Hope Their Faith Rubs Off On Me

So… I’ve decided to embrace the fact that I’m a child of the 21st century and start a blog. Only problem is, I have no idea what I’m doing! Wonder if there’s a rule book? If you’re wondering what prompted this sudden writing out let, then you better make a cup of coffee and sit down because I have a tendency to make a long story even longer.

For those of you paying attention to my life, you’ll know that I recently moved to Harare, Zimbabwe. Yes, that’s right the home of Africa’s Hitler. Obviously it’s a huge shift when compared to London (where I spent the last four years of my life) but compared to South-Africa (the country I call my home), it really doesn’t take a lot of adaption- except of course if you consider the driving at night thing! But that’s a story for a different time.

Sidebar: see, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said sit down and get comfortable.

My mother was born here so I still have a whole lot of family scattered all over Zim. However, none of them are the reason I came here. My choices was mainly based on the fact that I love the culture of hope that lives in Zimbabwe, no other place in the world has this much faith and willingness to smile when you suddenly find that your life has been turned upside down and suddenly you have nothing except the clothes on your back. It is this hope and true kindness that can only come from years of suffering and committed practice of faith. I think we [the rest of the world] have lost this innocent hope and belief that next year will be better… No wonder our world is so screwed up! I do believe the world is going to get even more off track than it is now, before it even begins getting better. And with those things considered: this is the culture I want to teach my future kids. I want them to believe that the hard times only lead to greater things.

That’s why I chose Zim but the reason I even considered Zimbabwe in the first place is an amazing guy we’ll just refer to as JS. He has the eyes of an innocent child willing to question and explore. He is the only person I have ever considered spending the rest of my life with ❤

The day I landed here we got word that the government wants to take his parents’ farm… again! His grandfather had 5 farms and they were all huge and very productive farms. After his death JS’s father took over the farms and continued to nourish the dry but rich land like only a true Zim-farm-boy can. I don’t know much about farming but one thing I know for sure is that every farm is different, they all have their tricks and hidden secrets you can only know if you have worked the land your entire life. This farm was one of the first ones to be taken in Zim about 11 years ago along with the others who weren’t sold for a government instituted-very-low-price. But his grandmother was allowed to remain on the farm, she just had to share it with total strangers who knew nothing of the land and was slowly destroying the legacy all of her hard work and tears built up.

JS, his brother and parents went to work on a farm close to the South African border. They only stayed there for a few years before they decided to move back to the farm where his grandmother was, since the orange farms they were now working on was also ceased by government and his grandmother was getting to old to live by herself on the other side of the country.

His grandmother died last year round about this time and it is a very sore spot for him to now have to face losing the farm they spent the last 4 years practically rebuilding from scratch. Yesterday we got word that they have to vacate the farm in 3 weeks. Now that in itself is hectic but since they are experienced in this by now, they know that you can’t trust the governments word because their 3 weeks could be 2 days…

It is scary to see your entire future and every plan you have ever had dissolve in front of your eyes… Even more terrifying is the prospect that the people those Acres of prosperous land will be divided to, won’t be able or maybe even willing to farm it properly. It seems like the government doesn’t realize the intense drive it takes to run a farm. Getting up before the sun does and staying out in the scorching heat all day providing you with your boere-tan.  Something I believe the government has also over looked is the fact that these farms aren’t toys: they are not just there to kill time or to be able to say ‘Hey, I have a farm’. These farms are the main food source for the country; without them many, many, many people will die of hunger. I am not exaggerating, the record speaks for itself and to make it even worse, this was one of the last farms to be subdivided [excluding the original 500 Hectare that were taken 11 years ago].

If you look at those 500 Hectare that were taken 11years ago, there are only about 200 Hectare still being farmed today… the others have given up because this opportunity the government gave them had an jumpsuit on and looked like work! It is easy for them to give up, because they didn’t have to work to get it in the first place plus they are being subsidized by the government every time they ask for a bit more money, the government seems more than happy to give it to them. They really don’t realize that the rest of the country [and some years ago when they still had a huge surplus, several other countries in the world also] depend on their crops for food throughout the year. And then they wonder why some food items are so expensive? Why do we have to import food we use to be able to export? Why are people starving? Why are so many Zimbabweans leaving the country for greener pastors? Well to me the answer is obvious!

I love how the government has the sense of righteousness while they are forcing these hard working farmers out of their homes a month before Christmas… [In case you were wondering: that was sarcasm!] I, as an on looking South African, am extremely angered by this whole situation, yet these Zimbabweans whose livelihood has been squashed by the government many times before, still believe that there is hope. That every path leads to happiness, some just take a few more turns than the others. They believe that these trying times are sent to better them as individuals and strengthen their bonds with those true friends they almost forgot they had.

I’m glad to call myself part-Zimbabwean. I am proud of the culture I have been raised with, even though I occasionally neglect it completely. I am honoured to be surrounded by these people who have an endless supply of hope. I hope their faith and zest for life rubs off on me in the short time I am here…

Just sharing my view,

AM

 PS: If anyone has any comments at all, you can also share them with me on my twitter page http://twitter.com/am_mf

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