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I Never Espered It

Dear Africana Woman,


Ati new year, new me? Is that what people are saying this year. WELL to say it’s a new me is an understatement. So much, has happened. My last official day at a corporate job was on 24th December, 2021. Hmmmmm but let’s back track a little.


GET OUT

When you know it is time to leave a space but you are still hanging on because you are comfortable with the familiar. I found myself at a crossroads in September. I was seated in a small office with HR and the Business Manager. They were telling me how my request to work from Monday to Wednesday was declined because of a couple reasons. In that moment, a voice said to me “Get out.” clear as day. I said to them that I would like to terminate my contract by December. Thing is my immediate supervisor was due for maternity leave as she was due around February, so me not wanting to put people out I said I would be open to the possibility of doing a maternity cover. The next couple months were the most drawn out and laborious conversations that basically pointed out that management did not want me to do the maternity cover. For formality’s sake, I was asked in writing to do the maternity cover. To which I replied Yes. I would do it.


TRAPPED

As soon as I clicked that button and the email went out that I said yes, my stomach dropped in the same instance. I felt like rocks were sitting in my belly and my heart felt heavy. My spirit said to me, “Chulu what have you done?” When you are breaking out of something that is not right for you, what tends to happen is opportunities are presented to you to make you stay longer. It’s a trap to keep you in bondage indefinitely. It’s like you saw the light then a shadow suddenly covers it and you feel gas lighted, like you were sure you saw the light but it’s not there anymore and now you are not sure if you saw it at all. Gurl, I literally became physically ill. I had a fever that almost took me out for three days. I had no sleep. I tossed and turned. Was sweating profusely yet felt cold as ice in my bones, in a place that you just can’t reach no matter what you do. When the fever broke I knew what I had to do.


REBIRTH

When I was presented with a contract, the offer was no representation of my value, which made it very easy for me to say no. I think it was a win win situation. They did not want me and I was ready to leave. But we were stuck with each other for another month. As the ever organised chikita that I am I tried to make sure that I left everything in good order so I stayed to the very end, being Christmas Eve. On the last day, I handed in everything, ID, Keys, Devices everything. Then I went for a swim. Rising from that water was like a rebirth. It was time to reinvent myself.


GRIEF

Don't get it twisted, I went through a period of mourning. This started from September. I have systems in Lusaka. People I can call for certain things. When I was packing up the house, there was one cupboard above my wardrobe that was the last thing I got to. I took a week plus to actually pack it. I had to use a step ladder to reach the items. When I pulled out that last item, I literally melted into a puddle of tears. I love that apartment. I have lived in it for 5 years. It has protected me, shielded me, comforted me, helped me host beautiful memories. I just couldn’t believe I was saying bye to my home. The day I moved in, I had a single bed, a book shelf and a suitcase. 5 years down the line I was dismantling a home. It was hard. I weeped. It was good for me though to allow myself to grieve.


THE MOVE

Chaaal movin is a ting. You know in Uni days, because I could not afford to travel back to Zambia I would stay on campus. They would make us move 3 times in the summer with all our furniture, lugging things up and down staircases. I am traumatised by moving. In 4 years I could have moved 20 times easily. Anyway, you know moving comes with damages, broken items, lost items, unexpected expenses… you know the deal. I did not skip the gravey train. Listen, I am not going to get into it too much just know that a couple people disappointed me and cost me extra expenses that I did not need. Our new house is a mess. Hahaha I literally walk by certain rooms and pretend I don’t see the state. Basically, we made our favourite rooms liveable the rest will be sorted when it’s sorted.


THE CURIOUS CASE OF JOB SECURITY

I have not moved onto another job. Yes I have a whole grown school going child and I have no job. Most people would be running screaming to the hills. Do you know that I wake up every day and say “I will be okay.” Let me explain it to you this way, when you have a formal job basically you have decided to take on one client. When you go solo and become an entrepreneur you have decided to increase and possibly diversify your clients. That’s it. Those of you with jobs, you are serving one person. Those of us not under a specific corporate body can take more clients without being told there is a conflict of interest.


