Of Free Fair and Credible Elections

voting
Free Fair and Credible Elections
This is a phrase that has been, and will be repeated especially now that the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally announced the date of the 2018 harmonised elections. On the 30th of July 2018 Zimbabwe will decide, and for the first time since our independence 18 April 1980, Robert Mugabe will not be at the helm of the ruling party but of course the same party ZANU PF will be contesting/defending its claim under the interim incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

What does it mean: Free, fair and Credible elections?
First of all, most people seem not to be aware that the elections are not an event but a process of varied elements throughout the electoral cycle and in the case of Zimbabwe this cycle is 5 years.

electoral cycle

Electoral Cycle

Free
Free is defined as unrestricted, without coercion; having freedom to vote for preferred candidate without fear
absence voter intimidation/ political violence

Fair
Fair is defined as balanced or without favour or prejudice; having equal right to register; contest or vote for preferred candidate
when everyone is given a chance to vote/ register, without discrimination; provisions for those who might experience difficulties in voting, equal coverage of contesting candidates on state media

Credible
Credible is a word which means something that can be trusted and believed; credible elections are defined as being transparent and accountable
sufficient Civic education on voter registration and voting, monitoring, inspection of voters roll, Election Observers
Its unfortunate the role Observers is misunderstood and a lot of expectations is heaped up on them when their role is mainly to observe comprehensively through established methodologies, to document; the good, highlight shortcomings and offer recommendations they are not legislative bodies.

This is not the full scope of what consists free fair and credible elections its simply a tentative attempt to familiarise myself with this phrase used and abused.  One won’t need to have a degree or anything sophisticated to see that at a glance one could easily pick out red flags that could affect the degree to which the elections are free, fair and credible……

There has been issues with civic education, especially after implementing a new biometric voter registration, citizens where unfamiliar with; reports have cropped up of challenges with checking voters role, the coverage on state media is skewed in favour of the ruling party leaving the majority of contenders to rely on social media and external broadcasting houses, there’s been violence, both intra-party and inter-party….. should we even talk about how an election date is finally announced today with 2 months to go just barely within the minimum range set by constitution,

Clearly these elections wont quite be free fair or credible but they might be far much better than the previous ones where posting an article like this on my blog would have been to invite scrutiny…..

All I hope for is whatever happens at the very least let it all resolve peacefully………..

zim decides
~B

PhotoCredit: Electoral Cycle Chat: ResearchGate

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Of My Office The Road

There is a Shona proverb “chitsva chiri murutsoka” which translates to; “to experience something new, travel” So when the opportunity to accompany someone on a roadtrip presented itself; I said why not. I travelled. The last long journey I had was between Harare and Masvingo and I have travelled that route many times, going to my roots so at any point I know, where I will be and how far left to go……. Now for some reason the responsible Authority on roads doesn’t seem to see it necessary to fix/replace distance markers/signposts at fixed intervals. It’s unnerving to travel blind, when you don’t how far you have gone or how far you have to go. You will only know you have arrived when the signpost welcomes you. At least you can figure out how far you have gone based on your speed and if your vehicle has a working odometer. The return trip won’t be such a blind run. Also there was a time when all bridges on the highway had a sign post with the river name on it,

Lundi river

now most bridges don’t have labels and everytime I cross one I would be wondering what river or river tributery that was or if I should look it up on GPS, if it even appears on Google Maps. It’s hard to believe police officers used to mount roadblocks at what felt like every few kilometers and they would act as if every vehicle was somehow in violation of some traffic act and they just needed to find it. You could get fined a ticket for not having a spare wheel or fire extinguisher or even if they decide your ca’s too dirty.

