Friday, February 6, 2015

Comexposed Ep 2 - African Comic Books!

Back again with More African comics!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


The journey has just begun!  We have officially launched the ComicUP! initiative to kick-start the Zimbabwean comic book industry.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Official Episode 01 - Africa rising!

  So what's happening in African Comics?  Check this out...

Friday, January 23, 2015

African Comics on the rise! It's Comexposed!

It's here! The Comexposed Podcast Pilot episode, make sure to check out
our YouTube channel and Subscribe to know the latest in all things
African comics and The Zimbabwean Comic Book Convention.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We're back...

So it's been ages since my last post.  I have been busy with a lot of work and such and so I haven't had as much time as I'd like for my musing but they shall come. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Nearly life after death

On Friday the 13th of July 2012 I had a monstrous car accident in which I almost lost my life.  I had left a funeral for my friend’s dad and I was rushing home to pick up my sister so that we could get to the ‘Perekwa’ (part of the Shona Marriage practice) ceremony for a cousin of mine.  I was late, it was 7:10pm, and I did not want to add burdens upon myself by giving the family the impression that I did not care enough to get to such a special event on time, my father taught me that there are two events you must never miss – Funerals and Weddings.  Cruising at lightning speed I was nearly home, another 7minutes or so and I’d be there. I had my earphones on since I had long since stopped listening to my radio, I was enjoying the original soundtrack from Final Fantasy Advent children, and as I turned into Addington road track 7 - ‘Fighting (Piano Version)’ began playing. Being an acoustic track I couldn’t help but get lost in the beautiful progression of the piano piece as it conjured up vivid memories of the corresponding scene from the movie. I had no idea of the actual fight ahead of me.

Maybe it was the courage the music inspired in me, maybe it was the adrenalin rush of the speed I was at, or maybe still it was my occasionally fool-hardy attitude towards life; whatever it was I went into the turn much faster than I know I should have.  Coming in I knew I was about to have a problem, a potentially big one.  I saw the curve ahead and began to turn to the right, I instantly saw that the degree to which I was turning was not going to get me around the curve at my current speed, to compensate I turned my wheels more and I felt the oh-too-familiar wobble you get when your wheels are off the ground.  The little voice in my head said “you knew better – now all we can do is mitigate any potential losses, and yes we are about to have losses” My sister had had an accident only two weeks prior and I did not want to bring another issue like that into the family, maybe I could just find a way to glide through this turn.  I turned my wheels to the left to try and regain control, suddenly it felt like I was driving water, with it’s own course and intention.  I had briefly seen some lights ahead and I was worried that I would bring someone else into the horror I was creating.  I was trying to prevent a spin, the worst that I expected to happen, unfortunately my counter-steering combined with the already bumpy road, turned what would have been a spin into a roll.

I was in the air….. the piano rolled on note after note surrounded by absolute silence.  There was a thud, a crunch and a clatter. I could not tell you in what order only that they were there.  The road disappeared replaced by nothingness, then grass, then nothingness, then grass, and then more nothingness.  My hands were off the wheel, I knew that holding it could not help but may actually harm me if I tried.  I remember hoping it was a dream like one of those falling ones where you wake up surprised it was a dream.  The second roll came in and I thought this dream should have ended by now. What will my father say? How stupid was I to let this happen.  Is this where it all ends? The third roll came and I started WISHING it were a dream.
“My mother.  What will she say when she hears I am lost? I am not done here; I haven’t done everything I was put here to do.  My family – Mum, Dad, my sisters and my Wife. Yes my wife who I do not have yet, or did I?  Can this rolling just STOP! …… then it did.  The piano was about to go into its second chorus having already been the soundtrack to what looked like my death.  But I still hear it so I must still be alive, I got this far so then this all really just happened.

I unbuckled my seat belt and dropped to the roof. I couldn’t see anything but the gauges on my dashboard and the light of my car radio.  Regaining my footing my earphones finally popped out of my ears.  “Where am I? Did anyone see this happen? Who do I call? I need to get out!” I thought to call someone but opted to do so when I get myself out, what could they do for me if I didn’t even know where I was?  Scrambling to the back seat having eventually found the car light I could see nothing but grass through all the windows. I could tell the car was lying on its front side. “I am alive!” I had to get out. Bracing myself at the back I tried to kick out the door, just like in the movies. They lied, that doesn’t work, they make those things strong! No matter how hard I kicked, the glass would not break. Looking about me I noticed the jack had managed to get from the boot to the back seat. Someone called out asking if there was anyone in the car. I shouted back saying ‘I’m here!’ I grabbed the jack and shattered the rear door window. I crawled out and for the first time saw the light of survival.

