Dr Simba Mavaza
In March and April alone, 45 Zimbabweans in the health and care industry have died in the United Kingdom, while 30 more died from stress-related illnesses.
Covid-19 aside, life in the UK has been moulded into a competition.
When attending a pentecostal church service in the UK, one is greeted by top-of-the-range cars parked outside, owned by Africans and many of them Zimbabweans.
Several Zimbabweans committed suicide after failing to cope with their jobs and the lifestyle they aspire to achieve.
Many try to put their lives at par with those of their friends.
As a result, they have to work extra hours, thus robbing them of social time and rest. Some take their lives due to stress-related ailments.
Zimbabweans have worked so hard that they have lost families, children and themselves, in the quest to be seen to be better than others.
Some lose the jobs they want so much because they tire themselves to a point of making mistakes and get fired.
Let’s face it.
It is not necessary to work yourself to death because you want to compete with others.
Mike Zvenyika from London said: “Nurses are no longer in touch with their children. They work so hard to please those at home and make those around them see that they are rich.
“But those who matter the most, their children are raised fatherless, motherless and indeed culture-less.”
This was echoed by George Mpofu from Leeds who said: “At my workplace, I have 10 Zimbabwean children and seven whose parents are nurses. All 10 of them are suffering from drug-related and stress-related cases. For almost two decades, I have worked in one of the world’s most competitive industries and have seen many talented Zimbabweans fizzle out.”
Indeed, Zimbabweans in the UK only compete as a way of showing off.
“It is sad how many we are burying because of the competition,” said Peter Chihaka from Sheffield.
“Zimbabweans need to realise that life is like a sport, you just win differently.
“It’s not winning to prove that you have money.”
The act of competing has its origins in sport.
The best athletes take on world-class competition with a finely tuned combination of preparation, discipline, focus and performing under pressure.
However, Zimbabweans in the UK have taken the competition a notch higher.
They work to please onlookers.
While in many ways life is like a sport, there is one key difference; life doesn’t have a singular definition of winning. Having Range Rovers, Free Landers and beautiful outfits is not at all winning.
To reach the success and fulfilment we seek, we must first understand the true spirit of competing.
We do not compete to be better than the other. This competition among Zimbabweans rages on with Zimbabwe-bound coffins multiplying.
Zimbabweans die and leave thousands of pounds untouched.
Zimbabweans must learn that: “The only competition worth of a wise man is with himself,” as said by John Dzeka from Corby.
“You must not be in competition with anybody but yourself because your only goal is to beat your last performance.
“If you keep looking over your shoulder, you will not see where you are going.
“When you constantly direct your competitive efforts in response to what your rivals are doing, you lose focus and your goals.
“Be aware of your competition, but beware of the disease of being competitive, simply to prove you are better than others.
“That is self-destructive.”
Being in competition with yourself is the healthiest competition. Nobody needs to lose for you to win.
Set the bar for yourself.
Channel your competitive fire to meet your own standards and expectations.
Be the driver on your journey to success.
We witness everyday as children become victims.
They do not see their parents anymore.
Parents are now lovers of their jobs.
They have a selfish mind just to be seen as rich by their friends.
With that, one way or the other, stress takes its toll.
The end result in most cases is suicide and it pains many relatives back home in Zimbabwe when they end up receiving the lifeless body of their relative at the airport.
Zimbabweans in the UK must take heed.
Life is not about competition.
Life is about being happy. May God bless us all!