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MY GARDEN JOURNAL
Yesterday was mightily impressive. I switched the gears up and aim to change my garden into a fully-fledged food forest.
After watching a series of harvest and market garden videos the day before, I was inspired to journal my own journey.
One James Prigioni reminded me why we do gardening in the first place – to harvest.
A lot comes into play once gardening is involved; one major area I have to improve on is composting. I cannot state this enough.
Composting is the way to go. One thing I noticed was how lax my composting was. Since we are slowly moving into winter, my bins of compost haven’t quite hit the right notes.
The amount of water they received had decreased gradually since the rainy season is behind. Fortunately and thankfully, my curiosity helped me realise how dry my bins were.
It rained yesterday as it is today. I am glad it did. Nevertheless this is one area to grow in.
My plan is to incorporate old tyres into my gardening. In order to grow more food and deal with less weeds I will have to make use of the old tyres in my garage.
They will act as raised beds, alongside other timber I can use, to keep the weeds away. I worked the areas that had empty spaces by adding grass clippings and dead leaves. The walkways were also filled with paper and pine needles to kill of any weeds.
The first season will be tough but I know what I am doing now. Thank God for YouTube.
My pumpkins have been a real hit and miss. They grew well but lacked the right nutrition at the right time. The timing of the male and female flowers was such that I had to use pollen from other pumpkin plants to pollinate the female flowers… this was a nightmare. It has not worked so far and for the pumpkins trailing behind, building trellises will be the way to go.
I hope the growing season is still upon me. I also want to incorporate trellises for the tomato plants, depending – of course – on the weather.
How easy it is. My relationship with the soil has been a work in progress. So easy it could have been to give up.
My sunflowers are blooming though they are not food. I have picked three so far with the third being my largest.
If it were not for my harvest of peas and beans in the early morning yesterday, it could have been bad. The early harvest – and first – of real food helped me realise just why I do this. My chillies are also coming on fine as are my tomatoes and spinach.
One lesson I have learnt so far is to write my experience. Just like entrepreneurship, gardening is a lonely journey. Thank God for my experience in the former.
However, because I had invested poorly in my soil I thought of my failures as my overall ability. This is not so. There is hope.
Journaling my garden experience will help me fix my wrongs instead of trying to recall what I did. This way I can compare and contrast with other gardeners and their experiences.
Pirigioni preaches and lives food abundance. In a small area of land he manages to get so much yield it is hard to believe.
Watching his videos and comparing his garden to mine will help me with adding variety.
I know I can increase my own yields as one of the gardens I opened got full access to compost at seeding.
Most of the produce in my garden came from plants I had grown in plastic bottles. This felt great when I started but then I noticed that as soon as I planted my seedlings, the growth would slow down significantly.
I am really inspired by Charles Dowding’s no-dig approach. I now know where I went wrong. Whenever I grow new seedlings I will designate an area where I will transplant these onto ready-made fully composted soil.
Adding trellises, steps and containers alongside the heavy mulching and composting will increase my yields significantly. Also, planting along the fence will not only provide a natural barrier against some predators but make use of the space I have in the garden.
I am glad I once worked in a seed farm; I will make use of old acquaintances to add variety.
I absolutely love the idea of having a basket full of fruit and veg that come in different shapes, colours and sizes.
My first potato harvest was quite the thrill. I got two good potatoes, two damaged and two growing potatoes. Since this was my first potato harvest ever, I took pride in that.
My plants were going yellow and according to Dowding, some varieties do that; were I to keep the potatoes longer I would have likely got nothing. They did not flower. The root nodes still had about three/four bulbs so from that aspect, I would have likely gotten seven potatoes a plant.
I think my mistake was in rushing to cover the plant before the potato bulbs appeared. I’ll be ready next time no doubt.
I spotted good material at my former pastor’s funeral, which had me thinking maybe I could go foraging for some myself. Luckily I did. I found good quality timber which I can play around with to get what I want. My beds have already been prepared and after looking at some pictures I took, my soil is getting that well-composted look. The garden is also taking on some kind of order. The pathways are clear and the raised beds will make it easier for me to plant in rows.
