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.

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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…

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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.

livestock.jpg

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

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~B

Of Coffee and Edible Water after Easter on Independence Day

tea

If you were having coffee with me I would say hello to you hope you had happy Easter holidays. Did you do anything interesting, visit family, hunt for eggs with the Easter Bunny, or go to church and celebrate The Risen Lord. Regardless of your beliefs and faith on Easter I find you hope you never get swayed by the corporate monster, out there to make a quick buck, commercializing every single reason we have to buy a gift or anything really for any occasion clouding up everything till you find you cant go home until you have bought a mother’s day or father’s day, valentine’s day or anniversary gift, cake, presents, Christmas trees, hot cross buns, Easter eggs, spending hard  earned money on meaningless trinkets and  meaningless gestures. Ok, fine maybe that was a bit harsh, its not meaningless and there is nothing wrong with gifts and gestures, and I for one wouldn’t mind getting a gift; even for no reason, actually especially for no reason but they must come from the heart and not because some big corporate splurged a lot of money in advertising and marketing and it’s all inception and subliminal messaging for you To Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy.

But hey the corporate monster just like progress is a multi-headed beast that needs to be constantly fed with innovation.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you saw the April Full Moon, also known as The Pink Moon. I don’t know why it is called The Pink Moon, it was most certainly full but not pink in colour. Here is a fun fact, Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (which occurs March 20)

It still feels like the weekend today, Sunday to be precise but its Tuesday, that’s because today’s another public holiday, it’s been a holiday studded past five days whoop whoop…

Today is Independence Day for Zimbabwe.

Happy 37 years of…… sovereignity.

They call us the Born Free generation because we are fortunate to never have witnessed oppression at the hands of colonial overlords or the blood price that was paid for our sovereignity. Sovereignity is a tree just like liberty it needs constant watering, with blood of patriots and traitors alike. I would like to believe no leader ever sets out to rule with iron words, firm fists and tyranny but the old adage holds true power corrupts and absolute power, well absolutely…. and here we are 37 years later and sovereignity feels a lot like oppression  simply changed skin colour.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you have taken a walk outside and thought to yourself someone should do something about this and then kept walking….. Yeah I do that. Just the other day I was looking for a bin to throw litter in, while walking in the city, I noticed all the different kinds of bottles littering the street thinking yeah people need to recycle or something….. and I kept walking.

Everybody expects somebody to do something and in the end nobody does anything

Fun Fact; Empties is really a word, it means a glass bottle empty of its contents. You might be familiar with bottles that come with a deposit refundable when you return the ‘empties’ or those who wont sell you takeaway beverages without an empty to exchange with. I had always wondered who came up with that word or if it was just street lingo but had never looked it up not until yesterday. When your bottle has a deposit you are less likely to just toss it away without a second thought.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what you think of edible water bottles. I would watch you look at me trying to wrap your head around the idea of an edible water edible. I know I have crazy ideas but fortunately that one isn’t mine.

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A company called Skipping Rocks Labs has introduced water, packaged in water drop shaped bottles that are get this Edible… made from some organic algae, dipped in ice. How cool is that?  The idea is quite an interesting and innovative take on that recycling and littering problem I mentioned earlier, especially for those who want water on the go…(hello jogging #teamfitness I see you) I don’t know about the practicalities though like you cant have your water and drink it too hahahaha. What do you think

Thanks for dropping by and have an awesome week

~B

PS If you are a Christian you must live each day as if Christ rose today and is coming.  Amen

Photocredit Designboom

Of Feeling The Earth Move

I felt the Earth move beneath the soles of my feet, a tremor deep from the bowels of the planet’s core.

I was sitting on the sofa watching TV and tweeting about it….  and then I noticed that it was just that I could feel The Earth beneath my feet but the sofa was vibrating ever so slightly like it was a massage chair and the windows were rattling like a freight train was passing through my backyard…. There is no railway line in our backyard, so it could only mean one thing…. a derailed freight train was being all unstoppable outside the house…. I got up and peered casually outside the window half expecting to hear the shrill blast of a train’s horn or see the headlights coming straight at me and I could look like a startled deer watching a flame come to burn it, wait that’s a moth, but see a moth would have flown to the flame, the flame would have come for me…..I guess my imagination is just like runaway train of thought….

