Of Watering Roots

Of Watering My roots

From the Earth we are born to the Earth  we return

–Dust to Dust

I have always found a certain poetry in the symmetry of life…. (Truth be told I see poetry even in the most mundane of places)

my roots firmly anchored

blooming where I am planted

The ground beneath our feet, the ground we walk upon, we have a special connection to it, it nurtures us in ways we cannot begin to fathom. There is a reason why where you come from is called the Motherland;

it gave birth to you,
it mothers you
and when your journey is finished,
you return,          
where it all started,
to the beginning,
a child of the soil (Mwana Wevhu)
or as my friend Masimba would prefer we call it Soil Child (Mwanavhu)

 

We are no less children of the Earth than the plants and the trees, with their roots digging deep, anchoring them. Our roots, start where we come from, it’s a part of our identity, our heritage, past and beginning. How can you truly know, where you going? If you don’t know where you have come from and why you are where you are now?………

Your roots just like those of any plant need watering.watering garden beetroot

For us culturally, it’s a natural question to ask when you meet someone; where they come from, (kumusha) to find out if you are possible kin and possibly get an insight on what to expect from you. Yes, a geographic location by itself wont define your character but generally people in the same locale tend to behave in the same way, speak the same dialect have similar beliefs, its the psychology of socialisation.

When you are asked where you come from (unobva kupi?) its not simply asking you where your home is or where your parents are? Its asking you where your family tree starts, where your kin are?…..

I come from Masogwe; Neshuro in the Mwenezi District of the Masvingo province; Zimbabwe.

Africa Earth

neshuro, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa

Google maps can even zoom into our family homestead,

Masogwe eshuro

its impressive and just a little bit scary. No one is there now, but this where my paternal grandparents lived. We would visit every school holiday and every Christmas, without failure.

They are departed now and the family doesn’t meet as often as it used to. Mostly we now meet there for funerals, that’s the sad truth. The last time I was there was Christmas 2016, it wasn’t a funeral it was just to meet and catch up, a cow was slaughtered and for a little bit felt like the Christmas of yesteryear….

cooking a traditional feast

We made promises that this year we would visit more, but its been nine month and I haven’t returned, I feel like a prodigal child sometimes. It might be because its just a place and no one is there anymore, or its even worse or we slowly forgetting were we come from?

Have we lived so long in the “modern” world, we cant go back to a place where there is no electricity, (but there is a cellphone network service), it is drought prone area, in the natural region 4 and 5 temperatures are scorching hot all year round.

masogwe

That means water is hard to find, you go to a borehole quite far away to fetch water and when it rains you give thanks, because you water is life.

Borehole Bush pump

There is a mountain, it is quite mysterious, it seems volcanic in nature although they say in Zimbabwe the are no volcanic mountains but I constantly wonder about this one.

Zhanje Mountain, Neshuro

Zhanje Mountain, Neshuro Zimbabwe

When it gets really hot and dry, smoke can be seen smouldering at its peak, sometimes a red glow can be seen on a moonless night, as if its about to erupt and every time it does this you know it will rain soon, it always rains…..

I worry the next generation will forget this little intricacies and the meaning behind all these mysteries, my grand parents took all their secrets with them and I write a few of them and that is why I write, so that I never forget and one day some will remember……

This is how I water my roots

~B

Day 19 blog every day challenge

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Of The Unchanged Changing World

The unchanged changing world

Or is it the changing unchanged world.

Nothing stays the same, everything changes but its somehow weird how the more things change the more they stay the same.

change ahead road sign

Change

We fight the same wars over and over again, the battles change names, but the war is still the same. We want freedom, our rights to have rights, to liberate ourselves, we want equality, to learn from our past, to move on from our past, we want our land back, our votes to count, our elected leaders to deliver the promises they made during campaigns but most of all what we want is peace of mind……

My parents and their parents before them grew up in a world where settlers took our land and they become second class citizens in their own countries. You invite someone to your table, to share a meal and they help themselves to the biggest piece of meat, you tell them to feel at home anyway and they kick you out of your own home…..

