SUNDAY, May 14, was flowers, chocolates, perfumes, champagne and the like — it was Mother’s Day!
This is what happened mainly in the urban areas, but what happened kumusha; I am not sure but indeed it is time to celebrate mothers, for motherhood is deeply important.
Mai ndivo musimboti wemhuri. She is the strength that shields the family when the gales pound.
In wind, rain, cold, the hearth is always warm because of mother.
There is no day too cold, too wet, nor too windy for mother to make a fire in her big round kitchen. Everybody ensconces; the bright yellow, gold flames a symbol of the love and warmth in her heart.
Whether she prepares your bed by the fireside or elsewhere in the home, she always makes it so comfortable and warm, cozy and always sweet.
At times, it might seem there is nothing in the home to feed the family, but she always performs miracles with the little there is and hunger stays away from the children.
And when clothes wear out and there is no money for new ones, she mends them so skillfully that you are able to leave the house with confidence, to be among others without embarrassment.
A mother is there, always: in sickness and in health, in wealth or in poverty, in joy or in sorrow.
This is a promise made by people at the altar; matrimonial vows, but sometimes they are not kept, but a mother fulfills what marital partners fail to honour, even when the father (husband) does not keep this very promise to her, she keeps this promise to the children; soldiers on, faithful ever, always as good as gold.
As a giver of life, a mother accepts life which comes into her hands with all the vicissitudes it might entail.
A father can deny and desert a crippled child, or a child physically disadvantaged in some way, but a mother will affirm to the unfortunate child, that he/she is special, that he/she is worth everything and very much loved.
The mother’s love will endure and withstand whatever disapproval, derision or disdain that can come from any quarter; it gives this disadvantaged child the will to go on and to surmount all.
Should her children reject her teachings and become misfits, deviants or even criminals, she bears the scolding, even insults, from the wider community but a mother cannot disown her progeny, even on the day a child who has become a criminal is hanged, she will be present; a solitary reminder that when the world has abandoned you, there always is someone who does not disown you.
A mother does not condone evil but she does not withdraw the lifeline, if the errant child wants to mend his/her ways, there will always be open arms.
The fact that the mother does not give up on a child is a psychological deterrent to hopelessness and despair.
The mother is the centre that holds together when all is threatened or lost.
A father can disappear, sometimes even before the birth of a child.
A mother soldiers on, until the child is born and beyond.
If the father never comes back, even if the father’s people do not own up to the child, the new life still makes a safe landing and a new life still begins against all odds.
Is there a greater gift than a mother.
Sometimes a father can be taken up with drinking, leaving the family destitute, making life in the home unbearable, he might even desert the mother and children.
This is a catastrophe which can decimate the family, but when there is a mother who remains strong and resolute and does all she can for the family, life can be normalised; children can still have hope, they can still go on.
If a mother falls due to these pressures, or retaliates with anger, life would go up in flames.
Life would be much harsher, unbearable.
It is a great blessing that mothers can absorb so much vicissitudes thereby suturing the family so that life can still go on with some normalcy.
However, it does not mean that if mother continues to be at peace, people should continue to load it over her — there are limits. In the end, she might put it all aside, and the family, community, society will go up in flames.
The sacrifices and commitment of the mother to the family should not be taken for granted; it should not be abused, but should be honoured and appreciated. Mothers should be protected because they are the roof over our heads.
Vana mai ndiro denga rakafukidza dzimba.
Shona society acknowledges that when it comes to life giving, women have a pivotal role.
Among the Shona, when a man marries off his daughter, when the males in the family have completed the marriage process, and a new life is to begin, they hand everything over to the mothers.
Cognisant that giving birth is a hazardous operation particularly when it is a first child, the groom’s family carries out a ceremony in which the expectant mother is handed over to her parents, primarily her biological mother and all those she relates to as mothers among her people.
These will dutifully midwife the birth of this first child, and after all has been accomplished, the womenfolk will in turn carry out a handing over ceremony of the new born baby back to its paternal family.
The world of men can be too harsh, sometimes they cannot find solutions within themselves; it takes the gentle strength and fortitude of the mother to quell the storm.
In a family, a community, when things go wrong, and the father or the leaders of the community become so upset that nothing can be salvaged, it is the women, the mothers, who in their quiet fortitude, can be heard and things can turn around.
A thousand reasons to celebrate mother for her role, her work, is often taxing, demanding huge sacrifices; it is not strewn with roses but she makes it possible for everyone.
In this moment, let us remember the mothers’ love, sacrifices and fortitude and thank them for making life livable.
Thank you for everything our mothers, grandmothers and our aunts!