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Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye: A touching letter from one Domboshava son to the other

He comes from Dombodhava. Like me, he is a Domboshava son with a passion for writing. A gifted poet who is partially blind. He did time in prison during the Robert Mugabe era for his stinging art.

Dear reader, meet Collen Kajokoto, from Taziva village in Pote in Domboshava, the hallowed land of my birth and upbringing.

Three years ago, when I went to the Pote area of Domboshava canvassing political support for the democratic cause, I bumped into the gifted artiste in him that was only being drawn back by a poor economy and the debilitating effects of his long time in prison, both of which were compounded by his partial blindness. He has a damaged optic nerve and sees things as distorted images.

I took it upon myself to write to an international writers’ organisation that sampled his art and agreed to assist him. I only wrote a strong letter of recommendation and provided his address and contact details.

More than a year later, I received a touching letter from him. that left my eyes flowing with rivers of tears. The organisation to which I wrote had facilitated a US$65 000 scholarship for him. He is now a writer-in-residence in a certain country that shall remain nameless, for security reasons.

We are all mortal human beings. There is always a good feeling that grips all of us when our small acts of love touch lives and inspire change in other people’s lived circumstances.

That is how I felt when Kajokoto wrote me the letter below from his new base in Europe where he is plying his trade as a writer-in-residence.

As I promised in my open letter to Domboshava residents last Tuesday, I hereby publish, with his consent, Kajokoto’s humbling letter to me. I have deliberately edited out his country of sanctuary and the international organisation of writers that I pleaded with to facilitate his scholarship.

A chastening missive

Dear Mr Luke Tamborinyoka

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Please accept my hearty gratitude for the letter of support you graciously wrote to ………. ……..on my behalf.

The timeous humanitarian support and gesture is unmatched. I remain evermore indebted to you – for the letter opened more doors to me.

People like you are few and far between. I was at the verge of doomsday. My circumstances were becoming more dire and extremely precarious due to a cocktail of problems that include a poor economy and poor health. My political persecution which included a long detention in prison as well as my blindness had worsened my condition.

When a man is down, under an excruciating political yoke and carrying a heavy burden in the tenuous journey of life, the arrival of a Good Samaritan is a huge welcome.

Thank you so much for the expeditious intervention in saving not only my deteriorating health and economic situation, but my writing career too!!

Your reference letter which corroborated with my story went a long way to restore my life which was in dire straits.

I now live in ……. under a ……. scholarship program.

It is my dream prayer that sooner rather than later I will find freedom, justice, good health, peace and love in a safe place.

I salute you for the support graciously rendered with compassion.

It is my humble conviction that people like you should lead our constituency for a better and prosperous community. This is amplified by your unquestionable love, dedication and commitment to the underprivileged in our home area of Goromonzi West constituency.

Thank you once again Mr Luke Tamborinyoka for the amazing support!!

Best regards,

Collen Kajokoto.

Luke Tamborinyoka is a citizen from Domboshava. Tamborinyoka is a journalist and an ardent political scientist by profession. He is a change champion in the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). You can interact with him through his Facebook page or via his twitter handle @ luke_tambo.