My mind and heart walk separate paths.
My mind and body are here with me,
But my heart lingers in the land of my memories.
Love Letter To Zimbabwe
I cried for you today
And as the tears spilled down my cheeks
I thought of your warm smiles and open hearts
and how your mothers nurtured me
And the countless children they carried on their backs
And the sunshine waking us up every morning
And how we thought we’d be in our home forever
Never imagining for one moment that we would leave of our own free will
Thinking we would be fine elsewhere
And that Africa and its politics could go and hang for all we cared
And we moved away and boarded planes
And we set up camp
In the far flung corners of the planet
And we barbecued our boerewors on Australian beaches
And celebrated American independence
And wrapped ourselves in blankets against the UK winters
Learnt new languages and borrowed other people’s cultures.
But one African will soon seek out another
No matter whether they be in the Netherlands or Ireland
And we soon flocked together
Made batches of sticky koek susters
And were frowned upon with our raw meat eating habits by our pasty faced neighbours and we too lost our colour
As our vibrancy slipped from us.
And we danced to our Johnny Clegg and Mango Groove to remember our happiness
and called each other Shamwari
And slipped into Sindebele and Shona greetings and “Yebo Gogos” and “tatendas” whenever we met
And we remembered we were not English, Australian or American
No, we are Africans and we are too far away from home
Far from the lazy Limpopo, the mozies in our ears at night
The black jacks in our socks and the goaway birds
The blue Fish Eagles and a Kariba Sunset
And we’re miles away from the mists of Nyanga
And the roar of the mighty Falls and the Zambezi that runs through us as blue as our veins
as surely as we ran through the rain forest as children
While our parents sipped G&Ts on the vast veranda of the Vic Falls Hotel
And our hearts wept and broke when we realised that our childhood was a lifetime away
And we are not okay after all
We were lost and we had left our souls in the land of our birth
Mine is in the Matopos somewhere among the balancing rocks.
How I wish we had something to celebrate as we turn another corner on the 18th day of April every year
But our visionaries are all gone
And our expectations have vanished in the dust of 37 years.
Now all we can do is pray for deliverance
And hope our memories last long enough for us to share them with our children
Who will never know the inheritance we wanted to pass on to them.
This will only live on in our stories and faded photographs
And as we wipe away those tears
And wonderful years
We give thanks for those golden savannah summers in the burnt bushveld
For the love of a million mothers and for fathers who threw us up on their shoulders and pushed us in wheel barrows
And our childhood companions,
brothers and sisters from different mothers who we knew before we knew what different colours we were.
Ngiyabonga, Tatenda from all your children
We are who we are
because of you gave us a happy and loved childhood
And in our dreams we return
Every night and walk where our foot prints have blown away
Although we are no longer there
You reside in our hearts, in our minds
In our identity
For how can a child forget their parent?
I pray for the starving children
And the mothers with AIDS
And the fathers who cannot save their babies dying in their arms
I will never stop longing for peace in Zimbabwe
And hoping for better days to come.
I cannot forget
I curse my inability to change things
And despise myself for running away
But I had my own selfish reasons
And futures other than my own to consider
I haven’t lost my way
I’ve just mislaid the map
Perhaps some day too I will return
For nothing else other than to walk the streets of my hometown
But this is one of the greatest burdens the human heart carries
As every exile knows.
When you’ve acquired a taste for dust,
The scent of our first rain,
You’re hooked for life on Africa
And you’ll not be right again
Till you can watch the setting moon
And hear the jackals bark
And know that they’re around you,
Waiting in the dark.
When you long to see the elephants.
Or to hear the coucal’s song,
When the moonrise sets your blood on fire,
You’ve been away too long
It’s time to cut the traces loose
And let your heart go free
Beyond that far horizon,
Where your spirit yearns to be.
Africa is waiting – come!
Since you’ve touched the open sky
And learned to love the rustling grass,
The wild fish-eagles cry.
