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Social media, nyau dancers and the make-believe li...

Social media, nyau dancers and the make-believe life


Stan Makombe arrived at his house to find seven cars lined up outside his yard. Disturbed, he sped up to the house, worried that something terrible had happened. As he got closer, he could make out camera equipment, lights and groups of people dancing on the lawn outside his gate. He came up to his driveway, which was blocked by the merrymakers and hooted.

One of the dancers told him to wait until they were done. “You are disturbing our joy, Imbomira wakadaro mudhara (Wait there, old man!)

Makombe is a man of peaceful disposition. It was only when he clicked the remote to open the gate and his dogs rushed out that the party really took off.  In all directions. The photo shoot became a race with a photo finish to see who got to the cars first.

A few were cornered by the dogs and after the furious mutts were calmed down, the now tearful teens (and some thirtysomethings,) sobbed out their tale.

They were having a Roora (bride price) event and they needed great setting for the images. So they went to houses they knew had great views outside, set up their equipment and took pictures and videos. All this without even talking to the owner of the house.

The pictures are then uploaded onto social media sites and shared in with all manner of misleading captions.

These are the Believers FC, whose main drive is “kubelievisa” (making people believe.)

Visit some of the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pic feeds and see just how many pictures are of people outside the yards of beautiful houses.

Maybe some people just love how their homes look from the streets, but everyday? All the time? And the exterior of the house changes too as if they buy a new one every week.

The desire to gain likes and comments is driving people to take risks. There is a real danger of someone getting injured, arrested or attacked for making themselves at home outside a person’s gate.

“Nice House,” people quip in the never- disappointing comments section. “Thanks, my guy,” the picture poacher says with a smiley face. The ability to delude oneself into accepting compliments on behalf of someone who is not even aware that their house is collecting likes on social media is scary. Your house could have a bigger following on social media than you. If you should post it one day, you could be labelled a click hunter.

Then the filters that they use to enhance their appearance. Some have even gone to the extent of filtering of key features like knees, leaving their pictures with a translucent feel, like someone inserted LED tubes in their veins and lit them up.

If only people could calm down and realise that the people they are going all out to please really could not care less, they would live happier lives.

Check anyone who is going over their Facebook timeline. They literally auto scroll, and for a good reason.

Acceding to Bernard Marr and Co. :

More than a quarter of the world’s 7 billion humans are active on Facebook! Here are some more intriguing Facebook statistics:

  • 32 billion people are active on Facebook daily
  • Europe has more than 307 million people on Facebook
  • There are five new Facebook profiles created every second!
  • More than 300 million photos get uploaded per day
  • Every minute there are 510,000 comments posted and 293,000 statuses updated.

300 million photos daily!

One can understand why people would giddily trespass on people’s expensively maintained lawns to try a get a piece of these numbers.

Once you figure out that this platform is less about getting news and just about targeting very specific needs, you can take pictures at your real home and post those for people who really care about you to respond to while making the story engaging and creative.

Those 5000 “Friends” are not your friends. Imagine how hard it is staying friendly with the two real friends you have, and with your relatives. Never mind trying to be cool with 5000.

Long story short, Mr Makombe gave the youngsters, and the older ones too, a short lesson in keeping it real and sent them on their way. No human or animals were hurt in the sharing of that lesson.

One interesting way in which one such photo shoot ended was when a group of “Zvigure” (Nyau) dancers suddenly appeared on the path, again leading to much scattering of rented suits and equipment as the virtually naked and feathered dancers yelled and rampaged through what was left of the party.

Fitting, really. There is no one who has ever posted a picture of themselves as a Nyau dancer. They have successfully separated the person from the creation. It is time the Believers FC did the same.

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