Wrapped in a dress that caressed the curves of her hips and hugged the outline of her thighs, she exhaled. She was beautiful, and as I gazed into her hazel colored eyes that seemed to mirror the reflections of a damaged soul, she told me the story of a broken heart. As she gestured, I could hear the rattling sound of the red, green and yellow bracelets fastened to her wrists; a calming jingle that seemed to accompany the soft but passionate tone of her voice.
She said, “I loved him”—loved him like a poet loves a beautiful metaphor.
She said, “I needed him”—needed him like a blooming flower needs the sun.
She said, “Without him I was incomplete”—like a belt without a buckle.
Her feelings for him were like a river of affection; silent streams of loyalty, adoration, and trust that flowed constant.
“But with time he took me for granted. He abused my trust and never returned my affection,” she added. “With time, he neglected my needs and ignored my expectations. With time, he began to belittle my sacrifices and renege on his many promises. With time, he began to give less and started to take more.”
Wrapped in a dress that caressed the curves of her hips and hugged the outline of her thighs, she exhaled. She was beautiful and as I gazed into her hazel colored eyes that seemed to mirror the reflections of a damaged soul, she told me her story, the tale of a broken heart.
She, is my people, my country, and He, is the corrupt regime that presides over her.
I come from a land of beauty blessed with a beautiful people; a place where every story has a moral and every metaphor captures the essence of life. I come from a place where the wind seems to whisper into your ears as the voices of your ancestors speak to the soul, and where the hearts of the righteous are as pure as crystal clear droplets of morning dew shimmering on thin blades of grass. I come from a land and a people that looked up to the heavens long before Christian missionaries brought us Bibles, and a place where our faith in God is as constant and as never-ending as the rolling hills of the southern African savannah.
But I also come from a land of contradiction; a place where the selfishness of the few supersedes the selflessness of many, and our heroes turn to villains as David becomes Goliath. I come from a land where our leaders have become the very manifestation of the evil they swore to protect us against; a place where the lawmakers become the unlawful, the incorruptible become the corrupt, and the religiously persecuted become the persecutors. It’s a place where the oppressed becomes the oppressor, and the liberator becomes the one withholding liberty; a place where the difference between right and wrong is not based on morals and ethics, but rather, is based on the dictates of greed. It’s a place in which the lessons from history are seldom realized and as a result, the injustices of the past consistently reappear.
One day I hope that she, my Zimbabwe, finds peace, and on that same day I hope her faith is restored, her aspirations for a brighter future reinvigorated, and her happiness assured. But until that day, like anyone trapped in a bad relationship, I hope she finds the strength, courage, and conviction to end it.