Zambian Twitter- The Evolution

 

South-African-Twitter-trends-for-2015

The last couple of years to 2010 saw an escalation in internet accessibility and consequently a rapid increase in the number of Facebook sign ups. This was a trend common among so many youths especially those in high school and college. However, the twitter field was more less a desert. Enthusiasm levels were not so high for sign-ups.

There was a very minimal number of Zambians on twitter. The majority of these were in the diaspora and had benefited from early exposure to the social network because of the countries they lived in like the US and the UK. Many locals had not heard about twitter and even a few of those who signed up wished it came with a manual.

However, the population has come to grow. The arrival of the Blackberry Smart Phone saw more people sign up because the smart phone allowed them to use the app which proved more convenient and easier to use than the web version.  As the smartphone became more and more affordable more people signed up. With an affordable data plan, the blackberry was convenient for the most urban users.

In no time was some news of some Zambian users attaining verification. Crisis Mr Swagger, a Zambian rapper was the first to announce an official verification. More Zambians, musicians mostly, followed after him in obtaining verified accounts.

Zambians were also beginning to get together to discuss issues. Insaka became a popular Zambian twitter platform of discussion. Every evening, Zambians on twitter would hold discussions under the hashtag INSAKA.

By the years, Insaka lost popularity as people discovered other ways to utilise their twitter. South African twitter has been known to be so open where Sex is discussed openly and freely by users and this spread to a few young Zambians. A lot of female users claimed to be feminists suddenly and many political commentators sprung up.  Pan-African traits of Zimbabwean twitter also spread to the Zambian side.

Currently is an account called Zed Curate where each week, a new Zambian shares with other Zambians their experiences and directs topics for Zambians to discuss. Politics, the economy and social life are discussed mainly.

Of late, myriads have crossed over from Facebook. It is possible to hear stories of users who left Facebook for twitter. Some think it is all because the new audience is more mature, but Chansa Kapapula, a prominent blogger and Zambian twitter pioneer thinks people are just choosing to embrace a new social network.

Many youths have used twitter to raise awareness of social and political irregularities. Disliked politicians are usually bashed on the platform and some view this as a form of entertainment. But not only politicians are humiliated, in an environment with self-imposed, Grammar ‘correctors’, fashion police, everything is possible.

Zambian twitter remains an interesting community to be a part of.

 

NB: You can Interact with me on twitter here

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WHAT IS ZAMBIANS CONNECT? 

On January 23rd,  I got to host Zambians connect. Zambians connect? Most of you should wonder. Well I was in the same position last year, only in my case I was left guessing. 

Was it a T.V show for Zambians in the US?  Well  at least that’s how the people tweeting about it made it seem from my perspective. Was it an event where Zambians abroad got to meet and greet? Well with patience I did find out. 

Zambians Connect or Zed Connect is a platform created by visionary Zambians who sought a platform to allow fellow Zambians to share ideas, express their views and showcase a glimpse of their lifestyles.

So technically, Zambians Connect is an account on Snapchat. I understand not many Zambians are on Snapchat,  so Snapchat is an app that allows you to share  videos and pictures from your camera. It is more addictive than my poor description of it. 

Similar to Curate Zed which most Zambians on twitter are familiar with, Zed connect has a host who answers questions or directs topics for discussion only the duration is a day for the Zed connect host and you get to see them speak in a video. 

What do I think of Zambians connect? 

1) It is so much fun. Some people have such contagious humour they brighten your day as they host. My friend, Margaret Mwanza is now a famous host. 🙂
2) It makes it easy for us who pay close attention to Zambian trends to analyse what direction modern Zambians are taking generally and what position they hold on national to global matters. 

3) It is inspiring. Seeing a host that is keen on success is an impetus for your hustle. 

What have I observed

Without a data census it is obvious that the most active Zambian users of snapchat are abroad. You can actually tell from the hosts. “Hey I am your new host my name is ……. and I live in the UK, US”. The most prominent reason as to why local users are not so active is because internet is  ridiculously expensive back home. You know the bundle life huh?  💪😬

The other reason I think is Snapchat isn’t of much interest to most people. Personally, I was on snapchat for more than a year and was unbothered  to add any friends. People are more enthusiastic about Facebook and recently twitter. 

The other observation is the prevalent attitude of Zambians being mean on social media. Most hosts complain of people ‘hating’ on their hosting (I am glad to not have encountered any incident during my hosting). I am not one to judge people, but I think we should put an end to laughing at some hosts’ accents. Zambia is not an indigenous English speaking country in the first place. Also when one does good, we need to appreciate. If one is wrong,  let us not turn them into a laughing stock and pretend we want them to host again so we can laugh,again.

