Posted in Fiction, Sip n' Read

My Dear Friend Janet by Keke Palmer ,Jasmine Guillory – A Review

Just a rant: Have you ever wanted to speak up on something but bit your tongue because you are shy and think no one could possibly care what you have to say? Same! But this is not a post on why we suck but a review of My Dear Friend Janet so breathe easy it’s not a support group

Genre: Fiction

Publisher : Amazon original stories

Themes: Self Acceptance/ confidence

Anci’s book summary: My Dear friend Janet is a short audiobook/kindle book on dear Janet. Janet is a beautiful woman in my opinion that is invisible to the world because she doesn’t speak up at all , doesn’t try to flirt or smile at the cute barista and she wears a lot of beige (read the book and call me out). However things change when she walks into a wig store. Now I can tell you what happens when that happens but I want you to read the book

I read along to the audiobook narration and that cracked me up. Enjoyed it so much.

Character most like me : Janet ! I kid you not, there is something Janet in me much to my dismay

Character I didn’t like: Brad! Read and find out why

Character I liked : The jury is still out on that

Cover rating: 4/5

Would you read more books by the author? Yes

Do you recommend this book? Yes! Go buy it now

Would I Enjoy this book as Christian looking for a clean read ?  You can read and enjoy it

RATINGS (RATING OUT OF 5)

Emotional-o-meter:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Steam-o-meter:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Overall rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Posted in Fiction, Sip n' Read

The Vanishing Half- A Review

Just a rant: This book was on my wishlist for the longest time and I got tired of hinting but phew *wipes imaginary sweat* some special person got me a copy and I was glowing baby when I saw it. I don’t usually read Historical Fiction though so this was a good suprise

Genre: Fiction

Anci’s Book Summary: The Vanishing Half tells the story of the Vignes twin sisters, who – while born identical – grow up to live two very different lives. They are two girls born in Mallard but escape this small yet seemily slow moving town at sixteen.Desiree marries a dark-skinned Black man and has a child, while Stella lives her life passing as white.

Cover rating: 4.5/5

What I Loved From The Book: The way the plot was woven together

Will I be reading more books by the author? Yes

Do you recommend this book? Yes

Character/s I loved: I actually need to think about this some more

Overall rating on the sip meter (ratings are out of 5):

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“She hadn’t realized how long it takes to become somebody else, or how lonely it can be living in a world not meant for you.”
― Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half

Follow me on Twitter/IG @heyanci

Posted in Fiction, Sip n' Read

Mom & Me & Mom- A Review

Genre:Memoir

Just a rant: Maya Angelou remains my favorite and she was just exceptional in everything

What is the book about: In this book, Maya shares her relationship with her mother

Anci’s Summary: This book tugged at my heartstrings but I found it to be such an amazing read. This book mainly focuses on her relationship with her mother Vivian Baxter. Initially, she stayed with her grandmother but I don’t want to drop any spoilers because that is not cool. Her mother was full of surprises whether she was breaking down doors to save her hurting daughter or totally being understanding of her young daughter’s pregnancy.

Memorable quote: “You were a terrible mother of small children,but there has never been anyone greater than you as a mother of a young adult”

Will I read more books by the author : Yes

Do you recommend this book: Of course

Rating on the sip meter (rating is out of 5):

@heyanci

Follow me on IG/Pinterest/Twitter/FB @heyanci

Posted in Fiction

Qhenyisiwe

I am such a disappointment to good girls everywhere.

But gosh, it was better than a day trip to the National Museum. His hazel eyes stared into my brown eyes daring me to say no but the second he kissed me I was gone. His breath tasted like Crystal mints he probably bought from Mai Chipo’s tuckshop for 20c ( dayum this boy wants to be the end of my good girl days) and his hands caressed my back and I just stood there like a 50-year-old fossil stuck in a museum.

I swear at that moment birds chirped and a James Chimombe track played in the background . The irony of it all! It was 2018 and the song I wanted to be played during my first kiss in my head was a golden oldie 🙉pity me already.

