Activism and diversity

Article by

Polite Ndhlovu 

Tolerating diversity and embracing each other as brothers and sister have been a challenge to the African nations. Each time people have different views, believes and opinions they turn to violence forcing the other to submit. The issue of diversity is often neglected despite its far reaching effects and possible strengths which can be harnessed. Activista Zimbabwe national chairperson and the team saw it imperative to enlighten each other, especially young people, over the matter.

Abel Sibanda echoed the same notion that it is very important to embrace diversity for Africa to prosper. “In a discussion with others we see how important the issue of diversity is to Africa’s progress however it is often only understood in the negative in light of xenophobic attacks and ethnic wars. Yet, the positive side is replete with developmental gains that are less understood. The nexus between diversity and development is one that must never be underestimated in the continent in view of how it has influenced positively some developed economies like the United States of America (USA), Australia, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates, among others” said Abel

He also added that political liberalisation seem to have led to an increased obsession with ethnicity, ‘autochthony’ and the ‘politics of belonging’ in Africa and elsewhere, thereby creating a crisis of identity. Also the issue of exclusion and new forms of identity arising from ‘repackaging’, ‘retribalisation’, ‘reconstruction’ and ‘redefinition’ of Africans by Africans for political purposes is so pervasive and disturbing. Priority is given to those belonging to a certain group. By so doing they jeopardizing the notion of unity by ethno-regional jingoism formed and sustained by the ruling elites of the country.

My simplest answer is; some members also argued that there was need to rewrite African history and delete artificial that were created during the partition of Africa. This could aid in making people see that despite diversity we are one people. Even language similarities are not confined to boarders for example the proto-Bantu linguistics. In Swahili dogs are called zinja, in Ndebele, Zulu, Swati they are called Izinja. There is also need to trace the migration trend from way back 1700s like the birth of Monomutapa State that migrated from DRC landing in Zim, Mapungugwe creating the Rozvi State and vaVhenda in SA vaVhenda in Zim maKaranga in Masvingo. It is the movement of Swahili people that created different states in Southern Africa like Zulu, Xhosa and many more who later migrated to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

Some were of the point that failing to embrace diversity have robbed Africa of development and Zimbabwe was saved. Indeed the issue of diversity is often neglected yet it has far reaching effects that lead to development. Taking cognisance of our Zimbabwean environment, be it in the political space or even in the economic industry, it is quite difficult for youthful people and the elderly to work together collaborating and actively engaging with each other. There is usually a conflict of interest but little do people know that through engagement and working towards a common goal, there is so much to achieve and excel in because there will be an influx of ideas

Another major concern was that of xenophobia.  It has of major concern for foreigners in countries like South Africa. The name Xenophobia has been negatively labeled on locals killing foreigners but funny enough Lindiwe Sisulu said its crime just two months ago in Durban. When requested to provide a docket of the criminals she failed. It is hard to live in any country other than yours in Africa. This is so disheartening taking into consideration that we are one family.


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