Dark days ahead, get your candles

By Dr Patson Dzamara

Fellow Zimbabweans, I have never harboured the wish to secure a place for myself in the corridors of prophets of doom. However and in spite of that, I wish to make an unpalatable prediction about the road ahead.

It is blatant we are heading towards a season that could rank as the worst ever in the history of our nation. The road ahead is certainly a bumpy one, it wont be a smooth ride.

Despite my default optimism posture, I have never felt the weight and pain of our nation the way I feel right now. Dark days are awaiting us, let’s get our candles.

I usually work through the greater part of the night but I could not work past 9pm yesterday. I felt drained and I could not go on. I decided to drive into the CBD to get fruits.

Upon completing my business in the CBD, while I was walking back to my car, a neatly dressed man approached me. I was totally whacked up and certainly didn’t have energy to talk to anyone but I get approached by so many people I do not know and I never ignore them no matter what they will be saying.

That man began to narrate to me how he had travelled from Gweru to Harare in order to present his demo CD to a producer but he could not meet him as he was busy. The long and short of it is that he was looking for bus fare to go back to Gweru. Even though he showed me a plain CD, I could tell he was lying.

I reached my hand out, touched his shoulder and told him he had no reason to lie to me. I told him that I knew exactly where he was because I have been there before. His countenance changed instantly as he sat on the pavement of the road. I sat next to him while I tried to tell him not to cry but he just couldn’t hold back his tears.

We ended up talking for about 40 minutes. He admitted he had lied in his initial account and then shared with me his horrendous experiences as an unemployed man trying fend for two daughters and a wife who suffered a mild stroke recently. A qualified mathematician he is, but he at times gets hired by older women for sex. It’s a cold world out there.

I didn’t have much on me but I gave him what I had. You see, if you have been shown grace, its easy to show grace to someone else. This encounter left me engulfed under a plethora of emotions and thoughts. I was never under any illusion regarding the despicable state of affairs in our nation but my encounter with that man caused it to really sink.

I am not inclined towards hallucination and therefore shall not pretend to give meaningless hope to the majority of people who have no clue nor hope about what the next day or month brings.

As Robert Mugabe and his minions continue with their charlatanry, bickering among themselves, unfortunately the opposition movement finds itself in the same mode. Meanwhile, we find all this amusing and a platform to satiate our seemingly senseless insatiable penchant for comic relief and yet it carries a bold inscription with it that dark days are ahead.

Come what may, there is no way ZANU PF will reform itself out of power. On the other hand, there is no way the opposition will win even a free and fair election if it continues on the current trajectory of confusion. Everything therefore continues to plunge into socio-economic and political gloom.

Again, l no longer blame Mugabe, but us, collectively. Mugabe and his gang have done their part, by destroying Zimbabwe, and we have allowed them. It is now our responsibility to rescue ourselves – but we continue fiddling, waffling and pretending in various ways.

Zimbabweans I wish I could inspire hope and I try. I wish I could inspire courage and I try. I wish I could change the direction we are heading towards but I can’t. The bottom line is that the days ahead are dark. It’s not going to be easy. Brace up for a tough season.

It’s going to get darker and darker. Who knows, maybe that’s what we need to wake up out of our slumber and indifference. Get your candles because the days ahead are dark.

Ultimately, I wish that the darkness we are going to come face to face with shall inspire us to search and fight for the light. A new and better Zimbabwe is possible in our lifetime but we must be prepared to fight and pay the price for it.


  • Dr. Patson Dzamara is a pro-democracy activist and leadership coach based in Zimbabwe. – Khuluma Afrika