The Sunday Mail
Wadzanai Tadhuvana Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth
I met her in the byways and highways of life (as Madea puts it)
There was just something about her that made me want to know more about her
Looking into her eyes, one could tell that she had been through a lot and had so many stories to tell
Yet she was still very kind, gentle and full of mercy
When she smiled, it was as if everything in the world was at ease and there was no chaos
She was shaped like a teapot, with a handle, a lid and a mouth to let out what was inside of her, I wondered why she had such a shape.
In order to understand who she was, I asked if I could go with her where she came from
She agreed and all she asked me to do was to respect her children and the decisions they had made
On our way I asked her what her name meant, and she said it meant a great big house of stone
Great big house to contain so many things and made of stone because stone is resilient, strong and not easily broken.
So much had come against her over the years but nothing had brought her down.
Her children were so joyous and carefree, running around the whole time,
some were simulating homes in what they called mahumbwe,
others played all sorts of sport like whishu, boscahim, tsetsetse, raka-raka, fish-fish, and ma1 touch nemaflawu
Some vaibhaguja into the great expanses of the Runde catchment, the mighty Save and Ruzane rivers
They were so fit and energetic.
The youth were planning their moves as they were headed for jiti in the evening,
there was much talk of mchongoyo, others saying ndiani Messi wembakumba, ingquzu and jikinya
The adults were coming from a nhimbe with their hoes hanging over their shoulders,
there was much talk of how tomorrow was going to be a chisi,
so they were going kundari kwaMbuya vaCaroh
At the growth points, vaingoti kata-kata, ukuwo vachiti batai munhu.
There were those who wanted to buy their children pata-pata as a reward for making them proud
In the churches they were singing ndaita mari naJesu,
others were testifying how they had seen the Lord’s favour coming upon them
The ones who fascinated me the most were the ones who called themselves ninjas or mashark or ana big man
What took my breath away the most was the high peaks of Mt Inyangani, the inexplicable beauty of Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens, Burma valley
The Vumba gardens were like the Garden of Eden coming alive all over again
Beauty was surely a song that emanated from deep down her soul
There was the Pungwe Falls which were like a sibling to Mosi A Tunya, the smoke that thunders, the jewel of Zimbabwe.
When my eyes gazed upon Mosi A Tunya, it was like history coming alive all over again as I uttered the words spoken by David Livingstone when he said, “ The peacefulness of it all, scenes so lovely, fit to be gazed upon by angels in their flight.”
There were also the deep sacred pools at Chinhoyi which are in a cave which has an underground stream that ends up in Lake Kariba
Oh my soul wept for I had never seen such beauty, no ear hath heard, no eye hath seen how beautiful this woman was
Her children were not only human, but also comprised of many in the animal kingdom like the Big Five that were kept in reserves like Gonarezhou
What a mighty God I serve who created such uniqueness
Leadership ran in her soul, so did architecture,
Back in the day when stones had ears and donkeys had horns,
Leaders like Changamire Dombo had instructed the construction of the mighty Great Zimbabwe ruins,
Others constructed the Khami, Nalatale, Danangombe and Dhlodhlo ruins.
The tattoo-like markings on her skin at Rusunzwe, Silozwane and Gulubwane
How I wish I could dwell in her till the end of time,
She was so beautiful and full of mystery
Moyo muti, hamawee, wangu wakamera pana Zimbabwe
But all good things come to an end, except of course life in Christ, my visit had to come to an end
But not a day passes by without longing to be reunited with her again,
Whether I go east or west, north or south, her beauty is deeply engraved in my memory and I will not forget her
God bless Zimbabwe, may goodness, kindness and mercy follow her all the days of her life and may she dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Students, send your articles, pictures, poetry, art . . . to Charles Mushinga at [email protected] or [email protected] or follow Charles Mushinga on Facebook or @charlesmushinga on Twitter. You can also post articles to The Sunday Mail Bridge, PO Box 396, Harare ,or call 0772936678.