Friday, October 19, 2007

The 419 man

Rey Mysterio is the 619, Nelson Mandela got his 46664 and the Bible tells us about the 666 beast’s number or Lucifer in person. But who is the 419?

With new technologies, frauds and scams have become daily occupation for computer genius and those who can use at least their creative intelligence. In order to apprehend those who infringe laws and unveiled scams in time; the Nigerian police uses the number code 419 to qualify people involved in scam via internet.

Personally, when I can’t check my mails at Wits I do it in my suburb area Rosettenville and can then realise how people around the world are harassed through web mails.
When you and I are busy with our daily work, there are people somewhere in cybercaf√© also devoted to a dirty job of sending out mails in call for compassion. Most of them are Nigerian. Their prayer is to have your ears and eyes so that they reach your heart and empty your wallet. These guys are very good in persuasion. I often sat next to them but I never know that they were 419. But, always wondering what they were doing in cybercaf√© day-long, I have noticed that they use web engines technically called “extractors” to collect your and my e-mail address. It’s sad to see that there are people who have chosen as job to trap vulnerable innocents and rob their savings days after days. For my concern I have restrained my action on the internet. I don’t open spam; I don’t read forwarded messages and don’t subscribe to activities such as dating on line. Trust me, this people are very good. Specialists say that due to high rate of unemployment in their country, most of them are Nigerian, very clever and intelligent people. Therefore, you shouldn’t wait to be victim before you take actions.

I would remind you that your eyes are doors to your heart and your ears windows to your soul. Both heart and soul are masters over your wallet. Believe me; if you give them a chance, they wont let it down till they make you become a Mugu. Good luck

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Global Warning

Everything has become unstable. Apparently the human kind living on earth still confident on his modern, upgraded technologies and projections.

Irresistible; -Gordon Brown got his investiture feet under water. End of July, England (UK) was under flood for one week. Weather previsions did help less as things were overpowering.

Immensurable;-This is not a crisis says the SA’s government. Thousands of Zimbabweans are crossing the border running away from Mugabe’s deadly politic. Musina is overloaded. The fact is that social welfare, health system and people’s safeness will soon face this storm. Mbeki never planned that uncle Bob would become a delay bomb.

Unpredictable; - Baghdad City (IRAK) brings more and more to our memories Stalingrad during the First World War. Blasts happen anytime-anywhere and buildings are ruined. US-Marines show inefficiencies and things have turned wrong. Unwillingly, Bush may have to recall his troops if the senate decides so in coming days. Then what will happen is that Iraqis will be left to the mercy of extremists of both sides.

Irremediable; - All green pasture looked white during the month of June in Lesotho. Everything has frozen and now the draught season stands a shortage of maize.

Ineluctably, a concerted action will always be needed in order to address environmental, socio-economic or political issues. Despite modern technologies, military strategies and political calculations things are overwhelming us. It is with our disappointment that there still adepts of solo galloping. As example, E-TV’s 7pm news’ open-line on the 2nd of August attested that 65% of seven thousand people who expressed their views called for no government action in favor of illegal ZIM immigrants. Shame! We are still not getting it right.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wits Choir guest of the King of Bafokeng

