If you were having coffee I would be happy to have you visit on this occasion of our country turning 41. Hello, Zimbabwe at 41, what a ride…
I would offer you some snacks, Gonja Crisps, sweet fried plantain chips. Is it weird that its Zim independence day and I am here offering you a delicacy snack straight outa The Pearl Of Africa, Uganda.
Serendipity led to a friend in Uganda meeting with a Ugandan who is based in Zimbabwe and of course decided to ask them to deliver a package… This time there wasn’t any package drama, like the case of Coffee With The Package but I hear the customs authorities gave the package very suspicious glances.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I am graciously accepting the care package as an independence day gift from Uganda. Imagine if I could walk into a shop and there were Gonja Snacks and other lil pieces of Uganda and other countries available, imagine if we could bring together communities of different people together to celebrate their diversities and cultures not as a trumped-up tourist attractions but for a slice of home… Imagine a world….
Today Zimbabwe turns 41 and someone came up with the clever theme to For One Zimbabwe .. kinda corny but I like it…. I thought it was pretty clever, everyone working together for one Zimbabwe, One Africa, One World.
They say life begins at 40, so this should have been the time for Zimbabwe to be enjoying its best life but Zimbabwe feels like a grownup kid who lives with their parents and cant afford to pay the bills. Zimbabwe is that brilliant kid who had so much potential and grand dreams which have remained only that, grand dreams and lives to watch everything unravel like a loose thread from a favourite sweater and you cant even explain how we got to this place.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I am Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is me, you say Happy Independence and I don’t know what to be happy about when the are whispers of people saying we are independent but not free. Life begins at 40 but if the powers that be had anything to do with it, one cant even be a presidential candidate at 40 as they try to push through a constitutional amendment to raise the age limit for presidential candidates from 40 to 50 and other sweeping changes from the how to stay in power handbook our leaders seem to study from.
The government has also re-introduced National Youth Service a programme that is designed to instill in young Zimbabweans between the ages of 18 and 35 years, a sense of national identity and patriotism as well as equipping them with survival skills through honesty and hard work.
They are grand words but its hard to forget history and how previously those who went for Youth Service grew into militia used to terrorise the electorate before polls… or how the Youth Service Certifcate became more valuable than qualifications when enrolling in government institutions or getting civil servant employment. Maybe this time they have got it right….. maybe second time is the charm, maybe, so many maybes…..
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the president made a grand speech of hope and the future…
“Happy Independence Day Zimbabwe
41 years ago, our great nation broke free from colonial rule. Today we come together not only to honour our past, but to celebrate our future.
I have no doubt that through the genius and passion of our people, Zimbabwe shall rise once again.”
I hope we will rise soon, I hope Mbuya Nehanda’s bones shall rise again too because seeing what has become of her sacrifice, her bones would never rest. Besides how can they rest when its said that her bones are on display in Museum in the UK, of course, its never been officially acknowledged that they are Mbuya Nehanda’s.. Well but you have somene’s bones hmmm
Tonight I have set a reminder to watch a movie based on The Story Of Nehanda not only because I may or may not know some of the cast but because much as we should let go of the past to move forward we must not forget.
Speaking of the medium The Mbuya Nehanda Monument is coming along nicely I half expected them to be done in time to unveil it for independence but it was not without its own drama too and never mind my thoughts that money could have been better used… To catch up on some of this history read Coffee With Mbuya Nehanda.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Zimbabwe is 41 years old and a whole president makes a grand show of opening a bridge, if he had been opening lets say a Vaccine Center which would produce not just COVID vaccines but immunisations and drugs for all sorts of things I would be suitably pressed…
Lest we forget, once upon a time a whole minister officially presided over the opening of a trash bin.
I woke up to darkness, there was no electricity in the morning power cuts have been low key happening, a power cut on independence day, I am not one to read signs in anything but it sure seems like a metaphor; the future looks dark…
Meanwhile the Minister of Energy has announced that loadshedding will be coming back and insists it will be no more than a few hours a day… but have no fear, we looking into having nuclear power stations.. here’s to more grand dreams Zimbabwe *raises coffee mug*
So what does independence mean to you and whats been happening in your neck of the woods…?