I looked at one bed and realised that planting this way will give my garden that neatness it deserves. It will look much orderly and pretty as well.
I was able to locate a drum about a day ago and rolled it into the garden. Having it there will save me a massive amount of time and energy.
Before I had the drum I had to move quite a bit to collect water but the pictures told me I needed to water more. This will be easier now.
What a day for composting. Because of our initial problem – asking neighbours for manure then rain falling again – I looked deep into my reserves and realised a had a lot of compost lying around.
There are four heaps waiting but I will work with one in the meantime. This will save me time and energy and allow me to focus on making this heap good quality compost.
It has plenty of roots and pine needles but a lot of quality soil as well. I did dig some for my self-watering containers but I feel now it will come into its own with the concerted effort on abundance.
The compost is crying out for water and my plan is to water every three/four days then turn it over once every week.
My old box bin also showed some promise; I realised that it fell dry because of the sticks and thorny material I placed initially.
I did some digging and noticed how fine it had become. It was soft to the touch and smelt of earth – as did the potatoes – so I guess I’m moving in the right direction.
I think without the sticks, it could have been quality hot compost. What I will do now is lay that compost over the areas I filled with green and brown matter.
I will cover these areas up and once I get my winter crops, plant over them and lay more compost around the areas with plants already.
I also need to add more mulch over these areas.
My cherry tomatoes are seemingly going strong this late in the season. I suppose they take well to the dry weather conditions.
I maintain that my brother would be shocked at how quick they grew.
My biggest concern is whether the fruits ripen in time as they are yet to develop.
I can safely say my chillies (liso lenyoni) are thriving at this point. After trying out a few before their time today one tree had three good red chillies. I picked none as I’m safe in the knowledge that the trees are fully productive.
What a fantastic four-month journey.
To think I was stressed whether I had damaged the tree when it had one flower, to now having fruits and flowers in abundance is quite the thrill. When I first got these chillies, the leaves were ashy and full of yellow spots.
Now they are big and a lush green.
Today was the King’s 53rd birthday. My carrots all appeared from the ground as did some of my peas. Good new sprouts for winter harvest. I am over the moon at this point, in particular because of my growing grasp of good soil knowledge.
At day 8 and 9 I was concerned whether seeds would sprout or not. To say I’m happy at this point is an understatement. My soil practices are working well and I’m thrilled with the early results.
After noting the new shoots, I decided it best to decrease my watering to once a day again so my seedlings develop a good rooting system early.
I will wait another week then thin out and add more compost. After transplanting I will then add a thick mulch. Hooray to my first raised bed, plot H.
I turned my compost heaps over today and what a thrill. I felt young again – down on all fours with a stick in my hand while prodding away at the vicious roots that were preventing my heaps from getting the full benefits of water.
A thankless task it may seem but I know I will reap the full rewards of well prepared compost.
I am slowly gathering momentum and the next task will be making leaf mould. I already have a few leaves in my bin but it’s far from finished. Since we are in full autumn, there are lots of leaves thus raking will be the next major task.
I will do anything for good compost.
Lest I forget; today I filled three bottles of similar volume (440ml) with liquid fertiliser. I reckon mixing one into a two-litre bottle will make a world of difference. I will apply this fertiliser over the tomatoes and garlic in plots F and G. I also applied a little over plot H when got a little concerned with my sprouts.
I even gave one bottle to a friend. Sharing indeed is caring in the garden.
He also gave me spinach seedlings which we’ll plant in plot I.
The first one is that time flies. First one happened when I looked at a picture I took of my chillies, exactly 11 days ago. The amount of growth then and now is astonishing.
The second would be multi-sowing. I absolutely love Charles Dowding’s method of sowing multiple seeds in modules. The overall size of the crops is small but there are multiple opportunities for prolonged harvest.
I will be experimenting with both methods of sowing for a feel of bigger sizes and prolonged harvests.
The third would be succession planting. This method is another way of extending your harvest period. For salads this is weekly and for perennials/hardy crops, I will do monthly.