Up to date…
Since 1994, the Wits Choir is under the direction of Dalene Hoogenhoot, one of South African best choir conductors. The choir has traveled a lot and has always brought back in the country items from its culture-exchange. So far, the Choir as traveled to Argentina, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and last December in Szech Republic. Its repertoire is much diversified. The Choir performs traditional, classic, secular and spiritual songs in languages such as English, French, Spanish, Swahili, Latin, Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana, Afrikaans, Venda, Sutu and many others. Three words which may define the best this choir are; Unique, Melodious and Energetic. Apparently, one of its strength should be its multiculturalism and its racial embracement. The color of skin doesn’t matter in the choir. White, black, colored, Asians, and Africans constitute its members. Musically, this is one of the best choirs in the country. The Choir performs in academic meetings, international conferences, birthdays, weddings, funerals and all kind of functions. Wherever this choir goes, it portrays and reflects what should be the new multiracial South Africa.
Wits Choir connected...
The Royale Bafokeng is one of the wealthiest tribe in the country. Most African presidents in visit in this country have paid visit to the Bafokeng territory as to acknowledge its success in social corporate responsibility enforcement toward mining companies. The Bafokeng territory is a large wild space with small towns and mining plants. Wherever you are you can see efforts to up lift local communities. Many projects are under way but educational-projects seem to have taken priorities on the municipality agenda. Recently, the King of Bafokeng and his commitee has acquires the service of Mr Ian McLachlan who has worked for many years as headmaster of Saint Stithians Boy’s college (one of leading boys school in Gauten). Commissioned by the King, Mr. Ian McLachlan has designed a project in improvement of education of something like ninety schools under his supervision. For this cause, a group of experienced teachers has resigned from Saint Stithians and moved to Rustenburg. It’s in this perspective that Wits Choir have been contacted to give its support.
Wits Choir's Journey in Bafokeng territory...
We arrived at Bakubung Lodge a five start***** hotel (King’s guests-lodge) at 6pm on Monday after leaving Joburg at 3pm. We have been advice by the tour committee that the King wanted an exceptional treatment for us and that wasn’t a joke.
Reaching the main gate of Bakubung lodge we realized that this was not the same type of lodges we saw along our road. From the gate to the reception is 200meters of a zigzag way up the mountain. Once up, we had a fantastic panoramic view with nothing in the surrounding then mountains and animals in park. This lodge has its own tour 4X4 cars, its own security guard and all services required in such circumstance. Once in our beds-rooms, we all have been amazed about its glamorous inside. Here residents have high design beds, furnishers and bathroom. They have DSTV on flat screen, fridge, electronic safe and optional local and international calls. Each bedroom has a balcony which leads to a luminous swimming pool, Jacuzzi and bar-pool table. The lodge is surrounded by parks. Here birds and monkey usually feel free to pay you a visit in case you leave your door open.
It’s obvious that we have been told that breakfasts and dinners were free. Those among us who like food got lost as a 30meters table has been dressed every morning and night with strange and healthy food. Everything was of an exceptional quality at which extend that we felt a morale obligation to ask for I much it would cost us if we should come back with friends and girlfriends. The answer we heard just made us laugh and stopped straight our hopes. The price of one night during the week for a single bedroom is 1850 R and 2650 R for bedroom with two beds. Choir members have traveled a lot but no one could ever afford such high price accommodations. Shocked, we realised why few people we met there were either old-white couple, Japanese or Chinese businessman.
Wits Choir performs in Rustenburg...
On Tuesday morning we toured in three schools with the “Spoonproof” a choir from Yale University (USA) and performed together a night concert at the Civic Theater of Rustenburg. We shared value time with them before they left for Cap town the following day while we were on road for a solo tour in three more schools. We have enjoyed each performance. We in Wits Choir believe that we have something special that can give hope and transform lives. Therefore, before children, parents or officials, the choir still gives its best.
The cleavage between white and black is still strong in Rustenburg city. As one can imagine, one of Wits Choir aims when going there was to break barriers and show off how should look the new South Africa. As usually, in such environment we are used to defiant look but once we sing one or two items we can then start to see some facial smiles. Our ending is always the same as we finish our performance with a non-stop applaud of the audience as people look so amazed.
Indeed, singing some items in Tswana, English and Afrikaans did open to us people’s heart in Bafokeng. As at the end of each performance we got surrounded by parents, teachers and scholars who wanted just to present their appreciation. People we don’t know stop us in our way just to tell us that we do quality work. This is inevitably one of the reasons which stick each and every one of us to this choir; this feeling to have impacted on someone’s life.
Wits Choir still have more to offer and finding an efficient producer is our main objective this year. The University management is like telling us that it has many things to care about then a bunch of singers. But what the University doesn’t understand is that Wits Choir is one of its organisations which represent the most the Witwatersrand vision of openness. All other universities choirs are either black or white. Wits Choir is the only choir which has opted for diversity of race and culture. This is its value and its strength. Unfortunately, till now the chancellor and is committee never get it right. I am just scared that as more and more projects and institutions start finding interest in the Choir, we may change soon our name and belong to another cause.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Does he fit to Govern? Let the Populace decides

