In Conversation with: Baynham Goredema
Baynham Goredema is a graphic artist who specialises in editorial design, corporate identity and printmaking. A God-fearing father of three. Founder of the POVO brand and the POVO Afrika Trust which publish the POVO Journals and Sustain Zim newspaper.
What made you want to start blogging?
Have always had a love for writing, and used to write long multi page letters to my friends. I used to write in a diary, and always just enjoyed documenting experiences. A need to express myself and share my thoughts with a greater audience inspired me to find alternatives to Once the internet became more accessible I eat online and started documenting online. I keep a visual blog in sketch books though for more spontaneous visual records. I wanted a space where I could speak my mind in my own words, unfiltered and uncluttered. Another reason was having to explain a certain position. Now instead of repeating it for the 10th time I just send someone a link.
How did you choose what to blog about?
I mainly focus on three main areas social issues affecting us daily, documentary of service delivery as I experience it and nostalgic topics of how we are up. I don’t blog about my profession because its space I want to get away from work.
How did POVO come to be?
I conceived POVO (People of Valid Opinions) in 2004, initially as a platform to promote graphic designers and their work, and encouraging them to write about design. I did my dissertation in college on the development of graphic design in Zimbabwe post-independence ad at that time there was no documentation at all on graphic design in Zimbabwe. So, I wanted to create a platform where we could document and it has since evolved into a broader platform for showcasing work and documenting opinions.
What do you hope people will take away from reading your blog?
From the documenting aspect, I hope people can become informed to be responsible citizens who are aware and concerned. From the social aspect, I hope they can strive to be better people especially as husbands, parents to build stronger marriages which build stronger societies.
Describe your blogging routine.
Sometimes I can sit on a post for several weeks as I develop it slowly. I don’t have a set routine but its more spontaneous I could put out three posts in a month and then go for two months without a post. Its normally based on what is happening around me at that time. More recently I use twitter to discuss and issue and then formulate a blog post based on that.
What would you say to someone new to blogging or considering blogging?
Be genuine, write about what you enjoy and what you are convicted of. Speak your mind as this is the one place where you have full control of what’s on your mind. Be prepared to stand by what you write. Don’t be intimidated by other bloggers numbers. Some blogs are part of their profession so it doesn’t matter if they enjoy it or not, their work is their motivation. But if it’s a hobby then enjoy the process. Also, be aware that not everyone will agree with you and that’s fine.
Do you have bloggers that you follow, if so who and why?
I follow lots of blogs too numerous to mention, all for varying reasons. My favourites are those that deal with social issues especially bloggers who are not confined to political correctness and are will to tackle any issues. I follow professional blogs as well to keep up to speed with what’s happening in my industry. I read more blogs than I do news. Some blogs are read to understand opposing ideas to what I believe.
Would you say there are downsides to blogging, if so what are they?
People can make up their minds about who you are as a person based on what you write. So, you should be prepared to accept that you may be judged on how you write and how you respond to comments.
From your experience, what have been the best memories of being a blogger?
When people engage with the content whether they are agreeing or not, or when they mail me after they have been helped by info on the blog, or when they are requesting further info. That always makes me feel happy.
What does blogging mean to you?
It’s a space where I air my views and people can engage with me on a personal level. So, it’s like a glimpse into my life and what issues concern me. And having created so much content over the past few years it means a lot to me that it looks good and works well.
What opportunities has blogging brought your way?
It has mainly helped with networks and building new relationships. There have also been some intangible rewards, as people take you more seriously if you have a blog with regular engaging content. I cannot quantify it but I have seen its effect in how you are perceived. I have used my blog for instances where I needed to prove my proficiency in the English language, saved me having to write tests. It has opened opportunities for other people as well which I find great.
What/who do you treasure the most in life?
Relationships in this temporal journey of life on earth! My relationship with Jesus who died for the forgiveness of my sins, my wife who I am walking with on this journey, and the gift of children who we have been given custody of in the short journey. These are my treasures!