As a blogger I have written about my abuse journey in the hands of my fellow Zimbabweans, (false prophet, church members, online community). It has been a lot to do with the oppressive Zimbabwean culture. So when I see you Zimbabweans “mourning” that Mugabe is evil and has robbed you, sadly I can not resonate. I have suffered more evil in the hands of my own people. Zimbabweans tried to destroy my life, but being in the UK saved me as I had the freedom to express myself.
Before blogging, I was unknown in Zimbabwe. However 4 years ago, I can honestly testify that Zimbabweans across the world started to know who I was. My Facebook and inbox would be flooded with messages from people. I would walk in the UK streets and Zimbabweans would recognize me. I would have phone calls from Zimbabwe and British journalists asking to interview me, which I mostly declined for personal reasons.
But if I was the giving up kind, I would have stopped writing/blogging because of the online abuse I have received and continue to receive from Zimbabwean people.
In fact, I will take it further, I want to let you know my dear Zimbabweans, that with or without your support, my articles and work are/have been featured on major international media platforms including BBC, Huffington Post, Nigerian News, Ghana Web, Cameroon, South Africa and many more…I do appreciate the support from Nehanda Radio and Zim Eye.
On 1 January 2017, this year started with a delight for me, I was woken up with calls and messages from my few Zimbabwean friends because my News Year’s Article on Zimbabwean/African false prophets Eubert Angel, Walter Magaya, Emmanuel Makandiwa, TB Joshua and Eugene Makore had gone viral. People were telling me that this was one of the best articles I had ever written.
But even though I have a few good Zimbabwean supporters of my work, When the majority realized that the written piece was just too good not to be shared, they decided to remove my name from the article and shared it widely on Facebook and Whatsapp. I always write my articles from a personal perspective, all my articles are my opinion. So in this article that was going viral, it was so obvious that this was an opinion of a Zimbabwean who has walked with “false prophets” before. I even put in a bit of what I had been through and at the end, I wrote “Happy New Year My Dear Readers”, yet Zimbabweans chose to remove my name from such a personal article.
You see Zimbabweans when I write, I just don’t write for the sake of it. Writing has changed my life. Writing saved me. Writing is in my bones. The first blog I wrote that made you all know me as blogger, I was crying as I wrote, sitting alone in a women’s refuge, having lost everything I had ever worked for in the hands of a false prophet and his flock. So when you steal my work, and remove my name from my toil and blood, you are stealing my birthright.
I will use this word for the first time as a writer, I have put up with so much abuse and “bullshit” from you Zimbabweans. But this is 2017, I have new year resolutions too. If it is my writing, I will claim it. Don’t think it’s only Papa’s Uebert Angel children who can claim “angel visitations” in 2017. I am also claiming my birthright visitations. It’s about time you Zimbabweans understand what intellectual property is.
Before I started blogging, I had less than 100 friends on facebook. When my blog went viral, I received Facebook friend requests and inboxes from all sorts of prominent people in Zimbabwe, as well as Facebook Celebrities or Socialites of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean Facebook socialite Mike Tashaya did not just send me a Facebook request, he reached out to me on a personal level and I developed great respect for him. However as time went on, he realized I was very unpopular among his 20 000 followers, often being abused on his wall by his followers, and he chose to distance himself from my writings and what I do.
So at the beginning of the year, Mike Tashaya received my New Year article from a number of people via his WhatsApp. He went on to publish it to his followers where he called it a great piece which he had just “picked up” and off course my name had been exclusively removed. His followers who knew it was my work started to ask him to acknowledge me as the writer, where after about an hour of knowing I was the writer and I had spoken out over the stolen article, he then chose to drop my name right at the very bottom. He could not even have the decency to put the name on top, like what all normal journalists with good etiquettes do. The name of the writer always introduces the article. An example is my featured Article today in Modern Ghana News which starts by introducing me as the writer.
For the record Mike Tashaya has since apologized for publishing the article without acknowledging the writer, but because the article is still being shared widely on Facebook with my name removed but titled “just picked this”. I had to emphasize on this for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.
Another Facebook socialite Acie Lumumba who is a leader of a Zimbabwe political party came into my inbox when I wrote about Evan Mawarire and called me “Zimbabwe’s National Sensation” praising me for the article. This was at a time where the majority of Zimbabweans were castigating me for writing about their hero Mawarire. Acie Lumumba chose to be a secret supporter, he would not come out and declare that he supported me in writing about Mawarire in case people turned on him. He later on went on to scold anyone who was speaking against Mawarire which I found extremely hypocritical. Again that’s Zimbabweans for you.
When I wrote about Evan Mawarire, as my article went viral, another prominent Zimbabwean lawyer chose to even release her own article on the same day to counter mine. She released her article supporting This Flag movement trying to debunk my article. But a few months later she started echoing my sentiments about This Flag movement, saying in order for change to happen, Zimbabwe did not need a social movement without a leader. You see I had first written that, and she bitterly opposed me, but when she changed her mind to agree with me, she could not bring herself to acknowledge that Jean Gasho had been right.
So Zimbabwe, I’m fine with not being recognized as one of your bloggers. But do not ever steal my work and remove my name from it. That I will fight for, for it is my birthright.
PS: I do not have any problems with Zimbabwean writers penning articles criticizing me, I have seen quite a number of articles online addressed at me. Zimbabwe female writer Felicity Sibindi wrote a critic article of me, which is perfectly fine and within her rights. I do not expect to be “liked” by the majority for my opinions. But I will not have you steal my work or attempt to publish my written work in deceit.