Zimbabwe Quotes

Quotes tagged as "zimbabwe" Showing 1-30 of 88
Peter Godwin
“I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely.

Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems.

In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal.

Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death.

For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age.

At least you used to.

But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself. ”
Peter Godwin, When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa

Christopher Hitchens
“Call no man lucky until he is dead, but there have been moment of rare satisfaction in the often random and fragmented life of the radical freelance scribbler. I have lived to see Ronald Reagan called “a useful idiot for Kremlin propaganda” by his former idolators; to see the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union regarded with fear and suspicion by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (which blacked out an interview with Miloš Forman broadcast live on Moscow TV); to see Mao Zedong relegated like a despot of antiquity. I have also had the extraordinary pleasure of revisiting countries—Greece, Spain, Zimbabwe, and others—that were dictatorships or colonies when first I saw them. Other mini-Reichs have melted like dew, often bringing exiled and imprisoned friends blinking modestly and honorably into the glare. E pur si muove—it still moves, all right.”
Christopher Hitchens, Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports

Mark Gevisser
“Even if Zuma was to develop the authoritarian impulses of a Mugabe, he would be checked—not least by his own party, which set a continental precedent by ousting Thabo Mbeki in 2007, after it felt he had outstayed his welcome by seeking a third term as party president. The ANC appears to have set itself against that deathtrap of African democracy: the ruler for life.”
Mark Gevisser

Christopher Hitchens
“It would not be an exaggeration to say that the land question in Zimbabwe is the single most decisive one.”
Christopher Hitchens, Inequalities in Zimbabwe

“The ideology of white supremacy, based on the subjugation of the black man in Rhodesia, denied the black man his full fundamental human rights and freedoms in his own native land and built a wall between black and white. The blacks decided, as the last resort, tha they were going to shoot down this wall; but the whites decided that this wall was to be maintained at any cost in spite of the glaring injustices inherent in it.”
Ndabaningi Sithole, Roots of a Revolution: Scenes from Zimbabwe's Struggle

Jeffrey Whittam
“This is a story of Africa. A pioneer woman's journey north was merely the beginning.”
Jeffrey Whittam, Sons of Africa

Mark Gevisser
“Remember one thing as South Africa prepares to go to the polls this week and the world grapples with the ascendancy of the African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma: South Africa is not Zimbabwe.

In South Africa, no one doubts that Wednesday's elections will be free and fair. While there is an unacceptable degree of government corruption, there is no evidence of the wholesale kleptocracy of Robert Mugabe's elite. While there has been the abuse of the organs of state by the ruling ANC, there is not the state terror of Mugabe's Zanu-PF. And while there is a clear left bias to Zuma's ANC, there is no suggestion of the kind of voluntarist experimentation that has brought Zimbabwe to its knees.”
Mark Gevisser

“The time for careers and passions was gone. Hunger pangs displaced ambition.”
Panashe Chigumadzi, Sweet Medicine

“A person is a person through others. This truth extends across time and space. We are through those who have come before us, those who have come with us and those who will come after us. Spirit possession, at the heart of Chimurenga, is an exercise in timelessness. It is those in the present communing with those in the past about the future concerning those who will come. Chimurenga has always been the intergenerational spirit of African self-liberation. It is not linear, it is bones that go into the earth and rise again and again.”
Panashe Chigumadzi, These Bones Will Rise Again

Petina Gappah
“A voice reminds us that the land is ours, it will not be taken from us again; the country will never be a colony again. - ‘Something Nice from London”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Petina Gappah
“They had become a nation of traders.”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Petina Gappah
“[L]ife is one big jest at the expense of humanity. -
‘The Mupondawana Dancing Champion”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Petina Gappah
“Later, as she drove the children to school, she thought how worn the grooves were along which they moved their quarrels. She could feel herself saying all the clichéd phrases of a thousand injured women before her, but she could never stop herself. - ‘The Negotiated Settlement”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

NoViolet Bulawayo
“With all this snow, with the sun not there, with the cold and dreariness, this place doesn't look like my America, doesn't even look real. It's like we are in a terrible story, like we're in the crazy parts of the Bible, there where God is busy punishing people for their sins and is making them miserable with all the weather. The sky, for example, has stayed white all this time I have been here, which tells you that something is not right. Even the stones know that a sky is supposed to be blue, like our sky back home, which is blue, so blue you can spray Clorox on it and wipe it with a paper towel and it wouldn't even come off.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

