Back to Index
with writer and thinker Professor Mandivamba Rukuni
March 22, 2010
interview with Professor Mandivamba Rukuni - Read and listen
yourself in five words?
I'm a storyteller; I'm also an author, scholar
and a development consultant.
the best piece of advice you've ever received?
To always think positively and know that everything that
I do is what I eventually decide to do for myself, so I shouldn't
blame or explain away my insufficiencies.
the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
There are so many. I remember a time when I was very infatuated
with being educated, when I got my first degree. And my uncle, my
mother's brother, asked me who was cleverer between my father
and myself. I made the mistake of thinking about it and I said .
. . 'erm'. He stopped me right there and said, ‘No,
don't go any further you are already lost. Your father may
not have a university degree like you, but he is infinitely more
clever and wiser than you. Even for you to get your degree, was
is your most treasured possession?
do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Losing confidence in yourself. It doesn't matter
who you are, never lose your dignity.
have any strange hobbies?
It's not a strange hobby, but I really like to watch
do you dislike most about your appearance?
The way I dress. It has improved. When I turned 50 I started
making an effort. You should have seen me before. I hated putting
on a tie; I only had two suits, one inherited from my father.
is your greatest extravagance?
Airtime. I phone a lot. I inherited that from my late dad.
have you got in your fridge?
Not much actually. Cheese and traditional snack foods like
nyimo, chibage, nzungu.
is your greatest fear?
Losing my health; everything I do depends on good health.
Particularly my mental health. I try hard to live in a healthy way,
but you can't guarantee anything in life.
have you got in your pockets right now?
I've got a wallet with nothing in it. My cell phone
and my car keys.
is your favourite journey?
I have two; one is when I drive to my traditional home
in Masvingo. I live pretty close to Great Zimbabwe. I feel really
inspired when I'm there. The second is to the Eastern Highlands,
it's also very inspiring for me.
are your heroes in real life?
My mother and father. My mother is very hard working, and
she is very strict, frugal, a tough supervisor/manager. My father
was the exact opposite. He was a visionary in life; he always had
big dreams for everybody, even his relatives. And he was generous
to a fault.
and where were you happiest?
I recall a time when I was a young adult with all of the
freedoms and without the responsibilities.
your biggest vice?
Why do you want to call it a vice?
were you like at school?
I was the youngest. I performed better than most in my
classes. Not because I was the best but because I was younger. I
was also very quiet. I had lots of friends, but I preferred my own
company most of the time. I listened to music a lot.
are you doing next?
There are a number of things that I'm working on
right now. I stopped academic book writing, and in 2007 I started
my non-fiction writing, with Being Afrikan. Then I also wrote Leading
Afrika. These two books are going to be reissued by Penguin Books.
I'm just completing my third book on love, sex and relationships.
I'm also establishing a leadership academy here. I'm
working on a Barefoot University, it's for anyone who wishes
to study to university level, and you don't need any formal
qualifications. It will use a peer learning approach. Finally I'm
assisting the government with the Land Reform and recovery of our
agriculture and the economy.
Visit the Kubatana.net
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.