I am no Saint 

I am no delinquent neither.

How do you confess an ill that carries the potential to topple you as the narrator before it hits anyone else? Confessions don’t begin with the person who has been wronged or situation that you have mishandled, no. There is a conversation with self that is usually held off because it begs the question, how on God’s good earth are you this person?

I am pretty good at a number of things, including playful banter right down to calculated self serving manipulation (Aries are made this way). At some point in my life I could drive almost any decision to suit and serve my wants, not needs, and sometimes I could achieve this in complete silence. Before the age of 21  I was well aware of the power of the mind and how malleable emotions can be, and I used this knowledge as a tool to chisel a world I thought I preferred. My older sister became aware of my not so pretty side very early in our childhood. For a couple of years she would not exclusively enjoy a birthday celebrations birthday gift. If I liked what she had, I would seek it and best believe I would get it. I loved her deeply and sometimes envied her “girly” disposition, her less husky and hard voice, curvy body and well manicured hands. But, I would literally die before she was dubbed “the favourite”. To combat this I learnt to pick locks so as to gain access to her diary which I offered to my mom for her early evening reading, precisely marked pages and all. I hated the boarding school we both attended and had convinced myself that it was her fault that I had grown so miserable and was subject to an openly lesbian stalker who pushed me to the verge of suspension twice, so I “retaliated”. I slow brewed the tears, called my father and went on a desperate rant about my deep worries for her spiritual life after discovering that she planned to get her tongue pierced. My father was livid. She has no piercings to date. I had my tongue pierced a year later.

My parents seem to have known about my unique personality almost from birth, but apparently had more faith in how it would shape a resilience and determined spirit that would later fuel my more noble strengths. My father is intelligent and insightful. My mother? Let’s just say she has her God on speed dial and He seems to drop what ever information or remedy she may need or want as soon as she mutters, “Hello, it’s about these children again…”. I learnt the art and gift of confession and forgiveness from my parents and through religious teachings. Confession to self, confession to whom you have wronged and confession to God. There was a greater teacher, who’s methods were not supported by cushions of grace. Her name? Karma.

Karma may force you to do one of these three things, if not all three at the same time;

• Suffer in kind, tenfold

• Take a long hard look in the mirror and see a part of you that you may not have known to exist. A part that is not easy to look at

• Announce her arrival, be visible during her stay and leave a parting card noted “That was me sharing what you deserve. Kindly do not mistake me for that boring guy called Unfair”

In my life, karma was not responsive towards my flawed personality traits. Those were handled by my ability to love to a fault, my swift call to empathy, my anxiety and God. Karma answered to mistakes, bad decisions and carelessness. I mention mistakes before decisions because a repeated mistake is a choice. If you are of sound mind with a reasonable level of common sense, there is truly no sense in a second time. A second time breeds a third, the fourth may begin to numb your guilt and the filth will suffocate your conscious. Then comes habit, weak friends called lies and the most pathetic, meaningless and over used phrase; I am sorry. Sorry? As meaningless as saying grace at a table stacked with fuel before mass indulgence in fornication.

Consequence does not bow to apologies. Consequence will have it’s day.

There are things I will take to my grave, that I only mutter when my room is dark and my windows are sealed. But please know this, I am no saint. I don’t wish to be remembered as one. I am flawed, beautifully so and that has moulded me into a being who constantly seeks to become better.

My greatest sin? The breaking of a heart. Both unintentionally and once with the greatest will. This is why the response matters more than the cause. See pain changes you, shifts you to an unrecognisable state and the easiest way to respond is to inflict it as far as your mind allows you to stretch your constructive imaginings. And when we fear facing this pain, we mask, we soothe. We give of our bodies, our time, our money. We change how we talk and switch the music we listen to. We download messager apps for easier access to the bodies that will climb us and squeeze the life out of our moral graces. We have conversations with boring minds and schedule dates in dark spaces. And when we are found out our tongues trickle the words I am sorry but sadly or hearts are streaked with cobwebs of sinful stone.

I have been afraid of a shift in perspective that could be birthed by the telling of my shortcomings. Then it stopped, the being afraid of external perspectives; How did I perceive me? I walked into the shower barely breathing, bitterly sobbing as though someone had died. I felt dirty. I felt false. I was burdened with a weighted apology but I couldn’t make one until I confessed to self, to him, to God. Perspective.