Thabo Katlholo
“To understand what happened in Zimbabwe its worth trying to see things through the Zimbabwean people prism for a moment. Immune from the propaganda and the western media mind- bend. The real issues started a long, long time ago before the current regimes. Those who came bearing greed and seeking to rip off the cradle of Sub-Saharan Africa orchestrated the demise the people of Zimbabwe found themselves reeling in”
Thabo Katlholo, The Mud Hut I Grew Upon

Ian Douglas Smith
“I would say colonialism is a wonderful thing. It spread civilization to Africa. Before it they had no written language, no wheel as we know it, no schools, no hospitals, not even normal clothing.”
Ian Douglas Smith

Petina Gappah
“Wafa Wanaka, our elders say. Not only does this mean that death is the ultimate peace, it also means that we are not to speak ill of the dead. Once a person has crossed over to the real of the spirits, he takes his transgressions with him, and we speak only of the good. - 'Something Nice from London”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Petina Gappah
“Each heartbreak is a little death, all the same.”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Petina Gappah
“Fame is an elastic concept, especially in a place like this, where we all know the smell of each other’s armpits. - ‘The Mupondawana Dancing Champion”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Petina Gappah
“It may well be that there will be this socialism, Juliana,’ she said, ‘but I can tell you right now that no amount of socialism will make my madam was her own underwear.’ - ‘Aunt Juliana’s Indian”
Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly: Stories

Thabo Katlholo
“A Motswana in Zambia or Zimbabwe was referred to as gwerekwere and so was a Zimbabwean or Zambian in Botswana. Post-colonialism tragedy.”
Thabo Katlholo, The Mud Hut I Grew Upon

Thabo Katlholo
“As it was, being a Zimbabwean immigrant was the worst thing a person could be in Southern Africa. They were the new Hebrews – homeless.”
Thabo Katlholo, The Mud Hut I Grew Upon

Thabo Katlholo
“As an ancient cradle of Iron Age civilization, Zimbabwe has a great emotional importance to the economy of Southern Africa and that's especially true for Botswana since both countries are landlocked. Harare was the site of some historic scenes and the best trade regimes, and it is where generations of Southern African children have gone for their education. Bulawayo was a trade giant amongst the people of the north – the Bakalanga, the Venda and the Shona. Now brick-by-brick the empire was facing a second fall after the last fall of the Great Zimbabwe.”
Thabo Katlholo, The Mud Hut I Grew Upon

Thabo Katlholo
“At one level the story of the second fall of Zimbabwe can be read as tragic yet a courageous one: a simple but soaring binary about unfounded courage in the face of immeasurable oppression. But at another level, it is a window into a much more complex, perhaps even darker and sadder, narrative about contemporary slaveship and the terrible collision of aspiration and frustration and the need to survive that has been unleashed upon the people of Zimbabwe. Exploitation and oppression are not matters of race.”
Thabo Katlholo, The Mud Hut I Grew Upon

Petina Gappah
“This is one of the consequences of a superior education, you see. In this independent, hundred-per-cent-empowered and fully and totally indigenous blacker-than-black country, a superior education is one that the whites would value, and as whites do not value local languages at the altar of what the whites deem supreme. So it was in colonial times, and so it remains, more than thirty years later.”
Petina Gappah, The Book of Memory

“Instead he was grabbing at whatever was available in this system that no longer held the old predictable relationship between effort and result as true”
Panashe Chigumadzi, Sweet Medicine

“African virtues are not framed by unsubstantiated perceptions, but by the fundamental principles defined by each nations blueprint that signifies what the nation rightfully stands for.”
Wayne Chirisa

“In 2002, BBC jounalists Fergal Keane and Mark Dowd made a documentary for the Panorama programme in which they asked how much Whithall had known about Gukurahundi. Sir Martin Ewans, who was high commissioner in Harare at the time, went on camera to say that his instructions from London were 'to steer clear of it' when speaking to Mugabe.”
Geoff Hill, What Happens After Mugabe?

Tsitsi Dangarembga
“In the city Maiguru's brother immediately made an appointment with a psychiatrist. We felt better—help was at hand. But the psychiatrist said that Nyasha could not be ill, that Africans did not suffer in the way we had described. She was making a scene. We should take her home and be firm with her.”
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions

“What is hyperinflation? It is the dramatic process of an established currency losing its usefulness as money. Prices rise rapidly and uncontrollably as a result of excessive money printing and a loss of confidence in the currency.”
Philip Haslam, When Money Destroys Nations: How Hyperinflation Ruined Zimbabwe, How Ordinary People Survived, and Warnings for Nations that Print Money

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