Welcome to the storytelling week, my readers😊. This month has been exciting and I am happy that I decided to take part in the AfroBloggers Winter Challenge 2021.
When Mhai (mother) opened the front gate a part of my heart sank and a part of it was beating like an African drum. He had finally come home after months of being away. Were we ever going to have a normal conversation or we would never get along? I was scared, what if I asked him the wrong questions? What if l hurt his feelings? “Bhudhi(brother) Farai, welcome home how are you feeling ?”, my siblings and l shouted. He clicked his tongue and ran to Mhai. “Mhai take me home that is where l belong”. I watched a twenty-something-year-old man cry like a baby in his mother’s arms. The armour inside of me cracked, we should have never asked him that question, what mattered was that he had come home to us.
Bhudhi Farai had a good heart, he did not deserve to suffer the way he did, he deserved to enjoy the fruit of his labour. When l rushed into the house to warm Farai’s bath the beautiful portrait hung on the wall caught my attention. Bhudhi Farai wore a beautiful smile on his graduation day. With tears stinging my eyes I unhooked the portrait and held it in my arms. My brother deserved to drive to and fro the township in a fancy car. Why was the world such as evil place? The sleepless nights and the unsettled debts had gone to waste. Mhai had made sacrifices so that his only son would attain his University education. But today my mother is drowning in debt to ensure that his son who holds a Bachelor’s degree has his medication.
I remember being woken up by screams and a loud noise coming from the kitchen. I quickly wrapped the chitenge around my waist and ran to the kitchen. Bhudhi Farai was screaming and throwing Mai’s special kitchenware that qualified to have a spot in the display unit. I begged him to stop but he seemed deaf and he continued to scream on top of his voice, “musanditevere, avo varikuuya kwandiri” (please do not follow me, they are coming after me ). He continued to scream and break Mhai’s beautiful kitchenware in the middle of the night. He seemed tormented by something, and he was crying for help l wish l could save him but, l could not.
Mhai was away, she had gone to purchase goods for her flea market in South Africa l quickly unlocked the door and ran out of the house. To my surprise, a lot of our neighbours were woken up by the loud noise and stood by the gate. They were indeed scared to enter, Baba Kayla and his wife walked into our yard and asked me what was happening, I told them what happened and they immediately called the hospital. When they came to take him away, he groaned in pain from the multiple injections he got since he had become violent and they chained him like a prisoner.
I watched my childhood friend being taken away from me and the words he uttered still haunt me up to today “varikunditevera avo vari kuuya”. When Mhai got back she was welcomed by bad news, when Mai Kayla told her what had happened she threw herself on the ground and cried and my younger siblings did the same. With tears on her cheeks, she took her headscarf, covered her long hair and hugged her twins who were only ten years old.
Bhudhi Farai was not allowed to have any visitors since he was violent this broke Mhai’s heart and she quit going to the flea market and found comfort in Gods word. I was eighteen years old then but l failed to get answers to what had happened to my brother. Bhudhi Farai had attempted to take his life twice in a month and Mhai would receive the calls in the middle of the night. We had prayed to God to bring him home to us and give him peace but when he had finally come home we had failed to give him a proper welcome.
When Mhai walked into the living room l realized that l had not heated Bhudhi Farai’s bathwater. I quickly ran into the kitchen and began to do my assigned task. Bhudhi Farai walked into the house following Mhai with the stranger’s pace. Some days he was going to be violent, moody and happy. Bhudhi Farai needed our love, support. There was one thing that was never going to change, Bhudhi Farai was my older brother.