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Inside/Out with Freedom Nyamubaya, poet, activist, freedom fighter
February 19, 2010

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Describe yourself in five words?
Strong character and patriotic Zimbabwean.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
When men used to tell me that we (women) were in the war as prostitutes, I used to get angry. I used to drink and smoke heavily because I didn't know that I was stressed. I had a friend who sat with me and said ‘Listen Freedom, you are angry. And because you are angry you are going to destroy yourself. That alcohol and that smoke is going into your body and is not going to hurt the people who are offending you.‘ She saw a couple of my writings and advised me to concentrate on my writing, to live the way I believe and to forget about what people say.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
There are so many.

What is your most treasured possession?
I've got a farm. It's not a jambanja farm. It's a game farm in Mhangura. This is not to say I don't treasure my son. I had a child after I had been married and divorced for not having children. I treasure him. He came from God.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When you are in a situation where you are not in control and there is no way you can change it.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
I like to dance to mbira. It's a dance I discovered I could do. I didn't train to dance. It's in my blood, that's why I call it strange, I didn't train for it.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I had an accident recently so I have scars on my face. This is of late. Other than that, well, it could be scars from the war, which I don't like.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I love travelling.

What have you got in your fridge?
I've got game meat. There's fish, veggies, soft drinks. I think there are a couple of beers, cheese and half a loaf of bread.

What is your greatest fear?
I'm a mother of one and the child's father is not here. If I were to die today there would be nobody to take care of my son. He would be lonely and his life would be very different. When I had an accident that fear became even worse.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
I don't have any pockets.

What is your favourite journey?
If I have money, enough to go on holiday, I go to Mozambique. I consider it my second home. I also enjoyed going to Kingston, Jamaica. I loved Bob Marley and I wanted to see the country he grew up in.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Ambuya Nehanda is always an inspiration. Bob Marley is another one of my heroes. Jairos Jiri . I think people must start to appreciate anything that is for national good. He showed me that you could make a great change without being a politician.

When and where were you happiest?
When I had my son. It changed my perception of life. When I had a child, life was slightly different. I adjusted a lot of things; even the way I looked at people was different. That's when I started to appreciate life.

What's your biggest vice?
Well I've stopped smoking and drinking. There was a time when I was smoking a pipe. It was like protest, this was when we had just come and people were not accepting us.

What were you like at school?
According to my friends they thought I was anti-establishment.

What are you doing next?
I'm still writing [about women and the war]. I want to use our experiences to help girls, and to try to see how [the abuse of women in war] can be avoided.

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