You’ll always hunger for the bush,
For the lion’s rasping roar,
To camp at last beneath the stars
And to be at peace once more.
How many heartbeats was it ago,
When life was so sublimely slow.
One TV channel on the RBC,
No violence, sex or anarchy.
Flying paper kites high on the breeze,
We rode our bikes, scraped our knees.
Fell in love, and oh what bliss,
When we at last had our first kiss.
Hats were worn out in the sun,
Tipped to greet an elderly one.
Manners came quite naturally,
Paraded by parents, for all to see.
Were we naughty? Bet your life,
Causing our parents constant strife,
But not with firearms and drugs,
No gangs of bullies, or lawless thugs.
How many heartbeats, gone forever,
We ran amuck in inclement weather,
Making dams and a sailing boat,
Out of any material that would float.
Your first pay-check, remember it?
Hot meat pies and banana split,
Brown cows, coke and ice cream.
Twas only yesterday, it would seem.
Dad went to work, Mom stayed home,
After school, in the bush we’d roam.
Ate Sadza with the old ‘Cook-boy’
Dipped in gravy, our childhood joy…
How many heartbeats come and gone,
Precious memories to bemuse upon,
How many heartbeats do we have left,
Before our life on earth is cleft.
When our hearts at last will cease,
Will we rest in perfect peace;
Knowing we lived a blessed life;
Overcoming hardships, stress and strife
Every heartbeat is a treasure to me;
Thanking my God for a life so free,
Bless my friends, loved ones so sweet,
Counting my blessings… beat by beat.
Written by Alf Hutchison
Author of “Sounds of Distant Drums”
SOUNDS OF DISTANT DRUMS
Those African nights so dark and still,
Star blazoned skies; a cricket’s shrill,
Smoke spiraling heavenward from the pyre,
Hands facing palm ward towards the fire…
Eyes transfixed on dancing embers,
Rhodesia is gone, but who remembers,
Scattered all now, around the globe,
Experiencing some, the pains of Job.
Africans angry; their bowels enraged,
Roaring like lions, heinously caged,
Answering the sounds of a distant drum;
Changes in Africa were now just begun
Memories fond, bring a tear to my eye,
Bygone ‘super’ days, now passed me by,
Giving our all for the green and white,
We were trained to kill; trained to fight,
Too many Rhodesians died in vain,
Many still bear the scars, the pain,
We sit now around our fires with chums
Reminiscing the sounds of distant drums…
All the world leaders stood with pride,
On that day that Rhodesia died.
They congratulated themselves on a job well done,
As Zimbabwe was born with the rising sun.
And the drums beat so very loud,
As Mugabe addressed the eager crowd.
He said “we’ve won our freedom today”,
He said “I’m president and I’m here to stay”,
And he made wild promises about the way,
That Zimbabwe would change on it’s first day.
Towns were renamed and streets were too,
Every time an African leader passed through.
And the cheering of the crowd as they danced in delight,
As Mugabe lit the heroes acre light.
Mercedes were ordered they couldn’t have enough,
They knew they deserved them the fight had been tough,
The West would pay for them so they didn’t need to worry,
The aid was pouring in they had to spend it in a hurry.
Mugabe was important now, he’d even met the Queen,
And of the whole world there was little left unseen.
But still Mugabe felt ill at ease,
What if someone else his power did seize.
The Matabele leaders had to go first,
It was for their blood that Mugabe did thirst.
And the whites that remained were a thorn in his side,
What to do about them he needed to decide.
But what had actually changed in the ordinary mans lives?
As a future for their children they did strive.
Inflation had spiralled out of control,
And on these people it took its toll.
And when there was a rumbling of discontent,
It was always the army that in he sent,
He silenced the people who didn’t agree,
That he’d done a good job since Zimbabwe was free.
He had to find someone else to blame,
So he started his land seizure game,
So he’s kicked the white farmers off the land,
So many farms now idle they stand.
