Of Coffee With The 1000

Coffee with the 1000 people that live in my internet 

Hello there

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I am most pleased to see that I have modest following of 1000 readers and double that are email subscribers who are all you people how did you even find me?  I do hope you enjoy your stay…….

Some people will tell you that you should not get bogged down in the stats about how many readers you have or who shares your work, its called EGOmanics and apparently it’s a trap bloggers fall into…  Jesus only had 12 followers…..I try not to get too much into stats and all but The you have reached 1000 is a milestone…

becoming the muse

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that some of the people who live in my interweb and read my blog I consider my friends and I am happy to tell you that if you were having coffee with me its not coffee we would be having coffee but honey and lemon herbal tea in the coffee mug labelled orange, cheers.

The coffee mug labelled orange

Funny story I have had many people asking me what my blogging niche is, what is your niche? I am proudly un-niched, you see I find definitions stifling, to define something is to limit it, to confine it into a neat little box…

Think outside the box

To think outside of a box first you have to get into the box, but what if there is no box????

I keep this blog to remember, back in the day we used to gather around fires and tell stories passing on knowledge from generation to generation, well I write stories some real some imagined, I am an analogue man in a digital world I still prefer handwritten sentiments of the posted kind to instant messaging but this storyteller has gone digital!

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that By powers vested in me by the internet and Google Digital Skills Training I now consider myself somewhat an expert in some aspects of the digital world…

You have completed every single lesson in the Digital Skills Africa library

Google skills training certificate

You could call me The Digital Consultant (if you need assistance or a wee bit of freelance writing  a contact form is available at the bottom of this post or drop a comment)

I also run a blogging network Afrobloggers with four other tireless individuals from all corners of the African continent  who keep the blogging network alive, we are like five mini-robots who come together to form a bigger robot and in partnership with Tribe Of Influence a Zimbabwean Blogging network we will be bringing you Zim Blogging Awards for bloggers from Zimbabwe or who blog about Zimbabwe. Hopefully we will eventually partner with all sorts of blogging communities throughout Africa to have local blogging awards and continental blogging awards ( If you have suggestions or have a way to support or sponsor feel free to reach out)

If you were having coffee with me I would thank you for your support, I am writer first and I will tell we feed on appreciation it’s a vanity we hide from the world so well shhhhh don’t tell anyone though, just promise to drop by and read and say a kind word or two….. I don’t write this blog for the hits I write for myself, for the sheer pleasure of spilling words out of me, words which if I kept inside I would die….

Sowing my words as seed

That is why I write. Why do you?

~B

The fire inside

The fire inside

Of Inauguration Day: A new dawn for Zimbabwe?

Friday 25 November inauguration day for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Inauguration Emmerson Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa gets sworn in as the third president of Zimbabwe… Yes 3rd president but history seems to have selective amnesia in 1980 we had Canaan Sodindo Banana as president and Robert Mugabe was Prime Minister (its said the presidential position was mainly ceremonial but still so yeah maybe he has in power for 37 years) in 1987 Robert Mugabe became president and the prime minister position somehow got absorbed into the presidential realm while we still celebrating our independence no one noticed but this is how he wound up with the unlimited authority that has led us down the path we are now on….

What short memory history has and that is why it is bound to repeat itself ….. if I have learnt anything from history, its that no one ever learns anything from the lessons history has to teach… doomed to watching it repeat itself.

History repeats itself

History Repeats Itself

Enter: our new president for a hopefully new Zimbabwe. His signature is quite the intricate affair…

Emmerson Mnangagwa signature crocodile

Is he drawing a crocodile as he is “affectionately” known. I am yet to mean a benign crocodile, what sharp teeth they have, this man who in some circles is known as The Butcher of Esgodini…….

Can a crocodile change its scales? I pray it can.

Only a few short weeks Emmerson Mnangagwa was Vice-President of Zimbabwe he has probably been responsible for some the policies that have seen us get to where we today, until he got fired from the ruling party and the government for disloyalty and other things and then the president resigned in a coup that was not a coup, and just like that Emmerson gets sworn in as president. People are busy celebrating the fall of one tyrant might have simply replaced the face of tyranny, old wine in new bottles and does anyone really care how exactly he got reinstated, well he is president now the bed has been made, we lay in it…. Cant help feel certain liberties have been taken with constitution…. But what do I know I am not a lawyer.

Still we have a chance at something of a fresh start, a tiny step, but still a step. I did not attend the inauguration not because I did not want but because I could not find the transport money, we still have a cash crisis going on here, I horde my precious coins as would a miser spending grudgingly always wondering what will I do tomorrow….

