1 week ago
I have long lost the tounge that confidently rolled Shona off. Zimbabwe was where my first concept of home formed any significance. When people say they grew up rural, I like to think I could challenge them. Did you ever see zebra grazing dehydrated bushes on your way to school? And then later eat dehydrated zebra in the form of biltong for lunch? My hometown is a cry away from any Metropol that could boast itself as a city. We shared the land with mighty hippos and named our school and hospital after them. From 3 to 13, my concept of snow was black ash that would fall from the sky during our outdoor activities on the school field, which we would happily run around with our tounges sticking out trying to catch it. Towering sugar mills eternally furnaced close by, releasing into the heavens clouds of soot, come snow. Months would ache by without a single drop of forgiving rain, the earth would crack, gasping for any mositiure that could be spared from forty-five degree heats. When it finally rained, it all encompassingly, poured. Purifying, life saving rain would hail from the skies for days at a time. Once it hadn't rained in close to 18months, with that first clap of thunder, mama took me outside, held my hands and danced ritualiscly to the sound of the earth sighing and the sky crying, laughing gratefully all the while. Our house faced off with a wild bush, that often drove our rottweiler X ridgeback wilder, with uninvited guests such as kudu and leopards. Cobras and their cousins were beaten to death weekly and burnt black oil was kept around the house to ward off scorpions. Do these memories, alive in my dreams, allow me to say, I'm from Zimbabwe?