On which day of the week did the postman pass through your neighbourhood ? Do you still remember the colour of the postman’s uniform ?
The bell from the postman’s bicycle either brought good or bad news. With soapsuds in her hands she received the envelope and stood by the gate and tore open the envelope. She was over the moon because her boyfriend had promised to come and visit her soon .
Mbuya Gosa was happy because her daughter -in-law had sent her the images of her newborn grandchild. She had already bought the portrait and all she had to do was hang the beautiful portrait in her living room.
Baba Ticha was notified that three of his cattle drowned. He had to send some money to his parents who lived in Bikita.
The postman became a friend ,a brother and a son in many communities. The postman did not only deliver invoices but he also delivered envelopes with different colours and designs. Those tiny stamps were a gate pass for many letters to reach our family and friends who were in different towns,cities and countries.
During this era many people were able to communicate rather than send emojis, “Lol or K” after they had read a long message. A lot of people were able to express their emotions and feelings better.The letters were a special treasure and they were kept safely . During this era the letter boxes were treated like gold and a lot of people always looked forward to posting their letters. The letter boxes were not rusty , the grass was always trimmed and the communal letter boxes were attractive . This was during the period when a few people had access to a cellular phone .
This was an era when stamps with different symbols and designs brought either good or bad news. This is an era I wish to re- live.
I hope that this letter finds you well and in good health. Congratulations my dear on completing your Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I am so proud of you . I was really heart broken when I received the news that no guest would be allowed at your graduation ceremony. This is because I had been looking forward to your graduation ceremony , but there will be always next time. Cousin I was hoping to meet a cute guy at your graduation ceremony and he would marry me , unfortunately my dream never became a reality. It is annoying when someone from our family has to ask me when do l plan to get married. Enough about my boring tales . I cannot believe that my cousin holds a first class degree in Accounting.
Firstly I would like to applaud you for completing your Accounting degree because a lot of people were either disqualified or they chose to quit before they managed to finish the race. The sleepless night finally paid off didn’t they ? Emily I do not mean to scare you but I would like to tell you about what can happen during post-graduation era. Maybe if someone had sat me down and told me that graduating is not a gateway to being employed I could not have suffered from depression.
There was a time I cried myself to sleep each and everyday and I felt like I was trapped in a big box. I hated seeing my reflection on the mirror because I believed that I had disappointed myself. All I wanted was to be formally employed and be able to help my mother with the bills. My life had become some sort of a routine and the only thing that managed to make me feel happy was falling asleep. The joy was only short lived because it was during the last quarter of the calendar year the temperatures were high in 2019.
Some of my friends were either employed or they were advancing their studies and your poor cousin had nothing to look forward to. Emily I have lost count of the resumes that I have sent via email or delivered physically. I remember submitting my resume at a particular organization but , the moment I walked out the lady at the reception threw my envelope in the bin.
A lot of people have made fun of me because they graduated after me but they have been formally employed. When I was about to give up on my life a close friend of mine advised me to concentrate on something that I deeply love and that was the birth of my podcast, my blog and scriptwriting. Maybe one I will be formally employed but I really enjoy being my own boss because I do reward my efforts by buying one of my favourite snacks , reading a novel or listening to the radio.
Emily this is not going to me an easy walk , but I pray that you do not lose yourself or give up during the process.
Lots of love
*Ps these experience are not fictional but they are some of my experiences.
If you were fortunate enough to have met Oliver Mtukudzi or to have listened to his music you definitely have a story to share with the world. Oliver Mtukudzi was a legend, someone who loved his craft . The overused phrase “legends never die” is applicable in the legend’s life because his music is a reminder of how great he was. People refer to the late Oliver Mtukudzi as “Mdara Tuku” , “Tuku”, “Samanyanga” or simply Oliver. Maybe you believed that Tuku was your friend (shamwari) your father(Baba) or your uncle (sekuru). Maybe Oliver Mtukudzi forced his way into your homes, you listened to his music on the turn table, the television or even the radio. Although he forced his way into our homes I am hope that you are grateful he did . Oliver Mtukudzi’s music could be played during the good and the trying times. It was actually unacceptable in most homes to have a gathering and leave out Tuku’s songs on the playlist.
