You might think blogging is simply a matter of writing good articles.
Oh no, believe you me, there is more to it than that. One needs to “market” one’s blog, otherwise how else do people know it exists? So to do this, I began an ‘ear ‘ear Facebook Page and set up a Twitter account. I knew all about Facebook but I knew nothing about Twitter!
B explained that Twitter is a bit like FB. One must gain as many ‘Followers’ as possible. To gain ‘Followers’ one follows other people first, in the hope that they will return the favour. Also, one needs to Tweet something every morning to tell the world that you are awake. B agreed to help me tweet as this is something that needs to be done regularly throughout the day!!!!
So off we went on Twitter! Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow…………everybody and anybody in the whole wide world!
Every morning our Tweeting begins by commenting on how the George mountain is looking, a sort of weather forecast! We smiled when we realised that each morning our forecast was being re-tweeted (shared) by @SA_Artists. Blow me down, one morning we noticed that @SA_Artists had tweeted a picture of MY mountain. Gosh, @SA_Artists must be in George!
Never being one for shyness, I sent a private message saying: “You are obviously in George, lets meet for tea!” Dragging B with me, we entered one of my favourite restaurants, Travelbugs. I had no idea what @SA_Artists looked like but she/he had said that they would recognise me. I walked into the restaurant and scanned the tables. There was a table with a single good looking man whose face lit up when he saw me. Glory, I had been thinking that @SA_Artists was a female. How delightfully wrong can you be?
Laughingly I asked: “@SA_Artists?”
“You got it – aka Kingsley Kruger!” he said standing up to shake my hand. I introduced B, and we ordered coffee.
Kingsley explained that @SA_Artists was an online independent platform, promoting South African Artists – actors, singers, dancers etc. He ran this together with Carel, who like B shared the tweeting.
“Yes, but why are you in George?” I asked
” Well in addition to @SA_Artists I also work for an organisation called Qualibooks Naledi. What I do, is act as a facilitator between companies that want to improve their BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) rating and under privileged schools. Companies are able to buy mobile libraries through Qualibooks.”
“Yeah, just imagine a complete library of books securely housed in a special mobile filing cabinet. These book are specific to each school, in their language and for the grades they cater for. I have just had the wonderful task of delivering a fabulous new library to a school in a George location. Wow, those kids faces make the whole thing so worthwhile. It’s like them opening their own special treasure chest!”
B and I looked at each other and simultaneously said: “Carte Blanche!”
“Did you see Carte Blanche last night?” He clearly hadn’t and I ploughed right on. “They spoke to the Headmaster of a rural secondary school. This Headmaster was a dynamic man who didn’t like the Matric marks his students had been getting. Nor did they! So he set out to raise their marks by giving extra classes. These students walked for miles to get to school early. They leave when it is still pitch dark outside and carried on well into the evening. They didn’t have electricity so they used candles. It made me realise how much we take for granted. And that Headmaster and those school children, those wonderful, magnificent school children, managed to raise their pass rates from 25% to 85%!”
“Wow!” Said Kingsley.
“Imagine how wonderful it would be…”
“….for Qualibooks to find someone to sponsor a library for them,” said B finishing my thought for me.
“That would be amazing,” Kingsley said, “What is the name of the school and whereabouts is it?”
“I can’t remember. But I know George Mazarakis, the producer and Derek Watts, the host of Carte Blanche. I’ll write to them both and find out.”
“Great and I will go sponsor hunting,” said Kingsley smiling
I wrote to George and Derek, their response was immediate. The headmaster is a Mr Nkululeko Msabane and the school is Baleni Senior Secondary School in Pondoland. With great satisfaction I sent off this information hoping that Kingsley would also have good results. Please let him find a sponsor. Please, please, please!
Three weeks later, B and I heard from Kingsley. “Were we free for breakfast?”
You bet your cotton pickin’ socks we were!
So Travebugs once more! We ordered our coffee and hot chocolate and then unable to contain my self, I blurted out: “Tell me, did you manage to find a sponsor?”
Kingsley’s face broke into an open smile. I loved his smiles. “Yes, and we didn’t have to look very far. My company, Qualibooks, has decided to sponsor a R30 000 mobile library to Baleni Senior Secondary School. And this library will have your name and ‘ear ‘ear logo on the side. So…” Another smile cracked his face. “What do you think of that?”
“Have you told the headmaster?
“Yes and he is just totally overwhelmed. We will wait till the schools starts and then we’ll go and present it to them
Later on, thinking about this whole wonderful story, I marvelled at the power of social media. It can be used negatively, cyber bullying is a terrible thing. But, it can also have tremendous positive consequences. It was through blogging and tweeting that Kingsley came into our lives. Through television that we learnt about Baleni Senior Secondary School. Yes, social media is this incredibly powerful tool.
So now, regarding the delivery of my incredible R30 000 mobile library to those children….watch this space!
Maybe having read my blog you think you may know of organisations/companies who might be interested in getting involved in this mobile library initiative. If so, please make a comment on my blog or email me at email@example.com and I will put you in touch with the relevant people!