About me


mekid

In my fifth (or sixth if you count 0 -9 as the first) decade and still single, I am Zimbabwe born and bred and like a lot of people in this country am appalled at the tragedy unfolding around me. Zimbabwe has to be seen to experience the beauty of the place and the people have to be met to understand just how pleasant most are, despite the endless bad press.

I started this blog as an easy way (lazy way) of keeping in touch with all my friends around the world so while it is written mainly for those who know the country I have tried to make it understandable for those who don’t, though at times it may seem totally absurd; hence the title!

Initially I was going to be very critical of what is going on in the country and with the potential repercussions of that decided to stay more or less anonymous. However, there are loads of blogs that chronicle that and I quickly got tired of the negativity. So, the anonymity has faded somewhat and I prefer to concentrate on the things that compel me to write, political, humorous, and otherwise. I apologize in advance for my lack of journalistic skills but hopefully they will improve. Hey, give me a break, I am a scientist (an MSc in Horticulture) and have only “discovered” the arts relatively late in life!

Entries tend to occur as I am inspired and/or have something to say so they can be a bit erratic. Please fell free to leave comments, critical and otherwise, it is nice to know people are reading this.

For a much more detailed account about my life please read Reflections on the First Half.

35 responses

17 04 2007
Lee Ambrose

Hey Andy, great blog!
Cheers
Lee

30 05 2012
jenny groves

hello Andrew
Have tried sending an email with no success. Trying to get in touch as Meg (my 16 year old daughter) and I are thinking of coming over later this year. What do you think.
Jenny Groves

13 11 2007
Maria Wilson

Dear Andy

This is all great. Thanks for the fabulous coverage of HIFA. Some very good points – will take some on board. Very direct writing style. Interesting. Can you contact me? Want to speak to you about something to do with the Festival.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Maria Wilson – HIFA

7 03 2008
oli

Hi Andy,
I’m still trying to learn how to walk propely, just like a new baby. How are you coping in good old Zim? We miss it like crazy and can’t wait to be back. Cheers to all.
PS What’s you land line (if working!) number to call you on skype

7 03 2008
gonexc

Hey Olivier I know the feeling well! Persist, it will pay off.

Battling is the only word to describe it. It isn’t like it was when you were here. Everyone is waiting for the elections but I’m not sure that whatever the outcome it will be a case of plus de change, plus de meme chose!

30 03 2008
Stefania

Hi Andy, it’s great to read your blog! We’re waiting with lots of apprehension to obtain the official results of the election and are keeping our fingers crossed. We’re really hoping to be able to anticipate our return home! Morocco is a wonderful country but there’s no other place but Zimbabwe that we intend calling home. We miss everybody there and appreciate more and more what we’ve left behind, although we know it’s only temporary since we will be coming back soon soon. Take great care of your self!
Cheers, Stefania (Olivier’s wife).

12 06 2008
Sophie

Hi Andy

Your blog is very funny, despite the terrible circumstances. I’d love to use some of your writing for our website http://observers.france.24.com, or even better, talk to you on the phone.

I’m thinking of doing a piece on Zimbabwe prices and the strange ways they affect you (and you seem to be quite an expert on this).

Let me know if you’re interested.

Sophie Pilgrim
spilgrim@france24.com

13 06 2008
Andrew

Dear Andy

You mention on the blog friends of yours, Gary and Jo Hensman. I’ve been trying to get in touch. I’ve tried the following address (ghensman@zol.co.zw), but suspect that they may not now be using it. Might you have other contact details?

Regards
Andrew

1 08 2008
Peter Mills

Hi Andy, How you doing? Tried e-mailing you several times, but been rejected as undeliverable! Treid Di in USA and she gve me the same erroneous e-mail address. Got a new address? Cheers, Peter

6 08 2008
gonexc

Hi Peter it’s same as the last but now @zol

4 01 2009
johnwilpers

Hello, Andy,

My name is John Wilpers. I am the Global Blog Coordinator for GlobalPost, a new international news organization set to launch on Jan. 12 (see http://www.globalpost.com).

My job is to build a list of blogs that will appear on GlobalPost where we will have approximately 65 correspondents in some 46 countries. We are looking for enlightening, informative posts from bloggers writing (in English) in those countries.

I am pleased to extend an invitation to you to have the most recent post of “Zimbabwe Absurdity” included on the Zimbabwe page of GlobalPost.com as part of our “Global Blogs” service.

After reviewing thousands of blogs worldwide, we have found “Zimbabwe Absurdity” to be one that is thought provoking and gives readers a true sense of what life is really like in Zimbabwe.

