Friday afternoon, I was in the Quill Club in Harare and praying for the internet to load faster.
I was uploading a video project that was supposed to earn my weekend spending (including money to cover weekend events, since I’m an entertainment journalist.)
I was almost 70 percent done with the process that had taken at least two hours of my time already.
Relief was already spreading in my inner soul as I sipped the cheap draft beer with a smile in anticipation of more to come over the weekend.
Then suddenly, darkness and total silence. Only the distant hooting of cars outside could be heard.
Electricity was gone, as was the relief that had previously grabbed my whole being.
It only took a short while for the generator to takeover, but the whole upload process was already disrupted.
In disappointment I switched on my desktop and restarted the slow uploading that could cost me not less than another three hours.
I could live with that. At least I could submit before the end of business day.
An hour in, power was back on. In some instances I could have ‘screamed magetsi adzoka’ (electricity is back!) as is the chorus in every ghetto when power comes back on.
But then the generator had to be cut again, so again my work was disrupted, though this time with a warning to save and anticipate the disruption.
It was too late to finish uploading. No money was coming for the weekend and worse still my professional reputation was at stake.
Looking back I could easily blame Zesa for the power cut and use this as an excuse to my client, but this could not absolve me from fault. There are things I also did wrong here.
I could have planned better knowing that one way or the other there will be power cuts.
Maybe I should have finished editing the project well in time, to submit it even days before the deadline.
Or I should had invested in faster internet rather than rely on free WiFi, which attracts a number of subscribers and thus is low speed.
Lack of proper planning
My experience got me thinking about some things we take for granted as a nation; our failures that were largely influenced by lack of proper planning.
our failures that were largely influenced by lack of proper planning.
We have been blaming our sportsmen and women for failing to excel in their respective fields while they do have ample time to prepare for competition.
How can they compare with people like Usain Bolt who breathe, sleep and live sport without worrying if and when they are going to get proper food, accommodation and transportation to their competition?
We have for long been mistaking climate change for drought and for that the nation has always run short of staple food.
Even now, when there is little talk of climate change, there are no provisions for research in the issue that should be at the forefront of the national agenda in the national budget.
Just like the crowded internet, the pages of our lives are loading so slow that we cannot even realize some simple things that can make our lives better.
Alternative clean energy
We could use the electricity we generate only for those things that need electricity while unconditionally switching to alternative sources like gas for cooking an heating and solar for lighting.
I bet the electricity saved from this can sustainably power our nation in areas where alternative sources are too expensive or impossible to be implemented without any serious power cuts.
We have large gas reserves in Matabeleland, but plans for its extraction are not on the top of our agenda as a nation.
We generate a lot of bio degradable waste but no proper plans for constructing bio-digesters nationwide or even in our homesteads.
We have a very sunny and windy nation which can easily provide us with clean energy and reduce the global warming causing our climate change; again no plans are being made to take advantage of this.
We may hide behind the dead economy gimmick, but then is it about the money we currently have or making plans for the future and having enough conviction to try by all means to implement them?
And before we go on ahead to national planning we should also plan our own lives as individuals and small communities or business entities, looking at the environment and where it’s likely headed.
We should look at what we can do better to improve our nation. It could be saving electricity by using renewable clean energy like solar.
The small things we take for granted, added together can build us a great nation that we will be proud of in the future. What are you doing to make your things better, what are your plans?
Kundai is a 25 year old freelance journalist. He is the founder and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Arts Journalists Association (ZAJA), a not for profit organization that seeks to improve arts news content through promotion of freedom of speech and objectivity in art and culture journalism. In line with this vision, he has also set up ‘Spiked‘, a news website together with some colleagues.