• August 12th, 2020

From the stands - After 20 years, it’s just not easy to say thank you and goodbye

THERE are things that simply blow you away, like reading about the enduring impact you have made on other people’s lives, through simply doing your work.

Two messages, which I received this week amid the festival of happiness in which the cyberspace party of my golden jubilee turned into a celebration of this blog, really humbled me.

One was a Whatsapp message from Robert Marawa, the doyen of sports broadcasting in Africa who is about to clock a million followers on Twitter, as if to underline his massive influence.
He twittered: “Just landed back from Cape Town,’’ he wrote. “Oh, wow! Happy 50th birthday my senior! What a landmark! You are such a gifted scribe and a lovely human being and, in the absence of mom and dad, please allow us to thank them for raising such an upstanding son.’’

Well, I have always believed in God, despite all my shortcomings as a human being, and that’s why — for as long as I can remember — I have always prayed, after taking a bath, every morning.
I am quite a superstitious person, one who believes everything happens for a reason, and I have always told myself that the last instalment of the “Sharuko on Saturday” blog I wanted to write should come just the week after I turn 50.

That is, God willing, and I was still around, and still working at this great newspaper. And, when I turned 50, last Sunday, the little reminder flicked in my mind and, since then, I have been battling with my conscience as to whether — as per that personal commitment — this has to be the swansong article in the life of this blog.

Once again, the tears came rolling down my cheeks, I started crying, trying to find if I had the courage to say that, “after 20 years, I guess, it’s hard to say thank you and goodbye.’’
A part of me has been saying that it’s the way life is, that there is a time to come, and a time to go, and the time to go, for this blog, has come. It has been saying this is the perfect timing for the retirement of this blog.

After all, it’s exactly 20 years since this blog came into life in 2000 and, back then, we never thought it would rumble for this long (both in length and in life). But God has been on our side. I’m from the old school, those who believe our paths in life follow a certain pre-determined route, and I am who I am, not because I’m special, but simply because that’s what the Lord wanted me to be.
I am someone who believes none of us is as intelligent as all of us. Don’t ask me how fate seemingly keeps creeping up, and tying itself, with that little voice, which has been telling me that this should be the end of the life of this blog. 

The internal demons have been tearing me apart — the little voice saying I should stick with my commitment, to retire this blog, the week after turning 50, the other voice saying that will be letting down the family of readers I have created along the way?

What would I tell someone like the late Stephen Chifunyise, in the event we meet in the other life, if I do exactly the opposite of what he asked me, not to retire this blog, in a letter in January last year — just seven months before his death, at the age of 70?

During my golden jubilee celebrations, a reader of this blog even called me his hero which, in all fairness, was stretching things a bit too far. If you ask me, the real heroes are those thousands who perished at Chimoio and Nyadzonia, and all the other areas, fighting for Zimbabwe’s freedom.
They are the heroes who fought for people like the late Alan Hlatshwayo, the first black sports editor of this newspaper, to be given a chance to get the most prestigious job in Zimbabwean sports journalism.
Before independence, it would have been kept away from him, on the basis of the colour of his skin. That, the opportunity came 92 years after the establishment of this newspaper, in 1891, probably told the whole story.

Only three black journalists, the other one being the late Sam Marisa, have so far been handed the privilege to lead the sports section of this newspaper, in its 129-year history. It’s something I derive a lot of pride from.

And, for getting that honour and opportunity, I will always remain eternally indebted to those men, and women, who sacrificed everything to make it possible. I was just a mere grade one pupil in Chakari in 1977, when the Chimoio Massacre unfolded.

And, 21 years later, thanks to the grand opportunities those heroes opened for us with their ultimate sacrifice, I was in Burkina Faso covering the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals. As the years pass by, it’s easy to forget that football, this very game we love with all our hearts, can only be played if the world is at peace with itself. 

That’s why, as I battle with my demons right now, I don’t want to hear someone say I’m some kind of their hero because the real heroes are those men, and women who, in our case, sacrificed everything for our freedom. To God be the glory! - www.herald.co.zw

* Robson Sharuko can be reached at robsharuko@gmail.com or robson.sharuko@zimpapers.co.zw

Staff Reporter
2020-03-30 08:39:01 | 4 months ago

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