THE conclusion sums it all. Be it a pastor preaching, an academic presenting a paper, the late Steve Jobs saying his last words on his death bed about the vanity of life, the conclusion sums it up.
We could have been born in a poor family, struggled to attain education, got a good job or built a successful business, the end forms the last statement. As a people, we seem to have very short memories and, oftentimes, conveniently decide to remember the last thing. He was an academic who died and left his children poor. She is the lady who ran down the business after inheriting it from the late husband. He is the pastor who impregnated a church member. Are we aware that what we are today or doing today might be what constitutes the conclusion to our lives?
Living a lie
It is amazing how much of our lives get dominated by this pretention - living a lie. Due to peer pressure, we are forced to buy cars which we cannot afford to run, live in houses we cannot afford to maintain, drink beverages whose costs are above what we can really afford.
I am really inspired by people who have worked hard and achieved great things in live. I always want to learn from them. The only challenge comes when someone who the community held in high esteem fails to have an equally esteemed conclusion to their life. What does it help to achieve so much during one`s life time but then die, get buried like a pauper. Unfortunately that is how the entire world then defines him or her.
Every day GoFundMe, WhatsApp, Facebook appeals are screaming for help to bury the once idolised and now deceased people. Surely, this cannot be the right conclusion to one`s life. It can’t be the legacy we leave or desire. Why should you be buried through pittance of public donations unless you are downgrading yourself to a pauper and a public health risk? Obviously, there is no honour in soiling your family name and being remembered for wrong reasons. It, unfortunately, always happens because amongst the biggest lies we live is the pretence that one is licenced to pay others condolences and that death happens next door. The reality is that no living thing will escape death and death comes with end of life expenses.
Zimbabweans are very good at being photographed with whoever they perceive as successful people so as to affirm that they are known in high places. In our community, one should have realised that most of the so-called important people are very susceptible to scandals. Today they are in the media for being champions in whatever facet of life, tomorrow they are back in the same media, but this time being mauled to the bone by the same editors who had previously written so glowingly about them.
There is nothing wrong being photographed with others. However, remember if you get photographed with a renowned thief, cheat or corrupt person and, God forbid, you die after that, it is quite possible that when people start talking about you, that association is likely to form part of your description. Of course, if photographed or associated with a respected person, the descriptions are likely to cover up for some of one`s blemishes.
For me, leaving a legacy is something I have always cherished. What will I be remembered for? What will people say at my grave side? What epitaph will be written on my tombstone? I believe real success counts for what value I will have put onto other peoples’ lives.
I am greatly inspired by the late two Zimbabwean luminaries-Jairos Jiri and Paul Mkondo. Jairos Jiri saw potential in what others saw as a community burden. He appreciated and changed a perception that disablement was not equivalent to inability. He created space for disabled people to excel in different fields and thus live a better life. Paul Mkondo grasped the creation of generational wealth through insurance well before many of his peers could hardly comprehend how insurance changed lives of surviving families.
At any point in one’s adult life, it is
essential that you pause and ask the question, ‘God forbid, if I were to
die now, what would be my legacy, who will pay my funeral expenses,
have I created any intergenerational wealth?’ These are indeed some
tough questions but reality can be even tougher if one was to be called
whilst still living a lie that you still got loads of years to plan and
put your house in order.
Intergenerational wealth... every generation has a responsibility
Works of charity and the capacity to impact the lives of disadvantaged citizens provides a good corner to work on if one wishes to create a tidy conclusion to life and hence a great legacy. Many Zimbabwean diasporeans have registered charities to help folks back home. This, when done with the right heart is laudable. Several are truly living up to the call of such endeavours.
However, there seems to be sections that use the charities as a way to enrich themselves. Unfortunately, the truth always outs. It is not fair to steal in the name of the poor citizens back home. It could be that after all the videos of your supposedly good works, the creator calls you and those in the know rubbish you as one of the grandest thieves of our times. That cannot be a good conclusion to one`s life neither is it good for the surviving relatives and friends.
We all make mistakes in life. Mistakes can provide learning opportunities if taken well. Corrections help us to carve out a better ending. One might not have seen the first draft of this piece. If you think this is not a good piece then I need to send you the original one.
We have seen many of our relatives dying and leaving a trail of problems. Some problems start the minute one is declared dead. Family fights as to where one is to be buried. Why then don`t we write wills. No money for burial and /or repatriation. Why don`t we buy funeral policies?
No shelter, educational funds and living income for the surviving family. Why not buy educational plans and life policies? Can this be a good reminder to tidy this corner before the uninvited guest arrives? Death is very stealthy. Many Zimbabweans have died whilst sitting on insurance quotations. Unfortunately, claims are not made on quotations but a signed up policies. It could be the time for corrections.
A surviving family must celebrate one`s death and live a better life
afterwards. Insurance provides that assurance. I urge my fellowmen and
women to learn from Paul Mkondo. His call for creation of generational
wealth is as true today as it was as his voice thundered on that Paul
Mkondo Saturday radio program in my youth days. I leave you to listen to
Paul Mkondo`s trademark song:
Itai Cent-Cent Mundibatsirewo
Jeff Sango is Business Development & Sales Manager at Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp: +44 749 216 1256