via Open letter to Grace Mugabe from a non-important person 08/03/2014 by Tambu Kahari
Dear First Lady …
CONGRATULATIONS to Mrs. Bona Chikore on her amazing wedding. I was one of the people who waited eagerly for the wedding pictures. No. I kid you not. I meticulously calculated the time differences between North America and Zimbabwe. I thought that by 3 am, North American time, the Internet would be flooded with pictures of what I envisioned to be one of the greatest weddings to take place among my own.
Unfortunately for me, I had to wait an extra day before I could feast my eyes on the pearls your daughter was wearing. They looked like they cost close to a US$150,000 or more. They have been appraised as such, even though the appraiser was only using a picture. You designed the wedding dresses, no doubt. I could see your style shining through. Well done! Your tastes are very close to my own. The antique lace you used was superb. It costs around US$300 a metre, and that is being conservative.
I got the impression that Bona did a change of clothes, and so lace was used for two wedding dresses. I shudder to think about the cost of her shoes and her diamond and pearl tiara, set in white gold. I know that cost as close to the pearls as well. Dare I say that you spent almost $US1.5 million dollars on her outfits alone? I will say it.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not begrudging the young lady. Her father, our honourable President and your husband, is responsible for my freedom and my ability to spew nonsense. Without his sacrifice, I would be no one, with nothing. I would still be stepping aside for the white children I went to school with and taking abuse from them, as I used to because they were the race in power. I would have grown into just a black woman whose dreams were crushed because of her race. I probably would have married young and had lots of children and, highly likely, continued to live in Sakubva, Mutare, the neighbourhood of my birth.
Instead, I was rescued from that mundane existence by thousands who laid down their lives and your husband, Robert Mugabe, was their commander. For that reason, I am a diehard Zanu PFer! I bleed Zanu PF. If I went into politics, as loud, misbehaving women like me should, I would stand under the Zanu PF flag and probably make a great nuisance of myself. So, I understand that Robert Mugabe deserves the fruit of his labour. Your daughter deserves the best. I am not begrudging her what her father worked for.
But here lies my problem, First Lady, and I have a problem, that is why I am writing this letter. So as not to bore you and those at home who are struggling while I am living in relative ease, I will simply state four points to help you get my issue. You said, in October, “We all know that it is difficult to raise daughters especially if you are coming from the kind of family she is coming from where in some instances parents have a tendency of over spoiling children, whatever they ask for they are given without questioning.” In other words, what you meant is that it was a problem to raise a daughter in privilege.
But Honourable First Lady, I am sure that is a problem every mother in Zimbabwe wants and needs. In fact, I personally pray for it. It is surely easier than worrying about your children’s daily needs. You could help some mothers in Zimbabwe face that problem of children in privilege which has brought you to your knees, even for just one night.
Perhaps if Bona donated the pearls she was wearing on her wedding day and the money was used for some Zimbabwean children, some mothers in Zimbabwe would be able to sleep peacefully, if only for a few days. You can’t help everyone, so how about picking children with autism and various other physical and mental disabilities to help with that money. So far, you have completely turned a blind eye to their well-being. Maybe Bona should take it up as a charity and ask her friends, who obviously have money, to donate.
Zimbabwe, currently, does nothing for disabled children and by the looks of it, you have no intentions of changing that. The conditions that children with disabilities live under in Zimbabwe is so appalling and devastating to their mothers that if you knew, you would auction that dress you were wearing at your daughter’s wedding. That would fetch several thousands of dollars for those sparkly things you had on your dress were precious gems.
If Bona cuts up her wedding dresses and sells them piece-by-piece, or just sells them whole, the money may just be able to help people like Rob Chifokoyo who had to go to America for a kidney transplant. There are so many Zimbabweans, who are poor who have to raise money by themselves to go as far as India to get medical treatment, and yet you, the First Lady and your upper crust friends in Southern Africa, could raise those monies in less than a day if you could be bothered.
I shudder to think of all the people who have died waiting for money. In other countries, it is the wives of the privileged, led by the First Ladies, raise funds for those in need, for they are the ones who have weddings such as Bona’s that bring billionaires like Mr. Patrice Motsepe and their cheque books. In that room alone, were men worth more than half of Africa’s wealth.
If the guest list, Honourable First lady, had been under a thousand people some of the money for feeding guests might have been saved. It could’ve gone to the decrepit school system that is in Zimbabwe. You could’ve seen to having more textbooks perhaps? Just a thought.
Again, why was it necessary for people to donate money to Bona’s wedding? Her father is rich. He could do it all by himself. Is that not the joy of having a rich father or husband? How about if the donations had been made instead to the health care industry, in Bona and her husband’s name, like the privileged do in other parts of the world? That would’ve been a wonderful precedent for others of your class to follow. The money could’ve gone to buying more dialysis machines and equipment for surgery. That, First Family would have made the whole country feel the joy of Bona’s wedding. I could go on, because I am sure there is even more you can and should do to save lives. It is your job as the First Lady to harness your wealth and that of all the rich men in Zimbabwe so that it benefits more people than it is doing now.
I know that people are going to say to me, “What do you know? You don’t live in Zimbabwe.” I know that when people overrun a “prophet” who is shopping in OK supermarket the week Bona Mugabe got married, that people on the streets are suffering; they are so desperate, so hungry, so caged that they are looking for deliverance from up above. And the women of very rich men in Zimbabwe, led by their primary boss, who is you, the First Lady of Zimbabwe, have to take some of the blame for simply not giving a damn.