Dear Aunty Brenda 😢

As I scrolled through social media last night in stunned silence, the memories came flooding through my tears. The paths that you took were never easy or the obvious choice. As such, you became a constant trailblazer and inspiration to so many as you rose to the highest of levels. Your final post as Zambian High Commissioner to Kenya a sign of your intelligence and sheer determination. A Sunday school teacher, mother, wife, author and singer among many other things, you remained down to earth and approachable with an ever beaming smile. It was always inspiring seeing you on tv representing Zambia police as spokeswoman. Even though I was young, it made me realise that I too could achieve great things. It is such a huge loss to the country and more so to your loved ones. May God provide comfort in this time of mourning.

I’ll finish with the closing statement from your lecture at Strathmore University, Nairobi:

“In life, you don’t need to follow the road that everybody else has taken. Take the road that has not been trodden; full of grass, no path, and be a trailblazer.” (H.E. Brenda Muntemba)

💔

#reposedthought #zambia #kenya #loss #devastation #trailblazer #pioneer #inspiration #africasfinest #inspirationalafricans #internationalwomen #womanofinfluence #artwork #artist #ambassador #leader #impact #life #heartbreak #inspirationalspeaker #saltandlight

Tragedy to Triumph: 7 Years On – Zambia’s Story

There I was; About to start the most professionally run FIFA tournament I had ever been to.

Venue: Some dudes room at uni with two massive screens, a trophy & buckets upon buckets of KFC chicken. Ultimate lads night in! Between games, I was constantly refreshing my phone for live updates on Zambia’s opening match against Senegal at Afcon 2012.

Truth be told, I was confidently pessimistic that my beloved Zambia would retain their title of “Serial Underachievers!” In European football, I’d compare us to The Netherlands; Well respected, unexpected, but won’t win squat!

‘How soon till we’re out?’ I thought.

Add to this a hint of mild frustration at the draw we had and our potential routes to the final which would see us face all the big guns, if we so dared. All the negativity aside, I was quietly excited.

GROUP STAGE

Game 1:

Zambia vs Senegal

To set the scene; Senegal were pre-tournament favourites along with Ghana and the Ivory Coast. In the absence of Egypt (who had won the three previous tournaments) and the Super Eagles of Nigeria, they saw this as their trophy.

At the time, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse (both prolific goalscorers at Newcastle United) alongside Moussa Sow were among the most feared partnerships on the continent. On paper, this game was over before it had ever began. However, Zambia took a quick & impressive 2-0 lead which lasted well into the second half when they conceded 1. In the end, they hung on for a rather unexpected but well deserved three points.

Full Time: Zambia 2-1 Senegal


Game 2:

Zambia vs Libya

Onto the next one and along came Libya. I was amazed to see the game still went ahead in such treacherous conditions. Historically, Zambia have struggled against North African opposition. As a child, the name Hossam Hassan or Mohamed Aboutrika (both of Egypt) sent shivers down my spine.

In the end, Zambia fought hard in the conditions and came from behind twice to earn a brilliant point.

Full Time: Zambia 2-2 Libya


Game 3:

Zambia vs Equatorial Guinea

With charismatic French coach Herve Renard at the helm, Zambia headed into their final group match against joint hosts Eq. Guinea. This was a chance to win the group.

18 years earlier, a tragedy of unimaginable proportions took place off the shores of the co-hosts, Gabon. A plane carrying the Zambia national football team crashed into the sea killing everyone on board. The recent tragedies of Cardiff City’s new signing Emeliano Sala and the helicopter crash that killed Leicester City’s owner and others brought back reflections of that tragic day.

I was only 1 when it happened, but grew up in the aftermath of the event with the massive re-building job in the 90’s. The effects on the country were strong and the passion and emotion connected to football was understandably prominent.

Going into this game, my fear was that the emotion of the event and the dreaded home advantage would kill our momentum. Besides, I had grown up with years of Zambia almost doing something big, but eventually settling for disappointment (hence the earlier pessimism).

The game itself was tough against the tournament debutants, but in the end a lone goal from captain Christopher Katongo settled the matter. This result meant we finished top of Group A and avoided the other tournament favourites, Ivory Coast.

Full Time: Zambia 1-0 Equatorial Guinea


QUARTER FINALS

Zambia vs Sudan

It was straight knockout from here on. You lose, you leave!

