I am so proud to be a Zimbabwean, we are making waves worldwide! In music, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi is 12th in the Forbes list of the 40 most powerful celebrities in Africa.
In sport Stephen Muzhingi won the Comrades for the third year running; golden girl Kirsty Coventry (not as in one of the old ladies in the American sitcom Golden Girls), has won many gold medals for Zimbabwe.
Norman Moyo recently won an award for being amongst the top 40 global executives under the age of 40 in the telecommunications industry. I really could go on.
The honest truth about all of these achievers is that they worked long and hard hours before they received their due recognition. The burning question though, is do all these awards and medals translate to hard cash?
After all the pomp and fanfare, do they mean anything? Whilst the majority of us feel the challenges of surviving in the current economy, many people have taken to other forms of making money.
In addition, there is still a myth amongst many a Zimbabwean, especially after the Zimdollar “burning” era, that “get-rich-quick schemes” work and exist!
Recently the media covered the most mind-boggling story of women who had had their way with men in order to collect vitamin S (a special enzymatic fluid produced by a human male and ordinarily used in the reproduction process). Somehow, still unknown, the vitamin is used in the manufacture of real money.
Although these ladies may have lived the high-society life, their days of fame and fortune ended abruptly without any accolades.
Every day we hear of people conning, committing fraud or receiving kick-backs (not to be understood as when someone literally kicks your back. It is a form of payment made to subjectively influence a transaction or deal).
This practice is so rampant in our society that people do not actually see anything wrong with it anymore.
There is a saying: “One in every one adult has paid a bribe!” Whilst bribers may amass riches from bribees, they definitely won’t receive any awards for it.
I acknowledge the fact that there are so many people in our society who have lived honestly and worked endless hours, but have neither the money nor the recognition.
Many a hardworking pensioner now lives hand to mouth. Former famous artists like Safirio Madzikatire (Mukadota) who was and still is loved, respected and awarded, was never a millionaire, not even in Zimdollar terms.
When we were growing up, we were taught that the most important thing is not money, but your reputation. We were taught to work hard, to persevere and believe in ourselves.
We were taught that if we remained focused we would make money and eventually receive recognition in society.
My conviction is that if one practices these values, one will sleep soundly, without having to constantly watch their backs. I am sure many of you will say in response that there will be no sleep at all whilst one worries about bills, the next meal, school fees and other such issues.
In light of the highly competitive world we live in and our wish to be part of the 1% who are filthy rich and recognised, is the new way to “go with the flow” and make money by whatever means necessary? Is money everything?
If so, should all or nothing mean we sell our souls, or, does it mean we pursue our dreams with passion and work hard with everything we’ve got?
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