The way it would work if you accept our invitation is that we would use your RSS feed to place your most recent post on your personal page on GlobalPost.com. We would point back to your actual blog for comments and for archives, hopefully driving lots of traffic to your site. Each time you write a new post, it would replace the older one so only one post would appear on GlobalPost.com.

By appearing on Global Post’s exciting new international news website, your words, viewpoints, and pictures would gain worldwide exposure. Your posts would not only appear instantly on globalpost.com but also possibly on the sites of our partners, including the Huffington Post (7.8 million U.S. and 9.7 million global monthly unique visitors) and other news and information websites.

You don’t need to do anything differently. We do request that you consider pointing back to us from your blog (we will send out logos shortly for your consideration).

You should know that we have a few guidelines that we observe here at Global Post:

1) We do not publish racist, sexist, or misogynist comments (unless those comments are the subject of the post).
2) We do not publish obscene language or photos. While we recognize that obscenity can be difficult to define, we know it when we see it and we will let you know if we think you have crossed our line.
3) We do not permit plagiarism. Any work taken from another source must be attributed to that source.
4) We do not publish libelous or slanderous language.
5) We do not tolerate repeated errors of fact or misrepresentations of facts or quotes.
6) We do not publish work inciting violence.

Failure to observe these guidelines would result in the removal of your blog from GlobalPost. We would contact you, of course, to discuss the post in question.

Because we have a broad multicultural audience holding every conceivable political and religious viewpoint, we want to respect their views while also possibly challenging them. We will host controversial work. We will encourage robust debate of the hottest topics. We will not stifle discussion, only abuse of people, belief systems, and laws.

We hope these guidelines are acceptable to you.

I look forward getting your permission to put your RSS feed on our site. Please respond to: jwilpers@globalpost.com.

Sincerely,

John Wilpers

PS If you choose to accept our invitation and would like a photo and a short biography to appear on GlobalPost, please send both to me with your confirmation e-mail or at some time shortly thereafter.

JOHN WILPERS
Global Blog Coordinator
The Pilot House
Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
617-688-0137
jwilpers@globalpost.com

16 10 2012
Biomass Organisation

I am of the opinion that Andy is quite negative person, when he did his article on Mr G on bamboo was very unfair, Mr G is someone who is doing something about the environment of Zimbabwe he is 88 years old. How Andy can make fun of another person is beyond me given his disability, not saying he cant have a joke but to poke fun is wrong especially without getting your facts right. Mr G is doing something about deforestation, we have lost over a million trees in Zimbabwe this year alone, Andy owns a nursery so he shud care about plants you would think, he took money from MR G when he looked after Mr G bamboo plantlets, so why is he so negative, yes food is important but lets be responsible for the environment too. Food grows in an environment remember…mmmm food for thought

18 10 2012
gonexc

You are entitled to your opinion about my negativity. I think I like to try and approach life with a balanced perspective!

I was not making fun of Mr G – I was commenting that I thought it sad that he had to work at his age. Maybe he choses to work, I don’t know. If that is the case I laud his approach. I am certainly NOT criticizing him doing something about deforestation but if we don’t do something about food production in this country we are in for some very hard times. One must not be dependent on other countries for one’s staple diet – even if it means subsidizing maize production. There are no shortages of environmental problems facing us, deforestation is definitely one of the biggest. It will all come to little if there is not enough food to go around!

25 06 2009
Stephen Clarke

Hi Andy

You are a remarkable man. Thanks for your writing and photographs.

Best
Steve

2 01 2011
2010 in review « Zimbabwe Absurdity

[…] and viewpoints from the world’s worst economy BlogAbout meReflections on the first half (abridged)HIFA (Harare International Festival of the Arts) 2010 […]

28 04 2011
Shelton

Salut, Andy! Comment va le boulot à HIFA? Fais-moi signe dès que tu sois libre. Ton blog règne!

28 04 2011
geoff paynter

Hi Andy,

I saw your comment on Trevor Ambrose. I went to school in Ndola, Zambia with someone of the same name and we were quite good friends in early high school. He was into model aeroplanes. Would have been around 58/59 today. Is it the same person? Was he married and did he have children?

Appreciate your response -and great website.
Best,
Geoff

13 07 2011
elastapley

Hello Andy,

I am an editor of a website that reports on human rights, politics, free speech and daily lives of people in countries that are not often reported on. I can see you get a lot of offers to use your blog and was wondering if you would consider one more! Nobody working on the site gets paid and no money is made from your blog. Thanks, Ela

5 11 2011
Kathleen Hubert

Hello,

I was wondering if you accept guest post for your blog. If you do, I would like to submit a few. I’m a recent college graduate, with an English major, looking to build out my portfolio. I can write on a wide variety of topics and am sure you would be happy with the quality. Please email me back if you are interested. Thank you for your time.

