Of The Future George Orwell Wrote About

I read George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 years ago, back when the words freedom and free speech, to me simply meant freedom to choose who would accompany me to school at the beginning of the school term and freedom of expression meant in an literature exam, the only wrong answer was to leave blank where an answer should have been, some answers scored more points than others but all of them were correct.

I find it, lets call it interesting to note how books published almost 7 decades ago seem to be about the totalitarian states of today and the need to control the narratives

“Do not believe anything,you see or hear, especially on the internet, believe only what we tell you”

In the wake of violent protest, an internet shutdown and a military blitz, which the state blamed on “rouge elements” who wore stolen military Sky News reporter John Sparks did a report which showed security forces beating a handcuffed man

The President’s official Twitter account issued the following response:

And a bit later in the state newspaper, the Secretary For Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services was reported saying how the country is under coordinated media attack and that the Sky News team were not accredited to be reporting on events in Zimbabwe and had not given the police or army a chance to respond

Zim under coordinted media attack

Later still, during a press conference the police spokeswoman had a chance to respond on the Sky News report, that their investigations showed the footage was from an incident in July 2016 and further investigations were underway….

The Sky News team stood by their story

Clearly someone was definitely telling “altenative facts” state media, government officials, the police or an unaccredited news team?

Further scrutiny of the video by “analysts” showed two distinct telltale signs

  • The registration particulars of vehicle which passes in camera range shows it to have a registration number sequence which could not have been reached in 2016 since the central vehicle registry follows a sequential system
  • A plain clothed officer wearing the Chelsea FC Third Kit for the season 2017/2018
Chelsea Third kit 2017-18

Without actually acknowledging making an about turn the police released a new statement which cited a police officer was arrested for misconduct

This story is simply a tip of the iceberg, but it does leave one questioning everything; can we believe anything, if there’s no truth where do transparency and accountability even begin……

The internet and social media might be a hot bed of fake news, cyber bullying and all manner of misinformation and anti social behaviour, but with it the future from the book 1984 might not necessarily have to be an instruction manual….

Newspeak

Of The People Who Live In My Phone

The internet has become the new alter where we sacrifice our attention, as well as each other, inviting and intruding upon virtual strangers for inspiration, encouragement, motivation, amusement, friendship and even cheap giggles.

to the people who live in my phone

Here are some people who live somewhere in the void between my phone, laptop and I; who made my past year, on whose sites, pages and timelines I would camp and occasionally laugh uproariously while I shook my dread locks….

@buhle_matsha the self-styled #MokoombaGroupie on whose timeline I discovered music by Mokoomba (a Zimbabwean musical group, originally from Chinotimba township, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; The name MOKOOMBA stems from the deep respect that the Tonga people have for the Zambezi River and for the vibrant life that it brings to their music and culture ) because I know she has exquisite taste, great love for her family, is very expressive of her opinions and sometimes she writes, smiles,laughs and dances

@D_elleriously whose delinquency takes varied nomenclature forms, sometimes mildly stable genius, other times simply mad or delirious but always scathingly hilarious, whom I suspect shouldnt be let out to the general populace without a charred warning label. Less a writer and more a person who writes you could check out this guest post:

The Curatezim twitter account, technically its not one person and the account that is curated by a different Zimbabwean every week some are interesting individuals, others you would have more fun watching paint dry and some really make you want to shout that’s why they shut down the internet cause they dont deserve it but hey one can always mute a twitter account and wait out the week. Years back I once curated the account during a time when one of the mobile networks was running a free twitter promo, the real deal not the current version without pics diluted like cordial mixed by an evil stepmom, fun times….

image from bitchininthekitchen.org

The BritchyOne’s blog is high key one of my go to, for a humorous fix. A racounteur whose escapades feature characters assigned creative pseudonyms, which even come with a list of characters. I wouldnt say I found her blog; rather she found mine at a time I was writing a poetry series or more correctly a poetry duet with Mable, and I in turn returned the favour and checked out her blog and one year later still hooked and least because she once described my blog as something something swashbuckling Damascene steel, those are not things one easily forgets.

