Social Media Etiquette Tips

Social Media has taken the world by storm and has not left Zimbabweans behind.  Most people are on most social media platforms and loving it.  However, from my personal observation there seems to be a lack of social media etiquette with most people and I will address some of the experiences I face every other day.

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Image from Pinterest

Links, Links and More Links!

I get it, you are trying to push your work through your social media platforms but have you ever stopped to think that maybe just maybe it’s a bit overboard?  Just yesterday I had to unfollow a few people on Twitter because I felt spammed.  I had observed it over time but yesterday was my breaking point.  How are nearly 20 of your Tweets all about links directing me to your work?  Are you an automated machine?  Is there no human being behind your account?  Whatever happened to maybe talking about the weather or engaging with your followers on whichever subject they might trending?  I know it’s your account and you can do as you please but if you want people to actually get interested in what you have to share then perhaps you need to consider actually talking to them instead of force feeding them with your work.  A simple retweet, a reply or a genuine compliment will go a long way.

Still on the subject of spamming; if there is one thing that really grates on my nerves it has to be broadcast messages on WhatsApp!  I believe if you have my number in your contacts it means we at least know each other on a “hi hi” basis.  With that in mind I also think that if you want to bombard me with your products, links and posters then by all means at least have some form of conversation with me.  I’m not saying send me a good morning message everyday; just a simple occasional hello message or even a comment on a status update to show that I’m not in your phone for decorational purposes will suffice.  I actually now have a few people that I automatically know are simply forwarding their links the moment their name pops up on my notifications.  Stop it!  Actually, I have asked some contacts to stop adding me to their broadcast list, I just think it’s rude and unnecessary especially if you don’t even have the decency to make conversation with me.

Interaction 

I have 6,744 followers on Twitter.  Before you get shocked by the number, I have been on Twitter since 2011 so my following has grown organically.  One thing I can tell you for free is that in order to grow your followers you need to interact with them.  It can be a retweet, sharing their work, event or simply liking their tweet.  I don’t follow back a lot of people BUT I will respond to almost every mention on my timeline because I believe everyone has something they can teach you no matter how big or small it might be.  Interacting with your followers makes you approachable and being approachable leaves you open to a world of opportunities.  Trust me, I know this, I live this.

Facebook Business Pages

Dear Facebook Business Pages who do not give adequate information, what are you doing?  When you send incomplete messages what’s supposed to happen?  You want me, your potential customer, the one you want money from, to pick up the phone to call or WhatsApp you or send you a private message???  What in the world is going on with you?  Let me give you a few examples:

  • I’m selling A, B, C please WhatsApp for price.
  • 2 bedroom flat to rent price negotiable (how do you not know how much you want to rent out your property for?) 
  • Friday Special, lamb chops and a salad (no price included on the image posted)

Then customers start responding asking how much, where do we find you, which methods of payment are available and guess what, no one replies and yet this is 2017 where everything moves at the speed of lightning.  How are you going to give your customers quality service if you can’t even respond to their questions?  The common excuse I hear is “We are not always on Facebook”.  Funny!  Why then do you have an account if you don’t want to manage it?

Thankfully there are some pages that actually do a fantastic job when it comes to being responsive and helpful and you check them out.  My top 2 favourites are Chop Chop Brazillian Steak House and TBagsZim please take notes, they are on the right path.

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Image from Pinterest

Update Your Information

This means your contact number, social media accounts and your websites.  It’s not a good look when a customer follows a link only to find that it’s broken or no longer exists.  It simply screams disorganised and you definitely don’t want customers to think that way about your business.

Please also take time to check for grammatical errors when you post your content.  You don’t want to come of as careless.  Our gadgets are loaded with applications that spell check, kindly use them.  I think I’m the pettiest customer you will ever come across and if your advert has grammatical errors I lose interest real quick.

That said, please bear in mind that people don’t have time and if you keep them waiting for too long they will move on to the next reliable source.  Options aplenty.

Do you have any social media etiquette tips to add on?  Sharing is caring.

©MaKupsy 2017

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My Favourite Instagram Pages

Instagram is one of my favourite places to hang out when I have time.  There are so many things happening there you can lose yourself in it for minutes on end.  You can start scrolling through your friends picture and next thing you are checking out some eye candy all the way in Italy on some photo shoot.  I now take Instagram in small doses though, it can make or break your day!  Below are some of my favourite Instagram pages and you should check them out too!

