Anikulabo


“Defend ideas. Not people. Never defend people. People are fickle, complicated. And even when you defend ideas, interrogate them until they prove worthy. And find ways to improve those ideas. Ideas will not sneak up on you and have scandals. They will not be greedy and betray you. Defending ideas means that you can fight for justice even when the recipient is an asshole. Defending people means that sooner or later, you will be forced to defend idiocy and untruth.” – Elnathan John

Clouded and mental darkness,

Stabbing and sharpening insanity

Family inconvenience,

Clouded and mental darkness,

Stabbing and sharpening insanity

Family inconvenience,

Rumors and interest severely compounding,

Kunta Kinte,

Judge him now,

A lost kindred Zimbabwean,

Reward for his capture,

The judgement may never be thwarted.

Civilian bandit,

Miles from mothers carriage,

Society’s alarming judgment,

Broke his promises?

God forsaken!

Sorry for the inconvenience.

We’ll keep you in prayer,

Accusations captained a mental violence.

Kunta Kinte!

Reward for his capture,

Pharasaical concerns should forever be thwarted!

Pilgrim in a barren land,

Guilty conscience paused a potent rise,

Rising from ashes, burning coals,

Rampant Sigma sands,

Illicit duplicity,

May God forgive timeless and consuming inequities,

And bring all to the promised land.

Army Drums banging!

Reverberations and echoes made him a prodigal,

He never refused to return,

He assumed he was a Son of the Soil,

Battling concerns and accusations,

Kunta Kinte!

Agonizing cries for help!

Reward for his capture!

May cruel judgement  be swiftly thwarted.

Sorrow, grief, anger and disbelief,

All used to drink from the same God-given creek,

You’ll Never Walk Alone they mumbled,

Embers of his memory unveiled the disguise,

They allowed him to reach offspring of the tribe,

Reprimanded and forced into deathly denial.

Guide him O thou great redeemer,

May his path be free of guilt.

And peaceful sanity gracefully reinstated!

Kunta Kinte,

We are not gods,

Anikulabo,

May all be forgiven and judgment forever thwarted.

© 2018 SonofGuruvé

 

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Tribe on Deck


So what is it to have best friends?

Is it memories? Is it the history you share? The school you went to? The fights, the make ups or the drama we can’t ignore?

As I thought about this, I tried to study my music collection and stumbled upon a group once called “Tribe called Quest” (TCQ).

TCQ is one of the legendary 90’s groups from New York City. They made what many hip-hop heads consider as classics. That’s a tremendously difficult feat to reach in the NYC concrete jungle with so many groups and competitive DJs – not to mention the Wall Street money generated night and day.

image

I imagine being a New Yorker sometimes, but after my visit to Wall Street one hot Summer in 2013,  I was swallowed by the pace of the conurbation’s lifestyle. For example, my two Zimbabwean buddies, who hosted me only saw me after midnight because they were returning from work or networking on Wall Street.  Most people in South Carolina are well into their third stage of sleep by then.

Nonetheless, it was a remarkable experience to stand outside Wall Street the moment the bell rings to signal a close to trading.  It was like an army of ants escaping a tsunami only to be swallowed by the pace of it all. I was definitely an ant.

So back to Tribe called Quest. The group released five albums between 1990 and 1998 and later disbanded in 1998. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the US but I’m sure it was never the same as it once was.  After success and exposure, people change and that’s probably a distinct reason why they drifted apart.  More money and more problems probably caused the band to disband.

However, life goes on and what I will always appreciate about TCQ is their genuine appeal and freshness they brought to the industry.  They were youthful, funky, poetic, jazzy and most of all timeless. Real friendships need all of the last ingredients and many more.

I am lucky to say in the mid 2000s I was part of a crew with much of the same loyalty as Tribe Called Quest except we were dubbed the “Tribe on Deck”.

I’d like to believe we were a headline fixture at most house parties in Greenwood, SC during our two year stint.  We were and will always be best friends because the loyalty we had  for each other and what I can describe as affectionately unbreakable. At times I questioned my older friends’ loyalty because TOD was an inseparable unit.  It was as if we were initiated together into the same gang, but no, we were just three African students at Bearcat University.

