Inhaca Island! 😍😍

Some time early this year I took a trip to Mozambique- a place called Inhaca island… It was my first time there and I was not sure what to bring along or not. After a few online searches, I felt a bit confident about the whole trip but it had to take a bit of persuasion from my friends…

Getting to this island is a mission and half though!!!

After reaching Maputo, we had to take the government ferry for R50 per person paid at the small office where the boat leaves. They accept rands…

The boat was not overfilled and we all got proper seats. It takes quite some time to get to the island, almost two hours. The heat was just something else and we had to wear life jackets- well personally I wore one, others did not.

As if to spite us, the ferry stops in the ocean about a kilometre away from the beach at Inhaca. There are small boats that come to stop beside the boat and you just jump off the ferry into them. It was about R5 per person, we paid in rands but the boat guy was not too comfortable with that and conversation in English was a total myth….

Funny part is, these boats stop a 100 metres from shore then you have to walk by foot through the water to the beach. There are local guys who offered to carry your bags to the beach- of course for a fee!
At the beach you have to pay island tax! How ridiculous 😂

Then we walked into the village to our accommodation. The thirst levels were beyond imagination. Luckily, there is a beach bar close by and we had lunch and a lot of drinks…
The village is small with a few restaurants and street vendors. It is better to bring your own food from mainland if you plan to cook, there’s not a variety of supplies on the island- We learnt the hard way...

There’s an ABSA atm there which will give you cash in meticals if you need it but we were able to pay for everything in rands.

Generally things are really cheap in Mozambique, perhaps because of lack of demand for what is mostly exotic to the locals…
Transport around the village is by small trucks, local guys will transport you for cheap prices if you bargain well- Being Zimbabweans, we did that particularly well…

Alcohol was never in short supply. The local brew and delicacies were phenomenal. The locals are generally peaceful and there wasn’t a lot of tourists when we went there.The beach by the lighthouse is awesome – clean and the water was an exquisite blue…


Going back mainland after the weekend was terrible. The government ferry leaves at 3pm BUT there is a pre-registered list and only a certain number of people can get onto the boat.

People start registering their names at 12 everyday, so when we got there at 2pm the boat was already full! It left us there, stuck at the beach. 😂😂😂

Fortunately, some of those guys at the beach had private boats and were able to arrange rides for us..

I loved Inhaca island, there’s lots to do there, particularly the food restaurants, snorkeling, the sundowners and the overnight tour rides. The people are friendly and helpful even with limited conversational English language . No one tried to rip us off, I would recommend Inhaca island to anyone who intends to visit…

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Did you know??

ALISON is a free, online platform for individual learners to learn skills at a certified, standards based level. They offer over 300 courses to choose from, ranging from IT to Business Management to English Language Skills to Personal Development courses. The courses they offer are free to all individual learners, while a nominal fee is charged for ALISON Manager, which allows a company to form and monitor a group of learners. ALISON is able to provide their courses for free due to advertisements that generate revenue for both ALISON and the company that has placed the advertisement…

Thus far, I have completed two online courses for free through ALISON. The courses have been on par with most job training and certifications I’ve taken over the course of my life through various employers and their outsourced testing facilities. Most of the courses are in a PowerPoint style presentation, though a few are audio or video intensive.

Many of the courses have 4+ modules, which may contain 1-15 lessons each. I advise to take notes in Note Pad or Sticky Notes so you can keep key information logged in case you should need it. So far, the information in the courses I have taken seems to be very sequential, therefore making it much easier to follow along.

Once all modules are completed, you will have a course assessment. All courses require a passing grade of 80%, unless otherwise stated. Once the course has been satisfactorily completed, you will receive credit for the course and have the option to purchase your certificate or diploma. You will also be able to download or print a copy of the certification notice for your own records, and be given instructions on how employers can verify your skills.

The Drawbacks
The main drawback of the ALISON free online course system is that it is not accredited at all.

The courses do follow industry standards, but it is up to your particular employer whether they choose to recognize the ALISON Certificate or Diploma as legitimate proof of knowledge.

