Introducing Lian

I believe it must have been as early as 2013 when I had the pleasure to meet Lian – my first impression of her being: “She seems cool, vibrant and original”. Besides that, she’s probably got one of the freshest profile pictures [as you can see]. Ever since, we haven’t spoken much – one of the many reasons why I welcome being the one to ask her a few questions this time around.

Please tell us… Who is Lian?

If I was applying for a job I would describe myself as a bubbly, self motivated person who works well under minimum supervision. lol

For how long have you been blogging and how did it all start?

Officially for about 3 years… on and off.

What inspires you to blog?

My blog is inspired by my obsessions and the happenings of my life. Really, it has no structure. If I am obsessing over food for that period, that’s what I will write about. If I am reading, I will write about that…

What do you love about the being online and blogging itself?

Just being able to get something out and share with anyone that stumbles upon it. Meeting like minded people out there. Knowing your Crazy thoughts are not that crazy after all. There are Many more bloggers out there like myself… in the world (:

Besides blogging how do you express yourself creatively?

I am a DIY junkie. My hands love to work ao I make and create house decor, I am a makeup artist, I pretend to draw, I collect toilet paper roll :,)

Lian, I noticed this cool post on your Instagram feed that reads: “If travelling was free… Bye!”, haha. I liked that one. So let’s put it this way…

You have one free ticket! – pick a destination and tell me why.

Definitely Jamaica. I am so curious about their culture. Besides attending all those basement parties I see in music videos, lol. The internet makes it look amazing…  

Wow, that’s cool. I’d love to throw in a couple of questions about your interest in Jamaican culture but I’ll save that for another time.

Name 3 people that have shaped the way you think and act.

I Really want to say Mandela or Ba Tata of the Nation Ba Kaunda… but really and truly;

  1. My First Boss in the corporate world: a perfect example of hard work also a perfect example of what not to be as a Boss *bittersweet*
  2. My Parents make one person: the constant encouragement and support outweighs pretty much everything else in the world.
  3. I will be spiritual and say God because truth be told…  My everyday philosophy still stands at “What would Jesus do?”

What’s your favourite movie, book and album?

  1. Movie / Cartoon: Sofia the First: she is such a great depiction of what a good person should be 🙂
  2. Book: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Never have I felt so many emotions in one book. I cried so much when I finished reading it, not knowing what to do with my life after that :/ still don’t know what to do with my life. lol
  3. Album: Pompi’s first.

Where can we find you online?

@lian_eM Twitter
@popcornandfrozenyogurt Instagram

Any final words?

Thank You for having me and thank you particularly for your patience (:

I thank you, Lian.

So those were my 10 quick questions and without much say, I’d like to encourage everyone to find her on Twitter, Instagram and Google+ – connect and follow the work of an outstanding Zambian Blogger @ lilianthanks.blogspot.de

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Living, sleeping and dreaming journalism with Charles Mafa

You can’t speak of journalism in this country without shaking your head. In fact most professions in Zambia have gone to the dogs but we’ll leave that discussion for another day. This post is about multi-talented and multi-award winning journalist called Charles Mafa who is also an avid blogger on his website.

Before we get to the accolades, let’s talk about passion. My questions are in bold while Charles’responses are below:

What percentage would you say journalism constitutes your lifestyle?

Journalism for me is more than work, it is my way of life. I live, sleep and dream journalism. I dedicate about 60% of my time in a day to journalism. The other 40% is for my wife and three kids. I don’t like partying or being in a noisy place for too long, therefore, it works well for me to reflect and plot new ideas.

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During your incarceration (detailed story available on blog) what kind of thoughts were running through your mind while behind bars?

I was happy that it happened to me. It gave me an opportunity to understand the sort of injustice that the poor go through. Many of those I shared the cell with were innocent people but because they are powerless and poor, no one cares about them. My thoughts during that time were that such people need our help. We need to bring to light their suffering and pain. I believe that is what journalism is all about. It is about comforting the weak and afflicting the powerful, like the saying goes.

After Bulletin & Record (B&R) was closed, people would have thought that it was the end of you but you seem to have risen above the challenge. That says something about opportunity in this country. Did you go and find opportunity or did opportunity come looking for you?

