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Exorcising the spirit of puppetry

11 years ago | 9699 Views
In the village, in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, the inevitability of dialogue between past and present is universal. In Zimbabwe, many a times villagers are looked down upon by many urbanites or pseudo urbanites, who, because of colonial prejudices banked on their minds, think being a villager is being primitive, yet most of Jesus Christ’s disciples were villagers, without higher education but readily grasped what he taught.

Villagers remain the vanguards of our traditional values and everyone not alien to this country is a villager, for, all our national identity cards issued by the Registrar General’s Office denote our chiefdoms.

To this end, we all come from chief so and so’s area and your chief’s name is a pre-requirement for acquiring a passport. So who is not a villager? Why do we die in our scores every other public holiday travelling to the villages? Why do we swarm Mbare, Renkini and other termini, every other public holiday to board chicken buses to our villages?

Our refusal to accept that we are villagers comes from the remnant colonial deposits caked on our minds, where villagers were dehumanised and denigrated but the dawn of independence in 1980 should make us proud of our villagehood.   

In Rhodesia, colonialism came in several waves, imposing themselves on our people, who had their original political ideas, economic innovations and cultural idiosyncrasies, and sort to establish a new system in which the black person was a subservient animal, used by the whites to promote their hegemony on natural resources.

When the wave came, it rolled over African humanism, its contents contaminating and corroding the existing social, political and economic fabric and indeed establishing white supremacy, which only real black men and women started challenging, at the expense of their limbs and lives.

Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, was the terrain upon which the colonial waves had wash, swash and backwash effects. The liberation struggle forced some of the waves to roll back, leaving behind terraces that are a manifestation of the former colonial system’s desire to regain lost pride. The question of what changed over the time, what remained, what was washed away, what was altered and what still holds firm is the central occupation of this villager in this installment.

Yes, the villager has started, you can say that again!

Most affected were the blacks, the Shona and Ndebele and others, the autochthons of the land of Munhumutapa. To call people autochthons, literary meaning those who came out of the ground, sounds village lingua franca but implies that they are thought by themselves and others to have a special intimacy with the territory they occupy because they are thought to be the earliest to have lived there.

This villager uses the clumsy word autochthon for want of a clearer term that conveys the partly mythical, partly historical, partly attitudinal references that it contains when handling national matters in Zimbabwe.

This villager forgives his brothers and sisters who converged at Matobo National Park, (Matopos colloquialism) last week, seeking to exhume the corpses of Rhodes and his kind.

Theirs is seeking revenge on lifeless bodies, triggered by frustrations of the remnants of the colonial legacy they left, even after the victory of the founding fathers ushered 31-year old Zimbabwe. What is victory if the key concepts of victory are altered by it and what is defeat if little that is crucial if lost?

Those who went to Matobo are frustrated by the legacy adopted by the MDC formations, a legacy that, in their eyes, seeks to return Zimbabwe to Rhodesia. Please understand that in the eyes of this concerned group, the spirits of these colonialists are possessing the leadership of these latter day political parties and their followers. But this villager had advice to his brothers and sisters. Cecil John Rhodes is part of our history, so is David Livingstone, so is Leander Starr Jameson, so is Robert Moffat and Ian Smith and many other who made our lives and those of our foregone father miserable. Defacing their graves or exhuming their bodies is not the solution. Yes, they created these problems for us brandished knives of the social fabric that held us together.  

The problem is not Rhodes, Jameson or any of their contemporaries but the legacy they left. The problems will not be solved by exhuming their corpses but through exorcising the spirit they left behind, that has inspired a brigade of puppets and sellouts, manifesting themselves through self-acclaimed movements of democratic change, which of course, we know are undemocratic puppetry.

We need as a nation to deal with those of our kind who seek political office to deface out humanism, to destroy our values and to defecate on the template of our revolutionary history. We need to deal with later day political parties that seek to defecate on the graves of those who lost limb and life in the fight to snatch Zimbabwe from the jaws of colonialism, glorifying illegal economic sanctions, and belittling the revolutionary fathers of this nation.

We need to look at ourselves and deal with the living puppets. In the culture of Rhodes and others the dead never come back as spirits or through spirit medium, so why waste out time?

We must drill sense into the heads of MDC formations who have become willing slaves of the West and have no shame, telling the whole nation that our economy collapsed out of mismanagement and not sanctions. We must drill, drill and drill harder the essence of humanism that gays gangsters are not something the office if the Prime Minister can support. It’s the values that we must drill into these people, our brothers who have lost their social and political bearing.

Once that is done, then we can retain our lost pride, our national unity and our dignity, otherwise we spend time pondering on how to exhume the bodies of Rhodes and others yet that does not benefit us anything.

Finally, this villager will not dwell on his recent abuse by the leadership of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, a union he so laboured to improve and put in place, for, trying to make things work in that union now is akin to teaching a pig to sing. It will not happen!

So many villagers have urged this villager to hit back but the soothsayer, that ageless autochthon of knowledge and wisdom, maintains that there is no need to chase after the wind, worse still, when dealing with journalists who do not understand that African sayings are not a preserve of Chinua Achebe.

They are crafted by village wordsmiths and Achebe like this villager, is just a conveyor of the sayings, passing them on from one generation to another. Every sane African should know that Achebe has no patent over village sayings.

Anyway, this villager will let bygones be bygones, for, some men have a tiny brain, the size of a dot or full stop! It is God’s case no appeal.

The article was done by Isdore Guvamombe and first appeared in The Herald
2 Taliyana
Tags: Puppetry


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Anonymous user 11 years
I just love articles like these! I am an african who have been living in europe for the past 15yrs and I intend returning straight to the village! It's the ONLY true, genuine, real, stress-free life! That's the very reason why God put Adam & Eve in that garden of Eden, so they could cultivate the land and be self-sufficient! I would like to meet Isdore Guvamombe on my return! By Jabulile Mpofu, Italy!
Anonymous user 11 years
i love this one.clifford nyathi.byo poly
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