Divorce in The Zimbabwean Context

Marriage in Zimbabwe is a weird institution. I say that because here in Zimbabwe there are a lot of hang-ups regarding it. For all intents and purposes, most people speak about it being a union, but it gets treated almost as a right of passage. In 2017 (in Zimbabwe of course), some women are looked upon differently if they get to a certain age and are STILL not married, or if they have a child or children out of marriage. There are a few other examples but today that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about divorce in the Zimbabwean context.

Unfortunately, due to the make-up of the human person, divorce is something that may occur. By nature, males and females are very different and with that in mind, there are some people who are simply not a match. I can’t tell you what makes two people a match, but there are simply some people who are not and should not be married. They, however, decide to try anyway. Ultimately that is their choice. In the same way, if they decide to divorce it is also THEIR choice.

In Zimbabwe, however, there are certain schools of thought that are hard to agree with. I was talking with a colleague at work and having a debate about divorce a few weeks ago. I told her that I didn’t think that divorce was an awfully bad thing if it was done for the right reasons. She responded by telling me that if someone gets married in the church, in front of their friends and family it is their responsibility to see that marriage through till death. I asked her what one should do then if one of the partners is unfaithful and could put the other at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. She responded by saying that they would need to work it out.

I feel (as a married man) that one should try by all means to be in a happy marriage. If the marriage is now becoming a danger to your health (physical and mental), then one should do whatever is necessary to protect yourself within the means of the law. In this instance, I would say that divorce would be the best thing to do in order to protect yourself. However, that is just my opinion.

The people who suffer the most from divorce are not the parents. The parents are adults who decided to get married and then decided to try and make each other happy or decided to make each other miserable. The people who suffer the most from divorce are the children (if there are any). There are some things that I have noticed about divorce in Zimbabwe.

  1. Children do no choose for their parents to divorce: I say this because there always ends up being an argument about who should take care/keep the child. Surely it should be more about raising the child together. The parents do not need to be able to stand each other or even converse with each other, but when it comes to issues of THEIR child, they have to put all the petty differences aside and agree. They have to be the adults in this situation and make joint decisions. They both got divorced, they should BOTH raise the child. One should not have more rights than the other, and the other must not give up those rights because it’s easier.
  2. Children are not pawns. This is not chess, this is their life: It can’t be that Parent A holds all the cards (unless there are extenuating circumstances that result in the child being kept by Parent A and not Parent B eg drug abuse). This will do nothing but sow discontent between Parent A and Parent B. It will always be about getting one up on each other. The child should not also be used as a bargaining tool. One of my friends was telling me about how one of his cousin’s wife was demanding money for the upbringing of a child he never had access to. His dilemma was that whenever he met his wife’s demands (money for fuel, to get her hair done, holidays), he would then have access to his child. To me, this sounds like a bit of bribery. It is obvious that as a loving parent, he then was willing to meet the demands in order to see his child. This will never work, but the sad story is that in Zimbabwe this is actually happening.
  3. The death of privacy and decency because of the wrong use of social media: More than five people have told me that social media is going to be the end of a lot of relationships. I agree. The crazy stuff that you see online these days is shocking. Every day you are bound to find someone ranting about something completely inappropriate and private on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. There is no need for anyone to tell the world how much of a useless person Partner A was or is being with regards to the upbringing of a child. Honestly, the internets do not need to know about that. If you as a Parent A, feel that Parent B does not care about a child, telling the world is not going to make the situation better. Furthermore, telling one side of the story will not help anything either. That is not a cry for help, that is simply a cry out loud to let people know that your life was never going to be private. Somethings can never be unsaid. Be the bigger person. Talk about the weather, what’s on TV, politics, football, the colour of the sky. Keep the home issues at home. Not on the internets.
  4. Children have impressionable minds: Parent A or Parent B (whoever lives with the child) can paint whatever picture they what to of the other parent. This can result in certain things being said about one parent to the child. The child is likely to believe what they are being told if they are told enough and very soon they will believe that. Parents need to be careful.
  5. The over-involvement of extended family: In Zimbabwean black culture, the extended family plays a big role in marriages. They are involved in everything from the bride-price negotiations, to the wedding organisation and sometimes funding. Also culturally there is an idea that it is good for certain select members of the extended family can act as mediators in divorce to try help with certain negotiations. Emotional support should be given. Outright demands (financial and or otherwise) should not be made because they are the grandmother/grandfather/uncle/aunt. We are supposed to act as a support network, not as though we are as entitled as our sons/daughters/brothers/sisters/nephews child. We should be ready to stand up when necessary, not to stand up on behalf of. It unwittingly shows a desperation that does not look attractive to anyone if we try and stand up on behalf of.