I was saddened by the closure of the publication which I loved so much but I knew always that things can change. So, I am always ready for change. I have known struggle since childhood after losing my father in grade 2. That helped me to have a different outlook about life. The B & R gave me an opportunity to practice what I enjoy the most and when it was gone I had to look ahead. I am an ambitious and pragmatic person who is not afraid to look for new things to do. I was already working on plan B. It is always difficult to find new things to do but opportunities are there. What many need is a push to pursue what they want to do. I know it is difficult for school leavers and others because they have not been exposed. We need connections to succeed.

What do you think about the profession of journalism in Zambia?

Journalism is dead. What I see or read about cannot qualify to be journalism. It is something else. That, unfortunately is a sad state of our profession. We need to bring back professionalism to journalism.

What sets journalism from other forms of writing is its obsession with the truth and verification of that truth. I don’t see this in many publications.

When did the professionalism get diluted in your opinion? Is there a time in history that you can look back and admire what journalism was?

I am not that old to provide a fair judgment on this one but I have read about good and committed journalists we had in the past. I would say, we have not been following standards in the recent past but the PF came to completely kill journalism through appointments of key journalists into foreign service and government. The lack of media freedom and attacks on independent journalists has increased under the current administration. We must not forget that a free and responsible press is essential for any democratic society. You cannot talk about democracy without a free press.

No government can succeed in fighting corruption without an independent press. Killing freedom of the press is a recipe for corruption to flourish.

Access to information (ATI) is very limited in this country from top-down. Do you think it has something to do with Zambian culture of those in power (our elders) having the prerogative to share or not share information with others or was it colonial?

As they say, information is power. That is why government leaders try hard to hide everything from the people. With Access to Information (ATI), people would demand for what is rightly theirs. The culture of secrecy is basically a legacy which was carried over from the colonial masters. It is now being used by our own brothers and sisters in power. That brings me to another point. What freedom can we talk about or celebrate if our own people have become our oppressors? A word of caution to journalists and others, even if we had ATI in place, information will not drop like rain. We need the ATI but at the same time we need to work extra hard for it.

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What are your thoughts on the notion that blogging should be left to journalists and be regulated through membership and vetting et cetera.?

I don’t agree with that. We all have something to share – whether journalist or citizen. Blogging gives us that opportunity to be heard and to hear others. Stopping people from blogging is infringing on their right and freedom to be heard and communicate their ideas.

What kind of Zambia do you think that your children will inherit? A better one from the one you live in or worse off?

I want them to live in a better Zambia. We cannot go back or admire the past because technology has changed the world and making life very easy. Unfortunately, the way we look after our environment and natural resources will make life hard for our children and those who will come after us. Our politics is also not making things better. Violence and hooliganism belongs in the past. We should now be talking about smart things and smart ideas. That way we will make this country better for our children. I am however, hopeful that things will get better, especially when we have more young and educated people in politics.

 

Who is Charles Mafa in his own words?

Charles is a Zambian journalist who is committed to reporting African stories with dignity and fairness. I am passionate about journalism because I believe it is a powerful tool we can use to improve people’s lives, especially the poor.

Now let’s talk about the accolades!

I am Zambia’s best overall 2016 journalist who has experience of working in various forms of communication – print, radio and television. I have been shortlisted for the 2016 African Fact-Checking awards to be held in November this year.

Gifted with varied skills, I have won several awards for my work, among them the MISA Zambia overall best journalist award for 2016, best environment reporting, best aviation reporting, best energy reporting awards and best columnist. I am also a recipient of the MISA Zambia Award for the 2007 best HIV/AIDS radio reporting and the 2011 World Bank second best Zambian investigative reporting prize which earned me a 3-month internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism – South Africa. In 2007, I directed and produced a television documentary (Through my eyes) which won the 2007 CNN Multichoice Award for the best HIV/AIDS coverage in Africa.

Well well there you have it folks! Be sure to visit Charles’ Facebook page to find out more about his investigative work especially concerning his arrest with two Swedish journalists. Juicy, right?!

 

The Revolutionary Miss Martha

 

We’re baaaaack!

Did you miss the 52 bloggers? I hope so. We’re picking up from where we left off and jumping straight into the path of Revolution.

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The Revolutionary Miss Martha – as captured by JJ Arts Photography

Martha Chilongoshi is the powerhouse behind Revolt Media Solutions, where she regularly blogs about various development issues, especially focused on women and girls. Keep up to date with Revolt Media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Continue reading “The Revolutionary Miss Martha”

Word Lover. Shape Shifter. Chief Flourishing Officer: Introducing, Kamota Mayondi.

