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Grace Mugabe’s assault(ee) in pictures.

Meet Gabriella Engels. She is 20.

Gabriella1
Pic courtesy of her Facebook page.

This is the young lady who has taken two countries into a diplomatic gaffe that will most probably make life a lot harder than it has been already for most Zimbabweans.

I have heard the name in numerous publications and broadcasts and wondered who this unfortunate lady is, who has fallen victim over the first lady’s violent acts and this time through the nasty end of a power chord.

Gabriella Engels
Pic courtesy of her Facebook page

While the story unfolds and with only one side of it available so far, we can only assume that Amai Grace’s silence says it all. With so many versions of the story, one can only assume there is more than what could have transpired in that room on that fateful night than what the eye can see and the ear can hear.

Read more about Grace Mugabe’s history of violence here

Known as Gaby on her social platforms and with very little information on it other than her 19th June birthday, Gabriel could be in a state of ‘anxitement’ as she has become popular overnight whilst still tending to wounds afflicted by the less graceful, Mrs Mugabe.

This could finally be her moment, not that she intended and certainly not that I am for such a behaviour from our leaders, but it could be a turning point into the lives of the two who stand on opposite sides. One could fall, as the hashtag goes, while the other rises to popularity though being on the receiving end of a brutal attack or sadly it could be such a dull ending to a story that has got everyone in South Africa totally flabbergasted after it goes through unending diplomatic talks and negotiations. I say this knowing so well how such cases can be swept under the rug of judicial arm twisting.

Gabriella Engel 2
Gabriella Engels: Courtesy of her Facebook page

There isn’t much to say on such an incident rather than to wish for a speedy and agreeable end to a nightmare that could be potentially disastrous to political ties and Zimbabwean nationalities in South Africa.

All could be lost through the actions of one person who, no matter the provocation could not let God take care of it on her behalf or let her grace and bodyguards handle it on her behalf if reports of her being attacked first are to be taken as truth.

As it is women’s month in South Africa, the public is further disgusted and seeking the full wrath of the law regardless of societal stature. It is however interesting to note that there has never been an arrest of a first lady in any country outside her own in history and with Uncle Bob set to arrive in South Africa to sort out issues, it could be long until this record is broken.

Gabriella Engels (1)
Bandaged and saddened: Gabriella Engels

Listen to Gabriella Engels radio interview here

Messages through her Facebook showed mixed emotions and tones, the two countries will need to use their diplomacy to the fullest to bring calm to this sad fiasco.

Here’s what some of her followers on Facebook had to say:

Jonathan van der Mkhize You’re so pretty just stop mingling with foreigners and good luck on your case (criminal & civil) sue the shit out of disGrace Mugabe, good luck to Gerrie Nel too. Good luck future millionaire (in Rands 😉

Channon Merricks #GraceMugabe had every right to use an extention cord and light to assualt someone ….. however she failed as a mother to discipline her children ….. she failed as a parent to leave her boys in a hotel whilst they are students without proper supervision …. she failed as first lady of Zimbabwe to ensure there is better universities in her country than in another country …. she failed to assault her boys as she had every right to assualt them ….. so assaulting someone else child because you failed as a parent means you are angry at the wrong person …. as a first lady you should lead the no violence against women but you are now accused of violence against a women in another country …..Now running away from police show you are guilty and failling again as a first lady and mother, to account for your actions, your boys will also run away from facing the consequences of there own ill discipline in future ..Boys learn from their mothers..To the victim, be strong and fight the good fight

And then there was a reply:

Heine TheRoyal Tutor Wittgenstein You talk rather too much for someone who constructs sentences no better than a 12 year old. Was the mother wrong to protect her children from a predatory woman with potential STD’s? I don’t think so. Maybe her methods were not ideal. But this rhetoric that she was trying to murder this non-woman is just absurd. People would go to such lengths to push this narrative of violence against women. If women are so sick of violence – maybe they should stop playing victim and stop dating men. Everybody wins!

A war is brewing. May God save the children.

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Did Jay Z just pour out his heart!

FeaturedDid Jay Z just pour out his heart!

jay z 4-44My music listening is inspired by one simple thing: Greatness!