What do you think? Let me know…

 

Adult Colouring Books

 

20170529_185008
Cover page of the book

So this turned out to be a really good buy! I was wondering around a supermarket near my parent’s house in the capital city looking for something random to buy alongside the six pack of beers I had in my hand when I bumped into this bad boy. You can’t buy beer in the supermarket before midday without a cover story. This book of Mandalas was the perfect excuse to also buy a six pack of beer. FYI I moved from the capital city to a little town for a year or so. When the project that I was FINALLY over I was moved to an ever smaller little growth point known as Ngezi. My wife and I debated for some time with regards to moving to Harare. However, after a very short debate, we agreed to stay the hell away.

 

Anyway, I have digressed. I picked up this colouring book for a handsome price of USD$5. I paid a further USD$6 for pencil colours, a sharpener and an eraser. I never thought that I could find a hobby that is so relaxing. I am not a very artistic person, but I do know the kind of art that I can dig. The designs in the book are exciting to watch as you get colouring.

20170529_185138
My wife’s ink pen Mandala

 

20170529_185118
My ink pen mandala
20170529_185154
My wife’s pencil colour mandala
20170529_185224
My pencil colour mandala
20170529_185055
My colour crayon mandala

As you can see none of them are complete and they are all a work in progress. I will post some pics of the completed works of art. It has been a very interesting experience. Most of the time I find myself saying “it’s coming out wrong”. I then remind myself that it is art so it will come out the way that I imagine it. It has been helpful in aiding me to appreciate some of the things that are art and taking a little more effort to try and appreciate them.

For those who are living and working in stressful environments (Like MOST Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe), I would seriously suggest getting this book and letting off some steam.

Beer also helps.

I’m Deleting Snapchat, And You Should Too — Thought Catalog

Saulo MohanaSnapchat is the prime example of what happens when you don’t have enough people of color building a product. In recent history, in the Audacity of Whiteness: Snapchat released a blatantly racist yellowface filter, which excessively slants your eyes, rounds cheeks, and adds buckteeth for good measure. The company maintains this filter is “anime-inspired.”…

via I’m Deleting Snapchat, And You Should Too — Thought Catalog

 

 

Seasons Greetings to All of You!!!

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas and are planning on have planned an enjoyable New Years Eve. Mine will be spent with my wonderful wife and a few friends. There will be drinking and eating and general merriment being made as we usher in a new year.

Let us go into this new year with an open heart. Let us try and continue to be grateful for what we have and not complain about what we don’t have. Let’s not look back on 2016 and compare it with 2017. The mantra should be that 2016 was not a great year. Let us strive to make 2017 more memorable, more entertaining, more adventurous and more loving that 2016 was. It is possible if we try.

To all the friends that you may or I may have parted ways with in 2016: Everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes it is a need for space, sometimes we are not good for each other, other times life gets in the way and you may be gone from sight but far from forgotten. Ultimately we have to make sure we take care of number one. We all have varying degrees of love for the people we know, but there are some people who are more of an emotional drain that an addition. We need not feel bad about the decisions we make as this is the university of life. We are forever learning.

