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

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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 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

dowlkonxuaahvhf

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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do9nwauxsaac88j

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 A Website Being A Conversation

A website is a conversation

A Website is a conversation

Well if Code Is Poetry……Then A Website is A conversation.

I am a story-teller I come from a line of story-tellers  its in my blood we used to sit round a fire and tell stories and now, we gather round our devices in this digital age stories are immortalized on the pages of the internet, I start digital fires.

Screenshot (53)

A Website just like a good story, tells not just a story but it’s a conversation; it captures the mind, it engages your audience and they ask those four words every story-teller loves to here…. And Then what happened next.

So you have a website its perfect everything is on fleek. The design is flawless, the seo is optimized so is the device compatibility….

Screenshot (54)

And then what happens next? What comes after:

Screenshot (56).png

The internet is where websites go to die, buried in the digital grave of the information superhighway… Here is how you keep it alive:

  • Keep it up to date

Screenshot (57)

Have you ever visited a website only to find that content on it is all outdated?  Everything was uploaded and edited probably on the day the site went live and then never again. You scroll along, nothing new to see here, and they just lost a reader or client or potential stream of revenue.

  • Consistent content

Content is king

Schedule a content calendar, so you always know what and when you are posting.

Social media has changed the way websites are treated. Your site must be RELEVANT and  RESONATE with the audience and is also CURRENT.

relevant

*Cant find a word for current or up to date that begins with R

Whats worse than a site that is irrelevant and does not resonate with an audience …. Well I would have say one where you cant find the contact details. Maybe removed because they don’t want emails flooding inbox telling them how out of touch the site is…..

  • Contact Details

contact details

Contact details should be easy to find. If you include an email address, make sure it’s a working email address,  and please respond to your emails, you might want to even keep an eye on your spam folders too.

  • Interaction

Like I said a website is a conversation, and a conversation means you are not just talking to or talking at but you a talking with someone.

A website is a conversation

Make it easy to engage with you. Don’t add sign up procedures that require one to create an account and chant incantations on a full moon night, maybe howl a little, then verify they are human by making a small sacrifice……

A website is a conversation, engage with your audience if you get an email, reply, if you get a comment reply to it. You might want to have links to your social media visible on your website and likewise your social media pages points to your Website.

Interact

I visit a lot of websites, blogs mainly, the ones I keep going back to are the ones where I feel my presence is appreciated and will probably respond to the call to action from them, than have you ever read a post on a website and then left what you felt was a comment that needed a response and the site owners just ignored you… its like a blue tick message on Whatsapp.  And chances of me coming back or subscribing…. low

Here is protip for bloggers who want to build their readership, its ridiculously easy….When a fellow blogger reads and comments, go to their site and read and comment some of theirs. Read other blogs go out there and find them, read to see how other people write or interact with their audience, and read to find out how to not write, if you go to a website and find things about it that you don’t like then you learn to not do that on yours……..

  • Be classy

Make sure that your call to action is not over powering. You click on a website and the first thing that fills the screen is this:

Call to action

A large pop up window covering everything else, telling you to subscribe to the newsletter….. why should I subscribe when I don’t even know what you are about, I don’t want you in my emails I don’t know you like that, the conversation hasn’t even started……

I might probably close the page entirely without proceeding further, I really might and my chances of subscribing if I do proceed are slim…..On my tiny screen its easier to close the site entirely than to try and press the x to close the pop up window.

A Website is a conversation….. what does yours say?

~B

This was part of my presentation at the WordCamp Harare 2017 you can find my presentation slides here: A website is conversation 

 

 

 

 

Of Hurricanes And Avenging Spirits: The Origin

Where do hurricanes come from?

Have you ever noticed how all the hurricanes that devastate America start roughly in the same area on the North West Coast of Africa, and follow more or less the similar pathways across the Atlantic ocean……

Hurricane tracks

There’s a reason for that…..