And how can I not mention, Josh who was one of the first people to follow my blog and years later still checks in on the regular and even featured as a guest blogger on a post about his trip to Belize:

Josh is a nature and jaguar enthusiast, (the wild cat not the car but I wouldn’t know maybe he is partial to the British automobile) and who knows one day you may see his name on a wildlife show……

I have surprisingly quite large blogging circles and there are lots of others who are probably reading this thinking why I did not mention them, I see you fam; shoutout to the #BlogIndaba crew you guys are life and definitely made my 2018 the richer for it….

global community

I shall make an effort to periodically introduce all my other faves because well, A website means community

Blogging means community

No blogger is an island

My other go to online page is Afrobloggers and if you had not known by now I am one of the people who labour diligently behind the scenes; where the world meets African Bloggers, as we try to reclaim our narrative and using the opportunity blogging awards us to simply tell our stories and maybe even write our own history while its happening, for some of us its not just a hobby, when we write to breathe

You can find the other bloggers on the directory of African Bloggers we are working to compile by clicking on the button below:

And others may be found on this twitter thread

~B

Ps Oh yeah and my blog is open for guest articles

Of Coffee, Rogue Elements and Blood Moons

If you were having coffee with me, well we woudnt be having coffee we would be trying out some freshly blended mango juice….

Good thing there’s mango trees in the backyard otherwise I would be unable to offer you much else, have a mango and wash it down with juice

 It’s been a traumatic week, strange how only last Sunday was calm but deceptively more like the calm before a storm; as the country burned the next day, following protests that turned violent and an even deadlier response by security forces that has left a bloody tally of death, destruction and ruthless victmisation.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about the internet shutdown that resulted from a directive from the government to Internet Service providers ostensibly as security measure to stop protestors who were co-ordinating via social media and the internet but under whose cover, a violent crackdown of suspected protest instigators was carried out.

The way the internet was shutdown you would think they did  not realise it’s is a whole eco-system and switching it off not only disrupts the digital economy but denies people access to affordable communication and stifles freedom of expression or maybe they do and it scares them, to quote Game of thrones

“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”


“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”


Tyrion Lannister; Game Of Thrones

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that the way the internet has been switched on and off in the past week is reminiscent of a toddler discovering the power button on the remote control and keeps pressing it, you would they found a new toy.

This shutting down of the internet seems to be the new trend, as governments figure out that if you cant control it, shut it down.

“It is not even the second month of the new year and we have had significant internet shutdowns in four African countries,”


Berhan Taye, who leads the #KeepItOn campaign for global digital rights group Access Now.

I used to think my government would never do that but nope I was wrong, as Zimbabwe joined the list with the DRC, Gabon and Sudan. They read from the same Book Of Tricks it seems from contested elections to violent crackdown of opposition its not unique to one country.

At least for now the internet has been restored after a second black but partially (again) with limitations to social media sites who knows for how long?

Telone advises restoration of internet after shutdown
Zimbabwe
internet restoration after shut down

I can predict its going to be tough for internet dependent enterprises when parliament finalises the Cyber Security Bill to minimize threat that is the internet; who knows maybe they will even throw in stringent licensing and registrations requirements like they tried to do for bloggers in Tanzania and all sorts taxes along the lines of Uganda’s social media tax…

Oh no! Maybe I am giving them ideas right now!!…….

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that during a joint press conference of the police and army a statement was issued that basically blamed what happened in the past week as being perpetrated by army deserters, and wait for it rouge elements who stole army uniforms and were masquerading as security forces but how does it explain them having standard issue military guns or using state vehicles, its all very confusing cause earlier they had blamed labour movements, civic organisations and the opposition and for the second time again #ThisFlag movement charged with trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government…

 Looks like we should brace ourselves for more raids as they try to flush out the rogue elements and probably more internet disruptions, unless an appeal to the constitutional court set for Monday accomplishes anything but I have long since lost faith in the ability of the judiciary to uphold the constitution, waiting for them to surprise and as for people trying to reach out to SADC and the AU, did you know Zimbabwe’s president is the incoming Deputy Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security

Mnangagwa deputy chairman security sadc organ security

If you were having coffee with me, we would be having mango juice I think it tastes great though somewhat pulp

Are you staying up to watch the blood moon tonight ? I would not miss it for the world, the moon and I have an arrangement, wherever you are looking at the moon know I will be looking at the same moon too

~B

Of A Blog Being A Community

My name is Beaton but you call me B. I am a digital storyteller, which basically means that I use the medium of the internet to immortalize myself the only way I know how by WRITING.

When I am not writing I am builder of blogging communities running an online platform that serves to bring together and network bloggers from all over Africa, where the world meets Africa as we like to call it.

where the world meets Africa

The Blogging Culture: A Website means community

A website means community

I am blogger although technically when no one is around, I call myself a writer with a blog. But what is a blog anyway?

what is a blog?

