What have you done for Zimbabwe lately?

The State embodies the predominant values in our society. Our society cannot hold the State accountable because the State has become a microcosm of the larger society.

“WE live in a society where the State has collapsed and in its place, the party rules through fear and intimidation,” says the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) in its State of Peace Report 2022.

Zimbabwe is sliding into a failed State, according to ZimRights.

This is a grave and yet accurate reflection of the state of our nation.

The building blocks of a failed State have been in full view for anyone who cares to notice. The gradual, but sure slide into a society where we normalise the abnormal has solidified into a dominant part of our culture.

This collapse permeates all facets of our society, without exception.

What collapsed first, the State or the society?

It is a chicken and egg scenario.

If society, on the one hand, was strong on values, active and engaged, perhaps the government would not have so easily wreaked havoc on State institutions.

On the other hand, if the State played a servant leadership role over the years and was accountable perhaps things would not be this dire.

The State embodies the predominant values in our society. Our society cannot hold the State accountable because the State has become a microcosm of the larger society.

Society cannot demand better conduct from the State because the majority are mired at the mud level of mediocrity and malfeasance.

The beautiful revolution (hyperlink to the newsletter), which I wrote about a few weeks back, fuelled by virtue, love and common purpose will only occur when better versions of ourselves break away and stand up against this collective debasement.

Sadly, we might have to wait a little longer for that.

So, what is broken?

Most of us are broken and hurting. We are hurting from abuse at the hands of the State and the ruling party and then we hurt others. We are hurting from the politics and the economic meltdown and we vent our frustrations on each other.

Families are largely broken. Respect and common decency are now rare.

For most of us rules and laws are mere suggestions and thus optional. Demanding and paying bribes is now deeply engrained in the totality of our society.

We have desecrated our beautiful Zimbabwe.

Rivers, dams, open spaces, highways and byways carry the ugliness in most of us, spewed out to the world to see. If we loved ourselves, the majority of us would not litter like wild animals and drive like maniacs.

Noise pollution reflects how inconsiderate we have become.

So, what must be done?

The starting point is loving ourselves and extending that love to those in our vicinity. Being considerate and compassionate takes little effort and only a mind shift and yet they are hugely important.

Ubuntu — I am because you are — says I cannot be OK when those around me are not OK.

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.

Is it any wonder then that the nation is sick: Because we are mostly not OK.

Zimbabwe deserves our love. We can only love Zimbabwe if we love ourselves and each other. Our country needs healing, but how can it heal when we are hurting each other with reckless abandon.

When last did you do something beautiful for Zimbabwe?

Something selfless and near sacrificial like driving on the right side of the road! Or something as simple as not being on your phone while driving, or giving way to those with the right of way on the roads.

The ripple effects of the majority of us behaving with honour and integrity would be remarkable.

Zimbabwe needs the majority of us to be deliberate about betting for the nation.

The fact that we are teetering on the verge of being a failed State bids us not entrust our politicians with the leadership of this beautiful revolution. It will take you and me, not politicians to change Zimbabwe.

The upright among us will cause the change we want, when they finally find their voice and follow their conscience.

Selfishness must yield to altruism.

So, what are you going to do for Zimbabwe today?

  • Trevor Ncube is the Chairman of Alpha Media Holdings and the host of In Conversation With Trevor YouTube.com//InConversationWithTrevor

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