Zrp traffic police

We once got fined $20 because the little light which illuminates the rear number plate had blown and nearly got car impounded On this current trip we traveled a total of 700+ kilometers and not once did a police road block stop us, if there’s been any benefit the new dispensation has brought, it’s stopping police officers from abusing their stations. Gosh and the number of haulage trucks on the road, make driving a nightmare. I am guessing it’s because our railway network got itself derailed and I don’t know if we still have an operational train service but the haulage business seems to be booming. Well good for them but bad for us, the roads getting worn out, potholed and badly patched you’ll spend a small fortune fixing your vehicle’s suspension system.

Overtaking truck

Overtaking those trucks requires some video game skills especially if there’s more than one in front of you, they like travelling in packs you see. If I was president or someone in a position of power I’d decree that haulage trucks be at least 500m apart so there’s space to overtake nicely. I wish they would hurry up and complete road dualisation of major highways since these projects have been going on for so many years But the progress only of a few clicks every year at this rate probably my grandchild will witness these new roads.

When you are on the road avoid fluids but if you must then bananas are your friends you won’t need to make frequent bathroom breaks. When the road is your office

Inyanga where you so high you can reach up on the tips of your toes and touch the sky kumakomoyo

And then the are the tollgates, I have always wondered what happens to the money collected here.

Because of the cash crisis these tollgates will delay your travel time as it takes longer for people to make swipe payments from their bank cards and sometimes the system can go offline for no reason at all and there’s nothing to do but wait and ask yourself why you didn’t pick up a hitchhiker or two maybe they might have paid cash………..

And people who throw trash out the window of moving vehicles in particular and litter bugs in general who hurt you and why do you wanna hurt the earth in return what did it do to you? Maybe I have an Obsessive Complex Disorder which I think should be spelt CDO with all the words in perfect alphabetical order 😂 I keep my litter until I find a bin if I don’t find one I’ll take my litter home with because home definitely has a bin and a formula on how to dispose of trash except for teabags you can read my teabag dilemma here.

I always chuckle when I see those farewell upon leaving an area, you know the kind, those that tell you are leaving this territory, thank you please call again.

And I think how do I call you there’s no phone number on the sign post 😂 😂 😂 and I laugh and laugh and can’t understand how you don’t see this as funny

Thank you for visiting this blog please call again

~B

PS what’s a roadtrip without music if you are going to take me anywhere tell me there will be music and I won’t care even if we are in handbasket on a one way trip to somewhere where one ought to abandon all hope not sing along to Vanessa Carlton’s thousand miles

Making my way downtown

Walking fast

Faces pass

And I’m home-bound

Of suspending disbelief

How come?

Emoji asking

How come people look at me funny when I shout encouragements or warning to the hero on TV.

When I urge the people on TV not to trust the shifty character or to make sure the villain or monster is well and truly dead before turning their backs on them or it; you know shoot or stab or run over them again, for certainity otherwise look behind you!!!!

I mean have watched my fair share of movies that I could practically be an armchair director. I know you are supposed to suspend your disbelief but some obvious plot holes or violations in laws of physics are like the original director thought “hmmmm let me make a list of impossible things and CGI mush them up into the BlockBuster of the year……”

Enough about crazy old me……

How come football/soccer fans watching the game on TV, will be cheering and offering encouragement, even game play advice on tactics, formations and substitutions or pointing out fouls to the ref like the guys in TV land can hear them and and and and no one finds it’s not weird at all………………….

I’ll suspend my disbelief if you, yours 😂

~B

PS To be fair I only make these comments in my head because I hate watching a movie with people who like to give a running commentary on what’s happening as if I can’t see it for myself I am not that guy.

Of coffee and WordPress at 15

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that WordPress turns 15 today initial release date 27 May 2003. How about that!

WordPress 15th anniversary

The Harare WordPress community celebrated it by having a social meet-up and because who needs a reason to have cake and balloons and swag

WordPress 15 ballon

WordPress 15 cake

Here are a few fun facts about WordPress. WordPress started as a blogging platform b2/cafelog and evolved into the open source Content Management System (CMS) we now know. As of April 2018 30.9% of the internet is powered by WordPress.