These days, I am more afraid of laughing about what should sicken me. I am afraid of the texts that are welcomed on my phone after the sun sets. I am afraid of the hearts I may have left bleeding only because mine was gushing. I am afraid of lies and smiles that hide them. I am afraid of the words “I love you”.

I am not proud of my lack but I am pleased that the extreme opposite exists and by grace, it currently dominates my being. I am no delinquent.
My sister calls me loving now and I lock her secrets in my heart. My mom still dials Jesus for intel and dad? Still shakes his head quietly when I fib about the mismanagement of my monthly budget.

And I? I am Sorry


A profound and interesting take on relationships by the late Myles Munroe 

A good friend shared the following with me. I think it is something woman should consider and men should reflect on;

*Getting understanding in Marriage!*
Listen to this, often times we misplace our priorities when searching for a partner. I want to open our eyes to something using the Bible.
When you take a look at the first marriage in history, Gen 2:24… After God made man, he put him in the Garden of Eden, the word “Eden” is an Hebrew word for “where God dwells” so the first thing God gave man was *”His Presence*”. So the first thing a man needs is NOT a woman, it is the presence of God, and a woman should meet him in the presence of God. Eve met Adam in Eden.
Some women amaze me, they leave the presence of God, go outside to find a man and then try to drag him back into the presence of God.
The next thing God gave man in after putting him in the Garden was *WORK*. (Gen 2:15) God gave man work before woman. That means a man needs a job before he gets a woman. God’s priorities are very clear.
The third thing God told man was *”Cultivate”…… Cultivate here means, bring out the best in everything around you*, to maximize the potentials of everything and everyone around you, To make everything fruithful. He only said that to the male.
That’s why God will never give a man a finished woman. The male was created by God to create what he wants. The woman you are looking for doesn’t exist, she’s in your head. Your job is to take the raw material you married and cultivate her into the woman in your head. So you have been married for 20yrs and you still don’t like the product you get, that’s your fault. If your wife is putting a little weight and you don’t like that, don’t criticize her, it’s your job to wake her at 6am, ” Hey baby, let’s go jogging”  You don’t like her dress, take her to a boutique and buy her cloths you like. She can’t speak good English? Send her to school and pay her tuition fee. CULTIVATE HER!!!!
The fourth thing God said to man, he said “Guard the Garden”. The man has to be the protector of everything under his care. That’s why God gave you a stronger bone frame. A bigger muscle mass, not to abuse the woman, but to protect the woman.
The last thing God gave man was his Word… God told man not to touch the tree, God never told the woman about the tree, NEVER!!!….. Which means it was the man WHO received the word of God and his job was to teach his wife the word of God. Nothing frustrates a woman like when she asks her man “So what do you think” and the dummy answers “what ever you think is OK”….. Don’t do that bro, don’t do that. She’s looking for knowledge and direction.
That was the last command God gave to man in Vs 17, Now watch this, in vs 18, God said, “It is not good for this man to be alone” now, don’t just read the statement fast, read it again slowly ” it is not good for THIS MAN to be alone” WHAT MAN???

The man who is

*In His presence*

*Has a job (working)*

*Can Cultivate you*

*Can protect you*

*Can teach you*
So here’s the problem, if you meet a man who doesn’t like His Presence, isn’t working, can’t cultivate you, can’t protect you and can’t teach you then IT IS GOOD FOR THAT MAN TO BE ALONE…
Summary from Late Myles Munroe’s teaching on male and female relationship…

Simphiwe Kulla – Asaman 

Asaman meets with 27 year old musician and producer Simphiwe Kulla. A member of the fusion band The Muffinz. Here is what he had to share  

How would you define manhood?

 Manhood is a responsibility for all men who want to define themselves worthy of being man.

Has a career in the music industry always been your first choice or did you have different prospects?

I probably was the most confused kid around my peers. My grades were always sub-standard till about grade 9(std 7), and even then when my grades improved, I still didn’t know where I’d end up in life. I always dreamt of a lot of things, but felt some of my dreams and aspirations were influenced by my surroundings and society. A reality I battled with for three years in my varsity life. It hit me hard, so hard I sought counselling. Music was always there, a gift God gave me to keep me happy and sane. It just got to a point where it was a no brainier for me. So yes, I think music was my first choice. I just kept avoiding it because of how my surroundings were setup. Music wasn’t an encouraged form of income or career.             

