I look back to my thoughts about Zimbabwe and the elections. Many were disappointed that no change occurred. But in reality we have to look at all sides. The bottom line is if we zoom into Zimbabwe and magnify we will see just like David mentioned tribes. All Zimbabweans are members of tribes. Sometimes being in different tribes at the same time. What is interesting is that the majority of Zimbabweans at this moment when I speak to them fall into two groups. Many might be offended, I too was offended by my thoughts but this is the reality and people must wake up in order to move our country
The truth is many are in stage 1, 2 and 3. Very few stage 4 and 5 Tribes existing yet! The stage 1 tribe which simply denotes that life sucks in Zimbabwe and I wish I could be out of this country right now! Stage 1 takes no opinion from those who are outside the country because they simply don't know what they are talking about, right? Well they do not, right? It gets twisted because well you see stage 1 is usually for gangs and prisons. But then that makes Zimbabwe some sort of cage in which people want to escape from as soon as possible and will do all it takes to jump this closed space that will have no progress. In this tribe people do whatever it takes to survive!
Stage 2 is really were people become powerless because of the culture set up of the environment they are in. "How can people be so dumb and yet live!" In this Tribe people find themselves saying things like "Well I am Zimbabwean anyway and that is horrible because being Zimbabwean at this time just sucks and there is nothing I can do about it! I was just cursed to be Zimbabwean and I have to live with it, right?" Well yes we can't rewind time and well we can't quantum mechanics your then pregnant mother and time travel her to Chicago or Kualar Lumpar where you would have had the luck to call yourself another native! Too bad the Zimbabwean-ess is stuck with you by birth! Deal with it!
Then we come to stage 3. That ugly place to be I tell you. because this is the stage were Zimbabweans feel obliged to over-ride statements and show just how great Zimbabwe is by overriding every statement about how bad their country situation is by simply saying things like "Well, Zimbabwe is a great great great place to be -- we were the bread basket of Zimbabwe" and to add on "Like come on -- we are the most literate country and we have Victoria falls!" You could find this funny but this is the reality!
The stage 4 and 5 is that place where people believe in working together with their individual greatness and to change things. In this stage it goes beyond hope and faith. You are certain of winning! Because everybody wins! But yet what becomes a pity is that you need to have these individuals available for this to happen. These are the seeds of something revolutionary. In this tribe there is an element of excitement, element of believing in things larger than the normal person would believe. The road never traveled is taken. Everyone is brought together for one reason -- all tribes join together for something greater -- the rise of a great nation! Oddly Tribe 5 Inco-operates tribe 2 and 3 as well.
But then comes what did this have to play during the election. What does this have to do with anything? Well it has everything to do with the situation in Zimbabwe and its diaspora. Largely because a look into the candidates and a thorough background research beyond their personalities reveals a lot about the type of tribal leaders they were during the election. And how they drew their tribes during their campaigns. The results of the election after a lot of thought were quite clear even before the voting began. This is what people failed to see! People shifted tribes over time. People are still shifting tribes.
So the question becomes how exactly did things change -- how do things change? And the answer starts within tribes. What moves tribes? If we go back to a few months back before the elections started. Across Zimbabwe various tribes were coming together and convening what their choices would be and what they wanted to see. Tribes were discussing things of great importance to the nation. Yet because a large number of people fell between tribes 1, 2 and 3 what do you thing happened? In Zimbabwe and its diaspora on the social media, in emails and mobile phone exchanges people talked about the events they would attend, the greatest dress at the parties, soccer teams but also people talked about the various happenings of the politicians (their scandals , their strengths, their characters -- reliability, integrity etc.) as well as who they would likely vote for. And if we look back at the social media arena it looked like Tsvangirai was going to win... yet when you would take that chance to have one on one conversations and talk with people in Zimbabwe who COULD VOTE and were registered one would have easily noticed the funnel effect that was happening across Zimbabwe within these tribes. The truth is the older generation and actually many other young people would rather have a leader they have trusted and relied on for so long rather than a short term replacement who seems unstable in his own life and has not quite shown what he has to give to the nation. The reality which many might argue is truly that the opponents appeared as weak targets. And this really shows us that Africa needs to have its young leaders take a step and not only step up BUT prove themselves as leaders capable to take on responsibility for the nation. We lack young leadership! That is the reality!!! A friend once argued with me on this one:
"The problem with Zimbabwe and most of us African countries is that there are no successors. We do not invest on raising good leaders. We focus instead on bringing them down. Why would people vote for a 90 year old to lead them if they really had another choice? Let's be serious about ourselves going forward."
Then I remember we hosted an event for young leaders in sport when I was in Ivory Coast and at one moment something went entirely wrong. The food had arrived slightly late and insufficient by five plates. I will tell you that in a team of 10 handling only 100 people who called themselves and we had believed were young African leaders -- they disappointed us. There was the biggest chaos I have ever seen. I was standing behind the stalls to serve people, all I remember were the tables coming crashing at me as people tried to get themselves a plate first! If these are the young leaders of Africa then let us be serious about going forward. Change also doesn't start with some random newbie coming as a candidate to save us -- change starts with us. Starts within our tribes!
We all form tribes -- but the question becomes what impact are we making in your tribe. Will these tribes change the world? Will your tribe change Zimbabwe (because clearly alone you cannot!)