My father taught me that there are two events you must never miss – Funerals and Weddings.  I just missed my funeral; I may still make my wedding.  I have some lessons, from that experience and the hours after that.  What I am writing now would never have been written were it not for God.  Reading this it would have been a life after death experience.

1)     God loves me, and God loves you. He preserved me WITH a purpose.
2)     God has angels that encamp around you that will be there when you need them.
3)     No matter how late you are, you are already late. There is no benefit in rushing.
4)     God knows exactly what you need when you need it.
5)     An accident begins long before it happens. It is usually a series of bad decisions.
6)     Be grateful for every breath you have the benefit of taking. Appreciate everyone who is there for you.
7)     Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done; tomorrow is not certain.

So did it all happen like in the movies? All in slow motion with your life flashing before your eyes?  Yes, I remember it in slow motion, the weightless suspension, the glass shattering; I remember the event at the speed of my thoughts.  Yes your life does flash before your eyes but in my case it was a startling realization that there wasn’t much of it.  I had not accomplished nearly as much as I had expected by now, nay I say anything I had expected to have by now.  The flash is very short when there is little content, what I saw was more of who I left behind. Yes that image is much clearer.

God loves me, and God loves you. He preserved me WITH a purpose

If you had seen my car you would be shocked. It was crushed.  It rolled three times and was stopped by a tree.  I survived because of my habit of wearing a seat belt, which I learnt in Australia because they have very strict laws about wearing belts.  If I had not had one I would have broken my neck or suffered a fatal concussion.  We are fickle delicate beings, compared to most of the other creatures on this planet we are easily broken, our survival in extreme circumstances is never accidental.  Many others have died in the same position, when you survive surrounded by chaos that aught to have consumed you it is God showing you that his mercy was outstretched towards you.

God has angels that encamp around you that will be there when you need them

Standing by the wreck that was my car I was grateful for this one man who appeared out of nowhere to assist whomever was in the car.  He was one of the guys who sell items on the side of the road I assume.  Soon several others who offered to get all my important items out of the car and find and detach the battery joined him.  A lady and her daughter drove down from their home having heard the crash and they offered to take me to any medical centre, they even offered to go and get me some tea to help me calm down.  I did not know any of these people and they all gave me their hands and time when I was in need.  They were all suddenly there and they were all so kind.  They were Gods angels.

No matter how late you are, you are already late. There is no benefit in rushing

Time is a resource that is completely nonrenewable.  We get an allotment when we begin but we are not told the amount in the hopes that we will use every ounce with reverence for its precious nature.    As hours, days, months and years wear along we allow our own selfish intent to determine the value of our time.  We rush when it suits us and we delay when it suits us.  Time is a substance that we are either running ahead of or desperately trying to catch up to.  I was late and in my desperate attempt to catch up to it I almost lost it all.  If you are late accept it and deal with that, trying to rush will not make you any less late but it may make you lose focus on something more important.

God knows exactly what you need when you need it

Final Fantasy Advent Children track 7 - ‘Fighting (Piano Version)’.  As humans we struggle with the infinite, we struggle with omnipotence; we fail to truly grasp omnipresence.  God was there before me, God will be there after me and he is here during me.  At the beginning of time he was with me and he is with me at the end of time.  He knows the challenges your great great great grandchild is going through right now, yes now, because he is there, even though to you and I that child does not exist yet.  But to God he will live, is living and lived.
As I spun I was calm, wondering if what I was experiencing was a dream.  Soft, gentle music drowned out the chaos around me allowing me to deal with the matter at hand.  I cannot think of a better way to have walked me through such a traumatic moment in my life than by listening to track 7 - ‘Fighting (Piano Version)’. God new it was coming, and though I know he would have preferred if it had not happened at all, he was ready with exactly what I needed in my handmade mess.  He will always know what I need and will always be faithful to be ready.

