The goats-for-fees frenzy which has taken the country by storm should inspire all to re-look at the centrality of livestock in Zimbabwe’s rich tradition and how the country can unlock value from the domestic animals which have been a symbol of wealth, is the message from many social commentators.
From the time of Shaka and the Zulu Kingdom to the Pioneer Column invasion of the land between Limpopo and Zambezi cattle raiding has been the reward for fierce battles waged against opponents.
Apart from being a source of pride and prize for battles, livestock has always been central to the pre-colonial states.
With many still trying to make heads and tails of the goats-for-free debate, the subject has reignited discussions on the centrality of livestock in the African societies and particularly the Zimbabwean rich culture.
The older generation says livestock remains integral to the socio-economic fabric of Zimbabwean communities.
While many will view livestock as a source of wealth in Zimbabwean tradition it must be noted that cattle and goats have played an important part in rituals carried out to appease the dead and avenging spirits.
There are many men and women who today stand proud to have benefitted directly or indirectly from the wealth which their families amassed in the form of livestock.
Those whose tuition fees was paid from the proceeds of livestock sales testified that they were determined to make their parents who would have sacrificed their goats or cattle happy by coming out tops in their studies.
A religious leader with a local church Bishop Rocky Moyo says in both New and Old Testament livestock has also been integral as both symbol of wealth and used in offerings.
Whether the country will allow goats-for-fees in the future or livestock will finally be accepted as collateral for bank loans one thing remains true and that is livestock is central and an important aspect of the rich Zimbabwean culture.