Hello I am Beaton and I am a dragon or rather I am the closest thing to a dragon you are going to read about today.
If dragons were real, I would be a shape-shifter and I would turn into one, or at the very least dragons would be my spirit animal or Totem (or mutupo as its known in Shona language)
I imagine if you wanted to thank or praise and or simply flatter me you would chant a clan praise song exactly quite unlike this one
The first flame, His most royal spontaneous combustor, Consumer of all leaving nothing but ash, Burner of things, Bringer of light, Chaser of darkness, Giver of warmth Keeper of secrets Custodian of legends And Teller of stories
I am not a dragon and neither are they our spirit animals but my totem is FIRE.
Yes, it’s a real thing, my totem (mutupo) is fire/Moto/Mlilo/Chauke and no its not common, most totems are animals and you are not supposed to eat your spirit animals lest you bring forth the wrath of your ancestors and your teeth fall out; it won’t rain and then top that with a whole lot of misfortune, which wont end, till you consult a traditional doctor and find a way to appease your ancestors.
I wish our totems served another purpose apart from being way to identify your kin and where you belong amongst strangers, like if you could shapeshift into it or command your animal patronus or in our case I could say “flame on” and conjure fire balls.
My spirit animal would totally barbecue your spirit animal: Fire fascinates me, fire burns and all fires burn its something you learn for yourself
Well, my spirit animal is fire and unlike the other totems we have no dietary restrictions in fact we love to celebrate our ancestry by having a jolly good braai and a good old fire cook out.
Day 7 of 25 Days of Blog Posts celebrating the best of 2018 #2018BOTY
My highlight experience for 2018 has to be, being in the pilot Connect.Hubs programme.
A digital storyteller who creates stories entwined with the beauty and chaos of the place he calls home legends of old married to the science of today, spawning narratives that celebrate the magic and mystery of his ancestry. Beaton is builder of creative communities bringing together bloggers who tell Africa’s narrative through the Afrobloggers network helping fashion the influence of Africa’s blogging culture into a perspective changing instrument of sustainable development.
It was an enlightening experience connecting with 22 creatives from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Collaboration is the new innovation
We connected and now we are going to create….. I cannot wait to see the creations that will come from these connections
We had a hub tour seeing some local Hubs
From Chill Spot Records a music hub in Mbare, the home Zim Dancehall music, where we hung out with Levels and Fantan the guys who make the magic happen and some of the hubsters in our group dropped bars on microphone on a freestyle track
To DeMoyo Fashion, a hub created by Paidemoyo a fashionista whose been on the worldwide catwalks with A-listers and now works to create and nurture local talent. (Moyo means Heart in Shona)
Moto republik a creative hub and co-shared working space
B2C A business incubator and co-shared working space
The days were jam packed with learning activities covering various modules and I can say my skill set has gone up a level
We not only got to learn but to network and forge collaborations spreading across boarders, to harness the power of our connections and strengths to see what magic happens
If you don’t know me by now……… you should know I am a huge fan of Epic High Fantasy.
Give me magic and mystery amidst a grand narrative……
Tolkien’s Lord of the rings, Terry Goodkind’s Sword of truth, Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the fallen, George R.R. Martin’s A song of fire and ice, Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, Sabaa Tahir’s Embers Series to name drop a few and of course J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
Early this year I discovered authors who write fantasy steeped in their African lore, myths, traditions and I fell in love with the magic in our ancestry all over again.
My beautiful dark afro fantasy
I wrote reviews on some of the books: (click image to go to my review)
Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi
Beasts Made Of Night – Tochi Onyebuchi
and I just recently finished reading the sequel Crown of Thunder
Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi
House Of Stone – Novuyo Tshuma
And I think I binge read all the books by The Iroko Tree Witch: Nnedi Okorafor
Reading these authors has helped me to connect, embrace and be proud of my heritage and now when you ask me what I write I will tell you that, I cant do magic so I write:
“I write fantasy, fantasy steeped in African mythology, legends of old married to the science of today, spawning narratives that celebrate the magic in my ancestry and the myths behind the truth of my heritage……….”
If you know any fantasy books I should look out for do let me know……
If you were having coffee with me, I would thank you for visiting and ask if you can feel the festive season brewing….. Everywhere you look festive coloursare popping up, festive specials out and even TVhas got festive feel good programming.