WordPress statistics

Stats from w3techs.com

WordPress.org allows you to build, design and customize your own self-hosted website without needing you to be Tech-savvy (especially with their famous 5 minute installation) it’s almost as easy as creating a blog even the dashboards are same like similar to the ones on WordPress.com but you would then have to worry more about finding a hosting company and managing your plugins and search engine optimization (SEO)

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com tricky question each has its own merits and limitations but I prefer WordPress.com especially if you upgrade to the premium packages you get almost the same merits as self-hosting such as installing plugins and and Google Analytics, monetizing through GoogleAdsense and WordAdsWordAds

Did you know the founders of WordPress are huge jazz fans and all the main version releases are named after jazz musicians and when you install WordPress a pre-installed  plugin does nothing other than displays lyrics from Louis Armstrong’s Hello Dolly.

hello Dolly

hello dolly text

The default avatar which appears when someone without a profile picture comments on WordPress article is called the Mystery Man.

Mystery Man

Mystery Man

wordpress logo

And the font the font used in W logo WordPress has a name it’s called Mrs Eaves (named after Sarah Eaves, who was the live-in housekeeper for John Baskerville a printer and typeface designer from the 1700s, eventually becoming his wife, after the death of her first husband, Mr. Eaves.)

Did you know the catchphrase for WordPress.org is code is poetry well
I am no coder, code looks like gibberish to me but I appreciate the poetry in art well-crafted, one man’s poetry is another man’s gibberish think Lewis Carrol’s nonsense verse Beware The Jabberwock

beware the jabberwock

“We are much better at writing code than haiku.”

—Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you these little nuggets of information I know them now because we had a WordPress quiz and at the time I couldn’t answer a single question but now well I feel like a walking encyclopedia. Did you know the first WordCamp happened in 2006 San Francisco but since then over 507 WordCamps have been held in over 207 cities in 48 different countries around the world (Zimbabwe included)

Check this out Harare will be having it’s 3rd WordCamp this year whoop whoop. If you don’t know what a WordCamp is check out this link WordCamp harare 2017
I was a speaker at the last wordcamp and this year who knows……..

If you were having coffee I would say cheers to WordPress empowering hitherto unheard voices

Happy Anniversary WordPress

~B

photoCredit Hello Darling Plugin wpbeginner.com

Of Beasts Made Of Night: A Review

Beasts Made Of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Beasts made of midnight

For the fantasy lovers

Beasts made of night is a book set in a strange world where mages can cast sin out from people and the sin takes the shape of a beast:

“Sin made into living, breathing flesh by dark magic”

The Aki or Sin Eaters either devour or die trying, to absolve the sin so royals, nobles, and those who can afford, get to walk around pure and free; while the Aki carry the permanent marker of the sin they devour, as a tattoo of the beast on their skin. Sins are written on their bodies until the pain becomes too much and they go mad or crossover.

“Sin-beasts are shadows, beasts made of night. And an aki is like a ray of sunlight that comes down from the sky and shatters the sin, kills the shadows.

This fantasy novel explores dynamics of society, the difference between those with and those without and how some customs and beliefs, are simply a tool to keep those rich richer and those without, well less without…….

And in between all that drama the book is also a coming of age story, the main characters are simply young people trying to find their way and maybe love or at least somewhere to belong.

And why it wont score a perfect hundred, first of all it’s rather slow paced, (well it could be because of setting up the awesome world building so you get to understand the land of Kos) and then the time-frames sometimes get blurry, time passes and it’s a bit hard to figure out if it’s been a day a week or months after. Then when the pace picks up everything starts rushing to The Ending. The book ends, just when everything finally starts to get really interesting, this book feels like drawn out intro for the real fun which begins in the next book, maybe………

~B

PS the sequel is coming out October 16 2018…………
Crown of Thunder

Crown of Thunder

 

Photo Credit PenguinTeen

Of Coffee and the 2018 UNESCO Global Report

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell I attended the launch of 2018 Global Report of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression

2018 Global report

Re| Shaping Cultural Policies

cultural diversity

The Global report gives feedback on the impact of policies on the cultural sector pointing out strategies that would best work given the strengths and challenges faced in the creation, production and dissemination of cultural products.

