Archive for the ‘zimbabwe’ Tag

Of Maids

One of the things i am grateful for and never take for granted in my life is that i was fortunate enough to choose my profession, which i truly love . I know a lot of people who are not as fortunate. People who go to work for the sole reason to get some bucks to pay rent, bills, fees etc. People who if they had an option would choose a different job all together.  People who hate what they do, get very little money for their efforts, though most of them are more than noble but are a source of ridicule in society.

Two groups of such people come to mind :house maids and security guards. In Zimbabwe where i come from most of the maids are very young girls mostly teenagers. A snap survey will reveal that most of these girls are orphans who had to migrate to the city to find money to feed their siblings. Having left school at an early stage or having failed in school altogether the only thing they know is household chores. Evidently most of them had no choice of a career vocation but had to settle for the “nobler” career of taking care of other people’s kids and domestic chores. Am sure you will agree with me that this is a “nobler” cause if you compare with those semi-naked women at street corners calling you for a short stint or “chigwishu” as they say in Zimbabwe.

We who have had a choice to chose our careers often “justifiably” mistreat these directionless servants of ours. The minimum wage does not apply to these desperate people, after all they eat our food, they live in our nice house or well-equipped staff quarters. They even have the audacity to steal our food, sending it to their families. Not even Apple or Google Inc(voted the most desirable company to work for in the whole world) is generous enough to give employees nice food and accommodation, people who have no qualifications and have an empty resume. These people should be generous! After all some of them are the ones who used to laugh at us at school and would call us nerds, geeks etc when we focused on study. They deserve such demeaning treatment! If they feel we mistreat them they have an option to find another household to work for because this is the easiest type of employees to find they are not as scarce as Actuarians or computer network engineers. Maids are all over we just send a relative to find us one the next time they go back to the rural areas.

I have a vision of mine, ambitious, maybe, but still very much possible in the not so distant future.  A vision in which everyone takes care of their own kids and household chores. One feasible option is Robotics. Yes robots cooking your supper, washing and ironing your clothes, collecting your kids from school etc. Its because i believe every human soul deserves a chance to choose a job that fulfills them. A job in which you demand compensation commensurate with the skill and passion you put in your efforts. A job one can be proud off. A job you look forward to every morning; because we spend most of our time at work. With some social investment into the education of most orphans and several of these underprivileged sects of community this dream can be become real just as Martin Luther-King’s dream of blacks and white kids hanging out together as it is now part of our life as seen by acceptance of a black man Barack Obama as a possible leader of the world’s largest economy.  You see its possible! Dont get me wrong i am totally against affirmative action or “100% empowerment” as we have it in  Zimbabwe. Am not talking of affirmative action here; I am talking of investing in people to help them discover themselves, investing in vocational areas like education, sports, music, art etc and not “putting money in people’s pockets”. Am talking of helping others help themselves.

Every day of my life  i draw inspiration from the fact that the person who bore me and raised me, the person who has had the greatest influence in my life, at some point did this demeaning job out of love to care of her future family. One day I will make this special woman proud of herself.

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Fear In Zimbabwe

Last weekend i decided to go back home to see my family. One thing stood out from the very moment i landed in Harare, FEAR. I expected people to talk about what had gone wrong in the country but i was disappointed. Besides fear i also realised some were just indifferent about the whole situation probably due to opportunities these people were enjoying from Zanu PF patronage, diamonds in Marange and the thriving forex black market.

Despite the fear and the indifference i was determined to get the “June 27 period” story first hand from the people on the ground. What i heard was shocking to say the least. I have heard a lot say western media led by CNN, BBC and others exaggerate about the situation in Zimbabwe. On the contrary I now am convinced that western media understate the gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe. I was told, by a victim of the regime in Zimbabwe, how they were forced to take some papers to write serial numbers to verify who they voted for and how they were almost beaten up at a pungwe. And i am not talking of someone in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, this victim was abused in Harare of all places. From this victim and several others i talked to i could feel a feeling beyond fear, it was more like trauma.

What makes the situation, worse in my view is the ‘indifferent’ lot who are benefitting from this misguided exercise of abusing ordinary people by these so-called militia. To me the indifferent lot is no worse than the militia themselves, they are accomplices. I talked to one such accomplice and gave me all sorts of excuses as to why the whole circus is a blessing in disguise. This is not a blessing in disguise but a recipe for murder and possibly a war.

During the same weekend i had a chance to watch an excellent movie by the BBC entitled “Shooting Dogs”. Its a real life story of how the Tutsis were abused by the extremist Hutus during the Rwandese Genocide in 1994. I just couldnt help by draw parallels with the stories i had heard about the election period in Zimbabwe. Thats why I am convinced that its not too late to prevent such consequences as the Rwandese killings and beatings.