April was for the culture. More often than not, your favorite was out here embarrassing you in public. I spent a whole load of time trying to connect with my other love, Hip-hop and the culture around it. Wrong timing I say. April was also about me chasing lightness and embracing the fact that sometimes plans tumble but you still weave your way into slightly sane. This is my April Appreciation with apprehension on the side. Let’s take stock.
Avicii: True Stories – This documentary left me with a lot of questions and rage. You can pick the obvious danger signs, he was not in a good place physically and mentally to be pushed around by his management to do shows and interviews. All for the dollar. It’s gut-wrenching to imagine the kind of pain people go through behind closed doors and they have to put up smiles when they step outside. He was fed up. Conversations around mental health should be routine and move towards finding effective solutions for ourselves.
Embrace – Remember how I went on and on about wanting to get rid of my postpartum squish and extra baby pudge? Well, I’ve been on a mission looking for body positivity content to match. I need every tool at my disposal. While this docu did not address the black woman struggling with stigma and stereotype that comes with being considered fat, it still is worth your watch.
With the waning influence of blogging, I’m always led to think vloggers and influencers are making a killing. I mean look at the likes of Casey Neistat. According to Breeny Lee, not so much. I think someone needs to help her monetize her videos though. Her numbers don’t add up – according to the reaction videos.
My complicated mental state took a beating, all it needed was some loving and a bunch of articles on the same. I haven’t shied away from stating my struggle with postpartum anxiety and how overwhelming motherhood can get. So anytime I get inspiring writers on the struggle I count it as a lesson towards my healing process. Kawiria is one such writer/blogger. Her latest posts made me question why life really goes for the jugular. But still, she is and will rise. I may or may not have gone through all her archives but since I’m now invested I might as well share her space so we obsess together.
Blog Pick – The gifted Olivia is back and she’s penning it down. Her relatability an obvious plus.
Currently listening to KOD and Invasion of privacy. Janelle’s Dirty Computer will take a few listens. Krit gets an honorary mention. I had missed my Krit nights and I’m glad they are back. I Know I said Afrosoul will feature in my playlist a lot this month. But it didn’t. I can see why.
Joe Budden Podcast – Yes I’m those people who had no time for Mood Musik Joe and all he stood for. He was too corny in his art and I was having none of that. Our start was on the wrong footing already considering Wayne was my go-to guy for the dope yet corny music. So I am trying not to cancel the post Everyday Struggle Joe. This month on cancel culture and how your problematic fave has managed to beat the system, we feature the MAGA hat Kanye. Obviously.
Now I haven’t had kind words for Kanye over the years. Besides the fact that he
used to makes good music, he is a very polarising figure. One end of the spectrum has all his stans with the unyielding worship of celebrity, fawning at his every move calling him Picasso. The other end is liberal thought police busy thread bashing his sense of minimalism and support for the ‘oppressor.’ His comeback felt good until it didn’t. The regurgitated quotes were acceptable until they pointed to where exactly they were going – Trump’s Tower. And he made sure to drag Ebro and Charlamagne into it. What Joe and his friends like to call, strategic marketing. Even the wealthy work full time seeking approval.
I think I mentioned on my Taking Stock series that I do listen to Joe regularly now and he was not happy with how the industry gives a pass to Kanye all the time while every other person perpetuating contrarian beliefs gets canceled. Immediately. A lot is happening with every minute Kanye tweets so I won’t be surprised that by the time this goes up, he and his support system will have been fully canceled. Don’t count on that though.
The Receipts – One of those podcasts I have been wanting to binge on but kept postponing. Glad it landed on April. Your problematic fave episode was a standout. It amplified this getting a pass situation that Fabolous benefitted from even after a video surfaced and the choir could only say “yeah, his side of the story next please.” And the very recent Nas – Kelis situation. Also worth noting is that Fab and Emily are back together, it more often than not ends this way. See Tristan and Offset.
