Robert’s Version of Independence (fiction)



As Robert sat down in his luxurious seat in the white house, the contentedness within him could not help but bring out a subtle smile on his face. It is a sunny, beautiful day, and the birds outside of his window seem determined to provide the best concert ever. Robert’s country, Zimbabwe has finally gained its independence from the white colonial rule. He does not want to think of the people who have died trying to fight for it, or the homes ruined during the war. No, the thoughts are too painful for the moment. He simply wants a few seconds to dwell in the blissfulness that is his people’s freedom. 

The moment is cut short when Blair, the vice president, walks in the oval office to ask him to join the independence party in the hall. Robert feels that it is too early to start celebrations as the sun is still up high and bright. Robert finds it rather fashionable to have ceremonies in the evening. However, it is difficult to decline any invitation from his good old friend Blair. Blair was the only white man, in the black people’s freedom movement, who truly believed in the cause of the movement and joined it without any selfish hidden agenda. Blair is one of the most honest, good-hearted white politician who has always believed in equality regardless of race, gender or nationality.  He makes Robert truly believe in the ability of human beings collaborating as patriots, regardless of the race.

However, as Robert walks into the ceremony room, Robert’s mind gradually changes. Although he is welcomed with expensive champagne and the jubilating crowd of politicians and their wives, he cannot brush of the tenseness that grew within him.  The inequality of the races that stands before him disgusts him. Even though the independence was won for the black people to remove white minority rule, the number of joyous white people that stands before him equals the joyous black people that stands before him. The image is distasteful to the extent that Robert begins feeling dizzy. He wonders why the white people are so happy and why they are downing the white house’s expensive champagne. “That is champagne created by the fine fruits of Zimbabwe’s soil. This moment is the sweet celebration of the victory of the black people. Why are the white people sharing this moment with us like they own it?” Robert wonders. When Robert realizes that the white people only had the right to abuse black people ripped from them after the war, he falls on the floor. Knowing that his people, the black people of Zimbabwe, have won only their freedom from the brutal war has overwhelmed him. He faints.

Robert is a young man walking out of a large building with his head down. He is wearing a neat suit but his head is down. His thoughts swirling with hurt and rage. He knows the job interview that he just came out of was declined because he is black. He knows his degree from Oxford was an achievement that can instantly get him a great job. Nevertheless, he is in Zimbabwe, a white-owned country, and as a black man he knows he is worth nothing else but manual labor for the rest of his life. He looks up and finds a black woman being verbally and physically harassed by two white policemen because she has no identification documents showing her white masters. This type of documentation had been outlawed ages ago. Robert knew the policemen were racists abusing their power. Robert can see no other black man or woman in the streets and he knows that intervening the situation alone would be life threatening. However, he has had enough of the white prejudice. He intervenes with trying to reason with the policemen. This lead to him being beaten thoroughly and being thrown into jail. Robert wakes up and finds himself in a hospital bed.

He looks around him and there is wife and three white males, including Blair. It still feels like prison. He looks at Blair, pained by the thought that he cannot share his worries with his good old friend. Blair has become the enemy. He knows that the woman from his dreams, like him, owns nothing until this day because the white people are still in Zimbabwe. Not the right to be a pedestrian, the right to a job or the right to property. Moreover, he knows it will take decades for racism to be eradicated.

As soon as Robert is out of bed, he orders the repatriation of all white people if they have not lived in Zimbabwe for more than 10 years and the immediate removal of all white landowners to be replaced by black Zimbabweans. He has to give black Zimbabweans their initial birthrights and riches rightfully. He will get this done come hell or high water. The black Zimbabweans forcefully take back their land and chase the white residents through violence and murder in the name of ‘President Robert’. Robert cannot care less of the white people’s plead for mercy. Even Blair, his good old friend begs for the madness to stop. However, Robert does not see it as murder or a massacre. He sees it as the rightful redemption of the black supremacy in Zimbabwe.

The white people leave with rage, determined to revenge Zimbabwe. They even bring sanctions in Zimbabwe that causes great suffering in the country. Robert is indifferent. His people are free and they have all the resources, equipment and land required to rebuild Zimbabwe to their fit. All that Robert has craved and fought for all his life is the freedom of the Black Zimbabwean people in Zimbabwe and it has been attained. Robert goes back to his luxurious seat in the oval office, content with the thought that the next person, who will disturb him from the concert the birds are giving him, is the blissful presence of a black successful person.


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