Zimbabweans are renowned globally for being hospitable, honest and trustworthy, among other attributes.
This has seen many tourists make repeat visits while investors have been lured by these characteristics and the workmanship that Zimbos, as they are affectionately called internationally, are famous for.
This is a well-known fact that has seen a number of Zimbabweans heading big corporates, not just because of great curriculum vitae, but because we have the right character to drive business and take up responsibilities in any space.
Generally, we are a well-cultured people and in the normal scheme of things we have character and substance.
It is in this regard that a Nigerian, Mr Samkay Olorunsola, who visited this country recently would find it astounding that he entrusted a stranger at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to return a vehicle he had taken from a car hire and he did just that.
He says this would not have happened in many other countries where crime is rampant and the sense of ubuntu is not as pronounced as it is here.
Mr Olorunsola narrates his story on social media and expresses high regard for Zimbabweans. He was quite impressed.
He was also pleasantly surprised during his visit that despite economic challenges and difficulties brought about by Covid-19, he still found Zimbabweans a happy and joyful lot. He confessed it is not a characteristic one finds in many nations.
“I trusted him( Jason the guy he entrusted with the car) because he is Zimbabwean. He may be extremely poor and hungry (but) I know he is contented. I trusted him because I knew the practice of his people. If he is my countryman I dare not try that,” he wrote.
This is obviously good news and something to smile about at a time people are experiencing mental strain and other effects of Covid-19.
Many have lost loved ones as the pandemic ravages while others are living in fear of contracting the disease or losing family members.
Furthermore, despite an international onslaught to discredit this country, Mr Olorunsola demonstrated that there are others who see the positives that are in abundance in this country.
They see the potential of a people that can achieve much if they exploit their attributes in developing the country.
A hospitable nation is one that is peaceful and generally has unity of purpose, ingredients that have potential to bring about transformation and help attain the envisaged middle-income economy by 2030.
Many have wondered how this country has remained standing or has not plunged into a civil war regardless of challenges largely brought about by illegal sanctions imposed by the West and their attendant complications.
The answer, to a large extent, lies in the tenacity of its citizenry and their ability to take it all in the stride.
In some countries on the continent, citizens find the smallest excuse to go onto the streets to demonstrate but in this country it is not the case.
For instance, Zimbabweans completely ignored calls to march on July 31 because it is not in their nature to use violent means to communicate but they see reason in resolving issues amicably.
In this case they have demonstrated faith in efforts being made by President Mnangagwa and his Government in addressing challenges inherited from the First Republic.
Major points have been scored in fighting corruption, infrastructure development and many other achievements to date.
It surely does take a progressive and peaceful nation to complement Government’s efforts to get the country ticking again. This is the best way we can harness the positive attributes that we have.
In Biblical times we see unity of purpose when people decided to collectively build a city and a tower that was meant to reach Heaven. God had to come down.
Genesis 11:16 “And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which the have imagined to do”.
This demonstrates the power of a people singing from the same hymn book.
Indeed as our Nigerian admirer noted, Zimbabweans are a resolute and well-mannered lot and more educated than many on the continent.
This pedigree is well-documented. Surely for such a small country as ours to have made such footprints is something we should all be proud of and take advantage of.
It is such attributes that we need to harness and develop our country.
As alluded to earlier, investors and traders desire to do business with honest people and in a country where the citizens are hospitable.
It is this positive energy that we can harvest and build the Zimbabwe we want.
There is so much potential in all of us to contribute meaningfully to the development of our country, the only place we call home.
Of course, we have a few bad apples that are bent on tarnishing the country’s image. We have a few bad ones that are involved in crime activities but overall we are a good lot with immense potential to make a difference.