ALISON does boast that more than 80,000 ALISON Certificates have been ordered or downloaded worldwide in 2010, and that they are fast becoming well known and trusted by employers worldwide.
Another drawback I have found is the Certificates and Diplomas cost money. You can save or print a free version telling you that you have passed the course, what the course covered, and by what percentage you passed, as well as your certification number, but to have an actual certificate you must purchase it.

This cost is per certificate, so taking many courses and earning many certificates can be quite costly if you would like a physical document. They do state on their site that if you are ordering more than ten certificates to contact them for a discount.

My Conclusion

Overall, I believe that the ALISON free online courses are well worth the time you put into them. If nothing else, you will gain knowledge and a sense of personal fulfillment for taking the time to learn the course you choose to learn, without the expense of a university or community college if you choose not to continue past the one course, or to even drop the course once you have started.

If your current or future employer recognizes ALISON certificates and diplomas, it could very well boost your career and give additional credibility to your skills and abilities.

Download the App on PlayStore and get a free course…😎

Of the life of a designer….

I wouldn’t know about you but I would do with a few custom design dapper outfits of which I am guaranteed that noone else would be rocking…. You are in luck… I have such a plug!

THE LIFE OF A DESIGNER is a small business which specializes in fashion and designing mostly street wear ..

THE LIFE OF A DESIGNER came onto the scene in 2014 and due to economic constraints, they could only produce one line of product but later managed to diversify and make different types of street wear clothing.

THE LIFE OF A DESIGNER is situated in Harare Zimbabwe this initiative has managed to design clothes for some Zimbabwean artists namely Its Fucci , Schingy (team bho boss) and Tasha among others…

Get in touch for your personal designs on

+263778673735
+263715911559

View more of their designs on Instagram @the_life_of_a_designer

Someone new…

Words, poorly and unconsciously chosen, can indeed hurt not only first impressions, but also your credibility, relationships, and opportunities for any type of advancement in which ever case you may encounter in social or professional life.

Based on personal experience, I have come up with a few words that must NEVER be said when you meet someone new…

1. ‘I think …’
Saying “I think” is sometimes acceptable, but only if you truly are unsure.
Using ‘I think’ can make you appear wishy-washy. When you know something, state it directly: “The meeting will be at 3 p.m.”

2. ‘I love your dress’

Avoid commenting on a person’s personal appearance or belongings – even if it’s positive – when you first meet them. It’s too personal and out of place. Even after you get to know them, be careful what you say and why.
Because of varying power relationships and pecking order in society, it’s often the safest bet to avoid physical comments altogether unless you’re certain how they will be perceived. Might work to your favour though but it might just scream :”Pervert Alert”

3. ‘You look different than you sound over the phone’
Don’t begin a conversation by implying that you’re surprised, disappointed, or puzzled by the fact that the person did not meet up to your predisposed expectations…

5. ‘Honestly’

Drawing attention to your honesty at that moment can lead people to wonder, “Is everything else they’re saying not true?”

6. ‘You probably heard X about me, but it’s not true’

Don’t draw attention to any rumours that may be going around about you. It makes you seem like you think you’re important (maybe you are – but you don’t want to give off this impression), and maybe the person hadn’t heard the rumour, until now…

7. ‘Can you do me a favour?’

You just met this person. Don’t immediately ask for their help.

8. ‘I … I … I …’

Self-absorption should be avoided in any first conversation.

“I” is the smallest letter in the alphabet, so don’t make it the largest word in your vocabulary.

No one is impressed when a person dominates a conversation or talks too much about him or herself, especially the first time you meet someone- I suppose.
To avoid an I-centric conversation, show sincere interest in others by asking appropriate questions and actively listening. “How did you get into accounting?” “What brought you to this city?” “What do you believe are the key challenges in living in this city”. Get to know them, through good questions which foster good conversation…

9.’How much do you make?’
The amount of money a person earns is a very personal matter.
“It’s considered rude to ask, and unconscionable on a first encounter,” she says. “If you’re really that curious, or it’s important that you know, instead of committing this faux pas, do some research on sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, Salary.com.”

