Monday, May 18, 2015

Ernest the Garden Boy looked after the vegetables at our romantic retreat on Airport Road. This was when we first met and before we rented the house.

You see his face how it becomes a mask, as I drew it with more abstraction. You see African art, especially the masks, and they don't look like real people until you must realize that they are real people, as you can see from these drawings and from the photo.

"Boy" is a term that is forbidden and even illegal in describing an African man, but there is one clear exception and that always puzzled me. The man who lived in the back of the house and looked after the yard was called a Garden Boy, and it was not a very respectable occupation, as if the fellow could do little useful work so he could occupy himself in the garden.

So we see Ernest, who held himself in low esteem......

But I liked him and wished for him to show courage and strength. A better life for all the garden boys through out Africa and the world!

The typical garden in Bulawayo grew corn and chemolios -- chemolios were a kind of collard green that did not bolt in the strong sun, but simply grew higher up the stalk and you could always go out and pull a few leaves to boil and serve as a relish alongside your sadza. Sadza was the main dish -- corn meal porridge made very stiff.

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