Farm workers jobs have all gone now,
And they wonder how they’ll make a living somehow.
And now as children starve and die,
The people of Zimbabwe hang their heads and cry.
Elections were held but what a farce,
The results were in before the first vote was cast.
And as food aid continues to pour in,
Mugabe commits the ultimate sin.
For as people get to the front of the queue,
They have to prove that to Mugabe they’re true.
For if they don’t have a ZANU PF card.
Then its empty handed that they leave the yard.
And the leaders of the world stand by and sigh,
As they see the people of Zimbabwe die.
Why can’t they admit that they made a mistake,
Why can’t they do something for Zimbabwe ‘s sake.
And I wonder what stories the old people tell,
Of the time before they were living in hell.
Of a time when work was plentiful,
And the children were happy and their bellies were full.
Of days before they lived under a dictator so cruel,
In the days before they fought for Majority Rule.
We stood our ground and fought
So many years of war
A nation like ours
Was never known before
We stood against the world
For what we believed was right
A symbol of truth
Our beloved Green and White.
We are young
We are old
Had our say
Said it bold
Rhodesians of Rhodesia
Until the tide was turned
Now we’re Rhodesians of the World.
Lyrics and sung by John Edmond
I HAVE WALKED
I have walked were no human feet have trod, and sat beside still waters
I have worshiped in a cathedral of tall trees, and thanked God.
I have listened to great orchestras in the thundering waters of the Zambezi
… and gentle arias in the quiet places.
I have seen splendid sable silhouetted against an African sunset
and watched a herd of elephant drinking in the vlei.
I have prayed neeth a star studded sky and thanked God!
I have heard nostalgia in the cry of the fish eagle as it wings across the waters
and loneliness in the wind as it sighs through the acacias.
I have seen mists rising from the water in the glowing dawn
encircling pink tinted spurwing geese,
and gazed at a distant rising cloud of dust
from which emerged four hundred buffalo!
I have watched the rains pour down and the floods rise and drop
The rains cease, far too long….
Then once again, heaven sent rain! Growth! Gladness!
All these privileges I have known and loved through the years
They have become part of me.
And also through the years
Standing sentinel, the beloved Baobab.
But changes come and I am sad
But thank God for what I had.
MEMORIES OF MANICALAND
On misty and lonely hills
the remnants of once abundant crop production
pitiful in their neglect
now entwined with weeds,
serve as a reminder of political irresponsibility.
Uncompensated farm seizures,
stupid in its brutality and arrogance,
mindless rampant youth
bring ignorant nations to their starving knees.
When are we, the citizens of Africa,
magnificent continent of abundant sunshine,
with great strength of manpower
going to realise that together
we are able to keep the wheels of industry turning,
to feed ourselves with plenty to share and spare?
So as I shut my eyes to sleep, they fill with tears, for my homeland I weep
For its not just dust or dirt or stone, it’s the land I belong to; it was my home!
And as long as I breathe upon this plane, I will always feel this searing pain
Of a life that I had, and cherished and loved, it was snatched from me this home that I loved
For wherever I lay my head in this world, and whatever problems to me are hurled
It will never matter as much as home, because away from my land I feel so alone
Not that I don’t have family or kin, but it’s the place I miss; I have it within
My soul and being, my presence, it’s me! and I will want to return for all eternity
And one day I will, and this I assure, as there is only so much that I can endure
To be a foreigner in my parent’s homeland, I do not belong here..you understand?
For I am African, through and through, and I am here through heritage, what do I do?
I try to fit in with all of my might, to be honest my friends it’s a constant fight!
I wish I could return to the land that I love, I pray to the big man who lives above
But I know that I am blessed from where I have come, the pride and the breeding cannot be undone
For I am a African, my birthright, my heritage, I had no part in the hate and carnage
I have my identity, and forever will be proud, I will shout it from the rooftops, say it aloud!!
