Drawing Challenge #9

The aim is to do as many detailed drawings as possible, as often as possible, to fill up my sketchbook by the end of the year.


54 years ago today, Zambia gained independence from Britain – A costly victory as many lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom for fellow countrymen and women.

For today’s drawing challenge, I’ve chosen a symbolic sketch from the capital city, Lusaka. It is of the “Independence Banner” as you enter the city from the airport road.

The colours of the flag signify the following:

  • Green – The beautiful green landscape across the country
  • Orange – Mineral wealth (mainly copper)
  • Black – Majority of the population
  • Red – The blood shed in the fight for independence
  • The Eagle – We can sore above our differences (incl tribalism) and be, as first president Kenneth Kaunda called it – “One Zambia, One Nation!”

Time-lapse sketch

Best of 2017: Blog Info-graphics

Abstract: As we are fast approaching the end of another year, its time for another annual blog review. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for being a part of my journey with Reposed Thought. Your engagement and encouragement have been invaluable, and spur me on as a writer, designer and poet. Many thanks.

With so much to learn from, to be thankful for and to be challenged by, here are the stats from 2017 – the stuff you really cared about. Enjoy.

God bless.

Top 10 Posts:

Top 10 Blog Posts

  1. RT Evening Standard nomination: Best new-comer April Fools!! Lesson One – don’t believe everything you read on 1st April. On the flip side, I had lots of fun listening to friends congratulate me before reading further.. 😀
  2. 20 Favourite Poetic One-Liners (Rhyming) A compilation of my favourite lines from poems that I’ve composed. Enjoy!
  3. Love Your Neighbour- Short Poem Written  to go with a sermon from the bible passage Matthew 22:34-40.
  4. Zambia: Day Eleven – Final Goodbye Day eleven of 12: Part of a daily photography journal I kept whilst visiting my home country, Zambia.
  5. Zambia: Day One – Welcome HomeDay one of 12: Excitement, anticipation, reality. All the initial reactions & emotions of visiting home after 5 years.
  6. Screen Watching on the Train Reflections on this generations growing and worrying mobile phone addiction
  7. Zambia: Day Two – Copperbelt Day two of 12: Returning to my home city after 5 years; such a good feeling!
  8. Zambia: Day Five – Last of Kitwe Day five of 12: After a few days on the Copperbelt Province, it was time to head back.   
  9. London Bishopsgate – Walking Tour Photographic tour with a friend in one of the capital’s high-rise districts, Bishopsgate.
  10. 7 Days in B&W 7 days, 7 photo’s in black and white; No people. No explanations.

Top 10 Countries:

Top 10 Countries

Visitors to the blog came from a grand total of 53 different countries in 2017.

Countries as wide ranging as Venezuela, Namibia, Solomon Islands and Bulgaria. Thank you!

Most Popular Month:

Most Popular Month

April was by far the busiest month this year. This is mainly because of the ‘April Fools’ post and the daily photo journal of my trip to Zambia, my home country.


Stay tuned for more content in 2018.

Happy New Year!


“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.”

PSALM 23

20 Favourite Poetic One-Liners (Rhyming)

1. BIG CITY DREAMS

“Blinded by the lights, I’m drawn in by the crowds,

An eclectic group of people, rubbing shoulders without smiles”

2. MINDLESS VIOLENCE

“Started out as kids, stealing Pepsi cans and sweets,

But nowadays being stopped and asked questions by police”

3. PLATEAUED AMBITION

“Life flashed by, I was soon reminiscing,

As slowly I drowned, in a plateaued Ambition”

4. CHASING AFTER THE WIND

“Yesterday she was the one, yet today we call her old news,

And move onto the next one, Our values greatly skewed”

5. WORDS I NEVER SAID

“Our last conversation I now contemplate,

Abruptness of what followed made my heart disintegrate”

6. LOST ONES

“But soon there would be trouble, and unforeseen change,

Which led to separation, and hearts so full of rage”

7. A WRITERS STRUGGLE

“Freedom of expression, hell-bent at its mastery,

But when it didn’t flow, anxiety seeped craftily”

8. TALES OF DEVASTATION

“At this stark situation, tales of devastation,

Families ripped apart, and destroyed past restoration”

9. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR

“His words cut through, like a dagger to the heart,

Exposing their hypocrisy; blind religiosity”

10. DEAR LONDON

“Demonically possessed, with intent to spread fear,

Instead were met with bravery, and love beyond compare,”


11. MUNDANE

“Mundane! Everyday is the same,

Wake up, go to work. Slowly going insane”

12. TALES OF INSECURITY

“What did they even mean by that? And why said in that tone?