The war of liberation came, lives were lost, blood was shed and on 18 April 1980 Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Independence Day 18 April 1980

Reconciliations were mad,e we moved from the past we faced the future. It would have been perfect had the victory been more than in name, yes we got independence but we did not get our land back nor the means of production, and twenty years down the line we still had not. The imperial government that once colonised us refused to honour its promise to help finance the land reforms.

The 2000 Elections were coming up, the ruling party was losing the support of its war veteran base and the opposition party was gaining ground and asking why almost 20 years later we still did not have control of our farms, we did not have our land. The government started a new land reform and land redistribution act, a new war dubbed “Third Chimurenga: Hondo Yeminda” (war for farms) farms belonging to white farmers were  invaded. Settler farmers were forcibly removed, it was messy business, it was something that needed doing but it could have been handled better but hey we got our land back, right? Maybe………

The ruling party government got to decide who got the farms and who didn’t and that’s mostly senior government officials and some loyal party supporters. We might have got our land back but its still in the hands of a few and some of those seem to not even know what to do with it, the blame is on droughts, climate change and lack of funding for inputs….

37 years later we have our land, we have our independence but it feels like the same battles  over and over not all citizens are equal and people’s rights get violated, a cloud of oppression hangs about and we blame sanctions, sanctions are easy to blame, sanctions are enforced by countries that seat on boards of organisations who probably don’t like us much, who grant us our independence with one hand and steal our economic freedom with the other.

  • excerpt from Confessions Of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins

Sanctions are easy to blame because Sanctions will not come and knock at your door in the middle of the night and  arrest you for inciting civil disobedience or causing unnecessary alarm and despondency.

Elections are coming up next year and if history is anything to go by the same presidential candidate has been winning, so will probably win, how can he not, lest we forget, he gave us our independence we are forever grateful how can we be anything else…..

The world changes and everything stays the same…….

~B

Day 17 Blog everyday challenge

photo credit Zimbabwe Independence :Victoria Falls Guide

Of 5 Things About Zimbabwe

Five things i wish you knew about Zimbabwe:

Things I wish you knew about Zimbabwe

  1. It is not a jungle.

Believe it or not I have been asked several times, if I see wild animals when I look outside the window.

If you want to see to see wildlife, you go to the a national park, you wont be disappointed. Once upon a time someone even asked me how I was on the internet….. Zimbabwe is a developing country, yes it has some areas more developed than others but we are not in the dark ages. I cringe when I watch a movie and they reference it as a some place it really not; we don’t live in trees and yes we have internet.

Trees in Africa unity Square Harare

Africa Unity Square trees

  1. Our hearts are warm as the tea brewed from our heart-shaped country
A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

The economy might be free falling, cash is in short supply and you will wait for a long time at the bank to get the daily minimum, but amidst all the trials our hearts are in the right place on the left side like they should be. We are a nation of kind, tolerant and peace-loving people, with a humorous nature we laugh at the lemons life throws. The capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare is known as the Sunshine City.

harare sunshine city

Sunshine City

 

the Jacaranda trees in bloom Harare

The Jacaranda Trees in bloom

 

  1. We are not our president nor our first lady.

Don’t judge us by the actions of our president, and we are not our president’s keeper too. Please don’t ask me when we are going to vote him out or why we still keep him in power. If you have questions for him,  you can ask him yourself.

  1. We are a nation of educated people

Don’t be fooled by the jobs we are willing to do to put bread on the table, you would be quite shocked to find that the person who hands you a flyer advertising something at the traffic lights is a university  graduate.

amber

At some point our country we might have the highest literacy rate in Africa, last time i checked according to UNESCO we were just shy of making it in to the top ten list.

Also don’t ask me how for a nation of such educated beings we managed to let our country get into a such state……

  1. The Victoria Falls is in Zimbabwe.

Victoria falls mosi oa tunya

Well my Zambian friends might have some say in that….. but hey the Victoria Falls boarders Zimbabwe and Zambia so its both there and here.

