If you were having coffee with me, I would welcome you to my tangled word jungle and ask if you would be interested in a spot of coffee with gold… like gold, gold, 24-karat gold.
I still cant get past how some places have a signature beverage like The Ultimate Gold Cappuccino, blended with “a generous quantity” of 24-carat gold, then topped with Italian gold flakes. The cappuccino is served in fine-bone, gold-gilded china and costs a cool $26…. hmm how much is a sip? 🤔
The rapid growing city of Dubai, which serves as a trading hub for Africa and Asia is a serious contender for the title of the Gold Capital. Johannesburg, South Africa might traditionally hold that title, but Dubai is the new City of Gold figuratively and literally. If you will recall the explosive Al Jazeera doccie I talked about in Coffee With Dirt Money And African Gold… well, the first part, of the four part investigative documentary on illicit gold trade in Southern Africa aired on Thursday 23 March 2023.
In the doccie, Dubai is referred to as the centre of Africa. How does a city not in Africa carry so much sway to be dubbed as a financial capital of Africa? Outside of being a centrally located tourism spot, the vibrant economy coupled with lucrative investment opportunities make it a major trading hub. It might not be a tax haven per say but its ease of business policies with minimal red tape, make it an attractive place to set up, run and manage foreign companies especially via its free trade zones that offer tax breaks, custom duty benefits and minimal restrictions for foreign business owners.
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that some unscrupulous entrepreneurs take advantage of the lax operating conditions to facilitate illicit financial transactions which have been linked to not so rosey dealings in some countries. The first part of the documentary The Laundry Service, allegedly exposes how Zimbabwean gold becomes part of an intricate chain of smuggling and money laundry.
Officially, the government of Zimbabwe has not yet made a response to this damning documentary, however an implicated cleric who serves as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador at Large and Presidential Envoy issued a 5 paged communication which could have best served in two words: No Comment or four words, We deny these Allegations. I didn’t read the document but you can see it go whoosh below:
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that the president’s spokesman via his not so official Twitter account gave a friendly reminder that Al Jazeera is not a court of law and reckless journalists might find themselves on the wrong side of the courts.
Ever since the doccie aired, people have been speculating as to the lifestyle of certain socialites and other self-made entrepreneurs whose source of wealth is not readily visible yet live lavish lifestyles. As with what seems to be our coping mechanism people have responded by posting memes and jokes about the situation….
We laugh and make memes and puns, but what next?
The extravagant lifestyles of Gold Mafia seem to have kick-started a heated discussion on domestic tourism. Some say that domestic tourism is outrageously priced, while some argue that its not “that expensive” if one plans and researches… On the surface that seems like a totally valid argument, until you take into account the livelihoods of those who live hand to mouth, from a point of priviledge, it ends up being a very condescending conversation. Never in the history of people trying to make a point have I ever seen them being listened to after calling everyone else lazy….. Check your priviledge.
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that its very easy to lose sight of the priviledge you enjoy… You might not think you are priviledged, and indeed if you look at the lifestyles of the Gold Mafia who are first class frequent fliers it could look that way.
I even understand the notion some people have that blogging is an elitist hobby, when you factor in our rather prohibitve data prices. This CoffeeShare should have been posted beginning of the week but I had run out of internet data and the price has gone up, again.…. If you have to pick between going to bed hungry over being on the internet the choice is fairly easy… I have had to make this choice.
Anyway, I am planning on doing some ultra-budget domestic and regional tourism this year… I wont say it was my resolution for the new year, since I don’t make resolutions. I’ll just say its an idea, I decided beginning of the year, while I was in Bulawayo for an arts festival that I wanted to experience a bit more of the world around me, savings or not. Wish me luck.
Whats been going on in your neck of the woods?
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People don’t know how to be friendly, neh? Greetings to presidential Spokesman
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Politics serves at quite the fodder for vawulence as they say on the Twitter streets
I still do not have electricity aka ZESA during the day. ZESA only comes back at 11pm or midnight everyday and then goes off again at 5am or even earlier. I still fancy though a cup of coffee with gold in it. Wonder how it tastes. These Gold Mafia docies have left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
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One more episode of the Gold Mafia and I wonder if life will go back to normal as if they never were
When government officials start threatening journalists, it usually means the officials are guilty of the crimes they’re being accused of. Also, I hope you’re able to do some local or regional traveling this year! If I ever get funding to do some major trip in southern Africa I’ll hire you as a consultant and local social media expert 😂
The fourth estate has always been a threat to bad governance I hope it changes soon. Otherwise, I enjoy your analysis on matters.
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Appreciate and thank you.
Travel is EXTREMELY expensive these days in the US. Flights, hotels, everything. There are more people flying/traveling, you’d think the prices would go down because businesses (airlines) can afford it. But no – greed always wins…
Blogging really is a privilege. You see it in terms of money, I see it mostly in terms of time. Those who have the luxury of time write 7 posts a day every day…
In the meantime, I will just stay golden.