As a young professional existing in the dawn of a new political era in Zimbabwe, I ponder with weighted thoughts on the journey thus far. I have had conversations with various people on the journey towards self actualization and career fulfillment for a young professional in an economy and system that oppresses and subdues its young.
I remember watching a bee fly countless times into a closed window later stinging the glass to its self inflicted death. This feeling of helplessness and the surge of raw emotion has been the plight of the young professional in Zimbabwe. Without pity the oppressive system has suffocated the opportunities for growth and development and furthermore, employers have in turn dealt heavy blows to the young professional.
The Pedagogy of the Oppressed written by Paulo Freire in 1968 philosophically aligns oppression to the dehumanization of the oppressed by the oppressor. It is in fact that humanization as put by Freire is a vocation of all human beings and to dehumanize others is to first dehumanize ones self.
He points out that humanization is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression and violence of the oppressors. In my experience of existing in oppressive systems, the people become figures and objects that allow the suppressors to militate against them without a sense of humanity. Graduates in Zimbabwe are forced to do jobs outside of their passion and training in order to survive. The older generation continues to urge them on to remain positive and patient, whats angering for me is that generations have passed without change and hope, the passivity of the older generation allows for the
suppressor to continue their reign over our growth. As a younger lady I was told to look after my job as it would be my lifetime vocation regardless of other ambitions I have or structural deterioration. I see this irrational contentment with suppression by the older generation that even now with cash shortages they continue to queue day and night outside banks for a few coins.
The idiocy of accepting suppression and hoping it will just goes away by chance is frustrating to me. Paulo describes the suppressed’s voice as a yearning for freedom and justice and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity. To me to restore humanity is to restore sanity although it has to take more than a yearning.
Strongly put, dehumanization marks both those whose humanity has been stolen and those who have stolen it, further distorting the vocation of becoming fully human. An organization or system that suppresses people cannot become better without humanity. As a future educational leader or political voice that has been bred in oppression I have often times witnessed how the oppressed oppress each other and easily forget the plight of the oppressed. Paulo warns that the oppressed become the oppressor, this truth is so when one decides to dehumanize the people they are to lead and their struggles, once shared….
I will stop here for now and continue this blog after I have extracted more of its truths in reflection to my reality as a young professional..