Sunday, 30 September 2018

Happy Birthday X



I've had a wonderful birthday. Both myself and my daughter. Early breakfast with my son and his girlfriend, then my children done great and gave me a lovely day of shopping.. please don't get me going Ti, he finally said enough...!lol!

Not before picking a cute jumpsuit.
Ti said he had to get Nai her gift before he spent all the money on me and my legs..
Ok o.

Me and my daughter








I love my children so much I really enjoy my time with them

Today also marked the day I lost a good friend.
A singer and much loved DJ
My studio pal from MCS Records days
Sandeeno
RIP Sandeeno. I'm so sorry. I'm still in shock.
Will miss you x

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Just a Dawna Day ft music from Burna Boy

I laughed so much at my 1st attempt at tying my headscarf.(hijab) and if you saw me you probably would too!
Still, this was my 2nd attempt, and I like it, I think it looks quite cute and if I'm able to rock it over the winter bingo!... winter will be a breeze ( no pun intended)

I'm usually able to tie various styles and enjoy trying different and new ways that will suit my face. My face is oval I think, some people say heart shaped, so most look ok, although some better than others
Do you like it?
My mum would say I need more work to do:)



Weekend WOW Factor: How To Stop A Revolution

Lsat night I had a few thoughts on the $60billion loans from China to Africa.
These thoughts actually seem to come out of nowhere as I was doing something totally. unrelated!.

I wondered if there were other reasons for the acceptance of these loans other than development.
I thought about the recent political uprisings across the continent, such as in Uganda.
'Perhaps leaders were nervous after all',I thought.
What if the strategy included though such as these?...
'Perhaps if in hearings of these loans the people would no longer see a need for an uprising'.
why challenge a government if they are working to improve our lives?



With more money, leaders will be able to pursued the people, that the government are indeed skilled enough to obtain international assistance, in addition to more funds to purchase more votes.
Uprisings occur when discontent reaches a critical mass.
To break down the critical mass with the promise of more wealth and a better life, is a strategy that works.
So perhaps our leaders are not as clueless as one may have believed.

We all know that if we have an issue in our own lives that no-one else can relate to it's often difficult to gain the understanding or empathy of another

Therefore becoming so isolated that eventually you decide that perhaps the issue is not political or unjust, but a personal subjective experience.
just a thought.



Thursday, 27 September 2018

Colonizing Africa

Corruption is eating Africa, and with China's on-going investment and loans, there appears to be little incentive to tackle the money lost to corruption which could be used for local development and services for the people.

China's pledged $60billion investment across Africa is a potentially troubling debt trap that may see Africa lose control of the independence they fought so hard for.

Zambia's recent default on some loans has seen them lose control of their major broadcasting company, and despite being told there are no strings attached to these recent loans, it is hugely unlikely that this is 'free money'
If you consider the amount of money stollen from national budgets, it begs to reason that without high levels of corruption there would be little need for such heavy borrowing.
China benefits from Africa's corruption and lack of stability.

So, as leaders continue to siphon money for themselves and their families, or fail to tackle those who do, the majority citizens will be left to feel the impact
Local people are yet to be skilled up or employed in the new developments and as a result will watch as spectators unable to participate.
It does not appear that African leaders are insisting on the contractual inclusion of local people with regards to employment, and most developments therefore are staffed by Chinese workers.

Yet we can we blame china? . they have spotted an opportunity on the ground. If or leaders despite years of independence fail to spot them, what can we say.



It's an emerging situation, an interesting one at that. Politically, citizens across Africa are tired with the status quo leadership. What would happen if emerging new leaders on full analysis of these deals discover and decide they are weighed heavily again them, and simply refuse to pay?.
If leaders are serious about eradicating poverty and investing in new developments they would start from within and tackle the money lost to corruption.
They would not wait on Chinas investment.
It's certainly a carrot and stick situation, with China pleading to wipe out debt for poorer countries, and the promise of wonderful new developments, therefore it's not hard to see the lure. But it wouldn't be the 1st time Africa payed a heavy price for shiny new things.










