Pull Quote: Find your purpose, pursue it relentlessly

Hello World – Hevo Nyika

Unokwanisa kuverenga rondedzero iyi muChiShona

So I chose a career in Web Development!!

To be honest it’s kind of funny when I think about it and quite surreal to be here talking about my story. It has been a journey and I would like to share my story with you.

I have been lucky in the Dad department. My Dad encouraged me to work hard and dream big from a very young age. I remember occasionally having ‘when I grow up’ talks.

For quite some time I wanted to be a Judge, however awesome this dream sounds it was not very inspired. After binge-watching Judge Judy for a whole weekend, I started calling myself Judge Thelma. Though I don’t remember much of this my sister says that I used to say I would arrest all the men in the World if I ever became a Judge. HAHAHA! (clearly I didn’t understand how the World works)

I did not understand what being a Judge meant or what was required for me to start banging that gavel to my heart’s desire. Eventually, I learnt that I had to become a lawyer first then magistrate before I could be nominated to be a Judge and let us just say that is how I sentenced that dream to a lifetime down the drain.

See what I did there? hahaha!

With Daddy Dearest
With Daddy Dearest

A few years later, I was in High School and that is when I decided to pursue a career in Computer Science. I did not know what I would be doing or how I would get there but I just knew that I was going to pursue a career in ICT. I wrote my first line of code when I was 16 years old.

This was after I had joined the school’s computer class, initially, I thought I would be learning about Excel Sheets and Word Documents until I was assigned to write my first program in C (talk about a double-take!!). It was not easy but it was very exciting, l remember writing up simple code for a Video Club – a simple check-in/out for VHS tapes and CDs. Dear World, thus began my fascination with computers.

Seven years later, I was now in university studying ICT as I had always wanted. I was doing a Bachelors in Business Management & Information Technology. In my third year, I was interning at a local Webdesign and hosting company. This was never my plan, I only took on that job after I had failed to get a job with local banks or telecommunications companies. Before I was introduced to Website Design I envisioned myself suiting up and working in IT Audit or offering IT support. Even though things did not go as I had planned, I am glad they did not exactly go my way in that aspect. So in 2017, I was designing websites using HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScripts and Joomla which was the prefered content management system at that company. I knew about WordPress but I was not using it for anything. People have this misconception that WordPress is not for real developers and it is not secure and at that time I was one of those people.

Finding my tribe

One day when I was working at the front desk Thabo Tswana came to give a colleague of mine a purple WooCommerce pen. I did not know what WooCommerce was at that time but I was taken by the purple shirt and pen he was carrying. I asked him about it and he explained what WooCommerce was and that what he was carrying was called ‘swag’. So the love of freebies led me to the WordCamp Harare website, instead of buying a ticket I applied to volunteer. I learnt more about WordPress, I was a volunteer, without any knowledge on WordPress.org or WordPress.com. I only started using WordPress because of the awesome people that l had met at that Wordcamp.

Everyone was so welcoming, a week later with help from Thabo I designed my first ever WP website.

Soon after I was part of the community and a bit more involved in the meetups. We had our first-ever Women Who WordPress meetup in 2018. So many ladies came on board bloggers and developers alike. We were free to talk and discuss a lot of things. We had more time to discuss the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org we shared views on how to handle discrimination at work, how to promote your website and a whole lot of other things.

WordPress Meetup

Establishing roots

In 2018, Harare had its first-ever female Lead Organiser Tapiwanashe Manhobo whoop whoop! I was also part of the organising team that year, I was assigned to handle Harare’s first Kids Camp. The planning process was stressful because the economic crisis in Zimbabwe was getting worse, luckily we had over 8 months to plan and with help from sponsors, we managed to pull through. In the end, everything turned out great. I wrote an article about the Kids Camp here.

After the first Kids Camp, we had several WordPressors that were enthusiasts about encouraging kids to embrace ICT. In 2019 we had not planned to have a Kids Camp because of financial constraints but to our surprise, we had some anonymous donations and we managed to have a WordPress Community outreach to a youth centre a week after our WordCamp. We had the outreach at the Centre for Total Transformation which is a non-formal school that caters for underprivileged and vulnerable children. We taught them about WordPress, Computer Hardware and Software.

Here is a small video I took with Ellen when we were about to leave. Did l mention that I am terrible on camera? hahaha!

I have fallen deeply for WordPress because of the Community, I enjoy attending WordCamps, meeting new people and just learning new stuff. I have a huge list of WordCamps I need to attend before l kick the bucket, hopefully. Last year I managed to cross WordCamp

Johannesburg off my bucket list. This year I was going to attend WordCamp Capetown but unfortunately, 2020 had other plans for the whole world. Anyway when everything is back to normal my plan to travel to WordCamps will proceed. (fingers crossed)

Reaping Fruits

Meanwhile, my plan to improve my developing skills has not been on hold. Even though I can still cook up code in C and Java, for now, I have also included WordPress PHP functions to the mix. It was not easy to get to this point, daring myself got me to this slightly better stage. My IQ is not way up there, however, I try to do my best where I can and I am happy to say it has paid off so far.