Global report hand over

UNESCO Regional Cultural Advisor, Damir Dijakovic hands over the first copy of the #2018GlobalReport to Dr. Samwanda Director in the Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and Recreation

If you were having coffee with me, I would attempt to give you a lightning quick review on the 2018 Global Report and share a few observations from the Harare launch.

The 4 goals of the convention on cultural diversity:

Goals of Cultural Diversity

Goal 1 Support sustainable systems of governance for culture

Goal 2  achieve balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals

Goal 3 Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks

Goal 4 promote human rights and fundamental freedoms

** implementing the 2005 convention has a direct impact on the attainment of the Sustainable Goals

SDG

The 2018 Global Report gives a Report Card summary of each of the four goals stating successes challenges and recommendations…..

The report shows how a collaborative system is needed between various multi-stakeholders from Government, Public Sector; private sector to Civil Societies to best empower communities especially in the new age of diverse digital multimedia content.

Some of the challenges noted in the report are on how most development plans do not have plans containing creativity specific outcomes, and the inequalities in distribution and access to resources and the neglect of environmental impact by cultural product creations.

Also of note is how its low key unacknowledged that women are highly marginalised having a low number in key creative roles or decision making positions or have less access to funding and generally earn less than male counterparts in the cultural field.

“Culture is key to building a new country. A community that reads, knows its origins, has cultural spaces to enjoy and supports artists, is a society that is proud of its cultural diversity and is equipped with more tools to build peace”

-Marianna Garces Cordoba

The Report is available online; 2018 Global Report: ReShaping Cultural Policies

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that how much as frameworks like this assist and support; often times the information hardly ever trickles its way to the person who needs it the most; you will be told how there is open access to the information but never quite where you actually get, like its information for some secret society only those in the know who pick and choose what to share with the rest of the world….

Case in point are you only reading about this 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity now? Is it a surprise only 4 Zimabwean submissions have been beneficiaries of  fund grant.

A panel of experts discussed the future of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in Africa and I loved how Mr Charles Vallebrand a consultant on cultural policies before he begun his presentation asked for someone to sing him a song, “If you sing I will dance” and he danced to mbira music played by Chris Timbe.
Mbira player
He remarked how gatherings such as this must not forget why or for whom they do conventions such as these…….

Mr Albert Chimedza founding chair of Zimbabwe Chamber of Creative Industries made an observation of how the artists who have made it; are self-made artists who relied on their own talents for their success citing Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Dominic Benhura……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that what resonated with me the most was a question from the floor on how writers are the forgotten artist, maybe writing is a forgotten art because when people talk art; they usually never mention writers, they will speak of musicians, poets, sculptors, painters. And writers, well those seem to be considered more of a hobby than anything serious, not until a published book that goes no less than bestseller, then suddenly people crawl out of the woodwork to heap accolades.

Yet writers are the new custodians of culture, in the past our history was preserved by word of mouth, passed down in folktales; now it might be written down in the pages of a book or digitalized on a website on the internet………………………

~B

 

PhotoCredits: Unesco Southern Africa

: Heather Madombwe for Chris Timbe pic

 

Of Music From TV (Soundtracks)

My all-time favourite music playlists have songs that come from TV as sound tracks or theme songs to movies and TV Shows.

movie credits

Yes, I am one of those who pauses the end movie credits  to find the OSTs: Official SoundTracks (and also to check if what I just watched is based on a book then I hunt down … that’s if I liked it of course, otherwise it’s to make sure I stay away from future works by said production company)

Sometimes I find tracks the hard way, by trying to remember a few key words from the lyrics then Google, other times I just Google the OST to a movie and find my song but its never as easy that, since you still wont know the particular song you are looking for. Then sometimes I remember Shazam; an app which listens and identifies songs for you. (too bad you cant hum a song to it but it works even for songs playing on the radio, you those radio DJs who dont tell you what songs they are playing)

Shazam listening

Now here’s a list of about fifty of my favourite songs and the movies or TV Shows I discovered (or rediscovered) them from.

