Heroism through ordinary acts

Today is not Mother’s Day. It isn’t even tomorrow or the week after that.

But we won’t wait for a strangely set day to celebrate the immense contributions womenfolk have made to creating a better world for all of us to live in.

Since the dawn of civilisation, ordinary and influential women have done extraordinary things in an ordinary world.

Millions do these things silently, far from the lenses of the media, knowing that raising better families creates better nations. They are every day heroines, silently carrying out seemingly mundane acts that shape the ebb and flow of history, often without even realising it.

Others, by the whims of history, the arbitrariness of fate, or the stimuli of circumstances they have no direct control over, are thrust into the spotlight and bravely assume the mantle bestowed upon them.

Such is the situation of first ladies, women who perhaps did not want to enter the public eye and merely desired a quiet life with their other halves who for whatever reason decided to enter national politics.

Yesterday, the two ends of the spectrum met as President Emmerson Mnangagwa informed the nation that his wife, First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, was relinquishing her seat as House of Assembly representative for Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe.

Unbidden and spontaneously, a group of women started weeping as they were told that their Member of Parliament would henceforth no longer be their Member of Parliament, albeit because she had to assume the larger role of First Lady of a nation that still smarts from the wounds of recent abuse of that station.

Amai Mnangagwa wept, too, with another towering national female personage by the name of Cde Oppah Muchunguri-Kashiri comforting her.

Although the role of the Office of the First Lady has never been officially defined, not only in Zimbabwe but across the whole world, they figure prominently in the political and social life of nation states.

There is a reason why the ordinary women of Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe were disconsolate as they surrendered Amai Mnangagwa to the rest of Zimbabwe.

Amai Mnangagwa has her mind set on something big, something very far away from the politics of warring and bickering that have traumatised our country.

In a recent meeting with female journalists at State House in Harare, she pledged that her office would practise an open door policy and assist wherever it could to improve the lives of all the people of Zimbabwe.

Socio-economic reform projects, especially those that empower women and children, are evidently her thrust.

Since she became First Lady last year, she has already visited several hospitals and children’s homes to appreciate the challenges that they face every day.

She has used her station to source resources to make the conditions at these institutions more palatable, and all of this done not for any self-serving political reasons, but because she cares.

Prior to her assuming the role of First Lady, she was not really known. That is because she is a quiet woman who does not want to steal the spotlight.

If anything, she very well may not appreciate our drawing attention to her in such a manner in this newspaper space today.

That is because for all intents and purposes, Amai Mnangagwa is an ordinary woman living in extraordinary circumstances.

That she is capable of doing extraordinary things does not make her any different from millions of other women – and men – across Zimbabwe.

Rather, it shows that all of us, regardless of standing in society, material wealth, intellectual capacity, creed or tribe, are capable of making a difference to people’s lives.

And this is not done for our own personal benefit, though we are indeed edified by every act of community building, but for the benefit of a future that we may not see but which we hope is better than our present.

We need not wait to acquire stupendous sums of money, we need not wait to attain PhDs to prove our worth.

We only need to treat each Zimbabwean as we ourselves would want to be treated for us to be heroes.

That simple credo is the basis of eradicating corruption, destructive greed, stultifying indolence.

Zimbabwe today is in dire need of ordinary people doing the ordinary things in an honest way that history will view as heroic, extraordinary acts.

That is the challenge that is before each and every one of us as we build a better, equitable and brighter Zimbabwe.

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  • Tinashe

    There you go again; bootlicking Auxilia like you used to do Grace. Can you tell us what tangible things she has brought about through her hospital visits? Are drugs now available post her visits or its just PR stunts to show her as caring and different from Marujata? Had we gone so low under Grace that even a simple hospital visit by Auxilia is celebrated like she has built a new 3000 bed world class hospital?

  • samuel mudavanhu

    I totally agree with you the writer that it is ordinary folks who dare to make a difference in their communities who make Zimbabwe a better place to live. I witnessed it yesterday. Thank you for the inspiring story we need more of these unsung heroes.

  • Thomas Mhuriro

    OPEN LETTER TO THE ANGLICANS IN HARARE
    I greet you all in the name of God who qualifies us to be ONE family through the ministry of His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Greetings to all Anglicans in the Diocese of Harare and the Province of Central Africa, by divine providence (the extension mine). Harare Diocese is significant to all of us not because of its material riches but because it is an Anglican Church, only relevant because of its catholicity. My fear, as confirmed by the recent sad developments before the Rt Rev Chad Gandiya was, through the grace of God, elected to bring sanity to this region, is that we dictate to God instead of the other way round. If God is in control in Harare, there is no need to panic at this moment in time! God will give the people of Harare a Shepherd. If the Diocese of Harare is not of God, then we could expect the people to give it one. If people give the Church a Shepherd outside God, then we will all have a wonderful time in the HELL we deserve. Because of poor theology and lack of teaching within the Church, leadership is now being contested as though it were a political office. We know very well how politics differs from Church business. If we confuse the two, then we could expect anything and we should not cry foul when a human being begins to show their true colors. Harare is not a stranger to those who could run it according to their fancies and whims without reference to God. We stand warned to be careful of the blunders we are capable of making! I pray that the peace that prevailed under the leadership of Bishop Gandiya should prevail into the future. At least we all had time to recollect and to ask serious questions about the evils we are capable of doing as humans. God comes first. If God comes second to human ingenuity, I bet we will regret in a big way if it is about popularity and not grace.The Anglican Diocese of Harare belongs to God. If we are true Christians (and not some self-proclaimed imposters), we should continue to pray for divine wisdom and guidance. The things of God should cause fear and trembling in our hearts and minds. The humble should lead the Church and not those who think they are the best. I rest my case and continue to pray for the Diocese of Harare in my own submissive way. To God, I submit my opinion. Any priest of good standing in the Diocese of Harare could be given some serious consideration. Lobbying has always proved to be the WRONG way to go about doing God’s business. I regret the fact that even the elective Assembly members have already been compromised before the process has been allowed its space. If we are believers there is no reason to panic. To panic is a sin in its own right. To god be the glory. AMEN
    Can T Mhuriro (Humble servant of the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman, ACSA: Diocesan Director of Ordinance, Chaplain of St Cyprian’s Grammar School; current member of Provincial Standing Committee; Member of the Provincial Training for Ministry and member of the Cathedral of St Cyprian the Martyr clergy )