I NEVER ESPERED IT

Let me be honest, I am going through a culture shock. I never realised that for the last 5 years I have been living in a bubble. My male co-workers never sexualised me. It was just oh you are a human being that I work with. Right. Hmm. So I encountered this chap in an office, we were both waiting for the owner of the office to come back. Manje, Mr. Chatty Charlie struck up a conversation. It was cool we were talking politics and general stuff. Then he asks about my marital status and whether I have children. (P.S. I am single) Then in 5 minutes we went from strangers to being promised in marriage and figuring out how we were going to work out our blended family. I felt like I had whiplash, like warrapend. How did we go from zero to planning a wedding in a matter of minutes. Wow. Like just WOW. So it made me think that I should either buy a wedding ring or concoct a mysterious long distance Fiance. Has to be a fiancé because vultures will not accept anything else. I mean what do you think? What have you done to avoid unsolicited proposals? Gurl, when owner of the office finally arrived I scuttled out of there and I could see his eyes focused on my ass. Which I tried to cover with my bag. It was so awkward and uncomfortable and yet not uncommon. How often do women have to deal with this kind of nonsense. I never espered it. This is a culture shock.


Oh I have to tell you this story. You know how tradesmen are all born from the same mother. In Kabwe, it is times three. So I desperately needed a carpenter to come and work at the house. I called him and he said he could come do the work if I went to pick him up. Our meeting point was on the other side of town at 12pm which is ‘peak hour.’ True to form I got to town and there were easily 10 trucks crawling one after the other like a chongololo. If you know anything about Kabwe you would know traffic gets backed up over the railway tracks situated on the south end of town, which is only a single carriage way AND trucks are obligated to stop before railway tracks. But this guy wants me to cross over the railway tracks to meet him, instead of meeting on the sane side of town. I call him to tell him traffic is backed up and this might take a while. Then I say to him, “Where are you?” He says to me, “Madam I am here” palm on face in that moment I realised I am in for a long ride with tradesmen. In case you are wondering, it was all sorted. I eventually found out where here was exactly. Hahaha


PHOENIX

Here we are in mid-January. I literally gave myself 2 weeks off. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. I needed to regroup. I gave myself a deadline to be sad, mopey, confused, and whatever else I needed to do to recuperate. But once that deadline hit I needed to return to the land of the living and not look back. It was time for the phoenix to rise. Reinvention is beautiful. As it happens, the word I am anchored to for 2022 is Learn. I am learning new crafts, learning new people, learning from people, learning my capacity, Learning what I am capable of, learning how much I trust in my Creator. Learn. Sis I did my nails for the first time! Context. I have been dealing with food for all these years where long nails and nail polish are not okay in the industry. Doing my nails is a huge deal. There is so much more I want to do. I have things lined up on my goals. I hope you have as much excitement for 2022 as I do.


I guess I will end here. I would love to share what to expect in Africana Woman for 2022 but clearly not in this post. Happy New Year love. Thank you for continuing to rock with me. I know I am crazy an go quiet from time to time, but I still love you. Honey, I am back!. You are not getting rid of me. Don’t get tired when you see me everywhere. If you are new to Africana Woman, welcome to the family and please subscribe. We have a fantastic community called Africana Woman Visionaries (AWV) where we have out of this world conversations. There is lots of love and support in there. We also have the Africana Woman with Chulu podcast that is a library celebrating African Women’s stories. It is really special. Please drop a note in the comments. Say Hi, tell me what you thought. Anything. You can also catch me on Instagram during the week @Chulu_ByDesign. Alright, this is me bouncing.


Love you to Infinity


Chulu


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Guest
Jan 17, 2022

Awesome! enjoyed reading this post. Happy New Year to you and congratulations on the new journey you are on - it sounds so exciting. I haven't lived anywhere for longer than 2 years, but moving 20 times a year is definitely trauma inducing for sure! Omg I thought you were engaged, was about to aluluate! I wear a made in China engagement ring, as I often get approached by a lot of 20- something- year- olds and I am old enough to be their mom!Your enthusiasm and positive outlook on life is so inspiring and will surely bring you lot's of success and progress in your new path. Wish you all the best.

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Chulu Chansa
Chulu Chansa
Feb 03, 2022
Replying to

HAHAHAHA I love this. "I thought you were engaged" lol. Thank you for sharing that you wear a ring. It means I wont feel like the only one doing it. Aww thank you. I just think you don't have to take yourself too seriously all the time. hahaha. Take care

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