Sometime early in the 16th century slavers came to the west coast of Africa beginning the dark time in Africa’s history of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Africans were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic ocean for the next 400+ years however slavery had been going on prior to this in small pockets across the continent but the Atlantic slavery was the largest in both volume and intensity.

slaves_ruvuma

The slavers worked with African rulers who were willing to trade guns and other “modern” goods for the lives of captured rival tribes and also those who had committed offences punishable by death; who ended up in plantations in the Americas which produced raw materials for European markets

1024px-triangular_trade

By Sémhur – a (very) simplified map from this map by François Nancy

slavetrade-58d199915f9b581d72a541c9

The slaves were treated as cargo and packed in appalling conditions for months on end with an estimated mortality of less than 13% a cumulative total in the millions died from illness, murder, starvation, drowning, suicide, rape and simply just losing the will to live.

PJ - MBJ  -3.gif

The Myth

Hurricanes are the avenging spirits of all those who died in transit, which is why their path follows the Atlantic Slave Trade Route…..

To be specific, some believe hurricanes are the spirits of the black women, who died during this forced migration; Herricane this is her rage.

ricane

The Anatomy Of A Hurricane

Hurricanes are basically violent storms generated by low pressure systems and driven by warm moist air; which is why they form over warm ocean waters near the equator.

Warm moist air rises causing low pressure in the area below, surrounding high pressure air moves to the low pressure area and it too warms up and rises; the rising air cools  and condenses into clouds as the cycle spins.

Related image

Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth’s rotation on its axis.

The Sahara desert is largely responsible for the formation of the African Easterly Jets; strong high altitudes winds blowing east a result of the differences between air from the hot, dry Sahara desert mixing with the cooler, wetter air from the south and surrounding the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa.

African Easterly Jet

The African Easterly Jet undulates causing waves of tropical disturbance which move westward off the West African Coast. Combined with warm ocean temperatures they gain moisture and lift, and cluster, resulting in a hurricane.

Ocean currents also affect the direction and intensity of the storms (warm currents cause stronger storms) Ocean currents follow a well-defined paths formed by the combined effect of Earth’s rotation, pressure gradient and wind speed.

gobal ocean currents

global conveyor belt

warmer ocean surface currents (in red) and colder bottom currents (in dark blue)

world-hurricane-map-legend

Every recorded hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon between 1850-2016

Shipping routes are also determined by the ocean currents. A ship passing through a current whose direction isn’t where the ship is headed, burns more fuel to provide the necessary thrust to counter the current; whilst riding a current’s momentum, consumes less fuel.

global shipping routes

Global shipping Routes

Image result for slave shipping routes

hurricane-map-firefox-logo

does the hurricane track map look somewhat like the Firefox logo?

Science says hurricanes aren’t as result of any avenging spirits but hey sometimes there are forces in the universe are beyond our understanding………

~B

Day 28 Africa stories home

Photo Credits:

Atlantic Hurricane Tracks: wikimedia By Nilfanion

The Triangular Trade Wikimedia

Her-ricane KushitePrince

Where Storms are born Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

global ocean currents Physical Geography

global shipping routes wikimedia B.S. Halpern (T. Hengl; D. Groll)

Map of hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons metrocosm.com Max Galka

Firefox and Track Map comparison @kimaidou @galka_max

 

Of Solo Na Mutsai: The Story Behind The Song

It’s a throw back *boom* it’s a long time ago, what year is it, where are you and what’s the hit love song that makes you want to fall in love……..

This song is from back, way back:
Solo Na Mutsai by Jonah Moyo and the Devera Ngwena Jazz band.

Solo and mutsai

The most famous couple in the literary world hands down has to be Romeo and Juliet, even though the love story is tragic for the star-crossed lovers. Zimbabwe’s most famous couple is without a doubt Solo and Mutsai, made popular by the track by Jonah Moyo and propelled the Devera Ngwena Jazz Band to stardom in the 80s

Solo Na Mutsai Lyrics (and English Translation)

Solo Na Mutsai vana vanodana avo (Solo and Mutsai these kids love each other)
Nyangwe ukaita tujerasi hapana zvinombobatsira (Even if you get jealous it cant be helped)

