HomeOpinion & AnalysisForget politics and enjoy our wonderful world

Forget politics and enjoy our wonderful world

As the festive season reaches its climax we might as well forget — if we can — a little about our politics, the circus that has left our heads spinning and sing along with Louis Armstrong:(words in coloured box below)

 

The song sounds so fresh in Zimbabwe today, what with the rains falling! The grass is green; the rainbow pops up in full flourish during breaks in the rain. The trees are green too and the sky sometimes hangs down low before a thunderclap.

 

The children play in the rain celebrating the newness of everything; the clothes they have been given by their guardians for Christmas, the puddles that remain in the ground after a shower and the boy, Mary’s boy child, whose birth is celebrated by more than half the world.

Sung by Armstrong in 1968, the song was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss for an America that was racially and politically polarised. President John F Kennedy had been assassinated in 1963, Malcolm X in February 1965 and Martin Luther-King Jnr in 1968. The Civil Rights Movement was becoming more and more militant and Vietnam War protests were intensifying all over the US.

In penning the song, Thiele and Weiss hoped its message of universal goodwill would help cool tempers, especially the seething hatred between blacks and whites. It was a highly political song; but as I said earlier, let’s for a moment forget about the politics (if we can).

The song appeals to me in a profound way; the message I get from it today is the importance of a clean environment: the skies are blue, the clouds white, bright blessed day and so on. Our environment is dirtiest during the festive season. We throw caution to the wind and go about throwing everything else around. As people travel along our highways they will be throwing litter out the window from their vehicles.

They drop their empty beverage cans and plastic bottles along the way with impunity. The festive season also means a lot of excess food. This will not be disposed of properly; it will be dumped by the road side where it will rot resulting in flies proliferating in our residential areas. Beside decaying food being an eyesore on it’s own it has other adverse effects on our wellbeing. Disease will spread which might lead to the loss of life.

So as we celebrate Christmas we must also think about the environment we live in; we must have a proper way of disposing of our waste. It is heartening that a consensus has been built around the issue of littering. Principals in the government of national unity – particularly President Robert Mugabe and Premier Morgan Tsvangirai — have taken up the fight urging citizens to clean up.

Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has taken up the fight too. All newspapers carry a story on the environment at least once a week. This means the message is spreading. Unfortunately the message will take a little longer to sink into the heads of quite a lot of people not because they don’t read the newspapers but because cleanliness has never been a part of their upbringing.

I see a strong correlation between the environment and politics (that word again). Presently our politicians thrive in a dirty environment; it’s almost like they need it to remain dirty. This enables them to pursue their corrupt agendas. When politicians are openly corrupt, citizens wouldn’t careless what happens to the environment.

 

When political violence pervades our cities, survival becomes the only important thing. Who would think about the environment in a war situation? Only when we have cleaned our environment can we clean our politics. Only then can our world be as wonderful as it should be.

 

What a Wonderful World

I see skies of blue, clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
and I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’ “How do you do?”

They’re really saying “I love you”
I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

All the colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin’ hands sayin’ “How do you do”
They’re really saying “I love you”

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
and I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

 

BY NEVANJI MADANHIRE

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