By Pupurai Togarepi Youth Matters
LAST week was a tragic week, tragic in that we interred to the bowels of mother earth a hero in the mould of Cde Oliver Mtukudzi.
There is no doubt that Tuku, as he was popularly known, was a different kind of hero.
A musician being accorded such a status speaks volumes for us as the Youth League and gives us homework on what we can do with our talents to serve our nation with distinction and write indelible marks that will forever be etched in the minds of generations to come.
Mtukudzi was a hero who earned his spot to walk among giants because of his contributions to this rich country, a country with so much pride in its history and a clear vision defined by a servant leadership whose embodiment is President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Yes, those who birthed the Second Republic are living heroes and we celebrate their feats while they toil to make Zimbabwe a great nation again.
As the youths of today let us be patient and supportive as our leadership work hard to deliver economically, ever asking ourselves what we can do in our little way to push and put shoulder to the wheel and make ourselves proud through our works.
Gone should be the days when youths are abused for political expidiency but rather the youth should defend our sovereignty, fight illegal sanctions and be ambassadors of peace in this Second Republic.
We can be the difference and we know that as the sun will rise tomorrow Zimbabwe shall occupy the numero uno podium again and be counted among the best.
But I digressed.
The issue is about what defines a hero and the traits of a hero.
Tuku, a boy from Highfield, itself a cradle of nationalism, earned his stripes and secured for himself the highest honour in the land, a place in the sun with kings and queens, our decorated heroes and heroines lying in everlasting peace around the country but more befittingly at the reverred National Heroes” Acre.
So ask yourself, as a youth, what can you do to become a hero.
Through music Tuku spoke to generations, his idiomatic message resonating with not only Zimbabweans but those from afar, including those who had no understanding of our mother tongue, Tuku, as he was affectionately known by his fans, stirred emotions and evoked powerful actions or inaction in individuals. He was never a sellout but loved Zimbabwe, something that some so-called opposition leaders have failed to be, let alone instill in those they lead.
To the youth of today, yes the young who pray for a thankless job, a cruel job where only the boss lives large there is a lesson that cannot be missed. It’s a simple lesson that in our small ways we can be heroes. Yes, we can transform Zimbabwe either through our innovations or, in Tuku’s case, music. Many might say Tuku was an exception — and exceptional — but that is not the whole truth. Tuku’s recognition was simply because he was a hero and there is a hero in any among us. Yes, we can change our narrative, through literature, art, science or farming.
Let us show the world that we are a capable people with the depth to offer and proffer solutions to our problems. The youths should refuse to be used.
I challenge today’s youths, themselves victims of a colonial system that believes in structured education to show the world that we can all be heroes. Acts of heroism are many and one can find his role if we all strive to work hard for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe requires new heroes, let us not be crybabies but rather proactive in the battle to define our destiny and to show the world, especially the selfish world that does not want to see us develop that we can create our own wealth.
What happened to the sense of pride that led our bearers to wage war against a sophisticated enemy and defeat it? Where are the leaders of this generation in this madness of abuse of social media and Western propaganda? We are now trapped in Western consumerism and culture, negating our values and norms and embracing alien things.
We need our own heroes who can give us social media platforms like Twitter that can have our own unique characteristics. Why is it that we only consume that which is imposed on us by Americans like Mark Zuckerberg. Where are our own techno-giants? Why can’t we also develop and export our applications and social media platforms?
We saw the enemy trying to fan mayhem through the Western social media platforms and now we need our own such platforms that are anchored by Ubuntu.
Can patriotic youths stand up and be counted? Youths can be counted through acts of valour, kindness, love and any other manifestation of positive emotions.
Let us all as the youth put shoulder to the wheel and show patriotism. Let the youth be the torch-bearers in the fight to make Zimbabwe a middle income country by 2030.
My challenge to the youth is, let us not outsource our days but rather let us define our times. Youths cannot be forever labelled as misfits and drug addicts. No, the time is now for the youth to claim their present and future.
The conferring of the national hero status to Mtukudzi also speaks volumes about the transformative nature of the Second Republic. This is a servant leadership that listens to the people and is breaking from the past. While heroic acts during the liberation struggle are still the hallmark of a true hero, there is no doubting that the template has been revolutionised to include Zimbabweans who distinguish themselves in any sphere. Thank you Cde President, ED Mnangagwa for demonstrating as always leadership of the highest order.
None but ourselves can change our circumstances and thus let us strive to write a piece of history as we work for Zimbabwe and defend it from enemies from both within and afar.
Source : The Herald