Foreign

                            Foreign

By Mudhanganyi

What un-qualifies me? What makes me a stranger?

What makes me the different strand, one queer block posing danger

My dialect, tone, ascent, color?

My birthplace, president or unasssuming demeanor

Why does it seem I alone has to face the culler?

I am known by my many things,

Never of the good ones

But mostly insults, and of them lashings.

My armpits smell

Simple etiquette, it seems, I don’t do to well.

Brothers we are, sisters we are

Inlaws we have become but still demarcated

Geographically and emotionally our hearts be the landmark

It’s a sad tale,

What a bloody, poor heartbreak.

Scapegoat, spoiler, wrecker, taker

Invader, looter, undesired heartbreaker

Asylum seeker, expatriate

Names I’m given when all I pray for is that we relate.

What happened to love

What happened to Ubuntu

If we can’t, forward we can never

But there’s a good ending, if willing, and it begins with you.

Is Uber profitable in South Africa?

uber1bDon’t get me wrong, I love Uber, at first I believed it was amongst the greatest innovations within the 21st century amongst Facebook and Twitter until I was waiting on the street on a rainy night (courtesy of cyclone Dineo) and all I seemed to get from Uber drivers allocated to me was, sorry your driver had to cancel.

Four drivers had cancelled, humiliatingly so as I had gone on and on to my colleagues bragging about the service and low cost Uber offered as compared to dodgy security details patrolling the night that charge them 20-30 rand each for a trip or the conventional taxi drivers who charge 100 – 200 rand over the same distances. I was simply running out of answers to where my ride was as my initial 14 minutes ETA had flown past with no car in sight. The last driver to decline was kind enough (or not) to call and tell me to make other plans as it did not make “money sense” to drive 15 minutes for a journey of five and as much as I wanted to show Uber’s effectiveness and style to my colleagues, I had to agree. For the first time in my lovely relationship with Uber, I saw her other side. My five minute ride didn’t matter but the driver’s 15 did.

 

The rain poured down heavily and with no other choice I went along with friends to ask patrolling security detail at a nearby garage to take me home. Within a few seconds of arriving, one determined Uber driver who had eventually accepted my trip, called to ask for my whereabouts. In my apparent demise, I had packed my phone in a dry pocket and proceeded to the garage when he decided to come fetch me. Initially the ride was supposed to have been far cheaper as we where going to take the same taxi and split the charge but now because my other friends had already made other plans, I had to cough up the fare alone, as such because I loved their service before then, feared to have to pay for a ride which I did not cancel.

 

As usual my ride was nice, the car was smart and smelled nice, my driver even hard the car warm and stirred up conversations that have become synonymous with my every ride. Because the service is relatively new in South Africa and nothing like it, I still have a lot of questions on how it operates and it is like getting it from the horse’s mouth.

 

John (not his real name) was kind enough to explain to me as to the reason why there seemed to be no car available to me when I requested. It is in the way the service operates that might leave you wondering if the business owners of such a huge company are making any money at the end of the day. John told me how he has to wait for hours at the airport in a queue from Uber until eventually he is allocated a passenger. The queue he says can last for hours until eventually getting a passenger who could be going as far as the next city. All fair and done, the customer will pay for the ride but the driver will have to travel back again to the same airport for a fee that reflects only the passengers destination and not the cost to come back and also minus the service fees that Uber takes from the driver.

 

And as for when he picked me up, he was just from dropping a passenger on his way back to yet another queue when he decided to accept my ride.

 

It took him about 14 minutes to get to where I was, I am guessing there where no other Uber taxis in the area at that moment. It then took us 5 minutes to get home, a ride, which cost 35 rands. I honestly felt bad having to pay him such little money but because I have little in depth understanding of how he is making his money, the little conversation we had was enough to let me know that on this particular trip, the poor fellow came out with nothing.

 

“We as passengers can sometimes benefit from Uber, but we can’t always rely on it.  It is worth considering, while enjoying an Uber ride – what would happen if Uber effectively put regular taxi services out of business?  What would happen if we got a ‘no cars available’ message and had no other alternatives to turn to

Maybe Uber will grow to ‘meet the market’.  But if it is losing money at present, is more growth going to cause it to lose money faster or to stop losing money and turn profitable?  More to the point, is there an unlimited supply of potential drivers that Uber can add to its driver base?

The answer to the question about driver supply is key.  That very low fare you just paid to an Uber driver may or may not be sufficient for the driver to stay in business.  Remember that Uber takes 20% – 30% of the fare you pay for its role in the middle, and all of a sudden, a R30.00 Uber fare means a net of perhaps R24.00 for the driver, who then has to pay all his own costs and also self-employment taxes on whatever slim ‘profit’ may remain.” MiscellaneousReviewsTravel

 

Uber’s business models centres on being cheap and now that we have shunned conventional taxis who in turn are feeling the competition and leaving for home in the early hours of the night, we seem to be stuck with a service that might not have enough drivers to come to your aid or unwilling to come through because it does not make profitable sense. The flip side of this dilemna is knowing a colleague who is still waiting to have his Uber permit approved so he can start offering rides.

