Of The Gutenberg Editor: Review

The Gutenberg Editor is coming!!!!!!

Gutenberg is coming

WordPress 5.0 is rolling out, soooooon, and the Gutenberg Editor will be the new default editor and here’s why you should be paying attention, about 30% of the internet is powered by WordPress it just might redefine web publishing.

Normally when you create and edit posts it looks like this:

The Classic Editor

The Gutenberg Editor will look like this:

Gutenberg editor

The Gutenberg Editor:

What is Gutenberg, Who is Gutenberg and I’ll even do you one better Why is Gutenberg?

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is an editor that is poised to revolutionise WordPress customizations and the “effortless” laying out and creating media rich content (with or) without the knowledge of complicated coding skills

Who is Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg whom the editor is named after was a 15th century printer and publisher who introduced the movable type printing system that allowed for feasible mass production of printed material which ignited the printing revolution in Europe.

Why Gutenberg

Its hoped that the Gutenberg Editor will similarly re-invent the web, creating a digital revolution which puts the power of creativity back into the hands of the creatives without expert code use.

Re-imagine the internet

“The web up until this point has been confined to some sort of rectangular screen. But that is not how it’s going to be. Gutenberg has the potential of moving us into the next time.” Morten Rand Hendriksen

How it works

You create customizable blocks, for your content which you can manipulate individually to build up your post.

Gutenberg blocks

My Thoughts

I am a firm believer of the ideal that if something works then DON’T FIX IT.

Having really gotten used to the old editor I am comfortable with it I know where everything is and how to create my posts, the editor has updated before but never so drastically.

Just because something works doesnt mean mean it cant be improved

Comfort is an enemy of progress, so in my last couple of posts I have been trying to figure my way around the Gutenberg editor and here’s my journey so far:

First Impressions

I love the idea of the being able to play around with different aspects of a post, its reminiscent of using a Image Editing Software which has layers or groups which you can manipulate individually.

You can change formatting of a particular block; from the background colour to the text colour and resize without affecting the format of whole document, and it even notifies you if the colour scheme you choose might not accommodate everyone.

Colour picker

You can also transform each block into a different type of block transform blocks Gutenberg

The Challenges I Faced

The editor feels like it was mostly designed as a tool to fuse together mixed media content into a post then as an afterthought they remembered about the writer type of people.

Usually I create my posts in a notepad or document application and then I simply copy and paste into the Classic editor (adding images where necessary) than click [publish]

When I do the same thing suddenly every header and every paragraph and every image is on a block of its own and and minor formatting things suddenly become well not harder just you have to do significantly more clicking selecting blocks and navigating around them,

And where is the word count? I can normally see how much I have written easily by a quick glance without breaking a stride in my writing now I have to stop writing and click the content structure button though the document outline feature is a nice touch. Document outline

I also noticed you cannot change colour and size of text selectively inside a block you can only change for all the words in the block

I couldn’t failed to find the underline function? Shouldnt it be there beside  Bold and Italics

The image uploader doesnt seem to have that insert via url feature and when resizing photos I had gotten used to seeing the dimensions of the picture superimposed as you resized now looks like you just eyeball it and think yeah looks about right……

Unexpected Good Thing

While scrolling through the default blocks I found one with The Classic Editor and it works almost exactly as it has always been now I can breathe easy, and here’s a tip for all those who have been worried they wont know what to do once Gutenberg becomes the default editor well simply use the classic WordPress editor block.

search for blocks

Classic editor gutenberg

Also even if Gutenberg becomes default the people of WordPress support say you can always switch editors and put back the classic your default, so rest easy

You Are Welcome

~B

The Gutenberg Editor is still work in progress and yet to be launched, giving feedback helps make it better, if you have used it how has your experience been if not would you try it?

For an interactive demo tour  click here: GUTENBERG

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Of Solo Na Mutsai: The Story Behind The Song

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

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

Solo and mutsai

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

Solo Na Mutsai Lyrics (and English Translation)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gutu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~B

Day 25 Africa: Stories From Home

Of Why I Watch Rhythm City: David Genaro

One of the reasons I watch Rhythm City (A South African soap which shows on eTV) Aside from calling it “research purposes” for learning how to write a TV script of my own, which is something I am greatly considering…..

rhythm-city

 

……  so where were we, ah yes, one of the reasons I watch Rhythm city; to see what the character of David Genaro played actor Jamie Bartlett gets up to.

