Of Unwitnessed Moments

 

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that its nice of you to come visit, sometimes I need witnesses to witness what I get upto at times….

For starters:

Is it written anywhere that man cannot fry lettuce and must only nibble at it like a rabbit. Well I didn’t read that unwritten memo because witness:

wilted lettuce or kilt lettuce

Yes I did!!! I fried lettuce lightly with a hint of olive oil….

By the way do  not over do it or it will end up looking like this…….

kilt lettuce killed lettuce

If you were having coffee with me, we would not be having coffee but trying out a beetroot beverage. Just cut up the beetroot and boil …..

 

boiling beetroot

It tastes ….. interesting….. you can drink it to wash down the fried lettuce then chew a carrot and ask “Whats up Doc?”

What's up Doc?

If you were sipping on some beetroot juice with me, I would share with you an anecdote a friend mentioned about beetroot. Beetroot they mused, is a vegetable grown in the fiery gardens of hell and the Devil waters it himself by …erm relieving himself in it… and the redness is from the blood of all the sinners soul languishing there…… I don’t think they like beetroot much and I didn’t want to be the only with that imagery stuck in my head… tag it’s in your head now…

While you are trying to shake that visual out of your head I would tell you that next weekend (Saturday 4 November) is the Harare WordCamp. Guess what, I am writing this post while taking a break from working on my presentation… I am on the line up of speakers (pamamonya ipapo… Loosely translated sharing a stage with experts) As I mentioned earlier sometimes we need to be witnessed….. Here is  Everything You Need To Know About WordCamp Harare.

If you were sipping beetroot with me I would tell you that I am more than a pretty mind, I have just completed a pet project to refurbish the kitchen chairs and

spray painting chairs

black frame kitchen chairs

kitchen chairs

fixing kitchen chairs

kitchen chairs

They turned out ok for someone with a pencil for fingers.

The rest of  the renovations are slowly resolving:

From here

installing kitchen sink

Kitchen sink

Kitchen sink

To here:

Kitchen Sink

and the man who is doing the tiles he was standing behind me and said Rasta give us a shout out…. So if you need your place tiled (reasonable amount too details at bottom of this post)

And since I have started on the shoutouts here are a few people whom I would like to thank for their support, especially for having read each and everyone of my September Posts you guys are the real MVPs

Donald starting with you since you so graciously pointed out that I should do a shout out roll

Mable you seconded this idea and see me about that guest thingie after next weekend yeah?

Shuvai for reading each and every one of my posts and the typos you discretely point out

D Abboh From that very first Typo you DMd me about, thank you for all the support and encouragement Happy Holidays.

Josh I don’t remember how I found your blog but here we are several posts and adventures later

Rachel Time flies, you are a welcome guest, and if you have any more posts to share, just let me know

Carrol Carrol Carrol what can I say, read my mind….

Laura Always A Pleasure

Team Afrobloggers Bubblez, Obuasinii, DorelMel

Team #BlogIndaba Makupsy, The Quarter Wife, Beauty’s Daughter, Keith

And if I forgot to mention you, introduce yourself and I will update the list….. it might also be because you never tell me when you visit you are this weird Guest… Don’t be that guest.

 

And Tariro for this tweet which made my day

Love and Laughter

~B

PS This post should contain links and images but my internet is being petty will update   soon as I  can

 

 

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Of 7 Tips to surviving 7 years on Twitter

Today I woke up to the notification that its my 7th Twitter Anniversary. Funny thing is I didnt realize we were married and I didnt even remember that seven years ago today on the 27th of October, I logged onto twitter, for the first time and logged out a couple of times but I never really left…….

Do you hear that, playing in the background, faint music…… voices down the corridor, I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here
You can log-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!

Nobody quite understands Twitter (not even its creators) but its provocative yet addictive…. Its like talking in a crowded room of people all talking at the same time and not even to each other but @ each other….

Its a message in a bottle thrown out in the deep blue sea and hoping someone reads it….

