Zuma is the face of SA, whether we like it or not!

I’m not an ANC member or affiliated to the ruling party in any way, but I am a patriot and my politics are centered around the will of the people, hence I decide which political party to vote for just right before the elections. These videos that are constantly in circulation showing Zuma making a fool of himself however, have really gotten in my nerves. I don’t think they are funny at all

You see, as much as we cannot agree with some of the policies of the ruling party or what Zuma himself has done but I would like to point out that whether we like it or not, Zuma is the face of South Africa. He represents us out there, and when he is making a fool of himself we ought not to laugh, we must in fact ask ourselves, what does that say about us as South Africans to the international community?

We all know that Maths is not our President’s strong point but there’s no one in the ANC with the foresight to see to it that numbers need to be written in words to avoid Zuma embarrassing himself over and over again when making his speeches.

NOOO man this is really not on!

Can someone reading this article from the ANC do something about this!.. I’m Swati and we have this saying– Tibi Tendlu– which literally translates to “Dirty Laundry”. Zuma is our dirty laundry, as patriots let’s all agree that we’ve made a mistake to have elected this man to that position and let’s acknowledge that we have learned from this but most importantly let’s try and hide our dirty laundry to protect ourselves from this kind of shame!

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Let’s talk about Muammar Gaddafi!

Besides claims by the Western countries of the Lockerby Bombings for which Libya was harassed and an “innocent” man spending years in jail.
 
Well it’s also a well known fact that he came to power in a coup, suppressed political opponents, funded armed groups that the USA categorised as terrorist and attempted to obtain weapons of mass destruction (hash tag according to who: the West again?)…None if this is seriously disputed.
Crimes? Others have done the same and not been punished. The USA protected General Franco, and numerous similar people around the world. Nothing was done about Saddam Hussein until after the end of the Cold War, when he became inconvenient.
You can’t speak of crimes without some sort of impartial judgement, which is lacking.
 
And by the way he was also rumored to be worth over 200 Billion USD ( so much so for forbes claiming for years that Bill gates is the richest man in the planet, which I personally believe the richest man is in the middle East, probably the Sheik Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Makhthaum, but that’s a topic for another day). The real question is what happened to Muammar Gaddafi’s money? When someone out there freezes accounts of the so called dictators what eventually happens to the money once it gets liquidated again, if it does become liquid?
 
What are we being fed here and by who?.. We are bombarded by so much Western media propaganda that we begin to drink the cool aid.. I still choose to not drink the cool aid!

But Why Are Churches Not Paying Tax?

Today I saw this guy I went to high school with. While in high school he once told me he wanted to study Theology and be a pastor. I didn’t take him serious at the time because of the lifestyle he led ( womanizing this girl and womanizing that girl). Well, although he didn’t get a chance to study Theology, but today he leads one of the biggest churches in his area. He is married to this girl we both knew from high school as well.I’m startled by one thing though. The guy is a prophet and I don’t have issues with that, but his wife is a prophetess as well, now I have issues with that. My issue is centered around the following:

Why with the clergy when they get married their titles seem to pass down to their other halves? Is God anointed between the sheets or whether prophetic powers were sexually transmitted in that a prophet’s wife becomes a prophetess, a pastor’s wife becomes a pastor?

Speaking of which

In South Africa churches are classified under Section 21. This means that they are registered to provide services and do not intend to make profit.

Although they are not legally obligated but It also means that whatever profits or funds they may receive from donors, they have a patriotic duty to provide services to various “communities” such as children’s feeding schemes, AIDS orphans etc.

However they have been milking the poor dry and making millions of rands/dollars out of their troubled souls. They are gospelpreneurs, they own the best houses in and outside the country, driving the most expensive cars, and living extravagant lifestyles but still cajoling the poorest of the poor to seed even more.
Some of them own conglomerate companies which are registered under their section 21 churches. One does not need to enlist the services of an Economist to see that these so-called prophets are merely business people taking advantage of the poor and troubled souls and raking millions through their misery.

To believe them is nothing but a mischief. To let them go without being taxed is nothing but fraud and economic mischief.

Public Protector, please rescue us from these snakes!

The stereotype version of us.

We were driving around Pretoria, my sister and I, when we saw a group of prostitutes. Then the judgmental statements came pouring down from both of us but again I asked myself after that, aren’t they people as well?

They also are people right? they have families they support with that prostitute money. Although some are there to support their drug addictions but some are putting their kids to school with that money.

All what we saw my sister and I were a group of lazy, and disease riddled fiends who are lacking morals. So I thought, this is the same way racists white people see in us, they actually don’t see us but they see the stereotype version of us, lazy baboons. While some blacks see the stereotype version of white people as well, paranoid and bossy stooges.

