Basker Vashee

13 March 2007

European Odyssey Audio Interview, March 2002 [wma file; 13 mins 30] Basker Vashee's European Odyssey starts in the sixties when he is deported to London by the government of Rhodesia, following three years in prison. Vashee was a member of the black students' movement fighting for black majority rule in the Britisch colony. In exile he pursued his studies in London and was secretary of ZAPU, the Zimbabwe African People's Union, one of Zimbabwe's twin liberation movements. After his studies he moves to Amsterdam to head the Transnational Institute, a left-wing think tank. He is also a ZAPU "ambassador" in Northern Europe, responsible for gathering financial and material support for the movement. When black rule is established in Zimbabwe, he tries to pursue his political careeer in his country of birth, but is unable to find work, as the new government is dominated by ZANU, the party led by Robert Mugabe. He returns to the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, where he is now writing a biography of Mugabe. Basker Vashee spent more than 20 years in Europe. Yet home, he says, has always been in Zimbabwe. His plan is to return home, settle there, and get politically involved, somehow. Hélène Michaud, producer Making Poverty History. A Debate on Africa and Debt Basker on Amsterdam forum, Radio Netherlands, 18 June 2005 [Transcript and Audio file] "Ik wil Zimbabwe voorrang geven" Interview door Marnix de Bruyne Zuidelijk Afrika, Vol. 5, No. 4, Winter 2001/2002