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Photo Credit: Michelle Chiyangwa

Hair! She is definitely your go to person for all things hair.  I’m not very knowledgeable in that department but her biography reads “frontals , 360’s, loose and body wave or straight hair extensions or wigs”.  I’m going to be honest and let you know that the only reason I follow her page is to check out her makeup, she does it very well and oh is she pretty or is she pretty!  However, if you want to hook yourself up with some luxury hair then make sure you follow her on @wegettinmcmoney

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Photo Credit: Sbahle Mpisane

Fitness!  Shes’s one of the reasons why I’m motivated to get up and do something.  Do you see her quads!!  Sbahle is the real deal.  Not only does she talk fitness but she looks the part too, a perfect combo.  Oh, did I mention she is also a NikeWoman?  You can not look fit without being fit!  If you have any intentions of actually going anywhere where fitness is concerned you have to start putting in the work!  There are no miracles in the game of fitness.  If you go through Sbahle’s Instagram page you will have every reason to ditch your bad eating habits!  Do yourself a huge favour and follow her on Instagram.  What I love the most about her is that she is thick and fit.  I’m so over trying to be stick thin to fit into society’s expectations, screw that!  Show her some love on @sbahle_mpisane

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Photo Credit: Nathan Cheddar

Photography!  That’s the most beautiful pregnancy shot I have ever seen and it’s straight out of Zimbabwe!  If you want to to capture your priceless moments or simply want to view some beautiful Instagram images then head on to @gorealrphotography

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Photo Credit: Sasha Tanaka

Travel!  She travels to Dubai, London, Australia, Tokyo, actually she travels all over the world!  If you want to see the hot spots in different countries then you won’t go wrong if you follow her.  Sometimes I scroll through her photographs and feel once I get home I should throw my entire life away because I’m not doing it right!  The cocktails, the views, the delicious food, the beaches, this girl is on a mission to live her best life and here I am blogging about it.  Her Instagram page is very colourful so make sure you don’t miss out on her travel diaries on @_sashas

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Photo Credit: Zim Weddings

Wedding Bells!  If your boyfriend can’t lift you like that is he even your boyfriend??  There’s everything to love about this Instagram page!  I remember when they followed me when they started out I thought to myself, really?  The way I have no intentions of having a wedding anytime soon I was sure they wanted to rub me the wrong way.  Well, they did the first few days, all those happily married people and there you are wondering if the universe is playing some type of joke on you.  If you want to get wedding venue ideas, makeup, shoes, bride and groom outfits, how couples are going all out to propose to the love of their lives, wedding videos…actually all things happiness, celebrations and couples in one place then look no further because @zimweddings has the hook up!!

How was your weekend?  What did you get up to?  Did you share your weekend memories on Instagram?  If yes, please drop your handle in the comments section so that we can follow each other.

©MaKupsy 2017

15 Priceless Gems I Learnt From The #30DayAfriblogger Challenge

I blogged my heart out in September, a whole 30 days of creating posts was worth every minute of my time…

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Image from Pinterest

  1. What stands between you and what you want is the story you tell yourself about why you can’t have it. I told myself I was going to blog the heck out of this September Challenge and I did exactly that!
  2. Collaboration is key. There were days when the challenge topics were tough and I had no idea how to tackle them. Thankfully we had the option to invite guest bloggers to write for us on a not so creative day.  I’m grateful for Chantelle, Vimbai and Josh for coming to the rescue.  Through their work my eyes were opened to issues that I had been ignorant about.
  3. Having a Content Calendar makes life easier. When the challenge started I looked through the topics and I was convinced it was going to be one crazy month because it looked like a lot of work.  Turns out it saved me a lot of time because I worked on difficult topics beforehand and sailed through the easy ones.
  4. I’ve spotted my weaknesses and strengths. Before this challenge I was an impromptu blogger.  Thanks to having to do research beforehand I have become more organised and I can create blog posts days in advance.  My number one strength now is that I know I can actually blog everyday if I put my mind to it.
  5. I got out of my comfort zone and learnt about new topics e.g feminism. I always see the topic getting people in heated arguments on social media platforms but now that I am more knowledgeable on the topic believe me I will be jumping in with my views.
  6. Use of different tools and elements to evoke emotion. Pinterest was good to me, word play even better!  These tools helped with keeping my readers engaged throughout the month and I’m happy to note that most readers could relate to different topics.
  7. Blog titles.  The catchier the better.  One of my personal favourites this month was When In Doubt, Eat Sadza.  This post caught the attention of my readers; most readers are currently out of the country so seeing sadza left them feeling nostalgic.
  8. Scheduling posts was the best thing that ever happened to me in September! It gave me time to read other blogs and not work on blogging only.
  9. Excuses don’t bring blog posts! I wrote through both good and bad days.  That’s the problem when you initiate something; you can’t afford to let yourself down so it ends up being both a blessing and a curse.  I seriously think that Sweet Lips should give me a case of wine because I went through a lot of wine this month to keep myself from drowing.
  10. Trust is built with consistency.  My objective as a Blogger is to get people engaged on my blog and the only way to do so is through consistent work.
  11. You may be a blogger but you are also a writer. Once you are something you have the responsibility of being  the best version of that!  What better way to challenge your skills through a 30 Day Blogging Challenge?
  12. September has been the best month of the year statistically with 5,379 views, 3,598 visitors, 524 likes, 137 comments and 31 blog posts!  If you want to get this blogging thing on lock then becoming a reliable source for content makes your blog more useful and therefore popular.
  13. Team work is the sh*t! We had a WhatsApp group running throughout the challenge and we discussed difficult topics in advance and it helped to give you an idea of which direction to choose for your posts.
  14. Bearded men aren’t so bad after all, wait, bearded men are the business! Apparently a man with a beard comes with much wisdom, awesomeness and note there’s D on the end of the word beard!   My friend (who happens to have a beard) would check on some of my posts and read some of my drafts and let me know they were lacking my character.  Make sure you have a person like that to cross check your work before sending it out into the world.
  15. I was going to stop blogging by the end of this year because I thought I was completely out of ideas on what to write about but this challenge just took my creative juices to the next level! I now know how I’m going to proceed blogging wise sit tight, it’s going to be an explosive journey from here on.