Friday, 21 September 2018

My last day at work..

Today was my last day at work.
I had an amazing day, in fact it was one of the best days I've had there.
Such a rollercoaster of emotions, and looking back, its been a time where I learnt a great deal, and many lifelong lessons.
No other job has taken me to the emotional depths I experienced and I'm so grateful.
I'm really going to miss them all, and I wish them all the very best as they continue to develop, as individuals , and as a unit.
I've made some good friends there, and I realised again, just how special it is when you are able to embrace the beauty in others.
It took me almost 2yrs to get there, but I finally did.
I made it through!.

The gifts I received were awesome, and just perfect for me. They showed me so much love today, and for that, I'm truly grateful, and it's with that spirit of gratitude that I embark on my new role.

A wonderful run up to my birthday.



chocolate covered, strawberries and flowers in my favourite colour.. yellow. Courtesy of Givtd by Nancy









Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Becca - HW3 Ft Bisa Kdei

The Outsider (L’√Čtranger) - A Review

I do enjoy a review.
It's pretty easy to review something you've enjoyed.. much harder if something fails to deliver what you hoped for
This is one of those times.

I'll start with the positives

One highlight was the fact that Ben Okri was in attendance, standing tall at the door it was nice to see hime there.
The stage management was stylish and slick in its raw simplicity, and the stage lighting wonderfully effective.
I had fun, but to be honest the play itself... was a bit of a bore from start to finish.
I understand why Ben felt that the Coronet was an ideal setting for his adaptation, but as I tried to squeeze 33inch legs.. ok.. 32, behind the tiny space In front of the seat... I had to disagree.

As my knees jammed against the seat in front, I did my best to block out my tingling nerve endings and focus on the play.

A play which was too long, with a narrative too slow.

The protagonist was droll. His voice failed to capture the real essence intended... which was a feeling of 'emptiness... un-belonging...un-knowing'
The actor did well to keep that going all night to be fair :).

I was jolted awake mid way when the play reached a crushendo... the sound of gunshot.(had i been transported to Croydon??..nope, phew...we were still in 'Algeria')
Then, realising a long drawn out court hearing was to ensue in the 2nd half, ... my legs twitched again... I stood up.. stretched, sat back down, then dozed.
lol!

Lord have mercy.
This. play was touted as a existential story , one which would have us leaving with many questions.
Yet the only question I really left with, other than 'are the trains still running' was.... 'I wonder what Ben made of it... and is he still awake back there!



Don't just take my word for it...(Ben is a don after all) if your legs aren't as long ...go see for yourself... perhaps I missed something





Heading home, I said to myself.. huh.. I was hoping to witness an existential crisis... then I thought.. Dawna... you are the existential crisis lol

The Outsider (L’√Čtranger), is showing at The Print Room at the Coronet

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Silence

Today I'm silent.
Other than my laptop, (and phone) there are no other devices on. My window is open, with only a faint sound of traffic, an airplane in the sky somewhere, heading to an unknown destination, and the on/off voices of neighbours, and other than that, it's pretty still.



It won't last, as I'm due elsewhere tonight, but right now this is it.
I haven't been this silent in a very long while.
I haven't stopped.

Now I'm still, I realise

I'm alone with my thoughts, perhaps too many to mention, but can be summarised as...experiences.

I faced a disappointment with someone I considered a friend back in january, which had me evaluate all friendships
I'm actually quite careful, and prefer small meaningful relationships, over large numbers.
'inner circle' I think it's called

Well, I didn't say anything to this particular person, but every so often I reflect on it. We weren't that close anyway, so maybe that's why.

As much as I love music, silence is also a beautiful sound.
There is no-one to ask me for anything, critique or complain about anything or want my attention.
There's no noise
For the 1st time in a long time... I've the house to myself.