I wanted everything he was giving even if it was for 15minutes or 5 minutes-who cared? I was getting some tongue action with the hottest boy in my class and my braces didn’t care. This was my first kiss and it awakened every sensory nerve in my body and it made me feel like a real woman (when does one become a woman actually? ).

When it ended I wanted to grab him and puppy dog him for more but I couldn’t because nobody did that at all. He didn’t realize it but this kiss meant the whole world to me but to him, it was just another weirdo that he got to kiss. You probably think I must be cool if I got invited to a pool party.

Nope! I am that girl that sits at the back of the class that never says anything unless the teacher calls her name, the girl that carries a lunchbox full of fatcooks and who until five minutes ago had never been kissed. Ugh, how did I become another teen movie cliche? This is what happens to girls that miss church two Sundays in a row and accidentally copy the class nerd in the biology in-class test

The only reason I was at this party was that the whole class was invited and it was supposed to be our senior year get together. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have been invited and I would still be the same ordinary girl my mother prayed I was. And this party was boring till a few minutes ago when I followed a boy into a closet because I wanted to be the cool black girl that watches teen movies on DSTV. Truth be told, I watch Cartoon Network more.

Were my lips swollen? Could people smell my innocence disappearing Did I actually close my eyes? Now we will never know because my brain had temporarily shut down. I looked at him ready to smile his eyeballs off only to be met with a guy popping a minty gum into his mouth and taking selfies of his perfect jawline and where those muscles real?.

He smiled at me as he walked out and I followed behind him like a brainwashed minion with only one instruction “Fo”.w “.I watched him immerse himself into his squad while I went to join my tribe who was snoring so loud in the back of Tafadzwa’s car. This was where I belonged, right!?

Why didn’t no-one care that I had spent the last few minutes getting kissed after a game of spin the bottle. This was a big deal! Black girls don’t randomly go to parties especially pool parties (98% of my class can’t swim) and kiss a boy and casually move on with life. Who does that? But they didn’t care, except Tawanda’s girlfriend.

Gosh I was one of those uncool kids in the movies that ate their lunch near the trashcan but in my case I was the girl with the friends that just didn’t fit in to the private school box…..

Posted in Fiction

Harare’s Matchmaker 4

I stood still in borrowed clothes, in an unfamiliar place and staring at Mr wrong right now. How did one night of drunk in pain end up full of regrets and a million dollar question? I couldn’t look away from those yummy eyes that were looking at me daring me to say something. What would you say to an unexpected one night stand that you never dreamed would happen?

“Did we uhmmm sleep together?” I asked praying for the ground to swallow me already as I was never ready for the answer that would come . “You don’t remember do you?” he responded while dishing scrambled eggs to a plate while another hand poured orange juice. Didn’t rich people drink Tanganda black tea? Or juice was the norm in the suburbs?  His juice was the least of my problems -how did I sleep with the man I was supposed to match with an eager woman ready for happy ever after?

I pulled a chair and sat down not that I had anywhere to go at this moment. Obviously, I had to be at the office but this was an emergency that needed swift action. My breakup had caused this unfortunate event to occur but my body was pumped that I had let loose with a man that looked like a tall glass of hot cocoa with floaty marshmallows. “Did we at least use protection?” I asked the man that was focused on his breakfast than the short morning breath cornrowed melanin queen of mishaps in front of him.

“Do I look reckless to you ?”

” Well, I don’t know you well to know what your style is ?” I responded

” Well, you didn’t care which devil you threw yourself to last night?” he said

That stung a bit as I could not even recall anything about last night. Some go out and get tattoos, write killer breakup songs and I went out last night drank like a fish and lost my virginity to a man I barely know. This would be an interesting story for Chido my friend who worked for the Cosmopolitan of Africa ‘She Fierce’ and she was always on the lookout for stories that resonated with her fans.

