30 March 2008

Fixed or Fair?

We now await the Zimbabwe election results to see if the election was fixed or fair -- or poorly fixed. Should the fix be in, will Zimbabweans accept the "result" as in past elections, or will Zimbabwe descend into the chaos Kenya faced?

Based upon the average Zimbabwean's aversion to more warfare, I doubt the Kenya chaos will result unless Mugabe loses and unleashes his thugs. But he does that after every election in order to secure the next one.

Vana vevhuu vachasunungurwa, here? Handizivi.
(Will Zimbabweans be free? I don't know.)

Flame Lilly

The Flame Lilly (Gloriosa superba) is the national flower of Zimbabwe.

It is a protected species in Zimbabwe.

It is a tubrous perennial with weak stems which supports itself by attaching tendrils, found at the tips of the leaves, to other plants.

The Flame Lilly prefers semi-shade and protection from the wind.

The bulbs are poisonous.

The flowers tend to be red, orange or yellow. The colour deepens with age. Often they are bi-coloured, as above. They flower in summer.

27 March 2008

ZANU PF tells villagers to vote on Sunday

ZANU-PF is nothing if not creative in finding ways to win elections:

". . .ZANU PF youths were telling villagers that Saturday had been reserved for ruling party supporters while those supporting the opposition would cast their ballots the next day."

Many will think that this is so absurd that no one would believe it. The fearful uneducated people struggling to survive in many rural areas of Zimbabwe will find this perfectly normal. The average person supporting the opposition would switch to ZANU-PF rather than risk retaliation for not voting "correctly." The fool-heartedly courageous would try to vote on Sunday and find no ballot box but rather ridicule and beatings.

Read the full article:
ZANU PF tells villagers to vote on Sunday

23 March 2008

Mr. Bean

[The late Saul Nyemba (in the suit) was a teacher at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe when I taught there. He taught me much about Shona culture and life in Zimbabwe when it was Rhodesia. This is one of my favorite stories. I miss him.]

One day Baba Nyemba went to town to get some meat. At the butcher shop he saw a nice piece of steak in the window that was just what he wanted. However, as a black citizen of Rhodesia, he could not go in and purchase the meat. He had to go to the back door where blacks were served. The nice meat wasn't available there. He could only purchase low grade cuts called "ration meat." That wasn't what he wanted, so he didn't buy any.

As Baba Nyemba was leaving, he saw a black man enter the front door of the store, give a note to the butcher and receive a nice cut of meat. This domestic worker had brought a note from his boss and was permitted to buy meat for him. Baba Nyemba thought to himself, "I can write. Nyemba means 'bean.' I'll write a note from Mr. Bean asking for the steak I want. That's my name, so it won't be a lie."

Baba Nyemba wrote his note and went into the butchery and presented it to the butcher. The butcher read the note, sold Baba Nyemba the meat and said, "Tell Boss Bean we have plenty of good meat whenever he wants it." Baba Nyemba left with his meat and his note.

Boss Bean ate well that night.

15 March 2008

Larvon Bird Garden

Larvon Bird Garden is located just outside Harare on the road to Chegutu. They have a great collection of birds which are both free ranging and in aviaries. For the bird lover the walk-through aviary is a most exciting place to visit. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from Larvon Bird Garden.

The Crested Crane or Crowned Crane is one of my favorite large birds. It is the national bird of Uganda. They perform a most interesting dance during mating season.

The African Jacana is another interesting bird widespread in Africa. They prefer wet areas with floating vegetation.

12 March 2008

Detective Agency to be serialised

BBC reports that Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is going to be made into a TV series. If it lives up to the book(s) by McCall Smith, it should be a great series. It looks like it will end up on HBO in the U.S.A. and on BBC One in UK. I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD set (if affordable) since I have don't have HBO or BBC. ;-(

Read about the series plans and stars at: Detective Agency to be serialised

09 March 2008

A Little Art Work

When my daughter, Malaika, was in high school at Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya, she began to draw. In the mid-1990's we made note cards of some of her early work. Here is a set of pictures of children she did then.

(Malaika with Curious George, our pet monkey, in Gweru, Zimbabwe.)

I'll try to post some of her later work in the future. Later works tend to be larger and won't fit my scanner.

07 March 2008

Holy King Soloman's Mines!

Professor Says He Found Ark of the Covenant--Maybe

This is one of the wildest stories I've run across lately. It's sort of a modern version of the early European explanations of the ruins of Great Zimbabwe.

Scepticism aside, the Lemba are interesting. They do have cultural practices that have led many to convert to Islam. One theory is that there was early contact with Arab traders that introduced Islam to this group.

Now, we await the movie.

02 March 2008

Nhoro Dzimwe - More Kudu

Here are a couple more kudu, female (left) and male (right) in Hwange National Park early in the morning.

01 March 2008


My favorite African antelope is the kudu. There are two species of kudu. The lesser kudu (tandala ndogo - swahili) and the greater kudu (tandala mkubwa - swahili). The lesser kudu is found from northern Tanzania through Kenya possibly to Somalia. The greater kudu is more widespread frequenting most of eastern and southern Africa. Pictured here is a greater kudu (nhoro - shona) having an early morning breakfast in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.