Life is an interesting adventure, only when facing challenges. Without challenges life becomes so boring and without purpose. The only reason why most Zimbabweans prefer living in the diaspora is a symptom that makes Africa a miserable continent. Life loses its value, in direct proportion to desiring comfort in this world. The Khoisan tribes must have enjoyed life more than most people in our modern times. For the Khoisan tribes the skill of hunting, and killing a duiker for an evening meal, must have been more satisfying. This is when compared with a graduate who proudly wears a graduation cap, but lamenting over the condition of being unemployed in his own country.
When considering those seeking comfort, as highly corrupt, one cannot be far from wrong. At independence, there was a stampede by most of our black people, relocating to the exclusive white suburban areas. Such people also sought to pay high school fees, in exclusive, but very expensive white private schools and colleges. This was considered as giving the best education to their children. The question that lingers is, where are those graduates, from such fantastic private colleges? This country urgently needs them, more than ever before, if that education had value in it.
What those poor blacks did not appreciate, at that time, is that the admired whites were, actually, corrupt too. Especially those who decided to leave Zimbabwe, after independence, to pursue other areas of comfort. South Africa and Australia, became haven enclaves for them. There was a failure, on their part, to accurately deal with the actual prejudice that they held against the black people. That which you cannot confront and handle, in this life, reduces your dignity.
The black people, seeking comfort by relocating to the exclusive white suburban areas, were corrupt. It ought to have been the acquisition of responsibility that they should have clamored for, as granting them independence, rather than comfortable lifestyles. When taking stock of what caused a failure in Zimbabwe, nothing goes beyond this reality. Unfortunately, failure to take responsibility continues, up to this day. This is manifesting in blaming the late former President Robert Mugabe as having singularly run down the country.
But the correct analysis points at the failure to take responsibility, by the same critics. Mugabe displayed pathetic leadership qualities, but so were his critics. I find it irresponsible for anyone to be in the comfort of blaming Mugabe for the wrongs of this country. Even the existence of the dreaded junta points to the irresponsibility of those sitting in the comfort of criticizing. It is only the corrupt, who seek comfortable lifestyles. In other words, the existent high corruption in government portrays the effects of corruption, planted right at the time of independence in 1980.
Some people have been surprised, in view of the fact that corruption is also found among MDC-run councils. This causes voters to become confused, due to the inability to know the source of corruption. It is a sign of corruption to focus on personalities, viewed as Messianic, in this world, rather than looking at self. Unless the corruptible minds are changed, this country is likely to be recycled into another forty years of debilitating misery.
Those whites who assumed that Ian Smith was better than Mugabe, because Smith enabled them to live comfortably, are not different from Mugabe. Good historians will capture the fact that life for the whites became more comfortable with Mugabe, rather than with Smith. Yet the reverse, ought to have been true. For most people, including whites, life became more enjoyable in the early eighties. However, not all whites are corrupt, just as not all blacks are corrupt. The missing datum is that life is more meaningful with challenges, rather than without challenges.
When not prepared to work hard, or seeking adventure in uncomfortable activities, Zimbabweans can as well, forget about ever attaining happiness in this life. This is as true as can be observed in successful adventurers in this world. Think of people like David Livingstone, having to choose to die in malaria-infested Zambezi Valley. It takes a man of character, to entertain such a mindset. Only the morally challenged, assume that living comfortably, should be the aim.
Out of a desire for adventure, some people choose mountain-climbing. Not that there would be comfort in such expeditions. They desire to do those things that make life challenging. Amassing wealth and properties is what excites the morally challenged. Such a mindset happens to have been the foundation of what ruined our country. There may be some truth, where some people suggest that Zanu pf is a cult. But the glue that holds Zanu pf is the consideration of living comfortable lifestyles.
The idea of chasing away white farmers was not out of a desire to take responsibility for farming. Farming is too demanding for the morally challenged people. The white farmers may have worked hard on those farms. But, it seems, most of the farm-grabbers sought to enjoy the loot, rather than doing farming business. Unless people fully understand these realities, seeking to address them, the miseries of this country continue, unabated. The journey towards economic recovery should not be imagined to feature, even after changing leadership in government.
What makes life interesting is hard work, but that hard work ought to be enjoyable. To illustrate this point, let us use a professional sportsperson as an example. The amount of time expended in training can be most strenuous, for those sportspeople. That is if they would be real professionals in their sporting fields. The sportsperson enjoys hard work in training, rather than enduring it. The morally challenged people would be willing to hero-worship such achievers, rather than engaging in hard-working activities, themselves.
When desiring to share comfortable lifestyles with high achievers, the morally challenged would rather engage in corruption. The intention would be to then compare favorably with the hardworking achievers. Amazingly, we have the most fitting description of corruption in our Shona vernacular. The English term ‘corruption’ is also fitting, but I like the Shona version of it, the most: “Huvori,” which can be literally translated as rottenness, in English. A person involved with corruption is indeed rotten. He may drive beautiful cars, live in comfortable suburbs, but being rotten.
