It will not be what we do once in a while that will shape our politics. Rather, it is what we do consistently. Political parties must build a culture of consistency into their system and learn to ignore interesting but trivial sideshows that are inconsistent with their priorities.
Paying attention to detail reduces ignorance and protects people from costly arrogance. We will have to get rid of the notion that some things are obvious but study everything to its minute detail. It is essential that we try and develop a better understanding of our political crisis to develop effective strategies to deal with it.
We need to better appreciate why the Mthwakazi brand, which by the way is no new idea, has to this day failed to capture the imagination of the majority of Mthwakazi nationals. Is it anything to do with the packaging of the project? Are there better brands out there? Are we clear and consistent enough in the marketing of the product? Whose creation are the different products being sold? How much are communities consulted in the drawing of these products? Crucially, do local communities identify with the product on display?
Answers to the above questions will help inform our politics and its branding. We need to develop a purely pro-Mthwakazi political brand which will not be a mere response to the main Zimbabwean political parties. Mthwakazi’s political needs have never been a response to Zimbabwean politics but are founded on Mthwakazi norms and values, these are not anti-Mashonaland but different from Mashonaland.
If we are looking at a political realignment and reviving a great nation, we need great thinkers with great ideas. In a competitive political space where the oppressor has dug in and corrupted local minds, a good message alone is not sufficient, the delivery must be persuasive. It is here where we will have to rely on design to enhance and differentiate our brand from any other.
Protecting the safety and security of all people who live within our borders is imperative to human rights. We must be prepared to defend our beliefs and our territorial rights as Chief Ndiweni has been doing lately. We shall remind communities why and how the current regime is bad for them.
Even more important, people want to know what the product we are selling is and how it will make their lives different. We have a responsibility to deliver that message in a clear and simple but captivating language.
Design becomes our immediate focus. We are not short of local talent, we need to identify the best in human resources within our communities to design the logos, colours, slogans etc. that the public will identify with. English is widely used and understood across our culturally diverse nation and will make the base of most communication; using it side-by-side with local languages will be effective and persuasive for local communities.
Whatever we do, the advice would be to avoid retaliating the Zimbabwean tribalism and racism; we want to make fascist ideals obsolete in Mthwakazi. We want to sell hope and respect for diversity, and maintain that brand.
While there are circumstances that may make it necessary for politicians to change course to be relevant, inconsistency must never be the norm and if you find yourself having to wholly abandon the foundations of what you stand for dependent on who you meet, you will most certainly find it difficult to convince anyone else that you have an idea of what you stand for and that is politically destructive.
Consistency over time is trust. If the pro-Mthwakazi political agenda is to carve its place in the hearts of the public and succeed now and expand well into the future, political parties will need to build a strong and consistent brand, for success is most often found by perseverance.
Our costly mistake has been the unintentional but persistent marketing of non-Mthwakazi products. Highlighting our opponents’ weaknesses is a valuable campaign strategy but we need to get the balance right to avoid drowning our message in the negative rhetoric about Zimbabwean parties.
Social media is awash with messages from pro-Mthwakazi parties, but what stands out in those messages is the disproportionate reference to Zimbabwe’s major political parties. Our digital footprint is dominated by these parties when we should be creating a positive pro-Mthwakazi digital footprint by posting about ourselves and our products.
Yes, the messages about major Zimbabwean parties and their leadership may not be complementary in nature yet the mere mention of them is invaluable publicity; search engines capture the data, embed it in our identity and will recommend these parties and leaders to anyone visiting our social media pages, we become an unintentional but crucial tool in marketing our rivals.
Social media is a platform, let us start to post with purpose and caution. Posting and re-posting about Zimbabwean major political parties and leaders on our pages has little to no political capital to our movement. Let us identify mutual goals, package the product right, and reduce reference to our political rivals. Write a consistent message about our product, ourselves, our goals, our activities, our struggles and our successes.