Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman

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Zebra, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
2 Reviews
Geoffrey Nyarota was the editor of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent newspaper, for four years. In this time, he chronicled the decline of the country under Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF-controlled regime. As a young man, Nyarota fervently believed that his children would know the freedom of democracy that he himself had been denied in colonial Rhodesia before Mugabe became independent Zimbabwe's first head of state in 1980. But when he discovered that the returned war heroes were more interested in enriching themselves than in uplifting the poverty-stricken millions, he unflinchingly began to expose the wholesale corruption and greed, nepotism and fraud perpetrated by the Mugabe government. It took state-planted bombs, torture and intimidation, costly legal fees and, finally, a contract on Nyarota's life before he fled his homeland at the beginning of 2003 to go into exile.

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This is one of the most revealing and moving testimonies of a media icon- Geoffrey Nyarota- as he delves into the diminishing democratic spaces within the media fraternity in post-colonial Zimbabwe. His chronicle of events from the liberation war in the country and the risks which he took during the war which subsequently helped to bring about political independence is so touching, especially given that it is the same administration that Nyarota risked his life for which eventually forced him into exile in the USA.
Nyarota's attention to detail is seen as he knits together the various events that saw him attaining ENERMY NUMBER 1 status in the country.But what has caught my attention [and presumably that of many readers] is Nyarota's untiring campaign and unflinching support for media freedom as he endeavoured to "tell is as it is" on the backdrop of a menacing environment that had begun to unfold from the mid-1990s

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This is a "must read" if you are interested in where Zimbabwe is coming from and you may probably understand some of the problems it faces today. Good Work Geoff.

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About the author (2006)

Geoffrey Nyarota, founder and former editor in chief of "The Daily News" in Zimbabwe, was awarded the World Association of Newspapers 2002 Golden Pen of Freedom in recognition of his outstanding service to the cause of press freedom in the face of constant persecution. He has recently served as a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University and has been awarded with the Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, USA (2003) and the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award - UNESCO (2002).

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