What gives me the greatest unease about letting the white man back into the helm of our once beautiful, now wretched country, is statements by a white man to the effect that they (white folk)
"...hark back to the old Zimbabwe (not Rhodesia,when - yes I know - there was electricity, law and order, department stores, a robust stamp collecting society and everyone knew their places".
The bit about knowing one's place is unsettling, and I came across that attitude many times over, dealing with white in Zimbabwe...most of them very nice people whom I wouldn't even describe as racist, or Rhodies...they just generally believe that the black man has no place in a white man's 'country' town, club, or gathering...IN ZIMBABWE.
They would tell me quite nonchalantly, half-unconsciously even, that, they paid their labourer low ... but always made a point to make sure his family was catered for by way of school fees and some groceries when they went out shopping. In other words...it was/is for the black man to be kept...and for the white man to prosper...and get more black men to keep!
This attitude was even evident in the companies I went out looking for jobs or was around long enough as a trainee to know: the black staff got paid a pittance, regardless of the many years of experience and qualifications...the white kid leaving St. Johns college or Prince Edward would come in, get a company car, travel the world on assignments, or even within the country, travel and stay in fine hotels...but for the blacks...in an independent Zimbabwe, it was not 'normal' to be so lavish with us...blacks.
Hellen Zille was on TV on Saturday...I am not easily impressed, but I must say, she made some very convincing points: one cannot argue with facts. She may not have been direct, but her speech, and the new DA manifesto ... underlined in invisible red ink..says "Come on guys, the blacks have proved the black man cannot maintain infrastructure compared to the white man...if you want South africa to prosper,its time to hand the reigns back to white management".
You know what? I agree. As a people, we, blacks have only just tossed our loinskins and spears into the trash recently... putting on suits and driving around in Mercs is still a novelty...running businesses is largely still about the people w can see, touch and smell in our community... the concept of running a nation...over and over again, we have, sadly, proved that it is still beyond us. The Bible says if you are faithful and capable with little, more will be added to you..i paraphrase... and the frank truth (I apologize to my fellow black sisters and brothers for sounding like a sellout...but ) the frank truth is, we have constantly failed at every turn to prove any ability in running Western infrastructure...even with Degree after Degree and Master and PHDs after more Masters and PHDs... my own high school was being run by a white man when I was in form one...in my second year it was taken over by an Indian fellow, and in my third year...by a black man...let me put it this way..it's now embarrassing to be associated with the school! It is unrecognisable from the school team photos I used to see on the walls taken in the 50s, 60s and 70s..even 80s, under white management. The once-upon-a-time green laws are dust, the tennis counts overgrown, swimming pools green with slime and weed, tarred walkways and driveways are gone...THERE ARE EVEN POTHOLES IN THE CLASSROOMS DAMMIT!! I could go on but my BP wont let me.
The same pattern is repeated in every other facet of Zimbabwean life. Institutions that gleamed and worked like clockwork are in a sorry state..and were pale shadows of their former selves..even when things were better in Zimbabwe.
If South Africans want their country to stay afloat...i really hate to say it, form an economic and infrastructural perspective, the better start voting DA and ditch the ANC...likewise, in Zimbabwe...if we can chart a 'safe' Constitution to protect us from the treatment of yesteryear... (and yesterday I guess)..I would love to hand the country back into capable hands.
I'm a very very proud black man, and as you all know, do not apologize for my race or colour...an I know my place..it is not behind or under the white man..and it certainly is not in his garden or kitchen...or taking his talks for their daily walk...but I also know that it is not in the seat of government...my cultural background is not based on commercial or macro principles...it is a culture of self-sufficiency and micro-scaled decision making...too attached to the tangible.
In our national leadership, we need people whose culture has been doing the business for centuries...people who plan 100 years into the future...not start looking for school fees when schools are opening tomorrow... while this is indeed our continent...in the field of governance...we are out of our element.
If we can forge together a constitution that protects our culture, way of life, right to our wealth and inheritance...I am all for a Hellen Zille to be president in Zimbabwe any day!