From gloom to joy …Ambuya Dhaa smiles again


By Catherine Murombedzi

AFRICA DAY lived to it’s billing, with celebration and unity of purpose filling the day in Zvimba District. 

Ambuya Dhaa, reported last month in this paper as living a destitute life, was off to a resounding goodbye from her community on May 25. 

The sad old lady was to get a new lease of life. 

The Department of Social Welfare finally fulfilled it’s mandate. Due to physical distancing, not many from the Beta community could converge to see Ambuya Dhaa off. 

Her day began very early. A bath by one of her care givers, Mai Osiwago, at 8am was followed by hot steaming porridge with peanut butter and a slice of bread dipped in the thick brown steaming yummy porridge. The waiting, in anticipation for the long trip to ‘Sinoia’ was now a reality. 

Yes, ‘Sinoia’, that is what ambuya calls Chinhoyi.

For some weeks, the new home with fellow senior citizens had been readied, with her room clean, waiting for her occupancy.

The Department of Social Welfare had transport challenges and communicated. 

Each new day was a long wait. 

From sunrise to dusk, Ambuya Dhaa was getting inquisitive and restive.

“Ndoenda rinhi Sinoia, ndakatora chitupa kuSinoia? (When do I go to Sinoia, I had my identity card issued in Sinoia?)” became a daily mantra).

The Santa Community, (St Dominic’s Chishawasha old girls) who had come to her rescue before by providing foodstuffs, again on learning of the cause of the delay to the old people’s home, rallied on the WhatsApp forum, pooled resources and in 24 hours, Engie Govha had offered to chauffeur ambuya. 

With a sweet tooth, Ambuya Dhaa loves maheu. 

This was purchased too, so was orange juice and snacks topped up, her favourite brand ‘Things’ was ready for munching in Sinoia for days to come. 

At 11am, the awaited car snaked into the dusty compound (komboni) dirt road, negotiating the potholes with everyone aware of the entry, they stopped to give way to the car on its way to Ambuya Dhaa’s residence. 

In top form, the ‘girl’ was raring to go. 

With new warm shoes on, warm clothes too, new blankets fit for a queen, lifting Ambuya Dhaa up was not a challenge. 

She too was chuckling, singing along the walk to the car parked five metres away. 

With pain from arthritis stiffly making knee movement an ardous task, the hobbling, supported by another care giver to the car was a marvellous sight. 

“I am going to get married in Sinoia, I am going to get married to Murombedzi in Sinoia,” Ambuya Dhaa kept repeating.

Due to physical distancing, only one care giver joined and the Sinoia trip hit the road at mid-day. 

As the trio waved good bye, the Beta Community was all smiles. Ubuntu/hunhu, unity of purpose and Africa Day lived to it’s billing. 

Smiles and waving hands bade Ambuya Dhaa goodbye. At 1.30pm, pictures got the Santa Community WhatsApp group alive. 

The trio had landed in the promised land. 

The signpost welcomed Ambuya Dhaa, fellow senior citizens welcomed her, the expected new girl finally arrived in style.

The short video clip of Ambuya Dhaa singing on her departure had the forum in stitches.

One asked: “Are the prospects of ambuya tying the knot looking good?” 

The reply from Sinoia was affirmative.

“Indeed, I saw three-or-more suitors eyeing the new girl on the scene.” 

Who knows, ambuya may rekindle the love flames in her final stretch.

The warm staff rushed with a wheel chair on noticing ambuya needed help. 

In no time, greetings flew from all gap toothed smilers welcoming the latest arrival. 

Formality of papers took place from an office, with ambuya smiling under the warm sun of Mashonaland West, Sinoia, where her identity was captured decades back. May 25, the same city captured her details in the beautiful Chengetanayi Old Peoples Home.

The trio spent the afternoon at the home making sure Ambuya Dhaa had settled in. 

The rest is history! 

A call the next morning from a girl, Sophie Chidarikire-Crouse, from Durban warmed the group again.
“Thank you Santa Community, you are amazing,” was the message from a staff member.


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