So recently i saw a post going around social media. It read ‘living in Zimbabwe should be added to your skills on your c.v’. Funny and hilarious as that is, i sat in my room later and thought to my self hey that is true though. (Side note i talk to myself a lot and maybe that should be a skill for me too.) Does the world and our government really know that after they publish all their statistics and GDP’s whatever those really are it is hard living in Zimbabwe.
Well, let me tell you from my point of view i am an educated young woman, degree and all. Hop, skipped and jumped a few almost career making jobs and now just plain unemployed. I have ordered small luxury goods and tried selling to people around me but honestly i’m not that well connected and i’m still trying to get the hang of this hustling business. However i have seen Zimbabweans managing the skill of surviving in a country where no one cares who you are if your last name is not a big one.
The set of skills an ordinary Zimbabwean carries are impressive, from the women on the streets selling tomatoes till midnight to the office secretary travelling every weekend to South Africa to get a few pair of shoes to sell to colleagues. I mean we have our hustle on and almost everyone you meet is selling something or most definitely knows someone who is.
I have travelled across the globe and seen Zimbabweans who are juggling 2 or 3 jobs, whilst starting another hustle or small business back home. As Zimbabweans, brutal or unfair as it is we have learnt to survive and in those lessons we have also been taught to look out for ourselves. This i’m still getting around my head if its a good thing or not. We have become so strong standing alone or with our own so much that trying to help our neighbour with a dollar might be an inconvenience. We have mastered the skill of live and let live, i mean when the government doesn’t care for its own koisuwo zvedu.
The set of skills that our leaders have taught us are still questionable in my mind. I remember working in an organisation and i was required to purchase a few weekly requirements and i will deliver the goods, but always have extra cash for myself because i quote Bon Marche prices and go get them at some store downtown. Survival skill right?? Or when i was given cab fare to go home after a late shift and got in a kombi and by the end of the week i have extra 100 bucks. Still survival skills?? Or that instance when i went for a conference and slept at my aunt’s place and bought the receipt from a lodge to later present back at work. I am not even shaking as i write this i went to the hotel told them i want a receipt the guy asked for how much, told him two nights stay, he told me point blank pay me 10% of the supposed bill and he gave me receipt.
I know some will roll their eye but quit playing ya’ll, 10 people from my organisation had told me that is the deal and i had to survive. So after all that mumbling my question is after all these skills we have learnt, being resilient, hard working, entrepreneurship and plain kuvharana. Which skills will we carry into the new era (This is me being very hopeful). Will we know how to differentiate them or we will continue to cover them up saying tiri mu ‘Survival Mode?’