Of Coffee, Friday the 13th and Scary things

If you were having coffee with me I would greet you with a fun fact. Did you know that if the first day of the month falls on a Sunday then the 13th day would be a Friday…. Friday the 13th *cues somewhat slightly ominous music*

friday the 13th

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what the scariest movie (and or book ) you have seen (and or read). I used to be a sensitive viewer/reader I guess because of the crazy creative runaway imagination. Growing up, when watching a movie, I would check the age restrictions and those viewer discretion warnings that came at the beginning of movies for anything that would offend my delicate sensibilities, and I grew very adept at identifying the soundtrack music that signified something bad was about to happen.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about this one time when I watched a Friday the 13th horror show about Jack The Ripper and I couldnt sleep properly for days upon days. I imagined decapitated heads in bed with me and headless corpses somewhere trying to find their way to me like I was some headless ghost whisperer…… *goosebumps* Now I am all grown up I am not so afraid as I used to be and I guess I am catching up on all the macabre morbidities I shied away from as a child, reading all of Stephen King and Dean Koontz; watching Insidious, Conjuring, Drag me to hell and a host of other horror flicks and I laugh and laugh and laugh

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you if there is anything I ask myself at the end of every horror movie its that “How do they explain all this to the police?”

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I have been having a no good absolutely horrible week, first my laptop decided to grow legs in the middle of the night and find a new home without so much as a goodbye taking with it all my unpublished drafts and oh so many other things and then my external hard drive with the back ups decided this would be a marvelous time to corrupt all the data contained within it *cries in unsaved words from the book I have pretending to write for the whole year*

And what did the police say: “fill in this here form and we will get back to you” and that was that, and that’s that…….

Wish me luck so I can win the lottery or some windfall to buy myself a replacement laptop cause life without one kinda sucks I cant write half less than half the times I wish could *sigh*

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that it looks like a stray cat which I sometimes feed leftovers has adopted me as its new owner, and it even tried to cheer me up, it brought me a live free range chicken and laid it at my feet like a gift, I don’t know where it got it from I wont even ask besides it can’t answer but looks like I have a pet chicken until I get hungry that is……

Did you know cats only meow at people and not at other cats???? look it up 

Have an awesome week ahead cheers

~B

 

PS do not play footsie with a cat, it might seem like a good idea, but those claws are super sharp. Cats are predators, I wouldn’t be surprised if the horror movies got it wrong, vampires don’t turn into bats, they turn into cats!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Of A Letter To Africa

Dear Africa

There’s defiance and determination in your depth.

They came, they saw and they conquered. They plundered, as they they convinced themselves they were bringing light to your dark shores.

mad scramble for Africa

They convinced you to believe your darkness was ugly and that your past was shameful and they would teach you real salvation, civilization and sophistication because the things worth striving for could only be found beyond over the seas.

AFRICA

They took bits of your soul, your blood and bones and created a restlessness in you. How can you be anything but restless when the bones of your ancestors lay displayed in museums in foreign lands, when descendants of your blood struggle to relate with you?

How can you prosper when you were taught that the spirits of your ancestors are demons and communing with them is to practice heathen ways and to invite evil into your life? Commune instead only with the Holy Ghost and the One True God

cavorting with evil

How can you advance when they saw all the magic and beauty in your ancestry and called it witchcraft? Parts of it could have been malevolent but it all got heaped up together with the benevolent and cast away like a nightmare bedtime story..

See how they broke you, they taught you how to read but only after they rewrote themselves into your history and all you know about your past is how they wrote it juxtapositioned with how your own tried to rewrite it back and the truth, well, the truth, lies lost somewhere in-between because no one owns the truth.

See how they made you shun the melanin in your skin, the kinks in your hair and how you bleach it out and straighten it out as you weave for yourself a whole new identity.

How comfortable are you in your skin when everyday a struggle to battle the uncertainities that were bred into you when they told you the colour of all things evil is dark and light is all things good.

There’s darkness in your past, a past that fills you with rage and shame, but it’s OK because if it did not it would mean you don’t remember where you came from. The past doesn’t have to define you but that doesn’t mean you should pretend it never happened or it did not change you

You have changed ……

Like a child learning to walk, your footprints are all over the place; neither neat nor straight as you struggle to find your roots and your place in the world.

footprints

They broke you but the cracks are healing, filled with something different, something stronger…….. Divergence

Africa remade

 

You are no longer whom you were nor whom they tried to turn you into, you are different. Find peace with the new you and your divergent flavours, from the dark roasted caramel to the milk rich vanilla and everything beneath all the layers that make you up……

diversity

You were unmade and now you are remade, embrace all your Divergence.

