By Kuda Chiwenga
My life has been a series of events, mostly painful events. At times what we portray on the outside may not necessarily be what’s on the inside. I’ve seen many things in life, as young as I am, most aged people are shocked when I speak to them. They almost always ask me, “how old are you?” I’ve learned to be strong, but I’ve also learned that sometimes being strong can make the damage greater. So for the next couple of weeks, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned.
Let me start with what’s hot at the moment. It’s the election year and I am shocked by the conduct of my fellow Zimbabweans.
I see how we have become so vain and bitter and so full of anger that we can't engage in a debate without hurling insults.
Now here’s a lesson I’ve learned, when I was younger I was a misfit, I was isolated. I could not keep friends because I just never fit in, that led me to go out of my way to please people, in other words, I would “buy” friendship. People would laugh at me, mock me, I remember when I was in high school, I started dating this certain girl who by the standards of my schoolmates, was viewed as not so pretty. I remember one of my housemates mocking me saying love is blind, but in this case, you were both blind. I remember pretending to go out as if I was okay but I went to cry in the toilets. As life went on, my confidence had been shattered, at school, I was a mockery, at home I had a stepmother who would influence someone to beat me to a pulp almost every day. When at school I couldn’t wait for schools to close. When at home I couldn’t wait for schools to open. I went through all types of abuse, physical, emotional, mental, sexual abuse. All this happened, but when people saw me, they thought everything was okay in my life.
In the middle of all this, I fell for a certain girl. She seemed to understand me and because I’d never fallen in love before like this, I gave her my heart. One day she dumped me publicly and humiliated me in front of my colleagues. People laughed. I remember her brother saying to me,”You are pathetic. Couldn’t you see she was using you”? As usual, I walked away and went to cry.
After some years I was taking a walk and all of a sudden I met this girl and apparently she was unconscious by the side of the road. I could tell she had been drinking. I noticed she had bruised on her face. She was vomiting blood and I felt sorry for her. I called one of my friends who was a doctor. Immediately he came. We picked her up and drove to my place. He attended to her. His wife heard about this and she came also. She washed her and gave her clothes. For 3 days she was in and out of consciousness. All this time she thought she was in a hospital. When she was well enough she got out of bed strolled output into the living room where I was. She saw me watching television. That is when she realized she was at someone ‘s house. We called her mother. Apparently, her mother had reported her missing. The mother was overjoyed and she came right away. She found us sitting in the lounge. Before she arrived, there was an awkward silence in the room. It was when her mother arrived that she felt free to talk. She poured her heart out and explained the ordeal she had gone through. She said she had been drinking with friends. She said she was drugged and raped by several men at a party. After abusing her they drove away and threw her out of a moving vehicle. The lady looked at me sobbing and a question. She said, “why did you help me?” I answered and said, “because I know what it’s like to be raped, abandoned and helpless.” She stood up crying and ran to me and hugged me. She said to me, “after what I did to you, you did all this for me!”. The doctor came in and spoke to the mother. He said to her if I hadn’t called him and helped her, she would be dead by now.
Now here’s the lesson, don’t make enemies because of a phase in life, you do not know tomorrow. Elections will be over in a couple of months, those politicians will not even know you, yet you would have created enemies. What if the person you insulted on Facebook is the one interviewing you for a job tomorrow? What if you insult your future mother in law? Now that girl is happily married and has 3 beautiful daughters. She is a neurosurgeon in America. She always asks me this, “what if you hadn’t found me that day? What if you walked past? What if you were still angry with me?” I always jokingly say, “then you’d be dead and we would have eaten free food at your funeral!” Let’s love one another, despite our different affiliations or doctrine. At the end of the day, we are all Zimbabweans.