Fit to Govern: the Native Intelligence of Thabo Mbeki, by Ronald Suresh Roberts has been launched at the 2nd annual Cape Town Book Fair. Since, critics still rise against this Roberts’ work.
We have done in a short time for poor people in this country more than Hugo Chavez in Venezuela….if we don’t see it is because the publishing world want to tell us what to believe”, says Ronald S. Roberts.

During “Interface” a Sunday 19:30 SABC discussion-program, Mr. Roberts explained himself. Is this a tool for Mbeki electoral agenda; I don’t know. But I think it is questionable to see how publishers and newspapers’ editors are vigorously telling us that this book doesn’t deserve credit from public. Who gave press practitioners mandate to decide for everyone? By saying that Roberts covers more on Mbeki’s policy on HIV and ZIM instead of discussing also about the economy… isn’t that an attempt in censoring by defining the content? What about freedom of expression?
Personally, I don’t see any problem if Mbeki should find some good singers among his friends and try to fight back criticisms because even the publishing world plays drum sometimes for some hidden forces. Democracy means also that no one should dictate what to believe in.
As we are at the task of writing a book with my friends on what we have learnt out the work place training, I realise more and more how the press business worldwide is conservative. Neologism is not welcomed. I wish we stand steady once our idea is inevitably exposed to what I can call a “Professional Red-pen treatment”.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A good Mentor shouldn't Juge

I would like to share my feelings through this small story without remorse because I think that I have learnt something out of it.
I wonder how many people can define precisely who is a mentor or give the real meaning of mentoring without getting confused with other concepts such as coaching and counseling. For my concern, it is not my first time to hear about this word but I should confess that I didn’t take time to try and understand what this concept is about before attending the workshop.
Last Saturday workshop on the topic ‘mentoring’ organized by the Wits Alumni and Wow 2007 was attended by entrepreneurs, professionals, academics and newly Wits’ graduated. Sitting randomly at tables, we all had to intervene in the discussion.
Among questions, the first was to define a mentor. As I said above, I did not check the real meaning of this word and had only a broadly understanding of what it means.
In my group after brainstorming ideas, we had a person who run his own business and introduced himself as a mentor. Obviously that sounded so fantastic to me as I thought that we will have more insights on our table. Then at the time to choose two key-words defining the best mentorship, the person took the lead and opted for growth and relationship.
For my part, I couldn’t understand why this ‘mentor’ prefers the word relationship to training for example. I felt obliged to ask why relation should come in second place and I did. Strangely, instead of giving me light on the concept, the person answered that it might be a problem of language. At that point I felt so misunderstood and afflicted. I had a feeling as if I was wrong by asking that question. For my concern, that was a judgment. I was judged for what I belong too and not for what I did. I took it so bad that I was disturb during all the session. I do think that because a person does use a generic word that do not mean that he’s lacking content. I felt as if I was denied of my right to growth and right to knowledge by a person who presented himself as a 'mentor'. I have learnt by this fact that the person wasn’t a good mentor because mentoring involves support to growth, building of self-esteem and openness for relationship.