Africa Dawn

 

You have a story to tell, don’t let anyone tell it for you but most of all, don’t let anyone else tell you how to tell it, find your voice…….

All my love
My Africa, My Words

~B

Of Coffee And The World Cup

Of Coffee And The World Cup

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you how all conversation leads to Moscow Russia for the 2018 football world cup. Since it happens once every four years, you can see, how people would lose their heads over it…..

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you what all the fuss is about. I mean what is this World Cup, is it a giant tea cup around which the whole world can sit together and enjoy a warm beverage together, reminiscing the past, sipping the present and dreaming of the future of the free world, I think I would be more interested in it if that’s what it were.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what the official 2018 FIFA World Cup logo looks like to you?

World Cup logo

Does it look to you like the vague outline of a person perhaps? When I squint my eyes and look at it with my head tilted at an angle I can make out a silhouette of a bouncy haired beau…..

And then just like that trick photo where one moment you see a beautiful young and later an old hag; the more I look at it though, it resolves into something else and and and and the redness is like like like as the setting sun turns the clouds blood red and and and just like Edvard Mauch I sense The Scream………

the Scream

afroscream-cup

Now you cant unsee that image either can you?

wha the world cup logo looks like

Maybe I watched too many episodes of Stranger Things or maybe my imagination is a fertile place where the seeds of whimsical thought bloom into flights of fancy.’

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you which country has your support in the current World Cup.  I think I would support Wakanda, but since it’s a fictional country I would pick Nigeria because their football jersey looks like its straight outta Wakanda; and the way they were dressed up for the world cup like they are going to a fashion show or a music video…….

Naija football

wakanda forever

naija teamNaijateam

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that if you did not know this about me, you should know that I am hardly anything of a football aficionado to put it mildly, if set pieces where chess pieces, then CR7 would make more sense to me if it were a chess gambit where The Castle does a Rookie move with a seven move check mate………

it CROWD

Its been a week into the World Cup and already I can see how its going to be a long month. Looks like I have plenty of time to read because the TV is otherwise engaged to an eager suitor; what good books can you recommend so I can update my Good Reads list…..

see no football, speak no football, hear no football

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the our elections are drawing closer and we have 23 presidential candidates, 3 of those female, 50000000+ registered voters and 44 days until Zimbabwe Decides.

23 zimbabwe presidential candidates

23 people want to be elected as the next President, that’s democracy for you or maybe the illusion of democracy  as some of those have unrealistic chances of winning and only serve to split votes. *sips tea*

lemon tea

 

~B

 

 

 

Of Free Fair and Credible Elections

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

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

electoral cycle

Electoral Cycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

zim decides
~B

PhotoCredit: Electoral Cycle Chat: ResearchGate

Of Mainstream Media: is it dying?

Is Mainstream Media dying…. And did The New Media deal it a mortal blow?

Is Journalism dying, killed by social media
“The Medium has compromised The Media”

A sound-bite from Takura Zhangazha whilst speaking on the role The Media on the upcoming Zimbabwean Presidential elections and part of an analysis of previous 2013 elections, at a Medial Alliance of Zimbabwe conference; where it was noted there has been a marked increase in social media usage and citizen journalism. He defined The Medium as being tools, technology; the internet social media……..

Well one cannot lay blame on tools, they say “guns don’t kill people…. ” (but then who ever came up with that phrase was from a time before anyone ever imagined someone would invent drones and weaponise them or the strides in Artificial Intelligence; before the future spelt out in Hollywood movies was even remotely possible, the machines rise…. but I digress)

Corrupted Media

The DNA of The New Media

Mainstream media has had gaps in its coverage, marginalising some aspects in favour of profitable stories, political mileage and sometimes simply some sort of principle and code. These gaps have been filled by new media; which allows for diverse practitioners to exploit the ease at which information spreads, (going viral), abiding by almost no code, ungoverned and ungovernable, algorithms defining trending topics; requiring little or no verification; mostly for the likes; shares retweets, the real time interaction and the entertainment value…

Social Media can break the news before almost any media house, first with the news, because anyone anywhere with a smartphone and an internet connection is a pseudo-journalist…

When traditional media houses try to out-compete new media, they wind up losing their journalistic integrity, (and their credibility). Is it a surprise no one takes mainstream media seriously anymore, not pointing any fingers, but when a head of state takes to social medal  to label a media house as fake news………

If traditional media houses treat new media and online content creation as their “unscrupulous” competition whom they need to fight for their place in the sun then …… mainstream media will die.

