Being a daughter to nice in-laws…

I started packing in the afternoon. I did not have much packing to do, only had to look for decent, warm clothes to wear, everything else was in my suitcase.

I was at my aunt’s place and she was going to accompany me to my in-laws’ place. According to the Shona culture a new bride is accompanied by her aunts or sisters to his new family. The bride and her aunts are left to crawl into the in-laws’ compound while covering themselves in a white cloth. They crawl for a distance and stop, the in-law’s side of the family throw the bride money so they can continue to crawl their way into the house. The charade goes on with the bride taking a few steps and stopping to receive money, the in-laws’ side of the family will be singing songs: depending on their own tradition, some sing mean songs, some pinch the bride while at it and some sing happy praise songs. Lucky me they sang me praise songs. This ceremony is called kuperekwa.

My aunts and I; (apologies for the picture quality)

The bride has to to be wearing a head wrap, which is ok but I still don’t know why she has to crawl. So yes we crawled into the house, had to sit down folding our legs until a time when we were allowed to unfold them. I even had to sit with my head facing down and when they made jokes I couldn’t laugh. Again, all I know is it’s tradition so I bit the inside of my lower lip and had my tongue touch the upper part of my mouth so I wouldn’t laugh (tough experience). We were served sadza with green vegetables and chicken, which we weren’t supposed to finish from our plates, so we did what was expected of us. People said a few speeches and we were allowed to rest for a few hours. All this took place in the evening and by the time we were told we could rest it was already after 1am.

I didn’t even sleep, I don’t know if it was the fear or the excitement.

At 3am my two aunts and me were up, sweeping the compound. We made a few heaps of litter so they would throw money on the heaps first so that we would pick up the litter. We started a fire and heated water for everyone present to bath. I had to serve bathing water and body cream to everyone starting with the father and mother in law. After bathing they would leave money in the bucket. The experience was totally fun plus who doesn’t love money. After everyone was done bathing, we prepared sadza, vegetables, soup and fried chicken and I had to serve everyone, kneeling as per Shona tradition, nothing new there.

After we had washed the plates, people dispersed, even my aunts had to leave after they showed me to my husband’s bedroom and as per our tradition they made the bed for us.

So there I was, in a new environment with new people who probably had their own way of doing things: I was scared considering the stories of ruthless African inlaws and abused daughters in-laws I had heard.

My first day in mother-in-law’s kitchen

Lucky for me, I only stayed with my mother-in-law, sister in law and her son for a while to familiarise with them: that’s also tradition and we call it kutamba chiroora. My mother in law was very nice to me, and so was my sister in law. Mother-in-law allowed me to not wear a head wrap and a zambia (an African fabric wrapped by the woman on her waist) and that was great news to me; you see a daughter in-law has to dress decently, wear a head wrap and a zambia, that is how it should be. Some families insist the daughter-in-law wears those until she bears them a grandchild (I feel that’s cruel … story for another day). I did have to wear those only when my father-in-law was around which was barely.

Chilling with mother-in-law, while she told interesting stories

Sister-in-law was the sweetest (still is), she showed me the way around the house, not that I didn’t know how to do my chores but every family has its own different way of doing things, hence she taught me all I had to know. I’m grateful for her, I hear most women have spiteful sister-in-laws, mine is an angel. I was generally treated like a daughter, I never felt out of place and I was able to gel in without feeling like an outcast, (mutorwa, as most people would call a daughter-in-law, loosely translating to one who was brought).

I found a sister in sister-in-law

I respect my culture and I also think there is always a way to follow it reasonably without discriminating the other. Culture does promote good relations but people have twisted culture to suit their own selfishness.

Can you tell where I’m from?

Of late I have been missing home a lot. If you are wondering were home is, you can take a guess based on the pictures below…

I miss nhengeni, that is sour plum I think in English. An indigenous fruit from my country. I have never really been fond of that particular fruit: I guess being homesick is making me miss everything.

Lucky for me as I was taking a walk today, I came across a shop called Africa Basket, which sells my country’s indigenous products and here is what I bought….

Colcom pies

Today is the happiest day of my life (lol), I feel less homesick. As you can see, I have already attacked the food stuffs (smiles); Africa Basket is going to see a lot of me this year…

This is culture and fashion week, I’m hoping to enjoy the challenge.

