviting the spirits of the violent.
Leaving the situation inconvenient.
For the building of anything important.
Your child may be non-existent.
Your spirit must be persistent.
Ignoring the willingly insentient.
And on the positives be insistent.
On the mantra of the resilient.
I’m more important than a rodent.

Though accused of an evil spell.
And ditches on which you fell.
A new page you can still pen.
A lovely story you can still tell.
Though your sons can’t be ten.
A door of providence is open.
That others ignore most often.
The weak you can strengthen.
The arrogant you can frighten.
By singing the warrior’s anthem.
I’m more important than a rodent.

Sikhumbuzo Dube
Born to Win, Inspired to Excel

The Mothering of Non-mothers

Today the social media is awash with posts on mothers’ day. Pictures of those who attained the envied status of motherhood blink in every twitter handle, link every mother to a child on LinkedIn, and connect mother-baby faces that resemble on Facebook. While it is a good thing to thank those mothers who biologically gave birth to children, there is one group of women who belong to my childless tribe that may be left out. Among this group, some feel that if this day would not be in the calendar it was going to be better.

The waves of pronatalism that sweep across most social platforms may be spitting out a venom that inflicts pain on the childless. The well-meant good wishes may be poking the wounds that were almost turning into scars in the absence of loss reminders. The aura of joy that accompanies the smiles that dance across the faces of the celebrated mothers, is a night in a deep and dark den of denigration to those labeled as non-mothers. To add insult to injury, some of these helpless women are locked down with husbands who have been cultured to think that marriage is only complete when children are born.

In my culture, I may sound to be a lost, lone male voice hollering in the African thicket that glorifies motherhood while non-motherhood is looked at with scorn. If I thought otherwise, I would be tolerated because the husband of a woman who does not have any child is sometimes excused from this “offense against the community.” Speaking about the gravity of this matter Mbiti pointed out that: “Unhappy is the woman who fails to get children, for whatever other qualities she might possess, her failure to bear children is worse than committing genocide: she becomes the dead end of human life, not only for the genealogical but also for herself.” Jody Day, a thought leader in women’s involuntary childlessness says, “the status of motherhood is ideological pronatalism which overvalues the status of motherhood at the cost of undervaluing the status of those of us who are not mothers.” For this reason, allow me to cut across the grain and say, “non-mother do mother, for mother is not a noun but a verb.”

The myth of motherhood in my culture renders a childless woman as an object of scorn and ridicule. This is how I have reinterpreted it. I am thankful for the two mothers who gave birth to me and my wife. These two ladies did not stop at biologically mothering us. That was going to reduce mother to a noun. They went ahead and mothered the good they desired in us. When they were done, God then allowed them to hand over the scepter of motherhood to my wife. She is now my mother who through her amazing mothering skills has transformed me and she continues to do so. If being a mother was giving birth to a child, then the status of a childless woman would be reduced to be below some reptiles who lay eggs and forget about them. According to me, every woman is given that innate mothering skill which is not actualized by bearing a child, but by living a purposeful life. I dedicate this poem entitled Nonetheless, You are a Mother to such mothers. Happy Mothers’ Day.

Nonetheless, You are a Mother

When your child was born dead
Their eyes were just turned red.
In crocodile tears, your story was read.
Some dearly mourned in your stead.
But for some, it was a center stage.
To vomit their uncensored rage.
Nonetheless, you are a mother.

Miscarriages paint your life story.
Drums of tears may fill a lorry.
Explaining how you missed the glory.
Of being in the celebrated category.
In hopelessness, you are a signatory.
Childlessness is your new purgatory.
But a child occupies your memory.
For in your clan it is compulsory.
Nonetheless, you are a mother.

Name-calling has been your portion.
Some tag you as a chief of abortion.
Ransacking every bit of healthy emotion.
Sucking out any of your life’s satisfaction.
Deeming every hard-earned qualification.
By using their pronatalist calibration.
Leaving you in horrible frustration.
Nonetheless, you are a mother.

Some may not like my mind.
Yet “mother” is not equal to “child.”
It is having a purposeful stride.
That drives your imagination wild.
And throws all negativity aside.
And great initiatives to decide.
Amazing dreams to actualize.
On high places to forever ride.
Withstanding whatever tide.
And thriving from every chide.
For in verity, you are a mother.

by Sikhumbuzo Dube

Husband’s Ministry of Presence in a Childless Marriage

by Sikhumbuzo Dube

Love your spouse more than you love your career, hobbies and money. That other stuff can’t love you back

Dave Willis

The “ministry of presence” is a familiar term to those involved in the chaplaincy ministry. Paget and McCormack explain that these specialist clergy’s ministry of presence is done both physically and emotionally. Emotional presence involves empathetic listening and building a relationship that brings “comfort to those who feel alone in their suffering or despair” (p. 27).