Oliver Mtukudzi’s music managed to cut across all generations, because people from three or four generations can actually sit in the same room and sing along to his music. I am grateful to have been part of the third generation from my maternal family that appreciates Tuku’s music.
23 January 2019 marked the day that the legend passed away and it was exactly a year after Hugh Masekela had passed away. We have to scatter the roses when someone is alive and I am grateful that Zimbabweans, Africans and the world at large managed to appreciate Tuku’s music.
I think Mdara Tuku composed this song while admiring Daisy who could have been fast asleep or maybe Daisy had prepared a delicious meal and he wondered how he had been so lucky. How I wish I could be able to have a walk with Oliver and ask him what inspired him to compose Svovi yangu . In this song Oliver appreciates how Daisy has managed to love him regardless of his flaws, and ever since the day he fell in love with Daisy his life has been bliss.
Oliver Mtukudzi mentions how people always wait for the day when the two lovebirds have an argument so that they can have a good laugh. This shows that every relationship has got its ups and downs. Daisy brought nothing but joy and happiness in Oliver’s life. Daisy was that missing puzzle piece in Oliver’s life , “wazadzisa moyo wangu Daisy ,wanga uri gasva.” Oliver is grateful to have Daisy in his life because his life has become worth living. In this song Daisy is refered to as “mbabvu” which translates to the word rib , and this shows that they are a team. Even when Oliver is worried about something Daisy is always there for him , which shows that she is a supportive spouse. This song is indeed a reminder of how couples should always be there for each other during the good and the bad times.
While singing this song Tuku even blows a kiss to his wife. Ndiwe mbabvu yangu ndiwe Ndiwe svovi yangu Ndiwe mumwe wangu (blows a kiss) ndiwe Ndiwe wega uripo 😉.
TODII ? – WHAT SHALL WE DO ?
Todii is simply a question. One does not know the way forward and this is why he decided to ask a question. Oliver Mtukudzi composed this song as a way of raising awareness for HIV and AIDS. This is because a lot of women or men chose not to tell their partners that they were HIV positive and in some cases one of the partners would be taking the ARVS while the other partner was unaware that he or she has been infected with the virus.
How would you feel if your partner chose to betray you ? The person who chose to betray you is not a stranger but your spouse, someone who professes his or her love to you. What then happened to the words “transparency and faithfulness in a relationship?” I really wonder if the pain will ever go away when someone you deeply love chose to betray you.
Is a song about someone who is in the diaspora and happens to be homesick. The woman is in a happy space and she even mentions that her husband is taking care of her but she longs to be in her home country. She goes onto to mention how she is struggling with the issue of language but she sends her love to everyone who is back home. We might have a better life but sometimes we wish we could be able to converse in our native language, appreciate our culture and enjoy our indigenous foods.
Whenever I listen to this song I always shed a tear, this is because I have lost some of my loved ones and friends. “Tumirai mhere” is a phrase that is used when delivering bad news. In this song Tuku sought to highlight that death takes a lot from us, we have a lot of questions and we are uncertain of what will happen tomorrow.
Death is inevitable and one begins to think of who will be able to attend you funeral when a lot of people have passed away. Offering your condolences to the bereaved family member can end up losing its relevance because you have lost so much. When I was a child I believed that the only people that should die have to be old and have grey hair. However life has taught me that death does not spare the youths or the young children. In this song Oliver Mtukudzi also highlights that being alive does not mean you are wise or intelligent. A lot of people have lost their loved ones but sometimes you are deeply hurt to the extent that you do not feel the pain anymore. In some cases you are forced to live with the pain and grief for the rest of your life, this is because the pain of losing your loved one has been glued to your heart.
I could spend the whole day analysing Tuku’s song but I have learnt that music can be used for various purposes rather than for entertainment purposes. One can tell a story through song too.
Some of my favourite songs from Oliver Mtukudzi include ,Mai Varamba ,Mutserendende Tozeza Baba ,Into yami just to name a few.