So there is this module I learnt at school which gave me basic knowledge on culture and fashion and I think we were taught that the two go hand in glove. Our fashion sense are a non-verbal communication which sends messages about who we are or rather their nationality. True, an Indian lady is identified by her sari and there was a time when a java print dress was won by the African ladies. At times the way one dresses communicates their religion and at times it communicates their ethnicity.

the traditional attire of the people of Angola

Culture is made of factors like society, education, values, and norms and so on. Since, fashion deals with how we look and what we wear; it is largely influenced and controlled by culture. Due to globalization or global consumerism, (I hope its not too big a word to use), fashion is now influenced by cultural changes such as technological innovation, art and modernization. There is more to fashion than just clothing, one’s fashion sense communicates a desired lifestyle.

There are three sources of culture which influence the present day development of culture and these include low culture which bases on local street activities like graffiti or Hip Hop influencing a certain fashion style; that is when we say local culture has become a part of the global fashion. In simple terms, low culture is a fashion style that starts local and trends to global level. we also have popular culture also called pop culture which is has seen mass production of fashion styles influenced by celebrities and movies. The common fashion and lifestyle tv shows we watch are basically what we call popular culture. lastly we have high culture which is when art influences fashion.

crop top trend

In all this, the point is there are times when a fashion sense is developed from one’s own culture, then there are times when one is influenced by popular culture (what everyone else is wearing).

low culture

An open letter to my father…

Issa Sunday and its also father’s day; Special mention to God our father who art in heaven. It is important for us to acknowledge God for in him we live move and breathe, amen: (lol), no I am not preaching.

Father’s day is a good day for an open letter to the man who raised me, I don’t even remember how to write a letter but I will try…

To Daddy dearest…

I have heard people say a first born daughter is a replica of his father and I do not know if that is true but I remember growing up I always loved it when people said I looked like you, (crazy I know).  This one time someone said I looked like mum and I was like “No, I look like my dad.” That person must have thought I was crazy so they agreed to what I had said, “Yes, you do, little one, especially your complexion: it’s exactly like your father’s.” That made me happy, now that I say it, it sounds creepy but I just wanted to be like you because I looked up to you.

We look like twinzies right (jus joking)

I also remember back in the days, when I would spot you coming from work, how I would run to you and you would let me swing on your biceps (lol, yeap my dad is superman). The other time my mum was away from home but you didn’t wait for her to come back and teach me chores, I remember you asking me to wash your work overalls (daddy is a mechanic by the way and he wears a 2X size so imagine). That was hard but I’m grateful you helped raise me.

I also remember the disciplining, I might have been a bit naughty growing up, because I remember you disciplining me (African style; spare the rod spoil the child they say). What interests me the most is how you always sat me on your lap after the beating and encouraged me not to get naughty again then you would give me money to go buy sweets (hilarious).

Education; yes, you valued my education, low grades were never really an option for me. You always encouraged me to do my best at school, pass and have a better career and better life than the one you have. And what I respected most is that you reminded me again and again how the better future was for my own benefit. And all the times you helped me with my mathematics homework; how you pinched me with a ballpoint pen refill when I didn’t want to think (I did struggle with mathematics, but the motivation helped). I was basically a well disciplined student at school mainly because I never wanted to disappoint you, that was my drive and it worked until I was mature enough to understand I had to do it all for myself, for my future.

Results of the disciplining and encouragement

You had my back, always, somehow I felt comfortable coming to you first. Funny, this one time I lost my pen and I came to ask for a pen from you, when mummy heard it she actually said normally a child tells the mother first and the mother then tells the father. I never did that: had no regard for a household chain of command or whatever it’s called and I didn’t care because daddy had my back.

Supportive that’s what you were, helping me with startup money for my businesses: they haven’t grown much, but they are still existent. The memories are a lot and I would type till tomorrow but I’m very grateful you are my father. I learnt a great deal from you. I love you daddy…

My pride

So I will leave this poem here for you…

Dad, as I was growing up
You always made my world feel safe
The dear calm of your voice calmed me
And the strong circle of your arms circled me
I never felt vulnerable or afraid
Because to me, you seemed unshakable

As I got older though
It downed on me that the world you faced everyday
Was a lot bigger and scarier
Than the one you had created for me
And I wondered sometimes if you felt
Like relying on someone else’s strength for a change

Now that I am an adult
And living outside of your safety net
I finally understand what sacrifices
You made to make sure “my world”
Felt alright all the time
Growing in the sanctuary of your love
Is something I will always cherish
And a memory I could never forget…

Source: unknown

In Conclusion…

Today marks the end of business and technology week and I’m happy I made it. It was the most challenging week for me. To be honest this week made me realize I’m not really an expert when it comes to business related topics and I look forward to bettering myself. This is exactly why the winterabc is a good challenge for all bloggers; it exposes your strengths and weaknesses. You get to know what you are best at and capitalize on that, especially if you are looking to earn from your blog.

