legacy –

this is a very powerful piece about legacy and how life is portrayed and lived
What starts idealistically so often becomes derailed and distorted from the original vision

Mugabe and me: A personal history of growing up in Zimbabwe
25 November 2017
From the section Africa Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Messenger Share this with Email Share
Young Rhodesian boys pose behind a fence in January 1977 in Salisbury, Rhodesia and formerly the capital of Zimbabwe. The Rhodesian government and the black nationalists face a long guerilla which led to an agreement and a multiracial new Assembly in 1978. In 1980, British government proclaimed the independence of South Rhodesia, becoming Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe is appointed Prime minister.Image copyrightAFP
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Robert Mugabe is seen as the father of the nation – Zimbabweans aged 37 or younger have known no other leader
As Zimbabweans usher in a new era, author Petina Gappah considers the long shadow ex-president Robert Mugabe has cast over her life.
Through the crackling static of the transmission came frenetic drumbeats. Then an announcer’s voice, speaking emphatically, with dramatic pauses before every word. “This Is The Voice Of Zimbabwe.” Then the song that all the township children came to know so well, the closest we would get to war:
“Kune nzira dzamasoja dzekuzvibatanadzo. Tererai mitemo yose nenzira dzakanaka.”
I remember vividly the last two years of Rhodesia’s war. As children repeating that song in the school playground, we did not know that it was an adaptation of Mao Zedong’s Three Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention.
“Be honest in buying and selling, return everything you borrow, pay compensation for everything you damage, do not hit or swear at others, do not damage crops, do not harass women and do not mistreat prisoners.”
These principles, translated into the Shona language and set in song, were the code of conduct for the struggle for independent rule in Rhodesia.
‘His voice was rich and beautiful’
I was eight when the war ended. It was far from our family in the township of Glen Norah in Salisbury, but the war came to us every night as my father Tererayi Mureri fiddled with our radio receiver to catch the shortwave transmission from Radio Mozambique.
I was with my mother Simbiso when the news reached us that guerrilla leader Josiah Tongogara had died. Her grieving shock was so penetrating that in my confusion, I thought we had lost a relative.
A nationalist Rhodesian fighter trains May 05, 1975 in the South of Rhodesia. The Rhodesian government and the black nationalists face a long guerrilla which led to an agreement and a multiracial new Assembly in 1978. In 1980, British government proclaimed the independence of South Rhodesia, becoming Zimbabwe.Image copyrightAFP
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‘At school the independence war was cast as a heroic struggle’
It was through this transmission that Robert Mugabe came into my life, and entered my imagination as the embodiment of the struggle.
His voice was rich and beautiful. I would later come to understand that what made his voice so unusual was that it was essentially manufactured, carrying almost no trace of his education or ethnic background.
I did not understand everything he said, but I remember that he called us always the people, not of Rhodesia, but Zimbabwe. This reminder, that this was a battle for a new country, and a new way to be in the world, was emphasised by the words that concluded each broadcast, “People of Zimbabwe, Victory Is Certain.”
Hero worship
Victory finally came after a ceasefire that ended the war and negotiations in London to chart the path for the new country.
After the elections in March 1980, I sat with my parents and younger siblings as Mugabe addressed us again, this time on television as prime minister of our new country.