“We all stand to improve our ability to craft a positive first impression, particularly in the words we say.

Perhaps, the most effective remedy is to focus on the best interests of the other person because, nearly all the faults of conversation are caused by a lack of consideration…. Just be careful of what you say, when you meet someone new…

Negro Please!

Oftentimes, we take simple stuff for granted and overlook the potential damage that they might have on our lives, generally….

That one time you need a photo shoot, be it for your social media, promotional work or anything- photographers can be a big let down….

Allow me to dwell on one f my favourite blog posts this month, based solely on the truths mentioned in it.

In the words of Thembi Terry,

Photography is an art and I respect it as such. Please don’t approach photographers and ask for photoshoots in exchange for exposure or as a favour. Trust me, they already have all the exposure that they need. #TooFunny”

In her post, Thembi bares the truths that people face daily and some how ignore as it is usually “beyond their control”

She did not beat around the bush, instead she spoke at length on how photographers can be total pricks.

From showing up late for shoots, engraving their logos onto your images, using your images to promote their brands and refusing to give you the raw pictures among other funny behavioural traits…

Thembi’s blog post made me go down memory lane as I had more or less the same experience in my attempts to work with professional photographers… They usually come up with similar excuses like they are siblings or something…. Negro please!!

Read more of Thembi’s work here

From a trickle to a flood…

Very often as Zimbabweans we get caught up in the protracted debate about why Zimbabwe is struggling. Every time we have this debate, we come up with the same myopic conclusions that usually obscure the real reasons why Zimbabwe is stagnant.

And because we are too egotistic to be honest with ourselves. We will always lack the tools to resurrect our nation because we keep deliberately mis-diagnosing the problem.

Passing The Buck

It’s always easier to pass the buck on everyone else when assessing the bane of our problems, rather than locating the blame on ourselves as individuals first. This, when accompanied by the fact that Zimbabweans find it difficult to understand that neo-colonialism is a reality plaguing Africa, makes the conversation a greater challenge. We revere our European masters far too much to see a full picture.

The People Who Ate The Golden Goose

The fact is, as Zimbabweans we ate our golden goose. This is who we are, shortsighted people who roasted the goose that was laying the golden eggs because we were craving a meaty treat. Too addicted to instant gratification we couldn’t wait for the goose to lay eggs to hatch more golden geese.

It all starts where all conversations on Zimbabwe start, at independence. From independence, our parents were content with being paid a pittance by white companies to exploit their nation. This small working class minority [8-10% of the population] were content with being slaves as the nation was sucked dry at the expense of future generations and the majority languishing in rural poverty.

Riding the staff bus to work and eating lettuce sandwiches in the corporate blue chip canteen was enough to make this elite group of blacks think Rhodesia had left a utopia for them.

Subsidized Education And Food

The new government came in and gave this small percentage of city dwelling black workers subsidized township housing, transport, fuel, healthcare, food and night classes to advance from colonial bantu education.

Their children were given the best primary, secondary and technical school education on the continent. All at the expense of this endless gift-that-kept-on-giving called the national treasury.

Never did they see the exploitation by their white masters. Never thinking that their menial jobs could some day come to an end because of globalization. Neither did they think that their gift-that-kept-on-giving would run out of treasure to support their subsidies, healthcare and world class education.

Consumption Over Production

With these endowments they [the minority black working class] squandered their earnings on western consumables: clothes, cars, colour TVs, VCRs, trips overseas and occasionally the western university education for those who were well endowed with disposable income earned from administering colonial exploitation. When not squandering they saved a few cents for a rainy day in their savings accounts.

Their jobs were rudimentary, repetitive, small parts of a bigger puzzle that never gave them the skill to produce a complete deliverable without the supervision of the master. Such jobs were in many cases held in uncompetitive British companies like Leyland, Bedford and other such that became redundant globally.