I didn’t watch the inauguration on TV because we had no electricity for the whole day, I don’t know if it is just my neighbourhood but we seem to experiencing a whole lot of power cuts again should I be worried?….

I would have posted this article on Friday but first all we had no electricity and then I ran out of internet data, the price of the internet is prohibitive and I just got a message from my provider that as from 1 December prices are going up….

Has anything changed and is it for the better? Well today the army did issue out a statement that normalcy has returned to the streets of Harare that the police are now resuming their regular duties although there will be soldiers will accompany them in a move that seems downright like babysitting them….. Interesting times

Zimbabwe Joint Statement by ZDF & Security

ZDF and Security service statementmbabwe ZDF and security service statement

Elections are still going on as scheduled eight months from now and I still haven’t found a candidate to vote for….. I had lost hope in the electoral process, but for now the hope has been rekindled…..

How do I feel, lets put it on the record as cautious optimism…..oh wait the new cabinet has not yet been announced maybe when they do we will have better insight into what we have in store……

~B

PS Emmerson Mnangagwa is president now much as its been cute watching international journalist stumble over his name

its getting old let me break it down phonetically for you:

Moo as in MOOn

Nuh as in NUt

Nger as in the NGER in huNGER

Gua as in GUAva

Mnangagwa Moo Nuh Nger Gua

You are welcome and tell a friend

 

PhotoCredit:  ZDF and Security Services joint Press Statement Haru Mutasa

Of Asante Sana Goodnight Mr President

The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe First Secretary of the Ruling Party, Head of State and Government, Commander-in-Chief of Zimbabwe Defence forces, Patron of The War Veterans and Chancellor of all Universities His Excellency Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe has resigned…….

Following unparalleled events that would rival a popular television series (except in this story no one died) which could have begun over a serving of ice cream at a rally culminating in a coup that’s not a coup; if some sources can be believed, but if I have learnt anything about the Zimbabwe situation it was that anyone who tells you they are reliably informed would probably reliably misinform you….

I am reliably informed You know nothing Batman

When it comes to the Zimbabwe Crisis/Coup that is not a coup almost every one is like Jon Snow……  You Know Nothing

Sunday Evening Former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe (it feels weird writing that we have never had a former president before) scored a coup of his own he had the whole news world tuned in for hours waiting for him to announce his resignation and he had a different idea:

He finished by saying Asante Sana (thank you very much in Swahili) and bid the world Goodnight like it was business as usual and tomorrow would be a regular day at the office….

All sort of theories got thrown from impeachment to hidden agendas…

Finally though today he has resigned, the Speaker of Parliament read his resignation to members of parliament ready to start impeachment proceedings and parliament went jubilant:

 

If the parliamentarians are this happy you can imagine how the ordinary folk are rejoicing its like its carnival festivities on New Year’s Day but on Christmas day during your birthday….. What a time to be alive.

21 November 2017 I feel a certain bittersweet way, it did not have to end this way…. But Robert Mugabe had become the face of everything wrong with this country, the only president I have ever known, 93 years old still clinging onto power while some countries made room for 31 year olds, we need new blood.

Who is the former president of Zimbabwe

I know we have a long way to go to dismantle the tyranny machine and life wont miraculously get better but I have seen that people can rally behind a notion, an ideal and support and its beautiful, the same party might still be in power but our eyes have been opened….. one victory at a time 

I don’t know who our current president is, if we even have a current president? Who is running this show? I don’t know what happens next. Is this a good thing and should I be even celebrating? To be honest  I dont know but I am hopeful this is a start of a future we can believe in again……..

Mugabe Resigns

Asante Sana Mr President and Goodnight

~B

 

Of The Solidarity March Zimbabwe

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you to picture this a stadium filled with jubilant people and the legendary Bob Marley belting  out the lyrics to Zimbabwe:

Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny

The year was 1980, the occasion was independence day 18 April

That was then…. this is now 37 years later and a 93 year old president who has been around from then.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you, if you know when a coup is not a coup?

A coup is not a coup when the citizens rally behind their defence forces when military helicopters fly overhead and people cheer, shake hands with soldiers on their armoured personnel carriers and take selfies with them.

Fist pump military man in tank

Sando

 

meet the army zDf

Zimbabwe ZDF

ZDF military

Moyo Buhle Solidaritymarch zimbabwe

18 November 2017 history was made in Zimbabwe as Zimbabweans took the streets to march to the State House and protest an end to the Mugabe Dynasty. Zimbabweans throughout the world joined marching to Zimbwean Embassies in their respective countries.