We are ending the year with a festive special; one post a day celebrating the Best Of The Year 2018 #BOTY2018. Do feel free to jump in, just use the hashtag in your tags so others can find you
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you its Day 2 of 25 and I should be write about a TV show that made my year great.
Top on my list would be TV Soapies such as Generations created and produced by Mfundi Vundla. Which has been running on SABC1 weekdays at 8pm without fail ever since it first aired in 1994 (except for the time it went on break because due to “creative differences” half the cast “left” and it was rebranded to Generations: The Legacy) Watching it over supper is like a family tradition no rhyme or reason…….
Then there’s also Rhythm City, Skeem Saam and Scandal ETV which are all weekday TV Soapies (from 6.30 – 8.00pm)
If you were having coffee with me I would ask you, if you are surprised I watch Soapies well I love how they tell everyday stories and you can even say I watch for research purposes; so I can develop the characters that I write and even maybe one day, who knows people will gather round over supper to watch something I will have helped shape
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that maybe I like watching the animated show Teen Titans Go and might even have done questionable things to watch it.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the festive season is upon us but at this rate looks like wont be much of any festivities going on with the whole fuel situation and the looming price hikes and our crazy multi-tier pricing system but hey as long as I have TV, The internet and my blog its on
My name is Beaton but you call me B. I am a digital storyteller, which basically means that I use the medium of the internet to immortalize myself the only way I know how by WRITING.
When I am not writing I am builder of blogging communities running an online platform that serves to bring together and network bloggers from all over Africa, where the world meets Africa as we like to call it.
The Blogging Culture:A Website means community
I am blogger although technically when no one is around, I call myself a writer with a blog. But what is a blog anyway?
To answer this I will have to delve into a brief history of blogging and WordPress
Blog comes the word WebLog which means literally a log of the web
Blogging started in the developed countries, around the mid to late 90s, when it was mostly online diaries…… By early 2000s blogging had become, A THING a movement even a full time business for some, not just endorsing products and affiliate marketing but marketing and selling their own skills services and crafts as diverse niches of blogs mushroomed.
It no longer was about just personal diaries, but lifestyle, fashion, health fitness, travel, tourism, parenting; the list is endless there’s a type of blogger for everything somewhere on the internet; even those who blog about blogging.
Here’s a fun fact……Did you know WordPress was built and evolved from a blogging platform called B2/CafeLog which had gained quite a huge community count up until the programmer created of the platform vanished leaving a sizeable community who no longer had developer support.
An innovative user of this platform worried about this development came up with the idea to create anew platform integrating the “cool stuff” from there and adding more features and May 2003 WordPress was born
15 years later here we are:
What does this mean? There’s a huge community of bloggers and its growing and so too has the definition of what blogging is; blogging has no longer has a clear cut simple definition, it means different things to different people.
The official definition of blogging goes something like this:
a website whose posts listed chronologically from most recent to oldest updated regularly usually by one author
I can attempt to summarily define it as: The online updating of content onto a digital platform
Something as simple as posting a status onto your Instagram, sharing a note on your Facebook, tweeting a tweet or even a video on YouTube or updating the content on your website; blogging is a little like running a magazine.
Blogging has transcended simply being just something you do on the internet; its more than just a marketing tool too; its also a political tool, an awareness campaign raiser, a society watchdog and even custodian of culture. A blog is like a key that opens doors to worlds one can only dream and tap into the community of people beyond the person simply on the end of the screen
Redwoods trees grow to dizzying heights reaching for the sky and last for thousands of years yet they have very shallow roots
How Do They Do This
The secret to their strength is that their roots … intertwine with other redwoods to create an underground network of powerful connections.
I have kept my personal blog for about five years now and my reach stats look like this
I did a little research via my peers in the blogging community to see if anyone had any ideas why the blogging culture in the global south is so low and the most common reasons were as follows:
The Cost of data is very prohibitive Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) released a report in October showing that on average 1GB of data costs 2.5% of the average monthly income; this translates to over two billion people living in a country where 1GB of mobile data is unaffordable… and bundled internet packages make the net be largely regarded as a just social media since all people do is mostly go onto social media
As for people not understanding the blogging culture, that’s part of why I am always encouraging and helping out fellow content creators and building blogging communities it seems like fun but a lot of work goes into having a website and when you put effort and get nothing back that why websites die……
How to support bloggers
Number One Read our work
Subscribe, like, comment If you read and love something or find it useful say so
If a product is being sold or reviewed why not buy or recommend to a friend
Share links with your friends
If you spot any errors hit the contact tab let us know
And Pay US ha!
