Inspiration, Motivation and Leadership – Eddie Cross

via email  1 November 2013

Anyone who thinks that the struggle for a better quality of life for the people of any country is less than a “long walk to freedom” (Mandela) is no student of history. I recently watched the story of the abolition of slavery in the film on the life of Wilberforce in the UK and was again struck by the need for tenacity, faith and hope.

In Zimbabwe we have often been in that place where people have told me the situation is hopeless, “bail out” they have advised and then shown us how to do just that as they packed their bags and departed for other realms. But in reality, all such decisions are based on choices, not the environment. Our family chose to stay in Zimbabwe and see the country through to wherever it was going.

I have followed up many of those friends who left for greener pastures and their experience has been anything but uniform. One couple told me that their lives were “boring”. Nothing happened from one year to the next. Another walked into a civil war situation with AK 47 fire on the street outside their home. Others have made a new life for themselves, closed the door on their past and done very well.

Our own experience has been one long roller coaster; certainly not boring and so far no live fire! In microcosm, we have had real quality of life. Our grandchildren all go to good schools, they are growing up in stable families and will one day be great parents and adults. We have our daily bread and more and most important, we get great satisfaction and pleasure out of what we do.

On Saturday for example, I visited the home of one of my Constituents who is a widow with 4 children and who had a fire burn her flat down and in the course of this tragedy lost most of what she owned in the world. She lives in an area occupied by people who have very little, but they provided her with blankets, cooking utensils, clothing and food. An anonymous donor provided the roofing and new timber supports and while I was there a local building contractor had his staff working through the weekend to repair the walls and plaster and rewire the flat. He will then paint the whole flat for her.

Then I went across to visit another Community that was displaced in 2005 during the Murambatsvina campaign and there are some 300 adults and over 150 children who are living in condemned buildings without sanitation and other amenities, where they have now been living for 8 years. Three years ago I urged them to form Housing Cooperatives and they did so. On Saturday they held a party to celebrate three milestones – three years of operation during which time they have been saving $20 a month per member, their registration as a Co-op with the State and the purchase of land on which they hope to build new homes for themselves in 2014.

Using their own funds they had bought half an ox, rice and maize meal, vegetables and three cakes, two bottles of Champagne and sweets and biscuits for the children. Once I had left they had a keg of local beer brewed and ready and the party went on to late in the night. We had a splendid meal and were invited to speak to the community. I said they were an example to the whole country and that homeless people everywhere needed to emulate and follow their example.

Attending meetings with the absolute poor in this country – anywhere is always an inspiration to me. When I am tired and exhausted by my schedule (I had 6 meetings on Saturday) sitting down with these ordinary people always fires up my spirit and gives me the motivation to carry on with the struggle. When we can translate the motivation and inspiration into leadership, we can transform the lives of those we work for as well as ourselves. I think that has been true throughout history and is the key to progress in all societies.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 28th October 2013

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 10
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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    Eddie you are an inspiration as well to us all. Good on you .

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    HOW WE MISS DAVID COLTART, AS WELL! YOU MAKHIWA BOYS ARE SOMETHIB=NG!!!!

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    Now can you imagine if the politicians behaved like this? And also each one of us. we will go forward without the greed and selfishness and build strong and able communities. I always find it sad that the men and women of integrity and heart, irrespective of tribe, clan or colour are left out of our nations leadership. I too have chosen to stay and add to my country. I love my nation despite all its ups and down but do long for all that the Lord would bless us with to have enough for each and every person and family every day. not millions but enough. Let us learn to love, respect, help and forgive each other. yes! Eddie that is an inspiration!

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      BossMyass 7 years ago

      Mugabe’s land grabbing tactic was executed as follows:Violence: His militia (Green Bombers) was instructed to oust several white farmers in Masvingo, a province in the south of Zimbabwe. The latest count is the seizure of eight farms.Misinformation: He then (mis)informed the media via spokesman, Patrick Chinamasa, that Tsvangirai is “unleashing former white farmers on farms occupied by new farmers to reverse the land reform programme”. Mugabe was also personally quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper, as saying that: “Land must remain in our hands. The land is ours; it must not be allowed to slip back into the hands of whites. We cannot afford to retreat in the battle for land.”Jabulani Sibanda, leader of the War Veteran’s Association (Green Bombers), which has been instrumental in the seizure of white owned farms since before the 2000 presidential elections, alleged on Friday that several farms have already been ‘confiscated’ from black farmers and restored to their previous white owners.According to Sibanda the new black farmers were told to leave “or else face the wrath of an incoming MDC government’. He also told reporters that: “Those white people trespassing on the small-scale and medium-scale farms should know that it is an invasion of our country. We will defend our sovereignty. We will be compelled to repel that invasion.”He may be old and he may be a raving lunatic, but Mugabe is both intelligent and cunning. This is exactly why he is such a dangerous man. I expect an increase in hate speech, which could see Zimbabweans turning on one another instead on him.

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    Lizi Nkala 7 years ago

    In the 1970s the Tangwena people suffered. They had their land taken by force and were brutally removed from their homes to make way for white farmers. They would have their hoses razed to the ground by the day and would rebuild by the night. When freedom came at indipendence, the Tangwena people got back their land amid fearce resistance from the white farmers who, surprisingly are demanding compensation even today. These sons and daughters of Satan never talk of compensation for the Tangwena people. These are the examples of hope that Eddie Cross should write about not his sorrowful songs for white people quoted with a few black examples.

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      Rob van der Westhuizen 7 years ago

      Lizi makes an interesting, and no doubt a truthful comment. However it is gratifying that Eddie Cross is moving on. Quoting Churchill;- “those who spend the Present, living in the Past, have no future”

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      Chapa 7 years ago

      Yes but the new Zimbabwean government did the same to the Tangwena people in the 80’s and 90’s when they did not want the now larger population to go into the State Forest land.

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        BossMyass 7 years ago

        ZANU PF WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? – You are a disgrace !Why are you chasing people from their homes? Do you like to see people living like refugees in their homeland? Do you like seeing people living on roadsides with no shelter?

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      BossMyass 7 years ago

      Classic military strategy would qualify “divide and conquer” as a maneuver to split the enemies force into two or more elements. This made the enemy vulnerable to attacks from more than one direction and forced the enemy to defend with fewer soldiers massed.When you have a group of people coming at you don’t try to take them all on, select a few and get them to change sides. You have now divided the group and it will be easier to do away with them In modern terms, I wouldn’t say stereotyping has to be involved. It’s a war tactic used, where one side (side 1) would try to divide the opposing group (side 2) into two or more smaller groups. This would leave the opposing side more vulnerable to attacks, giving them more sides to defend, and fewer soldiers to fend off any attacks.This goes along with the famous quote: there is strength in numbers.Mugabe’ traditional and unfailing modus operandi is to maintain his dominion by dividing the Zimbabwean population. He achieves this division by inciting hate between different races, ethnic groups, cultures and classes through classical means of disinformation. Disinformation is an easy objective for this dictator. He controls the printed and the broadcast media in the country, and does not hesitate to use these to fulfil his personal agenda.
      The land grabs and the disinformation about the land grabs are collectively one of the tactics in a carefully constructed overarching strategy to regain his control over the prevailing Zimbabwean situation.

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    Lets put racism and hatred aside for the good of our people.