Lost identity: What do I tell my children?

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By Davet Muzvidzwa

I AM over 50 years now.
I cannot say I have seen it all.
But I can claim I have seen something.
Something those younger than me expect me to share with them.
That is where my worries are.
I suspect that my great grandfather down to my father went to their graves without someone taking the courage to give answers.
Now I have my children, who have questions they seek answers to.
They expect me to give them answers and yet I am as helpless as they are.
I have questions; my children have questions, we all seek answers.
Our ancestors sought answers to difficult questions as you know that “Chembere yokwa Chivi yakabika mabwe ikaseva muto.”
The modern day smelting of mineral ores may have derived their inspiration from such courageous and scientific women like the old Chivi woman.
Whenever I got the opportunity to be alone and be my real self, I have continued to ask myself these introspective questions again and again;
A. Who am I?
I feel like a person with no heritage, no connection to the past that I know exists.
I feel like a person who as I get older observes that I am continuously losing my identity.
I feel guilty when I realise that my children will not have any ‘Africanness’, let alone Zimbabweaness to pass on to their own children because I am losing it.
B. Where did I come from?
When I am made to know that the very God who created me had some children he preferred over others like me, I lose it out.
Vamwe vanonzi vana vaMwari vamwe tonzi tiri vanhu vaMwari.
What a differentiating God!
I am like a child whose biological father spat it on my face that I am not his son.
Being a real son of my father, I expect to be given by my father the opportunity to sit on the lap and act childishly knowing that my safety rests in the secure arms of my father.
I cannot avoid asking about my origins when my identity is questionable before my father.
How are we connected to the God that created us?
What is our line of creation?
C. Did God create me black or someone blackened me?
When I look at the colour of my skin, I can see that it is not black, but different shades of brown.
Am I indeed black like darkness or I am brown like the fertile soil that feeds all living things?
Did the name ‘black’ come from God?
If the name did not come from God, then who gave me that name?
If somebody with his own agenda gave me that name, then why do I and my people accept this name without any reservations?
Is this not evidence enough that the software in our brains were attacked by a virus that corrupted us to associate ourselves with a name that has no basis in our heritage.
From the little that I have seen and heard, I have met a number of situations where the word black was used, for example;
Black sheep: This is an English idiom used to describe an odd or disreputable member of a group.
Black swan theory: This refers to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history, considered extreme outliers.
Black September: A terrorist group formed in 1970 alleged to have been responsible for kidnappings and murders.
Surprisingly it was given that name even if its members were not ‘black’.
Black Sunday: The Wikipedia website lists the following black Sundays;
1. The 1918 attack of US ships off the coast of New Jersey
2. A day of major bushfires in Victoria, Australia during the 1925–26 Victorian bushfire season
3. A 1935 dust storm that swept across the Mid-western United States
4. A 1938 event of extraordinary surf conditions at Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
5. A 1955 series of bushfires in South Australia
6. The 1998 failure of the Denver International Airport Automated Guideway Transit System
7. Black Sunday, the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt, an American race car driver.
As we can all see, ‘Black occurrences’, all bad are being created in our face as late as 2001.
It looks like every generation has something bad that will be called ‘black’ by some races.
We and our forefathers are guilty to our children for allowing some people to call us ‘black’ despite the fact that we are not ‘black’.
We find ourselves helpless; when everything bad is called ‘black’ we do not know what to do other than accepting passively.
Because the term ‘black’ is associated with everything bad, we have allowed a culture of self denial to creep into our veins.
We now see our children whitening their skin risking skin cancers in the process and putting on artificial coloured long hair which is not African.
They are trying to physically dissociate themselves from ‘blackness’ which is always associated with bad occurrences.
Would my children like to be called ‘black’ if everything that is called ‘black’ is bad?
Even at funerals, people wear black and the widow will dress in black during the mourning period because something ‘black’ has happened.
If anyone knows why we are associated with black colour other than hate, blatant racism and arrogance of other races please tell my children.
For those who may not know how we should call ourselves and be called by others, take advise from one son-of-the-soil Professor Mathole Motshekga of South Africa who says we are ‘Afuraka’ people.
‘Afuraka’ as in old texts means: ‘A’ meaning LAND
‘Fura’ meaning GOD, KING, SUN
‘Ka’ meaning OF
Therefore Afuraka (Africa) is The Land of the King, The Land of the Sun and The Land of God.
The Afurakas (African) is a Royal Child, Divine Child, Child of Light and Child of God.
D. How can a Child of God, Divine Child and Child of Light be equated to a black sheep?
We cannot be a bank to store all abuses from other people who begrudge Africans for being endowed with natural riches by God.
We should not teach our children to accept all labels thrown onto us by non- Africans.
Our children are called monkeys in Europe as they go there just to play sport. We should in fact restore the pride of our children by telling them that they are indeed not black, rather they are various shades of brown with riches of the fertile soil that nourishes all living things.

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