The rare sound of satisfaction by Cathy Buckle

via The rare sound of satisfaction by Cathy Buckle | SW Radio Africa Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This is not my usual letter about events in Zimbabwe because frankly we’re all sick to death of reading, writing and talking about the excesses of our leaders; the corruption and political infighting.
We’re sickened at every obscene new government- linked salary scandal while ordinary companies just can’t cope and are closing down at an alarming rate. We’re chilled at the huge number of people being made redundant every month while the politicians argue amongst themselves at the country’s expense but for this moment in our lives, we’re just taking a Time Out.

It’s Easter and our 34rd anniversary of Independence this weekend.
There’s a thick, wet mist almost up to the front door in my home town as I write this letter. We’ve had a trio of seasons in the last week, swinging from autumn to summer and back to winter until we’re totally confused. Blankets, jerseys and trousers one day; sandals and short sleeves the next. As each new wave of cold, wet mist sweeps in and hangs around longer every morning we know that winter draws ever closer. Outside in our gardens the birds already know. There’s an end of season frenzy underway: mums stuffing seeds into the yellow gaped mouths of young fledglings; mannikins re-lining abandoned nests with soft pampas-grass fluff; sunbirds gorging on nectar from newly flowering Aloes; ground birds wrestling insects out of rapidly hardening ground. The winter birds are suddenly running on our lawns
too: thrushes, hoopoes and drongos all overseen by the ever patient, watchful gaze of woodland kingfishers.

It’s not just in our gardens that there’s a frenzy of activity this Easter and Independence weekend. It’s harvesting time and everywhere you look there’s movement and rustling in the little maize fields that everyone plants to survive the uncertainties of Zimbabwe. Some people are picking from stooks they made a couple of weeks ago while others are harvesting straight from the fields. This is the rare sound of satisfaction in Zimbabwe: the snap of the cob from the dry stalk; the thud of the corn onto the pile on the ground, and latter the chattering, tired voices as people call out to each other as they trudge home at dusk carrying heavy sacks. At each appearance of blue sky the maize cobs are tipped out and laid in the sun to dry: on verandas, driveways and on people’s roofs.

It’s the time of year when newly dug sweet potatoes and just harvested ground nuts (which most of us less young Zims still call monkey nuts) are being offered for sale by roadside vendors. It’s the time of year when people lucky enough to have jobs, get to go home and spend a few days with their families. Asking a man if he was going to his kumusha for Easter he grinned and said he was but that there won’t be much resting time. He plans to spend every minute out in the fields harvesting two acres of maize planted five months ago.
‘What about Independence Day?’ I asked. ‘No time for that,’ he replied ‘I’ll be too busy but I’ve paid what they told me.’
This year one US dollar and a large enamel cup of ground maize is the price every rural family in my area has to pay for Independence gatherings. And they pay.

To all Zimbabweans and our friends, wherever you are in the world, Happy Independence, Happy Easter, good harvests and safe journeys.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, love cathy. 17th April 2014

Copyright   Cathy Buckle.


  • comment-avatar
    Panda moyo 9 years ago

    Such good know sometimes you writin reminds me of the zimbabwe i make me forget its problems for a while

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    Jenandebvu 9 years ago

    Cathy, thanks! I miss home sweet home. It reminds me of the early 80s to late 80s. Being a son os a poor but content peasant family. Never kneww that milk comes from OK, Shoprite or Spar, we had to milk 10 or so cows every morning. Take a walk in the field and bring your own fresh water melons or cucumbers. Sit down under a big Mutondo or Msasa to do natural justice to our cucumbers.

    Long live Zimbabwe. Ironically, all the love ones are now dead, the soil is also barren, the cows are almost exstinct with tick born-diseases and lack medicines and closure of most dip tanks.

    Mugabe will not be forgiven. NaBaba vangu vari pachuru, oh!!!

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      Ende wataura zvokwadi chaizvo. Dhiabhorosi uyu ka chokwadi. Chokwadi vakuru vakataura vakati munhu akanaka haararami. Only the Devils have long lives or does it mean kuti kugehena hakuna zvimbo yakakwana kana kuti it takes long kutonga nyaya dzacho. Mwari matiregerera vana veZimbabwe takapareiko nhai?

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    Yes all Zimbabweans irrespective of station or color love their home. I am a white man and long to come home. No matter where I die Zimbabwe will always be home. Mugabe quite rightly will never be forgiven.

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    Uplifting. Thanks

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    Mixed Race 9 years ago

    @Janandebvu- we are here to make sure that some of you one day will join us when all the evil ones have gone to allow our motherland to heal and prosper again.NEVER give up Hope because Character leads to Hope as stated in the Holy Bible.My children and my grand children will one day come back home and enjoy their motherland.

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    Mandy 9 years ago

    I left Zimbabwe 15 years ago and live in San Francisco. I admire so much how people in Zim, have survived and been able to make it this far. Happy Easter.