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  • Writer's pictureRutendo Matinyarare

Rhodesia Building National Brands

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

In as much as the Rhodesians were racists and exploiters at heart. A smart nation of progressive Zimbabweans can also take some serious lessons from their ability to build the mythology of Rhodesia.

This small group of people built a unassailable cohesion around something that never existed, just by leveraging their national interests, identity, forming an ideology and building an emotive brand.

This is something that our current and previous president have failed to do: building a national pact, core value system, identity and then positioning the nation to work towards delivering these common interests. Yet we are the children of Mutapa and Rozvi.

Our nation was real and older than the British empire which was the mother of Rhodesia. It existed to the extent that out of the soap stone artifacts of our nation came the inspiration for Rhodesia and from the formidable walls of rock at Great Zimbabwe we are MaDzimbabwe.

But instead of building upon this foundation, our leaders chose to make the nation a hierarchy of individual interests which has in turn fragmented the nation.

It’s a theme that has haunted us from independence resulting in gukurahundi, all the way through to sanctions and the irreparable party political division we have today. We are a nation of people of the same race divided against ourselves....

To remedy this, our Zim dancehall singers should be inspired by this Rhodesian sound track not to be spending time singing the mindless vulgarities they sing. But they should be producing music that builds our national identity, pride and focus to give us hope and purpose. This is something I have been challenging Martin Boka and his African Fire group to do more of.

We have done enough pointless singing, dancing and all other activities that emanate from these activities but it has not united us, improved us or taken us forward. Someone could say that it has made us visionless consumers who are unproductive.

Surely, as a nation we can not just use such a powerful medium as music to propagate mindless entertainment and consumption when it’s a potent tool to mold and mobilize society, particularly in a world where the manufactured consent is against African progress.

Build a national identity and you will build a brand and loyal, cohesive market of never ending support behind the emotive cause of nation building . This is why Rhodesia still lives in the hearts of many men including our own. The result of us emulating what Rhodesia did by building our own national identity upon our historical nations will be a more united Zimbabwe in which everyone works towards Zimbabwean interests and a prosperous Zimbabwe for us all.

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