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27 May 2011

I'm Alive! I'm Alive!

The loud but abrupt yell of joy in the early hours of 22 May 2011 was the sound of me waking up and suddenly realizing that I was alive. Of course, this is not my usual morning reaction to a brand new day. My normal routine is to open my eyes, look at the time, then let out a long drawn out sigh at the uninviting prospect of jumping into the cold early morning shower.

22 May was kind of different though - somebody had chosen to carelessly predict that the world would come to an end the previous day, that is, 21 May 2011. I mean that literally…not the ‘my girlfriend dumped me for another guy, it’s the end of the world’ kind of meaning, but the real earthquakes and lightning and fire ‘mankind is doomed save for a select raptured few’ kind of meaning.

Thats the world exploding, and that
silhoutte is a some lucky dude getting 'raptured ' the last minute

The culprit is a certain Harold Camping, an 89 year old American (of course he’s American) who adamantly stated that Noah had a 7 day warning before the flood so that  translates into a 7000 year warning for us, starting from 4990 B.C (the dubious year he states the flood started)  and ending on - yes you’ve guessed it – 21 May 2011.

Frankly, I didn’t see any Zimbos scrambling to prepare for the great day of the Lord Almighty. Most, it seems, had no idea the world was coming to an end.
 I spent a lot of time surfing the net so I knew, and wondered why God would reveal the info to anyone, seeing as He clearly pointed out in the Bible that no one can ever know such a thing. I also wondered why such an important fact would be revealed to just one corner of the world which happens to be the least to care about such trivialities (they have greater things to worry about see, like Baseball, McDonalds and Charlie Sheen).

I gotta hand it to this Camping guy though, he definitely has guts. Think about it: it was a prediction about an event which the rest of the world was convinced wasn’t gonna happen. And he put himself all out to the world. I am pretty sure a lot of journalists had their 22 May articles written, revised, edited and re-edited way in advance.

I’m was glad to see that somebody in America still believes that the world, as we know it, is going to end someday through divine intervention. Most people in the…um…developed world believe that if at all, the world will end when we all nuke ourselves out of existence, get hit by a meteorite or when BP messes up and pulls another fast one on us…a much bigger one.

The problem with these quirky predictions, however, is that they make people throw out the baby with the bath water. What I mean by the inappropriately inserted saying is that people will become much more skeptical about anything religious. The end of this system of things is going to come…amidst a very cynical population.

In the meantime, all the Non-Christians of the nasty disposition are probably rubbing their hands with glee. Just imagine all the possible taunts that could stem from the already existing ‘Christian’ idiosyncrasies:

 ‘Hellfire…so much for the “God of love”’
‘Christmas? Funny, your main guy stole his birthday from a pagan god!’
‘Trinity? Three in one God? Can this script get any weirder?’

And add the latest, thanks to Harold Camping, ‘Apocalypse now? Apocalypse maybe…Apocalypse maybe not!’

28 February 2011

Windows Is Shutting Down...

So, there is this huge influx of strange cell phones into the country which is threatening the monopoly of our trusty and dearly loved Nokias. They are loud, they are flashy, they are huge (I mistook one for an iPad) and they carry multiple sim cards so you can simultaneously receive calls from your NetOne, Telecel, Econet lines as well as an MTN one on roam.

Think its a Nokia? Look closer...
We call them all G-tides down here in Zimbabwe, probably because that particular brand seems to have pioneered the invasion spirit.

Doubtless, it’s a completely new breed of phones the likes Zimbabwe has never seen before. And this, being a country endowed with its fair share of quirky individuals, has challenged my sentiments that Zimbabweans are really great guys. They are not taking the invasion lying down: they are saying some not very nice things about the phones.

For instance, some people are calling these phones ‘radios with sim cards’, and one guy went as far as saying that ZBH should start collecting licence fees from all owners. Well, I admit they do tend to get a little loud…aw okay, VERY loud, but c’mon: radio with sim? Not very nice.

Another popular legend doing the rounds says that one particular phone fell into a plate of good ole sadza. Immediately, they say, the phone sprang up from stand-bye mode and started flashing on the screen: ‘Phone charging’. Lame shot, really.

