Part 1:

I had very little knowledge of the disease. I knew it was incurable and it could be deadly if not managed. I knew a few people who were said to have died from it. I mean it was supposed to be manageable; if one took care of themselves. I knew people who went public with their statuses and were doing really well. It did not make sense to me that this lady was in this position.

I had seen a lot of those ‘Zimbabwean New start center’ adverts “Handina kuCrosser red robot, ndiripa departure launch” 😬. Not sure how to translate that but they were basically advertising the fact that you can get help and do not need to suffer in silence.

Anyway, my Dad sat me down and said, this woman needs “our help” and you are “our help” that we are offering as long as she needs.

Excuse me, say what?

Now I wasn’t shocked at the statement itself, we often had these royal-like conversations whereby a responsibility was bestowed on you without the consenting part. You know the part where one puts one hand on the Bible and raise the other and say something about accepting to serve.

Something like this😬.

Now in other settings, the consent part is the most important part. It’s what is used to hold you accountable when deliverables are being accessed. I mean if you assume a responsibility then you must act accordingly. This is the reason why people get angry at leadership when they fail to deliver because they promised, right? with their own mouths, I should add.

In our setting consent wasn’t of any value at all at this point. I was used to it, “you are “our Chef” for the weekend”, even when you had dinner plans for yourself🤣🤣. We lived in a complex, I was friendly and often invited for dinner. I would however HAPPILY prepare dinner for the rest of the squad because I was honored🤷‍♀️. My dad would say “being asked to do something is never a burden, it’s always an honor”.

There was no discussion of whether you wanted to be involved or not. My dad however made sure you knew the honor that had been bestowed upon you so that if you do not act accordingly, you would know that you were to be punished and why. In our house, this is were consent came in. No one would receive any punishment of any kind without understanding why. Sometimes you would even suggest your own punishment, the conversations were that good.

“Do you know why I’m holding this belt?”

“Yes sir”

Did you hear me say YOU are to do the dishes before my return?

“Yes sir”

“Can we both at this moment, see dishes in the sink”

“Yes daddy😢”

“Ok, so we AGREE that SOMEONE should have done those dishes, buuuut—-“

The rest is history🤣.

He did not want to be cruel or viewed as such, it was just adults with responsibilities that had consequences if not done. He made sure he explained himself and he kept his image clean; honorable, reasonable, and loving father.

I was just shocked that he was entrusting me with such a huge responsibility at my young age. It really meant a lot, I was honored to represent the family on this mission. You always had to have this mindset, it was never a burden, always an honor.

No no no, I wasn’t honored, I did not feel honored at all. I had just mastered the face of honor being bestowed upon you “voluntarily” you know.

I was scared that I was going to be in contact with something I did not fully comprehend. But I knew better, so I stayed calm and listened.

“You will go in the morning with porridge and make sure that she eats. You will also go with dinner and help her eat. Someone else will handle lunch during weekdays.”

Sounded like a plan, I would need to spare about 20 minutes of my morning to feed her porridge, then go to school. Dinner time, I had to feed her first, then come back home and feed myself. This was going to be one hell of a lesson, in fact, lessons.

I think the lessons should be a separate post now that I think about it. This was not planned I promise. See ya next week.