Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Waiting until we can dance again

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Our team got together for the first time since Christmas in
Zimbabwe to share our stories
where had we been?
what had we done?

3 funerals . . .

R’s nephew drowned in the sea at Mozambique
2 and a half weeks to negotiate borders and bribes and restrictions
before the family could lay him back in the earth.

Stories of visits to the mortuary
– without electricity,
filled with bodies
waiting for relations to get together enough money
to pay the cost to retrieve them
searching for loved ones through maggots
the indignity brought into our lives and deaths.

Of relations back from Namibia
visiting their home in Buhera for Christmas
the purchase of a cow and the sharing of this feast with the community
their first meat for months.

Of people resorting to the old foods of the ancestors
leaves of black jacks and pumpkins and forgotten fruit from indigenous trees

Of one desperate family exchanging their young daughter
for seed – to survive another year

Of green fields in some communities who had received seed donations
exploring new ways of dry planting with cow dung and compost
in the absence of fertilizer
and of their determination to never starve again
drawing people into shared work.

Of an estranged family together for the first time in years
old connections, broken and remade
the slaughter of a goat in celebration
the joy of belonging.

Riding the edge of the wave with the immediacy of the moment
and keenness of attention
learning of survival when our reactivity or despondence is our worst enemy.

This is the grey time of unending ‘coping’
and waiting until we can dance again.

2 comments to “Waiting until we can dance again”

  1. Comment by Gary Storm:

    Oh my God (and I`m not even religious). Someone sold their daughter for seed? What the hell!?

    So slavery is alive and well in Zimbabwe.

    Is the girl now owned by someone, or is she having to work for them for a certain period of time? Will she be used as a sex slave? Will she ever see her family again?

    What’s her name? I`m outraged that anyone could do this.

    Why don’t you Zimbabweans stand up for yourselves and overthrow Mugabe, his cronies, and then leave the useless MDC out in the cold as well. Become a part of South Africa or something. Now I`m thinking you would have been better off as Rhodesia and done a gradual and responsible power shift to a proper democracy.

    I’ve been waiting and waiting and watching, and it doesn’t look like anything is ever going to be better there unless you either all just walk out of Zimbabwe in mass exodus/protest, or lose some lives by taking over from the useless people who are supposed to be there to protect you, but instead allow disease, starvation, and the selling of young girls into slavery for a packet of seeds. I’ll tell you what. You give me a valid paypal account or something and I’ll send money to the family or you to buy the girl back. That’s just wrong.

    It’s not just Mugabe that has alot to answer for… it’s the people of Zimbabwe for letting him get away with it.

  2. Comment by kubblogreader:

    Gary Storm does not understand the plight of many Zimbabweans. But I would agree that the bit about a young girl exchanged for seed is not only deeply worrying, but possibly illegal. Do the authorities know? Social services, the Police, the Education department? Well, perhaps they do but do not care or are unable to because of the complete disintegration of Zimbabwean society. There is SO much misery and illegality in Zimbabwe this story is one of millions.