Of Coffee With Mental Poverty, Pettiness And Miracle Cures

If you were having coffee with me, I would be very happy that you are here to keep me company because the power utility company is carrying out critical maintenance works so there wont be electricity in most of the city for the next twelve hours, at least they warned us in advance even though I still could not manage to buy fuel for the generator but that’s a long queue of a story, anyway I am so glad you are here.

I hope you aren’t really expecting to have coffee because well there’s no electricity and also we just ran out of LP gas for the cooker and its become very hard to refill the gas canisters; like everything else you have to stand in a long winding queue, which you are not guaranteed wont run out before your turn or opt to buy from suppliers who charge at triple the price but then that just reduces the cost effectiveness of using a gas cooker and might as well as use an electric one because in comparison the electricity bill is less shocking….

dqh1ewswsaanzmd.jpg

If you are having coffee with me I can only offer you lukewarm water but I can guarantee you its safe, I measured out the water purification tablets myself. I haven’t heard any news on the cholera outbreak that broke out over a month ago so I presume it’s now effectively contained but still that doesn’t mean one must slack on hygienic vigil have you washed your hands? Even if its to just drink water with me.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have been thinking a lot on an unpopular opinion a journalist tweeted:

My first reaction was to find it insensitive and highly offensive given the challenges we constantly face in an economy that runs practically on fumes and speculation and a government that doesn’t quite seem to be in control yet tells us that the country is fine, that social media and fake news mongers are responsible for the shortages, resulting in people panic buying and the crippling inflation caused by unscrupulous business operators out to make a quick buck,……

I felt like what she was saying boils down to all the struggles I face are all in my mind, that I am poor because I think like a poor person and it did not help matters when she also made the following tweet about those who left the country to find economic asylum in foreign lands at the risk of being second class citizens…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I looked up the phrase Poverty Mentality on the internet and it’s a term used by motivational coaches to describe the state of mind where one is focused on the things they lack, that no matter how hard they work, they will always lack and end up blaming the system for never giving them a break.

Zig Ziglar characterized poverty mentality as

  • Constant fixation on money or the lack of it
  • An anti rich people attitude
  • Fear-based decision making

The only way to break out of it is break out of it and really succeed you have to make a conscious choice to do so, be proactive, use what you have— believe in yourself, have a plan, and go get it.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that this great advice on entrepreneurship but you cant have a nation where everyone is forced to be one out of necessity or risk starving someone, what I think we need is an ecosystem where people can focus on what they are good at and love to do than just where is the money and what solution can I do to come up with it.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that in the world of hip hop; rapper 50cent and Ja Rule have a long standing feud thats old enough to vote (maybe its one of those manufactured publicity stunts to get hype going like most beefs usually are case in point I did not know Ja Rule was having a concert)

50cent posted on instagram that he bought 200 seats in the front so they can be empty

50Cent.png

50cent

photoshopped impression of what it would like

Well, I wanted to crown him as the King of Pettiness but I don’t want to seem like I am hating because I wish I could afford to be that rich but hey if I was Ja Rule I would be laughing all the way to the bank thats $3000 *sips lukewarm water*

Maybe we should be enterprising entrepreneurs like prophet Magaya who today who made an announcement that after a revelation from God  he has found a 100% organic and”scientifically proven” cure for HIV and AIDS the aguma plant and working with Indian pharmaceutical experts to form Aretha medical

magaya

Here’s to an awesome week

~B

Africa connected

PS yeah because if you randomly ended upon on this post please do say hello and lets connect; even drop a link to the post you think I should check out and if you see any interesting links in the comments do check them out cause we  roll with awesome company

PhotoCredit 50Cent 

 

 

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Of The Muse In You: The Deadline

Welcome to the story which I will write with your help. This project is a simple speculative fiction communally inspired but in the course of its creation I have found other people’s very real stories being told within the lines of my words……
How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed.


Thank you all for your input last month from the story HERE: The Ogbanje Hacker
The story so far:

It all started when I got an email from a stranger, which turned out may or may not be from someone abducted by an extremist group. In my quest to get to the bottom of the story I joined a Facebook group for a religious group that advocated for the safe return of abducted people and held prayer vigils, and anonymous vigilante hacker from this group called my phone:

“Hello my friend, you know me as Mr OG. I believe its time we talked ….:”
I froze…..
The poll indicated a tie of three choices so I will incorporate all three:

poll
Hello” The voice on the other end of the phone squawked again, somewhat mechanically, he must have been using some sort of voice altering software.