No one wants to work 60-plus hours a week only to harvest for a week at most so this will be a way of enjoying all the hard yards taken.
This one is about microgreens, shoots and sprouts. This is a market I will tap into as I ease into a more settled sowing and harvesting calendar. There clearly is a growing trend towards enjoying these so I am enjoying the opening up of opportunity.
The fifth one is dedicated to bee farming. Watching bees dive into my sunflowers – about five and seven a plant, towards the latter part of the month – was quite therapeutic. It rekindled memories of my old boxes; I will definitely plant more as well as add other flowers/crops to increase the bee population and harvest honey.
The last one would be notes taking. It can be daunting writing about every lesson learnt/observation noted but I was clear about not overwhelming myself with this from the beginning. I am thrilled I must say with my four-month journey so far.
Taking a notebook into the garden with me will be better for reviewing my weekly progress as well as making notes on the spot.
This came just now, so you can see the multiple opportunities for growth already. That would be the perfect place to start really. Writing about my journey has opened my eyes to so many avenues I had not thought about.
This month was quite the thrill really. One enormous take-home would be succession planting. I did not harvest much towards the later part of the month and by the end of it, my greens were a long way from harvest although I did pinch a pea shoot, which was creamy and crunchy in taste and texture.
At this point I am thrilled with my sowing results, plus the soil structure. I am quite a way off from reaching the required depth but definitely so far so good.
I can only hope my new perspective about succession planting brings the desired results.
Another take-home would be tree pruning and propagation. I did a lot of this especially for the grapes, mango, bananas, and box for my compost.
At this point my leaf mould is piling up successfully and can only turn better from here.
Today was absolutely brilliant. I am growing everyday with my knowledge in the garden. One lesson I have learnt is that harvests don’t always come from your garden.
Today was extra special. I collected a 70-kg nett worth in chicken manure, which I added to the compost heap in the garden. Two more heaps to go. Such an amount would have cost me a fortune but our strengths as farmers/gardeners is shining through.
In exchange for manure I provided Phesheya with kale, carrot and pea seeds. In return – on top of the manure – he provided me with limes and a couple of strawberry plants.
Such generosity makes me want to get the best out of my plants so I can return the favour to him and others who have helped me – and are yet to – on my gardening journey.
I must say, visualising what I want for my garden has made getting some fruits and crops easy. God truly works in mysterious ways. It shows in some of the connections and knowledge we share.
It can only get better from here.
The mango tree I pruned was teeming with bees. I’m glad I decided to have a look today. Truth be told I was both happy and nervous; happy because this means its preparing to flower, nervous because the juices might better be served going into fruit production.
The wounds might be healing so I can only hope I did well at this point. I just need to open more areas up and remove the diseased leaves.
Take a Look Back
I stepped back a little after hauling my manure, and took a look at the garden from where the grapes are growing. What a view! I almost fell in shock.
Never in my life had I thought I would achieve so much by gardening. To say I am delighted is an understatement; over the moon doesn’t even begin to express how happy I am right now.
The quote by Masanobu Fukuoka ‘the ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beings’ rings so true – all thanks to Prigioni.
I am suddenly full of life and beaming with joy. Look at the number of positive words I am using. I am filled with life.
My father is no more and would no doubt be delighted with my progress. I know for a fact he would have provided the finances to power the drive. I do say though, maybe I would have trailed off or taken the garden in a short-circuited journey.
Knowing I am doing this in his honour has been the fuel I needed to keep going.
I know he is with me because I keep finding material I need for the garden. On top of the compost and other tools I have found, I retrieved a wheelbarrow I thought was useless and a number of seeding trays – of different sizes – plus a few pots.
I feel it when I remember how he would always say ‘anisaboni nje Andzi sekutse phihli tipinach, bo anyani, sekugcwele la?’ Farming ain’t so old school no more dad, I can see your vision now.
You really invested in the trade dad and I hope I can make your dream a reality. God is shining over us and will bless us still. Thank you baba for everything you have taught me. This wouldn’t have been easy without you but knowing you are still here with me, with us, is the best feeling ever. I love you man, what a remarkable being you are.
I can do it.