Vana vanodana maGutu vaomesa (These kids love each other in Gutu they are speechless)
Rudo rwavo rwukuru (Their love is great)
Shamwira bvira kure (bad friends better stay away)

Solo Na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
Vana vanodana avo (These Kids love each other)
Mangawana ndichaenda kwaGutu kunotsvaka wangu Mutsai (Tomorrow I am going to Gutu to find my own Mutsai)

Solo Na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
rambai makadaro (Stay like that)
Solo Na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
tinoda muchate (we want you to wed)
Solo na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
Tichatire paruzevha (wedding in the rural areas)
Solo naMutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
Vaomesa maGutu (They have left Gutu speechless)

Jonah Moyo in a big reveal on local radio a few years back shared how his all time hit ‘Solo naMutsai’ was written and composed during his friend’s wedding in the 80’s….

Well I happen to be privy to a different version of how “the song” came to be. My mother was born and bred in Gutu, and Solo may he rest in peace was her uncle. Uncle Solomon.

Gutu

Back in the old days, the Devera Ngwena band was fairly popular and would go around having concerts in various cities and towns around the country. “The song” was initially perfomed at several venues in different areas, as a publicity gimmick, to get close to their fans. Beforehand the band would find the names of a dating couple attending the concert and then simply insert the names of the lucky couple into the song and the crowd would go wild…….. neat little trick.

They performed the song at a concert in Mpandawana Gutu where Uncle Solo was in attendance together with his date Mutsai, and some mischievous friend had earlier notified the band that the IT couple were Solo and Mutsai…..

Once the band started singing Solo Na Mutsai you can imagine how the crowd where cheering like crazy. Gutu back then was just a growth point (it now has town status) so band perfomances were quite a big deal and the infectious crowd response to the song probably made the band stick to just calling “the song” Solo and Mutsai at subsequent performances.

Solo and Mutsai broke up soon after that concert, way back, before the song went on to become a hit…….

Imagine that someone sings about you in a song, and now everyone and I mean EVERYONE knows you are dating but you break up but no one ever gets the memo and the song goes on to become a chart topping hit with the band actually going abroad on tour performing “your song”……. That must have totally sucked.

The love story of Solo and Mutsai is not quite the greatest Zimbabwean love story people have been believing and singing about, I am sorry to ruin the childhoods of all the people who sang along to this song wishing they could have that ever after type of love that songs are sung about.

I have always known and I itched to tell people “you no they broke up right?” Now, now you know too…..

Oh yes and Great Zimbabwe University’s creative department released a movie titled Solo Na Mutsai partially based on the song, I havent seen it yet……

~B

Day 25 Africa: Stories From Home

Of My Ancestry And The Heritage In My Roots

Avuxesheni avuxeni (hello hello)

I believe Africa is rich with creativity, legends and history deep like the roots of a giant tree.
Come sit with me by the fire, where every good story begins, and because we should not waste such a beautiful flame,  come sit with me and lets watch this clay pot of water boil.

clay-pot-cooking
They say a watched pot never boils so while we wait for it to boil I will tell you the little that I know about my culture.

I am Machangana or Shangaan, a tribe of the Tsonga people. The origins of these my people is steeped in controversy. People use the term Tsonga interchangeably with Shangaan and to further muddy the waters the same language XiTsonga is spoken but it never quite means the same things.

Before the were Shangaan people the were Tsonga people, who hailed from East Africa part of the Bantu groups of the Ronga, Tswa and Ndau who slowly migrated south of the continent, in search of greener pastures, literally, for their livestock, they were pastoral people.

In the  1800s the Tsonga, settled South of Africa until along came the Mfecane (time of trouble/ forced migration) as Shaka The Zulu consolidated all the other tribes into the Zulu Empire, resulting in tribes migrating to settle in new areas.

