Tag Archives: Shelly Mateer

Bringing Dubai To Zimbabwe

UAE’s Investment in Zimbabwe Grows with the Groundbreaking of Zim Cyber City

It’s no secret that many countries across the globe are clamoring for their piece of the action on the resource-abundant African continent. We have all heard of China’s influence and expansion into Africa, but the United Arab Emirates has also been very active in the African region. One African country, Zimbabwe, has seen a 300% increase in trade with the UAE in the past three years. The UAE is now Zimbabwe’s second largest trading partner.

On July 20, 2022, a vision of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was actualized. President Mnangagwa held a groundbreaking ceremony for Zim Cyber City, the first real estate investment in Zimbabwe channeled through the Zimbabwe Global Investments (ZGI) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) program. Touted as the “smartest city of our age”, Zim Cyber City will be spread over 2.5 million square feet of land and is expected to have a shopping mall, luxury villas and apartments, cyber technology offices and other facilities, to include Mulk Tower, projected to be the tallest building in Africa.

Dubai-based billionaire Mr. Shaji Ul Mulk met with President Mnangagwa at the 2020 Dubai Expo in the UAE and what followed was the vision for many future investments in Zimbabwe. Zim Cyber City is the first embodiment of this futuristic vision and Mr. Mulk promised there will be many more to come. The President’s decision to allow UAE businesses to invest in Zimbabwe will bring more investment in the future, and as President Mnangagwa stated, “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

President Mnangagwa stated that his desire is to transplant Dubai to Zimbabwe and to build a smart city even better than Dubai. Declaring that Zimbabwe will not be left behind, the President is certainly ensuring that Zimbabwe is developing a culture of continuous innovation and an environment for economic growth.

The cyber city’s goal is not only to offer economic benefits to commercial enterprises combined with lavish, uptown living, but to create an easy system for blockchain and crypto exchange companies to operate, where digital currencies can flourish. With Zim Cyber City, located in Mount Hampden, New Harare, we will witness the successful integration of blockchain and crypto technology and premium, residential living.

President Mnangagwa has granted Mulk International an exclusive license to establish a blockchain and digital assets special economic zone and investors in Zim Cyber City will benefit from the many tax and import incentives offered through the ZGI Special Economic Zone program.

Mulk International is a multinational conglomerate with diversified business interests spanning primarily four sectors – building materials, plastics, healthcare and cricket assets. For more than two decades, Mulk International has been owning and managing a group of 18 companies under the leadership of Chairman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk.

Mr. Mulk is quite an inspirational figure himself. Mulk gave up his US dreams of going to the Wharton Business School to pursue the dream of being an entrepreneur. He once fixed films on windows in the UAE, but is now worth over $2.7 billion. He had moved to the UAE originally to save money for college and prepare for his GMAT exams. He took a job at his brother-in-law’s small company that dealt in solar panel glass covers, working in the installation department. Three days into the job, he moved from installation into sales. Within a few months he was feeding the company’s capacity 100%. Then he got into sub-contracting work and within a year had saved $30,000 to pay his college fees. A week before he was to leave for the US he asked a friend for advice. The pull of entrepreneurship was strong. He then gave up his Wharton’s admission to stay in the UAE and pursue business. His calculated risk of giving up his admission to the prestigious college has paid off in spades. Now, a man who used to clean window panes and install panel sheets on windows, who had to take various forms of transportation just to get to work every day, drives a Rolls-Royce Phantom, among other luxury cars. His company has a global annual turnover of $1.8 billion.

Mulk is a man who is not afraid to take a calculated risk. Teamed up with President Mnangagwa, the transformative project of Zim Cyber City will most certainly help Zimbabwe reach its goal of seeing an upper-middle income by 2030, giving multitudes a better life and building Zimbabwe into one of the dominant countries in Africa.

This article was originally published on OpsLens.

Yes, the characters are based on real people at the Agency…

If you’ve ever had the mistaken belief that the federal government knows what it’s doing, you have got to read my books!

…It was hot, unbearably hot. Sweat dripped off of his forehead as he looked out at a sea of multimillion dollar yachts. He gripped the battered briefcase full of money with his left hand. 

    It’s too hot for this shit.

    He spotted a bar across the docks and made his way over into the dusky shelter of its doorway. 

    He had gotten the approval to go to the boat show and purchase a yacht suitable for his operation. The finance officer at Station had reluctantly counted out an enormous sum of money and watched as he stuffed it into the old briefcase that had been lying around the storage area, unused for years. He was still a little irritated that they wouldn’t approve his purchase of a super yacht – they would only grant approval for a regular luxury yacht. He had also requested the yacht be fully staffed, but Headquarters did not approve. How was he supposed to manage a yacht without a full staff? The thought of it made his blood boil. 