*Bonus Lesson: It’s good to invest in learning some technical skills!*

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Image from Pinterest

That said, let’s celebrate good times!!  Congratulations to every blogger who participated in this challenge. It was one energy filled month, we outdid ourselves African Bloggers!!!  This is the end of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and I’m happy to have been a part of something so profound.  The first time I did a write everyday challenge was last year in September and you can read the posts from here.

I would love to hear from you, when was the last time you took up a writing challenge?  How did that go for you?  Did you face any challenges along the way and how did you handle them?

I’m going to be away for a while, taking a “break” from blogging but I will still be here reading through all your amazing posts.  Have a lovely weekend ahead and stay beautiful both inside and out.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 29: Are You The One Catching A Grenade?

Relationships are a sensitive subject and there is always something new that happens to f*ck things up!  Just when you think you and your partner are smooth sailing you start picking up a red flag or two and think this too shall come to pass?  Most times it does but some times it doesn’t and you end up stuck in a relationship that is slowly sucking the life out of you.  There are different signs for everyone but I would like to believe that the following usually spell bad news is on it’s way.  I know I always want to look at the sunny side of things but let’s be honest sometimes you might really be the only one catching a grenade in your relationship.

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Image from Google

  • Envy
  • Cruel behaviour or attitude
  • Negativity (general outlook)
  • Lack of interest in you or your life
  • Abuse of all types
  • Feeling that you are no longer happy within the relationship

Methinks toxic relationships can be summed up in Bruno Mar’s song, Grenade, have a listen…

You thought this was going to be a never ending post on relationships right?  It’s Friday and there is just one more day to go on the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge.  I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

Do you have any signs that you would like to add to the list?  I would love to hear from you.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Day 28: It’s All Fun & Games Until You Start Staying Together!

‘Kuchaya Mapoto translation Cohabiting”

Dating can be a really fun experience.  From the dates, the gifts,the getting to know each other phase.  Your partner seems perfect, too perfect sometimes you start thinking they might be too good to be true.  In my opinion it’s like that because you don’t get to spend ALL your time with them.  I think the one time you truly get to find out who you are dating is when you start living together.  I once tried out cohabiting and the first few months were bliss.  Nothing can compare to waking up next to the person who makes your heart go pitter-patter.  Lovely as it may seem, there are a few issues that come with living together, let me list a few of them.  This was my experience…

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Sleeping Patterns

I sleep really early.  On a good day I am lights out anytime before 9:30pm.  When I go to sleep I want complete darkness in the room and no background noise.  That wasn’t the same for my partner.  He loved watching TV in bed and he used to wake up at ungodly hours to watch NFL games.  You can imagine how annoyed I got because that meant I would be wide awake and most times I had work the next day and that just made me very cranky come morning.  He was happy he got to watch the game, I was pissed off because I didn’t have enough sleep.  Drama, drama!

Bad Habits

We all have our little bad habits that are magnified once we start spending all our time with someone. Things like:

  • not putting the toilet seat back down when you finish using the loo.
  • not flushing after you finishing doing whatever business you choose to partake in in the loo.
  • farting in the presence of your partner. I know this one becomes inevitable after staying together for a long time BUT personally, it’s a no no.
  • not picking up after yourself.
  • not making the bed, in my world if you are the last one to leave the bed it’s your job to sure you make it, sounds fair to me.