Mfecana

Soshangane an army general “fled” north crossing the Zambezi into Rozvi territory (what is now Zimbabwe) with some of “his people” finally ending up in Mozambique.
The name Shangaan is derived from the name of Soshangane. Somewhere along all that, we came to be here.

tsonga

Here is a photo of my grandfather and I. He taught me some of what I know about who I am, where I come from, how I have my totem which is Fire, and the praise song for my people. I am from a long line of royalty House: VaHlengwe

generationUya chisa mlilo
Hikisile chauke
Chakungedzele ribweni
Loki uchiona chiehixele
chifile katika
Chihanya hlungwani angahlinga
Aukhosi wahina u’nzilo
Hi mina Beaton
WaGilbert
WaTsamwisi
WaMzamani
WaNdalega
waNgwena
WaMatsena
Wa Bhangwani
wakanga nzela ribwe.
Xikovele xigombeeeeeeeeee
I imagine people dancing around a huge fire as they say that.

Shangaan village

I am not entirely sure of the spellings or what that all means I know its something about an ode to Fire (my totem)

Who are you and where you come from? We are all migrants we started of somewhere and here we and here we are.

In the spirit of UBuntu I am because you are…

~B

Day 22 Africa: Stories From Home

Of The Purge: Facebook Edition

I logged into my Facebook after a very long absence from the Blue Matrix and I could hardly recognise my newsfeed and the people on my list of “friends”

matrix

 

Why haven’t I been on the Blue Matrix? Well, I discovered WordPress 8 years ago and moved all my eccentricities to somewhere I could breathe, I write to breathe. While  I was figuring out the options to share my blog posts with rest of the interwebs I stumbled upon Twitter, I logged in and have never logged out.

The are two kinds of people Twitter People and Facebook people, which one are you?

pill

To pick twitter is to go down the rabbit hole……….

But who are all these people on my Facebook?

facebook friends

Looks like I went through a phase when I was randomly sending and receiving requests from anyone with a Facebook Account and an internet connection and have come to that moment that I realise I need to do The Purge. 

The Purge is just like an avenging dirty of old smiting down with righteous vengeance generations of sinners but this involves systematically going through your list of Facebook friends and “unfriending” all those who do not bring value.
It would be prudent for you to begin with the following people:

facebook unfriend

The People You Need to Unfriend on Facebook by ME

>1 The Serial Liker
The crazies out there; liking every status, picture and post on the internet. No one person can actually be interested in so many different things every single day. They could be a
serial killer trying too hard to blend in…….

>2 The Capitalist
People love to get and receive compliments on Facebook, but nobody likes that person who goes overboard about it especially those who use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS

3 The Serial Poster
It’s cool that people like to share what’s on their minds. But you don’t have to post updates every single time on every single thing, oversharing and crowding the timeline, maybe you should be on Twitter and not on Facebook or start a Blog.

>4  The Stalker
They comment and drop like on posts from 10 years ago, and ask you about people from back in the past they seem the type a google search away from winding up underneath your bed, naked.

>5 The Serial Inviter
Everybody loves cool parties and events right but nobody likes getting invited to “Help Clean Up Harare at 4 a.m. This Saturday”
or “Pinda muSmart: Rockin’ Abstinence and Circumsicion Celebration.

6 The Hustler 

This one never talks to you, except to message or tag you and generally bug you with links to supporting their hustle, by listening to their mixtape and watching their YouTube channel.

7> The Ghost

They are just there seeing all, reading all and never talking. Are they even there? 

 If going through your list and you come across someone whom you have no recollection of ever liking or commenting on anything you post and you go to their wall and find the only post there is your birthday greeting to them from five years, it’s probably best that you’re not up to date on each other’s business. 

N.B please also watch out for the FB friend you see everyday in real life who never posts anything but will come to you during lunch break and clap you on the back and say “I love the stuff you post”, what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook.

>8 The Zone Trespasser
You might also want to consider unfriending collegues classmates your Boss Your Lecturers your landlord, parents and anyone who you don’t want reading your private public social media life……

The Purge is a process it will take time but fortunately FB can make it easy for you there is a special feature that will each day suggest for you people you must unfriend or not unfriend,….. its called Birthday Notifications. Every birthday notification you get, you can get to decide who stays and who goes and in a year your Facebook will be streamlined to just the basic.
And if one day you find that somehow your friend count has dipped without you unfriending make sure you stop doing whatever silly things you’ve been doing on Facebook.
You are welcome…..