“Hang up this phone” whispered a voice at the back of mind, I don’t know if its my guardian angel or just instinct but that’s the voice that keeps me grounded, its probably my conscience. I slid my thumb on the phone screen, to end the call, but as if it had a life of its on the thumb double tapped activating the speaker phone and call recording function.

call-record2
“Hello” I replied in a calm confident tone that was worlds apart from the me who could hear my heartbeat drumming loudly in my ears, as if they were drums being played by someone relaying a black smoke signal that the apocalypse is here abandon all hope.

I would have preferred to wait and gradually introduced you to our world but time is no longer on our side and October is almost over” The mechanic voice droned

I interrupted him as if we all we were having perfectly reasonable ordinary conversation
erm..Look, what, what do you mean about a deadline” my voice faltered a little at first but otherwise held steady.

“I take it you haven’t been watching the news. You need to watch the news more, you need to keep your eyes open and your ears on the ground” He sounded like a parent would lecturing a child indulging in the type of behaviour that is the equivalent of throwing away a bright future to roll in the gutter with pigs.
Never mind let me bring you up to speed, the people who abducted our possible mutual friend executed a medical worker and announced that in a month they would be more killings if their conditions were not met. A month has passed from then and they executed yet another and now here we are.” He delivered his chilling news in the monotone mechanic voice and it helped cushion the shock of the nightmare that was some people’s everyday existence.

So what do we do?” I asked like I was a part of all this craziness as if I could possibly make a difference from the other side of the world.

I need remote access to your email address so we can run an IP address trace and try to ping email servers used by the sender” OG explained it easily

Why don’t you just trace it like you did my phone number how did you even get it” This is what had scared me the most about these guys I had not told anyone my number and it was not listed on my Facebook, if I was to go to the police I needed to be able to explain myself.

That was easy one of your friends posted a screenshot of your whatsapp conversation your number was clearly visible, you ought to tell your friends to be careful of what they share online

Dammit Shingie” I cursed in my head I had told him to delete that post, I had hidden it from my timeline and forgot about it.

The password my guy” The voice squawaked.

Oh I.. I…I… my… my… phone is always logged in I… I don’t remember the password” I tried to stall for time

That’s ok, I have initiated a password reset can you tell me the verification code that was just to your phone ” OG coolly countered.

The phone beeped an SMS notification that I had new voicemail

But how did you do that? I hadnt told you my email address, ok let me hang up and retrieve the voicemail” I tried stalling again.

You don’t have to worry I have accessed your voicemail and retrieving it now…..” in the silence I could hear keyboard keys being pressed then shortly after he announced “and I am in…. dude your emails are so dry there’s no juicy stuff here, anyway that email….. lets see ok … I got it
The was nothing I could do I just stood there as he scrolled through my business I was rooted to the spot like that lady from the bible who was warned to not look back when God was destroying a sinful city but she did and was transformed into a pillar of salt, I should have listened to the voice that told me to hung up…

Excellent, we’ll know soon enough am running the IP trace. Hey listen I need you to go to The Cave to deliver a message” The way he said The Cave made it sound like a sinister place where no respectable individual had business delivering messages.

I don’t know where The Cave is” I declared with a touch of triumph.

Of course you don’t someone will be in touch and guide you, just follow the white rabbit and down the rabbit hole you go… Also one other thing don’t go to the police
The call ended.

What should I do
1. Call the police
2. Pretend none of this happened
3. Follow the white rabbit
4. Move, Change phone numbers and get a new identity
5. consult a cyber terrorist unit


~B

this entry story is also a blog battle entry themed Cave

Of An International Coffee Date

Guest post

virtual Coffee date

Of The International Coffee Day

If you were having coffee with me, I’d probably have to explain that I basically copied that phrase from my Zimbabwean ‘friend’ Beaton. You’d probably brush it off; not forgetting to point out that I already told you about the phrase. This would pretty much be after a five-minute hugging session with sincere declaration of how much we miss each other.

Ideally, I come to your city driving, book into a hotel and make a point of sending this email right before I set out to that coffee shop you definitely consider your favorite. You probably recognize me at a glance, thanks to my laid back dressing, the same afro hair I wear, and the same position I sit at pretty much every coffee shop or restaurant.