An accident begins long before it happens. It is usually a series of bad decisions

‘It just happened’ is you shirking responsibility, nothing more and nothing less.  All that is in your life both good and bad is the result of your own actions. You made a choice and it either came back to bite you or help you.  Once you make a decision you become subject to it, this must be understood because some decisions take on a life of their own and they can actually become larger and stronger than their originator but the consequences may always fit your shoes. My accident began when I left the funeral late, which was my choice. The reason does not mater only that I made the choice. Life often rewards our actions not our intent.  45 minutes before my accident I was in it, that is true of most things in our lives.

Be grateful for every breath you have the benefit of taking. Appreciate everyone who is there for you

A heart that cares for you is a rare thing; it is a shining jewel in an ocean of pebbles.  We do not know how long we are here, sometimes we are blessed with the knowledge that time is almost up but for the most part it will catch us by surprise.  I am not suggesting that everyday you wake up and say ‘thank you’ to God for another day, you should be doing that anyway; I’m saying live with true gratitude. To show how grateful you are for that breath of air in your lungs do your best to honor him with it through its use.  My Dad has given me many gifts, they cost him something but the price is immaterial to him, what hurts him is when he sees that gift that cost him get dusty in some corner completely unused.  Its like when someone buys you some piece of clothing and they never see you wear it, it hurts.  That’s God, he paid a HUGE price for that breath of air, most of us don’t use it or worse still abuse it and use it against him.

Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done; tomorrow is not certain

Have you gone on a long journey and you know there are no rest stops for quite some time?  We go to the restroom before hand even if it’s not pressing, just to make the journey lighter.  The restroom is a small stop but not going will affect you for a long, uncomfortable time.  Life is as short as that restroom break when viewed through the eyes of eternity yet we often don’t do what we need to when we need to do it and so we suffer through long, uncomfortable journeys. My tomorrow almost didn’t come, how much had been left undone? I am not advocating for recklessness, I am appealing for responsibility.

These were my lessons but life has so many more.  I hope they help you, I hope they stir something in you. You are reading this so don’t say you weren’t told; watch out for the thousands of other lessons you are getting every day.

God Bless you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I saw you IN a show at HIFA …. Yes you.

I found myself at HIFA this year, yes FOUND myself there. I’m not a big HIFA enthusiast as many of my friends know but I’m not adverse to the show either. It holds a reputation for being one of the best cultural extravaganza shows in Africa and also the world. HIFA draws acts from around the world bringing us a variegated taste of diverse cultures and views. We had everything from Opera to Ragga, from well known acts to new faces enveloping us in a kaleidoscopic jamboree of sounds and experiences. Having been there I am sure the reviews will rave about it, many already speak highly of brilliant acts from Tumi and The Volumes, Maria de Barros, Handsome Poets, Winky D and a melee of other brilliant artists and performers. Each act embraced the stage, be it a stall in the gallery or the main stage itself; they took hold of the audience and whisked them off on an ecstatic journey of discovery. Discovery of their world, discovery of their minds and discovery of themselves.
But…. There was one show everyone saw and missed at the same time. Yes we had our eyes fixed on the stage, mesmerized by the bright lights (best stage lighting I had seen in years by the way) and transfixed by every move or note the performers showered us with; yet somehow we missed the most bazaar show ever. Everyone missed it even though we were all in attendance, and if that wasn’t bad enough we were so close you could say we were right on stage with the performers. Ok ok, you’re wondering what show I’m talking about?
Let me fill in the gaps. I went to the Coka Cola green on Friday night and watched a brilliant DJ show, somehow I ended up participating in a shoot and I wound up carrying a video camera taking shots of performers and the crowd at large. It’s what I saw outside of that lens that surprised me. As I was right at the front, mere centimeters from the stage, I looked about me only to realize that I was the one on stage. There was a famous performance done oh so many years ago, long before Internet but not before introspective thought. It went like this: an audience would sit in a theater waiting for a play to start, the curtain would finally rise and they would be presented with a scene of another audience with their backs to them also looking ahead for a curtain to rise. That audience too would watch as their curtain rose only to be greeted by the same scene, and so this would go on infinitum. As one watched you would eventually start wondering if you are watching a show or you ARE the show.
The show we missed was the ‘Harare Show’. Yes that would be you and me; but it was bigger than that, it was the Zimbabwe Show and it was right there in front of us.

