where we love is home – home that our feet may leave but never our hearts ~ Oliver Wendell
Hello Africa meet World, World meet Africa….. The 25th of May is the one day in the year we forget that before we are citizens of our countries we are African and Human Beings first. United in ideals and causes noble, even though like all ideals more of dreams and somehow flawed in execution and implementation, considering the number of countries that observe the day as a public holiday, number less than all my fingers put together. So this is me #ProudlyAfrican “I am African not simply because this is where I was born but because Africa was born in me” I have no idea what that quote means or who said it but it feels profound in this age of cultural diversity and blurred lines of identity. What I do know is all boundaries are imaginary…. But these are the lines that define who we are and fill the void that also separate us, us from them and me from you. I am African, I hail from Zimbabwe, a somewhat teapot shaped country in the southern part of Africa I am Zimbabwean because I have a metal identification document with a picture of me on it that says I am me and no one else. I am Zimbabwean because I was born here, and my parents were born here too, but my grandfather and those before him, came from South Africa. At least so I grew up knowing, from stories we used to be told, by my grandfather when we went to visit them during holidays, sitting round a fire on many a moonlit night. He taught me the past is the roots that hold up my trunk of existence and to forget it is to forget my future.
I have never been more aware of my ancestry than here and now, especially with all the xenophobic violence that broke out in South Africa, on immigrant workers and foreign nationals. I used to dream of returning exactly quite unlike the prodigal son and restoring and catching up on parts of my identity I thought had missed up on the reaching out to long lost kin but now can’t help wonder if I am not richer because of my lack, if I too would have had blood on my hands? Thinking about it, despite that I have origins of a sort there, if I was to go to South Africa right now, a part wonders at the odds of winding up a statistic of xenophobic violence before I managed to finish saying the words “Can’t we all get along.” I would like to believe this is somehow a great misunderstanding that maybe only a few people have so much hate and intolerance to beat up and burn people to death, simply because they are immigrant nationals. I believe the best in people that we are better than this if only we searched deep within there is good to be found. I applaud the people who rallied together to say stop this intolerance, it might only be on social media, but it’s still making a stand…. #NoToXenophobia “I am an immigrant, we are all immigrants we started off THERE and now we are HERE…” -My heart is the shape of Africa- On the 18th of April 2015 the country of my birth “celebrated” 35 years of Independence…… Independence to me means that a lot of people had to die so that we could be where we are, and I can’t help wonder who shoulders the burden of seeing it through that all those who died, who got sacrificed is this what they died for, fought for, got killed for. I am told that I am born free but when I look around all I see price tags on a life I can barely afford. I say Grace before each meal because lurking at the back of my mind is a thought…………………………….. ……..………… (Incepted whilst listening to the news and hear words the likes of economic meltdown, free fall economy…….) a thought that, it’s possible that a time will come when I won’t even know from where my next meal, will come. I easily imagine the wolves at the door, being real wolves that no matter how many crispy new notes you thrust at them, they will take all you have and still want more. Sometimes I skip watching or listening to the news even reading newspapers because it seems like it’s simply a dose of bad news, murder, death, crime, war, inflation, floods, droughts, politics… are there no good things that happen no more or we spent so much time taking stock of all that goes wrong we never really notice life happening, like if you can read this not only are you literate with access to an internet connection, you are gifted with sight, breath, life even. Maybe that’s our purpose in life, to appreciate it, to give it purpose. My heart breaks every time I come across human suffering, especially if it is caused intentionally by others. It’s never just a number or a statistic and to see the suffering of people I am unable to offer comfort other than kind words in #hashtag which they probably they might never see, hoping that maybe that makes a difference, well that’s how I light my small candle. I think in compensation I read books, to be lost in the words of books in a world far far away within the pages of a gripping book, where for a second you forget all the things wrong with real world and for a second it doesn’t matter, all your senses are focused on simply reading the word which comes next and the next after that and nothing else matters. One day I will write my own book that will be read by someone else other than me (waits for applause) The other day while out jogging, I changed my route to something more challenging and the uphill terrain was more than I anticipated. I had to stop to catch my breath, while I wheezing about like a fish out of water, a random motorist stopped and asked me if I was in need of assistance or a lift. Well getting a lift on your jogging route is sort of cheating no one but yourself, I had to decline, but the offer did give my spirit a lift. I jogged the rest of the way with a spring in my step and felt lighter but well mostly because I had reached the top and was now on downhill terrain, let’s not burst my bubble, its little things like that which give me faith there is some good in us that needs nurturing , we are not all bad. I love to laugh, I come from a family that values laughter as the broom that sweeps away the cobwebs of gloom circling around kind of like a Patronus against the presence of dementors from the Harry Potter books… and yes I read all the Harry Potter books, more times than once but less than you would think. You know how they say insanity runs in the family, well it doesn’t run in mine it walks slowly at a leisurely pace getting to know each of us intimately, so I don’t suffer from insanity, rather I enjoy it, embrace it, it’s an escape, its happiness with benefits (insert smiley face) Faith and a little laughter can take you places. The is a space between us, a void that separates us, the internet does fill it, doesn’t matter where I am in the world but the web connects us intricately such that we are no more than a click away from each other….. I am Human just like you…. Being human being “Hello world I am from a place I call home”