AO2: Zimbabwe grapples with hyperinflation by Maryam Baig


The following passage is an extract of a news report published on the January of 2009. In this extract is suffering with a rapid uncontrollable currency devaluation causing prices of goods and services to ‘skyrocket’ within a short period of time. The thoughts and feelings of the residents have also been discussed in this extract in the form of dialogues.

The title of this extract ‘Zimbabwe grapples with hyperinflation’ tells the reader that the loss of value in the Zimbabwe dollar will be discussed in the article. As a result the reader feels excited and is curious to find out what will happen/is happening to the country.

The author of this article is the news reporter. Since the reporter is not mentioned anywhere, it highlights the appeal and persuasive power of the article.

The genre of this extract is a newspaper report. Newspapers are used to provide people with information, which includes what events are occurring close to the readers’ whereabouts or overseas. For example: “many families are unable to afford a square meal.” Due to the loss of currency value, families do not have the means to buy food. The reader feels sympathetic to the issues being raised and this evokes strong emotional responses.

The theme of this extract could be ‘economy’, ‘finance’ or ‘devaluation’. For instance: “Zimbabwe grapples with hyperinflation.” Zimbabwe’s economy is suffering deeply and people are left without jobs or food nor is it any safe to live in such a place. The reader is left feeling sensitive and to some extent concerned.

The purpose of this extract is to inform or to present an issue as it is a newspaper report similarly, as stated above. For example: “Zimbabwe dollar virtually ceases to be legal tender.” The Zimbabwe dollar is no longer considered as a currency due to its impractical value. The reader is left satisfied as it has been clearly informed about the event.

The intended audience of this passage are special interest groups, people who read the newspaper such as adults or the elderly. For example: “economic crisis with unemployment running at more than 80%” adults are more concerned about conditions close to the above than children or young adults would ever be. However, it does evoke a strong emotional response to the reader especially supposing that the reader is a resident, citizen or local.

The style of this passage is informative as it is a newspaper article. For example: “goods and services are charged in foreign exchange.” Because Zimbabwe’s currency no longer holds any value everything is charged in the currencies of other countries. As a result the reader feels that it is aware of what is happening around the world and is therefore satisfied.

The tone of this passage is serious and uneasy. For instance: “many families are unable to afford a square meal.” The author sounds concerned and pensive which makes the reader sympathetic to the point creating a highly emotive image.

The attitude of a passage is the words and details the author selects which are shown to be formal, concerning and cautious. For example: “as the worthless Zimbabwe dollar virtually ceases to be a legal tender.” This can manipulate the reader to take notice of arising issues.

There is a limited amount of punctuation in this passage. Excluding capital letters, full stops, commas and apostrophes there is an appearance of a couple of dashes at the end of the passage. For instance: “I don’t know if I’ll have a job at the end of the week – so many businesses are closing down.” This creates a smooth flow of words for the reader to read moreover pleasing to the eye as well as creates an image in the readers mind.

There are quite a few simple and compound sentences in this article. For example: “one US dollar was trading at this date at around 25 billion ZW$.” This is an example of a simple sentence. “Zimbabwe is grappling with hyperinflation officially estimated at 231 million per cent and its currency has virtually lost its value.” This is an example of a compound sentence. The order of points affects the readers’ response.

There is a sparse amount of figures of speech in this passage. For example: “people are cannibalizing each other.” This is an example of a metaphor and an idiom which means that people are stealing from each other. “But now in the throes of an economic crisis.” Zimbabwe faces a sudden downfall brought on by a financial crisis and is now suffering. This is another example of a metaphor. This provides a picture in the readers’ mind that evokes all the senses, can reinforce a point without repetition although often witty it highlights a point.

There is one subheading under the main heading in this passage titled as ‘living with inflation’. Under this subheading are the thoughts and struggles of the locals and residents presented through dialogues. In total there are five different points of views from five different people of five different age groups and designations. This is one of them: “student: when you go to the bank and there’s a long queue, and then when you want 10 million they can only give you 2.8 because there’s not enough money in the bank.” As a result of the hyperinflation people nee way more money to afford things that they use to purchase at a lower price. This can subtly manipulate the reader, often almost sublimely. Identifying these can highlight the appeal and persuasive power of the article. With the help of dialogues the reader can better understand the situation at hand.

To conclude it is believed that the author has been successful in conveying his or her message to raise the readers’ awareness of Zimbabwe’s economic situation. With the use of various techniques such as figures of speech, a sub heading, punctuation, equally sized paragraphs and a clearly conveyed message the newspaper reporter has made this a great read for the readers.


About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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