~B

Watch out for the guide on how to do a Twitter Purge…… coming soon.

Day 16 of my Blog everyday challenge

Of Nyami Nyami: A Zambezi River God

victoria falls

Bound not only by history and the majestic Victoria Falls; Zimbabwe and Zambia share the Zambezi river as a border between them including the common legend of a River God fabled to patron it, the Nyami Nyami.

nyami nyami

The Nyami Nyami  is a River God said to look something like a cross between a snake and a fish with varying accounts as to its actual size and appearance, I am surprised that no one has added being a shape-shifter to its list of abilities.

clip art nyami nyami

As legend would have it told, the Nyami Nyami lived under a large boulder that jutted out from the Kariwa gorge where the present day Kariba Dam wall was built, and any mortal foolish enough to venture close to there got trapped and dragged under water never to be seen again. This is how Kariba Dam got its name from the word Kariwa/Kariva which means trap. The Dam construction project might also have been explained to the locals as being a “Water Trap” to hold water from the river.

The Tonga people used to live a simple life sheltered from the outside world on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. In drought times the Nyaminyami would let the people cut off pieces of itself to eat, and no matter how much they cut, would never get finished. The name Nyaminyami could be from the Tonga phrase meaning pieces of meat: nyama yamaninganinga.

Then civilisation invaded in the 1940s. Shattering their simple lifestyle, as they were relocated from areas that would flood upon the building of the Kariba Dam and its Hydroelectric Power Station to supply electricity to Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Tonga folk let themselves be relocated but they held the belief that the Nyaminyami would never let the dam project be completed.

building kariba dam

Almost true to the Tonga’s expectations the Kariba dam project was plagued with unparalleled flooding of the sort that is supposed to be witnessed only once in a thousand years, but yet happened consecutively for three years

Eventually they would turn to the Tonga tribal elders and spirit mediums to intercede on their behalf…..

lake-kariba-dam-pic

The dam was completed in 1958 and started generating hydroelectric power in 1960.

Kariba Dam Opening

Sir Duncan, Queen Elizabeth at the official opening of the Kariba Dam on Tuesday 17th May 1960

its still generating power for Zambia and Zimbabwe today.

kariba electricity

The End?

 No, not quite. See when they completed the dam wall, they separated the Nyami Nyami from his mate. The earth tremors that are frequent in the area are a result of the River God trying to break down the dam wall and reunite with his mate. The Tonga people believe that one  day Nyaminyami will break down the wall and they will return to their ancestral homes on the banks of the Zambezi River.

Update: Someone shared an interesting theory with me that: IF the Nyaminyami is there we might be mistaken about its appearance (well, personally I think it shapeshifts) See, the dam was built by an Italian consortium Impresit and its highly likely they drove their Italian made Alfa Romeo vehicles. Take a look at the logo of the Alfa Romeo vehicle and tell me it does not remind you of some legend?:

alfa romeo logo

What do I think? I think that deep in the murky waters of the Zambezi there is some creature there, something,ancient, uncommon and unknown. I heard an interesting story about how separating the Nyaminyami from its mate was actually a calculated move, they did not want these creatures breeding, dealing with only two is trouble enough……

The Nyami Nyami River God myth or real, what do you think?

 

~B

Day 14 of my blog everyday challenge Africa: Stories from home

Photocredit www.victoriafalls-guide.net

Of The Harare Agriculture Show: A day at.

harare agriculture show

The Harare Agricultural Show is an annual agricultural business exhibition held at the Exhibition  Park Harare. Why they still call it “Agricultural Show” when it might as well as be the biggest Business exhibition event in the country second only to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is something I wonder about to be honest.

The Agricultural Show is another tradition we adopted from our colonial heritage. When the settler farmers launched it back in the 1900s it was a platform to share and exchange ideas on commercial farming; at a time when the indigenous landowners were being displaced from their ancestral homes to communal reserve areas, where they were restricted to subsistence farming, leaving the fertile arable lands to the settler farmers.