The Victoria falls is a breath-taking site, locals call it Mosi oa Tunya , meaning The Smoke that Thunders…..  its the largest body of falling water by volume and something one just has to see fro themselves even attempt to bungee jump or dare the Devil’s Pool.

~B

 

Visit Zimbabwe some time I promise you wont regret it maybe we might even hang out and have a real cup of coffee together……

 

 

photo Credit Victoria Falls

City of Harare photos view from Africa Unity Square courtesy of Tendai

Of Tomorrow: A Place A day Away

Tomorrow comes, when tomorrow comes……

tomorrow loading button

I dream of tomorrow a place better than today and then I wake up tomorrow is today, tomorrow never comes……

The future is filled with tomorrows that become today, a day at a time.

Life is a poetry of possibilities,

Fused with expectations and uncertainties.

Tomorrow comes. And how often can a man say that? “Every night, because tomorrow always comes everyday, after every night”

I live in a world where planning ahead is hard. Our economy is burning, hard cash in hand is worth more than money in the bank, and everybody is running a hustle. In 2008 a bank apocalypse happened; savings and pensions eroded in value to nothing; overnight, and everyday feels like a day away from the same thing happening all over again…..

Tomorrow comes when tomorrow comes.

Tomorrow never waits.

By the time my parents were my age,

they had:

three children,

 two cars,

 one house

and a dog named Bingo…..

I loved that dog, a German Shepard big and mean looking but gentle as kitten, unless it felt we were threatened, strangers, suspicious characters, the odd postman. Today I cant afford to keep a pet, I cannot even afford to feed myself three square meals plus snacks, the kind of diets we had growing up.

My parents had this life thing on track, they had life policies, invested in shares and those pension plans which pay out a windfall 25+ odd years later. The economy crashed and all that turned to a little less than pocket change.

Today I found a dividend cheque in the mail, it should have been paying my mum a neat little windfall back in the original economy…. but today it pays out USD$1.40

Dividend.jpg

Cheque.jpg

And I ask myself where do I even begin to plan for my retirement, one day I would like to do something really nice for my mum, like by her car to replace the one I know she sold to send us all to school but never told us about… maybe tomorrow I will.

Next year we have elections… the ruling party candidate is the current president, he has been president all my life, he turns 93 in February. Zimbabwe will decide and it seems everything awaits that; what comes after…? Politics in Africa is a messy affair.

And still I dream of tomorrow, a place not like today, or yesterday… a place where things are better…

~B

Day 5 of my blog everyday challenge

 

Of September Blog Everyday Challenge

Hello September

Today marks the anniversary of my first blog post, a dedication to my sister moonI deleted that particular post; but it’s been four years since I created this WordPress blog.

Today is also Day One of my blog everyday challenge(s) during the month of September.

My name is Beaton but you can call me ~B.. everyone does.

beaton

My blog is titled Becoming The Muse; but to be honest the meaning of that changes everyday; there is no one truth. Yesterday I wanted you to be my muse, today I want you to be mused by me, and tomorrow maybe you shall muse yourse…… in musing you, I (a)muse myself…..

I hail from a teapot shaped country south of the continent of Africa; Zimbabwe.

A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

NOTE: The map is drawn not to scale, superimposed Zimbabwe to its relative position to bring out the shape

It’s the first day of spring today but we basically have two seasons, summer and winter, and it doesn’t snow, not ever. I wouldn’t be surprised that our winters are warmer than some people’s summer. Basically our seasons are hot dry season, hot wet season, cold wet season, cold dry season…. Repeat.

My blog has shifted a lot from when I first started, when it was basically a digital diary of all the stories I wanted to eventually tell and I posted at a frequency of once a very long time *hides*

Dear diary

Now my blog has become a place; alive all by its self, a place I make friends and learn and teach a thing or two… who would have thought it?

I have had a blog for years now and still I confess I never think of myself as a blogger; I am a writer who happens to  have a blog:

 

If I am somewhere and they say we need a blogger here, the way they say *somebody call a doctor* in the movies….. 

I would be looking around as well, looking for the blogger being called for……. 

