The Bag on my Back, an attention-seeking charade


SELF-exiled Zimbabwean film maker Tapiwa Chipfupa of The Bag on My Back fame-a documentary that shamelessly tries to discredit Zimbabwe’s Land Reform and Resettlement programme has been exposed by her father’s former workmates who described her as a ‘serial liar, hypocrite and confused woman in dire need of psychiatric evaluation’.
Chipfupa recently made headlines when her widely discredited documentary was aired on Al Jazeera.
She grew up in Mhangura at ARDA Endeavour Estates, one of the farms that were acquired by the government from white commercial farmers in the 1980s to empower indigenous farmers to venture into agriculture where her father David Chipfupa was the estate manager.
In the documentary, Chipfupa makes futile attempts to portray her father, David as a ‘victim’ of the Land Reform Programme.
Tapiwa claims in the documentary that her father lost his job as farm manager at ARDA Endeavour Estates in Mhangura in 1997 after the farm was compulsorily acquired and redistributed to 10 indigenous beneficiaries.
Presenting an image of a seemingly ‘traumatised’ woman, Tapiwa also claims that she was ‘disturbed’ by her father’s decision to relocate to the United Kingdom at the turn of the millennium.
She describes her father as a ‘good’ farmer who had the potential to become a household name in the agriculture industry.
In the film she shows her father nostalgically showing off his newly grown potato plants grown in a vase in urban England.
But former workmates who spoke to The Patriot this week dismissed her production, The Bag on my Back as an attention-seeking charade designed to mask her father’s shenanigans.
Bond Gumira currently based in Chitungwiza who was then the workshop manager under Tapiwa’s father from 1992 to 1997 said the documentary was based on fabricated stories aimed at gaining the Chipfupa family sympathy from the international community.
He said contrary to Tapiwa’s false claims, her father was dismissed from the farm for incompetency before the estate was distributed to local farmers.
“David was fired for failing to turn the estate into a productive farm,” he said.
“Many loses were incurred during his tenure as farm manager.
“He had other commitments at small-scale gold mines where he spent most of his time, neglecting managing the farm business.”
Gumira said Tapiwa’s father was dismissed after he failed to attend to an urgent crisis that threatened more than 100 hectares of wheat that needed to be harvested.
“David ill-treated the workers because we were forced to work under harsh conditions and live in poor structures where I decided to upgrade the houses by connecting electricity,” he said.
“After the project, our electricity transformer was overloaded.
“It ceased to function, leading to a blackout at the farm for more than two weeks while David was busy with his mining activities. The blackout stopped all irrigation operations.
“I jumped all protocols and went to our head office in Harare to acquire a new transformer.
“This led the top management team to investigate operations at the farm leading to David’s dismissal.”
Gumira’s wife, Maud described Tapiwa as a ‘pretentious young girl who wanted to live a Western lifestyle’.
“Tapiwa went to Arundel School in Harare and she always boasted that her classmates were whites and that she had to live like them,” Maud said.
“Whenever she visited the workers’ compound with her father for inspection, she covered her nose with a white cloth because she said the houses smelt bad.
“She had no friends at the estate.”
This might explain why in the film she breaks down and cries when she sees the new ‘peasant’ settlers in their former house whereupon she bombards them with pictures of green lawns and pools that were there during her time.
“Her mother Gertrude Chipfupa was the receptionist at the farm, but taking advantage of her husband’s position, she extended her influence to all other farm operations with impunity,” she said.
“Her mother had a tendency of diverting to her personal use farm resources such as fuel that should be used by vehicles to transport us; as a result, we ended up walking miles to the clinic because there was no fuel.”
Throughout the film it is easy to see that Tapiwa is angry, but her anger is misdirected.
Where she should be angry with the British for denying her a visa countless times, she blames the Zimbabwean government.
Where she is supposed to blame her parents especially her father for siding with the white farmers over his own kin, she then chooses to blame the new black farmers.
Perhaps, the Gumiras were spot on when they said the Chipfupa family have run away from their identity.
They are all confused.


  1. Its a pit Bond Gumira was a workshop manager who could barely write later alone manage a farm. What losses is he talking about because the knowledge he had he didn’t even know anything about profitability except womanising of which he was well known for . The author should get the facts from reliable sources before publishing thèm.


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