Of Coffee, Democracy, Voting and Elections

Of Coffee, Democracy, Voting and Election Results.

voting

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you it’s been a nail-biting roller-coaster of a week, waiting for the results of the harmonized election results held on Monday the 30th of July to be announced.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you not be alarmed, I am safe and sound, and have had to answer the “Are you safe question?” to several people via phone calls, messages, emails, and DMs but to be honest the past couple of days have been hair-raising. You might have seen Zimbabwe, headlining the news, when the army clamped down on opposition party protesters in the city capital, demanding immediate release of unadultered election results by the electoral commission claiming the commission was delaying so it could “massage” the figures.

MDC Protest

The protest turned violent as protesters destroyed property; looting shops, setting fire to vehicles belonging to the ruling party and the military resorted with deadly force. Firing live ammunition into crowds leaving scores of people injured and several fatalities.

Military

If you were having coffee with me, this is the part you would ask me if you heard me correct that military personnel in a nation not at war opened fired on its civilian population. It’s hard to reconcile this image with how the military, just seven months earlier, in November had been on the side of the masses, in a historic seemingly bloodless coup resulting in Robert Mugabe resigning without a single bullet being fired in public.

Zim Coup

when The Army sided with the people

The official statement is that the protesters “overwhelmed the police who were spread thin due to them being stationed throughout the country to safeguard the polls and so the army was deployed.” This might be true but not entirely because on the fateful Wednesday I also happened to be in Harare CBD, and no I was not protesting, I was not even aware of the protests, maybe I should have checked my social media first, it might be full of misleading information but it’s one of the most reliable ways to find out if its safe to venture outside your neighbourhood and into the city.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you, to imagine you were me, in the city’s central business district, not protesting minding your own business when suddenly: chaos and confusion as people run past you screaming and you don’t need anyone to tell you twice, you also run. Assimilating as you go along; the noxious tear gas fumes assaulting your nostrils, the distinctive sound of gun fire, even though you have never heard a gunshot in your life and you sometimes mistake the sounds of a car backfiring to gunshots when you hear an assault rifle being fired you can’t mistake for anything else…….

A lot of finger pointing is underway, from the opposition party leaders for inciting violence to the party supporters heading mindless calls to action; from the army over-reacting to the protestors being ungovernable and the truth, well the truth is an offspring of mistruth, half-truths meeting whispered conspiracies breeding in a silence where no good thing can flourish.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the final presidential election results were announced after midnight on the 3rd of August with President elect Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling party ZANU PF winning 50.8% of the vote and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance opposition taking 44% of the polls and the remaining 5.2% split amongst the other 20 presidential candidates.

Walking in the streets of the capital city it’s hard to imagine something as monumental as presidential elections happened, no one is rejoicing, and everyone seems to be grieving, not only for the unfortunate souls, not only from the funerals of those who died on the Wednesday, not just faceless civilians, but people who had loved ones,

and also for the death of hope that had been birthed, still born, that this time around, maybe this time, things would be different……..

If you were having coffee with me I would mention these interesting quotes that I heard:

“its not the voting that counts, but the counting of votes…”

The force of will surpasses the force of will

Well if the polls are to be believed, then we live in a divided nation, where 49.2% of the population did not vote for the president elect, where there are more rural than urban voters in a tale of two voter pools, living with what seem to be completely different concerns and ideals and a diasporian population without a right to vote from their adoptive countries; and where a lot of work needs to be done to unite the population allow room to tolerate divergent views

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you think democracy is a façade or that democracy is unAfrican? I heard some analysts on TV say that it’s a system that is counter to Africa’s Principle of Ubuntu I am because We Are, serving no one but interests of our colonial overlords in their quest to maintain control of Africa’s resources and controlling its finances.

diversity

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I wish I could go to be bed and wake up later, much later, like in maybe five years, because in five years I will be old enough to also be a presidential candidate, if I was president I am sure the world be a better place…… well for me anyway it would be better.

~B

I have just answered a phone call from my mother for the umpteenth who calls every few hours to check if I am still alive and still ok, I should visit her soon and put her fears to rest, she worries so much I start worrying about her too………

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Of Coffee, Mars and Sunsets On A Blood Moon

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I love the moon….. there I said it. *From one moon lover to another.*

Moon howling

 

So obviously a liquid lake would have to be found beneath the surface of Mars before I missed writing about the longest lunar event of the century, wait, they did find liquid water on Mars and I almost missed writing about the total lunar eclipse. In case you didn’t know some researchers have discovered what is believed to be a lake of liquid  water under Mars’s south polar ice cap about 12miles (20km) across and estimated to have a depth of about one meter.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you the lake was discovered using some sciencey radar instruments, its not an exact science but its still science isn’t that ironic, but they are almost sure the readings from their instruments indicate the presence of liquid water. If you are wondering what all the excitement is about, well if they found water on some part of Mars then there’s probably water elsewhere beneath Mars’s surface and if there’s water then that would be like  the X on treasure map indicating where life beyond planet earth would be most likely alone.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you think we are alone in the universe? If you never wondered if  maybe lightning is really from the camera flashes of highly evolved extra terrestrial species taking photos of us……….

