Restoring the jewel of Africa


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them said Albert Einstein.

Zimbabwe is in a terrible crisis. It has been so in the last few decades. However, as a growing leader in this country, I do believe that it is high time we take a journey to introspect about our role in this crisis. We seem to suffer the dangers of a monolithic narrative that tells us “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.

They also say that every generation blames the one before, but in our case, it is very clear that we are where we are because we seem to be told the same lame story that proffers no new insights, but the same old and boring narratives which actually make things worse if you ask me. The world over, it is very clear that the male leadership that has been often imposed on us seems to be failing to hold things together. You pick a region dear reader and it could hold true like Chinua Achebe shared, indeed things are falling apart.

NEHANDA-AND-KAGUVI Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi

We can never utilise the same energy used to get us into this dark hole to get us out. There is chaos everywhere, people are egocentric and their narrative is rather selfish to think of the rest of the citizens.

No-one seems to care that we have no potable water and that in itself is catastrophic. It seems normal that the economy is defined by small-to-medium enterprises that live from hand to mouth. Some of the verbal abuse we suffer as citizens is unbelievable and we wonder why there is so much rage and pandemonium in our midst.

Whatever happened to the concept of “Mwana Wevhu” (son or daughter of the soil)? Now it is like only men fought in the liberation struggle and yet even us women played our major parts alongside these comrades who have chosen to forget that our very bodies were sites of battle. It is urgent that we embrace the totality of this hard won independence for Zimbabwe!

What has become of Ubuntu — the notion that I am because we are? Now it is one soul for themselves and whatever, everyone else experiences whether good or bad, it is their own look out. This is definitely not the reason our father and others went to war. I am sure Mbuya Nehanda is turning in her grave as her spirit is being manipulated in some of these pathetic power struggles we witness at the expense of our peace and calm as a collective. Honestly, this needs to stop — someone has to pull the plug on this madness. We cannot just standby and watch as our sons and daughters are pouncing on each other and making a complete sorry sight of themselves. This is not what Zimbabwe is known for! It surely is not the legacy we want to build.

We need a new narrative — an understanding that how we got here cannot possibly get us out. Do you remember back, back then when there were no street children? It is unAfrican to have children living and working on the street like this. Do you recall that man or woman from the village who used to be mentally disturbed being ushered back to the village for safety and feeding? It is within us as Zimbabweans to care for the next person. How do we let this modernity destroy our very core and now the whole nation suffers? Honestly this primitive accumulation needs to end. How does one have so many stands and yet other people’s homes are being destroyed all in the name of being built in wrong areas and hence the desire for an orderly city? I do know many “chefs” who are running projects in areas that are reserved for breathing spaces and areas reserved for game reserves.

Actually some of them even own game reserves and yet the rest of us do not have access to a small piece of land to build and share with our loved ones. Yes, some might open their eyes widely wondering if this is the same Zimbabwe they so lavishly live in. This country’s inequality gaps are just too wide and yet the very same people who got us here claim to want to help us out. I am not sure that will work at all. It seems we are operating on a last super mentality where people live for now like there is no tomorrow. We attempt to make piecemeal amends to challenges we have created over decades, like seriously?

We need to get serious. If we had been able to declare interests (maybe on how is going to lead this country successively) and ensure a clear strategy for this country, half our struggles would have been resolved and not have this drama unfolding. We refuse to have our nation’s future squandered in this manner!

Now is the time to rethink the way we have always done things. It is no longer a time where we allow narrow-minded thinking and action to filter in our midst.
There is a group of us that needs to have the same spirit as our forefathers and actually challenge the status quo in a bid to rewrite the Zimbabwean narrative. It is not about age, financial status, your passion to succeed the current crop of leaders or whatever you are thinking now.

Now is the time we come together and explore the many possibilities that could see Zimbabwe being restored to the jewel of Africa as Julius Nyerere noted at independence. We still can ensure restoration occurs. They say in Shona culture it is the child who cries out loudest whose cry is heard and urgently attended to — please hear our cry. Zimbabwe is very dear to our hearts. We want this country to work again.

The peace, prosperity, unity and development should return. It will take you and me holding hands so as to facilitate a new possibility. It does not have to be at a high national level. It is about doing whatever little we can to contribute to the bugger picture. There is absolutely nothing new and impossible under the sun. It is possible so let’s do this!

 Grace Ruvimbo Chirenje writes in her personal capacity and loves stimulating conversation. You can contact Grace on, follow her on twitter @graceruvimbo Chat soon.


  1. The people who are on power are on level 0 and they created a problem at that level and want to solve it at that level which is very impossible. Unfortunately they cannot move from that level meaning they are not the right people to solve the problem. Mediocrity abounds in Zimbabwe

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