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A conversation with my Teacher

One day I read a blog post on by a colleague by Spiwe Mahachi-Harper. Having liked Footprints in the Mists of Time by the same author as well as being attracted to the themes of the reviewed books I felt an irresistible urge to set my eyes on the book. A good book takes the reader to its sisters? Unfortunately, I’m yet to read the book close to a year now. I still want to read the book. However, this is not what this post is all about though it forms the background of the current issue.

In my attempts to read the book, I found myself in one of Zimbabwe’s finest writers who also dabbles as a literary critic and teacher of literature at the University of Zimbabwe.

The greeting itself was electric. When I inquired of his health as is always the case in our beautiful way of greeting in Shona he professed he thinks he was fine. He went philosophical about his response arguing that the body is a trickster. One may feel healthy while not knowledgeable of his or her (un) wellness. He cited examples of day-to-day experiences of people who collapse and confirmed dead when we all thought including themselves fit. He also sighted unimaginable length of life to people whom we at some point in time were considered to be nigh to their final room of a person.

The talk switched to the condition of the youth. It was a lamentation of the precarious condition of the youth throughout the whole country: rural or urban, educated or uneducated.

He started of with the condition of the youth in the ghetto. Unimaginable levels of idleness brooding over energetic and lively bodies. The energies are wasted on street corners with idle talk and unrealized hopeless dreams under the influence of booze and drugs. All this is happening to highly literate persons. They dream of selling off their labor and skills to some other company one day. So while idly smoking they talk politics, soccer betting, f*cking sessions and a whole lot of happenings while hope lingers from a distant.

This is the same predicament the same group of the citizen find itself in, in the countryside. Most of the times, those in this other side assemble themselves at local magirosa (Shopping center) listening and dancing to a bar radio, playing snooker, tsoro as well as drinking. When the bus or kombi from town arrives they watch aimlessly at the parcels delivered to mostly the shops or commuters boarding off.

Such is a condition of the youth which policy-makers should think about and exert their energies to grapple with. It is a reality that calls for action that should go beyond mere campaigns against drug abuse on some designated days such Drug Abuse Day or some other fancy names given to days. Or else the thinking should not end with policy makers only. It should be a burden of the youth to think about themselves and other possible way out. The thinking needed now should go beyond the normal employment channels and entrepreneurship talk that has taken over the world with storm. It should be a question of whether the youth own the narrative, their bodies, their labor, the land and capital. This kind of thinking will surely show the youth a big opening in their lives that is shaping their speech-acts.

The absurd condition goes beyond political campaigns and call for active participation that should include those who claim to have the youth at heart in consultation with the youth themselves. Initiatives from and by the youth supported mainly by the government should be spearheaded not imposed. No one should think for the youths. But they should be given platforms to air out their thoughts. If such platforms are not given they should demand them. This demand is obviously a political act, but the youth should wisely guard themselves against the polarization sickness currently bedeviling the nation.

My teacher concluded our discussion with the claim that a time will come when someone will write a thesis about the silenced youth. Maybe that is so, but I also think alongside that will emerge a youth that refuse silence!

Part two of this termed conversation with University Examination Papers will be out soon

Published by advocateofunpopularopinions

I am a preacher confused in the constant happenings of life. I have been secretive about inner thoughts. Now I want to flow with them. I want to vomit. The pen is my link to the paper. The keyboard becomes the first step towards you. The internet will sort everything else considering I am not broke.

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