To answer this I will have to delve into a brief history of blogging and WordPress

Blog comes the word WebLog which means literally a log of the web

Blogging started in the developed countries, around the mid to late 90s, when it was mostly online diaries……  By early 2000s blogging had become, A THING a movement even a full time business for some, not just endorsing products and affiliate marketing but marketing and selling their own skills services and crafts as diverse niches of blogs mushroomed.

It no longer was about just personal diaries, but lifestyle, fashion, health fitness, travel, tourism, parenting; the list is endless there’s a type of blogger for everything somewhere on the internet; even those who blog about blogging.

Here’s a fun fact……Did you know WordPress was built and evolved from a blogging platform called B2/CafeLog which had gained quite a huge community count up until the programmer created of the platform vanished leaving a sizeable community who no longer had developer support.

An innovative user of this platform worried about this development came up with the idea to create anew platform integrating the “cool stuff” from there and adding more features and May 2003 WordPress was born

15 years later here we are:

32% of the internet powered by wordpress

What does this mean?
There’s a huge community of bloggers and its growing and so too has the definition of what blogging is; blogging has no longer has a clear cut simple definition, it means different things to different people.

The official definition of blogging goes something like this:

a website whose posts listed chronologically from most recent to oldest updated regularly usually by one author


I can attempt to summarily define it as:
The online updating of content onto a digital platform

Something as simple as posting a status onto your Instagram, sharing a note on your Facebook, tweeting a tweet or even a video on YouTube or updating the content on your website; blogging is a little like running a magazine.

Blogging has transcended simply being just something you do on the internet; its more than just a marketing tool too; its also a political tool, an awareness campaign raiser, a society watchdog and even custodian of culture. A blog is like a key that opens doors to worlds one can only dream and tap into the community of people beyond the person simply on the end of the screen

I call my blog a gentleman because opens doors for me

A website is more than a conversation; a website is a community and for community to flourish we need each other..

Redwoods trees grow to dizzying heights reaching for the sky and last for thousands of years yet they have very shallow roots

How Do They Do This

The secret to their strength is that their roots … intertwine with other redwoods to create an underground network of powerful connections.

I have kept my personal blog for about five years now and my reach stats look  like this


I did a little research via my peers in the blogging community to see if anyone had any ideas why the blogging culture in the global south is so low  and the most common reasons were as follows:

The Cost of data is very prohibitive Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) released a report in October showing that on average 1GB of data costs 2.5% of the average monthly income; this translates to over two billion people living in a country where 1GB of mobile data is unaffordable… and bundled internet packages make the net be largely regarded as a just social media since all people do is mostly go onto social media

As for people not understanding the blogging culture, that’s part of why I am always encouraging and helping out fellow content creators and building blogging communities it seems like fun but a lot of work goes into having a website and when you put effort and get nothing back that why websites die……

How to support bloggers

  •  Number One Read our work
  • Subscribe, like, comment If you read and love something or find it useful say so
  • If a product is being sold or reviewed why not buy or recommend to a friend
  • Share links with your friends
  •  If you spot any errors hit the contact tab let us know
  • And Pay US ha!

Remember Archimedes’ famous quote; that give me a fulcrum, along enough lever and a place to stand on and I will change the world

 I say to you:

Give me a blog, an audience and an internet connection, and I will move the world.

~Beaton

Thank you!!

~B

PS And while I have you here, I am part of blogging community that picks a weekly blogger to crush on, I am this week’s Blog Crush but you dont have to take my word for how A Blog means community have a quick read at these posts:

Beaton 
Becoming The Muse

Makupsy – Dreadlocks Love Affair

Leo – Dreadlock Rasta!

Ubu – Of Possible Coffee Addiction

Hey Anci – Beaton -the man,the dreadlocked hallmark card and the myth

Life With Dimples – BlogIndabaWednesday ~ B

Tee Madzika – Wednesday share a creative 4

miss chiseche – wednesday creative crush

Of Telone’s DEOD: A Review

Telone launched a VOD service (Video On Demand) beginning of October; DEOD (Digital Entertainment OnDemand). It’s something similar to Netflix or Kwese’s iFlix (read my iFlix review here)

telone-top-banner
DEOD,  is an online television service offering you a choice between Renting the latest movies (pay per title) or Subscribing to a package of popular TV shows, Kids programs, music videos, Live News and Sports TV channels, documentaries, cooking shows and so much more!

