Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
yeSenbete Selamte hulu. I've just been reading a story in the Herald about yet another Rastafarian child having problems with the school authorities. Most grievous reading, I must say.
But, am I making much ado about nothing by reacting to this report? After all, this sort of thing happens all the time. It's not just the pupils, teachers that are Rastafarians or look like Rastafarians are also barred from schools and colleges. Even "President" R.G. Mugabe, in a speech broadcast in May of 2002, said, "Let them go to the Courts, and say that it is their right....we do not care about the Courts..." (It was from this very speech that my opposition to the Mugabe regime became more than my disagreement with the man's politics, it became personal.)
My heart goes out to the children who have to face this. Hloni, my friend, who appraised my book, suggested I tell the story of what is blatantly anti-Rastafarian persecution from the perspective of a child. I didn't, of course, but I agree with her. Someone has to tell the story of our children and what they go through in hostile Zimbabwe.
Perhaps I should succumb to increasing calls to rally the Rastafarian community for our collective security. I cannot remain a mere commentator when I am so deeply concerned. However, there has to be a clear consensus about what all Rastafarians can do about this.
My first thought was to mobilise as many of us to write to the Minister of Education, Mr Aenias Chigwedere and the Permanent Secretary, Thompson Tsodzo, both of whom have been open in their dislike of Rastafarians, and tell them what we think of them. But that would have little effect, especially in the current political climate. It would only target us for further repression, it would be a case of the turkeys voting for an early Christmas. Our cause would be taken up by that horrendous lot that go by the generic euphemism "civic society".
and on the side of their oppressors there was power;
The idea of a Rastafarian school has been mooted for a long time now. I have always said that I am prepared to do my bit, but I am yet to see the next Rastafarian that is.
I want to pay tribute to the schools that have allowed Rastafarian children to attend. Avondale Primary, where I went to, is one. In Chitungwiza, there is also St Aidans and Seke 7 Primary Schools. St Aidans is associated with the Musodza family, my dear sister attended the school in the 90s. I call upon all Rastafarians to make a gesture of appreciation for this act of kindness to these schools. I am already thinking of how I can do this personally, but a collective gesture is in order.