I don’t waste time on a bull’s faeces, I simply delete and move on, I simply don’t have to listen to ExQ (I’m supposed to link his name to his wikipedia but he doesn’t have one). I have come to understand how valuable the Megabytes in my phone or laptop are (until #datamustfall is in full effect) enough not to have them wasted on artists with a very low IQ in lyric building and telling a story. That said I still listen to Fally Ipupa, even though I have no idea of what he is singing about, his presentation instrumentally and visually appeals to me.

It’s Jay Z’s 13th album, who wouldn’t want to listen to it after like a four year sabbatical, hate him or love him, we can never run away from the fact that this is the same guy who has somehow shaped the look of Hip Hop as it is today. He has become a household name with more than music understanding but also business mind and a father to many artists to date.

As usual I go in with a strong expectation. I try not to listen to wannabe music critics and listen with a fresh ear. In the end we can only deduce real music without someone yelling ‘that is my song’ in the club. We can only call one a great artist buy the music and not the lifestyle he lives or the woman he married but by simply what he creates in the studio, enough to make sense and impart wisdom and happiness in the lives of many. Sean Carter seems to leave it all out on a record, especially with 4:44, after having faced media scrutiny over his love life. I guess we all needed his own version of the story, much reason as to why the album went platinum in a week.

Jay Z has faced many wars, its not easy to be declared ignoramus to common religion and still continue to live life the way we are given everyday. I might be a bad judge of character, but that’s a sin I am willing to die with coz it’s not for me to put anyone under any criteria.

I have struggled, daily to convince my colleagues that no matter how one seems to show it and portray it in his songs, we can only deduce if it comes from his mouth when he confesses and confessions are for God on the day of judgement. Let the man be and judge him because of what he does and sings about, it seems it is still the same old musician we have loved who continues to make great music for the masses. I am a fan of that.

I’ve stopped listening to beautiful girl songs, how many have been made? We cant only be dancing to songs that celebrate beauty of a woman or how rich you claim to be, this is simply just not good enough.

Imagine a newspaper that only writes about one thing only, with not even a change of angle! Thats how ExQ sounds right now, he simply has just lost any imagination in what to write about women now, he just keeps it very pathetic and you still have people listening and dancing to it.

I want to listen to a song that I can google to, if it’s worth googling and researching it’s adding value to my life.

Simply put I am not a hater, no hatred for someone’s else’s efforts. Same way we don’t support Zimbabwe Saints but Dynamos is the same way my ears close up when anything other than good comes on the radio. I did a show once on radio, the major reason why I never was revered among the many local musicians was the fact that I never tolerated lyrically poor musicians. I loathed making up ‘love this song’ in my shows and threw away anything other than beautiful. The majority of radio Dj’s in the country right now have no love for the music scene other than fill up their pockets with kick back money.  Producers and Presenters share the freebies while we die with frustrations at the end of a broadcast.

Before I even convince you that Jay Z’s album is a five star offering, listen to it here for yourself and share your comments at the bottom, regardless of what I say next.

I often struggle with content to listen to, as I said, I delete a lot. The reason why we all loved Bob Marley and Michael Jackson regardless of how they lived their lives was because their music said something to us that we could relate to at the time even up to now. Oliver Mtukudzi continues to be the pinnacle example of great musicianship in Zimbabwe because of one thing alone, content and yet its sad to have Rocki, Exq and Maskiri in a conversation with friends of musicians from your country.

One wonders why the country seems to have harvested mediocre lyricists when there were born from the likes of Bundu Boys, James Chimombe, Oliver and Chiwoniso Maraire. What happened to writing something that lasts the ages and nothing that lasts the night out and can only be remembered when you get high again.

I have mastered the art of deducing if your song will go anywhere other than your paid rotation on radio by the first minute it plays. If you don’t chose the first statement on your song with great care, be careful to lose me within that entrance. A lot of people will agree with me but then again, I don’t depend on them, music is supposed to be something other than a sum of instruments and a voice behind the mic.

It is much more than that and if you don’t understand what I am trying to say but can listen to Plaxedes Wenyika without picking up some off notes, then this article is not for you.

By the way I am here for Jay Z, forgive me, I get so carried away by the death of music in my country.

In a few words, Jay Z’s album 4:44 exudes maturity and wit no other rapper in the genre has managed to portray. He brings the simple Rhythm and Poetry that Common, Nas, Biggie and Tupac always put in every single they made. You are bound to pick more than one points of discussion in his album than you are in any of my fore-mentioned mediocrity.