How did your family, especially your father respond to your decision to pursue a music career 

Firstly, I think my parents didn’t do too bad with me. Actually, I think they did great, especially my dad. But I don’t think he understood how much of an impact he had on me as a person. He inspired me in ways he wasn’t aware of. It’s like uploading a video on YouTube and not realising how viral it might go. When it does go viral, you try your best to avoid the attention it comes with. I think that is how my dad raised me. He wasn’t for the whole music idea, society had successfully influenced him in thinking it wasn’t a proper and fruitful career. But yet, he bought me all the music I desired in the world. He supported me with my dreams and all my extra curricular activities as a kid. He bought me musical instruments. He flew me across the world to experience life in its totality. He didn’t know it, but he gave me a story to tell in my music. He helped stretched my influences and inspiration. He shaped me to have the mind for music production. Definitely a man worthy of the title father.            

Do you feel or believe children are well exposed to the Arts in this country? 

No not entirely. I feel like a lot more is done in selling sports, and economic benefits. It’s deemed better for you to represent your country in sports than in the arts. Funny thing this, ’cause Europeans and Americans are known more for their everlasting artwork. Even under colonisation, us Africans were taught more about the west’s art and its history as opposed to the random sportsman or sportswoman. It’s quite ridiculous actually. Back to the arts.  ‘Celebrity’ is more the focus than the actual art. Peoples skills are not being developed because the plastic world is what’s being sold to them. There is a huge gap. This is a matter that is very personal to me. Not enough is being done.   

Women tend to be objectified in the industry, what are your thoughts on this?

I think any real man who loves their lady dearly wouldn’t want her to be objectified… This topic is quite sad, in the sense that woman find a liking to being objectified. To be honest I even find myself liking it too. Sex sells, that’s the force, if you are not for it, you are considered conservative, therefore you are not progressive,hehe, ya ne! Self appreciation has been twisted. I don’t think I’ve also quite grasped my head around this topic. I’ll don’t think I have all the answers in life generally. I really don’t believe what society says is the end all and be all though. I can’t stand for something I don’t believe in. I fear for the day God blesses me with daughter.      

Do you think, with the values you currently live by, you could be what we term ‘a good father’, and how so?

Good father. I think only my future child can truly determine that. All I can do is try my best. But yes, I do believe I’m grounded enough to be a father. But nowadays that doesn’t seem to matter much, we focus too much on the expectation part of parenting forgetting  that this human we are raising is a person in their own right. All parents can do really is guide. Children will determine on their own where they want to place their beliefs. 

Rest assured, I’ll be going into fatherhood with the experience of being an uncle ;  the experience of being raised up by an amazing father ; and having the ever so good and faithful Lord by my side.  

 Do you participate in any social development programs for the younger generation and how do you feel about the Asaman campaign? 

I used to. I loved teaching others about music. Did it for about three years straight. I’ve stopped to concentrate on my career. As for the Asaman campaign, its needed. A lot of the wrongs in our society can be rectified by men who can take a stand and be progressive in the betterment of our current trying times. We need to drive ideas of a “good man” and not just an “ok man”.

Have your religious beliefs been compromised by the lifestyle adopted when pursuing such a career?

No my beliefs are still the same, from the foundations of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. My lifestyle isn’t lavish or plastic. It’s still similar to the days of my upbringing.    

Please share any other things you would like to pursue and how you feel they would benefit you and those around you? 

I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I’m still going to be pursuing other avenues of music and the industry. I’m still finding myself in this big and scary world of music, it’s going to be a beautiful journey ahead. I’m currently in school furthering my studies in my passion. Education is something necessary to us all. Knowledge is a treasure for me.  
The fear to pursue what we are passionate about is a common error, driven by possible ridicule. Ridicule of this nature usually comes from those closest to us, who have chosen to only believe what is true to them. Music also seems to be a popular topic in the Asaman space. I wonder why 

 I pay attention to every single detail in my life. Especially in my work and interactions with people. It helps me to be a step ahead and to appreciate the beauties of life 

Photography by Aaron & Hur