So you’re earning well this year?
-Yes. Growing tobacco
isn’t easy though, is it? The Right of Mugabe It’s hard to believe this empty land
has been fought over for almost a century. Occupied by the Brit Cecil John Rhodes
who named it after himself: Rhodesia. But even after 20 years of independence
and renamed Zimbabwe… most of the country was still owned
by a few thousand white farmers. Only when Mugabe’s position
faltered… were the whites violently
expelled from their land. History had to be put right. Here, this is the heading
‘farmer groups’. These are all those white farmers
I know in Zimbabwe. In the last ten years… In 2000 there were about
6000 white farmers in Zimbabwe. Now there are maybe 300-400
still active on the land. In the meantime
many farmers have left Zimbabwe. One farmer I know
used to have three farms. He was expelled from all three
and has now moved to the big city. welcome to our farmhouse How long have you been
with the family? 21 years. So you’ve seen it all? Do you remember
when the war vets came to the gate? What happened? They came to the farm
to take it over from the boss. They said the boss had to leave.
That’s why we live in the city now. It was tough for us all.
Because the boss had cows and fields. He saw to it that everyone
could earn their livelihood. They said: We don’t want white farmers
anymore, the blacks have to take over. This is how it looks now, a land
full of remnants of a lost struggle. The whites are gone
and aren’t coming back again. Fine. I’m Solomon. Tony. Yes, brothers. He’s dead. We’re doing it more with my mom… and my wife and everybody. Skeda. He was driven off his farm back then. And with the redistribution of the land
we were given the farm. I’ve never seen the man himself. Only the horses he kept. He was expelled from here.
They said: You have to leave… because we want our land back. This part wasn’t used as farmland… but only for cattle. No, I wasn’t there.
I was too young. Yes, I was too young. There used to be trees here. We turned it into farmland. No, we string the leaves on a line… in order to dry them later. 6000 dollars. It’s enough for one year. And a vehicle. A pickup. No. There are only blacks now. The new farmers are often young,
unschooled and unexperienced. It feels as if they’ve been left
to their own devices. The inspector of the tobacco cooperation
worries whether their crop can be sold. You’ve got to improve your curing. Can I come and show you what I mean?
Come, I’ll show you. I’m going to show him. The leaves look fine at first sight. But you have to pay attention
to the stem. This here is the stem. But now when you’re steaming,
you see, curing… Here, this is bad curing. This is useless. So you lose out. You can even throw this away.
It’s useless now. While it was a perfectly fine leaf. During the curing
you have to take care of the heat. The right temperature
is very important. The curing won’t go well
if you go to sleep. When you go to sleep,
this is what you produce. You’ve got to be here all the time. Where there used to be only 6000
white farmers active on the land… there are now over 250,000
black farmers. That makes all the difference. How many hectares do you have?
Half a hectare? And what number do you have? How many hectares do you have?
One hectare. If someone buys cigarettes
that are very tasty… that person should say: Ha, they must
be made with tobacco from Zimbabwe. We were given that land
in order to cultivate it. We were given it for free,
so we have to work hard. We should be proud and satisfied. There are even farmers now who have
become millionaires thanks to tobacco. We’ve been given the chance
to become prosperous. Soon we’ll no longer have to suffer… from the unlawful sanctions. So we black people
can also live a good life. What you see here is the future
of Zimbabwe, the new Zimbawbe. These are all new farmers… who have taken over
from the white farmers… who had been in control here
until 2000. And I still don’t know
how I feel about that. Among these people
are success stories too. Black Zimbabweans who didn’t
have their own land before. Who couldn’t earn their livelihood before
which they can do now growing tobacco. But to run an agricultural business
in 2014 you need a lot of money. Large tractors, capital to be able
to compete on the global market. So it’s still a question
whether or not they’ll make it. Catch. Do you not want a farm for yourself? I did, but farmhands
weren’t given any land. They said: You are children
of the white people. So you won’t get anything
and you have to leave as well. A twist of fate. We encounter the occupant of his land
on the path to his farm, with a flat tire. Don’t take pictures.
Don’t take pictures, he says. Yes, that’s the path. No, that one is the chief of the area. Yes, let’s not talk to loud. Let’s wait till they finish. They said, don’t take pictures,
because they’re from that area. From the top guys. This whole place,
from there up to there. There are three of these hills.
One, two and the third one. I feel bad. I’m disturbed inside. It’s evil. It’s evil what that man did. No, let’s just go.
Yeah, let’s go. Most of the farms ended up
in the hands of war veterans. The men who helped Mugabe
seize power 34 years ago. The farms were their reward for their
support in the independence struggle. But I never realised
that not only white farmers… but also black Zimbabweans
became political victims. The tobacco floor
has changed colour. The time that only white farmers
auctioned their crops here is over. The new black owners
on the biggest day of the year. The day of the tobacco auction.
The expectations are high. This should be the reward
of a year’s work. The bales of tobacco
are the hope of the country. This is good crop. And this too. The curing is important.
If you harvest such nice large leaves… and you don’t cure them well,
then that’s the end of it. The bids are very low.
-Last year the prices were higher. Can you find out
how their tobacco was appraised? You have to split the tobacco… into good and lesser quality. You should split the very good tobacco
and poor quality tobacco. They buy at the lowest price,
the price of your lowest quality. The Rhodesian army
came to attack us. They bombed our camp. A fragment hit my eye. The Zanla forces. The former Zanla.
Yes, Mugabe’s army. I got the farm with the land reforms.
-Jambanja. Jambanja, as a war veteran. We just went there by jambanja. Jambanja, by force. Not a stick, just a mouth to talk. Saying their time was up
and I wanted my land back. I’m from the bush,
that’s why I got the land. At the time we were just myself
as a war veteran and 42 youth. No weapons at all. We just went there and said: ‘You white farmer,
no one sent me to come here. But through our struggle,
the time is up now. Since 1980 until now
the purpose of war was land. These people are landless,
so let’s share the farm.’ He said: ‘No, I bought the farm.’ Yes, but I said:
‘You stole it from my forefathers.’ Because the war I fought
was a just war. Not an injust war.
I fought a just war. Yes, definitely. If it’s wrong, they can apply to
the government and get it back. Yes, it’s possible. Because the land is the government’s,
not someone’s. So we need to protect it. No, I wouldn’t mind. We’re the same.
-The same blood. The same blood. So the chimurenga is finished now?
-Yes, it’s over. The armed struggle is over. We don’t want war anymore.
It’s time for prosperity. We can be friends now?
-Yes. Is your kid going to be a farmer? No, I want my son
to do something else. Why? I want my son
to get a better education… if I can afford it. I want my son to become a doctor. Where? In Harare?
-Yes. Away from here?
-Away from here, at a large hospital. Let’s hope so. If you work hard,
your kid can go to school. Let’s hope for that.