Twitter is a tool and like any tool and can build or destroy, depending how you wield it.

Twitter is the most real-time dynamic social media platform ever, if you doing it right you can find breaking stories way before they trickle to Facebook and Whatsapp or become viral…. If you think its just social media what other site do they read posts from on live news?

In honour of my Twitterversary, I will share 7 handy tips to surviving on Twitter

  • get a decent number of followers and the only way to do that is to tweet and follow others; some will follow back.
  • Some people are trolls out to get retweets, an audience, and attention…. 

heres-that-attention-you-ordered-14922290

They are like Gremlins do not feed them not just after dark… but ever

ban sign Do not feed the trolls

  • Hashtags are your friends, use #Hashtags to find content and tweets that you relate with, (as an author I recommend #amwriting) One my personal faves is #vss for very short stories, most of my tweets are of this format and I eventually turn them into a story, my Twitter Timeline is basically a draft folder. Wednesdays evenings I host a poetry event tagged #AbWPE if you are of poetic persuasion do check it out. I have a special group of blogging friends and they use #BlogIndaba find us, find them. If you have any others drop them in comments.
  • Trending topics keep you updated on …. well the trending Hashtags. You can set your twitter feed to show you: 

    Topics trending worldwide

worldwide trends twitter             Topics Trending in your country:

trending topics select Zimbabwe

**For some reason Zimbabwe and a few other African countries do not appear on the list South Africa twitter Trends…….And South Africa has the option to pick Trends by city location

Tailored Trends: based on the people you follow

tailored twitter trends for you

  • I follow 5000+ people on Twitter and I have long since learnt, you dont have to read every tweet. My twitter news feed refreshes every second, and I would probably miss tweets from even my favourite twitter accounts but then I use twitter lists.Capture.JPG
  • I group my followers into manageable chunks,soon as as I add them; I have lists for blogging connections, authors, crushes, journalists, hilarious accounts and those I must never miss updates from. I simply load the list and get a form “tailored newsfeed”
  • twitter listsFor those people who say they only follow a few people to avoid their newsfeed getting overwhelmed you could simply create a list of those people near and dear to you and still follow a whole lot of other accounts….. you are welcome.

If you have any useful tips of your own do share and maybe one day we will do The Guide To Understanding Twitter

You can find me on twitter @Beatonm5

~B

PS There is a Mute Button, an Unfollow Button and a Block button: They will save you a world of drama if used judiciously….

I love the mute button though, its like blocking but without the permanent commitment, its just as good saying, I like knowing you around, though I dont really want to see you.  

 

 

Of Remembering Lucky Dube

Remembering an African Legend

Lucky Dube

It’s been 10 years since the death of African reggae legend Lucky Dube. He was shot and killed in the attempted hijacking of his vehicle on the night of 18 October 2007 in the suburb of Rosettenville, Johannesburg, South Africa. Apparently the carjackers thought he was a foreign national they caught and sentenced to life in prison.

An icon was robbed of his life, a family its father, a continent and the world lost a reggae legend.

I grew up listening to reggae music. My father was an avid fan he had vinyl record collections of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear and played them on his Supersonic stereo system. He was a conscious man. Reggae music has never been just music it’s the voice for the conscious, it’s the voice for those who have none, the voice  of society’s conscience ……

And then along came Lucky Dube inspired by the likes of Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff he embraced the reggae music sound, he owned it, and used it to tell his story, to tell Africa’s story, the socio-political struggle that was his reality. He spoke against apartheid, racism and discrimination; he sang about unity.

His music was relevant not just to South Africa (where at some point his music was banned by the then apartheid government)  but to the continent, it resonated deep with his fans.

Every where in the world
People are fighting for freedom
Nobody knows what is right
Nobody knows what is wrong
The black man say it's the white man
The white man say it's the black man
Indians say it's the coloureds
Coloureds say it's everyone
Your mother didn't tell you the truth
Cause my father didn't tell me the truth
Nobody knows what is wrong
And what is right

One of his tracks is called Remember Me.

