A Quest for a Writer’s Voice

By Masimba Biriwasha | On Point | @ChiefKMasimba | January 20, 2014

Perhaps one of the greatest battles I’ve fought in my life has been to find my writer’s voice.

Because it’s a highly internal affair, there are no witnesses to the bloody spectacle except, maybe, for a disfigured piece of writing. Every time I try to awaken my writer’s voice I feel wrecked. It’s a real pain to say the least: mind-numbing. Continue reading

Taku Mafika Lights Up Bassment

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – Fresh from a study and music tour in Germany, nyunga nyunga mbira maestro Taku Mafika and his band, Tru Bantu,  lit up the newly renovated Bassment Nightclub on Wednesday with fresh beats from his upcoming album.

Wearing a dashiki, the husky voiced musician showed mastery of different genres of music but putting his signature nyunga nyunga tune as he sampled songs from his forthcoming album titled, “Black to Colour.” The music on his new project, which is constructed using an eclectic selection of musical instruments,  portray Mafika in a whole new light. His lyricism touches on a wide range of issues, including, love, freedom and peace but the ultimate beauty of his work is in the precise manner in which he plucks the mbira keys and makes them sing.

A fervent crowd at Bassment Nightclub danced intensely for almost three hours as Mafika went through his musical repertoire with gusto and evident passion.

“I feel exhilarated to be back home performing in the motherland and before an audience I know best. We’re making art with the mbira and taking it to a new level. All I can say is that I want to move to a whole, new international level with my music. The response, thus far, has been positive both locally and in the countries that I’ve performed in abroad,” said Mafika who is also a UNESCO-ASPNET Schools  coordinator in Zimbabwe.

While in Germany, Mafika said that he was involved in media competency and journalistic studies. He also performed at the internationally acclaimed Intercultural Summer Party, a cultural festival that brings together changemakers from around the world to promote intercultural learning.

Mafika reiterated the need for local artists to take advantage of new media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr among other.

“I am simply saying srtists should be able to know how to use the Net because it brings the whole world int a single village. With the Net, the world is a click away. In the past Africa was regarded as a backward place but because of the Net we’ve an equal opportunity with the rest of the world. So artists should take advantage of social networks to market their products to the whole world,” he said.

How to find your passion

There are exactly three places you can find your true passion: in your heart, mind and spirit.  

Passion is personal, and it’s deep.

It’s about what you love to do without being forced to do it. It flutters like a butterfly within the heart, mind and spirit seeking to show you the way to go.In addition, the spirit of intuition is the very lifeblood of passion.

The things that, without force, light a flicker in your heart are the tell-tale signs of what you are passionate about.Unfortunately, many people choose to push away those signs to the dark recesses of their imagination because they lack the courage or wherewithal to pursue their true passion.

Of course, many people just opt to live within the cushion of comfort zones and prescribed lifestyles, and never really ever live their true passion.However, the major problem with trying to find your true passion is that you already have it, right within you.

Unfortunately, in today’s noisy world, choosing to ignore one’s passions is a cope out to survive life’s demands. Many people’s passions simply sit inside their hearts, mind and spirit as silently as an ignored grave.

For people in this category, the task of truly finding and living true passion can be a life changing endeavor.The starting point to find true passion is inside your heart. That’s where everything that makes up the body of passion lives.

So, simply put, if you want to find your passion you must first look inside.

Sadly, in the world today, there are millions of people who know what their passion is yet they fail to heed to its call.Simply knowing about your passion is therefore different from finding your true passion.

Finding your true passion demands that you do something about it, that you take action and pursue it relentlessly.

Passion is about those things that tickle you, energize you and fill you up with inspiration with very little effort on your part.

Once you know what your passion is – to find it, you must make it actionable so that you do something about it every day of your life.

The following three steps can help you to find your true passion:

1. Look to the little things.
Look to the little things that fire you up and drive you and make your eyes open wide. Things that give you that “Wow!” feeling. It could be anything from collecting stamps, fishing, collecting butterflies to feeding underprivileged children. There are as many passions as there are human beings. So, don’t hold back because you fear what people will say. Do what your heart tells you.

2. It’s a personal thing.
Undoubtedly, someone can influence you to have a passion for something but ultimately ownership of that passion is a highly personal affair. No-one can have your passion for you. To find your passion, just be you.

3. Passion is your heartbeat
When you seek to find your passion, be calm, and listen to the whispers of your heart. If you hear what they mean, then just follow it.

It’s certainly possible to have many passions. But, more importantly, once you have found out your passion, strive to do something about it, no matter how small.

The internet is a good place to start researching what you are passionate about.

And always remember, finding your true passion is not a rocket science: it all begins in your heart, mind and spirit. 

8 Nuggets to Simple Living

Like many people, you probably run through your life bogged down by a heavy load of worries about finances, traffic jams, your career, how you look, and what people think of you etc.  

Thoughts rummage through your head like the mad rush of a river on a stormy day, all needing attention which reduces you to a monkey-state. In reality, as much as you worry about giving shape to your life, you need to realize that you actually have very little control. 

The unending spiral of thoughts and desires to control your existence only leads to suffering, distress and despair. Rather than becoming a victim of the intransient and ephemeral, there is a way to enjoy your life at the cost of nothing.  

What more, when you choose to enjoy your life in its presence form, you become who you really are and will find yourself attracting better things towards your being.  

Have a sense of purpose. In the wheel of existence, self indulgence is perhaps the surest way to personal suffering. To avoid such a scenario, you need to develop a sense of purpose that gives meaning to your life, especially during periods of hopelessness.

Without purpose, life will twirl you around like a chip in the wind. You must have a sense of purpose far removed from the distracting daily reality of daily living. Recognize: having a multiplicity of pursuits can results in both confusion and mediocrity.  

Develop a passion. Develop a passion that will follow you to your grave. Find a life goal that is all important and will help to give you a soul-powered fire in your life.

Passion will harness your inherent powers but it needs to be subjected to an over-bearing sense of purpose. Indeed, passion will unleash your greatness. 

Feed the soul dimension. In the mad rush of life, there’s tendency to focus on the tangible only. However, there’s more to you than the physical.

You must devote special time to nourish the dimension of your soul through prayer, meditation or simply silence. 

Laugh at yourself and life. Having a good sense of humour is necessary to beat stress and frustration. It is the key to keep you connected to the vast expansiveness of the gift of life.

Humour allows you to sail smoothly through the rough spots of life. So go ahead, laugh at life, and laugh at yourself.  

Develop a sense of gratitude. There are a lot of things to appreciate in the bigger picture of life, if you are seriously blind to it, just be thankful for the fact that you are alive.

Gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness builds positive emotions within your being.

And many times what we need to be thankful are the small things in life: a blooming flower, a beautiful sun set, etc. It is an acknowledgement that life is greater than the singular self-encased entity that makes you. 

Don’t try to please everybody. Not everybody will love you: it’s just a fact of life. So just accept it, and learn to be content with that reality. Trying to please everybody will make you inauthentic, increasing despair in your life.  

Do something good for nothing. When you commit yourself to the needs of others, you get out of the limited boundaries of self. Not only do you help to bring joy to other people’s lives, you will also light up the spark that will bring greater contentment to your being. 

Don’t get trapped in the pursuit of success. There is nothing as fickle as the pursuit of the myth of success. Many people have spend their lives searching for worldly success only to be despondent when they have achieved so-called success.

They find themselves empty and isolated, without friends, family or love.  So whatever your view of success, always make sure to maintain a balance in your life by taking care of the other aspects of your being.