I am excited that I made to the WordCamp Cape Town this year! Thanks to the DonateWC team and those who gave to make this possible. I want to share my experience at the WordCamp. It is so important for the community to help more people like me get these opportunities.
A little background story
I started using WordPress in 2008 during my internship at Bindura University. I have built more than 100 websites using WordPress since then. In August 2016, I was listening to the WordPress Weekly Podcast when I heard an announcement. There was going to be an incubation WordCamp for Harare and another town in Bangladesh.
I was so excited and Googled for more detailed. I got a link from meetup.com for the first meetup. Thabo Tswana was the meetup organizer. That is how i joined the community and I ended being a speaker at the WordCamp Harare 2016 on SEO (Video Link). I have been active in the community groups on WhatsApp and hosted a monthly meetup.
This year, when I saw the speaker invitation for WordCamp in Cape Town, Nairobi and Harare. I made my applications – I was not expecting all them to accept my application but they all did! I was so excited and began preparing for the Cape Town event since it was the first on the calendar.
Attending the Nairobi WordCamp was not possible for me because the dates are the same with WordCamp Harare.
While I was preparing to attend WordCamp Cape Town, which I was going to, travel there by bus (2 500 km + 3 days travelling). Round about the time of buying tickets, the government blocked all international payments. I had to buy cash in US dollars. That change meant that the trip would cost me three times the initial budget.
Thabo Tswana then informed me about DonateWC. We were both speaking at a local artist conference on WordPress and Google tools. I went to make my application straight away.
I went home that evening and made my application. A few days later, they accepted my application. They were going to pay for my air ticket, accommodation and food while I am there!
Wow, I was so excited.
So, I made it to Cape Town and held a workshop on Content Generation for Business on the first day. To be honest, I was so nervous. This was my first time doing a workshop outside my country and to very mixed audience! My English accent was huge worry! You can get the slides from the Workshop here.
I want to thank everyone who donated towards my trip. Thank you DonateWC team, especially Ines, for working extra hours to be helpful! They did not ask me to do anything in return to this huge favour. It was all free.
So why was this worth doing?
One of the benefits I got by attending and speaking at this WordCamp is a confidence boost. My life background does not give me much advantage when it comes to confidence in life. I am still fighting timidity. The workshop had the one of the highest tweets on the first day of the WordCamp. Maybe, that means it was good!
I also got several contacts, which I am hoping will bring business my way in the future. I have tried to have international clients for SEO and digital marketing services. It has not been easy but it seems this WordCamp is going to make this dream a reality.
I was also invited to the Automatic Office for a co-working day. I could not go because I had left the city already. However, that invitation meant a lot to me.
Then something personal! This was my first time at a beach. I made to the sea for the first time! Exciting.
This is a few days after the WordCamp. I am sure months after, there will be more exciting stories to share.
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