Who am I?

cropped-20160820_143634I am a mother to a beautiful 2-year-old who keeps me on my toes daily. I am married to a kind-hearted man who I believe is the result of God’s decision for me- an answered prayer and tries to tame the crazy in me. I am also a family physician with a passion for patient empowerment and education about all things health. I am always learning and trying new things the current flavour being all things cross stitch- sewing and baking which my hips are regretting every day. I am also an aspiring author and currently writing some books inspired by my cheeky son. Join me in my adventures as I juggle all these balls…

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RACISM has no excuse!!!

Today I was accused of stealing a patient’s $100 bill at work. She claimed that I had fleeced her of her money last week and “unless there is someone else in this clinic who looks like me”, then it was obviously me who could have taken her money under false pretences. Now granted, we did have a consultation last week and I organised a surgical excision which would have had an out of pocket cost compared to her usual bulk billed consults. However as all of us should know, doctors never handle money as that is what reception is for, there is no way I would have processed payment for an anticipated procedure. Trying to highlight this flaw in her thinking just led to more venomous attacks of me and going on about how unless someone “like me”, and when asked to elaborate on what she meant, she reported “black people like me”, I could be the only person who took her money.

 

Not only was this hurtful as I had looked after this patient for a year now through challenging times with her family, it was sadly not the first time I have had racist insults hurled in my face by members of our community. I have been insulted in the presence of my then 3-year-old son, and informed that the reason we are brown is because we are the s*#t of the society whilst on a train home from a city outing.

 

Today however was different and to me sadder as I realised that people who have never experienced racism are quick to make excuses for racist behaviour. The trending ones for today was “she is old, she might have dementia” as if getting old and maybe having dementia have RACISM as a side effect. Excuses for the guy on the train was “maybe he was drunk, maybe he was high” again as if drugs and alcohol should have RACISM as a listed side effect. Now, racism is not a side effect of any of the above or any other reasons people might excuse. You are racist and for whatever reasons you might become disinhibited enough to actually spill your vile ideas.

 

When someone is being subjected to such, I would advise that if you are someone who has witnessed such behaviour- call it out for what it is, listen to the distress of the person who has been vilified and say, “I am sorry you have had to endure this today”. It is the equivalent of being quiet when breaking bad news etc when the less you speak actually speaks volumes. There is no need to try and pretend people were not trying to be racist when they are or worse excusing their behaviour.

 

I admit, I am guilty of not calling out such behaviour because I actually hate to bring up the so-called race card and I am really not confrontational. Today, the whole experience was surreal, as if someone was going to come out of the woodworks and say “smile, you are on candid camera” or living through Jodi Picoults book of Small Great Things where an African American nurse was falsely accused of killing a child of a Caucasian couple. I think the realisation of what happened, the response of my boss and practice manager to the incident has actually just dawned on me and actually made me upset and very angry. I thought I would channel these feelings and educate and hopefully look forward to going to work tomorrow and a future where my chocolate flavoured son won’t have to deal with this as his norm.

 

Thanks for reading till the end, as I try and calm down and come up with a plan of what to do about this tommorow.

My dreams for Losika Writes…

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I know they are not Martin Luther King kind of dreams but I thought I would put it out for the universe to digest and hopefully fulfill.  One day I will reflect and hopefully tick all of them off woohoo.

I have a dream,

– that one day Losika Writes will be as well known as Penguin books, Oxford books etc

– that people will support small businesses just as much as they support the billion dollar companies that don’t represent them or even invest back in them

– that one day Losika Writes will have a variety of mediums through which we can disseminate all the well known but also lesser known beautiful languages

– that one day our kids will proudly speak Setswana/Ndebele/Zulu etc as we often see people speaking Spanish/Italians without having the pressure to speak English because they are talking to non-Africans. Imagine Miss Universe Botswana answering the questions at hand in Setswana, how cool would that be?

– that we invested in the education of our little ones from preschool age and not think it was only right for them to see one language as they are developing their own

Those are my dreams for Losika Writes and the brainchild behind this seemingly crazy venture so support and help the dreams become reality.

You are never given a dream without being given the power to make it come true.

-unknown-

 

Reflection- How language shapes the way we think…

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I am one of those people who is always reading and when online, I do get carried away with opening new tabs. I must admit, I will often have more than 100 tabs open at a time… oops. I do then make time to read through each tab and most of the time, find beautiful gems like the TED talk by Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist, about “How language shapes the way we think.” On finding out there are about 7000 languages on earth, my next thought was – how many of those languages are found in print? How many of these languages become extinct every decade because speaking that language “is not as cool as speaking a foreign colonial or adopted language?’

