Dipleague unhappy about fake Dipleagues on Facebook (update)

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

DipleagueIf there’s one startup that has a problem of being copied locally, it is Dipleague. I don’t know if they should feel flattered, angry, or should maybe see this as a sign that it’s probably time to expand Dipleague beyond a mailing list. And maybe even time to monetise, a move the founder has so far been reluctant to make.

The copycats use a number of platforms; Facebook pages, Facebook profilesLinkedIn Profiles, Google Groups, and even a classifieds website. The people behind the website, particularly, have chosen to just use a slightly different spelling – Deep instead of Dip – and appear to be the ones running the second most popular ‘fake’ Deepleague page. The most popular one is this one here that has 15,600 Facebook likes.

In the past, the real Dipleague has been silent about the copycats. But two days ago, founder of the service, Samir Shasha, issued a statement to Dipleague members via email. The problem, according to his email, is that the members of his Dipleague are thinking the impostor pages are part of the regular service.

“I would like to inform all members that this page, its creators, and its content and administration are in no way connected to Dipleague,” Samir Shasha says in the email, “the fact that any person or group of persons knowingly created a Facebook page called ‘dipleague’ clearly indicates a lack of business ethics if not an outright intellectual property violation.”

In the email Shasha goes on to encourage Dipleague members to report the impostor pages so they can be taken down. No idea if they’ll succeed with this as we have known bigger local brands that failed.

We received an email from Deepleague, who rightfully claimed their right of response, but wrongfully used it to slander us because,according to them, we slandered them. The slander is a separate issue we’ll deal with separately. Essentially, their email, which another reader also posted below in the comments, says they didn’t copy the Dipleague name because, even though they are in the same business, and even though Dipleague has been popular in Zim since 6+ years ago, (they launched 4 years go), their name, Deepleague, is spelt differently so all is ure coincidence. Yes, guess we can say at least they said something.



  1. Anthony Somerset

    dipleague needs a proper website and to really sort out its spam issues, i signed up a while back but my inbox was bombarded with spam and repeat messages and my listings never even got a response, classifieds website – item sold within 3 weeks…..


    they should have taken all the initiative and created a facebook page first .Samir you slept on the job and now someone else has the niche

  3. Zaniest

    hahahha, kabweza did u get this damning reply from deepleague? i got it in my mail it was c.c to all journalists in zimand i thought i would share incase you did not see it

    1. Zaniest

      Deepleague “CopyCat” Respons To TechZim

      We https://www.facebook.com/deepleague?hc_location=timeline were not shocked to note that techzim or LSM Kabweza has not yet sobered up on his unrelenting, careless unwarranted attacks on local technology players, but this time we could not just haplessly watch him as he provocatively and needlessly attacked our brand.

      Kabweza produced a damning attack on our brand in his usual foolish writing when he insinuated that a public notice by Dipleague against its copycat was a direct attack against our brand, Deepleague Advertising p/l.

      In his article headlined “Dipleague unhappy about fake Dipleagues on Facebook”, Limbikani practised his usual folly by deliberately diverting an obvious message by Dipleague mailing list against dipleague facebook, a Facebook clone of the same name and carelessly dragged our Deepleague Advertising brand into the mud.

      To any sane man, Obviously the spellings of the two facebook pages here are clearly different and so is the modus operandi.

      While according to techzim the email sent by Dipleague clearly stated : “I would like to inform all members that this page, its creators, and its content and administration are in no way connected to Dipleague,” Samir Shasha says in the email, “the fact that any person or group of persons knowingly created a Facebook page called ‘dipleague’ clearly indicates a lack of business ethics if not an outright intellectual property violation.”

      It boggles one`s mind how limbikani managed to successfully and completely move away from the focus of the email which was about the dipleague facebook page with 15000 fans, and dragged our Deepleague plus our , LinkedIn Profiles, Google Groups, and even our official classifieds website into his mud.

      It is always prudent behavior for one to be well-informed before one speaks!

      Being well informed before speaking eliminates the risk of one exposing one’s folly to a hitherto unconcerned world. This rule applies especially to those in the media industry, whose purpose is to inform the public with foolproof and well-researched information and not mere personal opinions of the writer, which may be driven by purely unreasonable emotions such as jealousy.

      The cardinal rule of journalism is that before one writes and publishes a story about an individual or an entity, one has to speak to the concerned parties and inquire for relevant information before one literally “runs their mouth” over an issue one is ill-informed about.