The novel Letters to my sisters took me on an emotional journey and I felt sorry for N’damba. She chose to take her own life so that she could save her younger siblings and generations to come. N’damba chose to be the sacrificial lamb and she wanted her sisters to be free. I will discuss some of the themes or ideas from Letters to my sisters.
Death It refers to the end of one’s life. N’damba goes on to describe how her family members will react when they receive the news of her death. Her mother will wail and no one will be able to console her. This is because when reality sinks in ,one will realize that you they will be unable to see their loved one. Some people will never be able to process their grief and in some cases people will struggle to accept the fact that their loved one is dead. One can ask their Maker why something tragic had to happen and they begin to believe that it is was a punishment.
N’damba goes onto to mention that her father will not cry even though he is sad. Baba was sad because he had lost his daughter and the breadwinner of the family since N’damba was a medical doctor. Baba was hurt because a parent should never bury his child.
Intuma, one of N’damba’s sibling would sing and weep because she had lost her elder sister. Intuma had lost someone she looked up , someone she adored and loved her. Intuma would cry because she would realize that she has lost someone who had motivated to follow her dreams and she could not believe that her sister had died. Although it is hard to believe , N’damba’s sisters would finally accept that it is the will of Allah the greatest that their sister had to die.
The boys would cry because they would remember how kind N’damba was .The boys will always recall of the good times when their sister used to shower them with gifts.
Men are not allowed to cry
In many African societies boys are made to believe that sheding a tear is a sign of weakness and it makes one become lesser of a man. Many men have bottled their pain and anger inside . This has resulted in some men they have struggling to bear the burden. Some men have used their women as the punching bags and this is because they were brought up in a society were sheding a tear was seen as shameful. Even though N’damba’s father was hurt because had lost his daughter he did not shed a tear.
Suicide Suicide happens to be unacceptable in many societies because one would have decided to take their life voluntarily. This is why N’damba’s writes about how her father will hurry and bury her before it is too late.
Religion Can imprison and liberate a lot of people. In N’damba’s case her family members believe that N’damba’ s death was the will of Allah. This is because one’s Maker happens to have the final judgment in every situation. Baba will also find comfort in Allah during this difficult time which could be through prayer. On the other hand N’damba’s mother will believe that Allah has punishment her and this is why her daughter had to die.
Ya-Yanoh had lost her dignity because she had an ulcer that had been incurable for sometime and people in her village had accused her of being a witch . Ya -Yanoh had become an outcast in her village since she was unable to bear children too. N ‘damba had managed to restore Ya-Yanoh’s dignity since she had managed to cure her ulcer. Ya-Yanoh was going to be deeply hurt after receiving the news of N’damba’s death . In the event that Ya-Yanoh told everyone about how N’damba had managed to cure her ulcer ,how would people react when they realized that the person who had cured Ya-Yanoh had decided to take her own life ?
N’damba was in a male dominated industry but she had managed to excel and bring nothing but joy and relief in her patient’s lives.
Nkodo who was N’damba’s brother had two children out of wedlock and Baba had accepted Nkodo’s children as his grandchildren. If one of the girls had a child out wedlock Baba would definitely dishonour her . Ajara had an induced abortion and almost lost her life since having a child out of wedlock according to her father brought dishonour to his family. This shows that Baba favoured the boy child more than the girl child.
N’damba decided to take her own life because she could not accept being a prisoner in another home since her father wanted her to marry off to an older man . She longed to be able to make decisions on her own without anyone judging her and anyone questioning her decisions. All she wanted was to be free .
“I hope that you feel that life is worth living not something that you have to endure.”
This Mournable Body is a novel written by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Nyasha Chapter 10 (Page 120-127)
Nyasha is struggling to try and make ends meet . Tambu is disappointed in Nyasha considering that she left Zimbabwe to go and pursue her studies in England , she had expected her to lead a better life. One would expect her to be rich but Nyasha’s car and her clothes can be worn by ordinary Zimbabwean whose life is seasoned my economic hardships . Nyasha is happy that her children will meet Maiguru Tambu and have a relationship with her because when Chido left for school in Europe he has never set his foot the Zimbabwean soil. Nyasha’s children have Shona names (Anesu and Panashe) although she is married to a German national. Nyasha could have chose to name her children since she didn’t want to forget about her roots or her identity. Cement packs,puddles of stagnant water in the kitchen ,a mouldy cardboard and abadoned toys is proof that Nyasha’s house is disorderly.
