There is neither a compelling reason nor benefit for Mthwakazi to let its body politic be infected or dominated by emotions, low self-esteem, fear of other nations and insecurity. If Mthwakazi organisations prioritise Mthwakazi, every other decision will be easy; we need to do the right things for the right politics to take root in Matabeleland.
We live and die by our decisions; let us separate the important from luxury, if we cannot differentiate needs from wants the Mthwakazi project will fail. Far from prioritising what is on our schedule, we will have to schedule our priorities. Our role as Mthwakazi citizens is to transform the complex political situation we find ourselves in within the independent Zimbabwe into tiny bits that we will then prioritise.
While I recognise the benefits, to the Mthwakazi project, of drawing in support, expertise and experience of our international friends in the fight for our rights, I believe real change will only happen when locals are totally involved in the project in real terms not as auxiliary outlets of ideas generated by elite and/ or foreign based Mthwakazi individuals and/ or organisations; our first focus should be ourselves. Let us prioritise building Matabeleland power from within; we need to improve competence in the use of resources, objectivity in building external alliances and innovation in promoting ethical global interaction.
As already alluded to in the previous paragraph, I am not against Mthwakazi forging foreign alliances; I view such arrangements as progressive and a fundamental part of the struggle yet I do not think such arrangements should supplant direct investment in our Mthwakazi groups. I certainly do not believe our limited financial resources should be redirected away from essential local Mthwakazi projects in pursuit of international partnerships.
A bottom up, inside out growth process will be the right approach. Let us embrace who we are, strengthen internal confidence and build the vital local structures we require to take Mthwakazi forward. When the foundation is strong, it is easier to place the rest of the components, including our friends from the international community, in positions where they will better advance our project. It is easier to attract effective foreign attention and interest when you can practically prove confidence in yourself and your dreams.
Dreams do not become reality through magic but through sweat and determination. If our intention is to empower Matabeleland, let us not rest on our laurels and contemplate on our dreams, let us go out and get busy. We can record as many of our dreams as we like but without the dedication, desire and determination we will not live to realise them, that is the sad truth all in Matabeleland will need to appreciate. Despairing is not an option; in success and in failure, let us ensure we have truly applied our all to the task at hand.
Leadership is about solving problems and not shying away from challenge. Anything worth achieving has obstacles in the way; persistence and not just talent will take us places. We are aware of many talented but unsuccessful individuals and groups within Mthwakazi’s political space because they could not apply themselves hard enough to the projects at hand.
If we choose not to participate in politics, we allow ourselves permission to lose and guarantee further Mthwakazi political decline. Let us act now; we need to ensure our determination to succeed is too strong for failure to outpace our dreams. Our limited financial resources call for efficient planning; funding local organisations for local projects is fundamental and should be prioritised over and above spending to forge foreign alliances.