As I had my camera fixed on the stage waiting for anything of significance (from an editing viewpoint) to happen, it did. The DJ was playing a well-crafted mix of hip-hop, dancehall and dance hits that got the crowd on their feet. Popular dances infused with each person’s unique flavor started circulating amongst the 300 – 500 crowd gathered there. I believe it was Lil Wayne who was playing when a kid, no more than 8 years old emerged on stage. Judging from his appearance (and the fact that he was there) I assumed he was alone, probably a homeless kid. In an instant I had my camera up, ‘this should be good’ I thought ‘he’s going to unleash some cute moves’ great for TV. I zoomed in on my HD camera and focused in on every tiny expression on the kids face as he moved every limb in his body to the rhythm of the music as if he had spent a lifetime mastering this craft. Maybe that would have been ok if his lifetime hadn’t consisted of only 8 short years 3 of which he had spent learning to walk and speak coherently. The look on his face as he crumped is what triggered my concern; I pulled away from my view-finder for a moment wondering how I should respond to this. He looked angry. He looked vicious. He looked oppressed. He looked like anything but an 8 year old kid.
I know crumping; I know it’s a dance style come sub-culture of hip-hop. I’ve watched the videos, I ruminated over the documentaries and I’ve considered the argument for it. This kid was in character for the ‘art form’ he was performing. The beats pounded on with a captivating intensity (or maybe that was because I was right next to a speaker) and the kid’s dance style changed accordingly. Not being a fan of Lil Wayne I do not know most of his songs so whenever I hear them I listen to the lyrics first before I get too lost in the beat. This kid had it on lock just like the sea of adults who were watching him. As the songs changed and there was a lyrical call to ‘slap that’ or ‘do that’ ‘drink that’ be a ‘real nigga what’; this kid danced in synchrony with the precision of a dance surgeon, if ever there was such a thing. I had already turned my camera off and decided I would not record this. I could not be a part of spreading this … whatever this was. I looked around and right then I realized what was happening, just as those people in the play had awaked to the fact that they were the show.

In a crowd of 300 – 500 people: grown adults, teens, mums, fathers, elders, community leaders, activists, social commentators, peers, preachers and ambassadors; no one blinked. No one blinked as an 8 year old kid ‘slapped’ an imaginary woman’s backside, no one blinked as he grabbed is pre-pubesant crotch and gyrated it towards the crowd supposedly ‘hitting that’, no one so much as flinched as he pointed towards us indicating his superiority because of all the imaginary money he was ‘raining’ on us. I stood in silent shock, as Harare’s … no Zimbabwe’s depravity was played right before my eyes. The show I didn’t pay for … because I was in it.
He went on, move after move and we watched. Security did nothing, the performers did nothing, and the audience did nothing, actually scratch that in fact they DID do something they cheered it on. It is said that in Africa the community raise a child, so where were they?

Ok maybe I’m making assumptions here and nobody else thinks its wrong. Maybe you are saying ‘he is a kid and doesn’t know what he is doing and it will not affect him’. Stop being intentionally ignorant! There is no aspect of ones life that does not affect them however small it is. Years later we will all be wondering ‘what happened to cause this’ when we read an H-Metro story of some guy who was a womanizer and took it too far due to anger issues. Or some woman will be wondering why her boyfriend has a slapping fetish (heck maybe she’ll think its alright to be slapped around since TV insinuates that its common sexual behavior and every girl ‘wants’ it). Or some guys will be trying to talk some sense into their friend about how ‘doing anything to impress people’ is not the way and he wont listen because deep in his subconscious mind he remembers how 300 – 500 grown people LET him do whatever he wanted to please them.
The Harare Show, are we so morally depraved? Have we become a ‘kaleidoscopic jamboree of sounds and experiences’ in which we let anything go? As the boy performed some cash was thrown onto the stage ‘in appreciation’ of his performance. This is not uncommon in Zimbabwe but think on this, how many other shows had that happen? Did it happen at Winky D? Did it happen at Ismael Lo? Why did it happen for an 8-year-old kid doing the most sensual acts his frame could pull off? WE PAID HIM PEOPLE! AGH! Yes we… you didn’t stop them did you? Would you have?

The Harare Show is on Now! Showing everywhere from the 1st of May to the rest of your life! Come one come all and be part of the show! It’s FREE!!!………. at a cost.