Mid-September Roundup

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Hello

I’ve not been around here as much as I used to. I know. So, I figured I’ll be posting some things I work on at the office. I write about technology and startups for a living (for now) and a lot of what I come across is quite interesting. That’s what the roundup is about. Links to some of the interesting things happening at work and in Africa. I’m playing around with a Weekly/Monthly Writer Roundup as well but that depends on how well this goes.

By the way, thanks for sharing my last post, Love is like an Old VW Beetle, especially on Facebook. You guys rock. Site traffic was encouraging this week.

Anyway, here goes:

Borrow Money Online, Pay back Anytime

I worked on an interview with one of the startups disrupting the credit facilities in Nigeria – Aella Credit. The interview was with one of the founders. They’ve been able to come up with a way to lend out money using Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN). And it’s all done online. Who knew Nigerians loved borrowing money so much? The company’s had a 300% growth rate and no defaulters so far.

Red Devil News in Pidgin

I discovered a Manchester United Twitter handle that tweets out commentary and Red Devil news, all in pidgin english. And iIt’s done really well. Couldn’t stop laughing at some of the captions. Perfect for Friday binge reading. I curated some of my favorites here.

Ghanaian App Starter Pack

I had to dive into Ghanaian news sites, interviews and what not just to get this article right. At one point, I started reading about power outages in the country. Turns out, I have a perfectionist side when it comes to my writing. Guess they were right; when you write, you discover yourself.

That’s it for now. Enjoy yourself. Take #longwalks and try some #stargazing this weekend. It’ll be fun.

Photo Credit: Orangeadnan via Compfight cc

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Love is like an old VW Beetle

3am. It’s late. I’m tired. I should be sleeping. But my muse keeps odd hours. What’s a writer to do?

Today, I’m talking about love.

Wait, come back!

I promise to TRY to be brief.

Comfy? Good. Here goes….

Love means different things to a lot of people. Personally, I like to think of love like this:

beetle

Whenever I see the original Volkswagen Beetle, a lot of memories flood my heart. You see, my dad’s first car was a Beetle.

I remember the days when my dad would drive me and my sister to school on rainy days. It could cross any type of road and get you to your destination. That old Beetle took us on several 3 hour trips to the village and we never had a flat tire.

Love is rugged.

This beetle also required patience. The car isn’t particularly a runner. I can’t remember it ever doing above 80km/hr at any time. So our trips were usually longer than normal. But it just made the journey sweeter because I would fall asleep to the sound of my parents talking and those conversations somehow played out in my dreams. I can’t tell you how good that felt.

I remember my dad used to drive my mom to the market at Mile 12 and wait for hours in the Beetle, reading the dailies while she hunted for affordable groceries. That was my dad at his most patient. He never did that in his second car.

Love is patient.

The Beetle is like a souvenir of the best years of my parent’s marriage. My folks had the best marriage in the world, at least until my dad made enough money and got a new car. It seems strange but I can’t think of any time my folks were happy in the new car.

I remember the door bolts were weak and it took quite an effort to make the locks click in place. I would climb into the passenger seat , jam the door but my dad would tell me it wasn’t locked.

“Open it again and jam it.” He’d say. Meanwhile, this was a Beetle. There were no fancy red indicators or beeping sounds to warn you when the door wasn’t properly locked. Years of experience had helped him recognise the sound of the locks clicking in place. I remember before I hit my two digit years, I would drop my bag and use both hands to swing-jam the door just to make it lock.

Love takes time.

I remember this car needed warming every day. My dad had a routine. He’d warm it first thing in the morning, check the oil and wash the body and tires. Every.single.day.

But some days, the Beetle would not start despite the routine care. And then, I and the neighbours’ kids would eagerly help him push-start the car. It was such a big win whenever the car growled to life as we strained against it with our little arms.

Love takes work.

If my parents didn’t separate, this would be their 33 year anniversary. But they did. Immediately the old Beetle was traded for a new car, that was the beginning of the end.

Forever the old VW Beetle will have a special place in my heart.

What made this car special, and what makes love special, is its ruggedness. Its simple minded ability to keep going regardless of the situation.

Whenever I think of love, the real kind, I always fall back to this definition – the old Beetle kind.

Stubborn, dependable, rugged. Not perfect, maybe not a looker but, if I’m looking for a ride on the longest journey of my life, I wouldn’t think twice about hopping in the VW Beetle.

I feel the same way about love.

It must be with stargazing and longwalks, though. 😀