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16 September 2022 | Newsletter Issue 10

Beautiful Zimbabwe needs our love

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Old Dairiboard print advert (Source: Pindula)

In Magwegwe, Bulawayo, where I grew up, we would put two empty milk bottles and some money at the gate before we went to bed. At dawn the next day, the milkman would collect the empty bottles and the cash and leave two bottles full of fresh milk. This was the story throughout all urban areas. In today’s Zimbabwe the empty bottles, the cash and the milk would be stolen no matter where in the country one lives.

I share this story often to illustrate how our society has changed. This experience was during the harsh Ian Smith days but our values held us together. There was a strong sense of community in the townships and rural areas that was held together by such old-fashioned values as love, respect, courtesy and kindness. Our parents were exceedingly proud of their humble township and rural homes. There was respect for private property. Young people truly respected the elders. The village literally raised every child in the vicinity. My late mother was known as an equal opportunities disciplinarian in the neighbourhood. Parents threatened their children with sending them to my mother for some disciplining sessions.

This has largely changed over the past 42 years. Social values and norms are generally in shreds. The communal spirit has given way to selfishness and a disregard for common courtesy and decency. Crime levels are up due to poverty but also due to the leadership modelled from above. The flagrant violation of the law by the common person and those in authority is alarming. The way we drive and treat each other is pathetic. Littering in public spaces mirrors the toxicity in the way we engage each other. Public property and infrastructure lie derelict. Those who lead us have physically and verbally abused us and we in turn take our frustrations on each other.

The damage to our infrastructure is nothing compared to the damage inflicted on our national psyche over the past three decades or so. Can all this damage be reversed? The answer to this question is a resounding YES – with a cautionary – but it will not be easy. Our national healing will have to be a deliberate exercise that starts from the reformation of each individual with the help of social structures such as the family, faith-based organisations, schools and businesses.

At a national level we each have to seek and demand ethical leadership that is motivated by old-fashioned values of love, community, selflessness, social justice, hard work and honesty. We need a visionary leadership that leads by example and is imbued with passion for the public good and compassionate humanism; a leadership that boldly leads from the front and not one that is intent on pleasing the gallery.

Most visitors are impressed by the beauty of our country. There is a certain politeness about how hard working and friendly we are which is informed by what we used to be. A candid examination of our society will confirm we have changed and that only a remnant few fit this stereotype. This sober realisation would fuel a return to the beautiful people that we used to be in this truly beautiful God-given country we call Zimbabwe.

In Conversation with Douglas Hoto

In this week’s episode Actuary and First Mutual Holdings Group CEO Douglas Hoto did not disappoint. So many nuggets on corporate governance, Gold Coins, the Census etc. This is Douglas’s second bite at the cherry at First Mutual following a disagreement with previous shareholders. His current stint at First Mutual has seen a massive growth in the business and an impressive culture change. In case you have not yet watched the episode it is available in full here.

MasterClass with Petina Gappa

We are delighted to bring you this top-shelf Petina Gappa MasterClass. Petina came with a suitcase full of books and we are confident you will love this.

Watch the Masterclass here.

Coming Next: In Conversation with Sibusisiwe Bango

Sibusisiwe (Busi) Bango has a wealth of experience in growing entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe and the region. Born in Bulawayo and a director of a number of blue chip companies Busi has been Empretec Executive Director since 1999. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to watch this quality conversation.

Don’t miss out on the next conversation with Sibusisiwe Bango.


in conversation with trevorZimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube sits
down with various high-profile guests in a series of candid,
conversations that seeks to go beyond the headlines
and beyond the sensational.

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Summary: An in-depth look into the qualities that influence and motivate would-be leaders into becoming versions of themselves that promote and attract committment from those they lead.

Order yours now on Amazon.

Recommended Reading:
Mournable Body

by Tsitsi Dangarembga

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