CareyJK

I face away from people and just lose myself in that mental isolation. You will notice that there is still an innocent glow about me; one that comes from my efforts to fight age and this quarter life crisis you don’t seem to have affecting you at all. If all goes well, I have managed to shed a few pounds off my five foot frame and maybe tried to take care of my skin better than I used too.

As you order your drink, we will catch up and excitedly talk about our recent adventures, or lack thereof. I’d tell you that I was planning to come here sooner but got delayed and now I’d have you listen to my almost excuses. So, about five days ago, my sister and I were discussing my love of coffee and how important it was that I celebrate that on the 1st of October; the international coffee day. The following morning, as if on cue, I felt this sudden sharp pain in the left side of my chest that got me so sure it was a cardiac event. So I got checked out and it was actually a gastric issue; thanks to the ginger shots i was taking last week, sometimes on an empty stomach. At least my heart was going to be okay, right?

The downside; no coffee for a while for me. No chili and a million other things I don’t care much about. So, on first, I did go to one of my favorite coffee shops in Nakuru (Kenya) and took Mocha instead of my usual latte. At least it had some coffee, right? But today my friend, I’m letting myself off the hook and allowing me the double café latte that you will soon order. Maybe we won’t do so much to celebrate the impact of coffee in our lives, but we can sure love it and drink it as much as we want.

Happy Belated International Coffee Day

CareyJK

Bio: Careyjk

A twenty-three-year old Kenyan who is just trying to take life a day at a time and blogs at Careyjk.wordpress.com 


 

This is a guest post that was set to appear on the 1st October to celebrate International Coffee Day but the technology fiends that haunt the internet and sometimes possess laptops found it hilarious to mark her email as spam and move it to that folder.

Faced with a decision to either not post this article or wait till the next first of October; we decided that  its always international coffee day somewhere and on my blog we can hang out on coffee date any day….. And so here we are, and here we are.

What are rules but conventions, so carpe diem

~B

PS remember to check spam folder 

 

 

Of Coffee With Petrichor

If you were having coffee I would ask you what your favorite smell is? Some people like the smell of freshly mown lawn whilst for other that just reminds them of allergies, I know people fascinated by the smell motor oil too…..

My favourite smell, is the smell of the wet earth, when it starts raining, especially after a very long time. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can catch a whiff of it just before the actual rain reaches you, the breeze, carries with it, the promise of rain.

petrichor

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that it has a name, it’s called PETRICHOR the scent of the rain. The word is a combination of the greek words Petra– which refers to rock/stone and ichor which means the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods.

Petrichor is the blood of stones, you can reproduce the scent by distilling rocks exposed to warm, dry conditions, and you get a yellow oil with this smell, this is whats flushed out when it rains, mingling with wind and rain combined with other things, to give you that after rain perfume. According to science we are predisposed to like this smell from the time in history when our ancestors were highly reliant upon rain for their survival.

If you were having coffee with me I would also tell that the smell of rain also signals the start of power outages, when the rain season starts; its like an excuse for the power utility company to schedule load shedding which I suspect is disguised as fault maintenance. Just a little bit of rain and suddenly you find yourself living in the dark ages all over again and writing Blackout Diaries

We acquired a tiny generator so could have a few hours of electricity in the evenings and it seemed like a good idea until we tried to get fuel for the generator. There is a current fuel shortage even though the government says there isn’t and they blame people who hoard fuel for being the cause behind the shortages and to that effect proposed to ban people who buy fuel from service stations in jerry cans and other containers.

Govt to ban use of jerry cans

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that we had to actually carry the generator in a cousin’s car to get it to the fuel station because of that crazy imposition.

Fuel Queue

Fuel Queue

Sometimes the policies the government comes up with aren’t quite thought out although I like to think they have some good intentions but of course hats what its paved with, the road to that place before you start looking at us like that guess what they have changed their position and “lifted” the ban, but they still encourage responsible buying of not just fuel but basic commodities.

Gumbo lifts ban

If you were having coffee with I would tell you the rain did bring some good vibes too which is that the mulberry tree is bursting with ripeness and offer you a snack for coming to visit, mulberries remind me of being a child again and the purple stains on my fingers and the soles of my feet.