Having attended private school “aka English medium” in all my primary and high school education in Botswana, you wouldn’t have to look far to find people who were not keen to speak the local language despite living amongst people who spoke the language. To then have age mates who elected to only communicate with their children in English whilst living in Botswana was a very interesting phenomenon for me. To top that off, you could find a Kagiso married to a Kelebogile but having kids called Andrew, Katherine etc to help the kids “adjust in an English world”. The understanding of the above decisions was that being a monolingual, English only speaker, somehow made you more intelligent. English is a great language and one that can allow communication between multitudes of people globally, but we shouldn’t let the knowledge of English, be detrimental to Setswana as a whole.

Sadly, on reflection and more so after watching the Ted talk, all that is apparent to me is that we are probably gradually making our language extinct and hence the real ambition behind Losika Writes. To try, in my little corner of the world, to take our beautiful Setswana off the endangered list. Support the movement and buy your little one some books at www.losikawrites.com.

Enjoy the TED talk and looking forward to your opinions about the topic discussed.

Giving thanks where its due…

 

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Have you ever marvelled at the genius that is Google?

Have you ever wondered how it works to sort out the vast amount on information and hone in on exactly it is that you are looking for?
I don’t claim to understand all of Google but as a small business owner who owns a website, I have been trying to learn more about the machine that is Google and basically trying to learn how to please the Google gods. All this whilst obviously juggling being wife, mummy, daughter, sister, friend, doctor etc. I am very grateful to have found a gem of a teacher in Kate Toon (a copywriter in Sydney) who has made understanding of the machine easier by organising classes into palatable, bite sized chunks that are practical and slowly transforming Losika Writes into what I envisioned it to be when I started it.
I thought I would write something to celebrate her and her website….
Whilst you are in the mood to celebrate – get shopping at www.losikawrites.com or have a taste by getting our ebook version.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

A candle loses nothing by lighting another- James Keller

The day endometriosis nearly killed me…

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I woke up with the most excruciating pain and large volume, sudden onset vomiting. The time was probably a little before midnight as I staggered to my parents’ bedroom to let mum know I wasn’t feeling all too well. As mum is a sympathetic vomiter, i.e vomits when she sees anyone else’s vomit, she kindly advised me to try and small sips of water and she would try to get the floors clean. I had to sit in the lounge room, covered with a little blanket as I tried to deduce what could have made me so violently unwell. I recalled the day well. I had been to school and been home without anything eventful. Dinner was a non-event either and the following day was another school day. Every small sip of water or milk seemed to increase the pain in my tummy and before long I was vomiting again. Mum, although not a doctor, diagnosed a simple case of gastro and told me to try and sleep it off.
After a lot more vomits, the spilled contents gradually changed from food to bilious green and eventually coffee grounds colour with flecks of blood. Only on seeing the blood did mum think it wasn’t’ “gala” (gastrointestinal imbalance) and thought best we presented to the hospital. By now it had been a few hours of ongoing vomiting with me feeling completely weak and unable to walk. We quickly drove to Gaborone Private hospital, as I cried in the back seat, urging her to drive through red lights as the pain was most excruciating. On arrival, almost passing out from the pain, I was immediately sent off for surgery to manage a bleeding peptic ulcer. I remember telling the doctor in charge how much I loved him for the morphine and anti-vomiting medication he had administered.
I was 15 years old at the time and used to having severe debilitating period pains that would often make me miss a few days of school each month. I had had my period the day prior to being unwell, and not trying to miss school again, had inadvertently taken an overdose of ibuprofen to manage the pain and had caused myself to have a bleeding ulcer. My mum and I thought that severe period pains were “normal” aspect of being female and even on post-op follow up with my GP I was informed that having excruciating period pains was an accepted part of being a female.
It wasn’t until being a medical student and having ongoing issues that I was eventually diagnosed with endometriosis. On reflection, I was able to realise that I had suffered and almost died from self-medication of this condition without ever having a diagnosis. I was made to feel that, like labour pains, there is a lot of discomfort that comes with being a female when in fact this is very far from “normal”.
Let my lived experience act as a cautionary tale that not all period pain is created the same. So educate yourself about the condition, there is plenty of information on reputable medical sites and present to your doctor if you have any suspicions that you might have this condition. Like Emma the yellow wiggle let those of us who are 1in 10 illustrate that endometriosis can be managed to some extent and, although it has no cure, it doesn’t have to define who you are.
Other sites to look up

Our first magazine feature!!!!!

First Feature

We celebrate all milestones and this one is no exception.

We have been featured on MamaMag Eastside issue for April/May 2018 discussing the importance of “Keeping Language alive.” Grab your copy/read our article online and please support Losika Writes as we strive to celebrate our language diversity.

