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UK Premiere - Robert Mugabe: What Happened?

UK Premiere
28 November 2011, 6.00pm, New Theatre EAS171, East Building LSE
Admission is free on a first come first served basis - after the event there will be a collection to benefit CARA (Zimbabwe)

mugabe smallRobert Mugabe….. what happened?18 April 1980, Zimbabwe Independence. Robert Mugabe appeared on television and proclaimed national reconciliation, halting a bloody 15 year civil war. "If yesterday I fought you as an enemy, today you have become a friend and ally. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me, and me to you".

His words prevented a coup d'etat and paved the way for 15 years of growth and prosperity for the country at large.  All except for one area, Matabeleland. Here people aligned to ZAPU opposed him. So 20,000 Ndebele people were slaughtered by Mugabe's notorious 5th Brigade. He crushed them and swallowed ZAPU.

Twenty years later, his grip on power was threatened by a new opposition: the Movement for Democratic Change, Robert Mugabe launched a civil war or 'chimurenga', against his own people. Over the next decade he destroyed much of the what he had fought for and built.

Robert Mugabe… what happened? charts the Shakespearean rise and fall of the man who led  a very successful African country, and then ruined it. Mugabe was damned as a terrorist, then knighted by Queen Elizabeth, and is still in power more than 30 years later. The film explores what happened through interviews with some of his closest comrades. It assembles a unique collection of Southern African archival material to powerfully evoke each of the decades  of Mugabe's reign. This is a complex and compelling view of Zimbabwe the country and Mugabe the man.


Simon Bright

Simon Bright is a Zimbabwean director and producer of a number of fiction and non-fiction movies. His latest movie, 'Robert Mugabe: What Happened?' has received great attention at a number of African movie festivals.


Dr Sue Onslow is the Head of the LSE IDEAS Africa International Affairs Programme.