Working 6 Days a Week
Little did I know when I started this journey that I would work at it six days a week. There is much to do in the garden, most of which involves pick-again engagement.
Just this week I was collecting cut grass and the more I collected the more connections I made for pick-ups.
After hauling that chicken manure, I have been gradually accumulating material that will make compost. Everyday I wake up with a goal or more and other itinerary to accomplish. No two days are the same. What I enjoy most is the ability to switch up or ease up depending on the workload.
Employees rarely have such liberty… even less the luxury of hours worked. Here, I am employed with a support group of friends and fellow gardeners. With it are endless resources of self-help/motivation tutorials. I am at my happiest now than I ever was.
I’m currently reading Be All You Can Be by John C Maxwell and going through the Realization System by Daniel A Simmons.
Let me just say I am happy because I am growing. Growth – just as it is with plants – helps you determine just how far you are to your end goal. It also helps you assess whether you are closer to your dream and still on course or not.
Growth is critical to happiness and the latter brings success. One valuable lesson the aforementioned gurus have taught is that success can only come when doing what one loves.
The greatest part of a journey is the trip, not the arrival. I have noticed how I am not as excited when harvesting as when I was pushing growth and expectant of a good harvest anyway. This goes for planting too.
I can be salivating at the prospect of adding a few more plants here and there but down on that particular day or once I receive new seeds or plants.
Visualisation is good when you can bear the ‘disappointment’ of success. For anyone reading this, try to enjoy the journey more than the destination. It’s harder thinking about the new best thing once you have what you wanted.
For instance, I remember the anxiety I had when my chillies were just one flower. I was eager for fruit to appear and once it did it was about reaching maturity.
Once I started picking those chillies, the excitement was gone and I was helped by the fact that I had new tomato plants, which were inducing as much anxiety as the former.
Learning to control these dips in adrenaline is critical for your success in the garden. Having more variety of fruits and plants helps but more critically learning to enjoy the process.
What a run-around these guys have been giving me. Luckily, having them grow in different stages helped significantly; first I was fascinated by the strong growth but them ‘begging’ for climbing material helped me provide it from the early stages.
Yesterday appeared the first multi-sown heads. They also form the first crops of my multi-sowing project. Day by day my beautiful lush garden is becoming a food forest.
Just going through the picture (kuroda/red Nantes carrots, sugar snap/Oregon pod peas, tomatoes, kale, garlic, spring onions, early wonder beetroot, mint, rosemary, red pepper, cauliflower, spinach, Swiss chard, great lakes lettuce, cabbage, corn, chillies, cherry belles, etc) is enough to whet an appetite.
I’m so happy right now. Yippee!!!
Between me and you, remind me never to make them grow as vine tomatoes. My trees just keep getting bigger! Haha…
Much seriously though my fruits are ripening on all the trees. What a turnaround. Considering the fact that I was worried they wouldn’t ripen on time to now watching more of them grow is absolutely amazing.
I think the Oregon sugar pods are not enjoying the winter or last of the autumn. None of them have appeared although the kuroda carrots have sprouted quite well. Let’s give them a few more days though.
I will be working on finding a balance between planting in trays or directly. I prefer the latter but there are areas to exploit with the former.
Just the other day, I planted beetroot to replace the damaged spinach only to come upon Swiss chard. Then again I hadn’t planned on buying any. Nevertheless having replacements or substitutes on hand will make closing any gaps that much easier.
My flax also flowered which means I’ll be planting more.
Auntie Zanele handed me a couple of thyme seeds which I planted on a number of plots. Hopefully we will see sprouts soon.
On another note, next Tuesday will be 10 days since I planted spring onions. I am keeping my fingers crossed until then because of the bad Texas Grano and white Welsh seeds I had.
Sprout seeds sprout.
I extended plot D and planted kuroda, early purple top turnips as well as Swiss chard.
My garden is ever becoming the food forest I desire. By planting more crops, vegetables and herbs, I am taking back more land from the weeds and ever increasing our food supply. Think about it, June is around the corner and harvests will come from the spinach, kale and tomatoes. By the end of next week, we’ll be eating cherry belles. I had one yesterday from my earlier plantings and what a treat.
