Saturday, June 21, 2008

On Zim and Following Your Passions

I am sure you have heard a little bit about Zimbabwe and the terrible things that are happening there. Well, being in Botswana I have had the opportunity to talk to many people about the issue and feel compelled to share what I have learned.

Why has Mugabe been allowed to stay?

1) Old friends from around Southern Africa have a sort of loyalty to him because of his history as an independence hero. Finally, however, that is starting to change.

What is going on from anecdotal evidence?

1) People are being killed, raped, and terrorized for voicing their opposition to Mugabe.

2) Zimbabweans are fleeing in high numbers to escape death only to find xenophobia and mass killings from neighbors such as South Africa and Botswana. The sad thing is South Africa whose black exiles fled to Botswana and the likes during apartheid are now treating Zims terribly which is causing them to flee terribly.

Now a question. Have you ever felt like you walked into your purpose? Like someone said something to you and a little light bulb went off saying: ahhh that’s what my life is supposed to be. I was just talking to a Zimbabwean immigrant about the problems they are encountering and about the life they are living. How could she have known that immigrants all over the world face the same struggle. She told about how she doesn’t mind waking up at 4 and going to bed at 11 and only being paid from 2-9 because her employers know its her only way of making money.

Her words could have easily come from a Mexican living in the West of the United States, or a Haitian living in the middle of downtown Miami. Work hard, cry later, but make sure your children do better than you. That’s the gist of our conversation. It was that she was taught to struggle and had to work hard whether she liked it or not. But then she said something even crazier. She said something that made me know I have to come back.

She said, “Why come to Africa? It has nothing to offer you.” If only she knew how much it offered me. If only she knew how it had already offered me. If only she could read my journal and see how conversation here make life back home clearer. I don’t want to be a sales and trader. I don’t want to be an entertainment lawyer and I don’t have to be a millionaire to be happy.

I want to write, plain and simple. I want to write about things that matter and I want to write about people who think they don’t have anything to offer the world. I want to write because I rather risk my life for truth then sit by ideally and deny my passion. Period.

P.S. Michelle Obama ... too fly.

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