The internet is such a handy tool, instead going crazy trying to figure out if I had gone crazy a few clicks later I knew what happened…..

Turns out it was an earthquake:

Africa

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake with an epicentre in central Botswana occurred at 1940hrs CAT, and the tremors were felt in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

I haven’t heard of any causalities so I presume people only got a little shaken up nothing serious…

Its amazing isn’t our ability to laugh at  the things that frighten, our on way of assuring ourselves that, that wasn’t so bad give me another challenge… see fear cant abide humour, were it not for laughter sometimes fear  would never leave, that’s because fear usually arrives late, inevitably leaves early, and ends up never going out at all.

So when you wake up in the morning and find people joking about earthquakes all over social media maybe they are not just being funny, they are saying hey lets laugh because we are not afraid… at least lets pretend we didn’t for a second think the world was going to end, aint no body got time to live their lives like that….

I felt the Earth move beneath my feet and I laughed, did you feel it too…..?

~B

PS If you didn’t feel anything and you are wondering if it was real, the internet says it was real so it was real

 

Of Bond Age

Welcome to the Bond-Age…. You are supposed to read that as Bond Era, like the year of the Bond, and no, its not a new instalment in the James Bond movie franchise but one ought to be forgiven for thinking bondage and not of the kinky kind…

We have survived this long after the introduction of the Bond Notes surrogate currency, late last year, longer than some pessimists had pegged till collapse of our economy. Bond Notes are a surrogate currency, trading at a rate of 1:1 with the United States Dollar, introduced into the system to help ease the cash crisis. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe they are backed by a $200 million dollar facility by the African Export-Import (Afrexim) Bank, and to date $102 million worth of bond notes are in circulation.

(confession: I really have no idea what exactly that means if it is a loan or something else and its terms, I worry a little because this is how countries get economically colonised  I’ve read The Confession Of  An Economic Hitman had I heard of said bank before this… and I had never heard of the Afrexim bank before all this; well Google says it is a real financial institution  but I wouldn’t put it past responsible authorities to take creative liberties with the truth and claim to have financial backing so as to instil confidence in their surrogate currency )

The release of the Bond Notes was shrouded in quite the mist of mystery and vaguely phrased terminology like a stimulus package for Export Incentives and Cash Shortage alleviation and I remember a bank even got fined for breach of some confidentiality clause by circulating pictures of the bond notes prior to their release. Even the security features of the Bond Notes were only made public after the notes had been already introduced into the system.

An sms from the RBZ sent as part of their public awareness campaign:

rbz

Who can even make sense of that?

Strangely enough though these notes were supposed to ease cash shortages trading at a value of 1:1 with the USD (easily making the Bond Currency the strongest currency in Africa) it seems to have worsened the crisis and bank queues are even longer than they used to be, and people struggle to withdraw the weekly banking limit, of their own money. The rumour mill has abuzz with talk of introduction of  even higher denominations of the Bond Currency which are currently trading in bond coins, $2 and $5 bond notes; although the Reserve Bank has gone on record to dispel this saying they won’t do so, as that could fuel inflation.

Plastic money, is the order of the day, but it’s still the standard operating procedure to first ask the cashier if the swipe Point of Sale machines are working and if they accept your particular bank, because some banks apparently don’t play with others, and local banks are suspending MasterCard and VISA transactions outside the country or placing limits on transactions.

How about doing RTGS …one would think that something called a Real Time Transfer should be instantaneous yet they take anything from 24hrs to 14 days, where does the money disappear to? Instead of just whizzing digitally from one account to another at the click of a button like magic? What if it disappears there and never comes back, what if maybe that’s how all the cash disappeared ??? You would think is a terrible time to invest in banking, but you would be wrong, banks are making a killing, your money in the bank doesn’t earn any interest and it will probably get eroded in transactional charges every time you swipe your card, or transfer money and other hidden costs, you might even get billed for enquiring your balance… and meanwhile some banks are making double digit million dollar profits…What a time to own a bank

If you figured you could runaway from the Bank Queues and try to make a withdrawal from some unscrupulous mobile money agents, you would find they charge a “commission” on top of the transaction fees and people desperate for their cash have no choice but to pay and that’s how it starts. Mobile Money Operators say such practices are illegal and should be reported, but desperation breeds strange bed fellows; once one person is willing to pay a premium for their cash then someone else will, and then another and another and soon chaos and the parallel market thrive….

