Conversation questions that annoy me to no end

Photo by Cody Engel on Unsplash

I would enjoy conversing all day long if I didn’t have to do it with people. Just kidding.

I’m not a huge conversationalist. If I’m asked a question, I’ll give you the answer. That’s all I’ll give you. I’m not into giving the background or other information that might make the answer more interesting. Short and sweet is how I roll.

My wife on the other hand will make you wish you had more time. I once asked a closed-ended question like “how many people were at the funeral today?” I didn’t expect an exact amount. “About 50” would have…


Short Fiction- Sometimes whatever doesn’t kill you provides clarity

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Patch was there when the eagle came and snatched his Mom away. They were running as squirrels do, in the forest clearing, to get to the other side. Not for any particular reason. They just wanted to run somewhere.

The eagle was quiet. Mom had warned Patch to be aware of predators and had taught him how to avoid them. The eagle’s scream always chilled his blood because it seemed to come before a dive to its prey. This time there was no scream.

Mom liked to take the lead. She…


Photo by Daniela Holzer on Unsplash

Respect is a worthy goal

When I first became a manager, umpteen years ago, one of my primary goals was to be liked.

I wish I knew then what I know now.

Why did I want to be liked so much?

I thought that if I was liked:
1. then my employees would respect me,
2. the employees would do what I asked,
3. no one would give me any trouble at all.

I didn’t understand human nature. So I tried to make everyone happy.

1. I gave them any requested day off. 2. I approved any requested vacation time. 3. I never wrote anyone…


It took away part of my identity as the provider

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

We have three children; two daughters, and a son. After our third child, our son, we decided to become a one-income family. Old-fashioned, but it worked for us. We were able to do it by living within our means, without the unnecessities of life. I provided the finances while my wife tended to make our house a home.

Being the provider was part of my identity. I enjoyed my role. I didn’t necessarily enjoy working but I felt like a man, providing for my family. It was something I wanted to do and I wanted to do it well.

I was the bank.

I…


Short Fiction- Lloyd and Rosemary stage a sit-in

Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash

Lloyd and Rosemary anticipated the announcement that they could register for the Covid-19 vaccine. The announcement came at 11 am on CBC news. The portal to register would open at 6 am the next morning. They were always up by 4 am so they would be ready.

Being a couple in their eighties, they were anxious to get this done. The pandemic had depleted their friend circle significantly. In the past year, seven of their closest friends had succumbed to the disease. Only Joan was left but she lived in an old age home and had received the vaccine.

They…


I thought that I was done with that bias

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

I thought that my bias on roles men and women can have had been done away with. In my mind, women and men could hold any job that they wanted to and could perform as well as any man.

I didn’t always believe that.

Let me explain. Firstly, I don’t believe in ‘equality of outcome’; I believe in ‘equality of opportunity. Everyone, regardless of social status, financial status, race, gender, etc, should have an equal opportunity for success. Where you live, or what school you go to, or what race you are, should not be the barrier to success. …


Fear can be a great motivator

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

One evening after church a young man named Lucas told me that some youth were going out to Macdonalds and he wanted permission to take my daughters with them. My daughters were 15 and 13 years old so they were in youth as well. This was the first time that it became real that it was beginning: my daughters were starting to go out at night with friends. The idea of a curfew was going to be more frequent.

“What time will they be home,” I asked.

“What time do you want them home,” he asked, to his credit.

I…


International Women's Day

A poem- Thank you so much for being there for me

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

A mother, there always, through thick and through thin
who loves you when good or involved in some sin
sacrifices are made without thought of herself
own career and dreams are placed on a shelf

Grandmother having raised five kids of her own
three grandkids are added for her to see grow
Instills discipline, faith, learning, and love
now gone to her eternal reward above

Three sisters each bringing their own to the table looking back, through them, I see I was able to respect other girls and to see them as equals that I am their brother I truly…


I might be dead had I not found my wife

Photo by Lauren Richmond on Unsplash

The title of this article might be over the top. I don’t know that I would be dead literally, but I feel more alive in the life I lead now than I did before.

My life before

I partied a lot once I left the stable home of my parents. Under their watchful eye, I didn’t want to come home either drunk or smelling of booze or marijuana. In fact, I never touched the stuff until I left home. I didn’t want to disappoint them in any way.

I did well in school and they often told me that they were proud of…


You don’t have all the time in the world

Photo by Ransford Quaye on Unsplash

Being a father has been the greatest duty of my life. Raising my children into people that other people like because of who they are makes me proud. My wife and I did a great job.

They are 25, 23, and 21 years old now and each is living a productive life. We have a two-year-old grandson as well who is the apple of our eyes.

I don’t often look back on the time the kids were home. I realize the folly of doing that. What can you change, right? …

Vuyo Ngcakani

writer, husband for 25 years, father of 3, grandfather of 1

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store