AL JAZEERA’S WITNESS: The Bag On My Back by Filmmaker Who returns to her native Zimbabwe

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The Bag on My Back premières on today 21 August 2013 at 20:00 GMT on Witness, Al Jazeera’s flagship documentary strand.  

Zimbabwe in the early 1980s was a land of plenty; newly-liberated, with productive farms and an education system the envy of its neighbours.

Within one person’s childhood all that changed. Filmmaker Tapiwa Chipfupa – now based in South Africa – returns to the country of her birth to understand why the catastrophe happened.

Guided by a box of old family photos and phone calls to her parents, in exile in the UK, she traces the story of her family’s life across Zimbabwe and the parallel story of the decline and collapse of the country.

Told from the perspective of a middle class African, this is a story of remembrance, of coming to terms with exile and change and a reminder of the need to guard and protect hard-won freedoms.

As Tapiwa asks in the documentary, “Why would you want something if you’re not going to look after it? What do you want it for?”

The Bag on my Back can be seen from be seen from Wednesday, August 21, at the following GMT: Wednesday: 2000; Thursday1200; Friday: 0100; and Saturday: 0600. 

For more information, visit:

Bag-On-My-Back_ Tapiwa Chipfupa_Al Jazeera Witness Bag-On-My-Back_ Tapiwa Chipfupa_Al Jazeera Witness_360nobs



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  1. This girl tapiwa needs a reality check and not make noise abt her father this..her father that. If she really cares abt Zimbabwe she must be promoting indigenousation and black empowerment and forgert her father who worked all his life for some white man who invited them for swimming and groomed them to like the colour white and forsake her own colour. Aljazeera should not be one sided taking a 35 year olds story who seeks her own success and making white friends. Im leaving in a foreign country myself and Ifeel betrayed by people seeking to make a name for themselves rather than for our country. The camera is a very dangerous tool when you have people like this lost girl behind powerful lenses. As a Zimbabwe an I am disgusted by Aljazeeras airing of this so called exiled Zimbabwen and u embarrass the real Zimbabwean. A word of advice to this bag on your back…if its too heavy offload it and get a lighter purse from ur white friends. We are Zimbabweans and we shall build our country for as long as it takes forget spoonfeeding and dwelling on how u grew up its past and for all u kno we would not stand and claim independence when ur father’s bosses were still around. Maybe u need to case study South Africa they would do with your services. Next time seek the right paperwork to film a balanced and more profitable documentary not this rubbish.

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