May we strive to continue to plan plan plan. This is the first step to achieving anything we want to. I hope that everyone plans on being a better person, husband, wife, child, grandchild, grandparent, father and mother in 2017. Let’s all strive to take better care of our health, which will take care of our wealth; let us also take better care of the world we live in. There is only one planet Earth, and some may not even get to see the beauty that some of us are fortunate enough to have been given.

If I did not get a chance to see you in 2016, I will hopefully make it up to you in 2017. Be safe on the roads, in the bars, at the dinner dances and at your homes this New Years Eve.

Good Bless

Tongs & Bibi

How To Move House (Stress Free) – Tongs’ Free Guide

Hi guys! It has been a while since I last posted something, and that is because there is a lot that has been going on in my simpleton life. The project that I was working on in the Midlands came to an end (Finally after what felt like an eternity and after I was abandoned and left to deal with a few last minute things that had to be completed ALL by myself) and I was moved to another project in another part of Zimbabwe. In fact I am now doing a little project for the largest platinum mine in Zimbabwe. Of course this entailed me moving from the Midlands to Mashonaland West (Approximately 240km).

During this rather harrowing experience I realised that there are somethings that I can bring to the attention of people who are considering moving, to help them make the transition from old home to new home as painless as possible.

  1. If you can avoid it, don’t do it – Moving is NOT worth it. You will be stressed, you won’t sleep well for a few days, you will lose stuff (I lost the remote for the TV and I can’t find it three weeks later). Find a house, and live there forever. Alternatively make SHITLOADS of money so that when you move you first go stay in a local hotel for the night and the next day everything is set up for you… and nothing is lost (like a TV remote).
  2. Keep all your boxes and get more boxes – I used to wonder why TVs and other electronic goods came in boxes with all this kaylite in it. It’s not because they wanted to make sure that when you take the TV from the shop home it doesn’t get damaged. It’s so that if you go on any subsiquent trips with the TV it would be well protected and all the components would be safe (apart from the remote. The remote didn’t want to leave the old home). It makes life so much easier as it doesn’t take long to pack the TV, the TV is secure and I felt more comfortable watching the TV getting loaded onto the back of the truck in its box and with kaylite. Also if things are boxed, it is easier to pack the house up and to pack the truck up as well. It would be advisable to make friends with the local supermarket where you shop and to visit them regularly a few weeks prior to moving to get extra boxes which you can use for you other kitchen items that didn’t come in boxes.
  3. Don’t move at the end of the month – This one is pretty self explainatory. If you can avoid it, avoid it. It is not the time to do it. Unless you can’t avoid it of course. On the other hand end of the month will mean you may get to miss out on some bills as opposed to mid month. The best thing to do is get your shit in order so that you move when you want to move.
  4. Where possible organise and pay the transporter in advance, make sure you get a transporter with a vehicle in good condition and one that you can trust – It is pretty self explanatory. Get a truck that is in good condition, a truck driver who has an assistant so you don’t have to off/load the truck yourself.
  5. Move at a Godly Hour – Where possible, don’t move in the middle of the night. We arrived at our new home at midnight, and finished offloading around 2am. It was probably the most painful thing that I have experienced in a long time. This might be where the remote got lost.

I hope that these small pointers will help make your move less painful. As I (think I) said, the other option is to make enough money so that someone else move all your stuff for you and you simply arrive on location, or buy a caravan and you can live where ever you want.

Project Life Management: Part 2 (PLM102) – Project (Life) Time Management

Welcome to part 2 of Project (Life) Management where I will be covering life time management. Oh yeah if you have not read the first part, it can be found here. If you have the time, go and read it before you dive into this next section.

Manage your life, conceptual words on blackboard.

Project (Life) Time, Cost, and Quality Management

Now to most people, these three words are very easy to explain.

Time – How long something takes

Cost – How much something costs

Quality – How good/bad something is

So how does this pertain to Project Life Management? Today is your lucky day as I am on hand to give you the guidance that will help you in your quest to successfully survive this project called Life.

