Kyrie vs. David


Arani’s was just saying whatup to the long bearded wise Samson when his spirit collided with that of his college comrade, Kyrie the other week.

Before inhaling a Newport cigarette bummed off the homeless man, Arani asked,

“Yo, what’s good bruh – You know who you look like fam?”

Kyrie responded,

“Well, people be saying I look like Kyrie”.

Arani responded,

“Nah man, you look like OJ Da Juice man…….actually no. That’s not it, you look like Gucci Mane eeyyy! “

The sharing and laughter ensued and introductions were smooth-sailing. Kyrie was so chill, calm, cool, collected and most importantly – sober.

You see, when the good vibe man dem and gal dem are in honest conversation it flows like the Uber that’s a swift five minutes away. There’s nothing that needs to be forced – because real recognizes real. Interactions and first impressions are increasingly important for young people searching for a voice these days or more so because the tribe realizes it stronger than ever. This is where the #TribeofGuruve steps in.

We exist to give those African princes and princesses the voice they don’t have – except our voice is mute and written. Please remember that Jane Good-Hall said everybody is from Africa so don’t exclude yourself if you’re not physically from Africa.

Africans come in all colors and sizes and most importantly they all bleed red.

Nonetheless, in parting exchanges, Kyrie said he was going to get dunked in some water in a couple of days.

All Arani had to say was,

“Ait. Bet, I’ll be there Gucci!”

Arani, had no idea how he would make it because the Uber cost $22 according to his cracked iPhone screen. Coupled with his writing spirit, a second hand iPad and a hope to get Wi-Fi, Arani headed over to the gathering where this alleged dunking ceremony was scheduled to occur at 1130am.

Arani hadn’t been there for a long time because of the Uber cost, and buses don’t go there on Sundays, but he went anyway. He knew this day would be pivotal to building the trust and relationship with Gucci Mane or Kyrie as he likes to be referred.

This post isn’t going to be long or absorbing, but rather to touch the surface of the subject called Kyrie.

Remember when Arani introduced Nobleman’s LB? Well, this time it wasn’t him speaking, but another KDlike brother from Oklahoma. Shoutout to the old big 3 of the Thunder. Arani still wanders what would have happened if KD stayed with the bearded gentlemen now at the Rockets, but then again, everybody has to find their own path in this journey we collectively call life, right?

So Arani hopped out the Uber wearing his workout gear including a white Paris St. Germain Matuidi jersey, black shorts and some colorful shoes with a tick. Not sure what they are called, but he also had his @AfrikansUnited blood red hat.

Arani deliberately decided to ignore the stares of some Pharisees dressed in their Sunday best. The truth is he wasn’t there for them except the dunking ceremony featuring our very own Kyrie also known as David and also known as _____________.

*I leave it blank so you can figure out his name when we reveal what he said at the end, so keep reading.

Towards the end of his testimonial, Kyrie’s shrieking voice heavy and weakening lowered into a spiritual, but evident whisper. His voice regained itself brevity, became heavy again, course and everyone could tell it was the first time he uttered the words that followed.

He spoke highly and proudly of his family, his new lease on life and made an announcement. He joyfully shared breaking news about the new contract he had just signed after his former career as a free agent.

Meanwhile, Arani couldn’t hold back his warm tears because he knew in that very moment, he had been Kyrie too – a couple of years before.  He remembered when the Nobleman helped him sign a deal – just not with the devil, but quite the opposite. Arani’s life has never been same ever since, but you would have to read Anikulapo’s Tales of the Diaspora to unravel what he was like before.

Without warning to Arani (because Arani wasn’t paying attention), the slim-tee wearing man supporting Kyrie through the ceremony suddenly dunked him under water.

Under water.

Under water.

Under freaking water y’all!

Kyrie says he emerged a new man.

His tears drenched and overcome by whatever liquid was poured in there.

As written above, it was just water before you start some ungodly rumor.

Nonetheless, pause and think about what water does for the human body. Well it is 2/3s of it, right?

Think about its value as a resource to humanity, then think about African deserts where it is scarce and children perishing of thirst. Think about what it represents for one’s soul to be cleansed and reawakened overnight. That’s what happened to Kyrie. In that moment, a caterpillar that was slithering into a slow death because of its refusal to drink water surrendered and it soared into the sky and became a butterfly – stinging like a bee.

-RIP Muhammad Ali

Apparently Kyrie had just won the biggest game of his career. Forget the high school groupies, the sexy college cheer leaders, the fading identity, and the fellow service members he served with. It’s more like he had survived the most formidable challenge of his short lived, hazardous and zigzagging experience.

Life.

But hail!

