“If we cannot live as free men, we will die as free men” – Guest Blogger

Dear Zimbabwe, All Our People,

First, I would like to thank the prevalence of technology that enables us to speechify without standing on a podium which has allowed this speech to reach to you.

If there was a Zimbabwean dictionary of politics, we would add the new word Feya Feya.

The Kenyans have their own political jargon in vernacular. Wananchi means the broad citizenry. Uhuru means Freedom (All Swahili).

The South Africans have Asijiki, which we have borrowed here. Now Feya Feya means democracy plus equality generally.

It is democracy in our own language and lived experiences.

Feya Feya is an expression of our individual and collective longing for freedom and fairness

That is also the theme which runs throughout our new Constitution. Regardless of which province we come from we must see equal prosperity (devolution and equality of the provinces in oneness).

Regardless of our past we are all Zimbabweans now, black or white alike.

Regardless of our social standing we must see the same treatment before the law.

Regardless of which way we look at our national politics we must feel the same comfort to reveal our standing and have the same freedom of speech.

We must have a vote that weighs the same for each citizen. Regardless of where we come from we must be treated fairly at work throughout the country with particular attention to merit.

There should be no doubt both in our minds and in our actions that the natural resources both on and below our land belong to us all today.

I am glad to be a fighter for Feya Feya toward and beyond the 2013 elections.

Even the pre-Independence struggle was a struggle for Feya Feya. Feya Feya is not only a political principle; it is also a social and economic principle.

Borrowing from the most emotional statement from the Mgagao Declaration of our true freedom fighters in Tanzania, in December 1975, indeed, some of whom did not live to see the betrayal and new oppression:

if we cannot live as FREE men, we will die as FREE men.

Today, we accept that we are all equal Zimbabweans.

Indeed, Feya Feya is what we should have lived from day one of our independence on 18 April, 1980. Feya Feya has been delayed, but cannot be denied.

The slogan is forever that: Feya Feya In Our Lifetime! Pamberi ne Feya Feya! Mayibuye iFeya Feya! iFeya Feya Namhlanje!

Sincerely in Support of the National Program of Feya Feya,

Yours Comradely,

Vivid Gwede


Watching from afar: the painful exclusion of a diasporan – Guest Blogger

It’s 13 days before a decisive national election in my motherland – Zimbabwe.

And I’m confronted by the brutal reality that my dream of determining the future of my country and exercising my right to self determination is just that – a mere dream.

Together with hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans in the so called ‘diaspora’ – I’m forced to be a hapless spectator.

I’m forced to ponder on the question: “Where do I stand in shaping my country’s future?”

I’m 100 percent Zimbabwean. A Manyika to be specific. Hailing from Tanda in Rusape.

Honourable Elton Mangoma is my outgoing Member of Parliament while Chief Makoni is my traditional leader.

My totem is Shumba (lion) ‘maSibanda’.

I was born and bred in the capital of the Midlands Province – Gweru.

And I was educated at Cecil John Rhodes Primary School then St Dominics Chishawasha then Thornhill High School and finally the Midlands State University.

I’m fluent in Shona and speak a bit of Ndebele.

I am a Zimbabwean.

Am I not Zimbabwean?

Fortunately or unfortunately (it depends on how you look at it) I am betrothed to an Angolan.

I find myself attempting to fit into a society which is so different from mine.

They drive on the right side of the road, use right hand cars, speak Portuguese, consider lunch their main meal, eat cassava meal instead of maize meal (sadza in my mother language) and have no problem buying meat from what we call flea markets back home.

The differences are so many.

I am called ‘estrangeira’ (foreigner in Portuguese).

Yet, for some reason my government chooses to ignore these facts by disenfranchising me, virtually excluding me from any electoral processes.

The heartfelt musings of a Zimbabwean sharing of her sense of ostracism from participating in the forthcoming elections. From her blog, we invite you to read her story told in her own few words

Let’s make it feya feya and inclusive!

My hope for a Feya Feya Zimbabwe – Guest Blogger

So I decided to share my journal with my two year old son. I imagined it would help sharpen his creative and expressive prowess (fingers crossed).

At the end of the day I reluctantly ‘donated’ the journal to him because he appeared to have somehow convinced himself that it was his (so much for sharing). memory

So I found myself thinking that my son’s un-Feya Feya behaviour was pretty similar to what has been obtaining in our media, politics, social space and even our pockets.

