As Cecil the Lion continues to dominate the global news headlines, Zimbabwean Journalist Fungai Machirori says she could not believe that it would take the death of a lion to once more locate Zimbabwe within the world narrative.
She has found it astounding that the world cast its eye on Zimbabwe for its wildlife, with no thought or concern for its people.
In an article she wrote for Voices of Africa, she says: "For many Zimbabweans, international focus on Cecil stands in stark contrast to the barely audible attention paid to Itai Dzamara, a local anti-state activist who has been missing for over four months. Or to the precarious status of unregulated local street vendors as police mount a crackdown on their activities. Or to Sangulani Chikumbutso, a high-school dropout who has become the first Zimbabwean to design and manufacture a hybrid helicopter and electric vehicle. It is the deepest irony that in a time when the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain traction in highlighting the differential scales used to value human lives, the world should cast its eye on Zimbabwe for its wildlife, with no thought or concern for its people."
Speaking to Udo Carelse (standing in for John Robbie) this morning, Machirori adds:
In my conversations with people, I realised that most of the people I had spoken to had never heard of Cecil the Lion. There's a skewed understanding of how much significance is put on Cecil the Lion by the people of Zimbabwe. It's not that Cecil is not important but no one is following up with how the people of Zimbabwe are doing.— Fungai Machirori, Zimbabwean journalist and Founder of Her Zimbabwe
Listen to the full conversation below: