Zimbabwe at 27 years

I hope you don’t mind my posting these poems here. I owe you a PhD update and I will be giving you one soon. Today however like the last two posts I am posting a poem I wrote a few years ago. It forms part of my thesis, so in a way this is PhD related. It is very PhD related however because events happening in my motherland recently have aroused the hope and pain I had long buried and stifled in my heart concerning the land of my birth. I actually found myself distracted and unable to focus on my writing from the anticipation that things could change and the unreal expectation for a miraculous turn of events . We academics have a way to talk about nationhood and nations that  is so far from how I have felt in the last few days. We reason things out with our heads, these are imagined communities and yes they are but there is an emotional dimension to this imagined world that is hard to make sense of.

I wanted to pray for change but all I could do was cry! Cry as I realised that I thought I did not care anymore but I do care. Cry as I let go of the denial and embraced the passion engulfing my heart about Zimbabwe. Then I remembered the 26 year old me who arrived in South Africa and tried to make sense of what it means to be Zimbabwean in South Africa. I have for a long time said to those who ask me, that my national identity is a tag that carries no purchase for me. Instead it boxes me and limits my belonging to that tiny piece of the world. I still think so, but I also carry these feelings of fondness. I carry the pain of my children not experiencing their childhood the way I did mine. So here is a glimpse into the mind of that girl who left and does not want to go back, but wants that to be a choice she makes when she could go back if she wanted to. #thisflag #Zimbabwemustbesaved


Is it my independence?

Is it my freedom?

18 April 1980

Victory heralds sounded

The war has been won

Celebrations and ululations

We have conquered the enemy

Have we?

How can this be?

Who shall I turn to?

My brother has risen against me

A father against his own

The future strength of our time

Twenty thousand valiant sons and daughters

Stolen from their time,

From our land, our hands

Is it his independence?

Shall I live on?

Can I carry this burden?

Our nation flourishes and thrives

Education, water, health to the people

The envy of our neighbours

The breast basket of Africa

But who shall heal these wounds?

War veterans?

Who are they?

They fought for freedom

They fought for sovereignty

Fifty thousand Zimbabwean dollars is their asking price

Perpetual damage to the Zimbabwean Dollar

An irreversible descending road for the economy

Is it their independence?

Is it their land?

How is it their land?

I stole their land, I should give back their land

The language they know is of their hands

They beat me up so I can hear

This is their land

I should leave it to them

What shall I do?

Who shall I tell?

My vote is my voice

But how can it be

My vote is stolen from me

The night is a terrifying place

It has hands that beat me up

Hands that make me disappear

Who shall I tell?

How can I speak?

What shall I say?

My voice is taken away from me

My mouth is eternally sealed


They have cut my tongue

I am damned, silenced from my view

Silenced from my choice

Am I the dirt?

Is my house the dirt?

Murambatsvina like a flood

Destroyed my house

Left me out in the open

Cold and hungry

Where shall I go?


About mandlods

Blogger at candidphdtalk.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in #poetry, reflections, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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