What is a Dystopia?

A dystopia is a reality in which people are suffering, whether that be physically, mentally and/or emotionally at the hands of some external power. 

A true example of such a society would be that of earlier Zimbabwe. The African country had gone through one of its worst presidential runs with its past president, Robert Mugabe. As a leader of a well-known country, we could expect him to have the interest of his people in his mind when leading them, but that was not the case at some point. Labeling himself as a liberator for this country, he did just that as he managed to free his country of white rule, but soon enough that liberation turned sour. To cement his power,“he is responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths in Zimbabwe” (Kudenga, 2017) by conducting counterinsurgency operations. With these operations and his threats towards other communities, such as LGBT, he was limiting his people’s choices and voices. It was unheard of for many to speak against him out of fear that what was happening to many would happen to them. Even after his rule, Zimbabweans were still under attack as security forces were encouraged to commit “abuses against the opposition and civil society activists” (Mavhinga, 2019). 

With this example, I feel like my definition of a dystopia is applied. The people of Zimbabwe were under a questionable rule that turned his good into something to scare Zimbabweans to never turn against him without repercussions. His blatant disregard of hiding his ideas and his targets instills fear in his people, thus causing them to suffer emotionally and mentally. This power caused black and white people alike to feel a sense of great dread being within the country they called home. Hopefully, the people of Zimbabwe never have to feel that sense of fear at the hands of a leader again.

Gaffey, C. (2017, August 22). Mugabe: “white farmer killers will not be prosecuted.” Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/zimbabwe-president-robert-mugabe-white-farmers-651326 

Robert Mugabe leaves behind legacy of abuse. Human Rights Watch. (2020, October 28). https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/06/robert-mugabe-leaves-behind-legacy-abuse 

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