The fraught face of tech­nol­ogy - why Ap­ple’s new de­vise has opened a can of worms

We are not the same, writes Grace Mugabe

The West Australian - - AGENDA - Email

It’s no se­cret that there is an­other Grace Mugabe and she isn’t an ac­coun­tant from Perth, plus she is get­ting a lot of very neg­a­tive me­dia ex­po­sure at the mo­ment so is at the fore­front of many peo­ple’s mind. For me, this means more and more peo­ple do a dou­ble take on hear­ing my name.

It’s be­come the norm for me to walk into a room and at least one per­son be­comes dis­tracted by my name tag. Ob­vi­ously, I am not the same Grace that is all over the me­dia but I guess any fa­mous name will elicit a bit of con­fu­sion at first glance.

Of­ten what comes next is the in­evitable ques­tion: “Are you re­lated to Grace Mugabe?”. This is fol­lowed by side re­marks and whis­pered com­ments. It can be su­per frus­trat­ing as I have an im­por­tant mes­sage about fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy to share. I al­ways want that to take cen­trestage and it feels like this is a bar­rier that I al­ways have to get past first.

Some­times it even be­comes a bar­rier to busi­ness re­la­tion­ships. More than once I have had peo­ple want to con­firm we are of no re­la­tion be­fore they feel com­fort­able do­ing busi­ness with me. There are about 72,000 Mu­gabes in the world and it’s not a par­tic­u­larly rare name in Africa.

But I guess it’s still a valid ques­tion even though it can be a repet­i­tive one to me. As a mat­ter of fact, I have met an­other woman called Grace Mugabe who was not re­lated to ei­ther of us. On a prac­ti­cal note, I have faced some chal­lenges too. Just try do­ing a Google search of my name and it’s un­likely you will find any­thing about me. If you add Aus­tralia, or bet­ter yet ac­coun­tant, to the search you will have more luck but it’s not un­til you add in my busi­ness name, Fi­nan­cially Empowered, that you get re­sults that fea­ture me ex­clu­sively. As a small busi­ness owner this is some­thing that I need to com­pen­sate for in my mar­ket­ing, web de­vel­op­ment and so­cial me­dia.

There have been many in­stances where I have had dif­fi­culty us­ing my name — for ex­am­ple, do­ing busi­ness with coun­tries in which they have the other Grace Mugabe on some sort of a banned list.

Run­ning work­shops means I of­ten use EventBrite to fa­cil­i­tate par­tic­i­pant book­ings and pay­ments. When it came time for EventBrite to re­lease my pay­ments, I was ad­vised that the name Grace Mugabe was on the US Depart­ment of Trea­sury banned list, which meant I had to jump through a lot of hoops to man­age to ac­cess the funds from my work­shop.

I’m cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sim­i­lar is­sues with PayPal. Not great when try­ing to make pay­ments to over­seas sup­pli­ers and PayPal is their only pay­ment op­tion.

When I was at univer­sity, my dad sent me some money from the US and the FBI was no­ti­fied be­cause they thought he was send­ing money to Grace Mugabe’s off­shore ac­count — of course, he wasn’t, it was com­ing to me.

Then there were the nu­mer­ous times I’ve tried to ac­cess the funds in my bank ac­count only to be ad­vised that the ac­count was frozen and I needed to con­tact the bank to

The fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy.

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