I don’t need ears to hear the scream you scream within!
I don’t need a mouth to taste;
I don’t need a mouth to taste all what you’ve been fed by life;
Dear … I just need you to trust;
I just need you to trust…that I feel YOU…
To trust that I don’t really need eyes to see…
Dedicated to the memory of Gabriel and to my 4sons
P.S: The above poem is an apt summary of my week. Was wondering what or how to write all I have had in me/dealt with this week – another thrilling one with lots of love and lows…and the poetic inspiration came in as I walked to and fro the market. I so love it … Actually, it is a soul search and summary from me to ME, me to YOU, me to THEM, said with love, encouragement, some supplication and yes some defiance… I miss you Gaby, I didn’t know as much nor did so much back then, but I promise you I will do so much henceforth till my own time is up…
I have looked at several of her childhood and teenage photos and not been able to find even half a dozen where she smiles…
Was it some unwritten photography rules of the era or just her life as it was then? Nothing worth smiling into the camera for? …
Ah indeed a picture they say conveys a thousand words… I stumbled on this one today and it dates 8 June 1990… O had just turned 11 years that January… That picture was my school portrait… It is when I wrote the common entrance examination into secondary school…no comment about what was happening at home back then – inside me …
I marvel at the laxitude with which I smile today. Could smiles really have been so hard to come by then?
To all those therefore not able to smile today, know it will and can come to pass…
I am very grateful I can smile now so much and feel it and love it and love me so…
The above was taken yesterday on my way out to the Startup Grind Douala launch… I had fun, networked and all… Smiling when coming from within is the best thing can happen I hold…
Hello world, on the 28 the of May 2017, I took that big leap of ‘Stubborn but very Passionate’ Faith and officially launched the company I had been dreaming and planning on for 3 years.
This Sunday, we have another interesting line up and when you read our keynote speaker’s profile below, you’ll agree with me that there isn’t only hunger, strife and ‘crazy ‘ politics and policies in Africa.
In my meditation this morning, I summarized these five tips which aptly corroborate the Me doing all I do and where I get my strength from:
1) You can draw strength from the connection you have with others;
2) You can align yourself with the beauty and goodness that resides firmly and persistently in every corner of life;
3) In the darkest darkness, you can shine a light;
4) In the most difficult circumstances, you can act to make a profound and positive difference;
4) You can know, you can understand, and you can live in the service of a purpose that becomes more powerful and refined with each passing moment;
5) Choose to do what you can, and there is no limit to what you’re able to achieve. Amen
About our Keynote speaker for this Sunday June 18th 2017: Javnyuy Joybert
Javnyuy Joybert is a Social Entrepreneur, Empowerment Coach, Public Speaker, Personal Development Strategist/Blogger and a dynamic, prolific and strategic Entrepreneurship/Business Management Trainer and a blend of administrative gifts. He is a focused and purposeful young African.
Javnyuy is a certified Business Management and Entrepreneurship trainer by The American Entrepreneurship Foundation (AEF) California USA, performance and efficiency consultant whose forte lies in Empowerment, Training and Development in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Personal Development and Business Management Development. He is one of the youngest and finest Entrepreneurship, Organizational Leadership and results based Business Management trainers in Africa.
Javnyuy Joybert is the Founder/CEO, Senior Trainer and Principal consultant at The Center for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Business Management Development (CELBMD) Africa – The Pan African Professional Center. CELBMD Africa is an International Center of choice for skills/competency based Professional Executive Training/Development which cut across all levels of industry from Senior Executives to high school graduates. CELBMD Africa offer innovative Professional Executive Training/Development programs and capacity building seminars through the expertise of our renowned trainers, industry experts and volunteers… please visit his website I can’t do justice to this young, dynamic and oh my so so much Icon.
I mean, how grateful can I be right? It is all so amazing and I owe and wish the one I fondly call JJ so so much.
Hello World, very honoured to be wrapping up my interviews with authors who have written on mental health, with one I fondly call Granny. I was so delighted to talk with her on phone when I visited the US in 2015, and I was so happy when she liked the memoir I mailed her.