Around November last year, I was designing as a freelancer while job hunting. Out of the blue l got a call for a job offer from Trust Nhokovenzo who is big on Digital marketing and also part of the WordPress Community. He had asked someone in the community about developers and my name happened to come up. So since February, I have been part of his team at Calmlock Digital Marketing Agency.

There is so much more in the world of WordPress that l am yet to tap into so even though I am ending my write up here, for now, my story is going to continue …

Until next time…

Hevo Nyika

Saka ini ndakasarudza kugadzira mawebhusayiti.

Ndakaita rombo rakanaka pana baba vandakapihwa naMwari. Baba vangu vaindikurudzira kuti ndishande nesimba. Ndinoyeuka pano neapo tichiita hurukuro dzedu dzekuti ‘kana ndakura ndoda kuveyi’.

Kwenguva yakati rebei ndaida kuve Mutongi. Kunyangwe ini ndisingazvirangariri mukoma wangu anotaura kuti ndaiti ndaizosunga varume vese vari pasi rino kana ndikangoita mutongi HAHAHA zveshuwa handaiziva kuti mitemo yenyika inofambiswa seyi.
Ndanga ndisinga nzwisisi kuti kuva mutongi kwairevei kana zvaidikanwa kwandiri kuti nditange kurova iro ghavheu kuchishuwo chemoyo wangu. Pakupedzisira, ndakadzidza kuti ndaifanirwa kuzoita gweta ipapo magistrate ndisati ndasarudzwa kuita Mutongi naizvozvo ndokupera kwakaita chiroto chekuva Mutongi.

Na Baba Vangu
Na Baba Vangu

Gare gare papfura makore mashoma pandakanga ndave kuHigh School ndakanga ndakuda kuita basa rema kombiyuta. Ndakanyora mutsara wekutanga wekodhi pandaive nemakore gumi nematanhatu. Izvi zvakaitika mushure mekunge ndapinda mukirasi yemakombiyuta, pakutanga ndaifunga kuti ndinenge ndichidzidza nezveExcel Sheets neWord zvisineyi ndakaona ndakunyora kodhi yangu yekutanga muC. Zvaisave nyore kunyora kodhi asi zvainakidza kwazvo, ndorangarira ndichinyora kodhi yeVhidhiyo Kirabhu.

Makore manomwe apfura, ndakanga ndava kuyunivhesiti ndichidzidza ICT zvandakagara ndakaronga. Ndaiita Bachelors muBusiness Management & Information Technology. Mugore rangu rechitatu ndainge ndave kushanda kune imwe kambani yaita zvekugadzira mawebhusaiti. Ndakawana basa iri mushure mekunge ndatadza kuwana basa kumabhanga. Kunyangwe hazvo zvinhu zvisina kuenda sezvandaive ndakaronga, ndinofara kuti hazvina kunyatso enda nenzira yangu. Saka muna 2017 ndaigadzira mawebhusaiti ndichishandisa HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript uye Joomla iyo yaive iyo inokurudzirwa kukambani kwandaive. Panguva iyi ndaiziva nezve WordPress asi ndakanga ndisingaishandisi.

Kuwanana neWordPress

Rimwe zuva pandakanga ndichishanda ndakaona Thabo Tswana akauya kuzopa mumwe mukomana wandayishanda naye chinyoreso cheWooCommerce. Ndakanga ndisingazive kuti WooCommerce yaive chii asi ndakafarira chinyoreso nehembe ye WooCommerce yaanga akapfeka. Ndakamubvunza nezvazvo akatsanangura kuti WooCommerce yaive chii. Saka nekudawo zvakanaka, zvemahara ndakaenda pawebhusaiti yeWordCamp Harare ndikabata zvimbo zvegore iroro. Ndakazvipira kubatsirawo vamwe vekuWordPress kuWordCamp Harare. Nerubatsiro kubva kunaThabo ndakagadzira webhusaiti yangu yekutanga yeWordPress vhiki rakatevera .

Mushure mekunge ndaitawo chipato cheavo vanoshandisa WordPress ndakanga ndakuenda kumisangano yeWordPress yaitwa muHarare. Takaita musangano wevakadzi chete muna 2018. Vakadzi vazhinji vakauya kumusangano uyu. Tainga takasununguka kukurukura zvinhu zvakawanda. Takakurukura pamusoro pemutsauko uripo pakati peWordPress.com neWordPress.org takagovana maonero ekugadzirisa rusarura kubasa nezvimwewo.

