In fact, disappointment is never the appropriate word – rather, anger and downright infuriation.
Of course, it is never pretty for me when I feel this way – since, my mind, naturally, reminisces over the only other life that I have ever known, which was better.
Is it not natural, as what other life should I dream about – besides that I have already experienced?
Yes, a lot of people also do not like it when I get like this – as I usually end up talking, as if glowingly, of an era that so many would rather we all just forget about, and pretend as if it never really existed.
Well, at least, not in the manner and image that I end up portraying it.
In the space and place in which I live – saying anything positive about something that is supposed to be painted in dark, cruel, and evil colours, is considered nothing short of abhorrent and abominable, if not downright treasonous.
Nonetheless, I can not help it – as I was raised up to call things as I see them…if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
That is a fact I am prepared to be crucified for – if needs be.
How else is anyone expected to react when one lives in a country, whereby even little things have become difficulties, that need to be struggled for on a daily basis – when what citizens in other countries regard as tiny molehills, become gigantic insurmountable mountains in Zimbabwe?
As much as these cries may now sound, to some, like a broken record – having been repeated for what appears like an eternity – but, to us, who have to endure these daily unbearable burdensome yokes, the cries can never be too much.
Can it ever be too much crying when one has spent over three months without any safe, clean, and potable running water in his home – resorting to nearly daily strenuous water-lifting, carrying heavy containers after having begged from neighbors with boreholes, whilst those not so fortunate, fetching the precious liquid from unprotected and unsafe sources?
Yet, in all this – religiously, responsibly, and regularly paying local authorities for this constitutional right.
When, as now, one wants to get down to some serious work – in order to make ends meet – electricity simply disappears, living him hanging high and dry, regardless of the fact that he, again, paid for this service.
Then, when one manages to make those few dollars, they are hardly enough to purchase the bare basics – as a result of a useless local currency, whose value depreciates by the day…yet, forced down our throats by a privileged ruling elite, who, themselves, are paid in stronger more stable currencies.
Can he be blamed for crying out?
…but, we need to be extremely careful when we decide to cry out – since, such is frowned upon by the powers-that-be, and can result in cowardly brutal repression.
How are we to be faulted, when the ever-suffering impoverished people – who have had enough of the callous ruination of their livelihoods by those in power – start sharing quotes by the last colonial Rhodesia prime minister, Ian Douglas Smith?
It is alleged that in November 1975, he uttered these words, “If blacks are to rule themselves people in towns will walk on sewage until they believe it’s normal, all the gains from colonization will vanish, infrastructure will collapse, roads will be impassable, trains will kill people until they’re abandoned as an unsafe mode of transport, hospitals will be closed, farms will be grabbed and nothing to feed the people”.
How prophetic are these words!
Not even our so-called “prophets” and “men of God” have ever been able to be so accurate and thorough in their predictions – yet, “good ol’ Smithy” was spot on!
Where, in his statement, did he get it wrong – even slightly?
Did these things we cry about nearly on a daily basis in Zimbabwe today, not work exceptionally well just over four decades ago under colonial rule?
So, what went wrong?
Just from what Smith is alleged to have said, one can easily form a basis for an entire book on what has gone awry in Zimbabwe.
However, what stands out, for me, above all else in this telling bit of soothsaying, is that he did not say, “ZANU PF”, but used the word, “blacks”.
Is that not truly interesting – especially, in a country where we love to place all the blame for our misery squarely on the ruling party?
Yet, facts are stubborn – and those facts tell us that both the ruling ZANU PF (that runs national government), and the opposition MDC (who are in charge of local authorities) have dismally and disgracefully failed.
Hate me, or love me – such unmitigated shameful failure by both the country’s main political parties does not augur well for our image as black people.
This ceases to be a mere ZANU PF issue – but, something much deeper and bigger.
Is it not time we, as blacks, stopped hiding behind flimsy and whimsical excuses, such as always playing the “race card” – whenever our undeniable weaknesses and faults are laid bare – and faced up to the truth?
I always believe that, the truth shall set us fee – and, the sooner we acknowledged what is right there in front of us, the sooner we can identify what the real underlying factors are, and how to overcome whatever is holding us back.
As long as we do not want to hear the truth – let alone, bravely face it head-on – we will never get anything right, forever be in denial, and always looking for others to blame for our own failures.
It is time that we faced reality as black people, and look ourselves in mirror – only that way can we ever hope to get out of this deep hole that we have dug.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]
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