Campus News

African Freedom Fighter and Politician to Speak at Bowdoin

Story posted February 15, 1999

Feb. 22, 1999, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Margaret Dongo, a member of the Zimbabwe Parliament and former freedom fighter, will speak about her experiences at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 1 in Kresge Auditorium. She is in the United to deliver the keynote address at this year's Camden Conference the weekend of Feb. 26. Her talk at Bowdoin is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Boothby Memorial Lecture Series.

Dongo left school in 1975 at the age of 15 and walked nearly 200 miles to neighboring Mozambique to be trained in guerilla warfare and fight to liberate her country from colonial rule. When the people of Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, Dongo resumed her education, becoming trained in secretarial work, English and computer studies.

For the next 10 years, Dongo worked for the country's ruling party, first in its publishing company, then the national news agency and finally as an operative for the national security agency. In 1990, she won a seat in Parliament and immediately became a controversial advocate for the disadvantaged and marginalized people of Zimbabwe. The ruling party succeeded in ousting her in 1995, but she came back by reclaiming her seat as the only Independent member of Parliament.

In 1996, Dongo founded the Foundation for Democracy in Zimbabwe, which seeks to promote human rights through public education.

The Boothby Memorial Lecture Series was established in honor of Albert C. Boothby Sr. '29, who was active in expanding the educational opportunities for African American students. The lectures are intended to cover a wide range of topics to cover the breadth of the African-American experience.

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