Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Keeper: A Namibia Comic

Hi ya'll,

So it has been a moment since the last time I posted anything, really!

Damn, its but less than three months before the year ends and I have not fulfilled my blogging promises. In any case, such is life, some plans tend to take a back seat to others, or are there even others. 'Nuf said!

This post is about a really great project that some young Namibians have been working on. According to the Authors (Silas Nangolo Mentos and Shaimemanya Ndeutapo Kondjashili) of the Namibian comic book; Keeper (wish i could get the cool font here), they met at the defacto skate park in Windhoek - Augustineum Secondary School - things happened and the idea blossomed. The comic book has great artwork and I can say that I love it. Being that this is Issue # 1 and Vol 1 I think we have much to expect.

@Shingapi eyeing Vol 1 Issue 1 of Keeper

Should I tell of what the contents are? Naah I think it best you buy a copy for yourself, it costs N$30.00, now that is a not even a bargain, its a freebee!!

To get your copy, contact: @Nkondjashili

I hope they are not sold out btw!



Saturday, 26 November 2016

PyCon Zimbabwe 2016 in Harare

Hi ya'll,

So for the past few days I have been in Zimbabwe and I boy ohh boy... Firstly my trip here was delayed by two (2) hours!!!!! that pissed me off because at the time I was busy trying to get some food but at the same time I was being paranoid that I might get left behind. The reason is that the restaurant in the departures area does not seem to have a speaker, so all I would hear were faint sounds of announcements the message in them? I have no idea! What pissed me off more was that I was trying to eat this amazing cheese burger but couldn't enjoy it because I constantly had to question whether the flight is boarding or not. That's that thank goodness they had wine on the flight to Harare :-).

We arrived in Harare and to my surprise it was not as I would read in international media but exactly as my Zimbabwean friends told me: lovely, beautiful and the people uber nice! The only thing I knew was the address of where I was to go and then got into a Metered Taxi. The ride to the accommodation and venue (Zesa National Training Centre) for #PyConZim 2016 was educational as the Taxi driver took me through Mbare which according to him is the oldest suburb of Harare and those that come to Harare and never go there have never been to Harare. Towards the end I had to pay USD 40 from the Airport to Belvedere, I figured that was expensive but when in Harare (Rome) you know...

Day 1 of PyCon Zimbabwe was an amazing experience as I got to meet up with Humphrey and Anna my friends that I had made from PyConNA 2016 and part of the organising committee of this PyCon. I told them about my Taxi Ride and the cost there of and was duly informed that I might have gotten ripped off. Ohh well figures, that's what happens when you don't ask all these questions upfront, you tend to get ripped off :-D. Nonetheless, I respect your hustle Mr. Taxi Driver no hard feelings!

The keynote was amazing and very inspirational it was from Michael Place the Project Maintainer of SaltStack. The remainder of the day was filled with Django Girls and workshops. I attended a workshop on using Kivy to develop Android Applications. The cherry on the cake was the conference dinner for speakers and Django Girls coaches.. I will write a separate blog post about this one OMG!

Day 2 started off well and I must say one of the most inspirational talks gave me a quote that will join the list of quotes to live by "Don't be a problem Admirer, rather be a solution provider", it was by a gentleman from University of Zimbabwe, he self taught Python and used it to analyse Stock Market data great insights but they are still working to perfect it.

I also happen to be giving a talk on this day, I put on a brave face and when the time came I gave it my best and I think I did good, my only hope that I don't freeze (that didn't happen) so I guess the verdict is that I did good :-D. My Talk was on whether Developers should consider UX design within their projects.

There was so much more, I was live tweeting the event in parts and if you are interested please check out #pyconzim on Twitter and follow me on @shingapi

I will write about four (4) more posts about my time in Zimbabwe, for now it's breakfast time :-)

- PyCon Zim Conference Dinner
- Taking Local Transport in Harare
- Visiting the B2C Coworking space in Harare
- Tour of Harare


Thursday, 10 November 2016

A night to remember

Hi y'all,

So the other day I am sitting in my office doing some "work" of course! Bored to the core as the repetitive nature of some tasks can be. Time seemed to be moving so gat darn slow and the stack of papers seemed to have an auto-refill from HELL!

