Thursday, January 05, 2006

History of The Eternal Flame.

Once upon a time in a fairytale land far away in deepest Africa, the newly elected Emperor, who wore only new Seville Road clothes, lit an eternal flame at a grandiose ceremony to commemorate the Independence of Zimbabwe.

The Emperors subjects were relieved to hear that things can only get better, when he stated,

"Tomorrow we are born again." he said, "born again collectively as a nation of Zimbabweans. Our new mind must have a new vision and our hearts a new love and a new spirit that must unite and not divide" Some of his words were explicitly addressed to the country's 200,000 whites. "If yesterday I fought you as my enemy," he said, "to- day you have become a friend and ally with the same national interest."

A rather tacky bird bath shaped thing was popped onto the top of the ‘Kopie’, a small hill overlooking the newly renamed capital, Harare. Besides having a rather nice view, ‘The Kopie’, as it is locally called, was famed for being used as ‘the hill start’ by learner drivers. The bird bath was placed in the middle of a concrete and stone clearing at the very top of the kopie. A gas cylinder was attached and the ‘Eternal Flame’ burned away happily. In fact it was such a moving piece of artwork it was depicted on the back of the newly printed $10 notes, then worth about £15.

By the time I got to see it again in 1985, it was in a rather sorry state. The gas cylinder was gone and the rusting junk lay drunkenly against one of the low surrounding walls. Was this a sign of things to come? Who stole the gas?

Twenty more years go by and again the Emperor in his new clothes (now copies from Hong Kong,) celebrates twenty five years of freedom from the slavery bonds of white minority supremacy with another stirring speech to his adoring subjects,

“Tomorrow we will be nearly all dead,” he said, “dead again collectively as a nation of Zimbankruptians. Our minds are full of horror visions, our hearts a new hate and a crushed spirit will divide those that wish to unite.” Some of his words were explicitly addressed to the country’s last 20,000 whites. “If yesterday I fought you as my enemy,” he said, “to-day you have become nothing more than filth and gutter dogs and not in the national interest, so Fuck off back to Gay gangster Tony Blair’s mud hole and good riddance.”

A new $10 million note will shortly be printed. On the reverse it will depict the head of the last white farmer mounted on a spear. This new national emblem will replace the old one on the kopie and will be called ‘The Eternal Blame’.

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