Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

Above everything and everyone
Detail of Heroes Acre, the mausoleum of the heroes of the insurgency war against the white supremacist minority that ruled Zimbabwe's predecessor Rhodesia Mugabe appears at the top.
mandatory queue
Loaded passersby stroll along a busy street in Harare, dominated by a large store with a still semi-colonial look.
Harare from afar
The houses of Harare seen from a higher point on the outskirts of the city adorned with euphorbia bush and controlled by the army.
To the Unknown Insurgent
Golden figures - two men and a woman - from the monument to unknown insurgents from the Bush War to the liberation war against Rhodesian white minority;
business extension
Street "hairdresser" adjusts extensions to a lady. Extensions are prolific props in Zimbabwe, as in several neighboring countries.
In the absence of a beast of burden, a fruit seller pushes his own cart loaded with oranges.
Mugabe vs Jesus
"Mugabe is an Angel" on the cover of Newsday Weekender
Black Market
Changers with chairs brought from home hold large bunches of musty notes. Businesses in US dollars, euros, rand support these opportunistic businesswomen.
old african concrete
Street in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, with its worn and mixed architecture: with something Soviet, African and British colonial.
street hypermarket
Street vendors right in the center of Harare. With the country's unemployment rate, not even the despotic Robert Mugabe has the courage to expel them.
In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

We landed from an hour and a half flight from the far north of Zimbabwe. The plane stops. Gellys escorts us to the area where the bags would be delivered.

We didn't talk during the flight. We simply enjoyed the privilege of gazing at the incredible landscape of Zimbabwe from a low altitude. Gellys kept busy with the aircraft's controls and buttons.

There, detained by the delay in baggage, the pilot showed a pleasant British courtesy and an informality that only many years in those parts of Africa mold in His Majesty's subjects or descendants. We take advantage of your predisposition.

The Private Drama of White Lives of Zimbabwe

"So what about being a pilot started how?" we ask you. “Well, as a hobby and while we kept the farm, that's just it. Then…they took everything. Now, it's what allows me to survive here.” As dramatic as they sounded, his words didn't surprise us.

We were aware of events. "But in your case, was there violence?" we add. “Not physical violence, but it was pressure we couldn't resist. A mob with guns would appear and say that we had to leave until that day. Then they came back more seriously.

We didn't see an alternative. We left the house and property. Most white Zimbabweans have lost everything. We, those who stayed here in other conditions, continue to subject ourselves to Mugabe's madness and a lot of discrimination.”

The bags arrive. Gellys had her return to Mana Pools to fulfill. We say goodbye with the hope of a better future for him and for Zimbabwe. By that time, both we and Gellys were aware that it all depended on Robert Mugabe's resilience in the first place.

The War of Independence and the Blazing Rise of Robert Mugabe

Mugabe was the most prominent leader of the Liberation war waged against the white minority of the Republic of Rhodesia, self-proclaimed independent from the United Kingdom, in 1965. Throughout his life, Robert Mugabe abhorred the supremacy of the white minority in which he grew up. This hatred would, in fact, condition his future governance of Zimbabwe.

Between prison terms and meetings with Marxist leaders, Mugabe led militant and guerrilla forces that barely Mozambique obtained the independence of Portugal, operated from the extensive border area with present-day Zimbabwe.

In 1979-80, except for the South Africa Apartheid, its obvious ally, the supremacist and largely racist regime of Rhodesia was isolated. On the other hand, Mugabe found himself pressured by Samora Machel and other leaders to end the conflict. Very upset, he agreed.

As a result, he resisted several assassination attempts by the ZAPU and ZANLA factions, which began to fight for power with his ZANU. The ZANU party won the elections. In April 1980, Mugabe was sworn in as Prime Minister no longer of Rhodesia but of a Zimbabwe recognized by most of the world.

His early years in office hinted at stability, but Mugabe turned out to be a resentful, short-sighted despot, vulnerable to snooping and paranoia.

