The festive season is here can you feel it? My friends and I are doing 25 Days of Christmas to celebrate the Best Of The Year #2018BOTY
Day 1 should be easy right, what movie highlighted my year? Well the answer will surprise you…..
I havent seen them yet.
First on my list is State Of Malambia
State of Malambia is a local Zimbabwean production and at $105 000 its easily one of the biggest budget films this side of the Sahara desert has seen. I am sure pretty much everyone has heard of Wakanda, the fictitious state in Africa from which the Black Panther comes.
When I watched Black Panther I had this feeling at the back of my head, that why must we wait for Big Budget Movie Companies to create movies about Africa and get actors who have never set foot here to tell our stories and mangle our accents while they were at it. I am sure we have a long way to go to reach cinematic excellence but I am all for anyone who is willing to put themselves out there and say “this, this is my part in reclaiming our narrative.”
“Boundaries also enslave and that is a State Of Malambia”
I missed out on a special screening on Wednesday (28 November) when one could have met up with the media cast and crew but State of Malambia is out and its coming to a screen near you
On a curious aside, a friend and fellow blogger is in the cast, how about that… I never knew they were in it until fairly recently when I spotted them in promo footage and I was never ready, I will wait for E to read this and come at me in the comments then you will know who it is too if you didnt ha!
Next is Chebet
Chebet is a short animation project by the Samaritan Multimedia team of Uganda (again I dont mean to brag but I know someone who worked on the script, see my people do the most, I am doing a happy dance as I type this.)
Chebet was not only nominated but won the award for best animation in the 2018 Uganda Film Festival.
I havent seen Chebet yet but I am keeping my eyes open and you should look out for it too……
But of course it would be cheating if I didnt mention a 2018 movie that I actually watched, no prizes for guessing….. Black Panther and you can read my thoughts HERE
feel free to jumpand write your best of the year posts just include the hashtag #2018BOTY in your tags and when you share on social media
Welcome to the story which I will write with your help. This project is a simple speculative fiction communally inspired but in the course of its creation I have found other people’s very real stories being told within the lines of my words…… How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed.
Thank you all for your input last month from the storyHERE: The Deadline
The story so far:
It all started when I got an email from a stranger, who turned may or not be someone abducted by an extremist group. In my quest to solve this curiosity I made contact with A Facebook group and an anonymous hacker had called me and told me not to contact the police and to go to a place called The Cave
The poll results indicated I should go down the rabbit hole……
And if I may point out an insightful comment from Michele about how even though that would seem the natural progression of the story, it should come with some type of motivator.
Long after the call had ended, I stood there, rooted to the spot as if I was an ancient tree, with roots that ran deep, and branches that swayed in the wind but did not break, but of course, I might be easy to sway but I was not a tree and my roots, well I was still discovering those.
Then I remembered I had recorded the phone call, I plugged in my hands free headset and replayed the conversation. Even if I took it to the police it was, circumstantial at best. Circumstantial was that even the word, no. The word I wanted was something that said all this crazy and in the next moment I would wake up to discover had fallen asleep watching an episode of an investigative drama series.
I hadn’t even noticed I had started walking, I was deep in thought or rather lost in it to be precise when I noticed a homeless man on a park bench trying to get my attention waving a tin cup at me, I presume asking for change. I shook my head and tried not to make eye contact ashamed I did not have anything to give, but instead he stood upright up and placed himself right in front of me on the narrow park pathway.
“I have something for you” he mumbled before handing me a flyer which at a quick glance indicated was for a kindergarten, advertising that early bird enrollment for toddlers in classes beginning next year had started. I thanked the man and squeezed past him.
“Good luck” he whispered as I walked away.
It felt surreal the whole encounter and so I looked at the flyer again it was for an Alice in Wonderland themed nursery school and on the right there in the middle was the white rabbit pocket watch in hand with the words
“I am late, I am late I am late for a very important date not time to say hello only goodbye”
The words triggered a memory from the phonecall with OG he had mentioned something about a deadline and told me off for not paying attention to the news and current affairs. I was close to an internet café and figured I needed to change my password anyway. One can not have people logging into their emails with impunity. I walked briskly and decisively to the internet café and paid for a one hour session, their prices were fair and the internet session was valid for seven days so even if I did spend the whole hour then I could always come back.
The internet is a powerful tool with the power to educate, inform and empower yet also to misinform and even take bullying and stalking to unprecedented heights. First thing I did when logged into a computer was to unclick the keep me logged in feature, this is how some people got hacked when they used public terminals, next thing was to change all my passwords.
