IN the previous article, we discussed the historical roots of Zimbabweans and how we refused to be a natural resource to be exploited by the whiteman.
We also noted how this was one of the major grievances which led to both the First and Second Chimurenga.
We highlighted that despite this revolutionary history, today we are struggling against an insidious mentality which suggests that there is nothing wrong with being a natural resource to be exploited by the whiteman and foreign capital; which says ‘ownership of our own natural resources is not an issue, ‘let those who put food on the table own our minerals, our everything; ideology haidyiwe, indigenisation haidyiwe’.
Today we are highlighting a Zimbabwean who has refused to be washed down the river of capitalism and instead reclaimed his heritage.
There was a young man whom I shall call ‘Madenyika’, who was so gifted; his work was impeccable, entirely dependable and he was very patriotic.
He worked for the Government for a number of years. He did not earn much but the nature of his work enabled him to express his patriotism to his utmost satisfaction.
He loved children, and teaching them was the love of his life.
The children loved him back.
Against all odds, he taught them to be patriotic.
He taught them the history of the land he loved with all his might and life was perfect thus far.
He met the love of his life and they married, started a life together and the children came, beautiful and handsome as they come, and he taught them to love Zimbabwe and that they are princes and princesses of this land.
He continued teaching, but it became hard with the children as he could no longer make ends meet.
Then a private company spotted him; his multi-talents, brightness, hard work and patriotism.
They told him you can work for us but it was not an easy decision for him.
He accepted because, in some respects, he saw an opportunity to pursue the patriotic agenda.
Once in the company, he fought to defend the soul of the land, to be patriotic and he did win many battles for Zimbabwe.
He was paid well, but there was something he could not close his eyes to.
There was so much profit from exploiting the masses and he was one of those being rewarded with this ill-gotten harvest.
He was not at ease.
They would send him abroad (Western Europe) on holiday, fully paid, with a handsome allowance.
He did not feel at peace.
Year after year this happened and, while on holiday, he could see some of his colleagues succumbing to the vagaries of capitalism, drunkenness, immorality and debauchery.
He could see them being corrupted before his own eyes. Then he asked himself: “What am I doing here? “Lavishly senselessly blowing up so much money, ill-gotten gains which impoverish my people?
“Why would the capitalists fleece the masses and literally drown me in so much money.
“The capitalist works with a calculator, he will never spend a penny unless he reaps a thousandfold.
“I am selling out.
“The capitalist is using me against my people, corrupting me in the process; at the end of the day I am a spent force and they will discard me.”
He woke up.
He decided to save every penny so that he could sooner be free of the capitalist.
On those holidays abroad, he hardly spent any money, was extremely frugal and he put the lavish spending allowances on the side.
He had to save.
Whenever he got his salary, he still put some money aside.
He started buying cattle with his money and, slowly, he accumulated a herd.
He then took early retirement from the company.
They paid him a handsome settlement and this, in addition to his savings, was sufficient to buy a farm.
He then moved the herd to his farm and he felt very good, heavenly in fact.
He started farming using what he still had of his savings.
He made a decision.
Each season he would grow sufficient maize to take to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
He told me: “Look, I do not get much money from selling my maize.
“Sometimes, GMB can pay long after you have forgotten there is any money due to you.
“I send in at least 200 tonnes every season.
“This is my patriotic contribution so that there is food in the land.”
He took out a crumbled piece of paper and said: “This is how much I get Irene, for so many tonnes, but it’s ok, it’s my duty, I have to contribute to the GMB.”
I sighed and said nothing but admired and still admire his patriotism and passion for Zimbabwe.
But more than any other activities at the farm, his heart is with his herd which is fantastic.
He is now an owner of some of the most fabulous Lozi Brahmans, 65 of them at least.
“The project must go on Irene. After I am dead, nothing should change,” he said.
To ensure this, he has sent his son to Midlands State University to do a degree in the appropriate sciences. Fortunate for my patriotic friend, his son is so in love with the project, so it shall go on, the heritage is protected.
His conscience is appeased now.
He now owns part of his heritage as a son of Zimbabwe and he enjoys farming, be it maize, groundnuts, roundnuts or sweet potatoes.
Needless to say, food is not an issue at his homestead. The farm, apart from being a most especial ensconcement with the land of his forefathers, has enabled him to look after his family to his heart’s content.
He has put all his children through university.
He and his wife continue to work well at the farm. His retirement will be blissful and he will have no regrets.
He did not betray the motherland.
He eschewed being a natural resource to be exploited by the whiteman.
His children are imbued with fervent patriotism, maDzimbahwe par excellence.
One of his children just demonstrated her father’s mettle some years back.
The commuter omnibus driver over-charged her on one of her trips from school.
She reported the matter to the police and led them to the offending commuter omnibus driver who was charged and reprimanded.
It is possible to be truly Zimbabwean, to claim our heritage and to live the life of children of Murenga as princes and princesses of the land.