The Sunday Mail
Mabasa Sasa Editor —
We tend to look at the body from mechanical and medical perspectives.
However, many aspects of a human have a mystical quality, which is why even the world’s greatest cardiologists still refer to the heart as the centre of emotions even though they are scientifically aware of the chemical processes that are behind many passions.
This is the legacy of how the ancients approached the human anatomy. Yes, they were conscious of a scientific reality they could not yet fully grasp, but still they appreciated the mystery of creation. They saw value in what we may approach as pure bio-mechanics and other dry bread of that nature.
For instance, the ancient Greeks had quite an interpretation of the role of the liver.
They knew that bile was produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. But for them this meant these two organs were responsible for negative — or choleric — emotions like anger, frustration, envy and jealousy, and irritability and resentment.
The ancients believed that when stored for long in the liver and gall bladder, these would eat away at the soul and explode into the head, causing headaches and muscular tension.
From antiquity, medical practitioners had identified the liver, the heart and the brain as the three principal organs of the body.
But others still had their own reasons for attaching importance to an organ such as the liver. Some diviners used organs such as the liver for their occult practices as they tried to do what man has always tried and mostly failed to do: predict the future.
A famous example of divination using the liver is that of Hannibal the Great.
The Carthaginian hero, on being told by King Prusias not to embark on a certain military adventure following advice from a diviner, responded caustically: “And do you believe a few pieces of calf meat more than a veteran general?”
It is these musings that have randomly popped up in my mind in the recent months that our colleagues Shamiso Yikoniko and Lawson Mabhena started the fight to save the life of Baby Manqoba after doctors said she would need a new liver.
Prior to that, I had last spent real time with Lawson in Victoria Falls.
That was back in 2015 when several editors from Zimpapers shared whiskey as a group, little thinking about how those otherwise lovely malts cook the liver.
As we poured toast after toast, none of us would have guessed that a few months later Lawson would be giving a part of his liver to his newly-born daughter.
Many of us cringe at the thought of being cut upon and having an organ cut out. Lawson didn’t think twice when it came to the life of Baby Manqoba. That is the power of a father’s love.
I have not asked Lawson when — if ever — we can share a whiskey again and salute his bravery and love in the face of such uncommon adversity.
If he can’t, still we raise our glasses to him. You, sir, deserve more than a Bell’s!