I had a new email from OG Banje the hacker, it was links to news websites he thought I should catch up on. One of the links showed how an article about how the abductors had executed a a health worker after the deadline they had issued had passed and that it had been declared that the abducted girl would be made a slave for life since she had refused to renounce her religion whilst the other girls who had been abducted with her had been released.
One of the last links was from a declaration by the president that his government condemned the executions and abductions by the extremist group and would not rest until the last remaining girl had been released. The last link was to a post on how one of the leaders of the extremist group had supposedly been killed by soldiers showing the army was committed to ending the terror abductions; if it was true who knew how the group would react and did the government really have control?
With this in mind I decided the least I could do was to follow the white rabbit and deliver the message the OG guy seemed to want to be an agent for the good guys. Its funny how when I came to this decision that’s when I noticed something scribbled at the back of the flyer the homeless guy had given me….
Follow the white rabbit
I quickly logged out of my internet session and raced back to the park but of course the homeless man was gone, I was not even surprised, in a strange way it made sense. Looks like I had to go the kindergarten, follow the white rabbit.
There was an address but it was in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, bless who ever invented GPS and Google maps because in a few minutes I was at Alice in Wonderland Day Care Center and Nursery
The precast wall around the day care centre was a mural of characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and there beneath the life sized painting of the white rabbit sat the homeless man I had met in the park.
“Took you long enough” he said ….. and for the umpteenth time I froze.
What do I do next
Run and don’t look back
Take his photo then run
Tell him I am not surprised to see him
Ask him if he is the white rabbit
Walk into the Day Care Center see what/who else is there
My name is Beaton but you call me B. I am a digital storyteller, which basically means that I use the medium of the internet to immortalize myself the only way I know how by WRITING.
When I am not writing I am builder of blogging communities running an online platform that serves to bring together and network bloggers from all over Africa, where the world meets Africa as we like to call it.
The Blogging Culture:A Website means community
I am blogger although technically when no one is around, I call myself a writer with a blog. But what is a blog anyway?
To answer this I will have to delve into a brief history of blogging and WordPress
Blog comes the word WebLog which means literally a log of the web
Blogging started in the developed countries, around the mid to late 90s, when it was mostly online diaries…… By early 2000s blogging had become, A THING a movement even a full time business for some, not just endorsing products and affiliate marketing but marketing and selling their own skills services and crafts as diverse niches of blogs mushroomed.
It no longer was about just personal diaries, but lifestyle, fashion, health fitness, travel, tourism, parenting; the list is endless there’s a type of blogger for everything somewhere on the internet; even those who blog about blogging.
Here’s a fun fact……Did you know WordPress was built and evolved from a blogging platform called B2/CafeLog which had gained quite a huge community count up until the programmer created of the platform vanished leaving a sizeable community who no longer had developer support.
An innovative user of this platform worried about this development came up with the idea to create anew platform integrating the “cool stuff” from there and adding more features and May 2003 WordPress was born
15 years later here we are:
What does this mean? There’s a huge community of bloggers and its growing and so too has the definition of what blogging is; blogging has no longer has a clear cut simple definition, it means different things to different people.
The official definition of blogging goes something like this:
a website whose posts listed chronologically from most recent to oldest updated regularly usually by one author
I can attempt to summarily define it as: The online updating of content onto a digital platform
Something as simple as posting a status onto your Instagram, sharing a note on your Facebook, tweeting a tweet or even a video on YouTube or updating the content on your website; blogging is a little like running a magazine.
Blogging has transcended simply being just something you do on the internet; its more than just a marketing tool too; its also a political tool, an awareness campaign raiser, a society watchdog and even custodian of culture. A blog is like a key that opens doors to worlds one can only dream and tap into the community of people beyond the person simply on the end of the screen
Redwoods trees grow to dizzying heights reaching for the sky and last for thousands of years yet they have very shallow roots
How Do They Do This
The secret to their strength is that their roots … intertwine with other redwoods to create an underground network of powerful connections.
I have kept my personal blog for about five years now and my reach stats look like this
I did a little research via my peers in the blogging community to see if anyone had any ideas why the blogging culture in the global south is so low and the most common reasons were as follows:
The Cost of data is very prohibitive Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) released a report in October showing that on average 1GB of data costs 2.5% of the average monthly income; this translates to over two billion people living in a country where 1GB of mobile data is unaffordable… and bundled internet packages make the net be largely regarded as a just social media since all people do is mostly go onto social media
As for people not understanding the blogging culture, that’s part of why I am always encouraging and helping out fellow content creators and building blogging communities it seems like fun but a lot of work goes into having a website and when you put effort and get nothing back that why websites die……
How to support bloggers
Number One Read our work
Subscribe, like, comment If you read and love something or find it useful say so
If a product is being sold or reviewed why not buy or recommend to a friend
Share links with your friends
If you spot any errors hit the contact tab let us know
And Pay US ha!