Over the coming weeks the plan is to clear out my wardrobe, re-decorate my bedroom, and turf the lawn
It's a plan.
but for now, It's just me and me x


Enjoy your day

Weekend WOW Factor: Personal Development, (and leaving my 40's)

Now I know I need to change, do better, be better.
I've spent many years taking my gifts and abilities for granted, not sure why but on reflection I think it's when things come naturally to us, rather.. to me , we ( I ) often don't notice them.
For us.. it's a normal everyday thing

Until you meet someone for whom it's not.

There are things I've been aware of for some time. I know for example that I feel at my best when I I'm able to make a positive contribution, as I care deeply, about many things, therefore to hold back on those passions causes me to feel anxious, uneasy, unaligned. ( A Librans worst nightmare!)

I also know that I need to engage in creative endeavours. I'm at home there.
I could go on, to talk about love and music, people... but my main observation, is that I simply haven't done enough, of what makes me tick.
I've put things down, pushed things aside, neglected some things, and simply ignored others
Been a bit of a wanderer, and not acted purposefully enough.

When I act with purpose (on purpose) things do change, when I adopt a laissez-faire attitude things feel less meaningful, less colourful, and less fulfilling.
Ive been lazy.
Sure I worked hard, I've studied, and I've done and achieved many things, but if I weigh what I've done against my own abilities or self expectations, they are a small fraction of what I'm capable of
We are all capable of great things, and there are many reasons why we often don't do them


I've had bouts of anxiety throughout the year, which in the grander scale isn't uncommon, but it can be debilitating or even, disheartening.
We are gloriously and fearfully made, not made to be fearful

This year has been a year of refection in many ways. At the end of the month I will be 50. That's a big number for a small girl right?, but I know, more than anything, despite messing up here and there, along the way, getting things wrong etc, I have also got some things right.
So I will avoid the tendency to beat up on myself for being human and just accept responsibility for my mistakes, as I move forward in a positive way.

I'm not necesarily where I wanted to be, or even expected to be at this point, but can't complain, as I've not pursued purposefully, enough.
I've overthought things, turned left and right gone up and down, like a waving arrow, but even a wavering arrow can hit the target with enough momentum.
Yes, a wavering arrow with moment and force becomes straighter at the approach.

I feel young for my age, yet I've come to embrace the beauty in that, and in my naievity.
I'm learning to be content with my looks and who I'm becoming.

More work is required in managing my emotions, and my thoughts!, in the knowledge that our thoughts shape our world
Our thoughts are our powers... our superpowers.
Collective thought shapes families, communities, nations.

My physical library tells a story of my parts of my life journey..of where I've been. Less required is the physical as we can read so much online, but there's a special feeling I get when holding a book.

*parts of my 'library'











Here's an interesting ( or uninteresting) note
Other than the fact that Walter Mosely is one of my favourite writers....
It's taken me 49 years to stop biting my nails. It's a bad habit which I now recognise as something I do when anxious. I'm less anxious, and hey presto, no nail biting!.
So my aim is to tackle vices/bad habits and re-embrace those that are good.

This week in the run up to my birthday week, I end one job, to begin another. It feels right... like that wavering arrow straightening out.
So ironically as I move forward I also need to head back, press re-set perhaps.

My intention is to be a blessing wherever I go, but more importantly , to be happy, balanced, and in alignment with my truer self. For when I am, my light shines brighter, and the strength of my love, for myself and others, is more evident.

Anyway, although old, this video is a gem
It's taken me two days to get through it , but I recommend watching. Jim Rohn on Personal Development.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Mafikizolo ft Jah Prayzah - Mazuva Akanaka

Dj Xclusive ft Duncan Mighty- Gimme Love

Tony Blair on BBC Newsnight

Weekend WOW Factor: Leaders in the Spotlight

Just to get you in the mood, here's a video clip from the week that was
Some state he's the Ugandan deputy PM, others say he's the minister for sports, the irony surely not lost there..:)




I'll talk more about Uganda later...