I remembered him the only way I know how. I remember as a young lad watching his music on a TV. Watching this dread-locked musician singing about being a prisoner, singing about different colours one people or why we can’t live together as one? I was not old enough to fully understand the impact of his lyrics but even then I knew there was something profound going on… well we weren’t living together then we still not entirely getting along today; even today…..

His music was breaking barriers, transcending genres and cultures going beyond the realm of simply reggae music, evolving, bridging gaps and unifying different races into one people.

What happens when reggae music meets an orchestra? Symphonic Reggae  that’s what you get. Here is a performance by the National Chamber Orchestra arranged and conducted by Michael Hankinson Featuring Lucky Dube Live in Concert 5/1/98

I wish there could have been more of this.

The University Of Pretoria Symphony conducted by Gerben Grooten performed a touching tribute to symphonic reggae, in the Musaion Perfomance Hall at the University on the 29th of May 2015……

Gallo Records South Africa the record label which he was signed under (initially Teal Records before it got incorporated into Gallo) released a 25 track Commemorative Album titled The Times We’ve Shared

Limited Edition Commemorative Album Lucky Dube

Links to purchase or listen online to the album can be found HERE.

Born on the 3rd of August 1964 his mother named Lucky; because his was a fortuitous birth after several failed pregnancies.

Lucky Dube’s legacy lives on, not only in our hearts but through his children Nkulee and Thokozani who have picked up microphones and celebrate their right to live on a musical stage  ….

We are lucky to have been blessed with this star

Lucky Dube

3 August 1964 – 18 October 2007

 

WE Remember You

~B

Images courtesy of Gallo Records South Africa

 

Of Coffee Excuses and DIY

 

If you were having coffee with me I would welcome you like a long lost friend, you know the one, the one you have been friends with from way, way way back; the one who always has your back……

i got your back clip art

And for some reason time, space and distance same to mutually agree to keep you apart, every time you chat, the conversation begins:

Hey you…. It’s been a long time.”

You always agree to meet up, play catch up and promise to be in touch more henceforth… The conversation always ends in the same way:

Promise I’ll be in touch

Sometimes you might actually meet a couple of times and chat over the phone a night or two then time flies, life dies and its suddenly a long time later:

Hey you…. Been a long time.

It’s been 22 days since my last post, initially I was simply taking a break after completing my blog everyday challenge…. Now it’s been weeks, after you have been doing a post every day for a month; 3 weeks feels like ages….

Why have I been away? Grab a cuppa and listen up.

First of all my laptop crashed taking with it my drafts; that is not as bad as it could have been because fortunately all my works in progress are synced to my phone, onto  DropBox (provided I have internet access) and a backup hard drive.

My lil niece decided the phone was dirty and needed a bath then got distracted during the process and left the phone at the bottom of a bucket full of water. Goodnight phone.

 

My current phone is the most basic one you ever did see so couldnt access all those “clever” apps and drives.

Then my back up hard-drive started making that ticking sound of death… When I plug it in I am greeted by that “unrecognized device” notificationUSB device not recognized

I am trying to fix it….

Opening an external HDD

But everything I know about hard-drives I learnt from You-Tube so wish me luck. I have always been curious to see what’s inside them.

And I love trying out my screw driver set.

screw-driver.gif

Whats having a set of screwdrivers like these for than an excuse to screw things up….. (It sounded punnier in my head)

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that when things are going wrong don’t ask yourself if they could possibly get any worse, because they will…..

My ADSL Wifi Router decided to mysteriously stop working. I called my Internet Service Provider to come have a “look-see” at it because over the phone they kept telling me to switch it off for five minutes and then switch it on again, and I tried to explain that I have been doing that. That’s the default hack to fixing a tech gadget that’s not doing what its supposed to be doing. Switch it off and then switch it on again but of course you call this process Reboot to sound like you are doing a fancy procedure….

