Greetings with love from Zimbabwe

in #introduceyourself5 years ago (edited)

On July 28 1999, I was 14 years old and just 18 days after my birthday when I heard the news that was to keep me disturbed for a long time and had me start to ask a lot of questions about ambition. Two boys, one of the same age as me and the other one a year older, had frozen to death on a Sabena Airlines Airbus A330 flying from Conakry in Guinea to Brussel in Belgium. Their mission, if they survived, was to find for themselves a better quality of life in Europe but they also knew that being stowaways under the right-hand wheel bay of the Brussels headed plane could be the last journey they ever took and so it was. Below is the English translation of the letter discovered in their bag, originally written in imperfect French and copied as is from Wikipedia;

Excellencies, Messrs. members and officials of Europe, We have the honorable pleasure and the great confidence in you to write this letter to speak to you about the objective of our journey and the suffering of us, the children and young people of Africa. But first of all, we present to you life's most delicious, charming and respected greetings. To this effect, be our support and our assistance. You are for us, in Africa, those to whom it is necessary to request relief. We implore you, for the love of your continent, for the feeling that you have towards your people and especially for the affinity and love that you have for your children whom you love for a lifetime. Furthermore, for the love and meekness of our creator God the omnipotent one who gave you all the good experiences, wealth and ability to well construct and well organize your continent to become the most beautiful one and most admirable among the others.Messrs. members and officials of Europe, we call out for your solidarity and your kindness for the relief of Africa. Do help us, we suffer enormously in Africa, we have problems and some shortcomings regarding the rights of the child.In terms of problems, we have war, disease, malnutrition, etc. As for the rights of the child in Africa, and especially in Guinea, we have too many schools but a great lack of education and training. Only in the private schools can one have a good education and good training, but it takes a great sum of money. Now, our parents are poor and it is necessary for them to feed us. Furthermore, we have no sports schools where we could practice soccer, basketball or tennis. This is the reason, we, African children and youth, ask you to create a big efficient organization for Africa to allow us to progress. Therefore, if you see that we have sacrificed ourselves and risked our lives, this is because we suffer too much in Africa and that we need you to fight against poverty and to put an end to the war in Africa. Nevertheless, we want to learn, and we ask you to help us in Africa learn to be like you.
Finally, we appeal to you to excuse us very, very much for daring to write this letter to you, the great personages to whom we owe much respect. And do not forget it is to you whom we must lament about the weakness of our abilities in Africa. Written by two Guinean children, Yaguine Koita and Fodé Tounkara.

Source: Yaguine Koita and Fodé Tounkara, Wikipedia

Hello Steemians, my name is Tafadzwa DuToit Nyamande and I'm from Zimbabwe, a country once regarded as the breadbasket of Africa also reputed to have one of the most basically educated population in Africa. As I grew up, the world from my perspective was divided into two, the one that I saw daily being lived by fellow black people and then the other on TV. Through TV, I observed how other people can live in more beautiful houses than ours, drive cars that I don't see around me, have meals with tables full of all kinds of foods and basically seeming to be from a dream world. My parents told me that if I read books and do well at school, I will escape to a land such as those I saw on TV, America and England topping the list. There are many such as me, and the late two boys I mentioned above, who believed that Western countries represented the epitome of success in this world and that without them, we could suffer beyond imagination. Today, I want nothing more than contributing towards positve change in my country and not to permanently reside anywhere else even though I can visit for periods to network and learn if need be.

With the time of cause, reality dawned on me that no such perfect world exists and that poverty and scarcity are everywhere in the world at different degrees. I began to appreciate how interconnected we are despite geographic location on earth and that all the great countries were built by men through sheer willpower, care for others, self-interest and most importantly knowledge. Consequently, I then gave myself the task of learning through whatever means I can get, what this knowledge is that makes some people live better than others and I could say a lot but the bottom line lies in willpower and the ability to use our own minds in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Now, if the mind has such power to change people's lives for the better, why are many still suffering and why so many never realise this? Knowledge is the key that unlocks the mind to infinite possibilities and knowledge is handed over throughout generations and improved upon through willpower, care for others, material gain and self-interest. For the same reasons that knowledge is propounded, it is also deliberately withheld by those with the power to do so. The birth of the internet dispersed much knowledge to the world and yet the control element continues to be a threat thus blockchain technology to the rescue and this is what led me to Steemit.

I am here because I KNOW that there are people who possess an abundance of knowledge in different fields and willing to do something about it, to change the world for the better. I have a simple life purpose, to help as many people in my country as I can, with practical knowledge that they can apply with minimum resources to sustainably improve the quality of their lives. How though?

Enough research has been done on the historical value of the cannabis plant and it's reputed 25 000 plus uses, countable of whose practical applications are being implemented in several countries at varying degrees. The industry is fast growing and expectations are high as the legalisation domino effect takes effect. The table below breaks down the potential uses, it's worth noting that each of these uses is virtually available for humanity's benefit in all parts of the world since the cannabis plant can grow almost anywhere including arid regions.