Like the many before me, when I received the email stating who I would be interviewing I was excited, but also a little terrified. Like many of you, I follow this wordsmith, and beautiful lady on almost every possible social media platform she is on.

While doing my “research” however, I fear I may have caused Kamota to raise her brows in curiosity as I liked and re-tweeted her posts. But, seeing all her posts as I scrolled down her instagram timeline made me want to  do and be better, you know, in a “life-goals”, I wish I was this “cool Tumblr kid” kind of way. It made me curious, and quite truthfully, honoured to be able to ask all the questions that were now swimming around in my head.

But, first things first… Continue reading “Word Lover. Shape Shifter. Chief Flourishing Officer: Introducing, Kamota Mayondi.”

Mwape Unplugged: the man behind the face for radio

Right now I’m unplugged, as Luke stole my opening paragraph and then went on to profile me so fabulously, I’m in conniptions trying to create a worthy follow up.  That, coupled with the fact that I have never used WordPress, as my blog Mwana Ba Afrika is on Blogger, have procrastinated and now need to post this in the next few hours, has me completely unravelled.  But that is when I am at my best, rising to the challenge when the stakes are high.  That, or I am a masochistic writer.  Which is why I don’t do this professionally. I’m completely useless at discipline and deadlines really give me a headache. I feel like this one just crept up on me even though I knew four months in advance it was coming. Deranged and confused I continue to be. Oh dear… Continue reading “Mwape Unplugged: the man behind the face for radio”

Proudly Zambian, positively African, the tail of the Ndhlovukhazi storyteller

A day before Christmas, I opened up my laptop to frantically search for any shops that were both still open and sold anything remotely interesting. As the screen flickered to life, I noticed a suspicious looking email from Silumesii. Intrigued, rush forgotten, I opened it. He went on to describe the 52 Zambian Bloggers project. He’d gone through the trouble of preparing a suggested schedule, so I resisted the introvert inspired urge to immediately refuse.

Schedule in front of me, I scrolled through, searching for my name. Satisfied that it filled my freshly determined criteria, I nodded. I’d do it. The criteria? 1. It was sufficiently far in the future for me to naively believe the day would never arrive. 2. I’d already worked with my designated interviewee, so I had an idea of who she was. I spared a chuckle for Dai. Poor lady, good luck trying to get anything out of me (she did a fine job by the way). Nodding my head, I shut the laptop. Presents forgotten.

Ngosa calls herself an introvert, but by the end of the interview I’m sure we can all agree to disqualify her as one. She shares something with many of the project’s interviewees I’ve read so far – an innate desire to share the positive stories of Africa that are missing from mainstream media. It comes from a frustration deep down in seeing your continent misrepresented, when you know the beauty of her people and culture.

On every social media platform Ngosa is active on, right under her vibrant profile picture, she will describe herself as an Ndhlovukhazi storyteller. Not sure what that is? Well gather round children, let’s form a nice circle, keep quiet, listen. The Ndhlovukhazi storyteller is about to tell a tale.

Continue reading “Proudly Zambian, positively African, the tail of the Ndhlovukhazi storyteller”

Getting to know the elephant in the room — Dailesi Njobvu

dailesi

In October 2013 I wrote about, “Technology, social media, Africa and me”. In it I said, “I have access to multiple strands of rich information, conversations and thought leadership through the wonderful world wide web…” The 52 Zambian Bloggers project is a fantastic example of what great ideas and the internet can do together. Not only do we need more African stories, we need more Zambian stories. We need to uncover, produce and share what Zambians across the world are doing today to make positive change. Spreading these stories is like igniting a spark in the darkness of the very real challenges, impossibilities and limitations we all experience. Spreading these stories demonstrates that a mix of unfathomable dreams, resolute tenacity, steadfast hope, renewed faith and tonnes of hard work does make a positive impact.

And so, here is the story of one young woman who I have met virtually through her blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and email. One day, we will meet face to face. Her name is Dailesi, known to her friends as Dai. Dailesi is pronounced, ‘die-less’, the ‘i’ at the end is silent.

Continue reading “Getting to know the elephant in the room — Dailesi Njobvu”