Media captionMugabe: From war hero to resignation
There was that voice again, but with an image to go with it, not of a fearsome gorilla, which is how I heard the word guerrilla, but of a man in large glasses who wore a safari suit like my father’s.
I found him reassuringly normal. Surely, he said, this is the time to beat our swords into ploughshares. We should become Zimbabweans with a single loyalty, to our nation, and to a common interest.
That year, we moved house. In my simplified understanding of the world then, I thought it was purely thanks to Mugabe that my parents were able to buy a new house in a former whites-only suburb that had a library with more books than I could have dreamt of. In my mind, I associated Mugabe with these riches.
I learned more about Mugabe the guerrilla in history lessons at secondary school.
Robert Mugabe in London during talks on Rhodesia in September 1979Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
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“Seeing him on television for the first time I noticed he wore a safari suit like my father’s”
Our O-Level class of 1988 was the first to study under the new curriculum. So we learned that the history of all society is the history of class struggle. The independence war was re-cast as a heroic, historically inevitable struggle between the black socialist majority and white minority capitalism.
I pored over the black and white pictures of Mugabe and other independence leaders. I fell in love with African history.
By the time I went to the University of Zimbabwe to study law, I was a budding Marxist-Leninist. My feelings for Mugabe were approaching hero worship.
Then came a shift.
Political awakening
In my first year, I attended the ceremony for that year’s graduating class with a friend, Chris Giwa who was head of the student council.
As we walked to the university’s Great Hall, another student, Eric Mvududu, approached President Mugabe with a petition. Mugabe’s security men stopped him and roughed him up, tearing his shirt and bruising him. Mugabe walked on.
In the Great Hall, he tapped the heads of students as they knelt before him. Then came Arthur Mutambara, the leader of the previous year’s council, who had led demonstrations against government corruption. As he approached the president, a great cheer went up. Mugabe rose from his seat and pumped Mutambara’s hand. The Great Hall roared.
Afterwards, in Chris’s room in New Hall, I sat with Mutambara (who years later became an opposition politician), the now recovered Mvududu and other friends and listened to them talk. It was the start of my political awakening.
By the end of the academic year, I had studied constitutional law, and learned, through case law on illegal detentions, that all the time I had been gulping down books as a child in the library, a state of emergency had been in place in Matabeleland, and that region had been the theatre of mass killings by the army’s Fifth Brigade.
Burning house in Matabeleland
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The army was accused of atrocities in Matabeleland
By the time I came face to face with Mugabe at my own graduation four years later, I was no longer a believer.
Gone was the hero worship, but still left was deep and conflicted respect. As the Dean read out my achievements and I knelt before him to be capped, I looked into the face of my president. In that voice, the voice I had first heard in our township house when Zimbabwe was just a dream, Mugabe said to me, “Congratulations, well done.”
The author with friends on graduation day at the University of Cambridge in the UKImage copyrightPETINA GAPPAH
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After her studies in Zimbabwe the author (second from right) went on to postgraduate study in Britain at the University of Cambridge
The last 17 years saw me count myself among his opponents as he waged another war, this time against the country he had promised.
We could not count all the bodies after that terrible war of liberation, but those that we could, we gave funeral rites and buried in places of honour. But how do you count the bodies of those who died in the war Mugabe waged against his own people?
Dark shadow
People like Mrs Nleya, a teacher I loved, who was trained in England and returned to Zimbabwe at the promise of independence, but died when the one oncologist in her city closed his practice, and moved to Botswana.
Or the many who died of conditions easily cured but for the shortage of drugs.
Or the border jumpers, almost all of whom were born after 1980, the Born Frees who drowned in the Limpopo on their way to South Africa, and hope.
The companies small and large, built up over years of hard work that collapsed under the weight of inflation. The livelihoods flushed away, the lost opportunities, the cheated dreams.
JULY 4th 2007: Zimbabwean shoppers walk past empty shelves in Mabvuku, Harare, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s government ordered shop owners to reduce prices on all goods by 50% which has resulted in an acute shortage of most basic commodities. President Robert Mugabe has accused businesses of profiteering and working in cahoots with the country’s enemies to incite people to revolt against his government.Image copyrightAFP
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Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed under Mr Mugabe
Was it all so that one man could rule until his death, so that he could, as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said so poignantly, destroy not only what he had inherited, but also what he had built himself?
Thirty-seven years after he promised that we would all build a Great Zimbabwe – but did everything he could to destroy it – Mugabe has left the stage.
No single person has influenced the direction of my life as much as he has.
To his government, I owe an education equal to that of anyone I have met, from anywhere in the world.
Both as a writer and critic, and as a lawyer, my work has been an attempt to shine some light in the dark shadow that he cast over my country.
And while I will always honour his place in history, there is not much I would not have given to be able to say back to him his only words to me, “Congratulations, well done,” but this time, about his own legacy.

what is wrong with us humans

We are destroying our forests
Raping our land and people
Poisoning our crops

And wrecking the lakes




We have to start taking care of each oither and our environment it is vita for life

ICONIC landmarks in UAE

what to do?