I have found this to be helpful to the patients that I visit in hospital. As they allow me to step into their sacred space, the deliberate ministry of emotional presence communicates care while the default ministry of emotional absence creates an unintended ambience of callousness. Seeing its real value, I thought about how it can be a tool in a childless marriage during the self-quarantine period and even after it is over. I write as an advocate of happy childless marriages.

There is a challenge of “missing husbands” in some homes. They may be in the house but not present in the home. One study revealed that in some patriarchal nuclear families, a number of women “get their emotional needs met primarily in the context of their relationships with their children rather than their emotionally absent husbands.” This becomes even more complicated if the wife is childless. There will be no child to lean to in case the husband decides to be emotionally disconnected. I have three simple suggestions to help husbands to support their wives in a childless marriage.

  1. It is important to have the “you and me” time.

In this world of social media, it is easy to lose each other in the home. Good gadgets can be husband snatchers. Speaking to her emotionally absent husband, one woman said, “Honey, how I wish I was your phone.” “Why,” wondered the husband. “I’d be always in your hands causing you to smile all the time.”

Good gadgets can be husband snatchers

There should be a deliberate attempt to create the “you and me” time. I have purposely called it the “you and me” and not the “me and you” time. It begins with recognising the worth of another person then satisfying your own needs of companionship.

While it is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, an emotionally absent husband makes the heart of his childless wife feel unloved and worthless. In a pronatalist society, it is only a supportive husband that can provide the needed emotional support. In this way, he will have become a house bandage that brings soothing to the painful wounds of having no child.

2. Walk into her sacred space in love

By accepting to be your life partner, the wife was allowing you to occupy her sacred space. She gave it to you as a reliable trustee. It may be sad to have that kind gesture taken lightly by being emotionally unavailable. One way of walking into her sacred space is to adopt the LOVE care model in marriage that I use in clinical pastoral practice.

L – “link-up” with you wife–this is to be connected to your darling. O – observe what may be going on in her emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing. V – verify your observations by asking vital questions. Examples: Why do you look sad? I see tears, may I understand their meaning? Am I hearing you to be saying that you are regretting?, etc. E – empowering your wife to positively look at the challenge of childlessness. Affirm her and help her to affirm herself.

3. Be available

Nothing beats being there for your spouse. When she needs a shoulder to lean on, be available. When she needs to shed her tears, be available. When she has a silly joke to share, be available. When she has had a joyful day, be available. When she needs someone to talk to, be available. When she needs your undivided attention, be available.

“Sikhumbuzo Dube, This Year Also My Son”

I sat on the couch that my wife left me on. With a laptop open wide, thoughts on the topic for a research conference I would be presenting in early this year were oozing from my head. I was filling up the pages with a ferocious appetite. The cursor was inking every white space black on my machine screen. The denseness of midnight could almost be felt outside. The still air issued a blank statement about the prospects of the coming year. A little shuffle of dry leaves was occasionally heard. 

The thought about the year 2020 was either nonexistent at the moment or was shelved at the recess of my mind. I was racing to meet the deadline of the article I was to deliver. Then a thundering noise followed by terrifying reverberations popping irregularly waken my mind to the new year. A line from a Bible text [“This year also” (Luke 13:8)] crossed my mind in that instance. I thanked God for the past year. Having been used by Him to use the pain of my childlessness as a tool to heal others, the fact that I am without a child lingered for a moment. Like grieving a loved one who just died, it held me dumbstruck and saddened. “What is the reason for all this?” I wondered. Why Am I being allowed to see this year childless? What lessons are there in store for me? Questions about the reason for my existence overpowered me. The man in me refused to cry. I told myself that I am a pastor because man of God don’t cry. I involuntarily closed my laptop and headed to bed and decided I would share some insights on this when I wake up. 

As I woke up, I remembered that the first of January is when I publicly shared the pain of being childless. I wondered whether I should call it an anniversary. I could not find a befitting descriptor of keeping and remembering this day as a game changing one. It has not been easy to share my childless story on social media, on national radio and in the church settings. When I look back, I can still hear a voice saying, “Sikhumbuzo Dube, This Year Also My Son.” I have the impression that it is through this pain that I will make a difference in someone’s life. It has taught me five lessons.

