What opportunities when there is poverty, they may or you may doubt me, I encourage you to look, remove political blinkers and stop all the propaganda. I will do a series on this subject. To understand where I am coming from and going you need to read my past articles, refer to the Taking Personal Responsibility article series, Part 2, Part 3.
In life, there are things you can change and there are things you can’t further in the Zimbabwean context a lot has been said and a lot is happening and being discussed, some true some false. Below I just highlight a few of the many opportunities available in Zimbabwe and a general discussion on the opportunities and why we may not see them.
There are plenty of opportunities in this area, be it you are in rural or farming communities. Most will complain that they did not get land during the land reform programme. Most people have land in Zimbabwe especially the rural areas. Many are slowly realising that there are many things that can be done in rural areas. If you do not have access to land there it’s plenty of land lying idle.
I am a firm believer that we will see an urban to rural migration on a scale soon. This is time to make a move. For you to accept this first remove political blinkers. Like many poor countries the majority are employed in the agriculture sector. When the economy is struggling people won’t stop eating, that’s your opportunity there. Choose what you can within your capacity wherever you are. I will come back to agriculture in detail in the near future let me end by taking you to Mudzi rural where this young man was doing a thriving guinea fowl project. A bird fetches US$8-10. The birds lay too many eggs from April to October, it’s more resilient than broilers.
It’s not easy but it’s simple if you change your attitude. Ten years ago I got an opportunity to attend a seminar on planting gum trees, in five years sales starts (gum trees) they don’t need any care, the work is planting and this can be done once a year. I did nothing about it, it would have cost me a little. We all can’t be Farmers let’s look at another opportunity.
Having said that not everyone can be a farmer because we all have different aspirations and choices. It hurts me to see all the imports coming in, especially processed foods. The government is also talking of reviving of industries to do manufacturing, I think that may work in the future, the shortest route is small enterprises doing the manufacturing using small machines. Something as simple as maputi is value addition. We used to import “ma zappy’ (maize snacks) but today this is manufactured here with big and small manufactures.
Just look at what is being imported and find your space depending on capacity some can invest in huge machinery some can go micro. Like I said a lot of processed food is imported, the major reason why it can’t be done locally is our attitude, things can be made locally using small machines or cottage industries popularly known as “indeginous” in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe moved with benefitiation but nothing much was done as I doubt he was so sincere. Locals must start making hand rings using the gold we have. Lastly mangoes rot all over zimbabwe because there is no processing done locally. Others dry mangoes here, at the same time we import dried mangoes. There is a gap.
Zimbabwe has abundant mineral resources. I believe mining is for those with huge capital if you want to do it as a business.
There are huge export opportunities in the middle East and Europe, you can either do it alone or as a group, stop listening to the false sanctions narrative as others are exporting wild fruits and vegetables as organic is big in Europe. Again if you are looking for easy things this is not for you.
This is still a baby market in Zimbabwe the opportunities are huge but a lot of work needs to be done. You do not need to invest in brick and mortar but you can start on your phone, minimise following politics and just start. The government will not do this for you and it must never, waiting for the perfect environment is like chasing the wind. Those in IT can work in Zimbabwe but working for foreign organisations having said that you are now competing at a global stage.
There’s are plenty of opportunities here as there is debate that the current political parties have failed dismally be it the ruling or opposition. I am sure that there are opportunities if you stop being so emotional about politics and expect everything to be given to you.
I am convinced by Dambisa Moyo on dead aid. If you don’t know her just Google her. I will write on this in the future for now it’s a huge opportunity as it is an “industry” on its own as donors are willing to fund many areas in Zimbabwe. I will end it here I have just touched on a few opportunities more still abound. The opportunities are available to those who are looking for them and believe they exist.
Having said that we know how the Zimbabwe economy is tough and volatile add politics and things like corruption and it’s more complex. That is the setting others are waiting for everything to be perfect others are taking action, and I encourage you take the challenge.