I have had two from my garden so far and I must say I am delighted with the size and taste.
Six months ago, I would have never thought I’d be gardening full-time. It dawned on me as I was preparing my bed… something which has become second nature for me. I can plant anything at any time and rest easy with the fact that those seeds will sprout.
But yes, Monday to Saturday I am working my garden then Sundays I water only.
It is a job I am grateful for and I am happy with the amount of satisfaction it gives me in return… the bed preparation, planting, anxiety, sprouting, ecstasy, watering, composting, pruning and much more. Above all though, it’s the harvesting that makes everything worthwhile.
Now that I have quality seed, I’ll be harvesting more and often. I was thinking with the giving away of food, I’ll be linking cooking recipes as well…
I must say I was blown away by the fact that turnips can be used in place of potatoes. I watched a video where they made some with peas and curry… things that Grow together Go together…😀
It brings tears to my eyes looking at the state of my garden in early April and comparing it with the lushness it has 50 days later.
To think there were so many weeds to now having so much food to go around is nothing short of miraculous. The more areas I open up the more revealing my garden is to me.
It seems it opens up its propensity to produce abundantly with new croppings. Looking at some pictures of what it was to what it is makes me believe in my abilities as a gardener more. It also helps me realise just how good I have become with soil management.
My soil is brilliant and my liquid fertiliser skills are getting highly equipped as well. I am growing in body, mind, and spirit – I believe just as much as my plants.
I made my A-frame today and I must say I am delighted. My peas will keep growing and now they have something to cling on to.
It was easy in the end. Having a no dig garden is amazing because I hardly did any digging for the reed poles.
Speaking of which, having a no-dig garden has come with many benefits. First of which is the lack of need to dig… the only thing I dig are holes to plant crops. In fact since I am building the layers, I only draw a line then lay more soil over what I have planted.
It is quick, easy and highly beneficial. In fact, had I come upon no-dig years ago, I would have long established myself as a food gardener. I have always loved good food and I have always wanted to grow my own crops and herbs.
I am living my dream. It’s quite incredible that no-dig came upon me as a last ditch attempt at anything meaningful. Now my joy and health are just as abundant as the food growing in my garden.
I am capable of more and each new avenue I open up shows just that. I am growing, learning and pushing myself to exploit as many opportunities as I can without compromising on quality and most importantly – happiness.
There is absolutely no point in living to make ends meet when you can be happy and allow that joy to carry through in everything you do. These plants give me food, joy, lessons and so much more.
Good food, living well.. just as I have always wanted.
I am ready to have children now.
Remind me to take a break at this time next year. The cold weather is a bore-and-a-half.
It has rained, even on this night. The rain has been heavy too. We are into the sixth month now and inching ever closer to growing season. I know it’s quite early but hey, weren’t we here about improving soil quality not so long ago?
My pipes are cold, equipment damp and the bite on my cheeks and hands is unbearable. This time next year is all about harvests and closing up my garden in preparation for spring planting.
First Significant Harvest
The winter season has always been favourable to me. Around this time my mum was preparing for the third trimester. I guess there’s a connection with why this season is about abundance and massive opportunity for me.
As you have it then, today was a very beautiful day for me. Today we had our first garden to plate meal.
I harvested baby spinach, baby kale, cherry belles, oregano, garlic leaf, and mint among other ingredients.
For an early harvest this was great. The leaf and fruit formation is quite telling, the colour on the radishes is distinct and the general health of the plants is obvious.
Over the weekend nje, I indulged in a couple of cherry tomatoes. It is important to note though that the reason I went early with my harvests was simply due to temptation.
After two months of no harvests, something had to give. The beauty, lush greenery and healthy fruit formation built up a network of recipes that eventually, I had to give in to the temptation.
Holding the leaves in my hands and picking the best from each plant is the exact feeling I was going for. Pity I did not take a picture of the lunch I fixed but can you really fault me?
Anyways I made a kale and spinach pasta with cherry tomatoes and a salad of chopped radish leaves, mint, flax seeds, cucumber, cherry belles and mayo served with ox tongue.