Tears threatened to make an appearance but I bit my tongue. Sitting in front of me was a spoiled rich man that was gorgeous but didn’t find me attractive me in the least possible way. I stood up and said, “This doesn’t change anything, I still will find you a match and please from now on refer to me as Miss Sibanda”.With that, I left the room and prepared to do the walk of shame in the suburbs I was unfamiliar with. I turned and said, “Where can I get a kombi from here”. He looked at me biting his tongue to prevent a laugh from showing on his face.

“The driver will take you home”

“Thank you,” I said

Now you probably thinking why did she accept his help. Well, listen I have never lived in the suburbs and I am not going to be on the front cover of H-Metro looking like a madwoman roaming the streets. Turns out his driver was more polite than his boss and maybe it’s because he has driven a lot of his Master’s one night stands. Tears streaked down my cheeks as I remembered the sixteen-year-old that had vowed to save herself for marriage but had lost her V-card to a man that she hated. Where do broken hearts go?I asked my broken heart as I let the tears massage my face.

As soon as we got to my house, I jumped out and thanked the jovial man and it was only when the key unlocked the safe haven that I let all the tears I had held in pour unashamedly. I cried for myself, m broken heart and my virtue……

Posted in Fiction

Harare’s Matchmaker 3

Breakups suck. People who tell you that you can cry and you would feel better are wrong. You just don’t cry and it stops hurting. It’s not like going to the ladies where you pee a while and then afterward it stops. It takes a little time. Of course, there is the denial stage and the first few weeks of hurting and then the rainbow pot of happiness after a while. But I didn’t have a while, I had now and with my job you needed to be a jolly good fellow 346 days a year. There wasn’t any time or room to be the Grinch of love *sigh*. But after a while of crying and watching sad movies and annoying your friends with tales of his betrayal you start to shave your legs again and putting effort into your outfits.

I didn’t have time to cry and watch movies like nay cliche romcom, I had money to make and my grandparent’s hut in the village needed some asbestos to complete it.  Tonight, I would drink my sorrow away in black pants, white crop top and a dash of lipstick. All I can think of is whether I picked the right shade of lipstick after all I had never worn it before. But after hours of searching on the blessing that is google, I pretty much had a shade.

Zororai Club located just 20 minutes away from my home was known for its notoriety and it’s well-endowed bouncers and barmen.  Don’t judge me, I am not looking for a warm body to show my yoga moves or lips that could whisk me to paradise. I just need to get drunk and dance the pain away and nurse a killer hangover tomorrow. I arrive in the club before it really gets busy and my mistake was arriving a few minutes before my friend ‘The Club Queen’  who knew the ropes to clubs.

She arrived forty minutes later and I was already on my fifth bottle of the night.  The thing about a drunk me is that my senses fly out the window like a bird with misplaced coordinates. I watched her dance with a random guy and I couldn’t help being envious of her. She was funny, smart and she had a handle on the alcohol.  I scolded myself for being the mom of the group and just standing in a club staring at people like a human-sized stationary statue of the Monalisa.

I got my sixth bottle of the night and dance with it and what a sight I might have been. The thing about alcohol is that even your two left feet like they were ballet trained and your ass twerks for days not stat-twerk and I felt good. The room began to get blurry and maybe it was all the head-spinning I was doing. I felt my feet give way and all I remember was hands catching me and everything else was a blur. Did I puke? Who caught me? Did I just die? Who caught me? are the thoughts that circled around in the hollow pit I call brain as I officially signed out for the night.

I was woken up by my ancestors beating drums in my head and the smell of bacon wafting into my nostrils. I opened my eyes to an unfamiliar house, naked except for my bra and undies. Why didn’t I wear matching undies I thought as I took in the room. I was worried, I was drunk last night and I couldn’t even remember whose house this was and how I even got here. Did I get laid last night? I quickly looked under the sheets as if my lady bits were going to suddenly scream out “hey, we got some last night after a long time. Thanks a lot !”

So this is what the walk of shame feels like huh. How was I going to catch a kombi in just my undies and what if I opened the door to a group of armed men waiting for me to escape? Sometimes I just want to get on a plane and move to New York City where Uber is a thing and not have to walk to a kombi. I jumped out of bed, walked to the wardrobe got a pair of jeans that were most probably twice my size and a t-shirt and prepared to escape.