Tambu is confused why her cousin chose to marry a white man considering that there was a time she hated the whites. Tambu cannot get over the fact that Cousin-Brother-in-Law kissed her on the cheeks and kisses Nyasha on her lips .
Nyasha happens to be particular about greetings and Leon and Panashe utter “Nyama chirombwe since they are males and Anesu utters ” Nyama shewe since she is a girl. Nyasha could have wanted to hold onto her culture and never forget her roots and this is why her family could have practiced the way of greeting. Leon happens to be fluent in Shona and mentions that Babamukuru is the only one who listens to his Shona. Language can be a barrier and it can unite people of different social classes. Leon learnt to speak in Shona because he would be treated like an alien when they visited Nyasha’s rural home. Leon also wanted to honour the cultural practices and this is why he decided to pay dowry for Nyasha. Babamukuru was doubtful that his daughter would be married for a long time and this is why he had charged Leon a small fee just in case he had to give it back .
Leon is doing his best to try and fit in as a son-in-law in the Shona culture . There was a time he had to slaughter a goat at the village ,he learnt how to clap when greeting someone and he even owns shoes made from leather.
“You had not believed there was such a thing on this earth as an European without means of money.”
When I was young my grandmother used to tell me a lot of stories that were associated with nature.There are many lessons that we can draw from nature and apply them in our lives.
*The Baobab tree is a strong, the wind, the axe and the elephants cannot bring Her down. This is because the Baobab tree falls on its own time. Whenever you want to try something new do not let the negative comments from your peers bring you down. Its okay rest but its not okay to quit.
*My native language is Shona and the Baobab tree and fruit is called Muwuyu. The Baobab fruit dries naturally when it is ripe. This teaches us that we should be humble rather than to be boastful when we make a great achievement.
*The Baobab tree is proudly African.Many people import Her fruit to make facial products or for medicinal purposes. I hope that you are proud of your identity and you are proud to share your life story with the whole world. Sometimes when you share your life story you can actually encourage and inspire the next person.
*The Baobab tree is strong and She survives during the difficult times which include the drought.Whenever we face different life challenges we should not always give up. The Baobab tree stores large volumes of water in her trunk and this is why it is able to bear fruit even during the drought. We should also hold onto the words of encouragement that someone close to us once told us or even the words of affirmation.
*Scars should not define us. A lot of people have engraved their names on the Baobab tree and in some cases people attempted to cut down the tree. Although the tree has a lot of scars it has managed to cover its scars. Being able to forgive someone who has wronged you does not make you weak in any way. We have fought a lot of tough battles and these battles have left us with both visible and invisible scars. Although the scars are permanent this does not make us weak in any way but it reminds us of how strong we are.
* Every part of the tree is valuable ,the trunk can be used to make rope,the fruit can be used for medicinal purposes or for facial products . Do people have anything positive to say about you ?
I really adore the Baobab tree and this I why I decided to name my blog after Her because She inspires me in so many ways.
Some days all l want to do is cry. There is this irritating pain inside me that will not go away no matter how hard l try. Its like a permanent mark on my body, the pain has become a part of me. The pain is starring at me,it is laughing at me ,it is happy because I am in pain. I wish l could erase the memory of it I wish l could …….., I wish I could………
My life will never be the same no matter how hard l try. Maybe l should learn to live with my pain, carry my crystallized heart and go home. Go home and find comfort, but will they be able to accept me with open arms ? Is it still the home l enjoyed visiting when I was only five years old ? Is it still the home where we are all equal? Is it still the home where no one judges you for your flaws? When we were growing up it was safe haven, an improved shelter where everyone used to look out for each other. We were like a family.
