Fay Chung Biography

Fay Chung grew up in a Chinese family in then Rhodesia in the 1950s and 1960s. She studied education and literature, and became a lecturer at the university of Zambia in the early 1970s. In Zambia she joined the Zimbabwe National Union (ZANU), and took part in the radicalisation of the nationalists

rising, which led to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. In the 1980s she worked in various capacities in the Zimbabwean Ministry of Education. She was Chief of the Education Cluster at UNICEF 1993-98, and the first director of the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa 1998-2003.

Her memoirs give an inside view of the divisions within ZANU during the late 1970s. She witnessed the change of leadership from Sithole to Mugabe, experienced the tensions between politicians and military leaders, as well as the rise and fall of the vashandi movement, which tried to change the direction of ZANU in a more socialist direction.

She also reflects on the on-going crisis in Zimbabwe. While regretting the violence, she is critical of the new democratic opposition, and supports Robert Mugabe’s ‘Third Chimurenga’ as a return to the objectives of land reform and economic justice, which she sees as the ‘heartblood’ of the liberation struggle. This is an account, which will be certain to provoke many readers, and which will stimulate discussions both within Zimbabwe and abroad.

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