Join Friends of Pambazuka

Subscribe for Free!

Fahamu Bulletin Archive

About our Programmes

Donate to Pambazuka News!

Follow Us

delicious bookmarks facebook twitter

Pambazuka News

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
Buy now

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
Buy now

Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
Buy now

China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
Buy now

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
Buy now

Pambazuka News Broadcasts

Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

See the list of episodes.


This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Notes from Zimbabwe

Where have all the Women Gone?

Prespone Matawira

2009-04-02, Issue 426

Bookmark and Share

Printer friendly version

There are 2 comments on this article.

Zimbabwean activist Prespone Matawira has devised a board game representing the game Zimbabwean women play every day, that of health, life and death.

A rusted wire fence divides the old Zimbabwe from the new.

On the one side lies Effie Malamba, born in 1901 she was buried beneath a granite headstone 90 years later. On the other is Sylvia Ncube, born in 1974 she was laid to rest just 35 years later.

The wire separates Bulawayo's old Hyde Park cemetery from its extension.
Effie lies amid ordered ranks of stone epitaphs. Sylvia lies in a chaos of churned earth. All around her the mounds of mud and stones, garlanded with plastic flowers, tell the story.

Zimbabwe now has the lowest life expectancy for women anywhere in the world: 34.
A forest of black metal plates mark the mounting death toll and their hand-painted white numbers record the birth dates of a missing generation. Irene Phiri born 1972, Gugu Hlanbangana in 1971, Lulu Olomo in 1975, are just three of thousands.

This cull is not an act of God. It is Zimbabwe’s game of health, of life, of death.

To play the game you will need:

Minimum of two players
Tiddleywink for each player.


Roll six on the dice to start.
Move along the game board and follow the instructions
Try to avoid finishing

Get PDF copy of the board game [PDF: 60kb].

(Inspired by the game ‘Alternatives to Globalisation’ designed by RW)

* Prespone Matawira is a Zimbabwean feminist and activist who contributes to the new Chii Chirikuita: What’s up?blog.
* Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at

Readers' Comments

Let your voice be heard. Comment on this article.

I am a Zimbabwean and it cannot be said that i am not suffering. However there should be a clear understanding that there is no sweet revolution my brother. Wherever the is a revolution people suffer. but now because the European had theirs before ours they want to preach to us how bad we are governing ourselves. really this kind of chronological hypocrisy should just be ignored and left to rot.they had their war they term world war, napoleon era and revolutions all over Europe which were characterised by Babaric behavior. Takambotii we dont care about that.


I am completely scandalised by the daily, preventable trials zimbabwean women have to face - know that there are members of worldwide community finding out about what is happening to you sisters who will do what we can to help you. Thoughts and prayers from Australia.

Kristy S

↑ back to top

ISSN 1753-6839 Pambazuka News English Edition

ISSN 1753-6847 Pambazuka News en Français

ISSN 1757-6504 Pambazuka News em Português

© 2009 Fahamu -