– Kathleen Hubert
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002374243662

2 12 2011
Joseph Byrne

I’m a 69 year young guy from Massachusetts, USA started back to University in Sept. for a degree that I missed the first time through. I’m doing a paper on four problems in your country, with a position paper on the one I think would be your number 1. surfing the net a came across your site. Hope its still active it would be great to hear from you with some ideas to help an old guy out….. well we’ll see what happens

25 03 2012
Lin Goncalves

Where are you? Have read through your blog a few times – and there’s been nothing for a while……….

6 05 2012
Derek Gripper

Hi Andy
Thanks for your pictures of my show at HIFA. Would you be so kind as to drop me a mail on info@derekgripper.com as I would like to ask you for permission to use some of them
Yours,
Derek Gripper

30 07 2012
jakesprinter

Great blog Andy you are great contribution for entire blogosphere ,
nice work 🙂

30 07 2012
gonexc

Thank you!

29 01 2013
Simeon

I was doing some research on horticulture farming in Zimbabwe and stumbled across you blog. My wife’s family has a 7 hector plot in Mandalay Park, Ruwa that we are planning to utilize for horticulture farming projects.. I noticed on your profile that you specialize in horticulture and was wondering if you offer any advisory or consultancy services?

Regards

28 07 2013
Audrey du Toit

Great blog – off to Ewanrigg today!

23 06 2014
Dan Michell

Andy

Interesting. I left in 1973 and have returned periodically over the years to visit aging parents. Twenty years ago mum and her partner used to take trips to Troutbeck, but that ended when he died and mum had to return to the UK; dad still lives in Bulawayo. I was looking through trying to find pictures of Inyanga [sic] village and the Holiday Association (Butlins type camp) when I stumbled across your blog

Dan

22 08 2014
Annette Mc Farlane

Hello Zak, we are here just for a few days for a family wedding. We are members of the Witwatersrand Orchid society and are hoping to make contact with anyone in the Harare vacinity and would like to make contact with anyone who shares an interest in indigenous or his please. Thank- you, Annette & Duncan Mc Farlane

23 08 2014
Lin

We have a very active Orchid Society here in Zimbabwe – pse contact Joe and Georgette GONCALVES on 0772 886 707

22 04 2016
Larry

Hi Andy was born four years after independence but I enjoy your writings on Zimbabwe.

20 08 2016
Dr Richard Whitlow

Hi Andy, Just LOVE your Zimbabwe bush photography. I lectured in Geography at uni in Harare 1976 to 1991 and taught biogeography among other subjects. Now live in Australia on Gold Coast south of Brisbane. Writing short illustrated stories about gardens and gardening for kids 12 and under, proceeds going to a local wildlife sanctuary hospital. Do you mind if I use some of your musasa pics at the end of a story called ALL ABOUT TREES = mostly based on River Red Gum which is a common eucalyptus tree here, but be great to show kids in Oz the trees from where I was born 🙂 cheers Dr Richard Whitlow

30 08 2016
gonexc

Hi Richard, no problem just please give me credit if possible.

4 12 2016
Gail Spooner

Dear Andy

We were searching wild flowers of Nyanga and found your interesting blog.

Reading snippets, we are intrigued by your attachment to Nyanga. We have a holiday retreat at Connemara and absolutely love the area…we live in Bulawayo, so it is a long way for us to travel to the Misty Mountains. Therefore it becomes a bit if a pilgrimage, albeit one that we eagerly partake in whenever we can!

We would be interested to know if you are still a regular visitor to Nyanga. We would also love to read more of your blogs on the area.

Perhaps you could get in touch on email?

Kind regards
Gail

7 12 2016
gonexc

Hello Gail. My parents met in Nyanga in 1948 and my mother bought a plot of 10ha on the Church Rd just before it drops down to the Gairezi River. When she died she left it as a company (as one could in those days) to myself and a family friend. I rarely go over there as it is such a difficult road but the family friend is slowly developing it.

We used to go up to the World’s View escarpment a lot when paragliding was active but sadly the sport is dying and I struggle with the takeoffs by myself. Feel free to contact me on gonexc@gmail.com

28 05 2017
Glenlivet,Serendipity

Love your blog about this country,fed up of neg’s,grew up in the glenlivet area where my father worked at a Waltons family plot,used to enjoy walks under the jacaranda trees,views of the lake from the jet ,watching still lake in the morning,bicycle ride in the red soil gravel road,monkeys jumping over the fence helping themselves on whatever they will get.fishing and boat-viewing,what a lovely place Glenlivet was.i also remember the Generous Vaughn Davies family,brother in law of Graham Waiton who later on moved to UK,Im not sure of Granny Bob,who was now getting a little bit frail(1993)and ,.Brendan and his two sisters.OOOh cant turn these years back.
cheers

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