• Kemba Zola

Slow Down


So far from where I started out

so far from where I wanna be

listening for answers in the wind

But can’t find a rock to plant my feet


At an early age the hustle was all around. Fast paced environment. Few had money from 9-5’s, some from illegal activities, but most funds from unknown sources. Street skills were learned consciously or not. Losing not optional was a mantra. Life lessons were about the here and now not the future, unless the future meant upcoming weekend or summer. For males the future had no meaning past the age of 25 because statistics suggested a black man in Oakland, CA and other inner cities would be dead or serving a prison life sentence. For females, being attached to these same males either by kin or partnership meant having some sort of attachment to the fast lifestyle. This time period represented the greater part of the 1980’s through the mid 1990’s.


Looking for love in all the wrong places

Down on my knees and now I'm praying for patience

I know there's gotta be a better way

In the back of my mind I hear my granny say

Slow down, Baby you're going too fast

You got you hands in the air

With you feet on the gas

You're 'bout to wreck your future

Running from your past

You need to slow down baby


Enter the beginning of a new millennium. A young single mother of a daughter. The hustle is real and the struggle can not be sold. No formal education, only God, recommended and consistent reading can save this life. Steady job headed towards career path. Real Estate license, Notary commission, and a family full of cheers. All available tools with no working knowledge of how to properly use them. It’s got to be a better way.


Thinking the faster that I go

The faster (that) I will reach my goal

The race is not given to the swift

But to the one who endureth

I thought that all my obstacles were behind me

Walking around like I'm made out of diamond

I tripped and fell and it reminded me

Move over and let my angels guide me


Life is speeding, time waits for no one. Blend a family, get married, and buy a house; all by the age of 30. Pictures tell a thousand words to the eye of the beholder. It is not always factual truth. Boys will age, but not mature. Girls will learn to be mothers and head of the household. This is not natural, however it becomes a normal thing. This is part of the hustle. It looks like success, yet it is only chaos and confusion. The crash and burn is approaching.


Sometimes, you got-ta, be still

Before you can get ahead

Be still

Ask the universe for help

Be real

You can't do it all by yourself

Ah, no no

Sometimes, sometimes you gotta be still

It take some time to reach you and they

Be still

Take some time to clear your space

Be real

Chaos isn't good for your health

Ah, no no, ahhh


Never afraid of change. Getting back to basics. Created in His image, all things are possible. Packed life up. Move from California to Texas. Sat still with Allah. Learned He is the place of refuge from anxiety and grief, lack of strength and laziness, cowardice and niggardliness, debt and the oppression of men. Only God can give one what is lawful and keep away what is prohibited. He is sufficient. It was time to break from the broken pieces. Sever bonds that would not grow. Losing is not optional. The moment came to be a ferocious and fearless lion.


Cuz I'm breaking things and losing things

I lost my cell phone again the other day

Now, I don't wanna live this way, no

In the back of my mind I hear my granny say

Slow down, Baby you're going too fast

You got you hands in the air

With you feet on the gas

You're 'bout to wreck your future

Running from your past

You need to slow down

You go down baby


There is a right tool for everything. A fast paced lifestyle does not afford the ability to take inventory of the blessings readily available. Unsupervised direction during teenage years. The age of the 20’s presented a young female adult taking on full life responsibilities in an immature manner. The early 30’s was about coming out of chaos and confusion. The building of success started by the mid 30’s. Yesterday’s were striped away. A clean and purified state began to form. It is this time, through self discipline and Allah’s permission, total submission occurred. Childhood friend became the needed husband. Distractions were minimized to a controllable level. Opted to become success instead of the fictitious version of what it is supposed to look like. Continuous practice pausing with emotional intelligence instead of reacting out of negative emotion is a daily goal. Striving to become the example never known. Above all Allah is the center, in the center is where one should look to find all things of importance. Thanking Allah for the crash and burn to be made anew.


Lyrics to India Arie “Slow Down” infused with the writers personal testimony.


#IndiaArie #SlowDown #BlackWomenBloggers #BreakingGenerationalCurses #NextLevelBlessings #Memoir #WriteTheBook #LiteraryNonfiction #OaklandCA


Kemba Zola

God first, love hard, and always live your best life!

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