He flung the door open. He was dead drunk. From his breath one could pick that he had been drinking the popular spirit Krango.He could hardly stand. Baba Tira was a married man aged 34, but due to heavy drinking he looked older than his age. He was that kind of a dude who would come home dead drunk and unashamedly would pick a fight with his wife. Baba Tira received every respect that would come from an obedient, subservient, oppressed, vulnerable, powerless and understanding woman. He was a typical traditional and African man – who believed in wife bashing as a sign of macho.
Baba Tira would at times pick a fight over silly issues, that include but are not limited to ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ cooking oil in the relish. At times Mai Tira would be bashed for putting ‘too little’ salt in the relish. All this was meant to divert attention from his late coming, his drunkenness, his neglect of the family and his infidelity. Mai Tira short for Tirabhuru felt unloved and neglected – she never enjoyed her marriage life. What kept her going was the consolation that she would stay for the children.
‘Ndingadii nhai asikana ini ndakabereka – ndinogarira vana vangu’ , she would say.
She literally meant, she would stay come hail come thunder, no matter what it takes.
‘What would I do, when I already have children – I will stay put for my kids’
Mai Tira was beaten by baba Tira almost on a daily basis. Even the children, could also be subjected to some lashings occasionally. The kids could only enjoy in their father’s absence. Whenever they heard their dad singing in his drunken stupor – they would run to bed. At times baba Tira would bring prostitutes of different shape and size to their matrimonial bed. He would beat Mai Tira and order her to go and sleep in their children’s room.
However, Mai Tira was a larger than life character in the whole neighbourhood in Mufakose. Despite all this bad treatment she would wake up every morning to sweep the yard. She always made it a point to wear that feigned smile.You could see the deep agony, signs of pain but she would fight hard to pretend to the society as if all was well in the family.
She was a strict believer of the adage ‘Chakafukidza dzimba matenga’ meaning that she would cover up family secrets. She always played a motherly role, the role of a unifier.Mai Tira was just a woman who was emotionally strong despite all the emotional trauma she was subjected to.
Tira could not believe his eyes. He had just woken up; it was on a Saturday morning in August 2013.Tira felt so troubled by his dad’s bashing of his mom during the previous Friday night – to that extent that he had suffered insomnia. As he dashed out of the house, he expected to greet his mom and get the usual motherly hug and the usual pat accompanied with the phrase.
‘All will be well my son’
Little did he knew he would never hear such words again.Mai Tira could not withstand it anymore.
A lifeless body was lying in front of their yard. Besides was a bottle of rat poison.
She had breathed her last!
There are times when emotions overcome and there are times when you think you are dreaming. There are times when you think someone would come and pinch you and you will come to the realisation that all was day dreaming. It was all a roller-coaster of emotions. Why Why Why Why Mother!!!!