She had become a pale shadow of her former self. What used to be an elegant and curvy woman had become a skinny and pale figure. She never forgave herself for having met Joe. She regretted that very first day when her heart skipped when they met at the village borehole. She reminisced over the feelings she used to have, the first masculine touch and those gentle lips. That touch that used to send her body many places. The soft touch that would ignite some fire in her veins. The touch that would send a cold shiver down her spine. These were all now imaginations and fantasies of old.
She had to stomach seeing her loved one lying in deep pain on the reed mate in their cow dung floored hut. She could stay awake the whole night – till the first cock crowed, heralding the coming of dawn. In such a deep rural community they did not have a clock, their judgement of time depended on watching the sun or either in hearing the cock’s crow. Traditional indigenous knowledge and wisdom, had it on good record that the cock crows hourly.
She had to stomach the trauma, segregation and neglect. Unfortunately, she had to live with it. Normally, when she went for her anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) at the local clinic, she would meet fellow women. It was a difficult time in her life. She would meet fellow villagers who would tell her that ‘mhanyai asikana manonokwa kuchirongwa – taona vamwe venyu kare’, (rush we have already seen your fellow colleagues going to collect their tablets). It was a village that had many stereotypes, discrimination, labels and segregation. A village that celebrated the use of segregatory and discriminatory phrases like ‘ari mubhazi’, ‘akarohwa nematsotsi’ (all translating to she is infected by HIV/AIDS).This was the community, that had chosen to celebrate songs like Bhazi by Dino Mudondo.
It was the prayerful woman in her that managed to withstand all odds. Even in death, she was there for her husband. She was a woman who sticked to the vows she made ‘in health, in sickness, till death do us part’. Whenever she went to the women’s church gatherings on the routine Thursdays (ku China) chemadzimai she came back re-energized. They also taught her the same language of perseverance and forgiving the man that had brought her the disease. She managed to grow in spirituality – the art of being a prayerful woman.
Even till the signs of time were all visible for the naked eye to see, that his hubby was not going to survive – she remained there for him. She remained steadfast in her love to the man that she had shared the lighter and bad moments in life. Eventually death knocked on their doorstep.
But, one question that kept nagging her, as she went to church and prayed for her children was the fact that men never learn. Songs have been composed, pastors are preaching, sermons are being delivered, dramas are being acted, documentaries have been produced, literature has been written, songs continue being sung, in the likes of Charles Charamba,(Mukondombera) Simon Chimbetu (Denda), Leonard Zhakata and others. It is a crazy world indeed, a world full of promiscuity in the age of the pandermic.
Charles Charamba http://youtu.be/HyXIAw_sPjQ