Losing our baby-girl in 2013, to a still-birth due to breeching, was undeniably one of the most traumatic and painful experiences in my entire life – which, even today, affects me in so many ways, including a fear of having another child – despite my genuine desire for a daughter.
I am sure those who have walked a similar path perfectly understand what we went through (and, are still going through), and how we felt (as well as, how we still feel today).
The question becomes – why was this loss of our child, due to a still-birth, so painful?
Why are we still being affected by the trauma of such a tragic event – considering that it happened some eight years ago?
I have pondered over this matter for quite some time, and the answer seems to be quite simple and straightforward.
On this planet, there are very few things that have a greater negative impact on an individual’s life, than those that raise expectations to very high levels – only for such hopes to be cruelly dashed, and come crashing down…more so, in an unexpected manner, that results in a broken-heart and tears.
At times, I am forced to conclude that – in life, probably it is far much better for expectations not to be raised at all, than for hopes to be broken.
Maybe, it is better not to fall pregnant at all, than for a family to be so excited, as looking forward to a bouncing bundle of joy – only for the baby to die, before even holding her in one’s arms.
Why am I being so melancholic this early in the morning? What led me to think of such sorrowful and distressing things?
Well, watching our country’s only television channel – the state-owned ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation) – always manages to bring out the worst in a person, and leave them even more depressed than before they turned it on.
No wonder most of us in Zimbabwe have now switched to digital satellite television (DStv) – as our own sole television channel has since become not only unbearable, but a serious threat to our mental health.
How did ZBC manage to evoke our most tragic experience of eight years ago?
Well, everytime one watches ZBC news, there is never a shortage of those so-called analysts (especially, supposed economists and business experts) – whose only purpose appears to praise and glorify every economic decision made by the government of Zimbabwe.
They never objectively scrutinize, or proffer any critical analysis on anything.
As to be expected, after the tabling in parliament of the 2022 national budget by the finance minister Mthuli Ncube, on 25 November 2021 – it was inevitable that these ‘economic analysts’ and ‘experts’ had to be featured on ZBC, showering the country’s treasury of ‘once again’ formulating a ‘pro-people’ and ‘progressive’ financial plan, that will ‘certainly improve the welfare of ordinary Zimbabweans’.
Where have I heard that before?
Oh, wait a minute! These have been exactly the same statements that have been regurgitated by repeated pro-ZANU PF activists (masquerading as analysts and experts) for the past forty-one years – ever since the very first economic program in 1980 – with promises of ‘heaven on Earth’, ‘eldorado’, and ‘land of milk and honey’.
Each and every government pronouncement has been heralded as the ‘key’ to unlocking phenomenal economic prosperity – leading Zimbabweans to the ‘promised land’.
Yet, in all the forty-one years of promises and high expectations, the only thing Zimbabweans have experienced has been more and more poverty…more and more pain…more and more suffering.
Now can you see the connection and similarities between the still-birth experience, and these lofty promises made by so-called analysts and experts – with the resultant pain and trauma, when these are never fulfilled?
Why do all these people – who love flaunting their learning and titles (PhDs and Professors) – fill citizens with high expectations, which they should know will never come to pass?
Do they not know that they are actually causing more hurt in Zimbabweans – as there is nothing more painful, distressing, and even angering than having one’s hopes deceptively raised, and then cruelly shattered?
That is why the #HowFar hashtag became trending on social media – as a result of the citizenry’s outrage at all those unrealized promises made by their government.
In actual fact, those in power in Zimbabwe are making more enemies than friends through their lies and deceit.
Just as with a still-birth – the long-term consequences of these dashed expectations (heightened by these so-called analysts and experts) is an engrained fear of ever believing anything our leaders promise.
Again, just as with a still-birth – maybe it would have been much better had the government not promised us anything – but, waited to surprise us, should something positive actually transpired.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, email: email@example.com