I have a very weird relationship with my country.Thing is I can never imagine myself living anywhere else. I will not go so far as to say that I love my country because that would just make me a masochist. However, I will say that it is familiar.
It is familiar in the way that an abusive spouse is familiar. In the way that literally nothing that happens in Zimbabwe can shock me anymore. I actually mean it. Try me. Tell me the country is on fire and I may run but in my running, I will not be shocked. Tell me our next minister of defence will be a horse and I will have a few thoughts about it but I will in no means be shocked.
I am 25 and I live with my mother. I live with her in her house where she pays most of the bills, pays the staff , I am on her medical aid and drive her car. The worst part is in this country, I’m actually considered one of the lucky ones. I am lucky enough to have a job, luckier to have a job that I studied for. See, I went to class with 70 something other people and not all of them were as “lucky” as I was.
I hate the word “lucky” like our fates should depend on something as flaky as rolling a dice or drawing a card. It shouldn’t have to come to luck. A couple of weeks ago, I read somewhere that 8 out of 9 mothers lost their babies because of a strike at the hospital. I remember thinking the 1 out of the 9 was lucky.
Again, it shouldn’t be luck. it should be a given that if you go into labour, you come out of labour with your kid. If you go to school and do well, it should be a given that there is a decent job waiting for you. You shouldn’t have to be lucky to have at least the most basic form of education or healthcare or minimum wage. You shouldn’t have to be lucky to speak your mind and still be free afterwards.
If this were Animal Farm, and Animal Farm is looking pretty great right now, I think I would be Benjamin. The old donkey who has seen this shit way too many times and is sceptical about anything ever going right. The old grumpy guy who says that things are the way they always were and possibly the way will be forever. And because of my scepticism, I have found that I try not to be part of these conversations. Because all they seem to do is leave me madder and even more hopeless. But with recent events, I remembered two of my favourite quotes:
Is silence not an act of violence too?Blythe Baird
Tragedy and Silence have the exact same addressRudy Franciso
I figure being silent is being complicit. My silence, I suppose has been some kind of betrayal of the cause so maybe I should say something. So much is wrong and I really wouldn’t know where to start. I don’t know if a hashtag will get us out of this mess, I frankly don’t think it will. But if those who have enough hope for me think it will, then okay. Let’s hashtag. I don’t know if marching and protesting will save us either. We lose on the logistics front alone. But if what’s it takes , then okay, let’s. I suppose these beat silence on any given day. I may have lost hope but I owe it to those who still have it to put up some sort of fight.
I’m just saying I’m done normalising this existence that we have grown to call life. I need to say something and what I am saying is I am exhausted. Exhausted from adjusting to every level of rock bottom that we have had to live in.
I am 25 years old, I have no business living with my mother. My peers have no business begging for scraps because the truth is we have done our part. We have gone to school, we have gotten the good grades, we have graduated. We delivered on our end and now the powers that be need to deliver on theirs.