      Failure to observe this cathedral rule of journalism results in plain mis-information, dis-information and exposure of the deep folly and lack of basic education of the “journalist”. In journalism there is what is called RIGHT TO RESPOND, and we wonder whether Limbikani Makani A.K.A Soul Kabweza is conversant with this principle.

      This is the problem caused by unschooled techies who by mere blogging deem themselves journalists, trading incautiously in a field with rules they are strangers to.

      The emergence of the internet has birthed many pseudo-journalists who have opened up their own little “media houses” overnight, which is a good thing considering the unemployment level in the country but the major drawback is that the vast majority of these pseudo-journalists have no basic understanding of the profession and thus tend to write articles based on their personal feelings and emotions rather than verified facts; and that is when they are not copy pasting someone else’s writings.

      One such “media house” is a small icts blog going by the name techzim, which claims to have been in existence for over half a decade or so but has nothing to show for it and has been relegated to a very cold and dry place, between being an irrelevant nothing and a history-case of failed dreams being chased a one man party who can`t even organise a stable team to support his nonety.

      It’s quite clear to see why techzim has become irrelevant, put simply its GUTTER JOURNALISM. These characters wrote a story that had insinuations against us https://www.facebook.com/deepleague?hc_location=timeline but never bothered to verify the facts, when we clearly have our email addresses and phone numbers on our website, which goes to show just how they are not well-acquainted with the journalistic profession and the rules governing it.

      Ours is a registered company by law, titled Deepleague Media& Advertising P/L, with a registered domain http://www.deepleague.co.zw and has been in operation for nearly four years now; and though our name may coincidentally rhyme with the name of another start up, Dipleague, its quite clear to anyone with a basic education that we are spelt differently, do a distinctly different business and share no resemblance of logo and/or meaning. We got no motivation or inspiration whatsoever from the said start up, which we only found out about only recently anywhere.

      What the clearly conceited, self-righteous and apparently educationally deficient Soul Kabweza AKA Limbikani Makani should have done before rushing to publish a clearly unresearched, uninformed and depraved falsehood of an article is to contact us on our email addresses and phone numbers that are written on our website and ask about us, our mission, history and reason for existence. That is what proper and cultured journalists do.

      His behavior clearly shows that he, Soul Kabweza or is it Limbikani Makani, and his struggling blog are desperate for attention and have a real lack of content to give to their dwindling number of readers. In short his pot shots are a cry of desperation for attention.

      “Deep” and “Dip” are two different words with totally different meanings. Presumed modification is merely an opinion and not a fact. There is another startup which is even more in our line of work than the said Dipleague, which is ZimLeague. Now since Zimleague rhymes with Dipleague or even Deepleague does that mean that they also copied the name and modified? I don’t know but I seriously doubt it.

      We know of a classifieds website called http://www.classifieds.co.zw which has been in existence for some time and yet techzim had no qualms about Alpha Media House registering their own that is called myclassifieds.co.zw why? Are they also going to accuse Alpha Media of being “fake” or “copy cat”for registering myclassifieds.co.zw?

      Its clear to see that the pseudo-journalist at techzim haven’t been introduced to the art of critical thinking and the noble values of thorough research. This is especially sad when one notes that the behavior is exhibited by the owner of techzim. No wonder they have been deserted by many of their former readers and advertisers.

      Our sources of inspiration and origin of company name, logo, mission and date of inception can be disclosed to them free of charge should they so request. Concerning our existence however, we can rest assure them that we are not here to play games and they have the democratic right to wish us out of existence but unfortunately that will not be happening, and so it’s wise to get used to that and save themselves unnecessary disappointment and heartache.

      Wishing us out of existence may be the same as wishing that Limbikani Makani A.K.A Soul Kabweza goes back to his original homeland in Malawi, hence nonsensical.

      I have been a follower of one ICTs blog that bears stark resemblance in name, to that of techzim and their name is Techzimo.com. Is it proper then to claim that techzim are a fake replica of Techzimo? Here is that link to Techzimo


      1. L.S.M. Kabweza

        ah, please!

        1. Zaniest

          lolz,tellme about the wars, I once had a clash with another journalist on facebook

        2. Econet Hater

          Shame on you.

          Well to be quite fair, you took sides that was unfair.