I did not ask for war, or hate and bloodshed, I would stick to my guns until my deathbed
We are all Africans no matter our race, for I think we all dearly love this place
So while I am far and pine for home, I hope that my homeland comes into its own
God Bless Africa, it’s a special place, am so thankful that it was my birthplace!
Liz Crilly Bedford
A POEM DEDICATED TO DR CREDO MUTWA
The great South African Sangoma, Sanusi, Inyanga (Sharman)
“Igniting the Heart of Peace”
Love & Blessings
To the deep man
Who holds Africa in his Heart
Amidst the trials and adversity
He stands strong in
His love and loyalty of the Truth
Never wavering from his purpose
Wise in his mind
Open in his heart
He wants what is true & eternal
To be transmitted from his heart
And also for everyone to see
Through the darkness of this grand illusion
Played out on Mother Earth’s Heart and on
The soil of her Natural Beauty
Once what I believe to be a heartfelt prophetic
message from a divine source
Cut through the sleep and silence of the night
To awaken a divine remembrance within me
I share it with you now…….
“The world’s heart is broken
Because it reflects the broken heart of the people
People will have to bottom out on their externals
Before they seek their connection with God
This is when you will be used”
These words I have carried and treasured deep
in my heart for many years, awaiting their fruition
I remember them, and great Spirits like
The deep man who holds Africa
In his heart come to mind
I give my heart, my wholeness, and my blessings
Of love and of peace to all the
Great Spirits of people who stand deep in The Truth
Who share the same purposeful intent of
Radiating Oneness from their hearts to
Kindle the light of infinite grace in each heart
Healing it into a perfection that is beyond this world
Igniting humanity’s heart, lit up like an eternal flame
Stretching across the vast plains of Forever
Uniting all inside it’s Oneness
Disappearing together as One
Forever into the Infinite Heart of God
Divinity’s Perfect state of Love.
AFRICA, MY AFRICA
The smell of rain upon parched, dry ground
Songs of Africa fill the air as drums pound
Majestic sunsets, vistas grand
My soul dissolved within this land
The roar of a lion, call of the wild
Music to the ears of an innocent child
The smell of smoke from a charcoal fire
Fancy toy gallimotos made from wire
Mangoes, paw paws, sugar cane too
The sweetest delights for me and you
Elephant grass, black jacks in our socks
Skimming the river with small flat rocks
Slag heaps, slimes dams, ant hills abound
Bare feet raise dust swirls as we run around
The pure white smile of a picannin’s grin
Acapella harmony as rich voices sing
A million stars grace the African skies
The beat of wings as a fish eagle flies
Bright chitengi wrapped around hips that sway
Dusty children, laughing at play
Maize pounded diligently, thud after thud
Little round huts made from grass and mud
A canoe bobbing silently at water’s edge
A creeping, purple bougainvillea hedge
White floating clouds, in a deep blue sky
Memories like these bring a tear to my eye
For here I am in the land of the free
But I forgot to bring my heart with me…
Africa, My Africa
You will always burn bright in my soul
Linda (Dore) Hayes 2001
(ex Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia/Zambia)
WHITE SKIN AND AN AFRICAN SOUL
Within my soul, within my mind,
There lies a place I cannot find.
Home of my heart. Land of my birth.
Smoke-coloured stone and flame-coloured earth.
Electric skies. Shivering heat.
Blood-red clay beneath my feet.
At night when finally alone,
I close my eyes – and I am home.
I kneel and touch the blood-warm sand
And feel the pulse beneath my hand
Of an ancient life too old to name,
In an ancient land too wild to tame.
How can I show you what I feel?
How can I make this essence real?
I search for words in dumb frustration
To try and form some explanation,
But how can heart and soul be caught
In one-dimensional written thought?
If love and longing are a “fire”
And Man “consumed” by his desire,
Then this love is no simple flame
That mortal thought can hold or tame.
