Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of cricket. I usually find it long and tedious, and therefore boring. Yes boring. I mean it literary takes days on end for the teams to get through a single match. I have a theory about why it was invented but that’s for another conversation. Watching the match between Australia and Zimbabwe was therefore something of an aberration for me, but what an aberration. I will admit l quite enjoyed the Twenty20 format. It’s fast paced adrenaline-filled stuff. None of the sluggish slog of Test cricket. More than the fast paced action, I enjoyed the placards and signs that some of the spectators were holding. One particular one stood out for me. It read, “Masvosve akabatana anovaka churu,” loosely translated “when ants unite, they can build anthills.” We then went on to witness a truly inspired performance by the Zimbabwe team. They played their hearts out against the mighty Australia. They had nothing to lose and they threw everything they had into the game. At the end of it Australia was left reeling from the shock of the defeat against “minnows” Zimbabwe.
The funny thing about unexpected victories is that they get you thinking about new mountains to conquer. Now, we have a lot of giants in Zimbabwe and buoyed by our recent victory, I’m thinking what have we got to lose? Let’s throw ourselves at it and see where we get to. From South America to East Europe and Africa, history is littered with the bones of defeated giants. Think of Augusto Pinochet and Nicholae Ceausescu. It is entirely probable that some of the soldiers in the firing squad that shot him had been trained by him to kill his opponents. Talk about the chickens coming home to roost!
Closer to home think of the oft affable (from our then rose-tinted view) “one Zambia, one Nation, one Nation, one Leader and that leader- Kenneth Kaunda.” Consider if you will Kamuzu Banda. His ruthless exploits were a tragically comic combination of fact and folkloric fiction. Remember how he was rumoured to have fed his opponents alive and kicking to crocodiles? There was nothing mythical about PW Botha and his regime. What about bungling idiot Idi Amin? Or the infamous Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa the cannibal with the 17 wives and over 50 children! Even our very own “Never in a thousand years” Ian Douglas Smith.
But it is not just the dictators who have been felled by Ants United. It is whole institutions and repression machineries. The Berlin Wall, the Apartheid machinery and the Iron Curtain. Ants of the world unite! You have nothing to lose except your chains (apologies Marx and Engels), but my God, just think!