Growing up I, like many of my peers, grew up loving cartoons and later on when my age and the realities of my world conspired to allow it movies. I mean, when movies like Spiderman, Batman and Superman where out, my heart would incessantly thud against my then smallish ribcage; excitement surging through each and every one of my veins. Most guys I am sure will be able to relate to this; I mean, on Ztv, we remember Voltron (all 3 or 4 versions of it, Sabre Rider, Captain Planet, Visionaries and so many more of these superhero type of guys. Today, we have the series and characters like the Avengers and Thor, The Fantastic Four and the Avengers and even the most recent movie versions of Optimus Prime and The Transformers. The memories of such literally bring like the sun heralds a dawn the glint in my eyes that hints at a smile. But alas it is but a poisoned smile and a bewitched chalice for the reason I bring them up is to highlight what I believe is a fundamentally flawed perception of reality and our role in creating the reality that we desire, an item I will call a superhero complex.
It is a very real complex I believe, albeit not blatantly obvious or ostentatious in its manifestation but cunning and subtle and often found with its father, fear. For definitive purposes, I would describe it as the belief that out there, someone somewhere exists with superhuman powers, with an extra-terrestrial ability to sort out our problems, and they will come and sort it out whilst we watch on and cheer. The unspoken but present insinuation that one is helpless against the situation, that one is all but powerless, falling from the sky like Louis Lane and out there somewhere, superman will come to break the fall and sweep you off your feet. To be fair and frankly honest, this complex is not in everyone; there are those whose courageous roar and emboldened efforts need commendation, exhortation, encouragement and joining. Needless to say, it is not about these that I write.
It is blatantly obvious in so many spheres that Zimbabwe lags behind her regional neighbours and that like her, the continent as a whole lags behind economically, politically and legally behind many of the more developed nations. Our industries, our institutions and infrastructure in many instances are just so behind one sometimes wonders if the planet we exist on is the same. It is honestly hard not to when you read articles of other places that speak of the need to increase tertiary enrolment for what you have qualified yourself in because there is a present and a future shortage to come when at present only a handful of the people you graduated with and who graduated before you remain unemployed. A bad situation in itself is not the worst thing there is if there is a foreseeable way out; but when the tunnel seems to be getting darker, and the light you seem to carry seems to be fading, then at such times the heart can pound with an eerie sense of foreboding for it has been said that monsters live in the dark.
It the response to this prevailing situation that often exhibits this superhero complex and an expectation that from somewhere will come a magical solution that will take away our problems and in an instant, our economy and everything with it will be restored. African problems need African solutions; Zimbabwean problems require Zimbabwean solutions; not from superman somewhere but in the same way that an ant colony is directly a result of the efforts of each and every ant carrying its own little bit, from each and every Zimbabwean young and old. In this hero story, everyone has a role, a responsibility to play and on no-one’s card is it mere observer; of that I can assure you.
You see, Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem by having each one build that part that was in front of them or their own abodes; that is all they were responsible for and in record time the walls were up and it is the same structure that will see Zimbabwe and Africa at large reaching their potential to be world leaders. If you do not know what your part is, ask and it shall be given you; inquire of the Lord and He will reveal what your part is and having found out, do it with diligence for your part in this story is vital. And as a heads up, if you think all you have to do is watch history unfold, you probably have to turn down the volume of fear and dread down for it can and probably is as was for Elijah, the Earthquake and the mighty wind wherein the word of God was not.