‘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