Our books are available as English only text or bilingual (Tswana/English and Ndebele/English books)

Losika Writes website – www.losikawrites.com

MamaMag link – Keeping Language Alive – page 42

 

 

 

5 quick ways to save money*

 

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I am yet to find someone who is always happy spending exorbitant amounts of money on life’s basic needs. I know people who can spend a whole weekend going from one store to another chasing bargains or those families in the USA who take the art of “couponing” to the extreme. I chose to think I am not that extreme but admit I am always trying to find ways in which I can get what I need/want for a reduced price. Outlined below are 5 of the ways I use to try and save a penny and I look forward to hearing some of your tips.

1. Ask- As my favourite saying goes, “If you don’t ask, the answer is NO!” Since incorporating this thinking, I can say I haven’t paid full price for electronics and furniture in recent memory. Salespeople are occasionally allowed to reduce prices and you wouldn’t know unless you ask. I must admit there are stores where I obviously don’t ask for discounts like when doing my groceries but otherwise if there is a sales person and I am shopping, especially if it is for electronics or furniture, I will always ask if there are discounts available. I have been on a power-plan for the last 3yrs where I get 40% off my electricity bill because the power company is affiliated with my insurance company.  I didn’t know about such a plan until I asked the sales person if there were any further discounts available. As your mortgage, power/phone bills, insurances etc approach the policy renewal time, get into the habit of asking for discounts to get instant savings especially if you are able to provide a comparative policy for a much cheaper price point.
2. Off-peak use- I know the peak times for power, internet and try and get some tasks done at those times to reduce the overall cost. For example, I will set the dishwasher to start a cycle at 11am when we are all at work/school or at midnight as those are off-peak times. If I am downloading large amount of content or doing system updates, I will also use the same principle. This together with trying to buy energy efficient equipment makes me think that in addition to saving money, I am having a smaller carbon footprint which is great for the environment overall.
3. Use free resources- As an avid reader, I know that this habit can become expensive after a little while and this is where my local library steps in. I have signed up for free audiobook library with the local library which I use to access audiobooks for my daily commute. The aim to read 1000 books by 3 years of a child’s age can also add up after a while but the children’s library and toy library make this task affordable and somewhat exciting as I wouldn’t possibly be able to furnish little man with all the choice he gets from the library. Another thing is that, with more information available at our fingertips with the world wide web, things like recipes/instructions are not only found in the pages of a book as an example but are available in sites such as youtube or with a quick Google search.
4. Declutter- Sorting through the stuff you already have can save you a lot of money as you most often find things that are still of good use thus eliminating the need to buy more. It is with this process I have managed to “shop my wardrobe” and find some long-lost treasures in clothes and shoes that may have needed a small repair prior to getting back to full use again thus saving money overall. You can take this to the next step and host a garage sale to get rid of things that you have outgrown and recycling that money to buy you new clothes. You can also drop these items to charity which often results in priceless feel-good hormones.
5. Buy staples on sale- this goes without saying that staples like toilet paper, petrol or nappies shouldn’t be bought at full price. Getting into the habit of seeing when they are starting to run low and then buying in bulk when on sale can save money. Buying things that one may not use because they are on sale however, is a very expensive exercise and one that I don’t encourage.
+1. Another way to save money is to prioritise your health- eating well, exercising, spending time with family and close friends and nourishing those relationships is a great way to save money. The costs of being sick can spiral out of control even with health insurance and thus it is always important to try and be healthy to minimise the outgoing costs of getting you back to health and your previous earning potential.
These are my 5+1 ways I have used to try and make the coins we make stretch a little further. Obviously, it is always great to splurge a little where you can to reward yourself for all the hard work we do in our 9-5s as well as side hustles etc. I just don’t think the splurge should ever encompass basic things like power bills etc.

What are the ways you have used and what would you suggest I use too? Please comment below and let me know.

 

Celebrations all round…

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Losika Writes is proud to announce that we have made an e-book version of the Savannah book… Wooohooo!!! We are working on more books having the e-book format as well as increasing the languages on offer but until then we hope you can support our side hustle and get yourself or your kids/nieces/friends/neighbours a copy and writing a quick review about the books.

Below are the links to get you to the books (board books and the e-book versions).

Happy shopping and have a great week ahead!!!

  1. Losika Writes website
  2. Google Books
  3. Google Play 

 

 

 

 

Play time…

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As a mum to an active hyperactive toddler, play is always part of our day somehow. But with working full time, having 2 side hustles- Losika Writes and home, running a household etc, sometimes one wishes that there were more hours to the day let alone dedicate some play time. So I am proud to say, I recently made time to play with my boys and we sure had a great time. I have promised myself to try and do this weekly at the minimum and so far have been going well. I thought I would share some crazy pictures we took on our escapade.

Losika Writes (www.losikawrites.com) – Bilingual children’s picture books- get your own copy and support small business