Tuesday 2020-07-07




By Macford Sibandze | 2020-07-01

“IF you let fear stop you from flying, you will never reach your heights.”

This verse is borrowed or poached, whatever, from the mighty lyrics of US musician India Arie. And she could not have said it better - the whole world is imprisoned in the concrete jungle, the gigantic mental jail of fear. We seem to be afraid of just everything, even trying because we fear what others will think and say.

We fear to start. TO START something that has not been STARTED, done before. We fear taking risks. We want someone to take the risk on our behalf, then come and hold the trophy after victory and behave as if we were part of the struggle. Look next to you, the sudden new fans of Liverpool. Because they are winners.


In Malawi, today, many want to be associated with the winner of the presidential elections Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, whose lack of fear made him challenge the incumbent, Peter Mutharika, who will be soon cutting a lonely figure as he exits the presidential office and the pegs that come with it.

 Mutharika took over from Joyce Banda, who had succeeded his brother Bingu Wa Mutharika. Banda was Vice President when Bingu Wa Mutharika met his untimely death while in office and as the dictate of the constitution she succeeded him. We might be seeing the end of the Mutharika dynasty unless otherwise…..! Anyway, I was on fear, bravery and winners. That everyone loves a winner.


I am reminded of the song of 1967, before I was born by William Bell, entitled, ‘Everybody loves a winner’ and the song continues that when you lose, you lose alone. If you have been to elections, won or lost any title, you got hired or fired - you will understand this better. Naturally, there are very few people during planting season and you guessed right they are many during harvest time. It is the nature of the beast.


While many of us struggle with our fears, there are those who have been pioneers and set the tone for us. When apartheid was viciously grinding society, brave men stood up against the rot! Anton Lembede, Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko, Govan Mbeki, Winnie Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, etc, took the unhappy regime hands on and paid the ultimate prize.


If you look at the history of successful people in the world, you can agree with me that they dumped their fears and took risks. Others climbed up the ladder to the top and crushed. They were patient with perseverance, rose to the top again. It is called the gospel of NO GIVE UP. The gospel of NO SURRENDER!


As you get old so are the fears, they get older like you. There are certain ages that make you fear to take decisions because of so many reasons. But hooray and bravo to the fearless old men who marry women younger than their first born children. And hooray to the brave women who give their ATM cards (with PIN) to Ben 10s. The love dictionary calls it ‘putting your heart over your head.’

Late US musician, Aliaayah, popularised the adage, ‘age is nothing but a number.’ My gosh I wish it was true. Maybe it’s an opportunity to prove Science right on FILTRATION. Oh yes filtration in summary is the process by which solid particles in a liquid are removed through filter but retains the solid particles. Oh yeah the younger woman and man retain their solid particles.If you know what I mean.

Maybe it’s a take on MAGNETISM that UNLIKE TERMS ATTRACT. But all the same these human beings are the opposite of fear-they are brave. I zip my mouth on the other younger gender. Who said that ‘there is no foolish fool than an old fool?’ Is it Shakespeare?


It is by design that oppressors use fear to put us on the straight and narrow because they know our fear of fear. For more than 400 years, a black man has been oppressed in America the most sophisticated civilisation on earth! On the 4th of July 1776, America got independence from Britain and George Washington became their first president.

The capital city of America, Washington DC is named after him. The highly-praised US constitution forgot to operationalise blacks as homo sapiens (human beings) not austra-sivapithecus (Gorillas) if you get my drift.


In the US, racism has been naturalised and well packaged so much that the eye could not see it. Hollywood through filmic depiction painted a picture of the gloss American Dream and concealed the horror of black life. Amongst the most talented million blacks, few of them get roles in blockbuster movies.

And only a handful of them have won the prestigious Oscars. But God being God blessed the black American child with so much voice in the music sphere, even racist whites could not ignore. Marvin Gaye, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Kanye West, Kirk Franklin, Nicky Minaj, Michael Jackson etc. 


After almost 60 years of independence-America still had millions of blacks as slaves by law. It needed the bravery of President Abraham Lincoln to say, ‘enough is enough.’ Lincoln is a novel story of a man who feared no fear at all. He lost elections several times, lost jobs, was bankrupt to the bottomless pit, but never gave up. He could not enjoy his presidency as a mad bullet ended his life. He found himself on the wrong side of aristocrats and merchants who heavily benefitted from the slave trade.


Even under predation and subjugation, God has a habit of raising brave men. Martin Luther King Junior stood up and let his voice be heard. Like Christ-he spoke of peace and love in the heat of hate. Meanwhile, another hero-Malcolm X preached about ‘sending back to the sender.’

This gospel has found home in today’s pastors. Badziniwe bafundisi batsakatsi! Batsi ABASHE here on earth singameli sihogo. Who is not tired kepha? ABASHE! King and X both met their maker through the barrel of a gun.


George Floyd’s death shone the spotlight to the real America-how white police got away with murder - literally. But this time the people’s spirit could not even be dampened by the deadly coronavirus. They looked at death in the eye and forgot about masks and social distancing and fought the racism peril - more deadly and older than the novel pandemic.



It is becoming as clear as sunrise that nothing can change in our lives unless we throw this fear that engulfs us in a dustbin somewhere.


Things will never change until we take a radical stance and change them! We don’t have to fear to do what is right. We don’t have to fear to bring positive change in society and free ourselves from the captivity of fear.


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