          “If there’s one startup that has a problem of being copied locally, it is Dipleague. I don’t know if the” You had already reached a conclusion before you wrote the article. You insinuated the idea to everyone in less than a 100 characters.

          THis is the type of journalism we expect everyday from Chronice ,Herald against NewsDay etc on their political themes.

          Its funny how you guys are writing about ” The brand is not a person” in your article on 8 mistakes on social media advertising and here you are doing the exact same thing.

          As for the issue at hand. Ok so maybe the creators of Facebook DEEPleague already knew of DIPleague….. And like stated they have over 15000 followers on Facebook. Its polite to say 1 in 10 of those followers know dipleague.co.zw comapred to the Facebook counterpart.

          Fine the evidence seems to suggest they copied, but the motive of this article should be reviewed and posting the email sent to you guys as a comment and laughing about it really paints a bad image about your motives.

          Remember: ” For any hero, its either you get killed on the job, or you live long enough to see yourself turn into the villain” (thats actually from the Batman, Dark knight rises)

          Techzim is still too small to be taking sides so blatantly and obviously. I hope this is the last time, or I will be forced to DDOS your site to the ground.

          1. L.S.M. Kabweza

            “If there’s one startup that has a problem of being copied locally, it is Dipleague. I don’t know if the” You had already reached a conclusion before you wrote the article.

            Actually, I did have this conclusion before writing this article. I had before coming across this recent problem.

            The real ‘Dipleague’ actually has had a copycat problem for a while, maybe they just didn’t know it. if you have been in Zim around enough since Dipleague became a classifieds ‘success’, you’d know this.

            As for responding to their comment. Please do read it again and try to advise where we should start.

          2. GoddamnBatman

            Couldn’t resist

  4. lyan

    who told you that Dipleague is original and Deepleague is fake. Maybe it is the other way round. There is a website called http://www.technews.co.zw, can we say that you copied their name and you are fake.

    1. Dippelgänger

      I hear you but ‘technews’ can’t easily be confused for ‘techzim’ or vice versa. At least not as much as the current battle of the leagues or something like airfrance.com with arifrance.com.

      The cynic in me looks at the timeline and reads the over 1200 odd words of rebuttal that essentially boil down to ‘ee’ is not ‘i’ and I have to say, I’m not convinced. Yes, they may be legally registered and all but how is what they are doing any different from typosquatting? Am I really expected to believe this was a wondrous coincidence and not a delibarate attempt to cash in on the brand recognition of Dipleague, especially given the ‘distinctly similar’ core service offered? That’s one tough sell

  5. nomsa muungani

    the two leagues are different so how can you say the other ¨deepleague¨ copied ¨Dipleague¨ yet they carry different spellings and line of business, you even well stated that they are two Dipleagues which actually share the same name with the same spelling how then did you mistakenly link that to the other Deepleague which is totally different from the two, is that personal or what, if you did personalize then you are in the wrong field, we thought as a tech blog you are there to give credit to young technopreneurship, they deserve to be credited in this modern day of technology, with this lame, fake,unguided journalism you are heading towards your downfall, journalist must provide us with a well researched piece of work not sketch information, shame on you LSM Kabweza

    1. Tendai Mupaso

      Shame on whoever said LSM Kabweza is a journalist. Anyway, the two don’t carry the same spelling but they are pronounced the same way and do the sme business, only on different platforms. This presence a problem in word of mouth referrals and “it appears” that the “Deep” rode on Dips’ name “as pronounced” to gain traction on a different platform. It’s not surprising that Sasha alleges that people get confused over the two. In any case, Kabweza shouldn’t blindly credit technoprenuers who aren’t creative enough come up with a name that is different from competition.

      1. Econet Hater

        So you are Kabweza’s sidekick.
        Batman makes a mess, and Robin will try to clean it up.

        You guys should read the article you wrote #GetSocial.

        You say “You are a brand not a person”.

        You guys should seriously consider changing your style/ approach, you are in Zimbabwe not America.

        If Soul Kabweza is not a journalist then writing articles if he hasn’t taken time to learn the rules of the game.

        stupid #Techzim

        1 more funny comment from the Techzim guys and I will DDOS this site

        1. Dippelgänger

          Master Hater, I don’t recall techzim ever calling itself a newspaper, though I’m sure they appreciate how you consider them to be as authoritative as one. Nor do i remember there ever being a statutory requirement of a journalism degree to run a blog. That is the freedom the web brings us all. If they abuse that freedom, its an open platform; post a comment as you have done (without the ddos gag threats, that just weakens your point) or go to the contacts page and write a letter, call them up, see them face to face or if your pockets are deep (not ‘dip’) enough, call a lawyer!