If you cannot take advantage of opportunities I have highlighted or anything else you must be an employee which I think is hard in the environment sadly I like many have no power to change the status quo and its beyond the scope of this article as I am mainly focusing on micro economics.
I am passionately insipired by China which is now the second economy in the world, a position that is basically a “miracle” China Rose because it came up with their own model, no democracy there remember. For Zimbabwe to develop we need to have a unique model. Zanu says let’s look east, Mdc says West but I am an avid believer of a local solution, I try to highlight in my articles that change is not going to come from outside or top as most of us think, it must come from within and the masses going up.
Small enterprises are critical to major economies I will cite Japan and China where there are plenty of these micro enterprises. There are plenty of big companies in China but micro and smes have played a huge role to pull many out of poverty. The government through various ministries avail and encourage small enterprises. Sadly because of propaganda and political blinkers many ignore government calls and offers. The majority do not apply as they listen to analysis on social media and independent press at the end it’s Zanu supporters, sympathisers and a few neutral individuals who benefit. I will add more on this in my next articles. If you decide to watch and criticise nothing will happen.
Many would say and perhaps you are also saying I am crazy how can I say that in Zimbabwe. Let me say the duty to do something is yours as I highlighted in my Are You taking Responsibility (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Let me say the challenges started in 1997 when veterans got their $50 000 payments, followed by the black Friday when the ZW$ crushed, the rest is history, my first question is would you wait until change of government to pursue your dreams. Is Zimbabwe the first to have such challenges and is certainly not the last. Greatest Leaders emerge in such difficult times
Once upon a time one person had an idea for the independence of Zimbabwe, not only Zimbabwe but many countries. Do you want to be a great leader, I have highlighted a few opportunities above. Smith did not give up control easily, I am not insinuating that let’s have another war as many suggest. People took responsibility, others crossed and got military training, others cooked for ana mukoma, others were informers the list goes on, everybody fought the war including Zimbabweans who were in Europe, like I said we do not need a war for change but you must take responsibility in your own way, collectively we will have change. Many are waiting for change to happen without their involvement. I don’t think waiting is a solution at all.
When I raise the above issues one of the things to come out is that the majority lack the financial capital necessary. Although this is true to some extend I would like to highlight a few things that are happening in Zimbabwe. Funerals are a big thing in Zimbabwe when someone dies capital is raised to feed those attending provide transportation, food, and various other things, at times a funeral is put on hold waiting for relatives in the diaspora, this is all done to bury a dead person. That is crowdfunding there, this applies to weddings too. capital is there, the capacity to do it is there, what is lacking is mental decolonisation.
In one of my articles I spoke of around $1 billion coming through remittances some of it goes to import small cars for mushika shika, a Honda Fit has about $30 daily takings, the one operating it has choice to invest the same capital into a small enterprises that employs two to three people. Examples in the future.
Inaction is a culture
Terrorists have been a challenge in Mozambique for how many years now? Has SADC or AU acted? Most Zimbabweans are waiting for foreign interventions or solutions. Coming back home there is a lot of inaction, some blame it on Mugabe, others Chamisa others Mnangagwa but the bottom line is you are part of the solution. My point is it’s an African challenge to overcome there is a need for action. You know the action you should take. Perhaps the African Leader is a reflection of most citizens, as highlighted above there is inaction on the issue in Mozambique just to add we have inaction on challenges facing us as citizens, Gedye (same difference).
Like it or hate it without action nothing will change, for instance, many do not vote only a few decide for the majority, all opportunities are disguised as challenges, change will come as it is the only constant however that change will present new challenges to the complainers and it becomes a vicious circle. Zimbabwe is not in Europe but you can play a role in the development of the country starting with you and those close to you.