Order was restored because the right team won this time. Many don’t understand what it’s like to walk in others’ basketball shoes because they don’t have the time and tend to focus on their own game. How can you understand anyone if you don’t take a moment to ask how they are, and where they’ve been? What teams they’ve played on and how they practiced that jump shot. You can’t know everything of course, but in your quest to help others, walk in their shoes even if just for a couple of hours. It’s only then that you can be understanding of the circumstances. At a minimum try your best.

Just try.

Arani knew writing this story might give people an appreciation of Kyrie’s shoes because it is full of horror, dread, guilt, violence, loss, alcohol, depression and the most rewarding of all – redemption and a story we hope to learn about in it’s full glory. Regenerate SonofGuruvé is just a mixtape.

Kyrie dried himself became luminous and wearing his new armor and new sponsorship gear, he embraced his friends, family and lastly Arani. Arani was actually hired to be the cameraman – if he showed up. Actually that’s not true. Arani assumed the position of cameraman and hopefully one day, ghostwriter for the man who either sang Twenty Four Hours (s/o to @kasedrexler for reminding us about the song) or the man that won the NBA, Championship with that pulsating three-pointer that sank the Warriors that year. If you forgot, here you go:

Kyrie and his ride-or-die squad strolled towards the special VIP court-side seats set aside for them in the gathering. A freestyling brother began to deliver some real life-changing heat for the streets to be honest.

Here are six game plan points I jotted down:

  1. If anointed, it happens in private. When Coach gives you the next play, does he announce it to his opponents? No!
  2. If anointed, you are positioned. Is it Point Guard, Bigman, Shooting guard or do you want to be on the Bench?
  3. When anointed, you are an answer to a problem. Remember the GOAT – Allen Iverson. Remember the AND1s? The Question was the Answer.
  4. Your Opportunity will be wrapped in obedience. You ever purchased some sneakers that aren’t in a box or packaging? No. If you obey and follow the instructions they will be shipped in a wrapped box or package. Just Obey. #TrustYaProcess, so special shoutout to the Sixers in Philly. We coming soon Joel and you too Gwi!
  5. You will be elevated through obstacle. You think when Kyrie won that game for the Cavs, it was easy? Heck No! He faced an unimaginable obstacle but I’m sure he’s done that in practice a hundred times. All the hard work in the gym happens when no one’s watching. You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym – Lol – I know you see what I did there.
  6. Last one. Simple – You must be YOU. Don’t conform to others. If they turn on you, you’re in good company. Does that even need explaining? If so, go back to the beginning of the post and start again until you get it. Hint. It’s CAPITALIZED for a reason.

Anyway, one day, you’ll get to read Kyrie’s Playbook or as many will call it Trevor’s Manuscript.

Have a great weekend, and if you’re still a free agent, I’m sorry but we gotta talk. You can’t be out here not knowing what team you play on.

Here’s a parting quote from Kyrie:

I want people to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Having faith and staying in accord with God will have you overcoming demons and obstacles that man couldn’t even begin to start giving you. Stay loyal, stay true and don’t sweat the 🦋 after you diss the 🐛. That’s my go to phrase lol

©️ SonofGuruvé 2018

My Little-Big Brother


As a Zimbabwean (a sunny, landlocked country in Sothern Africa!), expressing emotion has generally always been frowned upon. It’s showing you are meek, probably impressionable, but definitely weak. At least that’s the experience Zimbabwe gave me. You undoubtedly have to be strong every day.

No wonder we’re the most literate country in Africa. Zimbabwean people are not easily impressed. Even honorable fathers don’t say, “I love you”. But I’ve learned that that’s perfectly okay. Their actions speak louder than any voice cord. My baba (father) evidently did. Mildly unemotional, his actions preceded any words he spoke and that’s what I mostly respect about him.

So, even to scribe a note or poem about my little brother may be judged as an emotional outcry. However, I really don’t care. This is who I am, who he is. So here reads a dedication to my little big brother:

His name is Mfana. He’s one of the coolest kid on the block. Always calm and collected. Driven, generous and definitely more pensive than most realize. He’s sometimes arwardly silent. I’ve probably never seen him cry in the last decade whereas my tears, on the other hand, could fill a bathtub. What I’ve come to realize is that we are threaded differently, yet built on the same foundation. I’m the overly emotionally and concerned one while he’s the level-headed little-big brother. I just happen to be the one he calls Mukoma (big bro in our expressive mother tongue, Shona).

We are blessed to have been raised by loving and Christ-abiding parents. We grew up protected and sheltered from the harsh realities of life. Thankfully, we got our fair doses as we grew older. We were brought up humbly and cherish fond memories. We childishly fought. We scratched and bled in our wrestling matches (WWF), however our bond was unbreakable.

Unfortunately, we were separated by opportunity, which I will barely revise later.

