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

 

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Of Coffee Blog Anniversary and Blog Everyday Challenge

Of Coffee Blog Anniversary and Blog challenges

If you were having coffee with me I would say hello September and goodbye winter, does this mean we are in summer now? I really don’t know we seem to have only two seasons summer and winter or rather cold dry season hot dry season and hot wet season.

Guess what my blog turned 5!!!

blog anniversary

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I am celebrating my blog anniversary in exactly the same way I did last year, looks like it’s become a tradition, doing a blog everyday challenge. The theme for this year will be Africa: Stories from home.

And of course because Africa’s secret weapon is community, I am roping in my Afroblogger friends to take part in the challenge too, because the more the merrier, and also a burden shared is burden halved…….

africa unite

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you to expect stories from Africa, about Africa, the little things that never make the mainstream media, the things I want to read about but can never find online. You know the saying “if you want to read something and you cannot find anywhere perhaps you should write it yourself

If you have any topics and curious questions you have always wanted to know about Africa and where I hail from go ahead ask, and I may dedicate a blog post to explain. Not only will it help me find material to write about but one of my reasons for doing this challenge is to share the real story about Africa #MyAfricaMyWords

I am from Zimbabwe a teapot shaped country in southern Africa.

A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

If you were having coffee with me I would wish you an awesome new month and ask you to wish me luck, I intend to crush this challenge, this will be my third such blog everyday challenge, I think I got this!!!

beatonm5

Whats going on in your neck of the woods?

~B

Of Coffee, Mothering Sundays, Blogging Awards and Fans

If you were having coffee with I would greet you and ask if for a second you thought it was Mother’s day and you were wondering if your calendar is broken? Well it’s not Mother’s day its Mothering Sunday (falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent) Its celebrated almost exactly like mother’s day except that its origins are steeped in religion. On this day a very long time ago folk used to return to their mother church; the church where they got baptised and later it become the day people let their housekeepers go to church and then eventually turned into a day celebrating motherhood … Happy Mothering Day to all the mothers, you are forces of nature!!!

If you were having coffee I would tell I attended an Influencer’s Cocktail event which was also an awards ceremony for Zimbabwean  content creators Zim blogging awards. The event and the awards were created to bring recognition to bloggers and also try to engage brands and corporates to make use of the services of bloggers and their online influence in a mutually beneficial relationship.

zim blog awards

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that awards are always tricky things especially inaugural awards. I felt they put too much value on the influence aspect and more a popularity contest than properly doing tribute to online content creators; with a flawed voting system allowing people to vote unlimited times, I was tempted to also vote for myself multiple times. But hey we gotta start somewhere; call it a learning curve and hopefully next time they will be bigger and better……..

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you that the best part of the day was meeting people who would recognise you from your blog; to meet real people not your family and friends who actually read your blog and love your blog, the feeling is priceless, for a second you feel like you famous. The highlight of the day was when I met someone who had also been at the International Women day event I wrote about HERE in my previous post, telling me how they appreciate and I quote “men who love women” and thanked me for the support…. Little things like that, that’s what keep me going. If you are out there reading this Thank YOU.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that suddenly I’m feeling festive Lets Do The March Blog Party whoop whoop: I’ll share some of my favourite posts from my favourite female bloggers because #PressForProgress go show them some love and in the comments below share a link to a post of yours you want read don’t forget to read posts from others and when you comment on a post you found from my blog sign off by saying With Compliments From The Muse so one can tell from whence they found your blog post. That’s pretty neat right? I promise to try to read every post you guys share…

Be Humble Not Timid – Tapiwanashe

The introvert’s holiday survival guide – Quarter wife

Untitled 27/2 – Beauty’s daughter

IWD – life with Dimples

Why are women more tolerant than men – Faith

God Bless The Woman – Joseyphina

learning to love myself – Mable

Embarking on a journey of self love – Makaitah Rouge

Writing Recipe – Floating

on behaving beautifully – The Britchy One

~B

Of Coffee With Best Laid Plans

If you were having coffee with me I would welcome you like an expected favoured guest, and tell you to kindly disregard the mess, just find somewhere to sit and make yourself at home….. what will your poison be? I am having lemon tea which may or may not have a nip of gin.

This is ought to be day 17 of my blog everyday challenge but unforeseen circumstances kept my posting schedule rather erratic. When you plan things in your head everything is in a neat straight line but life likes to throw curve balls, whats important is what you do with them, catch and throw back!!!!