Whilst preparing the article, I had a small survey and these are some of the things that constantly came up:
GDP is too low
That is very true, however, the majority are employed in the informal sector and most of that activity is not recorded so the size of the economy is not really known. I raised that from a positive point of view. However no matter how small the economy is there are solutions to be made. I suggested solutions in the Taking personal responsibility series
It’s a choice, you can sit on a desk read the anti-government press, listen to and their supporters who are looking for everything negative to criticize ZANUu, what you don’t know is the economy in paper is not all there is in Zimbabwe, there is a huge informal economy that employs the majority in Zimbabwe, nothing is recorded and it’s impossible to know, just estimates are made. When Mthuli says the reported employment figures are false many are emotional and miss the point. Further, let’s say the economy in Zimbabwe is so complex.
There is certainly a high level of poverty. Political leaders have a responsibility to solve this to an extend. As highlighted there is an opportunity in politics if you want to be one. Poverty is an opportunity for some. It’s just a choice, I call upon you to be positive about it. The change that many want will happen but with any change, new challenges will emerge, so don’t wait for change to happen, that change will certainly come and you won’t see it because it’s going to be slow in my view. You may continue on the same path after the change. The positive will always be positive while the negative will remain as such until they decide to change.
I have touched on this above, stop following the narrative that unemployment stands above 90%. Mugabe was quizzed at one point about fuel shortages in Zimbabwe while his answer was not sincere he said that is a lie, to prove his point he said “go and lie in the road and see what happens?” I think the positive side of that remark was people did not stop driving despite the challenges, so no matter how things are bad people will always find something to do about it. Stop watching and criticising, further be careful on social media.
You may not choose any of the above, that’s ok but there are many opportunities I did not highlight. I do not have power to control the environment or circumstances but you have by your choice.
The elephant in the room is our government, this is a challenge across Africa. So my encouragement is to look at things at a local level. If you are not able to address governance then do what you can in your small area. My consistent argument is those in government are a reflection of society. If society changes so do its governance. Change will not start from the top going downwards as many want it to be. It starts with you then the next person till the whole country changes. Do not expect things to change on their own. Be the change, be creative and innovative. My thinking is that it will take a hundred years or more to really get on a growth path. This is my theory. If my theory is true then you do not need to wait that long. So do something.
If you can’t change it leave it, work on what you can change, and stay positive.
Without an attitude change, it’s impossible to see what I am seeing. There is a need to stop paying attention to propaganda that democracy is a prerequisite to development, that there must be human rights before we move forward. Show me a single country that developed respecting human rights and democracy. Show me a single country that developed using donor funds. If there isn’t any, what are we trying to do as Zimbabwe? look West or east for solutions and we are doomed.
The attitude must be that we are not inferior to any race, we can think and decide, the West had its ideas the east had its ideas. What are our ideas as Zimbabweans? Bob Marley was right ” emancipate yourself from mental slavery. I will write on propaganda in Zimbabwe from Zanu and Mdc aided by the West. Many are victims of propaganda, it makes you blind. If you believe in targeted sanctions or believe the other theory that Zimbabwe is under sanctions you are blind, it’s all propaganda there is an element of truth in both arguments. Do your own assessment.
Joshua and Caleb out of 12 spies sent managed to enter the promised Land. 10 did not, why? They saw the same land, same fruits, same people and everything but they had different attitudes. The 10 were negative and as such could not see the beautiful opportunities seen by Joshua and Caleb. If you see opportunities it’s you. If you see disaster in Zimbabwe you are also right.
Great Leaders must arise during this time, Zimbabwe is not the first country to go through such challenges though sadly it has been so for too long. I will write about leadership in the future to motivate some. Leaders are required so that Zimbabwe comes out of its current challenges, do you want to be a leader starting at a micro-level.
Change does not only start with politicians as we all believe, however let me say it’s not everyone who will bring about big change but everyone can bring about change in their small spaces.
There are many examples of how simple people brought about huge change across the globe. What do you think, leave a comment below and let’s have a discussion so that we all improve.