Mulberries

Have an awesome weekend

And yeah remember I am now a community builder so do drop a link  to your post that you think I should checkout and if you see any links in the comments do give them a look see and of course let em know where you found their site so we know its real we got awesome community

Africa connected

~B

PS After five days of no electricity the power supply seems to have been restored but it looks like its about to rain again………..

Photocredit the smell of rain The Chemical Compound

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 Coffee With A Chance Of Networking

If you were having coffee with me, I would be very happy that you could make it back, (assuming you have been  here before that is). You know how you go to someone’s house and see the things being done that cannot make for things to be done and make you think “I am never coming back to your house again!!

I am doing things that need to be done! So you see I am very happy that you dropped by, put your feet up and have a coffee and if coffee is not your poison you could try the water, water would definitely be your poison with the cholera outbreak you cant trust the water in your tap and now it seems you cant even trust the bottled water sold in the shops or even the borehole in your backyard unless you have it tested.

zimbabwe bottled water bombshell

Where were we? Oh yes, I recommend a hot beverage since boiling the water definitely kills gems, so does alcohol, I might have whiskey somewhere…. Suddenly I am thinking Irish Coffee. Yes? No? Maybe sprinkle everything with holy water and I read that you ought to be careful of germs from those bowls with holy water where everyone dips hands before getting into church, do people still do that? I haven’t been to church in ages but I still pray……..

If you were having coffee with me I would say surviving in this country of mine is an extreme sport, it should actually be a skill added to a CV. Living here makes you jack of all trades, if any of my posts are a barometer my CV would read

  1. Political analyst
  2. Financial expert
  3. Legal Expert
  4. Gender Equality Champion
  5. Chef and Handyman
  6. Travel trip advisor
  7. Digital Media Expert
  8. Geography, History and African Legends custodian
  9. Childcare specialist
  10. Fitness Trainer

And dont take my word for it;  lets see, whats a CV without refs:

  • Ntomby moyo says I am fave tweeps  (tweeps=twitter + peeps)
  • The Britchy says I deserve an award

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that I still surprised people put so much faith in people’s CV when searching for potential employees my CV might as well read as Graduate from the school of imaginary technology with honours in creative manipulation of reality.

If a whole minister of health has shall we say “made up” qualifications on his CV who am I to not strive for excellence on mine, I mean as long as I can deliver right? The First Rule in the hustler’s diary is dont get caught, and also always have an explanation and an exit plan….

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that, our free falling economy is quite the crazy roller coaster; the runaway rate of the United States Dollar versus our surrogate bond currency hit a crazy peak during the week then come crushing back again and who knows how it will be tomorrow, *sips tea*

Zimbollar Rate

I did say I am a financial expert right? Well the rate started going up after the minister of finance and the Reserve bank governor implemented some harsh economic reforms  which the President says are necessary bumps along the road to rebuilding the nation.

Sometime during the week announcements were made that another “Facility” might be backed by the Afreximbank (same bank which backed our surrogate bond currency)

and who knows what other arrangements those guys made (speculator) considering a quick look on their website shows our reserve bank governor is a Class B Director of said bank (Investigative Researcher and verifier of facts)

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that we launched a weekend blog comment thread, where Africa can meet the world I should update my CV to read Digital Community Builder ^_^

Afrobloggers Comment thread

Africa connected

It looks like I just made my blog a network zone, so after your visit please do drop a link to a post on your blog in the comments you think people must check out and I will come round to visit and also if you spot any interesting posts in my comments do check them out and also give them my regards so they know where you found their blog from because I have friends with good taste ^_^

~B

PS……. Also I remove unwanted people from pictures (Adds Creative Graphic designer to CV)

 

 

Of Zimbabwe: Final Report

The European Union Election Observer Mission presented its final report on the Zimbabwe July 30th harmonised elections… and their verdict is although the elections were largely peaceful and markedly improved from previous electoral processes, they did not quite meet the standards…..

So what happens next:
In a post where I tried to explain what consists FREE, FAIR and CREDIBLE elections, I also included how people placed unrealistic expectations on election observer missions, what they mostly do is: Observe, Document and Offer recommendations, they do not have legislative authority to do anything else.