Initially, I had not given it much thought, as I had assumed that it being a streaming service I would need a ridiculous amount of internet to enjoy on demand video streaming, but it turns out that streaming is zero-rated if you have an active Telone broadband subscription.

I decided to check out their website zw.deod.tv and register my account. The registration process is ridiculously easy; email address password and confirm a verification email.

On Demand Daily, weekly, weekend or monthly subscriptions allow you access to TV shows, Movies, Music Videos, and Kids Shows.

Rent: The Rent option is a DVD shop that lets you hire out the latest releases (made available three months after their cinema release) or choose from a movie library. From the first time you press play you have a 48 hour access window to your rent selection

They were offering a 7 day DEOD Premium trial subscription for $1 so I tried I decided to try it out………

What I loved about DEOD

>Streaming is zero-rated on a Telone Adsl package

>The payment options: pay via EcoCash or Pay Pal

Pay via Ecocash

>The on demand packages: On demand has various packages such that you could subscribe simply over the weekend or for a day although the monthly subs give better value.

What I did not like:

>The available titles and the selection of TV shows is rather limited most of what they have to offer if you are an avid movie watcher you probably have seen.

>Also the lack local content, Telone have a platform they could use to showcase local content creators and it would possibly cost less than securing rights for the latest blockbuster releases and might even appeal more to local audience their increasing subscriber base.

>There’s no subtitles option. I like watching movies with the subtitles on that way I can pretend its as good as reading a book and also wont miss out on great dialogue and quotable quotes.

Overally if you are on Telone internet you should try it, it’s definitely something to do especially over a lazy weekend considering how out of reach the other options have become and with others shutting down and if they tweaked up their content it could actually be a go to thing.

Have you tried it out? Would you try it out? what are your thoughts on Video On Demand

~B

Of The Gutenberg Editor: Review

The Gutenberg Editor is coming!!!!!!

Gutenberg is coming

WordPress 5.0 is rolling out, soooooon, and the Gutenberg Editor will be the new default editor and here’s why you should be paying attention, about 30% of the internet is powered by WordPress it just might redefine web publishing.

Normally when you create and edit posts it looks like this:

The Classic Editor

The Gutenberg Editor will look like this:

Gutenberg editor

The Gutenberg Editor:

What is Gutenberg, Who is Gutenberg and I’ll even do you one better Why is Gutenberg?

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is an editor that is poised to revolutionise WordPress customizations and the “effortless” laying out and creating media rich content (with or) without the knowledge of complicated coding skills

Who is Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg whom the editor is named after was a 15th century printer and publisher who introduced the movable type printing system that allowed for feasible mass production of printed material which ignited the printing revolution in Europe.

Why Gutenberg

Its hoped that the Gutenberg Editor will similarly re-invent the web, creating a digital revolution which puts the power of creativity back into the hands of the creatives without expert code use.

Re-imagine the internet

“The web up until this point has been confined to some sort of rectangular screen. But that is not how it’s going to be. Gutenberg has the potential of moving us into the next time.” Morten Rand Hendriksen

How it works

You create customizable blocks, for your content which you can manipulate individually to build up your post.

Gutenberg blocks

My Thoughts

I am a firm believer of the ideal that if something works then DON’T FIX IT.

Having really gotten used to the old editor I am comfortable with it I know where everything is and how to create my posts, the editor has updated before but never so drastically.

Just because something works doesnt mean mean it cant be improved

Comfort is an enemy of progress, so in my last couple of posts I have been trying to figure my way around the Gutenberg editor and here’s my journey so far:

First Impressions

I love the idea of the being able to play around with different aspects of a post, its reminiscent of using a Image Editing Software which has layers or groups which you can manipulate individually.

You can change formatting of a particular block; from the background colour to the text colour and resize without affecting the format of whole document, and it even notifies you if the colour scheme you choose might not accommodate everyone.

Colour picker

You can also transform each block into a different type of block transform blocks Gutenberg

The Challenges I Faced

The editor feels like it was mostly designed as a tool to fuse together mixed media content into a post then as an afterthought they remembered about the writer type of people.