Today appeared the first of my pea pods. We are there now. It’s funny to think how time flies. With gardening, you are always planning about tomorrow; seeds sprouting, then harvesting.
I am delighted for sure and this is just another pointer to the direction I am taking.
She is hot and spicy
Even from a bird’s eye view
She’s a 10 over 10
Yes she deserves a Porsche
Long and slim like cayenne
She ain’t a sniffer
From afar her perfume hits stronger than sunflower
I could watch her all day long
Morning to sunset
She gathers steam
Ready to explode
Her fumes pack so much heat
Tucked nice and sweetly
Deep under my gut
Weeds are plenty; a forest, shade and bare soil great you.
Fork in hand, back bent
It is time to sow.
Reap from your deep wells of knowledge
A manual says si for you to eat.
Vegetables and herbs
What a mix of ecstasy.
This is Africa; where power cuts are as frequent as changes in weather patterns.
This is Africa; where living beyond our means is part of the norm.
‘Spend money all weekend sivakashele mashonisa on the Monday.
This is Africa; we can support our own but still wear fong kong.
This is Africa; we do not care about security…
Si push’i passion.
We dress in pyjamas and gowns at the mall…
Eish… niyas’khenya mara.
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is far away so we make use of today.
Children gotta eat, school is fucked.
We still learn about capitalism and slavery.
This is Africa; where you get locked up for speaking truth to power.
We learn about the past, never planning for the future.
This is Africa; where we kill our brothers for taking jobs we never created.
This is Africa; here we run to the affluent communities so we belong…
We were lost when Ubuntu was decimated by settlers.
Farmland lies fallow, market stalls populated by foreigners…
It’s no biggie, we take no pride in our food or where it’s sourced from.
This is Africa; where power means suppress your own kind.
This is Africa; where parastatals have become profit-making entities.
Divided by law; joined by poverty.
We are poor in judgement yet rich in knowledge and wisdom.
This is Africa; where we continue to teach our children to be subservient…
What they need is love, encouragement and support.
We have been fooled into thinking we are nothing without degrees and all…
Yet those who do tax us to the bone, feeding a system that was meant to frustrate us.
Our governments are lax; we do not care ’cause standing up is treason.
Why are you so blind Africa?
We have all we need to sustain generations.
We have the power to feed every child.
Enough with the western influence.
Let us support our own. You do not need to live in the ‘burbs Mr/Mrs Africa.
We need you here, in the bundus.
Teach our children having little is having a lot and vice versa.
We have everything Africa…
Ayime khona lapho…
They say you choose your your friends. They say you choose your destiny.
What they don’t say is that the people closest to you cause you the greatest harm.
I know what that feels like. There are different personalities in this world. I fall under the Mediator group. Unfortunately this is not me being creative; this time I’m speaking out.
I can feel danger coming. I sense terror.
I will bring it.
Maybe someone will read this before I do. Death is on it’s way – it could murder, suicide or both.
I have been silent for too long. I have kept things to myself… things that eat at my happiness.
Creatives often live troubled lives, using these experiences to power their choice of words.
Mediators find ways to tell personal experiences in such a way that others can relate.
Most people sympathise with our choice of words. However, these words do not take our problems away. They just deflect the attention.
Writing heals the soul. You may be seething through the first few paragraphs only to calm down as you go.
What we tend to say contain the highs and lows of those emotions.
But I’m not writing this for likes or shares, I’m doing this to remind myself that I’m not the only one going through what I’m experiencing.
There are certain steps one has to take in order to realise their true worth. Some of these steps include choosing the right group of friends.
Sometimes it doesn’t necessarily have to be friends but a group of individuals who share your ideals.
You can form or join a group, band, team… the list is endless.
Yet sometimes the greatest threat is the person you share bloodlines with.
That… is the greatest threat.
Sibling rivalry is real. It exists. Some siblings are the perfect blend. But for others, it’s a horror show.
We learn a lot from our siblings yet sometimes the gaps in age are far too big to form any meaningful relationship.
