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My fellow Zimbabweans…

26 Dec 2019 at 16:09hrs | Views
The morning sea breeze from the ocean soon brought me back to life, realising how tens of seconds had passed while I was lost in my own wild day-dream moment going to the office. The firm green grass, well-arranged palm and pine trees dotted around the playing grounds, how about the well-maintained classroom concourses with cream painted walls, brightly coloured curtains. Surely this must be a school of the few privileged, even dating to apartheid era. This is the pride of alumnus, the wish and dream of every learner and parent. I promised myself I will get time in the week and come to inquire more at this school, maybe leave with an application form.
 
Indeed, the morning sea breeze woke me up to a lot of realities on this morning. The first reality was that not only did my son Lethabo turn twelve months old just ten days ago, and therefore it will be a few more years before he enters the gates of any school, but also that I am still in the bottom half of the corporate ladder and if not given a few more work promotions in years to come, I most probably will not be staying anywhere near this school for my son to enter it. The other reality was that added to my former deposition, I just could not afford this school at the moment, at least from what the eye could gather whilst staring from outside the fences of this magnificent school.

My mind was colonised and kept busy for the rest of my journey to the office by the desire, how immediately burning it was, to see my son one day donning the colours of this school where the privileged of society take their children to every school day. For the rest of the day I picked a few commitments of how, starting next year, I could save up and grow some money so that in time for Lethabo being old enough to go to school, there won't be a need to sell a leg and an arm.

This story speaks to the reality of life, what we are going through as generations of Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. While it is true that how further the distance one goes in their life is mainly a reward of their choices, but we must not be blind to how conditions in which those choices are made are also determined by the choices made by those before us. Apartheid was an oxymoron, the then Rhodesian political order destroyed the future of Africans in their millions, effects of which are felt even up to this day. Without going far to talk about those who were most directly affected, for those few black Africans who were lucky enough to set up a small business and own a few prized possessions, the unequal treatment meted out by the racist regimes destroyed their confidence on a human level, and confidence in life can sometimes be everything. For a job interview, to start a business, to throw seed into the land, confidence is faith, confidence can be everything in life.

The duty of government is to stimulate and provide a conducive environment where business thrives, young children can dream big, equal opportunities for all citizenry, and where the legitimate interexchange between the people and successive governments remains endowed with absolute bona fides. There is absolutely no reason why the government should build houses for people, dish out agricultural inputs and hand out thousands of tommy shoes to the rural old folk during election time at huge expense to the fiscus, whereas the people should be empowered to do these for themselves at their own time of want and need. This causes generations to forever suffer from dependency syndromes, learn from South Africa. The government should create conditions that enable people to pursue the available opportunities and prosper, doing their own things for themselves in equal and fair competition.

Has it not bothered anybody how people are born generations after generations, attend school, do business or find employment and then die, and yet for all the thousands of years this world has been in existence, we still have people who live in dire poverty? The natural law and order of things is that the protégé must go further than the principal, meaning to say the offspring must do better in their life than their parent or mentor. With all the benefit of the wisdom passed onto them by the parents, offspring will have the benefit of not having to learn from their own mistakes, but from the mistakes of those that came before them, the parents, who are now giving them wise counsel on what life is and how it can be manoeuvred to lead better lives.

If then, children have the opportunity of such a head start in life, why then do we still have people living in poverty? If every child had to be better than their parent, counting thousands of generations in everyone's ancestry, why is it difficult for the world to beat poverty?

Maybe the people and the human race are not doing enough to give a head start for their own children. As a parent, as soon as you have a child one must start thinking about the future of this child, further than their high school. The parents must think about the tuition fees for university already and also creating a landing pad for the child soon after graduating from university and struggling to get a job. It is this critical time that most graduates are frustrated and even go to the extent of killing themselves as their thoughts that their good grades will land them a job even before the graduation ceremony were betrayed. Imagine if parents set up trust investments as soon as their child is born, by the time the child is around university they can even pay their own tuition fees. It is also not a burden for the parents because these funds had been invested and accumulated over a long period of time and they are readily available to be disposed to the beneficiary themselves.

If live followed that script, poverty would have been a thing of the past the world over as each child as soon as they reach their early adulthood stage, they have a start and therefore not start from scratch which has no guarantees of return especially if it's a business venture.

Obviously circumstances and opportunities differ from people to people and from place to place but, every improved way of life from the parent to the offspring in the world would surely beat poverty.

Robert Sigauke is a Legal Manager, political and social commentator. He writes from Cape Town. Whatsapp +27713348876




Source - Robert Sigauke, Political and Social commentator, Cape Town
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