Rhythm City

jamie

That guy is seriously crazy hilarious. When I watched Black Panther, I felt like he would have killed it had he played the part of Klaw (Ulysses Klaue)

klaw

On an interesting aside Connie Chiume who is cast in the movie as an elder of the mining town tribe also used to be in the soap Rhythm City until the script writers for reasons best known to themselves decided to end her character, I felt that.

connie chiume

Mmamokete was the motherly character you loved to love, David Genaro on the other hand will have you wondering whether you love hating him, or just plain love him; love him or hate him he still the crazy  the wicked puppet master.

Here’s a monologue tale as told by David Genaro and he is the Lion

“Have you ever seen a lion in action, the way they operate with their huge feet that make the ground thunder underfoot.
Their Mane..
And even beetles usher back in to the cracks from whence they come.

The King of the jungle

Sometimes the king likes to lie on his back to soak up the sun….

And allows the flies to busy themselves about his nose and navel
And the dung beetles to lift his tail and go about their business….

And then some of the other animals and the cats around him. Take advantage of the king and try their luck…

And nip and bite and bug…

And all of sudden, he lets out a mighty roar

Gets up and swats and bites and kills

Just to show them that they are the tickey-timers that they are…”

you can watch the clip via link below:

https://ytcropper.com/cropped/5m5ba78c3fae58b

I also watch the series because I have a crush on an actress who stars in it but I aint saying nothing!!!!! ♥♥♥♥

~B

day 24 of my blog everyday challenge Africa: Stories from home

Update: he retweet my post eeeeeeek@beatonm5

Photo Credit etv.co.za

Of ThrowbackThoughts: TV From yesteryear

Of ThrowbackThoughts

The first TV I remember watching was a black and white television set. The kind of TV that contained itself within its on wooden cabinet with doors that when shut would cover the TV screen. When you switched it on, the screen did not light up instantly it took several minutes while a humming noise was one of the tell-tale signs that it was on. If you were an enquiring mind such as myself and crawled beneath the TV you could see the capacitors light up through the ventilation slots on the belly of the TV while you waited for the screen to power on, first came the sound then later the picture.

Black and white TV

The first programme I remember watching on TV was a something called Button Moon. When I ask people about it, no one seems to remember it and I almost feel like I imagined it along  with its theme song:

We’re off to Button Moon!

And we’ve followed Mr Spoon,

Button Moon! (Button Moon!)

Button Moon! (Button Moon!)

The characters were puppets made from what looked like empty bottles with wooden spoons for hands, they flew around in a spaceship that looked suspiciously like a Heinz baked bean tin, with a funnel on the top and of course the moon was a giant button. That’s pretty much all I remember and I am fairly sure I did not much like watching it.

Then there was Worzel Gummidge, I remember watching this in colour. The scarecrow who came to life and got himself into various pickles trying to impress an Aunt Sally doll and Mr Crowman sir who would put him back together

worzel gummidge

worzel and aunt sally

“….a bird has two legs and a sheep has four legs… that’s about all the math a scarecrow needs to know…”

“you need more than a handsome head you need to be beautiful on the inside”

“but on the inside I only have straw, twigs and a robin’s nest.”

voltron defender of the universe

And then there was Voltron, defender of the universe. But of course most people are familiar with this one since our national broadcaster kept showing the reruns over and over again for close to two decades; that even the opening monologue (narrated by Peter Cullen the man behind the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers) is burned into my memory:

“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. A mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. As Voltron’s legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On Planet Earth, a Galaxy Alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the Solar System, they maintained peace throughout the universe until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Voltron was needed once more. This is the story of the superforce of space explorers. Specially trained and sent by the alliance to bring back, Voltron: Defender of the Universe.”

Young me found Voltron fascinating only the first couple of times then I started asking the question(s) why didn’t they form Voltron as soon as the bad guy’s robeast attacked them and when they did why did they not just form the blazing sword and chop up the robeast. Well obviously the cartoon would end in thirty seconds or less but what was the point if the good guys always won, you knew no matter how dire the situation looked they would win they always did.

