Published Articles

Musings on Life and Breakup Songs

Music may be the food of love, but when it comes to breakups, there is no better diet to heal the heart or worsen its condition than huge servings of moving lyrics. However, between a breakup and the healing, people experience different phases and lyrics often mirror these.

1. Denial
“Say it isn’t so, tell me you’re not leaving, say you’ve changed your mind now, that I am only dreaming; that this is not goodbye, this is starting over…” As Gareth Gates and Siti Nurhaliza sang these lyrics, they described exactly what some feel when they first realise that a relationship is ending. They’re desperate to believe something else, and may insist on doing so even when reality is staring them in the face. And sometimes they spell it out to the deserting partner, as Pink did in “I Don’t Believe You”, “I don’t believe you when you say you don’t need me anymore, so don’t pretend to not love me at all…”

2. Refusal
Sometimes a partner does realise that they are being left behind, and make it clear in no uncertain terms that they are having none of it. This appears really funny, until you hear Jennifer Hudson’s intense rendition of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going”- “And I am telling you I’m not going. You’re the best man I’ll ever know. There’s no way I can ever go…No, no, no, no way I’m living without you…I’m staying, and you’re gonna love me.” Then you’ll realise this isn’t child’s play. The lady’s not for dumping.

3. Acceptance
Some others, even in the midst of the pain, are clear-headed enough to accept when it’s over. Sure, they’d rather not be at this place, but they realise there’s no point holding on when the relationship has run its course. Some can even take a hint, without having it spelt out, as Lady Antebellum reminds us; “Standing face to face, wrapped in your embrace, I don’t wanna let you go, but you’re already gone. Now you kiss my cheek, soft and bittersweet; I can read it in your eyes- this is our goodbye…” As much as it hurts, they’d rather let it go with their head held high, dignity intact.

4. Begging
Not so for others. As a relationship fades, or comes to an abrupt end, they have no qualms about humiliating themselves, grovelling and begging not to be left alone. They’ll promise any and everything just to hold on to a partner who wants out; indeed, they will die if you walk away. Even when they know there’s someone else in the picture, they will plead until they’re hoarse, and then beg some more. Celine Dion excels at this, and that’s one of the reasons she is loved and hated by fans and critics. If you doubt this, listen to her croon in Think Twice- “My everything depends on you; whatever it takes I’ll sacrifice…” and To Love You More- “Don’t go, you know you’ll break my heart; she won’t love you like I can…I’ll be waiting for you, cos here inside my heart I’m the one who wants to love you more…” and feel your heartstrings quiver…or your skin crawl.

5. Recovery
Alas, broken hearts do mend, much to the relief of a jilted lover. This phase is made even more delicious if the deserting lover has a change of heart and comes crawling back. There’s a reason Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” remains a staple. Kicking a heartbreaker to the curb is much more enjoyable when you can sing, “Go on now, go walk out the door, Just turn around now ’cause you’re not welcome anymore. Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye, did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I! I will survive…”

6. Ocean Drive
Here, recovery is taken a notch higher. The jilted lover not only realises that their ex did them a huge favour by leaving, but also wonders what on earth they were thinking entering in such a relationship in the first place. The Lighthouse Family assures the lover who has been left high and dry, “You know, someday, you’ll wonder what you’d seen in him anyway; when that day arrives you’ll live on ocean drive.” Brandy’s “Wow” is the ocean drive anthem of life! “I don’t know why I stayed with you for so long, I should have been gone; he’s nothing like you at all…” Bliss!

7. Relapse
For those who never get to live on ocean drive, the ex will always be precious. Yes it’s over, but that does not reduce his value in their eyes one bit. Sometimes, despite their best efforts, they find themselves reaching out for what they once had. This happens more often than you think, or Lady Antebellum’s “I Need You Now” would not be half as popular as it is. “It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now; I said I wouldn’t call, but I’ve lost all control and I need you now, and I don’t know how I can do without; I just need you now…”

8. Thorns
In the flesh, I mean. You break up with them, they seem to have accepted it and you move on. But they don’t. Every so often they will swing by to remind you of what you shared, to assess your new partner and how they measure up, and all what not. Lovers were doing this long before ABBA’s “Winner Takes It All” hit the airwaves in the 80s, “But tell me, does she kiss like I used to kiss you? Does it feel the same when she calls your name? Somewhere deep inside, you must know I miss you…” and they’re still doing it today, with Adele’s “Someone Like You” to spur them on, “I hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over…don’t forget me I beg…” And that’s basically what they want; to be immortalized in your memory.

Regardless of where you find yourself, remember that if someone really doesn’t want to be with you, you can’t make them stay. It’s never too late to pick yourself up and be happy again. So be careful what you listen to in the throes of a break up. What you feed will grow, and what you starve will die. Yes, Solomon was right; where there is no wood, the fire goes out.


Brunch with a Sorceress

Let me start by stating that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. My values and decisions are shaped by the Bible. If you already knew or guessed this, then you’re probably wondering why I would be hanging out with a mistress of dark arts. We’ll come to that in a bit.

In case you’re thinking perhaps I’m referring to a good witch, let me also state that I do not believe in the existence of any such thing; which is why I will never see any Harry Potter film.  There is only the power of Jehovah God, and Satan’s evil power.  It’s either the one, or the other. Conversations with friends who think I’m overreacting usually go along these lines.

Me: Where does Harry Potter’s power come from?  Is it the power of God, the power that raised Jesus from the dead?

Them: No nooow, Jooooy…

Me: Discussion closed, then.

