HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsA week in the life . . .

A week in the life . . .


Friday’s column was inspired by fellow columnist’s “Notes on a moment in history” (NewsDay September 17 ).

I didn’t get to ask Chris Kabwato the questions you’ve all no doubt been dying to ask him:

Does he really journal with that level of detail and consistency?

I reckon the world would be a better place if we all did. My life is a continuous learning process, and I like to believe that I embrace its lessons with what little maturity I can muster, with tremendous gratitude and with an open mind.

Let me share with you some of the highlights of the past seven days:

Last Thursday I made a presentation to The British Council’s Management Express forum.

I was overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up, the quest for knowledge on the subject of personal branding and the fact that there are so many Zimbabweans pursuing further education.

This filled me with hope, and yes let me admit, a little sadness.

Hope because in spite of everything, we have not lost our love of learning and we recognise the requirement to expand our knowledge horizons.

In the face of a world that boasts 1,8 billion Internet users, 4,6 billion mobile phone subscribers and 800 exabytes of digital information (according to DDB Worldwide) we are mindful of the need to catch up, in any way we can.

What saddened me was the unfounded fear that many of these professionals would most likely leave the country in pursuit of a better life, which they are no doubt entitled to for the work they have put in.

As our economy and political situation improves, I dare to hope that this will not be so.

Saturday afternoon was a tender time of tears and laughter, fun, fellowship and
fundraising at a high tea with the Rotary Club of Highlands.

As we sat under the trees, enjoying warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, songstress Dudu Manhenga demonstrated as usual that she is not just a singer but a real entertainer.

I was introduced to some new talent in the person of Faith Ganyau and humbled by the joie de vivre of a young, gifted and clearly intelligent Rumbi Chimunda who developed breast cancer at 26 and related her experience with a humour, hope and grace that inspired all of us.

There were other women there who spoke of their experiences with cancer, and from each of them I learnt how very real this sickness is, how important it is to catch it early, and that yes, it’s possible to recover.

Sunday afternoon saw the long-awaited Trumpet Call.

I almost did not attend this one, being a little wary of big crowds after my daunting experience at a Copac meeting!

But I was moved by the historic significance of Trumpet Call, an initiative of multiple church organisations in Zimbabwe to get together and feed the nation.

The goal and belief is that by practicing the Foundations for Farming techniques we can feed Zimbabwe with no aid and no mechanisation; not only in the next season, but for years to come.

It sounds like a tall order, but it’s said to have worked in other African countries.

All we have to lose are hunger, dependence and environmental degradation!

It’s estimated that we are facing a one million tonne shortage of the maize we need.

As the man said: “We do not have time to wait for IMF to re-engage . . . to wait for sanctions to be lifted . . .” I say let’s try Foundations for Farming.

The alternative is no alternative.

Poetry Africa at the Book Café on Wednesday evening was an unusual treat.

I attended the panel discussion on poetry as an instrument of social transformation, and was impressed by Jamaican poet Mutabaruka’s position, which is that the social change begins first by changing the poet, who writes to make sense of the world around him.

South Africa performance poet diva Lebo Mashile gave me comfort when she responded to a question about the importance of sharing poetry in the vernacular.

She agrees that one has to be vigilant, especially in terms of ensuring that our young children learn their mother tongue, but acknowledges that in the face of all the other messaging bombarding children via schools, mass media and peer pressure, the responsibility is a heavy one.

The evening was a great stimulant in terms of stirring up political consciousness among the already conscious!

Thursday evening was the
annual Cover to Cover awards dinner hosted by The Standard newspaper.

As usual the young people wrote some outstanding prose and I look forward to seeing some of these students become journalists, columnists, cartoonists and editors.

May their tomorrow come.

Thembe Sachikonye writes in her personal capacity.

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