BLOGGING AND BRUNCHING
We met up with fun spirited, lovely fashion and lifestyle bloggers in Lusaka, Zambia. It appears that the blogging scene is slowly growing in this part of the world and so we were excited to have a conversation in a relaxed environment regarding just how fast the blogging scene is growing in Zambia.
We met up with the beautiful Namucana, the wise Kenzo, the lovely and super talented Martha and last but not least the creative Kamota.
Kenzo: My name Kenzo derives from Japanese and my name means wise. I own a blog called Black Prophecies and I went along with the word prophecies due to the wisdom I believe I have gained over time, and the word black well, simply because I am just that, black and proud. I view myself as a walking revolution. I started Black Prophecies as a platform where I could share various compilations of stories by creative’s of colour so as to minimise stereotypes of black people through telling various narratives that occur across African communities.
BLOG: Black Prophecies
Martha: I really don’t have one way to describe myself or my blog. I am a lot of things known and unknown depending on who you ask and who I am talking to. I am a writer, blogger, YouTuber and digital media strategist. Simply put, I love content curation. There are days where I wake up and I just want to take images of everything around me, on other days I want to write, and sometimes I just want to stand in front of a camera and just share what I like to wear with the world. Blogging is my creative outlet.
BLOG: Miss Kundwe
Kamota: I am a creative spirit and my creativity comes out in every aspect of my life. Above all the things I am or may be, the one thing that always stands out is my creative streak. Whether I am making a meal, dressing up, preparing a presentation or wrapping a gift…that creativity comes out.
My blog is still taking form but it is pretty much a lifestyle blog. I have posts that range from health matters, events to various pieces of advice. Ink On My Cashmere is generally themed around my interests. I try to live a healthy lifestyle and I love clothes, a good social life and humour. I share all of this in my voice and style of writing.
BLOG: Ink on my cashmere
TWITTER: Kamota Mayondi
How did you get into blogging?
Namucana: After being regularly featured on the old Facebook page xDareToBeDifferentx, I got several requests from people to start a blog so they could see more of my style.
Kenzo: Nayyirah Waheed says “when I write, I pray” and that is why I blog. When I blog, I am hoping. I am hoping for systematic and structural change in our society. I started blogging to gain a much larger sense of sanity that the world was giving me at the time.
Martha: I started seriously blogging about three years ago and my ‘blogship’ started out of an interest to share my stories, poetry and fashion. It’s been a journey for me trying to find my niche and I am happy that the blog has evolved massively to where it is today. I like the direction the blog is going as it’s a very organic platform for me to just share myself as I live, learn, blog and grow- this is the way of the bloggersphere.
Kamota: I have always loved writing. I used to write long before I started my blog and I used to do poetry. I also have some articles out in various print media and so, blogging for me was a natural progression. Although blogging can indeed be intimidating, I was determined to find my audience with whom I could share my ideas and thoughts with. With my blog I have committed to frequently writing articles and so this in itself also helps me to continuously improve my writing skills.
If ever you are in Zambia, check out Taste By Rootz a wonderful little spot in Lusaka with lovely gardens, a swimming pool, good food and great hot or iced teas. A wonderful spot to also host your events.
What challenges do you face as bloggers?
In Zambia our experience has been that blogging is often misunderstood and not given much support as people, and in particular businesses are unsure of what blogging really entails and how ones blogging can be beneficial to them. One of the biggest challenges bloggers are faced with is the lack of blogging tools such as camera equipment, access to Wi-Fi or data bundles and high speed internet. Also, these blogging tools tend to be very expensive to access in Zambia. Most bloggers are also not able to monetize their content which tends to make the growth of blogs slower.
Keeping your blog current and relatable is a balance that bloggers have to achieve and so bloggers are required to find middle ground between incorporating trending aspects from both the international and local scenes. Identifying great locations for taking photographs is also not soo easy as the best locations tend to be on private property with some location owners or management not being receptive to having bloggers take photos on their premises.
Collaborations with brands, other bloggers and photographers can also be a challenge. Some brands in Zambia are of the view that blogging is not a “professional” enough way of promoting their brand and so are reluctant to collaborate with bloggers. There is also very little protection for bloggers intellectual property in Zambia, this tends to deters some bloggers from sharing their content in fear of their work being replicated elsewhere without due credit being given.
How does blogging in Zambia differ from blogging elsewhere?
The blogging scene is comparatively young to other blogging scenes and this leaves enough room for error, as well as growth. Unfortunately, bloggers themselves and those that make us of bloggers do not recognise blogging as a profession. Irrespective of the blogging scene being relatively young, we believe that we are getting somewhere because we continue to elevate ourselves and soon many others will follow suite.
What improvements can be made to the Zambian blogging scene?
Bloggers should proudly harness their individuality and uphold their originality in order to set them apart from other bloggers. Businesses should become more willing to collaborate with bloggers and establish a mutually beneficial relationship and, we hope to see upcoming Zambian bloggers self-educate themselves through for instance, collaborative photo sessions and attending writing workshops to enhance their blogging skills.
Lastly, there must be more inquisitiveness, encouragement and upliftment of each other, and less negativity for us to continue to succeed.
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