Growing Up

What Shall We Do?

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confusion what should we do maputiatota blog

A really good Zimbabwean singer we once had called Oliver Mtukudzi once sang this beautiful song called “Todini.” 

The lyrics went something like this:
“Haaa todini?
What shall we do?”

Today’s article is going to be about starting out life and the challenges you get to face.

It starts like a Disney movie. Everything in life starts that way. A beautiful animation comes up and a smile comes to your face. The characters are introduced and you believe it’s going to be a nice sweet story to the end.

In this case our Zimbabwean character watches television. They see rockets being launched to the moon. They let’s give our character a name – Bhorongi Bharangizha. Bhorongi stares in awe as an astronaut lands on the moon (conspiracy theorists you are wrong. The moon landing was real). So, Bhorongi sees the astronaut taking moon samples and in a later documentary, she sees the astronaut do sciency stuff with fancy equipment. 

She is just left speechless by the many cool gadgets that engineers design that enable astronauts to travel to outer space. Bhorongi decides to become an engineer one day and her dream is to help create some big thing that will change the world.

The Lie Starts Here
You are told that in order to achieve greatness in your life you need to go through school and get a nice doctrate degree. I have nothing against education, but there is so much misinformation present. So anyway, Bhorongi buys into the lie and starts on the long and treacherous journey to get a PHD. 

She get’s straight A’s in her O level and A level exams.
By some luck, she manages to get a scholarship to leave the country and do her undergraduate engineering degree. 
She gets a visa, gets escorted to the airport by her whole clan (standard procedure). The future looks bright.

The Foreigner
She gets to the distant land and is super excited about her first day of university that starts on Monday. She goes to town to get a few outfits to make her look good. On the bus, she notices that she sits alone. “Quite lovely these people are” she thinks to herself. She thinks they are giving her space and she graciously accepts the gift. 
She has an awesome first day at school and goes back to her dorm. 

After a few months, she starts to notice a few things. She doesn’t really have any local friends. She has acquaintances but doesn’t really have any that she regards as a true friend.

Each time she gets on the bus, she always gets an empty row of seats. No matter how full the bus is, noone ever comes and sits next to her. She never really feels at home. It’s like shes an alien of some sort – a foreigner.

It bugs her a bit, but after being given a few complex engineering assignments she soon forgets about all of it.

Change the World!
The last exam passes and our lovely character, Bhorongi passes her degree with a distinction. She looks forward to working for CERN and find the next “god particle” that will change physics and change the world! 

She soon gets a rude awakening. The country that she’s residing in doesn’t employ foreigners. She doesn’t really understand whether its because of the thousands of unemployed graduates or whether its some racist policy. Either way, she’s out of a job.
It’s ten in the evening and its been the three months after graduation. Bhorongi has been working as a waitress to get money to pay the bills.

She’s tired and decides to go on social media. She and sees cute pictures of her old friends from her home country, Zimbabwe getting married. 

It makes her think about what she’s doing in life. She has no stable relationship, a job far from what she expected and a piggy bank with a few 20 dollar notes in it. “It’s just been three months” she tells herself. “I need to keep working hard. I’ll eventually get a gig” she hopes.

Two years later, after having a rude client throw a chair at her, she finds herself at the hospital. She gets treated and finds herself bedridden for a few days. There’s nothing much to do except think. She never got to think about her life in a long time – 16 hour shifts standing all day don’t give you the time to be a philosopher. She thinks about her dream and where she is.

She wanted to change the world. Now she all she is doing is changing plates on tables and serving very rude restaurant customers. She never imagined that she would be a waitress for this long.

Because of her hospitalization, her piggy bank has absolutely nothing in it. She stopped dating after a year after getting partners who seemed to get worse and worse. She literally has nothing to show for all the time she’s been away from home. 

She now faces the tough reality that many migrants face:
Should I pack my bags and go back home - with nothing to my name ?
Should I continue to do odd jobs and hope that one day I will eventually find a career that will fulfill my dream?

What do you think should she do?

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See you next week Tuesday and as always,