WordPress Meetup

Nguva yandakatanga kushandisa WordPress

Muna 2018, kurongwa kweWordCamp Harare kwakatungamirwa kekutanga nemusikana ainzi Tapiwanashe Manhobo (waiva mufaro mukuru). Ndakanga ndiri mumwe wevairongawo naye. Hurongwa hwekuronga WordCamp Harare mugore iri hwainetsa pamusaka pekuoma kwehupfumi wemuZimbabwe, zvisineyi takaita rombo rakanaka nokuti takawana rubatsiro kubva kunevamwewo vanhu vakatiwedzera mari. Pakupedzisira, zvese zvakabudirira zvakanaka. Takarongawo WordCamp yevana varipasi pemakore gumi nechishanu, munokwanisa kuverenga pamusoro pezuva iri pawebhisaiti yangu apa.

Mushure mekuita WordCamp yevana, takave nevamwe vanhu veWordPress aifarira kukurudzira vana kuti vagamuchire ICT. Muna 2019 takanga tisina kuronga kuve neWordCamo yeVana nekuda kwezvimhingamupinyi zvemari asi chakatishamisa ndechekuti takawana mari kubvawo kune vamwe. Takaita Camp iyi paCentre for Total Transformation chinova chikoro chisiri chepamutemo chinodzidzisa vana vanotambura. Tadzidzisa vana ava pamusoro peWordPress, Computer Hardware uye Software.

Ndofarira WordPress zvakanyanya nekuda kweavo varimu nharaunda yacho, ini ndinonakidzwa nekuenda kumaWordCampi, kusangana nevanhu vatsva uye kungo dzidza zvinhu zvitsva. Gore rakapera ndakakwanisa kuyambuka muganhu weZimbabwe ndichienda kuWordCamp Johannesburg, dai pasina kuti 2020 nyika dzepasi rino dzakawirwa nedenda reCOVID 19 zvimwe ndingadayi ndakaenda kuWordCamp Capetown. Zvisinei hazvo kana denda ranani zvimwe ndichakwanisa kufamba ndichienda kumaWordCamp edzimwe nyika.

Kukowa zvandakadyara

Zvichakadaro, chirongwa changu chekuvandudza hunyanzvi hwangu hachina kumira. Kunyangwe ini ndichiri kukwanisa kubika kodhi muC uye Java, ikozvino, ndasanganisirawo WordPress PHP. Zvaive zvisiri nyore kusvika apa, zvakatora kuzvishingisa nekushanda nesimba. Ndinofara mwari aiva neni pamufambo wangu uyu.

Muna Mbudzi gore rakapera, ndaive ndichigadzira mawebhusayiti apo nditsvaga basa. Pasina nguva ndakataura naTrust Nhokovenzo uyo akaandipa basa mukambani yake, kambani iyi inonzi Calmlock Digital Marketing Agency.

Pane zvimwe zvakawanda kuWordPress zvandisati ndapinda mazviri. Nhaizvozvo kunyangwe ndiri kupedzisa kunyora kwangu apa, nyaya yehupenyu wangu ichaenderera mberi…

Kusvikira nguva inotevera …

…. tsvaga chinangwa chako, chiite mushe mushe ..

23 comments

  1. cynthian Calisto says:

    im proud of you little sis. have always been wondering what killed the Judge journey.May the Lord bless you and take you far.Love you

  2. Trinos Nyoni says:

    Yes, quite an inspiration story.I thank you Thelma for telling your story and leading the way. We enjoy your contribution towards community development through WordPress site development.

  3. Nigel says:

    So much going on for Thelma that she forgot to mention she was also co-lead organiser for WordCamp Harare ’19. And she’s on the 5.6 release team!

    Also, she could totally be a judge. I’ve seen her arguing and I NEVER want to be her opponent.

    • Thelma Mutete says:

      The release team stuff lets see how that pans out first hahaha

      I totally would have nailed being a judge that’s true lol So everyone knows that l argue a lot now lol

    • cynthian Calisto says:

      kkkk I feel you, Nigel, arguing yoh she does that a lot. True – one of the ladies representing Africa on the release team.

    • Thelma Mutete says:

      Thank you so much, Thabo for everything, in all honesty, if it wasn’t for that purple pen and your tutorials l probably would not be where l am.

  4. Caspar says:

    What Thabo said: you’ve come a long way and I’m really proud of you, my friend! Here’s to a successful career, to many more merry meetings at WordCamps around the globe, come better times, and to me eventually learning Shona, lol. 😊

    • Thelma Mutete says:

      Thank you so much, Caspar, can’t wait for better times as well and you learning Shona. :) We are not having a WC this year, it’s so sad.

  5. Patrick says:

    Dear beautiful, intelligent, inspirational, Hevo Nyiko:
    I am in Florida, and have taught, used, Free, Open Source, Linux since 1997.
    Being 73 years old, I still continue to refurbish desktop computers, and provide them to families who are in need, for most students are now online to go to school!

    May I connect them to your story? You can be the spark that causes a beautiful moment of inspiration to many of our home bound students! I highly recommend another website, distrowatch.com for FREE downloads of more than 100 operating systems, ranked in popularity of downloads, full of descriptions and helpful facts!

    • Thelma Mutete says:

      Wow, that is awesome work you are doing!
      Feel free to share my story, I would be happy if anyone got encouraged from it. All the best :)

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