Remember Archimedes’ famous quote; that give me a fulcrum, along enough lever and a place to stand on and I will change the world
I say to you:
Give me a blog, an audience and an internet connection, and I will move the world.
PS And while I have you here, I am part of blogging community that picks a weekly blogger to crush on, I am this week’s Blog Crush but you dont have to take my word for how A Blog means community have a quick read at these posts:
If you were having coffee with me I would thank you for the visit and ask you if preferred tea or coffee and it will have to be without sugar and milk because I don’t have any that besides a true coffee connoisseur drinks there’s black, hotand no sugar please. Maybe I can offer you some water have a seat and let me tell about my past week.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell that I finally met in person Bruce one of the people I have been working with for the past two years to connect, collaborate and promote the showcasing of bloggers and have a place where the world meets Africa; Afrobloggers. I also met a fellow blogging connection Sparkles. I have known her for close to 3 years but had never met and the three of us had a lovely lunch brainstorming the future of Afrobloggers.
Bees were hanging around our table like we were literally made of honey and it turns out that Sparkles’ perfume is infused with real honey extracts, I think it should come with a warning label that ATT: BEES WILL FOLLOW YOU
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that our Afrobloggers Platform was selected to be in the pilot group of the Connect.Hubs program run by Hivos, British Council, Nesta, Enthuse Afrika, Electric South connecting together 44 creatives from Southern Africa; in Harare and Cape Town to come connect and go create
Our group the Harare cohort was made up of 22 creatives from Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that one of my favourite experiences was a session where after chatting and getting to know fellow creatives in a speed dating like setup you would assign them a label that showed what summed up your thoughts on them and this was a great way in figuring out how to best map future collaborations with each other
“Collaboration is the new innovation”
Over the past week we did a crash course covering everything from communication, anatomy of a hub leader to coming up with a sustainable hub model. During one of these sessions I brainstormed a concept of how we could possibly deal with the high internet cost;
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the Harare WordPress WordCamp on Friday, I missed most of it because I was at the Connect.Hubs; fortunately I was slotted in as the last speaker of the day so I was able to do a flying visit and drop a lightning presentation on how a blog means community.
At the end of my presentation there was a brief question and answer segment and someone from the audience asked me what we could do about the low reading culture problem and my suggestion was simple that we must “catch them young” instill a culture of reading writing and self-expression into the curious minds of the young and watch them write their own histories, and to that effect I am collaborating with other flip leaves heroes to write books for children
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the minister of finance presented the 2019 National Budget themed “Austerity for Prosperity” and included a quote a quote from the 19th Century Philosopher,
“I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them”.
John Stuart Mill
Then used a whole lot of fancy terms to basically say the governments needs more more and they are going to do it the only way the know how “widening the tax base” and squeezing the life and money out of the public.
That’s my past week how
has yours been?
Cheers to a great week ahead
If this is your first time stumbling on my site do say hi so I can find you if you have a site I should check out please holla and if you see any sites listed in the comments do check them out because I roll with awesome company
In a few days theWordPress local community of Harare brings you the 2018 WordCamp Harare. 23-24 November 2018
A WordCamp is a conference organized to host WordPress practitioners ranging from the occasional blogger to digital experts and those curious about dipping their toes in the interwebs.
If you are reading this post (which is on a blog powered by WordPress and you have website or blog which runs on WordPress) you should be asking yourself why you aren’t attending a WordCamp near you; look them up.
This will be the third WordCamp to be held in Harare and its growing bigger and better; now it’s a two day event including a contributor’s day and even a junior workshop.
The highlight of WordCamp is presentations from volunteer speakers who are simply ordinary WordPressers such as you, sharing on topics they are passionate about, you can have a look at the speaker line up here and the schedule here
The first WordCamp I attended
changed my life and I was inspired to apply to be a speaker at the next one,
and this year guess what; I know one or two people who were inspired by my
presentation that they too have decided to step up.