Back to business: I was on twitter when someone posted that, “You can tell by looking at a jacket that its owner is long dead.” I laughed at that statement because I thought no one really studies the next person’s dress code in winter. The majority of us can dress to kill in summer but in winter our priority is to feel warm, full stop. Which is why the bale business is thriving even more in winter, particularly this winter because it is a bit chillier than the past winters.

An entrepreneur advertising pre loved coats on WhatsApp

I have seen bale adverts on Twitter on Whatsapp. People do love the bale, not only because its affordable but also because it usually is good quality material. It’s not only the pre-owned jackets business which has taken business to the next level of e-commerce; I have seen pre loved car being sold on eBay. There is this story of a toddler who bought a pre-loved car on eBay while playing with her father’s phone, that’s how easy business transactions have become, everything is now just a click away and it will be delivered to you once you pay. You do not even have to withdraw money to buy something, even the payments are completed online. Basically, life has been made easier.

Getting rid of paper work with DataScope mobile application…

Technology brings about a number of disadvantages in business, like how businesses can now have a wider reach in the global market, increased web storage systems which lessen data loss and it has also resulted in increased efficiency for businesses. Sometimes I look at it all and I almost feel as if we will all wake up and find ourselves unemployed with all this technological advancement; or maybe we will all have eyesight problems from having to work from our smartphones and computers most times.

So hubby is a telecommunication engineer and there are times when they have to conduct surveys on sites. A few years back they had to carry with them files to fill in once they got on site. All the employees carried these files with a bunch of paperwork to be updated. The paper work was later submitted to the warehouse or company office were the secretary had to re-file them and submit them to project managers and so forth and so on, you know the chain of command. Now because of technology, no more pens and files, the employees only have to download a DataScope application on their smart phones, which the company now uses to access the correct information updates from the workers while they are still in the field. As a result, the company’s operations have been improved and processes made efficient. There are no more delays in workflow seeing that the project manager does not wait for the workers deployed to cities away from the company office to travel back with their updated files, technology eased the whole paper workload.

Vehicle inspection recording made easy with DataScope

With DataScope, all the information collected is available to be viewed in real-time and can also be exported in PDF or Excel. This application is totally adaptable to any field as it can be used in incident reports, audits, field surveys, field inspections, equipment installation, field sales, polls, service orders, to mention just a few.

If you are thinking of trying this application out for your growing business, do try. It has a free version which you can use forever free but it has limitations. It does not accept more than 60 submissions per month and it stores the data for only 30 days; it is perfect for a small business or if you are looking to try it and see how it functions before subscribing to the better version of it.

DataScope logo

Did I mention that the DataScope mobile application works offline? Well, it does. It stores files in the Application’s pending tab when they are submitted while the mobile has no network connection. Once the mobile has a connection, the device needs to be synchronized, in order for submitted forms to be sent to the server.

Auctioning my first time…

…who said virginity is priceless? Technology has seen it priced and used as a vehicle for capitalism...

Trust humanity to take this whole business technology thing to another level. I had only read of virginity auctions in novels until this one time a video of a 19-year-old auctioning her virginity circulated on social media. She hoped to use the money for her tuition and use the rest for travelling. People do that really? For some time, I thought it was a prank. Where I come from you wouldn’t dare have that thought and if you happen to have it packed with courage as a combo; then you wouldn’t dare publicize it no matter how much it pays.

Usually people believe in trading their virginity for their fiancé’s lifelong devotion while others prefer to give their first time to a person they really love, regardless of them never going to be in a lifetime commitment with them. Some however for many reasons known and unknown prefer to lose their virginity in the most profitable way possible, which is to a paying stranger, the highest bidder to be precise. Who said virginity is priceless? Technology has seen it priced and used as a vehicle for capitalism.

