/Introduction – Beyond Common Narratives, Partisan Innuendos and Racial Nuance
Today I am among friends. CYSPSA believes in nation building and like me, strives towards a better future for all. Before year 2000, we Zimbabweans, like you South Africans, had so much hope for the future. Millions of our young people graduated from institutions of higher learning full of hope for good jobs, good living, happiness and prosperity. Today, there is a whole generation of young Zimbabweans – lost, hopelessly poor and frustrated. Only because of us, the post-nationalist adults, who took the wrong decision that, offended the world by expropriating private farms and companies without compensation. The free world reacted with vengeance – abandoning us as our local currency went up in flames. Millions of young Zimbabweans fled to South Africa in search of jobs since factories were closed. Schools ran out of books and teachers. Hospitals ran out of drugs, doctors, electricity and running water. Shops ran out of groceries as petrol stations dried up. Even our all-weather friend, China, could only do as much as the West punished the Robert Mugabe regime with biting sanctions. This my friends, is my Zimbabwe.
Don’t get me wrong. I am Zimbabwean, born in racist colonial Rhodesia. It is impossible for me not to be angry about colonialism. My parents’ human rights and dignity were violated. I would have failed you, the young people of this Great Nation, if I did not share bitterness with black South Africans. As a liberal, I am for land reform, restitution and justice – but these should not be achieved through violence and violation of human rights. We modern-day Africans are more civilised than Jan van Riebeck and Cecil John Rhodes. We can tell right from wrong. It is simple to shout, “Let us take that land because the white man did this and that to us!” This is a lazy narrative. Real work comes with asking the hard questions about land.
Source: Rejoice Ngwenya
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