02 Apr

Here are 3 of our Favourite Things about Gmail in honour of its 15th Birthday

Here are 3 of our Favourite Things about Gmail in Honour of its 15th Birthday

Google’s email service, Gmail turns 15 years old this April. It’s a bit hard to ignore Gmail’s role in making email both accessible and functional; more so on the continent.  It might explain the staggering  1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide.

In celebration; Gmail has given its users a few gifts such as the multilingual AI Smart Compose which offers personalised sentence suggestions. Now you don’t need a partner to finish your sentences because well, Gmail can do it just fine. In addition to now being able to schedule emails, Gmail has also added the cool trick of being able to edit and comment on Google Documents right there in your inbox less the additional tab.

Gmail’s launch back in 2004 may have been on the 1st of April but their impact on how we communicate via electronic mail is no knock-knock joke. Despite the kinks; here are four of our favourite things about Gmail!

“It’s Functional”

Ian Mapira: Content Creation Manager – Bhizimusi.com

I like Gmail functionality across Google Services like Google Drive. This works great for sharing and backing up my photos, audio and documents

“Makes my inbox orderly”

Chrispen Charamba: Content Creation Manager – Hallelujahmag.com

Gmail’s labels help me organise with more flexibility. A conversation can have several labels, so you’re not limited to designate one specific folder for emails. You can also create filters to automatically manage incoming mail such as starring messages.

“Private and collaborative”

Munashe Chakaonda: Storytelling Managing Editor 

Gmail has always been my go-to especially the inbuilt hangouts where my community contributors can text and video chat. I also like that I don’t need an assistant since I can set reminders notes and private calendar prompts.

Happy Birthday, Gmail!

Need to know about Google Services and how they could help your business? Get in touch with The Digital Storytellers for a quick and painless consultation/training here.

02 Apr

#BalanceForBetter: When Service Delivery is Poor, She Suffers More!

When Service Delivery is Poor, She Suffers More!

I woke up one cold Zimbabwean June morning, preparing to boil my water for a bath.  It was then I discovered that there was no electricity! It was a blackout, one which was unannounced by ZESA, our energy provider. Annoyed and mumbling to myself, I cursed everything around me. As I opened my small curtain in need of nature’s light; something I spotted was both disturbing and angering.

It was my beautiful neighbour’s wife who was making a fire in that chilling cold morning preparing for her husband who was probably snoring in his warm blankets. The wife wanted to boil water not only cooking tea but also for her partner. As I saw her cough, choked by smoke I thought to myself with regret.  It is the woman who suffers when the city fathers decide to close down water in the so-called water rationing exercise. It is she that must go around looking for the lifesaving liquid. I have seen in more than one occasion seen a woman burned with a 20 litres bucket on her head and a whining baby at her back.

Women seem to suffer more directly when services are poor in a community.

Speaking to a Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) researcher Joyce Nyamukunda; she confirmed my suspicions.

“When we talk about the roads,  about the clinics and the schools; it’s mainly women who bear this impact when these services are not really available in these communities,” Joyce Nyamukunda said.

Women in rural areas have to travel for long distances by foot for registration documents, for firewood; for clinics when family members are sick and even when giving birth.

That’s what happens when services are poor and not nearer to the communities they serve. I am reminded of the complaints of the former Minister of Women Affairs, Nyasha Chikwinya;

“The situation in Zimbabwe is very critical, 80 per cent of women live in rural areas and they need firewood for cooking. Of late it’s not just the rural areas and the urban setup,” she said.

According to the Gender Minister, urban women resolve to firewood due to the high cost of electricity. As a result, my neighbour’s wife walks 3-4km to get this firewood in Harare. The saddest part of this story is that there are thousands of Zimbabwean women, rural or urbane who are at the mercy of poor service delivery often offered by males.

The question is what can be done promptly to alleviate it?