In a recent discussion with some friends and colleagues and inspired by an article written by Vince Musewe which I read on Zimbabwe Situation (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com), we realised there are several reasons why many people have chosen to stay here against all odds since 2000. Here are a few:
Firstly, it’s the friendly camaraderie which exists across all cultures and races. In general, the people are genuinely warm and welcoming despite their backgrounds. They can still see the funny side of any situation even in the face of adversity.
Secondly, it’s their innovative ideas and their ability to always ‘make a plan’, a truly Zimbabwean concept. This has led to the many successful entrepreneurs that have sprung up in Zimbabwe.
Next, and although many of us may not even realise it, is the organic produce which is freely available from markets such as Mbare and street corner vendors selling fruit and vegetables. Many people also have vegetable gardens and keep chickens on their urban properties for both meat and eggs, often only using compost and manure as fertilisers.
Zimbabweans are also determined to educate themselves and are always pursuing further knowledge. Rural and urban children from poorer backgrounds walk several kilometres to and from school every day often on an empty stomach. Even your local airtime/newspaper vendors who may be illiterate in other countries are often seen sitting on the side of the road reading the newspaper.
One very positive thing in Zimbabwe, due to the fact that we are still a mostly cash economy, is that very few people are in debt, a phenomenon in the first world which is causing untold problems as people live way beyond their means due to the easy availability of credit and loan facilities.
On a personal note, I love the wide open spaces, wildlife and nature that is within easy reach to all of us. How privileged I feel to be able to take my children to wonderful natural areas like Mana Pools (a World Heritage Site) to see animals that could be extinct in a few decades time because of the plundering of natural resources worldwide.
Our beloved country holds so much possibility and hope for the future. We are all watching keenly both within and outside our borders to see what the outcome of the next elections will be.