Comedian Munya Chawawa wanted to return to his homeland Zimbabwe to make a documentary about its notorious dictator Robert Mugabe.
His bags were packed, his flights were booked. But then his filming visas were mysteriously cancelled. With absolutely no explanation. So now he is travelling to South Africa to meet with Mugabe’s friends, his family, his victims and his henchmen, in an attempt to make the show in spite of them.
Using interviews, archive, and comedy sketches to help viewers understand the story, Munya tries to unpick the man behind the monster – exploring an extraordinary life that saw Mugabe win independence for his people before ruling them with increasing brutality through four decades.
Munya meets with Mugabe’s nephews (who have a somewhat rose-tinted view of Uncle Robert); his former friend Wilf, who fell out with Mugabe after the massacre of 20,000 civilians; his spiritual advisor; and some of Mugabe’s many victims. Finally, he goes head-to-head with a Mugabe ally accused of brutal violence and intimidation.
Funny, fascinating and moving in equal measure, How to Survive a Dictator is a journey through the life of one of the world’s most notorious tyrants.
How to Survive a Dictator – Thursday at 10.00pm on Channel 4.