It was thinking like that that also made me not care much for Captain Planet another favourite from my childhood. There’s a post on Life With Dimples with a list of the other 80s and 90s cartoons which I also grew up, watching, its an interesting stroll down memory lane.

The other programming we used to watch were some UK , Australian and New Zealand television series such as Skippy, Danger Bay, Tomorrow is Saturdee, Miror Mirror, Halfway across the galaxy turn left, The Odessey, Under the mountain, Round The Twist, Miraculous Mellops.

Do any of these sound familiar to you, connected across time and distane by TV programmes from yesteryear.

~B

Day 11 of my blog everyday challenge: 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.

20180831_144618.jpg

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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 Blessed Princes: A review

The Blessed Princes: A ReviewBlessed princes book review

The Blessed Princes is a novella by Micheal Mc Portar Mupotaringa and Monalisa Chishato.

This easy read  37 pages long is an intriguing short story that’s next to impossible to give a summary or review of without giving away any spoilers. Blessed Princes explores the whirlwind dynamics of relationships, marriage and cheating.

The book opens with an unlikely chance encounter, a wife meets her husband’s mistress…..thats some real drama right there and of course you will want to know how  the everything gets resolved especially if you throw in that both the the wife and mistress are pregnant and the mistress  is engaged to be married to someone else. You can even tell that from the cover page art… What a tangled web they weave.

The book title is curiously interesting but you will have to read it to for yourself, a book gotta have its mystery…. and of course a cliff hanger at the end…..

Its way too short to totally do justice to the intricate dynamics of relationships, the lies, deception and the secrets entangled and woven into the fabric of our interactions. A few continuity errors which could have been easily fixed by fleshing out the plot also jar the reading experience of an otherwise interesting way to spend a few minutes of your life seeing what the plot unravels.

A link to where you can download the book The Blessed Princes

 

Monalisa Chishato and Mcpotar

In an interesting aside, the co-authors begun working on this project just after they started dating bu the book got published a week after they broke up one would wonder if it were an intricate publicity stunt….They say it was not but of course thats what anyone behind a publicity would say

“No it’s not a publicity stunt but yes it’s an opportunity.”

~Michael Mupotaringa

I guess that means dont hold your breath waiting for a sequel to the cliffhanger ……

~B

PS would you date your co-author?

Day 8 of my blog everyday challenge themed Africa: Stories From Home

Photocredit mcpotar.com

 

 

 

Of Creative Mornings: A philosophy Of Communitism

“What Africa needs the most, is not food aid, drought relief or funding…… what Africa needs the most is Courage”

-Thembe Khumalo

 

 

A quote from Thembe Khumalo during her presentation at the Creative Mornings Harare Chapter #CMhre titled A philosophy of communitism.

A philosophy of communitism

 

Creative Mornings are monthly sessions held across hubs in cities all over the world, where creatives meet for a breakfast talk and a host shares a brief talk. The theme for the month was community… #cmCOMMUNITY

This is a brief overview of Thembe Khumalo’s presentation A Philosophy Of Communitism.

A philosophy of communitism

Thembe Khumalo is a poet, writer, newspaper columnist and descendant of the Zulu warrior clan and she shared this as preview of her presentation:

If you are wondering just like I did, when I first heard the word communitism, if it even is a word, well it is now…… Local action for a universal mission: communitism

Are you familiar with the story of the Redwood tree forests they grow tall, standing for centuries upon centuries, yet their roots are not overwhelmingly deep….

redwood forest

The secret lies underground, their roots, though they don’t grow deep, they grow wide, their roots intertwine…….

landscaping around tree roots Redwood Tree Roots Intertwined

Young trees grow, their roots sheltered and nourished by the roots of trees of old, all trees connected, through time and space.

And just like this nature teaches us about how our strength lies in each other

People need people.

We understand this lesson and yet, here we all, here we all are and here we all are still knowing what we are…..

#CMcommunity #cmhre

We live in fear, and the things we fear the most, are not soldiers, guns and rioting protestors, what we fear the most are the things that make us vulnerable yet these are the very things that make us magic that humanise us/

We afraid of intimacy because intimacy equals In To Me See

intimacy = Into me see

We sweep under the rug the parts of ourselves that we think do not conform, hiding behind labels and stereotypes, Pastor, Leader, Parent, Youth, Aunt, Uncle…. Imprisoned in safe spaces of silence where we can not speak.