So, the sorceress… What if I told you she was beautiful, smart, and articulate, and told me wonderful things about myself, my strengths, my sweetness and light? That, skilled in secret arts, she offered to tell me what would happen to me next week, next year, and how things would work out if I dated this guy or that, and I spent time with her just to learn about myself, and my future. Would that be okay? I suppose not.

Yet, that’s basically what I was doing each time I celebrated being a Libra. Twitter handles, and pretty, well-designed websites provide loads of information about how graceful, just, diplomatic, intelligent and simply irresistible I am because I was born a Libra. defines “Horoscope”:


1. a diagram of the heavens, showing the relative position of planets and the signs of the zodiac, for use in calculating births, foretelling events in a person’s life, etc.

2. a prediction of future events or advice for future behavior based on such a diagram.

Somehow, (and it still beats me how, considering the way I am) I never asked, “How do they know these things?” The answer to that question is not even hidden.

According to Wikipedia, the Horoscope “is used as a method of divination regarding events relating to the point in time it represents, and it forms the basis of the horoscopic traditions of astrology.”

What is divination? Divination (from Latin divinare “to foresee, to be inspired by a god) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual.

What does God say about divination? Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says,

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.

I see now that astrology can NEVER be harmless fun; it is evil nicely packaged.

This injunction captures God’s position best:

“All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.”

God has promised that if we separate ourselves from this world, He will receive us as our dad, and we will be His sons and daughters.

2 Cor 7:1- Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

I pray you recognize the horoscope and zodiac signs for what they are; divination- an abomination before Almighty God. And I hope they will hold as little appeal for you as brunch with a sorceress would.


Marrying Later, Marrying Smarter

I always wanted to get married at 22. To this day I’m not sure exactly why, but the idea of being a beautiful young bride and getting childbearing out of the way early, greatly appealed to me. Now of course, I’m grateful I didn’t marry at 22, but I also find myself wondering what kind of wife I would have made at that age.

One of my classmates got married when we were in our final year of University. She got married at the age of 22, on Valentine’s Day for that matter. Being the kind of girl I was, in my mind this was the best thing that could happen to anyone. I certainly wished it for myself. So you can imagine my shock when she relayed a story to us a few months after the wedding. She told of how she had a bitter quarrel with her husband, and in her distress packed her bags, intent on leaving. It was only when he asked her where she was going that she realised she really had nowhere to go. Worse still (at least to me) he didn’t bother to pet her- he was rather smug. Where was she going to go?

Many years have passed since then, the teething phases are over and they are still happily married with lovely children. I, though, never forgot that story. The lesson that stuck was that no matter how many rooms there are in your father’s house, once you’ve been given away to a husband you can’t just move back there. And nobody has to tell you this; it’s just a knowing that you’re not exactly welcome. And your “father’s house” isn’t literally a place. Even if you rent a place of your own, your husband’s house would still be where everyone expects you to be.

I did get married five years later than I’d fantasized, and the once vague idea that marriage is not a bed of roses has crystallized with each passing day since. 7 weeks after my wedding, my husband and I had the most terrible quarrel ever, made even more horrible by the fact that I thought it was too early for that. The 22-year old me would definitely have moved out that night and never come back. After all if a man truly loved and adored you, he wouldn’t yell at you so, would he? The 24-year old me may not have moved out, but would have given my husband the silent treatment for days or even weeks after that, and definitely called my mother and best friend on the phone to give them all the gory details.

The funny thing is, he thought I would leave for sure and had braced himself for it. Instead, I made sure we didn’t go to bed angry that night. When he’d had sufficient time to calm down, we spent hours trying to see each other’s side.  Truth be told, I didn’t do this out of any feeling of love, and I’m almost certain the same is true for him. “Thank you for not leaving”, “I’m so glad I stayed” and “I don’t ever want to lose you” would come many, many days later. On that dark night however, it was commitment, sheer commitment to the vows we made that kept us in the same house and on the same bed.

Marriage is not a walk in the park. A woman must spend time developing herself and becoming the right person if she wants to marry the right person. I’ve come to realise that truly knowing yourself, understanding who you are and what your purpose in life is, is an absolute must for anyone who would join themselves to another for life. In addition to this, a woman must be mature enough to put years of Mills & Boon behind her manage her expectations of marriage, basing them in reality. Otherwise she, and her marriage, would be defenceless against the infamous Mr. Irreconcilable Differences who is to blame for the dissolution of so many marriages today. But that’s a whole different article.

The jury is still out on just how closely linked age and maturity are, but while age is not a primary determining factor in gauging maturity, age IS a factor where knowledge and experience are concerned- on this many generally agree.

Still, marrying early is traditionally considered proper and more advantageous for African women. In Africa, women living as single adults and choosing to marry later is a relatively new practice that is not exactly welcome by the older generation. Nevertheless, more African women are postponing marriage to acquire higher education and build their careers. Unfortunately, many of these women find that by the time they are ready to get married, there are no eligible bachelors available. Furthermore, the older a woman gets, the lower her chances of conceiving and carrying a baby to term.

We find that on the one hand, given the economic situation of our day where husbands are no longer the sole breadwinners, it seems more sensible for a woman to wait until she is older, more mature and financially stable before getting married. A career takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to build. Shouldn’t this be done before marriage? Can marriage and career building be successfully combined?

So, what’s a girl to do?

Marry early and you risk never achieving your dreams and never becoming anything more than a mother and a wife. Wait till you’re older, more mature, more in touch with your true self and have built a successful career and you may find yourself having to make do with a less-than-ideal husband, or worse still, no husband at all. If you’re lucky to get a decent man to marry at this point, what’s the guarantee that your not-so-fresh eggs will be cooperative, and that you’ll not soon be a regular at fertility clinics? I’d like to know what you think. Is marrying later really marrying smarter?