ZimExcellence

Trudy Maposa : Homemaking in the Diaspora

October 29, 2021 CULTURELLE Episode 27
ZimExcellence
Trudy Maposa : Homemaking in the Diaspora
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Trudy  is a wife and mother of three who loves all things family. With a background in radio and TV broadcasting and over 15 years of being a communications professional in the corporate world, she has a natural gift of being able to connect with people. Especially women from all walks of life and engaging them in simple but deep conversations about womanhood at large and being effective managers of their lives and homes. She believes that women are at the center and lifelines of the home, and that a well-rounded woman is the foundation of raising grounded humans and it all starts within the home. She's on a mission to redefine what homemaking is, and loves to help women with how to better manage their Homes through teaching and mentoring and believes every woman can get to a place of balance within their homes and in all areas of their lives. Her tagline is simple Tips for Home Bliss.

Website : www.simplytrudy.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/SimplyTrudy.M

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Trudy: You know, term and way of life, like who wants to be a homemaker, you know, but I love everything about homemaking and what it stands for, because I believe that you know, in the home is where you raise human beings and good humans are made studying at home. And that's why I love you know, the whole idea of being a homemaker.

Intro : Yo! Welcome to the party! Hello! Makadini. Salibonani. My name is Vongai and you’re listening to ZimExcellence, a weekly celebration of Zimbabwe’s changemakers and trailblazers. So here’s the secret y’all Zimbabweans are actually DOPE AF and it’s just time that we recognize it. So grab yourself a plate of sadza, grab that Stoney ginger beer and let the party begin!

Vongai: Welcome to another episode of ZimExcellence. Today, my guest is a wife and mother of three who loves all things family. With a background in radio and TV broadcasting and over 15 years of being a communications professional in the corporate world, she has a natural gift of being able to connect with people. Especially women from all walks of life and engaging them in simple but deep conversations about womanhood at large and being effective managers of their lives and homes. She believes that women are at the center and lifelines of the home, and that a well-rounded woman is the foundation of raising grounded humans and it all starts within the home. She's on a mission to redefine what homemaking is, and loves to help women with how to better manage their Homes through teaching and mentoring and believes every woman can get to a place of balance within their homes and in all areas of their lives. Her tagline is simple Tips for Home Bliss. Please welcome Trudy Maposa.

Trudy: Yay I was listening to that I was like who is she talking about? Oh my gosh. Oh my goodness. I am so so honored, happy you name it just to be here to be talking to you. And Wow, what an intro even I'm impressed.

Vongai: You’re so welcome, welcome to the show, Trudy and so happy to have you on the show and celebrate she during your season Libra season. We were chit chatting away before we started recording. Yeah, it turned into the astrology episode. We're like, that's not what we're here for.

Trudy: I actually thought we had started recording. But anyway, 

Vongai: It’s completely fine. That's the private podcast. Anyway, before we get into the juicy details about your life, I always love to start with origin story, because I'm a nerd. And so you are a ZimExcellence superhero. And every superhero has their own origin story. I'd love it if you could take us back in time. So you were born in Zimbabwe, and you now live in Cleveland, Ohio. So take us behind this scenes and that whole journey.

Trudy: Are you ready? [chuckles] 

Vongai: Girl we ready.We've been ready.

Trudy: Okay, so yeah, like you said, I was born in Zimbabwe, in the 80s 1980, to be exact the year that Zimbabwe gained its independence. So I was one of those kids that had a great childhood in Zimbabwe in their early 80s. And I never thought I would have to leave Zimbabwe. You know, just watching my parents. I grew up in a middle class, Zimbabwean home, and my parents had, you know, jobs and they were good jobs. We were well taken care of. And I just thought that would be my path as well, you know, where I would get an education in Zimbabwe, eventually get a job settle. And, you know, I don't know do whatever in Zim. But my dad who is late now. In the early 90s, he was like, I don't think things are going well in Zimbabwe. So he had a plan to get all of us, his kids out of Zim. Because he was a very well traveled man, he used to come to the United States almost every year on business. And so he started this path of my kids have to go get an education in America. And at the age of 18, Vongai straight after my a levels, I left Zim and I want to cry. And I'll tell you why. Because I feel like I was so young. I feel like, I didn't really get to live the life that I had imagined, you know, for myself in Zim and so 18 I was just plugged out of everything that I knew. And I moved to the United States, and here I am. 22 odd years later. And yeah, and I actually have lived most of my adult years here in the United States, but I have deep roots in Zimbabwe, and yeah, I guess, what I'm getting to is, you know, you talked about that journey. And this is where we get to the homemaker piece because I'm a mom and I have children. And I really want my children to have that part of my heritage, my culture. And so I feel like I'm that, that woman that's living the best of you know, of both worlds if you're a so that's how I'm here Cleveland, Ohio in 2021.

