THE JOURNEY TO FREEDOM

It is important that noone ask you to

When you were once indoctrinated and you are awoke. How you feel SORRY for the indoctrinated being used and they think they are at a better position. I had a nice conversation with my friend yesterday about those people who are moving behind with 10 years before they start knowing how the Western people truly operate. How Caucasians look at you as an African or Asian, even someone from Middle East.
I have always been active in our Dutch society I am living in for 26 years even before I had children. I would come into newspapers because I always had something to say because of the “Love” I have for my people globally. I have worked for huge companies of the Netherlands such as Unilever and Smit International, Maersk and other huge shipping companies. Even small companies. Never have I worked as a civil servant even if I had the biggest chances to be one because of their good working hours, long holidays and allowances. I told myself, I can only be a Civil servant when I am old and need to settle down without having to think too much or be creative. I have never applied for any form of benefit. When I want to be a little bit more dependent I thought.Until I discovered that as long as you are still spiritually attached to Africa you will somehow struggle to be where you truly want to be in Europe unless you sign a contract with an organisation that will instruct you what to do.
Let me go back to my point. When I wanted to start a Non Profit Organisation. I got a lot of empowerment from the bank, and other organisations who were willing to promote my Organisation, when they saw that I was very much of an African origin with a patriotic mind yet very open-minded such that I managed to learn Dutch language and Culture in a very short period of time. They connected me with organisations that were already working together with Africa. I didn’t feel comfortable because of how these organisations operate. Before any organisation starts to EMPOWER you as an African Entrepeneur. Ask yourself what they want in the end, what is their benefit. If you are a true African and you recognize the struggle your people have been through and are still going through. You cannot put EGO and popularism upfront before asking yourself whether its a new form of Colonisation. You cannot keep selling your heritage for a personal gain through the back door. Yet some are struggling to maintain this for the nature for the future generation. Think about these people who are moving 10 years behind in knowing who these people truly are.We have been there and have been protected from doing stupid stuff for money, yet maintaining poverty within your family and people. I used to be the only African whom they would call, ” at least you are different” you are very clever. You can speak good Dutch. I found that annoying. There are certain things that you cannot expect me to do.

It is important that no-one ask you to

🔴 Tell a directed story about my African roots to suit certain circumstances yet I know what’s truly going on.

🔴 Work for a developmental program to EMPOWER my roots yet at the same time not truly informing me what’s your benefit looks like.

🔴 I cannot let you write my story without my consent not my awareness of the

🔴 Tell a directed story about my African roots to suit certain circumstances yet I know what’s truly going on.

🔴 Work for a developmental program to EMPOWER my roots yet at the same time not truly informing me what’s your benefit looks like.

🔴 I cannot let you write my story without my consent not my awareness of the consequences.

These are the days when women in business organised meetings and empowerment networking high tea's. Mostly financed by the council.

Connected by the great shared taste!

The new menu provides the possibility of sharing. Just like what we would do in African  countries, eating from one plate. You will find out that that’s where great stories start. Great relationships and ideas. No more individualism. With the new Restaurant Tijsterman menu humans are connected without them planning or noticing. The quality of their food connects. Their great communication skills connects.

We came to stay in our village about 2 years ago, one thing that we always looked for, were places that we can find peace when we are tired, or find good ambiance and tasty food and drinks. Because of searching we end up connecting with the people behind the scenes.  Who then tell us the story behind. This is what fascinates me and my husband.

I remember us drinking some coffee at one of this family’s restaurant and we were immediately satisfied, not because we knew the whole menu yet. But there was a connection, Interest from both ways and that was one of the reason we came back and decide to buy our own house. The personnel is well trained such that even if they do not know, or cannot provide they will always find a way to help you out.

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In two years time we visited these family’s restaurants and cafes where we could drink selected beers and wines. This was even the best solution close to our house.

We were very honored when they surprised us by an invitation to try the  New menu Restaurant-Tijsterman so we could provide review information. We enjoyed the tastes! we enjoyed the service and ambiance. Just like our second home. Me and my husband have always shared our diner just because we wanted to taste from each other’s plate.

What I like about their selection, is an eye on the seasons and human nature. That already shows how much respect they do have to human’s health and well being.

Below you can watch a video when my children were enjoying Mussels during the season when they are available.

My children enjoying Mussels

People who know me, know that I always talk about good food, not only health but tasty and high quality. Moving from Zimbabwe to Netherlands was not easy especially when it came to food. I was shocked about the amount of groceries people did. I was shocked about the choices I had for one type of product. How much I could find in supermarkets, too much.

Unfortunately to discover that  I had to be careful what was real and not. Most people I knew were mostly saving money on food, like they would buy the cheapest type of food in the supermarket. That never tasted the way I had known when I was young.

The most confusing part was that I would then think like I read everywhere and saw on TV that Africans were poor. I ended up not looking for the type of food I grew up eating. Food like pumpkins, and most of it what they call super – foods. The first time I visited an organic shop and a fair trade shop, I then started re appreciating my original African food.

Now that i live in a small village where the real farmers live and sell their products directly, I do feel the connection.

Even though we also adopted old British kitchen, the traditional kitchen in Zimbabwe still was the best for me as it was pure. I remember whenever I visited England or Scotland that I would pass by a traditional shop to buy typical British Cornish pastry, scones or tea. Because of travelling, I tended to like the Borough market more, even the handmade traditional food, that you can no longer find in bigger supermarkets.

