Sunday, May 29, 2011

‘Zimbabweans die and rise again’

‘Zimbabweans die and rise again’
The Standard, Sunday, 29 May 2011 13:00

Zimbabweans never cease to amaze me. Even when they are in dire straits, their faces glow with laughter. Even those whom you have heard to be cruel to their spouses dawn the Zimbabwean humour. This makes it difficult to come up with something that resembles a true Zimbabwean. Yes, it is a mixed bag with those inside displaying contented faces that hide a lot inside.

This humorous gift that we have should never be taken for granted. There are people across the world who yearn for what God had given us. Many of my foreign friends just wonder how we manage to cope like everything is normal. They have to take a closer look to discover the reality of the Zimbabwean society. We have to present a very brave face to survive in our circumstances. This has worked for us and for that we are not easy pushers.

The expectation from those who come from outside is to see very worried faces all over. They see none and that worries them. We should be a complaining lot. To their surprise, the latter is hard to come by.

Even when we complain we do not show that carnal character that characterises some of our neighbours who would go into the streets and destroy everything simply because something has not been done by authorities.

The above picture does not, however tell the whole story. Once they sit down or you pay a visit to their homes they soon open-up to tell their story. Often a very sad one indeed.

I am also baffled by how we cope in such difficult circumstances. We may have a plot, farm or a field and rains do not come but life goes on. There seems to be nothing to stop the Zimbabwean from being what she/he is, at her/his best.

A friend once commented that, “Zimbabweans die and rise again”. She was amazed by the tenacity of a people who work so hard and sometimes for very little but do not show it in public.

Our roads are pot-holed and sometimes dangerously so but we develop expertise in dodging them. We complain in our cars and perhaps authorities take that for compliance.

Even our politicians who used to call us povo have abandoned that term. They now know we are not push-overs. Perhaps this is why they beat or force us to vote for them. No one should take a Zimbo for granted.

It is not surprising to come across a Zimbabwean doing menial work while they are highly qualified. They will not produce their qualifications lest they are not given the lowly-paid jobs.

Many employers abroad only discover for themselves after a chat at a personal level the humility displayed by some of these highly qualified guys. This is only when they learn that they possess good qualifications.

Can we take this as a sign of weakness or strength? I take it as a point of strength. Humility should be rewarded. For this reason, Zimbabweans will outmatch their colleagues in many a work place across the globe because of that humble tenet that is inherent in many of our folks in the Diaspora.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Call for prayer in times of anxiety

Call for prayer in times of anxiety
The Standard, 22 May, 2011

Every May on 25th Zimbabweans gather together for national day of prayer. We have already seen adverts to that effect and the nation is waiting for the big moment at the City Sports Centre. The three umbrella bodies, the Catholics Bishops’ Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches are inviting all and sundry to pray for the nation. The Intercessors of Zimbabwe have put up an advert to the same effect. We hope they will work together.

Indeed we have much to pray for. There is a lot to thank God for since the last gathering last year. In spite of the hate, anger and uncertainty that comes from the political divide of this nation we have not lost hope as a people who fear God. Such a tumultuous situation like ours is the fertile soil for fervent prayers. Places of worship are full to the brim every worship day. Such is the nature of the people who inhabit this beautiful land called Zimbabwe.

The challenges we face as a nation needed the church to join hands and intercede for the nation. The great leaders of our faith used to do the same. Jesus himself took his disciples aside to pray together. In times of desperation he even went out on his own to seek the face of God. I am certain our church leaders do the same for we see the hand of God leading us even in these uncertain times. When the world was anticipating disaster a few years ago in our nation it was only God’s intervention that calm prevailed.

There is also need to pray for our political leaders not only to think of themselves, their survival in power at the expense of the people. For we know that when elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. The nation is anxious. The call for elections just makes people think of the past. It does not matter whether the elections are this year or in years to come the past experience haunts every Zimbabwean.

There are people thinking of visiting with their relatives abroad during the time of elections, whenever they come. Instead, Zimbabweans should be saying, they will not make any trips during that crucial time. But the violence during elections in the past has left many fearful of what can happen during this period.

Why should we spoil this golden opportunity to redeem ourselves of being so selfish as to think of nothing else but preserving our positions? God forbid!

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Peace is best gift for the Diasporans

Peace is best gift for the Diasporans
The Standard, Sunday, 15 May 2011 14:14

The messages we get about our present and future make little for celebration. This should not stop us as Zimbabweans from continuing to do the good work we are used to wherever we are. Zimbabweans are known all over the world as a resilient people. You travel across the world and you hear of the excellent work our daughters and sons are doing in different professions.

The best gift we can give back to our sons and daughters abroad, is to show that we care for them by living at peace with each other here at home. We can do this by putting our act together. We know they love this country.

This is why, now when you travel, there is always a sizeable number of them coming back to visit with relatives. They do not only bring goodies but also love, which they show by visiting as many of their kith and kin in every part of the country.

The greatest thing they have done is to invite parents and relatives to visit them in the Diaspora. Many mothers and fathers have gone to lands they had never thought of going to. Some of us parents will never forget these experiences. We will go into our graves with stories of our cherished visits abroad.

While all these things are happening outside, it seems here at home daggers are drawn for dominance. Indeed people have to compete for posts etc. But should it be so callous? Those abroad are vilified. Despite the good work they are doing fingers are pointed at them by their hosts for the misdemeanours we engage ourselves in. For them it will be like fire-fighting to try to defend what is indefensible. Using force to gain power is not what one can defend and win.

Let us work hard to make Zimbabweans abroad continue to work in peace. If we have smart elections this year or the next, Zimbabweans will walk tall wherever they will be. What a gift to give to these our representatives, many of whom love this country so much.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friendship rallies maybe the answer

The Standard, Sunday, 08 May 2011 17:30

It seems we have lots of unfinished business in our nation. Each time issues from the past are raised there is a lot of resistance to deal with them. There is Gukurahundi, Operation Murambatsvina and election violence. These have been landmarks that have left many people bruised in many ways. The way we seem to have dealt with these is to silence people even by using force. This does not work.

Posa has come in handy to control the feelings of people. This approach is even worse because it does not solve anything. Instead the anger of the people is bottled up. We had done well to introduce the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation. Unfortunately those in charge have also been the subject of harassment.

One of the ministry’s top guys Mzila-Ndlovu was humiliated to the extent of being made to appear in court in leg irons. Treating Father Mkandla in a similar way did not augur well for the nation. Some people have to apologise.

What has gone wrong?

While the idea of the above organ is very noble, it maybe that there is no longer any trust in the whole exercise. Then why did it come about? No one would advise government to disband the organ but to look again at the whole issue from another angle.

The business of healing and reconciliation has to be done by faith-based groups, traditional leaders and those experts who have the know-how. There is nothing wrong with learning from others who have gone through similar processes, like South Africa and others across the globe.

We now seem to be experts of piling-up issues that are very difficult to deal with in the future. Is it not time we learnt to trust those we give tasks so that they are free to exercise their talents and we support them in all their endeavours.

Most of our national events have been turned into partisan platforms where people who think differently are scolded. Funerals have been turned into political rallies.

Would it be out of place or very belated to suggest that we introduce what one would call “friendship rallies”. National galas have been turned into music lover’s pungwes and not many serious people would spend the whole night in such circumstances.

Friendship rallies would be organised by leaders from across the political divide. No political party would be allowed to monopolise them. The leaders of parties would then be invited to come and address these rallies and sell their ideas. This will put to end all the rivalry that has been the order of the day. Our greatest enemy is the antagonistic camps we have created. But we can control them by bringing people together and sharing ideas.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge