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TV recommendation: How to Survive a Dictator with Munya Chawawa

Vicki Woolven

19th December 2022

The blurb from All4 - 'Munya goes on a journey exploring the life of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, one of the world's most notorious tyrants, looking for the man behind the monster'.

Over the weekend I got around to watching this show - it had been on my Freesat box for a few weeks and I wasn't sure whether it would be worth watching or not. I hadn't actually heard of Youtube superstar Chawawa until he appeared on Taskmaster, and his appearance on there made me question whether it would delve into Mugabe's life in any sort of detail.

However, it was fascinating - Munya has a really engaging way of presenting - it was a mix of serious journalism, personal stories and interviews, archive footage, interspersed with light-hearted segments to put some of the more confusing issues into context - such as his - remake of Supermarket Sweep presented by Colin Isation, with Cecil Rhodes whizzing around the supermarket, popping African countries into his shopping trolley, and trying to beat the other contestants - France and Portugal, and a brilliant skit showing what happened with hyper-inflation.

I know that Zimbabwe isn't a popular case study within the classroom - largely because it isn't well resourced and the country has such a complex history, however this documentary is really worth recommending to students in terms of showing some of the complexities with development and the impact that one person can have on a country, and of course the fact it is presented by someone highly engaging that many students will know, so it will be something they will enjoy watching!

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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