Meeting with the NUST FSAs

A long overdue post.
Two weeks ago I was invited by Zibusiso to the National University of Science and Technology to talk to the Firefox Student Ambassadors club he has been working hard to get off the ground. As this was the club’s first meting, we discussed Mozilla’s goals for the year, our mission and a plan to pull off the Campus Campaign. Pictures below:



Effort is between you and you – Ray Lewis

This is a great video, I’m adding it here to motivate me when I need it.


Ray Lewis gave this speech to the Stanford basketball team before their NIT finals. Stanford went on to win that game as underdogs. When I get lost during the shuffle of everyday life I go back to this video. I’m posting it for myself so I can have it at arms reach. I hope this finds someone else and effects them as much it has effected me. I’ll always go back to that line… Effort is between you and you. I try and remind myself of this every morning. It’s about how well you do all the little things in life that make up a greatness. Thanks for the inspiration Ray Lewis.


“If tomorrow wasn’t promised – what would you give for today? Forget everything else.

Forget everything else. Forget that there was any sunlight left. What would you spend today…thinking about? Yourself? Or the man that’s beside you?…

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AfricaCom 2014

I had the opportunity to man the Mozilla Booth at Africacom 2014 with fellow Mozillian Oarabile Mudongo.

This was the largest Tech show I’d ever attended. Our job was to demo Firefox OS phones made by Alcatel and to get people excited before the launch. Africacom was hosted in the beautiful city of Cape Town in South Africa. There were more than 6000 attendees on each of the days.

The show was held over three days at the Cape Town International Convention Center.
Show video:

Pictures below








IRC Cloud: I love this client

For those of you who don’t already know, I am not a big fan of Corporate Culture and I have done my best to avoid working in a a strict shirt and tie corporate environment.

Currently I work as a contractor for a company in the US (, I work on providing clients with Customer and Tech support. I work with people from all over the world, Asia, US, Middle East etc Because of this, we have systems in place that make it easy for a globally distributed workforce to work together and collaborate on projects easily.

Our virtual ‘office’ is an IRC channel hosted on Mozilla’s IRC network. This is where we talk shop and joke around and sometimes share memes. Now my job requires that I use Virtual Machines, different browser and different Operating Systems. Switching back and forth between the different browsers and IRC client wasn’t fun for me, so I started using IRCCloud (

Why Do I like IRC Cloud?

1. IRC Cloud is a web based IRC client, which means that there’s no need to download the right version for each different platform I use.

2. IRCCloud keeps me online all the time. With IRCCloud, i’m always online, even when my computer is off. That way, I never miss a message.

3. It runs in the browser. Any modern browser can run IRCCloud and it supports web notifications, which means that if someone sends me a PM or mentions me in a comment, I’ll know, even if i’m viewing a different tab.

4. It works on mobile. There’s an app for the iOS and Android I think, so if you never miss a thing.

There you have it, IRCCloud is what I use and I encourage you to do the same.


How Ecocash Saved my life.

What feelings does the word ‘Ecocash’ invoke? Well for me its a feeling of utter merriment. I love Ecocash. I am in no way associated with Econet Wireless or Ecocash but I just want to share with everyone why and how I use the Ecocash service.

For those of you who don’t already know, Ecocash is a mobile money transfer solution available to Econet subscribers (I am a proud Econet user myself). The service not only allows subscribers to transfer money, but it offers services such as Loans, Utility Bill payments and virtual payments. I have been using Ecocash for about 3 years and I don’t regret signing up for the service.

How has Ecocash saved my life?


In 2012 I worked at ORAP and I worked out of town in Tsholotsho.I worked about 3km away from the Tsholotsho business center which meant that whenever I needed to buy stuff I had to walk.Ecocash, allowed me to walk in to just about any shop and load my Ecocash account and send money back home to my Mother without having to travel a 100km back home in Bulawayo everytime I got paid.

At the same time I could talk to my girlfriend for hours on the phone and not worry about running out of credit because I could always buy airtime using Ecocash.


In 2013 I was in College and if you’ve gone through Higher Education, you know how much you can spend on books, modules, assignment materials and the like. Ecocash came to the rescue many times whenever I was short on cash.


The most recent experience I had with Ecocash was when I used their Mastercard. If you don’t know what the Ecocash Mastercard is you can read more about it here: . When I was traveling to South Africa for the Tech4Africa Conference a few weeks ago there was a minor mishap, the Hotel had not arranged a shuttle to pick me up from the airport and I did not have any cash on hand to pay for a cab. Since I had funds in my ecocash account, I just used the Mastercard to withdraw money from a Nedbank ATM and I was able to get myself a cab from the airport to the hotel. The cab ride cost me an arm and a leg however.

So to sum it all up, I’d like to say that my experience with Ecocash has been very good. I have been able to borrow money, receive payments, buy stuff, pay bills and save using Ecocash. So if after reading this you’re still not using Ecocash, you need a punch in the stomach.

