Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sorry Mwebantu, Mtumbi Has More Facebook Page Likes

Last week Friday 11 March 2016 Mwebantu achieved a milestone. They hit the 500,000 page likes of their Facebook page. To celebrate this achievement they put out a headline, 'Mwebantu leads in social media presence in Zambia, reaches half a millionlikes on facebook'. This headline received numerous congratulatory messages on Facebook, I too was proud of them for reaching this mark. However, someone forgot to tell Mwebantu that they are not the leader in this regard because there is at least one person ahead of them.

Mwebantu headline

It is ironic that Mwebantu who are a media outfit can make such a grave mistake. They are supposed to be the ones to double check their facts, make sure they put out accurate information and provide readers with information that is truthful. They should have known that Mtumbi Goma Photography page had well over 523,000 Facebook page likes at the time they made their claim. I am now well aware that many people have brought this to their attention and they have yet made a retraction of their claim, therefore this blog is here to set the record straight. Mwebantu News Media does NOT currently lead  social media presence in Zambia. Mtumbi Gome has more social media presence. I am quite cautious too to make the claim that Mtumbi Goma Photography leads social media presence in Zambia lest someone else pops up who has more page likes. There is a lesson perhaps for all to learn in Mwebantu's blunder.
Mtumbi Goma Photography Page as at 13/03/16 at 22:00 hours
Mwebantu Facebook Page as at 13/03/16 at 22:00 hours

The use of statements such as you are the best or first are best kept to the hip hop world who usually love making unfounded claims. Unless you can absolutely prove that you are the best or first then it is advisable to stay clear from such statements because you risk being put in your place. To prove that you are the best or the first you have to make sure that you have done your homework and are definitely sure there is no one above you.  You need to prove that you are the best or first by presenting evidence that can be in the form of numbers, accolades, recognition from third parties or other acceptable means. This task is usually difficult to accomplish therefore, if you are not sure whether you are the best or first it is a risk to put such a claim before products or services.

The fact is that Mwebantu made a major gaffe and it is only right that they should correct the inaccuracy that they represented. In a way I feel that they did an injustice to Mtumbi Goma Photography at the very least by claiming a lead that was not theirs in the first place. Mwebantu one day may well be the leader in social media presence but until then that lead is not theirs. I can safely say that I know someone who has more Facebook page likes and that is Mtumbi Goma Photography. Numbers do not lie after all.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

What Are Zambians Good At?

Occasionally I ponder about the state of affairs in Zambia. It could be its political, cultural and social aspects. Often times after I have pondered I would come to some form of a conclusion. For a long time, however, there is one question that has been bugging me and I had not seemed to come up with a satisfactory conclusion until now. What are Zambians good at?

Brazilians are known for their football prowess, Kenyans and Ethiopians their marathon stamina, Indians for their mathematical acumen, French for their wine and cuisine. I do acknowledge that these may be stereotypical statements but they do have some truth. That then comes to Zambia, what is it that Zambians are stereotypically known for?  I have searched my brain for an answer and as hard as I have tried I cannot come up with an answer to that. I know many people will point to football but I highly doubt it in comparison to other countries in Africa such as Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana who have superstar football players we are pulling at straws hoping that Charly Musonda Jr. will play for Zambia some day. Leave the lad alone. Even our lone Africa Cup win can hardly be used to as shining example of what we are good at.

Now even if I may be disappointed to not find one single thing that Zambians do exceptionally well in comparison to other countries, I may somehow have found an answer that can soothe my conscience as to why that is. The answer came to me in the form of the bestselling book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book Gladwell mentions the 10,000-hour rule. He stresses that for anyone to be an expert at something they need to be doing that thing for a minimum of 10,000 hours. He uses examples such as Bill Gates, The Beatles, and Mozart among others to show how they each invested 10,000 hours sharpening their craft. This was almost like a Eureka moment for me.

It finally made sense, who in Zambia invests 10,000 hours in anything? Take a look at our society where academic accomplishments are held as the Holy Grail. Children are scorned if they attempt to deviate into any other activities that do not include learning their times tables or learning how to spell. We assume that every child somehow has an innate ability to be number one in class. Therefore, parents and guardians hire tutors, provide extra lessons and use fear to somehow churn out these supposedly high flying pupils. This is despite the fact that some children may have learning disabilities such as dyslexia that unfortunately is rarely diagnosed. Therefore, a child may not be academically gifted but they may be artistic, athletic, or technical geniuses. But we spend so little time cultivating these talents that no one ever achieves their 10,000 hours. Malcolm Gladwell even does admit that sometimes to accumulate those 10,000 hours someone may need to enter a special designed school programme that nurtures the talent or gift.

One can then argue that our society is not so accommodating to someone who does not have a high school certificate, diploma or degree. Individuals who do not have the necessary academic qualification are looked down upon. Anyone who tries to do something outside the accepted careers is bound to face a lot of opposition. No wonder there are few people who have reached the 10,000 hours mark. You would then think that maybe we could have done well in the academics arena but still Zambia rarely makes a blip on that radar too. There should be somewhere where we are just missing it.

I have not lost hope to find something that Zambians are good at. Until I do I will continue churning out these blogs hoping that I reach my 10,000 hours target. At the moment I think I am around the 5,000 hour mark, if I include all the other writing I do. Maybe my readers know something that I do not, what are Zambians good at?