Usually I create my posts in a notepad or document application and then I simply copy and paste into the Classic editor (adding images where necessary) than click [publish]

When I do the same thing suddenly every header and every paragraph and every image is on a block of its own and and minor formatting things suddenly become well not harder just you have to do significantly more clicking selecting blocks and navigating around them,

And where is the word count? I can normally see how much I have written easily by a quick glance without breaking a stride in my writing now I have to stop writing and click the content structure button though the document outline feature is a nice touch. Document outline

I also noticed you cannot change colour and size of text selectively inside a block you can only change for all the words in the block

I couldn’t failed to find the underline function? Shouldnt it be there beside  Bold and Italics

The image uploader doesnt seem to have that insert via url feature and when resizing photos I had gotten used to seeing the dimensions of the picture superimposed as you resized now looks like you just eyeball it and think yeah looks about right……

Unexpected Good Thing

While scrolling through the default blocks I found one with The Classic Editor and it works almost exactly as it has always been now I can breathe easy, and here’s a tip for all those who have been worried they wont know what to do once Gutenberg becomes the default editor well simply use the classic WordPress editor block.

search for blocks

Classic editor gutenberg

Also even if Gutenberg becomes default the people of WordPress support say you can always switch editors and put back the classic your default, so rest easy

You Are Welcome

~B

The Gutenberg Editor is still work in progress and yet to be launched, giving feedback helps make it better, if you have used it how has your experience been if not would you try it?

For an interactive demo tour  click here: GUTENBERG

Of Mainstream Media: is it dying?

Is Mainstream Media dying…. And did The New Media deal it a mortal blow?

Is Journalism dying, killed by social media
“The Medium has compromised The Media”

A sound-bite from Takura Zhangazha whilst speaking on the role The Media on the upcoming Zimbabwean Presidential elections and part of an analysis of previous 2013 elections, at a Medial Alliance of Zimbabwe conference; where it was noted there has been a marked increase in social media usage and citizen journalism. He defined The Medium as being tools, technology; the internet social media……..

Well one cannot lay blame on tools, they say “guns don’t kill people…. ” (but then who ever came up with that phrase was from a time before anyone ever imagined someone would invent drones and weaponise them or the strides in Artificial Intelligence; before the future spelt out in Hollywood movies was even remotely possible, the machines rise…. but I digress)

Corrupted Media

The DNA of The New Media

Mainstream media has had gaps in its coverage, marginalising some aspects in favour of profitable stories, political mileage and sometimes simply some sort of principle and code. These gaps have been filled by new media; which allows for diverse practitioners to exploit the ease at which information spreads, (going viral), abiding by almost no code, ungoverned and ungovernable, algorithms defining trending topics; requiring little or no verification; mostly for the likes; shares retweets, the real time interaction and the entertainment value…

Social Media can break the news before almost any media house, first with the news, because anyone anywhere with a smartphone and an internet connection is a pseudo-journalist…

When traditional media houses try to out-compete new media, they wind up losing their journalistic integrity, (and their credibility). Is it a surprise no one takes mainstream media seriously anymore, not pointing any fingers, but when a head of state takes to social medal  to label a media house as fake news………

If traditional media houses treat new media and online content creation as their “unscrupulous” competition whom they need to fight for their place in the sun then …… mainstream media will die.

The herald

The logic makes sense; but in this age of The Internet Of Things, where even your fridge can go online; this is how you lose a battle with new media. You leave a space and someone or something will take your place; like a game musical chairs when the music stops, you find your seat has been taken……. You are Out.

online piracy

Piracy/plagiarism is a real problem and another challenge all together. I have Google searched and found snippets of my words unattributed to me, it hurts…. I mean if you ask me nicely I would let you, so long as you referenced back to me, is that too much to ask for? When a solution comes do let me know.

Traditional media houses need to adapt and embrace more of the new media; define new guidelines and core values with regards to interacting with social media instead of treating it as an amusing spectacle like children running around in adults clothes pretending to be journalists; useful only to get hits and views. It is an instrument a powerful one, capable of transforming the world as we know it, but a tool’s is utility just like any weapon is dependent on its wielder.

Evian babies wearing oversized clothes

RESPECT

The main problem with social media is “the proliferation of fake news” a phrase I have heard over and over again. But it’s mostly a matter of user education, people must need to learn a culture of not spreading unverified information or at least questioning and cross-checking facts. Sometimes even a quick Google Search could prove to you that a celebrity is not dead or how today is a not a unique day whose star alignment will not happen again in the next 456321 million years…..

