By Tawanda Chenana
GROWING up in the village, it was impressed upon me and fellow age-mates, by word and action, that the young play a leading role in all community activities.
Manning the gardens, fetching firewood, working the fields, gathering materials for brewing traditional beer, slaughtering a beast or moulding bricks for a community project, the youths played a leading role.
As we build our country, brick-by-brick, we need all our youths to be involved and take part in a significant and meaningful way.
I am very happy with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s directive that stakeholders in public procurement must implement measures such as quotas that will ensure the inclusion of youths, women and SMEs in development projects.
And now the honours is on the youths to play their part.
Zimbabwe needs you as much as it has needed its youths in the past.
Hard work and resilience are the values and norms that give our nation its identity.
In the Second Republic we are rekindling this Zimbabwean spirit, restoring confidence in ourselves, building on our own a Zimbabwe we want and not apologizing for who we are.
Just as in the villages, the country, our nation needs its youths, young people with a sense of purpose and patriotism.
Zimbabwean youths must celebrate and cherish their country’s heritage, glory and achievements in the way they see fit without taking instructions on how to do so from outsiders.
As we forge ahead, our youths must not forget their past and throw away national ideals out of the window because of the infiltration of Western cultures and norms.
In rebuilding our country, let us be driven by values that promote and instill hunhu/ubuntu.
Taking pride in being Zimbabwean and prioritising national ideals while fully serving the country should be the most normal and natural thing for every youth in the country.
Serving the country is an obligation for everyone who takes pride in being Zimbabwean.
Our youths should stop believing in other nations and saluting other flags as if theirs is not important.
We must sing the Zimbabwean story loudly and clearly.
Nobody will sing this song for us except ourselves; focusing relentlessly on our strengths and celebrating our achievements as a nation and united people.
Great Zimbabwe and the Khami Ruins are all evidence of a people determined to assert themselves as a productive people driven by the idea of the long-game, building for future generations.
Unfortunately, the idea of the long-game, which is generally about the nation, has been substituted by the short-game, which is more to do with the individual.
We all can become affluent people for we have the resources, but the pursuit of wealth must not be at the expense of others and costly to the nation.
If we are to go forward and thrive as a nation, selfishness must be eradicated and not characterise the pursuit of wealth.
We should not seek to be better than the next person, but to improve our lot as a people.
The agricultural sector is a very good example of how we can all benefit, become rich and self-sustainable without prejudicing others.
All of us, on our pieces of land small and big, are thriving.
How the ‘new’ farmers help each other and support each other is a perfect example of how working together will see us all grow.
While competition is healthy in an arena, there is absolutely no need to operate with the idea to outdo the next person.
We must not seek to be bigger just for the sake of being bigger or to win for the sake of winning, but our victories must have a broader impact; they must benefit the nation because if they do not, then we are doomed.
We must all work with the idea of improving and making better our various institutions, driven by the desire to leave our nation a better place.
All of us have a responsibility, not only to ourselves or immediate members of our families, but to future generations.Our thinking, as we act in the various stations that govern our society, must be generational (vachauya vachati chii nemabatiro edu).
It is time we revert to our tradition; a tradition that valued the protection of families and the land as well as systems that govern our lives.
The Jews have their own traditions which they trace back to Abraham and they go to the grave not only upholding these, but respecting and living by them
Islam traces its traditions to Mohammed and their lives, every aspect of it from waking, to eating, to working and to socialising is dictated by their tradition.
The Chinese trace theirs back to Lao Tse, Confucius and Sun Tzu and the Asian giants, knowing who they are and where they are coming from, have never been confused or distracted in their quest to become a leading power.
What kind of a people are we when we show that we are clueless about our tradition.
We should not be a people listening and following everyone and everything, totally disregarding our tradition.
Let us believe in ourselves and country.
It is that lack of belief and faith that has seen some people fail to grasp the fact that the country, in a decade or less, will be the place to be — not can, but will be.
I sincerely hope that the element lacking belief and confidence is made up of a few individuals.
And all our youths must be believers.
It is very scary to have youths lacking belief and confidence that our country will prosper in the very near, and not far off, future.
Words such as naïve, myopic, clueless and sympathisers, whatever that means, are used to describe the daring and the believers among us.
But we must continue believing that we can achieve our dreams, our plans and that our designs work.
All the projects we are carrying out are yielding fruit.
We all must be positive, pushing and contributing to rebuilding the economy.
Zimbabwe ndini newe/ Zimbabwe yimi lawe.
Iwe neni tine basa/ Mina lawe silomsebenzi.
“Zimbabwe is our country.
It is our country.
Zimbabwe is a good country
It is a good country.
Our country is good.
Our country is rich.
Zimbabwe is a rich country.
It is beautiful and rich.
Our country is Zimbabwe.
I am fighting for a beautiful country.
We are fighting for a beautiful country.
I am fighting for a rich country.
We are fighting for a rich country.”
Our mothers and fathers recited the above, every day, during the liberation struggle; it is time we also start doing so.
Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ilizwe liyakwa ngabanikazi