The other thing I have noticed is hosts are not down to earth or simply real at times. It is imperative to be yourself. That’s the advise I got from one of the admins prior to my hosting. I enjoyed the recent hosting from the brother in Malaysia. He was so uninhibited. From speaking to singing to rapping,  he was himself. 

Some hosts are scared of speaking vernacular like they are still at a primary private school. Be proud of our mother tongues. I am telling you it is a mental prison to accept a language of another country at the expense of your own. Speaking good English is not a measure of intelligence. Be a Proud Zambian and emancipate yourself. 

Zambians connect is not about ‘flexing’. Flexing right? Well for us who don’t follow urban slang, I meant to say showing off. Personally I feel hosts should show us more of what is in their head than what they assume is on their bank accounts. 

Does Zambians connect need some rules? 

Definitely. With more than 20 000 and counting zambians following the account, it is important that hosts mind what they share. Talking of age restriction, the instagram page has a rating of 18+, but young users still have access.

How influential is Zed connect? 

 To a certain level I feel it is. I mean we now have Zambian girls and Zambians UK.Next we will have Zambians US or Zambians in Lusaka? That just shows how much of a trend setter it is .The hosts of the subsidiaries also follow the same procedures as the founding body. 

Also many people are so glued to Zed connect like it is game of thrones. I am sure some people know who the first host was up to the current one without having to check the Instagram Zed connect ‘Hall of Fame’. 😀

People are always tweeting about a host every day and when you do not know what ZC is, you get puzzled. So you can see how it has become a part of people. 

What do I think of Zambian girls? 

So Zambian girls is actually a very good platform too. Not just for us guys to see beautiful girls,  the girls are beautiful and we like that😍, but it is inspiring to see women with purpose. Nothing inspires me more or is more attractive than a focussed woman. So we are looking forward to seeing more educated ladies who we will one day work with to transform our third world country. 

How do I host?

If you are already on instagram, search for Zambians connect and message the admins who will present you available dates. On the day they will give you the password and id and voila,you are the host. 

If you are on snapchat Search for zambiansconnect on snapchat to follow the stories. 

Thanks so much for reading and also feel free to interact with me on my personal snapchat: aquila.ngonga 

 

SONG REVIEW: MIXXY’S PA EASY ft AFUNIKA

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Micaiah Ng’onga ‘Mixxy‘ is a third year Survey major student at the Copperbelt University. He is one of the Zambian upcoming artists on fire. He  has  done  a  couple of  other  songs  that  have  received  airplay on  some radio stations  and  clubs in  Lusaka. He has worked with Royal Prince and Mari fro­m  Cabin records. On  this  new  jam, he  features the king of New Version of Kalindula, Afunika.

Pa easy is a song that reminds us of how speed kills. Mixxy is advising us to take it easy because the consequences of speed is crushing.

The  proverbial being that  ‘life  ain’t  no  crystal stair‘ limits the shocks of  the  results  of  shortcuts taken  to succeed. Many people  take  shortcuts to  improve  their  lives  or  decide  to  create   a  dangerous or risky definition of  pleasure.

These  days  young  girls and boys tend  to  become  regular club partakers  which  is  really cool if  they  think  about  it, but  the  thing  is  they  have  yet  to  go  to  university,  but they  are  exposing  themselves  to wrong  people and  creating  a  wrong  impression as  they  become  alcoholics at  a  tender  age. They  begin  to engage  in  adult  activities and  as  Afunika sings in  the  chorus, Ichalo ichi Chilalya  (The  world eats), a bemba saying symbolic of   death. There is HIV and other consequences through such behavior which again results to death. Mixxy urges young youths to wake up and take  it  easy because everything  has  it’s  own  time.

To terminate suffering or because of  envy of people acquiring possession, people  seek  shortcuts to  get  money  or  get  rich. People  tend   to  take  part  in  illegal activities like  corruption and  theft. Eventually the  crimes  catch up  with you and  you  are  put  behind bars. Before this  happens to  you, Mixxy reminds  you  to  take  it  easy.

There  are  plenty  other  situations or  examples where  we  can’t  take  it  easy  and   so   whenever  we  try  to rush let  us  be  able to  think  of  the  consequences and  eventually refrain from  such an  action.

You  can  have  a  listen/download of  PA  EASY HERE. Please  remember to support MIXXY and share. You  can  also drop your  views of  the  song  in  the  comment box  below.