Household Chores

This can be a real train smash if one of you is lazy.  You might end up feeling taken for granted because all the household chores will be on your list of things to do.  From experience I have concluded that everyone has something that they don’t mind doing housework wise and something they absolutely can’t stand!  For example, I don’t mind doing laundry, it’s the ironing part I can’t deal with.  I used to do all the laundry and once it was dry I would fold it and pack it away and iron as I go.  My partner found it absolutely ridiculous.  He believed once laundry was done it had to be ironed there and then. For the sake of peace and progress we split that chore and made sure I washed and he ironed, everyone is happy.  However, the other chores around the house were a real mission because he was lazy and I ended up doing everything else and resented him as each day passed by.

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Finances

I like saving for a rainy day.  I am that one person who probably has some money stashed away somewhere for emergencies.  I don’t believe in spending all my money and then worrying about how I am going to get to my next pay cheque.  My partner on the other hand loved blowing his money.  We would sit down, draw up a budget and agreed that come end of the month we would do a,b,c,d.  You don’t know what frustration is until you get home and find out that your partner has bought a $50 shirt that wasn’t a part of the budget and now you have to forgo important things that month.  It’s at that point that you realise that people clearly have different priorities.  Don’t get me wrong, getting yourself new things is all fine and dandy but when you have talked about things beforehand it would be important to communicate such decisions for the sake of peace and progress.

Sex

This blog would be incomplete without mentioning  sex.  Trust me when I tell you, the sex will be amazing.  Well, it was for me.  Sex at any time of day, no need to send a message asking “Sweetiepie how long are you going to take to get here?” when you are feeling hot and bothered because you have your partner with you.  You can explore, experiment and get enough the orgasms because there is no rush to go anywhere.  BUT there is obviously a big but in this; when things are not going well between a couple especially due to some of the issues I have mentioned above sex might not even happen.  Couples that are usually unhappy end up not having sex and just become room mates who happen to share a bed.  Thankfully we didn’t experience this because maybe we were just sex addicts (if sex saved relationships we would probably still be together) but for some I have heard that you can go a pretty long time without sex when your partner is mad at you.

Depression

This is an actual thing!  When you stay with someone chances of feeling depressed are actually very high especially when things are not going well between the two of you.  I remember we used to have cases where after a verbal fight he would walk out of the house and not come back.  Sometimes he would go for a whole weekend and I would be worried sick to my stomach not knowing if him walking away meant we had broken up, if he was alive, if he still wanted to talk to me…I had a million questions going through my head and him not picking up my calls or replying my messages made me all the more miserable.  I ended up feeling depressed and even after he came back and we talked things through in my heart I was never settled because I kept thinking one day he is going to walk away and never come back.  I had no hold on him, after all we were cohabiting and not legally married…

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To be honest, if you are thinking of cohabiting I say give it a try knowing that it might actually work out for you and if marriage is the end goal for both of you it might happen.  They say compromise is key right?  If you find that special someone you can gladly compromise then by all means don’t let my experience stop you.

Personally I won’t try it again, I have crossed out my bucket list in that department.  It was beautiful while it lasted but I love my space too much to have anyone else all up in it.  All that freedom to just be myself and do absolutely nothing all day in peace is priceless.  Then again I can’t exactly be alone for the rest of my life it would be nice to have someone to share all my highs and lows.  What would probably work would be staying in different apartments in the same building but we are still a couple(such wishful thinking!)or just getting married and buying a big house where you can always retreat to a different room when you are feeling upset and reconcile when you have cooled down…

My favourite ladies discussed the cohabiting topic sometime this year on the talk show, The Real and you should watch it and hear out their thoughts on the subject matter. 

After all is said and done, what matters the most is how you feel about each other and how far you are willing to go to make your relationship work.  Do what works for you and for the betterment of your living arrangement because at the end of the day what’s important is your happiness.  When you decide to stay with your partner get in it with open eyes and an open heart.

Today is Day 28 of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge we are supposed to state ONLY the advantages or disadvantages of cohabiting but did you see just how overzealous I got??!!

Have you been in a cohabiting scenario before.  How did it work for you?  Are you still together with your cohabiting partner?  Are there any tips you would want to share on how to make living together more manageable?  Are you pro or anti cohabiting?

©MaKupsy 2016

Day 26: Being An Illegitimate Child

Today’s topic is “Children born out of wedlock” and I have the pleasure of having @_6_Legend as my Guest Blogger.  He shared his story with me and I hope as many people can get to read this and realise that; after all is said and done children whether born in or out of wedlock have the same rights and feel the same way as any other child.