Priority Recommendations

  1. ZECs independence needs to be strengthened, free from governmental oversight in the approval of its regulations.
  2. ZEC must provide effective and timely information on all steps of the electoral preparations, making all information of public interest, including ZEC resolutions and verifiable polling station level results, immediately and easily accessible.
  3. Voter registration needs to be enhanced in “under registered” districts of the country to ensure universal and equal suffrage.
  4. Legal measures should be introduced to mitigate abuse of the advantage of incumbency and abuse of state resources
  5. State-owned media must abide by their legal obligation to be impartial and provide equitable treatment to all political parties and candidates.
  6. The results management process needs to be more coherent and fully explained to all stakeholders well in advance of the polls in order to enhance transparency, verifiability and integrity of the results process.
  7. The process of aligning the Electoral Act with the 2013 Constitution needs to be pursued and completed.
  8. Develop regulation of political party financing to promote accountability and transparency and as a key step towards creating a level playing field between political parties.
  9. Procedures for the security of the ballot from printing, deployment to polling stations and on Election Day should be reviewed and procedures clearly announced for future elections.
  10. Multi-Party Liaison Committees should be a regular feature of inter-party dialogue throughout the entire electoral cycle, to be an effective conflict resolution tool for political parties and to provide an effective forum for reporting on non-compliance with the Code

And how did the state controlled newspaper react?

EU Poll reads like MDC script

EU poll report reads like mdc script MDC being the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, which to date even after a Constitutional Court judgement on the elections still contests the results.
And besided who needs EU EOM opinion when the African Union Observer Mission to Zimbabwe issued a preliminary report which declared the elections largely a success although they cited a few “issues” and had recommendations they were also offering

Whats this all mean?
What do I know? I am like Jon Snow, I know nothing except that the democratic process in Africa has serious problems and these revolutionary governments need to stop supporting each other in bad politics and policy and patting themselves for doing things they as responsible governments should already be doing and they really need to pay more attention to their citizens, after all they are the ones who voted them into power if you will believe the polls….


“Aint nobody but ourselves that can free our minds”

~B

Annual Blog Awards 2018

https://twitter.com/Beatonm5/status/1041247963153137665

The Britchy One nominated my blog in the best blog category of the Annual Blog Awards 2018…… ♥♥♥♥♥ I really dont even know what to say:

Best Blog 2018

This was a horrible choice to make. Initially I was overwhelmed because really – how DO you choose? I thought about HOW to choose rather than just having blog names gallop past and all became clearer. I decided to vote for a blog that changed me. One that opened my eyes to stuff I knew nothing about. That taught me about how lucky I am and what I take for granted. That taught me how there is a beauty in simplicity and of lands where beauty and chaos are eternal bedmates. That taught me how much impact exquisite writing could have and of posts that linger in my mind months later. There’s only one Beaton and he’s Becoming The Muse

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

Nepali-Australians Annual Blog Awards 2018

I found this on Laura’s blog and naturally, I can’t wait to nominate the blogs I love so much too! It’s very hard thing to choose.. Pretty impossible in fact – but I wanted to both participate AND go a little further.

I’ve lost a lot of people in the last year and one thing I’ve learned is never leave important stuff until tomorrow. I don’t want to regret not telling people how I feel so not only will I cast my votes here HERE – I’m making this post about why I’ve voted for everyone I have nominated.

Win or lose, in my eyes it’s the nomination and the reason behind it that counts. I don’t follow blogs I don’t enjoy and these choices were hard. How do you pick only one?!

I hope you enjoy and maybe, see a blog you should take…

View original post 576 more words

Of Coffee And Running On Empty

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you read today’s paper? I haven’t read it but I can guess what it says and its nothing good. I long decided that if the universe wants me to know something it will eventually get to me…..

headlines

So whats been happening in my neck of the woods?…. Lets see, our free falling economy is in a downward spiral which sounds like a fun ride at the amusement except this isn’t the amusement park and its not fun…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the governor of the reserve bank and the new minister of finance released a couple of policy reforms which have started a fire they are busy trying to put out.

One of those being that banks should keep separate accounts for their clients one to reflect Foreign Currency balance and the other for our pseudo-currency, effectively making it “official” that the bond currency is no longer equal in value to the United States Dollar. Also this means that somewhere along the lines money’s value got eroded or stolen or something. For a catch-up on the bond currency you can read this post from last year here: OF BOND AGE

The other reform was to increase tax on all electronic transactions from 5 cents a transaction to 2 cents on every dollar transacted, which translates to a 2% tax (not including bank charges). Because of the cash crisis, Zimbabwe has become a cashless society not by choice but out of necessity and the government saw the volumes  of money transacted and decided to  expand its tax base, because its running on empty I presume. How do governments make money anyway?

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the prices of things are going up and basic goods disappearing from shops, even medication is going up while there seems to be a fuel crisis but of course the government blames Social Media for causing the panic buying that’s resulting in the shortages and that there’s no fuel crisis.

do6cq7qw4aamlvx.jpg

Oh and a few days later they tried to “clarify’ the 2% tax, and include exemptions

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do6rukkxoaafyg0

looks to me like they are just winging it but what do I know? All I see is prices are going up, goods are being limited in some shops, medication getting hard to find in pharmacies and some no longer accepting medical aid and the fuel queues I witnessed during the weekend show we are running on fumes but of course don’t panic, well that’s what the government is saying I don’t know when we really should panic or at least down right admit we are somewhere at the bottom tier of a meltdown….

Empty

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do927lwxsaaertg

do-pe4uxoaimjeq

Fuel Queue

Fuel Queue

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that people should start paying more attention to social media, it might have started as an online fad but it has become a powerful tool that can make or break a country, an economy or even a person. Its not just social media………

Jacaranda

dorvcljxoasbtuo

If you were having coffee with me  would tell you that its summer and the Jacaranda lined streets are ablaze in their purple glory, walking on a carpet of their purple mess beneath my feet and the purple canopy above my head its almost easy to forget all my problems. They remind me of a time way back when I was still in school that when you saw the Jacaranda trees blooming you would know that its exam season!!!!!! I always thought that Jacaranda trees were indigenous to us or rather its something I never thought about not until I read this post by Miss Chiseche.

The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you will never expect to sit your lifetime

jacaranda

~B

 

PhotoCredit: Jacaranda Bloom @LeeGraphyMedia

Bread rationing Wiliam du Plooy

 

 

Of The Lady Of The Creek

Genre: Mystery?

There’s this little creek that just starts abruptly on the other side of the road. Some say it is an enchanted spring and interesting tales have been told about it, ranging from the mysterious to the downright absurd. I have never believed anything I cant prove but one thing is certain, that little creek never runs dry, not even during the drought seasons, when the riverbeds look like sandy deserts, water flows in the creek, it might reduce to a trickle but it wont run dry.

Culvert

There’s nothing extra-ordinary about it, just a little creek that starts across the road flows beneath the tarmac via an unremarkable culvert bridge. If you can believe the mutterings of the old folk, a long time ago they tried to tame the spring put pumps and taps on it but the water would simply start coming out somewhere else. They tried several more times and after a discrete word from the local elders they stopped entirely, lest the spring stop all together.

I am city kid, I believe in the power of the internet, some things man was meant to know and for everything else, that’s why there’s Google. After a few days visiting the grandparents, away from the city, I was going stir crazy. I missed the internet, I missed electricity, I missed that irritating high pitched hum the TV made which gave me a headache, I am surprised I even missed that, just thinking about it gave me a headache.

A walk seemed like a good idea.

I was sauntering leisurely going nowhere slowly, thinking “Yeah, I had spent enough time visiting, that I could safely take my leave without seeming like I was a spoiled city kid who could survive a day in the country.” That’s when I heard a voice, singing, a strangely haunting melody, something a mother would absent-mindedly hum to her baby, long after the child had fallen asleep.

They say you can fall in love with a voice…..

I do not know about falling in love, but this one demanded all of my attention, reached deep into my chest and squeezed; my heart skipped a bit. Searching for the body behind the voice, I came face to face with a strikingly beautiful visage, looking right back at me.

I froze.

The Earth might as well as have stood still and stopped turning on its axis, as time itself stopped; not until that is, she crossed her arms protectively around her bosom, did the realisation dawn that she was bathing in the creek and I was staring.

mermaid-bath.jpg

Oh I.. I.. hadn’t realised” I stammered an apology “I am, so, so sorry.” I said averting my eyes.

I tried to take a step back and walk away but my feet had a mind of their own, they might as well as have been roots.

You are new to these parts aren’t you?” she asked in that musical voice

Yes, I am at my grandparents’ kwaMakaki” I said pointing in the direction of home.

I could tell, I know everyone who lives here. So you are a grandchild of the Madyiras’?” she asked, referring to my grandparents by their clan name.