Vongai: So did you guys move to Ohio when you when you first left is that way you landed when you were 18?

Trudy: Oh my gosh, no. So I landed in Cincinnati, and I went to Cincinnati State Technical College. So it was a two-year college. And it was basically my you know, my gateway if you may like to just figuring out things in America and my dad mentioned because I wasn't very strong academically.

Vongai: Oh, welcome to the club. [laughter] We did alright but kids please stay in school and please study.

Trudy: Yes study, study study. Yes. But my dad bless his heart knew about me. So he was like, I want you to start off at a two year college, and then see how things are working out for you in the US. And if you like it, and if you feel like he can stay, then you stay. If not, you know, come back home, we'll figure out something. So I started out in Cincinnati. And I didn't like it Vongai. I was like there for three years.

Vongai: When I hear Cincinnati I just think of the zoo. [laughter]

Trudy: The zoo! Yes the Cincinnati Zoo, it’s so big out here. Everybody loves the Cincinnati Zoo. But I mean, if you've been to a safari it’s kinda like eh…it’s a zoo.

Vongai: You’re like I came from Zimbabwe, what is this?

Trudy: I came from Zimbabwe, what is this? 

Vongai: Why are they locked up? Why are they not roaming? 

Trudy: Why are they not roaming! Yeah. But so I think it had to have been in my fourth year, I had gotten my associates degree. And I had also gotten my diploma in radio and TV broadcasting, because that was like my passion. I was like, I might end up on TV. Who knows?

Vongai: Why are we the same person? [laughter]

Trudy: But of course, it didn't work out that way. I did land a job in radio, though. And I was like a producer. And this was during my OPT time, right? 

Vongai: Yes. So for the listeners that might not understand. So OPT is your Optional Practical Training. It gives you one year of work within the field that you studied in after you graduate school. And so that's before, after your student visa before you then apply for like a different visa.

Trudy:A different visa. Correct. So during that time, I had made up my mind I was working at this radio station I was working for Radio one Cincinnati. And I started off as an intern, actually as a receptionist. And then I ended up being an assistant producer for a talk show for a station called The Buzz. And, I mean, I loved the aspect of my job. But I did not like my life outside of work, I felt very isolated. I felt like I really didn't have, you know, a good social life or connected with the American culture or people. So I just decided that I was going to go back home and I spoke to my parents and my parents, again, very supportive that we're like, Okay, if you feel like this is not working out for you, you can definitely come back home and figure out what you want to do with your life. But as fate would have it, a young man came into the picture. 

Vongai:  Uh oh, that’s trouble [laughs]  

Trudy: They are trouble, let me tell you, my mind was made up I was ready to go back to Zim and I met a Zimbabwean guy through a mutual friend. And I don't know how it happened. But here we are. 17 years later this year, I'm still with this man. And I still don't know what happened. 

Vongai: I feel like you need to do one of those tik toks to be like, how it started how it's going. Can you if what was it? There's this one, like tik tok or reel trend where it's like, if you'd seen your relationship before? what it was gonna be like, would you be in it or whatever.

Trudy:I would be now that I'm older and wiser. But if you'd asked me that question, maybe in my 20s I would have been like eh no. 3 kids where? a homemaker? What? What? No,

Vongai: Girl you are so funny. So before I forget, so when you first moved to Cincinnati, what were your like initial thoughts about America? Did you encounter a culture shock?