I dialogue internally to calculate my wrongs”

13. BUDGET AIRLINE TALES

“A queue jumper the highlight, as she mussels her way past me,

An angry woman shouts “Oi! You must be a nutter!”

14. THE ART OF BLAGGING

“But little do they know you haven’t even got the foggiest,

But pride gets in the way, and you start speaking with such confidence”

15. EASTER

“A choice between a criminal and him, they chose the latter,

And proceeded with mob justice, his back they whipped and battered”

16. ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA

“But no one else was there, so she posts pics on the internet,

900 friends, but no one there to share the moment with”

17. TALES OF AN INTROVERT

“Wish I said all of the things that were locked up in my mind,

But now times gone, it feels like I’m wasting mine”

18. POOR MAN’S TALE

“It’s cold, you’re ignored, and exposed to the elements,

Abandoned in negligence, considered irrelevant”

19. CHIPOLOPOLO 2015: CAN HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF?

“The weight of this moment precedes grown men’s cries,

As we remember our dearly loved brothers who died.”

20. THE ANGRY SHARPNESS MONSTER

“Not much sleep was had as he set off at break of dawn,

The thought of being at sea always had his attention drawn.”


All the above poems are originals written & composed by the author of Reposed Thought:

© Gome

Thanks for stopping by

Best of S.A. House Music

So I’ve recently found myself in the position of makeshift DJ on several occasions (at work, at a house party and on many long distance road trips). In each scenario, upbeat music is needed to keep you and others going. As a result, I decided to always be prepared, creating countless playlists from different genres on Spotify. I hope that overtime I can share some of my favourites on here and discover some of yours too.

To kick things off, here’s my best of South African House Music which is currently my favourite genre of them all. Enjoy!


1. African Woman – DJ Shimza, Mishka

Despite being released in 2015, this is still one of the biggest songs on the African continent. I love how it jumps straight into the beat without an unnecessarily long intro. Simple tune, effectively executed.. Check it out!

2. City Rain – Mobi Dixon

Great great tune to work to. As it’s so elegantly repetitive (in a good way), it’s guaranteed to get your toes tapping at your desk as you help solve the worlds problems. Also great for those long summer road trips ahead.

3. Easy to Love – Bucie, Heavy K

The build up in the intro to this song is incredible and always gets me going in anticipation for the drop (video cuts it short). Add to this Bucie’s incredible vocal range and Heavy K’s skillful tinkering on the dials of his DJ set and you have another awesome collaboration.

4. Sweet Love – Euphonik (Spotify)

Sadly not on YouTube, but definitely worth a listen on iTunes or Spotify. Euphonik is one of my favourite newly discovered DJ’s in S.A house and continues to deliver in his songs. This is one of my favourites of his.

5. Tulale Fofofo – Mi Casa, Sauti Sol

If you’re looking to discover just one new artist from this list, may I suggest Mi Casa. I’ve listened to each one of this trio’s entire albums and I’m still amazed at the consistent brilliance of every single track. Astonishing! This is just one of them..

6. Bayethe – DJ Shimza, BK

Slightly more chilled tune, but still upbeat, groovy and funky. I love the simplicity of the beat which gets subtly phased out in parts before being brought back with a bang. Love it!

7. We Own The Night – Mi Casa

I love Mi Casa. Quite possibly my most overplayed group on spotify this year. This talented trio perfectly blend together the skills of Pianist and Producer (Dr Duda), Vocalist and Guitarist (J’Something) and Trumpeter (Mo-T). This ones a BANGER!

8. Feel The Love – Mi Casa

Another Mi Casa hit. Along with its well polished music video and uplifting story line (loving your neighbour), this song is simply incredible. Even after a year or more of listening to it, I still can’t get enough. Those vocals, that trumpet, and my goodness the beat.. Immaculate.

9. Pluto (Remember You) – DJ Clock, Beatenberg

Such a happy song and music video. I’ve tried in vain to listen to this song without moving; impossible. DJ Clock is another big name to look out for in the ‘SA house’ scene and here serves up another head-bopper.