The Day Master Left

Sadly, the day exploitation could no longer be tolerated in a nation of independent educated natives inevitably came. When it dawned the exploiter packed his bags and left with the knowledge and the largess he built over the ages. He externalized his ill-gotten gains, imposing sanctions on this native that got too big for his boots and left hoping to return.

Our parents were left disillusioned and bitter. Bitter at their loss of jobs and wages. Bitter at being given factors of production to think and produce for themselves. More critically the privileged working class minority resented that they now had to compete for survival with village peasants [albeit educated peasants] in a free market.

It was now a free for all. Their elitist privilege of staff buses and blue chip canteens was shattered. Now they had to work the land and extract the resource for themselves to survive, but this was beneath these professional employees.

Given land and minerals to chart their own destiny, they cursed and scorned making the excuse that they didn’t have the capacity to use the land. They told us [their kids] that the nation was doomed and we needed to migrate and seek employment else where with our world class education. What they didn’t realize is the world had changed, globalization had collapsed British industrial dominance and Rhodesia was a bygone era.

Lazy Parents

The sloven parents soon infused their indolence in us. Instead of learning and teaching us how to use the land or invest money to gather machines of industry. They chose to throw their hands in the air in despair and sit hopelessly hoping for a saviour. Some pressuring their children into overseas slavery to be their retirement pension.

Even at this point it never dawned on them that their savings should be employed to produce the goods and forex they kept consuming. They never thought that their savings needed to be leveraged into production before they lost value sitting in idol savings accounts.

They did nothing to create employment for themselves and their children to pay taxes that could maintain the subsidized education, world class healthcare, transport and food they were accustomed to. The gluttons continued to consume like locusts without sowing adequately to ensure more was available in future.

They never realized that they couldn’t keep consuming without producing what they consumed. Neither did they realize the true impact of the sanctions imposed by their slave master so they never did anything to mitigate the economic warfare. Sooner than later the castle of consumers who couldn’t sow inevitably came crashing down.

Our Generation

Twenty years later their children, now grown, have learnt nothing from their indolent parents. Proud and puffed up with an international, Western “miseducation”. Scattered across the world in top global companies doing rudimentary pieces of the bigger puzzle jobs and mundane tasks that don’t enable production.

Our PHD holders are pen pushers in NGOs, in the business of donor administration. Doctors of begging essentially. Meanwhile the MBA graduate is a colonial administrator for global banks and corporates pillaging the continent.

A task doer but never a finisher, the MSc holder and engineer don’t know how to apply for a patent, create a prototype or register for a mining claim in a nation of vast resources. No ability or initiative to self direct independent of a white man. We are a nation of slaves and colonial clerks.

Never Returned What We Received

Some of us were privileged to get a subsidized education from primary to tertiary that qualified us for these great vocations. However, we have never paid a cent in tax in our country to replenish the treasury we drained. All because no one in the previous generation created the jobs for us.

Even though two generations didn’t create the jobs or pay tax, we still expect our parents to get world-class healthcare at home. We expect functioning schools and to get passports when we apply for them. We even have the gumption to expect to vote in our diasporas on some other “person’s” taxes. Like our bantu educated parents, we still believe in a treasury that miraculously replenishes itself. No wonder we find the gospel of miracle money plausible.

From the amazing subsidized education we benefited from, we fail to create solutions for Zimbabwe’s problems as a return on national wealth invested in our development. We don’t build schools or hospitals after making money. We don’t donate to improve those facilities that we used. Nevertheless, we expect a nation with world-class facilities, infrastructure and industry.

Investment From Thin Air

We do not invest or save in Zimbabwe, even though our nation is under siege and needs more home based investment than ever before. But somehow we expect jobs for youths and children to miraculously materialize.

The moment we become politicians, we think that national coffers are limitless, personal piggy banks. We consume the little public purse on western luxury vehicles which cannibalize our own industry. We have delusions of grandeur, seeing ourselves as royal monarchs entitled to the largess of treasury.

