Your Prosperity Today can Become Your Adversity Tomorrow: A Case Study of Zimbabwe

It’s a sad fact that many people and nations once experienced a level of prosperity which is now almost forgotten because they are in a state of great adversity and misfortune. Evidence abounds everywhere that prosperity can become adversity within the twinkle of time’s eyes. In 1980, Zimbabwe gained independence after a period of rule that was governed by Great Britain; Robert Mugabe, who until that moment was a political prisoner, took over the helm of affairs of the nation as the first prime minister.

It’s quite true that during his first ten years of leadership, prosperity was one of the qualities of Zimbabwe and it showed in the way Zimbabwe grew and became one of the leading nations in Africa. Adversity was far away during the ten year period (between 1980 and 1990) when infant mortality rate fell from 86% to 49%, and life expectancy rose from 56% to 64%; also, adult literacy was on a 67% high and competing with the so-called “developed nations” of that time period. Everything was moving in the right direction until the economy started declining after the 1990 elections.


Zimbabwe used to be considered the food basket of Africa, but Mugabe drove/has driven it into economic chaos as expressed by the 95% unemployment and 231 million percent inflation — according to experts who made a report in 2008. Due to the level of adversity over the years, millions of Zimbabweans have been fleeing to neighboring countries in order to escape the economic woes of their once prosperous homeland. If Zimbabwe which was once living in prosperity, is now a beggarly nation, then let those nations and people that think they stand tall, take heed lest they fall! May their glorious stories not become groaning stories, and may their book of laughter not become a book of lamentation. People and nations should set a daily watch over their empires, whether these empires consist of a few individuals, or many people who form a nation or republic.


It’s a good sign when lowly nations try to move up to the level of prosperity shown by prosperous nations; Zimbabwe does so while witnessing how inflation has caused routine financial transactions to be carried out within its territories in an astonishing amount of quadrillions. The level of adversity is so much such that it’s quite common to see people carry wheelbarrows full of money to shops. In order to express the level of adversity, an indigenous businessman once said that the whole market scene had gone completely crazy and that their computers and calculators can’t deal with all the zeroes, even on the “cheapest products”.

Stock brokers, worldwide, once said that the Zimbabwean dollar made an “exchange rate” record of 10 billion to a single U.S. dollar in direct bank buying, while in electronic transfers it exceeded 20 billion Zimbabwean dollars to 1 U.S. dollar. A loaf of bread in a supermarket once cost 7 billion Zimbabwean dollars, while a crate of eggs (30 in number) was once 45 billion Zimbabwean dollars (i.e. $4.50 U.S. dollars). Oh, when will such adversity turn back into prosperity? I am not a politician, but when a nation’s leader leads a nation into deterioration and decay, I use his or her life as my school!



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