Saturday, March 24, 2012

When Maggie Thatcher Met Winnie Mandela

I had to re-post this piece for wider viewing on my blog. It was culled from a Zimbabwean forum, one of those numerous Zimbabwean fora that specialise in mixing African-politics with sordid humor. I cannot vouch whether Winnie Mandela ever did meet the Iron Lady, Maggie Thatcher, but even if they'd never met, an imaginary meeting between the two "Iron ladies" would still produce fireworks. Read below.......
At a cocktail party in the United-Kingdom, Winnie Mandela spotted Maggie Thatcher on the other side of the room. She barged past everyone, spilling the drinks of several invited guests on the way. Then Winnie elbowed her way to Maggie, stood brazenly in front of her and declared:

(Winnie Mandela)"I hear they call you the Iron Lady."

(Margaret Thatcher) "I have been referred to by that name, yes", replied Maggie Thatcher, peering down her nose at the impudent upstart.

"And whom, may I inquire, do I have the honor of addressing", asked Maggie icily.

"I am the Iron lady of South Africa!", replied Winnie, pumping her fist in the air!

""Oh yes", replied Maggie dryly, "And for whom do you iron?"

Thanks for reading. I hope you had a chuckle!
James Chikonamombe

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Andy Brown, R.I.P Fellow Comrade.

This week, one of Zimbabwe's finest musicians succumbed to pneumonia. Andy Brown made a name for himself with the 80s Afro-Pop group Ilanga, and then went onto further fame as a solo musician. Starting in the 90s, he also began to be known for his very vocal support of the policies of Zanu-pf, Zimbabwe's ruling party. Now let me digress here a little bit: supporting the  policies and the ideals of Zanu-pf does not mean, in any way, that one is a party stooge who parrots all the ruling party mantras. It simply means that one realises the economic and racial injustices that dedevil Zimbabwe; that one acknowledges the role played by Zanu and Zapu in liberating Zimbabwe from colonial slavery; and that one supports the ideals and aims of the Liberation Struggle (land-reform, equity, education, health-care, racial-harmony etc).

For all of Andy Brown's support of the ideals mentioned above, he was vilified by a large section of Zimbabweans. In his death, some of the comments coming out of the mouths of his fellow Zimbabweans have been  scathing, to say the least. What poor, old Andy ever did to to deserve this venom, no one knows. It's now become perilous, even heresy amongst a large section of Zimbabweans, to even espouse ideals that are in tandem with those of our Liberation Struggle. To do so is to invite ridicule, even violence. Such is the time we Zimbabweans live in.

If only people would step back a little, like the late Andy Brown, and note that 4000 white, commercial-farmers cannot continue to own 83% of Zimbabwe's arable land; or that Zimbabwe -- with $2.5 trillion in mineral-resources under its ground -- cannot be content with getting a paltry $190 million in royalties per year from Western mining companies, for all the resources they cart out of Zimbabwe

We need to think about these things, and our late comrade Andy Brown, did indeed think and articulate his thought on these issues. May his soul forever rest in peace.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daylight Savings Time....In Zimbabwe?

Early this morning in America, our clocks go forward 1hr as part of Daylight Savings Time. This act got me thinking about my native Zimbabwe, and the fact of how few things are actually "Universal", but are in fact specific to a certain country/region or are specific to a certain generation/time period. If I was go to my beloved native region of Chikomba, in Zimbabwe, and announce to an audience of wisened, old villagers that the clocks had been moved forward by an hour, I would probably be accused of sorcery. Such is the cultural disconnect between my beloved Chikomba and Northern California's Bay Area, the American region I reside in.

The wisened, old villagers of Chikomba, would probably enquire as to "who gave me the right, the wherewithal, to take it upon myself to dictate the change-of-time to them". That our so-called "Daylight savings Time" is meant to increase our productivity here in America, will be lost on the wisened, old villagers of Chikomba. There, time is "elastic" and the rhythms and cadence of village life are punctuated by the agricultural seasons, deaths, births and marriages, rather than by the hourly rituals of economic survival, as it is in most American cities. Some things, in fact most things, cannot be transported out of their cultural environment. Nevertheless, life goes on for the wisened, old villagers of Chikomba, getting on in their lives in that indomitable way that African villagers approach life.