This is the very same way most of the South Africans see foreigners, they see them as fiends who came to the republic illegally to take the jobs, to make our cities dirty, to introduce drugs and cause crime, to simply take over the country without even wanting to integrate with us, they are a clique of cockroaches I heard one Zulu guy said at one point. same how the Rwandan genocide happened! in fact same as how all genocide and hatred happens.

I don’t want to even talk about the discrimination faced by gay friends.

I love you South Afrika.

Regarding the Omar al-Bashir debacle!

The biggest criticism that we as Afrikanists must heap on ourselves is our romanticisation of any Afrikan leader who is being persecuted by the West. We defend the most indefensible things, whether or not they are to the detriment of our people, just to give the West the middle finger.

One such case is that of Omar al-Bashir, a racist murderer responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people (specifically the non-Arab population), and the displacement of millions. His reign of terror is well documented, and it hurts even more when you go to Sudan and listen to the real accounts given by the south Sudanese people, who are still living through the legacy of the man’s beastliness.

I support the argument that Afrikan and Arab leaders seem to be the ones prosecuted by the ICC, and that therefore we must withdraw from that institution and strengthen our own court in Arusha. But history is littered with many examples of how Afrikan leaders are incapable of holding each other accountable. I don’t trust our leaders to be just, precisely because they are all a gang of thugs who benefit from each other’s thuggery. Our leaders will stand back and watch their own commit an atrocity, and will do nothing to stop him. That’s why the AU is this toothless institution that it is – it is because the strength of the AU is derived from the strength of its member states. Therefore with its member states being this weak, the AU is bound to be weak. I’m saying here that before we can make noise about the ICC (and we must), we must first be honest about the state of our own house (it is a perilous state). And we must realise that this state can only change once we become courageous enough to get rid of these old thugs, these lootists, these savage murderers that we call leaders. But before that, can the kak rhetoric about al-Bashir being some African hero stop, because that man is an anti-Black murderer and lootist. Nothing less.

I’m a Wikimedian: My experience on WMCON 2015 in Berlin.

PREAMBLE

I don’t remember the first article I’ve ever edited on Wikipedia, but I do remember that it was in 2011 when I edited something on the English Wikipedia and it was deleted in a lightning speed. Well out of “curiosity” I eventually created my account and I’ve learned some 1 or 3 things or let’s say “tricks” on editing since then.

The Wikimedia Chapters conference 2015 is the first I have ever attended since joining the movement. I must point out that there were a lot of things that happened at the conference that one can write about but on this article I will try and give an overview of my experience and what I’ve gained at the conference.

Well for those who don’t know what a Wikimedia Chapters Conference (WMCON) is, I can in short describe it as an annual meeting of all Wikimedia organizations (Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, user groups, and the Wikimedia Foundation), as well as other committees to discuss the future of the Wikimedia movement in terms of collaboration, structures and organizational development.

THE PEOPLE

Back in 2011 when I first created my Wikipedia account, I saw this as an easy thing to do but on the other hand as a confusing Matrix virtual world where one is encouraged to contribute but at the same time discouraged by the complexities and the tonnes of information on the site. I didn’t even know what a chapter/ user-group or even what Wikimedia was and what it stood for. Let alone that I could meet an actual person behind a user-name. It was indeed not a user-friendly environment for a newbie to come in and contribute, there were a lot of sharks waiting to bite one.

This was however in contrast from my on-line experience when I got to meet the people behind the user-names, the old hands of Wikipedia at the Berlin conference, who were so open and friendly and were willing to help in any challenge that one faced in their usergroup or chapter and even share ideas of how to go about solving problems one encounters in their region. It was indeed an inverse experience between the on-line and off-line. I really enjoyed the humility and the comradeship of the colleagues at the conference. Connecting one on one, Identifying the same challenges, exchanging ideas and creating friendships was one of my highlights at the conference.

BERLIN CITY

I’m South African and I went to the chapter’s conference representing the Wikimedia South African Chapter. We have a number of projects currently running in the South African Chapter, 13 in all and one of the projects I’m busy with is the Joburgpedia which aims to increase Wikipedia coverage of iconic buildings around Johannesburg with historic and heritage importance. GLAM institutions have played a huge role in the success of this project.

When we talk of old buildings in Johannesburg we are actually referring to buildings constructed around 100 to 150 years ago. That’s nothing compared to Berlin. The city is old, I mean ancient! When they talk of old they mean double, even triple an average old South African building. This was very interesting to me.

The public transport in Berlin is efficient. Too efficient for me, after landing at the airport I discovered that my luggage was missing and after sorting out the luggage issue I got lost while making my way to the hotel, this was also compounded by the language barrier. I however met some helpful Germans who walked me through the map and I finally got to my hotel checked-in and the conference after I asked one of the participants to come fetch me at the hotel.

Standing next to the iconic brandenburg gate.
Standing next to the iconic brandenburg gate.

THE CONFERENCE

The conference was running from the 15th to the 17th of May, however the pre-conference started two days earlier. I arrived on the 14th and managed to attend all the conference days. The program had a lot of workshops that took place simultaneously and participants had to choose and prioritize according to their interests and importance.

