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)

 

 

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Of Zimbabwe: Final Report

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

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

Priority Recommendations

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

And how did the state controlled newspaper react?

EU Poll reads like MDC script

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

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


“Aint nobody but ourselves that can free our minds”

~B

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.

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

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do6rukkxoaafyg0

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

Empty

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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 Taking One’s Leave

large.jpg

saying goodbye

Why is it so hard to say goodbye? Separation anxiety is real, put effort in how you say goodbye……

You know how when the parent has to leave a child behind, they have to employ various tricks, cons, promises and sometimes downright threats.

Scenario 1 For the strong:

You ask someone to hold the baby. “Goodbye” you say firmly, as you walk away, not looking back not even once, you don’t turn around because you don’t want to see them breaking and because truth be told you really aren’t as strong as you are pretending to be.

little-girl-crying

Scenario 2a For the chicken:

You distract the child with a treat or toy and while they are playing you sneak out of the house and out of their lives (but not forever right?, only till you come back…)

toy

Scenario 2b For the chicken

You send the child to go play at the neighbour’s house and while they are away, you make your escape.

kids playing

Scenario 3 The Promise Breaker:

You tell the child “We are going together. We are leaving as soon as you finish bathing and put on some nice clothes” or “Go put on your shoes and we can go” And while the child is dressing you take your leave, child comes back and you are gone, and the water works fill the hole you left.

shoes

This scenario might be the reason kids grow up to have trust issues right there.

Scenario 4 The Bully

You tell the child you have to leave and they start crying you shout at them and tell them you will beat them, even threaten them with the branch of a peach tree as a whip, plus that you wont bring them back anything when you come back

Scary mom

Scenario five For the little grown up

You explain you that you must go but that you will be back and tell the child not to cry and they are grown up now you even entrust them with looking after the house and ask them what they want you to bring them back when you come back… when they tell you a pony, that’s when remember they aren’t quite the grown up you like to think of them as “ok sweetie ho about some chips instead

vector-silhouette-family-on-white-260nw-189150053

Of course all these methods are put into use depending on the age and ability of the child to comprehend language but one thing is always common you bring back treats when you come back.

Once we had real drama with a nephew when the child over heard the mum telling me that she would bring me “something” as a bribe thank you for looking after the kids. The mum comes back gives the child Charhons chocolate coated biscuits which is quite a level up from the normal sweets and corn snacks

charhons

but the child threw a tantrum throwing away the biscuits demanding that they want “something” too. Their logic was that if they got biscuits and uncle (that’s me) got “something” then “something” was better, bigger testier and more expensive…. Go ahead good luck trying to explain what something is.

After a certain age though the child understands that the parent must go and that the parent will be back, they actually understand a whole lot more too; like when you explain you cant bring them treats when you come back because you don’t have any money to spare, basically you have no money at all because the economy is….well no need to cause unnecessary alarm and despondency…

mother-daughter-goodbye

Just when you think you have dodged the bullet they reply:

I know how I can help you make some extra money, if I pull out all my teeth and put them under my pillow, the tooth fairy will come and leave me lots of money and I will give it all to you

Bless their little hearts

mother-daughter-welcome-home

~B

PS Which methods have you employed or been used on you and any alternatives I might have missed

PPS when you start dropping them off at school or kindergarten or creche thats a whole new level up…..

Day 26 Africa stories from home

 

 

Of Coffee, Combis And Other Things

If you were having coffee with me, I would greet you by fist bumping you, it’s not a new secret greeting, its just that well, we have a nasty outbreak going on. Reminds me of what one conductor said that he just might get a wooden cooking stick to collect people’s fares with.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the president made his first State Of The Nation Address at the official opening of the 9th Parliament.

Sonazw

justices

League of extraordinary justices

I have always wondered though, when they do these things, what is the purpose of inspecting the guard of honour? What’s with the horses, ribbons, the medals and whats up with the swords and the robes?.

dneye_puyaesfxn

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Can the reason we have problems with democracy be that we are simply playing pretend at things we have no idea how to handle, simply doing what others did, no rhyme no reason no explanations?