Reality Vs Your Plan

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that my grandma was laid to rest following a beautiful catholic mass. My uncle, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist (for some reason they do not see eye to eye with Catholics) even made the comment that the singing was beautiful ruined only by drums that were played in the background. He likened it to someone preparing a scrumptious meal and then ruining it by adding way too much hot spice. I felt a twinge of guilt because I rather like my meals spicy; but they say one man’s meat…..

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you how South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday evening, well it was either that or risk an impeachment process. Its a situation somewhat reminiscent of what happened with our own president, it makes one question if democracy and electoral processes aren’t really just an elaborate scheme without real substance.

It would also be with deepest regret I informed you the passing away of one of the champions of democracy in Zimbabwe; President of the opposition party The Movement for Democratic Change MDC Morgan Tsvangirai. At one time he was poised to be president of the country but the former president Robert Mugabe had run-off elections declared followed by a rerun election in which he won a landslide victory. Again this is also why I wonder what democracy means to Africa because every other country seems to have problems with its presidency, its even rumoured that the colon cancer Morgan Tsvangirai had was somehow induced to take him out of the political field, but people talk, people will always talk………

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that………… the only thing better than hanging only metres above a smoking volcano; for a breathtaking, front seat view. of a volcano erupting, dangling from a helicopter, whose pilot’s definition of fun is to let go of the controls , wave both hands and say “look ma NO HANDS”... Is to have someone to share it with…

Audience

Here are a few choice posts from fellow bloggers taking part in my #FEBlog Challenge

FEblog Challenge

Dante #Feblog Day 15: Democracy Just another word in the dictionary

Mel #Feblog Day 2 Dating And Social Media Expectations

Mable Maybe 

Quarter Wife I’ll be Watching the Relationship Olympics, Thanks

 

~B

 

 

Of Coffee, Cancer and Awards

If you were having coffee with me I would bid you welcome and tell you to get out of the rain before you catch your death of cold. You would probably ask me if I recently had my hair fixed up and I reply “What gave it away, was it the rain, it always rains after my wash day

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that after all my experiences as a Rain God, I would have figured out that I should carry an umbrella after washday but see I have a terrible habit of losing them; I forget them in taxis, cloak rooms anywhere I set it down I’ll probably just walk away and not even turn around, until splash a drop of rain lands on me and I remember I had an umbrella but not anymore.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that today is world cancer day.

World Cancer day

Shout out to all the cancer survivors out there.

The risk of getting cancer can be reduced by practicing a healthy lifestyle and early detection increases the chances of treatment.

Ways to reduce cancer

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that my grandma just passed away, the doctors say if the cancer had been detected early they might have been able to treat it. Go well grandma we wont cry we celebrate a life lived to its fullest.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how part of the reason I keep this blog is to shed light on my little corner of the world its not an S word. I was reminded of this as I read the following transcript from an interview of Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi by a French journalist:

Interviewer: Are your books read in Nigeria?

Chimamanda: Yes

Interviewer: Do they have libraries in Nigeria?

Chimamanda: I think it reflects poorly on France that you asked that question

Believe it or not someone once sent me an email asking if we have the internet in Africa, can you here my eyes roll?

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I am on day 4 of my blog everyday challenge and that my blog was nominated for the Zim Blog Awards in the ARTs and Culture category please vote for Becoming The Muse thank you on the link below.

tribeofinfluencers.com

~B

 

PS I did say go vote right? Vote thank you again

 

Of The Rain God

 

I am a Rain God.

Try not to freak out, I am trying not to freak out either but that is my final conclusion, it makes perfect sense.

Why does it rain? It rains when two clouds love each other so much that they come together….  I will save you the geography lesson, besides I never really paid attention but I did learn a cool word for rain… PRECIPITATION. I also know another cool ran related word PETRICHOR (ask me nicely and I might tell you in an upcoming post.)

How to make it rain:

For most people it’s not exact science, unless of course you are into cloud seeding and such then it’s a near exact science but highly iffy. Cloud seeding is when you really love a cloud…. OK I really should have sat still and listened during my Geography class.

A Rain Ceremony is another way to make it rain, now that is definitely NOT a science it is more in the magic and mythical realm. You need to engage the services of a n’anga aka sangoma aka “witch doctor’’ what do you call such a bone throwing traditional “doctor”  where you come from? The doctor performs some sort of ancestral appeasement ceremony because mostly when it doesn’t rain its because you did something wrong and the ancestors are showing their displeasure. A rain dance might be done, traditional beer will be brewed and a cow or goat is slaughtered, those ancestors sure like a good party.

