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It's so difficult to speak for the suffering when suffering yourself!

12 Apr 2023 at 11:17hrs | Views
These are one of those rare moments I just feel like wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Those days when life in my country becomes so unbearable and reaches stressful levels, such that the only way to keep my sanity intact is to pour out my heart.

Of course, as someone who is naturally an introvert, that is never easy - since, I usually prefer keeping my private life, feelings and thoughts to myself.

However, in a country as my Zimbabwe, bottling up the never-ending daily battles one encounters, seemingly on a daily basis, is never a good idea.

Today is definitely no exception - especially for me.

Each day I write articles speaking for the suffering people of Zimbabwe - whose lives and livelihoods have been so viciously and callously ruined by a heartless kleptomaniac ruling elite - I am always driven and pushed by my undying passion for social justice and human rights.

There is nothing that grieves and hurts me more than seeing the indescribable poverty and injustices that millions of my fellow compatriots are forced to face each waking moment.

I always derive incredible strength from the fervent belief that the plight of the ordinary man, woman and child struggling to make ends meet had, at least, been made known, and hopefully reaching the ears of those in who can make a difference.

It does not faze or discourse me fully knowing the risks and dangers I am placing my life -  in a country ruled over by brutal oppressors, who have no qualms savagely crushing any dissent - since the love for the lives of others, far supersedes and outweighs concerns over my own.

I also pray and hope that my writings translate into genuine effort - whether on the part of the political powers, or the people themselves on the ground - in pushing for real change in Zimbabwe, which brings dignity to the welfare and wellbeing of ordinary citizens.

However, in the midst of this, there are times my own personal struggles to earn a decent living come into sharp focus - since the pain and misery I speak on behalf of others, is exactly what I also face each and every day.

For most who may not know this - my life is a financial mess, in an economy on its knees - although, I do try my best to fend for my family in every way that I can.

Each time I pen my articles, the anguish and agony I express for others, is exactly the same anguish and agony I feel in my heart.

I know how difficult and most stressful it is never having enough to put on the table for the family, or meeting the bills that keep piling up, or just experiencing the joys and comforts that people in other lands may take for granted.

I know fully well the humiliation and demeaning effect of having to beg for a few dollars from friends - who themselves are having a tough time - just to make it through a couple of days or the month.

Indeed, I have tried several means and ways of deriving an income, such as offering editing services for those seeking to self-publish their works - however, the clientele was far and in-between, leaving me in no better financial situation.

I have approached several human rights organizations - as my interests are also anchored in social justice - but, with no success.

The more obvious route has been to lean on my writing skills to earn a living - but, this has also gone nowhere, in such a strained economic environment - reduced to only penning opinion pieces (Op-eds) for no payment.

Nonetheless, as someone whose fuel to write has always been an unflinching passion for social justice and a better life for all Zimbabweans, I keep going.

The lack of a decent life in my own house, though, is never far away from reminding me that passion alone does not pay the bills, nor numb the pain and suffering.

This is how life is for a social justice as myself - such that, at times it becomes so hard to speak for the suffering, when you yourself is suffering as well.

At times I find myself laughing - definitely not out of joy or amusement, but a bleeding heart and despair - at how my name may now be known by many, yet possibly being the poorest activist in Zimbabwe!

I thought of writing this article with a belief that letting out what one feels, is part of the alleviating any stress, and also healing the pain.

I know there are those out there who have not only grown fond of my articles, but also of me as the writer - and, in penning this, I genuinely feel like I am opening up to friends.

In the same vein, it is also my prayer for the possibility of the unlocking of doors and opportunities out there - since, in my Shona language we say, ‘mwana asingacheme anofira mumbereko' - literally meaning that a baby who does not cry will die in his mother's carrier sling.

In other words, how can anyone expect to be assisted when they do not let those around them know that they are in pain.

And, as I write this highly emotional piece, I literally have tears in my eyes - as it is never an easy thing to do, especially for an introvert as myself.

This was definitely very different from what I usually write - but, the pain had become too much, that I had to let it out - no matter how uncomfortable and stressful this has been for me.

- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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