It started years back. I got a link to a social networking site from one of my cousins. As a teenager, it was all about being cool. And by being cool, it meant doing something first and watch people follow. I avoided MySpace and Hi5 because I wanted to be cool by not being cool. So I got onto this site and it was a blogging site. I knew nothing about blogging but I set up my profile. 99% of all stories will go with “and the rest is history”. Not for me, I dropped that site as fast as I got on.
I was never big on social media. I never was a fan. I went to university and was never interested in the medium. I cannot remember how or why I got onto social media but I do remember being in touch with friends from high school that were in other countries. Social media served its purpose. Blogging was still an unknown phenomenon for me.
As I got older and the more I found myself and shaped my life, I took to social media to express my views on certain topics. On Twitter I used to go on rants. The usual struggles of a university student which made me create #TheStudent. It picked up a few laughs but unfortunately I didn’t become a tweleb. At the same time, I got real and dropped some truth bombs on Twitter. This led to #TheRealist! I was having fun sharing knowledge as well as going on rants. I got an internship after graduating and this was an opportunity for me to evolve. To become something more than I was. I became – #TheIntern. It was when I became #TheIntern when things changed.
As an intern, I supported the marketing department of a tourism destination company in Cape Town and one of the most exciting things I had to do was work with the social media coordinator. Her world just seemed jaw dropping! Attending events in the city, being invited to establishments to experience the product and service, promote upcoming events and a whole lot more. With all she was doing, blogging was a major part of the work she did. So I followed Natalie Roos’ work – tails of a mermaid! I read a bit to understand more of what she was doing. It was captivating! Her and the PR coordinator, Fazielah Williams (also known as the Bridget Jones of Cape Town – the CT girl with the red scarf), owned the blogging space in Cape Town. My most memorable moment was when we, as a team with our digital agency, put together a list of 100 things to do in Cape Town and it crashed the CMS. Ya! We put together a blog that crashed the CMS. Not only did it crash the CMS but it also “broke the internet”. I had to be a part of this world!
My first blog was work related. I had to promote events happening in Cape Town and it caused way too much anxiety in me. I wasn’t ready to have over a thousand people read my words. I sought as much help as I could before I wrote. It didn’t feel right and the PR manager felt the same but the job had to be done and I really wanted to do an outstanding job. Needless to say, it was rewritten which I felt was appropriate. I learnt the power of words then. When they’re in black and white, they are extremely powerful. I couldn’t source the power.
Reading a few travel blogs and having worked in the travel industry, I felt like this is a space I could be a part of. And with everything I was reading at the time, a lot of the writers were established – thousands of followers on social media platforms. It gave me the hope that I could be on the come up in the space and join the industry leaders. It took a while for me to actually sit down and make this all possible. Looking at these bloggers had me wondering if I could have a seat at their table. I had a lot to learn and at the same time, I had to make my presence known.
So I shelved it again.
Friends of mine approached me one day after having seen my Twitter rants on movies. Dean and Stephen had their on blog going – BTG Lifestyle. On their blog, they take on TV, movies, and all things big and small screen. I was approached to write for them and that also took me a while to accept. But they simplified blogging to me. Blogging is, literally, turning your rants into one single article. Makes sense! I’m already talking about the stuff, it’s all over Twitter, why not put it all together on a blog. So I wrote my first ever blog for BTG Lifestyle – Spinning Out of Control.
After a few blogs for BTG, I got the push that I needed to write for myself. Tell my stories as I saw them and lived them. I wanted to share the experiences I had through my eyes, in a way, like memoirs. But the name was my biggest issue. I was ready to write for myself but I needed a name to speak for me. A name that made sense as I was starting up and a name that would still be applicable 10 years from now. I tried a lot of options and Twitter was killing my vibe as there were limits to my handle. Damn you Twitter! But from it, I managed to get even more creative and I came up with Chronicles of Tendai. My first ever blog (till today is one of my favourites) was about love. If you’ve been in love before or are in love now, you know how easy it is to write about. So I wrote about my love for Cape Town. From here, I managed to feature on online magazine that told African stories – Afrikan Mbiu. Things were looking up for me.
There have been more lows than there have been high. Many attempts of starting blogs with my friends. We are a knowledgeable bunch and we wanted to give Africa its own voice when it came to popular topics. Unfortunately things didn’t materialise. Finding time to blog has been an issue for me. Consistency is important and I couldn’t find the time to do so. So my blogs have been erratic. And being a travel blogger that is unable to travel really kills the vibe but that’s due to circumstances that are out of my control. I was approached for the #30DayAfriBlogger challenge which I jumped onto as this gave me motivation to write again. A difficult challenge as that meant 30 days of writing. Nonetheless, it’s exciting as the challenge will stretch my creativity, get me back into writing and most importantly, it will give life back to my chronicles. I set a challenge for myself during my birthday month and I had a great time doing so.
I embrace the #30DayAfriBlogger challenge and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I going to enjoy writing.
- To be a top travel blogger in Zimbabwe
- To evolve and become a travel writer (my first article was for fastjet’s inflight magazine on pages 24 & 25)
- To continue telling African stories
- To put Zimbabwe back on the map
- To connect with other writers and collaborate on sharing African stories
- To be a leader on travel in Zimbabwe on Instagram and online
- To survive the 30 day blog challenge
- To make September 2017 the month Africa speaks
- To be invited to travel bloggers conferences (current target is Tourism Indaba in Durban)
- To have a seat on the same table as Natalie