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July 15, 2024

BCC’s Central Call for Restoration

By Ndaba Sibanda

BCC’s Central Call for Restoration

Rebirth will lead to self-actualisation and socio-economic freedom.
It is our bequest like the land. It is our soul. Our present and future.

True philanthropists, please stand up, predators and pretenders, sit down.
Those were the words made by the concerned conglomerate’s participants.
The bywords on their office walls were: merit, honour and humanity.
BCC, short for Bulawayo Changemakers’ Courtyard,
made a moving plea to interested bodies and folks.
In the light of snowballing social problems bedeviling
our lovely city, and in the true spirit of Ubuntu,
please principled do-gooders or benefactors
stand up, and do good and be counted.
The city is grappling with chronic water
woes against an aged Zambezi pipe dream,
a crippling drought, youth redundancy
and a wave of delinquencies and thefts.
The youth should not feel abandoned,
orphaned or hopeless like their parents.
The cycle of gloom must be cut or ended
here and now. Hence, you are invited
to come to the party, to skin or peel,
to chew the bone or to broach subjects
and issues without fear or favor but
with a view to finding creative solutions
as members of affected communities.

Yet your footsteps should be exemplary
and worth emulating and stimulating.
You should be someone who the youth
and society can look up to and learn from.
Equally, those whose conduct is dishonest
or fraudulent, whose wealth is dirty or indecent
by virtue of being directly or indirectly derived
from breach of trust, felony or shady dealings
by way of mismanagement of public funds,
abuse of government tenders, infrastructure,
procedures, programmes and public sales etc.,
are not eligible and welcome. Is that clear? Steer clear.
You could be an aggressive and creative individual,
that personality trait is commendable and acceptable.
However, what is condemnable and unacceptable
is to host and normalise a culture of corruption, greed
and; of idolizing and flaunting obscene or extreme opulence.
Not in our city or communities. Not in our cultural courtyard.
That is taboo, alien and in bad taste. It defies humanity.
That is not us! No to such dirtiness, deadness and decay.
Our royal legacy and unity should not be eclipsed by trinkets.
This courtyard was born out of a realisation and an obligation
to provide and promote hearty and life-changing discourses
on development, heritage and history in a solid and fresh fashion.
For in customary Nguni/Ndebele society the word Nkundla
means a gathering or a meeting of the villagers
or inhabitants of an area, convened or held
in the public courtyard at the gate
of the cattle enclosure or kraal.

Similarly, BCC is made up of focused custodians
of culture, various advisors, experts and inspirers,
the clergy and the bench, human rightists, scholars,
the civic leaders, entrepreneurs, and the youth.
We will not sit by when filthy riches are dangled
to decoy ,defile or damage our cultural fibre.
Our pillars of vision, values and mission hinge
on five key Ps: posterity, probity, prosperity,
patience and progress. Probity, as we value
integrity, posterity since all these ideals
and endeavors are aimed at ushering in
a healthier, happier, richer, and cleaner future
for our long-suffering children and grassroots.
Residents need to be keen, proactive and fluent
in the language of self-esteem, self-awareness,
self-care and self-worth in order to experience
and embrace the enterprises, ideas and ideals
of development, empowerment and financial freedom.
Our people need to discover and recover themselves first,
they need to be exorcised from self-hate, an inferiority complex,
a demeaning dependency syndrome and the fear of fear itself,
a fear of a darkness without a leopard. Come one, come all,
for a wise and steadfast traveller seeks directions and advice
from those who are familiar with the path he or she is pursuing.

It is a vital process. Our path. A time to heal from traumas.
We have a calling to revive compassion, hope and harmony.
We have a duty to recuperate ourselves from dejection.
Let us give the kiss of life to our fundamental entities
like robust cultural ,recreational and vocational centres.
As we ditch gloom and doom for our glue, adored relations,
see our glee as we sail away from a sea of wear and worries.
Let us look for ourselves and find our cultural centredness.

Ill-informed infamous, known and unknown
claimants, beneficiaries, criminals and aiders,
sit down. Let us be. We have a nation to build here.
We will strive to afford the youth aid, openings,
and jobs so that they could be dissuaded from being
hooked on drugs, violence, prostitution and other vices.
These socio-economic depravities were foisted on them.
Remember, lots of firms were either run down or relocated.
The youth are irate, jobless, frustrated and vulnerable.
They need counseling and training services in order
to unleash their creative genius and greatness.
We will partner with local and global patrons.
We want our families to lead meaningful lives,
not to look up to crooks and thieves as saviors.
After all, we are in this mess because of them.
But none should be so desperate as to sell their soul.
That would be heart-rending and self-defeating.
Anyone one who gives away stolen cash or wealth
to another person is basically no lesser, better,
cleverer or purer than a criminal that is not a “giver.”
How does stolen money or wealth belong to a felon?
On that basis, how can one legally give away what
is not theirs? A felonious giver? For that reason, felons,
don’t seek to fool and take advantage of people’s
plight, that is, broadly speaking, triggered
by a vicious cycle of criminal acts and immunity.

The BCC’s communique had residents enthused.
Who does not admire and applaud humans who rise
to the occasion and donate or offer sizeable resources
for a good or noble cause? Those who are involved in the act
of helping a cause that is pursued to enhance human wellbeing—
to dig and parachute individuals out of diverse and deep social trials—
are the esteemed but humble, honest humanitarians or philanthropists.

Such exceptional altruists carried out noble acts that sought
to solve and prevent social problems like the joblessness
of the youth, a wave of crimes, hunger and starvation.
The citizens encouraged the passionate participants
to touch lives in an enduring and telling way—
to be in service of humanity,
to exhibit and radiate
a love of mankind.

It was beneficial for the philanthropists
to be prosperous or influential or well-connected.
Those who were not rich could still make an impact
in their modest, dedicated, sustained and creative ways—
maybe by way of donating their ideas, time, expertise,
or little amounts of money, time, food or clothes, you name it.
Some selfless teachers volunteered to teach kids for free,
while thoughtful writers thought of raising reading skills
and awareness and a love of books
by donating their various books,
and giving book talks and readings.

Organizers of the philanthropic activities
and projects harped on the importance
of the donors to make a positive change
in their communities and to develop
the lives of the less fortunate members
of the city. To transform lives, demonstrate
devotion, diligent practice, decency and care.

While cognizant and appreciative
of labored and loved expressions like
“beggars should not be choosers”
the directors had revered values to uphold
and were candid, clear and unanimous
on who exactly could be an accepted donor.

Any person whose source
of wealth or sponsorship
was deemed dubious or suspicious—
no matter how wealthy or influential,
or indispensable that individual
considered themselves to be—
was guided thus, “our development agenda
is not merely about contributions
but is also rooted in consciences,
diligent practices, decorum, compassion,
cultural renaissance and adherence,
critical socio-economic canons and hopes.

Deceiver, keep your plunder or decoy,
or dirty and dubious riches , we are apolitical
and averse to your political or party
maneuvers, trickery and propaganda.

Deceiver, the deprived, the underequipped
and understaffed health institutions
and potholed roads are necessities,
yet you ignore them with your trappings
and inducements. What is progressive about that?
We know a toady or a deceiving dummy,
or a smokescreen representative
if we see one. We are convinced
that you are corrupt and harmful;
that you are not a role model or an icon,
and not an honest and well-meaning,
pure philanthropist. You are a mere mock.
Now sit down and feast on your lousy loot!”

Article © Ndaba Sibanda. All rights reserved.
Published on 2024-05-20
Image(s) are public domain.
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