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you went outside on Friday night to witness the longest blood moon of the century, with moon passing right through the center of the Earth’s shadow which where it is the widest. And of course Mars just had to be there, the brightest star next to the moon, you couldn’t miss it.

Blood moon

Mars

In the Shona language we say “mwedzi waora” meaning the moon has gone rotten; due to its reddish colour,; which is also why its called the blood moon. The moon goes red because it is in the Earth’s shadow…..

Lunar eclipse

something like this

Here’s a fun fact: The Earth’s shadow is black, if it were black the moon would simply vanish from the night sky. The Earth’s shadow is reddish because of The Scattering Effect of light, the same reason the sky is blue, the midday sun looks yellowish-orange and why sunsets and sunrises are reddish/orangeish. You could think of it like this: During an eclipse the moon will be reflecting light from all the sunrises and sunsets happening as the Earth spins away on its axis day turning into night.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that if it weren’t for the scattering effect of white light from the sun by the Earth’s atmosphere, then the sky would look black and the sun would be white in colour….. how about that ^_^

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that in less than a day my country goes to the polls to vote for the next president and government ….. It feels like the whole country has just taken a deep breath and is now holding its collective breath; dare we dream?

~B

 

Of Coffee with Cat

If you were having coffee with me, I would first apologise that I could not get up to greet you properly, its the cat you see, its sitting on my lap and has decided I must never stand again, not until our chapter is complete…………

A cat

Like a thief of time,

the sleeping cat,

that never moved,

watched you, watching it, watching you…………

You can help yourself to the beverage of your choosing as long as its herbal tea or plain water hot or cold but I wouldn’t recommend the ice cold water, its still winter this side of the hemisphere, oh I hope you dont take a lot of sugar and you like it black because its that time of month when everything runs out,…. waiting for a month end windfall and praying we don’t get unexpected visitors, because what would we even feed them except tea and conversation.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have recently discovered I am a cat person, who knew? A stray cat recently adopted me as its new co-owner and it’s worming its way into my yard and life; coming and going as it pleases and disappearing over the fence with a feline grace……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the cat is an awesome edition to the family as you may or may not know had a recurring problem with rats, you can read about my misadventures with Mista Whiskas and Speedy Gonzales HERE – The Thing in the ceiling. Well thanks to this feline visitor, havent a seen a single uninvited visitor of the rodent genus.

Quick question: are cats carnivorous?????

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you which kind of person are you are, because the are four kinds of people:

  • cat people
  • dog people
  • non-pet keepers
  • and those who simply don’t know cause never kept either…..
If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if saw/read the Obama lecture at what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday had he been still alive, my last post HERE – Nelson Mandela Lecture is my overview on the presentation. Not taking away from the late Nelson Mandela but sometimes I feel he is being made into a brand much larger than life and commercialized  for self-serving purposes.
Nelson Mandela
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that we have just about a week till we have Zimbabwe’s historic presidential and parliamentary elections on the 30th of July wish us the best of luck…………
~B
PS at what stage do you have “the talk” with your cat when you tell it, its a pet and not quite human but its a non-human person??????
Have an awesome week 
cheers

Of Coffee, Friday the 13th and Scary things

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

friday the 13th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome week ahead cheers

~B

 

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

 

 

Of Coffee, Condolences and Hugs

If you were having coffee with me we would be having a cuppa ginger and honey tea, I am trying to soothe away a cold and bring some warmth into my life, after several days of a funeral wake and the burial of a dearly departed uncle.

lemon tea

“Nematambudziko” that is the Shona translation for my condolonces; the standard response is “Akaoonekwa”  which literally translates to they we were witnessed. To be honest I have never really understood what it all means and when someone says that, I try to look appropriately grief-stricken enough as I mumble a response back and wriggle myself out of hugs and evading invasive personal questions, we grieve in our own ways and life, well it goes on………

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you that unless someone where bereaved is there a standard length of time that is acceptable for a hug? Some people hug you like they are channeling their inner kidnapper holding you down so that you can never ever leave ………forever….

