Education is the opium of Zimbabweans
By Nixon Nembaware
That moment when one gives you an honest opinion about your people and you cannot help but agree. I always enjoy talking to one of the Japanese security guards at the University. He tells me he traveled extensively in east and southern Africa before retirement.
He has very fond memories of his travels across the old functional post independence Zimbabwe. I mean if someone tells me Kariba, the geography of Manicaland even tells you about Chivhu and Rusape and Marondera they definitely have traversed Zimbabwe greatly.
Today when he came doing his security patrols around midnight he said something about Zimbabweans that I had a few minutes earlier been explaining to someone as my observation about Zimbabweans. He said “Zimbabweans very intellectual and academic huughm”.
Earlier on I had just told my friend that Zimbabweans are very intellectual… yes intellectual to the point of self destruction. I always hear people brag about how Zimbabwe has high literacy levels, yes and I celebrate that but literacy is a means not an end in itself it should translate to a better life, better governance, better social and public service delivery system.
Zimbabweans are so intellectual to the point of criticizing those who are trying to be constructive. To others Itai Dzamara’s approach of challenging bad rule is bad. Edgar Tekere is said to have lost the plot, Morgan Tsvangirai’s approaches are said to be so lame.
The women who are challenging gender-based violence are said to be of loose morals, the pastors are said to be too extravagant. Even the National Football league is paralyzed and the coaches are tossed to and fro by the fans that offer very academic debates.
Zimbabwe is fast turning into a country of self-consuming academics that produce knowledge for the sake of producing it. The funniest for me is a bunch of wanna-be political scientists who are given airtime on ZTV and do not even caution the reporters when they refer to them as political analysts or scientist not commentators.
The funny thing is the circle of political scientists in Zimbabwe is very small and you can tell just by the comments that the person is making that he is not at all a political scientist but just one of the Zimbabwean analysts who are so fond of giving comments over subjects they don’t know.
I see many people referred to as economists who have no idea about the basics of economics. We are very fond of big academic titles probably borrowing from citizen number one himself and yet do not translate the titles into what I call adaptive or solution oriented intelligence.
I have seen many young people in Zimbabwe and their solution to the challenges in the country is go back to school…then what. During the height of the Arab spring one person said to me Zimbabweans are too educated to demand their rights, they will suffer silently.
We should adapt and challenge our problems and forge ahead not bury our problems in books. Well Marx said Religion is the Opium of the people but Education is the opium of Zimbabweans. It stupefies us to the point of destruction.