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-28 at 10.38.54.jpeg

This list excludes the flowers, leaves and stems from which a powerful chemical compound called CBD, either on its own or combined with THC works to bring homeostasis to the human body through the recently discovered endocannabinoid system. Today, there is irrefutable scientific evidence of the benefits of cannabis medically and it looks like we are only getting started. In this post, however, I want to focus on those uses which I see as of an urgent need for Zimbabwe's situation and other developing nations in Africa.

Zimbabwe attained independence from British colonial rule in 1980, reaching the height of economic prosperity in the early 90s then spiralling downwards in a wave of downturns owing to radical economic policies amongst many other causes as typical of African nations. Currently, this reputed peaceful country opened up for business by relaxing previous restrictive laws for foreign investment and introducing legislation that's in line with global trends such as the legalisation of cannabis for medical and research purposes in April 2018. Following the end of the Robert Mugabe regime whose notable successes albeit controversial, was the land reform program which redistributed land to previously marginalised communities, there are numerous opportunities to shape up the economy using cannabis and hemp as I will outline below. The country is naturally endowed with a great climate, legendary sunsets, minerals and happy but hungry people.


Hemp is a the non-narcotic cannabis family plant that is used for industrial purposes and produces a fibre that has immense functionality in making textiles. It's estimated that about 25% of all pesticides in the world go to cotton growing and cotton demands multiple times the ammount of water required for industrial hemp to grow. Hemp textiles are more durable , healthier, comfy to wear and do not lose shape over time. The Zimbabwean cotton industry was developed by the British Cotton Growing Association in the 1920s to reduce Britian's dependence on American cotton under oversight by the Cotton Research Industry Board (CRIB). The 1950s was a consolidation phase for the cotton industry mainly spearheaded by 3 large companies including the British company, David Whitehead Textiles. The 1980s was a period of rapid expansion in the clothing and textile industry due to:
*A range of export and investment facilitation and promotion schemes
*Zimbabwe's central location in the Southern African region
*A well establish and relatively new infrustructure
*A low cost but relatively highly educated labourforce
In 1991, the World Bank/IMF structural adjustment programme and the vulnerabilty of this industry led it to succumb to a downfall which affected the welfare of many people. By 1999, a total of 100 clothing firms and 6 textile firms had permanantly shut down although the larger firms continued to recieve investment for the export market. Heyperinfaltion followed and the the cash crisis eventually brought the industry to is knees by around 2010.

Zimbabwe’s textile and clothing sub-sectors consist of three components: production and ginning of cotton, the transformation of lint into yarn and fabric, and the conversion of fabric and yarn into garments. Today, only a few 30-60% capacity companies are left who had well established markets in SADC, COMESA, European Union and the USA and or which get financing from South African exporters. My conlusion is that, the textile industry in Zimbabwe in now a shadow of its former self and unlike in developed countries, there is no incentive to protect this industry and producing textiles from hemp will certainly revamp the industry in new creative ways and help the welfare of thousands who are now jobless.

Today, tonnes of baled second hand clothes are imported into the country and flea markets have mushroomed virtualy everywhere, where people flock to buy anything from a second hand underwear or bra to worn out Hard Rock Cafe tshits for affordable amounts like $1 or $2. Much of the rural and traditionally agrarian community has moved to the urban areas to join the struggle to survival and contribute their share to the confusion. I believe that these people and many others should be out there actively involved in the growing of hemp for the new Zimbabwean Textile industry.


Second hand clothes bales in Zimbabwe



Building material

Hemp hurds mixed with lime binds to form hempcrete, a building material that sequastrates carbon, absolutely environmentaly friendly, lost cost (assuming easy availabilty of the hemp hurds) and can be built by anyone with little skill involved save for the structural beams. I cannot begin to make you understand how dire the housing issue is in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural areas where the majority still lives in mud brick and thatch houses and there are schools with only an office for a building and the rest learn under a tree os some lousy shade that looks like it can collapse any moment. Many schools, including the urban schools, have to resort to 'hot-sitting', two classes sharing the same classroom, some attending schoolmin the morning and some in the afternoon. This is desipte the parents owning enough land to grow hemp and prepare their own low cost building material using hempcrete.

Source: Hemprete, Wikipedia

Forms of housing for the poor in Zimbabwe


Rural school.JPGrural school.jpg150917-huts-at-the-centre.pngFarm huts and equipment Zimbabwe_Martin Addison, Flickr CC_CROP.jpg


Zimbabwe used to run one of Africa’s biggest paper manufacturing plant at Hunyani Pulp & Paper Company, which had a capacity to produce 150 tonnes of paper per day. All paper manufacturing companies in Zimbabwe have since closed and the country, including its neighbours, Zambia, Malawi & Tanzania import all their paper needs. The excuse it that our forests are too smallk to supply our paper needs. This is definitely not a sustainable solution and hemp can come directly to the rescue with many long-term benefits and not a single tree cut down.