Maybe that’s what mainstream media has to do; apply expert skill-set to interpret trends, analysing stories and issues raised in new media packaging them in the way they should be, debunking fake news and harnessing the potential reach of online influencers; reviewing new media the way it already reviews traditional publishing houses. On social media everyone to a degree is a social commentator or analyst adding their two cents to the narrative and with elections coming up, that space is going to be real chaotic  real fast in a way that could change electoral process dynamics.

If I owned a media house…………….

~B

 

Photo Credit: Evian Water Babies Digital Agency Network

 

Of Love and Life in The Digital Age

You are familiar with the Three Mystic Apes also known as the Three Wise Monkeys:

See No Evil Hear No Evil Speak No evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil

Mizaru, with eyes covered, sees no evil; Kikazaru, with covered ears, hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering mouth, speaks no evil….

Well there is fourth whose wisdom and mysticism is somewhat debatable:

monkey with a phone  He sees nobody, he hears nobody and he speaks to nobody……. and yet on the internet the world is his oyster……

I always take what I read on the internet with a pinch of salt because much as it is a fun creative space, reducing physical distance into nothing more than a click on a screen, it seems to warp reality as we perceive it……

The more our phones capture reality, each new model with better camera, higher number of pixels and a bigger  screen with high definition screen; the less we actually experience it. It seems we have become a generation that seeks validity and relevance by the number of likes and retweets we get online, outsourcing even our conscience to online personas.

Sometimes it seems like people go out of their way to post pictures or share video clips from their lives to prove how they have made it in life or how awesome their dream holiday is even how perfect their relationship is. Almost as if they need the world’s approval to convince themselves that they have indeed arrived. Well maybe you have made it, but as for the rest of the easily swayed world who try to compete every second of their lives to a single moment, captured in a well-timed photo, disappointment awaits you…

Valentine’s has come and gone; with its commercialised; over hyped up trimmings, and of course throw in smart phones and the internet and suddenly people out to show how their better half is best; better than anyone else’s. Some seem to date simply so they can show off. I am sure a relationship is not a competition and Relationship Olympics are not an actual Olympic event but hey people are out there winning the Boyfriend Olympics and the Girlfriend Olympics on the internet.

Relationship Olympics

How do you stay in your lane if you want to Keep Up With The Internet Citizens who star in their own Reality Shows right on our internet timelines.

I read an interesting quote along the lines of :

“If you are going to do good deeds/charity work leave your camera behind”

I wonder if he knew, Alexander Graham Bell, back when he invented the telephone how much control his invention would have over our lives

The next time you are outside and happen to see the perfect sunset don’t take out your phone and take a picture just look at it until the light fades away…

sunset

~B

 

PS why wait only for Valentine’s Day to show how much someone means to you anyway? Live every day like its Valentine’s day.

The fourth monkey is called Post No Evil

Post No evil

 

 

photo Credit: Freaking News

 

Of Juice In A Wine Glass

Hello Sunday

If you were hanging out with me we would be having juice in wine glasses, because we are sophisticated, yeah step out of the ordinary

Juice in a wine glass

How has your week been? Good I trust.

Whats been happening in my neck of the woods, lets see the interim president finally announced his new cabinet… it pretty much looks like this:

metal cabinet

The newly appointed minister of finance introduced his budget for 2018 I don’t know much about economic policies or how governments run but seems decent enough budget considering working with what they have the bulk of the money is the wage bill for civil servants, living a runaway budget deficit in the region of close to 2 billion. I guess they are banking on a bail out by someone or that the economy really turns around…..

The irony though, government plans to retire civil servants over the age of 65, yet the average ages of the cabinet ministers is 65-70 years, the minister of youth is 68 and the president is 75 years old….

Sometimes you are the change you wish to see.

Moving along I know its Christmas when an evening walk in Harare’s first street is a burst of Christmas lights and Africa Unity Square is riot of colour wishing you a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Christmas Lights Africa Unity square

On Friday in a colourful event dubbed Light Up Harare The Mayor Officially switched on the Sunshine City’s Christmas lights (well they had been on for almost weeks now but now its official)

Light Up Harare Christmas

Let the Christmas festivities commence Season’s Greetings

I hear its snowing across the globe on the other side of the world, stay safe, I am curious about snow, having never seen it before; does it feel like ice in the refrigerator, is it cold (don’t answer that) when it lands on your eyelashes does it tickle? Can you eat it what does it taste like, I do know you should not eat the yellow snow ha!

