Life must not feel like a curse

Thandekile Moyo

AFRICANS have failed dismally when it comes to issues of development. Between corruption and laziness, there is very little hope that we will raise our standards of living.

In most countries, we are still mostly using the roads, schools, hospitals and cities that the Rhodesians built. The least we could do is improve that infrastructure, instead we have let it rot. We do not repaint our homes, we never repair cracks and leaks, we just let everything disintegrate.

It is therefore, strikingly clear that the core business of us Africans is not the improvement of our standards of living and definitely not our livelihoods. All we want is the good life handed to us on a silver platter without us lifting a finger.

Zimbabwe has enough natural resources to turn our economy around. We also boast of a literate population, meaning even our human resources are adequately equipped and have the capacity to use the natural resources to our benefit. What then is the problem?

Should everything rest on the Government’s shoulders? Should we just fold our hands and wait until our country has more money and less problems? Should we just lie down and die and hope future generations will have it better? Is it the obligation of the Government alone to turn our lives around? I think not.

As a people who have failed, we need to take matters of welfare into our own hands. As beneficiaries of a highly productive natural heritage (whether you believe it’s from God or from our ancestors who settled on this rich piece of land), we have the obligation to use that heritage to improve our lives and the lives of future generations.

Every generation in history played their part. One generation discovered that we can cook food to make it more palatable.

Another discovered that we can tame crops and grow them in bulk to harvest and store for a rainy day. We have a generation of ancestors who discovered that we can make tools out of stone and later iron to make work easier and for us to be more productive. The generation before ours, fought the white man when he invaded Africa and managed to regain our Independence. What has our generation done?

It is high time we start building our own legacy. We have to use the little that we have to restore and improve the infrastructure we already have. We must pool our individual resources together to build new schools for ourselves, hospitals, roads and homes. It is time we let go of the dream that anyone but ourselves will ever make Africa great; the dream that anyone will address inequality on our behalf; that someone will come from Heaven to end corruption. We must let go of all those dreams and take developmental issues into our own hands.

It is time for the people of Africa to refuse to be charity cases and instead fund our own development initiatives from the little that we have. Africans have already shown their benevolence by how dedicated they are to giving tithes and offerings in church. If we use that same model of tithing, we could generate a lot of capital for infrastructural development.

Imagine a situation where a million Zimbabweans commit to giving just $10 a month to an ethical, professionally run development trust. We could raise at least $10 million dollars a month for development projects of our choice. That’s a staggering $120 million dollars a year. Imagine what any African country can do with that amount.

International NGOs get their monies from individuals like you and I. Ordinary people who have just decided, “I will have a certain amount less each month for myself just so that a less fortunate person can have one hot meal each day.”

If someone has the heart to do that for another person, can we not do that for ourselves? Can we not say, “this month, I will reduce my budget by $5 just so I can get antibiotics from the clinic the next time my daughter has a sore throat.”

This is how insurance companies raise money. The concept is being used everywhere. Put aside money monthly in preparation for a rainy day. That same concept can be used to raise capital for development. Put a few dollars into an initiative that will ensure you have access to a better life.

I would love to set up a trust like that for my country. I would call it the Thandekile Moyo National  Development trust. In appreciation of the fact that I am no economist, banker, lawyer, town planner or any of the professions required for something like this to take off I would need a team of ethical people driven by the same fire burning in my heart. Driven by the same desire to see Africa and Africans prosper. People hungry to play their part in our responsibility to make this world a better place for ourselves and future generations.

This requires superior levels of integrity. It would demand a level of accountability that many organisations have failed to reach. It needs a zero tolerance policy on corruption and a respect and love for fellow citizens.

For this to work I would need a team of volunteers. Lawyers to set up the trust. A world renowned auditing firm to make sure everything cent is accounted for. A team of economists, bankers, finance experts to work out the budgets and all things monetary. Rural Development experts. Town planners. Marketers. I would need architects, designers and all types of professionals and creatives to give us visual impressions of the Africa we want and to build that Africa for us.

We need to come together and develop our nations. There should be no excuse for us to wallow in poverty and self pity.

People say I am a dreamer. My dreams are way out of my depth. I have no idea if this is yet another impossible dream, but my heart soars every time I think of this. Just imagine fellow Africans deep in the heart of rural Matopo one day having a shower and a flush toilet in their house. Imagine your grandmother in the peripheries of the Eastern Highlands connecting a hosepipe to a tap and watering her flowers as she reminisces about her “hey days”. Imagine being able to walk into any hospital and getting treatment on the spot for whatever ailment and not being told you have cancer and unless you raise $15 000 to go to

India for treatment you will die.

Life in Africa need not be this hard. Life in our rural areas in particular, shouldn’t feel like a curse. I see this happening. But I cannot do it alone. Africa’s future is in our hands!

Source :

Check Also

Market in Quandary Over Old Mutual, PPC Shares

Confusion reigns over valuation of the Old Mutual and PPC shares that were suspended from …

This function has been disabled for Zimbabwe Today.