Dear Africana Woman,
How are you? It’s been a minute. Darling, I am basking in the glow of the first ever Africana Woman Visionaries Retreat. How do I even describe what felt like time being collapsed? I will try not to get to woo woo on you. Let’s start from the beginning.
When we were advertising the AWV Retreat we struggled with explaining to women that this wasn’t a vacation. You know - go get drunk, loud music, and whatever else people do on holiday. A Retreat is a space that has an intention, laid out and guided activities. Our intentions were for the attendees to Relax, Reflect and Realign. Hearing this, many people turned down the opportunity to come. So I asked God to send the right people who needed to be there. Women who were familiar with me, who value self development and women who were willing to be looked after and treated like Queens for a few days.
As the master craftsman that God is, I think the women curated were a perfect blend. One by one they stepped forward declaring their desire to attend the retreat. Their energies complimented each other. I knew they would click before they even met. When it came to choosing a location, beauty and serenity were top of mind. Of course without going there, the only thing that you are relying on is images, but I figured a private property would be much nicer than having to deal with prying eyes or rowdy fellow guests. So we settled on The Castle, a 30 year old building at the tip of the Siavonga peninsula. Therefore, surrounded on 3 sides by water. Siavonga is generally also warmer than most parts of Zambia.
Then came time to selecting the team. Surely, to pull something special off one cannot do it all alone. You need a great team to work with. I was very excited to team up with Chiko Sinkala, of Moxy Travel & Events. I love the depth of her travel knowledge and attention to detail. Then my number one phone call for photography is the super talented Namukolo Siyumbwa, of Eness Photography. We go way back. Guaranteed 80% of pictures that you see of me were taken by Kolo. She is brilliant. Also her demeanour is just right for a Retreat.
We had been planning for months the activities, programs, menu and so on. As it goes with events, no matter how much you plan a spanner is always thrown in the mix just for the fun of it. That is why it is so important to have the right team, who do not panic, but take on challenges with grace, adapt and think fast on their feet. Solution oriented people. There are a number of things that came up that were beyond our control but I think we handled it so well that our guests did not notice.
Then came time for the actual Retreat. Three days and two nights, with a lot to cover, we needed to have an early start to make the most of the time. The Ladies did well in terms of timing and we started off early. Our driver was great, he navigated the swarm of trucks in hilly country roads with such ease. We arrived a good 3.5 hours later and were met by the property owner in town, who then he guided us to the Castle.
Before we left for Siavonga, I had asked the Ladies to set intentions ahead of time, that would be the guiding force behind their experiences, and their reactions to adversity. For me one of my intentions is always To Be Loving. So even if I am less than satisfied with a situation I choose to speak in a loving way. I cannot say I know what intentions each set but I think they came with such positive energy. They were also great about unplugging and not being attached to technology. I was worried I would have to start confiscating devices, but I did not have to say a thing. They just did not use them which allowed them to be present in the moment.
Can I tell you a secret? Believe it or not, I am an Introvert. A long time ago I used to say I don’t like people. Because I felt completely drained after interacting with people. What I have come to learn is that it’s not that I do not like people, it’s just that I am an Empath, therefore, I need to manage and regulate how I interact with people. As well as ensure I have time to be by myself to recharge. So I love people, I just need a lot of quiet time with me to be able to show up at 100%. I loved being with these women, because I felt invigorated.
We had 4 sessions that broke down the acronym KNOW - Knowledge, Nourish, Operate in Obedience and Weakness. Many of you have either heard me say or seen the slogan KNOW your Roots, Grow your Purpose. We were able to really dissect what each pillar means in relation to our own lives. I gave them exercises and writing prompts in hopes of guiding the Ladies to have open and honest conversations with themselves. Real quick this is what KNOW means, Knowledge is about acknowledging and being able to name a problem/challenge, because once you can name it, it loses its power over you. Nourish is about connecting with your mind, body and soul. Allowing yourself to feel and trust yourself on a deep level. Operate in Obedience is about listening to what our bodies and our Creator are telling you then accepting the instructions. Weakness is about redefining how we react to adversity, because it is not a question of if adversity will happen, it is a matter of when and how do we bounce back.
I will not say what happened in detail. Those memories are for the Ladies to treasure as their own. What I can say is that a special bond was created by this shared experience. My favourite moment was when the Spirit moved on Sunday. You cannot plan that kind of thing. Of course, in between sessions we had some fun activities and the Ladies got to explore the surrounding community. We had a boat ride, paint and sip, and Kariba dam tour. The food was DIVINE. Shout out to Chiko who kept us well fed.
As we were closing the sessions, this thought hit me. I had asked them to write their vision for the lives. Then we levelled up their dreams. So it occurred to me that hosting a Retreat was a dream I had in 2020. If you are a live hard reader you will recall that I tried to have a Retreat back then, but certain viruses prevented that from happening. You can read about The Retreat that Never Was here. So I ended up doing an Online Retreat. And then two years later there we were in the most beautiful setting, in the company of phenomenal women, experiencing the Retreat I dreamt of. I was overcome with emotions. It is such a beautiful reminder to Not give up on your dreams. Just because its delayed does not mean it is denied. I know there are things I had to learn and people I had to meet to be able to execute this Retreat.
People have been asking me when is the next Retreat. The good news is You have four (4) options:
Africana Woman Visionaries will host a Zambian Destination Retreat once a year around June
We will also host a Destination Retreat to another African country once a year starting July 2023
You can book a Retreat for your circle of friends or family at KuMushi Garden year round. It has the capacity for 6 guests
Or you can book me for a Retreat, where you organise all the details, and I will come guide you through the process
All the Retreats are open to all women no matter where you are located in the world. My suggestion is that you start saving now, if you would like to attend one of our AWV Destination Retreats, so as by the time we announce it, you are not under pressure. Listen, if you want me to come to you and you are in say ... Mombasa, Prague, Hong Kong .. you name it, that is also a possibility. The beauty with options 3 and 4 is that you can choose a time that is suitable for you and your friends or your organisation. Get in touch at email@example.com and we can create a transformational experience for you.
At the end I asked the Ladies to sum up their Retreat experience in one word. This is what they said; Intriguing, Necessary, Transformational, Fly and Grateful. My word to sum up the Retreat is Sacred.
As I leave you remember we have great resources year round. Including the Africana Woman with Chulu podcast , the AWV Rebirth Course and the Africana Woman Visionaries community. Do check them out. My desire for you is that you love yourself flaws n all and attract the life that you truly desire.
Love and light