  1. Failing to get what I expected doesn’t kill. It is giving up on the ideals about life that shortens my lifespan. If I become too obsessed about not having a child, I may miss out on other blessings. 
  2. If I can’t alter the sky, let me work on the ground. Truly there are things I cannot change and childlessness is among those things. When a child doesn’t come, I can’t redirect that trajectory. Life has taught me to alter the landscape of the childlessness ground and to volunteer to be a voice for those who can’t share their stories in public. 
  3. I have learnt to re-author my marriage myth from an African perspective. I and my wife had hoped to have a boy and girl as children which is the joy of an African woman and the pride of an African man. We listed their possible names. In the absence of those children, I have re-authored this beautiful myth to say, “I am the boy and my wife is the girl.”
  4. Mourning the loss of what I don’t have is not bad. It is hopelessness that makes childlessness fruitlessness. When I feel the pain coming because of constant loss reminders, I allow myself to vent out. Being vulnerable by writing this article is part of the process that helps me to grieve. I call it “sweet grieving” because through it, I help others who are wallowing in the same mire of childlessness to wake up, walk tall and win strong. 
  5. Decluttering my mind of the debris of despondency activates my resiliency. I will not allow myself to be torn down by this situation. I will always be hopeful that when this door does not open, God should help me see the other ones this year also.

When you feel low, use the title of this article and put your name and applicable gender. Hear your Master saying, “…………………………. (your name), this year also my ………………..(son/daughter)”. To get a conclusion of my thoughts, please muse on the words of my first poem in 2020 entitled: “This Year Also.”  

This Year Also

Chinese fire crackers lit the sky.

Bidding farewell to a year gone by.

Announcing the one we would ride.

Oblivious of the stacks that are high. 

Another year ended without a child.

A fact I can never try to deny. 

Someone thought I would die. 

But grace quickly cried:

“Sir, let him alone this year also.”

My thoughts clash in dissonance.

Disrupting me by their insolence. 

What is the reason for my existence?

Am I making any profound relevance?

Do I count and make any significance?

Have I slidden into the pit of irrelevance?

Do I measure up with His magnificence?

I lamented in my soul’s weariness.

But grace softly game me solace:

“Sir, let him alone this year also.”

My brain being the activity hive.

Consulting each one of the five.

Senses that could inspire the drive.

To curtail the thought of not being alive.

I thank God for the new lease of life.

In a world with no peace but strife.

Danger on my way was very rife.

When grace over doubt did deride: 

“Sir, let him alone this year also.”

By Sikhumbuzo Dube

Born to Win, Inspired to Excel

Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary

“Today we celebrate our tenth anniversary. As we look back into our married life we are filled with gratitude. ‘Had not the Lord been on our side,’ when my sweetheart had three surgeries; when we tried to have children in vain; when we were scorned and mocked by the heartless; when I sometimes felt my manliness challenged because of my childlessness, we would have gone different ways.

Today I celebrate fidelity to one wife
I celebrate love “not because,” but “in spite of”
I celebrate the choice I made to commit my life to my beautiful wife
I celebrate the truths I was taught by a childless marriage
I celebrate love, happiness, peace and joy
I celebrate being a Happy Husband that married a Happy Wife
I celebrate defying the notion that childless marriages must be dissolved”
Sikhumbuzo Dube

My Name is Not Others: Letting Your Lion Roar

As a childless man, the most disturbing and hurting comment I have received is, “Others are working while you are playing.” This statement not only presupposes that every married man must have a child but casts everyone into one mold. It is bereft of empathy and devoid of sensitivity. 

In my analysis of this comment, I told myself that I am not “others” but I am an amazing, unduplicable, born to win and inspired to excel handiwork fashioned by the Owner of the universe. I color the world by my childlessness. Though my marriage adds to the statistics of couples living without children, I am not defeated by the negative social labeling that such families receive. While dark stains to the chapters of my life may be visible, I have chosen to look at them as tokens of the cruelty of the archenemy and not marks that define me. 

Since I am not “others,” I will cause my own lion to roar. From the thicket of melancholy and stigmatization, from the depths of despair littered with the air of despondency, I will ask her to bellow out commands against the fear that says I am “others.” Dead fish will always flow with water. It takes a live fish to swim upstream. Living according to a script that the world has written for me is not only intolerable but unacceptable. I will walk on the path that God has laid. Muse on the words of the poem I wrote:

Let Me Be, I am Not Others

No man speaks like those in his tribe
In matters of the clan, he may ascribe
For no zebra shares its unique stripe
Yet they want me to dance to their vibe
So let me be, I am not others

While others are blessed with cars
Some mourn and bewail their scars
In this deranged life, they are actors
Mimicking their chosen demonstrators
Who ain't concerned about their matters
So let me be, I am not others
I was born to win and inspired to excel
Negative and miserable thoughts to expel
Incredulity and presumption to exhale
Inspiration and positivity to inhale 
God's territory to vigorously extend 
So Let me be, I am not others. 

Sikhumbuzo Dube. 

Storying for Accepting

The journey to acceptance begins by storying your broken narrative. The power of telling your story is that it will produce your intended meaning. One African proverb says, “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” So share your own story, it will empower both you and the recipients.

When someone repeats your narrative, no matter how articulate and precise he or she is, they will not be able to infuse the fire that defines your very core. Being your own story teller gives you a “triadic advantage”, i.e., being the architect, the craftsmen and owner of the narrative.


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