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?

21 Aug

#GamesCom2018: Is the African Corner at #DevCom a Life Line of Potential?

#GamesCom2018: Is the African Corner at #DevCom a Life Line for Potential?

Paradise Game, the west-African start-up, responsible for the first major video game and eSport festival in Africa, the FEJA (Festival de L’Electronique et du Jeu vidéo d’Abidjan facilitated an African section at the just ended devcom 2018.

For the 10th anniversary of Gamescom, during the largest European game convention, several African game developers participate in Devcom, the interdependent game developer conference held in mid-August.

Hosted at Koelnmesse International Fair and Exhibition Center in Cologne, Germany, the African game developers will be in a section named “Africa Corner by Paradise Game”. An area dedicated to video games made in Africa; offering these developers the opportunity to show their games to industry professionals, as well as to showcase the African culture through their games.

One of the represented projects;  Kisoro Tribal Game was created by Teddy Kisoro, a young computer engineer, who after observing a lack of  African diversity in the gaming world decided to create a game that features characters and an African context.

In an interview with Negro News Teddy explained the importance of Digital Storytelling;

 ”  I decided to create the first game in Toulouse studio based on African universe, myths, legends, famous characters …to highlight the Central African culture, promote peace, share this culture with the world and send a message to the African youth, “

Sidick Bakayoko, Founder and CEO of Paradise Game detailed his ambitious hopes of having a Digital Media driven African economy:

“Our dream is to have video games as one of the main driver of the African economy, and as a way to employ millions of people throughout the continent. In order to get there, we need a strong ecosystem with game developers from Africa who export their games in the world and gain publicity internationally”.

In an article by Africa Business, a strong argument was made for the potential of the gaming industry in Africa.

The global video game industry accounts for about $ 100 billion. 27% of these revenues come from mobile games.

Yes, Africa has a huge massive potential considering half a billion of us (500 million) own mobile phones.

It is true that the Video Game industry offers business opportunities to game developers and creates jobs for the African youth. The video game is also a tool that can be used to promote the African culture and tell the African story digitally. Perhaps it is a bit early but not too ambitious to hope that sooner rather than later we’ll need more space in Gaming spaces such as DevCom and Gamescom.

The question is… how does your business tap into this vacuum?