  • Lion King: The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Circle of Life; Can you Feel The Love Tonight
  • Aladdin: A Whole New World
  • The Prince Of Egypt: When You Believe – Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston
  • Space Jam: For You I Will – Monica; hit’em High – Busta, Coolio, LL Cool J
  • Rocky: Eye of the Tiger
  • lethal Weapon 2: Knocking on heaven’s door
  • Set It Off: Dont Let Go – En Vogue, Missing You – Gladys knight, Set it Off – Queen Latifah
  • The BodyGuard: I’ll always love you – Whitney Houston
  • Batman Forever: Kiss from A Rose – Seal
  • Romeo Must Die: Try Again Aaliyah; Rose In A Concrete World – Joe
  • Armageddon: I dont Wanna Close My Eyes – Aerosmith
  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Secrets – One Republic
  • Spectre: Writings on the wall – Sam Smith
  • SkyFall: SkyFall – Adele
  • Quantum of Solace: Another Way to die – Alicia Keys
  • DeadPool: Careless Whisper – George Michael
  • Trolls: True Colours – Phil Collins
  • Home: Music of the Sun, Dancing in the Dark
  • Enemy: Best Day Atmosphere
  • Hunger Games: Yellow Flicker Beat
  • Moana: You are welcome, How Far I’llGo
  • Keanu: Father Figure, one more try, gotta have faith – GeorgeMichael,
  • Death Note: I dont want to lose you – Chicago
  • Bright: Darkside Ty Dolla $ign & Future
  • Den of Thieves: Our Demons – Pair Of arrows remix; Legendary Welshly Adams

 

  • Salem: Cupid carries a gun
  • Banshee: Madonna, God Country and Grave
  • Stranger Things: should I stay or should I go – The Clash, Soldiers Kyle dixon
  • Shannara Chronicles: Until we go down – Ruelle
  • Grey’s Anatomy: The Scientist – ColdPlay
  • Scandal ETV: Tell me you love me – Lilly Million, Shatterproof – Kirsten-Claire

 

They are in no particular order how’s that for a Friday #FlashBack playlist. Whats your tracks from TV Land

~B

 

Of Kintu: A Review

Book Review

Kintu By Jennifer Mukumbi

Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

Kintu is a novel by Ugandan author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. First published by Kwani Trust, Nairobi Kenya in 2014 after winning The Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013 then published by Transit Books in 2017; then in March 2018 awarded (alongside seven others) for the Windham-Campbell Prize for how Kintu:  “opens up a bold and innovatory vista in African letters, encompassing ancient wounds that disquiet the present, and offering the restitution to be found in memory and ritual

“This prize for me is like having been working without pay for a long time and then someone comes a long and says, ‘Will a salary for the past ten years do?‘ Then you’re left speechless.”

~JENNIFER NANSUBUGA MAKUMBI

Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

The name Kintu (pronounced with a soft ch sound as in chin; ChinTu) might come from the legend of the first man to walk in Buganda just like Adam in the garden of Eden yet it passes down to the fictional central character in the book, Kintu and lives on in various forms, as we follow several generations of his progeny from precolonial times to the modern day.

Kintu is a fictional novel but the history, culture and traditions portrayed are as real as any tale a grandparent has told, around a warm fire in the cold night; tales of our ancestry, tales never forgotten, because to forget is to lose your roots…..

