By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka
There is a passage in Ecclesiasticus, about time. You know the one, a time to plant, a time to get pregnant, a time to give birth, a time to sing, a time to cry, well, maybe not those words but you get the idea. In fact, I rather suspect that even those that only have a passing acquaintance with the Christian bible either know or have heard the words at some funeral or other such event.
I wanted to headline this piece ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ but then that would be way too much of an open goal: there are enough people who hate me and hated this column more who would have had no incentive to think of new insults but just to repeat those words. One should not arm one’s own opponents. Unless it is with dud weapons though.
But, here is the truth, l have come to the end of Chinyoka on Tuesday. At the beginning of the year l took the decision to stop writing and discontinue this column.
The column was going to just fizzle into oblivion and those that hate me would have eventually come to say: you guessed it, good riddance to bad rubbish. Meanwhile, l was going to devote my time to writing a rebuttal to Jonathan Moyo’s novel. You know the one, one of those -gate things.
But then each week, l received messages from some of my kinder readers. Reports really, is what l should call them. “Asi nhasi watuka Chamisa, because Lance uya haana ku pablisha article yako?” was a common one. “Did you fall out with Lance, because l can’t see your article?” was a close second.
In all these cases, I pointed out that l consider Lance an objective editor who will publish things even when he does not agree with them, that being published on Nehanda Radio did not mean an endorsement by Nehanda Radio etc. All true.
But really, what I should have said is the truth: I have simply run out of energy for this column. About a year ago, I took the decision to gradually move to Mberengwa, to live there permanently. I started building a home, and that is an onerous task.
And in my trips there, I noticed many places where it was possible to lend a hand. Susan and I decided to offer scholarships to girls from poor families to study at Chegato High School and eventually go on to study law (me) or medicine (Susan).
The idea was to have two girls a year, but I think we now have about 16 daughters (and 3 sons) in that school and two others. There will be many more no doubt: just as there will be empty fridges in our home: it’s hard to justify filling up a fridge with stuff you might throw away when you know that for some people, the price of a cucumber is what stands between them and an education.
So, there are so many people that need help. With little things really: a bag of cement here, two borehole leather cups there (at 35RTGS each) and such like.
I am more alive when l am in Mberengwa talking to the lady who makes reusable sanitary pads about how many she can make a month or the man who promises to plant and grow minyii trees for me than l am in Harare talking about this statute or that.
Being insulted on Twitter is no comparison to walking at some growth point and being told “unodada iwe, wakaregerei kundifonera kuti uri kuvuya” by someone you have never met and whose phone number you never had.
Put differently, it is time to move on from Tuesdays. It is time to be alive Svondo, Muvhuro, Chipiri, Chitatu, China, Chishanu and Mugovera. That, is what I am going to be doing.
To those who did enjoy my column, l say fare thee well. To those who hated it and me, l say nothing. Because l know you will say it for me: good riddance to bad rubbish.
To all? Adieu.
Tinomudaishe Chinyoka is a qualified lawyer and social worker, living in Harare where he practices as an Advocate. He is a member of the ruling Zanu PF. Follow him on @TinoChinyoka