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with Primrose Matambanadzo, human rights activist
July 29, 2009
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interview with Primrose Matambanadzo
yourself in five words?
Loud. Confident. Terrible with strangers. Feminist. Loving.
the best piece of advice you've ever received?
To speak out loud. I mumbled as a child and my mother always hammered
me to speak out loud and to pronounce my words. I think that's
the best advice I've ever received.
the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Drinking alcohol when I was thirteen.
is your most treasured possession?
My mind. I hope I don't lose it. It really is all that's
do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I think to just have no one. To have no family, to have no friends.
The people that I've seen most miserable have no one they
can count on or engage with. You can do without stuff I think; I
always say stuff is stuff. At the end of the day it's going
to be hard but you can do without stuff. But you need somebody;
you need people.
you have any strange hobbies?
I don't have any strange hobbies. I just have hobbies.
do you dislike most about your appearance?
Nothing. I don't really dislike anything at all.
is your greatest extravagance?
Food. I love to cook. So I like to buy things according to the recipe
book if I'm making something fancy and I spend far too much
money on it and I know it but I really like it when what I've
made looks exactly like the picture in the recipe book.
have you got in your fridge?
I've got a beef and vegetable soup that I made and it also
looks just like the recipe book.
is your greatest fear?
Losing my mother.
have you got in your pockets right now?
I've got some coins and some tissue paper.
is your favourite journey?
I love to go home.
are your heroes in real life?
One of my heroes is Jestina Mukoko. I think that after what she
went through, she's just carrying on with such grace. If you're
going to look for a victim mentality in her you're never going
to find it. I just find her so inspiring. I do have people within
my work in human rights that have taught me so much. People look
after each other a lot; in terms of someone who will give you some
advice. Not because they need to but because they just see something
and they think she could probably use some advice saying that this
is a better way to go or to do. And people, who've said to
me, look and try and see some potential in someone. Those people
are my heroes as well.
and where were you happiest?
I think my early twenties, and I was here in Harare, living in Highfield.
And they were fun. I had a bunch of friends, we were carefree, and
we were like ‘you know we're young and we can do it
again tomorrow.' I didn't know at the time that we were
having that much fun. Because I look at the sort of lives people
lived in that same time frame, and I'm like ‘wow we
had a lot of fun.'
is your biggest vice?
I'm really impatient. So I can be impatient with people. Even
if someone is going through a thought and is trying to tell me something,
I'm going ‘well hurry up! What's your point?'
that can be really rude. It's a bad vice because I don't
realise I'm doing it until I've already done it.
were you like at school?
I was carefree. I wasn't trying to get the best grades in
class. I knew I could do relatively well without trying too hard,
and now maybe I should have tried to go for number one, because
who knows maybe I could have been first.
are you doing next?
I don't know what I'm going to be doing in the next
five years. What I know is that I'm going to study next year.
I'm going to be doing a Masters in Public Health, and I know
that I want to work in health. I don't know exactly what it
will be like. I don't know if it will be in Human Rights per
se, where it will be, but I know that my area of specific interest
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