The herald

The logic makes sense; but in this age of The Internet Of Things, where even your fridge can go online; this is how you lose a battle with new media. You leave a space and someone or something will take your place; like a game musical chairs when the music stops, you find your seat has been taken……. You are Out.

online piracy

Piracy/plagiarism is a real problem and another challenge all together. I have Google searched and found snippets of my words unattributed to me, it hurts…. I mean if you ask me nicely I would let you, so long as you referenced back to me, is that too much to ask for? When a solution comes do let me know.

Traditional media houses need to adapt and embrace more of the new media; define new guidelines and core values with regards to interacting with social media instead of treating it as an amusing spectacle like children running around in adults clothes pretending to be journalists; useful only to get hits and views. It is an instrument a powerful one, capable of transforming the world as we know it, but a tool’s is utility just like any weapon is dependent on its wielder.

Evian babies wearing oversized clothes

RESPECT

The main problem with social media is “the proliferation of fake news” a phrase I have heard over and over again. But it’s mostly a matter of user education, people must need to learn a culture of not spreading unverified information or at least questioning and cross-checking facts. Sometimes even a quick Google Search could prove to you that a celebrity is not dead or how today is a not a unique day whose star alignment will not happen again in the next 456321 million years…..

Maybe that’s what mainstream media has to do; apply expert skill-set to interpret trends, analysing stories and issues raised in new media packaging them in the way they should be, debunking fake news and harnessing the potential reach of online influencers; reviewing new media the way it already reviews traditional publishing houses. On social media everyone to a degree is a social commentator or analyst adding their two cents to the narrative and with elections coming up, that space is going to be real chaotic  real fast in a way that could change electoral process dynamics.

If I owned a media house…………….

~B

 

Photo Credit: Evian Water Babies Digital Agency Network

 

Of Thoughts On TV Land

The television is some sort of pseudo-religion and our living rooms are shrines where families congregate to lay on the TV’s alter their time; attention and sometimes even each……….

Family watching Tv

I don’t know about most of you, but from when I was little, the TV box has always had a prominent place in the family living room and a daily ritual involving “family time” where you are all in the same room (mostly not talking to each other except for a few questions about how your day has been) and watching TV. Its however losing its commanding relevance with smartphones and laptops vying for our attention. Now you find people still sitting in the same room with the TV on but no one really watching all lost in their private worlds on their devices. The old religion is dying and a new more obsessive one is on the rise.

quality time

Would you rather have an unlimited internet connection or premium pay TV bouquet?

Internet TV

I would rather have unlimited internet because it has infinite possibilities and most likely any programmes you want to watch on even the most exclusive TV Bouquet are available on the internet, if not  for free then a nominal subscription fee; and if you are of the less scrupulous persuasion you can watch pirated content (which is illegal)………..

The beauty is you get to watch, what you want, when you want, and not subjected to the whims of a broadcaster also your viewing experience will not be interrupted by commercial breaks it will be streamed in high definition……

What have you been watching?

my recent favourite TV series been:

  • Stranger Things
  • The Shannara Chronicles
  • American Gods
  • The 100
  • Game of Thrones
  • Prison Break Resurrection

Funny enough I don’t remember the last time I watched our own local terrestrial programming from ZBC. Wait I lie, I remember it was between 14 November and 21 November 2017 but mostly watched news bulletins and press conferences during our Private School Coup.

Mostly though the really isn’t much to watch on the local scene……

Conventional broadcasting is dying and a new digital age is rising….

If you want to watch something on TV and you cant find it maybe you should produce yourself……

I don’t know much know nothing about script writing but I do know the secret is having lovable characters and characters you love to hate, and some sort of a plot obviously; why else would you invite these  characters into your life and home every daily?

Confession I have never done this before, you might want to step back, don’t know how big its gonna get……..