Though till now I don’t know what 4:44 means, we will keep gathering all speculations and come up with a concrete meaning when we get a chance to speak with HOV in person. In the mean time enjoy.

To find out what Jay Z is singing about in every song on this album, check out this website.

A praise singer is not the praised!

It seems we have since forgotten how it all works. A praise singer,extols the virtues of his leader or chosen one and/for a common cause and barely gets the praise himself.  Sadly thats the way it goes and it ends there.

I should go on and give a disclaimer beforehand: 

In this piece, I will not pretend to know how politics in Zimbabwe works, I will instead leave that to the political commentators and concetrate on the simple understandings of a praise singer, to whom this article is cultivated from and what I believe the so called ‘committee’ that sits to decide whether actions of the liberation struggle results in a well paved grave of mable or not.

The past week the country could not believe when the biggest pro-liberation struggle lead singer and veteran died and was declared not a National War Hero despite having had sang his heart out for the majority of all leaders present and gone. It could have been an outright highest hero status if the majority of the country were in the selection committee.

I was quickly taken aback, when one such gallant son and crooner, Simon Chimbetu, was also snubbed of such a prestigious status and laid to rest in a grass infested cemetry of the Chinhoyi Heroes Acre.  

Quickly it made me realise that the two, who worked tirelessly to remind the entire nation in tunes and powerfu lyrics that still remain imprinted in our minds to date, were merely viewed as praise singers. Working tirelessly to propagate an understanding through song and dance whilst they themselves falling out of favour from the very same system they helped build.

Objectively, it could be argued that the two crooners did not put themselves in the line of fire enough to be bestowed the highest hero status in the land but instead chose to entertain mostly. They helped pen a number of songs that attacked the colonialists and instilled brevity amongst others whilst they were far from the heat of the battle and the occassional need to show acts pf heroism, a position lowly ranked within the army.

 Could it be that Cde Chinx was a guerilla soldier and a popular singer that makes many believe he deserved to buried at the national shrine? They could have been many that could have sang the same songs as he did but were not as prominent, do they too deserve the highest hero status of the land. 

In what way was he instrumental in the direct change of the political environement in the then colonial era? Did his music directly affect a change in the way the British handled affairs in the country? Was he a fighter first then singer or vice-versa? These are the answers that needed to be answered to reach a certain conclusion.

I am not against the man, neither am I pro-‘the present government’ but I want to look at the spade before me and be able to call it what it is. Equating the fallen hero and the many other pivotal members of the country who went beyond their limits to deliver the promise of freedom and life as what we have it now can be debatable from what angle you look at it but it doesnt have to be hard to call one a National hero.

Though it looked promised unto him, as he was much loved by the nation, it should remind us how undesirable his position should be to anyone hoping to have a thriving political career. It seems the major contributors of the liberation struggle where the masterinds of the next attack and seizures and not the musician that calmed the hearts of the weary and frightened after a long day’s battle.

His dance and voice that shattered all fear and encouraged the many to enlist is now simply forgotten when the deed has been done and the houses of the masters invaded.

He did not receieve the recognition that many would have gladly given him but he will forever be remembered as a pivotal role in convincing and reviving the weary hearts and minds against the struggle against colonialism. 

His music shall live on in 

Jah Prayzah swimming with the big fish

Jah Prayzah swimming with the big fish

Whatever Jah Prayzah lacks as an artist to appeal to me, he certainly makes up through effort and the willingness to never settle. He has got to be the hardest working artist in Zimbabwe right now and inevitably the man of the moment.

I certainly should not be the person showering praise to the singer as not so long ago on this very platform, I gasped at his winning of the MTV Award and was convinced it was a fluke. I could have easily went on with that angle and talk about this award winning moment as being the very same reason we have seen the guy travel all over the continent working with big artists like Mafikizolo, Davido and Diamond Platnumz and create hits that even he could never have imagined.

Within a short space of time, Jah Prayzah has managed to do what he loves best, that is create hits and be the tall, eye catching artist he has dreamt of being. When I met him within the hall of Bob Nyabinde’s workshop in Harare, the then tall scrawny looking mbira wielding artist shed off more passion than the need to make a quick buck as many of his counterparts in the country. Since then he has evolved into something like an icon and gracing big stages in the region and he can’t seem to stop.

