Last week I posted a status update to my personal Facebook page for my friends. I have 5000 and close to 3000 subscribers. A lot of times I post messages with something that can inspire my friends. I have a constituency and a base for my activism. Most of my friends emerged from the poorest social class like me. I post messages in Shona because I studied my native language Shona, to degree level and am very knowledgeable about how it can be better understood by fellow Zimbabweans and create campaigns grounded to our situations. I feel good writing in Shona idioms, symbolism and using language that is grounded to my friends` experiences and way of life. My knowledge of Sociolinguistics makes it imperative for me to look for language discourse that defines certain targets especially the poor. I know how to put humour and mix it with seriousness of purpose and use such language to persuade some of my friends to self-discover. As I explained before, my purpose of being on earth is to inspire so that women and girls dream bigger. I also touch the lives of good men and boys. This is something I love doing and I started this when I was a child vendor at age 6.
I started a series of status updates called Gospel for poor children where I post messages to constantly remind poor children and their families to break vicious cycles of poverty. Sometimes I am very didactic giving many life lessons while other times I use irony of situation and sarcasm and it all depends on how deep the message should touch them.
Last week I posted five messages under Gospel for poor children where I tried to raise awareness on how Facebook can change their lives if they use it beyond sex and bedroom. As someone who grew up poor and as a street vendor, I strongly feel that Facebook could be a place of opportunity where someone can self-teach through many people forming groups on developmental issues. Many inspirational quotes, scholarship opportunities, jobs, business ideas and just life saving information is posted every minute and rarely do some poor people take interest. I also know of many poor people from my country in Zimbabwe who are on Facebook who could take advantage and use Facebook to connect globally. It is expensive to buy airtime and get to be connected to the rest of the world and so I salute efforts to connect.
I advised some poor people in my Zimbabwean community to think beyond spending all energy on being obsessed with sex and posting pornographic materials. I never said anyone should stop posting messages on so called sex education as that is unstoppable. I never said anyone should stop the so called sex education and even though those who have done it for over a decade claim they are still learning. What is disturbing however, is how those obsessed with sex have taken it upon themselves to attack whoever is not married a virgin especially women and girls. Daily, there is a woman or girl who is being attacked for poor sexual performance. Vulgar language is used and women and girls are the ones who are blamed for everything. Obsession is evident in men who have stopped going to work and sitting all day to comment and harass women on sexual matters making an idle mind a very dangerous one too. This is not sex education and those who open the Facebook pages are not experts in sex and reproductive health and sometimes give wrong information. Vaginal tightening herbs are prescribed which can be detrimental to women`s health. The advice is posted in such a manner one would think sex and misinforming public is only thing we can do as Zimbabwean society.
To cut long story short . An undercover journalist from Newsdzezimbabwe came to my Facebook and pulled down my status update and decided to alter my original posting. My message was reposted on their news site without interviewing me. The tone of my message was twisted to sensationalise it. I have many professional journalists from Afro News who cover what I post on my Facebook and they always inbox me to approve an article. To think someone pulled my status update to get hits on their website is sad. Abusing my name is equally bad.
The good part is that I have started a life campaign called NEVER AGAIN and this comes from the title of my autobiography. Never again should bogus websites abuse us . I have my own websites and blogs and Facebook. I am empowered to speak for myself. I will not allow the abuse and so demand Newsdzezimbabwe to bring my status update back.It is mine and they cant make news from it. Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar. I am empowered to deliver my news to the world via respected news sites. Now there are two or so people who are commenting on this site and being vulgar. I ask them to stop it.
One thing for certain is that we women who come from countries where news was centralised and where our messages are twisted now stand up with empowerment social networks like Facebook and many others to speak our minds. We don’t want anyone to speak for us and twist our words. Below is how a response came via Proudly Zimbabwean Facebook page and it is from a young woman who was there and who is there on my Facebook.
Please let me speak to the poor. I know them as I have been one of them and I am still in poor communities working daily. Now social media empowers us and leave us to use it to the betterment of our lives. Period. Beyond obsession with sex are bigger visions that can develop our families and communities.
Below is a response from Delta one of my FB friends and she puts it straight to the point. Below are comments from friends who follow me. I could not have out it better. What a great communications and PR persona this young Zimbabwean woman is.
Delta Milayo Ndou Actually the website picked up her status update from her Facebook profile and then used it to write a story that is misleading. The whole story is a quote of her status update she was NOT slamming Zimbabweans, she was not slamming anyone actually but was making an observation and specifically addressing her FB friends not the whole nation of Zimbabwe. Now she is being blasted by Zimbabweans retaliating to being ‘slammed’ when she didn’t even write her remarks to address every Zimbabwean. It is very disingenuous of these half-baked websites to just trawl the internet and pick people’s views out of context just to rabble rouse. And to be fair, we all have a right to parade our thoughts in their nudity on our FB profiles for the benefit of the audience we choose by accepting FB friendship requests without having some uncouth individuals taking it upon themselves to make that the basis of a story. Talk about a storm in tea cup! She’s not banning anyone from spending their days obsessing over sex on FB if that’s what they want. And she doesn’t need to be a life coach to express a view point. Disagree with her if you like but take into account that her remarks had nothing to with slamming anything or slamming anyone. Some so-called online journalists are good at setting the cat among the pigeons to drive traffic to their dubious websites.
