I will be honest. I thought to myself, what reason really do I have to go and vote. What really do I want to change or need to change in this country? I have a good job, better salary than many, a nice car. I live with my mom so rent is not an issue for me. I have full medical aid cover, I can afford to go on annual holidays. Water and electricity problems? I have a water tank and a generator. So really, I couldn't care less either way right? Really selfish I know. But like I said, I'm being honest. And if a lot of apathetic Zimbabweans also want to be honest, they will admit that is exactly what they think as well.
However, something happened to change my mind. Last Sunday, I was sitting in my Services Marketing class. Now, the place where we have our lessons is along Samora Machel Ave, on the way to the National Sports Stadium where one of the two main political parties was holding a major rally. My classmates and I could hear people on their way to the rally, singing and chanting and making a hell of a noise. Quite honestly we were a bit scared lest we get rounded up and get forced to to the rally. However, upon leaving class and cautiously driving out, nothing of the sort happened. People affiliated with that party were happily going about their business on their way to the rally. There was no violence or bullying on the road as I had expected. In short, as far as I know, it was PEACEFUL.
|Zimbabwe's two main political parties holding their respective rallies this past week.|
The next day, Monday, the entire CBD was a sea of red all the way up to the open space near the Show Grounds. The other major political party was also having it's final major rally. I tell you these people were everywhere and marching throughout the CBD. I'm sure a lot of shop owners closed their shops for fear of vandalism but guess what? Again, it was PEACEFUL. These were just people expressing their political preference.
Those two incidences got me thinking. What really makes thousands of people leave their, jobs, their homes to come and march in the streets? To attend rallies? There is obviously something that is pushing these people to do this, regardless of ones political affiliation. Yes, I may be relatively economically better of than other people but is this the case with everyone in my country? Far from it. I take for granted a lot of things that other people do not have. Basic things too. Year after year, people put their trust in their party of choice because of one thing. Hope. Emily Dickinson (an American poet) said this of hope:
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Hope is something that will never die. Hope is what drives people to take to the ballot box year after year. When I think about it now, I feel rather disappointed in myself. I almost let my fellow countrymen down by not going to vote. I do not live in this country alone. Zimbabwe is not mine alone. There are those who need a positive outcome from these elections much more than I do. What about my children (when I have them hehehe)? What kind of Zimbabwe do I want them to inherit from me? How will the ideal Zimbabwe come about if I do not do something to make sure it is ready for them? I realised that when I vote, I do not just vote for myself. I carry the dreams of those who fought to liberate this country on my shoulders. I carry the hopes of Zimbabweans who are unable to vote for various reasons. It is my responsibility to future generations. It is my responsibility to myself!
My fellow Zimbabweans, if you have not voted yet, you still have three hours to go. Stand up, be counted and make history! You cannot claim to love your country whilst you do nothing to mould Zimbabwe into the ideal you wish to it to be!