Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

The Damned in the Jacaranda City

  “Ever any madness in your family?” – Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Harare’s streets are expansive. It is as if the god of metropolises, while handing out talents to cities – gold and tsotsis to Joburg; sand to Gaborone; racists to Cape Town; 419 scammers to Lagos – could find nothing to give to […]

A Blind Prospector in Bambazonke Country

  Bambazonke ( Ndebele for winner takes all), the name by which Harare was grudgingly known in Bulawayo back in the 1980s, goes back to the foundation of the city itself. In 1900, about a decade after colonial conquest, Salisbury had a population of 1500. The upstart hamlet,  against all reason, strong opposition, and hierarchy,  became the […]

In Defence of Witchcraft

  The African Futures conference held in Johannesburg at the end of October brought a motley array of scholars and artists from the continent and overseas. Their interests ranged from superheroes, Sun Ra and science fiction to technology, knowledge production, feminism and witchcraft. One of the visitors was Bonaventure Ndikung, a Cameroonian-born scientist and curator, […]

Bulawayo’s Absent Zim Dancehall

  Thomas Mapfumo, celebrated at home and abroad as the don of Zimbabwe’s rebel music scene, invited a tsunami of brickbats when he dismissed a music genre that has the whole country talking, if not dancing. Zim dancehall, as its name suggests, borrows heavily from Jamaican chants in a country where Bob Marley is revered […]