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you remember the Colcom pie I menationed in my last Coffee Chat  well guess what the company released its first official statement on their product:

Pork Payi?

“In August 2015 Colcom commissioned a new, largely automated plant to replace its previous aged and inefficient plant to increase production capacity required to meet the increase in demand….. While it was anticipated that the new plant would be able to produce similar pies, in practice this was found not to be the case.”

“Whilst maintaining the original Colcom pie has been the objective since the commissioning of the new pie plant…….”
“And we have committed significant resources to achieve this result including seeking the assistance of international technical experts, it has until now not been possible to replicate all aspects of that product.

Three years since they commissioned a new plant production has trebled while the quality has gone done, I guess its a matter of quantity over quality and watching the zeros in the bank add up………

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you the election madness is here, I just got an sms from an aspiring candidate which not only asks me to vote for them but addresses me by name as a fellow comrade and I am busy trying to wrap around how they got my name and number and if someone somewhere is violating some privacy codes of conduct or did I agree to this in those terms and conditions I never got round to actually reading

Have an awesome week ahead

~B

PS so by some fortuitous turn of events I got me some four free movie passes and now I am struggling with wether I should

A) take four friends to see one movie

B) take one friend to see two movies

C) take two different friends to two different movie each

D) go watch four movies all by myself

Decisions decisions what would would you do?

Of Coffee, Pies and Bombs

Coffee, Pork Pies and Bombs

If you were having coffee with me, I’d say allow me to treat you to what used to be the darling of pies, The Colcom Pork Pie.

Tea colcom pie

You can have a cup of herbal lemon tea, while the pie warms up in the microwave. Can you smell that? I hope you aren’t a vegetarian or don’t eat pork for some reason, if so then graciously accept my apologies and you can have toast instead

french toast

Imagine after all that anticipation, you open the package and are greeted with a crumbling pastry product a pale shadow of its former glory with a meat center that’s now barely existent, that makes you wonder what the quality department takes its consumers for, seriously.

Pork Payi?

No wonder people have taken to calling it Pork Payi? Meaning where is the Pork.

#ThisPie

If you were having coffee with me I’d tell you that my vote just might be for sale to the person who can guarantee an economy in which a company can afford to put proper meat filling in its pastries to make a pastry pie I can still afford to buy……

According to a poll conducted by the Orange Door Research via an sms-based survey sent to 1200 people:
48% of all respondents said the economic situation was the most critical issue facing the country,
23% said free & fair elections
17% Corruption, & 12% improving basic services

According to Zimstats 98% of youth are employed in the informal sector. So our graduates have a 2% chance of getting a formal job…..

If you were having coffee with me I’d tell you that our elections are 35 days away and it looks like candidates are pulling out all the stops

From a Minister officially opening a bin;

Minister opens bin

well to be fair he was opening a new sports center nearby but I guess the commissioning fever got to his head, we’ll try not to even think about why the bin already has trash inside……. but the internet go crazy checkout the #chinamasachallenge

And then on to something a little more sobering the bomb attack on the president as he was leaving a rally in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe now that one has me in shock, I never thought we would stoop to senseless violence, I thought we had our problems but at least we never lost our heads and went the route of trying to bomb the President. Fortunately he survived the blast and the were no fatalities although almost 40 people were treated for various injuries.

Various conspiracy theories are flying around from the one about the bomb being a stage managed incident to get sympathy vote and as an excuse to increase military clamp down and then there’s the one about it being a falling out between the president and the army, or that the former president might have had something do with it and a whole lot of other theories ranging from absurd to down right alarming.

There was also a bombing attempt on the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister at rally in the capital leaving scores injured and several critical and a single casualty…..

Violence usually begets violence and here’s to praying that this isn’t the start of a journey down a dark bloody path.

Have an awesome week Stay Classy!

~B

 

 

 

 

Of Coffee And The World Cup

Of Coffee And The World Cup

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

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

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

World Cup logo

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

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

the Scream

afroscream-cup

Now you cant unsee that image either can you?

wha the world cup logo looks like

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

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

Naija football

wakanda forever

naija teamNaijateam

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

it CROWD

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

see no football, speak no football, hear no football

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

23 zimbabwe presidential candidates

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

lemon tea

 

~B

 

 

 

Of Coffee and iflix

If you were having coffee with me, we would be having coffee and iflix.

iflix

 

What’s iflix you ask? Well I am glad you asked, it’s a video on demand (VOD) service that let’s you stream TV shows, movies and sport from the internet. It’s like Netflix a competitor but tailored more for emerging markets being available in 25 countries across Asia, Middle East, and Africa including Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghan and Zimbabwe.