The technician came over and fiddled with it and pronounced

Something is wrong with it

I know something is wrong with it. What I want to know is what is wrong with it?” I asked again.

The technician pondered on that then said

“It’s not working”

So I have to get a replacement Wi-Fi Router unless if anyone knows how to or someone who can fix the ZTE ZXHN H108N Home gateway.

Oh yeah and they don’t have a guarantee for their products, its barely been 3 months and router is dead and the only explanation I could get is “it not working.” I really, really, want to know whats wrong with it, what if the next one does me up like that?

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that our government had a cabinet reshuffle and also got a few new ministries. We now have a Ministry Of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation. I understand how the cyber security is important but a whole ministry dedicated to it, especially when we already have a Ministry Of ICT seems like overkill and speculation on the streets is that its just a tool police the cyberspace and social media …elections are coming.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you “Whats been happening in your neck of the woods?”

The youngest president elected is 31 Macron’s record has been broken.

Our President got selected to be a WHO Goodwill Ambassador………

**Update seems they have reversed their decision

Its been ten years since the death of South African reggae legend Lucky Dube and we still remember. My next post is a tribute post to this icon.

Temperatures have been exceedingly hot this past week if you were having coffee with, we wouldn’t be having coffee because when you open the tap the water comes out hot enough to make a cuppa without need to boil. I bet if we had hens they would lay boiled eggs… (ok maybe not that extreme…. But still its hot….)

Hey its been awhile; thanks for dropping by, promise I’ll keep in touch…..

~B

PS me teaching my niece how to make jelly because I am the fun like that.

Making Jelly

It was fun until after we were waiting for it to set she kept asking is it done yet over and over again…

“Wait an hour no make that 2 hours” I said hoping to buy time but nooooo now every five minutes she kept asking if two hours were up yet…..

 

Of Blogging Every Day

 

For the past month I have been part of a team of bloggers who pledged to blog every day for the month of September.

One of the objectives of this challenge was simply to see whether it could be done or not, in the way some one climbs to the top of the highest mountain and then when you get to the top you find another mountain to climb.

standing top of mountain clip art

You look like ants from up here

The main objective was to give voice to the African narrative to share posts that help put in to perspective the reality that is my world and if we have enough people telling it, Africa’s voice will be heard this is My Africa and these are my Words

MyAfricaMyWords

#MyAfricaMyWords

It’s not easy, to write everyday but it’s not impossible, life will intrude, it always does but you can either make time or you can make excuses.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from this blog everyday challenge is that my creativity is boundless, as the sea the more I write, the more I have, it is infinite (Did I low key quote Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, perhaps creativity is like being in love).

I have always had a fear that I am like a precious bottle of creativity and I must pour out each drop carefully, sparingly, the way a miser begrudgingly hands out each coin as if it’s the last; I felt it paid to hoard, lest I find my supply diminished and my precious creativity depleted.

………….Now I will pour and pour and pour…….

When you write every day, it forces you to think about writing, every day. You pay more attention to conversations around you, a sentence you read in a book, a quote from a movie or TV series, a leaf falling softly, to the soft brown earth, everything is a story waiting to be told; no one listens more to your story than the person who will write it down and no one reads it more than one about to write their own. The symmetry of the reader and the writer, one can be a reader and never a writer but a writer must be a reader.

I have interacted with interesting bloggers taking part in this challenge and seeing how they write has helped me to define my voice, to write as the stories should be told, to write as the story teller I am.

Goodbye September and Welcome October

~B

Day 30 of my blog every day challenge

Here is quick way twitter moment of my past posts.

Of Coffee With Something Mysterious, Something Majestic and Something Mythical

If you were having coffee with me, I would take you through a virtual tour of this tea-pot shaped country of mine, Zimbabwe. I think I would name this tour something majestic, something mysterious and something mythical. Hang on to you tea cups.

