Hey there again. How has your week been? Let’s finish it off with this dramatized, thought-provoking overview of social media. As much as most of the platforms are useful, they are also detrimental to ones reality if abused. Today’s episode of the Mwenemugamba Friday Poetry series (MFP) has what I call the Slumber Party. Remember these are pieces from The UnBorn spoken word album which will be released in September this year. It’s another Friday, whozaaah. Enjoy the read.

Slumber Party

Written by Joseph Daniel Sukali

Welcome to the slumber party
In here Twitter represents the speakers so that's where most of the noise comes from
The photographer on that corner taking beautiful pictures of our happy smiles covering sad broken souls is called Instagram
The dancefloor where we shake our demons, live for a moment, try to be friendly to strangers, and feel important
When in reality we are lonely hearts with no confidence or a sense of direction,
Yap this platform where we can dance pretending to be anything apart from what we truly are is called Facebook.
We can all dance here regardless of where you come from
Outside on the verandah; the current heart of the party, the braai of over-spiced lies, and witchcraft hidden in privacy settings is called WhatsApp

We are slowly getting intoxicated
The likes are the shots of gin at this party, the more you get the faster you blackout
You can't differentiate reality from illusion
You get lost in your phony confidence and the euphoric feeling of being liked by people who don't give a damn about who you are
So in your intoxication, you lose sight of reality
Your family and friends get replaced by the likes
You feel alive as you slowly die in reality
Daily productivity dwindles as you get highly destructed from the shots and lose touch of your focus
Your brain, emotions, and mental stability get wired to the party and you become dependent on the opinions of strangers

The comments are addictive joints of marijuana
Every single one of them is a puff that takes you closer to outside validation of yourself
You no longer have an image of the self, what you are is what strangers say you are
You get high on that, all your confidence, self-esteem, and your sense of self get defined by others
Comments about your skin tone, body weight, height, looks, style, and fashion get to your head and break your heart if negative
The positive ones should not hype you neither
It's just the same tricks used by the same program to numb your brain
Your personal identity is endangered by this party

No one pushes you into the party, but the music from the loudspeakers, the irresistible steak on the braai stand, the dancefloor, the shots, and weed joints are addictive
Don't lose your soul to them, you're enough, you need no validation
Embrace moderation if you can't stay up at this party but don’t slumber
Take a break once in a while and reconnect with your reality.
Let your ghost friends go for a minute and spend real time with your real friends.
Allow yourself to be appreciated and be cherished by people who know you, not be judged by strangers who know nothing but pictures of your party life.
Unlearn everything and learn to live life, not the illusion.

I hope you won't miss this wake-up call.
Am not yet out of the party, am still having my fun. But I know I have fought the addiction. Am in control.
I no longer get intoxicated by anything in this slumber party.
I hope my voice stings your soul and gets you jumping out of the party.
I hope you all wake up from the slumber at the death of my voice.

#Ntho’sPen✍

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Joseph Daniel Sukali is a Malawian freelance writer, blogger, award winning spoken word poet and a mental health advocate. Some of his works have been published in the Best “New” African Poet 2020 ANTHOLOGY, Writers Global Movement (WGM) magazine and several other local and international magazines. He is also a contributor to an online library Good Literature Malawi, columnist of Malawi Talents Magazine and editor of Love Feast Magazine. Sukali has authored and published a book "Dealing with a Heartbreak: Therapy for the Broken-A Health Relationship Guide”. He is also a co-author of a poetry anthology "Whispers of Beating Hearts". His 2020 spoken word album “Wonders Of My Perception” is available for free download online. The 26 year old is a holder of a bachelor's degree obtained from Mzuzu University. Apart from being a wordsmith, Joseph Daniel Sukali is currently an employee of Emmanuel International Malawi and he is also an ambassador for Maphunziro265 Malawi.

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