Just as TCQ soldiered on, TOD similarly faced local challenges during its illustrious tenure in Greenwood, SC and surrounding counties. We all had different personalities, but very much had the same habits and ravenous work ethic.  We were all students of African descent and it was almost as if we grew up in the same village or neighborhood.  Three young men with hopes, dreams and an appetite for making memories.

My fondest memory of TOD was the day we accumulated six Business Awards from the College of Business and Public Affairs Awards while many wondered how we survived last night’s party.  Long story short, we took advantage of the college experience, partied hard, but studied even harder. We had very hardworking with expectant parents and siblings so we were definitely not going to let anyone deter us from our destiny to graduate and make our tribes proud. Many females tried to derail our brotherhood, but we remained resolute to remain friends. One of the closest breakdowns of the trio was caused by the talented and passionate cheerleader, Canzo!  Her eyes tried to take us down like the biblical drama including Delilah and Samson. Thankfully after the TOD General Assembly, a corporate decision was made to keep it moving and focus on next semester’s GPA.

#Deuces

By now you’ve guessed why I started this blog post with the Tribe Called Quest. Not only did Phife Dawg pass away after I drafted this post, but I was actually listening to “Can I Kick it” only the night before. There was no perfect time to finalize my tribute to my favorite rap group and friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Tribe Called Quest was a formidable trio and so was Tribe on Deck.  They created some golden moments and so did we. At least, I think so.

This is actually the first time I have admitted the “real” name of our secretive acronym, but after seven years, it’s safe to spill the beans.  Many guessed how we came up with the name and we never revealed it until now if you’re still reading.  We were at a party somewhere on Calhoun Street and were debating the night away when we realized we were standing on a deck.  One member shouted, Triple on Deck? Trio on Deck? Treble on Deck? No. No. No! We finally settled on,

“Tribe on Deck!”

It was a eureka moment and from then on we were attached at the hips like siamese triplets. Much has happened since we separated but that will be for another post.

You might wonder where the illustrious members of TOD reside nowadays.  Well, we are scattered across the world pursuing noble professions and trying to bring up the next generation of TODs.

Find some friends and become like the Tribe on Deck

#sonofguruve

© SonofGuruve

Blood on the Lease


When I think of what it is to be eccentric I think of a couple of names:

Kanye West, Steve Jobs, Dambudzo Marechera and Bill Clinton.

Dambudzo

Eccentrics are never conventional and usually face the snares of conventional thinking or political correctness. They are imaginative and insanely creative.  Perhaps one of my errors in my 29 years has been  listening to their music or reading their books because their influence can lead to Scars as I focused on in my last blog post.

Eccentrics rarely run from the naked truth, but as a wise solicitor once told me, the truth is a double edged sword.  You have to be willing to suffer the consequences, the cuts and bruises of your soul and your conscience.

I was listening to the “Yeezus” album by Kanye West. I had completely stopped listening to him after his depressant outbursts in mainstream media, but one of his songs, “New Slaves” struck a rather eloquent and deep chord.  This is the imagery that is needed to feel the gravity of the song:

Blood

Here’s an excerpt of the song:

My momma was raised in the era when
Clean water was only served to the fairer skin

Doin’ clothes you would have thought I had help
But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself
You see it’s broke nigga racism
That’s that “Don’t touch anything in the store”
And it’s rich nigga racism
That’s that “Come in, please buy more”

“What you want, a Bentley? Fur coat? A diamond chain?
All you blacks want all the same things”

Used to only be niggas, now everybody playin’
Spendin’ everything on Alexander Wang
New Slaves

I throw these Maybach keys
I wear my heart on the sleeve
I know that we the new slaves
I see the blood on the leaves
I see the blood on the leaves
I see the blood on the leaves

I know that we the new slaves
I see the blood on the leaves

They throwin’ hate at me
Want me to stay at ease

I think I’ve been the broke ni**a and the rich ni**a Kanye refers to above.

Why?