And here I am, a part of not just one blogging challenge but two …. #BlogTemberChallenge and #30DayAfriBlogger both are aligned with sharing the African Narrative…

Its official; September is Africa month at least on this blog it will be….

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

PS I am curious if you could let me know where you are, its weird how you never really think about where the person on the other side of the screen is and sometimes you assume, even wrongly too ^_^

Of Coffee & Chips in disposable packages

 

Of Coffee and chips in disposable packages

coffee and chips.jpg

If you were having coffee with me, we would be having takeaway. Coffee and Chips.

I bet you have never paid much attention to the packaging or had much of a reason to, maybe you have noticed it discarded or how it spills out of bins and is blown about easily blown away by the wind……..

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that this is the last time we might be enjoying a snack in this type of packaging (Expanded Polystyrene EPS) because our government has with immediate effect ( The Herald 13 July) banned it.

Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) or Kaylite as it known our streets or Styrofoam (as it is referred to as in some countries although strictly speaking Styrofoam is the Trademark name for a company which makes Extruded PolyStyrene foam (XPS) ) has many uses as packaging material in not only takeaways but even supermarkets and I have seen it packing electronic components and appliances.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell why EPS is bad. Being an eye sore is the least of its problems to the environment but littering is still a big one, it is non-biodegradable, so it doesnt go anywhere for a long time even though it was only of use to you for just a moment over lunch, some animals will eat it, which cant be good and if it ends up in rivers, well so long fish and marine ecosystem. Recycling EPS is costly and burning seems easy enough, but you would have to incinerate it temperatures of upto 1000 degrees Celsius and with lots of oxygen otherwise you get lots of carbon soot and gases…. Global warming and climate change are real.

And if you thought simply managing the disposal and recycling was a nightmare ever wondered about the chemical processes to manufacture this stuff… A number of chemical by-products are released and although they claim to no longer use CFCs (those basically mean bye bye Ozone layer) it’s not entirely true for manufacturing of all polystyrene products.

Oh and by the way Styrene (the monomer from which PolyStyrene comes) is a Cancer Suspect Agent and studies show it may alter thyroid hormone levels and a host of other side effects none of them good, ranging from depression, fatigue  to abnormal pulmonary function.

A study by the University of Zimbabwe’s Food And Nutrition Department shows that under certain conditions Styrene can leach into the food packed within…….

And before you start to panic; between 1999 and 2002 a panel from Harvard Center for Risk Analysis conducted a review on the potential impact of exposure to Styrene. Styrene naturally occurs in some foods (although in small quantities) and if we are exposed to trace amounts our bodies rapidly metabolize and excrete it. The study concluded that the amounts of styrene that can migrate from packing materials and into food are not in quantities that should alarm us….. but still try to keep away from microwaving food in disposable plastics polmers

For these and other crimes against the environment, through implementation of Statutory Instrument 84 of 2012 the government has banned use of EPS.

kpn

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that much as I understand why this has happened I would have preferred to know it before the fact. One cant just wake up to the news that something has been banned and not know why. The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) really needs to work on its awareness campaigns, and then you cant just go around banning stuff without putting in place an alternative because no one will stop or it just makes the black market thrive…..

I researched on Polystyrene packaging because my mother asked me why they had banned use of kaylites (EPS). Without an awareness campaign you suddenly find an angry man on the street saying “it’s another government tactic to make life hard” because this was a cheap form of packaging and now we will have to change to more expensive alternatives and one can predict a rise in food prices….

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I never liked coffee served in styrofoam cups, it tastes so temporary…..

If you were having coffee with me; I would ask you how you like your chips?

chips plain.JPG

I would tell you that there are only two types of people in the world:

Which one are you?

~B

PS I prefer my chips drowning in tomato sauce thank you very much.

Image Credit: EMA

Sources: The Herald EMA  You Know Styrene

Of The Home Renegade’s Curry #MEATLESSMONDAYS

A Guest Post

The Home Renegade’s Vegetable Curry!!!

