At times like these, we are forced to examine our own lives. Are we going to live ordinary lives and accept the circumstances shaped by those before us, or are we going to be like Madiba, and dedicate our lives to the creation of the circumstances we desire? Are we going to live ordinary lives occupied by mundane day-to-day routine, or are we going to live profound lives and leave behind us a legacy that time can never erase?
As Africans, Mandela’s passing away must lead us to look deep within our souls and find the same courage and wisdom that he showed us so that we too can leave behind better conditions for the oppressed masses of Zimbabwe and those that will come after us.
I do not think that we should let sadness overshadow the joy of Mandela’s achievements and the principles he lived by so that we could all be free. We must celebrate that, for once, in our lifetime, God looked kindly upon Africa and gave us a man who put himself in harm’s way to confront the bondage of racism, hate and poverty.
To this day Madiba’s sincerity, integrity and selflessness can’t be matched by many of our leaders. In fact, he truly is one amongst a few men who continues to remind us that God created us for a higher purpose and that we must do all we can to seek this purpose and live by it. After all we are all created in his image.
It must be our duty from today to do whatever we must to carry his flame forward and create a better Zimbabwe and Africa, free from racism, hate, poverty and the oppression of men by other men.
Zimbabwe must rise, and we must make it rise to the ideals that Mandela imagined and lived for. What use is it for us to dream and imagine a better Zimbabwe without us taking the necessary action to make real that which we imagine?
Let his passing away remind us that we have a task ahead to liberate ordinary Zimbabweans from a shameless dictator.
Looking ahead to 2014, I will pray that I see more Zimbabweans rejecting the status quo and coming out to voice their need for freedom and liberty. I will be happy when I see the domination of our society by Zanu (PF) come to an end.
I will be encouraged when I see those in the diaspora taking more decisive action in participating in change at home. I will be excited if I see our local communities begin to realise that only they have the power to change their circumstances, begin to act and not be subject to manipulation by politicians.
I pray that 2014 will see the end of hopelessness and disunity amongst all Zimbabweans. We must start new conversations on our future.
Our country needs us now as we reject the notion that bad leaders are God-given. They are not. Mugabe has had his time and it is time for him to relinquish power and hand over to others. That would be the best gift he could give to Zimbabwe in 2014.
The people come first! – Vince Musewe is an economist. based in Harare. You can contact him at email@example.com