In my naivety, I have always failed to believe what has often come out in the media. Where the state President is reported as having hired an expensive jet from Dubai to travel within the country? Billions of unbudgeted funds in command agriculture being unaccounted for, yet life goes on, as normal, in most people’s minds? I suppose, for most people, the idea of even questioning such things, is weighed against consideration of the discomfort that goes with it?
A corrupt person is the one who seeks comfort for himself, as conforming to the environment, rather than changing the environment. The car that a corrupt person drives would, obviously, be good, seen as better than the corrupt person. But why should we sink so low, as to compare human beings with material objects? Nevertheless, a corrupt person is not worried about his character, but the car that makes him feel as one better than his fellows.
That is how far rotten a person can go. Sadly, this is where the name of Jesus is mostly abused. Apparently, most of our successful business people are “Christians” yet fully meeting the description of corruption. It ought to be embarrassing and shameful for one to drive a Mercedes Benz vehicle among the impoverished people.
It ought to be shameful for such a person to put a broad smile on his face when interacting with the impoverished people in his community. Any businessman, considering himself successful, in Zimbabwe, should coax his/her sense of smell—to be sure of not smelling—due to rottenness. The dignity of a person does not come from the outside looks.
Life itself is an interesting adventure. Without challenges, life should be regarded as not being worth it. It is like classical music, or any music, for that matter. Music becomes interesting when the rhythm is coupled with jerks, crescendos, and other variables. Music becomes monotonous, as long as the rhythm is repetitious with level tones. Variations are necessary to make music enjoyable. Similarly, life is not only boring but also unlivable without challenges.
I am convinced that big teams enjoy playing football when meeting formidable teams, rather than playing against unprofessional teams. Their games become more enjoyable, not when they never lose a game. This is a fact that footballers would agree with, without any doubt. It is only their supporters who gnash after their team loses. As long as those footballers are professionals, losing games would be part of their enjoyment in playing soccer.
We are where we are as a country, due to corruption. The call is for most Zimbabweans to take Zimbabwe’s economic challenges as an adventurous undertaking. Like David Livingstone, we need people who are willing to explore such inhabitable areas, seeking to make differences. Everyone from the diaspora, whether white or black, is included. It is only the morally challenged who assume that Zimbabwe is what it is because of other people, rather than themselves.
The call is for those with a conscience that they can make a difference in a country, as challenged as Zimbabwe. The morally challenged people will remain in our midst, just as they are found to be there, all over the world. But those making a difference, in this world of insanity, will always be very few. The call for the brilliant hard workers to come forward can never be anything later than right now.
The Coronavirus ought to have transformed the minds of some people to realize that there is no heaven on earth. But the most important cognition should be the fact that life is worth it, only when having left a legacy for future generations. This is the time for Zimbabweans to shirk themselves from being a laughing stock towards making this country a real economic giant. Not because of its natural resources. But because of its morally upright human resources.
Either of the two questions always rings in each person’s mind when determining between matters of corruption and integrity. The first question is: “In all my existence on this planet have I been happy that I live?” The second question goes the opposite direction: “In all my existence on this planet, have most people been glad that I live?” Between these two questions, lie what is observable in this life. Either causing the fortunes that rise in greater heights or the unstoppable troubles of humanity.
The problem with self-centeredness is the soothing comfort that rots the spirit. True comfort is only possible when giving one’s best for others to benefit in life. Whoever is reading this, should realize that time cannot be wasted, thinking about the past. As available today, time can be used in preparing for a desirable comfortable future.
It is not easy to establish good reasons why our black people desire comfort, more than challenges. The facts on the ground appear as having been that at independence, there was a stampede to purchase houses in former white people’s suburban areas. It became fashionable to be associated with the whites, notwithstanding, the person having grown up in high-density suburbs.
Of course, there are good reasons suggesting racism, where blacks were treated inferiorly, in Zimbabwe. The exodus of the white people, down South, at independence, could have been confirmation of racism by most of those whites. They could not stand the influx of black people invading their exclusive white suburban territories. They could not adjust, having to accommodate those they had, all along, looked down upon. Those looking for comfort in their secluded areas, were corrupt, just as those complaining of such movers were corrupt.
Racism is another form of corruption, regardless of merited justifications advanced. The happiest people in this world are those able to experience anything. One can cite culture and privacy as an excuse for exclusion, but the bottom line would be corruption. Racism comes about, when a person focuses on self, rather than other people. That person seeks to enjoy life in the comfort of racism.
While appearing as impossible for the racists to entertain the second question. It is equally impossible for comfort-seekers in former white suburban areas to entertain the second question. In short, corrupt people cannot entertain altruism. Those assuming comfort in racial seclusions cannot be different from those plundering the country, through corruption. May the few none racists and none corrupt in our society, please stand up? Those would be the people needed to rebuild this country, after all.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99