Of A Letter To Africa

Dear Africa

There’s defiance and determination in your depth.

They came, they saw and they conquered. They plundered, as they they convinced themselves they were bringing light to your dark shores.

mad scramble for Africa

They convinced you to believe your darkness was ugly and that your past was shameful and they would teach you real salvation, civilization and sophistication because the things worth striving for could only be found beyond over the seas.

AFRICA

They took bits of your soul, your blood and bones and created a restlessness in you. How can you be anything but restless when the bones of your ancestors lay displayed in museums in foreign lands, when descendants of your blood struggle to relate with you?

How can you prosper when you were taught that the spirits of your ancestors are demons and communing with them is to practice heathen ways and to invite evil into your life? Commune instead only with the Holy Ghost and the One True God

cavorting with evil

How can you advance when they saw all the magic and beauty in your ancestry and called it witchcraft? Parts of it could have been malevolent but it all got heaped up together with the benevolent and cast away like a nightmare bedtime story..

See how they broke you, they taught you how to read but only after they rewrote themselves into your history and all you know about your past is how they wrote it juxtapositioned with how your own tried to rewrite it back and the truth, well, the truth, lies lost somewhere in-between because no one owns the truth.

See how they made you shun the melanin in your skin, the kinks in your hair and how you bleach it out and straighten it out as you weave for yourself a whole new identity.

How comfortable are you in your skin when everyday a struggle to battle the uncertainities that were bred into you when they told you the colour of all things evil is dark and light is all things good.

There’s darkness in your past, a past that fills you with rage and shame, but it’s OK because if it did not it would mean you don’t remember where you came from. The past doesn’t have to define you but that doesn’t mean you should pretend it never happened or it did not change you

You have changed ……

Like a child learning to walk, your footprints are all over the place; neither neat nor straight as you struggle to find your roots and your place in the world.

footprints

They broke you but the cracks are healing, filled with something different, something stronger…….. Divergence

Africa remade

 

You are no longer whom you were nor whom they tried to turn you into, you are different. Find peace with the new you and your divergent flavours, from the dark roasted caramel to the milk rich vanilla and everything beneath all the layers that make you up……

diversity

You were unmade and now you are remade, embrace all your Divergence.

Africa Dawn

 

You have a story to tell, don’t let anyone tell it for you but most of all, don’t let anyone else tell you how to tell it, find your voice…….

All my love
My Africa, My Words

~B

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Of The Freedom Fighter’s Diary 

Genre: Historical Fiction


Preface


This Diary is a gift to Joshua Levi on day of his deliverance witnessed by Church and God on this 8th Sunday of January the year of our Lord 1889

Adore the Lord always
Sister in Christ

Val

Sunday 8 January 1888
GoT sAveD

jOSH

Monday 9 January 1888
My nEW nAmE IS JOSHUA

SIStEr VAL tEACH ME WrItE
Tuesday 10 January 1889
JEsUs sAVE

Wednesday 11  January  1888

JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA  JOSHUA JOSHUA

Thursday 12 January 1888
VAL Is NICE

Friday 13.January 1888
THE QUICKs BrOWnE FOxs

Sat 14 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx

Sunday 15 January 1888
SIN bAD

Monday 16 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx  jUMP oVER LAZE DOGs

Tuesday 17 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx  jUMPs oVER LAZy DOG

Wednesday 18 January 1888
I AdOrE God and sis VAL

19 January 1888
Sis VAL Cry I WrITE

Friday 20 January1888
I MAKEs VAL cry I sTop WriTe till beta

Monday 5 March 1888
I lEArninG MysELf

Tuesday 6 March 1888
My Christian nAme is JoshuA my other nAme cAn not spelled

Wednesday 7 March 1888

Fatha Bruno come give sweets

Sunday 25 March 1888

Fatha Bruno say Sin is Black and so are we till we are washed by the blood of Jesu. I must have invite others to be saved on Easter Service

Thursday 29 March

My Papa say must stop with white man crazy talk

Friday 30 March

Good Friday
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begot son

Sunday 1 April
Easter Sunday

fatha Bruno gave us communication

Papa say eating Jesu body and drink his blood witchcraft. Papa say The Man With No Knees come to our village and learn our ways we must learn theirs so tomorrow he send me his only son to learn.

