Africa University 25th Graduation Ceremony
Who will look after your family when you are gone?

Dr Masimba Mavaza

Life was very good for Mr and Mrs Machaza and their four beautiful children.

Machaza was a medical doctor and his wife Mitchell was a nurse. Mitchell remembers with a smile the day Dr  Machaza was invited for an interview at the British High Commission in Harare.

He came back home smiling highly elated he had been offered a job in England. That was their dream it has come true. The trust which had offered them a job was called NHS and it was government run.

The offer came with a very wonderful package that included flight tickets for the whole family and accommodation.

In no time the whole family was in the United Kingdom.

Mitchell got a training contract and sooner she was working as a nurse. In England she was called an adult nurse, equivalent to a general nurse in Zimbabwe.

Life was good in England. Within a year they had built a beautiful house in Highlands and their family members queued with all sorts of requests. Mitchell remembers how they would send money home for every relative who raises a flag.

Every holiday to home they commanded so much respect their children were treated very well  it was all good.

Every relative showed so much love to their children. They were treated so well. They could get away with almost everything. Each summer holiday they looked forward to visiting Zimbabwe.

One sunny summer Sunday fate struck. Machaza collapsed while he was at the gym in Birmingham which is the second capital city of England. He passed on, a few minutes later, marking the beginning-of all evils.

His body was flown to Zimbabwe and all the children flew with their mother to give their hero a befitting send off. The sun had set on Machaza family.

After the funeral, Machaza’s elder brother requested to have a chat with Mitchell. He asked for the title deeds of the Highlands house and all the registration books of the cars. He enquired on how the accounts in England will be dealt with.  Within a short space of time, the liives of the Machaza family had turned upside down.

The children were told that they will be staying in Murehwa and will not be going back to England. Mitchell realised that in the confusion of the funeral her passports were stolen.

She was now in Murehwa with no penny to her name four children who are bereaved and being tormented. Those who had been close to them suddenly found the distance.

Life had just changed.

The wife of the Machaza senior became very abusive. She confronted Mitchell and told her that she must forget about the uncle. Her husband was dead and she must not take other’s husbands.

She was told to fetch the firewood and cook.

All her clothes were stolen and was left with no clothes no cash.

With a heavy heart she had to be strong for the children.

After some days her brother who was in Botswana arrived to pay his respect. She bundled her children in her brother’s car and went to Harare.

She cried uncontrollably for ten minutes before she continued.

“The week I stayed in Murehwa revealed the evil of my in-laws,” she narrated.

She took her children to the British high commission where she processed travel documents     Within two days and organised return tickets for her and the Children.

“When I arrived in England I cried again. Not for my husband but for the time I wasted on the relatives who turned against me. I really cried myself to sleep,” she said.

A very strong feeling covered my thoughts. Enjoy your time with your children now. The one week experience shook me to the heart. What would have happened to my children if we had died at the same time me and my husband.

“I realised with a heavy heart that your children are loved only when you are there once you are gone no one will care for them.

I even remember my husband’s brother saying you enjoyed the money while your husband was there. Whatever he left here is now ours.”

Mitchell had to engage lawyers to protect her properties in Zimbabwe.

The children are so scared of Zimbabwe. This treatment they got was a rude awakening.

Most people in England always concentrate on those at home. It is noble and humane to help those at home, bt the first help must go to your children.

Remember the days our mothers had glass cupboards called displays. In them they kept all the expensive chinaware. We could burn our lips with metal cups and the beautiful cups were reserved for visitors.

Children will look with shock when their parents die as those visitors grab those plates. They were just there for display. That culture is not gone yet. It only changed from plates to wealth.  Our children never enjoy their parents sweat. They have to share with the relatives. Imagine they suffered while parents are there and suffer again when their parents are gone.

Life is short use it well for your children you will never know what happens in your absence.

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