Facts or Science vs myth

What people believe to be real tends to affect their judgment and that which they hold true in their minds manifests itself in reality. But how far would your thoughts reveal themselves in the real world.

In my youthful days I remember a close friend giving me an answer about folktales and myth when I asked him if he believed in such, and his answer gave me a reason to want to believe because it just made sense. He said, if there is a Shona and English name of what ever you had to question, chances are, it has to be real.

As a religious person I first thought of God. Even before colonization, our ancestors prayed to Mwari, so hence that theory was proved correct. I then went on to think of ghosts. In Shona we have a word for them Chipoko, and thought the stories we heard in the countryside, to me that was real as well. There were plenty other things which had Shona names and most were in my imagination, and the fact that we could call whatever it is in Shona, it became my measurement of what could be real as opposed to what is just fairytales.

When I became an adult, and had better judgment, it became clear to me that I should not just accept everything, until I saw it with my own eyes. I do still believe in God and am strong in my faith because I see His work all around me and He actually sent his Son Jesus as a manifestation of his existence.

Most of the stuff I removed from my “belief list” as I still need convincing of their existence. Recently, there are some things which I have seen to deserve reservation, such as the sacred Chinoyi caves where people used to and are still disappearing, for example the recent disappearance of Zimbabwean Tourist Zayd Dada.

Not to mention the Nyanga mountains where people are said to disappear after saying anything bad in the mountains.

Then there is the story of Simbarashe Kamupondera of Nyeredzi Apostolic sect, whose followers believe to be abducted by mermaids. According to his followers he drowned in a river during a cleansing ceremony in Epworth in full view of witnesses. he suddenly disappeared under the waters surface while baptizing a female congregant.

Installations of water pumps for irrigation in a Mutare were stopped after reports of mermaid sightings and according to Water Resources Minister, essential work was stopped during creation of planned reservoirs in Zimbabwe as workers were reporting to be hounded away by mermaids.

There might be some paranormal activity happening around the world which we cannot just ignore. There are also areas around the world such as the Bermuda Triangle where planes have gone of the radar after flying in that area. I guess it all comes down to what one would believe as an individual

 

The origins of Soccer

Since we are in the FIFA World Cup season I see it fit to write about the origins of soccer. Having 24 countries lined up to kick a ball across the field into a net, one would wonder, where did this tradition come from which has evolved into a multi-million dollar or pound business, as well as the most popular form of entertainment worldwide?

The game has its origins dating back as far as 2500BC as the Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese played a variety of feet based games involving a ball. The most relevant being the Chinese game of Tsu- Chi, or “kick ball” ( 255BC) which involved kicking a leather ball into a net strung between two poles. The main difference with modern soccer being that the net was hung about 30 feet from the ground.

Soccer began to evolve in Europe in the 9th century as entire towns in England would kick a pigs bladder from one point to another without any form of rules, and was banned for some time by King Henry(IV) because it would take people away from important tasks for long periods of time.

Football was more of a combination of Rugby and soccer as there was no set code of rules for how to play. It only began taking a consistency of rules and boundaries and seen as a sport in the seven major public schools of England in the early 1800’s.

In 1863, in England, when rugby and association football branched off on their different courses the Football Association in England was formed, becoming the sports first governing body.

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) reflected an international agreement between codes and countries and was formed in 1904. In 1930 the first ever FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay and has remained the pinnacle of the soccer world ever since.

Points to take note of when tranferring money home!

Many countries require money transfer companies to be licensed by the country’s banking regulator. Most countries that require licensing also require bonding and insurance to recover lost funds if the company fails.  One way to protect yourself from fraud is to make sure you are using a licensed money transfer company.It is illegal to operate a money transfer business without a licence.Money transmitters operate through agents such as travel agencies and multi service stores that many people use to send money.Agents are not licensed but they must have a contract with a licensed transmitter.Agents must post signs in English and other predominent languages spoken by customers with the name,address and telephone number of both the agent and the licensed transmitter.Its also important having a record of the transaction e.g a receipt,e-mail or sms notification to trace your payment and resolve any disputes if they ever arise.