A Family Hustle: The Second Generation (EPISODE 6)

EPISODE 6 (JULY) 

6 YEARS LATER… 
PETER

“And the award for best student goes to…”

Peter’s heart was racing as Mr Mwape the Head Teacher was announcing the top student. He had worked so hard the last three years of high school and was really looking forward to getting the prize. Not that he wasn’t confident, it was just so he knew he faced stiff competition from Rachael.

Him and Rachael had grown so fond of each other since their eleventh grade. Peter had helped her realise her potential, before which she was more interested in boys and parties than school and her future. She was moved by Peter’s wisdom, intelligence and especially his family background. Today they were going to graduate from high school as Head boy and girl with one of them getting the award for Best Student of the class.

“Peter ” announced Mr Mwape. “The award goes to Peter Hamooya”

Peter let out a sigh of relief while the audience went boisterous. As he stood up, Rachael embraced him. 

“Congratulations Peter you deserve it” she said with a smile

As he walked to the platform, he wished his Father and Mother could see this moment. He wanted to break down, but he was thankful Claire, his Aunt, uncles and cousins had attended.

He was so keen on prayer, he was so religious. His Aunt had introduced him to her church in riverside and ever since he had had a talk with the pastor, he had seen life differently. He was glad to find something that neutralised his painful past. He always felt more comfortable in the house of God than any other place. He was full of wisdom at a young age.

The Guest of honour gave a speech about how the students were now the new adults. He spoke of independence and careers and bills. Peter was just thankful God had brought him this far. When his turn to give a speech arrived, he was already ready for the moment that when he was done no one had not raised to their feet. This was one of the special days of his life. After all his family had been through, he surely deserved to smile today.

After the ceremony Rachael called him by the side. 

“What are we” She asked him seriously

“I don’t follow” he replied

“Peter don’t act like you have no idea what i am talking about” she shot

“I am serious, I don’t know” he defended himself

His innocence was so overwhelming. 

“Oh, I now get it” he realised. “I am sorry Rachael, now is not a good time for me. I do not feel I am ready”

He was not ready to date the most beautiful, hardworking and intelligent girl in school and he felt no regret at the moment because that is what he really thought was the right thing to do. His pastor had always said “follow your heart”. He was not just sure if he had really followed it this time. Had he followed his mind? Time would tell.

A Family Hustle: The Second Generation (EPISODE 5)

EPISODE FIVE (MAY)

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6 YEARS LATER…

GARY

“Let us all toast to umupondo wesu, 1 Gee” said Bazzah

Every one immediately responded to their boss’s request (command) not because they were just scared of him, but also because their mate Gary really was a man to adore. They had just come from one of the hardest missions they had had to undergo along Ndola-Kapiri Road. Someone had tipped off the police and the gun fight was almost lost until Gary had appeared from almost nowhere and single handedly shot dead all ten policemen.

Some among the group said he had simply mastered the art of shooting, but some had confessed how they saw him shot, but never to drop a pint of blood. None of that mattered now, they had successfully gotten away with millions worth of copper. They were in money again, all they had to do was lay low for a few weeks.

Gary recalled the first time he had gone on a robbery and realized how far he had come. He was only 15 then. He was indifferent, he had no remorse, he hated life, but most of all, he hated his father. He had left his Aunt’s house eventually to join Bazzah and his crew. Bazzah was as rough as a Jerah leader came, but always treated Gary like his son. He had taught him to denounce his fear.

Gary excused himself from the party and went to his room. Local music filled his room from the radio. DJ Nano even played his favorite song by Macky 2, but deep inside, he felt something was missing. His mind was boiling with fear while his heart raced. He had taken a life before, but today had felt different. For the first time as a robber, he felt remorseful. He looked at his phone and looked at his little sister on his wallpaper. At least he could sleep.

In his sleep, he dreamed of little children asking him why he had stolen their fathers from him.A while later, he woke up to the sound of the news. The Inspector general of Zambia police was speaking.

“We shall not let those scumbags get away with this, we can never let our men’s blood drip in vain. My men are doing everything they can and a reward of K100000 will be given for any information leading to the apprehension of these villains”

For the first time, Gary missed his old man. He had a feeling they might not get away with this robbery this time around.He heard boots approaching his door and quickly he turned off the radio. It was the commander.

“boss”, Gary shot up

“mwaiche, the heat is too much so we are going to Kibaki in Congo, only you will come with me, the rest will go back to kitwe, we don’t need to arouse suspicion” Bazzah said in his deep voice. “The Cargo will be here for a while”

Bazzah looked closely at Gary.

