I have seen them wait in fuel queues that went on for kilometres and go without bread, sugar, milk and other basic commodities.
They endure potholes in their neighbourhoods and do nothing when rubbish is not collected.
But then one day a 21-year old little girl does a few crazy things on a silly reality tv show and the floodgates of Zimbabwean anger FINALLY open up.
I don’t understand it, or do I? You see, this may seem like the whole bread and circuses thing all over again, but I think there's more to it...
I heard the story of a man, let’s call him Pawuros, who was visiting his friend, Jairos, once, and stayed with the latter and his wife, Mairos, for a few days. The one morning, Mairos was making breakfast and went off to do something. Jairos and Pawuros, who had gone out for a morning jog, came back to find that the toast was burning.
Jairos was incensed, screamed his wife’s name, and as she came running in, he pulled the burning bread out of the toaster and flung it violently against the wall, screaming all sorts of obscenities.
Pawuros, embarrassed by the whole thing, stepped out of the room.
He later on asked Jairos when they were alone what the deal was. “Sha, don’t you think you were a bit harsh with your wife. It was just toast.”
Jairos, looking sheepish, responded, “Sorry you had to see that. Yes, I overreacted.”
There was a silence, then Jairos continued, “It actually was not about the toast.”
“Ya, you see I’ve been pretty frustrated lately. Mairos has been denying me sex.”
Pawuros broke out laughing. “So you took it out on the poor toast!??”
Jairos, looked really embarrassed for a while and then he too started to laugh.
So, there you have it, my in depth analysis of the Maneta situation, summed up in that story.
Jairos is us Zimbabweans. The lack of sex represents everything we have been denied by our socio-politico-economic situation. Mairos represents everyone in our lives we want to tell something, but cannot because of fear; that’s our fathers, mothers, pastors, bosses and political leaders.
The toast represents Maneta.
We fling her to the wall out of frustration, not because we are that pissed off by what she has done, but because we are too afraid to confront the real problems that are ticking us off, eating away at us every day and creating the pressure that we release when a weak spot appears.
Shame on us.