If one were to start from the assumption that the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe is as dire as the environment in Second Chimurenga Rhodesia it becomes easier to compare and comprehend the virtues and strengths of the hugely disadvantaged black Rhodesians in the 70’s as compared to the equally disadvantaged youths living in modern Zimbabwe. The youth of the former have become the fathers and mothers of the youth of the latter. It is natural for parents to compare their own youth with that of their children and at some point the children will also compare their young selves with their parents’ younger selves.
A convincing argument can be made that the odds the modern day parents had to fight against in their younger selves (70’s teens and young adults) are far much fewer than the hurdles of the present day teen and young adult. In the 1970’s there was a clearer political objective; defeat the whites. In the 2010’s the political objectives are more confusing and outright psychotic; the enemy has no direction. The pre-independence economy was far much more stable and comfortable than the 21st Century Zimbabwe economy. They were even more jobs per capita in Rhodesia than they are in black Zimbabwe. In hindsight, considering all the above, it seems the 70’s youths (who are now the millennials’ parents) were spoiled as compared to their children. They had the chance to succeed if only they worked hard enough. Today’s youths do not have that pleasure. Even if they work hard they will not succeed. There is no hope for their future because the older generations have stolen their past.
A plea from the 70’s youth can be tabled to the effect that they had to fight very hard to gain their independence and today’s youth should do the same if they are also to attain their own independence. Of course this is a credible argument but it is insufficient to offer a solution to a problem without working out the formula. In fact the formula to be employed in solving the myriad perils bedevilling the contemporary youths can never be the same as that invoked in the form of a civil war. A civil war in modern Zimbabwe is not an option. Not even close.
Young Zimbabweans crawling in the dusty streets of the ghettos do not have any other choice but to run away from the fight. Their only source of solace is in the arms of foreign aides since their own kith and kin have taken up arms and tortured democracy into submission. They have been silenced even before they speak. They have been made the enemy by their own parents. No heritage has been set aside for them. Everything has been plundered by those who have unilaterally assumed the throne of ‘custodians of Zimbabwe’ and protectors of the land. Where then can their drive and hope come from? They were born with nothing and do not even know what they do not have. There is no hope for them because they were and will continue to be betrayed by those to took arms and never let those guns go.