If you were having coffee I would ask you if you had a look see at my last post about the public transport system of minivan taxis in Africa and the funny stories that happen there. This one time a fellow commuter said he did not have enough fare for the trip and the conductor said he could pay what he had but he would have to seat paKadoma and face the nation which is the space behind the driver and front seat passengers before the first row passengers (named after Kadoma a town halfway between Harare and Gweru)

pakadoma

When the gentleman was seated or rather perched by the spot, he proceed to buy a packet of Lays potato chips from a vendor. The conductor was not amused, saying if he could afford to buy nice snacks like that, he most certainly could afford to pay the full fare and demanded a full payment and of course that did not stop him from dipping his hands into the passenger’s packet of lays chips saying “who doesn’t want nice things

It might have been a hilarious episode but looks like commuters might need to start negotiating to travel with insufficient fare. Commuter omnibus operators are hiking the standard fare from 50cents to 75cents another indicator of the rising cost of living, or rather the failing economy, as the fuel queues start getting longer and basic foodstuffs slowly disappearing from the food shelves.

dntxi3uxoaiq7iu

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you how the government used the cholera outbreak to remove the vendors who had practically invaded the city streets. As I was walking in the CBD I was actually surprised that city could be this neat, walking on the pavements without danger of accidentally stepping on or knocking over someone’s wares.

harare

However simply forcing vendors of the street is not the solution, as its like the government telling them to Just Die and its no surprise that we now have a situation where vendors are now in running battles with the riot police. Walking in the CBD is now rather unsettling you never know what will begin where, wear sensible shoes, the weather forecast is tear gas with chance of running.

That’s  been my week crazy right, whats going on in your neck of the woods?

Here’s to an awesome week

~B

Day 21 of my blog everyday challenge themed Africa: Stories From Home

Photocredit Guard of Honour @globaltimesnews

Opening SONA OpenParlyZw

 

Of Being Me

dreadlocks in the sun

who am I?
I am not just the product of my DNA,
I am a sum of my everyday existence,
I can not be defined in a single word,
maybe a mouthful of English perchance,
but a whole book wouldnt quite catalogue me all the same,
who I am each day changes,
I am that guy who looks at the world with a child-like curiosity,
seeing everything as if for the first time.

I am the man with a boy in his eyes,
I might not really know who I am or where i am going,
but I am on my way there ,
I like the person I am,
each step reaches out to who I will become,
in my heart I know I am destined for greatness,
what and whosoever we seek,

seeks us also,

I am the guy who *clicks* like on my own posts,
I am the guy that congratulates himself for a job well done,
and raises a glass in toast to myself,
if I dont appreciate my self-worth who do I expect to value me speculatively appreciatively,

I am the guy with the vivid imagination,
my mind’s eye has stereoscopic high-definition imagery,
sometimes I can recall a scene,
and be hard-pressed to be definitely sure
if twas a book I read or a movie I watched or even just a dream I had last night,
I am the guy who still watches anime and dances to opening theme music  ,
some of my best movies of all time are animated flicks,
I watched the lion king countless times,
I still hate scar just for kicks,
and just cause it rhymes,

I am the guy who will watch a leaf,
falling softly to the soft brown earth,
and want to sketch it with charcoal to canvas,
and wonder if it fluttered to the ground,
in the way it did only cause i was watching,
and wonder if it hurt the stem from which it fell,

when eating a meal i like, I eat what I like best last,
to savor the flavor,
I never say yuck to something before trying it,
like mixing peanut butter, sugar, powdered milk and chocolate powder to make a snack,
here and there I even eat a teaspoonful of sugar for an instant energy fix,

Personally I prefer handwritten, stamped and posted sentiments of a tangible nature,
I love words,
words on paper,
words on a screen,
words in a book,
they breathe a life of their own,
heck I even prefer watching a movie with the subtitles on
I have drawer full of unsent letters whose recipients will never know,

I am the guy who doesnt use shorthand in messages and crazy bout predictive text,
I am the guy who will use 180 characters in one text message,
even if it was just to say good morning,

I am the guy that believes in perfection,
but i also believe in bending slightly than breaking completely,
I am not perfect but i seek to do perfectly all my tasks ,
even those I do not like for I know no other way,
doing simple things perfectly than sophisticated things imperfectly,
and sometimes even a poorly executed plan is better than inaction,
I am the guy who will go a long way out of my way,
so that I can come back a short distance,
in the right direction,