Image Credit:


Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Tech4Africa in Johannesburg,South Africa Tech4africa was meant to bring together people in tech to learn, meet new people and have lots of fun.
I manned the Mozilla booth, demoed FirefoxOS and answered as many questions as I could from the event attendees.

The event in general went very well except that I was tired most of the time because I had too much coffee which I learned, isn’t good for the body. I met lots of inspirational and talented people from diverse backgrounds. Most of the delegates were familiar with Firefox but not with FirefoxOS. Many web developers in the crowd had heard or read about FirefoxOS but had never really tried it out. Speaking to them helped clear up many misconceptions that they had about the Operating System. I noticed that many people who were somewhat familiar with FirefoxOS were not keen to developing for our platform because they didn’t want to learn a new software stack. By the time they were done talking to me, that had changed of course.

I had a google sheet that I used for interested contributors and others who needed more information about Mozilla. I’ve since emailed them(whew!). Swag was in abundance and I gave it away generously. I enjoyed being part of the tech4africa experience and I hope to go back again next year.

Pictures will always tell a better story than I can:


Training the facilitators

In preparation for Maker Party, I organised a training day for everyone who is going to be a facilitator. The training went well. Facilitators were introduced to persona,thimble popcorn and lightbeam tools.

Pictures below:

After this event I felt we were ready to host Maker Party in Bulawayo. I’ll write a follow up post about that.






The new Unit Conversion App

A few weeks ago I blogged about a unit conversion app that I was working on.
I doubt that I’ll be working on that project anymore. I found on github a similar project that was written better than mine(its design is modular, the style is clean and just better than my own) but the said project had a lot of bugs and in need of a coder to implement some of the features in the specification. The open source volunteer in me didn’t need any more convincing. I was sold.

I took up the challenge, forked the project and started testing it. I identified as many bugs as I could and after that I started work on coding the missing functionality and fixing the bugs I found(there were many **YaY Me **).

After a lot of hard work, I’m happy to state that the project is now at a good stage and all the functionality in the specification is up to date.I suspect that it is still buggy. My focus was on creating a unit conversion app that has an API that I can integrate into my own web applications. This Unit converter has an easy to use API that works.
Have a look at the Unit converter app here: .

The next stage in the application’s development is designing a web based user interface for it. I’m making progress towards this end.
Stay tuned.

Image courtesy of

Python 101: Your first python program

This post is part 2 of Get started with Python programming series, in which I do my best to share my experiences in learning python and hope that this becomes some sort of guide to help you become a Python programmer.

In today’s post, I explain how to write your first Python program.

If you followed the instructions in my previous post, you already have python installed.

Python programs can be run in two ways, interactively, from the terminal or run as scripts.
To explain what this means, let’s write some python code in interactive mode. Open your terminal and type in ‘python’ without the quotes. This will start the python interpreter.
You should see something like this if the interpreter is running:

Python 2.7.3 (default, Aug 1 2012, 05:16:07)
[GCC 4.6.3] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

In this mode, python allows us to start writing python code in the terminal window. There’s no need for it to be compiled, it’s ready the minute you hit the Enter key.
Type this in : print("Hello World") and hit Enter
You should see this:

>>> print("Hello World!")
Hello World!

There you go, that’s how easy it is to code in python. The interactive mode can also be used as a calculator. Try it!

More complex code

Writing single line code that prints stuff to the screen isn’t fun or useful, so if we want to write more complex code, we need a special weapon that every coder needs: The text editor. Which one you use depends entirely on you and your style, so any text editor(or IDE) will do just fine. I use gedit, which is a text editor that comes pre installed with my Linux distribution. I like it because it offers syntax highlighting and auto indentation(a very useful feature).

Let’s write up more interesting code in the text editor. To do this, launch your text editor and type the following in:

def hello_world():
    print("Hello Universe! I am a Pythonista in the making")
    name = raw_input("What is your name?__")
    print("May the force be with you %s in your quest to be a pythonista") %name

It is important to type in the above code as it is and note the spacing difference between the first line and the lines that follow after that. This is no mistake. Let me go through each line to explain what is going on.

def hello_world():

This defines a function called hello_world that does not take any arguments

The second line has a print statement that you’re familiar with now. An important point to note here, the lines after the function signature are indented by four spaces. This is done to show that the lines that follow are part of a code block or a suite.

The third line is a variable assignment, the variable name is created and assigned to input that the user will type in.
In the fourth line, we’re just printing out what the user typed in in line 3.

The next step now is to save this file. Save it on your computer with the .py extension appended to it. For example you can save it as Once that is done, you can run it from the terminal by navigating to the folder where the file is saved and typing python

That’s all there is to it. You’re a python programmer now!

Thanks for reading