The book is unapologetically Ugandan, written in context for Uganda and reading it one gets offered, a rare perspective, of how the past, becomes the present, real and imagined.

If you are not Ugandan, this is book won’t be an easy read. There are phrases whose meaning you won’t quite understand, you will get names wrong and trying to navigate this epic multi-character African story; where siblings can be cousins and parents not parents; through several generations of lineage, in which some of the same names keep coming back and others have more than one name….. (I would suspect even if you are Ugandan  keeping track of the storyline) is quite a chore but in the end, it’s a worthwhile journey, you finish the book with a rich understanding of Uganda and by extension Africa’s complicated journey.

Reading this book reminded me somewhat of reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell the way souls are linked across time and space.

Though Jennifer Makumbi says her book is not a feminist work, her book delves into aspects of patriarchy and paternity; showing up its fragility, illusion of control, and the roles society imprisons itself.

The book also explores mental health, characters battle depression, schizophrenia, and psychosis. If mental health problems were caused by the supernatural, then in this book mental illness seems to travel along Kintu’s kin like its a blood curse…..

…badly wired, short-circuited, fuse-blowing mental kind of madness….

Kintu is a story about how far you will go to find your roots and sometimes your roots find you no matter where you travel.

From the Kintu Introduction by Aaron Brady:

History as it’s written down in books is one thing, but history as it’s lived is another.
how the past recedes into the background as we race irrevocably forward….

This is Kintu: the story of how the old pasts are forgotten so that new pasts, new families, and new nations can be remembered into existence…..

Kintu was written, then, for people for whom the name Kintu means something. Now you are one of those people.
Good travels. Kulika o Lwera.
-Aaron Bady

~B

PhotoCredit: Brittle Paper

Of Coffee With Mother

If you were having coffee with me, we would wish Happy Mother’s Day to:
Mothers past
Mothers present
And mothers yet to come

By the time you read this Mother’s Day has probably passed but we should celebrate mothers all day everyday without them we would not exist….

Until of course science advances so much, a whole human being is grown and engineered in a lab; as if they were a machine, assembled in a factory, maybe then we would then have Scientists Day and we would call them parents… But of course there would always be The Rebels who would not conform. ………. Yes my imagination wanders

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I wanted to pay my mother a surprise visit for mother’s day but I failed to find the cash. We live in times where cash is a commodity more valuable than the balance on your bank statement and is bought and sold by dealers out to make a fortune since banks hardly ever have any. The last ATM I actually saw dispense cash was a Golix bitcoin ATM, but of course the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe the RBZ has banned crypto-currency trading and financial institutions facilitating bitcoin transactions. I am sure cryptocurrencies have their problems and risks but our Reserve Bank could have tried to find a way to use and regulate and perhaps alleviate our cash shortage situation instead of giving 60 day ultimatum to cryptocurrency traders, well my crypto-currency broker emailed that they trying to engage relevant regulatory authorities.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you I had to settle for making my mother a surprise phone call instead and confess to feeling guilty at the relief I felt since I could barely afford making the trip anyway. Sorry mum.

If you were having coffee with me I would share with you an interesting observation my mum made about her children whilst we were shopping together. We were standing in line to pay for groceries in a supermarket and my mum remarked “when I shop with my daughters we get served male cashiers but when I am with my sons we go to cash registers with female cashiers” I asked her what she was implying and she just laughed and said nothing at all, nothing all just an observation.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have finally watched Black Panther I am late to this party but #WakandaForever watch out for my review coming shortly……

#Wakandaforever

If we were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you remember that crazy queen from history books whom when her people were complaining they could not had no bread she said let them eat cake … I kinda feel that’s what our current president did when presented with the challenges the country was facing he said
“let them smoke weed”

Explaining the rasta colours scarf

#ThisScarf

Medicinal marijuana has been legalised in Zim. The production and growing which requires licences and registration fees in the range $50000: Zimbabwe is open for business.