I believe in fairytales, human angels and happy endings,
I like to think there’s basic goodness in each of us,
deep down where it really counts,
I talk along to my favorite movie scenes when watching them again,
sing along off-key to my favorite songs,

like a teabag whose tea’s strength can not be judged till it is put in hot water,
my best creations are when am under pressure and deadlines due,
I believe we make our own luck but it wouldnt hurt to wear lucky socks,
and so what if i can not wolf-whistle, tie a hangman’s noose or write anything that rhymes,
it still feels like poetry to me,
I cant paint like picasso, raphaelo, michaelangelo, davinci but I can put ink to paper in a fairly describe a landscape or portrait,

I like to be alone ,
but only when there are other people there,
I feel lost in crowds but I love company,
I find meaning in silence,
I may not always say all that i mean,
but I always mean what I say,
I am true to my word,
I try to keep promises I make if i can ,
I am the guy who says thank you all the time and apologises always ,
even if it wasnt my fault , that the weather was too cold for the picnic I promised to take you on,

I am that guy that hates being the cause of anyone’s distress, however indirectly I might have caused it,
I am the guy that can not help but help and feel guilty at the sight of a crying lady even thou I didnt cause the tears,
I am the guy whom if you told you loved flowers I’d pluck petals from my own heart,
I am the guy that watches you being happy with someone else even thou you would be happiest with me just because
I dont want to be the reason for you to break up,
I am the guy whose heart if you should into a million pieces break,
I’d still love you a million times with each broken part,
I am that guy who is a hopeless romantic at heart,

I am the guy with strands of wisdom far beyond my age

beaton

I am what I am I dont want praise I dont want pity,
I bang my own drum, some think its noise , i think its pretty
…..and your life is a sham till you too can shout i am what i am

that is who i am,… who are you….???????

~B

Africa: Stories From Home

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

 

Of Coffee and Cabinets

Of Coffee Cabinets

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If you were having coffee with me we would be sitting outside watching the water sprinkler, sprinkling the lawn and I would be wishing I was a child again running and jumping over the spray of the water sprinklers. I can almost hear the laughter and happy giggles from my childhood as if they are just beside me, shhhh can you hear them too?……

lawn sprinkler

I think the heat is getting to me, the days are long and hot, we definitely not in winter anymore, I wish I had a swimming pool in my backyard or a giant pond …….

Speaking of swimming pools, the newly elected president Emmerson Mnangagwa announced his  cabinet ministers and the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is gold medalist Kirsty Coventry….

Minister of sports Zimbabwe

Gold medalist Kirsty Coventry

This appointment is quite the dive into a cool pool Kirsty Coventry having participated in 5 Olympic games won 7 medals and set 5 world records she is easily the most decorated African Olympian and holds the current global record having highest number of individual Olympic medals of all female swimmers in history.

Since 1980 Zimbabwe has collected a total of eight medals three golds, four silvers and one bronze. Seven of these medals were won by swimmer Kirsty and  the other gold medal by 1980 Zim women’s hockey team. Kirsty Coventry has a track record of supporting the country has even denied requests to change her citizenship to countries that head-hunted her.

Who knows with a new minister sports maybe we might see our sports, arts and recreation sector focusing more on diversifying than simply soccer which seems to be the be all and all of sport and the rest not getting any mention or support until of course they win……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that as for the rest of the cabinet minister appointments, the most notable thing is the absence of old familiar names who have always been recycled and reshuffled into cabinet positions as one would shuffle the drawers of an antique cabinet and call it a new cabinet.

old cabinet

Although the cabinet didn’t achieve the promised 50/50 gender parity its gone up from 24% to 31% female representatives and we have our first female Minister of defence.

So lets see our new cabinet, has technocrats, more women and young blood, its a step in the right direction, is this simply another ploy at the power games or a genuine move? Well all l I want is a country which works.

~B

Day 7 of my blog every day challenge themed Africa: Stories from home

#MyAfricaMyWords

Photo Credit: Kirsty Coventry www.kirstycoventry.com