Trudy: Oh my gosh, did I culture shock is real 

Vongai: Yeah because you lived in Zimbabwe for 18 years. And like basically, they say, our voice and our like accent is affected by places we've lived in five years or more. And that's why mine is just so mixed. It's like now American is British. It’s Zimbabwean. It’s everything. At the time that you moved your accent would have been very Zimbabwean because that’s all you knew.

Trudy:That's all I knew. And you can imagine my first day on campus. And I tell the story all the time. I was I went to the cafeteria to grab lunch and talk about culture shock. The food I was like what in the world is this? I had no idea, what some of this food was. And so you know, I'm just kind of following prompts. I'm watching people as they grab their tray. I'm like, Oh, this is kind of like how it looks like on TV you grab a tray and down the line. Well now I'm looking at that, you know, glass with the food and I am like, I know nothing Vongai. There was nothing that I I knew. And the first thing that caught my eye was a chicken cordon bleu. Do you know what that is?

Vongai: Yeah, that has like ham and and cheese. 

Trudy: Yeah, yeah. And I was like, that looks, you know, like some kind of chicken. But I had no idea what it was called. So I got there. And I was like, I want that. And I was pointing. And then they like the what? And I'm like that, that thing right there. So yeah, that was just culture shock. My accent was, quote, unquote, off. You know, nobody, you know, people had a hard time understanding me, I had a hard time understanding them. And it was it was just a very difficult, you know, time for me. And there were so many nights where I would literally just cry myself to sleep in want to go back home. But I just didn't have the heart to call my parents and tell them listen, this is really not working out. So I felt like after I had my, you know, my diploma, at least I could tell them. I came here I tried it out. I have my diploma now can I come back home. And then this man happened.

Vongai: Uh oh he caused the twist in the plan.

Trudy:Oh my gosh. And in a good way, though, in a good way. Because again, I started out in Cincinnati, he lived in Cleveland. So this is our second time around in Cleveland. But when I met him, he was applying to business school. So he happened to get accepted at, you know, a great school in Philadelphia. So we had only been married like about six months, I had moved from Cincinnati to Cleveland. And six months later, we were on the road. We're moving to East Philadelphia. Yeah. Loved Philly, by the way, loved loved it. And so my now husband was, you know, studying for his MBA, and we had my daughter, you know, we had a little girl and you know, it was, then I started like, again, culture shock. I have a baby, what do I do with this baby? In this country, you know, I don't have anybody. And, you know, I believe that those days are some of what shaped what my passion is now, which is helping younger diasporan moms navigate this whole culture shock. This whole different that you know, just different environments that you're in and you're trying to raise a child and just trying to figure out, how do I want to raise my child I want them to have those Zimbabwean roots, but they are also an American child in America. So how do I strike, you know, that balance and I feel like just moving from state to state, you know, I did mention I have three kids. And I had my kids in three different three different states, by the way. 

Vongai: Yes birth certificates. I’m thinking about the birth certificates.

Trudy: So we had my daughter in Cleveland, Ohio, and then my son was born in Philadelphia, then my youngest was born in California. So it was just all of that, you know, that experience of moving from state to state and befriending mothers, young mothers like myself from different cultures, you know, different parts of America, and just finding my own way and my own rhythm in motherhood and what I wanted to, you know, bring into my home. And you know, just feeling like this is something that I can help a young mom, young lady out there with, you know, if she's struggling with like, some of the things that I struggled with. 

Vongai: All right Ms Trudy, who goes by Simply Trudy on the Instagrams. I would love to just dive straight in to homemaking and how you got into homemaking. Because when I think homemaking, I think, oh, she's Zimbabwean’s Martha Stewart, but that's not exactly what it is. So please give us your personal definition of homemaking. And also let us know a little bit about how you fell in love with it, with this passion. Yeah.

