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with Freedom Nyamubaya, poet, activist, freedom fighter
February 19, 2010
interview with Freedom Nyamubaya - Read and listen
yourself in five words?
Strong character and patriotic Zimbabwean.
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.
the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
There are so many.
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.
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.
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.
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.
is your greatest extravagance?
I love travelling.
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.
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.
have you got in your pockets right now?
I don't have any pockets.
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
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.
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.
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.
were you like at school?
According to my friends they thought I was anti-establishment.
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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