Fuel supply is quite sporadic and one can’t just waltz or rather drive to a fuel service station without checking if they have fuel cause they just might not, and you ought not be surprised to find separate queues at the same service station, one for US Dollar fuel and another for Bond Currency fuel.

fuel

Oh yeah, it also shouldn’t further surprise you to see that they are most likely to run out of Bond Currency fuel first too. They blame the Reserve Bank for not clearing their foreign currency payments to suppliers and in return the RBZ says it works on some priority list where not all foreign currency payments are equal; some payments are more important than others….

The RBZ FOREX Priority list

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Officially there is no parallel rate though in effect there is, by offering discounts for cash transactions as opposed to using plastic money which basically translates to cash being worth more. Unofficially there is a multi-tier pricing where there same product has a different pricing depending whether you are using plastic money, United States Dollars or Bond Currency. This is illegal and an RBZ amendment act was passed into effect  which will see perpetrators being jailed for “devaluing” the Bond Currency.

That’s some Bondage for you

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Of Queue Waiting

…..Greetings from QueueWait,  I have spend so much time waiting in this here bank queue, one might think I went on vacation to  QueueWait….

I usually somehow manage to survive without setting foot in a bank or bank queue, resorting to plastic money in all its expensive charges glory…. Its not that I have lots of money to spend or anything but its just more convenient than spending a whole day in a bank queue… The struggle is real….

The cash crisis situation seems to have taken a turn for the worse and as a result I have been forced to wake up at the crack of dawn to forage for cash at the bank……

I arrived at the bank at what I thought was a decent hour, two hours before official bank opening time, figuring not many people would be there, boy was I wrong….. the were already 57 people in front of me and I am the 58th. I even have a number that says so…

58

A handy system that helps curb the scourge of queue jumpers, nobody likes a queue jumper; we all have places we would rather be, than here, now, waiting for money, our money not handouts or charity but our blood sweat and tears… where did all the cash go again?

 

It is weird standing in a neat queue long before The Bank is due to open and it is not even waiting in line to get into the bank, its waiting for them to put money in the automated teller machine, which they do after The Bank opens, which is after The Bank gets its consignment of money I guess from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, RBZ. So you wait patiently not even sure if The Bank will get its delivery of money and then hopefully you. You ask the people next to you how this particular branch operates, they tell you the money comes around 9.30am and then the ATMs start dispensing money an hour and a half after that. In hindsight  you realise maybe you should have had something to eat before coming to the bank, that’s what you get for thinking a bank run is a simple in and out and thank you for your time mission…..

You stare at yourself in those bank windows that are really one way mirrors, but at least you can wile away time checking out your posture starring at your reflection and reflecting…. its a good thing you took a bath and decided to dress decently because by the looks of things you wont get time to go back home and change for your meeting for later during the day…

You pass time by turning on your Wi-Fi and searching for any open Wi-Fi Hotspots, you might get lucky and find one too. Its something to do until your battery level goes critical, you should have charged your phone before you left the house, or brought a power bank….. Next Time remember that…..

Queue1.jpg

You start talking to your fellow queuesmen (hmmm a red squiggly line appeared on that word, not surprised considering I just made it up) There is always that one guy who is overly friendly who tries to engage everyone in conversation telling you how you must entertain yourselves otherwise you could just drop down dead of stress. Someone even makes a suggestion about how The Bank must take out the TVs in the banking halls and put them outside since people spend more time outside The Bank, than inside….

Shout out to that one guy whose idea of making small talk is asking inquisitive personal questions that no one feels like answering and most of the time ends up just having one sided conversations with anyone who dares make eye contact with….

