Driving While Mzungu

2 thoughts on “Driving While Mzungu”

  1. I recall being in Burkina and Ghana on a road trip and having a similar experience. In my relative naitivity as a 20-something I would stubbornly refuse to pay the fine or give over my drinking water, resulting in long waits and delays in travel, sitting outside check posts for hours in the heat while the officials waited for my resolve to dissipate. I felt incensed by the seeming injustice of the situation (all the while not recognizing ‘white privilege’ or the very injustice of their poverty because of where they were born, as opposed to my relative prosperity). Still, I will be interested to learn if you are pulled over for ‘speeding’ again and face a $100 fine if you will still consent to paying said fine simply because you are ‘mzungu’.


    1. Shortly after announcing the crack down and the increase in fines they rescinded it. The announcement included a two page spread in all the major newspapers that listed each offence and how much the fine was going to be. Then, there was such an uproar, that less than 48 hours later they printed a retraction.

      I was “paused” at two stops yesterday. At the second stop I said, “Aye, this is my second stop today. You guys are super busy today.” The officer laughed and asked where the first time was. I told him, “Just outside of the Blantyre Synod mission where I live.” The officer got serious and said, “Ah, sorry abusa (minister). Have a blessed day” and waved me through without looking at anything.


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