I once even wrote any article, some years ago, postulating that Zimbabweans themselves were the main reason why they were oppressed – since their inexplicable docility in the face of the most brazen mismanagement, corruption, and incompetence, on the part of both their national and local leaders, naturally attracted dictators.
To be brutally frank, I honestly do not believe that the problem faced by Zimbabweans is the misfortune of being ruled over by power-greedy tyrants – but, instead, their own passiveness, even when spat at in the face, can be an irresistible temptation for any leader to become authoritarian.
I have never made a secret of the bullying I was subjected to, and endured, in my early schooling years – which opened my eyes to the world and psychology of dictators from a very young age.
As an only child, I had always been some sort of a loner, quiet and reserved – never feeling particularly comfortable amongst a lot of people – such that, I avoided (actually well into my adulthood) attending any events or occasions that had crowds.
Such obvious discomfort and ‘feeling out of place’, especially in my early schooling years, was quickly picked up upon by bullies – who were all too eager to push me around, and get their way with me.
I was a magnet for bullies.
In the same manner that Zimbabweans, if truth be told, are a very attractive magnet for all manner of dictators (both at national and local government) who freely push them around, and get away with practically anything.
Nonetheless, fortunately enough, in that storied childhood, I managed to study how the mind of bullies operated – swiftly figuring out that, they were actually cowardly and insecure pathetic individuals, gripped by a crippling sense of low self-esteem…thereby, could easily be dealt with by simply unwaveringly resisting their bullying, and boldly standing up for one’s rights.
As my trusty Bible, in all its profound wisdom, says, “Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee”.
In this instance, ‘resisting’, and ‘standing up to’ a bully, does not, in any way, mean the use of violence – something that I have always loathed, and regarded with disdain – since, this is the primary language of weakness, insecurity, and fear.
As much as bullies of all manner, and design (whether at school, or in local authorities, or in central government) may want to portray a facade of bravado, invincibility, and oozing confidence – but, the mere fact that they only target those who they perceive to be weaker and more vulnerable than themselves, speaks volumes about their true nature.
No wonder we witness a ruling elite which finds absolutely nothing amiss with deploying state security personnel, armed to the teeth, to confront unarmed defenceless civilians.
Indeed, at the first instance of resistance, bullies may typically lash out at their usual subjects – since brute force is the only fence they have around them, which they conveniently use to cover up (as a line of defence) their own deep-rooted insecurities and vulnerabilities.
However, what one needs to always keep in mind when standing up to a bully is that, this apparent sense of bravado and invincibility, is nothing more than over-compensation for their true weaknesses and cowardice.
In other words – oppressive, brutal, and ruthless leaders are actually weaklings and cowards deep down inside, and fear their own people.
Nevertheless, with enough brave resistance – on the part of the bullied – this facade soon crumbles, as a house built on sand.
Have you ever wondered why, seemingly untouchable and invincibile brutal tyrants as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Adolf Hitler, and so many others – when faced with fierce resistance and confrontation – were so quick to flee, and hide away in underground bunkers, and even holes?
Which explains the sickening propensity by dictators to close up any democratic space, stifle voices of dissent, can not stand free debate, and readily cheat to win elections.
These are all clear signs of individuals with a severe case of a lack confidence!
These are facts Zimbabweans – who appear to have fallen for this fallacy of our ruling elite as some brave and powerful leaders – need to be made aware.
Zimbabweans need to know that, real leaders – who are the epitome of confidence, strength, and power – can easily be identified by their simplicity.
They are secure with divergent voices, feel safe being questioned, and are comfortable with being opposed and disagreed with.
A leader who knows his place, does not demand respect; does not impose himself and his ideas on everyone else; and certainly does not live in fear of his own people (usually surrounding himself with heavily-armed bodyguards, who appear to outnumber the rest of the official entourage).
In a nutshell, Zimbabweans now need to stand up for themselves – knowing fully well that, those who are oppressing them are more afraid of them, than the citizens are afraid of their leaders.
As long as the people of Zimbabwe choose not appreciate this fact, then, they will always be cannon fodder for their oppressive leaders, and an attractive magnet for tyrants.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured