I am not from Gokwe but have lived and worked in Gokwe. My time in Gokwe helped in shaping me become the person I am today.

If a person has never lived or had a close relationship with people of Gokwe then it’s unfair and uncalled to label them negatively.

I have just read one post on this platform on how young people in Gokwe invested their time and energy in agriculture despite their counterparts in other regions prioritizing tertiary education.

Most of these young people chose not to peruse further education because at the time cotton farmers were making more money than most civil servants. So, by their calculations, farming was the way to go because these young people lacked little as they were doing well in the field.

After selling their cotton you would find people as young as 16 shopping for clothes on their own capacity. They would be buying with their own money from their yields unlike those from other regions where people of their age would wait for parents to provide.

If that kind of hard work and focus is what people regard as backward then please include me in that category.

I was jealous of what people of my age or younger achieved from farming. People bought cars, tractors and other machinery through farming, so who would blame someone for choosing farming over university or college. After all holding a degree does not bring food on the table but hard work, focus and determination does.

One important thing I have learnt from people of Gokwe is unity and sense of togetherness. Notably they are very generous with knowledge. If one person has an idea of improving their lives, they share with others so that they develop as a community not as individuals. An example is the project of having electricity in the villages. People came together and made some contributions to have electricity in their homes.

How many other rural communities would say the same? It wasn’t difficult for people in Chinyenyetu for example to pay ZESA because their cheques from cotton sales allowed them to.

The biggest lesson I have learnt from people of Gokwe is that if we are to make it in life, we ought to work together as communities as there is strength in numbers.

Sadly not many Zimbabweans share the philosophy of community cooperation and supporting one another. This just reminded me of something I witnessed.

There is a WhatsApp group for people buying goods from China. And this group has people from different countries and different walks of life. This group was created by a guy who is in China known as the shopper/shipper. So, people pay this guy to be their runner basically. What bugled me was that amongst the buyers, mainly Zimbabwean ladies, if someone wanted to ask a question of how to search for certain goods or how to complete an order form, they would be asked to pay for lessons on how to order by fellow Zimbabweans.

Surely where will this greed lead us as a people. How can someone make someone pay for information on how to buy goods from China? And these self-proclaimed trainers would charge people between $10 – 20 USD. One even asked for those wanting to be trained to pay $10 then top it up with large pizza. Why do people want to see others struggling because surely one would not lose anything by sharing information.

Anyway, as you know God always provides a way. In that group were 2 ladies who had the knowledge and experience of the whole process from downloading the apps, searching for goods, completing orders forms. These ladies had the whole package and quite advanced and of better quality than those wanting money to share information.  So, these ladies, Rue and Nyasha opened a WhatsApp group where they are offering lessons for free because they understand that the cake is big and everyone will have a share.

For Africa to develop, it needs more people like Rue and Nyasha who have invested their time in teaching others how to create wealth (to quote one of the ladies’ words).

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