I have never really understood the whole frenzied excitement over so-called ‘celebrities’.
Maybe, it is because I have never been a huge fan of music or movies, or practically anything else that does not revolve around reading non-fiction books, and watching documentaries, news and current affairs programs.
Ask me any sports or acting or reality show star – and, I will draw blanks.
So, it is always perplexing watching those people who become so star-struck with other human beings – even to the extent of dying to meet them, or when that opportunity presents itself, go into a hysterical trance, eager to greet and have pictures taken with them.
Of course, such subsequent pictures are immediately shared with family and friends, as well as being posted on social media.
Maybe, one day, someone will make me understand what the whole hullabaloo is all about – but, for the time being, I find it extremely strange and weird.
Why, surely, would I consider another human being so special and important, such that even meeting them would appear as the greatest honour and privilege in my life…as if meeting God Himself?
It would make sense if I were to meet someone regarded influential only for a specific defined purpose – maybe, for business or furthering the cause for social justice – nevertheless, in all this, there would never be any exhilaration of having met a ‘celebrity’, neither would I post any pictures of the meeting on social media.
In fact, in spite of personally having working meetings with several high-profle people in my life – never have I ever asked to have pictures taken together.
Which brings me to our President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
I do not want to sound like a broken record over his obsession with posting pictures on social media of him shaking hands with various world leaders – with his apparent bias towards those from the Western world.
Today, I shockingly came across another – this time around, with the UN (United Nations) Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as they shook hands at the ongoing General Assembly, in New York, US.
We witnessed the same only three weeks ago, when he shook hands with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (in Kigali, Rwanda), and then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as Guterres in Glasgow, Scotland (at the UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021).
What is even more bizarre about all these handshakes is that, there is hardly anything of significance discussed, which could be beneficial to Zimbabwe – possibly, explaining the sharing of the images, as some feedback to the nation.
Do these world leaders also share in this excitement, such that are reciprocating by also ecstatically sharing the same images on their own social media platforms?
Or, is this only one-sided?
Thus, why would a whole president be reduced to expressing such jubilation at shaking hands with these leaders – as if some star-struck teenager?
I honestly do not have anything against our president, but I feel such behavior is unacceptable for a national leader – or, anyone else for that matter – as it portrays some people as more important and special, and the other party minnows who are overly grateful to have been awarded the honour and privilege of having met such greatness.
No one on this planet is more important than others – and, no one should reduce themselves to such indignities of hero-worshipping another!
Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org