FROG HOSPITAL -- June 12, 2020
FRED OWENS, Editor
This week, brought back by popular demand, we can read the rich and meaningful story of Grace Sibanda, written in her own words. She is the cousin of Precious Mataka, and the grandchild of Mr. Mataka. She works in the hotel industry in Bulawayo, her home. She has a husband and two children. But I'll get out of the way now and let her tell her story ........
Photo credit: Fred Owens. I took this photo in 1997 when Grace was seven. She is on the front porch of her grandfather's house in Luveve.
my name is grace sibanda
By Grace Sibanda
My name is grace sibanda, I was born 15 may 1990, my parents are simile dick smiley sibanda and cathrine phiri. I stay in nketa 9, bulawayo in Zimbabwe. In my family I am the only girl. I did my primary education at mgiqika primary school, my high school at Maranatha adventist high school which was a private institute. I obtained 8units at primary and at secondary I passed 5 subjects. Tertiary I did my certificate of hotel and catering at metro institute and diploma I did at speciss college where I got 5distinctions in all my subjects. My dad pushed me to where I am today through his encouragement, he always told me that he was not learned but he wants us to excel and be successful busines people.
I love my job fred, I got my diploma in hotel and catering in 2015, lv meeting new people even though it keeps me on my toes all the time.
Am renting nearby my parents place, but we building our dream home at silobela where my husband comes from.
Life was hard for my family during my high school days, the economy in my country had inflated to the highest level, my dad's salary was now peanuts, we could barely make ends meet, at that time they were earning trillion bearer cheques which were useless. What used to happen in those days you would go to the bank and collect your salary but after collecting you find prices have gone up and that money will be useless to buy anything. Prices would go up 3times in a day it totally insanity. But my dad and mum would take loans and pay my fees which were very high since it was a private school. In the morning before school I would eat left over pap and cow heels /vegetables from our previous supper and go to school because I had no lunch money. I would not bother asking my dad because I knew he was also struggling even at work too. Life was so hard my mum had to resort to baking and selling scones, doughnuts and plain buns to help the family.
I loved my grandfather, I adored him, he used to call me nkosikazi wami meaning my wife. Whenever I would visit him he would put me in his lap and tell me he has been busy the whole week planting sweet potatoes and that soon when I visit him he will give me some, and he loved 2 come 2 my home. Whenever he would come my mum would cook him his favourite meal which was chicken and pap and before he would go he would have a cup of tea accompanied with scones, kkk and my dad will give him some money, he would be so grateful to them both, and he would use his chewa language to bless them. He loved his home language chewa but I only learned 2 use the 2words 2greet only which were murimbwanji meaning hello and murimbwino meaning how are you. He came from Malawi but that time before he passed away I was young so he never spoke 2 me about it.
He loved his family alot and he used to perfom his home rituals whereby he would invite all his kids and their family and perfom sadaka(its traditional appeasement to the ancestors). My aunties would make traditional beer which would be brewed for 7days before being served on that, and they would slaughter a goat and cook the blood of that goat without salt and braai the meat, they slaughter chickens too, and cook them. These would be served with white rice only. Then before people feast my grandfather will go in centre and kneel and talk to his ancestors asking for blessings and guidance on how to guard his family, he would then pour some of the traditional beer on the ground, and the feast will start, it was a joyous celebration all the families together in his home.
Donate. Please make a donation into the PayPal ikon at the end of the newsletter. All donations this week will be given to Grace. We hope Grace will write for us again. Her writing style is so personal that you feel she is somebody you already know.
That's it for this week. We wanted to give the whole show to Grace, so I will display my own pearls in the next edition. I am having back surgery in a few days -- Monday. Recovery from that procedure means that another issue next Friday is unlikely -- unless Eugene wants to do it. Eugene will be in charge. He has been a great help to me with this changes we have introduced, such as photos and a semi-firm weekly schedule.
Not forgetting the further adventures of Precious and Frederick and their fabulous adventure to Malawi, to Chembe village where Precious's ancestors are buried. Every urban African has a home village and Chembe is her true home, for her first visit, with a brand new rich, white husband in tow. She will make quite a splash.
People of Chembe speak Chewa, which goes Mulibwanji --- or hello. Mulibwini -- how are you? I am taking my kasu -- hoe-- to the mindu --field and I will cultivate the cassava crop which is nearly ripe.
Please contribute to the fund in PayPal and we can make a nice cash gift to Grace Sibanda. I will ask her to keep writing for us. Perhaps she can share her hopes and dreams --- for herself, for her husband and children, for Zimbabwe, and for all Africa. Grace, is there hope for a better world? She can answer that question, or write about something else if she chooses.
All my best to you and yours, Fred