As deep within the earth’s own core
The love of home burns evermore.
But what is home? I hear them say,
This never was yours anyway.
You have no birthright to this place,
Descendant from another race.
An immigrant? A pioneer?
You are no longer welcome here.
Whoever said that love made sense?
“I love” is an “imperfect” tense.
To love in vain has been Man’s fate
From history to present date.
I have no grounds for dispensation,
I know I have no home or Nation.
For just one moment in the night
I am complete, my soul takes flight.
For just one moment. then it’s gone
And I am once again undone.
Never complete. Never whole.
White skin and an African soul.
The drums are calling you old man, and grow louder by the day.
They are calling you to judgment, it’s now your time to pay,
For the wrongs you’ve done Zimbabwe, the trust which you betrayed.
So hear those drums a pounding, hear well, and be afraid!
The drums are calling you old man, and grow louder by the day.
For the cries of those you murdered, simply will not pass away,
In a land we called Rhodesia, Twas truly ‘God’s own land’,
You trashed it with your gluttony and evil thieving hand.
The drums are calling you old man, and grow louder by the day,
You starved your kinfolk of their food; the meek, your favoured prey,
With all your years of tyranny and lavish trips abroad,
Their proud heritage you squandered, through patronage and fraud.
The drums are calling you old man; and grow louder by the day,
For your fellow brothers in Africa, are now ashamed to say.
That Cholera, poverty and starvation, are the heritage you’ve left.
Your end won’t come from cowardly Africa, but from civil unrest.
The drums are calling you old man, and grow louder by the day,
The drums have sound their verdict; listen well to what they say,
For they foretell of your demise, and they have much to tell.
So hear the drums, old man, and listen to them well.
The drums are calling you old man, and grow louder by the day.
Your ‘war vets’ will abandon you, to flee another way,
Now listen to those drums old man their message is not vague ,
They are pounding out across the world “We’ll see you in the Hague!!”
The drums are calling you old man; your country is in revolt,
You cannot blame the Western world; it is your entire fault.
Vultures circle overhead, they have come to feast on you,
Sangomas have thrown the bones… now drink their witches brew.
The drums are calling you old man, and grow louder by the day.
Now in your dying pain wracked days, what have you now to say,
For all your sinful wickedness; your heinous acts and theft.
I ask you old, pathetic, man…what legacy have you left?
Rhodesian and South African Poet
‘The drums are calling, old man, and they are louder by the day.
They are calling you to judgement and now’s the time to pay,
for the wrongs you’ve done your country and the trust betrayed.
So hear those drums swelling, hear well and be afraid.
You came to power on waves of hope that you would make your mark,
in a land that shone in Africa like diamonds in the dark.
In simple faith the people put their trust in your care,
and were repaid by the Fifth Brigade and the CIO and fear.
Twenty eight years of motorcades and lavish trips abroad,
A nation’s heritage is lost through patronage and fraud.
The Chiefs grow fat while people starve and famine stalks our homes.
On idle farms the weeds grow rank and cover cattle bones.
The youth are taught your slogans but even as they sing
The drums of change are beating for the truth is seeping in.
The demagogue has feet of clay and lies will not sustain
the shattered land that once seemed free and will be so again.
Too late to blame the drought, the Brits, the Whites, the MDC.
For all know where the finger points with cold finality.
So hear the drums, old man, and listen to them well,
They foretell of your end days and they have much to tell.
For he who sows the seeds of hate will reap the grapes of wrath,
so tremble in your bed at night, at the end of your sorry path.’
Gentle pink dawns and shimmering vermilion days
Harsh desert heat where life cowers
Blood sunsets on red sands
Freezing dry nights, where ready predators lurk.