I have done a modest review of Jill’s heart breaking memoir on my blog, and it is my honour to interview her too. I don’t know how a mother handles her only son’s mental illness and survive his loss, I see my mum dwindling between striving and surviving but I am not in her mind. I hope Jill tells us a little how because she is one of those brave mothers!
1) The Profile
Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit from your life before mental illness struck:
I was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1939 and had an enchanted childhood. I studied teaching in Cape Town where I met and fell madly in love with Alec. We married, and immediately, our relationship was a loving and caring one consisting of give and take. After our baby, Doron was born, we left family and friends to fly off to Israel, the country of our dreams.
(Doron means ‘a gift’ in Hebrew.) The real name of her Son refered to in the memoir as David
About your Memoir, why did you write it all those years later and with many names changed as you say?
Because I had never written before. But, I wrote notes every night on what had occurred each day from the time that Doron became ill which was during his arbitrary military service although in retrospect, there had been some signs previously. It took time but the book called ‘Weep for Them’ was born and published – the hardcover edition in 1998 and the paperback in the same year under my pen-name Sarah Ben-Dor. Neither were translated into English as I simply could not face rehashing that excruciating experience all over again.
Years later, after we’d lost our son, I had so much more to add, that I consulted with my husband and two daughters and asked for their permission to write an updated book in English, using my real name this time. They agreed. But I had to change the children’s names as well as my husband’s while writing because that made the whole process a little less painful for me as I was reliving the 16 years of Doron’s illness all over again.
2) The Soul Journey
What is your take about mental health?
When our Doron was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I had heard little about the subject and had never met a mentally ill person. Today, I am older, wiser, read whatever I can on new developments but, to date, am not convinced that there is something that could have helped our son who proved to be medication-resistant for so many years. I pray that somewhere, someone will be able to help all those who might be suffering the way Doron did. I never felt guilty about causing his illness as I had read that parents cannot cause schizophrenia.
Did your feel guilty for your son’s deteriorating mental health? If yes what did you think or do, if no please explain some to us.
A few older psychiatrists pointed the finger of blame at me, but fortunately, I had read enough to know that I was innocent of that, at least. I had to do something so, I approached the Israel Mental Health Association ENOSH, and asked for permission to start a support group for parents of mentally ill children in our neighborhood, in English, as Hebrew is not our mother-tongue. They let us use their facilities and offered assistance but frankly, most of us, 22 in all, did not want to hear another professional at that stage. We met regularly twice a month and became like one large family. We could speak openly about anything to do with our ill child, confident that we could trust one another to be honest and not to speak to anyone else about what was said. I felt safe with them, so much so that they became like an extended family.
Parents cannot cause schizophrenia.
Mothers cannot cause schizophrenia. I want every single parent to know this:-
I bet you all part 2 tomorrow is equally soul searching, captivating and near gut wrenching – stay tuned
Hello World, today is friday and I wish I were going away from the weekend. But hmm, saturday I accompany my dearest Donna at her Dad’s Memorial Service, and Sunday is my first mega event launching my company. As much as I had had three years and more to prepare this journey, write up a business plan and draw it all up in my head, stepping on that bridge now is sort of daunting though appealing at the same time; I am actually partnering to do this and well the organization and capital raising part of it and all … wow even the lawyer in me is …
You should know some stuffs about life and its people – how some of those who were so glad and full of praise when you helped them with their own business, don’t even as much as bother cheering you emotionally and actually want nothing to do with your own business … how some can actually sabotage with some sarcasm and …
I am back from 5 days in Dakar, where I was attending the 3rd African Epilepsy Conference – I am so tired. I have equally been nominated to lead the national chapter of the IBE and so you can imagine.
This post was actually started while still in Dakar just so I don’t have much writing to do on my return.
Yes: I have Dared Dakar and I am more armoured to Dare Life or better put Dare the business of Living. Before I proceed, I want to say like all dynamic business men, I want to make a huge profit out of this business and invest in society starting with my family.
Daring Dakar Day 1 -3
I have to greatly summarize so as not to write this post in 3 parts.