Yet the things that keep us safe are not our safe spaces the bars on our windows, the walls and fences around us, locks, the army and their bullets. The things that keep us safe are one another.

diversity

What we need is the courage to be who we are and to be accepting of who others are. Being courageous is just like exercising a muscle the more you work it out the bigger and stronger it gets…………….

beatonm5

I have untold stories saved in draft folders in long forgotten drives because I am afraid of the little bits of my soul exposed to whoever chances upon my pages but if I never get the courage to tell my own story, who shall tell it for me, and this, this is why I write…..

#CMcommunity

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

 

Day 2 of the blogging challenge

Photo Credits:

Thembe Khumalo

Cde Tseisi

The FeedZW

Silviakwin

FaithKats

Tony Howel redwood trees

 

 

Of Coffee With Lydia and Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes

Coffee With Lydia and Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes

If you were having coffee with me, I would be happy to introduce you to writer, poet and blogger Lydia Chiseche and her book of poetry For Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes.

For girls with the sky in the eyes

B: Hello Lydia, a pleasure to have you here, first question Tea or Coffee?

L: Most definitely, Tea

B: What would your ideal coffee date be like?

L: At my favourite teahouse, on a warm and sunny August day

B: Describe for us your perfect writing environment

L: I can write anywhere; but possible the perfect environment for me is in the moment where it would be most inappropriate for me to write. There is just something about doing what you aren’t supposed to be doing which inspires me

B: How long have you had a blog, are you a blogger?

L: I do…or, I did. I started blogging consistently in 2016; it was poetry for the most part, and then branched off to think pieces on different issues. It was only recently when I decided to be real with myself and said I’m not a writer of current events, but a dreamer of things made up in my head. My blog pages are still open, they just have not seen some love in a while.

B: For Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes; what does  the title mean; where did that come from?

L: This must be the most difficult question I’ve received on the book so far.

I always knew that this was a collection directed towards girls….but men and boys are also encouraged to read it! For me, the sky is a representation of so many things; hope, limitlessness, the world, heaven

So…it’s a representation of those who have a steady eye on hope despite whatever is going on around them.

B: Why did you release it as an e-book?

L: Truth be told, I was afraid; I was afraid of the reception, of the questions I would get…I was afraid no one would read it.
I was finished with the final proof by November 2017, and I put the release off to January. January came, and I put it off to March, and so on. By the time April came around, I knew that if I waited any longer, I would never release it.
So, the e-release happened; and I chose the e-platform because there is no really turning back from it, and at least a bunch of unread books won’t be looking back at me *laughs*
A paperback version will be out in October this year.

B: I read it, finished it then read it again, its beautiful, its touching, its haunting. Whose story is it, is it simply made up poetry? Who did you write it for?

L: Wow.. thank you so much. I honestly did not know I was writing a story until nearly halfway through the body when the ending was so clear…and then that’s when i scrapped the first draft and began to write it differently.

It started as a story of one girl; the Girl who saw Sky. But then it ended up being a story of the girls and women around her; so, by the end of it all we had the Bride, the Women, the Other Sister, Mother- once, Mother- a second time, etc.

I’ve always been drawn to stories which had female characters in the leading roles…and not just female characters, but female characters that are flawed, complicated, nuanced, real.

So, it’s every woman’s and girl’s story. I based each scene on something that has happened before; either to me….or to girls and women I know, or heard about. It is our story.

B: I know this an unfair question but ……Which one is your favourite poem and line from the book?

L: This is quite the unfair question indeed
Push to shove…I’d perhaps say my favourite poem is the last one (I did not title that on purpose)- this is because I am a fan of callbacks…and I feel like that poem sort of wrapped the entire collection together.

B: For me the most intriguing was the Dear God series of letters. Its relatable, I have even asked similar questions…… Do you think there’s a plan for all THIS? *gestures hands grandly to encompass everything*

L: Sometimes, I think everything is by design…like some elaborate domino effect. Then other times I think everything is a mistake. At the end of it all, I get back to truly believing the design theory of things. I think there is a plan…whatever God’s plan is, and however mildly sadistic it may be *nervous laughter*, I’m pretty sure it will all have meaning.