We live in a society that can sometimes be harsh and harmful on the very people that make it up. A lot of people suffer due to societal standards that affect them regardless of the fact that they cannot change their position nor is it of their own making. Children born out of wedlock are some of the people affected by these societal standards and I want to talk about some of the things that they (read we) face due to their “status”.

Society is an integral part of who we are. From the people we call family or relatives, depending on the nature of the relationship, to the 3 year old girl who lives down our road, all are integral to our being. Human beings are designed to associate with and interact with the people around them. This interaction takes many different forms and has different levels of impact. They all, however, have an impact and no matter how small this impact is, it contributes to who we are as a whole. The nature of these interactions, positive or negative, also will contribute towards shaping who we become as people. As a child born out of wedlock, I had a lot of interactions which I know, now, contributed to the person I am today. I say now because when these things happened I had no idea what they meant and I sure as hell didn’t know what they were doing to me psychologically.

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Image from Pinterest

My mother and biological father were never together. She married another man and I only discovered he wasn’t my actual father when I was an adult. When I did discover it though, it made sense. He treated me differently. His family treated me different. Whenever we visited the rural areas, I could feel that I was an outcast. I think I knew right from the start that I wasn’t a part of that family but I didn’t know the alternatives and that’s why I just didn’t have that truth fall naturally to me. I told myself that my “father’s” family didn’t like me because of my mischief. I wish they had just told me I wasn’t one of them.

Then I learnt the truth…

I met my biological father when I was 20. I had mixed feelings but eventually I thought I should make an effort to form a relationship with him. I shouldn’t have. On our first encounter, he spoke about how he only lost touch because my mother got married and my step dad didn’t want him talking to her. He went on to tell me that his whole family knows about me and he would take me to meet them. No one knew about me. Five years later and I have met none of my sperm donor’s family (that’s all he is really). The moment I realized it was never going to happen, I stopped trying and I became happier. I am a fatherless person and I have embraced it. When I left my step father’s, I remember one of his sisters saying “ndakambokuudzai kuti vana vemusango vanonetsa”. Loosely translated, “I told you these fatherless children are a problem”.

The term “vana vemusango” (bastard children) has been used to describe children born out of wedlock for a long time. The term came as a description of men who wander out of their matrimonial homes and go “kusango” where they bear children. I feel that the term carries heavy negative connotations, the brunt of which is bore by the children. It is a term that shames children for being born out of wedlock as if it was their choice. It is a term designed to discriminate and sideline these children. As a society, we forget that we are all equal. Once we begin to label other people as illegitimate, we have taken a whole lot from those people. Their dignity. Their pride. Their association. Their being. We strip it all. And yet it is not this person’s fault that they came into this world in that way.

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Image from Google

I don’t even know what I wanted the point of this to be. I just had things to say and I hope I have at least articulated myself well. We all came from somewhere. Hakuna mwana wemusago…

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Day 25: What Feminism Means To Me

Day 25 of #30DayAfriBlogger Challene topic is Feminism or Humanism or Womanism.  Where do you stand and why?  I have a Guest Blogger who shared her thoughts on Feminism with me, enjoy the read.

“I am compelled to remain on this feminist path by the many women that…feel comfortable in living differently” –​ ​Florence​ ​Butegwa

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Vimbai Midzi

 Women deserve to be treated equally, to be given a fair chance to succeed, and a safe environment to live their lives in. – Vimbai Midzi

It was a quiet realisation in a room full of women who had been through the abuse I had experienced. I hadn’t spoken at all that day, and my heart was heavier than I can articulate. There were hundreds of candles for the vigil, and hundreds of women sat in the hall – some shocked at the stories that were told, some crying, some humming quietly. My friend, who had been the closest person to me since school started, held my hand as we swayed back an forth. Without warning, surprising myself even, I stood up and began to tell my story too. I spoke with the smallest voice I’ve ever heard come out of me about a violence I wish I could forget. I stopped, one minute in, fighting tears. I looked up for reassurance of some kind, and when I looked back at my friend, she had a sign up that simply said, “You matter.” That tiny act of kindness which probably only I noticed, was the beginning of my journey with feminism and defining what it’s meant to me.

Feminism, broadly speaking, is the belief that all women and men are fundamentally equal, and that the differences in the way women and men are treated comes down to patriarchy.

Patriarchy is basically a system that privileges men over women in society – whether with regards to workplace opportunities, access to education, inheritance laws, political leadership positions or romantic relationships. Patriarchy is the thinking that says that women are intrinsically inferior to men, which trickles down into various sectors of society. For example, patriarchy is the reason in many developing countries, if a family cannot afford to send all their children to school, they’d rather send the boys and not the girls. Sometimes it’s subtle. It’s in the way girls are raised to aspire to marriage and are ‘trained’ to take care of a family’s needs, while boys often lack basic domestic skills because they aren’t expected to take part in domestic labour. Patriarchy is the reason why, for years I stayed silent about my sexual abuse, and was willing to go to the grave with it, for fear of being ridiculed or blamed. Patriarchy says that women’s lives, ideas, dreams, bodies don’t matter as much as men’s, and feminism exists to counter that.