10. Love Colour Spin – Mobi Dixon

It takes about a minute before the song really kicks in but when it does, it’s one of the best  motivational tracks on this list. So so groovy. I just wanted it to keep on going in its harmonious, repetitive brilliance. I even caught my work colleague tapping their foot to it as I played it on the office speaker. #winning

11. I Want Your Love (Joat Remix) – Donae’o

Not entirely sure if this counts as SA House, maybe more funky house or general house. Donae’o is a Londoner with Ghanaian/Caribbean routes. But none the less, this has many elements that fit so perfectly to this list. Upbeat, motivational, afro-house, head-banger. What more could you want? Check it out.

12. Wena – Heavy K, Mpumi

This is the sort of song that I imagine everyone at a house party, young and old, would get up to dance to. So so groovy. I love the intentional pauses in the beat which only help reinforce the groovyness (if that’s even a word?).

13. Deadly Strings – Emo Kid

Starts off rather slowly but gradually builds to an absolute banger. I particularly like the addition of guitar strings, which I imagine the songs name hails from. And then there’s the beat and baseline. Another one of those you can blissfully nod time away to.

14. Apologies – Euphonik, Luke M, Thoko

‘Sweet Love’ (listed above) used to be my favourite track by Euphonik till I discovered this gem. Wow!! What a find. From vocals to strings, bass to drums, every single element is an absolute acoustic masterclass. No exaggeration!

15. Don’t Give Up – Prince Kaybee

The song does exactly what the lyrics say: “Keep on working, keep on going, keep on moving, keep on grinding..” It’s so emblematic of the type of rhythmic afro-beat sound that this energetic song represents. Not gonna lie, but late nights working on design projects have been made a lot easier with this tune in my life.

16. Wajellwa – Prince Kaybee

Incredible acoustic vibes coming to you from the South. This is the Africa I know – full of rhythm, groove, creativity and happiness. If, like me, you’re into guitar strings being expertly plucked at breakneck speed over an undeniably groovy beat, then this tracks definitely for you.

17. Charlotte – Prince Kaybee

Another one of those ‘why are you not more popular’ artists that I’ve only recently discovered. I know I’ve used the phrase ‘groovy’ a lot, but I can’t think of a better synonym to describe how good this song is. Have a listen for yourself. Tell me if you think otherwise.

18. Better Days – Prince Kaybee, Audrey

Another slow build-up to begin with, but this tune steadily builds and grows on you. There seems to be a clever mix of free-styling or experimentation of instruments and vocals over the master-beat, which I love. Almost organised spontaneity. It gives it a raw, ever changing feel that not a lot of other more regimented songs have.

19. Friend Zone – Prince Kaybee, Ziyon

This song is a lot more chilled and slow compared to many others on this list. It still manages to keep all the good vibes of an S.A house track with its top notch Afro-beat rhythm. I picture myself sat out in the sun sipping on coke whilst enjoying the finest delicacies of a South African braai (barbecue).

20. Chasing The Sun – Mi Casa

This blog post could quite easily have been a list of my favourite Mi Casa tracks (although that does give me an idea!). Instead, I’ve tried to narrow down some of my favourites from their vast collection of hits. I love this song and would highly recommend listening to their albums.

21. Jika – Mi Casa

The song that first introduced me to Mi Casa, and what an introduction it was. Rhythmic, energetic and exciting. A guaranteed party banger that will keep you jiving. Not to mention it was the “most played song for 12 straight weeks on several radio stations across South Africa” (wiki). It also peaked at number 1 on the UK’s BBC 1 Xtra charts, MTV Base’s S.A top 10 and Trace TV’s 30 Urban Hits. Need I say more..?

22. Heartless Intentions – Black Motion, Dr Moruti

This beat is so sick (in the modern sense of the word). It starts off with such high energy and is gradually added to with fantastic rhythmic and acoustic sounds. Another great one for the road. If you’re into that gym stuff, I’m sure it’s good for that too.

23. In Common (Black Coffee Remix) – Alicia Keys, Black Coffee

When you think of the sweet vocals of Alicia Keys and fuse them with the silky vibes of a world-class DJ like Black Coffee, you know you’re in for a treat. Every bit of that ‘S.A house’ baseline elevates this track to another level in my opinion.