Parasite Nation

This is the nation we are. A nation of ravenous parasites just like our colonizers. We expect to eat where we did not sow. A nation of adults who still think they are children. Everyone waiting for some adult to come from some where and build Zimbabwe for us 30, 40 and 70yr old children who can’t register a claim or apply for land.

Who is to build our nation if adults still think they are children waiting on adults to fix Zimbabwe? Who must create the jobs when we externalize, consume and don’t invest in creating the industry and commerce?

Who must revive the infrastructure, world class schools and subsidies of the past when we don’t pay the taxes? Who must make good policies when we are not contributing to the national debate with books, proposals, research, attendance of public office meetings or participating in politics?

Weevils

We are the epitome of post colonial Africanness. Always absconding responsibility for someone else to do for us instead of us being active participants in building our own desired reality. This is definitely not how the Mutapa Empire was built. We must change and we must change fast if we are going to build Zimbabwe.

Cecil John Rhodes ran his first business, a cotton farm at the age of 16 in Natal without experience in farming. He bought his first diamond claim at 18 without any experience in diamonds or mining. Continuous learning is how he developed and what we and our parents have refused to do…….

For most part of the time I was drafting this piece, it had the title, “dakukutukai sterek…” then I realized, I am actively part of what I’m talking about…. Well, lessons are meant to be learnt daily.

A trickle has since become a flood, what are you doing to build our nation???

Big achievement… or not

One too many Zimbabweans are quick to use the Kariba dam as a symbol to illustrate Rhodesia’s legacy benefit to Zimbabwe, myself included.

Kariba dam

However, the questions most people never address are, who paid for the dam? and was the dam the most efficient energy generation investment that could have been made on the amount at the time?

Well, the fact is, not a cent of Rhodesian money was spent on building the dam. The dam was paid for by Zimbabweans and Zambians to the tune of $480mil principle debt [approximately $3.6 bil in today’s money] at an interest rate of 5.5% per annum over 66 semi annual repayments.

Fifty-three years later, we are still paying a remaining $115mil interest [out of a total compound interest of $1,4bil] debt through a bond as we speak…

The dam was started in 1955 and completed in 1977. Three years later Zimbabwe got independence, albeit Zambia had already attained its independence in 1964.

This literally means that the dam was a colonial edifice commissioned by an illegitimate colonial government administering Northern & Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland for the interests of colonial exploitation. All at the exclusion of the black nationals whose resources and capital would eventually pay for the debt then and in future.

Collateral for the dam was our parents slave labour, exorbitant taxes, our generation’s future taxes, tariffs extracted from black Rhodesians and our resources (in particular chrome, coal, iron and copper in Zambia) for which companies like Anglo America, Rio Tinto and Mimosa needed the extra power to process.

In other words we have all been paying for this dam ever-since it was built and we will be paying for it into the foreseeable future. Basically, we [Zimbabweans & Zambians not Rhodesians] built the Kariba dam..

Anyway, what is compelling is that throughout the phased completion of this dam, the mines mentioned above, their smelters in Zimbabwe and Zambia paid a discounted tariff for electricity. The balance was subsidized by ordinary Zimbabwean and Zambian citizens who paid a premium [in taxes, low wages and high tariffs] for electricity they did not actually use.

Bear in mind that when Zimbabwe got independence only 8% of Zimbabweans had access to electricity. Less than 3% of Zambians had the same. However, to breakeven the Central African Power Corporation according to its agreement with the banks had to collect nothing less than $1.82mil [3/7ths of 1% of debt] annually from electricity tariffs while amortizing their debt at $60mil per annum.

How was that possible?

With electricity in Rhodesia being subsidized by taxes. This meant that the whole of Zimbabwe’s exploited labour force and all those villagers paying bicycle tax, cow tax, hut tax, grain tax and other such taxes were paying the difference between the tariff collection and annual debt repayment for a project that had no direct benefit to them.

This is a painful reality to the millions of Zimbabweans who studied under candle light to acquire their qualifications while subsidizing the privileged few.