That was a side track the point is around 15h47 I get a call from a dear friend and partner in crime of mine. Yes! I am well aware of how precise that time is, I check while writing this post. The gist of all this blahh blahh is that I got an invite be her plus one (1). Being I was bored I was ready to leave the office. The only thing that kept me in the office was the idea of eventually being stuck in traffic for a few minutes to an hour while we battle congestion on the way to the venue.

After about two (2) hours of anxiously waiting it out we made our way to the lovely River Crossing Lodge just on the outskirts of Windhoek (5 minutes) on the airport road, located on a 6500 hectare game reserve. That place has an amazing view of Windhoek and surrounding mountains. For some reason it reminds me of being at the Cattle Post and having a proper braai and cold ones :-). In true Namibian fashion most of the guests were late, but my friend and I being the odd people out of a Nation, we showed up a few minutes early, about thirty (30) I think, well I know it was thirty minutes: I checked! The birthday girl (lady) arrived and so did the majority of guests. The reception was a sundowner/ red skies and champagne affair, we introduced ourselves and a few words from the the attendees started the event off on a good note ... at this point I skipped so much but I will make this plug... we picked up the professional photographer on our way to River Crossing, a mini photo-session and it was time to enter the venue.

Our table was set in a room and it seemed as though we were the only group in this magnificent room that had a chandelier from the gods and a central fireplace to melt any heart: well at least any liker of things, lovely flower arrangements and lined with bottles of Moet and Chandon!

I had so much fun that I ended up carrying out a bottle of Moet as we departed the lovely Lodge! I can't wait for the next trip out to River Crossing.

On a side note, river crossing is not accessible to Ferrari's, sports cars in general or drop suspension vehicles. But the view from up there is totally worth it. They have this pool that sits between to dinning areas and a balcony that overlooks the Aus mountains. (I might add a picture or two sometime soon).

Thank you to my friend and her friends friends, it was indeed nice meeting y'all,



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Moonlight and All that I/It/He Is-Was-Is; repeat!

Hi ya'll,

(Photo Credit: Gabriel Nhinda)

I sit here wondering but pondering really of what has become of the child. Bewildered as I reminisce of all the freedom and carefree spirited-ness that a child embodies. Have you ever just thought, I mean really honesty thought and analysed your thoughts of the boy/girl child you are?

I don't know, but there is something fragile about growing-up rich in fear, fear of failure, fear in success (whatever that even means!), fear in all things life. Somethings make no sense to me most times and I choose to ignore them. Why? you may ask! I see no reason why I should spend time wondering why I do not understand other peoples behavior at times, after all as a friend once put it "They don't care anyway". But back to my initial thought. There is something about the moonlight that simply takes me to a place of peace, a place where I could swear I was much younger and have no worries or none that I could care to worry about in that moment. As a child I was many things, but what I never was, was involved, in other peoples opinions of me that is. Then every so often technology catches up to me and I remember exactly where in time I am and more so, who I have become. Carefree in the moment, moonlight kissed as the pale dimmed light hits the dark ebony night darkness, crickets creek, a dog barks every so often, yet I ponderrr rrr. I wonder, does peace ever come to one once in a while, has life plateaued for most? Have I eaten lunch today? Then again the plethora of worries quickly rush the calm of night. Mmmaannn growing up aint easy, But, butttttttt; The journey is amazing.

Life is an Onyandi, I could swear it is, you grow up sheltered and nestled in the bust of your mothers kitchen ("hekupe okutya oye ngaa nyoko" - Oshikwanyama Proverb), well fed, protected but the camouflaged leafs until you ripen. As time passed by the umbilical cord that once held you on so tightly loosens or is it that the onyandi simply grows strong enough? idk the point is; it falls to the ground. The leafs that once sheltered you from predator birds et. al. wilting; green-olive-orange- brown- fallen! Under a false sense of bigness, know-it-all, self-riotousness and other me me me's you explore the world, only to have a goat eat you up, shit you out and now you are covered in Shit!!!! Home is the one place you wish to go back to. But, where is home in this Shit view to life you have? eventually the the rains come and in a storm you are caught, fertile soils engulf you, you feel a swell in your tummy and roots shortly begin to for, a beautiful shoot grows from your core, goats again! damn-it, shoot is gone again!. The second rains come and the shoot sprouts, leafs grow a lime green and the face of your father imprints on it, now you know! Then you remember all the talks given at the kitchen, and the process repeats;

     "As time passed by the umbilical cord that once held you on so tightly loosens or is it that the                onyandi simply grows strong enough? idk the point is; it falls to the ground. The leafs that once        sheltered you from predator birds et. al. wilting; green-olive-orange- brown- fallen!"

