A NATION born of sacrifice must have a conscience; a conscience to respect the value of life and equality of humanity. And such a nation must have consensus, to agree on issues, premised on what those who sacrificed would have decided.
It’s our 37th year of celebrating self-governance and self-rule. Our independence is determined by democracy; one man one vote principle, and will of majority reconciled to will of minority. We live through an overarching principle, after votes, after all power structures are set up through democratic right, we are all Zimbabweans, no matter our colour or tribe. We all have responsibility to work hard for success of our nation.
Previously we have seen our independence as unshackling of colonial chains. It was historically apt to do so. For freedom and power are a legacy bequeathed to us by our fore parents. We know problems that have resulted from a perception of freedom as doing as one feels or likes. Resources have been looted from national pot and used for personal hubris. Top management roles have been allocated to incompetent people as result of nepotism. Yes, some have used our self-rule to respond violently to everyone who steps on their toe.
Marriages have collapsed as men or women with a sense of freedom move from big house to small house. HIV has ravaged our nation, taking friends and relatives away from us. Corruption has siphoned resources from production lines into people's pockets, some of our youths have taken to smoking solvents or converting life-saving medication to recreational drugs.
Our independence has exposed our weaknesses as much as our strengths. In our quest for better life we have become a selfish nation. Our attitude has been to replace colonial hubris with our own flamboyant life. We however, have adopted an entitlement attitude, a consumption attitude and shamefully we have shown no equal determination to manufacture much of our material desires.
As a result, we have lost an opportunity to turn our independence into an economic desire to make good use of what we have. Our fallen heroes remind us that true freedom is about giving. If we cannot give our lives for betterment of our nation, at least let’s give our hands and good hearts. Let’s start with protecting children so they live in safe and peaceful homes. Let’s respect women as equal benefactors of independence.
Let us see our independence not just as an entitlement to what Zimbabwe has to give to us but as a stewardship role of passing the best within our nation from one generation to the next. Let us ask ourselves, every-day as the sun rises, what must we give to our nation.
Our call to independence now demands from us honesty and accountability. We must look at Independence as the power to identify and grow out of our weaknesses. We must take the chance of freedom as an opportunity to discover what is best within us, so we use our best to build a better nation together.
Yes, it is possible even in our crisis to sustain our vision of a better tomorrow. For we will spend much of our time meeting our future. The dreams of young boys and girls in valleys spurring Dewedzo mountains or well-watered vleis in Chihota. The dreams of a community in Filabusi or Nkayi, the hopes of a family in Honde Valley, dreams of a farmer in Chisumbanje, the faith of a teacher in Zaka or Murehwa, the determination of a metal worker at Mbare Musika or Green Market in Mutare. The courage of a miner in Hwange or Bindura.
Yes, from the cascading waters of Victoria Falls, to Bulawayo, whether you are in Mzilikazi or Inkomo Barracks, to inspiring heights of Mountains in Nyanga, we all dream of valleys filled with abundance and mountains graced with sweetest life giving berries. It is our natural wealth. From Rusape to Gweru, from Dotito to Dorapindo, from Zimunya to Zvishavane we are all freed by the same blood.
Let us look beyond the sunlit valleys and shaded mountains, beyond ravenous rivers and thick forests, beyond our arguments or our claims. Let us look deep down within our souls. It’s time to extinguish our corrupt tendencies and heal our land from violence. Let’s say we will rise or sink together as one nation. Let us consider as very important our independence today as it was on April 18, 1980.
Let us light up a new flame on our hearts, a flame of hope, faith and courage. A conviction that our flag and our independence calls us to a sovereign duty, to deal with our weaknesses and create a healthy nation, called to righteousness before God. Let us value the sacrifice of freedom fighters and take our independence as a duty to introspect and discover the best within us, so we can create and design things of value.
Our independence calls upon us to engender a new mindset, so we can become a nation of people who work hard to bring progress for everyone. The flame of enlightenment must keep burning within our hearts and minds so we turn our independence as a freedom to think and create freely.
Let us create an economy that unshackles us from the chains of poverty, corruption, laziness, violence, envy and greed. Let us be independent thinkers who are united by a vision of hard-work and prosperity. For a mind freed by sacrifice and a heart freed by blood must make us a nation of great and blessed people.
From our independence, we find the keys to our future and that future must be unlocked from our free hearts and minds. It's time to free our minds from our weaknesses and to focus on the strength within and between us. Let us all do our best to create a free and amazing nation.
God bless our Independence; God bless this our nation of Zimbabwe.
Shone Nembaware (BSc, MSc) is an Innovator, Digital Media Strategist, Development Activist.