Which brings me to the question – Where do we draw the line between the music/art and the person? And is that not excusing the person’s god-awful behavior?
Milena Sanchez also talked in depth about how motherhood for her was baptism by fire the first months. Mothering without a map – nobody tells you nothing. You are left to figure out things on your own because apparently, you are strong. Ironically, 90% of new mothers shut down completely. If that isn’t tragic, imagine mothering without a mother. We need to change this habit of keeping vital information, especially what to expect in pregnancy, delivery, and child rearing to ourselves. There’s only so much you can learn from baby center. Sharing is caring.
Woman To Get Inspired By – Adèle Dejak an African inspired jewelry designer who specializes in handcrafted fashion jewelry and accessories. Her brand has really grown over the years. She was featured on CNN African Voices the other day. Just awesome.
Blog – The Adele Dejak Blog
This year’s BAKE Awards Nominees list is out. I’m always looking forward to sampling newcomers with great content.
The call-out culture is running amok for sure and yet again Chimamanda found herself on the hot seat for questioning why Hillary Clinton’s Bio reads ‘wife, mother, grandmother’ and not her accomplishments. Cue choice feminism debates and so on…
In other web police news, Tanzania bloggers are paying a hefty $900 to license their platforms including providing details of shareholders, share capital, owners’ citizenship, staff qualification and training programs, and a tax clearance certificate. Free speech indeed.
Let’s talk Mothering without a mother. The toughest yet. Days you wake up and think I guess if mom was here I’d have thrown my motherhood struggles at her for some downtime. I’d be receiving genuine judge-free guidelines on how to juggle obvious things that I find hard to now – the ones society expects me too. I’d be smothered with words of affirmation – You are doing amazing sweetie – every now and then just to keep me going because no matter what I’m still my mother’s daughter. When that’s not the reality, you have to toughen up and protect your happy space by all means. Even if it means having occasional pressure sores.
I particularly loved his lessons on the transformative power of reading books. I noticed I tend to read a lot of self-help books and I am willing to switch that up for other genres. I didn’t care for his history so there’s that but all in all, I enjoyed this honest and easy read.
Mandla is doing just fine. He’s into a lot of pointing and gesturing and peekaboo. He wants to say mama so bad but the vowels are failing him. He pretty much understands what we tell him, more than he can speak. He talks back too, in baby speak. Sometimes he sings along to his favorite nursery rhymes. The boychild living his best toddler years basically.
Recreating Learn The Ropes System – will write a comprehensive review about this soon. It’s basically a system I use to learn new things for self-enrichment… It’s one of those Productivity systems I created a few years ago that helped me (still does) learn things I never did in school that are super interesting and important to me now. Eg Avionics, Coding, New Language etc
My home has been operating off schedule for the past month or so. Figured I needed something like this to get me out of my funk. I have been hideously lazy at consuming and churning out content – despite editorial calendars and daily schedules. It happens.
First family vacation over Easter just next door – Watamu. But it has unlocked a desire to explore all of Malindi and its adjacents. To soak in every small detail I come across because my nomadic self will need the memories. I also want my morning shot series to center around capturing everything Malindi.
Fear of embracing fear has held me hostage for a long time. I am done letting fear dictate my day-to-day. It’s exhausting to not live freely. I understand now that fear is what keeps us going. It prepares us for the worst case which hardly comes to pass. Fear is not a drag and drop, it always comes back. As Monique Seitz-Davis rightly puts it…
So, imagine speaking your fears or self-doubt out loud: This gives fear a platform to be itself, to be free and breathe. You get to hear and feel the humanity in your fear. Remind yourself (and others) that it’s okay to be afraid to feel fear. Fear is just as human in its ways as you are: it waxes and wanes, changing as you change too. Fear is not the big bad wolf that comes knocking in the night—fear is part of the house that protects you.
My Taking Stock Series was inspired by Pip whose draft you can use to come up with your own list.
Or you could try mine. Here’s a blank one.