Of Mugabe’s Comments On Jamaicans

So with all the drama preceding this weekend’s farcical wedding, there was really not that much attention given to the Jamaican ire at President Robert Mugabe’s comments on the islanders.

In a speech at the University of Zimbabwe President Mugabe called Jamaican men lazy, pot-smokers uninterested in education.

While giving a lecture  at a Research and Intellectual Expo 2012:

In Jamaica they have freedom to smoke mbanje, varume vanogara vakadhakwa (men are always drunk) and universities are full of women. The men want to sing and do not go to colleges vamwe vanobva vamonwa musoro (some are dreadlocked). Let us not go there.

It is easy to see why the Jamaican men would be upset. They have pretty much been called lazy and uneducated. That would make the Christians and conservatives in that country very upset, wouldn’t it?

However one must realise that this statement is based on the image that the country portrays to the world.A dreadlocked man walking around Harare expects random people to  refer to him as muJama (Jamaican) and at a party he is expected to be the one who has the weed. The police will stop him in the street for a random search because it is widely believed that locked people are likely to have marijuana on them. That is in spite of the fact that locks are more rooted in Africa than Jamaica.

Then you think of the fact that the biggest Jamaican is its music and the culture expressed in it. That music is laden with references to ganja smoking, drinking, sex, violence among other things. Yes, there are conscious songs that make it through as well, but on the whole the less positive songs lend a lot towards moulding the image of that country. Even in those conscious songs there is extensive reference to the herb and its spiritual value. More power to them.

As we said this does not mean everyone in Jamaica is like that. Just like not everyone in Nigeria is a con-artist and not all Chinese products are fake. However those are the traits projected of those countries.

It is easy to then argue using statistics and call President Mugabe unfair, misguided and ill-advised. This, however might be a time to work on rehabilitating the image of that country. Perception and context is everything.

Were the president’s comments necessary? Probably not if taken out of context. However sometimes we need to take responsibility for how much we lend to problem.

We know all about that. Zimbabwe is working on its image too.

  • Mambosolo

    You see, this is what we tell you everyday Larry, you are hardly the person to be criticising either Mugabe or tsvangirai, because you just do not have that objectivity. Everything that Tsvangirai does is stupid, everything Mugabe does/says is justified. Here we have a case of Mugabe blatantly attacking the jamaicans. You are even ashamed to let people know that he went on to say the Jamaican men are useless, hence their universities are filled with women. It was not Mugabe’s position to generalise about the jamaican, but being the bootlicker that you are, you took it upon yourself to defend the Old geriatric. We are not even surprised

    • It is how you choose to see the world. There are times we have applauded Tsvangirai decisions but you are just sensitive to the times we are critical. This is not an issue about whose right and who is wrong. It is about what is right and what is wrong. In essence we suffer from the same thing that the Jamaicans suffer from. We are judged based on the image projected by a few – ie we are unpatriotic, we sell each other out, we are docile etc – and the same is said by other people of us.

      All we are saying here is the comments were unnecessary but at the end of the day when someone thinks of Jamaica, they think weed and getting high

      • JJ Okocha

        Image is important yes, but the term ”politically correct” behavior is coined from a politician having to be diplomatic at all times. In this case this was politically incorrect behaviour.

        • Context is important. I get called muJama and am expected to have weed on me in Harare because of the image created by Jamaicans. It is also the basis for me being stopped by policemen randomly

          • JJ Okocha

            Again my argument, in case u missed it, was politically correct behaviour. Hazvina kusiyana nekuti ku Mbare kwakazara madofo. I know a lot of ex-Mbare people who have made it academically. Is it then correct to say(out loud) that that is the case? After all ku Mbare kunewo madofo zveshuwa!!! Our esteemed president put a foot in it (politically)! I believe only ignorant people should generalize and as Zimbabweans it seems our biggest weakness!

          • It was not politically correct and quite unnecessary to say but not necessarily wrong given the context. People are quick to be offended because we refuse to acknowledge context and take statements in isolation. That is why there is very little dialogue in this world because of the obsession with words without context.

          • JJ Okocha

            and you believe , telling a nation they are stupid and useless will bring about world peace? I guess that is always a great start to the best dialogue!!! I advise you not to take up marriage counselling then! (Tongue-in-cheek)

          • JJ Okocha

            again I might add, if a speech is given, then reading a statement in isolation is never the best idea as you will take it out of context. I you put up the entire speech as published on other sites you will find that it was a s derogatory and insulting and out of context! When making a point,never insult! be firm but never insult!!

          • He is responsible for what he says. We are responsible for what we choose to understand.

    • Teflon

      Same thing I thought when I read this. When it comes to commenting on anything to do with politicians/politics, expect no less than criticism of Tsvangirai and justification of Mugabe. Not that I’m saying either is right or wrong but this is what I’ve come to expect from Larry on his website.

      • We are responsible for what we say. You are responsible for what you understand.

        • Teflon

          Same goes for you mate. Yes, I get your view about how his comments can be taken from a different angle but that doesn’t make me wrong or vice versa. You obviously have a way of viewing the world around you that no one is obliged to “understand” as if its some kind of virtue to view things through your lens. I was merely stating that I as a user/reader of the “3-mob” brand see it in a certain way. I followed your link via twitter, and my first thought from the title was “I wonder how dude is going to spin this in bob’s favour”. that’s just my perception and I’m sure everyone that visits the site has their own. cheers

          • Well we are not responsible for your perception, or anyone’s for that moment. We are not that important. We leave things of that nature to the almighty.

            What you have chosen to see here is what you have chosen to see. We have no interest in playing victim and claiming to be misunderstood.

            We just see the world differently and that is ok. How we understand things is based on our prejudices and we as human beings are quicker at being offended than we are at understanding. Which is why world peace is never going to happen.

          • Teflon

            I never did say you’re responsible for my perception. A lot of what you have on here is opinion and I respect that. this article is opinion. simple. not everyone will agree with it but that doesn’t make the next person any less intelligent because they don’t share your opinion. that is the nature of the universe where conflict, like you said is inevitable. I agree with what you said. I’ll leave it at that

          • Fair play

    • Hlabusi

      Life isnt black and white. Its not either Mugabe OR Tsvangirai. It is very narrow-minded to think people have “boxed thinking” and everything that they have opinion over has to be placed in the context of political (support)

      Your type of reasoning is the one that breeds division and intolerance.

      Grow up and get over it! This is 2012, we cannot afford to be rigid and worship our leaders

  • Gushungo wekwaZvimba

    Mugabe imhata yemunhu.