Skinning the Skunk

Facing Zimbabwean Futures

Mai Palmberg & Ranka Primorac



Skinning the Skunk refers to a saying in Shona: kuvhiya kadembo. The Zimbabwean writer Stanley Nyamfukudza uses it here to illustrate how important problems, like the legacy of violence, are avoided in Zimbabwean public discussion. Terence Ranger writes on the new policy of rewriting the history of Zimbabwe, in the name of “patriotic history,” through which the Zanu-PF government tries to assert hegemony and achieve “a total change of the mindset.” To talk about Zimbabwe today also means to talk of the large diaspora. Beacon Mbiba presents a study on what is colloquially called "Harare North," that is London (and the rest of the U.K.).


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Mai Palmberg is a political scientist from Finland, and worked at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala. She was coordinator of a research and network project "Cultural Images in and of Africa" and conducted and edited interviews for "The State of the Arts in Zimbabwe.

Dr Ranka Primorac is a Lecturer in English at the University of Southampton. She has degrees from the universities of Zagreb, Zimbabwe and Nottingham Trent.