Our first stop would be at the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, located a few kilometers from the city of Masvingo.

Great Zimbabwe

The country Zimbabwe’s name is derived from Great Zimbabwe, which literally means Great House of Stone. Sometime between the 12th to 15th century this was thriving settlement, the largest in southern Africa. A demonstration of power opulence and architecture of almost unparalleled brilliance beyond their time.

artist impression of great zimbabwe

View from the top Great Zimbabwe

Second only to the pyramids in Egypt would you be surprised to find people still debate who built this ancient monument? Some have tried to credit it to the Queen of Sheba, Phoenicians, Europeans even perhaps aliens from out of space, but scholars and archaeologists have since agreed Shona ancestors reigned here.

enclosure walls

If you were having coffee with me we would visit the Lodge At The Ancient City a resort on a mountain top overlooking the Great Zimbabwe complex. The resort is fashioned in a stone style and décor that’s natural in tributary reminiscence to the Ancient monuments.

lodge at the ancient city

lodge at the ancient city

lodge at the ancient city

A meal in the Summershed

lodge at the ancient city

A glass of wine in the garden

lodge at the ancient city

A sundowner by the pool

While still in the Masvingo province we will go into the Zaka district to visit Weza. This virtually unknown location has a massive granite structure with a map of Africa etched into it and there are bare footprints round the map as if someone walked on the still molten rock, and drew a map. Who did it? Nobody knows. Maybe it was our ancestors but the soles of their feet must have been fire resistant, and back then how would they have knowledge of maps, a curious school of thought says maybe aliens did it. Some say God did it, because there is a somewhat similar feature in Epworth Harare, a place called Dombo raMwari(God’s Rock)

God's footprint in a rock

We can’t pass through Dombo raMwari without checking out The Balancing Rocks. There is no mystery there each just an interesting geologic feature.

balancing rocks Zimbabwe

you can even find it on our “local currency”

zimbabwean 2 dollar bond notes

If you are having coffee with me we would head out to Chinhoyi to see the caves and the sleeping pool.

 

Why is it so blue? How deep is it where does it end up You can catch more of my thoughts on the sleeping pool here Chirorodziva: The pool of the fallen

Chinhoyi sleeping pool cave

And then a quick visit to Chirinda forest; Chipinge but first we stop by the Christmas Pass on the road to Mutare. Its beautiful at night and the view is breathtaking.

Christmas pass Mutare

night christmas pass

Night mode

The Valley of Giant Chirinda Forest,

Chirinda forest valley of the giants

valley of the giants chirinda forest

The big Tree

the big tree chirinda

This place feels the way a rain forest should feel, trees stretching so high up it boggles the mind. Oh yes and caution; behave with respect and proper reverence or else a fog will befuddle your senses and you wont remember which way you came from or where the car is parked and you are doomed to walk the forest, forever or till you die or whichever comes first; unless your kin can find a traditional doctor to perform an appeasement ceremony.

If you were having coffee with me and we were on a virtual I would tell you that whats visiting Zimbabwe without seeing the animals first hand? We dash off to the Antelope park. It’s an award winning private game reserve located just out of the city of Gweru. They maintain a famous lion pride, and other wildlife trying their best to preserve the ever dwindling animal population that used to roam free wild and graceful before man happened.

A horse drawn carriage ride can get you up close and personal with unexpected friends.

carriage-ride-04.jpg

walk with elephants

walk with elephants antelope park

walk with elephants

Meet the Ngamo pride

Ngamo pride cubs antelope park

ngamo pride antelope park

And as the sunset on our tour we can relax by a fireside

camping in zimbabwe

I will tell you stories, that will keep you up at night, are you afraid of the dark?

~B

PS ah yes the Victoria Falls I didn’t forget about that majestic Smoke That Thunders but I know you know about it already.

Day 29 Blog every day Challenge

 

Photo credits;

Lodge At The Ancient City

Antelope Park