24. Come With Me – Black Coffee

What better way to end this list than with the king of S.A house himself, DJ Black Coffee. This song repeatedly says “You set my world on fire” and Black Coffee [metaphorically] sets house music on fire. This is another big big tune to add to his already extensive collection of club bangers. Well worth the listen.


Apologies if any videos do not work. The original may have been taken down from youtube since posting this.

Zambia: Day Twelve – Fly-Tripping

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Twelve:

The early morning flight out of Lusaka that left at 1am, should have been a straight forward affair. It would pass through Lilongwe, then Nairobi and finally London.

However, what transpired was quite the opposite. On approaching Lilongwe (Malawi), there was a very thick and low-lying fog which rapidly reduced visibility. After a period of hours circling around the airport with several failed attempts to land, the pilot was advised to make the 1 hour journey back to Lusaka.

Trivia: this was the first time I took off and landed at the same airport.

It was frustrating enough for people connecting flights in Nairobi, but possibly more so for those going to Lilongwe as they got a glimpse of there final destination only to be led back to where it began.

Another few hours in and out of sleep whilst on the Lusaka runway and the sun came out. I remember waking up to medics attending to a woman 2 rows behind who was led off the flight for some reason. My travel partner assumed it was a nervous first time flyer as several prayers were heard whilst hovering over Lilongwe.

We were finally off to Kenya around 9am. The connection in Kenya was due to leave at 8:30, so we missed it. The airline arranged a hotel for us to spend the night in Nairobi and catch the same flight the next day.

Nairobi, Kenya


The initial frustration of this added extra journey was soon replaced by the realised opportunity to explore a new city in a new country. Fun times!


Nairobi lunch time rush hour on route to the hotel.


Nairobi had a ‘big city’ feel about it. All the traffic, huge road network, high rises and crowds of people gave me that impression.


Not bad for an unplanned hotel stop off.


And then there were the rooms 😮 wow!


Great views to end another long and incredibly tiring day.

Thanks for joining me these past few weeks. Hope I get the chance to do this again soon!

Peace,

Gome

Zambia: Day Six – Goodbye Copperbelt

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Six:

Like the saying goes “all good things come to an end.” Today marked the end of our Copperbelt adventure and it was time to say goodbye. It felt like I was leaving with a renewed love for my home town. Despite things that still need to be done, it feels like it’s heading in the right direction.


Lots of good quality residential developments going up everywhere. This one was on the outskirts of Kitwe.

Back on the road again headed for Ndola.

Clear run of open road ahead. Dual carriageway between Kitwe and Ndola. Once the traffic clears, this is a sweet road to drive on.

Back to Ndola..


And past this place again.


Kafubu Mall, Ndola: With the rise of Zambia’s middle class, a lot more people have disposable cash to spend. This has in turn led to the massive explosion in construction, mainly residential but also in retail. At times it may seem like overkill, but if that’s where the demand lies, then investors would be mad not to cash in. The main concern, however, is that most retailers are foreign owned companies (predominently giant South African chain stores). For a more in-depth look at this issue, take a look at this video on Zambia Construction – Doing business in Africa.


Zambia’s 6th president, HE Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

This poster is on your way to Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport and must be a few years old now as the election was in January 2015.

18 Seater Plane..


Till next time Copperbelt, Mi Casa. It’s been a pleasure. Now back to the capital city Lusaka for more of these blue skies.. It’s really like that everyday!

All my qualms about the tiny 56 seater on the way here were quashed by the even smaller 18 seater. You could see the pilot (or driver). 

Lsk..

No fancy sunset shot to end the day on, just a set of grateful travellers having arrived safely.

Join me again tomorrow for day seven.

Peace

Zambia: Day Four – Chilling

Background: Recent extracts from my travel journal taken at the end of each day whilst on holiday in Zambia, my home country. Enjoy!

Day Four:

Chills, chills and more chills. The sun was out (again) and it was hot from as early as 8am. Earlier plans to do something fun fell through at the last minute, so the rest of the day was relaxed (which wasn’t the worst idea given all the recent travels).

Primary School Visit


I got to visit my primary school for only the second time since leaving 14yrs ago. So many memories flooded back as I walked around; sports days, classrooms, friends, teachers, swimming galas and so much more. While there were lots of changes, a lot of it still looked the same.