The one thing we seem to neglect and see is that, leafs are part of a tree and just like we have roots, the tree from where this fruit fell still lives! The moonlight reminds me of that time, hehehehehe aahhh lekwata, oopps ovalumenhu ihaayolo eengandja!

I can stop being a Namib-desert horse now, roots await to be formed, and surely ...



Leipzig Throw Back

Hi Ya'll,

So it has been a moment since my last post, although I did say that I would blog more often. I guess I fell off the wagon AGAIN. This time I will not promise anything but I shall try to keep my blog posts more frequent.

I was going through my hard-drive the other day and I saw some pictures from Leipzig, I mean that was such a long time ago I can barely believe it has been more than 2 years since I lived in Germany.

Below is a picture of me playing some Basketball in the Clara Zetkins Park with a group of really cool ballers from Leipzig. They have a Facebook group called Zocke im ClaraPark, they organise pick-up games every now and then, but if you go to the courts you will find someone there. what I did was just go jogging through the park and if I found somebody there then, then I played else I continued with a jog.

(Photo credit: I have no idea)

Pictures really do bring back some memories.

Anyhow, twas nice to see this picture.



Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Connecting Eenhana

Hi Ya;ll,

So a while back (last year) I blogged about the connecting Eenhana project. Well we are it again.

We have been in Eenhana since Yesterday (29 March 2016) setting up and doing maintenance on the remaining nodes. I must say by the end of the day, we had accomplished a lot. Firstly, we conducted some Basic Networks Workshop with; Active Youths from the Eenhana Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre, personnel from the Vocational Training Centre, Ohangwena Community Radio Station, Community members, etc.

This was a welcomed sight for me as it gave me the chance to stand in-front of a different audience to give a lecture on Networks; a subject matter that I enjoy!

Unbeknownst to me, we had to give the workshop in Oshiwambo (which is most spoken indigenous language in Namibia) and English. The last time somebody asked me to explain anything Technology related in Oshiwambo was years back in my undergrad when my grandma (I suspect being pushed my DAD) queried what I was studying at University. The answer to that question was something in the lines of "Ohandiilongele ounongononi wokulonga noi topatopifo, oshoyo nyee ee Computer handilongifwa kovanhu no nghee hatudulu oku puupaleka elongifo lado" (which roughly translates to "I am studying the science of computer and how they are used by people and how to best make them easier for people to use efficiently")  NB: Note the roughly translates! To this my grandma replied "kandeshi [girls name] naye osho tiilongele osho, hapo yee okuli kokakoligi keemwedi nee, omolwashike ovo tolilongele eedula adishe odo?" translated roughly "Kandeshi [who is my grandma's neighbours daughter's niece-in-law] is also studying the same thing but a college and she will only be there for 4 months, why do you have to study for so long?"; this is the point I knew dad had something to do with this line of questions from grandma, because according to him (then) I was wasting time and when I am done playing around with computers, I should let him know so I can go study something of real value i.e. Medicine, Engineering, Education or even become a pastor (This is because during dad's time these were the fields considered real fields that result in rewarding careers).

In any case, don't mind the side soap episode, we conducted the workshops in both languages, I was the first to go, giving a class on Basic Networks, starting all the way from Data, Information, Data Communication Systems, Data Representation, Categories of Computer Networks, Standards in Computer Networks (we have a laugh about this as I made the reference to how we are raised in the Northern regions to always greet everyone we pass EVEN strangers!). Another example (activity) that lifted spirits was when we played the whisper and pass the message on game, to illustrate why one of the characteristics of networks is Accuracy BTW: By the time the message reached the final person, it had done a complete 180 degree! :D 

The sessions that followed were led by Sebulon David who is from the Glowdom Foundation a local NGO that aims to use ICTs for involving the local Eenhana community at large and those "towns" and villages around. He gave his presentation on a deeper level to networks (on a basic level), about IP addresses etc.

