BY Grace Chirenje lifezone
ARE you familiar with the Tinder application? Oh yes, the dating app – the one where you download the application (app), create a profile and then get busy sliding right or left so that you are able to find a match.
Well, if you are like most average Zimbabweans, you will deny this vehemently because many of us as a people are not the-what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of people. Well, the point of the Tinder app is that people get to explore the dating scene in the hope of getting a match for their life. It is a very interesting space for the people who are a part of it.
Well let me say it can be a very interesting space for some people who are found there. Now dearest reader, I am not someone who develops apps or is into that sort of geeky/nerdy vibe. I am, however, familiar with Tinder and as I was exploring the space, I got inspired to reflect on Zimbabwe. We are the circus Tinder presents. Come with me and we explore just how!
As a person who owns a Tinder app explores and navigates that space, the very first thing they are requested to do is to set up a profile, one finds that the profile can be fake or real. They may put up a pseudonym and a picture they deem worthwhile. Some are half faces, some cars, others cartoons and you name it – one does what works for them!
Just look at our country right now, what industry do you hail from? Yes, that very sector you are a part of, it does not matter how you respond to this question, the truth of the matter is that the trend is more or less the same.
Although code switching may be healthy to a certain degree, it is also true that authenticity is the best way to live life. Sometimes the reason we are stuck up with policies that do not serve the very people we hope policies do is because there are so many fake profiles.
Our leaders struggle to lead from the heart, being absolutely open and honest with their thoughts and strategic direction they ought to follow. Just like the Tinder app that is governed by many dynamics or power, privilege, control and seeking to be liked, leaders seem to be living on this app as they do not lead doing what is supposed to be done for the greater good of those they lead, they want to look “hot” so that they get a match pretty fast and furious!
The worst are the liars – imagine seeing a profile of someone you know so well and they are peddling lies about their person – ouch! As we approach the next harmonised elections, liars become many.
Whatever it takes to win a vote, right? Well, not really because imagine you are eventually found out – no one wants to be with a liar just like the electorate does not want to vote into power the same lying leaders that have let them and their communities down.
In Shona, there is a proverb that speaks to doing whatever is possible within their power to get what they want and once they get then they can return to being their usual selves – which in most instances may be toxic. It is wise to be authentic because whether on Tinder or in real life, Zimbabwe needs people who are true to themselves first then to others!
Finding the perfect match
Imagine finding a perfect match! Someone you can vibe and connect with, no games, no drama and no weirdness. This is also true for some aspects of Zimbabwe. Although very rare, we do come across pockets of functionality that leaves us feeling a great sense of pride and awe!
It does not have to be grand – it could be a polite police officer, a kind neighbour, a responsive government official, a professional somebody and you name it. The truth is we can find that perfect match – it may be something we hope to find and struggle to but it is very doable.
However, it takes effort, time and work as one sieves through the myriad of possibilities on Tinder – there shall be a day of reckoning where the very person one is searching for comes to the fore. Zimbabwe as we see is proving to be hectic – remember not for everyone but for the majority.
The truth is that just like some are married, single and content, searching and restless, there is room for exploration. As we face issues like mental health and poverty, there is so much room to hope and believe that as we live each day, we do have the potential to grow and make a difference.
There will be a day we will get a super like and match perfectly. It takes time and effort, especially if it concerns money like with the economy. They do say that Rome was not built in a day. As we face frustrations, pains and all things uncomfortable, let us also remember that we are building towards something.
Unless one downloads the app and creates time and space to explore the Tinder app, nothing will happen. Just like nothing will happen for you and me if we just choose to sit and watch. Come on, get up and do something meaningful – join the neighbourhood committee, be active at your child’s school, work with the young people, do whatever you can within your means.
It may seem far-fetched but your efforts will be far reaching. That Tinder app will not apply itself, it works because people choose to explore their connections; we too can choose to make Zimbabwe work by deciding to get up and do something.
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!
- Grace Ruvimbo Chirenje writes in her personal capacity as a citizen of Zimbabwe. Follow her on social media for more Lifezone with Grace conversations on Twitter: @graceruvimbo; Facebook: Grace Chirenje; Instagram: @graceruvimbo.