          Oh snap! I hope this doesn’t count as a ‘funny comment’! I’m not a sidekick techzim guy (so please don’t DDOS my brain!) but i guess you could call me one the citizens who thinks it better to have Batman and Robin swoop in once in while than let the Jokers of the world run around blowing stuff up for fun.

          1. Econet Hater

            I declare war.

            I have had enough of this stupidity. Time to put an end to this.

            Prepare to be DOSed to death !. Maybe that will teach these guys some manners

            Seems Techzim is now turning into a social gathering for idiots

            1. Dippelgänger

              …but if you are here then surely, by your own words, you are an idiot? Serious question War Commander E. Hater Sir
              (by the way, that up vote is from me for your stunning flawless logic)

              1. Econet hater

                Then i bring down herald.co.zw

              2. Econet Hater

                As innocent they maybe I think this social gathering of idiot needs to know who is the King.

              3. Upyours

                All hail King Idiot, hahahahahaha!

          2. Econit (i not e) Hater

          3. Econet Hater

            First I bring down Deepleague , then Dipleague, then Techzim

            All in a days work 🙂

            1. Econet Hater

              Deepleague.co.zw is now down 🙂

              Tomorrow I bring down Dipleague, then Techzim

  6. TSA – The Serial Analyst

    So from all these discussions, can we simply forgive each other and work on something progressive???

    1. Tech Guru

      thumbs up to TSA- you are hevean sent! whats done is done , i think both Deepleague, Techzim and all involved parties have drawn lessons from their errors, yes even BATMAN too..what we should focus now on is a way forward.

  7. Mzukuru Tsuro

    mmmph, this sounds like fight ye boyz dzemuraini. Mese muri kutaura chokwadi, but coz of ma ‘pesonari’ mese makuita kunge vanana.


    – you were right to blog about this

    – but, your article clearly attacks one particular brand/person. You make it seem as if there are many copycats, but based on the email from deepleague, its clear you were attacking them. The only other web property that is not deepleague has one mention in the article.


    – you are clearly copycats (your arguments are weak)
    – you are right to respond, because this article was about you

    – the response was a bit childish, (maybe anger clouded your judgement)

  8. Samir Shasha

    Thank you for bringing this issue to people’s attention. I have no problem with “Deepleague”. It has tried to copy a recognized name and clearly distinguishes itself from “Dipleague”. While they have 15,000 “likes” we have 30,000 subscribers and counting. But they saw an opportunity and I wish them well. Same with classifieds.

    However, “Dipleague” on Facebook is an unethical imposter trying to claim the same credibility as the original mailing list. It is no different than people I reported who creates an FB page with my name and photograph. That is simply theft and deception. They chose to use the word “dipleague” to confuse and deceive their audience into believing they are an extension of the Dipleague Mailing List. There is simply no other explanation.

    For those who wonder, dipleague is originally “Diplomatic League” established in 2002 and was intended as a mailing list for the diplomatic community to help them buy and sell when arriving or leaving and announce events. It was a free service I set up when I ran ZOL for a diplomatic spouse who moderated the list of 120 people. When he left he asked me to takeover and it expanded over time to non diplomats and as the currency crisis hit, Dipleague became Zimbabwe’s supermarket.

    I am no longer with ZOL but in the sale to Liquid – I kept Dipleague so that I could oversee its uninterrupted service. It has created many a business and employment in Zimbabwe. I’m very proud of it but unfortunately I lack the resources to make obvious improvements such as a mobile and web presence (though dipleague archives are on the Internet simultaneously publishing every posting). If there are those who wish to volunteer their time to improve this service, I will happily entertain them.

    As for those who complain about spammers on dipleague – I am one person moderating 30,000 members. This is a community mailing list – digest – report the spammers and I will block them. But for the spammers free addresses like gmail would have been allowed but to block them from returning like a chameleon with a new name we had to block membership of all free addresses and even allowed free conversion to ZOL addresses. We do allow Apple ID’s.

    Samir Shasha
    Dipleague Moderator

    1. Coolmac

      Thanks for the clarification. Which email address can I reach you on? You can give me a shout at chris.zvinavashe@gmail.com

      All the best.