But I think the best part of the day was when Shetu Sheetekela, a final year Computer Science and Mathematics student at the University of Namibia (UNAM), gave a Basic Networks Configuration practical workshop session. Armed with the theory from the morning session, the participants, setup a peer-to-peer network to share music, folders, and other files. After a successful peer-to-peer practical, Shetu and Manfred Makawa (an Alumni of the School of Computing at UNAM [Well he will graduate later in April so technically he is still a student :D :D :D but don't tell him I said that :D]), setup one of the Nano Stations and then connected about 3 - 4 laptops to show how the same setup as on peer-peer topologies can be used for when there are multiple peers and even wirelessly. This had the participants wanting for more, so some of them took control of the laptops to see how this actually works. This was followed by so many inquisitive questions about networks, how they improve our lives and how exactly that setup was done.

In the background, Manfred, Anastasia Shipepe (Who is my colleague at the School of Computing), Astofel Henok (An Employee of the TATE Institute of Technology), Sebulon and myself did some Administrative work in the background. Also preparing for the next day, I guess technically that would be today. We unmounted some of the existing Nano Stations and Mesh Potatoes to reconfigure those that were not working optimally. By the way, we just finished doing that! yay Team!

Overall, I would say that we went over the expectations I had for YESTERDAY, TODAY, will be more technical work on how to setup nodes and how to troubleshoot them, additionally, DNS server configurations will also be part and parcel of the day, if we have enough time we could start on Basic Web Development with Annastasia.

Tomorrow should see another blissful day of collaboration, innovation and technology!


Monday, 1 February 2016

Python on Windows

Hi ya'll,

So in my previous post I wrote about the PyCon Namibia 2016 conference that took part from 25 - 29 January 2016.

I had some people actually send me e-mails asking on how to install Python on Windows. And this post will give a short way to install and start using Python on Windows.

The following steps assume that you have internet access on your laptop and that you have administrative privileges on the computer you wish to install Python on.

Additionally it also assumes that you know a little about basic systems administration on Windows or at the very least a power user.


FYI: This only works for Windows 7 and newer versions

To install Python on Windows:

  1. Go to The Python.org website under Downloads and Download the Windows executable installation file 
  2. Get the 2.7.x version although there are developers that are trying to push for the 3.x versions, I still feel that the latest version might not be as stable (then again me likes 2.7)
  3. Once the download is complete:
    • Double click on the executable file to install
    • Make sure to acknowledge the Windows security prompt
    • Go through the wizard leaving all settings to their defaults
    • Once installation is complete, click finish
  4. Python is installed on your Windows Operating system.

So now that you have install Python you are wondering how do I do the basic tutorials to learn the language?

Well you need to use the command prompt. To open command prompt:
1. Click on the Windows button on your keyboard and type cmd then press enter, this will open the command prompt Window.
2. Press Windows + X, this will display a menu to your left, select command prompt from that menu.

Now that you have the command prompt open type "python" (without the quotation marks).

You will get an error, this is because to command prompt does not have the environmental variable to run python from it.

To solve this and make sure you can use python via command prompt edit the environmental variables, as follows:

  1.  Press Windows + X
  2. Select System
  3. Select Advanced system settings (on your left, under Control Panel Home)
  4. Under the advanced tab, select Environmental Variables (at the very bottom of the system properties window).
  5. If you don't have the path already available, create one else edit the existing one.
  6. To create a new User Variable
    • Click on New
    • Enter a Variable name: "path"
    • Enter the Variable value: "C:\Windows\System32;C:\Python27;C:\Python27\python.exe;C:\Python27\Scripts\;C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\django\bin;"
Don't mind the "C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\django\bin;", we will use this in the tutorial to come on getting Django setup.

Now for testing, if you have your command prompt open, close it and open it again.

Type "python", you should get something like >>>; this means that you can start using python again.

I hope this was useful, leave a comment if not or yes.