B: Allow me to quote  you:

God is strange. He takes on so many faces. To

some, he’s vengeful, returning sacrifice with

blood and fire. To others, he’s loving, patient, and

kind. To some, he’s on the sidelines, watching

until he gets bored. He forgives even those that

won’t forgive themselves, like the Women.

To me, God is the gust of wind in the middle of

an August storm, God is the tiny crack in the

building they said was indestructible. God is

nowhere, and everywhere. To me, She is

beautiful

B: How has your book of poetry been received?

L: Oh my gosh! The reception has been overwhelming…it is more than I could have expected. I have people asking me questions, quoting my work….it is such a wonderful, humbling feeling. The reception has been so far mainly local….and hopefully the work will be able to reach a wider audience with time.

B: Any final words to those who can’t forgive themselves?

L: It’s difficult to get into the head of someone else and see through their eyes the things they feel are unforgivable. So, I honestly don’t know what I can say that would be enough.
I think Time; time may not completely heal someone, but it sure does change their circumstances in one way or another. So, let them give it time.

B: A few words to fellow sisters out there

L: It is so important to remember that you are still capable of love. And this also goes to the brothers. You are allowed to love, and be loved without fear of what happened to you, or what you did in your past.

B: Any shout outs to people out there, do it like you are doing it for TV.

L: This is so exciting! Okay
So, first of all I want to shout out my best friend Miriam; ours is a special friendship
My sisters, my friends Ruth, and Grace who read proof after proof. I want to shout our Itati, the crew at Lusaka Writer’s Room…and the Women; I cannot mention them by name but this book would not be what it is without them.

B: What’s next?

L: I am underway with my second collection…I am yet to title it. Will it be linked to For Girls With SKY In Their Eyes? I’m yet to see

B: last Question, what is the weirdest question anyone has ever asked you about your book?

L: Have I been asked difficult questions? Yes. Many. I am yet to be asked something I could say is a weird question.

B: Thanks Lydia, you have been a star.

L: Thank you so much for having me.

BIO:

img_0497-1.jpg

Lydia Chiseche is poet and writer based in Lusaka, Zambia. She is one of seven children, and is a self-proclaimed daydreamer. When she is not writing, she works as a Banker, and supports a few philanthropic projects.

LINKS:

Twitter: @LydiaNgoma

Instagram: lydiangoma

Blog: EyeWoke

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Of Barack Obama’s Nelson Mandela Lecture: An Overview

On Tuesday the 17th of July 2018 former president Barack Obama delivered a lecture on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late statesman Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa.

Barack Obama Nelson Mandela Lecture

Nelson Mandela is an African Icon and a global symbol of such epic proportions that I am sure even he would be hard pressed to walk in the shoes the world but we should try to find the Nelson Mandela inside of us

Barack Obama meets nelson mandela

Madiba’s light shone so brightly, even from that narrow Robben Island cell, that he could inspire a young college student on the other side of the world to make me consider the small role I might play in bending the arc of the world towards justice.

Don’t try to be a great man. Just be a man and let history make its on judgments

Zefram Cochrane – Star Trek First Contact

In a lecture to celebrate the birth and life of one of history’s giants, President Obama touched on three distinct facets of the last 100 years of history:

  • Where we have been
  • How we arrived here
  • And the way forward

Where we have been:

And such a view of the world – that certain races, certain nations, certain groups were inherently superior, and that violence and coercion is the primary basis for governance, that the strong necessarily exploit the weak, that wealth is determined primarily by conquest – that view of the world was hardly confined to relations between Europe and Africa, or relations between whites and blacks.Whites were happy to exploit other whites when they could. And by the way, blacks were often willing to exploit other blacks. And around the globe, the majority of people lived at subsistence levels, without a say in the politics or economic forces that determined their lives.Women were almost uniformly subordinate to men. Privilege and status was rigidly bound by caste and color and ethnicity and religion. And even in my own country, even in democracies like the United States, founded on a declaration that all men are created equal, racial segregation and systemic discrimination was the law in almost half the country and the norm throughout the rest of the country.

That was the world just 100 years ago.

How we arrived here:

A second World War, even more terrible than the first, along with a cascade of liberation movements from Africa to Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, would finally bring an end to colonial rule.

A new age began founded on principles of democracy, rule of law, civil rights where the marginalised could re-imagine themselves in a world of freedom equal rights and democracy…..

