Zimbabwe has a pressing ailment I diagnose as Over-Civilisation. While we may have kicked out the British and their Union Jack, we kept a lot of their stiff culture. Up to this day it is a rare occurrence to see a man at work in a dashiki or ‘African attire’ as we call it. We wear suits and ties even in the IT department, converse in English even among ourselves and are, as Leroy puts it, ‘always too eager to show how civilised we are’. Orwell’s pigs not only sleep in beds now, they have sheets too! The liberated slave is a shadow of his master, his purchase of class a Faustian transaction, it cost him his soul.
Our over-civilisation has led us, over the years, to witness some of the most flawed attempts at elections man has ever undertaken, and we just sighed, “another five years” or “will we survive?” The instinct of the fight has been neutered in us, so we forgive our enemies to our graves, pray for a better heaven and God to deal with those who persecute us. We have ceased to be masters of our own destiny.
We kept the British ‘civilisation’ and their God in whom, according to Nietzche in the The Antichrist, “all the cowardices and wearinesses of the soul find their sanction”. Even though this God preceded the gun and the shackle. We ascribe every calamity to that immaculate scapegoat: the devil, we blame the road carnage of holiday seasons on blood drinking diabolists and overlook the increase in traffic as relative to the likelihood of accident and other such factors.
It is Biblical phrases like ‘leaders are enthroned by God’ that throw us. I find it irreconcilable with the concept of Democracy. By bringing God into the equation we are admitting that democracy is an immaculate deception not orchestrated by human principalities but by divinity in whose hands we are but putty. Christianity castrates man into a marionette in an elaborate play whose outcome and events he has no control over. It is imperative that we kill this God or he shall be our downfall.
In gaining political independence we failed to secure intellectual and spiritual freedom. We still pray to the deities of our colonisers and denigrate our religious ways of precolonial times into heathenism. But every so often we are reminded of the vanity of our apostasy when the rains refuse to fall and we think to go back to Njelele, the shrine of Mwali (bastardised into the Christian God) and perform the rites of our ancestors.
We exist in a state of limbo, a mass identity crisis that leads us around in circles. The idea of a Zimbabwe is a myth, it is no more than a chicken-scratch on pieces of paper we call maps. Zimbabwe is made up of several ethnic groups with several separate identities and a common schizophrenia caused by the Christian instinct inflicted on most of us. We need a new God, a singular vision of greatness that binds us as a nation, one who accounts for what was alien to the authors of the Bible but is reality around us.
In other writing I covered some supernatural beliefs indigenous to us, these Christianity can only explain as ‘evil’. In truth, our realities point out that biblical authors were not as inspired as we choose to believe, despite the many inconsistencies in the stories, lack of scientific knowledge reduces its credibility. How does one stop the sun when it has never moved? Galileo was branded a heretic for his heliocentric views. He had to be wrong, after all, the world had to be flat or phrases like ‘to the end of the earth’, the ‘four corners of the earth’ would have to be metaphors, and that would lead to the weakening of the grip of Christianity when people began to wonder how much poetic licence is in the Bible.
It is appalling to me that the entire school syllabus teaches the Bible in religious and moral education. Christianity, the quest to become like the son of God is the epitome of human vanity; for one, none of the ‘anointed’ pastors can turn water into wine. Christianity is harmful, it loathes freedom, favours faith over reason and truth. It renders one doltish, bruises instinct, blunts worldly ambition for a pie in the sky and pacifies the hunger of the spirit. The Bible is only as true as any great work of literature: literarily, not literally. Not all may choose to see it that way, dogged by perceived obligation of their dogma to ‘save souls’, however our children have a right to innocence. Was Jesus not the lover of ‘sinners’? Doesn’t salvation come after the ‘fall’? What appals me most is that by using the Bible exclusively for moral instruction, we are not only assuming that every parent wants their child to be Christian but also denigrating our heritage, our folklores, history, the wisdom of our predecessors who were very advanced in their knowledge and perception of the world. Ask Credo Mutwa, they did not need the white man to tell them that the world is spherical.
Our people were not as ‘advanced’ as Europe on the technological front because form follows function and necessity is the mother of invention. For example, we know that the Haya were making steel several centuries before Europe but never developed cannons for lack of need, in the same way the little island of Britain developed most likely the most powerful navy in history that defied even Napoleon’s martial genius and all we had (in the landlocked plateau we call Zimbabwe) were canoes. With the travails of the Israelites from Egypt to Babylon, Assyria and the Roman Empire, it is easy to see why their God, Yahweh, evolved into what he became. Faith in this immaculate, evolutionary creation carried his ‘chosen’ people through rough periods in their history. Similarly, Nehanda and Kaguvi among other spirit mediums led the First Umvukela/Chimurenga against colonial settlement. It is faith in our gods that goads us to subdue the invincible, even if that faith, like during the Maji-Maji Uprising of Tanzania, is in a magic potion meant to render one bulletproof while in actuality is no more than water. Our God must not feed our weakness but our will to strength.