It is important to note and ask the following:

  • Unfavourable exchange rates add to the cost of sending money Ask how the exchange rate is calculated,and how much money will actually be paid to the recipient
  • Find out whether the recipient will be charged any fees when they pick up the money.
  • Some banks offer low cost transfers to certain countries.Make sure to ask if you must keep a minimum balance in your bank account,if the recipient needs to have an account,how the exchange rate is calculated and what fees may be charged to you or the recipient.
  • You have the right to transfer money in U.S dollars unless the receiving country requires money to be converted to the local currency
  • Be careful with money transfers offered through pre-paid debit cards.These cards often carry high and hidden fees.

It is always important to ask all the relevant questions when sending money back home as this ensures that you get the best deal possible and this guarantees that  your recipient can get the most out of what you send.

The media and democracy in Zimbabwe

Diversity of supply, freedom of speech and Equal claim to hear and be heard; these are some of the most basic provisions that any democratic country should make to ensure a democratic environment.

Zimbabwe had clearly taken a step back when it came to these very pertinent issues, what, with the implementation of the controversial Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which was passed in 2002, the media had come under close scrutiny by the government.

May the 26th did however see the country offer two commercial licences in a bid to end decades of state domination of the airwaves. An advert in the state controlled Herald newspaper said that “the license would run for 10 years and stations would be required to pay $15,000 annually plus 1% of their gross yearly turnover.

Reforming the media, although – a contentious issue within the power-sharing government is a milestone in the country’s recovery…

Sending Money Home Today: FAQ

Before starting to send money home make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel comfortable with the service you’re using to transfer money. Transferring money home can be an intimidating process, but once you decide on the path and equip yourself with a few informational tools transferring money can be simple, easy, and INSTANT.

Here is an example from start to finish with all of your questions answered. Let’s look at the process of sending money to Zimbabwe from the UK as it is a popular and growing remittance corridor.

What does it mean to Send Money to Zimbabwe?

Money transfer is a form of remittance from a foreign worker back to his or her home country.  Many Zimbabweans have moved to the UK because of economic and political reasons and are actively sending money back to Zim to support family and friends in the recovery and development of their home. The role of remittances in development is a major talking point for scholars and economists, but the bottom line is that the Zimbabwe corridor is active and sustaining many families back home.

How do I send money to Zimbabwe? What are my options?

Transferring money to Zimbabwe can happen in a few different ways:

  1. Retail Money Transfer: One of the big-hitter names in retail money transfer is Western Union, which allows money transfer without an account with Western Union or any financial institution. Western Union is wide-spread and recently reopened their Zimbabwe remittance corridor, but have also received criticism, including links to terrorism, for their lack of security and high fees. With Western Union you get the brand-name with a huge cost.
  2. Bank Transfer: If you have a bank account and the person you’re sending money to in Zim has a bank account then sending money though your financial institution is also an option. An expensive option. An expensive option that can take up to a week to come through.
  3. Send Money Online: Sending money online to Zimbabwe allows people to send money at lower fees and do not require a physical location or branch. Often sending money through online companies can save time and money.

Okay, it sounds like sending money online is the fastest and cheapest way to get money to Zimbabwe, but how are they really cheaper than going to the shop?

  1. Well, the online firm doesn’t have to pay a portion of the transaction to that corner-store agent, doesn’t have to kit out that agent with systems or training, and doesn’t have to do the same on the cash collection side – where your relative uses the funds.
  2. You also are able to repeat old orders easily online – it’s totally geared for it. Whereas a corner store, each time you walk in, you’re doing it from scratch. Not to mention how much time is wasted waiting in queues!
  3. Often online companies offer loyalty programs, connecting families and friends by offering monetary incentives and savings.

But is it safe to send money online to Zimbabwe??

Sending money to Zim should be a safe and simple process– that’s why sending money online just makes sense. Make sure when you exchange your money you are getting the best deal, without compromising securitySend money home and Money Move are two a helpful forums for information on migrant remittances, but when one is looking to send money to Zimbabwe, certain safety tips should be considered:

— How long have they been doing business for? Make sure the company has a respected trading history and are registered on company house.

— Are they supported by respected banking partners? Does the money transfer company work with names and companies you recognize and trust?

— Do they use Verified credit card technology, such as 3-D secure? Are they clear about following national and international laws, such as requiring certified copies of identification cards?

— Check to see if the organization is authorized. If the company is based in the UK they should be regulated by the FSA, for instance, maintaining consumer protection, public awareness, and the reduction of financial crimes.

