Who can ever forget those dreamy days, when we used to be asked by our parents and teachers what we wanted to be when we grew up?
I remember those days like they were yesterday, since they were a regular feature of our conversations with our parents, and an integral part of our school curricula.
In fact, a particularly interesting occasion in grade seven, at Redcliff Junior School, swiftly comes back into remembrance, when our teacher, Lesley Castelin, went around the class with that all important question.
The entire class burst into uncontrollable laughter when our clasmate and friend, Tafara Maunze, jokingly announced that he harboured ambitions of being a heavyweight boxer.
Let us not forget that, during those times (we did grade seven in 1986), sporting was not really considered a commendable and reputable professional option – since, the academic path was regarded in very high esteem.
Of course, Tafara never became a boxer, but is now a successful entrepreneur.
However, there were other fascinating career choices that I found rather peculiar during that day in 1986.
There were those who confidently proclaimed their desires to be medical doctors, lawyers, air hostesses (flight attendants), nurses, teachers, and so many more.
Yet, what was clearly odd about some of these choices was the obvious disparities and contradictions between one’s preferred career, and their personal attributes.
It was always perplexing why someone who never showed any compassion towards others’ pain and suffering, or would never naturally (without a second thought) rush to an injured schoolmate’s side, offering them comfort, and some form of primitive first aid – would claim a desire to become a medical doctor, or nurse.
It was amazing hearing someone who never exhibited an inherent love in helping fellow struggling pupils with their academic work – pronouncing their intention in becoming a teacher.
In fact, how many times have we come across someone who showed clearly dictatorial tendencies – with an unenviable tendency to order others around, desiring to be obeyed at all times, and taking all the glory for whatever would have been have done right – being touted as possessing leadership attributes?
Yet, a leader is the complete opposite – loving, humble (never seeking glory for his or herself), always placing the interests of others ahead of his or her own, having a knack for uniting everyone and resolving conflict, protective of those weaker and younger, ensuring that everyone was well taken care of, and strongly standing against any unfair treatment of others.
Such distortions between one’s personal attributes, and their chosen profession or career move, is what has led me to pen this piece.
I am always shocked at the number of people harboring, or even openly expressing their desire to be this country’s head of state.
I, then, ask myself – what makes all these individuals believe that they are presidential material?
Was it some childhood lie told to them that they were born leaders – as a result of their bullying other children, demanding absolute obedience from all around them, greedy for acknowledgement and glorification, and an entitlement mentality?
Surely, why does Zimbabwe have people who see themselves as worthy of occupying such an office, when they are known for brazen cruelty, possessing a sadistic desire to instill fear and terror in the population, and always considering all who disagree with them as enemies and bad apples who need to be rooted out (even killed, abducted, sexually abused, or arrested on spurious charges)?
Why do we even have another who is so vindictive and hateful, that has absolutely no qualms ensuring that an estranged spouse is subjected to untold suffering and torture, whilst preventing urgently needed medical attention (without a care in the world on how that is affecting, and will affect, their children) – yet, reportedly has ambitions to one day lead this country?
What manner of a person seriously believes that they deserve another term to be at the helm of a nation, when he is not even humble himself to embrace those who speak against him, as one family, who need to be treated with respect and their views taken seriously?
Can someone who finds nothing wrong with living an opulent life – gained through massive looting, and corrupt dealings with shady characters – honestly be said to possess presidential attributes?
People of Zimbabwe, let us not be intellectually blind – but, open our eyes to the real cause of our unending suffering and pain.
We have the wrong people as our leaders – who do not have the necessary leadership attributes. It is as simple as that!
© 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, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org