Dollars, bonds and long-standing Surreal Inflation

We didn't even leave the airport. The damage caused by his nearly four decades in power was successive. Due to excessive relaxation, we had only arrived with euros. ATMs had neither US dollars nor Zimbabwean bonds created when the national dollar devalued so much that not even half a line of a notebook was enough to record how much was worth 1 USD or 1 Euro.

After some investigation, we got a mix of the American currency and bonds as change for the purchase of a sunscreen, at the pharmacy of Chegadas. Once the solution was learned, we continued to obtain them, all over the country, in the supermarkets of the largest chains. Sometimes, even though we knew that outside Zimbabwe, the bonds would be worth zero, we didn't even stick around to guarantee change in US dollars.

A local tourism driver welcomes us and takes us to the hotel. We rest for a mere hour. We went out with him again, guided by a government guide, Salome, who follows instructions and takes us to National Heroes Acre, 7km from the center. Delivered to your mobile phone chats, Salome hardly calls us or directs the word.

The driver drives, as he's supposed to, but mostly talks to Salome. The national monument doesn't take long. At the top of a short staircase, initial and central, are the tomb and bronze statue in honor of the unknown insurgents who lost their lives in the war of liberation.

Heroes Acre and the “Eternal flame” from Zimbabwe

The statue is composed of three armed guerrillas in haughty poses: a woman and two men. The two ends of the monument are delimited by murals that narrate the history of Zimbabwe.

At the top of the hill, on a 40 meter tower so high to be seen from Harare, stands out the “Eternal flame”. It was lit during the 1982 Independence celebrations of Zimbabwe.

Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe

Detail of Heroes Acre, the mausoleum of the heroes of the insurgency war against the white supremacist minority that ruled Zimbabwe's predecessor Rhodesia Mugabe appears at the top.

True to his Marxist leanings, Mugabe awarded the construction of Heroes Acre to a North Korean firm. It did not surprise us, therefore, to find that the mausoleum mimicked the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery at Taesong-guyok, on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

Heroes Acre serves as the last ceremonial abode of Zimbabwean insurgents. That same afternoon, a strong contingent of military and civilian workers prepares, there, the funeral of one of these heroes, Commander Naison Ndlovu, who had died days before, aged 86 years.

Ndlovu was esteemed not only for his role in Zimbabwe's independence, but also for the integrity he maintained throughout his life against regionalism and tribalism. This, in a country that still suffers from the sometimes irrational polarization between its predominant ethnic groups, axona, by Robert Mugabe and the Ndebele, both from the Bantu branch.

At certain stages of his long dictatorship, Mugabe led this opposition xona vs Ndebele to bloody extremes.

Harare: the Capital of All Misconceptions

We return to the center. Harare remains tranquil within what its controlled chaos of countless pedestrians and street vendors and shoppers grants, of course.

With Mugabe himself admitting that unemployment was between 60 and 90%, only the countless private initiatives of a little bit sustain the families – usually numerous – and keep the moribund local economy connected to the machine.

Harare street vendors, Zimbabwe

Street vendors right in the center of Harare. With the country's unemployment rate, not even the despotic Robert Mugabe has the courage to expel them.

As we walk, we pass successive makeshift stalls outside stores that are often forced to admit the competition.

As far as things have gone, Mugabe may even complain in the press that Harare will never have tourism again as long as it's full of rubbish (largely that left by street vendors at the end of the day). But he also knows that forcing the sellers to remove could be the beginning of his end.

Streets of Harare, capital of Zimbabwe

ua in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, with its worn and mixed architecture: with something Soviet, African and British colonial.

As such, in the midst of a fascinating urban forest of buildings where Soviet architecture from the 70s is mixed with African and other British colonial influences, Harare's heavy fate continues in the shade and sun of better and worse days. One lady composes showy hair extensions to another.

Seated on chairs brought from home, money changers hold huge musty bundles of bills. Lacking a load crossbow, a fruit seller pushes his own cart full of oranges. They are merely examples of a myriad of survival modes.

Orange seller in Harare, Zimbabwe

In the absence of a beast of burden, a fruit seller pushes his own cart loaded with oranges.