Remember Archimedes’ famous quote; that give me a fulcrum, along enough lever and a place to stand on and I will change the world
I say to you:
Give me a blog, an audience and an internet connection, and I will move the world.
PS And while I have you here, I am part of blogging community that picks a weekly blogger to crush on, I am this week’s Blog Crush but you dont have to take my word for how A Blog means community have a quick read at these posts:
If you were having coffee with me I would thank you for the visit and ask you if preferred tea or coffee and it will have to be without sugar and milk because I don’t have any that besides a true coffee connoisseur drinks there’s black, hotand no sugar please. Maybe I can offer you some water have a seat and let me tell about my past week.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell that I finally met in person Bruce one of the people I have been working with for the past two years to connect, collaborate and promote the showcasing of bloggers and have a place where the world meets Africa; Afrobloggers. I also met a fellow blogging connection Sparkles. I have known her for close to 3 years but had never met and the three of us had a lovely lunch brainstorming the future of Afrobloggers.
Bees were hanging around our table like we were literally made of honey and it turns out that Sparkles’ perfume is infused with real honey extracts, I think it should come with a warning label that ATT: BEES WILL FOLLOW YOU
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that our Afrobloggers Platform was selected to be in the pilot group of the Connect.Hubs program run by Hivos, British Council, Nesta, Enthuse Afrika, Electric South connecting together 44 creatives from Southern Africa; in Harare and Cape Town to come connect and go create
Our group the Harare cohort was made up of 22 creatives from Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that one of my favourite experiences was a session where after chatting and getting to know fellow creatives in a speed dating like setup you would assign them a label that showed what summed up your thoughts on them and this was a great way in figuring out how to best map future collaborations with each other
“Collaboration is the new innovation”
Over the past week we did a crash course covering everything from communication, anatomy of a hub leader to coming up with a sustainable hub model. During one of these sessions I brainstormed a concept of how we could possibly deal with the high internet cost;
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the Harare WordPress WordCamp on Friday, I missed most of it because I was at the Connect.Hubs; fortunately I was slotted in as the last speaker of the day so I was able to do a flying visit and drop a lightning presentation on how a blog means community.
At the end of my presentation there was a brief question and answer segment and someone from the audience asked me what we could do about the low reading culture problem and my suggestion was simple that we must “catch them young” instill a culture of reading writing and self-expression into the curious minds of the young and watch them write their own histories, and to that effect I am collaborating with other flip leaves heroes to write books for children
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the minister of finance presented the 2019 National Budget themed “Austerity for Prosperity” and included a quote a quote from the 19th Century Philosopher,
“I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them”.
John Stuart Mill
Then used a whole lot of fancy terms to basically say the governments needs more more and they are going to do it the only way the know how “widening the tax base” and squeezing the life and money out of the public.
That’s my past week how
has yours been?
Cheers to a great week ahead
If this is your first time stumbling on my site do say hi so I can find you if you have a site I should check out please holla and if you see any sites listed in the comments do check them out because I roll with awesome company
To me, there’s something magical about dark skin. That black, velvety skin that reminds one of a moonless night. It’s almost, dare I say, hypnotic?
For some reason in between body shaming and being bullys people tend to look down on the darker toned folk and you wind up with people bleaching their skin and undergoing rigorous routines to get lighter skin tones. Anyway the posts simply celebrates deeply melanated gods and goddesses no rhyme or reason, well maybe a few reasons just read the post.
And of course there’s her #WCW Woman Crush Wednesday post on the enchanting songstress, with the sultry contralto Toni Braxton, you can tell I kinda had a life long crush on Toni right?
I’ve been a Toni fan for AGES and I have most of her discography. Her songs are timeless. You can listen to her music over and over again without getting bored. She’s from that era when music actually had meaning you know?
In a few days theWordPress local community of Harare brings you the 2018 WordCamp Harare. 23-24 November 2018
A WordCamp is a conference organized to host WordPress practitioners ranging from the occasional blogger to digital experts and those curious about dipping their toes in the interwebs.
If you are reading this post (which is on a blog powered by WordPress and you have website or blog which runs on WordPress) you should be asking yourself why you aren’t attending a WordCamp near you; look them up.
This will be the third WordCamp to be held in Harare and its growing bigger and better; now it’s a two day event including a contributor’s day and even a junior workshop.