So sending money online to Zimbabwe can be safe and cheap. Any suggestions?

Before transferring money home it is important to do a little research, comparing prices and fees for different remittance services, in order to get the most for your transaction. Here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful in familiarizing oneself with the process and pricing matrix surrounding transferring money to Zimbabwe  and around the world.

Wait, what is your favourite way to send money home to Zimbabwe?

My favourite way to send money to Zimbabwe is through a company called Mukuru.com, established 2004 seems to be one of the easiest and most affordable services to send money back to Zimbabwe. The fresh company was established by Zimbabweans living in the UK who were looking for an innovative and simple way to transfer money to Zimbabwe.  Cash collection is immediately available at local bank branches, as vouchers are sent by SMS– connecting Africa in the most inclusive way.

These guys have also mastered the ease of money transfer to Zimbabwe by making it as simple as possible to send money home instantly. Unlike the “cornershop model” of bigger businesses, where each time you want to send money back you have to start from scratch, Mukuru welcomes you into their secure system to allow repeat transactions occur seamlessly.

Mukuru.com has also proven to be a respected trailblazer in the remitting of goods and services, such as offering the option to send fuel, groceries, or even pay DsTV bills for friends and family members back home. Mukuru seems to have gone where very few money transfer companies are willing to go; when sending money to Zim, best to put faith in those who know.

Stigma on HIV decreasing

Back in the day, when HIV and AIDS education was still new, the way it was advertised on television in Zimbabwe, in some other parts of the world actually instilled a perception in viewers that some one with the virus was part of what other people would call “the walking dead”.

Some people were actually afraid of talking to someone who had the disease, with fear of contracting it through socializing. On TV and other media they portrayed the infected as someone who was thin, with curly hair and rough skin. If some one was coughing for a long period of time, they were also suspected of harboring the virus. Although, that used to be the reality “sort of”, with the introduction of anti- retro virals, those symptoms were no longer as obvious.

There was then the “Diaspora myth” that people who went to other countries would be busy gallivanting, or if female,  they were said to be selling their bodies to make a living in South Africa and England, only to return home sick , after contracting the disease from enjoying life in the lime light, without thinking about tomorrow.

It was not until most people got infected, that a lot more were affected by the disease. The disease has torn families apart and left thousands of children to be  orphans. Mostly people who have been affected, such as the relatives of the infected, have grown to understand the disease, and ways of dealing with it, and people who are infected are no longer being avoided as if they have leprosy.

People understand that it could happen to anyone, and the moment it attacks one of your family members, you would understand how unfair it is for people to judge an infected person, no matter how they contracted the disease.

Today, we can thank education for enlightening people about the condition, as well as ARV’s for making the lives of infected people more bearable. Thanks to the New Start center in Zimbabwe, and other organisations which were advocating for HIV awareness, the past decade has seen a rise in the number of people making public announcements about their HIV status. People are now acknowledging that having the disease is just that, being infected by the disease, it does not define someone’s identity and it does not determine how one lives their life.

How to handle shyness in children

Some of us shy away when it comes to parties, hanging around new people, or stage fright in general. Although some may think that it is “cute”, it may not be the best character a child has, and this could actually affect their up bringing and experiences, as other people may take advantage of that. Confidence in general is deemed by most academics as an essential ingredient for success. Grooming a person to be a self confident adult actually stems from their childhood.

The following 10 steps are necessary for dealing with a child’s shyness:

1) Empathize

Acknowledging how they feel without criticism builds confidence.

2) Refrain

Calling a child shy would encourage them to define themselves as such. Rather tell them and other people that they are ” a bit reserved at first but will soon warm up”

3)Nurture

Expose them early to loving others from relatives to baby sitters, so that they can learn to trust them.

4)Encourage

Encouraging and supportive parenting allows a child to do things on their own without constantly correcting them  would build self esteem, as opposed to controlled parenting.

5) Model

As parents we need to become good role models for our children. We need to teach them how to smile readily, make eye contact, paying compliments and chatting casually with anyone, even car guards, to teach your child to have a relaxed attitude to social interactions and teaches them social interactions.

6) Facilitate

Create opportunities for your child to socialize safely, stretching them slowly, from having one child over to play a few times, to having them visit that child.