They taught us to share what we had. Those who did not have anything never felt inferior, we were equal. When we grew up we drifted apart,some went to school overseas ,or in a different city. Some of my peers never left town . Will they hug me tight and tell me that everything is going to be alright? Will they be able to know that there is something bothering me?
I am scared of disappointments maybe it is better that l cry myself to sleep. Will I ever be able to get my life back after telling them my story ? Somedays l wish l was young ,because I always looked forward to going home.
She laughs and keeps on knitting. It is a colourful jesery her grandchild will definitely love it ,the colours made me remember that l once owned a lot of knitted items. She is such a hardworking woman, a woman who never gives up. She has made a lot of sacrifices so that I could have the best life . She lived without a lot of things so that I could get an education.
Sometimes she worked as a housekepper. Sometimes she had two jobs. Sometimes she tilled the soil. She made sure that I always had something to eat. She scolded me when I lost my belongings and whenever l was rude and ungrateful. Her hugs are warm ,she let you cry in her arms. I will always be her baby even though I now have a deep voice. Prayer is important to her it was everything and she told me that I ought to be grateful always.
Her hardwork surely paid off, here I am today. Maybe we did not have a fancy life but I was always happy. My mother is amazing , she never gave up. Lets applaude our mothers for their hardwork.
They do the most but they are always forgotten, they are our first teachers,they provide our first home, they taught us to count, to colour and brush our teeth. They taught us to smile, they forced us to eat our vegetables . When we fall sick they prepare porridge for us even though we are now young adults. They will always be our cheerleaders ,they love us and l hope you love them too.
I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so excited and I just wanted to walk down the aisle. I couldn’t wait to marry the love of my life , my best friend and the man who made me believe in love. He loved when I couldn’t love myself and he was patient with me. Each and every time when I got angry he would encourage me to talk about whatever that was bothering me. I learnt to talk about everything that was bothering me rather than bottle the pain and anger inside and it felt liberating .
I am glad I said YES when he asked me to marry him and I will never stop loving him. This is because he managed to seal the cracks rather than watch me break. Will you ever stop loving someone who happens to be your gardener and a flower ? The love of my life taught me that for a relationship to work you have to be able to give and take . Isn’t wonderful to be showered with gifts and be able to return the favour .
Today makes the beginning of our journey together and I am glad that close family and friends have decided to come and witness our union. I really wish I could run , rather than walk down the aisle because all I want is to marry the love of myself.
I know that our union will not be an easy walk but we have to be support one another and look out for one another.
“Stella,iwe Stella wake up or you will be late for work.”
I am deeply hurt because it felt so real but it was just a dream. Although it was just a dream one day I will walk down the aisle and marry my best friend.
I am sorry for not being able to hug you and wipe away the tears that flooded your cheeks when you recieved the sad news about your mother’s death. You really wanted to book a flight and travel back home to come and bury the woman whose womb was your first home but the airports were closed and you could not travel . You were inconsolable and you had a lot of unanswered questions. Although you tried to wear a happy face you were only able to travel three months after your mother had passed away.
I am sorry for not telling you that I suffered from depression this year. I was scared that you would make fun of me for being childish or accuse me of being ungrateful.
Although I felt empty, isolated and lonely I managed to learn to live within my means and to distinguish between needs and wants. Who would have thought your best friend would go for close to a week without having a banana? I now enjoy baking and painting and maybe these two skills saved me from sinking.
Life has taught me that you can plan everything but you will always be a spectator in your own life.This is because no one is certain of what will happen tomorrow.
I long to go to the supermarket or move around the streets without wearing a mask. I hope that one day I will be able to see you physically rather than having the long video calls and make fun of you for either gaining or losing weight. I would love to hug you so tight and never let you go because I really miss you. Would it not be wonderful to hold your hand without the fear of contracting the Corona virus?
This year has been a rollercoaster ride but I am glad that I managed to sail through the storm. 2020 has robbed us of a lot of opportunities but, it has also taught us a lot of life lessons.You should never give up on something that you deeply love .
Life is a journey rather than a race. Work on compiling your resolutions and be the best version of yourself in 2021.