Yes I know it’s not that he legalized the use of recreational marijuana but to the man on the street that’s what the announcement means, even my mum has forwarded me a marijuana related joke.

~B

PS How did you spend your Mother’s Day?
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I was supposed to have this post on my blog on Mother’s Day after I had finished my surprise phone call to mother but I changed my Wi-Fi password because I suspected someone was helping themselves to my Wi-Fi; probably mining bitcoins with it from the way my wifi package was getting depleted. Well I changed it and couldn’t remember what I changed it to……. Oh what larks 😂 😂

Of Bare: The Blesser Game. A Review

Book Review

A book review: Bare

#TheBlesserGame #TheBreedingOfAnUnderDog

The breeding of an underdog

Bare: The Blesser Game is a coming of age fairy tale, no it’s not a fairytale, it’s about how the real world eats and spits out naive souls…

The Blesser Game follows the as yet unspoken of fundamentals of The Blesser, Blessee relationship. You know, when a rich usually an older male, spoils rotten a younger usually female (also known as Slay Queens), in return for a life of pampered luxury in exchange for sexual favours, maybe even dignity and before you know it your soul……

Jackie Phamotse Bare

The novel Bare follows the story of Treasure Mohapi’s journey from the her childhood, in the turbulent post apartheid era, hailing from mining town of Westonaria where her father has sweated to move them from Soweto.
Treasure’s father barely makes ends meet and carries around a dark temper with his wife being on the receiving end. Treasure dreams of one day living “The Dream” like in The Devil Wears Prada. Well be careful what you wish for, sometimes the devil wears a million dollar suit and might be a government minister even.

There is no fairy Godmother in this story but there’s a character who could easily be a Godfather, or a minister of finance as Blessers are known.

Being blunt about it The Blesser phenom is just a way to put lipstick on the pig that is predatory behavior by the privileged.

Jackie Phamotse’s Bare is a novel reminiscent of Jackie Collins novels but instead of being in the larger than life Hollywood drama, Bare is set in the glitzy Sandton streets of Johannesburg, with its the shadowy world of The Hockey club, a League of the filthy rich.

Jackie Phamhotse has a story a tell and she tells it in this book which is a fictionalised biography, she mentions during book launch pressers that aspects of this book are from her real life experiences and others loosely based on the lives of all the victims of sexual predators to whom this book is dedicated:

“You are nobody until someone kills you, then you become a story that others
call history.”

Jackie Phamotse #TSAON3 Trending SA

Each chapter in the book begins with a different quote, sometimes they are a clue on how the story unfolds, other times, seem just like a wise quip the author picked up from her family and friends.

you see a girl dressed to say…
No one tells me what to do!
You know someone once told her what to do.
– Jennifer Michael Hecht

The Blesser Game is not the best written book I’ve read neither is it the worst, Jackie gets my points for graphically telling a story,  an elephant in the room, the things that happen behind the closed bedroom doors of the rich and powerful. At a book launch interview Jackie even hinted that a government minister, whom she would not name, tried to block the publishing of the book.

I feel the book has some awkward sentence construction and expressions which jar one away from the story, but overally its a book one must read and get one’s fellow females to read especially those who want to be slay queens, live jet setter lives with flashy social media pages where they flaunt their swag.

The book feels incomplete, like there so much more left unsaid and guess what Jackie is working on sequel, maybe then will get to learn more of the infamous Hockey Club which is only given a glancing mention. The Hockey Club is a gentleman’s club of millionaires and not really about hockey or sports; although golf seems the interaction medium for initiation…… Is it a cult? Who knows; I don’t know?

WOMEN, FIND YOUR VOICE AND LIVE WITHIN YOUR POWER!
You are enough.
Jackie Phamotse

~B

This might not be the best Mother’s Day gift but its a story every mother must read and get for her daughter, her sister, her niece her aunt and her friend

 

Photo Credit: Trending SA #TSAON3