I am Zimbabwean. I am African. I come from a small city down on the East, the gateway to the Portuguese speaking land of Mozambique. My fellow countrymen refer to me as ‘Wasu,’ a slight dig to my accent. And no matter how successful I become in this life those remain facts.
These are the facts: my people have been subjugated for centuries by some external forces from the Northern hemisphere. We have suffered and a lot. As they came down here and claimed that this their home and changed my people’s narrative altogether.
Our stories were wiped as they were rewritten, some of them so they would appear a hapless people who were supposed to be eternally indebted to them. It seemed way too convenient for them and it worked to a tee, our stories were erased and our voices thrashed. One may ask what is he on about, what stories. I am talking our stories as a people, our culture, the beautiful elements of Ubuntu the spirit of oneness which brought together amongst the people.
Dear reader, one might wonder what is this guy talking about. What are these stories he is talking about? Allow me to elaborate a little bit. One of the marvelous monuments is the Great Zimbabwe built in Masvingo. Back in the 19TH century, European visitors refused to believe that indigenous Africans could have built such an extensive network of monuments. Portuguese travellers, Arabs, Chinese or Persians were suggested as the potential builders. The idea that we had to go on to prove ourselves against these claims is preposterous if you ask me. Has anyone ever doubted the genius of Da Vince, the Young Brothers or Henry Ford? I very much doubt it. And it is by this motivation we have to remain vigilant and protect these stories, our stories to further embrace our culture.
Our culture has been eroded significantly, and it pains me to the core, my people have a serious identity crisis almost relying on Netflix at this point. Why singling out Netflix one may wonder, it’s just an entertainment platform. But it is one which is littered with shows glamorizing debauchery, greed and deceitfulness. What type of lessons is this imparting to the newer generation and I always find it as my duty that in my writings I can still preach on the virtues of elements of Ubuntu. This gives more fuel and enthusiasm to write more on our stories and to shed more light to the coming generations on who we are as a people and what do we stand for.
At this point much of the resistance to tell these stories is coming from our own. The media world is particularly a harsh one filled with loads of propaganda in an effort to ward off competitors, forgetting the fundamentals of the liberation struggle in the process. The obsession with staying in power has now become the nation’s narrative–a constant power struggle between two opposing parties, neglecting the important lessons and stories to be told to our people.
So we should let these stories just die a slow, painful death? Definitely not. A thousand of people cannot really subject millions to their whims for all eternity. That is not possible and gradually we persevered. We rose and fought for this is our home. (Though some of brothers in arms who fought with us are also failing us in favour of power and wealth, ignoring the need to serve the people they fought altogether. “Power corrupts” – that might be true). We came together and claimed what is ours, our homeland, the land of my forefathers. At least if my body and soul were existent during those difficult period before 1980, that’s what I would have uttered boldly. Maybe I was there and I am just now the fierce reincarnation.
I have moved on to work with other writers who share the same view as I have and same beliefs and we are uniting to establish an online publication to share our narratives. I have to say the support has been immense and cannot to wait to begin,
And this why I write, this is my calling. To narrate all these stories unequivocally. To come up with a unique conflation of the past and the present to see what the future holds for us. We should be masters for our narrative…
14 April, 2023