We often reflect on the raw principles that make us the bonded men we are today. I admire him. I mean who has lived on 3 continents, played international sports for his country, speaks two languages fluently, and has a Master’s degree in something called Systems Design. He’s virtually been to every corner of globe, and yet humbly still cooks for mother when her arm is in pain? He’s athletic and was even the sportsperson of the year in high school. He played a physical discipline for our country and gave some of his wages to my little grandma in the African rural areas.

Ryan

It’s my humble little-big brother, Mfana.

The same little big brother our gardener Thomas called “Rayn”.  For the two years he voluntarily and gladly labored for our family throughout our adolescent years. His cooking was amazing and we secretly crept into his quarters for his leftovers. Thomas, I am grateful for the time we spent. You were almost the big brother I was looking for. However, this scribe is for my little big brother. The same naked Mfana who was ferociously spanked by Sisi Saru (our loving, motherly and compliant maid) for jumping into our sparkly swimming pool after strict instructions not to do so until homework was complete.

The same Mfana who got a sweet beating from mother  when he tore up his math homework and was found guilty after she traced the shreds of evidence in the trash can or the bin as we called it in our household. The bin was kept outside in the blistering cold!

You might wonder why I call him my little big brother. Well, I think I literally, vicariously lived through my little brother for about 7 years. I think he is my big brother, except that the good Lord thrust me on earth twenty four months before his entrance.

He left home at thirteen to take up a rugby scholarship at an esteemed private school in South East England. I mean, who accepts and does that? At the ripe old age of 13 I was busy terrified about high school bullies while he was facing a whole country by his damn self! Imagine the homesickness, the confusion, and the loneliness. Again, who does that? I guess the resilient Mfana. The one my old friend calls “Razzle Dazzle”.  That’s my little big brother.

April 1999, I got my TV debut for a dairy company’s commercial. “Go Flavor! Go Ravor!” was the slogan. Some of you readers may be captured by the nostalgia. It’s just that you had to live in Zimbabwe that year. This commercial was my claim to fame in our spick-and-span Harare household. I must have thought “Hey man, while you’re in England, I’m on TV. I must have been gratified to know I maintained the helm as the big brother of the household.  I later squandered my wages on a BB gun and 100 bullets that I shot aimlessly at quail birds lurking in the trees. If only I knew how to invest back then, I’d be on a yacht now. Z$1,000 back then was a fortune for a thirteen year old. But hey, I got to buy my own BB gun. I earned it and I did what I wanted. Selfishly.

Mfana returned for an Easter holiday a year later to remind me he was still my little big brother. Not only did the familia spend quality time, but it was also the moment for Mfana’s debut on telly. The beautiful TV Host, Patricia Mabviko, invited him to be a guest on a show called, “Breaking New Ground”. It was an one on one interview series that showcased young Zimbabwean talent, the future of Zimbabwe. Thank you Patricia. You are simply our version of Oprah! I wish you’d come back with a “Where are they Now?” series.

As the older brother, I too would get to be on the show. I’d get my first dose of what it was to live vicariously through my little bro. The focus was on his achievements. I was so proud because he was modest and said I was the reason he first pursued sports. A rugby magazine later confirmed this story. Wow.

My little big brother was unpretentious at the tender age of 14. I wish more adults would learn about the basics of humility, but that’s for another blog post. In the show, I confidently predicted that he would go on to be a professional rugby player which he did five years later and even featured the global’s premier rugby publication.

img-20160204-wa0005.jpg

Ndipei sando dzangu! (Shona slang for, Give me my recognition!).

Anyway, it was extremely exciting because after the broadcast, my Nokia 3210 was vibrating with all these chicks (adolescent girls as we called them from 1999-2001) saying, “Hi SonofGuruve,” I saw you on TV. Was that you and your brother on the television?”.

I chuckled and said, “Yes”.

I was happy I tell you. I got to keep my status as the big brother who led Mfana to make his national television debut.

Yeah!

I will stop this post here because there is too much to write and too much and too much to share. It will have to be a memoir capturing our journey.  All I will say is Mfana has been my little big brother because though younger, he has acted like the older brother I don’t have. He is a constant source of inspiration, humor and brotherly love. He dragged me through bouts of despair, depression and showed me what it is to be selfless and to always keep things simple.

This is a snippet of the joy I have when memories come rushing. As this is the month of your birthday, may the good Lord light the torch beneath your shiny feet because you continue to be a great little big brother!  So cheers to you, cheers to your bright future, and may you simply get to experience the joys of a happy birthday. Our greatest gift is life and may you continue to revel in it. We likely won’t be together, but hey, we don’t need this post to remember how special you are.

With depth,

#sonfofguruve

Screenshot_123

#sonofguruve
© SonofGuruve 2015