Friday, May 16, 2008

Zimbabwe Ruins: The plight of the forgotten white elderly

Many years ago I collected banknotes. Well, I suppose we all do in a way, but these were just odd bits from around the world. I picked up some of the Weimer Republic’s currency at a flea market. I remember one vividly. It was a small square of cheap flimsy paper. Printed on one side was 1 million mark. The other side was blank. Then it had a black stamp across it which said 1 milliarden, which is German for what we would consider a billion. Crazy stuff. At least Zimbabwe is doing the same sort of thing with a little panache.

Take for example this amazing poster from 1st August 2006. This was the day when in a stroke of economical genius three zeros were lobbed off the currency. Note the colourful logo in the top right hand corner. Zero to Hero. If you are looking for a decent graphic designer get the bloke who did that.

Now here is the (almost) full range of notes since that date. Missing is the new 500 million. It is very hard to keep up. This new note will in theory, at this moment, buy two loaves of bread. Actually this isn’t money at all! This was proved a couple of years ago in a court case in Zimbabwe when someone was arrested crossing into Zimbabwe with a large amount of the currency. Why he had taken it out in the first place isn’t important. Perhaps he wanted to wipe his arse on the stuff. Anyway he is acquitted after making an ass out of the law. The law stipulated currency. These are bearer cheques with end of use dates, thus are not legal convertible tender in the sense of the word. So, there you have it – Zimbabwe must be the only country in the world with no money!

Against this backdrop, please take time to watch this extremely sad YouTube which has just this last week been posted. It is about the plight of a forgotten minority in Zimbabwe – the white elderly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God , how sad is this .