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14Aug

Tsitsi Dangarembga: 'I am afraid. There have been abductions'

Four days after the Zimbabwean writer and film-maker made the Booker longlist, she was arrested. She talks about protest, Africa’s film industry and her hopes for her country

Four days after learning that her novel, This Mournable Body, had been longlisted for the Booker prize, Tsitsi Dangarembga found herself sitting on the concrete floor of a police cell. The 61-year-old author and film-maker had been arrested with a friend in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare for protesting about government corruption.

“There had been a call out for a demonstration on social media for weeks, and people were excited. You could feel the energy,” she says. “I had expected there would be protesters with placards lining the streets but there was absolutely nobody, because a couple of weeks earlier the government had declared it an insurrection, and by the time the announcement was made the army had been deployed.”

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