PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
chica_papillon
 
Comments: 2
Article views: 1
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all chica_papillon's badges.
 

This article has been selected as an Editor’s Choice report. Articles are selected based on quality of writing, audience response, newsworthiness and originality, and is at the discretion of the MyNews24 editors.

The value of life in Zimbabwe

24 August 2012, 09:20
As a child, I valued all living things. I would collect crickets and dragonflies in the kitchen and set them free in the garden. As I grew up, those small things transformed into valuable assets: the values of patience, integrity, honesty, courage, kindness and forgiveness. 
During the June holidays, I was on my way to Zimbabwe, the land of my birth, after living in South Africa for the last 20 years. It was time to go back to the gardens filled with those noisy crickets. 

Patience 


The plane takes off from Johannesburg an hour late. My friend and I wait patiently, knowing our lift has been expecting us for the last three hours. In Harare, we are greeted with sour faces: “Why are you here? What do you want?” 
At R300 or $30 US (the country has decided its own exchange rate), we finally get our Visas. I have to swallow my pride and smile gratefully for the tattered pink Visa in my passport. Welcome home. 

Integrity


At church, a farmer tells his incredible story of loss and betrayal. John Robb* almost lost his life after debating with ZANU-PF militants on his farm. The room fills up with tears. He is the epitome of courage. 
“What man intends for evil, God intends for good,” he tells us. “You can choose to flee, forgive or forget.” I decide to forgive the nasty people at the airport. I decide to forget the lift shouting at pedestrians, as we were late for church. I decide to flee my negative thoughts of my documentary not going as planned. 

While my classmates are celebrating the festivities of the World Cup in South Africa, I wanted to focus on “life after independence” in a forgotten paradise. There’s magic in Zimbabwe. Some describe it as extreme spirituality. 
The Shona people are known for praying for rain. It symbolizes hope. For many, the red dust of Zimbabwe settles at their ankles. It stopped raining thirty years ago. Their integrity and strength remain intact. It will rain again. 
1980 was filled with the promises of a new government that would benefit all people. Today, Zimbabwe has no currency of its own, with thousands of people still struggling to buy food. The American dollar is a luxury few can afford. 

Courage 


John’s story inspires me to start working. A woman and her two children have been squatting outside my family friend’s house on the street for the last month. I’m not sure how to approach her. My video camera is hidden in my coat’s pocket. It takes a lot of courage for us to start talking. She stutters as I ask her name. I look deep into her eyes. 

Somewhere beyond the pain of raising four children on her own (two of them are home alone), I want to get to know her. Esther is my age. But unlike me, she has never gone to school. She has never gone a day without being hungry. Instead, she fell pregnant at 15. She can’t work because her four-month old baby cries constantly. It has been sun burnt by weeks of standing on the side of the street attached to its nine-year old sister. 

The little girl comforts the crying baby. She dances between the cars. Her mother doesn’t flinch. “Isn’t it dangerous?” I ask, pointing at a car hooting for them to get out of the way. “Yes,” she whispers, “But they know I have many mouths to feed.” 

Honesty


I tell Esther I need to film her. At first, it is awkward. She can’t look at me in the eyes anymore. But, her child is fascinated with being on film. She smiles, laughs and shows off her pretty but dirty dress. As the little girl walks away, another man appears. Edson is a street vendor and Esther’s friend. They met on the corner of the road. 

“If I have bread, I will share with her,” he tells me, “But life is hard. I cannot feed her every day. Business is slow.” 

He disappears into the cars as the traffic increases. People are rushing home, but his colourful stock of balloons continues to hang on to his arms. He has incredible patience. A Mercedes-Benz stops and buys one. He smiles and waves at me. 

His honesty is made apparent when he warns me: “The police are here. They saw you filming us.” I hide my camera. If Edson hadn’t warned me, the government’s police would have erased all my film. They hate journalists. 

Kindness and forgiveness 


In the house, I gather up avocadoes and juice for Esther and Edson. Their kindness has made me realize how insignificant my problems really are. 
These people choose to endure, rather than fight. Every day is about survival of their families, not themselves. Life for them is not about the value of money, but the value of food. Life for them is also not about the value of politics, but the value of listening. 

There is healing in listening to each other’s pain. We have all suffered under this regime. There is value in forgiveness. There is value in hope. 
John’s words haunt my mind: “I’d rather forgive than flee. You cannot flee your own hatred. Hatred is like drinking from a poisoned chalice hoping your enemy will suffer.”
Zimbabwe’s people have suffered enough. There is value in sharing their tale with all those who read this. 
*name has been changed

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wayne Russell
Letter to my beloved country, Sou...

I was born and raised within your borders. I plan to grow old and die within your borders. Read more...

0 comments 109 views
Submitted by
Adrian Ciesielski
Democracy is about the majority r...

Imagine if there was an application that asked citizens if they were for, against or unsure about eTolls, Nkandla, hospitals being built, budgets being spent and so on. Read more...

0 comments 15 views
Submitted by
Wende Davids
City of Johannesburg you shameles...

City of Johannesburg, your lack of competence and customer service are so 1920... Read more...

22 comments 2275 views
Submitted by
Wayne Russell
10 Rules for Our Home

My wife was inspired a few years ago to create these rules for our home. They are not posted on a wall, but we as parents live by these, and try to hold our children accountable to them. Read more...

4 comments 386 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.