**googles how to write a  script**

~B

How hard is it to write a script? If anyone here knows how its done hook us up with some pointers and character suggestions …….. I am letting the rain drops fall on my head I call that brain storming……

Of Little Voices And Big Dreams

 

Little hands and big hearts

Let the little ones come to me……………

Kids are priceless and their innocence precious. Sometimes though, sometimes they ask in their little voices very difficult questions, questions you would rather the Earth open up and swallow you before you answered them………

When I say I am babysitting; I really mean that I’ll find something on the TV that we can all watch and (try to) keep them out of trouble until their mom comes pick them up.

Their tiny minds are like sponges absorbing all sorts “knowledge” so one must filter carefully what reaches through.

One of my nieces wanted to be a pilot from when she could talk until accidentally catching a scene from an episode of some “seconds from disaster mayday  air collision” type TV series; promptly put an end to that dream.

The other day whilst watching Zootopia, you know the place; where anyone can be anything? I decided to ask a niece what she wanted to be….

A Disney Princess” said a little voice with a big dream  (after binge watching episodes of Sophia The First)

“Sure darling you can be a Disney Princess” I replied. Who am I to deny a girl her dreams?……

Little Princess

Little princess all dressed in white throwing rose petals 

This other time we were scrolling channels looking for something to watch when a commercial for feminine hygiene products come on. You know the type with a catchy upbeat jingle about staying dry always and a lady with an umbrella is dancing in the street; a voice narrating how the new design and “wings” give extra protection:

The Niece turns to me and asks “Are those like the Elastoplast® in the drawer?” (The Band aids) we always keep some around because the little hands and legs always getting into scrapes.
I replied with a quick yes and hoped that was the end of that, but a few seconds later;

How come she is singing and dancing if she is hurt?” asked a little voice.

“Where is she hurt?” another little voice asked

You cant see it__” I started to reply then decided to go with “Anyway, she isn’t hurt bad__ ….she is fine now….”

In my head I was thinking oh lawd where is their mother; as I changed the channel. On the next channel there was another commercial, its almost as if there is schedule that such commercials show during this particular segment.

This time it was a bunch teenage girls in a classroom dancing and singing a catchy tune about checking for leaks as always. I guess it was a regular commercial because the little ones were singing and dancing along…….
A tiny hand was pulling my leg trying to get my attention and I could just tell that they had a question to ask…. And I probably would get myself tangled into a web I was not equipped to deal with so I changed the channel again…..

On the next channel, there is a Cadbury chocolate commercial. A lady pregnant with triplets is eating Cadbury chocolate.

cadbury chocolate craving pregnancy

The “babies” in her tummy loving it so much they start singing Joy a song by The Soil (which happens to be my favourite song from my favourite accapella group)

singing cadbury triplets
“I got joy in my heart
And you know it’s the kind of feeling
Followed by a sense of healing, “

What happens next you can definitely imagine:

Do babies like chocolate?” a little voice asks

Where do babies come from?” another asks as well

Chocolate!!!!” another replies

“So…. If you eat chocolate______” another little voice starts to speak………………

Thank you very much Cadbury

~B

PS what interesting situations have little voices gotten you into?

 

 

Of Coffee And More Cake

African Sunset Cake

We are going to need more cake……..

If you were having coffee with me, I would be very happy to welcome you to my this hear wonderful space, I would ask you if I looked older?

Beaton Grey

Rich with strands of silver, Embracing my beard’s winter As I stand in the sun….

It was my birthday just the other day in case you missed it……. Your birthday is when you get to experience what it feels like to be a celebrity, people being nice to you simply because you were born, but only for a day.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that if I had to share a slice of cake wwith everyone I promised a slice, we would definitely need more cake. I would share some of my favourite messages from all over the internet:

Edwina

Zilencube

RaggedUrban

Mablees

The best rumours I have I heard about me I started them myself…

Fiona

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I am a walking contradiction, my totem is a flame and my spirit animal is fire but my star sign is Pisces a water element, what happens when Fire meets water; why magic happens of course.

T.W.

pisces born 22 february

I still haven’t watched Black Panther scandalous as that may be, and so I navigate my internet timeline cautiously trying not to step on spoilers as people go about tagging #WakandaForever. I wonder wakanda character I would have been if Wakanda were real, but not to fret soon as I watch, a review will be coming up!!!!

If you were having coffee with me I would ask if you see the irony in saying:

 “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun”

when the only person who gains from is the person who manufactures/sells the guns.

