Dear Zahrah Perry
A whole community is in outrage.
People are slamming you.
On Twitter and Facebook and the like, bloggers are outraged.
The blogosphere is rebuking you with loathing posts dedicated to your hated story. I can just envisage the disgust rolling off their tongues.
Then there are those who feel sorry for you, speaking about your childhood and hoping you will one day “taste the sweetness of Ramadan”. In other words, come right, as a person and especially as a Muslim.
Me? I’m indifferent. You’re entitled to your own opinion and what you wrote is just what it is: your opinion.
People (Muslim, Christian, Jewish), slam their religions and slam other people from their religions all the time. No one ever talks about it though. It’s like an unwritten rule like not talking about sport, politics or religion to an intoxicated person.
The only difference here is your blog audience comprises of mostly youngsters intoxicated by a love for their religion. You’ve offended your target audience. Not a good move.
These once loyal followers might not be back. (Time to re-think your niche and set your sights on gaining new followers. People of Cape Town love to support one of their own and now you have proven yourself to not be worthy of that.)
You have, nonetheless, gained massive fame from all of this. Everyone knows your name and who you are. Almost like how Kim Kardashian became famous. But fame it is. It’s still nice, right dear Zahrah?
It feels good to be controversial ‘cos audiences derive endless joy from other people’s action and controversy splattered all over social media. You will attract followers who hold their bated breath to see your next controversial move. If you don’t make one, they’ll also die out as your last loyal followers, ‘cos they will get bored.
I hear you when you might say you wanted to tell the world what other’s are really thinking but they never say.
Sometimes the world needs that. Free-thinking truth-seekers, almost like Julian Assange. Unfortunately this only works if it makes a difference to people’s lives. Sadly, I’m not sure if what you did stands for anything.
What I see is this: A brilliant blogger who grew a blogging audience organically from nothing. Just by her contributions to her blog. You have an online store and you are all over the internet when your name is Google searched. That’s quite commendable.
Your post? It looks like an emotional backlash to someone who scolded you for doing bad things during a holy month. (Don’t write when you’re angry. If you do, rather “save as draft” and don’t hit publish. If you want to vent, get a diary.)
What you wrote was merely opinion-based and nothing factual came out of it. You didn’t have proof to show us the pancakes were really burnt or that you actually consumed nothing that would intoxicate your body when you went out on a Thursday night. Make sure you can back up your story with truthful facts. No one likes fiction from an established blogger, especially if fiction is not your thing.
If you wanted fiction, write a book. Use fake names. Tell us about how Fatima sent burnt pancakes over to Farzana’s house and how the whole street found out about it and now no one eats from Fatima. The community has shunned her and now Fatima has revolted and is seen clubbing and drinking on a Thursday night. Farzana is now married to Fatima’s husband. And Farzana’s son is dating Fatima – a woman 15 years his senior.
You could become the Bold and the Beautiful novelist of Cape Town. You’re talented. Use it. You’re welcome.
With fame comes infamy and the lack of privacy. People will talk because they also want to give their two cents. They’ll say “I knew Zahrah from high school and she was this that and the other. She didn’t give jack about her religion anyway. She was raised in a confused religious environment”. Blah blah. Girl, you have parents and even if you don’t, you have family. You may or may not care about how this affects them. THEY care about how it affects them. Respect their privacy also.
In my softest most caring voice: Don’t fall into the trap of doing anything and everything for fame. We don’t need more self-made, scandalous celebrities. We need role-models, we need bloggers we can look up to, mentor with, start a movement with. We need you, but with better decision-making skills.
Dear Zahrah Perry
What type of blogger do you want to go down in history as?