Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
Wine gets better with age. The older and more matured it is, the more expensive and precious it becomes. Similarly, the country’s icon, hated by enemies of African empowerment and loved by the masses, President Mugabe has grown better with age.
Conventional wisdom suggests that leadership requires maturity and experience. It is believed that leaders are born with personality traits that enable them to be recognised and emerge as leaders.
Every patriotic Zimbabwean ought to celebrate the birth of this icon with pride. It is because of the likes of President Mugabe and other great heroes such as the late Vice President Cde Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo that we enjoy peace, unity and development in our country.
They have helped shape Zimbabwe’s identity and have made it into this beautiful land that we know it to be.
Yet coming from humble beginnings in a village in Zvimba, Mashonaland West province, President Mugabe is an accomplished leader with the zeal and courage like no other African leader.
Courage to stand tall and not bow down to the West but lead from the front and be firm on his principles.
He has delivered improved access to health and education for the masses.
Education has been proven to be the key to success and President Mugabe has led by example by being one of the world’s most educated presidents.
Zimbabwe boasts of a very high literacy rate, one of Zimbabwe’s symbols of pride.
President Mugabe is a qualified teacher with qualifications in Economics and Law.
He has brought economic empowerment to the masses.
Because of him, the country has people-centred policies such as the indigenisation and land reform programmes.
It should be irritating to Western imperialists that despite their best efforts to scuttle his work, President Mugabe remains a hero of the oppressed and downtrodden people of this continent and the world.
He has soldiered on and if compared to many his age, the President deserves some credit.
Age is a number which does not limit one’s mental capabilities.
The method chosen by the winemaker for growing the grapes, knowing when to harvest them, processing the grapes and then aging and storing the wine all contribute to the wine’s taste.
No two grapes are exactly alike. No two growing seasons are exactly alike. Yet great winemakers find a way to bring out the best their grapes have to offer year after year after year.
Likewise, no two people are exactly alike. And no conditions and economies are exactly alike yet great leaders find a way to win year after year after year.
Leadership, therefore, is a journey, not a stop. The longer one travels, the more one matures, like wine in a cellar.