I don’t watch the news much, but it still filters down to me, the atrocities people commit for various reasons and causes. The really is no-one is more dangerous than a person who believes in the righteousness of their cause.

If you are having coffee with me I would tell you that birthdays are but an excuse to eat cake, so we are going to need more cake….

africa themed cake

~B

PS Final its complete the poetry duet I was doing with Mable where I would write something and she would RIGHT it give it a look see:

I wrote Of The Broken Mugged Man

She replied with Bruised Not Broken

I wrote Of UnBreaking

She responded with Hearts

Next I wrote Of Heart Petals In The Wind

And she said finally righted it You and I

PPS Mable definitely next Wednesday.

 

Of Love and Life in The Digital Age

You are familiar with the Three Mystic Apes also known as the Three Wise Monkeys:

See No Evil Hear No Evil Speak No evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil

Mizaru, with eyes covered, sees no evil; Kikazaru, with covered ears, hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering mouth, speaks no evil….

Well there is fourth whose wisdom and mysticism is somewhat debatable:

monkey with a phone  He sees nobody, he hears nobody and he speaks to nobody……. and yet on the internet the world is his oyster……

I always take what I read on the internet with a pinch of salt because much as it is a fun creative space, reducing physical distance into nothing more than a click on a screen, it seems to warp reality as we perceive it……

The more our phones capture reality, each new model with better camera, higher number of pixels and a bigger  screen with high definition screen; the less we actually experience it. It seems we have become a generation that seeks validity and relevance by the number of likes and retweets we get online, outsourcing even our conscience to online personas.

Sometimes it seems like people go out of their way to post pictures or share video clips from their lives to prove how they have made it in life or how awesome their dream holiday is even how perfect their relationship is. Almost as if they need the world’s approval to convince themselves that they have indeed arrived. Well maybe you have made it, but as for the rest of the easily swayed world who try to compete every second of their lives to a single moment, captured in a well-timed photo, disappointment awaits you…

Valentine’s has come and gone; with its commercialised; over hyped up trimmings, and of course throw in smart phones and the internet and suddenly people out to show how their better half is best; better than anyone else’s. Some seem to date simply so they can show off. I am sure a relationship is not a competition and Relationship Olympics are not an actual Olympic event but hey people are out there winning the Boyfriend Olympics and the Girlfriend Olympics on the internet.

Relationship Olympics

How do you stay in your lane if you want to Keep Up With The Internet Citizens who star in their own Reality Shows right on our internet timelines.

I read an interesting quote along the lines of :

“If you are going to do good deeds/charity work leave your camera behind”

I wonder if he knew, Alexander Graham Bell, back when he invented the telephone how much control his invention would have over our lives

The next time you are outside and happen to see the perfect sunset don’t take out your phone and take a picture just look at it until the light fades away…

sunset

~B

 

PS why wait only for Valentine’s Day to show how much someone means to you anyway? Live every day like its Valentine’s day.

The fourth monkey is called Post No Evil

Post No evil

 

 

photo Credit: Freaking News

 

Of My Blog Resolutions

Resolutions: The Journey So Far. Day Five of The #FEBlog blog every day challenge.

  • One of my resolutions was to blog more and what more than a blogging everyday challenge to jump start the year….. Day Five and not out.
  • I also want to maintain and increase an active network of bloggers. So every once in a while (depending on its initial success) I will host The Muse Blog Party;

  • this is when I will share a blogroll of articles from bloggers I interact with.
  • If you are interested: let’s get this party started, here is how it will work; in the comments drop the link to an article of yours past or present you think fellow bloggers (and me also) should check out (I promise to read every link.. eventually
  • Follow up on the comments posted and read at least one post from a link posted by another blogger and when you comment sign off at the bottom ~With Compliments from B and me (your name)

  • I have been neglecting a creative writing tag of mine where I write a story and the reader picks how the story proceeds… starting this Friday I will be resuming it; if you are a curious cat, you can catch up on the story so far at this link…..
  • To self host my blog or to upgrade to a premium wordpress plan… decisions decisions but we certainly going up notch
  • Ah yes also I’ll be doing more posts on how to amp up your blogging game, stay tuned. I have just made myself an expert.
  • Blogger Meet Ups! ! ! ! ! ! ! Coming soon.

~B PS And I owe Mable a letter…. I am completing this resolution on Wednesday!