Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Zimbabwe's #This Flag Movement And Pastor Evan Mawarire 's "This Flag" Spoken Word (information, video, & transcription)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about Zimbabwe's #This Flag Movement that was begun in April 2016 by a YouTube video of Pastor Mawarire's spoken word entitled "This Flag - A Lament of Zimbabwe". This post also showcases that powerful video.

My transcription of that spoken word is included here because I couldn't find the words to this spoken word elsewhere online. Additions and corrections for this transcription are welcome.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, motivational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Pastor Evan Mawarire and all of those who are involved in Zimbabwe's #This Flag Movement.

Hat tip to dopper0189 from for informing that forum's readers about Zimbabwe's #This Flag Movement.

The story behind Evan Mawarire,The man who started #This Flag Movement
BY STAFF REPORTER · 2016/05/24
"Pastor Evan Mawarire started the most subversive protest movement in Zimbabwe’s recent history by accident. He was fed up with the state of his nation, and decided to share his frustrations online. It turns out he’s not the only frustrated Zimbabwean.

In an in-depth interview, Mawarire tells the Daily Maverick why Zimbabwe is broken — and how citizens can start fixing it.

The day that he lost it, the day that he’d finally had enough, Mawarire was sitting at his desk at his office in Harare.

The 39-year-old Zimbabwean is a professional master of ceremonies — his church doesn’t pay him a salary — but work has been scarce in this tough economic climate, with little sign of things getting any better. So bad, in fact, that he didn’t know if he would be able to keep his children in school.

“I’ll be honest with you, the day it happened was a really tough day for me. I was thinking of ways I could get more money for school fees, or I could borrow money, but it just wasn’t happening. I was packing to go home,” Mawarire said.

And then something snapped. After decades of struggling to make a living and keep his family safe, of quietly disappearing into the background like upstanding citizens are expected to by the current regime, Mawarire decided that he would disappear no more.

“I had that moment where it just became clear, wait a second, this country has gone completely broken because people like me have stayed quiet,” he said.

Without much thought or consideration of what would come next — never mind a script — Mawarire grabbed a Zimbabwean flag and put it around his neck. He balanced his camera on the desk, put on a little mood music, and vented...

Mawarire posted his video online, with the comment: “#ThisFlag. If I have crossed the line, then I believe it was long overdue. I’m not a politician, I’m not an activist . . . just a citizen #ThisFlag.”

The video attracted hundreds of hits. Then thousands. Then tens of thousands. In Zimbabwe’s relatively tiny social media bubble, Mawarire’s message hadn’t just gone viral, it had gone full-on pandemic.

The pent-up frustrations of Zimbabwe’s hashtag generation had found their trigger — and, more important, their hashtag.

#ThisFlag took on a life of its own. Ordinary people started posting pictures to Mawarire’s Facebook account, of themselves wrapped up in the Zimbabwean flag.

Others wrote in to tell Mawarire that he had somehow expressed the very words and feelings that they had kept locked up in their heads for too long, and that he wasn’t alone.

“Surprised is not the word. I was shocked by the reaction. It was massive, like an avalanche. It was from everywhere,” he said.

Mawarire reacted to all the enthusiasm by declaring five days of digital activism under the #ThisFlag banner, which he then, by popular demand, extended to 25 days.

The last day is today, Africa Day, although Mawarire says that this is just the start — although he’s not sure of what exactly.

“The 25th is not when we stop, but when we start, where we start to push them to accountability. The last 25 days have been us waking up, us knowing that we all have these frustrations. Going forward, I’d love to see us more organised, to put a strategy in place as citizens to continue to expose their failings . . . A lot of people have got to a place where, like me, they didn’t know what to do, but they really just want Zimbabwe to work,” he said.”...

When I look at the flag, it’s not a reminder of my pride and inspiration. It feels as if I just want to belong to another country. This flag. And so I must look at it again with courage and try to remind myself that it is my country.”"
Click for another article about Pastor Evan Mawarire and Zimbabwe's #This Flag Movement. Also, click for Pastor Mawarire's twitter page.
Added August 3, 2016
Zimbabwe's "This flag" leader appeared in court
SABC Digital News, Published on Jul 13, 2016
"Zimbabwe's "This flag" leader Evan Mawarire appeared in court on Wednesday. He faces a new and more serious charge -- that trying to overthrow the government. Mawarire's social media campaigns calling for national shutdowns over alleged corruption and mis-governance have gained popularity among ordinary Zimbabweans over the last six months. He was arrested on Tuesday and initially charged with inciting public violence."

Here's a link to #This Flag's twitter page"

SHOWCASE VIDEO: This Flag - A Lament of Zimbabwe - Evans Mawarire [SpokenWord] - Day 1

Baynham Goredema, Published on Apr 19, 2016

A moving spoken word piece by Evans Mawarire on the ocassion of Zimbabwe's 36th Independence anniversary

(Pastor Evan Mawarire)



This beautiful flag.

They tell me that the... the green,
the green is for the vegetation and for the crops.
I don’t... I don’t see any crops in my country
And the yellow.
And the yellow is for all the minerals-
gold, diamonds, platinum, chrome.
I don’t know how much of it is left.
And I don’t know who they sold it to
And how much they got for it.

The red.
The red...the red... the red…
They say that.. that is the blood
is the blood that was shed to secure freedom for me
And I’m so thankful for that.
I just don’t know if that if they were here
If they were here those that shed their blood
And saw the way this country is
That they would demand
That their blood be brought back.

This flag.
They, they tell me that the black
The black is for the majority-
People like me.
And yet for some reason I don’t feel like I am
a part of it.
I…I look at it sometimes and I wonder
is this a story of my…of my future
or is it just a reminder of a..of a sad past
that wherever I go and I put on the colors of Zimbabwe
they…they look at me if want to laugh.
They ask “Are you from Zimbabwe? But you sick.”

Sometimes when I look at the flag, it’s not a reminder of my pride
and inspiration.
It feels as if I just want to belong to another country.
This flag.

And so I must at it again with courage
And try to remind myself that it is my country.
And I look at the green and think to myself it is not just vegetation.
But the green represents the power of..of..of being able to push through soil,
push through path limitations and flourish and grow.
That’s...that’s me.
My flag.
The yellow-yes, it’s it’s about the minerals
But not just minerals that are in the ground
But the minerals above it-
Me. You. We are the minerals.
We are the value of this land.

The red.
Yes, it’s it’s blood.
But not just blood.
It’s passionate blood.
It is the will to survive.
It is the resolve to carry on.
It is the…it is the wanting to push through
to see the dreams come to pass.
This flag.

And the black…the black is…the black is the night sky…
that which we emerge from and we shine.
It is the brilliant colors.
It is the wonderful and lovely fruition of everything
that we have ever hoped for.
It needs a black
for it to be visible.

This flag.
Aha [small laugh]
It is my country.
My Zimbabwe. We...we go through so much.
We…we…we don’t look like much even now
but there is promise in it.
I will fight for it.
I will live for it.
And I will stand for it.

This is the time…
that a change must happen.
Quit standing on the sidelines
and watching this flag fly
and wishing for a future that you are not wanting
at all to get involved in.
In this flag...
every day that it flies it is begging for you
to get involved.
It’s begging for you to say something.
It is begging for you to cry out
and to say “Why must we be in the situation that we are in?”

This flag -
it’s your flag.
It’s my flag.
This flag.

*This is my transcription from the video. Additions and corrections are welcome.
I added italics to approximate Pastor Mawarire's phrasing.

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