7) Role play

Check where your child is struggling and act it out with them in the form of a role play.

8) Respect

Do not ask a child on the spot to do something they are not comfortable with. Rather ask them in advance, and if they decline, accept it.

9) Applaud

Praise every attempt they make to socialize on their own. Also teach them that failure is okay, as it provides the feedback they need to grow.

10) Step Back

Whatever you do, do not constantly speak for your child. If some one addresses them, allow them to speak for themselves. Otherwise, if they are shy and you constantly do that, you would be signalling that you do not have confidence in them  and this would keep them from developing them communication skills you want them to have.

Is a good education directly in proportion to income?

In the past a goad education used to guarantee the best lifestyle for young adults, but that was before financial education came to the scenes and the upsurge in entrepreneurs over the past few years.

The careers which are considered to be higher paying no matter what economic climate still seem to remain to be the medical field, accounting, lawyers and managerial jobs. Most of the higher end income jobs are more specialized like research and technology, but in most cases, a general degree in Arts, can almost be outweighed any day by a diploma in entrepreneurship or business studies.

Other paying careers are where one is not so much into  reading books, but into physical activities such as sports, music and drama or acting. Although most parents would think that extra curricular activities are a waste of time other than for their health and fitness benefit, your child can actually mold his her career from an early age. Most celebrity athletes do not have an academic qualification, but a passion for what they do.

It boils down to one thing. As a parent, what talents and interest does your child seem to have that can equip him or her for success in the future? Once you have figured that out, it is imperative to focus all your energy into supporting your child’s desires as they grow up.

Send Money Home without a Bank

Have you seen those advertisements around Cape Town, South Africa about “not needing a bank to send money back home to your loved ones,” promoting the money transfer services through ShopRite. Now I have been in the queues in ShopRite with people waiting to send money or collect money from their loved ones abroad. Sure you can send money home without a bank, but what a time commitment! A few lessons to learn:

Sure you can send money home to Zimbabwe without the use of a bank.

OR you could save time and get a better rate by going online (or calling an online money transfer company that sends money to Zim). Once you send money home online once and Register yourself, you make it that much easier to transfer money with just a few clicks or a simple phone call! Some online companies are even geared for support and service through Skype.

You can check the exchange rates online throughout the day to get the best deals. When you’ve been waiting in a long line at the shops you’re just desperate to get the process over with, sacrificing time and money! Be smart about sending money to Zimbabwe– make sure the majority of your money gets to Zim, not spent on the money transfer process!

Sending money online is also rewarding experience for your friends and family. Look for affiliate programs to save even more when you tell a friend about how much money and time you saved by sending money to Zimbabwe online! The online money transfer companies that I know of that have loyalty programs are Moneybookers, and Mukuru.  The latter offers a new pyramid scheme allowing for growing tiers of savings. From the looks of it, you could be earning savings on sending money to Zimbabwe from friends of friends of friends. Not surprising that sending money online has the potential to connect Zimbabweans around the world.

Technology and wealth accumulation

The internet and technology in general is changing the speed at which wealth is accumulated today. Millionaires are being made more often and more rapidly than in the olden days.  Gone is the industrial age where giant factory owners were the only bourgeois class, usually with the wealth having been accumulated over a long period of time, from generation to generation.

Nowadays, the term “rags to riches” is even more popular as the number of self made millionaires around the world is not only increasing, but getting younger as well. Most young Millionaires in the UK however have their millions handed down from their parents, or grandparents in a hedge fund. Those who started with nothing, actually got the bulk of their wealth in their acting or music careers, the likes of Adele, Kiera Knightley, or Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson who starred in Harry Porter.

Gone are the days when computer whiz kids were looked down upon as geeks or nerds, as they are the ones making headlines as the young self made entrepreneur millionaires. 10 years ago who would have thought the geek Mark Zuckerburg, would create something that is touching peoples’ lives all around the world, i.e. Facebook. Today a kid can literally create an app and sell it for millions in a few months, such as our own self-made millionaire Nick D’Aloisio (17) who is one of the youngest self-made millionaires ever after selling his app Summly to Yahoo for £15 million.

To sum it all up, with the rapid increase in knowledge and information one would be certain we are living in the “end days”. Technology is making more people rich faster and younger than ever in history.