 

triangle-pm
Resource=cost/money

 

There are three project (life) management aspects that are linked because you cannot change one without affecting the others. These are project (life) time management, project (life) cost management and project (life) quality management. For example, say you want to go to a music festival, you decide which festival you want to go to based on when it is (time), how much it costs to go, including all hidden costs (cost) and who is going to be playing at said festival (quality). The same can be said for any other hairbrained ideas we come up with. Those three factors will always have a hand in life management.

Project (Life) Time Management

I am going to start off by calling out a lot of my black Zimbabwean brothers and sisters here. What is up with being fashionably late guys? There is no need, rhyme nor reason to be late. If you are late the least that you could do is inform the people who are waiting for you. Of course, the interesting thing is if the meeting involves money being given to you, a date with that girl with the eyebrows drawn on with the semi-permanent marker, or a job interview, then you manage to get there on time. Otherwise, it just doesn’t happen. There is nothing wrong with being on time to meet someone. In fact, it is one of the more decent things you can do.

To help you manage your time I have drawn on expert knowledge written by other people, and then reduced to help give some relevance to life management. According to PMBOK 5th Edition (Project Management Book of Knowledge) there are seven activities that are related to time management. For project life time management I will only talk about six of them.

  1. Define activities – Before you even start trying to manage your time you need to know what you are going to be doing. We already do some stuff on autopilot: You wake up, brush your teeth, shower, and change, eat, and go to work, work, and then eventually leave work. If you have been doing this for about a year then you do not need to define your activities. You defined them a long time ago. I would like to hope that by now you do not need to figure out what you need to do when you wake up in the morning. If you struggle to get to work on time, you need to re-evaluation many things in your life.

define-act

  1. Sequence activities – You must have an idea how you are going to do what you decide you have to do. There is no point in waking up, changing, eating and then showering and changing again. You need to have an order of how you are going to do things that makes sense.

 

sequence-acts
This may come in handy for a few people who might not know what I am talking about

 

  1. Estimate activity resources – So the plan is to have dinner at home, then go to the bar, drink, drink, drink, and then go home at midnight. Do you have food at home? Do you have money to drink? Do you have fuel in your car? If you decide to do this without estimating if you have enough resources to do these things you will not be on time, it will end up costing you more than planned and the quality of the hovel that you chose to drink in will match your resource estimation.estimate-activity-resources
  2. Estimate activity durations – Now again I appeal to my black Zimbabwean brothers and sisters. If you do not guestimate how long it’s going to take you to shower, shit, shave, change, eat and drive to the bar to have drinks with your mates, you will always be late. This is the sole reason that you end up complaining that the meat finished at the braai. It was because you came late. estimate-activity-durations
  3. Develop and control schedule – By the age of 23, you should know how long it takes to shower and what kind of shower are you taking. Once you manage to get the above sorted, then you should be able to manage your project (life) time management. The other option is to get a diary… or make better use of your Smartphone.

 

Project (life) time management is important. Time is money, especially when it is other people’s time. So get it together! This claim that there are not enough hours in a day is nonsense. Since time began, there has always been 24hours in a day. If you say that there are not enough hours in a day then you are not utilising the hours you have. Learn to manage your project life time better. We are only here for a finite amount of time.

 

end
What happens in my head after each blog

 

Project Life Management Part 1- PLM101

Part 1: Project Life Management 101 (PLM101) – Project (Life) Scope Management

scope

 

 

I have been meaning to get around to trying something a little more intelligent in terms of my posts. Most of my posts generally do not have much structure to them. I tend to do them mostly on the fly. Well this is one that I have decided to try and take a bit more time to help you and others out there with dealing with Project Life Management.

Welcome to Life Management 101 (Written by someone who is also figuring out how to do this). This is going to be written from a project management stand point and take on some of the things that I learned while studying project management (Project Management Book of Knowledge will be referenced and remixed…. a lot).

The main areas that I will cover in this miniseries will be (life) scope management, (life) time management, (life) cost management, (life) quality management, (life) human resources management, (life) communication management, (life) risk management and (life) stakeholder management.

