There is not a single person black or white, who has ever had anything to do with Zimbabwe who does not have an extraordinary love for the place.
The country itself is truly God's own country. So are most of
our people. We have been tested more than many in this world and it has
produced in us a self reliance, a `get up an go' attitude, tremendous tolerance and the ability to see the funny side in the most absurd situations.
For every person who has left, there has been a definitive moment which has caused them to take the heartbreaking decision to leave the country they love and have built up in the most trying of circumstances - the
country more often than not, where they were born. For every person who
has left, the agonies of moving are real and we find ourselves having to pit our abilities against a very much greater and more sophisticated
marketplace - with no networks in place. Some have succeeded and
succeeded spectacularly in their migration - others are still
battling. We have had to grow enormously in the process - and
this causes change - and that causes us to start seeing things from different perspectives.
For every person who has not had a definitive `we must leave'
- the decision has been equally heartbreaking as the country has broken down more every day, as health and education has been compromised and as
security becomes an ongoing nightmare. But they have battled on, losing
farms, losing businesses, losing jobs, and we are amazed at their gritty
determination and courage to see this dreadful time through. For
everyone still in Zimbabwe the one thing that keeps them going is hoping against hope that every `green shoot' might indicate progress and that things will come right.
We have an extraordinary man at the helm trying desperately to make a difference. Every one of us admires his courage and tenacity and prays he will have success in uncertain and dangerous times.
For everyone who has left, there is a need to justify why they have done
it. For everyone who has not, there is just as great a need to justify
why they have not.
We are all the same people - let us understand and remember this and not resort to the sad and unthinking letters which have flowed just recently.
We must support each other, whatever decisions are made and despite the
heartbreak and emotionalism of families and friends split apart. UDI,
sanctions, and a war did not destroy our unity - don't let it happen now.
I was one of about 60 people who walked to raise funds for Zimbabwe in Adelaide a couple of weeks ago. It was about 50/50 black and white
walking. The camaraderie and fun we had was heart warming. At the end
of a wet and chilly walk we all went in for a hot cup of coffee. A
delightful black Zimbabwean came up to me at the end and said `let's do this again - we have so much more in common with you than we have with Australians.'
Of course we do - and let's not forget it.
Author: Jill Baker