Your silence can be mistaken for pride or as you being reclusive. Being the last certainly doesn’t help. Failure after failure compounds the pain.
Yet somehow, when looking back, you realise the one person who acts like they care is the one who does all they can to bring you down.
Taking stock of your life is important for one to get ahead. Sometimes one action brings everything to light.
Silence is a bitch. Keeping things to yourself is like filling a balloon with air until it pops.
When that balloon pops, all the angst and pain you held inside bursts out in a charade of violence.
Speak out or run because when you let it all out it will be bad; for you and everyone involved in your life.
Inform those who cause you pain about their actions. Do it before you gut them open with a knife. Do it before you fire round after round into their lifeless body.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Your conscience is your greatest friend. Do not let anyone interfere in your affairs if it doesn’t feel right.
Do not even ask for advice from them if you do not value their input. Because allowing someone to step into your path of happiness will make them insecure; when someone does not want you to succeed, they will do all they can to misguide you.
Worse yet… the closer they are to you the more they know which buttons to press. It may be hard to accept that a sibling or sometimes parent will confine you.
Some of their actions are disguised as a helping hand but trust me… if we are in the same boat, you want to be as far from that person as possible.
I have a sibling who has been a constant and consistent threat to my freedom. Like I mentioned maybe someone will intervene before all hell breaks loose but I have had enough.
For far too long I have allowed this person to dictate terms in how I judge things.
I have denied it for far too long – justifying the actions as wating to be closer.
I do not share those feelings. In fact there is such a gap between us I feel like the lone child. It ain’t fun.
I choose to ignore those actions but I realise this is detrimental to my overall health and wellbeing.
Some people see the positive, others the negative. When on both sides as siblings, it is only natural that you will grow further apart. Yet when in the same vicinity you will always cross paths.
When you do all you can to avoid them they do all they can to stick to you. I’ve been running but not anymore… I’m standing up for myself and I fear it will end in tears … RIP.
The year 2020 for most began as all other years. Resolutions for the year were put up. Others had practised for years, hoping this would be the year to showcase all those skills, especially at the Olympics.
When COVID-19 struck many sporting activities down, there was doubt whether we would ever return to action.
For a while streets were empty, the silence broken by the homeless and those deemed to be in essential services.
Them and a few individuals jogging along. The chilly weather sure did no one any favours as well.
Face masks became the order of the day – some covering the whole face, others barely making it past the lips.
Conversations ran along ‘is it good to wear them or is it not’? to whether it was appropriate to wear them during workouts. The jury is still out.
The worldwide sporting calendar was definitely got rocked. Major adjustments were made.
All stakeholders involved had a say on the long-term future of the modern day form of entertainment; some disciplines had to completely reschedule their calendars with a few events being called off completely.
Some seasons resumed, others were scrapped. Even our football season felt the full brunt of this.
Thankfully though, after extensive research and advice from doctors we were able to resume our beloved sporting activities.
Nevertheless restrictions were put in place with some codes including soccer and cricket not allowing fans into stadia.
Other disciplines like rugby and boxing were not allowed to resume with the level of contact deemed high.
The order of play resumed.
The Eswatini Cycling Association (ECA) held its first race recently dubbed the Mandla Simelane Road Cycle Classic in honour of their late president.
According to Nsizwa Thwala, Zithande Athletics Club founder, they will have a boot camp this weekend – December 12, 2020.
The Equestrian Association will also host the Summer Classic – their first event since the year began.
Other codes like Chess and golf have been active with the latter hosting weekly events in Mbabane and Manzini like the Dups Leg of Lamb.
The former recently held both the Mbabane and Nhlangano Open with the Siteki Open set for December 19, 2020 according to the Eswatini Chess Federation calendar of activities.
Sports definitely have been eased back into our lives including the opening of gyms where we even saw the introduction of the spinning and aerobics explosion on the opening weekend of December.
Slowly we are moving towards regular hosting of sporting events and we will likely see the full return of spectators, iwho can make any event sprightly.
As alluded to by ECA President Sihlangu Nhlabatsi; “The easing of the lockdown restrictions has not only seen the return to action but more importantly the return to full fitness and training. This will also help in exposure for national team selection.
