Thursday, 9 March 2017

Mobile Reporting - breaking media stifling by States

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Mobile Reporting - breaking media stifling by States

by Mazuba Mwiinga

As Zambia joins other countries on the list of nations where the media is being gagged by sitting governments, Citizen Mobile Reporting has become one of the powerful tools to use to tell stories of social impact vis a vis public service accountability, and giving a voice to women and the young.

Mobile Reporting is a term that describes the use of a Mobile Phone as a reporting tool. The user creates text, photo, video that produces a multi-media based report.

Being a Trainer in this field of journalism has shown me how talented young people are in using mobile apps to create content, edit and share it using a mobile phone. The stories are so intriguing and professionally done.

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This has revealed how technological innovation has tremendously reduced the tools of journalism from a huge load of equipment to a pocket sized editing suit. 

Featured here are stories done by trained, skilled and talented young woman Chama Chulu from Kabwe and Edgar Mainza from Livingstone; one of the 138 young women and men I have trained in Mobile Reporting Citizen Journalism skills so far under the EU Funded Speak Up Zambia Project since July 2016. The Project is implemented by Netherlands based media NGO Free Press Unlimited, and two Zambian NGOs Alliance for Community Action and House of Consciousness.

The young men and women from Isoka, Mpika, Livingstone, Kabwe, Itezhi-tezhi, Lundazi, Lusaka and Choma have so far produced more than 100 high quality video stories in the areas of social accountability, public service delivery, youth and women issues.

The content generated by the Citizen Journalists using Media Mobile Apps is shared on Social Media Platforms for the public to have access to such content. As Citizen Journalists it is their duty to diligently and professionally create content that conforms to the universal principles and ethics of journalism, thereby bringing and maintaining the needed sanity to the work of journalism.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

BEAUTY - One shade of colour lost in Translation

BEAUTY - One shade of colour lost in Translation
By Mazuba Mwiinga

We all hear stories, don’t we? Stories of sadness so are stories of laughter. But hasn’t stories of sweat and endurance been said to be the most intriguing of all? No prizes for guessing where I am dragging you to.

We have heard stories of love and hate too. Haven’t we? The very highly typical and stimulating stories ever told.

One of the kinds is told of a couple that wedded in a day, and woke up as divorcees - Reason? The Bride woke up with her typically natural face, apparently so strange to the Groom. During their courtship extravaganza, the Bride-to-be always wore one shade of colour that ended up being the reason for the Groom to fall one knee down with grace, asking for her to be led to the altar. But behold! No sooner had the dregs of the aftermath of the dictates of the altar were presented, after peeling off the roasted potato, than the Bride’s facial cat was let out of the make-up bag.

Like MKV’s line ‘Nicicani ici’ in the song “Chikondi Chamumadizi”, the Groom flew off the bed with shock, knelt before the matrimonial court and got marriage dissolution. What an end!! - A shade of facial colour could not stand the test of conjugal sweat that soaked the bed-sheets over-night.

Colour - a figment of the skin? Some would say. Reading between the lines of history however, hasn’t colour spoken more than the appearance of the owner?

Like a symbol of identity, colour has seduced Kings into bed with slaves, exploited natives to realms of invaders in their own land; colour has demoralised the intelligent into inferiority complexities; most of all, colour has reduced the confidence and pride in those who are already beautiful; those with souls that cry to appear in another colour because theirs makes them feel ugly and unwanted.

Haven’t we seen them? With brushes, primer, eyebrow pencil, contour and powder, they dye their looks to appear lighter than their pigment; because to appear in their own, is regarded obnoxious and repellent. Appearing in their replica-self signifies beauty and splendour.

Born with their own make-up – intelligence; they have enrolled in the school of miss-translation; defining beauty as lying in their make-up bag; in lipstick tube, mascara wand and blush brush. Lost in their translation, they forgot their originality that makes them more gorgeous.

Where have they taken their passions? Is it not a sign of dullness for one to live without passion? Isn’t it true that one, who enjoys all that life has to offer, is the one everyone admires? Because passion is contagious; when one watches someone pursuing their dreams is just about the most beautiful experience anyone can ever have?

Don’t these make-up bag beauty-oriented fellas know that compassion beautifies souls? That a cold-hearted person may love themselves, but who loves them back? That if they can’t feel for others, who will feel for them?

Have the blush face-brushers disremembered that a person who doesn’t take time to cultivate their mind is like a writer who never reads books? That the pursuit of knowledge and truth is not only attractive, but essential to our being? That knowledge is empowerment and empowerment is sexy?

Where have they taken their fun-loving spirit? That stint of sharing the same space with a positive Peggie? Don’t they know that it’s such a hard time to share same space with a Negative Nancy? Because no one loves a mope!

Doesn’t beauty lie in resilience? Realising that nothing is more beautiful than a person who refuses to give up? Don’t they know that the world loves fighters? Believing that life can never defeat them unless they allow themselves to be defeated?

The lipstick beauties miss it. Don’t they? Redefining beauty in mascara; where did they hide confidence? That proud feelings of how they look, speak, think, or act? Don’t they know that a person who doesn’t need other people’s reassurance to help them feel this pride in them is infinitely more appealing than those who incessantly seek others’ approval?

Beauty they have forgotten lies in their energy; knowing that a person with an unmatchable vitality for life is admired. Doors of new schools are open; learning that when one follows their passion, shows compassion, pursues their intellect, keeps a sense of adventure, refuses to give up and believes to be worthy, their energy becomes the spark that lights up everyone and everything around them.

Isn’t that a deeper shade of colour and true translation of beauty?