You matter.

African feminism stems from African women’s actions and thoughts around equality within the context of African societies. It’s important to stress that my African identity is integral to my fight against patriarchy across the continent. It is particularly important, on a continent where women are systematically excluded from economic, political and social spaces, that my feminist work does everything in its power to tear apart the patriarchy that holds women back and under the feet of men. African women, post colonialism, had to deal with fighting racial oppression from white regimes, and further oppression from their own black male family members, colleagues and leaders.

Feminism is both collective and individual in its practices. Many of the changes in laws protecting women’s inheritance rights, fighting violence against women, ensuring equal opportunities in professional and educational spaces, have come as a result of the collective action of groups of feminists across the continent.  Being a feminist also means that feminists over the years have fought for me to have autonomy and personal choice –an integral part of feminism.  It also means that I’ve come to have a personal understanding of the different ways patriarchy affects me and the ways in which I fight it in my daily life.

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Vimbai Midzi

Personally, there are two things that come to mind when I think of what feminism means to me.

1. YOU MATTER

The jokes about self love aside, loving myself and acknowledging my intrinsic worth has been the foundation of my feminist journey.  Women deserve to be treated equally, to be given a fair chance to succeed, and a safe environment to live their lives in. Feminist policies like advocating for free sanitary pads so girls don’t have to miss school because of their periods, is telling girls that they matter. Their ability to attend class and society’s effort at leveling the playing field for their start in life, matters. My pain, my joy, my failure, my success, my ideas, my dreams – they all matter, and they should be taken seriously.  Feminism makes it necessary for this to be actively made a truth in women’s lives. Every demand for harsher punishments for rapists and kinder environments for rape survivors to tell their stories and get justice, every push for states to address femicide and emphasise women’s autonomy over our bodies, is feminism telling us that we matter.

2. PATRIARCHY MUST FALL

It’s important to note that patriarchy is enacted mostly by and for the benefit of men, but that women can perpetuate it too, and that men can suffer from it. Feminists fight against patriarchy as a system that harms both men and women, albeit harming women more.  Patriarchy sets impossible and toxic standards for men and how masculinity should be performed. This often means that masculinity is associated with violence, strength (the kind of strength that can never show signs of perceived weakness) and unchecked power. Men are therefore socialised to believe that they cannot be emotionally vulnerable.   for example. This would explain the rise in male suicides as a result of men being unable to seek help for mental health issues like depression. Patriarchy also socialises women to make decisions or say things that are harmful to other women, and that ultimately benefit men. When a woman judge in Uganda suspended a female court clerk for wearing a mini-skirt there were a lot of comments. In this instance, women’s dressing and bodies continue to be policed by a system that takes away women’s bodily autonomy.  That the decision was made by a woman, shows the pervasiveness of patriarchy and that; as a whole system, it needs to fall, for the sake of women mostly but also for the sake of men.

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Image from Pinterest

Feminism for me means learning and unlearning everyday.  It means standing up for myself in an environment that seeks to shrink me.  It means standing with women at all times, ensuring that our rights are protected, our voices are listened to and the war on our bodies is being stopped.  It means being unapologetically me and living myself past the pain of years of ingrained patriarchal practices and language. It means reclaiming the identity that men for centuries have given to women, and forming one for myself. Most importantly, feminism for me, is the quiet realisation that I matter.

You can find Vimbai on Twitter; @Just_Midzi she loves, supports and fights for or with black African women.  She also has a new project under way and you should watch this space for it.  A big thank you to Vimbai for sharing her thoughts, I for one now have a better understanding of what Feminism is.

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 24: I Came, I Saw, I Captured

“For my birthday I want a photo-shoot, a piano and a baby sister.”

Talk about a little person who know’s exactly what she wants!  That was my daughter Miss Kupsy telling me her birthday requests a few weeks ago.  I just smiled and thought this child is from another planet.  Where in the world will I get a baby sister from at such short notice?  I reminded her that she had a brother but she quickly pointed out that she wanted a sister NOT a brother.

I make sure each of her birthdays are memorable and this time around her photo-shoot wish came true.  The photographer was convinced she had gone for a photo-shoot before but I confirmed that it was definitely her first time.  We had a lot of fun.  It ended up being a mother-daughter shoot but the highlight was on her.  She got over 100 photos taken!

