Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspective, and some more.
Here we talk about making headway with humanist organizations.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Things in Zimbabwe are complicated. Including its history, From 1898 to 1964, “Zimbabwe” was called “Southern Rhodesia,” or until 1980 based on British law, “Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979, and, for – literally – a few months, “Zimbabwe Rhodesia” between June, 1979 and December, 1979. This represents the complicated work of extrication from colonial institutional and legal rule. Its economy is largely mining and agriculture. Its GDP at PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), circa 2017, is $34.27 billion or 127th in the world. This is, internationally speaking, a relatively poor context. In turn, fundamentalist religion can be more likely to flourish and secular activism can be more difficult to enact. What would be a restriction on an individual working to found a group, financially, in Zimbabwe?
Takudzwa Mazwienduna: Founding a group in Zimbabwe indeed has a lot of financial obstacles. It’s costly to mobilize people who are scattered across the country, let alone getting all the clearance needed for that in the corrupt military/ police state that Zimbabwe currently is.
Jacobsen: Why would making a new humanist group make less sense than simply joining the one for yourselves in this financial context – as citizens may struggle without independent wealth?
Mazwienduna: That is because the resources and red tape needed to pull that off is astronomical. It is also important to have connections with the establishment which already existing organizations have.
Jacobsen: What is the status of informal groups in Zimbabwe now? Because these were the touching points before the humanist society launched as the inaugural, only, and groundbreaking humanist organization recognized by the government of Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe.
Mazwienduna: Informal groups in Zimbabwe today are usually just individual initiatives by members of the already established Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. Some members may have found issues that they feel need attention that are not covered by the established organization such as the secularism and cultural reform awareness campaign; Zimbabwean Atheists. They are individual efforts that could break into the mainstream movement one day of they are successful or gain traction.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.
Mazwienduna: It’s always a pleasure, Scott.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, Centre for Inquiry Canada, Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.
Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du Québec, Atheist Freethinkers, Central Ontario Humanist Association, Comox Valley Humanists, Grey Bruce Humanists, Halton-Peel Humanist Community, Hamilton Humanists, Humanist Association of London, Humanist Association of Ottawa, Humanist Association of Toronto, Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba, Ontario Humanist Society, Secular Connextions Seculaire, Secular Humanists in Calgary, Society of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph), Thunder Bay Humanists, Toronto Oasis, Victoria Secular Humanist Association.
Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker, American Atheists,American Humanist Association, Associação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics, Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Alliance of America, Atheist Centre, Atheist Foundation of Australia, The Brights Movement, Center for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist Ireland, Camp Quest, Inc., Council for Secular Humanism, De Vrije Gedachte, European Humanist Federation, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Foundation Beyond Belief, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist International, Humanist Association of Germany, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist Society of Scotland, Humanists UK, Humanisterna/Humanists Sweden, Internet Infidels, International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, James Randi Educational Foundation, League of Militant Atheists, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, National Secular Society, Rationalist International, Recovering From Religion, Religion News Service, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, The Clergy Project, The Rational Response Squad, The Satanic Temple, The Sunday Assembly, United Coalition of Reason, Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.