Forgive them Father

Starvation - not coolYou gird your loins and take a deep breath as you prepare to answer “I’m from Zimbabwe”. You see your inquisitor’s eyes dart around in consternation or fear. Consternation as they have no idea where that is, but know that it’s somewhere dark and uncivilised. Fear that any moment now the African in you is going to bring out the begging bowl. A view supported by decades of media misrepresentation.

You mentally roll your eyes as nothing about your physical bearing implies any kind of starving or constrained circumstances, nor does your smooth delivery of the Queen’s language belie any inferior under-a-tree-with-no-textbook education, but all that is in vain as you are condemned to being Just Another African. Forget the fact that Africa is 53 different countries, each with their own distinctive flavour.

At some point you think about making a pre-recorded statement to counter the barrage of inanity that you know will follow shortly:

No, not all parts of Africa are sweltering cauldrons of heat;

No, we are not all dying from AIDS;

Yes, we live in houses and go to schools and drive cars and have planes at the airport;

No, we don’t all break into spontaneous song and dance, this is not the Lion King;

Yes, we grow up speaking English, thanks to British colonial avarice.

You seriously contemplate taking the path of least resistance by claiming to be American or English or anything that will save you from the onslaught of unadulterated ignorance; if you have to explain one more time that Africa is a continent not a country you are going to gouge your own eyes out with a blunt spoon. But part of you relishes the fact that you don’t fall to type and that people are forced to re-evaluate their misconceptions.

That maybe if you can alter just one person’s prejudices, your work on earth is done.

31 Replies to “Forgive them Father”

  1. I sometimes worry people may think, after I tell them that I left Zimbabwe 8 years ago, that I came over as an asylum seeker and experienced the horrors that people hear about in the media. Little do they know that when I left all that was just rumour to a girl from Harare who knew f*ck all about Zim politics and the situation.

  2. Galadriel swore! Gala cursed! Yay yay yay yay. Fuck yeah!

    U know, like the ppl you meet in holiday resorts … with some it’s like they’re still shocked the natives are educated, and know more about Obama and Iran than they do! LOL

    I remember in November, I had a conversation with some Bob from Milwaukee, and we talked US politics for an hour. He was ‘shocked’ at my grasp on both US and world affairs.

    Little does he realise, we can’t talk our own politics, so we talk everyone else’s hehehe.

  3. True. You would be surprised at how uninformed so many people in the ‘developed’ world are, or the ‘civilised world’ as one student said to me today.

  4. Joe, it’s not funny. I get embarrassed that I can’t tell an inspirational story about how was living in hiding, fearing for my life and that of my family. My story is I was a wannabe under-acheiver at High School who got nick named Da Header by the guy she had a crush on and Dog face by two of her class mates. 🙁

  5. Baby, you’re too grown to be carrying high school baggage. Move on.

    As for stories about living in hiding and fearing for your life, they’re much better when they’re made up. I’ve seen ppl living like that, and it ain’t fun.

    Anyway, shout-out to the civilised world.

  6. Gala, if you ever heed only one piece of advice from me (as the elder stateswoman in this relationship), let it be this: let it go. Nothing in this world is worth the amount of aggro carrying around that much baggage brings.

    JB, hopefully the Vic will bring you uninterrupted electricity supply.

  7. neva had the luxury/burden of a nick name @ high school.

    . :mrgreen: they all thought i was crazy :mrgreen:

    anyways Gala its been like what 5yrs since high shcool give or take a couple of years… like they say let it go

    JB i’ll see u in Azeroth 😈 i have a score to settle 😈

  8. ‘they all thought I was crazy’. THEY must have had reasons for it. Putitsai ma X files tinzwewo

  9. i was not that mad… at least i did not think i was mad 😉

    i had/have a brit accent to my english (blame tv1/tv2 for that)

    i was/am a computer/game addict 😛

    i used to read books whilst i walked but i wld “sense” when there was someone in front of me n avoid bumpin into em

    oh and my personal favourate i verbalise my thoughts 😀

    thats about it methinks….

  10. ‘verbalise my thoughts’. Classic. You are raving lunatic madman that talks to himself. Just come out and say it, its the first step to accepting who you are. Step out of your closet.

    JB so how is Vic treating you?

  11. see…. see… thats what i’m talkin about

    i do talk to myself… always have and always will… i make a lot of sense 😀

    i am not mad… well at least i dont think i am 😛

    o and El i have always accepted my self.. i dont like closets.. too big to fit in one 😀

  12. I get the vibe that dhlaks was more than just an uber geek. I think he was a very wealthy geek. Let me guess, private school education perhaps? If not, you were one of those kids that got stuck in govhu school and still managed to be popular, inspite of the geekiness coz of the moniness. Bet you had a heck of a time as a junior. I may be off the mark, but I doubt I am wrong about the financial situation.

  13. Gala LOL. Well, if I had been in govhu school with Dhlaks I would have kicked his ass for the British accent alone. Vamwe venyu vanoda kubatira chirungu pamusoro. Munhu ano deportwa pa Gatwick asi anodzoka ane a cockney accent. Now if you are going to pick an english accent, must one choose THAT one. Why not the dulcet tones of Cambridge or Oxford?

  14. Speaking of ass kickings, Federer out in straight sets. A Djokovic-Tsonga final, who would have thunk it?

  15. not wealthy Gala…
    i just made do with what i had…
    I had friends @ school yeah…
    went to Chruchill Boys High Damned proud of it too

    if the opposite sex were interested in me i have no idea… i had my head in a book most of the time 😛

    El i dont nose… i have an accent thats all i dont do cockney

    went to Courtney Pri school 1-2 then mhangura gov 3-7

    JB i’d like to see you try i am bigger than you 😀

    well the invincible federa has finally lost… there’s justice after

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