Trudy: Wow. Okay, where do I start? Okay, so let's start with how I fell in love with homemaking. So, like I mentioned before, when my husband and I had been married, like barely, like a year, you know, we moved to Philly. And he was in grad school. And then after grad school, and I was working at the time, and you know, he was a full time student and I was working and we had, you know, my daughter, the little girl, and she was in daycare at the time. And something about her being in daycare did not sit right by me. Don't get me wrong, the daycare she went to was great. She had great teachers and everything. But I just felt like I was missing out on a lot of, you know, milestones like, imagine your daughter taking her first steps. And you're not there to capture those, you know, those moments. And as a young mom, I was like, I don't want to be missing moments like this. So there was always this yearning of wanting to be really present with my children. And they get I feel like that yearning came from the fact that my mom was a working mom in Zimbabwe, you know, and when I had my child, I started reflecting, and I was like, my mom would be gone all day, right? And they, she would come home in the evening, and we would barely see her, and it would be time to go to bed. And you know, the next day starts going to school, she's going to work. And I was just like, you know, again, Zimbabwe had, you know, we had helpers and maids. And I feel like, we were raised by, you know, the nannies.

Vongai: Literally! I'm like, wait, when you said that, when you mentioned your mom coming back home from work, and then you seeing her? And then maybe like, did you do your homework, Go brush your teeth, and going to sleep and literally triggers? And I'm like, Yeah, mhm that's true. 

Trudy: That is true. And then, so just, I had that yearning, right. And then my husband's first job out of grad school was in Seattle, Washington. And by then I had two, two babies, my kids are very close in age, they two years apart. And daycare, as you know, or I don't know, as our listeners know or don't know, it's very expensive, in you know, in America. And I mentioned that, you know, in Zimbabwe, a lot of women middle class, and, you know, in middle class families, the women worked, they went to work. And, you know, it was normal. But then I started looking around me, and I'm observing these young American moms, and a lot of them were stay at home moms. And you know, they were taking care of the kids and I was like, Oh my gosh, they must be really wealthy in order for them to be able to, you know, stay at home and have like, live on one income and stuff like that. And then, in talking to them, you know, it's it was like the norm. You know, a lot of them had gone to college, gotten married, and then they start having kids. And sometimes the cost of daycare is way more than they’re making and be like, I'd rather you know, quit my job. We just cut back on costs, and I raise my kids and just be there. You know, for my kids. This was a new concept for me. You know, as a Zimbabwean girl, because obviously, you know, when our parents send us overseas, it’sso you get an education, and you get a job. A nine to five job, you know, and here I was toying with the idea of being a state at home mom, or in the words of, you know, my parents a housewife.

Vongai: Yeah. And I just imagined like a 50s housewife. If people saw WandaVision, a 50s housewife who like the guy comes home from work. This is like heteronormative couple. The guy comes home from work, and she already has the pie ready from the oven. And how is your day, honey? 

Trudy: She’s in heels! 

Vongai: Yeah, yeah, she's in heels. And the guy dumps all of the stress that happened at work and doesn't ask about her day.

Trudy: About her day. Yeah, so this was the, you know, this was what my parents thought about when I when I told them about, you know, you know, a lot of young moms here don't actually go to work, they stay at home, they take care of the kids and blah, blah, blah. And my dad had such a hard time with it, but my mom understood why I wanted to be you know, a stay at home mom. Because I explained to her I was like, Mom, we have a great relationship but I really feel like you missed out on a lot of parts of my life, you know, by you going to work and you know, coming home in the evenings. So long story short, I had to redefine what a homemaker is for myself so that I didn't feel like a less than, you know. Imagine, I was in my mid 20s, around 25 between the ages of 25-27 a lot of my friends at that age are had just you know, entered corporate America, their careers were taking off. You know, they’re traveling and they just like climbing up that corporate ladder. And here's little Trudy talking about, I want to be a stay at home mom. [laughter] I have to say when I did say that some of my friends some of them thought I was very, it was lack of ambition, like really, you can go to work and be a great mom why do you have to give up you know, one thing in order for you to be this you know, amazing mom? But thankfully, my husband understood exactly what I was saying and where I was coming from, and he was raised by a single mom. So he was like, I get what you're doing and I think it's very important and we will figure it out. You know, let's do this. So I then decided that I would take homemaking and make it my job because I felt like I needed to like make it a job and make it meaningful when I explain it to people and again then I was worried about what people thought what people would say, you know, so I was like, You know what, I'm gonna take this homemaking or housewife title and I am going to you know, chip at it like a job like you know. If I'm a project manager at a job, how do I you know, get that project signed off on and what if this is how I'm going to run my home. So my definition of a homemaker is that woman that's balancing it all Vongai. She can be going to work was still running a very effective you know, household because we are home managers once you come into the home and you have children. Even if you have a job, you still have to manage your home to a certain extent like be it putting your kids into activities, picking them up who is going to pick them up what are we going to eat when we you know when the kids come back from school? Who's making dinner tonight, you know. That's home management that's a skill that not a lot of people have. And so for me a homemaker is not that 50s housewife who's just you know waiting at home baking pies looking pretty and waiting on hubby to get home but she's a well rounded you know, educated woman who's running her household effectively. And you know, that's my definition of a homemaker. I know it was long winded but I always feel like I always feel like I need to give like a background you know, so you can understand you know, how I you know, got to this place and my definition of you know, a homemaker.