Kwesé TV partnered with iflix to bring on the go entertainment via the Kwesé iflix app and if you are an Econet user you have gotten messages advertising this service and you might even have gotten curious or totally ignored them…

If you were having coffee I would tell you that people, most people love free things, no better way to get them hooked on to something than by giving them a free trial. When the message popped into my inbox telling me I had 1gig worth of data to use on iflix I figured hey let’s give it a try.

Free data

 

But first I asked my Twitter timeline if anyone had used the Kwesé iflix because Twitter is like Google Search for me, if it’s not tweeted it’s not real 😂

A few people recommended it:

and the iflixzw twitter team responded to my tweet told me to try it, why not I thought.

The iflix app is available on Playstore for Android bit.ly/1CkgoSC and Apple Store iOS-apple.co/1J00QA5/
The playstore version is 19.75mb which is a fairly reasonable size that one can download.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that setting up this app is a breeze giving you various sign up options; Google|Facebook email /phone

iflix app

 

I picked the sign up using phone option and an SMS code was sent to my phone for verification and just like that I was in.

Movie of the day

 

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you it was a seamless process to set-up but some users experienced challenges during sign-up

which According to the iflix could be fixed by clearing cache memory then trying again, also the app is region specific so it won’t work if you use a VPN.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the app is packed with various goodies for your viewing pleasure TV shows, movies, sport and live streams.

The programs come with summaries and some movies even have trailers how cool is that

It even streams our local TV station ZBC too.

but of course there’s a little catch, the more interesting titles are marked VIP and to access these you need to pay a subscription.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell I am sure you could find something to watch to pass the time in the free section but if you scroll through what they have to offer long enough you’ll get tempted to subscribe since the packages won’t break your wallet.

iflix charges

 

The app has a nifty download function, so you could download what you want also with the option to pick high medium or low quality download (let’s say when you have Wi-Fi) and then play later,

though the download is only available to view for a couple of days.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the app requires a healthy internet connection for seamless streaming otherwise it keeps loading and you would think it’s broken.

I wish it had a data counter so I could keep track of how much data I actually used because it’s easy to get carried away especially if you are on mobile data and on that data conservation tip I did not see any function that let’s one choose the quality one wants to stream in, that way you could pick a low quality resolution stream which uses less data.

If you were having coffee with me I would definitely give this app a thumbs up though I did feel the content is somewhat shortchanged compared to what’s available on competing streaming services such as Netflix however you can pay subscriptions using EcoCash a mobile money transfer service which is a huge plus because the hustle of subscribing to services which require MasterCard or visa card payments in these here emerging markets is real.

I wish they would also engage more of the local content creators and populate the platform with homegrown entertainment and local soapies, this app is a novelty in these here regions and a potential game changer that could shake the broadcasting industry from the traditional giants who have been enjoying monopoly.

~B

PS have you tried it how was your experience?

Do you use any video on demand internet streaming services?

what I really need now is competitive internet priced such that I can enjoy such a service without worrying about the cost of my data because that is the hidden cost

Of coffee and WordPress at 15

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that WordPress turns 15 today initial release date 27 May 2003. How about that!

WordPress 15th anniversary

The Harare WordPress community celebrated it by having a social meet-up and because who needs a reason to have cake and balloons and swag

WordPress 15 ballon

WordPress 15 cake

Here are a few fun facts about WordPress. WordPress started as a blogging platform b2/cafelog and evolved into the open source Content Management System (CMS) we now know. As of April 2018 30.9% of the internet is powered by WordPress.

WordPress statistics

Stats from w3techs.com

WordPress.org allows you to build, design and customize your own self-hosted website without needing you to be Tech-savvy (especially with their famous 5 minute installation) it’s almost as easy as creating a blog even the dashboards are same like similar to the ones on WordPress.com but you would then have to worry more about finding a hosting company and managing your plugins and search engine optimization (SEO)

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com tricky question each has its own merits and limitations but I prefer WordPress.com especially if you upgrade to the premium packages you get almost the same merits as self-hosting such as installing plugins and and Google Analytics, monetizing through GoogleAdsense and WordAdsWordAds

Did you know the founders of WordPress are huge jazz fans and all the main version releases are named after jazz musicians and when you install WordPress a pre-installed  plugin does nothing other than displays lyrics from Louis Armstrong’s Hello Dolly.

hello Dolly

hello dolly text

The default avatar which appears when someone without a profile picture comments on WordPress article is called the Mystery Man.

Mystery Man

Mystery Man

wordpress logo

And the font the font used in W logo WordPress has a name it’s called Mrs Eaves (named after Sarah Eaves, who was the live-in housekeeper for John Baskerville a printer and typeface designer from the 1700s, eventually becoming his wife, after the death of her first husband, Mr. Eaves.)

