A very shaky beginning
Let me tell you a bit about my journey leading to the book launch. On the 3rd of March, I woke up with serious pimples on my face. Being someone that suffers from severe allergies every now and then, I assumed it was just one of those allergy moments. A week later, they were not going away despite taking meds, including antibiotics. They were becoming worse. I had never ever had an acne problem in my life so I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it at age 31.
All this while I had TV appearances, radio shows, and other book promotion events to attend to. I needed my confidence and strength more than ever!
One random week before the pimple invasion, a friend and I decided to travel to Livingstone where I almost died from a heat stroke. I suffered such severe migraines for days on end I had to be covered in ice just to calm down my skyrocketing temperature.
At one point my head was pounding so hard I could swear I died a little and then came back to life. 😂 I was so scared of hearing or imagining things happening to my brain that I forced myself to lose consciousness. Logically speaking, it must have been the pain killers putting me to sleep. 😅
As if things couldn’t get any worse
A few days later, back in Lusaka, I woke up feeling weak and could barely stand on my feet. Even worse, I was actually battling an allergy on top of what I was later to discover was stress acne invading my face. So you can imagine what my face looked like.
My legs had become so swollen I couldn’t fit into my regular pumps and converse. That day I got into the bathtub and tried bathing only to find myself panting and almost losing my breath. I was feeling so tired and it wasn’t because I was overworking myself. Or so I thought.
Still, I had events and responsibilities to attend to and I did. With swollen feet and a wicked smile. 😀
A visit to the hospital soon alerted me of my Anemia. My hemoglobin level was so low it was almost half the requirement for someone of my gender. I received an injection for my allergies and was prescribed other meds to help fix my anemia. And of course I had to immediately go on a special diet since my situation was caused by iron Deficiency in my body.
See, I had over time developed a chronic fear of food. Every time I ate something, even things I was familiar with, I would somehow end up reacting negatively to the food. So I cut off all types of meat from my diet and some other foods and stuck to what I thought was safe. Unfortunately, safe didn’t mean healthy. I was not aware that over time I had been depriving my body of valuable nutrients. Eventually, the anemia occured.
All of this was happening first it was weeks leading to my book launch, and then it became days leading to the launch. I started panicking. To make matters worse, I had not delegated work to any of my friends to assist in ensuring that the book launch was going to happen without a hitch. I was doing everything all on my own despite having friends that could be on top of things for me.
I have a weakness, I hate the idea of needing people because every time I have put myself in a position to need someone, I end up being disappointed. I loathe the idea of people holding me at ransom because of the kindness or favor they’ve shown me, especially the ones that surreptitiously demand the favor to be returned, sooner or later. I have experienced very little genuine kindness in my life. So I have learnt to shield myself from the disappointment. Some people that don’t know me well actually think am a super woman and very independent, but I just happen to have a bad personal character. Lol.
Pillars of strength – Friends and Family
Fortunately for me, a dear friend of mine that likes to have brutally honest conversations with me tuned me out about my need to be in control of things despite having people around me willing to help. After the talk, I called a friend and asked her to be on top of things for me.
However, it wasn’t yet a smooth sail. I had a thousand and one internal and private battles I had to win to ensure my book launch was a success. Since am self- published, and my launch was self sponsored, I had to pay for every activity that was to go down: from booking of venue, entertainment, photography, sound, food and just about everything in between that’s not so obvious to the public eye that is imperative for the smooth running of such an event.
Only my sister Thandie forked out about 20% of the financial help I received. The rest was all me and it was heartbreakingly a huge bill given that am not a billionaire, yet. 😂 I had expectations of financial and logistical assistance coming through from specific people that didn’t come through due to reasons either beyond their control or best known to them, payments due to me that weren’t made on time, and still haven’t been made! I was in a nut! I needed a miracle.
I almost gave up. But I didn’t.
For a moment I had forgotten I serve a living God. Haha. I needed that God in that moment more than ever. One phone call to a dear friend of mine from way back and my cards fell right into place. It was a miracle. Book launch took place and all the faithful friends and fans showed up. Some even traveled all the way from Zimbabwe just to support me. Some friends labored behind the scenes to bring my launch to life. Sacrifices were made, some I was not even aware of at the time. I was beyond grateful.
What most people didn’t know throughout the book launch was that I was sick… And that my feet where swollen inside my heels. But I smiled and prayed for the day to end on a high note. And it somehow did!
Resuming normal life – Focus on Health
Now am focusing on fixing my health and my stress induced acne. A friend of mine once joked that my confidence levels are so high I could start World War 3…and also bring about peace, depending on the tone of voice I used. 😂 Shes a fool but she was right.
I have discovered that despite the acne, I have no issues going out in public and have people wonder what attacked my face. It’s even worse when you smile and they see your dimples, and they feel even more sorry for you! 😂 I deliberately tie my hair back, leave my skin completely bare because I don’t want to make the situation worse with makeup, and I leave my whole face exposed (when am not wearing sunglasses). And am OK with that because I have fought gruesome battles in my life and came out victorious. These scars are evidence of my hard work and perseverance and am not ashamed of them. Go away soon, please. I want my face back! 😭
Fortunately, the acne is healing now that am a little stress free. If only I didn’t have to worry about whether I need a man or not (and by need, I mean relevance), I think I would be completely stress free!! HAHA.
A mighty cheers to the success of the book launch for my debut novel Echoes of Betrayal, all thanks to God and all the friends and family that showed up and delivered when it counted the most! 🥂🥂🍻
Please note that you can purchase my book locally (Lusaka) from Book World – MandaHill store at only K180, and globally from Amazon in both Kindle (US$2.99) and paperback (US$ 10.99). You can also message me for deliveries within Zambia for those unable to purchase book on Amazon.
Check out my photo gallery of the book launch. Can you spot yourself?