Out and about


To say some roads were better than others would be an understatement.


Evening..

Took an evening stroll through Mukuba Mall, a large new mall built opposite one of our former homes. How convenient would that have been, ‘ey! The mall is built on the grounds of a former zoo.


Interesting to hear Christian music playing in the supermarket, something that just wouldn’t happen in England. Maybe at Christmas, but not randomly in March. One of my favourite songs by Hillsong called “Everlasting” played in Shoprite supermarket.

End of day four..

Another perfect way to end the day, sat round, laughing, chatting, and relaxing munching on groundnuts and maize. Lush!

Zambia: Visiting ‘home-home’

Background: Join me for the next few weeks as I share retrospectively this most recent adventure.. to Zambia!!!!!


As I scrolled through the on-board ‘easy-listening’ music section, I came across a song from the archives of my primary schools music rooms called “morning has broken.” Rather than send me to sleep, as I presume was the intention of this mix, it suddenly woke up my mind.

This unexpected memory conjured up lots of mixed emotions all at once; some happy, some sad. While the memory of this song took me to a very ‘happy place’ in my life, sat down singing along to Mr Banda (my music teacher) tinkering away on the keys, I was also reminded of the harsh reality of going back home. The thought that certain loved ones were now no more. Certain people from that ‘happy place’ I would never see again.

See, I was on my way home, or ‘home-home’ as I’ve come to know it. The place of my birth, home to my ancestors, where most of my loved ones live, you get the picture. It had been a good few years since I last visited and so much had changed since then. I was eagerly anticipating many reunions, picturing the warm embrace of friends and family, reuniting with roasted maize from the roadside, etc. But this lingering thought and reality check suddenly buried all my warm, happy thoughts. It was the sudden death of my beautiful and bright young cousin, Towela, at 32 which particularly shook me and reminded me of the uncertainty of life (see Words I Never Said: Short Poem).

While thinking of this, my mind wondered back to my primary school, this time remembering all my friends. How many would I be able to see during this trip? It had been at least 5 years since I last saw some, but 14 for the majority. How would we even relate to each other as grown ups? Would we slip back into old friendships? All these questions and more ran through my mind. No doubt social media had helped lessen the impending shock at seeing people after so long, beards and all.

All in all, its safe to say I was super excited and buzzing at the prospect of going home. There I was smiling to myself, eyes shut, head phones on, simply wishing the pilot could speed up.


Such is the power of thought trails.

Let them run their course as you jot them down and see where they’ll take you. This post was born out of the song ‘morning has broken’ which immediately had me grinning at its memory.

Chipolopolo 2015: Can history repeat itself?

Zambia African Champions

Abstract: Short poem about the Zambia national football team (aka Chipolopolo or Copper Bullets). In the build up to the Africa Cup of Nations 2015, I reflect on Zambia’s astonishing and historic victory at the 2012 edition of the tournament. Could it happen again?


We sat crouched! Fingers crossed, hearts pounding,

Awaiting the result that would leave them all astounded.

A young man steps up to lay stake among the greats,

Sunzu his name, one kick and then we celebrate.

 

“The elephants”, they called them, as a sign of their power,

Yet they seemed to falter at their supposed ‘divine hour.’

Not a chance was given against such opposition,

Yet if they lose now they’ll be a mass inquisition.

One step, two step, three step, BOOM!

A sharp piercing silence suddenly fills the room.

The weight of this moment precedes grown men’s cries,

As we remember our dearly loved brothers who died.

Years before they chased the same final destination,

Only to have their lives cut short like abbreviations.

KK11 we remember you still today,

May your spirit of ambition spur us on as we play.

 

So many greats have risen since your sad and sudden fate,

Kalusha, Tana, Lota, among many candidates.

But none awarded the privilege to lift the great cup,

Till the lads of 2012, an unlikely make-up.

 

Woohoo! We did it! Come and have a look,

Though all the doubters still claim it was only but a fluke.

Yes, ok. We’ve had a blip from then until now,

But now we’re ready, ‘bola panshi’ playing style.

The fans they yell “Chipolopolo! Iyeeeee,”

Love us or loath us, we have come here to stay,

Whether at home, in town or even a cafe,

Go Go Zambia! We’ll cheer you all the way.