Your Favourite Line

“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.”

That’s your favourite line.

Sorry, I mean

That’s your favourite lie;

Recited over and over again

So that now,

Even you believe it.

I’m wondering though,

Do you actually believe it?

Cos the last time you said it,

Your eyes shifted,

Voice lowered,

Telling me you were lying

Even as you tired

To reassure me.

Your want to be seen as real,



Reeked a little of desperation,

As you emphasised that your words were true,

You had nothing to hide,

When we both know that you do;

With the aloof answers,

Evading questions

And repetition of,

“I’ll tell you eventually.”

I granted you the benefit of the doubt,

At first,

Cos I’ve got a guard around me too,

Not sharing everything,

Keeping things in

Until I’m sure of you.

I thought we were one in the same,

Meaning I couldn’t stay mad at you,

But I began to see

There was more to it;

You weren’t being real with me.

With no words,

No explanation from you,

I question if you were ever real.

Were your feelings fake,

Your charm a charade,

Your sweetness a scheme

To try and seduce me?

You’ve left more questions than answers,

More confusion than clarity,

More uncertainty than closure,

But the one thing you’ve left me certain of,

Is that you would definitely say something

And not mean it.

Shaniqua Marie

My Top 5 Moments of 2015

It’s coming to the end of the year, which is always a time of relection for me, so I’ve decided to bring back ‘My Top 5’ to count down some of my favourite moments from 2015.  God has blessed me immensely this year and I’ve seen Him do a whole lot of amazing things in my life, which has made most of these moments possible.  So come on, let’s get into my Top 5 Moments of 2015, which aren’t in any particular order by the way.


5. Sweet Home Alabama

In April, my sister and I had the pleasure of flying out to the beautiful city of Huntsville, Alabama to spend time with our beautiful family.  Although there’s no place like home, I was in need of an escape and I was happy to spend three weeks in what I now affectionately call ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.  I loved the food, I loved the scenery, I loved the shopping, I loved my room and I loved getting to meet new people.  Spending time with my family was great, especially getting to watch my cousin Kaleem graduate after not seeing him in 10 years, and I loved the new friends I made.  Shout out to my girl Britney!


4. March Madness

March Madness will always be one of my favourite times of the year.  However, this year felt particularly special to me and I got into it more than ever before.  I watched every game that I possibly could, kept up to date with all of the excitement and upsets, and fell in love with numerous players.  It was the end of the college basketball tournament in April that most excited me though, as I watched both my men and women’s teams lift the National Championship trophy.  Tyus Jones made it a lot of fun as he led Duke to victory, while it was great to watch coach Geno Auriemma make history as the UConn ladies won their 10th National Championship.


3. The Complete Freedom of Truth

In August, I flew out of the country again, this time to Bosnia as part of ‘The Complete Freedom of Truth’, a five-year youth project, which aims to use art and culture for social change.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, which enabled me to develop my confidence, embrace my love of writing and gain some life skills.  Yet what made this experience truly special were the beautiful people that I fell in love with and helped me feel like I truly fit in.  My house sisters Ellie, Naomi and Amy; the wonderfully caring Tina, Robert, Alex, Mikica and Nevena; my dinner buddies Marko and Nina; my girls Julia, Izzy and Jessie; and my boys Filip, Rory, Ljubiša and Nemanja.  There are also many others, but this whole blog would simply be made up of their names.


2. My First Paid Writing Gig

It’s no secret that I’m a writer, so I was ecstatic when I landed my first paid writing gig this year!  I’d been writing pieces for Just Croydon on and off over the past year, so you can imagine my joy when the beautiful boys behind Just Croydon offered to pay me to write regular articles.  I just had to thank God, because I know that He opened this door for me and showed me how patience and perseverance pays off.  It also shows the importance of being willing to give your free time and showing generosity to others, as you never know what opportunities may come your way.


1. ‘What Would You Say?’

Of course, making my short film with Fixers had to be one of my Top 5 moments, as it was a truly special experience that will help to propel some of my future plans.  I was extremely happy to launch ‘What Would You Say?’ earlier this month, as I was finally able to show the film to others and also hear what they had to say.  The feedback was better than I could have ever anticipated, the level of support shown was brilliant and the discussions that took place during the launch gave me great hope going forward.  And if you haven’t had a chance to watch the film yet, why not watch it now?

There were a number of other great moments from this year, like finally landing a job, celebrating another birthday, and studying the Gospels in the Bible, which I’m loving and learning so much from.  I already know that 2016 is going to bring a whole load of great moments and exciting things for me, which I’m looking forward to.  So tell me, what were some of your top moments in 2015?

My Kobe Bryant Heartbreak

Kobe Bryant, one of my favourite basketball players and one of the best to ever play the game, announced that he would retire at the end of the season.  When I read his beautiful, heartfelt letter on The Players’ Tribune, tears filled my eyes and ran down my face.  It was official.  My favourite [male] basketball player was officially coming to the end of his career.

It hurt me to see Kobe suffer from major injury, after major injury, over the past three seasons, especially as his age made it harder for him to fight back.  Kobe’s decline in this current season has broken my heart, as his body continues to break down, preventing him from being the stellar player we all know he is.  Unfortunately, he won’t be going out in a blaze of glory in his final season, but at least he can see that his time is up and I rate him for that.

When I became a basketball fan, Kobe Bryant was the first player that I fell in love with.  In fact, he was one of the main reasons why I became a Lakers fan and why I always will be.  I could see that he wasn’t perfect and had many flaws, but I love him for who he is.  One of the main reasons why I love Kobe is because of his work ethic.  He is tenacious and he will fight to win, carrying the whole team on his back and trying to get them back into a game all on his own.  It didn’t always work, but when it did, it was magic.

Kobe is also resilient, playing through pain and displaying the most unbelievable endurance.  His strength inspires me and sometimes when I work out, I think about what he does to motivate me and push me harder.  I may not be a sportsperson, but I definitely have the ability to push a little harder if he can shoot two free throws with a torn Achilles — that was an amazing moment for me.

Seeing Kobe play for the Lakers and appear in All-Star games has been a constant for me since I started following the NBA, so knowing that he will no longer be a part of that is really sad for me, but time does move on and people get older.  As much as I hate to say it, this is definitely the right time for Kobe to retire, but at least I’ve had the opportunity to see him play and watch him win two of those five championships.  I also got a close glimpse of him in London, after he’d won his second Olympic gold, which is something that I will treasure forever.

I know that this couldn’t have been an easy decision to make for Kobe, as you can see how much he loves the game, which made me love it right along with him.  Basketball is clearly his first love and having to give up your first love must be one of the hardest things to do.  However, Father Time is knocking and Kobe is showing grace by answering the door, so now it is time of us to start waving good-bye.  I just wish this goodbye could have ended in one final playoff run for him.

For now, I have to say thank you Kobe Bryant for the dedication you showed to the game of basketball and providing us with so many great moments.  You will forever be one of my favourite players and one of the best to ever grace the court.

Kobe Bryant