Barefooted, embarrassed and full of questions I tiptoed out of the bedroom and went for the door I assumed was the exit. The smell of toast, bacon, and tea wafted into my nostrils and I figured what the hell I could probably grab a slice and feed my growling stomach. The food looked so appetizing like something those food channels show on DSTV. Before I could grab a bacon a deeply drop-your-pants-kinda voice said ” You were going to leave just like that ?” and I stood rooted on the ground not sure whether to turn or whether to show off my javelin skills and throw a pan at him and run away.

At that moment I thought about that chicken I never slaughtered for my ancestors or that Sunday I missed church.How can I be so unlucky?  my feet having a mind of its own turned and my eyes looked up to see the source of the voice that had my heart bellowing ” Hello Adele-style” and the drum ensemble in my head coming to an abrupt halt. My piercing eyes stared into those gorgeous eyes as my toast tumbled to the ground.

“You …..” I said as I pointed to him…He just smiled and I stood jaw dropped and with a million questions……………..

Posted in Fiction

Harare’s Matchmaker 2

Harare’s Matchmaker Chapter 1B

I kept smiling while my thoughts wandered aimlessly to the man that was sitting in front of me .Very few people entered my office and dominated it in all its femininity .I wondered what had brought this gorgeous man into my office and before I could daydream further I felt a little tap on my arm that jerked me straight into real life.

I gave a slight smile and said “Matchmakers tend to do a  pre-meeting meditation Tonderai”. I lied my ass off not that I could afford to lose a part of my behind or could think of a single African woman that meditated in the workplace. “My name is Nneka Natalie Sibanda and I will be your main contact at 263 Connection .263 Connection aims to connect you with the love of your life and your happy ever after while meeting all your stipulated requirements” I said, just as I noticed him glance at his watch.

His watch alone looked like it cost half of my closet not that I was complaining about the local Kotamai which was serving me drool worthy clothes since 2014. He lifted his eyes to meet me and I swear my breathing would have shocked my doctor into giving me a bed for the night and I am pretty sure my lips involuntarily parted .Gosh, this man was igniting fires in the Sahara desert .

“I don’t like to waste time Nneka,” he said in his deep hoarse voice lathered with a British accent, while staring deep into my eyes. ‘I would like to be matched with a young woman between the age of 24-28 ,university educated with a stable job  and knows a thing or two about dressing up and she has to be open to going to church’ He then pointed to his watch . “I look forward to hearing from you’

And with that he was gone, now talk about a guy that values his time. Where was I going to get a Black woman with a body like Bella Hadid and Sheryl Sandberg’s brains in a concrete jungle that is Harare .This man was either going to end my career or he was going to be the reason I finally joined Christian Mingle .

 

                                                                    Chapter 2

 

My boss was going to kill me.

Maybe I am exaggerating a little but this match was going to be the death of me .Things were not looking good at the moment no matter how I tried to look at it. For some reason I kept seeing Tonderai and me together .Weird right? I usually didn’t care for the guys that showed up to my office and trusting me to match them with their one true love like a black fairy godmother minus the wings, the glitter and the English accent. I dropped down on my knees for a short prayer of sorts to help me compose but maybe I just needed to hit the road and see my mother.

“Maidei!” I shouted for my assistant, who marched into my office like a sixth grader caught copying in the final year exams. How she managed to carry herself like a sixteen year old when she was nearing twenty five puzzled me. My head smacked the top of my desk when I tried to look at her.”Ow!”

“Ma’am are you okay ,” my assistant asked me ,staring into my eyes as if she had suddenly gotten a medical degree from the university of Zimbabwe medical school and her secretarial diploma had disappeared into thin air. I seriously need to stop watching Cartoon Network for crying out loud, my thoughts were becoming a little too dramatic for my liking.  “Ma’am, should I get you something?”  She asked quite concerned. I gently rubbed the small lump already growing on my scalp and said “May you please get me the profiles of all the single women in our database that have a university degree, drivers licence and are affiliated with a religion”

“Argh!” she mumbled and I gave her my don’t-even look that I reserved for my naughty nephews and in this case my ever grumbling assistant.  She rolled her eyes as she shook her non-existent booty at me.