Curry.jpg

I am not a “Home Cook”. The disaster I make in the kitchen, the absurd number of pots, bizarre amount of cutlery, and countless times I have to wipe down my counters is testament to that. When I cook, I am in a war zone, and I am the General sending my “troops” to inevitable victory. Because, I can cook. Very well. Just don’t call me a home cook… maybe, a Home Renegade. Because I am not prim and proper, or meticulous… I throw things in that pot and that pan, and BOOM (I’m shocked the explosion hasn’t been literal), a meal!!

So, I make it a point to do Meatless Mondays, just to get my people used to the fact that veggies do taste pretty good. This time, I had no idea what to make, I was way too lazy to go to the shops after work, cause all I was thinking of was getting to my hot stove and cooking (no, it was just because it was real cold!!). So with my measly haul of vegetables, I managed to make a pretty decent meal, I think. I mean, my husband and kid said it was nice; I’m not sure if it was true, or because I was giving them the scary mom eye that scares you into submission. In my defence, I had to make sure they ate their veggies…

So here is the “recipe:

Cooking oil

Curry powder

A mixture of vegetables (I had carrots, green beans, and butternut squash; at times I add cauliflower, baby marrow and sweetcorn) all chopped however you like

Onions (diced)

Tomatoes (diced)

Tomato Puree

Garlic

Salt to taste

I don’t measure a thing, I wish I did, then I’d be like a fancy chef on Masterchef who writes down their recipe before starting to cook. I’m a renegade guys! As long as it tastes good and is healthy, I am happy. How will I pass on my recipes to my kids though…?

Heat oil (a lot of oil, whatever a lot is to you) in a saucepan, and add onions and garlic. Cook till softened. Add curry powder at this point. (I just pour, till I’m happy… I need to start measuring things…). Add your tomatoes , and vegetables, and let simmer till tomatoes are mushy (forgot the culinary name…). Add tomato puree, water (water should be up there! *face palm*), and simmer for some time. ( I didn’t time it…). Add seasoning, and gravy thickeners if they’re your style and serve! Goes well with rice & rotis.

Curry.jpg

So here you go! If you wanna try Meatless (day of the week) in your house, here’s a recipe for you. And my son actually eats the vegetables! So maybe it’s a miraculous way to get kiddies to eat their veges!!!

Until next time… Your Quarter Wife.

Quarter Wife.jpg

Bio

Rutendo Matongo (nee Sewani)

I love making lists! I love making lists with categories and subcategories! I’m not a neat person, but I love a compartmentalised life, where I can get information quickly. That was the inspiration for the Quarter Wife.  I love the nation of Zimbabwe! I live in Harare with my husband and son. When I’m not making lists, I’m working as a General Practitioner, and wondering which knitting project to start.

Twitter: @quarter_wife

Facebook: www.facebook.com/quarterwife/

Website: TheQuarterWife.WordPress.com

Thank you for joining do check out her blog you just might pick up an apple or two

~B

PS I cook in an almost similar fashion, and the good thing about it is no meal ever tastes exactly the same and the bad thing about it is No Meal Ever Tastes Exactly The Same.

 

Of Coffee With My Father

Fathers-Day-mug copy.jpg

If you were having coffee with me…. I would say hello and thank you for visiting me.

I would tell you that my garden has been growing on me, its been giving me quite an interesting perceptive on things and life. You see I have fictional character in a work in progress who rather likes to garden; the story doesn’t have much of plot as, yet, but its coming along nicely…. See what I did there?

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what would you do if you found a rose growing in your vegetable garden?

Would you let it grow?

Let it Grow; Let it Grow

If you were having coffee with me; I would ask you that did you know why you spell it Father’s Day and not  Fathers’ Day? Well not only is it the correct grammar but you are celebrating Your Father as an individual and not all the Fathers in the world, just yours.

If you are lucky to have one you can say Happy Father’s day to then say it while you can; sometimes dads are not quite as appreciated as they deserve; even just checking at the way the days have been commercialized people spend more for their mothers than for their fathers … how about that!

My dad passed away when I was young and I remember watching this movie called Neria; where the relatives of a widowed woman suddenly crawled from the woodwork demanding their share of the inheritance from their late brother’s estate; eventually everything got solved thanks to inheritance law and the judicial system.

