Archive | December 2011

A Homeless Congregation

I’ve been doing some research about projects that aim to help homeless people in Cape Town. These are photos about one of the projects in Bellville. It is a centre where homeless persons can take a shower and where they also get a free meal. The centre has support from the local government. It also has a weekly church service for the homeless in the area. These photos are from one of the church services that were brimming with tears and hallelujahs. My story and some photos about homeless projects will be published in a newspaper in Cape Town soon. (All photos copyright of Yazeed Kamaldien)

Spam Is Relentless

Warning: This might be an entirely pointless reading exercise. Unless you are also having problems with Yahoo e-mail account spam. Then you might relate to my frustration…

The other night, shortly after having launched my blog, my Yahoo e-mail account seemed to have been hacked. I am not sure if it has anything to do with typing in my e-mail password into a website which would allow me to create the blog. But it likely does. The security on my Yahoo e-mail account has been compromised. I have since had to change my Yahoo account password.

Various spam messages have been sent to all the e-mail addresses on my Yahoo contact list. Some persons wanting to know what’s going on sent back those messages. Others even phoned me to ask whether I was okay – some of the messages seemed to have a drastic tone. A friend also sent me this text message: “Got weird ‘I am my own boss’ e-mail from you. Does not sound like your voice?”

Below are five examples (without changes) of the e-mail messages that were sent out as spam. I have only deleted the links that – likely once clicked on – would lead to possibly activation of more spam.

Whats up. I lost control of my spending habits now I dont feel bad about spending my money I told myself to stay positive! I love that nobody is in charge of me anymore I wouldnt waste your time. see you soon!

Subject: this has been how to start your new life

ive never had anything come easy to me this was my ticket to a free ride everyone was worried about me! now I am complete. I had to share this with someone. talk to you later!

living on my own has really opened my eyes this couldnt have worked out better all my options were fading fast! I am back in control. imagine how happy you could be! c ya.

whats up.

ive overcome my fair share of hardships now im always one step ahead it was time to start a new chapter!

these days people come to me for financial advice

just think of all the possibilities!

Subject: I am my own boss try it out for yourself…

Hey Friend!

I feel guilty that I cant provide for my family this got me back on my feet in no time all the stress was starting to take a toll on me

im finally back in the swing of things

you should really consider it.

see you.

All these messages contain the allure of finding financial reward at the end of a click. The upside – yes, there is one – has been that the hundreds of auto replies have shown me which e-mail addresses no longer exist, inform on where some have moved on to in terms of work etc and I have received messages from persons that I have not heard from in a while. X is now in New Zealand, Y is finishing a master’s degree and Z left Yemen for India.

This is a reply that I sent to one friend who wrote about this spam earlier this evening:

if i could swear in your language i would be throwing the ugliest words at yahoo e-mail right now. they should be able to protect our e-mail from this crap — but they don’t. spam messages were sent to all my contacts and now i face many auto replies from everyone on holiday and messages saying that some e-mail addresses no longer exist. then there are some messages from people asking me what the hell is going on. have i changed jobs? do i want to commit suicide? do i have enough money? then others say that they have already enough money to buy a second car and that they wish me all the best. it is crazy.

It’s not really that grand to be posting my second blog entry and it is about spam. It’s almost hilarious. The Internet is a wonderful place – except for a few idiots who leave spam all over the place.

Yazeed Kamaldien

Yes, I am now also a blogger!

More than a year ago I read an article headlined ‘Bloggers are morons’. It outlined how bloggers were mostly ill-informed while re-posting unoriginal thoughts and ideas.

That really put me off starting a blog as an online space to communicate my work as a journalist and photographer with others.

Being a journalist who gets paid to write has also meant that the last thing I wanted to do in my spare time was yet more writing! But now, after much time debating the validity of blogging, I have finally succumbed.

Yes, I am now also a blogger.

There is too much going on to not share it with readers, particularly when one feels that there is a lot of good also that others might be interested in engaging with.

Before I go on and on though… let me introduce myself.

My name is Yazeed Kamaldien. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa. I work as a self-employed journalist and photographer in my home town. The guy in the photo above is me — on holiday. It’s summer time and we spend many days hanging out on the beach while getting caramel tans.

In terms of my career, I’ve been mostly writing for newspapers in various countries. I have also worked with radio and TV stations, magazines and online media. Academically, I have a degree in journalism and post-graduate diploma in media management.

Apart from commissioned work for various media, I’ve mostly been using my Facebook account to interact with friends about various events and the stories that I have been working on. But now I’m hoping to communicate with a wider readership via this blog.

That’s — in a nutshell — what this blog is about!

Yazeed Kamaldien