This weekend, Jah Prayzah is the main feature amongst a cast that I adore and have revered throughout my years when he plays at the Bassline Africa Day Concert in Johannesburg amongst Thandiswa Mazwai (SA), Bombino (NE), Baloji (DRC), Ray Phiri (SA), Vusi Mahlasela (SA), Jobo About (Ghana), Petite Noir (Belgium/SA) and Jobie Clarke (SA) with more acts being confirmed regularly.

Rubbing shoulders with greats such as Ray Phiri, Vusi Mahlasela and Thandiswa Mazwai is not only a great feat but should be worrisome to any artist. The large crowd that listen to them are also listening to you and you have to impress if not steal the show to just about make good headline for yourself. That said, I think its a challenge he can tackle, however I am not sure if the whole ‘masoja’ outfit thing can be brought on stage and wow the crowd. we just have to wait and see.

Read more about the show here : http://www.kayafm.co.za/bassline-africa-day-concert-2017/#1492602954598-b5e80c08-2ea7

Jah is also set to release a single with Davido soon which promises to work well in his favour and if his number one single with Mafikizolo on the African Charts is anything to judge him by, it might be a scorcher.

If South Africa does not wake up now!…

Zimbabwe was once not an outright fail as it is today. There was a future, one full of hope and desirable and we all thought better of ourselves in the dream that it would never come to a grinding halt; until we woke up.

There isn’t much that can bring a once thriving nation on its knees, it is a mixture of incompetent leaders, thieves and no accountability in areas of the nation that matter the most. One can never underestimate the power of being a minister for the people and the duties that befall upon them.

Therefore it follows that only competent and enthusiastic (since we might fail to always get the former) individuals should hold positions of influence and of leadership that can allow the country to move in a certain direction biased towards prosperity and growth.

Why is it that leaders in Africa are so eager to get their hands dirty than there are in leaving a legacy of hard work and success? Are we all just cursed to be kleptocrats with no bright future ahead.

Read more here

Why Uber worries conventional taxi operators.


I’m appalled! Hurt at the same time. Africans have come a long way from being deemed unreasonable and backward. We have fought so hard (and still need to) to accept change, cling to it like a like a tick on hide and never let go. 

We need to accept change (inevitable as it is) and accept the realities of living in a 21st century time that allows free movement of ideas, goods, services and people.  Gone are the days when we would fight change, no matter how it tends to help, and yell to the white man (European ways) to go back whence he came from and leave us in our cow hides, breast and ball dangling frenzy! Things will change and they have, so its easier to get on board than “toi toi” to have Uber regulated or removed.

We live in a society that has sirvived by adopting and making carbon copies of other cultures. A thin line separates the many differences we think we have. It is so easy to feel at home in a distant country, the societal texture is the same and Uber is part of the many businesses that have made us not drop our jaws at the sight of new inventions and start ups. We are at par with developed nations, something many other countries might not have the privilage of seeing in their lifetime. Uber is one of these.

We can relate. For it feels there is nothing special about your country that is not in ours, we might have copied it, but we have it too.

To block roads and chant slogans and demand Uber be removed is like asking a fellow neighbor not to venture into the taxi business because you fear for losses. The point is, Uber is just a platform and the owners are your brothers and sisters who also want a better life for themselves just like you do. “Adapt or die” said one tweet.

HOW THESE TWO CAN CO-EXIST!

It got me thinking, how best can the conventional taxis look at Uber’s and not want to pluck it out. If they can try these simple methods, they might just make it as they counterparts did.

  • Create a local version of Uber. I don’t know if ‘Taxify’ is South African but see what lacks in Uber and adopt one for the South African market.
  • Be pro-active. Instead of waiting on customers to come to you and your business, go out and look for ways that will make your service easily reachable.
  • Upgrade your fleet of cars to a modern one and ensure best service always.
  • Be user friendly. Ensure you use social platforms that can link you to a customer rather than the more expensive way of using a phone call to hull a cab.
  • Offer competitive pricing. Today, everybody wants to save, you have a good price, people will take it.
  • See Uber as an eye opener into a world of possibilities not your downfall.

    I am sure there are many ways that cab/taxi unions in South Africa can look at in the possible intent of making their business equally viable as Uber other than ‘toi toi-ng’ giving more credibility and exposure to their enemy.

    Over the past week when the demonstration was in effect, thousands went in favour of Uber and their services and put a dampener on the crying voices which largely went unheard and heavily criticised. There seems to be no one on the conventional taxi side other than the owners themselves, pity!

    Read more here.