Maybe do both
Or wait for daughter to visit in new year

we can be who we want to be if we believe enough

KL November 2017
I have just spent and inspirational week with delegates in KL
We were working on coaching through emotional inteeligence
Considering the risk context and the importance of risk aversion and risk tolerance
We viewed change process and how to influence with and without authourtiy
The group had three generations and the nationality base was predominantly BRUNEI and English the second language.
there have been some ”AH HA” moments during this journey and i have been thrilled with the outcomes of the entire experience
I wish i had seen this video before we closed the course as i would have shared it to demonstrate how essentia self belief , adaptability, resilience, conscientiousness, motivation, decision making and all the other EBW scales are in being successful
Teams are not just about doing together but also about thinking togehter
Groups of course have their place but as teams we can do wonders

Enjoy this clip


Bizarre though it may seem
In all the noise and disruption of this past week and the experience pf the terrace removal and partial return to normalcy
OR maybe that’s the reason i had Hong Kong garden and Happy House in my head
Was thinking about SIOUXSIE SIOUX and the BANSHEE’S
Hadn’t appreciated how familiar i was or am with her body of work
If you don’t know about her check it out you will be rewarded by the experience

She survived an horrendous child hood sexual assault which was not taken seriously and a dislocated family life
Rich material to draw on for her music and life journey

Siouxsie Sioux at 60 – Martin Gray Looks At Her Career

soft power and its advantages as well as influence

It is interesting that France is wearing the mantle of soft power in the West and UAE AD is baout to open THE LOUVRE 11th November

UAE has a soft power committee to develop this area of influence and awareness of other aspects of UAE
We are seeing the growth of RAK PEARLS and another form of culture and history in RAK

NOW a North Korean defector is proposing soft power is the only way to effect change for the better in NORTH KOREA
People power [remember AQUINO and Philippines] may be another way of describing this way of making change

Whether the defector changes his story or not it is enough that SOFT POWER is being spoken of
Especially when Putin is in IRAN just now

Life is an extraordinary journey indeed

North Korea defector urges US to use soft power

From the section Asia
Thae Yong-ho Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
Thae Yong-ho was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain
A high-level defector has told the US Congress that spreading outside information in North Korea is the best way to deal with the regime.
Thae Yong-ho said undermining Kim Jong-un’s God-like status among his people could be key to weakening his rule.
North Koreans “don’t care about state propaganda but increasingly watch illegally imported South Korean movies and dramas,” he added.
Mr Thae was deputy ambassador to the UK before he defected last year.
He is one of the highest-ranking officials ever to defect from North Korea.
Mr Thae’s speech before US lawmakers comes as President Trump is due to embark on a trip to Asia, including South Korea.
Tensions between North Korea and the West have risen over the past months as Pyongyang has conducted several missile tests and claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb.
In his first ever visit to Washington, Mr Thae told Congress: “We can educate (the) North Korean population to stand up by disseminating outside information.”
He also urged officials to meet at least once with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, to understand his thinking and convince him that his nuclear programme is risking mass destruction.
“It is necessary to reconsider whether we have tried all non-military options before we decide that military action against North Korea is all that is left,” he said.
Thae Yong-ho: My family have been punished
Keeping up with the Kims: North Korea’s elusive first family
Nine charts which tell you all you need to know about North Korea
Changes in North Korea meant that “contrary to the official policy and wish of the regime, the free markets are flourishing”, he said.
People were getting more access to outside information, including through micro SD cards which were small enough to be easily smuggled into the country, he added.
Young North Koreans have begun calling said devices “nose cards” because they can be smuggled even inside one’s nostrils, he cited as an example.
These developments “make it increasingly possible to think about civilian uprising in North Korea as more and more people gradually become informed about the reality of their living conditions,” he argued.
Kim Jong-unImage copyrightAFP
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Mr Thae urged US officials to meet Kim Jong-un at least once
“The US is spending billions of dollars to cope with the military threat and yet how much does the US spend each year on information activities involving North Korea in a year? Unfortunately, it may be a tiny fraction,” he said.
The rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have seen US President refer to Kim as “little rocket man,” while the North Korean leader called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard”.
North Korean defectors are one of the few sources of information about life in North Korea – yet critics caution that defector’s testimonies might not always be credible, and that some defectors have changed their stories in the past.