Happy Birthday Zim….
Odd how we really love to celebrate birthdays but for some reason this one ought to fill us with dread and shame, especially knowing the state of shambles that this nation is in at the moment. Thirty years on and we still have talk of veterans, not just any old veterans as we would ‘normally’ expect but Twenty-something year olds wielding such power and brutality that it is surely a sight to behold. So should we sing and shout for joy? At what, a country that easily has 50% of its population dispersed within the diaspora. A nation of previously proud folk with such high literacy rates now forced to do menial jobs, the bread basket of Southern Africa now forced to sleep on the streets. All this while their head of state celebrates his eightieth birthday with such pomp and glamour.
As an African and a Christian, I just have to wonder whether this is our lot. Is this what God made us for? Is this the role that we are to play. On a sick side, almost like we are here as a cosmic joke BUT even as I say that, I know this not to be. The Earth is the Lords, and everything that is in it, the world and all who are in it, which really does include me, you and all the people in Africa (and the world). So why? Why is this the story of our history and why do we continue to make it our future too? Its too easy to blame colonialism and the state of our democracy or the economy but it also starts with each of us and the conversations we have in our homes and with our beloved. That is where the changes begin and with the types of talks we have and with the level of exposure that we subject our children to. And I am reminded of my five year old nephew, who doesn’t know colour at this level but slowly because of the conversations that we have around the house and with the kinds of positions that my sisters and I take, we might slowly inform his decisions and opinions. How else do we explain children in their formative years taking pictures of ET at his funeral and claiming him as their hero? These are children who are watching cartoons NOT such individuals.
So rather than just wallow in self-pity, which is easier to do, I reckon, we are better off doing the harder thing and just making that small difference and then hope that it will stir others into action too:-)