‘Scrap Shakespearean literature’


FORMER liberation war fighter and author Retired Brigadier General Agrippa Mutambara yesterday called for the scrapping of Shakespearean literature in the Zimbabwean school system saying children needed to study works connecting them to the fight for independence.


Mutambara said this during the launch of his book The Rebel in Me at Parliament building.

The book is about his experiences during the liberation struggle. Mutambara said it was one of the few editions that described the struggle for independence through the eyes of fighters as most of the books published about the struggle were written by whites who never participated in the struggle.

“This history is a record of the past and must be passed through generations, and through you MPs I am making a plea that let us flush out Shakespeare from the school curriculum now and not later,” Mutambara said.

He said literature of the liberation struggle was the “umbilical cord that connects us to the colonial past.”

“We have literature of our glorious struggle, but we have had writers like Chinua Achebe’s fictional literature studied in our schools,” Mutambara said.

“However, we can do better than that by embracing our literature which is of real-life experiences and true history. If use of language is what attracts us to Shakespeare and Achebe, then we should use that rich language to write our true life experiences. China Achebe is a very good writer, but of what value is it to our culture and systems?”

During the launch attended by MPs, Mutambara gave snippets of the chapters and accounts of some terrible experiences that led him to join the guerilla war.

He also hailed self-exiled former Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haille Mariam saying he played a key role in the independence of Zimbabwe.
Mutambara also hailed President Robert Mugabe whom he said after his participation in the struggle was the only person worthy to say pamberi (forward with) to.

“The truth is that we never said pamberi naTongogara, but we would only say pamberi naVaMugabe. I am proud to be labelled today as one of Mugabe’s cronies,” he said.

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said Zimbabweans should continue writing books giving accounts of the liberation struggle to ensure history does not die.


  1. The real reason he wants Shakespeare’s books to be removed is so that his own book can be bought making him a lot of money. Hapana zvimwe apo, kunyepera ma values and what not

    • So the Mugabe diesel it rain of the Chinhoyi rocks? Rotina Mavhunga no matter as please give dry scud full of sheet inside the blue rabbit case. But the big nyaya of falling Bob is to fire the CIO sascams looking for the airport steps. Is that a fair, officer?

    • This is the worst form of self advertising and self promotion seen this side of the millenium..Where is the shame? The subject in question is called English Literature..why not scrap the subject outright rather than engage in this cheap, near idiotic fight.,

  2. I do not see anything wrong with Achebe’s writing, his works deal with the effects of colonialism on the locals’ way of life. This is quite clear in Things fall apart and Arrow of god where we see the intefering foreigners descrating the natives’ normal life. For to say Achebe’s work is alien to us is to refuse to reason.

  3. A writer who hails Mengistu who killed millions of Ethopians and had to run for dear life is something out of the worst horror movie..and he has written a book which must be made prescribed reading for our children. What is the world turning into? A cesspit perhaps? By the way does the same writer hail Hitler, Mussolini and other vampires like Saddam Hussein and one so called brother leader Gaddfi (brother indeed..killing everyone else so that he stays the only brother)

  4. And oh by the way Veneranda dear, Mengistu is not ‘self-exiled’ he fled at twice the speed of light fom Addis with mad Ehtipians on his heels..murderous tyrant if there was one!

  5. Kune vano tevedzera nekufunda mharidzo yaBrother William Branham. Ndakaitawo mahwekwe nepage rinonzi Mess Age Zimbabwe pafacebook ndaka batsirika muzvinhu zvakawanda. Page riri pa www(dot)facebook(dot)com(backslashdotdotbackslash)410629455758527

  6. Dear Brigadier General

    The rebel that you are is so myopic that you want everyone to have a “little fish in a big pool” syndrome. There is nothing wrong with our literature. At the same time, in this global village that we are living, our literature will only take us so far. How do you expect us to hold our ground in literary circles if our knowledge is confined to the four corners of zimbabwe? By the way did you know that there are 300, 000 words in the English vocabulary and Shakespeare is attributed to have coined about 15, 000 of them? So you want our kids to be loaves half baked. Its the likes of you who are hindering progress. Why embarking on cheap marketing for your book? or is it a propaganda hand book? With our current economic situation, the only products Zimbabwe is exporting these days are Zimbabweans, so what will they have to show case out there in the world of academia. No wonder you are retired… or are you retrenched? Nxaa

  7. Clearly the Brigadier does not know what Literature is all about and certainly I doubt if he really studied any Shakespeare. I do not mean reading only. In Literature you study, analyse, make connections. I have certainly learnt a lot from Shakespeare’s and Achebes themes and characterisation and I have made connections to my experiences as a human being and as a Zimbabwean. Universal themes such as greed, betrayal, corruption, love, intolerance, ignorance, love for material things have all been clearly been presented in a manner that is not propagandist. Removing Shakespeare or Achebe work will not make you a literary great, rather earn your way to the top.

  8. we dont want anything to do with tha fake liberation war! we are not free so why must we bother? you want to foist your fake liberation credials onto our education system! we will rather drop literature than continue to be bomabrded with stupid stories. it was a negotiated settlement at lancaster. you never marched into salisbury and raised your flag the bamnyamulenge way! so shut the funk off!

    • True!! Matibili – The sex-escapades he enjoyed during the struggle , are they well chronicled in his note book? If I may ask.

  9. To say let us remove Shakespeare and Achebe from English literature is like saying let us not teach our kids about Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. So what science are they gonna learn?

  10. Does he know the difference btwn History and literature? Or he wants to scrap Literature and have Zanu History as the only subject at school. From his views he is likely to scrap English too, he is a genius. Their children learn abroad, which literature and history do they learn? Greed knows no boundaries indeed Zanu is sniffing money there, they will do anything to get it, they will start charging people for the sun shine this coming winter.

  11. Shame, that’s not how you position your product Comrade. You allow us to critic your writings and see the value there in. Shakespeare I have read and read and can still read especially Macbeth. I cannot get enough of his beautiful language and writing skill. Achebe sheer brilliance.

    I also welcome your book, hope you will be an acclaimed author one day and your book will be used by schools all over the world why limit yourself, when the world is now a global village.

    • @Telescope it is sad to report the Brigadiers book shall never spread beyond his own village, let alone the global one!

  12. iri ndiro dofo, does he even know what literature is. Zvasiyana neHistory iwe dofo Mutambara, uri benzi. Typical example of people who are self centred.

  13. kuda kutonga kwese kwese here nhai amana. Your book shld be shitty no doubt abt dat. Disregarding Shakespeare and Achebe so we consider your piece of shitriture. Never. Nwae there are way better wrters than u in Zim like Mungoshi who are passionate abt writing literature not after money. Pasi nekabook kako

  14. What? Nonsensical.Our children studying his book in the Zimbabwean schools while his are studying Shakespear in the Uk.Never Never povo yaramba.I will write mine rather- The Struggle In The Eyes Of a Rhodesian Soldier, to be studied in Zimbabwean schools.I think it will give a balanced account of the struggle than the Mugade crony brigadier’s story. hahahahahaha!

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