Gotta love the internet it brings the world to the tip of my fingers…

Speaking of the internet, Tuesday 5 December was the day the internet stopped working well they fixed it eventually but from  11.30 to 1700 major internet service providers  well could not provide the internet……

A tractor ploughing a field in South Africa accidentally cut the main fibre cable which supplies the bulk of Zimbabwe’s telecommunications through Liquid Telecoms including the backup redundancy line and in an unrelated coincidence at about the same time a Harare municipal worker in Kuwadzana also cut the fibre cable which links ADSL provider Telone to Botswana and the world …………

*insert deep in thought emoji*

That’s a whole lot of cable cutting right there, I mean aren’t they buried safely beneath the ground I have seen them dig up our drive way to bury them (read here) Don’t they markers or something to warn people *insert appropriate emoji*

Also they really seriously need to work on their backup lines.

Unless of course as some people suggest, the whole thing was a government exercise to test if they can shutdown the internet, I wouldnt put it past them they have done it before, (or so we suspect) in a move to derail a social media campaign that was mobilising people to carry flags and ShutDown Zimbabwe, they even put up some legislation criminalising the carrying and selling of flags without prior authority. Maybe they shut down the internet to install some cyber monitoring  protocols? Conspiracy conspiracy, too bad even if they did and we asked them they would probably deny it (I would too if I was the government)

An investigation is underway to find out the what really happened the day the internet died stay tuned…….

On the upside since I had no internet on the day and couldn’t figure out what to do with myself I ended up finishing reading a book I started and have been neglecting and I also rewatched the movies Moana and Trolls  yes I love animated flicks I am forever young expect reviews coming soonest….

Dear maintenance crews be more careful with our cables hey

Sincerely

~B

Of Coffee And Shiny New Lessons

If you were having coffee with me we would be trying out my shiny new kettle……

Shiny Africa .jpg

I would thank you for visiting and let you know that you are like my shiny new kettle, with the wonky instructions manual, hard to understand but absolutely worth it……

instructions

if you can make sense of this…..

In case you are curious and wondering what happened to the old kettle…. I tried to fix it and I failed… I also learnt a few things too…

old kettle.jpg

You know when an appliance comes with the warning tag No User Serviceable Parts, what they mean is Do Not Attempt To Fix This by Yourself unless you are trained professional but I still insist on taking it as a personal challenge……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that there are lots of things I have learnt, which is my fancy way of telling you that I may or may not have made some mistakes in life….

Things I learned not to do in life……..

Never Ever:

  • Check the temperature of water in a kettle by dipping hand into the kettle….
  • Touch hot stove tops……..
  • Kick at snakes venomous or otherwise, in fact, snakes should just stay away from me please and thank you …….
  • Poke wasps nests with a stick……..
  • Play in traffic……..
  • Look for shoes under the bed with a candle…
  • Super glue fingers together…
  • Lick the inside metal of the freezer…
  • Put metal objects in electricity outlets….
  • Lick electric wires to taste check if there is power….
  • Look under a lawnmower to see why it’s making so much noise……….
  • NOT Check the ceiling height and clearance for low hanging chandeliers and any other ornaments before tossing a toddler into the air over your head….
  • And when I write a book to check for errors extensively before I have it published
  • and lastly……
    never……
    ever …….. look inside a lady’s handbag….

If you were having coffee with me I won’t tell you what I saw, but I have learnt my lesson, curiosity kills nine lived cats and I have only one.

How has your week been? I hope your weekend is going great.

If you were coffee with me, I would tell you that I have been following social media commentary on a book titled From A to B written by South African TV personality Bonang.

http3a2f2fo-aolcdn-com2fhss2fstorage2fmidas2f676f73b9553b604b31076d58f73c4e912f2055350062f20482648_498835333801519_1022825128439840768_n

Her book has been making a buzz because of typos and grammar problems. It is kind of weird to note most of the people who have suddenly become book critics well havent read the book but have just seen the same screenshot(s) from the book circulating on the interweb and have formed opinions and made remarks of not only the book, but the author as well, as if one wakes up and decides what typos should I make in my book today. Ironically enough I spotted a tweet or two with grammar atrocities busy making fun of Bonang’s typos……

While I am not excusing the author, I mean one owes it to the people who are going to spend their hard earned money on you to create something worth their time and the publishing companies ought to do their due diligence instead of damage control

What do you think?

~B

 

 

photocredit Bonang Instagram