Seats of learning, kingdoms of diamonds – gold
Tall glass towers sprouted deep from the earth
With fanatical ambitious men
Unscrupulously robbing dignity and life
Beneath the ocean waters surging cool
Rich bounty, where dolphins glide serene
Whales slip through crystal waters
Hungry sharks hunt the unwary
Streets littered with humanity’s stinking filth
Breeding hungry men and scheming survival ways
Moving in silent darkness, fathers murdered, mothers lost
Children cry for help and die without a soul to care
Fertile fields of corn glowing warm with sunshine
Rustling sugar cane fronds undulating in gentle breezes
Martial eagles floating on rising air current
Scanning the earth for any unguarded moment
Into this vicious beauty I knowingly brought you
To survive and prosper, and your children in their turn
To share with me this harshly beautiful land of our birth
For all of this, my child – is my Africa.
Graham Vivian Lancaster
BULAWAYO – RHODESIA
Jacarandas, blue tinged trees,
Laughing children, all say please.
Smiling nannies loud and chatting,
Queens Club cricket, Rhodies batting.
Braais and picnics, Maleme Dam,
Tanganda tea and Colcom Ham.
Greeting friends to talk and talk,
Hillside Dams were safe to walk.
Snakes and mossies, flying ants,
Schoolboy rugby, winning chants.
Swimming parties, sleep-in nights,
Christmas Carols by candle light.
Honest Police, able and willing,
Downing’s rolls ten for a shilling.
Sunday car trips, Matopos caves,
OM’s and Busters Saturday raves.
Week-end outings to Vic Falls,
Dancing and Ballet in Curtain Calls.
Beautiful gardens, Centenary Park,
Window shopping just after dark.
Burger and Hot-dogs, Eskimo Ices,
Aromas from cafes of curry and spices.
Snow white tackies, Bata shoes,
Charity fetes, tombola and booze.
Clear blue skies or heavy rain,
Wish I could live it all over again.
Memories fade, so much to tell.
Oh Yes, Dear Rhodesia
I remember you well
Livingstone’s Mosi – Oa – Tunya
Smoke that thunders,
Seven natural wonders
Of the world
Seventeen hundred meter gash
Across the Earth,
Half a billion tons
Of Zambezi River’s
Naked restless power
Churning white over
Victoria Falls cliff
Tumbling one hundred meters
Thundering into Zambezi Gorge
Spray blasting up
Eight hundred meter
White cumulus cloud
Into the blue
Seen from thirty kilometres,
Condensing cloud bursts
Drumming warm summer
On our heads.
Graham Vivian Lancaster
For all of Africa, you continue still
In thought and in books I get my fill
Great Continent, my constant yearn,
I’ve so much more of you to learn.
Places come and go lived, and seen
Pastures new, so vivid and green
But a misfit I am, as I wait and wish
again, oh again, to see the bush.
To breathe a breath of Africa’s smell
as none other when I came to dwell
for as too, I recall the scent after rain
and hear your voices’ in haunting refrain.
Your music fills me with great pleasure,
my spirit soars of a mind I treasure
I remember those days of long ago
which within my soul, continue to grow.
I left that life with regret and sorrow
a parting from which time cannot borrow
that which I left. Ne’er the same to repeat
when itchy feet to Africa they retreat.
Time and wind may make changes to all
But still this Continent shouts its call
no matter where I be, or what I do,
the Africa call remains constantly true.
You Know You’re a Zimbo if:
You can still remember Sally Donaldson’s voice.
You listened to the Hit Parade with Martin Locke every Saturday afternoon.
You remember eating icecream at Eskimo Hut on the weekends.
You were a member of the Telly 5 Club.
You failed your driver’s licence first time.
You swam in the fountain in the Bulawayo Park on New Years eve.
You saw ‘Grease’ more than three times.
You still wear vellies without socks.
You miss the smell of rain on a hot, tar road.
You miss Christmas by the pool…
You horrify people by eating raw, dried meat.
You horrify other people by cooking boerewors ‘to death’.