The highlight of WordCamp is presentations from volunteer speakers who are simply ordinary WordPressers such as you, sharing on topics they are passionate about, you can have a look at the speaker line up here and the schedule here
The first WordCamp I attended
changed my life and I was inspired to apply to be a speaker at the next one,
and this year guess what; I know one or two people who were inspired by my
presentation that they too have decided to step up.
On contributor’s day you can actively contribute to the WordPress Community by working on the following activities:
Translation of WordPress into Shona
Add subtitles to videos from previous WordCamps
Community planning for 2019
Did I mention The WordCamp Juniors Workshop, so for the 9 and 15 range here’s bootcamp for them to learn to express themselves in blogs and also a foundation they can build on to be expert users of the WordPress platform. Its for free too but the are limited places only 20 available seats and when I last checked there were only 7 left so register quickly click here!!
Have you ever been to a WordCamp do share your thoughts? Will you be there??? Cause I will and yeah I am speaker too and I will be speaking on how A Blog Means Community ^_^
PS Oh yeah and there’s an after party!!!! Be there and get the TShirt ^_^
If you were having coffee with me, I would be glad to have you visit and tell you that I think I am slowly becoming a coffee connoisseur; that is black coffee, no sugar,no cream. A cousin “with connections” managed to buy some sugar at wholesale price and let me buy a packet from them “for a reasonable price” Long story short, I put sugar in my coffee for the first time in 21 days and it tasted so horrible I poured it away and quickly regretted it as I brewed another cuppa.
A moment of silence asI weep for the wasted sugar, coffee and the gas used in the brewing of that monstrosity of a hug in a mug. I live in a time when I literally cant afford to waste not a single thing. I used to wonder how long you could keep leftovers in the fridge before you felt guilty of the culture you were keeping, the answer is the guilt never stops, not even as you clean out moldy Tupperware.
Anyway these days I hardly ever get leftovers to throw away even the stray cat that had adopted me has stopped coming around to visit and scrounge for scraps, and the rats are having a field day, the cat is away.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that it’s funny how exactly this time last year we had a world changing march which pretty changed everything and nothing and probably might have made things worse. (read my post Solidarity March)
“The People” Marched to the State House in solidarity with the Army after the historic coup that was not a coup that resulted in president Robert Mugabe’s “resignation” from office after 37 in power. I remember the day 18 November 2017 it was quite easy to get swept up with the euphoria of the day even the older generation folk who witnessed the Independence Day celebrations 18 April 1980 said even those were subdued compared to this.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that, yes I marched to the State House, mostly because by some freak chance I was there when it happened and it was easy to get swept up with the mood of the day, if you were there you would have marched too; it was like a street party, it was the most historic gathering of Zimbabwe and I witnessed it. Most people probably realized that they were simply a pawn in power games to endorse a coup that was not coup, that the people had spoken,but hope does strange things, it’s a fire once lit it burns beyond rhyme and reason.
Fast forward to a year
later and the flames of hope seem to have been snuffed out, elections with contested
results, post-election violence and runaway inflation.
The president swore in a seven member Commission Of Inquiry chaired by Kgalema Motlanthe (former South African president) back in September to find out what transpired on 1 August 2018
Two months later they are still at it; during an interview with the Commission, a Brigadier General Sanyatwe of the Zimbabwe National Army denied that the army shot members of the public. The brigadier is on record for saying in the video in question (of the soldier firing) “if you check properly you will see that rifle was being fired at an angle of 45 degrees in the air and not direct….”
If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what’s happening in your part of the world, I would also tell you that today is hair washday and if you know me by now you should know it rains when I wash my hair, sometimes I suspect I am a Rain God, if you live in my neck of the woods carry an umbrella I predict rain in the coming week.
Have an awesome one
PS And yeah if you just wound up on my blog welcome and do drop a link to a post you want me to check out and I will, if also check out other people in my comments cause I roll with good people
Leo’s blog is a land of non-fictional chronicles, debacles and anecdotes on life as an African. Leo says that he writes for everyone as he thinks of himself as a creative-non fiction writer, writing about real life events with a bit of creativity.
On how his blog came about he says:
I have always had a keen interest for writing. Having started by freelancing for my hometown weekly. So blogging is a passion- I mean who wouldn’t want a space to write without an editorial policy?
You can tell browsing through his posts he has a thing about history, and reads from quite an shall we say interesting and varied spectrum dropping interesting quotes.
One of the posts I found highly informative was when he explained the Icelandic surnames during the World Cup craze, I am not a soccer enthusiast but this post gave me something to talk about and appear like a man about the world
Did you know?? In Iceland the use of surnames is forbidden by a law, which passed in 1925. Mind boggling, Right?
