I think the hardest part about being thirty and Zimbabwean is the realization that nobody has been seriously concerned with what my future in Zimbabwe would be; the realization that once the generation ahead of us had attained independence and realized that their political future was somewhat set, they became complacent and stopped caring enough, consumed and spent the limited resources of the country they took over and neglected to start planning for us.
How else does one explain the fact that the Zimbabwe that the previous generation inherited is the same Zimbabwe that they want to hand over to us – except that it’s now run down and broken? There has been no progress or meaningful advancement. They were guaranteed jobs and we aren’t. They could purchase homes that we can’t. They bought new cars and we can’t. They could start new businesses and thrive and we can’t. They moved around freely yet we live in a police state. They listened to better quality radio than us. They watched more interesting television than us. They wore better quality clothes than us. They had no regular power cuts and we do. They had a reliable water supply for their homes and we don’t. The streets were cleaner then than they are now. Their lives were seamless compared to our generation’s life of incessant drudgery and struggle. The quality of daily life in Zimbabwe has undoubtedly regressed. How did things degenerate so badly under people’s watch?
Now, our generation is at the precipice of taking over – there is virtually nothing to build on yet there exists a moral obligation to pick up the broken pieces to avoid the next generation similarly accusing us of not caring. This surely cannot be an obligation we run away from? We have to choose to do better and more. It’s hard to come to terms with this reality but accepting that this is the position is the only way we can begin to take the country forward. Huge commitment by our generation is required. We must rise above the mayhem rather than get buried under it. We cannot allow ourselves to come out of this mess damaged. Instead, we must take responsibility, make some hard choices and huge sacrifices. These may include opting to remain in Zimbabwe despite the temptation of greener pastures. Now is perhaps the time to come back if you had left? Whatever one’s choice here, apathy is not an option. Now is the hardest time to care about the country’s trajectory but it’s also a time when your concern and passion are most vital. The gamble is that we may not be the generation to benefit directly from our efforts but the possibility that the next generation might ought to be a satisfactory trade off. History will judge us harshly is we choose to walk away.