There are times I look back at my writing career – which started in 1989, whilst doing form three – and can not help being gripped by a painful sense of disenchantment and disillusionment.
Have I, honestly, spent an average of thirty-two (32) years of my writing life, seemingly complaining over the subjugation and suffering that the people of Zimbabwe have been cruelly subjected to by our increasingly oppressive, corrupt, and vindictive regime?
Thirty-two years of criticizing seemingly unending cold-hearted brutality against a hapless population – including, savage genocide that butchered over 20,000 innocent men, women, and children purely based on their ethnicity, and hundreds more killed for supporting the opposition.
Thirty-two years of relentlessly speaking out against the revolting and demented grand looting of our nation’s abundant resources – by a ruling elite that knows no shame, who now have become so impudent as to plunder openly, with scant regard of the citizenry’s response – leaving millions living in dire poverty, unable to meet even the barest of necessities, yet their leaders living in Hollywood-style opulence and grandeur.
Thirty-two years is a very long time – such that, someone was born, went to school, married, and now their own children have joined the impoverishment life of Zimbabwe – possibly, dropped out of school, jobless, and scrounging for a livelihood through illegal means, or dangerous artisanal gold mining.
Thirty-two years of not seeing any change for the people of Zimbabwe is tiring – in fact, the situation is worsening, since when I started writing for the local Kwekwe media in 1989, the country was way better than the huge mess we are in today.
As a matter of fact, one grows weary of crying – but, it is so hard to stop, as long as the pain and suffering continue unabated, with a government that appears intent on making the lives of the population even more gruelling than the last day.
When will this end? Will this ever end?
However, this can not all be blamed on the ruling establishment, because we ourselves, as the citizenry, need to look ourselves in the mirror and ask the tough questions.
What are we doing to force a change in the country? What are we prepared to do to force that change?
Personally, I do not have the strength to complain for another thirty-two years.
I am weary of crying.
It is time that Zimbabweans finally took charge of their own lives, and became masters of our own destinies.
Quite frankly, only babies were meant to cry – since, they are powerless to do much about their own lives, and are entirely dependant on their more powerful and capable parents and guardians.
The people of Zimbabwe are by no means babies.
We are grown-ups, who should be big enough, powerful enough, and competent enough, to stand up for ourselves.
Why, then, do we allow ourselves to be reduced to mere babies – so fearful of boldly taking a stand against those who feel invincible and all-powerful to ride roughshod over us?
I enjoy watching National Geographic (Nat Geo) Wild on television with my Mom – and, there is something that always seems to bewilder her.
Why is it that all those wildebeest and buffalo – seemingly always gathered in multitudes – easily flee at the mere sight of apex predictors, as lions?
Why can they not perceive that they far outnumber these big cats, such that – as much as they are a very dangerous and ruthless species – if these wildebeest and buffalo banded together, and confronted these lions as one powerful force, they would prevail?
As it turns out, by running away from the lions, and scattering, these wildebeest and buffalo actually expose the weaker and vulnerable amongst them (especially, the young, sick, and elderly) to attack and capture.
Whenever my Mom says these things, I always find myself thinking of Zimbabweans.
Surely, why can fifteen (15) million people be cowered by a small group of ruling elite – as much as they are a merciless and barbaric lot? Do we not stand a better chance, and actually prevail, together as one?
Our own fears and divisions – as we allow those in politics to polarize us for their own selfish interests – is the main reason we will forever be crying and complaining, never changing our lot, and emboldening those in power to treat us ever more cruelly.
Thirty-two years is far too long to spend crying and complaining – we need change, and we need it now – because, honestly, I am weary, and I do not envision myself going another thirty-two years of this.
I would love to spend the next thirty-two years (God willing) celebrating a new prosperous Zimbabwe, praising the goodness of our leaders, and enjoying our newfound peace and tranquillity.
However, that can only happen if we finally reclaim our country, and our dignity, from those who have hijacked and stolen them – holding an entire nation hostage.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Calls: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email