Beads of sweat have covered my forehead, the heat is unbearable and I do not know where I am. Did someone kidnap me? A bubbly lady slaps me in between my thighs and I let out a loud cry. I must have dozed off, and as I try to get up it all dawns on me that I was not kidnapped, but that I am in a labour room.
“Do not give up mwanangu (child), it will all be worth it when you hold the child in your arms”.
How I wish we could fast forward the process to the moment were I hold my baby. The thought of the tiny fingers, feet and beautiful eyes melts my heart. I have so much to tell and teach my child, I really hope she will be able to keep up. There are many indigenous languages in my home country of Zimbabwe, and even many more on the African continent. If you were in my shoes, would it be easy for you to choose only one name from all the indigenous languages of Africa? Since l have been struggling to pick one from the million and plus options that I have, my husband and I have decided for the time being to refer to our child as (my child).
My first lesson will definitely be about the spirit of Ubuntu because it has fostered unity and togetherness in many African societies. This is why people work together during the sowing and harvesting period. One man’s problem becomes the society’s problem and the society always comes together to find a solution. My child will need to learn to respect his or her elders, and know that the elders are not strangers and this African proverb confirms just that, “it takes a village to raise a child”. I want my child to know that when an elder rebukes his or her bad behaviour, it is an act of love not hatred. My child should treat his or her elders with respect because they are practically family too.
My child will learn that the beat of the drum always warms an African heart, and that Africans can dance until the sun comes up. Many African dances have been inspired by the way of life of a particular ethnic group. Dancing, chanting and ululating is a way of celebrating in many African cultures. Africa is the home of different dialects and languages. Oh how I wish my child will be able to converse in different languages besides their first language – as this might be the only way they can appreciate the diverse cultures of Africa.
Did you know that many Africans take pride in their totems and copy some positive attributes from them? Totems have taught Africans to preserve wildlife since it is a taboo in many societies to kill and eat your totemic animal, saving it from extinction. Africans also have the gift of storytelling, and the storytellers always encourages the young children to sit down as they narrate folktales. Folktales are not only for entertainment purposes, they always have a moral lesson and in some cases there is a hero and a villain.
There is nothing more beautiful than the African sunset. Its rays carry hope of a better day, and a chance to strive to do good and be appreciated by everyone around you. Africa is a continent with people of diverse cultures and beliefs but they are united, they are beautiful and work within their means. I would like my child to learn a lot about this beautiful continent. Everything seemed so beautiful when I was daydreaming. I am sure it will still be as beautiful when it becomes a reality. I cannot give up now, I have so much to tell my child.
“Push ,push , I can actually see the baby’s head”, one of the midwives says.
My vision is blurry and I am in so much pain but the race is not over yet. I will only rest when I am holding the baby in my arms.