‘ZVAIREVA vakuru zvaitika,
Zvaireva Nehanda zvauyavo,
Nyika yedu yatorwa navaeni,
Zuva rayo rasvika!’
So we sang during the liberation struggle.
Zimbabwe attained independence on April 18 1980 after a harsh and bitter armed struggle.
From that day on, all eyes were, and are, on the heritage of Murenga, nhaka yatakasiirwa, nhaka yatakapikirwa, Zimbabwe neupfumi hwayo hwose.
Zimbabwe is one of the richest countries in the world, and in terms of minerals, it is the richest per capita.
The youngsters who seem to loiter on the ghettos, streets and growth points, seemingly oblivious of who they are, are not oblivious to the fact that they are not supposed to be in these unfortunate circumstances.
They know that their country is bursting with mineral wealth which foreigners from different countries flock to exploit.
They know when foreigners come to dig up minerals, it is a multi-billion dollar business.
But when it is done and dusted, when the minerals are dug out and marketed, how much accrues to them?
The community share ownership schemes do ensure that some of the wealth from the minerals is ploughed back into the community, but is this enough?
Is this all they can hope to get from their God-given wealth which is abundant in their soil?
The wealth from these minerals should cover the whole land and encompass everybody.
The children of Murenga should not scrounge and fight over scraps that fall from the table of the machine owners.
At what point did they lose ownership of what is in their land?
Surely those with machines cannot be the owners by virtue of owning machinery.
If we did not lose ownership of what is in our soil, do we then benefit as much as the machine owners?
If after all costs are accounted for, the machine owners take home more than what they leave in our coffers, what is the arithmetic in all this?
If you own something, it is yours?
They who own hoes and ask to dig up your sweet potatoes cannot dig up your sweet potatoes, then take home 20 bags, and leave you with one.
If that happens, you cannot say the sweet potatoes are yours.
This scenario says you have lost ownership and you do not own the sweet potatoes.
The youth swarm the streets, the ghettos and growth points but they are not swarms of bees or locusts;
they are heirs of this great gracious rich land called Zimbabwe.
That’s who they are, so they cannot be at peace.
They are from the class of 2000, 2001 all through to 2022.
They have been accumulating every year in their thousands, but they find no tools, no means, they are at loose ends.
They know what they are capable of, but there just isn’t room or means.
They trudge on, they know this is not their life.
They know that this is not their fate or destiny.
They are children of Murenga, princes and princesses, vanyai vaMusikavanhu.
They studied English, Geography, Maths, History and other subjects —what now!
The certificate is there at home.
Seemingly directionless, they have wishes burning inside them.
They also want to own those plush hotels, to compete with each engineer in the world, to compete with Japanese, German and French automakers and to market a brand that is uniquely Zimbabwean which will be sought after the world over, the way foreigners seek our gold.
They do not want to spend their time working in someone’s garden, but to fashion design clothing that will set Harare and the world’s capitals ablaze.
They do not wish to be nannies and house girls, but lawyers, doctors and engineers.
They do not wish to be dubbed ‘informal sector’.
That is not who they are, that is not their life.
They are heirs of Murenga.
These are their dreams, and they are correct in their identity.
They argue this great country cannot turn into a nation of vendors – each in their little corner selling some cheap wares from somewhere, selling second-hand clothing from Europe and exposing themselves to health hazards from some of the filthy clothing that comes through.
Can this be the correct summary of the lives of the children of Murenga, owners of this rich land between the Limpopo and the Zambezi?
It was recently announced that millions have been set aside in the fight against drug abuse.
We would also add to that a request for twice or thrice the amount to reorient schools and equip them with machinery to train artisans and artistes as part of schooling.
These youths feel so hurt with their English, Maths, Geography and History among other subjects.
Surely Musikavanhu has a purpose for them in this great gracious land.
Their mission can’t be to loiter and flounder, trying to live in unliveable circumstances, and yet they are heirs of a very great rich heritage.