I will have to apologise to Alan Paton for poaching the title of his award winning book but at this very moment I feel it is a fitting title for the state of affairs in my beloved country
My recent trip to Zimbabwe was bitter sweet. It was delightful to be with the family but at the same time one could not ignore the dire situation enveloping the country, in particular Bulawayo. Everywhere I looked I saw blatant signs of poverty, dilapidated buildings, throngs of people queuing to get money they have earned from the ATMs only to be given a daily maximum withdrawal of $50, the once thriving industrial estates at a stand still. It is truly heartbreaking to see what once was ‘The Breadbasket of Africa’ on its knees, reduced to a begging bowl!
I remember my father and I driving through the industrial estates in Bulawayo which to my dismay have mostly if not all been abandoned. Father’s first job as a young man was in the National Blankets Factory. He told me tales about his time there, the factory was open all hours of the day and night employing a large number of people. The work was plentiful, as well as in all the other factories around. Today all is quiet, the windows are shattered, the buildings deteriorating, nothing is seemingly being produced. After 36 years of independence, this is not the way things should be!! I shudder to think if no change is made what is in store for my nieces and nephews growing up in Bulawayo. Do they have a future???
This has been weighing heavily on my mind since I left, so much so that I jumped at the chance to participate in the gathering held in Dublin last weekend. A gathering of like minded conscientious Zimbabweans and ‘friends of Zimbabwe’, many of whom like myself have loved ones back home forced to endure the harsh political and economic climate. We came together for a common cause, to bring light and attention to the issues in Zimbabwe, to let our fellow Zimbabweans know we stand in solidarity with them, in the fight to lift Zimbabwe out of the depths of despair!! The impact of our coming together may be small in the grand scheme of things, but it gave me a sense of purpose to be part of something bigger than myself. I pray the people on the ground do not tire but continue as they are doing to fight for change and give the next generation some hope of a better future! #Thisflag
Till next time