As former president Robert Mugabe and his second wife, Grace Mugabe, prepare to make their exit from Zimbabwe’s State House, Zimbabweans have hankered for “Amai” (Mother) Sally, his late first wife, who is fondly remembered as a “very sensitive and intelligent woman” who may have been a ““restraining influence” on her husband.
On the day of the military intervention earlier this month, the veteran South Africa-based Zimbabwean journalist Peter Ndoro tweeted the following:
“As developments continue to unfold in #Zimbabwe #RobertMugabe might be looking back and wondering if … his rule wasn’t a tale of two wives. One that died too soon and the other that ended up being his Achilles heel.… Seguir leyendo »
“Heh, you people, you used to laugh at us. Look at you now. You can’t even buy a bottle of Coke!”
It was the early 2000s, during the economic free-fall that had followed Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform program, which began 20 years after the country had won its political independence from Ian Smith’s settler colonial regime. My parents were visiting Zambia from South Africa and in the town of Livingstone met a woman who, upon discovering that they were Zimbabwean, could not hide her schadenfreude.
She recalled the period in the late 1980s when Zambians had flocked to Zimbabwe to buy basic goods with Zambian bank notes that had lost much of their former value, thanks to hyperinflation and economic instability caused by a series of so-called structural adjustment programs.… Seguir leyendo »
In 1994 Shoshozola became the unofficial anthem of South Africa’s “miracle” transition into democracy. Taking its title from the Ndebele word for “going forward”, it was a song expressing the hardship of the lives of migrant labourers from what was then Rhodesia, who travelled on steam trains to work in South Africa’s mines. Today it has a painful irony as migrants find themselves no longer welcome in post-apartheid South Africa.
A recent spate of violent attacks led to an anti-xenophobia protest on 9 March. About 200 locals and foreigners, under the banner of the Coalition of Civics against Xenophobia, took to the streets of Pretoria calling for an end to the violence against foreign-born Africans and South Asians in South Africa’s townships and inner cities.… Seguir leyendo »
I was too young — barely old enough to have had a full head of hair for two years — to remember the African National Congress’s 1994 election campaign poster depicting a smiling, grandfatherly Nelson Mandela, surrounded by a group of children of all races. This picture of Tata Madiba, South Africans’ term of endearment for Mr. Mandela, was appropriate for the Rainbow Nation he was hoping to preside over. The mastermind behind the election effort was the Clinton presidential campaign consultant Stan Greenberg, who advised the A.N.C. to abandon its image as a liberation movement and adopt a new role as “change agents.”
The promise held in Tata’s smile was that the Rainbow Nation would offer a brighter future for South Africa’s children, the generation that became known as “bornfrees.” For many black “bornfrees” and their parents, the principal path to this promise was to enroll in private schools and former “Model C” schools (as historically white public schools were known).… Seguir leyendo »