Delta Milayo Ndou
I am not very bothered about the fact that they published her FB status update but I am irritated by the framing and slanting and angling and deliberately manipulative contextualization of her remarks wherein they get to blatantly lie and s
ay she was making the remarks with the intent to ‘slam’ Zimbabweans. Its not true that she was slamming Zimbabweans, they get to misrepresent her motives and open her up to public abuse by giving her remarks negative, and even malicious, connotations. FB is a public space and the expectation of privacy is largely determined by the privacy settings one activates on their profile and the careful, deliberate screening of who they choose to ‘befriend’ so indeed, status updates are fair game but journalistic ethics of balance should be observed rather than deliberately misrepresenting a person’s views in a way that casts aspersion upon their person. And I don’t know, that with her high profile Betty could qualify to be among us the ‘ordinary, harmless folk’….lol
Below is wrongly plagiarised status update by the newspaper called Newsdzezimbabwe
My Facebook page has reached maximum and so follow me on my Fan page as I send out more inspirational messages. https://www.facebook.com/bettymakoni1
Below is my status update which was plagiarised and posted inaccurately. I have also included responses from my friends.
Maswera here mashamwari.Kuno ndaswera hangu. Hurombo zvahunoita-inenge vicious cycle.Iwaya mafacebook page edu aya. hiya mai nhiya.Handiti muri kuona vanhu vachivhura magroups iwaya. heya.mamwe magroups anoswera achitaurwa nezvepabonde chete.hapana kana chinobuda chehupenyu hwedzidzo kana.ukaswera uri mugroup iroro uchifunga kuita zvebonde ndiwo hupenyu chete watorasika muhwani room. Pafacebook pa
no huyai nezvinhu zvenyu muchishambadza zviri kuita vane mari izvi. kwete kuswerera bonde. huyai mutaure maskills enyu. tsvagai mapage mamwe ane mabusiness ideas kwete kungoti like like pataurwa zvinyadzo. facebook iri musika ndikuudzei. heya vamwe vari kupfuma wani natagging chaiyo nekunyora zvepabonde.zvino mungarare pabonde for life here.Lets look beyond sex and see if we get some knowledge on scholarships ,work,selling zvinhu.Murombo akapusa haarove chine nguwo,murombo akanaka anorova chine nguwo…Muzvare Gospel for poor children
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Davison Mudzingwa iHameni iyoyo…
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Ihemeni Muzvare taurai zvenyu mhedzisiro takutsvaga n’anga wobata chibharo here shoko kufuka kana kuwaridza,mwari vatuma werudzi rwenyu
honest truth-telling and inspirational speech!
Francis Francisco Modhlani Kwakabva nemunhu anonzi Muzvare Betty Makoni ka. A ma1.Zvamataura apa zvikukutu mufunge apa tumacent twunenge twuchipera nekuronda zvepabonde chetechete!!Mwari anongotuma anyerere hake *Thnx
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Betty Makoni Davison kusiya information yaunopa yese iya munhu asina kana chinhu kunotenga airyime yekunonyora zvebonde.kutadza kuitawo self teaching.kutsvaga nyaya dzatete nasekuru.hanzi kupedzera miseve pagunguwo.pane infirmation yakanaka pano yekuti munhu akaverenga anoitawo motivation
.haya wasted energy
Betty Makoni ?Gerald Chafa kana matailors vedu vekuzimbabwe vakaita page chaiyo voratidza mbatya dzavo do you know vanowana market chaiyo globally .kana anything …munoti vanaAmazon ndeevanhu vari supernatural here …kana kana …kuitawo kapage kebasa rako ..shuwa kuzoti ndakaroyiwa ..nhema shuwa kuzviroya ..morning to night iri nyaya yebonde chete eish
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U have a good idea and mind. Honest truths
Betty Makoni ?Mutsa Murenje ndaona madzimai vechidiki ava .apa hauna kana course apa wakamirira tototoriro baba vachauya nenyama …apa vamwe vari kuronga mitambo yanamutukudzi nanawinky nanamapfumo iwe uri kungotevera vamwe chete .kana vemacharity madiki ko kuronganawo moita fundraising.kuswera uchingoti like mapage evarungu-kupusa chaiko
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Davison Mudzingwa misdirected energy…gandanzara shavi renhamo..
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Betty Makoni ?Francis Francisco Modhlani ah nhamo inotevera munhu kunge mumvuri.manje woti kadollar airtime munhu ouya kuzoita comment yerudo …kusiya mainspiration ari kuita vamwe kana kuita download reading book remwana many books are for free ….kuswera natete nasekuru kunyora zvebonde eish
Betty Makoni ?Memory Manuel ah kana madzimai echidiki semi nefacebook munoita mari naro.moona zviri kuita vasikana veLondon using social media to make money ..padiki diki ndategwa …..ah tinoda kusimuka asikana tese …yava nguva yerevolution.manje bonde racho rikapera munhu anodyei …
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Francis Francisco Modhlani Chidzidzo ichi dai chatibatsira chokwadi zvinopisa tsitsi
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Betty Makoni ?Nkosiyabo Kay Ndlovu true ..magroups aya anoda kutoitwa maclub edevelopment …manje eish munhu kuuya kuzotegwa nevamwe 5 years uchingotegwa ko kutegawo timbokuona …shungu shungu dzinodiwa ..kana kuswera vanhu vachitsvaga varume instead yekutsvaga life survival skills heya kunyora kikikiki kuseka nhamo serugare
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Davison Mudzingwa lol…ishavi chairo..
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Thakurah Nyashanuh Which site can we download books Betty? may I have a link please!!
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HARARE – We are now in the age of a largely market-driven economy, as opposed to…See More
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Betty Makoni Dear Thakurah Nyashanuh here they are ..you sing up like facebook and you get books for freehttps://www.bookshare.org/_/promo/2010/10/adwords2?gclid=CLXXuIu17LECFc0mtAodmhkA1g