For those wondering if they should let their family read their blog:
Part of my family does read… My brother, my cousin and her mother- those are the 3 who actually read and give feedback…
I like how his posts always start being about something else and then suddenly switch up into something out of a history class, I would guess man was a history teacher, like this post here which starts on being about summer in Capetown moves to English Premiership break then Olympics in South America and then the black power salute
Dont take my word for it got to his blog read for your self LeoMuzivoreva
Telone launched a VOD service (Video On Demand) beginning of October; DEOD (Digital Entertainment OnDemand). It’s something similar to Netflix or Kwese’s iFlix (read my iFlix review here)
DEOD, is an online television service offering you a choice between Renting the latest movies (pay per title) or Subscribing to a package of popular TV shows, Kids programs, music videos, Live News and Sports TV channels, documentaries, cooking shows and so much more!
Initially, I had not given it much thought, as I had assumed that it being a streaming service I would need a ridiculous amount of internet to enjoy on demand video streaming, but it turns out that streaming is zero-rated if you have an active Telone broadband subscription.
I decided to check out their website zw.deod.tv and register my account. The registration process is ridiculously easy; email address password and confirm a verification email.
Daily, weekly, weekend or monthly subscriptions allow you access to TV shows, Movies, Music Videos, and Kids Shows.
Rent: The Rent option is a DVD shop that lets you hire out the latest releases (made available three months after their cinema release) or choose from a movie library. From the first time you press play you have a 48 hour access window to your rent selection
They were offering a 7 day DEOD Premium trial subscription for $1 so I tried I decided to try it out………
What I loved about DEOD
>Streaming is zero-rated on a Telone Adsl package
>The payment options: pay via EcoCash or Pay Pal
>The on demand packages:
On demand has various packages such that you could subscribe simply over the weekend or for a day although the monthly subs give better value.
What I did not like:
>The available titles and the selection of TV shows is rather limited most of what they have to offer if you are an avid movie watcher you probably have seen.
>Also the lack local content, Telone have a platform they could use to showcase local content creators and it would possibly cost less than securing rights for the latest blockbuster releases and might even appeal more to local audience their increasing subscriber base.
>There’s no subtitles option. I like watching movies with the subtitles on that way I can pretend its as good as reading a book and also wont miss out on great dialogue and quotable quotes.
Overally if you are on Telone internet you should try it, it’s definitely something to do especially over a lazy weekend considering how out of reach the other options have become and with others shutting down and if they tweaked up their content it could actually be a go to thing.
Have you tried it out? Would you try it out? what are your thoughts on Video On Demand
If you were having coffee with me I would be pleased that you dropped by, have a sit go ahead put your feet up. I can offer you coffee, but it doesn’t have sugar apparently that’s how a real coffee drinker has theirs, no sugar no milk. I ran out of sugar and cant find it at the shops, besides who needs sugar when the pleasure of your company is sweet enough.
If you were having coffee with me I would ask something asked in group chat;
“After how many visits, to your house can a visitor sit back and put their feet up on your sofas?”
Never maybe? Well if you visit me, be comfy, drape yourself on the couch like you have a right to be there.
If you were having coffee with me I would inquire if you ever tried crocodile meat? If you haven’t what would do you think you have eaten other people would consider weird?
Crocodile has become quite my regular dinner guest as the main course, of course. For some reason its super cheap where you can find it. I don’t know why its so cheap I remember the first time I tasted crocodile I was about 10 years old at a crocodile farm in Chiredzi; in the Lowveld region of Zimbabwe. I wouldn’t remember the prices but I am sure it was treated as a delicacy with a fancy name like the fisherman’s platter
Well in this crazy economy its now the affordable option unless of course you fancy these chicken bones going round on social media
someone tell me this is a joke
#NemamiriroAkaitaZvinhu I always say grace before I eat because every meal is a story of a hustle, the salt on the table, the oil that fried the veggies and if i'm lucky to have meat issa miracle, never knowing what my next meal will be.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I was planning on travelling to go visit my mum; then I heard of a horrific accident involving two buses which resulted in the death of over 40 people and now I have a fear of travelling; sometimes we forget the little miracles that we take for granted, every time we safely reach where we are going.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you there’s also other things I wanted to say but the loss of so many lives, puts a dampener on things. Allow me to share this solidarity image:
pass the flame on
On that somber tip I will have to bid you good day, have a blessed week and remember live your life to fullest
PS and yeah if this is you first time bumping into these pages of mine hey why not share a link to your site and I promise to get back to you and if you see any shared links do check them out