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He who acknowledges his failings has started his journey to success

17 Oct 2021 at 14:22hrs | Views
Have Zimbabweans ever wondered why they appear 'cursed' - in a country seemingly entrapped in a never-ending vicious cycle of economic malaise and poverty, whereby each minute is expended on how to just make it through the day?

Well, it boils down to a national leadership that has never been bold and honest enough to admit that they had failed - a leadership that exists in a perpetual delusion of infallibility and invincibility.

The sad result to such a tragedy of thought is that, any person who has drowned in this false sense of an incapability to err, or inability to be corrected, has no hope of ever will forever be a repeat failure.

The journey to success starts with an acknowledgement of failure.

Whosoever believes is always right, will never accept correction, and can not learn.

Such is the sad dilemma faced by the country of Zimbabwe - where we have a ruling elite that has an insatiable appetite for blaming anyone and everyone, yet never themselves, for their own failings.

How then does a country expect to succeed under such a leadership - whose behavior and attitude betrays the most basic facets of what good leadership entails?

I recall when my son was going through some challenges with his schooling - to the point that he appeared to have lost all hope.

I did not know how to help him, so I prayed to the Almighty Jehovah, in Christ Jesus' name, for guidance - which, as is my faithful God's norm, He answered swiftly.

When my son was not expecting it, I sat him down, and showed him my Junior Certificate (form two) results, and school report from the following year, 1989, in form three.

To say that he was shocked would be the greatest understatement of the decade - as he could not believe what he was reading, due to the magnitude of failure.

I had dismally failed nearly every subject save for English Language and History - and, in form three, I was actually demoted from the 'A class' (a place I had always occupied since my first day of school in 1980) down to a lower one.

I then told my son how I managed to get my act back together - leading to my eventually passing my GCE (General Certificate of Education) Ordinary Levels, and my journey through Advanced Level, college, and university...which, in itself, has numerous testimonies to tell.

This, I did, so as to encourage him that failure was not something to be ashamed of - as that will only destroy one's self-esteem, leading to a falsified pride and arrogance, which prevents any learning, correction, and eventually, success.

As my son had always regarded me as some 'fundi', he probably started to think himself not worthy, and below par.

Yet, by showing him that failing was a part of life, and that, the solution was in admitting one's weaknesses, and learning from them - this boosted his own sense of self-belief and determination to succeed.

The worst thing anyone can do is to direct blame away from oneself, and target it towards others - thereby, accusing any who may reprimand him as enemies, who seek to destroy him.

Which is exactly what Zimbabwe leaders have always been doing ever since coming to power in 1980 - blaming everyone from former Rhodesians, apartheid South Africa, and insurgents, to white commercial farmers, Western imposed targeted sanctions, and economic saboteurs.

In all these forty one (41) years, never has the ruling elite ever acknowledged that they had erred, and taken full responsibility for the people's suffering and impoverishment.

To add insult to injury, even the current so-called 'Second Republic' - led by someone who, ironically, has held powerful and influential positions in government for the past forty one (41) years, including being vice president since 2014 - has disingenuously been trying to portray itself as something new, and therefore, can not be held responsible for past failures.

Honestly, are these people for real?

Even an alcoholic knows that, if he is to have any hope of recovery, the first thing he needs to do is to acknowledge that he has a drinking problem, which has become uncontrollable, and needs help.

Any drinker who has not reached that point, can not be expected to reform - no matter how much friends and family may try to convince him otherwise.

The same logic applies to our government in Zimbabwe.

As long as they have not come to their senses, accepting that they have messed up big time, and are responsible for the citizens' suffering and impoverishment - then, regardless of how many promises they may make, and new high-sounding development strategies they may formulate, these will go the same way as others over the past 41 years.

Only a fool will continue placing their hopes for any meaningful change and success in these leaders.

Good leaders acknowledge their failings, and great leaders learn from them.

© 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:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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