In his inimitable style, Vokal Da Poet delivers yet another excerpt from the village idiot’s diaries.
Mother did not have any funnies. She did not have time to be playing and dancing when it was time for ploughing.
Even our relatives from the city did not like visiting us in December. If anyone wanted to fix their child, or punish them for something, they were just supposed to send that child to our home for December school holiday.
Tau falls ill
One holiday Mainini Mai Tau sent Tau to live with us for the holiday. And after one week Tau decided to be sick. He said his head and his back were painful. Mother said no problem. She let him sleep until the sun had come out. And when he wanted to wake up to walk around, mother told him:
“Don’t worry my child. Go back to sleep. A sick person must sleep so that they get better.”
And when he was hungry mother gave him porridge.
“Here my child,” mother said to him. “Eat this porridge. It will make you have an appetite, and tomorrow you will eat properly.”
So Tau was sleeping in the blankets the whole day and eating porridge alone, nothing else.
The next day he was not sick anymore.
“I have never heard anyone complaining saying:’mother you have put for me too much sadza or too much meat or too much bread’. But you complain that I gave you too much potion to work in the field.” Mother always said. “The Bible said you shall eat the fruits of your sweat. What will you eat if you don’t work?”
She said anyone who did not want to work was supposed to make a lot of money so that they don’t have to work. But you have to work first to get that money. So a person would just work.
A baby in the family
Anyway, my sister Rudo, went and got pregnant and came back home with a child with no father.
I thought father was going to kill her, but he just looked and said nothing. So, when it was time to go to the fields Rudo would go and work for a short time and then sit down to put her breast in the mouth of the baby. And she was always holding her baby. If she put the baby down, the baby will start crying. That little person liked to be carried around always. Mother looked without saying anything, and said no problem.
One day in the morning mother took the baby and fed her, and then washed her and then said it was time to go to the fields. She carried the baby. When we arrived there, mother made a nice place for the baby in the shade and put her there to sit. After we had been working working for a little time the baby started crying.
Rudo put her hoe down and ran to the baby. But mother told her to come back. Rudo complained, but mother asked her:
“Did the baby eat?” Yes.
“Is the baby’s napkin wet or maybe there is poo-poo?” No.
“Is the baby sick?” No.
“Then leave the baby alone. You cannot carry her around all the time like those small cellular phones that are there these days.”
And Rudo complained:”But she is crying.”
Let the baby cry
“So what? No one ever died because they were crying. Crying does not kill. If you want a system where you don’t work for your food because your baby is crying, go and live with Mai Manyenga. But also remember that soon you will be crying with your baby because you will both be hungry. So I told you come back and pick up your hoe and work. Let her cry. She will not die.”
And after a few days Rudo’s baby had entered in the furrow. She stopped crying for nothing.
Even big children must cry
Now, let me tell you something, the South African president Zuma is like Mai Manyenga. Every time the children of South Africa cry, he stops everything and starts trying to do what they want.
Did you see what those children at university did? Did you see it? And what did he do? And what about when he was changing the ministers of finances? Did you see it? What did he do? And now look at them saying he must retire and go to Nkhandla.
Zuma must learn from how things happen in Zimbabwe. The president in Zimbabwe knows that crying doesn’t kill. So people can cry, but he does what he wants anyway. And because he is a gentleman like the British, he doesn’t like noise, so if people cry too loud, walking in the streets causing a mess like what they do here. He sends soldiers and police to beat them.
And they all go back to cry in their houses. But still they do not die. Crying never killed anyone in Zimbabwe.
Vokal da Poet is a Zimbabwean poet. The spoken word artist has interacted, shared 4 minute memoirs, performed and created material with audiences at house shows, universities, conferences, schools, festivals, art shows… “I have performed to an audience of three, performed on a train ride, done bars and impromptu street shows.” And it is his ability to be honest that has him connecting with audiences well. Vokal DaPoet seamlessly weaves autobiography, first hand eye witness account and fiction in his spoken word presentations.