After a while the stranger next to you becomes familiar like an old acquaintance and it pays to remember what they look, in case you have to leave the queue for a short recess to stretch your legs then you can come back and just say “I’m back” and squeeze back into your position without having to take out the piece of paper verifying what number you are in the queue… and just when you are thinking your number is far from the ATM, someone taps you on the shoulder and asks you what number you are… you tell them and ask why, and they say they are number 205 and looking for their position in the queue…. they are waaaaay to the back… Where did the cash go?

Finally the armoured truck delivers the day’s cash consignment for The Bank.. People cheer and generally get a little lighter spirited, money does that doesn’t it? This is when the Queue jumpers usually make their play, trying to persuade people that they were here earlier, even greets you with  the “hi! I am back“…. “But If you were here earlier then you have a number?”… “I lost it”…”Too bad!”… aint nobody got time for that

Some ladies are prepared for this; If you ever wondered what they carry in their those handbags, a change of “sensible” shoes from the heels and wrap fabrics to spread on the ground and sit. Its a good plan sitting because now you have been standing for close to three hours and your feet starting to ache. Queue

You think you are suffering, you are wrong, there is a pregnant lady who seems ready to pop, should she even be here in that condition? But what if she needs money for hospital, and the money is in the bank? Some hospitals only accept cash or take medical aid cards but with a cash co-payment….. where did the cash go?

Finally the security guard announces that the ATM service has now started and the limit per person is $300 which is also the weekly cash withdrawal limit, so if you get your $300 you don’t come to the bank till next week. The next part is the tricky part, the notes come out in $2 bond note denomination and the ATM cash slot tray can only dispense a maximum of  15 notes per transaction which is $60. So to withdraw your full $300 you have to do five $60 transactions. I am sure The Bank is quite happy with this arrangement as they get to bill you cash withdrawal charges five times……

The thing is with everyone withdrawing their weekly limit, it takes an average of 3 minutes and 30 seconds for one person to complete their business on the ATM. (I timed it)

I am number 58 which means I’ll be standing here 3hours 22 minutes and 8 seconds

There’s always the impatient person who complains real loud about everything and anything and how they have places to be and keeps threatening to just quit and go, but they never do, but they talk about it, a lot. While others just quietly disappear from the queue without telling a soul, they never come back…. but the queue moves ever forward, slowly…

….And then just when you get within a two people away from the ATM you are so close you can hear it beep as the person at the ATM punches in their transactions… you get told that it’s run out of money…..

How long does it take to refill an ATM with cash; approximately 1Hour 30 minutes judging from the time it took in the morning… how long does it take to realise that the bank has run out of money and no money will be dispensed by the ATM 2hours, at least that’s how long you wait for before deciding this is pointless and no one has come out of The Bank to tell you anything about anything ……

You just start walking home, because frankly you don’t have cash for the taxi… maybe if they accept a bank transfer ? Where did all the cash go??????

~B

wrote this post to pass time while standing in a Bank queue

 

Of The Freedom Fighter’s Diary 

Genre: Historical Fiction


Preface


This Diary is a gift to Joshua Levi on day of his deliverance witnessed by Church and God on this 8th Sunday of January the year of our Lord 1889

Adore the Lord always
Sister in Christ

Val

Sunday 8 January 1888
GoT sAveD

jOSH

Monday 9 January 1888
My nEW nAmE IS JOSHUA

SIStEr VAL tEACH ME WrItE
Tuesday 10 January 1889
JEsUs sAVE

Wednesday 11  January  1888

JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA  JOSHUA JOSHUA

Thursday 12 January 1888
VAL Is NICE

Friday 13.January 1888
THE QUICKs BrOWnE FOxs

Sat 14 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx

Sunday 15 January 1888
SIN bAD

Monday 16 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx  jUMP oVER LAZE DOGs

Tuesday 17 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx  jUMPs oVER LAZy DOG