You coveted a Raleigh ‘chopper’ bicycle.
You got a ‘Rebel’ instead of a ‘chopper’.
You still secretly think that day scholars were pampered mommies boys.
You took driving lessons in an Anne Hunter Anglia in Bulawayo .
You still own some Spingbok Hits LP’s.
You still pee on the lawn at night.
You carved your name on a famous landmark in Zim.
You chatted up a farmer’s daughter at a Country Club get together – with one eye on her Dad.
You did wheelies on the Enterprise Road outside Gremlin’s.
You almost lost the family jewels on the rock slide at Mermaid’s Pool
You spat from a window on the top floor at Monomotapa onto the Pool deck and ducked your head in quick.
You can still sing ‘Ag pleeez Daddy’.
You actually miss the housebrick we were assured WAS bread.
You played ‘Bezant’ at midnight, full of Castle, and ended up in a rockery.
You whinged to the waiter at Caribbea Bay at the outrageous price of their beers during the Tigerfish Competition.
You injected Cane spirit into a pocket of oranges to beat the booze ban at the Rugby at the Police grounds.
You promised faithfully to meet the ‘gang’ at precisely noon 10/15/20 years ‘from now’ for a reunion, and haven’t heard from them since.
You still refer to toilet paper as ‘bog roll’.
You got a speeding ticket trying to make the border by 6 PM.
Your forearms and the areas between you lower thighs and mid calf are irredeemably burned brown by the sun.
You once owned an 8 track car tape player!!!
You still own a record player and can pull out the vinyls when need be!
You eat cuts of meat today that were ration meat in the old days.
You have given up looking for a good meat pie.
You had a domestic worker called Sixpence.
You miss the smell of red stoep polish.
You bore or frighten your children with harrowing tales of your deprived upbringing in the days when TV started at 17H00 and kids were expected to ride push bikes to school…
You have graduated to more sophisticated food than chicken in a basket at a restaurant!
You still butter bread by holding the slice in your hand…
You wish you’d had the presence of mind to keep mum’s morrie minor
You ate supper in Vila da Manhica, the Vila Perry or Guido’s on occasions.
You can remember the beer adverts on the tin trays the hotel waiters used…
You can remember thinking that Bengal Juice was OK.
You still believe it’s wrong to use bad language in mixed company
You still think of traffic lights as robots
You know the words to more than two ABBA songs
You HATE washing your car and mowing your lawn. Ironing is still something other people do
You didn’t see ‘Are You Being Served’ and other British comedies until 1980
You still find it hard to throw things away when they could be Fixed
You went to a school that taught real subjects like grammar and history
You went to a school where instead of being ‘counselled’, unruly students were beaten – and it worked!
You complained to your father that you were disciplined at school – only to find he thought it was a good idea.
You used to call your parents’ friends ‘Uncle’ and ‘Aunty’
You used to believe that in England and the USA they must be so much better at everything that we were – until you visited those countries and found they were inhabited by ordinary people who lived ordinary lives
You have driven on a strip road.
You long for that soft morning glow that brightens the sky between 6am- 8am.
Really miss a great, fantastic, bed rattling, window shaking earth tremoring, all-kids-and-animals-in-the-parents’-bed tropical storm.
You parked your car in a car park and couldn’t find it again, because it was a blue Renault 4.
You shot every snake you saw even though you knew they were essential to the balance of nature.
Someone stole your car and returned it the next day, because it was a Renault 4 and they felt sorry for you (hell they were too embarrassed to be seen driving it)!
You remember watching the brown grass turn green after a day’s rain.
Arguing that Castle was for men Lion was for kids.
You put green stripes on your R4 so that you could find it in that car park!!! You found a hundred R4s with green stripes on them!!
You still wonder what this thing polystyrene is, you know of kaylite.
You still refer to Koki pens as Neon’s.
Muuush is still common in your vocabulary, as is ‘lekker’.
