Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Canaan Banana"

I'm putting the picture I usually use to accompany these texts at the bottom this time, because I'd like you for a moment to ask yourself just what 'Canaan Banana' might be. It's so evocative a name that, shy of being a brand name for yellow seedless fruit, it could be almost anything. While it could be the name of, for example a clothing company or a movie of some sort, its mixture of religious geography and yummy fruit actually describes a man. Canaan Banana is the name of a man.

And quite a person indeed - the first president of Zimbabwe, the nation born out of the ashes of Ian Smith's horrible apartheid state of Rhodesia. His prime minister, Robert Mugabe, went on after Banana's departure from politics to mess up the country real good, but during Banana's time it was seen as a guiding light for the rest of Africa, and Banana was seen as that light's torchbearer. Among other things, he was a Methodist minister, he wrote Prince Charles a poem, he wrote a book called The Gospel According to the Ghetto (and once said, "When I see a guerilla, I see Jesus Christ"). He had a wife named Janet Banana. He was arrested for sodomy and ended his life a political pariah. Most awesome, and significant, of all, he had a law enacted forbidding people from making fun of his name.

Can't see why he needed it. That is one first-class name.

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