PERHAPS I should start with a question – what do Zimbabweans want? To answer it, allow me to start with what Zimbabweans don’t want.
No human being likes pain or suffering, so I should say Zimbabweans don’t like pain or suffering. Secondly, Zimbabweans don’t like fighting, which means they are peace loving people or as Biti says “cowards”. Zimbabweans also don’t like being oppressed in all spheres of their lives, which means they want to be free; to do whatever they want whenever they want.
Zimbabweans are very principled and orderly people. They work very hard, sometimes more than they are paid. They simply find pleasure in sweating for their living. They also enjoy the fineries of life, such as going to watch movies at night, taking their children to the Trade Fair, eating pizza and ice cream (if they can afford). Very noble citizens, Zimbabweans are. Most of them are Christians too. What else would you want from citizens, almost perfect I could say?
Now that we know what Zimbabweans want, shall we add some more detail? I don’t want to exaggerate, but I think Zimbabweans are the most patient Bantus of Southern Africa. They can live with anything for as long as it lasts – and they still can afford a smile. You can rule them for life if you want. You can sleep in parliament, if you so wish – they can’t take you to court for that.
Zimbabweans – they always have a plan. You can’t do anything to kill their spirit – they are dead before you try. In the midst of all this, they buy big screen smart TVs, double door fridges, latest smart phones, tablets etc. Zimbabweans don’t want to stay in rondavels; they try their best to live in decent houses. They pay rent right on time; you don’t have to remind them.
One more thing – perhaps the most important: Zimbabweans are not drunkards, I can safely generalize. This is not to say they don’t drink; only to say that if they do, they do so far from the madding crowd.
So what am I saying, if I am saying anything really? Zimbabweans are good people. They are creative too – they can turn anything into a joke. If someone is dying of HIV AIDS, they joke, if someone trips and falls at the airport, they joke. So there is a lot of laughing in Zimbabwe. Some people think Zimbabweans are always worried and stressed about tomorrow. No, they take a day at a time. Life is a marathon, they say. There is no hurry in Africa!Advertisement
Someone once asked me a question: Do Zimbabweans exist? I refuse to answer that question. I want to ask my own: Are Zimbabweans alive? To exist is not to be alive, is it? But I know there are people somewhere who call themselves Zimbabweans, proudly.
Can we define a Zimbabwean? This is not an easy question but I think we can try. A Zimbabwean is someone who is brave enough to enter a boxing competition with broken limbs and arms. As we all know, wrestlers should have arms, if they are serious about becoming champions. Well, if you don’t agree with this definition, I am sure you will get this one; a Zimbabwean is someone who votes the same way, at the same place, under the same rules for 35 years, and yet expects different results.
Zimbabweans; they are nice people; they go to church, remember. If you say, “How are you” they say “I am blessed”. Yet, we all know that most of them can barely afford a meal. Zimbabweans – they have mastered the art of talking positively. They say “zviri kufaya” to mean “things are okay”, while they do nothing about the things that make things okay.
Before I forget, Zimbabweans are also very prayerful. They pray about anything and everything. If they don’t have money for school fees, they kneel down and pray. If they want a new CEO to replace an old and corrupt one, they declare 21 days of fasting and prayer. It’s amazing what Zimbabweans can do. They pray for life (give us long life oh lord!), they also pray for death (kill my enemies right now, oh lord!).
I know Zimbabweans are good people, but they also do a lot of weird things on the contrary. They tell lies. They exaggerate their worth. I am talking about those fellows who keep telling you that Zimbabwe is morally upright. Zimbabwe’s education system is the best in the world, yet for all we know, the UZ does not have WIFI or access to the internet in this day and age (I am speaking in general terms here, but you all know I am speaking the truth).
Zimbabweans are so learned, knowledgeable. They even criticize a sound economy where they have sought refuge, and defend theirs, which is in shambles. They tell you that they are experts in this and that. If we go back, this country (where they have been hiding for 15 years) will collapse, they say. But is it not ironic that theirs is collapsed already but they do nothing about it. I have even heard some fellows, arguing with froth in their mouths, that Zimbabwe has more cars than South Africa. I am tempted to add another quality about Zimbabweans – they think more highly about themselves than they ought to.
One more thing and we are done. Zimbabweans are, sometimes, simply downright ignorant. Otherwise how is it possible to compare anything in Zimbabwe with anything in South Africa? There are no roads in Zimbabwe (I heard they recently raised the toll fees!). There is no clean water in Zimbabwe (here I do not want to generalize, but to announce that tape water in Budiriro smells like sewage).