Sometimes I didn’t even know how I tolerated her but she was the most effective assistant in the history of assistants and she always had juicy gossip up her sleeves. One time she got so drunk and spilled all her embarrassing moments including that one time she slept with her friend’s dad thinking it was her friend’s brother. As much as I wanted to dwell on my tell-tale assistant, I had to focus on work. I have been on pins and needles ever since a rival company opened its doors a few weeks back .Before Kubatanidzwa we were the only matchmaking company in Harare and I was determined to remain on top of the matchmaking business one way or another.

I needed to go out tonight and dance my behind off or maybe I just needed a good rom-com to help me get over the loser of a guy that I called my ex-boyfriend. I hadn’t thought of him in well over 3 hours maybe because a certain pair of hazel eyes were claiming resident of my mind. I picked up my handbag, ready for a night out with the baddest drunk in H-town –my day one and drunk and dial GF Sithembiso.

I quickly scribbled a note to my assistant notifying her that I needed that list on my desk at 8am without fail and left the 263 Connection building like any normal millennial leaving her workplace except that I didn’t drive and I didn’t own an I-phone.  Harare doesn’t have subways and cool buses so I have to deal with the trek to the Kombis and bump shoulders with sweaty perverted guys sometimes but sometimes I shared a seat with a normal mum or the super touchy couple that have more tongue work than my dog has runs.

I had a feeling that something was going to unravel tonight and mistakes were going to be made. I have never had a successful break over that didn’t result in me being happy or with a smile on my face. Maybe tonight was the night I would try to wear my crop top and a little lipstick …….

 

 

 

Posted in Fiction

Harare’s MatchMaker Chapter 1

May  has turned to June ,which in Harare means it’s winter 0.2 .The days are occasionally  warm ,the nights are a battle of wits with the cold ,and-yes ,I’m a matchmaker still living with my dog Bhoki and hanging out at the local coffee shop trying to catch a glimpse of ‘him’. Him being the missing connection and the final piece to my puzzle .

Am I happy ? I doubt that as I am currently sitting on my well carpeted floor crying out my heart out and helping myself to badly burnt fat cooks. You see ,I have never been one to fall in love or pretend to be a graceful swan waltzing into a room and commanding the presence of everyone in it.  I have kept a portion of my life secret -the one about my job and my mother’s unsuccessful career as a sangoma .

The guy that I have been secretly dating is cheating on me . After I gave him the best six months of his year . Get me right,I made him laugh ,cooked chicken soup for him when he was cold and I absolutely did not give him the cookie. He was supposed to be the straight on-the-path-to-heaven youth pastor and I was the sangoma’s daughter with more waist beads than a bead maker down the road.

So imagine my surprise when I walked in on him with his assistant crying out to the universe and holding on to each other for dear life.The hypocrisy ,the lies and the hurt ! I was pissed and at that moment I hated everyone that made more than three figures and wore body hugging suits.   I would have continued to wail if I didn’t have a 1pm meeting with a certain bachelor looking for love .

All I knew about this bachelor was that his name was Tonderai .He hadn’t listed his profession so I assumed he was one of those truck drivers that occasionally decided that meaningless sex on the side of the road was overrated and he needed to settle down with a submissive wife that would do his laundry,keep his bed warm and give him off springs . I hated those kind as they always came into my office with dominance and smelling of unwashed clothes and soaked in cheap perfume and a cockiness that came from living living on the road.

Tonderai was going to be an easy match if he was one of those tho as I had a bachelorette that had been on the wait list for so  long .She couldn’t seem to get a match even when I tried to put her on top of the list ,she was pretty and occasionally  smart but she was looking for a Forbes list kinda guy. The problem with her type was that she didn’t realize that we were in Harare and sheikhs and billionaires were no way closer to our geographical co-ordinates.