Having recently caught the ‘Feya Feya fever’ that has gripped town (if you are not part of it Walala wasala – you’re getting left behind) campaigning for free and fair elections; I am somewhat obsessing over the notion of fairness.

Obsession being the key word.

Feya Feya is like a fever, a bug, highly contagious and is moving at a breakneck speed.

Feya Feya …. is a colloquial term for “Fair Fair”. The phrase is a corruption of the English term, meaning in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate and just or appropriate in the circumstances.

The Feya Feya campaign is aimed at promoting peaceful, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in which the will of the people is respected!

I bought into the Feya Feya campaign because it resonates with me. I believe that at its core, the Feya Feya campaign is about upholding the sanctity of the ballot and protecting the will of the people as expressed through the ballot.

I am taking part in the Feya Feya campaign because, like many Zimbabweans, I’m tired of being taken for granted and of the national stagnation.

For more than a decade we endured the fuel and bread queues and we helplessly watched our country’s fall from grace.

Over the years, some have sought refuge in neighbors’ homes, while others fell victim to political violence and a few remained hopeful that Zimbabwe shall rise from the ashes.

I want a Feya Feya election because I think it is fundamental to the fruition of my aspirations.

I want a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where my voice is heard and respected. I want to live in a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where my dissenting views are tolerated, listened to and respected.

I want a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where the pains of my labour shall bear fruits and where my effort is justly rewarded.

My heart aches for my disenfranchised relatives and friends who are in the Diaspora and who often echo the proverbial Shona sentiment, “Kusina amai hakuendwe” (loosely translated to mean that one’s home always best).

I am campaigning for a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where violence is shunned, criminalized and condemned in the strongest of terms…a Zimbabwe where electoral choices are made without fear of victimization or disfranchisement.

I envision a Feya Feya Zimbabwe whose representatives in Parliament, leaders in Government respect and adhere to the oath of office. Whose dedication is to take Zimbabwe to greater heights.

My Feya Feya Zimbabwe shall rise against the odds and reclaim its former glory.

Like a mother who nurtures and protects the fruits of her womb even in hardship, I remain hopeful for a Feya Feya Zimbabwe.

There’s a always a need for fairness – Guest Blogger

…there is always need for fairness – even armed combat has rules! Winning a fight through unfair ways will not earn you respect, or any legitimacy.
Let me give an example: an act like of furious Mike Tyson biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in an old boxing match.
Let me ask you: If you would have no problem asking for ‘feya feya’ in an idle card game, from a soccer referee, or gambling with coin-money around street corners, what more in a national harmonized election?
After all, in life, fairness is all we want.
With these words, countrymen, let us have ‘feya feya’ elections!

We are thankful for the Zimbabweans that are speaking up, speaking out and speaking NOW on their desire for free and fair elections – you can read the entire blog on Elections: Zimbabwe, Let’s Embrace ‘Feya Feya’
Let’s make it Feya Feya – just free and fair!

Feya Feya is about saving ourselves

I can not in all earnestness say that I have ever applied myself to imagining a better future for Zimbabwe. Partly because I am afraid to hope. Partly because I am afraid to care too much about it because caring would make me obligated to act. Caring would make me obligated to do something. Even a small thing. Partly because I didn’t know what to do. And even when others suggested what could be done and their suggestions were great – I let myself be smothered by the futility of trying to change things. Despair is easier than hope. Far more comfortable and far less risky.

A Zimbabwean blogger shares her fears of losing a country she loves if the next elections are not feya feya. Read more about it from her blogpost titled I have a country to lose.

Let’s make it feya feya – just free and fair!

The perfect Feya Feya ingredients

Take your memories from the last election out of the oven and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Throw them in the bin.

Don’t over complicate the preparation: use 1 birth certificate to register, not the contents of your (and your landlord’s) entire life. Peel the skin off party politics and massage the real issues that face the country.

We get the perfect ingredients for free and fair elections – not from the Jamie Oliver cookbook – but from a witty Zimbabwean blogger who reckons that we should:

Heat up a pan and place the dreams of the average Zimbabwean in them. Remember where you come from.

Read more on this from the MasterChef himself via A recipe for free and fair elections found on the Kalabash website.