I used to wonder if an uncle would show up and say “this is my house now” and claim our mom as wife; that’s what used to happen in the old days, that’s tradition for you. Traditions are slowly evolving and I remember the family elders assuring us; they would support my mum and us; and our estate would be ours and ours alone, and none of these opportunistic customs; the uncles would not even accept my father’s old suits; saying keep them in storage until his children are old enough for them… that is how I still have My Father’s watch… (feel free to read)

Oliver Mtukudzi’s feature track from the movie Neria featuring Joss Stone during her visit to Zimbabwe….

If you were having coffee with me I would share with you this tribute:

My Father.jpg

If I have seen,

 FURTHER,

 it’s because I was carried on the shoulders

of A giant,

MY FATHER;

Who carried me until I could walk,

And then watched me run,

And still he watches over me as I learn to fly

 

Thank you for visiting its been a pleasure having you…… have a blessed week.

~B

PS Yes I drew That In case you are wondering, wander no further….

PPS UpDATE we have so far managed to raise 100 bibles yey and many thanks to all the wonderful people who made it possible….. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Credits Frozen Gif

Of Freedom Of The Press

#PressFreedom

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

A day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.

For a second I thought to myself what does press freedom have to do with me? I am not a journalist, I don’t work for a media practitioner…..

But like everyone else I pick up a newspaper and browse through, sometimes I find articles about journalists being arrested or detained, cameras and voice recorders being confiscated or destroyed. Media blankets from certain proceedings….. or key government officials calling media parasites or a circus….

According to the Reporters Without Boarders website Zimbabwe Ranks 128 on the World Press Index a ranking based on RSF’s assessment of the countries’ press freedom records in the previous year.

Zimbabwe _ RSF-2.jpg

Zimbabwe Press Freedom Index

I won’t say I am a supporter of the press but it has always existed to fill the information gap and they should be able to disseminate truthful information without bias or prejudice or fear, but at the end of the day; Media Houses are a business, and they provide news and information not as a benevolent act but their bottom line is to make money; to sell newspapers, to sell advertising space and whatever else that pays that puts food on their table….

It’s quite easy for The Press to slide down the slippery slope of only covering sensational stories, emotive news that stirs emotion and likewise sales and once down that path its quite easy to start making up your own news when there is none, speculative opinion pieces dressed up as fact; or whomsoever butters their bread tells them to cover a particular story and not another.

Sometimes the media seems nothing more than a tool whose sole purpose is to build or destroy politicians…

Pick a paper any paper what are the odds the leading story is political…

And sometimes it’s a voice for the voiceless and a defender of the people’s liberties but who defends defender……

I remember once getting a communique that was supposedly from Ministry of Information’s office to various radio stations informing them not to cover news on certain protests as it would glamourize civil disobedience…..

It must be tough being part of the government machine, how many secrets you must keep, I am sure it’s with good intentions (at first) you keep these secrets to maintain order( I would like to believe) . It’s not hard to imagine how people were to react if they were told for example the government only has enough money or water or other basic need for one more month before the country reserves run dry, mayhem and chaos…. I have seen the apocalyptic movies where people become mindless animals when they don’t have hope….

Sometimes it seems like hope is more important than truth……

So the state keeps a secret, to preserve hope, a curious journalist sniffs out a scoop and what happens next has happened before and will probably happen again.

If governments didn’t keep so many secrets, if they trusted its citizens not to react like base creatures and properly explained; If good governance meant transparency maybe Press Freedoom would not even be an issue….. but cows come home to roost; scandals break out, politicians fall out of favour, new politicians rise and  they become exactly the system they criticized, and so the cycle continues….

