I almost jumped up and down like a lunatic in the cafe when I read this article. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled in favour of the Dzvova family and said that no school should bar children with dreadlocks from attending. Heinous Anus Chigwedere, Minister for Education & Culture (which portfolio he has messed up so badly that he won't let his own children attend Zimbabwean schools and ships them abroad to the very countries that are supposed to be his regime's enemies), ReWriter of Zimbabwean and African History a la Malachi York et al and all round prick will just have to find someone else to harrass.
Heinous Anus' views on Rastafarians are well-known. I remember that business with Mai Tawanda ( Sister Sophia of the Nyahbingi House in Chitungwiza) and her children. T.K. Tsodzo, the Permanent Secretary, was equally hostile. The ridiculous arguement offered is that Rastafari is a foreign culture and so has no place in Zimbabwe. There was even an article in a textbook used by Grade 6 children admonishing them against admiring and consequently emulating foreign cultures, such as the practice of wearing dreadlocks, which was brought to Zimbabwe by Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley.
This assertion, which passes as "education" flies in the face of evidence: I will cite researcher Philbert Muzungaire (who is not a Rastafarian):
"About dreadlocks, Chigwedere must not have read Theodere Bent's "The Ruined Cities of Mashonaland" page 270, written in the 1890s, and I quote: "crowds of men and women from Zamopera... the men with long matted hair hanging like a fringe over their faces and hung with beads and cowrie shells..". Point: dreadlocks were not unknown in the old days. I also remember reading something written by David Livingstone that mentions long hair among some groups in the Zambezi valley, again dreadlocks by another name. If you are in New York, books such as the above are available at the Schomburg Library of the City of New York, in the UK at the British Museum. Some good libraries do inter-library loans where you can request books like the above. It may take weeks to receive a copy. "
In other words, a minister for Education and at the same time widely esteemed in Zimbabwe as a historian, and many other people in the Ministry of Education and Culture, are trying to blot out the existence of people with a Rastafarian appearance from the pages of Zimbabwean history in order to push us Rastafarians out of the picture. This would be genocide elsewhere. Whatever it may be called in Zimbabwe, it is still vile and deplorable.
One cannot contemplate the actions of these people without recalling Haman- the official who tried to use his high position to prey on those people he hated. Perhaps we Rastafarians should also start celebrating Purim, if only as to remind us that there are people out there who wish to see us wiped out, and that our God will come to our rescue.
These two's repugnant behaviour is in stark contrast to that of other people in the Ministry of Education. St Aidan's School and Seke 7 Primary in Chitungwiza have been open to dreadlocked Rastafarian children. I call on the community to support these schools in kind as a gesture of appreciation. They are proof that Zimbabwe's educators are largely civilised and uphold the inherent Zimbabwean respect for other people's religious practices; it is only Heinous Anus and a few who imagine that it is their place to use taxpayers' money to further their genocidal inclinations.
I sincerely hope that all Rastafarian children will be able to learn in peace and security now. A tall order at the moment- but I believe that now we have a leg in, a chance arises for us to dispel the prejudice. Once Zimbabweans see that our children are the same as theirs, just long-haired, much of the mistrust and fear will go away.
But who am I kidding. I fear that we will have a struggle on our hands before our kids can go to school like any other. In 2002, President Mugabe told a party meeting, "They will rush to the courts and say it is their right (to have their hair like that).....Let them go the Courts, we do not care about the Courts. .....(there''ll be) no dreadlocks in the schools and colleges!" And before all the political mafikizolos and arm-chair activists in the mould of ayinde and other delusionals scream anti-Mugabe, let it be known that the struggle for Rastafarian rights predates the present political problems that engulf Zimbabwe. I haven't forgotten another Minister for Education & Culture, the late Joseph Culverwell ordering a student to leave the auditorium at the Harare Polytechnic for not depciting "the true Zimbabwean culture". This student is now a lecturer at the Polytech. He is not a Rastafarian, in fact his beliefs and culture are more akin to those of the crowds of men and women from Zamopera, which can hardly be said of someone with a name like Culverwell.
Nor are problems with schools unique to Zimbabwe- we are not liked around the world. Even so, there have been victories elsewhere, and there should be victories in Zimbabwe. I have no children of my own, but this is something I feel strongly abou.
I also call on all Rastafarians to assert their rights, even in the face of such powerful opponents as heinous Anus Chigwedere or some under-compensated headmaster. Fear only the Almighty. This the winning side.
And for Mr Chigwedere, I will say this, And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Watch the time.........