In Zimbabwe, politicians are gods – with expertise in everything, from farming to judging in court. When judges interpret the law, politicians tell them “they are expressing their own opinion”. You can’t even joke about the funny things our politicians do. And they do a lot of funny things, I can assure you. Someone once asked me a question that I could not answer. Do our politicians really see the places they visit in Dubai? His logic (which obviously does not exist in Zimbabwe) was that if a normal person sees a good thing, he/she wants to copy it, to make it his/hers. But our politicians don’t – they leave it there. The answer is quite obvious unless you are a Zimbabwean who stays in London.
I mentioned that Zimbabweans like peace. Yes Zimbabweans are willing to sacrifice anything for this utopian ideal. Zimbabweans have allowed one man (either by default or by design) to sit on everyone and everything for the past forty years. Well, if you ask them, why are you letting everything go this way, they will tell you: what can we do, you want this country to be like Mozambique? Zimbabweans love their peace so much that they don’t even realize that their country is worse than Mozambique already.
Zimbabweans – you can tell them to vote for you and beat them at the same time. They are so peace-loving. You can tell them to watch only one television station (full of adverts about how you are enjoying life while they suffer) and they will not do anything about it. If anything, they will laugh, create jokes and post them on Facebook, or share with friends and relatives on WhatsApp.
You don’t really need policemen in Zimbabwe unless if their duty is to extort bribes on the highways. All you need is someone zealous enough (and most probably unemployed too) to kill on your behalf. In Zimbabwe, a leader has the liberty to hire and fire at will. The clue is, when you hire, you praise (oh she is so brave she brought down a helicopter!) and when you fire you shame (oh he is such an ass he can’t be saved!).
Zimbabwe is free and Zimbabweans like freedom. Isn’t it ironic, that they like freedom? But yes, they do, and this is what I mean. They have taken the land. They have taken the mines. They have also taken over the whole economy. They control everything by themselves. They don’t want any one messing with their heritage. They have even thrown away the white man’s economic rules, legal rules, judicial rules, political rules. No, we don’t want any rules. These rules were made by whites- we want to do things our own way even if it means going without any rules. The dance is open. Let the madman dance. This is the meaning of freedom as it has been redefined in Zimbabwe. Black is white- who says it is black.
Now this is where Zimbabweans really make me laugh. The President comes back from Ethiopia. He makes a glamourous speech and everyone ululates. By the way, this is a big event, so there are thousands of people who have come to welcome their hero. We all know that the President is 91 which means he is no longer as physically strong as he was, say 20 years ago. But there is a new kind of logic doing the rounds in that country. It says that a 91 year old man is as strong as a 25 year old. He can talk for two hours non-stop. He is so disciplined he exercises every morning. Ah, that man, he can fly down the steps unaided – strong as a fiddle, they say.
I wonder if I have mentioned that truth does not exist in Zimbabwe. Maybe that also is not true. The fact of the matter is that every lie Zimbabweans speak is actually the truth. Who says it is a lie? The logic is that the whole notion of truth is a construct (a white construct for that), so it doesn’t matter what the world saw, the truth is that the President didn’t fall.
The President managed to break the fall. Now, let us clearly conceptualize this. What does it mean to say “the president managed to break the fall”? Firstly, it can mean that the President wrestled with a giant called The Fall and he broke it. So we say “he broke The Fall”. It can also mean that the President nearly fell but he managed to regain his balance – which means he didn’t actually fall. To break the fall can also mean to be in full control of one’s fall so much that it ceases to be a fall. It’s like ignorance. You are only ignorant if you don’t know that you are ignorant. If you know you are ignorant then you are knowledgeable. By the same logic, if you are falling and you know that you are falling, then you are not falling. We may as well say you are flying – perhaps.
Well, those are the three possible scenarios I can think of, but what does it mean to say “the president managed to break the fall” when there are pictures of the President literally crawling on all fours on the floor. Now that is a philosophical one. What is falling? Who says it is falling? How do we know that those pictures are real? Doesn’t that sound like denialism? Zimbabweans never take responsibility for anything. If the economy collapses, they say it’s the British. If the farmers are not productive, they say it’s the sanctions. If the minister of finance can’t pay teachers, they say it’s the opposition, the West, the IMF or anything. It’s someone else not us.
Whatever happened to the President, we don’t care – the point is he didn’t fall and those who say he fell are imagining things. The president did not fall, that is the truth, and you must delete those pictures. This is Zimbabwe, our Zimbabwe, where the world is being reinvented.