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Colonialism, Drugs, Education, Sex and Zimbabwe!

Nkululeko Nkala                                                                                                                                                                        I KNOW this sounds like the title of a book written in Gomorrah, but hear me out.

It’s known that once in a while I want to dramatise a piece. Don’t blame me, after all I am in art, we love drama!

What’s the drive around this piece? Well . . . we all know the thorny story of colonialism, but please note this is not a history lesson.

It’s the lessons drawn from history that have incited me to write this piece. It’s true that travelling sometimes opens your eyes.

I am in Netherlands (Holland) for another 4 days or so and I have had contact with their education system which has really got me thinking. Looking at their curriculum I realised they teach history from the renaissance period.

Renaissance means rebirth, it’s a French word by the way, and this period is from the 14th to the 17th Century.

It’s considered the bridge between the middle ages and modern history. This is the period when the printing press was invented. Artistes like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo created great works of art. Shakespeare was a writer during this time.

Christopher Columbus explored during this time. New ideas in literature , philosophy , science and religion were developed and advanced during this time.

I could go on and on about how it began, where it had effect and how it spread to the rest of Europe. But I am no fundi, I am just driving towards my own story.

Now come back home. To a curriculum created by our then masters, our history is more on colonialism, the uprisings, wars, great droughts and such.

Well, at least as far as I know. I know there was a new syllabus introduced in the 90’s that faced resistance, but I am not going to discuss that. This is not an academic piece by the way.

Have you ever asked yourself if you stay in the high density suburbs, that is, when you drive to work in the morning the sun is right in your eyes and when you come back home the same thing happens?

Have you ever asked yourself why industries which are meant to cause pollution are all near the high density suburbs?

Anyway that’s me digressing. My point is that history learnt this side is meant to inspire and by the time of going to press I could only settle for that ours is just general knowledge, because of our history many young people invent things in Africa and many never take off or enjoy their sweat.

Now over to drugs.

I am amazed at that weed (imbanje) is semi-legal in Holland. One is allowed to plant at least one tree and you can walk into a coffee shop and get yourself a joint. I say semi-legal because the government says they tolerate it as long is it not too much. It may seem like there is no relation between the topic on history and this bit on drugs, but if you take a closer look at the ideas taught when they deal with the renaissance lessons they are celebrating their ever progressiveness and  we are conserving what they left us.

“Until the lion learns how to write its stories every story will ever glorify the hunter,” they say. Isn’t it just amazing how Westerners seem to be unafraid to bend rules? Locally, Bulawayo City Council won’t allow you to sell alcohol at City Hall, because of a law made in 1980 which is rather vague.

There are more laws like this that are enforced because they were put on paper decades ago. It’s like systems are cast in stone. And my people are quick to submit to law even if it does not benefit them.

It’s a known fact that sex sells. Holland taught me that it is a really viable business. I went to a red light district in Amsterdam.

Here ladies sell themselves in broad daylight to clients. They stand on windows almost naked and you shop for what you like. Tourists come in their numbers to view such. I saw a world museum of prostitution there, sex shops and strip shows in broad daylight. It’s like an amplified version of Private Lounge and Barrow street. I am not saying maybe we should use our ladies of the night as night tourism. That will be wrong.

But I found a way with which Private Lounge could make more money!

Besides these little things like an efficient transport system, plastic money or availability of it, Zimbabwe is a beautiful place. We do not have horrible weather, our food is cheap. No one is monitoring our movements. We just need to take advantage of what we have. Stand up for what we deserve. Stop being selfish and plan for a better Zimbabwe for our grandchildren.

—@NkueNkala