Can anyone fault us for constantly reminiscing about Rhodesia?

Whenever I write such emotive articles, I am always awake to the potential backlash and pushback from a predictable section of our society - who appear deliberately blind to the realities of life in Zimbabwe for the ordinary man, woman, and child.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


Quite frankly, I also do not enjoy having to take such a path of seemingly glorifying the gory former days of colonial Rhodesia – since, no sane person, possessing any measure of honesty, can deny the pain and suffering endured by the majority during those cold dark ninety years.

As a matter of fact, I do not find any joy from constantly criticizing or castigating our post-independence leaders – especially considering the immeasurable and invaluable sacrifice made by our intrepid Sons and Daughters of the Soil, who gave their very lives for this country to be freed from colonial rule.

I have so many other topics that I derive so much pleasure in discussing – and, would love to write about every day – from societal, educational, historical, familial, and even scientific issues, of which I am so passionate.

Given a choice, I would quite gladly spend the rest of my life never talking about politics – but, preferring to indulge myself on things that provide me satisfaction and joy…in stark contrast to all those political matters, that are usually as a result of unimaginable impoverishment and untold suffering.

By nature, I am someone drawn to the plight of the disadvantaged, oppressed, and alienated – victims of a callous bullying ruling elite, whose desire for self-preservation and self-aggrandizement far outweigh their care and concern for the ordinary person.

Therefore, when I come across any form of injustice, everything else (no matter how passionately I feel about them) has to wait.

Today, I was actually planning a discourse on how best we, as parents, can raise our children with an entrenched sense of community responsibility, by equipping them with valuable life-skills that will make them respectable and useful members of society.

Yet, before even sitting down to start the work of putting pen to paper – I had to be rudely reminded that we were citizens of a country filled with problems after problems, headache after headache, and one painful incident to another.

All of which are authored by the same individuals – who, supposedly, are our leaders, mandated with protecting us, and caring for us…yet, have morphed into our worst enemies, ready to subjugate and suffocate us, due to their insatiable lust for power and wealth, coupled by a ruthless propensity for savage brutality.

I was forced to put away my writing equipment – so as to attend to the more urgent business of rushing to assist my mother, whose car tyre had burst, due to overloading in her quest to ferry water from the City of Kwekwe (carried in various containers), as a result of three weeks of dry taps in our small town of Redcliff.

When I arrived back home – tired, sweaty, and positively irritated over the unacceptable state of affairs in our country as a whole – the issue of raising our children was immediately placed at the back burner, as I found myself, again, lost in ‘Nostalgia Land’, reminiscing over the ‘good old days’, when life was not reduced to spending the better part of the day scrambling to meet the bare basics of survival.

That is when I decided to write this article, instead.

Surely, who can fault us for constantly losing ourselves to a life that was?

How else are we supposed to react to the relentless and unforgiving attacks by our own post-independence leaders – who appear to have made a career of (as their mission in life) making our livelihoods hell on Earth?

Let us just imagine a man who approaches a woman – who has been enduring immense suffering and abuse at the harsh and cruel hands of her husband – thereby, convincing her into divorcing her tormentor…promising her a life of love, comfort, and leisure, if she married him instead.

However, after successfully seducing the woman into leaving her abusive husband – resulting in her marrying the suitor – her once loving and charming ‘Mr Perfect savior’ suddenly (or, even gradually) turns into a far much worse version of her former spouse…unleashing unspeakable torture, and sadistic brutality upon her.

Would the unlucky lady be blamed for saying, “life was better with my previous husband”?

Is her new spouse justified in finding offence in such words – regardless, of how truthful they may be?

This is precisely the situation we find ourselves in, as ordinary Zimbabweans – who have been savagely stripped of even the little dignity we had left under colonial Rhodesia.

We can not help fondly remembering how it was before – and, as a  result of the heinous oppression, and inhumane impoverishment we have been subjected to by Zimbabwe’s ruling elite, our minds (understandably) automatically forget any suffering we may have endured under Rhodesia.

That is just how the human mind works. No one can fault us for that.

If the powers-that-be in Zimbabwe, and their sympathizers, genuinely want us to appreciate them – and, hopefully, finally forget about Rhodesia (and, possibly, see the regime for what it really was) – then, the solution is quite simple.

Fulfill the numerous promises you made, whilst you were courting us from the Rhodesians.

Provide us with the dignity, respectability, and higher standard of living that you pledged would be for all Zimbabweans.

© 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]

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