After our independence from colonial rule the country underwent a controversial land reform to reclaim the land that was stolen but there is still an uneven distribution of this resource vital, which might explain the mostly unspoken sentiment that maybe what has simply changed is the face of our oppressors. Where one settler farmer used to own large tracts of land, it’s now a senior government official or a decorated army general or war veteran and the rest distributed more along partisan lines and more as a reward for patriotism than capacity to utilize to the land assigned. Small wonder our agriculture production has been at an all-time low, from being Africa’s breadbasket and in charge of SADC’s Food Security, to us needing aid and donor support; though the government now seeks to make corrective measures through various intermediary processes to develop sustainable agriculture, some of which would be great if they could weed out the corruption that everyone turns a blind eye to, seed and resources being misappropriated.

The Zimbabwe Agriculture Society (driving force behind the Harare Agriculture Show) has taken a radical strategy to “reposition itself as the centre of excellence in facilitating national agricultural development that ultimately impacts positively on rural livelihoods.”

To consolidate, broaden and deepen value chains, while highlighting the “push-pull effect” and close, and perhaps inseparable, linkages between sustained agricultural productivity, industry resuscitation and increased capacity utilisation, and the resultant improved economic growth, the theme for 2018 is:

FIELD TO INDUSTRY

 

field to industry Produce Connect Develop

The icon depicts the various activities and ingredients to ensure a good harvest, a link with industry and the main actors, while showing the resultant economic growth, and all this enveloped in the year 2018, emphasising the need for urgency among players to ensure agriculture-led economic growth.

History lesson and current affairs aside this year I decided to attend the Harare Agriculture show… wait that’s a misleading statement. My services “were volunteered” as a chaperone to my nieces and nephews, so they could attend. I almost said I was too busy to do it but I did not have the heart after seeing the excitement written all over their faces when they found out they could go if I was taking them.

They really should just rename the Harare Agriculture Show to The Harare Children’s Carnival Show, they are the ones who enjoy it the most from face painting to amusement park rides and of course how could I forget candy floss.

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Mostly all I remember from the show is mostly waiting in lines.

  • Lines to get into the show. There was a high turn out and of course because of the cash shortages people use plastic money, so it takes longer for each person to get served, and sometimes the system would crash and I kept thinking there should be an easier way to do this like prefund my ticket and simply waltz through the gates like they do at toll gates ? The queue for those paying in cash was super short and moved quite rapidly how I envied them. Cash is king these days
  • Lines to buy tokens for the amusement rides. And of course those with cash got served first and faster.
  • Lines to actually get on the rides. All the really cool rides had lines so long that looking at them just sapped your energy so we ended up picking the less fun rides
  • Lines to buy food. Those selling food and snacks, if they did not make a pile of money then, I don’t know what they were doing.

With all this going on I never got a chance to visit the exhibition stands for any of the businesses though it did look like a great networking opportunity I was terribly sorry to miss but I did see a cow or two and some pigs.

harare agric show

And just when it looked like the fun evening festivities were about to begin which would kick off with the customary fireworks display rivalled only by one you see at  Meikles hotel on New Year’s we had to call it day, it was getting cold and dark and the little ones wanted to go home

Harare show

dancing

are you not entertained?

My verdict would I attend it again? In a heartbeat (especially if I wasn’t on chaperon duty and if I was, I would make sure we went first thing in the morning before the rush)

Maybe next year I might even consider being an exhibitor cause I thinking what kind of national business exhibition attracting foreign exhibitors does not have an easy to find online presence, no common hashtags, so people can easily share moments, such as this one. Free wifi should permeate every corner of the exhibition park  and if you are only finding out or reading about the Harare Agriculture Show today, a week and some change after the event that’s exactly my point, businesses in Africa need to embrace more of the digital world and by extension bloggers and their networks instead of treating it as a hobby sport by people with internet access and too much free time on their hands………..

And that’s why next year my exhibition will be a Bloggers Hub. I wrote it down so it could be real. Now someone help me make my dream a reality step, into my office and let’s chat about it over coffee…..

~B

Day 9 of my blog everyday challenge themed Africa: Stories From Home