By Dr Masimba Mavaza –
Between December 2019 and March 2020, over 50 Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom (UK) died of stress-related illnesses, and this has become a cause for concern.
Some Zimbabweans in the UK resort to killing themselves because of the way of living they have adopted.
Life in the UK has been moulded into a competition of some sort among Zimbabweans.
Zimbabweans in the UK have lived a fairytale life, people compete in every aspect of life and indeed, their lives have become more of acting than real.
Visiting a pentecostal church in the UK, one is greeted by top-of-the-range vehicles parked outside, owned by Africans and Zimbabweans in particular.
People have resorted to double jobs to cope with the armchair lifestyles.
In December 2019, a Zimbabwean nurse committed suicide after she failed to cope with her job.
This followed a similar suicide in November of the same year by another nurse.
She tried to put her life at par with that of her friends, as a result, she had to work extra hours, thus robbing her of social time and rest.
She called it quits, gulped some substance and died.
Let us face it. It is not necessary to work yourself to death because you want to compete with others.
Zimbabweans have worked so hard that they have lost families, children and themselves, in their quest to be seen to be better than others.
Misheck Mandaza from London said: “Some Zimbabweans 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, where the best athletes take on world-class competition with a finely-tuned combination of preparation, discipline, focus and performing under pressure.
However, Zimbabwean nurses 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 Dzekas from Corby.
“You must not be in competition with anybody but yourself because your only goal is to beat your last performance,” he said. “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 look everyday as children become victims as they lose their parents.
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 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.