    Feeling increasingly disgruntled, he decided to duck into the bar and have a few drinks. He was sweating profusely at this point and was having a hard time breathing in the humid Florida air. 

    Tossing the briefcase full of cash on the bar, he sat down on a bar stool which barely supported his ample rear end…

This excerpt was taken from Mingling in the CIA: Bloud.

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Publicity & PR With a Heart

Kerrin Black is usually on the other side of the camera, but this time she’s the one in the spotlight. Her successful international PR business has helped numerous people elevate their message and gain considerable success.

What I especially like about Kerrin is her way of trying to bring positive inspiration to people – genuine information they can use – that not only educates but helps people, with real actionable steps identified to create success. In doing so, she single-handedly makes the world just a little bit better through her efforts and spirit.

Kerrin is now offering a Publicity Boot Camp- a three week (1 hour session per week) online training program that will teach you how to leverage PR and publicity in a way that will move you to the next level. She will cover interview preparation, how to leverage the media, and publicity for branding during this interactive Q & A class.

So if you’re ready to take your brand to the next level – please join us at the boot camp – use code SHELLY when you contact us at kerrin@talentfinders.com or enroll now!

My Appearance on American Snippets

I joined Barbara Allen, author of Front Toward Enemy and What Not to Wear to a Murder Trial, on her show American Snippets recently. We talked about all sorts of subjects – my longest TV appearance yet!

I think I’m getting slightly better at them…..

This episode should also be airing on OpsLens TV – which is now available on Apple TV, Roku and FireTV! Stay tuned!

Manatee Feet?

Did you know that manatees have 3-4 nails on each flipper – one thing they have in common with their closest living relative, the elephant! These nails don’t serve a specific purpose, but they may help reduce abrasion on the manatee’s flipper when the manatee “walks” on the bottom.

This manatee fact was presented courtesy of savethemanatee.org/facts.

What is Runoff?

“Dad said something about runoff from the street? I think he said something about fertilizer, oil and other chemicals.” He shrugged. “I don’t know what that means though.”

What is “runoff”?

In my latest book, A Manatee Miracle, I aim to teach our youngest readers about ocean life and ocean health – but in a non-preachy way. I’ve seen the effects of runoff in the ocean firsthand. As a child in the Florida Keys I witnessed the death of much of the life in one canal in a span of less than ten years. Manatees are just one of the victims of human carelessness.

You can help prevent manatee mortalities as well as harm to our oceans and other sea life. Runoff, such as sewage, manure and fertilizer enters waterways and causes algal blooms, some of which can be fatally toxic to manatees, and can kill grass beds that manatees rely on to eat.

What can you do to help?

Purchase environmentally safe products. (I know this is easier said than done, but there are many alternatives to the harshest of chemicals available in stores these days. It’s worth a shot.)

Properly store and/or dispose of toxic materials and do not discard waste in storm drains.

Use fertilizers sparingly and consider using a compost for yard and food waste.

Sweep up areas instead of hosing them down.

Check vehicles for leaks and properly recycle motor oil.

Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.

Pick your weeds instead of spraying weed killer chemicals that end up in the oceans and waterways.

The good news is, I have seen improvement in the canals of the Keys too. With a little bit of knowledge we can help bring life back to waterways that have been hurt.

Book Launch Day!

What better day to launch my latest book than Biodiversity Day 2021!

Today is the official launch of my latest book, A Manatee Miracle. The first installment in The Adventures of Shelly Beach series, A Manatee Miracle introduces us to Shelly Beach and her family as they move to the Florida Keys. A friendly manatee leads Shelly and her brother Sunny to a magical paddle boat and on to save the fragile environment they have come to love. #ForCoral #ForNature

It’s an elementary-grade chapter book for new, young readers. The print copy comes in large font, to assist those computer-strained eyes. With so much being done on the screen these days, I know firsthand how much damage can be done to eyesight.

My hope is that the series will teach young kids the value of wildlife, nature and the ocean in a fun and magical way.

Wanda’s Wish

She stared out the rain-soaked windows of her train car as she zipped through woods and fields lit by a dim grey light. A distinct feeling of dread hung over her – but not the usual blanket of discomfort she usually felt, it was a more smothering dread that she could feel deep into her bones. Along with the dread came the guilt.

Why hadn’t she just sucked it up and gone to Aunt Wanda’s for dinner? Aside from the fact that Emily didn’t know that “dinner” to a southerner meant lunch, she had been too wrapped up in her own daily drama to take the time to clarify the semantics.