The registration and welcoming team from Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) was awesome. We had a warm-up session, this was an ice breaker where we all gathered in one room and walked randomly to form groups of 4s with other Wikimedians  we’ve never met before, we were then asked introduce ourselves, talk about what we expect from the conference, milestones in the past 42 month and the biggest challenge we’ve faced from our respective organizations.

Since it was my first time at the conference, I chose the “Introduction for Newcomers” workshop. Several speakers from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) were present here.  However the whole exercise ( presentation) was about introducing the first time attendees of the conference to the history of Wikimedia, where it is currently, giving examples of projects that were initiated as a result of the conference, the future of the chapters conference and the Wikimedia movement as a whole. Several questions were asked including conceiving and execution of projects by the foundation, if the leadership style of Wikimedia is from top to-down or bottom-up etc. And although long and not exactly concise but answers given were satisfactory.

The “Independent Fund-raising Experiences” was one of the interesting workshops I’ve attended in that the speaker didn’t act like she knew or had all the answers. It was a conversational talk where we were all discussing and sharing ideas of  who are the right donors for us, how to raise funds from independent donors, and challenges that we faced with donors, why are donors important, donors who want to fund Wikimedia project with ulterior motives! We also shared our experiences of “when we had to say no to donors”. And every participant was sharing their experience from their country.

The ” Board Governance” was another eye opening talk I’ve attended, some of the salient points I’ve picked up were openness to other board members, don’t be an island but share and ask where you don’t know or understand, let others know your strong points and weakness to better assist you, honesty was also one thing that was discussed and one last thing that I thought was important was the importance of collective effort where the discussions were around doing things to achieve for the chapter/user-group not for oneself. A lot of ideas and insights were also shared here.

Candy table from all over the world brought by participants to the conference.
Candy table from all over the world brought by participants to the conference.

One of the things I always find daunting is writing of a wiki report, so it made sense for me to attend the ” Reporting and Storytelling”  workshop. The first thing that was discussed was the difference between writing an APG report and a PEG report. The salient point here was that as much as your reporting must be storytelling, it must also be succinct, accurate and specific, it also must leave no room for ambiguity on the part of the reader, reports are not there to impede or bind one but they are intended to give the Foundation and other interested people information about your activities and financial records since this is an open source. A good written report will in turn create trust, good record and reputation from the movement and donors as such.

I also attended the “Lila’s Talk”. Lila Tretikov is an executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Well the talk really was not so much different from the “Introduction to Newcomers” workshop. To me it was an extension of that workshop, just that it was going much more into detail about global metrics of what the Foundation has achieve thus far, projects that the foundation is engaged in, where is the Foundation headed etc. A number of question were raised on the workshop and several spokes persons from the Foundation tried to answer as best as they could. One of the question entailed the interest of the Foundation regarding the Global South another was about organizational structure and the tonnes of information which makes it very difficult for newbies and wikimedians to communicate and discourage them from editing. I thought their responds were satisfactory.

Lila's Talk.
Lila’s Talk.

“Lightning Talks” were a five minutes presentation about any wiki related matter one wanted to talk about. There were several presentations from speakers doing different things from different chapters and user-groups all over the world. After seeing the presentation from the Wiki LGBT and that the category on South African LGBT was empty I decided to start contributing on that project. ” The aim really is not to promote being gay and lesbian, but it is simply making people aware and understand about LGBT by writing as much information as we can” the LGBT representative said.

The workshop about ” Global Metrics Tutorial”  I didn’t find it satisfactory, the presenter was sort of like rushing and I did not capture some of the points, there were also lots of questions that were raised but were never answered adequately. I also had a number of question especially around reporting and global metrics, but I guess I can still find help from the community on-line.

CONCLUSION

Attending the conference was eye opening, it also gives one a sense of direction and introduces one to a support structure other than the one they have in their country and on-line. Meeting people in person gets one to form lasting ties and you become less formal whenever you need to ask for help or share an idea. You also learn from mistakes some colleagues went through, like the intense discussion I had with the guys from India about how they ran their writing competition and the challenges they faced.  Altogether I really gained a lot from the WMCON 2015. I’m looking forward to implement all the knowledge and ideas going forward.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Your Life, the Book.”

It’s so funny that this reminds me of the last funeral I’ve been to. We all knew that the person being buried was a notorious womanizer but every speaker spoke good of him. There was only one line on his obituary that highlighted that he left 8 kids ( no mention that they all have different mothers). I digress.

My life is dynamic, It’s changing all the time, I’m spontaneous, I don’t really have a 5 or 10 year plan, I can’t assure you where I shall be or be doing next year this time exactly. I lead an open and a bohemian lifestyle and everything I do is important,

So for me, it does not matter who writes my biography really. as long as they will tell nothing but the truth.