In many ways Kariba has been a huge opportunity cost burden on Zimbabwe because it was not geared to supply electricity to the majority of Zimbabweans or their future industries.

In contrast it was an inefficient private project to supply select white owned mines and processing plants in the Copperbelt and Zimbabwe with cheap, subsidized electricity to process and export cheap chrome and copper to their overseas holding companies. This was at the expense of the ordinary Zimbabwean who had to pay +$1.8bil [+$3.6bil in todays’ money] for the asset investment and power generation.

Had Kariba been designed and built cost effectively for the purpose of powering the growth needs of Zimbabwe. At its investment value, the dam would have easily delivered more electricity to ordinary Zimbabweans then and in the long term, even if it meant a nominal increase in capital.

Put another way, if we had received bang for our buck on Kariba, Zimbabwe would not be having chronic electricity shortages at today’s low 38% electricity penetration.

This low return on investment from the project brings us to the fact that the dam was not commissioned on a fair bid basis that would deliver value for Zimbabweans.

Instead it was a means for European bankers, the IBRD, British and Rhodesian politicians, miners and industrialists to stuff their pockets. The bid was awarded in an inside fix to a division of the Fiat Group called Impresit. Meanwhile an expensive debt [at 5%/annum on the US dollar] was procured from the International Bank Of Reconstruction and Development by an all Rhodesian/British board enticed by commission, their interests in mining companies the Central African Power Corporation and capitalist banking interests.

The deal was financed and huge concessions and mining rights were used to underwrite parts of the debt.

It’s clear that huge commissions were dispersed to the players on the table which all added to the cost we are paying back today. This is a clear manifestation of European capital combines exploiting Africa for resources, labour and debt servitude..

Had the dam been built in a fair bidding process. It would likely have gone to a Chinese company and been financed by cheap debt, built using cheap Chinese labour, generating us more power at a lower cost than the +$3.6bil paid.

As a real practice comparison, Kariba’s 1626mw dam was built at a cost of $3.6bil in today’s money. Whereas Ethiopia has a $5bil dam that produces 6000mw of electricity. So in essence Zimbabwe invested $1.9mil for each mega watt of electricity it receives. Two and a half times more than Ethiopia which invested $833 333 for every mega watt they receive.

These are legacy investment decisions made by an illegitimate government that still affect us till today.

Today it’s not so easy for our government to just finance new infrastructure projects because we are still yoked to various Rhodesian debts that were fraught with corruption, costly debt and kickbacks that include this inefficient monolith.

I will not labour the issue of sanctions at this point because I think the case is clear. At the same time this sanctions has been overly used to cushion pathetic administration though…

Moving on, considering that today China’s Three Gorges Dam is the biggest dam in the world, employing some of the best electricity generation technology of our time.

The Three Gorges Dam

In my view, it would have been more beneficial for Zimbabwe if Rhodesia had not built us this monolith through their corrupt, exploitative colonial European nepotism and we had built ourselves a dam in a fair open bidding process.

Maybe we would have been better off having a value priced dam over an inefficient costly Italian monolith financed by fraudster New York bankers. JUST MAYBE…

The lesson to be taken forward from this: hypothetically, if three million middle income Zimbabweans can contribute into an energy development investment at a little over a thousand dollars per year…. We could potentially build ourselves a five billion dollars project which can power the nation for years to come… Question is, who can be trusted with the finances for this type of commitment? Our politicians are mostly corrupt!

However, this could mean ordinary black Zimbabweans can create generational wealth for themselves overtime just like the bankers who funded Kariba did, while eliminating our electricity blues.

TRIVIA:
[1] An estimated 3-4mil Zimbabwean diasporians remit $2bil formally and $1.5bil informally back to Zimbabwe annually. This is a total of $3.5bil or $800/person sent back to Zimbabwe for mostly consumption.

Imagine if we could harness just one year’s remittances for capital investments that could generate a return for people and their families in Zimbabwe….

Again, was Kariba dam an achievement or failure???