Take a deep breath and take on Zimbabwe

Society & Culture | By Rodrick Longwe, Economist | 24 June 2013
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

More and more I am finding myself in frustrating situations and I ask myself if I am the only one experiencing this or I should just accept that it is the way the cookie crumbles. Take for instance, walking into a grocery shop and then waiting in a long queue to pay for your groceries. Never mind the long queues due to the few till operators, and the hostile reception at the tills. I have to greet the till operator who is already frustrated from serving the long queues and then while she is serving me, she is busy chatting away with her supervisor which I find rude! Woo sa! Now here is the classic moment, she asks me, “do you want plastic bags?’’ to which I reply, ‘‘yes, 6 please”. After punching in the transaction while still talking to her supervisor, she asks me again, “how many plastics bag do you want?’’ Woo sa!

Now this is just one example of the frustrating situations faced in our beloved country. My conclusion is that most of these Woo Sa! moments, are prevalent in the service industry. Consider that when dealing with a petrol attendant, bank teller or even the police, one needs to be geared up before engaging these service providers. A simple ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ is difficult for some! Were we all not taught manners at home better still when we got employed in positions that require direct interaction with clients? Woo Sa! You know a portion of our fellow zimbos who are now based abroad complain of their frustration over basic service delivery when they visit. They see the positive physical change of the landscape and the effort put in, but the fact that we hardly have electricity and running water frustrates efforts at daily planning routines.

Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with no comparison in Africa. I believe that Zimbabwe has it all, human beauty and natural resources. Compare this tranquillity to the recent murder of two Zimbabweans in South Africa murdered over R800! We are our greatest obstacle Woo Sa! Why can we not go back to the days when we all took time to get acquainted with each other? In the past, whether one lived in the plush suburbs or the high density areas we still intimately connected to our neighbours. Children misbehaved less because they knew the whole community was watching them and knew who they were. At work, manners where the order of the day, as you walked in the bank you were greeted; in the grocery store there was someone willing to help.

Charity begins at home and how we treat others, and better still how we think of ourselves. If we all greeted each other the way we did at home in the morning, or when we arrive at home in the evening, most of our frustrations would be eliminated. But, we are dealing with variables for which no one wants to take responsibility. So people love one another better still if you don’t want to love your neighbour at least be polite, it is the beginning of social change. Woo sa!