Have you ever watched the series on National Geographic called “Doomsday Preppers”? It’s about people who prepare themselves for the worst that may come. Be it a Zombie apocalypse, the end of the world or economic meltdown. They build bunkers, reinforced cars, put out massive security measure. There are even people who go check out your system and score you on your likelihood to survive whatever situation you are prepping for.
I went to Harare this past Saturday the 23rd September to go buy a few items and visit friends and family. Driving into the Capital of Zimbabwe we are greeted by the usual trash, burning trash and then some more trash. If it weren’t for the smell we probably wouldn’t notice it anymore because this has become a way of life. Smoke fills the air because the country is on fire wherever you look.
It felt as though we had driven back in time. The town was a frenzy with people buying bulk goods. Fuel stations had long lines of cars queuing. Everyone was asking the latest black market rate or asking if you were paying with cash. Someone I met in the shops that seemed to be fairly ‘well off’ said that he was spending everything in his bank account. He didn’t want money sitting and would rather have full shelves then a full bank account. It was like deja vu, we were back in 2006 and progressing fast to 2008 it seemed. People everywhere were and still are panic buying and would rather be prepared than left stranded.
I had not long started working in 2006 when things started to go down the drain. The memories of standing in a queue for hours for a horrible, barely edible yellow loaf of bread sit in my head as though it happened yesterday. Sugar seemed to be a treat back then and so did many basic commodities. I was young and ill prepared for what was to come and so didn’t think to stock up when I had the chance. Listening instead to many people saying that it will never happen, things wont get as bad as everyone thinks. Oh how foolish I was.
I lived through 2008, but the t-shirts were all out of stock.
Many years have passed since then and I have many more grey hairs as proof. I have a young family that is my responsibility. I am the ‘Government’ of my family and they look to me to feed them and care for them, just as we do to the Government of Zimbabwe. They trust me to make the right decisions just as we do the Government of Zimbabwe. I work for my family just as the Government of Zimbabwe works for its Citizens. It is my responsibility to not fail them as failure is not an option.
So this brings me back to Doomsday Preppers…
Is preparing for the worst a bad thing? Is being a Zimbabwe Doomsday Prepper a bad thing? I may lose out on better prices if I buy now while prices are inflated, but at least I will have basic commodities to survive should it get worse. My family wont go without should things go bad. I remember clearly what that felt like and don’t wish that on my family. If things don’t go bad then at least I wont have to buy groceries for a while so will get some if not all my money back. Some companies are closing to stop people from panic buying and others are closing to see what happens. They would rather have stock to sell later once things stabilize than potentially have no money to restock when things stabilize. Everyone is looking for the ‘Crystal Ball’ to know what tomorrow will hold.
These are my personal views based on what I see and experience.