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The issue for most Zimbabweans, is how to honour the faith of their mothers when they have passed on.

THERE are many things Americans do well. Commemorating mothers is one of them. While all tyrants have sought to destroy particular races by killing off the sons, in the belief that sons are warriors, it has often been forgotten that mothers can be silent warriors too.

Mother’s Day in the United States is a religious commemoration, as it comes on a Sunday in May. It was also started by a Methodist woman in her church, as a peace offering. But the issue here is that, as the biblical Paul told Timothy, “I remember your genuine faith that first filled you, which began with your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.”

During the football season, black players, see their way out of the ghetto by playing the game, line up before a commentator. I counted 20 players, and all of them except four, came from a home with a father. So one after another said “If it were not for my mother, who forced me to practice, day after day, I would not be here.”

Black women have taken more than their fair share of fighting to keep the black race alive. We commemorated the event with a special presentation from Apostle Deborah Childs, whose experience reflects that of most black women.

“With only one egg in the basket, I could not afford to lose him,” she said in poetic rhythm.

“When they reach a certain age, they don’t listen to no (sic) nothing you say,” she continued.

Her plan was simple. Each time the boy came home, safe and sound, from the marauding police, who hunt, chase and lock up black boys in prison, she would sit the boy down.

“Then I looked with that extra eye, only a mother can look (sic) and I saw something. There was something there, and he was trying to hide it.” As her voice wavers and quivers, shrill at one moment, whispering at another, we could feel the pain of a mother. The boy had just escaped arrest for something he had in his pocket, perhaps some drugs. Ten years later, the boy has been rescued by religion, and is safe one can share the heartrending moments of black mothers.

To the African American, the most efficient weapon against a living death while in prison is the church. Sister Childs’ husband was in the church, but it was obvious the one who wears the trousers in that family is the woman. But this was not accidental, the society that oppressed them left black women to do as they pleased. And one wonders, with that extra eye, what she did with whatever she saw in the boy’s pocket.

It suddenly dawned on me that while Zimbabwean society was blessed with mother-father figures in the home, this was mostly in our imaginations rather than in reality. In her doctoral research, my daughter, Rumbi, found that there is a longstanding tradition in South Africa of lost Zimbabwean and Malawian men, (machona). In 1905 there were 400 000 men in the gold mines from Malawi and Zimbabwe.

She also noticed that at any school board meeting, in Zimbabwe, 80 percent attendees were women. There you are, we have not escaped the migration syndrome, where women stay at home, manage affairs which once belonged to men (my mother who fathered me).

Over the years, I became aware of the many people, who had contributed to my family’s well-being, either because we were poor or because, through God’s mercy, they saw the need. Once more, to my surprise, I was sent to my grandmother until I was six because mother returned to finish her grade education at Howard Institute. When I went to Howard Institute for Standard 4, it was my mother’s brother Patrick, who paid for my fees. When I got married, it was my mother’s other brother, Marara, who gave his cattle in dowry, on my behalf.

I have explained all this to show how we as a family, came to realise that even if we tried, we cannot repay the generosity, which was shown to us by our neighbours and relatives. Mother’s Day is therefore important to the Mufuka Family wherever they are because of the blessings we received from others.

The issue for most Zimbabweans, is how to honour the faith of their mothers when they have passed on. That is an American concept. We decided as a group to honour our mother by educating girls sent to us by the Salvation Army from Zimbabwe and to honour our father by doing the same for boys.

As we speak, we have been honoured by Zimbabwe’s Salvation Army Colonel Masvi. She came to witness the 50 student graduating from Lander University. These students have been sponsored by the Mufuka Family Foundation, in honour of our parents.

Source : Financial Gazette

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