The Sunday Mail
ZIMBABWE can only be built into a great nation as envisioned under Vision 2030 if we as a people take pride in our country.
But for starters, if we do not take pride in ourselves and in our country, why should we expect others to do so?
Some of our countrymen and women speak of this country as though they are spectators — yet it is our motherland.
As I indicated in my contribution last week, we are becoming a nation of whiners, forever whining about things that are not going right instead of putting aside our petty differences and working together for the good of our country.
Zimbabwe’s economic recovery is not a mission impossible — it is a mission possible. We can turnaround the economic meltdown in no time if we are united and share a common vision as one nation.
The tide for building Zimbabwe’s economy cannot rise if as Zimbabweans we are not confident that we can move this country to greater heights.
It looks like most of us think that foreign countries hold the key to our economic development and social transformation agenda envisioned under Vision 2030.
Some of our journalists have also joined in the “whining chorus”, always complaining about what is going wrong instead of motivating our people and boosting their morale when the chips are down.
Some of our journalists never report any positive news coming out of Zimbabwe. They spend their energy and resources reporting on negative things as if nothing positive is happening in the country.
We have so many things that Government is doing right, yet some of our media houses ignore it, only focusing on the negatives.
Some of our esteemed journalists have helped harden the negative picture painted on Africa by Western mainstream media, tomes of Western literature, films and magazines.
Unless some of our prominent local journalists change course and realise that Zimbabwe belongs to them too, it is their home, the home of their forefathers, the home for their children, we will continue in the same “colonial mould” of portraying our people and our countries as backward.
Negative perceptions on Africa, on Zimbabwe, held by Western mainstream media, and beamed on their international news channels, will remain and solidify unless as Africans we counter these negative stereotypes about our people and our countries, which have coagulated over decades to be perceived as reality.
It is said that negative perceptions repeated continuously over time, tend to become reality. Perceptions are powerful and become more real than the real thing over time.
Africans should start believing, respecting and caring for themselves and our community as espoused in our traditional African values of ubuntu.
Most of our journalists think that by reporting negatively about their country they are fixing Government, no you are fixing yourself, the current and future generations.
The challenge for African journalists is to stop whining and, for a change, divert energies into motivating development and showcasing the right things coming out of the continent.
As Zimbabwean scribes we must abandon the notion of focusing on the negatives or crying over what we think is going wrong in the land.
Unless we learn to give praise where it is due, we risk continuing in the same mould — singing, like kindergarten kids, the same chorus of wrongs but with destructive outcomes to our own economic development and transformation agenda envisioned under Vision 2030 and other Government programmes.
In his column in the June issue of New African — “Praise where praise is due”, veteran columnist, Baffour Ankomah, remarked: “For once, in a long while, I am going to do something journalists don’t normally do: give praise where praise is due. Our professional calling enjoins us to point out wrongdoing most of the time, and therefore we unwittingly get stuck in that groove, forever whining and whining about wrongdoing and never seeing the good the land (Africa) has produced.
“God should forgive us, for it is a sin that modern journalism, especially its African version, has honed into an art form, to our eternal shame.”
Truer words could not have been spoken.
The positives coming out of our great country, our vibrant and hardworking people, our incredible traditions and cultural heritage, our richness in human and natural resources, our parks and abundant wildlife, our wealth in diversity — is being kept away, being hidden from us and those abroad, paradoxically by none other than our own scribes.
Feedback: [email protected]