You still have Wrexx Tarr’s ‘Chilapalapa’ LP’s and know the words to ‘Cockie Lobbin’.
You hear crickets in July and remember the December Christmas beetles.
You know or still write to someone from PE, Saints, Churchill, Ellis Robins,Chaplin, Plummers, Guinea Fowl or Gwebi Agricultural College, Convent, GHS, Roosevelt, QE and the rest.
You drank Tanganda Tips tea or Preema Coffee (or Day Break).
You shopped at Truworth’s, Edgar’s, Meikle’s or Kingston ‘s.
You had an avocado,mango, guava and pawpaw tree in your garden.
You played in a sand pit and on a jungle gym.
You thought bilharzia was an incurable disease but still swam in the rivers and dams anyway.
You remember jacaranda trees in full bloom.
You remember when a Coke or ice-lolly cost a tickey.
You miss the taste of bream fried on the side of the dam five minutes after you caught it.
You have at least one ivory, soapstone or wooden carving.
You still remember the taste of gem squash and melted butter, mealies and Mazoe Orange Juice.
You think there is no green surpassing that of the Sandawana emeralds.
You still expect to see a chongololo after an afternoon rain and a few flying ants.
You still believe your A-levels were harder than most first-year University courses today.
You still refer to an expert as a ‘fundi’.
You still say ‘braai’ instead of ‘barbecue’ or ‘kopje’ instead of’hill’.
The following names mean something to you: ‘Sandro’s’, ‘Arkies’, ‘Club Tomorrow’ ‘Electric Circus’
You collected coke cans on your trips to South Africa ‘cos they were so cool.
You still can’t get your head around the idea of throwing away a glass coke or beer bottle, instead of taking it back for the deposit.
You remember the days when you got ∏ c change from your bus-fare, and used it to buy sweets at the tuck shop.
You bought a Zimbabwe Cricket Union T-shirt from a girl vending them around the cricket grounds – and tried to get her to sell you the one she was wearing.
You were there when the ‘chicken farmer’ beat England .
You think the ‘all Blacks’ are the Zimbabwe Tennis Team.
You were a member of Hellenics / Callies / Raylton / Alex / Postals.
You’ve ever been boating on Lake Mac – before the hyacinth.
You’ve ever driven up to Montclair for an evening’s gambling and been back at work the next day.
You still think the most haunting sound in the world is the cry of the fish eagle.
You’ve never carried your own golf clubs, and think that golf carts are a sign of weakness.
You’ve spent an hour looking for a lost golf ball at the ‘police’ course – on the fairway!
You thought that an evening at Reps was the height of culture.
Good beer comes in brown bottles.
You know at least one person who has ‘streaked’ at the Harare Cricket Grounds.
You remember sitting for hours in petrol queues – and not getting any.
You ever got fifteen people into a VW Kombi – long enough to get past the gates at the ‘drive-in’.
You made out in the back of a car at the ‘Nitestar’ or the Mabelreign Drive-in.
You thought the Borrowdale Road was a motorway.
You remember with nostalgia the days when the Zim Dollar was trading at eleven to one against the greenback.
GREAT TIMES TO GROW UP IN AFRICA – we were fortunate, weren’t we?
Attribute to the Rt. Hon. Ian Douglas Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, GCLM ID 1919 – 2007, the greatest statesman and visionary of the 20th century.
I am not white and never took you to be my Prime Minister then.
I am black and would rather have had you as my Prime Minister now.
You were right but had to leave government,
but I was wrong and chose to leave my country.
I am proud of what I have become,
But you are the man who led a country that made me the person I am.
On behalf of the many black faces who dare not say;
If ever you were hated, you were honestly loved more.
RIP Mr Smith
‘Africa, dear beloved Africa,
Life is a mirror
Look only to yourself
For the life you created for yourself.
As long as blame is laid,
no inner or outer progress is made.’
Copyright © 2009 Linda Smith