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Living our authentic truth

Grace Chirenje
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting with five women who are doing such amazing work in the media sector. What captured my attention and struck a resonating cord with my heart were the stories. They shared their life stories in the most authentic and life changing way. One could almost relive their life experiences as they did come across as genuine and life transforming. This got me thinking about Zimbabwe. How authentic is our story as a nation and let alone as people? Do we say what we mean and mean what we say? How authentic are you as a human being? How authentic am I as a person?

Unpacking the Genesis
Growing up I was often warned against being too out there with my truth because I would be bewitched. As I grew up and started having my own connections, I noticed that we underplay our lived realities especially when we feel like we are doing well because we fear how others perceive our lives.

Being thoughtful of the less privileged, right? Well, not so much but more to do with a culture that seems to underplay our truth at different levels. Well, from where I stand today, this culture is still in existence but has become more amplified as everyone seeks to prove that they are actually making it.

Again a “haufukure hapwa” (don’t share your intimate life truths) as you never know who is listening and to what demise. Of course such “truths” had their place in our society and given they meant well! However, we also cannot deny how destructive such wisdom has been.

Why do we steal so much as a people? This relates to those who do. Is it so hard for us to accept when things are hard and take it as the different seasons of life that come and go? Well, clearly not. Just last week a young man was reported to have been “arrested” by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission as he is said to have been involved in a scam of ZW$150 million worth of airtime vouchers at NetOne.

Another currently trending one is the whole narrative around which fingers one could give so as to make themselves richer and people joke about getting a Toyota GD6. What’s my point? We have become a nation of people who choose the easy way out. Instead of owning up to our truth, we would rather steal and blind the world of what is actually happening with us. What has become of Ubuntu? What ever became of the notion that when we share our truth, we can actually support the next person and make a difference in theirs and our lives? Then there are those who are just bent on destroying other people’s reputations without a whisker of guilt. Oh, come on good people, we can do better! We can hold hands to make a difference for ourselves and others. Like that group of five women who spoke their truths and formed a sisterly solidarity that made a difference for each one and for each other. Or, better still, like the late Dr Alex Magaisa (may his dear departed soul rest in eternal peace) whose life not only inspired but also actually made a difference to all the humans his paths crossed with. Yes, it can be difficult sometimes to live our truth but like they say, “The truth will set you free”. Well, this could mean otherwise in Zimbabwe but like I said those five women and Dr Magaisa show us how it is done. It is possible, it is doable and we can indeed make a difference to Zimbabwe by living our truth. Maybe, just maybe, if some of our leaders could be honest to share that the current economic situation is wreaking havoc on the people of Zimbabwe – someone would relook our economy and start making amends. Or, maybe if the many versions of truth were to be embraced, that Pomona Dumpsite deal could be relooked. We are tired as a people of hearing half-truths that are clearly destroying us collectively at many levels. At whatever level one hails from, there is room to make a difference in the life of the next person. Shall we challenge each other to that, especially if we lead at any level?

Now is the time to face ourselves and be honest with our truth. Shall we hold hands and make a difference dear reader so that things change? Of course, we can make a difference in our small corners. Think of what that truth looks like for you and begin to make a difference. Just like those amazing five women mentors in the media sector and the well lived life of Dr Magaisa, you and I can actually step up, show up and own up to being the truest version of ourselves and begin a movement of truth-tellers. May we forever be truthful and make our small contribution to building Zimbabwe’s legacy! Until then, we live, laugh and love in a bid to show the world that we were here, becoming better, making our mark, leaving our footprint as we make the world a better place!

  • Chirenje writes in her personal capacity as a citizen of Zimbabwe. Twitter: @graceruvimbo; Facebook: Grace Chirenje; Instagram: @graceruvimbo

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