Epitome of white privilege


Cometh Zimbabwean independence in the midnight of 17 April 1980; all Zimbabweans young and old celebrated the arrival of Uhuru.

You could hear the music of Oliver Mtukudzi’s ” Nyika Yedu ye Zimbabwe, Mhandu yakanga yakatandavara, ikaisa musoro kwakadaro…” ,and Thomas Mapfumo’ s ” Vanotumira vana kuHondo” , were more like national anthems.

The former highlighted that the enemy was relaxed and never thought one day things will go awol. The latter was just a chastisement for Smith’ s conscription of young lads to fight for the Rhodesian Front’ s army.

Epitome of White privilege in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) were everywhere to be noticed. At the workplaces,  hospitals, recreational facilities, sports etc.

 In Hippo Valley Estate (Chiredzi) where l grew up in compounds of Dorman and Chishamiso, you could see massive differences in accommodation facilities for mill workers and their bosses, living next at Tafara’s Mauritian compound and in Chiredzi suburbs.

 The white bosses’ houses were spacious, air- conditioned and green lawns in the gardens depicted white supremacy. Dogs were given the front seats in bakkies, whilst the nannies and garden boys took theirs in the back.

I did my grade one at Ngwindi Primary School in 1977 ( Hippo Valley), one day as l was walking back home, luck was on my side and white madam stopped to give me a lift to my destination.

I declined the offer not because she was rude to me, but l realized that what will l say to her when l get to my station. She only gave to me some sweets which l took them to Dorman compound to show off to some friends; ( nhasi ndapihwa zviwhitsi nomurungu).

 That was how we highly respected and envied the white race. They were a beacon of civilization and abundant blessings. Not all white people displayed that white superiority complex, some were very compassionate and knew that a human being is human after all ( asina kubarwa ndiani?).

 Even during the war of liberation, white Roman Catholic Jesuit Father’s were known to be against racism and were supporting the African cause of liberation.

At workplaces the salaries for blacks and whites differed, despite the fact that the blackman had better qualification and experience on the job. And most black Zimbabweans thought that was the norm.

 Sporting facilities also accommodated whites at Chivaraidze Sports Club, where golf, polo-cross, tennis, swimming etc were played, whilst football was for the black employees and their kids in compounds.

That’s the reason why Hippo Valley High excelled in the Coca Cola competitions held during that time. We never regretted the opportunity of football grounds in every location, it was a blessing for us. Because guys like Godfrey Tamirepi, Mutekede, Lloyd Hlahla, Peter Chauke, Weekly Mwale, James Mutami, Tiko Masimbe, came through the system although some of them never excelled in the top football. These guys make all Hippo ‘Valleans’ nostalgic.

Epitome of White privilege was quickly noticed by Joshua Nkomo, Benjamin Burombo etc, and then came the stubborn Robert Mugabe in the band wagon.

 It is an open secret that some nationalists do not want to hear that Chibwechitedza, as Joshua Nkomo was affectionately known was the Godfather of nationalistic politics.

Father Zimbabwe had that charisma which he carried of a father figure, that most Shonas respected him and joined Zapu. If you can show me a current Zanu Pf leader, who was not a protegee of Joshua Nkomo; l will tell you to go and hang yourself.

 Joshua Nkomo fought white privilege the rest of his life and Zimbabweans must respect him for that. Simon Muzenda also had Nkomo’s gift of a fatherly figure.

 He also wanted a better Zimbabwe for all despite race, ethnicity etc. Let the souls of these heroes rest in eternal peace.

In farms which made Rhodesia the bread basket of Africa, workers lived in thatched and poorly built huts and the boss, would be occupying a modest house nearby.

I am not trying to open old wounds, l am just citing some epitomes of White privilege. In nearby South Africa, politically black South Africans are at the helm but economically they are not empowered.

 I heard that there is a certain town, in SA where members of pure Afrikaner bloodlines have established their town.

 Non whites are not welcome, you come as house maids and go. Black South Africans live in squalor at Alexandria township, and next you see the affluent Sandton.

 Sub standards houses are being built to reduce the number of homeless people in the country. And whites live in spacious, gated houses in suburbs which you might think you are in Hollywood.

 Look at the Table Mountain and Stellenbosch, then you realize the epitome of white privilege. Few blacks also fit in those rich environs after struggling or using political muscles.

Some might think that l am implying that whites must not own properties. No, l am looking at the privilege of acquiring such mouth watering properties.

In South Africa and Zimbabwe the economies of these two countries are driven by whites. Both countries have empowered some black people to be in charge of industries, but those industrialists end up bonkers.

 Are we lacking discipline in running these entities or we are not serious contenders.

We might blame white privilege but as long as we are ‘profiteers’, like what is happening in Zimbabwe right now we are doomed to fail.

 Businesses in the country are resorting to black market pricing index and aim to make big money while the ‘sun shines’. So, the white men, whether you like them or hate them, will remain the linchpins of economies in almost all independent African countries.

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