A loud knock jolted me back to reality and I straightened my pencil skirt ,quickly wore my heels and went to the door. Karma be a two faced monster I tell you ,standing in front of me was this tall dark bearded man dripping of melanin and everything finesse . My saliva clotted on my throat as I stared at the most beautiful hazel eyes I had ever seen . My hand stood frozen on the door knob as I stood there drooling at this fine specimen of a man ,I took in his suit that screamed expensive .It was his suit that tugged my bitter heartstrings and made me regain my consciousness .I smiled politely and ushered him and my hatred of him and his suit dominated my thoughts.

I had no idea why I hated him just yet but I knew his suit reminded me of that jerk that had screwed his assistant . I walked towards my chair and looked straight at him and gave him my cherry on top smile.At that moment you would have crowned me the black Meryl Streep my smile was as fake and real as my thrift shop fake Prada handbag…..

Posted in Fiction

Harare’s Matchmaker

I often get asked how I became a matchmaker .It wasn’t something that I dreamed about when I was burning the midnight oil at NUST trying to get that computer science degree and it definitely wasn’t what my parents had in mind when they sold half of their kraal to take me to university .I didn’t even know I could become a matchmaker -black people don’t play cupid and neither do we care about finding love online .When the natural process fails we start hitting the church shrines or sangoma’s .

I didn’t know I could become a matchmaker until a year ago.I was just an unemployed ,broke and very nosy young woman living in the concrete jungle that is Harare .I was not born an expert  on love and neither did I have the connections  to make it in this big city .I was born twenty five years ago to a cattle man Jonasi and Chipo the village sangoma and midwife . One would have thought that being born to a sangoma was a rite of passage to a smooth ride through life after all sangoma’s can see the future and anticipate doom a mile away .

I hate to break your heart but my mother never saw anything about my life maybe because i didn’t believe in her beliefs .My mother’s career choice was something I never talked about -imagine the eye rolls and the whispers I would receive and with my chosen career path where people expect me to link them to their future mates ,i just couldn’t talk about it .

She often calls me to chat about life in the big city and I often lie to her like the good child I am (our mothers don’t need to worry ). I work for Zim Connection,the largest matchmaking  site in Harare and my boss is a middle aged man that has been married six times and is currently married to wife number 7  . Our office has 5 employees and none of us are in stable relationships or remotely close to the word dating . We play cupid for a living and yet we can’t find ,bag and marry our own -so I thought before he showed up …….

 

 

 

Posted in Fiction

Fiction :21 year old virgin the prequel to 40 year old virgin

I am Josie Geller (sigh)

Obviously I’m not really her (haven’t you met me ) ,but rather I am similar to the geeky awkward journalist from the movie never been kissed.

Josie and I are similar .Just like her ,I have blown out all twenty-one candles of my birthday cake and still have never been kissed .You probably thinking what is wrong with this pathetic excuse of a girl-does she have Ebola  or maybe she is a toothless faceless African girl with more curves than sense .

I am guilty as charged since I don’t have that neck length mane of blonde hair but I do have her pudgy demeanor which I blame on my love of food –especially nicely marinated huge chunk of a road runner (huku yechiboyi ) but we are alike in that we have never had our toes curl in that magical moment (sigh ) .

Me and Josie are so different yet so similar

I have found that I am more than the meaning of the word shy;I find myself talking about books no sane person has read and movies that everyone saw ages ago .Don’t get me started ,no-one ever gets the cheesy dorky sayings on my t-shirts ,so I have decided to fake being dumb for a duration that is entirely dependent on the social gathering.

I am so scared to tell my Tete that I have zero experience with guys and I mean zero as in null .Unlike Josie who actually went on a date and eventually bagged her hunk of English goodness ,I have never held a guys hand.My over analytical self is scared of palm-to-palm just in case my palms decides to sweat it out and embarrass me .

I bet you dying to know what happens to me …well….