Well, because I think I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum since coming to America. I’ve experienced the privilege and prejudice depending on my outfit or accent.  The human spirit can endure several emotions and after the long haul it becomes used to the onslaught like a seasoned golfer.  You’re prepared for the abuse or praise because your thinking and mindset is above the person judging you. The judge can be of any race, but largely the same result ensues. They judge your demeanor or dialect before you can even express that you’ve lived on three continents and speak two languages.  Fortunately, I regularly use these moments as opportunities to help, if not educate the judge who probably hasn’t left their hometown in 20 or 30 years.

I wish they knew what exists out there.  There’s a world out there with people of all walks of life. All races. All levels of prosperity and willingness. People that spend the same currency in the same economy and bleed the same red-colored blood.

Today I experienced a life-changing moment, that brought life changing  and what many would consider to be overwhelming adversity and struggle.  I was fast-tracked to barrenness in the place I will always call an omnipotent land.  The free market society of America has its evils and today I faced it right in its dark and intent eyes.  It was a gracious experience considering we are in the period of Lent. Our Lord and my Savior, Jesus Christ faced much scrutiny during his 40 days and 40 nights. Scrutiny is uncomfortable, but necessary so you can appreciate the comforts we often take for granted.  Perhaps I had felt the comforts in this foreign land for far too long without realizing there was blood on the lease and ultimately an expensive price to pay.

Remember, I went to Dragon College which if I haven’t already mentioned, is a Jesuit Catholic school.  Other Jesuit institutions here in America are Marquette University, Georgetown and St Johns University.  Devout Catholics taught me about Lent and the need to give something up.  I gave up gas or fuel if you’re reading from Europe. Due to some contentious circumstances I decided to ride a bicycle between home and the Sparkle City I love so dearly.  Many wonder why I love this city so much.  Perhaps I grew to become tall and strong in this very city and have experienced much more than many expect when they judge my thick Afro-Anglican accent.

Nonetheless, I am here to say adversity follows us every where we go. You can never really hide from it.  Life is all about how you respond to the pressures rendered. Will you falter? Will you rise? Will you wilt in the heat? Will you allow the scars to injure permanently or heal?

You always have to ask God to guide you because this is the World. It’s not Heaven.

The world is full of sin, pharisees, comrades, Samaritans, Mr. and Mrs. Iscariot.  You can’t focus on all of that foolishness.  Your faith has to be stronger because the pain of disappointment always dissipates.  It never lasts forever so you have to follow the path that Lord has destined.

Today, I was disappointed but without this turbulence I would never have met Wes. Wes is a prolific speaker and youth advocate from Baltimore, Maryland.  After an unusual and shocking turn of events, I ended up at the Marriott Hotel at the South Carolina Association of Non Profit Organizations Summit (SCANPO).

One of my dreams has always been to one day be a Founder of a successful Non-Profit Organization engaged in helping others. My father #FatherofGuruve works for one of the largest ones in the world and I can’t imagine a better place to work when your mission is for the greater good of humanity. The hope is that I can learn as much as my brain allows in the next 15 years..

So I get into the SCANPO address and Wes Moore in blood and flesh is speaking. Everyone’s antennas were on “plane mode” or “do not disturb”……

According to the “trusted” Wikipedia:
Wes Moore (born 1978[2]) is an American author, social entrepreneur, producer, political analyst, and decorated US Army officer. He is the author of The Other Wes Moore and The Work, both of which are New York Times Bestsellers. He was also the host for Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network and the Executive Producer/ Writer for Coming Back with Wes Moore on PBS.[3]Currently, Wes is the Founder and CEO of BridgeEdU. BridgeEdU is a social enterprise dedicated to reinventing the Freshman Year and creating a softer on-ramp to higher education for students entering their freshman year of college

Wes Moore is an American author, social entrepreneur, producer, political analyst, and decorated US Army officer. He is the author of The Other Wes Moore and The Work, both of which are New York Times Best Sellers.

……Wes Moore completed his address to the 600 sturdy and strong crowd. I decided to walk over to the Exit to “bump” into him.  We shared a golden moment, and he told me,

“To #SonofGuruve, keep reaching for your greatness!”

