The Afrobloggers spotlight series helps you to discover and connect with African digital storytellers from all around the globe. In this feature, we spotlight Zimbabwean blogger Getrude Gwenzi.
Hi, my name is Getrude Gwenzi. I am a Zimbabwean- born social scientist (researcher), student advisor, blogger, and writer by profession. I am also a child of God by faith; a daughter and a sister by relationship and an all-around lover of all things education and learning. I would like to be remembered as a game-changer in my profession and as an authentic voice of my generation. I wish to be known as the woman who was always true to herself and never compromised her values and beliefs for the culture. This is my blogging story…
How I started blogging
I love writing and expressing myself through words. I started my blog in 2012 when I was working as a social worker. Back then my blog was titled “Mind of A Social Worker” because I used to write about my work with vulnerable children and families. My job was super stressful and I needed somewhere to vent, but I began to also share about the joys of the profession.
I have gained immensely from sharing my life journey and finding a tribe who relates to it. My first blog brought me in touch with social workers around the world and made me feel like I wasn’t alone. When I left social work to pursue my postgraduate education, I continued blogging but this time, I had evolved into a researcher. I benefited from sharing my transitions through life after reflection and it helped me stay in touch with who I am. I am a very introspective individual, so my blog represents the space in which I get to do that and that’s how I grow from one life stage to the other.
I struggle with balancing my personal life exposure with the need to share life lessons. I am super private. I only share after reflecting upon an issue and once it is no longer too personal for me. I would describe my blog as one of reflection, not real-time moments. My focus is not about the emotion for me but more about the lessons learned from my life experiences.
Getrude Gwenzi’s creative process
I usually begin with a random thought which I then write down in my journal. If the thought keeps coming back to me, I start developing it into a post. I usually write straight into WordPress and if I see that a post is too raw, I draft it until I can work on it again. I don’t like being too emotional in my blogs (I am like that in real life too, I like processing in private then share). If it’s good to post, I publish immediately.
My most popular post is : “Three things I wish I knew before I started a Ph.D.” I think it was more appealing because I shared it more than any other post. It’s one of the posts that align with both my personal and work life and so I shared it within my workspace as well as my usual sharing sites.
Things you might not know about me…
I wouldn’t change anything about my citizenship. I am a proud Zimbabwean and I can’t picture myself being a citizen of any other country. My identity and culture are Zimbabwean and will always be. If I could read any three books again then I am revisiting anything by Paulo Coelho, particularly the Zahir. I also read Women who run with the Wolves once every year without fail. My favorite cuisine hands down are Malaysian. The seafood in Penang, Malaysia tops anything I have tasted anywhere else
What keeps me motivated
My motivations change every time. When I started, I was motivated by the need to share what I thought was an unknown subject (social work profession) and wanted to raise awareness on it. Then when I became a student, I was motivated by my struggles and wanted to motivate others through the lessons I was learning every day. At the moment, my faith motivates me more than anything because of what is happening around us. We all need hope and I share as I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit
My advice to new bloggers
Please try as much as you can to stay true to your voice. I have been tempted so many times to go with the trends and write something that’s not originally me. I am always happy when I write something authentic and even if it’s not popular, I know it represents my brand. A personal blog is hard because you can pretty much write about anything and everything, but that also means you can be 💯 yourself. Your tribe will find you eventually. Writing prompts are good especially when you are struggling with writer’s block, but there are some topics that don’t represent my brand and I will not write about them just because.