Then there is the other one, which can’t possibly be true but can only be an obvious stab at the linguistic dexterities of the phone makers. It was related to me with a straight face, a face which insisted that when he sent a message on an acquaintance’s cell, it  indicated simply ‘Message Went.’ And a minute later, when the message was replied to on the same phone, the notification read simply: ‘Message Brought.’ Very funny guys, cut it out.

Them phones, according to another tale, must surely spot what should be the strongest and most sensitive antennas in the world. As the story goes, one phone, just after a gonyet drove by, dutifully recorded ‘One Missed Call’ on the screen.
Antennas so strong, went the explanation, that any type of wave (cosmic ray, gamma ray, sound wave) gets translated into a cell phone signal.

The last is my personal fav...I mean…the one I personally dislike the most. It was a conversation (reportedly) captured between a lady and a cell phone repair guy. Now this guy had just had a god-awful time trying to resuscitate a dead phone. It went something like this…

“…you are sure you never dropped the phone?”

“No, I never did mukwasha,” the lady answers.

“Or immerse it in water?”


“You didn’t leave it near a huge magnet, like your home theatre speakers or something?” The guy is getting desperate, of course, because he knows this to be a highly unlikely cause for cell phone damage.

“I do not have a home theatre,” The lady points out.

“Okay.” The guy scratches his head, “What was displayed on the phone screen just before it blacked out?”

The lady has it written down, she read, “Saving your settings, Windows is shutting down.”

The phone never made it.

See, not some very nice things them Zimbos are saying about these phones. It gets worse…much worse: something I discovered when I stumbled on an I Hate G-TIDE Cell Phones Facebook page when I was concluding this post. If you are a G-Tide fan, please stay away, unless you have a exceptionally thick hide.

03 February 2011

Very Much Alive...And Still Apolitical

Thought I should pop in and assure my loyal readers that I am still alive and kicking, like I’ve never lived and kicked before! Its been awhile since I posted anything, and considering the contents of my previous post, the place I am located these days (Chipinge!) and the season we are going through (Summer = lotsa rain = LIGHTNING!), some could have been inevitably led to some erroneous, if not startling, conclusions.

Stop the contemplations, I’m here. Alive.

And you can thank the guy who dared attack and ridicule my neutral stance on politics for this comeback as well. I am not so good with spoken words, so the best reply I could come up with at the time of the attack was “Read my blog.”

So, here I am.

In politics, you are most probably the dirt being stamped on.
Lest I insult a crowd larger than the anti-Mubarak protestors in Cairo, let me first point out that I do not despise anyone delving in politics (unless you beat me up for my neutral stance, of course). What I do hate is the whole wretched system. It is a gross failure. I mean, lets be honest here, man has been trying to rule man for some freaking 6000 years and no one has been able to do a good job of it so far. Or ever. It all goes round and round in circles.

It reminds me of an analog I recently heard. It goes something like this:-

You are travelling on a long distance bus, right, when this guy stands up from a front seat and tells everybody to surrender their prized possessions to him, or risk being thrown out the speeding bus. No one complains, seeing he is a monya...and the bus really was speeding. So he starts moving from seat to seat collecting cash, maG-tide cellphones, jewellery (nah, this is Zimbabwe, slash out jewellery)…and lots of other stuff.

But then there is a much stronger monya, you know, a real Great Khali, relaxing on the back seat. The passengers wait expectantly for the robber to get to the back seat. See, they hope this strong monya will challenge the robber monya and save them?

And it happens! A fight erupts between the two. They tumble together, fists fly, they throw each other onto the ground. They grunt, they groan until finally, the back seat monya wins and throws the robber out! Salvation: the passengers cheer; sigh with relief; pats on the back for the hero and all.

The backseat monya then slowly walks to front of the bus, gestures for silence and calmly announces, “Vabereki, ngoma ndiyo ndiyo: give me all your stuff, or I’m throwing you out!”

Maybe you have heard the story – but you have never thought of applying it to politics - have you? To me, it neatly describes why I do not like placing my hopes of a better life on mere mortal man. It’s all the same: an endless cycle of hoping, deferred hopes and eventually, certain disappointment. if anything,  that is one thing I have learnt from history.