Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Third World, First Home. (Zimbabwe)

Is your knowledge of my home based on what you have discerned on your own or on what you have been told? If the media holds the paint brush that tells the story of our demise with the earth as it’s canvas, you, the audience, are left with little to no choice to take the painter’s work as it is, no questions, no analysis. But do you know the story behind the strokes of paint so eloquently displayed, that only tell tales of misery, and choose to leave out the rest? You see, I’m no politician. I won’t venture into unfamiliar territory with a lack of facts, knowledge and resources. But what I do know is that we are far from the common misconception. Can you be blamed though? I mean the only time we are ever in the headlines is when there is a collapse in economy or health standards. The only thing you are shown is poverty, death, corruption and our supposed ‘primitive nature’. Have you ever asked yourself what the painter is hiding? If my home is really as bad as it’s seen on his canvas? You never see the bright lights, or the friendly inhabitants of our cities. You never see the roads, the cars, or the literate individuals that rank us as the most literate country in Africa.

All they show you is the dust, the infamous political speeches and acts of violence, the mud houses and the wildlife, which seems to be all we are ever positively known for really. Is this so called ‘news’ reality, or misguided perception fueled by contempt in reaction to our refusal to conform? I Googled Zimbabwe and on the first page of image results all that came up was poor children asking for food, sick people in hospital, our cash crises and policemen issuing beatings to a member of the public (excluding maps of course). Note I said THE VERY FIRST page!

With the growing importance of the Internet, if someone is from a More Economically Developed Country is to Google Zimbabwe and that’s what they see, it only shows what they are fed to believe. Only a few beautiful nature shots came up of a Wonder of the world people claim isn’t ours, no social gatherings, or vehicles, or buildings, or success. This is what the painter chooses to show you. You never see images of our capital city like this do you:

Upon hearing and witnessing my linguistic skills people often ask me where I’m from. I proudly smirk and reply, “Zimbabwe, why do you ask?” (Knowing the answer). Followed by their generic reply, “Ummmm, are you sure?” After a few more minutes of convincing, and letting them know I've lived there for 19 years and have been here (London) for less than a year, still in doubt they conclude, “Wow, your English is really good, you sound so ‘posh’.” At first I took offence to such exchanges, I mean what did you expect me to sound like? Did you expect that I walk 10 miles every morning to get clean water? That I have a pet lion and ride elephant’s to school? That was all till I began to feel sorry for these inquisitors, realising their unintended ignorance. Thus I realised, they ask me these questions not out of intention to offend, but because such stereotypes have been engraved into their being, so what more do they expect. I often find myself having to explain how admirable life is in my home country because if not me, who else will? Fair and fine our economy isn’t the most reputable around, nor is our way of dealing with certain situations in an ethical manner, sure we have a lower life expectancy and less superior health care but you know what? We get on with it, and we live. These are just a few of numerous issues but really, which country doesn’t have any at all? Is a short life of freedom not sweeter than a long one in conformance? We’ve been to hell and back, survival for us is a way of life, and I make reference to Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest.
Harare, dubbed as one of the ‘least livable cities’ in the world by this illustrious painter, has led to the majority of your common misconception. But when having your own cars, domestic workers, business ventures, houses spanning the size of a common train station, bedroom the size of an entire floor of a common London house and best of all having all of this WITH NO DEBT TO THE GOVERNMENT, is referred to as un-livable, then what is livable? If paying off debts you collected in your teens for the rest of your working life is referred to as freedom then I want no part in it.

Listen, I could go on forever, telling you how we are not what we seem, forcing you to believe me, but that will just make me no better than the painter that gave you your views in the first place. Instead I’ll say do your own research, see with your own eyes, visit if you have the time and luxury to and see for yourself all that the painter left out. I’m not saying we’re the best country in Africa, I’m not saying we are flawless, I’m not saying you choose to hold negative perceptions over our existence. All I’m saying is we are not what the media makes us out to be, I’m shedding a little light if you will.
At the end of the day it’s your third world, and my first home. So will you choose to see what you know, or will you see what you are told..

Advice I give to any student planning on studying Business Law is that, from my personal opinion, its the best law route that's out there. I mean, Corporate Lawyers are the highest paid kind of lawyers with an average of £170k for more senior corporate lawyers and if that doesn't catch your attention I don't know what will! With Business Law you have the choice to either venture into the business side of things or the more legal which gives you very valuable and marketable skills when you're out in the world. Employers would much rather pick a business person that's well versed in law as well and vice versa so it's one of the best courses out there!

My First Blog!

Hi guys, thanks for sharing this moment with me and reading my first ever blog! 

I honestly don't know what took me so long to do this because I love writing but getting a diary wasn't an option, I left those days in Primary. Thing is I'm generally a really contemplative person, I question things that people usually brush off or I view things in a completely different way than people would normally view it. Some say it makes me weird, I say it makes me superhuman! I question society, principles, life and everything that you probably have but just didn't air out, and in all this I manage to remain politically correct Awesome right? 

Since I have to post something about the Uni, my advice is, fair enough lecturers and students say "1st Year doesn't count" but don't be fooled and party your first year away because it WILL come back to haunt you. Rather have fun but keep on top of your coursework and deadlines so you can hit the ground running for the rest of your course.

Life is short, so is my blog, so savor it :P! But anyway, this is just a short introduction of what's to follow, call it an appetizer if you must, stay tuned for more :). 

Take it easy!