Whoever is reading this might know just how dangerous it can be to trust anything on the Internet. The reasons are numerous. No need to labour and explain them. Malawi's newest blog Kwathunetwork (‘Kwathu‘ means ‘home’) is a place for discussing the theme “Knowledge is good only if it is shared. Old Wisdom, New Lessons.’ The blogger whose name is elusive proudly links to Malawi sites and warns about the Internet (*Note: the original article was written by Chippla Vandu.):
The Internet might be one of the greatest inventions in modern history, but it could also be a very dangerous place. All sorts of sinister activities go on within its humongous maze of uncontrolled information—credit card fraud as well as other forms of monetary fraud, online suicides, illicit chat room activities with minors and these days, online bullying.
The anonymity, which the Internet offers, appears to sometimes create demons out of gentlemen and women. Truth be told though, no online activity is ever really done anonymously. Neither pseudonyms nor anonymous aliases provide perfect covers for individuals’ online activities.
For example, the blogger questions the claim that Philip Emeagwali is the “father of the Internet” and goes on to name media houses that have relied on information on his website:
In an article written a year and four months ago, this blog openly questioned the so-called achievements of this Nigerian-American scientist. Alas, for so many had already bought into the calculated hype—from New African magazine, which voted him the 35th greatest African ever, to the Nigerian government, which in January 2006 commemorated him with a stamp on which the words “Supercomputer Genius” appear.
CNN Student News also bought into the hype by declaring him “a father of the Internet” without providing any evidence for this other than stating that “he is recognized as one of the fathers of the Internet.” By whom, we are not told. This blogger sent requests to New African magazine as to the source of its information on this Nigerian-American scientist. To this day, a response is still being awaited.
This Nigerian-American scientist must have done a pretty good job in deluding so many. But we could all learn a thing or two from his tricks. Always try to independently verify information you come across online. Check with other sources and keep checking till you are able to corroborate the information at hand. All those fooled by this Nigerian-American scientist—by the way, his name is Philip Emeagwali—appear to have had one flaw. They all seem to have relied on the fraudulent information on his website. The need to verify information at hand becomes all too obvious.
Elsewhere, the blogger provides a bliblical view of Malawi politics and compares Malawi's president Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika and his predecessor Dr. Bakili Muluzi to the biblical Esau and Jacob. In a post titled, Let us Take Our Journey, the blogger explains that the biblical patriarch Esau set a marvelous example of bridge building between two people seemingly on a collision course. He became a transitional person of incredible capacity who looked beyond all the “ifs, ands and buts” of past hurts and grievances. Kwathunetwork wonders if Esau offers any lessons to Malawian politicians:
He had been snookered out of his birthright by a cunning foe, none other than his brother. Talk about too close for comfort and “in your face!” Yet after years of separation, Esau chose to make a difference and took the moderate course”. Will modern day Malawi, Dr Bingu Wa Mutharika and Dr Bakili Elison Muluzi have the same vision as Esau in dealing with their nemesis? Only time will tell, but their “then and there” is now! Whether they do or not, it is the voice of Esau that echoes the millennial refrain “this is the way, walk you in it.
Blogger graduates with distinction
Higher educational qualifications are a prized possession for most people including one of Malawi's active bloggers Clement Nthambazale Nyirenda who is graduating this month in at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College Campus) with Master of Science in Computer Engineering with distinction.
He acknowledges a number of people that have helped him get this far and describes himself as:
up-and-coming young academician,researcher and consultant in Computational Intelligence, Computer Networks and Reconfigurable Hardware systems. I am also a developer of Open Source Software. Of late, I have developed a huge interest in Grid Computing.
Congratulations from the Global Voices community!
It was great to have 8 guys from Lilongwe show up on a Sunday afternoon and discuss programming languages and trends. A lot of thanks Margaret Ngwira of Kamuzu College of Nursing for allowing us to use (or is it under-utilise) the Library computer room. There was an LCD projector and lots of space and computers ready to be used. We want to have such talks once a month so expect another one in May. Like I said, the second screencast was Putting Flickr on Rails, so I've Put the photos of the Rails event on Flickr.
Lake Malawi appears in blogs for its most unique species
Lake Malawi is “believed to contain more endemic fish species than any other lake in the world and the species are estimated to be 450–600 species.” A relatively new blogger Hastings Zidana dedicates his blog to talking about Lake Malawi biodiversity which he says are exposed to a variety of challenges. The fresh water lake, one of the most beautiful in the world has the Malawi cichlid fish and some varieties of mbuna found only here. It is a rare species.
Having been concerned with the lake biodiversity, Zidana has embarked on a special project calling for a management strategy to mitigate the implications of translocations on the fishery diversity of Lake Malawi:
Lake Malawi is one of those ecosystems which has suffered human impacts due to increasing settlements and farming activities near or in the shore line. This has affected the breeding grounds of many fish species including, the most totted Lake Malawi Tilapia commonly known as ‘Chambo“. As if this is not enough, the Lake Malawi ecosystem is also at the moment suffering from fish transfers or what ecologists call it fish translocations. This is happening mostly with the most colourful species which are commonly known as “Mbuna”. The high demand of the Malawian Mbuna to European and Asian markets has led fishermen to capture these tiny spcies as far as the northern waters and send them to the southern waters where they are freighted to outside markets. It is during these processes that some of the Mbuna species are dropped on the way and hence found to be where they do not belong.
Traffic Lights separate husband and wife
Traffic lights are known to be one of the key markers of modern-day cities. However, no one in Malawi noticed the gender dimension of traffic lights until early this year when Mzuzu, a city in Northern Malawi, had its first traffic lights. Ndagha writes a post about a joke resulting from the traffic lights in Mzuzu considered to be “gender insensitive.” The original joke is in Tumbuka and has been circulating amongst Malawians. The joke goes like this:
Husband and wife are are at traffic lights awaiting their turn to cross over.
Husband, slightly more knowledgeable about the traffic lights goings on goes:
Mwanakazi wane, tilindizge dankha pano. (My wife let us wait here).
Wife: Enya afumubane (Yes my husband)
Then comes the “green boy”
Hubby: Sono ni nyengo ya banalume pera, imwe mulindize dankha kuti pize kamunthu kanakazi apo. (Now it is time for me only, you my wife, wait for the female sign to come up)..
Wife: Enya a fumubane, imwe dangirani nitimusanganinge. (yes my husband,proceed ahead and i will catch up as soon as i am permitted to cross over)
Hubby crosses over
To their surprise, no female sign comes up and the two are on the opposite sides of the road.
Wife: Sono ine nijumphenge apa, pakuba nge mpha banalume pera pano (Will I be able to cross here, it seems this place is only for men).
The couple spent the whole day there awaiting a female sign for the lady to cross.