James and I were now living in a big house in Marondera. It was convenient as we were not
very far from the village. There was work still to be done in the village regarding HIV/AIDS. A
year into the marriage I got pregnant, but had a miscarriage. We were so upset that I could not
even think of trying again for a while. We waited for what fate had for us.
“Vimbai, just do as I tell you for once, darling,” James said. “Get some rest, darling, please.”
James and everyone else kept fussing over me, my mother-in-law most of all. She was
desperate to have grandchildren. She had been quick to offer help while I was convalescing.
“I have been waiting for James to be happy again,” she told me. “I thought James would never
settle down. After your first break-up, I thought he would die of heartbreak. That is when I knew
that my son had met someone special. I am so happy, Vimbai, that you managed to sort things
out. If things had not turned out the way they did, I am sure I would have lost my son. Thank
you very much for making my son happy,” she said, touching my hand.
I was touched. After having experienced such tough times with Pete’s family, I was happy with
James’s mother. She told me I was like a daughter to her, and she treated me that way.
“I am your husband’s mother, so you are my child too,” she told me. “I am here to help
whenever you need me.” And she did help – sometimes too much.
Three years passed before I got pregnant again, and life continued to be good. I was doing
well, and James watched over me like a hawk this time. No hard work in case I was to have
another miscarriage. Even my mother came around to our place just to make sure I was
getting enough rest. As I was getting bigger and bigger and I became restless. I wanted to go
back to the village. I wanted to see Sekuru. At first James did not think it was a good idea but I
was adamant. One weekend he said he was he was taking me to the village. I was happy to
be back. I missed the village so much and here I was eight months pregnant. James went back
to work the following day and left me to enjoy the village fresh air. I had to visit Sekuru.
This was a surprise visit for Sekuru. I waddled to his house humming happily to myself. The
very path I was walking on had many memories- good and bad. I didn’t want to dwell on the
past and smiled to myself imagining how Sekuru was going to react.
‘’Sekuru, are you at home?’’ I shouted from a distance.
‘’Vimbai, is that you? I knew it. I dreamt last night you were seated here next to me chatting,’’
‘’O Sekuru, I missed you so much. Is everything OK with you?’’ I said happily.
‘’I am well child. It’s good to see you. When did you arrive and where is James?’’ Sekuru
asked. I told Sekuru how I got restless being at home and decided to come back to the village.
‘’You don’t want to give birth in the village, do you Vimbai? What did James say of your being
here now?’’ Sekuru asked concerned.
‘’I will be alright Sekuru. I am not due until another month. Besides, this is home,’’ I said trying
to make light of a serious matter. James was to be off work in the following week to be with me
in the village in case I was due early.
‘’You are simply stubborn Vimbai. I am glad you are here though. It’s never the same without
your regular visits,’’ added Sekuru. I could not help but notice how melancholic he sounded. I
thought it would be nice to reminisce with him.
‘’Sekuru, do you remember the two stories you told me years ago and said I should keep the
answers to myself?’’ I said.
‘’Yes, I remember’’ Sekuru said with a twinkle in his eyes. ‘’Have you got the answers now?’’,
‘’Well I do Sekuru but now I have learnt to relate the story not far from home but here in the
village,’’ I said.
‘’Yes, go on I am listening,’’ Sekuru added.
‘’The villagers were selfish, uncompromising and lacking empathy at first but having witnessed
death, grieved and fought HIV/AIDS as a community made all the difference,’’ I said.
‘’Remember people are people Vimbai. Since time began people have always fallen to deadly
sins among them greed, pride, gluttony and sloth which are all in the stories I told you. So
slowly we realised that tolerance of one another was the way to success’’, Sekuru said quietly.
Sekuru, the educator as always, I thought to myself
‘’Are you hungry Vimbai?’’ Sekuru asked.
I realised I had been with Sekuru for a while. I had not been paying attention to my stomach
but I realised I was having stomach cramps. Similar to the ones I had when I lost the first
‘’Vimbai, are you alright? Vimbai, what is the matter?’’ Sekuru shouted. ‘’Would you call my
mother please Sekuru. Something is not right here,’’ I managed to say.
I was scared. I started groaning in pain. Sekuru was torn between leaving me alone and calling
my mother. In the end, he walked towards my house. He was not a fast walker and I did not
expect him to run. Within minutes my mother was at Sekuru’s place. My mother and Sekuru
were beside themselves with worry. What if I lost the baby? I could still hear James’ words
when he said I was being stubborn by not staying in the town where all facilities would be
Well done Vimbai for messing things up, I thought to myself.
The clinic that was promised to the village had been built but would not be well equipped for a
person like me. I was likely to have complications because of my size and needed well trained
specialists. In fact I had a specialist doctor assigned to my case and here I was very far away
from these arrangements. My mother had to decide quickly what to do. I had to go back to
Marondera but was time on my side. I was to stay at Sekuru while my mother was running
around to organize a car for me and letting my husband know of the situation. The pain kept
on and I was not sure what was going on. Sekuru could not leave me. I was at Sekuru for
three hours and my mother was informed James was on his way with some experts. The
screeching of a car made Sekuru jump and for the first time since I had been lying on his bed I
realised how worried he must have been.
Within minutes I was in James’ arms. ‘’Are you alright Vimbai my darling? O Vimbai, talk to me
Sweetheart!’’, James said.
Sekuru and James looked at each other thinking the same thing as they later told me- How
stubborn she is!
The medical consultant James brought examined me and said I could travel. I was carried to
the car for the long journey to Marondera Hospital. My mother and James went with me and
the last thing I remember was waving Sekuru goodbye. I could not simply resist the old man’s
charm, I thought to myself as the car sped towards Marondera.