Vongai :So you would say that it includes like you said the home management does that also include like curating the meals or like possibly decorating or is that the traditional kind of idea of homemaking. So I feel like it I'm thinking of like have you seen the home edit on Netflix? Oh my gosh, she would you you'd love them. Well, I think you love them. These two ladies that like organize your house and like the way they do it is just so great and you have so much space and they organize the bookshelves by color and everything. They're great. Yeah, on Netflix, check it out. We're not sponsored. But yes,

Trudy: I love that. But, um, so I feel like it's a mix. It's a mix of both, the traditional and, you know, non traditional. And this is what I mean traditionally, I don't know whose tradition this is anyway its society. You know, the woman is the one that plans the meals that makes sure the kids are clean and, you know, ready for school and all that. But again, the modern homemaker to me does not necessarily have to take on all that. She's managing her home, and she's including her partner, I have an able bodied adult in my home who happens to be my husband and I don't have to do it all you know. And that's part of me managing my home like telling him and communicating that hey babe, I need help.

Vongai: Delegating 

 Trudy: Delegating, that's the word. Yeah, and what is delegating is part of managing your you know, your life, your lifestyle. And so I do include the meal prep and everything, but part of my meal prep is also getting you know, like my husband and now my teenage kids involved in you know, that meal prep like so. I only cook three times a week now my husband cooks on one day, and then once in a while when the kids are not not busy, they also cook so you know, it's that again, the traditional and non traditional you know housewife model I guess that you know, that I use.

Vongai: Yes with raising because you said it's in the home where you know, we're raising these human beings who are then in the world and then doing yeah, whatever in the world. Yeah, have you been able to kind of keep that balance of incorporating Zimbabwean values and then also acknowledging that you live in America and then assimilation is gonna happen along the way, because they were born there so they are American.

Trudy: Yeah, yeah. That's a great question. So you know, with with culture, culture is very, I feel like culture is very fluid. And I feel like when you you know, when you know better you do better, there's certain aspects of a Zimbabwean culture that I love, and they definitely some aspects of it that I do not necessarily like, and I get the choice to pick the good and then take the good again, I get the choice to pick the good from, you know, the American culture, the good from the Zimbabwean culture and come up with this. For me, what I call a perfect mix. For example, we were raised to be respectful to our elders. Like if somebody walked into your house and adult walked into the house, you had to acknowledge them you had to sit down and ask them how are you How was your day? That's something that I expect from my kids in America whereas American kids I cannot tell you how many households I walk into and these kids don't even acknowledge me and you know, it's kind of like when you say hi they look at you like you're crazy. Like why are you even talking to me? See, but he teenagers will do that. You know, you say hi, and they look at you like you're crazy. But my kids and I'll give you an example like my daughter just this afternoon I had a talk with her where grandma is currently visiting with us and she's staying with us and yesterday, grandma says to me, I did not see Shamiso. You know Shamiso’s my daughter's name. The whole day yesterday. Well she's on the go, she comes from school, and they she has after school activities, she's studying, she's doing all sorts of things. And today, I pulled her to the side and I said, Listen, you I need you to make sure that every day that you come back from school, you go find Grandma, you acknowledge her and you ask her how her day was because it's just rude to not do that. You know, when you have somebody else in the house an adult you have to acknowledge them and just say good afternoon. How was your day? Y’know 

Vongai: I feel triggered. 

