Thursday, 29 October 2009


Nothing of interest has happened to me in the disease fighting world this week. A healthy week all around. I've been fine. Totally ok. So let me tell you about my friend Samuel. He's fighting a really nasty disease. His disease is Robert Mugabe. His disease has already killed members of his family and robbed him of his home. I've been recording his story now for several months. By day he pretends to be a janitor but like Hong Kong Phooey he is really something totally different. Just as mild mannered though.

Born in South Africa to Rhodesian (as it was) migrant workers he lived in the townships of Soweto (Zone 12 he tells me). On June 16th 1976, aged 13 he walked to school as the Soweto uprising raged around him. His parents moved him to the relative safety of Rhodesia that Autumn to live with his Uncle. In November he attended a rally where Joshua Nkomo implored young people to leave Rhodesia, seek an education in exile and be ready to return to the country as the rightful majority rulers. The following Spring after borrowing money from his Uncle on the pretext of buying training shoes he bought a bus ticket to Botswana and began the long journey into exile. He was determined to change his countries fortunes - to over turn the minority white rule of Ian Smith's government. From Botswana he went to Zambia where under the guidance of Zapu he was educated, first in Lusaka and then in Sofia, Bulgaria with members of the young ANC.

He returned to the new Zimbabwe to discover Mugabe and his Zanu PF had prospered where Nkomo's Zapu had failed. For him and many others the freedom that revolution and independence were supposed to bring became a nightmare. Members of his family, including his beloved Uncle were rounded up by Mugabe's dreaded Korean trained Fifth Brigade. His uncle was found dead at the bottom of a mine shaft. Samuel fled to the relative safety of South Africa - a country ruled by the apartheid policy of the National Party.

So when I'm feeling sorry for my self about a bit of MS I go and chat to Samuel.

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