Zimbabwe: My mother’s illness: A heavy burden that crushed my future

Date: October 10, 2019
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My name is Lovely* I was born in 1990. I did my education up to form 4 and I passed only two subjects that is Maths and English. I had the potential to pass my ordinary level course but the situation restricted me. My final examinations coincided with the illness of my mother and I failed to balance between school work and taking care of my mother. 

My mother was diagnosed with a heart illness when I was in form 2. Her relatives took her and went to stay with her in rural areas. I and my sister were left under the care of our father. At first everything was flowing perfectly until the time we started longing for motherly care. Fortunately we got a chance to visit our mother in rural areas and I refused to return to Harare. I stayed with my mother while taking care of her. My mother wanted special attention and the situation affected my education. Unfortunately, all my effort failed to produce positive results because my mother passed away in 2010.   

The young man I was dating at the time of my mother’s death supported me during that difficult time. He strengthened me and assured me that everything will be fine. After my mother’s funeral the guy I was dating visited us and after spending some time with us I accompanied him to the bust stop. Upon reaching the bus stop he asked me to get into the bus so that we discuss while the bust was still waiting for other passengers. Unfortunately, the bus took off while I was still aboard and my boyfriend prevented me from disembarking. That is the day I eloped to my boyfriend. 

When I arrived at my boyfriend’s place I discovered that there were female clothes in his wardrobe. I asked him why he was keeping female clothes and he told me that he was once married and divorced. My husband was transferred to go and work at a far away base and we went together. We spent three months at that base and we returned home. Upon arrival I discovered that the owner of the clothes I discovered when I eloped had returned and is staying in our home. I confronted my husband and he told me that the woman is his wife who had returned.  

The incident pained me because polygamous marriage was not part of my life’s plan. My husband lodged a place for me to stay. I accepted my fate but all the love I had for my husband was destroyed. At the time there is nothing I could have done because I was pregnant. My husband’s salary was not enough to take care of the now big family so I started an informal saloon to eke out a living. 

I worked hard and managed to raise enough money to kick start a cross border business. I managed to raise money and I bought a fridge, stove and kitchen chairs. After buying property I then decided to go back to school to pursue my education. Unfortunately, I failed to balance between school and business and I dropped out of school again.  

After dropping out of school my focus was now on my husband. I realised that he was cheating on me and he had sired children with different women in our community. He was lying to me that he is on night duty and spend night at girlfriends’ places. I managed to track him and I caught him red handed. I fought with his girlfriend but he intervened and physically assaulted me. It really pained me seeing my husband beating me so as to protect his girlfriend. Since that day my husband stopped providing for the family and he would beat me whenever I ask for money. I was left with no option but to commit suicide because I was seeing the world crumbling around me. The police Chaplin intervened and he counseled me. I managed to get over the suicide thought. 

After the counseling I started pursuing my education again. Unfortunately, I was facing challenges in paying for the private lessons and the teacher was making love advances towards me. The situation forced me to drop out of school again. The violence continued and it had escalated to serious levels whereby we use dangerous weapons against each other. I later realised that the battles if not checked they will become fatal. I prayed to God asking for wisdom and I am now a very quiet person. I no longer fight with him. 

I made a decision to work hard and better my life. I asked my relatives who are based in South Africa to help me with the capital to start my business. They gave me R5000 and I started a poultry production business. I am now managing my business while reading books so that I will write my examinations next year (2019).