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Freedom may remain a myth, until we claim it

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Poetry by Freedom T.V. Nyamubaya, featured on Poetry International.

A Mysterious Marriage

Once upon a time
A boy and girl were
Forced to leave their home
By armed robbers.
The boy was Independence
The girl was Freedom.
While fighting back, they got married.

After the big war they went back home.
Everybody prepared for the wedding.
Drinks and food abounded,
Even the disabled felt able.
The whole village gathered waiting,
Freedom and Independence
Were more popular than Jesus.

Independence came
But Freedom was not there.
An old woman saw Freedom’s shadow passing
Through the crowd, leaving by the gate.
All the same, they celebrated Independence.

Independence is now a senior bachelor.
Some people still talk about him,
Others take no notice.
A lot still say it was a fake marriage.
You can’t be a husband without a wife.
Fruitless and barren, Independence staggers to old age.
Leaving her shadow behind,
Freedom has never returned.

Mysterious Marriages Continued

After the mysterious disappearance
Freedom still not found
We can’t say she is dead
No evidence of her whereabouts
Police tired of investigating
Probably they need a bribe
For something to start happening.

Now we hear of the newly weds
I’m not sure who married who
Whether Morgan married Robert
Or Robert married Morgan
Maybe they married each other

Somebody is optimistic
These days anything can be legalised
If only you fight for it

A couple of years ago there was a similar marriage
Zipra and Zanla got married
And became Mr and Mrs ZIPA
The two were madly in love
But their parents hated each other
The next thing we heard was an out-of-court
The reason being simple: They spent most
Of the time trying to outwit each other

As the elephants continue fighting
The grass and twigs suffer heavy casualties

In Mt Darwin, Mashonaland Central, it was a question of choice
Do you want long sleeves or short
This is not about buying at Edgars
It’s a hand cut off voting for your choice
Freedom is not allowed in this country

In Mutoko, Mashonaland East, suspected youth sell-outs
Pay between two goats and a herd of cattle to base managers
Or risk disappearing
This is usually after their buttocks have turned to minced meat

In Chegutu, Mashonaland West, as we speak
One white couple three children two dogs one cat and a maid
Spent the whole day frog-jumping in their underwear
For not accepting the rule of looting
That normally happens just before harvest
In Matabeleland nobody wants to talk about it,
Some people may have to change their names
When freedom comes

In Mutare
Helicopters hover over diamond panners in Chiadzwa
2000 dead. Nobody gives a damn
Diamonds are for members of the politburo only

Whether its Robert or Morgan
Each can be two sides of the same coin
Freedom may remain a myth
Until we claim it

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