To late or too old for circumcision

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Training 12 disciples

This is not a discussion on Jesus’ disciples as described in the Bible. Rather, few sentences in thanksgiving to a group of twelve attendants of the World of Work training 2007 for their inputs and contributions to my education.
Thanks first to Jean Power, Dr. Susan Van Zil and Lesley Emmanuel for this initiative. I have learned a lot from each and every one of you guys. Without using long sentences, I would like just to give some essential points which according to me have characterised each of you.
From Susan Arthur ( I have learned this three facts; Keep quiet, observe and speak…is not that the Emotional Intelligence?...Thanks Sue // Choose your attitude: That is Susan Mwangi ( as she knew how to give every morning a greeting as warm as a cup of coffee // Think-a-lot; that is Maxwell ( He digs so deep that it was difficult for me sometime to get his point…I have started to exercise myself…Thanks Maxwell // You want to talk business, speak to Beauty Katongo ( She dreams of running a tourism business. I can’t doubt that she will finally make it one day // There is nobody who gave comment on blogs as many time as Ijeoma did. She deserves to be nominated as the best attendant this year. She gave us the courage to carry on blogging. Always enthusiastic, she was so humble to clear our coffee table…Thanks Ije ( // What can I say about ‘Professor’. That’s Mbuso’s nickname as he is always busy in the lab. I find him always typing at computer at such extent that I often felt guilty of not working enough. He made me cancelled some of my lunch-times for extra work. What a commitment Mbuso! ( // I have been told about frankness by Bruce ( Go in his blog and you will realise that he writes without any complex // It was my first time to be with a PhD in class and I have realised that they still emotionally operational after so much readings. They sharm a lot, may be is that their philosophy…Merci Thomas ( // He calls his blog the Bulgarian Stallion. It is not about Hollywood and boxing hobbies. I never see someone so passionate about soccer and committed to learn about others’ culture. Thanks Valentin ( for all bills of cups of coffee you have payed for us // Thanks to Wanjiku, she was of really help during debates. I am sorry that she had a class of lovely and traditional African men who stood against any argument toward a so called "blind- modernism". Peers knows what I am talking about…Aksanti Wanji // I have learn about being Patriotic from Temy ( as he always speaks positively and passionately about is country Nigeria… He doesn’t think just about money and graphics, very strange for an engineer; thanks bro // Finally Mr. Lovemore Mbingi guess at the Friday ceremony confirmed Temba’s theory of “Breaking the rules” he suggested to all to never lose focus and get impressed by the boss. Thanks Temba ( I have learned to pay the price and stand for what I believe.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The African leaders’ syndrome.

What is wrong with African leaders; they stick to their functions even when they have become unproductive. Some of them have sat to die on their chairs.
Hi everybody. I wasn’t surprised to see that the newspaper Mails and Guardians published on the 21st of April an article comparing Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to Mobutu Sese Seko the ex-president of Zaire as I did the previous week on my bog-post. It is obvious that these two leaders have many common-points. For example; they all know how to implement successfully strategies in order to delude their opposition. When in his time, Mobutu galvanised his population for what he called ‘national-unity’, today Mugabe’s political staying power lays on the appropriation of land.
These guys are very good in diplomacy and will succeed no matter what to turn any mediation in their advantage. However, many African leaders have been of a great input in the independence of their respective countries as they resisted to the colonial power and invested their first few years in power for the sovereignty cause. My point is that of trying to understand why they prefer to stick to their position even when political, economical and social indexes show their failure. Some of them are over seventies. For example Omar Bongo of Gabon (72), Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (79) and Robert Mugabe of Zim (83); and they are ruling their countries respectively for 40, 26 and 27 years.
Some of us think that they are scared of justice once their they leave they position. This may be through but not in all cases. They have got money and facts show that they have lost passion for their people. Why shouldn’t they leave now and give chance to younger?
I was upset when reading one of previous weeks Sunday Time’s articles that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang the South African Minister of health was willing to return to duty before June. This is an example of what I call ‘the African leaders’ syndrome’. It is very strange to see that 66 years, after being targeted early this year by the protest against government’s HIV-policy and undergo a major operation of a liver transplant; Manto rushes her way back on her chair. We would expect that she takes a long break and opts for another carrier less stressful. What is going-on with our leaders? We elect them for five years and they want to take hundred…