We were pitted against the Sudanese ‘Falcons of Jediane.’ With Zambia’s ‘Copper Bullets’ firepower proving too much in the end, it was the end of another team with an animal nickname – cue all the memes about poaching. In truth, it was a fairly comfortable / convincing 3-0 win. In my lifetime, I had never seen Zambia in the semi-finals of such a huge tournament and I was too young to remember our run to the final in 1994 which ended in defeat to Nigeria. But now, the toughest test lay ahead.

Full Time: Zambia 3-0 Sudan


SEMI FINALS

Zambia vs Ghana

Wow! This was it. The end of the road.. surely!

4 years earlier, I watched helplessly from the stands as Ghana systematically destroyed Zambia 4-1 in a friendly at Leyton Orient’s ground, London.

On that occasion, they had Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari & Stephen Appiah to name a few legends of the African game. This time round, they still had Muntari, along with rising stars Asamoah Gyan, Andre and Jordan Ayew. I considered them the Germany of African football – Efficient, consistent and always making it to the semi finals. Just 2 years earlier, they were on the brink of making history by becoming African’s first ever World Cup Semi-Finalists – but were denied by the hand of Luis Suarez and the foot of Asamoah Gyan. Their form had hardly dipped in the intermediate time, so this was going to be an uphill battle.

But low and behold, little Zambia [who stood NO chance – if you listened to the self-acclaimed ‘football experts’] did the impossible. Emmanuel Mayuka with the faint, followed by the perfect curling shot inside the post sent every Zambian momentarily off the planet in celebration. Wowzer!

What.A.Moment!

I remember being in the minority of people celebrating that goal in the students union on campus – along with my legendary Welsh housemate and a few Nigerian fans (you know how they get on with Ghana! lol). One more win away from History!

Zambia had previously built a squad capable of beating a near full-strength Italian team 4-0 at the 1988 Olympics. But in 1993, that golden generation had been stripped away in the most abrupt and tragic of circumstances. This win was about more than just football. A nation had been brought to her knees in mourning, but now it was time to rise up and honour those who died.

Full Time: Zambia 1-0 Ghana


THE FINAL

Zambia vs Ivory Coast

Now for the big one. The cherry on the cake.

The undeniable favourites, highest ranked team at the time, highest profile players from the best leagues in the world – meet the Ivory Coast (aka The Elephants). Even if our ‘Copper Bullets’ (aka. Chipolopolo) would strike against this lot, it would take a lot to bring these giants down.

If the semi final was a test against the most efficient and consistent team, this was a test against the absolute best in their prime.

With Didier Drogba (Chelsea) the charismatic talisman, Yaya & Kolo Toure (Manchester City), Gervinho (Arsenal) & Salomon Kalou (Chelsea) among many star names, this wasn’t just an uphill battle, but an impossible task.

I could literally go on naming players that were important members of league winning sides in top European teams. If this game was played on paper, no way did we stand a chance. Even my faint optimism at this point didn’t give me any hope.

The game itself surprised me as Zambia started off at flying speed creating many chances throughout. Didier Drogba missed a penalty during the 90 mins and the game went into extra time and then penalties at 0-0.

Penalty Shootout.

The most superb, intense, and gripping shootout I have ever seen – not just because it was my team involved, but everyone scored. With the score at 7-7 in sudden death, Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast/Chelsea) missed giving Zambia the chance to win it. Unfortunately, Rainford Kalaba (Zambia/TP Mazembe) did likewise and we were back to square one. This was never going to end. Then Gervinho (Ivory Coast/Arsenal) sent the ball out of the stadium with his shot (slight exaggeration, but it looked that way) giving Zambia another chance to seal the deal.

Up stepped a confident young man, Stopilla Sunzu – Already a Zambian legend no matter the outcome, singing along to the song the Zambian players had been singing throughout the shootout. A song in that moment that embodied the spirit of the team that had carried them from the bleak ashes of tragedy to the very brink of victory. As the late-great football commentator Dennis Liwewe poignantly put it; “never again will we go to Gabon and return without dignity and honour.”

Sunzu duly dispatched his penalty with ease, sending the keeper the wrong way and a nation into rapture.

Why do I love football so much, I hear you ask? For moments like these. From tragedy to triumph.