Trudy: Why are you triggered? Let me tell you because she looked at me like I was crazy and she's like, okay.

Vongai: It's so. it's so interesting to hear this from your perspective. I'm like for I've been on the perspective of like, Shamiso’s side. Like just being multicultural and just our very existence is just very, it's very interesting. It's also very confusing. And sometimes it's very exciting. It's just a mixture of things. But then sometimes it's just I guess it's like, I've had I've, I guess, been on the receiving end of like, it's, it's almost sounds like it's the end of the world and you just kind of, don't get it because we’re living between both worlds so you’re just trying to understand.  Okay I didn’t say hello to her so she’s mad? I was supposed to go find her but I was studying for my exams? But the way you're explaining it makes me understand. So I’m just laughing cos I'm like, oh, like I kind of get it now. But like, when you're in the moment, you're like, what did I do?

Trudy:That was her exact reaction. She looked confused. And she actually said, Did gogo say that to you? That I didn’t. And, and she's like, she didn't even try to explain, like, I was studying I had, she was like, Okay, Mom, I'll do it. And I love that  you can relate to that, because it makes me understand her reaction as well. Because I was like, Listen, this is what we do, you know, in our culture. It's not. It's not even like, how do I put it? It's not I just think it's rude Vongai for to have an elderly person in the home, and you don't acknowledge them, you don't say hi. Those are like some of the little things that I feel like we can hold on to and pass on to our Zimbabwean kids, because honestly, I struggle when I get into some of these American households. And then again, like I said, these teenagers that have like earphones, you know, headphones, and they just like, they don't even acknowledge there’s an adult, and there's no like, eye contact. And I think those are just like basic etiquette, or just human skills that you should have, you know, it's just common courtesy. If you can call it that. 

Vongai: Growing up in my mind, I translated as, like, if I happen to be in the same room as the person, like, let's say, Get up, and I go to this room, I'll say hello, but it's not like, I happened to be in my room the whole day. And it's like, why didn't you say hello to this person? Like, obviously, it now makes sense now that I'm older, but when you're younger, it's so confusing. And so now, like being in at the age that I am now, it's been this interesting thing of, like, seeing everything from the perspective of my parents and I just, like really applaud like diasporan parents. And like, you know, your parents raising their kids in different cultures, because I just, I cannot fathom being, you know, early 20s, young new baby in a completely new culture that you don't even know that you're kind of confused, and you're learning as you go. But then this child is being raised either first generation or citizen. Andfor them, this is the normal and they're trying to connect to this culture. So you've got the cultural relating, but then you also have generational relating. So you have like, say, your parents are from the 60s, and you're from the 90s. 3 different generations in between, yes, like, you're like, I don't understand the way you think when you know when they're coming, like 60s counterculture, or like if we're talking about context of Zimbabwe, racism and colonialism. And then the 90s were coming off of, you know, Britney Spears and Boyz II Men, and maybe the Berlin Wall just fell.

Trudy: You know, who knows, you know, that's just something else that's happening. And they're like, What? But yeah, so it is an interesting dynamic. And again, this is what I am trying to do for my kids because I'm also trying to preserve a part of who I am, preserve it, and then also pass it down with the understanding that my children are first generation Americans, right? So my husband and I are patriarchs of some sort, right? And so years from now, when we are long gone, we are the templates that the generations that are coming after us are going to have to look at. So in as much as some of these things like greeting your eldest sounds ridiculous. I want to say my daughter will remember this, my children will remember this. And they will pass this down to the kids, whether they kids do it or not, is totally different. But having that, you know, that oral tradition, that ability to tell that story of saying, Do you know that when I was a teenager, and my grandmother was visiting us from Zimbabwe, one of the things that my mom required of me was to acknowledge and greet her every single day when I came back from school, you know, and how, how is history preserved? Like, a lot of it is through oral tradition, right? So I'm very intentional about some of these things. I know they sound ridiculous. But I know that this is going to be passed down the generations, because even when they tell the kids, my hope is the kids will pass it down and be like, Can you believe what my mom told me? She said that grandma?

