An Interview with Bukhosi Buks Mhlanga

I really enjoyed having this interview, Buks is the true definition of a modern nerd. He is a genius, a man of many hats, witty and I mean he is hilarious! He is one of Zimbabwe’s finest digital experts and I had the opportunity to interview him. So sit back, get some tea brrrr winter is here and enjoy the conversation. Unfortunately for my readers, I could not publish Chapter 16 of our blog series Fallen this week due to life doing its thing of being overwhelming but sit tight, next Friday it is on BACK TO OUR REGULAR SCHEDULE.
THE INTERVIEW
Buks, you are the most versatile person I know. I mean you are the co-founder of Free Web Hosting, Project Manager of Creatives Africa, Co-host of the Heart & Soul Feed Your Mind Radio Show, Blogger Central and Influential Masterclass. Web/Graphic designer, Start-ups Consultant and before I catch my breath then boom! He is a farmer too! What is your drive, how does one man successfully manage all this?

Wow Makaitah, you humble me. It sounds like a lot but it really isn’t. My drive stems from a inherent need to prove myself to myself. Growing up i was told i could be anyone and do anything, guess I am trying to hold myself to that. Leave my mark on the world so to speak

That is amazing, the world is truly your oyster. As a digital guru, do you have a tool that you use to stay organized?

Of course. In the digital jungle you need a weapon to survive. For organization my best tool is Trello. I can use it to program both my life and business

Where can I access the tool and how does it work?

Well Trello is an online tool, trello.com is its home. It also has an android app. Best part is you can integrate it with google drive so for easy access to your files. It even has budget integrations so you watch your spending. Whatever add-on you use determines the purpose it serves you.

I will definitely download the app. So as a Start-Up Consultant, may you tell us more about your SEO service?

Through the years working in Zimbabwe iv noticed that small businesses do not place value on digital presence and digital marketing. I worked for a Zimbabwean American International Fintech startup called BitMari and our approach to digital marketing and social media was unique. You wouldn’t think we were a startup. That is the reason i selected to have SEO as part of what i offer small businesses. Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy but are too scares of costs. To this end i provide certain budget friendly aspects of SEO that enhance their online image. Behave like the big kids and you mature faster.

That is awesome! So your skill set becomes more affordable and accessible! You are like our Digital Robin Hood and that brings me to the Free Web Hosting initiative. It’s amazing does one have to sell his soul because it’s too good to be true? Please enlighten us.

Mmm not a bad idea. Souls will be the currency in the next life I could invest in them now! Kidding of course. In 2011 my little brother and I were talking about why hosting has to be soooo expensive. Its a huge barrier to companies opting to go digital. We are true believers in open source. That is when the idea was birthed and we only got enough resources to pull it off in 2018. Essentially we need to make the lives and businesses of our people easier otherwise we will forever be in the third world. A 100% free service for our people. No strings. No catch.

This is the best thing to happen in the digital world for businesses and especially for bloggers. You really meant it when you said you will leave a mark in this world! You mentioned that you worked for BitiMari. Can you explain about crypto currency in the simplest form as if explaining to a five year old?

Much like the typewriter was replaced by the PC and the encyclopedia was replaced by the internet, our current money (fiat currency) i believe will by replaced by cryptocurrency. Its basically internet money created on a public ledger(open source). Money is just a medium of exchange and we have evolved so much we were able to create value in computer code and use that to replace money

That makes perfect sense and its exciting to be at the pinnacle of evolving technology and with that, What do you think of the future of digital marketing in a third world country like Zimbabwe, especially with the recent price hike for data purchase?

Our country has no option but to evolve, just like how the older generations initially would not adopt whatsapp yet now have embraced it. Data price hikes slow down adoption but don’t deter it. The tech revolution is inevitable

So, how about a free consultancy from the great digital sensei. How do I make my blog SEO friendly?

Well having gone through your site here are a few tips to improve your ranking:

a. Your site lacks a Meta Description Tag. Easiest way to have one is to install Yoast plugin and on each page create a Meta Description. Also use keywords in both Description and Title.

b. You have an SSL certificate. Your host provided this for you. Free Web Hosting gives it to you free👀👀. However your page does not redirect to a HTTPS version

c. Images you use across the site need Alt attributes. When you upload an image, click edit to add an alt attribute. This helps search engines know what the image is of

d. There are precious few back-links on your site. Search Engines improve your rank based on your associations. So if you link to reputable sites, your rank improves. Eg 7 reasons not to date a momma’s boy. On point 4. When you mention the character oedipus you can place a Wikipidea link on the name.

e. Images need to be optimized to improve page load speed. so perhaps consider thoroughly editing and resizing images

f. I failed to locate any social media links. Those need to be available across your site.

On the whole however, your site is pretty dope. It scored a C!

SEO: C-
Usability: A
Performance: B-
Social: F-
Security: A-

Wow, now I feel like just taking down the whole website hahaha. Nothing like an expert review to have the perfect site! Thank you for the free consultation. So are you single? Asking for my ladies out there.

You are welcome! I am not single fortunately. In our economy you cannot afford to be single! Stress would absolutely kill you.

That’s too bad ladies, our potential eligible bachelor is taken. So, what inspiration birthed the Heart & Soul Feed Your Mind Radio show. As the co-host what have you discovered about digitalisation in Zimbabwe?

So we had a masterclass running on Whatsapp last year. We really wanted to move it to a broader audience, specifically to radio and Dutch, my co-host, happened to run into someone looking for radio shows. For us its the opportunity to spread the gospel of digital that spurs us on. In terms of digitalisation in our country Makaitah we have a *long* way to go. We need to educate our people a whole lot if the country is to survive.

You and Dutch are doing an amazing job by the way, I am always tuned in! I pray that we move forward as country. Some shameless advertising. How much are your rates for web and graphic designing? Also what is the link to your Start Up Consultancy website?

Thanks hey. We loved having you on the show by the way. My rates for Web Development vary actually. I make it really easy for Free Web Hosting clients sometimes charging as little as ZWL120. Also charges depend on complexity but my ceiling is usually US$500, I don’t go north of that. Its too cold in the north. My website is bukhosimhlanga.co.zw

Oh thank you, I enjoyed being your guest on the Blogger Central Show! So there you go, thank you for being a guest on Makaitah Rogue. Stay killing it!

Thank you for the interview Makaitah

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