I Faced my fear and went right to the extreme of that cliff and dared look down
Going back to the beach each evening to watch the sunset
Day one (Thursday 4/05/17) was literraly spent flying over Africa and doing Airport hopping. There are no direct flights to Senegal from my country; so – I left my home at 6 am and finally checked into my hotel in Dakar at 10 pm thanks to the cab driver who knows no where and no French… The national language in Senegal is Wolof …
Day 2-3 (Fri&Sat 5&6/05/17)
I start off very tired, curiously still jet lagged although the sports I get to do from 4-5 am on Saturday morning boost me up plenty. Friday morning was really tough and some emotionally taxing situation nearly nailed me down. I am so grateful for my support network and coping strategies. I learn a lot though and yes I make so many contacts. Some area people (from the doorman via the receptionost to the room cleaner etc these are my best); a student and some VIPs.
With Falima whom I met at the university
With Couma my darling Fati’s sister
Sightseeing on the boat
The conference is at the famous Cheikh Anta Diop University by the Ocean and my my my… I meet Falima and we click. She is a 3rd year student and in love with Cameroon ha – some things we think are despicable are other peoples dream… And you could refresh about my heroine Fati here, Couma on the right is her kid sister now my friend too ofcourse
On that friday evening, we have the official opening ceremony followed by a cocktail. I am very pleased to make friends with Ella & Lola
Day 4&5 (Sun&Mon 7&8/05/17)
I sleep much better and I go for sports at 5 am. Baam I run into a Petit gang arguing over their booty but I refuse to let fear take me back. I walk right through them with a dare me stare like a commando. It tells them, am an area girl minding my business, mind yours. One of them whistles at me “yowa (yes in their dialect) mama” but I dont smile back. I instead make the ‘buddy fist gesture’ and continue my way.
I zoom through the morning and soon it is closing ceremony. There is a planned city excursion with a restaurant reserved for those who opt. It ain’t free and nope am done with those 3/4 star stuffed scenes. I also have to be economical so I chart my way to Fati their family home. Going to such areas makes you know life indeed has several shades. Talk of bumpy ride…
The bus ahead is a scarpie for passengers, people are parked inside like sardines
to go to my dear Fati’s family, you go until you can’t no more, even through the sea lol
To get there you just keep going right through the sea lol. The VIP friend who brought me here told me in all their life they’ve never been to this area nor where I am lodging…
It was already past 3 pm and I was scared lunch will be over; but nope just in time… See me enjoy famous Senegalese rice the Senegalese authentic way …
In typical Senegalese style, all men one way and all women the other way and then the whistle is blown: try your best while talking non stop lol
Gosh I was hungry
On my way back to the hotel I dare a scarpie and enjoy 2 hour plus of cheap sightseeing and listening to Wolof being rolled off from all angles. These people greet each other for at least 7 minutes. How romantic? Am loving it and today being a Sunday there aren’t that too many passengers… Wrong it pick as it goes, hop out as you wish… I sit, stand up for a grandma, sit again elsewhere when someone leaves, stand up again for a pregnant woman and when next I mange to squeeze somewhere I dare not look up again who comes in …and, I still treck for like 15 mins because the final bus stop is no where close to the hotel…
On Monday I quickly do sports and then check out of the idealistic hotel by the beach, to the area where I can drink chai by the road side. I can count on Coumba to go shopping for souvenir gifts. Here is the address Coumba gave me, sorry it is in French so use google translate maybe it’ll give you a more precise address:
“Bjr marie tu diras au chauffeur que tu vas au golf rond point marché jeudi terminus 38 à la cité des enseignants …”
Look my people, when a Senegalese tells you it ain’t far, hail a cab immediately. When they say they are just stopping by to greet, cancel other appointments! Simple
And I did it, dared dakar again one last time, dared to go to the infamous Goree Island. How could I come to Dakar and not visit that island? The emotions you leave that island with – am speechless
Weighing room, any slave less than 60 kg had 3 days to weigh up or …
Cell hole for delinquent slaves
What cheer can you have or keep walking up that street?
Door of no teturn, you loose all your merry when you get to this point period
The slavery monument in Goreé
The journey to Goreé not an easy one emotionally
Flying until finally landing and getting back home in one Peace/Piece – Amen
I hope I have been able to visually take you to Dakar and back, inspiring and motivating you to Dare Life and Dare Yourself