I read e-newsletters from Eddie Cross sent out of Bulawayo regularly, at great personal risk and my heart breaks for the people of Zimbabwe.
Between 1954 and 1976 I was proud to live in Northern Rhodesia now Zambia. Like many others from South Africa, Botswana and surrounding countries, I spent many, many happy times in what was for Zambia, our nearest glamorous destination; the thriving metropolis of Salisbury.
Compared to us, Zimbabwe had great shopping, nightlife and bands - we spent many long weekends there. I wouldn't recognize it now as Harare where even 'billionaires are starving'.
Hopefully, with the elections showing (unofficially) that Morgan's MDC chose the right non-violent strategy - maybe now Zimbabwe can stand proud again.
Inspired by Eddie's words last year, I wrote this poem:
Zimbabwe: Roots & Wings
When someone asks for a memory
of Africa, I always remember
those dusty hours spent outside
Katie's Khaya under the Mopani...
Quiet melodious chattering,
the smell of sunshine and family.
Bright white sudza plops in the pot
while bundu sticks crackled with fire.
Low stools where we crouched
in total concentration on a square
of a dozen small indents for stones,
scratched out of Africa's skin.
Today Eddie talks of 'roots and wings',
of flights of fear or stoic stance:
the holes left by those who uproot
and the bravery of those who stay...
I visualize a map of Zimbabwe
systematically marked with holes.
Is this just another game of 'Stones'
where only one man gets a turn?
Frances Macaulay Forde ~ 2008