None, but ourselves will save us

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Tendai Ruben Mbofana

By Tendai Ruben Mbofana
AS the economic situation in Zimbabwe fast deteriorates on a daily basis — maybe, to be more accurate, on a minute by minute basis, since some supermarkets chains are already changing prices of goods without prior notice — sinking ordinary citizens deeper into abject poverty and suffering … I cannot help wondering.

Who are we waiting for to come and save us?

Who is this “knight in shining armour” or “Prince Charming” we are expecting to ride gracefully and valiantly into our seemingly god-forsaken country, scaling the tall walls of unbelievably horrendous economic challenges and whisking us away to live happily ever
after?

In fact, which fairy tale are the people of Zimbabwe living in?

Why do I ask such questions?

Well, what else can I do when surrounded by this untenable situation in which we appear to be going about our daily business each and every day, in the midst of all the undeniable destruction and ruination of our once prosperous country at the hands of a callous and corrupt ruling elite, leaving millions unable to manage a decent and dignified livelihood. Yet, we seem unfazed and unconcerned about doing something about this miserable state of affairs.

Except for the incessant complaints and grumbling over our sorrowful existence — as we moan on Zupco buses or inside mushikashika pirate taxis, in supermarket or bank queues, and in media articles or social media platforms — what real tangible action are we prepared to undertake to save ourselves from the hideous savage grip of an evil regime that knows nothing, but stealing and
destroying?

Is complaining and crying the best we have in our arsenal?

As Zimbabweans we appear to forget one crucial fact, and aspect of human life — our Creator gave us the ability to cry, only in order for someone else to come and assist or rescue us.

That is why this is a characteristic usually associated with a helpless vulnerable baby – who is entirely dependent on an older, more capable grown up, possessing the power and ability to provide the solutions and assistance the little one urgently requires.

Crying on its own can never feed a hungry baby, or change a wet and soiled diaper.

Nonetheless, helpless crying for help becomes a bit strange and unexpected as the individual becomes bigger, more powerful and self-reliant — since, he would be expected to adequately fend for himself, and take care of his own problems.

Are we then, to say, as Zimbabweans, we are still babies in the mix of things – such that, all we have is the ability to cry and moan, in the face of constricting and choking economic hardships, authored by those governing our country?

When someone, especially a baby cries, he/she would be crying to another person for help – so, who would we be crying to exactly?

Who is this “knight in shining armour” who we expect to ride in and save us?

I honestly do not understand us Zimbabweans!

Are we telling the world, which hears us perennially moaning, that we are yet not powerful or capable enough to fearlessly and relentlessly stand up for ourselves against those making our lives hellish and nightmarish?

If so, then I am eager to know who this “powerful and capable” saviour is, whom we
await!

Surely, is the anguish and humiliation of being unable to put food on the table for our families, or failure to pay fees for our children to learn at good schools, or the inability to buy a beautiful decent home for our spouses — not reason or incitement enough to finally say, “this is it, we are fed up, and can’t take this anymore”?

Or, do we need more pain and suffering for us to finally declare enough is enough?

What more do we really need to happen?

I am pretty sure even if the regime was to send thugs to kill our spouses and children — we would be cowered and terrified even more — instead of defending our families with all our strength, and putting our own lives on the line for
them.

Is that really who we are as Zimbabweans?

That is why there was a time I even questioned whether Zimbabwean nationals were the ones who actually waged the country’s liberation struggle — or, we had others, maybe from Mozambique, fighting on our behalf — since, I find it extremely difficult to reconcile the people of the 1960s and 70s, and the witless and gutless generation of today.

Social media activism, which is what I am doing right now, is well and truly fine — but, it has its own time and place — and, will never lead to the genuine emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe.

It is left to the real people on the ground, for us all to band together and unite for the common purpose of finally freeing ourselves from the bondage and shackles of oppression and impoverishment.

Anything less is just whiling our time, as we fool ourselves with fake consolation and false sense of bravado — as we make a lot of noise hiding behind computer screens and our smartphones, as if that will change anything!

  •  Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher and social commentator contactable on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com