Cannabis' potency as a medicine and a food to maintain optimum health can not be underscored. From ancient times cannabis has been used in Zimbabwe for medicinal, recreation and cultural/ritualistic purposes. Today, Zimbabwe's health sector is in a deplorable state for the masses and everyday people are dying of what should not be killing. This is perhaps the most important and urgent matter to be addressed. The people should derive the maximum benefit they can to save themselves from increasing chronic illness that are proliferating including but not limited to cancer and HIV. Cancer deaths in Zimbabwe are increaing at an alarming rate and the people's options are limited. Little or no relief from the effects of chemotherapy, asuming one can even afford it in the first place. Cannabis' place in African developing economies' healthcare sector is really and truly yet to be discovered!

Just like the two boys I mentioned at the beigining, I realise and accept the superiority of the progress being made in the in the USA, Canada, Egypt and many other places that have managed to progress with research, fight prohibitive regulation and taken the lead in the reemergeance of cannabis and its numerous uses in it's numerous forms. I therefore implore you, the steemit community, to support me in my endevour to firstly educate the people about this gold mine that they have no idea they are seating on. I await Steemit confirmation for a a page dedicated to this cause.

I am here on Steemit, to seek collaboration, advice, guidance on creating the first cannabis educational institution in Zimbabwe which will serve to consult on the various uses of cannabis & hemp as well as provide an optimally stocked library for the benefit of the Zimbabwean academic community, the people (especially young people and farmers), and regulatory authorities. I plan to organise Steemit backed conferences, seminars and open days for schools featuring experts in the various cannabis/hemp related industries. Moreover, as the industry emerges here in Zimbabwe, we can only look outside the country for partnerships in establishing and developing the business potential here in Zimbabwe. I foresee Zimbabwe taking the lead in Souther Africa and once again reclaiming its position as the true breadbasket of Africa as far as the cannabis/hemp industry is concerned.

Just to prove I'm a real person I took this picture of me holding a page I on which I was joting notes planning this post.taf steem.jpeg

I would like to give thanks to @ganjafarmer for encouraging me to stay here and giving lots of hope to my mission. There is so much to talk about and share with you about my country and its beautiful people. I dream of hosting a Steemfest at one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls soonest and my sencere apologies for making such a long introductory post. Those with ears, please hear.


Nice to meet you @tafgongthe1st!
Welcome to a wonderful community.
I, along with canna-curation team, look forward to helping you. ;)

Thank you @rebeccaryan. It's encouraging to know I have a new family to count on. I'm currently preparing a project blueprint which I will post next and that I look forward to you being a valuable contributor to. I will also let you know as soon as the dedicated account is up.

I am so happy for you to be moving ahead with your project @tafgongthe1st! It so exciting to bring opportunities to the people of Zimbabwe. ;)

Beautiful. I'm submitting this to @canna-curate for curation.

And your dream of help for the community is amazing. @greenunion and I am both backing you.

I'll update when I've placed you on steemauto but expect votes to come.

Let's get started! Can't wait for @greenunion to be in your country and helping!

Thank you, buddy, still climbing the bottom part of the learning curve around here.

Well I'd here to help! Just let me know!

And yeah another smaller post about each one of the subjects you listed.

Great post but alot of people are overwhelmed by the first part...

And let's get you doing more here!

Hi @ganjafarmer, I took hid of your advice, how about a project blueprint by which those who want to contribute can clearly see where they can jump in. Look forward to my next post in which I will try to lay it out in that manner.

In what ways were you, for one, overwhelmed by the first part?

Well the letter was very hard to read. And kinda took things off in another direction. The rest of it was great and can't wait to have you apart of the community!

Let me know when you have time to talk.

That's alright thanks, let me get in touch on Discord just now.

Wow, keep it up! Welcome to Steemit!

Some questions:

  1. What is the legal status in your country? One tend to think that in countries from Africa drugs must be seen with very bad eyes.
  2. What does the community think about drugs in general there?
  3. Does lot of people consume it there?

Yes, all your points are valid and can shape economies like it is happening in lot of places right now, like Oregon, California, Canada, Colombia, Uruguay. We must fight to make it come true.

Big enemies ahead too.

Greetings from Argentina! And good luck in your journey!

Thank you @hijosdelhombre. Wow, Argentina! Greetings right back at you! Well, let me address the Africa issue first then I will narrow it down to Zimbabwe. As you know Africa has many countries and I know a few, particular Southern African ones, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Traditionally marijuana is not seen as a bad drug but is acceptable for occasional recreational use. Despite being illegal in these countries people generally smoke openly in certain places, many places. Some traditional settlements are even tacitly allowed to cultivate and they smoke heavily, daily. A good example is the Tonga tribe in North Western Zimbabwe who reside along the Zambezi River.

