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Identity of a lost and found youth
Marangwanda, Magamba Network
April 24, 2013
of an appropriate identity is an often complex, confusing exercise
especially for the modern African youth. Positioning oneself in
a post-independence society still heavily reliant on its historical
perspective, while simultaneously attempting to keep pace with a
rapidly evolving globe, is not an easy task. That might explain
why we the post-colonial children of Zimbabwe dubiously christened
“born-frees” seem somewhat adrift in this raging current
of contemporary life.
We are what
the Senegalese author, Ousmane Sembene, referred to as “God’s
bits of wood” anointed and chosen to perform a seemingly impossible
task of carrying on a legacy we hardly understand, while at the
same time finding ourselves scattered and ultimately headed for
the fire. Though heavily indebted and grateful to our fathers and
mothers for struggling for our liberation in the bushes of the land
and in exile we also find it difficult to fully appreciate the gravity
of what they went through, maybe because we simply were not present
at the time.
Our elders find
this unforgivable but how can we be faulted for choosing to focus
most of our attentions on that which directly surrounds us? Should
we force ourselves to walk backwards when our feet are inclined
to move forward? Must we embrace the heroes they impose on us when
we are perfectly capable of fashioning our very own functional idols?
Technology is our new religion and yesterday’s post, status
update and tweet is the new ancestor yet we still find ourselves
deeply fascinated by the legend of Chaminuka and we are still heard
time and again loudly and proudly referring to one another by our
It is true that
we have taken over the coloniser’s language and made it our
own (we even think in English for heaven’s sake!) but we also
reverently absorb the sacred connection to our roots embedded within
the brown soil of our rural homes. As much as we mimic the foreign
styles and scandals we see in the mass media, we also sit at the
feet of our grandparents and listen to the beauty in their folktales
with reckless abandon.
The simple fact
is: we are not a lost cause, we are the way in search of itself.
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