But it hasnt all been sunshine roses and progress. Globalization and technology though growing economies have greatly reduced the demand for workers and by extension influence of labour movements resulting in economic inequality “a few individuals control the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of humanity”

The politics of fear and resentment is now the order of the day, as those in power corrupted by unaccountability and greed seek to maintain their influence and wealth at the expense of basic rights of everyone else through lies and coercion.

“Who needs free speech as long as the economy is fine”

No individual – not Mandela, not Obama – are entirely immune to the corrupting influences of absolute power if you can do whatever you want and everyone’s too afraid to tell you when you’re making a mistake. No one is immune from the dangers of that.

“In other words, for far too many people, the more things have changed, the more things stayed the same”

The way forward

So on Madiba’s 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads – a moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be. How should we respond?

Barack obama Nelson Mandela lecture

 

The president’s lecture has been said to be a rebuke to particular individuals but without mentioning any names and some have felt targeted by the speech but I kept thinking of a quote from one the books on Obama’s Summer reading list

An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned

Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

It basically means that someone who has a problem with something cannot easily laugh it off or take it lightly; hence, old women (who typically have dry bones) feel uneasy when dry bones are mentioned.

“We’re going to have to learn from the mistakes of the recent past.”

Basically democracy is more than just elections we need to work harder to achieve equality; to strive to embrace people with views divergent from ours and the power is in the hands of the youth to remake the world

Barack obama

President Obama’s closing remarks are the kind which 100 years from now we will look back upon and say this is when history was made:

Madiba reminds us that: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” Love comes more naturally to the human heart, let’s remember that truth. Let’s see it as our North Star, let’s be joyful in our struggle to make that truth manifest here on earth so that in 100 years from now, future generations will look back and say, “they kept the march going, that’s why we live under new banners of freedom.

“Its a long walk to freedom.”

 

~B

Did you see the speech what are your thoughts?

You can read the full transcript of the speech here: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT THE 2018 NELSON MANDELA ANNUAL LECTURE 

Images courtesy The Obama Foundation

Of The Gold Diggers: A book Review

Guest Post: A Book ReviewThe gold diggers Sue Nyathi

Gold Diggers 

We all know our final destination but we have no idea what will cross our path as we journey” is testament to the latest instalment from the Bulawayo born writer Sue Nyathi. Titled “Gold  Diggers”, one would mistake the title and its cover for a novel about women and men who dig  for the finer things in life. However once you open the book you learn that it is about several Zimbabweans from different walks of life who embark on a journey to the “City of Gold”.

The Gold Diggers a novel by sue nyathi

Set in Johannesburg, the writer journals the various experiences of fellow Zimbabweans who sought for a better life in Johannesburg during the 2008 economic demise.  For most of the characters in the book, hope and the itch to realise their dreams propels them to  pave their way in the  city and they soon discover that there is more to the city than its beautiful skyscrapers.

The writer explores the question that often hangs in the air. “What does one need to endure in order to thrive in an unknown land?” This question opens a Pandora box of themes namely sex work, human trafficking, family disintegration, xenophobia, illegal border jumping and resilience. Through these themes, this book allows you to see the faces behind the headlines, the spirits and souls behind the stories; the reader learns that the victim of xenophobia has a name, the illegal border jumper is that unemployed graduate who wants a better life and yes even your own kin can turn their back on you when desperate.

In this book the writer removes the blinders and allows the reader to see the struggles of being an immigrant in a foreign land; the good, the bad and the nasty and to acknowledge its effects on the family that’s left behind,…..”For those left behind ,bonds withered and the only connection they had with loved ones was the foodstuffs and letters brought by the malaitshas” (sp)

As I reached the ending I realised the “gold” is subjective to each being, it is there but the journey to the pot is a trial in itself and that we need to be a bit kinder to each other its the least we can do with what we face.

A simple fast-paced read which begs the reader to realise that no matter where you are and who you are, fate awaits but before then a journey ought to be taken to meet fate.

 

 

Guest Book Review by Melody Chingwaru

Melody Chingwaru Book review Gold Diggers

Bio:

Melody Chingwaru is a book lover, avid reader, soapie fanatic and the editor of Untitled263 . She tutors French and Portuguese.

You can find her on twitter: @melching91