Exiled twins show unconditional love for their country


AS we commemorate Heroes’ Day and Defence Forces’ Day, we must remember that this country, Zimbabwe, could not have come without the ‘unconditional love’ of our heroes for us and our land.
That ‘unconditional love’ for us and our land is what we refer to as ‘patriotism’.
In other words, to be patriotic is “to be possessed by one’s land and to possess one’s land.”
So that the land becomes the people and the people become the land.
An insult to one’s land becomes an insult to oneself.
An assault on one’s land becomes an assault on oneself, whether one is in exile or not.
Some may say, “There is no such thing as ‘unconditional love’ for anything.
Martin Luther King once said, concerning ‘patriotism’, “If you have not found anything in life worth defending and dying for, you have not found your life worth defending and dying for.”
Those who have herded cattle in the rural areas do not find it difficult to agree with King’s statement or the idea of ‘patriotism as unconditional love for one’s people and nation’.
When someone wants to humiliate you and make you fight them and you are unwilling to fight them, they made a mound of sand to represent the breast of your mother whose milk you have sucked.
If anyone destroys that mound that represents your mother’s breast, he or she has destroyed your mother and insulted you beyond compare, and therefore provoke a brutal and fearless war with you whose end is either they kill you or they run away if they do not want you to kill them.
It does not matter whether your mother beats you several times everyday or not.
Your love for her is beyond the self.
So it is with patriotism.
It doesn’t matter whether your country is rich or poor or a particular ruler has been kind or cruel to you.
Your commitment and participation towards the restoration of peace, harmony and order in your country is beyond self-enrichment or personal revenge, but selfless commitment to the freedom, survival and happiness of your people as a whole, even after you are gone.
That is the spirit of patriotism we celebrate as Zimbabweans on Heroes Day and Defence Forces Day.
This spirit is well-captured in the following story of the twins:
A long time ago at the village of Serki, a woman gave birth to twins, two boys.
They were very nice children.
One of the twins, Eiba by name, had a white spot on his right hand.
The other, they called him Saiba, had two white spots on his left hand.
Father and mother were very happy and very sad at the same time, because there was a very bad custom in Serki of killing twins.
And the Chief of Serki said, “Those twins must die, too.”
But their father and mother did not want to kill the twins.
“What?” said the Chief angrily!
“You don’t want to kill them?
“Go away from the village and never come back or I shall kill you together with your children.”
So the poor family went away from the village.
For many years the family lived in a forest.
Life was not easy there, but the children grew up strong.
When they grew up, they helped their father and mother with their work.
They were good and handsome young men.
One day they found a man in the forest.
He was dying.
They tried to help him, but he said, “Don’t help me.
“I shall die soon.
“I came from Serki.
“There is a war going on there now.
“We fought bravely, but the enemy is stronger than we are.
“Go and help my people if you can.”
With these words he died.
Eiba and Saiba wanted to go to Serki and help to fight, but their father and mother were against it and said, “The Chief does not want you there.
“He wanted to kill you when you were small children.
“That’s why we went away from Serki and came to live in the forest.”
But the twins wanted to go and help Serki.
They said, “This is our country.
“We shall help the people of our country.”
So the boys came to Serki and fought against the enemies.
They fought bravely.
The people of Serki won the fight and made the enemy run.
So the war was over.
Then a feast at the Chief’s house began.
Saiba and Eiba were at the feast, too.
Then one of the men stood up and said, “There are two young men here, two brothers.
“I think they are very brave soldiers, but we don’t know who they are.”
The twins’ uncle was at the feast, too.
He said to the Chief, “Do you remember two little twins, one with a spot on his right hand and the other with two spots on his left hand?
“Eighteen years ago you told their father and mother to go away from our village as they did not want to kill the twins.
“These are the same twins.”
The Chief stood up and asked the twins to forgive him.
Then he sent the two young men back to their father and mother with many presents and a letter in which he asked them to come back.
From that day on they stopped killing twins in Serki.
“Happy Heroes’ Day!”


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