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Why Robert Mugabe Is Like The Horned Owl In A Folktale From Zimbabwe

Owl and birds

Owl and birds

When we was a child flourishing adult in Zimbabwe, a primary propagandize text had a story about an owl that ruled all a other birds.

The stream conditions in Zimbabwe, with a finish of a 37-year regime of President Robert Mugabe, has reminded me of that folktale from a Shona, a Bantu racial organisation local to Zimbabwe, Mozambiuque and Zambia.

The story is called a “Owl and Drongo” (Zizi naNhegure in Shona, that is my mom tongue). One day Zizi a owl summoned all a birds of a forest. In his sepulchral voice he announced that, given he was a usually bird with horns, it was wise that he should order over all a birds of a forest. For many years he ruled with comprehensive power. Every morning all a birds brought fat worms to his nest.

But a always doubtful fork-tailed drongo (Nhengure) wasn’t so certain about that. The drongo is a little songbird with black feathers, famous for imitating a calls of other birds to take their food.

Tired of slaving for a ruler owl, a drongo motionless one day to exam how manly a owl’s horns were. With all a birds watching, he pacifist from a sky and pecked one of a owl’s horns. And poof — a horn cracked into little feathers.

All a others cheered a drongo’s aplomb — and satisfied that a owl was not as comprehensive as it seemed. From afterwards on, a owl could usually come out during night. Traditional faith among a Shona people is that all nightly birds and animals are immorality and mostly compared with witchcraft.

But even yet a birds were happy, they weren’t utterly certain what would occur next.

I see good parallels in a churned emotions voiced by a birds during their time of transition — and by my associate Zimbabweans.

The initial feeling is shock. Shock that all it took was a few troops generals, with usually one reliable casualty, to chase Mugabe. we remember a same sentiments voiced globally during a rain of Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi. How can such comprehensive people tumble so fast from comprehensive power? Much like a horned owl, a biggest energy that dictators reason is a clarity of invincibility. Once that energy is tested, people see them for who they unequivocally are — small mortals who during some indicate started to trust their possess propaganda.

The second feeling is excitement.

We are not certain where a republic is headed though there is a clarity of change in a air. Much like a birds who had to move worms to feed a owl, Zimbabweans are sleepy of operative tough with no advantage for themselves. Once a bread basket of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe incited into a opposite kind of republic underneath Mugabe’s rule. It now imports many of a food. Nearly 28 percent of children underneath age 5 in Zimbabwe are tiny due to ongoing malnutrition. Although a republic boasts one of a top preparation rates in African and a plain preparation system, a stagnation rate is estimated during 95 percent.

Meanwhile, a initial family lived a life of pristine excess. Only final month, one of Mugabe’s sons was filmed drenching his $70,000 solid watch with a $260 bottle of champagne.

So Zimbabweans are celebrating a emergence of a new era. Life continues with a common routines. Kids are going to school, farmers are scheming a fields for planting and a few that are employed are going to work. Only this time, everybody seems to have a new rebound in their step.

The final feeling is anxiety. No one seems to know what a subsequent section competence be. Will there be assent and stability? What will occur to a economy? Much like a birds in my story, we got used to a certainty of an peremptory leader. Who will fill a energy void?

We need transparent minds to reconstruct Zimbabwe into a giveaway and moneyed nation. We have to be clever not to reinstate one owl with another.

Although in a turn of irony, a expected new boss — recently dismissed clamp President Emmerson Mnangagwa — is famous as “the crocodile.”

Edward Mabaya is Zimbabwean vital in a United States. He is a 2016 Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @edmabaya.