Zambian Twitter- The Evolution

 

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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 

 

Zambia Social Media Awards Nomination

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Hello bloggers and readers. It is my great pleasure to announce that this blog (aquilaspeaks) has had its first massive recognition. It has been nominated for Best Blog Overall and Best New blog.
Therefore the excitement aroused in me is overwhelming, but most of all, winning any of the awards will mean a lot to me. Fellow writers can agree with me that blogging is an arduous task that requires sacrifice and commitment.
I hereby request anyone reading this to please vote for me in the two categories of nomination. Click below for the Voting form link.
Voting Form
Instructions

1) Note that you can vote as many times as possible. Remember the more you vote, the more we win these awards.
2) select aquilaspeaks.wordpress.com. you will find it in the best blog overall category and the best new blog category. So you are voting twice at once.
3)keep sharing this post and spread the word. Feel free to contact me if you want to be part of #TeamAquila you can tweet me Here to request my pin.
4)always remember number 1
Thanks again 🙂

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