 Vongai :I think Trudy it's all about the intention behind it. So it's not necessarily that it's ridiculous. It's that I guess, when I was younger. When I was younger, it was from the point of like, I would be in trouble. But I didn't know why I was in trouble. I was just being told you have to do the thing. But I didn't understand why. And as I'm older now, I've been able to then ask follow up questions. And so I feel like you and my mom do this really great thing of then you then be able to then explain. Oh, because it will be perceived as this, oh, it means this. Because in our cultural this, this this, and then when you hear that you're like, oh. It’s almost like, you know, when you visit another country, let's say you go into maybe an Asian culture, accidentally, like offend them. So then that makes sense. Yeah, it's only from the perspective of if I'm just told, don't do the thing. I'm, I'm someone who gets anxious instantly. So I'm just like, what did I do? Why am I in trouble? But if you then say, oh, that thing you did? Was was not right, because XYZ and it means this, that's what I'm like, Oh, I'm so sorry. Okay, I'm gonna make sure going forward this, this this. So it's ridiculous, like, the intention of like, just don't yell at the person for doing the thing when they don't understand why. 

Trudy:I hear you. But your 16 year old, that's ridiculous. It's she It's ridiculous. And it's like written all over the faces like. Okay, if you insist. So yeah, but I get what you're saying, I feel, and this is what I'm hoping for is for my children to be like you where when they are older, they can go back and you know, reflect on, you know, some of these things, and then make sense of it, and then understand that mom was just trying to uphold or hold on and preserve a part of her culture.

 Vongai: Yeah, at the end of the day, parents are just doing the best that they can. And there is literally no guidebook for parenting, like, sure someone can write a book and publish it. But there's like, No such thing. So I have to remind myself that, you know, my parents were also children and their parents, were also children.

Trudy:Yeah, that's all trial and error.

Vongai: Like I freak out about when I'm going to be a parent, where I'm like. Am I gonna this or was used, and I'm not even I'm not even there yet. And I'm already getting confused [laughs]

Trudy: Anxiety [laughs] 

Vongai : about like oh no am I losing my culture. What culture are my children gonna be?

Trudy: But let me tell you the beauty of it as you get to define what parts of your culture you want to pass down to your kids. And like I said, the good that I can pass down, I definitely want to do that. And the ridiculous. And the stuff that I don't understand, trust me, it's staying there. I'm not taking that. But that's a whole topic for another day, where we will talk about the generational, you know, differences.

Vongai: We will bring you back!

Trudy: Oh my gosh, do I have stories for you? Because now you have a 70 year old that's my mom. I'm 70 year old born in Zimbabwe during a different time altogether. And then you have me 40 year old who never- Vongai:Born free Trudy:Yeah, born free. Lived half my life in Zimbabwe, lived half my life in the United States. And this first generation American born in the 2000s.

Vongai: Wow. Trudy, are you ready for our lightning round?

Trudy: Yah! Should I be scared? 

Vongai: No, I just want to be mindful of your time. So let's, let's, let's get you into lightning round. Okay, so we know your zodiac is Libra, so I'm not going to ask you that. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Trudy: Night owl

Vongai: Sweet. What is the last song you listened to?

Trudy: I want to dance with somebody this evening.

Vongai: Yeah Whitney Houston, It was a party y’all. What's the last book you read?

Trudy: Oh my gosh. The Other Black Girl. I forget who the author is, it's on the New York Bestsellers list. 

Vongai: Do you have a favorite movie from this past year or award season?

Trudy: The Aretha Franklin. 

Vongai: is Oh um [hums songs] needa lil respect. Respect! 

