Let’s spare a thought for the next person

Kenias Mafukidze

Below is the year-end message from the Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) CEO Kenias  Mafukidze. AMH are the publishers of the Zimbabwe Independent, NewsDay and The Standard and also operates Heart & Soul TV, an online TV station:

Yet another year has gone by and we as Zimbabweans are still standing!

I recall when Covid-19 started back in 2019, many in the developing countries pronounced that “Africans” were going to die like flies since we did not have enough health care systems to sustain us.

Most of Zimbabweans who were going through a local financial and economic crisis embraced this “prophecy” and braced ourselves for what looked like an inevitable.

Yes, to date from 260 000 cases of Covid-19, sadly we have lost 5 600 brothers and sisters to the scourge, but thank God, not in the proportions that the world had projected. It was weird that those countries, who regarded themselves as more prepared and financially solid, took more casualties than Africa. This experience led me to the conclusion there is a higher power that sustains us beyond our own wisdom and cleverness.

As we go into 2023, official reports are that the country expects to harvest 380 000 tonnes of wheat, which is 20 000 more than we require as a country! This would be a record wheat crop for Zimbabwe in 56 years, against all odds.

This is despite a collapse in our local currency during the year and a world topping inflation level. As a publishing house, as our teams walk the streets we continue to notice Zimbabweans trudging on with life, doing the best they can. Clearly reeling under the economic pressures of declining disposable incomes!

Zimbabweans, however, continue to smile and keep fighting for a better life with dignity and resolve, even as the home economics that do not seem to add up. Again, this persuades me we are sustained by a higher power from without rather than within each one of us.

Listening to stories on the streets, I then realised that people are actually holding each other in ways we may not recognise. Diaspora remittances, which are already running about 23% higher than 2022 figures are likely to easily go past US$1 billion and edge towards US$2 billion as we go forward.

It is further evidence that our children and relatives out there have their hearts and spirits back home. Personally, countless times I have witnessed strangers stepping in for people they do not know without expecting any payback.

These stories of everyday heroes do not make headlines in the media, but they make headlines in affected lives. Forever! These are the stories that will build legacy and rich heritage of ubuntu.

Through all our endeavours, publications, events, and digital platforms, as AMH we strive to empower Zimbabweans with information to be the masters of their own destiny. Our mission is to tell the Zimbabwean story in a sensitive, objective and ethical manner.

We believe, in telling each other with trust and working together, we can create a society which values the sanctity of life and prosperity in all its beauty. It is for this reason we will support the budget statement by Minister of Finance on Accelerating Economic Transformation.

Maybe each of us even as we go into 2023, an election year, we all need to take a moment to step outside ourselves for a moment and spare a though for the next person. Its important to realise we ill need each other AFTER the election and hence the election should save no other purpose but to allow the best among us to assume leadership. The elections should therefore strengthen not weaken the fabric of our society.

Maybe each of us needs to take a moment to set one or two selfless goals for which it may look like there is no return. This way we journey forward with hope and inspiration. Each one of us needs to recognise that not everything is about YOU. An obsession with self is a zero-sum game in the end as in the end one cant bury themselves.

Greed, corruption and self-interest are not going to build our country. Nation building is accelerated when we look out for each other more than when we feed on our colleagues. We dream of country where we seal all the boreholes and install shared piped water which is cheaper and cleaner.

We dream of a nation that switches off personal generators and install 10 000-megawatt generators powered by long-term savings which will be available to look after our retirees in years to come. Such can only be possible when we look beyond our personal spaces and look towards collective improvement.

We need to extend our responsibility to the neighbour and, more importantly, have the decency to think about even the unborn who also want a piece of the planet. Certainly, as AMH, we have enjoyed society wide support and tolerance from across the entire spectrum in the country. We thank our readers and advertisers for their support.

Let’s factor in the next person in our 2023 goals. We wish Zimbabwe a merry Christmas, and a prosperous and generous 2023.

Thank you.

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