If you are an ordinary person and you want it to rain, its fairly easy just wish for it to not rain; throw a garden party  or some outdoors event, or wash all your clothes and hany them out to dry …. Chances are it will rain depending on your luck

The Rain God

 

I spent a tiny town in the Lowveld part of Zimbabwe, it’s a hot arid region with low precipitation. Whenever it rained I got a nose bleed, or rather now that I think about it, when it; When I got a nose bleed It Rained. Maybe it was the heat maybe it was the altitude and atmospheric pressure (ok I did pay attention during geography class) The nose bleeds were rather severe and distressing not only to me but to the witnesses. Eventually my grandma came up with a solution, smoke some Elephant dung. Yes it worked, I stopped getting nose bleed, it still rained though, so that’s a remedy for those who know anyone who suffers from frequent nose bleeds.

I grew up and grew my hair too.

Beaton

Now here is the thing, every single time I get my hair touched up usually after a washday routine(read it here):   IT RAINS.

washday

And after all the effort putting into fixing up my hair imagine getting rained on your parade. At first I used to brush it off as just a weird coincidence but now, not so much.

Washday

 

I had my washday the day before yesterday; it rained all of yesterday I tried fixing up the rain damage last night, and today:

Even FaceBook warned me to stay dry

Facebook

Its not just that it rains, it tries to rain on me, I like dancing in the rain but not when I have just got my hair done, the two strand twists start unravelling.

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-03 at 12.14.53

Maybe I should visit Cape Town I hear they could really do with some rain

 

I am a Rain God

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

 

Of The February Blog Challenge

Hello February

February script

I rather like February, there’s something about it…. No it’s not about how the month is themed red, punctuated with hearts and strewn with flowers.

hEARTS AND ROSES

It’s not about how it’s been styled as the month of love, fodder for the creative mind, the poet who feeds equally on the broken hearted and the love struck; promises kept and promises broken.

Blind folded heart

It’s not because January is finally over. January seems to have way more days than any other month, it’s the Monday of months. Goodbye January, I won’t miss you.

I love February because I am a February baby, it’s written in the stars, poets are born in February. This when my New Year begins.

This year I decided to celebrate my month in style a little gift to my blog from me to me from my blog; feel free to reread that again from the top. You are welcome.

The FEBlog Challenge

This month I will be doing a blog every day challenge, start the year with a bang; hit the ground running; this is it, this is my year…..

I have a bunch of friends who will also be participating in the said challenge, if you ever tried a writing challenge, you will find that it is easier to do when, you know someone else out there is doing it with you…. If you feel moved to try it here are the suggested topics:

Feblog

The topics are all optional and not arranged in any order, if you could see a title that grabs your fancy, go ahead and join in… and guess what if there is ever a month that’s the easiest to complete a blog challenge that would be February; it has the least number of days… You are welcome

I do hope you will be part of this journey with me, and hopefully you learn a thing or two about me, my life and my world.

#MyAfricaMyWords FEBlog Day 1

~B

PS If you need a PDF copy of the listed topics please just get in touch.

Of Blogging Every Day

 

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

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

standing top of mountain clip art

You look like ants from up here

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

MyAfricaMyWords

#MyAfricaMyWords

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye September and Welcome October

~B

Day 30 of my blog every day challenge

Here is quick way twitter moment of my past posts.

Of 15 and Not Out

Today is day 15 of the blog everyday challenge…….

Confession its not a walk in the park but if it was it would not be called a challenge now would it? So a friend asked me how its been going, I quoted a line from a John Legend song:

My head is under water and I am breathing fine

Hmmm I am thinking unless he is aqua-man or a mer-person there is no way he could be breathing water and be just fine…. Granted you could hold your breath for a long time but breathing under water??? John legend be selling dreams….

Why did I join this challenge?

>because I could

>because I wanted to prove it could be done

>because I was curious to see who else would attempt it because it saw an opportunity and I took it

>because when you want to read something you have write it yourself

>how do I encourage people to be consistent in their blogging if I can’t do what needs doing? I am part of a blogging community where one of the most asked questions is how do I stay consistent and I am that tough love friend who tells you that if you want to, you will otherwise you will find excuses.

Life gets in the way, it always does… if you wait for that perfect moment to write, you might wait for a very long time……….

This post is hastily typed up post as Friday evening is calling…… WHATS a Friday but a reason to celebrate that you have survived blogging for 15 days in row

Friday cheers

Cheers to the weekend

~B

PS have an awesome weekend and be good