I asked a few people why they were proud to call themselves Zimbabwean and these are the reasons they gave:
GREAT WORK ETHIC
Zimbabweans are not afraid of a hard day’s work. Our nation does not promote the entitlement syndrome that is rife in other nations. They know if they just sit around waiting for government grants or for a formal job, they may starve to death so they get busy and put their hands to good use. Even in other countries, foreign employers would rather employ us because they know we get the job done.
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP
You can freely worship any God of your choice. There are no restrictions. Though we are predominantly a Christian nation, everyone else can worship whomever else they please. In some nations, for instance some Asian countries, being Christian is illegal.
We have gone through and are still going through some tough times as a nation but we are still here. We are still standing, still going strong. I suppose the adage that says when the going gets tough the tough get going works for us. Whether we turn to our faith in God or not, we find a way to come out on the other side. To add to that, we come out smiling. Things could definitely be better but until then we will keep on keeping on.
We are a pleasant people. We are not moved by what country anyone is from; all are welcome to enjoy our beautiful country. We do not have a derogatory word for foreigners like our neighbours in South Africa who refer to foreigners as makwerekwere. There have been no complaints of xenophobia either. You can marry interracially and have no slurs come your way.
Our beautiful weather is one of our greatest blessings. Winter is fast approaching and regardless of how cold it will get, temperatures will not fall below zero. The sky will still be blue though the air may not be so warm. During a winter’s day one can still find some sunshine to bask in. A few weeks ago I attended a conference where one foreign delegate marvelled at how beautiful our sky was because it was very blue, unlike the sky he was accustomed to in Johannesburg where the sky was a different blue due to pollution.
IF we were a different nation we would have staged a coup by now or taken to the streets frequently out of frustration and a deep desire to see a change in our circumstances but we are peace-loving people. Violence is not an option for us. The majority of us believe in using intellect to settle disputes instead of resorting to brutality. The Chimurenga wars were bad enough so we would rather not engage in anything that may resemble that. As one friend of mine said, “I love the fact that I do not fall asleep to the sound of gun shots and though crime is on the increase it is not out of hand yet”.
There is lots of love around
I think we have geography to thank for this one. Generally, our cities and towns, suburbs are not that far apart so one can easily get into their cars or public transport to visit friends and relatives. If you find yourself in a predicament there will always be someone to help you. Our fellow Zimbabweans in the Diaspora miss this about Zimbabwe. They say once you are out there you are on your own and even your fellow countrymen will not have your back because it is one man for himself and God for us all.
OWNERSHIP OF ASSETS
Most people that own cars have worked hard and saved for them instead of buying on credit. We are proud owners of the bulk of our assets because there are not that many credit facilities and if they are available only a few qualify.
To those who blamed our politics and economic situation for making it difficult to be proudly Zimbabwean, I challenge you to look again and I guarantee you will find something that will make you feel proud.
By Heather R