When I have travelled to these neighbouring countries, in urban areas it's very easy to spot a place or a guy who is selling. The tradition is that, where you buy, you roll and share unless if its a place thats in the heart of the city. Violent busts and incarcerations are rare. We smoke together with the policemen and the soldiers but in respectable confinements. You just need to show that you have made an effort to get away from other people then you light up and smoke. Many people sell for years in the same place, known by the community. The community looks down on the abuse of marijuana and certainly abhors any hard drugs and they are hard to come by. I have never seen anyone snorting cocaine but there is an upcoming generation which is beginning to get more experimental with codeine.

Going up to East Africa and West Africa, the few friends I have from Ghana, Kenya, Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan all have long-standing smoking traditions which the law may attempt to thwart in one way or the other but still remains pervasive enough to gain a certain level of acceptance but not encouragement.

I am not too sure up North Africa, but I know Morroco is the biggest supplier of hashish in the world, and many people's welfare is supported by hashish trade. You can imagine how much they smoke it then.

Back to Zimbabwe, our government legalised cannabis for medical, research, import and export in April 2018. I would say that there obvious negative attitudes towards smoking from certain people due to addiction fears and legality issue. Yes a lot of people consume it for recreational and spiritual purposes, medical use is rare and hardly known and there not appreciated by non-smokers.

Welcome to Steem, @tafgongthe1st!

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Source: Boys letter. Wikipedia

Yes I cheated and used this post for a link.

You can certainly list all the sources and or resources at the bottom of your post.

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Let me make the changes now, do you have a link on where I can learn the rest of these skills?

This is an excellent introduction!

I would love to see you build on this in your next 50 to 100 posts by explaining the state of your current progress, what your next step is, and specific plans to continue.

As with all great projects, trials must fall. What are your current blocks to progress and what do you see as oncoming trials.

Do you have collaborators? If so, please introduce them.

Also, are you aware that here in the state of Kentucky (where I live), in the USA, there is a growing endeavor to grow hemp for all these uses. The state is, of course, somewhat at war with the federal government but that does seem to be progressing well, just as you mentioned.

You might find more information and examples by studying Kentucky and some of the other states. Colorado and Oregon come to mind immediately.

My own husband is going back and forth across the idea of growing hemp. We currently rent the land we are on and the state does not allow hemp to be planted on rented land at the moment. Which with all the legal issues, it is easy to understand.

It seems we have much in common in a very funny way. And to think, as I recall, you are stuck with me following you about all because you promoted a post in a Discord Group that has become fairly abandoned.

Steemit is full of people who can help you connect to the next step along the way. So be sure to share how your steps are progressing and what type of resources you believe you need. I am sure you know that not every movement toward progress comes by way of money. So, be clear. List the objects needed, list the types of people needed.

Stay encouraged. One step, one post at a time.

Thank you for the encouragement @marillaane, I noticed my comments on your posts are being hidden. I will certainly talk about the trials and blocks as soon as we engage on the planning with the community here. Please look forward to my next post which lays out the plan.

Hmm, I cannot find any comment of yours hidden on my blog. This is a good thing because I especially enjoyed your comment on my 40, 50, 60 post.

Sometimes, especially in Busy, not all of the comments display immediately. I find it annoying. At the top of the page see if there is a block of text that reads something like, "show parent comment" and "show original post"

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work and more conversations.

Oh and more about the world you live in. All the things you don't want to go unnoticed.

That's the same one which was hidden, I guess it was only briefly then. There too many of those things, including art, sculpture and music! So much to share.

you better start making 2 posts a day then ;-)

This is what I did to move the hemp project along. This is what you should know about my life and culture ... oh and you should also check out freewrites with @mariannewest and @ulogs to do a #ulog ... ulogs would fit nicely with this is my life/culture posts.

hmmm and there's been a lot of struggles with the new release that is causing some things to be dropped and delayed. Like I could have sworn I posted my reply to your comment on my blog. I wonder if it's still waiting in my phone for me to finish it ... I will look ... at any rate a reply is on the way!

moved to the right level

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Awesome thanks so much for changing your world. This is huge and beautiful! Voted and sharing! Followed too!

Thank you @ganjafarmers for supporting. I look forward to sharing the experience with you. Look forward to my next post which will be a blueprint that you can identify your expertise fit which you will be more than welcome to be a valuable contributor to.

Welcome to Steemit @tafgongthe1st!

I wish you much success and hope you find Steemit to be as rewarding and informative as I have.

Here are some links you might find useful.
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Oh yea, I have upvoted you and followed you. Many blessings!

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