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Book Review: Mugabe and the White African by Ben Freeth--Forewords by Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."
Ephesians 6:12-13 NASB

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
http://www.christianbook.com/mugabe-and-the-white-african/ben-freeth/9780745955469/pd/955469?item_code=WW&netp_id=892942&event=ESRCG&view=details
Paperback $11.99

Link for the book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Mugabe-White-African-Ben-Freeth/dp/0745955460/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1313109217&sr=8-2
Paperback $9.95

Link for the PBS Documentary:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/filmproject_07-21.html

Published July 2011 by Lion Hudson/Kregel
256 pages
Christian Non-Fiction/Zimbabwe/Biography

Thank you to Kregel and Litfuse for my free review copy.

This is an amazing story of bravery, steadfastness, and great faith!

Books to me are not just an entertaining form of recreation.
Books---stories---teach! They teach me about other cultures and people groups, historical events, current topics in our world, and most of all individual lives that against an adversity (whatever that adversity maybe) triumph by not giving up.
Mugabe and The White African has shown me what fighting for a cause with Christian grit and determination is all about.
I've read books on Apartheid and the history and culture of South Africa. I'd not read about Zimbabwe and the violence and abuse against the white farmers.
The two forewords written by Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu were eye-opening, candid, serious. They gave a dark prelude to the story that Ben Freeth would share.

Zimbabwe is an African country just to the northeast of South Africa.
In 1963 Robert Mugabe became Secretary General of Zimbabwe African National Union or ZANU. In 1980 he became First Prime Minister, and in 1987 he became President.
In 1966 the killing of white farmers began. By the late 1970's "on average, one farm murder of a white civilian every three days. Every farm was a target."
People were fearful, afraid to speak about what was happening.
The police did not involve themselves, they were aloof, uncaring. 
Land Reform was what Robert Mugabe and his "henchmen" called it, stripping away the profitable farms from white African's. This land then became a desolate waste, unmanaged by no one.
Ben Freeth's definition of Land Reform, "it is about controlling the land in order to control the people on it. Dictators know that to control the land--it controls food--food to survive with starvation to control people." 
Many of these white farmers had been in Africa, often on the same land since the 1700's. The farms were not only their livelihood, but they employed workers that then lost their jobs when the land was stripped away.
Mugabe hated these western imperialist's. His hate was born from a heart of vengeance that produced evil.
Ben Freeth had been raised in a part of Zimbabwe that had remained unscathed. When he married Laura Campbell he moved to Mount Carmel--the Campbell farm, located in the middle of fruitful Zimbabwe. This area of Zimbabwe had been an area that was often targeted by Mugabe's regime.

 
In the foreword by Desmond Tutu he gave a definition of ubuntu, "the essence of being human. It speaks particularly to the fact that you can't exist as a human in isolation since we are all interconnected. The spirit of ubuntu is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished and when others are tortured or oppressed."
Ben Freeth gave an eyewitness account of the humiliation, torture, and oppression of the white farmers under Mugabe's regime. I felt his account was not written in order to seek further dissension, unrest or war. But it was written in order to share the plight and struggle against not just a mere man, named Robert Mugabe, but against evil. More than once in the book Ben Freeth expressed that there was a "lifeless" and "dead form" that emanated from Mugabe. There was an "overwhelming presence of evil."
The love of Zimbabwe and Africa is apparent in Ben Freeth's story.
This land runs not only with the sweat and blood of the black African, but also with the white African.
I am glad that I read this book, it opened my eyes to another story of the struggles of Africa. The story was from the viewpoint of a white man, yet this should not diminish its validity.
This book has opened my eyes to another story of Africa. White African's in Zimbabwe number 1%, yet they are apart of the interconnection of humans living in Africa.

Blissful Reading!
Annette

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