Here is it is:


So why is this post called “Blood on the Lease”?

Well, the blood on the lease represents the price that has to be paid to overcome adversity, suffering, unfairness, doubt, depression and worry.  There’s no real battle without blood.  If you’re not bleeding you’re not really fighting.  The lease is the challenge.  No lease, note, or mortgage is permanent.  It may seem endless, but the blood dries up and whatever scars created, heal.

My lease spills with blood today, but all will be well. It will be well with my soul.  The sadness resonates from the deception, the lies and greed that visits those that consider me an enemy.  The Bible states somewhere that you must pray for your enemies.  I will pray for them and I will not hate them because we all have blood on our leases that we are waiting to dry up, crystallize and heal to become scars.

After all, we’re all human.

Aren’t we?

© SonofGuruve 2016

Scars


In my last post “My Chef” I told you about Petey’s  Little Brother, who’s now called Big Trey.  Big Trey will one day serve Sex on a Plate one day as he put it! I still chuckle when I think about this.  Friends and acquaintances ask about Big Trey but we are still building, so he’s off limits.
Nonetheless, in the same post,  I mentioned his big brother who is now a friend but used to bully me in our adolescent days. His name is Petey.
Petey used to make fun of a scar I have on the outside of my left thigh like 16 years ago in high school. It’s ridiculous to perceive how long emotional or physical scars follow you or haunt you all the days of your life. It’s just a question of how we decide to react from these life long scars.  Everyone has scars, some deeper than others, some recent, but some decades old. The delicate ones are the ones most difficult to overcome.
Rape, abuse, death, loss, bullying, abortions and racism are my top 7.
That’s why I stopped watching the news.
I can tell you that my scar was probably the most delicate because of the bullying I endured at 13 years old. I was so sad that I hated myself and hated my scar. My friend Branko UkK, my Yugoslavian pal, even got a black eye for trying to defend me one Monday morning. Oh well!
Almost a decade later I enrolled to be a Camp Counselor at a Boys Camp in Black Mountain, NC in 2007.  After one summer,  I was asked to return as a Tribal Director in charge of 50 boys and 12 counselors in 2009. For writing purposes I’ll call the location Rockmont Jungle.
Rockmont

Rockmont Jungle

 I had the enormous task of managing a camp for a whole summer which primarily required TRUST.  At any point in time,  I had to ensure the welfare of 50 boys was addressed and protected from the fierceness of the woods infested with bears, snakes and rodents. I had no weapon but knowledge provided by Dan Davis and Jon Brooks allowed me to survive in the wilderness.  Bear Gryls from TV would be proud because I later successfully hosted 200 kids throughout the Summer and not one was injured or bitten by a rattle snake.
I had to expose myself a  little and decided to share my scar with the kids as part of an interesting  tale about Zimbabwe, Africa. I told them a story, not factual, about how a lion that scratched my outer thigh when I was their age. While it wasn’t entirely true, it was the true African tradition of using  stories to relay societal lessons. They were locked in and wandered how I survived a lion’s scratch.  I told them it required strength, and using weakness to find strength. I told them sometimes God allows us to have scars to make us stronger.
I told them even though a lion scratched me, my scar later healed and I was stronger for it.
BearCamp, Rockmont jungle was one of my best experiences thus far in the United States. Looking back the responsibilities I had then, they prepared me to be a CEO and Mentor to the young kids I encounter when volunteering in the Inner City of Sparkle City.
You might wander why I focus on Lions and Scars?

Well,  I have a friend who coined the term called #IamMufasa.  I am so proud of this young man because he, Petey and Big Trey and I went to the same school and occupied the same classrooms once upon a time in Zimbabwe, Africa.  We all went to Dragon College or traditionally, St. Georges College. The best Boys School in Africa.  At least that’s a debate we can have on some other blog post.  This young man is much like me and on a grind 24 hours a day trying to change the world with his talents.