Uber is a great service, but before many South Africans get vehicle credit to put up a fleet on the streets of Johannesburg in the hope of making a kill, they need to come up with a driver base large enough to put out all the fears of being stuck on the road with no driver willing to accept your ride, no matter how insignificant it might be to the business.

 

 

 

How to cheat on your partner!

How to cheat on your partner!

delete-whatsapp

Delete! Delete! Delete! Is the key word. Nothing to it than this valuable six letter word.

While I am no stranger to the action itself, I could not but imagine the pain an acquaintance has had to go through just to have a normal day in his marriage, a thing he yearns for but barely gets from his partner.

Meet Dave (not his real name), 26, married and with one child. He would love to just get home and live his phone charging while he takes a bath or leave it to charge while he goes off with friends on a binge but as he tells me while we enjoyed a couple of beers at an establishment in the East rand, he cannot afford to do that.

His life, he says, has been marred with various near -to-fatal incidences just because of a Social App, one that literally left a mark on him when the wife took hot coals from a braii and threw at him infront of family and friends. He has survived numerous cellphone destructions, a limit to his conjugal rights in many nights and has had to retrieve his contacts on many occasions through his network provider. Far too many times than any other man has done he believes.

But as the story goes, he has reached level expert in cheating on his wife. He no longer has to worry. It seems he has developed a unique memory of all the chats he has with his mistresses and never misses a thing. On a conversation, when he types, he deletes and when he gets a response, he deletes and when the chat ends, he deletes the recents because as with Whatsapp, they all pile up at the beginning and are a cause of grief and pain in his house.

I was in no space to ask him why he has to go through all the hustle just to cheat when he has a woman at home? But I wasn’t going to ruin the fun chat I was having with him. He had become the only source of entertainment in this local establishment besides the booze , for it seemed, not too many patrons had ventured out on this night.

His belief was that marriage could never work without a ‘side chick’ and he had justifications for his theory.

“A woman is never satisfied with all you do for her, there is always something she looks for which is mysterious, its a thing we can never know. First I thought my spouse needed money and a good life but when I gave her that, she still never trusted me. That was before I even cheated on her first. When I realised I was never going to be appreciated and that I was just a suspect in our marriage I began to see another woman. I was not clever with it at the start but now, I am as clean as a whistle and have no problems of infidelity with my woman”

Today’s world has presented a challenge on privacy that our mothers and fathers never suffered from. There where no cellphones, pc’s and definitely no video calling and all was made simple by having one common place of communication, a huge and heavy telephone set sitting by the corner set in the lounge. There was definitely no phone sex and no funny conversations on this set while the whole family googled or the little naught brother listened and giggled in the other room.

“It was kinda peaceful back then” Dave said with a chuckle.

I couldn’t help but agree.

Dave has since developed a keen understanding of social networks and is adept to the most recent trends in chatting that can make his marriage life easier. Not only has he stuck to one platform but has initiated a somewhat persuasion of the mind to all his mistresses, which by now I had gathered numbered four, to have them download message applications that make it easier for them to communicate. Its about staying ahead of the game and making sure nothing or no one catches up on you, its like a game of cat and mouse he relates.

In as much as Dave is treading on a thin thread of either getting caught or catching up on an unwanted deadly disease, much of the world today evolves around the conversations within social platforms and security is of major concern. WhatsApp came up with end to end encryption a few months back to keep information passed on from one user to the other secure from the googles and hackers but as for Dave, he needs not to worry about these but only his wife.

“The most dangerous woman is one starring at a pic of another woman in your phone as you fail to construct a meaningful reason as to why she is in your phone” he says, now clearly inebriated.

Social networks providers are unaware of the wars being waged daily in the homes, way bigger than their worries of spying and intelligence.

A while ago another friend went on to create a false profile on Facebook to catch a cheating husband. By the time I got to know of the profile, the husband was about to meet his mistress (his wife) for the first time and she wasn’t sure what to do next as it had become too real for her to handle. In the end she deleted the profile, what a waste I thought whilst it was too close to home, what if I too was lured in such a manner? Would I take the bait?

I have gathered an immense suspicious character online which begins from sieving through my friends and followers. While I might not use the delete button that often, I prefer to unfollow and block that which I feel might hinder my privacy or my wellbeing. The greatest fear of all time is to have to wake up with a headline saying, ‘Major social platform hacked!’ and so in preventing before I need a cure, I chose to be a bit smarter when it comes to what I do and who I do it with online.

It begs the thought of how much of online footprint are we leaving out there in today’s world? Is it good and is it bad? How much of it will hurt when its publicly displayed, one day? We have seen it happen before and I have a feeling it wont be the last we hear of it.

If it comes to cheating on your spouse, Dave encourages you to delete! I guess even in a court of law, when there is no evidence, there is no time!

DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!