'French envoy loves Zim mornings'

HARARE - Laurent Delahouse, the ambassador of France says he has cancelled his DStv subscription because of the hectic demands from his job as he is out every evening and when he comes back home dashes straight to bed.

The top French diplomat said his evenings are always occupied with meetings, outings and he does not have any time  for himself.

“I do not even have time to read books but that is the advantage of being an ambassador — you have control of your time.

“As for my DStv subscription I had to cancel it and only reconnected it because of the World Cup finals taking place in Brazil. I also had to reconnect it because my kids are visiting.”

Delahouse said he was happy with the performance of the French national soccer team during the World Cup finals although they bowed out in the quarter finals stage.

“The French team is well balanced and there are no big stars — they play as a team. They went beyond everyone’s expectation and it is a young team with a relatively new trainer. I think the current crop of French players is an investment for the future.”

The World Cup finals also gave the French embassy an opportunity to invite people to their cultural institute, Alliance Francaise. “A number of important people came to watch soccer matches with us and support the French team.”

The ambassador said interestingly, a number of players shinning at the World Cup finals were from either France or other European countries. “I will be happy if Germany or Netherlands win, but it would be nice if Argentina won also.

“In the past, in the 2006 World Cup finals I was interviewed by an Australian journalist on my predictions when Italy played France in the finals. Naturally, I supported Germany but was accused of being biased towards a European team.”

He added that Thiago Silva was his son’s hero. “My son plays in defence like Silva. The defender is my son’s best player in the world.”

Delahouse enjoys the early mornings in Zimbabwe. “This is a country where you work up early in the morning and yes, play golf.”

Since coming to Zimbabwe a year ago, the ambassador has visited a number of resorts and cities around the country. “Although I have not been in the North, I have managed to visit Gonarezhou, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo and I try to go as often as possible to Hwange, Matopos, Lowveld and Mutare.

“I try to travel as much as possible meeting municipality officials and I was in Mutare last week meeting the Mayor. I also appreciate Zimbabwe’s natural wonders and it is important that I also visit villages and towns where we run charity projects.”

Delahouse likes to meet people from all sections of society. “I have been to a Zaoga church where I met a number of people. I also meet people while playing golf and they were surprised that I was in their church.

“As the face of my country here, I would be happy to meet everyone from company executives, politicians, MPs and ordinary villagers. I have met business people and even a French baker based here.”

The ambassador enjoys playing golf because it is a social sport that affords him time to interact. “I am a golf player, golfing is social passtime and I enjoy it. I am Chairman of Friendly Diplomatic Golf Association that coordinates friendly gatherings and charity events around the sport.”

Delahouse has worked as a diplomat since leaving school in 1989. “It is now 25 years since I started working in the French Cooperation ministry where I spend four years specialising in European policies. Apart from working in Paris, this is my fourth diplomatic posting as I have been posted to Washington, South Africa and Australia.”

He said up until now, he has been travelling with his family.

“My wife is a professional lawyer working for a bank and I did want to stop her career so she stayed behind with our two kids, twins — a boy and a girl both aged nine.

“My wife said I should come to Zimbabwe alone and she stayed behind in Paris working, although they visit. She has been travelling with me for the past seven years.”

Delahouse is always in touch with his children. “My kids are “I-Kids” because they are always using I-Phones and IPods. So we are constantly in touch. This week they will be visiting with my grandmother.”

The ambassador said he stopped his age at 37, 15 years ago. “So I will be 52 in August.”

He is interested in art and in particular, tribal art. “I like to collect artefacts that interact between different forms of art. I am also a jazz music fanatic.”

Delahouse urged Zimbabweans to learn the French language. “It is important for Zimbabweans to learn French because together with English they are always an advantage when you look for jobs.

“We have introduced French language at the University of Zimbabwe and plans are underway to introduce it at Midlands University and Bindura University.”

Comments (4)

Please check your work before publishing. There are so many mistakes in that article.

Tendayi - 15 July 2014

It is important for Zimbabweans to learn French because together with English they are always an advantage when you look for jobs. Who told this ambassador that we must learn to look for a job? What about business opportunities? This slave-master mentality is sickening Mr Ambasador. We are not always employees but also employers.

Kuda Muchena - 15 July 2014

ZJC composition iri nani

Joe Black - 17 July 2014

ZJC composition iri nani

Joe Black - 17 July 2014

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