SADC AU Mugabe

A message to SADC and the AU

 

Zimbabwe Solidarity Military

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the euphoria is contagious, its hard not to feel a certain elation when suddenly you can say something you have always wanted to say but did not want to be charged with treason….

Our dear president why don’t you rest?

Mugabe must rest now

I will confess once upon a time he was my hero he came to our school with Prince Charles and Princess Diana, he told us he drank tea with the queen, our class recited a welcome poem…..

but you know the cliche:

“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

So we marched

 

R. Mugabe Road

R. Mugabe Road Street Sign trashed

Of course there are the analysts and the woke crowd who will rain on our parade, tell me that we are being used to make the army look good, tell me how the same army has kept  Mugabe in power, tell me that the ruling party will still be in power tell me, how its unconstitutional, how we need to push for democracy, how to think, how to act, what to stand for……

Well I dont know what tomorrow will bring but today I will enjoy my participation I will tell my story I was there when history was being made.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I dont think anyone has ever seen what we witnessed here what a time to be alive.

not coup but cool Zimbabwe solidarity march

not COUP but COOL

This is not a coup its cool party let me have my moment in the sun

 

~B

PS throughout this no one was forced, no one was harmed (as far as I know) and it could easily have been mistaken for the biggest street party ever themed flags and uniforms….

 

Credits for the images Doug Coltart,  Buhle, The Guardian, Reuters

Of Dogs Playing Poker

 DisclaimerI am neither a political analyst nor an a political expert; this is simply me

Yesterday I woke up and decided I wont watch the news anymore; I am tired. Its not even that I watch a lot of it but in the past of  couple of days I have tried to keep up to date with so much, I have never neither been so much glued to my twitter feed nor watched so much ZBC (the national broadcaster…) in my entire life added together than in the past couple of days…… and most of that news was, not entirely accurate (to phrase it delicately…. because we are a polite nation even our coups are a gentleman’s coup)

Eventually I have come to the conclusion that, no one person really knows what is going on in Zimbabwe, I was (once upon a time) going to share a list on twitter accounts that I refer to as my #TheReliables for having factual non-sensational  feedback on the Zimbabwe situation but at some point they have all dropped opinion dressed up as fact….)

I have  decided not to check my newsfeed, if something important is happening, someone will tell me about it…….

How can anyone understand what the end-game when our coup that is not a coup looks like this, The Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Force meets The General who wants him out:President Mugabe meets ZDF Commander and SA envoys at State House

 

 

Robert Mugabe Chiwenga Zimbabwe Herald Zimpapers

Dogs Playing Poker

Its like those “Dogs Playing Poker” paintings by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge except no one is a dog but its still a poker  game, nothing is as it seems, and just when you think it is over………. a new card shows up on the table

Word on the street is we had ourselves a nice little private school coup going on perfectly fine until of course the AU (African Union) and SADC (Southern African Development Committee) decided to intervene… a military intervention by any other name is a still a coup apparently for some reason they cant let a precedence be set………

IRREGARDLESS I know its not a real word but I just wanted to write it

Now here  we are stuck at an  impasse….. What comes after?

A Solidarity March maybe

SADC and AU Stay out of our affairs

To march or not to march…… is that even a question?

~B

PS So I lied I still check my newsfeed, what if something happens and I miss it *POKER FACE*

PhotoCredits: Zimpapers

Of Zimbabwe: A Private School Coup

When is a coup not coup? Its when the polite army officials assure you on a TV Press conference on the State Broadcaster

To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe defence forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.

15 November 2017 history is being made

Imagine waking up to a 4am press conference by an army spokesman which basically implies they have taken over the State Broadcaster and programming for the rest of the day is reruns of old liberation songs and the press conference on loop. You can read the full speech by military spokesman  Major General SB Moyo here

We live in times of sensational journalism and fake news, rushing to break news without so much as verifying, wanting to be first with the juicy scoop. I have watched some news channels and am not surprised at the number of calls, messages and smses I have received asking me if I am safe..

APC Harare

Depending whom you ask there is a coup is underway or not, soldiers barricading access to some places, airports, boarders, parliament, the president under house arrest, the first lady may or may not have fled the country, several government officials have been detained, the president set to resign and appoint former Vice President as interim president, press conferences are coming…..

