Tinashe was so sad that he began failing at school, he would see his sisters struggling to adjust to the situation and he would spend most nights crying on his pillow, on the kitchen floor of his grandmother. After realizing that no one was coming for them, he made a vow to himself that he will never fail again, that he would pass, get a degree and take care of his siblings. After finishing A level he passed and got admission at a university to study law just like his parents. His grandparents sold her livestock to fund his first year but after that he knew there wasn’t enough for second year and also for his siblings.

He made sure that he passed with flying colours so as to qualify for a 100% scholarship that the university offered to only 5 students in a class of over 400 students. With determination and many sleepless nights, he graduated and got a job at a top law firm. His first salary was a symbol of triumph and a testimony of perseverance. He used it to visit his grandparents and siblings and spoiled them with a lot of gifts. When he went back to work, he did so well, passed his board exams and his remuneration increased rapidly.

Tinashe was determined to build a life of his own and not go after his parent’s property at all. To his surprise his uncle reached out to him with a rather unusual offer. He wanted to give him back ownership of his father’s estate. His uncle said that it was his intention to give it back after his success as he wanted Tinashe to succeed without the comforts of his father’s wealth so as to prove he is truly worthy to inherit it. Tinashe was surprised at the offer and was convinced that this was not a ‘reward for hard work’ as his uncle put it.

He did his research and found out that his father’s estate was being sued for more than its worth by an old client who had found error in his father’s work that apparently costed him a lot of money. His uncle was trying to evade the extra costs that would impact his personal wealth as well. Tinashe refused the offer, this got his uncle very angry, until his uncle confessed and asked for help with the case. Infuriated Tinashe wanted to have nothing to do with the case, neither did he want to talk with his uncle.

After numerous attempts to talk to Tinashe, his uncle finally sent his wife to ask for help. His wife was very humble and explained how their lives would change, at this time Tinashe was reminded of the Shona idiom that says “dindingwe rinonaka richakweva rimwe asi kana iro rokwevewa rinoti mavara angu azara ivhu”, which directly translated says: “The cheetah enjoys dragging its prey, but if it were dragged, it would protest that “my lovely spots are covered in soil””. Though bitter Tinashe decided to help them as he did not wish what he experienced even upon his cruel uncle’s family. Tinashe went further to help his uncle to start over and take care of his family.

We must treat others the way that we would like to be treated. This story is a reality to many people within the African context, with variations but with standing themes of perseverance, hard work pays and cruelty always comes back to bite you or rather do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. The observation is that those who mistreat others usually find the same treatment unbearable. A tsumo (idiom) just came to mind “Dindingwe rinonaka richakweva rimwe kana iro rokwevewa rinoti mavara angu azare vhu”. Direct translation: “The cheetah enjoys dragging its prey, but if it were dragged, it would protest that “my lovely spots are covered in soil” , anyway

To all the people who have stepped up to take on responsibilities that they never anticipated to have after the passing on of people, thank you. Thank you for your love and for believing that life does not end there for the dependents of the deceased as well. Thank you for keeping hope alive, thank you so much for your kindness, I cannot say thank you enough. I know so many amazing people who have come through the hands of good samaritains like you, who have impacted my life in so many ways and I just want to say thank you…

Till next week