Trudy: Respect1 Why could I not. 

Vongai: You had to sing the song. 

Trudy: I'm tired. Can you tell my brain is like it's

Vongai: Ooh, favorite holiday?

Trudy: Ah, Thanksgiving. Vongai: Favorite Zimbabwean musician.

Trudy: Jah Prayzah.

Vongai: Do you have a favorite Zimbabwean childhood snack?

Trudy: Oh yeah. Ma Thingz.

Vongai: I love it. I think you're the third person who said the most controversial question of all Mazoe orange versus Mazoe green. 

Trudy: Ah, there's no question Mazoe orange PERIODT. 

Vongai: Okay, this is a power statement. It starts I am Zim excellence because blank and you fill out the blank.

Trudy: Whoo! I am Zim Excellence because I can survive and thrive anywhere you throw me in the world.

Vongai:I love that so much. If you could nominate someone for the Award of Excellence who would it be?

Trudy: Dr. Mati?  I forget her last name. Let me look her up. She was just named St. Louis's public health director. And I think she's the definition of excellence. You should connect with her actually.  [looks up name] Okay, so her name is Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, and she's the director of health, division of infectious diseases and she's a physician and I believe it's St. Louis. But she's always like a guest. correspondent, I think on NBC. 

Vongai: Oh wow! 

Trudy: She's amazing. You have to follow her and you have to connect with her.

Vongai: That's amazing. I'll see if I can I can look into her Okay, okay, so going back, how have you been able to cultivate community whether it's a Zimbabwean community or, like mom community?

Trudy: Oh gosh, thank God for technology. You know, I currently actually have a group of about six young wives and mothers Zimbabwean that I mentor through a whatsapp group. And I'm also part of other groups like on Facebook that have like mothers, Zimbabwean mothers from all over the world and those groups are very helpful because we share a lot of experiences that we perhaps cannot talk about in person because we all scattered around the world so I think those like you know technology obviously the face group Facebook groups and you know the WhatsApp tongue tied. tell

Vongai : Yeah, huh and how are you able to practice self care

Trudy: Oh my goodness you know, I really. I say no, when I cannot do something and you know, my one of my biggest forms of self care is napping. I feel like when I nap,

Vongai: Girl, I love a good nap. I love sleep. I get my 10 hours. People like how you get 10 hours. I'm I have to get 10 or I'm not the best person in the world.

Trudy: You know what and I completely understand that. I love to sleep I have to get my at least 8 hours. And I recharged by napping like power naps you'll catch me taking a 30 minute nap. And you know, I just feel recharged and like ready to carry on with any busy day. 

Vongai: Wonderful.Trudy It was so wonderful to have you on the show. We'll be back for all the part twos and threes and fours and fives. [laughter] But as we wrap up, I would love it if you could share a message with our listeners, as well as letting them know how they can work with you find out more about you and how they can continue to follow your journey. Whether that's on a website, Instagram or Twitter.

Trudy: Well, thank you so much, Vongai again. It's been such an honor and so much fun to be here with you on the ZimExcellence podcast. I think it's an amazing platform and I think you're doing great like just shining the light on the Zimbabwean people and for anyone who wants to follow my journey they can follow me on Instagram I post almost daily on SimplyTrudy.M that's on Instagram or you can go to my website which is www.simplytrudy.net or you can catch me on Facebook. Simply Trudy.

Vongai: Sweet all of those links will be down in the show notes. And was there a message that you wanted to share with our listeners?

Trudy: My message is, you know what, just be true to yourself into your journey. I did mention in the beginning how in my 20s I felt like a less than because I had a passion for just being at home with my kids and raising my kids as opposed to following you know, a set career path or a set you know, I don't know journey that is carved out by society. And all I can say is just you know, do what sets your soul on fire you know, deep down in your heart, what you you want to do or how you want to live your life and do not be afraid, you know to do that. It's very rewarding.

Vongai:  Sweet stuff. Thank you so much, Trudy have the best day. 

Trudy: Thank you.

Trudy's Origin Story
Culture Shock in America
Her Definition of Homemaker
Passing on Cultural Values