12669120_942887399113207_1474281741_oWayne’s story is remarkable and continues to torture those who doubted him and those who thought scars were permanent. What many don’t realize is that scars make the strong, stronger. Every time I log onto social media there isn’t a moment Wayne isn’t roaring about fitness, his clothing line or his quest to educate all of us about personal fitness. How may 20 something years old have the impact on the world like Wayne. Not many!

Now a responsible Father, and awesome Husband, Wayne has featured in Men’s Health and travelled across the globe selling this passion and scar for fitness.
Watch this space for a fellow lion that roars day and night. I present  to you my friend and my African fitness inspiration:
“Wayne Mutata”.
Google him and do your homework because I have to go. I really could write more, but I have to go and finish the fitness program he assigned me. Will I make the lion (Mufasa) himself proud? I don’t know. Just share this post so I can roar.

Per the AthleticBuild.com:

Wayne Mutata is a Certified USA Weightlifting Coach, Nike SPARQ Combine Trainer, and Supplement specialist. He holds a Masters in Physiology and Anatomy with a double minor in Dietary Nutrition and Exercise Science from the National Personal Training Institute of Philadelphia. Wayne’s niche is specializing in Strength and Conditioning for Professional Athletes such as MMA fighters and Figure/Bikini competitors. When not training clients, Wayne is a fitness model and fitness video personality he has been featured on the cover of Fitness101 magazine. This year Wayne was nominated as one of the contestants for the Men’s Health Ultimate Guy competition. He is the owner the Itrainwithwayne company which specializes in custom workouts, supplement packages, and online training for athletes and general population clients nationally and internationally. The Itrainwithwayne brand has two training studios, the first is Headquarters located in Lancaster, PA, and the second location is in Philadelphia, PA. You can contact Wayne via email waynemutata@gmail.com, Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/ITRAINwithWAYNE, Training Website  https://itrainonline.trainerize.com

….And if you thought I was spreading mistruths about Men’s Health read this:

Cheers for now.
#Sonofguruve
© SonofGuruve 2016

My Chef


He’s Patrick’s little brother.

He’s been through the thick and thin. The thorns of the side, the heat of conscious guilt, the pain of Mom’s disappointment, the sorrow of self-made mistakes, but he NEVER gave up. He’s worked under Gordon Ramsey’s chef, so pause and let that sink in.

We grew up in the same neighborhood, and were born into the same tribe as we found out today.  Mabelreighn, Harare, Zimbabwe it was, in the 90s and early 2000s. His brother, Patrick is a hardworking and enterprising man now, but used to bully me in the 8th grade. I was small, he was fiercely tall, but we were young and all sins are forgivable. Patrick and I later played on the High School Basketball team together three years later.  I remember my last game as the captain, with Patrick my vice in December 2003.  Amai was watching from the background and it was against Eaglesvale High School, the minnows of the city.  Patrick and the rest of the team lifted me on their shoulders because they knew that sadly it was my last game for St. Georges College. We’d migrate to the UK within two weeks.

AMDG. Ad Majorium De Glorium.

We wrote that on every top left page of every page at the distinguished Catholic Jesuit institution.

saints

Anyway back to Patrick’s little brother. He has been through more than a seasoned Vietnam Veteran.  He was ONCE caught up in the game in Zimbabwe, but don’t we all get caught up?

Fortunately, I believe in second chances because it’s not about the past, not the book cover, but the story that ensues.

Patrick’s little brother later became an amazing rugby player, but later succumbed to a knee injury. TODAY he is one of the most successful Zimbabwean chefs. He cooks for a passion and today I told him he will one day open a restaurant in my Upstate City.  He is currently in Vermont cooking all types of dishes because his talents brought him to pursue the American Dream, just like I’m doing right now.  He is no longer Patrick’s little brother, but now a MAN, and now called Big Trey.

Big Trey has a bright future. He is faced with ridiculous opportunities to work in Australia, London, and South Africa. I am currently trying to convince him to come to the Upstate, SC because I see the future and the future is bright. We coined a term called “Soss”. It’s coming to a city near you! So watch this space.

According to him, he serves “Sex on a Plate”.

I laughed when he said this because it was very rude –  but as witty, as I am!

