My father entertained us with folk tales like Tsuro Mangen’a and many others. he enjoyed telling stories and we enjoyed listening to them and we would ask to hear the same ones over and over again. From an early age I enjoyed the art of storytelling. army on in school I was writing intriguing stories and entered and won prizes in the Allied Arts Literary competitions. When we had to write two pages I found myself struggling to contain it in three! At about the same time we started writing our stores I was also telling stories through visually through painting and drawing. While in primary school I started writing about my everyday life in initially in an exercise book and then old diaries. I wrote about events that had occurred and also delved into future hopes and aspirations.

From writing to myself I started writing letters to others. At this time in the mid 80s pen friends were very popular and I started to tell y stories and share my experiences with them one was in the USA and another was in Finland. Each letter would be four to five pages because it too a while for the letters to get there and then reply, much would have happened and there was much to write about. As I got into high school I started writing to friends who were in boarding school keeping them up to date with what was happening in the hood.

With the advent of SMS, email and eventually Facebook, writing to friends and family became less and less and we used these instant messaging platforms to communicate. That’s when I decided to reach a bigger audience and also decided to diversify my topics. My first blog was on Googles Blogger, my stay there was short lived because it was limiting and I moved to I wanted more control on the look and feel of my blog so I moved onto a self hosting blog but still using the wordpress platform and that was the birth of The Sovereign State.

The name sovereign state came at a time when there was a lot of talk about how Zimbabwe was a sovereign country and that it will never be a colony again. Despite all the tough talk of sovereignty nothing could be further from the truth. We depended on other countries working through organisations for very basic things. So the Sovereign State is my ‘little country’ where I govern, but despite my desire to express myself freely, and say what I want? I know that being online i am not sovereign and I still have to watch what I say! The idea of true freedom of speech and expression is a mirage. But this where I speak my mind.

My blog covers various topics, its more a stream of consciousness as I don’t stick to a particular niche. I mainly tackle social issues, religion, service delivery, experiences as an expat, arts and culture. At the same time I started my personal blog and reignited an idea I had conceived in 2004 when I felt that a lot of artists and Zimbabweans as a whole did not document their experiences, they were good story tellers but in the brave new world of technology their stories were confined to dinner tables and braai spots. That’s what brought to life POVO (People Of Valid Opinions) which was basically a broader network of people outside of my own stories and to give them a platform to write and publish their work too. I encouraged people who had never written to also get in the habit of documenting under the banner that everyone’s opinion was valid. So the POVO platform was not about me or my ideas but a body of work which now has contributors from around the world.

Through out the years I realised I had no time to blog. I had to make time! I carry a sketch book which I sketch ideas and concepts for work and also write about ideas, I start to formulate posts in my sketch book. When I am in queues I am writing down points. Queues are your friends. Make use of that time. Long bus trips are also times to take advantage of. When I am watching over the kids play I have my sketch book with me. At any one time I could be working on ten different topics which I publish at different times sometimes months apart. because I already decided I won’t go out my way to monetise my blog I am under no pressure. Its my country!

Eight years later I don’t write as often as I would like but I have diversified in how I tell my stories. As an extension of my blog I use twitter as a micro blogging platform where I engage other bloggers, for instant engagement over short burst of threads. I sometimes develop these threads into articles for my main blog. I use Instagram as a visual diary of where I have been and what interests me. As a lover of photography I have challenged myself to only document unfiltered images from my mobile phone only. I use it to also give my followers sneak peeks of current work I am working on. Tumblr is specifically for my fine art work where I post my processes, behind the scenes work. Finally for my professional work I use Behance as a gateway to my professional work in Graphic Design. I have dabbled in a bit of vlogging mainly to promote my inaugural solo exhibition through a series of Facebook live videos, will continue dabbling with it.

That basically sums up my journey as a blogger and its good that with these platforms the internet has helped me to self publish my work without worrying bout a lot of things and to enjoy the process without hindrances from publishers or constraining budgets. I am currently working on a book which I intend to coincide with my 40th birthday some time in the near future!…

Follow Me on my Journey

Twitter – Microblogging
Instagram – Visualogue
Tumblr – Fine Art
Bechance – Professional

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