“Another major positive is in our ability to showcase our sponsors, which had been greatly affected by the restrictions.”
As more and more sports return to action we not only hope for a bevy of stories to write on but an added pool of athletes for international participation and selection. Let the good times roll.
The author Andzile Malinga is a creative non-fiction writer. For any updates or links kindly contact (+268) 7669 2752.
You are as close to perfect as near perfect can be
You have everything but think not
You are gifted in many areas but can’t find one
You are a shining light yet your life is filled with confusion
You seek answers yet end up with more questions
You never realise when you are ahead because you have many voids to fill
Gaps and cracks taunt your happiness
You stand against all evil but inside it’s dark as day
Black is white, bright is dark
What you play with is your curse
You speak only when spoken to; inside there’s lots to share
Only your thoughts know who you truly are
Even when naked no one sees your scars
They call you genius; intelligence isn’t always open-minded
Simple is better; options are crippling
Sometimes you move from one truth to the next, always probing never committing
Serving two gods is never in your best interests
Somehow serving self is harder
Should we be slaves even in liberty?
Always serving masters because our independence is stifled with red tape
So in tune we are with serving we look down on the pioneers
They are crazy until feasible evidence presents itself
So near perfect as close to perfect as possibly can be
Tough is the way of the lone ranger
Yet failure and struggle is a robe proudly wrapped around the shoulders
Success is the vision
Hard work the fuel
Legacy the death note
We all are but are not
So let me run near perfect as possibly possible
As close to perfect as perfect can be.
Pick me up beautiful day
Help me find my way
At dawn I seek refuge
Huge a task lies ahead
Assurance beckons on foreign land
Mend my way beautiful day
Many works buildeth the man
His legacy leans on bearing fruit
What tree is this vessel?
What impact does one have?
Many a being has thrust praise
I seek not the fame but the glory
I am yet to find what one works for
Traits aplenty define the well off
They reap what they sow
Man wants the finer things
Yet they do not work as hard
They spill bile
Dragging through the mud
Those who fight hard
In solace one cultivates clarity
At peace a soul spreads love
Bitterness follows those with angst
Only an open mind produces plenty
The good Lord ensureth so
Let a day settle its woes
For He provides and shelters.
High intensity play defines their character. Incredible switch in play highlights their creativity and variety in attack. Lastly, they lack no conviction going forward coupled with the ability to recover quickly in defence.
In fact so far, Leeds have outrun every team in the league. They contest every ball and honestly, with better quality players as well as a bit more composure and better game management, Leeds can be world beaters.
Football is an incredible sport. It is usually said that a phenom/genius – in our case player/coach – comes once in a lifetime.
The late 90’s and 2000’s saw the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro del Piero and Fabio Cannavaro rule the world. These guys were talented and by far exemplary in their consistency. Although they were putting in their numbers, by the late 2000’s to the current 2020/21 season, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were absolutely sensational.
These two players’ skills, consistency, longevity, discipline and match figures divided the world for almost two decades; they were two rivals at the peak of their powers.
They had won 11 Ballon d’Or trophies between them – at the time of compiling this article – as well as numerous individual awards including major and domestic titles for their respective teams.
Pele and Maradona were nowhere near this sort of rivalry; by the time Maradona hung up his boots, Pele had long retired. Even they were divided as to who was better.
On the other hand, we also had great teams like Johann Cruyff’s total football Netherlands, Alex Ferguson’s 1999 treble-winning Manchester United, Pep Guardiola’s Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta-led Barcelona and the all-conquering stylish Spanish national team from 2008 to 2012.
As managers, the task that lies ahead of most managers’ paths is to make a team gel. On gelling they need to win titles lest they be shown the door.
Generally, players have more staying power in a team than managers.
Team management is a very challenging position as the board and fans have their own selection headache on the sidelines.
The pressure to win titles and play at elite level is demanding in part because of the tremendous prize money and participation fees involved and partly because of the power to attract the best talent the world has to offer.
This can leave a huge pile of wasted resources.