However, I know and have seen my martenal great -grandmother. She left the planet when I was already 18 and so I had enough time to interact with her and experience first hand what everyone was talking about. My great grandmother was known as Azumba (not sure what that means) though it sounded sacred. She used to visit my mother often and insisted on cooking her own meals even though she looked frail and old. She is the one who taught me how to cook our staple meal (sadza). She told me to climb on a chair as I was only 9 years old and the stove was much higher than me such that I could not even see the pot. So I had to climb on the chair for me to see what I was doing and she stood by with a stick in hand , ready to lash me if I did the wrong thing. Therefore,I grew up knowing she was a no nonsense woman and she would tell me stories of what life was like during her time. I had so much respect mixed with fear of her. My mother recounted to me how Azumba was so intelligent. She married the man who was the first black interpreter of the Salisbury High Court in the then Rhodesia and she was one of the first black women to drive a car at that time. She actually lived a life of luxury despite the fact that her husband had more than one wife as was traditionally accepted for a well-to-do man. She insisted on sending all her children to school even though her husband preferred to send the boys. So when my grandmother (her daughter) decided to elope with her boyfriend as was the norm at the time, my great was disappointed. But she still made sure she protected her children and so went on to take responsibility for my mother's upbringing as my mother was her first grandchild. Azumba made sure my mother would get an education up to standard 6 which was quite an achievement at the time. She taught my mother how to fend for herself and encouraged her throughout. That is why she would visit us more often. In fact , hers was the first ever funeral that I attended because when she passed on ,she had just left my mother's house. So I really felt hurt and very sad when the news of her death came through.
Thus , Azumba became a role model for my mother and for me. I learnt a lot about my own abilities and self-worth and was given the same opportunities that had been given to my mother. My mother made sure that Azumba's legacy is passed on and so I have picked up the baton and I am passing it on through my daughters. So Kudos to my Great Grandmother!!
Mosline Farawu is a creative writer who likes to share her thoughts and observations . It is my hope that many will find healing through such writings.