Wednesday 18 January 1888
I AdOrE God and sis VAL

19 January 1888
Sis VAL Cry I WrITE

Friday 20 January1888
I MAKEs VAL cry I sTop WriTe till beta

Monday 5 March 1888
I lEArninG MysELf

Tuesday 6 March 1888
My Christian nAme is JoshuA my other nAme cAn not spelled

Wednesday 7 March 1888

Fatha Bruno come give sweets

Sunday 25 March 1888

Fatha Bruno say Sin is Black and so are we till we are washed by the blood of Jesu. I must have invite others to be saved on Easter Service

Thursday 29 March

My Papa say must stop with white man crazy talk

Friday 30 March

Good Friday
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begot son

Sunday 1 April
Easter Sunday

fatha Bruno gave us communication

Papa say eating Jesu body and drink his blood witchcraft. Papa say The Man With No Knees come to our village and learn our ways we must learn theirs so tomorrow he send me his only son to learn.

Monday 2 April

Today is my first day at the Mission Society school. The missionaries come from far away to bring light to our darkness. To educate us from our savage way.

Today my father cry when I left the village he said Do not forget myself but how can I forget myself when I take myself everywhere I go.

My name is Joshua Levi and I am a student.

Friday  20 April 1888

I have been busy learning new and exciting things, I have not had time to write. I miss the village sometime.

Sister Valerie, she misses her home too, in England. She can’t wait until she goes back and that makes me sad and  I don’t know why.

Sunday 22 April 1888
Reverend Charles Helm visited the Mission Society Parish today. He brought gifts and medicines for the new clinic. He gave me my own mirror, a comb and a razor he said I must be groomed. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. We must strive to be like  God and learn his word and fear him,  that’s wisdom.

Monday 23 April 1888

I cut myself shaving. Rev Helm said he would teach me but he left early to go see King Lobengula.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, sin is dirty and black.

No matter how many times I bath I can not wash away the sin I was born with.

My name is Joshua Levi and I am ashamed of my skin.

Tuesday 24 April 1888

Today is Sister Valerie’s birthday I said I did not have a present for her but she said the best present I can give her is to learn all I can and to spread The Word and be a teacher at the mission.

I wish I had a birthday too I don’t know when I was born my parents were uncivilized in the ways of the world.

Father Bruno told me dont need my old birthday I have a new one just like my new name I am no longer what I was. I was washed of my sins when I accepted Jesu as my personal saviour
My name is Joshua Levi and I was born on 8 January 1888

Wednesday 25 April

Rev Charles Helm says my grasp of English surpasses his expectations. If he closes his eyes he can almost imagine he is chatting with a carcass of Euopean descent.

A carcass a dead body of animal

A Caucasian is a white man.

The good reverend has asked me to go to my papa bearing gifts and supplies and tell him a company of miners want to be his friends they will give him vast wealth and power. Even King Lobengula is friends with them all he has to do is sign a simple treaty of agreement.
I am Joshua Levi and tomorrow I am going home.

Thursday 26 April 1888

The welcome I got is not the welcome I expected. My father said I have become a white man, I dress like him and I even talk like him.

“Son, you have forgotten yourself” that’s the last words he spoke directly to me. He refused the gifts, tore up the memorandum of agreement and spit on the bottle of skotch whiskie.

Malume said to me if I return to the missionaries my pa says I’ll be dead to him. But how can I not go When I go back I will be a teacher of a class of my own.

Friday 27 April 1888

Today I returned to the Mission Society.

I have informed Rev Helm of my father’s disposition. He says my father is a fool because only a fool refuses blessings.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

I am Joshua Levi and I am the son of a fool.
Monday 30 April 1888

I am Joshua Levi and I am a teacher at the Mission Society school.
Monday 1 October 1888
“I am dying”

my father’s first words to me after five months of silence.

His hut smells like dung and herbals the sangoma says there’s nothing they can do.

“Do you accept Jesus as your personal saviour?”

Yes

“Take my father to the clinic”

He is given the miracle of penicillin

I am Joshua Levi and I just saved my father.

Tuesday 30 October 1888

Lobengula signed the Rudd Conscession with  Charles Rudd, James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, witnessed and translated  by Reverend Charles Helm

My father signed his trade memorandum with the BSAC

Tuesday 8 January 1889

I am one year old today I picked the name Joshua because I wanted to be a savior too, Joshua means Jesus in Greek. Levi is because they couldn’t pronounce my name

Ndzivalelano which means reconciliation.