“Mwaiche, what’s wrong? you look low”

“Nothing boss, just tired”

“Keep it together young man, imagine everything we will do when we sell the cargo. Don’t you want to buy that BMW?”

Gary was getting tired of this talk. It was utter bullshit to him now. He knew they could keep doing this over and over again. He wanted to be free of Bazzah, but Bazzah had a grip on his life.He continued to think about the policemen.

TBC…

 

 

A VIVA MOMENT

A Police UNZA teargas
Before I developed the interest of studying abroad, I always wanted to study at the University of Zambia. I guess I really loved the thought of moving to Lusaka and also because my coolest cousin went there. I really had this utopian view of the institution.

So after I completed Grade school, I applied and was accepted to begin my freshman year in 2012, but I did not go as I had to do A. Level. After A. Level, I wasn’t going abroad as planned so I had to go back to the institution I abandoned.
With no enthusiasm, me and my cousin got on a bus to Chelston to begin my registration. To be clear, I was the one devoid of enthusiasm. When we got off, I wasn’t going over the bridge. You see because of my fear of heights, it took me almost three months to cross Great East road on the bridge. It had to take female coaxing to get some inspiration when I finally used the Bridge.Thanks  Beauty, wherever you are. Lol

It wasn’t long before the registration process began to agitate me. Nothing pisses me off more than slow processes, slow people, slow cars, and yes slow internet (which also can dictate my mood) and so when I joined a really long train of a queue with tortoise speed just to do my medicals, I knew I was going to learn patience the hard way.

It was really cool though, seeing senior students ready to help out in the registration. I learnt later that it was only a campaign strategy for students wishing to be members of UNZASU, but I could care less as long as I got the needed assistance right? I realize now that I have never taken that many passport sized photos in my life than I did at UNZA.

A few weeks later,I finally got a room at the Vet Hostels and in a week my Laptop was stolen. I thought orientation was done until this loser stole from me. It was such a horrible morning when I woke up, I was beginning to hate the school. I don’t think I will forget that morning.

Thanks to the academics, the school remained interesting. I never missed lectures. Ironically, we all enjoyed Dr Chigunta’s cockiness and because of some of his comments and statements, development Studies was never a dull moment at all. I will say Dr Lemba’s class was a bit boring, but I soon grasped the theory and realized how eminent the course was. Answering a question in LT1 that only you had the answer to was a special feeling in Dr Lemba’s class. He could always ask what your name was and glady I had my moment too .

Of course, I enjoyed Economics with Mr. Banda. If you are so good at following instructions, you would never have a problem with the man. I forget the name of the Indian woman that lectured me in math, but all I remember is she was too fast, and thankfully as I had done A. level, her speed matched my timing.

At this point, you may be wondering if all I have said has anything to do with a Viva, but forgive me for telling a story you are enjoying so far. 🙂
I planned to be UNZASU president in my third year. One of my plans was to eradicate Vivas and still get results. Now, I know most of you love Vivas and are wondering what kind of leader would not want to go to war, but not everyone is keen on that and I believe in change. I seriously hated riots. Further, I wasn’t on BC so I could literally be fighting for nothing.

I think the first attempt came one day when I was leaving LT1. Simple colonel or so they called him and his team had something scribbled on paper and were trying to entice other students into a protest. I later went to the Library were they also came through. All I heard were drums being beaten shortly followed by a sort of alarm I was hearing for the first time. I realized it meant we vacated the Library as everyone else was leaving. Orientation takes a long time yeah?

Later in the evening, I escorted a friend back to her boarding house and for the first time, I saw students throwing stones in the great east road almost causing what could have been a fatal accident given the average speed cars move by in that road. I was so happy that Viva wasn’t going to happen that day.
One evening, must have been a friday i think, we had an extra or make up class for ECN 1225. Mr Banda began to speak on the phone and then told us Ruins had just been peppered with tear gas. He quickly left the class as we all followed suit to wherever we thought was safe.

I quickly rushed back to my room. The hostels were safe for most of the hours, but the Viva was getting intense as our view of new res presented us a burning female hostel. Apparently, the fire had been caused by a canister that was shot by the cops and the fire was slowly spreading. I don’t know if that hostel has now been fully rehabilitated as i left people working on it.

