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July 2016

Gossip

So I just watched a Tedx video on YouTube by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in which she talks about the danger of a single story.

In this speech she basically says how dangerous it can be when one only has a single story/perspective about an event, race or character. She herself said how she fell in love with writing at a young age, but when she would write she wrote about white families who ate toast for breakfast and ate ginger biscuits. Nevermind that she herself had never had ginger biscuits, but as a child, those are the stories she read and so she believed that was what stories were meant to be like. It was only when she read African stories about girls with kinky hair that could never form a ponytail, that’s when she realised she too had her own stories to tell.

What does this show, it shows how easily stereotypes can be formed, how easy it is to label a whole population based on one story. Just like gossip. Now, I’ve always had a problem with gossip not because its sometimes not true, but it makes people form one perspective of a person based on perhaps one thing they did. Not taking into account that they have many good attributes. It puts someone’s flaws into a single conversation and leaves little space for anything good. 

I know a girl who played hockey on the Zimbabwe U19 national team, she is a straight A student and an avid writer. A week ago, at her school, she was caught making out with a boy in a classroom. Now when I hear people talk about her to strangers, they say, “oh that’s the girl that was caught kissing in that classroom” and to people that didn’t know her prior to the incident now only have a single story about her. Kissing is not bad but I’m sure that’s not all someone wants to be known for.

So, next time you want to gossip, remember that the human you’re speaking of has thoughts and emotions just like you. And if it were you hearing that gossip would you bother to say “yes she did that but she’s not a bad person”. Don’t let people form stereotypes of other people right under your nose and do nothing about it. Because one day they’ll form a stereotype about you.

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Pretty Wings

In the midst of all that’s happening around me. Just all the ups and downs of life I’m able to find solace in music. 

As I write this, I’m listening to “Pretty Wings” by Maxwell. And I can barely describe it but with every note he sings I feel myself unravel. It’s like its own kind of peace, it’s been a hectic week and its just so beautiful how music is its own kind of therapy. Serendipitous doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So thank you to the writers and artists like Maxwell, who use their voices to sing our remedies . Every tune a chance to believe again, a chance to believe in better days

Zimbabwe’s Awakening

Towards the end of last week on the 1st of July there were whispers that there would be major protests in the following week on the 6th of July 2016. There were many skeptics who said Zimbabweans are too squeamish to rise up against their government in opposition to the ongoing corruption and poor economic management of Zimbabwe. The skeptics were wrong.

For those of you not familiar with the current situation in Zimbabwe, I’ll put it plainly, the people of Zimbabwe have had enough. They’ve had enough of corrupt ministers reading speeches written for them by their staff about how the government is taking strides to build the Zimbabwean economy whilst people are continually unemployed and ministers build themselves million dollar mansions with tax layers money. They’ve had enough of spending whatever hard earned cash they can get to send their children to school, only to be betrayed by an economic situation which denies their children employment. They have had enough of all the promises the President makes every election, promises that are never fulfilled. Zimbabweans have reached their breaking point and with all major Zimbabwean news outlets being under government control, we shall not let our voices be stifled any longer. Zimbabweans declared they would be shutting down Zimbabwe and not go to work in defiance to the government.

This the image that circulated Zimbabwe on social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others and indeed Zimbabweans did not go to work today on the 6th of July 2016. Today marked the beginning of a revolution in Zimbabwe as we Zimbabweans have said enough is enough. The above poster reads “Hatichada & Hatichatya Asisiafuni” in Zimbabwean national languages Shona and Ndebele meaning “We do not want this anymore & We are not afraid anymore”. As expected the Zimbabwean police have been no help in standing with the people in protest and have actually beat up Zimbabwean citizens engaging in peaceful protest.

The government was aware that there would be protests going on, on the 6th of July and amped up the amount of police in “protest hotspots” with some police even sitting in buses to keep an eye on regular civilians. Instead of addressing the issues at hand the government continues to ignore Zimbabweans cry for help. To make things worse Zimbabwean politicians who are members of the ruling party ZANU PF continue to say that all is well in Zimbabwe, Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa even went on a UK news show (Hardtalk) and said that “ZANU PF remains a very solid, cohesive political force in Zimbabwe…As far as Zimbabweans are concerned, we are happy…”Chinamasa Interview on Hardtalk Thus illustrating how much Zimbabwean government is keen to try and uphold a façade of normalcy to try to show the international community that all is well.

Even if they shut down our social media applications (such as WhatsApp) We shall not be silent. I thank God for this WordPress platform. If you are reading this please tell someone about it, don’t let the Zimbabwean government’s attempts to silence Zimbabwean people win. On social media use the hashtag #ThisFlag to show your support to Zimbabweans. Our voices will be heard.

HATICHADA, HATICHATYA ASISAFUNI TAJAMUKA! 

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“Reading is my way of being a warrior, I’m being free on the inside” -quote from “Roots” This quote was said in a book turned into a series and its about the lives of Africans sold into slavery, when one girl (a slave) is asked why she needs to read so much she says this. So powerful. Freedom…

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