Friday, October 21, 2005

Mkomo is how we call the baobab

"Mkomo" is the baobab tree in my language. You see how smooth it is, like bare arms in the sky. Mkomo is how we say it in Matebeleland. This picture is a young one, we say a young man, "indoda" is a man, like this tree, very strong and smooth. When the tree is older you see it wrinkled.

In Hwange Park and near Victoria Falls and going towards the Limpopo River -- that is where you will find the Mkomo growing because the land is low and hot and there is not too much rain. "izulu" is the rain. All of Zimbabwe is like the shell of a tortoise, with the highland plateau in the middle, with more rain and good soil, where all the people live, where the white people have the best farms, in the middle. The poorest people live on the edges.

But the edges, of Kariba, and up and down the Zambezi Valley, the home of the Tonga people -- my stepmother is Tonga, and my sister Amina is pure Tonga -- black as coal. All this low, hot country is for Mkomo, and the Limpopo River, low and hot.

My name is Zodwa Mataka. I will be telling you stories about Africa.

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