Dear mangoes and tomato roadside sellers, it’s been a few months since I left you and went outside countries like my people would say. I always think about my home but this week I was really tempted to write after reading about a film through the Guardian site. I love mangoes so much but I promise you weren’t really on mind when I decided to read this news article; I was just interested in news about just small part of the land. It was supposed to be about racial issues. I read keenly about this new documentary that was really shot during terrible times in one of your villages, is it called Zimbabwe? Yes Zim, as you romantically baptised it. I wanted an update on what the village chief, Robert Mugabe was up to these days. All the stories about land grabs from white people I have read and re-read and honestly I still don’t know how it came to this and how the village and the chief will find a real end but I was quite taken up along the way. This documentary maker was struggling to get ways of comparing life in the rest of the villages to Mugabe’s. If I remember well he tried to explain what happy people in the rest of land are really about. And he summed it up: “But in Zimbabwe, it (life) had stopped. It was not like in the rest of Africa, where you could have people selling mangoes and tomatoes on the roadside; it was like a country that had shut down.”
Pictures of roadside stalls in the city and on all major highways headed to the countryside came to mind. I was really amused at this person’s ability to compound happiness into mangoes and tomato selling. I tried to search for other things he could have pointed out not because the mango selling business is bad measurement but because I could name a million other things that we are better at and make us happy people. In the end this tired referencing about Africa tired me and wished he had just made his film and just kept quiet and let the pictures speak.
5 thoughts on “Happy mango sellers”
The other day i was speaking to a Zimbabwean and he ha was telling me how at one point Zimbabwe had the most literate people in the world. What in God’s name led to all this chaos that Zim is turning into a damp? He was also saying that policies are being forced onto the country and so on… My issue with these stories is that as bad as Mugabe looks now trying to terrorise white sttlers and his own people, i know we will never get the true story on why he is doing this and why it is running out of hand, and why no compromise can be reached. It’s sad that the innocent people always get to suffer at the hands of politics and the truth behind it will never come out. I know people keep saying that he has no right to take the land off the white people, that Zim belongs to both white and black, which i have no problem with as long as they get along, my question is what sparked this witch hunt on the white farmers? Is he trying to t use this brutallity as a negotiation tool or something for something? This is why politics sickens me, there are always lies and lies, and the outer picture is always used to sum up the situation of what is happenning in ZIM, ie Mugabe is terrorising white farmers and his people (which i agree is not right) but WHAT sparked this? Sad situation.
The other thing is in many places where you go where both whites and blacks live eg Brazil, you will find that generally the white people are wealthier and the blacks are poorer. They keep saying that Blacks are lazy, but they will never look at history and how it came to affect people and the manipulation games that have set things the way they are. Hopefully one day we will get there. What is happening in Zimbabwe happens to other races in other countries only that it is not extreme. But i can assure you that this film because it is based on Whites being oppressed, it will get alot of publicity. But hopefully, it will reflect what they do to other races and maybe learn that we as human race can live together and it could happen to anyone.
very well said. The story of Zim is very complex but news always simplifies and there are clear cut lines in the media on who is the villian and who’s wrong. i haven’t watched this film but i hope it reflectst his complexity.
Rosebell, they will report anything. My worry is that when all these things happen, they throw a bad light on Africans/Black people and i believe this affects us economicall in that we lose a bargaining power for our countries. If we cannot keep the peace in our homes, and if we are desperately lloking for funds and to sell our products with little help from the disorganised governments, how can we ask for the right prices for our products? How can we stop foreign aid with strings attached if we come accross as people who cannot handle their business? The effects ar great.
I keep on hearing about this Globalisaation? What’s your take on it? I get the sense that because we are supposedly going to be a one world, it just seems that there is a desperate attempt going on to put puppet leaders who will go with this idea of globalistion, hence the wars in afghanistan and so on. If that is the case, then i would not be surprised if that is the case in zim, why the endless wars in somalia that have been labelled as attempts to stamp out ‘terrorism’, and how i think America and Britain are not far away in their involvement in this mess.
Yesterday i watched a documentary called ‘zimbabwe’s lost children’. I was in tears. It must have been the saddest story ever. The journalist is a south african born but who grew up in Zim as a result of apertheid. She was saying how at the time(in the past), Mugabe invested in education and made sure that all children went to school, whether rich or poor. And how Zim had the best education, health care system in africa. At the moment Zim has children who re not educated, who cannot even afford 2 dollars to got o school and yet they have so much passion for school. Children have turned into carers, no food and so on. I guess many will say that it is the story in many poor countries, but for zim, that once had it all and does not have anything, with a generetion of hopeless children, it is sad indeed. That is a generation of street children, young marriages, increase in sexually transmitted diseases, child slavery, etc…
I don’t know what happened but this is sad. Whatever triggered this mess, it is has to be huge but the innocent are suffering. There is never an excuse to take a child’s dream away, atleast they need an education to dream, even if they might not achieve their dreams. But it was so sad, the journalist was in tears at the end of the documentary, it was insightful and a hopeless situation as well.
Sorry the documentary was called ‘zimbabwe’s forgotten children’. It might be available to view on BBC i player on the internet.