Most of these topics sound the same, but they are not. Most of them are linked and in order to stop you from falling asleep to my dribble I will try and group them in a manner that is easily understandable.

Manage your life, conceptual words on blackboard.

Project (Life) Scope Management

Scope management is very important concept. It is something that needs to be closely monitored in our working lives. It is important because we need to give ourselves physical and non physical boundaries and live within the boundaries that we give ourselves. Of course life is quite malleable and is prone to change. There are people who studied English literature at university who are now working for NGOs in French speaking African countries, others studied law and are now farmers, while others still studied for the experience of going to university and making friends.

Now a quick side note, those who applied and went to university just for the “experience” are not serious. That’s a waste of money.

Anyway, the reasons why people are working where they are working after studying what they studied are many. Reasons, which I don’t have the energy or the time to try and explain.

The reason why (life) scope management is important is because it helps reduce (life) scope creep. (Life) Scope creep is when you find yourself doing something that wasn’t in your scope.

Plan: Go to the supermarket, buy some groceries, pay rent and then head home.

What happens: Go to friend’s house; have a few beers watching football, wake up in another town.

Now the above example sounds farfetched but stranger things have happened to people on their way to the supermarket. The above example is probably very much on the micro scale of life. That is just a day to day event that could have occurred. Imagine on the larger scale some of the things we end up doing that were NOT in our plan. Now according to the PMBOK 5th Edition, there are 11 tools and techniques to help us avoid scope creep. I am only going to mention a few of them and some life explainations.

  1. Benchmarking – you have to have an idea of what your plan is, what you want to achieve and what you feel is acceptable. Even if it’s a little vague, you have to have some sort of plan. (I plan on being the funniest drunk guy in the local bar… all the time, I plan on reading every book in the local library, I plan on memorising all of the 10 hit kombos for Scorpion in Mortal Kombat on the PS3 that I find on YouTube)

    benchmark
    Benchmarking
  2. Observations – In life sometimes all we need to do is stop and watch what is going on around us. It’s not complicated. Just stop and observe for a minute. You may want to be the funniest drunk guy in the local bar all the time, but that may stop you from also memorising all of the 10 hit kombos for Scorpion in Mortal Kombat on the PS3 that you find on YouTube. You can’t do everything.

    observations
    Observations
  3. Questionnaires and Surveys – Now none of us have time to design, distribute, collect and collate questionnaires and surveys unless it is for school. In the real world that stuff is done by robots. Funnily we design, distribute, collect and collate questionnaires and surveys every day. We just don’t realise it. Every time we ask for someone’s opinion, it could be seen as a survey. We just need to be sure to ask a wide range of people for their opinions. It’s free and you don’t have to take the advice/opinions given!

    questionnaires
    Questionannaires
  4. Group decision making techniques – This is easy. Remember the last failed trip to the casino you didn’t go on with your boy? Remember the failed braai (BBQ) that you planned at the local bar? Well maybe it was because of the lack of group decision making. Scope creep can be controlled if the group has the same vision. If the vision is not the same you will never organise the braai at the local bar.group-decision

The macro aspects of (life) scope management are a little more difficult to manage because some of them require certain things to happen in order for the next even to become available (life is sometimes like a video game. You need to unlock shit to get to the next stage). A simple example is: If your crush only wants a dude who can take care of her and buy her expensive fake nails and a semi permanent pen to colour in her lack of eyebrows, but you didn’t try harder at school so you got a shit job. Well you may need to get your ass into some sort of college or lower your benchmark.

 

conclusion
And finally in conclusion

 

 

Remember than life is not about limiting yourself. As much as you need to control your own life scope, you need to believe that anything is possible. I mean the American’s made us believe that they made it to the moon and then stuck a flag that started waving in the lunar wind. A lot of people believe they made it there but no one asks why they haven’t been back since. If you believe that you can memorise all of the 10 hit kombos for Scorpion in Mortal Kombat on the PS3 that you find on YouTube, do that. Don’t then try and learn Sub-Zero’s 10 hit kombos at the same time. Keep that life scope managed.