Valerie is going back to England today, her year here is done, I’ll miss her but we are from two different worlds her and I.

I have just learnt that Rev Charles Helm misrepresented the contents of the concession but its a binding contract and this land is no longer ours, it was not mining rights alone we conceded it was All Our Rights .

John Smith Moffat says he will help us revoke it and fight for our freedom……

13 September 1890

“….the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race…”

Cecil John Rhodes

The Pioneer Column raises The Union Jack on the kopje over looking Fort Salisbury

“Blessed are the meek…. They shall inherit the ashes, ashes, of dreams long dead”

I am Ndzivalelano and my bones won’t rest until what was mine is mine again

I am Ndzivalelano freedom fighter and war begins….

~the diary has no further entries only blank pages.
~B

This is a work of fiction, centered around key historic events in the history of Zimbabwe

Blogbattle entry

Of Coffee With Unexpected Things 

​If you were having coffee with me I would say “Hello February 🙌” because you see I am a February baby **hint hint**
Remember the last time we had coffee☕ in the rain ☔….  well it kept right on raining on and off; mostly on but it’s stopped for now, and out comes the sun☀ 

Although not before it managed to rain up a storm that felt pretty much like the end of the world as we know it, or a scene from Orson Welles’ War Of The World. 🌋There was lightning, ⚡there was deafening thunder, there was flooding, trees got uprooted, and the falling trees, just had to land on power lines, because when nature starts dishing out disaster it doesn’t go for half servings, so that pretty much took out the electricity for our neighbourhood. 

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Pastor Evan Mawarire of the #ThisFlag online movement returned back into the country after almost 6 months in self imposed exile in fear for his life, only to get arrested at the airport immediately upon return. When he left the country the judicial system had thrown out the state’s case of charging him with trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government on  a procedural technicality, not sure what they decided to charge him with this time and naturally social media is rife with speculation and conspiracy theories but that’s to be expected.
If you were having coffee with me,  I would tell you that the tea’s ready and when I say the tea’s ready, what I mean is that; the water has boiled and cups are in the kitchen cupboard, the spoons are over there… 

 The tea leaves are in the container for the powdered milk and if you take sugar, there is brown sugar in the old coffee jar. There’s powdered milk in the bottle for salad cream, just dont confuse it with salt, which is in the bottle for mayonnaise…. and there’s the bread 🍞 jam and peanut butter Help yourself. 😇😇

And I baked a cake 🎂 well it’s not ready it’s like you know that furniture you buy and it comes with a manual of how to assemble it in your house,  well there’s the cake. 

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you, to “Guess what?” “What” you say.  I say “Guess” and you look at me with that eye that says you don’t like guessing games. OK fine I’ll tell you. The postman came to pay me a visit. He brought me a late Christmas card I guess that’s why they call it snail mail thank you Tara 🙂 it was unexpected…


I also got an unexpected email but that’s a story for another day. 
Thank you for dropping by have an awesome week. 

~B
PS Also something unexpected our house is haunted or a giant rat lives in the ceiling….. Spooky 🎃 

Of Coffee With A Musing Stranger

Africa

If you were having coffee with me, I would smile and say hi thank you for joining me, would you prefer tea, coffee or plain boiled water. I would ask you if you had a favourite mug; its not weird at all right having a favourite mug?

What did you get up to this past week?

Lets see, some local celebrity couple had a bit of a meltdown, some say it was a publicity stunt, some say it was real. I wont even go into it because I think they got way too media attention maybe I should blog my own melt-down. Just that the internet never forgets nor sleep or eat or have coffee for that matter, and when a private moment goes viral… it goes so epic that everyone has their two cents to say about it.

