Let’s prepare our children to take over from us


WE need to prepare our children for rulership not servitude to the whiteman if they are to successfully take over from us and protect our legacy.
If our children are to take over from us and rule Zimbabwe as its true heirs, we have to deliberately prepare them for it.
When they are born into this great country, like all children, they love their Zimbabwe, their people, but they are swimming against the tide, against a psyche which is over a 100 years old which says the whiteman is superior to the African, to all races even, and everything about the whiteman is good while everything about the African is bad.
From the moment they are born, there are many things working against the development of their African psyche.
In the very hospital in which they are born, the midwife might have some form of white hair; brunette, blonde or some other variation.
When the child looks up into his/her mother’s face, he/she just might be caressed by some form of white hair imitation.
The aunts who come to see the child at the hospital might just also have some form of white hair, and so is likely to be the case with many of the female relatives.
The child might be excused for thinking the women of the race into which he/she is born have naturally long hair while the men have naturally short hair mostly, or that they cut it but the mothers do not cut it; they let it grow long.
The babies’ pictures on the diaper boxes might also be white; and on so many other products, creams, shampoos, soaps, even clothing.
As the baby grows, he/she is going to have white toys.
He/she will go to crèche to be drummed in English when he/she has not even mastered the mother language.
The books, the charts in the classrooms are more than likely to be dominated by white children and white culture.
The games the child learns at crèche are drawn from the white culture.
They are not: ‘Sarura wako unendoro chena’, or ‘Ndinotsvaka wangu’, or ‘Sunga musorewe-e dendende, sunga wakanaka’.
There is more of ‘Humpty Dumpty’, ‘Ba-Ba Black Sheep’, than ‘Mwana wenyu warira vakoma’.
The stories in the books are not about ‘Tsuro na Gudo’, but ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
All this is taking the child so far away from the African experience; the surest sign that a child has started crèche is that he/she can speak in English, which is supposed to mean he/she is getting educated, is progressing.
The family’s favourite television channels are dominated by white people; and so something begins to shape up in the child which is very alien.
In cases where the child has two names; an African one and a European one, mostly the schools and parents chose to popularise the European one and if the child has no English name, the African one is so anglicised you can hardly recognise it.
Tadiwa becomes Tadhi, or Tadwa; it is meant to sound as unAfrican as possible.
Because African children are steeped in a white world, they cannot sing their song, they forget their song.
Although it is deep inside them, they play along because it seems this is where they are supposed to go.
The parents become ecstatic when the children show signs of mastering the white world; the children note where the goal posts are.
When a child asks why it is that the babies on the packets of baby food are all white, it is a sign that the true child, the inner child only slumbers but does not die; he/she still knows who he/she is but the odds are all stacked against the child.
Will such a child be surprised when he/she gets into a hotel and the whiteman pays for services with the American dollar and they are asked if they mind getting the change in Bond notes, and yet when he/she also pays in the same currency it is not given a choice?
Would such a child be able to resist racist irrational demands by whites at the work place or will he/she give in because whites are ‘always correct’?
When whites refuse to give them the same service they give to their white counterparts, are the children we raise today able to stand their ground, knowing this is Africa; Zimbabwe is theirs and no-one should get away with treating them as second class citizens?
Our children need to be raised on the stories of their people, their accomplishments, stories which celebrate the best in us as a people; that way they will have a solid foundation.
They need to be raised on the stories of the liberation struggle, on the exploits of the liberation forces so that they will understand that they are second to none, and no white is superior to them.
Our children should know that we outwitted the whites during the liberation struggle until the game was over and they had to negotiate terms of surrender from us in the form of the Lancaster House Agreement.
Thus educated, they will understand the cause of African rulership; their psyche will be a far cry from where we have taken them today; where they die to be ‘yellow bone’ and will not take tablets or whatever concoction it takes to ‘redeem’ themselves from this dark chocolate skin and curly short hair and make them look a bit closer to the whiteman.
They would celebrate that power was taken from the whiteman through the barrel of the gun instead of wishing they were white?
How can you rule what you worship; more likely you will succumb to its rulership.
If we let the prevailing context which celebrates white supremacy dominate the life of our children, they may not be ready to take over when we go, they just might think it is best for whites to take over and then everything will be so easy for them, believing the whites are a better race and we are inferior.
Letting our children grow semombe dzamashanga is a luxury we cannot afford; it will cost us everything.


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