And now we live in the internet age which has brought with it a paradigm shift of how we consume THE NEWS…. Anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection is suddenly a pseudo-journalist. Something happens, you capture it on your phone, you tweet it, blog it and share it via WhatsApp and in seconds it has gone viral before traditional media houses can even say “BREAKING NEWS”

Its absolutely brilliant but it has its pitfalls such as the increase in unverified information or downright slanderous gossip masquerading as fact being peddled by people seeking their two minutes of internet notoriety; for example celebrities have been “killed” several times over, fake news, satirical and downright cyber victimization (leaking of chats, pictures and videos)

Small wonder governments are trying to find ways of monitoring and regulating the internet….. it’s an unruly information jungle. But if only they did with the intention of safeguarding citizens it’s simply a way of controlling information, information is power.

Once the was a time when all internet service was down and conspiracy theorists claim it was a directive from the government trying to stop a citizen protest which rallied around the national flag as it was deemed that the protests were being mobilized via social media.

Our government is trying to pass Cyber Act which gives them power to arrest people deemed to be inciting violence or causing unnecessary alarm and despondency…….

The Press is no longer some journalist with press card and a column in a newspaper, The Press is someone in your phonebook, in your contacts list, in your email, in your whatsapp group, the next person whose tweet you retweet….

Are you really free if you are afraid to speak? How will you be heard when you do not speak?

~B

Of Goat To Be Kidding Me

Once upon a time…. we used to settle our debts with a handshake and an agreement that you had in excess something I needed and I had more of something you needed, so we shook on it and a bargain was struck ..… wait; it is not a folk tale, it just might be the future….

Our crazy economy and its surrogate bond currency might be in for quite some change…. (no pun intended)

kid

I kid you not

A High Court judge made headlines for offering to goats as settlement in divorce proceedings….Newsday.jpg

….and the goat drama begun because shortly after;

The Ministry of Education was featured in the Sunday paper saying how schools must be flexible in matters of tuition fees and not just turn away pupils.  Parents and guardians can pay for their wards’ fees using livestock or do chores for the school in lieu of tuition.

The Newspaper article carried the headline Pay Fees With Goats:

And as you can imagine goats have broken Zimbabwean internet, people have way too much free time on their hands….

Oh yeah and so far its only schools that have been mandated to accept goats so don’t get carried away…

Notice.jpg

To be honest though having parents selling their livestock to raise school fees is nothing groundbreaking but now it seems is somewhat implied that you just walk to the school leading your goat by the leash and hand it to the school headmaster.

What the ministry is proposing makes sense but then it’s not the kind of thing one wakes up and casually announces like “oh yeah, if you don’t have money you can bring in your goats as fees” and it does not really solve the root problem. Anyway how are the goats going to be converted into actual cash for the schools? I am guessing some livestock auction will have to happen; sounds simple enough but if people sell their goats because of not having money, whom oh whom is going to buy them? Some schools are probably going to end up with goats they cant find buyers for or selling them at less than market value, and another thing how exactly is the price of livestock going to be evaluated there’s bound to be lot of chicanery going on, people being the way they are; and in the interim where would the goats be kept, and what would happen if a goat dies? So many questions….

Imagine the unlikely event of every parent bringing a goat, cow or chicken; what a circus act schools would turn out to be and small wonder goat jokes are trending….

If the ministry has everything figured out they ought to say as much and explain how everything ought to work instead of vague newspaper quotes with room to a whole of misinterpretation.

Maybe our future currency is livestock; a legal framework to allow movable assets to be used as collateral or security when acquiring a bank loan, is on its way to being passed into law.

Banks only consider immovable property as collateral and if you don’t got none you won’t get a loan hun; no matter how lucrative the venture you need financing. The logic behind it doesn’t need any economist to figure out; you use immovable property as security because it guarantees one doesn’t up run away with it because hellooo immovable.

Enter The Movable Property Security Interest Bill; which seeks to make movable assets such as livestock, motor vehicles, furniture as collateral for bank loans. If the bill passes for a law this will make it a somewhat easier to get a loan but I am curious though who gets to keep the collateral, the thing with movable property, it can be lost, stolen, it depreciates and possibly dies, I’m no legal expert but I foresee an increase in civil and criminal lawsuits….

Banks best be using the super profits they made to build kraals and pens to hold their loan repayment securities.

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I had a dream of the future and it kinda smells like dung…..

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~B