Speaking about the internet our dear old Postal and Telecommunications Regulation Authority company; POTRAZ decided to set a floor price of making the internet 2 cents a megabyte to protect the telecoms industry. A move which would see our data prices going up and we already have expensive internet. Econet Wireless went and increased their data charges significantly and people took to the internet and social media to protest the high data costs.  Econet passed the buck to POTRAZ, in a loaded press statement hinting to the effect that the Regulator, the Ministry of IT and the government in general creating an uneven playing field and also trying to restrict low data use  of  the internet as it contributes to abuse of social media (but people have read in between the lines as The Government trying to limit freedom of speech on the internet, elections coming up next year…)and they have since reverted back to the old tariffs and POTRAZ has suspended its internet floor price (for now) and The Ministry has in return warned Econet not to dabble in politics and to stick to its core business mandate…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I have a dream that one day the internet will be as basic as the air we breathe, free. I would tell you I have new muse, a stranger and Guest Blogger  I met thanks to the internet. Hailing from Nigeria; Raquel 

Mused by a stranger ~ Words by Raquel
I have been mused, mused by a stranger.
Didn’t your mama tell you not to talk to strangers?
But the stranger talked to me first, and it would be rude to ignore.
I am being mused, mused by a stranger.
I did talk to the stranger, a stranger from a land strange to me.
Strange enough I did like talking to the stranger.
Me being mused by a stranger.
What will it be?
Will it be good, fantastic or interesting?
Or will it be bad, ugly sad and regretful
I got to take the chance, for this stranger has tickled my fancy
AM MUSED BY A STRANGER

Thank you Raquel in musing you I muse myself, you can catch more of Raquel in my next post

Thanks for visiting and have an awesome week ahead

~B

PS how much does your internet cost you?

Of Coffee and WordCamps

code-is-poetry

If you were having coffee with me I would say compliments of the season has the festive fever gripped you yet? In my neck of the woods, it’s been a bit low to start  I guess the low disposable income and the crazy circus that is our economy doing a downward spiral which sounds like a fun ride at the amusement park, only that it isnt; it means we have to brace for a trying 2017.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you sent any Christmas cards this year. I did not, so I guess I will not be waiting up on the postman to bring me anything, oh maybe someone can surprise me…. *hint hint*

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I attended my very first WordCamp which was also the first time such an event was hosted in Harare; Zimbabwe. The fourth to be held in Africa this year, others having been held in Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

wce.jpg

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you if you ever have a chance to attend one of these, WordCamps, DO!  There is something for all WordPress users from web developers, designers to even the occasional blogger. It’s quite the experience and you will absolutely not leave empty headed not to mention great networking and  a chance to meet up with people whom you might already know but only digitally, and the after-party of course

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you, how slightly apprehensive I was at going; thinking it might be all technical about code, command lines and java scripts and I would be out of my depth, drowning in open source lingo. I was greatly impressed by Sizo who did a presentation of how she built a Website in a little under 24 hours after she had, we wont say lied as such; lets just say maybe say exaggerated her Website building skills to her potential employer during an interview and when she got hired one of her first tasks was to create a website for the company, and she did….

Sizo-Sinyolo-WordCamp.jpg

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you whether the abbreviation SEO means anything to you. I always thought it was fancy speak understood by only by tech gurus. I learnt during a presentation by Trust from Calmlock about Search Engine Optimizations; how if you have an online presence or website and Google cannot find you, you might as well as not exist, so you use SEO to maximise your visibility and he definitely knew what he was on about, because  if you Google: SEO Zimbabwe, his company appears at 2nd position of Google search results.

Have you ever Googled your blog or website are you on the first page of Google? Fortunately if you blog on WordPress.com it does this for you and you get to focus on doing the things you like to do, I am guessing that’s writing.

I also met a Happiness Engineer from WordPress, these are those friendly almost imaginary people who give you help and support on WordPress forums. It seems like a fun place to work and I would not mind being one of those, not to mention I have always been unofficially been helping  out my fellow bloggers with their WordPress features so yeah…. if anyone from Automattic is reading this *looks at you pointedly* does this count favourably towards my application?.

some pics from the day

IMG-20161213-WA0026.jpg

WordCamp Harare 2016

Thanks for dropping by, and so come visit again

season’s greetings

~B

PS if you ever been to a WordCamp or meetup do share would love to here your stories and is there such a an event but strictly for the bloggosphere kinda like a meet-a-blogger bash or something …

 

Photocredits: Techzim Job Thomas