Zimbabwe – “I think we’ve got the gist of it…”

What next?

What next?

The telephone connection sounds thin. I turn up the volume to catch the reporter’s voice. A few horrific details staccato down the line then stop…suddenly the voice is gone.

There’s an awkward silence, a brief in-between space, and then a curt announcement from the show’s host: I think we’ve got the gist of it…”

Papers shuffle and a new topic fills the air.

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The identity question – Zimbabwean?

Why are we who we are? This is an old thought remastered, that takes me straight back to where I began.

The Phraser

Zimbabwe's children - what next? Zimbabwe

A young man, a stranger, asked me about identity, about my identity as a Zimbabwean. His question made me think…am I Zimbabwean?

The further I travel the more elusive the idea of ‘belonging’ becomes, and the more urgent the need for ‘identity’.

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The courage to save the animals – interview with Meryl Harrison

One of the early interviews on The Phraser: Meryl Harrison, the lady who drove towards the chaos on Zimbabwe’s farms to help the animals as Mugabe’s land redistribution programme gained momentum.

The Phraser

Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe's chaotic land redistribution programme Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe’s chaotic land redistribution programme (photographed in England in 2012)

Ten years ago the BBC presented Meryl Harrison with a Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare. Her ‘outstanding work‘ was done on Zimbabwe’s farms whilst Mugabe’s chaotic land redistribution programme was in full surge.

This was in the early 2000s.

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