Meet Joe Black
Joe Black was born in the summer of ’79, with Zimbabwe on the verge of total independence. Having missed the dreaded ‘born-free’ tag by mere months, he proceeded to grow into a fine upstanding citizen of the new democracy.
Right, enough bullshit. Joe Black is a resident of the bustling mahurepolis of Harare. A staunch supporter of Liverpool and Dynamos football clubs, he has had many a painful moment while watching these two teams play. This has helped mould him into a fine upstanding citizen of the new democra….*snip*!
Let’s try again. Joe Black is a fun-loving, sociable guy blessed with quick wit and a humorously sarcastic outlook on life in the new Zimbabwe. Having observed and experienced the ravages of economic decline, he has developed a marvellous, if slightly disquieting, ability to shrug off the depressing effects of the nation’s gradual descent into economic, and potentially political, chaos. This makes him a fine, upstanding citize….*cut*!!!!
Once again. Joe Black is a long-time patron of the Scud & Nanny, where he and his friends spend a great deal of time drinking beer, watching sport, shooting pool and engaging in long-winded (and often meaningless) conversations on everything from finances to women. He is not now, and has never been, an upstanding citizen of Zimbabwe!
Behind Enemy Lines is a collection of stories about ordinary people and anti-heroes dragged into a search for meaning in their lives – whether it is a simple search for identity and love, or a bigger struggle for Africa’s political freedom. The canvas of their actions, motivations and circumstances is a Zimbabwe of the past, present and future. Humorous, acerbic, funny and tragic, the stories cover the whole gamut of emotions. A soldier navigates his way across hostile territory to a distant safe house; a freedom fighter searches the debris of a ruined city for evidence of a horrific crime; an ordinary boy is caught up in a bank robbery; and an activist journeys home for her ex-boyfriend’s funeral. Ruzvidzo interweaves the past, present and future with a confidence often missing in a debutante, offering a uniquely compelling angle to the Zimbabwean experience.
Joe Ruzvidzo (1979-) was born in Zimbabwe, and seemed destined to be a Fine Artist. He forfeited his final portfolio interview at art school; choosing to go for a job interview instead, he spent the next sixteen years working in the IT and media industries. He finally left formal employment to start up a design and copy-writing consultancy, which allows him to spend more time doing his favourite things – writing, playing guitars very badly, and barbecuing more often than any man should.