Zimbabwe crisis: African women commentators you should be following
Has there been a coup in Zimbabwe? Was it all Grace Mugabe’s fault? Here are seven Zimbabwean women who are commenting on events as they unfold in the southern African nation
15 November 2017 // Eliza Ayangwe
Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, may have become a meme king after he tripped in 2015, but no one could have foreseen the day the nation’s 93-year-old leader would eventually fall.
Is this the end of Mugabe’s 37-year rule? The events of the past 24 hours are anything but clear. In fact, for the past 10 days, since Mugabe fired his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, commentators have been trying to make sense of what is happening in Zimbabwe, and explain the domestic and international implications.
As is often the case with African stories, those commentators have been mostly white men: foreign correspondents, security or academic experts. The voice of Zimbabweans has been sorely lacking in the international coverage, and even more so, the voices of Zimbabwean women, who equally are knowledgeable and active in the online discourse.
After a call out on Twitter, here are seven women our community has recommended as worth following for their take on the unfolding events. We are not endorsing their views, just ensuring that the opinions considered valid are as broad as possible.
Fudzayi Mahere, expert in Zimbabwean constitutional law
— eNCA (@eNCA) November 15, 2017
Chipo Dendere, visiting assistant professor in Africana studies
Continuing to caution people from spreading fake news. It hasn’t been confirmed that Grace Mugabe is Namibia or that @ProfJNMoyo has been arrested. It’s hard when there is no news but …
— Chipo Dendere, PhD (@drDendere) November 15, 2017
Everjoice Win, international programmes director, Action Aid
You know nothing.
Don’t try to be too clever.
It’s ok not to know.
You are not in control.
It’s too complicated.
You got it wrong
You are not in the army.
— Everjoice Win (@EverjoiceWin) November 15, 2017
Zoe Samudzi, PhD student in medical sociology at the University of California, San Francisco
President Mugabe grossly mismanaged the economy, and the west contributed to that destruction through rerouting resources from health & education sectors which rolled back progress made and infrastructure maintained after independence.
— Zoé (@ztsamudzi) November 15, 2017
Fungai Machirori, media consultant
Someone needs to curate the jokes and memes Zimbabweans come up in times of adversity and uncertainty. Like a public exhibition in accessible spaces.
I think they add an important dimension to the ‘resilience and humour as survival’ conversation around Zimbabweaness.
— Fungai Machirori (@fungaijustbeing) November 15, 2017
Teldah Mawarire, Civicus policy and research officer
All those SADC extraordinary summits we Zimbabweans asked for through the years. Asking for interventions. Begging for platform. Each summit yielding nothing. Now suddenly SADC can hear us? Because the boys club wants to save one of its own. No SADC, we got this.
— Teldah Mawarire (@teldah) November 15, 2017
Mari-Anne Chiromo, founder of Positive Afritude
If I get any more excited, I may pop! My heart is just about coping with the electric tingles of #HOPE in the air! FINALLY! A chance to get our #Zimbabwe back. It’s not a #crisis, it’s a new day! #ThisFlag #home #GDFR #TheNonCoup #MakeZimbabweGreatAgain pic.twitter.com/O36PN3GrS8
— Mari-Anne Chiromo (@MariAnneChiromo) November 15, 2017
Editor’s note: Many more women (and men) were recommended to us, but we have gone with those sharing their own views as opposed to those sharing articles written by others or retweeting other people’s comments. Still, who is missing from the list? Tweet us!