Harare and Zimbabwe Long Delivered to Their Destinations

Neither white Zimbabweans nor tourists. We don't see a single white person in town. In fact, we started to feel that at that time we were the only ones. But statistics guarantee that there are still several thousand of them there, of English-speaking culture and – they could not miss – many hundreds of Portuguese, more than a thousand in Zimbabwe, owners of restaurants, rural companies, tourism and whatever else they might have liked. in life.

But, let's get back to the decay of Zimbabwe. Until 1987, Mugabe kept himself occupied with a bloody and deranged fight against factions that had engaged in a banditry opposition in the country's most remote provinces.

To control them, Mugabe did not look to the means and would have caused the death of around 20.000 civilians. In the 37 years of his yoke, he would kill rivals and subjects relatively often, sometimes for the most preposterous reasons.

Newspaper cover in Harare, Zimbabwe

“Mugabe is an Angel” on the cover of Newsday Weekender

In 1987, Mugabe not only managed to merge the two main rival parties, but also to change the constitution. Declared himself executive president. Plenipotentiary, he hastened to abolish the twenty-seat parliamentary seats reserved for whites. The expulsion did not stop with the assembly.

Mugabe's Expropriations, Other Caprices and Follies

The black population continued to increase. To allegedly house them, Mugabe decreed that he would expropriate, without appeal, vast farms, some of which had been exploited by white families since the beginning of colonial times. Much of this land was, however, handed over to ministers and senior officers, several of whom were former combatants in the War of Liberation.

Upon learning of this, the United Kingdom suspended its support program (until then it had allocated 44 million pounds) to the compensation of the expropriated whites.

As if that wasn't enough, in 1997, former Revolutionary War fighters intensified their requests for pensions for their military services. Mugabe could not refuse. It ignored all economic and financial sense and limited itself to printing hundreds of millions of Zimbabwean dollars.

This free influx of bills contributed to the anecdotal figures of inflation that followed: 100.000 percent in 2008 when a loaf of bread cost a third of a monthly salary. The price of the national currency, that one, no longer had a qualifying adjective.

Overview of Harare, Zimbabwe

The houses of Harare seen from a higher point on the outskirts of the city adorned with euphorbia bush and controlled by the army.

Mugabe blamed the catastrophe on the resistant white minority who claimed to continue to control agriculture, mines and industrial production. He demonized whites and his own black opponents.

He also took the opportunity to divert attention from the damage of his policies with the growing concern of homosexuality which he explained as an import from Europe, with gays being "worse than dogs and pigs... guilty of sub-human behavior."

From Zimbabwean Granary of Sub-Saharan Africa to Generalized Famine

From 2000 onwards, land occupations have worsened, carried out by armed gangs who have not shied away from rape and murder. Everything turned out to be orchestrated by Mugabe, who thus avenged the role that whites would have allegedly played in their poor results in that year's elections.

Whoever they were, the new beneficiaries lacked the knowledge or technical and even financial means to maintain productive lands.

Until then, known as the breadbasket of sub-Saharan Africa and a strong exporter, as more whites and businesses fled the country, Zimbabwe's economy deteriorated to the point where 75% of the population depended on foreign aid for food.

None of this seemed to bother the old dictator. Mugabe continued throughout the 2000s to encourage the semi-war state in which the country lived for the sole purpose of perpetuating its tyranny.

On another day in June 2017, we visited the cave paintings of Domboshava, some 30 km from Harare. On the way, we passed the block of the presidential mansion. Half alerted, Salome forbids us to photograph there. Ten kilometers later, suddenly, motorized scouts order us to pull over to the edge.

Zimbabwe's Times of Imminent Change

An endless convoy of hyper-luxury military vehicles that followed Mugabe on their way to the funeral of Commander Naison Ndlovu in Heroes Acre. And Mugabe didn't play games. In addition to a battalion of soldiers and special forces in other cars and vans, a vehicle protected him with anti-aircraft-style machine guns.

But at age 93, the antibodies in his body were weakening. Those of Zimbabwean politics, these, felt the urgency of extracting it from the country as never before.

