TranscriptMy name is Arthur Mutambara. And I’m one of the leaders of the Opposition in Zimbabwe and the Movement for Democratic Change has been two formations. And I’m one of the presidents of those two formations.As young person growing up, I read quite a lot. And I was inspired by people like Malcolm X who fought for civil rights in this country. I was inspired by people like ChekivaraChe Guevara, a medical doctor who fought for the liberation of people in Cuba when he was _______. And then after achieving independence and freedom in Cuba, he went on to continue the revolution in Bolivia and was killed in ’67. So a man like Chekivara Che Guevara is a source of inspiration for me. Why? Because of the dedication, commitment and sacrifice that he epitomizes. And then Malcolm because he was a strong black leader in this country who challenged the system in this country and spoke through to power in the United States. So Malcolm X and Chekivara Che Guevara – two individuals that have inspired me and also are a source of inspiration. And Mandela at another level is another hero that inspires my work.
I think my background in Zimbabwe, my history in Zimbabwe, shapes my understanding of the world. You know growing up under the illegal regime of _____ as a young person; and witnessing the struggle to liberate Zimbabwe; and then the witnessing of the independence of our country in 1980; and then going to school in an independent Zimbabwe; and then witnessing the deterioration of the nation and the African government . . . the corruption and the dictatorship of _____ in the ‘80s and ‘90s, particularly my experiences as a student in _____ in Zimbabwe. And then beyond that, then leaving the country to go to school at Oxford. And so my history and experiences in Zimbabwe is what shapes my understanding of the world, and understanding of the challenges that we face in this world; and also my understanding of the solutions to the problems.
I was so fond of history, and English, and the arts; but I deliberately decided to study the sciences and mathematics so that I would be the Renaissance man. I’ll still do history, I’ll still do English, I’ll still do current affairs because I was very passionate about those things; but I will pursue . . . I’ll then pursue engineering and science so that at the end of the day, I’ll end up understanding politics, philosophy and economics. And then at the same time understanding broader science, engineering and mathematics. So I decided deliberately to craft the life of Renaissance man.
Recorded On: 7/5/07