Petina Gappah's satirical post clarified

HARARE - Guardian First Book award winner Petina Gappah says the story headlined “I’m the child on the MDC Symbol: Petina Gappah”, which appeared in the Daily News of July 12 was created from a satirical joke.

The Book of Memory writer said the jocular Facebook post was unfortunately represented as fact.

“Those who follow me on Facebook, including this journalist, are aware that I have a satirical running joke about having fought the liberation struggle as a toddler called Comrade Baby.

“This has been a running joke for more than five years. Even if this is new to this journalist, she would have known it because the response to the post on Facebook shows that the majority of people who responded understood it was a joke, and responded with the laugh emoticon.

“Further, the comments below the post she copied from my Facebook wall, from others and from me, clearly refer to this running joke. Indeed, one of the comments below that post involves me stating that: ‘Before I was born, I tried to warn Lobengula not to sign the Rudd Concession but he refused to listen,’” said Gappah.

The award-winning writer added that if she had been granted the opportunity to comment before the story was written she would have set the record straight.

With the benefit of hindsight, the Daily News now admit that the story, which was clearly a satirical joke, can easily be misconstrued as a factual story by the average reader.

As such, we are happy to set the record straight and unreservedly apologise to Petina for any harm, damage or embarrassment the story may have caused.

We also regret tagging Thokozani Khupe of the MDC-T and others and the inconvenience and embarrassment this could have caused.

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