Zimbabwe: I went through hell

Date: October 10, 2019
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My name is Tsitsi* I did not go far with my education as my late grandmother could not afford to pay for my school needs. It was in 1978 when I completed grade seven and had to stay home with her. My mother was just going all over bedding one man after the other. She seldom sent some money and food items for our upkeep. Many a times we did not know where she was. That made my bond with my grandmother very strong. My worst moment in my life was when my grandmother was beheaded during in 1979 for being a sell out. I had no one to turn to and my mother’s young sister took me to stay with her in Mhondoro, Mashonaland West Province.  

My aunt then left me in the care of her children and went to stay with her husband in the city of Kadoma. Several young girls of my age were sexually abused by both the liberation fighters and Rhodesian soldiers and I was fortunate not be amongst the victims. I then ran off to Chitungwiza where I stayed with a distant relative. The distant relative found me a place to work as a house maid in one of Harare’s leafy suburbs. I was well remunerated and would often go back to Chitungwiza when I was not working. 

I fell in love with a young man who worked as an assistant plumber and later got married to him after two years. I continued working for the same family until they left for Canada. Before they left they bought me a house in Norton and I am still staying at that house with my family.  

My husband started cheating on me and would even boast about his numerous girlfriends. I approached my church pastor’s wife and she assisted with prayers for my marriage which was on the rocks. My husband was no longer an assistant plumber but a Norton Town Council refuse truck driver. He was fatally stabbed during a scuffle over a girlfriend in one of the local pubs.  

The local authority gave me his pension benefits and I started rearing chickens. That has assisted me in paying educational needs for my children. My eldest son has been roped in by the local authority as a driver. I am also taking care of my sick mother whom I hunted down and found admitted at an old people’s home in Harare.