Watch this space for Big Trey, our African Chef.

© SonofGuruve 2016

Allan Manyika

 

Baba


Today I was reminded about the greatest impact on my life.

Baba.

My father was born in Guruve today almost six decades ago. Since then he has led a life most gods would wish for. Honorable and strong he has blazed the trail for yours truly, #sonofguruve.  He has advised, chastised, loved and cared for hundreds and impacted thousands.  He has guided me the moment I arrived June 1986 and kept me from harm’s way.  He is not perfect, as none of us are, but I couldn’t imagine anyone else to take the title of my father.

He was smuggled out of Rhodesia in pursuit of his academic dreams to one day rise to the helm of his career.  He has travelled to almost all continents of our troubled land and has unimaginable stories from North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America and Zimbabwe of course.  If you’re wondering, what he was doing there he was doing Humanitarian work for one of the World’s largest charities.  He is never the loudest unless we smuggle some Guinness into his chalice, but these have wittingly provided some of my fondest memories of Baba.

Baba was and has always been a helper. We often argue about the concept of tithing, but I know through his daily support of his extended family he has always tithed more than the Bible says.  I write  today because it his birthday  so while distance separates us, the spirit of fatherly love furnishes my memory every day.  We talk, text, argue, debate and love each other because we are much the same in appearance, but also in personality and demeanor.

At the helm of his career he worked at the largest Oil Company in the world and I remember his two-week absence in Paris during the ’98 World Cup.  He brought home a grey France t-shirt for my brother and I and Lotto soccer boots.

One year he sold a house, quit his job and bought four air tickets for our family to migrate to England, to start all over again!

He’s the reason I’m quite comfortable riding a bicycle around my humble Upstate city meeting humble men and networking with noble men. It’s because Baba taught me about networking and most importantly sacrifice and the need to always work hard no matter the task, the challenge. He always sat Razzle Dazzle and I down before EVERY school term and said,

“Guys, what do Guruve Men do? They Work Hard, because hard work pays off.”

image Razzle Dazzle, FatherofGuruveand,sonofGuruve, Kariba Lake, Zimbabwe

I’m actually beginning to realize what he meant only now.

That’s my Dad, so if you’re reading this snippet, say CHEERS, three times!

CHEERS, CHEERS, CHEERS!

🎉🎊🎊🎊🎇🎉🎊🎊🎈🎈🎆🎇

🎉🎊🎊🎊🎇🎉🎊🎊🎈🎈🎆🎇

While I call myself the Sonofguruve, he is the FatherofGuruve. He gave me a talent of communicating effectively, reducing risk and buying time so today’s post is dedicated solely to him and his life’s works. Read a piece he nonchalantly wrote one evening.  I present to you #FatherofGuruve’s poem:

THE CONCSIENCE OF A HERMIT.

We lived yesterday for tomorrow’s blight,
We live today for yesterday’s plight,
We live now for tomorrow’s lie.
We die today for tomorrow’s life,
But tomorrow’s life will die before it is born.
We ask for no reprisal.
We ask not for last year’s mercy,
But plead for an emotional rescue.
We ask not for forgiveness.
We bear no grudges,
Even though grudges reside in our conscience.
Our conscience knows no guilt,
Because guilt is a foreign imposition,
That knows no friend or foe.
We brook no pleasure
In the imposition of emotions
On our mental common room,
Already over-crowded by the mercies of yesteryear’s guilt.
We will live tomorrow,
On the benevolent promise
Of a bumper harvest of ashes,
From the badly burnt treasures,
From down memory lane.
We will outlive tomorrow,
As we have done in centuries past.
We will outshine the sun,
Because we no longer fear,
The shadows that hang on our everyday existence.
We will. We will. We will. We will.
Because we are Mhofus, Africans, and proudly Zimbabweans.

#fatherofGuruve

**I added..”, Africans, and proudly Zimbabweans.”

Check out his book here:
http://www.amazon.com/Two-Worlds-Apart-Daniel-Manyika/dp/1845492129

Mzukuru waSarikosi

© SonofGuruve 2016

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