Let’s catch them young

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By Tawanda Chenana

WE, in the village, have tremendous respect for people who contribute to the well-being of the community.

Our villages have thrived as a result of the people they produce; hardworking and community conscious citizens.

And, in the village, the work ethos is inculcated from an early age.

As our nation forges ahead, we are engaged in a struggle calling for the highest level of intellectual endeavor and deeper understanding of issues.

Our young people need guidance, direction and support from the older generations.

We must teach our children to love and work for their country.

Our children are the future. 

It is our children who must carry the vision of our nation and ensure it comes to fruition.

Fighting never ends, for our enemies never give up, even when defeated, they simply regroup and re-strategises.

It must be fully known and understood, especially by our young, that our struggle did not end when we laid down our guns and turned them into ploughshares.

The struggle continues and requires dedicated cadres.

Zimbabwe is too beautiful and rich a country, it must be defended and none but ourselves will defend it.

It is important that we teach our children who they are, where we have come from and are going, nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe liyakhwa ngabanikazi.

Our children should be at the forefront of ideologically and intellectually engaging the same enemy whom we beat on the battlefield.

We must take the struggles of Chimurenga to new intellectual trajectories for self-knowledge is key to development and we must continue with the rich legacy of our struggles.

It is through explaining our values and ideologies to our children that they may be nurtured into real patriots who believe in their country.

Most importantly, we must be exemplary in our speech and acts.

It is how we conduct ourselves, how we carry ourselves, how we do business and engage each other that will teach our children to become responsible citizens.

Our academics too have a duty, to set the appropriate research agenda, an agenda celebrating what it means to be Zimbabwean, our heritage and culture.

We should research, document and celebrate our own knowledge systems and see the value in them and not just ape Western systems.

Our academics must develop new theories and new thinking which builds upon the gains we have made and not just labour to get recognition in Western citadels.

Our biggest misfortune as Africans has been placing the West at the centre of human experience, human existence and human development.

Indeed, we have been taught from a young age that all history starts in the West and so does ‘all science and all development’ and it is time we teach our children otherwise.

Western supremacy and invincibility are illusions and delusions that have been foisted on us throughout years of colonial bondage and neo-colonialism.
Our children cannot continue to see the West as the centre and everything else as marginal.

We must uproot this frame of thinking, especially in our young geniuses and destroy these debilitating notions.

Zimbabwe is our country and we have no other. Sadly, there are some among us who cannot boldly stand and declare that this is our territory.

They are so wrapped up in the agendas of the West and its machinations that they have forgotten that they are the heirs and owners of this richly endowed country.

It appears they will be more comfortable hearing the British claim that Zimbabwe belongs to the Britons.

As a people, we have refused, since time immemorial, to be dominated and defined by others.

Deliberate efforts to demean, humiliate, disregard and degrade black people have not worked and will not work.

Let us consciously assert our hunhu/ubuntu and stop unconsciously yearning to be white.

Let us self-introspect.

Do you know who you are, where you have come from, where you are going, what you will leave for future generations?

Do you know on whose shoulder you stand and on whose back you ride?
Do you give a thought to lives lost so that yours could shine bright?

The Zimbabwean spirit has been rekindled in the second republic.

Let us be ourselves in the family of nations and not apologise for our existence.

It is a fallacy to talk of power that is not backed by wealth.

A poor nation cannot defend its people, protect its resources and guarantee its own safety and well-being.

A poor country cannot determine its future, history and its identity.

Economic prosperity is the way to go, so let us not deviate from the development plan on which we are.

Growing our economy, on our own, is a goal we must pursue relentlessly until every objective is obtained.

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