By Gome, author @ Reposed Thought

Image Links:

Cover Photo / Zambia vs Ivory Coast: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2100183/AFRICA-CUP-OF-NATIONS-2012-Zambia-0-Ivory-Coast-0-AET-8-7-pens–Zambia-win-tournament.html

Zambia vs Senegal: https://allafrica.com/view/match/main/main/id/0E4Jr9KiCh9Asyuk.html

Zambia vs Libya: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/16734188

Zambia vs Eq Guinea: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/16734188

Zambia vs Sudan: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2012/feb/04/zambia-sudan-africa-cup-of-nations

Zambia vs Ghana: https://allafrica.com/view/match/main/main/id/0EAw8YEuOfjdlZAX.html

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

3 Years of Blogging

3 Today!! Woop Woop!!

Thanks so much for your support along the way. Here are a few highlights and reflections on my journey so far.

God bless..


Year 1: Feel the Buzz

Exactly 3 years ago today, I was sat in a cafe along one of Bristol’s ever intriguing and eclectic high streets – Gloucester Road (See article: the longest stretch of Independent shops in the UK).

With background chatter, finely brewed coffee, and an overpriced slice of indulgent cake, I finally put the finishing touches on my new blog – Reposed Thought.

The first year was such an exciting adventure as there was so much to explore and to learn. From my testimony of how I became a Christian, to the never ending journey of an Architect, there was also much to share.

The inaugural year also gave birth to a newly formed interest in writing poetry with my personal favourites being Tales of an Introvert and Poor Mans Tale.

Year 2: Honeymoon over?

The second year was undoubtedly more challenging as the creativity started to fizzle out along with the initial buzz created when the blog first began. With the added pressure of starting my first full time 9-5 job post uni, the time to create was also drastically reduced. Still I persevered to create Big City Dreams and Morning Run Thoughts during that seemingly dry patch.

I constantly found myself reflecting on how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a post was based on what response I got. I was determined to not let that be the case in the following year.

Year 3: Recreate the high

Throughout 2017, I have felt a combined desire to blog as an outlet for myself and out of respect for my followers. But also, for the sheer fun of it.

This has in turn freed me to create when inspired rather than posting to maintain some kind of  interest. I have felt some of that initial creativity creep back in. My undoubted favourite series from the past year was the daily Zambia photo journal.

Other more recent posts based on experiences include Love Your Neighbour and Plateaued Ambition. The latter recently came 8th out of 30 in my first poetry competition with an honorary mention.

Year 4: ?

Well.. Lets see what happens..

In all that I do, as a blogger or as a Christian, it is my deepest desire to use my God-given talents to help point people to Jesus and his love for us as a broken people.

I recently had an interesting conversation with a fellow blogger that I’ve never met about one of my poems. They said that even though they do not share my faith, they could appreciate what I had to say about life and its challenges and how my faith gives me strength through them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this piece and be sure to follow on here or via the links below..


Follow on:

Instagram: @reposedthought

Facebook: Reposed Thought

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

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 Eleven – Final Goodbye

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

Day Eleven:

Our final day! And how quickly it had come round. Today, much like the first, was riddled with tales of mild frustration mostly due to poor customer services. However, we were determined to not let these get in the way of an enjoyable last day.

The trip now seemed way too short and we weren’t able to see everyone we’d hoped to. One or two reunions almost happened, but sadly fell though at the last. Still, it was nice to touch base with the place I call “home-home.”

Pics whilst out and about…


A government building or embassy, I guess..

Quite possibly my favourite version of VW Golf.. maybe it’s the ‘wow factor’ whenever I saw one as a kid?

Cool looking office block..

Close to Embassy Park where the country’s late presidents are all burried..

Independence Avenue.. Quite a fitting name as Zambia has enjoyed (to this point) 52 years of independence and relative peace. Praying it may long continue.

Outside State House – The Presidents crib..

And finally, our last bit of African sunset before heading back to England. What an incredible trip, seeing family and friends, enjoying some sunshine, and touching base with home.

Following on from this photo journal series on Zambia, I hope to delve more into the world of series writing. I feel it offers greater scope for regular writing, reflecting and opinion pieces.

Has it been at all insightful or interesting? Please let me know in the comments. All feedback appreciated.

Stay tuned for days 12 and 13; the eventful, and rather stressful return journey to England.

God bless x

Zambia: Day Ten – Recuperation

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

Day Ten:

After all the pacing around of the last few days, today was a much needed rest day. The only trip of significance was to a local clinic. Along the way, we past through Ibex Hill, a residential area with some beautiful homes. Here are a few of them.









More to follow soon..

Peace