Tag Archives: #shareyourstory

Blogging: Tell your story or someone else will do it…badly

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Hello Zimbabwe and all readers! My name is Irene Chikumbo and have decided to share my story with you. As the community manager at Hypercube Hub, I have been learning many important lessons over the past few months. I guess I have always been one of those people who sees the good in people and am really idealistic about how life should be.  I have learnt a considerable amount about myself and the people around me. It all started as a seed… a dream of what I hope would assist and empower other young people to build a better nation and a collaborative ecosystem where we are building solutions and not focusing on problems. I really hoped that starting up a hub would be one of them. However, during my journey so far I have had a combination of many good and mostly difficult lessons. I have decided it is time to share my story, and occasionally share my relevant everyday experiences. I used to blog…simply expressing my thoughts and perspectives on one of my life passions. Sustainability. But I had an ever-growing passion for technology which has led me to where I am today. The insights into starting up a tech-hub and all the “sugar coatings” and “chilli shavings” that come with it. So today we talk blogging.

 

What is Blogging? I think to get some context for those who are not familiar with the concept and maybe align myself with those who are, I would like to start by highlighting what blogging means to me:

Blogging is about sharing my experiences. It is about writing my story, our story so people understand what is really happening from the inside. Think of it as a web diary entry if you will. It will be a platform to share my lessons learnt, opportunities and the amazing people who I meet everyday. I find that people spend so much time writing their opinions about other people, organizations and not their own.

The context: Some of the writing I have seen is emotionally driven as opposed to fact based, which is not a crime. What I do have a problem with is the general lack of a holistic approach.  So I had told myself I would write more, and I guess sometimes we get so caught up in “things” we forget that the small things can have a huge impact. In this particular case not sharing your story and having others do it for you can be either constructive or detrimental to you. One common example most Africans can relate too. Some people outside of Africa see us as this poor, hungry and suffering group of people. It was until we started sharing our story, people are seeing the vast potential that Africa has because some showed the other side of the coin.  The way the world views Africa is changing significantly.

After some very interesting blog posts I have seen being written by others, who have no idea what we as startups, hubs and individuals in the Harare ecosystem are going through on an everyday basis. I have decided in collaboration with the other hubs to give a more holistic perspective on what we are doing right, where are failing, share our observations and our experiences. This gives people a better appreciation of what is happening as we grow and develop.

 

Lessons learnt:

  •      Write your own story. If you don’t people will write for you and you might not like what you read.
  •      By writing your side of the story people get a more holistic view of the whole system and can have a better understanding of what is really happening from your side too.
  •      Don’t be afraid to share your experiences you might be surprised who it could help.
  •      Blogs don’t have to be long, just be honest to yourself and your audience. Try use more pictures, videos and all sorts of other media.

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Moving forward

  •      Realistically writing a blog every week is going to be tough considering the many things that can happen in a day. Once a month is too little so ideally at this preliminary stage try do one every two weeks
  •      Coming together with the founders of other creative spaces to also share their stories, that will either help or inspire other young people out there…something exciting coming soon to the Zimbabwean creative space blogosphere

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Anyway that’s all for now….speak to you all later!


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