Did you know the catchphrase for WordPress.org is code is poetry well
I am no coder, code looks like gibberish to me but I appreciate the poetry in art well-crafted, one man’s poetry is another man’s gibberish think Lewis Carrol’s nonsense verse Beware The Jabberwock

beware the jabberwock

“We are much better at writing code than haiku.”

—Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you these little nuggets of information I know them now because we had a WordPress quiz and at the time I couldn’t answer a single question but now well I feel like a walking encyclopedia. Did you know the first WordCamp happened in 2006 San Francisco but since then over 507 WordCamps have been held in over 207 cities in 48 different countries around the world (Zimbabwe included)

Check this out Harare will be having it’s 3rd WordCamp this year whoop whoop. If you don’t know what a WordCamp is check out this link WordCamp harare 2017
I was a speaker at the last wordcamp and this year who knows……..

If you were having coffee I would say cheers to WordPress empowering hitherto unheard voices

Happy Anniversary WordPress

~B

photoCredit Hello Darling Plugin wpbeginner.com

Of Coffee and the 2018 UNESCO Global Report

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell I attended the launch of 2018 Global Report of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression

2018 Global report

Re| Shaping Cultural Policies

cultural diversity

The Global report gives feedback on the impact of policies on the cultural sector pointing out strategies that would best work given the strengths and challenges faced in the creation, production and dissemination of cultural products.

Global report hand over

UNESCO Regional Cultural Advisor, Damir Dijakovic hands over the first copy of the #2018GlobalReport to Dr. Samwanda Director in the Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and Recreation

If you were having coffee with me, I would attempt to give you a lightning quick review on the 2018 Global Report and share a few observations from the Harare launch.

The 4 goals of the convention on cultural diversity:

Goals of Cultural Diversity

Goal 1 Support sustainable systems of governance for culture

Goal 2  achieve balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals

Goal 3 Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks

Goal 4 promote human rights and fundamental freedoms

** implementing the 2005 convention has a direct impact on the attainment of the Sustainable Goals

SDG

The 2018 Global Report gives a Report Card summary of each of the four goals stating successes challenges and recommendations…..

The report shows how a collaborative system is needed between various multi-stakeholders from Government, Public Sector; private sector to Civil Societies to best empower communities especially in the new age of diverse digital multimedia content.

Some of the challenges noted in the report are on how most development plans do not have plans containing creativity specific outcomes, and the inequalities in distribution and access to resources and the neglect of environmental impact by cultural product creations.

Also of note is how its low key unacknowledged that women are highly marginalised having a low number in key creative roles or decision making positions or have less access to funding and generally earn less than male counterparts in the cultural field.

“Culture is key to building a new country. A community that reads, knows its origins, has cultural spaces to enjoy and supports artists, is a society that is proud of its cultural diversity and is equipped with more tools to build peace”

-Marianna Garces Cordoba

The Report is available online; 2018 Global Report: ReShaping Cultural Policies

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that how much as frameworks like this assist and support; often times the information hardly ever trickles its way to the person who needs it the most; you will be told how there is open access to the information but never quite where you actually get, like its information for some secret society only those in the know who pick and choose what to share with the rest of the world….

Case in point are you only reading about this 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity now? Is it a surprise only 4 Zimabwean submissions have been beneficiaries of  fund grant.

A panel of experts discussed the future of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in Africa and I loved how Mr Charles Vallebrand a consultant on cultural policies before he begun his presentation asked for someone to sing him a song, “If you sing I will dance” and he danced to mbira music played by Chris Timbe.
Mbira player
He remarked how gatherings such as this must not forget why or for whom they do conventions such as these…….

Mr Albert Chimedza founding chair of Zimbabwe Chamber of Creative Industries made an observation of how the artists who have made it; are self-made artists who relied on their own talents for their success citing Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Dominic Benhura……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that what resonated with me the most was a question from the floor on how writers are the forgotten artist, maybe writing is a forgotten art because when people talk art; they usually never mention writers, they will speak of musicians, poets, sculptors, painters. And writers, well those seem to be considered more of a hobby than anything serious, not until a published book that goes no less than bestseller, then suddenly people crawl out of the woodwork to heap accolades.

Yet writers are the new custodians of culture, in the past our history was preserved by word of mouth, passed down in folktales; now it might be written down in the pages of a book or digitalized on a website on the internet………………………

~B

 

PhotoCredits: Unesco Southern Africa

: Heather Madombwe for Chris Timbe pic