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Hunger Strike Day 9: Resolve for Change

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I woke to grey skies over Johannesburg this morning, and drumming rain. It has been stiflingly hot over the last week, and the sharp drop in temperature is welcome - although I am feeling the cold more acutely than usual. I feel that the rain brings with it some promise of renewal - of spirit, of mind and of resolve.

After Monday's disappointments, I am focussing on moving forward - the failure of the Extraordinary SADC summit has only strengthened the purpose of those fighting for justice and democracy in Zimbabwe.

Yesterday afternoon, our friends at Avaaz launched a Global Solidarity Fast campaign to mobilise as many people as possible around the world, to pledge to fast this coming Sunday. Sunday is the last day of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia - and will be a pivotal day for Zimbabwe's future. Last time I checked, we had almost 15,000 pledges, and the appeal has been online for less than 24 hours.

I, along with other activists, political leaders and everyday people, are hoping that the AU will take the crisis in Zimbabwe far more seriously than their SADC counterparts. We need a strongly worded resolution, and a shift in temperament and attitudes for good intentions to translate into reality.

We need to create more visibility for those in Zimbabwe - and the AU Summit falls at the crucial time - the African Union needs to realise that SADC is not a viable forum for finding a solution. Avaaz and Save Zimbabwe Now! are asking people to fast for one day on Sunday - in solidarity and a determination for change. We are asking people to stand up and have their voices counted, so that the AU is forced to heed global pressure to take decisive action.

When I initially discussed this hunger strike with my doctor, he had said I should only be active for the first 10 days, but I am keen to push on. It is imperative that our message is heard - loudly and clearly - at various for a, and especially at the AU. I will be travelling to Addis tomorrow, arriving back on Monday - Day 13 of my fast.

On Day 9, my lack of hunger has been surprising. My stomach feels smaller and as if it is slowly getting used to the absence of food. I have lost a fair amount of weight, and can now fit two hands into the waistband of my trousers, with plenty of room to spare.

Over the last few days, I've been inundated with interview requests, which has been great - this whole campaign is about getting the message out to the public, and getting individual citizens involved. The media have been a fantastic help so far. But I'm beginning to have trouble concentrating for long periods of time, and the amount of interviews has been getting a little overwhelming.

I saw my family over this last weekend, in Durban, and despite their anxiety, their support has been phenomenal. Watching the campaign grow, and the encouragingly positive response from the various people who are getting involved is keeping me energised, as I move into the middle of my second week without food.

I urge you to visit the Solidarity Fast for Zimbabwe on Avaaz.org, and pledge to fast with me on Sunday. Your voice - and stomach - will be counted, and millions in Zimbabwe will see the extent of the support for their struggle.