Monday 2 April

Today is my first day at the Mission Society school. The missionaries come from far away to bring light to our darkness. To educate us from our savage way.

Today my father cry when I left the village he said Do not forget myself but how can I forget myself when I take myself everywhere I go.

My name is Joshua Levi and I am a student.

Friday  20 April 1888

I have been busy learning new and exciting things, I have not had time to write. I miss the village sometime.

Sister Valerie, she misses her home too, in England. She can’t wait until she goes back and that makes me sad and  I don’t know why.

Sunday 22 April 1888
Reverend Charles Helm visited the Mission Society Parish today. He brought gifts and medicines for the new clinic. He gave me my own mirror, a comb and a razor he said I must be groomed. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. We must strive to be like  God and learn his word and fear him,  that’s wisdom.

Monday 23 April 1888

I cut myself shaving. Rev Helm said he would teach me but he left early to go see King Lobengula.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, sin is dirty and black.

No matter how many times I bath I can not wash away the sin I was born with.

My name is Joshua Levi and I am ashamed of my skin.

Tuesday 24 April 1888

Today is Sister Valerie’s birthday I said I did not have a present for her but she said the best present I can give her is to learn all I can and to spread The Word and be a teacher at the mission.

I wish I had a birthday too I don’t know when I was born my parents were uncivilized in the ways of the world.

Father Bruno told me dont need my old birthday I have a new one just like my new name I am no longer what I was. I was washed of my sins when I accepted Jesu as my personal saviour
My name is Joshua Levi and I was born on 8 January 1888

Wednesday 25 April

Rev Charles Helm says my grasp of English surpasses his expectations. If he closes his eyes he can almost imagine he is chatting with a carcass of Euopean descent.

A carcass a dead body of animal

A Caucasian is a white man.

The good reverend has asked me to go to my papa bearing gifts and supplies and tell him a company of miners want to be his friends they will give him vast wealth and power. Even King Lobengula is friends with them all he has to do is sign a simple treaty of agreement.
I am Joshua Levi and tomorrow I am going home.

Thursday 26 April 1888

The welcome I got is not the welcome I expected. My father said I have become a white man, I dress like him and I even talk like him.

“Son, you have forgotten yourself” that’s the last words he spoke directly to me. He refused the gifts, tore up the memorandum of agreement and spit on the bottle of skotch whiskie.

Malume said to me if I return to the missionaries my pa says I’ll be dead to him. But how can I not go When I go back I will be a teacher of a class of my own.

Friday 27 April 1888

Today I returned to the Mission Society.

I have informed Rev Helm of my father’s disposition. He says my father is a fool because only a fool refuses blessings.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

I am Joshua Levi and I am the son of a fool.
Monday 30 April 1888

I am Joshua Levi and I am a teacher at the Mission Society school.
Monday 1 October 1888
“I am dying”

my father’s first words to me after five months of silence.

His hut smells like dung and herbals the sangoma says there’s nothing they can do.

“Do you accept Jesus as your personal saviour?”

Yes

“Take my father to the clinic”

He is given the miracle of penicillin

I am Joshua Levi and I just saved my father.

Tuesday 30 October 1888

Lobengula signed the Rudd Conscession with  Charles Rudd, James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, witnessed and translated  by Reverend Charles Helm

My father signed his trade memorandum with the BSAC

Tuesday 8 January 1889

I am one year old today I picked the name Joshua because I wanted to be a savior too, Joshua means Jesus in Greek. Levi is because they couldn’t pronounce my name

Ndzivalelano which means reconciliation.

Valerie is going back to England today, her year here is done, I’ll miss her but we are from two different worlds her and I.

I have just learnt that Rev Charles Helm misrepresented the contents of the concession but its a binding contract and this land is no longer ours, it was not mining rights alone we conceded it was All Our Rights .

John Smith Moffat says he will help us revoke it and fight for our freedom……

13 September 1890

“….the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race…”

Cecil John Rhodes

The Pioneer Column raises The Union Jack on the kopje over looking Fort Salisbury

“Blessed are the meek…. They shall inherit the ashes, ashes, of dreams long dead”

I am Ndzivalelano and my bones won’t rest until what was mine is mine again

I am Ndzivalelano freedom fighter and war begins….

~the diary has no further entries only blank pages.
~B

This is a work of fiction, centered around key historic events in the history of Zimbabwe

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