Curse of being called a born free


By Delight Magora

WHERE it concerns patriotism in present-day Zimbabwean politics being labelled a born free is worse than the Christian equivalent of being labelled a heretic in the age

of Ivan the Terrible. By definition in this sphere called politics, a born free is a parasitic animal (preferably a leech) that ungratefully feeds off the sweat and blood of those who actively partook in the war that liberated Zimbabwe from colonialism.


We are all born slaves. Slaves to tradition, peers and countrymen. Birth brings us into the slavery of societal expectations. A form of slavery that robs you of independence of thought, originality and forever binds you to hopeless ideas, methods, conventions, protocols and ideologies. To the authentic original souls, living then becomes a process of emancipation.

Life becomes a battle to discard obsolete and inhibiting thought processes. Contrary to conventional thought, no one was born free in Zimbabwe.

It does not matter whether your birthday is after April 18, 1980 or February 11, 1924; no one was born free. It is a crime against freedom to condemn someone to a birth in freedom. The very idea of freedom at birth disarms you and dissuades you from pursuing the fight for your freedom from an imposed and superficial notion of being born free. The spirit of the individual must forever refuse to be assimilated into any group whatsoever. I am that spirit; I am that nightmare to the mundane that absolutely rejects any inhibitation to the individual’s spontaneity.


My name is Delight and I am a born free. Well, actually I am not, but you see … Okay let me explain. Fact of the matter is I was born a few months before Independence, nine months to be precise. But everyone calls me a born free nonetheless. I won’t fuss, so be it. Now this would not be so bad were it not for the fact that “born free” is a term that is now being misused to abuse the country’s youth. This expression is a favourite of that abominable society known as politicians.


The “born free” has been happily paraded in the National Sports Stadium every April 18 to celebrate the merciless asphyxiation of his own future by an elite group of especially demented species commonly called politicians. While thus celebrating the death of his own future the born free has never received acknowledgement of his suffering from the murders of his destiny. Rather he has been the subject of much accusation and damning from the very authors of his demise who are fond of blaming a victim for being a victim as much as someone would blame an unborn child for being aborted because it arrived unannounced.


According to the wonderful breed of people called politicians, a born free is by definition a parasitic animal that ungratefully feeds off the sweat and blood of those who actively partook in the war that liberated this country. I do hereby purposely withhold proffering any form of definition for the word politician. It is further alleged that this said born free is, because of the aforesaid reason/s, a cultural sell-out quite willing to betray his kith and kin for a few proverbial crumbs off the rich white man’s table.


I will not resort to name-calling but for a little reptile of a politician to presume to condemn a whole generation from a perception born of greed and myopia is a most presumptuous absurdity indeed. Allow me to be the first to admit that the allusion and metaphor employed is rather too great for our purpose but there is indeed no other that can remotely resemble as cold-blooded an animal as is that politician who only deigns to acknowledge the existence of the born free when it is convenient to him.

It is by these selfsame so-called politicians that the born free is credited with authoring all the social ills of a chaste Zimbabwe. Theft, murder, etc all stemming from a deep-rooted moral decadence are deemed to be the hallmark of the “born free” in the eyes of the politicians. But if a certain professor is to be believed then all this is not the doing of the born free but rather a carefully thought out plan by the British and Americans as is everything else. Yes it is amazing what you can discover by ill-employing the right resources isn’t it?


When a politician decides that his opponent’s house should be stoned, the wife raped and the sons killed, then the politician pays a nocturnal visit to the born free’s house drainage pipe or shack waving a few “roots of all evil” in his hands, his mouth aflow with enunciations of false promises. But then again they are politicians aren’t they?


Let me dispense with the formalities and get to the gist of my matter. The country’s youth are a particularly unrepresented class with neither union nor party for the wherewithal to grieve the injustice of God in letting them be born after the fateful April 18 1980. In fact in the ruling party of a country not outside our borders, the leaders of the faction falsely accused of being the youth league look like they are a few years from the legal age of retirement (presidents excluded). Granted, once upon a time, many, many years ago, these people were youths and they helped liberate the country at that particular time. But for someone to claim they are still youths when in their fifties is really trespassing on a born fee’s patience. As patience is a virtue that is apt to be easily fatigued by exercise, I really urge our leaders to let the youth represent themselves. It is very frustrating to try to air your thoughts through a middleman way past middle age that is fond of giving his own meaning to what you want.


And another thing, as a member of that honourable fraternity known as the youth in some circles, I absolutely refuse to be judged based on the traits of a few youths who have gained what’s vulgarly referred to as political mileage on the strength of being youths only to exercise their power of hissing and heckling in the house of parliament. Such behaviour can only precede from a looseness of the human brain. Simply telling us that someone is a bad leader does not warrant support for oneself. I would not like to compliment such behaviour by calling it stupid.


I do not purport to represent anyone but as a young person I believe that youth should not be viewed through the myopic outlook of inexperience but rather the perception of potential.


We as youth are a nation finding its voice and place on the international stage. We are in the age-old process of self-discovery and discovery of the world. I therefore implore the youth to extricate their future from the asphyxiating hands of a few self-serving politicians while it is breathing its last belaboured breath. If the youth continue to stand aside and look the other way then the future will not be there when we get to it.


* Delight Magora writes from Harare.