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Headmaster’s Lecture, Ben Freeth ‘Taking on a Mafia Regime in Africa’

On Friday 4th November we welcomed Ben Freeth to Milton Abbey to give the last of this term’s Headmaster’s Lectures.  Ben spoke with great impact about the consequences of the current farm invasions campaign in Zimbabwe which has personally affected him and his family.

The Mike Campbell Foundation was set up in the memory of his father in law, also a farmer in Zimbabwe, and Ben spoke very movingly of the fear of living and farming in Zimbabwe when their land, livelihoods and safety were in constant danger.  Ben showed a trailer for a documentary film, Mugagbe and the White African,  which won many awards, including the British Independent Film award for best British independent documentary.  The film follows Ben and Mike Campbell as they took the Zimbabwe government to international court in order to attempt to protect their farms and the black workers and their families who lived there. The Trust is now working towards the restoration of justice and human rights in Zimbabwe and the rebuilding of the agricultural sector.  

Ben spoke eloquently about his experiences and really struck a chord with the audience who could not fail to be impressed by his courage and bravery. After the talk Ben spent a long time talking to pupils and signed copies of his two books, a poem he has recently written about revisiting his now derelict farm and lots of Zimbabwean five billion dollar notes.