A month or so later, the National Army realized that Mugabe had gotten rid of former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to, despite the expressed will of the people, impose his wife Grace – Gucci Grace, as they call her on the streets – to his succession .

With nothing left to fear, the generals finally stepped in and placed Mugabe under house arrest. Feeling the support of the military, on the 19th, in an atmosphere of great celebration, the delegates dismissed him from the presidency of the ZANU-PF party and appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa as the new leader.

Hours later, Mugabe spoke on TV, in the somewhat disturbing presence of members of the armed forces, other officers and a priest.

To the Unknown Insurgent

Golden figures - two men and a woman - from the monument to unknown insurgents from the Bush War to the liberation war against the white minority of Rhodesia

He wiped out everything that had happened. He declared that, within weeks, he would preside over the party congress. He did not consider his departure from ZANU-PF, let alone from the presidency of the country. A day later Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the dean of Africa's tyrants, finally resigned as the country's presidency.

Thus ended almost four decades of arrogance, madness, use and abuse in Zimbabwe. Its vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa follows. After 37 years of frustration, people's expectations couldn't be higher.

Big Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, Endless Mystery

Between the 1500th and XNUMXth centuries, Bantu peoples built what became the largest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. From XNUMX onwards, with the passage of the first Portuguese explorers arriving from Mozambique, the city was already in decline. Its ruins, which inspired the name of the present-day Zimbabwean nation, have many unanswered questions.  
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Great ZimbabweZimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, Little Bira Dance

Karanga natives of the KwaNemamwa village display traditional Bira dances to privileged visitors to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. the most iconic place in Zimbabwe, the one who, after the decree of colonial Rhodesia's independence, inspired the name of the new and problematic nation.  
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.
Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

The Sami Nation comprises four countries, which ingest into the lives of their peoples. In the parliament of Inari, in various dialects, the Sami govern themselves as they can.
Solovetsky Islands, Russia

The Mother Island of the Gulag Archipelago

It hosted one of Russia's most powerful Orthodox religious domains, but Lenin and Stalin turned it into a gulag. With the fall of the USSR, Solovestky regains his peace and spirituality.
DMZ, Dora - South Korea

The Line of No Return

A nation and thousands of families were divided by the armistice in the Korean War. Today, as curious tourists visit the DMZ, many of the escapes of the oppressed North Koreans end in tragedy.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwee

Livingstone's Thundering Gift

The explorer was looking for a route to the Indian Ocean when natives led him to a jump of the Zambezi River. The falls he found were so majestic that he decided to name them in honor of his queen
Beijing, China

The Heart of the Great Dragon

It is the incoherent historic center of Maoist-Communist ideology and almost all Chinese aspire to visit it, but Tianamen Square will always be remembered as a macabre epitaph of the nation's aspirations.
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, City Gates
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel (Azores), Azores

The Great Azorean City

During the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, Ponta Delgada became the most populous city and the economic and administrative capital of the Azores. There we find the history and modernism of the archipelago hand in hand.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Bathers in the middle of the End of the World-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Porto Santo, view to the south of Pico Branco
Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

Pico Branco, Terra Chã and Other Whims of the Golden Island

In its northeast corner, Porto Santo is another thing. With its back facing south and its large beach, we unveil a mountainous, rugged and even wooded coastline, dotted with islets that dot an even bluer Atlantic.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Serra Dourada, Cerrado, Goiás, Brazil
Natural Parks
Serra Dourada, Goiás, Brazil

Where the Cerrado Waves Golden

One of the types of South America savannah, the Cerrado extends over more than a fifth of the Brazilian territory, which supplies much of its fresh water. Located in the heart of the Central Plateau and the state of Goiás, the Serra Dourada State Park shines double.
PN Timanfaya, Mountains of Fire, Lanzarote, Caldera del Corazoncillo
UNESCO World Heritage
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Gizo, Solomon Islands

A Saeraghi Young Singers Gala

In Gizo, the damage caused by the tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands is still very visible. On the coast of Saeraghi, children's bathing happiness contrasts with their heritage of desolation.
Conflicted Way
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
emperor akihito waves, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.