Everyone seems to know someone who knows who has it on good authority what exactly is going but everything else is pretty much hush and meanwhile the state broadcaster simply playing revolutionary songs from the war of liberation.

If a coup is going on, then it has been fairly bloodless, thats why on the streets people are calling it a coup that went to private school because so far it has not affected any of the civilians the day has been quiet but pretty much business as usual….

At the back of my head I still worry though, is this a good thing or  bad thing, how desperate are we for change that we would welcome military intervention, if my history lessons are correct, no good ever comes from an army rule but then again this is not a coup so they say, normalcy will return so they say………

How did we get here?

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

-Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

These are unprecedented times we are living in and we can only hope that peace, safety and good old common sense prevail

It has been safe for now, praying that it continues so

~B

 Photo credit: Shepard Tozvireva

Of A WordCamp Over Coffee

If you were having coffee with me…..

beaton Mabaso Wordcamp

I would tell you of my amazing time at the WordCamp Conference Harare 2017. I was one of the speakers alongside a number experts, I guess that makes me an expert too… you know what they say ecological species of the avian variety with the same plumage congregate in the same perimeter.

Birds of a feather

birds of a feather

This year the WordCamp was bigger and better than last year, the tickets sold out,  a local company ZOL Fibroniks was a gold sponsor; the future looks bright, hello 2018 looking promising……

One of the best things about a WordCamp is meeting the community networking and making new friends, its inspiring seeing people representing their grind, opportunities everywhere……

WordCamp Harare

If you were having coffee with me, I would give you a quick rundown on my favourite presentations:

 came all the way from German and spoke on Fast Websites and how to make them.

caspar hubinger wordcamp harare fast websites

He made an interesting observation of how in the Zimbabwe context basically “The Internet” basically means social media, Facebook, Twitter…because of the way internet operators bundle subscription packages offering only social media….

The bottom line is If you really want to make your website fast build a fast website, Load optimized your media.

Trust Nhokoyedzo’s presentation on Getting your Value was an eye opening talk on how to get value for your brand.

Trust nhokovedzo wordcamp harare

Some aspects of his talk were similar to my topic just not in the same words. Trust’s talk from last year’s WordCamp is one of the things that made me up my game and a contributing factors to my being part of this year’s speaker line up. When you have knowledge share it and you become an expert……

trust nhokovedzo beaton mabaso

Sizo Sinyolo’s talk touched on women in tech, she was also the only female speaker, (This year there would have been two but Alice had an unfortunate mishap and could not make the event but she send her love from across the globe) Last year you could count the female wordcamp attendees on the fingers of one hand but this year, this year so many more……….

Sizo

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you about My topic titled “A Website is A conversation

Beaton Mabaso WordCamp Harare

A website is a conversation

Basically I was sharing on how from my experience as a storyteller; you must remember that at the other end of the screen is another human being, just like you, your site must reach out, make them pay attention make them not just subscribers or clients but your friends, make them have a reason to come back and ask “…..and then What happens next”

what happens next

And the story continues….

The internet where websites die

 

Ngoni asked me a question about how I manage to keep my blog running…..

Question segment

You see when you do what you love, you find the time, you make the time to do it;

A round of applause for everyone that made this WordCamp

WordCamp Harare Speakers, volunteers organisers The TEAM

If you were having coffee with, I would tell you that I uploaded the slides from my presentation and you can find them here, contact me if you want me to explain what they mean, I am the story, and the story is me every day I tell a little bit more about it…..

~B

 

PS and of course….. all work and no play……… After Party!!!!

wordcamp harare after party

Wordcamp Harare after party

 

 

You can find some of the conversation on this hastag on twtter #WCHRE

Caspar thank you, for the pics More Can be seen Here  I apologise I only have a grainy one of you but that is what happens when you are taking photos you wont have any of yours

Wordcamp Harare after party

Of 7 Tips to surviving 7 years on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

heres-that-attention-you-ordered-14922290

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

ban sign Do not feed the trolls

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

    Topics trending worldwide

worldwide trends twitter             Topics Trending in your country:

trending topics select Zimbabwe

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

Tailored Trends: based on the people you follow

tailored twitter trends for you

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

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

You can find me on twitter @Beatonm5

~B

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

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

 

 

Of Blogging Every Day

 

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

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

standing top of mountain clip art

You look like ants from up here

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

MyAfricaMyWords

#MyAfricaMyWords

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye September and Welcome October

~B

Day 30 of my blog every day challenge

Here is quick way twitter moment of my past posts.