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Mugabe and the White African
by Ben Freeth
Published:17 June 2011
The first thing to say about this book is this: read it immediately. The second thing to say is this: think about what it means to be a Christian, and ask yourself how well we remember to model ourselves upon Christ and to depend upon God. Ben Freeth is a white Zimbabwean farmer, and this is his story of what it means not to flee from oppressive and life-threatening tyranny but to stand firm against it. He has done this partly through the innate instinct which ties a human being to the land on which he was born, but also through the sheer conviction that Jesus was walking beside him each step of the way. It’s a painful but inspiring story – and it’s not yet over.
Ben believes that the battle in Zimbabwe, as in so many African countries, is being fought in the spiritual realm. He contrasts Botswana, a landlocked, desert country led by a man whose family has been Christian for generations to the point where it is now a free and peaceful society and the fastest growing economy in the world, with Zimbabwe, where leaders with allegiance to violent ancestral spiritual traditions have taken a country with the highest literacy levels and most prosperous agricultural economy on the continent into decades of poverty, violence and hunger. ‘The reason that Africa is hungry is not because of physical factors,’ he points out; ‘Africa is hungry because of the covenant with death and the web of lies in which it has encased itself.’ I am reminded of the startling comment by atheist journalist Matthew Parris: "Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete." Draw your own conclusions.
Reviewer: Alison Morgan (06/08/11)