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  • Thuthukani Ndlovu

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

// Hopewell Chin’ono & Jacob Ngarivhume ; JustRMag IG Filter ; Karizma ; ASAPH //


Wassup wassup fam. I hope that you are all well and keeping safe. For today’s article, I’m going to share information on 4 main features: An update on Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume ; an overview on what’s happened so far in Zimbabwe (thanks to The Slacktivist) ; a conversation with Rufaro “Justrmag” Magara ; and Music produced in solidarity with the movement and hashtag. Before we dive in, I’ve decided to share this tweet by eNCA which reads “South African journalists who uncover potential rot in PPE tenders continue to do their jobs. In Zimbabwe, they go to jail. Hopewell Chin'ono exposed an alleged procurement scandal in the Health Ministry. Now he's in detention, charged with inciting public violence.”


I would also like you to listen to the track “Already” by the award winning Zimbabwean Rapper Karizma before we dive in. This lyric video encompasses the frustrations of Zimbabweans and poses questions that we always ask ourselves. It’s great to see artists adding their voice to what is happening. It’s really sad how the ruling party in Zimbabwe continues to not just undermine democracy and freedom of speech, but also emulate those who colonized us.



Hopewell Chin'ono is a Zimbabwean freelance journalist who was charged with inciting violence last month, together with opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, and this past Thursday, he was denied bail. What frustrates me the most is not how the ruling party in Zim has behaved in treating Hopewell and the people of Zimbabwe, but that I’m not surprised. I lost faith in the Zimbabwean government and justice system when I was 14 (just over a decade ago), because I realized that our leaders had successfully created a sustainable system that allows them to abuse the constitution with no repercussions. Corruption has been their daily bread, while the country’s economy and health system continue to deteriorate, and I’m not the only one tired of the "sanctions excuse" that the ruling party loves to use every time their incompetence is exposed.


To get an overview on how everything played out leading to Hopewell’s arrest and the peaceful protests that took place on the 31st of July, I’ve provided the visuals below courtesy of The Slacktivists. This will give you a general idea of what happened and what’s happening in Zimbabwe (and you can click on the images to find out more about them). The latest update on Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume is that they have both been transferred to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. I would advise you to follow Doug Coltourt on Twitter for reliable updates, and you can watch his latest interview with eNCA here.



Next up I’d like to introduce you to JustRMag, who developed an Instagram filter that includes the Zimbabwean flag. I managed to have a brief conversation with him just to get sense of the motive behind developing the filter and his views on the current situation. Rufaro “Justrmag” Magara is A Swedish born, Zimbabwean raised young adult currently based in South Africa, and is an aspiring game designer / developer who loves all things innovative. He’s a creative with a strong interest in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and aims to not only create, but also bring to life digital art content that can inspire and motivate our generation and the next.



He officially shared the #ZimbabweLivesMatter IG filter on the 4th of August 2020, and the inspiration came from the hashtag itself which had already gained momentum on Twitter. In spite of the tag trending on Twitter, he realised that it wasn't making much waves on Instagram, as people continued posting selfies. So he then asked himself how he could play a role in promoting the awareness of what’s happening in Zimbabwe, within his capacity, and thus thought of creating something that allows people to continue posting selfies, but having a Zimbabwean theme attached to it in order to catch people's attention, and to get their followers to know what's actually happening in Zimbabwe/ at least be informed about the hashtag. The second motive was also to create something that Instagram users could still use to “show how proud we are to be Zimbabweans to our followers despite what's happening".It’s a really cool filter, and I met him last year at Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, so I assumed that this wasn’t his first IG Filter. Surprisingly, it was his first that he had published/ made public, however he does have a few drafts that he said still needs polishing up, and that he plans on designing more (so we should watch the space).

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I asked JustRMag to share a few final comments on the situation and this is what he had to say: “As we have seen in the BLM protests in America, social media protests together with other forms of activism do work and it forces people to sit down and have discussions about change and reform. I understand America and Zimbabwe are two different countries with two different governments thus the approaches will be different however 2020 has taught us that nothing will be the same again. We just need to continue being motivated as Zimbabweans and try to get worldwide attention for change.So far the hashtag is working slowly but surely.” There’s been a positive response to his IG Filter, and I’ve decided to share some of the selfies that were taken by different people, as well as some prominent Zimbabwean public figures. I would like to encourage you to also use the filter and let’s continue to spread awareness. You can access the filter via the following link:

https://www.instagram.com/ar/732882497510981



To conclude the article, I would like to share 2 petitions that you can sign: Speak Out for Zimbabwe (Targeted at SA President, Cyril Ramaphosa) and Stop human rights violations in Zimbabwe (Targeted at the African Union) ; as well as the lyric video to (another award winning Zimbabwean rapper) ASAPH’s track “Asipheli Moya” featuring Msiz’kay. It’s his second single for 2020, and an anthem for everyone surviving the times. These are really tough times, and each day we always hear about a new atrocity by the Zim government, but I guess, “we never give up”. To keep updated with #ZimbaweanLivesMatter & what’s happening in Zim, make sure you follow on Twitter: @PacheduZW @DougColtart @pmkwananzi @efie41209591 @MthulisiHanana @advocatemahere @SirNige . That’s all from me for now. Let’s connect on Twitter or Instagram @2tukani.



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