A Love Letter to My Country

      18/6/2019       Next-->

I cried for you today -
and as the tears spilled down my cheeks,
I thought of your warm smiles and open hearts and how your mothers nurtured me.

And the countless children they carried on their backs
And the sunshine waking us up every morning
And how we thought we'd be in our home forever

Never imagining for one moment that we would leave of our own free will
Thinking we would be fine elsewhere

And that Africa and its politics could go and hang for all we cared
And we moved away and boarded planes
And we set up camp

In the far flung corners of the planet

And we barbecued our boerewors on Australian beaches
And celebrated American independence
And wrapped ourselves in blankets against the UK winters
And learnt new languages and borrowed other people's cultures

But one African will soon seek out another
No matter whether they be in the Netherlands or Ireland

And we soon flocked together
Made batches of sticky koek susters
And were frowned upon with our raw meat eating habits by our pasty faced neighbours

And we too lost our colour.

As our vibrancy slipped from us
And we danced to our Johnny Clegg and Mango Groove to remember our happiness
and called each other Shamwari

And slipped into Sindebele and Shona greetings and "Yebo Gogos" and "tatendas" whenever we met
And we remembered we were not English, Australian or American

No, we are Africans and we are too far away from home

Far from the lazy Limpopo
And the mozies in our ears at night
And the black jacks in our socks
And the goaway birds
And the Fish Eagles
And a Kariba Sunset

And we're miles away from the mists of Nyanga
And the roar of the mighty Falls and the Zambezi that runs through us as blue as our veins as surely as we ran through the rain forest as children
While our parents sipped G&Ts on the vast veranda of the Vic Falls Hotel

And our hearts wept and broke when we realised that our childhood was a lifetime away

And we are not okay after all

We were lost and we had left our souls in the land of our birth

How I wish we had something to celebrate as we turn another corner on the 18th day of April every year

But our visionaries are all gone
And our expectations have vanished in the dust of 37 years.

Now all we can do is pray for deliverance
And hope our memories last long enough for us to share them with our children

Who will never know the inheritance we wanted to pass on to them.
This will only live on in our stories and faded photographs

And as we wipe away those tears
And wonderful years

We give thanks for those golden savannah summers in the burnt bushveld

For the love of a million mothers and for fathers who threw us up on their shoulders and pushed us in wheel barrows

And our childhood companions,
brothers and sisters from different mothers who we knew before we knew what different colours we were.

Ngiyabonga, Tatenda from all your children

We are who we are
because of you gave us a happy and loved childhood

And in our dreams we return
Every night and walk where our foot prints have blown away

Although we are no longer there
You reside in our hearts, in our minds
In our identity
For how can a child forget their parent

I pray for the starving children
And the mothers with AIDS
And the fathers who cannot save their babies dying in their arms

I will never stop longing for peace in Zimbabwe

And hoping for better days to come.
I cannot forget
I curse my inability to change things

And despise myself for running away
But I had my own selfish reasons
And futures other than my own to consider

I haven't lost my way
I've just mislaid the map
Perhaps some day too I will return

For nothing else other than to walk the streets of my hometown
But this is one of the greatest burdens the human heart carries

As every exile knows.

Cyndi Barker

Watchdog !!


'Together in Victoria Falls event'
Why not treat yourself to a week end at Victoria Falls
It is not as costly as you may think!
Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge, 12, West Drive, Victoria falls is hosting a live musical event with two stages on the 29th of June 20.00hrs 'till late.
Featuring ' DJ Francis,' DJ 'DSL SJ Static' and DJ ' Sly Dog.'
Entry is USD $3 unless you stay at the lodge in which case it will be free.
Accommodation at the lodge: USD $8 camping, Dorms USD 15, doubles and twins USD $ 55. (Rate of the day in Bond or RTGS) (Book by email at:- shoestrings@backpackers.co.zw or by 'phone on 082 2844978, or 082 2840167.)
Travel (Bulawayo Victoria Falls return):
Road: fairly good, few potholes ,largely unfenced, few polite police road blocks. (Advice is to avoid night travel)
Rail: USD $8 first class return, (overnight train)
Bus: Extra City Bus USD $26 return.


Art Crafts Curios Jewellery Handbags

Support local manufacturers and home industries. Come browse and shop
at our Factory Market

corner Fife street extension, Doncaster Road opposite Spinweave

Date; SATURDAY 6 JULY 2019

Time: 9 am to 5 pm

Contact: Rea 0292 884806 / 0772 420 846