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Miss Kupsy 🙂

Who: Timeless Photos

What: Focusing on weddings, commercial projects, corporate events and studio photography.

Where: 66 Nelson Mandela Ave, 1st Floor, Strachans Building, Harare

Price: $15 for 15 minutes, $25 for 30 minutes and $50 for one hour (studio photographs) where you only get soft copies transferred to your memory stick.  For more information on their price guides feel free to get in touch with them on their Facebook Page.

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Miss Kupsy’s 6th Birthday

I chose the package for 15 minutes which also comes with two printed copies.  Timeless Photos provides pretty temporary picture frames and they have more durable ones they sell for $5.  The whole experience cost us $30 and I left a happy woman because I still had more birthday treats lined up for Miss Kupsy.  A friend of mine sent her money to buy her a toy piano.  Being a child is certainly the best time of your life!  No one sends me money on my birthday.  I’m still to buy the piano for her the ones I see when I shop around aren’t durable.  I’m one person who believes that you have to buy the best from the beginning.

If you are working on a budget then I highly recommend you try out Timeless Photos.  I’m definitely going back before the year ends to get some pictures taken for my fitness brand.

There are also some very good photographers in the country.  They are doing amazing things.  Their work is all over social media and you should certainly get in touch with them to get some work done.  Don’t say I didn’t give you the hook up!

Kennedy Famba : @KennedyFamba (Twitter)

Tino Nyandoro: @TinoNyandoro (Twitter)

KB Mpofu: @KBMpofu (Twitter)

Who are some of the best photographers in your country?  Have you been for a photo-shoot before?  What was your experience like?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 23: Are You Wifey Material?

Scratch that are YOU husband material?  Society really needs to take a chill pill and stop putting all this unnecessary pressure on women.  We already have this thing called treating ourselves with tender loving care first and then add labour to deal with so y’all should just give us a break.  I laughed out loud the one time I had a conversation with an unnamed man and he told me that some of the qualities he looked for in a woman who was going to be to his future wife included:

  • going to church every Sunday
  • wearing “decent” clothes
  • someone who didn’t smoke or drink
  • someone who wasn’t on social media platforms
  • someone who didn’t question his whereabouts

Basically someone who lived in the 1960s because he certainly won’t be find her in 2017 we now know better!  Ain’t nobody got time to be babying grown men and reacting to their every whim.  (Please note that I’m not married so of course I will say crap on the subject matter because I have zero experience)  Then again we all have preferences and if that’s what he is looking for who am I to stop him from choosing what makes him happy?

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

 

In the real world a lot has changed and most women are now looking for a man with qualities that excite her loins.  There is no way anyone is willing to bend and break with the wrong person for the rest of their lives so women now have a “husband material” list as well and qualities obviously vary.  However, in as much as times have evolved there are still some men who want to be the head speaker when it comes to what his woman should or should not wear that time they aren’t even taking her shopping.

My opinion when it comes to this subject is that life is too damn short; dress for occasions, dress comfortably and always dress to kill.  Then again what do I know, I don’t even like wearing clothes in the first place and that’s why today’s post features guest blogger Chantelle who knows all about fashion!

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

Fashion is an art form that allows you to create and inspire through fabrics , textures , colors you name it. I love expressing myself through what I wear and revealing a little bit of my character, who I am, what I am about with what I wear. As a creative , it’s always evolving; I can be a siren today through a little red dress and a powerhouse tomorrow through a black tailored suit.

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Photo Credit: @riso_jeradi (Twitter)

Fashion Tips
Know yourself 

When you know who you are and what you stand for , trends, especially the idiotic ones will come and go and you will not be swayed by wearing a see through fishnet as a whole dress in the name of fashion. When you know who you are, you will have your own style that will be timeless and unique to you.

Know your body  

Are you top heavy?  Bottom heavy?  Do you have a small waist or a bit of a belly?  Thick thighs?  Long legs? There is something that works for everyone. Knowing the right fit for your body type will give you a fitting silhouette and Knowing the shape of your body is a sure way to wear flattering clothes that will give you a confidence boost and a nice ass! I mean , don’t we all want a nice ass??

Dress to make yourself happy

When you dress for yourself you take back your body from the body shamers and oh so entitled critical pigs that we often call Men Are Trash and I said it! You take back the power because you are no longer allowing them and their opinions to matter.  You’re telling them I will wear this flowy short little print dress because it’s very hot outside and my legs give Venus and Rihanna a run for their money.  You are standing up to the bullies who told you no and basically dressing for yourself is a big fuck you to all the self esteem bashers out there. Plus you will love what you see every time you pass a mirror. Hello mirror selfies!!