Yes. I am sorry again for intruding. Well let me best be going” I said as I took my leave. She had settled in the creek and only her head was visible. Talking was a lot easier.

Wait a bit, I know who you, are aren’t you going to ask me, who I am? Besides If you sit over there you can watch the road for me and let me know if anyone is approaching

It wasn’t quite a request neither was it an order, what could I do, but mutely nod my head, as I ambled over and settled on the boulder she had pointed out. I sat facing away from her, and I could hear splashing sounds; as I imagined her frolicking about in the creek. I tried hard not to peek though I could see movement in my peripheral vision, remembering the old fable of why the owl’s neck turns almost 360 degrees, it spied on mother nature while she was changing and she cursed it so it could not move its eyes.

You can call me The lady of the lake” She spoke suddenly and her voice near, that I turned around and she was an arm’s length away and her trilling laughter filled the day, as she splashed a handful of water at me.

water-mermaid.jpg

Naughty naughty” she said with the ghost of a smile twitching at the corners of her mouth.

I am queen of this creek” she said scooping a palm full of water and raising her hand in a regal move that made the water spiral down the length of her arm. With the sun behind her head like a crown of sunshine, she did look like a picturesque silhouette royalty.

You can stop gawking like a common cow herder and help me scrub my back, its not everyday I see royalty walks these paths.” She said throwing a sponge at me, followed by a fresh leaf blade of the aloe vera  plant “Lather the sponge with this” rosing out of the water and turning her back to me, water sparkling in the sun as it dripped down the contours of her undulating figure.

I squeezed the juice out of the aloe plant and on to the sponge “What do you mean by royalty walking these paths” I asked as I sponged her back.

You, silly boy” she laughed, even though she did not seem that much older than me. “You have forgotten the old ways, forgotten me….” she added with a faint trace of sadness in her voice but suddenly, brightened as she exclaimed;

Fire and water! Who would have thought it?

Huh!?” I exclaimed, confused.

Isn’t your totem, fire, is it not?” she teased.

Yes__” I started to reply.

What happens when an inextinguishable fire meets an unquenchable lake?” She quizzed, a playful edge creeping into a her voice.

When a wha____

The rest of my sentence drowned out, as I splashed into the water; she had suddenly turned and pulled my hand; dragging me, clothes and all, into the creek.

We floated inches from each other, water streaming down my face, from my drenched locks, she reached up and pushed back a few strands of hair. Her touch was warm and yet I felt goosebumps up and down my spine.

“I love your hair” she whispered “Though, its not as long as mine” she said flicking her thick locks which flowed  from her head down past her waist disappearing in the water.

mermaid tales

She drew closer still.

Hey!” A voice boomed from the road, I turned to see uncle Jay, waving frantically at me. “Hey wena!” his voice boomed again “What are you doing?

I felt like a child, caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing, like when you steal a spoonful of peanut butter and you are caught, you cant answer because the peanut butter is stuck to the roof your mouth, I felt heat rise to my face.

I turned to see how my newly met lay acquaintance, was taking all this and she was nowhere to be seen. I was in the creek, alone.

She had vanished without a trace.

Uncle Jay had got close enough to offer a hand to pull me out “Did you fall in?” he asked a little too calmly, as he pulled me out.

I…I…I was, I mean there was someone here, a lady, didn’t you see her?

I saw no one” he answered tersely his eyes not meeting mine.

Talk to me uncle” I pressed for an answer.

I saw no one but you.” he begun “But there’s an old story, the Elders say there’s a mermaid that lives in this creek. Every once in a while, someone sees a lady in the creek and soon after gets taken and either never seen or heard from again or they become great healers and an oracle from the Gods

As we walked back home I mulled over his reply, I had not expected that answer, but I could not explain where the mysterious had vanished to, I shivered a little, and stifled a sneeze, the sun was almost setting, I was cold and my clothes were wet, how long had I been in the water? I had laughed it off when she called herself The Queen of the creek maybe the was more to her than I had thought, but a mermaid?  Her body from the navel down thanks to the water had not been visible.

What happens when an inextinguishable fire meets an unquenchable lake?” a voice echoed in the back of my head like a voice from a dream, I turned to look back down at the creek, it could have been a trick of the light but in its murky depth, I could see a figure there, waving; at me……………

WavingTHE END

~B