The Sunday Mail
ONCE every year, Bishop Lazi retreats from the madding and roving city crowd to the therapeutic, scenic and pristine abode of village life.
It is a much-needed annual detoxification from the foul-mouthed, ever-belligerent, perennially caustic and hyper-political social media posse.
This annual pilgrimage is restorative in many ways than one.
You see, village life, which is always spiced up by good-humoured and extremely pleasant folk, both natures and nurtures.
Rural air is not only untainted by pollution and the now-ubiquitous city filth, but it is unimaginably curative.
Home is really where the heart is.
But one minor inconvenience of visiting the village is always the need to budget and put up with the ritual of a barrage of seemingly invasive personal enquiries from curious village elders who are always the willing repositories of the clan’s storied progress and evolution.
There are no strangers in the village.
If you are unknown to village elders, they always want to know whose breast you suckled, how old you are, your totem, what brings you to the village and every other personal detail that helps them to know and understand you better.
It is a time-honoured novel way to trace and cement relationships and kinship.
Also, to this day, village folk remain suspicious and sceptical of the white man’s overweening culture and influence.
This is why they almost always have the most annoying way of calling out people’s names, especially the anglicised ones.
Carrying an English name is often a curse that puts one at the receiving end of the most irritatingly bastardised version of their name.
Woe betide you if you answer to the name Andrew, which is draggingly pronounced as Andireeeeyaaa.
If you are so unlucky to have been named Matthew, you also answer to Mateeyoooo — a convenient variant.
Peturoooo would surely mean Peter or Petros.
It really took some time for Bishop Lazarus to get used to the bastardised version of his own name — Razarooooo!!
Argh!!! How annoying! Kikikiki.
However, never make the mistake of trying to correct the pronouncer for you will definitely guarantee being poked by a prickly walking stick — that is if you are within doddering reach.
Understanding village life helps explore the depth, extent, diversity and complexity of life, for this is a parallel universe that shapes unique ethos, perspectives, worldviews and aspirations.
And, as they say, variety is the spice of life.
Usually city folk make the mistake of believing in the homogeneity of thought, opinions, perspectives and worldviews, which is fatal.
Conveniences and priorities of rural folk are not necessarily the priorities and conveniences of rural folk.
Similarly, urban tastes are not necessarily rural tastes.
Urban life is also not necessarily urbane nor preponderant.
While urban folk were dancing to Jah Prayzah, Winky D, Freeman and Poptain during the holidays, Bishop Lazarus and his ilk were getting down to the hit song “Taurai Madzoka” off Mark Ngwazi’s new album, Chamugwegwedu Chamatindike”, which was released just before Christmas.
One would not expect this chap, whose fan base predominantly remains in the countryside, to be making waves in the cities, but he is doing commendably well.
His scorcher had generated more than 77 000 views on YouTube by the end of last week.
Some of the catchy lyrics from his well-composed and well-arranged latest offering include the following:
I don’t blame people for disappointing you; I blame yourself for trusting them (x2)
Trust nobody; suspect everybody
Don’t tell people about your vision
Dzimwe nzendo taurai madzoka
It is simply eight minutes of sizzling museve musical bliss.
Argh!! We really had a whale of a time during the festive period.
Obviously, those who are oblivious of the lived realities of rural life cannot possibly relate.
The village — home to the silent majority — is really a parallel universe, which often confounds hoity-toity urban chaps who think all the world’s problems can be solved by bullet trains and spaghetti roads. Kikikiki.
Yes, those who promise tractors to every village even as they happily upload videos of themselves using emaciated cattle as draught power.
If they cannot buy tractors for themselves, how and whose money do they want to use to buy tractors for villages and villagers?
It is crass political naiveté.
However, from what Bishop Lazi saw over the holidays, in 2023, villagers stand ready to deliver another emphatic political verdict.
There is now an unmissable new, exciting, vibrant and positive vibe in the countryside.
It is a fuzzy feeling brought about by the soothing assurance of walking into a store knowing full well that prices are now sufficiently anchored and shorn of the volatility of old.
It is an extremely satisfying feeling that guarantees stability.
With more than six months of relative price stability, a modicum of economic stability is now being irreversibly entrenched.
One cannot begin to imagine its importance on village life.
In a year when the heavens have smiled on us and fields are lushly green, it becomes a promissory note of just rewards for the hardworking farmer.
In real terms, it means for the first time in years, they will pocket handsome earnings for their tobacco, maize, sorghum and soyabean.
The impact on incomes, households and vibrancy on rural communities is unimaginably immense.
Hope springs eternal.
Romans 15:4 reminds us: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
1 Peter 5:10 also tells us: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
We have every reason to be both thankful and hopeful.
The Lord spared us and instead invented us anew in a year that everyone thought we would all die either from the coronavirus or from a floundering economy.
But God works in mysterious ways.
For a country that did not get any material support from a cold world, we have done remarkably well to weather the Covid-19 storm.
Although we are presently in the throes of a second wave of the virus, whose strain has become more infectious and highly virulent, the storm will soon pass as help is on the way with the new vaccines.
Tropical storm Chalane, which threatened to visit another unwelcome weather calamity on this part of the world, weakened and dissipated with no life having been lost.
But, as the Bishop told you early last year, the pandemic was going to change the world, but in ways that we never imagined.
It upended the Donald Trump administration which was brewing a dangerous epoch of nationalism that was going to divide the world more than it unites.
Had it not been for the coronavirus, Trump would have been preparing for his second inauguration this month.
While CNN and other global mainstream media tried to caricature Trump, he, however, worked wonders on the American economy and made a breakthrough in shaping relations between the Arab world and Israel in the Middle East.
China, too, is now well on its way to becoming the world’s next global superpower.
Global consultancy, the Centre for Economics and Business Research, now expects the Asian giant to be a high-income country by 2023, and to trade places with the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2028 — five years earlier than expected a year ago.
It is surely going to be an exciting new world.
Picking up pace
All these good tidings make the Bishop feel “irie” and present a propitious environment for us to really knuckle down and grow our economy for the greater good of our nation.
More rains will mean more electricity and productive fields that can provide the bulk of raw materials that industry, which is already showing signs of growth, needs to ramp up output.
Also cutting on imports will help the country save foreign currency and deploy it to the productive sectors of the economy.
God willing, this is going to be a really good year — unfortunately not for the opposition. There is always a direct correlation between a recovering local economy and floundering opposition politics mainly because a declining economy is a handy manifesto for the latter, which is bereft of useful and viable alternative ideologies and politics. Kikikiki.
This is why President Mnangagwa’s administration has become a nightmare for toxic opposition politics.
Though they have tried goading him into unproductive political name-calling politics, President Mnangagwa has remained unflappable and solely focused on his master plan, which is becoming increasingly telling.
By the time they wake up, Zimbabwe will be a changed country altogether.
They say still waters really run deep.
And of course, a re-energised Bishop will be with you every step of the way with in-depth insights.