Food processing killed my appetite and that made me even travel more. I visited different restaurants and ignored the fact that some have a 2 or 3 stars. I wanted to know more about who is behind the kitchen, what are their beliefs, how do they feel about what I tasted so far. I was looking for connection.
My parents definitely taught me how to taste and appreciate not just to eat because people are hungry. My father used this word culinary a lot and now I do understand what it means. I remembered my mom making lots of traditional Zimbabwean food 

So the way the Tijsterman family and their restaurant do really brings me back to my old traditional taste, organic and connection. I realized that that’s the place I like to be with my family for almost everything they do provide.

See the pictures:

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One of my biggest cultural shocks in the world is now solved.

I have been living in the Netherlands for the past 20 years. I had lots of cultural shocks in positive and negative ways. I have learnt to laugh about very simple things like my own identity just because I never wanted people to see me as a bad person.
Which also means accepting something that is a bit disrespectful to my own culture. But as I remember most people were always curious about how I have lived in Africa.

What changed me were my children? I had my first child in 2008, Instead of having to explain my culture again and again, I started practicing it.
I realized I had a lot to explain to my children. Most difficult was that there were not so may things that represented me as an African princess, African Doll and even in the windows where people did the window shopping.
I felt really bad about it and realized it wasn’t something I could change very easily than embracing who I was.
In Zimbabwe where I grew up, we lived mostly according what we imitated from colonialism.
So when we thought of buying a doll, it was always a white doll,  shops were full of them. I also think there were people of African origin who may have wanted to see something or someone who represented them as nice, black people who did not only fought wars and went through slavery.
I am really happy that I started carrying my baby’s and breastfed them as I remembered from the village in Zimbabwe.
In the cities especially Harare where I went to school, my parents explained to me a lot about different classes. You would be considered rich when you lived in a low density suburbs and poor when you were living in a high density suburb.

So many people would embrace the rich culture more. For example, when you see a black person buying a very big car for a better status or trying to lighten skin color to be able to look more prettier because this was perceived as beauty.

Oh mom I want to look pretty, and white skin was the only skin presented as pretty.

I have realized that if we cannot teach our children our African history, no-one else will. So it starts with self acceptance, self reflection.

To buy a toy or an educational toy has been one of the biggest cultural shock I ever had until I met Rejoice Bhila Kwaramba, the creator and owner at The dolls that represent diversity.

Please hear more of her story. She promotes self love and together we promote self reflection. she is lovely with her lovely family. I have already bought 2 dolls for my little girls and they love them. Teaching African history is much easier to understand when history is presented positively.

Representing my self, my origins, my well being has become a big lesson such that I begin to realize  how important it is for schools to learn the positive things about my origins.

We need more embracing, more people helping us doing this.  I will share some of my shocks:

-On television there were not so may people represented as African origin without that they were called poor.

-Every child I know from school is taught to help poor African children. I do agree  that there are countries that went through a lot, such that they need help, but not at all the time

If there was a commercial on television and there was an African origin family, it always looked like they were not organised. Those few things disturbed me.

So now that we can buy a black doll just like a barbie it means we have a good start of self acceptance without having to explain.

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Elkaar helpen in de wijk

In Zimbabwe waar ik opgroeide zijn ouders ontzettend aanwezig tijdens de opvoeding (en zelfs zwangerschap), met steun van familie en tantes. Ze dragen de kindjes veel en ze  verplichten elkaar om borstvoeding te geven. Ze helpen in de opvoeding en corrigeren elkaar waar nodig ( It takes a village to raise kids). Doordat ze dichtbij de natuur staan voelt dit als heel normaal. De hele maatschappij helpt elkaar en elkaars kinderen, waardoor de kinderen niet zo gauw lastig worden.
Helikopter gedrag
Wat mij wel opvalt nu mijn kinderen ook naar school gaan. Dat er ouders zijn die overal aanwezig willen zijn om controle te hebben op hoe en waar de kinderen mee bezig zijn.
Ouders die moeite hebben met het loslaten geloof ik. Ik kan me best voorstellen dat als je ergens een schuldgevoelen over hebt, je compensatie zoekt.
Op dat moment is het wel van belang om het even in jezelf te zoeken. Wat speelt er bij mij. Sommige ouders kunnen er niet 100 % er zijn, welke leeftijd het ook is. Omdat de situatie, omstandigheden en gezondheid ze niet toelaten.
In plaats dat andere ouders die wel de mogelijkheid hebben om er te zijn voor hun kinderen neerkijken op deze ouders, die even niet kunnen zijn, zou het fijn zijn als ze dan wel even bijspringen.
Daarmee verminderen we dan het vingerwijzen gedrag en wel elkaar helpen.
Heel anders dan Afrikaanse kinderen, zie je hier best veel kindjes die eigenlijk al zelfstandig horen te zijn, maar nog zeer afhankelijk zijn. De ouders nemen alles in de handen. De mama is zeer aanwezig op school, alles controleren en regelen, terwijl een meisje van 9 jaar best al veel kan. #Loslaten misschien?
Ik als Afrikaanse moeder, leer enorm veel van ouders die op zo’n Nederlandse manier dingen ondernemen met kinderen, tot een bepaalde hoogte. En dat is bij mij leren loslaten en kinderen vertrouwen en ze het gevoel geven dat ze ook mensen zijn.
Hoe dan ook situaties verschillen en niet alles hoeft precies op een manier te gaan.
Ik geloof ook niet dat de hele dag op een schoolplein hangen, gelijk is aan liefdevol zijn voor je kinderen.
Wij doen het allemaal op onze eigen manier en leren van elkaar.
Dat steeds meer kinderen slecht eten, naar niets of niemand luisteren, of psychisch in de knoop zitten: sociaal pedagoog Gitty Feddema is er zeer ongerust over. Ouders moeten zich weer over hun kinderen ontfermen, en snel!
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