For years pro-Mthwakazi politics has had great speakers making great speeches, turning people’s heads, but these great speeches have not changed anything. Words express our beliefs, and our beliefs are essential for they shape who we are, but our identity is revealed not through our beliefs or words but through our actions.
Our experience and lessons from oppressed societies elsewhere teach us that independence and freedom are not driven by words but by the transformative actions that turn words into practical actions; philosophy has its place in politics; it works well on social media and in meetings. However, on the field it is a different story in which practicality is the prime tool.
A clear message for Mthwakazi parties is that no matter how well-written and strongly worded a speech is and how powerful it is delivered, it alone without the support of action will never change our national circumstances.
The question to be answered in today’s Mthwakazi is: if we do not fight for what we ‘stand for’ with our passionate words and honest actions, do we really ‘stand’ for anything? We are repressed today not because we cannot speak but because of the lack of corresponding action. The thoughts are good, the words are even greater but action is silent.
Locally, we are witnesses to many pro-Mthwakazi socioeconomic and political parties based on great ideas that have struggled to remain innovative and/or competitive to sustain their presence long enough to make the Zimbabwe main political parties obsolete in the Mthwakazi political space.
Many great ideas within our political space have become redundant because our people and organisations have not had the courage, resources, time and/or money to take action. For the few movements who have taken action, most have been poorly prepared and lacked focus to make them truly effective.
Now we venture into new territory, the hour has arrived for Mthwakazi to abandon theories and focus on what is practical. We are under no illusion that giving brilliant ideas life would not be an easy task.
To take action and change the status quo, let us believe in ourselves and be prepared to take whatever consequences for our actions. Our responsibility is to take ownership of events on the ground regardless of the circumstances; we know what we want, nobody else does.
Reactive politics characterised by spontaneous activity may be good for short-term impact, but is never a good foundation for long-term politics because it just does not own its ideas but responds to somebody else’s.
To set up an effective long-term politics, we must be organised. No one can do everything but everyone can do something. Moving forward, Mthwakazi parties must be ready to employ advisers to help them along.
Inward looking political movements restrict their access to a pool of ideas. We cannot expect progress on the ground when parties continue to mark their own homework. Instead of the current misinformed strategy of rejecting regional political elders, movements must be prepared to create room to objectively learn from these political figures’ experience.
It would be foolishness for any Mthwakazi organisation to think because it owns the idea it has all of the answers. There is distinction between ideation and execution. Mthwakazi parties must employ and allow their advisers to guide them with wisdom born from their own failures and subsequent successes.
We want to establish goals:
- List all goals that we want to pursue
- Determine time and resources available
- Set priorities
Draw a plan
- Establish a timeline
- Break down goals into simple easy to follow steps
- When the plans have been broken down into steps, we need to create a schedule so we can reserve time to carry it out. Otherwise in the absence of a schedule, the plan remains just that, a plan rather than a blueprint for action.
Implementation of a plan
- Parties need to stay focused to what they want to achieve
- Set aside time to meet obligations
- Never deviate from the plan, persist with it for clarity, progress and credibility
- Maintain clear communication with all stakeholders including the Mthwakazi electorate
- Remove any distractions
We accept that words are a powerful and influential tool capable of dictating human feelings, behaviours, beliefs and actions. But the current Mthwakazi situation is testimony to the fact that it is easy to talk about what we are going to do, but that is of no consequence until we take action and make it happen. Our future lies in words being turned into action, not ideas being described through colourful language. The mark of our political progress will be when our organisations increasingly speak according to their actions.