**

I had an interesting and tiring week, so this weekend I've really been catching up with as much rest s possible.
My current listening is Bishop TD Jakes. I've enjoyed one inspirational sermon after another. I know many criticise many pastors of mega churches, and in most cases it's a justified critique, yet TD Jakes ... I like.
If we looked purely at their ability to inspire and motivate, it's fair to say many are very gifted.
Woman Thou Art Loosed is a good read for anyone who's interested.
I've found wisdom and comfort in his teachings this week

Anyway
Human Doings

There are times that I simply don’t’ understand human nature. We either hear of cases of extreme generosity, or at the other end of the scale, extreme brutality, both of which appear highly seductive to the media. Fortunately, most of us, live the majority of our time, somewhere in between these two poles.

On the continent, I’m often taken aback by the behaviour of those in power. Either they are guilty of abusing their power directly, or they are guilty of complicit silence.

Our male leaders in Africa, are cut from a different cloth.
Politicians, in general, across the globe, are cut from a different cloth.

The stories that moved me in some way over the past week or two, did so for numerous reasons.



In no particular order, the 1st, is closer to home.

Theresa May dancing. I’ve never seen anything as utterly ridiculous as those odd shapes she was struggling to throw. Even writing these words is bringing back memories of just how annoyingly ridiculous the entire scene was.

My brother told me I was over exaggerating, and that she was doing ‘her thing’. To which I simply responded by turning the clip off all together and wondering why I even bothered to show him in the 1st place :).

To be honest, I couldn’t avert my eyes, such was my enjoyment

What was interesting though is the woman standing beside her with the handbag. The one that looks as though she’s on the starting blocks and about to run a race, only to be called back time and time again



Did she think that because the British Prime Minister lacked rhythm or the fluidity of musical expression, that she also had to comply by having no sense of rhythm also?


Theresa May had the power to make an African woman turn into a complete and utter no rhythmic moron without saying a word.

I’m being harsh, I know
over the top as my brother might say
But I’m being harsh for a reason.

When I watched Theresa May’s inability to dance it brought home to me, just what is wrong with our former colonisers, and our country today.

To move is to feel. Theresa Mays inability to move shows an inability to feel, to connect.

Her dancing is as stiff as her policies. Policies which lack a humane touch. Policies, which impact on the 99% far more negatively than we may desire to admit.
If you wonder what Tory Britain looks like.. well.. it looks like Theresa May's dancing I guess..
Slightly rigid and cold

Yet perhaps that dance was a cry for help.

Maybe it's saying, I’m cold, I’m hard, feelingless, and I need someone to show me how to love, how to feel, how to be compassionate, how to be real.

Don’t believe me? Look into her eyes. I felt her discomfort. I am no stranger to feeling discomfort in situations I'd rather not be in.. so I can relate

Those eyes said.. ‘why me?’, either that, or how much dancing do you think I need to do to get back in favour here.
Britain is keen to seduce Africa again because Brexit ironically has the powers that be looking even more outward than every before.

So our P.M evaded the land question In S.A, agreed a deal with Buhari on security, (training for the military, and anti Terror strategies) and Dankote ( the richest man in Africa) will list his $11b Dankote Cement business ion the stock market

Bet you all thought you were simply watching a woman dance … well, you were watching far more than that.

Disclaimer.. My brother discredited my theory... but he doesn’t count.

**

Story two, Is set in Uganda

Many of you will know about the recent arrest and torture of popular afro beat musician, and independent political candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine

Now released, and in the US, he has released a statement citing the beatings he endured via the Ugandan police.
Many say his treatment was at the hands of elite presidential guards.

Wine was arrested back in August after a campaign rally in the north-western town of Arua where the Presidential convoy was allegedly stoned, he was released, but later arrested again on charges of treason.

Bobby Wine is persona non grata, for the ruling elite because he’s young, he's intelligent, he’s popular with young people, (who make up the majority) and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Wine is the revolutionary from Uganda that may have ignited the fuse which will change the status quo of the country.

Now as bad as it is, it’s not the arrest and torture that tipped it for me.

It’s was the presidents statement on the issue,

He called the entire thing, ‘ Fake News’

That American inspired rhetoric is shockingly embarrassing. Seriously,
a ‘cheeseburgers and fries’ statement. If he continues to believe himself untouchable, perhaps he should consider the fact that those longest serving African leaders are one by one, being removed from power.