On contributor’s day you can actively contribute to the WordPress Community by working on the following activities:
Translation of WordPress into Shona
Add subtitles to videos from previous WordCamps
Community planning for 2019
Did I mention The WordCamp Juniors Workshop, so for the 9 and 15 range here’s bootcamp for them to learn to express themselves in blogs and also a foundation they can build on to be expert users of the WordPress platform. Its for free too but the are limited places only 20 available seats and when I last checked there were only 7 left so register quickly click here!!
Have you ever been to a WordCamp do share your thoughts? Will you be there??? Cause I will and yeah I am speaker too and I will be speaking on how A Blog Means Community ^_^
PS Oh yeah and there’s an after party!!!! Be there and get the TShirt ^_^
If you were having coffee with me I would be happy to have you visit. I would lean over and whisper, “You probably think I am a coffee aficionado, guess what? I am faking it” I read somewhere that a real coffee lover takes theirs with no milk or sugar. I cant seem to find sugar at the shops so I am trying sugarless coffee *takes a sip* yep its definitely an acquired taste.
I might not be a true coffee connoisseur but I am definitely Becoming The Muse every step leading me to be who I should be, I am professional, and I got a friendly email remainder about how I should not keep it secret.
Young African Leaders Initiative
My updated bio now reads Community Builder ^_^ linker of circles
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that in one of my blogging circles BLOG INDABAthe meeting place, every Wednesday we will be crushing on a blogger and sharing why and what we like about them, here’s a list of the upcoming blogger crushes so maybe you can check them out also if you are interested in being part of this hit us up.
If you were having coffee with me, I would be pleased to announce that on Wednesday I had the honour of hosting a Tribe of Influencers #Zimfluential Masterclass on The Blogging Culture of the Global South.
The blogging trend is rising but a lot of people are still not quite fully awake to its potential; that its more than simply a hobby or an online diary, its so much more; of course the prohibitive cost of data according to a report released by the Alliance for Affordable internet shows that in developing countries 1gigabyte of internet data on average costs about 2.5-5.5% of the average monthly income.
Would you rather starve or have internet?I say how about making sure the internet gets you connected with not just an audience but a market……
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that at a press conference the president announced oil had been found in the Muzarabani area of Zimbabwe.
Before you start celebrating or even figuring out how such a resource would best be utilized to benefit the country; one might want to take that with a pinch of salt the company they working with released a cautionary statement that says what they found are markers that indicate a working petroleum system but haven’t done any feasibility studies or explorative well…..
Actually correction what they used were reports compiled by the Mobil oil company in the 90s…. wait have we always known about this oil possibility?
The government just like its citizenry is so desperate for a break that it isn’t infallible to scams, once a traditional healer/spirit medium had government officials walking around barefoot convinced that she could conjure diesel out of a rock in Chinhoyi
…….and then on the other hand you have pastors and prophets promising years of breakthrough deliverance, miracle money and miracle cures to a flocking congregation….
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that someone hired to be chief of a Communication taskforce by Minister of finance; turned whistleblower on Reserve Bank officials who were fueling and dealing the forex/cash black market and then dismissed from the job in three days is reported in the press as having been paid $40 000 to spill the beans…….
Oh wait and of course he in turn took to social media to deny being paid and apologise for being a pawn in the power games of the political sphere….
Its so hard to know what to believe, in a world you have to fact check everything you see, read and hear but I can write about it from my perspective and that is why I blog.
If you must be anything be professional; have an awesome week
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
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….
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:
#Zimbabwe like other African countries, locals complain and fail to see the bigger picture, opportunities, outsiders are teaming up with other Zimbabweans legally and making loads of cash, we need to get out of our poverty mentality as black people, benefit from our resources
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…
So working 3 manual labour jobs in the UK is betterthan staying in africa … ok,
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
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
Here’s to an awesome week
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
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.
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
Day two without electricity….. when the power comes back to all the houses in your hood except yours 😦
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
During the weekends how about showing some love on your fellow bloggers' blogs, dont just read and read and drop comment ON THE BLOG Afrobloggers presents The Weekend Comment Thread#AbWCTpic.twitter.com/zWUnvfeDKz