By Tawanda Chenana
AS the winter season commences, we, in the village, get to play and interact a lot, around the hearth.
With the bumper harvests from the last summer cropping season we swap stories, tichikanga mhandire nenzungu.
And they are beautiful stories, all round.
Steel giant Dinson Iron and Steel Company hires 1 400 workers; work to upgrade Victoria Falls Hospital from a 40-bed hospital to a state-of-the-art health facility with more than 250 beds expected to start soon; Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme in Binga is 87 percent complete with the contractor now connecting electricity to pump stations; Zim assembles 200 buses; Gweru hospital to revive orthopaedic technology services; Zim, Rwanda seal three more deals — what more can a nation ask for?
Work is happening, progress is being recorded.
In the village, we cannot agree more with His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he says: “The real ‘big thing’ then are not those ephemeral challenges, which we will soon overcome. The real ‘big thing’ is a firm and tenacious belief in ourselves as a people and an awareness and confidence that our God-given means and resources are the sole motive force for our growth and development. Belief in ourselves as vene venyika yokwedu; as true bearers of the burden of rebuilding and growing our country: for ourselves and posterity…we must, thus, keep the national eye on the ball, so temporary challenges or even setbacks never make us despair. Or lose sight of the bugger vision. Brick-by-brick, step-by-step and unity, we will get there.”
And all that is required of us is to be fully supportive of ongoing development efforts.
We are charting our path as a nation, on our own, as a people; we are tired of models of development used in Africa coming from the West.
As a nation, we should take pride in the fact that the standards for measuring development are not coming from the West but determined by us.
The West has always decided which countries are developed and which ones are not; which peoples are developed and which ones are not, with it being the ideal of human development.
But not in Zimbabwe.
Westernisation has been the agenda cloaked in the attractive word of ‘globalisation’.
The message has been clear, since slavery. African countries are not developed, but are developing and they will be deemed fully developed when they catch up with the West and become Western.
The West has been made the standard of human development, the idea of what developed human beings look like.
And Zimbabwe is changing that narrative, creating an African story that will inspire the rest of the downtrodden.
What do the West think about people of colour?
Let us hear their philosophers and missionaries speak:
This is what Albert Schweitzer said: “The negro is a child, and with children nothing can be done without the use of authority. With regard to the negro then, I have coined the formula: I am your brother, it is true, but your elder brother.”
David Livingstone: “We come among Africans as members of a superior race and servants of a government that desires to elevate the more degraded portions of the human family.”
Friedrich Hegel: “The only significant relationship between negroes and Europeans has been, and still is, that of slavery. The negroes see nothing improper about it. It has awakened more humanity among them.”
Rudyard Kipling: “I knew then the meaning of the whiteman’s duty — the power of being in a little way a king; and so long as we know this and practise it, we will rule not in Africa alone, but wherever there are dark men.”
Frederick Lugard: “In Africa, there is among the people a natural inclination to submit to higher authority. That intense detestation of control, which animates our Teutonic races, does not exist among the tribes of Africa.”
It is clear that Western theories and standards of development are contemptuous of the African.
They are meant to strip the African of his/her humanity and enslave him as an animal to work for the economic well-being of the West.
They have nothing to do with human development that Africans have known and practised throughout the ages before the advent of colonialism and capitalism in Africa.
Indeed, as put across by our visionary leader President Mnangagwa, we are reforming for our own good.
“Zimbabwe continues to reform itself, not for any other reason but that it needs those reforms to improve its self-won democracy and to better meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of its citizenry. The source of those reforms are our people; it is not exogenous or set for us by outsiders, something that would be anathema to our sense of self-worth and sovereignty,” said President Mnangagwa.
Let us take heed of these wise words.