Now Aunt Wanda was gone, and she would never get to speak with her again. She would never learn the stories she had promised herself she would put to paper, giving Wanda’s experience a life, beyond her earthly life.

Aunt Wanda was quirky, to say the least. She didn’t seem to get along with anyone, but she had always taken a liking to Emily. Every summer as a child, Emily could remember the obligatory visit to Wanda’s house in Arlington, Virginia. Emily’s parents only suffered Wanda’s company; Emily was the only one who actually wanted to be there. She was fascinated by all the trinkets on display in Aunt Wanda’s house. It had been years since Emily had visited – college and first jobs and boyfriends had consumed all of her time. The dinner invitation had been only recently, and Emily couldn’t help but feel regret at blowing her off, as unintentional as it had been.

Emily wiped a tear from the corner of her eye as the train squealed to a halt. She was there.

~

Opening the door she was blasted by the faintly floral-scented stale air of Aunt Wanda’s deserted house. She took off her wet shoes and left them at the door. Looking around, she smiled at the familiar curio cabinets lining the walls, filled with figurines – entirely figurines of bulldogs. Aunt Wanda had loved bulldogs, and you could definitely tell.

Emily had vivid memories of staring into those very cabinets with wonder, and then pestering Aunt Wanda incessantly to let her keep a figurine. This would happen on every visit, without exception, and would only end with Aunt Wanda capitulating and giving Emily a trinket to take home with her.

Now she only knew that Aunt Wanda had requested in her will that no one other than Emily should be allowed to come to her house and dispose of all her possessions. No one else had received anything in the will, only Emily.

She had to give it to Aunt Wanda, the house was immaculate. She walked around in silence, accompanied by only her reflection in the mirrored cabinets and hundreds of porcelain bulldogs, all looking at her. What would she do with them all? What was she to do with the property? She really had no guidance – the will only stated that Emily must appear at the house on the date specified.

And here she was.

“What do you want me to do, Wanda? I can’t keep all this stuff in my little studio apartment. It’s cluttered enough as it is,” she spoke out loud to the silence. The bulldogs stared back at her dubiously.

She sat down on the perfect antique fainting couch where she knew Aunt Wanda had loved to write.

But she had never written about herself.

Emily’s eyes fell to the delicate table in front of her. On it was placed a small black book.

Emily picked up the book and opened it. It was blank except for a few lines written in Wanda’s graceful cursive handwriting.

Dear Emily,

Please take care of my Edward. He will be arriving at 2 o’clock. The entire property is left to you, but only on the condition that you keep him safe and happy.

Love always,

Aunt Wanda

Emily stared at the writing. She jumped when the grandfather clock in the hall began chiming. It was exactly 2 o’clock.

Who is Edward?

As the clock stopped chiming, Emily took a deep breath, almost relieved to think that Aunt Wanda must be pulling her leg from her grave, playing one last wacky joke on Emily.

Just then she heard a light tapping on the door. Emily felt the strong desire to pour herself some of the scotch that she knew was in a beautiful crystal decanter in the corner liquor cabinet.

She instead pried herself off of the couch and walked slowly to the front door. Opening the door, she saw nothing but the quiet street in front of her, until she looked down.

There, sitting on the doorstep, was a huge bulldog, tongue hanging out the side of its mouth. Slobber dripping on the red brick. The bulldog stood up and walked past Emily and into the living room, turning to look back at her, wagging its tail.

“Edward?” Emily laughed. The dog barked happily. She kneeled down to pet him and noticed a collar around his neck had a key attached to it. He licked her hand as she fumbled with the key to get it loose.

As she turned the key over in the palm of her hand, Edward started walking toward one of the back rooms. She followed him into a room lit by a bright sunbeam. He sat down next to a rectangular black lockbox. He cocked his head to the side and looked at her.

Opening the box, Emily could not believe her eyes. Inside, a tiny golden bulldog figurine sat, staring up at her with diamond eyes. Emily grinned as she remembered pestering Aunt Wanda endlessly to let her keep the solid gold dog. Next to the dog was a stack of bills – one thousand dollar bills -wrapped with a shiny gold ribbon. There had to be 20,000 dollars worth of them. She wasn’t even sure that bill of currency was printed anymore.

And it’s not.

“Thank you Edward.” Emily patted Edward on the head, laughing so hard she fell over on the carpet. She couldn’t remember the last time she laughed so hard.

“And thank you Aunt Wanda!”

The End

This short story was originally published on Vocal Media.