If the only way one can hold onto power is through the violent suppression of people, one is really powerless, and acting like an ole plantation overseer.

In fact, perhaps it’s not Wine that has ignited the fuse, but Museveni himself. Simply by not knowing when to leave office, or how to respect human rights, and political opponents.





**

The last story caught my eye because I love flowers.
I love receiving them, buying them, giving them, admiring them

I think flowers are beautiful and also romantic. They can convey a range of emotion depending on the context they are given or received.

Mohamed Mahamoud Sheik, also loved flowers. He believed that flowers could heal; could restore a war torn country accustomed to witnessing ugly acts, to appreciating beauty. Sheik, wanted to bring back love, romance, and business was doing well. Young couples were beginning to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day, and the sales of single red roses went up, giving hope that love wad embedded gave hope that love was indeed, embedding itself within the culture.

Sheik opened the very 1st Flower shop in Somalia. Mogadishu to be exact.

He was threatened to shut it down but was defiant

This is what he said in 2015 (courteously of the Guardian)

“Most people wonder why [Somalia] is unable to gain peace and stability and have a functioning government. It is not because people do not want peace or a government. It’s because they cannot. They are still haunted and traumatized by the decades of war. “It has not set it into their minds that peace can truly happen.

“On a daily basis [people] witness bombs going off and see bodies and hear of death. They help those injured and bury their dead. They mourn and pray that God helps them. Then they move with their lives. The next day is again the same and nothing seems to change.

“To me flowers bring in a new light, a solution to the problems faced. It provides an opportunity to see beauty and gain sanity from all the problems surrounding us"
.

He was shot and killed on the 2nd August 2018.

"The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace; it’s true. Yet it’s also true that nothing strengthens authority such as silence".



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Dr. Joe Dispenza

Interesting




New Nigerians : A Review

A rare night to myself so off I went.

Now showing at the Arcola Theatre, New Nigerians is a play by Oladipo Agboluaje.
Patrice Naiambana stars as the revolutionary socialist protagonist 'Greatness', a Presidential Aspirant who is seeking to overturn the political status quo, with an ideology rooted in integrity and socialism, just as his father, a well respected union comrade, instilled in him.



Greatness is the head of the Peoples Revolutionary Party, and with his fiery and funny female running mate, is finding it hard to galvanise a people accustomed to stomach infrastructure, and voting along ethnic lines.

He faces many temptations and tests to his integrity, mostly from his political rival, who leaves the ruling party, joins the opposition party, and makes him an offer difficult to refuse.

His mantra of "One Nigeria one Family", is seen as naive, and his rival tells him directly that he will never be President with his overt socialist and revolutionary leanings.



Faced with a choice to accept his rivals offer and betray his running mate ( and his integrity) he tries to woo the trade union boss, in the hope that the backing of the union will bolster his partys efforts.
Yet he quickly finds that even this is thwart with difficulty as he realises that to gain that backing, it would come at a high price.
He has already paid dearly, with his wife leaving him, and dedicating her life to god, who unlike her husband has 'time for her', and with god, finds a relationship which gives back the depth of love she has to give, and will not forsake her.



Politics is a dirty business, his running mate, under constant sexual harassment, loses herself in ganja and wine, as she is forced to trade sexual favours to further their revolutionary agenda.
The men dominate and the women endure, or run.

This play is current, and tells the story of Nigerian politics today as it gears up towards 2019 elections.
It's a wonderful comic satire, and if you're up to date with Nigerian politics, you won't miss the puns, or the relevance.
Even if you're not up to date with the antics of Nigerian politics , you will be able to relate to this universal struggle for power and competing ideologies.

President Buhari, the main political parties , and the politic aspirants that have recently emerged are all put under the spotlight for sure


A cast of three, but the actors double up on parts seamlessly, and each character holds their own.

A great play, and so very funny!, go see it if you can

New Nigerians now showing at Arcola Theatre