Dress codes👗👒👜
I love guidelines especially for events, is it black tie, formal, casual, high fashion you name it.  I personally follow guidelines because it’s showing respect to someone’s vision. When people take the time to plan an event, bring it to life and invite us to be a part of their vision, the least we can do is bring a bottle of wine if it is a friends dinner party or wear what the invitation says to wear.  Although my Zimbabwean beloved country people do not have a regard for dress code as I have seen many wearing jeans and sneakers at a red carpet even, I have hope. Dress code allows the vision created to line up accordingly and as how the planners wanted it to be.  If it is a grand soirée, bring out that long train and sequins , if it is formal casual , those nice fitting jeans you have been saving and a nice tailored blazer.

A big thank you to Chantelle for sharing these priceless fashion tips with us.  She’s a Zimbabwean Fashion Blogger and you should definitely check her out her work on:

Instagram: @riso_jeradi

Twitter: @risojeradi

What’s your take on your partner policing what you wear?  Do you also have a husband or wife material list?  If yes, how’s that search going for you so far?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 22: Who Are You To Police My Black Hair?

I think people are just jealous of the way black hair is so versatile!  Not just any black hair but a black woman’s hair.  What I love about my hair is that I can do any and everything to it everyday.  One day I have twists, the next day I have a mini afro and who knows maybe the next day I will let it out to flourish and be happy.  The thing with black hair is that it has so many layers to it.  It can be both creative and daring and that makes people unhappy, especially people you work with.    It’s a damn shame for them because I won’t stop being myself, I love every inch of my black hair!

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MaKupsy

That’s me in the photo above; making people very unhappy with my uncombed hair.  Shout out to The Quarter Wife for the beautiful picture.  If you are a black woman I’m sure you are familiar with some of these statements.  Some may call them insults depending on how they take them.

  • Do you need a comb for your hair?
  • When are you getting your hair plaited?
  • That’s a school girl hairstyle, you really have gone broke!
  • Why do you have a maids hairdo?
  • Can I touch your hair?
  • Aren’t you wearing a wig on top of those cornrows?

I’ve been asked a few of those questions above about my hair.  People really try my patience I tell you!  I sometimes wonder they ask just to hear what I have to say.  I would get really worked up the first days but lately I just smile or completely ignore their remarks.  My favourite one is “That’s a school girl hairstyle, you really have gone broke!”.  The reason why I like it is because each time I get cornrows done I shed off a whole 5 years from my age, people start thinking Im in my 20s, what’s not to love?  I’m not even insulted, Im excited, all the more chances of getting hit on by a young hot blooded man.(just kidding!)  

What most people don’t understand is that protective styles are actually good for your hair.  My hairline used to suffer in the past but ever since I attended a couple of Natural Hair Events I now know how to take better care of my hair.  When I think back growing up we used to do each other’s hair during school holidays or on weekends and our go to hairstyle was mabuns (African Threading) not a single person had hairline problems then our hair was intact!

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(African Threading) Photo Credit: Shuvai Murumbi (Facebook)

Show me one woman who doesn’t want an intact hairline and I will show you a liar!  This hairstyle just needs your time, $1 to buy wool and voila you’re good to go.  Tell me one person who doesn’t want to save money the way our economy is currently set up?  Some people will call this a maid’s hairstyle I call it a wise woman’s hairstyle.  If there is one thing all women need to do more it’s to be comfortable in their own skin, even if it means rocking mabuns!

If your hair is nappy they are not happy” – Paul Mooney

If there is one thing you need to do for your hair it’s learn everything you can about it.  We all have different hair types and what works for me will not work for you.  I used to be super obsessed about my hair length but I realised that what matters the most is that I have healthy hair more than anything.  Be kind to your hair, don’t be stressing the heck out of it.  I think hair can actually hear things if you ask me so feed it with love, attention and products that will keep it well hydrated and moisturised.

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Photo Credit: Alice Murewa (Facebook)

My colleagues have since stopped asking about my hair.  Now they just watch and get the shock of their lives.  They realised they can’t steal my joy and they have probably embraced that I’m fearless when it comes to my hair.  I don’t conform to society’s expectations.  If I want my hair natural I will wear it as is, I’m not everyone, I am uniquely me.

To all the black girls who are constantly harassed about the state of their hair, next time anyone tries to insult you tell them to focus on their own hair and leave yours the heck alone! 

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Photo Credit: Thembi

You can read about some of the events and my hair experiences from here:

  1. My Hair Game Is Non-Existent
  2. The Power of A Referral
  3. My Hair Grows Towards Heaven
  4. I Love My Natural Hair

What are some of the worst things people have said or done to your hair?  Are you comfortable walking about with your hair in it’s natural state?  Let’s share your hair stories.

©MaKupsy 2017