Isidora – Kally-Jay Mkwawa
“The story of a Tanzanian lady growing up in a complex world” – Baraka Cassian
Spending the better part of your life being called a good listener, a weirdo, a hermit or a ‘mirror of ugly truths’ and a walking-talking memory machine isn’t at all what it’s cut out to be. To a large extent, it’s a lonely life. You arrive into this life without even meaning to and suddenly it seems that you carry the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. You get sucked into it quite easily and coming up for a breath of fresh air is not easy at all.
This is an account that will give the reader, an idea of what Isidora has encountered in this beautiful, yet twisted and noisy place called the world. It’s not a long story with a happy ending (at least not so far). Rather, it’s about the reasons for her tears, worries, the unending voices in her head and the blows that life threw at her. It’s also about those precious moments of sheer joy and last, but certainly not least, her encounter with Him. Hopefully, sharing her story will find others who can relate to it and make them feel they’re not alone.
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“The author shares her childhood memories growing up in Tanzania, East Africa and how faith shaped the woman she is today. She gives an honest account of her teenage years and her relationship with men, friends and family.” – Elsa Joseph
Kally-Jay Mkwawa lives and works in Tanzania. She gained her undergraduate degree in Bcom Law (majoring in law and minor in business management) which she was awarded in South Africa. Currently Kally-Jay is working for an NGO dealing with provision of medical assistance in the country, whilst pursuing her MBA with the University of South Wales via distance learning.
She has always been a lover of reading and collecting books, a passion through which, and possessing a mind louder than words she can actually utter, has enhanced and inspired her to start writing. Her writing is more of a born talent since she’s never had classes in literature or the arts which would have enabled her to grow further in the field. To her, writing is a form of therapy and a way to tap into her imagination.
Besides her love of writing, Kally-Jay has a passion for lending an ear to people who most of the time need someone to listen to, listening to music, watching movies, relaxing with a book or simply looking out at the ocean.
She draws inspiration for writing from travelling, reading fiction novels and devotional books and conversations with close friends and family and, anything that is ‘out the box’ or living life not conforming to society’s normal set standards.
She strives to write stories from real life experiences and thus, leaving not only an essence of herself in them and what she’s personally been through in life and epiphanies she’s come to in the process, but also those around her.
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When I tell people that it always seems as if the world is too loud for my ears, most people don’t understand what it is I mean exactly. However, I’ve always believed it worth it to remember that in a world with seven billion and something people, there’s only one voice worthy of one’s attention and that is the voice of Him, our Lord and Saviour.
Such a divine encounter for me began with a single prayer which eventually turned into a lifestyle.
A trip through my la-la land
As I slept, I saw his face though after having woken up, I was confused as to what he really looked like or if the face was simply a figment of my imagination. I dreamt or saw his crucifixion and in the dream, I remember having been heartbroken at the sight of Him on that cross. And, one word stood out even though my heart broke as I watched him: hope.
After waking up I kept on trying to contemplate why I had had that dream. Was it just a dream? Did I have it after having prayed, but having partially lost hope in all the things that I yearned for? Was it a message that there’s still hope because of His existence in our lives and with Him having died for our sins? And why, as I woke up, was it that my whole body ached? Because from watching Him on the cross, I felt as though I felt His pain? The dream was so real, however, how could I have dreamt of a time when I was never born and seen someone I’ve never seen or met? Was it from my subconscious or memories from watching a movie too often (though not within that year)?
It was something out of a movie about a family although this family was my friend’s one. It felt like something from a movie because it was quite detailed although I don’t remember much right now. Only that the message was that something had been coming for that friend of mine and that time around it didn’t only involve him but also his baby girl and his wife. For him to prevent what was coming, it’s as if he’d had to step up and save his family.
The man in white stood in my room and as I slept, he touched my shoulder and said, ‘Be healed’.
One would ask how I could’ve seen him as I slept, but from my dream’s eye I saw a flash of a white robe and having seen him in my dreams before, I knew it must’ve been him. Plus, I felt a presence in my room as I slept. After touching my shoulder (for I felt someone touch me), I woke up abruptly.
The man in white and I sat overlooking an endless ocean as we spoke. Well, mostly I asked questions and he kindly responded. I spoke to the man in white about him, and my reluctance to trust this friend of mine. Strangely enough, he told me to believe and trust in him. Once again, he told me I will be healed. Before he left he gave me a hug and I remember (in the dream and out of the dream) I almost wept at how comforting his words, kindness and hug were. From this, I drew strength, hope and joy (feelings which I felt even after waking up in the morning).
Was it another dream? Was it a vision? Was it my communicating with my subconscious and if so, why was the man dressed in white? I remembered the man had turned and I’d seen his face, but I didn’t remember his face after I woke up. It was like having a lot of pieces of a puzzle yet I couldn’t and still can’t fit the right piece in the missing blank space. If it was indeed a vision, I asked myself how one could ask me to put trust and believe in a man rather than advising me to put all my trust and faith in the Lord. What he’d said was, ‘trust him’, so did he mean ‘Him’ or ‘him’ as in my friend? I guess the interpretation just got mixed up somewhere there. Perhaps the message itself was as important as the words used. Yet I still wonder if I’m losing my mind… and yet I still wonder about much more…
As I slept, a man in a white robe gave me something to drink and as I lay there in my bed, I felt the liquid (which tasted like water) run down my throat. He also told me, before he gave me the water, to make it count and to be careful. I keep trying to place his face, but I couldn’t, and I still can’t remember.
This dream happened after having prayed for the miracle of being healed and I cried myself to sleep yet again.
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ISIDORA: THE LIFE, MIND AND MEMORIES OF AN AFRICAN PHOENIX
“The introspections of the author were interesting and presented an illuminating glimpse into her fascinating world. The cultural, environmental as well as emotional insights provided in the book were quite enjoyable.” – Heena Rathore P