Pictures of virginity auctions conducted before

Virgin auctions are a business, hence like every other business they adapt and adopt e-marketing ways availed by technological advancement. Virginity auction sites have been created on the internet from as early as 1998 and it appears this form of trade is viewed as a smart business transaction by some. Some of these auctions have been reported to have received more than 10 000 bids and the bids going as high as $3.8 million for a one night’s transaction.
Not all virgins auction themselves however, some are auctioned by guardians as in other countries the demand for virgins is big business that thrives due to cultural myths. In Cambodia it is reported that the Asian men there, especially those over 50, believe sex with virgins gives them magical powers to stay young and ward off illness. Such beliefs are rife and in places were the law is reluctant and children’s rights are not implemented, some parents feed on selling the virginity of their daughters.

Video of of the girls auction herself

Even in Africa, such practices have become common. There is a in South Africa, a site built for those willing to sell and buy virginity without the participation of a third party. Also a 26-year-old London based South African lady sold auctioned her virginity for R17 million through an agency in 2018. The business is now closer to home. What are your thoughts on virginity auctions? Do share them on the comment section.

Fast eats with online food delivery apps…

Takeaway delivery systems have been most convenient especially with the lockdowns in place. Eating out has become unpopular because of covid but that does not mean people have stopped buying from their favorite restaurants.

I remember one Sunday I walked to church in the morning. I had decided to walk thinking the exercise was going to be good for me, so I walked to and from. By the time I got home I was dog tired, scotched by the sun and hungry. I had to tell my husband that the pots were tired and I could not prepare a meal for us, which meant we had to do takeaways for lunch. Now the question was who was going to go buy the food. The man was busy with his work and I was nursing my tired bones; we had to order in though Mr. Delivery. We ordered from McDonalds and 20 minutes after ordering I was serving the food hot and tasty. That is the only time I used the food delivery application and I’m grateful my order came through.

I have since heard people complain of how they never receive their order though on the application it reports that it has been delivered and all that after having paid. Others condemn these applications for having their orders cancelled after the payment would have gone through and not being able to get through to the service number to have the issue sold. Though there are complaints, there are praises as well to these food delivery systems.

They are accessible: you can use the application at any time of day as long as the restaurant you will be ordering from will be open.

Time saving: Instead of having to walk or travel from point A to B, you can focus on other things and have the food delivered at the comfort of your home. The food gets to you quicker than it would if you were to go and buy it in person.

Convenient: The food gets to you at the comfort of your dwelling; you can still take care of your stomach and busy schedule at once.

However, the meals bought through delivery applications are a bit more expensive than the ones bought in person as the delivery applications add at least 28% to the meal’s actual price. This means these applications may not be for economic people.

Which food delivery application do you prefer?

Electronic images in online shopping…

Last year I stayed with my father in Johannesburg; I was a runner. Not an athlete, a runner is an individual who takes orders from people and buys products for them. So I had to advertise myself on Zimbabwean online business groups and people would inquire of different goods and products which I as a runner would search for get the best required quality and make quotations and send them to the buyer. The quotation was made up of the actual price of the product plus the runner fee, plus the transportation fee.

This is good business and everything is done online. Other than advertising on Whatsapp, runners also use other social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just like all other businesses do.

This one time I found a client who needed toothpaste dispensers. She had seen a number of adverts on them and had also advertised them such that she was going to resell them at a good price. I did my best and got them for her after she had deposited the full amount i had charged her into my Mukuru account. The moment she received the toothpaste dispensers she was displeased with them. Like the African woman she is she did not let the issue go without first throwing daggers my way.

It was not my fault, that is just one of the disadvantages of online businesses or online advertising. There is lack of touch and feel of merchandise online. One cannot be sure of the quality and material of what they are buying. The perfect electronic images make everything worse for the buyer, there is no means of examining the goods advertised. If my client had had the privilege to touch and see what I was selling she could have realized perhaps that those were not the toothpaste dispensers she required. Technology has done a lot of good with regard to business marketing but it has placed the buyer at some sort of disadvantage. The electronic images of most products are misleading as they vary from the physical appearance and at times even the images have more defined color as compared to the physical product.

These disadvantages are the reason a certain population sticks to traditional shopping. Traditional shopping allows the buyer to have the fun of buying; using their fingers to feel and eyes to examine the products, having the opportunity to try on clothes and test appliances to see if they work right and also interacting with the sales representatives were need be.

I love shopping and I prefer going from store to store, trying this and that on and only buying that which satisfies my taste. Let’s talk about it; which method of shopping do you prefer and why?