Some years ago, blogging on a South African site I met many other South Africans. Some I loved, some bored me silly. Out of that experience I have retained some wonderful friends.
We were apparently a world first of bloggers who MOBBED – Meet Other Bloggers (M.O.B) We would meet in twos – my first was in the little town of Pietermaritzburg meeting SUPAGRAN. An evening of laughter and conversation, we were already old friends by the time we met as the blogs tended to be pretty open and full of discussion.
We would meet in greater numbers, every time discovering that the real people were pretty much like their blogs, except for the few who plagarised most of their content.
There were even some MOB events organised by the web site owners, the Media24 group.
But like so many on-line movements it petered out, largely because of a very unprofessional editor for the site and some troll friends of hers who made the place unpleasant – and who on Earth wants to hang out at a place where the vibes are not good?
So a lot of us moved the daily contact of the friendship onto Facebook, those who wanted to continue blogging went to other sites, WordPress included.
One of those friends is Browniegirl, a food blogger. I used to tell her how much I hated her – just because every post had me salivating and most of all when it was the posts of stuff I should not be eating. Having personally experienced her ‘Death by chocolate’ cake I know there was truth in that saliva drooling out of the corners of my mouth onto my laptop. Having had a lifelong battle with my weight I don’t need anyone tempting me into more of the wrong foods, or more food really.
Browniegirl, a warm and delightful woman, started an event that has become an annual success – The Food Bloggers Indaba ( now also including wine). So far the venue has always been in Cape Town, with international speakers and so many goodies handed out that you need a second airline ticket to get it all home.
“What is an INDABA?” I hear the non-South Africans ask. Well we steal words from other languages all the time, don’t we? An Indaba is an important meeting, a word taken from the Zulu language and used in related local languages as well. A very common term in South African buisness.
As a photographer of absolutely no talent, a cook of medium talent and interest but an eater of far higher interest, a few years ago I started a competitive event, The Food Eaters Indaba. The first one had 4 of us, on the same day as the Food Bloggers Indaba, meeting at a restuarant, lots of food, wine, chat and laughter. So busy having fun we more or less forgot to take photos (unlike the Food Bloggers who take so many beautiful pictures).
Just like the Food Bloggers Indaba, ours seems to be growing, the numbers may even have doubled this year.
Alas though there are only a few sponsors, so it’s “bring a goodie bag with food related stuff valued at under R50 (do your own lookup on the exchange rate), and money because we are going to raffle the prizes sourced by one very enterprising member”. But the event shoule be fun, food, wine, chat and laughter. Maybe this year we will even have photographs……