Leadership, Life

Disinterest and silence about things that require our engagement

“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” …The most pathetic moments – when people are neutral (okay with everything) and insensible during times to  take action , be assertive and critical. The worst is the decency to point fingers to the bad guys when the storm hits – because hey it was the bad guys fault. The blame game has never worked and never will! Engagement is key. We need you to be invested at every stage. Neutralism keeps people in a safe zone where they are untouchable. It simply means you are too timid to be invested in the hard decision and thus do not care about what is at stake!

This Video sums it up pretty much… (its not just bullying – it is in all spheres through all situations that require our obligation as responsible citizens) The same goes for Africa and fragile states like Zimbabwe. We are watching as our country goes down the drain and keeping that neutral aura. We won’t be involved in anything political – some risky business. Yet the discussions about what to do for the restoration of the country scratch the surface because we dance around the blame game and mention very little of our role in all this. What is our role in all this?

Yet executing our role as citizens requires that we are well informed about the issues at hand. All of which needs screening of the popular views.

Taking on popular culture /views is like suicide. To me conforming is a bullet that ends the very purpose I am breathing and striving to see through – to be a free and conscious African in every sense of the word. With all the sensationalism in a lot of media platforms – keeping yourself informed about issues gets even harder for the young African to play a critical role in shaping the bright future for Africa.

Yet for young people to be more assertive to be able to play a role , you must be informing yourselves and screening out rubbish, emotional jingles and driving your mind through all the sensationalism. For young Africa to be able to play a role in restoring broken states, restoring the culture of reading our African history and questioning is essential in building individuals who have a strong sense of identity and dignity and who can reshape the fundamentals that can drive not just Pan Africanism but the restoration of countries such as my Zimbabwe. That way when something is not right – you are able to form a clear argument , question and stopping further degeneration.

But then another element apart from knowledge is needed to complete the change process to see the rise of nations –  just like we see in the bullying video, the number of disinterested, timid (okay with everything) type of people should be decreased if we want to see the rise of nations like Zimbabwe. Young people need to be conscientized about their role in society , their identity, dignity and rights. For this to be also possible we must be able tell the tale of our own African history with fiery passion, fairness and to remove our emotions when it comes to making critical judgements of the status quo and what we need to do for a better future. This requires a clear conscience of our role as citizens.

Most think the role of citizens end at the ballot box. We must also understand that this role goes beyond voting. That plate of food you are working for – your family that matters to you so much – the very things that you need to be improved in the country require that you exercise your role as a citizen of the country beyond voting. If you think the struggle was for you to simply vote, then what a shame – oppressed you shall remain.  The struggle is more than that. Yet there are distractions.

Some very easy distractions – two major distractions to positive change being lack of the right knowledge to make informed decisions and instilling hate, resentment or anger to flood productivity. Such easy ways to distract and marginalize groups of people just like the bullying process. All which are catalytic to the ruin of great societies. Its simple – what you don’t know you don’t know. When you don’t know your history – you are swayed by any piece of information. How frequently do you read stories , biographies , books by the African community?

Then there is anger. While anger engulfs you, it is such an easy strike – Make them angry about certain groups and watch them fight, to remove the focus on figuring out how to work together. There is great power when every citizen becomes part of major decisions regardless of background – for this we must learn to work together – whether you are the bad guy or the good guy . Remember you were not born into political families – these are choices. Engagement to improve Zimbabwe should not be a choice. It must be done.

Yet we choose not to engage in improving Zimbabwe by partaking in decisions that affect us because oh well it’s political and you are fed up, right? everything is political? When will we acknowledge that Zimbabwe is not a single face or party.

We forget that we’re all affected by the rules in Zimbabwe, so we each have a right to have our say about the way things are run, so that together we can all come up with a solution that’s fair for everyone. History shows us there is tremendous power in working together peacefully for a common purpose – something bigger than just scorning Mugabe /ZANU-PF/MDC but to see the reconciliation of people of Zimbabwe working for the rise of a nation. I am not saying we should pretend we have good governance – but who will restructure and reform the government when the Zimbabwean people are fed up? Our struggle is not over, and our struggle is far from being about electricity, water or food – our struggle is that we are neutral about things that need us to work together as a nation. We are unconcerned – simply because at least we are still existing and have managed to survive till this point. It’s no longer about surviving – these following 5 years are critical because they will determine the next decades to come. We can’t afford to be neutral and unmoved about things anymore.

Zimbabwe is broken and it needs to be fixed and you need to be part of that restoration – from every angle (business, public service …) If Zimbabwe was a bus and the government was the driver then you will realize that no matter who you are – we are in this bus together – and the bus needs to be fixed. Its not about the driver so much when the bus is clearly coughing its way into the dusty roads (perhaps we blame the roads for destroying our bus – even those will need fixing, right. Perhaps it is time to reform and improve the very foundations that fought the struggle? ) – but Listen that is not the main agenda – the bus is broken and you sitting there and enjoying the bumps because you have your little corner sorted out is not going to help because you are still in the bus. We speak of nations as if there are single faces. We , the people of Zimbabwe must realize that we are Zimbabwe and whatever is happening inside Zimbabwe concerns us! Voting is over, so talking about the chances of lost water is of no good when people are thirsty. What you should be doing now is playing your role as a citizen of the country, informing yourself, partaking in shaping the nation and please STOP being neutral / okay with everything / simply complacent. Your disinterest in the issues concerning the nation is the very foot that is smashing Zimbabwe.

I refuse to let popular view flood my judgement about Zimbabwe , I am not conforming to any of that- I will be an independent thinker . My Zimbabwe is not Mugabe , nor is it ZANU-PF, nor MDC , nor … (insert party here) —–> yet these do play a critical role and that is another agenda.

The point though is My Zimbabwe is not these individual faces! Its a country that needs fixing and We, Zimbabweans have a role – STOP trampling on this battered nation even more with your perfunctoriness and putting up pococurante fronts throughout this whole ordeal. I will say this again if need be – over and over again – because it’s important. And its not just about dialogue – its about informing yourself and taking yourself away from this zone of being so tepid with things to demanding reform where necessary and holding people in power accountable of what is due and beyond that being fair and just ,responsible citizens with a mind of their own that can think critically without being flooded by anger, resentment or bitterness. We must engage to drive solutions. Being lukewarm and timid hasn’t helped for the past years – it won’t help us where we are going either.

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