The viva kept degenerating as  now I could see the blue land cruiser with a light on top. I was left in my room with my room mate’s girl friend. After a few hours of the cops not reaching the vet hostels, they finally showed up and two rooms away i could hear the cops fighting their way into a room that some students had run into. I quickly switched off the light, told my friend’s girl to get under his bed and I got under mine. No sooner had we done this, than I debuted in the world of tear gas. I was rubbing my face with my wet towel, ferociously. A bucket of water was my well. I have never been so nervous in my life. I was so scared i could be another innocent statistic. I had heard of stories of how brutal the police would be with anyone who seemed to be a student during these critical times.Thankfully, the heavy boots and Nyanja could not be heard outside any more. The cops were gone. I had survived a viva moment.

I really do miss the campus but for the vivas, I hope it can be reopened soon enough for all the students to progress in time. I would really love to see education run as smooth as possible in Zambian universities, it is not every decade that we need riots.

Thanks for reading and leave a comment to share your own Viva moment if you went to UNZA, CBU or any other rioting university.
Interact with me on twitter Here

 

 

A FAMILY HUSTLE: THE SECOND GENERATION (E2)

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EPISODE TWO (FEBRUARY)
On her ninth birthday, Claire had wished her dad could be present on her tenth. She had grown so fond of him. A father daughter relationship that grew stronger during the prison visits. She saw him past the court’s conviction. She saw her father and She loved him.

It was as though her grandma had been in her mind, eavesdropping, because she had been working in line with Claire’s wish. She had been arranging for Mike to attend his little girl’s party.

The funny thing of it all was it seemed Mike was the first rich man justice had happened to. Initially, his lawyers thought they could pull it off, but when more than three quarters of his property had been seized by the state, they knew a politically motivated case was far from being won.

Peter and Gary, the oldest of the three had come through from Chingola and Kitwe respectively. Every one little Claire loved was here except her dad and of course her beloved mother her eyes had never set on.

“Now put on that smile birthday girl. Who frowns on their day? ”, her grandma Mary said, knowing the little girl just wanted to see her father.
Mike should have been here at 2pm, but it was now a quarter past 3. She cursed them so hard in her heart, but then instantly remembered Pastor Ben’s Patience is holy sermon.

It was almost 4 when Mike showed up at the gate with two casually dressed cops beside him. The cops had insisted to attend the party as part of the arrangement-a party of a little girl they barely knew. Anything for the love of food could be anyone’s guess. However, Mary could care less, her son was home.
“Daddy”, little Claire screamed while running with open arms to her father.

“Hello Princess, nice party you have going on here, come here, I got you something”, Mike smiled.

“Missed you dad”, Peter embraced his dad.

“Wow, you grow bigger every time I see you, I wonder what kind of food your aunt is feeding you on the copper belt”  Mike said with a chuckle then suddenly with a worried face added , “Where is your older brother?”

As though programmed, they turned to look at Gary in unison who in turn looked back at his father with a furious face and walked away.

“Come here princess, let me show you something” he smiled at Claire

He gave her his wife’s silver necklace.
“This is for you princess, your mother would be so proud of you, Happy birthday, Daddy loves you”

As she ran to her friends to show off her new gift, Mike wished his wife was here, he wished everything was normal. His heart burned, but he wasn’t going to let melancholy prevail, today was his little girl’s day.

The party had been going well so far, except of course the funny questions and stares some of his relatives tossed him and a growing fear that his son may have been turned against him by his wife’s sister. He had also noticed another thing wrong with Gary; he had a scar on his lower lip as though it was sliced by a knife. He knew his son had been fighting and possibly drinking. He never thought Lusaka would look this different.

“Okay, everyone gather around”, shouted Grandma Mary

This time Claire wished her dad would be released as she blew over her cake.

“She keeps transforming into her mother by the years”, grandma Mary said as she and Max watched her

“It’s magical”, he said with a smile. “Listen mum, I am very grateful for what you have been doing for my daughter, I..”

“Son, they told me they may be releasing you in a year and a half depending on the Judge’s decision and I want you to come and be there for your children. I am dying, Michael. This cancer doesn’t seem to leave. I am good for a year plus according to the doctor, but I may go. I want you to inherit my house and build a home again with your children|”

“But,.. but,, why did you not tell me all this time mum? Why?”, he said with watery eyes.

“You have enough problems as it is, Michael so I want you to be strong. Gary has been a problem. Esther told me he has joined the Jerahbos. He’s barely 16 and it will be you to shape him when you get released. You have more problems than to worry about me.”

Michael had never felt this vulnerable. His mother was dying, his son was a mess, and he was still in prison. Maybe melancholy would prevail after all. He wished his day would not have to end this way as the cops drove him back to the prison.
TBC